A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Early March


Was it really only 2 weeks ago we were allowed to go out and gather in groups?


Jack's trap team.  The season is likely over for them now, but just a couple weeks back was their first shoot of the year.


During Arts Week, the kids visited a welding place.  This is Jack's creation.  I think the bike chains represent a stream.  There are dinos on the opposite bank.  Hannah made a face for hers, but I don't know what became of it.


Our cat is so weird.  He loves feet and shoes.


Oh, my heart.  Sam made my day by sending pictures of himself and a few other friends all gussied up.  They were headed to a "transitioning to civilian life" practice interview.  Sam has less than a year left in the Marines.


And this is when things got weird.  Suddenly all the toilet paper disappeared, and the public schools shut down.

I believe EGUSD was the first in the nation to close the whole district all at once.  My kids' school remained open much longer.  Now our whole state is shut down.


And yes, crafting is my therapy, and I have a weird sense of humor.  I made the girls t-shirts.  Gotta keep that Cricut Machine (affiliate link) going.  I actually started a Cricut post last month, and never finished it.  I want to show off all the cool stuff I've been making since Christmas.  I'll have to buckle down and get that done soon.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Catching Up Again


Now that I'm hanging out in the school room more, I'm bound to be more active blogging.


Grumman, standing atop a twin mattress.  Because cats.


He's a psycho kitty, but we love him.


The kids had spirit week.  On decades day, Hannah went as a hippy.


And Katie represented the '80s, with her leopard leggings, one of Jack's dress shirts, some jelly bracelets, and a side ponytail.


One of the days was Animal Day.


And one day was red/white/blue day.  I bought a red & white raglan at the craft store and let Jack design something to put on it using my Cricut machine. (affiliate link)  I love the way it came out! 


I'm glad my ironing board cover is the same color as the cat.  He loves hanging out there.


Remember Kylie, Zach & Heather's dog that we watched?  She had her first heat, so I was asked to make her a couple diapers.


Jack got to go to Lake Tahoe for a couple days with school.


Our first race of 2020.  Also, Eli's last race.  He's decided he's done.  Sad face.


We had littles in the house recently!  A friend is undergoing cancer treatment, and several of us took a turn with her children.


Which means that all the little kid stuff was out.  Which inspired the not so little kids to play with it, too.


"Feeling cute, might lock your iPad later, IDK."


One of the small fries had an accident, so I put him in my tub and made new underwear and pants for him.  I was in such a hurry, I didn't bother to change serger threads from the doggie diapers.


My cute little labels.


And the finished pants.  No pockets, due to time.


Eli and Miss Adorable spending every last moment together before he leaves for boot camp. 


I'm starting to get away from dressing the girls alike, but did do coordinating outfits for Valentine's Day. 


As our family size has dwindled over the years, we've gotten to the point where the old, full size, gas guzzling van is no longer the most appropriate vehicle for us.  Meet Matilda.  She's my new wheels, and I'm enamored. 


Our second race for 2020 was the Undy Run, for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.  Unfortunately, races are being cancelled or postponed left and right now.  I was bummed about the Shamrock race, because I had great socks for the event. 

But, it's all for the greater good.  So, for now, we stay home.  When the time comes, and we can race again, we'll appreciate it all the more. 

Stay Healthy, friends! 

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Sudden Homeschool



And just like that, thousands of families are homeschooling.  I feel bad for the ones who've never done it before.  The ones who think they have to do everything just the way the school does it.  The ones who aren't sure they'll survive weeks at home with their kids.  

I'm grateful for the 19 years experience I have homeschooling my kids.  But it's still jarring to go from the routine of having the kids in school to the new routine of homeschooling again.  


So I decided to start us off fun & easy... with an art project!  I started by using my Cricut machine (affiliate link) to cut shamrock stickers.  Then we made rainbows around them, using chalk pastels. 


This is what my little example looked like.


And these are Hannah and Katie's finished pictures. 


While they worked on their art project, I read aloud The Story of St. Patrick, More Than Shamrocks and Leprechauns, from Voice of the Martyrs.  (another affiliate link)

After art, I asked the girls to imagine they were Patrick, and write a letter home to his parents from captivity.  

Jack will be watching the Crash Course video on the Periodic Table of Elements, as that's what he's been working on in science at school.  

I'm going to pick up the kids' assignments from the school later today, so tomorrow will look much more "school-y" than our first day, but it's nice to have a gentle start.  I'm also picking up a bagful of books from the library, to keep up with Hannah's voracious appetite for reading during her down time.  

