Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, A bit of Goodyear History.

So yesterday was my 16th wedding anniversary and we decided that rather than getting someone to watch the kids we would head out and finally see something we had wanted to see this past year ad a half. We went out to visit the Stan Hywet House and Gardens.

Granted the gardens were not a whole lot to look at right now. I really wanted to go during the spring or summer but with baby number 4 on the way I don't want to risk missing it all together.

The kids really enjoyed running around and finding things. Before we went we watched two things on You Tube. One was a video about the Tudor Revival style of architecture which just so happened to feature the Stan Hywet house. The boys watched and took notes in their minds of things they wanted to look for in the house. We also watched a three part video about the beginning history of Frank A. Seiberling who was the owner of Goodyear tires. The boys learned all about how he started his business and all of the technological advancements the Goodyear Research team developed. 

Sorry, no pictures of the inside. They are not allowed.

Lucky for us the weather was not to bad and were were able to enjoy both the house and the grounds. With lunch at Olive Garden, a lot of walking, and dinner at Five guys you cant go wrong.

Look around your area and see if you have any historical sites you can visit. It may seem as if it would be boring to you and your kids but give anything a try and you may be surprised what will interest your kids.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lego gift ideas

DIY Travel Lego Case, What to do with old baby wipes cases, DIY Lego Box, Travel Legos, Wipebox wipes case, Fun wipes case,
So I am going Lego crazy and putting together a lot of lego fun for kid gifts this year. So I figured I would share. First idea I want to share I just found nad not sure if I am going to make it even though I really want to. It is this great travel lego case you can make yourself. Visit this site for more info. I may make one just for the fun of it. The boys are always asking to take some Legos places with them and I always say no. This could change that :)

The next one is a jar that I filled with 144 Lego challenges so there can be endless play for the new Lego builder and to expand the imagination of the experianced builder.  Here is the list so you can use it to.
Build something using only 40 blocks
A pet
A jungle animal
A house
A boat
A birthday cake
A car
A maze for you hot wheel car
A cell phone
A monster
A bike
A skateboard
A castle
Build something using 100 blocks
An instrument
A computer
A tree
A two story house
A barn
A lamp
A Stove
A toilet
A table with chairs
A Christmas tree
A Park
Something from the sky
A bird
A dog and cat
A farm animal
A zoo animal
A small animal
A large animal
A truck
Build something using only 4X2’s
Build something using only bricks
A mosaic of your choice
A USA flag
Your house
A flower
Build a cup and drink water from it.
A room in your house
A bathroom
A classroom
Favorite food
A square pizza
A garden
A band
A Disney character
Something Star Wars
Something carton
Something for dinner
Something for dessert
A church
A ghost
A witch
A sock
A cactus
Something you love
Someone you love
An elephant
A super tall tower
Connect all of your legos and measure it.
The alphabet
A pencil
A baby
The shape of the state you live in
One of the seven continents
A mountain
A volcano
A person taking a bath
A potato
A stove
A rainbow
The cover of your favorite book
The sun
The moon in 3D
A picture frame for a picture you draw
A clock
A vegetable
A fruit
A couch with a person sitting on it
Your name
A face
A jack-o-lantern face
A monster truck
A piece of art and text it to someone
A baseball field
Grandma and Grandpa
A shoe
A bowl of cereal
A mouse
A horse
A giraffe
A bridge
A bridge with a car on it
Something Star Trek
An alien
Something that makes you smile
Something in your yard
Something that flies
Something you dream of
Something you want
Something you can grow
Something that is gross
Something red
Something green
Something blue
Something yellow
Something old
Something in your bedroom
Something in the kitchen
A constellation
A ball
Something a girl would use
Something a boy would use
Your favorite book character
Your favorite movie character
Your favorite place to go
A family of ducks
A picture of someone you live with
Your family
A scooter
Bed with someone sleeping in it
A bear
A nose you can stick your finger in
A robot
A space ship
An alien space craft
A basket
A pretty Easter egg
A wagon
You own Lego sign
A tree during the winter
A squirrel
A rat
An important person in history
Solar system (how far apart are the planets)
A present
An airplane
A tractor
A sky scraper

A train

Yes it is a big list. I placed them in mason jars with a cute tag. I also used cleaned jars from pickles or jam.

