Monday, October 31, 2011

Les Livres du Lundi

BEFORE PROCEEDING: Don't forget to have some fun and enter the jack-o-lantern guessing contest in the next post!!!

It has seemed that we have had less time for leisurely reading over the last couple weeks. Still, I have a few favorite titles to report. My current read is Fractures by Budge Wilson. It is a collection of short stories that vividly depict life among Canadian adolescents--each with profound insights into the challenges of relationships, life's hard turns, and self-discovery. I have found myself reflecting on these very engaging stories days after reading them, mulling over the thoughts and feelings of the main characters and recognizing the significance of the themes covered in this lovely book. I still have four more stories to go...whenever I can find the time!

Jadon's Pick of the Week is Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library by Vicki Myron. This sweet book tells the story of a real-life small-town feline hero. Its silly tone and beautiful illustrations made it irresistable.

Other favorite picture books this week included Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully, Learn Good Manners with Charles, and Learn Good Habits with Jessica.

(P.S. And because I have them and I think they're too cute to wait, here are some pics of the kids before heading off to school this Halloween morning!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annual Jack-o-lantern Guessing Contest

We completed another fall tradition today--the pumpkins are carved! So now it is time for our annual blog jack-o-lantern contest. Go ahead and try to guess...Who carved the moon and stars, the shark, the dog? And how about that smiley face? Does it belong to Andrew, Ethan, Abby, or Jadon???

I will post the correct answers in the comments section of this post after trick-or-treating tomorrow night!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


(For those of you who noticed, I promise to do a book update next week. Here are some of the reasons it didn't get done for this week...)

Lots has been going on in the Tapper house lately. Here is a quick review of some of the recent happenings:

-School projects!
Both boys have started work on presentations/speeches due for class. Ethan's project was to create a hat out of recycled materials and present it to the class. I thought his "chapeau d'hibou" was charming! Andrew has chosen to write a speech on Wiley Post. (For those who don't know...he was the first man to fly solo around the world.) It is a treat to work on these projects together.

One day before school, Abby accidently tipped over a thermos of very hot water and burned her arm from wrist to elbow. Fortunately, our dear nurse Auntie Lee was near to help with proper bandages and needed encouragement. Everything is now healing well, but that was not a fun morning.

A friend invited me to join her at a local action group meeting emphasizing human trafficking. It was an interesting evening which provided lots of information about educational resources on the topic. Besides this, I took two key ideas away from the meeting and have been ruminating on them since. First, an emphasis on fair trade and human trafficking for labour purposes seems to be underrepresented in my experience of hearing about human trafficking within the church. Perhaps the fact that sexuality is such a hot moral topic causes the sex trade to overshadow other forms of trafficking within Christian circles. Or maybe it is just easier to say that human trafficking for sex work is wrong because it doesn't really cost me anything, not like changing my purchasing choices might. Anyway, that was my first line of thinking. The second idea related to the need for continued and significant attention to the ethical standards surrounding international adoption. As an adoptive mother, I believe in adoption...but I can see how easily human rights could be overlooked within the adoption industry. Ethical standards must be stringently maintained.

Big Time!
Andrew's hockey team had the opportunity to play a game at Scotiabank Place, the home of the Ottawa Senators. We parents were instructed to keep the location of the game a secret, so Andrew was pretty excited to see us pull into the arena. The other children also enjoyed this fun experience!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Les Livres du Lundi

Current Read-aloud: I have been reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle aloud to the children. They are enthralled. We are just a couple chapters from the end and they can hardly stand for me to close the book each night, always begging for "just a little more." I think I can remember doing something like that myself as a child...

Jadon's Pick: This week, we picked up The Rumor from the library. Its cover describes it as "A Jataka Tale from India." From the vibrant illustrations to the Chicken Little-like plot to the patterned story-telling to the happy resolution, all four of my kids (ages 4-8) loved this story. Jadon did spot one "mistake," however...after the one hair leaves the multitude to discover the truth, Jadon was quick to notice that there wouldn't be one thousand hairs waiting for his return because now there would only be nine hundred and ninety-nine hairs!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Serious Issue--Funny Kid Perspective

In our house, family prayertime before bed always includes one country as a prayer focus. Tonight, the highlighted country was Russia. As Mike was reading from Operation World, he noted some information about Russia's declining population and extremely high abortion rate. I checked in with the kids to make sure they understood the issue: "Do you understand this? What is an abortion?"

