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Colton is a busy, busy boy. That means he’d much rather be collecting rocks (seriously, I have a small waterning can outside that is now filled with rocks) than reading books. Still, we’ve found quite a few that he loves to look at alone and have read to him time and time again.

Lift the flap books are fantastic, and Colton really loves My Little People Farm Lift the Flap. It’s loaded with flaps, which are a little hard to open to for a younger baby but should be fine for a one year old, and has lots and lots of animals to look at. Colton hasn’t managed to rip any of the flaps off yet either, which makes it a winner in my books.

Speaking of lift the flaps, anything by Karen Katz is fantastic. We started with Where is Baby’s Belly Button and also really like <a href=”Daddy and Me""“>Daddy and Me. These have great, big flaps, one to a page, and tell a story. The flaps are sturdy and reattach wonderfully with plain ol’ Elmer’s.

We recently checked out The More We Get Together from our local library, and since it wasn’t lift the flap or touch and feel I wasn’t sure how it would go, but Colton is in love with this one. I sing the words on each page, which I think makes it more interesting for him, but the illustrations are simple, cute and all about the adorable kids.

The trifecta of awesome toddler books, is, in mine and Colton’s opinions, Good Morning, Good Night. This fabulous book has large, fold out pages and animals with large touch and feel areas. This is a great book for babies, who have a hard time touching smaller areas in some kid’s books, and toddlers, who want to do it themselves.

Colton loves My Big Animal Book, which has real pictures of all kinds of animals, rather than illustrations. This is one of the books I catch him “reading” on his own most often.

You can never go wrong with a classic like Pat the Bunny. This was one of my favorites, so I’m glad Colton likes it as well. He did, however go through a phase after learning all of the actions for each page where he simply licked everything. Strange kid. But now he’s back to enjoying peek-a-boo and smelling flowers.

We just got our copy of Lift the Flap Bible today, but Colton and I both really like it. The flaps are similar to those in the Little People books, the illustrations are lush and engaging, and each page comes with a short Bible story.

worksformeBefore I got married and moved to my new hometown, I had lived in the same town my whole life; my library card still had my five year old scrawl on back. I grew up in a relativly small town that had one library. The county had several other libraries you could request books from, but only one serviced the town. Because of that, it stocked just about every kind of book from classics, to fantasy, to best sellers, to Christian books, to biographies, well, you get the idea.

In new town, not so much. We have about 7 or 8 libraries that service the entire town. I happen to live closest to the “Headquarters” library, which isn’t very large and doesn’t stock quite as wide a range of books. I mean, if a library in a town that claims to be souther doesn’t have ANY Flannery O’Conner, then something is wrong. Needless to say, I’m when I go looking for a particular book, I don’t usually find it. Also, when I go, I’m usually pressed for time, so I don’t want to spend a long time looking for something that’s probably not there.

Enter my library’s online card catologe. Not only can I check to se if my closest library carries the book I want, but I can reserve any book online. Its great! Usually I request two to three books at a time, then wait for a phone calling telling me my books have come it. Usually I get as many calls as books I reserved, so I wait until I know all the books are in, then swing by to pick them up. While I’m there, I might check out the new arrivals section for something that looks interesting, but it takes me about 10 minutes max to get the books I just can’t wait to read.

I know this works for other ladies who have young children who need to suprvise their children and help them pick out books rather than brose for themselves. Timing a library visit with the arival of mom’s books can make sure everyone leaves the library happy! Oh, and your library will even hold a book they carry for you, in addition to getting books they don’t have as well.

Requesting library books online really works for me. For more tips, tricks and great ideas, check out Rocks in my Dryer.

When I was in school, I’m thinking elementary school, my favorite subject was always reading. Back then though, I think it was called Language Arts. Here are ten reasons why I always loved that class:

10. I was good at it, and its always more fun to work on something you’re good at.

9. The freedom to be creative!

8. We did lots of word puzzles. You know, like “If Johnny sits next to Mary and Mary sits two rows behind Jill who won’t sit next to Bob or Tim. Who sits where?” kinds of problems, which were always fun to solve.

7. Going to the library! Oh that delicious book smell!

6. I love to tell stories, and writing them down is just as fun!

5. Two words: ACCELRATED. READER.

4. The fact that, during one semester, I earned the most Accerlrated Reader points of anyone in my grade and won a trip in a limo to go out to dinner with my whole family PLUS the movie “The Lion King.”

3. BOOK IT!! Gotta love free personal-pan pizzzas, at least when you’re under the age of 12.

2. I almost always finished a story before we were supposed to discuss it, so I could read ANOTHER story (or two) while the rest of the class was still on the first.

1. The stories! I almost always feel like I am the main character in a novel or story — its great pretending to be someone else for a bit!

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.