Outside my window...there's a clear blue sky. The pine trees are still after swaying back and forth last night during the thunderstorm.
I am thinking...about how nice the cool air felt this morning when I let the dogs out. After a heat index of over 100 degrees over the past couple of days, this is a welcome relief.
I am thankful...to have been able to spend part of my birthday with my sister. We enjoyed a morning of strawberry picking with Sophia and Olivia, and then visiting a buffalo farm where we all enjoyed a nice lunch together.
From the learning rooms...the girls and I had a fun week focusing doing the "Smart Summer Challenge." This week's theme was "Me on the Map" - so everything we did we looked at from a geography angle - whether it was embroidery, paper cutting, 4-H projects and demonstrations, or visiting different farms.
In the kitchen...I have two flats of strawberries that will are being eaten fresh. Later today, I'm going to try some new recipes - for strawberry-lemonade; a salad with strawberries, asparagus, and walnuts; and a strawberry pie.
I am wearing...a hooded sweatshirt and pajama pants. It's still early morning and no one is awake yet...except some of the cats. The dogs went back to bed after going outside.
I am creating...items for The Summer of Color. I just found out about this ten-week blog party this morning, and am excited about it. I've been doing more writing and less creating than last year, and want to get back into doing more of the visual arts/crafts again. Having a weekly challenge focused on a particular color will be a good motivator to start creating again.
I want to catch up and do the first three weeks (the colors for each week are blue, green, and pink); while working on the fourth week (July 4th-11th). Yellow is the focus for the fourth week.
I am going...to visit my mom and dad this morning. Sophia, Olivia, and I will be going out to breakfast with them (they are both home-bound so it's going out to eat is something they enjoy). We're going to help weed their vegetable garden, clean the carpets in two rooms, and replace the batting in a quilt I made for my dad many years ago.
I am wondering...when I'm going to sit down and figure out the schedule for next year for homeschooling. I want to use many of the books and resources I have on hand this year rather than buying as much new curricula as I have done in the past.
As much as I like Sonlight (which I've used for the past few years), it is quite expensive. Perhaps picking and choosing from Sonlight and supplementing it with what I already have will be the best route to go during the 2011-12 school year.
I am reading...Twisted Tree by Kent Meyers but didn't like it. After 92 pages, I just couldn't get into the book. I found it to be a rather grim book. There was a review in a book for book clubs, and it sounded intriguing as did the discussion questions. However, from the onset, the book was more on creepy than what I wanted to read.
The next book I'm going to start reading is Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. According to O, The Oprah Magazine, "Year of Wonders is a vividly imagined and strangely consoling tale of hope in a time of despair."
I am hoping...that the lawn mower comes back soon. It has been at the repair shop now for over a week and the grass is getting really long.
I am looking forward to...bringing a couple of peonies and tiger lilies indoors today, and putting them in vases. I'm going to help my dad (who has Alzheimer's Disease) cut some flowers that are blooming at his home, and put them in vases as well. He use to cut flowers during the summer and bring them in for my mom and him to enjoy.
I am hearing...the fan. Not much of anything else. It's very quiet and peaceful at this time of the morning.
Around the house...I'm getting projects done that I've wanted to get done for some time now. I went through a basket of "to do" projects and did them as I went through the basket. No putting them aside to work on later. I either did them, helped the girls do their projects, or put them in the donation bag.
Yesterday, I did mending, sewing, and needlefelting. I helped Olivia with another embroidery project; and Sophia with sewing a dress and an embroidery project.
I am pondering...how nice it was to see several friends during the past couple of weeks, and how I need to make time to stay connected with people. It's so easy to get wrapped up with caregiving that other aspects of my life are put on hold.
One of my favorite things...seeing all the baby toads that the girls have been finding, observing, and then releasing. It's also been so nice to hear the wren singing every day, and watching the parents bring food to their babies. There are three wren families here this year which is great. I saw a monarch yesterday in the butterfly garden yesterday (it always makes me happy to see butterflies).
A few plans for the rest of the week...visit my parents (today), celebrate the Fourth of July (Monday), take Sophia to harp lessons (Tuesday), take my dad to his quarterly doctor appointment for Alzheimer's Disease (Thursday), do fun/educational activities related to the theme of "government" with the girls, and start some creative projects this week focused on different colors (most likely doing quilting and embroidery).
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...this is an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly that Sophia, Olivia, and I saw on Thursday morning. We stopped for a bit at a lake before Sophia's harp lesson. As we were walking back from the lake, this butterfly was drinking some water from the road and then was flying around us at eye level. It spent quite a while flying and landing around us.
It was a beautiful butterfly, and the photograph below doesn't do it justice. Nonetheless, it captures a few moments in time that were memorable to us.
Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly that was
flying and landing right by the girls and me.
To see other people who are participating in the Simple Woman's Daybook during June, please click HERE.