Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real: Three Great Kids and a Foot Wash

Linking up with Auntie Leila again this week for Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real.


It's been a busy, banner week here.  We had the annual All Lake Novice Swim Meet.  Buddy swam in the 7-8 boys division, because he had taken gold the previous two years and you must move up after winning gold.  He did an amazing job and placed silver, coming in just half a second after the gold winner, who is also almost three years older than him.  Cowgirl swam an excellent race despite having a pounding headache.  She came in fifth, but swimmers in third through sixth place came in within the same mere 3/4 of a second.  So, all in all it was a great race. Then on Saturday, Cowgirl  had a horse show.  She won eight ribbons, including a third place--her first ever!!  These kids are amazing!


It's a very happy birthday, today for Little Man.  One year old, already!!!  It has been such a happy year, but too quick.  Here is his birthday outfit, all ready to go for a special trip to Picture People and a stop at the local bakery for a sweet treat.  How I love this little guy!  I will update later with a picture of him in said outfit.


I always accost greet my children on their birthdays by taking a picture of them the moment that they wake up.  I tried today with Little Man, he was more interested in snuggling and being busy.  Then he grabbed my phone and took his first "selfie."  I guess that counts, right?  

Kind of reminisent of our first pictures of him in utero.


I think my husband has been reading the blog, specifically my post on all the sand in this house.  This weekend, he surprised me with a foot wash on our deck.  I was pretty impressed.  He had to run to the hardware store for something and saw this neat little spray attachment.  The kids have been enjoying using it, and my floors have been so much cleaner!  Except, guess who forgot to use it yesterday and traipsed sand through the whole house? That's right, me!   

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Daybook: July 29, 2014

I have wanted to do one of these posts for a long time, after seeing Jessica's yesterday, I decided it was time to do my own.

Outside my window...
 It is very cool and cloudy, especially for late July!  The thermometer read 66 degrees when we got in the car to head to swim lessons.  I was cold just sitting on the beach, but the kids still swam all day and when they got too cold in the water, they moved the party to the playground.  It is so nice to see so many kids playing together every summer and watching them all grow.  What happy childhood memories they are building.

I am thinking...
That I need to start planning for next year more rigorously.  Almost all the books are purchased and the ideas are laid out in my head, I just need to get it all on paper to have a working schedule.  Seems I am always thinking of next year, thus is the life of a homeschool mom.  However, I am trying to live more in the present and not spend so much time planning, to just rely fully on God and rest in His Plan and Will--that is my goal for this coming school year! {...but, I still need to finally purchase a planner and get cracking!}

I am thankful...
for all of the prayers for my family and our challenges, prayer truly is the perfect gift!  I am also thankful for a beautiful community to live in and our loving church family.  I cannot imagine life without either one.  I know that we are not to hold onto the things of this world but to relinquish all to follow Christ, but at this point I am so thankful to be blessed with these great gifts!

Learning all the time...
it has been a big summer of learning on the beach.  We suspend lessons for swim season because so much of our time is spent on the beach and when we are home we are either cleaning up sand or too tired and looking forward to bed.  Buddy is now able to swim to the docks with no life-vest, he still has to be with an adult but has made great strides since refusing the enter the water at all just two years ago. Little Man has been perfecting his walking on the sand and can now cover pretty much the whole beach.  He was experimenting with walking up the grassy slopes by the fence.  He tumbled down a few times but was determined to learn how to do it like the big kids.  He is growing up too quickly!  

Celebrating the Liturgical Year...
Today is the feast of St Martha.  So, I am preparing a feast for dinner, london broil, roasted onion and parsley couscous, sauteed broccoli rabe and a farm fresh salad.
40But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me." 41But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
" Luke 10:40-42

However, I am contemplating how I can spend more time at the LORD's feet instead of toiling with housework.  I plan on resuming my monthly first Friday devotion and adoration on August 1st.  I've only made it once since Little Man was born.

From the kitchen...
it has been greens, greens, and more greens.  Our CSA is in full swing and the veggies are piled high in the refrigerator.  I am thankful that it wasn't just greens this week, and am trying very hard to run out of vegetables by Saturday night so we have space when we pick up this week's share after church on Sunday.

