reading gals 2018

Reading Goals for 2018

Reading Goals 2018

It’s a new year (even though January is somehow already behind us) and time for new reading goals! But first, let’s discuss last year.  My goal last year was to read 120 books, of which 40 would be nonfiction.  That was basically my only criteria.  I knew that the nonfiction take me longer to get through, but I did try to have one going all the time.  At the end of the year, I had read 128 books, of which 41 were nonfiction.

This year, I want to go for a little more structure and depth to my reading.  I’m keeping the number goal of 120, but upping my game to 50 nonfiction.  I’ve made a list of about 30 classics and professional development books I want to get through.  Not all of the 30 will qualify as nonfiction, but there are some challenging classical fiction reads in there.  I’m anticipating that I will easily fill in the gaps just by following my fancy at the library.

 

What I read in January

And since I’ve been stupendously slow about getting back to blogging this year, we’re already to the point that we can evaluate how I did in January.  I’ve read nine books so far, and Goodreads is telling me I’m one book behind schedule.  However, I’m currently reading 8 books, so I’m not really worried about that right now.  As I finish these off and work in some lighter fiction reads I’ll get back on track.

Miss Buncle was my favorite light fiction read, and Miss Prim came in a close second.  “How to Homeschool” by Gayle Graham was the best nonfiction read of January.  If you’re beginning to homeschool, the practical tips on how to manage house, littler kids, and school are invaluable.  The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder was absolutely fascinating.  Honey for a Child’s Heart was a thoughtful discourse on the benefits of reading aloud in a family life.  It also included some great booklists, broken down by general age/reading level.  I always love a booklist!

reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m Reading in February

Hopefully my currently-reading stack on Goodreads. Ha-ha.  I have 2 books by Susan Schaffer McCauley going (For the Children’s Sake and For the Family’s Sake) and Ourselves by Charlotte Mason.  The Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the classics on my list for this year too.

A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and A Great War by Joseph Loconte, which has started me on The Fellowship of the Ring (and Narnia, but I’m doing those as read alouds with my kids and I don’t count kids read alouds towards my reading totals even if they’re books I would have absolutely read alone.  Hey, I have to TRY to keep it reasonable! ha-ha…)

I haven’t started any of my light fiction for the month, but I have 4 from the library that I plan to get to.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m working myself into a lovely hole here of reading plans that outscope my reading time already this year.  It’s a good problem to have 😉

reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Goals 2018reading goals 2018reading goals 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully I’ll check back in here at the end of February and let y’all know what I’ve finished!  What’s your reading life looking like this year?  Favorite book so far?  Let me know in the comments!

reading gals 2018

william whitley house

Kentucky Field Trip Diaries: William Whitley House

The Second Installment in our Field Trip Diaries: The William Whitley House, Stanford KY

Our visit to the William Whitley house was the second official field trip in our second term this year. You can read about our first field trip–to Camp Nelson–here

The House

The William Whitley House is an impressive brick home, nestled in the rolling hills and valleys of Lincoln County, Kentucky. Built by William Whitley between 1787 and 1794, it was the first brick house built in Kentucky. During the time of its construction, there was still frequent fighting with the Indians and Whitley built this house to be a fortress for his family and guests.

It was built 2 feet thick, in the Flemish bond style, with white bricks added to make a very unique pattern on the ends of the house. The windows are all raised significantly, so that nobody would be able to shoot directly through them. For similar reasons, though there is a front porch now, when Whitley built the house he chose not to add porch or steps. Family and guests entered the house by way of a rope ladder cast through the front door.

Although the house is clearly unique as a stronghold, the inside was carefully crafted to be comfortable and stylish. The decorative wood trim throughout the house is both symbolic of his Irish heritage and shows patriotism towards his new country.

