Monday, January 28, 2019

What We're Reading.... and Playing and Crafting :: Christmas 2018!

Annie Dillard's An American Childhood (just started for my local book club)
Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon (just finished both -- so fun!)
Goudge's The Bird in the Tree (just finished and adored)
Jacobs' How to Think (on recommendation from a friend, so far so good)
In Memoriam (for our local CM study group)
Norms and Nobility and Formation of Character (for online study groups)

As a Family
No read aloud going right now, but we are listening to The Big Six on audio and the kids are saying it might be their favorite Swallows and Amazons book so far! Do yourself a favor and get these books on audio (either Audible or as mp3 CDs). They are so delightful!


For the kids, I am going to share the "books and things" that entered our home this Christmas before I forget!  I take these pictures so I remember what I gifted the kids at various ages. It has been so helpful for me to look through when I am looking for a gift idea for a younger sibling, nephew, or young friend, or when people ask me for book suggestions for various ages. My memory is terrible, so this is such a nice record to have! So if you are looking for gift ideas, I hope this will be useful for you too. :)

All of the kids got agendas (small Blue Sky weeklys) and craft supplies (the boys got sailboat kits, the girls got embroidery projects, they all got needle felting kits) purchased through our charter school.

We also added to the Schleich animal collection like we do every year. One of our very favorite toys here!

Vincent and Gianna, age 12

Farley's The Blood Bay Colt and Son of the Black Stallion
Tales from Watership Down
Tolkein's The Simarillion
Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles
The Jolly Tailor, a collection of Polish folk and fairy tales

And they each got their own copy of the newly-released The Golden Key, published by Riverbend Press and Nancy Kelly. They are so pleased about having their own version of The Cloud of Witness, which I read every morning.

Cate, age 9

Caleb's Story and Skylark, the sequals to Sarah, Plain and Tall
de Angeli's Elin's Amerika
Father Lasance Prayer Book

Xavier, age 8

and his own adult-version missal for the Traditional Latin Mass (he has been using a children's one)

Bridget, age 7

...and she also got her own missal. It was her favorite gift!

Clara, age 6

Flack's Angus and the Cat (I had been looking for this in hardcover!)
Joseph Jacob's The Stars in the Sky, with illustrations by Sendak

Instead of the more handicrafting supplies, Clara got these little plastic needlepoint kits and a refill of our favorite colored pencils for littles, her own set of markers, and a couple blank notebooks from my stash. :)

The Little Boys, ages 4, 2, and 1

The little boys got "special boxes" of their own (each of our kids has one of these to keep treasures in under their beds) and a worm farm, as well as some great books for littles...

Mr. Fix-It Man, a vintage book
Margaret Wise Brown's Red Light, Green Light
Peter Spier's Noah's Ark
Mickelthwait's Spot a Dog
Prelutsky and Lobel's Circus

For the Family

My parents sent us the soap carving book, safety gloves, and carving tools, and I added the soap and some balsa wood.

Some other fun handicraft gifts: more kite paper for window stars, needle felting refills (finger guards and new needles), more beeswax sheets for candle rolling, and some new candle holders. And a snuffer, which was a surprise hit!

My mom sent us some other goodies too...

Lois Lenski board books for the baby boys -- which immediately vaulted to their favorites!
The Glorious Christmas Songbook and Golden Book Christmas Carols for the little girls.

Two sets of headphones (one big, one small, both adjustable) have been great to have for audiobooks, and the molecular kit will be so fun for the Big Kids to play around with as we continue our explorations in chemistry.

They also got a double dutch jump rope and new aprons -- solid color and gender neutral!

I know Christmas was over a month ago, but what were your best gift selections? I have two birthdays coming up this week and then a couple more in spring, so I am always on the hunt for great ideas!

(Some links above are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you click over and make a purchase, Amazon sends me a small percentage back. Thanks! :))


  1. My boys got scooters and they are on them almost all day long. They roll around the house on them to do their chores, and my oldest goes in circles as he narrates. :)

    1. Ha -- I love that! We got pogo sticks for the backyard in the fall and my kids absolutely love those things! I could definitely see them narrating while bouncing. LOL

  2. Love this so much! Have you done this in years past?


    1. Yes, I have! If you click on the "What We're Reading" tag, the old Christmas posts will come up. :)