Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ah...Finally Reading Again!

Some of you may not know that I have an eye disease that
is continuously compromising my eye sight.
The professionals at Stanford University have said that they believe
I should lose my sight within ten to fifteen years.
Well, that was almost ten years ago and I still have my sight even though
I am somewhat visually impaired.

The degenerative genetic disorder is called Retinal
Dominant Drusens, Familial Drusens,Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy, or Malattia Leventinese.
Anyway, very few people in the world are blessed with this genetic disorder...I found out about mine in my early thirties.
I have seen the most significant change in my macula which is where this disease resides.

Fairly soon after my diagnosis I chose to rarely drive at night.
If I have to drive at night then I have someone with me to put me at ease.
I have lost a lot of depth perception and lately it feels like the world around me is in know that seeing some things up close while seeing others far off. Not fun...not fun at all!
I also have a hard time with bright light and yet I need good quality light when I read.
My eyes do not change quickly when going inside a store, restaurant or such.
So, if you see me but it doesn't look like I see you please know that I am not ignoring you...I really don't see you.

I had been contemplating whether or not to buy something that would help me read. I looked at all the Kindle like products out there but most are not backlit and so they don't really help me see the page anymore than a light would on a book page.
I love Apple products and so when we found out we were getting some money back from our taxes we bought an iPad for me.
I had been reading on my iPod for the past couple of years and on my laptop but the iPod is a bit too small and the laptop is cumbersome to carry around everywhere. Let me tell you, the iPod has been a gift from heaven for me.
I can finally read anywhere!
I no longer am limited to having the exact amount of light.
I not only use it to read books but I also use it as my "hymn book" for our church services.
I download the Powerpoint and read the liturgy from my iPad.
This is when technology is incredibly helpful!

So, I am looking forward to a summer full of reading. By the way, it took me awhile to get use to the idea of having my books in digital form. Personally, I love the smell of a good hard bound book. I love the crisp feel of paper and love marking up my non-fiction books.
But, above all I cherish the ability to read and that trumped the other reasons for buying a good hard bound book. I still will buy them for my children's sake but I will not complain about my new digital library. An added bonus? I found out I can highlight and type notes in my books and the downloaded Bible that I have. Woohoo! I'm thankful for those computer geeks out there that think of everything!

So, I thought I would share with you a list of books that I am reading right now...

The Mysterious Benedict Society

We just finished this book. I picked it up awhile back at Target, of all places. I liked the cover and the synopsis on the back of the book was intriguing.
It took us a while to get through this book mainly because we lent it out a couple of times before finishing it. It is packed full of riddles and crazy antics from the four main characters Reynie (with the voice of the narrator), Sticky (a small, screechy boy's voice), Kate (a wild, fun character who needed a strong Texan accent), and Constance (a high pitched, toddler like voice). The story is far fetched with a villain that is trying to sweep the memories from people so he can take over the world. But, it is a fun kid hero type of story...great for a summer read aloud.


This is the first of our summer read-a-louds. I have a whole stack of books that we need to get through with this one on the top. My friend, Dan Glaeser of Dan Glaeser Books, always has a great collection of hardbound children's books for me to add to my collection. Last year he had a fabulous selection of Newberry hard bound used books for a great price.
This was among the selection and so I bought it...we will see if we like it or not. It just looked interesting and had great reviews.
By the way, one of the other Newberry books that we just finished reading right before The Mysterious Benedict Society was called Al Capone Does My Shirts.
A fun read-a-loud about the adventures of a family that lives on Alcatraz Island when Al Capone was in prison there. There were some words that I needed to change while reading but that is the beauty of reading aloud!

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

N. D. Wilson is in my top ten favorite authors list. We started with 100 Cupboards (another great read-a-loud) and then I read Leepike Ridge (add this one to that summer reading list as well!). Daisy has read the next two in the 100 Cupboards series and insists that these be read aloud this summer (I am sure that I will comply with this request!).
Notes reminds me of years ago when I use to read Nathan's work in Credenda Agenda, a wonderful magazine filled with articles by Nathan's father Doug Wilson, Peter Leithart, and other brave souls.
N. D. , as he is known in the book world, is a poet. He sees things in ways that I wish I could. He writes with passion the way I wish I could.
He is a philosopher in a way that I wish I could attain to...maybe someday.
In the meantime, I am enjoying this work of art.

Liberty Defined

I am a Ron Paul fan. I have been for awhile. I read parts of Revolution and realized that this man is right on in his philosophy of government. You might disagree but I urge you to read this book. Especially if you are a Christian. I can't tell you how many people have questioned why I would vote for Ron Paul. This book says it all. For the 12.00 fee you can find out exactly what he believes. This man is right on! Most politicians waver on what they believe. And, the majority (in both parties) are so power happy that they would easily vote against their own philosophy of government than to lose power. But, Ron Paul has stood firm and not wavered on his beliefs.
I have learned quite a bit already from this book that takes on the top 50 most important issues of our day in alphabetical order. And, for those of you who say that Ron Paul is not pro-life this is a must read for you. He is and he proves it!

