Monday, June 27, 2011

7 Things That Make Me Happy

7 Random things that make me happy right now!

1.  I planted a garden with my boys.

We made a wonderful little garden!

2. Dia Frampton from The Voice TV show.  Dia is an amazing singer.  I love her shyness.  I love the way she comes alive when she performs.  I think she has an incredible musical talent.  Her rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless" was amazing!  I was in awe of her ability to take a rap song and make it so soulful.  She's my choice to win The Voice!

3.  Walking in the rain.  Normally this isn't really my kind of thing to do, but last week amidst the rain, rain and more rain we took the boys out to see the effects of the rain on our local environment.  We had such a great time... even in the rain!

4.  Swedish Berries candy.  YUM!

5.  Watching Ryan swim.  I love this so much!

6.  Shopping for new homeschool science books.  I love science and I found some wonderful books to help me share my love of science with my boys!

7. This amazing rainbow coloured rose!
Isn't this the coolest rose you've ever seen?!!

So, what is making you happy right now?

Have a wonderfully whimsical day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reading: The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson is not fiction!  That deserves an exclamation point because I can't remember the last time I read a non-fiction book that wasn't about homeschooling or scrapbooking.  This book was a selection chosen by the book club I attend try to attend at my local library.  This month I was late in picking up my book, so I had barely read anything by the time of our meeting.  C'est la vie!

Although this book is non-fiction I was thrilled to find that it reads like a novel.  It has intriguing main characters.  The plot is compelling.  The story is set in Chicago, during the construction and operation of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.  The first storyline is about the architects of the fair, and their struggle to make this an event worthy of 'World' status in a very limited time frame.  The second storyline is of the serial killer, H. H. Holmes,  who takes advantage of his charismatic ways to charm people out of their property, money and ultimately their life.

Although the serial killer aspect was fascinating and is told in a very plausible manner, it was actually the story of the construction of the fair by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted that captured my attention the most. Larson really conveys the motivations and devotion that Burnham felt in trying to create the greatest fair that has ever existed.

Some of the accomplishments made by the architects of the fair include: invention and construction of the first Ferris Wheel, development of a swampy area into a series of canals and lagoons, first public display of AC current, construction of the largest building in the world (by area).  The fair is also noted to be an inspiration for the Emerald City from L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz and Walt Disney's theme parks.

I would definitely recommend this book.  Learning about the effects this event has had on our world made this a wonderful read. 
If you would like a copy of this book, it is available at Amazon through the link below.

Happy reading and have a wonderfully whimsical day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Top Cadet

My son received the Top Attendance award at Air Cadets the other night!

Joe receives his Top Attendance award from the Major.

Great job Joe!

Have a whimsically wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Swim Meet...

... of the Season!  Saturday was the first swim meet of the season for my son Ryan. 

Here you can see Ryan diving off the block.

Ryan swims a freestyle race.

It was a great meet.  Ryan did not swim last summer, so we weren't too sure how he would place getting back in the water this year.  (He swam the 3 years before that!)  As it turns out he did very well!  Ryan placed second in his 25m backstroke, third in his 100m freestyle, and fourth in his 50m freestyle!  He was really disappointed to find out that his fourth place was only one one-hundredth of a second behind third place.  I told him, that even though this time was not in his favour, he should be encouraged, because that means he could easily have third next time!

I was really happy to be back in the swim circuit.  I love cheering for all of the swimmers.  I love watching the kids improve on their own personal best times.  I love the atmosphere and I love watching my son swim a great race!  Go Ryan, Go!