We have also had a bumper crop of beans from the garden this year.  Normally the kids eat every one before they make it into the house, this year I planted three times as much and so we are actually getting piles of green and yellow string beans in our kitchen.  They have been wonderful to snack on and dip in a little ranch dressing.

I am creating planning on creating...
a nice little banner for Little Man's highchair to celebrate his birthday this week.  I guess I better get to the store tomorrow, so far I only have the ribbon.  I'll post pictures if I get it done in time!

I am going... 
to our local Catholic homeschooling conference on Saturday.  It will be the first time leaving Little Man for an entire day.  I am nervous and excited at the same time.  After weighing the possibilities of taking him with me and staying home this year I decided that I am going to go and just come home early. I missed the conference last year because I was just getting home from the hospital.

I am hoping...
to actually get to sit down and type up my Josefina unit study   this weekend.  It has been a long time coming and I need to clear the checklists out of my!

I am praying...
for the repose of Sarah's soul and for her young family, what a heartbreak!  

for my family in our continued struggles as my mother nears the end of her life here on earth

for direction for my husband and I as we contemplate finding another home

for my dear friend, Jessica, and her intentions

and for so many others that I hold in my heart.

I am reading...
the last couple of pages of Style, Sex & Substance edited by Hallie LordI'll be writing a review of it soon! I am debating on what to read next, before I need to start reading teacher's manuals, texts, and such for next year.  Any suggestions???

I am pondering these words...
"We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone."

~St Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) 
I am listening to...
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The children have been playing and replaying the audiobook over the past three weeks.  I just checked out five new audiobooks, but so far they haven't switched!

Around the house...
I am taking stock of all that still needs to be done before cold weather sets in--it switches back to cold weather too quickly around here--and scheduling family work days.   So far the only thing off my summer to do list is the bathroom redecorating, still much more to go including new gutters, new shutters, and a septic repair!!

One of my favorite things...
is my sweet Little Man, even though he is a squirmy, mischievous, sand-eating toddler.  This past year has been one of my happiest ever. ( Now if I could only figure out how to create a pause button to retrofit onto the kids, that would be my favorite thing of all time.)  Opening the hatch and seeing this little face smile back at me is my favorite feature on our Outback wagon.

Plans for the week...
Tuesday-swim lessons
Wednesday--planting spinach and kale for fall crops, swim lessons and sandwiches at the beach for dinner
Thursday--a trip to Picture People and the local bakery to celebrate Little Man's first birthday!!
Friday--riding lessons, a trip to the pet store to get Buddy a fish, and the last day of swim lessons for the season
Saturday--homeschool conference
Sunday--Mass, CSA pick-up, weekly Family Rosary at our friends'

A little peak at my day...
This little guy never stops, he is, as I call it, the busiest of the busies.  But every once in awhile he crashes after running around and trying so hard to keep up with the big kids.

The boys having a little mini-concert/dance party.  Little Man is "playing" the piano (read pushing the pre-programmed music keys) and the two of them are dancing their hearts out!  I tried getting a movie but they stopped as soon as the camera started, so this blurry picture is all I have.  But, isn't that what days with a houseful of kids is anyway, a blur!!  Have I mentioned how much I want a pause button???
Hope you are all having a blessed week! 


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Little Oratory: A Book Review

I have been working down my summer reading list and enjoying the books so much.  They have really spoken to me and convicted my heart for a strong return to God in our home.  It's not that we have walked away from God, but in the busyness, He has gotten crowded out.  I am truly seeking to bring peace and prayer into the center of our home in the coming year.

Little Oratory
I was so excited when waiting for the book, I entered every giveaway there was.  Thankfully, I was blessed to win a copy.  I didn't know what to expect exactly, but I knew it was what I had been seeking.  I had hopes of bringing more faith and prayer into our domestic church but didn't know how.  This book delivered, and I highly recommend it.

