Currently…June

Today I am linking up with Anne in Residence’s monthly post, Currently… This month we are sharing what we are feeling, wearing, buying, craving, and discussing.

Wearing:

These two necklaces that were both gifts to me from special people in my life. My husband surprised me with the rabbit and moon necklace for mother’s day – he knows how much I love rabbits and the moon. He said he also liked the shape of this one, because he knows how much I also rub the pendant of whatever necklace I am wearing, almost like a touchstone. The other is a necklace that one of my best friends surprised me with after a particularly hard week in my life. She remembered how much I admired hers and wanted to give me a smile. And she did!

Buying: Lots of crafting and art supplies, and picture books. I miss the library! We also purchased a Schwinn Roadster for our kiddo! He has cerebral palsy and is not able to balance on a two-wheeler right now, and we wanted him to have something to ride around. His legs have gotten too long for his tricycle from last year, plus we didn’t want him to look too “baby” so we thought this was a great find for him! It is low to the ground, has a stable center of balance, and is very sturdy – sort of like a hybrid tricycle big wheel. Plus it looks cool. He absolutely loves it! We are working on the pedaling still but it will happen!

Craving: Fresh fruit and vegetables! I have been super nervous about buying fresh produce from the stores with the pandemic – I know it is probably cuckoo. But yesterday we finally did it and made this Mediterranean tuna salad with fresh veggies (including mint from our own garden), and oh my goodness, it was divine after three months of not enjoying anything fresh. Our own garden is slowly taking shape, after many setbacks – shelter-in-place and my husband’s fractured elbow being big ones.

Feeling and Discussing: So many things. Sadness, grief. Contemplative. I’ve been staying sort of quiet online about current events since I don’t feel like it’s my feelings that need to be heard. But there needs to be change, real change, in this world. So right now I am listening and learning and praying.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was pretty focused on the outdoors – gardening, toads, ponds, playing in the yard and water. My husband worked pretty late all week and the kiddo and I are still on lockdown, but we made the best of it that we could. We even made sugar cookies cut out to look like dragonflies together on Friday – although Wyatt was more about eating the frosting straight out of the container rather than helping to decorate. I’m not the baker in the family, that is Billy, but these turned out pretty ok!

Read Last Week:

I was so excited to see this on NetGalley! I am really enjoying this series.

Reading This Week:

Well this book has been a sort of personal revelation for me – it is everything I feel in my soul as a mother! It resonates so deeply for me – I had bought the kindle version and then the next day ordered a physical copy as well. Needless to say I am loving it.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Ponds and Frogs

Book Review: A Death Long Overdue

Weekend Vibes..

Watching:

We finished up When Calls the Heart and I miss its simple, happy ease already! We started watching Living the Dream on Britbox and Rosemary and Thyme and are enjoying them.. but I still miss my Hope Valley characters. Our movie nights this weekend we watched the new Emma, which we thought was ok, not great. I kind of enjoyed the golden warmth of the cinematography, so much yellow and gold, like the sun was constantly shining on them. My husband and I are heathens though – we both agreed our favorite version is…Clueless. LOL. Then we watched The House with a Clock in its Walls. I was so excited to see this! John Bellairs was born in Michigan, not too far from here really, and I have stood in front of the house that inspired this story. So I was really excited to see this movie. It was a fun kids movie for sure! Kind of dark, so if you are not a fan of that for kids avoid this one.

Stay safe everyone.

Homeschooling: Frogs and Ponds!

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This week we learned about ponds, pond life, and frogs! I have to admit this week forced me to sort of overcome my squeamishness over getting my hands mucky – I am not a fan. Luckily Billy doesn’t mind so he could take over some of the messier aspects of our pond dipping experiences. That is the first thing we did – pond dipping! I had never heard it called this before but I like it. We bought Wyatt a catch and release beach aquarium, suited him up in his rain gear (he would not have liked sitting in muck either..), and let him explore the shallows of our favorite pond. Honestly, we didn’t find much! We did manage to spot an aquatic snail in our pail but otherwise, nothing. Lol. We did spot much larger creatures, from herons to water snakes to toads in the sand, so it wasn’t a complete bust.

