Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nights of Arrethtrae (a childrens book review!)

I'm not really sure if you can really post a 'review' of a book that you've only read a few chapters of...but I can already tell that this is going to be a GREAT series. Back before Christmas I saw a review of this series on Pioneer Womans 'homeschool' page on her website. One of the other writers for that section posted a review of this book and it had me intrigued back then. We searched for the books as a last minute gift idea for Ethan and Jessalyn but weren't able to find them at any local bookstores. We didn't have enough time to order them from anywhere else so we sort of scrapped the idea. A few days before Christmas I did try calling the local Bible Bookstore to see if they had them and they hadn't heard of the series at all.

Last weekend we made a stop at that particular bookstore for Josh to pick up a few things and he came out surprising us with all 6 books of the series! Apparently, between Christmas and now, the bookstore decided that these books were something they wanted to carry and we quickly snagged the books!

The books are fictional and definitely geared more towards boys, although I'm pretty sure Jessalyn will get into them as well. She suggested that Ethan and I read the first one while she is finishing up another series that she's into at the moment, and then she plans to pick it up when we are done. It is a tale of a great King and his Son and the many Noble Nights who serve them. From what we've read so far, the Biblical parallels are VERY clear and the story of the nights is awesome!

"Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are...the Knights of Arrethtrae!"

According to the CBD website, the books are geared towards 9 to 12 year olds...although, I've read some reviews that have told about how many of the older teens enjoy them as well. As you can see from the pictures, Ethan really enjoys silly/funny books. He has a stack of books on the floor next to his bed including lots of "Magic Tree House" books, and the silly "Captain Underpants" books. His bedside table always has his "go to books" for when he doesn't have a current book to read. Because he's a silly guy, he LOVES the "Whimpy Kid" books and is constantly giggling at the "Light in the Attic" book too! Ethan can read the Arrethtrae books, but I find that for him they are a little 'much' as far as his reading capability. He reads the text fine, but I think he has to concentrate a little too much to get through it and then misses out on the comprehension end. We have found that it works well with him for me to read some and him to read some..and then I can be sure that he's 'getting' it. There are also study questions at the end of each chapter with questions guiding you to look up scripture to find the specific parallels.

Ethan and I are eager to read a new chapter each night! Jessalyn is eager to read them and get to the 4th book "Lady Carliss".

Here is a link to the actual Knights of Arrethrae website.
(for some reason I'm having a hard time actually creating a link for this...if you just google it, you'll find it!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"One wedding, 4 rehearsal dinners"

This was pretty much the first thing Josh said after finding out that baby #5 is another boy! Of course, I'm sure he was feeling grateful for another healthy baby as well, but as a man and the provider for this family, he can't help but think logistically like this! It's true though.

I was not one bit surprised to see those 'boy parts' on the ultra sound. Had this baby been a girl I would have been HUGELY surprised. There was a part of me that was hoping for a girl ONLY because of how much Jessalyn wanted a sister. I would have loved to see her squeal, or more likely scream in delight...instead we saw her scream the words "NOOOOOOO". But, in all honesty, she has a GREAT attitude about it.

I know that she was praying daily for this baby to be a girl but I also know that she understands that God has a plan for us as a family and for her specifically and that she does trust in His plan. After her initial tantrum...that was immediately followed by big smiles and the relief of having another healthy sibling...she has come to terms with the fact that she is just gonna have to deal with being the only girl.

She knows that this is actually a great benefit to her. She knew this all along. She has always gotten privileges that the boys don't her own room. We have stressed even more the fact that she really is our "miracle girl"...because honestly, looking at our pattern, it seems crazy that we have her at all! Josh and I have told her over and over that WE are glad that she gets to be our only girl and that she and I have to stick together being the only girls in the house. She is good with this. She even says that having brothers is really cool.

I am relieved to know that everything, as far as we can tell, looks normal and that he cooperated enough to give us a clear view of his gender. I am excited to add another crazy boy to this family! I can say this..he's gonna have to be a tough little guy to survive the antics of his big brothers! I have a feeling he's going to learn things quickly and strive to keep up with the big boys as much as possible. It will be an interesting adventure for sure!