Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June's Reading Report

UntitledUntitledThe pressure is on when all the Kindle books I've checked out from the library are about due. I read this one yesterday and it was a sweet, sad story by the same author who wrote the Clementine series. Thoroughly enjoyed diving into it after such a busy wI've spent a good chunk of my morning reading through this book this morning with the library webpage open so I look at books. Super excited to use this as a resource for what I'm envisioning our history/geography to be this next year!

June has been a good reading month. I read a couple monster books that were on my summer reading list and several others that I knocked out in an afternoon. A good mix of heavy and light over the last thirty days or so!

I finished:

  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker. This story is told from the perspective of the two main characters, Pax (a fox) and his boy, Peter. They are separated when war comes to their area and Peter's father has to leave and fight. The book is the story of how the two journey back to each other and the growth of each character along the way. I thought this story was ... different ... not bad, but not something I loved and will gush about. The war and separation aspect was well done, but dark and I think that weighed me down when reading, if that makes sense.
  • The Two Towers and The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. I'm going to list these two together as they really were the bulk of my reading this month. I loved, loved, loved finishing this series. I had said last month that The Fellowship had dragged for me a bit, but The Two Towers definitely picked up the pace and continued in to the last book. I loved that the books went more into the characters of Eowyn and Faramir and Samwise Gamgee. I am a Sam fan forevermore.
  • Giddy Up Eunice by Sophie Hudson. This book was delightful. It was not the memoir feel of Sophie's first two books, but a look at women mentoring other women, how we see it modeled in the Bible, and how we put so much pressure on each other to do it just right. An encouraging book Biblically and with several laugh out loud moments thrown in for good measure. Her writing is some of my favorite.
  • Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin. I am listing this here, although to be clear, I don't think that this is a book that you technically read. The first three - four chapters are really where the text of the book is. After that, it is just chapter after chapter of book suggestions as you read your way around the globe. I'm looking forward to using this as part of our geography / social studies this fall.
  • 1 Peter study by Jen Wilkin. Also listing this here just to note that I finished it, but over the course of nine or ten weeks. Jen Wilkin is becoming one of my favorite Bible teachers. (Her Women of the Word is excellent if I haven't said that quite enough here). You can watch a session she did from 1 Peter at the recent Gospel Coalition women's conference if you have never heard from her before. Highly highly recommend if you are looking for a study for yourself or a group of friends.
  • The Negotiator by Dee Henderson. Also another I'm hesitant to list here because I don't know that I really read this, but more skimmed it. This is the first book in a series of books by a Christian author that I used to read quite a lot of when N1 was little. I borrowed it from the library on my kindle and scanned through it the other day while I was doing a ton of cooking and was kitchen bound for several hours. It was interesting rereading this bit of Christian fiction with older eyes, and realize that I have kind of lost my taste for it.
  • The Blythes are Quoted by L.M. Montgomery. A book that I finally bought for myself on kindle after eyeing it on Amazon forever. This last book in the Anne series was written right before LMM passed away and was only recently published in its entirety. It's made up of short stories (that have references to the Blythe family scattered throughout) and in between those are sections of poetry supposedly written by Anne and Walter and read to the family with some discussion. A book detailing which Blythe child married whom and how many kids they had, this is not (sadly). But I will take fresh short stories from a favorite author in its stead and enjoy it for perfect summer reading when I have time to read one or two and set it down.
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. Anther book from my summer reading list that I finished this morning. (Nothing like being told by the library that you have to return it because someone else has it on hold to light a fire under you). An oddly endearing book about a robot that is marooned on an island and has to learn how to survive and eventually befriends the wildlife on the island. Sort of futuristic, sort of a nature story and it worked. Definitely different that a lot of other juvenile fiction I've read.
You will note that there isn't a single read aloud listed on here, which is a little sad, but shows where life is right now. Life is at the pool and running around the neighborhood riding our bikes with friends. Life is at camp for the next several weeks as the girls go in shifts. We are about half-way through with The High King, the last book in the Prydian Chronicles and we plan on finishing it in July when all are back home under one roof. We've actually read the last couple times with a handful of neighbor girls along with us (which, bless their hearts, has got to be so confusing to come into the last book of this series and not even at the beginning of the book with us). That's been a fun surprise to have our extra friends interested in listening along!

Off to July and more whittling away at my summer reading list!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sparky! (A Book about a Sloth)


A certain boy has developed a small obsession with sloths. It started with a harmless documentary we watched one day when I needed a break as part of our science curriculum. Then we watched the recent release of Zootopia and there is a sloth scene in the movie that had us all rolling in our chair. (We also loved the rest of the movie, but the sloths were our favorite part). It just so happened that I had grabbed this new release at the library and it was about ... sloths!


The story is about a young girl that wants a pet. Her mother's conditions are that she could have any pet she wanted "as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed." After some research help from the school librarian, she discovers the sloth, a special animal "known to sleep more than sixteen hours a day ... hang upside down in trees, barely moving, for long periods of time." Perfect!


Without giving too much away, it's a sweet story of a girl loving her little pet with the qualities he comes with, even if he's not as exciting as her friend Mary Potts' pets - "her cat can dance on her hind legs and her parrot knows twenty words, including God and ice cream."

A high flying adventure story? No. But one that was a little wistful and smacks of childhood sweetness.


Two thumbs up from our sloth loving fans in this house. : )

Monday, June 13, 2016

Of Tales and Adventures

First pool read of the summer. (And yes, I'm in clothes. The temp just hit 80* and I don't get it for another 5-6 degrees, minimum. 😉)First jump of the summer.Officially a graduate! Proud of you @thejayweezy!!!!! 🎉🎓🎉Back at the pool after about a week off with #classicalconversations Practicum and other busy-ness.Untitled

Thinking of how our days and weeks and months move along. While I think they are slipping by, mostly meaningless, I remember that that is not truth. Even the most mundane of days, where the most exciting thing that happens is a new scent of laundry detergent, add up into a great story that we are part of as we live life one with another. A reminder to me to slow down this summer and live the adventure that I'm in right now instead of always wondering what I'm missing out on.

'The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to that they were things the wonderful folks of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually - their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on - and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same - like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?'

'I wonder,' said Frodo. 'But I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to.'

-- The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;you hold my lot.The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

-- Psalm 16:5-6