I'm a true Oregonian at heart. I love me some rain. It's nearly the end of June and it's been pouring down rain for days. YESSSSSSS.
You see, the sun hates me, and I'm not terribly fond of him either. I don't tan, I burn and burn and burn some more. After a bout of melanoma during my pregnancy with Addy I felt I could finally admit my true feelings about the sun. While everyone else in Oregon gets all giddy about sunshine, I feel a tad of resentful. Soaking up the sun is not my kind of fun. Hence my love for Oregon. It rains here A LOT. It's gray and cloudy A LOT. That suits me just fine. When the sun comes out and everyone else gets all giddy, I feel so much pressure to "soak it in"...when I'd much rather play inside where I don't have to be on the constant lookout for shade. Coziness is my friend: rain pouring, windows open, coffee brewing, classical music playing...yes please. Glaring sun, squinty eyes, burning skin...no gracias.
Which brings me to the point of this post (yes it has one!). Pouring down rain calls for a good book. Here's what I've got goin' on around here.
For the Kids:
When I was in 3rd grade my Uncle Steve was my teacher. He was my most favorite teacher EVER. Now he's on the executive board for Wide Awake International. Awww, full circle! Yay! Anyway, often we would have free reading time at school, and every time I would choose this book. I read it over and over. I loved every detail about it. It's about five daughters in a Jewish family growing up in New York City at the turn of the century. Oh my, the food descriptions, the sisterly fun (I only have brothers), the pinafores and bows in the hair. It's a great book. I forgot about it for years, but just recently remembered it and googled every detail I could think of in order to find it again. We checked it out from the library and have renewed it three times so far. It's a great read-aloud for boys and girls alike.
All-off-a-Kind Family is just as good now as it was when I was 9. LOVE.
For the Home School:
Years ago when we were on the verge of homeschooling, but just couldn't bring ourselves to commit to doing it (never thought we would, afraid as all get out), this book was the clincher. I owned the old edition, then got the new edition for Christmas, managed to lose the new edition in our move, and just scored a $.50 copy of the old edition at a used curriculum sale a couple weeks ago.
I love to reread this book every so often to help remind myself of why we home school and what is important to us in our parenting. As someone who never thought she would home school, but knows God has asked it of us, this book is incredibly encouraging and practical. Much of what our home school looks like I learned from this book. I love the emphasis on discipling our children. That's what this parenting thing is all about right? If you are on the brink, considering home school, but unsure, I urge you to give this book a go. It's amazeballs.
*Name drop alert: Jed and I got to meet Clay and Sally Clarkson and even visit them in their home when we were in Colorado in March. Holy celebrity sighting Batman! Sooooooo cool. Anywayssss...
For Wide Awake International:
I just started this book, so I can't give it a full recommendation yet, but I'm fairly certain it's amazing. :) Jed has been a fan of Dr. Perry's work for a long time. It informs all the work he does at the organization where he currently works. Yesterday Jed was blessed to attend a conference by Dr. Perry with his coworkers and was blown away. Perry is the leading expert on stress, trauma and brain development. In this book Dr. Perry explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress (ie institutionalization, unmet needs, abuse, neglect) and his methods of therapy. He basically throws all we know about brain development on it's head (no pun intended...but hahahaha). Pretty cool stuff. We are just taking it all in, asking God to guide us, direct us, and give us wisdom in bringing this knowledge into Ukraine.
Okay, ready for some vulnerability here? I'm about to geek out on you. I LOVE this book. It's about the author's love of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder and Little House on the Prairie. OMG. I am so there. She had me at Little House. I have been a Laura Ingalls fan for as long as I can remember. I just may, or may not have every.single.episode of Little House on the Prairie (or LHOP..hehe) on DVD. I just might know every.single.detail about each episode. I can tell you what Pa said to so and so about the plow, how Albert overcame his addictions (really, Michael Landon?), who burned down the blind school, and which candy was Nellie's favorite at the mercantile. I'm an LHOP nerd and I don't care who knows it!
So, the author became mildly obsessed with LHOP and then took it to the next level. She visited all the homestead sites, churned her own butter and made her own maple syrup/snow candy. Then she wrote about her experiences. In other words, she fully geeked out so that I could vicariously live through her. The book is hilarious and informative. It's made me laugh out loud more than once. Poor Jed.
The only beef I have with this book is that the author is sort of a purist and pretty much doesn't care for the TV series. WHAT?????? She thinks true LHOP fans should be lovers of the books, not the show. Well, I gotta admit, the books bore me to death (are homeschooling parents aloud to admit that?). I love me some Michael Landon, and he's the only Pa I can imagine. Yes, I realize the show isn't true to the books, but I love it all the same. It represents my childhood. When Carrie stumbles down the hill in the opening sequence I feel like I'm home.
*okay, I'm done nerding out now. Feel free to think less of me, just don't bash Melissa Gilbert or I might never forgive you. ;)
Enough about me, what about you? Got any good books to recommend? Lay 'em on me!