Reading List Summary, June 2015

Mom's List
Rain Reign (Ann M. Martin)
The Precious One (Marisa de los Santos)
The Slap (Christos Tsiolkas)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Jesse Andrews)
We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)

Jack's List

EJ's List
A Musical Mess (Carolyn Keene)
The Chicken Squad (Doreen Cronin)
Double Take (Carolyn Keene)
June Jam (Ron Roy)
The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)
The Incredible Twisting Arm (Kate Egan)
Oggie Cooder, Party Animal (Sarah Weeks)
Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta (Jarrett J. Krosoczka)
Trombone Shorty (Troy Andrews)
Chasing Vermeer (Blue Balliett)
Sisters (Raina Telgemeier)
McKenna (Mary Cassanova)
The Magical Wading Pool (Johnathan Rand)
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency (Daniel Pinkwater)
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Jarrett J. Krosoczka)
Mr. Chewy's Big Adventure (Jonathan Rand)
Horrible Harry and The Green Slime (Suzy Kline)
Dinosaur Bob & His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (William Joyce)
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Isabella Hatkoff)
Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship (Isabella Hatkoff)
Touch the Sky: Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper (Ann Malaspina)
Can You Dance, Dalila? (Virginia Kroll)
Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation (Mark Teague)
Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story (Emily Arnold McCully)
Wonder Woman: Power Outage (Michael Teitelbaum)
Blueberry Girl (Neil Gaiman)
Flamingos (Kate Riggs)
Garfield: The Big Cheese (Jim Davis)
Thumbelina, Tiny Runaway Bride (Barbara Ensor)

Olivia's List
Humphrey's Really Wheely Racing Day (Betty G. Birney)
Matilda's Cat (Emily Gravett)
Insects (Ted O'Hare)
Mr. Tony Is Full of Baloney! (Dan Gutman)
Coach Hyatt Is a Riot! (Dan Gutman)
Show & Tell (Abby Klein)
Mr. Granite Is from Another Planet! (Dan Gutman)
Animals Home Alone (Loes Riphagen)
Ms. Coco Is Loco! (Dan Gutman)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Drop the Ball (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Harrison Is Embarrasin'! (Dan Gutman)
The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner)
Hippospotamus (Jeanne Willis)
Dinosaur Bob & His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (William Joyce)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn (Cynthia Rylant)
Mr. Putter & Tabby Pick the Pears (Cynthia Rylant)
Rescue Boats (Eric Ethan)
Mail Carriers (Cari Meister)
Talking Hands: Holidays & Celebrations (Kathleen Petelinsek)
Signing at School (Kathryn Clay)
Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Isabella Hatkoff)
Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship (Isabella Hatkoff)
Signing in my World (Kathryn Clay)
Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation (Mark Teague)
Mrs. Dole Is Out of Control! (Dan Gutman)

Read-aloud List
Frindle (Andrew Clements)

Planting with Grandma

School is out and the kids went shopping with Grandma for their annual planting adventure.  I don't garden, so I'm always glad that my Mom helps the kids to do this each year.  The kids are usually super good at watering and caring for their plants too...until August.

This year the kids helped plant around my Mom's yard too.  They were so happy to "help" Grandma (although I'm sure it takes double the time than if my Mom just did it herself).  We are very thankful for our super patient Grandma.

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Week can be difficult if you have a lot of teachers you'd like to thank.  We are very lucky to have this problem as our kids have been blessed with some incredible teachers each year.  So, we try to do small (or handmade) things that show how much we appreciate all their work.

I helped create this idea for the teachers at our elementary school as class gifts.  I found these small photo albums at the dollar store and changed the look by switching out the front and back covers with printed paper and a personalized cover bearing each teacher's name and the date.  The kids were then given fill-in-the-blank sheets about their teachers that the teachers could add to the photo albums.

Sometimes gifts for middle school teachers or male teachers (or in this case, both) can be harder to think up ideas for gifts.  I found this small tackle box and added a mix of candies and created a simple In Case of Emergency label for the top.

I made this orange-themed gift with things I found in an outing to Target.  Small, summer-themed items were easy find and I found the cute polka-dot sandwich bags in the dollar area as well.  I found the "Orange You Glad It's Summer?" printable as a freebie on a blog (I wanted to link to the printable, but can no longer find it).

Last, but not least, my son had a teacher this year who we also saw outside of school as his son was on Jack's baseball team.  I found an American flag drawstring bag and added the fixings for s'mores as well as our favorite baseball movie, The Sandlot.  Fun for the teacher and his family.