Monday, November 28, 2011

Sara's Should Read List

Okay, so I said I was going to put my blog on pause for a while.  And I'm cleaning out my bookshelves so that I have room to store and easily access the materials I'm using for my courses.  This means something has to go - I have books stacked all over.

One entire bookshelf is dedicated to books I think I should read - but haven't gotten to. The shelf started a few years ago and continues to grow.  The problem is when I'm looking for something to read, I never stroll over and pick something out because there are 4 other books someone just handed me or recommended.

With a deep breath, I'm clearing off the shelf.  I figure if I list everything here, I can easily come back to the list and then request the book from the library.  In the meantime, such desirable titles should fetch me a pretty penny at HalfPrice, right?

I was going to make a paper list, but I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find it again. Ditto for a list in some random place on my computer.  But my blog, I'll remember and be able to find the list again on my blog.

Without further ado:

- Echo by Terry Moore (no wait, this is a graphic novel by one of my favorites, I'm putting this book upstairs on my bedside table)
- Nurtured by Love by Shinichi Suzuki
- The Magic of Matsumoto: The Suzuki Method of Education by Cr. Carolyn Barrett (okay, this has actually been on my to read pile since Theo was 18 months old.  Boy am I glad to see it go, though I hear it is a lovely book.)
- A Young's People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn (uhhhh, I can't let this go.  I just need to preview it a bit for Theo. Guess it goes in the homeschool shelves.)
- The Explosive Child by Ross Greene (I don't know why this book is on the shelf.  I read it.  It had some good points, though I didn't love the solutions. I'm putting it on the parenting shelf for helping me identify my kids' triggers.)
- The Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Angela Medearis (I read this one, too. Goes in the Christmas box).
- Sula by Toni Morrison (I love Toni, I just can't do dark books right now)
- Playing Smart by Susan Perry (This is a great book about all sort of fun things you can do with kids to improve their physical, social, emotional and academic intelligence.  Just leafing through it makes me feel inadequate.)
- Can We Talk About Race by Beverly Tatum (I've read parts of this, too.  She's a great writer, and this is a subject I think is vitally important to our family and I'm 10 steps behind on. I feel really guilty for not taking the time to finish it right now.)
- Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier by Chriss Enss. (I think my mom lent me this book.  Time to start a new pile.)
- Growing up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World by Homa Sabet Tavangar.
- Freemasonry by Giles Morgan (left by one of the British soccer coaches we hosted.  Apparently very interesting peek into the old boys network of George Washington et al.)
- Dance of Attachment by Holly van Gulden (OH!  I've been looking for that)
- In Their Sibling's Voices by Rita Simon and Rhonda Roorda (Oh, I was looking for that, too)
- Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies by Kenneth Bock
- The Oxytocin Factor by Kerstin Moberg (losing my resolve on this on, it was a hard to find book about a subject that may still come in handy to understand more deeply, putting it back on a shelf somewhere)
- Ultra: Seven Days by Luna Brothers (recommended by my hubby, putting it back on his shelf)
- Our Red Hot Romance is Leaving me Blue by Dixie Cash
- Money for Nothing by PG Wodehouse (okay, Wodehouse books makes me laugh so hard I cry.  It goes back on the shelf.)
- Little Birds by Anais Nin (ooohhh, I was looking for this, too.  Goes back on regular book shelf. Maybe up high out of 10 year old reach.)
- A Short History of Ancient Times by Philip Van Ness Myers, part of the History At Our House series (another hard to get one.  Goes in the Ancient History bin for Theo to read next time we hit this cycle, he'll be 13 or 14)
- White Men on Race by Joe Feagin & Eileen O'Brien. (gosh, another one I know I will benefit from reading in the long run and be so glad I read)
- One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Math by Eric Yoder (WHY is this on MY to read shelf??)
- 101 Things Everyone Should Know About Math by Ze, Segal and Levy (obviously I know everything I need to know about math because I survive or go ask my hubby or buddy Jenn.  This must go on the homeschool shelf.)
- Raising Black Children Who Love Reading and Writing by Dierdre Paul (This book is from 1964.  I know I've got the children who love reading part down pat.  When I got this book I was looking for good books lists starring black children for my kids to enjoy.  Now, there is so much more out there, I need an updated book.)
- Dear America: the Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson by Andread Davis Pinkney (book from the perspective of a 12 year old just after Brown vs Board of Education. A quick glance tells me it is a pretty great book.  Going into the American History bin for next cycle.)
- Pie by Sarah Weeks (a book about a cat name pie, just the picture on the front sort of makes me want to gag.)
- book with homemade cover out of green construction paper.  (It's a great book with a HORRIBLE title.  I call it the book of shame, but I'm for sure keeping it. And no, I probably won't tell you what it is.)
- The Man with the Iron Mask, the Marvel Comics version. (Apparently I don't do Dumas in picture form.  Giving back to Bill.)
- Lapham's Quarterly: Ways of Learning, Gall 2008.  (From a friend, guess I need to figure out if she wants it back first)
- The 100 Best African American Poems by Nikki Giovanni, with CD (definitely goes in the poetry book shelf)
- The Power of Rest: Why Sleep is Not Enough by Matthew Edlund (this book ROCKS.  I have the revie copy and have loved it.  Another one of those books I've been looking for.  I wonder if the released book is different.....)
- Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring home the Lost Children of nepal by Conor Grennan (I have literally NO idea where this came from or when)
- Hey, Cowgirl, Need a Ride? By Baxter Black (whaaaa?)
- Baby Bargins, 8th edition (sadly, no need for this anymore)
- The Nature of Animal Healing: Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for your Dog and Cat by Martin Goldstein (filed back on health book shelf, this is one of my faves.)
- Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog by Volhard and Brown (refiled, too)
- To Teach, the journey, in comics by William Ayers (back to Bill)
- Teach Like a Champion: 49 techniques that put students on the path to college by Doug Lemov (the picture on the front looks like one of those inspirational golf posters, sigh)
- A Children's Garden: 60 ideas to make any garden come alive for children by Molly Dannenmaier
- The Family Kitchen Garden by Karen Liebreich
- The Crochet Answer Book by Edie Eckman
- PhotoReading by Paul Scheele (another mis-shelved book)
- Cartwheels in a Sari by Layanti Tamm
- The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
- The Cheese Chronicles: a journey throughout the making and selling of cheese in America, from field to table by Liz Thorpe (sounds delicious...)
- How to Open and Adoptiong by Patricia Martinez-Dorener (haven't read yet, but goes on the adoption shelf)
- Branded, the Making of a Wyoming Cowgirl by Deirdre Graves (must be from mom)
- Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks
- What Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum (I read this forever ago and was actually looking for it the other day.  Goes in the shelves.)
- African American Firsts by Joan Potter
- Eternal Life: A New Vision by John Shelby Spong
- killing rage: ending racism by bell hooks
- Nature Walks in and around Seattle by Stephen Whitney (I think I'll hold onto this, and put it in the homeschool shelves, we could use some new adventures)
- Race by Marc Aronson (this is an awesome book I'll really enjoy some day)
- Fearless Girls, Wise Women& Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World (definitely goes in the homeschool pile)
- Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (lent from my mom)

