Mama Monday: Classically Beautiful

Anyone who knows me or has looked over my blog knows that I love books. Preacher Man loves books. And we are raising our children to love books. Just this week Monkey has started sitting still and letting me read to him! Things are progressing nicely in this area, so I started thinking ahead to the grandchildren. I know that my oldest is only eight, soon to be turning nine, but I want to pass our families love of the written word on to future generations.

So I started researching and selecting illustrated classical books to purchase with the intentions of having these for my children and for my grandchildren. Books that are as beautiful to look at as they are to read. I wanted to share some of these books that I’ve already purchased and my list of future illustrated classics to buy.

The Secret Garden: Unbelievable artwork and a nice big book to hold.

The Hobbit: A very fantasy type of art which is perfect for this story. I bought this one recently to read to Chipette since the movie is coming out this fall/winter, but I don’t think she’s ready to hear this one yet. I forgot how complex the language is.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The art in this version is very much like a children’s book which makes this classic very accessible to the youngest of listeners. There is a picture on almost every page which is nice.

Bruce Coville’s Shakespeare picture books. This is the only one we own currently, The Tempest. I am in love with this series of books. If you want to make Shakespeare accessible and fun for early elementary children, these are the books you want!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The art in this book reminds me of old picture books. While some of the pages are not super easy to read because they put the type over some of the art work, I didn’t have any trouble.

In the mail right now on the way to my house is Through the Looking Glass illustrated by the same artist who did Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland above.

On my Amazon Wish List to be purchased at some point in the future:

The Wind in the Willows (This is an abridged version, but the illustrator is the same one who did The Secret Garden above.)

Heidi (I would really like to find a nice color illustrated version of this instead of the one I linked here.)

The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Full color illustrations!)

Winnie the Pooh Box Set (This set has been around for a while, but now those delightful Pooh drawings are in color.)

TheAdventures of Pinocchio (The art in this book has a very Renaissance feel to it. I found it hauntingly beautiful.)

These are the ones I've found so far, but I am still on the lookout for more beautifully illustrated classics. If you have any that you've found and your children love, please share in the comments.

Thinking about the future while collecting classics from the past in the tree house,



Wordless Wednesday: Kingship Denied!

While we were at Disney World in the Magic Kingdom, Chipette found the Sword in the Stone. She wants to be royalty so badly.

And was very angry when Magpie could pull out the sword with ease!

Sharing one of my favorite memories from Disney World in the tree house,


P.S. Check out the Disney World label to see all the blog posts I’ve done about our trip last week!

Tasty Tuesday: Not Your Typical Theme Park

For Tasty Tuesday this week I wanted to share some of the food we ate on our trip to Disney World. Since I’ve loved theme parks since I was a child, I’ve eaten my fair share of theme park food. Generally it can be summed up in two words, “fried and bleh”. However, I did my research, helped my mom plan out where we would eat while in the parks, and it was delicious!

First, we stopped at Waffle House for breakfast one morning while driving to Disney. And of course, I had to have the traditional waffle.

Technically not in Disney World, but it was so good, I had to take a picture!

Hands down the best food we ate was in the Magic Kingdom at Liberty Tree Tavern. It was so, so good!

They served us pork loin, roast beef, and turkey with stuffing, rolls, green beans, gravy, mashed potatoes, and a steamed squash and zucchini dish.

Runner up to first place was Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. I had meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a delicious pastry covered in berries and stuffed with mascarpone cheese for dessert.

Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the dessert, but it wasn’t on the plate long enough!

On our way out the Magic Kingdom, we stopped by the Main Street Bakery and picked up pastries for breakfast the next morning.

Pictured are the chocolate croissants and the cinnamon rolls, which should be illegal for their size and deliciousness!

Last but not least, while everyone else was enjoying fish and chips in Great Britain, Preacher Man and I decided to be a bit exotic and eat at the Tangerine Café in Morocco at Epcot. Preacher Man was more exotic than I. He got the sampler platter with lamb, chicken, hummus, and couscous.

I ate his hummus, though! J

I had a Morrocan Kefta Sandwich, which is basically a hamburger in pita bread with a pico de gallo (I know it’s not a Moroccan food, but that’s what it looked and tasted like!) topping.

I also know that it was really, really good!

Walking all over the parks were my hips’ best friend while eating all of this delicious food in the tree house,


Disney World Vacation Day Five

Our last day at Disney we visited Hollywood Studios, which is my least favorite of the Disney parks. I have the fewest pictures from this park because it is definitely not very two-year old friendly, so I volunteered to take Monkey back to the room for his afternoon nap since I knew Preacher Man and the girls would really like to stay.

Starting our day out with a picture in front of my favorite scene from Fantasia:

The Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area was a HUGE hit with all three of the kids. They’ve never even seen the movie, but guess what’s next in my Netflix queue? J

Right before we left for the trip Preacher Man and I introduced the girls to the awesomeness that is Star Wars. They were so excited to find these at the park!

Even the “adult” was excited!

After Monkey’s nap, we played in the sand by the pool at our resort. This was the highlight of the trip in Monkey’s eyes!

We had a wonderful time at Disney and are definitely going back! The next time around, though, I would prefer to spend two days in each park (except Hollywood Studios!). Maybe then we would have enough time to see everything.

Making the magic happen in the traveling tree house,


Disney World Vacation Day Four

Today was the day I was the most excited about. When my family visited Disney World I was in Jr. High, so it’s been about 20 years. The Animal Kingdom park hadn’t even been built yet, so I couldn’t wait to visit a new part of the Disney experience. It was an amazing place and very, very beautiful with lots of trees, flowers, and, of course, ANIMALS!!! Monkey was in heaven. This was definitely his most enjoyable day!

He would have watched these fish forever.

He loved the gorillas.

We took a ride on the African safari and saw some amazing animals. This day was the coolest and cloudiest while we were there and all of the animals were out and about. There were a couple of times that I could have reached out and touched some of the animals.

At lunch we got to meet Daisy, who we’d missed the day before in Epcot.

The girls danced with some Indian dancers while in the Asia area of the park.

Look out Bollywood! Here we come!

We got to meet Pocahontas while there.

And most important of all, the girls found some mouse ears!!!

Animal Kingdom was really awesome! Too bad it closes so early.

Thinking that we are our own little Animal Kingdom here in the traveling tree house,


Disney World Vacation Day Three

Today took us to my favorite park in Disney World…Epcot! Unfortunately I didn’t get to share with the kids what I love about Epcot, the World Showcase. We ran out of time and only got to visit Norway (where we had a character lunch at Auskerhus to meet the princesses) and Great Britain (where the girls ate fish and chips with Gran and Papaw for supper).

However, we met a TON of Disney characters while in Epcot…


Sleeping Beauty (Aurora),

Snow White,



Chip and Dale,





and Donald Duck. Donald is my favorite, so I had to have a little fight with that hot-headed duck!

While I didn’t get pictures of it, Monkey loved the Nemo ride and the aquarium. We saw a couple of rescued manatees whose tails had been cut with boat propellers and he spent the rest of the day saying, “Man-tee cut”. He was so worried about them! He enjoyed the Mickey Mouse stickers as well:

We had a wonderful day in Epcot!

Meeting Disney royalty and animal pals makes for a memorable day in the traveling tree house,