Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sweet Collections....

People tend to be collectors of "things".......

Some like to collect coins.
Others stamps.
There are women who collect tea cups and fine china.
I have a dear friend who collects wine bottles.

My husband is a music collector and has quite the audio library. Thanks to him we have thousands of great tunes from amazing artists which fill our iPods.
On the other hand, my son's fifth grade teacher collects pigs and has a classroom full of them~that is pig paraphernalia, not the students.

I have a very sweet memory of my Grandma and her collection of salt and pepper shakers.
As for myself, I collect Children's Books. I have an absolute love and passion for all things children's literature. I've always dreamt of writing a children's book and having it published. I hope to make that dream a reality someday. For now, I'll continue admiring the work of others. My collection began when I was in college at the University of Utah. I took a Children's Literature class from the most amazing professor. His lectures were incredibly fun, enlightening and enjoyable. It was the one class I couldn't wait to attend each week. And each two hour class seem to just fly by. I couldn't get enough. He introduced me to many great authors and books~which are, of course, all part of my sweet collection.
When I go to Barnes and Noble or Borders, I'm never there to buy the next New York Times Best Seller. Instead, you'll find me in the Children's Section. I love that I have three children so I can justify my purchases. But it doesn't stop there. Not only do I buy books from these great stores, I love it when my kids bring home the monthly Scholastic Book order forms. I always get so excited to see what new books there are! And then there's the Scholastic Book Fairs held on campus at the Elementary School my kids attend. I've even been known to travel 50 miles to the annual Scholastic Book Tent sale where you can buy children's books dirt cheap at the warehouse itself. I have every kind of Children's Book imaginable. I officially have a library. You could check books out from me if you wanted to. My mother-in-law does. She is a volunteer at her local Elementary School where she has story time with the Kindergartners weekly.

I have one problem right now though. The large bookshelf where I house my collection, well, it's full. Guess I need to buy another. I have books which cover every holiday and season. Silly stories. Books on animals, transportation, love and families. And the list goes on. And on. And on.

As soon as I knew I was pregnant with each of my three children I'd read to them nightly, before turning out the lights and falling into a deep slumber. And have ever since. In fact, it's funny, because now they can't seem to fall asleep unless I've read them a story. It's such a sweet time for us to share together.

I can't say as if I have one favorite author. Illustrator. Or book. But here is a list of many of my favorite author/illustrators and the wonderful children's books they've written~which you can find in my home library. I encourage each of you to add these to your own libraries, if you haven't already:

Dav Pilkey author of Dogzilla, Dumb Bunnies Easter {very funny story}, and the Captain Underpants series {Dav Pilkey writes incredibly funny stories}!

Don and Audrey Wood author/illustrators of King Bidgoods in the Bathtub, The Napping House, Piggies

Eric Carle author/illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Click Beetle, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Quiet Cricket, Polar Bear Polar Bear, Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Grouchy Ladybug

Dr. Seuss, have so many....but here's a few of our faves: I'm Not going to get Up Today, Green Eggs and Ham, Cat in the Hat, Go Dogs Go, The Foot Book, Wacky Wednesday

Chris Van Allsburg author/illustrator of The Polar Express

Chris Van Dusen author/illustrator of Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, & Mercy Watson {absolutely love his illustrations}

Caralyn Buehner author/illustrator of Snowmen at Night, Snowmen at Christmas, and The Escape of Marvin the Ape

Luara Numeroff author of these fun books: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Take A Mouse to the Movies, If You Give a Cat A Cupcake, If You Give a Moose A Muffin, If You Take A Mouse to School, If You Give a Pig A Party, If You Give a Pig a Pancake

Lucille Colandro author of, "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed..." series

If there is one thing which has come out of this, it is that my children now have a love for reading. Even Megan~who can't quite read yet. Since she is a visual learner, I often find her sitting quietly in her room with stacks of books around her. Flipping through books page by page. Gazing at the pictures. She loves books too and one day, when she can read, she is going to be a book worm.

