Friday, August 18, 2017

What I Enjoyed This Week: A Trip to HMNS for the Butterfly Release


I was hoping that things would quiet down a little bit once we started back to school, that we would be home more.  Maybe not.  :)  We were out of the house a good bit more than I wanted this week, but I guess the good thing is that we were still able to get school done.

We were supposed to start CC on Tuesday, but I didn't have the insurance forms the church where we're meeting requested, so we had to postpone a week.  Instead, I took my children to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for their butterfly release which happens on Tuesdays in the summer.  That was fun, and we enjoyed spending some time in the museum as well.

We had to run several more errands during the week which took us out of the house more than I wanted, but here are a few other things I enjoyed:
  • Daniel's glasses' warranty.  They broke Tuesday night, but they were still under warranty so we were able to get them replaced for FREE!  
  • Making plans with my mother for her to visit.
  • Picking up my groceries at Kroger.  I mention this again because we weren't there ten minutes altogether.  It was so quick this time that I couldn't believe it!
  • Spending time with friends at the museum.
  • Finding toys that actually occupy Hannah (18 months) during school.  
  • The free Bible study about friendship by Lifeway We Saved You a Seat.  I've enjoyed doing this study even though I'm doing it by myself.  I'm on week two, and it has some great tips for being a better friend.
John is taking our oldest four children to see an Astros game tonight, thanks to Mary winning the tickets during summer reading.  I'm glad they're not playing the Atlanta Braves because that could cause a problem since I grew up rooting for the Braves!  I think the rest of the weekend should be relatively quiet.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review: The Assault by Various Authors


The Assault continues the story from The Invitation where four very different people have come together to form a team.  The Professor is highly intelligent; Andi sees patterns; Brenda draws pictures that tell the future; and Tank has healing power -- sometimes.  Together, this team works to stop evil forces which are trying to destroy our world.  First they tackle alternate universes, then they battle a mind-controlling fungus.  When they have a little time to research what they've been fighting, the team has to deal with misplaced trust.  Finally, there's a fog which contains man-eating monsters.

Written by four different authors, these stories flow together nicely.  But they are strange!  The writing is interesting and lively and definitely keeps the reader's interest, but sometimes it's hard to follow exactly what's going on.

If you like the strange and weird, you might like this.  If not, well, you probably won't.

I want to thank Bethany House Publishing for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

Friday, August 11, 2017

What I Enjoyed This Week: Back to School and Preparing for CC

Mary (5) lost three teeth in a week.  After the third one came out, she told me, "Pretty soon, I won't have any left!"

I've had another busy week, preparing for our Classical Conversations campus to start back next week.  As director, it's a lot of work, but once we start back, it will mostly be done.  Hooray for that!

But I'm also tutoring the afternoon Essentials class which includes parsing sentences and IEW for writing.  I will have to prepare lesson plans each week which will keep me busy.  I look forward to it, however.

Things I enjoyed this week:
  • whenever I was able to cross something off my to-do list.  :)
  • a pool party for our CC campus on Monday.  One of the families graciously opened up their home and pool to us.  
  • the first Essentials parent/tutor meeting on Tuesday evening.  Despite problems with the DVD player, we got things figured out (with some help!) and were able to watch the required and very helpful DVDs.  We also enjoyed each other's company during the downtime.  
  • starting school back.  Okay, I wasn't really ready for this and maybe didn't enjoy it so much, but I do enjoy knowing that the first week is DONE!
  • picking up my groceries via Kroger's QuickPick.  Last week, it was a disaster, but I learned not to try to pick my groceries up on Friday evening.  A very, very bad time.
We have a quiet weekend planned which I look forward to.  I should have some time to finish up the last minute things for CC.

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, August 4, 2017

What I've Enjoyed This Week: Help in the Kitchen


I have felt discombobulated all week.  I seemed never to know if were coming or going; I knew there was lots I needed to do on the computer, but when I sat down, I forgot what it all was.  Meanwhile, my daily chores were neglected, too.  And this blog post is late.  :)

What's kept me so busy?  In short, getting ready for school.  We start back next week, and I needed to spend some time this week preparing.  But the main thing that has me flustered is CC.  Oh, it's not CC itself, but my preparations for our campus to start back up in less than two weeks.  There are supplies I need to purchase, money to collect, information to put into the computer, emails to send, facilities to check, etc.  And it's kept me busy.  But once we start back, it will be worth it!

I started something new this week, too, which in retrospect may not have been the best time.  I read somewhere recently about a mother who has one of her children help her in the kitchen for two months at a time, and then she switches children.  I thought that sounded like a great idea, so I implemented it.  Sarah Beth was first, and she wasn't thrilled, but she was a big help as we prepared Taco Ring.  I'm just going to have each child help for a week, and to sweeten the deal, they get to help with the menu planning.

Here are a few things I've enjoyed this week:
  • The Great British Baking Show.  My mother introduced me to this show, and I like that I can watch it with my children.  They certainly do a much more intricate kind of baking in Britain than we do here in the States, and I think I'd like to take a class on British baking at some point -- if I can find one.  :)
  • a relatively quiet week at home.  Well, we could have spent a good bit of time at home if I hadn't had so many errands to run!  :)
  • a couple of rainy afternoons.
  • summer reading.  Mary won a prize this year:  box tickets to an Astros game!  Their coordinator graciously is going to give us one more ticket (we were supposed to get four) so that John can take our four oldest children.  I thought about asking for one more -- for me! -- but I didn't want to push it.
  • my children's help with chores.  Sarah Beth vacuuming and Daniel mopping are a big help, along with everybody folding laundry.
  • an afternoon out to run errands.  It's so much easier for those quick in-an-out errands when I'm by myself.
I didn't enjoy this course much, but I wanted to include it since Tracey asked me to post what courses I've taken from the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle:  The SAHM Wardrobe Basics Builder.  I didn't find this wardrobe course helpful at all for several reasons.  First, I'm not interested in a capsule wardrobe.  Second, there's too much denim in it; where's the color?  Third, I don't have most of the clothes she recommends, and I don't want to go buy a whole new wardrobe.  Fourth, it's too hot here to wear jeans, cardigans, jackets, etc., and I don't think I could adapt the wardrobe to our heat here.  With all of that said, other people might find this course helpful; I just didn't.  It's not a bad course; it's just not helpful to me.

