The Summer Bored Games, Week 3

Hello, dears!

Are you excited for the next round of SBG? I AM! WOOHOO! Thank you all for your participation so far, and for making it so fun to host. 😀

In case you’d like to review the basic rules of the game, you can check out my introduction post right here. Shall we begin? (That was a rhetorical question, by the way. I’m going to start whether you answered yes or no. *nods*) Ahem.

WHAT TO DO:

You have until the end of this week to complete however many of the 35 challenges below you wish to do. This is the only week that you’ll be able to complete these challenges.

When you’ve completed all the challenges you’d like to for the week, submit your points using the survey included in this post (see it below). Please try to submit your results just once per week. I suggest waiting until the end of the week to submit the survey.

Okay, guys, NOW FOR THE CHALLENGES. Are you ready for this? *drum roll*

SBG this weeks challenges

  1. Microwave Ivory soap. (Learn how to here.) 2
  2. Write a haiku about lonely earthworms. 2
  3. Attempt to yodel at an animal. 1
  4. Hit a potato with a baseball bat. We encourage you to actually play baseball with said potato. 2
  5. Give someone a Christmas card. 3
  6. Come up with a 7 word tongue twister and challenge 3 people (outside of your family) to say it. 4
  7. Put at least seven socks on one foot. Earn one point for every sock you put on past number seven. 4
  8. Make supper for your family. 10 (megapoints)
  9. Come up with an odd fantasy creature (example: a dragon with a unicorn horn and a mermaid tail) and draw a picture of it. 2
  10. Buy something for exactly $1.99. 3
  11. Put a thank-you note and a treat in your mailbox for your mail deliverer. 3
  12. Bake cookies for (and give them to) your neighbor. 4
  13. Organize a treasure hunt for your siblings or friends. 10 (megapoints)
  14. Make an ATC. (Learn how to here.) 2
  15. Spend at least 5 minutes blowing bubbles. 1
  16. Make a mug cake for someone else as a surprise. 4
  17. Go on a walk and find the following: a piece of trash, a forked stick or twig, something round, something blue, and a colorful rock. 4
  18. Get a notebook and a pencil/pen, set a timer for 20 minutes, and draw non-stop until your time is up. It doesn’t matter what you draw, as long as your pencil doesn’t stop moving. 4
  19. Give your mom $15 toward groceries. 10 (megapoints)
  20. Learn to whistle with a blade of grass. You can use the internet to learn how. 3
  21. Find a rock, paint it, and give it a name. 2
  22. Put up a birthday banner (a happy birthday sign) in your house…when it’s not anyone’s birthday. XD 2
  23. Learn how to tie a reef knot. 3
  24. Make a blog post including the words “Crazy”, “Frosty”, “Abominable” , “Frank” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. 2
  25. Sing a song while washing a window. 2
  26. Send a letter to your favorite living author. 3
  27. Read a book (or part of a book) out loud to your entire family. 4
  28. Try a new fruit, vegetable, or meat. 4
  29. Find five new blogs and leave each blogger at least one kind, sincere comment. 4
  30. Give someone a message you wrote in Morse Code. 3
  31. Pick and listen to three songs, and draw what they sound like. 3
  32. Play “shark Attack” in a pool. (How to play: https://www.wikihow.com/Have-Fun-in-the-Pool) 2
  33. Organize something in your house that’s messy. (Examples: Your desk, under your bed, etc.) 3
  34. Wear mismatching shoes in public and see if anyone notices. 3
  35. Learn the sign language alphabet. 10 (megapoints)gray-border

What do you think? Which of those challenges are you most excited to complete? My favorites are #1 (THAT IS SO FUN TO DO, GUYS), #11, and #31.

If you have any questions about the challenges, the game, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us at summerboredgames(at)gmail(dot)com. We’re happy to help! Read on for a few more important details:

If you’d like to print off a checklist to help you keep track of the challenges for this week, CLICK HERE. 

If you take any photos of your completed challenges (or your funniest challenge fails!), we would LOVE to see them! Send your pictures to us at summerboredgames(at)gmail(dot)com, and we’ll pick our favorites to include in the final post! (If you’re just completing the challenges just for fun and haven’t signed up, we’d still love to see your photos!)

We’ve really (REALLY REALLY) enjoyed the photos you guys have sent us so far, and we can’t wait to show you guys at the end of July! Keep the pictures coming, hee hee! 😀

Have you completed all the challenges you’d like to do for this week? Hooray! Just click the image below to submit your points:

sbg submit your points

Click that graphic and it should take you right to the form!

Please be honest – the game is no fun if you aren’t playing fair. Please follow the rules and make it fair for everyone!

And now… *drum roll again* the participants who got the most total points (points from the last two weeks).

10: Aria: 102

9: Enni: 107

8: Anna P. and Christina (tied with same number of points): 131

7: Ava: 148

6: Mandalynn: 161

5: Julia Rose: 167

4: Sophie: 187

3: Jo: 195

2: Chloë: 216

1: Laura: 259

 

Way to go, girls! 😀 Also can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Laura did EVERY SINGLE ONE of the challenges so far, minus one! *awed look* XD WOW, LAURA. I AM IMPRESSED.

