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!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

We Are Safe!

Dear Family & Friends,
We are safe and staying at Lake Claiborne National State Park.
It is a beautiful place and the state is allowing us to stay for free (including free laundry service). Everyone has been so nice and helpful. I'm beginning to look upon Homer, Louisiana as my second home. It reminds me a lot of Sulphur.

We evacuated on Thursday afternoon due to Hurricane Rita threatening the Gulf Coast area. We made it to North Toledo Bend that night but were evacuated further north in the morning. My brother, parents, and grandmother evacuated with us. There were 11 of us living in our camper trailer.

The hurricane went upwards along side of Sabine Pass which separates Louisiana from Texas. We live in Sulphur, Louisiana, near Lake Charles. We received devastating winds that were recorded at 135-140 mph. My uncle and aunt rode the storm out and said from 1-4 AM it sounded as though a freight train was directly outside their door. They stayed in the hallway under mattresses.

The living conditions in Sulphur are horrible. My brother, husband, and oldest son drove back home on Sunday to survey the damages and try to secure the property. No flooding, only wind damage. Lost lots and lots of trees. All our homes are safe and relatively undamaged except for missing shingles. My oldest son had an apartment on the back of our property that had a pecan tree fall on the back of it. It fell on the room he had placed all his personal items hoping they would be safe.

The National Guard is there now and not allowing anyone to enter the parish.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Awesome Writing!

When I read Danielle Bean's blog and articles, I am left humbled and in awe---and inspired. I often share her entries with friends because I want them to feel the feelings I feel when reading her lovely words. Mothers will delight in reading anything written by Danielle Bean.

Here is another beautiful, humorous, delightfully realistic article...a must a wonderful Catholic author ~ Mrs. Danielle Bean!

Exactly my point...

As I was saying about Anne Rice in an earlier post; I'm wondering what her beliefs are and where her faith lies. Seems she's leaving behind the vampires and witches in an attempt to write about Our Lord.

I hope the attempt is a good one.

Monday, September 19, 2005

It Is Finished!

The Vatican has published The Final Days, Last Words of Pope John Paul II .

( - The Vatican has published an official account of the final days of Pope John Paul II.

In a supplement to the official Acta Apostolicae Sedis, dated April 17 but released for sale at the Vatican bookstore on September 19, the account covers the period that began with the first announcement that the late Pope was troubled by "flu-like symptoms" on January 31, and ended his funeral.

The 220-page account, which is being sold at a price of 9 euros ($11), is written primarily in Italian, with some passages of Latin included. Acta Apostolicae Sedis is an official gazette for the Holy See, consisting of official notices edited by the Secretariat of State. There are 12 issues each year, with an annual index. Ordinarily the publications are in Latin, although special editions are occasionally presented in other languages.

After the death of a Roman Pontiff, the Vatican Secretary of State typically prepares an account of his last living moments, which is then published as a special issue of Acta Apostolicae Sedis. In this case, however, the account goes beyond previous precedents by offering a chronicle of the last several weeks of the Pope's life as well. A note at the conclusion of the account explains that this fuller story was prepared in response to numerous requests-- from Church figures and the public at large-- for more complete information about Pope John Paul's final days.

The Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) account describes the last actions of the deceased Pope and includes his will and spiritual testament, the official announcement of his death, and a story on the funeral and listing of the official delegations in attendance. All of the messages of condolence that poured into the Vatican from government and religious leaders are included...Continue to Read More...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Magic Hill

The Magic Hill by legendary A.A. Milne (famed author of Winnie the Pooh)

Someone mentioned this book to me a long time ago.
Assured that it was a keepsake and a treasure in years to come,
I bought it for my baby daughter.

She will turn eight years old in October 2005.
Today we read this book for the hundred time (give or take a few).

It has proven to be a keepsake and treasure to my little girl.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Elizabeth and Darcy Paperdolls

What do ya know!
The Wonderful World of Internet even has moveable online Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy paperdolls for Pride and Prejudice lovers.

What I'm Reading Tonight!

I have begun reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

I tried to read this a few summers ago (at the prompting of my friend Chari) and failed miserably. I could not seem to get over how silly it was that the only thing these ladies worried about was finding a man to marry! I'm afraid that even dear Scarlett O'Hara of 1860 gentility would have called them ninnies! My goodness! but we have evolved!

Now I take this novel up again with a renewed spirit to read this autumn on the stationary bike at the aquatic center. I have come to realize what my friend tried telling me two summers ago: this story takes place in a different time, in a different world. Setting your mind inside a certain time period helps in relating to a novel.

I am well into it now, safe enough to say that I'll finish it by winter's end. Perhaps now is the season for myself and Jane.

My friend Chari would be SO proud of me; if she only knew.

Storybook Annie

My youngest daughter (age 3) thinks that this picture is of her.

It bears a very close resemblance, the hair being very much the same.

She often asks me to bring it up on the computer just to look at. Today, while admiring her imaginery-self, she said, "Yep, that's me and my book!"

A much younger picture of her is on the right.

~ Celebrate the Constitution Day! ~

Today is the official Constitution Day.

It is a day that Americans are encouraged to look into this great American document.

