Rants & Musings
This is a place that allows me to share my thoughts on a variety of topics, not necessarily related to my family, or the challenges we face. These are my thoughts, my feelings, my expressions.
I advocate for teaching kids to read and helping them develop a love for it. I think it is so essential for children to read. In my household, I find that one way to excite my children to read is with holiday books, especially Halloween children’s books. Here is a list of my favorite Halloween children’s books that I love to read to my children or that they now love to read to me! We pull these out at the beginning of every Halloween season and read them repeatedly!
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything
by Linda Williams
This book is really fun for little kids because they can do actions while you read the book!
Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard… clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!
By Lucille Colandro
Who doesn’t love the There Was an Old Lady books? I love this book because the ending, just like all the other books, has a surprise!
Synopsis: The Old Lady is back and this time she’s swallowing a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin…and more! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic rhyme will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!
by Bob Barner
This book is educational. You read about the different bones in the body. The fun thing is that if you know the song, it is fun to sing this book to your kids!
Synopsis: Sing along with a colorful skeleton band in this exuberant rendition of a traditional most-loved African-American spiritual, passed down by word of mouth for generations.
Frank was a Monster who wanted to Dance
by Keith Graves
This book is funny! My kids think it is just hilarious!
Synopsis: Frank was a monster who wanted to dance. So he put on his hat, and his shoes made in France… and opened a jar and put ants in his pants!
Bedtime at the SWAMP
by Kristyn Crow
This book has a part the kids love chanting with you as you read! There is also a fun new friend at the end!
Synopsis: It’s bedtime at the swamp—except somebody’s not ready. Somebody’s still splashing in the water and the mud.
Shivery Shades of HALLOWEEN
by Mary McKenna Siddals
This book has a lot of fun rhyming words as you read about Halloween’s different colors!
Synopsis: What color is Halloween? Why, it’s as green as an “eerie glow, evil grin, vile brew, clammy skin,” as white as “cobwebs clinging, a misty trail, a skull, a spook, a face gone pale . . .”
Miss Fiona’s Stupendous Pumpkin Pies
by Mark Kimball Moulton
I always love to read books with witches. This witch is 400 years old and makes pies for all the kids in the neighborhood. There is a surprise at the end about how she serves it!
Synopsis: At Halloween, all the neighborhood children look forward to eating the delicious pumpkin pies made by Fiona, an old woman who reminds them of a witch.
The Skeleton in the Closet
by Alice Schertle
This book is my ultimate favorite Halloween book of all time. We have two copies of this book! I have read it so much to my kids that I have memorized it. The kids repeatedly ask me to read this book; they love it so much! The Skeleton in the Closet is a really cute book.
Synopsis: Bam! Bam! Bam! A skeleton’s knocking at the door. Creak… creak… creak… Now he’s going up the steps — but this skeleton isn’t looking for what you’d expect. There are both snickers and shivers awaiting readers in this wickedly funny rhyming story that is sure to tickle funny bones.
Every year I find new Halloween books that I love. For now, this is my list of favorite Halloween books to read with my children. I hope you and your family enjoy these books as much as we have over the years! Until next time, Happy Reading!
Do you have that one thing you love to do, and when you do that one thing, you lose track of time? I do! The one activity I can lose track of time doing is putting puzzles together.
I love to put puzzles together. It is very relaxing for me. Sometimes, when I am putting a puzzle together, hours will go by without realizing it. It’s gotten to the point that when I start putting a puzzle together, I must be very careful because I lose track of time easily.
I will put together all kinds of puzzles. There are so many puzzles that it is sometimes hard to choose from. Around the holidays, it is fun to put together a holiday puzzle. The kids sit with me and help me when I pull out a puzzle. I love to do any activity if I can get my kids to participate in it with me!
Puzzles are also great for those long weekends when the kids are out of school. We like to set one up in the living room and work on it all weekend. Sometimes, we will do a large puzzle, such as a 1000-piece one, or a couple of smaller ones for my youngest child.
Last Christmas, we bought a wooden puzzle. The pieces are cut out of wood instead of the cardboard pieces. The kids liked this one because they had little pieces in the shape of little animals or flowers. The wood puzzles usually come in exotic animals, like elephants or tigers.
You might think that puzzles can get expensive, and you are right. We like to get our small puzzles from the dollar store. We also pass around our puzzles to other family members, and they, in turn, share their puzzles with us. That makes it less expensive when we can share puzzles with others. Occasionally, we will splurge and buy a nice puzzle, such as the wood puzzle. I am okay with spending a little money on puzzles because they are more educational and creative than other things my kids spend time doing.
Even though this activity makes me lose track of time and makes me put off doing my household responsibilities, I still do it. Cleaning can always wait. Plus, to me, when my kids help with the puzzle, that is more important than cleaning!
Do you have a favorite puzzle you like to put together? Is there an activity you like to do that makes you lose track of time? Please share. I would love to hear about it.
Happy Fall, Y’all!! I love the fall season! I always tell people that Halloween is my favorite holiday. It isn’t necessarily the holiday itself, but it is the season it is in. There are three things I love about the fall season. I call these my three S’s.
