Day 4 was boat tour day! We set out on a boat from the tiny town of Ventry. We were headed out towards Blasket Island and possibly spot some aquatic life. We saw some Gannets, a glimpse of a couple porpoises, and some friendly seals. We missed the humpback whales that were spotted earlier in the morning by our wildlife guide. She said that she had seen them earlier from her telescope on the tip of Dingle Peninsula. It was definitely a day to wear our caps to keep the [...]
On day 3, We left County Kerry for County Clare. Our mission: To kiss the Blarney Stone. We stopped just outside of Cork at the Blarney Castle, were tourists wait their turn to kiss the stone that is famous for it’s gift of gab. Gavin did not want to leave Ireland without doing this. Plus, we just had to see what all this Blarney was about. We snaked our way up through the castle. As we neared our turn, Gavin started to get a little anxious. He was a trooper [...]
On day 2, we headed back toward the town of Dingle where we walked around in the rain for quite a while. The rain stopped sometime during our walk around time. Dingle is such a picturesque village with no shortage of pubs. There is even a pub that doubles as a hardware store. This makes me wonder which came first: the pub or the hardware store? We ate lunch at a place called The Diner, which is supposed to be like an American Diner, but much more expensive. I ordered [...]
Living in Europe has given us the opportunity to visit many sites and experience many new things. This year we had the amazing privilege to travel to Ireland for a week. We thought it best to go prepared. We watched a Rick Steves’ video on Ireland and poured over many guidebooks from the library. We decided to spend our time in the southwestern area of the country. Thankfully, Matt is a details kind of guy and he made all the travel arrangements (thanks honey!). We also decided to ditch the [...]
Title: The River Author:
Michael Neale Genre: Christianity, Fiction Description:Ever sit down at an airport and have a stranger try to engage you in conversation? That is exactly what happens to the narrator of this story. His plane is delayed and then canceled. The next flight home is hours away. He is forced to wait and begrudgingly listens to the stranger who begins speaking to him. At least it begins that way. This is a story is a quick read. Nearly everyone can identify with some aspects of this tale: loss, struggle, family, and life lessons, just to name a few. This is a story about one man’s spiritual journey to find himself and to find a place where he belongs. The story is also about being courageous and being bold, even when you feel like turning away. It is also about forgiveness and drawing close instead of pushing back. Gabriel spends his childhood trying to make sense of a tragedy. He finds answers in the one thing he fears, The River.
Each Wednesday, we take a nature walk as part of science. It’s a time for the boys to look around and either apply something they learned or something new and interesting. It’s also a time in which Annie gets to work off some of that cat food she’s been secretly snarfing up. Coincidentally, it also turns out to be a great time to just get out of the house. It’s a win-win for all involved. Today the kids and I were discussing the change in weather (among other things that [...]
The past two weeks we have been studying France and the continent of Europe. Norway was two weeks ago and German will begin next week. Today, we were fortunate to have cheese tasting.
Our cheese tasting included Brie, Camembert, Gruyere, Geramont, as well as some other cheeses like Feta, White Cheddar, Mozzarella, Limburger, and Bayerntaler. We sipped some white grape juice (in lieu of wine), and also had a fresh butter croissant for those spreadable fromages. It was so much fun.
Title: Song of the Brokenhearted Author:
Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma Genre: Christianity, Fiction, Historical Description:Ava and her family have the picture perfect life, or do they? When difficult times hit, they seem to keep coming. In this Christian fictional story, Ava learns a few lessons in dealing with the past, the present, and to have hope for the future. Although she fled from a difficult childhood, she is forced to deal with her feelings from her past in a very real way. As if that wasn’t enough, Ava’s strong, supportive husband’s behavior seems to be off. Ava is faced with confronting him. She must also be the supportive mother to two children who are making real life choices and must live with consequences. There are many things that seem to be going wrong. Ava finds peace among her brokenness.
Title: Hope Springs Author:
Kim Tate Genre: Christianity, Fiction Description:One family returns to Hope Springs to celebrate Christmas and say their good-byes to a beloved pastor and another simply returns to bury their father. The trip turns out to be much more. This story is about the mental, spiritual, and physical struggles of several people who are connected by their past, present, and future.
The Sanders and the Anderson Families grew up together as neighbors in small town of Hope Springs. As with most family reunions there is a significant amount of drama that transpires. This story focuses primarily on relationships with family members, with their neighborhood, with their community, and their relationship with God. Cousins Stephanie, Janelle, and Libby team up with Becca, as they are put through spiritual “boot camp.” They are all forced out of their comfort zones and are thrust into the wheels of change. While everyone is experiencing their own version of humility, Grandma Geri shares with them the family’s shameful secret. The secret has Grandma Geri nearly bursting at the seams. Is it forgiveness that she seeks or simply confession of her sins? Meanwhile, the two new pastors must decide to come together as the family of God or continue as two racially separate churches. They battle with the changing of times, attitudes, and long held traditions. The church is not the pastor, the music, nor the building. The church is the people coming together to worship God.
The world is watching hours of riveting cycling, swimming, running, and everything else that humans consider an Olympic sport. I know this must be true, because my neighbors have this gi-normous tv in their living room. Our house is situated in such a way that we could literally watch their tv. We’re all sloped down the side of a large hill and we are slightly above them. They have a wall of windows and their tv is always on. So I know that they are watching a continuous feed of Olympic games. I’m not a stalker! Or a nosy neighbor! You can’t help but look right into their house at night when all their lights are off and the tv light is glowing. They don’t even have curtains or blinds. It’s like a moth to a flame baby!
Anyway . . . where was I . . . oh yes. So I know that the neighbors are keyed into what is going on in the world. So, while the world is enjoying their summer and watching unlimited tv coverage of the Olympic Games, we are at work.
School Is In Session Baby!
After much deliberation – more like hours, days, weeks, and even months – we decided to educate the boys. There was a lot to consider and our reasons are extensive. It is a strange feeling, the decision to homeschool. Mostly because I just know that people are thinking that we’re just plum nuts, wackos, or worse, bad parents. While we may be nuts, one must also take into consideration our lifestyle, our values, the ages, developmental stages, and spiritual maturity of our children, the complete lack of education the past year and a half, the current climate of the military community that we are apart of, and yada yada yada, I could go on forever . . .