Recent Reads

Welcome to this month’s edition of Recent Reads!

Aloud Adventure

The Sign of the BeaverAlthough he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.
Note from me: My kids loved this book. Great adventure, a little danger and themes of understanding people different from ourselves.

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Wouldn’t You Agree?

I just completed a phone survey about kids and television. My blood is boiling. Forgive me for this rant, I have to unload somewhere. Prepare yourself.

We made the decision to get rid of television in our home 6 years ago. I find television news a passive approach to information and despise being spoon fed opinions on current events. I prefer to get my facts from the source rather than filtered down through various editor’s desks, being wrapped in makeup and lighting, and finally disseminated in the most politically correct way possible. Television news is a business. This kind of “news” is meant to garner ratings. Period. I find it pandering and insulting to my intelligence. How’s that for breaking news? Continue reading

No One Like You

In the crowding darkness of sleepy bedtime, with heavily lidded eyes drifting to dreamland, my mother’s voice beckoned slumber with this song. I’ve  continued the tradition with my own kids from their infancy. It is the most requested lullaby at in our home, beating out Mary Poppins classics “Tuppence a Bag” (feed the birds) and “Stay Awake” for top honors. My children have yet to recognize that voice is a pale wisp compared to Julie Andrews. It’s going to be a sad day when they no longer shower me with “Mommy, you sound just like Mary Poppins” compliments at the conclusion of their bedtime songs. Continue reading

How Can It Be 20 Years?

I will never forget my mother’s weeping at the images on our television. Pictures of fireman carrying children, bodies bloodied and broken. A massive gaping hole in a building and rubble everywhere. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City will always be the defining schism between my sheltered, peaceful childhood and the harsh ugliness of “the real world”. My innocence was lost on this day.

As a teenager, I did not fully grasp the magnitude of the event, nor understand how any human could intentionally inflict such horror on others, including babies. Unfortunately, the 20 years since have introduced to my consciousness the vast and seemingly boundless capacity people possess to destroy each other. It seems unfathomable that two decades have passed since this life altering tragedy. Twenty years. Continue reading

Caught up in Contagious Joy

I began a new book this week that, given the first chapter, I know is going to be phenomenal. Just a quick post to share a brilliant quote from it.

Exuberance – The Passion for Life
by Kay Redfield Jamison

“We have given sorrow many words, but a passion for life few.

Yet it is the infectious energies of exuberance that proclaim and disperse much of what is marvelous in life. Exuberance carries us places we would not otherwise go — across the savannah, to the moon, into imagination — and if we ourselves are not so exuberant we will, caught up in the contagious joy of those who are, be inclined collectively to go yonder. By its pleasures, exuberance lures us from our common places and quieter moods; and — after the victory, the harvest, the discovery of a new idea or an unfamiliar place — it gives ascendant reason to venture forth all over again. Delight is its own reward, adventure its own pleasure.”

Doesn’t that set fire to your soul and send a shiver of anticipation down your spine? This is what I want out of life. What I strive for. To bring exuberance and passion to the everyday mundane moments of life. Go out and have a day filled with irrepressible exuberance!

Recent Reads

“Recent Reads” is new feature on Dissonant Symphony. You can expect to see a post like this once or twice a month detailing our current page turners. I’ll include a short description of each book and every title will be a link to purchase it. However, I highly recommend utilizing your local library whenever possible. We spend copious amounts of time reading. I’d be dead broke and living in a box made out of books if I purchased all the literature we consume. I generally assuage my conscience with the idea that if I “fail” at all other aspects of homeschooling, but have passed along a voracious love of the written word, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Continue reading