Thursday, 31 July 2008


We have 100 pounds of peaches coming our way soon. I'm so happy that we will have shelves of canned peaches to enjoy all winter!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Moose on the Loose!

Today Allen came home for lunch - but he couldn't quite get here because the roads were all blocked off. He said there was a moose on the loose! I wondered if that was why Chico had been barking like a mad-man all morning!

In the beginning of the second clip where they show 4th street, and a man taking pictures is right where Allen was. He saw the moose run by as well.

You can watch the clip here and here

The Underneath (Kathi Appelt)

Today is my day 2 of no kids (well, really day 3...but I'm not counting Sunday since that day never really seems to be my own no matter what I do!). I'm living the life of Jill! She wakes up, reads 50 pages, then goes and does something fun. Then she has lunch and then reads 50 pages, and then does something fun. Then she goes to bed far too late and stays up much later than she should reading some more.

....kind of what I've done today!! I did a little work...but here and there I'd snatch time for another 50 pages and before I knew it I was finished The Underneath.

I talked to my mom today and she and the kids watch Where The Red Fern Grows ...which fits in quite well with this book. Where the Red Fern Grows was one of my favorite stories as a kid. It was one that gets into your heart. This one is the same.
I tried to read this book with my kids but they didn't like it. I was intrigued though because of the posts I had read about the book here and here. I have to agree with what those two boggers wrote. This book is AMAZING. It's one of those books that you want to drink up. I found so many wonderful little phrases that I wanted to write down....but I couldn't because I had to keep reading. Here's an example of how Appelt puts the words together in a magical way:
It's a soft-sounding word, "never," but its velvety timbre can't hide its
sharp edges. Especially to a small cat who has broken the rules and conjured the
word in the first place. He sat down hard, soaked and cold. In his deepest bones
he knew that no matter how long he stared at the cold water, he would never see
his mother again. Never pressed down on him. It grabbed him by the neck and
shook him. He sucked in a deep breath, sucked in all that never and started to
sneeze. Never filled his nose, his eyes, his soaking fur.
(page 101)
Appelt winds together 3 separate stories that all come together in the end. The ReadingZone blog says:
It’s almost impossible to describe what the story is about. It takes place deep, deep in a Southern bayou- a place full of mysticism and magic. There is a bad man, an evil man. There is an abandoned calico cat- “There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road”. Heartbreaking, isn’t it? There is an abused hound dog, chained to a porch, fed sparingly and kicked often. Later, there is a family made up that abandoned calico cat, the abused hound dog, and two new kittens. One of those kittens ventures out from the safety of the Underneath and sets into motion a chain of events that changes their lives.
There are sentient trees, ancient shape-shifters, and myth and magic. Lullabies and secrets that only the trees know. Yet it all seems so real.
I feel like no review can do this book justice. It is magical and wonderful, sad and full of hope. There is so much hate but also so much love. Kate Appelt has written a new classic and I would be shocked if this was not given high honors by the Newbery committee in January.
The illustrations in this book are also amazing. Near the end of the book there's a picture of the 'gator peering out over the edge of the book ready to made me hold my breath as I read that page!!
On the back of the book it quotes an author named Alison McGhee saying, ” Rarely do I come across a book that makes me catch my breath, that reminds me why I wanted to be a writer—to make of life something beautiful, something enduring.”
Mostly the quotes from other authors that they put on books are a little over the top - but she's right on the money with this one. This is a beautiful book that could be read again and again and again. I have a feeling there's more to this book than I even understood from this first reading. I'd love to read others' reviews of this book...and I'd love to read it with a bunch of kids. As a matter of fact, I still might do that with my kids! (well, maybe with Jill....I think it's definitely a better book for older kids)
Here's a great book talk on The Underneath. It's perfect because it doesn't have anyone talking. The rather reverent approach seems totally appropriate for this book.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Higher Power of Lucky (Susan Patron)

This is really an intersting book. I had read about it on another blog and decided I should read it. Mostly I was curious after reading that it had won a Newberry Medal award...but that some libraries had banned it because it includes a story about a dog's scrotum that gets bit by a rattlesnake. Kind of made me laugh! I had to find out how this author wove anything about scrotums into a kid's book.

That mystery was solved in the first chapter (oh, and it comes up again at the end of the book in a strange way too)

I didn't think much about the cover when I first got the book from the library...but after reading it I really love the cover. It says so much! The red dress, the urn she's holding, the sweep of her all really portrays the book well.

The author has a great way of of writing how kids often seem to least it reminded me of some of the things I thought when I was a kid. This book really made me think about how kids often don't always understand what is going on and they form their own conclusions - which are sometimes quite erroneous. That's what happens with Lucky and that's why she runs away.

The anonymous people struggled with the next step after rock bottom, the getting-control-of-your-life step. Lucky pounded the Formica table with both fists, which made HMS Beagle leap to her feet and look at Lucky woddiedly. It's almost impossible to get control of your life when you're only ten. It's other people, adults, who have control of your life, because they can abandon you. (page 80)

Lucky is 10 years old. She talks about things like 'the meanness gland in her heart' and the 'crevices full of questions' in her brain. I love some of the things that go through Lucky's mind:

Lucky felt very wonderful about her Heroic Deed of figuring out howto chase the snake away without killing it in a gruesome way or waiting for it to die of old age. Plus, if it had been a rattlesnake, nobody got bitten. She went inside, thinking she had to figure out some kind of screen to put on the vent to keep the snake from coming back. At that moment Lucky knew she was a highly evolved human being. (page 54)

Or how about this excerpt:

Lucky had the same jolting feeling as when you're in a big hurry to pee and you pull down your pants fast and back up to the toilet without looking - but some man or boy before you has forgotten to put the seat down. So your bototm, which is expecting the usual nicely shaped plastic toilet seat, instead lands shocked on the thin rim of the toilet bowl, which is quiet a lot colder and lower. Your bottom get a panic of bad surprise. That was the same thump-on-the-heart shock Lucky got finding out the Miles's mother was in jail. (page 73)

The odd thing about the book is the flap seems to portray that the book is about the girl having to run away. However, that doesn't happen until 100 pages into the book. I found myself wondering what this book was about anyway because I kept waiting for the running away part!

She has some cute friends in the story - her friend Miles who can't read yet and carries around 'Are you my mother?' all the time. That was a book Jill loved and I read it about 4872 times - and in the book Lucky is as tired of hearing that story as I was back in the day. :0) She also has a friend named Lincoln. Lincoln's mother figures he is destined to be the president of the United States. However, he's much more interested in tying knots (tying knots?? Yup....)

Lucky wished she were an artist too, and could organize all the complicated strands of her life - the urn she still had, the strange crematory man, Brigitte and Miles, HMS Beagle, and Short Sammy, the Captain adn the anonymous people and Dot and even Lincoln himself, and weave the mitno a beautiful ten-strand knot. (p. 69)

All in all, I think it's a great book. It was a great Sunday afternoon read.

Grandma Camp - Day One

My mom sent this picture today. The kid are all wearing pajamas that she made them. Personally, I think they're too nice to be pajamas. If I had made those they'd be clothes for the first day of school or something....definitely not pajamas!

I'm in love.....

I'm in love with my new tablecloth!

I have a new passion: the thrill of the hunt! A lot of women love shopping - but I'm not really a retail store kind of person. No malls for me. I love finding great deals at strange little stores. I found this gem at Value Village this week for a mere $6.00. It's so beautiful!!

The entire tablecloth is all full of intricate embroidery. Food even tastes better eating on this beautiful cloth. I love it.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Grandma Camp

This week is Grandma Camp. My kids have been waiting for this all summer. My amazing mother spends a week with all the grandkids. The kids plan the menu and she goes grocery shopping with them all (I think that alone deserves an award!) She plans outings and crafts. She has worked on this all year - and the kids have looked forward to it all year too.

I drove them down to Grandma's this morning and then drove back in the afternoon. I had planned to go to the temple in the afternoon but I had some shoppers flake on me and so I had to hurry home and do some work (grrrr!) I did, however, have a marvelous time driving back by myself. It isn't often that I'm alone (well, alone with Chico) for that period of time. I had some great thinking time and time listening to books on CD. It was very good for my soul!

I got home and found some new shoppers for the outstanding shops relatively quickly. Then I decided I'd clean up the house since it will most likely stay relatively clean all week. I love to clean the house and then just sit and look at it stay clean. Usually that only lasts a few hours (or until everyone gets home)...but this week that should be a little different.

I'm quite excited about this week. I plan to go to aquacize every day, walk every day, do yoga every day, do some major organizing in my house, and a ton of reading. Makes me feel great just thinking about it! :0)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Graduation Party

Tonight was Mar's group's graduation party at the ESL school.

Gone Fishin'

Allen has a client that is a professional fisherman. He took Allen and the kids out for the day. They had a great time!! Apparently they caught 25 fish - but they were all the kind you aren't allowed to it all worked out great. They got to catch a ton of fish and we didn't have to eat any (in case you don't know, no one will eat fish around here when I cook it)

Apparently the lake goes on for 12 miles. So beautiful!

The first catch of the day!

Jill fell in the river quite early on I guess. This is her drying off and getting a snack.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ping Pong!

The other day we went to the rec center to try our hands at wall-climbing. We couldn't get in there at first though so had to find something to do - and ended up trying a little ping pong. Now it's our new favorite past time (well, okay - it's the kid's favorite....they have a ways to go before I can honestly say I enjoy playing ping pong with them) All the same though, it's really fun to see them so enthusiastic about it and to want to learn how to do it. We had a great time tonight.

This picture is funny to me because I hear a lot of "just one more try Mom."

Ready to slam that ball! (And to make her mother chase the ball)

Here's what Jill really prefers to!

And this is so cute I couldn't resist posting it.....Peirce and his moves....what a guy!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Life in A Poem

Jill was telling me about all the fun she had at Park and Play today. She went not too willingly because she wanted to do some major reading on her Harry Potter book. I've found if she reads all day though she gets kind of grumpy so I told her she needed to go to get some fresh air and exercise. She decided if she was going to go she'd at least try to use some of the new vocabulary she's learned lately. She said though that one kid there said, "Why does she always talk like she's in a poem?!"

I laughed my head off at that one.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Roald Dahl)

There are a lot of kid's books I enjoy. And some I just endure. This was one I endured. It was just a little too crazy for me. I remember starting to read it years ago and then not finishing because it just seemed so over the top with silliness. However, silliness is right up Peirce's alley!! He even asked if he could be a Vermicious Knid (pronounced with the K k-nid) for Halloween. Now that would be a feat to come up with that costume!! (I think I'll try to talk him into something different)

I don't even know where to start with summing up this book. There's a Space Hotel USA, they interact with the President and some astronauts that are more like the 3 stooges than anything else. Then there's the attacking Vermicious Knids and an amazing battle. Oh, then the grandparents eat some anti-aging wonka-vite candy and end up as babies and in minusland (where you go if you get too young)...and then they have to eat vita-wonk to get back to the age they were. It all ends up with the President of the United States giving them a big award for their bravery fighting off the Vermicious Knids at the beginning of the story.

I think it's quite a disjointed story. It's like eating scrambled story...all sorts of crazy things put into one. It also had a lot of references to US politics that Peirce didn't quite appreciate. He doesn't know of The White House or the reverence Americans give the space program. He learned a bit about Americans by reading this book! And going into elevators has been much more interesting lately. We have great conversations about where the elevator could possibly take us. :0)

Peirce was hoping for another sequel to the Charlie books....but that's it. That's all he wrote when it comes to Charlie (thank goodness!) I don't know what was in Roald Dahl's head and heart when he wrote this book...but it's a good thing he had previously written some good books. He would have never rose to stardom on this one if you ask me.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

An Ordinary Man (Paul Rusesabagina)

This is an amazing book. It's the second book I've read on the Rwandan genocide. This book gave a lot more information about the politics behind it all. The story a true one about Paul Rusesabagina who is a hotel manager in Rwanda when the war breaks out. He uses the hotel and his connects and power of persuasion to preserve the lives of the people hiding out in his hotel.

The war there was so horrific it is almost hard to read the book. He says:

The Interahamwe were known to be extremely cruel with the people they chopped apart; first cutting tendons so the victims could not run away, then removing limbs so that a person could see their body coming apart slowly. Family members were often forced to watch, knowing they were next. Their wives and their children were often raped in front of them while this was happening. Priests helped kill their congregations. In some cases the congregations helped kill their priests. Tutsi wives went to sleep next to their Hutu husbands and awoke to find the blade of a machete sawing into their neck, and above them, the grimacing face of the man who had sworn to love and cherish them for life. And Tutsi wives also killed their husbands. Children threw their grandparents down pit toilets and heaved rocks on top of them until the cries stopped. Unborn babies were slices from their mothers' wombs and tossed about like soccer balls. Severed heads and genitals were on display. The dark lust unleashed in Rwanda went beyond friendships and beyond politics and even beyond hate itself - it had become killing for killing's sake, killing for sport, killing for nothing .It raged on, all around the hotel, on the capital's street and in the communes and in the hills in every little spidery valley. (page 134)

Paul's hotel was one of the best in Rwanda and so many government people and other people with power often stayed there. He made it a practise to introduce himself to them and collected their business cards. The contact information became very useful while the war was going on. A number of times he was told his hotel would be raided. He'd call person after person trying to get someone to change the orders - and each time it worked out. He also made a lot of calls to other countries to get help. None came though. He even had contacts at the Whitehouse in the USA. He'd call and get told that they'd take a message....but nothing ever came of it. He says:

...the world's foremost superpower, America, has almost never acted to stop a race of people from being exterminated, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence. (page 137)

I can't imagine life after going through a war like that. How do you live life after you've gone through such horror? The author says:

Nights were hardest for us. Weeping filled the air. I found it hard to find even the mindless release of sleep. Wives came to understand that they would never see their missing husbands again. parents had to force themselves to stop imagining hos their irreplaceable children had died at the hands of strangers. And that emptiness in their lives would go on and on. It took a tremendous force of will to keep your own heart together in this unending grief. (page 167)
I can really understand why one would wonder about where God was in all this.

I still believe in a kind of Higher Power that is the original of all we see around us, but I am not one who prays much anymore. I felt that God left my on my own during the genocide. I have many troubling questions that I fear will go unanswered until the day I die. I share this yearning in the heart with many other Rwandans. Was God hiding from us during the killing? It sued to be that God and I shared many drinks together as friends. We don't talk much anymore, but I would like to think that we can one day reconcile over an urwagwa and he will explain everything to me. But that time is not yet here. (page 184)

My heart aches for these people. He says that now it is illegal to think of yourself as either a Hutu or a Tutsi. We say that we learn from these things and that we'll never let it happen again....but I have to wonder if it will ever really end. I wonder though how many stories will come out of what is going on in Darfur right now.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Our Animals at the Zoo

This weekend we had cousins staying over. We had a great time with them! On Saturday we took them to one of the new and most favorite parks we've discovered recently. Then in the afternoon we went to the zoo.

Two of the cutest boys you'll meet!

And some more nice kids! The best part is they all get along really really well. They're fun to be around.

Strike a pose!! comment.

When we were looking at the elephants there was a docent there with lots of interesting elephant things to look at. It was really a quick to stand back and listen to the kids talk with him. They had lots of questions and had an amazing discussion with the docent.

Just as we left we came across a mother duck with four little baby ducks following along behind. One of the kids took this picture of the cute little duckies.

Oh, and the bear! What a riot it is to stand right in front of where he paces back and forth. The kids LOVED it!

I thought that might wear them out - this picture is all a lie. They said they were tired...and I suppose in some ways they were (walking back to the van was PAINFUL!!)...but they still wanted to go swimming when we got home! Unfortunately I was just too pooped!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Changing The punctuation mark at a time

We've been reading a book called The Higher Power of Lucky. Jill got an idea from the book. She plans to change the world through the use of punctuation!

No more signs like this:

"It's offensive! Doesn't anyone know how to use a colon! It should be SLOW: Children at Play"

My Jill, The Writer

Jill has always had a bit of an obsession with writing. She has a multitude of notebooks, all that have various reasons for existence. She can't help herself when we go to the Science Center or we're somewhere where we are learning something interesting....she has to write it down and/or write about it! It's quite entertaining to watch actually. I totally understand her obsession. To me life is much better when you can write about it. :0)

Today Jill got to go to a writing camp that was put on by YouthInkIt Magazine. It was two days of real intense work...and she loved it. Each day I picked her up she just talked and talked non-stop about the things she got to do and learn and participate in. Today she said to me, "Mom! I just spent an entire day writing and researching and interviewing and thinking and typing and reading....and I LOVED it!"

Today she got to interview an Olympic bronze medalist from the Canadian Women's Curling Team. SHE EVEN GOT TO HOLD THE MEDAL (in all caps so you can get a better idea of how she told me the story). The magazine will be published in the fall with the article in it that she and 3 other girls put together. Watch for it here.

Oh, and the favorite quote of the day:

"Some people follow their dreams.
Others chase them down and beat them into submission."

Thursday, 17 July 2008

What I'd Like For You To Know: The Mother Of a Stillborn Child

At Rocks In My Dryer there is a great series of posts called 'What I'd Like For You To Know'. There are guest bloggers who write of touching experiences. She had the wife of a deployed soldier, and a mom of an autistic child. Today she had a mother of a stillborn child.

I just sat and stared when I saw the title. Part of me really doesn't like thinking about all that. And yet I feel a real need to go back there often.

