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, November 14, 2009

Blog Book Tour--The Swiss Courier

by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey

I received an offer from Revell/Baker Publishing Group to join the blog book tour forThe Swiss Courier a while back. There were a lot of very positive reviews out there. Since I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this was an era that I didn't have fiction from, I agreed and looked forward to reading the book.


From the publishers: Award-winning authors Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey join forces for the first time with the release of their thrilling World War II-era fiction novel, The Swiss Courier.

Set in Switzerland during August 1944, The Swiss Courier whisks readers into the height of World War II as Nazi threats mount and governments race to develop the world’s first atomic bomb.

Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working as a spy for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. She is asked to put her life on the line to safely “courier” a defecting German nuclear physicist—who’s working on the atomic bomb project—out of Germany and into Switzerland, sending her into enemy territory to keep him (and his secrets) safe from the hands of the Gestapo.

As Gabi takes on this do-or-die mission, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she can lead him to safety, she can keep the Germans from developing nuclear capabilities. But in a time of traitors and uncertainty, whom can she trust along the way?

This fast-paced, suspenseful novel takes readers along treacherous twists and turns during a fascinating—and deadly—time in history. Well-researched, The Swiss Courier includes true historical events to give the story greater authenticity. Danger, suspense and romance abound in this engaging page-turner.




Revell/Baker Publishing asks that as a member of the book tour I post my own review and I've had little problem with enthusiastic endorsements about the books I've read prior. This review has been a little harder; maybe given the seriousness of the subject matter and the era that it addresses I had higher expectations. While I thought The Swiss Courier was a good book, I'm not sure it lives up to the kudos I had read about it. Perhaps it is the limited size that limited the detail of the book.

It was pretty fast paced, but the characters were lacking in dimension. The main character Gabi Mueller is definitely sweet and likable. She is certainly a naïve young woman with limited vision. There were some rather stereotypical descriptions of secondary characters that included barmaids' bosoms and paramours that seemed unnecessary and interrupted the flow. If one were to only read this book as an account of the underground movement that defied Hitler, the reader might believe that only non-denominational Christians were the only members of the brave people who rescued, hid and transported to safety, the Jews who were brutally annihilated by the Nazi regime.

All in all it was a good book. If I were given to "stars" or "bookmark" ranking systems, I would give it a three and a half out of five. There are definitely some surprising twists and if you are looking for a Christian romance this would be a book you would enjoy.

Thanks to Revell/Baker Publishing for the copy of The Swiss Courier. Available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Will Never Be the Same Again...











I Will Never Be the Same Again
by Darlene Zshech

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk apart, I'll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk apart, I'll run the race
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness
, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

There are higher heights, there are deeper seas,
Whatever you need to do, Lord do in me.
The Glory of God fills my life,
And I will never be the same again.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep aways the darkness, burn away the chaff
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let a flame burn to glorify Your name.

I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I've closed the door.
I will walk the path, I will run the race
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.
And I will never be the same again.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Freedom Is Never Free

Never forget that freedom is not free.

Thank a veteran today.
Thank a veteran's family.







Thursday, November 5, 2009

Prayer Request

A very dear, across-the-miles blog friend
is in the hospital
and needs prayer.
Please help me lift her and her family up to our Father.

With many thanks,

Julie

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Book Tour--The Y Factor

by Liam Roberts

Glass Road Public Relations asked if I would be interested in a book described as a "Medical AND political thriller? You bet! Liam Roberts is a debut novelist with characters who are bent on unraveling the genetic code...and applying it to the simmering situation between Christians and Muslims." That caught my attention!!

How could I turn it down? The Y Factor was a sprint race read--a book that kept me turning the pages and comparing it to the headlines. Mr. Roberts has been compared to one of my favorite authors--Tom Clancy. And I would say for a first published novel that was close to the mark. But as a Christian writer, Mr. Roberts offers a unique perspective; not only politically astute, but also with an eye on eternity.

The characters were young and enthusiastic, fresh out of university and ready to change the world. Little did Eric Colbern and Alana McKinsey realize that their first "real jobs" might be their last.

