Monday, July 6, 2015

The Summer Life

Pool Part @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I love summer.

Even with our current heat wave.

I cannot ever remember a spring/early summer this dry and hot. We’ve had a long string of 90-100 degree days. The 15-day forecast says 80-90 degrees, which is better.

On one of the HOT days, we spent hours at my friend Lindsay’s pool with her daughter, Daphne. Actually, she’s more like my little sister since I’ve known her since she was born. Grin.

Shannon, Rilla, Sweden, and my mom were there as well (and Lindsay’s mom, my second mom), so it was a big party. Sweden slept and slept before donning a yellow polka dot bikini and getting in the water for the first time in her short life. I took a bunch of pictures with my mom’s camera, so maybe she’ll post some soon. [Ahem, Mom.]

Baby Toes @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

On Saturday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with my long-time online friend Crissy and her son, Hunter. It’s always nice to see friends in person!

Tonight kicks off the Monday evening summer concert series in the park.

We’ll see what the rest of this week holds.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reading Challenge Up-Date ~ June 2015

Read a Book @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Which are you?

This past month I had a difficult time even wanting a book to read! June should have been my biggest reading month. Instead it was a blah month. [I’d better get cracking this next month!]

I did manage to read a few books. My favorites were A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (a middle grade novel; it will probably be one of my favorites of the whole year) and The Conversation by Leigh Bortins (a great finale for her trilogy on classical education).

The 2015 Book List Challenge

[*Added to original list]


Lila: A Novel [I had a more difficult time getting into this novel than Robinson’s previous two novels in the series, but the story was greatly rewarding in the end. What a beautiful picture of grace the author masterfully paints. Marilynne Robinson is at the top of my list. 4 1/2 stars]

Hood [Hood is the first Stephen Lawhead book I’ve read. It is a retelling of the Robin Hood myth. It was well-told and entertaining, but not excellent. I’d like to try another series by Lawhead. 3 1/2 stars]

The Sunday Philosophy Club [This is from the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which I very much enjoyed. Interesting in places, charming in places, and boring in quiet a few places. 3 stars.]

A Girl of The Limberlost (ChocLit Guild) [Sweet, safe, turn of the century romance novel by Gene Stratton-Porter, full of natural history. 3 1/2 stars]

The Brothers K

The Road

Dune [I tried to start it and just couldn’t get going. Maybe I’ll try again later this year.]

The Once and Future King

The Chosen [A fascinating look at Jewish culture in 1940s Brooklyn, New York, written by Chaim Potok. I was captivated. 4 1/2 stars]

Beloved [Toni Morrison has given us a tragic and graphic but exquisitely-written narrative that seeps the reader in the culture of slavery. Haunting. 4 1/2 stars]

The Book Thief

*Whose Body? [Lord Peter Wimsey debuts in this detective novel by Dorothy Sayers. Slightly reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse, but not nearly so silly, Whose Body? is the first of the series. I mostly read this one so that I could work my way up to Clouds of Witness. 4 stars]

Clouds of Witness

Catch-22 [This was a tough read for me, and I wished it had been about half as long. I cannot read 400+ pages of satirical nonsense before my head explodes. It gave me more to think about, however, as I was reading Unbroken since both books are about bombardiers during WWII. It is an important modern classic, but not at all enjoyable to read. 3 stars]

Lord of the Flies [Lord of the Flies was not cheerful, by any means, but not quite as grim or at least not as explicit as I was expecting. Important modern classic, not particularly enjoyable. 3 1/2 stars.]

The Great Gatsby [Quintessential Jazz Age and a cultural imperative. 4 1/2 stars.]

Invisible Man

The Return of the Native

The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel

The Grapes of Wrath


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The Signature of All Things [This is a brilliantly-told narrative, even if it took quite some time for the story to get going. (The beginning is interesting, but the first 13 chapters all seem to have the same pacing.) I have very strong feelings about this one, but it is a bit of a pendulum swing when I consider it. It disturbed me. I think I hated it. But maybe, if I read it again, I’d love it. Oddly, it reminded me in some ways of Till We Have Faces, which I didn’t hate. I don’t even know how to rate this one. 4 1/2 stars for the excellent writing. 2 stars for enjoyment.]