One hand shot up. "Oh, I think I know," our boy offered. "It's a kind of soup."

(And this is where we parents received the grace of laughter, sharing the joy of childish innocence, before taking time to explain the non-soup reality in Russia...)

('s our own borscht from earlier this summer! We used this recipe, and it was--by far--the best way I've found to use up all the beets from our local farm's weekly vegetable delivery.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Les Livres du Lundi (LATE!)

Obviously, this post is already late…and it will be quick, too, as the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday is shortening our week. Here are our favorite children’s storybooks from this week:

A Friend Like You by Julia Hubery—This lovely story has implicit messages about slowing down, appreciating beauty around us, being patient with others and ourselves, and enduring through challenges. The pictures are simple yet captivating. Jadon thought it was silly how monkey always wanted to go fast, and his favorite part was “those butterflies!” This was his pick of the week.

I Love You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark—Our children love all the books in this series! The emotional reactions of a stuffed toy seem to somehow resonate with them. A great way to introduce empathic reasoning…

Cock-a-doodle-hooooooo! by Mick Manning—This cute story explores the joys of diversity from the perspective of some barnyard fowl. My kids especially love the last wordless illustration. (I’ll leave that for you to discover yourself!)

Music from the Sky by Denise Gillard—A sweet story about a little girl and her grandfather, who enjoy a playful morning together. Jadon was particularly thrilled with this story…perhaps because it involved music, perhaps because the girl has brown skin like him, perhaps because of the teasing tone between the characters…

Big and Busy: How Things Go by Roger Priddy—This book provides lots of great information about how different transportation machines work. Jadon eats this stuff up! Then, of course, he has to share all his knowledge! So, as we’re driving together in the van, he may pipe up with some random piece of information like, “Did you know Sir Isaac Newton figured out forces?” To which Mike responds, “Wow, Jadon. So, what’s a force?” Jadon doesn’t bat an eye. “It’s a pull and a push,” he answers. Mike turns to me and says, “Kristy, you might want to ease off on the preschool stuff…”

Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr—This rhythmic tale of a turkey’s Thanksgiving escape is pure fun and surprise! The children were blissfully quoting the book from memory by the week’s end.

The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood—This book may have been a bit less captivating for my children, but the words of its last page have become a theme at our house. Since reading One Thousand Gifts and thinking more about intentional thanksgiving throughout the year, these words rang especially true: “We don’t give thanks because we’re happy. We are happy because we give thanks.”

Happy reading!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanks be to God!

For the harvests of the Spirit,
Thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit,
Thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us,
For the truths that still confound us,
Most of all, that love has found us,
Thanks be to God.
--Frederick Pratt Green

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from the Tappers!

Happy Birthday to Abby!

We celebrated the sixth birthday of our imaginative, smart, snuggle-loving, silly, creative girl yesterday. We love you, Abby Hope!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Few Favorites

A few favorite photos from our friend who helped us with the Dad Cave project (see below if you missed it!):

Monday, October 3, 2011

Les Livres du Lundi

I finished Finding Sophie by Irene N. Watts. This was an emotional read for me, especially as one whose family has known separation from birth land and family. I couldn’t help but ask questions about how the current state of the world—where parents in some parts of the world feel they must send their children away in order to have a chance at life—is different from the situation of worldwide war several decades ago. Hmmm.

I also reread a few chapters of No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene, a humorous yet thoughtful celebration of the author’s real life family, which includes four children by birth and five by adoption. After the past few weeks of Andrew’s hockey evaluations which culminated in him being drafted for an “A” team, I particularly enjoyed the chapter entitled, “A Jewish Guide to Raising Star Athletes.” Actually, there are many parts of this book that made me laugh out loud as I remembered parts of our adoption journeys and imagined some of our likely future family adventures.

Jadon’s pick of the week is The Most Obedient Dog in the World by Anita Jeram. He liked the “surprise” ending. I liked the reinforcement of our weekly theme of obedience and the simple storyline.

Other favorites in our library bag this week: Richard Scarry’s Naughty Bunny, Manners in the Lunchroom (actually, we really like this whole Way to Be! Manners series), A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and Wake Up, Mr. Noah.

Happy reading!