Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Don’t Eat the Baby! ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

No one is going to eat his baby!

By Angie Quantrell Angie Quantrell

Don’t Eat the Baby!

By Amy Young

(Viking, 2013)

Don’t Eat the Baby! is a funny story about new babies, big brothers, and misunderstandings.

Tom is not sure he wants a new baby. In fact, he names the baby The Blob. At first he is jealous of all of the attention being placed on baby Blob. But soon, Tom hears people saying they want to eat the baby because it is so adorable.

What? They can’t eat his baby. Tom decides he has to save the baby. His baby.

Families with new babies will love reading this as they merge the new family member with older siblings. This book also provides humor as discussions take place about silly things adults say.

KID KANDY:

Baby Doll Play

Materials: baby doll, doll clothes and accessories, doll bed or toys

Do you have a new baby sister or brother? They are noisy, tiny, cute, and here to stay. While mom and dad are busy taking care of the new family member, this is your time to play and take care of your own baby.

Pretend the baby is your baby. Feed, rock, burp, and put the baby doll to bed. You can even give your baby a name. It’s fun to pretend, isn’t it?

You can also ask mom or dad how you can help with your new sibling. Maybe you can go get a diaper for mom or hand dad the blankie. Snuggle in close while baby is sleeping. You used to be that tiny!

Congratulations on being the big brother (or sister)!


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New Life

This is my daddy and I’m keeping him.

By Angie Quantrell Angie Quantrell

startled gasp for breath

mama’s trimphant labor

wrapping up daddy

 

Haiku by Angie Quantrell

Welcome, Autumn Nahara.

Born April 26 at 10:08 AM.

Another piece of Nana’s heart…


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The Plank – 10 Steps to Success

My idea of a perfectly-formed plank.

By Angie Quantrell

No. Not that kind. The exercise kind. Planks are hard to do.

I don’t like them.

Does anyone really like them? This is what it looks like when I try to do a plank.

1. Gear up. Avoid doing planks following a recent meal.

2. Collapse to floor level.

3. Set timer. Otherwise, I will be positive that 15 seconds is a full complete minute.

4. Start timer.

5. Assume position. Elbows and forearms on floor. Toes on floor. Nothing else on floor.

6. Tighten stomach, back, and buttock muscles.

7. Immediately begin to breathe harder. At 5 seconds in, notice trembling limbs.

8. Sweat.

9. Fight the feeling of giving up or falling on my face.

10. At 30 seconds, convince self to keep going. Or pause for a rest (I like that one better).

1 minute? DONE.

What a workout!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences these physical manifestations of pain when doing a plank. I mean really, shouldn’t a 53 year-old be able to handle this?

True, I haven’t even done a sit-up since, well, I don’t know when. Maybe shortly after my last baby was born. She’s 25. Years-old. Wanna know an embarassing fact? When I started this new build-core-strength-workout-program I could NOT do one sit-up. Not one, folks.

But I digress.

Planks are not fun, easy, or pleasant. But I have to admit to a certain joy in knowing that I can hang in there and do a minute. On most days.

Care to join me? On to sit-ups.

What is your most hated, feared, or dreaded exercise? Let’s commiserate.

Planks AND flowers.


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National Get Caught Reading Month

Promote LITERACY!  Promote READING to CHILDREN!  Promote GIVING CHILDREN EVERY ADVANTAGE in LIFE from the GET-GO!  If these statements have you shouting YES! YES! YES!, then you will want to take p…

Source: National Get Caught Reading Month

Coming in MAY! Wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing, Ann.


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Happy Earth Day!

Blossoms in the spring

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Happy Earth Day, Earth!

What a wonderful world we live in – beautiful, fascinating, safe, peaceful, dangerous, harsh, mysterious, vast, surprising, and awe-inspiring.

I’m glad I live here.

In honor of Earth Day, I think it appropriate to give a gift.

So I will do something good for the Earth today. Maybe several somethings.

 

My gifts shall be:

– picking up any trash I see

– making sure I water only what needs water, not the sidewalk, gutter, or driveway

– turning off electrical devices I am not actually using

– planting something pretty (or tasty)

– giving thanks to God for such an amazing place to live

Tulips opened to catch the sun

Earth Day Haiku

 

Earth home, designed gift

fashioned by God’s mighty hand

habitat for us

Fruit trees in bloom

What will your gift be?


