Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Very Little Miracles

After I have said a quick prayer-

~I was finally able to pull a particularly difficult bed sheet out from where it was stuck
~someone stopped on a quite busy street to let me cross
~we made it to Mass with a few minutes to spare before hand, when that did not seem at all possible
~and all the others that I have forgotten

They happen everyday, they aren't always life changing (although many definitely are), they are usually not accompanied by a bolt of lightning, they're just little reminders that Someone's up there and He loves you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Rose Round By Meriol Trevor

I finished this wonderful book a while ago, but I have neglected to post on it (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa:). So now the time has come to post.

Thirteen year-old Matt and his grown-up sister Caroline (Caro) are orphans. Therefore Caroline must work, that is she must work until her rich fiance plucks up enough courage to ask his father's permission to marry her. Matt, still in school, spends most of his time with his cranky Aunt, since she lives in a convenient location. But when Caro begins to work at Woodhall, a very old mansion, he spends his holidays with her. During his stay, Matt becomes acquainted with high-spirited Alix Ayre, grandaughter of cold, proud Madame Ayre, and Theo, Madame's crippled son. Through the eyes of Matt, we see Madame's bitter personality and cold disapproval of Theo, the seclusion which she forces upon Alix, and many other tense relationships at Woodhall. When Theo decides to bring his St. Raphael school for crippled children to Woodhall the tension rises. Alix is forced by Madame to stay away from the children, and in a foolish attempt to visit Matt, she endangers Theo's life.

Theo's character, patient, loving yet firm when he sets his will, and the conversations regarding the four Evangelists among other things, give this book many interesting quotes, and make this book a wonderful read. Beautiful and thought-provoking, like all of Meriol Trevor's works that I have yet read, I highly recommend this book.

If you are interested in more books similar to this one I would also recommend Sun Slower, Sun Faster, another great book by the same author. Both The Rose Round and Sun Slower, Sun Faster are available from Bethlehem Books.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Falcons of Tremoine By Hendry Peart

At fifteen Leo, living at the Abbey of St. Michael in England in the 13th century, knows nothing about his past or parentage. The Abbot of the said Abbey alone knows the boy's history but tells him nothing until the heir of the house of Wardlock is killed in the crusades. Then after receiving permission from Sir Maurice (the current lord of Wardlock) the Abbot tells Leo that he is the heir not only to the house of Wardlock but also the heir to their traditional enemy the house of Tremoine. He is the child of a Romeo and Juliet sort of marriage, his father killed by his brother in law, Rolf and his mother dead soon after entrusting her son to the care of the Abbott. Much excited by this news, Leo leaves the Abbey and goes to live with his kind grandparents, Sir Maurice of Wardlock and his wife. Several happy months pass in the company of his grandparents. Then Leo visits the Abbey. Finding the Abbot absent he travels on to the place where his parents were married. There he is forcefully captured by his Uncle Rolf and forced to become heir to the lands of Tremoine. The Tremoine Temper is strong in both Leo and Rolf and clashes of will are frequent. Yet Leo's gentle side, prominent when not provoked, soon makes him friends among the castle residents and perhaps it is softening Rolf as well. In Rolf's castle unfolds an engaging tale of courage and forgiveness.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Unsharpened Colored Pencils can accomplish a good deal

I really enjoy "impromptu" or "lazy" colored pencil drawings. I have sat down at a table or at the top of the stairs and found within a very short distance (since I was to lazy to go search for better materials) hardly sharpened pencils and paper already drawn on on one side but the results are often better then some others I have drawn with much more preparation. The other day I did such a "lazy" drawing, and it turned out pretty well considering.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Acrylics

I did an acrylic painting in art class of the chapel we visited last June when we went to the Minnesota Homeschool conference. I am posting both the picture I copied from and my acrylic so that you can compare the two. There are many flaws and differences from the original in my acrylic, but it was fun to do and I learned a lot in the process.

Back to Liber, Parma or whatever you want to call a book

Well I finally got myself into Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott and finished it rapidly, enjoying every minute of the time spent on it. This delightful story chronicles the entrance (and the time of about a year following it) of a shy orphan, Rose, into her large extended family, whom she had had virtually no contact with in her past life. The family she soon becomes acquainted with includes six lovable and attentive aunts, three kind uncles and seven delightful and rather rowdy boy cousins. After several weeks of unsuccessful attempts by the aunts to cheer up the downcast Rose, her uncle, Dr. Alec arrives. His prescription is many fold but includes no pills, but rather plenty of exercise and other unladylike activities. However odd it seemed to the aunts his method bore increasingly marked and marvelous results, including a wonderful story which I highly recommend.

Thus her health increases rapidly as does her good character. From sacrificing a day of fun for the pleasure of a maid or her precious earrings in order to keep her cousins from bad habits to being peacemaker and encourager to the seven boys Rose's adventures are sure to be interesting, amusing, touching, teaching or any mix of the above. A number of thought-provoking ideas and theories are held within the 200 and more pages in the form of very quotable utterances of the characters or commentary on the scene. To illustrate my point I quote "... in helping seven lads you are unconsciously doing much to improve one lass... "

Okay, enough blabbering for now... I don't want to bore you too badly.