Birthday Book List

Birthday Book List

I mentioned(on Twitter/Facebook) that I just got a new pile of books for my birthday and that I was looking for a place to put them all. Of course my friends are just as booky as I am and so almost immediately I got a request to share the titles. (All these books were on my Amazon wishlist, by the way.)

So this is that post. Book lovers, welcome.

1. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods by A. G. Sertillanges, O.P.

This one was from my best friend in college, Stephanie. With a note about how I was always the one with more intellectual pretensions. I plead guilty as charged.

The rest of these are from my husband. Who sweetly indulges my passion for books even though there is no more empty shelf space.

2. Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture by Karen Andreola.

I loved her Charlotte Mason Companion. I still need to buy it as I’ve only ever checked it out from the library. Looking forward to this guide to nature study.

3. The Backyard Birdsong Guide: Eastern and Central North America (Backyard Birdsong Guides)
In the same nature study vein as the former book…. This was an instant hit with the girls. This guide book has beautiful pictures but the big attraction is the birdsong player attached to the book. Search for the number that matches the one in the book and you can hear a recording of the bird’s song from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

4. Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song
Because if one birdsong guide is good, two is even better. This has a wider range of birds. But only one song for each bird whereas the shorter backyard guide has two (or even three) for most of the birds.

5. Rocking the Cradle Catholic by Mary Moore.

6. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.

7. Not a book, but also from my dear husband was a cd of songs in French for children, which sadly does not include a sheet with lyrics. Bella is already in love with it. I played it for her and she began dancing around the living room. She told me there was a different dance for each song.

Recently Bella has become almost obsessed with the idea of foreign languages. We have a smattering of children’s books in French and Gaelic and my sister has a picture book in German. When asked to read them, I often will read a bit in the language and then retell the story in English (or sight translate, which is really hard when I’m tired.) Also somehow she knows that I speak a little (very little) bit of Italian. She’s started asking me about languages, pretending to say things in different languages. I certainly don’t mind indulging this new fascination, though I’ll confess I do so in a very lackadaisical way.

8. I also received a subscription to Poetry magazine. I vaguely remember maybe getting a notice from someone about giving it to me (Mum B, was it you?). But I don’t remember who. And that could be a phantom of my imagination.

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  • Your kids are just cherubic! those beautiful eyes and lovely chubby cheeks for nibbling!

    Claire had a stutter we were concerned about for a while. It cleared up quickly, but it was worrisome briefly. A couple of rules we instituted seemed to help it on it’s way: We did not ever finish her sentences or act as though we noticed the stutter, we would just smile and let her finish on her own – no saying “slow down”, or “relax,” as we heard that tends to instill anxiety. Additionally, we didn’t have her make any effort to modulate her volume – we had heard that the effort to “speak quietly” can exacerbate a stutter. Whispering is fine, so we let claire speak as loudly as she felt was necessary (normal speaking, not yelling), or asked her to whisper if it was time for quiet. When we wanted her to speak more quietly, we would model it for her by speaking more slowly – that tended to cause her to naturally speak more quietly without too much effort.

    Its been about a year since we noticed it and there is now no stutter, just occasional tripping over her words trying to say too much at once. Most kids get over a stutter fairly quickly.

    Hope you’re feeling well – we think about y’all and pray for you a bunch!


  • Hi Betsy,

    Thanks so much.
    I obviously forgot to finish my thought! (Can’t imagine how I got distracted.) I forgot to mention that when I looked up stuttering I found essentially the advice you’ve given: don’t correct of finish the word or sentence or otherwise draw attention to it. Just wait patiently until they get the idea out. I have to say, that would really be my inclination anyway just as I try to listen patiently to long, boring stories and don’t correct mispronunciation when the children are learning to speak. Just use the correct form myself.

    I had a student with a terrible stutter once when I was teaching composition (but he was a very good writer) and I always made a point of listening patiently. It was hard when I got impatient; but I thought it was important for his dignity.

    Thanks for the prayers and thoughts.

  • My son Alex is about 1 month older than Sophie, and your post just reminded me that I haven’t heard him stutter is a while.  He went through a few months of saying “uh, uh, uh” in between words when he was excited about telling us something but it went away on its own.  Betsy clearly has great advice!  I really enjoy your posts and am quite happy to admire your lovely kids.