I included a Family Fun book to give ideas for family lego play. Not all parents had legos as a kid right. Well I dint know if thats true. But at this link you can print out the entire 10 page color book of great family Lego fun activities. 

Duplo Pattern Towers Busy Bag @ AllOurDays.comLego Brick Tac Toe is one of the fun yet symple things you can do.

lego animal alphabet cards I - L
On this page you can find printable Duplo Pattern cards. But they can be used for regular legos too. There are quite a few of them and I just threw them into a zip lock bag. It was so nice to find something I could just print out. 

Are you looking for a way to make letters fun? Check out these great lego animals that a mother is creating to add a fun eliment to learning the alphabet. Visit her blog and print out letters A-T.

I also made my own lego counting sheet and a sheet for counting by 2's and 4's.

Along with these lego activities I have sent a 650 piece lego bricks bucket so they will have what they need for these activities.  I hope you enjoy this and feel free to tell others about my blog. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo Woo Hoo!

Here I go again and it aint doin so well. Half was done with the month and i am only at 17,000 words of my 50,000. We shall see how I do.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Men

So Little Men has got to be one of my favorites so far. It is up there with The Lonesome Gods and The Secret Garden. So many great lessons learned. I need to read it again and see how the Mrs. Bhear reacts to things better. I need to work on this. My boys learned a lot. If they apply it today... that is another question. I am taking a class online right now through Abigail Adams Academy and we have talked about doing character mapping. This is kind of like doing a web brain storm or a pedigree chart about the characters. You can just work on character relations. Or you can also note personality traits and take note of what made you believe this.

I wish I would have done this for this book because I found it a little hard to keep the kids all strait. Who are the biological children and who has what traits. What faults is Mrs. Bhear trying to refine in each child. There are just a whole lot of children to keep track of. We are not starting The Red Pony and I plan on doing character mapping with my kids with this book.

At the end of each book we love to sit down for movie night and watch the movie. I did not think we were going to get to do this for Little Men. But at Wal Mart I happen to run across the 1940 version. I was so excited and it was the final push I needed to get the kids to really sit still and want to finish the last few chapters. It is not a small book. We sat down with out no bake cookies and low and behold. The movie was nothing like the book at all. We were all disappointed. The characters had the same names and Dan had a bad attitude but that we about it. Mrs Bhear was a strong headed lady who talked to her husband as if he was an idiot and Nat was just in the back ground. They even changed Dan's back story. To say the least. Don't waist a second of your life on the movie. It is a waste. There was one done in 1934 but I do not know anything about it.

I just found out that there is another book after this one titled Jo's Boys(Alcott's 1886 novel) 

For tose of you who decide to read this wonderful book here is a little character help. As you can see...there are a lot of characters.

