Monday, August 3, 2015

Cedar Point and Some Amazing Adventures!

This week I took a rare Saturday off from the farm market to attend my husband's company pic-nic at Cedar Point. Since neither Bobby or I are super big roller coaster fans, we let Emily invite a friend. I haven't been to Cedar Point since Emily was three and we went with her cousins, my mom, and my sister-in-law. My husband hasn't been since 1979. So needless to say, it was an amazing adventure.

We spent the morning riding rides in the main park and then after lunch, we went around to the water park side and cooled off. It was very exciting, except for the long lines at the most popular rides; and the girls had a barrel of fun.


 


The books I read this week were also about amazing adventures. The first was called, Ellie Makes A New Friend; and the second was called, Ellie's First Plane Ride. I won both of these books in a recent contest and wasn't aware until they arrived at my door that they were co/written by a ten year old and her mother. 

Ellie Makes A New Friend

Ellie's First Plane Ride

There were several pros for these stories, one of which was the age of the main story teller. I think when youngsters have books published it not only encourages them, but also other children who might dream of writing. These stories were about the authors two favorite stuffed buddies which is also something that children can relate to. Exciting additions to the books included a page that invited children to take a selfie with their favorite plush and share it on a special face book site, as well as the fact that a portion of every book goes to help children in need.

However, I did feel that there were several cons for these stories as well, one of which was the age of the main story teller. The fact that a ten year old wrote these stories probably accounts for the number of grammatical and punctuation mistakes in both books. Mixed verb tenses used throughout and a large quantity of sentences starting with the word "but" made the reading a bit more difficult. A family member is credited as having edited these book which may also have contributed to the numerous mistakes I found. 


Despite the first book having won a Mother's Choice Award, an award that you have to pay a large fee for, I would not say these books are stellar reads. But if you are looking for books written by a ten year old about friendship and new adventures; and you have children who love stuffed animals, then these books are worth taking a chance on.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Reading Finale and Small Moments In Time!

This past week we attended the library's Summer Reading Finale where Emily enjoyed spending time with her friend. There were centers set up with activities for the kids like hula hooping and craft making, and there was free ice cream. Now I ask you, who doesn't love free ice cream?



 
Bobby took Friday off this week so we had a cook out Friday evening and invited my mom and sister over before we all headed out for our Friday night fun__Summer Bowling. After, we stopped at a little ice cream shop for our second day of yummy ice cream.
 
We also participated in our usual Saturday morning farm market where one of my vendors had some vegetables that were so beautiful; I just had to capture the images permanently. And while I was managing, selling, and socializing, the children took advantage of the bubbles I brought.


 

And lastly, we spent Saturday evening at some friends house celebrating a birthday with a feast and a bonfire. Some very adorable tiny kittens were involved as well, but none of them managed to sneak into our car for the ride home.

 
Thinking about all the little things that constitute our week, I realized how important all the seemingly small events are. I realized that these ordinary everyday occurrences are what bind us together as a family. They are what help us to create the memories that sustain us throughout our life times.

The two books I chose happened to be about parents and children and the beautiful bonds we create. The first book was about a father and daughter and was called Ask Me. The father and the daughter in this story take a walk and along the way the daughter keeps asking her father to ask her what she likes. She then regales him with all the things she enjoys like lightning bugs and ice cream cones. It is simply written and quite a beautiful story that children and adults will more then likely enjoy together.

Ask Me

The second book I read was called Where's Mommy? It was the story of two girls, one human and one a mouse. The two girls are friends but they don't tell their family members because they fear that their families will not understand. One night, as each girl gets ready for bed, she comes to the realization that her mother is not there to tuck her in. Her mother is missing. Each girl searches for her mother and in the end, they each find a delightful surprise.

Where's Mommy

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.


Monday, July 20, 2015

A Great Hat and What I Do Best

This past week at my house turned out to be super busy. Emily had Bible School, and since the theme was western, we had to get her a cowgirl hat. She also had an overnight with a friend. I had a book event at the Findlay-Hancock Public Library where I met fellow Tater Tot (A Tate Publishing Children's Author) Tom Waggoner and visited with a long time friend and supporter. And then there was grocery shopping and all the baking for farm market.

 

I was extra managerial on Saturday as there was a special chef event at the market. There was also a visit to my mother-in-law's house to see her and my husband's aunt who was up from Kentucky. And finally a rain free day that allowed us to go swimming. Yes, it was an extremely busy week, but quite rewarding.

My reading choices were  quite rewarding as well. I managed to find a book called I Love My Hat. I really don't purposely go searching for books that somehow connect to something that has occurred in my week; it just seems to happen naturally. So you can imagine how tickled I was to read an adorable story of Farmer Brown, his well dressed singing animals, and his trip to town to get new clothes. The repetition of the lyrical songs that the animals sing will be sure to keep your five to eight year olds interested to the end.

I Love MY Hat

Next I read a fun book called Three Hens and a Peacock. Another farm themed book, Three Hens and a Peacock tells the story of the Tucker Farm. The Tuckers sometimes sold a few tomatoes, corn, or the occasional quart of milk, that is until Peacock showed up. Peacock would stand by the road strutting, fanning his beautiful feathers, and squawking at passers by until they stopped. Soon the Tuckers were selling everything including eggs. The chickens complain about the Peacock, calling him vain and useless until the dog suggests they trade places. Needless to say, everyone learns that they need to stick with what they personally do best.

Three Hens and a Peacock

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Books, Detectives, and Ducks

Normally I have my Monday blog done by Sunday evening, but this week I was a little behind and just finished it this morning. One of the reasons was that I had a book event at the Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights this past week.

Loganberry is a incredible book store in a historical building full of architectural charm. In the alley like space between Loganberry and the store next door is where they set the authors up. Further adding to all the interesting features is the wall on their side which has a large mural of book spines.

Loganberry Books
 
Author Aileen Stewart
 
Loganberry Books Mural

On the way to the store, construction caused me to go a little out of my way, but thanks to my handy GPS, I was able to determine an alternate route to my destination. I am so incredibly thankful for this technology!

For this week's review, I read a book called, The Web Files, about two duck detectives that had to solve a mystery the old fashioned way without any new fangled technology like I used. It is a hilarious book full of alliteration and old nursery rhyme characters. And for the adults who are old enough to remember, the parody of a show called Dragnet will cause you to enjoy this book, possibly even more then your children!


So if  you have a chance, I recommend you search out this book. And if you are ever in the area, be sure to stop by and visit Loganberry Books also.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.








 




Monday, July 6, 2015

Simply Fun

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but this year I took over as the manager of our local farm market. It is a volunteer position, and even though I don't get paid, I derive great pleasure from the job. I love being a part of my community, I love setting up a table and offering my baked goods, and I'd like to think that by coordinating this event I help others enjoy being a part of our community as well.

 
When the market started, I invited a local resident to join us and play her dulcimer. Saturday was one of the days she honored us with her presence, and she even brought a friend and fellow dulcimer player. Her husband is also pretty amazing; he makes clacker dolls. Now for those of  you who aren't familiar with clacker dolls, they are wooden jointed dolls like marionettes that you clack on top of a wooden board. The snapping of the board  makes the dolls look like they are dancing. Emily and her friend Katie demonstrated the dolls dancing skills for the customers and had a great time doing so.

 
 
Normally, I try to read books that somehow tie into what I have done in the past week, but this time, the only real connection between what I did and what I read was the fact that it was all simply fun. So what did I read, you ask? Well, I happened to read two books, each about dogs.
 
The first was called Sherman Crunchley by Laura Numeroff. Sherman was in line to be the next chief of police when his father retired, but Sherman didn't really like being a policeman. Sherman's true love was creating great hats to wear, but he had a dilemma. Sherman could not say no. The story leads the reader on a fun journey as Sherman tries to find a way to say no to his father.

 
The second book I read was Smick by Doreen Cronin the author of Click, Clack, Moo. It is a very simple book for the very young that introduces them to Smick the dog. This book uses very few words to convey its message and the repetition will have the wee ones enjoying every page. It reminded me a lot of Emily's and My favorite beginner books in the Biscuit series.
 

 
Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.
 
 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Something to Remember Them By

This past weekend, actually even as you read this on Monday, my family and I are on a special camping trip. Every year around this time my mother rents three cabins and my ten remaining family members spend three days together. It is a time I cherish, and I often think of something my father used to say when he was alive, "Make memories while you can because you never know what tomorrow will bring."

And he was right. Every time we take this trip both children and adults make memories. I capture my memories with my camera and my heart and I hope that one day my own daughter will take the pictures I leave her and will cherish them as well because they help provide something with which to remember our loved ones.

Like the fact that cousins all need matching mustaches when camping.


That trips to the store with two aunts and an uncle means the ability to buy fun finger flashlights.


That Daddy in a rain slicker looks like he isn't wearing any pants.


And that Grandma is generous, loving, and kind.


The book I read for this week's review, Something to Remember Me By, is all about that love and legacy. It is a story of a girl and her grandmother. A story where the grandmother gives her small things to remember her by and promises that one day the cedar chest will be hers to fill with those items. At first the girl doesn't understand, but as she grows, she realizes that what her grandmother had been doing was creating memories that would sustain her when they were no longer able to be together. Because as the grandmother says, "Everyone wants to be remembered."


The cedar chest given to the granddaughter particularly hit home with me as I recently refinished a cedar chest given to me by my mother-in-law. I have plans to pass it on to my daughter as something to remember her MaMaw by.  I'd really love to hear what you all are doing to make memories to remember your loved ones by, so feel free to share in the comment section!

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Reading and Super Heroes

This year the summer reading program has the hero theme which can encompass anything from comic book super heroes to every day people in our lives. This past week, Emily, her friend Savannah, and I attended one of the special events, hosted by our public library. The guest speaker was cartoonist Jeff Nicholas, a talented local Ohio cartoonist.


He showed the children how to draw a cartoon Dalmatian and asked them what kind of hero dogs they could name. The answers were varied and included seeing-eye dogs, rescue dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs. It was an interesting presentation reminding us that heroes do indeed come in every shape and size including animals.

Emily loves to draw and always practices whatever character Jeff has shown. She even included her version of the Dalmatian putting out a fire in the Father's Day card she made for her dad.


I was therefore compelled to include a book about a super hero of a different kind in this week's book review. What did I select? Why Noodle Man of course. Noodle Man is an extremely funny fictional story of Al Dente and the Dente family. The Dente family business is going down the tubes because everyone in town is ordering pizza to be delivered. Al creates a fresh pasta machine in hopes that it will save his family business, but instead, he ends up foiling a robbery attempt, rescuing two children from a burning building, and saving a damsel in distress. This book is a deliciously humorous tale that also introduces children to many different types and shapes of pasta.


The second book I read wasn't a traditionally heroic type of tale, but it did have a friend who went out of h is way to give his bestie a most extraordinary birthday. It was Toot and Puddle - A Present for Toot by the authoress and illustrator Holly Hobbie. And yes, she is the very same person who is the creator of the famous character bearing her name.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015) and my very first picture book, Quack and Daisy! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.