 

You have until 11:59 PM EST on July 21st to complete as many challenges as you can and submit your points. Have fun busting that boredom! 😀

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely (and non-boring) day. 🙂

***Allison***

The Art Lab, Episode 49: Popsicles Forever

Hello, dears!

Welcome back to another episode of The Art Lab! It’s a bit late because I kind of got the posting schedule confused but ANYWAY, here we go! Today I’m going to show you how to draw cute, summery popsicles inspired by some popsicle stamps Megan bought at the post office the other day. (They’re forever stamps – thus the strange post title. 😛 ) Here’s our art inspiration for this post:

{via}

And here’s what you’ll need to re-create it:

  • Some sort of paper to draw on (I used an ATC)
  • watercolor crayons (you can also use watercolor colored pencils or just plain watercolors)
  • a pencil
  • brown colored pencil (optional)
  • a normal or white gel pen (optional)

Ahem. We are now ready to start the tutorial.

  1. Sketch out three popsicle shapes + corresponding popsicle sticks on your paper. The shape is up to you, but I like making ones with a flat base that taper slightly up to a rounded oval or square top. If you want, draw a bite taken out of one of them. popsicles forever (2)
  2. Sketch in some details on your popsicles. There are SO many options for this, so have fun and be creative! I mainly did varying degrees and sizes of squiggles to separate the different colors (I mean flavors) later.popsicles forever (3)
  3. I penciled in the popsicles darker than they should have been so you guys could see them. If your sketch is like mine, erase it for the most part until it’s barely visible. You don’t want to see pencil lines under the paint later on. Next, choose a limited color scheme of colors that go well together and won’t make brown if they get mixed. I chose a summery palette of warm colors + white.popsicles forever (4)
  4. Loosely color in your sketches with your crayons (or whatever you’re using). Cover the space, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. For the middle popsicle, I got an ombre effect by blending gradually less and less coral with more and more white.popsicles forever (5)
  5. Now the fun part: add water and watch the magic! If you want to blend colors, I suggest starting with the lighter colors and blending into the darker. If you do the opposite, the lighter color might disappear under the more dominant darker one.popsicles forever (6)
  6. Draw two parallel lines in the center of the popsicle, about the same distance apart as the popsicle stick is wide. (This is the bump where the popsicle stick is inside the ice.) Use a darker color (I used red), and blend it out with water to soften the shadows.popsicles forever (7)
  7. Next we’ll add shadows to the popsicle sticks. When you’re drawing from a reference, it helps to think in terms of simple shapes. If you look at the stamps, the shadows on the sticks are basically brown triangles. So make brown triangles! You can also faintly outline the whole stick in brown. You can certainly use your watercolors for this part, but I used a brown colored pencil for more precision. popsicles forever (9)
  8. Finally, add some details with a white gel pen. I added squiggles to the first, shiny highlights to the second, and cute sprinkles to the third, but you can add whatever you want.popsicles forever (10)

Ta-daa! Step back and try to admire your work of art without eating it. It doesn’t taste as good as it looks, trust me.

popsicles forever 10

If you make art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Send us a picture at theartlabblog@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our gallery on The Art Lab website.

What do you think of this art idea? Did you get the new popsicle stamps? And what is your favorite popsicle flavor?

***Allison***

P. S. Made some art and now you’re bored? Well I have some good news: The Summer Bored Games have started! Check out Clara’s post here to start completing challenges! And thank you SO much to everyone who signed up – we now have over 40 participants!

Introducing… The Summer Bored Games!

Hello, dears!

I’M BACK! And I’m SO happy to be back, because I have some very exciting news! Clara, Megan, K. A., and I have been working on a secret project for months now, and we are FINALLY ready to show it to you guys! *grins* Ahem. I am proud to present… The Summer Bored Games!

SBG (11)

The Summer Bored Games is a fun and creative way to bust boredom this summer, with dozens of wacky challenges, from thoughtful missions to completely random activities. Collect points by completing challenges, and enter to win an awesome prize!

CHALLENGE HOSTS:

Clara // Clara & Co.

Megan // A Barefoot Gal

Allison // A Farm Girl’s Life

K. A. // Cuddly Critters Blog

CHALLENGE RULES:

SBG (12)

We four hosts (Clara, K. A., Megan, and I) will take turns posting a challenge post, one a week, for the month of July.

Each post will include 35 challenges, ranging from 1-4 points each – the harder the challenge, the more points you earn! Super hard or courageous challenges earn you Mega Points, which means 10 points instead of 1-4.

SBG (13)

Participants collect points by successfully completing challenges. You don’t have to do the challenges in the order we list them, and you obviously don’t have to do them all (but then you won’t get as many points). However, you must complete any weekly challenges in that week alone for those points to count. If you miss a week, feel free to do the challenges just for fun, but they won’t earn you any points toward the giveaway.

HOW TO REDEEM POINTS:

In each of the challenge posts, a survey will be provided that participants can use to send their points from the completed challenges to a host blogger for a chance to win a prize (host bloggers are not eligible for the prize). However, if a participant would rather conquer the challenges just for fun and not win a prize, they can simply complete the challenges however they wish and not worry about keeping track of points.