The Y Factor will take you around the world and back. You will be immersed in technology, history and human intrigue. There's even a little romantic intrigue to top it off.

Look for The Y Factor by Liam Roberts. Definitely a gripping read.

Thanks to Glass Road Public Relations for the copy of The Y Factor for review.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blog Book Tour--Intimate Conversations

Intimate Conversations: Devotions to Nurture a Woman's Soul by Alicia Britt Chole

In the middle of interrupted sentences, suffering, making breakfast for your child, fear, during the storms of life and in the car; Intimate Conversations by Alicia Britt Chole will provide a dose of reality that points you to closer communication with your Heavenly Father.

Chole's kind and familiar tone make each of the 52 devotions like talking to a friend. And more importantly give you ideas to get you talking to God.



From the Press Releases:

Relief for Busy Women and Moms

To Draw Closer to God—During All of Life’s Busy Moments

Author Alicia Britt Chole shows women how to rejuvenate their spiritual lives with this collection of short yet deeply thought-provoking meditations.

Women spend a large portion of their lives serving everyone around them—making sure the kids are fed and to school on time, the house is in working order, the to-do list is full of checkmarks and they’re volunteering on Sunday mornings at church. After pouring into everyone and everything else, it’s a struggle to have any time or energy left over at all—not even when it comes to cultivating their relationship with God.

Author and seasoned mentor Alicia Britt Chole offers relief. In her latest book, Intimate Conversations: Devotions to Nurture a Woman’s Soul, she shows women how every season—even those marked by hectic schedules and overwhelming responsibilities—can offer unprecedented opportunities to actually deepen your faith without having to put God on hold.

She reveals how that’s possible through this set of 52 daily readings. Each takes only moments to read, yet these poignant meditations will bring a refreshing perspective to a reader’s entire day.

Rather than ignore the daunting real-life issues and faith struggles that complicate your connection with God, Chole addresses them with grace and understanding. Whether it’s yearning to love God more, to learn to listen, to not give up or to overcome fear, she helps women understand how they can develop a more intimate and satisfying relationship with God in the midst of everyday challenges.

“I want to show women how each minute of every loud, distracting day is pregnant with potential for intimacy if we can learn how to simply and intentionally live it with God,” Chole says.

She draws from her experience as a mentor, daughter, wife and mother to weave personal stories of laughter and tears alongside Scripture in these meditations. Paired with thought-provoking questions for reflection or group discussion, Chole’s insightful writing will be cathartic for any woman who is hungering for a more intimate connection with God, no matter how crazy life gets.

Alicia Britt Chole speaks nationally and internationally to leaders, pastors, professionals, students, women, and churches. She has been a mentor for students and women for more than twenty years. She is the author of Anonymous and Finding the Unseen God. Chole lives in Missouri.


You can also visit Ms. Chole's blog Truthportraits.

“Intimate Conversations: Devotions to Nurture a Woman's Soul--available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blog Book Tour--An Eye for an Eye

by Irene Hannon

Take a handsome FBI agent re-introduce him to the still beautiful woman he fell for twenty years ago, add the bumps and bruises and scars that come with maturing and living full lives and you have a wonderful romance. Add an atypical sniper after one of them and you have great suspense.

An Eye for an Eye
was a marvelous blend of fast-paced action and a quiet and mature romance. Romantic suspense--an interesting blend. Just right for keeping me awake later than I needed to be more than a few nights because I couldn't leave the characters (really me) hanging.

Emily Lawson is the beautiful psychiatrist; a young widow with a lonely and broken heart. Mark Sanders is the rugged FBI agent recovering from a hostage incident where he was injured and a teen was killed. An unexpected meeting reunites them and the sparks they knew as teens still smolder.

Then there is the less than average attempted murderer who wants to kill one of them. But the question is which one? Irene Hannon leads the reader on a roller-coaster chase to catch the killer and keep both Jack and Emily alive.

Thoughtfully researched and written, Ms. Hannon gives the reader characters that are easy to become attached to. The characters journeys of faith are also interesting. Fear of loss, choosing forgiveness, and accepting personal weakness were all dealt with. Most touching to me were the reminders that no one can totally control life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. A strong faith in God can create peace even in the darkest moments.