And I still cry....a lot. But I don't do it so much in front of people anymore. If anyone asked how I was doing or asked something about Destiny I couldn't stop the tears. Now I can talk about her without having the tears flow.

My life has been forever changed by our little Destiny. In many ways my healing process has been much easier than a lot of people I have met that have gone through this experience. And sometimes I think it hasn't been. I am very good at staying busy and filling my days so that I don't have to think about it too much....and then sometimes I can't do anything and I need to spend time just thinking, crying, and missing her.

I find it really helpful to talk....although I don't do it often because people are often quite uncomfortable with the whole topic. Sharing with others who've gone through this is also very helpful. I'm amazed at the number of people that have also experienced a stillborn baby.

There is a couple that was in our ward that was due at the same as I was due with Destiny. Their baby has also had a struggle and required heart surgery when she was only weeks old. I find myself terribly curious about how their little girl is doing - but when I run into them I find myself trying to avoid them so that I don't have to make small talk and admire how cute their little girl is. I don't want them to feel bad about how sad I feel.

My life has been forever changed by this experience. When my older children are away I tend to worry about them a little more. I also feel so heartbroken when I hear stories of people abusing children or just being plain old unkind. I feel a need for a little more kindness, a little more love, and a need to slow down and enjoy people more.

....and then sometimes I don't know how to describe what I feel.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Creativity....I think I just tripped on a gold-mine!!

One summer, about 10 years ago, I took off and went to Education Week at BYU. One of the best weeks of my life!! (I really ought to do that again one of these summers)

One of the classes that I've never forgotten was one on creativity. I remember going into it quite curious about how they'd teach a workshop over 4 days on creativity. When I left I realized there was a whole world of information and I had only sat on the tip of the iceburg on this topic.

Today I was cruising around some blogs and came across one on this very topic. I watched the video and it stirred up all those questions and ideas in my mind again.

The presentation is by a man named Sir Ken Robinson, who is an expert in the field of creativity (can you imagine?!) He says the creativity in education is as important as literacy and that we should treat it with the same status. I couldn't agree more!

I really worked hard before Jill started school to figure out what school would be the best for her. I remember going to one school that I was quite excited about - and after touring it and having an extensive conversation with the principal, realized it really wasn't for us. I just knew in my gut that she wasn't meant to be in a classroom where they sat in rows at desks and were run through a academically intense program. I knew she would certainly be able to meet their standards - but I worried that it would squash the creativity that was so evident in her personality. We finally found the school that we thought was a good match and off we went. All along the way I've had an amazing number of people want to sit down with me and persuade me to take my children out of that school to attend another program. For some reason nothing else has felt quite right. One of the keys for me is having room for creativity.

This video is quite amazing. It's from a website called TED. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out as a conference...but from what I can gather from the website, it's turned into much more. Their mission is to spread ideas. How interesting is that??! The 'about' page says: We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you're an important part of it.

Oh boy....I think I've really hit gold here!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code (Lisa Rogak)

Allen picked up this book for me. It's a quick read...and I'm not sure I'll find a place to store it on my book shelves. While it is interesting it seems more to be yet another book riding on the wave of The DaVinci Code. The author doesn't really give any insights on the 'what's' of Dan Brown's life...just re-tells the facts. I continued with it because I seem to have an ever-present curiosity about people that write blockbuster books.

Personally, I think if you're interested in finding out about Dan Brown, just do a search on the internet. You'll probably get just as much information there. No wonder it was in the reduced section at Chapters. :0) I'm glad we didn't pay full price for the book! LOL

Monday, 14 July 2008

Funny how things work out sometimes....

We live in a neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of kids. Most of our neighbors have grown children. For years my kids have wished for friends in the neighborhood that they could play with. Well, over this past year a few people have moved in and now there are more kids around. Most of the kids are quite eager to play with our kids....but strangely enough, our kids could take it or leave it. The truth is they're quite content to play with each other and often find having other kids around to be a bit of a nuisance. And you know, that's okay with me. I love having them enjoy spending time together. They're really becoming good friends.

