May 15, 2013
‘The last book in the Phoenix Files series is FINALLY hitting the shelves, and here’s your chance to get your hands on a copy a week before anyone else in the world! I am incredibly excited to finally let you guys read this book, and I’d love to see you at the launch if you can make it!
Where: Shearer’s Bookshop, MarketPlace Leichhardt, 122-138 Flood Street, Leichhardt NSW
When: Wednesday May 22nd @ 6.00pm
RSVP: (02) 9572 7766′
* taken directly from Chris Morphew’s blog.
I have spoken about Chris’ books before on the blog. I can’t believe the last one in the series is finished and about to hit the shelves. If you haven’t read them, you should…and not just because he is my friend……
In keeping with my promise to write 25-50 word reviews……here is the next book.
A visit from the goon squad by Jennifer Egan
The book was interesting in it’s use of different written methods to tell the story…. including graphs and powerpoint.
I read it on the ipad to get the full force of the changing mediums.
The story itself is somewhat distressing and depressing.
A good read but not a must read.
The next book on the list….. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Let me know your thoughts on The Goon squad if you have read it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
April 19, 2013
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes.
Written like the adventures of an Irish lass, this romping tale has many surprising twists and turns.
Some of the content left me shaking my head….other aspects were so well written I could see myself and others in the fleshed out characters.
An entertaining read.
Next book…. A visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
March 16, 2013
Well… it’s a long time since I have reviewed a book from our book club. We are still going strong.
This will be the first of a few quicker reviews.
I might try 25-50 word reviews this year.
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton.
It’s science fiction.
It has an un-satistying ending.
We didn’t like it and we couldn’t to talk about it for more than 2 minutes.
Life is short.
I wouldn’t bother.
That’s all. I’m going to love reviewing books like this. Let me know if you like it.
Our next book was A Visit from The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.
January 29, 2013
Yesterday marked 200 years since Pride and Prejudice by ‘A Lady’. The ‘Lady we now know as Jane Austin.
To celebrate, I sat the girls (and Tim) down to watch the movie. We also began reading the novel aloud to each other…. very Jane Austin indeed.
I have mentioned before that I have only recently become a reader, so I didn’t grow up reading and dreaming of Mr Darcy. Which I think is good, as I didn’t go looking for a fictional character to marry.
So while I don’t want my girls to go looking for their Mr Darcy, (because let’s face it, most of us don’t want to be insulted rudely to others at our first meeting…. and would never give him a second chance) I do want them reading books that have stood the test of time, and to read about times, situations and lives that are very different from their own. I want them to be able to look back and forward with critical minds, aware that what they experience in the day to day is not all there is……. I also think there is only so much dystopian, zombie and fantasy fiction the brain can take.
Anything else I should encourage them to read?
Any other anniversaries coming up?
What book have you most enjoyed reading aloud to someone?
December 23, 2012
Activity: Serve lunch to NTE mission team and church. 14year old, 9 year old, Tim and I did this one. 6 year old did her best to not need much supervision. A few other families from church helped as well. All in all pretty successful. (12 year old had a birthday party so was unable to participate.)
Had a bible verse planned but didn’t read it.
Extra Joy: Tim and the girls went to the local coffee shops Christmas party. I was all talked out and couldn’t face another conversation so stayed at home.
Activity: Dinner with Cousins. Really, really fun. With almost 3 teens (taking up much space) we are moving into a new phase of fun. Great fun joking about which mediocre superpower we would want…… which super power we think would be not very useful to us.
…..and how much enjoying movies can cost us.
I am loving this new phase of life with no bottoms to wipe or children to hand feed. Wasn’t sure I’d make it…. but we have. Hang in there if you’re not there yet. Older kids can be very funny and helpful and entertaining.
18: Tuesday too pooped for anything. Didn’t do the things planned.
…. a great post by Jodi of ’Sewfearless’ came into my inbox today, and it really rang true this year. Have a read if you feel like you are failing Christmas. We don’t even have a family photo all together that would have made a great Christmas card.
19: Wednesday Last day of school YAAAAAY
Dinner with family friends (planned). Great to get to know friends better and better.
Had a reading but didn’t read it.
Had things planned but ended up at the pool with school friends and families… Great time. Had other activities planned and readings to read, but didn’t do them.
Didn’t do our reading for advent, although we had planned to, just enjoyed each others company….. over the activity.
Activity: Watch a christmas DVD We all enjoyed Arthur Christmas.
Last minute christmas shopping and packing for holidays.
Extra Joy: We did surprise the girls today, giving them a set amount of money to spend at our favourite book shop in the city. What a great treat it is to have kids who love reading. Tim and I even indulged in some holiday reading.
Did our activity though…..
Activity: Go and see the Local Christmas Lights.
Not really being very faithful with our advent this year. I am thinking a ‘non-christmas’ month of readings and activities may be a good idea. We have loved being together though and spending time with friends. I guess it’s good to embrace the moment and not be a control freak!
