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June 2009

The Sweetness of Summer: A Second Winner!


Well very early this morning I filled Crackerjack's bright yellow bucket hat with tiny slips of paper - each one baring the name of one of the Summer Fun commenters - there was probably an easier way to do this but at this early hour and on limited caffeine, it was all I came up with lol - we mixed them all up and then the boys chose a name, our second summer winner is ...

... Melissa R.!

Congratulations, Melissa! Please zip me a note at drhanigan AT comcast DOT net when you have a chance and we'll discuss the mailing details. :)

Now, what summer pastime does Melissa NOT want to miss this year?
Blueberry Picking!

Mmmm, blueberry picking is a must-not-miss in New England, especially if you can make it up to Maine ~ Maine blueberries are so sweet and tender! When I was a little girl I remember wild blueberries grew on the hill behind my grandparents' house. I remember sitting there on hot August days, nestled in and amongst the scrubby wild bushes, filling my tiny dixie cup with those teeny dusky blue berries - always hoping to pick enough for a pie, but never leaving many in the cup. (Most of them made their way into my mouth!)

My grandma made the BEST blueberry pies in the world. To this day I've never had better, and I now resolve to try making one this summer. Actually, a cup of coffee and a blueberry hand pie, eaten outside on a hot summer morning would be the epitome of summer sweetness ...

... or maybe a couple of these blueberry bonanza bars:


Making blueberry jam with the kids would be another wonderful August activity! If you can't pick them yourselves, a local farmer's market would be sure to have some for sale. 

Another blueberry activity - one I have saved in my August journal from last year - is to make blueberry fabric stamps.


How cute are they?!

If you are working on Christmas gifts this summer, these homemade stamps could be used to make a set of pretty notecards or recipe cards. Buy blank cards at the craftstore, along with the cork and blue and green ink pads. Purchase a length of pretty blue or yellow gingham ribbon as well - what a lovely gift and an easy hot day summer project!

A jar of that blueberry jam mentioned above would make a perfect summer hostess gift. Decorate at plain gift bag (another craft store purchase - I always keep several sizes on hand) with your blueberry stamps, pop the jam inside and tie the bag up with some ribbon.

If you have little ones, here are two favorite blueberry books I can't help but mention: 

Blueberriesfor sal



Thank you, Melissa, for reminding me of the summer goodness of blueberries! I've made a note in my August calendar to try some of these projects and to request those books from the library. :)

Now, my very next post will be a compilation of all the wonderful summer thoughts you all shared. (I had planned to do it here but I got a little carried away with the blueberry theme, lol ...)

And yes, I am working on that File Crate post - still! I have it about halfway done, and will hopefully get it up early this week. 

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone! Thanks as always for stopping by! :)

And my 11,111th commenter was ...

... fellow New Englander and frequent commenter, Penny in VT!

Penny's favorite things not to miss in summer are: 
"Smores made outside over an open fire!"

(This particular smore was made in NH, not VT, but close enough!)

Congratulations, dear Penny!
 Please shoot me an email at drhanigan AT comcast DOT net and we will work out all the mailing details. :)

In the meantime, I want to THANK EVERYONE who participated in my contest! I enjoyed reading through all your "summery" thoughts - 83 as of first thing this morning! I plan to do two things with all your comments ... 
First, I will cut and paste everyone's comments into a big post about the Sweetness of SUMMER ... 

And second ... I am going to draw ANOTHER WINNER tomorrow! I will add everyone's names to a basket and let the boys choose a name. I will announce the second winner on Sunday afternoon.

(Yes, that used to read Saturday evening, but I'm having some technical difficulties here!)

So feel free to keep commenting until tomorrow ...

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!

A Little Summer Something Fun ...

Daisies-mug I happened to notice my blog is coming up on an interesting number of comments so I thought I'd do something fun. I'm not going to tell you how many I have to go to reach this number but whoever is the 11,111th commenter will get a little summer treat mailed to them from me! (I did something similar back in September when I gave away a copy of The Wind Children.) If you would like to enter this "contest" (for lack of a better term lol) please leave me a comment below answering this question ...

Summer comes and goes so fast, and every year I think of little things we forgot to do ... like, chase fireflies or have a backyard campout or pick raspberries or collect seaglass at the beach. What is something summery you love to do that you don't want to miss out on this year?
Please leave your answer below and Saturday morning I will announce the winner ...