*Godric: A Novel [My feelings about Godric were similar to my feelings about The Signature of All Things, though I was more frustrated than disturbed and Godric wasn’t as long. I think I hated it, but maybe I’d love it if I re-read it so that I could understand it better, see more deeply. I suppose good writing is writing that makes you feel and think, in which case both books are excellent. I don’t know. But I hate hating books. It makes me feel shallow and imperceptive. Am I not intellectual enough to love books that aren’t enjoyable? I think I have to be prepared ahead of time for a tragic or graphic or dark story like I was for Beloved or Till We Have Faces. I also find it fascinating that stories can speak so differently to people. Again, it is true: no two people read the same book. 4 stars for the writing, 2 1/2 for the enjoyment.]

Merry Hall [I loved Down the Garden path by Beverly Nichols, and Merry Hall did not disappoint. It’s like P.G. Wodehouse in the garden. Quite hilarious. The little vignettes are somewhat unconnected, though, and there is no driving narrative, so I didn’t find myself needing to continue reading. 3 1/2 stars]

*Go Set a Watchman: A Novel

*Gone with the Wind (ChocLit Guild)

*The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel [This is a charming and delightful modern novel. I needed something light after a run of several difficult novels. I liked this one in a way similar to The Rosie Project. Quirky. Modern. Not depressing. Not cheesy. Not squeaky clean, but not gritty. 3 1/2 stars]

*The Little Village School [Charming story. Sort of like Mitford, but centered around a school in England. 3 1/2 stars]


Pride and Prejudice (ChocLit Guild) [For years I have adored both the BBC movie version with Colin Firth as well as the newer movie version with Matthew Macfadyen, but I had never read the book! Now I can say that I’ve read it. But, honestly? It was delightful in the same way that the movies are delightful. (grin) Both movies retain so much of the story (particularly the longer BBC movie version) and the original dialogue, that I simply replayed the movies in my mind throughout my reading of the whole book. And then I wanted to watch the movies again. I’m not sure how to separate my love for them, so I’ll rate them together: 5 stars.]

Gulliver's Travels (An abridged re-telling) [I love this retelling and the illustrations are fantastic. A must for cultural literacy. 4 stars]

Moby Dick [I knew I wouldn’t end up reading this one this year (or ever), so I grabbed an excellent graphic novel version. This month a friend shared with me an interesting essay titled Why You Should Read Moby Dick by R.C. Sproul. I still don’t know if I’ll read the unabridged version, but I appreciated having some deep ideas to think about as I read the graphic novel.]

Paradise Lost (ChocLit Guild)

The Brothers Karamazov

The Lord of the Rings

Frankenstein [in progress]

No Name (Or something else by Wilkie Collins. ChocLit Guild)

Hamlet (CC Moms Book Club) [deep reading in progress]


The Iliad

The Odyssey

Children’s and YA Novels

The Door in the Wall (CC Challenge A) [A wonderful coming of age story set in Medieval times. 4 stars]

A Gathering of Days (CC Challenge A) [This was my least favorite of all the Challenge A literature selections. Somewhat boring and forced. I didn’t care for the journal-style writing. 2 1/2 stars]

Crispin: The Cross of Lead (CC Challenge A) [This was my favorite of the Challenge A literature selections. I ended up purchasing the other two books in the trilogy as well as several others by the author. Another great coming of age story set in Medieval times. 4 stars]

Where the Red Fern Grows (CC Challenge B)

*A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park [This was an excellent read about a boy from war-torn Sudan. Highly recommended for adults as well as children (though it may be a little much for very young or sensitive children). This will be one of my favorite books this year. 4 1/2 stars.]

