Sunday, December 31, 2006

Book Reading Stand-outs: 2006

Middle Grade Fiction:

Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm (2006)
Set in the 50s, the author chose well in writing this story in first person present.

The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
The narrator made this book so fun. Just how did E. Nesbit do it?

Young Adult Fiction:

Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
As Miss Erin says, "This book could be described as Jane Austen meets Harry Potter." The authors played the "letter game" in which they each pretended they each were a character and wrote letters back in forth. Their game became a delightful book.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (2006)
Death is the narrator and the author makes it work. Story of a girl growing up in a foster family in Germany during WWII. FYI, this book was first published in Australia (where the author lives) as an adult fiction book.

Young Adult Nonfiction:

The Wand in the Word by Leonard S. Marcus (2006)
Conversations with writers of fantasy such as Lloyd Alexander, Brian Jacques, Dianna Wynne Jones, and Terry Pratchett. I read a library copy, but Erin and I were always wanting to go back to something that was quoted or referenced in it; so guess what I received for Christmas?!

Adult Fiction:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is a book in which you miss the characters after you have finished reading.

The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge
An enchanting novel set in a cathedral city on the fen. Since E. Goudge lived in Ely for part of her life, it was fun to read the descriptions depicting the fen country of old and the amazing cathedral that we were able to see on our England trip. Read it next Christmas.

Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman
A classic novel which takes place in the early 1900s of a young girl who moves from Boston to Alberta, Canada for her health. She marries a member of the Royal Mounted Police and they move to a remote settlement in northeast British Columbia. Based loosely on a true life story. Thanks ghillies for recommending this.

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
I'm not sure I ever laughed aloud so much while reading a book to myself. If you've just seen the play, you must the read the book.

Adult Nonfiction:

Life is So Good by George Dawson
The life story of a man who lived some of the 19th century, all of the 20th century, and a little of the 21st century. Read this to start your new year. (see earlier post)

Sir Walter Raleigh by John Buchan
"Snapshots" of Sir Walter's life taken mostly from stories of people that knew him.

Great Books:

Bede's History of the English People
My second reading of this book proved quite enjoyable.

Other fun reads:
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
84 Charing Cross by Helene Hanff
Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynn Jones
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Sunday, December 24, 2006

May you have a child-like Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Here's a quote from my aunt's Christmas letter:

"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself." Charles Dickens

Monday, December 18, 2006

Exciting MonDAY!

"I'm thankful that we got this sickness, mom, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten into 3-D art." Brady, (who has actually said this to me a couple of times.)

Today each of the kids' work are featured on web-sites (not their own.) Their work featured is work that came about because of our long-term illness. Daily schoolwork has been an impossibility because of our intense health struggles, but they've redeemed their time and pursued endeavors that help them to feel like they are learning and accomplishing things. Both of their "hobbies" came about because they felt rotten enough to only be able to do things that they enjoyed doing, at a pace that didn't overtax them. They've found out that people need some kind of work to do even when they can hardly move. Yes, they've had to spend lots of time watching movies and playing video games, but even a sick person can't do this all day long, day after day. Thankfully, they've been blessed to be well enough to follow through on these new past-times and even experience some success along the way.

Miss Erin is the featured book reviewer this morning at the Cybil's site for the Review of the Day. Her review is of a book she needed to read as a nominating committee member of the fantasy/sci fic. category. This web-site was established when a group of bloggers decided to start their own book awards for children and young adult books and it all came to fruition (very quickly.) Please check out the site and read the post for today.

Brady has an image featured as Picture of the Day at a content and software web-site. Please check out it out here: The picture that is featured is one he made for me as an advent gift (our family gives advent gifts to one another 12 days before Christmas.) While you're at it, visit his web-site to see lots of other wonderful images.

What a day! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Doctor help

We didn't plan this. But it's a good thing.

Two doctor's offices are currently reviewing our records and trying to figure out how to help us.

A couple of weeks back I posted that I was going to get some testing done to send to a Health Institute in Colorado. The day I did that, the Intern at our doctor's office in Seattle called to say that they had just received information and samples of a new treatment. They had been discussing our case at the office and called us to see if we'd like to try it. After finding out a little more about it, I told him, "Sure!"

In the meantime, when my results of the tests I took for the Colorado doctor were faxed to me, I immediately sent them to the Seattle doctor. The Intern at his office called again to get a little more information about our current status and said he was going to research things a little more. He wants to make sure the protocol of supplements he's prescribing to go with this new treatment will be what we need. We may just start one or two of us on this regime at first to see if it makes a big enough difference, before everyone takes the treatment. It's taken with a nebulizer and requires some time and effort.

This morning we faxed all of our tests from this spring (that the Seattle doctor had ordered) to Colorado upon their request. I have an appointment to talk to them by phone this coming Tuesday.

It's a great feeling to know that two doctor's offices are studying our case (especially when we thought the Seattle doctor had "given up" on us.) If you think of it, please pray for wisdom for these doctors in the next few days as they decide on the next protocol to help us overcome this chronic illness.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A musical delight

Check out this fun description of a choir rehearsal that God allowed us to be a part of.