Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Gang's All Here!

They're all here!  Horace, Homer, Lucan, Virgil, Dante . . . and Dr. Frederick Wheelock . . .
they're all here with the Justus boys and mom!  We are so excited (at least mom is).  Today we began our LT 201 course for summer school. This course was designed and approved a couple of years ago, and I have had the blessing of having taught it once already.  This summer, I am teaching it for the boys.  No one else has registered for it, so we can do it right here at home. I can't believe this is actually happening. We had so much fun today.  I found two translation books which accompany the Wheelock's Latin:  we are moving through them as a method of review.  Once we finish with these first chapters, we will resume our trek through Wheelock's where they each left off in LT 102.

I think the wonderful Dr. Wheelock would be pleased that his marvelous text has inspired not only Classical scholarship, but also a means of strengthening a love of learning and family! What a day!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Few Heartfelt Thoughts for a Friday Night

Well, that I am out of school is evident by the number of posts I have made the last few days, and here is one more I just have to share an experience we had tonight. We took the kids to a pizza buffet (where everyone can eat pizza until they're completely stuffed and at a good price). There were not many people there yet, and we could hear the TV show playing on the restaurant's television.  The show was "Modern Family." I knew of its existence and that it was not something I would want to see given the content themes. There are no words I can use which will adequately describe how sickening and appalling the show's content were.  The language was foul, and the relationships depicted were not "family" oriented--they were blasphemous and ungodly.  My husband said, "when you laugh, you have given your approval." There is definitely truth in his words.  Too many laugh at this program and others like it. I was told that "Big Bang Theory" was as bad or worse.

I have chosen a picture of the Cleaver family to include in this post.  The Cleavers have been maligned (particularly June) as being unrealistic and goody-goody. We may not all vacuum our homes wearing pearls and a beautifully-ironed dress, but the parents were figures to be respected. There was genuine love between the characters, and lots of good laughs at no one's expense, except perhaps the hapless Beaver.  What's wrong with the notion of Father, Mother and children living together in the same home?

Has our culture really moved so far away from the Biblical model of the family?  If so, it is so because we have moved so far away from the Bible itself and its holy Author.

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the Bible is loved and taught.
Homes where the Master's will is sought,
Homes crowned with beauty Thy love hath wrought.
God give us Christian homes. 

Mrs. Betty Greene

I am just amazed!  This photograph is a picture of two of my high school's language teachers, Mrs. Betty Villanueva and Mrs. Betty Greene.  Mrs. Greene  (on the right) was mentioned in a post below. She was such a patient soul, and I would love for her to know how much she taught me!  Latin gave me great joy all the way through college and graduate school. Now, I have been able to teach it, not only to my homeschooled sweethearts, but also to the kids at Truett. This looks like the very corridor of my classroom!  A few years back, I found a copy of our textbook in a used book store. I ought to find a way to use it in some of  our coursework.

Anne of Avonlea

My daughter reads in "fits and spurts."  Reading is either all she's doing or furthest from her mind. I know it has everything to do with what she is reading. I was tickled to death yesterday to see that she is working her way through the Anne books again. She had a copy of Anne of Avonlea, the second in LM Montgomery's lovely Anne series. I like to read this one just before school starts each semester as the story tells us of  Anne's apprehension about beginning the school year as a teacher rather than a student. I hope Virginia will read the entire series this time. 

". . . . I don't believe a teacher should be cross. Oh, it seems to me such a responsibility."

A Nice Cookout

The semester at school is winding down, and we actually had time to catch our collective breath yesterday afternoon. We all loaded up and went to a local State park to have a cookout. The weather is warm, but neither the temperature nor the humidity were oppressive. Hubby did his usual fabulous job grilling the burgers and (turkey) franks. He heated a can of baked beans on the grill, too. It all tasted so good.  4/5 of us have had a bug that has hung on with annoying tenacity. A couple of us would get better then come back down with it all again. However, sneezing, coughing, finals and grading were all forgotten as we enjoyed our burgers and beans and the joy of each other's company. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014


This has to have been one of my favorite "toys" ever. My parents weren't ones to get the latest toy just because I asked for it, but they did indulge me here by buying me a Spirograph set. It really was one of the most exciting things I remember receiving. The tricky part was getting the pins positioned in the paper and cardboard--the Spirograph today I'm sure doesn't have the pins. The company came out very quickly with a younger edition called "Spirotot."  Again, Moma and Daddy bought that one for me. It was much better suited for my age (probably 5 or 6). 

