Monday, April 24, 2017

Summer School ~ Mount Pisgah

Mount Pisgah @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The Tables Turned
By William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless—
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

Hiking at Pisgah @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Our first hiking trip of the season dawned cold and rainy and we chose to be bold and adventurous!

My friend Sarah and four of her kids, Char and Monet, Holly and Ivy, and my kids and I trekked 5 miles (and the equivalent of 74 flights of stairs) to enjoy Mount Pisgah near Eugene.

Here we are huddled at the summit.

Pisgah Summit @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Mount Pisgah Trail @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Pisgah Trail @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Now we’re all in pajamas under our electric blankets. Brrrrr!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

CC Spring Protocol 2017

CC Spring Protocol @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

For the past several years I’ve been able to photograph our local Classical Conversations Spring Protocol for the high school Challenge classes. [The lighting and pictures turned out the best at the first protocol in 2014, then again in 2015. The venue changed and the lighting was very dim for the 2016 event, and I only posted one picture.]

This year I finally had a son old enough to attend the event! It was a new venue again—not as conducive for photos, but the protocol team (headed by my best friend, Char) did a lovely job decorating and plating and serving. [I tried my hand at my first ever chalk board design.]

Spring Protocol @ Mt. Hope Chronicles2017 Protocol @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The students enjoyed a four-course meal (soup, salad, main dish, and dessert plus bread and a palate-cleansing sorbet) and then an evening of English country dancing under twinkling lights.

Protocol Food @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesLevi Protocol @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Saturday, April 22, 2017

First of the Summer Bucket List ~ Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Forty-three years I’ve lived in Oregon, and there are so many things I’ve never seen. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest was one of them, so it was added to the 2017 Summer Adventure Bucket List. We had gorgeous weather forecast for Friday, so I put it on the calendar.

My second son was so excited for all our summer plans. He wanted to see All the Things.

Friday morning came, and he wasn’t so thrilled. Why hadn’t I warned him ahead of time? Who wanted to see tulips?

So we got out the door later than I had hoped and with bad attitudes (primarily mine) and traveled an hour north where we discovered who wanted to see tulips:

Everyone in Oregon. And their brother.

But the weather was a balmy 62 degrees and the sun was shining and Mt. Hood was out in all its glory. The fields were in peak bloom.

There was mud. Lots of mud.

The littlest child begged for a pony ride (she didn’t get one). The bigger children begged for food (they purchased expensive toffee and shared).

Tulip Fields @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I managed a few carefully staged photos that didn’t show a thousand people or cars.

Tulip @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The older children have stopped allowing me to dress them. And they aren’t forced against their will to stay by my side at all times, so they rarely show up in photos any more.

Tulips @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We watched a man carving wooden shoes for a few seconds. Lola and Leif enjoyed the (free) water trough rubber duck races. I tried to get a picture of Mt. Hood without people or cars in the way.

Woodburn Tulip Fest @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTulip Festival @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Clearly I’m not much of a festival-goer. As we left, the cars were backed up on the road for what seemed like miles, waiting to get in to the tulip festival. I’m glad we arrived (and left) when we did.

We had a gorgeous drive through the countryside, through charming Mt. Angel (if I weren’t festival-phobic, we’d put Oktoberfest on the bucket list), past the abbey on the hill, with Mt. Hood following us all the while.

We ignored the GPS and took the road with a sign indicating a covered bridge.

Covered Bridge @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We meandered through agricultural country until we arrived at the Willamette Valley Pie Co. store where the kids played on the play structure and we sat in the sun at the picnic table eating homemade chicken pot pie, scones, and raspberry rhubarb pie a la mode while tractors lumbered by.

My morning-reluctant son declared that this must be heaven.

Playing @ Mt. Hope Chronicles Pie Company @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesCountryside @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Then we drove home just in time for swim practice.

One down. A whole summer ahead of us.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Summer School Begins

Summer School Begins @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Monday was our final day of Classical Conversations for the school year.

Luke (7th grade) and Levi (9th grade) had their last classes of Challenge A and Challenge 1, respectively. It was a long haul with few tangible breaks for both of them, Levi in particular, and I wouldn’t say we finished strong, but we finished. Gasping for air and crawling on bloodied knees across the finish line. Okay, it wasn’t that bad… Challenge is a stellar program, but we battle the lazies at our house in a big way. Diligent and focused we are not.

Leif (5th grade) also had his final testing for his first year of Memory Master. The first three tests (or "proofs") involved reciting from memory a 160 point timeline of historical events from ancient to modern (this alone takes a solid 10-15 minutes), 24 history sentences covering people and events from Charlemagne to the end of apartheid, 24 science facts or short lists in ecology and physics, multiplication facts from 1-15 plus squares and cubes, math formulas/conversions/laws, 24 English grammar definitions or lists, 6 Latin verb conjugation endings, plus over 100 geographical locations. Each recitation lasted around 90 minutes, and he had to have it all mastered by the final proof with his tutor. Mondy he had a shorter recitation with the director and passed. He loved every minute of it, and I'm so proud of him!

[Lola learned to read this past year, and that is her own accomplishment (no thanks to her mother). In addition to reading, she also listened to many stories and songs on CD. She did nothing else formal for her kindergarten year other than squirling around on CC community day.]

Tuesday marked our first day of “summer school.” I had planned to stay in my pajamas and watch Netflix all day, but after a morning of complete laziness, the utter disaster that was our house overwhelmed me. It was sunny for once, so we left to explore one of our favorite local spots—a wetland area with trails. I successfully avoided house-cleaning.

