You may have noticed that I am a lover of children's books. From time to time I'll share my favorites, and I hope you'll find some jewels.
On the left sidebar, near the bottom, is a little corner where I like to share some of my favorite quotes from classic children's books. If you share my love, check back there every week or so and you'll find reasons to smile...
I returned home today to look at the calendar and realized that tomorrow is December! And not only did I panic about all I have to do in the next few weeks, but I remembered this little treasure from Dr. Seuss, which I'll leave in the sidebar as well for your enjoyment this December:
"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?"
One of my favorite combinations of words from Scripture is
After the experience of Monday when I collapsed on His grace, I experienced a fresh "But God..." in my life. He doesn't always reveal His purposes to us, but in this instance He let me catch a glimpse of why my plans had fallen apart and was able to use me to minister to my extended family in unexpected ways. He proved, once again, that His power is perfected in my weakness. I don't become perfect, but He shows Himself perfect.
Anyway, after a 48 hour trip, I am back home and full of thoughts that I'll be posting :-)
It's been a day when I have been driven to my knees over my own frailties and limitations. My desire for control and for accomplishment lies shattered on the ground in front of me and I am left collapsing on the grace of God.
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Cor. 12:9
Oh God, help me to answer Your words to me with a willingness to boast rather than wallow in my weakness...
~~"God Himself Is with Us" (v. 3)
lyrics by Gerhard Tersteegen, 1729
tr. by Frederick W. Foster and John Miller, 1789
Not that I'd ever be offering them to the likes of Cindy Sheehan...
(I wonder, though, did they PAY for this sign??)
So, this is the big one we decided on, with our
I can hardly get my head around this. A woman just a few years older than I am, and with whom I have much in common:
The mother of nine and grandmother of 41 became the oldest Palestinian suicide bomber at the age of 57, selecting as her target troops operating near her northern Gaza home in Jabaliya, seeking to curb near-daily rocket attacks on Israel.
and yet inhabiting a world and a mindset I cannot even comprehend:
Najar was shown in a clip from a pre-taped video message aired on mainstream television stations, wearing a Hamas bandana in addition to a white veil and carrying a heavy kalashnikov, fighter-style in her arms.
Relatives said Najar left behind seven sons and two daughters, plus some 41 grandchildren, but insisted they were proud of her "martyrdom," which daughter Azhar said was a direct response to the Beit Hanun shelling.
"We are really happy. It's a big operation. She told us last night that she would do a suicide operation... We are proud," said Zuheir, Najar's 20-year-old son. "'I don't want anything, only to die a martyr.' That's what she said."
Her words before the deed:
"I am the martyr Fatima Najar from the town of Jabaliya. I work for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades and I sacrifice myself for God, the nation, the Al-Aqsa (mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest Muslim site)," she said.
On this Thanksgiving Day I am filled with gratitude that I serve a God who asks me to make my body a living sacrifice for Him. I pray that I can obey with the commitment of this woman.
UPDATE: I've heard this morning that she was 64 and 68 years old. No matter, still tragic. It does make it easier to believe that the woman in the second picture who is holding the photo of the dead woman is the daughter of the bomber.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with good people, good conversation, good eats, and a huge helping of gratitude!
It's no secret to any of you that Granny is not a fan of the Nanny State. But this case from Great Britain, makes me think it's not such a bad idea:
A network of around 80 "super nannies" is being set up by the government to
show parents howto control their unruly children.
It's the latest initiative in the government's battle against crime and
anti-social behaviour. It's being announced by the Prime Minister today as partof a government initiative throw the spotlight on the crime and justice system in England and Wales.
Around 80 trained child psychologists will try to improve parenting in areas with high levels of anti-social behaviour.
The idea is to try to nip problems in the bud, before children get completely out of control.
On second thought, given the leanings of our American child psychologists, maybe not.
Thank you, MamaLion!
Our girls have been through some hard things lately and we wanted to remind them of where they could find their comfort. We gave them a present of these bottles tied with gold and silver ribbon. The inspiration for these came from a painting that my sister-in-law created. We gave it to them in hopes that they would always remember the lesson that God knows of our suffering and He wants to use it to refine us. Along with the bottles I printed the accompanying Bible verses on a little card. We gave them to the girls on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
"You have taken into account my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?"