An Eye for an Eye, book two in The Heroes of Quantico series is a great stand alone read--no need for reading Book One, Against All Odds--but I'm off to look for it! (Ms. Hannon actually notes in the Acknowledgments that An Eye for an Eye was written first.) The book is available from booksellers and Revell/Baker Publishing, who kindly provide me with the opportunity to read it. Book Three, In Harm's Way in on the horizon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009--At the Goal Post

My favorite season is autumn, time for turning leaves, turning the air conditioner off, turning a few pages of some wonderful books. Time for Katrina's Fall Into Reading 2009.

I've done this with varying success twice before in 2007 and 2008 and had a blast. There's something about having a goal and at least attaining part of it. Being a book addict is consuming sometimes. I have a habit of getting distracted from my original list.

This year I thought I might pick a limited list and just add to it as the days go on. As I stood in front of my burgeoning "To Be Read" SHELF I had to fight the urge to list all the books on there. I see & smell books and reason just flies out the window. What can I say?

So this is my "limited list" for 2009:

Out to Canaan by Jan Karon

Karon's books are always fresh and like a vacation in the town I've wanted to visit since I read her first book--At Home in Mitford. I'm sure I'll fly through this one, just as I've done with the predecessors.




Herbs and Apples by Helen Hooven Santmeyer

Santmeyer became one of my favorite authors nearly twenty years ago when I found her huge novel "...And Ladies of the Club." Within the last year, I've run across a couple more of her less published books and am glad for the chance to read more.



Bygones by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Stories of the Amish--the "Plain Folk" always interest me. I received this book a long time ago, read a few very interesting chapters and then for some reason got sidetracked. Time to pick it up again and finish it.




Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville

Roo and I are reading books with themes including: futuristic projections, overpopulation, post-apocalyptic societies, dystopian/utopian societies. This caught my eye and I wanted to pre-read it before I handed it off to him. I've always been a fan of Jane Yolen's varied work and look forward to seeing how this story is handled.



Of Beetles & Angels by Mawi Asgedom

My sister gave me this book quite a while back with high recommendations. The story of this man's journey as a child from war torn east Africa to a Harvard scholar sounds remarkable.




M.C. Higgins, the Greatby Virginia Hamilton

It's hard to go wrong with a Newbery Medal book, although some of the Amazon reviews weren't terrible flattering. I'll reserve judgment until I read this children's literature myself




Ascension (Water Trilogy, Book 1)by Kara Dalkey

Honestly, the beautiful cover art on this book caught my eye. I have the trilogy and am looking forward to this young adult fantasy.



Thanks again to Katrina for her lovely challenge. Check out all the readers, and she has giveaways!! Always a fun thing.

Time to cozy up with tea or coffee and a good book.

I'm double posting my first Fall Into Reading 2009 post on both my blogs, the reviews will be at Joyful Days Reviews & Recipes. I'll post a note when a new one is up.

Fall Into Reading past;

Fall Into Reading 2008

Fall Into Reading 2007

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009

Katrina is hostessing



once again!!

Can you believe it's time for Fall already?

Getting my book list ready. And my computer.

OH!! And of course my BOOKS!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blog Book Tour--Silent Savior

by A.J. Gregory

For when you are dry in the desert, for when the flood waters are up to you ears, for when you can't seem to find your candle to light in the darkness...for when God seems silent.

A.J. Gregory says the things you are afraid to say when you go to church, when you talk to your brothers and sisters in Christ over doughnuts in the fellowship hall, when you sit in Bible study, when you confess your sins. Many are able to admit to sin, but few want to admit to wavering faith, to doubt and questions when your heart is raw and you haven't heard a word from the LORD lately.

Have you been told you, "Just don't have enough faith about_____" or there's some "hidden sin" you haven't confessed, or that if you pray this or that prayer or follow just the right doctrine, your prayer request would be answered.

Society has convinced us that we can have it all and it all can be put together packaged and wrapped with a pretty bow and that message has seeped into our "church lives." Do you put on a happy face and answer, "Fine!" when asked how you are? Because a Christian should be happy and fine. But are you?