Luke and Leif continue piano lessons for a few more weeks. Levi continues an online Tolkien class for a few more weeks. We have a few swim meets coming up for all three boys.

My grand plans for morning Summer Symposium time are not yet solidified, but I do plan to do a great deal of hiking and exploring all spring and summer. Our first official foray happened earlier today despite bad attitudes from one child and his mother. Pictures are forthcoming. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl ~ A Review

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl Review @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

I am a traveler.

So begins N.D. Wilson’s Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World.

Wilson unleashes a blizzard of swirling poetic imagery as he invites us to travel through a year with him, season by season, giving us the distinct impression that he is along for the ride as well.

In the preface he states:

For me, this book was an occurrence. It rolled over me. I worked to shape and control it, to pace it, to leash it and teach it to sit and roll over. I did my best. But at times my best was insufficient, and in some places you might notice this thing climbing on the furniture, licking my face, or dragging me down the street.

I enjoyed the ride, though it left me panting and clammy.

For sure.

This romp through philosophy, science, nature, theology, and poetry is not for linear, just the facts, ma’am reader. It’s for the reader who is ready to experience an exhilarating and sometimes queasy joyride on the Tilt-A-Whirl. [Spoiler alert: you’re already riding it.]

Why has every culture “felt the overwhelming pressure of existence itself and the need to explain it”?

What is this place? Why is this place? Who approved it?… Was this cosmic behavior expected? Am I supposed to take it seriously? How can I? I’ve watched goldfish make babies, and ants execute earwigs. I’ve seen a fly deliver live young while having its head eaten by a mantis.

This is not a sober world. Bats really do exist. Caterpillars really turn into butterflies—it’s not just a lie for children. Coal squishes into diamonds. Apple trees turn flowers into apples using sunlight and air.

Nothing is too small or too large to escape Wilson’s notice, and he delights in the absurd.

The tour begins in winter while we are shoveling snow. We are introduced to Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Leibniz, Voltaire, and Kant. On to Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Hume. Wilson is tough on them. He prefers priests.

They know this universe is brimming with magic, with life and riddles and ironies. They know that the world might eat them, and no encyclopedia could stop it.

So we move on to the question What is the world made of?

Illusion? Suffering? Thoughts? The ancient elements—earth, air, fire and water? Quarks and leptons?

What are quarks made of? Can quarks be made of something which is made of something else which is in turn made of yet another thing, ad infinitum? “Infinite regress isn’t possible.” Is the answer, at some point, “nothing”?

That olive [I held in my hand] had mass, it had savor and flavor, texture and temperature, and even a tiny fragment of pit that nicked my gum. It had a measurable amount of potential energy. I am comfortable saying that the olive was no illusion. That the material world exists in all of its toe-stubbing glory. (I see no reason to wander down the long, lonely road of self-sensory doubt. That way avoids no difficulties and only leads to chat rooms, meds, atonal music, and cosmic loathing. It is a slow and painful suicide. And, in my opinion, it’s tacky.)

Then he welcomes us to the world of faith. What is the world made of?

Words. Magic words. Words spoken by the Infinite, words so potent, spoken by One so potent that they have weight and mass and flavor. They are real. They have taken on flesh and dwelt among us. They are us. In the Christian story, the material world came into existence at the point of speech, and that speech was ex nihilo, from nothing. [God] sang a song, composed a poem, began a novel so enormous that even the Russians are dwarfed by its heaped up pages.

We look around us and realize that everything we see, feel, hear, taste, and touch is art that inhabits our story and we are the characters. What will your character do? Think? Say?

Listen to your dialogue. Look at your thoughts. Be horrified. Be grateful that God loves characters and loves characters on journeys, characters honestly striving to grow.

And later:

Living makes dying worth it.

That seems to be a theme with Wilson.

And then spring. Ah, “death and pain, injustice and grief. Evil, the problem of.”

I see a stage, a world where every scene is crafted. Where men act out their lives within a tapestry, where meaning and beauty exist, where right and wrong are more than imagined constructs.There is evil. There is darkness. There is the Winter of tragedy, every life ending, churned back in the soil. But the tragedy leads to Spring. The story does not end in frozen death. The fields are sown in grief. The harvest will be reaped in joy. I see a Master’s painting. I listen to a Master’s prose.

More philosophers. The Discovery Channel. Croesus, Agamemnon, Oedipus, Odysseus. Puddleglum.

Tell us what is, by all means. But without God, you cannot tell us what ought to be.

And quintessential Wilson humor.

The platypus is quite clearly the best currently living creature, but it is not the best of all possible creatures. In addition to its mammalian, egg-laying, duck-billed, web-footed, amphibious life, it also could have had bat wings, sonar, and the ability to fire explosions out of its rear like a bombardier beetle. To speak franky, I feel that a creative opportunity was missed.

But back to pain.

If we live in art, struggling in the boundary between the shadow and the light, unable to see the whole, how can we begin to judge? How can we presume to talk about a better painting, a better novel, when we see only a single line, a single page, and it brings us grief?


Our art is tiny in comparison to His… He is infinite… and the narratives of this universe, the song of this universe, the epic of this universe, the still-frames of this universe on every level—from quarks to galaxies—reflect His self, His character, His loves, His hates, His mercies, His judgments, His kindnesses, and His wraths.

Wilson explores the difference between cute and beautiful. We try to soften the terrible edges of beauty into a palatable and trivial cuteness. Something comfortable. “Safety scissors for all the saints!”

