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!!

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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?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Quick Takes #262: As June Begins

  1. One week in and June has been crazy but good. Keeping track of three end-of-school year schedules is no joke but it is so much fun to celebrate with the kids and their classmates a school year well done.
  2. While wrapping down the school year we are also getting summer plans in order.  The kids will again be going to the local playground camp; in addition Liam is doing a week of soccer camp and Elisabeth a local art camp. 
  3. The other great addition to our summer plans is joining the community pool. We have already been a couple of times and Lisbeth has already passed her deep water test. Unfortunately as soon as she did thunder boomed ~ but we came back the next day for inaugural swim in the deep end.
  4. Today is Caitlin's last day of Pre-K and while I'm in disbelief on how fast the school year went; the adage held true about time, it flew. She loved Pre-K; learned a lot and had a lot of fun. I believe that she is ready for Kindergarten, and it is nice to have that verified by her teachers.
  5. Final exams for the older two finish today,  leaving just cleaning up and wrapping up for next week.   The grades are not yet all in but overall the kids report feeling good about how they did; and I feel like we are making a good start in teaching good study habits.
  6. Am planning a separate post on summer reading and challenge updates but watching Elisabeth and Liam exited to read after earlier struggles does this Mama's heart good.
  7. Happy Weekend!!

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