potw: try, try again

Oct 10, 2011 by

My house is still sleeping. I wish I was, but I am up working on Make It For Maggie and planning out our learning time for the next few days. I should have made my plans yesterday, but I was too tuckered out from a 3 AM Make It For Maggie working session with Kat on Saturday night to be able to think straight. I did teach my lesson at church and I did fellowship my fellow church-goers, but that is all I was able to do…the rest of the day was spent in a non-thinking mode!

Sometimes, some people in this house want to give up. Sometimes, some people think a task is too hard if it doesn’t come super-duper easily to them. Sometimes, some people are so afraid of failure they forget how to try. I am hoping as these words sink into our hearts that we will each make a decision to keep on keeping on, especially when its hard and we don’t feel up to the task.

Try Try Again
by T. H. Palmer

‘Tis a lesson you should heed,
If at first you don’t succeed,
Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear
Try, try again;

Once or twice, though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
Try, try again;

If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we do not win the race;
What should you do in the case?
Try, try again

If you find your task is hard,
Time will bring you your reward,
Try, try again

All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, should not you?
Only keep this rule in view:
Try, try again.

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book bonanza: nobody rides the unicorn

Oct 4, 2011 by

Nobody Rides the Unicorn

Keziah’s birthday book this year is Nobody Rides the Unicorn. It is about an orphaned, servant girl who is tricked into beguiling a unicorn so the king can capture it. She is outraged that she has been used to commit this evil act and by risking her life, she sets the unicorn free. I love the courage the young girl shows and her determination to do right no matter the cost to herself. The artwork is soft and lovely. I hope Keziah treasures it.

It must be out of print or something because it is over $30 at Amazon. Barnes and Noble had it for $5.97, so we ordered it from there. If you decide to get, I recommend you do the same…big grin!

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fiar: who owns the sun?

Sep 20, 2011 by

fiar: who owns the sun?

Who Owns The Sun?

Before I started Five In a Row with Fisher, I had never heard of this book. We put it on hold at the library and waited for our name to come up on the list. We were finally able to check it out and we read it yesterday snuggled up on my bed.

Oh. My. Heavens.

I MUST own this book.

I am so in love with it.

The problem? It is going for around 100 buckaroos because of the whole scarcity-grows-demand-grows-prices issue.

If I wasn’t an honest person I would just keep the one from the library and pay the fee…but who knows, maybe even their replacement fee would be in the three digit range? I am just going to have start telling everyone I know to keep their eyes peeled for it at used book stores!

This book was written and illustrated by a fourteen year old girl named Stacey Chbosky. The art work is so lovely. In fact, all of us are going to try to paint a sun like hers this afternoon because Fisher and I are so completely in love with her sun. I guess there is a yearly contest for students to write and illustrate their own books and then if they win their book is published. This book won the contest back in 1988. All of my children want to learn more about the contest and enter their books this year.

This beautiful story is a conversation between a boy and his daddy. The boy asks questions about who owns the sun, the stars, the birds, the wind, and the flowers. The dad gives answers that speak right to my soul, teaching his son that no one can own those things, they are too big and powerful for anyone to own them. They are for everyone to be blessed by. Then, the boy overhears a Mr. Finley saying he owns Big Jim, who is the boy’s father. The boy is angry and hurt and scared at the thought of anyone OWNING a human being when no one can even own a flower or the wind. His daddy teaches him about slavery in such a poignant way I could barely make it through the reading of it.

He says “A man is a beautiful thing, a very beautiful thing. But some men forget this. And sometimes they try to keep other men captive. They buy and sell people, as if human beings are no more than cattle. But only a fool believes he can really own another man, and only a fool will try. Mr. Finley may own my body, but I have a heart and I have a mind, and he can never own these. Inside of me, I’m too powerful to be owned by anyone. Inside, I am like the sun.”

Our family is pretty passionate about freedom for all of God’s children. We talk about different customs, cultures, and government forms often. We discuss which forms create the most freedom and which create the least. We have studied the lives of great men and women who have given everything they have to help others have freedom. This year, Keziah and I are studying American history from the Vikings to the Civil War and I can’t wait to recreate an Underground Railroad experience for her and her friends. I read several books about William Wilberforce during my pregnancy with Annesley and desperately wanted to name the child inside me after him (but she turned out to be a girl and so we named her after Susannah Annesley Wesley instead).

So, when I read this book yesterday, thinking it was just a lovely book about nature and how the world works, my heart soared when I realized it was really about slavery and freedom and the greatness of the human soul. What a great story!

Let’s all write to the publisher and beg them to re-issue it! In the meantime, I will buy it from anyone who finds it at a thrift store and throw in a foot massage as well!

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