Noah’s Reading – February 2009

February 28, 2009 Categories: Books , Homeschooling | 2 Comments  

Redwall: The Graphic Novel by Brian Jacques
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

Natalie’s Reading – February 2009

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | 2 Comments  

The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene
The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
The World at Her Fingertips: The Story of Helen Keller by Joan Dash

Read Alouds – February 2009

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church by Brandon and Mindy Withrow
The Travels of Henry Hudson by Joanne Mattern
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Family Bible Storybook by Kenneth N. Taylor
The Mayflower Adventure by Colleen L. Reece
The Case for a Creator for Kids by Lee Strobel and Rob Suggs

Jonathan’s Reading – February 2009

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
Redwall: The Graphic Novel

Josiah’s Reading – February 2009

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

The Littles Go Exploring by John Peterson
George and Martha Back in Town by James Marshall
Bakugan: The Battle Begins

Links for Friday

February 27, 2009 Categories: Blogging , Books , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff , Movies , TV on DVD | 4 Comments  

This week has been better than last week. I’m feeling better from my cold, although my voice has not come back all the way. I’m still pretty squeaky, which is unfortunate, since I was supposed to sing a solo at church on Sunday. But at least the killer headache is mostly gone.

This week has been busy with the usual stuff – homeschooling and chauffeuring the kids to various activities: Tae Kwon Do, Awana, photography and art classes, etc. My freelance work hasn’t picked up, but I’ve found some other ways to make money with my blog here (thanks, Andrea! I owe you a huge hug. :) ) and my other blog, Books and Movies, has started to take off in the book blog community, so it’s bringing in a little bit, too. If you’ve wondered why I don’t blog about books much here anymore, that’s why. If you miss those kinds of posts, click on over!

Did you watch the Oscars? I loved Hugh Jackman’s opening number – and thought he did a great job of hosting.

Natalie has had two babysitting jobs, will be taking the Red Cross Babysitting Course (with CPR) in a couple weeks, and has the possibility of a two-hours-a-week job starting in the fall. I, on the other hand, am having a hard time believing that she’s old enough to be doing any of this. Of course, being big sister to three brothers has been good training.

Noah is loving his art class and I can’t wait to see all the drawings and watercolors he’s done. Jonathan is hankering for summmer – he’s tired of snow, and ready for camping and fishing, his two favorite things.

Josiah has discovered the wonder of longer books, and is making his way through John Peterson’s series of Littles chapter books. The other morning, he was reading from The Littles’ New Friend and asked if he could stop, even though silent reading time wasn’t over yet. I asked, “Why?” because he never wants to stop reading early. He said, “Something sad happened in my book,” and promptly burst into tears! He crawled into my lap and told me about how Tom Little had met a new friend named Glory, and now they had to say goodbye, and they didn’t know when they’d see each other again. Isn’t that a reader’s rite of passage – the first book that moves you to tears?

Speaking of reading, Kevin, who used to read maybe one book a year, has suddenly become a reader. He is on book four of the Sackett series by Louis L’Amour – and he’s reading them all on his Palm. I, who protest vehemently whenever my husband threatens to buy me a Kindle, am married to an e-book reader. :)

Kevin and I have been thoroughly enjoying our Netflix membership, catching up on NCIS and Numb3rs – both available on Watch Instantly (I love having a techie husband who knows how to make his laptop play through the TV) – and finding two new series that we love: Chuck and The New Adventures of Old Christine. Tried a couple movies that turned out to be duds. Waiting for some of the Oscar nominees to be released on DVD so we can see what all the fuss was about. :)

Enough about me; on to the links:

~ 26 Neologisms for Book Lovers: An awesome list by Coversgirl to which any true bibliophile will completely relate.

~ Book Giveaway Carnival: Bookroom Reviews is hosting a giveaway carnival for book lovers – be sure to click over on Monday for the list of bloggers participating so you can sign up to win some books!

~ Deborah Dewit-Marchant: Art for lovers of reading and writing. Hat tip: Carol.

~ The “I Can Read Movies” Series: A collection of faux book covers based on famous movies.

~ Where Fiction Isn’t Allowed to Be Fiction: A post by Literate Housewife about historical fiction – that is, fiction based on actual historical figures. When is it okay to embellish? How much is it okay to embellish? Any opinions?

~ David after the dentist: Hilarious video of a kid who was under anesthesia for a dental procedure and is still feeling a bit loopy. Natalie e-mailed this one to me.

~ Help NASA Name Node 3: NASA is naming a new module for the space station, and so far, the name Serenity is in first place. Any Browncoats fans out there? Click over and vote. Hat tip: Meg.

That’s all for this week – have a wonderful weekend!

Book Review: The Classic Bible Storybook by Kenneth N. Taylor

February 25, 2009 Categories: Books , Faith , Homeschooling , Reviews | 2 Comments  

(The Classic Bible Storybook by Kenneth Taylor was provided to me by the publisher for the purpose of this review.)


The Classic Bible Storybook is a collection of more than 120 stories written by Kenneth N. Taylor, translator of The Living Bible and best-selling children’s book author. Inside you’ll find:

~ Each story presents the accuracy of God’s Word in language children can understand.

~ The realistic illustrations will capture the imaginations of both young and old.

~ Comprehension questions after each story reinforce the themes and help readers engage with the text.

It’s the perfect book to help children learn to love and reverence the Word of God.

