My IRL bookclub meets the first week of June, and our selection this time is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I don’t know when I’ve read a better or more compelling introduction, so I wanted to make note of it here before I forget:
Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.
Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.
We went to the grocery story this morning, and truth be told, I seriously considered picking up drive-through burgers so I didn’t have to come home and deal with lunch on top of all that food we just bought. 😉 Once everyone was loaded up and we were on our way, though. Louise announced that she wanted buttered cornbread for lunch, so I thought, Why not?
I oiled my little well-seasoned castiron skillet and stuck it in the oven (set on 450 degrees) to heat while we unloaded the groceries. I eyeballed my cornbread batter–corn meal mix, milk, and one egg–and poured it into the piping hot skillet. (Preheating the skillet is a must to give the cornbread a thick and crispy crust.)
Both girls ate a slice with butter, while I opted for a couple of slices of medium sharp cheddar cheese in my cornbread “sandwich.” (I actually prefer sharp cheddar, but medium cheddar was what was already opened.)
This is really a little thick for my liking–I like a lot of crust and not a lot of “middle,” and one of my girls agrees with me and one doesn’t. Cornbread is a southern staple, for sure, and it’s one I grew up eating and now feed my family, even as the main feature at lunch. 🙂
For supper I tried out a new recipe–chicken fried rice from A Slob Comes Clean. It was a pretty big hit, even with my picky eaters, and I have enough rice and chicken (which I cooked this morning in the Crock-Pot with some poultry seasoning) stashed in the freezer for two more such meals.
Currently there are two 8″ round cakes cooling on the counter in preparation for the DLM’s early birthday party on Saturday. (My sister and one of my nephews are leaving on a mission trip to Honduras this weekend, so they’ll be out of the country on his birthday next week. We’re having our family celebration a few days early.) I’m using a new-to-me recipe for the cake and will frost it with white buttercream to look like a baseball. I’ll try to share pictures when it’s decorated.
Confession: picture books have all but fallen off my radar here at the House of Hope. I still read occasionally to the DLM and Benny (when he’ll let me), yes, and we have quite a collection of picture books here at home to pull from. Still, though, it’s something I want to be more intentional about this summer. As I’m beginning this post, Benny is napping and the other children are having quiet rest time. The DLM is listening to picture books on CD, which is something I intended to start with him most of the school year. I brought these home from the library a couple of weeks ago now, but only today have I managed to educate the DLM on how these things work. (He’s listened to plenty of audiobooks with the girls, but very few times has he had the opportunity listen and follow along in the book. So far, so good!) So today I am sharing a picture book that I read to go along with the girls’ history studies. Many of the picture books listed in the SotW activity guide are good ones, but I think this one deserves special attention.
William’s House by Ginger Howard is one of those narrative informational picture books that captivates its listener and teaches the listener something quite painlessly, even enjoyably. It’s the story of William and his family, newcomers to the New England wilderness in 1637. William sets out to build a house “like the house he grew up in, his father’s house, in England.” He makes it with a thatch roof, clapboards, wooden pegs, and a window made from scraped animal horn. William is quite satisfied with his home, with its corner fireplace and cornhusk-mattress beds. However, over time the New England environment and weather force William to make changes to his home: a root cellar must be dug, a clearing must be made due to the wind, cedar shingles replace the thatch, etc. When William’s cousin Samuel and his family arrive from England months later, Samuel remarks on how unusual the house looks. William introduces it as his “new” house. I love the gentle way this story introduces the impact environment has on one’s way of life. Larry Day’s illustrations communicate emotion and do much to enhance the story. Highly Recommended. (Millbrook, 2001)
We don’t read many picture books nowadays (sigh), but we have done a lot of reading since last month’s RAT. Here are the books we’ve read and I’ve reviewed:
I’ve tried to do a better job of checking out audiobooks and keeping up with the chapter books the girls listen to. I know this month they’ve listened to a couple of American Girl collections, Julie and Felicity, over and over (and over and over) again. We also listened to part of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. One big discovery for me this month was OneClickdigital, a service one of our libraries offers. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for audiobook enjoyment! 🙂
I don’t want to end this post without mentioning again the Read Aloud Revival podcasts that Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things is producing each week (?). It probably is just so much preaching to the choir as far as we are all concerned, but sometimes it helps to have your instincts and practices validated, right?
Please leave a link to your Read Aloud Thursday blog post(s) below, or share what you’re reading in the comments.
This year’s Homeschooling Mothers’ Bookclub selection is The Questionby Leigh Bortins. We were a part of a Classical Conversations community during the 2012-2013 school year, and we’re seriously considering rejoining our community this upcoming school year. Even if we don’t join, though, I think The Question will be a good book for me to read. Lulu has many of the signs of being in the dialectic phase, so I need to bone up on just what that means for us academically. I think anyone who’s interested in children’s intellectual development or who homeschools classically will get something out of this book.
I don’t want to rush through this one, mostly because my reading and thinking time is fairly limited these days. I will post a linky every other Wednesday, which I know is a long time between posts. You’re free and welcome to post more often. Some weeks I might post an individual post on each chapter, while other weeks I might share all my thoughts in one post. This is how I’ll divide up my posting:
May 28, 2014 (TODAY!)–Your “I’m in!” post
June 11, 2014–Linky for Part I, chapters 1-3
June 25, 2014–Linky for Part II, chapters 4-5
July 9, 2014–Linky for Part II, chapters 6-7
July 23, 2014–Linky for Part II, chapters 8-9
August 6, 2014–Linky for Part II, chapters 10-11
August 20, 2014–Linky for Epilogue and final thoughts
This gives you plenty of time to obtain a copy of the book (which is available through CC) if you want to read along. Any questions?
Yes, really. 🙂 Well, I’ve read more than that, but you’ll have to come back this Read Aloud Thursday for my round-up of all our read-alouds. 😉 I’ve dabbled in quite a few parenting and self-help books, too, but nothing I’ve reviewed or read through from cover to cover. This has been a particularly busy and stressful month, and during such times my ability to read drops off significantly. Things are looking up, though–I’ve taken myself off Facebook for the summer, and as of last Wednesday, we are officially on summer break. Now we all know that doesn’t really mean that I’ll have more reading time, but I am hopeful that I will be able to focus a bit more without the distractions of Facebook and the burden of school planning. We shall see. 🙂
The only hard-and-fast plans I have for the next month or two are to read my June and August books for my IRL bookclub: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. (The second title is the August bookclub selection, but I know myself–and Dickens!–well enough to give myself plenty of time to finish this one!)
I’m a sometimes-reader of the blog Amongst Lovely Things, and I am eager to read Sarah’s new ebook, Teaching from Rest. (Stephanie has an affiliate link in this post.) I think (maybe, maybe, please?) that I could learn a thing or two from a book with that title. 😉
Last (but certainly not least!), I intend to make a more concerted effort to read daily in Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon. I am (unfortunately) not the most devoted of devotional readers, but I’ve been trying to remember to read this one, and it almost never fails to make me stop and consider something I never have before. (This is an affiliate link to the Kindle version of Morning and Evening because it’s only $ .99!)
Well–it seems to me the only thing for me to do is to stop writing and start reading!