Front Porch Love

Last summer was a miserable one in Kansas.  The heat surpassed records set in the Dust Bowl era.  How those unfortunate folks of that age survived without air conditioning is beyond me.  I spent those 112 degree days inside, draped over vents, ceiling fan whirling and iced tea in hand.

Of course, it is only the first of June, and summer could still clobber us over the head.  It has already been in the nineties a few times this year, but today was beautiful.  Cool, occasionally rainy...  Beautiful.  Perfect evening for sitting on the porch.

Watching the oldest daughter deface the house with chalk.

"Sweetie, do you have to write on the house?"  "But Mo-o-m!  I'm doing math!"

The youngest was content to dance.  She's always content to dance.

We had a stack of books on the porch, too.  My oldest finished kindergarten recently, and she shocks me with her new abilities.  This summer, she has started four books.  Two of these books are going to be too much for her, but we can always read them together.   (This is the kiddo I read all of the Oz books to, starting when she was not yet 3.)

We finished the Laura & Nellie chapter book.  We took turns reading pages at bedtime, with little sis in the room, too.  Late last year, I finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to her and we're about halfway through Little House On the Prairie.  (Part of our vacation next month will include visits to a couple of Laura Ingalls Wilder destinations.)  Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great by Judy Blume is in the pile.  That is one I will definitely help her with.  I read all the Fudge books to her - twice! - but I never owned this one.  Thank you, public library!

The book she is reading most diligently now is The Robot King by Brian Selznick.  I haven't read this one yet!  I believe I may have to borrow it as she sleeps.  She seems to be engrossed in it.  She tried to read The Adventures of Hugo Cabret on her own, but I knew it would be too much.  That is my book, ordered via my little one's preschool's Scholastic forms.  I am a silent film freak, and Big Sis is my silent film festival partner.  We missed seeing Scorcese's film adaptation on the big screen, but we bought it on DVD the day it came out.  It is definitely one of our favorite movies.  But while we missed Hugo in the theatre, not many 6-year-olds can claim they saw this on a big screen!  And in color, no less:

The version we saw at the Kansas Silent Film Festival this year was the recently restored, hand-colored version.  Flicker Alley released it on DVD, which is high on my birthday wish list year.

Little Sis has deemed A Dignity of Dragons: Collective Nouns for Magical Beasts her favorite recent library book.  The text, by Jacqueline Ogburn, is quite clever, but it's the spectacular illustrations by Nicoletta Ceccoli that have her hooked.  Can't say I blame her.

I am still figuring out the whole blogging thing.  I know that it probably makes the most sense to post first thing in the morning, but I am not a morning person.  (I like to read other people's blogs in the morning, though!)  This is definitely a work in progress!

Bloggedy Blog Blog!

It is the last day of May.  My daughters are out of school.  I am home, having lost my part-time bookstore job at the end of last year.  (The store closed.  Closing bookstores make me sad.)  The girls and I have a wonderful time together (usually...), but these days, they are very good at entertaining themselves, and Mommy needs a project of her own.  (Besides Pinterest.  Mommy has an overwhelming itch to pin things.)

So I am a bookworm.  I love books.  They are my great material love.  It is a wonderful thing to be married to a man who shares this love.  Well, it is wonderful when we are organized - let's face it, book love can lead to horrendous clutter.  As of a few months ago, though, our collection is much more controlled.  Thank goodness - I may have lost my employee discount, but between our local independent stores, used bookstores, Scholastic order forms and book fairs, the library, the internet, birthdays, and Christmas, our supply continues to stream in!

Living room shelves, stacks of gift books and library books...  Bliss.

We are raising little bookworms.  Reading with my parents and grandparents are some of my fondest memories.  Once I became an independent reader, there was no stopping me.  My nose was always in a book.  The books I loved as a child never left me, and I sought them out even before I became a parent.

I am always looking for new books for the girls, too, and finding new activities to tie what they read into lessons and fun.  Some of my other loves are old movies and cartoons, theatre, renaissance fairs, history museums, and antique stores.   There is much joy to be found in sharing things you love with your children.  They may surprise you by enjoying these things as much as you.

 (And don't worry.  They get plenty of active outdoor time, too.)

Some of the kids' collection.  They have sling bookshelves and closet shelves not pictured.

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