Good Luck! :)

Quick Note re ~ File Crate Questions

Well, so much for being "Wordless" today, lol, but I wanted to pop in real quick and catch up. I want to let you all know that I am working on that File Crate Follow-Up, cutting and pasting questions from this post to answer in a new draft, but it's taking me quite a while to finish it up. (I'm up to 20 questions at last count!) I hope to work on it when I have time over the next few days and post it over the weekend. Thanks for your continued interest and patience! :)

In the meantime, I hope your week is going well. I also hope your weather is drier than ours is here! It's STILL raining here in New England but improvement has been promised starting tomorrow. We may have celebrated the summer solstice a few days ago but it feels anything but summery around here. With the 4th of July just around the corner I'm really looking forward to some old fashioned hot and hazy weather ...


Be back again soon!

Revamping the File Crate System


Well, it's the middle of June which means it's time for me to revamp my file crate for a new year - which in turn means it's time for me to write another file crate post! :)

Lol, I fear I'm saying the same thing over and over in these posts - albeit in subtly different ways - but honestly I'm hoping that each time I explain the system, I'll do so a little better than before. 

In a nutshell, my "system" is a variation on the tickler file - it addresses all areas of my life: personal, family, household and homeschooling matters. It is primarily a weekly system. And while it's not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, it does work pretty well for me, and has for several years.

First, a brief reminder of what makes up my file crate system:

a file crate

file folders (52+)

hanging folders (6+)

a month @ a glance calendar

8x11-inch lined notepad

a workspace/set location for these items

an everyday tote that can hold the calendar/current folder

a reasonable schedule for system maintenance

Note: I've highlighted in blue the parts of the system that need to be refreshed once a year. 

Also, the reason I say 52+ file folders and 6+ hanging folders, is I do add more sections in the back of the crate for storing other types of information: educational, menu planning, craft ideas, specific projects, etc.

Ok, first I'll give you the big picture, and then I'll get into the nitty gritty.:)

So once a year I take all 52 folders from my file crate, leaving just hanging folders behind, and set them aside. 


(More on those later.) 

I clean out the crate (inside and out with a damp cloth) and once it's dry, I insert 52 new file folders, divided into six hanging folders. 


Note: I change up the front panel of the crate to read 2009-2010. I just cut a pretty piece of scrapbook paper to fit this panel and attach it with double-sided tape.

 Also, a word on the folders themselves - I choose a new shade/theme every year. This year I went with recycled folders in earthy shades. I think they kind of match my dining room colors which is where I park my file folder crate. :)


Each folder represents one week of the year - so on the tab of the first folder I wrote: "June 1 - June 7, 2009." I also attached a piece of lined yellow paper to the folder, stapling it at the top edge of the front cover and snipping the upper right corner to fit; this will be my weekly planning sheet.


(More on these sheets later.) 


The June-July folders go in the first hanging folder and the August-September folders go in the one behind that - and so on. Once I'm done I have 6 hanging folders filled with 52 file folders, one for each week of the year. (Why six dividers? I separate the year into six seasons: high summer, early fall, late fall, deep winter, early spring, late spring.)

 And this is what I have now:


Now the file crate is ready to go. I also have my month @ a glance calendar and lined notepad.


As you can see below not only do I like to gussy up my calendar pages with seasonal stickers, but I stick the current weekly folders inside the back cover. They fit back there perfectly and tag along with me when I bring my calendar out and about.


So now that I've discussed all the "system components," I think at this point it's time to discuss how the system works in real time.

As I mentioned above, except for the yearly revamp, it is primarily a weekly system. So roundabouts the end of a week (Thursday, ideally) I start in on my planning.


I pull the folder for next week out of the file crate and bring it over to my workspace. I shuffle through the current week's folder (above, left) for materials to re-file in the next week's folder (above, right). I look over my calendar for next week's events/appointments/happenings etc. and start filling in the weekly planning sheet stapled to the front of the new folder:


This being Wednesday, I don't have much filled in yet. I have a space for a brief itinerary in the upper left hand corner, as well as dinner plans, to-do's for the week (phone calls to make, emails to send, things to remember to celebrate or notice) and random notes.

I then slip the folder inside the back cover of my calendar.

Here's a peek inside my current folders to give you an idea of what I put in there.

