Friday, January 8, 2016

Tidbits and Snippets for January 8th

Restoring Chivalry and Civility - A great discussion on teaching children - with two extremely useful printables! (Cultivated Lives)

Is Eating Placenta Cannibalism? - Excellent points that even I, as an ardent placentophagist, had not considered.  (Holy Temple Under Renovation)

In Defense of Domesticity - Too much awesomeness to describe in a sound byte. Definitely catch this masterpiece of social commentary. (Crisis Magazine)

You Don't Need a Date Night - A good thing, too, since the last date night I had with my husband was approximately seven years ago. (
Not that there's anything wrong with date nights. There isn't, and they're great. But there is no doubt that date nights have, in modern times, been elevated to the status of an idol. Date nights are fun, but they're not the One Essential Ingredient to a good marriage. I think Ma and Pa Ingalls (who never had a date night, ever) might agree. 

Mommy Life and Getting Past Survival - Great thoughts here. See the comments for additional discussion. (Jess Connell)

It's Worth the Effort - "Keep teaching your children, mamas... Real parenting is tiring work that stretches and grows us, but it is so important." (Contentment Acres)
"I am seeing the gardens in my children's hearts, which I tended so carefully and prayed over so sincerely, bear fruit. Not only do I see God's work in their lives, but I am touched by it as they now minister to me. This has been surprising because I didn't expect to receive anything in return as I mothered them. I kept at it because I wanted them to know the Lord and do what was right. All my weary and often flawed efforts combined with God's grace has turned around and is blessing me in so many ways. Keep going, mamas. I know the road is rough, but it's worth the journey."

From the Bookshelf

Moving toward my goal of catching up on all the children's literature I missed the first time through...

The Mysterious Benedict Society

I've heard of this book for years, and finally decided to tackle it.
And... wow. It was awesome. A gripping story-line, insanely inventive language and plot... it was definitely a page-turner of the highest order.

My only caution is that this book can get a wee bit on the scary-creepy side. Don't hand it off to any easily-scared children. However, I think most teens should be able to handle this. 

Anyone else read this one?

The Penderwicks in Spring

This past week I finished reading the four Penderwick books, of which this one is the last. Did I like it? Yes and no. I liked it because I like the Penderwick series, but the actual story line I found both horrifying and sickening. Also, the resolution was weak - at best.

I am considering writing a review of the Penderwick series, simply to sort out my feelings about these books. I really have a love-hate relationship with them, and I'm not yet sure which predominates.

Any other readers out there who have read these books? Your thoughts?

Meet Julie

Question: How much feminist ideology can be put into one children's book?

Answer: More than I thought possible.

Whether you think that's a good thing or not depends on whether or not you are a fan of feminist ideology, and of teaching it to your daughters.

For myself, I was deeply and profoundly disappointed in this book.

Kildee House

A gentle book about a hermit, his animal friends, and the girl who befriends him. Slow-paced, enjoyable, and especially fun for animal lovers.

The Fifth of March

A fictionalized story of the time surrounding the Boston massacre, from the perspective of a female servant in the Adams household. Beyond a few minor complaints, it's an enjoyable read.

From the Recipe Box

Crockpot Enchilada Stuffed Green Peppers - These were fast, easy, and superb! I used this enchilada sauce recipe and a homemade spice packet using this recipe (I omited the cornstarch, sugar, coriander, and cayenne). I also added a couple of onions, sauteed, to stretch the meat.

Cookie Pizza - It only took me four and a half years after printing this recipe to try it. But YUM, it instantly became a family favorite. Do try it!

Have a wonderful week, dear readers! 


  1. Ha, love all the book commentary there! We loved The Mysterious Benedict Society. We enjoyed the first Penderwicks but didn't go on past that if I remember right. I never let my kids read the Julie books - ick.
    Right now we're reading Ella Enchanted and enjoying it. However the premise may not be a good fit for everyone. The girl is cursed (blessed by a fairy who doesn't think through her gift) and ALWAYS has to obey a direct order. You can imagine the trouble this causes. We're not quite halfway through the book and enjoying the discussions it brings up about what we do, what we say, and how we should treat others.

    For my own personal reading I just finished my first Victoria Holt novel. I'm still not sure what I think of it! She was an author who wrote under several pen names and this one was a gothic romance. The great parts: no inappropriate descriptions of any romance, it really pulls you in to the time period. The one I read was The Secret Woman.

    1. I'm glad to have a fellow "Mysterious Benedict" fan! That was such a creative and inventive book@

      "Ella Enchanted" sounds awesome. I am going to check it out right now. I am really enjoying catching up with all the great children's literature out there!

      "Meet Julie" was just plain ick. I only kept reading it (rather than tossing it down in disgust) because I was curious to see how awful it could get. And it really delivered - it just kept getting worse.

      Will try the Holt as well! Thanks for the recommendations!!

      Hope your newest little man is doing well!!

      P.S. The fourth Penderwick book. Oh, goodness. Well, I hope to write about it sometime. But a basic spoiler is that Batty (now 10 years old) overhears Skye telling someone that she (Skye) is angry that their mother didn't abort Batty and save her own life - i.e. they wanted and needed their mother, not another useless sister that the mother sacrificed her life for (by waiting till the pregnancy was over to treat her cancer). I was so sickened that I could barely finish the book. I'm still sick thinking about it. And the conclusion really didn't deal with anything - it just kind of wrapped up with everyone happy without doing anything about the horrific underlying issues. Oh, goodness.

      Love to you and the family!

    2. Oh my! We will be avoiding that book for sure. Sad commentary on today's literature.

  2. There are more Mysterious Benedict Society books. :) And they are all as good as the first. We've been hooked on them for several years now.

    We've avoided the Julie books.

    I'm delighted to see your recommendation for Kildee House--somehow we've managed to not know about that one. :) It's going right on my list.

    And Ann Rinaldi is a prolific writer of historical fiction that I quite like, but I don't hand her books off to my kids. I'm willing to let my older teens read her stuff, but not my tweens or younger kids.

    I've loved the Penderwick books! I must not have read this one, or I felt there was more resolution than you felt . . . or something. I don't remember. One of my teens recently reread the series, I'll have to ask her about it. Thanks for the warning.

    Wishing you well!

    1. Hi, Anne!

      Thank you for reminding me about the other "Mysterious Benedict" books! I have ordered books nos. 2 and 3 from the library. I can't wait. And I read the first book so quickly that I really need to re-read it. It was just so good that I really read it way too fast.

      Kildee House is a fun read. It's just quiet and gentle. Nothing shocking, nothing overly exciting. It's not a thriller or a cliff-hanger - just a slow-paced fun book. In that, it's unusual, because it doesn't have any huge attention-grabbing plot devices. Very quiet reading.

      Our library has only one Ann Rinaldi book ("Nine Days a Queen"), so I have ordered it! Thanks!

      I loved the Penderwick books too. That's why book #4 shocked me so much. They never actually use the word "abortion" in it - it's all wrapped up in other terminology. More like, "Mom sacrificed her life for a baby we didn't want." In other words, Skye wishes her mom would have treated her cancer (necessitating an abortion) so that they could have had a mom and not a sister. I almost didn't finish the book, and I couldn't enjoy it nearly as much as the others. I need to re-read it now that I've gotten over my shell-shock.

      Love to you and the 12!! :)


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