Every night, after I've read to my children, I tuck them into their comfy, cozy beds and shut off their lights. Before I go to bed, I always check on them, to see if they are truly asleep. Often times I find them still reading in bed. Having a hard time putting their books down. It's great when you actually have to tell your child to stop reading so they can catch some much needed zzzz's for their little growing bodies.

I LOVE reading with my children~books from my sweet collection.

PS....Maybe I'll start doing a weekly children's book review....stay tuned....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Target~Sweet, Sweet Target

Target. Sweet, sweet Target. Every woman's favorite store! On the planet. Seriously. In fact, I think it's safe to say that each one of us women are guilty of spending our husband's entire paychecks there {or close to it}!
Tonight, I took all three of the kids. {Mistake}. We did have a goal and a list
{which is crucial and required before setting foot inside this store full of temptation}.

Goal #1: grab a few odds and ends for the house.
Goal #2: To pick out and buy a birthday gift for one of Katie's bff's who's having a birthday party this weekend.

After raising children for 10 years,
I have found that when you take kids, or at least typical kids,
into the toy section of a store, inevitably they always want something. At least my kids do. Really, I don't blame them! It's fun to shop. And it's fun getting something new! Eric and Katie are the pros. These two are sure to find something that suits their fancy. Everytime. Megan, on the other hand, points out what she is interested in "looking" at. Let me repeat that. Looking at. Megan never really asks for anything. She is perfectly content on looking, exploring and then putting each toy safely back on the shelf for someone else to buy. I love that about her. Simple. And saves me money. Amazingly, she never yells, screams, or throws a tantrum because I won't buy her something! Sweet, huh? Every kid should be like that!
{Sidenote: Eric and Katie don't usually get too upset if I don't buy them something. But they have had their moments. Just like every other kid.}

However, tonight, something truly comical happened.
As I went down the oral hygiene isle to pick up my favorite portable tooth brushes
{Colgate Wisps},

Megan grabbed a tube of Spongebob toothpaste right off the shelf.

All by herself. From inside the cart! Because that's what she wanted me to buy for her.
Not a doll. Not Legos. A book. Or movie. A tube of Spongebob toothpaste. The irony: Megan absolutely HATES having her teeth brushed. She HATES the dentist. But, apparently tonight she changed her mind. While she proudly held that tube of Spongebob toothpaste in her little hand, she happily said, "brush teeth!"
Right on, Megan! So if that's all it takes to make brushing her teeth a more positive, enjoyable experience, then it was worth purchasing. Even if it wasn't on my list.
It did put a sweet smile on her cute face!
Mainly because she loves Spongebob more than brushing her teeth!
I know that for a fact.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A SWEET Find....Literally!


Because of Lovin's Mission~
Which is this:
Lovin’ Scoopful’s goal is to create as many smiles as possible. Not only are we creating smiles on the faces of our customers but also on the faces of so many others that benefit from our donations. Lovin’ donates 25% of its post tax profits ($50,000 minimum annually) to Special Olympics. Ice cream and Special Olympics make for a great foundation on which to build the Lovin’ brand. Ultimately we hope to introduce many products; each donating proceeds to a unique cause that helps power the human spirit.

Now how SWEET is that?!?!
So. This is how I found it...
I was shopping at Albertson's Grocery Store yesterday. Since I'm on a diet, I was searching for a Light Ice Cream. Immediately, the NAME of the ice cream and the cute HEART SHAPED Ice Cream Scoop caught my eye. In fact, I think it almost jumped off the shelf of the freezer and into my cart! I grabbed ahold of the cold carton and began reading. And wouldn't you know it!! Right there on the back was Lovin's Mission Statement. I was immediately Lovin' this ice cream without even tasting it!
I was lovin' the fact that they support something so near and dear to my heart.
I know when Megan is a bit older, she'll participate in the Special Olympics. And I am more than grateful for companies, organizations and people who invest in those living with special needs and their future. So this blog entry is a HUGE THANK YOU to Lovin' Ice Cream for believing and contributing to individuals like my Megan~who will put a smile on your face instantly! And Ice Cream just happens to be her favorite dessert too.
I had a bowl of Lovin' Cookies and Cream Light Ice Cream before bed last night.
And it was SWEET!
Please visit Lovin' Scoopful's Sweet Website: