Monday, October 29, 2012

How Children Succeed

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough was a book I read last week.  Tough talks about what it takes for a child to succeed.  Much of the book talks about different schools and programs and how they are trying to help students become successful.  Parents, educators, and psychologists would gain something from reading the book and discussing it with others.  If you have read it, what are your thoughts? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Quilt Walk

The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas is a book I read last week.  This is the first novel Dallas has written for children.  Emmy Blue Hatchett is a ten year old girl who travels from Illinois to Colorado with her parents, aunt and uncle by wagon.  Although it is called The Quilt Walk, plenty happens in the story not related to quilting.  There is some description of what it was like to travel across the prairie, but more so it is a story of Emmy growing up.  When I first began reading it, I wondered if it would make a good read aloud in a classroom.  I quickly decided that it would not because of one of the characters in the story-an abusive husband.  Dallas' intended audience was children but I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading historical fiction about pioneer days.

Monday, October 15, 2012

sewing for a baby shower

This weekend I did some sewing for a baby.  Nothing like a deadline (there was a shower on Sunday) to get something done.  My friend is expecting a girl so I figured sewing some cute girl clothes would provide a personalized gift.  This little dress is made from Simplicity pattern 9602.  Even though it is the fourth or fifth time I used this pattern, it didn't seem much easier than the first time.  
I used the directions and pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's book, Simple Sewing for Baby to make the bloomers.  The title was was simple sewing and the directions were well written.  The only thing I didn't like was there wasn't any approximate length of elastic to use for the elastic around the waist and legs.
In addition to the bloomers, I made these pants as well.  It probably took less than a half hour to make them. If you stumble across this book somewhere, it is definitely taking a look at.  It is a user friendly book for sewing, and I learned some things about clothes construction as well.  Someday soon I hope to try making the dress pattern from this book. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

I picked up The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson at the library this week.  This is a spin on the old tale The Princess and the Pea.  In this story, Prince Henrik decides he doesn't want an overly sensitive princess like his brother has.  Instead he uses a bag of frozen peas and puts them under a camping mattress.  He finds a princess who is a perfect fit for him.  I am not necessarily a fan of princess stories, but I had to get this one as it was about frozen peas.  For a while I ate them every day at much my coworkers noticed and give me a hard time about it.  It would be a good story to share with elementary aged children, perhaps inspiring them to write their own version of a well known tale.   

Monday, October 8, 2012

exploring Minnesota

view from fire tower at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
Mississippi River at Crow Wing State Park
This August I bought a Minnesota State Park pass.  It is good for a year and allows me to visit any state park throughout the state. At twenty five dollars, it is a bargain. Here are a few pictures from my state park visits so far.  I plan to see a lot more parks in the next ten months.  Some are even close enough to me that I hope to visit them more than once.  It has been a fun thing to do with different people in my day I went canoeing with two of my nephews.  Last Sunday my dad and two brothers walked along the Mississippi at Crow Wing State Park.  Some day when I am in the metro area, I plan to go to Fort Snelling State Park with my sister and her family.
bridge over Pike Creek at Charles Lindbergh State Park

Pike Creek at Charles Lindbergh State Park
Do you think there is a state park in Minnesota that is a must see?