Friday, November 20, 2009

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Hello! James Martin here! I just wanted to post about a book I just read called Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.

The book was written by a man named Lewis Carroll who love writing books for children. He modeled the character of Alice after his daughter, who shared the name "Alice" with the main character. He told the story to one of his friends, and she said that he should right it down and send it to a book publisher. So, he did. (He must have, or else there wouldn't be 2 Disney movies based on it, or have lines from the novels repeatedly quoted.)
Alice is sitting on a bank by a stream with her older sister on a warm, summer day when she sees a rabbit. The odd thing  about this rabbit was that he pulled a pocket watch out of his pocket! (Rabbits have pockets?) And he ran off. Alice, who was dreadfully curious, started chasing the rabbit until she saw the rabbit jump into a hole. That's when her adventures began. She jumped into the hole. She fell for what seemed like ages, but then, she finally came to the bottom. She kept shrinking and growing in the hallway in which she landed. She soon escaped, however, and met all sorts of zany creatures, such as the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar, The Ugly Duchess, The Mock Turtle, The Mad Hatter, and my mom's favorite, the Chesire Cat.

I read this book in it's entirety on Monday. I really liked it! I am looking forward  to the two Disney movies based off this adventure. (The classic 1951 Movie and the Tim Burton movie that comes out in March.) I can now appreciate all the references in pop culture to the novel, including comic book villains, such as The Mad Hatter and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who think they are characters from Alice in Wonderland. I wonder what kind of impact this book will make in the next 25 years. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Blessed Time of Year

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reading in the Willows

One of the greatest joys of my life has been reading to the children. When the boys were little, I'd put them in the bathtub with lots of Mr. Bubble, and we would read through a pile of books every night. Michael has also read to them--maybe even more. When they were still in public school, he read to them from the Bible and from a biography of a great Christian every morning as they ate breakfast. When I taught night classes or worked at my retail jobs, he would read the Little House stories to them.

We still read together. The boys and I are working through Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper; John Thomas and I are reading Don Quixote at lunchtime during the week. We just finished The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (again). These books have meant so much to us--they are like friends we visit and visit again.

A friend/relative of our's is homeschooling her children. She and her husband are both professional educators, and she taught in the public schools before her children were born. She makes reading the centerpiece of her homeschool. You should see how those children love to learn! The older boys can't wait until their reading time after supper every night.

A problem Michael and I both encounter with our students is that they are so reluctant to read! This is probably our biggest challenge, and my understanding from talking with others is that it is this generation. And they really seem to resist the classics; a few years back, I taught a group of really sharp, competitive students who were lamenting having had to read Robinson Crusoe!
How do we explain this? How can it be addressed? Please share your thoughts!

The Bible Broadcasting Network

This is a picture of our family at the headquarters of BBN--a wonderful Christian radio network. The gentleman in the middle is Dr. Lowell Davey, the President of the network. This network features some of the best of the best in Christian programming: Thru the Bible, Glad Tidings, Chuck Swindoll, Creation Moments--the list goes on and on. I particularly appreciate the music they play--traditional hymns! It is very difficult to find this type of music on the radio today.

I have listened to BBN since 1986. The kids listen to it today (the Captain's Club and Unshackled are their favorites) on the internet. They love the Sugar Creek Gang stories and Uncle Charlie on the Captain's Club. There really is something for the whole family here.

Check them out at