The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We have just finished another book entitled The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane. Kate DiCamillo, the author of The Tale Of Despereaux, wrote this book as well. I love her writing. She engages the reader in her stories quite easily and paints pictures in your mind. Her stories have purpose and depth. There are all kinds of messages in her writing. Different people will gain different things, but everyone will feel something upon reading her. She deals with real emotions and human experiences, not all are happy-as is life. Noelle cried as I read this book and I myself had to fight back tears.
I went online and did a search for a picture to put with this post and I came across a website with a teachers guide to go along with this novel. It contains questions you can discuss with the children you are teaching. In part of that guide there is a question and answer section, questions asked of Kate. It was nice to be able to read what she, as the author, had to say about certain plot lines and characters that she had created in her book. This book in many ways reminded me of our lives here on earth. The journey that we must all go through- a lot of it not so nice sometimes, but how we become the people we are, be it good or bad, and hopefully continue on to become the person we have the potential to be, if we allow ourselves to learn and grow along the way and when life beats us down, there is someone there to pick us back up and put us together again. I hope, as is the hope I hold for my children also, that I will be able to fulfill the purpose God has for me while on my own miraculous journey.
I also loved what she had to say about motivating young readers, since Darren and I as parents as following this philosophy with our children, in the hopes that they will learn to love reading and discover all the amazing works there are out there just waiting to be read.
Q. Abilene’s grandmother, Pellegrina, is not happy with Edward. “You disappoint me,” she

tells him. What does she expect of Edward?

A. Edward is, in many ways, Pellegrina’s creation, and because of that her expectations for

him are huge. She perceives, quite clearly, that he has failed at the simple and impossible

task he was created for: loving Abilene as she loves him.

Q. Do you have any suggestions for engaging and motivating young readers? Do you have

any advice for classroom teachers or parents?

A. The best thing I know to tell parents and teachers about motivating young readers is that

reading should not be presented to them as a chore, a duty. It should, instead, be offered as

a gift: Look, I will help you unwrap this miraculous present. I will show you how to use it

for your own satisfaction and education and deep, intense pleasure. It distresses me that

parents insist that their children read or make them read. I think the best way for children

to treasure reading is for them to see the adults in their lives reading for their own pleasure.

Adding Pictures??

Friday, May 1, 2009

I got a new computer and I have absolutely no idea how to use it. This is the main reason I haven't been posting. I am getting backed up with entries and thought that I better go ahead and post and add the pictures later, when I figure out how to use this thing properly, either that or have my sister-in-law come over.

Ikea, Here We Come!!.............Eventually

Noelle and I went to Ikea last Saturday. We had so much fun (when we finally got there). We caught the 7:45 ferry and had waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and hash browns. It was so yummy. After that we spent some time looking around the gift shop- I bought a bracelet and Noelle bought herself a necklace with the money she had earned the day before. We then did some reading in the van. Once on the other side we set out to the Ikea in Coquitlam, to which I had never been and I was very nervous about getting there, but I had my directions and felt hopeful. You must understand that I DO NOT drive, ever, while in Vancouver and I have never been there without another adult. So I was also feeling quite proud of myself for even attempting this. After passing the exit I was suppose to take I wanted to call Darren for help. I printed directions off superpages, so once you miss one step they no longer apply, but I thought maybe I could get myself turned back around and get back on course.......I had to stop and ask for directions. But then I thought I had it! After missing the exit for the second time I was frustrated, but at least I know knew how to get back. After getting lost about 3 more times I called Darren and told him that I wasn't going to let him off the phone until I was in the parking lot. He safely directed me there. Now normally I am excited enough when I see that humongous, yellow Ikea sign, but this time I was particularly overjoyed. As fast as that feeling came it left, when the thought that I had to get BACK entered my mind. But priorities right! I am at Ikea, what am I doing in the parking lot, Let's GO! We had much better luck finding our way around on the inside and I found everything that I was looking for and more. We had an Ikea cinnamon bun and chocolate milk for lunch. I was very much optimistic about the journey back and thought I had it in the bag until after 40 minutes of driving, I was almost back at Ikea, actually I was exactly back to the spot that I had called Darren the first time to get me there. Once again I called him and he directed me back to the ferries. We caught the 5 p.m. For dinner we had Chicken wings, fries and caesar salad. While we were in the line up, there was a young man ahead of the couple, ahead of us and while he was going through the till, he tried to use his credit card, but the cashier informed him that they didn't take that kind of card. I don't know where he was from , but it wasn't from here. He had an accent, although I didn't get to hear him talk enough to figure out where he was from. Anyways, he didn't have anything else to pay with so he asked the man if me should put his food back and I said,  "no, don't put it back, I'll pay for it". He graciously accepted. When it was my turn to pay, the cashier thanked me for the gesture, then looking at my bank card informed me that they don't except interact?! This tells you how often I travel without Darren. I asked if they had a bank machine somewhere and he told me that they didn't. What was I going to do, I had offered to pay for this man's food and now I couldn't even pay for mine! The man behind me in line, quickly stepped up and offered to pay. Can you believe this? He wasn't behind me when I had offered to pay for the young man's food. Then I remembered that I had a credit card with me. (I never use them so I didn't think of it first off) I thanked the man behind me for his generous offer and told him, "if this doesn't work I just might take you up on your offer". It worked and everyone ate. Noelle and I went to sit on the opposite side of the cafeteria. I didn't want the young man to have to sit and eat while looking at us, I didn't want him to feel uncomfortable. After he was done though, he sought us out and thanked us over and over. It was very sweet. It is those kinds of things, unlike my van full of purchases that make me feel happy on the outside and only for a very short time, that make you feel good on the inside and for a long time, too! I don't tell this story to say oh, look at how wonderful I am, I tell it because of the goodness that is out there in many others. That the man behind me was just as willing to help as I was and how thankful everyone was. We finished our dinner and went down to the van to listen to the end of our book on tape. We got home around 8 p.m. tired out from a fun day together. It is such a sweet, surreal, wonderful, weird thing to have a daughter who is also a girlfriend and a shopping partner. I morn the loss of my 'babies', but since I can't change that, I delight in the discovery of my children as people and friends. I look forward to many more adventures with Noelle and I am so grateful for her!

Island View Beach


One of the first nice days this spring, after doctors appointments in Sidney, went to Island View Beach afterwards- it was so beautiful. We spent some time on the beach and then when I had to feed Nya I sat in the van with the door open. Tate played with his trucks on the ground just outside my door, while the other kids continued to play with Darren on the beach. I don't think I could ever get enough of this beautiful place in which we live and yet as much as I love it I still think I take it for granted- there is a beach in any direction I go. I am so grateful for this Island!