Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jane Austen Challenge


jane-austen[5]Last January I took the Jane Austen Challenge to read all of her books in 2011, knowing that I might quite possibly only read half (or even less).  But still I thought this was a more obtainable goal for me (compared to the other challenges to read 52 books in a year!). So here we are six months later and I’m finally getting around to checking in with this challenge.

So far I’ve read Sense and Sensibility. This was very good, as you might expect. I enjoyed it very much. I love the two main characters and the fact that they were such opposites, unlike the sisters in Pride and Prejudice.

Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, that was next on my short list. It was a very good book, and did not disappoint. I’m currently watching the 1980’s version of the movie. Very good adaptation, in my opinion.

And lastly I read Persuasion. Again, this was a good story, however none of Jane Austen’s books are too suspenseful and after reading one or two you tend to see where things are going even if you’re not exactly sure how they’ll get there. And with that thought in mind, I have decided to put this challenge on the shelf for a bit. There are a couple of books on hold for me at the library and I want to be sure I’m ‘available’ to read them when they come in.

The challenge actually included ALL things Austen, meaning any books or movies about her. I have watched EMMA, Loved, Loved, Loved it. And when I finish Pride and Prejudice I have Persuasion waiting to be watched. I also have a shorter version of Pride and Prejudice that I’m planning to watch and once I’ve watched all of these, I’m going to get my hands on the Kiera Knightly version of P&P. I should be all Austened out by then.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Read Aloud Challenge June 23

Reading pic
For our reading aloud this week it still just consisted of reading through the Bible as a family, and reading picture books with my little ones. The older boys are also reading their own books. That will be what we do until August probably. I blogged yesterday about our curriculum choice for next year….Sonlight core E. I’m very excited about this and can’t wait to get started. This will produce a lot of read aloud time…we have missed it so much this year!! Did I mention that I’m very excited about this?
We did finish Exodus this week! YAY! But the sad part is now we’re in Leviticus…I’m sorry but it’s just not my favorite book. I’ll confess, when I’m reading through the Bible to the kids, I skip and skim through these law chapters. I want them to grasp the idea that there was A LOT of law, and that the law was very very detailed. But I can get that point across without reading every.single.law.

So, head over to Footprints in the Butter and see what everyone else is reading on these lazy summer days!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Missing School (a little)


Am I crazy? I think I might be! But life just works better with a schedule. Right now we’re just being lazy and that gets old after awhile (yeah it really does). The rest of the summer we have things planned every week, except the week before the beach, so it won’t be so bad.

I’m also getting excited because I have decided to purchase my first Sonlight core!!! I haven’t took the plunge yet but I have worked it into my budget (I think. HOPE!). This excites me greatly!!!Core E We didn’t finish our part two of American History this year. I couldn’t find half the books we needed so I was very sad about that. I was going to just go ahead to the reformation period (world history) and use Mystery of History but as I started looking at Sonlight I decided it would be a good great idea to go back and finish up that American History. I also missed the family reading time this year. We didn’t do nearly as much of that and we all love that part of schooling, not to mention it’s so beneficial for my kids that are learning to read.

I’m also thinking I’ll start school a 100_2632little earlier this year so we can be free to take some time off when we open our new business (more excitement!) I also would like to add a week here an there to break up the school year and still get out by the end of May.


This is where the building will be for the new business

The past couple years we’ve been at the beach in Sept and I didn’t want to start school until we returned so we had to work hard to finish by May. Talk about burnout! I don’t want that anymore. The first week of summer break was so relaxing and the thought of having a couple of those during the year makes me giddy. I think the kids need it too.

The way I figure it, if I start August 15 we can have a week off in October, 2 off in December, 1 off in February, and 1 off in April (that’s a break every other month) and still have 36 weeks in by the end of May. This is as close to year round school as I’ve ever gotten. We may end up doing that at some point.

I’m actually thinking about starting a week before the beach and just doing a light week to see how it goes. Then we’ll know if our schedule is going to work. I know the boys will probably balk at this but Mark and I had already decided we needed to start earlier this year so we’d be free to take some time off during the opening of our business.  Hopefully with him behind me they won’t balk too much.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: TJ and the Time Stumblers


978-1-4143-3453-0We recently received Bill Myers’ book entitled New Kid Catastrophes: TJ and the Time Stumblers. This is a 182 page paperback book that my 11 year old son read. It’s the first in the Time Stumblers series and is classified as Juvenile/Christian/Fiction.  The cost of this book is $6.99 and can be purchased from Tyndale.