PRIZES:

Prizes come in a three-tier winner system. Participants are entered for a chance to win the prize corresponding to their point range.

If, at the end of the challenge, you have 0-50 points, you are not eligible to win a prize. If you are in the lowest prize tier, which is for participants with 51-250 points, you have a chance of winning a $5 Amazon gift card. If you are in the middle prize tier, which is for participants with 251-400 points, you have a chance of winning a $10 Amazon gift card. If you are in the top prize tier, which is for participants with 401+ points, you have a chance of winning a $15 Amazon gift card.

SBG (14)

At the end of the challenge, we’ll tally up each participant’s total points, fit them into the proper point tier, and random-generate the winners. If you work hard, you can earn yourself more of a chance for more of a prize!

DATES:

Challenge Post #1: Clara & Co. on July 2nd

Challenge Post #2: A Barefoot Gal on July 9th

Challenge Post #3: A Farm Girl’s Life on July 16th

Challenge Post #4: Cuddly Critters Blog on July 23rd

Challenge Winners: Clara & Co., A Barefoot Gal, A Farm Girl’s Life, and Cuddly Critters Blog on July 30th

HOW TO SIGN UP:

  • The challenge is open to participants worldwide, and to ages 10-18.

  • Please get a parent’s permission before signing up.

  • Please sign up just once, on any one (but not more than one) of the hosts’ blogs.

  • Sign up to participate in the Summer Bored Games 2018 with the contact form below! (If you’re on WordPress Reader, the contact form probably won’t show up until you visit my actual blog.)

SBG (6)

If you’re excited for The Summer Bored Games and want to let others in on the fun, we’d quite appreciate if you could share this post to Pinterest, Facebook, or other social media, repost it on your blog, or tell your family and friends! Even if you don’t win a prize, you can still have fun competing with your siblings or friends to see who can get the most points. 🙂

IN CONCLUSION:

Here’s a helpful (and pin-able) infographic to sum up the information above. 😀

 

SBG (15)

 

 

So. Are you usually bored during summer? Do you think the Summer Bored Games sounds fun? Will you sign up? ARE YOU EXCITED?!

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

Bunnies in Autumn

EXTREME CUTENESS ALERT: If you are not able to cope with impossibly adorable animals, perhaps you should skip this post.

Okay, everyone’s still here. Good. BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO CUTE TO MISS, EEP! This is definitely my favorite bunny photoshoot I’ve ever done and it turned out gorgeous, if I do say so myself! 😀 Special thanks to my sister Megan who posed and calmed the bunnies throughout this traumatizing time of sitting on white foamboard and being bombarded by flowers and shot by cameras.

And now let’s just get to the pictures. I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER. (Actually I can wait long enough to give you a warning that there will probably be a lot of caps in this post. Obviously.)

Let’s start with the one and only Olaf. Olaf’s prop was a rosebud from our bush, and it was perfect! Also sorry for all the weird different shades of white in the backgrounds. The original pictures were rather bluish and they were hard to adjust properly since Olaf’s a different color of white. :/ Anyway, just ignore that part and hopefully enjoy them anyway.

1 (1280x853)

Wait. That… wasn’t a rabbit. Oh well.

I dub thee, Princess Olaf. (Yes, Olaf is a girl. We thought she was a boy and had already named her by the time we figured out that the seller had given us the wrong one. XD)

3 (1280x853)2 (1280x853)

BWAHAHAHA isn’t this picture hilarious? Olaf kept winking for some reason.

8 (1280x1280)7 (1280x930)

AGAIN WITH THE WINK.

6 (1280x853)5 (1280x853)

Ugh the white is so off on this one but I love it otherwise! Isn’t it so pretty?

bunnies9 (1280x853)4 (1280x1100)

And now for my dear fluffy Willow. She actually had recently gotten a trim when I took these pictures so she’s not as fluffy as normal. Also Willow gets more pictures because I didn’t need to edit them as much, heh heh. AND BECAUSE SHE’S FLUFFY.

Here we have a behind-the-scenes picture. My little sister Carmen also wanted to help (but just briefly), and poor Willow was a bit befuddled with all the chaos, I think. We chose marigolds because they’re pretty, but I think they may actually be poisonous to rabbits? I’m not sure. Anyway, we made sure she didn’t so much as nibble one, and she’s still alive to tell the story.

DSC_2799 (1280x853)

I’m pretty sure that’s an orange teardrop of stress on her cheek.

DSC_2801 (1280x853)

DSC_2803 (1280x853)

Good JOB, Willow! You stayed!

DSC_2808 (1280x853)

HA HA. I don’t even know what her expression is but it’s funny.

DSC_2807 (1280x853)

THIS. IS. HILARIOUS. It looks like she’s directing a plane coming in for landing or helping someone try to parallel park. “Okay a little to the right. Nope, your other right. There, you got it. Keep on a-coming, beep, beep, beep.”

