Currently at the Owlhaven

John and the two youngest girls (9 and 7)  are getting the pool cleaned out and ready to go for the summer, much to the delight of the girls.  Any minute I suspect they’ll be coming in asking for popsicles and swimsuits.  Nevermind that it is only 70-something and the foot or so of greenish water in the bottom of the pool is barely 50 degrees.

Our 17 year old son is singing opera-style (sometimes in Spanish) while he washes a mound of fresh lettuce from a friend’s garden.  I think we’ll be having salads at every meal for a few days.

Our 16 year old daughter is doing a lesson of Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1.  The newest version of TT includes computer grading, which makes it so much easier for the mama/teacher.  She will probably also eventually do Saxon Algebra 1, as I am convinced it is more thorough than TT, but I think this will be a great stepping stone for her, especially since math is not her fave.

Our 14yo daughter is babysitting at a friend’s house today.  It is a weekly job that she enjoys greatly.

Our 14 and 13 year old sons are sitting in their room–one is playing guitar and the other is reciting his confirmation memory work out loud.  An interesting noise combo that seems to be working for them both.

I’m delighted that we’ve already begun our summer schedule, which means later rising, less math, and less teaching needed by mom.  The kids seem to like organizing their schedules themselves, and I had a blast listening to various kids teaching younger ones music on Monday.  It’s only been 2 days but it seems like the summer plan has good potential for a mellow summer with some learning activities that don’t usually fit in the regular school year.  Tomorrow we’re planning a picnic with some homeschooling friends, and sometime this week I also want to take the kids to the library.

Do you ever have repetitive dreams?  When I was a little girl, I used to dream about getting a kitten– oh, I wanted one so much!  These days fairly frequently I dream I’m at the airport, juggling ridiculous amounts of luggage and paperwork, trying to get through security and to my gate in time to make my plane.  The crazy thing is that in real life I’m excellent at airports– I pack light and I rarely forget anything.  But in my dreams I’m a ridiculous bumbler, scrambling through heaps of paper in overstuffed bags hunting down lost boarding passes.  I’m always glad to wake up and discover it’s a dream.  Then I’m vaguely disappointed I don’t have a trip planned anytime soon.  Oh, how I love to travel.

My latest drool-worthy Pinterest find is this amazing sink.  (Source: via Mary on Pinterest). Is that not the coolest thing?  If you click through to High Camp Home where the photo originated, and look at the “Timber Lodge” photos, you can see the style of interior decor that I love at the moment.  (I’d skip the deer heads, antlers, and wood ceilings, tho).

John and I have loved Craftsman-style homes with rock and beefy-looking wood accents for a lot of years.  I love the way this decor style looks warm and family-friendly, elegant but not pretentious.  You can picture a kid walking in with muddy boots and not feeling too uptight, because the surfaces look durable and comfortable. The down side?   I suspect I have rather expensive taste.  Ah well… fun to dream.

No news on the baby front yet.  We tend to go overdue in our family…hoping maybe by early June we will see this new little one.

We’re having a big shindig at the end of the month to celebrate the multiple graduations and confirmations, so I’m trying to think of some fun picnic-style food, much of which ideally could be prepped ahead of time.  Any ideas?


  1. Google “Paula deen corn salad”. Mix 4 ingredients, add the chips just b/f serving. I would never have tried this based on reading the recipie but had it at a party- it’s delicious.

  2. Try Cornonation Chicken Salad – more filling than your average salad (it’s got potatoes and chicken) – and can be made ahead of time – might want to add the lettuce just before serving, though. Adding it the night before makes it go soggy.

    Here’s a link, I never use watercress (it’s not in the recipe I have).

  3. Chicken satay skewers are a fixture for me for stuff like that. Marinate strips of chicken in coconut milk, cumin, pepper, garam masala, a little red pepper, garlic salt then grill or broil on skewers. Serve w peanut sauce.

  4. Oooooooooooooooooooo could the airplane dream be an adoption dream?

    I had two very distinct adoption dreams repeatedly. One I was juggling lots of paperwork and trying to make flights.

    The other one I was at a hospital and didn’t know which baby was ours. At the end of the dream when they handed me our baby, I couldn’t ever see the baby’s face before I woke up.

    Turns out our adoption was more like the 2nd dream. He was born 12 miles from our home. 🙂

  5. Alisha Martin says:

    I like to do cowboy caviar when I’m preparing a picnic style meal. It’s basically a salsa/chip dip made with fresh veggies. I usually make it the day before, drizzle the dressing over it and then put fresh avocadoes on the day of. (keeps the avocadoes from browning over night).

    If you’d like the recipe I’d be happy to share it with you. You can make it as mild or spicy as you want. I’m a whimp with spice so I only use 1 tbsp of chipotle tabasco sauce but my friend uses 4! (no thanks!) 🙂

    It’s always a big hit. PS – there is no caviar in it it’s just the name. I usually use leftovers in srambled eggs and even put it on tacos the next day if there’s any left (usually not).

  6. Love the description of a moment in the life of your household! 🙂 Your airport dream sounds like a stress dream to me. I often have a similar dream when I’m stressed–we’re traveling, we’re moving, everything’s crazy and overwhelming. Are you stressed? Hmm…

    • edj, I think I might be. We have lotsa things coming in the near future — many May events, planning summer activities, planning church camp. I am also hoping to do some serious writing this summer, along with keeping up with the blog. From that perspective the bulging bags and heaps of papers in my dreams make sense…

  7. We are so looking forward to a lazy summer schedule ourselves! I have a question on your comment about doing Algebra I with TT and then doing it again with Saxon. How do you plan for that?

    I just switched my son (10)from a very comprehensive program to a highly rated program that I just don’t feel is comprehensive enough. But he is really responding to the other program and I don’t want to cause a set back.

    • Most of our teens only did Saxon Algebra. It worked well, though our older teens say that Saxon Alg 1 is a LOT harder than Algebra 1/2. The kid I wrote about today did NOT find Alg 1/2 easy. In looking at both programs it seems like TT reviews Alg 1/2 and the very gradually moves into the Alg 1. I think the review and more gradual approach will benefit this child and add more confidence which she needs when it comes to math. Short answer: it was purely a mom judgment call! 🙂

  8. Lauren says:

    OK, I have been seeing these adorable dessert jars all over the place, and they would be so fun for a big group – and easy to do in advance with the kids! Some fun ones were –
    our best bites, frozen lemonade pie in a jar
    bakerella, chocolate peanut butter banana pudding
    picky palate, simple cinna-bun cakes in a jar

  9. Reader in Japan says:

    If you can get fried tofu pouches, try Inari-zushi (apparently AKA brown bag sushi). Bad pagan name but super yummy and very easy-to-handle picnic food.

  10. A favorite summer picnic food of mine is Black Bean and Corn Salsa. The recipe is basicly a comination of black beans (rinsed/drained), frozen corn, diced onion, diced tomato, chopped cilantro (fresh, lots), lime juice, cumin, S&P, red-wine vinegar, and oil. It’s bright and colorful, very fresh tasting, and can be made a day ahead without loss of quality. Serve it with corn chips, and you have a whole grain and legume to make up a complete protein, and something that travels well.

    Mmmmm, I need to make some soon!

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