The People

William Whitley and his wife, Esther, came west to Kentucky from Virginia. In 1788 he put in a circular race track and declared that his races would be run counter-clockwise, rather than in the British tradition. The great racing tradition began in William’s front yard, where he would invite friends from miles around to gather for races in the morning and an extravagant breakfast on the front lawn after. He gained fame as a frontiersman and for his success in battles with the Indians, served a term on the Kentucky General Assembly, and volunteered in the War of 1812. It was there that he died, in service of his country.

william whitley house
The House

Esther was a wonderwoman of the time. She traveled on horseback through the Allegheny mountains with her two young children tied onto her for safekeeping. When they reached Kentucky, she raised those two children, plus NINE more, and was frequently the sole protector of the household when William was away. During the late 1780s and 1790s while the big house was being built, she lived at various forts in the area and fought alongside the men when the forts came under siege. By all accounts, she was a crack shot and a pillar of early society in Kentucky.

Of course, I have only barely glossed over the known facts here. For more historical context and details, check out the brochure here.

The Site Today

Today, the William Whitley house is open for tours Tuesday through Sunday, April to October. Admission to the house is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and children under 6 are free. I highly recommend touring the house. The docents are very knowledgeable and share so many wonderful facts about the house and the people who lived there. After you’ve finished touring the house, make sure you walk to the small graveyard, and then to Sportsmans Hill.

william whitley house- field trip 2
The Graveyard

The opportunities for nature study abound here too. There are many trees to identify, common wildflowers, and various berries. And that’s not even mentioning the wildlife! This place is saturated with wonderful learning experiences–from history, to science, to civics and political science, to household economy. Check it out!

re-reading

The Case for Re-Reading

In which I make the case for re-reading…

Are you a re-reader? Some people are, and some people wonder how on earth there can be time to re-read the same books. I have personally been in both camps. There are some books that I want to re-read but just don’t find the time for. The classics I read in high-school, for example. I am certain that I would enjoy them more and gain more from them if I read them again now. However, when I sit down and think about what I’m going to read next, the list of classics that I still wish to read could pave a path to the moon.

Then there are books that I can’t lay aside forever, because it would be like abandoning an old friend. Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron. Anne and Gilbert and Diana. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Shasta and Aravis.
You see, I don’t think books remain stagnant. As we grow and change, the books grow with us, reaching different parts of our understanding with each re-reading, and touching our hearts in different ways. Simply, you notice different characters as an adult, and empathize more deeply with them. In a way, they become more and more real.

Mrs. Weasley

If you know me, you probably know this about me, but I am a huge Harry Potter nerd. As in, I have re-read the series at least once every year since I first started to read them sometime in my mid-teens. I truly get more out of them every time I re-read them. Different scenes make me teary, different remarks strike me, and the character building never fails to impress. But one of the best surprises of re-reading is discovering the amazing qualities of a character that previously seemed to be little more than background noise. I will never forget the first time I re-read Harry Potter after I became a mother, and every time since. Mrs. Weasley moved to the frontline of the story for me. Everything she does, from taking care of her family and taking Harry under her wing, to the ultimate moment when she steps into battle wielding the fury only a mother defending can have… every scene just clicks now. I recognize that! I know how she feels.

Anne Shirley

Anne has been another of my long-time friends. I’ve reread the series (some books more than others) countless times, delighting in different things each time. I grew up with her. I’ve read the books as a teenager, as a newlywed, and as a mother. Most recently, I re-read “Anne’s House of Dreams”. In it, she gives birth to a baby who dies after her first hour of life. I have read that chapter 20 times, but it wasn’t until re-reading it this last time, in the wake of my own miscarriage, that I felt the depth of that chapter and the poignancy of the rest of the book as Anne adjusts to an altered future from the one she imagined. Each grief-riddled sentiment settled right into my own thoughts; before, they had been passing fancies that I experienced in the space of an afternoon and quickly forgot. I never understood how deeply that experience changed Anne through the rest of the book. Now I do. I recognize that. I know how she feels.

I’m not saying that every book should be re-read, but I’m making the case for the stories that have lingered with you through the years. Read them again. Let the characters speak to you in new ways. The main joy of reading is getting to know these other lives, true or imagined. If you get to know them for the space of a book, and love them, give them a chance to return as old friends.

So… do you reread? Who are your fictional besties that you meet up with once a year or so just for coffee and a chat?

