Monday, February 14, 2011

The Grey King

It is my goal to read all of the Newberry Medal and Caldecott Medal winner books.  About a month ago when we walked into the Library there was The Grey King by Susan Cooper sitting on the display shelf and it had the gold circle which immediately caught my eye--it was a Newberry Medal winner!  I eagerly checked it out and then started reading in the car on the way home!!!!!!!

It is a classic GOOD vs EVIL book set in modern times but whose heroes can travel back and forth in time to where they are most needed and to get assistance in the present. 

I really liked the storyline--it was a hard book to put down but you have to read the sequel to finish the story.  And there are three books BEFORE The Grey King.  I read the sequel, Silver on the Tree,  in order to see who would win the battle between GOOD and EVIL.  The story is kind of Lord of the Rings-ish in that there are several storylines happening at once and you need to remember who is where and what they are doing and is very hard to put down to do simple things like eat, sleep, shower, etc.  You must remember that I have children and rarely have the opportunity to sit down and read a book through like I did in my high school, college, single days.  I remember sneaking out to read by the hall light when I was supposed to be sleeping soundly in bed.  Ah, those days are gone.  I'm just thankful to be able to read for a few minutes when. . .well, you don't want to know when;-)

Some of the evil guys are kind of scary so I'd say this is probably about 5th grade reading level--BUT there is some cussing in both books--and not all by the BAD guys.  Just a warning:  some people have very strong feelings about such things.

I do have the first book in the series sitting in the Library spot waiting to be read. . .maybe tonight after everyone else is soundly snoozing I'll break it open. . .

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Girlhood

I always have so much I want to write about--pages N pages of essays, stacks of books, and even some movies!  But it seems like I make it here last. . . .well, not totally last. . .our family blog gets even fewer visits from me--what's wrong with that?

Anyway. . .

I am helping out at my husband's school this year by teaching two Bible classes--the Little Kids and the Jr. and Sr. High girls.  The girls are reading the book Beautiful Girlhood and going through The Companion Guide to BEAUTIFUL GIRLHOOD.

I love the areas of girlhood that we are studying:  A Rose Bud Opens (the young girl growing up into a lady--these girls are not quite there yet, though they long to act and be treated as if they are), Keeping Up Acquaintance, The Strength of Obedience, Watch Your Tongue!, A Sunny Disposition, Friendships, An Accomplished Girl, The Oils of Life.

Not only are the girls learning but so I am.  As well as being challenged in areas that I already know but am lax or forgetful about.

The last two chapters we studied were A Conversation on Dress and When a Girl Goes Out.  The movie The Inheritance is such a good illustration of what we were/have been studying that we started watching the movie in class this week.

Of course the principal of our school insisted that this also be a learning time so we had a discussion afterward and the girls had a test over everything.  I'm going to include a couple here because the girls did such a good job on their essays.

Using examples from The Inheritance, write an essay explaining 3 traits of a young lady that we have studied in Bible class. 

In the movie, The Inheritance, a young lady named Edyth shows good examples of traits we have been learning about in Bible Class.  One example is her sunny disposition.  At one point in the movie, Edyth is insulted by a mean girl named Ida.  When Ida insults her, Edyth does not snap back, she brushes it off, and continues to have a good attitude.

Another good example is that Edyth is an accomplished girl.  She has many things which she is good at.  She can ride a horse just as well (if not better) than any man in the area.  She knows how to sew, and do patchwork.  She plays the piano beautifully.  The accomplishments Edyth has are useful.

Finally, Edyth knows the proper way to act around men, and when she goes out she keeps to herself most of the time.  When she does speak to men, or when she is around men, she does not flirt or act silly.  Ida, on the other hand, behaves in a very improper way when she is around men.  She is very bold, and flirtatious, causing herself embarrassment.

Edyth is a good example of how a girl should act.  She knows how to keep a good attitude, use her skills wisely, and behave properly around others.
~~by Sarah Crowder (our daughter)

In The Inheritance 3 traits of a young lady were discussed.  First, a girl should always carry the oil of kindness.  She should always have kind things to say and love everyone.  A young lady should not want to take revenge.  Teasing and rude comments should not bother her.  Finally, she should love and care for her family and friends with all her heart.

Second a young girl should always have a sunny disposition.  Making others feel comfortable and happy should be her goal.  Her happy and cheery attitude should have a positive effect on others.  She should have an urge to serve others and make their burdens light. Having this trait makes everyone's lives more enjoyable.