This week, we also played with a pond sensory bin, which was welcome on the hottest day for us so far. We kept to the shade and Wyatt loved the small water play. We also worked on counting, number and letter identification, size comparisons, patterns and sequencing as well as discussing pond habitats and the animals that live there, and the life cycle of frogs. It was a busy week!

Art is becoming one of our favorite activities! Wyatt loves to paint so this week I lined up two painting projects – a rendition of Monet’s Water Lilies, and then I had planned to do some carton creatures, but then we swerved off plan! Wyatt was having more fun painting on the paper I had put down on the table, so I just scrapped the carton creature idea and just let him create some process art.

 

I am getting a kick out of finding these art projects that are based off of famous artists, that also match our theme, lol. This one might be my favorite so far!

This was a pretty fun week, even though my hands got a little dirty…

 

Resource Round-Up:

Pond Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway

Life Cycle of a Frog – Stephanie Hathaway 

Pond and Frog Preschool Activities – Pre-K Printable Fun

Scout and the Gumboot Kids – Frogs

Books: 

(This section contains Amazon Affiliate links for which I will receive a small commission. I use all money made this way to purchase more educational materials)

Over and Under the Pond || Growing Frogs || In the Small, Small Pond ||The Wide-Mouthed Frog || Big Fish, Little Fish || Fish is Fish||The Usborne Outdoor Book || Across the Stream|| Have You Seen My Duckling

 

Videos and Art Projects:

Caitie’s Classroom – Frogs 

Scout and the Gumboot Kids and the Case of the Spotted Jelly – Amazon Prime

Monet Inspired Water Lilies = Messy Little Monster

 

Also, I wanted to share that The Hidden Way has teamed up with many different homeschool resource creators and is offering a Mega-Nature Bundle for $25! It is over 1800 pages and offers studies on many different topics for learners of all ages. I bought mine yesterday; there were so many different units included that I plan on doing with Wyatt, such as bees, owls, birds, and so many others, that it would have been crazy not to. I would have spent that on just one or two of the units alone!

Please let me know if you have any questions about how I use or adapt these materials in my learning time with Wyatt!

Book Review: A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates

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From the Publisher:

When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

My Thoughts:

I am so enjoying this series! I first began reading it last October, when The Spook in the Stacks was part of an autumn book display at my library. I picked it up, took it home, and haven’t looked back. The Lighthouse Library series is such an interesting and fun mystery series and I love the setting, an historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks!

Lucy Richardson has been living and working in the Lighthouse Library for a year now, and in that year, her coworkers, boyfriend Connor, and local police have all gotten used to her penchant for detective work. Maybe it is all the mysteries she has read, but Lucy has a knack for solving the crimes and unofficially helping the police. And the Lighthouse Library does seem to have some sort of unlucky star over it for some folks, as an unusual amount of people do seem to turn up dead near it.

This book is no different – following a class reunion at the Lighthouse Library, the former director, who was not beloved by her patrons or coworkers, was found dead in the water…and it was not an accident. Lucy’s irrepressible curiosity and clever mind lead her down many avenues of inquiry, some alongside Detective Sam Watson, others on her own. I particularly loved the ending of this book! Sometimes a series can grow stale, but this one just keeps getting better and better.

I loved this book, and found myself reading it whenever I found a few free seconds – not easy when I am also parenting a five year old during a shelter-in-place order! Despite that, I managed to read this book quickly – I had to find out the “whodunit”!  I think this book is perfect for summer reading at the beach, on a rainy day, or just whenever you need a great escape, and a mystery to solve. The literary references and adorable Himalayan Charles are perfect little added bonuses. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a cozy mystery!

 

Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read and review this book!

 

Weekend Vibes..

We had a fantastic long weekend together – it was a nice combo of lazy and active. Lots of reading, sitting around, playing games, but also exploring – and even some socially distanced social time!

On Saturday a few friends and I got together for some 6-8 feet away drinks and conversation. I put on a dress, my new necklace, slipped on sandals and off I went. We even all brought our own beverages and glasses so that we didn’t touch things others had touched – and so Kelly didn’t have to wash a glass. It was so nice to just see their faces – and I was so relaxed, watching the birds. And this was the very first time I had been away from Wyatt since March 12. I probably could have curled up on the outdoor couch and taken a nap, I became so comfy. I have taken to naming my friend’s homes lately (I blame all that British tv), and I have decided Kelly’s house should be called Refuge.

