Generally I read to the family in the livingroom, but last night it was obviously much cooler outside than inside so we took some old mattresses out in the yard and relaxed there while I read. It was actually nice when the electricity went off so we could just enjoy the darkness of the night.
We recently finished the second of the Ralph Moody autobiographies, Man of the Family (see sidebar). The last three chapters held one of the most amazing real-life stories I've ever heard. Before we start the third book, Mary Emma and Company, we're taking a little break from this series in order to read a few other books of interest.
Currently I'm reading a junior version of Little Women out loud to the family. We're going to be seeing the musical in a couple of weeks, and I want them to have some background so they can really understand it. We'll finish the book in the next few days and then watch the movie on the weekend. I'm sure we'll have lots of good discussions comparing and contrasting the book, the movie, and the musical. How fun to teach my kids these skills when they don't even know I'm doing it!
Last summer in the U.S., I made a point of looking for some dramas/musicals for the kids. We were able to squeeze in two musicals: Anne of Green Gables in Decorah, IA, and Fiddler on the Roof in Redwing, MN. We had never seen the musical of Anne before so that was new to us, although the storyline was familiar. Fiddler was good as always, but the cemetery scene didn't come close to the rendition developed by our high school in Nigeria. In fact, I doubt we'll ever see a cemetery scene that can top that one. (Kudos to Heidi, George, the Crouch twins, your directors, and the whole cast! I almost went a third night just for that scene.)
A few weeks later as we were driving down the road (something we did a lot of!), Tobi made a comparison between a song from each of the musicals. He realized that two of the songs had exactly the same message about how gossip spreads and then becomes something completely different in the end. Way to go, Tobi! I didn't even make that connection.
I love opening up the world to my children through books and stories.