Mission Complete


Although I’m working on my perfectionistic traits, 16 out of 24 is not bad. In fact, ought to be celebrated! 🙂

Especially considering the 24 hours also included a Pioneer music celebration practice, Jim Bob receiving a new calling, and getting to help at the school for 4 hours with the Bookmobile. Phew! 😉

A huge thank you to all of my wonderful hostesses that I will be working with this fall! I’m excited to help so many families pick out the books that will be perfect for their families and the learning styles within.

One of my favorite parts of the whole challenge was the photo shoot the night before. Comfy chair, willing participants, and beautiful light… couldn’t ask for a deeper breathe before diving in.


Challenging? Indeed.

You may know that our family LOVES Usborne books.  You may know that I sell them – in order to get more educational and entertaining books for our family and to share them with others. (Did I mention we love these books?)

Do you know that I have accepted a challenge to book 24 Usborne book shows in 24 hours?  Eek! 🙂

For booking your show with me in this 24 hours you’ll be entered to win a $100 shopping spree with Usborne. We have a new catalog for you and your friends to shop from and our host bonuses in the next months are wonderful!  Please comment or send me an email (becky @ usborne.us) to be one of these preferred hosts.

I’m booking dates between now and Thanksgiving – the Fall and Holiday shopping season. 🙂  For my out-of-town family and friends – e-shows also count! I can set up a specific website for you to have open for 1-2 weeks. You can share the link with family and friends and based on sales you earn free and discounted books. 🙂

Feel free to browse around my website to see all the wonder-filled books that Usborne has – for all the children in your life.  And for children of ALL ages.  ;):  http://usborne.us/

My challenge ends tomorrow at noon.

Thanks for your help everyone!

{Katey and Caleb are lovin’ on the Wipe Clean books in the photo.  Some of our new favorite books!  Sturdy and Reusable – 2 of my favorite words.  😉  They have the Ready for Writing and Mazes ones out in the photo.  There are also ones for First Letters, Numbers, and Alphabet.}

Cake and Kisses Celebration

A little reading…

A little exercise…

And a little eating…

Our Nurses Day Celebration was so fun!

We started out with Jacob reading about Florence:

Autumn looks so contemplative.  I think Andrew is meditating.

See Inside Your Body is always a favorite:

The heart page in honor of Anna.  🙂  Four chambers of flaps to explore!

A nursing obstacle course was also enjoyed.

The stations were to run get a drink of water, run back to put hand sanitizer on, and finally put a band-aid on Daddy.

Here they are all lined up, ready to start.

I love that Caleb is distracted with his licorice.

And Katey -oh, Katey.  Can’t resist dancing in the line-up.

We talked about the proper way to put on band-aids – without touching the sterilized pad so it was good practice and a mite tricky for the little ones.

Such concentration.

Thankfully Jim Bob was such a good sport!

He almost needed real life medical attention.  🙂

As we walked across the park that evening, Jacob leaned over and said “Drinking water, chewing gum and helping people… I think nursing could be a good job.”

Adventures in Chocolate, con.

Maybe there should be a whole series?? 😉

In this post here I showed this fun lovin’ photo of bunnies from story hour at the library:

I love how with the same pieces the bunnies can look so different.  🙂

Now for the big reveal:

The “chocolate bunny” belongs to Katey.  She might love it a little:

And this one:

He is named “Grandfather Rabbit” and belongs to Andrew.  The mustache was drawn with some help by me.  Andrew started to and then decided it needed mommy help.  When I finished I realized I drew it upside down.  oops… oh well.  Maybe bunny mustaches grow that way.  😉

Caleb’s is the one all the way on the right.  The one with a monocle.  I’m sure that’s what he was thinking.

{Ruth – I loved reading your guesses and the logic behind them.  I bet if I had told you the names you would have gotten it for sure.  ;)}

For fun I grabbed three books from the stack we borrowed.  One that each of them picked out.  You would definitely want a monocle to read about monster trucks – especially the Spanish sections – that’s Caleb’s.  The dinosaur one picked out by Drewby (he can read it himself!) and the Lalaloopsy girls – that would be Katey’s selection.

Just to remember a little bit about what they loved at this point in time.  Love my readers.