*In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord [This is a darling book about a little girl who moves from China to New York in the year 1947. It is a well-written simple chapter book. I would have given it four stars if it hadn’t been for two short events in the book that I did not care for. First (and this is a nit-picky complaint), a bully at school gives her two black eyes while swearing at her, and the words are bleeped out in asterisks. Shirley refuses to tell her parents what happened because she knows the bully would take it out on her. Her resolve not to tattle is rewarded by the bully becoming her friend the next day. Second, Shirley’s next friend tells her that she wants to show her something and swears Shirley to secrecy. The girls sneak into the friend’s dad’s office (he’s a psychiatrist) and the friend shows her a book (presumably a medical book) with pictures of naked people. Shirley pretends enthusiasm, but has no desire to look at the book. The story takes only a couple pages, but it begins with “Only one aspect of her friendship with Emily would have displeased her mother, but she was not likely to find it out, and so Shirley did not trouble herself too much over it.” It was this second event that just didn’t sit well with me, partly because the rest of the book is wonderful for 8-11 year olds. 3 stars.]

Junk Food

*Highland Fling [So fun. So easy to read. So not edifying in any way. (grin) 3 stars]

*Paradise Fields [I enjoy this author, but this was probably my least favorite book of hers. 2 stars]

*Undetected  [Tom Clancy meets Grace Livingston Hill. Well-researched and interesting details about sonar. Squeaky-clean and positive Christian romance. Not painfully written. Probably just a tad (ha!) unrealistic and idealistic. If I were willing to be totally honest, I would tell you that this genre is smack-dab in the middle of my comfort zone and the easiest, most enjoyable thing for me to read. But I don’t want to admit that. (wry grin) 3 stars]

*Attachments [Chick lit set in 1999. 3 stars]



Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (ChocLit Guild)

*The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (ChocLit Guild) [in progress]

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (ChocLit Guild)

The Hiding Place (CC Challenge B)

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Faith, Culture, and Education

The Pursuit of God (ChocLit Guild) [in progress]

Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age (CiRCE Conference)

Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education (CiRCE Conference) [in progress]

Leisure: The Basis of Culture

The Soul of Science (CC Parent Practicum)

Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art (CC Parent Practicum)

Honey for a Teen's Heart [Detailed review here. 4 1/2 stars]

Invitation to the Classics: A Guide to Books You've Always Wanted to Read

*Just Walk Across the Room (ChocLit Guild)

*The Conversation: Challenging Your Student with a Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins (third in trilogy) [Excellent. 4 stars for the trilogy.]


*The Bronze Bow (CC Challenge A)

*The Question (CC Moms Book Club) [deep reading in progress]

*A Tale of Two Cities (reading aloud) [in progress]

*The Catcher in the Rye [in progress]

*Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll [audio book/read aloud in progress]

*Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (read aloud)

*Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Miss Me?

Sunday at Lake Oswego @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Boy howdy, I’ve turned into a blog slacker!

We’ve been a little busy with general summer life since my family softball post.

Last week the kids had two, yes TWO, VBSs to attend. Lola, Leif, and Luke attended our favorite VBS in the mornings (Levi is too old and Lola was finally old enough this year!) and Leif attended our own church’s “Kids’ Kamp” in the evenings. Luke and Levi “helped” with games, and Lola is still too young to attend. It was a rather crazy week driving back and forth (neither VBS is close, and one is smack-dab in the middle of crazy road construction).

Levi attended a rousing birthday party with 3 good friends at a nearby trampoline park.

I attended a book club meeting where we hilariously donned Jane Austen tattoos (my sister’s tattoos were my favorites) and had an impromptu movie night with Pride and Prejudice and popcorn.

Russ headed over to Bend with Luke early Saturday morning to coach one of his swimmers at a swim meet there. After the meet, they spent a short while at the outdoor splash pool, several hours at a climbing gym, and some time at a bowling alley before crashing haphazardly in a tent.

Levi attended a late evening “glow” event with the church youth group where they played capture the flag and I don’t know what else.

Russ and Luke drove home Sunday afternoon and met up with the rest of us so we could attend our friend Bob’s annual summer party at his house on Lake Oswego (view above). The company is diverse and it’s enjoyable to catch up with everyone over big plates of ribs. (If the boys are trying to describe which Bob they are talking about, this Bob is always “ribs Bob.”) The kids all swam (while I talked).

All four of the kids spent a few hours at another friends’ house playing on Monday afternoon.

We have a pool date at yet another friend’s house later this week, and concerts in the park start up next Monday!

So, all this fun?

I now have whiny children who cannot do simple tasks (much less with a respectful attitude) and they think they are abused and have no friends and do nothing fun and their lives are tragic and boring and it’s always someone else’s fault.

And my house, well, it looks as if there has been a struggle at best. A crime scene, maybe.

I guess we’ll start summer boot camp tomorrow.

Should be fun in this 100+ degree heat wave we’re having. [Seriously, this can’t be Oregon, people.]

How is your summer going?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father’s Day and Family Softball

Family Softball @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We spent Father’s Day afternoon in the garden with my family. It was our first family softball of the season, and Olive’s first time ever! She hit the ball on the very first try and ended up being a natural.

Mom up to Bat @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Rilla up to Bat @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

Rilla on the Run @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

Russ up to Bat @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

Drake up to Bat @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

Dad and his girls.

Dad and Daughters @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

Russ brought his new toy to share, and everyone had a turn.

Rilla on the Go Cart @ Mt. Hope Chronicles Holly in the Go Cart @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesMom in the Go Cart @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesDad in the Go Cart @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I am so thankful for the two most important men in my life. Dad and Russ, you are the best dads I could ask for. I love you both.

Russ and Luke @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Food for Thought ~ A Little Bit of Everything

Green @ Mt. Hope Chronicles


If you want to keep up with me between blog posts, I’m now on Instagram as mthopeheidi. As always, you can also follow me on Facebook, where I share links and more in “real time.” (I am also on Pinterest, but not as often.)


Parenting, Money, and Good Habits

:: 15 Poverty Habits Parents Teach Their Children @ Rich Habits. This post could generate some interesting conversation. His statistics are fascinating. I think we have to remember that correlation does not imply causation, though, and I think that some of the statistics may be effect rather than cause. It’s important to note that this post does not address systemic concerns surrounding poverty nor should we consider monetary wealth as the single indicator of a rich life. His “success habits,” however, aren’t all directly related to money and could help lead a person to a rich life, regardless of income. Most of them involve taking care of what you do have: physical health, time, relationships, character, and mind.

“Wealthy people do certain things every single day that sets them apart from everyone else in life. Wealthy people have good daily success habits that they learned from their parents.”

Parenting and Nature

:: Let Kids Run Wild in the Woods @ Slate

“Taking home small souvenirs of the woods is just the beginning of things kids can’t do in nature. In many parks and other public lands, kids are told by rangers, parents, or teachers not to leave the trail, not to climb rocks or trees, not to whack trees with sticks, not to build forts or lean-tos, not to dig holes, not to move rocks from one place to another within the park, not to yell or even talk too loudly. Are we having fun yet?”



:: It's All In Your Head: Director Pete Docter Gets Emotional In 'Inside Out' @ npr. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie!

On trying to recruit Mindy Kaling, who wound up voicing Disgust:

"I turned around, because I was pitching kind of some visuals on the computer, and she's crying ... she really responded emotionally, and she said, 'Sorry, I just think it's really beautiful that you guys are making a story that tells kids that it's difficult to grow up and it's OK to be sad about it.' We were like, 'Quick! Write that down.' Because that was really what we were trying to say."


Around the World and Close to Home

:: #BringBackOurGirls: Meet Some of the Survivors From the Boko Haram Chibok Kidnapping @ Cosmopolitan [I can’t believe I’m linking to a Cosmo article.] These girls are finishing their high school education at the Christian boarding school in a little town in Oregon that my great grandfather founded. My grandmother taught there for years and years. My Dad (and siblings) attended the school. A couple uncles have taught there, and my Aunt Judi and Uncle Phil are there now. You can see my grandmother’s house behind the girls in the last picture. I spent some beautiful days of my childhood wandering the town and the grounds of the school. I am so happy for these girls that they are able to be there.


The Internet

The Bad

:: The Comedian vs. The Smart Phone @ The Imaginative Conservative

“Kids are by nature mean. Smart phones make them meaner. Why? They can’t see the faces and experience the reactions of those they diss. Their “humor” is more cruelly fun than it might otherwise be, because it’s unchastened by empathy. Smart phones work against the emotion that evolutionary psychologists say we need to moderate our selfish struggle for status.

“…And an insightful comedian today reminds us that nobody with eyes to see really believes that kids or the rest of us are getting less mean. These might be the toughest times ever not to be smart and pretty.”

:: Internet Outrage, Public Shaming and Modern-Day Pharisees @ Relevant Magazine

“There are many forms of online shaming: The angry blog, the critical tweet, the vicious comment on Facebook. Whatever the method—people try to hurt people. Sometimes the shaming escalates into a mob, a faux-community that latches on to the negative verdict and piles on. Under the pretense of righteous indignation, the mob licks its chops as it goes about demonizing, diminishing and destroying its target.”

:: The Shaming of Izzy Laxamana @ Slate

"The Internet has enabled the schoolyard bully to crash a family dinner, the parental tyrant to stalk his child through the school halls, and the school administrator to punish a girl for the things she does when she leaves the campus... Digital villagers are no longer relegated to the sidelines; online, everybody gets a gavel."

The Good

:: Washington Valedictorian's Secret Instagram Reveals Tear-Jerking Thoughts on Classmates @ Yahoo News


A friend asked if I ever just wanted to quit the internet.

I feel like quitting the internet as often as I feel like quitting everything else involving humanity, including parenting. [wink] But I've come to the conclusion that I need to be the best human I can be wherever I am, and that includes the internet. I've seen so much encouragement, intelligence, and kindness on the internet (FB in particular) as well, and I want to contribute to that if I can (even though I am far from perfect).

You have the power to make the world a better, kinder place, friends. Wherever you are--work, school, community, internet--be the best human you can be.

Like the kid in the article above.

And like this guy:

:: Australian blood donor's 'golden arm' has saved lives of 2 million babies @ KPTV



:: 12 Useful Math Hacks That They Didn’t Teach You In School @ Today Christian. There are some interesting ones here!


Literature and Stories

[You didn’t think I’d skip this topic, did you?]

:: What Etgar Keret Learned From His Father About Storytelling And Survival @ npr. I love, LOVE this article. Go read it all!

"My father was very charismatic and a very good storyteller but he couldn't invent anything so he would tell me stories about things that had just happened. And these stories would be amazing and there was sometimes violence in them, many extreme things, but at the same time, they were full of love for mankind and even the people who would do those extreme things, you would still understand them and like them. The protagonist in those stories, they would always be prostitutes and mafia guys and drunk people.

“…Those stories, for me, were always the model for the function of stories and storytelling in our lives — the idea is that you kind of look reality straight in the face, it doesn't matter how ugly it is, and you try to find humanity in it, you try to find beauty in it, you try to find hope in it. So you can't beautify it, but at the same time, you should find these tiny things that you know that would make sometimes very violent and unhappy occasions still human and emotional.”

:: A Decadent Hell Hole: The Dystopia of “A Handmaid’s Tale” @ The Imaginative Conservative. I read this book a year or two ago. It was fascinating and chilling!

:: Preparing Students to Think about Modern Literature @ Center for Lit

“Joyce’s novel offers a great opportunity to talk about the purpose and nature of literature, as well as the project of the early 20th century modernists. At CenterForLit we believe that all great literature is worth reading, even when we disagree with the worldview of the author. It is through reading opposing viewpoints that we come to have compassion for other worldviews, while being strengthened in our own. And there is always the slightest chance that the author we don’t agree with has noticed something true about the world, which can then be magnified and deepened with real Truth.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back to Ancient History (and Classical Conversations, Cycle 1)

Ancient History Resources @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

We are finishing up Modern history this summer and preparing to hop in the “Way Back Machine” in the fall. We get to return to Ancient history! [This marks the beginning of my 3rd tour through history!]

