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Life, Learning, and Books (Weeks 18, 19, and 20)

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Our beautiful amaryllis has been blooming and blooming.  And now Miss 18’s is ready to start!  To misquote Edith Schaeffer, there is something very wholesome about having one’s mind full of the question of whether or not the amaryllis bud has opened. Actually, Mrs. Schaeffer was writing about lettuces coming up, which makes me think of gardening seed catalogues and the daffodils, planted last fall, that will soon come up.

Miss 13 often takes her bunny to the basement to run around freely.  When anyone walks down the stairs, Bunbun hops over in a hurry, eager to have her little forehead stroked.  She has given our family so much joy!

We’ve had cold, cold weather, and rain, and warm, warm weather, but not much snow.  Our snowmobiling friends are not happy with this winter, but we are.

Even so, we are thankful that winter won’t last too much longer, especially since the past weeks have been full of illnesses, some mild and some very nasty.

In the meantime, while we wait for spring, we enjoy enormous cups of tea and hot chocolate, and do our schoolwork in front of the fire in our sunny living room.


We’ve been focusing on the basics—math, English, history, science, Bible, Dutch—but it has been fun to add in some extras.  We are learning about basic economics using Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury, thinking about the future using Career Exploration from 7Sisters, studying medieval history by watching Secrets of the Castle from the BBC, and learning about nature by laughing through Dune Boy by Edwin Way Teale.  And Miss 13 started a math notebook where she writes down all the rules and facts she has learned.  Miss 18 did that before starting her math degree, and it is really helping her.

In somewhat related news, I reached a new level in Duolingo Dutch and am inordinately pleased with that.  The kids like it that I’m doing the same program they are, and it’s a bit of pure, almost guilty me-time that, it turns out, inspires them, too. So it’s all good after all.

Reading  (to see what I’ve read this year, check out GoodReads)

During their daily reading time the girls have gone through Richard Hammond’s story of his severe brain injury, Joel Salatin’s discussion of modern farming, Enid Blyton’s adventures, books about the English Lake District where Beatrice Potter raised sheep, and more.

The girls and I finished several school books:  Trial and Triumph (church history), Victory on the Walls (history, Bible, English), Around the World in 80 Days (English, geography), and Owls in the Family (Canadian literature, humor).

We’re reading two books aloud:  Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and Dune Boy.

I also finished Gifted Mind, a story about the MRI; Brain Maker, about the influence of gut microbes on brain health; and Stepping Up, about the Psalms of Ascent.  I’ve started Prayers that Changed History, The Peaceful Wife, and The State of the American Mind, and I’m hoping to read another book about the discovery of the MRI, The Long Road to Stockholm, since there is a lot of controversy about it.

As for Bible reading, I’m still working on Jeremiah with the girls after meals, although we took a break to whiz through Nehemiah since we were reading Victory on the Walls for school. I’m still reading Psalms for myself, and when my husband is home, we read 2 Corinthians at meals.  In fact, we just finished it yesterday.

Links and Quotations

“If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy,” from a review of Breaking Busy. Like all pithy sayings, this has an element of truth but can also be very misleading.  In any case, it’s something to think about.  I was offered the book to review, but have decided not to accept it…because it may make me too busy.  But I will request it for our public library because I’ve heard more good things about it.

And here’s something I’ve always wanted to do, although I would probably be too scared to actually do it.

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


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