The chapters are easy to read, well laid out, and include lovely illustrtions thoughout.  Before each chapter is a line drawing that can be copied so that children (or adults) can color it in and create their own sacred art.  The book is even specially binded to allow easier copying--they really thought of everything.-

I especially enjoyed all the references to the Catechism, explanations of the different devotions and the understanding that not everything can be implemented by everyone.  Years ago, I like many homeschool moms, read A Mother's Rule of Life.  It was inspiring but overwhelming.  I crafted the schedule and "rule" according to her model, but within two weeks just could not maintain it.  I admire the author that she is able to spend so much time in prayer and keep such a rigid schedule with so many children and still homeschool, but I have yet to meet another mom who has read it and not walked away having failed to acheive the book's loafty goals.

The Little Oratory is different, even in the deep and rich presentation of numerous devotions, it is acknowledged that not every family will be able to do every one.  The suggestion to start small and work from there was very comforting.  In all truth, how many of us could completely overhaul our daily schedule and not get rebellion from the children or burnt out in the process?  There are just only so many changes that can be absorbed while still running an active home.

This book is wonderful for families, but also is geared for everyone.  There are sections devoted to those who are single.  At the heart of the book, is the theme that all homes should be houses of prayer.  The "Domestic Church" is a church but not a monastery.  We should strive to create a Godly atmosphere and work to draw all inhabitants to Heaven, but can obviously not keep the type of schedule of prayer that a cloistered nun would. 

A lovely addition to the book is the collection of original icon art work at the back that can be removed, framed, and added to our oratory or used as additional sacred art in the home.  They are stunning, I am really looking forward to framing mine.  I have reallized that my "oratory" will only be able to house one or two of the icon prints because of my limited space, so I am having a hard time deciding which ones.  Which really is a testament to the quality and beauty of the icons, it is nearly impossible to choose just one.

The only part of the book that I felt a little disappointed with was the chapter on the Liturgy of the Hours.  I have been trying to figure out this liturgy for awhile now. I purchased a copy of Shorter Christian Prayer and hoped that between that and The Little Oratory, I would know what I was doing, but I still don't.  I think that I will need to consult with my priest because I still have many questions.  I know that there are wonderful programs online that broadcast the prayers, and I have used them in the past, I just wanted to be able to do it for myself.

I have more book reviews coming, and am still working on getting up some of the Josefina posts (thanks for being patient) but, I have to say this was my favorite book that I have read this summer.  If you only have time to read one book this summer, make it The Little Oratory.

**This is an unsolicited review.  I, in no way, received any compensation for reviewing the book.  Thanks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Free Summer Reading Edition

Well, there are still quite a few weeks of summer left, so it's not too late to start reading. Here are some great summer reads that are free.

The Saints' Favorite Books
This first one is one that I have been so waiting for its release.  I have not gotten to read it yet, but it's next in line.  Check out the free download on Brandon Vogt's blog.  While you are there also read his post on building a free (or very cheap) Catholic e-library.  Both should keep you reading for a long time.

This is a short but powerful book.  It is a very easy read--mostly because it is so well written and really draws you in to want to know more--but definitely life changing.  I read this once last year, but I am hoping to read it again soon.    You can get a free copy on Connie's blog, Contemplative Homeschool.

The book above can be borrowed for free from the Kindle Library.  I really recommend Cindy Rollin's post on The Little Way in which she explains how she implemented what she learned from this book.  No time for a whole book?  Read the the excellent post instead (or read the post first and then borrow the book)  

A good complement to the "Little Way" post is this post on Baby Steps to Living the Liturgical Year over at Catholic All Year.  I longer post than the previous one, but so informative.  Feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of bringing the liturgical year home to your domestic church?  Feeling inadequate because you aren't crafty, organized, or talented enough to pull off anything so impressive it will get published in a magazine?  Don't worry, that's not what living the liturgical year is all about.  Read this post and then take the first baby step toward building your domestic church. 

Free Catholic e-books as well as other resources are also available at Source of Light Monastary.  There is a little bit of everything here so you are sure to find at least one book you just must read now! 

I discovered the blog Simply Living for Him when I read Simply Homeschool.  A great book to read before starting to plan for next year.  Karen also has the above e-book for free on her blog.  While you are there, print a copy of her 31 days of prayer for your homeschool.  I plan on starting this prayer month on August 1st so my school will be steeped in prayer by day one! 

