Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm starting to suspect...

That we don't live in the best neighborhood. O.k., I actually already knew this. But still, here lately it's really been obvious.

First clue: weed-eater and gas can taken right out of our shed. And this was a while back, before gas prices hit $3.50 a gallon.

Second clue: FBI visit.

Most recent clue: our trash can has been stolen. Twice.

Yes, our trash can. Prince Charming and I actually looked for it last night, after the kiddos were in bed. The real kicker is that this is the second time this has happened. After the first time Prince Charming went out and bought a bigger, heavier can. Which was taken yesterday morning. So what are we supposed to do now, chain our new can to the house? And is it ridiculous to inform the police that your trash can has been taken? I suspect they have better things to do than look for a $15 trash can. But still...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Little Artist

Polly, my eldest light-of-my-life (I have two others, of course, not to mention Prince Charming), was this morning quite dedicated at a task before we left for visitation. As I called her, informing her it was time time leave, she skipped into my room.

"Okay, Mom, I'm all done artist-ing," she told me, handing me a sketch of Tigger's omnipresent water bottle (don't ask - and, just so you know, it isn't a baby bottle it's one of those sports bottles). The drawing was pretty good, if I do say so myself, for a six year old child of mine. I, who cannot draw straight line or round circle to save my life, was impressed.

And that, in a nutshell, is what you should know about my Polly. She is an artist-er of the highest quality in my life. Her cheerful attitude is contagious, her giggle is infectious, and her hugs are the squeezeiest. She brings color and perspective into our home, just like any good artist.

Done any artist-ing for the folks in your life lately?

Thursday, April 24, 2008


At ABCKIDS* last night:

Boy #1: "Well, boys are better than girls."
Boy #2: "Yeah, only boys are the same gender."

And no, I didn't ask for clarification!

*Our church's Wednesday night program for kids in 1st-6th grade, run by Prince Charming. This comment came after the girls beat the boys 2-1 in dodge ball at the end of the evening. Tensions were high.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yet Another Personality Quiz

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISTP)

Your personality type is reserved, methodical, spirited, and intense.

Only about 6% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 8% of all men

You are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Okay, I admit it, I find these quizzes addictive. Still, this is a good one.

Wordless Wednesday - A New Puppy*

* No, she isn't ours. She's more like a...cousin to my girls, since she belongs to The Princess. We're all quite taken with her (even Prince Charming has been seen to -gasp!- tolerate her).

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is what happens when...

Mom is fooling around with the camera for way too long for Tigger's taste: Smile? You mean like this?
How 'bout like this?
No? Well, just ignore her and maybe she'll go away.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Parenting God's Way

My friend Amy (not to be confused with my cousin Amy M. who comments here sometimes or my other friend Amy Jane) asked me what parenting verses are my favorite. I have many but here's the first thing that came to mind:

Deuteronomy 6:
1: Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
2: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3: Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6: And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.8: And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9: And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Not a passage that usually springs to mind concerning parenting, I know. The reason I'm focusing on this so much recently is that verse 7 really spells out just what a job this godly parenting thing is going to be. Do you get the impression that God intended us to be teaching our children about Him, oh, I don't know, 24/7?

That's what I mean by radical. Not only are we to love God with all our heart, soul, and might, we are to model this love diligently to our children: when we sit, when we walk, when we lie down, when we rise up. In other words: All.The.Time.

This is one reason Prince Charming and I are so dedicated to homeschooling (I understand all my readers may not be and that's fine, I'm not telling you what to do...yet). We don't have to worry about fitting in "quality" or "quantity time" that the "experts" are always talking about. We've got both in spades.

Another thing I see here is God doesn't tell the Israelites, "Make sure their schoolteachers do this" or "Make sure their friends do this". Nope. It's parents. "Teach...thy children". What an awesome (in the original sense of the word) responsibility!

Another Way to Lose Track of Time

So, if you're looking for another way to spend your time that could be better spent elsewhere, and I mean, what mom isn't? May I recommend Facebook? Prince Charming dragged me into it and, let me tell you, it's addictive. I guess this makes up for the fact that I insisted he must have a blog.

