Thinking, Playing, Reading

About how nice it is to have a little break between sports. I was dead set on eating together as a family this soccer/cross country season and I put it together almost every night, even if it meant eating at 7:30 pm.  I would always have big fat bagels for the kids when they got home so they could full up and last till later.  It feels like coming up for air somewhat, this little break.

Over the years I have started Christmas planning and shopping at different times due to the circumstances in my life (babies/toddlers).  This year I am on the ball and destined to be almost all finished by Advent-a nice non-rushing, no crowds, homebound Advent season is what my goal is. This saves me so much time-no traffic, no lines, no running out when I should be home.

This last week I did a massive closet clean out with the boys-moving things along in hand me downs from boy to boy and assessing needs for practical gifts. I also went through all the winter bins, so everyone could claim their coats, boots, snow pants, etc.  I took four big bags of items to charity!  It feels good to start fresh, knowing needs (very few!) so I can shop smart.  

I have my little list going.

I have a few updates for 2016 to work on (this scooter and this game  and this cute little matching game for Janey that I don't mind playing to start) but our big time favorites lists is here.

I am working at putting together a post of a couple good Thanksgiving books, but we have been all over the autumn nature books.  

This book is beautiful:

We had a giant squirrel nest come down in our backyard which is perfect timing to talk about nests-as the squirrels are scrambling to rebuild I am sure.

Here's a few more favorite fall books:


  1. I was checking out your favorite toys list just this morning. I'm starting my shopping early and with four grandkids to buy for, all the choices are overwhelming. I just love your list, it reminds me of the things that my kids enjoyed the most. Heck, the toys I loved the most. I've already placed an Amazon order. Thanks for the tips!

  2. We must be on the same page! Just posted this morning about my four favorite fall books. http://theirchronicles.blogspot.com/2016/11/fall-books.html

  3. I always love your lists! I will say you should look into spot it jr. there are a few different versions of spot it out there. The pictures on the original are the least appealing (in my opinion)

  4. I am starting my shopping for Christmas too! Granted I only have 2 kids to really buy for at home, but it feels good to start, and yes, I want a peaceful Advent too. I remember my Mum always kept a little list in her purse growing up...don't let your kids find it!! Hope Janey is feeling back to normal after the surgery.

  5. We have at least 6 of the Razor scooters you linked to. A huge hit around here with kids, big and small. The two year old has taken to riding it, with his dad showing him how, haha. They are a great toy!

  6. I got "those Darn Squirrels after your last post about he books that you were loving- we boys are crazy for this book! I have to maybe get the others- I think they are a series- for stocking stuffer type gifts.

  7. So you recommend Rubik's Race? Some of the reviews are mixed and I wasn't sure..... I do value your opinion and if you say it's good, then it's going in my amazon bag.

  8. I love to hear that you are cleaning out closets! I still remember following your forty bags for forty days during Lent. Do you still (need to) do that or have to you found that you bring less into the home so the need to purge is not there anymore? Sorry for the run-on sentence! LOL!! I love purging, but we (as a family) need to work on the "don't bring it into the home" part!!

    1. Yes, it gives you an awareness of how much is wasted and I am much more careful about my purchases. Of course I still give the kids gifts, and hand-me-down purges are necessary, and general clean outs, but there is so much motivation that first time through.

  9. I always love your children's book suggestions. Miss Suzy is one of our favorites too! I hope you add more ideas to your gift and book suggestions for children before the holidays!

  10. I am looking on ebay for those critter sets, soooo cute!!! I have a 3 year old and 6 year old girl that will love that and we can add to it over the years, I also ordered my 6 year old an All American GIRL doll. Will be getting her books and a lego set and will be done, the hardest is gonna be my 1 year old boy and 12 year old boy, I got him a huge tote of legos so he will be busy with that, plus some other items, with 5 kids at home *7* total, I am finally realizing to not bring so much junk into the house, I purge every month from clothes to household items, even just a small bag helps. My 16 year old is a little easier, I order her a beautiful bible, got her some makeup samples to start her out, and gift cards for clothes.

  11. I bought Spot It several years ago, and finally got my husband to play it with me. His eyes started bothering him partway through the game, because of the changing sizes of the images you are trying to match. Turns out, if you don't have stereoscopic vision, your eyes have a much harder time zooming in and out on the size changes of the images!