While I didn't plan to homeschool again, I'm excited about the prospect.  It's nice to have everybody home together while we weather uncertain times.  If any of my readers find themselves suddenly homeschooling and would like some help, I'm absolutely willing to point you toward some resources or answer questions for you.  

Stay healthy out there!  

Friday, January 31, 2020

Furry Foster Books #readyourworld


In the past 2 years, we've fostered kitties and bunnies.  So I was very excited to get to review the My Furry Foster Family books!


We're big on animals around here, as you can see, with Grumman photo bombing my picture of the 4 books we received.


Although the suggested age range is kindergarten to second grade, my 9 & 12 year olds enjoyed reading them.


In Buttons the Kitten, main character Kaita slowly and gently helps a scaredy-cat kitten find it's place.


Betty the Bearded Dragon teaches lots of new things, as Kaita learns to care for an animal she's never encountered before.


When Kylee (Zach & Heather's dog) stayed with us for a few days while they were out of town, we got a taste of what it's like to have a dog.  Truman the Dog, however, turns out to be far more trouble than Kylee was!  Kaita and her family model patience and understanding while fostering him.


In Apple and Annie, the Hamster Duo Kaita gets to learn new things again, as she discovers the lovable quirks that hamsters present.  She also becomes a great animal advocate, creating posters to help them get adopted.


My Furry Foster Family currently consists of the 4 books pictured.  I would love to see a bunny story added to the series, as we've fostered darling bunnies.

Author Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrator Melanie Demmer create a charming set of books, featuring people of all colors.  As the mom of Asian daughters, I'm happy to see the main character is Asian (she's half Korean), and there are other races represented, as well.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, Platinum Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls, Gold Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press, Silver Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe, Bronze Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales   Author Sponsor Link Cloud  https://www.barefootbooks.com/l Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

  FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
TWITTER PARTY! Register here!


Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Did you enjoy MCBD 2020 (or week, as it was here)?  I know I sure did!  As my kids are getting older, I've started purging some of the books we've literally had for decades.  It's been wonderful to replace them with more colorful and globally aware options. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Global Kids


Are we enjoying Multicultural Children's Book Day week?  I know I am!  Today's share isn't exactly a book, but it's fun, nonetheless.  We received the Global Kids activity card deck free for review purposes.


Global Kids 50+ Games, Crafts, Recipes & More from Around the World was compiled by Homa Sabet Tavangar & Sophie Fatus.  The suggested grade level is 2nd & 3rd, but I think the appeal is broader than that.


This is not a card game, but a collection of cards with different activities, some of which are games.  The cards are grouped:  Celebrate, Help Out, Eat, Play, and Create.  There are many fun ideas from many different countries.


This card Eat card features both a recipe from Turkey, and a custom from the United Kingdom.


We used ground cinnamon and ground cloves, because that's what we had on hand. 


And our Turkish apple tea turned out yummy! 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, Platinum Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls, Gold Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press, Silver Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe, Bronze Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales   Author Sponsor Link Cloud  https://www.barefootbooks.com/l Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

  FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
TWITTER PARTY! Register here!



Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for our last book post for MCBD 2020!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Let's Celebrate Special Days Around the World #readyourworld


I've always loved holidays.  Especially in the winter, we need special days to pull us out of the monotony of everyday life.  I was delighted to receive Let's Celebrate! Special Days Around the World, free, to review as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day.  


Let's Celebrate! Special Days Around the World is intended for kids aged 4-8, or K-2nd grade.  It's broken into two parts.  The main portion of the book is vibrant two page spreads for each holiday, with engaging illustrations by Martina Peluso.  The rhyming text rollicks along, giving us a taste of what children celebrating each holiday might experience.  I especially appreciate that author Kate DePalma gives pronunciation helps, to ensure we're saying each holiday correctly.


The holidays included range from the familiar, such as Chinese New Year and Dia de los Muertos, to the obscure, like Matariki and Nowruz.  The last 7 pages of this special book give more in depth information about when the holidays occur, a little bit about their origin, and where they are celebrated.  These pages give the book appeal to a wider range of ages, offering interesting information above the typical picture book level.  For homeschoolers, this would be a fabulous addition to an Around The World unit study.  

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Super Platinum Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, Platinum Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls, Gold Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS: A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press, Silver Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe, Bronze Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales   Author Sponsor Link Cloud https://www.barefootbooks.com/l Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture Groove, Lauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE. Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day



TWITTER PARTY! Register here! Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Come back tomorrow and Friday for more multicultural children's materials!