Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday Thirteen-NYC!!!

In anticipation of our upcoming trip to New York City (we leave Sunday and come back Thursday), my list this week consists of thirteen things we are planning to do/see in New York!

1. Empire State Building

2. Intrepid Air-Space-Sea Museum

3. Sony Wonder Technology Lab

4. American Museum of Natural History

5. Belvedere Castle in Central Park

6. Toys R Us

7. Times Square

8. Fao Schwartz

9. The Beast, Circle Line Ferry
(which features a 'drive-by' of...
10. Statue of Liberty

11. Mars 2112

12. Bronx Zoo

13. Grand Central Statiom

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday July 26, 2009

Outside my is dark and there is a breeze.

I am week at this time, we will be in our hotel! We're spending Sun-Thurs in NYC!

I am thankful for...a nice, sunny weekend.

From the kitchen...steaks on the grill tonight...for the rest of the week, beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs, whatever else needs to be used up before we go!

I am creating...not too much.

I am wearing...jean shorts and a red and white striped tank top

I am reading...finished The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton this morning and started The Geometry of Sisters by Luanne Rice. Also finished listening to Rebecca, which I really liked and started listening to The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn. Tucker finished Midnight on the Moon and we started Next Stop, New York City (A Polk Street Kids chapter book). With Tucker we read The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift and Lynd Ward, The Chocolate-Covered Cookie Tantrum by Deborah Blumenthal, Sneezy Louise, The Inside-Outside Book of New York City by Roxie Munro, and Fireboat!

I am sleep well tonight

I am hearing...Shrek on TV...the dryer.

Around the house...not as good as I would like it to be...clothes in the dryer and still one more load to be dried and of course, folded.

One of my favorite Tucker "directs" the traffic when we cross the street. It will be interesting to see what he does when we are in New York!

A few plans for the rest of the daycare is closed for the next two weeks so Tucker will be at my mom's this week (I now work 10 minutes from her house)...a home visit on Thurs...getting ready for our trip, packing, etc.

A picture thought...
The garden center near us sets up their playscapes so the kids can play on them. Tucker enjoyed the tire swing on this one!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen-Art Museums

My friend Joan and I have been on an art museum-kick, if you will, lately. Our new goal is to visit all the art museums in CT! Coincidentally, I found 13 that we have not yet been to!

1. Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport
2. Whitney Museum of Art, Stamford (newly established offshoot of the Whitney in NY)
3. New England Center for the Contemporary Arts, Brooklyn
4. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University, Fairfield
5. Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury
6. Aldrich contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield
7. Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington
8. Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich
9. Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, Middletown
10. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
11. Slater Museum of Norwich Free Academy, Norwich
12. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
13. William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut, Storrs

To participate, click here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Take A Chance Challenge-Random Bestseller

Love Is Eternal: A Novel about Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln by Irving Stone
For some reason, I have always been fascinated by Mary Todd Lincoln. So for me this was an easy choice! While this book was more in the realm of historical fiction than biography, I found that I enjoyed reading of the relationship of Mary and Abe. From the beginning, with the differences in their social status', to Mary's hardened determination to make their personal and political relationship work, I found it all very fascinating. She was definitely a strong woman, ahead of her time, which may be why so many have taken issue with her over the years. It seemed that no matter what obstacle was put in their way, she found a way to go around or through it.

Particularly difficult to read were the chapters about the deaths of their sons. At that point of the book, I was fully engrossed in everything that Mary was as a person so to imagine her going through this experiences was difficult.

I firmly believe that because of the type of woman Mary was, this led Abe Lincoln to be the president that he was. She was constantly pushing him to be more forthright,

While this book took me a couple of weeks to read (it was almost 500 words), I found myself looking forward to reading it and enjoyed learning more about this part of history.

Take A Chance Challenge-Phoning An Author

I read the book Weaver's Daughter by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley. This is the story of life in the Southwest Territory in the 18th century. The main character, Lizzie, has asthma and is usually very sick through the fall during harvest time. This makes things very difficult on this family as they struggle to make it day by day and particularly when she is ill as they do not have the resources to pay for medicine for her.