We do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been given its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the real beauties. Till then, it is like wasting great wine on a ravenous natural thirst which merely wants cold wetness.”
― C.S. Lewis, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature

field trip diaries camp nelson

Kentucky Field Trip Diaries: Camp Nelson

The Debut of our Field Trip Diaries: Camp Nelson, Nicholasville KY

In light of my new goal to make sure we’re getting our field trips, I’m going to share them. This was the first field trip of our new term. The Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park is a huge 500+ acre park and museum. The camp was created in 1863 and originally covered more than 4000 acres and sprawled from the Kentucky palisades and Hickman Bridge (the only bridge across the Kentucky River in the area at that time) up to the Heritage Park currently stands.

field trip camp nelson
Fall 2016

It was created to be a supply depot for the Union Army in Kentucky. However, while the camp was very defensible, it’s efficiency was hampered by the lack of railroads. Even though it’s purpose was to get supplies to different contingents of the army in Kentucky, it was difficult to do so in a timely manner. The camp served another purpose though and became the largest recruiting station for African Americans in Kentucky, and the third largest in the union. Many former slaves received their emancipation by joining the army and working at Camp Nelson. Many of them brought their wives and children along as well, and the camp also became a refugee camp.
The white house aka the Oliver Perry House

That’s the history in a nutshell–a seriously limited nutshell. There is so much more to it! For further reading, check out this history by Dr. Stephen McBride.

Admission to the heritage park is free, and tours are available to go through the white house. Volunteers do the majority of the tours and I would dearly love to volunteer some time! Maybe when the kids are older… There are trails all through the acreage, and signs explaining where different elements of the camp would have been. There is so much history and natural beauty here that I feel perfectly justified in my regular visits.
field trips camp nelson
Camp Nelson is one of my very favorite places to take the kids locally. There are wide open fields, lanes lined with trees, signs to read, a brook, a spring and hills to climb! And that’s all outside. There’s also a museum set up with scenes from camp life and archeological finds from the area. We do go to the museum, but the main appeal is in the grounds for us right now. Last time we went, Eva was terrified of the wax figures in the museum. It’s slightly more difficult to read all the signs and see all the things when there’s a 19 month old clinging to your neck and whimpering any time you go close to the exhibits.
camp nelson field trip
There are so many wonderful opportunities for learning, all tied up in this beautiful, (FREE) heritage park! I love Camp Nelson, and if you’re in the area you should definitely check it out!

first-term

First Term ~ Homeschool Year 1

First Term

Our first term of the school year ended last week. We plan to school year round, with a 8 week term. Most terms throughout the traditional school year won’t have much break between them, because ultimately we want to be able to take our breaks when it suits our family. Anyways, all that to say, the term is mainly for my own organizational purposes. Before we started school, I planned our first term and set our larger goals for the school year. However, I held off on the specific term lesson plans until 2 weeks before our new term starts.

The biggest reason for this is simply self-evaluation.

I did not want to put all my hours of planning into our terms and eventually realize that for whatever reason, “the plan” wasn’t working. This gave us an opportunity to get into the flow of our homeschool days and then critically evaluate them. More than just assessing the material we’ve actually been able to cover, I also check our family schedule. A lot can happen in two months! Obligations come and go, but by reevaluating every 8 weeks, I can be more mindful of how our days need to be structured.
first-term

Things I’ve Learned in 8 weeks

1. Keeping lessons brief and poignant is essential to holding and building the attention of a 5 year old. Charlotte Mason frequently talks about developing the habit of attention. The ability to remain focused on any subject for much longer than 20 minutes is not innate in a child and must be carefully developed.

2. The habit of attention is not developed over night. It’s far too easy for me to think that progress should be immediately apparent, when the truth of the matter is that it takes time to see fruit. We’re not looking for an instant fix anyways–we’re on a journey that will have many changes and last for many years.

3. Probably most important and most obvious of all (though somehow I’d missed it): My children’s interests will not necessarily be the same as mine. I am utterly fascinated by world history. We’re using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, and I love it. Without even realizing it, I found myself expecting my kids to be enthralled as well. When they weren’t quite as obsessed as I was, it was quite a shock to my system. The truth of the matter is though, Sophia is not very interested in world history right now. She is mildly interested. We’ll give her that. But she is much more intrigued by her math and science work.

