Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reading Log for June, 2012

A pretty good month, bookwise, here.  I definitely started more than I finished, though.  I think I need to make a shelf on Goodreads for all my "did not finishes".  Usually, I try to forget them as quickly as possible.

But, for those that I did finish this month....

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 4 - J.K. Rowling - read aloud with my older boys.  At the rate we are going, my oldest anticipates we will get to watch the 8th movie sometime around NEXT Christmas.  We read the books, then watch the movie.  Since we read at bedtime, we only do about twenty minutes a night.  The boys are thoroughly enjoying them.  I read them all when they first came out, and am enjoying a "ten years later" read again/

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (#1 Ladies Detective Agency) - 4 - Alexander McCall Smith - much, much better than the last few installations.  They are light, pleasant reading.

The Mouse and The Motorcycle - 3 - Beverly Cleary - I had never read this book, but my oldest son did years ago, so I recommended it for a bedtime read aloud for my younger boys.  It was okay.  They enjoyed it, but no where near as much as Stuart Little, or even the Winnie the Pooh classics.

Hard Times In Paradise - 5 - David and Micki Colfax - I heard about them as soon as we started homeschooling.  In the 70s they ditched "civilization" and carved out a homestead in the California Redwoods, with their three (later four) young sons.  No election, no hot water, no phone...three of their sons attended Harvard, and later Harvard Medical and Harvard Law and Yale Law.  Makes me wonder what I spend all this money on curriculum for!  I started it before, and didn't want to read it because they are very liberal - but the more I read of them, the more I began to see the things we had in common (besides homeschooling four boys) than those we differed on.  I found it to be a great encouragement.

Homeschooling for Excellence - 4- David and Micki Colfax - when their first son got into Harvard they suddenly became "experts" on home education, so they wrote this book in response to all the questions they were getting.  It is very dated in some aspects (written in late 80s I think, maybe early 90s) but their basic philosophy shines through.  I recommend it as a companion to Hard Times, though I would read Hard Times first.

Six Horse Hitch - 1 - Janice Holt Giles - I can't believe I am giving Janice a 1.  I love most of the other books, but this have to really, really, really care about the operations of the Great Overland Stagecoach Line in the early 1860s to enjoy this book.  I completely skimmed the last 1/4, just to see how it ended, even though I already KNEW all the plot twists.  It borrowed VERY heavily from Land Beyond the Mountains for the romance portion.  Actually, the situations were almost identical.  It was also cruder than the other books.  I noticed than some of the later books lean a little more in the direction of a Western/historical fiction/romance, where the earlier books reminded me more of pioneer stories.  Anyway, a disappointing read, on several levels.

And that is it for this month!  Check the Goodreads gadget on the right there, to see what I currently have a bookmark moving through!

Friday, June 22, 2012

This Means War

This morning I went outside.  I fed all the cats.  I set the sprinkler on some flowers.  And then I walked over to the henhouse.  I let the chickens out, and then approached the huge Rubbermaid trashcans that we (used to) keep their food in.

This is the lid.  Note the big rock I put on the lid, to keep the raccoons from getting it off and eating the chicken food (did I mention that chicken food is really expensive?).  Not only did they tear open the lid, completely destroying it, but that stuff all over it is, yes, it is


Which was not my first choice of words, but this is a family site.

Be prepared.  The onslaught is about to begin.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Rescue

Today Nevin had a hummingbird in the shop.  He opened the doors, chased it with long poles, shoo'ed it, trying to get it out, but it never looked down.  It just flew around near the ceiling for hours.

Finally, it was so exhausted it fell to the ground.  He brought it down to the house and we made up some sugar water for it.

Poor little thing was just laying there, eyes closed, not moving.

He had to dip its' beak into the water.  After a few tries, its' little forked tongue started flicking out to drink the water.

Once it started drinking, its' eyes opened and it began to move on its' own.

