Children’s Hour

carlton_alfred_smith2c_1893_-_the_first_lesson

Grasshopper Green

Grasshopper Green is a comical chap;
He lives on the best of fare.
Bright little trousers, jacket, and cap,
These are his summer wear.
Out in the meadow he loves to go,
Playing away in the sun;
It’s hoppety, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.

Grasshopper Green has a quaint little house;
It’s under the hedge so gay.
Grandmother Spider, as still as a mouse,
Watches him over the way.
Gladly he’s calling the children, I know,
Out in the beautiful sun;
It’s hoppety, skipperty, high and low,
Summer’s the time for fun.
~Author Unknown

Minnows

. . . Swarms of minnows show their little heads,
Staying their waxy bodies ‘gainst the streams,
To taste the luxury of sunny beams
Tempered with coolness. How they ever wrestle
With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle
Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand.
If you but scantily hold out the hand,
That very instant not one will remain;
But turn your eye, and they are there again.
The ripples seem right glad to reach those cresses,
And cool themselves among the em’rald tresses;
The while they cool themselves, they freshness give,
And moisture, that the bowery green may live.
~John Keats

Mice

I think mice
Are rather nice

Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven’t any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white,
They run about
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn’t touch
And no one seems
To like them much

But I think mice
Are nice
~Rose Fyleman

The City Mouse and the Garden Mouse

The city mouse lives in a house;-
The garden mouse lives in a bower,
He’s friendly with the frogs and toads,
And sees the pretty plants in flower.

The city mouse eats bread and cheese;-
The garden mouse eats what he can;
We will not grudge him seeds and stocks,
Poor little timid furry man.
~Christina Rossetti

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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En Route to Christmas

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say: throw cares away
Christmas is here bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, ding, ding, dong, that is their song
With joyful ring all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere filling the air
Oh how they pound, raising the sound
O’er hill and dale, telling their tale
Gaily they ring while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home

Shopping, shopping, shopping; stringing up Christmas lights; either hunting for a live tree or putting up the traditional fake tree that you have used every year for a long, long time; sending out invitations to extended family members; thinking about the recipes new and old you will use on that day of feasting; and preparing for the festivities to come. . .

Hello Friend,

As we prepare for this Christmas season, it is important to remember the story of new life in our Lord Jesus Christ. This world lay condemned, doomed for all time in sin and misery. But hallelujah, God did not leave this world in sin and misery. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism states in Question 21, “God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.” And as the next question answers, the only redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” . . . “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:1,4-10

One of my two favorite pieces of imagery from the New Testament (it competes with another that I may share later) is when the curtain temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Friends, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, we have access into the Holy of Holies to come boldly before the throne of grace. There is not a better way God could have shone His people that the atoning sacrifice of His son was enough. Jesus Christ had drank the cup of the Father’s wrath to the dregs, crying “It is finished!” – payed in full. We owe no more debt to God for Christ’s work.

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,” ~Matthew 27:50-51

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” ~Matthew 28:6

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” ~Revelation 11:15

 

 Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heav’n and nature sing,

. . .

God Rest ye merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray;

. . .

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Assessing Things Landward

For those who love Treasure on the Southern Moor. . .

