Thursday, April 29, 2010

A New Route

Good Morning

Shannon and I have changed up our early morning walks now that daylight greets us.
A new route: refreshing.

Bend in the Road

A name indicates what we seek.
An address indicates where it is.
A route indicates how we get there.

~Jon Postel

Seeking: fresh air, light, conversation, moving body, deep breaths, inspiring scenery....
I'm on the right route.

A New Route

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keeping Your Head Above Water: Homeschooling in Survival Mode

Ocean Waves

One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability of the parent-teacher to weave together life and lessons. For some, creating that integration and balance comes naturally. For others, like myself, it is a constant work in progress.

But many of us, at one time or another, face huge waves of life that overwhelm our lessons.

Maybe it is a cross-country move, extended out-of-town visitors, caring for an elderly parent, home remodeling, early pregnancy nausea and fatigue, the birth of a baby, or an illness in the family.

We can use these waves as opportunities to embrace life (and all of its challenges) as a family and show our children that learning can happen anywhere and under any circumstances.

Don’t be afraid to let your children see and experience the waves of change within the context of a supportive family. I believe this will help develop their coping and problem-solving skills, give them a healthy understanding that life is not one long stretch of straight highway, and build strong family relationships.

There are several ways of shifting the balance to reflect our educational priorities, even when life seems to be up to our chins.

I'm over at Simple Homeschool, today. Head on over to read the rest.

Field Trip #18 ~ OR Ag Fest

Field Trip #18 ~ OR Ag Fest

We made it to the Oregon Ag Fest this past weekend. There were many child-friendly activities (digging for potatoes, petting animals, milking a 'cow'), but we particularly enjoyed sitting in the almost empty historic horse show stadium to watch the barrel racing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's in a Name?


Lilac. Hmmm. Levi, Luke, Leif, and Lilac. Has a certain ring to it.

Actually, that isn't one of the names on my list, though it would go well with my sister's botanically-named girls. (And just to be clear, no, we don't yet know whether we're having a boy or girl.)

Want to add any? Names to the list, that is. Now's your chance.
Just because naming babies is fabulous entertainment.

Already used: Levi Jefferson, Luke Monroe, and Leif Benjamin.

Names I wish I could use (last name clashers):
Swift (Laurel, that's just the coolest boy name, ever), Sylvie, Sawyer, Stella, Simeon...
Golly, I'm a one-letter-wonder, aren't I?

On the LOVE list: Beck, Hazel, Violet, Byrne, Lark, Wilder (Bella Art Girl, that's just the coolest girl name, ever), Per (Colleen, I want a Per, too!) , Wren, Adelheid, Ilex (Holly, if you hadn't used it, I would have. Well, if I had a girl.), Willow, Annika, Jude, Rilla, and Helm.

Looks like I'll have to have a few more kids....

ETA: I'm having fun with all the names in the comments!
Esme and Elle are perfectly lovely.
Lots of L names to choose from: Lucie, Larken, Lyric, Lincoln, Lilith, Lachlan, Lola, Laurel.
Whew! What will it be?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Asking a Favor

Would any of you be interested in helping out a mom who attends my church? She has been nominated for a local magazine's mom makeover contest. Courtney recently lost her two year old son in a tragic accident, and this would be an excellent opportunity to do something wonderful for her! So, if you have a moment, I would be very grateful if you took the time to follow this link and vote. She's just a few votes away from the lead and voting ends Thursday, April 22nd. Thanks!

ETA: Thank you, thank you for all the votes! It looks like it is going to be a close one.

i heart faces: Collage Week

The Lovely List

It's a fun theme at i heart faces this week: collages.

I've posted so many collages (created at over the past year or two, it was almost impossible to decide! I really wanted to enter my Hope collage, but there aren't any faces clearly visable, so my Lovely List project was next up. That's what we're all about here at Mt. Hope Chronicles. Hope and Lovely....

Check out other great collage entries at i heart faces this week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010



Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Field Trip #17: Swing Kings

Field Trip: Ballet

A nearby performing arts center offers educational performances of selected ballets. Many school classes attend, and the Hult Center reserves the box seats for homeschoolers. Tickets are only $5! Last spring, Levi and I attended Peter Pan with our best friends.

