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Archive for the ‘Family Time’ Category

White Fang Movie BookMy search for good books for my boys to read is never-ending, especially for my 9-year-old. I don’t like it when he reads just because I tell him to. I want him to love reading and discover the insatiable pleasure of good literature!

Today we starting reading White Fang by Jack London. The boys (9, 8 and 6) LOVE the action and the suspense! When I hear them begging me to “read one more chapter” I know we found a great book! In fact, they love it so much my 9-year-old took it to his room and told his brothers he would read them the following chapter! I LOVE IT!! He doesn’t even realize he’s reading because he is so caught up in the story!! These are the type of books that can get a boy hooked on reading!

Come to find out, this book is actually a classic! Disney made of movie of it! See the trailer and the movie online!

Another book we read that got similar reactions from the boys was The Cricket in Times Square. Read more about our experience with this unforgettable book by clicking  here: We Lost a “Best Friend”.

What good books have you read with your children? What book did you read when you were little that was most unforgettable?

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The beauty of educating your kids at home is that you can really use the world around you as your schoolroom! The past few weeks our “textbook” was my country, Dominican Republic. The experiences were life-changing! (see a post I wrote before we left ~ I Pray They Learn to See the World Through the Eyes of Immigrants!)

The boys learned about their family, where they come from, another country/culture. We visited an orphanage, elderly home and local school. They also visited the first city in the New World, Santo Domingo!

Our 3 weeks in DR included unforgettable time with family, visits to 8 beaches and one river. Dominican Republic was celebrating Independence Day and we got to go to 2 Carnivals, one in the capital and one in Punta Cana.
We spent 2 weeks in Santo Domingo and 1 in Punta Cana. On our way there and back we drove through the mountains and the countryside. The view was breath-taking!

It all ended with a surprise birthday party for my husband! Family from both sides attended!
We have so many people to thank, both in the US and DR, for making this a great time. Thanks to our family in DR and all the love they showed us, my husband and my kids truly feel like DR is their 2nd home!
(more pics soon)

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CLICK ON THIS IMAGE and follow this board to find great book lists for your kids!

Last night was bittersweet. We finished The Cricket in Times Square. It really is true. Finishing a good book is like losing a best friend.

This was a special book. It was one of the few that had the boys asking for more each time. When we sat down yesterday to read, we had 4 chapters till the end. My plan was to read 2, because of the time. When I finished reading, the boys were torn. They wanted to keep going and see how this touching story of friendship would end but didn’t want to end their journey in the book.

When I started the last chapter, they braced themselves and got closer. They wanted to hold on to every word, wanting to make the last few moments with their friends, Chester and Tucker, last as long as possible.

The story was simple but the lessons in it will stay with all of us for years. The Cricket in Times Square is a timeless book about friendship.
We learned from Mario how to love a friend selflessly. Chester will be an object lesson for years because of his honesty and integrity. Tucker mouse will always be remembered as the character who had the boys laughing so hard, one of them rolled off my bed!

You do lose a friend when you finish reading a good book. But the void it leaves behind will have you looking for your next “best friend”!

One of my favorite sources for books that are timeless, exciting and memorable is Pinterest. I have a board with hundreds of book titles!

Click the image above and follow this Pinterest board. Use it in your search of  your next  “best friend”!

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The only thing better than getting the opportunity to be used by God to serve His people is to do it with my children!

Today I realized how much my boys are growing! As a mother I focus daily on what they still need to learn or work on. I spend a lot of time thinking about how much they need to mature and how at times they look like they are not getting what I’m teaching them!

My three older children were such great helpers as I served with my church family. We just had a Birthday Party for Jesus! It was a lot of fun, but way more work than I expected. The boys went in with me yesterday and helped set up. Today, the day of the event, they were a part of a skit performed for the kids, helped during the party and helped clean up!

It was great to see them set time aside for others! Most of all, it was great to see the joy it brought to their heart as they prepared an event for other children to enjoy.

I look forward to continuing to serve with them, even and especially into their adult years!

What has been your greatest experience serving with you children?

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After serving at the event I went with my kids to deliver cupcakes to the Firemen in the area. They were nice enough to give us a short tour and let the boys get in the Fire truck! A nice ending to a hectic and busy day!

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Getting ready to start our search!!

As we get ready for the Christmas season we are enjoying  a lot of our favorite activities. We are finally enjoying Christmas music, we are thinking of gifts to prepare or make for friends and family and getting ready to decorate our tree and home.

After church we went to a tree farm to pick and cut our Christmas tree. You would think with all of the kids we have we would choose an easier method. We did love it! It was nice to be out in nature, enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine. The scene was picturesque with a lake surrounded by evergreen trees of all types. We enjoyed the hike as we tried to pick a tree within our budget, that we all liked…try that with 5 different people and their different opinions 🙂

After we found our tree, my husband cut it, and the boys cried out “timber!!” 🙂 It was memorable! The last time we did this our oldest sons were 3 and 2 years old and I was pregnant with my 3rd son. This time was a bit more special for a number of reasons: The boys are older and better able to appreciate the experience and I was not 9 month pregnant. This time I was carrying the baby on my back.

It was a special time at the farm. When we first got there the boys  approached an older man who was there with his roosters. They were able to carry the roosters and feed them. They, of course, asked lots of questions. We then searched for our tree while at the same time enjoying a nice hike on what surprisingly a sunny day. We ended our time there with cookies and hot cocoa.

Our little boy says his sister looks like a rooster because of her hair….I’m glad he was able to see one in person 😀

Bob Hope once said: “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”  Today was filled with simple things, but these are what made it special. It was a family activity that did not cost us anything (besides the cost of the tree) but one that may be remembered and talked about decades from now. One day one or more of my children will be telling their kids or even their grandchildren about that cold day in Cleveland, December 2012, when their family went on a hike looking for their Christmas tree.

My 3-year-old may remember riding on the sled with the tree while his older brothers pulled him. My oldest son might never forget helping his father cut the tree and bringing it up the hill. My 6-year-old will never forget holding the rooster and listening to the elderly guy tell him about what kind of food it liked.

What made it special to me was that we were all there, together. I grew up with my brother and two sisters and amazing parents. I have endless memories of great family times together and many of them are of days like today. We were, and still are a very close family. After my dad passed away 1 year ago I have learned to appreciate this blessing I used to overlook. Though my mother and my siblings and I are still very close, whenever we get together there will always be one of us missing. There is nothing that will fill that void.

Today I am thankful I even had those years to enjoy with our family, with all of us together under one roof, for so long. I am especially thankful for the memories of the simple things now and have learned to appreciate the simple moments I have today with my husband and my children.

As parents, especially in our society, we try so hard to make our children “happy”. We go on trips, buy the latest technology or pay for the cool gym class, just to get to see the priceless smiles on their faces. But we all know that it is usually the simple things that they will always remember and that bring the greatest joy to their little souls.

The boys drag the tree and their little brother to the car.

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