Gregory's book isn't going to tell you the magic answer to have your prayers all answered by the LORD. Silent Savior isn't going to tell you why you have prayers that haven't been answered. This refreshing and real book will let you know that it is okay to have questions, to ask them out loud and to hang on to the threads of faith when threads are all you have.

From reviews and the publisher:

What do you do when there's not even a still, small voice?

There are times in our lives when it's not just hard to hear God--it's impossible. We've all been there. Knowing on some deeper level that God is present no matter how things look, but still feeling the trickle of doubt. And wondering why the God whose faithfulness is never supposed to fail seems to be turning a giant deaf ear toward us. It's not always like this, but silent seasons are common in the life of any believer.

In Silent Savior, A. J. Gregory navigates that labyrinth of sorrow, pain, angst, and doubt on the way to a soul-deep recognition of God's infinite faithfulness and perpetual, if sometimes silent, presence. And she encourages you to keep believing he's there even when that silence seems deafening.

Endorsements

"Many of us tiptoe around the eggshells of the doubts and questions surrounding an intangible God. Gregory doesn't. And after reading this book, hopefully you won't either, but instead rest in a haven of depth and holy wonder."--Chris Seay, author

"In a beautiful and reflective way, Gregory reminds us we don't have to be embarrassed, afraid, or shocked to find the presence of God's silence in our lives."--Ron Martoia, author

"If you're looking for a book to move your stagnant faith, to stir the dry bones, and to bring truth to your life, you've got the right book."--Michael Franzese, author


Thanks to Revell/Baker Publishing and A.J. Gregory for the opportunity to read this thoughtful book.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Daybook...September 14, 2009

FOR TODAY ...September 14, 2009...

Outside my window...gray and damp. A good day to sleep.

I am thinking...I wish life would slow down.

I am thankful for...my husband.

From the learning rooms...Bible study includes Know and Grow - Understanding God, Famous Men of Rome, The Book of Virtues, The Children's Book of Virtues. And much more to keep us busy.

From the kitchen...spaghetti and meatballs.

I am wearing...my exercise clothes, still...I need to get that changed.

I am creating...continuing to knit, trying #35 needles--they're huge.

I am going...to auditions with the boys tonight.

I am reading...more books than I should.

I am hoping...Roo is not going to get sick today. Boo has been sick and is finally improving. Roo's turn may be coming. I'm letting the boys sleep late today. We've had too much activity and they just may be run down.

I am hearing...creaking beds.

Around the house...same song, next verse...

One of my favorite things...Republic of Tea's Maté Latte.

A few plans for the rest of the week:catching up on record keeping, hopefully getting some long overdue mailing done. I have a few things that have been sitting waiting to be sent.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...the boys two years ago. My how they've grown. In a couple weeks I plan to up date this photo.



Visit Peggy at the Simple Woman's Daybook to find more daybookers.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Notes from the Sofa--Thank God for Sticky Shoes

Finished up Week 8 of our homeschool adventure this school year.

Week 8 was not the high point of this adventure.

I'm just saying.

Let's be real. Some days just aren't bouncy, happy, everything-is-fine days. Some weeks are better than others.

This last one wasn't.

In my quest to be a good (homeschool/ballet/music/fun/gamer) mom, I try to share the victories with my friends and family. Victories are fun. I would hate to scare someone off who is considering homeschooling. It is a wonderful experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

So if you are new to this blog, considering homeschooling, why don't you go visit some of the wonderful blogs listed on my sidebar? Many are homeschoolers, and if they're not, they are lovely people who will share wonderful cheerful thoughts about life and you will feel great about reading their posts.

What? You're still here...okay...warned.

But there are moments. Moments when I would like to push "Reset" for. So this post will be honest, transparent and offer full disclosure--okay, maybe not full, but partial disclosure...weeellllll maybe just enough disclosure that a couple people might read this blog again. What I am saying is that I will more transparent than the current administration--not hard. Yes, I'm in a mood.

