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Crazy Things, Blissful Moments, and Books

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The last three weeks of our summer:

Crazy Things

Whenever my husband mows the grass near the beehives, he gets chased by hordes of angry bees and is forced to leave the lawnmower behind while he flees at top speed. Obviously he no longer mows there.

One week Mr. 20 worked 80 hours in 5 days. I am so grateful he survived the driving involved!

Miss 17 and her friends spent half an hour in a torrential downpour waiting for a friend.

The vet told us one of the dogs had discolored teeth, so the next time one of us tossed away an old toothbrush, Miss 12 scooped it out of the garbage can and used it to brush his teeth.

We picked some beautiful raspberries for a friend, put them in a yoghurt container for her to take home…and then gave her a half-eaten container of yoghurt instead of the raspberries.

Blissful Moments

The above bouquet was given by one sister to another. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, the giver, the receiver, or me, watching it happen.

Miss 15 and I saw a flash of red flying above the car. It was not cardinal red and the bird was not the shape of a cardinal, so most likely it was a scarlet tanager. So beautiful!

When I walked out to the garden one morning, a hummingbird dove at me; probably I was too close to its nest. A little later, Miss 12 exclaimed that one of the hummingbirds had actually brushed her cheek! What an incredible experience!

Whenever possible we read aloud outside, under our butternut trees. During the story Miss 15 noticed a digger wasp beginning her nest, and a few hours later I watched the busy insect drag a paralysed spider into the nest and seal it up with sand.

Life is very busy and stressful these days, but for 45 blissful minutes after I finished reading an exciting chapter from Journey Through the Night to the girls, I stayed behind under the butternuts and skimmed the rest of the chapters. (Everyone should read that book once a decade.)

And there were games: cross crib, cribbage, Settlers of Catan, chess, as well as the online game, Tanki, that has finally given Miss 12 a reason to want to learn languages.

Some mornings I wander out through the dewy grass to pick an apple.


This summer we did not travel so we were, finally, able to get to some home projects. We gave away boxes of books, the gentlemen of the family went through their clothes closets, and I got rid of a few piles of homeschooling resources.

My husband rewired the stove, put in a new range hood, and moved books and bookcases around.

We bought a ‘real’ bed (the first one in 26 years of marriage) and I sewed a bedspread with fabric I bought at least seven years ago, before I became ill.

We started fermenting vegetables, part of my doctor’s urgent prescription to keep me from getting ill again.  So I’m sleeping and relaxing as much as possible, saying ‘no’ to most requests, eating as well as possible, and cutting down on anything I possibly can.

Schoolwork: Our casual holiday schoolwork these past three weeks involved Drawing Textbook, 21 Lessons for 20th Century Music Appreciation, Duolingo, and Dutch in Three Months.

Personal reading (with links to my reviews): I finished Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Minds More Awake, Drawing Textbook, Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue,  The End of Illness, Death in Florence, Flight School, and 1 Kings. Currently I’m reading King Alfred’s English, How to Really Love Your Child, and 2 Kings.

Reading with the family: Journey through the Night, Ecclesiastes (with Joy at the End of the Tether to help make sense of it), and Acts.

Recommended Link:  Although this was a speech to a graduating class of teachers, all Christian homeschoolers should read The Passion of a Reformed Teacher each year.  Even if you are not reformed, you will still benefit from this discussion of teaching.  In fact, you will probably find that point 3, which emphasizes being reformed, largely mirrors what you believe.

If you want to see all the great links I share throughout each week, follow me on Google Plus.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up and Finishing Strong.


  1. Jenn says:

    Oh, those were crazy moments! I especially liked the swap of the yoghurt for the raspberries. Sounds like the time I sent a blank birthday card to a family member. Grace had hand made the card, and left it to be signed. I saw it sitting on the counter and mailed it, thinking it was ready to go. Crazy.

  2. I remember Journey Through the Night from when I was younger!
    I liked the Reformed Teacher link. So simple, but exactly what we need to be reminded of regularly! Thank you for that.

  3. Aritha says:

    Dank je wel voor je link op Google+. Ja, dat zijn mooie bloemen en idd: wie is er meer blij: de gever of de ontvanger? Ik moest erg lachen om de yoghurt. Dat is echt grappig en het zou mij ook kunnen gebeuren 🙂

    Wat lijkt het me leuk om kolibri’s te zien met eigen ogen. Het moeten wonderlijke beestjes zijn? Reis door de nacht, is dat de Engelse vertaling van het boek uit het Nederlands?

    Eh … dutch in three months? That is super!

    Liefs: Aritha

  4. Annie Kate says:

    Oh Jenn, that is so funny about that card! Hopefully the person reacted as well as my raspberry-yoghurt friend!

    Yes, Nelleke, and I guarantee you would love Journey Through the Night now as well. Good personal reading and, eventually when your children are older, you will love reading it aloud to them.

    You’re welcome for the Reformed Teacher link! I’ve reread it several times, too, and am considering printing it out.

    Ja, Aritha, kolibris zijn echt wonderlijk. Ze houden van onze bloemen, de stokrozen in’t bijzonder. En, ja, het is Reis Door de Nacht. Mooi boek om zo af en toe te herlezen. Ik denk dat jij ervan zou genieten. Maar mijn meisjes kunnen het nog niet in’t nederlands verstaan.

    1. Aritha says:

      O ja, ik heb hem aan Ralph (11) voorgelezen. Elke avond een stuk. 🙂

  5. Kenda says:

    I’m not so sure you should be speaking so highly of a book that is out of print and hard to locate! 🙁 Just kidding (slightly). 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Hi Kenda,

      You can get it here:

      It’s expensive, but worth it. Your oldest will probably like it too.

  6. Kenda says:

    Thank you, thank you, Annie Kate, for the link! Now I’m happy. 🙂 Search over. Not expensive for what I’m getting! Thanks again.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      You’re welcome, Kenda! You’ll enjoy it for the exciting story, the history, and the godly wisdom.

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