In some ways, it reminded me of Little House on the Prairie as they dealt with a lot of the same issues. This story also dealt with the differences in classes (black/white, rich/poor) which was surprisingly well-covered in a book meant for middle school readers.

It was a good story and I found myself identifying with and cheering for the characters. It was also a quick, light read and I finished it in about a day.

Kid's Picks -July

It is so hard to believe that July is almost over! The summer is going by so fast! Especially since here in CT, we haven't even begun to get the humidity that is so characteristic of July; but I am definitely not complaining!

Tucker is participating in two reading challenges this summer: one for school and one at the local library. We've been averaging a chapter book a week and a picture book or two every night. He's reading the chapter book (right now he's reading a Magic Tree House book, Midnight on the Moon), on his own for the most part but we alternate reading the picture books. To participate or see others, click here.

Don't Let the Peas Touch (and Other Stories) by Deborah Blumenthal
This is the cute story of two sisters, Annie and Sophie. Annie is the older sister and in the first story, decides to try her hand at making a meal for the family. Sophie, however, has other ideas about what she will and won't eat and what can touch on her plate. Annie has to get creative to get her to eat! I picked this one out because Tucker is a picky eater and he doesn't like what food he does eat to touch! He got a kick out of it and the illustrations are great, too!

Building Manhattan by by Laura Vila
We are getting ready to head to NYC the first week of August. This is a great picture book that shows how Manhattan started as nothing but trees and slowly built over the years. Tucker really enjoyed this one because he loves anything about building things!

Flip-Flops by Nancy Cote
This is a cute, simple story of a girl going to the beach with her mother. She can only find one flip-flop but manages to have fun anyway! It was fun to see all the creative ways she used the one flip-flop during the day!

Look Out, Jack! The Giant's Back! by Tom Birdseye
This is the "sequel", if you will, to Jack and the Beanstalk and it is definitely not to be missed! Jack's brother comes to get back what Jack took and the story is hilarious! We both laughed at this one!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday July 19, 2009 (I know, I know...I skipped last week!)

I am thinking...I need to find the letterboxing stuff! I put it away for the winter and I did a very good job!

I am thankful...for old friends

From the kitchen...Michael made cheese omelettes for dinner tonight. For the rest of the week, probably spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, and I'm not sure what else.

I am creating...not too much this week. Hopefully get started on some Christmas presents and some summer crafts with Tucker.

I am wearing...jean capris, and a tee shirt with the American flag

I am reading...finished Love is Eternal and also Weaver's Daughter last week, both for the Take A Chance Challenge. I also finished listening to The Beach House. I'm now reading The Wednesday Sisters and listening to Rebecca for the Classics Book club on August 4th. (I will be in NYC but I will schedule it to post.) With Tucker we finished Stage Fright on a Starry Night and he is now reading Midnight on the Moon on his own, both Magic Tree House books. He also read The Flea's Sneeze by Karla Firehammer, Flip-Flops by Nancy Cote, Henry & Mudge: Annie's Good Move by Cynthia Rylant, Look Out Jack! The Giant's Back! by Tom Birdseye, Building Manhattan by Laura Vila.

I am get it together and get back to my blogs; I took a little hiatus from both apparently!

I am hearing...the washer and dryer...Extreme Home Makeover...the fishtanks.

Around the house...dishes need to be put in the dishwasher...laundry to be folded and another load to be dried...definitely looking lived-in!

One of my favorite things...Michael's cheese and tomato omelettes-yum!

A Few Plans...two home visits...Tucker's going over his friend William's Tuesday...Michael will be taking Tucker and William to Kid City on Thursday...haircut Thursday.

A picture thought...