No safety scissors here.

Wilson continues through summer sandcastles and a fallish hell.

St. Augustine, Aquinas, Kvanvig, C.S Lewis, John Donne, Christ, Louis XV, William Blake, and Oscar Wilde.

He ends with Christ. A return to winter. Christmas.

The Lord came to clean the unclean. He brought the taint of Holiness, and it has been growing ever since. He was born in a barn and slept in a food trough.

Through it all, Wilson keeps his eyes wide open with wonder as he attempts “to find unity cacophany.”


Even though Notes asks big questions and confronts tough subjects, the book itself is a fairly brisk 200 pages. It’s engaging and never dull. It provides fodder for great discussions with teens, reading partners, or book clubs. It’s on my 15 year old son’s summer reading list, and I’m looking forward to the conversations the book elicits.


I’ll be reading Death by Living, his follow-up book, this summer.


N.D. Wilson is best known and loved, however, for his adventurous children’s novels. My boys have read and loved his 100 Cupboards series, Ashtown Burials series, Leepike Ridge, and Boys of Blur (a retelling of Beowulf set in the swamps of Florida—who can resist?).

We all (myself, my husband, and boys) read Outlaws of Time as soon as it was released last year, and the sequel was just released today. I absolutely loved the first book, and I’m glad he finished the sequel so quickly because it ended on a cliff-hanger. I’ll be reviewing them both soon, but my friend Sara at Plumfield and Paideia has great reviews of 100 Cupboards and Outlaws of Time to read in the meantime.

Here’s a teaser trailer for the first Outlaws of Time.



The following interview is a great representation of Wilson’s personality and approach to life and literature.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Between Shadow and Light

Kate DiCamillo @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I read Kate DiCamillo for the first time this past month.

I started with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

This quote by C.S. Lewis from The Four Loves expresses the book’s theme for me:

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Yes. But not to love is a casket.

From Edward Tulane:

[all happy stories must end with love]

“But answer me this: how can a story end happily if there is no love? But. Well. It is late. And you must go to sleep.”

[one of my favorite themes in literature, the idea of being known]

And Edward felt a warm rush of pleasure at being recognized, at being known.

[being named, listening]

Edward knew what it was like to say over and over again the names of those you had left behind. He knew what it was like to miss someone. And so he listened. And in his listening, his heart opened wide and then wider still.


“Two options only,” he said. “And your friend chose option two. He gave you up so that you could be healed. Extraordinary, really.”

[the casket]

He prided himself on not hoping, on not allowing his heart to lift inside of him. He prided himself on keeping his heart silent, immobile, closed tight.

[hope, vulnerability, courage, journey]

“You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.”

“I am done with being loved,” Edward told her. “I’m done with loving. It’s too painful.”

“Pish,” said the old doll. “Where is your courage?”

“Somewhere else, I guess,” said Edward.

“You disappoint me,” she said. “You disappoint me greatly. If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.”


I ached with a hopeful ache and moved on to The Tale of Despereaux.

From the very beginning, all I could think about was a Rembrandt painting. Darkness, darkness, a touch of light. Darkness, darkness, a touch of light. So masterfully painted.

The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.

[eyes open]

The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight…

“The last one,” said the father. “And he’ll be dead soon. He can’t live. Not with his eyes open like that.”

But, reader, he did live.

This is his story.


Despeareaux’s sister Merlot took him into the castle library, where light came streaming in through tall, high windows and landed on the floor in bright yellow patches.


“Once upon a time,” he said aloud, relishing the sound. And then, tracing each word with his paw, he read the story of a beautiful princess and the brave knight who serves and honors her.

Despereaux did not know it, but he would need, very soon, to be brave himself.


“Oh,” he said, “it sounds like heaven. It smells like honey.”

The song was as sweet as light shining through stained-glass windows, as captivating as the story in a book… Despereaux forgot all his fear… He crept closer… until, reader, he was sitting right at the foot of the king.


… A rat named Chiaroscuro and called Roscuro, a rat born into the filth and darkenss of the dungeon…

Reader, do you know the definition of the word “chiaroscuro”? If you look in the dictionary, you will find that it means the arrangement of light and dark, darkness and light together. Rats do not care for light. Roscuro’s parents were having a bit of fun when they named their son.


His rat soul longed inexplicably for it; he began to think that light was the only thing that gave life meaning, and he despaired that there was so little of it to be had.

“I think,” said Roscuro, “that the meaning of life is light.”


There are those hearts, reader, that never mend again, once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way… Such was the fate of Chiaroscuro. His heart was broken… Speaking of revenge… helped him to put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong.


And the passage was dark, dark, dark.

“I wil tell myself a story,” said Despereaux. “I will make some light. Let’s see. It will begin this way: Once upon a time. Yes. Once upon a time, there was a mouse who was very, very small. Exceptionally small. And there was a beautiful human princess whose name was Pea. And it so happened that this mouse was the one who was selected by fate to serve the princess, to honor her, and to save her from the darkness of a terrible dungeon.”


Light and Dark
Hope and Despair
Love and Loss

Suffering, longing, regret, abandonment, tragedy.

Song, story, beauty, forgiveness, courage, redemption.

Love, even though it hurts.
Love, even though it’s ridiculous.

Because life isn’t worth living without it.


I began to think about N.D. Wilson’s Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Could we improve this picture? How can we make it not better but best? Remove the tension and the contrast. Remove the black. All of it. Remove the struggle and the inevitable end.

