Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: mystery

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layers, patterns mix;

tightly furled, mystery

blankets secret core

 

mystery by Angie Quantrell

 

I spied this gorgeous tree and cones during a winter walk. With such fascinating texture, design, and beauty, I just had to climb a snow bank to get close enough and snap a few photos. So glad I did!

What mystery have you seen lately?

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Reading for Research Month 2019 is Here! #ReFoReMo

Reading for Research Month is here! March Madness of the Picture Book World, here we come!

This is my 4th or 5th year participating in ReFoReMo. Happy 5 years to #ReFoReMo! Focused blog posts guide researchers (us) to read picture books that illustrate the information found in blog posts. I look forward to this month as an opportunity to read lots of picture books and study their techniques, formats, and picture book elements. If you love picture books, this month of reading is for you.

Is it a coincidence that Reading for Research Month occurs the same month as Read Aloud Day on March 2? I think not (or maybe so, but it is a cool coincidence.)

Read, friends. Read.

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Book stacks from previous ReFoReMo! Be prepared for the time AND space commitment! LOL

Great things happen during ReFoReMo:

– picture books are read, studied, dissected

– blog posts are shared by professionals in the kidlit field

– the kidlit community gives support to one another

– interaction between fellow writers, authors, bloggers, and kidlit enthusiasts is invigorating and addicting

– learning about picture books, in oh so many ways, grows in direct correlation to the amount of time spent reading and studying PB texts

– libraries are flooded with requests for picture books (which, as we all know, trickles back to authors – yay!)

– so much fun to be had!

REGISTRATION opens today! Visit ReFoReMo to register.

And start requesting those books! Find the book list here.

I’ve printed the book list and registered for ReFoReMo. Who’s with me?

 

 


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Love, Z: Picture Book & KID KANDY

Love, Z by [Sima, Jessie]

Love, Z

Written & Illustrated by Jessie Sima

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018

 

Love, Z is a great example of a robot tale about the meaning of love. I grabbed Love, Z from a library display and checked it out. Simplicity, good story, nice interactions, clean and beautiful illustrations, and great examples of love help Z (and young readers) understand love. I fell in love with the adventures of Love, Z.

Love, Z is the perfect book to springboard conversations about love and how it looks to different people, even robots.

Blurb from Amazon:

When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice—and back home again, where love was hiding all along.

KID KANDY

Build a Love Robot

Materials: construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, markers

1. Cut shapes from construction paper-hearts, circles, rectangles, triangles.

2. Arrange shapes on a table until you find the perfect design for a love robot. Use glue stick to glue edges together. Don’t forget to add arms, legs, and faces (eyes, nose, mouth, ears).

3. Use a marker to add details to your robot. Give him or her a name! As you create, think about what love means to you. Tell your mom or dad your thoughts and let them tell you what they think about love.

4. Find a nice spot to hang your robot where you can see him or her. May I see? Ask for help and take a picture and add it to the comments. We’d love to meet your new friend.

Love, A

 

 


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

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Do you have a word of the year? This year my word is treasure. Last year my word was roots and I had an inspirational image art project I worked on throughout the year to remind me of my word.

I don’t yet have an art project in process for treasure, but the image is forming in my mind. I’m letting it percolate on the back burner. You know what happens when things perk on the back burner? If it’s my dad’s coffee pot, the old-fashioned type with grounds, metal basket, and metal coffee-greasy shellac, then perking will brew strong, formidable, grow-the-hair-on-your-chest type of coffee.

That’s what I’m going for. Treasure that grows strong, formidable, and grows the hair on my chest, in the courage and confidence sort of way. Letting my word simmer will add notes of depth, fragrance, insights, and spicy overtones. As I taste my word, treasure, I hope I will also grow deeper, gain insights, become more fragrant, and enjoy spice in my life.

A spicy life! Let’s do it!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8, NKJV)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)

Taste and see, smell and know.

I began a Blessings and Thankfulness journal on January 1. Nothing fancy, just a cheap composition notebook and pens. As I focus on my treasure, I want to remember the blessings and reasons for thankfulness which are all around me. You know how easy it is to complain and mope. Ugh. I’m so tired of that. But still, I sink into that attitude. I hope by considering and jotting down both blessings and thanks, I can avoid the pity party.

A quick list of some of my treasures:

Jesus-God-Holy Spirit-faith-hope-love-Kevin-RV-home-shelter-food-Taylor-Jamie-Donavyn-Autumn-Chelsie-Hayden-Khloe-Gage-Monet-coffee-church-family-friends-you-readers-nature-snow-books-gardens-beauty-Bog boots-words-Bible-chocolate-art-music-travel-camera-rubber stamping-crafts-journals-writing-bees-flowers-hiking

Can you list 5 treasures in your life?

Read more about my Word of the Year here.

What is your word of the year?


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Polysyndeton: A Literary Device I Use (and didn’t know it)

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I love writing and reading and sipping coffee and nibbling dark chocolate.

Did you see the polysyndeton technique I just used?

