Friday, December 16, 2016

A Christmas Carol Chapter 3 - The Ghost of Christmas Present

This post contains an affiliate link.
Pin It
Welcome back to our discussion of A Christmas Carol!

If you don't have the book yet, you can get it for free on Kindle, or even download the text of it on Project Gutenberg!  I've been known to print out way too many pages from Project Gutenberg before =)

Just so you know, I am not planning on outlining the plot of each chapter, or going through the book page by page in these posts.  I am going to pull out interesting quotes and ideas that I want to work through, and discuss them with you!  Please feel free to add to the discussion by leaving comments below or linking up a post that you have written about the book.


Waiting for the Third Spirit


I still don't understand the time frame of all of this!  I know it's fiction, and it's probably just all a dream, but I like to understand things =)  There is no daytime between the spirit visits, but the spirits are supposed to come for three consecutive nights, right?  But it all starts on Christmas Eve and he eventually emerges again on Christmas morning.  Someone please explain this to me, or else remind me that this is just a story and I need to stop trying to figure it out!

I thought it was interesting that this time he is expecting the spirit to come, and even tries to look for it.  He was almost disappointed when the clock struck 1 and he didn't see anyone!

"Being prepared for almost anything, he was not by any means prepared for nothing."  (pg. 62)

He finally sees a light coming from the other room and finds the 2nd ghost there.  The room has been changed and is described in great detail.  In fact, most of the settings in this chapter are described in great detail.  It is interesting because the locations really aren't that important, but so much time is taken describing them.  Does anyone know why this might be? The best I can think is that it is showing an appreciation for all of the goodness around him, to contrast with the way Scrooge lives, dark and cold, appreciating nothing.


Ready to Learn a Lesson


Once he meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, he is ready to be on his way!  I am impressed that the lessons of the previous ghost were taken to heart and that he is willing to learn more.

"I went forth last night on compulsion, and I learned a lesson which is working now.  To-night, if you have ought to teach me, let me profit by it." (pg. 65)

If the first ghost represented Scrooge's memory, I think this ghost was his conscience.  In this chapter, Scrooge is taken to different scenes, and is shown what life is actually like for others. He sees that people who do not have extra money can actually enjoy one another and be thankful for what they have.  There is no remembering this time around, only an opportunity for his heart to be stirred.

The ghost even turns some of Scrooge's previous words back on him.  When Scrooge asks him if Tiny Tim will live (because he clearly cares for him as a person now), the ghost replies "What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the population." (pg.78)  And Scrooge "hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief."

Then again at the end with the very strange vision of the two children, Ignorance and Want. Scrooge is disturbed by them, but also shows compassion.  He asks if there is no refuge for them and  the Spirit turned Scrooge's word on him again saying, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"


A Visit to his Nephew


At one point he visits the Christmas party where his nephew is celebrating.  I love that Scrooge seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself, partaking in the games and merriment, even though they cannot see or hear him.  Here is a quote that I thought was really telling:

"When this strain of music sounded, all the things that Ghost had shown him came upon his mind; he softened more and more and thought that if he could have listened to it often, years ago, he might have cultivated the kindness of life for his own happiness with his own hands, without resorting to the sexton's spade that buried Jacob Marley."  (pg. 88-89)

Scrooge was all "head" and no "heart."  I am like that naturally, but have been working hard these past few years to appreciate beauty.  It is important to remember that we are not only thinking beings, but also possessors of hearts and souls that need cultivating as well.  It is easy to sway too much to one side or the other due to our natural tendencies, but this story cautions us again that.

Scrooge had never (or maybe rarely) been shown what happiness was like, so he didn't really know what he was missing.  He calloused his heart completely, and didn't want to chance joining in because he didn't want to be hurt ever again.


There is so much more that we could dive into, but as we finish up today, can I encourage you to notice the beauty around you?  Notice the people around you. Show compassion.  Not as a means of salvation, but as an outworking of the Holy Spirit's work in your heart.  

Walk worthy of your calling this week, and join me back here next week as we finish the book, discussing chapters 4-5.






If you need to pick up a copy of the book, head over to amazon (the kindle version is free!) or since it is a public domain title, you can also get it for free on Project Gutenberg.







Classical Mamas Read Link-Up


Did you write about A Christmas Carol on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png




Friday, December 9, 2016

A Christmas Carol Chapter 2 - The Ghost of Christmas Past

This post contains an affiliate link.
Pin It
Welcome back to our discussion of A Christmas Carol!

