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 sort of crazy – I had my virtual conference, where I watched about two hours of workshops a day. I have lifetime access to them so I can just keep going though so that is good. I learned so much! Then Wyatt had a 90 second focal seizure on Wednesday – it was terrifying for us both. It required another call to his neuro and raising of his meds so please keep your fingers crossed and say all the prayers that this dose is the right dose. Needless to say, my reading was not really on par last week. I did finish my book Honey and Venom, and the review should be up this week. It was pretty fascinating!

Reading This Week:

Then this week I am reading the same books I posted as reading last week, since I didn’t get to them.

Posted Last Week:

I did post once or twice last week – I talked about Paris in July here and then about our Homeschooling, Deer Week Summer Edition here.

Watching:

We watched The Order Season 2 this week – start to finish. It was so good! Now we have to wait all over again for a season 3 – if there is one! We also watched Nancy Drew, which I am loving as well. For movie night, we watched The Current War (Amazon Prime) with Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was really really well done – and highlighted to me how little I know about that part of history, and how much Billy knows. The movie is a little confusing I think if you are not familiar with the whole A/C vs. D/C debate, or Tesla’s contributions, at least in my opinion. Billy had to explain some things to me as we watched which made it easier to follow. I really enjoyed the movie though, despite my lack of knowledge, because, well, now I know more!

Homeschool, Summer Edition: Deer Week!

This week was not originally intended to be deer themed – but when I saw that the Full Moon for July is the Buck Moon, I decided to switch it up. We started this small study with the new moon, and I loved the symmetry of it. I love it when a theme comes together!

We are still schooling over the summer, but taking it a little easier – less table work, more play. Although my boy asks for table work so I had to find more as the week went on. I guess I love a theme, and he loves a routine. We worked on the letter D, pattern recognition, handwriting, counting and number identification, and read a few cute books. We learned simple facts about white-tailed deer, about their white-tails, how they have hooves, about antlers. That a male deer is a buck, a female a doe, and a baby is a fawn. That they live in herds, and eat plants. All in all, it was a pretty easy-going week, with lots of opportunity for whimsy and drama, with his deer mask and antler crown.

Our art projects this week were particularly fun. We had bought sun art paper to play with for the summer solstice, and we had some leftover, so we pulled that back out and made some deer sun art. Then last year, when we were participating fully in the Kid’s Moon Club, we made an antler crown for Wyatt, which he loves to wear still. So this year, we made one for his little toy badger Henry, that he loves to pieces and sleeps with. So now they both have little antler crowns. My cousin said that Wyatt looks like a character from Peter Pan in his crown!

Resource Round Up:

White-Tailed Deer Unit – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Deer themed books that we read:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate links)

Imogene’s Antlers || The Deer in the Wood

Extras:

(Contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Sun Art Paper

Deer Figurines

And that is about it for our week of deer! Next week we start birds!

Paris in July

Oo la la, I am so excited for Paris in July this year. Last year was my very first foray into this challenge and though I was a bit of a slow starter I had such a good time. And met some wonderful new people, which was the very best part! It is hosted by Thyme for Tea and she has some great suggestions to get the wheels turning… reading a French themed book, watching a French/French themed movie, listening to French music, cooking French food. And while I won’t be traveling to Paris this year (or probably anytime soon, Paris still remains a dream!) this is a way to celebrate all things French online!

I have begun my planning for it, and I feel like I am ready this year. One thing I enjoy about this challenge is that my husband gets involved. He is a bit of a Francophile as well, so it is always fun to plan with him different things to do. He reminded me that at one point in history Detroit was known as the Paris of the midwest, which is something I might explore this year for the challenge.

Last year I also read French themed picture books to Wyatt, which I am going to try to do again this year, although with the libraries being what they are now, I am not sure at our success. So I might have to get creative with ways to include Wyatt.

One thing different this year, there is no Tour de France in July! Billy and I have watched every day, every year, for years now. We are huge fans (he watches all the other races as well so I guess he is an actual cycling fan) and it will be weird without it kicking off in July this year. However, it is slated for August so fingers crossed it still happens. We dream of taking Wyatt to the Tour when he is ten, and setting up in one of the villages to cheer the cyclists on. We still have five years for that to happen so hopefully things are better by then!

If you are interested in learning more, pop over to Thyme for Tea and check out all the info! It is a great time!

