House of Literature Bookmobile

This is the place I share book (movie) selections and reviews I have found worth mentioning. I'll also share gleanings of family life, faith, home education, and ongoing writing projects. Book selections will include children's books, books on home education, Catholic books, classics, series, raising children, and books that are made for reading under a shady oak tree with lemonade, in a bubble bath with a latte', or next to a snuggly fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

More Spongebob Wisdom

The other night my seven-year-old and I were sitting in the rocker watching TV. From the depths of the chair came a small voice. "Momma, do you realize that today is the tomorrow you thought about yesterday?"

(Tune from Twilight Zone playing!!!)

As I paraded this slogan around to family members for the next couple of days, I was met by a shrug and sceptism from my newly-turned twelve-year-old son. "She heard that off Spongebob," he informed me.

So much for my mini-philosopher and another point for a yellow sponge who lives under the sea.

Still, a mother's pride is limitless. It's ironic that my seven-year-old retained this quote and took the time to turn it over in her mind, ponder over it, and repeat it back to me. The brain is a sponge afterall.

Educational Mantra

Thanks go to Julie Bogart of BraveWriter and The Writer's Jungle for giving me my mantra for the remainder of this school year:
"Joy is the best teacher." ~ Julie Bogart

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's Day Offering

Years ago while attending college, I worked part-time in the church office. One day a dear priest-friend, Fr. William O'Brien (may he rest in peace), showed me an old tattered book of poetry. It was his favorite, he told me.

Around the Boree Log by Fr. John O'Brien is a book of Irish poetry.
My priest-friend read two poems to this young college student.
The Trimmin's on the Rosary
The Little Irish Mother

Read them. Grab a hankie to dry thy eyes. And please... add a trimmin' on your rosary in memory of a very dear holy priest Fr. William O'Brien.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Mine's the Best

Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall

We have the earlier black and white issue of this book. Yet, even without the colored artwork, its a sure belly tickler for my children.

If you, as the parent reader in the family, are needing practice on using voice overtures and expression in your reading tone and manner, this book is an easy starter. And your children will love it.

A Walk on the Wild Side with Jim Arnosky

We're doing a couple of Jim Arnosky Days at our house this week.
We're enjoying his books and his website.

Our library has several of his works, so we selected a few to get us started. The Crinkleroot series are the best.

Start with Crinkleroot's Guide to Walking in Wild Places.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Anybodies

The kids and I have been reading The Anybodies by N.E. Bode.
We are loving it!

And we have discovered the first 3 books hidden inside the story.

If you care to join us in the search, you can visit the webpage (click on *The Book* and scroll down) to see the list of 39 must-read classics.

I know the 39 books we're looking for, but I haven't told the kids the titles. I want them to listen carefully for the clues and I enjoy seeing their eyes looking at me in fetish suspense when they recognize a book we've read.

Speaking of which, the mystery book for our Summer Mystery Trip this summer is found in that 39 booklist at N.E. Bode's website.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Friday morning, Chels (age 7) came up to me waving her arms and said, "Look! I'm a photosynthesis."
( )

"A What?" I asked, amazed at my little encyclopedia.

"A photosynthesis."

My mind whirled in an attempt to remember what the word meant. I recognized the scientific term, but would not decipher it.

"Where on earth did you hear that?" I asked her, plenty amazed.

"On Spongebob!" she answered and went down the hall repeating the new word which she enjoyed rolling off her tongue.

Thus began another quick Google search and another lesson learned...courtesy of Spongebob.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Resilient Children

I spent the major part of this afternoon cleaning my two youngest girls' bedroom. Despite the fact I cleaned the girls' room right before Christmas, a mere three months later it was at its worst. I went in their room armed with a strong conviction to declutter, dejunk, detoy, etc.

My three older children have older toys, older everything. They have no desire for junky fast-food toys or cheap plastic toys that break or rubbery-made items from the dollar store. Their rooms might not be any cleaner, but everything in their rooms have a purpose.

The younger girls' room looks like a toy factory.

I held true to my commitment. I filled up the trash can outside which won't be emptied for another week. All was quiet and peaceful while I cleaned. I was not interrupted or pestered. It was a nice experience.

Then in walked the seven-year-old. Her first question was, "Momma, where's the doll whose eyes don't close?"

"You mean the one with paint across her forehead, nail polish on her body, and no clothes on?"

"Yeah. Where is she?"

We found her in the trash.

In walked the three-year-old who instictively knew something was amiss. Both girls both looked around aimlessly with a perplexed look on their faces. "Momma," said the seven-year-old, "what are we suppose to play with?"

I waved my hand at a full closet, a full toybox, and a dollhouse. "You'll play with what's here. Anything broken, torn, painted on, old, or not played with got thrown out. You still have lots to play with." I gave a comforting pat to the head nearest me and went back to work, leaving the girls to ponder their fate.

They heard the commitment in my voice and began to play. It was strange to watch them in that neatly decluttered room. There was nothing in the corners or under the bed or hiding under other toys on the floor. But they could not seem to find anything worth playing with. Every now and then a head would bob up, look around, then attempt to find something to play with.

It was more a case of re-evaluating the room, accepting the new standard, re-finding the equipment, and re-wiring their way of thinking.

I was at the television going through a Mt. Everest of video tapes and DVDs. The three-year-old moved closer to me while prattling about broken toys and asking where various favorite stuffed animals were. I salvaged a musical Barney who now sounded like a very sick purple dinosaur instead of the perky musician he is.

My 3-year-old occasionally came up to me with these directions, "Mommy, you don't touch my baby doll. O-tay?" or "Mommy, you don't touch my blanket. O-tay?" The first part was said in matter-of-fact command. The last part was a worried, guarded precaution against discipline and against the threat of Mommy not understanding the command.

In the end, the only thing the girls truly admired was the television stand. There were no longer any videos stacked around it or lying on the floor. And the accordian door could be shut perfectly over the videos that were recushioned inside their designated boxes.

The room has already been played in and the girls are now back at the kitchen table doing artwork.

I've always heard that children are resilient.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Reading in the Cow Pasture

With fond remembrance of our trips to the cow pasture last year (before the wintery season arrived), Chelsea wondered if we could revisit the horses and cows and stream and Pippi Longstocking.

So on Monday we packed a picnic, the Helen Ferris' poetry book, and Madame LaGrande and Her So High, to the Sky, Uproarious Pompadour by Candace Fleming (a 2004 Book Fiesta Author).

And we enjoyed a trip to the cow pasture.
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