Leave the white. Only white. And now it is perfect. Perfectly blank.

If we live in art, struggling in the boundary between the shadow and the light, unable to see the whole, how can we begin to judge? How can we presume to talk about a better painting, a better novel, when we see only a single line, a single page, and it brings us grief?

…And so we speak. Each of us wanting our own position a little more comfortable. Each of us wanting to see a little more happiness, a little less contrast, wanting to skip the struggle, throw away the novel and save only the final page, the FINIS. A world of tombstones would have no wars, no hardships, and no complaints. So would a world without births or loves or creeping, crawling, walking, or growing things.

A better artist would have made this world more like the moon, only without the black space behind it, without the contrast of edges. A sprawling, near-infinite moon. Erase the craters.

The painting is blank. The art is numb. Perhaps it is the best of all possible numbness.

And later,

When men act out their lives within a tapestry, where meaning and beauty exist, where right and wrong are more than imagined constructs. There is evil. There is darkness. There is the Winter of tragedy, every life ending, churned back in the soil. But the tragedy leads to Spring. The story does not end in frozen death. The fields are sown in grief. The harvest will be reaped in joy. I see a Master’s painting. I listen to a Master’s prose. When darkness falls on me, when I stand on my corner of the stage and hear my cue, when I know my final scene has come and I must exit, I will go into the ground like corn, waiting for the Son.”

And then,

“Why do we so often ignore the beautiful in exchange for the cute?”

Kate DiCamillo’s writing is not cute, friends. It loves. It hurts. And then it sings with hope.


As if I needed the message pounded deeper, deeper, CiRCE Institute published this article by Greg Wilbur yesterday:

Chiaroscuro: A Contemplation for Holy Week
The dance of creation is resplendent with the pattern of chiaroscuro and with the musical motif of sorrow transforming into a melody of joy.

Rembrandt. Spring.

Creation. Words, song, bringing light. A cycle of night and day.

Death and resurrection.

I’m listening.

The theme of hopelessness turning into rejoicing, of weeping that lasts for the night before the joy that comes in the morning, forms the basis of fiction and story. If we did not feel the peril and potential loss of the knight as he battles the dragon, we would also not feel the thrill of the victory over what seemed to be hopeless. A hero that nonchalantly and easily dispatched dangers and foes would not stir the imagination, the blood, or our concern. In fact, he comes off looking a bit like a bully. His light does not shine brightly because the darkness is not deep and seemingly impenetrable.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


TeenPact @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Russ and I drove up to the Oregon capitol building today to watch the graduation ceremony for TeenPact, which Levi had been attending all week. He stayed at the retreat center each night, so we hadn’t seen him since Monday. I was a little concerned about how he had fared during the week since he was not excited about going (and the stomach flu had been making the rounds at our house the previous five days).

Not to worry. He had a fantastic time and is already planning to return next year. (I’m trying to refrain from the I told you so’s.)

The retreat center was in a nearby town, but the daytime headquarters for their TeenPact group was the Micah building. Students spent time in the capitol as well.

Teen Pact 2 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The four-day camp for 13-19 year olds includes:

– Writing and debating bills in our TeenPact mock legislature

– Interviewing lobbyists

– Analyzing legislation

– Viewing the House & Senate chambers

– Exploring the state judicial system

– Learning how to pray for elected officials

– How a Bill Becomes a Law

– Learning how political campaigns work by running a mock election

– Meeting and hearing from people who work at the capitol

– Critical thinking

– Principles of Christian leadership

The graduation ceremony took place in the Senate.

TeenPact 3 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Students took their places as “senators” and debated a mock bill. Their “elected officials” gave speeches.

Levi @ TeenPact @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

It was exciting to watch, and I’m glad that these students have a chance to see how our state government works as well as to work on their leadership skills.

TeenPact4 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Monday, March 27, 2017

Connect with Nature ~ Book Review

Connect with Nature Review @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

:: Connect with Nature by Anna Carlile

[ETA: I shared this post with friends who took advantage of the low price, and it jumped up quickly. I was hoping it would stay low much longer! It’s still a lovely book, but not quite a steal.]

Friends, this book is gorgeous. And at this moment it is only $3.45 on Amazon. Hardback cover, 240 pages, exquisite photography and dreamy nature-inspired ideas.

Nature Book @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The book is divided by season, with activities for all four seasons. The two-page photography spreads throughout the book are graced with lovely quotes.

Terrarium @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Connect with Nature is full of instructions for nature projects such as creating a terrarium, starting a veggie patch, making a swing, attracting birds, and making dyes from plants.

Nature Book Review @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Recipes include herbal teas, heirloom tomato and peach salad, blueberry galette, buckwheat crepes with pears and figs, and poppyseed campfire bread with rhubarb compote.

Rock Stack @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Climb a tree, stack rocks, walk barefoot, go on a picnic, smell the rain.

Learn about moon phases and read the clouds (the pages on various cloud formations are fantastic).

Moon @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Learn how to bloom branches indoors during the winter and tie knots.

Nature Collection @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Forage for edible weeds. Dig for clay and make pinch pots.

Nature Craft Ideas @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I wanted to purchase a stack of these books to have handy for gifts, but unfortunately the seller has a limit of 1 book per customer. So I am selfishly keeping this one for my own enjoyment.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Levi’s High School Course Descriptions ~ 9th Grade [and a complete high school plan]

High School Plans @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I’ve been working on mapping out Levi’s high school courses and schedule. (Though we are not bound by credit requirements for our homeschool transcripts, I’ve used these Oregon requirements as well as the requirements from our local public high school as general guides.) Levi has no specific post high school plans at this time. We will consider a gap year before any college plans.

