A couple of the Kranslings have a taste for “scary music”. I can relate, since as a child I used to listen to Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” until I was so scared I couldn’t go in the basement. Overactive imagination.[Read more…]
I’ve been thinking about books. There are a few (very few) I want to re-read–slowly–and then write about while re-reading. Or after I’ve re-read them. Or something like that.[Read more…]
We’ve had a strange phenomenon in our home, concerning books. I realized not long ago that I barely pick up a picture book anymore. I used to write a semi-monthly series called What We Read which mostly featured picture books from the library–then I had a falling out with our local library (which I don’t think I’ve ever described here, but should write about) and the constant traffic of new books in our home rather ground to a halt.[Read more…]
I think it was when we were walking the trail in the field, when I was in labor with Beatrice, and Jeremy and I had a brief conversation about gardens and planting and growth and fruit. Namely, about the timing of the harvest of some plants versus others.
Our garden last year had been brief and exciting. We plowed, we tilled, we planted, we watched eagerly. Then plants sprang up, the fruit grew, and the harvest was bountiful. All of this happened in the span of a handful of months.[Read more…]
Three years ago, while Jeremy was still in Georgia getting our house together to sell and I was living here alone with four children, I started reading the Bible to the kids over breakfast.[Read more…]
Words really do get stuck. There is something in the act of opening the computer and sitting down to write that makes them absolutely congeal in my brain. What was a coherent string of thoughts becomes a gelatinous mass of random one-line thoughts. What’s for dinner? We should take the library books back. My back hurts. What’s that noise? What will the weather be like tomorrow? I should message so-and-so back. Where’s Anselm? What was I wanting to write about again? What time is it?
It was raining outside that day, but it was warm. I was determined that we should take a walk that day, even in the rain. Rather, I thought we should take a walk because it was raining. Because we never take walks in the rain. Is it different in the rain? How different? What shall we see that we don’t see when it’s dry outdoors? You don’t know unless you begin, do you?
We took a walk in the rain precisely because we don’t usually. I am ever looking out for those things we don’t do that we perhaps should. It’s something of a hobby–perhaps more like an obsession. My avoidance of uncomfortable things is a never-ending mystery and I investigate it with the tenacity of any detective: Why am I avoiding this? What would happen if I didn’t? I wanted to walk outside in the rain because I never do it. I never do it because it’s uncomfortable. I know that those uncomfortable things usually yield the most surprising and satisfying results.
I think that’s also why I push through these stiffening, uncooperative thoughts, and try to put down here what words I can. There is something in the exercise alone that’s worth it. I always feel better for it.
We slept late, this morning, the baby and ourselves. We awoke to a room full of grey light; the misty day after Christmas.
“It’s over,” Jeremy said, “Christmas is done.”
“No it’s not, we still have eleven more days!” I prefer to stick to the old idea of twelve days of Christmas even though our culture does not. Before those twelve days are out Jeremy will be back to work, back to school. We have this week, though.
The clouds broke mid-morning and the sun shone on the field, brown and gold and pale, pale green. When we went outside the wind whipped at us like it always does, but it was a warm wind. Our Christmas Day had been unseasonably warm, a fact which I relished, since it meant the boys could ride their Christmas gifts: a new bicycle for each of them.
We went outside, Jeremy and Pam and myself, as part of a meeting of the Janderhil Committee for Community Improvement and Development. We had spent breakfast discussing chickens and rabbits and bees and the garden, making mental lists and gathering ideas and ideals, long-term goals and goals for the year. Then when Elvie Kay went down for a nap, we stepped outside to ponder the location and size of the garden. We have a lot of preparations to make.
The boys followed us out to ride their bicycles.
Each month I share some of our favorite books we’ve shared over the course of the month. For reference, my boys are 5.75, 4, and 2.75 years old.
I waited so long last month to write this post that last month became two months ago and so this post is two months smooshed together. We got a great batch of books from our last trip to the library (which was two months ago, in October) and we haven’t been able to go back; since our library automatically renews items, we have just kept reading the same few books all this time. I hope to finally take them back this week.
We brought home seven books from that last library trip, and three were absolute favorites, three were so-so, and one was just generally disliked, and we read it once and no-one ever asked to read it again.
Each month I share some of our favorite books we’ve shared over the course of the month. For reference, my boys are 5.5, 4, and 2.5 years old.
September was quite the month, apparently. I don’t think we managed to get to the library at all in September. Consequently, I don’t really have any picture books to share this month. We read a lot (we always do) but there weren’t any that especially stuck out to me. We focused a lot on reading and listening to chapter books. That wasn’t really intentional, but it’s how it worked out! Coincidentally I don’t really have book pictures, either…most of these books we read were on my Kindle. And that just doesn’t make for very good pictures. Here’s some of the boys, instead. My apologies!
It was just after 8:30 a.m. when the questions started. Coincidentally, this was also when the globe light in the boys’ room turned off, signaling that it was alright for them to get up and out of bed. Clive was the first out the door, as usual, and his questions started as soon as he met me in the hallway; Ephraim was languishing in bed–also as usual–and his questions started as soon as I walked through the door of their room.
On this particular morning he was flipping through a book–Sam and the Firefly. They love this book, and we read it frequently. He must have gotten the book while he was waiting for the light to go off. I greeted Ephraim, then lifted Anselm out of his crib and laid him on Clive’s bed to change his diaper.
Ephraim was gazing at one of the last pages of the story when he asked, “Mom, why are they happy that the train has stopped?”