Finally a proper young lady should dress modestly.  Showing cleavage or too much skin can be a danger.  Boys/men can get the wrong idea.  You should want people to know you by your heart and not your outward appearance.   By dressing modestly and according to God's Word you will please and glorify Him.
~~by Satria

The first trait exhibited from Edith is a sunny disposition.  She is always cheery and happy.  Even when she was tested with Ida's mocking, Edith still proved to be patient and kind.

Another trait Edith showed was politeness in public.  When she accidentally bumped into James, she did not flirt or linger to talk with him.  She acted as a modest lady, offered her handkerchief to clean his face, and was on her way.  Little did she know, her politeness would be rewarded with a visit from James.  (Saw that one coming! hah)

Lastly, Edith's ambitions were pure.  She knew her place in the Hamilton's house and did not want to take advantage of their kindness.  One of her friends told her that she needed her own piano, but she politely disagreed because she knew there are more important things.

Needless to say, there are great things in store for Edith.  Her good and noble character has brought these great circumstances in her life.
~~by Alia

I thought it was interesting that all three girls mentioned A Sunny Disposition but they talked about different aspects of that trait.  I hope they are learning these lessons themselves and seeing a difference in their worlds because of who they are becoming!  I know there are changed things in my life as a result of studying Beautiful Girlhood.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

reading with a little one

This is Heidi's favorite way to read:

We are reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  This was one of Eddy's favorite books around Heidi's age.  He loved the part where the caterpillar is no longer a little caterpillar but a Great Big Fat Caterpillar!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Prince Caspian

With the arrival of a new Chronicles of Narnia movie, I wanted to watch the previous two movies so that I would be caught up with the characters;-)  That led to watching the special features and in the features for Prince Caspian there is the option to watch the movie with pop up blurbs of trivia about C. S. Lewis.  Did you know that he wrote the Chronicles of Narnia books when he was in his 50s?  And that one of the reasons he wrote the books was because he was concerned about the manners of children of his day?  My, oh, my what would he say about the manners of today's children?

Well, after watching the movies and seeing the blurbs, I wanted to read the books again.  I'd read them a long, long, long, time ago in my high school days so remembered to general story line but not all of the details.  As almost always, the books are so much better!  I'm almost finished with Prince Caspian and have The Magician's Nephew waiting nearby.  Some of the unanswered questions that I had from the movies are answered clearly in the books.  For instance, why is Queen Susan called The Gentle?  She didn't seem very gentle in the movie!  Well, the book gives very clear explanation!  And did Lucy really see Aslan when they were standing by the gorge?  You have to read it to really understand!

So, I'm off to finish up some things about the house and hopefully to sneak in a little more reading!


The Swiss Family Robinson

The Swiss Family Robinson
by Johann David Wyss
Great Illustrated Classics series


Once 6 people crashed on an island.  They stayed there and made a living.  They saw every animal on the island.  They even ate some of the animals, shot a shark, shot a snake, did fun things, and had a lot of bad times!

     Once they met a girl.  Fritz wanted to marry her!  One day a ship came and stayed there 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 days!  Emily wanted to go back with them so Fritz and Francis left with Emily.  The mom, dad, Jack, and Ernest stayed at the island.

     The End!  Oh man!

**just noticed how much Eddy uses !!!!!  Must run in our blood!!!!! ;-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

J.R.R. Tolkien Day

January 3, 2011

It's J.R.R. Tolkien Day!!!!!!! We are going to learn a little about Tolkien today and then load up on books, poetry, and movies on Library day. The Hobbit is a fantabulous story. Wish we had time to read it all tomorrow! Probably could if that's all we did all day. . .hmmmm. . .we'd only miss school. . .I'm tempted;-) don't worry. . .I always do the right thing. . .yes, I'm kinda boring. . .

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Be on your toes!

Well, this post is not about an actual book but it does involve a lot of reading and thinking.  It's a new game that Gramma gave Eddy for Christmas.  We love it!  It's a challenge for the 7 year old all the way up to the adults--not telling how old we are;-)-- AND anyone can win.  Truly win.  We don't have to go easy on the little guy.  In fact, I think he should go easy on me next time!

Come play with us if you want to try it out!  We'll make popcorn and hot chocolate!

oops. . .almost forgot the name of the game--it's way too late for me to be up. . .Fluxx.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days
by Jules Verne
Great Illustrated Classics series

     Once there was a guy who made a bet with a guy.  The bet was if Phileas Fogg got around the world in 80 days or less he would get 20,000 pounds!

     Phileas Fogg had troubles because ships left before he was there!  Fogg met a guy named Fix! Fix tried to stop Fogg but Fogg always got away.  Fogg got to where his home was.  It was a happy ending.