[You’ll notice that his courses are reading-heavy. Levi is a strong reader and enjoys discussion and content-based learning, but his struggles in other areas balance out his hefty reading list. I promise.]

Levi is participating in the Classical Conversations Challenge program, in addition to a few other courses. I’ve tried to indicate what courses are CC specific, and I’ve put any additions I’ve made to the CC course specifics in parentheses.

Shakespeare/Drama [CC]
1/2 credit (Language Arts - Elective)
Dramatic radio reading and discussion of play; Oral presentation on topic relating to Shakespeare
Shakespeare presentation (memorization of three monologues--comedy, tragedy, history)
(Attend plays [The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet])

Music Theory [CC]
1/2 credit (Fine Arts - Elective)
Introduction to music theory, including reading and analyzing a musical score
Math in Motion
Score Analysis Project

Latin [CC]
1 credit (Language – Required)
Includes basic parts of speech, verb tenses, translations, and Roman history
Henle I
National Latin Exam (Intro)

American Literature and Composition [CC]
1 credit (Honors Language Arts – Required)
Read texts, discuss and analyze literature, writing assignments (persuasive and comparison essays)
The Lost Tools of Writing [persuasive essays]
CC Literature, Poetry, Speeches, Essays, Autobiographies, and Sermons [unabridged texts]:

  • The Sign of the Beaver (Elizabeth Speare)
  • The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
  • Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes)
  • The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)
  • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  • Gold-Bug and Other Tales (Edgar Allan Poe)
  • Billy Budd, Sailor (Herman Melville)
  • Through Gates of Splendor (Elisabeth Elliot)
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
  • Harvey (Mary Chase)
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Born Again (Charles Colson)
  • Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Douglass)
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Self-Reliance (Ralph W. Emerson)
  • Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (Henry David Thoreau)
  • Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein)
  • An Old-Fashioned Girl (Louisa May Alcott)
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth Speare)
  • Short Stories, Poetry, Sermons, Documents, and Speeches

Additional Novels:

  • Pudd’nhead Wilson (Mark Twain)
  • Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Twain)
  • The Prince and the Pauper (Twain)
  • The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
  • Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
  • The Lonesome Gods (Louis L’Amour)
  • Little Britches (series, Ralph Moody)
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Ender’s Game
  • The Giver Quartet
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Moby Dick (retelling or abridged)
  • Education of a Wandering Man (Louis L’Amour)
  • The Wild Muir
  • Various American drama selections

[The above is an abreviated list. See this link for the full list in chronological order with brief descriptions and links.]

Good Books II: Tolkien [Roman Roads]
1/2 credit (Language Arts – Elective)
Weekly online live class discussion
Weekly online written discussion

Algebra I [CC]
1 credit (Math – Required)
[He participates in math discussions and presentations in his CC class but uses Khan Academy at home rather than the CC recommended Saxon.]
Khan Academy Algebra I
(Life of Fred)

American Government [CC]
1/2 credit (Social Studies – Required)
Read, annotate, and summarize original government documents, essays, and speeches; discuss historical significance; oral presentations
American Documents
Memorization [U.S. Presidents, Preamble to the Constitution, Outline of Bill of Rights]
Speech memorization/recitation [Individual Event] (“Spirit of Liberty” by Judge Learned Hand)
Timeline notebook
(Crash Course U.S. Government and Politics video series)
(U.S. Citizenship Civics Exam)

Economics [CC]
1/2 credit (Social Studies – Required)
Read texts, discuss current economic policy, oral presentations
Cost of Living Project
Stock Market Project

(Life of Fred: Financial Choices)
(Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra with Economics)
(Crash Course Economics Videos)

Policy Debate [CC]
1/2 credit (Language Arts – Elective)
Study basic elements of policy debate; Conduct research for resolutions and participate in live debates
An Introduction to Policy Debate by Christy L. Shipe
Two formal debates [Death Penalty—affirmative team, Immigration Policy—negative team]

Physical Science [CC]
1 credit (Lab Science – Required)
Read text, discussion, demonstration/experimentation labs, text assignments, unit tests, lab journal, formal lab reports
Exploring Creation with Physical Science by Apologia
(Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra with Physics)
[research paper for health credit]
Additional reading (not scheduled through CC)

Teen Pact Leadership [TeenPact]
1/2 credit (Leadership - Elective)

4-day leadership camp at state capitol
Homework: send letters to state senator and representative, memorize bible verses, vocabulary, write a one-page bill, state political fact sheet, read or listen to governor’s most recent State of the State Address and take notes, complete a bill analysis worksheet, constitutional analysis
(Leadership TED Talks)

Swim Team [High School Team/YMCA]
1 credit (Physical Education – Required)

Health [Various]
1/2 credit (Health – Required)
Lifeguarding Certification Class (CPR, First Aid)
Khan Academy videos: Drugs, Infectious Diseases 
Crash Course Anatomy and Physiology videos
Research Paper (Exercise and the Brain):

Food and Nutrition:

Total: 9 Credits


Formal Protocol Event (with the local Classical Conversations Challenge students)

Driver’s Education

Additional Reading List:

Lifeguarding (summer job)

Volunteering at student camp(s) during CC Parent Practicum(s) and vacation bible school


Tentative Plan for the Remainder of High School:

