Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: A New Year's Update

It has been over a month since I have blogged about family happenings. Christmas came and we celebrated long and hard and just when it was time to start school again my parents came for a visit. My dad stayed for a week and my mom for two weeks. Of course not a lot of school was finished during that time, and this week finds us back to facing reality.

January 25 Collage 1
1. I had to buy this shirt for Chantry. If you can't see it clearly it says: "It is hard work being awesome." The whole shirt sums him up perfectly. He is the one who is always acting so worn out after doing the least bit of anything!
2. I caught Caleb hard at work one day. He is getting about 3-4 days of work. My only dislike is that he has one uniform. I am always trying to keep a load of dark clothes handy so we can wash his uniform.
3. My mom and dad.
4. We headed out to the coast one day (to go shopping, not to see the ocean) and for once it was really nice. The temperatures were up to 60 degrees and it wasn't very windy at all.
5. Destini has started a new cross-stitch picture. This time she will be adding beads to her project.
 January 25 Collage 2
6. After my dad went home we attempted to do some school work. Needless to say we didn't get very much finished!
7. Since our move we haven't found a place to hang our white board and I didn't realize how much we had used it in the past until this week while working on diagramming sentences with Chantry. My goal this week is to get it up on a wall.
8. The working man now has a checking account.
9. My mom flew home last Tuesday so after dropping her off at the airport we went to IKEA. I must backtrack at this point and tell how when we moved into our house in April I wanted to throw away all the blinds on the windows immediately. They were filthy and many of them had broken strings. I have an aversion to plastic mini-blinds since they are so hard to clean. I wanted either wood blinds or bamboo shades so I could just vacuum them off. When I went shopping for new blinds and saw the prices I decided it just might be awhile before that would happen. Needless to say I didn't clean the blinds in my bedroom until right before my parents came. Yes, I lived with them filthy for 8 months, but last week when I walked into IKEA I found wooden blinds for all the windows in our house that needed them for $10 a piece. I guess I should have cleaned my blinds back in April!
Weekly Wrap-UpHomegrown Learners

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (The Nesting Place)

I ordered The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith has from the library thinking I was just going to browse through it, but have found it has been a very compelling and relatable read.


You don't have to get perfect to have a pretty house. Most of us simply need to learn to see the beauty in the imperfect. Because life is gloriously messy. We can find rest in our less than perfect circumstances when we figure out that no amount of striving can create the perfect life we think we are looking for. True rest comes when we realize that we can't get it from trying extra hard. We find rest when we give up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare)

I just finished reading How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig. This has been such an inspiring book! This school year our Shakespeare reading have kind of fallen to the wayside, but I will be making sure we get back to it in our 3rd term. 

Some may be put off by the author's use of memorization to "learn" Shakespeare, but don't let that deter you from reading this book. Ken Ludwig is passionate about Shakespeare and it shows. Even if you don't "do" Shakespeare as he recommends you will be inspired.

I am sharing a portion where the author has just gone through The Saint Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V:
What a speech! What a rallying cry of sheer patriotism! One of my favorite sections of the speech is this:
Old men forgot, yet all shall be forgot, 
But he'll remember, with advantages, 
What feats he did that day. 

Shakespeare starts the line with a fond observation about mankind as it grows older:

Old men forget;

Then he adds a joke, a warm, human, touching joke: 

But he'll remember, with advantages
What feats he did that day. 

The old man won't just brag about his exploits in the war; he'll exaggerate the exploits with advantages. Only Shakespeare could pack this much wisdom, humor, and humanity into three short lines. (p.238-239)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesdays with Words (The Clocks)

I am currently listening to this story right now and I loved the description of this book shop, so much so that I had to order the book from the library copy it out.