We were so disappointed that the performance for Beauty and the Beast was cancelled this past fall due to scheduling conflicts, so we had months of anticipation leading up to Swing Kings. It was fabulous, upbeat, and comical. And only 45 minutes long...perfect for the 4 young children along. This was Luke's first taste of a ballet performance, and he declared he loved it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, - to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.

~John Keats, Sonnet XIV

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.

~Erich Fromm

Monday, April 12, 2010

Field Trip #16: Wings of Wonder

Wings of Wonder

Field Trip #16: Wings of Wonder Butterfly Farm

After many recent stormy days, we had a gorgeous blue-sky afternoon with our best friends enjoying the butterfly exhibit.

Wings of Wonder (2)

Field Trip #15: Shakespeare

Henry V

Double feature Shakespeare by a local Christian homeschooling group:

Henry V and Taming of the Shrew.

Abridged performances with narration helping the story along are just the ticket for younger audiences. I love getting a taste of a tragedy or history and a comedy in the same evening.

Levi and I had front row seats. Excellent, excellent performances, as always. This was our 4th year attending!

Taming of the Shrew

Field Trip #14: African Acrobats

African Acrobats

This was the last of the Children's Performing Arts series this season.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Leif ~ 6 Months

The nesting instinct must be kicking in. Between early pregnancy nausea and fatigue and the BLACK background, I was having a hard time getting inspired here at Mt. Hope Chronicles. If I had the choice between blogging or sleep, sleep always won. I apologize for the scant number of posts in the past couple months, but my energy and positive attitude (and appetite) are finally starting to return. Look for more activity around here in the days, weeks, and months to come.

So, the biggest news: I'm about 14 weeks pregnant with #4 (for those who didn't catch the hint at the bottom of the open house post). I'm positive God knows what He is doing, even if I can't see the big picture some days. The boys are ecstatic to be getting a new sibling. We'll find out (I hope) in 6 weeks whether we're adding a girl or boy, but statistically we're likely to have another boy. I'm in for it....

In my sketchy absence, I totally missed my 3rd blog anniversary in February. Three years of Mt. Hope Chronicles. Good grief. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this adventure. Above is a picture of Leif posted in that first month of blogging. He was 6 months old (I'm starting to get baby fever!!). Below is a current picture of my littlest guy. Yeah, he's changed a bit. And he's going to be a big brother in less that 6 months!

So, with each blog anniversary that has passed, I've made little changes to 'the look' around here. There is a little less time to be messing around with aesthetics at the moment, but you might see a few more small changes over the next short while.

You might also have noticed that my Saturday Seven diligence accountability posts have dropped off the face of the earth. I had no idea I was heading into pregnancy when I set myself up. Sigh. I will say that my sister and I have been walking (or exercising indoors in inclement weather) consistently (usually 5 days a week!) all of this time. I'm REALLY proud of us.

Lessons with the boys have been tough, but we're hanging in there. I have quite a few catch-up posts in the works. Reading (both daily and intentional reading) has gone the way of blogging: if it's a choice between reading or sleeping, I choose sleeping. I've managed to finish up a few books, though, and need to post reviews. We missed family night at the pool for several weeks due to unavoidable conflicts, but we made it back last night and enjoyed ourselves.

Hmmm. What am I missing? I guess I'll leave it at that, for now, and try to pick up the pace around here. This blog serves as a family journal, of sorts, and I miss documenting the little things that make up a full, lovely life.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Leif ~ 3 1/2

Friday, April 9, 2010

Science: Time for Chemistry

We are on our third year of the Christian Kids Explore Science Series. We've completed Biology and Space and Earth Science. Now we're moving on to Chemistry.

These books are in the perfect format for our family. Narrative style lessons, vocabulary words and definitions in the margins, review questions at the end of each lesson, and coordinating hands-on activities (with more simple alternatives for younger children). Each unit also has wrap-up review questions. The appendix offers coloring pages, additional resource lists (books, science kits, biographies and list of notable chemists to research), and answer keys.

I appreciate how flexible this book is for our studies. Our study method is very similar to the way we approach history with The Story of the World. We read all the lessons and review orally. We use science vocabulary for handwriting copy work. We complete some of the activities. We often use related science DVDs and books during the week.

You can use this science series with a broad range of ages, expecting more rigorous work depending on the student.

DK Eyewitness Chemistry

Bill Nye the Science Guy DVDs