Notice the ands, instead of commas. Using extended conjunctions in a sentence is  polysyndeton. As soon as I read this post. I recognized this literary technique as one I love to employ. Much to the dismay of some of my former critique partners.

I love the way polysyndeton slows the reader down, creates excitement, enhances vocabulary, adds focus, and increases emotions in the text I’m writing. (No polysyndeton in this sentence.)

It’s fun to play with a technique with a fancy name! I’m not even sure how to correctly pronounce polysyndeton, but I can put it to good use.

Read the full article by Daily Writing Tips here.

How about you? Do you use the polysyndeton technique? Is there a favorite literary technique you love?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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Happy Valentines Day, Friends!

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Happy Valentines Day, special ones! Hope this day finds you happy and loved.

Thinking of all of my valentines: my honey of almost 34 married years (plus 7 more before wedding), Monet (cat), my kids, my grands, my mama, my family and friends. A valentine can be anyone or any animal. 😁 I’m pretty pleased that we have nearly 2 feet of snow. This means Monet can’t bring me a dead valentine.

I am blessed to have so much love in my life. Especially from the best ever Valentine, Jesus. Life is sweet.

Not perfect. But super sweet.

Hugs, kisses, and blessings to you, special  ones. Embrace the day.

 


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: bridge

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Let’s take a little vacation to visit summer and Monet’s Giverny. (I think we can all use some sunshine and green.) Here’s #ThrowbackThursday meets Hump Day Haiku.

 

in white winter mope,

memories feed sanity

bridge to restful green

 

bridge by Angie Quantrell

 

Welcome to Hump Day Haiku Challenge. Join the fun and share a Haiku about bridges or winter despair. We’ll make it to spring!

 

 


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Snow Cream Strikes Again!

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Yesterday, 2-hour late start.

Today, NO SCHOOL. At all. As a kid, I would love it. As a Nana, I can’t keep up! (But I still love it.)

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Sledding, shoveling, driving RCs (rock crawlers to you folks not in the RC club know), and clambering in very deep snow and cold temps leads us to the refreshment portion of the day.

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It’s time to make Snow Cream!

  1. Fill one large bowl with clean snow. CLEAN snow.
  2. Mix between 1/4-1/2 cup sugar into 1 cup of milk. Dissolve sugar. Add 1 tsp. vanilla to milk. Stir well.
  3. Pour small amounts of sweetened milk over ice cream and stir. If you don’t have enough liquid, add more milk. I like to reduce the sugar as much as possible, so start with the smallest amount.

Once the snow is creamy, scoop into bowls and enjoy! Snow cream is a hit in this house.

P.S. IF you are a mommy, daddy, auntie, or Nana, and a fan of Irish cream, uhm, the coffee creamer version could help you survive snow days. Maybe after the kiddies are tucked in bed at night. A little Irish cream snow treat.

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Circle Time Preschool Puzzles: The Nesting Syndrome

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What to do when there is only 1 child?

Make a puzzle circle! Miss Autumn (2) was quite content to sit inside the puzzle circle and work puzzles. Simone was happy to supervise. A cozy nearby fireplace added ambiance and warmth for this cold winter day activity.

There is something about the NEST format of play. Are you a nest person? I am. I’ve always loved playing inside a circle formed by things-toys, books, supplies, whatever I’m working on-spread in a circle which surrounds me.

I really need to research this nest phenomenon. Does it point to a specific need, like security? Is nesting organizational in nature? Am I completely OCD and this is how it manifested itself when I was a child? Am I a circle person? Is this a form of marking my territory, albeit the creation of play boundaries and personal space instead of doggy pee trails? What does that mean?

Not nesting, as in I’m pregnant and preparing for the imminent birth of my child, though I also experienced that type of nesting. I clearly remember nesting the entire Memorial Day weekend. I thought I was just making things tidy, cleaning house, and putting baby things away. Lo and behold, our first baby came 3 weeks early and arrived before lunch on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Surprise! I was baby nesting.

There is also the type of nesting performed by birds. I am not a bird. But I am amazed at the intricate, sturdy, vastly creative and unique types of nests these little bird brains build. With that in mind, I’m sure bird brain is a complement.

Back to play nesting. I have memories of Barbie nests, toy box nests (where the toy box is empty and I am surrounded by the toys), and fabric nests. The fabric nests lets you know this nesting trait carried over to my adult years. I remember a specific photo of my two preschoolers, complete with a circle of toys and nearly empty toy box. Donavyn and Autumn (grands) love sitting inside blanket nests. Is nesting hereditary?

Any ideas? Do you nest? Have you seen young children exhibit nesting? I’d love to know more about the nesting syndrome.

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Haiku: Winter Snow Globe

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swirl wind, drift snowflakes.

secure; howl winter frenzy

living in snow globe

 

blow now, pile deep, chill;

blanket all, winter world, twirl-

alien landscape

 

frozen fingers ache

deep breath. calm. blue sky. storm rest.

living in snow globe

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winter snow globe by Angie Quantrell