Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Prairie Dog Town by Janette Oke

This was a fun book. It is a WHOLE book. (Please refer to previous post to see categories for books, Whole, Broken, Healing and Bent.)
This whole book is from the eyes of a young prairie dog. His first trip out of the hole, eating grass, making friends, weather conditions...dangers from stampedes, hawks, coyotes...It was really cute. He has a curious little attitude and gets a little rebellious when he hits his "teen years". He learns to trust his parent’s advice and also to be humble and apologize to others when he is wrong. He has many adventures and I think it was very creatively written for a book about prairie dogs!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whole Book!
This is the 5th book in the Little House in the Prairie series. I loved this one just as much as the others. She finally gets her teachers credentials and Almonzo starts to court her. This book took a couple months because we were reading it out loud at night and it was hit and miss for a while.

Man Of The Family by Ralph Moody

Whole Book!
This is the second book in the Little Britches series. I loved it. There are some sad parts and some hard parts and a lot of love and sacrifices in a family after their dad dies. The boy needs to grow up fast and take on responsibilities like earning money and caring for his mom, siblings, the livestock...he tries to get out of going to school but his mom insists that he get an education instead of working all the time. She is inspired to start home businesses that pay the rent and make ends meet. The boy always works hard and has a great reputation for being good with horses. I loved this book almost as well as the first. I already read the 3rd book by accident last year and it was good too!

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Whole BOOK! The kids loved this one. It is about a dog and a boy. He really gets in a bind when he lies and then he needs to lie to cover up the lie and from there it just gets worse then the truth finally comes out he has to pay the consequences It was a Great read for all of us!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Which Sci Fi character are you like?

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about her at the Galadriel Worshippers Army.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I'm so glad I wasn't someone from the Harry Potter series! I was hoping for a character from Star-Wars like my cool Kim sister. Lord of the Rings is okay too.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

This is a book that I hated at first, then surprisingly to me I started liking it near the end. It takes place in Russia in the 19th Century. It is over 800 pages long and I got stuck in the middle for a while.

At first I thought it was a very BROKEN BOOK. It started out as a romance novel with a few affairs. At first one of the main characters Anna, was made out to be a good person and despite having an affair she was in the right.


She eventually is exposed and tormented in her soul for what she did. She has choices to make that are hard because of the choice she made to sin. There are repercussions or cause and effect to everything in life. Her choice affected so many other people’s lives. She doesn't really realize this because I think she was selfish but the author tells the stories of all the other people too that were related to her or that somehow were touched by the domino effect.

The book becomes WHOLE and HEALING somewhere past the middle. Anna kind of goes crazy in her head because she is unhappy living in sin. She suspects her guy doesn't love her anymore, she starts taking Opium. She doesn't care for her baby, can’t see her son. She is all alone in her tormented soul and has no faith in God left.

While all this is going on the other main character is Levin. He is a rich land owner and farmer. He is interested in the peasants and the philosophies of man. He finds God in the end. He thinks about suicide but finds a higher purpose in life to live for. I liked to compare him and Anna to the main character Jean Valjean in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. They both find out for themselves how to survive and how to understand religion in their own minds and hearts. It is hard and takes a life time for some. The over all theme is that human nature makes us imperfect and selfish but it also has passion and promise if we endure to the end.

The book was extremely interesting to me because I don't know that I have ever read anything by a Russian author or about Russia. It was full of different philosophies and Christian themes, bureaucracy, government, love, death... It had stuff about the social part of Russia that I never heard about. This was before it was a communist nation I believe. The poor were really poor and the rich were ridiculously rich. I don't think it has changed much even today. I don't know. I learned for myself how naive I am about other nations and cultures. I don't know anything about Russia except they have good gymnasts and ice skaters in the Olympics.

This book is a HEALING book because it inspires me to not have an affair. (HA HA) What a mess it would be. NO really... it also makes me think about God and the purpose of life. When we are unselfish and do things because we serve God we are filled with a joy and peace. If we just do things because we have too or with a bad attitude or just to get gain for ourselves we will feel empty. We all need to find religion and comprehend it in our hearts a different way, and different time. It is for all of us but it can't be forced. Anna gave up. Levin kept going, kept searching, till he found it himself.

I would recommend this book to anyone that has a lot of time on their hands to read a long book...after you get past the first 400 pages it starts coming together and the characters all intertwine. It was the best in the last 10 or so pages for me. So read it to the end!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Weekly Trip To The Library

Each week we brave the outside world and take a trip to the Library. You might not think this is any big deal but you aren't Me and you don't have my three kids!

