Water Disney Style

Water features are prominent throughout Walt Disney World Resorts and Parks. It is always fun to look back at magical memories to see the attention to detail with different water elements. Some of these are beaches, pools, rides, and other attractions. You just never know what you may find when experiencing the wonder of Disney. What is your favorite item featuring water in the world of Disney?

Water Disney Style

Focused on the Magic

What is your favorite place to stop and look at it from a different perspective? Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.

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Tuesday Tales: New 2014 Summer Reading Selections

Over the 4th of July weekend, the boys received a gift from a cousin. It was a gift card to the book store and she told them they had to use it for books. This weekend, the boys begged to head to the store to select a special book of their own choosing. They kept to the wishes of Cousin A and went right to the books. We spent a LONG time looking at different options. NHL quickly found several books that were interesting and had to narrow it down. JSL was a bit more tricky. In the end, they each selected new to them book series to read.

Books for Summer Reading

NHL selected the first of the How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell. JSL finally decided on Bad Kitty Meets the Baby from the Bad Kitty Series by Nick Bruel. Both of the boys started reading the books on the way home from our outing. What I never expected was JSL’s nose to be in the book at almost any chance he got. As soon as he woke up, he would run to the couch to read more about Bad Kitty. While we had roof work done on Sunday morning, he pulled out a chair and read. Before we knew it, JSL was finished with the 141 page book and begging for more.

Bad Kitty Meets the Baby finished

The best news, thanks to the summer reading program at Barnes & Noble both of the boys can work toward another book in their series. Did I mention JSL had already read way more than the eight books that are required? He wants to go back to get his reward now.

Summer Reading Program at Barnes & Noble

Are you or your children  Bad Kitty or How to Train Your Dragon books? As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Be sure to link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.

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Lovely Lilies and Beyond

Something people may not know about me, I am not a fan of receiving fresh cut flowers. While I believe they are beautiful, I do not like watching them slowly shrivel up inside my house. I prefer flowering plants that you can have inside like violets, orchids, hoyas, and more. My father has quite the collection of indoor beauties and I visit them often to take photos. Many of his plants have come from Lyndon Lyon Greenhouse, Inc which has been in business for 60 years.

Variety of indoor flowering plants

I seem to kill plants when I bring them home. TechyDad and I have tried to plant some flowers around the house. I really love perennials so they come back year after year. One Earth Day we planted daffodils, but a bunny pulled them back up and destroyed the bulbs. This taught us to use capsaicin spray to keep some of the animals away. The same year that we bought the daffodils that are no more, we planted a rhododendron. This year, the conditions were perfect and it flowered to prove that it is still trying to survive after several harsh winters.

Rhododendron in Bloom

Over the years, we have planted lilies, kept some in giant planters, and others have spread naturally into large areas of our yard. We have many different varieties and sometimes I forget which colors will open until they show up each summer. Right now, we are waiting for the fifth variety to bloom, but we have had a show with all of these this year (many more photos on my Instagram feed).

Lovely Lily Varieties

There is just something wonderful about walking around and taking photos of flowers. You can see natural beauty up close in a way that you typically ignore on a day to day basis. What are you favorite flowers to have inside and outside of your home?

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Tuesday Tales: Stink Book Series by Megan McDonald

Kids are funny when it comes to reading. JSL just finished first grade and was not interested in reading chapter books alone until just over a week ago. I would read chapter books to him, but he was not really fond of reading them to me. As a teacher, I knew many books and series to recommend. When I would make suggestions to my own son, I would get a very advanced eye roll and told he could not read them yet. Then, something clicked the other day. A friend had a bike on sale and we went to pick it up. While there, she asked JSL if he wanted any of the books that were being given away. He was hesitant, but took two of them. On the ride home, he cracked open the book below.

Stink books by Megan McDonald

Yes, Stink and the Ultimate Thumb Wrestling Smackdown by Megan McDonald inspired JSL to overcome his fear of reading chapter books alone. The reality is the books have become reading addiction for my kiddo. He loves the characters and their quirks. The writing keeps him actively engaged and the illustrations from Peter H. Reynolds take the experience to another level.

Since JSL received that book, we have read the first book of the series together. We also put the book onto JSL’s Kindle App so it could head with us to the doctor’s office on his Galaxy Tab 2. Rather than play with toys, JSL kept devouring his book. This was not only the first time he was reading a chapter book mostly on his own, but his introduction to the beauty of e-books on the go.

Reading Stink Books on the Kindle App

When we moved into the room to wait for the doctor, we both laughed together while reading Stink and the Incredible Shrinking Kid. It was fun meeting Stink and recognizing his big sister Judy Moody. Yes, Stinks real name is James Moody and you learn much more about him in the first book of the series. I adore that Stink has perked JSL’s interest in checking out more of Judy’s books later on.

Stink and Judy Moody Books

I have a feeling JSL will continue to read many more Stink books over the next few weeks. In just over a week, he has started his third book and has many others waiting to begin when the latest is complete. As you can see above, we have a few from the library and others on our Kindle to read while out and about.

Are you or your children fans of Stink books or Judy Moody? As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Be sure to link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.

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Tuesday Tales: 2014 Summer Library Program

As a kid, I loved the summer. It was a time when I could go to the library with my friends and read books that I wanted to with no pressure from school. When summer reading programs started, it was even more fun. Of course, times have changed and summer reading programs at the library have also grown up. Two years ago, my boys adored the program that we had. We were able to check our books in online, head in for events and fun, and in the end they read a LOT. My boys really fed into the 15 minute increments when reading and wanted to add more and more time. Last year, the boys were not into the program. You had to go into the library to record things and a lot of it focused on going to activities and other items.

Summer Reading at New York Libraries

Saturday we went to the library to check out the 2014 program. Based on the theme – Fizz Boom Read, I think it’s going to be a very fun year. The boys are in different programs now that NHL is heading to Middle School. The boys each received a sheet with items to do over the next week (or beyond if need be).

JSL’s Elementary Reading Program had a beaker with bubbles to complete including:

  • Read a book out loud
  • Read a mystery book
  • Read a Science Fiction Book
  • Read a book by an author you’ve never read
  • Read a book by your favorite author
  • Read a Graphic Novel
  • Attend a library program

There were many other bubbles with tasks to complete. For every 5 bubbles completed, he will receive a prize. On the flip side of the sheet is an area to write observations for the week. When JSL finished reading his first book that night, he declared it was by his favorite author and he read it to me. Nice try, but I quickly explained only one bubble per book read. Even more impressive, JSL has been reading a book he got from a friend when we picked up a new bike Sunday. Suddenly, the solo chapter reading bug has hit the newly minted second grader.

Summer Reading Program Periodic Table

NHL’s Teen Summer Reading Program sheet (High School/Middle School) has a flask with bubbles to complete including:

  • Read a magazine
  • Write a Haiku about the library
  • Read an Adventure Book
  • Read a Dystopian Book
  • Read a Poetry Book
  • Listen to an Audio Book
  • Read an e-book
  • Complete a SNAP Circuit Project

Like the other sheet, there were additional bubbles and items to fill out on the back. For every five completed, a prize will also be awarded. NHL has been working hard and seems to be very happy and I hope it continues the rest of the summer.

So this made me curious. What are the summer reading programs like at your library? As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Be sure to link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.

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