If you don't have the book yet, you can get it for free on Kindle, or even download the text of it on Project Gutenberg!  I've been known to print out way too many pages from Project Gutenberg before =)

Just so you know, I am not planning on outlining the plot of each chapter, or going through the book page by page in these posts.  I am going to pull out interesting quotes and ideas that I want to work through, and discuss them with you!  Please feel free to add to the discussion by leaving comments below or linking up a post that you have written about the book.

You can also join our live discussion on facebook!  We will be discussing live at 1pm EST for the next few Fridays, or you can always still go back and add your thoughts to the discussion afterwards.  I will be popping in throughout the week to keep the conversation going.  (Here is the schedule for the life chats on the rest of the book.)  Psst.  I've got some bonus goodies for those who join in on facebook!


Repressed Memories


For a one-line synopsis of this chapter, the Ghost of Christmas Past comes to visit Scrooge and shows him glimpses of Christmas memories from years past.

The description of the ghost was sure detailed and very interesting!  I thought about trying to draw it based on the description, but didn't think I could do it justice ;)

It seems like Scrooge has been shutting out memories and the Ghost is here to remind him.  I think this quote (page 39 in my book, when Scrooge wants the ghost to put his cap on to shut out the light) give us a lot to think about:

"Would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give?  Is it not enough that you are of those whose passions made this cap and force me through the whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow?"

This makes me wonderful who exactly this Ghost is.  Does anybody know?  Obviously I know this is a work of fiction, but who is he supposed to be?  Is he just Scrooge's memory, personified?  Is Scrooge basically telling himself to stop remembering and his memory is telling him to stop repressing the memories?

So then, they begin their journey back in time. (Or is it that the Ghost just brings things to the forefront of Scrooge's memory? Does anyone know exactly how this is all working?  Are they moving about, or are things moving about in front of them?  Or is this actually all just in Scrooge's head?)

It is interesting how you can not think about something for dozens of years, but a smell or a vision can bring it all back so vividly, and suddenly it becomes very meaningful again.

"He was conscious of a thousand odors floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand hopes and joys and cares long, long forgotten." (pg 41)


"Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them?" (pg 42)


The Reason for Scrooge's Hardheartedness 


The first chapter describes Scrooge so well, but leaves you with the question, "Why is this old man so mean-spirited?"  The second chapter answers that question.

He seems to be jumping between very positive memories and very painful ones.  Scrooge must have had a very emotional boyhood, which you can contrast with the stoic-ness of his adulthood.  No wonder he hates Christmas!

Scrooge's life epitomized neglect and loneliness.  Do you think that offers any justification for his current choices and attitude?  I don't think it is a justification, but it definitely gives an explanation as to why he is how he is!

Amongst all of the heart wrenching memories, there are two highlights of his younger life: his sister, and his old boss.  Through them, he sees that (pg 52):

He has the power to render us happy or unhappy, to make our service light or burdensome, a pleasure or a toil...The happiness he gives is quote as great as if it cost a fortune."


Some people in Scrooge's life made him miserable, while others brought him great joy.  This made me think of my own actions and how I have the potential to make people miserable or joyous.  Do I make my children's days light or burdensome?  Do I case my husband pleasure or toil?

Unfortunately, Scrooge took the happenings of his life and let the negative side win.  He became bound and determined to never be poor again and sacrificed relationships to do so.  Before showing him with his wife (is that who that is?) the book says:

"There was an eager, greedy, restless motion in the eye, which showed that passion had taken root, and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall."

This is a great illustration of how the love of money is the root of all evil.

"I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master passion, Gain engrosses you." (pg 54)

As Scrooge sees himself in all of these situations, he comes to regret some of how he has been acting.


  1. Scrooge wishes he would have been kinder to the caroler at his door the night before.
  2. He would "like to be able to say a word or two" to his clerk.

As we finish up today, can I encourage you to choose your actions carefully, to bring others joy, to be generous, and to value people?  

This was definitely a conviction for me as I read this chapter!  Like we talked about last week, I definitely do not think that these are the things that lead to salvation, but they should definitely be the fruit of a regenerate life.  Walk worthy of your calling this week, and join me back here next week to discuss chapter 3!






If you need to pick up a copy of the book, head over to amazon (the kindle version is free!) or since it is a public domain title, you can also get it for free on Project Gutenberg.







Classical Mamas Read Link-Up


Did you write about A Christmas Carol on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Classical Education Round-Up December 2016


This post contains affiliate links.
Pin It

Hello friends! Welcome to another month of  Trivium Tuesdays, a Classical Education Roundup.

My goal here is to share a collection of great resources from the internet (blog posts, videos, podcasts, articles, etc.) that pertain to classical education.  I will aim to post a new roundup on the first Tuesday of each month and then you can add to the list as the month goes on.

