Monday, May 29, 2017

A little update

Hey everybody!

I wanted to let you know that I will be getting on sometime in the next couple of weeks to update on all of our goings on.

We went on a road trip at the beginning of April that I need to post about.. but we were robbed on that trip and my camera cord was among the things in my backpack that were stolen so I had to wait for  a new one to download the pictures. 
It has arrived now so I will hopefully get those on here soon. 

It has been crazy busy around our house over the past month as we have been finishing up school and beginning plans for a new school adventure. 

I will be homeschooling this next year. 

Nothing huge happened at school. The girls weren't bullied. In fact they had nice classes. 
Abi, especially, had a really nice class. 
But for many reasons they have both been really unhappy. 
Last year at this time they both were saying they didn't want summer to come because they loved school so much. 
This year they didn't like it but we kept waiting for that phase to pass... and it didn't.

Throughout the year Maddy would call home so frequently from school with a tummy ache that I am on a first name basis with the nurse... which came in handy when Maddy got hurt last week and they already knew her so well. 
She would beg to not go to school. When this happens it is very concerning.. wondering if something bad is going on.. etc. But as far as we have been able to find out there wasn't, she just didn't want to go. 
Abi, hated school. The only good thing she could say about it was that she had a really good friend and the librarian was awesome. 
Like I said, I kept waiting for this to pass, for things to get better. 
They never did. 
I have been concerned the whole year as I watched my kids lose their passion for education. 
It broke my heart. 
I prayed and prayed about it and talked to Doug (he was decidedly anti home schooling). 
I felt like it was the right decision but was questioning myself. 
Then one day Doug came home and said he thought it was too. WHAT?
That made the decision pretty clear. 
After that things just kept happening. 
I was worried about what I would teach. I found a book about Charlotte Mason and realized her methods were what I liked most. 
Then I wondered how I would put together a curriculum that would be good enough and then I found a woman that has created the most amazing curriculum that is exactly what I was looking for- not only Charlotte Mason but pulls a lot from it. 
It is open and go. Easy. 
Then I found out she had a convention for her curriculum where I could see it in person before buying it and get 10% off and it just happens to be 10 minutes away from my house...
and I went back and forth on whether I wanted to spend the money for it but then decided to just do it. 
Then about half an hour later I got a call from my sister's good friend that just so happens to work for this company and she cancelled my order and then gave me a code to get the friends discount for the convention at less than half the price. 

I am so excited for this new chapter in our lives and I know now that it without a doubt the right decision for us. I know it won't always be easy and I don't know if we will do it permanently or not... but for now it is right. 
I have been converting part of our playroom into our schoolroom and I will share pictures of it when it is completed as well as more info on our schedule and curriculum as we get closer to school time. 
We will be doing a year round school with more time off in winter than in summer because that is when we always wished we had more time off since we are "cold weather people". 
So we will be starting in July and having 6 terms that will be 6 weeks and then have a week long break after each with a longer break in Novemer- January. 
Then it will go until June next year where we will have another short summer break. 

Anyway, I hope to be on again later this week to try to update April and May

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Year with Maud: Anne of Windy Poplars

There were a lot of things I loved about Anne of Windy Poplars but it fell a little flatter than the rest for me. I think it felt a lot like filler until Anne and Gilbert could be together. But there were still things to love!
Some of my favorite moments: 

"Have you ever noticed how many different silences there are, Gilbert? The silence of the woods... of the shore.. of the meadows... of the night... of the summer afternoon.. all different because all the undertones that thread them are different."

" I was alone but not lonely. I held a series of imaginary conversations with imaginary comrades and thought out so many epigrams that I was agreeably surprised of myself."

" I hate to lend a book I love... it never seems quite the same when it comes back to me."

The character of Nora cracked me up... like when Anne said, 
"I've always liked washing dishes. It's fun to make dirty things clean and shining again."
"Oh, you ought to be in a museum," snapped Nora. 

There was one passage with a description of an oncoming storm that I thought was beautiful..

"A veiled hush had fallen over the world. All the young breezes that had been whispering and rustling so importantly along the Dawlish road had folded their wings and become motionless and soundless. Not a leaf stirred, not a shadow flickered. The maple leaves at the bend of the road turned wrong side out until the trees looked as if they were turning pale from fear. 
A huge cool shadow seemed to engulf them like a green wave.. the cloud had reached them. 
Then the rain, with a rush and sweep of wind. The shower pattered sharply down on the leaves, danced along the smoking red road and pelted the roof of the old forge right merrily."

We meet Katherine Brook in this book. She is all prickles and then we really get to know her. 
" I want to travel... I've always wanted to go and find it... I want to see the Southern Cross and the Taj Mahal and the pillars of Karnak. I want to KNOW, not just believe, that the world is round."

I relate so much to Katherine in that moment. 

So, overall I enjoyed this book. It is written in mostly letters to Gilbert so it is very different from the others. 

A Year with Maud: Thoughts on Anne of the Island

I enjoyed Anne of the Island. 
Again, it was like visiting an old friend. While it doesn't land in the top Anne books for me, it still was fun and entertaining for the most part. 
One of my favorite parts is when Anne is able to visit the home of her birth parents. 
I had completely forgot about that happening. 
She is given letters that were written between her parents and it is the only thing she has ever owned that belonged to her mother. 

Other notable moments and quotes from this book: 

"It is never pleasant to have our old shrines desecrated, even when we have outgrown them."

"We mustn't let next week rob us of this week's joy."

When Ruby is dying I really appreciated the exchange she and Anne had. 
"I think, perhaps, we have very mistaken ideas about heaven- what it is and what it holds for us. I don't think it can be so very different from life here as most people seem to think. I believe we will just go on living, a good deal as we live here- and be ourselves just the same- only it will be easier to be good and to follow the highest. 
All the hindrances and perplexities will be taken away, and we shall see clearly. 
Don't be afraid Ruby."

