friday: boys dorm, saturday: book sale, sunday: football

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friday

I left the house at 8:30 in the morning on Friday to drive to the college that our two older boys attend.  After a three hour drive, and a couple of stops, I arrived around 1:00pm for a quick visit.  The purpose of the trip was to get Ethan and bring him back home with me for his week long break.  Jacob stayed on campus for football practices.  The drive to Vermont is easy and the views are so pretty.  I listened to a Wuthering Heights audiobook there and back, (all but the times when my phone lost cell phone service).

After I parked in the lot at the boys’ dorm, I let them know I had arrived.  They showed me their room and then they took me to a produce stand just down the road about a mile and I saw such picturesque farms along the way.    I posted photos of the stand on instagram.

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I love their room, it’s so typical of them.  They both agreed that they need 1) a broom and 2) an area rug.  I could have added more to the list.  Sometimes they take an entire couch from the common area and put it in their room.  It’s easier to play video games that way.  And maybe even study, too.  But you have to be sneaky about it and return the couch before room check.

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The dorm has a great view of the sports fields.

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Ethan and I left and ate lunch together in Rutland.  Then, an hour or so down the road, we visited a large antique center.  I bought a little bag full of black and white photographs from the 1930s, a vintage flour scoop, and a small vintage sifter for my mom.  I took photos of some fiestaware I saw but didn’t want or need (it happens).

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Admittedly, the vintage red shakers were in very nice condition, but I wouldn’t pay 30 dollars for them.

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I wasn’t sure what to think of this taxidermied chicken!!!  Would this be a fun addition to my house decor?  Or disturbing?  The tag said it was an old advertizing display for a store.

We also visited the Vermont Country store for cheese samples, coffee (oh how I needed it at that point!  And it was worth the wait–maple flavored;  everything’s maple flavored in Vermont), and sweets.  I had a delectable lemon bar.  The filling was creamy and not too tart, and the cookie base was soft and buttery.  So good!  So bad!

We arrived home and that was the end of Friday.

Saturday…..

……..was a nice, easy sunshiny family day.  Rich took Seth to a birthday party at a trampoline place and Seth had just the greatest time.

I took a photo of a pretty mushroom.

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And then, I took Sarah with me to a library used book sale.  She put new laces in her sneakers without any help from her Dad, and put a cute little dress on.  She was pleased to go look for some books with her Mom.  It’s odd at times, because Grace is at college now but when she was Sarah’s age she was the only girl in the family, and now it’s the same for Sarah.  She’s 8 years old and Grace was 10 when Sarah was born.  Sometimes I get flashbacks and think I’m back in time with Grace again.  Even their little voices sound the same to me now and then.   And I told Sarah when we got in the car, “I’m so glad God gave you to me.”

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The library ladies at the table gave me a dollar and fifty cent discount for being a mom of seven, which in their eyes, deserved the teachers discount.  I mean, every teacher AND mom should get a discount, am I right?

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We were able to add three more books to our Newbery collection.  I think it’s amazing and good that Newbery medals are awarded to all different reading levels and genres.  For example, Millions of Cats is a children’s picture book and story for the age range of 2 to 5 years old, and only 32 pages long.

Here is a quick video that I did this morning, showing all of the books (except the Newberys which I already put on the shelf.)::

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Our kitty Walter Felix Disney just meowed and meowed in gratitude when he saw his new book that we bought for him.

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But Sherlock didn’t care.  He knows the books about HIM are 100 times better.

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Someone was happy to have his boy back.

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Rich and I took full advantage of our Saturday together because on Sunday he had to leave us for a business trip.

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I’m sort of consoled because Ethan is home this week and also Rich’s trip includes the L.A. airport and we all know what that means……more RAMS merchandise for yours truly!

sunday

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A happy Sarah cheerleader!

I am sad to say that although it was a beautiful day for football games, we lost them.  Caleb and Seth seemed to enjoy it anyway, especially because they both came away with a bunch of new bruises and Seth’s calf muscle on his left leg got run over very impressively by cleats and he has scratches and bruises.  It seemed to invigorate them and they came home and later on played even more football with Jack until it was too dark to see outside.

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David and Ethan dropped off Caleb, played soccer together on another nearby field, and then left to go to the Guitar Center and go visit Zach, Michael, and the rest of the gang at their “2nd Mom and Dad’s ” house, Chris and Caroline.  I didn’t see them again the rest of the day because by the time they got home at 10pm I was in bed finishing my latest book.  (shown on instagram).

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Seth on the field.  He did so so good.  Coach George made it a point to sing his praises to me later on and said how good Seth was, both as a player and a person.  It meant so much to me to hear his coach say what I know in my heart to be true.  He’s a good boy.  You know, he sat right on my lap this morning when he got up.  They love it when I wear my soft red robe.  It prompted me to make up a song titled “the best chair of all is a mom chair.”  To which he replied, “Can I see your phone so I can check my fantasy team?”

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I found this Seth-Selfie from yesterday on my phone.  He had my phone in the car and was listening to a Boxcar children book while waiting to warm up.

this very morning;

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST a photo that I took so I could show Sarah how excellently I did her braids this morning.