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

This week was a pretty good one, despite everything going on around us. We took the week off of schooling, as I have decided we are going to continue on through the summer, just less formally and with weeks off here and there. Then Billy took a few days off work too, so we just had fun bumming around the crib, as my dad says. Saturday was the summer solstice, so we did some fun sun art, ate summery foods, and then just hung out in the backyard, enjoying the night and letting Wyatt play in the sprinkler. For Father’s Day, I don’t know what we are doing yet honestly- COVID is making things hard. Then this week I have a virtual conference for Charlotte Mason, a homeschooling style I want to learn more about, and of course, we begin our schooling again. It is going to be deer week around here, partially because deer make me think of summers up north, and partially because the new Buck Moon starts today (Sunday the 21st).

Read Last Week:

I loved The Glamourist!!! I loved The Vine Witch last year, and I really enjoyed this return to the world that Smith has created. I still haven’t finished Honey and Venom, but I should finish this week.

Reading This Week:

I probably won’t have a ton of time with the conference workshops, but if I manage to get some reading time in AND I finish Honey and Venom, then I am going to start these.

Our family loves making and creating things, so I am very excited to start The Creative Family Manifesto. And then Opium and Absinthe is one of the Prime Reads free books for the month, and I love Lydia Kang! I was completely sucked in to The Impossible Girl, The November Girl, and a A Beautiful Poison, so I am very much looking forward to reading this one.

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne

Summertime..

Watching:

We are all over the place with our tv and movie watching right now. We are watching The Order (Netflix), Nancy Drew (CW), and Rosemary and Thyme (Britbox). Nancy Drew the reboot is really fun – kind of dark and grown up and weird all at once. I like when they poke fun a little at the less modern ways Nancy would have accomplished things, like in one scene she goes to pick a lock and it is locked with a key card instead. For our movie nights, we are having a hard time finding anything. We watched I Capture the Castle on Friday night, but then last night couldn’t decide on anything, so we are going to try again tonight, since Billy has tomorrow off. It’s like an extra weekend night! Although I finished off the gummy bears so I need to resupply..

Stay safe all!

Summertime..

This week has been a mix of busy and just simply being and enjoying. I gave us a week off of schooling, and we had some good times playing outside as well as time inside in the A/C. Neither of us enjoy sun or heat that much…

We headed outside in the mornings and evenings, but in the heat of the day we tucked up in the house to craft or read or watch tv or just play and veg. Lots of that happened this week.

I am still catching up on the yard and garden areas – most of it is still wild and crazy but we have some semblance of actual garden areas coming together. I planted lots of lavender, and my lavender from last year is forming a wonderful little hedgerow in front. I love it. I also got some herbs and veggies in the ground, and some flowers, finally. Today we mulch and I am going to plant a few more seeds, which hopefully will grow for me. Fingers crossed all!

I signed up for a virtual conference/workshop for a homeschooling philosophy I wanted to learn more about, and this week there was pre-conference coffee chat every morning. While I did my work, so did Wyatt. I am such a huge researcher of everything . So before I move forward I have to do tons of research – reading, conferences, speaking with homeschool moms (looking at you Lisa!) Wyatt seems to enjoy doing work with me so that is a bonus. Although, he does do the Mom, Mom look thing every 5 seconds. Lol.

Sunday we also made soap together as a family – we did the melt and pour variety so that Wyatt could be involved, and it was so fun and easy! I wanted to show Wyatt some different things that could be made using honey, and I thought soap would be an interesting one. And then we could also use this adorable bee mold too, which was sort of for Wyatt but mostly for me. The soap turned out really well. It has a great lather and smells good too – I added lavender oil to it. If you are interested, I used this DIY recipe. We are hooked now though, and have a cart full of oils and soap making things filled over on Bramble Berry to make more. My sister-in-law makes soap from scratch, using lye, and is going to teach me next weekend, which should be really neat! Since we have to wear PPE anyway, it is almost the perfect activity to do with a friend.

Billy took some much needed vacation time this weekend, Friday and Monday off, so we have a long weekend of family time ahead of us. We have no real plans but I am sure we will have fun!

Book Review: Summer at Lake Haven

Goodreads Summary:

Samantha Fremont may still be grappling with her mother’s death, but this summer she’s determined to build a new life for herself. Starting with making her friend’s dream wedding dress and establishing herself as a boutique fashion designer in the process. What she does not need is a surprise litter of puppies, the voice in the back of her mind saying she can’t do any of this—or her friend’s gorgeous brother who’s visiting from England for the wedding.

Ian Somerhill knows a sabbatical in Haven Point is exactly what his children need to recover from their own mother’s death. And even if he and Sam got off on the wrong foot, she has a way with Miranda and Thomas. As Sam—and her adorable puppies—bond with his children, they fall into a friendship unlike any he’s had in a long time. But Ian has obligations in England her can’t ignore—and a complicated past that might just stop this summer romance from ever blooming into something more.