The Boys and Girls of Plumfield

  • Nathaniel "Nat" Blake: A twelve-year-old orphan, who lived as a street musician. He was discovered in a cellar by Mr. Laurence and brought to Plumfield. Although he has a habit of lying and is far behind the others in school at first, he is thoughtful, caring, and talented with a fiddle, quickly becoming one of the "favorites".
  • Daniel "Dan" Kean: A neglected fourteen-year-old orphan, who is brought to Plumfield by Nat. At first, he proves to be a rough, ill-mannered boy, who doesn't seem to trust or care about anyone, aside from Baby Teddy. After breaking nearly all the rules of the school, he is sent away, although later he finds his way back to Plumfield, where Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer take him in again, helping him become a kind and responsible person.
  • John "Demi" Brooke: John and Meg Brooke's nine-year-old son. Demi is scholarly, and would much rather read a book than play sports with the other children. He loves to spend time with his twin sister, Daisy, and his Grandpa March. He has been nicknamed "the deacon" and is very innocent and sweet, and is another one of the "favorites".
  • Margaret "Daisy" Brooke: John and Meg Brooke's nine-year-old daughter. She is Demi's twin sister, and loves her brother very much. Although she has many dolls that she lovingly cares and cooks for, she had to spend a lot of time alone because the boys wouldn't let her play games with them. Mrs. Jo tried to solve this problem by providing a miniature kitchen, but, later, Daisy's loneliness is primarily ended when Nan came to live at Plumfield. She is described as "sunshiny and charming" and delights in housework such as cooking, cleaning, washing, and sewing.
  • Thomas "Tommy" Bangs: An eleven-year-old boy who means well, but manages to get himself into some kind of trouble constantly. However, he is very well-tempered and friendly, and in spite of his many pranks and carelessness, he gets along well and is another "favorite".
  • Annie "Nan" Harding: A ten-year-old girl who is determined to prove that girls can do anything boys can. When her mother died, she ran wild, so her father readily agreed to send her to Plumfield when Mrs. Jo proposed the idea. She is quite skilled when it comes to caring for the boys' minor injuries and wants to become a doctor when she grows up, deciding she doesn't want any family to "fuss over", to Daisy's shock.
  • Robin "Rob" Bhaer: Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer's five-year-old son. He is attached to his mother and is very loyal to her. He also likes to be a part of the other children's activities, such as huckleberry picking.
  • Teddy Bhaer: Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer's two-year-old son.
  • Emil Hoffmann: A fourteen-year-old boy who is raised by his uncle, Mr. Bhaer. He has an intense love for the sea, and wants to be a sailor when he grows up. He is very determined, refusing to give up in a fistfight with Dan. Although he is guilty of having a bad temper, he is outgoing and friendly.
  • Franz Hoffmann: Emil's responsible sixteen-year-old brother. He goes on errands into town for the school until Dan takes the job. He is the oldest boy at Plumfield and helps Mr. Bhaer teach classes.
  • Ned Barker: A fourteen-year-old boy, called "Blunderbuss" because he regularly runs into, trips across, or knocks things over by accident. He likes to brag but isn't very brave and is described as someone that "could very easily be led astray".
  • Jack Ford: A twelve-year-old boy who was sent to Plumfield because it was cheap. He steals Tommy's money and allows Nat and then Dan to be blamed for the theft. After this uproar, he runs away, leaving a letter confessing that he was the thief. After Jack's uncle hears about these events, he thrashes Jack and forces him to return, not realizing that his nephew was only following the example he put forth.
  • George "Stuffy" Cole: A twelve-year-old boy, spoiled by his mother and her many sweetmeats. He is overweight, constantly talks about food and hates exercise.
  • Dick Brown: An eight-year-old boy with a crooked back. At first, some of the boys make fun of him, but then they learn to accept him. He is an amiable boy, so much that Demi solemnly asks if having a crooked back makes a person good.
  • Billy Ward: A mentally challenged thirteen-year-old boy. When younger he was remarkably intelligent, until an episode of brain fever. Although the Bhaers struggle to teach him things as simple as the alphabet, they continue to patiently and tirelessly work with him. Billy is especially fond of Nat and loves listening to him play the violin.
  • Adolphus "Dolly" Pettingill: An eight-year-old boy with a stutter. Mr. Bhaer tries to cure him of it by making him talk slowly.

