Baiting-Cakes and Books for Rainy Days

It’s a rainy, cooling sort of day after another long week of heat. Thunder-storms are expected later this afternoon, but the gray drizzle we have going right now is as cozy as can be.

I’m making lists of books we’ll need (‘want’ is probably a better word) for the fall – not only for the kids, but for me as well. And it’s such a very long list – I’ve discovered Rumer Godden (thanks to my sister, who sent me In This House of Brede. Read it, really! It’s an absolutely absorbing book, heart-rending, rich, and incredibly written. It’s pure magic.) Rumer Godden has apparently written a few books for children as well. I’m putting a few on our ‘read-aloud’ list, and possibly on Yarrow’s ‘To – Read’ list.

If you haven’t discovered a delightful little children’s book: The Adventures of Mabel, check it out! We found it in the back of a used book store and the illustrations caught our attention. The adventures themselves – brownies, a friendly wolf, a talking lizard – were so sweet and fairy-tale-fun; we bought it for Yarrow’s birthday and she devoured it.

But school books have been taking up most of my focus. We’re still using TAN’s Story of Civilization Vol 1 that we began in March of last year. Yarrow and Ilya are loving the tone and language, though we’ve mainly abandoned the activity book. Activities aren’t really our thing as a family, so I’m trying to find other ways to incorporate what we’re learning. And our local library, (ok, it’s 30 minutes away, but it’s the closest library we have!) has so many fun children’s histories to supplement. But I’m still hoping to own a lovely, well-translated, children’s version of The Illiad!

We’re also continuing on with our Primary Language Lessons book and Saxon Math. But with math, I’d like to get a set of flash cards to help Yarrow memorize basic facts better and with more confidence. I think flash cards would fit well with her learning style. I’m also looking for some great books for both kids on birds, insects, and northeast American wildlife. Beautiful books that tell a story – like the Burgess Bird Book (this one seems to have all the illustrations too!) Because I’d love for this year to be heavy on nature and prayer. Now that Yarrow’s Sacramental Prep is over and Ilya’s is a few year’s off, I’d like this upcoming Catechism year to focus primarily on devotions, prayers, and the virtues. And we’re introducing Latin to our homeschool! Since we attend the TLM, it’s already something the kids have been somewhat familiar with, but this fall we’ll start introducing it to Yarrow as a subject of study – gently and lightly, prayers and bits of the Mass to explore in-depth.

And while I’m doing all my book-planning, I’m baking Smitten Kitchen’s Blueberry Boy-Bait – which looks and smells amazing! And makes enough for a large-ish spring-form pan and our fairy-cake pan. So this evening, when the real storm is supposed to start, we’ll brew up some peppermint tea and slice up the Boy-Bait, but the little cake will just be set out as a gift when the storm is passed. Fairy’s don’t like being baited.

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