This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall Into Reading Review

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.

History differs on many accounts of Anne Boleyn’s life, whether she was the younger or older of the sisters, whether or not she had a physical deformity of her hand, whether or not she surrounded herself with homosexual men and mostly about her relationship with her brother. But all accounts agree, Anne Boleyn, raised in the French courts, came to the English court of Henry the VIII and Katherine of Aragon. Her sister was a prior mistress of Henry’s and Anne succeeded her in this and then was successful (intentionally or unintentionally) in unseating Katherine, the Spanish queen, from the throne. Because of her inability to deliver a male heir to Henry at least, she was accused of several crimes, imprisoned in the Tower of London and beheaded.

I started out the year reading The Queen’s Fool and The Virgin’s Lover also by Phillipa Gregory. Gregory knows how to tell a story. She can lure you into the courts of royalty, she can make you follow to abject poverty and I always want to continue reading the story she shares.

Having read a previous historical fiction story earlier this year about Anne Boleyn, The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, I was curious to see how Ms.Gregory would handle the story. She took a totally different approach to the account. Her tale is told in the first person voice by Mary Boleyn, who in this tale is the younger of the Boleyn sisters.

What Gregory does is takes the myths, the fact and the suspicions and weaves them into a seductive tale, casting Anne in a role that makes her the total mistress of her destiny. She is determined, aggressive, greedy and focused. She is charming and shrewish. She is totally overcome with her own vision for her life.

In this story we also see Mary, who is not as widely discussed as Anne. Mary is the sister Henry tired of dallying with. She is the sister who survived the whole family and went on to have a somewhat complete family life with a man she was purported to be in love with—a totally unfashionable proposition at that time.

I’ve read reviews arguing Ms. Gregory’s historical accuracy and I am not enough of a scholar to dive into the fray. But what I’ve noticed is that even the reviewers who are not content with the facts cannot deny this is a story that is hard to put down. Grab your hat because The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting read that has Phillipa Gregory’s trademark characters, so personal, vulnerable and believable, present throughout, leading you down the path of a great story.

The Other Boleyn Girl is also being made into a movie. This looks like one I will enjoy!

Fall Into Reading Challenge is hosted at Callapidder Days by Katrina. Lots of reviews are up. Check out what everyone is saying!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Miss Libby

Belgian Tervuren, in case you were wondering.

Visit WW HQ for all the best photos.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Renee is giving away a book--Teaching with Favorite Magic Tree House Books by Deborah Rovin- Murphy and Frank Murphy

Here's what she has posted on her homeschooling blog, Two Peas in a Pod.
Summary of the book:
Motivate kids to learn about the features of fiction and nonfiction with the series they’re mad about- The Magic Tree House Books! This idea-packed resource includes tips on planning a series study; journal-writing activities that help kids distinguish “real” from “fantasy”; lessons that explore character, plot, and setting; and extensions in social studies, science, and art. Plus, you’ll find vocabulary- builders, literature-response reproducibles, book links and ideals for using the companion nonfiction Magic Tree House Guides.

Sounds great to me! Her giveaway is open until October 31st. Go check it out!

Children's Book Monday

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

With a name like that, you'd think it was a girls' book. And I suppose it is a book for girls. But it is also a book for boys because what it really is, is a book for children.

The Hundred DressesLittle, Polish Wanda Petronski comes to school every day from Boggins Heights in the same blue dress. She is different from all the other children in clothes, in name, in residence and in manner. And children are not always nice when it comes to someone being different.

Peggy and Maddie are always on the lookout for Wanda. They like to have a little fun with her. They like to play a game called "The Hundred Dresses." For Wanda, in her shabby blue dress, claims that at home she has one hundred dresses, all lovely colors and rich fabrics. The girls quiz her about her wardrobe that she never wears so they might admire some of her dresses.

One day Wanda is not at school. In fact Wanda does not return at all, but she leaves something behind and in doing so she teaches a valuable lesson and is not forgotten.

The Hundred Dresses would be a fine book for first and second graders to read alone, but it makes an even better read aloud because it opens up many topics that are often familiar to children and by exploring the lessons in the book parents and children can talk about kindness and differences and how someone outside "the crowd" might feel.

Again, The Hundred Dresses was a book that I remember from when I was growing up. It left a memory on my heart that I've been happy to share with my children.

Elanor Estes' Newberry Honor Award book shares a timeless story and the dreamy, vague almost impressionistic illustrations by Louis Slobodkin allow children to put themselves into the story.

Children's Book Monday is home at A Path Made Straigth where you will find Elise and everyone who loves children's books who join her.

Bloggy Blessing

Sweet Renee over at Renee's Ramblings gave me the Egel Nest Blog Award. I was blessed when I found that out. The award originates at the Egel's Nest with SAHD Bradley Egel. What fun. So to pass on the bloggy warm fuzzies I am sharing the award with:

Kim at mom-musings , I keep threatening to show up for coffee and tasty treats at her house. Jenna at A Joyful Journey , another good cook & she makes lovely cards too. Sheryl at Taking the Challenge , she is another fun blogger, with great menus and I love her Faith Lift Fridays. And Free to Fly , a reletively new blogger who has been a joy to meet and exchange thoughts with. Visit them and you will agree these are some "egg-sellent" bloggers!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

grains of gratitude You know, sometimes it is really the small things. I am grateful for snooze alarms and warm blankets. I am thankful my ugly pink recliner that I sit in when I blog. I am thankful for some fun finds that caught my eye this weekend.

But then again, sometimes it is the big things. I am thankful that we got to go to the ballet this weekend. The dance and music was varied. We heard Tchaikovsky, Mahler (with a wonderful baritone singing while the dancers danced) and, get this, the Lennon Sisters. And I have to say both my boys were better behaved than the two women who sat behind us. I am so grateful!!!

Boo had an audition Saturday and this week he will get to have a teeny tiny little walk on part with one of the country's largest ballet companies who are visiting our city! I am grateful he got this opportunity because sometimes being the little guy means having to wait while everyone else is doing things, and waiting until you are "big enough." This came just because he IS a little guy--big brother is too big. I am grateful that big brother Roo is really proud and excited and "gets" what a neat thing this is for Boo.

This is going to be a wild and crazy week for us with extra driving and logistics to figure out. I am grateful we homeschool and have some flexibility to take some fun opportunities once in a while.

I am grateful for all my blogging buddies out there who've really blessed my life. Visit Christing of Brady's Bunch who started Grains of Gratitude!

Have a great week everyone!

Always in Him,

Julie

Book Giveaway Reminder

Giving away Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden at this post. Leave your comment there. The giveaway lasts until Sunday, October 14.

Come back next Tuesday and I will be giving away another book!

Visit Overwhelmed With Joy to find more bloggers participating in her Pay It Forward Book Giveaways.

This giveaway is closed see here for the winner.