Other characters[edit source | editbeta]

  • Josephine "Jo" Bhaer: The owner of the school and the "mother" to all of the children. She lives a very busy life, taking care of her husband, sons, and students at Plumfield, and visiting her mother and sisters. She is described as having a "merry sort of face" and rightly so, for she is cheerful person, still tempted to play the children's games.
  • Friedrich (Fritz) Bhaer: Mrs. Jo's husband, Rob and Teddy's father, and Franz and Emil's uncle. Originally from Germany, he is a kind-hearted, wise and caring man, taking the time to talk and spend time with each child as well as directing their education.
  • Theodore "Laurie/Teddy" Laurence: Amy's husband, and good friend of Jo, who is the only one allowed to call him "Teddy". He is a fun-loving, wealthy young man, and is very generous when it comes to the needs of the school and its students. He makes frequent visits to the school, usually taking his daughter Bess with him.
  • Elizabeth "Bess" Laurence: Laurie and Amy's five-year-old daughter, nicknamed "Goldilocks" or "Princess". She often visits Plumfield, where she is almost worshipped by the pupils. She lives a very sheltered life and is horrified by cruelty or dirtiness.
  • Asia: The cook employed at Plumfield. She is sometimes irritable but loves the children.
  • Mary Ann: A pretty maid employed at Plumfield.
  • Margaret "Meg" Brooke: Daisy, Demi, and Josie's mother, John Brooke's wife, and Mrs. Jo's oldest sister. She loves her family dearly, and quietly cares for each of them. 
  • Amy Laurence: Jo's youngest sister, Mr. Laurence's wife, and Bess's mother. A feisty character in "Little Women", she lacks any distinctive personality in "Little Men".
  • Josephine "Josie" Brooke: John and Meg Brooke's four-year-old daughter and Daisy and Demi's sister. She receives many hand-made clothing articles from Daisy.
  • John Brooke: Meg Brooke's husband and Demi, Daisy, and Josie's father. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Case for Good Taste in Children's Books

Found this article in a newsletter that I receive from 

Hillsdale College. With how into books my family is I 

felt that I needed to share this with others.

