Thursday, October 01, 2015
So. I'm pretty behind in my Project Life album. I didn't touch it much this summer and now that the weather is cooling off, I'm definitely feeling the urge to get out my scrapbooks and see where I'm at.
Catching up for me means two things:
1. Make a list. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about what I have and haven't done, get a list actually on paper and see what is missing and needs to be filled in and completed. Then I break it down into somewhat manageable chunks. After looking at my list, I initially noticed that I hadn't printed photos for most the summer. Since I was at least pretty diligent about getting the photos off my camera and phone and into our external hard drives (I'm mildly obsessive about cleaning the photos off my phone so I don't run out of memory) they were at least all in one place. : ) It took a couple of hours on a weekend and I had a huge batch of photos uploaded to Sam's Club and ready to pick up 24 hours later. At least now the photos were in my hand and not on my computer.
2. Start at the present. I flipped to the end of my album and did the most current week - which for me was the first week of September. It's for sure quicker (and more enjoyable) for me to scrap the current batch of photos when my memory is the freshest. I definitely want to get back to the older photos but my enthusiasm is definitely higher at getting the fun pictures from our weekend at a family camp we attended and time a mini-maker science fair (and my new favorite photo of me and B with Chewbacca). : )
I still love Project Life and am so thankful for this way of capturing our family's memories. It has definitely simplified this process for me while still allowing me to be creative and preserve photos and memories for our family.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
September! Autumn! One of my favorite times of year for reading. : ) The temperatures are just about perfect for sitting on our patio with a book, provided I can find the time to do it. And as my reading list for this month attests, I didn't find much of that time at the beginning of the month. It was only last week that I managed to plow through a couple of things that I had been sloooooowly working my way through for way too long.
What I finished in September:
- Tirzah by Lucille Harris. This was our 2nd read aloud of our school year and our first that tied into our history studies for this year. This is a fiction retelling of the Israelites exodus from Egypt told from the eyes of young Tirzah, a Jewish girl. We really enjoyed this one.
- Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon. The newest Mitford book came out last Tuesday, and I promptly sat down and read it almost straight through. Delightful as all Mitford books are, but bittersweet as my favorite characters are growing older and some of them have even passed away. As it is in real life, it's hard when our favorite characters grow up and move on as well.
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This was the September book club pick for the Reading to Know bookclub and I was eager to reread this classic. I had actually read it not too long ago, but the style and way that Lewis wrote the book makes it a slow read for me. I finished it last weekend (thanks to two soccer games and picture day on the fields) and I
thinkknow I got more out of it this time.
- Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell. My friend Elizabeth listed this as one of her favorite reads of last year. After checking it out of the library at least once before and having to return it before ever cracking the cover, I started it as soon as we brought it home at the end of last week. It had an eerie, haunting quality to it with some beautiful descriptive language. I had hardly made it past the second page before I was making a note of a quote that I wanted to copy in my notebook.
"Think of nighttime with a speaking voice. Or think of how moonlight might talk, or think of ink, if ink had vocal chords. Give those things a narrow aristocratic face with hooked eyebrows, and long arms and legs, and that is what the baby saw as she was lifted out of her cello case and up into safety. His name was Charles Maxim, and he determined as he held her in his large hand - at arm's length, as he would a leaky flowerpot - that he would keep her."
- The Blackstar of Kingston by S.D. Smith. Remember when I raved about The Green Ember by S.D. Smith and said that it was one of my top ten from 2014. The author quickly followed with a prequel to that story which I immediately preordered for my Kindle ... and then forgot about it! I picked it up on Monday night while one of the girls was at orchestra and read through it in about an hour and a half. Not as long as The Green Ember, I enjoyed this adventurous tale with the ancestors of the rabbit-y characters in TGE. We will hopefully get to this as a read aloud soon.
Looking ahead, we are almost done with our current read-aloud, The Swiss Family Robinson. Four-fifth of those currently reading this book are completely enthralled, which one-fifth enjoys it, but is quite a doubter as to all the things this family does while marooned on an island. We are eager to finish it this week and find out if they do get rescued or if they spend the rest of their life stranded. (I don't even know as this is my first time reading it and I'm not allowed to read ahead). I need to decide what we will read next and I'm torn between one to tie into our history studies or something just for fun. Such decisions!
As for personal reading, I'm not sure what I'm going to tackle next either! There is no shortage of things here that I have available, but nothing is jumping out at me. The Reading to Know bookclub is reading a Sherlock Holmes tale in October so that is probably on the list. One of the girls was asking me about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and I don't think that I have read it, though the old cartoon short that Disney did many years ago was always one of my favorites as a child. I'm pretty sure I have a copy of here somewhere and it would be appropriate to read in October, I think!
