Archive for December, 2009

not exactly dick and jane

Learning to read the fun way:


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i’m gonna get your toes

The new favorite book at our house (mercifully supplanting nonfiction about moose for the moment) is this hilarious book by John Perry:

Apparently a carnivorous book who actively attack humans makes children laugh.  Huh.  This book, however, reminded me of my favorite book as a child:

While in Perry’s story, the book is actively chowing down on little children, janitors, etc. the Grover book (as the milder precursor for instilling a fear of books in children) relies on anticipation to make the kids scared of the monster at the end of the book.  No narration of the monster’s evil deeds, no description of the book spitting out bones, just sweet, innocent dread of the unknown and the unseen.

As a child, I can remember howling at Grover trying to brick together the pages or tie them down only to have my mother destroy his hard work with a flick of her wrist.  Reading  The Book That Eats People with my kids today, I rejoiced in getting them to shriek by making the book snap at the feet and lunge for their noses.  I love the old-fashioned stories of Elsa Beskow and Robert McCloskey, but sometimes it’s nice to get the kids giggling and squirming and wondering what if….

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holidays in the kitchen

Over here we have been busy baking and decorating and eating what we just baked and decorated.  We first started off with some very tasty sugar cookies which little w. nominally helped me decorate having bailed on me after 10 or so cookies.

After I finally finished icing and carefully decorating the 67th cookie, I stepped back and said to little w., “Don’t those cookies look pretty?”  He looked at them carefully and replied, “Well, most of them do.”  Thanks.  Now if only I could make these cookies, I bet I could even impress little w.  His favorite part of baking, however, was the icing.  In fact, licking the bowl kept him occupied for the better part of 30 minutes.  How to channel this power for good…

Next up:  making gingerbread houses, but as I wasn’t up for constructing a multilevel, impeccably dressed abode (we’ll leave it to these folks), we went the graham cracker route.

And here are our modern, flat roof graham cracker houses:

I give these houses about a day as I had to yell at Big W. three times this evening to stop eating the “shrubbery.”

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It took four years, but the kids have finally discovered my secret holiday passion:

These blessed little chocolates only come out here twice a year–Christmas in the ball ornament form and Easter in the pastel little eggs.  There is something about the crunchy sugar shell and the silky milk chocolate that makes me just sigh.  And, now that both kids have discovered how amazing these candies are, there will be no peace.

Little e. used her sweetest voice to implore, “More choch-y?” and little w. took matters into his own hands and tore open the sacred purple bag in the cabinet like it was no more than yesterday’s newspaper.  Time for evasive action, I’m afraid.

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