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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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Book List - December 2015

I can't believe January is almost over!  These past weeks of sickness have not been a cheerful/productive way to bring in the new year.  But thankfully, we're almost all better.  Tabby felt well enough to go back to school yesterday.  In the days before, she tried to catch up with schoolwork. 

One thing was to practice her recitation of Mark Anthony's Funeral Oration for her rhetoric class.  Thankfully Hunter can read well, so he was able to help her.  It cracked Tabby and I up because at the end of every line she got right he would vigorously nod his head "yes."

"Friends, Romans, countrymen ..."
I read a quote recently that even shocked Hunter.  That is:  Only 15% of Americans read more than 5 books a year.

The perfect end to my day is to read a book.  :)   Here is my December list:

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder (edited by Pamela Smith) - If you've had an extended conversation with me since I read this book, I most likely started talking about it!  If you liked the "Little House on the Prairie" books - this is a must read!  Before the Little House books, which Laura wrote with her daughter Rose's editing help, Laura wrote her autobiography and tried to have it published.  She was never able to. 

About 2 years ago, I learned that you could get a copy of the autobiography on microfiche from a certain library and was looking into doing that when I stumbled across The Pioneer Girl Project.  I learned that a group had transcribed Laura's original manuscript and were annotating it and adding photographs.  It was turned into a massive, beautiful coffee table sized book that was published last year.

I have read the book - though not every single annotation - and want to go back and do that at some point.  Laura wrote her autobiography for an adult audience and so she mentions scandals and other situations that would not be appropriate in the children's books.  (Those times weren't really as innocent as we thought!). 

The scariest story in the book happened when Laura's family lived in Indian Territory (Kansas).  There were two women that ran a little house where they invited weary passerby's in for a meal.  The small home was divided by a sheet and the table by the sheet.  While the innocent person(s) were eating, one of the women would go behind the sheet, pick up her weapon, and murder them right through the sheet!  Then they'd throw the body(ies) into the basement and steal all that persons things.  These women invited Pa in, on his way home from a trip to the town of Independence.  Thank God he decided not to stop or who knows what Laura's life would have been like!  Eventually a group of vigilantes found out what was going on and went after the women - after more than 40 people had been murdered.  Goodness!  Can you imagine the horror movie this would make?  (Note - this is the last story in the book - Tabby and I both made the unfortunate mistake of reading this right before trying to go to sleep.)

It was so fascinating to get more details into Laura's real life.  Like about her baby brother Freddie that died at 2 months old.  And about when the family had to work at a hotel to make ends meet.  And - well I don't want to spoil all the goodies for you.  Just read this book!

Family movie night & Hunter's choice- he picked his favorite documentary:  Tesla: Master of Lightening . Tesla was so brilliant!

The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life by Shana Cole - I don't remember where I picked this book up, but it really spoke to me.  I NEED to have creative outlets in my life.  And I have realized how much I like to create with my hands.  The book includes stories by a number of mamas who share how they fit creative time into their daily lives.  There are also a number of mixed media art projects to try, with step-by-step instructions. 

From the Tesla documentary - Hunter thinks these motors are "so cute!"
Math Works:  Montessori Math and the Developing Brain by Michael Duffy - Since Solomon likes Montessori type activities, I was curious what Montessori math methods were.  This book was a quick read.  It had good descriptions of Montessori math materials and how children learn from them.  It sounded pretty rigorous.  There was not any instructions on how to teach this math at home so if I go that route any, I would need another resource.

Pilipinto's Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot by Valerie (Elliot) Shephard - We recently watched "End of the Spear" with Tabby.  It is the story of Steve Saint, Jim Elliot, and a few other men and their families who worked as missionaries to reach the dangerous, primitive Eucuadorian tribe of Auca Indians.  The men were all martyred - speared to death.  Valerie was only 10 months when her father died.  She, her mother Elisabeth Elliot, and Rachel Saint, later moved in with the Auca tribe to teach them about God.  (How brave is that!!)  Valerie wrote this book for children, about her childhood with the Aucas, and it is really a fascinating story.  You can read all about how she learned to suck out fish eyeballs to eat and other interesting ways of life.  Valerie wrote that she and her mother ended up loving living with the Aucas because their life was so "simple, happy, and interesting."  (Unfortunately, this book currently seems to only be available as used, and is rather expensive.)

By the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder - I read this book to Hunter and Solomon.  They are as fascinated by Laura's stories as I was as a child - and still am.  In this book, the Ingalls family traveled to Minnesota in their covered wagon. They first lived in a dugout home.  Then Pa built a house.  Then their wonderful crops were destroyed by billions of grasshoppers.  Once again, as I am re-reading these books as an adult, I am so amazed at the family's resourcefulness.  I wish I had more of their skills and knowledge!

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