Annie

Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

What to Read?

In Books and Movies, Musings on August 28, 2013 at 1:14 am

I don’t think you have to read my blog for very long to notice I love books.

It really makes me sad when people can’t find good ones for their kids. Now, I totally understand the lack of good children’s literature these days. It’s getting harder and harder to find clean books for pre-teens and young teens. Judging by their age they could be reading Young Adult over in the Teen section, but then you go over there and it’s all zombies, vampires, end of the world and forbidden love. Nothing against you if you like that kind of stuff, I’m just of the opinion that this is not appropriate, especially for kids of this age.

So what can they read? My favorite books of course.

Don’t laugh. I’m not being arrogant. It just happens that most of my favorite books are considered Juvenile Fiction at our library. I’m quite serious. I’ve found that the best books are the old “young people’s books.”

They are mostly innocent, generally old (there are some exceptions), sometimes challenging, usually epic and always worth your time.

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is pretty much my favorite one on the list. Most people know the story of the March girls so I’m not going to go into much detail. Suffice it to say this is a great book for and about strong girls.

2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Fiery redheaded Anne. Another book that is near and dear to so many people. The story of an orphan girl who goes to live with an old maid and her bachelor brother has charmed young girls for over a hundred years. While she can be a drama queen, I love how she sees the poetry in ordinary life. Another book in my list of/for strong girls.

3. A Wrinkle In Time (book 1# of the Time Quartet) by Madeleine L’Engle

This is one series I have read over and over again, main reason being because I love Sci-fi and books with strong, complex heroines. Meg Murry is the oldest child of two geniuses, and the older sister of yet another, while she is about average in most ways. There are so many things about this book that I love.  The explanation and expectation of quantum physics? The fact that she actually has a good home life? Meg’s relationship with Calvin that stays sweet without getting overly romantic?  Another thing, I love it when the evil is obviously wicked. I like for the good guy to wear a white hat and the bad guy to wear a black hat. It’s fine for their minions to not be so apparent, but I want to know who I’m rooting for. I’ve just gotta say, there is an exceptionally short list of books I have read more than once, but this and the rest of the series are on that list. I could go on for a long time about how much I love this book, seriously, just go read it (or listen to it on Grooveshark!). This is not just for girls by the way.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Does this series really need an introduction? Most of us start our journey to the fantastic land of Narnia with four children sent out to the country to escape the air raids in London. Although I have mostly listened to the audio book,  this is another series I have read/heard many times.

5. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Another one that requires little discription. This is the precursor to the Lord of The Rings trilogy, the story of how Bilbo Baggins gets the ring in the first place. My reason for putting it on this list instead of the Trilogy is because it is more of a fairytale than the others. If you feel that your child is mature enough I would definitely recommend the rest of the books as well.

6. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

I had several, unrelated, unacquainted people tell me to read this book. It’s a very basic fairytale, which is what I love about it.

7. Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Another one of my favorites. I have a thing for whimsy and surreality. The colorful world he creates for Alice to venture off to in her dreams is just he kind of place I love to read about.

8. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

High adventure in the Highlands. A young boy finds out he is the true heir of an estate is sold to pirates and shipwrecked, only to take arms with a Jacobite rebel and journey across Scotland to regain his rightful inheritance. Wha! It’s just exciting to think about!

9. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

A good classic adventure story about a family’s life after being shipwrecked on a tropical island.

Something about leaving that at 9 bothers me, but to stick with only my favorites for this age range it will have to stay that way.  There are many others I could list that are perfectly fine and clean, but I just don’t care for them. A very short list of books that are fine but bore me: Caddie Woodlawn, The Little House books, The Secret Garden, Pilgrim’s Progress. I know, I’m a bad Christian and a bad homeschooler.

Most of these books are in the Juvenile Fiction section of the library, and yes, I still read them and love them. I have no intention of growing up and losing my imagination or sense of wonder.

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The Best is Yet to Come

In Books and Movies, Farm and Family on August 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

Have you noticed it? That fantastic chill in the breeze every once in a while? The sudden shiver running up your spine, down your arms and out your fingertips? Ah. It’s coming. Given, it’s still a ways off, but every once in a while…

Fall. Autumn. Harvest.

