Monday, June 29, 2009

oh, those summer nights




Gathering for fireworks…


And a beautiful sunset.


I could do that every night.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

columbia, s.c. is the hottest place on earth

Now that we’ve established that, here are some photos taken after my niece’s beautiful wedding this weekend. My kids clean up OK.





Monday, June 22, 2009

dinner: palmettovore (locavore) style


On my plate: grilled Japanese eggplant, green tomato slices and cukes from the farmers’ market, broccoli (OK, that came from Publix), yellow squash (from my yard) and a vine-ripened tomato, also from the Fountain Inn Farmers’ Market.


The carnivores also had grilled chicken. (Yes, my son’s elbows are on the table. Manners, schmanners.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

it’s just a wee little garden


Apologies for the poor lighting. Another storm is brewing. I’ve lost count of the consecutive days now.

At least the drought is over.

Monday, June 15, 2009

sweet sixteen: the fondue party


Cheese, chocolate, cake and a room full of teenaged girls…


the super-sized 2009 schoolhouse planner


(Entering our subject list in one of the planning pages)

If you have known me for more than about 10 minutes, you know that I thrive on organization. Removing clutter is an act of self-preservation (or at least sanity preservation). And man, do I love a good day planner, so I was thrilled to be asked to review The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s 2009 Schoolhouse Planner as my first official TOS Crew review. It’s huge (!!) but it’s an e-book provided in pdf format. You can print it or save the file and keep it as a virtual agenda. Because the document is formatted to allow you to enter and save data, there is no scratching out and rewriting – just retype any entries that change.

The planner includes a different theme for each month – the 13 colonies, weather, lap books, American government basics, etc. – each with an article written by experts like Steve Demme and Jay Wile, as well as charts, resource lists and well, things I never even thought of. The monthly themes provide mini-unit studies that cross a wide range of ages and subjects. Recipes provided by last year’s TOS Crew members are also included each month.

And that’s just the calendar portion.

· An extensive educational resource section includes everything from a history timeline to a measurement conversion chart. (I have already printed the U.S. Presidents section for my public schooled teenager who has to learn the presidents and their terms for her upcoming AP U.S. History class.)

· More than 120 pages of homeschool forms are included. This would have been especially wonderful during our first year of homeschooling when I tried to reinvent the wheel about once a week.

· Household forms total more than 60 pages, including some you probably already maintain (such as a personal phonebook/contacts list – if you are tech savvy enough to download e-books, you probably keep your contacts in your email program) and some that can save you the time and trouble of making them yourself (chore charts, family health information, a Bible reading schedule, an appliance and electronics inventory and some others I didn’t know I needed until I saw them in the book).

I know many people who buy this e-book will open it up and hit “print.” That was probably the original intent, but I urge you to try entering your personal data in the file first and using this as an e-planner for a while. By doing so, you can take advantage of the clickable links in each section and edit your entries as needed. (I am already enjoying the ease of changing my mind. Delete key, you are my friend.) At the end of the year, I can print it (or save to CD?) and file it with our other 2009-2010 documents. Note that some items, such as chore charts and nature journals, are screaming to be printed. That’s the beauty of this – you can print what you need, when you need it.

Oh, yes, organization is good for the soul. :)

The Schoolhouse Planner is 375 pages (available as a pdf) and is $39. Order before July 12 and the 2008 Planner Excerpts are included free. If 375 pages aren’t enough for you, monthly modules will be available at an additional charge. The modules are themed units that will include lapbooking activities.

Friday, June 12, 2009

and so we bake


I spent the afternoon at a funeral. It would have been a great party otherwise, which is exactly how his wife wanted it to be. His friends spoke and had everyone, including his broken-hearted wife, in tears of laughter. Those attending were asked to keep it casual and most did, with a lot of flip-flops and some tennis shoes moving tentatively among the headstones in the hot June wind.

A good party it would have been, except she goes home alone. And the rest of us, we try to help her in the only ways we know how.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

how to tell it’s summer in south carolina


Post below should be edited to add that I might have a wee bit of guilt about not volunteering, but I am sending a capable, energetic teenager in my place. So, not much guilt. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

going ‘up’


So, the original point of this post was to urge you to go see “Up.” Go. It’s really, really good – better than Wall-E, I would say. And I really liked Wall-E.

For sensitive adults and kiddos, I am going to give you two heinous spoilers. Highlight below if you are sensitive and don’t want to feel like your ribs have been kicked in while watching a cartoon. If you’ve got the chops, go spoiler-free and have fun.


The movie includes a montage, of sorts, of scenes from the life Carl and Ellie share together. Spoiler one: There is a reference to the fact that they are expecting a baby and then they are not, complete with sad scene in the OB office. Spoiler two, which you have probably figured out from the commercials: Ellie does not live to go “up” with Carl.

Now, on to summer. We are doing school a couple of days per week. I feel like I have the world at my fingertips. Still working, with a big project in high gear this week. The kids have Vacation Bible School next week – the girl is teaching, the boy is participating. I am working on my own personal projects next week because I DID NOT VOLUNTEER FOR VBS. Aren’t you proud? I have zero guilt about this decision. So there.

I am hoping for productivity and good things to post.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

baby veggies

What a difference a little (or a lot) of rain makes. (That is not grass you see growing in my squash plants. No, it’s not. Avert your eyes.)



Yellow squash…


Zucchini (yeah, baby)…


After two years of drought, plants are finally growing like mad here. We also have some thriving lemon thyme, mint, oregano, basil and sage, as well as some rosemary that probably needs a little less clipping and consumption than I have been giving it. I want to freeze some pesto this year and try drying the other herbs in the oven. (Tips are welcome.) The rosemary does its thing all year.

What’s growing at your house?