"And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on my name,
And I will answer them;
I will say, "They are My people,"
And they will say, "The Lord is my God."
Today I will wash napkins (found on sale yesterday at Hobby Lobby for .87 apiece!!) and arrange table decorations. I'll chop nuts for pies and for the sweet potato casserole, cook squash, grate the carrots for the squash casserole, and....hmm....I think I'll make some homemade bread today, too.
My poor family has learned that this is the week they have to forage for their own dinners since I am concentrating on Thursday!
Later today or tomorrow I'll find time to post about my turkey routine, for those of you who need something else to do before the holiday :-)
Oh yes. What we need is to get rid of ALL traffic signs and just rely on the good will of other drivers to keep order. Don't laugh--there are places in Europe (yes, Europe!) that are trying this! Whole cities with NO stop signs, yield signs, no parking signs, or speed limit signs.
European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.Someone forgot to tell the Europeans about the first point of Calvinism.
A project implemented by the European Union is currently seeing seven cities and regions clear-cutting their forest of traffic signs. Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town
The utopia has already become a reality in Makkinga, in the Dutch province of Western Frisia. A sign by the entrance to the small town (population 1,000) reads "Verkeersbordvrij" -- "free of traffic signs." Cars bumble unhurriedly over precision-trimmed granite cobblestones. Stop signs and direction signs are nowhere to be seen. There are neither parking meters nor stopping restrictions. There aren't even any lines painted on the streets.
"The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We're losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior," says Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman, one of the project's co-founders. "The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people's sense of personal responsibility dwindles."
That's right, the week. Not just the holiday, but the whole week. Tomorrow morning I'll be up early and in the kitchen, making pie crust dough, cooking sweet potatoes for Thursday's casserole, checking the stocks of butter, eggs, flour, and cream. I'll be locating napkins and tablecloths, counting invited guests and deciding where we'll seat each one, including the littlest pilgrims. I'll get a stool and reach to the top pantry shelves for the roasting pan, the crockpot, the stockpot, and the good silver.
And I'll be giving thanks.
Oh, I do love Thanksgiving Day with all its bustle and scrumptious smells and football and laughter. I love the fall chill, which usually arrives only just in time for the holiday here in south Texas. I even love gathering up and storing the leftovers and enjoying a late night piece of pie.
But face it: for a Granny, it's a busy, busy day. And many is the year when I've come to the end of the day thinking, "Did I even REALLY "Thanks-give" today, other than in the pre-meal blessing?" Sadly, often my answer is no. And I have to remind myself that many times I'm more Martha than Mary.
One of the ways I've dealt with the paradox of working so hard at the Thanksgiving meal that the actual giving of thanks takes a back seat is to consciously use the preparation time Monday through Wednesday for a private reciting of and giving thanks for all those blessings that the Father has showered on me in the past year, not to mention the past half-century. While I roll out a piecrust, while I cut up a turkey (yes, I cut up the raw turkey, but that's another post), while I cook squash and grate carrots and simmer giblets, while I iron napkins and check salt cellars, I give thanks. I've always done a lot of these tasks ahead of time to save "crashing" on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but now I also do it as my own private worship, and I look forward to a Thanksgiving that truly lasts all week. And though I appreciate and accept help during the week, even if I have to do it all alone it's okay...the prayers as well as the tasks themselves become my offering to a faithful God who has given me every perfect gift.
While I have no visceral objections to the idea of a draft should we ever really need one, I do have a revulsion to cynical, opportunistic congressmen who are trying to use it as part of class warfare and political posturing.
Fortunately, I believe this will be a bigger wedge in Rangel's own party than it would be in the country as a whole. How in the world would the Pelosi San Francisco Dems reconcile a draft with kicking the JROTC out of public schools??
THE FRIDGES THIS MORNING:
Okay, so this not EXACTLY the model we have. But John and Beth and I did get the pre-holiday cleaning of both refrigerators done this morning, a nice start to the big cooking week! Beth was a fabulous worker, and John is always wonderful in disassembling everything for me to wash. Now if we just had someone who could REassemble LOL
And no, of COURSE John wasn't dressed this way.
