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Showing posts from March, 2017

Book Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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The author Jay Asher, was born in Arcadia, California in 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all interest. He attended Cuesta College right after high school. Where he wrote his first two children's books for a class. At this point in his life he wanted to be an elementary teacher (like me). He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University where he pursued his career as a serious writer. He has published only one book to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, which was published in October 2007. He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel.
Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also is a #1 New York Times bestseller. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Kormon. It is now on Netflix as a Netflix Original.

Hannah Baker, faced many trials and heartaches during her high school years so badly that she takes her own life. Not before she rec…

Book Review: The Hidden by Jessica Verday

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This is book three in The Hollows series. Beware of spoilers ahead. Check out my reviews of book 1: The Hollows or book 2: The Haunted

Abbey knows that Caspian is her destiny. Theirs is a bond that transcends even death. But as Abbey finally learns the full truth about the dark fate that links her to Caspian and ties them both to the town of Sleepy Hollow, she suddenly has some very hard choices to make. Caspian may be the love of her life, but is that love worth dying for? Find out the answers in The Hidden by Jessica Verday.

I think these books in the series are getting better each book that follows. As I am morning the loss of finally finishing this trilogy. Let's discuss the amazing cover that I have yet to figure out how it's linked to the series let alone the book. So, in this book Abbey really finds out the meaning of being able to see Caspian. Also her best friend Kristin (yeah...remember her) death. dun dun dun....She finds out that Kristin was not the one that was …

Journey of Autism: Signs of Autism in Infants and Toddlers

So, I am a mom of an amazing three year old son who is autistic. It's been a hard road to get to where we are now today. There are things that I wish I knew as a mother when Miles was a baby to look for that would have helped me in the future. So today, I want to help parents see the warning signs.

Monitor your child's development: 
 Don't wait for the doctor to give you the survey. Watch your child's key social, emotional, and cognitive milestones. It's an easy way to spot a problem early on which means early intervention can be put in place.

Take action if you're concerned: 
  Yes, every child develops at their own pace, but if you feel your child is not meeting the milestones for their age, or you suspect a problem. Talk to your doctor and voice those concerns immediately.

Don't accept a wait-and-see approach:
By wait and see approach you are doing the worst thing. You risk losing valuable time at an age where your child has the best chance improvement. Wh…

Book Review: Hardworking Puppies by Lynn Reiser

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All puppies grow up to be dogs, but these ten lucky puppies grow up to be dogs with jobs. The story counts down from ten to zero as each puppy pairs up with hardworking human - a firefighter, a lifeguard, and a clown, among others. But no matter what their duties, these ten puppies get plenty of playtime, treats, and love. Find out about the puppies in Hardworking Puppies by Lynn Reiser. My daughter Ginny, picked this book out from the library because it was about dogs. The illustrations seemed really rough and my kids didn't enjoy the pictures. Though I loved the story told the different types of jobs that dogs can have to help their owners. It helps them realize that not all dogs are just pets. I also loved how it counted down as the puppies were going to their owner. I recommend reading this to younger elementary kids.  What other books are about animals working?

Book Review: Farm by James Brown

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Animals never fail to catch babies' eyes - and this bold presentation makes them even more irresistible. Introduce babies to the animal residents of a farm in a bright, graphic, nearly wordless board book that will grab their attention as it fosters developing visual skills. Each right-hand page features a simple white shape of a pig, sheep, dog, horse, goose, or cow against a vivid background, while the facing page features the same shape in a charming, folk-art style pattern check it out in Farm by James Brown.

So I read this to my youngest who is almost two years old. We looked at the pictures and I would ask him what animal it is...then would ask him what noise did the animal say. He loved looking at the two different pictures of the animals. I have caught him looking at the book in his free time as well. He tends to go to black and white pictures more. It's a cute book for the younger then one year old book. As they have black and white picture of the animals. I wish tho…

Book Review: The Haunted by Jessica Verday

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This is book two in The Hollow series. Check out book one: The Hollow

In The Haunted by Jessica Verday, after the summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with -- the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead. Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all. But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fate.

So this was the first book I saw in the series and me being silly bought it. Because doesn't this cover grab your attention and make you want to know what it is about. When I bro…

Book Review: Black Cat & White Cat by Claire Garralon

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This is a black and white board book with a colorful surprise in Black Cat & White Cat by Claire Garralon.  Black cat and white cat are friends. But in a world of black and white, someone is always hard to see! Can they find a way to play together without someone disappearing?  First off the cover is amazing and it really grabs the readers eyes especially when they only see in a few colors as it is. This board book is made for the under a year old crowd. Where they can not see many colors but can see black and white and perhaps some red. This book is amazing on how cats seem to disappear on every page and reappear on another page. My one year old, Mason. Loved this book and often would be sitting staring at the pages in this book. I recommend this book to parents of young children.

