Monthly Archives: December 2010

2011 Reading List

Books.  I love them.  I sometimes get caught up in everyday life and forget to have a book on hand to read.  I think a reading goal for 2011 is a resolution I can actually achieve and have fun while doing it.   I’m sure I will read more than 10 books in a year, but let’s be realistic here.  I have three kids.  That I homeschool.  In addition to my volunteer work and other hobbies.  I also babysit a sweet girl part-time.

So.  Yeah.  10 books should be just fine.  I imagine there may be the Sookie Stackhouse or Twilight book candy of 2011 that will not be on my list.  A girl can dream.

Books I’ve always wanted to read, books I recently heard about.  Fiction, non-fiction.  The only requirement is that they NOT be a children’s book, since this whole exercise is for me, after all.

In no particular order…

1. Radical by David Platt

2.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

3.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

4.  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

5.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

8. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

9. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

10. The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers


What is on your must-read list?



Filed under Goals, I heart books, Imagination's Canvas, Just Me

Book Review: God Gave Us So Much

The book: God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren

My first book review selection is a children’s book.  As a homeschool mom, it seemed like the right choice as I have three young critics to help me share about the book.  The book is actually three books in one, something I did not know when I selected it.  Included in the treasury is God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven. So my work is cut out for me since I will be reviewing not one, but three books!

The stories are from the perspective a polar bear family and often depict a mom, dad, siblings, and grandparents.  I enjoyed the illustrations for all three books.  They were gentle on the eyes and depicted loving familial relationships.  The words were soothing in tone and and, combined with the soft illustrations, this makes them great bedtime stories.  My four and six year old daughters loved reading them just before bed, but they did lose interest after the first two.  For younger children, treating it like a chapter book and reading one story per day will help keep them interested.  My youngest children really like to feel bigger than they are and treasury books are a great way to do that.

Up first is God Gave Us the World.  This story was not what I thought it would be based on the title.  I imagined it would be based on Genesis based on the title.  Instead it turned out to be a lovely story about all the unique things God created and how we are all created individually.  Children are always full of questions, and the bear cub is no different.  He has a lovely discussion with Mama Bear about all the different kinds of bears there are in the world and the different places they live.  It generated some great conversation with my daughters about people being the same on the inside even if we look different on the outside.

God Gave Us Love was exactly what I expected.  It was a timely read for us as my daughters are not always wanting to love each other, much like little cub and the otters in the story.   One particular part of the story was good for me, too.  Little cub is reminded to

show others love by being patient, gentle, and kind


In all ways, we should try to show love.

Good reminders, no matter how old you are.

God Gave Us Heaven is a very simple explanation of the age old question “What is Heaven?”  Unfortunately, I tried to read the story to the girls after reading the first two and they left me on my own after a couple of pages.  Little Cub has lots of questions, much like my sweet girls, and the first thing I will do when the subject comes up again is read this story again!  Much like the other two stories, the illustrations are gentle to the eyes and seeing the little bear go fishing with his father is so sweet.  Even if bears don’t use fishing poles in the real world!

This treasury is certainly a treasure!

Please consider ranking my review by clicking the image below.  It’s easy and no sign up is required!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I did not have to provide a positive review to get this book, the opinion here is entirely my own.


Filed under Blogging For Books, Imagination's Canvas

Blogging For Books

Recently, I learned about an opportunity for bloggers called Blogging for Books. You choose a book to review from a list of suggestions based on what you enjoy reading.  They send you the book.  You read it.  No, really.  And when you are done, you review the book on your blog.

Once the review is done, select another book and repeat the process again.  Reading is one of my favorite things to do for myself and my children.  We have a ton of books at home and we visit the library every week.

I received my first book just before Christmas.  It is a children’s book called God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  I can’t wait to share about the book.  If you blog and love books, check out Blogging for Books!