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 191-194

.     The sun had come over the horizon and was beaming its rays upon water and land. Splash, splash, splash was the sound the oars were making as Mr. Toller related the story of the previous night’s events. Captain Underwood listened with great interest to the tale that was given him, watching as the ship’s boat took them closer and closer toward the Southern Moor.
.     “Well, well,” the captain said at the end, “that is a different turn. We will have to be more careful for sure, and of course I do apologize for hiring them in the first place and for the danger it put you all in. There was such a short time before we had to set sail, and I’m only all too sorry our suspicions about Mr. Northrup were true. At least,” spoken with relief, “Adrian and Adrianna are safe.” He went on, with some strain, “yet we are shorthanded now, in addition to needing repairs.”
.     They had by this time come up to the side of the Southern Moor, and a rope ladder, or Jacob’s ladder, was dangling down to receive them. The captain was first to ascend, coming up onto the main deck, and was greeted by Adrian and Adrianna and then by the loyal crew.
.     “We have been up all night and have nearly died,” said Adrianna in her father’s embrace, yet she was so tired from the night’s activities that she didn’t sound nearly as frightened as one may have thought.
.     “And it wasn’t so bad,” said Adrian. “We made it out safely.” His face turned sickly as he thought of the soldier and sailor who hadn’t. “But not everyone did,” was all he said aloud.
.     “We have been narrowly saved from disaster,” said the captain. “And I can only thank you all for your loyalty and to the Lord for His protection. I have a word to speak with the traitors before we need to discuss our plans, for our plight is plain. How are we to sail with more than half the crew unable or unwilling to lend a hand? This will have to be discussed among us, and since we are so few and every one of you has proved your loyalty with your lives, it is my wish that everyone have a say in the deciding. Yet it need not be discussed now aboard the Southern Moor. I suggest we partake of the victuals Robert Moore has prepared, and afterward go ashore where we can discuss our situation over solid ground with a larger meal.” He looked around at the tired faces of the crew. “It also appears that an hour’s sleep before we depart would not be amiss.”
.     Mr. Moore was nearly done with preparing breakfast, largely consisting of porridge, and everyone readily agreed to the proposed plan and sat down to eat. “Going ashore to Africa at last,” said Adrianna as she took her bowl of porridge. Steam was still rising from it.
.     “Aye,” said one of the two remaining loyal sailors. He said no more, but started humming the tune of an old sea song. Adrianna remembered that he was a sailor who had lived his whole life on the rolling of the stormy sea and therefore did not think of land as most landsmen think of it. She wondered if he had ever before faced a mutinous crew and what had happened if he had. Yet even sailors have a desire to visit land now and then, and Adrianna caught the glint in the man’s eye as he looked out over the shores.
.     When the light breakfast was over, during which Captain Underwood had had a strained discussion with the traitors (and he could get nothing out of them that Mr. Toller had not already told him), the crew of the Southern Moor took an hour’s sleep before preparing to go ashore. There was some discussion about what to do with the prisoners, locked below in the stable, and it was finally decided that Mr. Heath with one of his soldiers would stay behind to guard them, making sure they didn’t make any movements toward attempting escape. Of course, their hands were securely tied, but one can never be too sure. Mr. Heath was chosen because he was reliable to stay awake even after the rigorous night before, and it was promised he would have much time on land the following day.
.     “The oxen don’t seem to mind the fresher air in the officer’s cabins,” said Jemmy Ducks with a laugh. “It will do the traitors well to spend some time down there.”
.     The departing party assembled on the main deck and said goodbye for the day to Mr. Heath and his soldier who stayed behind with him. Some of the ship’s boats were lowered.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 194-196

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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A Cold Attic Discussion

For those who love The Williams House. . .

