Thursday, February 26, 2015

Read-Aloud Thursday: The Big Six by Arthur Ransome

Read-Aloud Thursday Pictures, Images and Photos

I am getting this posted late. I have tried for the last two months to get this post finished and for some reason or other it never happens. Last month I am sure I started to write this post, but when I went looking for it, lo and behold, it was gone! I guess I must have written it in my mind and forgot to record it. Without further ado here it is:

Big Six - Exodus Books 

Plunge into the Norfolk Broads as the D's join up with the Coot Club once again, this time to solve a very baffling crime. 'Why shouldn't we be detectives too?' 

When Dick and Dorothea arrive in the Norfolk Broads all set for a blissful summer on the river, they find their friends the Death and Glories in a very bad situation. Accused of setting boats adrift, sabotage and theft, the boys are under suspicion by everyone on the river. And in the meantime, the real culprits are still at large. There's no choice but to form a crime-busting team: The Big Six. As the evidence stacks against them, can they solve the mystery and trap the real criminals?

The Big Six by Arthur Ransome is the 9th book in the Swallows and Amazons Series. In The Big Six we meet up with all the characters from The Coot Club (review). I will admit that my kids have liked the books that feature the "Swallows and Amazons" better than "The D's" (Dick & Dorothea) though they did admit that The Coot Club ended up being a good story in the end. Ransome has a tendency to get off to a slow start in his books, but not so in The Big Six. This story caught my kids attention right away. They kept begging me to read for more to see when justice would finally be served, which took awhile!

As always Arthur Ransome does a fine job of making the story suspenseful with amateur detectives, sailing, and fishing, yet he keeps it loaded with a good deal of humor and keeps you laughing throughout. Another highly recommended book!

Other's we have read:
 See what others are reading aloud over at Hope is the Word.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Penrod - Part 2)

We are still reading aloud Penrod by Booth Tarkington. Tarkington loves big words which I am tripping my way through, but I have a new problem--laughter!! Oh my, Penrod is so naughty, but so funny!


The serious poetry of all languages has omitted the little brother; and yet he is one of the great trials of love--the immemorial burden of courtship. Tragedy should have found place for him, but he has been left to the haphazard vignettist of Grub Street. He is the grave and real menace of lovers; his head is sacred and terrible, his power illimitable. There is one way--only one--to deal with him; but Robert Williams, having a brother of Penrod's age, understood that way.

Robert had one dollar in the world. He gave it to Penrod immediately.

Enslaved forever, the new Rockefeller rose and went forth upon the highway, an overflowing heart bursting the floodgates of song. (p. 161)
And from this point Penrod is off on another adventure!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's On Your Nightstand - February

What's On Your Nightstand

I had a very successful reading month for February. I would love to follow this routine every month, but alas, my life has way too many of moments of busyness!

For March:

From January's Nightstand I read:
  • Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss - Excellent read. There is something in here for every woman. Highly recommended!!
  • The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith - Another excellent read. Are you trying to have the perfect home? Then you need to read this book. She helps you set aside your perfections that are keeping you from having a beautiful home. Now I just need to apply them!
  • The Picts & the Martyrs (Swallows & Amazons) by Arthur Ransome - A read-aloud with the kids. There is one more in the series that we haven't read, but it has not been re-published yet so now we get to wait.
  • The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen - I know many people really like this book, but I am not one of them. If you're going to write historical romance (emphasis on historical) then make sure that the characters act like they are living in the historical period. I see this all the time. Books set in the 19th century with the main characters living like it is the 21st century.
  • Third Girl (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by Agatha Christie - I am almost finished with this series. I can honestly say I haven't really cared for these last few books. Christie's modern settings are quite jarring. 
I also read:
  • Deepest Roots of the Heart (Legacy of the Vines) by Chautona Havig - This was an okay book. I prefer Christian fiction mainly because I want a clean read. Books dealing with theological problems annoy me, especially when the author forget by the end of the book that they had a theological problem. Not that I cared what happened, but there might be someone who does!
  • Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey - A very different read compared to Tey's Inspector Grant series. There was a lot about this story that I liked, but I struggle with stories where the main character ends up being judge and jury.
  • Let Us Pray by Watchman Nee - The first book off of my 2015 Reading Goals list. I have owned this book for years and I believe it was the author was highly recommended to me. Not a favorite read, but there were a few points here and there worth reading.