Feel free to link up posts that you have written as well as any other helpful resources you find!



Classical Academic Press - Digital Screen Technology and the Challenge of Contemplative Silence



This is something that I am keenly aware of in my own live.  It bothers me that I desire more "noise" (whether auditory or visual) during my day-to-day activities.  Do you think about this with yourself and your children?   This post, over at Classical Academic Press, remind you to make time for thinking...praying...being still.



Simply Convivial - The Best Character Building Program



Character building is something that I am always interested in, but I'm not always good at doing it well. =)  This article from Simply Convivial is really encouraging, reminding us that character building is done in the mundane of life.



5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling 



Did you know that you can get the 5 Elements of Classical Homeschooling in bite sized pieces now?  In stead of signing up for the whole course, you can take one module at a time.  Good deal!



CiRCE Institute - Who Makes the Better Student?



And for my podcast recommendation of the month...Who Makes the Better Student?  from the Commons by CiRCE.  The podcast starts out with the simple question: Who makes the better student: the nerd or the jock?  Seems like a simple answer, but of course they make my head hurt by the end!  The is an episode that I want to listen to again and pull apart, hopefully in a blog post so I can make all of your heads hurt too =)



This is what I've found this month.  Now it's your turn!  


Link up any great articles, podcasts, videos, blog posts etc. that you come across this month, as well as any classical education related posts you have written on your own blog!


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png


Friday, December 2, 2016

A Christmas Carol Chapter 1 - Marley's Ghost

This post contains an affiliate link.
Pin It
I am excited to begin thinking through A Christmas Carol with you.  Welcome!  Before we dive into the chapter, I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

If you don't have the book yet, you can get it for free on Kindle, or even download the text of it on Project Gutenberg!  I've been known to print out way too many pages from Project Gutenberg before =)

Just so you know, I am not planning on outlining the plot of each chapter, or going through the book page by page in these posts.  I am going to pull out interesting quotes and ideas that I want to work through, and discuss them with you!  Please feel free to add to the discussion by leaving comments below or linking up a post that you have written about the book.

You can also join our live discussion on facebook!  We will be discussing live at 1pm EST for the next few Fridays, or you can always still go back and add your thoughts to the discussion afterwards.  I will be popping in throughout the week to keep the conversation going.  (Here is the schedule for the life chats on the rest of the book.)  Psst.  I've got some bonus goodies for those who join in on facebook!


The Faith of Charles Dickens


The content of this chapter made me wonder about Charles Dickens' religious beliefs.  I found this article on Christianity Today on Dickens' faith.  It talks about how he disliked aristocracy and formality, and was a champion for the poor and needy.  He didn't think that the church did enough social action for those in need.  His writings, including A Christmas Carol, reflect his views on this.

Here is a quote from the article that will be good to keep in the back of our minds as we think about this book:

The “salvation” of Scrooge comes not from an encounter with Christ, but an encounter with self. He displays the Dickensian view that salvation is achieved by loving your neighbor, giving a cup of water to those in need. The New Testament teaches that such acts are the result of spiritual conversion; for Dickens, they were the means.


Chapter 1 - Marley's Ghost


Ok, on to the book!  My first though (having never read this book before) is that I am impressed at how faithful the movies/plays have been to the text of the book, even down to the "Bah Humbug!"

Movies are great for creating a visual experience, but I already feel like I have a more clear understanding of the message of the story from reading just the first few pages.

This is the quote that stuck out to me the most from the first chapter.  I'm going to keep my eye out the rest of the book, because I have a feeling that this might even be a thesis type statement for the book.

"The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power forever."  A Christmas Carol pg 34

Marley's Ghost has come back to visit Scrooge to try to keep him from this fate.  The picture of Marley seeing a young mother and baby, but being unable to help them, was very powerful to me.

How many times do you see someone that you want to help, but  don't?  I frequently have the desire to help someone, but psych myself out by thinking "Maybe they don't actually need help," or "I probably wouldn't do it right," or "Someone else closer to them is probably already helping them."  Then I end up just doing nothing.  Shame on me!  While I don't agree with Dickens' social gospel belief, this message is still very convicting for me!

Can I take a minute to encourage you to have a notebook out while you are reading?  Just jot ideas down as they come to you.  Ask questions.  Copy quotes.

I actually took lots of notes because I knew that I wanted to blog about it, but afterward I took the few quotes that I had written down and copied them into a notebook.