Week 8 started off alright. The boys actually did some work in the car because we were traveling home on Labor Day. Boo wanted to know why he had to labor on Labor Day. I offered to let him off the hook and do it all on Tuesday, and, just wondering, what better was he going to do on a four hour car ride, anyway? He chose my way...good boy.

Boo is reading Finding Out About Everyday Things--an older Usborne book. It is more about the way thing used to work, but I think that helps to know how things have been and shows the advances in technology. He also finished Henry Huggins and is reading Elmer and the Dragon, the second book in the My Father's Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett. He's enjoying it and it would be a great read for other readers from third to sixth grade.

Roo and I had an hour long discussion of slavery and the Civil War during that ride. Poor child was a captive audience. I usually don't go into lecture mode. But it was just something I was passionate about. He still loves me and promises to listen in the future.

Tuesday saw a pretty productive day, Roo had a three hour rehearsal thrown in at the end. Getting home after 8:30 was kind of a bummer for both of us. But all in all, it was a good day.

Wednesday included reading, as always. Roo is working his way through The Way Things Work. I was fortunate enough to pick up our copy at The Half Price Book Store for $1!! Roo has enjoyed the section on levers and has increased my knowledge by sharing all he has learned about levers. Fascinating stuff!! I love all these pieces of knowledge that they are thrilled about and want to share.

But Wednesday is where the slope started getting slippery. Boo woke up saying he felt bad and could he just sleep? I wish I could tell you my motherly instinct saw his discomfort and that I cossetted him and pampered him. But...she says hanging her head in shame...I cajoled him and tried to get him to pony up and do some work. No, I did not check his temperature...no, I did not do any of the good momma stuff I should have. Until later when I realized he had a fever. Ugh...now we both felt bad--he felt sick and I felt like a toad.

Wednesday was also the most miserable night the four and a half hour night at ballet for Roo--the first official night of the ballet school year. And Roo had no intention of missing that. In fact Boo thought he could make it to that. Hello?? Temperature?? Chills?? I may have been dense for a while, but once I catch on, I know what the right answer is.

Thankfully my hubby works from home and Boo was by then positioned on the sofa with an I Love Lucy episode and pillow and blanket. So Roo and I hauled down the road to ballet with our carpool kids. Where he worked hard and I sat and stewed about what a terrible parent I am.

We got home after 9:30. Ugh.

Thursday was an independent work day for Roo, because Boo and I sat for two hours in the doctors office for less than five minutes of face time so the doctor could confirm the diagnosis I was already convinced of--Strep.

Then it was a race home to drop Boo off with Daddy and Roo so I could run to the pharmacy (the wait for filled Rx's was over an hour). I dropped the prescription off, ran home ate lunch between 2:35 and 2:40, put make-up on (because I had not had a chance earlier) made the most excellent cup of coffee I have made in a long time, drank half of it...and proceeded to baptize the table (with all Roo's school work), the floor (the dog won't lick up coffee-drat), my favorite pair of shoes, my shirt, a calculator and a fabric pencil case with the rest.

My favorite shoes. It was almost too much. I went sticky-sticky-sticky all the way from the parking lot to the pharmacy counter and sticky-sticky-sticky all the way back. My husband tried to clean them up for me...but all night, I kept smelling Eau de café--wait--that was me.

Boo had another night at home, much to his dismay. Roo and I rushed to pick up the girls and made it to the studio on time. I got to sit with my favorite group of moms and another mom joined us. I've always enjoyed talking to her. She's another homeschooler, but her child is older and in advanced levels. She's got a lot of good insights, she's witty, smart and open. She chose to ask me, "If you sent your child to a public school and they got a bad education, you could always blame their teachers. Aren't you ever afraid that some day they're going to decide you missed something--and it will be all your fault?"

Gulp...

Well...honestly, yes, but today I still feel like a toad and I don't want to think about THAT! Yikes!

Truly, I enjoyed her company and hope we can talk again. Just maybe when I'm not feeling warty and all. Ya know?

Today, Boo is bouncing around the house. Much improved. Medicine-a-phobic that I am, I know that sometimes a good antibiotic is the only answer. I am grateful for both my boys who love me despite my warts. My husband who for some unknown reason still loves me and is home most days, and all the blessings we have.

