Thursday, January 28, 2016

Read-Aloud Thursday: Great Northern? by Arthur Ransome (Swallows & Amazons)

Read-Aloud Thursday Pictures, Images and Photos

Book Description:
The Swallows, Amazons and Ds are united again for Arthur Ransome's final story in the series. Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves.
My thoughts:
We started reading Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome in 2012 and right before 2015 ended we slipped in the last book of this 12 book series, Great Northern?. We would have been finished sooner, but we were waiting for the publisher of our series, David R. Godine, to publish Great Northern? Unfortunately, it still hasn't been published so back in September I found a used copy on Amazon and ordered it. I would love to say we breezed through this book, but our read-aloud time fell by the wayside right in the middle of the book. Right after Christmas I took the bull by the horns and we set out to finish it before the new year.

On to the story--typical of Arthur Ransome Great Northern? starts off slow. The Swallow, Amazons, and the Ds are finishing up a fun excursion when Dick discovers his rare birds which results in trying to get photographs of the birds while trying to protect them from a famous collector. While he is busy getting pictures of his birds the rest of the crew are having their own drama as they try to be decoys but end up being chased and rounded up by the local Highland laird. Captain Flint tries to come in a rescue them, but is thwarted in his attempt to explain the situation. Again typical of Ransome, the all the action happens at once which makes it hard to put the book down. Overall, my kids felt this was a satisfying read, though they are a little sad that this is the end.

If these books have any drawbacks it would be that they are slow going in the beginning. Another drawback for some is all the terminology that pertains to sailing and ships. Even though I have read all of these I probably couldn't look at a sailboat and be able to tell you what is what, but I don't think this bothered my kids at all. (In fact, they probably understood it better than I did.) What makes these books fun and unique is all the adventures that kids have on their own. Yes, there are adults involved at times, but they are usually looked at as more of a nuisance though never in a disrespectful manner. These are basically stories about kids who enjoy childhood to the fullest and what kid may I ask isn't going to like that?

Reviews to the other Swallows and Amazons books:

  • Swallows and Amazons
  • Swallowdale
  • Peter Duck
  • Winter Holiday
  • Coot Club 
  • Pigeon Post  
  • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea 
  • Secret Water
  • The Big Six
  • Missee Lee
  • The Picts & the Martyrs

  • See what others are reading aloud over at Hope is the Word.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words (Hoodwinked)

    I'm a little late in the day getting this posted, but I just wanted to share. I found this statement to be a great reminder of where my focus should be, something that I think is so easy to forget in the midst of the day to day grind of homeschooling and child rearing.


    Monday, January 25, 2016

    What's On Your Nightstand - January

    What's On Your Nightstand

    For February:

    From December's Nightstand:

    I also read:

    • Mrs. Tim Carries On by D.E. Stevenson - The second book in the Mrs. Tim Christie series. This has been an enjoyable series so far.
    • The Story Girl  by L.M. Montgomery - I picked up The Story Girl since it was late at night and I couldn't get my hands on my pile of books in my own bedroom so I pulled this off of my daughter's shelf. It has been a long time since I read this and it was a worthwhile re-read.
    • Gates & Fences: Straight Talk in a Crooked World by Lori Wagner - Reading for my Sunday School class.

     I listened to:

