family life, reading life

Life lately: August 2017

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” -Richard Bach
my girls

It’s been a big month (more on that in a minute) but a definite highlight of the month is Lindsey and her little family moving just up the road from us!!!


I almost want to go back to doing weekly wrap-up posts because it seems like so much to put in one post each month — but realistically, I don’t have the time. I am planning to post a bit more often, though! Really the best way to keep up with happenings throughout the month is to follow me on instagram, where I post almost daily.

We had four birthdays this month! Grandbaby Jackson turned ONE and Carter turned TWO; our Scout hit DOUBLE-digits; and Ken celebrated a birthday, too!

August birthday celebrations

Besides birthdays and Lindsey’s move, we had another big happening: Kathryn got her drivers’ license. So as of this month, I have a teen who can run my errands AND a grandbaby nearby (soon two of them) to love on whenever I want! #winning

To celebrate my 50th class with my wonderful Silver Sneakers ladies, I threw a little after-class party!

I’m enjoying my new job at the gym, and I’m looking forward to doing personal training this fall. I’ve just agreed to start teaching a class there once a week, which will be quite different from my active seniors’ class. My running has suffered lately because of rain, kids, work, and heat, but I’m still hoping to do another half marathon in October, as well as my first trail half marathon in December. We’ll see how that goes.

Something NEW: I’ve started a new fitness-focused newsletter. If you could use a little motivation and inspiration for healthy living, sign up!

homeschool highlights

Of course we all watched the eclipse, and enjoyed zero traffic and 97.7% totality right here in our driveway. Ken made the kids pinhole viewers, but we also let them use glasses part of the time with a whole lot of supervision. Kathryn, my astronomy girl, was frustrated when it looked like the day would be rainy and cloudy, but the sky cleared just in time.

homeschooling in August
eclipse viewing in our driveway; Kathryn and a little friend

Scout started back to school, and we’re slowly getting back into the flow of things at home, too. I’m simply doing math and read-alouds with Jem right now, and I’ll work into our daily focus activities: one day for nature study, one day for a STEM project of some kind, one cooking/baking day, and an art day each week. On our first day, we made sure to visit the library to stock up on good books!

what we’ve been reading: our faves

Once again I’ve couldn’t resist the used book booth at the farmer’s market and added significantly to my ongoing to-read pile. But sales benefit the library, and most books are only $1! I seem to keep borrowing at least one more every time we visit the library, too. Book addict problems, y’all.

My faves this month:
South of Broad by Pat Conroy;
The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe.
Clearly, I have a thing for books set in coastal Carolina!

Kathryn (age 16):
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
One of our recent read-alouds inspired Jem to create a machine to go with the book.

Read-alouds with Jem (age 8):
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton;
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater.
I am so tickled that we can read chapter books now and he can follow the story from one day to the next. We still love one-sitting picture books but now we have so many new possibilities!

on the blog {in case you missed ’em}

. . . . . .
I’ll be linking with iHN’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal, and Kris’ weekly wrap-up.

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Congrats on all the positive things and milestones! How fun that your teen got her Drivers License! My youngest just got her Learners Permit this past week, so we’ll be commencing the actual driving lessons soon! Yikes. 😉


What a wonderful month. I bet you will enjoy having family closer. Each chapter of life is so exciting.
Blessings, Dawn


I cannot wait until I get some of my teens to move from permit stage to license stage! It is coming years later than I thought it would (my oldest doesn’t like driving at all), but it is finally coming!

What joy to have your growing family closer!! I wish you oodles of joy in these days!