Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Takin' to Task

*edited after Girl Scouts. :::::::::::LIFE WITH NOAH::::: We, like many people, have a morning routine. Our routine puts us outside about 2 minutes before the school bus arrives. This morning the bus arrived about 7 minutes late. Noah happened to be wearing a long-sleeved white shirt, navy slacks and a tie (he would have you know that it was not clip-on)because his teacher told the students to dress nicely for their field trip to see a play at Georgia Tech. I stood with the kids as they boarded the bus. The bus driver closed the doors, then pulled forward a little and stopped to open the doors. He is an older gentleman and he looked to be laughing. He asked me, "Is the boy dressed up with a tie your kid?" I had to admit I replied, "Yes." Then, he said, "Well he just checked his watch when he got on the bus and asked me why I was late. He looks like a little business man." I asked the driver if he had ever seen the show "Monk"?, and he responded, "Yes". I said, "Well, that is our Monk." We both laughed and off they went. One of the things Noah loves to do is say things really loud. Here is an example:
One other Noah story: We had Pack meeting last Wednesday. Brother Peterson, the Cubmaster, asked the boys, "Do you want to play a game?" To wit,Noah called out, "If it's for being noisy, I'll win." ::::::::::::::::Another Easter Layout:::::::: I'm off to pick up Eve from Daisy Scouts. Take care!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A New Day

Here is one of the Easter Layouts I finished:

I have a bunch of files to transfer, at some point, today. I finally got an external hard drive.
:::::::::::::::Oh, Hail...again:::::::

Michael and the kids sat on the porch and watched the torrential downpour with hail. The lightening received, "ooos and ahhs".

::::::::Readin' and Walkin'::::::
I was able to finish reading Rachel's book and finish the Truman Capote book during my walks at the park this week. I'll review later.

I'm off for my walk, so see ya later!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Watch Out for Parked Trucks!

I told Rachel I would take her book back to the library for her. As I was walking to the library, via the park, I started reading the first few pages. Admittedly, I am a fan of smart girl books. I love books about Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, so This spy girl book piqued my interest. I had the cd copy of Matilda to reaturn, too. I dropped the cd off and kept the book. I was, surprisingly, able to avoid trees, tripping on roots or rocks. I even found another walker's car keys in the mulch on the wooded path. I caught up to her coming back to figure out where she had dropped them. I can't drive and read without feeling like I have to puke, but walking and reading...not so bad.

Some reading and walking tips:

1. walk on familiar terrain
2. always stop reading and pay attention in cross walks
3. if you are walking around a pond that often has Canada Geese check for goose poop as you walk
4. Don't be so engrossed in the book that you miss opportunities to find coins left on the ground (I didn't find any today, but you never know. Also, if you might find someone else's keys and you can be a good samaritan and return them).
5. When walking back home from the park watch out for parked trucks that weren't there when you were walking to the park (That happened to me, but I saw it just in time).
6. Don't get too frustrated reading the same few sentences about 3 times if you are walking through a rather curvy section of the park path.

After 6.5 miles of walking at a nice pace I am half way through the book. I told Rachel when she got home from school. She is so proud of me. I'll try and finish soon. She wants to go to the library to pick up the sequel that I told her about...insert Girl Squeal!

:::::::::::::::Family Camping:::::::

We took our family to Hard Labor Creek State Park for Family Camping with Eve's Girl Scout troop. Michael took us on a Geocaching expedition. The kids love to Geocache. The kids shared a tent and we tented right next to them. Eve adored the smores I helped her make. She let me have a bite. She helped her troop do the dinner dishes. The girls looked like an assembly line of Cinderellas.
The next day we went fishing. I used Rachel's pole to catch our only fish, so she said it was her catch...hmmmm... After lunch we took a nature walk on Brantley Trail. Rachel and Eve led the group to the Geocache and explained how it worked. Aaron wasn't feeling well, so Michael stayed with him while the girls and I went on the walk. Shortly after we got back Aaron threw up out of the car window. This is better placement than he usually makes. I got him a jr. Tylenol and something to drink. He rested for a bit. We cut things short after Eve, Noah and Rachel took the wagon ride around the park. Noah immediately declared the ride to be "BORING". The girls concurred. The kids are used to audio tours, or people who are historical reinactors like at Colonial Williamsburg. Being towed around by a pickup truck just doesn't make the grade.
Aaron did fine on the way home and was the first in the tub.

