Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wayward Son

I recently inhaled a book titled Wayward Son. It was written by Tom Pollack, with Jim Alves and John Loftus. The modern-day story begins with a couple of enthusiastic archaeologists and their discovery of a colossal repository of historical artifacts. As they soon discover, the repository consists of more than mere relics. It contains within its walls the life story of one of the most infamous Biblical characters of all time.

This book kept me turning page after page. It was well-written, entertaining, suspenseful, and satisfying. The story covered significant historical events from just after Creation to the first century AD. I developed a new love of history as I read about ancient Egyptians, the first Chinese emperor, the Romans, and everything in between. The details provided were just enough to whet my appetite for the true stories behind these eras. The modern-day plot was interesting as well, and the authors deftly wove the two together. The conclusion was supremely satisfying, and I look forward to reading more from these authors in the future. As my personal interest grew, I realized that this book would be perfect for parents trying to get their children interested in history.

If you want to find out more, check out the product page for this book. Or you can preview it here.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, the publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through Glass Road Public Relations.

Thanks to Grace and Space!

Earlier this month, much earlier (17 days ago), I received the Versatile Blogger Award from Sheila over at Grace and Space. I have been following her blog since reading this post way back in September. Her blog is like a breath of fresh air, and I have enjoyed many a relaxing morning reading her posts. Thank you, Sheila, for your nomination and also for your lovely blog!

As one of the recipients, it is my job to tell you seven things about myself that you perhaps do not know. In addition, I am supposed to nominate new reciepients of the award. Well, I will begin with the nominations:

1. Becoming Martha. This wonderful blog just so happens to be hosted by my brother-in-law’s sister-in-law! It is a great place to find DIY stuff for your kids’ rooms and other great projects. You will not believe the quality of this site. Jen gives us great ideas, and awesome tutorials complete with fabulous pictures. And I’m not just giving you my inflated opinion. The numbers speak for themselves. She has hundreds of followers, and has had over 100,000 page views. Considering that her blog will only be six months old tomorrow, I’m sure you can see why I’m so excited to tell you all about her!

2. Until the Day Dawn. Kimbery inspires me so very much, and I find that the more I read from her, the more I agree with her. Her blog covers just about everything the Christian woman needs. She talks about marriage, children, faith, and homeschooling. She also writes some really nice reviews to keep us abreast of some of the greatest new Christian products on the market. On top of that, she has written several fantastic books herself; they are available on her blog. Check her out – you will love her!

Sorry for the short list. I read a lot of blogs, but don’t want to recommend any that I don’t just absolutely adore!

Of course, I am still reading the blogs I nominated back in October. They are still some of my favorites, so check them out if you have the chance!

Now, for the little-known stuff about me:

1. I love, love, love my homeschool choir. If my employer suddenly ran out of money, I’d beg her to allow me to teach for free! This past semester has been one of the best, and I’m really looking forward to working on new music in January! This has been one of the most balanced classes I’ve ever taught, with 6 young men and 6 young women, and everyone pulling their own weight. Of course, I love my littles too, but my heart is really with the high school choir.

2. Someday, I want to travel the world. Slowly. Maybe spend a year in each country that we decide to visit. But I don’t want to take an extended vacation; I want to actually live in the countries that I visit. Work where the common people work, develop hobbies based on the culture of the place, eat their food, listen to their music, etc. I’d like to actually live on the income that I would make in any given place. Thankfully, my husband agrees that it would be fun, so maybe – someday?

3. I think about eternity a lot. I think about it every time I have to dust or get a hangnail or pick up a hairball (because the day will come when I will no longer have to deal with these things). I think about it when someone hurts my feelings or when I hurt someone else’s (because the day will come when we will understand each other, and we won’t be affected by sin). I think of it every time I meet new Christians or wonder whether someone knows Christ (because we will be together forever and get to know one another more).

4. I am my own worst enemy. I have so many things that I would like to accomplish in my life, but I have trouble finding the motivation to get anything done. Thankfully, I don’t have a problem homeschooling or going to the studio to teach, but anything optional becomes very difficult for me. Sometimes, I will spend an entire month being driven, only to burn myself out, spending the next month doing practically nothing with my life.

5. Someday, I’d like to find the time to volunteer for a hospice organization. Maybe once Ian is a more independent learner and can stay home by himself. I’d like to be there for people at the ends of their lives, to give them someone to talk to about their life experiences or anything else that may be on their minds as they approach that final frontier.

6. I’d like to learn another language. Can you see how this is beginning to turn into a list of New Year’s Resolutions? I can see that I’m wracking my brain too close to January 1st.

7. I’m beginning to wonder how long this body is going to hold out. We are trying so hard to get out of debt, but without any insurance, I wonder how we will handle future medical bills? Or should I just forego doctors and meet our Creator sooner rather than later? So my plan for now, while I am still relatively healthy, is to eat as properly as I can and begin to exercise to stay as healthy for as long as possible.

A prompt disguised as vegging out…

Watch a documentary or a foreign film that you have absolutely no interest in. Give it at least 20 minutes of your life, and see if you can’t learn something new. If interest picks up, watch the whole thing, and learn lots of new things! Alternatively, you could watch a movie dealing with a new topic or that takes place in a different culture, even if the movie itself is American-made.

A Prompt Disguised as Inquisitiveness

Begin by asking three really bizarre or open-ended questions. Be sure to include some dissimilar elements to force creativity. Take out three sheets of paper. Write all three questions 1 time on each sheet.  Answer the questions differently on each piece of paper and write a one-paragraph synopsis of a story that could be created from the answers. Next, choose the one with the most potential, and go for it!

Armbruster Puzzles

I made a mistake in one of my Famous Home Scholars articles. I was so embarrassed! However, my publisher forgave me (phew! I’m not fired!), and so did the nice fellow who brought the mistake to our attention. The man who wrote to the magazine (on behalf of the Wright Brothers) turned out to be a great guy, and while I will always regret that my error is in print, I am certainly happy to have made his acquaintance.

I learned a lot about him during the course of our correspondence: he loves model planes, he’s very sincere about education, and he creates word puzzles for children. He sent us a bunch of puzzles in the mail, and Ian has had a blast filling them out! Ian even created a game out of them by racing to see which of us could finish our puzzles first. After completing several of them, he wanted to write Mr. Armbruster and tell him how much fun he had! You can visit Mr. Armbruster’s website at

A prompt disguised as conversation…

Take on the role of your main character, and have a conversation with a friend or an unsuspecting stranger 😉

Take on the viewpoints and attitudes of your character. It would be best to try to get into some sort of discussion in which you do not agree so that your character can defend himself, thus revealing his personality and motivations more fully. Actors could use this prompt as well as writers!

Taking a break…

Well, every year when December rolls around, I gear up for a break. Last year, we didn’t even do any homeschooling during that month, but this year, we’re going to keep up a couple of things such as times tables, typing, writing, and reading. He’s come so far this year; I don’t want to see him backtrack. Anyway, I will probably still post my “prompts disguised as…” on Mondays, and a few little things here and there, but I’ll be spending the rest of the month on odds and ends, such as writing our spring play and playing lots of board games! Enjoy your December! I certainly will!