The first appearance of Fifi aka Curious George

Close to as promised.  😉

The first edition of Cecily was published in Paris in 1939. The original title was Raffy and the 9 monkeys.  And that lovable monkey known as Curious George?  He was originally called Fifi.  In New York his name was changed to George because it was felt his name was too feminine.  An English version was published in London in 1941 in which he was renamed Zozo (the King at the time was King George the VI and I guess having a monkey named the same wasn’t looked upon highly. 🙂 )

I did not even know this book existed until I searched for 1940 children’s books and learned a little bit about the history of Curious George.  Here he is, with his family and Cecily G.:

I love the descriptions of the family of Monkeys.  What one word would you pick to describe yourself?   Curious? Clever? Good? Brave? Kind? Strong? or a different one entirely?

After a short introduction to the monkey family we meet Cecily, who is very sad her whole family is gone to live at a zoo.  She wants someone to play with.

One day she saw some monkeys that needed help crossing a deep ravine.  She became a bridge and the animals became friends.

I love the innovative ways the giraffe helps and the clever writing in this book.  A beautiful book of friendship and using our talents to help others.

Of all the fun images in this book, the next two are so very playful and my favorites.  Love the giraffe bed:

and who would have thought to give a giraffe stilts.

Makes me laugh.  “…so high the page isn’t big enough to show all of her.”

This book would not be complete without a giraffe-clef and monkey-note song to finish up with:

There is plenty more to the story – so check it out from your library and enjoy the fun-lovin’ nature of Cecily and Curious George.  I love that Curious George went on to become one of the most loved literary characters of the time – and ours!



The 1940 census records are now released and ready to index.  🙂  Hoo-ray!!!

Are you curious where we’ve started indexing?  Jim Bob is working on Kansas records (because they are highest priority) and I have a batch of records from New Hampshire.  (I’ve always liked states that started with New.)  I’m excited for when more Western States are added.

Are you curious how you can help?  Sign up to be an indexer here:  1940 Census Project.

Curious about this week’s contest?  Here are the details from the site – Weekly Contest – Week of April 2:

{  If you haven’t already, you must first visit the Games and Prizes page of the 1940 Blog to register for all project contests.  Then, follow the additional steps below to qualify for this week’s prize.

 Start Indexing the 1940 U.S. Census:

That’s all you have to do!  If you need a little help, check out this video about how to index the 1940 U.S. Census. One qualified entrant will be chosen at random to win an Amazon Kindle Fire.  }

I can personally let you know that the contests work.  I won a $50 Visa gift card last week… how fun is that?

To encourage your curiosity here is a little history.

Curious George (one of my very favorite books) was first published in 1941.  It is written by a husband/wife team:  H.A. and Margret Rey.  Although for a while only H.A. received credit because they wanted to distinguish themselves from the many female authors of children’s books at the time.  H. A. and Margret both grew up as Jews in Germany.  They later met in Brazil – H.A. was working there as a salesman and Margret had moved to Brazil to escape Nazism.  (Although some sources say they knew each other in Germany before and Hans originally met Margret as a young girl when she slid down the banister in her family’s home.  I kinda like that story.)  They married in Brazil and had two pet monkeys.  They moved to Paris in 1935 and wrote stories together.

In June 1940 the couple fled Paris on bicycles H.A. had made with spare parts.  While he assembled the bikes, Margret gathered their manuscripts and drawings.  They left Paris just a few hours before it fell to Nazi Germany.  They took the transcript of Curious George with them.  They returned to Brazil and then continued onto New York City, where Curious George was published a year later.  I didn’t know any of that history until I started looking for information about Curious George – knowing that it was one of the most popular children’s books in the 1940s.

I can definitely see why.  Who doesn’t know a young child that acts so similar to George?  That child-like innocence and curious nature are embodied in that little monkey.  I have also always loved the illustrations!

So carefree… always.

And oh-so-curious.

The floating over the city picture has always been one of my favorites.

Nothing like a friend in a yellow hat… and a happy ending.

(for now… they did publish 7 Curious George books.  😉 )

Did you know that there was actually a book by the Reys that came out before Curious George that featured him?  It was published in France and he was known as Fifi.  It was later published in the U.S.   Curious?  I’ll show photos tomorrow.

