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Get ready for another rollicking reading ride -- when you can't tell if the tears you suddenly find on your cheeks are from laughing or from crying. Dorcas Smucker once again writes so vividly about life with her six kids that you'll be convinced you have a place at their table, your own seat in their van, a list of chores with your name at the top, and a small hankering for trouble -- just like one of the family. She and her kids are innocently funny and usually well-meaning, trying hard to manage all their energy and their peculiar points of view. Jenny asks questions endlessly like, "What's inside your lips?" Matt has serial obsessions -- animals to astronomy. Ben drops caterpillars down the gaps in the porch floor and has a 12-year collection of scars. Emily moves effortlessly from being a whirling Queen of the Smuckers to posing as a pompous science lecturer. Amy phones home to report that, "New York City is not dangerous," and "We girls walk outside at night." And 9-year-old Steven from Kenya joins the family, soon demonstrating the same compulsion as his new brothers by throwing balls in the living room. What makes this collection a stand-out is Dorcas' "Mother voice." With each new development, she's clear about the outcome she's hoping for, less certain about how she'll accomplish it, willing to confess the way things unfold. Dorcas Smucker, writer and mom, is bravely honest and hilariously humble. She never fails to give courage to any parent who reads these joyride chapters, while relentlessly entertaining.
Imagine raising six spirited kids on a grass farm—today. Newspaper columnist Dorcas Smucker and her brood live out their days in full view in this collection of musings—picking blueberries while watching for bears, hoping for angels while driving off the freeway, moving into the “thousand-story house,” and enduring lectures from teenage children about the virtue of respect. Three books in one, this collection includes Smucker’s Ordinary Days: Family Life in a Farmhouse, Upstairs the Peasants are Revolting: More Family Life in a Farmhouse, and Downstairs the Queen Is Knitting. Often slightly off-stride and with disarming humility, Dorcas finds endless materials for stories and life lessons in everyday happenings. As she says, “I, like my mother, feed my children mashed potatoes and stories. I repeat the ones I heard from Mom and turn our family escapades into tales to be repeated while washing dishes or snapping buckets of green beans on the front porch. A story is much more than just a story, of course. It is entertainment, identity, interpretation, and lessons. This is who we are, this is why we do what we do, this is important, that is not, and don’t ever whack your brother’s finger with a hatchet like your dad did to Uncle Philip.” This delightful trilogy includes some of Smucker’s best writing. She covers topics and dilemmas everyone can relate to while also inviting readers to explore her Mennonite family’s more personal experiences. Her voice is humorous, encouraging, and at times, doubting, but she never takes herself too seriously. As you read, her stories will entertain you and ultimately soothe your soul.
Through this book, readers will discover that stories can move the human heart and head in ways that research cannot. • Emphasizes the power of story and highlights the many unique paths to literacies • Shows how stories make complex information about literacies accessible to everyone • Covers approaches to storytelling and literacies for immigrant communities and children who may speak multiple languages • Shines a bright light on the significant role of libraries in providing access to books, knowledge, and human connections • Features photos, images, drawings, and quotes throughout each chapter
You never know what you’ll find in the Smuckers’ Oregon farmhouse. Perhaps teenage boys lighting WD40 on fire, an army of ants invading, opinions flying, or all the lights dimming. Dorcas Smucker, mom of six, gets her perspective back by brewing a pot of tea and escaping for a few minutes to sit and think. In this book, she invites you to join her for a cup, hear her tales, and then remember all the stories of your own.
A collection of essays on family life from a Mennonite mother of five. Topics include teenagers, stray cats, turning forty, garage sales, and summer vacation. Discover the humor and blessings in ordinary days.
Downstairs the Queen Is Knitting is Dorcas Smucker's brand new chronicle of family life with six fast-growing up kids. Downstairs the Queen Is Knitting follows Dorcas' two earlier and beloved collections, "Upstairs the Peasants Are Revolting" and "Ordinary Days." The kids are a bit older now, and Dorcas and Paul's marriage is longer and deeper. But Dorcas sees with more disarming clarity than ever, and she writes piercingly about life on and off the grass farm as the kids move toward more independence. Downstairs the Queen Is Knitting will entertain you, and ultimately it will soothe your soul.
Life can be a bit upside down in the Smuckers' Oregon farmhouse. Dorcas Smucker, mother of six, writes thoughtful essays about muffins on the floor, orange dots on the kitchen ceiling, and the footprint that began their journey. Daffodils, blackberries, independent kids, and a yowling kitty--they're all here too. Should they cut down the pine trees? Why does a yellow teapot mean redemption? How can a dedicated mom let go? Find out for yourself, and recall all the unexpected endings of your own.

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