It's clear to me that the shopping season is upon us. Tonight I took the girls out for some bedroom makeover purchases--nothing really to do with Christmas--and we felt like it was the week before Christmas! You know, the days when rush hour starts at 4 and doesn't end until 9 or 10...even the radio station we were listening to is already 24 hour Christmas music (or, more acurately, holiday music...much of it is barely recognizable as connected with the Christian celebration).
This isn't a complaint. I am not going to harp on how early the season begins when I'm one of those who starts shopping in September or earlier. It's just an observation, one which requires the adjustment of expectations when driving, shopping, even getting through the Jack-in-the-Box drive-through line. Frustrations and fatigue can be constant companions if I don't plan ahead and allow for the changes.
'Course, I have been for several years a die-hard online shopper. I've decided that having "them" drive to me is much preferable to me fighting the traffic, finding a parking spot, walking the mall (yuck!) and lugging packages home. And of course, with amazon prime.... ;-) But sometimes getting out in the crowds is unavoidable, and I'll admit that as much as I hate malls, there's sometimes a "rush" that comes from being in the last-minute crowds, pushing the calendar and the clock to find that last perfect present. Something about "point and click" doesn't quite have the same feel. Still, I'm sure I'll never again be the one who walks around with big bags of stuff and fills the trunk with boxes. For me, life has forever changed. And for the most part, I like the changes.
I'll admit my timing could be better, since the incoming House Democrats, on a unanimous voice vote, just made Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaker of the House. But think her party should give serious thought to dumping her.
Read his rationale here.
Today I spent three hours manning (woman-ing?) the study hall at our Conservatory of the Arts--which I certainly can't complain about because not only are the kids solid gold, but I got to spend some one on one time with John Caleb working through his grammar. (Plug here: I wish we'd found Easy Grammar years ago. My choice, if I had the time, would be Shurley Grammar, but my second choice, especially for boys, is definitely Easy Grammar.) And I had plenty of time to work on my Thanksgiving grocery list, read some in each of the two novels I'm engrossed in, and do a couple of other fun "quiet" tasks.
Normally, then, I spend the afternoon working with the middle and high school students on their vocals for the musical. Today, though, I had to leave at lunch and go for my physical--something I have to be much more deliberate about now that I've officially been categorized as a diabetic and on at least two meds for that. It was completely routine, no surprises, but it's on the far side of town from where I already was. Then after receiving my pneumovax shot (anyone know if those tend to make people sick?) I headed for the commissary for the big Thanksgiving shopping. I had bought my turkeys (yes, plural) yesterday but still had a very long list of the "trimmings" to pick up. Sadly, the commissary lived up to its half-century reputation of having HORRIBLE produce, so that still has to be done somewhere else this weekend.
Then add the treat of driving home in rush hour traffic, and I got home ready to collapse! Thank goodness for lots of hands to put the load of groceries away and make me a sandwich! I'm now installed in my recliner for the evening, enjoying blogsurfing and catching up on the news.
(And I NEVER thought I'd be applauding for Steny Hoyer!)
Those of you with large families will identify with my challenge: do I do this with six or eight children in dribs and drabs over two months, or should I just set aside one day and get everyone in for their cleaning and checkups and get it over with?
I've tried it both ways.
For a couple of years I would make each child an appointment, and make myself one, and take several weeks to work through all the checkups plus extra appointments for any who might have had a little cavity or two. But every time I made a trip to the dentist with one of them, it took a half day out of my week. So one day I got the bright idea to just make all their appointments, and mine, on the same day so that I only drove there once and back and all of it would be behind us for another six months.
The problem was, most of the dental offices I called didn't think it was such a bright idea. In fact, most refused to schedule more than two of us at the same time.
If you've never tried this tactic, you might be surprised at the resistance you'll get from your neighborhood dentist. Finally, some patient dental receptionist explained it to me: dental offices have a very difficult time with people not showing up for appointments, and every time this happens, a slot is left empty with too little notice to get it filled and they lose valuable time and money. But one in the course of a day is not a disaster for them. On the other hand, it takes just one mother forgetting the day's dental appointments for them to lose an entire morning of slots if they've given them all to the same family! Once this was pointed out to me, I was much more sympathetic to the problem, and once I found a dentist who was willing to listen to my pleas and take a chance on us, I stuck with her! If there's to be any variation at all in our agreed upon schedule, I call as early as I possibly can so as to preserve the trust and goodwill we've built up.