Photos to come. Smiles!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hangin' 20

Here is a layout of Eve trying out the climbing wall at Zoo Atlanta:

Eve's Tootsie Roll Pop layout:

::::::::::::::::Book Review:::::::::::

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This Orwellian idea of a future that could happen when the bounds of Church and State are breached by a fanatical religious group who takes over the government of the U.S. The new Gildean government imposes strict laws through their interpretation of the Bible. Women are no longer allowed to read. There is also a need to increase the population and women of child bearing years, after having received a medical exam, are assigned as handmaids to "Commanders" as vessels only. The rulers of this society are hypocrites that rule through fear mongering and swift brutality. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

pg. 24 "There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from."

This reminds me of some government policies that I disagree with that impinge on our freedoms.

p. 28 "We are fascinated, but also repelled. They seem undressed. It has taken so little time to change our minds, about things like this."

This was the thoughts of the main character who is surprised how quickly her attitudes about society and dress were so quickly reshaped to fit the paradigm created by the Gildean government.

p. 46 "She doesn't make speeches anymore. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn't agree with her. how furious she must be, now that she's been taken at her word." (About Serena Joy)

I was particularly struck by the quote about Serena Joy. She went on television to preach and cry about how women's' place was in the home and once the government took over, which her husband was a part, she was sent to her home. Out of the limelight she was vindictive and cold to all around her.

p. 57 "We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories." in regards to the awful brutalities."

This quote pertains to most people. Since the atrocities don't effect us we can ignore them.

p. 134 "Let's stop there. I intend to get out of here. It can't last forever. Others have thought such things, in bad times before this, and they were always right, they did get out one way or another, and it didn't last forever. Although for them it may have lasted all the forever they had."

Times do change and situations. The most telling of that excerpt was the last line.

p. 154 " They get sick a lot, these Wives of the Commanders. It adds interest to their lives."

I have come across this in some people.

p. 193 " The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that you've been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil."

In situations where there is a reward for turning someone in, or a perceived or real penalty for not turning someone in is common. There are examples of this throughout history.

p.212 "Not a dandelion in sight here, the lawns are picked clean. I long for one, just one, rubbishy and insolently random and hard to get rid of and perennially yellow as the sun. Cheerful and plebeian, shining for all alike."

My rebellious side likes this selection a lot.

p. 307 " As I have said elsewhere, there was little that was truly original with or indigenous to Gilead: its genius was synthesis."

People have found a myriad of ways to subjugate and be inhumane to one another. The only way to be original is the packaging...or maybe...just maybe be kind, honest, have integrity, respect and love for each other. Yeah, it may be a pipe dream, but just call me the Hookah Smoking Caterpillar.

p. 308 " The best and most cost-effective way to control women for reproductive and other purposes was through women themselves. For this there were many historical precedents; in fact, no empire imposed by force or otherwise has every been without this feature; control of the indigenous by members of their own group...many women willing to serve...either because of a genuine belief in what they called "traditional values," or for the benefits they might thereby acquire. When power is scarce, a little of it is tempting."

This is true.

Overall, I thought the book was food for thought. I think people are far to lackadaisical about their rights and far to willing to impose their beliefs on others. Light reading this isn't, but I think it is worth your time.

::::::::::::::::Time for Girl Scouts::::::::

must run and make swaps for ingathering. Take care!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Burnin' Daylight

Hey folks! My dad always says that to tell people that times going by and you need to get to work. Well, I need to go for a walk and do housework, but I wanted to post some of the layouts I have been working on.

I still have to work on more zoo pages and the Easter pictures. We had a great time at my dad and Alice's house with my sisters, Katherine and Tracy. The kids loved the confetti, or cascarones, eggs the best. We think we might just hide the confetti eggs next year and have the candy in the house for them to get afterwards.

