Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: Happy Birthday Winter by Justin Ogden and David Condry

Happy Birthday Winter

Words by Justin Ogden

Pictures by David Condry

Justin Ogden & David Condry, 2020

I was recently gifted a copy of Happy Birthday Winter from Sylvia Liu, Elaine Kiely Kearns, and KidLit411 at http://www.kidlit411.com/2020/12/the-weekly-411-121120.html. Thank you!

Have you ever imagined having a birthday party for Winter? This delightful picture book shares the story of a young girl and her father who celebrate a very special day with Winter-the very first snowfall of the year. This easy read is just what young children need as they prepare to enjoy winter snow.

Why I Liked This Book:

~ snow and winter!

~ simple text sharing the story of a special day between a daddy and daughter

~ beautiful, colorful illustrations that make me want to join the party!

~ winter activities are highlighted as the characters enjoy the birthday party

~ easy to hold size for young hands

~ fascinating “snowflake” backmatter

~ the evident love of nature and the outdoors seen in the book

Thank you, Justin and David!

Blurb from KidLit411:

About the Book:  Happy Birthday Winter aims to bring joy and curiosity to the changing of the seasons. As the world in which the characters live changes from Fall to Winter, the characters embark on a journey to continue a tradition of celebration to welcome the Winter Season. 

Read more about Happy Birthday Winter at https://happybdaywinter.wixsite.com/happybdaywinter


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Pumpkin Patch 2020

In the year 2020, everything changed. Yes, we all know this.

Each year, I’ve planned a pumpkin patch outing with my grands. This year, we were lucky to find one (a pumpkin patch, not a grand). And this year, I had separate trips with the two families, mostly due to scheduling, but also . . . 2020.

The Quantrells went with me on a very rainy day to Washington Fruit and Gift Shop at Barrett Orchards. We’ve used Barrett’s displays as backdrops and adventures before, but never on such a wet outing. We were the ONLY people outside and inside other than employees. Though adults and children alike were damp and dripping, pumpkins were chosen and lovingly carried home for fall fun. Papa broke my rule (see below) and carried out Donavyn’s huge pumpkin.

The Aucutts went with me to Dagdagan’s Fruit and Vegetable Stand, where the owners conveniently displayed a mini straw bale maze filled with piles of pumpkins. We were the only ones in it for most of the time and need only don our masks to go inside to pay for the chosen orbs. I might say, the older they get (the grands) the larger the pumpkins they choose. My rule: you have to be able to carry it. That sort of helps me out.

Both Hayden and Donavyn (oldest child in their respective families) chose close to 30-pound pumpkins. An oldest thing? A boy thing? Who knows. Autumn, the youngest, chose three mini pumpkins, caring for them as a mother would her young children (or stuffed animals). Gage chose traditionally and Khloe went with a white pumpkin, though she also leaned towards a larger choice.

Happy Fall to all!


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Haiku Moment: satiated bins

satiated bins

soldier along the path as

harvest lures me in

satiated bins by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell


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Sunday Inspiration

love and joyI will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Text by God

Note: I used Canva to create this post.


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Haiku Moment: remember summer

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winter winds blow brisk

dark skies strip warmth, steal hope, joy;

remember summer

 

hold tight, my dear ones

bundle and cocoon yourself,

summer will return

 

Haiku and photo by Angie Quantrell

 


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Haiku Moment: fire

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blaze of summer’s last

fling; scarlet burns in sunlight

leaves aflame with light

 

fire by Angie Quantrell

 

Photo credit: Angie Quantrell, November 2019, Columbia River State Park, Washington


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Haiku Moment: out of season

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why, precious wee orb

fall is here, you are fragile

i fear no hatching

 

out of season by Angie Quantrell

 

I discovered this nest yesterday while on a walk. Several other eggs were spread about willy-nilly, but these two were nestled as much as possible. I felt so sad for the out of season eggs. No chance at hatching or survival. Why?

But still beautiful.


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Haiku Moment: fall passion

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colors scream intense

vibrant, exploding passion

swan song before cold

 

brilliant gemstone hues

garden offspring demand gaze,

dried promise for spring

 

hastily comes foe

winter breathes down our neck, quick!

capture fall passion

 

fall passion by Angie Quantrell

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Souvenirs of the long summer growing season. Just like that-blink-and cold winds usher in the end of heat and beginning of cold. Get out today and store fall beauty in your mind’s eye to save for the dark cold snowy white and gray days of winter.

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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: sunflower forest

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sunflower forest

shadowing minions below,

giant bird fodder

 

sunflower forest by Angie Quantrell

 

This year, another garden experiment. Last season, giant birds (to the minions living below) messily (and carelessly) tossed seeds as they gobbled from sunflower trees. This season, let’s see what grows.

A forest!

 


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Mud: The Perfect Nature Sensory Activity

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First we had February. Snowmageddon and all of that. The season of snow.

Next we had the melt. Flooding, slush, and slippery ice. The season of melt.

Now we have rainy April days and plentiful water. The season of mud.

Does mud bother my grands? Not in the slightest. Nearly all the kids I know love getting dirty, playing in the mud. From what I’ve observed, most of the problem with mud comes from the adults. The ones who have to do laundry, wipe mud trails off of floors, wash boots, and repair muddy landscapes.

Forget all of that worry. It’s time for the season of play!

Enter mud play. A fine mist was falling, water stood in the wagon and various items strewn about from building fairy houses, and mud was plentiful.

They dug, scooped, buried, and transported mud, rocks, and sticks. They gathered water, poured it around, and put a dead worm in the mud in case he wanted to wake up.

They painted small pieces of logs by using a stick as a paintbrush, using the stick to smear mud across the flat surfaces. And then they decorated the wagon and fairy gardens with mud-encrusted artwork.

I love it when I see preschoolers and children (and even adults) use their creativity and imagination. I love it even more when nature and messes are involved!

I’m not sure if the parents agree, but playing in mud is excellent for sensory engagement and exploration of nature.

So…put on some old clothes, just in case, plop on the wellies, and head out for some messy fun.