Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reading Report :: May 2015

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As I was prepared to tally my reading report for May, I had thought it would be a slow month to report. As it turns out, I kinda still think that, but I also did read more that I thought I did. May is always a busy month. Soccer, end of activities, wrapping up school ... but still I did find time to read a few pages.

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I managed to finish:

  • All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. We FLEW through this read-aloud (blogged here) and are looking forward to tackling the sequels in this series this summer.
  • Christy by Catherine Marshall for the Reading to Know bookclub. I so loved revisiting this old friend and I owe Carrie my wrap up post on this book ASAP. 
  • Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs was my mindless fiction for the month. An easy breezy mystery that I read over this holiday weekend when we had a little extra downtime. It's not a deep series by any stretch of the imagination, but I can pick it up and remember the characters and enjoy the story, scenery and food descriptions without any problem. A great light read for those reasons.
  • Onion John by Joseph Krumgold for Amy's Newbery challenge. I really do want to write more on this one so hopefully I will make the time to come back and share a few quotes. I'm not sure why I picked this one for my challenge selection other that the title sounded unique. And to be honest, the first half of the book was a chore to get through, but I was glad to see the end of it. Will I rave about this being the best book I discovered in the Newbery challenge? Probably not, but it did have a super sweet lesson at the end of it that I loved. More soon, I hope. : )

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For June, I have a small stack here that I'm going to start with. We have our Classical Conversations practicum this month as well as VBS (which I'm helping with) so we'll see what kind of reading time I end up with in my fringe hours. I'm envisioning many days of reading at the pool while my kids swim, but that may just be dreaming. : ) On the list:

  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. A Sherlock Holmes mystery (of sorts) that I am thoroughly enjoying, but its about the opposite of Laura Childs' light mysteries in every respect. Meaty and detailed, and I am really enjoying it, but it's been slow going. I'm on my last renewal of it before I have to return it to the library so I plan to finish it soon. Really.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is our current read-aloud and I'm actually guessing that we will finish it today or tomorrow. I remember trying to read this to my crew when N1 was five or six and we bailed on it. It's a different experience this time around and we are LOVING IT. 
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Another classic I've never read and it's Amy's choice for the Reading to Know bookclub in June. 
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I've recently seen this title mentioned by my friend as one of her favorites and since I've never read it AND it fits for Amy's Newbery challenge for the 1970s, it is in the stack. I know absolutely nothing about the book so we'll see what I learn.
Summer's a'coming and hopefully more time for reading! Anything you are dying to get to this summer?

We went back for more. #shepherdsupersummer2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Project Life :: May Update

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I managed to get a couple more weeks in my 2015 Project Life album - yay! This weekend was delightfully low key with soccer done for the year which meant I managed to squeeze in a few scrapbooking minutes. These are the last two weeks - May 11-17 and May 18-24. I utilized the Project Life app quite a bit on these layouts making collages to fit in a couple of busy days. I haven't yet printed through the app yet; I just save them to my phone and print them with the rest of my regular photos.

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This week was full with field trips, the end of Awana, standardized testing for one, and soccer for a boy. I had a Hobby Lobby coupon and bought the first new core kit that I've added in a while - the Fine and Dandy kit. I love the colors in the kit - so summery that it was perfect for layouts for both of these two weeks. My one thought on my first run through the kit was that it sure seemed to have a LOT of vertical cards which I rarely, if ever use.

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Up close of the collages I made in the PL app. I played along with Ali's Day in the Life (blogged here) and didn't want to include an insert in my album. Two collages and it was included right along with the rest of the week.

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Rain showers and bikes, a little jazz guitar, the last soccer game of the season, another field trip to a local nature sanctuary, and finally! The pool opens!

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I found a couple of these 4x6 sleeves that adhere in your album and used one to add a couple collages from last Friday's field trip. I don't love the little sleeves, but I didn't want an whole insert either. It works. : )

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I have a handful of weeks I need to catch up journaling in from the spring so that is my June project. I also pulled my 2014 album (July-Dec) off the shelf and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't as behind as I thought in there. If I could stay current, plus do a week or two of catch up a week, I'd be a happy camper this summer. : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quoted :: Christy by Catherine Marshall