Free For Catholics Homepage 
There are books and more available at Free for Catholics.  Some items require the payment of shipping, but they are still a steal.  Browse the many lists of freebies geared just for Catholics and have fun "shopping" without spending a dime!  After all, a dime can feed two hungry children through Mary's Meals so send it their way instead.

Do you have any great free resources or e-books to share?   

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Big Prayer Request--please, please pray!!!

I had been working on another post but life is preventing me from finishing. I have a very big, heartfelt request for prayer. My family is up against some very large challenges and under attack from many sides. I can't go into details because of the sensitive matter. Please know that it is a very urgent matter and is causing family division on top of deep strife. We need all the prayer warriors we can get. Thank you so much. I hope to get to post tomorrow. God bless.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sand, Sand, Sand...and what it has taught me about God!

We are right, smack in the middle of swim season, which should be more aptly named sand season.  As I have mentioned before, we are blessed to live on a beautiful lake with a lovely beach.  My children take swim lessons five to six days a week, but more important than the lessons is the fun and friendships they have at the beach.  However, the sand!!!

I have tried everything over the past nine years of living here.  I shower them as we exit the beach, we take our shoes off on the deck, I brush off their feet, we hang towels outside, they go directly to the shower when the enter the house, I even once kept a bucket on the deck to rewash feet.  No matter what I do, the house gets full of sand.  I have been known to chide my children that if they want a beach to go back to they must leave some of the sand behind.  Alas, it is sand season...

However, the other day as I was yet again sweeping up mounds of sand and beginning to grumble about it, I had a thought, a God thought.  We ty hard to leave the sand at the beach, sure we like that nice "healthy glow" at summer's end and all the fantasic memories.  We enjoy recounting the swimming and fishing tales and make it well known that we are blessed to live a mile from the beach, but we don't want sand to leave the beach.  When it creeps into our cars and our homes, we gumble and fuss, we bemoan and belittle the beach that we love so much.  Why can't it just stay where it belongs?  Yes, we belong to the beach but it doesn't have to follow us around.  And besides, does the whole world need to know that we live on a beach by the stray sand we seem to lug everywhere we go?

That is when I realized, how often do I do that to God?  He is everywhere and we are proud to comment about our relationship with God and the church we attend, but do we really want Him everywhere?  Do we try to keep Him in one place or another, on one day or another, in our prayer time and our Bibles, but not in our cleaning and entertainment.  I realized how much I wanted God everywhere, I want Him to stick to me and follow me and be very difficult to get rid of.  BUT, that means I need to live every moment as if I am on God's beach if you will.  I need to accept that things aren't always perfect and pretty, but that is God working and the fact that much is being expected of me is a sign of how much He trusts and loves me.  I also need to take Him with me and not try to shluff Him off or contain His presence.  Every moment, every room, every task should be at the feet of God, because whether we like it or not, He is there and watching.  So this is my challenge for the next month, as I prepare to say so long to summer and sand, to find God in every spot and to let Him be in every breath and motion.  I want God to stick to me like sand and me stick to Him the same way.  Perhaps heaven isn't a garden nor a cloud, maybe it's actually a beach!

How do you bring God with you throughout your day and travels?

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm back, I'm back, I'm back!!

After a week of "staycation", we loaded up the station wagon and headed north for my husband's family's annual family reunion/vacation.  We look forward to this every year.  I had fully intended to blog while away, but we were short on space and left the laptop behind.  I tried on my Kindle but, well, the results weren't great and it was so much harder. However, I wanted to let you know that I am back and planning on catching up and blogging away this week.  Here is a sneak peak at some of my plans for the week:

The next post in the "Josefina, a Catholic American Girl" series
Book review of The Little Oratory
Sand, Sand, Sand and What it has Taught Me about God.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week and thank you for all your support in donations to the Julianna Snodgrass Fund.  That's it for today, but check back tomorrow for a new post.  I have to go try to unbury myself from vacation aftermath, get the big kids to swim practice for the annual meet tomorrow, and catch up with an old friend that I haven't seen in over 15 years!!!  Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Prayer and Support Request

Please consider supporting this family with you prayers and donations.  They have suffered a terrible loss!  Thank you!