Book Review: Good Luck!: A St. Patrick's Day Story by Joan Holub

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The Ant Hill kids are back in Good Luck!: A St. Patrick's Day Story by Joan Holub. This time they are performing in a St. Patrick's Day parade complete with shamrocks and bagpipes! When a high-spirited leprechaun chase leads them to the end of a rainbow, the ants find a delightful surprise!

What fun is this cover! When I saw this cover I knew this book was going to be funny for my three energetic toddlers. This book is so colorful in the illustrations that my kids could not get enough of the different things in them. The story was so fun and kept my kids laughing at the fun of the ants and the leprechaun. Of course they want to be in a parade now as well. It's a great book and easy to read for those new readers in your family.



Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, is based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him. With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan is to seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people. But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected.
The cover on this book is amazing and draws your attention to the the twist and turns that you know that will be in this book. It was one reason how this book drew it's attention from me. Another reason is that I love the story of Beauty and the Beast. This take on the famous fairy tale is …

Book Review: The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing

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It's the night before St. Patrick's Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they're shocked to find they've actually caught a leprechaun. Find out more in The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing.

My kids got a huge kick out of this book especially since we were able to find a The Night Before book for this holiday. Then loved how the kids were chasing the leprechaun trying to catch him with no luck. The illustrations show this amazing tale and helps keep the kids attention to it. I recommend everyone checking this book out for St. Patrick's Day.


Book Review: Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark

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As soon as little Peepsqueak bursts out of his shell, he is on the move! He is determined to fly - high, high, high! But is he too little to reach the sky? Find out in Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark.

This was a real cute book about a little chicken. We really enjoyed the illustrations throughout this book. Though I wish there was more words to this story. I think it's for the toddler age when they have less attention span then preschoolers or kindergartners. My daughter wanted more to the story but it was a pretty simple short story. I recommend this for toddlers.

Recipe: Kendra's Happy Mistake Crockpot Orange Chicken with Rice

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It's been a busy week and I planned on making a recipe I found awhile back for Orange Chicken in the crockpot. Anyways...it would help if I followed the recipe for it to make that orange chicken. Because mine looked nothing like it. But, all in all my husband and my mom both were amazed on how good mine was. Also...I had three bowls of this stuff tonight. So I am sharing this recipe with you before I forget it. So...here it is.

Ingredients:
A full jar Orange Marmalade
1 full container of BBQ sauce (I used Masterpiece Original)
4 or 5 chicken breast frozen
4 tbsp soy sauce
pinch of crushed red pepper

Directions:
1): Put a liner in your crockpot and set the temperature to hot or low doesn't matter
2): Put in chicken in the crockpot
3): Put in the full jar of orange marmalade, and full bottle of BBQ sauce. Put lid on top.
4): Once Chicken is done stir it in the sauce. Then add 4 tbsp of soy sauce and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
5): Before serving shredded the chicken and stir…

Book Review: United by Melissa Landers

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United by Melissa Landers is the third book in the Alienated series. If you haven't read Book 1: Alienated, or book 2: Invaded please beware that this post might be spoiler.

The treaty between Earth and L'eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L'eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever - not just for their future, but for the survival of both their wor…

Book Review: I'm Mighty! by Kate McMullen

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From Kate and Jim McMullan, the popular creators of I Stink!and I'm Dirty!- now a streaming animated series - comes a raucous tribute to a tireless harbor hero. This time a tugboat proves that even the smallest of us can be MIGHTY! You think this tug's too small to pull in shipas twenty times his size? Think again check it out inI'm Mighty! by Kate and Jim McMullan.

First let's talk about this neat cover. It shows what a tugboat looks like in this colorful illustration. It also shows that they are small and they pull or tug different things. It makes you want to learn more about this boat. This book teaches that it doesn't matter if you are small because you can still be mighty. It's just how you look at things and prove it to yourself that you are mighty. I think this is a perfect concept for children. As they are small compare to everyone else and sometimes they feel like they can't do anything. It helps them learn about positive thinking like the tugboa…

Book Review: Roar: A Big-Mouthed Book of Sounds! by Jonathan Litton

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Who is the loudest animal in this fiercely fun book of sounds? Bright artwork, finger-holes, and a cheerful rhyming story makes learning come alive in "Roar: A Big-Mouthed Book of Sounds!" by Jonathan Litton.

