Natalie’s Reading – August 2007

August 31, 2007 Categories: Books , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff | Comments Off  

The Case of the Mystery Cruise (The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley, No 2) by Carol Thompson
The Case of the Summer Camp Caper (The New Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley) by Judy Katschke
The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 6) by Lemony Snicket

Read Alouds – August 2007

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Treat DVD Giveaway

August 28, 2007 Categories: Contests , Kid Stuff , Movies | 6 Comments  

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The good folks at Special Ops Media are sending me one copy of the DVD Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – Mickey’s Treat for giveaway! Cool, huh?

You can watch the trailer here, and there are clips to watch here and here. Send your kids to the official web site for some fun activities!

If you want to win this fun Halloween DVD for your kids, leave a comment by Sunday, September 2, at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. I’ll be receiving the movie in a couple weeks, and I will send it out to the winner whose name I draw.

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare

August 25, 2007 Categories: Books | 8 Comments  

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I don’t get it.

Links for Friday

August 24, 2007 Categories: Books , Faith , Funnies , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff , Parenting , Politics , Videos , Writing | 8 Comments  

We’re enjoying a date night. The three boys are having a slumber party at Michelle’s with her boys, and Natalie is staying the weekend with Grandmama and Papa. We went out to dinner at a new restaurant in town – wonderful food, good wine – and now he’s playing a game online and I am enjoying some blogging time before I go curl up in the corner of the couch and read the night away.

I finished getting everything ready for Monday, so we’re all set to start year six of our homeschooling adventure. Six years – that just blows me away! I finally feel like I (sort of) know what I’m doing, too.

I’ve been collecting links for so long, with no time to post them, so I’ve got a bunch!

~Amazon has posted their “Best Books of the Year So Far” lists for fiction, children and teens, and non-fiction. Have you read any of them? I haven’t, but I usually get to the newest “it” book a few years late.

~ Katy at Fallible often cracks me up, but I laughed so hard I snorted at “Talk Dirtily to Me.” It’s a must-read if you are an aspiring writer.

~ All of you Austenites, click over here and enter the Jane Austen Book Club contest. Grand prize is a trip to the UK to tour Austen-related sites.

~ For those of you following the election, here are a few videos from my favorite candidate, Ron Paul: on entitlements, on the IRS, on monetary policy, on the second amendment, on healthcare, and on civil liberties. Also, here’s a video of media clips about Dr. Paul that shows that he has strong grass roots support, in spite of the fact that the mainstream media continues to ignore him.

~ If you ever had the pants scared off you in church by all those “Mark of the Beast” movies, like the ones I remember seeing in junior high, you’ll find this video very funny.

~ Lawanda posted this funny video of a Dad’s Lullaby set to Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

~ Melanie Hauser’s “Saying Goodbye, at the Grocery Store” is poignant and wonderful.

~ Christopher Walken is one of Kevin’s favorite actors, and this video of him cooking chicken with pears in his own kitchen is priceless. He is such a strange guy. Great actor, but strange guy.

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you all have wonderful weekends planned!

Reading Meme

August 23, 2007 Categories: Books , Memes & Quizzes | 16 Comments  

What do you do when you’re so busy getting read to start school that you can’t think straight? Or when you’re PMS-ing and also have an extra kid in the house? Or when you spent the morning taking said extra kid – plus your own four – to Wal-mart at the busiest time of day for senior citizens who like to glare at rambunctious children? Or when you’re dreading looking forward to taking your children to the fair tonight?

Well, if you’re me, you post a book meme. ;)

What are you reading right now?

I’m still working on The Traveler by John Twelve Hawkes. It’s a good sci-fi novel, I’m just so distracted right now that it’s been hard. Plus I haven’t had a lot of time to read, so when I pick it up, I forget what I’ve already read. I’m also (slowly) reading Pen on Fire, The Man Who Was Thursday, An Incomplete Education, and What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton – because the library just told me it had turned up on the hold shelf for me. I can’t remember why I put a hold on it. Maybe Sherry at Semicolon reviewed it?

Also, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde because Michelle is going to loan me her copy that she just read and enjoyed.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?

Family Fun and Reader’s Digest.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?