Three books I'm putting back on the to read shelf because they were gifted to me by girlfriends when I asked for copies of their favorite books:
- The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
- Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Ahhhhh.  That narrows it down from 2 full shelves to 5 books.  That guilty knot in my stomach feels much better.  Now I know what to pick up when I finish my current read, "Before she gets her period" by Jessica Gillooly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Very Full Life

I'm sure you've noticed I have not posted in a while.  Everyday I mean to - I've been learning so much I'd like to write about, both for my own internal processing and integration and to share with you all.

This year, Bill and I have decided to add back in neurodevelopmental programs to help shore up several places where each child seem to be struggling.  What does this really mean? Thanks to an evaluation with my friend Donna Bateman (one of the most dedicated mamas I know and a true delight), who trained with the Family Hope Center,  I'm helping the kids do lots of reflex stimulations (as explained by Donna here and by another site I found here) and creeping and crawling. Yes, creeping and crawling like puppies and crocodiles.  Remember, the brain is a muscle that grows through use and when we spend time on our bellies and hands and knees, we organize the pons and mid-brain, areas responsible for hearing, reading, writing, emotional control, following many step commands, plus tons more. And by we, I mean my kids!

To quicken the neurodevelopmental work, we're focusing on some important complimentary areas - especially nutrition, still sticking with the paleo theme (plus we're about to start chasing the Candida plague around here) and integrative manual therapy.

Of course there is always the academic work, though scaled back some, we need to get through in a day.  Plus all the fabulous classes our Seattle homeschool community provides.  Right now either one or both of the kids is doing: Japanese class, piano lessons, hip-hop dance, math class (with our math hero, Jenn), girl choir, guitar, soccer and scouts.  Whew.  And all the associated driving.

In what seems like a true act of self-indugence, I've signed up for the Advanced Studies Program with the Neufeld Institute.  I can't even put to words how much fun I'm having learning more deeply about the developmental attachment paradigm Dr. Neufeld has created.  I've just finished a training for his Vital Connections course and will do my first practicum facilitating it in January.  Somehow at the same time as my training class, I volunteered to host another Intensive 1 group.  Intense has been the correct word for doing two Neufeld courses at the same time!  So much fun, I managed to double schedule again for January when I'll facilitate the Vital Connection course while completing a training in his Making Sense of Play course. At the end of the 2 year program I expect to be facilitating both the Vital Connection and Art and Science of Transplanting Children for the adoption community in the Puget Sound area, helping moderate a dynamic Neufeld focused community in the Seattle area and using the knowledge I have as a parent coach to support other parents.

While I truly love the work Dr. Neufeld is doing, I also adore and deeply value Holly vanGulden's work with developmental attachment and adoption.  I did a 3 day training with her in Minnesota this September and have been integrating what I learned in my daily interactions with my kids.  I've also been sharing more about it with other adoptive parents as I see how much Holly's knowledge and experience speaks specifically to what we see in our adopted kids.  In the pause between my Neufeld courses, I plan to sit down and brush up on her training manual.

Not something I'm likely to post much about on the world wide web, I still put quite a bit of time and energy each week into my personal growth hobby.

My brag for the month is that 6 days a week for the past 3 weeks, I've been in bed asleep by 8:30, and mostly slept until 7 or 8:00.  I'll keep on sleeping 10+ hours a night until I'm naturally waking up rested around 6am.  Chipping away at my apparently enormous sleep debt may be the only thing that really helps me keep all these balls I'm juggling in the air fairly gracefully.

Add these to my daily attempts to run the household, connect with my husband, keep the dog well exercised, practice guitar, present delicious nutritious food 5x a day and somehow fit back in my beloved CrossFit, and sadly, I just can't post right now.

My hope is that once I have a few training courses under my belt I'll have more brain space to write about the things I'm learning.  For now, though, consider my blog on pause.

Feel free to email me or call if you have questions or want to say hi.  I'll miss you all!