This book is so colorful as the cover. My boys were fighting over this book after we finished it the first. I love how it's a board book because it draws infants and toddlers to it. The illustrations in this book is so full of colors and my kids love sticking their fingers through the animals mouths. We also loved shouting out each sound the animals make. I love this book because it helps teach kids the different sounds of animals that they might not see all the time. It's also colorful and I feel that is really important to the eyes of a child as it draws their attention. I recommend reading this to infants and toddlers.



Menu Planning: 3/18/17-3/24/17

Menu Planning 

Saturday: 3/18    Breakfast: Pancakes  Lunch: Leftover Pizza  Dinner: Sonic's 50 cent corndogs with frozen fries from home. 
Sunday: 3/19 Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy    Lunch: Leftovers     Dinner: Spaghetti with Garlic Bread
Monday: 3/20    Breakfast: Cereal or Poptarts     Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, tater tots, and applesauce    Dinner: Chicken and Dumpling Casserole 
Tuesday: 3/21   Breakfast: Muffins with applesauce Lunch: Corndog Muffins, carrots, and grapes Dinner: Taco Night 
Wednesday: 3/22   Breakfast: Pancakes (use leftovers from Saturday)   Lunch: mini pizzas    Dinner: Crockpot Orange Chicken with rice 
Thursday: 3/23   Breakfast: Cereal or Poptarts   Lunch: PBJ sandwiches, chips, carrots, and berries    Dinner: Grilled Cheese, chips, berries, and veggies 







Book Review: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

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In "The Hollow" by Jessica Verday, is like a love like no other. When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead...and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent so much? And could this secret have her led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betryal, she unc…

Recipe: Don't Be Blue Blueberry Pancake Muffins

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I have several blueberry fans in this house so we had to make some blueberry pancake muffins for them to enjoy. Here is our favorite recipe that we have made.

Ingredients:
2 c. pancake mix
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries cleaned
3/4 c. milk

Direction:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a muffin pan or in muffin liners spray with non-stick spray.
2. In a medium bowl mix pancake mix, maple syrup, and milk. Once mix fold in the blueberries.
3. Fill 1/3 of each muffin liner and top with blueberries. Put in the oven for 12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Refrigerate for 3 days and reheat in microwave. Or freeze in freezer for a month.


Book Review: I'm Bad! by Kate McMullan

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Who's big? Who's bad? And who's hungry? T-Rex, that's who. He's the rollicking and rambunctious dino who's foraging in the prehistoric forest, 'cause he needs to chow right now. When his belly rumbles and grumbles, you'd better watch out! Take cover fuzzballs. Hide your horns, reptiles. It's ambush time. Read about this T-Rex in "I'm Bad!" by Kate McMullan.

We have read the other books "I Stink!" and "I'm Dirty," and we enjoyed reading them so we had to read this book as well. I was really disappointed in this book as it just keeps saying the title all throughout the book. My three kids didn't really enjoy this book other then the illustrations on the page. I was really hoping for something more to this book.

HUGE SUCCESS with Miles in Primary

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Gah...this boy amazes me every single day on how much he is growing. Okay, so on Sunday, it was Teacher In-service meeting so I was asked to sit with Ginny's class so the teacher can go during Sharing Time. Stephen sat with Miles in Mile's corner of the primary room. Miles will now stay in Primary but in a corner of the room and on his tablet. He will interact with his aid but not with anyone else in the room. Well, I noticed him watching the music teacher and so I thought, I am going to wave him over to see if he wants to sit with us. He soon came over and sat next to his sister, still on his tablet but paying more attention.

Soon he shut off his tablet and was watching the rest of the primary kids play a game and I could tell he wanted to be called up. He started to hum the primary songs with them. Then it was sharing time and he was asked to come up to flip some cards up. I wasn't sure if he was going to participate in it. But he ran up to the front and flipped both ca…

Recipe: St. Patrick's Day Pancake Muffins

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I want my kids to have some really fun memories growing up. So we celebrate holidays in this house and we have fun. So I played around last week and tried to make a green pancake muffin. Perhaps in the future I will use some green veggies to get the colors and not the artificial stuff. But for a holiday green is okay.

Ingredients:
2 c. pancake mix
2 c. chocolate chips
2 drops of green food dye
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. maple syrup

Direction:
1.) Spray muffin liners or muffin pan with non-stick spray. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
2.) In a medium mixing bowl mix all ingredients.
3.) Fill muffin liners 1/3 of the way.
4.) Bake for 12 minutes or until the center comes out clean.