I sidled through the doorway. It was necessary to sidle, since precariously arranged books impinged more and more every day on the passageway from the street. Inside, it was clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down. The distance between bookshelves was so narrow that you could only get along with great difficulty. There were piles of books perched on every shelf or table. On a stool in a corner, hemmed in by books, was an old man in a pork-pie hat with a large flat face like a stuffed fish. He had the air of one who has given up an unequal struggle. He had attempted to master the books, but the books had obviously succeeded in mastering him. He was a kind of King Canute of the book world, retreating before the advancing book tide. If he ordered it to retreat, it would have been with the sure and hopeless certainty that it would not do so.(99-100)

I had to laugh at how fitting this passage was for me right now. I am the bookstore manager for a local Friend's of the Library Bookstore and I get the privilege of weeding through and pricing the donated books for our bookstore. The end of December and January are big donation times and my donation piles right now are precariously arranged and look like they are breeding and multiplying and yes, I feel a little like King Canute.

This is an old picture, but my current pile looks just about as bad.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Books Read in 2014

Books Read 2014

Happy 2015! Another reading year has ended and it is time for my annual reading list for the old year. My 2014 list is sadly lacking compared to 2013. I am not exactly sure why, though I know that moving in April did not provide many moments for reading. 

I read all but one book (which I am currently reading) from my Reading Goals of 2014 list. My goal with this list is to read books that have been sitting around on my shelves for a while, after I read it I then decide if the book is worth keeping or get rid of it. I did get rid of quite a few from my list while buying more than I got rid of. (A terrible habit that I have!)
Here is a breakdown of what I read followed by a complete list of books:
  • The Bible - Genesis - Song of Solomon, I read through Psalms and Proverbs twice.
  • Fiction - 81 books, 16 of them were audio books and 4 were books read-aloud to my kids.
  • Non-fiction -  40 books
  • Total: 121 books
Fiction: (81)
  • Absolutely Truly - Heather Vogel Frederick
  • The Accidental Bride - Denise Hunter
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain*
  • After the Funeral - Agatha Christie (audio)
  • And Only To Deceive - Tasha Alexander
  • April Lady - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • The Baron's Honorable Daughter - Lynn Austin
  • Beauvallet - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • The Big Six - Arthur Ransome*
  • A Bitter Truth - Charles Todd
  • Black Sheep - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery
  • Busman's Honeymoon - Dorothy Sayers
  • Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie.
  • The Cherry Cola Bookclub - Ashton Lee
  • Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns (audio)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain (audio)
  • Cotillion - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • A Cowboy's Touch - Denise Hunter
  • A Duty to the Dead - Bess Crawford
  • The Elusive Pimpernel - Baroness Emma Orczy (audio)
  • Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs - Mary Jane Hathaway
  • Etta Mae's Worst Bad-Luck Day - Ann B. Ross
  • Faro's Daughter - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander
  • Fired Up - Mary Connealy
  • The Four Graces - D.E. Stevenson
  • Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers
  • Hatteras Girl - Alice J. Wisler
  • Have His Carcase - Dorothy Sayers
  • Heirs of the Body - Carola Dunn
  • Hickory Dickory Dock - Agatha Christie (audio)
  • Hitty:Her First One Hundred Years - Rachel Field
  • The Hollow - Agatha Christie
  • How Sweet It Is - Alice J. Wisler
  • I Kill the Mockingbird - Paul Acampora
  • In the Company of Others - Jan Karon
  • An Impartial Witness - Charles Todd
  • Keeping the Castle - Patricia Kindl
  • The Labors of Hercules - Agatha Christie
  • Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
  • Listen - Rene Gutteridge
  • Looking for the King - David C. Downing
  • Love Among the Chickens - P.G. Wodehouse
  • Middlemarch - George Eliot (audio)
  • Missee Lee - Arthur Ransome*
  • Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson
  • Miss Buncle Married - D.E. Stevenson
  • Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover - Ann B. Ross
  • Mrs. McGinty's Dead - Agatha Christie (audio)
  • Mom's Night Out - Tricia Goyer
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverly Cleary*
  • Murder Must Advertise - Dorothy Sayers
  • The Nine Tailors - Dorothy Sayers
  • A Noble Groom - Jody Hedlund
  • No Fear Shakespeare: Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  • A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander
  • A Question of Honor - Charles Todd
  • The Reluctant Widow - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • Sarah Morris Remembers - D.E. Stevenson
  • Second-Chance Cinderella  - Carla Capshaw
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good - Jan Karon
  • Swept Away - Mary Connealy
  • Stuck Together - Mary Connealy
  • Taken at the Flood - Agatha Christie
  • Tears of Pearl - Tasha Alexander
  • Tried and True - Mary Connealy
  • The Trouble with Cowboys - Denise Hunter
  • Twenty Years After - Alexandre Dumas (audio)
  • The Two Mrs. Abbots - D.E. Stevenson
  • Uneasy Money - P.G. Wodehouse
  • Uncle Dynamite - P.G. Wodehouse
  • An Unmarked Grave - Charles Todd
  • An Unwilling Accomplice - Charles Todd
  • Venetia - Georgette Heyer (audio)
  • A Wedding Invitation - Alice J. Wisler
  • The Wife Campaign - Regina Scott
  • Wouldn't It Be Deadly - D.E. Ireland
  • The Young Clementina - D.E. Stevenson