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The Curious Garden ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

A garden that is curious?

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The Curious Garden

By Peter Brown

(Little, Brown and Company; 2009)

The Curious Garden is a picture book that was inspired by the Manhattan Highline Railway.

I’ve read articles about the Highline that tell how the lonely stretch of railway has been transformed into beautiful public gardens. But this is the first picture book I’ve found on the topic.

The Curious Garden tells the tale of Liam, a young boy who explores the empty spaces to find railways breaking down and nature taking over. Liam decides to help. Together, Liam and the garden grow and explore the empty spaces.

“The garden was especially curious about old, forgotten things.”

I love that sentence. The garden is not just a thing in this book, but one of the main characters!

The Curious Garden (doesn’t the title take on a new personna after you’ve read the above sentence?) will delight explorers and nature lovers.

KID KANDY:

Nature Walk

I walk almost every day through my neighborhood. When I walk tomorrow, I am going to look for places that nature is acting curious and spreading in unexpected places.

How about you?

Ask a parent or sibling to walk with you.

Look for:

– weeds growing in sidewalk cracks

– flowers springing up in odd spots

– old rusted things covered in grasses or vines

– moss creeping along damp, shady areas

– nature that is being mysterious and curious as it expands to new areas

What did you see?


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Unexpected Gift Perfectly Suits

A purrfect gift. @AngieQuantrell

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell 

We were recently given a handmade gift that perfectly suited our family.

As we served an appreciation luncheon for co-workers, a certain woman, well-known for her hospitality and kindness, walked up to me and delivered a gift.

Since this luncheon was for them, I was not expecting a gift. We were doing the giving. But in her thoughtfulness, she remembered us with a hostess treasure.

When time allowed, I dug into the package and discovered a large, white hand-embroidered dish towel. Beautiful!

The homemade varieties are the best sort, are they not?

I quickly went to her table to thank her for the thoughtful gift. That was when I discovered four reasons the unexpected gift perfectly suited our family.

1. We are facing a shortage of decent dish towels. I prefer to use them until they are rags. We are breathing down the neck of the rag stage.

2. The embroidery neatley featured a cat. We love cats and have two terrorist cats of our own.

3. The embroidered cat was gray. Aha! Both of our monsters are affectionately called the Gray Girls.

4. The towel design included a cat clock of the old fashioned sort. We have a cat clock, of the new fashioned type.

 

I decided to use the dish towel as a mini-tablecloth. For now. @AngieQuantrell

A simple dish towel delivered true joy and pleasure for the one who was trying to give appreciation.

Have you ever received a perfect, unexpected gift?


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Woodpecker Wham! ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Nonfiction picture book that delights and informs!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Woodpecker Wham!

By April Pulley Sayre

Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

(Henry Holt and Company, 2015)

Woodpecker Wham! is a delightful book told in rhyme. Readers will enjoy wonderful, bright illustrations about the life cycle and habits of woodpeckers that fill the pages of this picture book. Text written with descriptive words and words of sounds made by woodpeckers imparts information in a simple and clean way.

I loved reading the end notes that gave interesting facts and explanations about woodpecker habits. Why do woodpeckers ‘ant’? Where do woodpeckers nest? How do they secure their homes? Fascinating.

Learning about birds? Woodpecker Wham! is the perfect book to read with children.

KID KANDY:

Bird Hunt

1. Look at the illustrations of Woodpecker Wham! Remember the colors, shapes, and habits so you can use them to help you locate woodpeckers.

2. Find a pair of binoculars and put on sturdy shoes.

3. Ask a parent or older sibling to go with you.

4. Walk around your yard, neighborhood, or in a wooded area and scout for woodpeckers. You may need to listen for their calls or ‘pecking,’ check tree trunks for nesting cavities, or watch for their particular flight patterns. Once you see them, you will figure out how to easily spot them in the future.

5. Take photos with your mind! When you get home, check out the book again and see if you saw one of the featured woodpeckers. Or look in a bird identification book to find the bird you saw.

6. Draw a picture of the bird you saw and where you spotted it. If you didn’t find any, don’t give up. Draw a picture of the birds you want to find.

7. Keep looking.

Birds are amazing! I can always tell when woodpeckers (we have flickers in our neighborhood) are racing around. Both woodpeckers and jays are loud! 

Happy bird hunting.