Saturday, November 28, 2009

Love Finds You in Lonesome Prarie, Montana


ABOUT THE BOOK!

In 1890, Julia Cavanaugh travels west from New York City to unite orphans in her care with new families.

Imagine her horror when she discovers that she's to be "delivered," too--as bride to an uncouth miner! But with no return fare, Julia's options are bleak.

What does God have planned for her on the lonesome prairies of Montana?

Read more!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Tricia Goyer is the author of several books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Montana. To find out more visit her website: http://www.triciagoyer.com/

Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer's historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. Connect with Ocieanna on Facebook!

This book was provided for review by the Litfuse Publicity Group.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Books

I was recently sent a bundle of neat Christmas books to review and read to my little ones and I am happy to pass them on to you for consideration for this season!




The Nativity Story by acclaimed author Geraldine McCaughrean brings new life to the familiar stories with breathtakingly evocative prose. This sumptuous take on the classic Nativity story, with enduring prose and opulent, stylish illustrations, is a wonderful family keepsake and a delight to read alone or aloud in homes, schools, and churches. This is one that I think is perfect for my budding six-year-old reader!


The Christmas Story (Candle Read and Play) is a neat book that combines both reading and playing. This innovative new series from Candle draws children into the Christmas story through captivating storytelling and interactive fun. Read the Christmas story or make up a story of your own with the eight character pieces within the storage box. I love the idea of including small cardboard pieces so that my three-year old can act out the story as I read it or on her own. My one qwibble with this book is that the book is attached to the box that holds the pieces and it makes for awkward holding. It would be nice if the storage box could be removed from the book without tearing the back of the book, but it is still neat and my girls have loved playing with these.


The Christmas Trio are three simple retellings of the Christmas story, each with a different perspective. The Innkeeper tells the story of Mary and Joseph and how they stayed in the Innkeeper's stable. The Shepherds tells the story of how the angels appeared and how the shepherds traveled to find Baby Jesus in the Bethlehem stable. The Wise Men tells the story of how the wise men followed the star to find the new king. These are great board books, just right for my busy two-year olds hands.

Thank you to Kregel Publications for the review copies of these books. You can also read my review of Jotham's Journey and Bartholomew's Passage, also provided by Kregel.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bloggy Break

I'm going to sign off the blog for a bit. I'm wrestling with some things and my need to simplify means I need to take a bloggy break. I have already committed to a few book tours/reveiws, but I don't know when I'll resume any other blogging.

Thanks for understanding. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Winner of Choosing Gratitude

The winner of my extra copy of Nancy DeMoss's Choosing Gratitude was Stephanie from Stephanie's Mommy Brain. Congratulations!

And, if you didn't win and would still like a copy of the book ... you can buy it here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Felicities ::: November 13

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Things that are making me happy (also a thankful list). :)

~ simplifying (again) in many areas ... maybe even a bit of pruning as opposed to simplifying. Email subscriptions, blogs, books on our shelves. Glad to see clutter we don't need going somewhere else.
~ encouragement from a BFF.
~ good reports from the Dr. at N1's 6 year well check up this week. BBoo also had a recheck of her soft spot (she still has one at 2 1/2). What was a concern at 2 has shrunk considerably, so we are thankful that she doesn't have to go through any testing since it's resolving itself!
~ McDonald's chicken selects with honey mustard.
~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I've read it before, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the reread.
~ starting a new read-aloud with N1 - The Borrowers!
~ pizza and movie night tonight (UP!) after a day with T home all day with us. (We've still schooled, but we love having him around).

Happy Friday. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tumtum & Nutmeg by Emily Bearn

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This week, Hope is the Word and I are both blogging about our recent chapter book read-aloud that we have finished with our girls. Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall is the story of two mice, Tumtum & Nutmeg Nutmouse, who live at Nutmouse Hall. Their humans, Mr. Mildew and his two children Lucy and Arthur, lead a sort-of pitiful life until the Nutmouses step up and take charge helping the children and keeping up around them home. The Nutmouses are simple folk - they enjoy a good meal, catching up on local mouse new, but certainly do not want to be involved in adventures!