4. Different fascinations are not a bad thing. I’m finding myself so much more engaged by math and science than I ever was during my own “school years”. My goal isn’t to raise carbon copies of myself anyways, but to engage my children and help them learn how to learn.

5. Learning truly never stops. Once begun, once engaged, the world becomes a classroom, abounding with unanswered questions and untapped stores of knowledge. Charlotte Mason famously said, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” In other words, education is not confined to a physical space where it happens, but it is encompassed in the attitude with which we greet the world. Do we plod through life’s routines, not daring to learn outside the classroom? Or do we greet each moment of the day as an opportunity to develop our understanding?
first-term outside

Things I’m changing in our second term:

For the most part, I’m really pleased with how our first term went. Our days weren’t overfull or empty, and we’ve made good academic progress. Overall, I’m not happy with how much we’re getting outside. I want to be getting out for nature walks at least once a week. But it just hasn’t been happening. I feel like the time we’re not spending in school is eaten up trying to catch up on housework. Ultimately, I don’t want to lose the joy of discovery in housework, so while the weather is still decent we’re going to try to be better at getting outside this term.

So that’s our first term! If you’re interested in my planning process check out this post! Are you homeschooling? How is your year going?

Favorite Moments on a Wednesday

Once upon a Favorite Moment

“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

~ A. A. Milne

We have had a crazy week. And it’s only Wednesday. But it’s not the crazy moments I think I’ll forget, or specifically, want to reflect on in the future. Those are the simple life moments with my people. Too often, I think I forget to practice remembering. The days can seem to fly by or last forever, but in every day there are memories to be made. Here are a few from today.

Garbage Day

favorite moments - watching the garbage truck
Wednesday is a favorite day around here, because it is garbage day. The kids make a beeline for the window as soon as they hear the first rhythmic thumps and beeps of the garbage truck making it’s way around the neighborhood.
I love their tousled hair and snuggling blankets. Most of all, I love the delighted giggles, and Eva’s tiny feet tap-dancing with excitement while she watches.

Love Notes in Math Class

favorite moments - love notes in math
Of all the reasons I love homeschooling, this is right up there. Sophia loves math (98% of the time, anyways) and frequently writes little love notes on the top of her papers. “I love you, Mommy!” is of course one of my favorites, but another that she produced last week was “I am a star!” (with a drawn star, not the word.) It made me laugh. She is a star, in my book at least 😉

Quiet Afternoons

favorite moments - quiet afternoon study
My sister Emily came up for a couple of days to help out and she was coloring with the kids this afternoon while I did some studying. She’s a pretty good artist, and of course the kids were intrigued and wanted to do their own coloring too.

Evening Dressup for Eva

favorite moments - Eva plays dressup
After her bath, Eva went looking through her sister’s clothes and came out with this nightgown. She looked like a baby from Peter Pan with the long, long nightgown. Her hair has the softest curl in the end, just over the back of the nightgown–it’s not very visible in this picture, but it is adorable. She’s always reminding me of a vintage poster-child for a Peter Pan book or something from Winnie the Pooh.

Those are a few of my sweet moments today. Hope you’ve had some sweetness in your day too!

What I’m Reading Now: September 2017

Reading Now

When the days turn cooler I have the insatiable urge to hunker down and read. Not that that particular desire ever truly abandons me, but there’s something especially cozy about reading in cool weather. We’ve had an unusually cool and rainy September so far, so you’ll understand the state of my reading now stack. It’s a doozy. You’ve been warned.