So...we pack books, workbooks, a deck of cards, quiet toys when the children were younger, and a small snack for thirty minutes after the flouride so the ones who go first have something to look forward to later. Our office has come to look forward to our kids being there and watching them work and play and laugh (quietly) together in the waiting room. I am careful to make sure we clean up after ourselves and don't do anything to disturb other patients, partly because that's the right thing to do and partly because I want to preserve the privilege of being able to "camp out" in their office for several hours!
Today was uneventful, other than the fact that I had to run a couple of the kids home midway so as not to miss an online class. We're now polished clean and supplied with new toothbrushes (as if I'd use the ones they give out at the office!) and good to go for another six months. And all of us are a few chapters farther in our novels than we were at 8:30 this morning!
Thanks, John, but they'll take it from here.
You might have noticed that amazon prime was one of the elements on my good list not long ago. I am way too spoiled by this oh-so-successful marketing strategy...in fact you might say that amazon prime and I were born for each other. For those of you who haven't been sucked in yet, lemme 'splain.
For a mere $79 a year, amazon will ship you ANYthing they sell (excluding 3rd party sellers' items) by TWO-DAY shipping for NO charge, or NEXT-DAY shipping for just $3.99 per item. You can order a book a day, every day, and never pay any more shipping costs. No more bulk orders to get free shipping, no more waiting for a week or two to get an order. And this applies to anything I send to the kids in Virginia, to my mother, to anyone. No more shipping charges added to my totals! It's phenomenal! During my first year of membership, I ordered two vacuum cleaners one day and had them both the next morning (actually I ordered them from Annie's house in Virginia and had them sent to Texas--the family had called, desperate, saying the last vacuum had broken and they had to have something before the church crowd came Wednesday night), so next-day shipping for two heavy vacuum cleaners was $7.98!
In fact, I'm sure I'm the reason that amazon's stock dropped that year...there was almost a stockholder revolt since amazon lost money the first year of the program. But, the genius marketing mind that came up with the plan had the last laugh, as the resulting build in brand loyalty to amazon skyrocketed! And while they're laughing all the way to the bank, I'm getting WAY more than my money's worth every year! I have something delivered here three or four days a week, what with school books, kitchen items, CDs, birthday gifts...
Anyway...just now the doorbell rang, and it was the friendly UPS man who has a well-worn path up our front walk. Caleb got to the door first (why does that always happen??) and signed for what was obviously a small, book-size amazon package. The UPS man said, "Tell your mother I said thank you for faithfully contributing to my job security!" ROFL!!
Payback happens all the time in politics. But choosing Hastings as chairman of anything -- let alone a committee as important as Intelligence -- is just plain wrong. This committee has oversight on the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Armed Forces Intelligence. Hastings shouldn't be allowed near anything having to do with such vital national security matters. It's amazing he's even in Congress with his record.
While a federal judge in Florida -- and only two years after being appointed to the bench by President Jimmy Carter -- Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for giving a lenient sentence to two men charged and convicted of racketeering.
He was acquitted of the charge of bribery in a Miami court after an alleged accomplice went to prison rather than testify against him. But in 1989 the Democratic-controlled House took a look at the evidence and impeached Hastings for bribery and perjury by a 413-3 vote. The Senate -- also Democratic controlled -- convicted him on eight articles of impeachment and removed him from the bench. Pelosi voted for Hastings' impeachment.
The problem was the votes to impeach and remove Hastings from the bench failed to include a proviso that would exclude Hastings from ever again seeking public office. He ran for Congress in 1992 and was elected in his newly created minority district, taking a seat in the very House that had impeached him.
Should Pelosi actually follow through and give Hastings the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, it would turn the House of Representatives into Theater of the Absurd.
Well, I'm thinking that we don't need help from Hastings in turning the new Congress into a Theater of the Absurd. But this certainly digs them further into the muck, huh?
Anybody feeling like they'd like to just sleep through the next two years?
I'm not a good wait-er. I marvel at people to whom time means little, who can smile at the future and yet not strive for it, who can live fully in this moment without always longing for the next.
I, on the other hand, am by nature impatient, impulsive, spontaneous.