December 11, 2012
November 26, 2012
Today I want to tell you all about a fantastic online store.
It’s owned by my fabulous little sister Hayley and a friend… so I am a little bias in my recommendation…. but after I have shown you a small selection of an enormous range of products, I am sure you will agree with me.
Tuxedo Sam (and Friends) USB stick. 14 year old has one and loves it! Once the kids get to high school the USB becomes their best friend. These little guys wont be lost like the boring generic kind…. and are easily recognisable. Even Dad’s and nephew’s would enjoy these.
Djeco make fabulous product. They provide great structured art projects which are vital for building skills. Over the years we have enjoyed many of these craft boxes. They are beautiful indeed.
Covering crafts from colouring, collage, puppet making, folding and knitting these sets ….made for boys as well as girls are highly recommended.
Made by the same company (and often included in the kits) are these felt painting textas and oil pastels. Be warned however….once you buy a child these beautiful textas they will never want normal ones. They make truly beautiful marks and last and last. Well worth the investment.
The oil pastels are also lovely to create art with. you will want to sit alongside your child and draw with them. I think they are better for older children ….. maybe 8+ as they can be a little messy (like oil pastels are)
The Ni Hao Noodle bowl is a fun way to introduce chopsticks to your children. The set comes with a noodle bowl, a patterned plate and a cute set of ‘kid friendly’ chopsticks. The little rubber man holds the chopsticks together making the pinching action that much easier! ….almost like holding a pencil and squeezing. A great gift for 6+ noodle lovers.
We have enjoyed our chalk placement outside and inside. The girls use it to make signs on the cubby house and I sometimes use it to write a list of jobs for them to do…. It’s so much more fun to rub a job off with your hand after doing it!
What is not to love about this sweet Alice in Wonderland necklace (also available as a brooch)? Wood cut and light. Beautiful. You can also get other Alice in Wonderland characters.
The ride on bug.… yes, sadly we are past this, but have many fond memories of the girls zooming around on these. Stylistically so much more beautiful than the plastic ride on…and great for imaginary play.
Past this one too but loved it when the girls were very little. I loved the lightness of the elastic and wood….didn’t hurt when it inevitably hit them in the face! Skish Classic.
I think my all time favourite gift from Scallyoop is Klop. A fantastic park game. It plays like a cross between bowls and boules with a twist or two.
Our family regularly take Klop to the park just with us or with friends and play across generations. The game is well weighted so adult or child can win….. but it’s not all luck. Brilliant!
Now….. my picks for this Christmas and beyond.
This one is for me! Yes there are gifts for adults too!
Love this idea! …..and Balsam wood Plane Card just $7.95
Another Djeco kit! Un-tricky origami Only $12.50
How about this exquisite wooden puzzle? Lovely.
I have loved these for a while. Such a great idea for the ‘construction kids’. Make-a-do kits.
There you have it!
Some of the best gifts you will find…. and you don’t need to go to the shops! Yay.
The site has soooo many more things to love….. and if you get in quick (before Dec 9) adding the code scallyoop10 will give you $10 off if you spend over $30 and put you into the draw for a $150 scallyoop shopping spree.
Why are you still here?
November 19, 2012
Some of you may have noticed a new page below my header…. and not a moment too soon. (like everything I do).
I have collated our advent calendar activities, readings and adventures for you to share and use.
We went with the ‘December is very busy’ approach and although we had a parcel for each day in December we planned from the start to open more than one each day and include some of our communities activities within the calendar.
It worked pretty well…..and included NO LOLLIES but ROCKS!
Yes! This is the week to be finalising your advent plans, if you haven’t already.
November 14, 2012
As I mentioned in my last review, my book club read this a while ago….and I neglected to post a review….. so we will see how my memory serves me!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett was a great read. Fascinating and concerning, convicting and humourous.
Set in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960′s, the book falls into the category of historical fiction, but reads like the ‘book within a book’. This was a time of segregation, violence and the silencing of half the community.
The story swaps between three different narrators, two African American maids and the educated child of a well off white family.
It’s a story about telling your story. Speaking up for what is right and good, whatever the price. It’s also a story about love, genuine friendship and secrets.
We loved it.
I think it helped that Australia didn’t share in this type of oppression and segregation….although we have other issues! It would be hard to read as an American…I would imagine, especially if you grew up during this time and thoughtlessly went along with it!
We thought we were all capable of this same sort of ‘following along with the norm’.
We talked about what issues are with us that would cost to speak out about, but are compelled to.
We felt quite trapped in the ‘mind your own business’ mentality we live in.
Those of us that had seen the movie thought it had left out a pivotal experience, which resulted in the movie missing the gravitas the book achieved. Did anyone else experience this?
All in all a great read and a fabulous holiday read ….if you are looking for something this summer.
Next book: This Charming Man by Marian Keyes.