Friday, August 31, 2007
For ChocLit Guild:
Little Pilgrim's Progress~finished
Down the Garden Path~finished
The Richest Man in Babylon~finished
(added later) Uncle Tom's Cabin~finished
Just For Me:
Much Ado About Nothing, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare~finished and enjoyed the live performance; the original play is on my autumn reading list
The Closing of the American Mind~didn't get to, due to adding Uncle Tom's Cabin to my list; will push it forward to my autumn list
North and South~still didn't get around to finishing it; maybe I'll enjoy the second half during a rainy week in the next few months
Anne of Green Gables~currently enjoying
I wasn't as consistent with my daily selections as I would have liked...
A Tale of Two Cities~behind schedule, but plugging away
A Year with C.S. Lewis~also behind schedule, but plugging away
Lord Bless My Child~didn't get to this very often, it needs to be higher on the priority list!
Bible~not often enough, needs to be highest on the priority list!
Reading Aloud With Levi:
A Pioneer Sampler~we've been enjoying this one here and there, along with the projects, and will finish it this fall
Little House in the Big Woods~finished
(added later) The Penderwicks~finished
The Moffats~currently enjoying
I will post my intentional reading list for the autumn season soon. Please consider joining me! I would love to post links to other lists. If you're interested, leave me a comment with a link to your reading list post.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Next week, I will post both my wrap-up for the Summer Reading Challenge and my Autumn Intentional Reading List. If anyone would like to join me, I would love to see your intentional reading lists! It doesn't matter if the list is long, short, simple, or ambitious. The point is to make reading a deliberate choice in our lives. Let's encourage each other!
Monday, August 27, 2007
free enneagram test
"The introspective, romantic type. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melacholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences."
Friday, August 24, 2007
The next morning:
Harriet Beecher Stowe created a passionate, heart-wrenching, balanced, well-rounded masterpiece when she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. This is a book that every American should actually read in its entirety, rather than assume he or she knows the main parts of the story. Yes, it is tragically sad, sob-inducing, and will stick with you long after you have returned it to the bookshelf, but it is a story we must all know.
One of my favorite aspects of this brilliant work is the variety of characters and situations. The author presents good hearted masters, cruel slaves, clueless members of society, and everyone in between. She doesn't gloss over the real difficulties faced when freeing slaves. She doesn't portray abolitionist Northerners as blameless.
The most difficult passages for me to read involved the stories of the slave mothers and their children. My stomach twisted into knots. I then kissed and held my boys so tightly; they didn't understand what came over me. Oh, how much we as a nation have to answer to before God!
But stronger than all was maternal love, wrought into a paroxysm of frenzy by the near approach of fearful danger...
The frosty ground creaked beneath her feet, and she trembled at the sound; every quaking leaf and fluttering shadow sent the blood backward to her heart, and quickened her footsteps. She wondered within herself at the strength that seemed to be come upon her; for she felt the weight of her boy as if it had been a feather, and every flutter of fear seemed to increase the supernatural power that bore her on, while from her pale lips burst forth, in frequent ejaculations, the prayer to a Friend above, 'Lord, help; Lord, save me!'
If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, that was going to be torn from you by a brutal trader, tomorrow morning--if you had seen the man, and heard that the papers were signed and delivered, and you had only from twelve o'clock till morning to make good your escape--how fast could you walk? How many miles could you make in those few brief hours, with the darling at your bosom--the little sleepy head on your shoulder--the small, soft arms trustingly holding on to your neck?
...How the touch of those warm arms, the gentle breathings that came in her neck, seemed to add fire and spirit to her movements! It seemed to her as if strength poured into her in electric streams, from every gentle touch and movement of the sleeping, confiding child. Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body, that for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become so mighty.
Is there anything in it glorious and dear for a nation, that is not also glorious and dear for a man? What is freedom to a nation, but freedom to the individuals in it? What is freedom to that young man who sits there with his arms folded over his broad chest, the tint of African blood in his cheek, its dark fires in his eye--what is freedom to George Harris? To your fathers, freedom was the right of a nation to be a nation. To him, it is the right of a man to be a man and not a brute; the right to call the wife of his bosom his wife, and to protect her from lawless violence; the right to protect and educate his child; the right to have a home of his own, a religion of his own, a character of his own, unsubject to the will of another.
Oh, what an untold world there is in one human heart!
Harriet Beecher Stowe is a captivating study, herself. My appetite whetted by the introduction in my copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, I purchased Harriet Beecher Stowe and The Beecher Preachers by Jean Fritz to add to my reading stack. Harriet was raised in a household in which her seven brothers were trained for the preaching profession, and the daughters were trained to never speak in public. She wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin while tending to her five living children and expecting her seventh. What, I ask myself, is my excuse?
Uncle Tom's Cabin was August's book selection for ChocLit Guild. We had a delightful evening, meeting at Poet's Garden with a fire in the fire pit, candles in the lanterns, blankets and pillows on the grass, chocolate dessert on our plates, lavender lemonade in our glasses, and the stars gradually coming out to preside over the lively discussion.
One question offered up is this: What tragedy are we so immersed in today that we can't see it clearly? What societal ill would be glaringly obvious to several generations before or after us that our brain-washed souls cannot see? Any thoughts?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
We had an incredibly lazy day yesterday. Either I win the negligent housekeeper award or the funnest mom award, because the big boys had a sensational time building a fort in the front room with the couch cushions and anything else they could find. The jungle gym kept them busy for hours, while Leif had his morning nap and I read Uncle Tom's Cabin (which I have got to get finished before our book club meeting!).
I have wonderful childhood memories of building blanket forts with my sisters in our family room. (Although mom's memories are likely not as fond as ours.) Maybe that is why I get a big grin on my face watching the boys. (And, yes, they are jumping on the cushions...bad mom!)
We had a big clean-up session before lunch, and then Leif and Luke both had afternoon naps. Levi spent an hour in the bathtub (he seems to find it very relaxing) while listening to his newest Jim Weiss CD, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
I would have used Jennefer's great idea for our rainy day, but then I would have had to clean my floor. Nah. We'll save that for another day.
The sun peeked out this morning and the boys headed outside in their jammies and bare feet to find some mud puddles. (I know. Bad mom.)
What do you do on wet, gray, lazy days during the summer?
Monday, August 20, 2007
It didn't take Leif long to figure out the steering wheel.
He is a boy who likes to be in control.
Great-grandpa got the short end of the stick.
Not sure how he ended up with the guy who couldn't reach the pedals!
Birthdays in our family are always an excuse to party. Lately, we don't get the chance to entertain nearly as often as we would like, so when a birthday rolls around we play it up!
Leif's first birthday was just such an occasion. Running with the Wind in the Willows theme, we started out the bash with a little paddle-boating! Not quite the same as rowing down a river, but it was jolly fun.