Monday, March 8, 2010

Reading and Thinking

It's been over a week since I've posted and I want to thank the wonderful ladies who wrote to ask if everything was okay. Your friendship means so much. I've actually been fine, just catching up on some reading. I seem to start more than one book at a time, which is not the best idea, I know. With homeschooling, my reading time is limited anyway, so I just decided to catch up.

Both books had to do with Holland. It wasn't planned, it just turned out that way. The first one, "Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates" was written as a children's book, and I'd picked it up to see if I'd like to read it aloud to my kids. I loved it. Maybe some of you read it when you were a child, but I hadn't. Along with learning about the strong moral character of the Brinker family, I learned so much about the history of Holland.

This second book was "Anne Frank Remembered". It is the story of Miep Gies. She died in January of this year at the age of 100, and was one of the people who helped hide The Frank family. A wonderful book, this was another story that had me digging deeper into info on WWII and the terrible extent of hardship endured. I'm not sure I'd ever realized the extent of occupation that took place during this time, or how many countries were occupied. Since becoming a blogger, I've met several people from those countries, and realizing that their parents and grandparents lived through this, makes it more real. Maybe some of your own family did too.

My father and uncles were in that war, but occupation is something that I'd only heard about. We don't know what it's like, living here in America. When I was a teen, I heard Corrie ten Boom speak. I remember this little old lady walking up to the podium, and I also remember thinking that this was going to be boring. Oh my goodness, was I ever wrong! You could've heard a pin drop. She held the attention of everyone in that room as she shared about her life. Her book, "The Hiding Place" is one of my favorites.

Books get us thinking, don't they? Am I teaching my kids to work hard as Hans Brinker did, and not think that hand outs are something they are due? That even in the face of adversity, we are to do the right thing? I hope so. I'm also very thankful that I haven't had to live through these hardships. Not the hardship of the Jewish people. Not the hardship of the people living in countries occupied by a foreign dictator. Not wondering where my next meal will come from. I know I've been blessed. I hope that I teach my children never to take these blessings for granted.


  1. I have missed you and was looking for your blog today! I love Anne Frank and The Hiding Place, have read them both..awesome books for sure! Come say i :D

  2. Enjoyed your thoughts today. I'm afraid that I don't read enough 'serious' stuff to get my thoughts going; but I do try. Thanks for stopping by today. Sally

  3. I love all three of those books...I didn't know about Mieps! Bless her soul!

  4. I remember reading The Hiding Place a long time ago. It was so difficult to read, but I'm glad that I did.
    It's hard to imagine some of the things she saw and suffered through.

    Take care, and have a good week. :)

  5. Both my husband's parents where children in occupied Holland and they have shared many experiences with me. My youngest's middle name is after a uncle who was a Dutch Resistance fighter that the family is all very proud of, also for being a pastor during that time and standing up for God during a time where it was easy to given in to survive.

    I have read each of these books and look forward to sharing them with my children.

  6. Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Blessings, andrea

  7. Hi Marcia,
    I am so glad I came by and read your blog tonight.
    Now I have a couple new books to put on my list.
    I am so thankful for some good books that I have read with my children that speak into my and their lives like nothing else could.
    : )

  8. Very worthwhile reading, indeed. I wish our public schools would have kids read books like this again! I think they are so un-learned because they learn from textbooks instead of living books!

  9. Thanks for sharing these books that mean something to you and your family.

    Hope you are doing great.

  10. My father and his family were in Germany during the war. My father had tons of stories to tell of his life during that time.

    I love to read and have had such a hard time to find the time to just sit and enjoy a good book!

    Enjoy your week!

  11. So glad to see that you are back. You have obviously been spending your time wisely reading some excellent books. I haven't read any of them but have certainly heard of them. We must respect the past in order to appreciate the present and look toward the future, but so many people these days are caught up in this fast-paced, rat race, gotta have it now, throw away society. It makes me very sad! Your children are very fortunate to have such a caring and kind mother. I hope that I am passing the same lessons to my children. Many blessings to you and yours , Tammy

  12. I read Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates in elementary school. And of course didn't we all read The Diary of Anne Frank? That book makes me so grateful for the freedoms I enjoy in this country. I love to read and do so everyday. Mimi

  13. Hi Marcia - I was just checking to make sure I hadn't missed any of your posts and I'm so pleased to hear from you again!
    It's too easy to take our liberties for granted and definitely we need to teach our kids these important values.
    Love reading your posts so keep blogging!

  14. Very thoughtful post Marcia! I need to start reading more, right now it seems I only read blogs!
    Hugs, Cindy

  15. Hi Marcia! You and I are actually returning at the same time. I've been gone for the past 5 days too.

    I own Hans Brinker, but I have yet to read the other two....and so I must add them to my list!

    I'm glad you and your family are fine!!