DSC_2805 (1280x853)

We actually did get some good photos in the midst of all the funny ones, though! While it may look like she sat there innocently staring at me, she did not. She took every chance to meander away from where she was supposed to be in hopes of greener grass. (But this grass is pretty green, so…)

DSC_2822 (1280x853)DSC_2820 (1280x853)DSC_2819 (1280x853)DSC_2818 (1280x853)DSC_2817 (1280x853)9 (1280x1280)

DSC_2832 (1280x853)

Ha ha, she looks like a scared little fluffy pancake. But a cute one. ♄

DSC_2828 (1280x853)

DSC_2825 (1280x853)

Aww, so sweet! That’s it, your getting the hang of it now, Willow!

DSC_2848 (1280x853)

Mmpf, maybe not. SOOOORRY.

DSC_2844 (1280x853)

DSC_2847 (1280x853)

Aww I love this one! Isn’t it so beautiful and adorable? You are a lovely Queen of Summer, Willow.

11 (1280x992)10 (1280x1277)

Next we have Diamond. I think she’s very noble-looking and handsomely beautiful, don’t you? I love the colors in these pictures!

bunnies11 (1280x853)

Whoops, I think I over-edited this one…

12 (1280x853)

Next we went to the soybean field, which is mostly featured in these pictures as a yellow glow.

15 (1280x853)

18 (1280x853)

I LOVE this one!

17 (1280x853)DSC_2882 (1280x853)

Ha ha, her dewlap. XD (A dewlap is the big floppy thingy around their neck that some adult female rabbits have. It’s normal, don’t worry. 😉 )

13 (1280x853)

Now for Snickers. GUYS, HIS CHUBBY CHEEKS HELP ME. Is he not the cutest?

19 (1280x994)

AHHH THIS PICTURE THOUGH.

bunnies12 (1280x853)23 (1280x853)22 (1280x853)DSC_2923 (1280x853)21 (1280x853)

I LOVE HIS SQUISHY FACE.

20 (1280x853)

And lastly but not leastly, a picture of the three compadres, Diamond, Olaf, and Lily. They are similar breeds (Diamond’s a Silver Fox and the other two are New Zealands), but they’re different colors, which makes for a lovely group shot. (And again I have kind of a weird white balance thing going on. Sorry ’bout that!)

bunnies13 (1280x1024)

Lily: Let me just move up a little bit so you can see me better. Is this a good angle?

Olaf: Mmph. You’re squishing me.

26 (1280x853)

In which three frightened rabbits cower under the… oh, it’s just a camera.

25 (1280x812)

HA HA WHAT IS UP WITH THE WINKING AGAIN, OLAF?! XD It cracks me up.

24 (1280x918)

And that’s about it! I took tons more photos than that but those were the best. What did you think, guys? Guys? Oh dear, perhaps that was a little too much cuteness for one post…

If anyone survived, which bunny’s shoot was your favorite?

Thanks so much for reading, my dears, and have a wonderful day!

***Allison***

P. S. OOPS. Nearly forgot about the Caption It contest! Here’s the photo:

DSC_1747 (800x533)

And my favorite caption was by Zielle.

Maggie: Wait, wait, I think I got it! I can wink!
Allison: That’s blinking, Maggie.

HA HA IT’S PERFECT! Thanks, Zielle, and everyone else who participated! I loved reading your captions.

Summer 2017 {Memories + Photos}

Heh heh, I know this is rather late for a summer post, but hey, we haven’t fallen too far into autumn yet, right? (See what I did there?) Anyway, I loved Clara’s summer recap post, so I decided to do one of my own!

Here’s a recap of this summer’s happenings in pictures.

Raising and selling a litter of darling baby bunnies. ♄

summer

Taking a lovely trip to Assateague and Chincoteague Island.

summer

Writing and illustrating letters.

Playing piano at the nursing home and filling in for the pianist at church. O.o

summer

Finding barn kittens.

summer

All the flowers.

DSC_1780

Watching a cardboard boat race. XD

Working on a project I will hopefully reveal soon… (Here’s a sneak peek:)

the color box button

Hayley’s ATC Trade.

summer

Playing Gaga Ball on the trampoline with my siblings.

Swimming at our neighbor’s pool.

summer

Re-designing a board game I created. (Sneak peek:)

alphabet spinner 3

Playing games with family and friends.

Saying goodbye to Clementine. 😩

summer (2)

Making lots and lots of art.

summer (2)

Taking lots and lots of pictures.

DSC_2110 (1280x853)

Pizza and movie nights.

Watching sunsets.

summer (2)

Helping out at a wedding.

Celebrating fourth of July with family. (Photo credit to my aunt.)

Image may contain: night, fireworks, sky and outdoor

Going camping in tents with cousins and grandparents.

DSC_0806 (1280x853) 1

Meeting new people and making new friends.

Hatching swallowtail butterflies.

summer

Cutting and creaming 150 quarts of corn from our sweet corn patch. O.o

summer

Books.

DSC_1735 (853x1280)

Blogging.

Watching the eclipse (even though I got rather poor photos XD).

summer

Having simply splendid time at Amelia Island with friends.

summer

Finally watching Star Wars. 😛

The County Fair.

summer

Starting WordCrafters 3.

