July looked like this…

The Daughter and I both really put our noses to the grindstone for the first three weeks of July in order to finish strong.

While she was finishing up Ivanhoe, How the Heather Looks, William Tyre: Deeds Done Beyond the Sea, Birth of Britain, and closing out Apologia General Science, and the scheduled chapters in math, and Second Form Latin…I was simultaneously attempting to squeeze in a few books from my reading list while conquering the challenge of scheduling for next year.  I had requested two worldview books through InterLibrary Loan, The Deadliest Monster and Rethinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live and Speak in This World by Mark Bertrand. Both arrived at once… sigh… and they are due in early August.  So, I have been reading about monsters and grace-filled but truthful thinking while gathering books and resources, and pondering a daily workflow so that when The Daughter is finished with 7th grade, I am finished laying the foundation for 8th grade, and we can both enjoy a genuine vacation from school.

We added a read-aloud time to our lunch hour in order to fit in Animal Farm by George Orwell.  Mr. Garner at first thought that he read it in high school.  I knew that I had not read it; neither had #1 Son in his more recent, International Baccalaureate high school literature program.  I initially scheduled it for three chapters a week for three weeks, but I was outvoted – both Mr. Garner and The Daughter were anxious to find out what happened.  Now that I have read it, I fully understand why government school teachers leave this one off the list.  It cuts a little too close for comfort.

Speaking of America, we saw the movie, and thought it was pretty good.  Clearly Dinesh D’Souza is preaching to the choir, which is really no different from any other political documentary, or for that matter television, or cable, print product or website purporting to offer “news.”  It was interesting to see a considerably larger audience for the movie than we expected for our (cheaper) weekday matinee viewing.  There was a wide range of ages, and to our astonishment an extremely ethnically diverse audience for our liberal inner-city area with everyone apparently appreciative of the message.  There was a standing ovation at the end of the movie started by a grizzled veteran and everyone present joined in.

July was not all work, and no play!  We picked up a parking pass for First Landing State Park so that we can go to a less touristy beach, and are managing to get there for walks in the evening fairly regularly.  We fit in a wonderful bike ride at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, biking to the remote False Cape State Park.  The Daughter wants to earn her AHG Cycling Badge so we are scoping this out as a potential “long ride.”

Also in the “fun” category, the Redeemed Reader blog threw together a Summer Reading program, and while the daughter enjoyed finishing up N.D. Wilson’s Ashtown Burials series, (The Dragon’s Tooth, The Drowned Vault and The Chestnut King), I read Francis Schaeffer’s Genesis: In Space and Time.  It is a lovely apologetic on the reason, reality and beauty of Genesis Chapters 1-9.  It paired nicely with a video I recently watched of N.T.Wright also speaking about Genesis. (I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post). I also finished the witty classic The White Company by Sir Arthur Conon Doyle.  A long time fan of his more famous 19th century detective, I really enjoyed this foray into medieval history and manners.

This summer the overall mood has been quieter in many ways with #1 Son away working with Appalachia Service Project.  He has gone off with the church youth group to work on houses for a week every summer since he was fourteen.  But this year he is on staff as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Scott County, TN ASP Center.  Each week we await with great anticipation the reports and photos detailing the progress being made on the various properties the team has chosen to tackle.  In addition to coordinating the volunteers and managing the work on his assigned properties, he is responsible for the social media, and does a great job updating the Appalachia Service Project: Scott County TN Facebook page, posting photos of the church volunteer groups and descriptions of the work accomplished at each house.

We finished school in time to close out the last days of July with a very long drive from one southern corner of Virginia to the other southern corner and beyond to the beautiful mountains of Appalachia in order to retrieve our #1 Son.  Our rental car logged 1400 miles of beautiful Virginia scenery, and some stunning views from our drive across and along the shoulders of craggy mountains overlooking lush green valleys and sparkling rivers.  We had just enough time to visit  Cumberland Gap and fit in a history field trip!  PHOTOS

Here is that You Tube video of N.T. Wright:



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