Yes, I take full responsibility for Doses of Reality. That was my idea, that he share his political views with everyone. 'Cause he's really smart - that's why I married him (that and his smile, his sense of humor, his eyes, his extreme niceness, his easygoing attitude, his...I could go on all day). He, because he's such a nice guy, talked his brother and me into contributing. I had no idea it would be so controversial. I confess, my experiences over there have put me off political blogging for maybe, forever...or maybe not.

But anyway, now he has 2 blogs and has dragged me into Facebook. You should see the rush for the computer at our house. It isn't pretty. Good thing my dearly beloved (Sometimes. O.K, most of the time!) brother-in-law has given us a laptop to use. Otherwise one of us might have to give up our computer time. And wouldn't we all hate for that to happen!

Friday, April 18, 2008

And to think I slept through it

So, did anyone feel the great earthquake of '08? Prince Charming insists that it woke him up. He must not have been too concerned because he WENT RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP. Way to protect our family, Dear. Ahem.

As for me? I never felt a thing. But then we've had "men at work" (Ha! Men standing around with heavy equipment is more like it...) on our road for the past, I don't know, eternity so our house shaking is really nothing new. And Sweet Pea (13 1/2 months old) has just, in the past week, started sleeping through the night. As I catch up on nearly 2 years of sleep deprivation nothing, absolutely nothing, disturbs me from midnight to seven a.m. Not even earthquakes.

Pondering Parenting: 2 Important Concepts

OK, I here and now promise that Fridays are not going to turn into my "parenting study recap day". Except when they do. Like now or last week.

While Prince Charming and I enjoy fellowship with the people in the class (who all attend our church) and really respect the class facilitator (who is also our Sunday School teacher) we are starting to see very little value in the class or curriculum itself.

The truth is the only reason we're in the class at all is because Prince Charming is on staff at church and some of the leadership thought it would encourage others to attend if we did. So there we are on Thursday nights, trying to encourage others while biting our tongues on what we would really like to say.

Prince Charming, on our drive home after class, pointed out that this is really just modern pop psychology with a Bible verse slapped on at the end. And that is not what godly parenting advice would look like.

So we made two full pages of notes for when we write our own book on parenting. Hold onto your hats, folks, it's coming. Maybe we'll wait to see how Tigger turns out first...

The first concept is that a book that purports to be what God says about families should actually include what God says about families. Shocking, I know.

The second concept is that there is no way to raise children in this sin cursed culture without getting...what's the delicate way to put this?...radical. You cannot do what every other modern parent is doing and expect to have different results with your kids just because you attend church or pray before bedtime. Sorry, that's not going to cut it.

And, much as I wish there were, there is not a formula for well turned out kids, other than following God's instructions as closely as you can. How I wish there were "magic verbiage" to use on Tigger when she is demonstrating the full awesome power of the temper tantrum or a magic formula to use on Polly when she is being trying to assume control of the household! (Have you heard those "learned verbiage" ads on the radio? They crack me up.) But, alas, there is not. And so we keep trying every day, keep searching the Bible for true wisdom, keep praying for guidance and patience, keep rejoicing in the victories that come every day too, if we only recognize them.

Meawhile, as you anticipate the future release of our parenting book, you might check The Bible. It's been around awhile and I understand it has excellent reviews.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a Glorious Day

Seriously, I don't think it can get much better than this:

- Warm, sunshine-y day, with a light breeze
- Windows open
- Sweet Tea or Raspberry Lemonade to drink
- "Flowers" picked because "We love you, Mommy!"*
- Prince Charming is on his way home after 3 days away

I submit to you that today is a nearly perfect day. Now if only someone would come and do my dishes and laundry for me then it really would be perfection.

*May or may not actually be "weeds". I'm not telling.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


To the best aunt in the world (that would be mine): Happy Birthday!
Hope your day is a great one!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Everyone's a Critic

Prince Charming preached last night. He's on staff at our church so this is not unusual. However, this time Polly was listening closely. Very closely.

