Daily Archives: October 6, 2010

Choose your own topic!

The fabulous thing about bullet-pointed blog entries is that you can choose the topic(s) which interest you, and skip the ones you don’t!  😀  See, I love my readers.

  • Two publishers have contacted me to ask me to review books that I actually want to read!  😀  Yay for free books!  For one of the books, I had actually recently thought, “I should get myself a copy of that.”  Voila!  I should receive them within a couple of weeks.
  • (Ethan, my 13yo, glances at this post and asks, with incredulity, “You’re doing a book report?”  Read:  “VOLUNTARILY???“)  What I’m reading right now:  A False Mirror by Charles Todd, the ninth book in the Inspector Rutledge series.  In early July, I started the series with book one (actually, on book two, accidentally, so I quickly retraced my steps).  I’m starting to stick my fingers in my ears and say, “Lalalala!  I’m not listening!” to the fact that I’m almost current with the Todds’* series, and that, in a couple of months, I’ll have to wait a good year for each new installment like every other fan of the Todds’ books.  I must say, though, I’m not really liking the start to this book (I’m about 50 pages into it), mostly because of a very improbable set-up.  Upon reflection, though, I considered how many problems in life stem from the illogical and impulsive action of oneself and others, yet how, in detective fiction, this is particularly problematic for the reader, because one cannot figure out irrationality.  And, part of of the fun, of course, in mysteries, is figuring things out.
  • Next on the book list are Coop:  A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry.  I read — and thoroughly enjoyed — his book Truck:  A Love Story.  He does drop the occasional f-bomb, so be warned, if you’re not the sort who can filter out occasional bad language for the sake of a good story.  (Todds’ books, by the way, are 100% clean.)  And, a book my mother lent to me, as she thought I would enjoy it:  An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear.  I am particularly intrigued by the choice of quotes with which she stars off the book.  First:  “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” –Niccolo Machiavelli.  Then, tempering the first, “There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” –Josh Billings, and American humorist from the 19th century.
  • I can’t believe we’re almost through with six weeks of school already this year.  My best new choice this year has been Easy Grammar.  Grant (6th grade) and Wesley (4th grade) are both in Easy Grammar 4, and Ethan (8th grade)  is doing Easy Grammar Plus.
    • My biggest surprise is how well Wesley is doing.  Since he has had such a bear of a time with just spelling, that’s all he did for English, last year.  The year before, he could still barely form letters with a pencil.  So, he may have started behind, but he’s catching on fast, bless God!  He had a slight hiccup today with imperative sentences (“understood you” as subject), but other than that, he’s scored in the 90s for virtually every lesson thus far!
    • I told Grant if he’s upset by doing grammar at a level that is below him, that he’s welcome to work ahead.  So far, he’s not motivated to do so, which surprises me, as well.
    • I guess each Easy Grammar text has a corresponding workbook, but I’m not using it, as there are masters of each workpage in the teacher’s text, directly across from the page’s answers.  So, all I have done is to get a binder for each boy, and make copies of the pages.  🙂  Every few pages, there are teacher’s helps with SUPER EASY instruction.  Literally, it’s just a sentence or two, to introduce a new topic.
  • Lastly, a selection from my morning journal, an idea that has been ricocheting around in my head, since I had the thought yesterday morning.  I was considering the different styles of “witnessing” by Christians, to non-believers, and particularly reflecting upon some of the more heavy-hitting methods, of which I’m personally not so fond:  “Jesus ‘bludgeoned’ occasionally — money-changers, white-washed Pharisees — but it comes to mind that perhaps He did that not for the recipients’ benefit, but for the hearts of the tender, the hearts of those who wanted to believe, yet who were unduly influenced by the hypocritical Pharisees.  So, perhaps Jesus’ intentions were to cut them down to size, to upset their pedestals, to remove the authority of those men in the hearts of those who eventually would come to Jesus.  In other words, Jesus was pulling weeds from the soil of the garden where seeds were planted.  He wasn’t [by his more forceful tactics] trying to lead the Pharisees to Himself…”  I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone other than myself, but to me, it was/is quite a profound thought, inspired, I dearly hope, by the Holy Spirit, and not simply justifying my own laid-back “city on a hill” approach.

*I’m not entirely sure what to do about the possessive apostrophes when talking about Charles Todd, because that is really the pen name for the mother-and-son team of Caroline and Charles Todd.  Todds’ — plural, because there are two of them??  Or Todd’s — singular, because there is only one pen name???

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