Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

REMINDER!! Winter Promotions Activities - win great prizes!!

This winter break we have 2 reading promotions happening in the WOMS libary, so join the fun!

One option is to make a comment on my blog - click on the comments section of any entry! I'll need to publish them, so you won't see it appear right away, but you'll see it later, so check back!

Another option, and you can do both, is to visit a public library and check out a display. You need a librarian or a parent to sign off on that one,so click HERE to find a link to the form.

Win great prizes for participating!!

Hope you have a lovely winter break with lots of books to snuggle up with.

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Entertaining - Beth Hensperger

I got this book for free on my new Kindle, and it was fabulous. I spent all afternoon reading through it, and I got a lot of great recipe ideas. The Kindle is really cool, because you can mark up a section - or in this case a recipe title - and then go back to it really easily. Here are some of the recipes I want to try out - let me know which ones you want to be entertained with :)

Tamari almonds
Champurrado (I think that one was Mexican drinking chocolate)
Onion Soup with Champagne
Gingered Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
Hearty Borscht with Cabbage
four kinds of Risotto
Double Corn Spoonbread
Cuban Black Beans
Tapioca pudding
Gingerbread with Blackberry sauce (who knew you could bake a CAKE in the slow cooker?)

I'm going to be pretty busy, but there's just something so appealing about not having to actually DO much, and then presto, dinner (or dessert) is ready. I'm looking forward to trying out this recipe book.

Many recipes easy enough for kids, especially if they had some help. This book is available at the Multnomah County Public Library.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Poetry Friday- Twas the Night Before Christmas

I know it's the night OF Christmas, but I love this poem, so I give it to you today. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore (See below for more info on Mr. Moore.)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve. The poem Twas the night before Christmas has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of Twas the night before Christmas St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers! The author of the poem Twas the night before Christmas was a reticent man and it is believed that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published the poem. The condition of publication was that the author of Twas the night before Christmas was to remain anonymous. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry. Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide institution.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gifts and cool stuff to do!

Books books and more books can always be found beneath my Christmas tree, and there are lots of recommendations on the recommendations page of my library website.

You might also think about giving to the Library Foundation, which you can do through the Willamette Week's Give! Guide.
You'll find the Library Foundation in the community section. The public library has LOTS of great programs going on, and the Foundation works to support their efforts.

And speaking of the public library, don't forget our fun library promotions we have going on over break. Comment on this very blog OR visit a public library. All the info is on the library page near THIS snowflake symbol:

Hope you're having a great winter break!


Mrs. FB

Friday, December 18, 2009

Poetry Friday - Winter Solstice

It's almost Winter Solstice, The days now are the shortest of the year, but then they'll begin to move back to longer and longer days. I can't wait for that!

Winter Solstice

Jason Krpan

Very linear
Very simple.

The winter solstice
A threshold
After which
The days become longer
The sun stronger
Yet for the next six to eight
It becomes

Very linear

Thursday, December 17, 2009

vacation birthdays!!

We have a boatload of birthdays over the vacation, so wish these people a happy birthday, not just a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let it snow!

6th graders are wishing for snow, and since its not coming down out of the clouds, we made our own snowflakes today in Mrs. Volz's core enrichment class! If you'd like to see actual photographs of snowflakes, check out THIS site about Wilson Bentley. He began photographing snowflakes in the late 1800s(!), and he went on to photograph over 5000 snowflakes and never found two alike.

Happy Winter to you.

Happy birthday, Lana!

Lana chose Blizzard' Wake as her birthday recommendation. She and her sister read it together a few years ago and she said it was really good. Sounds like a perfect winter book. Bring on the blizzards!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrating birthdays!

Three GREAT recommendations this week. Hoot, by Carl Hiassen; one of Meg Cabot's Mediator books; and the lovely Olive's Ocean. Thanks, ladies, for the fabulous recommendations. Hope you had wonderful birthdays and all your wishes come true in the year ahead!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Poetry Friday -Snowflake Haikus

After last winter, a lot of Portland people could do without any snow days this year, but not me. I love to watch it snow! It's so peaceful, and a great opportunity to curl up with a good book :) These haikus are from a Denver newspaper. Readers submited their own snowflake haikus. I just chose a few to put here, but if you want to read more, Click here.