July/August 2013

Meghan Cox Gurdon
Children's Book Reviewer
The Wall Street Journal

The Case for Good Taste in Children's Books

MEGHAN COX GURDON has been the children’s book reviewer for the Wall Street Journal since 2005. Her work has also appeared in numerous other publications, including the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, the San Francisco ChronicleNational Review, and the Weekly Standard. In the 1990s, she worked as an overseas correspondent in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London, and traveled and reported from Cambodia, Somalia, China, Israel, South Korea, and Northern Ireland. She graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in 1986 and lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and their five children.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on March 12, 2013, sponsored by the College’s Dow Journalism Program.
ON JUNE 4, 2011, the number one trending topic on Twitter was the Anthony Weiner scandal. I happen to remember that, because the number two topic on Twitter that day—almost as frenzied, though a lot less humorous—had to do with an outrageous, intolerable attack on Young Adult literature . . . by me. Entitled “Darkness Too Visible,” my article discussed the increasingly dark current that runs through books classified as YA, for Young Adult—books aimed at readers between 12 and 18 years of age—a subset that has, in the four decades since Young Adult became a distinct category in fiction, become increasingly lurid, grotesque, profane, sexual, and ugly.
Books show us the world, and in that sense, too many books for adolescents act like funhouse mirrors, reflecting hideously distorted portrayals of life. Those of us who have grown up understand that the teen years can be fraught and turbulent—and for some kids, very unhappy—but at the same time we know that in the arc of human life, these years are brief. Today, too many novels for teenagers are long on the turbulence and short on a sense of perspective. Nor does it help that the narrative style that dominates Young Adult books is the first person present tense—
“I, I, I,” and “now, now, now.” Writers use this device to create a feeling of urgency, to show solidarity with the reader and to make the reader feel that he or she is occupying the persona of the narrator. The trouble is that the first person present tense also erects a kind of verbal prison, keeping young readers in the turmoil of the moment just as their hormones tend to do. This narrative style reinforces the blinkers teenagers often seem to be wearing, rather than drawing them out and into the open.
Bringing Judgment
The late critic Hilton Kramer was seated once at a dinner next to film director Woody Allen. Allen asked him if he felt embarrassed when he met people socially whom he’d savaged in print. “No,” Kramer said, “they’re the ones who made the bad art. I just described it.” As the story goes, Allen fell gloomily silent, having once made a film that had received the Kramer treatment.
I don’t presume to have a nose as sensitive as Hilton Kramer’s—but I do know that criticism is pointless if it’s only boosterism. To evaluate anything, including children’s books, is to engage the faculty of judgment, which requires that great bugbear of the politically correct, “discrimination.” Thus, in responding to my article, YA book writers Judy Blume and Libba Bray charged that I was giving comfort to book-banners, andPublisher’s Weekly warned of a “danger” that my arguments “encourage a culture of fear around YA literature.” But I do not, in fact, wish to ban any books or frighten any authors. What I do wish is that people in the book business would exercise better taste; that adult authors would not simply validate every spasm of the teen experience; and that our culture was not marching toward ever-greater explicitness in depictions of sex and violence.
Books for children and teenagers are written, packaged, and sold by adults. It follows from this that the emotional depictions they contain come to young people with a kind of adult imprimatur. As a school librarian in Idaho wrote to her colleagues in my defense: “You are na├»ve if you think young people can read a dark and violent book that sits on the library shelves and not believe that that behavior must be condoned by the adults in their school lives.”
What kind of books are we talking about? Let me give you three examples—but with a warning that some of what you’re about to hear is not appropriate for younger listeners.
A teenaged boy is kidnapped, drugged, and nearly raped by a male captor. After escaping, he comes across a pair of weird glasses that transport him to a world of almost impossible cruelty. Moments later, he finds himself facing a wall of horrors, “covered with impaled heads and other dripping, black-rot body parts: hands, hearts, feet, ears, penises. Where the f— was this?”
That’s from Andrew Smith’s 2010 Young Adult novel, The Marbury Lens.
A girl struggles with self-hatred and self-injury. She cuts herself with razors secretly, but her secret gets out when she’s the victim of a sadistic sexual prank. Kids at school jeer at her, calling her “cutterslut.” In response, “she had sliced her arms to ribbons, but the badness remained, staining her insides like cancer. She had gouged her belly until it was a mess of meat and blood, but she still couldn’t breathe.”
That’s from Jackie Morse Kessler’s 2011 Young Adult novel, Rage.
I won’t read you the most offensive excerpts from my third example, which consist of explicit and obscene descriptions by a 17-year-old female narrator of sexual petting, of oral sex, and of rushing to a bathroom to defecate following a breakup. Yet School Library Journal praised Daria Snadowsky’s 2008 Young Adult novel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, for dealing “in modern terms with the real issues of discovering sex for the first time.” And Random House, its publisher, gushed about the narrator’s “heartbreakingly honest voice” as she recounts the “exquisite ups and dramatic downs of teenage love and heartbreak.”