My Thoughts:

Remember when you were a kid, and summer seemed to last forever and was all about playing outside, reading all night, fireflies and popsicles? That is what this book made me feel while I was reading it – like I was on an endless summer vacation. It was so light and easy and happy – plus, it had puppies and a rumply, British professor love interest…

Samantha is a romantic – how could you not be, if you are a wedding dress designer? She and her late mother used to run a boutique together – now that her mother is gone, the boutique is Samantha’s, which she runs while designing custom wedding dresses as well. Samantha is learning to live life out from under the shadow of her sharp tongued mother, who seemed to always have a derisive or mocking thing to say, even to her devoted daughter. Starry-eyed Sam, she would call her, making fun (and not in a lighthearted teasing way) of Samantha’s quick propensity to fall in love. So now that Sam is on her own for the first time ever, she is trying to override that little voice inside that wants to hold her back, that niggling of self-doubt.

When Ian and his family move in next door for the summer, Samantha vows she will not fall head over heels for this handsome, fish obsessed professor. She has learned her lesson. Ian has a past – and future – of his own that overshadows any hope of a relationship, the least of which is the geographical distance.

I enjoyed this easy little summer read very much – I love RaeAnne Thayne and Haven Point, so this was a sweet return to favorite characters. They just make me smile! And this book was no different. I loved seeing the evolution of Samantha and Ian, and also their own personal growth overcoming the history that is weighing them down.

All in all, a must read for your summer reading, whether you are on a beach or just at home!

Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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 a pretty good week. Wyatt and I did some fun things, then Friday my mom came over and we socially distanced a picnic dinner. She brought her dinner with her and we had ours, just simple stuff so that we could spend our time talking and enjoying the weather. It was such a nice time. Then Saturday I got brave – I masked up and went to my favorite nursery to pick out some flowers. And it was a good experience. It is a giant nursery, all outdoors, it wasn’t crowded at all, and 99% of the people were masked. They had arrows on the floor to mark one way aisles, 6 feet distancing for the lines, and the cashiers had new plastic shields up. I was scared but soon sort of relaxed as I browsed, since there really wasn’t anyone around me. I went with a list but since I was going so late in the season knew I might have to make swaps. The only things I didn’t end up getting were snapdragons (my favorite!) and lettuce plants, but I bought pentas and swiss chard instead. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon planting everything. Today my brother is coming by to rototill my last little area that I need to work on and then I will be set for this year’s makeshift garden.

Read Last Week:

I read Summer at Lake Haven and it was just I had hoped, a light easy summer read. Perfect for my mood last week. Review coming very soon! I also started Honey and Venom, which I am also enjoying, but didn’t finish yet, so I will be reading it this week as well. I am learning some crazy things about bees – like the scent of bananas enrages them! So don’t eat bananas and then go around bees. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copies of both!

Reading This Week:

I have been waiting a long time to read this! I pre-ordered it a million years ago because I loved The Vine Witch so much, and yay, now it is here! I love witchy books and this world that Smith created is so fun.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Bee Week!

Small Steps

Picture Book Review: Under My Tree

Watching:

We are still watching Rosemary and Thyme, and we have one episode left of When Hope Calls. It’s not as good as When Calls the Heart, but I do like the relationship between the sisters. Both of the movies we watched this weekend left me unsettled. I enjoyed them both, but I felt sort of sad after watching both of them. We watched The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which is apparently based on a true story, and then The Bookshop, starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, whom I adore in everything. Both were excellent, but definitely left you with lots to think about. These movies are both on Amazon Video.

And that about sums it up for me! Stay safe everyone.

Homeschooling: Bee Week!

This week was bee week! I was really looking forward to this one. I might say that about all of them though, as I am the one who really picks the themes…

This week we had some great activities, and great books, including our new read aloud of Winnie-the-Pooh! We started Sunday by going in search of bee hives – I thought I knew where one or two were but they turned out to be empty this year.

On Monday we started with the letter H, for honey and hive, played a memory match vocabulary game, talked about the different types of hives, and “created” a hive out of Honeycomb cereal. Oh and snacked on some honeycomb cereal with drips of honey on it, which was as sticky as it sounds.

Tuesday, we continued working on the letter H and vocabulary, did some sorting and pattern work, and started our fun counting book, complete with little wooden bees. In the afternoon we set up a pollination creation garden, where Wyatt created a little garden (inspired by our Monet’s waterlilies art from pond week) and I filled two of the flowers with powdered Tang to “bee” the pollen. Then we dipped a paintbrush in water, and used it to transfer the pollen from flower to flower. It turned out really cute!

Wednesday was such a sticky hot day, and not from honey but from humidity (another H word!) We did some table work, planted some seeds to grow a pollinator garden, then made homemade honey playdough, which was really fun. Wyatt loves to pretend bake and cook (and really help bake) so this activity was a hit.

