Monday, November 26, 2012

Quest Notes

{My weekly Classical Quest status update}

A gift from my husband...just because.
✒ Finished Anna Karenina this past week -- and I loved it. Now I'm busy chipping away at the  final inquiry post. (Although it will still be a while before I finish all of my Anna Karenina themed posts.)
✒ I've been thinking more about establishing excellent habits since I wrote this post. I'm working on an "Excellent Habits" page to challenge myself to be more disciplined in various areas of life. Love this post -- "How to Cultivate the Habit of an Age of Distraction", by Ann Voskamp.

✒ My heart and mind is turning toward Advent which begins Sunday, December 2nd. I was not raised with the Advent tradition. When my oldest kids were babies I brought home a wooden Advent calendar and chocked it full of treats. Of course the tradition stuck -- they wouldn't let me forget! However, with each passing year I find that the spiritual significance of Advent has struck a deeper chord in my heart. This year, I'm hoping for a tender spiritual event to strengthen my love for God and to increase our feeling of anticipation for the message of Christmas. I plan to memorize this passage over the coming weeks.

✒  Working on my own version of  "The Road to Bethlehem", inspired by Godly Play. This is a once a week (Sunday) activity so we'll definitely have time for another fun idea -- A Literary Countdown! 

✒ I saw this at The Modern Mrs. Darcy today: wrap one holiday book for each day of Advent and place them under the Christmas tree! I found seventeen books that will work on my bookshelf. A trip to the public library should easily get us to twenty-five! A couple of our chapter books like A Year Down Yonder and Little House in the Big Woods have excellent Christmas chapters which could be read as excerpts.

✒ "Blush: Part Two" should be up Wednesday. And yes, there will be a Blush: Part Three. I've counted eighty-one pages from Anna Karenina with the words "blushed", "flushed", "reddened", or "crimsoned" on them.

✒ Trying to avoid stores as much as possible this year! I'm thinking hard about what to buy online for each my five kids. I'm going for a "less is more" theme. I hope to find some timeless classics that they will come back to again and again.

✒ Auntie Leila from Like Mother Like Daughter had surgery last Tuesday. This blog has been a huge inspiration to me as a mother/homemaker. This coming Thursday I'm going to participate in the "Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real" link-up with a special post to say, "Get well soon Auntie Leila!".

 I'm planning a tight synchro-reading of The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy. I think I may need some hand holding through this one! I will start putting up comments chapter by chapter on my Classical Quest Facebook page starting December 1. (If you haven't visited the Classical Quest FB page yet, jump over and check it out. While you're there, click "like" and make my day!)

✒ Not sure yet if I'll go see Anna Karenina, the movie in the theater. (We almost never pay full price for a movie out. Dinner + movie +  baby sitting for five kids = "Why not have a nice date-night-in?") I was expecting it to be a another film which glorifies lust and carnality -- a liberty which  film adaptations of classic novels often take, leaving the viewers with a utterly different impression of the story than the author intended (i.e. The Scarlet Letter). However, after listening to this interview by screen play writer Tom Stoppard, I admit -- I'm intrigued.

✒ But first: the inquiry...

Perhaps you would like to start your own "excellence habits list". What sort of habits would you like to cultivate?

What are some of your all time favorite Christmas gifts for kids under age ten?

Have you seen Anna Karenina, the movie? If so -- thumbs up or down?

Would you like to join me for a "The Return of the Native Synchro-Read" on Facebook?

(Answer any or all or none! If you want -- just peek your head in and say hi! Blessings, friends!)


  1. I am in agreement about the time of Advent and wanting to make it more spiritual. This year I am searching for ways to focus more on our expectation of His (second) coming.

    Looks like you are going to be very busy in the coming weeks.

    1. I imagine you'll be busy too! Hope you're enjoying the season!

      I see you've picked Native back up. Is it better this time?

    2. Oh, yes! I am enjoying it.

      And I am so excited. I just ordered several books from the library for Christmas (many from your pile) and we will be reading throughout the coming weeks. Last year I read A Christmas Carol to the kids, and then we went to see the play at a local theater.

      Thanks for sharing your idea.

    3. When I saw the idea on The Modern Mrs. Darcy, I dropped what I was doing and ran over to my bookshelf to see how many holiday themed books I could strum up. I couple of these were given to us as gifts and I haven't read them yet (Santa Calls & A Cowboy Christmas). Last night I found another GREAT one -- A New Coat for Anna, by Harriet Ziefert. (HIGHLY recommend) Also I ordered a couple more old favorites that I've checked out from the library in the past (Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree & The Gift of the Magi). We now have more books than Advent days! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you all!

  2. I wasn't raised observing Advent either but then I wasn't raised to have a focus on the birth of the Savior at Christmas either. I have been adding Advent activities to our day the past few years. This year we will read Bartholomew's passage this year. Last year I used Ann Voskamp's Advent readings.
    I may need help getting through The Return of the Native, I finished Anna Karenina weeks ago and I have barely made any headway in this book.

    1. Anne Voskamp always has very lovely Advent posts. I'm trying to work with stuff I already have this year, but for Easter I would LOVE to make her Resurrection Garden. Beautiful.

      My husband read the first page of Native and said, "Honey, this passage is an example of why some people make fun of the classics."

      When DO editors come on the scene?! Guess we'll know when we get there right?!

      If you want to wait until Dec. 1st to start. I promise I'll try to make it fun.

    2. I will probably wait to read any more so December 1stto sounds good.

    3. I'm hoping the extra accountability will keep me on track!

  3. I would love to see the AK movie (assuming it doesn't glorify the adultery bit), but I haven't read the book yet! And anyway movies are so expensive...the list of movies I have not seen in the theater this year is pretty long.

    1. Oh I forgot to say that I would absolutely do a FB readalong. Is a Synchro-Read a real thing? What is it?

    2. Wonderful Jean. I'll look forward to seeing to there!

      I read a post a couple months ago in which someone referred to an online "read-along" as a "synchro-read". I don't think the term is in common usage, but it's stuck with me. I like it. :)

  4. Hi Adriana! I love these new weekly updates; meant to tell you last week! It's a great style for you. Keep 'em coming!

    I probably won't see the AK movie right away, both because we mostly wait for things to make it to the cheap theater AND because if I see a movie too soon after reading the book, I find myself so distracted by everything the movie "got wrong" that I can't enjoy it for the adaptation it is.

    I'm still not done with Anna K., but I'll be done by December 1st and would love to try the synchro-read!

    Great advent ideas! Thanks! : )

    1. I'm glad you like the updates!

      I agree with you about the movie -- I might see it in the future, but I'm not in a hurry.

      Take your time to savor the last chapters of AK. Look forward to seeing you at the syncro-read! :)

  5. oh i love Thomas Hardy! i just really enjoy his characters. i think once you get into it, you will eat it up.

    i haven't seen AK the movie, but i'm reluctant. For one, i thought that Kiera Knightly played an awful Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and i love Ana so much i would hate to be disappointed.

    If you are looking for classic "kid" books and have girls, i highly recommend the Anne of Green Gables series. i could still read them today and enjoy them.

    1. I hope you'll drop by the synchro-read to share your insights on Thomas Hardy. The more the merrier!

      Thanks for the tips! :)

    2. p.s. I pulled down my copy of Anne of Green Gables tonight and found the chapter where Matthew gives Anne the dress with puffed sleeves for Christmas.Perfect for our Advent Literary Countdown! Glad you mentioned it. :)


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