1.We have to cross a street. It is a busy street and my kids do not hold hands. They are all in their own worlds dancing around and looking in all different directions. I am the mother hen. I am freaking out and trying to keep them all next to me and under my wings so they don't step off the curb and get ran over. Or so they don't bother the other people crossing the street too. The people sitting at the bus stop are always watching us. The light changes to walk and everyone gets so excited. Some of my children can walk in a straight line and stay in the cross walk but some of them do not understand what that line is for and which side is in!!! I always give a sigh of relief when we get to the other side.

2. We then have two pathways to choose from. They both end at the same spot, the entrance for the Library. The right path goes under some trees that drop plops of the raunchiest smelling seed pods. They are all squished on this path and then your shoes stink. I like to try and not step on them and I like to enjoy the trees and greenery on this path. I usually see a squirrel on the way. The left path goes right along a planter box type thing made out of cement and it is wide enough to walk on. It is only about a foot and a half off the ground so the kids like to run along this instead of the path. Usually this is where homeless people hangout and they sit on the cement path thing. So as my kids are running along they either have to jump off or go around the homeless people. The homeless people sometimes ignore them and sometimes make a comment or two. Sometimes they are annoyed at a flock of children running right at them as they just try to sit there and rest. Occasionally there are some teenagers hanging out or a drunk or two. My littlest one usually always lags behind and is known to fall off the cement wall as she is running along. No one will hold my hand; they all have to do it themselves.

3.We enter the library and we need to be quiet. We return any books we have through the little slot and someone always takes off before we are through. To get to the children's room we go up the stairs. The elevator is OFF limits. This rule is finally followed after a few kids got in the elevator and the doors shut. Very scary. They all stay off the elevator now.

4. My oldest heads right to the mystery books (Fiction), Nancy Drew and Box Car Children, Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown. I don't worry, I know where he is.
My next child goes right to the videos. She always wants a Pokemon video. She comes and finds me and whines and bugs me and tries to get me to say yes to the video she picked out. I would rather check out videos that are educational or more family oriented. I usually say no to the first 5-6 choices she comes to me with.
The littlest one always runs to the puzzle corner. She can pull out more puzzles in one minute then a monkey using its hands and tail. She also thinks the rocking horse is hers. If another child is on it she will stare at them until they get off. She always finds the little hard cover books and carries them around. She also is a magnet for the computer. She will probably work in a button factory when she is older. Sometimes I find her talking to the librarian. They are always nice and they can't understand most of what she says. On the librarian's desk is a container of scrap paper and the cutest just the right size pencils. She takes a pencil and a paper and writes on it. When we leave she puts them back, the paper that is scribbled on too. I can keep one eye on her and whatever I'm doing and it is small enough that I can always hear her.

5. My kids love to talk to strangers. I say, "Don't talk to strangers", but they love to talk to everyone. They don't know the difference between a stranger and a STRANGER! My kids can strike up a conversation with most anyone. Especially if they are near the line, (notice I didn't say IN LINE. They don't stand in line they dance around and wiggle but I have yet to see them stand in line), everyone is fair game to them. I can't believe the plethora of information that comes out of their mouths. By the time we part with a stranger they have told them EVERYTHING about our family and even our fish and cat that adopted us.

6. Today we ventured down stairs to the main floor. This is a much quieter place then the children's section upstairs. I went right over to the back of the library and grabbed the book I needed. The kids were trailing behind me. It took less then 2 min. We walked back to the front of the library to check out. In that short time Amy somehow along the way picked up someone's soda and took a sip. I found this out from a lady that came running after us and loudly saying, something like EXCUSE ME, Your baby just drank my soda, I wanted you to know because I have a cold. She said this very loud and kept repeating it. I was so shocked and stammered something like Sorry after I figured out what and who she was talking about. I didn't know what to say to her and it was embarrassing. I hope she doesn't catch Amy's cold either but I didn't tell her this. I hope the lady didn't have anything deadly or have Herpes! So I told my daughter not to drink other peoples stuff and she will get germs. Of course she didn't really understand or care. It is funny now but in the library I was still in shock. YUCK.

7. My little monkey always climbs on the metal detectors at the entrance while I'm distracted trying to check out. The librarian has to say, "PLEASE GET OFF OF THERE!" and all the mother's looks to see if it is their child. Itisn't, it is my child again. It is hard to get all the books checked out and on our way before the kids are already out the door running down the path. This is me yelling, "WAIT FOR MOMMY!!!" Three bags of books and a crazy look on my face, but also a look of relief because we survived the library!

8. Now to get passed the bums and across the busy street again to the car!

Next week we will brave the Library again. Whew!