If you are not familiar with this already, it is sometimes referred to as keeping a Commonplace Book.  Let's talk about that more in another post and get back on track here =)

Here is another quote that I wrote down.  This one is from page 31 in my book and is Marley speaking:

Business!...Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business: charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business.  The dealings of trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

This paints a great picture and is a wonderful perspective!  Our 9-5 job, or the job we might get paid for, is not where we derive our worth or serve our greatest purpose.  In the grand scheme of things, how we treat other people is so much more important than our job title or how much money we make.

I know that I get caught up in the minute by minute duties of the day, and often forget that my real purpose on this earth is to show Christ to others.  Am I being kind to my child?  Am I showing mercy to my husband?  Am I giving charity to that person in the parking lot?  Ooo!  This is convicting me as I write!  Now only if I can remember this the next time I am feeling overwhelmed.

I think this is a good note to leave on today.  Can I encourage you to try to keep these lessons from Dickens in your mind and heart this week?  Keep pondering this chapter and meet me back here next week!






If you need to pick up a copy of the book, head over to amazon (the kindle version is free!) or since it is a public domain title, you can also get it for free on Project Gutenberg.







Classical Mamas Read Link-Up


Did you write about A Christmas Carol on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Classical Mamas Read - A Christmas Carol

This post contains an affiliate link.
Pin It
Welcome to another addition of Classical Mamas Read!  This time we will be reading through and discussing A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

I don't know about you, but when I read a book, I always want to talk about it!  I thought we would try something a little different this time around.  I will be posting a blog for the next four Fridays, but I will also be available to live-chat about it on facebook at 1pm EST each Friday.

Here is what the schedule will look like:

December 2nd - Chapter 1 Marley's Ghost


December 9th - Chapter 2 - The First of the Three Spirits


December 16th - Chapter 3 - The Second of the Three Spirits


December 23rd - Chapters 4 & 5 - The Last of the Three Spirits & The End of It









If you need to pick up a copy of the book, head over to amazon (the kindle version is free!) or since it is a public domain title, you can also get it for free on Project Gutenberg.









 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Classical Education Round-Up November 2016


Pin It

Hello friends! Welcome to another month of  Trivium Tuesdays, a Classical Education Roundup.

My goal here is to share a collection of great resources from the internet (blog posts, videos, podcasts, articles, etc.) that pertain to classical education.  I will aim to post a new roundup on the first Tuesday of each month and then you can add to the list as the month goes on.

Feel free to link up posts that you have written as well as any other helpful resources you find!



CiRCE Institute - Principles of Classical Education


Last week I had to write up answers to some questions, one of which was: Express your philosophy of education.  I am not used to answering that kind of question in a clear, succinct manner, so I wrote down my thoughts and then searched the internet to make sure that I was in the ballpark of the type of answer.  Thankfully I was.  In my looking around, I ran across this article from the CiRCE Institute and thought it was a wonderful expression of the Principles of Classical Education.  




Classical Copywork - New Site!

Classical Copywork has a brand new, completely redesigned website!  Head on over to take a look.  I'm sure you will find something that will enhance your curriculum!



Classical Academic Press - Education and Feeding the Soul


This is a great reminder that the goal of a classical education is not to get good test scores, but to feed children's souls with truth, goodness, and beauty.  Education and Feeding the Soul by Andrew Kern

"A bigger soul makes one a better friend."



Read Aloud Revival - Reading Aloud with Boys



I am a podcast junkie these days, so I would be remiss to not recommend a podcast episode that I loved listening to this month!  This episode of the Read Aloud Revival featured Cindy Rollens and was on the topic of  reading with boys.  I loved that they talked about reading books that build character, especially honor and virtue.



How is that to get you going this month?  Now it's your turn!  


Link up any great articles, podcasts, videos, blog posts etc. that you come across this month, as well as any classical education related posts you have written on your own blog!




 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png




Monday, October 31, 2016

Last Week for Early Bird Pricing on a Gryphon Internet Router!

This post is sponsored by Gryphon.
Gryphon Internet Router, Smart WiFi for the Connected Family
Pin It

Do you remember earlier this month when I shared with you about a new router that will help to keep your kids safe on the internet?  Well, I am excited to share that Gryphon is already more than 75% to their funding goal on Kickstarter.

If you would like to learn more about Gryphon and why you should consider using it in your home,  check out my original post and also these other publications where it has been featured:






Gryphon Featured in These Publications

If you have not reserved one, it's not too late. Go grab a Gryphon on Kickstarter now. They are extending the early bird special for this week only. Help them reach their goal and everyone will receive 1 FREE year of intrusion detection and whole house malware filtering ($49 value).

Protect Your Children's Eyes with Gryphon


 photo SubscribeButton_zpsdc17ac56.png