Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Drives and Family Time

Last night Lyle drove up in the mountains a bit to pick up our older daughter from a friend's house. The rest of us went along for the ride. I had been told that the night view was spectacular from this friend's house with the lights twinkling in the valley below and I wanted to see it. Also, the moon was full last night and it was just a nice night for a drive. As we drove home we were commenting on the beauty of the drive, and the evening in general.

Our younger daughter said, "We should go for a Sunday afternoon drive tomorrow! We haven't done that in a long time!" (Mainly because it's been winter for a long time!)

Sunday drives are a favorite family activity around here, in case you hadn't noticed. I've wondered, though, if it was really something that Lyle and I mainly enjoyed and the kids just came along because they didn't have much choice. So I asked 'Becca what she liked about it... "Oh, just getting to go for a drive and seeing the mountains... and the deer... and snow... and getting stuck in the snow... and family time!"

I am grateful that our teen children want to do things with us!

And in case you wondered, we didn't end up going for a drive today. We have a trip coming up in a little over a week, so we decided to stay in today... though we were tempted!

Reading Challenge Update

Continuing with the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, here are the books I read in February:

15. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
16. Laylie's Daring Quest by Kersten Hamilton
17. Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux
18. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
19. Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl
20. Amazing Insider Secrets by Jeff Bredenberg
21. Secrets by Jude Deveraux
22. Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times by William Moss
23. One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda
24. Listen by Rene Gutteridge

The other challenge that I'm participating in is What's in a Name? The idea of this one is to read books with titles which fit into 6 different categories. It can overlap with other challenges, so I thought it would be interesting to see if I end up with any titles that fit the categories. I haven't been deliberately looking for book titles to fit these categories, though I made need to before the year is over! We'll see!

Here's where I stand so far...

  1. Food:
  2. Body of water:
  3. Title (queen, president): Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna
  4. Plant: Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux
  5. Place name:
  6. Music term:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"A Young Girl's Dream"

If you've read my blog for very long you know I have a small collection of vintage dishes... just odds and ends I've picked up here and there. Most don't have any sentimental value. I just think they're pretty.

One of my faithful blog readers is my Aunt 'Lene who blogs at Meditations and Memories. She also collects pretty dishes, but she's been at it a lot longer than I have! Last summer when I went to Louisiana for my grandmother's funeral, Aunt 'Lene gave me this pretty Norman Rockwell plate. She has a whole collection of them on the wall of her dining room but she wanted me to have this one. She said it made her think of me and she thought I would like it. She even let me look at her other Rockwell plates to see if there was another one I would like better. There wasn't. She was right! This one was my favorite!

So she told me me the story about it. She had seen the plate advertised in a magazine, 25 years ago or so, and just loved it. So she splurged and bought it for herself. She said it reminded her of a trip she made by bus when she was a young lady. (Aunt 'Lene, correct me if I got the story wrong!)

It's a limited edition plate (though not particularly rare) with a date of 1985 on the back. That must have been about the time Aunt 'Lene got it... and it was the year I was married. So that makes it even more special to me!

Right now I have it on a shelf with other dishes in the living room. I plan to eventually hang it in the bedroom when I finally finish re-decorating in there. I think it will look neat with a vintage suitcase and some old linens nearby.

Visit Coloradolady for more Vintage Thingy Thursday posts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Simple Days in February

Outside my window... it's pretending to be spring! The sun is shining and I declare I see buds on the trees and bushes! But reality says that spring doesn't come this early. I'm enjoying the sunshine anyway!

I am thinking... of my To-Do lists for the next couple of weeks.

I am thankful for... sunshine and the promise of spring!

From the learning rooms... we're learning about the Civil War on one hand, and the Cold War, the Space Race, and the Civil Rights movement on the other (using Sonlight Cores 4 and 300, which don't exactly go together!), plodding through the first level of the Madsen Method, and reviewing a GED test study book to make sure we have all the bases covered. Yeah, that's what school looks like when you teach 2 children at different levels with different objectives! (I don't recommend this approach for new homeschoolers!)

From the kitchen... I'm learning to grow my own bean sprouts! They add such a nice flavor and crunch to a salad, and they are super-cheap and super-easy to make! I got a pound of the dried mung beans for $1.69, and it only takes a couple tablespoons of the seeds to make a baggy of sprouts. The only equipment required is a wide mouth quart jar and a screen for the lid. I'll have to take pictures and blog about it soon!

I am creating... my third pair of socks for the winter. I love the new 2-at-a-time technique I learned!

I am going... to Loveland, Colorado in 2 weeks for my first homeschool convention of the season!

I am reading... Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren.

I am hoping... to finish up some projects this week that have been hanging over my head for awhile.

