Beautiful Day

Friday, February 15, 2013

For the Love Of....(Part 1)

"Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire."
~William Butler Yeats

Some days, I just know, that despite the things I do wrong and the mistakes made as we walk this road of raising wholehearted children for the Lord, there is something I know is right.
In the flurry of days and the many tasks that call my name and all the proverbial hats that a mother wears, and wondering if I've become attention-deficit in it all, there is a daily routine that we can always count on.  Even if I don't know what's for lunch today (yet), I DO know that we will sit down together as we have for so many years and spend the favorite hour of our day reading aloud.  This reading time....of heroes from history, of theology or doctrine, of adventures, of instruction, of exploring His creation and His world through literature, even of fun and childhood frolics...this, I am certain, will have been one thing I did right.
I am affirmed in this conclusion when I see the sparks ignite in my children's imaginations.  Such was the case recently as we read Lucy Maud Montgomery's The Golden Road, (which was also preceded the previous month by The Story Girl.)  These books are (a bit loosely) the inspiration for Kevin Sullivan's "Road to Avonlea" television series (yes, the same Kevin Sullivan who made the lovely "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Avonlea").  One little disclaimer, as with anything, not everything in the "Road to Avonlea," or even these stories, would I endorse.  For example, in the television series, I downright (strongly) dislike the way the siblings can treat one another.  With everything we watch or read, we use discernment and we discuss it all.  On the other hand, it's hard not to want to live in a beautiful little village like Avonlea on Prince Edward Island and every time I see that "White Sands Hotel," I think I must just go there someday!
Back to the story....I am not going to go into elaborate detail of what it is about here.  You'll have to read for yourself if you are curious.  But some of this may not make as much sense to you without knowing the book.  That's how books are.  (I also like how reading can give your family fun "inside jokes" that are shared).  In short, the children of the story decide to pass the winter time by creating their own publication, which they simply call "Our Magazine."  It reminds me of "The Pickwick Society" in Little Women.  It is a mostly witty look at the everyday occurrences in their lives in Carlisle.  Each child contributes a column to "Our Magazine."  Editorials, stories, an etiquette department, personals, fashion notes, ads, poetry, a household department, and just plain funny paragraphs are all included. 
Young Warrior was ready to go.  He gathered his two younger sisters and they convened together in the quiet little space of a bedroom and began assembling their own publication, affectionately called "The C.B.H. Publication."
Yes, it too, has many columns of interest:  Historical notes, stories of dreams (this was another part of The Golden Road), poetry, funny stories, and our Family-Way-of-the-Week.
They re-emerged from their workshop later that afternoon and shared their publication, which gave us lots of fun laughs.  A delight indeed!
Here's another story inspiration.
Inspired by another blog post, we found out that there was a Hobbit Challenge Lego contest.  And it was due tomorrow!  Young Warrior set to work with all of his free time during that day.  He consulted with Mommy about what Rivendell looks like and with Daddy about how to create special effects.  No, he has not seen the movie, and somehow I think these challenges make a bit of an assumption that children are watching the movie, but it certainly is not necessary.  Books give plenty of food for the imagination.  It's just tough to come up with some things without a little bit of visual ("Mommy, what does Elrond look like?"). 
The challenge given was to show the scene of Bilbo and the dwarves being led by Gandalf to Rivendell where they meet Elrond.  Elrond reads the moon-letters on their map.  Now Young Warrior is not endowed with all of the latest Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Legos (he wants to win them, which is the motivation for the contest).  The only LOTR set he has is Gandalf's wagon.  So he did a good job coming up with ways to make dwarves and Elrond out of regular Lego guys.
Like their cotton-ball beards?
Notice the waterfall on the left side.
He has been enjoying his little film-making endeavors and we are proud of his efforts.  All of this joy from the habit of reading good books together.
"At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.
Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.
There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.
These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.
I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.
So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear Land of Story Books."
~"The Land of Story Books"
Robert Louis Stevenson


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