It’s almost time for hot chocolate, plaid flannel, bonfires, hoodies and jeans. I’m so ready. Fall is, in the words of Lola, “my favorite and my best.”

I’m so ready to snuggle down with a book and a cozy blanket and do nothing. In reality I’m not going to get to do that very often. I am doing Bible Quiz again, which will take up a bunch of time. I have my doula stuff. I’m trying to get a job. But reading is on my list of things to do.

It’s such a relief to not have schoolwork hanging over my head like an anvil threatening to drop at any second. I do need to take the ACT/SAT (not sure which I’ll do), but I don’t really have a deadline for that.

I’m sitting here in my flannel shirt I found at the thrift store. It is red and white and very cute. I don’t really care that it is the middle of August (Although it has been an extremely cool one). I really can’t put into words how excited I am for the fall. I just love the “ber” months. Have you ever noticed that the months that end with “ber” are chilly, but not icy (for the most part, end of December excluded). It’s cool and fresh feeling. It’s like the new beginnings of Spring, but without all the pollen and allergies.

One of the books I plan to read, or rather finish, is “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars- Verily, a New Hope.” Meg, Claire and I were at Target last Saturday and we wandered into the book section. I must say, even though it still has all the junk that Walmart does (You know the ones, the serial authors who won’t shut up and already have 25 books) Target has a lot of cool stuff that Wally world lacks. We were walking through and saw a set of books directing you to “Wreck This Journal.” We opened them up and started reading the instructions. They are basically busy books for grown ups. Stuff like “completely color this page”, “get this page dirty” and then some really bizarre things like “Tongue painting” which instructed you to eat a colorful piece of candy and then lick the page in the designated circle. Next to these awesome titles we saw “Shakespeare’s Star Wars” and had to open it up. I stood there and read the first page out loud in the store. So you know the opening credits of Star Wars? In a galaxy far, far away? And you know Shakespeare’s famous prologues? Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean? Yes. This book is such an awesome representation of my tastes in entertainment it’s not even funny. I may even do a new header to include it. It is the whole story of the classic and fantastic Star Wars, episode IV, a New Hope, in verse. Complete with 20 line long soliloquies and Stormtroopers. I am totally geeking out about this book! It has some really awesome potential also. It would be a great introduction to Shakespeare. You could know the story without reading the modern english or the side-by-side versions.

Other books on my list for this fall include (other than books for my training):

The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare (The real one)

Life The Universe And Everything, Douglas Adams (third in the Hitchhikers Guide series)

Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey

I wish my list could be longer, but I’ve got 5 others to read for my certification.

Well, I haven’t done a random, newsy sort of post in a while, so I hope you enjoyed this little taste of my life.

When the Future May Be Different

In Musings on August 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm

What infertility can mean to a conservative Christian girl.

A few months ago I was told I have poly-cystic ovary syndrome and that it can be difficult to have children naturally.

I had done my research and suspected it for months, but to hear the words come out of the doctor’s mouth and not my own hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like the judge’s final statement, finding you guilty of some heinous crime and sentencing you to death, when you had done nothing wrong.

But why is it such a big deal? A little medical assistance and you can start your family, right? If nothing else, you can adopt.

That one line is very presumptuous.

The reason possible infertility feels so much like the black spot is not just because you can’t have children. That is a large part of your womanhood and worth grief. But also because of the role of the woman in the conservative Christian culture.

Girls are trained and brought up to be help meets. We spend our whole lives preparing for that special day when we seal our lives together with our fantastic, but as of yet, unknown husband. We learn to cook and to clean and keep a house in proper running order. We save our kisses and hearts for him, forsaking all others, and waiting only, patiently for him. In our endeavor to protect our precious hearts from being given freely away, we often end up avoiding young men all together. We ofttimes end up not thinking of them as brothers, but as potential husbands, and not necessarily our own. They are someone else’s future husband. I saw a quote the other day that basically said “I’m loving my husband that I haven’t met, and keeping pure just for him.” How much can you assume in one phrase? 1)You are assuming that you will get married. 2) You are assuming you have not met the man you will marry. 3) You, a fallible human being are assuming that you are “pure”.

Wow. You are perfect? You alone? You are made into a perfect, brand new creation through Christ. But on your own you can’t keep that up. Are you keeping pure only for your future husband? What about the one who makes you pure? The one who casts your sins as far as the east is from the west?

