Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas Octave Day Eight: New Year!

To kick off the new year, is anyone else interested in offering to their children to sign up for the 31-Day Winter Read Aloud Challenge over at the Read Aloud Revival? We mamas don't need one more thing on our to-do lists right now, but this challenge isn't that: the children themselves must read aloud their own books! They may read to a parent, to siblings, to their plastic Army guys lined up on the shelf. The contest is open to children down to age three and, if any children aren't reading yet, they may simply tell the story aloud. Read daily through January and the children can enter in the drawing to win some cool prizes. 

Organizing clothing with Mama
Today was spent in quiet organization at home: I managed to get several returns boxed up for Amazon and I sorted through all the clothing which Thomas has outgrown. Reaching 20 pounds by 5-1/2 months means he's gone through five sizes of infant clothing already. Life is such a whirl that, every time I come across a piece of clothing I can't squeeze onto him anymore, I toss it in the corner of the bedroom into an ever increasing number of paper grocery sacks. All those boxes and paper sacks in the photo? Those were all stacked in the corner of our bedroom. Yeah, that's a glimpse of reality that is far from Pinterest pretty!

So, today, I sorted the clothing by size, donated away bags and bags of clothing, threw some away that was irredeemable, and put the rest away to save, just in case.

I attended Mass for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Chris and the big kids are out of town, so I left the 2- and 4-year-olds at home with Grampa, taking along only the baby to church. As I can expect after nine years of motherhood now, of course I did not get to experience any of the Mass: the baby lasted about five minutes inside the church before he became way too loud, at which point we retreated to the narthex where the microphone system wasn't turned on or wasn't working, nor could I see through the glass doors from where I was seated, which I had to do (versus walking around) in order to nurse the baby. So, I sat quietly on a bench for an hour, listening to my baby's happy squawks echoing in the silence, and looking at nothing in particular, and then I drove home.

In the past, this would have made me distressed and outright angry, and it likely will again, but today I just felt quiet surrender and figured that Mary--the mother of God made incarnate in a wee baby--would understand.

Eight Days of Books

Today marks the end of my intended Eight Days of Books, and I saved for last those books which excite me the most: "The Young Folks Shelf of Books" (Collier's Junior Classics) is a 10-volume set of children's literature published in 1962.

The volumes contain a wide variety of reading, which would make a wonderful foundation in even the most sparse home library:
  • A,B,C: Go!: nursery rhymes, folk tales, poems, stories
  • Once Upon a Time: fables and folk tales from around the world
  • Magic in the Air: fantasy, such as Pinnochio, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh 
  • Just Around the Corner: tales from around the world 
  • In Your Own Backyard: "selections of stirring stories about our own country" (America) 
  • Harvest of Holidays: stories, selections, and poetry arranged by holidays throughout the year
  • Legends of Long Ago: Arabian nights, mythology, epic tales, American tall tales
  • Roads to Greatness: biographies of government leaders, Biblical heroes and saints, inventors, sports heroes, etc. 
  • Call of Adventure: selections from action and suspense stories 
  • Gifts from the Past: selections from classics, such as Rip Van Winkle, Swiss Family Robinson, and Gulliver's Travels 

I have placed these Junior Classics in the den (unlike all other children's fiction, which is in the bedrooms) so that we can read them often. All this Christmas octave, the early risers and I have spent about an hour reading aloud by the twinkling of the Christmas tree lights while it is still dark outside before the rest of the family rises.

Our draped television set--it's just how I grew up, my Mom always draped the TV when it wasn't in use

Reading "The Ugly Duckling" while the kids play with dominoes
Reading the biography of Lou Gehrig while doing Spirograph art

This title is out of print but can be purchased used (at Amazon, Ebay, AbeBooks, etc.) for only about forty dollars. The ages of interest would be toddlers through all ages of children and, frankly, adults too!

1 comment:

  1. Those look similar to the My Book House books that are super popular with the read aloud revivalers. I am interested in such a set. It's sounding like a good Easter present.