Friday, July 20, 2018

Quick Takes #265; Mid-Summer Check-in



  1. How is your summer going? Ours is going well and if things like lawnmowers and jaws would stop breaking I might even say great.  Update on last week's post the lawnmower has been replaced and we'll find out next week how the jaw is healing.
  2. Swim lessons wrapped up earlier this week.  Both L1 and L2 made progress in learning freestyle (specially how to periodically breath without stopping), and Caitlin made progress with her 'doggie' paddle and gained enough confidence that she no longer asks for her swim vest at the pool.  
  3. In other camp news Liam had a blast with soccer camp last week and is looking forward to playing with a local league this fall. Currently Lisbeth is enjoying Art Camp. She completed an ocean themed colored pencil sketch this week and next week apparently moves on to paints.
  4. We actually had a break in the humidity the last couple of days allowing for some porch reading; finished this (wonderful ~ definitely reading the sequel) and starting this.  What are you reading these days?
  5. Had fun watching all of the Prime Day posts go by; decided to hold off a bit longer before getting the kids their own Kindles so in the end I only got colored pencils and highlighters. Did look at the school supply list and then decide I just wasn't ready to get in school mode yet.  Except teaching Liam to tie his shoes ~ must get on that!!
  6. Bonnie of A Knotted Life has brought back the Sheenazing Awards and is taking nominations!!
  7. A mixed bag weekend coming up as there is a lot of yard work to catch-up on but in celebration of National Belgium Day tomorrow a beer and plenty of chocolate after the work is done.
iCloud apparently needs to work on its sharing skills ~ so no pictures :(

Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Quick Takes #264: My Month So Far



  1. Happy July!! How has yours been?? Mine has been to say the least  "IN~teresting!"
  2. The month started with Running Boy running and falling while carrying my iPhone and said phone's screen cracking! Followed by a discussion about running with Mommy's phone and me wondering/worrying could we continue to use the phone without getting cut from the screen.
  3. Next Dr Daddy's flight was so delayed coming home on the 2nd that he in fact couldn't come home but rather headed straight to work after a quick shower in a call room. #hospitallife
  4. On the 3rd we had a 6 hr power failure during a thunderstorm and missed the town's fireworks that I was sure would be cancelled due to all the lightening and if fact wasn't. Silver lining for this one; kids had a lot of fun eating ice cream on the porch and then catching fireflies!
  5. The morning of the 4th found us making pancakes and watching America Rock when I left the kitchen and Dr Daddy took that opportunity to fall and some how manage to cut his chin and break his jaw! The rest of the day was spent discovering the extent of the injury and making plans for remedying it.  And taking the kids to the pool once we established that Dr Daddy was going to be ok.
  6. A meeting with a surgeon later in the week established that the fracture is in a tough place to reach surgically and that the jaw is not actually displaced so hoping a couple weeks of liquid diet is sufficient to heal the fracture. Prayers welcomed!! Anyone know the patron saint of broken bones??
  7. So a week later we are all fine and getting really good at making smoothies and discovering which foods puree well.  Recipes welcome!!
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Open Book ~ July '18



The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall is the first of four books about the Penderwicks sisters and a three week vacation at a caretakers cottage at the edge of an estate in Western Massachusetts.  The book is aimed for older elementary kids and I imagine they would really enjoy it. I will point my 10 year at the series once she is thru the current 'dragon books and only dragon books' phase.  The antics are exciting and well paced. My one criticism would be that I found it hard to keep track of the ages of the girls as their behavior was first older than I would expect and then swing to the other extreme.





Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa Ross shares an explanation for the increase in ADD and anxiety seen in kids and an antidote by means of simplifying.  Overall I liked the book and felt the authors laid out their argument well, and while I don't agree with all the conclusions I am glad I read the book. The Waldorf approach to education is emphasized and while I do wish others were discussed I appreciate that this book went beyond just 'purge' all the toys and discussed scheduling issues and other aspects of childhood.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Quick Takes #263: As June Ends