  16. I had to come back because I think it is so GREAT that you got to see/hear Corrie Ten Boon. How very wonderful!

  17. Books are some of my best friends. :) I've always loved to read and it seems that you and I share a fascination with some of the same topics. I was saddened by the passing of Miep. She may well have been the last person living who had any firsthand memories of Anne, and that is just so sad to consider.

  18. I once saw Corrie Ten Boom speak. She was so inspiring! We are truly blessed here in America. I fear we are headed toward a time that there will be some of the difficult experiences other countries have had.

  19. Happy to find a post from you this morning.
    Your post was thought provoking and true.
    Thank you

  20. Love your reading list....Spring Break is here so it means I get more reading time in. Have a wonderful day!

  21. Hi Marcia,
    It's nice to read your post. You are so right about how blessed we are living here. My dad was in WWII in France and Germany. He likes to share his experiences with us. I've been thinking we should wrtie them down.

    The book by Miep Gies sounds interesting. Corrie Ten Boom was an amazing woman. I read The Hiding Place many years ago, and also saw the movie. I'll have to read it again. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

    I hope you have a lovely week!

  22. HI Marcia, how are you today? I'm doing good.... a little scatterbrained perhaps. Hahaha...
    My hubby and I were fortunate enough to hear Corrie Ten Boom speak too. Wow, I considered it such an honor. Now that she has passed I really do. Listening to her speak definitely makes you put your life's priorities in order.
    Have a wonderful week my friend.

  23. I have read "The Diary Of Anne Frank" Frank..and I have read "The Hiding Place" but I would like to read it again. I may have it in my library as I tend to read good book over and over. Most especially biographies.
    I have seen photo's of the occupation and it give me nightmares. I am of course older than you and have heard the stories in vivid detail all my life.
    Your family is just beautiful, by the way! GORGEOUS, to be exact! :)
    Take good care,

  24. Hi Marcia,

    First of all, you have a beautiful family!

    I wish I had more time to read and I have read Anne Frank Remembered and loved it!

    Thank you for your visit Sweet Friend and I just adored your comment. I have my fingers crossed for your sweet daughter!


  25. I just love reading books so good on you for taking the time out to do this.

  26. Hi Marcia,
    I love your blog and now that your were talking about Holland, I had to react. I am Dutch, however living in Luxembourg since 25 years. We have two biological sons and 2 adopted children from South Africa. The diary of Anne Frank was my favourite book when I was young and I also read Miep's book. I even went to the "Achterhuis" in Amsterdam twice, very impressive!
    I am very fascinated by your homeschooling project. In Luxembourg children speak 4 languages fluently when they leave school. They start with German, French and Luxembourgish in primary school and then start learning English in high school. They have tons of homework every day, but I really couldn't imagine doing homeschooling and I am not even sure that it is allowed here, but I am very fascinated by the subject. If you have time, I would love to read something more about it and the reasons behind it.
    Greetings from Luxembourg,

  27. Dear Marcia,
    what would we do without books and without the histories told by those who experienced it? It's always a blessing to learn more, to get more knowledge!

    Right now I'm reading a book (3 in1) by Norwegian-American Ole Edvart Rølvaag, that wrote about the norwegian immigrants that setled in Dakota! Since I've done genealogy for many years I've also come across family members that went to America, and their stories are very interesting!

    The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom was a good tip, and I will try to get hold of a copy!

    Have a nice day and keep upe the good work!

    Hugs Cathrine :-)

  28. What a wonderful selection of books! It's been so long since i've read Hans brinkers silver skates - I should pick it up again. And I didn't realize that Miep had a book out too about Anne Frank - I'll want to read that one too.

  29. History does teach us so much . . . I remember not being a bit interested in the subject in school - now I much prefer it to fiction *s*

  30. Glad to know everything is OK...a little break from blogging is sometimes a good thing!
    Glad you had some time to catch up on reading. I don't know how you do it all!!

  31. Marcia,

    I've never read Ann Frank Remembered....I need to get that one! Love the others though! I love books that make me think about being a better person and make me think about what I'm instilling in my children too! And my kids will tell you how emotional I get reading books aloud to them. I can't help it!

    Isn't this time with our kids homeschooling them just the best? We are blessed!

    Have a wonderful day, Marcia! :)

  32. My kids have been so very interested in WWII for quite awhile. That's been our history for schooling for over a year now! It's been very good/humbling/amazing for both them, and for me. Thank you for your insight, and I'm looking forward to checking out Miep Gies book as well.
    Blessing ~
    (Thank you for praying for our little peanut, she's doing great!)

  33. When Miep died, there was alot of footage shown of the interviews of her talking about Anne. And Hans Brinker is just such a dear story. I am glad you liked them. Hard to believe still after 23 years that I live in that country you read about in the US as a child. :-) I just put one of the old buildings from the open air museum on my blog last week showing it inside and out.

    Hugs from Holland ~


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