You can read more about their story here:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy St Kateri Day---lots of links!!!

Today is St Kateri Day, a saint that is near and dear to us.  She is one of Cowgirls favorite, and how cool is it that she is a saint, now.  Here are some links to help you celebrate.

Check out Catholic Cuisine for cute Indian corn cookies.

Or how about the edible Indian corn treats.

Jennifer at Catholic Inspired has craft links galore. We have made her peg doll statues in the past and they turn out so cute!

Monica at Equipping Catholic Families has wonderfully creative ideas, too.  Check out this Catholic dream catcher.

Learn more about the Lily of the Mohawks at the links below:

Santa Kateri, ora pro nobis!

Thanks for stopping by.  I apologize for the link setup, I am without my usual laptop.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real: Staycation Edition

Well, somehow my husband's "Staycation" from work turned into a vacation from blogging.  I had dreamed of blogging every day and writing extra posts so that I was ahead, but even with an extra set of hands, it was a busy, busy week.  So here are the pictures with a little commentary but I'm going to mostly let them speak for themselves.


As a special treat, my husband took me kayaking this morning at the National Wildlife Preserve whose border is less than a mile from our home.  The preserve is very large and so we had to drive about 20 minutes to the lake where we went kayaking but it was wonderful.  I kept thinking, why don't we come here more often?  They have a FREE children's program every Wednesday morning through out the summer!  We have to check that out soon.

The views were beautiful with so much green foliage and peaceful water.  As you can see though, we are still learning how to take a "selfie"  This was our first one, so don't mind the thumb;)

 We had a very happy Fourth of July with too many lots of picnics!  Little Man decided to celebrate independence by starting to walk.  He has been so happy to be toddling around, I can't believe his birthday is only in a few weeks.  (sniff, sniff)

THIS!  Buddy bought himself a snorkel set and has been wearing it non-stop.  He keeps complaining that he can't breathe through his nose properly with the mask on and I keep reminding him that he isn't supposed to breathe through his nose underwater anyway.  He tried it out at the beach today with Daddy and had a blast.


I have been having the urge to redecorate.  The bathroom needed some repair work and I took the opportunity to spruce it up.  Now, the reality is that my husband and I are not Bob Villa or even Bob the Builder, yet we purchased a home that needs EVERYTHING to be fixed and/or replaced.  EVERYTHING!!!  We did a lot of work when we first purchased it nine years ago, with the intention of selling quickly and buying a bigger home.  The market was on fire!  However, six months after moving in, with all the major renovations only mostly complete and many more not even begun, my husband lost his job.  By the time he found another full time, permanent job, three years later, the market had begun to slow and we had spent our entire savings keeping us afloat during his un/underemployment.

Anyway, I am so pleased with how the bathroom turned out.  I repainted the ceiling and walls, then unearthed a border that I had purchased when we moved in but completely forgotten about in all the other renovations.  It was quite an experience when my husband, Cowgirl, and I were squeezed into our 5 x 4 bathroom with two chairs, a can of border paste, and yards of wallpaper border.  I wish I could have gotten pictures but I'm not sure I could contort my body enough to do so  and still hold up the paper.  The paper is far from perfect, like I said we are still learning and have a long way to go.  But, I think it is wonderful and my husband says that is all that matters because it is better to want what you get than get what you want.  While we were papering, Little Man was thankfully sleeping and guessed it, was walking around with his snorkel set on.  He says it is called a snorkel because Daddy is the one who had the idea to get one and he snores--get it??  Yes, that is first grade humor at it's best.

Hope you are having a lovely week, click over to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pretty, happy, funny, real posts.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sharing a giveaway...(or two!)

I didn't get to writing a full post today, but I wanted to share a special giveaway that is going on at Shower of Roses.  Jessica is hosting a giveaway for two blessed readers to win their choice of Mama's Notebooks.  Even if you don't win, click over for some wonderful coupons codes.  All notebooks are on sale right now 15% off, and Jessica is sharing a special code for an additional 10% off of your order!  Who doesn't love a sale?  Hope you are having a beautiful and blessed day.

