Reading, composing and living through the days celebrating life!

Yearly Ritual-Family Day in the Rocky Mountains 2009 pic

Each time my older children are home, I drop everything just to make one more memory with them. For us it means lots of rousing dinner table discussions with lots of feasts,(home made pizza, spaghetti pie, fajitas, warm soups and homemade breads, salads and smoothies galore, cinnamon rolls, Meditaranian--grilled vegies and chicken and humus and whole wheat pita and the boys always request at least one night of steak---how typically manly of a request--I am not great at grilling steak--but they never seem to notice!-- tea times galore, meals at favorite restaurants) and pajama'd mornings sitting around just telling stories--movies and hikes in the mountains. 

It is about to wear me out! I do love thinking of myself filling the treasure-chest of their heart with more truth, love, memories, wisdom, fun and the goodness of God, so that they will have a reason to stay faithful. We got Nathan off to LA a few days ago. I would so appreciate your prayers for him--that God would open doors for a job, good roomates and some good and godly friends as anchors. He is idealistic and passionate to jump into the ring of his life and find what God has for him. Since the Lord showed up in New York city while he was at the New York Film academy and drew him closer, I trust Nathan, once more, into God's hands and pray He will use Nate to bring light and hope in the entertainment industry--(and also provide him with a job in a bad economy! :) 
I have had so many ask me for more information on reading. I am including two very wonderful articles. A few years ago, Clay encouraged me to be a real adult and sent Sarah and me to a leadership conference in Oxford and Cambridge. (a week in each place! It was amazingly refreshing!) One of the highlights was hearing Dana Gioia, the man appointed by President Bush, to head the national endowment for the arts. He did the biggest study done in America to that point about the literacy of Americans--and since then it has gotten worse. When we met him and talked to him in person, his passion and concern for American youth was palpable. 
For those of you who want to fill your mind and soul on the importance of reading and developing a value and love for reading in your children, please read these articles thoughtfully and then pass them on. The soul and mind of the next generation does depend, to a great deal, on the ability to read and to reason and to be informed intelligently in spirituality and morality and values through understanding and engaging in great thoughts. These are the links:
My daughter, Sarah, just finished a book about reading and has lots of lists, for Apologia press. They heard her speak and immediately asked her to write a book. It will hopefully be out in November. You can find some of her favorite books and a few articles here
Here are just a few reasons I speak about that I hope might encourage you!
Reading is the foundation for knowledge and education.
Reading exercises and strengthens the mind to handle great thoughts.
Reading cultivates a love for knowledge and education.
Reading contributes to moral development and godly character. 
Reading provides patterns for noble, heroic, and righteous living.
Reading increases understanding of the world's views and values.
Reading instills a broad understanding of history and its influences.
Reading models correct grammar and best uses of language.
Reading contributes to a wide vocabulary, good word usage and the ability to write well.
Reading uniquely enables the child to acquire, conceive and understand the best thoughts, ideas and principles of life. 
(copyright Educating the Whole Hearted Child--new version out in January!)
A Musical Genius in my own home  (I am the mom! :) ) 
Finally, I am luxuriating in having a composer home for 3 weeks. It is amazing what Joel has learned just in 6 months at an excellent music school. I have included one of his new compositions he is working on--so fun to hear all this music around at our home--all the kids got the music gene so there are rousing sing fests and teaching times (between Joel and Joy mainly!) For all of you who keep up with Joel and who have asked about his music and bought his cd, thanks a million zillion.