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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Book List - October

I was very excited to find pansies and mums on clearance at Walmart last Friday.  They were dirt cheap so I didn't feel guilty buying some.  I wanted to plant them in Lilly's garden.  It has been looking so dismal lately - full of dead leaves and dead lily flower stalks.  For some reason I had had it in my head that I could only plant LILY flowers in Lilly's garden.  Of course that would mean only blossoms in the spring and early summer.  Since I buried Blueberry in Lilly's garden, that helped wake up my thinking that it should be a pretty garden - ALL year - since it honored two children.  I know that pansies grow well all winter here, so that is why I bought them.  And how could I resist pink mums?  Solomon helped me clear out all the leaves and I got busy planting.

I read five books last month and what a variety:

Girl Sleuth:  Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak - This book caught my eye at the library and I just had to check it out.  I was a huge Nancy Drew fan growing up.  And I still am.  This is a scholarly book with plenty of footnotes and it took me forever to get through.   Even though I enjoy details - I thought there were way too many unnecessary details in this book.  Still though, I am glad to have read it as I learned so much.  In case you did not know - there is no real "Carolyn Keene."  Just like for you Hardy Boy fans - there is no "Franklin W. Dixon."  Same for Bobbsey Twins, Dana Girls, Tom Swift, etc.  These books all had ghostwriters and were part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate.  The first Nancy Drew book was published in 1930.  Many books followed.  However, they were revised beginning in 1959.  (I read the revised books when I was growing up.)  I have been enjoying going back and reading the ORIGINAL versions.  They can be very expensive but you can find cheap copies for sale on Ebay, usually from thrift shops like Goodwill.  I must point out one gross error in the book.  The author described Nancy's boyfriend Ned Nickerson as having BLOND hair.  Gasp!  Horror!  Every Nancy Drew fan knows Ned had DARK hair.  You can read that for yourself in The Clue in the Diary, the first book we meet Ned in.  (And yes he has dark hair in the original version too.) 

I still have my Nancy Drew book collection
An Easy Start in Arithmetic by Ruth Beechick - Hunter's one request for his first grade school year was "no more math workbooks!"  So we have been learning math in all sorts of other ways.  And that is fine as I am using Rays Arithmetic Series for his math curriculum which uses a lot of mental math.  (This series is from 1870!)  Not using workbooks of course means more planning on my part.  So I have been getting ideas from the Parent-Teacher Guide for Ray's New Arithmetic, also by Ruth Beechick.  I found An Easy Start in Arithmetic at my library and checked out this little book and found lots of ideas to use in it.  This book is for grades K-3.  The book was useful enough that I  bought my own used copy.  By the way, Donna Young's website also is very helpful if you are teaching math without modern workbooks and curriculum. 

Playing store to teach money value and adding.  Hunter put out the items to "buy" which is why there are motors and lights!

Your Real Food Journey: A Gentle Guide to Steady Progress by Trina Holden - This is an encouraging and informative book on continuing the real food journey.  Even though we have been eating mostly this way for several years, I still learned things and definitely appreciated the encouragement and new ideas.  Chapters range on topics such as menu planning, good fats, dairy, wise preparation of grains, natural sweets, fermented foods, bulk food preparation, and lots of yummy recipes and helpful advice.  Usually when I am looking at recipes in a cook book, I just jot down the ones that sound good on a piece of paper and leave it tucked in the book.  However, when I started to do that with the recipes in this book, I found I was writing them all down!  So I threw away the paper and am just consulting the index instead.  I really enjoyed Trina's first food book:  Real {Fast} Food (see my post here) and her new book has also quickly become a favorite. 

Solomon wearing Tabby's boots
Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover - Several months ago we watched the Star Wars movies together as a family, for the first time.  I've always loved the movies and remember collecting Star Wars bubble gum cards and playing with the action figures with my brother when I was little.  Then the new set of movies came out in the early 2000s.  And - a new movie is coming out December 2015 - The Force Awakens.  So the Star Wars saga will continue to pick up new generations of fans.  It was interesting watching the movies at this time in my life.  Frank talked to the kids a lot about good verses evil and pantheism.  Tabby checked out Revenge of the Sith from the library and I decided to read it too so we could talk about it.  I was happily surprised at how well written the book was.  But the story was also very sad, as this is where Anakin turns to the dark side.  Sad sad ending.  I do not like reading sad books very much anymore.  Makes so much sense why George Lucas named the next episode in the series A New Hope.  "Hope" is truly one of my favorite words.

Tabby made this card game - it's "Old Palpatine" (based on "Old Maid")
With Lee in Virginia by G. A. Henty - I've heard a lot of praise for the Henty books in homeschool circles.  Henty wrote a huge number of historical adventure stories in the 1800s.  This book was the first I read.  (It was an assignment for Tabby's history course.)  This book was written from the perspective of Vincent, a Southern teen during the American Civil War.  Vincent was a spirited and brave young man and definitely had a lot of adventures.  I really enjoyed the book.  (I have always loved learning about the War Between the States.)  Tabby didn't really care for the book overall.  She thought there were too many battle details.  I found one really funny typo in the paperback copy we had.  Instead of the Battle of "Bull Run" it said "Bull Buns" in one place.  Ha!  One thing I like about reading books written about events that happened close to when the author was writing them is that there is less chance of revisionist history!

sign I painted to hang on our chicken coop
So - what have you read lately?


  1. Almost completed "Bringing Up Bebe' "...checked out a Biography of Maria Montessori. Looking FORWARD to reading that one! Tabby did a wonderful job on the Card Game. <3

    1. You'll have to let me know how the biography is. Tabby has also made a Lord of the Rings card game - that one is called "Old Gandalf." :)

  2. I just added Your Real Food Journey to my Amazon Cart! I am curious what do your kids mostly snack on? That seems to be a challenge here since we changed our eating:) Your are such a great mom and teacher to do all that math planning and not use a workbook! My son Jadon loves math on the computer when we switch from workbooks to the computer he really flourished!

    1. Oh snacks are hard! Lately we're in the bad habit of eating protein bars. But we also eat cheese sticks, fruit, and nuts. Lately sweet potato cookies and banana muffins have been popular. Sometimes popcorn. We really need high protein snacks but it is hard to think of them.

    2. That is great about Jadon! Tabby did online math for awhile. It was a nice break for me. :) Math without the workbook is obviously more labor intensive. You've got more kids to school than I do right now. So workbooks certainly have their place!