We went to Fort Trumbull today and I took this picture of Michael and Tucker looking out over the fort wall.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sturbridge Village

A friend of mine from work had passes to Old Sturbridge Village that she wasn't going to use so she gave them to us! We spent Sunday there! It was the first really nice weekend and we had a great time!

We started out fishing the 19th century way (using a wooden stick, fish line, and rolled-up bread on a hook). We didn't catch any fish but had fun trying!

This guy was really funny and informative at the same time! He had a great way with the kids as he explained how to pack and work a musket!


Pumping water

Milking the cow (or as Tucker calls it "watering" the cow)

Tucker did really well at rolling the hoop with a stick (which is called 'trundling")

Celebrating the Fourth of July (and my mom's birthday, too!!)

This year we again went to the 4th of July parade in the town I grew up in (since we head to my mom's after for a picnic anyway!) Last year, we got there at 9:30 and had no problem finding a place! of course it was dreary and misting! This year my m-i-l, s-i-l, and niece got there a few minutes before us and boy, what a differnece in the crowds! We were lucky to get our spot!
L-R Tucker, Eileen, my mom, Cassandra, and Doreen

Some assorted shots of the parade.

These are one of the many water trucks from the local fire departments! They had a great time taking on the kids/grown-ups in the crowd brave enough to challenge them with squirt guns! Care to guess who won?! LOL)

something about bagpipes always makes me teary

The Governor's Foot Guard

Cassandra and Tucker wait for candy...she turned out to be our secret weapon against the boys next to us who kept going in front of Tucker to get the candy. All she did was step up and they backed off! It was kind of funny!

Always my favorite: the fife and drum corps!

The parade was great, the weather was awesome, who could ask for more?!
From there we were off to my mom's (down the street) to celebrate her birthday! It was a nice sunny day but very breezy...

Doreen cooked for us and we ate inside...

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Posing with Tucker (in his googles!)

Opening the Willow Tree Angel we gave her

Tucker was the only one who braved the pool-here he is jumping in!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday, July 5, 2009

Outside my window...the sun is was a gorgeous day!

I am thinking...I wish I could get the pictures to load; I have pictures from yesterday and Sturbridge Village

I am thankful for...the nice weather and a good day at Sturbridge Village!

From the kitchen...tonight, leftover picnic stuff from yesterday...beef stroganoff, chicken pot pie, tacos.

I am creating...need to get going on the baby gifts for August-those babies will be here before we know it!

I am wearing...jean capris and pink and tan striped shirt

I am reading...still reading Love Is Eternal but should finish it this week. Finished listening to Home Safe and am now listening to The Beach House by Jane Green. We finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight! We haven't decide what's next, I'm thinking a Magic Treehouse book. He also read Sir Small and The Dragonfly by Jane O'Connor, Cat Power! by Daniel Kirk, In 1776 by Jean Marzollo, and Inside A Zoo in the City by Alyssa Satin Capucilli.

I am get these pictures loaded!! I'm going to try one more time and then they'll have to wait!

I am hearing...Jon and Kate DVD...fishtanks

Around the house...could be worse, could be better...laundry needs to be folded.

One of my favorite things...4th of July parades!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Tucker will go to my mom's Mon and Tues because my daycare is closed...swim lessons Tues and Thurs...Michael might take Tucker to the beach Thurs...meeting Tucker's friend Andrew to play on Sat (and give him his birthday present since we missed his party last weekend)...scrap booking with my mom on Sun.

A picture thought...
Tucker shows off his new squirtgun at my mom's pool!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Independence Day in the U.S., is an annual holiday commemorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Although the signing of the Declaration was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday has been accepted as the official anniversary of U.S. independence and is celebrated in all states and territories of the U.S.

The holiday was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. It was not declared a legal holiday, however, until 1941. The Fourth is traditionally celebrated publicly with parades and pageants, patriotic speeches, and organized firing of guns and cannons and displays of fireworks; early in the 20th century public concern for a "safe and sane" holiday resulted in restrictions on general use of fireworks. Family picnics and outings are a feature of private Fourth of July celebrations.