After much consideration and a few years of experience, I’ve chosen option #5 from this post exploring ways to integrate Classical Conversations history sentence memorization and The Story of the World. This means that we study world history chronologically by reading all four volumes of The Story of the World over a period of three years, roughly corresponding to the CC history sentences memory work in Foundations and more closely corresponding to the themed writing in Essentials. The beauty of this schedule is that my kids will go through world history twice during 1st – 6th grades (once as a light introduction with some picture books and a second time as an in-depth study with integrated writing) before beginning the Challenge program in 7th grade.

CC Foundations cycle 1 history sentences cover a broad range of civilizations and geographical regions from ancient to modern, only roughly chronologically due to the various lengths of time each civilization was flourishing (and a few of the sentences really jump around on the timeline because they are grouped by geographical region rather than chronologically). We’ll be focusing on the ancient civilizations for our in-depth studies, but we’ll be placing each one of the history sentences along with the facts from the history timeline (which students memorize in full from ancients to modern every year) in our new timeline book.

I am tutoring an Essentials class this year, and both Luke and Leif will be joining me. So we will using the Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons from IEW and writing papers using literature selections from and non-fiction sources about Sumer, Egypt, Israel, Babylon, Greece, and Rome.

Our last time through the Ancients, I posted an extensive list of literature selections, so I’ll focus on mostly non-fiction books and resources for Ancient history and geography in this post. I’ll share our resources for cycle 1 math, science, Latin, English grammar, and fine arts in an upcoming post.

If you wish to read Our Big-Picture Educational Scope and Sequence Integrated with Classical Conversations, check out this link. It covers our progression in all subjects from Pre-K through 6th grade.

Honestly, our children are so blessed to have so many excellent books and resources available to them in this day and age. This list could have been much longer, and I know there are many other beautiful, informative, fascinating, or hilarious books out there that we don’t have (yet, ha!)! This is a wide range of books from simple picture books to longer chapter books. Some are serious. Some are meant to be funny and entertaining. I prefer a wide variety!

[I do not formally schedule or read aloud most of these books. I set them out when we are covering that civilization or time period and the boys grab them and read independently whenever they have time or I tell them it’s time to read. I’ve had these books out in stacks this past week while sorting and planning, and I could not keep the boys out of them!]

Ancient History

(Click here for more literature and historical fiction selections.)


The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Classical Acts and Facts History Cards from Classical Conversations

The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor

Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons [IEW]

Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble

Sun-Day, Moon-Day: How the Week Was Made (includes Babylonian, Greek, and Roman stories)

100 Things You Should Know About World Wonders (Short paragraphs of information not just about the 7 wonders of the ancient world, but also wonders in the Americas, Africa, the East, Easter Island, Stonehenge, natural wonders, and a few modern wonders)

Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander (A fun fiction chapter book. Jason and Gareth travel to Egypt and Rome/Britain as well as more modern time periods.)

Pages of History (volume 1; up to Martin Luther) (A time-traveling history book from Veritas Press)

YouTube series:

Horrible Histories, History Teachers, Crash Course History [All hilarious. Parental guidance suggested.]

PBS – Pyramid – David Macaulay (Hour-long show, much of it animated)

PBS – Roman City – David Macaulay (Another of Macaulay’s Early Civilizations shows)


Educational Trivia Card Game - Professor Noggin's Ancient Civilizations

Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Countries of the World

Educational Trivia Card Game – Professor Noggin’s Wonders of the World

The Classic Historian Ancient History Go Fish

BrainBox Horrible Histories Awful Ancients



Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Simple, fun presentation, but very informative!)

Discovery in the Cave (Step Into Reading 4) (Lascaux cave paintings in France)

First Dog by Jan Brett (A simple, sweet picture book about a cave boy)



Mesopotamia (DK Eyewitness Books)

Science in Ancient Mesopotamia (and Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Early Islamic Cultures, and India in series)



Discovering Ancient Egypt (interactive website with activities—the hieroglyphic typewriter is fantastic)

Ancient Egypt TOOB by Safari (I love the Safari TOOBS with miniature figures, and this one is great fun for ancient history studies!)