Today, I am grateful that I started school early because if this had been my first week of getting back to school with the boys I would have melted into a pile of goo.

Today I am grateful for doctors.

Today, I am grateful I got to half half of the best cup of coffee I've made in a long time...it was better than none at all.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for sticky shoes and cluttered houses and unfinished work. I thank you for people who aren't afraid to admit to having weaknesses and help me to admit I'm not perfect either.

God of spilled coffee, red lights, long car rides, infections, old cats, hairy dogs, sunshine and rain, rushing and rest, LORD of unfathomable heaven and messy, dirty earth, I thank you for this week. I thank you for my family and friends, I thank you for holding us up when we are tired and holding our children when they are sick and their parents are slow to catch on.

Help me keep my focus on you. Help me to see my little inconveniences for just that and to laugh at the bumps in the road. Make me stronger for the truly difficult times and always let me feel Your Presence. Amen.


Counting it all joy,

Julie

Above sofa found here.

Blog Book Tour--Fools Rush In

by Janice Thompson

Janice Thompson certainly likes her weddings! Yes indeed, she does. The first Thompson wedding tale I read was back in 2007, Gone With the Groom, a wedding mystery with a missing groom. Her suspense filled Christian fiction was full of adventure and mayhem.

But Ms. Thompson really caught one of my weaknesses this time, she knows her Dean Martin. Oh yes indeed, she does! And one of my secret weaknesses is Dean Martin's singing. Dino croons the soundtrack of her latest novel, Fools Rush In: Weddings by Bella. Well...I suppose Ol' Blue Eyes sings a supporting backup, but it's Dean who leads the show.

Really, the story is about the very Itallian Bella Rossi and her search for the perfect country and western deejay. Because, you know, Italians and Texas have a lot in common...ummm, do they? Really? Well, maybe more than you'd think.

Bella has inherited the family business...ahem...the family wedding business, that is, and she intends on making it successful. Can a wedding planner who's never had her own wedding make it big designing others' happily ever after dreams? What about Bella's dreams? Will there ever be a wedding bell in her future? What happens when Bella's East-coast family meets the downhome Texas family of D.J, who may or may not be the deejay she's looking for.

Janice Thompson's quirky characters create madcap situations and manage to rely on the LORD at the same time. They are unapologetically Christian and are always ready to share what the LORD has done for them.

My only complaint with the book? Well, Ms. Thompson didn't work in my all time favorite Dean Martin song--Georgia Sunshine. I suppose given the book is about TEXAS and all I can understand. Book One of the Weddings by Bella series was so fun, I'll be on the lookout for Book Two, Swinging on a Star.

My thanks to Ms. Thompson and Revell Books/Baker Publishing for the great time I had with this fun, fast-paced read. Fools Rush In was just released and is available at your favorite bookseller, from Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing group.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget






In memory of those who died, many prayers and tears still today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Purple...



...or even aubergine,amaranthine, amethyst, heliotrope, lavender, lilac, mulberry, orchid, periwinkle, perse, or plum.

I have abused the royal color of purple and unintentionally cause my dear friend Buttercup sorrow. Dear Buttercup, just so you know I really do like purple. I was just surprised because I've just always saw myself as a blue or perhaps black personality. But most certainly I like purple.

So offering the olive branch to any and all lovers of the passionate purple color, I give you:

10 Purple Things I Like

1. Lavender



2. Lilacs



3. Orchids



4. Violets



5. Irises



6. Pansies



7. Statice






8. Amethysts



9. Eggplants



10. Purple velvet






Actually twice a year, during Lent and Advent, my blog is usually purple, the colors of the season. But I felt a change would be appropriate to honor the lovely color of purple.

Oh!! One more thing that I love that is purplish (a little gray/purple)...

Oh bother!



Do you have a favorite color? Or a color you see your personality as?

Have a colorful day!

Julie

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Aubergine, I'm Telling You!!

I am NOT purple!!

Well, apparently I am.

Who knew?




Your Blog Should Be Purple



You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.

You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.