No two are alike
Settle on my frozen tongue
Pure beauty falling

Connie Masthay


Snowflakes are falling
Unique beauties of nature
Amaze and delight

Robin Bathke


Snowflakes fall softly
White drifts blanket forest floors
Quiet, peaceful sleep

Elizabeth Singleton


Fairy tutus fall
Drifting on the ground below
Enchanted dancing

Barbara T. Bauer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Opuestos - Mexican Folk Art Opposites in English and Spanish - Cynthia Weill

I received this book from Cinco Puntos Press via the Picnic Basket website, and I have to say, I think it would be a fabulous book for our beginning Spanish classes, our ELL classes AND for our art classes.

The book is a simple picture book with words like "alike" and "different, "long" and "short,"face" and "tail, " etc. given in both English and Spanish, and then "illustrated" with a photo of an animal carving done by the Santiago brothers who live in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The animal figurines are brightly painted and the backgrounds on the pages are extremely simple, plain bright colors with a simple border around the page. Each page is a different color.

This book is so simple, yet it is delightful and visually interesting. It will be an excellent addition to our collection and very useful in the classroom.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Goddess Boot Camp - Tera Lynn Childs

LOVED this second book by Tera Lynn Childs about mythology. The first book was called Oh. My. Gods. Both books are hilariously funny, but also a bit serious at times, suspenseful, and chock FULL of mythology. Once you've finished The Lightning Thief, I'd highly recommend these. In the first book, Phoebe has just discovered she's a third generation descendant of the goddess Nike, and she's moved to Greece and is attending a special school that's all kids who are descended from the gods.

In this book, Phoebe's been in Greece a while, has found herself a very fine boyfriend, and is training for the Pythian Games, which are similar to the Olympics. But there are a few little problems...one of the problems is that Phoebe's boyfriend is being really secretive and spending a lot of time with his old girlfriend. Uh-oh! Another problem is that Phoebe has never really uncovered the real reason behind her father's death, and she's pretty afraid of what she might find out. But the biggest problem of all is that Phoebe herself has about zero control, or maybe less, over her powers. And if she doesn't get them under control soon, she's not going to pass teh test that's n store for her OR be allowed to compete for a chance in the Pythian games.

Enter Goddess Boot Camp. It's where you go when you're in way over your head and can't get control. But usually you're sent there when you're about ten, not when you're in high school. And usually your evil stepsister isn't in charge of the camp. And usually your boyfriend's ex isn't second in charge. Ugh! Phoebe's sure it's going to be misery all summer and that she won't learn a thing. And on some levels, both are right. But there are a lot of surprises along the way, too.

This was a delightfully fun book, and a great choice to have picked to read on my birthday! This book and the first in the series have been ordered for the WOMS library and should be here right after winter break. Meanwhile, they're available at the Multnomah County Library.

The Saggitarians are celebrating our birthdays now, and have some great books to share.Casey chose The Alchemyst. Harlene, super celebrator, picked Perfect, Yasmine selected Wicked, and I elected to show off I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd have to Kill You - we have the mp3 of this one now, did you know? All fabulous books for fabulous people. Find these @ your library!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Poetry Friday - Crossroads

It's my birthday on Monday, and since I'm figuring I'll live somewhere into my late 80s, I really am in the beginning of the second half of my life. Wow! That's kind of a strange concept. I love Joyce's Stuphen's outlook on the second half, though! Here's to wandering feet and new dreams every night!


by Joyce Stuphen

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rain
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,
and smoke going
upward, always up.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bunches of birthdays!

What with the week off for conferences and vacation and the birthdays this week, we've got a huge run of photos to share. Happy birthdays to Jacob, Riley, Aaron, Kristen, Jenna, Deisy, Tyler, Jonathan, Neal, Tina, Matthew, Paul and Kaitlyn! They've chosen some great books to recommend on their birthdays, so take a look. you just might find something you want to read!!

I am thankful for GAB

Here at WOMS I am lucky enough to lead a fabulous group of moms and daughters in our West Orient Mother Daughter Book Club called GAB - Girls and Books. At our November meeting we did a super fun craft project using, you'll never guess from looking at them - Hershey bars. Anything that combines crafts and chocolate is bound to be a winner, and look how cute these tuned out. There's always rooms for more members, so let me know if you're interested in joining!