Today I sat Anthony up and then let go and was amazed to find he sat there for several minutes before toppling over. He’s got a pretty good sense of balance but also I’m sure his fat thighs give him a greater base with more stability. Oh he was so very happy with himself!

I wish I’d had my camera with me and not my phone. The picture quality is only ok.

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  • Aww, I really love that last picture.

    Melanie, I seem to remember you mentioning that you liked having lives of the saints books around for your kids to develop relationships/affinities with the saints.  Do you have any recommendations?

    I tried using the search, and it kept giving me a list of all of your posts.  I’m not sure whether that’s the default if no results are found, but I’m pretty sure that “‘lives of saints’ book” doesn’t show up in every post!  On the plus side, that led to some browsing in your “books” category section, which was quite fun!

  • Melanie, I thought that might be the problem, so I did try putting the phrase in quotes.  But thanks for the tutorial and the suggestions!

  • Melanie,

    I think Bella’s favorite flower in that empty blooming wild flower yard is a type of a Rose of Sharon – a “fluffier” version…probably discarded via a bird or other wandering “seeder”.  You notice the buds also in your picture….I remember taking the “skirts” of the fully bloomed flower (in version not as ruffly as this one – just a simple long skirt!) and then punching a hole in the top big enough for the stem of one of the buds; next picking a matching bud for a head with its stem and inserting it in the “skirt” hole and then floating this new charming lady in a bird bath or other water container…like a dancing lady (or ladies) or imaginative ice skaters.

    Also, Melanie, that last picture didn’t quite say it all…..You weren’t in it!!

  • Thanks, Kathy. I love that one too.

    I’ve been working on collecting my book recommendations into one post as a follow-up to my catechesis posts; but it hasn’t made much progress. Thanks for the kick in the pants to get moving on it again.

    I think the problem you were having with your search is that it was looking for *any* of the words so it was pulling up any post with one of the words “lives” or “of” or “saints” or “book”—which collection of words would pull up almost everything that I’ve written. Instead, you have to go to Advanced Search and tell it to look for *all* of the words in the phrase. But even then the books aren’t easy to find.

    I don’t have a comprehensive list. But off the top of my head some of the saints books we’ve liked are:

    The Blackbird’s Nest, the story of St Kevin of Ireland—perhaps my favorite saint story book. I wish they were all this fabulous.

    Mother Teresa by Demi A bit long to read all the text to my girls but the pictures are lovely and you can abridge as you read.

    by Tomie de Paola:
    St Patrick
    The Holy Twins story of St Benedict and Scholastica
    The Lady of Guadalupe
    (I think there were more by him, but I can’t recall the titles.)

    The Saint and his Lion, the story of Tekla of Ethiopia

    S is for Saint

    An Alphabet of Catholic Saints written and illustrated by Brenda and George Nippert

    For older children (a bit too old for Bella still) are Amy Welborn’s Child’s Book of Heroes and Child’s Book of Saints.

    I’ll try to post a more comprehensive list with links soon. But that will at least get you started.


  • It’s so wonderful to have a child who’s ready for a real read-aloud book!  But don’t worry about Sophie, she’ll get there, too.  Remember back a year or two when Bella was not, and give her time.  It won’t be long before you’ll be reading to four (or more) and all the same book.

    If the girls are both listening to Tomie de Paolo, there are still many good picture books they can enjoy together.  I haven’t heard you mention Dr. Seuss – the longer stories (Bartholomew and the Oobleck,  The King’s Stilts, Horton Hears a Who) were books my kids loved.

    Suggestions:  if you can find them, “Old Mother West Wind” and sequels are good stories with great messages, and you can read them one at a time, and Sophie as well as Bella may like them even without pictures.

    Oliver and Amanda Pig stories by Jean van Leeuwen (sp?) are so accurate in their portrayal of family life that the small size of their family doesn’t matter.

    And two of my personal favorites:  “When Mom Turned into a Monster” (unless it scares them), “Seven Silly Eaters” (with a large family and a good message), and “Seven Loaves of Bread” (OK, that’s three).

    I guess what I’m saying is that Bella, even if she gets a large share of attention, does need to grow through stories she can listen to and no one else can – but there are still more advanced picture stories the girls can share.

    But I suspect you are already an expert at balancing this part of their development, so please forgive me for speaking out of turn.

  • Kris,
    Thank you. I do think it is Rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus). Those actually aren’t in the empty lot but tone of our neighbors has planted a line of the shrubs along the sidewalk. They have both the rosy-pink fluffy ones and the less fluffy white with red centers.