WordCrafters 3 (1280x1280) (800x800)

Gardening and canning produce.

poem 2 (1280x853)

Consuming many 50 cent Frosties at Wendy’s.

Sewing class.

DSC_1527 (1280x853)

Video-chatting with a blogger friend.

Making decorations for our monthly church meals.

summer 2

Emailing, writing to, and debating with blogger friends. 😀 ♄

CWWC (see my entries here) and BIBPC, (this my latest entry).

13 Allison Kiwi

Nature Study with friends.

DSC_0504 (1280x853)

Bonfires, big and small.

summer (2)

Gathering eggs. :/

Megan’s birthday (which included a water balloon fight).

summer

Family reunions.

Labor Day adventures.

DSC_2239 (800x533) summer

Making memories. ♄

It was a lovely summer. 🙂 I had a lot of fun but I also learned a lot, I think more in practical knowledge than book knowledge. It’s been good.

How was your summer?

***Allison***

Gone Camping

Last weekend we went on a camping trip with my Dad’s side of the family, and it was so much fun! My camera still isn’t working the best, but I did manage to get a few decent pictures.

DSC_0806 (1280x853) 1.jpg

We got to the campground in the evening so we didn’t do much after that besides set up. Megan and I shared a really nice tent with our two cousins. Although we did play the most confusing game of Uno ever. XD We played the “interrupting” version where you can lay down a card that’s exactly the same (same number and color) as the one someone else just laid down even if it’s not your turn. Anyway, when we laid down several skips or draw-twos or reverses in a row it got quite complicated, XD Have you ever played Interrupting Uno?

DSC_0795 (1280x853)

Unfortunately the ground under our tent was quite bumpy and rocky and sloping, and my sleeping bag didn’t provide much protection… so I didn’t sleep that well the first night. XD But oh well.

DSC_0797 (1280x853)

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast of pancake and sausages and bacon cooked over a combination of a camp cookstove and a bonfire. YUM.

DSC_0831 (853x1280)

The next day started out extremely hot until a huge rainstorm came in the afternoon. The kids rushed to a pavilion nearby and had fun playing games until it stopped raining. My little sister Carmen got scared of all the thunder though, poor girl. :/

DSC_0805 (1280x853)

In the afternoon we went down to the pool which was huge and the perfect temperature, if a bit dirty. All of us except my uncle played a couple of exhilarating games of water polo. It was SO much fun and we all laughed so hard. XD (And my team won both times, heh heh.)

Unfortunately, the floor of the pool was rough concrete and almost all of us skinned our toes and feet up pretty badly what with pushing off hard and running through the water. We had to break out the Band-Aids and gauze when we got back to the campsite and even then we were limping around. XD It would have been pretty hilarious if it wasn’t so painful… well actually, it was still pretty hilarious. 😛 Kind of a strange way to injure yourself, huh?

DSC_0808 (1280x853)

In the evening we had a bonfire and hot dog roast – and s’mores, of course. My uncle also popped some popcorn over the fire and it was AMAZING! It was some of the best popcorn I have ever tasted! His recipe was 1/3 cup of popcorn to 1/4 cup of oil, I think, with a pinch of salt.

DSC_0824 (1280x853)

The cicadas and/or tree frogs were really loud, but in a peaceful kind of way. It was so nice just to be sitting around the fire with family and talking and eating popcorn. 🙂

DSC_0815 (1280x853)

We bought air mattresses for the second night which felt luxurious compared to sleeping bags. XD I know, I need to toughen up – but I have like NO extra padding on my body which doesn’t help anything. XD

DSC_0798 (1280x853)

We had scrambled eggs and chocolate muffins and bacon for the last breakfast. YUM AGAIN. (Hmm, this post seems to feature a lot of food, doesn’t it? XD )

We then went down and played around at the Gaga pit and swings and rock climbing wall and stuff, but it was so hot we didn’t do it for long.

Before we left we went to the pool one last time and tried not to scrape open our blisters. Eheh heh… dear me.

And then we left! All in all it was a pretty fun time. 😀

Have you gone camping this summer? What is some of your favorite campfire food? What do you like to do best while camping?

***Allison***

25 Incredible Books to Read This Summer

25 books (800x800).jpg
Background image via unsplash.com

Hello, and how are you, dears? Good, I hope!

Well it’s summer, which means lots and lots of reading, right? Except if you’re like me, you don’t know what to read.

Don’t panic! Grab your library card and go check out some of these books. I’ve compiled twenty five of my favorite books, including plenty of series to keep you occupied. 🙂

In case you’re wondering, for the most part they aren’t in any particular order. I added a short description – you can ask for a longer one in the comments – and a link to the book on Amazon. (Just note that I didn’t shop around for the cheapest option. Also, these are not affiliate links.)

Now without further ado, I present to you twenty five incredible books!

