Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Heidi by Johanna Spyri is a book worth reading.  I read an abridged version as a girl.  One year I read it to my fourth grade class.  This past week I read it for enjoyment.  If you read it as a child, it would be worth picking up to read again as an adult.  If you have never read it, pick up a copy at the library to read.  If you are unfamiliar with the story, it begins when Heidi is a five year old and goes to live with her grandfather.  Over the course of several years, Heidi grows up some and experiences many different adventures.  What children's classic novel would you recommend everyone read? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Milking Time

It's Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf is a book I found at the library recently.  It is a picture book about a girl helping her dad with milking on the farm.  It talks about the daily milking chores.  The pictures reminded me more of my grandma's farm than my own because it talks about milk contained in cream cans.  If you teach elementary students, this book would make a great addition to a collection of books about farms.  Even if you don't have kids to read to, any former farm kid would appreciate the story and pictures contained in the book. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Almost Amish

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth is not your average book about living a simple life.  Sleeth takes some principles she feels that the Amish culture adheres to and shows how she has used them to make her life more fulfilling. With chapters on homes, technology, finances, nature, simplicity, service, security, community, families, and faith, this book covers nearly every aspect of life.  There are some recipes at the back of the book, including 5 or 6 for different soups.  In her chapter about nature, she suggested we spend more time outdoors.  The chapter on simplicity talked about not just having less stuff, but freeing up our calendars.  There were a few other things that stuck out to me...she encouraged even extended families to live near one another and be involved in each others lives.  One subtitle in the chapter on faith was "make peace wherever you go".  A quick read, this book would be an excellent source of discussion with a book club or even a family. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

batik pinwheel quilt

This is my first attempt at making a quilt with batik fabric.  It is possible it will be my only attempt to make a quilt with batik fabric.  The loud, bright colors are almost overwhelming.  The pinwheel block might be my favorite, though.  It is easier than it looks and I like the overall effect.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Potato: A Tale from the Great Depression by Kate Lied is a good picture book to share with children.  Lied based the story on one she heard from her aunt's experiences of the Great Depression.   Dorothy, the main character, lived in the 1930s.  Her dad lost his job, found another job, then lost that one as well.  The family heard about some temporary work so drove from Iowa to Idaho to work in the potato fields.  It isn't a lengthy story but one that shows how hard work and resourcefulness is beneficial.  This story would work well to help students better understand the Great Depression.  It could also be used as a model for writing a family story as well.