Why the Tree of Life?



The boys are off to NASA with Dad and Grandpa to see the shuttle launch tomorrow.  And Ayla and I are having a Girls Only! Weekend.  We're going to my parents'/grandparents' house tomorrow to have tea and scones and watch the royal wedding with my sisters, mom and grandmother.

In the meantime, Ayla and I are working on a cardboard box dollhouse with egg carton furniture.  Family Fun magazine had some design suggestions in last month's issue, and we've been working on it a little bit at a time today and yesterday.

I need to scare up another box for a kitchen.


Happy Birthday, Ayla!

Ayla's 3! Ayla did the sprinkles on her cake. Pink.
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91 degrees

Well, geez, Spring's over, I guess.  It was nice while it lasted.  No rain.  No bluebonnets.  Breaking 90 the first day of April.  I'm scared.

Medieval Read-Alouds & Music

I was a little more organized with our St. Francis block. I thought I would share some of the other things we mixed in.

Along with the Enki trickster and sage stories, and reading European folk and fairy tales for Dunagan, we read:

The Making of a Knight: How Sir James Earned His Armor

The Making of a Knight by Patrick O'Brien was a particular favorite picture book of Dunagan's, and we read it several times.

Product Details

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess by Richard Platt was a particular favorite of mine. The kids enjoyed reading it as well. It is not a chapter book, but it is a very long, illustrated journal of Toby's first year as a page in his uncle's castle, and it took us several days to read through it all. The illustrations are very detailed, fun and informative. Highly recommended read. I hate to give it back to the library.

The Door in the Wall (Books for Young Readers)

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli was our main chapter book. I must confess, I found it a slow read, and it was not my favorite. The boys, however, really enjoyed it and would beg for another chapter. I found the language difficult to read aloud, and wonder if it would perhaps be a better silent read for an older child.

For some period music, we used:

Shining Light--Music from the Aquitanian Monasteries

Shining Light: Music from Aquitanian Monasteries


Nova Stella: A Medieval Italian Christmas

Nova Stella: A Medieval Italian Christmas

One cd would have sufficed, and I think I would pick Nova Stella over Shining Light. It was a little more upbeat.

bed & deb

Someone commented asking if I had done anything more with my 'b' and 'd' glitter cards and if I could illustrate bed and deb.  bed likes to be slept on, deb does not.  Hope my drawing is helpful.

Some kids seem to find that image helpful; mine was apparently confused by it, but it was easy to try.  Quote: What does that mean, Mom?  I don't get it.  My second child did find it helpful and is having less problems mixing them up.

The glitter cards have been marginally helpful.  I pull them out during reading lesson if he begins to mix them up.  In retrospect, I should have made them the same color. 

There has been improvement, but we're still working on locking those correct images in.  Any other suggestion would be welcomed!  :)


The boys made mosaic coasters as a craft to go along with St. Francis.  It was a big hit and very easy.  I have a paper "stained glass" kit that we didn't get to yet, but figure we will sometime this month.  We're planning a trip to Brenham next week to visit the Bluebell Ice Creamery.  There is also a Franciscan covent there called the Monastery of St. Clare.  They have a miniature horse farm, and with any luck, we'll get to see some miniature foals.

St. Francis, Ch. 4 & Followup

We finished St. Francis this week, and we have officially started our break!