Uncovering History: Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt (This is one of my favorite general books on Egypt.)

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie dePaola (A cute picture book for younger kids)

Story of the Nile: A Journey Through Time Along the World’s Longest River (This is a beautiful picture book.)

Ralph Maseillo’s Ancient Egypt Drawing Book

Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford

Hieroglyphs (The included stencil makes this book extra fun.)

Tutankhamen’s Gift by Robert Sabuda

Tut’s Mummy: Lost… and Found (Step Into Reading 4)

Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht (This series of books by Richard Platt is quite entertaining.)

Temple Cat by Andrew Clements

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by Henry Barker (A great easy reader for independent reading!)

Secrets of the Mummies (Eyewitness Readers Level 4)

Chester Crab Comix: Ancient Africa (Egypt, Mali)



I Wonder Why Greeks Built Temples and Other Questions About Ancient Greece by Fiona Macdonald (Also Egypt and Rome in series)

You Wouldn't Want to Be a Slave in Ancient Greece! (And others in series for Sumer, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan and more)

History News: The Greek News (Get your history, newspaper-style! Check out Egypt and Rome in the same series.)

Good Times Travel Agency: Adventures in Ancient Greece (And more in series)

TOOLS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS: A Kid's Guide to the History & Science of Life in Ancient Greece (Also Rome in series)

Chester Crab Comix: Greeks, Romans, Countrymen!

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky (One of my favorites!)

What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? (Math)

Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick (A short, illustrated chapter book about the first historian)

Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick (Another winner from this author about the ancient mathematician)

Basher History: Mythology: Oh My! Gods and Goddesses

Greek Myths by Deborah Lock (DK Readers Level 3)



Rome in Spectacular Cross-Section (This is a beautiful oversized book with detailed illustrations by Stephen Biesty. Check out Egypt and Greece in this series, as well.)

Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster (An excellent longer narrative)

Chester Crab Comix: Greeks, Romans, Countrymen!

Pompeii… Buried Alive! (Step Into Reading 4)

Pompeii: Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #14: Ancient Rome and Pompeii: A Nonfiction Companion to MTH #13

Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave (Another book in the entertaining series by Richard Platt!)

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick (A wonderful short, illustrated chapter book about the greatest doctor of the Roman empire)

Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (And a bunch of other ancient-history themed Asterix books—classic comic books!)

Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda (Neat mosaic illustrations)



Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China: Land of the Emperor's Great Wall: A Nonfiction Companion to MTH #14

The Great Wall of China

If I Were a Kid in Ancient China (Children of the Ancient World series) (This series has Egypt, Greece, and Rome versions, as well.)

Good Times Travel Agency: Adventures in Ancient China (And others in series)

Confucius Speaks: Words to Live By (Confucius in comic strip form)

Confucius: The Golden Rule



Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha

I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told


Ancient American Civilizations

Chester Crab Comix: The First Americans (includes Anasazi and Moundbuilders)

DK Eyewitness: Aztec, Inca, and Maya

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Celebrating Life with Friends

the good life @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We spent five hours today (after church) with our best friends at the water, celebrating McKinnon’s and Monet’s birthdays.

The weather was perfect. The food was delicious. The company was lovely. The entertainment was spectacular.

The boys learned to kayak. They were all great at it, but I was really impressed with Leif’s skills. (Lola told me she wanted to go out by herself because she knew how to do it! “It’s just left, right, Mom,” she said as she made the rowing motion. I let her go out by herself, but I held the long rope attached to her boat. Indeed, she was pretty good at rowing!)

Leif kayaking @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

There was a bunch of swimming and jumping off the dock. And boat rides for everyone. Russ and the kids all had a chance to be pulled on the tube behind the boat.

Boating at Foster Lake @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Yes, summer is here.