Reliving my bookworm childhood through my bookworm children

The feeling that comes over me when I catch a glimpse of a book from my childhood is almost embarrassing. I mean, I almost squeal. It’s everything in me to refrain from running around asking the people around me if they remember the book, in case they too might share the ecstasy of my find. I’ve been able to restrain these impulses to date, but one day, I will likely stumble across something that will reveal to my fellow op shoppers that I get a tad too excited over small things.
Here are some of the books I have scored from the thrift shop in recent times – I wonder if you enjoyed these too?

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The thing is, the lads don’t always share my excitement when I come home with these treasures. Some of them, they adore (like ‘Choose your own adventure’), but I am still waiting for them to catch the excitement of Encyclopedia Brown (it will happen, believe me. Watch this space).

Stories from our childhood are special. They remind us of times of imagination that ran wild, secret reading sessions when we were so quiet that perhaps we could almost be invisible. Visits to the library were a tradition for me in childhood, and I am so thrilled when I see my lads in libraries and op shops scouring book shelves for their next adventure. And sometimes my lads are almost invisible too, cloaked by the cover of a great book and an adventure on every page.

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I am here, under this pile of books and papers…

I have been somewhat MIA. University studies are proving to be more consuming than I anticpated (!!). With family and work, I have felt that my creative side starving and losing energy. I am truly grieving this and know that I must continue to pursue the creative life, keep feeding it, so that it gains strength and momentum in my life once more, despite academia, work and the everyday things that simply must be done.

So today, even though I have papers that must be done and readings that are piling higher than the sky (well, almost) I decided to enjoy the creativity that was going on around me. Matt and the lads jumped onto www.allfortheboys.com and were captivated by the Spy Week activities. I, however, felt ripped off. Here they were, doing the fun things that I have always loved to set up for them, WITHOUT MY ASSISTANCE!

This is a good thing, right?

Hmmmm…

Anyway, I had a friend ask me what I was doing tonight. I said I couldn’t play because I had to study. Then I got the guilts. I felt like a bad friend. So I contacted her and made her banana bread. She is about to arrive any minute. You see, I get obsessed with things and I forget that life is made up of MANY wonderful things – I just lose sight of them sometimes. It is hard to see (and breathe) under a pile of books, papers and highlighter pens. I get fixated, I go over and over and over sentences trying to get them “just right”. But the words of my ever wise husband ring in my ears…”You do not have the luxury of perfectionism this time. Not with a family and a job and uni.” He is right. I can do my best, but I must remember that boundaries are a good thing, they actually help me to suceed in ALL areas, rather than sacrificing some to succeed in others. Like my creativity.

So, it is here that I am reminded again that getting top grades (which, by the way, I rather like!) is not the goal of my year. The goal is to be balanced, whilst finishing my degree. I can finish it, even without a long line of High Distinctions. Credits, or even a Pass (GASP!) will still get me to the goal.

And here I was thinking that my few years of slowing things down reprogrammed my driven nature. Let’s try this again, shall we?

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Hammock time

Lazy Sunday’s really are one of life’s great and simple pleasures. Today, the sun was shining and our new hammock beckoned me. Of course, I obliged.

I indulged in a coffee and book on the deck, in the sunshine, swinging lazily, eventually, sleepily. I didn’t even have to share with the lads, as they were too busy practicing their newfound chess knowledge.

I sit here on the couch tonight, content as can be after enjoying some of my favourite things, all bundled up in one lazy Sunday. Lucky me!

solitude
reading
coffee
sunshine
family beach walk
pear cider

What is your idea of an indulgent, lazy Sunday?

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Picture Books you love/d to read your children

What are some of your favorite children’s books? Not your child’s favorites, but the books you most love reading to your offspring. There are some books that bore me or leave me blankly staring at the last page in disbelief that the book even got published! I’d really love to hear of some well loved, dog-eared books in your house so I can share them with my family. Please leave a quick comment with your treasured titles.

Here’s a list of some of the picture books I thoroughly enjoy reading to my lads. We own loads of books, and borrow around 30 library books a week, so there are far too many to list, but I’ll give you a small sample. These days Isaac is reading lots of novels, but he still loves being read to and snuggling on the couch. Asher is learning to read, and one of his favorite things is raiding the library book box numerous times a day for story time. I treasure these moments. There will be a day that they’ll be too big to fit on my lap (unless I grow my lap!!), and too “mature” for picture books. Loving it while I can.

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A-Z of Gratitude: N is for Nickle Nackle

Asher and I had a quick visit to the library today to grab some new books. We go at least once a week and usually bring around 30 books home each time. Reading is a passion (addiction!) in this house.

With Asher being so unwell, so a few bright books were in order. The poor darling has a perforated ear drum so he is Mr Lethargic. I’ll make the most of the snuggles I’m getting with him, and enjoy more gorgeous books than usual.

I’m thankful for wonderful children’s authors and illustrators. The book “The Nickle Nackle Tree” by Lynley Dodd came to our attention a few weeks ago when Asher’s kinder class read it and created their own classroom Nickle Nackle Tree.
I was thrilled to find it at the library today. I’ve ordered our own copy from Book Depository. This one is a keeper- there’s loads of creative inspiration for story writing and art for the lads

I would love to hear about some of your most loved children’s books and authors.

Here’s the book, and a glimpse of the unwell lad having a snuggle.

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A-Z of Gratitude: E is for e-books and End of school term!

In today’s post I will share with you one thing I am super grateful for and one thing I am thankful I have the means to try.

The lads are all on school holidays for three weeks – respite from the lunchbox filling ceremony and the “Have you got your…” checklist each morning.  We are all so ready for lazy mornings, restful days and family play time with no school interruptions!  Matt is a teacher so we get 13 weeks a year together, and I know how blessed we are.  It’s a wonderful thing to have so much family intensive time.

 

For me, one of the most simple yet indulgent pleasures in life is sitting with a good book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other.  Losing yourself in a book is a wonderful way to wile away the hours. I am thankful for writers – people who dedicate their lives to beautiful words.  Thank you!  I always have a stack of books on the go at any one time.  Last week, my sister-in-law was telling me about ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy, and how she had to read these because her students were to study the books.  She explained the concept and it mortified me!  She said she felt the same until she found herself utterly absorbed in the books.  Whenever someone describes a book in the way she described The Hunger Games, I want to know what the fuss is about.  I borrowed the first book and it hooked me within a few pages.  My husband then read the book, after urging me to hurry and finish.

I have recently acquired an iPad, and have yet to buy an e-Book.  I have always screwed my nose up at the idea of replacing real books.  It just doesn’t seem right to relinquish the act of pulling your much-loved paperback out of your bag to sneak a few minutes reading in while you wait for the kids after school.  It’s never sat well with me to abandon page turning for screen flicking.  But I really want to find out what happens to Katniss next, so I have purchased my first ever e-Book:  Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games was not one of the greatest books I have ever read, but it presented me with the strangest of plots and likeable characters – and because the audience it is penned for happens to be much younger than I, it was a nice and easy read.

I am considering suggesting the trilogy to my book club for our next gathering.

I’ll let you know how I fare with page flicking…