This week: 

a lemon cake recipe for Bookworm's birthday
 emails re our June Nature Club meeting
directions to a local Marine Science Center
flashcards to photocopy from Earlybird's speech therapist
an email re ~ lab classes next year
emails re ~ Bookworm's Teen Group
several library sheets for books to pick up
a mammogram schedule sheet from my doctor
torn catalog pages/Father's Day ideas
a recipe for rhubarb grunt
4th of July windsock craft sheet

Next week:

birthday cards for Bookworm
photocopied information on St. John's Day/Eve
a recipe for spiced St. John's wine

Over the weekend when I do further planning I move any materials that are still timely (i.e. didn't get done) into the new folder before retiring the old folder to the crate. 

I'm often asked if I keep the kids' work samples in the folders, and the answer is no, I do not. Not really. For example, back in February we attended an Owl Pellet class. The emails about the class stayed in the folder but the papers the kids did at class went in the work basket on the learning room floor. Maybe that distinction just makes sense in my own head, but I don't want these folders stuffed with every last bit of paper in the house - just those things that need action or are worth saving - either for posterity or future planning.

Now, let's go back to that big stack of last year's folders pictured at the top of this post. At the end of the year I go through them all to refresh my memory as I write up my end-of-year report. I also recycle materials for the following year. So, say I come across a wonderful recipe for a certain feast day or holiday, I'll re-file it in the appropriate folder for next year. If I come across information on a particular full moon or meteor shower or a seasonal craft idea (like sunflower head wreaths or homemade suet cakes), I re-file. I also re-file my holiday planning folders - Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

The stack of folders gets saved along with last year's calendar in a file box of work samples. So far I've kept a box for every year but I probably should start getting rid of things seeing as we are entering our 10th year of homeschooling!

Now, there is a tendency to fret that a file crate system will take things out of sight out and of mind all too easily. Believe me, I share the same concern. I'm so distracted most days it's a miracle I remember to tie my shoes, lol. 

The important thing to remember with this type of system is two-fold:
Make a PLACE for it and make TIME for it.

I keep my workspace (every mum needs a workspace!) smack dab in the center of the house - the kitchen/learning room area. It's easy enough to move the crate and pack up the materials when a holiday or company is coming. My files are literally at my elbow so it's very easy to add something or pull something out as needed. 

But even more important is remembering to USE the file system. There have been plenty of weeks when I didn't bother and let me tell you those are weeks I'd rather forget. I make a point on Thursday to start my new folder and spend time acquainting myself with the upcoming week. Between Thursday and Friday I make a list of errands to run over the weekend. On Saturday or Sunday or both (depending on when we're busy) I sit down at the table and strategize. Come Monday morning if all goes well, I have a clear idea what the new week is all about and a list of things to get done.

As I said before, this is NOT a perfect system but it does help a lot. Usually a bad week can be chalked up to user-error. ;)

You know if it helps, you could leave me a comment asking me where I'd put something in particular and I can tell you how I'd file it. I love talking "shop" so I'm happy to answer any questions. (In fact I sometimes toy with the idea of composing little file crate "kits" to sell online. Maybe someday.) In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns with the system please feel free to leave me a comment below. I will do a follow-up post and address them all. 

Thanks for stopping by today and thanks for your patience in waiting for this post. Things have been super crazy around here lately what with me going away and the "school" year coming to the close ...
Thank goodness for those file folders, I tell you! ;)

My Weekend in Newport

So, I'm back from my "mums weekend away" and I'm happy to report it was a wonderful time for us all. The weather was fabulous and I took a lot of pictures - but fortunately for you all I am only sharing a portion. ;) You have to remember as much as I write this blog for my readers (or I should say, conversing with my readers), I also use it as a personal/family journal. Someday I'll be glad to remember all the sights and scenes of my trip. Goodness knows when I might do this again.

First a quick bit of backstory. My college roommate Kathy organized this weekend away for the girls - all mums now - who lived together throughout our four years of college. Only six of us could make the trip but it was such an awesome time. We had so much fun catching up, relaxing and kicking back.

And now on to the pictures ...


This is, obviously, a drive by shooting - but I remembered on our way out of town that I never photographed our hotel. I promise the pictures get better after this.


Our room is one of those windows in the second row from the top. We looked out over the harbor and had sliders that opened onto the rooftop. 

Our view:


My view from where we ate dinner Friday night:


And my delicious dinner:


"Georges Banks Scallops"


The next morning, bright and early we headed out to the world famous Newport Cliff Walk.

