Thursday, January 07, 2010

books and things

Winter is always a big time for reading in our home. While the call to play and be outdoors is still present, sadly it is not as strong as it is during the milder months. And when we do venture out of doors, bundled up usually in the face of snow, it is for much shorter periods than in the Spring, Summer and Fall.

I must admit that I secretly like being somewhat housebound due to snow, cold and early nightfall during these New England winters and count it as an excuse to enjoy other worthwhile indoor activities.

To many parents, myself included at times, being shut up in doors with their children is not something they look forward to with pleasure. And although I have not always felt this way, I have grown to enjoy and treasure the time that I spend at home with my children.

The nagging thought of needing to get out today has slowly slipped away and been replaced with a contentment and an anticipation for our quiet days at home. And although we still manage to possess an active social life, and probably do leave the house at least once daily, a balance has been struck between simple time at home and social time outside of the house.

When we do head out and about, it is not in search of a fleeting thrill to pass an afternoon away or a visit of distraction to a store to buy things that none of us need. Instead it is for worthwhile activities and visits with friends and family. I have become choosy over the years in deciding what and where we will spend out time. There are many good activities out there. But are they the best for my children?

There was a time when sadly my children would ask me if we were going to the store today or who was coming over. Before I found my place and purpose in life, much time was spent frittered away at simply trying to get through the day while keeping my sanity with two or three little ones. It was a survival mode of sorts. But in the end, all we had to show for were days marked off the calendar and bits of money spend that didn't need to be.

Of course we still do go out to stores... but only when there is something that we need to buy. I don't consider window shopping a worthwhile activity to pursue with young children in tow. I feel it can be overwhelming to them and can create battles over toys that they feel they need to have right then and there that didn't exist in the first place.

Which brings me to the original focus of this blog post: books and things.

I wanted to share some of the books and things that we we are currently enjoying as a family.

For those of you who know us personally, you know that my Mike and I are avid health and wellness enthusiasts. What else can you expect from a nutritionist and a personal trainer couple? So needless to say there has been a recent influx of books relating to nutrition and wellness making their way into our home. And although we are both guilty of having at least three books going at once, we are thoroughly enjoying each book in it's own time.

The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying our Brains and Harming our Children by Carol Simontacchi
Nutrtion and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price
The Diet Cure by Julia Ross

Two books that I am just loving right now both pertain to simplicity and parenting. So much of what these authors are writing about I have already felt the conviction about years ago. But these books go into so much more and address some practical ways to simplify as well as offering that extra nudge that is sometimes needed to go even further with the vision that has been given to you about what your family really needs.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross
Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison

Sophia is encouraged to always have a book going on the side for free reading that is from her book list. This is usually a book that is a good work of literature, one that no child should miss. This winter she has chosen Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.

And although we have been without TV for nearly a year, we still like to indulge in the occasional movie. We rely on our library for children's books and DVDs that they would like to read and watch. One of our favorite DVDs is the series Faerie Tale Theater by Shelley Duval. It is a collection of the TV series from the late 1980s featuring portrayals of popular fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and various tall tales and legends. The stories are enchanting and engaging and we have read most of them already so their is some history behind the stories.

There are many more things that we do to enjoy a rich home life that I will have to save for another post sometime soon...


lovingmom said...

Love the blog post! We too have not had TV since our move, but enjoy movies still. Of course, reading and books are a constant (I am always a teacher after all...) but we are also spoiled with great weather. I too love the quiet time at home, so hard to give up! And Gracie received the Fairy Tale Theatre collection as a gift recently:) I grew up with them, and now the girls get to! Very fun stuff. Tell the family hello, and keep the inspiration coming!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I sort of enjoy being in more in the winter too, though we get a bit stir-crazy. Simplicity Parenting...that is certainly on my list of must-reads.

Naturalearthfarm said...

I really enjoyed this post. It sounds like our home. We are all cozied in for the winter in northern New England and I truly don't mind reading, learning and doing handwork with my six children while watching the snow build up outside.
Thank you for sharing your book titles.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Mariela said...

Caddie Woodlawn! I had forgotten all about that book. Has Sofia read the Betsy/Tacy books yet? I loved those as well.