  1. The Mysterious Benedict Society Series: THIS IS (one of) THE BEST SERIES EVER! There’s no bad language, magic, or inappropriate content; it’s great for all ages; and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read! Unfortunately it’s super hard to explain the plot without spoiling it or else making it sound boring, but I’ll give it a try. After following a strange advertisement in the newspaper and passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children embark on a strange adventure to stop the evil Mr. Curtain from taking over the world with his Whisperer in a most terrible way. They must use their abilities and work as a team to solve the riddles and mysteries at every turn. Ugh, that was an awful summary. You can read a slightly better one here.
  2. The Penderwicks Series: Follow the four Penderwick sisters on many hilarious and heartwarming adventures (and misadventures). Filled with funny, well crafted, and extremely relatable characters, these books are immensely satisfying must-reads, and perfect for summer!
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia Series: This is part of Amazon’s summary: “four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope.” If you haven’t yet read these wonderful classics, well, what are you waiting for?
  4. The Mighty Miss Malone: I read this just recently, and it was so good it’s now one of my favorite books! Narrated by a black girl living in the time of the Great Depression, this historical-fiction-ish story is full of humor, warmth, and wonderful characters.
  5. Miss Piggle-Wiggle Series:  Charming, clever, and hilarious. Another perfect read-aloud. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a rather eccentric old lady who finds the most peculiar cures for children’s bad habits. Like the time when she cures a boy who doesn’t want to take a bath by letting him get so dirty, his parents can plant radishes in his hair. Or the time when… well, I could go on, but maybe you should just read them yourself. 😉
  6. The Green Ember Series: A delightful adventure story starring two rabbits named Heather and Picket. When their peaceful world is disturbed, the two siblings are thrown onto a dangerous path that will take strength they didn’t know they had. Joined by many interesting and sometimes mysterious characters, the two rabbits join the fight “Till the Green Ember rises or the end of the world.” These books are kind of a blend of Watership Down, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings.
  7. Freddy the Pig Series: Freddy the Pig is no ordinary pig. He’s also a writer, a detective, and leader of all the animals on Mr. Bean’s farm – in short, Freddy is a hero. He, along with his friends Jinx the cat and Mrs. Wiggins the cow, lead the farm animals on all sorts of wild adventures, uncovering schemes and concocting clever plans.
  8. Charlotte’s Web: Wilbur the pig goes into hysterics when he finds out he will be butchered one day. But with the help of his talented spider friend Charlotte and farm girl Fern, they come up with a plan that just might save his bacon. This is definitely another children’s classic.
  9. Do Hard Things: This is quite different from the rest of the books on this list, but it’s one of the most life-changing. Do Hard Things is a how-to book written by teenagers that shows you how to overcome society’s pathetically low expectations for today’s teenagers and use your life to make a difference. That involves sometimes scary things and stepping outside your comfort zone, but the rewards are sky-high. The authors are unashamedly Christian, but their points are still as true and thought-provoking for non-Christians. Read this. Please. (They also have a website called therebelution.com.)
  10. Pippi Longstocking Series: These books contain the laugh-out-loud escapades of an unusually spunky, peculiar, and delightful red-haired girl who can turn anything into an adventure. A great read-aloud for all ages.
  11. Anne of Green Gables Series: A sweet, funny series about another lovable red-haired orphan girl. Anne-with-an-e has a big heart and a flair for the dramatic. She encounters many trials in her life such as that hilarious escapade with the “raspberry cordial,” nearly drowning while pretending to be a heroine in a poem, and a certain boy named Gilbert who insists on calling her “Carrots.”
  12. Swiss Family Robinson: An exciting adventure story about a family who is shipwrecked on an island and must fend for themselves. The language of the original is rather dense, but the story is sooo good once you get into it! Mom read it to my siblings and I quite a few years ago and we all loved it.
  13. Little Women: Four sisters learn to make their own fun from what they have while their father is away at war and their mother works hard to support their family. Sorry, this one’s a little hard to summarize. XD But it IS really good! 😉
  14. The Little House Series: The classic (true) story of life as a pioneer. It’s amazing how very different Laura and Almanzo’s lives were from ours – a world without cars or electronics, where everyone made their own clothes and built their own houses and grew most of their own food. I like how my little sister says reading these make her feel all warm inside – me too! 😀 One of my top favorite series ever!
  15. Peter Pan: Three children visit Neverland – a magical world of fairies, mermaids, pirates, and boys who never grow up. A delightful children’s classic.
  16. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH: When Mrs. Frisby’s home is about to be destroyed, the mouse seeks help from the mysterious rats of NIMH, rats who are abnormally strong and intelligent. But why? What happened to the rats and how are they connected to NIMH, whatever that stands for? I think this is a lesser known book/series that deserves more popularity. It’s really quite good!
  17. The Borrowers Series: Unbeknownst to the humans, a family of tiny people live within their walls, surviving by “borrowing” human things – dollhouse furniture, scraps of food, bits of thread… But what would happen if the humans discovered them? It looks like they’re about to find out.
  18. Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Part of Amazon’s summary: “A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations.” This is such a funny, charming book.
  19. Mary Poppins Series: Let’s do another Amazon summary: “When their new nanny, Mary Poppins, arrives on a gust of the East Wind, greets their mother, and slides up the banister, Jane and Michael’s lives are turned magically upside down . . . Mary takes the children on the most extraordinary outings: to a fun fair inside a pavement picture; to visit Uncle Andrew who floats up to the ceiling when he laughs; on a spectacular trip to see the Man-in-the-Moon!”
  20. My Side of the Mountain Trilogy: A boy named Sam runs away and makes a home for himself on the side of a mountain, learning how to hunt, cook, make a house out of a tree, and more. This series reminds me of Swiss Family Robinson and The Little House.
  21. The Wizard of Oz Series: A tornado suddenly whisks Dorothy and her dog Toto away to a strange new land with talking lions and scarecrows and tin men – and a mysterious wizard who seems to be hiding something. But what? And now how will Dorothy ever get back to her farm?
  22. Winnie the Pooh Series: An adorable, hilarious story about a stuffed bear and his companions who live in the Hundred Acre Wood. I absolutely love the writing style, the gentle yet laugh-out-loud humor, and the lovable characters. This is meant for younger children, but older children and adults will love it too – a perfect read-aloud.
  23. James Herriot Series: A sort of autobiography about the adventures of James Herriot, a vet who works in the England countryside. He encounters many strange and funny cases, but he manages all of them with a warm sense of humor and some soap and hot water.
  24. The Secret Garden: One of my favorite classics! A young girl discovers a hidden garden and takes it upon herself to uncover its secrets and bring it back to life. The garden miraculously does the same to her and her friends and makes them grow and blossom in ways they had never thought possible.
  25. And last but the opposite of least… The Bible! The Bible is not only the most important book you will ever read, but it has some quite interesting (and true!) stories in it: the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Daniel, David, Paul, and of course, Jesus, among many, many others. The amazing thing about the Bible is you can always find some new detail or meaning every time you read it. Try it and see! You might be surprised at how a supposedly familiar Bible story or passage encourages you in a fresh new way.