But all that aside (That is a whole other can of worms), what about those of us who aren’t so pure and perfect? What about us damaged goods?

And that is where infertility ties in. If you can’t have children, you can’t hold up that role of wife and mother that we all want, and are trained to have. Even if you have never even had a crush, you are now damaged goods. You feel unwanted and unlovable. A man who wants to have as many blessings as the Lord allows is not going to want to knowingly get into a situation where those blessings are unlikely.

What if instead of being loved because of the future you can have together, you are loved because you are smart, funny, beautiful, unlike anyone else? What if even above all that, you were loved because you are a perfect child of the King? What if instead of looking down on you, people empathized with you?

I’m not saying this out of bitterness, please don’t take it that way, I’m saying it because I think it needs to be said.

Electric Daisy

In Musings, Pictures on August 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

I feel like that’s a good description of me. Simple and plain, yet complex and different. Le song

I’m done with my series about camp. Sigh. So, now I”m not sure what to write about other than recent happenings. It’s been about two months since I’ve posted an actual update, so for now I have plenty to talk about. 🙂

Some things haven’t changed though. I’m still jobless. I still volunteer at the library.  My only source of income is babysitting, and that has been going slow. I’m still living at home. I’m still Annie. I’m still a child of God. I still write; for better or for worse, whether you like it or not (of course, you can always stop reading).

In some ways it feels like this Summer has been going on forever. The heat. The lack of a job. The lack of school. It feels like it is never going to end. Thankfully we’ve had some cool days recently, but even that doesn’t change it much. Endless Summer. I’m not talking about a tanning lotion or something.  For whatever reason I was thinking of August as being the end of Summer. I’m not sure why. We are getting closer, but it’s not really fall yet. We still have about a week left before the schools start around here (we don’t start until after Labor day), but even then it won’t actually be fall. Just be cold, would ya!

I start my journey of becoming a doula this month.  I’m really excited, but extremely nervous. For years I’ve been looking forward to beginning my quest to become a midwife. Now that I’m finally here, I’m not sure that it’s what I want anymore. I still love birth and I still think it is part of God’s plan for my life, but I do have other options. Before this year I never thought I could do anything else. I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, but I could learn a trade. Midwifery was something I could do from home. I could be a stay at home mom. But I realize now, I was putting myself in a box. As ridiculous as it sounds, if  you know much about midwifery at all you know that it isn’t something to be taken lightly. I wasn’t thinking big about something that is a big deal.  DSCF0532

I had been hinging too many things on my obligatory, impending husband. The assumption that I would get married at a young age and have children right off the bat. The normal Christian-conservative-homeschool-girl dream. What a twisted idea. That a man would fix my “problems” and make me “right”. This was a very subconscious thing for me; I’ve never really been very traditional. These ideas sneak in like the silent shadows of poison vapor and they are very hard to wake up from. There is only one man who can do “fix” me, and I already have Him.  Unhappy wives, marriages in shambles, kids with broken hearts. I’m seeing, more and more, how true it is that “it’s better to have no man than to have a sub-par one”.

I’ve discovered that I really love to write and that I’m not dumb. I could go to college.  I could study journalism (to my broadcast journalism, former DJ mother’s great joy). I could expand my academic horizons.

I deeply love reading. I could open a used book store. It would be complete with spiral staircase. Even if it didn’t really need it, there would be perhaps a little landing with a comfy chair. The walls would have old newspaper clippings and there would be cushy chairs everywhere. We would only have hardbacks and specialize in old books. It would be a place for everyone who loves good literature, young or old. There will, of course, be at least one shop cat.

I am a person that needs adventure. My parents have known this, it’s part of the reason they sent me to California all by myself when I was not even 10. I must travel or I will grow dim and witless (name that book).

So maybe I will end up a missionary midwife and ride around in the bush tending women in their strongest, yet weakest moments. Or I might be a foreign concordant and inform you on the news of the world. And maybe I’ll wind up being the eccentric book and cat lady who disappears every once in a while, to who knows where. And at some point I might find a man who makes me feel like slowing down, but not much, and begin our joint adventure.

Two things are certain. I will still be Annie, and everything that means; and I will always end up back home.

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