Then Sunday and Monday we spent pond dipping, as part of our homeschooling for the week! This week is all about ponds and frogs so we were hoping to catch some minibeasts in our catch and release beach aquarium. We only managed to find an aquatic snail in the water, but we did spot a Northern Water Snake, two turtles, a Great Blue Heron, a ton of Red-Winged Blackbirds, heard a bullfrog, and a little American toad! We brought the toad home as our guest for a few weeks, then we will let her go. Wyatt has named her Uh-Oh. the funny part is my brother found a toad yesterday and brought it in as a pet for my niece (who named hers Cupcake). But it all started with Kelly who found one last week and brought it in to avoid the cold snap. Her toad is a beast! They named her Theodora.

Later Monday evening my brother invited us, my mom, and my sister-in-law’s mother over for a socially distanced bonfire. It was so very nice to be near my family again, even though I itched to hug them all! Again, we all brought our own drinks and cups. What a strange new world we live in. Regardless, it was so fantastic to see their faces and talk to them, and not through a screen! Wyatt was so happy too, and just kept pointing to everyone and saying “Wow”. It was his first time seeing his family in months, and even though we were apart, it was wonderful to be sitting and talking together.

It was nice to be back exploring and seeing people again, no matter how we had to do it.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

It was Billy’s first full week back at work in the office full time last week and I was a bundle of nerves between that and the hospital visit, so I had a hard time reading. I find when I am having some anxiety movement and physical activity really help me. I am thinking about joining a few Zoom Yoga classes- has anyone done one? The Sweetbriar Nature Center has quite a few days and times available and I like that the money goes to taking care of their animals. It’s on my radar for this week. Wyatt and I focused on his homeschooling this week, where our theme was plants and gardens! It was a pretty fun lesson that ended in strawberries.

Read Last Week:

I continued reading Watership Down, my favorite book of all time. Every time I read it I find something else in it that makes me think or resonates with how I am feeling at the time. You all should see my poor copy! It is very well read looking, with underlinings and notes. I should probably buy a “good copy” one day but this copy will always remain with me – it is my third or fourth copy by this time as well. Lol.

Reading This Week:

Sticking with what I know is working for me, and this cozy series is a winner right now. Although it makes me really want to visit marshes and beaches and lighthouses! And libraries, sadly. I miss our library and library staff!

Watching:

When Calls the Heart, although I think we have only one episode left! Noooooooo. We also started Rosemary and Thyme on Britbox and we are enjoying it. We had movie night on Friday and watched Knives Out which was amazing!!!! I loved it so much. Billy told me they are going to make a second one which I am very excited about. We are having another movie night tonight but are not sure what we are watching yet. I am also watching Sweet Magnolias in the afternoons and I am enjoying it – although it makes me want a margarita.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Plants Week!

Just Some Things Making Me Smile These Days

Random Daydream Wish List

Stay Safe!

Random Daydream Wish List

For some reason, being in shelter-in-place has made me an online window shopper. I am not really a big consumer, I don’t buy that much (except books now these days!) but maybe it is just being at home or something, but I have come up with the most random daydream wish list. My husband was laughing the other day at all the different things I have said I wanted to get. I haven’t bought these things, nor will I, I am sure. but it’s fun to daydream sometimes!

A rabbit! I love rabbits so much and I have wanted one since I was a little girl. I will probably get one, one day, but maybe when Wyatt is older.. I love these Holland Lops and Flemish Giants. One is tiny, the other huge! Maybe until then I will just get this art print from Etsy.

A blue velvet couch. Because that is so practical for my life. Lol. I don’t think five year olds and cats and velvet couches go together very well.

Every plate this artist creates to use as our everyday dishes.

A retro camper trailer. Because everyone should impulse internet buy a camper. We do want one, but it probably won’t be bought all willy nilly spur of the moment online.

Ducks. Which we aren’t even allowed to own in my city.

So yeah, this is something I actually did randomly do. I bought small shares of stocks. I know absolutely nothing about the stock market or investing or money anything. But hey, now I own a few stocks. Or small shares of some.

Anyone else at home considering making off the wall (for you) purchases? Or at least entertaining the idea? Have you bought anything? What is the weirdest thing you have bought?