She's Baaaack! Well, sort of, anyway. Since May -- and probably even since November -- I just haven't been completely back to my ol' blogging self. Part of it is I'm not really sure what I want this space to be about. Mostly it's been a place to document some of the cuter goings-on around here, kind of a light, fun photo journal of "the good stuff" in my family's life. Problem with that is, if you don't get to something that happens in not-too-far-off real time, the opportunity is gone, and it seems out of place to try to squeeze it in there late. For example, I have an Advent Series that was missing a few photos & links that I never got around to finishing. (Gee, if I just hold out a little longer, no one will even know it's late!!)
That Summer on Catalpa Street. That's the title of a sweet book I'm currently reading aloud to my kids. It was written by Louise Pliss in 1961, and achieved some level of notice by the New York Times at the time of its publication. The author, a teacher, wrote the book for her 3rd grade students, because it seemed that the literature world lacked good stories that were challenging yet interesting enough to children of that age. I have a special love for the book (and its sequel, The Trip Down Catfish Creek), because it was written about the town where I grew up! Miss Pliss changed the names of the streets and other geographic features, but her descriptions of the village were spot-on. "Catlapa Street" is her name for the very street on which I grew up! It's really exciting to have a real-life connection to a book, even if it was written before my family moved to "Chestnut Valley" (or for that matter, before I was born) -- I keep stopping in the middle of a chapter to share my own memories of the Librarian (she had to be the same one!), the creek that cut the village into two different counties, the wooded hill up at the end of our street that we used to love to explore. It's all in there!
Speaking of Books With a Personal Connection, another story I've long loved is Constance by Patricia Clapp. My sister Nonie introduced me to that book when we were both kids -- I distinctly recall her mentioning that she was on her 17th reading! -- and I fell in love with it too. It's a fictionalized account of the actual settlers who arrived at Plymouth on the Mayflower, as told through the eyes of a 15 year old girl in her journal. The real Constance Hopkins married a later-arriving Nicholas Snow, and the story of their eventual courtship is told with great humor and pathos befitting a girl coming of age at that time. Anyway, I said there was a personal connection. Actually, the connection belongs to my sister. Amazingly enough, turns out the man Nonie married, whom she met after college, is a direct descendant of Constance Hopkins, through his mother! No wonder we all like him so much! :)
School starts two weeks from Saturday! Oh, yes; you read that right. Our traditional starting date is August 15, the Feast of the Assumption. We've decided we shall not be deterred by the conventions of the public school calendar (and, well, pretty much everybody else), and will carry on this tradition without instituting a "Monday Holiday Bill." The plan is to take a boat tour of the Erie Canal Locks (we had planned to do that in May, but were unable to work it out), followed by a picnic lunch, "school photos" and our traditional Mass & tour of the nearby Fatima Shrine. Next year, the "first day of school" will be on a Sunday. Hah! I love homeschooling! :)
And We're Sticking With Sonlight. For the core, anyway. Mostly. We'll be using their Kindergarten core as a First Grade base, but substituting Little Angel Readers for Taz. For Junie B., we're going with Sonlight's 4th grade Core, which is really a continuation of the 3rd Grade program. I'm sure I'll be sharing more about this soon!
Tonight We're Going Camping! In our own backyard, that is ... but then, the part of "our own backyard" in which we'll be setting up camp is a quarter of a mile from the house. We're all very excited -- it'll be the first time this year, after being repeatedly rained out. Last week we ended up having a campout indoors to make up for the thunder storms that sidelined our plans -- we even had a Sterno Campfire on the kitchen table so we could make real live honest-to-gosh S'mores! I'd love to post about that, the pix are really cute. (Right after I publish that Advent series, I promise!) ...
Step 2's Graduation Was a Month Ago ... and in only one short month she'll be off to college. I'm in denial. But here's one of my favorite pix from her graduation -- even if it's blurry! :)
(Oh, and her Valedictory Address was awesome. The theme? I'm paraphrasing a little bit here, but this is the line that stands out to me: "We hear people tell us, 'Don't be afraid to move on, to try new things, to become all that you can be.' But my challenge to you is, Don't be afraid to look back -- and be grateful. What we have had here is unique.")
(Note: This post needs a few links. Or, at least, I'd like to include them. But if I wait to do that, this'll never be published!! So here's the post; I'll add the links when I get a chance. Maybe that'll even be my policy from now on, who knows?) :)
For more 7 Quick Takes posts, head over to Conversion Diary!