As we prepared to go home she informed him, "Good sermon, Dad. I agreed with some of the stuff you said." (emphasis mine)

Right. Prince Charming didn't ask her to elaborate on just what exactly she didn't agree with.

And, for the record, I agreed with everything.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Got Irony?

So last night we ate supper at 4:15 p.m. This is not usual. The reason we were eating earlier than my grandparents (who consider 6:00 a late supper)? We had to be at Tae Kwon Do at 5:30 and it's 30 minutes from our house and we had to pick up the Bear.

And then, after the 45 minute TKD class, we had to be at church by 7:00 for a new parenting Bible study. (It's this one in case you were wondering.)

The very first lesson was about not over scheduling our children with activities and we're supposed to figure out what we can cut out so that we are working on "building relationships instead of pursuing experiences." (You can probably tell that I'm a bit skeptical of parenting small group classes or any small group classes, but I digress.)

Naturally the thought occurred to me, although I only whispered it to Prince Charming and did not share with the whole class, "If I wasn't at this study I would be home with my children right now."

Other than that I think most of the point he was trying to make escaped me because my own childhood can only be described as idyllic and I spend all.the.time with my own children, what with the homsechooling and all. And I'd say we're relationship and experience rich. But hey, the kids liked the Bible study because they got to play outside with their uncle (The Bear) and drink juice boxes, so it's all good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Answers, Please

Here are the answers to last week's movie quiz. Some of them you all got, some no one got. At least one was, according to my sister Lulu, "too vague." My apologies for that.

I think I'll do this again some time because it's fun and I haven't even scratched the surface of my all my favorites yet. (Actually #10 & the Bonus aren't my favorite movies but my family quotes them so often I had to have Prince Charming watch them before he married me just so he would know what we were talking about!)

1. Margaret Hale & John Thornton in North and South. Swoon. My actual favorite quote from this movie is right at the end, "You're coming home with me?" Swoon again.

2. Charles Bingley & Fitzwilliam Darcy in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. You knew that would be in this quiz somewhere, right?

3. Rosemary Hume in The Man from Snowy River. This is a quote we used quite often in our home growing up (we had 3 girls until The Bear came along when I was 14). Now in my own family Prince Charming is surrounded by the girls and yours truly. Male company is a pleasant relief.

4. Major Strasser in Casablanca (about Rick Blaine). No one guessed this but it is one of my all time favorite movies.

5. Cosmo Brown in Singin' In The Rain. This movie is, in my mind at least, absolutely perfect in every way. I have the 2 disc DVD set and the 2 disc CD soundtrack set. Both see regular rotation in our house.

6. Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. My favorite Star Wars movie but, as I said, I love 'em all.

7. Jerry to Lucy in While You Were Sleeping. Another movie that is quoted quite often in our family. I'm not endorsing everything in this movie but it is very cute and unobjectionable for the most part.

8. Mr. Snow to Carrie Pipperedge Snow in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. This musical is sad but sweet. The original cast recording has better music but the movie is beautiful.

9. This is the one that Lulu said is too vague and she's probably right. It could be from several different movies, I suppose. But I was thinking of Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring.

10. This is a comic western called Support Your Local Sheriff. The first quote is by the Marshall (played by James Garner) and the second quote is by Miss Prudy Perkins.

Bonus: Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. My dad is always quoting this. "Don't drive angry." "He might be alright...well, maybe not now."

So how'd you do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A conversation...

Polly: "Mom! Tigger is filling my tea cup with her pretend tea and I wanted to fill it myself."
Tigger: "But Mom, I'm sharing."
Polly: "I don't want your pretend tea, I want my own pretend tea."
Me: "Tigger, let Polly use her own pretend tea but thank you for sharing."