I am hearing... violin music as the girls practice for their classes.

Around the house... are topply stacks of books. I'm sorting through my books and curriculum. Getting ready to sell what I'm through with, and deciding what I'll need for display at my Sonlight booth this season.

A few plans for the rest of the week: the usual homeschooling and office work at home, orchestra classes for the girls Tuesday and Wednesday, Bible study in our home Thursday evening, skiing on Friday-- just our normal schedule for this winter.

This post is part of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ski Report - Week 5

This past Friday was the warmest ski day we've had yet. Driving over, the weather was kinda weird. It was bright and sunny when we left home, but densely foggy as we drove over the Pass, and then bright and clear again when we reached Kellogg. The mountain scenery was particularly spectacular as we rode up the gondola. When we finally reached the snow level, the snow appeared to be twinkling in the sunshine!
We've been wondering if the snow is going to hold for the rest of the classes (3 more weeks) with the unusually warm weather we've been having. With the clear skies it was easier to see how much of the mountains are not snow-covered this year. We left the mountain about 3:00pm and it was 50 degrees when we got back to the car at the base of the gondola!

We aren't all that far from Vancouver. I asked Lyle if they were having problems with snow for the Olympics. (I'm a very casual glance-at-the-TV-in-passing Olympics viewer. Not following them very closely at all.) He said he had heard they trucked in snow for one event, but that the ski events were a good bit further north in the mountains. So it's probably colder there.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter? Where?

Will you forgive me if I gloat--just a bit!--that we are not having the snow and ice that so much of the country has right now? After all, we had more than our share last year and the year before
In fact, this past Saturday just felt like spring! The sun was shining in our neighborhood and the temps got up close to 50. In the sun, it felt even warmer. If you squint real hard you can probably see just a little snow on the mountains in the distance. But not much! If you squint even harder, you might can imagine that the grass is beginning to turn green! Okay... maybe not.
I made the rounds in the yard checking for buds. I'm sure it won't be long before the rhododendron bush, the little azalea bush, and the lilacs will be blooming!
In the meantime, I'm enjoying my seasonally-challenged Christmas Cactus who usually blooms around Valentines... or Easter... or maybe even Thanksgiving... but never Christmas! (I have a theory that it has to do with hours of daylight, and the days are just too short this far north around Christmas-time.)
Spring is coming!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ski Report - Week 4

It was foggy and drizzly when we headed up the mountain this past Friday. It seems a little strange to go skiing when there's no snow--none!--on the ground when we get on the gondola to ride up the mountain.
We were assured that it was snowing at the lodge, and when we got to the top we found it to be true!

The weird thing about the weather this week was that it kept changing every few minutes. First, it would be relatively clear, with a few clouds, but a decent view to the valley.
The next time I looked out we were completely socked in, with the snow just a-flyin'! It changed like that several times throughout the day.
When the girls had had enough of the snow and the wind we headed back down during a "clear" spell. We enjoyed this breath-taking view of the Silver Valley.
That's I-90 winding through the valley. I have really appreciated having that easy access to skiing this year. I would much rather ride the gondola up the mountain than have to drive the icy mountain roads.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ski Report - Week 3

I'm always amazed at how much the weather varies from one week to the next in the winter. You would think that snow is snow, and as long as there was snow that skiing conditions would be pretty much the same. That's not the case, though.
The first week we went up the mountain this year, it was very windy with snow blowing all around. The second week was partly cloudy and warm, with melting snow in areas. This past week the temp was back below freezing and it was very foggy and snowing. The falling snow, of course, melted on the kids, so they were soaked when they came in for lunch. After they warmed up a bit they put on dry gloves (we had taken spares) and went back out for more fun on the mountain!

The classes (or instructors) on Silver Mountain haven't been as helpful as they were last year at Mt. Spokane, but at least the kids have plenty of time to practice on their own before and after class each week. I'm glad for this opportunity for them to get lots of fresh air and exercise!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Homeschool Conventions

It's been a very intense, exhausting, and oh-so-productive week! I just returned from a 3-day trip to Sonlight Curriculum's headquarters in Littleton, Colorado where I met with 9 other consultants and the Sonlight staff to brainstorm for the upcoming homeschool convention season.(Thanks, Luke, for the picture!)

We planned a new set-up for our convention booths to make them more helpful and informative than ever. We also decided on some really great perks for convention attendees and customers. If you are a homeschooler, and are at all interested in Sonlight Curriculum, you'll definitely want to plan now to attend a homeschool convention this year and visit the Sonlight booth.

Here is a list of homeschool events I will be attending in the Northwest in 2010. Check out their websites for information. Please join me!

If you don't live in my area, you can find out about other homeschool conventions around the country here.