10th Grade [CC Challenge II]

Henle Latin 2 [CC]
1 credit (Language – Required)

British Literature and Composition [CC]
1 credit (Honors Language Arts – Required)
Socratic dialogue, persuasive essay writing
CC Novels:

  • Beowulf
  • Selected Canterbury Tales (Chaucer)
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Retold by J.L. Weston)
  • Paradise Lost (Milton)
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)
  • Gulliver’s Travels (Swift)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
  • Jane Eyre (Bronte)
  • Animal Farm (Orwell)
  • A Passage to India (Forster)
  • Something Beautiful for God (Muggeridge)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll)
  • Robinson Crusoe (DeFoe)
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories (Chesterton)
  • Out of the Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)
  • The Hobbit (Tolkien)
  • The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
  • Short Stories

Additional British Literature:

  • Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
  • Lorna Doone (Blackmore)
  • Ivanhoe (Sir Walter Scott)
  • North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  • The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
  • Lord of the Flies (Golding)
  • Three Men in a Boat (Jerome)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Lewis Stevenson)
  • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband (Oscar Wilde)
  • As You Like It, Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear (Shakespeare)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (James Herriot)
  • The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
  • The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Adams)
  • Watership Down (Richard Adams)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Arthur Clarke)
  • Kim and others (Rudyard Kipling)
  • The Once and Future King (T.H. White)
  • Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw)
  • Jeeves (Wodehouse)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • Short Stories and Poetry

European Literature:

  • Don Quixote (abridged) (Cervantes)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (Hugo)
  • Les Miserables (Dumas)
  • The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Jules Verne)
  • Pinoccio (Collodi)
  • Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss)
  • Russian novel selection

[I will be posting a final master list in chronological order with links at the beginning of the school year.]

Western Cultural History [CC]
1 credit (Social Studies - Required)
Artists and Composers
Historical Timeline
Research, exposition, and logic

Biology [CC]
1 credit (Lab Science – Required)
Exploring Creation with Biology by Apologia
[I’ll be adding to his reading list and possibly adjusting his work load with the text book.]
[Additional reading:

1 credit (Math – Required)
Khan Academy Geometry

Logic I [CC]
1/2 credit (Elective)
Traditional Logic I by Memoria Press

Socratic Dialogue [CC]
1/2 credit (Elective)

1/2 credit (Required)
(Social and mental Health)

  • Please Understand Me;
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People;
  • Peacemaker;
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Swim Team/YMCA
1 credit (Physical Education – Required)

Total: 7 1/2 Credits


11th Grade [CC Challenge III – tentatively]

Latin 3 (Caesar and Cicero) [CC] and/or Spanish
1 credit (Language)

  • Henle 3

Poetry and Shakespeare and Composition [CC]
1 credit (Language Arts – Required)

American History [CC]
1 credit (Social Studies – Required)

Chemistry [CC]
1 credit (Lab Science – Required)
Exploring Creation with Chemistry by Apologia
[We may cut way back on what is required with Apologia Chemistry through CC and supplement with the following living books and additional documentaries.]
[Additional Reading List:

Algebra II
1 credit (Math – Required)
Khan Academy Algebra II

Advanced Philosophy [CC]
1/2 credit (Elective)

Traditional Logic II and Socratic Dialogue [CC]
1/2 credit (Elective)

Swim Team/YMCA
1 credit (Physical Education/Elective)

Total: 7 Credits


12th Grade [CC Challenge IV – doubtfully]

He will have all his required credits so this will be a flexible year depending on his needs and desires. I’d love to have him go through Challenge 4, but he will likely choose something else. He may need to complete or retake a math or science class scheduled in previous years.

Latin Literature [CC] and/or Spanish
1 credit (Language)

  • The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Henle 4

Ancient Literature and Composition) [CC]
1 credit (Language Arts)

World History [CC]
1 credit (Social Studies)

Theology [CC]
1 credit (Elective)

Swim Team

[Physics and Pre-Calculus are on the CC schedule, but he would likely opt out or complete/re-take a math or science course schedule in previous years.]

Additional Reading List:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

American History and Literature Selections [Levi ~ 9th Grade]

High School American History & Literature Reading List @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Levi is reading American literature for his 9th grade year through Classical Conversations. The CC Challenge 1 Am. Lit. book list is hefty (full texts, not excerpts), but Levi is a strong and willing reader. Because his CC year ends in April, I decided to round out his book list with additional American literature selections to read May through July before he begins British literature in August for Challenge 2. It is my desire to present him with a robust variety of genres, complexity, and topics, even though I can’t fit everything on the list (obviously I tried, but so many books didn’t make the cut!). When compiling the master list, I chose to include a few relevant books he has read in the past couple years (particularly including CC Challenge A and B literature selections).

Levi has discussed the CC Challenge literature in class and has written essays on many of the novels.

[I have a post coming up with Levi’s full course descriptions for 9th grade and the upcoming high school plan.]

I’ve noted Challenge literature selections with asterisks.

*Challenge A (roughly 7th grade)
**Challenge B (roughly 8th grade)
***Challenge 1 (roughly 9th grade)

Children’s Historical Fiction

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Set in Colonial Connecticut in 1687) ***

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Biographical story; c. 1710-1801) *

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski (Biographical story set in 1755)

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Set in Boston before and during the American Revolution, 1776)  ***

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Biographical story of Nat Bowditch; 1773-1838) *

A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32 by Joan W. Blos (not a favorite of mine, but I’m including it here because it is a CC Challenge A novel) *

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Set in the Maine wilderness) ***

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (Set in the hills of the Ozarks) **

Little Britches (and series) by Ralph Moody (also listed under memoirs, but a must read for every human—perfect for a family read-aloud) **

[I’ll list many more children’s American historical fiction selections this coming year as Leif studies American history in 6th grade.]


