I lay back on the queen size mattress, sandwiched between a lanky 5-year-old and a squishy 2-year-old. My right arm encircles my expanding belly.
Kayla hands me the book, her finger hooked at our spot.
We hold our breaths and jump in the time machine. I let the words roll off my tongue, creating pictures in our imaginations. The girls listen in rapt wonder.
Liv usually falls asleep about halfway through the second chapter. Kayla stays awake, always begging for "another one" when the chapter ends. On most nights, we read for about an hour.
For the past few months, we've been wrapped up in farm life - droughts and fires, sunbonnets and grasshoppers, the frying of doughnuts and the churning of butter. Tim usually listens in, caught up in the history and suspense. "This is great American literature," he remarked without sarcasm, when we first began the series.
This week, we'll begin the 6th book of the The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set Little House series. It seems fitting to be reading them now - as we blaze these trails, carving out a new contented life in the deserts of Arizona.
Do you read chapter books aloud to your children? Have you read the Little House series?