The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. Yuk. I also hated A Farewell to Arms. Not a big Hemingway fan.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

Hmmm. I recommend books to several people – all of whom have very individual tastes. Maybe The Thirteenth Tale or Peace Like a River.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?

Not only do they know me by name, they know all my children by name, and when they see us coming, they clear out their hold shelf. :)

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?

The last book that happened with was I Capture the Castle. I read two negative reviews by bloggers recently – but I absolutely loved it.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving?

While I eat, while I sit in the hot tub, while my husband is watching TV, while I listen to music. I used to read at stop signs when I drove home from work, but that was a long time ago. And if I was ever tempted to read during sex, that wouldn’t say much about my husband, would it? So no to that one. And I read books online, but not a real book while I’m on the computer. Although I may prop one in front of me to copy a passage onto my blog.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?

My sisters used to say “You’re always reading, you never want to play!”

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

Definitely Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Want to play along?

Summer of Light

August 21, 2007 Categories: Books , Reviews | 12 Comments  

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I just finished listening to Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer on audiobook, and I can’t say enough about this book. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, lump-in-your-throat poignant, and thought-provoking. How often do you get all of that in one book?

Mick Brannigan is an iron worker. He’s (mostly, like any of us) happily married with three kids. He likes his life – but it gets turned upside down when a string of freak “accidents” puts him out of work and turns him into a stay-at-home Dad.

His wife needs to work for the health insurance, because their youngest son, Dillon, has just been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder. My sister has a son who has a mild case of this, so I know that it is no laughing matter, but I have to say that the passages of the book that describe the way Dillon experiences the world are hilarious.

At first, Mick thinks that this stay-at-home Dad stuff will be a breeze. At first. Then reality sets in, and he experiences many of the same issues we moms are faced with: monotony, being starved for adult conversation, the never-ending pile of laundry, trying to mold the characters of our kids.

As Mick learns to love his kids, he also discovers his God-given talent for photography. It is a gift, pure and simple, and He begins to wonder about the God who gave it to him.

If you’re wondering just how funny this book is, I could not listen to it at night in bed, because I kept laughing aloud and then muffling my face in the pillow so I wouldn’t wake Kevin. And in the midst of all the hilarity of a red-neck father raising three spitfire kids, there are some great themes of forgiveness, redemption, and just letting go.

5 stars

Winner of Seeing Redd Giveaway

August 20, 2007 Categories: Books , Contests | 1 Comment  

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wow – I’m really late on this! But since the book doesn’t officially release until tomorrow, I’m not too late. Here are the winners of the copies of Seeing Redd:



I’ll be e-mailing you for mailing addresses soon. Congratulations!

I’m back…and have my head in the books!

August 18, 2007 Categories: All About Me , Homeschooling | 5 Comments  

Thank you for all your kind comments about my short break. The week was wonderful, and went by so fast. As I drove away from Mom and Dad’s house last night with tears in my eyes, I was praying that it won’t be another two years before I see Andrea again. The kids all had so much fun playing together. I wish they were closer!

And our week was also poignant with the knowledge that next June, my youngest sister Marni and her family will be moving to St. Louis so her husband can attend seminary. Since Marni is in Coeur d’Alene – only 2 1/2 hours away – we usually see each other every couple of months or so. Her Peter is six weeks younger than my Josiah – they’re both 5 – and they love each other! I am happy for them that Hans will be fulfilling his dream of attending seminary, but St. Louis is a long way from here.

I received four boxes of school supplies and paper and curriculum and craft supplies yesterday – two from Office Depot, two from Rainbow Resource. Just in time – we start back to school on the 27th. So my next week will be full of planning and sorting and the kids oohing and ahing over new books. Even Jonathan, my most reluctant learner, said, “Can we start tomorrow?” when he saw all those shiny new books.

I have a ton of links saved to share with you – I may get to those later today, I may not. We’ll see! Hope you’re all having a terrific weekend.

Short break

August 15, 2007 Categories: This and That | 7 Comments  

My sister Andrea is visting from Boise with her two boys, River and Gabriel. Though we talk on the phone almost every Friday, we have not been together for two years! My youngest sister Marni has also come up from Coeur d’Alene with her two boys. Needless to say, we are over-run with testosterone! We are spending our days at the park, the lake, and Grandma and Papa’s house. I’ll be back to blogging this weekend sometime.