I think sometimes this is one of the reasons that God allowed me several years of pain, depression, and immobility. All of these mitigate against impulsiveness...life slows down to what can seem an agonizingly slow pace.
But I want to run. Shoot, sometimes I just want to be able to walk.
And God says, "Wait."
In fact, he tells me in Isaiah 40:31 that it is only when I learn to wait that He will allow me to run without being weary, to walk without fainting. One of the beautiful, excruciating paradoxes of the Christian life.
Even that isn't the whole story.
This waiting is not a generic waiting, as in a line at the bank. It is waiting "on the Lord." It's not just waiting for something...it's a deliberate, an intentional slowing down to wait on Him and His answers in my life.
I think I always expected that this would get easier with age, you know? That the years would bring a patience, a mellowness to life. In many ways I have mellowed, but not so much in the area of waiting.
There are still things in my life for which I desperately long...desires and dreams that threaten to consume me if I let them. I look at the calendar and remember that I'm already in my fifties, and my heart panics. Barring a medical miracle, the number of years in front of me is smaller than those behind, and some of my longings, old ones and new ones, seem no closer to reality than they ever were.
Wait on Him...yet the time seems the enemy. One more candle each year marches me to the end of life with the possibility that many of my longings will die with me.
So where do I put those desires? Must I lay them all on my own Moriah, willing to let them go if God wills? Or do I cling to His promise that when I delight in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart? Someone told me years ago that this only meant that in delighting in Him, all my desires would change and I would only want what He wanted. Though I'm sure there's truth there, part of me feels like the child who's told not to focus on the birthday gifts he's waiting for...that he should just be happy with the meaningful things written on the cards.
49, 50, 51, 52, 53....
The hopes grow dim at times. I despair of ever seeing the things I long for. My tenuous grasp of God's plan for my life seems at time to weaken rather than getting stronger with the years. I believe in His matchless goodness...and yet my own impatience mocks me with the thought that I must be doubting that His goodness is for me.
I come to the end of this page with no answers, only questions. And a deep, abiding hope that I will one day close my eyes on a life at peace with the paradoxes, content with even the longings I carry with me into the presence of the Father.
From my point of view I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it. I love the idea of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beautiful stories about it, which I loved in Sunday school and I collected all the little stickers and put them in my book. But the reality is that organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate.I'm sure you're dying to read the rest of Sir John's enlightened thoughts, so you'll find more of the sermon, er, I mean talk, here and here.
You can see this city coming alive today as residents venture out of their air conditioned houses to the crisp Christmas-shopping air...a very welcome change! I do most of my shopping online, but if anything would get me out and to the stores (other than my laptop crashing LOL) it would be weather like this!
Whaddaya think, all you San Antonio gals--think this is really it this time??
Update on the aforementioned book-hater: Two chapters in, he's decided it's the best book ever and thankyousomuchmomilovethisbookandarethereanysequels?
THE UNLIST: (Coming up with this list proved much harder than the list of things I love. I guess that's a good thing.)
the last of the crape myrtle blooms
doing our taxes
what i paid the accountant who used to do our taxes
when blogger won't upload photos
losing an earring
finding it right after throwing the other one away
my collection of orphan earrings
too many miles between you and me
hearing anything about britney spears
writer's block when i KNOW there's a poem inside me
running out of estee lauder foundation
when tami can't be at HOPE
ice cream that i can't eat with a fork
forgetting who has my book
forgetting to take my pills
sean penn. except when he acts
finding a parking place at wilford hall
running to my gate when i don't have a long enough layover
candle wax on a doily
running out of tealights
new batteries that don't work
jack cafferty. well, cnn in general
having no more children to potty-train
subjective pronouns in prepositional phrases
the dallas cowboys
the dallas cowboy cheerleaders
going to the dry cleaners
having to buy a stapler when i know we have two. somewhere
the way my blog used to look
the arrangement of my kitchen
the amount of money it would take to fix it
food packaged for the large family: serves 5
losing my bifocals
the cost of new bifocals
when i let things on this list drown out the ones on the last list
unidentified noises from upstairs
harrassment of nursing mothers on airplanes
big screen TVs
not being able to see the screen on my 19" TV
when pain determines my schedule
returning items to a store
a grease spot on a new silk tie
taking my shoes off for airport security
when the tip of the elmers glue bottle gets clogged
"if you'd like to hear this menu again, press 5"
not having a salad with dinner
making a salad for dinner
arrogance, in myself and others
wintergreen flavored things
when my kids play outside in white socks
my sad public school education
pimiento cheese, even the smell
pop-up blockers that block stuff i need
running out of eggs
0 backtalks to granny
So...make Granny smile by adding your UNfaves :-)
If you know
Arnold Ytreeide, author of this book, or have contact information for him, would you please let me know?