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Filed under Blogging For Books, Imagination's Canvas

Sewing ~ CD Holder

My youngest received a small CD player for Christmas.  But Mama and Papa Llama forgot to get her some CD storage.  A short Google search found a simple tutorial for a CD holder perfectly sized for a 4 year-old child.  It holds 6 CDs (3 on each side) and it took less than an hour to complete.

The finished project!

And the happy recipient!

And YAY for more than one sewing project completed this month!  I have another one to share later and one I hope to finish this week.


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Filed under Imagination's Canvas, Monthly Sewing Project, Sewing

O Tannenbaum

I don’t have a fancy tree.  This one was bought from Craigslist in 2009.  I prefer real ones, but this one fits our budget for now.  And for only $35, I can’t complain about a tree that goes all the way to the floor even if it is made of plastic.

The tree never has a theme.  It is filled with an eclectic collection of ornaments.  Some new, some old.  Some cheesy, some homemade.  And we love it.

We have a family tradition of buying one ornament for each family member that goes back to the first Christmas my husband and I spent together.  We bought each other an ornament every year until our first child came along.

This is the first one he gave me.  Isn’t it the sappiest ornament from Walmart ever?

When we had our first child, we upgraded to Hallmark.

There are ornaments from my childhood.  I don’t remember how old I was when I made this Rudolph…early elementary, I think.

And this one that was given to me by my babysitter when we lived in Indiana.  My only other memory of them is that they had an Atari video game system.  It was awesome.

I picked this one up at a Garden Ridge store long before I had kids.  It looked just like my cat, Figaro.  I still miss that kitty.

Another ornament tradition of mine is to pick up an ornament when we travel.  I have ornaments from various caverns, one from Greune, TX, and this one from our trip to San Francisco.  We had just found out I was pregnant with our first child when we went to San Fran.   I also bought a Golden Gate Bridge ornament.  We rode the cable cars a lot and we walked across the Golden Gate.  That was a LONG walk.  And I smile every time I hang them up on the tree.

There are ornaments from our honeymoon in the Bahamas, one of our many trips to New Mexico, and a trip to Melbourne, FL.

The ornaments reflect our personalities.

Papa Llama likes to fish.

All three llamas have seen The Nutcracker ballet and they give the children an ornament to mark the occasion.  The tree is also covered in ballerinas, soccer players, and race cars and whatever else interested my children at the time.

This one commemorates my PEZ collection that I used to have.

As my faith grew, the ornaments began to reflect the changes in me.

This ornament was bought a couple years ago while visiting the live Nativity at the Heifer International Ranch.

Fair trade llama ornament made with alpaca yarn.   It was the year the kids nicknamed me “Mama Llama.”

Some of my favorite ornaments are the ones that you cannot buy.  They are the ones my children and I have created together.

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Filed under Christmas, Family, Just Me

Thankful Thursday: Little Llamas

A goal of mine is to consciously be thankful more frequently.  I also want to post on my blog more frequently.  So Thankful Thursday is going to be similar to “Wordless Wednesday.” I will post a picture (or two, three, more…) of something that makes me feel thankful.  What better way to kick it off than with my own offspring.


Filed under Christmas, Family, Little Llamas, Thankful Thursday, Thankfulness

Monthly Sewing Project

I want to sew more often.  Unfortunately, I feel compelled to have a clean house after school lessons with the kids.  By the end of the day I am simply too tired to sew.  I am going to challenge myself to complete at least one project per month.  If I sew more than one…great.  If the month is busier than usual, at least I have the one project to show for it.

December began with a new sewing area in my bedroom.  The first thing I made was this twirly, tiered skirt for one of my daughter’s friends.  I love how it turned out and plan to make more for my girls.

I loosely followed this tutorial to create it.   This was my first tiered skirt and I am very happy with the results.

I hope to have pictures of the Christmas gifts I have planned and am running out of time to make by the end of the month.


Are you making any Christmas gifts this year?

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Filed under Imagination's Canvas, Monthly Sewing Project, Sewing