Vacation Bible School and BOOKS and more

Vacation Bible School:

This last week Big Brother went to Vacation Bible School. He called it “Bible School” and was as serous about it as any seminary student could be. This year was his first real VBS. He was at our home church, but it was a five church VBS so there were a lot of new faces all around. He went 9 am to noon all five days. Whew it is a long hard week on all of us; each day when I got him at noon he was a tired boy. 

The first day Little Brother and I dropped him off, Little Brother was fine leaving the room and even the church, however when we got in the van withOUT brother, Little Bother flipped out. He was crying, and kicking and POINTING AT the empty car seat and back at the building and SCREAMING. Little Brother knew we were leaving someone, and that was not supposed to happen. The boys spend very little time apart and really are strongly connected. As parent we encopurage this bond, we are aware that the day will come when the boys have only each other to call family. When we returned to the church at 15 till noon, I got Little Brother out of the van and as soon as his feet hit the pavement he RAN to the church door and tried to open it, when THAT failed he started kicking it and yelling; it almost sounded like he was calling out to Big Brother. It warms my heart that my boys love each other so much as to actually want to be together. The other drops off were much less upsetting to the entire family unit. Big brother liked VBS and did some great art work, he liked “art time” and “eating time” and “playing time” best.

The entire family attended the picnic and program.  This event was pretty upsetting to Big Brother as he did not fully understand.  He did not want to sing in the program and we told him that THAT was fine, but he was then upset to find out the singing as the ENTIRE program.  He had thought they would play games and go crafts and the other activities he had so much fun with during the day.  He simply did not understand the program at teh picnic was ONLY the singing.  So that evening ended on a very sad and emotional note for us, but did return to VBS on Friday for his final day and had another good day.

Momma is glad the week is over, however, because finding stuff to do for 3 hours a day was tough, especially due to all the rain. I missed my big boy, but am really proud of him. One of the VBS directors was kind enough to give me a full copy of the pre-school curriculum for the week. So I have all the memory verses, and the parables and the “discussion starters” that they used. I plan to reinforce the memory verses and the parables and life lessons / life applications though out the summer. 


One day while Big Brother was in VBS Little Brother and I went to Winterset Iowa. There is a used book store there, just off the square. The store was running a 50% sale!!!! Most books there are only 2 or 3 bucks to start with and at 50% shopping can be really fun. Yes, they are used but many are in really good shape. Shhhh someone reading this is getting one as a gift, and I bet she won’t even know!! So Momma loaded up on some “new” children’s books.

I love used books stores and thrifts stores because you have such a chance of finding something older, something out of print; something forgotten, something out of the ordinary or unexpected (library sales are also good, I make it point to make as many of them as I can too). I have spent some time trolling the ‘Net in search of good books list, compilations of books (some by age, some not) of worthwhile children’s literature; many I had not heard of before, some I had and had forgotten.

Ambleside Online

I have compiled all the lists in to one master list that I keep in a binder, I deleted all the many duplicates (Blue Berries for Sal was, for example on all the list, Make way for Ducky, The Story of Ping and many others also) and now have 19 pages. I check off what we have, note what we have read and try to keep in mind books to be on the look for. Many many of the books are older, some from my childhood (Blue Berries for Sal) and some older than that, so many are out of print. Used books stores, and thrift stores are such a great place to search. I have my own wish list of sorts of books I want to gather for the boys – it is so much fun to have something different to read; I enjoy telling the boys if a book we are reading is older than their momma, or even their Grandma!!

Here is a list of this weeks great finds (all $1.50 or less):

Today I feel Silly & Other Moods that make my Day. By Jamie Lee Curtis.

Duke Ellineton by Pinkney. copyright 1989 it is a Scholastic book, so glad I stumbled over it. It is beyond our reading level now but it is a nice addition to have in our collection.

Pleaser Try to remember the First of Octember by Dr Seuss (an I Can Read It By Myself Book). No I did not misspell the name.

Animal Lullabies. By Conrad. Poetry. I admit one of my weaknesses is NOT reading enough poetry to the boys.

Dream Mouse. By Esbensen. It is a tale from Latvia. Very sweet. Pigs Can’t Fly. By Cort. I love it.

Drawing Lessons from a Bear. By McPhail

Who wants a Dragon by Mayhew. I found this on the self at my dear friend’s home this past vacation in Pennlavina. I fell in love with it and was so excited to find it in used book store. I love it.


Big brother has a stuffed monkey named Stanley. Stanley was originally bought in Feb 2008. Little Brother was in the hospital for RSV at only 12 weeks and Big Brother and Daddy bought the monkey (and some candy) for Little Brother and I stuck in the hospital. Big Brother was 27 months old at the time and chose Stanley himself at store. I should note Stanley is purple with green hearts and the perfect size for loving

Well from the beginning Big Brother has loved Stanley and the purple monkey is as close to a lovey as Big Brother has ever had. Maddie The Magic Moo Cow is a close 2nd, but Stanly is the one he goes to again and again. Brother was telling me about Stanley on Sunday. There is some of what my very loving and observant little boy told me about Stanely:

“my tummy was big when he was there, now he is born”

“when he cried it means he needs something, even if he can’t tell me what. Sometimes I don’t know but I have to just try and try and try and try”

“you have to nurse him, and hold him, and carry him, and rock him, and hold him and nurse him”

“sometimes he makes bad choices, even if I tell him not to”

“you nurse him when he cries”

I hope this is a glimpse of the daddy Big Brother will some day be, and I take heart that he is internalizing the parenting style we choose in this home (nurse him, if he cries he needs something even if you don’t know what).

And finally, in keeping with our recent practice of including a list of read-a-louds, here is a sample of the books we have read together recently (in addition, of course, to our new ones):

Put me In the Zoo. By lopshire (and I Can Read It All By Myself Book). Copyright 1960. this was mine when I was little.

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovle. By Burton. Copyright 1939. I had this as a child, but the boys have a new copy.

Alphabet Rhymes for Bible Times. By Augustine. Copyright 1989

Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose. By Dr Seuss. Copyright 1947. I had never even heard of this Seuss book until we found it by chance at a library used books sale. It took a while before Big Brother would let me read it, but now he loves it. Totally loves it. Big Brother asks for it over and over again. A real find, I suggest you look for it; it is really as that it is not in any of the collections of Seuss we have, it is a great story.

I Need My Monster. By Noll. This was bought for Big Brother last Christmas; however, little brother has really taken to it. Big Brother likes it a lot and will bring it to book time a lot, but was is worth noting is that is one of the few books Little Broter pulls down to look at alone, and it is the first book he really showed an intrest in. So this is a really special book for Momma.

The Goodnight train. By Sobel. The art work in this is so sweet and there is so much fun to find hidden in the pictures (like the momma owl reading a bedtime story to her babie


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