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.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Our Before Mom's Trip Week

I'm home!  I'm back!  I'm alive!  And I took over 1,400 pictures while I was gone.  Yikes.  I promise not to share all of them!  This post is a "catch up" of the random things that didn't get shared before I left.  

Bookedy books.  I left my library card with Paul so he could pick up any holds that came in while I was gone.  

Hannah's piano teacher's sister also plays harp, and Hannah got a chance to try it out at church.  

I made myself a travel journal for my Europe trip.  I bought a pack of blank journals so the girls would be able to make one, too, for our Michigan trip.  

I made an expanding pocket for the back of mine, since I like to keep receipts and ticket stubs and maps and such.  

The "expanding" bit was nice.  I think a flat pocket would have been harder to get things in and out of.  

I added a stripe of wide washi tape to the spine.  I wanted maps or passport stamps, but the stamp collection print was the closest thing I found that I liked.  

The finished back pocket

I used Crikey to make a suitcase and "Europe 2022" stickers.  Pretty happy with how it turned out.  It was nice to record random little bits about the trip.  I used a travel journal on my 2015 and 2016 China trips (the advocacy trips), and it makes a fun keepsake to look back and remember the things that fade over time.  

Hannah reading Life Skills 101, a book we got to review on Library Thing.  

Since I was traveling alone, I decided I'd pack as light as possible.  One carry on suitcase and a backpack.  (Although I packed a second, smaller backpack to use "out & about" on excursions and such.)  I knew I'd have to do laundry mid trip, but it was worth it to have a manageable amount of luggage in transit.  

Jack is working at a sign company, and once he got his first paycheck, needed to buy a couple things.  We went to Target, and he experienced the adult sensation of, "Why is everything so expensive?" when he decided he wanted a fan for his room.  

More books.  I got them all stocked up (for at least a few days) before I left.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island - book review and $25 giveaway

I'm taking the girls to Michigan next month, so when the opportunity to review a book set in Michigan came up, I jumped at the chance.  

A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island is a picture book by Summer Porter.  The sweet drawings were done by illustrator Maggie Chambers, both of whom have a childhood connection to the island.  

Here's what Katie, age 12, had to say after she read the story:  

"I thought the book A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island was a kind of funny book.  My favorite part was when the family of mice is in a bookstore and they're just about to go to sleep when a big brown hungry cat wants to eat them, but then they escape to sleep in a popcorn bag."

"My least favorite part is probably when the family live in a post office because then they get caught and have to find a new home.  I also really like the location the author chose for the book, since we're going to Michigan."  

I kind of hate to break it to her that Detroit is way less picturesque than the lovely resort town pictured in the story, but I guess she'll figure it out when we get there.  

I can see myself reading this one to my second grade students next school year.  Maybe with a mouse craft or a quick talk about the Great Lakes.  

On a warm summer day in northern Michigan, a family of mice find their way to Mackinac Island, the "jewel of the Great Lakes," to start a new life. Tag along and enter a world of whimsy in A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island.

Join the family--Father Mouse, a lover of cheese; Mother Mouse, a singer of lullabies; Max Mouse, a collector of stamps and Millie and Maizy Mouse, sweet little babies--as they search for the perfect home. What adventures will they have? Where will they live? What dangers will they encounter? With vibrant illustrations and a charming story, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island will capture both your heart and imagination.

Available to buy from...

"Soon to become a Mackinac favorite - make way for this amusing and entertaining story. Whimsical illustrations, filled with recognizable details, engage the reader throughout this thoughtful book. Who wouldn't want to join the little Mouse family on an island adventure?"
--Jennifer Powell, author and illustrator, What I Saw on Mackinac 

"Maggie Chambers and Summer Porter have created a fun and colorful adventure of a family of mice all readers will enjoy - and, like a bite of island fudge, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island will prove very satisfying!" --Jim Bolone, co-author, The Dockporter 

"Magnifying the little things in life, A Mouse Tail on Mackinac Island is a charming story told with an educational twist. Heartwarming characters, a unique setting and glorious imagery will make this book a family favorite and Mackinac Island staple." -- Kate Dupre, local artist and proprietor, Watercolor Cafe 

"This charming children's book captures the essence of Mackinac Island. A classic 'tail' for people of all ages that will spark a sense of wonder for years to come." --Mayor Margaret Doud, city of Mackinac Island.

Enjoy these excerpts!

About the Author 
Summer Porter grew up in Southern Michigan but her favorite moments were spent on Mackinac Island visiting her family. Summer was an elementary school teacher for over 25 years and it should not be a surprise her favorite subject to teach was creative writing. Her passion for writing has led to 3 published magazine articles and multiple poems and short stories for family and friends. Summer also dabbles in art, golf, and searching for adventures in Michigan, Colorado and Arizona. Summer had the pleasure of working with her talented niece, Maggie Chambers, on this book. This is Summer’s first published children’s book, but it will not be her last! 

You can also find the author here...

About the illustrator
Maggie Chambers grew up drawing, painting, and creating on Mackinac Island. After graduating from Mackinac Island Public School, she studied graphic design and new media at Alma College, and earned her BFA in 2015. Since then, Maggie has lived and worked in Washington, DC as a multidisciplinary designer and visual artist. She spends her summers on Mackinac Island, which remains a significant source of inspiration for her art and a place that keeps her inner child alive and well. This is Maggie’s first illustrated children’s book. 
You can also find the illustrator here...
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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Graduation events

I kind of felt like Jack got the short end of the stick.  He had to go to all the older kids' graduations, but now they're too far away to come to his.  

He didn't seem to mind, though.  You know how it is when you finally get to the end of senior year and you're just glad it's over?  That's pretty much where he was at.  

Jack had a little tassel trouble.  He went to move it and it popped off.  

All's well that ends well, though.  

"Can we be done with pictures now?"

And under that gown?  His kilt, of course.  

There was also a daytime award ceremony where they award all the random end of year certificates.  

Participation awards, mostly.  Drama, art, character traits, etc.  

Not really my thing, but a thing nonetheless.

Some awards were pins.

And now the school year is well and truly over.