Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I forgot...

to mention that a few years ago my in-laws went on a "small ship" cruise off the coast of New England on a ship named....the Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch. Pretty cool, huh? I'm glad there are still things being named for him. I also forgot to mention his method of learning a language: get a grammar of that language, a dictionary, and a copy of the Bible. Go to John chapter 1 and start translating! After having learned Latin and French, when he started learning Spanish he discovered he already knew most of the words. What a great guy. Reading the book has inspired me to continue with my Hindi studies, and perhaps one day to actually conquer French.

More later today on another book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sailing By Ash Breeze

One of the best books I've read recently is actually a children's book, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. It was assigned as a "read-aloud" for my two younger children's curriculum, which means that the parent reads the book aloud to the child and they have discussions together about the book. Kind of like having your own tiny book club at home. But I digress...

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a wonderfully written account of the life of Nathaniel Bowditch, (1773-1838) who is famous in the history of navigation for writing what became the book on sailing for American sailors for over 150 years. It's worth reading the Wikipedia article on him--this man will amaze you. In a nutshell, he was a math genius whose family was too poor to send him to school--they needed him to work to help support the family. Instead of letting this get him down, he taught himself Latin so that he could read Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica, and actually found an error in that famous work. He eventually learned to speak French and Spanish, also, so that he could communicate with sailors from those countries on his travels. His dream had always been to go to Harvard, and later in his life that institution gave him an honorary degree based on his life accomplishments. It is an inspiring book, cleverly written with humor, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves history, sailing, or both.

And what does "sailing by ash breeze" mean? You'll have to read the book to find out....or I suppose you could Google it, you computer freaks out there. I encourage you to read the book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring has Sprung in the South

Yes, I'm still alive, any of you who have checked my blog and despaired of me ever writing again. We were gone for three weeks, and then our internet wasn't working, and now it is, and here I am. So--what's new with us? Well, we are withdrawing from service with our company as of March 15th, and my husband is job-hunting. We have all had a terrible "flu-like" upper respiratory infection, and are just getting over it. Our son Bobby had a PET scan a few weeks ago that was NOT clear, but he was sick at the time, so he has to have it repeated in a few weeks. The doctor thinks it's a false positive. But I ask myself these days--at what point will I stop wondering if the cancer is coming back? When does life REALLY get back to normal? What is "normal" anyway? As for blogging--I sympathize with my friend Renata--I, too, have so many things going through my head that it's hard to know where to start blogging.

The blessings have continued:
--Time spent with my parents, my brother Jon and his family, and our friends the Irwins.
--Rothwell Baptist Church is still letting us live in their "Chatham House."
--Unexpected financial blessing from some friends who were led by the Lord to send us some money.
--It's great to live so near Eric's parents, and his sister and her husband (and Teddy--let's not forget Teddy!)
--I've been able to talk to my Indian friend Pintu a few times on Skype--it has been wonderful to be in contact with her. And she assures me that if we go back to visit, we are always welcome in their home. What a lovely woman she is!

I've been reading. (duh!) Those of you who know me well know that I'm never without two or three books-in-progress. I'll just list some of my recent or current books, and next post I'll review one of them:
Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
Culture Shift by Al Mohler
What's So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D'Souza
The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Home schooling calls, so I'll leave you with some pictures I took this morning in our front yard. (These are especially for my parents :) ENJOY!!!