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.


Usborne Challenge – Bring It :)


I have accepted a challenge to book 24 Usborne book shows in 24 hours.  Crazy? Yes!!! Traditional home shows and *live* Facebook events both count. 🙂

Set a date to treat yourself to Usborne’s hostess program and you’ll be entered to win a $100 shopping spree with Usborne (in addition to the usual hostess benefits). One of the 24 will win! There is 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. 🙂

Last year I did this challenge and it was so wonderful to help so many families get books before Christmas. After a way busy fall I had a intentionally quiet Usborne December which was perfect for our family. That’s the plan again this year. 🙂 I’m booking dates between now and Thanksgiving – the Fall and Holiday shopping season.

*Live* Facebook events are the perfect option for those who live far from me or if you have a lot of friends in different areas. The live portion usually lasts about an hour and is done later in the evening after usual appointments and little ones’ bedtimes. 🙂 I have two different options – Amazing Race (featuring books by authors around the world) and one about the importance of Reading Aloud. Both talk about the unique features in our books and have a guided & personalized shopping experience. You earn free and discounted books based on the sales of the show.

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

Let me know if you’d like to host a traditional or online show.

My challenge ends tomorrow at 1:30 pm.

Thanks for your help everyone!

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.”

Get Caught!

May is Get Caught Reading month.  There is “a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read”.  There are lots of celebrity posters on the site – from Abraham Lincoln, Alicia Keys and Donald Duck to Yoda and Jeff Gordon.  Celebrities of all sorts, even Santa.

Usborne is getting in on the fun.  They are having a Get Caught Reading! photo contest.  The top 5 photos (after a public vote) will be used as official Usborne Timeline Cover photos on Facebook (eh…) – and the top one will get a $100 Usborne gift certificate (now we’re talking… 😉 ).  Love their books.

These are a few of the photos I’ve captured so far:

(Late at night + sleepy boy = stealing Jim Bob’s phone for the camera abilities;  not great shots, but such a sweetheart.)

Caleb always has a stack of books in his bed.  I don’t mind, within a short time it usually leads to this:

Even with a favorite book.  He especially loves the “trick page”.  Stunts on bikes – and I learned that some cyclists race on ice.  Crazy.  All fascinating to a two-year-old.  Or a thirty-two-year-old for that matter.

Like the getting caught guidelines say – it would be wonderful to have photos of myself getting caught reading too.  I’ll just have to read a little more and leave the camera around.  We’ll see what happens.  😉  Join in the fun!

I. L. Y.

…. / .— / .——. / .——. / —.——// —— / ——— / .—. / … / . // —.—. /——— / —.. / .  // —.. / .— / —.——//  (Happy Morse Code Day!)

It’s the birthday of Samuel Morse and a fine day to celebrate.  We had friends over for Friend’s Day.  Our treat:

I L Y (for I Love You.  😉 ):

We spelled initials and whatever else desired.  We used the Morse Code card from this set:  50 Secret Codes for reference.

I love that the history of the codes are given on the back.  Boy’s Life magazine also has a Morse Code Machine where you can try your hand at listening to or transmitting Morse Code.

Our date night version:

This made me all sorts of giddy.  Our first name initials.  J & B – opposites attract.  😉

Happy Celebrations!

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…]

Peek-a-boo Parcel

I posted a fun tutorial over on the Mouse, Paper, Lovely blog last month.  A whole post on how to use clear packaging to show off fun, simple gifts.

Here’s a peek at the unwrapping:

and the first project inside:

For the rest, you’ll have to flit and fly on over.  There is always so much inspiration to be found there.  I love the magnetic bookmarks featured earlier this week.  Just love.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes on the photoshoot for the above parcel.

A big ol’ pot and a fun-lovin’, colorful Usborne book:  Drawing, Doodling and Coloring held up the package.  The pink polka-dot material and green shag come from my grandma’s house.  She cleared out boxes of yummy material and sent them to my sister’s place.  One family reunion we got to pick out our favorites.  I love my cardboard box of moose-printed, white puffy heart, bright colored fabric.  I have some big plans for that material.  In the meantime it makes a fabulous back drop for my photos.  🙂

The pink polka-dot fabric is actually a dress:

And the tag reads size 11.

What?  They certainly do not make them like they used to.  😉

{Credits: Crystal’s Artisan Label Templates No. 3 and Sweet Summertime Papers HERE, HERE, and HERE, and a little glitter for the butterfly bodies. Also used Crystal’s 5×7 Template Set #2 and Set #1 for the layouts above and Earth Love recycling sticker by Cosmo Cricket .}

Saddle up

Last week was Spring Break.  Can you guess what we learned about?

Text on poster:    Wanted – Young’uns hankering to learn about “one of the most stirring chapters in the making of America”.  Anyone willing to saddle up, belt out songs about the wild frontier, create dapper doo-hickies, gobble up grub and stuff your brain with lore about a great race against time please sign up below:

Books that promote wondering…

I’m working on creating an irresistibly compelling children’s library.  I want the books to be interactive, accurate and affordable.  Tall order?  You bet.  But I’m getting there thanks to Usborne.  We have loved the books for a few years now.  Three months ago I signed up as a consultant to sell Usborne books.  The move was totally generated by a desire to expand our library.  It’s working.  🙂  While I have made a little money, most of it goes straight back to Usborne in exchange for some yummy papery goodness.

Today I had six boxes of books delivered.  I had three shows close on the same day.  What a visual and intellectual feast.  I’m loving sharing these books with so many wonderful families I know.  I think there will be many happy children in Manti come Christmas morning (if their parents can wait that long! 😉 ).

I’m trying to decide my favorite part of this delivery – my stack of five dollar books (I didn’t realize there were so many!) or all the Christmas activities we get to do over the next few weeks.  Love!

To get an idea of the philosophy behind the company here is one of my favorite quotes from the founder of Usborne Books:

“Children are clever – they are our equals.We shouldn’t talk down to them, but look across at them.

Books should be friendly, and as much like magnets as possible. They should be reliable and accurate, stylish and artistic. They should be accessible, and also surprising …

They should promote wondering. They should be better than good.”

– Founder, Peter Usborne

p.s.  I also love the smell of a new book.  Even our catalogs smell like new books.  Mmmmm.

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