bits of goodness

Hello! It’s me (imagine that!) just popping in with some wonderful bits of juicy goodness to share with you!

1. Our family is finishing up a wonderful read-aloud: Because of Mr. Terupt. I first heard about it on NPR. They said something like, “The next book of the month is Mr. Terupt,” and I ran right to the phone, called the library, and put it on hold. This book has everyone—EVERYONE—enthralled. My seven-year-old, my 14-year-old, my husband. Which is quite a feat and I’m very proud of NPR for making such a smart selection. (And of myself for heeding their advice.)

2. I am musically challenged. In other words, I don’t listen to music hardly ever (gasp), nor do I know much about it (gasp, gasp). But I do enjoy it. Enter Songza, a website dedicated to musically clueless people like me. The playlists are sorted by mood. Ha! Now moods I know! Say, for example, I’m gearing up to bake cookies mid-afternoon. Do I want a dance party? Loud and festive Christmas carols? Something to mellow me out? Whatever my situation, songza has it covered. (Thanks, Karen, for the heads-up.)

3. Speaking of music, my parents sent me this link to a TED talk about classical music. I liked it so much that I had the older kids watch it, too. And then we had a conversation about the Holocaust.

4. And speaking of TED and NPR, check out this lecture on…wait for it…grammar. I first heard bits of the talk on the radio while I was fixing lunch for the kids, and then when they were in rest time, I watched it on TED. It’s about the dark side of the subjunctive and the strength of the indicative and it totally rocked my world. The guy bubbles with amazing quotes, such as (yes, I took notes), “…spinning my wheels in the quagmire of the subjunctive.” Goose bumps!

5. Best blog post of the week goes, hands-down, to Mama Congo with “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…depression.” I laughed and I cried and then I read it all over again (over my husband’s shoulder) and laughed even harder. I guess you could say it struck a chord? (Attention all expats: READ IT.)

6. My older son is reading a book on the Birmingham children’s march, as well as Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I am reading them, too, in an effort to know what it is I’m having my kid study. I can read the children’s march book just fine, but Uncle Tom’s Cabin is almost too much for me to handle. After watching 12 Years  A Slave, I can hardly bear to read the horrors. Which makes me think that, for me, the movie bordered on the traumatic. This week I read an “On My Own Biography” book about Aunt Clara Brown to the children and I almost burst out sobbing. It’s like I have PTSD or something. What makes it even crazier is that I want everyone (over the age of 26, preferably) to go see it. Hey world! Watch this movie! It will traumatize you! (Aren’t I a good salesperson?)


The plan for today is a good house scrubbing, a trip to the tree farm, company, and a Christmas concert. However, the snow is falling steadily (beautifully!), so we may switch to baking, books, movies, popcorn, and cider. (The cleaning will happen regardless.) Have a great weekend!


  • Rachelle

    Ah, that blog from Mama Congo. I'm not exactly an expat, but I moved to Canada from the US (Michigan to be precise) and I always notice the distance on the holidays. I just can't get over to visit family every year and it really gets me down sometimes. My husband and I don't have any children of our own and he's not really into the celebrations around Christmas, so even though there's a tree and decorations, it just doesn't feel the same.

    Sometimes we just want what we had on the holidays. The usual family. The same old food. The tried and true gatherings. Christmas stops feeling like Christmas until you can get some new traditions under-way to look forward to. I always wonder if there will come a time when I won't desperately miss the holidays of my childhood. I hope so. I just want to feel like they're special again.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    I am so glad you like Songza! Larry, however, is a little unhappy that there exists a certain playlist called "Singin' in the Shower: 80's Edition."

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