The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the tag “books”

Wow. Just Wow.

I just finished Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley.  It is a tremendously good book. I have learned so much from it. Something I just read in the epilogue was eye-opening, toe stomping, and disheartening all at the same time. Here it goes:

Surely one of the more remarkable aspects of Christianity today is how few of these professed believers have ever seriously studied the history of their religion. In an earlier age adherents of one faith seldom encountered adherents of another. Few were required to defend their religion against the criticisms of  a rival faith. In our day, however, when mass media make the world our neighborhood, the ignorance of Christians is hard to justify.

The movement toward separation of church and state  has all but removed religion from public education. That is true. But even “Christian education” in many denominations has done little to give members any sort of adult understanding of the faith they profess to believe. Should we really be surprised, then, when today’s Christian so frequently blends gross errors with orthodox confession or defends some pagan practice as “Christian” conduct?

Wow. All I can say is wow. It is so disheartening to see how far we (professing Christians) are from what is taught in Scriptures. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we are the ones who are blending pagan practices, Eastern religions, entertainment, and choosing to practice things that are unBiblical and calling it “church”.  We have the entire Bible at our disposal and yet, often choose to allow things in our lives that are in direct contrast to what it says. Now more than ever our churches need to focus on the Bible, what we believe, and why we believe it. We need to set aside the feel-good, the “relevant”, and the entertaining and get back to caring about the fact that people are attending our churches, enjoying every moment of it, yet spending eternity in hell when they die.

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Cheap Books Make Me Smile :D

I have a shopping  addiction. It is a strange one, perhaps, to some. Most women like to shop for shoes, clothes, etc… Me, I don’t care for that stuff. My fix comes from books. You can keep your malls and boutiques. Just leave me a space in the bookstore.

I especially love children’s books. I could spend hours in a bookstore just looking at illustrations and reading fairly simple texts. My favorite novels (besides some written by Charles Dickens) are written for children-Narnia, Eragon, Rifles for Watie and The Hobbit. So, I guess you figure out we have a lot of children’s books floating around. (hey, they are not all for me; we do have three kids)

As a result, Tapestry of Grace is the perfect homeschool curriculum choice for our family.  The boys are reading really great literature. The only problem is, our local library doesn’t really cater to the classical type literature for kids. Seriously, Nathaniel wanted a biography of Stonewall Jackson. They did not have one. They had celebrities, not historical figures. So getting all our fabulous books from them is a no-go.  We have been building a home library for the boys since they were born. Thankfully for each year of Tapestry we already have some books. The others, however, have to be purchased. Which can get expensive.

While perusing the world of fellow bloggers, I came across Homeschool Library Builder. Can I just say that this may very well be my new favorite website? They sell new and used books for a fraction of the price of bookstores and most online book sellers. Not only that, but you can earn points to earn FREE BOOKS just by buying books!!!!! How exciting is that?!?!?!?!? As if that is not enough, you can also do a search by curriculum (Ambleside, Beautiful Feet, Five in a Row, Heart of Dakota, Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Veritas Press) to help you find your books more easily.  If you sign up, you can even help me earn points by telling them I sent you there. (my user name is mrsrevmeg) I was skeptical about what the books would look like, would they have any weird smells, would someone else’s account really get credited. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had to look at my invoice to remember which books had been used. They all were in awesome, like new condition. I received a handwritten note that thanked me for my order and said they credited the other person’s account. Wow. That is not something you get from most places.

Even if you are not a homeschooler and are just a regular book-lover, you should check this site out. They have soooo many books at such great prices.

Keep a Poem in Your Heart

Several years my mother gave the boys all the Random House Book of Poetry for Children for Christmas. It has been one of those gifts that has been used over and over. Benjamin especially loves it. Two of his favorites are written by the same person. Dorothy Aldis either is the female version of Benjamin or has a child just like him. If you do not believe me, read these poems:

Wasps

Wasps like coffee.

Syrup.

Tea.

Coca-Cola.

Butter.

Me.

My Nose

It doesn’t breathe;

It doesn’t smell;

It doesn’t feel So very well.

I am discouraged

With my nose:

The only thing it

Does is blows.

Benjamin’s assignment was to create a poem of all verbs. He decided to write one about school.

School

Writing…………….reading……………………..listening…………….arguing……

………………….spanking……………………………sulking

(I promise not all days are like this! :))

What Makes a Book Great?

I’m talking about children’s books. Last night Samuel wanted me to read Moog-Moog, Space Barber to him. I think that book is near the bottom of my list of favorite books. The story is alright, the pictures, so-so. It just doesn’t move me, ya know? There are other books, however, that I could (well, DO actually) read over and over to the kids. Sometimes I think I enjoy them as much more than the boys. Take the obvious choice: Where the Wild Things Are. (Coming to a theater near you TOMORROW) I had that book as a kid. I loved it. I credit that book for me never being scared of monsters. The monsters in it weren’t scary. They were fun. Even when they tell Max “We’ll eat you up….” it is followed by “we love you so”.  When Max gets home, his dinner is waiting and it is still warm. His mom loves him even though he has been bad. (kind of like Benjamin lately)

Or think about the book Goodnight MoonIt is such a simple story, with simple pictures. A little bunny tells everything in his room goodnight. My kids have gone though stages of doing that. It makes bedtime go.by.soooo.sllloooowwwwlllly. However, if we said “goodnight” to all our things at the same time the bunny says it to his stuff, it goes by much more quickly. (okay, so maybe not much, but some)

Nathaniel wanted to hear The Tub People every single night in kindergarten. They had a special reading month where we were supposed to read a certain number of books per night to our kids. I was reading more than was required, or fibbing and just putting random book titles because I did not want his teacher to wonder if we only had one book. It is a sweet one, too.

This week in school we learning about India. There are not a whole lot of fun books about India. Not that I know of, anyway. Imagine my surprise when the Tapestry of Grace assigned reading happens to be one of our long time family favorites: Little Babaji. Little Babaji is the story of a little Indian boy whose parents buy him some fancy new duds and he goes for a walk in the jungle. By and by he meets up with some hungry tigers that threaten to eat him. He cleverly trades an article of clothing for the promise not to be eaten, telling the tiger that he is the grandest tiger in the jungle. You may have heard this story before, only set in Africa, and the boy being named Sambo. That’s how I first heard it. My grandmother used to tell me that story. It was written by Helen Bannermann in 1899. She was originally from Scotland, but lived 30 years in India where her husband served as a medical officer. The stories she wrote celbrated Indian or Tamil children. The children in her stories are all very bright, like little Sambo outwitting the tigers and being rewarded with pancakes. Her stories were not racist. Not in their original forms. However, as time went on, they were published by one company, then another. The more times it was published, the less like the original the story became. By the time it got here (to the US) the story was set in Africa and the people looked like plantation slaves. Sambo actually became a racial slur. The book was eventually pulled off the shelves.You can probably find it on e-bay. You can find it in a few libraries.  In 1996 Fred Marcellino published a new, updated Sambo where he had changed the names to something more politically correct. Usually I am not a fan of the PC police, but I do think there is no sense in intentionally insulting people. I also think that a beloved children’s story should not be forgotten. This is a book that is sooooo much fun to read. I love to do little voices in it. Babaji has an Indian accent. The tigers all have deep, growly voices. Mamaji and Papaji both ahve very excited voices. Samuel did his worksheet and drew a picture of little Babaji eating his big stack of pancakes. scan0001 To celebrate, can you guess what we are having for supper? (in Mamaji’s voice) Pancakes!!

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