This month I’ve been reading the Maggie Hope Series by Susan Elia Macneal as my lighter read.
reading-now-1 reading-now-2 reading-now-3

I’ve already read “His Majesty’s Hope” and “The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent”, and am now reading “Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante”.
This is such a great series. World War II, espionage, and a spunky heroine. So far there are plenty of satisfying twists, and nothing is too predictable. I am loving it. The first book is called “Mr. Churchill’s Secretary”, and I highly recommend reading them in order. Maggie has quite a lot of personal and professional development throughout the series, and personal friendships develop throughout the books. They are lighter reading, but not what I would consider fluff. Each book is meticulously researched, and adds at least 5 books to my to-read stack.

reading-now-4
I’m currently working through the Sonnets of Shakespeare–a little slowly, but I do love them. This particular collection is available for free as a kindle ebook. Just click on the picture and you’ll go straight to Amazon!

reading-now-5 reading-now-6 reading-now-7

These are my serious reads for the month. They are all fantastic for very different reasons. The Dictator’s Handbook sheds so much light on the dictators and rulers of our 21st century world. It is terrifying, enlightening, and riveting. In August I finished up Garry Kasparov’s “Winter is Coming” which gave me a decent introduction to Putin and Russia, but this is the perfect follow-up.

Brave New World is another kind of “follow-up” book for me. I read Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (fantastic, by the way) in August, and he mentioned Brave New World multiple times. Postman juxtaposed it with Orwell’s 1984, saying that he thought we were much more likely to attain the Dystopian society of Brave New World than 1984. Naturally, I immediately checked it out. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I am, had I not had Postman’s conclusions fresh in my mind. So far, I am enjoying it and intrigued.

The Story of Western Science by Susan Wise Bauer is one of my favorite nonfiction books I’ve read this year. It’s not specialized by any means, but it gives one a wide, general background with which to begin the study of scientific discoveries throughout history. It is fascinating, and another book that is contributing greatly to the expansion of my to-read pile. Each chapter is quite short, but gives a good overview of specific scientists, and leaves you with suggestions for further reading.

So, those are the things I’ve read and am reading now.
I expect to finish off the Maggie Hope series and will be scouting for my next big light read. As far as more serious things, I’m planning to start tackling the “Well Educated Mind” Reading Lists. Bauer recommends starting with the Fiction List, but I’ve read many of the books on it, so I’m considering starting with Autobiography or History. What would you do?

What are you reading now? Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your blogpost! I love seeing other reading lists!

real-life-quote

This Is Your Real Life

This is your real life.

Right here, right now, this is your real life.

Whether you feel happy or sad, purposeful or unfulfilled, content or covetous; this moment is your real life. The children might be swinging from the rafters, or you might be settling down after the bedtime rituals. This is your real life. The dirty dishes. Mount Laundry. The crisp night air. The musty scent of changing seasons. All happening now. All your real life.

Several weeks ago, I stumbled across a quote by C. S. Lewis, at the moment I most needed it. You might have noticed it up on the blog header, or not. But it made such an impact on me that I’ve been mulling it over for weeks. I’m sure it’s relevant to most of us, but it stopped me in my tracks that first day I read it.

Here’s the thing: I imagine I can control things.

It is one of my great weaknesses. I like to know what is happening, and when. Each day, I plan out everything I would like to accomplish, and make note of all the things that must be done. I like to have routines that run like clockwork. But they don’t always. Because I am human, and everybody around me is human. It wouldn’t be an issue, either, if it were not for my heart’s murmurings and discontent when things don’t go my way. I found myself in a cycle of disappointment when things went awry in our day. In my mind, I had an idea of what our perfect days would look like. When our days failed to meet my standards, I felt that somehow our “real life” was being bogged down by these monotonous interruptions.

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”

Could I really think that God Almighty, who ordered my footsteps and called me by name, was thwarted in his purpose for my life by what I considered interruptions in my messy days? Of course not! I felt (feel) quite foolish, to think how bothered I can be by the little “interruptions” to “my time”. It is not my time at all. It is God’s time.

This is the Day, which the Lord hath made.

