Love, Laughter, and Life

The Writing Life of a Woman Who Might Be Missing a Few Brain Cells


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Book Study in an RV

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Towers of picture books fill the RV. Places to sit are scarce. Tensions run high as we juggle in order to sit. Who will best survive the picture book project – him or her?

 

A Haiku

Space so in demand

but research is required;

Will the table hold?

 

A Haiku about Read for Research Month

by Angie Quantrell

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Bunny’s Book Club

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Look what came in the mail!

Bunny’s Book Club

Written by Annie Silvestro

Illustrated by Tatiana Mai-Wyss

(Doubleday, 2017)

Bunny’s Book Club is an adorable book about a bunny who loves books. Bunny LOVES books enough to find a way to get them from the library, though in a nontraditional way. Since I LOVE books, I sometimes feel like Bunny and stockpile books for later reading. A bag or nightstand without a book is dire indeed!

Not that I would go the same extremes Bunny did to get books. But I would love to enjoy a book club with my friends, hot tea, and mountains of books.

Thank you, KIDLIT 411 and Annie Silvestro! This is a beautiful book and I know it will be personally treasured and my grands will adore it. They might even try to borrow it for their own book hoards.

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Storystorm Day 29: “Let’s Play Books!” by Kirsten Hess

by Kirsten Hess, Bookseller It has been wonderful to read the posts in Storystorm this month, to get a peek into the creative processes that go into the many wonderful books that we carry in our sh…

Source: Storystorm Day 29: “Let’s Play Books!” by Kirsten Hess

I love having books and play partnered together! Perfect match. Need to visit this bookstore!


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Storystorm Day 27: “Ruth Spiro is Asking for it!”

by Ruth Spiro Two weeks ago, I posted the following question on the Storystorm Facebook group: I had been brainstorming my own list of ideas to write about, but I think it’s important to do some ma…

Source: Storystorm Day 27: “Ruth Spiro is Asking for it!”

Ruth shares some great writing strategies for turning ideas into picture books. Thanks, Ruth!


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Storystorm Day 16: “Social Media Inspires Social Awareness” by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

by Brenda Reeves Sturgis As writers, we must ALL strike while the iron is hot. Every writer tries to get into the castle (the publishing houses) over the drawbridge. The drawbridge however is crowd…

Source: Storystorm Day 16: “Social Media Inspires Social Awareness” by Brenda Reeves Sturgis

This picture book about homelessness comes out on January 31st. I think it will be a great resource! This blog post is written for writers, but the background story of how Still a Family came to be is fascinating!


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Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

by Colby Sharp One of my favorite things to do with my students is a Mock Caldecott unit. Each year, my friend Mr. Schu and I select 20 books for the study. Mr. Schu posts the list on his blog with…

Source: Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

Teachers! This is a great idea to do with students. Librarians, you could probably adjust and do the same activity. Readers – who wouldn’t want to be in on the decision making for the Mock Caldecott Awards? Pick me, pick me!


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First Steps in Missions ~ Activity Ideas: Shaving Cream

 

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Welcome October, perhaps one of my absolute favorite months! Ok, I also love November and December. And January. Just give me fall and winter and I’ll be good.

Thailand is the focus for Chapter 2 in First Steps in Missions, Ideas for Preschoolers and Teachers, Volume 22. Each month this year (academic or church), I would like to choose one activity I’ve written for First Steps, and give extension ideas.

Mirror Painting is found on page 14. For this activity, I suggested placing a large mirror flat on a table and inviting preschoolers to paint on it with unscented shaving cream and food coloring to symbolize the beauty found in Thailand. Do you know how much fun it is to paint with shaving cream?

Shaving cream is a favorite creativity ‘tool’ of mine.

Ways to Play and Create with Shaving Cream

About shaving cream:

The cheapest brands work just fine. Avoid those that begin as a gel. They just don’t foam as well. But feel free to experiment. If you don’t have any kids with sensitive noses, use your favorite fragrance to spice up the room. Have a tub of water and plenty of wash cloths available for cleaning up.

1. Shaving cream  is not only for mirrors. Squirt shaving cream directly onto a table and let children draw and write to their hearts’ content. Extra benefit: shaving cream helps loosen stuck on tape, markers, and glue. The table will be much cleaner when you are done with the shaving cream.