I still love coloring and drawing although the best I can do is to stay in the lines.
What were some of your favorite toys?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Secret to Success in Dieting

The past couple of weeks, I have been trying to get some weight off. It is a battle I have fought unsuccessfully all my life. (note that the first three letters in DIET spell "DIE")  I have had a little encouragement but I hit a stopping point despite being disciplined with what I ate (no snacks, no seconds) and walking about 30 minutes every evening. I couldn't get past that point . . .  until . . .

To celebrate a promotion I have wanted for 22 years, we went to Longhorn's last night.  I had a SIGNIFICANT portion of this dessert. Guess what?  This morning, I dropped past that plateau phase!  
What might we take from this? Chocolate, ice cream and loaded baked potatoes are good for weight loss!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ginger, The History Cat

As I sat at the table working through the Morison book, Ginger came and decided to take a little rest on my notes and index cards.  I never knew she had an interest in US Naval History.  I tried to move her, but that didn't work. I finally just gave up. She wouldn't get up until I did. Oh well, I have needed a research assistant a long time. Anchors Aweigh, Ginger!

And by the way, here is a question we won't be able to answer until we are in heaven, but why is it that cats want to lay on whatever you are doing, reading or writing?

I Still Laugh Out Loud . . .

In my 10th grade year, I was placed in Latin, but had wanted to take Spanish III.  Little did I know how Providential that scheduling  conflict would be.  Latin turned out to be life-changing in the long run and full of laughs in the short.  One of the Seniors in the class was Alice Ann Gregory. She was the funniest individual I have ever known.  Our teacher was the kind and long-suffering Betty Greene. I hope that when we meet in heaven I can tell her how much I loved her class and what it meant to me through the years. Mrs. Greene's good nature was never more evident than in her dealings with Alice Ann. I think Alice Ann chewed bubble gum every day of her life. Several times each week, throughout the year, Mrs. Greene would tell Alice Ann to spit our her gum; on each of the occasions, Alice Ann would respond by telling us all, "It's ASPERGUM, Ms. Greene."  Once in a while, Mrs. Greene would have enough and tell Alice Ann that she would in the future need a doctor's note for her to be able to chew the gum in class. Of course, no Doctor's note was ever forthcoming, but Alice Ann continued with her Rx gum!   I still laugh out loud at that (and am laughing as I type this). Oh dear . . . .

Hope your day is filled with pleasant thoughts . . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Off to Sea . . . .

This summer, I hope to spend quite a bit of time with Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976), one of our finest American historians. He was a true patriot who chronicled our past without the politically correct agenda that so often plagues the profession today. Although Morison wrote about a wide variety of historical topics surrounding the exploration and founding of America, he seemed to be most at home at sea-- his biographies of great men of the sea like Columbus and John Paul Jones won Morison Pulitzer Prizes and no doubt inspired more than one generation of young scholars.

In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt (who fancied himself, along with Churchill, an old sea dog) commissioned Morison to write a multi-volume history of American Naval Operations in the War. Obviously, much of Morison's subject matter was at that time yet to be played out. Morison completed the magnificent 15-volume work in

Our course on The Era of the World Wars cycles back around in the Fall. This is one of my favorite classes to teach, and I am so grateful that I am able to do so. I want to spend the summer reading as much of this series as I can. As a slow reader, I don't anticipate getting through all of the volumes, but I am going to give it a good shot. Young historians today don't understand the role of sea power in our founding and colonization and in the subsequent wars to maintain our independence. Hopefully, we can visit this great theme together through our look at the World Wars.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Dana Girls

 I have decided to start a new collection (just what I need), and I think The Dana Girls may be just the ticket. They share the same "author" as the Nancy Drew series, "Carolyn Keene."  The Dana Girls series were published in two different series, the first from 1934-1968 and then from 1972-1979. The stories involve two orphaned sisters, Jean and Louise Dana.  They reside at the Starhurst School for girls.  The first in the series is By the Light of the Study Lamp.

My understanding is that this series was not quite as popular as the Nancy Drew books. There aren't as many of the editions out there in used book land as there are the Nancy and Hardy Boys series, but I think I have a good shot at collection them if I am careful and smart about how much I pay. I know that I will find the best buys (and the best seller) at Jennifer's "Vintage Series Books for Girls . . . and a Few Boys."   www.series-books.com   

I have a handful now in addition to the first installment:
The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage (1934)
In the Shadow of the Tower (1934)
The Mystery of the Locked Room (1938)
The Sierra Gold Mystery (1961).

Tomorrow is payday, and after making sure we have water and electricity for another month, I may just visit Jennifer's shop. This will be fun!