Sweaters, Scents, and Scenery!!!
There is just something about wearing sweaters that makes you feel all nice and cozy. I get so excited when the weather turns cold, and I can bust out all my sweaters. This is the number one thing I love about the fall season. I can’t wait to wear my sweaters.
The next thing that screams the fall season to me is the smell. There are many yummy smells at this time of year, from apples to pumpkins. My favorite smell is spiced apple cider. I feel like when I smell these scents, it just makes everything seem so homey! I love to come home from the grocery store when it is cold out and walk into the house, which smells so good. It always puts a smile on my face. It especially makes me happy when my children tell me the house smells so good. That means they appreciate it just like I do!
Where I live, we are very close to the mountains. Every fall, the mountains change from green to orange and red. It is the most gorgeous thing to watch happen. When the leaves start to change, going up the canyon to see the change is amazing. Sometimes, we drive through the canyon; other years, we will go hiking. This is something that we do as a family. You have to love whatever it is that you can get the whole family together and do, especially if you have a teenager!
My list of favorite things about fall could go on and on. These are just a few things I love once the fall season is here. What are your favorite things to do to bring in the fall season? I would love to hear what you do in your families.
When you have children of elementary age, there is always that one dreaded week of the entire year. Can you guess what it is? I am sure you can probably think what it is. Have you guessed it yet? No, not yet.
For me, it is that moment when you open up your child’s folder with a RED paper in it. That red paper can only mean one thing. RED RIBBON WEEK.
Here you go for those of you who are lucky enough not to know what this week is. Red Ribbon Week is the week the school talks about being drug-free and saying no to drugs. That is great. It is such a great message, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. It is what comes with the week that I dread.
Every day for one week, the kids wear something silly to school. Most of the time, it isn’t too bad, like silly hat day or silly sock day. Those are easy. They throw on something before they run out the door. I can even get down with the day they wear their pajamas to school. There is one thing that is ALWAYS on the list that I cringe at. It is the Crazy Hair Day.
Oh, how I absolutely hate this day. I know I have a choice not to have my kids participate in this day, but unfortunately, the kids love crazy hair day. I am sure some of you out there love this day. I, however, do not because I am horrible at doing crazy hair day. I have a hard time doing hair on a regular day, so you can imagine how hard it is for me on a crazy hair day.
Here is how it always works out for me. I, of course, can never come up with an idea on my own. I looked up some ideas on Pinterest. If you have not looked up crazy hair day ideas, you need to see this. It is incredible what some people can do. There are so many that are so talented. I don’t, however, fall under this category. I have to scroll through so many ideas to get to one that I can maybe somewhat do. This takes me a while to find one. Once I have found one I think I might be able to handle, I look at the picture or video repeatedly to ensure I know how to fix it.
On Crazy Hair Day, we have to get up early. I have to have time to redo anything that doesn’t work out. Things usually start OK, but I am praying the whole time that it will work out. I can tell you right now that my track record on it working out is that it has never worked out. It is always a nailed-it picture. It never looks exactly like the picture. Sometimes, you can see what I was trying to do. The children are such good sports. They always say they love it, but I know it doesn’t look as good as it was supposed to.
Once I had finished their hair, I rushed them out the door. I have to sit for a while and take a breather!! The whole process for me is exhausting. I am so glad once that day is over. It is like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It sounds so silly that it is such a stressful day, but it is the same every year.
I know this day will only last for a few more years, but I can honestly say that I cannot wait until I don’t have to do it anymore. How about you? Do you love this day, or do you dread it like me?
I see a pattern, a pattern in everything I see online. I see it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, other blog posts, and just about everything else. That pattern? Everything looks so incredibly perfect, and perfection is always the ideal. Why do we focus on perfection?
When I scroll through Pinterest because that is what I am on the most, it always appears that everything is perfect. The topic doesn’t matter, and I always wonder how people accomplish such perfection.
For example, I recently looked up ways to organize my pantry because I felt it was a complete disaster. Of course, knowing me, I first go to Pinterest to get ideas. The articles I read and pictures I saw comprised these perfectly organized shelves that used all these fancy containers and baskets.
Based on what I saw, I needed a bunch of containers, baskets, and a label maker to label everything. My next step was to go to Amazon and see what was available and what I could order. Once I put everything in my cart, the total came to over two hundred dollars. For most of you, that probably isn’t too big of a deal, but I am very cautious about how I spend my money, and I thought that was a ridiculous amount of money to spend just to try and make my pantry more organized.
If I truly wanted to do this, I would have to budget it into my monthly budget and buy a little at a time over a period of months. Was it worth taking months to organize my pantry? That just seemed like so much work.
The more and more I looked at the pictures and read the articles, the more I realized that many of the pantries I saw were not practical. There were no bags of chips, cans of soup, or just cans. There were no boxes of cereal or crackers, nothing that you would likely use regularly in their own containers. Yeah, the pantries looked nice, but they didn’t function well.
The pictures and articles were designed to showcase perfection, not to be practical. If I want practical ways to organize my pantry, I wonder how I get that if everything online shows perfection.