Glad we cleared that up. Don't you wish your problems were so easily solved?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Masterpiece's Sense and Sensibility Part 2

Last night the second half of Andrew Davies' Sense and Sensibility adaptation concluded the "Jane Austen season" on PBS. All in all, I'm afraid it was not what I had hoped for. The high point was the always superb 1995 Pride and Prejudice. None of the new adaptations (Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility) really captured my heart. Miss Austen Regrets was well done but I am not likely to buy it as I can't really imagine watching it again. Emma was decent but I think the Gwyneth Paltrow version remains chief in my affections.

But what about Sense and Sensibility, you ask?

What I liked:

- Hattie Morahan as Elinor did grow on me. Loved the scene where she drinks the cordial Mrs. Jennings had brought Marianne!

- Edward is still Hugh Grant wannabe but I found him likable and charming; perhaps too charming for Edward, but that may be too critical. I think the Emma Thompson version did a better job of depicting the connection between Elinor and Edward but again, I may be feeling too critical this morning.

- Mrs. Dashwood. In this adaptation I felt Mrs. Dashwood's discomfort at being uprooted from her home and tossed into a new life. Gemma Jones, while an excellent actress, seemed a tad too comfortable in a cottage in the previous adaptation.

What I'm Indifferent About:

- Col. Brandon. I just don't have much of an opinion concerning him. I guess the way I can describe it is just "meh".

- The Palmers, The Middletons, The Miss Steeles. Although I will say that Lucy Steele didn't seem nearly catty enough.

What I Disliked:

- Charity Wakefield as Marianne. Didn't buy it. Didn't like her. Didn't much care what happened to her at the end of the movie. Kate Winslet must be a hard act to follow but still, give us something.

- Willoughby. Ditto everything I said about Marianne. And since when is Willoughby a hobbit? And I ask this as someone who likes hobbits. In summary: Not handsome, Not charming, Not interesting, Not Willoughby.

- Being hit over the head with the symbolism stick. Taming a horse, get it? Falcon flying and returning, get it? Did you get it? Elinor removing her drawing of her former home and putting up one of the cottage, did you get it? Ugh. Give the audience a little credit please.

So my rankings for all the new adaptations would probably look something like this:

1. Northanger Abbey: A- for effort. Liked the characters, disliked some elements of the story telling. I'm going to buy it and I will watch it again although I'm still waiting for someone to make a definitive version of this story that is faithful to the charm and wit of Jane Austen's original.

2. Sense and Sensibility: B- and that's a generous grade for all the reasons listed above and last week. Will probably still buy it and watch it again at least once. Worth seeing despite its flaws and you should fast forward the first scene. You won't miss anything, I assure you.

3. Persuasion: D. Too many unforgivable transgressions. Although Captain Wentworth is good. Will not buy it and will not watch it again (I've seen it twice and that's one time too many.)

4. Mansfield Park: F. No, no, no. Although Pug was good. Will not buy and further, will discourage everyone I know from watching it or buying it.

So what did you think?

Apparently I Don't Exist

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

This Just In...

After stumbling upon a You Tube video last night, I have decided that I will not be watching the Masterpiece version of A Room With A View in a few weeks.

Why, oh why do filmmakers feel the need to tinker with stories that are already perfect in every respect? Sure, you may think it's a great idea to end the movie with Lucy and a random Italian guy instead of George but that isn't the way Forster wrote the book.

I'm shaking my fist at you Andrew Davies. Shaking my fist and muttering things not lawful to be uttered.

That is all.

Friday, April 4, 2008

March Homeschool Review

Our school review for the Month of March:

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Reading: Lessons 171-191 in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.

Independent Reading: 10 books or Easy Readers. Plus Polly is now reading every box, every sign, every label, etc. I consider this a positive thing although it can be tedious at times!

Grammar: Lessons 53-62 in First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind. Many of these lessons include copywork and dictation that must be done. No new poems this month but we reviewed all of the old ones.

Math: Lessons 85-102 in the Saxon first grade book.

Science: More books from the library about the human body and several projects we included in our Science notebook.

History: Chapters 10-19 in The Story of the World Volume 1. We skipped several chapters because we believe they are in the incorrect order.

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing (Nesbit's).