Special thanks go to my friend Mo who strolled along with me and patiently put up with my shutterbug impulses. :)

Most of these are self-explanatory, but I've added notes here and there ...



I'm not sure which buildings were privately owned and which were part of Salve Regina - but they were all overwhelmingly beautiful. I felt as though I stepped into an Austen novel ...




I know you're not surprised I came home with an awful lot of nature photos. There were interesting bits of flora and fauna all along the walk.


Rosa Rugosa - commonly known as Beach Rose.
This is a seed center (totally made-up term); the vibrant pink petals are more visible and recognizable of course.



Bittersweet nightshade - just like the vine that grows near my back fence. 


Pretty little purple wildflower - not sure what it is.


I'm going to call this a morning glory because that's what it looks like, but I'm not 100% sure. Morning glories are annuals so it doesn't make sense these vines would endure year after year. I guess maybe they do though - to quote Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way."


A tiny little spider web - so beautiful!


I have no idea what this is, but in the glistening June sun it was certainly lovely.


Pretty daisies bloomed all over the cliffside.





Cool little shelled creature, clinging to the side of the cliff shown above. That was some jaunt if he came up with the tide!



I recognized the seagulls but the big black seabirds were a mystery to me until my friend D. told me they were in fact cormorants.

I couldn't decide which ocean shots I liked best, so you're getting them all!






After the cliff walk we had lunch - during which I saved my friends from a marauding swarm of bees. Ok, story. So we're sitting there enjoying a delicious lunch by the sea when I notice an extremely large swarm of bees hovering over the fence just behind where we were sitting. At first we tried the whole "don't move they'll ignore us" tactic for all of 5 seconds and then we ran - literally ran - to the other side of the restaurant (assuring our waitress we were not skipping out on our bill). A waiter turned the hose on the swarm and it flew out over the boats docked nearby. I wonder if it was a disturbed hive or perhaps a colony relocating? Either way it was one of the more memorable - not to mention humorous - moments of the weekend.

We next enjoyed a one-hour boat cruise of Newport Harbor.


We took the 3:00 tour aboard the Amazing Grace. Our tour guide was funny and full of interesting Newport maritime history and trivia. 


This boat, a lobster boat called the Freedom, is the sister ship to the vessel featured in an upcoming show on the Discovery Channel, Lobster Wars - if I understood the tour guide correctly.



Above you see Fort Adams where years ago Bill and I attended the Newport Folk Festival.



After the boat cruise we stopped for ice cream and then retired to the hotel to freshen up and look over college photo albums. Dinner at a local pub was followed by a showing of Twilight back at the hotel. Chatting and giggling ensued until roundabouts 2 a.m. Good thing we had no kids to wake us up the next morning!


I had to show you our friend, a seagull who seemed insistent on gaining access to our room. Seriously, he stalked us.

Sunday morning we woke to rain and found breakfast at a lovely local restaurant. After we finished the omelets, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice we headed for home and the families that missed us. 

I was pleased to get a shot of St. Mary's before we left town - the first Catholic parish in Rhode Island and the church in which JFK and Jacqueline Bouvier were wed.


And then we were on our way home!

Thanks SO much for taking the time to read through my post and take a peek at my pictures. It really was a gift, this weekend away. I thank my family for making it possible and my friend Kathy for making it happen. To all my King House girls - whether you were with us in Newport or with us in spirit - I love you all. Thanks for more than 20 years (!) of friendship and love.

Thoughtful Friday ~ Organization


Food for thought as I contemplate my 347th post on the file crate system. ;) 

Speaking of said post, it will be just a few more days before it's ready. I'm heading out for a "college girlfriends" weekend in Newport - leaving my boys in their Daddy's capable hands (assisted by Nana and Papa of course). I've never done something like this so as much as I'm looking forward to the getaway I'm a little skittish about leaving my brood. If you're so inclined, would you please say a little prayer for their well-being - and my peace of mind, lol? :)

All this to say, I have the file folder post about halfway done but I won't finish it before I leave and I don't want to rush it. I will try my best to have it up by this coming Tuesday - Wednesday at the latest. That quotation does have a point though - sometimes I get so caught up in setting this system up I lose sight of the end goal - keeping my family, home and homeschool running on all cylinders. All the pretty folders in the world won't make a whit of difference if they're not making life more manageable - and enjoyable - for us all. 

So thanks for your patience, yet again. I'll be back again here very soon. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - looks to be lovely up here in New England - sunny and warm. Perfect for picture taking!