2. Paint with shaving cream. Squirt shaving cream mountains on large paper bags or construction paper and let little artists sprinkle on powdered tempera or drops of food coloring. Mix, spread, and create. It would be fun to experiment with water-based markers and shaving cream.

3. Blocks and shaving cream in a big plastic tub? Go ahead, admit it. You’ve always wanted to play in the shaving cream! Who has never squirted shaving cream on the bathroom mirror to write messages? What? No? Me neither.

4. Hot weather fun begins with cans of shaving cream and a swimming pool. Seriously. Let kids paint themselves with shaving cream and then dunk into the pool to rinse it off. I’d avoid using the big in-ground pools as they require chemicals and lots of care. Any small inflatable or plastic pool will work great.

5. Wash outside toys (tricycles, wagons, construction equipment, etc.) with shaving cream. Use a hose to rinse thoroughly and let dry. This is one cleaning project where you’ll have plenty of help.

Safety Tip: Only use shaving cream with preschoolers old enough to not eat it. Older children are fine, though you may be surprised at what they put in their mouths. It’s for playing, not eating, right? Unless you have a beard or hairy legs.

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If you would like to order your own copy of First Steps in Missions, call 1-800-968-7301 or visit www.wmustore.com. Thanks!

 

Thanks for visiting! Have a fabulous time playing with shaving cream!


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Waiting

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Waiting is never easy, but manageable. (Photo by Angie Quantrell, 2016)

Stand – lean – patient forms.

Windblown tractor ride groupies.

Next in line, we wait.

 

– Haiku by Angie Quantrell

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Bill’s Berry Farm tractor ride extravaganza, 2016 (Photo by Angie Quantrell, 2016)

 


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Going to the Beach in Washington

Hayden, 7, at Owens Beach, Pt. Defiance, WA. The gray? Rain. Sheets of.

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

When in Washington (the state), going to the beach may look different than going to the beach in other locations.

For instance, one may need to wear a winter hat at our beaches.

Hayden, Audrey, and Khloe sporting layers, hats (including winter), and beach tools.

Sweatshirts may be required.

You will get wet. With rain more than salt water.

Barnacles and tiny crabs abound.

Picnics are held under shelter. Or you eat wet food.

 

Picnics under shelter keep the food dry.

Seagulls will peck open unattended packages and ruin the cookies.

Sand will be discovered in odd and stayed-in-the-van-how-did-sand-get-there places.

You will bring too many things in order to plan for any type of weather.

Gage, 1. The same beach and same age when Hayden first went to the beach.

You will take home more than you bargained for. Some of those things will smell after a day or so.

Laundry and deep cleaning will be necessary once you get home.

He who wanted to throw himself into the water. Or eat sand. It was hands-on-Gage for one adult at all times.

Wet, cold, damp, briny kids smell just like that in the close confines of a van. Wet. Damp. Cold. Briny.

Umbrellas are often in use.

Can you see the little feathery barnacles? The openings are ones that are feeding.

One might wear a camera around the neck, but it will be covered with a plastic grocery bag that is tied tightly to keep out the rain. And sand. And stuff.

Water sandals are the perfect shoe. Waterproof and protective against stones.

Seals will wonder what you are doing. Bald eagles will soar, seagulls will annoy, ferries will pass, squirrels will steal, raccoons will beg, deer will graze.

Looking at wildlife.

Those dead looking rocks with barnacle crusts are not dead. Just put them in a bowl of ocean water and see what happens.

Strangers are kind. They may even bring a new crab specimen and seaweed clump for investigation.

Our barnacle and crab observation project.

On rainy days, you will mostly have the beach to yourself.

You can still get sunburned if it’s raining and cold.

If you want to go to the beach, go. Sunny or rainy, windy or stormy, the beach is a wonderful destination. Just know that our beaches will not resemble southern beaches (most of the time). The water will not be warm. Body extremities will turn blue. Noses will run.

But it will be the beach.

The group – minus the photographer who quickly unwrapped the camera for a quick shot.

Layer up, my dears. Or at least plan for a variety of beach weather. This is the life of Washington beaches.