“Every kind of work can be a pleasure.
Even simple household tasks can be an
opportunity to exercise and expland our caring,
our effectiveness,
our responsiveness.
As we respond with caring and vision to all work,
we develop our capasicy to respond fully to all of life.
Every action generates positive energy
which can be shared with others.
These qualities of caring and responsiveness 
are the greatest gift we can offer.”
~ Tarthang Tulku

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newbery books

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I plan on writing more blog posts about these books.

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A few months ago I made it my goal to collect and read all the Newbery books.

MY COLLECTION SO FAR

I had them in a smaller bookcase which quickly filled up until I couldn’t squeeze another book on it.  Last night I moved them into the shelves behind the sectional in the livingroom.  I wonder if I will run out of room there, too.  At first I was organizing the gold medal winners in order and then the silvers after that, but I decided to put them all (golds and silvers) together in order of year.

It was utter foolishness to think I would be able to read them all in one summer.  I remember the day I decided to make it my goal to read every winner and every honor book.  I was standing in front of a shelf of a select number of them, in Barnes and Noble.  The display was paltry compared to what it could have been.  “If I could make a display of Newbery books” …… it would be as impressive as the number and subject matter of the books themselves.  There are hundreds.  And stories for every kind of reader.  Even graphic novels, now.  Anyway, based on what I saw at Barnes and Noble, I had no real idea of how many books there truly were in this category of “Newbery Medal books”.

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Books to make you laugh, books to make you cry, books to read in one day, books that will take a week or more, books to write down quotes from, books to immediately recommend to your son who also loves cats, light-hearted, deep, somber, oh, so many.

(By the way, there are quite a few of them with a cat involved!  A Newbery cat category–will be a future blog post, I’m sure.)

It will take me years to read them all.  And just think, every year there are more added to the ranks.

As I search for them in used bookstores (can you imagine how much it would cost to buy them all NEW?) I find myself getting to know the books, and the authors.  I feel pride for the authors that were/are repeat winners.  What an honor!  Did you know Laura Ingalls Wilder won FIVE honors (the most of anyone)?  But no Gold medal?

I love the “one hit Newbery wonder” author (did they empty themselves out in one book?  Then I want to read that book!!) and am in awe of repeat winners.  Their names are familiar to us now, Avi, Kate DiCamillo, Eleanor Estes, Elizabeth George Speare, Scott O’Dell, and on and on the list goes.  Check out wikipedia for more information.

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I couldn’t possibly collect all of the books without the help of a printed list of all the books from year 1922-to present with me.  So off I go, with a three-ring-binder under my arm.  As I find a book, I circle it on the list.  You wouldn’t believe how many double copies I have even with my list *that I am now religious about bringing with me at all times*.  I’m particuarly excited when I get “a complete set”,  (the medal winner and the honors for that particular year.)  My current complete sets are years 1944, 1977-81, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2003.

I counted up how many I have left to find:  201

And I thought I would read them in one summer!!!!  (long laughter)

Short Reviews of the Titles I Have Read so Far, (humble, ordinary reader of 42 years of age, stay at home Mom, & lover of books.)

Shen of the Sea (short stories, with flashes of brilliance but dragged)
Gay-Neck  (unfortunate title in this day and age, but wise.  Took me to another place. Pigeons, quoteable quotes)
Hitty, Her first Hundred Years  (cute, illustrated, boring, I love my red covered copy that I found for free at the coffee shop “take a book/leave a book”)
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze (wise, character building)
Caddie Woodlawn (based on true story, homey, family-centered)
Roller Skates (absolutely LOVED)
Pecos Bill (fun to read out loud to your husband)
Call It Courage (Armstrong Perry teaches deeply through a deceptively simple story.  I love my ex-library copy, hardcover with great illustrations)
Johnny Tremain (loved reading as my older 3 all read the same paperback covered copy (now gone) when they were homeschooled, very good story, historical, with a loveable main character.  Makes you want to visit Boston.)
Fog Magic (sweet and yes, magical)
The Twenty-One Balloons (brilliant fun, another favorite of the kids who had it on audio)
Miracles on Maple Hill (seemed so familiar, with land, flowers, farmers, and maple syrup-making.  I want my mom to read it, she will like it, too.)
Onion John (good book but can’t remember much of it now.  Hmmmm)
The High King (“mom, you won’t like it if you don’t read the first 4 books of the series” He was right.)
The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (Oh my word, Nancy Farmer what a mind you have!  I can’t wait to read her other book on the list.  Highly recommended, SO many layers of fun.  The title is also the name of a detective agency in the book! LOL )
The Midwife’s Apprentice (perfection, I love the medieval time period)
Out of the Dust (very moving, unique but effective writing style.  Another author to admire!)
Dead End in Norvelt (fun and moving)
Doll Bones (fantasy about a doll who influences three children to go bury her, in another town, so they have to run away in the night to travel there.  So wonderfully weird!  Also teaches about friendship.)
One Came Home (wow, I loved this book, a mystery for older children)
Piecing me Together (It wasn’t TERRIBLE, but I didn’t think it was worth the Newbery honor.  Great cover, though.  Dull, under-seasoned story.)

 

I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY.

stay tuned.