In the first story, Tumtum and Nutmeg, the mice take on evil Aunt Ivy, the children's visiting Aunt. She abhors mice and is on a mission to rid the Mildews' home of these unwelcome pests. Book two is The Great Escape and in this story, the Nutmouses attempt to help their friend General Marchmouse out of a sticky predicament. (General Marchmouse is a quite a character himself). Book three again brings in General Marchmouse, a sunken boat and some pirate rats in The Pirates' Treasure.

My girls loved these stories. There was always the request for one more chapter and, while this is big book, we flew through it in record time. (I feel sure we will reread and revisit these characters soon, we loved them so much). The girls also loved the simple pen and ink sketches that were liberally throughout the stories. For my young chapter book readers, there were just the right amount of pictures to give them something to look at every few pages and keep them hooked into the story.

For Amy's thoughts on Tumtum and Nutmeg, visit Hope is the Word for Read-Aloud Thursday this week, too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

A little comparison. :)

Anyone see a resemblance?

My sister at 2 1/2 or 3 and my BBoo at 2. I'm seeing some resemblance. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jotham's Journey & Bartholomew's Passage by Arnold Ytreeide

I recently was sent two books from Kregel Publications and what a special treat it was. These books have been on my Amazon.com wish list for literally years, but have been out of print. So, I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and do a needed review with the Holiday Classics link up with Five Minutes for Books.

These two books are advent devotionals for children. Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent is the story of ten-year-old Jotham. His adventure takes him across Israel as he searches for his family. He faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters friendly wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to his family - and to the Savior born in Bethlehem. (This book is actually on sale at a GREAT price on Amazon right now.)




Bartholomew's Passage is another advent storybook. Bartholomew's advent adventure starts when Roman soldiers destroy his village and disperse his family, and continue through his enslavement to a tyrannical master and his escape with his new friend Nathan. It ends with a reunion with his family in Bethlehem - just in time for Christ's birth.

(FYI, there is a third book in the series, Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent (Jotham's Journey Trilogy). It is still out of print right now).

I'll be honest and say that although I have been wanting to add these to my library for years, I'm not sure I will use them with my girls this year. After reading through them some, they seem to be more suited for a little bit older child (maybe starting with an 8-9 year old). Jotham's story starts out with his family thinking he has been killed by animals and he is left behind when his family moves their camp. I don't think the story is bad, per se, I just don't know that my girls are old enough to appreciate it.

For more holiday book recommendations, please check out Five Minutes for Books Children's Classics posts today!

Monday, November 09, 2009

10 on the 10th ... The November Version

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The 10th snuck up on me again so a little randomness to kick off this week.

1. I love November. It might be my favorite month of the year, but I'm not sure. Cool days, colder nights, sweatshirts, coffee/hot tea, football, colored leaves, and being thankful.

2. This past weekend was nut-so. On Saturday, N2 & I left home at 9:30 and headed to a baby shower. Back home a little after 1 pm to drop her off and pick up N1 to take her to a friend's birthday party. Back home a little after 4:30 pm to rally the whole family to go to a sweet couple's open house/housewarming party they were having. Back home about 7 pm and crashed!

3. Due to the craziness of Saturday, when we got home Saturday night, I told the girls that Mommy was going to lay in the chair and they could watch a movie with me. :) I picked Sound of Music and we had a ball watching approximately the first 1/2 of the movie. The music in that movie just makes me happy and the girls loved it, too.

4. In other movie news, due to my savvy Netflix skills, I have timed our recent return perfectly so that Up is arriving in our mailbox tomorrow. It is my week to pick our movie for our Friday night family movie and we are all very excited to see Up again after having enjoyed in in the theater so much. If you have not seen, Up, do! It really is wonderful and sweet and precious.

5. I'm taking a break from sugar for a while. I've been off and on with that for some months, but my skin has been rebelling against me and I am going to start weeding a few things out of my diet to see if it helps.

6. This week N1 and I are doing some reading about koalas for school - week two of our Australian animals discussions. (Last week was sharks). I'm really enjoying this and we have learned some super cool facts just this morning. Did you know that koalas have two thumbs?