I do not doubt that there are fantastic pantries that are excellent for those who have them; however, that doesn’t work for me or my family, and I’m guessing I’m not alone.
Anyway, that takes me back to the beginning of this post. Why do we focus on perfection? Why do we gravitate to perfection when that isn’t reality? Why can’t we show how messy our lives can be? Why can’t we be authentic? If we took a step back and talked about how our lives are, I believe we would find we have more connections with each other. It is time for us to come together and be more authentic.
Oh, and just a side note. I talked a lot about pantries, and while I don’t want to put all my pantry food in containers, I am looking for more practical and cheaper ideas on how to organize a pantry. If you have any such ideas, I would love to hear them!
I love the Halloween season. I love all things fall! The one thing I stress about Halloween is Halloween costumes for the children. My kids are great; they always know exactly what they want to be. That has never been the problem. My stress as the mother is, do I make a Halloween costume or buy one?
In the past, I have done both. When my kids were younger, there were some Halloween’s that I would attempt to make their costumes. Some years I have bought them. In the years I have bought them, I always felt like I wasn’t a great mom because I didn’t make this fantastic costume for my kids to wear.
During the years I made their costumes, I would try hard to be like the other moms and make these beautiful costumes. I would spend hours trying to make these costumes, and in the end, they never really turned out great, and I would feel like a horrible mom because their costumes weren’t these great, amazing costumes.
I have concluded this about myself in just these last couple of years. I AM NOT A CRAFTY PERSON!! Making costumes was just not my thing. It was the most stressful thing and would take me twice as long to make as it should. Making them for me took the fun out of the holiday season. I love doing all the fun fall festivities in our town. During the years that I would make the costumes, I felt like I didn’t have time to take the kids to do all the fun activities.
So, I stopped making their costumes. I buy them now. It has taken the stress out. We have more time as a family to do fun activities for Halloween. It has taken me a long time to feel good about not making costumes. I always felt like less of a mom when I didn’t make them.
I have bought costumes for the last couple of years, and I have no feeling of guilt. It is the best choice for my family and me. We enjoy the season so much more than we used to. I admire those who can make their children’s costumes or even their own. It just isn’t my thing. You are still a great person if you don’t make costumes. You do what is best for you and your situation.
In short, do I make a Halloween costume or buy one? My vote will always be to buy one! What do you do? Do you make your costumes, or do you buy them?
This blog has been years in the making.
It all started a couple of years ago as I talked with my husband. I had mentioned to him how I hate how blogs always look so perfect. They only seem to show the perfect side of things. The people in them seem so perfect. Their families seem perfect. Their kids seem perfect. It drove me nuts! As we continued to talk, I mentioned to him that I know everyone has their problems and that they aren’t perfect, but it would be nice to read some blog posts about things that weren’t so perfect. To read blog posts about the struggles that people go through and the mundane in their lives. I wanted to read something authentic.
I told my husband that I would like it to be completely authentic if I started a blog. To show people how life is not always perfect. To show people that we all struggle, have boring days, and are all normal and rarely perfect. At the time, that is where the conversation ended, but that thought has stuck with me for a couple of years.
So why now? Why start blogging? I am terrified about starting this blog! Have you ever been nervous to start something new? I am a very shy person and have convinced myself that nobody would want to read anything I had to say. But, the more I have thought about it, the more I was convinced that there had to be other people out there that felt just like me. People that desire to read about the authentic side of life. To see that they weren’t alone in their struggles and their experiences.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, I have felt very lonely. I have felt the need to talk to more people. I want to meet more people outside of my little bubble. I’m using this blog to find a community — a community of people that are like me with their ups and downs. So, if you will, I’d like you to come on this perfectly imperfect journey with my family and me, and let’s get to know each other.
Oh, I’d like to encourage you to comment and discuss what you read on this blog! I love to see what other people are experiencing and saying.
Have you ever been so nervous to start something new? I am completely terrified out of my mind to start blogging and share my experiences. I have always wanted to start this blog, but I’m completely terrified, if I’m being honest! I have always had a running dialogue in my mind every day. I know I’m not the most graceful writer, so I kept having doubts about myself and wondering whether or not I should start this blog? I often wondered, what do I have to offer? Will I be embarrassed with what I put out there? Will I offend anyone? Is someone going to make a mean comment? What will my family think? For a long time, these questions ran through my mind repeatedly. I always kept delaying the start of this blog even though I have wanted to do it for well over a year.
My reasoning behind starting a blog was that I wanted to find a community going through some of the same things. I would be a part of a community of parents who have a child with tactile defensiveness, ADHD, or Anxiety. I would love to get new ideas and suggestions from other parents dealing with these situations. At the same time, I think that maybe I have ideas that can help others.
Finally, I just told myself that I needed to go for it. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is just so hard to get out of my head. I told myself that I needed the courage to put myself out there. Try starting a new blog and see what happens. If I don’t even try, I will never know whether or not I could have done it. I would want to try and fail than not try at all.
So for all of you who are nervous to start something new, I encourage you to go for it. You will never know if you can do it if you don’t go for it. Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about what makes you nervous to start something new.