Here's a good place to start.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Anne Rice a Catholic New Orlean Native!

Author Anne Rice gives new meaning to the saying You can't judge a book by its cover.

Go here to see the picture of St. Theresa the Little Flower at Anne Rice's website.

She also gives two addresses for donation assistance for Hurricane Katrina survivors:

"Hello guys, and my thanks again for the outpouring of love which has come from all over to embrace the victims of the storm in the south. Here is another address I would like to give you for people I know very well who are taking care of a hundred or more evacuees. I'm sure they can use whatever you can send. I am speaking of the monks of St. Joseph Abby; St. Benedict, Louisiana, 70457. Help can be sent to the attention of Abbot Justin Brown."

"You have donations you can make -- material goods perhaps, cash, whatever. Well I have a key address for you: -- Fr. Joseph P. Callipare; St. John Catholic Church; 303 So. Navy Blvd; Pensacola, Florida 32507. -- Fr. Joe was my pastor during the summers I lived in Florida and he is a great priest and a great man. His school is taking in some 42 children who are part of the evacuation from the storm."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What a Nun! What a Life!

Raymond Arroyo of EWTN The World Over has written this book on the most inspiring nun of our day and age.

Mother Angelica was released from Doubleday Publishing on September 6, 2005.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


This week our nation has focused on the aftermath and recovery of Hurricane Katrina, the 4th Anniversary of 9-11, and---most recently---the death of little Susan Torres.

We are want to ask "Why, Lord?!"
Here are two book recommendations for September:
The Cross at Ground Zero by Benedict J. Groeschel

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cher' Petite Babe'

Dear Little Baby! (Cher' Petite Babe')
August 2, 2005 ~ September 11, 2005

Susan Anne Catherine Torres safely in the arms of her Mama and Heavenly Father!

Please keep her Daddy and big brother Peter in your prayers.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I Stand Corrected...

My daughter brought me her paper on Clara Barton to proofread. While reading it, I noticed she had Ms. Barton down as Founder of the AMERICAN RED CROSS.

Well, bust my buttons! I didn't know there was a difference. Kayleigh set me straight. There is, in fact, an International Red Cross and an American Red Cross. There is even a Canadian Red Cross and, probably, many others as well.

Clara Barton founded the AMERICAN Red Cross as a sister-act to the International Red Cross that so inspired her into public service.

Least We Forget

Time to go to your local library this weekend and pick-up book selections for the Fourth Anniversary of 9-11.

My girls and I discovered another book this week. It is pleasantly suitable for this anniversary day. Sitti's Secrets is poetically written by Naomi Nye and beautifully illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. The pictures entranced my girls through a whole sitting.

It's about a little girl who lives in America, on the other side of the earth from her grandmother Sitti who lives in Palestine. While visiting Sitti, the little girl learns all kinds of different things yet realizes that, even though they don't speak the same language or do things exactly the same, she and her Sitti are very much connected. They just live on different sides of the world.

At book's end, my seven-year-old asked me if the letter the little girl wrote to the President was real and if she had sent it to him following 9-11. I began looking for more information in the book's cover and copyright pages. I did find that the author dedicated the book to her Sitti so there is a good chance the book is based on a real visit; but the copyright date is 1994 so it is not a 9-11 book.

But, if you read it to your children on 9-11, it does in fact become a 9-11 book.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

September Featured Author of the Month

Author Ellen Jackson is our featured author of the month at Book Fiesta.

Each month a new children's author is announced and featured at Book Fiesta. Discussion about this author and his/her books is held at House of Literature.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Founder of Red Cross

Just got home from the library. My oldest daughter is writing a report on Clara Barton~ Founder of the Red Cross.

She has Clara Barton--Founder of the Red Cross by Christin Ditchfield and
Clara Barton--Healing the Wounds by Cathy East Dubowski.

While registering at the dance studio, tanking the vehicle and stopping at Sonic for ice cream, she read quickly through A Discovery Biography Clara Barton--Soldier of Mercy by Mary Catherine Rose. This book is very below her grade level but it was a fast read and I plan to have my seven-year-old read it this week while we study a little on the Red Cross and the whole Hurricane Katrina situation.

FEMA's Hurricane Site for Kids

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kids of the Hurricane

Subject: Kids of the Hurricane- WE GOT YOUR BACK!

The kids hit by the hurricane need to feel some sense of hope and a way to succeed.

The goal: Operation- WE GOT YOUR BACK!
Let the kids know someone does care.

My suggestion: Fill ONE backpack with the following-pencils #2, markers, crayons, glue sticks,notebooks, lined paper, tissues, pocket folders,kid safe scissors, a paperback picture
book, floss, a toothbrush and a small toy or stickers too. NO FOOD please.

Mail to:
Harris County Department of Education
6300 Irvington
Houston, Texas 77022

Marked - Education Relief

They are in charge of coordinating the educational needs of the kids stuckin shelters including the Superdome. And they will distribute educational supplies to the evacuees as well as signing kids up for school. Even if you cannot fill a backpack, please send supplies. The teachers will thank you.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Reading

What Home Educators Are Reading at the Kitchen Table

What are home-schoolers reading at the kitchen table?
An opinion article by Mark Oppenheimer.
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