  1. Crazily enough tomorrow is the last day of June.  With the last day of school for the bigs being June 15th the month has been a fun blur of finals, end-of-year activities and summer kick-off.
  2. We joined a local community pool and have actually gotten a fair amount of pool time in already.  Lisbeth has past her deep water test and Caitlin is exploring how much she can swim with and without her swim-vest.  All of the kids have started lessons; and are for the most part enjoying them. (Current instructor will not let Lisbeth use nose plug which has had a definite dampening effect for her.)
  3. The other great excitement of the month was a visit from Lisbeth's twin cousin. The girls played a lot of Minecraft and we were blessed with pool friendly weather. One morning we played tourist and visited the Liberty Bell.  Tough to see her go but luckily we have another visit to look forward to in August.
  4. We started working through some of the Summer work assigned by the school and so far very little grumbling and everyone excited to show off their math skills.  Just starting to dig into the reading portion but am very pleased with their work ethic so far.
  5. As we hit the halfway point in the year I've completed 9 categories on the MMD reading challenge and including the book I'm currently reading 4 of the Catholic Reading Challenge.  Of course for every book I manage to get off the TBR list I add 3!
  6. Have already harvested a couple of tomatoes but something (!!!) is getting our strawberries before we can! Local farm stand is also starting to fill their bins.
  7. Prayers for the Maryland Capital Gazette workers and families!!

Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Remembering my Dad through books.

   Happy Monday! Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day. In addition to celebrating Dr Daddy I of course was thinking and remembering my Dad. One of the ways I continue to feel connected to him and his memory is through books. My Dad loved to read and shared that love with my brother, sisters and me (as did my mom).  He would reread his favorites over and over; and some of them have become favorites of mine too.

I wrote about Look to the Mountain earlier this year when I reread it for the 'I don't know which time'.  A wonderful book in and of itself about the settling of the White Mountains region of New Hampshire during the 1770's, made more so by memories it invokes of my dad and the mountain he loved to climb.

God is An Englishmen by R.F. Delderfield is a story of the Industrial Revolution in England told from the perspective of Adam Swann who saw the opportunities the railroad could bring to moving goods around and set about making his fortune while at the same time he and his wife built and raised a family.  This is the first of three books; I don't remember if my dad read the whole series, (I've read and enjoyed the first two) but his copy of the first which I now have shows the signs of many reads.

To Serve Them All My Days also by R.F. Delderfield is the story of David Powlett-Jones a young man in his first teaching job at a private school still recovering from service during the First World War.  The story told over nearly two decades as he and the country heals and redefines itself is very moving in a quiet way.




I also remember my dad reading a lot of James Mitchner of whom I've yet to read any; but when I get there I will likely start with Chesapeake as that is a part of the East Coast that holds memories for us and that I wish to know more about its history.

What books hold a special place in your family history and remembrance of those you've loved?


Sunday, June 17, 2018

First Day ~ Last Day 2017-18

Another school year has come and gone and while I try and gather my thoughts ~ here is some photographic evidence of how things how changed.



June 15,2018


June 15,2018

June 8, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

Quick Lit; June '18



Having missed my chance to link up with Open Book this month due to scheduling craziness I thought I would join the fun over at Modern Mrs Darcy and share some of what I've been reading

Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer; as you friends well know I've been a Heyer fan for many years which made it all the more fun to find an undiscovered gem. Sir Gareth Ludlow joins the ranks of  favorite heroes created by Heyer and the book is a delight of white lies and misdirections until it all comes out right in the end.

Underfoot in Show Business by Helene Hanff is a memoir of her trying to make it in New York as a playwright during the 1950's. Full of amazing and hilarious stories; and as a big fan of 84 Charing Cross Road such fun to read more details of her life while she was keeping that correspondence.

One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler is a fun behind the scenes look at the writing of her first book.  As with Fulwiler's first book; this book shares stories of her marriage and family life as she and her husband seek to live a life which allows them to pursue professional dreams while raising the large family they also feel called to.

Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith is not a sequel to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but does pick up where the first leaves off.  Annie is a young woman from Brooklyn who has come out to Minnesota to marry her fiancĂ© Carl a law student.  The book is a lovely portrayal of young marriage as these newlyweds navigate the first years of marriage.

And just finished Traveling Mercies by Ann Lamott; part autobiography - part reflections on faith.
The beginning of the book is Lamott's conversion story with the rest of the book reflections on aspects of life and faith. Her style is very approachable; sincere and authentic without being pushy or preachy.

What's in your book pile this summer?