Beach Craft Reality

Wahoo!  Beach season is upon us!  …not that I enjoy being in a swimming suit…or have anyone see me in one.  Nevertheless, I LOVE going to the beach!  I’m talkin’ love!  Have I used enough exclamations yet?

One of my very favorite things about going to the beach is collecting shells.  I quickly realized that there are “dream” shells and “reality” shells.  “Dream” shells are the ones that you read about in fantasy books and home decor magazines.  “Reality” shells are what you get when you are on the beach using your kids’ sand sifter and shovel.

Since I gave up on my dream of finding huge shells, I make it a goal to find the tiniest one I can.  …like smaller than a grain of rice…  I collect shells all week.  I’m like a maniac!  I can’t have too many and because they are so tiny, I don’t feel bad about picking up like 9000 of them at once.  Okay…not that many but close:)

Here’s what I did with the shells from our last trip to Orange Beach, AL.  It sits on my desk at work and mocks me while I slave away.

Materials:

  • Small container with see through lid
  • Photo from your trip (wallet size)
  • Sand
  • Shells
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks

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Step 1

Place your container directly over the part of the picture that you would like to use as a background.  Use your pencil and trace around the container. Cut out the circle and glue it to the back of the container.

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Step 2

Add sand and shells. Replace the lid.  Voila!

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Step 3

Place it on your desk at work so it can mock you like mine does every single day.

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Enjoy!

That Book Mama

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Genealogy…One Of My Many Hats

Hello again!  I’ve come out of hibernation only to discover that I’ve slept through the warm part of winter… Oh well, time to get crackalackin’!

So, one of my many dorkalicious hobbies is…genealogy research!  Yes!!  I can’t get enough of it!  …actually I can get too much of it and have to take a break before I end up driving myself completely insane.

If you’ve ever done any sort of genealogy research, you know half of the fun of it is traipsing around in old cemeteries, trying to find the headstones of your loved ones.  Here’s some friendly advice.

  Things You Need Before Going Cemetery Stomping

  1.  Bug Spray…and lots of it.  Most cemeteries are kept up by volunteers.  Let’s just say that some cemeteries have great volunteers and others…not so great.  Like “pulling up weeds just to read tombstones” not so great.
  2. Shaving Cream and Spray Bottle – By using shaving cream, you can see all of the fine details that time has stripped away on a headstone.  All you have to do is wipe shaving cream on the stone and scrape it away.  You will be amazed by what is left in the crevices.  Amazed!  Some stones look like nothing is written.  Then miracle of miracles, words and symbols appear from nothing.  Magical!
  3. Camera –  Do I really need to explain this?  You don’t have to have a high dollar camera, but having a camera is important.  Headstones won’t last forever:(

And there you have it.  Bug Spray, Shaving Cream and Camera.  Viola!

One of my favorite tools to put in my travel bag is the book Stories In Stone by Douglas Keister.  Why you ask?  Headstones are full of symbols.  Symbols that I know nothing about.  Sometimes the symbols may be a group of letters, other times a few shapes or pictures, hands pointing up, fingers pointing down.  It was all kind of confusing.  Could I look them up on my smart phone in the middle of  Nowhereville USA…maybe, but most times there is absolutely no signal to do so.  For that reason, I have a copy of the book.  Anyway…Symbols… I was left saying, “What in tarnation?!”.

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One time in particular, I was looking at a headstone of a female relative and she had an anchor on the top of her stone.  I had no records of her being in the Navy and she lived nowhere near the ocean.  Clueless!  Then, I decided to look up what the symbol meant.  Apparently, having an anchor on a headstone can mean several different things.  After finding multiple possibilities, I’ve decided  the most logical definition was that she was the anchor of her family since she was a mother and ran her household.  We will never know for sure.

What to do now?  Get to diggin’!  You really never know what you will find until history is staring you in the face:)

Happy Hunting!,

That Book Mama

Animals In Costume

While perusing the shelves recently, I came across these gems and what a better time to read books about dressing up!   These books totally crack us up and your kiddos will love them.

Ron Barrett’s illustrations paired with Judi Barrett’s writing…you can’t beat it. It’s perfect, PERFECT!  After reading Animals Should Definitely Not Act Like People and Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, we go back through the books and laugh at all of the illustrations.

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I’m leaving you with the cover of both and an illustration sample.  Not much more I can say about these without ruining the whole thing.  I think the pictures speak for themselves:)

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Go get these!  You totally won’t regret it:)

That Book Mama

Squeal!!! Princess Diaries Is Back!

Princess Mia is back, all grown up and has a little sister named Olivia. Like Mia, Olivia had no clue she was a princess until the whole Kingdom of Genovia fell into her lap. 