7. I mentioned a baby shower that I went to on Saturday ... I have to show you a super cute pic of the table decorations. Someone (not me!) had the idea to write the word "baby" on white pumpkins to decorate the table. The young mama is having a little girl, but she's not a huge pink person so there were lots of fall colors splashed around. I thought the pumpkins were super cute (and yes, I did the lettering).

Baby Shower Decorations

8. While we're talking about the shower, look at this beautiful wrist corsage. My sister does the bookkeeping for a florist shop and they outdid themselves on this corsage. Seriously, check out the cranberries in there! I love it.

Wrist Corsage

9. When I had to buy a gift for N1's little birthday party, I bought some Shrinky Dinks for the birthday girl. I had forgotten all about them and I used to love them as a little girl! I can't wait to get some for N1 at Christmas, and yes, I will be playing with them right along with her.

10. And lastly, I am addicted with making these right now. I believe one can never have too many bookmarks! :) These are also on tap for some crafting with the girls. I'm going to let N1 loose with a paint brush and she will be thrilled!

Thanks, Meredith, for hosting!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy DeMoss (Giveaway)

I was recently sent a copy of this book and have to admit that I'm a little scared to really dive into it. Nancy DeMoss tackles the subject of gratitude and joy in her new book Choosing Gratitude. This book takes on more than just being thankful for things ... a topic that is especially prevalent at this time of the year. This is deep thankfulness and gratitude for every situation that we are, including (especially) that suffering that is in each of our lives.

I see situations like this in mine and my friends' lives right now:

~ watching a family member grow sicker and sicker.
~ a wife watching her husband sign papers. She never, ever anticipated divorce.
~ the child with a genetic illness. Right now, things are okay, but it won't always be that way.
~ the burden of unsaved family members.
~ the job that doesn't come after so many prayers.

Ms. DeMoss understands that it is hard to hold on to gratitude ... "hard to find joy when you are looking in mind-bending pain or heart-wrenching disappointment." Those words there that I quoted? That's Joni Erikson Tada - a woman who most of are well-aware of and can't even fathom the life that she lives daily in a wheelchair as a quadrapalegic. (And she has lived that way since she was an older teen.) Joni writes the foreword to this book, and if she says that Nancy DeMoss has something to say about gratitude, I'm ready to listen.

But really, it's not Ms. DeMoss that has something to say about gratitude. It's the Lord. If there is anyone (even more than Joni) that understands finding joy in the midst of such sorrow, it's our God. The one that watched His chosen people rebel against Him daily in the Old Testament. That watched His Son mocked and scorned by His own people. In spite of all that our Lord had, and wants us to have, a deep and profound joy that can't be shaken.

One of the things that I like about this book is that at the back of it is a 30 day devotional guide to walk you through some of the points that Ms. DeMoss makes in her book. Give you time to digest all she has written and in turn, hopefully work some of that out in your own life. This looks like an excellent book (and resource) and one I'm glad to add to my library.

I have one copy of this book to give away. If you would like to win a copy of Choosing Gratitude by Nancy DeMoss, leave a comment on THIS post and make sure that you leave an email so that I can get in touch with you. Comments will be closed next Saturday and a winner drawn.

Thanks to Moody Publishers for a copy (and a giveaway) copy of this book to review.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Holiday Homeschool

Lately, most of my thoughts have been consumed with holiday preparation and planning for our small family. Not because I want to be consumed with the "consumer" side of the season (although there are little lists and ideas being tucked away for stockings and such). I want my girls to understand what being thankful means and as they grasp that, celebrate advent and the birth of Jesus with a thankful heart for this unfathomable gift. The planner in me loves to get out my notepad and figure out how we can implement this and I admit that some times I bite off more than I can chew (or more than my little munchkins can handle). :)

Thankfully, each year doing some Thanksgiving/Christmas/Advent things get a little bit easier. I started attempt some sort of Advent reading with N1 when she was just 4 (and I had an almost 2 year old and infant) and it was frustrating. Last year (ages 5, almost 3 and 1 1/2) went a little better. This year, especially now that we are homeschooling, I'm going to be a little bit more adventurous in my planning and we shall see what happens. The key that I had to realize was that whether or not it worked out like I have it planned in my head, I have to plan something. :) Not planning anything and just trying to wing it doesn't work so well around here!