Our Homeschool Motto ...

"Tall oaks from little acorns grow." ~ American Proverb

Does your homeschool have a motto?
How about a name?
Ours is The Riverwood School ...

... because our "school" sits beside a wood through which a river runs and, as you can tell from my blog, much of our learning takes place out there. 

Inside and out, my three little acorns grow closer to the sky every day ...
while I keep busy tending their roots. :)

I hope you all have a Wonderful Wednesday.

p.s. I found our twig crayons online here, but check out the set of 65

Talk about a splurge!

Our Morning in the Spring Woods

First of all, I got your unanimous and uplifting message about the file crate post loud and clear! I'm so glad so many of you find inspiration in those kinds of posts. I was afraid they might be getting somewhat redundant, but I will gladly post about my "system" again. I worked on my new files this afternoon and took pictures while the sun was shining - so look for a file-focused post from me later this week. :)

In the meantime, please take a peek at our pictures from our Audubon visit this morning. It was an absolutely perfect June day - bright, warm - but not hot - and dry. We saw lots of cool things and luckily I had my camera in hand to capture it all (and when do I not, lol?).


And we're off!


Butterflies flitting all around - this is a wood nymph, I think.


The bullfrogs were in fine form, serenading us with their unique morning music.


Earlybird bailed at the last minute - he was afraid to enter the "cave" as he called it. It's actually a pass-through, and part of the trail, but there was no telling him that, lol.

So Bill walked EB back to the boardwalk to toss rocks in the pond while Crackerjack, Bookworm and I climbed up and all over "the rockery."



My "kings of the hill." :)


Ferns were growing everywhere! It felt very "forest primeval."


Unknown tiny butterfly.


This is a beaver lodge that was built directly beside and beneath the boardwalk. Clever little critters.


The chipmunks are almost friendly here - in that, if you hold still they will walk right by you or if you move slowly, they'll let you get quite close. There's not much cuter than a chipmunk, except for a red squirrel ...

And speaking of ...


This picture is so dark it's hard to see, but this is a little red squirrel who scurried directly over our heads. I'm absolutely convinced he came out just to see me. ;)


I think these are blue forget-me-nots growing along the pond's edge.


Azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom. They grow very well in shady wooded areas.


A lone beautiful yellow iris growing alongside the path.


'Tis the season for spittle bugs - this stuff was everywhere.


The lilyponds were lovely.


As were the views:



We found several mysterious trees:



(See the face?)


A throne, perhaps? ;)

There were many kinds of dragonflies and damselflies about:




On particularly insistent dragonfly kept dashing around me me and hovering directly in front of me when I paused. This was the only picture I got of him - he was huge:


He did let me pass, eventually. :)

Well, thanks for letting me share these pictures with you! I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of late spring in New England. As I promised at the top of this post I'll be back in a few days with an in-depth post all about my file crate system. 
In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

June's Full Strawberry Moon ...

Don't forget to look for it tonight!

We have such a fun day planned tomorrow ... bright and early in the morning Crackerjack has some orthodontic work to get out of the way, but after that, Bill and I are taking the boys to an Audubon Sanctuary for a walk in the late spring woods. (Pictures forthcoming of course!) When we return, I have a strawberry lunch planned in honor of tonight's full moon - The Strawberry Moon. It's cloudy here tonight, so we'll "moonwatch" tomorrow! ;)

So in honor of this month's moon - and one of the first fruits of the season - may I ask for your favorite way to eat strawberries? Do you pick them in the field, pick them up at the store, or grow them at home? When I was little, my grandpa grew wonderful strawberries in his garden - then later, he picked-his-own at the farm every year. Bill and I always helped him pick - though we never lasted as long in the field as Pa did. He'd pick enough to eat, some to freeze and lots and lots to enjoy over ice cream all year long.

Strawberrytea Tomorrow, when we return home from the hike, our lunch at home will consist of much strawberry goodness - peanut butter-strawberry sandwiches (sliced berries with a drizzle of honey) and freshly brewed strawberry tea. Before we leave in the morning I'll brew up a pot of hot tea, let it cool and then place a pitcher of tea in the fridge. Ice cube trays will be filled with strawberry slices and water - a nice touch, I think. For dinner - after broccoli-steak stir fry, spinach-strawberry salad and rice - there will be fresh pound cake and strawberry rhubarb sauce - with dollops of freshly whipped cream. Yummy!