Look at the little guy - all perked up!  It really only took about 5 minutes.  After that it took off and flew up into a tree.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Afternoon on the Homestead

Okay, so I am a little late this weekend!  I was gone all day, what can I say.  It was a really nice day, too.

I made three dozen baked ham and cheese sandwiches for a baby shower.  The shower was wonderful, lovely decorations, wonderful food (besides the ham sandwiches, I mean, not tooting my own horn).  Our church does a big shower for first time mamas, and then we do a smaller shower for each subsequent baby.  We have a fellowship meal the first Sunday of the month, so we combine the shower with that.  Generally, it is just adding a cake and gifts to the fellowship meal.  There are around 225 people in our church, and we seem to have six pregnant at a time.  No sooner does one deliver than another announces!  Yes, it gets a little noisy during the service, but it is a joyful noise!  Our church is very pro-family and pro-baby.

Then, I got my very first pedicure.  I now have sparkly red toes, with a black/white/silver flower design.  I can't believe how much nicer my feet look and feel.  I don't know that I would spend the time/money too often, but maybe once a month or so would be okay.....

Nevin has been working very hard landscaping -  we have lots more flowers blooming, and the tomatoes are going crazy.

Purple Coneflowers, a native Missouri wildflower
 And......he put up a clothesline for me!!!

I probably should have taken the picture BEFORE I hung beach towels on it.
I have wanted a clothesline for...well, since we got married!  Almost 18 years now.  So now I have a heavy-duty industrial one, mounted in concrete.  My backyard gets full sun most of the day, so this will be perfect!

Had a lovely morning worshipping at Rockport Baptist Church, then home to barbecue some pork steaks for Father's Day.  I suggested Chinese carry-out, but Nevin wanted pork steaks and baked beans.  I added sliced Arkansas tomatoes and corn on the cob.  He and most of the guys went to visit his dad this afternoon.  I am just hanging and chilling at home.  Tonight is the season premiere of Falling Skies.  We have been on pins and needles since last August, waiting.  It is so good to find a show we all enjoy and can watch together.

Other than that, not much going on.  I am reading homeschool books, re-evaluating my philosophies, etc.  Like I do every summer!  Pretty soon I hope to have my plans formulated well enough to post.

In the meantime - lots of household projects this week, plus a park day and getting a group together to go bowling.

And laundry, planning to do lots and lots of laundry!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday on the Homestead - Take A Look Around

I know it is now afternoon, but I was busy this morning.  Good busy, had some ladies over for a book discussion.  I love to talk about books almost as much as I love to read them.  We had fruit and yogurt parfaits with homemade granola, and I made spinach quiche biscuits.  And we discussed.....The Hunger Games trilogy.  Good mix of ladies, ranging from early 20s to late 50s. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I really need to do this more often.

I took a whole lot of pictures over the last few days.  The homestead is looking particularly nice this spring.  In a month or so, when all the flowers are blooming and the garden is going full-blast it is really going to be something.  But for now, how about a little tour:

Looking to the left from the front porch, you can see the shop, and all the way on the left, up against the house is my butterfly bush.

If you look at the top of the purple flowers, you can see bright orange butterflies.  Sometimes this bush will have 10-20 at a time.  The kitten found them very fascinating.

Isn't she darling?  I'd love to find a home for her and her sister, since I already have four cats, but so far I cannot find any takers.

The mums are coming up nicely.

Next. the garden and the shop.  There are a bunch of wildflowers coming up, but nothing near ready to bloom yet.

That's the henhouse, behind the big hostas.

And the kids' playset.  Nevin designed and built this himself 9 years ago.

I love day lilies.  Nevin dug up a bunch for me this year and planted them. Next year I expect a veritable forest of them in my yard.

In the cabinet shop, the cabinet maker.  I am soooo glad we were able to sell the shop in town and build this one.  It is so good to have the whole family together.

From the road, looking back across the yard.  Behind the house is another 22 acres or so of woods.

And that is it!  Thanks for stopping by!