Today is the day he has given me. This day, in this house, with these children and my man. I will do what needs to be done. When it happens that the next thing just wasn’t on my list for the day, I will remember that this is the moment that was meant to be–not that figment of my imagination and Pinterest. For this is the day. This is my real life.

real-life

when-summer-comes

When Summer Comes ~ A Short Story

when-summer-comes

When Summer Comes: A Short Story

By Elizabeth Peterson

(c) February 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Summer was Lila’s favorite time of the year. It was light in the morning, no matter how early she woke to race out into the early morning air. Dew drops and grass clippings stuck to her feet as she ran until the dandelion yellow sun rose high in the sky and the dew lifted. When it was too hot to run any more, it was time to jump in the pool. There were juicy red watermelon slices and cold glasses of lemonade to snack on between rounds of swimming and splashing.

By the time dinner was over and the last drop of ice cream licked from her fingers, it wasn’t such an awful thing to be sent off to the bathtub. She didn’t complain too much when Mommy pulled the fresh cotton nightie over her head, and by the time she was snugly tucked between crisp sheets, she could barely hold her eyes open long enough to ask all the important questions.
“May I have another drink of water?”
“How about berries for breakfast tomorrow?”
“Can I just wear my swimsuit all day tomorrow? It sticks when I’m hot.”
Lila fell asleep every night marveling over the wonderful treats of summer.

Then, so gradually that she almost didn’t know it was happening, summer changed into fall. First the morning dew felt cold on her toes. Then one day, it wasn’t warm enough to get into the pool. After enough of those cool days, the WORST thing happened—the pool was covered up with a great, billowing gray cover.

Lila watched in horror as the cover settled over it and her Daddy began tying the edges down.
“But I want to swim!”
“It’s too cold now. You would be frozen like a popsicle!” Daddy was smiling, but Lila did not smile. This was the saddest day she could remember.
“But,” Daddy said, almost as if he could see the tears Lila felt piling up behind her eyeballs. “After fall, and winter, and spring, summer will come again. Then we will swim and play in the sun some more.”
“Summer will come again?” Lila asked, needing to make certain.
“After Winter.” Daddy promised.
A single brown leaf floated down and settled onto the tarp as Daddy fastened the last corner to the pool and beckoned for Lila to come inside. She looked over her shoulder at the gloomy gray pool cover and whispered to the pool.
“Summer will come.”

There were fun things to do in autumn. There were leaf piles and pumpkin patches and huge roaring bonfires. Lila roasted marshmallows and ate s’mores until her cheeks were stuffed like the little brown squirrel that collected acorns under the oak tree.
But even with her cheeks stuffed full of chewy, gooey marshmallows, Lila looked longingly at the pool.
“Is it summer yet, Mommy?” She asked.
“Not yet,” Mommy said, and put a hat onto Lila’s head with a smile.
“Oh no…” Lila sniffed and thought she might cry, but there was another marshmallow to roast. She decided she could probably wait one more day for summer to come back.

But the next morning when she slid out of bed, the floor was cold under her toes and she had to hop quickly from one foot to the other while she looked for her fluffiest pink slippers.
That wasn’t even the worst of it. It grew colder, and colder, and colder every single day!

One day early in December she cautiously asked Mommy if it was possible summer might come back soon.
“Not yet.” Mommy said. “But today we’ll set up our Christmas tree.”
Lila squealed and danced around the living room with delight. If Christmas was coming soon, she could wait a little longer for summer.

Christmas-time was so wonderful that Lila almost didn’t think about summer at all. Between the candy-canes and hot cocoa, and singing Christmas songs in the golden glow of Christmas tree lights, she even began to think that if it could just be Christmas always, she wouldn’t worry so much about summer.

But then one day, Daddy and Mommy started taking the lights down and boxing up Christmas decorations.
“Why are you killing Christmas?” She wailed.
“It wouldn’t be as fun to have Christmas if it was Christmas all year long!” Daddy said.
She frowned.
“We’ll have Christmas again next year, Lila. But first are birthdays and spring, and summer, and autumn…” Mommy kept talking but Lila had stopped listening.
Summer! It must be nearly back by now. She went to the window to check, but it was still cold and gray outside.