Tomorrow will be one of our "family days" we take through the year. We don't really vacation per se - for a myriad of reasons - but these special days taken here and there through the seasons really keep us in touch with nature and each other. Special meals always round out the day. :)

Now, while I'm here, I'll answer a few questions left for me after the Learning Room post.
  • The grapevine ball lights were purchased at Target.
  • The colored "tree" pencils were purchased at a local agricultural store. I will stop in tomorrow to get the name (and hopefully a website).
  • The boys' summer reading journals - well, I'll post more about those very soon. :)
  • The flower parts poster was part of a bulletin board set I bought at a local teacher's supply store. They are made by Mark Twain Media, but I can't find them online. I would suggest asking at your own local educator supply shop. 
  • The monthly nature prayers we display in our nature corner can be found in this lovely book.
  • The soft puppet tree I found YEARS ago at LL Bean. They have not sold it in a while, but I know there is a similar one sold here.
As always, thank you for all your questions and your very kind comments. Thank you too, for your patience while I struggle to find time to post.

Speaking of posts, would anyone object to yet another file crate post? I know I've posted about it a-plenty, but at this time of year, as I refresh the crate with brand new folders I tweak the system a little. Every year I come up with something that works just a tiny bit better. At the very least, it's fun to revel in all those new office supplies! ;)

Ok, off for now - there's much to do before bed. I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend. I'll be back again just as soon as I can! :)

And what do we have here ...? (Update!)



Can you guess what we found trapped in the birdfeeder yesterday?


Update ~ This little guy is actually a chipmunk! 

I was sitting at the table in the learning room last evening, and through the open windows I could hear this strange and incessant scratching sound. When I looked out the window I could see a faint shadow scrambling about in the bottom of one of the feeders. This is the "cage" feeder as we call it - it's supposed to keep out squirrels, lol, but some time ago it lost its cover to raiding raccoons. Ever since the red squirrel started visiting it (diving in and out at leisure) I've been happy to leave it as is - however, when the seed has been emptied out (coons again) the tiny chipmunk gets trapped inside! I guess he doesn't have quite as much spring in his step as the squirrels. ;)
So I approached and the poor little thing stilled. As I snapped pictures I noticed its breathing was fast and heavy. I could have gotten more pictures before I let it out, but I didn't want to prolong its torture. I took the feeder down and laid it out on the ground. Within seconds the critter was off with a squeak high-tailing it into the shrubbery.

Another little nature story for the books. :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday. The boys and I are going to see Night in the Museum 2 later today. We'll be back this weekend with our reviews! 

June in the Learning Room


 June is our last "official" month of "school" for the year. We'll still do some work this summer - we're always learning after all - but practically speaking, we'll do a math lesson a day, keep reading journals and write in our individual blogs. There will also be plenty of nature study going on - natch. :)

Over the summer, in the cool of the early mornings, I will clean the room from top to bottom, and once we get closer to September I'll set aside a whole weekend to polish and prep the room for a new year. (Our first day of the new year will be Monday, August 30th.) But for now, learning room chores for the month of June include making space on the nature shelf for summer treasures and renewing the file folder crate. 

I took a bunch of pictures the other day, and I'd like to share them with you all. First we have the June nature corner:






The nature puppet center for Earlybird:


(I change up the puppets according to season.)

The book display - textbooks below, picture books above.


Like our summer garland? Broad leafed ivy interwoven with grapevine ball fairy lights.


They're lovely at night, especially.


The bulletin board this month:


Where I work:


The new file folders, ready to go:


The old file folders ready for scrutiny:


Tools of the trade, and our little bird nest candelabra.


So here's to a new month ...


... hope your June is just swell!

"Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June" ~ Al Bernstein

Coyote in the Morning

Not in my yard this time, but in my friend Beth's. She and her son Patrick took these amazing pictures of a rather large coyote that showed up outside their home yesterday morning. He (or she) had staked out a woodchuck hole in their yard. 



Isn't he amazing? I'm no wildlife expert, but he looks pretty healthy to me.

I asked Beth to keep me updated on future coyote sightings - unless he ever gets the woodchuck, lol. That's a nature study lesson I can skip over. ;)

p.s. Happy June! I have some new monthly booklists to put up and I refreshed the learning room for the new month. I've also re-done the file crate just in time for end-of-the-year reporting. I'll fill you all in just as soon as I can. :)