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving (published in 1820)

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper (published in 1826; set in 1757 during the French and Indian War)

Gold-Bug and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (published in 1843) ***

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn (1850) ***

Moby Dick by Herman Melville [*graphic novel* not unabridged novel] (1851)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)

Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville (published posthumously in 1924, but he began writing it in 1888; Levi did not care for this one, but I’m including it here since it is a CC Challenge 2 literature selection) ***

Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Prince and the Pauper, and Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain (published in the late 1800s; Pudd’nhead Wilson is my personal favorite, especially for late middle school or high school students; only Tom Sawyer on CC Ch 1 list) ***

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (published in 1895; a war novel taking place during the American Civil War) ***

The Call of the Wild by Jack London (published in 1903; set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush) ***

Freckles (and others) by Gene Stratton-Porter (published in 1904)

The Short Novels of John Steinbeck (1902-1968) (The Pearl, for sure; not certain about the others)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943; set in early 1900s in Brooklyn, NY; coming of age story of a young Irish-American girl)

The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway (published 1952) ***

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (published in 1960; a masterful novel and absolutely essential for cultural literacy) ***

The Chosen by Chaim Potok (published in1967; set in 1940s Brooklyn, NY; a coming of age story about a Jewish boy—excellent)

The Lonesome Gods (and others) by Louis L’Amour (published in 1983; set on the California frontier (Mojave and Colorado Deserts) 1800s?)

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (published in 2001; set in small-town Minnesota in the early 1960s with an endearing child narrator with a precocious sister and wise father reminiscent of Scout and Atticus Finch—one of my favorite novels of all time)

Short Stories

The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry ***

[Many other classic short stories were read last year in Challenge B] **

That Distant Land: The Collected Stories (Port William) by Wendell Berry


The Song of Hiawatha” by H.W. Longfellow (1807-1882) ***
Paul Revere’s Ride” by H.W. Longfellow ***
The Courtship of Miles Standish” (one of my favorites from high school) by H.W. Longfellow

Selections from American Poets:


[We’ll also be watching film versions where available.]

Harvey by Mary Chase ***

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

The Glass Menagerie by Tennesse Williams


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1771-1790)

Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1840s) ***

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) ***

Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (1854) ***

The Wild Muir (John Muir 1838 – 1914; Scottish-American naturalist)

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington (1901) ***

Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes by Gilbreth (1948)

Little Britches by Ralph Moody (series published in 1950-1968; the first book begins when his family moves to Colorado in 1906—excellent) **

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (Des Moines, Iowa; 1950s. I am NOT recommending this book to other students without serious parental guidance, but it is the funniest book I have ever read in my life and it contains so much fascinating information about life in mid-century America.)

Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot (1957; Elisabeth’s husband was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca of eastern Ecuador. She later returned as a missionary to the tribe members who killed her husband.) ***

Born Again by Charles Colson (1976) (Chuck Colson served as Special Counsel to Richard Nixon in 1969-1973; he became a Christian in 1973, just before his prison sentence, and later founded Prison Fellowship.) ***

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour (1990)


April 1865 (Civil War) by Jay Winik

Mornings on Horseback (Teddy Roosevelt; 1858-1919) by McCullough

The Man Who Talks with the Flowers-The Intimate Life Story of Dr. George Washington Carver (1864-1943) by Glenn Clark

The Orphan: A Story of the Life of Austin Monroe Shaffer (1884-1961) by Helen Shaffer Dunbar (A biography of Levi’s great-great-grandfather (whose father was named Levi), written by Levi’s great-grandmother)

The Boys in the Boat (1936 Olympics) by Daniel James Brown

I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers (1928-2003) by Tim Madigan

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers' Edition (1971- ) by Ashlee Vance


The Spirit of Liberty” by Judge Learned Hand (1944) [Levi memorized and presented this speech in his Challenge class.]

I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963) ***

[Many More American Documents, Essays, and Speeches for American Government] ***


A Model of Christian Charity” by Winthrop (1630) ***

Essays to Do Good” by Mather (1710) ***

The Method of Grace” by Whitefield (1700s) ***


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (published in 1953; a relevant dystopian novel that everyone should read for cultural literacy)

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov (published in 1953; a futuristic science-fiction detective novel, recommended by a friend)

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein (published in 1959; a military science fiction novel exploring military and societal ethics) ***

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (another novel published in 1959; a realistic apocalyptic novel from the nuclear age, set in the U.S.)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (published in 1985; another futuristic military science fiction novel—one of my favorite explorations of the nature of leadership)

The Giver by Lois Lowry (published in 1993; a YA utopian/dystopian novel followed by 3 more books in the series)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (the trilogy published 2008-10; YA futuristic dystopian/apocalyptic novels set in the U.S.—excellent for discussing government and qualities of leadership)


[I’m choosing to wait on The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, The Jungle by Sinclair, and The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger.]


Did I miss any of your favorite selections for American literature (appropriate for a 9th grade student)?

Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sole Hope

Sole Hope @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I recently joined a large group of women who met to fellowship and cut shoe patterns from discarded pairs of jeans.