The book industry, broadly speaking, says: Kids have a right to read whatever they want. And if you follow the argument through it becomes: Adults should not discriminate between good and bad books or stand as gatekeepers, deciding what young people should read. In other words, the faculty of judgment and taste that we apply in every other area of life involving children should somehow vaporize when it comes in contact with the printed word.
I appeared on National Public Radio to discuss these issues with the Young Adult book author Lauren Myracle, who has been hailed as a person “on the front lines in the fight for freedom of expression”—as if any controversy over whether a book is appropriate for children turns on the question of the author’s freedom to express herself. Myracle made clear that she doesn’t believe there should be any line between adult literature and literature for young people. In saying this, she was echoing the view that prevails in many progressive, secular circles—that young people should encounter material that jolts them out of their comfort zone; that the world is a tough place; and that there’s no point shielding children from reality. I took the less progressive, less secular view that parents should take a more interventionist approach, steering their children away from books about sex and horror and degradation, and towards books that make aesthetic and moral claims.
Now, although it may seem that our culture is split between Left and Right on the question of permissiveness regarding children’s reading material, in fact there is not so much division on the core issue as might appear. Secular progressives, despite their reaction to my article, have their own list of books they think young people shouldn’t read—for instance, books they claim are tinged with racism or jingoism or that depict traditional gender roles. Regarding the latter, you would not believe the extent to which children’s picture books today go out of the way to show father in an apron and mother tinkering with machinery. It’s pretty funny. But my larger point here is that the self-proclaimed anti-book-banners on the Left agree that books influence children and prefer some books to others.
Theodor Geisel
Indeed, in the early years of the Cold War, many left-wing creative people in America gravitated toward children’s literature. Philip Nel, a professor at Kansas State University, has written that Red-hunters, “seeing children’s books as a field dominated by women . . . deemed it less important and so did not watch it closely.” Among the authors I am referring to are Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Ruth Krauss, author of the 1952 classic A Hole is to Dig, illustrated by a young Maurice Sendak. Krauss was quite open in her belief that children’s literature was an excellent means of putting left-wing ideas into young minds. Or so she hoped.
When I was a little girl I read The Cat in the Hat, and I took from it an understanding of the sanctity of private property—it outraged me when the Cat and Thing One and Thing Two rampaged through the children’s house while their mother was away. Dr. Seuss was probably not intending to inculcate capitalist ideas—quite the contrary. But it happened in my case, and the point is instructive.
Taste and Beauty
A recent study conducted at Virginia Tech found that college women who read “chick lit”—light novels that deal with the angst of being a modern woman—reported feeling more insecure about themselves and their bodies after reading novels in which the heroines feel insecure about themselves and their bodies. Similarly, federal researchers were puzzled for years by a seeming paradox when it came to educating children about the dangers of drugs and tobacco. There seemed to be a correlation between anti-drug and anti-tobacco programs in elementary and middle schools and subsequent drug and tobacco use at those schools. It turned out that at the same time children were learning that drugs and tobacco were bad, they were taking in the meta-message that adults expected them to use drugs and tobacco.
This is why good taste matters so much when it comes to books for children and young adults. Books tell children what to expect, what life is, what culture is, how we are expected to behave—what the spectrum is. Books don’t just cater to tastes. They form tastes. They create norms—and as the examples above show, the norms young people take away are not necessarily the norms adults intend. This is why I am skeptical of the social utility of so-called “problem novels”—books that have a troubled main character, such as a girl with a father who started raping her when she was a toddler and anonymously provides her with knives when she is a teenager hoping that she will cut herself to death. (This scenario is from Cheryl Rainfield’s 2010 Young Adult novel, Scars, which School Library Journal hailed as “one heck of a good book.”) The argument in favor of such books is that they validate the real and terrible experiences of teenagers who have been abused, addicted, or raped—among other things. The problem is that the very act of detailing these pathologies, not just in one book but in many, normalizes them. And teenagers are all about identifying norms and adhering to them.
In journalist Emily Bazelon’s recent book about bullying, she describes how schools are using a method called “social norming” to discourage drinking and driving. “The idea,” she writes, “is that students often overestimate how much other kids drink and drive, and when they find out that it’s less prevalent than they think—outlier behavior rather than the norm—they’re less likely to do it themselves.” The same goes for bullying: “When kids understand that cruelty isn’t the norm,” Bazelon says, “they’re less likely to be cruel themselves.”
