Oh, what a beautiful day to get married! What an easy wedding date to remember, too!

Meet Donna and Wes, the sweet couple.

I love smooches in the Fall!

After photos at the House, we headed over to the Inn for their sunset ceremony.

Reverend Tim Lolley officiated the happy event.

I love how intensely Wes is looking at Donna here.

Even small, intimate weddings can have themes! I loved the beautiful red Donna carried throughout all her well-chosen details. (That cake element is from Etsy, by the way.)

We had such a great time at the Asheville Holiday Parade on Saturday, organized by the Asheville Downtown Association! It turned out to be a beautiful day!

Cole & Harper rode on float sponsored by the Munchkin Market, which is a seasonal, upscale children’s consignment sale in Asheville. The theme of their entry was the 1964, stop-motion animation version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, featuring the island of misfit toys. Cole was the ostrich-riding cowboy…

…and Harper was Harper-(or Charlie)-in-the-box.

A few friendly characters from Fanaticon stopped by to entertain the kids while they waited and waited patiently for the parade to begin.

Here are a few of the float and characters in action.

The Costume Shoppe of Asheville was the entry directly behind us (they also make a great Bumble!) – I loved that bright red car!

After a short dance performance in front of Pack Place

..we hit the home stretch. Fun for everyone!

The Catwings series by Ursula Le Guin is a great way to bridge the gap between picture books and full-fledged chapter books. Each book in this series of four features colorful illustrations and short chapters. (This is especially important for reluctant readers, as lengthy chapter books can be intimidating.) These books are fun for read-alouds, too, as the topic of cats with wings is pretty universally adored by both boys & girls and certainly jumpstarts the imagination.

Follow along with the adventures of Harriet, James, Roger, and Thelma (and later a few others, too!) as they flee life behind a dumpster in the city and eventually discover a pair of loving, gentle hands to care for them.

On the first weekend in November (yes, I’m still playing catch up!) we celebrated Cole’s 9th birthday (with family bowling – score!) I can’t believe we have a NINE year old on our hands! Wasn’t I just walking laps around our neighborhood waiting for him to be born? (While Mark was snoring, I might add…apparently he didn’t understand the urgency of the situation – when your water breaks, there’s supposed to be a baby soon after…or at least that’s what I thought in my head.) Anyway, our now nine-year-old Cole is getting so tall and lanky, and is having a great year both in school and outside of school in a handful of extra-curricular activities. He’s pretty awesome, if I say so myself, even if he doesn’t believe that his full name is Coleslaw anymore. He still gives me a hug when he gets off the bus, though, so that’s pretty cool.

I discovered this book, written by Gloria Houston, just a few weeks ago while looking through the “new” book rack at our local library. I admit I was swayed by the mention of “bookmobile” in the title. After settling down to read the book to Harper later in the evening I realized that not only was this a story about books, but it took place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina as well. We were so excited! (In retrospect, I thought the mountains in the illustrations looked familiar.)

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is about the perseverance of a real woman named Dorothy Thomas, who grew up in Massachusetts and dreamed of being a librarian, and came to western North Carolina with her husband after graduating from college. After moving to the rural mountains she discovered that there wasn’t a local library, but she didn’t let that fact hinder her dream. Aided by her community of book-lovers she eventually raised enough money for a bookmobile, which she drove up twisting mountain roads and through snowstorms and floods to bring books to anyone who desired to read. It is amazing to imagine just how many people have been influenced by her determination!

Also by Gloria Houston, here’s another great title worth reading…

Speaking of fall, my eye was immediately drawn to the cover of this book today! I love Lois Ehlert’s fun use of different mediums in her illustrative work! The artwork in her books usually incorporates bold colors, watercolors, textured, cut-paper collages, and sometimes even elements found in nature. For example, this particular book features arrangements of actual leaves on die-cut pages. Her work is large, colorful, and visual, making it perfect for babies and preschoolers, with scientific information that’s great for early or older readers as well.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has been one of my favorites for a long time! Written by Bill Martin, Jr (who also wrote, Brown Bear, Brown Bear…), and illustrated by Ehlert, it’s a fun, romping alphabet read – perfect for reading aloud to your favorite preschooler!