Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Report: Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness by Andrea Alvarez #BookBirthday

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Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness

Written by Andrea Alvarez

Illustrated by Ana Sebastian

Mascot Books, March 2020

 

Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness is the perfect book for these anxious days! If you and your child are stuck at home due to the coronavirus, get yourself a copy of this book and your own Rubik’s cube. Accept the challenge!

Much thanks to Mascot Books for sending a review copy. Happy book birthday, Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness (March 3, 2020).

I loved reading this book about Andres. Introduced to the Rubik’s Cube by a new neighbor, Andres was inspired and challenged to try to solve the cube. He eventually discovers that there are Rubik’s Cube competitions all over the world and decided he wanted to compete. Hard work, practice, and dedication helped Andres learn ways to solve the cube.

I was amazed at how FAST Andres and other competitors solve the cube. At the time of the printing, Andres had a personal best time of 8.33 seconds to solve the cube. That is seconds! I take longer to sneeze. Congratulations, Andres!

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Why I Enjoyed This Book:

~ The story is wonderful! Based on a true story, the author (mother to Andres) shares how he decided to accept the Rubik’s Cube challenge.

~ I learned so much about Rubik’s Cubes. There is an entire community built around competing and solving the puzzle cubes.

~ Excellent illustrations perfectly match and enhance the story. The reader is engaged in the story and illustrations.

~ Information is included for readers to use as they learn the algorithms to solve the cube.

~ Good writing and great story telling!

Our state just closed ALL schools for 6 weeks. That’s a long time, friends. I think this book AND several Rubik’s cubes might just help us to fill the long, long hours.

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Amazon Blurb:

When Andres saw the new kid in the neighborhood solve a Rubik’s cube super fast, he wondered if he could learn to solve one too. He tried twisting and turning the multicolored cube but it seemed impossible. With a little encouragement from his mom, Andres began to practice every day. And when he discovered a Rubik’s cube competition to qualify for the biggest championship, he knew he had to try!

Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness is based on the true story of Andres a boy who cleverly practiced hard and learned hundreds of algorithms to solve the Rubik’s cube in lightning speed. He was dedicated and persistent, but most importantly, he never gave up.

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It’s Not Just Rubber Stamping

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We LOVE getting together to play with our toys. Some call it making messes, but we call it fun. And you can’t create and make rubber stamped cards without the creative process, and that means messes are made. Also mistakes, but we use mistakes as opportunities to be even more creative with our oops.

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It’s not just rubber stamping.

It’s crafting

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chatting

applying (or ignoring) theories of art composition

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using our imaginations

sipping tea (or coffee or a special dessert drink)

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solving world problems

singing the oldies, sometimes badly and off-tune (me, always with the wrong lyrics)

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sharing life

telling stories

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listening to music

keeping cats off the table

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playing games

getting older

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sharing resources

enjoying fine literature (or just literature on a CD)

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making goals

going for walks

9A774B91-B6DC-4B24-8213-EAC0DD08F0DEbuilding from each other’s ideas

paving the way to send snail mail messages to friends and family

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making gifts to share

eating too much

0DA4FC29-EC44-49F3-A78E-BBE8624C9BC8recycling (saving rubber stamps from the landfills and reusing paper and craft items down to the tiniest scraps)

storing memories (and collectively attempting to recall long ago events)

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visiting friends

and building love.

 

Completed card totals for this trip: 76

Friends involved in this weekend: 7


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If you know me from my teaching days, or kid-caring days, or church days, you know I’m all about books, language, and literacy. Not too long ago, a friend introduced me to Barefoot Books. My grands LOVE the little videos and songs that go with the different stories.

Barefoot Books is coming out with another great tool for story building, language, and literature: Build-a-Story Cards. I love these! Characters, settings, and objects cover wordless adorable colorful cards. Some characters show emotions to help create story conflict. Playing with these will be loads of fun!

Head on over to Tara Lazar’s blog to see photos and more explanation of these new literacy tools. The first set is a fairy tale theme. Fun times ahead!