In the meantime… happy indexing!  🙂

{As part of the1940census.com ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for a yeti microphone or gift cards.}


Happy Birthday Mr. Dickens

February 7th was Charles Dickens birthday.  He would have been 200 this year!  Even Google celebrated:

Isn’t the doodle beautiful?

Here’s another of my favorite Dickens’ pieces of art:

{Dickens’s Dream by Robert William Buss, painted 1875. Donated by the artist’s grandson – 1931.”, PD-OLD-100}

I love all the characters surrounding him, with some in color.  I know it’s “unfinished”, but I think it looks kinda neat that way.  Like some characters are being developed for a story while others are waiting their turn.  A lot of Dickens’ writings were made in monthly or weekly installments and he worked with a variety of illustrators.  I love that this artist (Mr. Robert Buss) based the characters in his painting on sketches made by other artists… a homage to them.

We celebrated Mr. Dickens birthday here too.  We read from this book:

(found here:  Illustrated Stories from Dickens.  This was one of my Christmas presents this year.  🙂  One story that is sadly missing is “A Christmas Carol” – although it is in the Illustrated Christmas Stories book.)

[Read more…]

Peekin’ Peepers

This is my lovely sister.  How I adore her!  Here is one of my very favorite photos from the photo shoot we did.

I saw a similar pose on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try it out -hoping to get a good shot of her peepers.  I think we did pretty good.  🙂

A CD of photos – senior photoshoot and graduation.  All in one place.

This hybrid project of CD label and case by Carina is easy to make – and so versatile.  It can be used for CDs full of photos, an adorable circle card and envelope, organizing family DVDs, a very thin cookie… oh the possibilities.

{Carina Gardner:  Hybrid Project Friday No. 5,  Daisy Jane borders & papers (solids and v. 6 – Bath Time), Ink blots from DESIGN 365 – Color Kit 1, frame by Rhonna Farrer}

Ca-hootenanny!, pt.2

I also made blank “Wanted posters”, with a twist.

Each person selects a dream (big or small) and write/draws all about it. Pick a reward to finish it off.

Here’s my digital version.  A small(er) dream that I would love to have come true over and over.

I think this would be a fantastical date or fun girls’ time too.

{credits:Kamari Beach Paper by The Queen of Quirk
Sidewalk Chalk Elements by Echo Park
Kawaii Cute FruitsJewel-Toned Butterfliesby Kitschy Digitals
cupcakes from Sweet Cupcake by Dani Mogstad
fonts: Albemarle Swash, Rosewood Std, Clementine Sketch, DJB Poppyseed}

I visited my sister earlier this month and did the Wanted posters – and more – activities with them.  I’ll be posting more photos soon.  🙂


Remember this poster?

For part of Spring Break we had a Pony Express extravaganza, a ca-hootenanny if you will. We read stories, painted, sang songs, ate cowboy grub and just enjoyed learning.

We learned about the pledge the pony riders took before they were allowed to ride:

“I do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors & Waddell, that I will, under no circumstances, use profane language; that I will drink no intoxicating liquors; that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers. So help me God.”

I wouldn’t mind at all if my children lived by that.

I printed out reminder cards of each for them. With all the rough and tumble of playing cowboys it sure is nice to remember this part of the cowboy spirit.  I was also able to use the cards when I taught my Bear Scouts about the Pony Express.

{card credits: Cosmo Cricket Wanted Collection}

Another good source of cowboy values is Roy Rogers Riders Rules:
Be neat and clean.
Be courteous and polite.
Always obey your parents.
Protect the weak and help them.
Be brave, but never take chances.
Study hard and learn all you can.
Be kind to animals and care for them.
Eat all your food and never waste any.
Love God and go to Sunday School regularly.
Always respect our flag and our country.

I love that keeping the rules was part of being in Roy Rogers Riders Club and that he wrote a prayer to be read at the beginning of each meeting:

“Lord, I reckon I’m not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me ride it straight the whole way through.

And when in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
Above all else, the happiest trail would be,
For You to say to me, ‘Let’s ride, My Friend.’

Makes me want to start up a Riders Club right under my roof.

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