Archive | April, 2012

Re-reading a book from childhood

28 Apr

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(Update, May 8: I did email my friend and got such a nice response! Re-reading a good book and re-connecting with old friends…it’s been such a great week!)

When I was still a kid, maybe about 10 or 11, an older friend from my church gave me a book that she thought I’d enjoy. It was The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I’m re-reading it now for the 6th (7th, 8th?) time. (Just looking up the link above, I learned that her amazing house/watchshop, where they hid and saved many lives, is now a museum that you can tour! I want to go!)

The story is about Ms. Ten Boom’s amazing family in Holland as they devote their lives to saving Jewish lives during WW2. Their home became the headquarters of their local resistance against the Nazis. It’s really incredible how their faith grew and sustained their commitment to continue to doing what’s right, even when they were forced into concentration camps.

Her father and sister Betsie especially show an unwavering faith in God. I really love her father’s patient, kind, and loving style of parenting. The answer he gives little Corrie in one chapter stood out to me. At first glance, it seems like the typical “You’ll understand when you’re older” reply that many adults give children, but the way he expresses it and the physical/visual example that he gives her is just so lovely that I can absolutely imagine most kids accepting this and also feeling like they are being treated with respect.

On one of their weekly train rides, Corrie asks her dad what “sexsin,” a word she read in a poem, means. Here is his response to her:


“He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. 

‘Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?’ he said. 

I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchases this morning. 

‘It’s too heavy,’ I said. 

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust to me to carry it for you.’

And I was satisfied. More than satisfied– wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions– for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”

– Chapter 2: Full Table, The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom 


I’m so happy to be reading this again. I’m going to send an email to the friend who gave me the book (she is a missionary who has been living in China for…15+years?) to thank her. I have a feeling she noticed how introverted and shy I was at church and loved reading, so this was a way of reaching out to me.

It’s funny how small gestures that adults make to kids can impact them, eh?

And it’s just great how satisfying re-reading books can be- I totally agree with the cliche that they’re “like old friends,” because they really are! And you appreciate and discover new things with each read (well, if it’s a well-written, good book, that is!). And of course (sort of related to that), one of the ways to encourage a love of reading in your children is to let them see you enjoying a book!


What are your favourite re-reads?


Get outside!

27 Apr

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I’ll be honest- haven’t really been doing (prepared) Montessori activities with Freestyle lately. I chalk it up to the (mostly) good weather and also work! Though I don’t think that everything needs to be an official “lesson,” since a lot of things just come naturally (like teaching her to brush her teeth instead of just eating the toothpaste, putting on her clothes, etc.).

Mostly we have been just going outside a lot, which is great. I know that most Montessori Toddler programs put an emphasis of going outdoors with the kids. This is so that the kids have as much opportunity to be in nature as possible. I was just thinking today that we mostly live with a cement barrier between us and the earth.

When I was teaching Upper Elementary, I remember going off on a tangent while doing an outdoor lesson with a couple of boys in my class (they were the only ones who opted out of the dance lessons during gym time so I took them outside for some exercise during that period). I encouraged them to take off their shoes and socks and was just marveling at how the earth was just designed for human comfort- the spongy earth and cool grass felt so nice on bare feet, didn’t it?

I did just get some blank stares from them, but that’s okay.

So, I do like to get Freestyle out there as much as possible and have her walk, run, and jump on the grass. Get a little dirty. Explore. Use her sense to experience nature. All that good stuff.

I’m especially grateful to my friend and neighbour who is so, so great at getting her kids outdoors that it really shames me into doing it even if I don’t feel like it some days! 🙂

Best 11 Minutes of Your Day

12 Apr

Heard about this on Metro Morning today.

So good.

Was laughing and crying.

It’s a short film about a 9-year-old boy who built a cardboard arcade. What a great kid- exactly what you hope your kid will be: smart, creative, persistent, hard-working, positive, and an (sorry to use this term) out-of-the-box thinker! Kudos to his super supportive dad and his first customer (who also made the film).



Don’t the Fun Pass check and ticket dispenser just kill you?! Oh my…I love this kid!