Reading: August 2017

August was a crazy month. In some ways I look back and it seems like a crazy long period of time and then really it just flew by. We started school, which this year brings me homeschooling both children, we started co-op and my oldest turned 14. In the midst of all that, I did find some time to read, but this month I feel like it was more of a luxury than before. Squeezing time and effort into reading was  little bit harder.

Currently

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
Yes, that Lauren Graham of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls. I’ve had this on my amazon wish list for ages and finally got it from the library because I was looking for something sort of light and hopefully funny to read. Reviews I had read were mixed, but many people said that they loved it in the end because they heard Lorelia Gilmore in it so much. I’m not sure about that. I think part of it is because the main character is a girl wanting to make it into acting in New York and I totally cannot even begin to identify with that. So while it’s been an interesting read, it’s not the story I was hoping for.

The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic… by S. Johnson
This was on my master list for 2017 and I finally got it from the library. I raced through the first few chapters while sitting at a super long doctor’s appointment (which was kind of ironic given that the book is about cholera) and was completely fascinated. I’ve read and watched so many things about the early years of London and I still cannot get over the filth that people used to live in. It’s crazy how little “doctors” knew about anything back then…and really not even that long ago. I’m so thankful for clean drinking water and the world of science.

Swallows and Amazons by A. Ransome
My daughter and I are reading this at bedtime and are really enjoying it. It’s sort of a Swiss Family Robinson type story; a little bit. But more than anything it’s a book about a group of kids with amazing imaginations and what happens when you let kids have freedom to explore the outside. It makes me miss my childhood and the freedom I had to roam the neighborhood and the woods around us and how letting my kids just play across the street in the park freaks me out a little bit.

Finished

The Core by L. Bortins
Technically I’ve got one chapter left, but I’m calling this one finished. It was a great introduction to the world of classical education and interesting to see how her vision created Classical Conversations (which is the co-op program that we are a part of).

The Hamilton Affair by E. Cobbs
This was pretty good. As much as I want to know and understand early American history, I get bogged down all the time by all the different labels people had: Patriots, Tories, Sons of Liberty etc… But this was my first attempt at trying to get on the Hamilton train. I’m sort of getting there.

Unseen by S. Hagerty
I was given an advanced reader copy of this book and I really enjoyed it. I love the message that she is trying to get across and even more love the scripture that was woven throughout. It was an amazing reminder that in seasons of less, seasons where you feel so missed and lonely and unseen, we are never unseen. God sees us and our way to seeing him is through prayer and more specifically through His word. It has truly pushed me back into God’s word as a means of meditation and not just checking off a list that I’ve read the Bible today. If I want to feel rooted and found, it’s at His feet and in His word that I must go.

Coming Next

I’m heading up a mom’s book club for our Classical Conversations group this year and our first book is Eve in Exile; so that’s first on my list. David Powlison has a new book out that I’m hoping to read and study and a sweet friend gifted me with Beauty and the Word so I’m hoping to start digging into that too. I also need to finish The Ghost Map and I’m continuing to slowly read through Charlotte Mason’s volumes as our homeschool moves more and more that direction.

What are you reading?

Sewing: Summer Camp 2017

This summer I had the joy of leading two sewing camps for kids ages 2nd grade on up. The first week, I had a Sewing 101 camp with two sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had two awesome groups of campers and as always I walked away with amazement at the creativity so many of these kiddos had. Here’s a sampling of some of their projects:

Camp 101 : 2017

Learning how to use the sewing machine for the very first time!

Camp 101 : 2017

Making a banner for her room.

Camp 101 : 2017

Camp 101 : 2017

Camp 101 : 2017

For the first year I had boys! They were awesome!

Camp 101 : 2017

Camp 101 : 2017

Fairy dolls and Pirates.

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For a few years now I’ve wanted to try a Fashion Camp, but was super nervous about it. This year I bit the bullet and did it and I’m so glad I did. I had an awesome group of girls and we made so many great things – and all of them came together so well! They were super proud of all they made and I was super excited that everything fit!

Fashion Camp 2017

We ended the week making dresses using Sis Boom’s Molly Peasant dress. I modified it a little bit for our purposes; leaving out the waist elastic. It ended up being an awesome first garment project.

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We made some Purl Bee City Gym Shorts, which turned out so great. This actually ended up being a pretty challenging project with the bias binding, but they did so great. I pre-made all the binding for the girls, but they pinned it on themselves and for the most part sewed it on all by themselves.

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In between projects the girls got creative. They worked together and made a little fruit basket and helped a friend make a family of monsters.

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Overall they both came together well and I looked forward to another summer of sewing in 2018!

Reading: July 2017 + midway update

I’m halfway through the year so far and I’ve done pretty good with my “assigned” reading list. I’ve read about half of the fiction books and I’ve dabbled in the other categories as well. I’ve found myself a little frustrated with some of my choices and I’m wondering if I will end up reading everything. It’s a funny thing when you make a list at the beginning of the year and then life happens and you wonder why one book seemed so appealing to you and then 6 months later it doesn’t?

You can check out where I am on my list here. But for July, here’s what I read:

Currently

The Core by Leigh Bortins
I’m still plugging through this book written by the creator of Classical Conversations (the co-op we are a part of). So far I actually have really enjoyed it. It’s been super helpful to get a more formal perspective on the program and just classical education in general.

A Girl of the Limberlost
Yes, still reading. I’m finding that I put this one aside when I pick up another book and then come back to it. I’m getting there.

Unseen by Sara Hagerty
I’m privileged to be an advanced reader for this book and so far it’s been super good. Definitely a conversation that needed to start in my head between the Lord and myself.

Finished

Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky by C. Lapallo
This book was fabulous. It was a pre-read for my 8th grader and I had heard rave reviews from friends who had recommended it as a great early American history book and it didn’t disappoint.

Walking on Water by L’Engle
Nothing short of awesome. Such a good book and one I think I’ll read again for sure. After getting to listen and meet Katherine Paterson a few months ago, it’s made me super sad that I’ll never get to hear L’Engle in person. I’ve been searching for recordings of her past lectures or anything and I’ve come up short. I really appreciate her take on art and spirituality and how that all fits together so much.

Abandoned

The Seamstress by F. de Pontes Peebles
I got about 200 pages into this book and just couldn’t keep going. It was such a laborious read and I wasn’t getting the sense that it was all going to be worth it in the end. There were parts of it that were getting a little to graphic for my taste too so I set it aside.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by L. Terkeurst
Just couldn’t get into it. I think Hagerty’s book, which is a similar idea, is more what my heart needed.

What’s next?

I am still pre-reading stuff for school.  I need to read The Landing of the Pilgrims next and a few other shorter stories for my daughter. I’ve reserved The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by S. Johnson from the library and I need to finish all these books I’ve started too. The loose ends are getting to me!

One Thimble: A Little Mermaid Doll

I’m so excited to finally be able to reveal this pattern! It is coming out in 12 days in the awesome One Thimble magazine. But today I can share a little about the pattern so that you can be ready to get your hands on your own pattern as soon as it comes out!

This is a great little project to take along with you – and the perfect little gift for a sweet little one to stick in her pocket!

She comes with a complete pattern for the embroidery and stitching up the little doll and her shell bed. Perfect for all levels of embroidery and hand sewing!