Saturday, June 30, 2007

Non-Fiction Five - Did not finish

I've been trying to work my way through Plowshares and Pruning Hooks by D. Brent Sandy for the last two months. From the back of the book:

"Brent Sandy carefully considers the language and imagery of prophecy and apocalyptic, how it is used, how it is fulfilled within Scripture, and how we should read it against the horizon of our future. Clearly and engagingly written, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks is the kind of book that gives its readers a new vantage point from which to view the landscape of prophetic and apocalyptic language and imagery."

My husband (also my Pastor) has spent the last year teaching about prophecy, and shares most of Sandy's views. For me, as someone who isn't overly interested in prophecy, it was overkill. I just couldn't push through it.

If, though, you are a lover of prophecy and apocalyptic literature, by all means read this book. It will give you fresh insight on how to view this type of biblical writing.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Read-aloud help

Caleb started out reading to Jada....then Rachel and Josiah soon joined him!

Posted: 2:58 PM, Jun. 28, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I just finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and it leaves me with mixed emotions. It is a well crafted novel in the dystopian genre. It is set in the United States after Christian fanatics have taken over the United States and rid the country of its ‘evils’. Women have no rights in the society. Most women have been left sterile, so those that are fertile are used by the upper class to produce children. I know she was trying to promote feminist ideals, but I found myself feeling just as sorry for the men in this story. Nobody was happy. The wives were jealous of the handmaids, the handmaids were being used, the husbands were forced to procreate without any of the pleasures of a sexual relationship. No one won.

Now on to my problems. Upon reading many reviews at Amazon, I found that the prevalent idea is conservative Christianity is in danger of committing these same atrocities today. I don’t know if this was Margaret Atwood’s intent, or if it just came across that way. I find it interesting that after reading a book like this, people’s first reaction is to silence the religious right. It’s O.K. for my rights to be eroded and to take my freedom away as a conservative. I can’t say that their lifestyle choice is wrong, but they can say mine is. It seems a bit hypocritical. The Christianity touted in this book (and most places) is not at all what the bible teaches. Christianity is not an anti-female religion. In fact, it is one of few religions where women come to God on equal footing with men. The Bible does not teach that a woman is inferior, and definitely not that we are just to be used as breeders. I believe that true freedom means freedom for all. Does that mean I might get my feelings hurt sometimes? Absolutely. But if we’re really free, I can say what I want about you, and you can say what you want about me.

Feminism is also a big push in this book. As I stated earlier, I didn’t feel the suppression of females in this book. I felt it was more of a suppression of everyone. Yes, the women had no freedom, but the men had very little freedom, as well. Sure, you could argue, they had more freedom. But lack of freedom is lack of freedom. Consequently, I didn’t walk away from this book with the ‘I hate men’ idea I felt I was supposed to have. I don’t like male bashing any more than I like female bashing. And yet this is the norm in feminist literature. Forget equality…they’re going for superiority.

This book was a good read. I recommend you read it and see what you think for yourself.

First line … “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”

Last line … “And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.”


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Box Day!

Today we received the last of our stuff for next year from Rainbow (although there was one item back ordered). Josiah was so excited to get school books of his own. He wanted to start his math right away. I kept putting him off, and putting him off, but finally I gave in. He did the first three lessons. Caleb then decided he wanted to do some, too. He completed the first lesson.

I'm glad to see him excited about school!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Fun!

Last Saturday we went to my brother's house for the afternoon. He has a swimming pool, and the kids had a great time swimming. Caleb took swimming lessons during the winter, so he got to show off some of his skills. He can't quite swim yet, but at least he's not afraid of the water like he was last year.

Caleb swimming.

Caleb practicing holding his breath underwater.

Josiah swimming.

When we put a life jacket on Rachel, it would flip her unto her back. My SIL had this little floatie thing, and she loved it.

Jada and Aaron. Jada loved playing with the ball. Aaron would lift her up to the basket ball hoop (which hung out over the pool) and "dunk" it. She thought it was so funny!!

It was a wonderful, sun-filled afternoon!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

I finished (and started!) Bridge to Terabithia last night. It was my second Newberry Challenge book. With the movie coming out on DVD soon, I thought I better read it quick. I expected most of the book to be set in the imaginary land of Terabithia and for it to be very Narnia like. I probably came to this conclusion from seeing the movie trailers. This was not the main part of the story, at all. This book was another coming of age story, a story about discovering who you are (seems I’ve been reading a lot of these lately), and a story of friendship.

My husband (who is a pastor) has done 2 funerals in the past 5 days (we’re from a small church, and these are just the 4th and 5th funerals in the last four years , so it is very unusual) and I have been very emotional lately….so I was bawling through the last part of the book. I think it is a great book that looks inside the grieving process and lets you know its O.K. to have the range of emotions that come with that. This is a great book…I heartily recommend it. Just have a box of tissues handy.

First line, “Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity --Good.”

Last line, “There’s a rumor going around that the beautiful girl arriving today might be the queen they’ve been waiting for.”


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

I just finished Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. This wonderful book was written for youth, but is just as wonderful for adults. The priests have made a prediction that the prince must marry a girl from Mount Eskel, one of the outlying territories in the kingdom. All the young ladies must attend a princess academy to ready themselves for the prince.

This fairy tale is about the main character, Miri, discovering who she is and her place in her village. She discovers that the events in her life that she has allowed to define her aren't based in truth. I think it's an important read for all young ladies. It will help them to look inside themselves, and see who they really are. Often our perceived weaknesses are self imposed, and the earlier we learn this the better our life will be.

A favorite quote, "Never hesitate if you know its right."

First Line, "Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat."

Last Line, "From the cracks in the rocks all around, the miri flowers were already blooming."


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Reading List - May 2007

1. The Beduin’s Gazelle by Francis Temple (4)

2. Theodora’s Diary by Penny Culliford (4) - Funny!!

3. A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison (4)

4. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (4)

5. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (4)


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