  
Olivia is your typical 12 year old. Living with her Aunt and Uncle is not the greatest, especially when she isn’t treated as an equal to her step cousins.  She has to deal with “mean girl” Annabelle Jenkins at school. Then, insert a bombshell of a family secret. 

I’m so excited for this book!  My Farmgirl is just the right age to start reading all of the Princess Diaries books. This book is a great stepping stone to introduce characters from the first books that Princess Mia narrated. 

Eeeeeee!! Can’t wait for more! I 💜 you, Meg Cabot!

That Book Mama

Bargains Galore On 64

Bargains Galore!  Wahoo!  The greatest yard sale event that I know about. Every year we head out without a real plan and only vague ideas of what we are looking for and every year we make it home with treasures to treasure and stories to tell. 

Bargains Galore On 64 has been going on for 16 years. It starts in Fort Smith, AR and ends in Beebe, AR. 160 miles of pure junk heaven.  

People watching is my favorite thing. I’ve come up with my observation list this year. Oh y’all, this isn’t even the half of it:)

  

Bargains Galore on 64 Observations

1. Nowhere else can you swerve all over the road and people not think you’re intoxicated. Driving 20 miles under the speed limit is expected. Once farmland hits, it’s back to green flag racin’:)

2. Any other time, truck bed combinations would be questioned. Some of my favorites today include:

A gigantic tool box and a kayak

Old beds and a screen door

A baker’s rack and a weed whacker

3.  With all of the horse trailers, you’d think the rodeo was in town. Except that no one is hauling horses around. 

4. Free puppies should be placed up front so bypassing that particular yard sale is an easy decision. 

5. You got a flat tire? Have no fear, there are true gentlemen still in this world. (I didn’t but I witnessed chivalry at its finest.) 

6. People really do come from all over. Tennessee was well represented but we also saw Wisconsin and New Jersey plates. Witnesses to the greatest redneck outing this side of the Mississippi. 

7. Most people drive sensible vehicles for yard saling (saling isn’t a word…pfffttt yes it is!) Anywho, some folks take this opportunity to break out the ole’ muscle car or flashy pickup to cruise and be seen. Oh we see you:). I’m thinking where in the world are you going to put your treasures?  Oh well. 

8. Parking on the side of the road with your tire over the white line is totally cool with everyone…no it’s not so don’t do that.  

9. Selling snow shovels in the middle of Arkansas is not a very bright idea. I understand that they could double as muck shovels but they were advertised as snow shovels. Maybe that’s what those Wisconsin folks went back with?

  

We had a great day. Came back with a pile of clothes for our little Moonpie,  minus a clown costume that our Farm Girl was convinced the baby needed. No, thank you.  Bangle bracelets and fish rocks and alarm clocks, Oh My!   Did I buy any books that I don’t need? Yes. A rather old copy of Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. It has an orange cover and I’ve never seen one like it, okay?!


 Until next year:)

That Book Mama


Gifts From The Sea

Just finished up Gifts From The Sea by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.  Wonderful little historical fiction children’s book!

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Quila lives on an isolated island with her father, who is the lighthouse keeper.  Keeping ships safe from the rocky edge of their island was a full-time job.  Quila never liked to see what would wash up after a shipwreck.  She made it a habit to avoid any debris.

One particular day, she was down at the shore and saw that a tied up mattress had washed up.  she became curious and pulled it ashore.  Inside, tucked safely away, was a little baby girl.  After that, Quila’s life was completely turned upside down.

Based on actual historical events, Natalie Kinsey-Warnock weaves a beautiful tale that you won’t want to put down.

Recommended for ages 9-12

If you like this book, be sure to pick up her other books.  She also writes historical picture books. Hooray!

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

Horse Reading – Gotta Have It

My little Farmgirl has been reading up a storm this summer.  She came to me the other night in tears and clutching a book in her arms.  I took one look at her and knew something was wrong.  I asked her if the ending was sad and started to explain that, that happens sometimes.  She proceeded to tell me that the reason she was upset was because she had finished the book and was worried that there wouldn’t be another one in the series.  That’s my girl:)

She is reading the Canterwood Crest series so I asked her if she would write a review over the first book for me.  She was excited to do so…we will see if she’s this excited when it comes time to do one at school…  Anywho, here it is.  Farmgirl’s first book review:

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“Canterwood Crest books are the best horse books I have ever read!  The first book in the series is called, Take The Reins.  They are by Jessica Burkhart and they are about horses.  Sasha moved into Canterwood.  She rides horses and goes to school there.  She saw this guy, his name is Jacob and he loves her.  There is also a guy named Eric and he likes her too.  So, she is stuck between two guys and on top of that she has to plan a Winter Ball.”

Sounds to me like a typical love triangle:) I’m going to say that this book should be recommended for ages 8-12. 

I’m sure we will have more reviews to come from our girl so stay tuned!

That Book Mama