The Ministry of Motherhood

I picked this up from our church library. I haven't gotten very far because it is in book form rather than digital...meaning I have to read it when I have excellent lighting. But, the intro was good and I need these kinds of books to lighten my parenting up a bit. I can tend to be so concerned with obedience and living by the rules that I forget the heart of motherhood. I am looking forward to delving more into this book.

The Attachment Parenting Book

For years my late husband and I helped facilitate and promote Growing Kids God's Way material. I still like a lot of what I was taught but there is a lot lacking in that particular series. When I was a young mom I read and practiced Baby Wise. In fact, in my immaturity I actually use to talk badly about attachment parenting. Scheduling was the only way to raise a baby!
First came Nancy Wilson's book The Fruit of Her Hands.
In this book Nancy talks about method vs. principle. She uses the illustration that there is the principle of feeding your baby. It is a must do that is required of us parents to nurture our babies. Then there is the method. We tend to get hung up on the method..the how we nurture our babies. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Both get the job done. Yes, one might be better than the other but most of the time it is more important to squabble about the principle rather than the method.
In my early years as a mother I did not take this approach. I honestly thought badly of someone who decided to rock their baby to sleep every day or demand feed their infant.
I have grown up a lot since then and find that I lean more towards the principle rather than pushing my method.
Then came our adoption of Brown Sugar and Foley.
I started learning more about the importance of attachment and the dangers of leaving a child to cry. I began to see that we take for granted the nurturing that happens when you hold a baby close to your body and nurse that child through her fears of this unknown world.
So, I bought the book that I had so despised and decided to read it before saying any more negative things about it.
To my surprise, I am enjoying the book and realize now that I had no idea what attachment parenting was all about. As I enjoy the attachment that is forming between me and my Sweet Pea I realize that I was so wrong!
I still have Baby Wise on the shelf and I plan on reading it again after I finish the above book. After fifteen years, I want to be reminded of what they say about scheduling and then compare it to attachment parenting. In the meantime, I have my wraps and carriers that keep baby close at all times!

There you go....I have spent so much time describing my reading that I just want to get back to it! What is on your reading list?


Jenny said...

Heather, I actually blogged about attachment parenting vs. scheduling on my blog. You might find it interesting. Here is the link:

Jenny Ervin

US said...

We loved the Mysterious Benedict Society!! My dd and I have read them all of them!

Martha A. said...

Isn't it great when technology can help you? Those look like some great books!

not2brightGRAM said...

Thanks for this inSIGHTful post. I'm truly sorry that you are having thesechallenges, but PRAISE GOD for the ipad!

I know what you mean about the smell of a good old fashioned book. There is nothing like it!

not2brightGRAM said...

Thanks for this inSIGHTful post. I'm truly sorry that you are having thesechallenges, but PRAISE GOD for the ipad!

I know what you mean about the smell of a good old fashioned book. There is nothing like it!

KJ said...

My teenage girls and I are reading Joyfully at Home by Voddie Baucham's daughter Jasmine, Large Family Logistics, and Preparing to Be His Helpmeet (by Debi Pearl). Read alouds are usually Lamplighters altho our last one was At the Back of the North Wind (George McDonald). Very fun reading in British accents :)

It's hard for me to see the Babywise 3rd almost died from malnutrition after I followed their instruction. Since she was born at 10 lb 11 oz, it took awhile to realize she wasn't thriving and the crying between feedings was hunger. She went down to 9 lbs and stayed there 3 months but a nurse mis-weighed her so that was missed. When we realized what was happening, we dropped the schedule and I nursed or pumped round the clock constantly to try to increase my milk supply (which was fine w/first 2 children but apparently wasn't with this one, a traumatic c-section due to cord around the neck and her size--I'm 110 lbs so she was almost 1/10 my normal weight!)

Long story short, I ended up losing my breasts--every last cell of tissue and she ended up on formula which helped her thrive. Wish I'd just let her nurse on demand from birth...we may have had a different outcome. As it is, she's suffered from emotional issues for the past decade and I always wonder if it's b/c of those first traumatic months.

And I didn't have reconstructive surgery so no clothes fit me well :( My daughter is a fine seamstress but even the things she makes or alters are really just ironing board covers and not very flattering...sigh.

I know Babywise has a chapter dedicated to judging if your baby's getting enough milk, but none of that seemed to ring any alarms with us until too late. I'd had the other healthy nursers and I still didn't see the difference those first few months...sadly I was paying more attention to the schedule and the "rules" than my precious baby :( Looking back we realized the diapers weren't wet enough, the milk a trickle instead of a stream, and the crying was for a real reason. Pains my heart so much...thanks for letting me share.

Christine said...

Hi Heather!
I'm just getting around to catching up on you and your precious family! Everyone has grown SO much... I would not recognize Brown Sugar or Foley these days!
Shane is (was) a book purist until we got his Kindle... he has read (not skimmed) more books this year than in many other recent years, among them some excellent Puritan writings, so he is sold on it.
I've been reading Ken Ham's Already Gone and Already Compromised...just finished Carol Burnett's autobiography. Along with our never ending reading of the Moody series, among other things. I haven't taken the plunge for a Kindle yet.

Heather I praise God so much for the work He has done in your family since Eric went Home. I'm crying tears of joy for you today, much nicer than all the tears of sorrow I've cried over the years for your family.
Hugs to you and yours!