I listened to:
  • So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger - I was in need in an audio book and this one available and since I have read many good reviews about it I downloaded it. A very enjoyable read.
  • Jayber Crow by Wendall Berry - I am going to go out on a branch and just state right now that Wendall Berry is not a favorite author of mine. Yes, he does write beautiful descriptions. Yes, he does have a way with words. Yes, his stories are compelling--to a point and then they get depressingly sad. This is my second Berry book and I don't think I can handle any more. In other words--he is not my cup of tea. If you find my words offensive I am very sorry.
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Deepest Roots of the Heart)

I just finished reading Deepest Roots of the Heart by Chautona Havig. I wasn't too impressed with the story, but I absolutely loved this thought about New Year's resolutions.

"The pruning comes at the New Year as a reminder to cut away the dead and useless from our life in order that we can grow and flourish as we were intended." How many times had his father or grandfather said those words as they walked the vines on New Year's Day? Resolutions were not about what new things would become a part of their lives in the coming months but about what old things were no longer profitable for their physical, spiritual, intellectual, or emotional health. p. 173

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

It is time again for my annual Valentine's cards post. Making my kid's handmade Valentine's Day cards has become a tradition along with a bag of M&M's (except Destini received some OMG's)  and a book. This year I took my collection of Valentine's paper and used that instead of purchasing new paper. I also made a card for my mom, but I forgot to take a picture before I sent it. Here is a look at what everyone received.

 2015-02-14 22.09.44 

 2015-02-14 22.09.32 

2015-02-14 22.09.19

 2015-02-14 22.09.07

My husband:
2015-02-14 22.10.00

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (Penrod)

 I just started reading Penrod by Booth Tarkington to my kids and have been greatly challenged in my reading abilities. Tarkington likes to use big words and not just one here or there, but as many as he can in a sentence. Here was my challenge sentence that I read last night.
Any flavour of sweetness remained in the nature of Penrod Schofield after the dismal trials of the school-week just past, that problematic, infinitesimal remnant was made pungent acid by the imminence of his destiny to form a prominent feature of the spectacle, and to declaim the loathsome, sentiments of a character named upon the programme the Child Sir Lancelot. 

 I survived that sentence only to run into this one:
There was a long soliloquy upon the fence, a plaintive monologue without words: the boy's thoughts were adjectives, but they were expressed by a running film of pictures in his mind's eye, morbidly prophetic of the hideosities before him. 

Well, if I survive reading this aloud we should have an increased and rich vocabulary!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Happy Birthday, Shade!

Isn't he cute?
To a wonderful husband, father and friend. We love you!

Reading Journal: Hitty Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Fields


Book Description:
Hitty is a very special doll who belongs to Phoebe Preble. Phoebe is proud of her beautiful doll and brings Hitty everywhere she goes. This is thrilling for Hitty, who finds herself involved in the most wonderful adventures both on land and at sea. She meets many people and makes new friends.
This is the story of the first hundred years of Hitty's life. And that's only the beginning for a doll as special as Hitty.

My thoughts:
Hitty Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Fields tells the story of Hitty, a doll made out of mountain-ash, who becomes the property of Phoebe Preble. She enjoys many adventures while living with Phoebe including being captured by a crow, is miraculously saved from a burning ship, and is rescued from natives, only to fall from Phoebe's hands while in India. She spends some years stuffed in a horsehair couch before being rescued and going to live with a Quaker family. She went on to meet a famous poet, Charles Dickens, and then was put on display for an Exhibition. After many more adventures she ends her memoirs sitting in an antique shop.

This was a cute story and I was surprised how well I ended up liking it. It was a fun story. It was also interesting to see how many places she ended up going and all the things she did even if it included sitting in a hay barn for a while. Any girl who likes dolls or fun adventure stories would enjoy this story.


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