All that preface to say, you might see quite a bit of holiday craftiness and such over the next several weeks. I'm blogging this to hold me accountable, too. It's easy to say I'm going to do these things and then fade out as the weeks get busy and I get tired. I don't want to miss out on these sweet seasons with my girls while they are little.

Thankful Leaves

Do you have any plans/traditions that you do with your kids for Thanksgiving (specifically)? This afternoon (a few days late) we are going to put up our November thankful tree and start chronicling our blessings up until Thanksgiving. I've started cutting out rough leaves for us to write on and tape on our tree - I'm going to need a lot more before the month is out, I hope!

We're also reading one Thanksgiving story a day. Our personal Thanksgiving book selection isn't too large so some of our books will be repeated and I hope to add a few more over the month. Yesterday, we read aloud The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern. This books gives a good overview of the first year of life of the pilgrims here in the New World. N1 and I read it yesterday and she and I were fascinated by how hard they had to work just to survive that first year.

Anyway, just a peek and what we are up to around here. We've also been up to our necks (figuratively, not literally) in shark week! :) N1 asked a few weeks ago if we could study some Australian animals and wanted to kick things off with sharks. We've been learning about their eating habits, the great varieties of sizes and types of sharks, and so much more. It's really been fascinating, even though I would have suggested that we start with something cute and cuddly like a kangaroo or koala bear!

This post is also linked up with Hope is the Word's Read-Aloud Thursday!

Frappe with Philippians Review


I can heartily recommend this resource! I did Sandra Glahn's study through the book of Solomon a few years ago and enjoyed my time in that book! Her studies are a great length for a Mama of little ones (or even little bit bigger ones), especially if you are in a season of your life where you don't have as much time to spend in one sitting. This book works great to take in little 15-30 minute increments and yet you have still gotten valuable time in the Word!

There's nothing better than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee--and there's no better book than the Bible. Sandra Glahn continues her series of Coffee Cup Bible Studies, presenting Kona with Jonah and Frappe with Philippians. Using creative teaching resources, including the Internet, art, online study groups and more, Glahn provides a special blend of bold and flavorful experiences that will bring participants back for a second cup of God's Word.

Kona with Jonah begins with a brief history of Jonah and Ninevah. Merging historical event with current modern day practicality, Glahn invites readers to take a walk in Jonah's sandals. Coffee sippers will find it hard to escape the similarities as these two worlds collide. Prayer, mercy, city revival and other strong themes will perk the interest and heart of diligent students.

Frappe with Philippians brews for five weeks of strong, powerful conversation about Paul and the heroes of the Philippian church. With detailed study time spent examining the letters of Paul to the Church, readers will come away feeling like they have met with the man himself. With sections entitled "That God Will Get me Out of Here, and Other Prayer Requests Paul Doesn't Make," Glahn keeps the tone of the study light, without disrespecting the seriousness of the study of God's Word.

A Chat Over Coffee w/ Sandra

Women who typically feel they don't have the time to do Bible Study find your studies relevant and easy to use. What's the secret to making the study inviting?
I don't know if there's one secret. Different things appeal to different people. But I do know that with my own personal Bible study time, I've been able to stay fairly consistent Monday through Friday when my daughter is at school. But on the weekends everything changes in our household. Sometimes we travel. Or we sleep later on Saturday. And we rise and go to church on Sunday. Result: my routine gets disrupted. For this reason I often have a more difficult time doing Bible study on the weekends. So I designed the series for Monday-through-Friday study with only short devotional readings on the weekends. The weekday time can require twenty minutes or more; the weekend readings take less than five minutes. I think the studies also appeal to the right-brained person. As an artsy type, I sometimes engage more with the Bible if I can write out a prayer, draw, view a related video, compose a story, sing a song... And I wrote this series with that person in mind. The devotionals are also full of stories, which most of us love to hear. In addition (and this is probably the main reason), when I was working full-time, I wanted a study I could stash in my purse without having to lug a Bible and a commentary. I wanted to use my lunch break for a quiet time without parading my resources in front of people. And I think it helps that the Coffee Cup series books don't look like typical Bible studies; they're all-inclusive (text, commentary, questions included); they're small enough to throw in a briefcase or diaper bag; and they're both spiral and bound--making it easier to use on a treadmill or fold in the lap and write on while sitting. In short they're designed for the multi-tasker. I heard from an ob-gyn who uses them as she's sitting in the doctors' lounge waiting for babies to arrive.
And one more thing--I also include a prayer at the end. I heard from an eighty-something man who told me how much those prayers meant. All his life he had struggled with prayer, and that guidance helped him respond to God. I'm glad that a series directed to women didn't scare him off!