Eve got a tick on her neck at an Easter egg hunt the day before. The hunt took place in and near some woods. She asked me what the bump on her neck was and I said, "OHHHH MICHAEL, Eve's got a tick!" She was really brave while Michael grabbed a knife and slide the blade under the mouth part and put his thumb on the tick's head. He pulled and the tick let go after a brief tug. He hopped down and tried to wonder off, but I had Michael kill him. This upset Eve. She thinks that even ticks deserve to live. I, on the other hand, did not feel so inclined. They can play in the woods, but not on my family. From some of the tick pics I could find on line I think it was a male, but I'm not sure of the species. You may find Eve with a shirt, or poster that says, "Be Kind To Ticks Week", but I won't be at the rally.

We dropped by my mom and Jim's on the way home from the Easter festivities at dad's. The kids were refortified with bags of sugary treats. Grannies are the best!

:::::::::::::TESTING, TESTING...1, 2, 3...

Taylor kids 1, 2 and 3 are testing this week. They are taking the Criterion Reference Test. The reading portion was yesterday and I didn't hear any moaning and groaning, so I guess they felt okay about the questions.

:::::::::::::Time to Walk...
Daylights a wastin! Smiles!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I Am Scout

I enjoyed learning more about (Nelle) Harper Lee. I did not know that she was friends with Truman Capote. Learning of her home life in Monroeville, Alabama, the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird, was a revealing glimpse at some of the characters in the book. The writing flowed well and made me want to turn the pages. Nelle remained a nonconformist throughout her life in her manner of dress and language. Her overwhelming success with her first, and only published, novel accounts for her reluctance to put any other work out that would not live up to the first. Her love was writing and she had much of it, which she destroyed. Her desire for perfection and self-critism is our lose. One of the letters she recieved and her desired response was hilarious,
"Most of the letters lauded the book, but a few were angry, "In this day of mass rape of white women who are not morons, why is it that you young Jewish authors seek to whitewash the situation?" complained a reader. Nelle was tempted to reply, "Dear Sir of Madam, somebody is using your name to write dirty letters. You should notify the F.B.I." And she planned to sign it, "Harper Levy."

It was also interesting, to me, about the amount of research she compiled for Truman Capote's nonfiction novel In Cold Blood. He never gave her credit for her involvement in making people for comfortable enough to talk to him, or the copious notes and suggestions about the manuscript. You get a good feel for the reason he behaved this way from references throughout the book.

She had these words of advice: "Regarding people who were difficult to accept or respect, Nelle said, "Our response to these people represents our earthly test. And I think, that these pople enrich the wonder of our lives. It is they who most need our kindness, because they seem less deserving. Agter all, anyone can love people who are lovely."
Nelle Harper Lee is annoyed by those who seek to profit by her work and gets down right annoyed by autography hounds and those who want to license her work for selling trinkets. She reminds me of the comic genius, Bill Watterson, who created Calvin and Hobbes. You see stuff with Calvin and Hobbes, mostly Calvin urinating on something, and may not realize that NOTHING is licensed out by Bill Watterson. Everything is thus a copyright infringement. These authors want their characters to remain in their worlds, suspended in time, unsullied by our commercialism and crass whims. I think they have the right idea.
If you are a fan of the book and want to learn more about the life of Harper Lee this book is a great way to do just that. I found myself quite amazed by her sister, Alice, as well.

I'm off to the zoo. Later, gators!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Terracotta Warriors at The High

We enjoy history! I can dress them up, but taking them out is another thing.

Yep, this is the same kid who threw his coat up on the display of the Constitution:

The stack of glass for eternal reflection:

Noah loves seeing himself:

Eve was interested in seeing the horse:

What was that you said, Rachel?

I really liked this one:

This piece was seen in the film version of Pride and Prejudice:

The draping is magnificent!

Aaron was really confused by this piece:

This piece is listed as "Untitled", but Eve named it "Colorful Peanuts". Perfect name:

I think this is amazing:

Eve loved how the little girl only had one sock and that it drooped:

If you get a chance, visit The High Museum of Art.