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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Of Hearth and Home – Literature

May 2nd, 2017 by Aubri

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When I look through my list of the things I want for our family life it can seem like a lot. But really it’s not huge stuff. Well, I can say that right now while life seems mostly doable. This season of feeling pretty good and not dog face tired all day long gives me the energy to try to keep some of this going in our daily life.

I want to emphasize that these are just goals I shoot for in our days and weeks and years together. We fall short. Days pass without goals met, sometimes on purpose but mostly because that’s just how life rolls along a lot of times.

I just like to have the intentions written down and at least put on a schedule so that they’re there. If I’m not at least a bit mindful and purposeful about this stuff it won’t ever happen.



I’ve never been one of those voracious reader types who can plow through 8 books in a week but I have always been one to have 1-3 books on the night stand or by la toilette. It may take me a while, but I’m always reading something.

Reading seems like a good idea for kids and families. It’s a good “hobby” to have and cultivate. A culture of reading in our home has been important to me since the beginning of our family life. Yes we allow the kids to have “show time” but it hasn’t seemed to dampen their enthusiasm for being read to. I’m thankful.

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I don’t have great advice on how to get your kids to like reading or being read to, other than to keep books available all the time and read to them when you can.

One of my intentions for our family is to try to read two or three nights a week to the kids. Whoever wants to stay in the living room and listen quietly can. Otherwise they have to go downstairs to play before bed.

We’re enjoying The Horse and His Boy right now, we just finished it this week actually and the kids are ready for the next book in the Narnia series.We are also reading The Indian in the Cupboard, but I took a break from that one and Horse and Boy has sucked us all in.

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I’ll admit that usually after supper and cleaning up from supper I’m tired and really ready for my evening to be quiet with kids down. But I keep going for at least one or two chapters. I did find this audio recording of the Chronicles of Narnia one night when I had a few more things to do and 2 babies were not interested in going to bed yet.

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That is nice to be able to turn on audio books for the times this Mama doesn’t have it in her to read aloud. I also do this during lunch sometimes when Phil isn’t home to eat with us. It’s also nice to have bigger kids who can read to the little kids! (I actually did NOT have the pose for that picture I promise!)

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I do make it important to have good books. Ones with quality illustrations and that are well written. These are the keepers. Reading “good books” to kids is an easy way to expose them not only to what a good story is but to what good vocabulary is.

I don’t mind big words for little kids but I do usually use the big word plus a small defining word along with it when we come across it while reading. They’re getting pretty good at asking what a word means too. If I don’t know, yes, that happens, there’s a good moment to find out together.

But I also allow for the not as good but fun to read kind of books. For example The Magic Tree House and Cam Jansen series books. Not the best writing but fun stories that are quick to read which gives a sense of accomplishment as well.

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On our shelves we have chapter books, picture books, nursery rhyme books, nature and science books and poetry books. Also some mythology and encyclopedias. We use our library as well.

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With the littles that are at home most of the day I use Snack Time as a chance to read some poetry and short stories aloud. I finally bought this book I’ve been curious about for years. It’s such a fun one.

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And here again I kill two birds with one stone, my intentions of attempting to teach and discuss Manners with the babies and offer good literature at the same time.

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This book is filled with poetry and excerpts from great works of fiction with lessons on morals and manners.

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Some of our favorite books:

Picture Books

Make Way for Ducklings
The Little Red Hen
The Story of Ping
The Tractor Mac Series
The Ella Bella Series
Tasha Tudor Books
When I Was Young in the Mountains
Beatrix Potter stories
Horton Hatches the Egg
Pancakes, Pancakes!

Chapter Books

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
The Children of Noisy Village series
The Chronicles of Narnia
Half Magic
The Princess and the Goblin
All of a Kind Family
The Harry Potter Series
The Little House on the Prairie Series
Cam Jansen Series
Magic Tree House

There are many ways to add reading and story telling to your days. Sometimes you have to be creative or prioritize it to get it in. And sometimes there are days and days from which reading and stories are absent.

But it is my hope that my babies will enjoy the goodness of poetry and story telling while they are young and not outgrow finding pleasure in the gifts that those are to us.

What are some of the books and stories your family enjoys?

4 Responses to “Of Hearth and Home – Literature”

  1. Jody S. says:

    As we homeschool, we’ve read so many. While I agree with your sentiments on books such as Magic Tree House, that series has been so important in getting some of our children hooked into our history lessons. Good literature, no. Useful, yes.

  2. Aubri says:

    Totally agree Jody. As a History nerd I do love that about those books. I’ve pulled these out too when we were reading about the Olympics while going through SOTW. Plus Time Travel?! Yes please. 😀

  3. Carrie H says:

    Your “Of Hearth and Home” series is inspiring! I want to write about these subjects myself. I am not a talented writer as you are. I am also way behind. I’ve only written one subject and I’m still in process of scribbling down some thoughts about two more topics.

    Currently I’m reading The Trumpet of the Swan to the boys. I’ve never read it before so we’re all experiencing it for the first time. We are enjoying it.

  4. Aubri says:

    Oh good Carrie! It has been helpful to me to just write all this down. And I know what you mean about the reading together. I have really been having fun reading the books with the kids too. I read Chronicles about 20 years ago. I love these books and I’ve forgotten all of them unfortunately so it’s like reading them for the first time again.