Saturday, July 29, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things: Fire on the Mountains and Summer Magic

A family visit took away from my blog these last two weeks, but it was time well spent. Some excitement with the ongoing fire hazard brought incredible views. It was quite the ringside seat.  We watched our suede mountain across the lake burn in full view.

When the fire was over, these suede mountains were black.
Mercifully, the wind did not blow choking smoke over our small community, although many of us saw ashes fall. None ignited fires on our side!

 We watched our phenomenal helicopter fire crew dump bucket after bucket of water for hours on end. These folks deserve some kind of medal. 

At one point, the Wanupum community (our local Indian tribe) was evacuated on the fire side, but the fire crews managed to save their homes and businesses. 

View from park and marina at dusk: "The 400 Fire"
A photo opportunity: Selfie with my daughter on left

Love this of my daughter at the water's edge

Summer magic: My daughter took this of me, and said I reminded her of a magician raising up the smoke.
When all was done, no lives were lost and to my knowledge, not one building or home was destroyed. Thankful, thankful, thankful!

"Come celebrate with us" 
To join "Celebrate the Small Things, visit Lexa Cain's blog
Co-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things: Just Another Good Day

Well, what do you say when life is zipping along and you are having a good day? I guess you could say you feel blessed



  • Workmen are outside our door as I type, building our new pergola. Shade, oh blessed shade, Oh how I have missed you. We desperately need you in the desert sun. 
  • Tomorrow my daughter arrives with two of our grandchildren to stay the week. We'll spend time at the lake trying to stay cool and probably play a board game or two.
  • A blog tour for me at Laurisa White Reyes' blog 


"Come celebrate with us" 
To join "Celebrate the Small Things, visit Lexa Cain's blog
Co-hosts are: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Exploring the Virgina Colony by Christin Ditchfield: Book Review

Exploring the Virginia Colony
Author: Christin Ditchfield

Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl
Publisher:  Capstone Press,  2017
Ages:  8 to 11, Middle Grade
Pages: 48 

Virginia was the first of thirteen colonies in North America to survive. Other attempts at colonization had failed miserably due to lack of survival skills. However, in 1607, the Virginia Company successfully built a new English settlement, Jamestown. 
Under the strict leadership of Captain John Smith set forth in newly established rules, the colonists learned to work together as a team. Smith also befriended area Native Americans, a peace further forged by a marriage between one of the colonists and Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan. Although conflicts did arise, the colonists and the Native Americans learned much from each other, sharing their knowledge and way of life. Ditchfield details the challenges, hardships, and daily life of both groups. 

Meanwhile, the colonists discovered a cash crop in farming tobacco (among other crops), and built huge plantations. Of the thirteen colonies, Virginia would rely the most heavily on slave labor. Kidnapped African slaves began arriving in 1619. By the early 1700s, Virginia had become a thriving colony, no longer dependent on supplies or food from Europe. 

Religion was important to the colonists, as many had fled Europe to worship more freely. The “Great Awakening,” a huge religious revival in the British colonies, brought a resurgence of Protestant faith and inspired the colonists greatly from 1734 to 1750.

During the American Revolutionary War, few battles took place on Virginia soil, but Virginian leaders, among them Thomas Jefferson, helped bring the country to independence. In 1788, Virginia became the tenth state to join the newly formed nation. 

More interesting information can be found in the book's "Did You Know" side notes, mini bios, illustrations, quotes, and "Critical Thinking with Primary Sources" section. A good introduction on Virginia's important role in early American history.