Picture Study: 1 work by Van Gogh, 1 work by Renoir and a book about Leonardo Da Vinci. Made another art notebook for pictures and articles we've been cutting out of magazines.

Phys. Ed: 9 Tae Kwon Do lessons. Plus far too much "practicing" at home for my taste ("No, you may not practice your roundhouse kick on me!") Several nice spring days to play outside and dig in the dirt. (Polly is the tidiest child who ever enjoyed digging in the ground!)

Quiet Time: Listened to Pinky Pye, Now We Are Six, Winnie-the-Pooh (unabridged), and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle on tape or c.d.

Family Read Alouds: Prince Charming finished reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader and is currently reading The Silver Chair to us at the girls' bedtime.

Special: Saw Robin Hood at our Children's Theatre. Had one glorious snow day (a Saturday) and made snow cream. Went to the library 7 times. Enjoyed a visit from Aunt LuLu. Celebrated Easter Sunday with one set of grandparents and one set of great-grandparents.

All in all a most satisfactory month!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Movie Meme

Amy of Untangling Tales had this game going last week. Her movie choices were really hard! I think I knew maybe two or three. Mine will probably not be so difficult, but here goes:

The rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. I’ll re-post this with all the answers in a week or so.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. That’s cheating, and that’s no fun!

Oh yes, if you go back through my archives you can probably figure these out easily but that would be cheating too!

1. Woman: "It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your duty to rescue my reputation!"
Man: “I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!”

2. Man #1: "I shall never understand why you go through the world determined to be displeased with everything and everyone in it."
Man #2: "And I will never understand why you are always in a rage to approve of everything and everyone that you meet."

3. "Male company will be a pleasant relief in this hothouse of female emotions."

4. "You give him credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he's just another blundering American."

5. "You have to show a movie at a party. It's a Hollywood law."

6. "You must unlearn what you have learned."

7. "You're born into a family. You do not join them like you do the Marines." (Given as counsel from one character to another)

8. Husband: "You'd think a woman with nine children would have more sense."
Wife: "If I had more sense I wouldn't have had nine children."

9. "I know what I must do, it's just that... I'm afraid to do it."

10. "The way prices are in this town I figure I’m going to go broke about 2:30 this afternoon." Or: "I'm sick and tired of these stupid things that keep happening to me - and somebody better do something about it soon!"

Bonus Movie: "Too early for flapjacks?"

These are a selection from some of my favorite movies and some of my favorite quotes. I can't always use my favorite quotes because then the game would be over and it obviously isn't all my favorite movies because I only listed 11 and I have so many favorites!

Answers here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WFMW - A Thrift Store Tip

O.K, so this may not fit Shannon's theme for today (greatest hits) but it's something I've been meaning to share for awhile now.

Who likes to shop at thrift stores? (Me! Me!) My favorite local thrift store does not...prepare yourself...have dressing rooms. That is correct, you cannot try on your finds before buying them.

Except we do. Shirts are easy, as are dresses, because you just slip them on over your clothes. Pants and some skirts, not so much. But I won't buy things I'm not sure of.

So here's what we do: put on the largest, widest, longest skirt you can find off the thrift store racks. Now you can slip in and out of whatever you need to, and still be, ahem, covered. It works for me! Because, you know, who wants to spend $1.00 on something that doesn't fit? I kid, I kid.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Books of 2008 - March

Just as a reminder, I don't list my Bible reading, books read to the girls, books on tape (unless specially noted), or magazines. Here's my list for March:

1. Rhett Butler's People. Fiction by Donald McCaig. Well...it was better than Scarlett. It actually pretends like that sequel never happened. Unfortunately this book is not compelling. He gets Scarlett and Melanie all wrong. Melanie is my favorite GWTW character so I found this unforgivable.

