I whisper that to Elisabeth often, especially in the midst of a seizure. And when I look at these pictures, I see how true those words are. Elisabeth is the pride and joy of our family. We take great care to make sure she always feels safe and loved. There is a certain reverence we have for Elisabeth, for even though her abilities and understanding are small, we know that she is greater than us all. So we protect her, we cherish her, we nurture her, we love her.
My home doubles as a library. There are books tucked into nooks and crannies all over my home, from window sills, to bookcases, to the niche above the fireplace. Books promote an atmosphere of learning, encourage the imagination, and look beautiful to boot!
And now, in honor of this special day, a book review.
My favorite children's book:
As a child, it was the pictures in this book that captivated me. The blocks of orange and green were simply mesmerizing and I enjoyed looking for the mouse with each page that passed. It was by far my favorite children's book. And now, it has become a favorite to my Elisabeth, but for a different reason. Since she is coritcally blind, it isn't the art that captures her interest, but rather the rhyme and rhythm of the words. The story has comforted her through many a hospital stay and many a seizure. Oh, what a treasure and a blessing this book is in my life!
My favorite book:
The Giver simply speaks to my soul. Each time I read it, it reaches inside of me and stirs up new thoughts and emotions. Proudly, it has become Alexandra's favorite book as well.
My favorite genre:
When I was in the 7th grade, The Martian Chronicles was required reading in my English class. It was my first exposure to science fiction and I remember thinking, 'What in the world did I just read?!' I have been fascinated by and hooked on sci-fi ever since.
My favorite character:
Clarisse McClellan from Fahrenheit 451.
I love how true she is to herself. She is not and never could be influenced by her peers or culture. She enjoys life, she notices life, she lives life.
"One two three four five six seven days. And as many times he came out of the house and Clarisse was there somewhere in the world. Once he saw her shaking a walnut tree, once he saw her sitting on the lawn knitting a blue sweater, three or four times he found a bouquet of late flowers on his porch, or a handful of chestnuts in a little sack, or some autumn leaves nearly pinned to a sheet of white paper and thumbtacked to his door."
Most influential book:
Not a day goes by that I don't think about Outliers or quote it to my children. It isn't a parenting book, but it has changed how I parent. Never before has a book made such an impact on me.
So read it, read it today!
Favorite opening page:
Sometimes I pull this book off the shelf just to read the opening page over and over and over. I find it to be quite genius. It goes like this:
It was a long times ago.
Though it seems, sometimes, that most things that matter happened a long time ago, that is not really true. What is true is this: by the time you realize how much something mattered, time has passed; by the time it stops hurting enough that you can tell about it, first to yourself, and finally ro someone else, more time has passed; then, when you sit down to begin the telling, you have to begin this way:
A few weeks ago I traveled to Utah with Alexandra and Elisabeth. My oldest nephew, Matthew had just returned from serving a mission in Texas on July 1st, and his younger brother, Jacob, left to serve a mission in Argentina on July 15th.
It was a special occasion to be there with their family and I am SO incredibly proud of my nephews.
Both Matthew and Jacob spoke at church and following the service my sister hosted a delicious brunch at her home. The color theme was yellow and blue to represent the Argentinian flag.
Alexandra enjoyed having all her cousins to herself while Elsa and Lorelai were in Portland competing in a regional track meet.
Left to right...Alexandra, Ben, Katya, Jacob, Matthew, Peter, and Daria.
I loved being in Salt Lake City. The weather was divine, the mountains majestic. It is simply spectacular there!