The kids and I have been enjoying the stories from this book for the past three weeks. I love that the stories aren’t so long that my two squirmiest become restless, but are long enough to communicate a full story without cutting any corners. The text is scripturally accurate, but also keeps in mind the age of the intended audience. For instance, the story of David and Goliath stops with Goliath falling to the ground, and skips the part about David cuttting his head off.

Another wonderful thing about this book is the illustrations – they are beautifully done, and remind me of the Bible storybooks I grew up with. The questions at the end of each chapter are designed to make sure that your children have understood the story, and are a good jumping-off point for deeper discussions about how the story relates to us today and how we live out our faith. My kids are ages 12, 10, 9, and 7 – and all four of them are enjoying the time we spend with this book.

Highly recommended.

Marriage Meme

February 21, 2009 Categories: Marriage , Memes & Quizzes | 4 Comments  


I saw this at Hey, Lady! Whatcha Readin’? and thought it would be fun to do a meme that isn’t just about me. If you play along, answer the questions about you and your spouse. :)

What are your middle names?
Mine is Eileen; Kevin’s is Duane

How long have you been together?
Together since October 1994; married March 31, 1995 – so coming up on 14 years.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
A few months – we met in the spring and had our first date on October 1st.

Who asked whom out?
I asked Kevin after being assured by our mutual friend Sue that he was interested. I didn’t want to wait for him to get up the nerve!

How old are each of you?
Kevin is 43; I’m 36.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Until recently, I would have said mine, but my sister Marni moved out of the Pacific Northwest to St. Louis, and since we took two trips to Portland in 2008, we saw Kevin’s brother Bob and his wife Kathy twice in one year. Before that, we hadn’t seen them since before Jonathan was born.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Definitely financial issues.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope – we didn’t even grow up in the same area. Even if we had, Kevin’s 7 years older.

Are you from the same home town?
Oops, already answered that. I grew up in Sedro Woolley, Washington; Kevin grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon.

Who is smarter?
Depends on the topic. If you’re talking about history or literature – academic stuff – then I am. If you’re talking about practical, real-life stuff – especially when discerning people’s motives and attitudes, then he is.

Who is the most sensitive?
I am.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Our little town has two fantastic restaurants that we love: Rancho Chico’s (Mexican) and Stefanie’s Oak Street Grill.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
To Seely Lake, Montana to visit my parents the first Christmas we were together.

Who has the craziest exes?
I don’t know that either of us has exes that qualify as crazy.

Who has the worst temper?
We both have tempers, but deal with them differently.

Who does the cooking?
We both cook – I do most week-days, but Kevin often cooks breakfast and dinner on the weekends.

Who is the neat-freak?
Neither of us.

Who is more stubborn?
Kevin. Though he might disagree with that – but he’d be wrong.

Who hogs the bed?
We both do.

Who wakes up earlier?
Most days, I do – unless it’s a day when Kevin has to be at the office to do something with the computers before everyone else gets there.

Where was your first date?
At The Melting Pot in Portland, Oregon.

Who is more jealous?
Probably me, but jealousy isn’t really a big issue for either of us.

How long did it take to get serious?
One date – we were together from that point on.

Who eats more?
I do.

Who does the laundry?
Laundry is a family affair at our house – we all pitch in.

Who’s better with the computer?
He’s a techie. I’ve learned a lot from him, though.

Who drives when you are together?
Kevin – and we fight over the choice of CD. :)

If you play along, let me know!

from “In Praise of the Humble Comma”

February 20, 2009 Categories: Commonplace Book , Writing | Comments Off  


“Punctuation is the notation in the sheet music of our words, telling us where to rest, or when to raise our voices; it acknowledges that the meaning of our discourse, as of any symphonic composition, lies not in the units but in the pauses, the pacing and the phrasing. Punctuation is the way one bats one’s eyes, lowers one’s voice, or blushes demurely. Punctuation adjusts the tone and color and volume till the feeling comes into perfect focus, not disgust exactly, but distaste; not lust, or like, but love….

….Sometimes, of course, our markings may be simply a matter of aesthetics. Popping in a comma can be like slipping on the necklace that gives an outift quiet elegance, or like catching the sound of running water that complements, as it completes, the silence of a Japanese landscape….

….Thus all these tiny scratches give us breadth and heft and depth. A world that has only periods is a world without inflections. It is a world without shade. It has a music without sharps and flats. It is a martial music. It has a jackboot rhythm. Words cannot bend and curve. A comma, by comparison, catches the gentle drift of the mind in thought, turning in on itself and back on itself, reversing, redoubling and returning along the course of its own sweet river music; while the semicolon brings clauses and thoughts together with all the silent discretion of a hostess arranging guests around her dinner table.”

~ from “In Praise of the Humble Comma,” as published in In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones

No links for Friday, but I’m posting anyway…

Categories: This and That | 4 Comments  

I just wrote a post about what a day from you-know-where it has been, and saved it, and it disappeared, proving the first part of my statement true. Sigh.

I have no energy to retype the whole thing, so here’s a quick recap:

~ I’m on day nine of a cold that comes with a killer headache.

~ Natalie’s comptuer has some virus on it that highjacks her browser.

~ The toilet was plugged – on the one day of the week that Kevin is working at the office instead of at home.

~ Hugh Jackman’s hosting the Oscars – woo hoo!

~ Inkheart the movie was not near as good as the book.

I know I mentioned more than that, but I can’t remember anything else. Here’s hoping your day is going better than mine.