     See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

    Starr Happenings - New Year Update

    Starr Happenings

    It has been a while since I have posted a HSMJ. We had a good Christmas break. I always like to take a week and sew to my heart's content, but due to an abnormal medical test I had to spend my time getting some other tests done, getting ready for my parent's visit, and generally being distracted my everything. Our co-op started the first week of January, but my parents arrived January 6 so we didn't start our own school work. This week was our first week that we were back to doing our full school schedule. Here's just a small glimpse of what has happened around our home and school lately.
    January 23 Collage
    1. Christmas (in January) with Grandma & Grandpa.
    2. Caleb got a new iPhone and I had to laugh because his sister was setting it up for him.
    3. I think that has to be my favorite gift Delani received for Christmas. The hat is hysterical!
    4. Chantry and Destini are doing a politics class in co-op and we have watched every debate so far. I didn't realize how much had sunk in until Delani excitedly brought us this magazine in Costco. She was so excited to recognize certain faces on it.
    5. Delani working on her addition skills. She writes them out and then makes her big sister do them.
    6. We have been working through IEW Primary Arts of Language and Delani finally made it to the first reader. I have to admit I find teaching reading so frustrating, but I'm trying to have faith and keep pressing on.
    7. While it was snowing like crazy everywhere yesterday, we enjoyed a balmy 57* outside. It felt amazing!

    Weekly Wrap-Up

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words (Psalms 46:10a)

    I love the idea of picking out a word for the year, but I always forget about it by April, so the last few years I haven't really focused on picking one out. (I may be weird, but I find trying to pick out a word is very stressful!) 

    Over the Christmas holidays I went through a health scare and even though the doctor's were optimistic, it still left me fighting doubts and fears, especially through the waiting period of the tests. In the midst of this I was scrolling through Facebook and an advertisement for a sign with this scripture printed on it came across my feed and when I saw it it I knew it was my "word" for the year. 


    I just read this post by Modern Mrs. Darcy and she summed up exactly what happened to me:
    "Maybe I didn’t plan on choosing words for the year, but these words? They chose me."

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Wednesdays with Words - Wodehouse

    You can't go wrong delving into a Wodehouse book to start off the new year. I love how he sneaks in little jewels of thought which make you laugh because they are so true!


    See what others are sharing at ladydusk.

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    Books Read in 2015

    Books Read 2015

    It is hard to believe that 2015 is ending and so ends another year of reading. I set a goal of 120 books and I read 115. Here is a break down of what I read along with my list for 2015.