They seem to go through spells of how they like to spend their time. Peirce really loves his Play Station 2. Right now Jill spends most of her time reading. We've been going swimming almost every day and so that usually takes up our afternoon. Today J&P seemed to kind of be getting on each other's nerves a little (and as a result, mine too). I am not really one to intervene too much. I've always expected my kids to find their own fun. I was about to come up with a list of things for them to do so I could avoid listening to them verbally poke at each other when Jill approached Peirce with an idea of something they could do together. Jill is turning into a bit of a Harry Potter evangelist. She's been trying, quite unsuccessfully, to get me to read the Harry Potter books. She's tried working on Allen too (he's a little more compliant)....but today she came up with the idea to read them TO Peirce. He was thrilled with the idea and so is she....and so am I!!! This should be an interesting new twist in our family life! :0)

My Music "Coach"

I've always figured Peirce was going to be the piano student of the family. He has always loved music in a unique way. It warms my heart to listen to him sit and sing and hum away as he's busy doing something. He's also always really liked to sit with me while I play the piano. I often play the organ in church and lately he likes to sit on the bench with me while I play the hymns. He is in charge of the bass coupler and helps me choose the different settings for different hymns. However, lately he has a habit of letting me know everytime I hit a wrong note.

"That wasn't the right one mom."

"Mom, make sure you play the right notes."

"Oh. You did it again mom."

"I'm sure you can do better mom."

I was telling my mom and she commented that it's good that he is listening to the music and knows when you make a mistake. I'm not so sure. He just might get the boot and have to sit with Daddy in the congregation from now on.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

McKenzie Lake

We had a GREAT time today at our PFS office lake party. I think our kids could play at the beach for days and be perfectly happy....we might have to try that some time.

Now that is one happy and excited kid! I love that smile.

This is how Peirce spent most of his day - hauling water into ditches and moats and canals that he and his new friends had dug out in the sand.

Jill taking off in a boat. Eventually her two pals jumped ship and she lost grip of the paddles and so she left the boat too...but we made her swim back out to get the paddles and the boat. Good thing that girl is a good swimmer!

Hmmmm....a picture of a parent on our blog....weird. We usually only take pictures of the kids.
Peirce being made into a mermaid.....or is that a merman??
Now Jill is one too....and she appears to be anatomically correct! :0)
Jill enjoyed making sand art in the afternoon....these are a few of her creations.

Friday, 11 July 2008

The Art of Mending (Elizabeth Berg)

I've been feeling siatic pain in my back again. Usually that is a result of stress. I couldn't figure out what I would be stressed about. I decided perhaps the best remedy would be a night of true relaxation - so I found a book and read from about 5:00 until 10:00 (Ah! Blessed caving!) The book is a quick read. I read it at quite a leisurely pace and somewhere in there I made dinner and read with Peirce for half an hour or so.

This book reminded me of the book called They Love You, They Love Me Not (Rabie-Azoory) Rabie-Azoory's book is the science behind what Elizabeth Berg's book is about. She tells a story of 3 siblings, Laura, Steve and Caroline who have to face the very different childhood one of them had. It's quite intriguing to read about how they respond and how they come around to the truth.
It was really interesting to me to think about how Laura and Steve were totally oblivious to the way Caroline was treated. I think a lot of people would be surprised that this could happen - but truthfully, I think most people are so caught up in their own lives that they're really quiet unaware of everyone around them - even their siblings. Even the parent who saw the mistreatment go on did nothing about it. How sad is that? It is probably most troubling because of how common it is. In the book Laura starts to come around and realize what Caroline is saying could be possible because of an experience her husband, Pete had while growing up. He tells her the story and she says (p. 110):

"Well, this is just....I'm astonished! It doesn't fit with them."
"It doesn't fit with what you know. Knew."
I swallowed hard, said nothing. But then, "You know, Pete, my dad just died. Why did you tell me that? I don't have room for anything else. Why did you tell me that?
He put his arms around me, spoke softly into my ear. "Because something is not everything. You know? And because nobody knows what goes on in other families, because families lie about themselves to other people. Not only to other people but to one another. And to themselves."
I like what this book did with my thinking about people. It made me think about some individuals I know and love - but sometime have a hard time being around. I think a lot of the issues I have with them are due to unresolved issues they have with their upbringing and their family - and it all made me want to be a little more understanding and show a little more patience and kindness.

As a total aside - one thing I loved in this book was the narrator, Laura's, interest in sewing. In case you can't quite figure out what the cover is - it's a cupboard full of fabric. She talks about going into fabric stores, buying a beautiful piece of cloth off a bolt, taking it apart and turning it into something beautiful. She talks about hoarding fabric. She talks about just sitting and looking at the beautiful fabric, and about the eccentric people working in the fabric store she frequented. Somehow it was all so good for my soul!! I feel a sewing spree coming on.....
Oh....and my back feels much better. No more siatic pain.
Weird how that works.