Store in the fridge for 4 days. Freezer for 3 months. In an airtight bag or container.


Book Review: Hug a Bug by Eileen Spinelli

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A tiny squeeze is all it takes. With this simple action you can turn a frown into a smile and show that you care. One hug can mean everything, so hug your mom, hug your dad, hug your sister or your brother, and hug your friend. Find out how to hug and who to hug in "Hug a Bug" by Eileen Spinelli.

The cover is what drove my five year old to this book when she saw it at the library. The cover draws in little kids because what little kid doesn't love stuffed bears. It's colorful and draws your attention to what the child is doing. Though, the title does not fit the rest of the story. Barely does the main character hug a bug but she hugs lots of different things and people. The words of this book are very simple and a sentence a page. So it would fit the younger preschool age children. My five year old didn't really enjoy this book as she wanted more to the story. My three year old and one year old loved the book. It's a cute story and I recommend it for prescho…

Recipe: Valentine's Raspberry and Chocolate Pancake Muffin

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So my family loves these pancake recipes, the kids usually gobble 2-5 of them in one sitting. I like them because I don't have to worry about sticky fingers from syrup all over the place. Or syrup in a little girl's hair. Trust me, syrup in a girls thick wavy hair is extremely hard to get out. Been there done that never again.

So now I am experimenting on different flavors. What will the kids eat and how can I make it healthier then it is. So here is my Valentine's Day test and enjoyable.

Ingredients
2 cups of your favorite pancake mix
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. syrup
1/2 c. any chocolate chips (I used milk)
1/2 c. rinsed off raspberry. (fresh is preferred)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get muffin pan with liners and spray the sides so it doesn't stick.
2. Mix in a medium bowl all ingredients except the raspberries. \
3. Fold Raspberries into the mix.
4. Pour mixture into muffin pin 2/3rds of the way.
5. Put in the oven for 12 minutes or until toothpic…

Book Review: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

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My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Sparten guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots other bad, bad, things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died...read more in "Touch of Frost" by Jennifer Estep.

What can I say about this book. So what drew me into this book was the amazing cover. It grabs at you and wants you to turn the page. The title is interesting and kept me wanting to know if the …

Book Review: Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century by Jane O'Connor

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Not only does Nancy help out the bride in "Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century" by Jane O'Connor, but she also gets to attend a fabulous party reception! Fans of Fancy Nancy  and weddings alike will laugh along with Nancy as she discovers how truly special even the simplest wedding can be. Little girls will delight in learning about bridal traditions with their favorite fancy girl, and as in all Fancy Nancy books, Nancy's wisdom and creativity shine through to spark the joy of imagination in young readers.

Nancy does it again in this book. My kids love this spunky fancy girl. The amazing illustrations that Robin Preiss Glasser comes up with are amazing and very detail. They help tell the story which is perfect for preschoolers. We loved how Nancy is trying to be in charge of her teacher's wedding. It made us laugh and giggle. Then when things weren't the way that Nancy wanted it we laughed. It was a great story to share with my kids.

See More Fancy Na…

Book Review: Crocopotamus by Mary Murphy

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What do you call a cross between a tiger and a zebra? How about an elephant and a hippopotamus? Find out as you flip the pages and create incredible critters and silly animal names. Sturdy board-book pages open to the left and the right for easy manipulation by little hands, and bright, bold animals wait to be mixed up again and again in "Crocopotamus" by Mary Murphy.

This book is so much fun for all ages. It's a board book so I wasn't worried that my youngest was going to rip it up. But my five year old and three year old both enjoyed it as well. The illustrations were colorful and really grab all three of my kids attention. My five year old had fun reading the new names she created each time she flipped the word. It really helped her with sounds. So my three year old would laugh and laugh of each animal we made. He thought it was so funny that we could have monpotamus. This book is great for the whole family and worth the read.



Book Review: Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O'Connor

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In "Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet," by Jane O'Connor, Fancy Nancy and her best friend, Bree, couldn't be more excited about their upcoming dance show. After all, it's all about mermaids - and who knows how to be a fancy, glamorous mermaid better than Fancy Nancy herself? But when another ballerina wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn't the one she wanted? And when disaster strikes right before the big ballet, who will step in to steal the spotlight?

My kids can not get enough of Nancy. They loved this book and learned a lot about not always being the person with the attention on them all the time. It was worth reading them the story. We loved the colors that the illustrator created. They help tell the story and were able to keep all three of my kids interested in the story. Nancy and her vocabulary and how she breaks it down helps my kids vocabulary …