E. Phillips Oppenheim

Okay, so I know this is not really a homemaking topic or something about health, but it is something I want to share.

Long, long ago and in a place far away I was a teenager reading a book called “The Great Impersonation” by E. Phillips Oppenheim. It was great. Suspense, mystery and gentle romance all wrapped up in one book. I read and re-read the story several times over the next few years finally losing track of it.

When I got my Kindle I decided to look it up and see if I could get a free copy of it. Not only did I find “The Great Impersonation” I also found 53 other books by the same author. I started downloading books as fast as I could click. Since then I’ve read an average of one book a week. I have not been disappointed with Oppenheim’s books. They are all similar in that they are mystery¬†AND romance and they all seem to take an unexpected turn somewhere.

I looked Oppenheim up on wikipedia.org. Not surprisingly he is British – so far all of the books I’ve read either start in England or end up there – born in 1866. He wrote over 100 novels and short story books. His writing enabled him to buy a yacht and a villa in France and later a house on Guersney which he lost during World Ward II due to German occupation. He was given the house back after the war and died there in 1946.

The Great Impersonation

If you have a Kindle check this author out or see if your library has any of his books. I have heard that you can get a Kindle app for your computer but have never looked into it. It might be worth checking into although a computer is not as easy to hold as a Kindle. ūüôā

Do you have a favourite author or book?

Eva-Joy

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Hi everyone! ¬†My name is Eva-Joy (although most of the time I’m known as Eva to my blogging friends) and I’m the oldest of eight siblings. ¬†I posted awhile back about how we preserve our strawberries and my mom said I could properly introduce myself today.

I love classic books, music, musicals (especially Les Miserables and A Tale Of Two Cities) and writing. ¬†A few of my favorite books are Les Miserables (Victor Hugo), Emma (Jane Austen), Glimpses Of Truth (Jack Cavanaugh) and Bleak House (Charles Dickens). ¬†But I really have so many favorites it’s hard to choose.

I’m currently writing a historical/romance novel set in a fictitious country. ¬†I’m hoping to have it published by October 2014 which will mean a lot of work (since I’m only about 10,000 words into right now) but I have an outline, chapter list and a great support group so it’s totally possible.

I probably won’t be posting much on this blog since my own blog takes up a lot of my time. ¬†I’ll still be on here from time to time, but for the most part, my mom will be be blogging here.

Eva-Joy

What To Do?

So we’re pretty much finished all of our school work for the year. Just a few more assignments and we’re done. The downside is that I am already hearing rumors of boredom. Why is it that they work so hard all year to get done and then complain three days into their vacation that there is nothing to do? And you know, complaining to your mom about nothing to do is never a good idea because she can always come up with some chores. ūüôā

I need to keep my children busy but I want it to be fun too. After all, this is supposed to be their summer vacation, and they did work very hard all year on their school work. They deserve/need some downtime. So what are our plans?

First of all, there is our garden, of course. They’ve been having fun putting scraps in the compost and digging for worms to add to the compost bin. Soon there will be plants to water and weed – although with square foot gardening there aren’t a lot of weeds. The boys also have our lawn to mow and a neighbour’s lawn. They’d like to get more.

I found a programme online called “Around the World in 60 Days”¬†. This is put out by www.thrivingfamily.ca. This takes you to 27 different countries over the summer with simple activities. It is a way to help my children learn their geography in a fun way and also to remind us to pray for others as we “visit” these countries. We will start in New¬†Zealand and end in Canada. I’m looking forward to this. I like geography.

We are also going to do a photo scavenger hunt. Here is June’s list. I’m going to make individual folders on my computer for each child who wants to participate to store their pictures in. I’ve done something a little similiar to this before and enjoyed it. All my children like to take pictures so I think they will like this activity. The beauty of digital cameras – no film to worry about wasting.

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We will also participate in our library’s summer reading club. Our children certainly don’t need to be encouraged to read, but they still enjoy joining in with the library’s programme.