Non-Fiction: (40)
  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - John C. Maxwell
  • 53 Scrapbooking Challenges
  • A Life in Balance - Frank Belgau
  • Am I Messing Up My Kids? - Lysa Terkeurst
  • Boundaries with Kids - Henry Cloud & John Townsend
  • Choosing Gratitude - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
  • Dreams, Plans, Goals - Ken Gaub
  • Feminine Appeal - Carolyn Mahaney
  • Flourish - Mary Jo Tate
  • Get Creative with Type - Brian Tippetts
  • Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life - Jeff Myers
  • How to Live on 24 Hours a Day - Arnold Bennett
  • Invading the Privacy of God - Cecil Murphy
  • iWitness Biblical Archeology - Doug Powell
  • The Life-Ready Woman - Shelti Feldhahn & Robert Lewis
  • The Living Page - Laurie Bestvater
  • The Magic Apple Tree - Susan Hill
  • Midnight Sons (3 Volumes) - Debbie Macomber
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home - Thelma Meyer
  • New Testament iWitness - Doug Powell
  • One Month to Live - Kris & Kerry Shook
  • Old Testament iWitness - Doug Powell
  • Parenting Unchained - Dr. James D. Dempsey
  • Photos: Style Recipes - Samantha Moss
  • Plan Your Year - Pam Barnhill
  • Preschoolers and Peace - Kendra Fletcher
  • Practicing Hospitality - Pat Ennis
  • The Reading Promise - Alice Ozma
  • Quiet - Susan Cain
  • The Sacred Search - Gary Chapman
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode - Crystal Paine
  • Setting the Record Straight - Lee Binz
  • Steady Days - Jamie C. Martin
  • Table for Eight - Meagan Francis
  • Talking with Your Daughter About Understanding Boys - Bob & Dannah Gresh
  • Teaching from Rest - Sarah Mackenzie
  • Too Blessed for This Mess - Cindi Wood
  • What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - Laura Vanderkam
  • Wife After God - Jennifer Smith
  • Your Child's Writing Life -  Pam Allyn

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What's On Your Nightstand - December

What's On Your Nightstand

My last Nightstand for the year--time flies when your having fun reading!! Overall it was a good month, though I read quite a bit of fiction (December doesn't seem too conducive for non-fiction books, especially for me.) I didn't pick up Gone with the Wind one time, so it will go back on my Nightstand list for January. And speaking of January, I am not picking too many books for my Nightstand since my parents will be here visiting (yeah!). On the other hand I may get through quite a few. We will see.

For January:


From November's Nightstand I read:
I am currently reading:
I also read:
I listened to:
See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


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