UPDATE: If you have Candace's copy, please call her :-)
Some of these tasks I will enjoy more than others :-)
Remember this surefire way to get the youngest kid in the family to decide they hate a book:
"You are going to LOVE this book! Everyone in the family has adored it!"
So, though there are few silver linings this morning, I am thankful that President Bush was able to nominate and see confirmed two excellent Supreme Court justices, seats that are not "undone" by this election. I am sad that this probably ends the chances that any more solid conservative judges will be confirmed in the next two years, but as I wrote below, God is in control and His will will not be thwarted.
I move into "the day after" sad but not despairing.
"He's got the whole world in His hands."
Rules are rules!
Election Day always provides lots of teachable moments. Normally we do a light school day, if at all, so as to leave time to watch the coverage and answer questions and make predictions. Our children are usually very interested in the process and ask some great questions. Okay, well maybe it IS so they can get out of Tuesday's algebra lesson, but nevertheless they are learning about our country's system of self-government, and that's as valuable as any one day's math problems.
This morning, Aubrey's boys were asking her some questions about the candidates, and the topic of abortion came up. She realized that this was something they'd never really explained to the boys, so today was the opportunity to do that. They were understandably upset to think that anyone would kill a baby on purpose; David, of course, was so upset he couldn't finish his breakfast. A sad way to start Election Day, but a necessary and realistic look for the children at why we need to research the views of the candidates as best we can.
There will be opportunities all through the day and evening to introduce and emphasize how our government runs, what the candidates stand for, and what our own responsibilities are. I'll be looking for ways to use the election as a means to teach government in real time!
Okay, I'm off to make our traditional Election Day Senate Navy Bean Soup :-)
Scarier yet, as I was just reminded, this will make her third in line for the presidency. If anything were to happen to both the President and the Vice President simultaneously, it would be President Nancy instantly.
And we thought it would be scary to have Teresa Heinz as First Lady.
Your assignment from Granny: bookmark it and check it every day or two. I'll also link to it, so you can walk over from here...
And while you're at it, if you weren't part of our group who studied Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper last year, find a copy and read it during November!
Imagine if your precious nose
Were sandwiched in between your toes
That clearly would not be a treat
For you'd be forced to smell your feet.
If you've never been introduced to the joys of Jack Prelutsky, it's time that I put you out of that misery.
And if you have elementary age children, especially boys, I am about to be their favorite Granny.
Prelutsky is a poet and author of children's books with a special appeal to the silly set (read: 8-10 year old boys.) This is a group that is particularly resistant to some of the more, shall we say, sophisticated forms of poetry, but when you're ready to awaken them to the world of rhyme and meter, there's no better way to do it than from Prelutsky's pages.
Oh, all right, at the risk of offending any of my classicist readers, let me rephrase that. There's no way to do it that's as much fun.
Bleezer's Ice Cream by Jack Prelutsky
I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
I run BLEEZER'S ICE CREAM STORE,
there are flavors in my freezer
you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations
too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor,
try the flavors on my list:
COCOA MOCHA MACARONI
TAPIOCA SMOKED BALONEY
CHECKERBERRY CHEDDAR CHEW
CHICKEN CHERRY HONEYDEW
TUTTI-FRUTTI STEWED TOMATO
TUNA TACO BAKED POTATO
LOBSTER LITCHI LIMA BEAN
ALMOND HAM MERINGUE SALAMI
YAM ANCHOVY PRUNE PASTRAMI
SASSAFRAS SOUVLAKI HASH
BUTTER BRICKLE PEPPER PICKLE
PEACH PIMENTO PIZZA PLUMP
EANUT PUMPKIN BUBBLEGUM
BROCCOLI BANANA BLUSTER
CHOCOLATE CHOP SUEY CLUSTER
AVOCADO BRUSSELS SPROUT
COTTON CANDY CARROT CUSTARD
CAULIFLOWER COLA MUSTARD
ONION DUMPLING DOUBLE DIP
TURNIP TRUFFLE TRIPLE FLIP
GARLIC GUMBO GRAVY GUAVA
LENTIL LEMON LIVER LAVA
ORANGE OLIVE BAGEL BEET
WATERMELON WAFFLE WHEAT
I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
I run BLEEZER'S ICE CREAM STORE,
taste a flavor from my freezer,
you will surely ask for more.
