What We're Reading and What I Knit

I'm not sure how but we are currently reading that whole stack of books all at the same time.  I'm making a more determined effort lately to get read aloud time in.  It's just so important and so good.

From top to bottom:
This one is just for me.  I fell in love with Mother's writing style and personality during Advent when I read Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting.  I bought this one to read during Lent.  It's a line by line meditation on the ancient Anima Christi prayer which, in my humble little opinion, is one of the most beautiful prayers of the Church.  Her reflections are profound, challenging, and transformative.  Her thoughts on being inebriated by the Blood of Christ I especially love.  I recommend it highly.

I started this first volume of The Mistmantle Chronicles as a read aloud to Michael at his request.  I think he's understanding the story but it's hard to tell.  He's getting the main parts at least.  It's funny because I don't think I could ever read enough to John Paul of anything without him asking for more whereas with Michael after a chapter or two of anything is usually ready to be done.  It's a great series for older children and her writing is superb.  It includes some intense themes but there is always a clear distinction between good and evil.  

This is the Children's Classic version with no author listed.  I've never actually read Robin Hood or even knew much besides the archery, the green outfit, the stealing from the rich to give to the poor thing.  I've never actually even seen any of the movies.  I'm enjoying reading it with the three older boys when we get a chance and I've been pleasantly surprised with how virtuous and noble the story lines are.  

My current read aloud with John Paul.  And yes, boys will enjoy Little Women, too :)  We're working our way through our six volume garage sale scored set.  It's taking us a while to get through this because our evening reading time is often interrupted by meetings and other siblings and it's longer than I remember!  I did read this as a young girl but I don't recall the writing being as challenging.  It's a great vocabulary builder and the stories are just so charming and good.  Who can not love Jo?  I'm excited to finish and find a night when I can show him the movie and we can analyze it together.  

We took a long break from the series and just restarted the other day.  I think The Long Winter was just a little too long for us.  Especially this year.  Though it very much did give us a whopping blow of perspective on how easy our winters really are in comparison.  The thought of twisting hay for hours on end and the icicles inside the cabin...man.  But I'm very glad we're onto the next book and that our not as long winter is just about done as well.

Meditations on Vatican Art by Father Mark Haydu, LC, STL 
This is AWESOME.  I found this while browsing Amazon for books to prepare us for Rome and I'm so glad I got it.  It's 28 days of meditations, each day using a different piece of Vatican art to reflect upon.  I've been using it on the weekdays after breakfast before we (hopefully) go to Mass and the boys love it!  The reflections are meant for an adult so much of it goes over their heads but they still seem to get a lot of it and love poring over the pictures.  Just yesterday I found David (who is FOUR!) had come in from outside and was snuggled on a chair looking at the pictures.  It made me so happy and validated that instinct in me that children don't need to be arted down to.  (I just made that phrase up.  What do you think?)  They will, because they are human, be pulled into the beauty and enter something mysterious and enchanting.  I've always wanted to do more art appreciation but felt overwhelmed and inadequate at the prospect.  This has been the perfect way to begin, I think, and I love love love that the boys are excited to see the paintings in real life and will be able to recognize them.

I've hardly been knitting at all lately but just last night finished up a very easy newborn hat in a cream bamboo yarn.  It's so simple but I really like it.  The yarn is super soft and has a slight sheen to it.  It's to go in a gift basket for a fundraiser for Sr. Stan's Children, an orphanage in Ghana.  I'm making a pregnancy/birth themed basket with the main part being a certificate for doula services.  It's really fun to make but I may be just the slightest bit nervous that it's a weird idea and no one will bid on it.  How embarrassing would that be?  I might have to pay someone off to put a bid in ;)    

Happy Wednesday!
Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along and Jessica for What We're Reading Wednesday!


  1. I love that your boys like Little House books and Little Women as read-alouds. I am hoping my guy will enjoy them as well.

  2. Little Women is my favorite classic. My mom and I would read it on Sundays with tea. Then, she wrote into a newspaper when the most recent movie came out and scored us free tickets to it (I think I was in high school). Good stuff.

  3. I like that phrase "arted down to"! Brilliant! :)

  4. I love these classics too. I am checking into the Meditations book. Thanks for sharing.

    Mary-andering Creatively

    Mary-andering Among the Pages

  5. Those books sound wonderful and I love the fact that you are reading Little Women with your boys! I've introduced my husband to it and I plan to read it with any of our future children - even if they are boys!

    Your hat looks quite darling. How is bamboo yarn? I've heard a lot of people talking about it and while I do not know how to knit very well, I would love to crochet with some! Where do you buy yours?

    Don't worry about your basket. If I were there, I would put a bid on it! I think that it is a wonderful idea!

    Love your posts, Mary!

    1. It is SO soft! I didn't have any issues working with it. t actually found this on clearance when I happened to be at Joann's or Michael's probably over a year ago! I think it might be a blend but I already threw out the wrapper :)

  6. Anima Christi is my Number One favorite prayer of all-time. Tell me more about these Mistmantle Chronicles! I have never heard of them!

    1. We love them. My sister in law got us hooked on them. They're sort of Narnia-esque, I think, in that they are loaded with Christian themes. There are five books that take place on the Island of Mistmantle and it's characters are all squirrels, hedgehogs, otters, and moles. Very action-packed and a clear good vs. evil message. There is murder and culling of baby animals and talk of evil so it's definitely something you have to use your intuition with but my boys and I highly recommend them!

  7. Ah yes, THIS was where I received the inspiration to read "Anima Christi" by Mother Mary Francis--thank you so much! I even had it on my bookshelf (-: (having read many of her other books and loved them I must have "picked it up" one day). And yes, the chapter on the Blood of Christ was very inspiring, perfect reading for Lent.
    I love your hat. We have volunteers who make them to give out to the newborns at our hospital and the parents absolutely love them. And I would definitely have bid on such a basket back in the day when I was having babies---or in the days to come if I should be so blessed as to have grandchildren.


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