Well, I hope you found some new stories to try in that list, my friends. Which ones are you looking forward to reading? How many have you already read? And what are a few of your favorite books?

***Allison***

P. S. I have sooooo many more favorite books that I originally was going to do a list of 50, but I thought that would get a bit long. XD So maybe I can do another book list post! What do you guys think?

How About That Bucket List? {Summer Review}

bucket list (640x640)

(Note: Sorry for any complications with this post. :/ I accidentally hit “Publish” before it was ready, so I had to revert it to draft and finish it. Oops!)

At the beginning of summer, I posted a Summer Bucket List, aka some of the things I hoped to do this summer. Are you ready to see how I did?

Key:

Green = Check!

Yellow = Sort of

Red = Nope

(Thanks for the “key” idea, Loren!)

_____________________________________________________________

1. Read the Bible every day. I did pretty well with this! I didn’t read it every single day, but definitely most days. I read through Revelation, Romans, Galatians, and I’m almost done with 1st Corinthians. I’m going to try and continue this goal throughout the year.

2. Go to a movie theater. Yes! We did go to the movie theater for one of the special $1 days. (We saw The Peanuts Movie.) It was a fun experience. 🙂

3. Get more sleep. Heh heh. Probably not. XD I did pretty much stick to my goal of reading my Bible every night before bed and not reading any other books unless it was before 10:30… but I still went to bed late a lot. 😛 So the sleep part, I don’t think so, but the reading schedule, yep!

4. Do stretches more often. Yep! I can just barely touch my toes now. XD I know, that’s pitiful. XD But at least it’s better than at the beginning of summer.

5. Paint and redecorate my room. YES! This was one of the highlights of my summer! You can see my post about the room makeover here. It looks soooo much better now!

6. Improve my swimming. Weeell, I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to tell for sure. I’m not super fast, but I feel like maybe I’m more confident and at home in the water. I love just being underwater – it’s so peaceful and beautiful! I also got a little better at diving… but my flips aren’t too polished yet. XD So I’m going to say I DID improve my swimming, if for no other reason than I swam a lot this summer and feel more comfortable in the water.

7. Watch the Olympics! That was so much fun! I really loved the Olympics. It felt like this year especially I was witnessing history being made: Michael Phelps’ last Olympics, Katie Ledecky smashing the world record, Team USA grabbing another gold for Women’s Gymnastics (not to mention the talented Simone Biles collecting a few more for herself!), Team USA winning the most medals in the Olympics overall, and so much more. Way to go America! 😀

8. Cook something weird. If Turkish Delight counts as weird, then yes, yes I did. (See the recipe here.)

9. Decorate cupcakes with friends. Sadly, we did not get to do this. 😩 Maybe we can make some fall-themed ones this season.

10. Go fishing. Uh… does holding a fishing pole over water for, like, five minutes count? XD We went fishing a tiny bit with some friends while on vacation, but I didn’t catch anything.

11. Make “masterpieces” from my three [or four] favorite mediums. I think so! I made this dragon from polymer clay, sewed a quillow in sewing class, drew Casey (in this post), and took lots of pretty pictures, many of which I posted on this blog.

12. Have a shaving cream fight. This. Was. So. Fun. Ahhh! We should definitely do it again. (See my post about it here.)

13. Do a photoshoot with friends. I did this photoshoot with our friends when they came over and played on the barn roofs with us. 😀 Those are some of my all time favorite photos!