You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Notes From the Sofa

How cool is this sofa?! My boys would have fun doing school on a sofa like this. Well, it will have to be in our dreams.

So...school this week...Week 7. Boo met Henry Huggins. And just like his brother (and me for that matter), Henry is a favorite. Boo will be reading more about Henry as the year progresses. Henry's creator, Beverly Cleary is a favorite author at this house. Boo's been introduced to Ramona and Ralph S. Mouse. He will also be reading Dear Mr. Henshaw in the near future.

Another family favorite on Boo's reading list this week was Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol. After starting with Encyclopedia Brown, Roo went on a mystery reading kick. I'm anxious to see if the same happens with Boo.

Roo has finished The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau and really appreciated the story. I've assigned The Giver by Lois Lowry and Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix for this week. These books address some really relevant topics such as: futuristic projections, overpopulation, post-apocalyptic societies, dystopian/utopian societies.

From my limited experience, it seems these books tend to evoke a strong reaction. Discussing them with others, both parents and other students, it seems people either like them a lot or dislike them a lot. I've seen around the web that some parents have decided not to assign or allow these books. I do understand that the topics can be upsetting and sometimes create volitile conversation.

I am not suggesting these as appropriate reading material for every child, they just were books that addressed conversations and issues that are causing questions at our house. I read the books myself when questioning whether they would be appropriate for Roo, something I highly recommend doing. I find that the security of a fictional setting can allow for conversation that might be uncomfortable for a child or worse, not take place at all, otherwise and often prompts questions that I would prefer my children ask me versus their peers or even other adults whom I like but disagree with.

Reading choices are an extremely personal decision and the best thing I can tell a parent questioning the appropriateness of a book for their child is to read it themselves. In this busy life we all lead it is often too easy to rely on others to form our opinions. As the person with ultimate responsibility for the education of my children, I often have to put aside my personal reading list and read what is on the agenda for my boys or what they have requested. In doing so, I've been often rewarded with books that I've enjoyed and been glad I've read. Besides, unless the parent has read the book there can be little useful discussion of said book.

In the science department, Boo is learning about the human body, organs and systems and Roo is learning about habitats, environments and ecosystems. The plan in the weeks to come is to do some hands on study on light.

I found a full set of used Cuisinere Rods at the homeschool bookstore near my house for an incredible price and both boys have played around with them. Boo is more of a Kinesthetic learner and they've helped him make a couple of leaps in areas that were frustrating last year. Roo just enjoys anything to do with math and has used them for independent learning.

Learning went on the road Friday, as we packed a bag of books and drove up to Grandpa's house for a long weekend.

After homeschooling for so long, I sometimes forget that other people aren't familiar with it. When I first made the decision to homeschool my children over eleven years ago when Roo was just a baby, I met a lot of opposition from people, even family and friends who were sure this would be a recipe for disaster for my boys. These days I don't think too much about it. It is ingrained into our lives. We've been in the same neighborhood, activities and church for long enough now that people know who we are and are comfortable with us.

So while out and about on Friday, I must admit to being surprised at being made uncomfortable by some who obviously wondered why my children weren't in school; mostly by a high school teacher taking a group of high school students on a field trip to the grocery store we stopped at. It wasn't until after the fact, seated in my car, that I considered the behavior of her charges compared to the behavior of mine.

There's been some pride, the last few years especially, for helping parents who want to understand homeschooling and decide whether or not it will be a good choice for their family. I do try to be a good "ambassador" for homeschooling. I do try to have a good Christian attitude towards everyone; but must admit to failing more often than I would like when being challenged as to my ability to make good decisions for my children's well being. Most people are at least open or tolerant of our educational choices, but I've found over the last year especially a feeling of incredulity that homeschool is a viable choice for learning.

Homeschooling is an ongoing adventure and education for me and my boys. Even with a little awkwardness and uncomfortable situations, I would not trade it for anything in the world.

Next week is the last of the four-day weeks for a while. I'm looking forward to some five-day weeks to come!!

Whether you homeschool or not, what have you been up to?

Counting it all joy,

Julie



The cool sofa in the photo was found at this blog dedicated to chairs and furniture. Cool stuff!