Friday’s Fun Find!

Well, I actually discovered this new little treasure a couple of days ago. Today, however, was the first episode of Melody, Mystery & Mayhem Podcast created by the Burr Family.

Once upon a time I read aloud to my cute little kiddos while they munched away at their lunch. While these precious little cutie pies napped, I enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch. Once upon a time. In the here and now with nine kiddos prepping and eating food, asking for seconds, chatting around the table, well, a read aloud would become a form of yelling eloquently. And that quiet lunch while naps are underway? I have one napper in the house, people. One. And he has embraced the wonders of the power nap.

Don’t get me wrong. We have quiet time but someone always wants to chat.  I still read aloud. Often. More than one book is usually going at a time. But that perfect lunch time read aloud? Not happening.

This, my friends, is where Melody, Mystery & Mayhem becomes a sweet little treasure you are going to love. The delightful Burr family brings us fun songs, exciting stories, silly jokes, and interviews with every day heroes of the faith. There are even ways that your children can participate in future episodes. This 30 minute podcast is perfect for our lunch time gathering at the table. The story read by the Burr dad was perhaps our favorite part today. We are eager to see what the next podcast episode will bring.

To learn a bit more about what Melody, Mystery & Mayhem is about and to meet this precious family, you can watch this short preview video. The schedule offers up a new episode twice a month. We listened to Episode 1 straight from the computer but you can easily download it or listen via itunes.

Check it out and let me know what you think! What treasures have you found this week?

*I am in no way affiliated with Melody, Mystery & Mayhem. I just happened to hear about this via  Story Warren (another great site to check out). I just love finding resources that enrich and encourage imagination, laughter, truth, family, and joy.



The Buddy System, Exercise, and Snow

Do you use the buddy system in your home? Over the years we have had various forms of the buddy system in play. It could be that an older child is the buddy of the little one next to her in the van. Older child helps with buckling up and getting in and out of the van. At church during fellowship meals, we buddy up to help get through the line efficiently and to help monitor those who might not have good judgement on a fair sampling of the yummies.  We sometimes buddy up at chores as well. This is a great help in training younger ones on chores. Isn’t working more fun with a buddy?

And so is working out. A year or so ago, I started C25K and lasted a couple of weeks. It was hard. Life is busy. I was just lazy. Why is being healthy so hard, right? After having Ezra, I am in need of getting back into shape. Guess what? It isn’t as easy as it was a few years ago! A few of the children have joined me occasionally when doing a workout video or walking at the track. I still opted to skip exercise frequently. Now I have a dedicated and devoted workout buddy. Mary, my daughter, was interested in doing the C25K program so I decided to join her.

I’m not going to lie. It’s hard. Running is painful. Thoughts of quitting have crossed my mind more than once. Guess what? Mary won’t let me. She reminds me when it is our running days. She tells me that the below freezing temperatures today are not a reason to skip it. Trust me, I tried to convince her that it wasn’t smart to run in below freezing temperatures. We are in the south, people!

She didn’t back down. So we layered up and headed to the track. It was cold. It hurt. Well, it hurt for a while. Then I didn’t focus so much on the pain in my knees or how long we had to run. I was enjoying setting the pace, making it to the end of each running session, and enjoying laughs with my daughter.  I’m thankful that we finished before the snow started. I have no doubt she would have made me run in the snow. (Feel free to pray for sunshine on Wednesday aka the next running day.)

Having a buddy to run with makes all the difference.

Let me say that again: having a buddy to run with makes all the difference. I’m not talking just about doing an exercise program. Really a buddy can be a great encourager and motivator in any area.  Struggling with your homeschool day? Want to dig deeper in to the Word? Having trouble making smart eating choices? Parenting your precious one challenging you? Need encouragement to love your husband? Get a buddy/mentor/friend.  Pray about those you know and seek out someone to walk along side you.  Someone who will hold you accountable even when it is below freezing and you just want to snuggle under the covers and ignore what you need to do.

Life is hard.  Beautiful, miraculous, and hard. Having a buddy, a dear friend, to lift us up helps us to push through.

 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I have a dear friend who I can be open about my struggles with. I know that she understands because she is a mom, too. I know that she doesn’t mind speaking truth to me and she wants me to speak truth to her. We are buddies. Encouraging one another in this run of motherhood; especially when the temps are freezing and the knees are hurting. Even better: we get to share in the celebrations, too. The buddy system is a beautiful thing.


Read Aloud Thursday – Baseball, Monkeys, and Prince Charming

We are finally getting back into our read aloud groove. No matter what else is going on, reading aloud and having that time each day to settle in and enjoy a good read keeps up steady and on course. The past few weeks we have definitely enjoyed some good reads!

A Few of our Picture Book Selections:

At the library, I found Who’s on First. This books brings the classic comedy skit to life for younger ones. As I read this one, everyone was laughing and enjoying this witty play on words. This piece is truly timeless!  To add to the fun, I found a video of Abbott and Costello performing the Who’s on First skit. Oh, the laughter! After hearing the skit preformed by this comedy duo, I frequently found two readers playing parts while reading the skit. My non-readers were always close at hand.

Gossie is a favorite of my two-year old. I grab it from the library ever so often. Who can resist a cute, little gosling that likes red boots? I can’t! I love Gossie. Simple text with bright, clear pictures tell the story of Gossie and her missing red boots. Gossie is sized perfectly for little hands.

What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf? turned out to be more enjoyable that I expected. It was a last minute grab from the library shelf. Mr. Wolf has a very busy day! His day starts at seven o’clock, mail arrives at nine, and on the day goes. Then there is a surprise party at six o’clock for Mr. Wolf. And all his friends are there. My children had a great time naming them: Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, the Dish and the Spoon… While this was just a fun read for us, you could definitely use it while teaching time, fairy tales or nursery rhymes.

Our History Read Aloud:

I read various books to different children for their studies, but try to select one to read together with everyone. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls is currently underway. I shared a few excerpts in Wednesday with Words yesterday. Summer of the Monkeys tells the story of Jay Berry who is determined to capture a group of lost circus monkeys. Capturing these monkeys is a bit more challenging than Jay Berry expected. Jay Berry doesn’t lack for determination. Add in a bit of creative thinking and help from his grandpa, and we can’t wait to see if Jay Berry succeeds.

While Summer of the Monkeys is hilarious, it also is sweet and poignant. The relationships really stand out as you read. You have the family relationships like Jay Berry and his grandpa.I love reading their conversations and how Jay Berry looks up to and respects his grandpa. He is always confident that grandpa is going to have the answer.  You also have the relationship between a boy and his dog. No matter how much times change, there is still nothing sweeter than a boy and his dog.

Our family bedtime read aloud is The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle. This is the second of The League of Princes series by Christopher Healy. The family enjoys these tales of the Princes Charming and how their heroic deeds never seem to get the recognition they deserve. We are only a few chapters into this book and the kiddos are hooked. The humor tends to be a bit on the sarcastic side which suits my family well but might not be for everyone.

Is it the greatest piece of literature every written? A classic? Hmm, I don’t know about that. I do know that it is a fun family read that puts a nice twist to your happily ever after fairy tales. As we read, the kiddos are anticipated which Prince Charming will be on the scene and what happens next. Trust me, you will not read fairy tales the same way again!

A new stack of books came home from the library today….and the reading continues!

What have you been reading aloud?