Thanks, Tara, for giving us the heads-up on these Build-a-Story Cards!

via How Do You Build a Story? Play Cards! (plus a giveaway)


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5 Ways to Play the Hidden Mickey Game

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Can you spot the hidden Mickey?

My husband and I recently enjoyed an anniversary trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. We enriched our experience (and even discovered new areas of both parks) by playing the Hidden Mickey Game. Here are 5 ways to play the Hidden Mickey Game.

1. There is a Hidden Mickey Game? Check this off the list! Now you KNOW there is a Hidden Mickey Game. You can’t play if you aren’t aware of the game.

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2. Imprint your brain with the image of Mickey’s head and ears – very recognizable. There are also other full body images and side profiles of Mickey, but we spent our time hunting the head image. Train your brain to recognize this shape and you will discover it everywhere. Disney does this well.

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3. Go Mickey Hunting. Look at fine details of hotel rooms (especially at the resort hotels), decor, carts, rides, artwork…every scene you see is a possibility. Even before you get in the front gate, you can find Mickeys in the central plaza. Document your finds! When we got home and looked at the photos I took, they were mostly hidden Mickeys!

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4. Ask. Nearly every attraction or ride or area has an intentional hidden Mickey. We found cast members to be very knowledgeable and helpful in our hunt. Some told us exactly where to look while others gave hints. Some Mickeys are very easy to spot, others we searched and searched for on multiple attraction rides and could not see them.

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5. Buy the book! Yes, there is a book. I didn’t want to purchase a book, as I felt it was cheating. But I finally caved and grabbed it. There are so many planned Hidden Mickeys, but also others that can be discovered. The book is older, so some Mickeys are gone due to new construction. And new Mickeys are added every time they create new attractions or remodel or update areas of both parks. The book was a huge help. On the plane ride home, I went though it page by page and jotted down the date we discovered each Mickey.

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Extra Tip: Listen and watch. There are others searching out Hidden Mickeys. You can help each other once you are aware there is a game going on!

Adding the Hidden Mickey Game to our Disney adventure was fun, fun, fun! People looked at us as if we were a bit odd, but that only added to our excitement!

Happy Mickey hunting!


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I Love Hand-Me-Downs

I’m not above totally enjoying digging through a bag of my sister’s hand-me-downs to pull out new-to-me favorites.

(That would be a literal hand-me-down, as I am older but much shorter than she.)

I also thrill to the seek-and-find treasures I discover at local thrift shops. In fact, the sweater (Mr. Roger’s style cardigan, come in the house-trade the coat for a sweater style) I wear all the time is my best ever purchase from Goodwill.

Seriously. I think my family may be a tad bit exhausted of seeing me wear the same old sweater. Every. Single. Day.

But it is the best sweater! I know I look more granny-like wearing it, but it is comfy, broken in, not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

I’ve had this sweater for over 5 years, conservative estimate. It appears to be well made and may last for another 15. Score! I think I paid $1.99, maybe $2.99.

My husband and I enjoy keeping clothes long past the expiration date (yes, we are THAT couple). One of our favorite games is counting back to find out who is wearing the oldest outfit.

“I’ve had this shirt since Chelsie was 3,” I said.

“Well, I bought these sweats when we were in England,” replies the hubby.

“But I had this dress for Easter when we were in Wapato,” I counter.

And on and on goes the battle.

It is our game. And our life. We are not ones for top of the line, current fashion, get rid of the old and buy new all the time. Some of you may be saying, quietly in your heads, “YES, we know! Go get some new clothes!!!” Maybe you are even yelling that, hoping we will hear.

It’s OK. We are happy with our little game. I think, at heart, we are children of the depression, though we are not really old enough. We use every little thing until it is beyond use. And then maybe we can still find a use for the scraps that remain.

I’m thinking that’s being a good steward of natural resources and God’s providence. Recyling, repurposing, reusing.

Besides, it’s fun.

I’d love to hear where you find your favorite clothes. Are you a scavenger like me? Let’s share tips.