Tomorrow we have plans to visit some friends for swimming and supper.  Our children are really looking forward to it!  John and I are, too, but more for the fellowship.  :)

What have you enjoyed this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Reading

I love these old pictures!

I'm pleased with the books I read in July.  I enjoyed all of them and learned some things from a few of them.  As a matter of fact, I would recommend any one of them, but especially the first one -- if you have a son.  :)

Here's what I read in July:
  • Mother and Son:  The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerichs.  If I could give this book to every mother I know who has a son, I would.  It's that good!  Like our husbands, our sons need our respect just as our daughters need love.  Of course, we don't respect their bad choices and sins, but we should always show them respect because of their inherent worth as created in God's image.  If mothers let it, this book could be a game-changer in their relationships with their sons.  I plan to let it!
  • Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder.  Right after the Civil War ends, Will is sent to live with his uncle's family because all of his family has died.  His uncle did not fight in the war while Will's father did, so Will cannot respect his uncle because he thinks he is a coward.  As the book goes on, Will comes to understand that not fighting sometimes takes more courage.  And he also realizes that both his father and his uncle did what each thought was right, regardless of what others thought.  I picked this book up on our Atlanta Civil War tour, and I'm so glad I did.  It's a great coming of age story, and it shows how you need to understand another person before you can judge him.
  • Marooned:  The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe by Robert Kraske.  You can find amazing books in the children's nonfiction section at the library which is where I saw this one.  Having read Robinson Crusoe, I was intrigued to read about the "real" one.  Since this book was written for children, it was fairly short and a quick read which was nice, too.  :)  Selkirk tried to start a mutiny because he didn't agree with the captain that the ship was seaworthy.  None of the other men joined him, so the captain left him behind on an island.  Four years later, he was rescued.  I found this book to be very interesting, especially since it's a true story -- unlike Robinson Crusoe.
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.  Along the same storyline (although unintentionally), we listened to this book while driving to our first practicum.  This story about a girl who is left behind when her village leaves their island is wonderful!  I was so glad to find it on CD so my children could listen to it.  Did you know that it's based on a true story?  The woman it really happened to, was left alone for eighteen years.  Can you imagine that?  How do you keep from going crazy with no one to talk to?
  • Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan.  I'm so sad that this book is the last one in the Lady Trent series.  :(  But it is sufficiently exciting to make it a worthy finale, and I recommend it -- for those readers who enjoy this type of book.  :)
What have you read lately?  Anything especially interesting?

Friday, July 28, 2017

What I Enjoyed this Week: Learning that I'm not As Necessary As I Think I Am

First day of practicum wore these girls out!

Two weeks ago, my children and I attended our first Classical Conversations practicum of the summer, and I went through my first required training:  training to tutor the afternoon Essentials class.  This week we attended the second required practicum; at least, we were supposed to.  Until my children got sick.

For my first practicum, I didn't really know anyone, and that was okay.  CC is a community of like-minded parents, mostly mothers, and I enjoyed spending time with them, even if I didn't catch their names.  :)

But I was really looking forward to this week because a couple of my tutors were coming, and I wanted to introduce them to each other and be involved as they got to know each other.  God had other plans.

When my children first started showing symptoms, I went into denial.  They're not really sick, I thought.  They'll get better when we get home.  But they didn't.  Then I thought, These ladies need me there to help them get along.  They can't do it without me.  But of course, they could, and they did.

It was an eye-opening experience, one that I honestly should have figured out a long time ago.  I'm not needed nearly as much as I think I am.  The world will continue to turn if I'm stuck at home taking care of my children.  It was a humbling experience, but it was a good one.

The best thing was that I got to see part of God's plan in this.  We don't always usually get to see how He's working, so it's nice when we do.  I had felt pressed for time this week, and the Lord graciously gave me an extra two days to get some things done I hadn't felt I had time for.

Then Thursday, I got sick.  Ugh!  My children are old enough to take care of themselves for the most part, and Sarah Beth was a tremendous help with Hannah.  It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been!

Here are a few more things I enjoyed this week:

  • Spending time with  my friends at practicum on Monday.
  • Staying home and getting things done on Tuesday and Wednesday so that...
  • I wasn't distressed and anxious about how much I needed to get done on Thursday when I could hardly get off the couch.
  • Meeting two other women who want to do CC with their children.
We don't have much planned this weekend which actually seems really nice!  

What did you enjoy this week?  What do you have planned for the weekend?



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Night Night, Train by Amy Parker


In this appealing book, a child boards a train with his family before bedtime.  As he gets ready for bed, he wishes good night to the things around him.  The story is told in sweet rhymes which are a little forced at times, but they are perfectly fine for this book.  The illustrations are nicely done with vivid colors and clear pictures.  There is a mention of praying before bedtime, normalizing it for our Christian children.

I enjoy reading this delightful book to my toddler, and I'm glad that I've added it to our library.  If you have children who are the right ages for board books, I think you'll like it, too!

I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.