Thursday I reserved for music and reading and poetry exclusively. It was a fun day! We listened to Flight of the Bumblebee, talked about the waggle dance that bees do to tell the other bees where to find flowers, and read some poems and rhymes. Friday we were going to make honey soap but decided to save it for Saturday when Billy could participate. So look for that update on my Instagram!

Next week we are going to take a little break, but then resume again the following week. Wyatt missed a month of school or so with the COVID shutdown and I didn’t start working with him right away, so we are going to keep working over the summer, with small breaks.

Resource Roundup!

Twig and Moth – Collection of Bees

Fun with Mama – Bumble Bees

Mrs. A’s Room – Bees Mini Unit

Preschool Discoveries – Bees

Books Read:

(This section contains Amazon and Usborne affiliate links)

This week I went crazy with the book buying. I love love love our copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and I wanted it to be a special one. If you were going to pick just one or two books though, I would go with Why Do We Need Bees? and Follow that Bee. Although Are You a Bee is really good too!

Bee by Britta Teckentrup || Summertime in the Big Woods || Why Do We Need Bees || Follow That Bee || Are You a Bee || Honey || Winnie-the-Pooh

Other Media Consumed:

Scout and the Gumboot Kids – The Case of the Buzzing Sweet Maker (Season 1, Ep 1)

Caitie’s Classroom – Bees

Maddie Moate – Beekeeping with Maddie Moate

And that is about it! It was a really fun week, filled with so many good reads! I feel so much more knowledgeable about bees myself now! If you have any questions about the materials I used or how I adapted them, let me know. You can comment here or send me an email!

Small Steps

This past weekend was all about small steps rather than big leaps. My garden is slowly, slowly, slowly coming along. My husband fractured his elbow back in May and he is still healing up, and unfortunately can’t do the digging for us. My brother has been coming over and helping me out – this past weekend we rototilled the front garden area and I hope to plant some things in there around the raspberry bushes soon. It is so weird to be so behind schedule, and off plan. I am a person who makes a detailed plan and then for the most part, checks it off. So this has been a learning experience in flexibility and rolling with the punches for sure. And honestly, I am ok. This just wasn’t the year I guess! Despite the setbacks, we are still doing great with what we have planted – I am super excited about all my radishes and I am going to pickle some of them today. We are also going to try our hand at baguettes (using sourdough since I can’t find yeast still!) and having our radish and butter sandwiches on baguettes, with radishes we have grown and bread we have baked. Simple but good, like my life lately.

We spend our evenings in the front yard, where we actually have some shade, all nestled on a blanket in front of the apple tree. We snack and chat and watch the birds flying about in the twilight. It’s a great way to wind up the evening before going in. We have been doing some read-alouds at night as well, poems from a book called A Poem for Every Night of the Year, and sometimes from Farmer Boy too.

Then this past weekend we took a spontaneous walk through the marsh. Most of our favorite hiking spots are now super crowded so when we go, we try to find some of the smaller, off the beaten trails. Sunday we headed out to one of the places we knew would be crowded, but we only planned on checking out the hive to look for bees, since we were starting bee week this week. Well, no bees, but we decided to wander down one of the less popular trails for a bit. It was such an impulse that kiddo didn’t even wear shoes, we didn’t have our hiking backpack – or sunblock, so it was a quick trip, mostly under the canopy of trees!

I am slowly learning how to live without a plan, something that is hard for me. But I am learning we don’t always need one.

Picture Book Review: Under My Tree

Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier

From the Publisher:

A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree.

When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the scratchy surface of its bark.

This is a wonderful introduction to trees for young children that gently cultivates an appreciation for nature. Interwoven in the fiction text are unique facts about trees and simple activities that encourage readers to touch, smell, and observe the world that is all around them. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable-based inks.

My Thoughts:

By the time I finished reading this book to my five year old, I knew that this was one that we need to buy for our own personal library. A little girl so in love with her tree, that she looks forward to seeing it every year when she visits her grandmother. I love this depiction of a child’s relationship with nature! I loved the science sprinkled throughout, the thought provoking questions for children, the prompts to use their senses when thinking about the tree. I loved that the little girl loved her tree so much she shared it with her friends and her family. We are such a nature loving family, that this was a wonderful story to share with my son, to encourage his own relationship with our natural world, and engage his curiosity and senses. I loved this book, but even better, so did my five year old.

This book is compared to Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, which is a wonderful book, although a sad one. I think this book has a different tone, one that respects the tree, which I enjoy much more.

This was just a lovely story with beautiful illustrations, and one I plan to buy for my son’s shelves, to be read again and again.

Thank you to NetGalley and Myrick Marketing and Media for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.