June looked like this…

This is a monthly wrap-up post.

Our third term of homeschool continues through early July, but both co-ops finished mid-May, and we knocked out the testing the last week of May, so in June our academic schedule relaxed considerably.  We had one remaining “big thing” and that was The Daughter’s Guild Audition the second week of June.

The Daughter and her piano teacher assembled a program of Sonatinas with an eye towards earning the Sonatina Award.  It’s a program that requires solid classical technique and lots of polish on the memorized works.  She had practiced faithfully, and prepared thoroughly, but it’s still a nerve-wracking experience. To our joy, she played beautifully and earned a phenomenal score, in addition to qualifying for the Sonatina Award!

Back in May, I had promised The Daughter that we would bring back Wednesday Beach Days with friends, so the first week of June, she took the initiative and started sending weekly emails on Tuesday afternoons, complete with a weather report including UV levels and a tide update. We meet our friends in the morning at our favorite beach.  It’s a state park, so it’s clean and not too crowded.  Since it’s on the Chesapeake Bay, all of the shark reports only worried us a little bit.  We walk on this beach most Sunday afternoons or evenings throughout the year and it has been fascinating to watch the beach shift with the weather and the seasons and the tides.  We can almost always count on a gorgeous sunset!

Another highlight of June was an enjoyable visit from my beloved Aunt Janet and Uncle Ray, complete with good food, good conversation and a hymn sing!  They have June birthdays as well, so each week brought a birthday celebration!  June has always been the Triple Crown Birthday Month in our family.  Mr. Garner starts us off, followed by my father, Papa Gene, and a week later his father, Papa Garner.  Father’s Day falls in the midst of it all. So June is a month of celebrating fatherhood in a very big way!  Papa Garner is no longer with us in the day-to-day, but we remember him with great affection.

You may recall that Mr. Garner is somewhat of a board game aficionado. His extensive collection of games includes quite a few historical games, which he buys in order to augment The Daughter’s home education. Well, that’s what he says anyway. Sadly, with #1 Son off at school, and then off working at ASP, there are few opportunities to get a group together to play.  To his excitement, we found another family that loves to play board games! So, we had our first weekly board game night in June starting with two easy-to-learn-games:  Love Letter and Ticket to Ride.  Lots of fun!

The large fennel plant in the herb border hosts black swallowtail caterpillars at various times during the summer. We’ve learned to watch for them, and to our delight we found over 20 caterpillars in various stages chomping on fennel leaves!  The next day, to our horror, there were only two, and a very fat robin nearby. I decided to harbor the remaining two caterpillars in a big jar on the back porch.  They each formed a Chrysalis within a day or two and then emerged just in time for us to go out of town. We took this video of a black swallowtail emerging a few years ago.

The month finished strong with The Daughter volunteering each weekday morning at Vacation Bible School at the Anglican church we’re visiting. She was assigned to Missions, and thoroughly enjoyed all of the little children.  As soon as she finished on Friday we were off to the Middle Ridge and then to Kentucky to visit #1 Son’s ASP-Harlan County site!

A few photos:

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