Archive | What boys like

Favorite Read Aloud Book Lately

Oh my goodness.  I wish this book was mandatory for every 4th and 5th grader.  No, wait it really should be mandatory for everyone.  Can you tell we loved it.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is about typical kids you meet in a class room, all with different strengths and different weaknesses.  You know the quote, “If you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree he will believe he is dumb all his life.”  (Or something like that.)  The book is a lesson in playing to your strengths, and realizing you are not dumb.


As readers we get to listen in on the thoughts of Ally, who thinks she is dumb but really is very insightful and intelligent.  She is also good at making friends, which is a skill you can use to benefit your life forever.  Lucky for her a teacher enters her life who shows her she is very smart indeed.

We laughed, I cried– tears of joy!  There are a lot of life lessons here.  When Ally realizes the friendship bracelets she wishes someone would share with her have actually been purchased, it is a revelation I wish every child who feels left our or insecure could experience.  And they can!  Right here.  It’s worth reading out loud so you can discuss it and know your kids heard what you heard and you can hear what they hear.

I think we will read it again before 6th grade.  So good.

Happy reading!



Getting ready to get wet!

Swim suits for shorter legs

There are lots and lots of long, surf-type bathing suits out there!  They look cool, and provide good sun coverage, I get it.  But my boys are somewhat on the short side and aren’t comfortable with all that material.  It took a bit of looking around but I found some good looking options for us!

Number 1 is from Boden.  We used to have these swim suits.  I loved, loved, loved when they were little and wore these suits.  I still have them and plan on framing them to hang in our beach house one day! (When we have a beach house!)  But now, this style is, well, more their style.

Number 2 is so cute and simple.  And it’s on sale right now at Hanna Andersson!

Number 3 has a very nice surf vibe.  It’s flashy and easy to spot when there is a crowd at the beach or the pool.  This one is from H and M.  You can’t beat their prices.

Number 4 is the one my 10 year old went with.  This is his favorite color.  And it’s from good ole Target.  I got this one for my other 10 year old.

Number 5 is a classic beach/surf suit I found at Dick’s Sporting Goods.   The colors are more subdued and quiet if your swimmer doesn’t want to stand out.   Dick’s includes the out seam measurement in their descriptions.  So helpful.  15 inches on this suit.

Number 6 is the jammer my 12 year old loves.  This will be the third time I have bought this suit!  Very swim team even though we are no longer on the swim team.  He likes the unencumbered fit and we just got a red rash guard to go with it.  Not the sturdiest of suits but he loves it.

If you find others that are a good fit for shorter legs please let me know!

Happy swimming!


A Poem before bed…

Show up Filled Up 

Show up filled up

With grace and humor and love

Show up filled up

With cheese and bread and things you’ve dreamed of

Show up filled up

With kindness and desire and glory

Show up filled up

With peaches and pride and a true story

Show up filled up

With Nuts and berries and praise

Show up filled up

With song and dance because you’re brave

Show up filled up

With grains, and thanks and thought.

Show up filled up

With zest and time and all you’ve got!


Now deep breath.

Close your eyes.

Be still and quiet and you’ll go to sleep.




On our chalkboard this week…

No deposit

Last week’s quote was:  Success:  10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.  That generated a lot of conversation.  Things like, what is perspiration, what about annihilation, and even some serious talk about what it means to get the work done.  My husband says the thinks the quote is really 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration– and he’s propably right– but those odds just look a little daunting.  So I went with 10.

We will see what kind of dinner table talk this week’s quote brings up.  I got it from The Happiness Project.  Gretchen Rubin calls it a universal truth, one of the very few.



The Mysterious Benedict Society

Favorite Book Friday 2 We just finished the very long but very captivating, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.  And we all listened to it together, which was so fun.  We could discuss what we thought about what was going on in the story, what we thought might happen, and the every popular, this is what I would do in that situation discussion.

We took the old school route and listed to it on CD, mostly in the car.  I picked it up at the library, my very favorite source for books!

Benedict cover

It took a couple of road trips and some errand running around town days to complete but it was so worth it!  The total playing time was 13 hours and 17 minutes.

Benedict cds

Listening in the car was our favorite way to hear the story.  We tried listening at night before bed but its so hard to find a stopping point.  I mean why not listen all night?

We tried listening in the family room sprawled out on the sofa or the floor but too many other things could distract us, like new library books, a strange cat in the yard, that kind of thing.

In the car we had to stop when we arrived at the museum or the pool or the grocery store.  It’s hard to argue with, we’re here!

This fascinating story has been one of the highlights of our summer.

We have our longest road trip of the summer coming up next week.  I just hope we can find a new book to enjoy as much.

Happy summer and happy reading!


Beyond the Beyond (Another Kooky Poem)

beyond the beyond

I love you in the ordinary and in the over the top

I love you all my moments I just can’t stop

I love you in the clouds and under the table

I love you smelling good and all the pictures that you doodle

I love you with stinky feet and way beyond the horizon

I love you greasy shirted and more than anything I lay my eyes on

I love you happy, I love you sad, I love you sleepy and I love you mad.

I love you beyond the beyond and even further than that

But mostly I love it when I am here with you in our cozy habitat.


Be Your Awesome Self

boat driver

(A poem and a reminder to my wild, loud, blustery boys.)

Be your awesome self and let the real you shine through

Be your awesome self and to thine self be true.

You’re a great kid.

You’re amazing and kind.

I think that in this life you will find

That though some things are hard and can make you feel sad

The world deep down is good and for that I’m so glad.

Be your awesome self, be happy and free.

Be your awesome self, you’re the only one you see.

So live your life in a way that fits you.

Be daring, be bold, in all you pursue.



The Trumpet of the Swan

This one got past me as a kid.  I am so glad I discovered it with my boys.

Favorite Book Friday 2

They all read Charlotte’s Web at school and liked it, but didn’t rave about it.  All of us fell truly in love with E.B. White’s, The Trumpet of the Swan.

Trumpet of the Swan We read it out loud at bedtime.

It is the story of a swan named Louis.  He is not perfect but he has a perfectly extraordinary life.

Love, purposefulness, determination, using your gifts– all portrayed in interesting situations.  Louis finds the good in all he encounters.

I was afraid there was going to be some super sad, Mommy can’t read because she’s crying part, but it never came.  The story left all of us with a great feeling.  Kind of like, wow, if Louis can do it, so can I.

One of our favorites.  I look forward to finding another book to read out loud that brings our family that kind of goodness.

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!




A little something to read to my boys as they are falling asleep…

Tonight I want you to know it is possible to be your own best friend.  In fact, I think everyone should be their own super best friend.

super best friend

And how do you treat your best friend?

You are kind.  You are honest.  You let them go first.  You make sure they get what they need.

Do the same things for yourself.

Be your own super best friend.

When you talk to yourself—say something nice.

Make sure you get what you need:  Good sleep, healthy food, deep breaths.

And if you find a time when all your human friends let you down—it does happen—you already know your super best friend lives in your own body and in your own head and in your own soul.

Your super best friend is always ready to play.

You and your super best friend can count the stars, create a song, or bask in the sunlight.

There is super joy in being your own super best friend.

Now.  Deep breath.

Close your eyes.

Be still and quiet and you will go to sleep.


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