Read Aloud Reviews: Chocolate Fever, Little House in the Big Woods, George Müller, Snow & Rose

Welcome to the next installment of my Read Aloud Reviews. If you are new here I am currently homeschooling my four children. I am sitting here on Sunday afternoon while the kids are napping/quiet time typing this post and listening to music and drinking a Key Lime La Croix.

Let’s get into the latest reads I have read aloud to our oldest two since the last book review I posted in September.

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

I read Chocolate Fever when I was in elementary school and thought this might be a fun one to revisit. I was right and our three year olds also seemed to enjoy this one too. I read the majority of this book on our back patio and let the kids draw and paint while they listened. And they kept asking to read another chapter and another that we soon finished this 93 page book.

Henry loves chocolate so much and eats it all the time. He starts to break out into a rash and is eventually diagnosed with Chocolate Fever. This book documents his adventures from school, hospital, hitchhiking, and even helping stop a robbery.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods was a fun book to read to the kids. The pictures every few pages really helped especially for my six year old. My kids loved listening to what life was like for Laura and her family. I like how this story takes you through all the seasons with the family so you can see how life was different from summer to winter for the girls. My kids loved this book.

George Müller by Janet & Geoff Benge

George Müller is part of the Chrisitan Hero’s: Then & Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge. I highly enjoyed reading this biography and the reason I picked George Müller is because I didn’t know very much about him except that he started an orphan house. Because we have been a foster family I thought this would be interesting for us to read together.

This man did so much in his lifetime and God totally transformed him. His story is amazing. He and his wife invited 30 orphans into their home for a breakfast club which eventually led to building 5 large houses that housed over ten thousand children. George never took on any debt to fund the orphan houses and prayer was such a huge part of his life. It was very encouraging reading this biography. Later in the year I plan on reading the biography on C.S. Lewis from this series to the kids.

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow & Rose was an additional book that I wasn’t planning on reading but I am glad we did. If you or someone in your life likes fairy tales this might be one to add for a Christmas gift or put on your list. he writing style reminded me of C.S. Lewis and George McDonald. Sweet, fun, and imaginative, this book had my kids (and me) guessing what would happen next.

It is a sweet fairy tale about two sisters Snow and Rose. Their father disappears in the woods and the girls and their mother are forced to leave their home to live in a small cottage in the woods. But what they didn’t know is that woods they are living in are enchanted.


Leg Day Kettlebell & Mobility Workout

Well friends, it has been a week. Between the election, our air conditioner going out, and homeschool, I am so happy it is Friday! We are taking our second week off of school for Fall Break next week. Sometimes you have really good ideas and this was a really good idea to save a week because the weather is supposed to be actual Fall weather and I am ready for it. We took a week off at the very end of September but it was still hot outside.

And speaking of homeschool the kids finished their ELA curriculum for the semester this week. I am so proud of them, and me! We are still going to be reading, spelling, and writing until Christmas but it is nice to have this portion of their work done. I am using the same program as their elementary school but I must have paced it differently so we finished it up this week, all 15 weeks of lessons, done. Yay!

My workouts this week left me unusually sore. Which I take as a good sign that I am challenging myself. So here is one of the workouts I did this week with Fit Women’s Weekly Live. I used a 44 KB for the swings, squats, and deadlifts and was so proud of myself. Between the warm up and 4 rounds of this it was the perfect 30 minute workout to start my day.

If you decide to try this the 30 seconds squat holds are without weight, as are the last 3 exercises. For the swings, squats, and deadlifts use a heavy weight or KB and perform 10 reps for 2 sets before moving onto the next exercise.

When you finish all these exercises rest for a minute and then keep repeating for up to 4 rounds. I was dripping sweat and so glad when it was over but so proud of myself for sticking with the 44 pounds KB.

And now I am logging off and into the weekend with the same plans we have had basically all year. Staying home and playing outside as much as the weather allows. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


Halloween 2020

This year we celebrated Halloween at home. And we had a pretty great time. The kids declared it their best Halloween ever. And I took that as a huge win.

We had several costumes this year in the house: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aurora which later became Elsa (costume we already had), Mickey Skeleton which later became Baby Yoda which later became Thomas the Train (costume we already had), Prince Philip which later became Bumblebee (costume we already had). If you are keeping track 3 out of 4 kids decided last minute to wear a costume we already had. And honestly I was fine with it. They all got to wear their costumes multiple times because that is the beauty of doing homeschool. It was fun to teach a variety of characters in October.

On Halloween Eve we ventured out to Downtown Mesa for the Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt. On Main Street multiple businesses and empty store fronts had different themed pumpkin displays. In addition to these we were on the look out for the tiny mice that were dressed up in Halloween costumes.

It was a fun way to get outside and masks were encouraged if you were unable to stay physically distanced from others. We went on Friday morning and there was hardly anyone there. It took us about 45 minutes and was a good way to get the kids moving in the morning and something totally different to do.

Friday also included these Witches Cauldron Cookies, a FaceTime call with the kids friends, and a drive thru trip to Swig to get the kids a soda treat.

On Halloween the kids woke up so excited! Earlier in the week I had made a skeleton on poster board and cut out the pieces. While they were eating breakfast I hid the “bones” around the house. After the kids were done eating they went on a bone hunt which took about 30 minutes. It took about 5 minutes to put the skeleton together and once completed I taped it to the wall so they could admire their work.

We had some outdoor plasma car fun later in the morning, followed by lunch, and naps for the younger ones. In the afternoon there was a scavenger hunt around the house that led to a dollar store reward for each kiddo, Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin, and homemade pizza for dinner.

Once dinner was done and costumes were put on for several of the kids. We had a few that opted to wear pajamas instead and that was totally fine. They bobbed for apples, a totally new to them experience. I remember bobbing for apples when I was in elementary school at the Harvest Festival and I inwardly cringed now because all I can think about is the germs that were floating around in that water.

We set up candy in two rooms of the house, gave the kids glow sticks, turned off the lights, put Halloween music and started our rotating color lights to flash on the ceiling and let the kids go “Trick or Treating”. After the that I put loads of post it notes on the floor and we played freeze dance. When the music stopped they needed to land on a post it and bring it to me to get another candy to add to their bucket. They loved this game! We played a candy toss into a bowl and also had a 20 minute dance party with the flashing lights and glow sticks.

After all that fun they were so tired and fell asleep so quickly. The next night we watched The Grinch because this year we are moving right into the Christmas movies. After the movie all the kids made beds on the floor in our bedroom and we had a family sleepover.

It was a fantastic weekend even if it was totally different from what we normally do :).