The Williams House; Chapter 8: The Cold Days of February; Pgs. 153-157

.     Once the holiday season ended, snow continued to fly and the days continued to become colder and colder. School resumed, and the days of January tolled slowly by. Timothy found that his Latin much improved, and Will found he could now recite the entire Declaration of Independence. Lilly and Ann found the higher math and sciences to be challenging, but they studied it with new found rigor and interest. Johnathon could play the piano better than any of his siblings (and even Will eventually had to admit it), and Margaret was improving much on her spelling and grammar. Susan was learning a lot too, and would have qualified for a first grader—and Maria for kindergarten.
.     The days and nights passed into February, and still the temperature dropped. It was now so cold that the children were very seldom let out, and when they were, it was normally to shovel the driveway or the sidewalk leading to their barn. A snow plough would every once in a while come along the road and dig it out. And of course, when this would happen, the plough would fling a lot of snow back onto the Williamses’ driveway, and the children would have to shovel some of it again. And so, with all the hard work outdoors and in school, the month of February became one of those months that just slowly lumbered by.
.     One of these days, Will was sitting by the back door with textbook, paper and pencil in hand. It was mid-afternoon, and the house smelled mostly of stale food, schoolwork, and wood burning from their fireplace. (I can’t describe how a house can smell of schoolwork, and you will have to imagine it unless you do school often in your house too—then you will know what I mean.) Gray clouds had completely covered the sky, and everything was relatively quiet. The grandfather clock in the upstairs hall could be heard ticking as its pendulum swung. It was altogether a very dull day.
.     “Is there going to be another blizzard, Mother,” Will asked as he looked at the clouds.
.     “Whatever you say, dear,” Mrs. Williams answered haphazardly from the schoolroom. Will could hear her teaching someone, though he didn’t know who. He sighed and ploughed back into his schoolwork, though he was thinking all the time, How slow the time can go these days.
.     The evenings seemed to be the great relief during these times. All the children would go up to the attic, schoolwork being completely done for the day, and spend hours and hours holding meetings together, playing, reading, and telling stories. The warm stone chimney and furnace did wonders to keep the large room warm, and only if they put their hands on the window glass could they feel the cold of the outdoors.
.     This particular evening, chaos seemed to be erupting, everyone feeling tired and rowdy after the school day. Timothy was going back and forth from pounding on the piano to chasing the youngers and making them scream. Lilly and Ann were trying to manage the situation, but it was clear that they were quite put out themselves and not engaging fully. Johnathon was doing his best to ignore and was playing the same song on the flute over and over again.
.     “Attention, everyone,” said Will. He was the only one sitting on one of the sofas, and his head was bowed to his chest and his fingers laced on his lap as his fedora was pushed down to his eyebrows.
.     Everyone paused and looked at him, eager for any change.
.     “I propose we hold a discussion,” said Will. “We could have it right here, as usual, with me presiding as moderator.”
.     “Yes, let’s,” said Lilly in a relieved voice.
.     “Very well, then,” said Will. “Gather around.”
.     The youngers perked up now that something was really happening, and they crowded around the sofas and cushioned chairs, waiting for the meeting to begin. The windows were dark, but they knew that snow was falling and could see several white flakes come up to some of the windows in the wind. It was a soft wind, though, and they couldn’t hear it. Everything seemed to be quiet and still, their breathing being the only audible noises until Will spoke.
.     “We all know of the trials these days are,” said Will, “and I think, personally, that we have done a very good job at trudging through them. But I say let’s take stock and see where we are.” He paused to gain affirmations from the others.
.     “Very well,” said Lilly and Johnathon. And after a moment, everyone started nodding their heads and saying “yes,” “good idea,” and even a “hear, hear!” from Timothy. Ann added, “Proceed.”
.     “So ordered,” said Will. “It seems as though this bitter weather could continue for several more weeks, even though it has lasted for several already. We have come up with many ideas over these past weeks, reading stories and playing exploration and writing poems and songs. Many thanks to everyone for the brilliant work we have all done in selling several of the poems and short stories we have made. But now, where from here? I propose that we do something with the money we will hopefully gain from our work—I mean something that will actually help Father and Mother somehow.”
.     Everyone thought this a splendid idea, and there were many remarks about how good it would be to surprise their parents. “But how?” Johnathon finally asked.
.     “Well,” said Will, “Perhaps we should just give it to them, and then they can decide what to do with it.”
.     “Do we know when the money is coming?” asked Margaret.
.     “The check for the stories should have been sent out by now,” said Lilly. “It might even be in today’s mail, though poor Mother is too covered up with our school papers to have checked yet.”
.     “Well then,” said Will, “is it decided? We shall give the money to them, keeping none for ourselves. They’re sure to do something grand with it, whatever that might be, and it might even surprise us when we find out.”
.     “Let’s vote,” said Johnathon. “I’m in favor.”
.     “Aye,” said everyone simultaneously.
.     “Good,” said Will, “then that’s settled.”
.     “Perhaps we could read a story now,” said Margaret.
.     “Or perhaps Mother could,” said Susan.
.     “She can’t,” said Lilly. “And anyway, she already read to us late this afternoon.”
.     Will cleared his throat, looking sharply as though the discourse was out of order.
.     “Then how about Lilly and Ann read,” said Margaret. “They have great reading voices, and I’m in the mood to listen.”
.     “Attend, everyone,” said Will, clapping his hands. “The meeting has not come to a close yet. Is there any other business?”
.     No one had any, and so Will was forced to close the meeting, calling out “adjourned.”
.     “Now Lilly and Ann can read to us,” he added.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 157-160

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!