See what I mean??? Okay, this is clearly not great literature. But can you think of a better way to get your kids interested in poetry? Yeah, yeah, some of you have kids who were teething on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but believe me, they're the exception. And even THEY will benefit from a little lightening up while they study rhyming patterns and the lovely sounds words make. Even I can rarely get enough of Prelutsky...so I leave you with this one last barely legal example:
Homework! Oh, Homework! by Jack Prelutsky
Homework! Oh, Homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you
away in the sink,
if only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.
I'd rather take bathswith a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework,
my teacher assigns.
Homework! Oh, homework!
you're last on my list,
I simple can't see
why you even exist,
if you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!
Oh come on, you KNOW you love it.
So if you don't already have one of these gems in your library, you have exactly 48 hours to order one :-) Granny will be checking.
A Pizza the Size of the Sun
It's Raining Pigs and Noodles
The New Kid on the Block
Something Big Has Been Here
Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant
(This is a very long article. If you're not interested or don't have time for in the in-depth treatment, just reading the first third or so will give you the gist of his very persuasive argument.)
I just received this email from my friend Kim:
Ok, so I admit that I'm a bad homeschool graduate. I honestly have no clue about who the candidates are for tomorrow. But you have convinced me that I should know and should vote. So now I need help! Is there any info you can give me, or a website you can direct me to that will give me the unbiased information?Thanks!
Way ta go KIM! We should all be so honest :-)
And if you live near me and need someone to watch your children while you vote, call me.
V O T E . . . . .T U E S D A Y !
I started to call it "Things I'm thankful for." And then it morphed into more than that...things and people and ideas that make my life better or make me smile. Random.
I saw somewhere where someone had made a list of a hundred, and I thought, "No way could I ever come up with that many."
And then I couldn't stop.
Here they are, just like in my notes, no caps.
There are more than a hundred. If you want to wade through them all, wonderful. Mostly it was just for me. A nice distraction, a nice reminder of how many good things there are in life. Sometimes, we need a reminder.
Stick five or so of yours in the comments and add to my joy :-)
eleven years of grandchildren
new white rockers
clothes my mother gives me
john denver and the muppets for christmas
cornbread with honey
pink. yeah, pretty much anything
featherbeds and down comforters.
kids who love each other. except on days when they nearly kill each other.
teaching a child to read
the crowd at thanksgiving
baby wipes. for all us babies
aubrey's apple crisp
dave's decaf. just dave in general
remembering grandma's lemon tree
heavy-weight sheet protectors
working with lyric
dirk's bowtie pasta
kristen's pear cream pie
memories of mt. lebanon
knowing i raised a kid who can tutor algebra
peggy noonan peggy noonan peggy noonan
my hubby's omelets
just about anything steph k. does
fiddler on the roof
no more vhs
wholehearted mother in february
nathan's feet not growing in two years
covenant of grace
a china teacup you can see through
dee dee's christmas letters
williamsburg in the late fall
anything in the late fall
pottery barn catalog
monrovia street fair
doilies. especially ones i made
claire burke original
tim's christmas list
chicken and dumplings
my singer featherweight, circa 1946
finding just the right map
writing a really good paragraph
a really sharp knife
meeting christine at starbucks
a great key change
hand-written thank you notes
john caleb's sense of humor
the netflix queue
cheez-its. get your own box
days when my legs don't hurt
bethany's way with children
looking forward to vacation
a kerosene lamp
trish, eighteen years later
a great pedicure
the history channel
good bible markers
my notre dame sailing sweatshirt
hymns. especially, but not exclusively, pre-1850
a cello solo
hilton honors points
a fire in the fireplace two days in a row
loaning out homeschooling books
getting them back when i had forgotten about them
people who stretch me
labor and delivery
the beach at bellows, even if it's cold
teaching a child to sing harmony for the first time
an empty dishwasher
UPDATE: Did I REALLY forget...
