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May and June Titles // 2017

Ani and a friend at co-op discovering birds' nests
I skipped May's book post because it was so short! We've had a whirlwind 6 weeks, traveling, wrapping up school, prepping our home for guests, our next trip, and trying to see friends now that we're on summer break. May felt very full and I only got two (short!) books read, so it felt underwhelming to post here. June has been quite full, too, but I've gotten a bit more on track in June. What did you read this month?
* The Classical Unschooler by Purva Brown - This short snippet is a homeschooler's manifesto on how both unschooling and classical education -seemingly opposite-can mix together to create a rich environment for children's learning at home. I read Brown's blog (same title) and I appreciate some of her thoughtful posts on applying ancient educative philosophy to today's methods and trends. I would give this 3 stars, and I donated it to my local homeschooling support group's library …
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Lukka's 10th Birthday Interview

Lukka is now in the double-digits! He's been around for a true decade and he's been hamming it up ever since. He loves being around people, animals, and any and all junk food and candy. He's insatiable with play and friends, could care less about hiking (but has a good time once he's out there), relates to Calvin in nearly every aspect, and loves that the family dog sleeps in his room every night. We love you, Lukka, and we're so proud of you! 
Lukka showing off his Greek shield in costume
What is your favorite color? Turquoise

Who are some of your friends? Nya and Brody, Cole, Ethan, Zach, Caleb, Logan, Ian, Anna, Seth, Elia

What do you want to do when you grow up? Driver

What makes you happy? Copper (our dog)

Tinkercrate's Biomechanical hand that he made. 
What makes you sad? not seeing Copper for 2 weeks! (while on vacation)

What is your favorite animal? tiger and dogs

What is your favorite thing to do with Mom? cuddle

What is your favorite thing to do with Da…

BC CHEC weekend

view from our airbnb overlooking the Oakanagan Lake in Kelowna, BC
Two weeks ago our family was able to head up to Kelowna for the annual Christian home school conference, BC CHEC, hosted by our school, Heritage Christian. We attended back in 2015, and with this being our second time up, everyone had a bit more fun than last time since we knew what to expect.
The kids had friends in their 'kids' conference' area, and were able to do fun and educational things all weekend. Stefan got a much-needed rest from work, and he took the dog on multiple hikes through the beautiful area we were staying. I got to absorb wisdom, knowledge, research, and encouragement from some lovely speakers and past homeschoolers, and do a bit of 'free shopping' for our school year coming up. Add a wonderful airbnb experience to the list and a visit with Stefan's grandparents,  and the weekend was such a nice time.  The funding I had leftover from the year was able to pay for the kids'…

April Titles // 2017

The gorgeous Wild + Free nature journal by Kristin Rogers
This was another lackluster reading month for me, and I fear May is going to be even worse! I was stuck between three books, one I had to read for a deadline, one for book club (still going strong, but it's loooong) that I didn't finish, and another that I was at the head of the line for, and promptly took me two days to finish. I also finished book five in our Chronicles of Narnia series, and have two more to finish before school's technically over. Although I finish school early June, out here the kids finish late June. Can you even imagine?! Horrid. I hope, at least, to finish The Last Battle by the end of June. 
Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott - I love my Aunt Anne. I mean, she's not really my aunt, but she's been a part of my spiritual formation over the last 10+ years and therefore I see her as family. I read everything she writes and put my name in the request slot at the library the second I find …

My Grandma Virginia

On our wedding day nearly 12 years ago, my three grandparents. My grandma Virginia is in the floral dress. 
This past weekend I was fortunate to attend my paternal grandmother's funeral service in Denver, CO. I wouldn't have been able to go had it not been for the generosity of my aunt & uncle, and Stefan's willingness to afford us a portion of a ticket and a day at work with two stir-crazy kids. It was a quick trip; I flew out on Friday morning and returned Sunday afternoon. 
I was able to visit my grandfather's grave in Ft. Logan National Cemetery, see their old house, reconnect with family I hadn't seen in a long time, and go through old pictures- some of which are now waiting for an album at home! I also got to speak at her service, which I felt good about-honoring her memory and giving closure to that time of my life that is sadly now over. I have no remaining family in Colorado, and I spent many years traveling, jeeping, camping, and enjoying it there! It…

March Titles // 2017

This month's reading was a bit anticlimactic after last month's reads, and it was surprising, too, since I had a two week break from homeschooling, which mean playdates! every! day! for the kids. Somehow, even without our regular classes, responsibilities, and routines, I read nothing. Nada. All these were finished before the middle of March. Egads, it feels like a waste now that I write that out!Ah, well, such is life sometimes. I finished a book club book, a blogger's book, and a great YA pick. See which one was which below:
*The Break by Katherena Vermette - This book was recently defended on CBC's Canada Reads, only to get voted off in the first round. It's the first book by Vermette and it was really good. It's a look inside a broken Native family tree, with resilient characters, tales of past hurts, and future hopes or despair, depending on who tells the story. Similar to the novel Homegoing, it jumps from different viewpoints, but keeps the same 4 or 5 …

February Titles // 2017

I had a great reading month. I slammed down a few books I'd wanted to read for awhile, finished quite a few kid read-alouds (and so many awesome picture books!), and generally enjoyed all of them. Here they are.
*Scary Close by Donald Miller - I've wanted to read this book for awhile. It's Blue Like Jazz author, Donald Miller's, newest book meeting of his (now) wife, Betsy. It was part mental-health memoir, part leaving-behind bachelorhood and working on healthy relationships in preparation for marriage. I don't know if that sounds interesting to you, but I really liked it. Out of the books of his I've read, it felt like his most vulnerable, honest, and open. This would make a great gift to a couple who are engaged, though it could be enjoyed by anybody. 
*Ancient Rome: How it Affects You Today by Richard Maybury - Reading this book (the third "Uncle Eric" book I've now read) is part of me intentionally searching out  more politically conservativ…