12 January, 2016

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

This is one of my favorite times of year in Spanish Class, because we have learned enough of the language to begin reading mini-novels. This was the book my class chose this year:

I love this, because the students realize how much of the reading and of the story that they can understand. We all read it aloud together, taking turns, And my goal is to get the students very comfortable with narrating back to me. I didn't have them do narrations today, just asked them questions in Spanish about the basic facts in the set-up of the plot and the descriptions of the characters. I plan to have them narrate in the next session or two, as they become more comfortable with discussing the story together in Spanish. :-)

Students tend to take a huge leap through this addition into the curriculum, and it is such a joy to observe and participate with the kids in this process! I am proud of these kids!

Take time to enjoy your students,


04 August, 2015

Working on Recitation for an end-of-term program for parents

I wanted to share a few photos and brief descriptions of one of my classes in 
Poetry Recitation for an end of year program 


Performance day

For this performance, from a later term, the class chose "The Retired Cat" by
William Cowper

We staged a bit of a skit for the recitation of this one. 

Take time to memorize some poetry!
 It will stay with you - very likely sink down deep into your soul - for a very long time.


02 August, 2015

An Iliad - Retelling of the Trojan War

So proud all over again tonight. Our daughter's husband was just selected Omaha's best actor for his role in AN ILIAD!!! Way to go Daniel!

We saw it last Thanksgiving, and it was both wonderful and overwhelming. He played the role perfectly. It is a dark and heavy, given the subject. It is a two-person play...a world-weary poet and his upright-bass-playing muse. Fifty-three pages of lines!

It is well worth seeing, if you ever get the chance - especially if Daniel acts! Emoticón smile

This is not Daniel's career (anymore). He is a techie by day. This is his third time to win this award, though, and I think that makes his award even more special, because he is not involved in theater as much as he used to be.

Those of you who know me or have followed this blog at all know how important Hubs and I think a Liberal Arts education and lifelong learning are. I am glad our grown children are still getting to be involved with the Arts. Makes this momma proud.

Play Review: An acting tour de force in retelling of Trojan War

An Iliad

Until next time,


01 August, 2015

Putting on Shakespeare Plays ~ CM Education

These photos are a couple of years or more old, but...
I want to affirm that both younger and older students can handle reading and performing Shakespeare. They just need to be given the permission of plenty of time to read it (in a class setting is more fun!) and narrate it over a term or two! Here are just a few examples from rehearsals for various Shakespeare plays in our CM co-op! I wanted to put these in one post, for easier reference.

Our Narrators ~ "All the world's a stage!"

Orlando (my son) and Oliver

Celia and Rosalind aka Ganymede

Orlando and Oliver in "As You Like It"

Orlando (my son :-) and his love letter from Rosalind


Hamlet and Laertes

Very intense moment between Hamlet and Laertes (and excellent acting by our cast)

The younger students are rehearsing for "The Tempest"

and they are doing a knock-out job

Do not be afraid to give Shakespeare a try with a few friends! Our group (the youngers) even performed for us in the backyard of one of our family's homes for an end-of-year picnic.

Take time to try some Shakespeare!


One of my favorite quotes ~

 I have been retired* from (official) homeschooling for over two years, but I am sharing one of my
favorite quotes because THIS is one of the main points of lifelong learning. I always keep it posted here at the cottage.

Take time to hear or see something beautiful


* though I still tutor and have been implored to continue teaching Spanish just a bit longer

03 May, 2014

Empty-nest Mom

Hubs and I knew this moment was coming. We were even a bit excited for it. Sure we miss the grown kids, but we are so proud of their motivation and work ethic.

The nest began emptying six years ago and the fourth one flew out one month ago. 'What are we doing with our time and space now?' you might be thinking. Honestly, we have spread out. I got one room and made it into a lovely guest room...but I put my off-season clothes in the closet. No more traipsing to and from the attic for seasonal clothes changes! Hubs took over the middle bedroom and is in the process of making it into his office. He also moved his things to the little closet in that room, and irons his clothes for school in there. He eventually wants to build a murphy bed to put along one wall, but for now, we are content and making due.

We are going through multiple changes at the moment, so we aren't rushing about frantically. Instead, we are pacing ourselves. So many thoughts and ideas have been swirling around in our heads that we want to give them time to percolate and settle before acting on them. We have time, really, we do. I know we are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we are not rushing things. It is just not worth it.

We lost my father-in-law last month after his two-decade-survival of prostate cancer. He was so thrilled to outlive the doctors predictions by more than 15 years. He is proud that he made it to his 80th birthday celebration back in February. Over 200 friends and family celebrated with him. It was glorious.

As I have pondered the direction for this tenth year of my blog, mothering and working as an empty-nest mom are the things that are on my heart and fill my days, now. These are the things I will share in the future. I plan to continue sharing about my hobbies and loves, but I may post on meatier concerns from time to time.
For example, what happened to the Titus 2 model of older women mentoring younger women? It exists, but more often than not, we might witness younger moms in leadership rolls in churches. This is not evil, just backwards. I was one of those young mothering and mentoring moms over ten years ago, and I burned out...or gave up for various reasons. I am not sure that the church model as it exists is appropriate. I think it sets us up to fail before our time. Then when our actual, appropriate mentoring time comes, we are done and want nothing to do with the old model that burned us.

I hope to flesh out some of these thoughts and would love for my readers to come along and give input! I apologize for the dry spell this year. Again, most of it is due to Poppy's illness progressing at the end of last year, and being busy getting the last one ready to leave the nest.

Sending Happy May Day wishes out to you all! Have a wonderful Spring!


14 January, 2014

Jupiter and her Moons tonight ~ So beautiful!

Tonight, I am thankful for the ability to see
things so very far away. 

I present Jupiter and her Galilean moons

 10:00 p.m.

11:00 p.m. and now you can see all four visible moons, aka the Galilean Moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. At midnight, the one closest to Jupiter will be even more visible.

Look up! Jupiter is just to the left of the moon!


09 January, 2014

Word for the Year

Quite a few people I know are choosing a word for the year, to help drive their goals or resolutions. I find it difficult to choose just one word! Hubby has already chosen his: HOPE!

I like that a lot, and was near choosing it, myself. But I didn't want to jump on his bandwagon word, just because. Since he has HOPE and I am his partner, I decided to choose my own so we could "cover more ground" with our dreams and goals this year. Now the three that I have narrowed down are: 


Surely their is not a thing wrong with having a trio of words now, is there? ;-)

I appreciate how these words encompass not only intentional, purposeful action, but deameanor, attitude, and emotion, as well.

What's your word for 2014?


04 January, 2014

Beautiful, Healthy Food

I am so grateful for beautiful, tasty vegetables! This is from tonight's dinner, before the big deep freeze comes our way.

These greens are from our garden, which is still alive during this roller-coaster warm/cold winter. It is a combination of collards and red chard.

This was Christmas dinner at our Daughter's home. The love of vegetables and eating seasonally rubbed off on most of our grown kids!

I hope your Christmas holidays and New Year have been restful and wonderful.


03 January, 2014

365 Grateful Day Two

I am thankful for piles of seeds given to me in my Christmas stocking!

Thank you, dear daughter, who knows me soooo well...