What Are You Reading Right Now? – MBFLP 245

These are challenging times, and whether you need entertainment to pass the idle hours, or something diverting at the end of a stressful day, a good book is great to find. We’re book people, for sure, and we know the value of trusted authors and especially, those who have lots of titles to discover! So this episode, we’re talking about our favorite books and authors – some we share, and some we don’t!

We discovered we both enjoy mysteries 

As a genre, good detective stories offer a vision of right and wrong, and the possibility that truth can be found and justice prevail. We really like istories with likeable, well-developed characters, intriguing plots, and particularly, heroes who are fundamentally decent people. Stories with ambiguous or situational morals, protagonists we wouldn’t introduce to our family, or anything supernatural or occult, we don’t enjoy at all – those, we avoid.

Some of the classics we enjoy are the books by Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh, two authors of the “Golden Age” of British detective stories. From the same era, on our side of the Atlantic, are Erle Stanley Gardner (the creator of Perry Mason) and Rex Stout (whose eccentric genius Nero Wolfe was only a lightweight version of the somewhat eccentric author) – both of them, quite prolific!  (more below …) 

 

 

More modern authors, and featuring female protagonists, are Dorothy Gilman (whose Mrs. Emily Pollifax is more of a spy than a traditional detective) and Alexander McCall Smith, a Scottish mediccal professor who remembers his childhood in Botswana with a series about a woman who opens the first “Ladies’ Detective Agency” in her country.

Deserving special mention are the father and daughter duo, Tony and Anne Hillerman. Tony’s novels about the Navajo Tribal Police are packaged as supernatural thrillers, when they’re actually police procedurals placed in the complex culture of “the Rez” – the spooky covers simply recall elements of the traditional religion of “the Dine’ as the Navajo call themselves. His daughter Anne picked up Tony’s characters after his death, and she’s carried on the stories with the same skill her father displayed. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Hillermans’ books, and their description of the culture and landscape were confirmed by our travels in Arizona and New Mexico – doubling our enjoyment!

We have other books which Hal prefers more than Melanie, and some the other way around – to find out more about our favorites, check the longer article on our own blog here!

The Importance of Fun – MBFLP 224

Who said school can’t be fun? This episode, we sit down with our friends Roger and Jan Smith, long-time homeschool parents and leaders in Louisiana. The topic is simply, “Fun” – what it can do to create memories, bond family members, and make learning a lot more enjoyable for parents and students alike!

Recently we visited with Roger and Jan Smith, leaders in the Louisiana homeschool community and dear friends of ours. One evening our family and our friends were playing a fast-paced game together, laughing hysterically, and thinking about what an important, bonding thing that is.

We were noticing how well our teenagers interacted with the adults in the room, and the obvious respect going in both directions, and we were talking later about how the shared experiences build that sort of relationship. They’re more and more important as we all become more individualized and isolated, focusing on our work and entertainment through private screens—even when we’re in the same room, we’re not interacting.

That’s one reason we love audiobooks when we’re driving or working together, because the whole family can share that experience and have a basis for conversations later. It’s a good reason for reading aloud together, even when the children are reading well on their own. We try and make intentional choices to do things together so in later years, our adult children will have memories that draw them back to their family home.

Another thing we do is make a big deal over family holidays. Birthdays are an example. In our home, the one we’re celebrating gets to choose the family menu for the day. At supper, we center the conversation on memories of the birthday person. Afterward, we take turns sharing things we love or admire about them. It’s really touching – everyone loves being appreciated, and it’s very easy to overlook the chances to communicate that respect.

A Sense of Humor

Shared humor is another thing we look for. A study of newlywed couples noticed how they interacted, especially the moments of humor in the midst of a problem. It defuses situations and reduces tension if we can refer to a shared joke or inside story. It’s a sign of a healthy relationship if you can still smile, if you can still laugh, if you can lighten up in the midst of your stress. That applies to your kids as well as your mate!

In fact, that study really pointed out that our relationships are formed from the moments we share. Little things count. It’s not like you have to learn a new language to really score points with your kids. Instead, you just need to  hear when they speak, make eye contact, and come back with a positive response.

And that’s something you get a dozen times a day to do. If you miss one, just determine to catch the next. It’s something you can build up without feeling like you have to make a huge investment before you see any benefit.

(Listen in for more great ideas about building memories and relationships with your family!)

Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies

Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies
Finish Well Radio, Podcast #079, Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies, with Meredith Curtis, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

In “Why We Love Hallmark Christmas Movies,” episode #079, Meredith Curtis talks about her own experience with Hallmark movies and why they are so satisfying to watch. She goes on to explain how the things we love about Hallmark movies are related to deeper desires that are in our hearts. She encourages you to explore the miracle of Christmas, different from the intangible “spirit of Christmas” in Hallmark movies, so that you can experience full, abundant life this Christmas and every day that follows.

 

 

 

 


Rejoice! for unto to us a child is born! - with Powerline Productions, Inc.

 

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

Help yourself to a free Christmas Devotional and many other helpful free resources at Joyful and Successful Homeschooling!

 


Show Notes

Introduction: Even though they are cheesy and predictable, we love them.

Why Hallmark Christmas movies are satisfying:

Small towns

Close-knit Families

Good people with morals and kindness

Bad people can change, experience transformation

Hero is perfect and trustworthy

Guy heroine attached to is not really good, a pretender

The “spirit of Christmas”

Our Real Desires

Warm, loving relationships

Want to belong to a group of people that love & care for one another

Want to be surrounded by good people who bring out the best in us

Want to be good

Want to experience transformation

Want to belong to the “Perfect One” who loves us perfectly

Want to be set free from the impostor

Know that there is something significant about Christmas to experience—not the “spirit of Christmas, but the miracle of Christmas.

Experiencing the Miracle of Christmas

Jesus offers us life and life more abundantly. He offers us rest and a burden to carry that is easy and light. Jesus offers us joy, peace, hope, and love.

Example of Bank Account full of money

There is nothing wrong with putting your feet up and watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, but realize that that good feeling from the movie is temporary, but the miracle of Christmas is yours today, changing your life forever.

Merry Christmas from our families to yours.

 

Please share your favorite Hallmark Christmas Movie Below

 

Christmas Resources

Curtis Family Christmas TraditionsCelebrate Christmas with a traveling dinner by Meredith Curtis and Laura NoletteCelebrate Christmas with Cookies Unit Study by Meredith CurtisCelebrate Christmas in Colonial America by Meredith Curtis

 

 

 

 

Talking About the Movies – MBFLP 191

This episode, we open up about several of the big releases in the theaters right now – and share some principles we use for evaluating entertainment through a Biblical lens for our family! Join us as we look at Darkest Hour, Murder on the Orient Express, The Greatest Showman, and The Last Jedi, with a different approach for thumbs-up or -down.

Some Other Resources You Might Appreciate

How we score the media …

Our blog reviews on …

Murder on the Orient Express

The Greatest Showman

Darkest Hour



MBFLP – Discernment and the Summer Movies

MBFLP - Discernment and the Summer Movies

 

It’s the summer movie season and lots of our kids are lining up at the Multiplex for one opening night after another. How do you choose appropriate movies for your family, or give reasonable guidance to your youngsters, or is there a framework for a Christian to really engage the cinema at all? Join us for a crash course in how we grapple with the silver screen!