Friday, November 26, 2010

A Return to Modesty - Wendy Shalit

This was a very interesting look at modesty…the lost virtue. It was also very cerebral quoting many articles, studies, etc. I sort of glossed over that part, honestly.

I enjoyed, agreed with, and appreciated the premise. Modesty is a natural instinct. We have lost modesty in our modern world and, as a result, have lost what makes us uniquely women.

Wendy Shalit does an excellent job of detailing the issue of modesty through her research, personal experience, etc. This is not a religious view of modesty, but a societal one.

One thing I do disagree with is the future as Ms. Shalit saw it when writing the book in 1999. She writes of observing a change back toward modesty in the late 90s and believes that a modesty revolution was beginning. Of course, I have the knowledge and experience in living in the ensuing years and have to say: the modesty revolution fizzled fast if it was at all. And that is saddening to me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Creative Correction - Lisa Whelchel

My sister-in-law actually recommended this book to me when we were discussing parenting.

The copy I read was from the library. However, it is on my “to buy” list. While I got some ideas just through reading it, I would love to have it on the shelf to pull out and look up specific behaviors and corresponding consequences. Or even corresponding Scriptures. Lisa Whelchel does a great job of have Scriptures with most of her corrections (or rewards). And as a parent trying to raise her kiddos to love God and follow Him, I think that is important.

Jeff read it too. Our biggest take-away that we’ve implement so far is the “chore jar.” You know, sometimes there isn’t a consequence that fits the crime. Or there are ongoing infractions of the same rule. That’s when they visit the chore jar to pick a chore to do. These are the chores are bigger than their weekly chores. They are the things that need to be done but we never get around to doing (i.e. cleaning all the baseboard in the house, weeding/winterizing the flower beds). So the girls get to do them.

There is an added benefit to the chore jar. Our girls are both saving up money toward a goal. So we’ve assigned dollar values to each of the chore jar chores. Of course, if they are doing an extra chore as a discipline, they don’t get paid. however, if one of them has some extra time and wants to do an extra chore for extra money, we don’t have to think of one on the spot. They just pull from the jar.

I think this book would be a worthwhile resource for any parent – but especially for those trying to parent from a Godly worldview.

Fascinating Fact: Lisa Whelchel was Blaire on the T.V. show Facts of Life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Can of Peas - Traci DePree

Book Club book for November

Peter and Mae Morgan make a decision to change their entire life-style. They are leaving their city existence in St. Paul to move to Lake Emily, Minnesota, and take over the family farm. Their learning curve is steep as they learn about farming and try to find a place in this small community.

This book was pleasant…a nice story, nice characters…for the most part. It wasn’t until the end that the characters and the story really caught me and spoke to me on a deeper level.

One of the frustrating things for me was the dropped story lines that would come in and out. Not the background stories of the different residents of Lake Emily. Those were interesting and well done. It is more the story line of Trudy and Bert or Mae and her mother. Also, occasionally the pacing of the story didn’t make sense. On one page Mae is talking about how exhausted she is all the time, but the next page (when it doesn’t appear much time has passed) she has regained all the energy the early stage of her pregnancy had trained for her.

Still, it was a pleasant story if not completely satisfying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unlocked - Karen Kingsbury

I was so relieved to read this book. After watching Like Dandelion Dust, I was left a little adrift. The movie was so different from the book that I wondered if I misinterpreted the book. This is back to true Karen Kingsbury.

Unlocked tells the story of two teens with a history one of them doesn’t remember and a link in the past that will help them both and their families.

Holden Harris was a normal little boy until her turned three. Then he began retreating into his own world and was diagnosed as autistic. However, in his autism Holden understands more than most.

Ella has everything going for her when you look from the outside – the guy, the friends, the lead in the school musical. But on the inside, she is empty and alone as her family is disintegrating.

I really enjoyed how Holden and Ella interacted with each other. I liked the portrayal of Holden’s mother – frustrated yet committed to helping her son.

My only qualm with the book was the few times it was mentioned that Holden’s three year old vaccines were the cause of the autism. Those statements are always quickly followed with – well, just maybe. However, based on the research I have read, there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Regardless of that small qualm…the book is great.