Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Bookstore

There is a new bookstore open in Hastings.

It's a real hodge podge. The guy is just getting settled in and disorder reigns. But it is loaded with books.

This book, Toads and Frogs, reads amazingly wells. We just found a large toad in our yard two days ago so the interest is high in our house.

I was impressed with how well written this 1942 pamphlet is.

I'm a big fan of Charlotte Mason's book Home Education. Two books that many Charlotte Mason fans recommend are Tanglewood Tales and Wonder Book, both by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I have no idea if the kids will like these books or if they are even old enough for them yet, but I was glad to find this copy on the shelves. I can look through it without having to spend a lot of money ordering it online. I'm sure a free copy could be found on the internet, but I find reading on my computer to be a little tedious. Now, if I had one of those new iPads, it would be easier.

My great-aunt Grace was a school teacher way back in The Day. When she retired, she brought home a couple of the readers she had used in her classroom. She gave them to me when I was a child and I enjoyed reading them. I found one of these Alice and Jerry readers when I was poking around on the shelves. This one was originally published in 1936, but this printing is from 1957. I'll have to check and see how old Aunt Grace's copy is, but it looks identical.

I also found this copy of Editha's Burglar by Frances Hodgson Burnett who also wrote The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. This copy is marked as being printed in 1899.

I also found a couple of children's songbooks. One is called Songs from Childhood from 1927, I think, and the other called The American Singer and the only date I can find in it is from 1948.

There were a couple of other books, but this is the majority of the haul. I was so glad to find these old, obscure books. So many wonderful books have gone out of print and are hard to find and yet I love to use them in our learning.

In other news, my father-in-law continues to do poorly. Please remember him in your prayers. This week will bring an appointment at Mayo in Rochester. We are hoping they have some ideas for treating his cancer. I haven't said much on this blog regarding that situation, but it dominates our thoughts these days. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Monday, May 17, 2010


These are a few of the pictures we took on our outing today, in no particular order.

Here they are, climbing the stone stairs.

Some pretty orchids:

Mr Handsome, with toddler in hand, at least for the moment!

Into the woods:

Peeking out from a mini-cabin:

Taking a rest in the shade, after their walk up the stone stairs.

Here the kids are, smiling in front of some tulips:

Long Past Due

I've been long absent from my blog and I know it.

It started out as a somewhat planned break as my attentions turned to other things, namely my dear father-in-law's struggle with cancer and posting health updates to a website for friends and relatives. My father in law is finally home for a short respite in his treatment. We are praying that he will be well again soon. But, then the planned month slid into two and now I find myself sliding into a third. I'm ready to come back now. I'm putting on my big girl pants and getting back to it.

I spent a month wading through homeschooling curriculum. I spent hours reading through blogs, articles, books, and websites on different products and methods each promising in turn to make my life easy and my child a genius. Awesome. I love it when money can buy easy solutions. At least when there's money to be had.

In any case, I bought books (lots and lots and LOTS of books) and now I'm settling in to go over my list and I'm making plans to get an outline ready for next year. I'll need to browse through our history/geography books and get an idea of the areas we'll be covering.

I have also been planning how we'll be spending our summer. We frequently go for walks through a local park. There are paved paths which wind around a shallow pond and there are many things to see. Last week Anna spotted a baby turtle swimming through the water. Its shell was slightly larger than a quarter so it must have been newly hatched. I have guide books on trees and animal tracks and wildflowers. Thomas and Anna will enjoy looking through them, even if they don't become expert naturalists. I think that this book will be fun for the kids, too.

It might seem like a lot of books, but honestly, Thomas really loves books. He gets most of his ideas and plans and information from books. Most of the time, if I just have the books available he will find them and read them in an afternoon. It makes my job very easy. Except when he gets this Really Great Idea about how he can build a real train and give Henry, Anna, and me rides and how he will be able to use his train to move packages! And he doesn't understand that this is just not something we can help him to do. The time he got into Calvin and Hobbes wasn't so great, either. Hm, or those Peanuts/Charlie Brown comics. Hearing him call Anna a 'Blockhead' was funny the first time, but it got old quickly.

Peter is taking a vacation from the Madhouse this week. We are staying close to home and putting a heavy emphasis on relaxation. Wish us luck. Today we went on a trip to the Arboretum. We had a wonderful time. I packed a lunch and the kids spent most of the day running down the paths shouting, "Really, I'm quite overwhelmed!" and "Mommy, isn't it a GLORIOUS day outside?" and "We could explore and explore every day for a YEAR and never see it all!" I need to stop letting them watch British BBC movies. And I'm definitely nixing the Masterpiece Theatre productions as well. And lest you think that I'm raising Little Lord Fauntleroy and PollyAnna Whittier, you might enjoy knowing they fought with vigor and passion over an empty Almond Extract bottle this afternoon. Ah well. It wasn't as bad as Henry's persistent screams in the van on the drive home.

I'll see if I can find some nice pictures to post of our outing today.