The main character is TJ Finkelstein and she just moved to a new town and school. She has trouble fitting in and encounters some other “misfits” who help her as she navigates though 7th grade at a new school. The odd thing about these new friends is, they are from the future and they’re studying her. The funny part about it is only TJ can see them. This causes lots of funny catastrophes for the new kid (hence the name).

My son’s overall opinion was it’s a good book and would like to read more in this series.

**Disclaimer: This book was provided in exchange for my honest opinion. No further compensation was given.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Read Aloud Challenge June 9

Reading pictures

It’s been awhile since I took the challenge but fearing nothing I will post this week. We have been so off schedule since Mark’s eye surgery nearly 2 months ago! We will probably stay off schedule until school starts in Aug, but even when we’re not reading our normal load, we’re still reading…always!

So here’s what we’re reading these days:

We’re reading through the Bible in a year, as a family. This has been Josiah’s request for quite some time and when Mark found, out he wanted us to do it as a family. So we are. We started May 19!

Jordan hasn’t read anything, other than his God’s World News magazine, since getting out of school two weeks ago. This is a sad disappointment but I’m trying not to push it too much. He checked out a couple books from the bookmobile so I’m sure desperately hoping he’ll read them before we have to return them.

I checked out a couple of eBooks for the nook and Josiah has read one of them twice. It’s a short book but I’m happy about ANYthing he reads for fun. He just doesn’t attempt it very often. He’s also reading his Dan and Sam adventure books.

With the little ones, I’ve decided to stop trying to read big books to them for awhile. I want to enjoy the picture books while I can. They’ll be moving out of that stage soon and I really dread the day that we go to the library and leave with NO picture books. So for now, it’s 2 picture books each per day and their Bible storybook.

As for me, I’m still doing my Jane Austen books. I’m reading Persuasion at the moment.

And that’s it! Our light reading load for the summer!

So what’s your family reading? Take the challenge at Footprints in the Butter.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer is Here…School is OUT!!


We decided to let May 27 be our last ‘official’ day of school for the year. We haven’t finished our math so we’ll continue to work on that until we finish (it’ll take a few weeks). We also have to take our CAT test. This is the first year I’ve used this test with the boys and I’m a little nervous about how they’ll do. I looked at Jordan’s test and he should do fine with it, IF he takes it seriously. He doesn’t take pride in much when it comes to school so I’m afraid he’s just going to do it with the attitude of “let’s get it done and over with.” If the does that, we may have a problem Sad smile

So we kicked of our summer weekend with a sleepover for the boys. We had a cookout and the boys did some bike racing (they love that sort of thing).



Later that night, we watched the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 and ALL the boys (even the Gordan and Bush fans) were pulling for Dale Jr to win. We told them that we had fireworks to shoot off if he won (we’ve been saving them for 2 YEARS! Come on Dale you’ve gotta win one so I can get those things out of my laundry room!). It was such a good race. Dale was in the lead at the end and coming to the finish line. All the boys were on their feet cheering…


…and all of a sudden…he runs out of gas!!  I’m just thankful Jordan had all his buddies over so the disappointment was short lived.

The next night we had a bon fire to burn up some of our brush piles from the tress we had cut down. We invited friends over and roasted marshmallows…so much fun!



We had 7 cut down to make room for the building we’ll be putting up in a few weeks. The building is for our new business. We are opening a deer processing business to help supplement Marks salary. He’s been working as a butcher part time for quiet a while, but we’re hoping we can help him work a few months in the fall/winter and keep him from having to work every Thursday and Saturday at the meat market. He seems to be gone all the time and none of us like that. We like working together as a family so we’ll see how it works out. School may be difficult during those months…we might have to do some in the evening but at least Mark will be here to help us Smile

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our New Family Friend--Tig


Our family has been pet-less for about 2 weeks or so. But not any more…


Meet TIG (short for Tigger). He comes from a friend at church and he is one spunky cat. We had originally planned to pick out his lovely blonde sibling but my boys didn’t like her because she was a little skittish. So we ended up with this wild thing Smile


We have enjoyed him over the past week and am surprised at how easy it’s been to adjust to having a cat, never had a cat before, we’ll at least not since I’ve been married. He does come in the house every time the door opens but he always lets us catch him and take him back outside.

I can’t wait for him to start catching mice. I always have a couple in the winter months and I.hate.them, in my house.

Shiloh treats Tig like a baby. She carries him everywhere, puts him on her shoulder and cradles him like a baby. Poor kitty is such a good sport though.



Although Shiloh is the kitty’s biggest playmate our entire family loves him.



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