Saturday, September 27, 2014

What Began With A Lost Wallet

Organization, thriftiness, and running a household...among other things.  That was where my focus was when I started this blog.  Now, six years later, it is apparent to me that those "other things" have taken precedence, both in our lives and on this blog.  I still love to organize, I'm still thrifty, and I never stop thinking about running this household (it's what I DO, after all!), but I'm thinking it's time to change things up just a bit.

My kids were 7, 7, 4, and 1 when this blogging adventure started.  We lived in a nice neighborhood, just inside city limits, in a brand-new house.  We were new to homeschooling, and we were still learning how to operate as a family of six.

A lot has changed in six years.

We will have two teenagers next week.  Their siblings are now 10 and 7.  We live out in the country, in an interesting 15-year-old log house, where the neighbors are kind of spread out.  We're in our 8th year of homeschooling (and it's only getting better and better!), and I no longer have to remember to count to four instead of three when we load kids up to go somewhere.  We do piano lessons and horseback riding instead of playdates.  We have a dog now.  And two cats.  And 12 chickens.  And-plum-trees-and-apple-trees-and-pear-trees-and-cherry-trees.  And a creek.  And a barn.  And acres and acres to mow.

I no longer organize to keep things out of toddler-reach, or figure the cost of diapers into the grocery bill each week.  The meaning of "running this household" has changed so drastically that I almost have to find new words to describe what I do.  Yes, my focus has most definitely changed.

Welcome to the new Neither Poverty Nor Riches!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reading Record 2013

January: The Dirty Life (Kimball)

February: The Magician's Nephew (Lewis)
                The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lewis)

March: Heller with a Gun (L'Amour)
            The Horse and His Boy (Lewis)
            The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Esolen)

April: Queen Without Crown (Polland)
           The Castle of Llyr (Alexander)
           When the Morning Came (Prins)
           In the Footsteps of Jesus (Marchiano)

May: The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls (White)



August: Web of Traitors (Trease)
              Ten Thousand Heroes (Barbary)
              The Stolen Oracle (Williams)
              Alexander's Horses (Powers)
              The Counterfeit African (Williams)
              Hannibal: Invader from Carthage (Webb)
              Julius Caesar (Buchan)
              The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan (Ritchie)
              The Eagles Have Flown (Williamson)
              Message to Hadrian (Trease)
              The Eagle of the Ninth (Sutcliff)
              The Silver Branch (Sutcliff)
              The Lantern Bearers (Sutcliff)
              The Fifty-Six Who Signed (Fink)
              The Prairie Traveler (Marcy)

September: The First Book of Medieval Man (Sobol)
                   Attila: King of the Huns (Webb)
                   Age of Chivalry (Bulfinch)
                   The Horn of Roland (Williams)
                   Legends of Charlemagne (Bulfinch)
                   El Cid (McCaughrean)

October: Owen's Pretty Good Book (Blickensderfer)
               Hereward the Wake (Kingsley)
               Knight's Fee (Sutcliff)
               The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hugo)
               Son of the Land (Bolton)
               Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde (Lamb)
               Ironies of Faith (Esolen)
               Men of Iron (Pyle)
               The Brendan Voyage (Severin)

November: Miniatures and Morals (Leithart)
                   No Parachute (Lee)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Blame My Sponges

I'm sorry to admit this, but blogging is not at the top of my priority list.  Sponges are.

I have four of them.

They soak up knowledge almost as fast as I can write out the lesson plans for the week.  They absorb food quicker than I can prepare it.  And they just will NOT quit getting bigger, so I am constantly on the lookout for bigger clothes and bigger shoes.

Yep.  The shortage of blog posts from me is entirely the fault of my sponges.

(Aaaaand now my kids think I'm nuts.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Four Days Later

Four days after our first visit to Mt. Rainier, the kids and I went back again,
but this time we took Grandma!

We took an easier one mile hike that had plenty of views like this one.

Our destination was Myrtle Falls,

and this was the view looking up from the top of the falls.

Half of the kids thought the bridge was great
(the other half weren't so sure it was engineered properly), 

and they were all delighted to make a new friend
(from a distance).

Such a beautiful hike... too beautiful to only visit twice...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mt. Rainier

On Sunday, we went on a four mile hike to Mt. Rainier.

We saw some fun wildlife:

 a buck,

 two does,

and a few marmots.

Wildflowers were everywhere.


 On the way up, there was the mountain to look at,


and on the way down, there were vistas like this.

And lots of wildflowers.
Did I mention those?

Such a beautiful hike...too beautiful to only visit once...

Friday, August 2, 2013

In The Back Field

The Bookshelf Saga: Part 2

Once the bookshelves were finished, I started loading them with books, beginning with the shelves we bought.  Those shelves are at the end of my new shelving system, and I alphabetize our books by author, so I started with Z and worked my way backward until I filled the shelves...

...and ran out of room.

So I got creative!

I found this set of retro mustard yellow suitcases at Goodwill earlier that week, and I still hadn't figured out exactly what I was going to do with them.  So I used the smaller one as a bookshelf at the east end of the lighted bookshelves!
(I filled the big one on the bottom with denim I'm saving to make quilts for my kids some day.  
Storage in plain sight; I love that!)
This is my Desert/Cowboy Corner:  a rubbing of a Native American petroglyph (my step-grandma made it along the Columbia River in the 60s for an art class, before the dam flooded the area), a paint-by-number my grandpa did, jars of jawbones my kids collected in Nevada, a too-small cowboy hat and too-big cowboy boots, and a desert-scape picture my brother-in-law took in South America (the frame belonged to my great-grandma and is made out of cactus).

On the wall facing that, at the west end of the lighted bookshelves, I stacked up a few old wooden crates from my mother-in-law and filled them with books (because I knew by the time I got to the M's that I was going to run out of room), and I used a horseshoe-shaped book holder turned on end to take part of my Louis L'Amour collection vertical.  To continue my cowboy theme, I filled some too-small cowboy boots with coins to use as bookends and added a red bandanna and my father-in-law's moose jawbones.

I'm happy with my little extra shelving solutions, and the bookshelves we bought and assembled are very nice, but my hands-down favorite are the lighted bookshelves!

I love how easy it is to read the titles, even on the oldest and most worn spines,

and really I love the soft glow that showcases my beloved friends books;

especially at night!