Thursday, March 18, 2010

7 Quick Takes

1. I spent last weekend learning to kill people with my bare hands. No, I'm not kidding. My dad took me to a weekend seminar put on by these guys. I'm going to write about it more later, but right now I'm still pondering what I learned. I do though, already, think it's training everyone ought to have. They're very sensible and very well-educated on their subject, and very good teachers. Useful stuff I hope I never have to use.  But I'm glad I know it.

2. My oldest two kids have developed an interest in all things Robin Hood, so I've started reading them Knight's Castle by Edward Eager. We aren't very far into the magic bit yet, or the yeomanly deeds of valor, but the set-up for the story is lovely in its own right. I liked this part:

And sometimes when Roger would start picking on Ann because she was a girl, and younger, their mother would get really cross, and say that there would be none of that in this house! Their mother said she knew just how Ann felt because she had been a girl once, too, and the youngest of four children, and what she had endured worms wouldn't believe!

But other times she talked about what fun she and her sisters and brother had had; so Roger decided she couldn't have suffered so very much. and when he asked his Uncle Mark about it, his Uncle Mark said their mother had been a terror to cats and ruled the household with a rod of iron. And when he asked his Aunt Katharine, his Aunt Katharine said their mother had been a dear little baby, but went through a difficult phase as she grew older. He couldn't ask his Aunt Jane, because she was hardly ever there, being usually occupied hunting big game in darkest Africa or touring the English countryside on a bicycle.

But he decided their mother's childhood had probably been very much like their own, partly good and partly bad, but mostly very good indeed.

That last paragraph is pretty much what I'm hoping for my kids' childhoods.

3. I had a conversation in Spanish this week - a real one! I was so geekily excited afterwards. I know it's not much to be able to have a short chat with the lady in front of me in line about our kids (she had twins too), but it was a real conversation, I followed most of what she said, and I was able to respond in my second language rather than my first! 

Okay, I'm still excited about it.

4. I figured out why listening to the "Ave Maria" helps when I'm slightly depressed. I think (for me), that sort of depression happens when I feel overwhelmed. I start hating myself because all I can see is A) what I'm failing to do and B) what I'm doing that I shouldn't. Just failure and sin, all over the place.

   The Ave Maria though, is a breathtaking account of one concrete time in human history when a woman got it exactly right. She responded to God's call with a simple "yes", and was right within His will. That that sort of obedience is even possible lifts my heart every single time. And it takes my eyes off of myself. It's good all around.

5. Did you know you can buy Nutella on Amazon? In bulk? Yes, I am an enabler.

6. I entered the Genesis contest again this year. I got great feedback on it last year ("great" meaning "it was helpful", not meaning "they thought I'd be a bestseller"), and I think my entry this year is stronger. I'll be glad to get some objective opinions on whether I've gotten better or not, and on what I need to work on some more. There's still time to enter, if you're interested. It's a great contest, well-run, with good judges.

7. Related to #2, I have the Errol Flynn version of Robin Hood on request at the library. Ostensibly, it's for the kids. But to be honest, I'm really looking forward to watching it again, in all its Technicolor glory. Anyone else like those old swashbuckling movies? 

For more Quick Takes, visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell


TwoSquareMeals said...

My kids are totally into Robin Hood and all things knightly, and they LOVE that movie. So do I! We haven't ready Knight's Castle, so I may have to pick it up. But we really loved Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. It's definitely an advanced book, but Calvin understood it just fine and Hobbes got the basic points with some help. I think Pyle did a Robin Hood book, too.

shopannies said...

wow we dont want to mess with you I love amazon for buying in bulk

Tienne said...

I LOVE those old swashbuckling movies! Congrats on the Spanish conversation! It's always so satisfying to discover that you're making progress, and being able to connect with a stranger is icing on the cake.

Dr. Alice said...

I love Edward Eager's books. Absolutely love them. In fact, I was thinking of getting my niece a set for her birthday. I highly recommend the entire series (they don't all feature the same group of characters, but the linking theme is magic, and they're great books).

Jessica said...

I've read some of the other Edgar Eager books too. I'm thinking about reading the kids "Half Magic" when we finish "Knight's Castle".