Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reading Report :: March 2015

Starting a new read-aloud today. #shepherdslovebooks2015


That was March. There really wasn't that much on the calendar this month - so many things being cancelled due to our crazy cold weather. Maybe it's just because the last week was so busy! We went to the Nashville Teach Them Diligently conference at the tail end of our spring break and it was such a wonderful time of encouragement. If there is one of these conferences anywhere near you, I highly, highly recommend it!

Where most of my early March reading happens - in the warm car at soccer practice. ⚽️

Now we are thick into soccer season and counting down the end of our CC year and school year. Only four more weeks of Classical Conversations to go and, at last tally, 48 days of school left for Shepherd Academy. Not that we have a countdown on our white board or anything. Ahem.

I seem to always be pleasantly surprised when I get to the end of a month and look back at the list of what I have read. I definitely got through more in March than I thought! Granted most of these books were very quick reads (a couple of them I was even able to tackle in an afternoon thanks to spring break and nice weather outside where kids could play).
  • The Council of Mirrors (The Sisters Grimm book 9) by Michael Buckley This is the last book in the Sisters Grimm series. N2 is deep into this series and I decided I needed to read the last book before she beat me to it. I definitely lost steam near the end of this series.
  • The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazier Blakemore (started and didn't finish) I was so excited about this book but after the first couple chapters ended up setting it aside. I adored her first two books but this one introduced some social issues that I'm not ready to hand off to my girls in casual reading.
  • The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery 3/5/2015 (read-aloud) We were all very sad to get to the end of this two book series based around the King family.
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater I read this as part of Amy's Newbery challenge as my book pick from the 1930s. A fun cute story that will probably pop up as a read-aloud for us down the road. I can totally see our boy loving this one.
  • Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good by Jan Karon (reread) I'm really not sure why I picked this one off the shelf and reread it! But still, time in Mitford (in my opinion) is never wasted!
  • The Practice of the Presence of God by A.W. Tozer (skimmed last 1/2-1/3) This was the book of the month for Carrie's bookclub and I staggered through this one. Man, is my brain out of the habit of reading something a little meatier. Note to self: read non-fiction (and older non-fiction) more often to stretch those lazy brain muscles.
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (R/a) We read this as a tie in with our American history studies for this year on Amy's recommendation and it was wonderful! Such a beautiful story of a life well-lived in the face of great odds. I shared a quote that I loved here and have several others that I might come back and share if time permits.
  • King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry My selection for this month's books in Amy's Newbery Challenge. I needed to read a book from the 1940s and having never read a Marguerite Henry book that seemed an obvious choice to me. (We have Misty of Chincoteague around here somewhere, but I've not read that one). I am now eager to read another of her books, and definitely putting her on our to-read-aloud list. 
Starting our next read-aloud today! #readaloudrevival

What I'd like to get to in April:
  • the 4th book in the Penderwicks series arrived today and I'm eager to dive into it, though I may have to race the 11 year old to get to it first.
  • the 5th book in the Incorrigible Children series arrives later in the month. Also high on my list.
  • a book for Amy's Newbery challenge from the 1950s. Right now I'm thinking of The Witch of Blackbird Pond (if I have read that one before, it's been YEARS), Theodore Roosevelt by Clara Ingram Judson, or one of another handful I have on a post-it in my planner to decide from. 
  • 1984 by George Orwell is the book selection for Carrie's bookclub and it's on my kindle waiting for me.
  • We also started The Green Ember as our next read-aloud. Excited to dive into this one with the kids!
I'm sure other books will crop up as well. : ) Happy reading!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Project Life 2015 :: February, Part 2 (and a smidge of March, I think)


Memories from the last few weeks of February. Lots of reading. Lots of snow. Not a lot of variety in my photos, but it's a true glimpse of those cold, cold weeks where we were home reading and eating and that was about it!


So much random-ness in my journaling cards. I'm on a mission to CLEAN OUT my stash and if it's out, it's getting used up.


Only one insert snuck in here. Someone is working really hard to write his name. : )


Photos + memories document = good stuff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Notes from What We are Reading : Amos Fortune, Free Man

Amos went to church for long hours in the morning and again in the afternoon, observing with respect the laws that pertained to the Sabbath during the hours when he was not under the vigilent eye of the minister. It puzzled Amos that the white people put

Amos went to church for long hours in the morning and again in the afternoon, observing with respect the laws that pertained to the Sabbath during the hours when he was not under the vigilent eye of the minister. It puzzled Amos that the white people put so much stress on Sunday. Yet it seemed somehow similar to the stress they put on the color of a man’s skin. To Amos, once he understood the Lord, everyday was lived to Him.

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Worth a Share

A few posts that I have bookmarked and keep referencing:

  • a post from Modern Mrs. Darcy on how to save big on audible audiobooks. I had noticed this a few weeks before she shared her post, but she wrote it out much more succinctly and clearly that I could have.
  • Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles has been on a book list kick lately and I am devouring them. My wish list in Evernote and Amazon is getting quite long.
  • these two posts on creative lettering. Handwriting and creative lettering has also had a special place in my heart and these two inspired me.
  • Mystie's series at Simply Convivial about using Evernote for homeschooling. I have been using Evernote to store recipes and blog posts I want to revisit for years, but I'm learning tricks to use it even more effectively. I'll never move away from planning with paper, but for long term reference and searchability, Evernote is the bomb.
Now I want to go and reread each of these posts as we start off a slow Saturday since our first day of soccer games have been cancelled due to the snow!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner


We are under yet ANOTHER winter storm warning here so it was time to pull out a spring book! This one arrived in the mail yesterday - I love it when I pre-order something for one of the kids and it falls off my radar. Surprise mail is the best.

We were a fan of Kate Messner's book Over and Under the Snow and when we saw that she had a spring/summer volume coming out, I snatched it up. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt is a delightful look at the inner workings of a family garden. While on the outside, you might just spot tomato plants and the tops of carrots, there really is a lot more than what meets the eye when you get in close. There are bugs galore (my little guy is all about the bugs right now) and other animals that come around to investigate the garden. These animal descriptions are interspersed with descriptions of how a grandma and granddaughter tend to the garden through spring planting, summer watering, and fall harvest.


And the illustrations are just delightful.

While reading this book today didn't bring spring immediately, it did give me hope that the sun will come again. In the meantime, I'm going to make some more coffee and go work towards something warm for dinner!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Restricted in Love


A photo of a boy, eating oatmeal and drinking hot chocolate, and sitting on his toes as only little boys can do.

Very often we feel restricted in our situations, our families, or our surroundings. But maybe the real problem lies elsewhere: in our hearts. There we are restricted, and that is the root of our lack of freedom. If we loved more, love would give our lives infinite dimensions, and we would no longer feel hemmed in.

- Fr. Jacques Phillipe

From the Restore Workshop.