The days kept passing, each day newly cold and dreary.
Every morning Lila pressed her nose up against the window and asked, “Is it summer yet?”
Every morning Mommy shook her head no.
The wonderful soft grass she loved had turned into a prickly ice wasteland. The fresh warm breeze had become cold and snappish. Lila bundled up in her warmest coat, hat and gloves, and stepped outside. Her nose turned red and her eyes watered as she asked again.
“Is it summer yet?”
“Not yet, sweet girl.”
“UGGGGGGGGGH!” Lila groaned the loudest groan of all.

It was a black and gloomy time.
What if summer wasn’t coming back at all?
What if Lila was doomed to a lifetime of cold toes and watery eyes?
What if the pool cover could never come off again?
After days of asking when summer would come back, Lila finally gave up hope.

Then, one morning, something felt different. Lila could hear the twittering of a bird outside. Golden sunlight peeked through her window blinds. She tip-toed down the stairs and stood in front of the great front door, hardly able to breathe for wondering.
As the door creaked open, a warm breeze ruffled her nightgown.

Lila knew then. She didn’t have to ask again.
Dewdrops and cut grass stuck on her feet as she raced outside and jumped into the bright splotch of sunlight on the lawn.
“Summer came back!”
Summer was Lila’s favorite time of year.

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ September 4th, 2017

Linking up with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday today! If you like this post, be sure to head over to her site and check out what she’s up to today too! I’m not very good about participating regularly, but I love having these snapshots of a moment in time to look back on. And I like seeing what other people are up to. I’m nosy like that 🙂

The weather…

Is absolutely perfect today. Low 80s, but breezy. We’re staying with family for the day (yay for long weekends) and have sat outside basically all day. The kids are running all over the yard and exploring the great outdoors. Makes for a great day!

Right now I am…

Sitting out on the front porch listening to Sophia and Eva play over by a big oak tree, and watching butterflies in the flower gardens! I just finished up looking over my lesson plans for the week for my 1st grader, and planning some crafts/fun for the preschooler too!

On My Reading Pile…

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal (and the rest of the series–I literally have all the books out of the library right now)
Brave New World by Alduous Huxley
The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and Alistair Smith
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simpson
The Story of Science by Susan Wise Bauer

Movies or Shows I Watched this Weekend…

Just some Chopped at the hotel this weekend. The kids are old enough that I don’t want to just leave it on while I’m doing housework, even though that would be my preference. So… I’ve basically stopped watching tv unless it’s something special my man and I are watching together.

On My TV

We’re watching the latest season of Turn on Netflix in the evenings. I think we’re going to start watching Atypical (sp? not sure what it’s called actually) too. My Superman started it and said it was hilarious!

On the Menu for this week…

Monday: Family Cookout
Tuesday: Greek Salad with Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled Pork with Broccoli Slaw
Thursday: Stirfry Chicken with cauli-rice
Friday: Pizza

On My To-Do List

Just unpack and tidy up when we get home tonight. Going to try to get everything clean and tidy for tomorrow. Tuesday’s after a long weekend are always hard for the kids, so I like to try to have everything that stresses me out pared down to a minimum. If mama’s not happy, everybody’s angrier 😉

What I am creating…

Still editing and writing, and learning to code. Working on Python right now, and tinkering with my Digital Ocean server and website. I need to go ahead and dig into the process of adding another small site to the server, but haven’t felt like I have a good block of time to dedicate to it.

Looking around the house…

Not at my house right now, and haven’t been there since Thursday. A little curious to see how much I have to do tomorrow though. Superman did some cleaning while I was gone, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Will mainly be a lot to put away and tidy up, I think, after we unload the van.

From the camera(phone)

What I’m wearing…

My favorite teeshirt and jeans. The shirt says “Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.” I could basically go my whole life without wearing another shirt. You know, except for the days when I have to wear my Harry Potter ‘Accio Wine’ shirt. Also, I am aware that my style should probably grow up soon. The problem is that my style is too great for my budget. 😛

Simple Pleasures…

Listening to the wind blowing through the woods and across the hill. It’s like the rushing sound of the ocean, to a land-locked state.

Inspirational Quote…

“Education is an atmosphere… a discipline… a life…” ~ Charlotte Mason. My favorite quote to remember when I’m thinking about getting ready for a new school week.

What are you doing this week?