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She was teaching me about true friendship too. Through Fairlight's eyes I came to know a quality of friendship which bore little resemblance to the casualness of our relationships back home. The mountain type of friendship was a tie of substance between people with a sort of gallant fealty about it. It had to do with a time in the past when there was no more final bond than a man's pledged word; when every connection of blood and family was firm and strong, forged in the past, stretching into the future.
And so this kind of friendship was for life - yes, and for eternity too. One would never deceive or defraud a friend, nor allow him to be in need so long as you had one coin, one garment, or one meal to share with him. His sorrow was your sorrow; his joy, your cause for rejoicing too.
Christy by Catherine Marshall

Hustling to get this done this week because I have a wrap-up post to write for Carrie over at Reading to Know. I have so enjoyed reading this book again after such a long time and there were some gems of quotes to be found in it. I have loved every minute of revisiting this old friend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Day in the Life :: May 12, 2015

Yesterday, I (casually) participated in Ali Edwards' Day in the Life project which she does a couple times a year. I absolutely love the idea of capturing our day in photos and took a handful of pictures throughout the day Tuesday. This was an unusual Tuesday for us - we were out of the house almost all day, traded one of my kids for someone else's for the morning, and went on a date night where my phone stayed in my purse a good chunk of the evening. All absolutely ok and I ended up with less than a dozen pictures that gave me a great capsule of our day.

6:30am // for me this is sleeping in a bit. A little person woke me up in the night and I had a hard time going back to sleep. But now, coffee and Jesus before a full day. #dayinthelife #itssimplytuesday

6:30am // for me this is sleeping in a bit. A little person woke me up in the night and I had a hard time going back to sleep. But now, coffee and Jesus before a full day.

Picnic packing for our field trip and homeschool park day. @thepioneerwoman steak bites on salad. #dayinthelife #itssimplytuesday

8:30am // picnic packing for our field trip and homeschool park day. @thepioneerwoman steak bites on salad.

10:45am // in the middle of our walking tour of downtown Franklin on a homeschool field trip. #aedayinthelife #itssimplytuesday

10:45am // in the middle of our walking tour of our local downtown area on a homeschool field trip.

11:45am // ending our field trip with frozen yogurt. 🍦

11:45am // ending our field trip with frozen yogurt.

1:00pm // feeling incredibly nauseous watching them spin on the tire swing. 😷 #itssimplytuesday #aedayinthelife

1:00pm // feeling incredibly nauseous watching them spin on the tire swing.

1:30pm // park day with friends is the best. #itssimplytuesday #aedayinthelife

1:30pm // park day with friends is the best.

3:15pm // finally home. Sorting and putting away boy clothes. #aedayinthelife #itssimplytuesday

3:15pm // finally home. Sorting and putting away boy clothes.

3:45pm // we all need to sit and rest for a bit so read aloud time it is. #itssimplytuesday #aedayinthelife

3:45pm // we all need to sit and rest for a bit so read aloud time it is.

5:20pm // thawing the taco meat for dinner. #itssimplytuesday #aedayinthelife

5:20pm // thawing the taco meat for dinner.

6:30pm // date night. #itssimplytuesday #aedayinthelife

6:30pm // date night.

Thanks, Ali, as always, for the inspiration to capture the everyday dailyness of life.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Project Life :: Spring Catch-Up

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As school is winding down for us (we have somewhere between 15-20 days left!), it's time to catch up on Project Life. I have done a halfway decent job of staying on top of getting pictures printed at least. That's usually my project while the girls have music lessons once a week - during that hour and a half I try and clean photos off my phone and upload them to my computer and to Sam's if I have time. I can usually take care of that in about 30-45 minutes if I have kept up with it and don't have a ton to do at once. That always makes it SO much easier to catch-up if the photos are here and ready to go. Granted, last night I had a huge sorting party first trying to get my photos in some sort of chronological order and that took a while.

If you look at these layouts they are all over the place. Some pages are a hodgepodge of photos from a week (or maybe even a couple weeks) and some pages are devoted to a whole event. I have several soccer pages like that where my Dad came and took photos of kids and there were too many good ones to include so I included them all. (I spared posting all the soccer pages here). :) Lots of labels for journaling when just a quick note would suffice since some pages I was heavy on photos and light on room for journaling cards.

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B's birthday layout.

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So much soccer cuteness.

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N2 had her grandparent trip this spring with my folks and they enjoyed several days at the St. Louis Zoo. You'll see I used lots of this size page protector to get several events covered.

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Spring recital...

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Elizabeth, you made the album. : ) I had the chance to meet my online friend Elizabeth a couple weeks ago. A former writer for Simple Scrapbooks, she is someone who's scrapping style I have long admired, and through a mutual appreciation of scrapbooking, photography, and raising three girls that love to read, we moved from blog reading to the occasional email to an in-person meet-up. Sometimes the internet is kinda amazing.

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Miscellaneous life.

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I'm still quite behind on this spring, but so thankful for how easy it is to get caught up and get memories in our albums.

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Read Aloud Report :: All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

Next up in the read aloud list. We finished The Green Ember last week and read the last 60 or so pages straight through because we couldn't put it down. #readaloudrevival

We just finished our latest read-aloud and it was so good! (I feel like I gush about all our books, but this one really was so! good!) We devoured All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor in a little over a week and it's taking all our willpower not to jump right into the rest of the series right away!

This is the story of a Jewish family living New York City at the turn of the century. Papa and Mama have five daughters - Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte and Gertie - all two years apart and the reason for the nickname they have given themselves as being an "all of a kind family." The story tells of their simple family life and the pleasures the find in small things and in each other. Papa owns a junk business - he has peddlers that canvas the streets for junk and bring it to his shop so that he can resell it. Money is tight for the family and Papa has to work very hard, but he does it willingly and cheerfully to support his wife and daughters. I loved this look into tender Papa's head and heart when the girls bought him a present for his birthday:
Papa was thinking: So much  money spent on a fancy cup and saucer that I could just as well do without. Haven't we enough cups and saucers in the house now? I have to work so hard to make enough for the necessary things and here they spend money on such a luxury. What if the amount they spent wouldn't help much. It's little spendings like this that add up. 
But right through his thoughts, there floated a little disappointed whimper from Gertie, and Papa suddenly remembered his children. He looked down at the faces, so puzzled and sad now. They had been so gay a moment ago. They were young. It was bad enough that they had to be denied so many things because he couldn't afford them. Must he deny them even this pleasure of giving up their small allowance for a present for him?
Mama was also a delightful character. Her joy was taking care of her home and her children, and the glimpse into the days of a Jewish homemaker was fascinating!
Less than a week and so much had to be done to get ready. Throughout the Festival of Passover, which lasts eight days, no bread or leavened foods may be eaten. In the days just before Passover, Jewish people thoroughly clean their homes to remove all traces of such leaven. Even the pots, pans, and dishes have to be changed. Every religious Jewish household has so much kitchenware that it looks like a store. The family must have two sets of dishes for everyday use: one for dairy products and the other for all meat foods; as well as two sets for Passover, to say nothing of special dishes for company use.
She never complained about the work that she did for her family but did it cheerfully and wholeheartedly. Even when four of the daughters came down with scarlet fever in the days leading up to the Passover, Mama never uttered a word of complaint, but did what needed to be done and cared for her family.
"Scarlet fever!" Mama's heart sank. That meant quarantine and isolation. It meant special diets, probably leavened foods, and they were coming into the Passover holidays. How would she manage it? But none of this dismay was noticeable in either her voice or manner. She seemed calm as always as she lined the children up for their examinations.
We also learned a great bit about Jewish festivals and holidays. As different ones would come up in the course of the story in turn, the author would give a short description of the holiday and explain it's Biblical significance and why and how they celebrated it. (Perfect tie in to the era of history we are reading about right now in Story of the World!)

Really, I can't wait to dive into the next in the series with the kids. We are going to wait a few weeks to dive into them as I have one classic that I want to get to before the end of our school year, and then we will be ready to jump into our summer read-aloud plan which I'm kind of excited about. Maybe I'll make it back to share that later this week. : )



Saturday, May 02, 2015

Reading to Know Bookclub for May :: Christy by Catherine Marshall

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My intro post for our read-along of Christy by Catherine Marshall is up on Carrie's blog. I do hope you'll join us this May.

I’m trying to remember when I first read Christy by Catherine Marshall. My copy is quite old and exceptionally well loved, and I honestly am not 100% sure on how I came by it. My best guess would be that my parents picked it up at a used bookstore (along with a stack of Agatha Christie novels) for their young teen daughter who was a voracious reader. A fan of Little House on the Prairie and mild Janette Oke romances, the story of a schoolteacher in the Smoky Mountains seemed right up my alley....

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More over at Reading to Know!