Archive for May, 2012

May 31, 2012

Summer K-Town Lego Fun

by Shannon French

May 25, 2012

Whatcha Reading? Watching?

by Shannon French

We’re kind of on an unofficial schooling vacay right now.  Waiting on another grammar workbook, new science material, etc.  I have hereby decreed this Ye Summer of Grammar for the kids.  But I’ve also made similar decrees the past two summers and it ended up being ye summer of outdoor community center pools.

Anyhow, in the meantime, I’m just wanting to lay around with some good, purely entertaining “beach reads.”  Note I said good.  As in good like God-honoring.  Not.  An.  Easy.  Task.  These.  Days.  Sure, I love Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but sometimes I just want something wholesome and written in the last, oh, thirty years or so.  And that’s not about Amish people.  And I’m totally not dissing Amish people.  I have totally been through the whole Amish people love story phase, I have.  If you are in that phase, you just keep doing that, keep on.  Maybe it’s a rite of passage.

Rambling now.  Some things I’ve read in the past half-year that I’ve enjoyed:

Blue Like Jazz  (I think this has become my favorite book of all time because it’s like a beat novel, only Christian.  I haven’t seen the new movie version, but from what reviews I’ve read, it is not a representation of the book; keep that in mind.  And I think a lot of people don’t have the time of day for this book, like a lot of people didn’t have the time of day for Eugene Peterson’s The Message, but, man, how many people have been reached by such?)

A lot of the Christian Heroes Then and Now books.  Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, I would have thought reading these books made me a prude.  Now I am like an addict.  I love these books.  And my kids do too.  These people’s real lives are way better than any fictional movie.   My favorite is still the first one I read about Gladys Aylward; I cried at the end.

Now I’m reading Beauty and Kisses From Katie, both excellent so far.


Oh, and Beauty is a Sonlight Summer Reading book–that’s where I found out about that.  I know, I’m shameless, but I didn’t want to (and couldn’t afford to) buy all their Summer Reading Packages, so I got a few used (read: tattered) from Amazon.

Do you live in or around Sevier County, TN?  If so, you may want to check out the Family Book Outelt in Tanger Outlets in Sevierville.  I think all of their books (I think, please don’t drive an hour to this store based on my recollection alone) are $5 and under, and they have a good selection of kid’s books.  Last time I grabbed four for my son, thinking the total was going to be $18 + tax, and then the total was just over $13.  I was happy with that.  And it’s like that every time I go in there.  And these are contemporary, very decent if not overtly Christian novels.  I like to be able to shop someplace where I know that they’re not stocking trash, and I don’t feel this stress of having to preread stuff before I let my twelve-year-old read it.  So.

And then…what are you watching?  And when I say, “What are you reading?  What are you watching?”  I’m actually hopinghopinghoping for some actual comments and dialogue here.  I actually want to know!!!  And I’m sure that other peeps do to!!!  It’s Summer, for cryin’ out loud!  Entertainment, relaxation, refreshment, stat!   We watched this movie last year called Faith Like Potatoes, and I thought it was ok.  Kinda long, kinda just ok, but better than a lot of movies I’ve seen.  Then we put it up.  Several months went by and my sister borrowed it, but she actually watched the movie and the DVD bonus features, and then she informed me that the documentary about Angus Buchan was waaaaay better than the fictionalized movie about him.   She was so right.  So, so, so right.  What an amazing, inspiring man he is!!  Just get the movie, watch it or don’t, but watch the documentary “extra.”  And another movie I liked was October Baby, and there again, I think the best part was after the actual movie and one of the actors tells her story as the credits roll.  And then there was IndoctriNation, which was, well, have you seen it?  I’d be interested to hear what you think.  It appears to be circulating, hand-to-hand, around my husband’s workplace (thousands of employees)–which I find really, really interseting and slightly funny, considering I don’t even see the movie listed on Amazon, and that in and of itself is a bit scary and ironic, I find.

Well, there you have it.  Homepeeps post #2.  There’s really nowhere to go but up when it comes to writing quality here.

If you have an article you’d like published here, lemme know!  E-mail it to  Or, if you’d like to link to your homeschool blog, lemme know.  Or just anything you want to…get out there…lemme know.

The Smoky Mountain Home Educator’s Conference is coming up, you know.  Online registration begins June 1, 2012.  We’re going (huz and I).  Making a hot date of it.  We plan to maybe hold hands during the workshops, or maybe while we walk through the vendor fair?  Are you scandalized?  Will you be attending?  Going stag, or with a hot date?  Or in a big gaggle?  Sometimes big gaggles are fun too.

You’re going, right?