14. Add more things to my Etsy shop. I sold several custom orders over the summer, like this owl, and this German Shepherd dog. I also added some necklace pendants and this dragon to my shop. I sold… let me see, 5 things this summer! Yay! 😀

15. Take lots of pictures on our vacation. I guess it depends on what you mean by “lots.” I took 260 pictures, not counting the ones I deleted. Would you say that’s a lot? I think so. 😀 I did two posts so far (here and here) with some of the pictures.

____________________________________________________________

So out of 15 goals, I completed  11, sort of completed 3, and didn’t complete 1. Pretty good!

This summer was quite eventful. Besides doing the things on my bucket list…

  • I met a blogger (Rebekah) in real life! Sooo fun!
  • I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Youch!
  • My blog got featured on Discover (which you probably already know by now). That also was one of the highlights of my summer.
  • Megan and I entered lots of stuff in the fair, and we won several ribbons! (I’ll probably do a post about my entries…)
  • And Willow, my rabbit, had baby bunnieeeeees! (Another highlight.) They’re SOOOO CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT! See pictures of them here (when they were first born) and here (much fuzzier).

Phew! That was a lot of links. XD

So yeah! That was a short review of my summer. 🙂 What were some of the highlights of your summer? Did you complete your bucket list if you had one?

***Allison***

P. S. Thank you for your prayers for my cousin Leisha. 🙂 Her surgery went very well – thank you, Lord! ♄ She has had some pain, though, so please continue to pray for her recovery. 🙂 ♄♄♄

My Summer Bucket List

bucket list (640x640).jpg

Quite a few bloggers have done summer bucket list posts lately, and I enjoyed reading them! I thought it would be a good idea to make one myself. Some of the things on my bucket list are just fun things to do, and some are more like personal goals. I am actually going to try to do these things! *Gasp* XD At the end of the summer I will tell you if I accomplished these goals or not. 🙂

1. Read the Bible every day. I’m definitely going to try and do this.

2. Go to a movie theater. Guys, this may shock you, but I have NEVER been to a movie theater! (Well, unless museum theaters count.) But this summer we might possibly go see Finding Dory! We also are probably going to a summer theater thingy where it shows movies that already came out for only $1 a person. I can’t wait!

3. Get more sleep. 😛 Heh heh. 😉 My bedtime goal is to read a chapter of the Bible before I go to bed, and then read other books only if it’s before 10:30. Or maybe Mom could let us sleep in more… Just kidding! XD We do sleep in already.

4. Do stretches more often. I am rather un-flexible. (Well, my elbows are double-jointed (or at least hyper-flexible), but that doesn’t really count. 😛 I can sort of twist them around so they stick out the opposite way. XD Yeah, very weird but true.) Annnnnyway, as I was saying… I hope by the end of the summer I can at least touch my toes! XD

5. Paint and redecorate my room. My sister and I have been wanting to redo our bedroom for a long time. The wallpaper is kind of old and doesn’t really match our bedspreads and decorations. After we paint, I want to redecorate our room with goodies from Hobby Lobby. I LOVE HOBBY LOBBY!

6. Improve my swimming. Especially my endurance and speed. I could practice more if the water wasn’t so cold! XD I do love swimming though. Our neighbor has a nice pool that she very generously lets us use.

7. Watch the Olympics! I love watching the Olympics – especially the gymnastics and swimming. It’s so much fun to eat snacks and watch the Olympics with my family.

8. Cook something weird. Maybe a strange-sounding ethnic dish or just something that I wouldn’t usually try. And then eat it, of course. XD Speaking of weird foods, here is a strangish food my family eats: carrot salad (grated carrots, orange Jello, nuts, celery, and crushed pineapple). It probably sounds really weird, but it’s delicious! Have you tried it before?

9. Decorate cupcakes with friends. My friend and my sister and I want to make one of the recipes in my friend’s special-cupcakes book.

10. Go fishing. I love fishing at my uncle’s pond!

11. Make “masterpieces” from my three favorite mediums. In other words, I want to create something really good from polymer clay, take some really good pictures, and make some really good art.

12. Have a shaving cream fight. This would be so fun! And then wash off and go swim in the pool.

13. Do a photoshoot with friends. I would love to do a fun, creative photoshoot with my friends or family!

14. Add more things to my Etsy shop. I haven’t done much with my Etsy shop lately. I hope to add some new products and even get a few sales over the summer. 😀

15. Take lots of pictures on our vacation. This year we’re going to see Niagara falls and travel up around the Michigan/Great Lakes area. There is going to be lots of water (my favorite!) and I really want to get some good pictures. I’m thinking sunsets on the lakes and definitely photos of Niagara falls. 🙂 Also as a side note: it might be helpful if I don’t ruin my camera this year like I did on our last two vacations! UGH! (Both times it was because of sand. 😩 )

There you go! What is the #1 thing on your summer bucket list? Are you going to do any of the things on my list?

***Allison***

P. S. I have some announcements from around the blogosphere to share with you. 🙂 Rutvi is having a writing contest! Check it out here. Also, Clara is doing a really neat blog scavenger hunt. Definitely go check that out too! (I helped with the prize. *Smug look* XD Ha ha!)