I'll begin by summarizing our Valentine's festivities, since I haven't yet posted about them. Nothing went quite according to plan, as usual, so in the end it was a rather quiet weekend-long celebration. We baked sugar cookies (which no one cared to frost later, so they ended up hastily done), raspberry cupcakes from this month's Living (sadly, not very well liked), and candy-coated pretzels. In addition, we had a "candy buffet," cherry and strawberry soda, and an assortment of other festive goodies all weekend long.

For school, this was a short week due to President's Day, and all in all, a very ordinary sort of week (though Jaymon rejoined us from public school).

Personal Highlights ~ LOTS of reading for me this week. In fact, I spent all of Monday curled up with books, which I *never* get to do!

  • I read: The Children Who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham (simply wonderful!), The House of Arden by E. Nesbit (loved it!).
  • I also read Ask Me No Questions by Ann Schlee, which I'm very happy I took the trouble to order from Amazon UK. The book is about a notorious Victorian establishment for pauper children, Drouet's farm. Reading it led me to research baby-farmers (some interesting news clippings can be found here), and Charles Dickens' writings on the Drouet scandal, all entirely new to me. A search for the term in Google Books turns up numerous references ~ more than anyone should ever want to know about the subject, really. Nevertheless, morbidly fascinating reading.
  • Ask Me No Questions led to my next book: Mama's Babies by Gary Crew, based on the lives of 3 well-known baby farmers. A brief YA novel, it was extremely chilling and oh-so-hard to put down.
  • I also read the delightful A Child's Journey with Dickens by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin, an excerpt from her autobiography.
  • Finally, I read most of the *excellent* Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin (to be finished this weekend!) and continued sporadically reading Diary of a Provincial Lady, which unfortunately puts me to sleep.
  • Book Closeouts is having a fantastic Blowout Sale, so I picked out an enormous selection of new books - most hardbacks for a mere .99 - 1.99!


  1. sunnykim said...
    Wow, your Valentine's spread is making me salivate :)

    Shamrock seeds? How cool!

    And the amount of reading that you got done (for hs and personally). Amazing!
    Robyn said...
    Wow, lots of books this week! I'm jealous! I must look to see the ages of your kids! ;-)

    Your seeds look fun and the tulips are beautiful! Makes me really want spring to come!! We have huge cabin fever here!
    Moonbeam said...
    Beautiful valentines celebration! I'm envious of all that reading time. Congratulations on a busy, productive week.
    Daisy said...
    Sounds like a wonderful Valentines. Send over those cupcakes. We'll take care of them for you. ;-P

    I'm always amazed by how much reading you accomplish in a given week.
    Faith said...
    I just saw those Shamrock seeds in a catalogue and was thinking of getting them.

    You did get a lot of reading done! I've narrowed my reading for Lent down to just religious reading and right now I'm in the middle of Jesus of Nazareth by Pope BXVI which makes for slow reading. I've got to jot down all these titles tho. They look so interesting!

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