Randa’s “homework” has gotten us to read more together (yay!) She has 2 books each week with simple, repetitive words which, mainly, she reads to me (and Daddy too):

Recently, we’ve begun visiting a branch of the country library that we hadn’t been to before (this was #3, not counting the Myrtle Beach library, which we paid an annual membership for, and there is a #4 really close to the theatre that we will try soon). It has a truly great kids section, including this book-gazebo thing with comfy red gym mats inside where I cuddled with the girls to read (and could have fallen asleep).

Some of the best books we’ve discovered there:

Mad at Mommy
Komako Sakai
I could not resist this book by its title alone. And it turned out to be really cute… a child rabbit gets mad at his mommy because through his point of view, everything she does is selfish. For example: if she doesn’t get up as soon as he calls, she sleeps all the time. The kids thought this was kind of funny, but I wonder if part of that was because of the knowing way I read to them. It was very fun to read out loud. This book is full of hyperbole: you always, you never.. so it is a good opportunity to talk about the meanings of those words –  and a good reminder to adults how often those terms for measuring frequency are actually accurate.

The End
David LaRochelle & Richard Egielski
I admit: my kiddos were not as into this one as I was. I thought it was hilarious. The premise was telling a fairy tale backwards. For awhile, the kids got it and laughed with me. But the repetitiveness – showing cause and effect very effectively – got on their nerves. It is a neatly packages, cute story… maybe it should have been a few pages shorter. Or maybe I don’t ready it in a funny enough voice. There can be absolutely no skipping of pages, because then the story will make no (or even less!) sense :)

Over and Over
Charlotte Zolotow
I couldn’t make it through this one without crying. Randa actually brought it home from the school library, likely because there is a girl in a pink dress on the front. What we found inside was the simple story of a mother explaining the changing seasons and holidays to her little daughter. I so adored seeing these changes through a child’s simple point of view, especially when it came to the family vacation and the girl’s birthday. I appreciated how the child’s memory was mostly fuzzy, but was going to grow more vivid as she grew. And of course, I was grateful that, like the memories my own family is making, there were things the little girl could count on to happen over and over.


As we go through this month, counting blessings, I am reminded to be grateful for books. I have always loved them…loved going to the Steger-South Chicago Heights Library with my mom…loved when she would let me look at the Sweet Valley High books in Kmart while she shopped…loved devouring favorites over and over again…love how a fictional story can bring about a non-fictional life change…love watching how stories come to life for Randa and Kaity. Our house is filled with books – on shelves, in baskets, still packed in boxes, and I am grateful for them.


Read-It-And-Weep Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1.5 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 cups powdered sugar
5ish tablespoons milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Fork it in while reading something great!