Mama's Notebooks 
Oh, Wait...there's more...while I was entering into this giveaway, I found out that Catholic Sistas is sponsoring a planner giveaway as well.  Click here to enter to win a Catholic Throughout the Year planner.  Bonne chance! (as the French would say)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Josefina: The Lapbook

To start out my series on the "Josefina: A Catholic American Girl" unit study, I am going to present a small list of resources that can be used for creating a lapbook, as well as supplemental printables.  I am linking to orginial sources, if any of the links do not work, please let me know and I will try to update.

The lapbook that I plan to base mine on, is one created by my talented friend, Jessica at Shower of Roses. She used mini-books from the Homeschool Share site.  I intend to make the same lapbook, however I am going to include a fold down flap to fill in information about Our Lady of Guadalupe and other Catholic people and traditions that tie into the story--stay tuned for that information in my "faith" section of the series.  Homeschool Share has a whole collection of mini-books for all the American Girls and they are free to print. Cowgirl and I completed their Felicity lapbook a few years ago.

Gather Your Resources

Jessica has a list of resources that she used in her unit study.  Below I also have shared some websites I have found helpful.  Most of these books are available through public libraries, although some have been thinning out their American Girl collection. Another good source is ebay for used versions, Amazon also sells most of the books new and used.  We have purchased several as used ex-library copies and have been very happy with what we received.

  • American Girl Publishing offers fun printables that are geared for bookstores to use during release parties for new books.  They are free to print by anyone and contain a great mix of activities.  **It appears that in the past couple of weeks this website has been redesigned and no longer includes the historical dolls.  I will keep trying to hunt down the original activities in the meantime.  Sorry.
  • American Girl Curriculum is an online curriculum guide designed for teachers.  Much of this is geared to use in a classroom setting with groups of children but can be adpated for a homeschool setting.  It includes printable worksheets, lesson plans, and answer keys.  Free for all to print.
  • Rancho de las Golondrinas is the "official" home of Josefina.  It is a great place to visit if you are ever in that area of the country.  If that is not possible, the article that is linked still has some useful information as well as additional links to check out.
  • American Girl Playthings offers free PDF doll clothes patterns for all of the historical characters.  We do not have a full sized Josefina doll but are going to make some of the clothes on this site to dress up another doll for this unit. 
  • The National Park Service has information about the Santa Fe trail as well as a game that can be printed.
  • has a page dedicated to Josefina with games, activities, e-cards, and more.  If you click on the parent/teacher resources you can find a unit study on Spanish culture and the settlement of the southwest.
  • American Girl Wiki gives a summary of the stories as well as background information and links to discover more about the story characters.
  • Lastly check out this website for history, culture, and travel information about New Mexico.

Friday, July 4, 2014

7 Quick Takes: On My Summer Reading List

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

Here is the list of books I am reading/have read this summer.  There seems to be a recurring theme in all of them of peace and prayer--I think God is trying to tell me something.

Simplify Your Homeschool Day: Shorten Your Day Sweeten Your Time 
This is actually a re-read.  I read it over the winter but am refreshing myself with this book as I gear up to plan next year's school day.

 This one I have only read the first few chapters but can't wait to pick up, again!

 Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace
You can read my review of this book here.


A very quick read, but valuable look at how to organize your day and use the time you have effectively for what is most important to you.  As a bonus, you can find free tools to apply what you have learned here.

Style, Sex, & Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things That Really Matter  -     Edited By: Hallie Lord    By: Hallie Lord(ED.), Jennifer Fulwiler & Danielle Bean 
I started this in the spring but haven't had a chance to pick it up again. Hoping to get there once I finish The Little Oratory.

 The Love Dare for Parents  -     By: Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick 
This one I have not purchased yet, but I am looking forward to once I have finished reading the above five books.  I think this is just what I need to kick the school year off. 


These are newly purchased but seemed to round out the set.

So what are you reading this summer?