There is the character of Aunt Jamesina in this book and she can be very funny. 
When Anne is speaking to her of Phil...
"I can't understand her- she beats me. She isn't like any of the girls I ever knew, or any of the girls I was myself."
"How many girls were you, Aunt Jimsie?"
"About half a dozen, my dear."

And of course my favorite part of the entire book is when Anne and Gilbert finally confess their love for each other and we get those wonderful words that the movie used for the end of Anne of Avonlea, 

"I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Year With Maud: Thoughts on Anne of Avonlea

I have gotten ridiculously behind on my Anne posts. I have been keeping up with my Year With Maud, I just haven't got around to writing about it. I have enjoyed every minute of it though!

My thoughts after reading Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea definitely feels like it has a lot more "filler" than Anne of Green Gables did. LMM did this in a lot of her Anne books. Sometimes there seems to be more information about other characters and side stories than there is about Anne. 
That might bug some people... but somehow it didn't bother me because I enjoyed the other characters and their side stories. 
In this book we meet little Paul Irving who seems to be the male version of Anne. I really enjoy him and the romantic story between his father and Miss Lavender. 
I liked how Paul Irving is given a 'catchphrase'. She does that with Davey too.
Paul Irving: "You know."
Davey: " I want to know."
I also loved Mr. Harrison. It's a shame that in the movies Gilbert is given most of Mr. Harrison's lines as he is not in the film. 
However, I would always want more Gilbert! I will be writing a post (hopefully soon) about Gilbert Blythe. So stay tuned for that one!

Some of my favorite quotes from Anne of Avonlea:  

" I think an old, deserted house is such a sad sight," said Anne dreamily, "It always seems to me to be thinking about its past and mourning its old time joys.
How lonely and sorrowful it must feel! Perhaps they all come back on moonlit nights... the ghosts of little children of long ago and the roses and the songs... and for a little while the old house can dream it is young and joyous again."

This spoke to me because I always feel this way when I see old houses. If they are abandoned and crumbling even more so.. I can't help but wonder who lived there, when it was built, what happened to it, how has it come to be abandoned...

"Have you ever noticed, " asked Anne reflectively, " that when people say it is their duty to tell you a certain thing you may prepare for something disagreeable? Why is it that they never seem to think it a duty to tell you the pleasant things they hear about you?"

This quote goes nicely along with one of my favorite exchanges in the book when Mr. Harrison is talking to Anne and says that he tells the truth no matter what. Anne says, "But you don't tell the whole truth- you have told me a dozen times that my hair was red but you have never once told me that I had a nice nose." He says she knows that without him telling her. She says, "I know I have red hair too. So there's no need of telling me that either."
He goes on to tell her that is just who he is- that he has a habit of being outspoken and that people mustn't mind him.
To this she says, " What would you think of a person who went about sticking pins and needles into people and saying, 'Excuse me, you mustn't mind it. It's just a habit I've got'."

I LOVE this exchange.  

Also, while I don't mind watching Anne grow up and becoming more serious (something we all do but it seems that a lot of people hate it when literary characters do it) I love that you do see that "old Anne" peek through occasionally. 
I believe it was Diana who says to her in this book, " Anne Shirley, you're only pretending to be grown up. I believe when you're alone you're as much a little girl as you ever were."

Another thing that stood out was how Anne started the school year with so many "theories" and ideals. They were good ones but not always practical. I think we all go into parenthood that way. I knew I wouldn't do this or that and then I became a parent and realize you will never be as a good a parent as you are when you haven't had kids yet. So I liked the passage, 
"School opened and Anne returned to her work with fewer theories but considerably more experience."

Overall, I again really enjoyed re-visiting this book. I don't love it as much as Anne of Green Gables, but I feel like it builds onto the story well.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More family moments, February and March

Doug was able to go to a work conference in Orlando at Disney world and brought back some fun things for the girls. 
I let them wait up for him...

He had them close their eyes while he gave them their gifts. 
He brought the girl version of Duffy Bear, Shellie May for Abi.

Maddy is obsessed with all things cat and wanted a special mug so he brought her a Marie mug.

We got a new couch that is huge! We love it. 

The girls spent a few hours making a Beanie Boo magazine for me. 

I finally began and finished my Anne of Green Gables quilt. 

Abi bought the new My Little Pony book. 

Then she spent some more of her money on the new Starlight Glimmer Build a Bear.

Maddy decided she wanted to get the Promise Pets cat.

Brandon Mull published the first book in the new sequel series to Fablehaven, Dragonwatch. 
There was a big launch party and this time Abi came with my mom and I because she loved Fablehaven when we read it last year. 
They had a lot of fun free activities while we were waiting for it to start. 
She got her face painted. 

A unicorn of course!

The program was really fun!

Afterward Abi wanted to meet the girl that was dressed up as the fairy Shiara. 
She asked her to sign our new book.

Then we got in line for Brandon Mull to sign it.

We had some fun with props and signs. 
Abi loves unicorns. 

My mom posing with the book cover.

Doug's brother Mark and his wife Callie were finally able to go to Vietnam to get their little boy Quinn. We recently were finally all healthy enough to go meet him. 
He is such a cute, happy little guy.


My mom and I got tickets for Beauty and the Beast on the 16th. We got a ticket for Abi to come with us as well..
I tried to give her a Belle hairstyle for the evening.

I had to take a picture during the commercials beforehand with my Beauty and the Beast shoes and our recliner chairs. 
I loved the movie. It can't replace the original for me but I felt like it added a lot and I really enjoyed it.

Of course Maddy drew a lot.. these are her "Warrior Cats".