The Family

The Family

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Road" Scholars

I heard this term used last week in relation to homeschooling and have taken it on as my new mantra.

These "road" scholars will be heading out again tomorrow on our latest adventure.

It's a place familiar and loved by at least three of the four of us.

We'll be making some museum stops as well as celebrating a little boy's 7th birthday in the city I can only describe as "the place where I can breathe."

New York, here we come again...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This is one fun book!

We've been through it so many times in the three weeks since we checked it out at the library that mine know it by heart.

And when you get done reading, you can make your own coconut tree and attach magnetic letters.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Slinging Like the Master

Jackson Pollock-style painting, complete with slinging and movement, makes for a fun and messy art lesson any day!

I think as much got on their legs as it did on their canvas.

We worked our way through the second DVD of Home Art Studio for first grade this summer. So here's what else we were up to - art wise.

Tigers in the jungle:

An Egyptian sunset:

Some African masks:

Chinese dragons:

And my personal favorite are the South Korean-inspired fans, complete with cherry blossoms on one side and bamboo on the other:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Someone Else's Travels

As much as I wish we could take a trip about once a month, finances and responsibilities just won't allow that sort of lifestyle.

But it's always nice to hear about a great trip, even if I'm not part of it.

My in-laws recently returned from Alaska, and my mother-in-law was telling the children and me all about it yesterday.

The best thing about grandparents taking trips is they bring back goodies!

Mattie spent at least two hours playing with these Russian dolls last night. My mother-in-law knew just what to get. She actually has a set similar to this in her house that her mother bought on a mission trip to Russia years ago. Both of my kids love playing with them, and because Alaskan history is deeply connected to Russia and Russian culture, she knew not to pass up on these authentic dolls.

Jack had this totem pole to capture his attention, and we've decided to devote time this week to researching Alaskan totem poles.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Southern Twist

It's a straight forward story.

Those bears go for a walk and a blonde-headed girl decides to sleep in their beds, check out their seating and eat their porridge.

Except my Mattie wants me to substitute grits for porridge when telling the story.

As an aside, Mattie asks for grits almost every morning.

So, I guess it's only fitting that a classic tale should include some classic Southern food for my classic Southern girl!

Monday, August 11, 2014


We aren't foraging for them, but we are in observation mode.

And lucky us, we came across plenty in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard this past weekend while we visited them in Pensacola.

Don't mistake this one for a flower. It is, indeed, a fungus.

We even spotted a few on our afternoon walk today and are hopeful with all the rain these past few days to find and identify more tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Reading

Here we are, approaching the end of the summer, and I haven't posted anything about what I've been reading.

Better late than never, I guess.

It's quite pathetic how few books I've made it through this summer. My reading list keeps getting longer and longer, and my reading time seems to be more and more diminished.

Ah, such is life with two young children!

I stayed up late two nights ago eager to finish the mystery "A Crime of Privilege." The author includes a disclaimer at the beginning about the work not being related to anything or anyone. HA! Every detail of that book was about the Kennedy family. I truly enjoyed reading all the explanations of the Cape, especially Hyannis Port. Since we visited earlier this summer, I knew almost every place he described or listed. It was a small thrill each time I could mentally assert "I know where that's at!"

I tried to read two books I grabbed from the church library written by Augustine of Hippo, but like when I tried to read Dante's Inferno, I gave up on about page 12.

Earlier in the the summer I read "The Orphan Master's Son." The first few pages were so disturbing I almost put it down. I plugged along, however, and while the content was at times still gruesome, it felt like a different novel by the end. All I can say is that I was glad I had recently read a book on the suffering of others because this book was full of it.

And speaking of suffering, early June found me beginning the book of Job in the Bible. I had read through Job once before, and wasn't looking forward to doing so again. I don't think I've ever heard anyone express joy about reading Job. Quite honestly, it's agony. But as it turns out, Job was exactly where I needed to be. At the end of June a former student and dear friend was killed in a car accident. I spent two weeks in tears and total shock, barely sleeping at night and dreaming about him when I did sleep. There hasn't been a day since that I haven't pondered the meaning of it all. Even today, amidst more disturbing news about his accident, I can't seem to believe it really happened. Reading through Job's turmoil and agony has been about the only thing that has helped me try to wrap my mind around the unimaginable moments of life during this period of grief.