Now isn’t that interesting?
Ok, you say, but books for kids have always been dark. What about Hansel and Gretel? What about the scene in Beowulf where the monster sneaks into the Danish camp and starts eating people?
Beowulf is admittedly gruesome in parts—and fairy tales are often scary. Yet we approach them at a kind of arm’s length, almost as allegory. In the case of Beowulf, furthermore, children reading it—or having it read to them—are absorbing the rhythms of one of mankind’s great heroic epics, one that explicitly reminds us that our talents come from God and that we act under God’s eye and guidance. Even with the gore, Beowulf won’t make a child callous. It will help to civilize him.
English philosopher Roger Scruton has written at length about what he calls the modern “flight from beauty,” which he sees in every aspect of our contemporary culture. “It is not merely,” he writes, “that artists, directors, musicians and others connected with the arts”—here we might include authors of Young Adult literature—“are in a flight from beauty . . . . There is a desire to spoil beauty . . . . For beauty makes a claim on us; it is a call to renounce our narcisissm and look with reverence on the world.”
We can go to the Palazzo Borghese in Rome and stand before Caravaggio’s painting of David with the head of Goliath, and though we are looking at horror we are not seeing ugliness. The light that plays across David’s face and chest, and that slants across Goliath’s half-open eyes and mouth, transforms the scene into something beautiful. The problem with the darker offerings in Young Adult literature is that they lack this transforming and uplifting quality. They take difficult subjects and wallow in them in a gluttonous way; they show an orgiastic lack of restraint that is the mark of bad taste.
Young Adult book author Sherman Alexie wrote a rebuttal to my article entitled, “Why the Best Kids Books are Written in Blood.” In it, he asks how I could honestly believe that a sexually explicit Young Adult novel might traumatize a teenaged mother. “Does she believe that a YA novel about murder and rape will somehow shock a teenager whose life has been damaged by murder and rape? Does she believe a dystopian novel will frighten a kid who already lives in hell?”
Well of course I don’t. But I also don’t believe that the vast majority of 12-to-18-year-olds are living in hell. And as for those who are, does it really serve them to give them more torment and sulphur in the stories they read?
The body of children’s literature is a little like the Library of Babel in the Jorge Luis Borges story—shelf after shelf of books, many almost gibberish, but a rare few filled with wisdom and beauty and answers to important questions. These are the books that have lasted because generation after generation has seen in them something transcendent, and has passed them on. Maria Tatar, who teaches children’s literature at Harvard, describes books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Books, and Pinocchio as “setting minds into motion, renewing senses, and almost rewiring brains.”
Or as William Wordsworth wrote: “What we have loved/others will love, and we will teach them how.”
* * *
The good news is that just like the lousy books of the past, the lousy books of the present will blow away like chaff. The bad news is that they will leave their mark. As in so many aspects of culture, the damage they do can’t easily be measured. It is more a thing to be felt—a coarseness, an emptiness, a sorrow.
“Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as if it does not matter.” That’s Roger Scruton again. But he doesn’t want us to despair. He also writes:
It is one mark of rational beings that they do not live only—or even at all—in the present. They have the freedom to despise the world that surrounds them and live another way. The art, literature, and music of our civilization remind them of this, and also point to the path that lies always before them: the path out of desecration towards the sacred and the sacrificial.
Let me close with Saint Paul the Apostle in Philippians 4:8:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

And let us think about these words when we go shopping for books for our children.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Armor of God

So my boys are becoming very excited to be knighted. It will happen this weekend and they can not wait to receive their new swords. Once they are knighted we will be spending the month learning about the whole Armor of God.

In Ephesians 6:11 it says Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

We will be learning about what each piece of the armour represents and its importance to us.

The scriptures continue with the following and outlines what each piece does represent.

 12 For we awrestle not bagainst cflesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the drulers of the edarknessof this world, against spiritual fwickedness in high places.
 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery bdarts of the wicked.
 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
Here are two cut outs one could use for teaching. I like them because they are not to childish but ad a visual element
But for the younger ones here is a great coloring sheet.
I hope this gives you some great ideas on how you could teach your children about the Armor of God. Let me know if you have done anything extra fun on this topic for Family Home Evening or at church.
Here is a great talk by N. Eldon Tanner titled "Put on the Whole Armor of God." 


Special Witness: The Shield of Faith” 

“To Be a Knight” 

“Friend to Friend”


"Dare to do Right" LDS Childrens Song Book 158
click the above link to hear the song.