Anything good that you are reading lately?
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Some Mondays require an easier re-entry than others. I've been rereading Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching from Rest and I think some of her wise words are sinking in this time around. Yes, get the work done, but remember to take into account what else is going on.
- Did we have a full weekend? Yes.
- Do we have any extras / unexpected things on our Monday? Yes. Not necessarily unexpected since I made the appointment, but one of the girls had two teeth pulled first thing Monday morning. I remembered that I need to not have super high expectations on getting everything on my list done when the appointment will (and did) take longer than I expected.
- What has to happen today and what can I let slide? Preparation for Classical Conversations needed to get done to be ready for Tuesday's classes. Laundry can wait until our next day back home on Wednesday.
Giving myself grace not to tackle every minutia on the to-do list along with stacking my kids' to-do lists sky high made yesterday do-able in spite of a bump or redirection here and there. I'm writing this note to remind myself that bigger isn't always better and less sometimes trumps more when it comes to our home environment.
As I have time, I'm going to try and blog thoughts and lessons that I have gleaning from Sarah's book, Teaching from Rest. I did received a paperback copy of the book in exchange for a review, but I would gladly pay for the book out of pocket! You can find the book on Amazon, but I would also encouraged buying it from Classical Academic Press which has an accompanying journal and mp3s.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Happy August! This month started out as a great month of reading and then ... school started. : ) My reading time (and any extra energy) has evaporated, and the number of books I've been getting through has significantly dwindled! I can't complain though - I really did get to read a lot this summer!
What I read in August:
- (finished) Anne of Ingleside
- Rainbow Valley
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I can't remember where I saw this recommended (Modern Mrs. Darcy, maybe?) It was just okay. More language than I care to read, but enough of an interesting story surrounding the owner of a bookstore that I read the whole thing.
- The Castle of Llyr, Prydian Chronicles, Book 3 by Lloyd Alexander. Our end of summer read-aloud. We (most of us) continue to enjoy this series and do want to read it through to the end. Don't be like me and stagger that books amidst other read-alouds - some people (not naming names) have fussed because it was very confusing to come back to this book after such a long break and had trouble keeping up with the characters. I'm hoping we will jump into book 4 soon.
- Emily of Deep Valley, Maud Hart Lovelace (reread) Probably my favorite of the books by MHL. I was still in the mood for some nostalgic reading and picked this one off the shelf after finishing Anne. It didn't disappoint.
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. More nostalgic reading. I haven't read Hercule Poirot in FOREVER and this is probably my favorite mystery of hers.
(I also posted my review of Simply Tuesday this month, even though I finished the book in July. It's one I had to sit on for bit before writing).
Right now, I'm working my way through:
- Teaching from a State of Rest by Sarah Mackenzie (review soon!)
- Dinner: A Love Story (because I haven't read a good kitchen memoir in a while and I need some kitchen inspiration)
- reading aloud Tirzah by Lucille Travis with the kids as our first history tie-in for our Ancient Civilization studies.
I'm EAGERLY (I can't type it big or bold enough) the next Mitford book from Jan Karon which comes out at the end of September. I should probably just go ahead and block out the time that I'm unavailable so that I can hide away with that book. : ) Otherwise, I'm not sure what I'll pick up next. I'm sure school and soccer and life will keep me sufficiently busy enough that I'll blink and the end of September will be here before I know it!
Happy reading. : )
Happy reading. : )
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
We are LOVING this book as a compliment to our studies of Ancient Civilizations this year.
From Pages of History, Volume 1: Secrets of the Ancients by Veritas Press:
“The way man comes to God for salvation has also always been the same – by grace through faith. Old Testament saints looked forward to the promise of Christ and believed it. We look backward to the accomplished work of the cross and we believe,” explained the dove, but Lance still didn’t comprehend. James decided a modern day example would be the best way to get it across to him.
“It’s like an adult who has to take twenty children to the movies. He puts ten of them in the front of the line and when they get to the ticket window they say that the adult is going to pay. The adult then pays for all twenty children. When asked for their money the ten children at the end of the line say, ‘He’s already paid for us.’ You see, esus paid for all twenty no matter where they are in line. Old Testament saints looked ahead and said, ‘He is going too pay.’ All those who come after the finished work of Christ on the cross look back and say, ‘He’s already paid for us.’ So, Old Testament saints and New Testament saints are saved in the same way – by grace through faith. God never changed the plan.”