2. Sew Subversive. Non-fiction by Melissa Alvarado, Melissa Rannels, & Hope Meng. Craft book. Some cute ideas here.

3. Home by Choice. Non-fiction by Brenda Hunter. I first saw this mentioned over at Amy's blog. This book is one that I should have truly enjoyed and appreciated. After all, I stay home with my kiddos, I homeschool and I encourage others to do so. And I do all this because I believe it is best. Unfortunately this book was, in my oh so humble opinion, poorly argued and far too dependent on modern psychological assumptions. I don't know about you but I get a little worried when Christians start quoting Freud as gospel. I'm not saying psychology has no redeeming value (Hey, I have a counseling degree!) but I believe the Bible should be our foundation, not psychology. I told Prince Charming that this book actually made me want to dump our kids in Christian school and go out and get a job. Yeah, I'm rebellious like that. No fear, I'm not actually going to but it's no thanks to Ms. Hunter!

4. 501 Movie Stars. Non-fiction by Steven Jay Schneider. This one I'm not proud of. I have a weakness for popular culture and trivia games, is all I can say in my defense.

5. The Battle of Britain. Non-fiction by Richard Overy. First saw this recommended over at The Common Room. This is an excellent, quick read. Informative but not academic.

6. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Fiction by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Oh my stars and garters, WHY have I never read this book before?! This is one of the classics that I somehow missed back when I was a teenager (too busy reading way too much "Christian Fiction", I suppose). This book is so, so good, funny, exciting, and romantic. I think I have a teensy crush on Percy Blakeney now (Prince Charming isn't worried). Why has no one made a decent movie of this yet? Prince Charming and I watched the old Leslie Howard version just last night. It was good but surely someone today could give this book the treatment it deserves!

7. More Charlotte Mason Education. Non-fiction by Catherine Levison. A helpful and encouraging book.

8. Warm Fuzzies. Non-fiction by Betz White. Another craft book. So, so cute.

9. The Darcy's Give a Ball. Fiction by Elizabeth Newark. I first saw this mentioned over at Austen Blog. This book is all right but it has several typos, far too many characters and it reads like fan-fiction. Honestly, I've read better fan-fiction. Skip.

10. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. Non-fiction by Dana Thomas. Interesting. I kind of expected a rich folk whining screed, "Oh, everyone has nice things now, what ever will we do?" It had a touch of that but it was mostly enjoyable and included some history I'd never considered.

11. The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Fiction by Mary Street. What can I say, I'm on a Jane Austen spin-off kick! This book was also mentioned over at Austen Blog. This one is waaay better than #9 above. It's Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's POV. Ms. Street does not add characters or implausible situations. The book is enjoyable, funny, and, most importantly, faithful to Jane Austen. My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer.

12. Cranford. Fiction by Elizabeth Gaskell. Sweet. I read this because I intend to watch the PBS Masterpiece Theatre version in a few weeks. Now that I've read the book I have no idea how they'll make a movie out of it. This book is a bit more accessible than North and South but then, it doesn't have John Thornton or Margaret Hale, or any central story line, so it isn't as riveting.

13. The Case for Classical Christian Education. Non-fiction by Douglas Wilson. Well, I agree with many of this author's points about our modern education system. He is strongly for Christians starting classical schools. All of his points lead, in my mind, much more to homeschooling than starting up some alternative school. This is not a very practical book and it is unfortunate that he does not see where his own logic breaks down.

14. Howards End. Fiction by E.M. Forster. Not quite as funny as A Room with a View, this book is still fascinating and full of memorable characters.

15. Homeschooling for Excellence. Non-fiction by David and Micki Colfax. Written in 1988, these parents are famous homeschoolers because their sons were accepted into Harvard and Yale (they chose Harvard). At the time of this book homeschooling was still illegal (or at least highly difficult) in several states. This is encouraging reading, although dated. We fortunately have many more options in homeschooling today than the Colfax family did then. Although I'm not sure I appreciate all the options as I plow through the Rainbow Resource catalog in preparation for a new school year!

There you have it, another month's worth of reading. I'm currently reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism (when I can get it away from Prince Charming) and another P&P sequel.

Oh, a special note to Lulu: you would really enjoy #6 and #11. Let me know if you read them!