In Kona with Jonah, what do you hope participants will take away and apply to their own lives?
We tend to like our own causes best; we like our own country best; we like our denomination best; we like our own families best; we prefer the schools we attended, the neighborhoods where we grew up, our own political party or cause, our gender--even our brand of peanut butter. And somewhere along the way we cross the line from preference to prejudice. We pray for our loved ones but rarely, if ever, our enemies. Mention atheists, opposing politicians, humanists, materialists, homosexuals, and radical feminists in most churches today, and the response you'll evoke will sound nothing like, "Let's pray right now for God to pour out his love."

Genesis tells us that humans are fellow creations of one maker. The qualities of God that so angered Jonah are the very qualities we most need: grace, compassion, patience, mercy, abundant love, and truth. And not just for those we love--but for those we hate. For those who have wronged us. For those who want us dead. For those with whom we strongly disagree. The only possible way we can demonstrate such remarkable goodness is through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The focus of Frappe with Philippians is the life of Paul and the early church. What kind of historical research did you do and did you learn any surprising facts as you compiled your information?
I think it's enormously important to understand the world in which Paul was writing. Let's take the view of women, for example. The Jews were the most conservative. The Greeks were better, though greatly influenced by Aristotle's low view of women. And the Roman women had the most freedom--even owning property and supervising gymnasiums. Knowing a city's predominant citizenship helps us understand Paul's letters on such issues.

My PhD work relates a lot to the Greek pantheon and Greek and Roman history. The historical backgrounds for the Bible books are essential, and fortunately they interest me.

I also love getting a sense of the geography, if I can. I had the advantage this summer of taking a clipper to follow the journeys of Paul. Some of our stops included Corinth, Troas, Neapolis, Philippi, and Athens.
One sentence out of the mouth of a guide in Corinth really stuck with me, as she provided a key to understanding the cities we visited. She mentioned that while American visitors seem generally uninterested in talk of gods and goddesses, knowing which member of the Greek pantheon a city worshiped is essential to understanding that city's mentality. The more I thought about this, the more sense it made:
ATHENS. Athena was the goddess of wisdom, so citizens of Athens wanted their city to reflect culture, religion, and philosophy. And sure enough, in Acts 17 we find Stoic and Epicurean philosophers hanging out at the Areopagus (Mars Hill). Paul affirms them for being religious, and rather than dissing their many false gods, he zeroes in on their altar to the unknown God and tells them about this Almighty one who was not made with hands--One who is never far from any of us.
CORINTH. Corinth was the home of Aphrodite, goddess of love (and not the agape version). Behind the city ruins stands a towering hill at the top of which sat Aphrodite's temple. One could not walk down the street without being conscious of its prominence. Might that explain why the Corinthians had so many issues with sexual immorality, and why Paul tells them that it's good for a man not to touch a woman (1 Cor. 7:1)? For the sake of the kingdom, he encourages them to consider embracing sexual abstinence rather than marrying. How fitting that in a city that prides itself on being a center of love, Paul pens the beautiful definition of true love--known to us as the love chapter (1 Cor. 13).
EPHESUS. Ephesus was home to the virgin Artemis who loved her virgin status and was immune to Aphrodite's love arrows. Among other things, Artemis was the goddess of the hunt. If you take a close look at the Artemis statues from the first and second centuries, you find her legs covered with numerous animals and flanked by a couple of deer. Now, usually we think of women as gatherers and men as hunters. And the fact that Artemis was a hunter suggests she had a less-than-feminine persona. In Ephesus we find stone work with the Amazon story (these women were way independent!), and guides tell visitors that the city was founded by an Amazon queen. The Book of Ephesians was probably intended for more than one city (like Laodicea), so we don't find much that points to a specific city's mentality in that book. But we do find 1 Timothy directed to Paul's protégé in Ephesus, and in it we find an emphasis on widows, women teaching false doctrines, and the need to marry and have children.
When reading the New Testament, I think it's important to find out something of its geography and certainly what member of the Greek pantheon each book's readers were up against. How its authors approached the cities' demons can provide insight for us into engaging a culture that's in love with worldly wisdom, immorality, and a low view of family.

Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for a copy of this book to review.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ::: Favorites Right Now















You can click any of the links to see the pictures bigger.

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

If you are looking for some contemporary Christian fiction that would fall in the chick-lit category, Tamara Leigh's newest book, Leaving Carolina, should fit the bill for you. The story of Piper, running from her family of black sheep and misfits, she find herself in the spotlight in glamourous Los Angeles, working in PR and almost engaged to a U.S. Congressman. However, the peculiarities of her family have summoned her back home again, and before her buried secrets are unearthed, she tries to help sort out the mess.

Themes in this story such as truth and honesty gives some depth to this otherwise easy read, as well as the thought that the Lord is the one that truly can change a heart. None of the scheming and manipulating of men (or women as we can be prone to do!) will work His purposes for His glory like stepping back and letting Him guide us.

For more info, you can see the official release below!

Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


This month the ladies at Five Minutes for Books are having a Louisa May Alcott themed book club. As I pondered about what to read for this (and after some google searching), I settled on Good Wives. I was determined not to blog about Little Women (which I have read until my copy is falling apart). However, Good Wives is actually the same thing as part two of Little Women - when the girls are grown and starting to get married and moving out of childhood. So, see ... I was meant to blog about Little Women. I can't help it. :)

I would imagine that almost everyone has read Little Women (and if you haven't, for shame.) :) It is one of my favorite stories of all time. One of those books that I turn to in the winter for post-Christmas comfort reading. The story of 4 sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and the tears and triumphs as they grow up and learn life's lessons. Just a few of my favorites that are scattered throughout the book:

~ As a mother of daughters, I love the gentle way that Mrs. March has with her girls, even though that is not her first nature. She shares with Jo how gentleness is not her first nature:

"...I've learned to check the hasty words that rise to my lips, and when I feel that they mean to break out against my will, I just go away for a minute, and give myself a little shake for being so weak and wicked..." (from Chapter 8)

~ The lessons that Meg learns as she goes to her first social event and is primped and fussed at until she is hardly recognizable and dressed outside the modest boundaries that her mother instilled in her. Meg basks in the adoration and complements of others until she runs into Laurie who is taken aback by her appearance. After Meg has returned home from the party, and confessed to Marmee, Mrs. March counsels:

"Learn to know and value to praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people by being modest as well as pretty, Meg." (from Chapter 9)

~ The girls learn that all play and no work is not as much fun as they may think. Over the past several months, it has been impressed upon me that for the most part, the generation of today is being taught that life is about fun and ease and having it all whenever we want it. The concept of work - within the family as a team and for the good of self and society is an old fashioned concept. In the story, the March girls ask their mother if they can take a week off and have a true vacation. Mrs. March says:

"You may try your experiment for a week and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work and no play."

By the end of the week, after several tragedies have befallen the young ladies, they all agree that all play and no work is not pleasant. Mrs. March closes this chapter with several wonderful quotes:

"...I wanted you to see how the comfort of all depends on each doing her share faithfully. While Hannah and I did your work, you got on pretty well, thought I don't think you were very happy or amiable; so I thought, as a little lesson, I would show you what happens when everyone thinks only of herself. Don't you fell that it is pleasanter to help one another, to have daily duties which make leisure sweet when it comes, and to bear and forbear, that home may be comfortable and lovely to us all?"

"Then let me advise you to take up your little burdens again, for though they seem heavy sometimes, they are good for us, and lighten as we learn to carry them. Work is wholesome, and there is plenty for everyone; it keeps us from ennui and mischief, is good for healthy and spirits, and gives us a sense of power and independence better than money or fashion."

"...Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life became a beautiful success, in spite of poverty." (from Chapter 11)

Okay, I'll stop now. This is just a pinch of the wonderful lessons throughout this book. If you haven't read Little Women before now, please grab a copy of dive into it! And let me know if you do. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!