la madeleine, especially the french lessons in the ladies' room
the smell of freshly mowed grass
the b&w photos on my dresser
And I did warn you it was random, right? No special significance to the fact that "labor and delivery" came right after "people who stretch me" :-)
There is no possession more valuable than a goodTonight, I hope that you, too, know that treasure.
Despite all that we did wrong, God has blessed our family (at least so far!) with sister relationships that I'd have given my right arm for. Thank you, girls, for sharing your memories with us...
this piece by an old friend of ours from our Indiana days. He shares some remarkable statistics that made my jaw drop, but he also shares a very balanced viewpoint on responsible "stewardship" of one of our greatest treasures: fertility. I've had discussions with many of you on this topic, drawing some lines between my convictions and perspectives and those who hold a much, shall we say, "sterner" position than I. I respect those who occupy ground to the right of mine on this issue (and share much in common with them, as evidenced by the size of my family) but I have been mellowed by real life in a fallen world and desire to exhibit a posture of grace as does my Father. So I smile when I read Dr. Coppenger say
Am I saying we should dismiss all contraception? No. I don't see a moral obligation to use every God-given capacity to the max. I have the capacity to sing, but I don't sing myself hoarse every day. But if I never sang to the glory of God, I should be ashamed of myself.
[And, I might add, if I decided to advocate that frequent singing were an irresponsible thing :-) ]
One of my children has had a hard time academically, mostly because of a lack of focus from me during my health problems of the past few years. The results of standardized tests in the spring, while not as alarming as I feared, were indicators of several areas where he needed concentrated attention. The most obvious was math, partly evidenced by the fact that he froze up in terror on that portion of the test. Well, I have made his math a priority so far this year, and it is already paying off--both in his understanding of the concepts and in his ability to concentrate and get through a whole lesson. Today, he fairly whizzed through his lesson, and since I was in the same room with him the whole time (which helps, LOL) I became aware that several things are clicking that had been real struggles last year. These included his multiplication facts and his understanding of fractions. But today I heard him dispatch those "times" facts with automatic speed, and his ability to calculate equivalent fractions in his head astounded me! He surprised himself as well! So I think perhaps we've broken through a wall that seemed unscalable just three months ago.
Take heart, fellow travelers! "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!"
Well, at least by 9:45 when problem #30 is finished!
Each year, our pastor selects one of the major countries involved in the Reformation and we dine on food from that country. Our pastor's wife (who just happens to be my daughter) scours cookbooks and the internet to find recipes from the respective cuisines and brings a stack of them to church, letting each family take a few that interest them. Over the years, we've all sampled lots of dishes that we might never otherwise have tried, and some have been delightful surprises. And well, yes, a few have been better left in the cookbooks.
Last night, our focus was on England. We studied the lives of John Rogers and John Wycliffe and enjoyed musical selections presented by two of our young people, enjoyed a craft based on medieval illuminated alphabets, and yes, we ate British food. The English do not enjoy the most elevated reputation for their cuisine, and so we greeted the news of "The Year of England" with less than rabid enthusiasm for the meal portion of the evening. But all the "buzz" I heard during and after the meal was that this was the best year ever, even beating out the excellent German meal of last year. My family contributed Shepherd's Pie, an old-fashioned Baked Rice Pudding, and Apple Scones. We sampled several stews, vegetable dishes, salads, even a very authentic Cornish pastie! Everyone left happy, no one left hungry (well, except for perhaps the peanut-butter-and-jelly crowd) and all of us were grateful to celebrate another corner of God's faithfulness to our "great crowd of witnesses" through the ages.
I only had one question on leaving, munching the last of my scone: "When do we get to do the Thai reformation?" :-)
Senator, if you need any help getting in touch with any of these folks, let me know. I know that your contacts with the military are "iffy" these days and you might need a go-between to smooth the way after the storm of the past 24 hours. If you really want to make amends, I'll see what I can do.