    • The Bible - from Isaiah to Revelation, I read through Psalms and Proverbs twice.
    • Fiction books - 84
    • Non-fiction books - 31
    • I also read over 200 picture books to my youngest daughter which I think makes up for my 5 missing books.
    • Out of the books read 24 were audio books and 9 were read-alouds (marked with *) with all or most of my kids.
    • I also read all the books on my Reading Goals for 2015 list.
     Fiction: (84)
    • Ashton Park - Murray Pura
    • The Awakening of Miss Prim - Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera
    • The Baker's Daughter - D.E. Stevenson
    • A Beautiful Blue Death - Charles Finch
    • Black Ships Before Troy - Rosemary Sutcliff*
    • The Blue Sapphire - D.E. Stevenson
    • Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey
    • By the Pricking of My Thumbs - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • Celia's House - D.E. Stevenson
    • Christmas with Anne - L.M. Montgomery (audio)
    • The Clocks - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • Come Rain or Come Shine - Jan Karon
    • The Corinthian - Georgette Heyer (audio)
    • Dauntless - Dina L. Sleiman
    • David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (audio)
    • The Dean's Watch - Elizabeth Goudge
    • Deepest Roots of the Heart - Chautona Havig
    • The Duke's Dilemma - Elizabeth Chater
    • Elephants Can Remember - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • Enemy Brothers - Constance Savery*
    • Each Shining Hour - Jeff High
    • For Such a Time - Kate Breslin
    • The First Rumpole Omnibus - John Mortimer
    • The Foundling - Georgette Heyer (audio)
    • French Leave - P.G. Wodehouse
    • Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
    • Great Northern? - Arthur Ransome*
    • The Green Ember - S.D. Smith (audio)
    • Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie
    • Jayber Crow - Wendell Berry (audio)
    • Just David - Eleanor H. Porter
    • Letters from Grace - Rachel Muller
    • The Lieutenant's Lady - Bess Streeter Aldrich
    • Listening Valley - D.E. Stevenson
    • A Long Way From Chicago - Richard Peck (audio)
    • Looking for Me - Beth Hoffman
    • The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott - Kelly O'Connor McNees (audio)
    • Maggie Bright - Tracy Groot
    • The Making of a Marchioness - Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Manuscript for Murder - Chautona Havig
    • The Marriage Mart - Elizabeth Chater
    • Miracle in Dry Season - Sarah Loudin Thomas
    • Miss Read's Christmas Tales - Miss Read
    • Miss Pym Disposes - Josephine Tey
    • The Mitchells: Five for Victory - Hilda von Stockum*
    • The Mitchells: Canadian Summer - Hilda von Stockum* 
    • Mrs. Tim of the Regiment - D.E. Stevenson (audio)
    • More Things In Heaven and Earth - Jeff High
    • The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade - Virginia Smith
    • N or M? - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • No Holly for Miss Quinn - Miss Read
    • Now and Forever - Mary Connealy
    • Parnassus on Wheels - Christopher Morley (audio)
    • Partners in Crime - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • The Penderwicks in Spring - Jeanne Birdsall
    • Penrod - Booth Tarkington*
    • Penrod & Sam - Booth Tarkington*
    • Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin' Cornbread - Mary Jane Hathaway
    • The Picts and the Martyrs - Arthur Ransome*
    • Postern of Fate - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • The Princess Bride - William Goldman
    • The Random Gentleman - Elizabeth Chater
    • Red Like Crimson - Janice Thompson
    • Regency Buck - Georgette Heyer
    • Rob Roy - Sir Walter Scott (audio)
    • Rules of Murder - Juliana Deering
    • The Scent of Water - Elizabeth Goudge
    • A Season for the Heart - Elizabeth Chater
    • A Season of Gifts - Richard Peck (audio)
    • The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie (audio)
    • The Secret of Pembrooke Park - Julie Klassen
    • Seventeen - Booth Tarkington
    • Snow on Tulips - Liz Tolsma
    • So Brave, Young, and Handsome - Leif Enger (audio)
    • A Taste of Chaucer - Anne Malcomson
    • Third Girl - Agatha Christie
    • The Truth According to Us - Annie Barrows
    • The Unknown Ajax - Georgette Heyer
    • Village School - Miss Read
    • The War that Saved My Life - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 
    • What Angels Fear - C.S. Harris
    • A White Bird Flying - Bess Streeter Aldrich
    • The World of Pooh - A.A. Milne*
    • A Year Down Yonder - Richard Peck (audio)
    Non-fiction: (31)
    • Adolescence Isn't Terminal - Kevin Leman
    • The Birth of Britain - Winston Churchill (audio)
    • Common Sense - Thomas Paine (audio)
    • Consider This - Karen Glass
    • Creating a SenseSational Home - Terri Willits
    • Daylight - Heidi St. John
    • The Excellent Wife - Martha Peace
    • The Fringe Hours - Jessica N. Turner
    • Hands Free Mama - Rachel Macy Stafford
    • How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids - Rachel Carman
    • How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare - Ken Ludwig
    • Let Us Pray - Watchman Nee
    • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Maria Kondo
    • Lies Woman Believe - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
    • Mastering Life - Robert J. Morgan
    • The Monuments Men - Robert M. Edsel (audio)
    • Motivate Your Child - Dr. Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller
    • My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell
    • The Nesting Place - Myquillyn Smith
    • No Ordinary Home - Carol Jo Brazo
    • The Power of a Praying Wife - Stormie Omartian
    • The Question - Leigh Bortins
    • Raising a Princess - John Croyle
    • Rite of Passage - Jim McBride
    • Seeds of Jochebed - Kim Haney
    • Spiritual Disciples for the Christian Life - J.I. Packer & Donald Whitney
    • Teaching from Rest - Sarah MacKenzie
    • Teaching Will - Mel Ryane
    • Thirsting for God - Gary L. Thomas
    • Twelve Ordinary Men/Twelve Extraordinary Women - John MacArthur
    • The Two-Minute Drill of Manhood - John Croyle
    Coming soon--My favorite reads for 2015.


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