Finally, I encourage my children to set 1-3 goals¬†of what they hope to accomplish over the summer. Every day when we gather after breakfast to pray and read a chapter in Proverbs we discuss what their goal(s) for that day is. I want to encourage my children to start making a habit of purposefully striving towards a goal. In the past, we have “scheduled” our goals to help them get used to this. For instance, one day would be a spiritual goal (pray for someone, memorize a verse, etc), another day a physical goal (a certain number of repeats of an exercise or learning something new like jump roping), a mental goal (learn a new skill, write a story, etc), a social goal (write a letter, call a friend or relative, make a gift for someone). It’s always fun to hear what they hope to do. I make sure to include myself so they see me setting an example. Last summer several of them challenged themselves to see how long they could stay outside one day before retreating to the coolness of the house. Most of them made it to mid-afternoon. That was fun to watch.

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So yes, I will try to keep them busy and away from boredom, but I will also make sure that they have downtime to unwind from school. When we start up again I want them to be excited about the new school year.

What will your children be doing this summer?

Victoria Day

On the Monday before May 25th Canadians celebrate “Victoria Day”. It is the unofficial beginning of summer; the day a lot of us plant our gardens (We didn’t today – hopefully this weekend). We set off fireworks, have barbecues and enjoy family. Check out this article for a history of Victoria Day – a uniquely¬†Canadian holiday.

Who was Queen Victoria? She is the queen for whom the Victorian Era is named for her. During her long reign of over sixty-three and a half years the world changed a lot and became much smaller. Industry grew expotentially with so many new inventions that made life easier. People were on the move. Education and living standards were improved. Amazing scientific discoveries were made.England reached its zenith as a Christian nation. Scores of missionaries left England for all parts of the world.

It is said that Queen Victoria once said that “m”¬† was her favourite letter in the alphabet. Without the letter “m” the Bible would say that not any rich are saved. With the letter “m” it says that not many rich are saved. I have hopes that we will one day see Queen Victoria in heaven.

Pictures of Queen Victoria show her as a small woman but she certainly had a large influence on her country and the world. I am a “small” woman in this world, but through my children I can have a large influence on the world. A sobering thought. I pray often for wisdom and strength as I try to teach our children how to be a light in this dark world.

enjoying Victoria Day as a family

enjoying Victoria Day as a family

It’s Time!

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for Spring.

I love looking at snow, watching my sons count up what they’ve earned from shovelling snow and even occasionally walking in snow. I like snuggling under a blanket and reading¬†a book. I love cuddling wiggly bodies that are wearing fuzzy pajamas. I enjoy making hot chocolate for my children the old-fashioned way with milk, cocoa, honey and a little cream. I like the earlier darkness that makes everything feel warm and cozy in the house.

There’s something about knowing it’s cold outside that makes the smell of fresh-baked bread and cookies sweeter. There’s joy in watching your children play in the first deep snow of the season – the snow that reaches up to your toddler’s knees, and you let him go out even though it takes ten minutes to wrestle all his snow clothes on and you know after two minutes he’s going to hate it and want back in. There’s the fun of building snowmen and snow tunnels.

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So I like winter until somewhere around February 1st when I magically want all the white stuff to disappear and the temperature to immediately rise to something you can go barefoot in.

But now it’s time for warmer weather, for an entryway not cluttered up by what seems to be 30 pairs give or take of boots and and coats, hats, mittens, scarves to match. It’s time for starting a garden, running around barefoot in the backyard, needing to remind my sons to mow the lawn. It’s time for eating outside, taking long walks after supper with my husband, planning our family vacation.

I’m ready to hang my laundry outside again. Oh, how I love the smell of air-dried laundry, and the sun makes my baby’s diapers so white again!I’m ready to go strawberry and blueberry picking and come home to gorge on the berries and freeze or dehydrate whatever I can manage to keep away from my children. I’m ready to go to the zoo where we have a membership but never seem to go much in the winter.

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¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† So, yes. Winter you’ve been fun, but now it’s time for SPRING!