Sole Hope offers us a wonderful opportunity to help improve the health and lives of impoverished children in Uganda as well as provide women in Uganda with meaningful work for a decent wage. Learn more at the link or watch the (difficult and somewhat graphic) video below.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The End of Winter

The End of Winter @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Is it summer yet?


I’d love a perpetual July. [Clearly I’m an Oregonian.]

Maybe you’ve noticed that the blog has been silent for the longest break ever, almost two months. I completely skipped over my ten-year blogiversary.


That’s something to celebrate, but I’ve been bogged down by the decade-ness of this season. I feel like I’ve said everything that can be said, twice or thrice or ten times too many. My boys aren’t as adorable as they used to be in the early years. My house is showing serious wear and tear and the accumulation of junk. My body is showing the accumulation of years and pounds. Homeschooling is hard. Parenting is hard. Parenting teens is really hard. Instead of getting wiser, I am simply more aware of what I don’t know (which is pretty much everything).

I thought I’d have everything under control by now. I thought I would have accomplished all the things.



So here we are, imperfect and very human.

Are you still there?

I’ll be back tomorrow, in a more cheerful mood, to talk about boys and books.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Food for Thought ~ The Thoughts We Think

The Thoughts We Think @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

:: How Complaining Rewires Your Brain For Negativity by Dr. Travis Bradberry @ The Huffington Post [There is important information in this post for all of us. After a hilarious conversation on Facebook (and on a less serious note), I’ve started having my kids sing their complaints and arguments to me with jazz hands.]

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.

And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought.


When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol.

:: Here's How Marcus Aurelius Got Himself Out Of Bed Every Morning @ Business Insider [This absolutely tickled my funny bone, but it is so profound. Getting myself out of bed in the morning is a struggle, and I think I need to try some his self-talk. Go read the whole thing.]

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: 'I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?'

— But it's nicer in here ...

So you were born to feel 'nice'? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don't you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you're not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren't you running to do what your nature demands?

:: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett [Luke and I are working on his persuasive essay for this book, two years after Levi and I discussed it. Chapter 27, In the Garden, is my favorite, and the first few pages concern the power of negative and positive thoughts, for Mary, Colin, and Archibald Craven.]

"In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts--just mere thoughts--are as powerful as electric batteries--as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live."

“…While the secret garden was coming alive and two children were coming alive with it, there was a man wandering about certain far-away beautiful places in the Norwegian fiords and the valleys and mountains of Switzerland and he was a man who for ten years had kept his mind filled with dark and heart-broken thinking. He had not been courageous; he had never tried to put any other thoughts in the place of the dark ones. He had wandered by blue lakes and thought them; he had lain on maintain-sides with sheets of deep blue gentians blooming all about him and flower breaths filling all the air and he had thought them. A terrible sorrow had fallen upon him when he had been happy and he had let his soul fill itself with blackness and had refused obstinately to allow any rifht of light to pierce through. He had forgotten and deserted his home and his duties.”

The Secret Garden

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lindsay’s Literary Baby Shower

Lindsay's Literary Baby Shower @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Do you remember this exquisite wedding (and more wedding pictures and this fun bridal shower)?

Well, my “little sister” Lindsay and her husband, Bob, are expecting a baby in just a few short weeks!

[I took Lindsay’s family pictures back in November, and I’ll post them as soon as my hard drive is recovered!]

My sister Shannon (with friends Jessye, Tinsa, and Domini) knocked it out of the park again with the baby shower decor. It helped to have such a fabulous location.

Lindsay and Friends @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The literary theme was carried throughout the room. Each guest table was topped with a stack of gorgeous old books.

Book Love @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Lindsay with her daughter, sister-in-law Domini, and mom:

Lindsay's Baby Shower @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Chalkboards with literary quotes were sprinkled throughout the room. This was my favorite:

Chapter 1 @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Lovely brunch food:

Brunch @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBaby Shower Brunch @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The guest book was a darling picture book version of Anne of Green Gables. Guests signed the inside cover.

Guest Table @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

This adorable illustration of Anne of Green Gables was custom created by a friend. Lindsay received the original piece of art, and the image was the cover of the invitations.

Anne of Green Gables @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesOld Books @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesChildren's Book Banner @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesBeautiful Books @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesLiterary Baby Shower @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesOpening Gifts @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesLiterary Love @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesAll Things Little @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

What happens when Heidi is given the task of planning the baby shower game? The guests are given a literature quiz!

I gave them each a paper with 20 children’s book quotes and 20 children’s book titles, and they had to match them.

Want to give it a try?


1. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver…”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”__________

2. Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk.________

3. In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines… ________

4. Better drowned than duffers if not duffers won’t drown. ________

5. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” _________

6. Second star to the right, and straight on till morning. _________

7. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.” __________

8. We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!  _________

9. It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” ________

10. The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.  _________

11. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. _________

12. For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.  __________

13. So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.  ___________

14. “You were Real to the Boy,” the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to everyone.” __________

15. “Please, sir. I want some more.” _________

16. “No, Miss Minchin, you are not kind. And this is not a home.” _________

17. “I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”  ___________

18. And for all I know he is sitting there still, under his favorite cork tree, smelling the flowers just quietly.  ___________

19. A person’s a person, no matter how small. ___________

20. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be. _________



A. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

B. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

C. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

D. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

E. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

F. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

G. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

H. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

J. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

K. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

L. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

M. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury

N. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

O. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

P. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Q. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

R. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

S. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

T. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry