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Printable Planning Sheets! Plus, WEBINAR news!

Blueberry week

Hello my friends and Happy Monday! I am so excited to share a couple of super fun things with you all today!

First of all, I have some more seasonal planning sheets for you! These are for the remaining months of 2018, and I do hope you enjoy them! (Please let me know if you have any problems opening these PDFs, or if - heaven forbid - there are mistakes!)

September 2018 Planning Sheets

October 2018 Planning Sheets

November 2018 Planning Sheets

December 2018 Planning Sheets

(Please stay tuned for info on 2019 Planners this fall.)

Vintage label - text

And now for more details on the webinar I mentioned earlier this month, and that exciting event is coming up THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 17th!

Here's a link with all the info and a sign-up form:

Homeschool Connections: Inspire Virtual Conference 


"This FREE online conference will provide you focus to ramp up your planning efforts while invigorating your outlook for the upcoming school year."

(Did I mention this webinar is FREE?!?)

My dear friend Mary Ellen Barrett will be interviewing five different folks on various homeschooling topics, and honestly I am more than a little overwhelmed by the amazing company I am in: Jennifer Mackintosh, Dave Palmer, Tony Agnesi, and Bonnie Landry! I feel truly honored and humbled to have been asked to join this panel of gifted and accomplished speakers!

Now, when you sign up for INSPIRE, you can choose which talks you wish to "attend" - they begin with Jennifer's at 10 a.m. and end with mine at 2:45 p.m. (eastern time). My talk is titled, "Seasonal Homeschooling: Cultivating a Gentle, Grateful Year," and not surprisingly, I'm still working out my notes! I do hope to have some helpful thoughts to share, a few favorite resources to show you ... and well, you just KNOW I will have a big cup of tea in my hand! :-)

Ok, so that's all for today, but I will have another post (maybe two!) to share this week as we get closer to Friday. I have some PDFs in mind to create and there MAY be a GIVEAWAY in the works!! So please stay tuned, and I will see you here again very soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

p.s. Top photo: Sunday office hours - it was a "big mug" kind of day!

My Podcast with Pam!


Good Tuesday morning, my friends! :)

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share this with you today! And maybe a little nervous too. Well, I was nervous at first, but it was SUCH a fun experience and Pam made me feel so welcome and asked some great questions and as we talked I realized  - we're chatting away here like two old friends! (Who, you know, happen to have just met and live in opposite corners of the country!)


So, what am I rambling on about you all must be wondering? Well, recently I was invited by Pamela Barnhill at Ed Snapshots to chat with her about homeschooling and my family and the file crate and nature study and ... well, all kinds of things! Now, I think I might have talked a little fast - maybe that's a New England thing, or maybe that was the nerves! - but I really had such a lovely time talking with Pam, who is a very gracious hostess. I felt so comfortable and cozy, all settled in with my big cup of tea and Pam on the phone ... I probably could have talked on and on! 

Anyhoo - here is a direct link to the podcast so you can check it out. (If I was tech-savvy I'd link up that neat image above but alas, I am not.) I hope you enjoy our conversation, and if you have a moment, please leave a comment (or question) for Pam or myself!

(Also, if you're new to Pam's Homeschool Podcast series at Ed Snapshots, I urge you to head on over and take a peek (or a listen)! I am just so honored to have been asked to participate in this wonderful community ...)

 Well, enjoy the rest of your day, my friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and I will see you here again very soon!

A Quick Question for Subscribers ...

(Or those who might be trying to subscribe.)

My friend Chris recently informed me that she's been unable to subscribe to my blog's feed, and I just can't figure out why. She's just getting an html code (in a pop up) when she clicks that Subscribe button (see above). So, I was was wondering if anyone else has had trouble doing this ... I know a lot of folks use blog "feeds" to keep track of new posts.

Now, I must confess I don't really know how the whole process works. I used to use "Bloglines" to keep track of blogs I was reading but no longer do so. On my Macbook I have an application called "Reeder" which keeps track of website feeds I wish to follow. By clicking on a site's "subscribe" button my "Reeder" app opens and an "Add a subscription" menu pops up with the chosen site's feed and a "Subscribe" button. I click the button and the feed is added. (I just did this with The Pioneer Woman's site to test it out.) When Bill set this "Reeder" up for me, it imported all my old feeds, so I can't check my own blog's feed because I already get it! Lol, does that make sense? But I can see the "By Sun and Candlelight" feed is working all right in my Reeder - all my posts are up to date.

(I apologize if I'm using any incorrect terms here - I'm really not well versed in this subject!)

Dear readers, if you've had trouble with my "feed" - at present or in the past - please do let me know. Maybe I can check in with Typepad and see what is what. Or if you have a different way of following my posts, please do share!

And as always, thanks for any help! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday ... I'll see you here tomorrow morning so we can chat about tonight's FINAL Downton!!


On Blogging and Google Searches

Many bloggers have posted about the varied and often amusing google searches that Twowomenreadinghave led folks to their blog. Sometimes they make perfect sense, and sometimes they're downright ridiculous! (The searches I mean, not the bloggers!) I'm afraid I don't have anything wacky or weird to share, but I did track my google searches over the past few days, just so I could tell you all about them. Lol, it's not like I don't have better things to do - or blog about - but good golly, I put in the time so here I am to report! ;)

I always enjoy hearing how people find their way here, and of course it's especially nice when somebody finds me through family, friends or word-of-mouth. I suppose I speak for most bloggers when I say that I love it when someone leaves a comment to say "Hi, I'm reading! I found you through __."

Blogging is kind of a crazy thing when you stop to think of it. A blog can be a snapshot of somebody's life, but it can also be misleading. I've had people ask how it is that I'm always "up," "so organized" or why it is that I never seem to have "a bad day."

Well, let me be perfectly honest with you:

~ I am not always up. (And my husband can verify that, lol!) But I am, admittedly, a generally optimistic and hopeful person.

~ Sure, I love to organize - read about it, talk about it, plan for it - but as I've confessed before, that doesn't always mean I am organized, lol! (As anyone awaiting an email or letter from me knows!)

~ And as for bad days, well, I would never say a day here on earth with my loved ones is bad, but I do have those days when Bill comes home to find me tired, disheveled (dare I say irritable) and ready for my Calgon moment asap. ;)

And yet, knowing the true pain and suffering many folks deal with every day I know in my heart I've got it so good. I try to remember to be thankful, I try to make joy the biggest part of my day and I try to bring the best of it here. It's what energizes me, and it makes me want to share. I don't usually feel energized or much like sharing when dinner's late, the boys are bickering or the house is a mess. (And all those things do happen - sometimes on the same day!) Though I recognize for some people blogging is a great way to manage the ups and downs, to air out those griefs and grapple with the irritations of everyday life, that's just not me. It's not what I care to write about. But don't mistake for a second that I have it any more "together" than you do.

I was talking about blogging with my friends one night last week, and we all agreed that for we mums, especially we homeschooling mums, blogs help us feel connected in a way we couldn't maintain in real life. Our time, thoughts and energies are very much tied to our homes (and all those living creatures who come with it); making time for grownup cameraderie - let alone conversation - often impossible. But connecting with other mums - sharing ideas and support - is vital, I believe. Whether you read them or write them, blogs give us the medium we need to do just that. They keep our wheels turning, they keep us inspired. They offer us a nice break when the kids are happily employed; they give us somewhere to turn when immediate prayer or advice is needed. They are, in a way, our own generation's clothesline - even though our neighbors are only "next door" in the virtual sense.

So, where am I going with all this? Well, that's anybody's guess, but let me see if I can get myself back on track. Ah yes. Google searches.

So, I decided to give it a try. To reveal these particular links, you check your Sitemeter "referrals" (if you have Sitemeter, that is) and when someone comes in via google, you place your mouse over the link and within the code you can see what terms were part of the search. (You can also open the link and go directly to the google page if you wish.)

I had to do this over a period of days because probably 9 out of 10 searches were literally: by sun and candlelight blog. :) I think that is because my URL (dawnathome.typepad.com) actually has nothing to do with the name of my blog!

But now I have a good size list, so I'd like to share ~ the google searches that lead people to my blog:

  • What is Lent?
  • Taggerung chapter notes
  • Lenten stories and tales
  • Where can I find pussywillows?
  • Lent clip art
  • Winter field day games
  • Crafts for the 3rd week in Lent
  • Sunny window
  • Lent
  • How to make a bookmark for the one eyed giant by Mary Pope
  • Holy Wednesday (this one came from Wikipedia)
  • Free Lenten crafts for children
  • Lionboy lesson plans
  • What is Lent? (Again, unless it's the same person!)

I was kind of hoping there might be some really funny search terms, but I guess I write about mostly the same kinds of things, and from this list I see it's often about Lent!

So if you are someone who comes here regularly, I say thank you for making me part of your day. And if you are someone who just happened upon my blog through a google search, let me say welcome! I hope you find what you're looking for here, but if not, I hope you enjoy your time here anyway!

And to everyone reading tonight, I say keep warm, be well and I'll see you all sometime tomorrow. :)

A Very Nice Award!

AwardbmpI have been awarded with the Nice Matters Award by two wonderful bloggers (and very nice women themselves), Mrs. Darling from Dishpan Dribble and Elizabeth of Real Learning. Thank you, my friends ~ I am honored!

Here is a description of the award:

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Just seven, you say? Hmmm. Well, I am blessed in this blogging community with many wise and wonderful women to choose from ...

First I nominate Jennifer at As Cozy as Spring. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jenn for some time now, and it's been a joy to realize how much we have in common. My one wish is that we lived a bit closer than oh, a couple of thousand miles or so!

Theresa at Treasure in Earthen Vessels is another friend I've made in the past year, someone who always has a helpful suggestion, or a kind word to say. She also has wonderful patience as it usually takes me eons to get back to her about something! (That history post is in the works, Theresa!)

I was so excited to meet Meredith of Sweetness and Light a few weeks ago (gosh, was it only a few weeks?) and I can assure you, she is just as nice (and beautiful!) as she is at her lovely blog. Here again, I wish we lived closer - but I know we will always be close in our hearts.

Angela at Three Plus Two (make that three!) is another "blogging neighbor" I had the privelage to meet in real life; last winter our families met up in Boston one day! Just a week ago, Angela's family was blessed with a new son ... but that child was blessed too, with a loving and gentle mother I'm honored to call my friend. 

I also nominate Mary Ellen of O Night Divine, a Christmas blog near and dear to my heart. Before I even met Mary Ellen I knew I'd love her - she is kind, funny, inspiring and a mentor for me - even though we do disagree in one "crucial" area. ;) I am thrilled to have met her at last.

Next I nominate my friend Jennifer of the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen who recently, and very nicely, tagged me with the Blogger Reflection award. Jennifer is someone else with whom I am happy to say I have much in common - except for the part where I'm a serious landlubber, lol!

And I mustn't forget Ruth at Just Another Day in Paradise, who is such a dear, always with a prayer for those who need it, or a kind, encouraging thought. I got to meet Ruth at the conference too, and how I wish we had all afternoon to just sit and chat over a cup of tea. :)

Oh, goodness, I must add one more - my dear friend Cay at the lovely Cajun Cottage under the Oaks. I have never met Cay in real life, but I feel like I have. She is so genuine and generous with her time and talent. I've been thinking of her quite a bit this week, as I plan out our "Catholic Mosaic" year. Cay has blessed us with her book, and the wonderful news is, there is another one coming this fall!

Well, I could go on and on, but my children are no longer taking "just a minute" as an acceptable answer to "what's for breakfast, mum?" :) So I'm off ...

Have a NICE day, everyone. :)

A Late Spring Field Day!


It's time for a Field Day! And I cordially invite you to join us ...

Let's celebrate these final weeks of late spring, and share the world of nature around us. What's happening in the garden, woods, fields, by the pond or the shore? How about through your windows or just a step or two outside your back door? Nature happens everywhere, in ways big and little. What does late spring look like where you live? I hope you will consider telling us, for our next Field Day will run on Thursday, June 7th, rain or shine!

And just what is a Field Day you might ask? :)

Field Day is a nature-themed blog carnival. A carnival is a blogging event in which a host or hostess collects information about a particular theme (in this case nature) from other bloggers (and sometimes non-bloggers). She then organizes the information - links and photos, etc. - into one big post to share with everyone who stops by her blog on that day. It's a lot of fun - and the more the merrier - so I do hope you'll consider participating!

Your submission can be as simple as a photo, or as lengthy as a detailed post. And if you don't have a blog, you are still more than welcome! Perhaps you have a photo to share, or some thoughts you might like to write up?

Here are some ideas to get you started. You might share:

  • a review of a great gardening book
  • what's in your spring storybook basket
  • photos of spring in your yard
  • your nature study plans for the summer
  • a trip to a farm, a pond or anywhere you've noticed nature
  • a list of birds, bugs or mammals you've seen in recent weeks
  • a spring poem

For more ideas, you could peruse past issues of Field Day:

Also, I will be posting more of my Everyday Nature posts over the next couple of weeks, and some book reviews, too.

Now, the nitty gritty - what I need with your submission:

  • your name
  • your e-mail (not to be published)
  • your blog address
  • your post URL
  • a brief summary of your post or photo/entry

Please send all submissions to me at drhanigan AT verizon DOT net. Leave a comment below, too, if you'd like. I would like to have all entries by the end of the day, Wednesday June 6th.

And I'd love help spreading the word! Please copy the Field Day button at the top of this post and feel free to use it with your post or on your sidebar. (Thanks to my dear husband for designing this latest button!)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to hear from you soon! Enjoy this beautiful spring day. :)

Proud to be ...

a Catholic Mother Online. :)

I've recently added a new blogroll to my righthand sidebar ~ see the lovely picture of Mary, accompanied by a scrolling list of blogs owned by Catholic mothers? What a wonderful group, growing everyday! If you're interested in joining this blog roll, please click here for more information.

Now I'm off to arrange our May altar, glue the last bits of felt on the First Communion banner and make a few more May cups, too. I'd better go rouse the boys from their sweet sleep so we can get the day underway ...

Happy May!

'Tis the month of our Mother
The blessed and beautiful days,
When our lips and our spirits,
are glowing with love and with praise.

All Hail! to thee, dear Mary,
the guardian of our way;
To the fairest of Queens,
Be the fairest of seasons, sweet May.

Thinking Blogger Award

Oh my! I was tagged for a Thinking Blogger Award by two of my favorite bloggers, RebeccaThinkingbloggerpf8_2  and Marjorie! Thank you, dear friends ~ you have made my day and I am honored by your very kind words.

So, as I understand it, if you are tagged for this award you are then supposed to do the following:

  1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Gosh, just five? I am not sure I can contain myself! But I will try ...

~ KC always makes me smile and think at her Cabbage Patch. She and I both have children on the autistic spectrum and she writes very eloquently about the challenges and the blessings of our mothering path.

~ I bet she's been tagged about a jillion times by now, but I must tag Lissa at The Lilting House whose Waldorf homeschooling posts of late have really got my wheels turning ...

~ Jenn's Family in Feast and Feria makes me think about my faith in new and more meaningful ways. She generously shares so much knowledge with us, and she fills in so many gaps for me.

~ I would visit Margaret in Minnesota whether she made me think, laugh or cry (and she has done all of those things!) simply because she is such a joy to know. I always carry her words with me and think on them through the day.

~ The S/V Mari Hal-o-Jen just lifts my spirit. I love reading about Jennifer's homeschooling and seafaring adventures. Her life is quite different from mine (though we are very similar in many ways if I might flatter myself to say so) and I enjoy living vicariously through her. :)

I am grateful to each of these women, for how they make me think and feel ~ and most importantly for their friendship!

A Field Day Footnote!

As is far too likely to happen, when putting together so many links for Field Day, I am apt to make a mistake here and there. (Well, I make many, but most of them I work out before I hit "publish," lol.) Broken links are one thing, but my worst fear is I will somehow forget someone's submission. It happened once before, and, it was bound to happen again.

Well, unfortunately, it did, and I am so sorry to say, it was one of my dearest friends, Cay I forgot! Dear Cay, who, I must mention, was the FIRST one to get me her post and how did I reward her? By forgetting to plug in her link!

Oh, fiddlesticks!

So, one day late, but every bit as lovely and deeply appreciated, here it is. And it's a beauty, a balm for the winter-weary heart so many of us are carrying beneath those woolen and waterproof layers. Please stop by Cay's Cajun Cottage and enjoy the breathtaking loveliness of Spring in Louisiana. Cay, you give me a glimmer of hope, as we here in New England brace for one more Nor'easter this weekend ...

And speaking of nature, and blogs, I have added a new blogroll to my righthand sidebar. Linda, from Higher Up and Further In and Earth is Crammed with Heaven, very kindly invited me to submit my Nature Corner to her new nature blogroll - and I did! If you have an online nature journal, please see Linda's post here for details on joining the blogroll!

Now, my friends, I am heading to bed, and hoping I wake up a smidgen more organized tomorrow than I was today - or yesterday, or last week!

Good night, and God bless. :)

Field Day: The Early Spring Edition!


"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." (Anne Bradstreet)

It's been an awfully long winter, has it not? And - I fear for many of us (me included) - winter has not quite let loose its grip. But it can't be much longer, my friends. It simply can't.

So let's bundle up (just a bit - leave the parka - grab the fleece instead!) and head out for an Early Spring Field Day! I have many friends joining me on this nature carnival, and we all have spring in our hearts ... if not yet in our yards. :)

We have photos a-plenty to share this time out! Marcie, Robyn and Heather (whose flowers grace the top of my post) have all contributed the most beautiful pictures today! For lovelier artwork, I could not have hoped. Thank you, ladies!


Beautiful Lake Martin, by Marcie

Let's begin up north, where Margaret captures the whims of the season with eloquence and lovely contentment. Snow in the morning, sunshine at dusk? Minnesota sounds a lot like Massachusetts these days!

Our next stop is down south, where Dana is reveling in the beauty of Texas wildflowers. Such warm and vibrant colors! Matilda has similarly beautiful scenes to share, as she waltzes through a spring daze of flora and fauna.

One of my favorite young ladies had a grand time recently looking for invertebrates! In Post One (the checklist) and Two (the results), Marianna shares some terrific scientific discoveries! Excellent lesson, Jennifer!

Spring, of course, means new life ...



Aren't these pictures precious? Please read on for Robyn's story ...

"We rescued a baby bunny from our dog, who found a nest of bunnies in our yard. We aren’t sure how many babies were in the nest but this baby was the last one left, so we found a nice cozy box filled with tissue paper and went to the feed store to get a bottle and food for him. The bunny was so young, his eyes and ears had not yet opened. We were torn between putting him back into his nest in the hopes that his mom would relocate him, and keeping him safe from the dog inside the house. He didn’t know yet he was supposed to be afraid of humans, and he let us gently hold him in our hands--- he was so small (about the size of a mouse). He nuzzled in our hands, drank a little milk and seemed happy enough in the box. The next morning, we searched online to find out more about baby bunnies. This site has a lot of information about wild bunnies: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/orphan.html.

We discovered he was actually a hare, not a rabbit. We found out that babies this tiny do not usually survive in captivity and that the mama would come back to the nest up to a week checking for her young if a nest is disturbed.  We decided to put him back in his hole for his mama to find him, knowing that it was his best shot at survival. So we said our goodbyes to our tiny houseguest and put him back on Saturday afternoon. We kept the dog on a leash, knowing that the first thing he would do is to go back to the nest so we protected the baby hare by making sure the dogs could not have access to him. On Easter morning, we checked the nest, and sure enough—the baby was gone, and we are assuming, reunited with his mama and in a new place."

As Robyn's family discovered, we often need look no further than our own backyards to experience the supreme joy of nature. Happily, Meredith's family has rediscovered the breathtaking wilderness in their midst. Oh, to be on that swing - viewing those views!

All about her lovely home, Cay shows us how beautifully spring has sprung in Louisiana. Oh my, I can almost smell those sweet blooms and taste that fresh lemonade!


A turtle sunning himself, by Marcie ...

Angela's family always has lots of interesting things going on in their backyard - and how neat that they tapped their own maple trees this year! What a wonderful learning experience for her gang (whom we had the pleasure of meeting recently)! They also kept a close eye on their feeders (love the chipmunk!) while inside, they worked together on a seed starting project. Wonderful!


Seedlings growing, by Heather ...

Spring's a great season for ducks, don't you think? These fine feathered creatures have certainly caught the attention of a few of my friends. After reading a perennial spring favorite, Michaela and her children made their way outdoors for some sketching by the lake.


Sunny daffodils, by Robyn ...

Lorri's crew also found time to stop and enjoy the ducks - in their own backyard! (Actually the ducks found them  - what a treat!) And, in pursuit of a scouting badge, Lorri's family has been keeping a close eye on the songbirds in their surroundings. Now's the time of year to see lots of new faces, as well as old favorites.

Speaking of birds, Dani shares some gorgeous photos of an egret and heron - white and blue, respectively - from her pier. What a blessing to live by the water - I can only imagine how varied and interesting the nature must be!


A Great Egret, by Marcie ...

Divina and her family have been out to the beach already this year. They've seen a wide range of sea birds - from mallards to a loon, and plenty of other examples of seashore life. But perhaps there's no better nature study than one so hands-on as sand play

Playing in the sand is an excellent form of earth science for youngsters, and I'm taking notes for my own little boys. We'll also be studying volcanoes, and we'll need to look no further than Susan's great list of books on that very subject. I always know to turn to Susan for wonderful children's book suggestions.


Flowering tree, by Heather ...

More spring science ideas can be found at Theresa's. Stop by to learn how to make three different kinds of nets for a stream study - the first two posts are here and here, and the third will be coming later today!

Now, on to one of my most favorite nature blogs - Marjorie's Letters de Moulin. She shares three lovely posts with us today. The first takes us on a tour of birds' nests - which are a welcome sight anytime of year, but especially so in spring. Next, it's up the mountain to explore the joys of the butterfly, another sweet harbinger of spring. And finally we look down from the heavens, and specifically under some rocks, to take delight in spring salamanders! Ooh, how I'd love to find one of those shiny little fellas.


A mockingbird - just after a bath! by Marcie ...

Brooke and her boys have a fun and educational spring ritual - birdwatching! They spent an amazing day at a national wildlife refuge - looking for eagles! She shares great tips for spring birding in her post.

And on with the hunt for spring! Joann and her kids spent some time looking for signs of life ... and what did they find? Tune in here to see. Sherry, too, took her gang out in search of spring - and a little patch of nature did the trick. Crisanne takes us on a tour of flowering trees - spring beauties that bring thoughts of God's love.

And speaking of love, what more joyous feeling can there be than a walk in the spring rain with our dear ones? Beth shares beautiful images and feelings from her day.


A Nutria at Lake Martin, by Marcie ...

Spring brings its own mysteries. What will this seedling be? Where did we plant the tulips? What was that flash of orange in the trees? Helen's daughter has made a mysterious treetop discovery - please stop by and check it out!


Yellow Iris, by Marcie ...

Spring sneaks up on us, in fond and familiar ways we must not overlook. From petals to pollen to screen doors wide open, MaryBeth has noticed all those subtle signs, the ones that tug at our heartstrings, and assure us that really, spring has returned home after all.


Robyn's front yard is the pinnacle of early spring beauty.

Thank you for joining us on this Early Spring Field Day! I would like to thank each and every person who contributed in some way - whether by post, by photo or plug. :) I appreciate your participation and I hope you will consider joining me again in another month or so for the Mid-Spring Edition!

For now, let me leave you with these timely words by Robert Frost:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. Early_spring_07
You know how it is with an April Day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off the frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

How true!

Button, Button ...

Two quick things before bed:

A reminder that Field Day: The Early Spring Edition will run this Friday, April 13th. (I told you I'd be nagging reminding you!) There's still ample time to get me a post or a picture about nature. Anytime up till Thursday evening (say 8-ish), is fine, though you know I'll surely make room for any latecomers! Check out my original post with all the details here, or you can click on the button on the right and that will take you there, too. By the way, help yourself to that button, to use as part of your post or to help spread the word. :)

In more button news, just below Field Day is the 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards button. It, too, is a link - one that will take you over to the voting page. I am humbled and honored that my blog has been nominated for a few awards: blog design, crafts/projects/plans, encourager and (goodness) super homeschooler. (I feel a little funny mentioning which awards, but there are many categories ... and I figure, if you were so inclined to vote for my blog, you'd probably want to know where to look!) Again, I say a BIG thank you to my nominators! Happily, many of my friends have also been nominated and ... I now have many new blogs to explore! And I must say the Awards site itself it just amazing - it's like a shiny, well-oiled machine over there. Voting ends Friday!

Allrighty, so that's it for the buttons for now! Take care, all!

Please and Thank You

Lives_of_loveliness_logo_200612Please stop by Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering today, for Sarah's Loveliness of John Paul II Fair. What a beautiful tribute to a beloved man. Thank you, Sarah, for putting together such a lovely and comforting fair.

And please don't forget about Field Day: The Early Spring Edition! (Not that you ever would, of course. I probably won't let you, lol!) It will run next Friday, April 13th. Thank you to all who have sent in submissions, and if you haven't heard back from me, you will very soon. (And if you don't at all, please check in again; my e-mail is notorious for going haywire right around carnival time.) This next week-and-a-half will undoubtedly be filled with the glory of spring, so let's get out and enjoy it! (More "everyday" nature posts in the works - stay tuned!)

I'd also like to take a moment to say thank you to the very kind person who nominated my blog for the 2006 Homeschool Blog Awards! I am so honored! Please know how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Homeschool_blog_awards

You can check out all the nominations here ~ and hearty congratulations to all my fellow nominees! Many thanks, too, for all the hard work by Sprittibee, Heather and Laura, co-administrators of the Awards.

Now I'm off to tend to my sickies. Yes, the virus has moved on to claim new victims - my poor dear hubby and my sweet Bookworm. Here's hoping and praying they feel better very soon!

God bless, and have a great day. :)

Are You an Edith Holden Fan?

If you are Charlotte Mason-inspired, or just a nature enthusiast (in practice or heart), I'll Edith_holden_1bet you are! (I certainly am!)

Thanks to a message on the CM Nature Walk group, I found this post at this blog and ... oh my. What lovely kits! I had no idea such things existed. Any one of these Country Diary crafts would make a beautiful Easter gift for some lucky young (or not so young!) lady. I see the order time is currently 4-6 weeks, so it's best to get cracking if you are so inclined to make a purchase!

Field Day: The Late Winter Edition

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." ~ John Boswell


Welcome to a brand new Field Day ~ The Late Winter Edition! So how are you all faring this long and lingering season? Are you huddled inside, or getting out and about? Are you embracing the cold, or longing for spring? Are you sporting rosy cheeks or suffering from cabin fever?

I am so pleased and proud to once again share the stunning photography of Marcie from Louisiana ~ and this time she's joined by Christine from Virgina! Both ladies have graciously lent their artistic talent to Field Day, and I am so honored! (That's Christine's January ice storm at the top.)

So, what does winter nature study look like? Well, some dear friends have helped me answer this question, and so, without further ado ... let's draw closer to the fire, sip from a hot cup of tea and explore the beauty of the late winter season.

Winter means ... snow!


Christine's February road ...

Well, if it's snow you're looking for, Angela's got it - and how! A Valentine's Storm left 30+ inches and you have got to see the pictures to believe it! Winter storms have been marching across the country, inspiring Becky's dramatic and beautiful Snow Snaps. And while an icy mix fell outside, Dani shared what to do on a winter's day.

Talk about drama, wait till you see what Tracy caught on camera! It may not be snow, but you'll be blown away by her powerful example of late winter science and nature!

Whether banded together or all on their own, snowflakes are a marvel to behold. Now if you'd like an up close look at these six-sided beauties Kimberlee's son will show you just how to do it!

Winter means ... birds at the feeders.


A Cajun sunset from Marcie's front door ...

Theresa is embracing the winter with her family, enjoying the birds who flock to their home. And Jennifer shares a whole season's worth of birding experiences in a post that's not just for the birds. :)

Meredith and her dear children celebrate one of my most favorite moments in late winter, exclaiming, The Robins are Back! And birds of all kinds are stopping by Donna's ~ those winter wings are so striking against the snow.

Dani's family has also been enjoying winter birdwatching. Their bright red bowl of seed has attracted many hungry creatures both feathered and furred. And there is more excitement to be found with Marjorie as she makes an interesting woodland discovery and offers some tips on birding by ear.

Winter means ... time to reflect.


Hauling sugar cane down south ... (by Marcie)

In a post from last year, Alice reflects most beautifully upon a familiar question posed to many homeschoolers at this time of year. Her eloquent answer - Yes, we have snow days ...

Winter brings cold ~ days and days of cold. And perhaps no one knows cold better than a Minnesotan. With her wonderful wit and warmth, Margaret reflects on the season at hand with a charming verse, Home is Where the Cold Is.

Winter means ... getting outside.

Whether it's frosty ...


January ice storm ... (by Christine)

or mild ...


Florida coast on Christmas Day ... (by Marcie)

The woods harbor all kinds of winter secrets; Marjorie's dear children made a recent discovery at the "Wolery" ... to find out more, you'll just have to pop on over for a stroll by their creek.

And at another creek a bit further north, Theresa and her Superboy spent a rare and beautiful day together - gathering garnets and precious memories.

Perhaps the winter skies hold secrets of their own? Mary Ellen's family braves the cold to stargaze on cold starry nights. And don't forget to look down! Mary's family ventures out to observe tracks in the snow and discovers who's been there.

Also making memories (and rosy cheeks!) Susan and her son braved the elements for some old-fashioned winter fun.

Winter means ... indoor pursuits.


Marcie's dog has the right idea! So comfy!

Sometimes the winter cold sends us off in search of indoor pursuits. A wonderful way to spend a frosty afternoon is to while away an hour or two at the aquarium. That is just what Rebecca and her lucky children did recently, enjoying the antics of the manatees at the Columbus Zoo!

Mary Ellen's dear children spent a recent winter's day making lovely winter crafts to hang in their windows. And speaking of windows, Alicia's family took some time to explore the beauty and wonder of their winter frosted panes.

Winter means ... spring is not far off.


Marcie's smiling pansies await us ...

And take a look at what Matilda found in her yard ~ a perfect send off for our winter-weary hearts. Just close your eyes and you can almost smell spring ...

Well, that will do it for this Late Winter Edition of Field Day! THANK YOU so very much to everyone who took part! I hope you will all consider joining me once again in another month or so when we explore the nature of an Early Spring Field Day. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, please stoke the fire and pass me another cup of tea. I plan to enjoy every last drop of winter before it's gone.

2007 Catholic Blog Awards

A lovely and frequent vistor to my site, Damask-Rose, recently informed me that I was nominated for the Catholic Blog Awards! I am so grateful to be nominated (thank you dear reader, whoever you are!), and may I say I am in wonderful company ...

Please let me offer my warm congratulations to my fellow (familiar) nominees:

... and even Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of my Boston Archdioscese, whose blog I enjoy so much and follow faithfully! (I voted for him, natch!)

It is an honor to be nominated, and just awesome that there are so many Catholic blogs out there to enjoy!

Well, that was a First!

I think January 9, 2007 will go down as the first day I didn't post a thing here. Not a thing.

Actually it was not entirely my fault. Typepad was down last night between 7 and 8 - maybe later, I don't know - I went to bed. So technically I couldn't post.

(Excuses, excuses.)

Not that I had anything great to say anyway. I was really stretching to think of something to talk about. Goodness, me? Not have something to say? January 9th is the birthdate of Elvis - could I make a post out of that, I wondered? No, probably not. Besides, it turned out he was born on the 8th, which did me no good. So I halted my search for the lyrics to Blue Suede Shoes.

This is an area I need to work on - in blogging and in life. Sometimes it's OK to just be quiet. If there's silence I tend to fill it - but good things grow in silence, don't you think? Quiet is where we hear what we need to.

Even so, I spent a good amount of time at Blogthings last night trying to find a neat quiz to post. (Have you noticed some of their quizzes are, shall we say, a bit adult? I find myself less and less comfortable there.) I even found a really cute "100 Acre Wood Character" quiz somewhere out there in the world wide web - not on Blogthings, at a site I can't remember now - that I was going to post, but the graphics wouldn't work. (Just so you know, I was Owl. I really wished to be Kanga.)

Anyhoo. Typepad had the final say so. And it was all for the better. Because we were all tired in this household yesterday. We needed an early-to-bed.

Usually, that last hour before bedtime is when I post whatever it is I'm going to post for the day. I look at the notes I've made through the day, clean them up, and hit that publish button. I also had many blogs to visit, comments to leave and a few to answer, an email or two to send ...

But instead, last night, I logged off and took extra long with the boys over prayers. Crackerjack is making his First Penance in two weeks' time and it is much on his mind. As is his left front tooth which is hanging on by what seems to be a very strong thread. We talked about these things with his older brother who has gone through both confession and loose teeth.

Earlybird was already asleep. (Have I mentioned he's stopped napping? He now sleeps from 7 till 4. So you see why we too keep an early bedtime.) Bill was also already in bed, and sound asleep before 8. He's a bit under the weather - he needed it.

I spent the remainder of my quiet time reading in bed, the house growing still around me. I read some more in my book and looked back over today's Magnificat ...

That quiet space made room for good words - read and said - and a few extra prayers. By 8:30 I was turning out the light.

And there was nothing new at my blog. Not a thing.

Well, it's a brand new day. I'm working on a post about our Middle Ages study - I'm tweaking the very life out of it (or rather, I hope, into it) and I want to tell you all about that.

So please stay tuned. I think there will be a post sometime later today. :) 

It was Cay!

Cay, my dear friend, you were my 2000th comment last night! Hooray and Thank You!

Earlier this week I saw that I was nearing this blogging "benchmark" and I couldn't help wondering - who would be the one?

And this morning, I am just tickled it was Cay - especially since I was praying for her beautiful family last night after receiving their Christmas card in the mail just yesterday!

Thank You Cay, for your kind comment and Thank You to everyone who leaves me comments here. I appreciate each and every one of them. I love hearing from friends, family, bloggers, non-bloggers - and I especially love it when someone who has been reading for a while takes a moment to say hi, and introduce themselves, and comment on what it is that draws them to my blog. It makes this whole blogging experience all the more fun and friendly!

So if you're stopping by today, whether or not you have the time or inclination to leave a comment, please know how much I appreciate your visit. :)

And please stop by Cay's blog today, too - someone special is celebrating a birthday. :) Cay's Cajun Cottage served as a model for me when I was brainstorming my own blog, and remains one of my first and favorite places to visit everyday.

Got Nature?

(In the form of a post, picture, thought or idea?)Field_day_late_autumn_4

Field Day: The Late Autumn Edition will run at the end of the week ... are you with me? :)

You don't have to write something new - any nature-themed post (picture, thought or idea) is welcome!

If you'd like to join Field Day, please send me an email with your entry (drhanigan AT verizon DOT net) and/or see this post for all the details.

I hope to hear from you soon! (Or at the very least before Friday!)

       It will not always be like this,
        The air is windless, a few last
        Leaves adding their decoration
        To the trees' shoulders, braiding the cuffs
        Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening
        In the lawns' mirror. Having looked up
        From the day's chores, pause a minute,
        Let the mind take its photograph
        Of the bright scene, something to wear
        Against the heart in the long cold.

"A Day in Autumn" by R. S. Thomas

We're Having a Field Day!

Care to join us? :)

As you've probably gathered by now, here at By Sun and Candlelight, we're a bit nutty for nature. Happily, though, we've discovered we're not alone in our zeal! It's wonderfully inspiring to hear about others' backyard adventures Opening_yellow_wildflower_1and to "see" what's happening in so many corners of the country - and world! Whether urban, suburban or rural, please consider sharing some of your nature here!

So what is Field Day exactly? Well, I'm hoping it will be an ongoing blog "carnival" of nature study, and this edition will serve as its rather humble beginnings! ;) Field Day will be a showcase of posts about (and pictures of) nature of all kinds. Some ideas:

  • nature journals
  • widlife encounters - up close or from afar
  • nature poetry - original or not
  • biographies of, or works by, naturalists
  • favorite resources for nature study
  • observations, field notes, reflections
  • the changing seasons
  • gardening
  • how you fit nature study in
  • OR why you can't seem TO fit it in!

I'm sure I've missed a million other facets of nature study - but the point is, if you would like to share something about or from nature, please do it here! It can be an old post, a recent post or something you write specifically for Field Day ... and your post doesn't have to be summer specific! Any season will do!Hanging_spruce_cones

And if you're a non-blogger, please do not hesitate to contribute. I have already had a few non-blogging friends send me great nature photos I'll include in this carnival! Just send me an e-mail along with your photos attached.

Now for the nitty-gritty. :) I would like to post the Early Summer edition of Field Day on June 29th, so please have your submissions to me by next Tuesday, June 27th. And here's how to do it!

Send me an e-mail at [email protected] (just be sure to remove the NOSPAM from my address before you send it!) with the following information:

  • your name
  • your blog name and URL
  • your post name and URL
  • a brief description of your post
  • your e-mail address (which will NOT appear in public in any way)

And if you have more than one, send a few! I am famous (or would that be infamous?) for sending multiple posts when submitting to a carnival, LOL! It's so much fun to share and learn, it can be hard to hold back. :)

I do hope this carnival strikes a chord - with homeschoolers and Hidden_mothnon-homeschoolers alike - who enjoy observing the whims and rhythms of nature. Hopefully, if all goes well, Field Day will make seasonal appearances (Midsummer, Late Summer, Early Autumn ...), but I'm getting way ahead of myself! I'll see how this one goes first ...

It's such a great time of year for getting out there in nature - it's my hope that Field Day will celebrate, and encourage, that venture!

Please feel free to help me spread the word, and I hope to hear from you soon! :)

To Blog or Not to Blog ...

... and, paper or p.c.?

These were the questions I pondered for months before By Sun and Candlelight made its debut ~ 3 weeks ago today! There is an interesting thread right now at the 4Real Forums about blogging ~ doing it, not doing it, why we do it, why we don't. It got me thinking about my own reasons for blogging, and I find they are rooted in writing ...

Before I began my blog, I wrote. I have always written ~ this, that and the other thing. Nothing profound mind you; it's all quite haphazard. I keep all my writing in one place ~ a rather un-fancy 5-subject notebook. Plain cover, plain pages; I use pencil and sometimes pen. But into it I pour absolutely everything ~ notes, ideas, prayers, hopes, and sometimes my very heart and soul. And when all 180 sheets are full, I buy another notebook at the drugstore and begin all over again.


Onto these pages also goes any little scrap of material that speaks to me in some significant (or insignificant) way. Most often these are magazine articles and recipes, a label from a special bottle of wine, ticket stubs from a recent movie, or the wrapper from a favorite bar of soap. Sox scores, sticky notes, something cute the boys said, even a sketch of the cat ... you name it. If it catches my eye or touches my heart, into the notebook it goes.

It's a bit silly, I'll admit. But as I wrote all this out I realized how much I've come to rely on this humble spiral-bound book; it helps me unload my crowded mind and allows me to be just a little bit crafty even when all I'm doing is adding tape and crayon doodles.


Alas, this notebook has been neglected lately since I started blogging every spare minute I get. I used to keep it open and ready on the kitchen counter at all times ~ it was always there to receive my latest lightbulb moment. Now it sits off to the side, sometimes open, but more often closed.

When I started my blog, I thought it would step in as my new journal, and to some degree it has. But writing when you know someone's reading is a whole different story! I have found I blog in order to share and air out my thoughts; it's less about writing than it is for communicating.

Now I realize both of these journals - my log and my blog - serve a purpose; they allow me to create, consider and converse. In my blog I reflect; in my notebook I plan. In my blog I chat with others; in my notebook I chat with myself. My blog is a community; my notebook is my confessional.

Thank you for indulging me this extremely self-indulgent post; I write it for my own reminiscence more than anything else. Hopefully both of these journals will continue to grow and improve. As I shape them, I feel they will shape me.

And the best part of all, whether paper or p.c., I love looking back and remembering ... :)