Confession: My family is Tolkien crazy, and “Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien?” is not a question one should ponder aloud in my presence. We love hobbits, elves, dwarves, and ents, wizards, dragons, elevensies, and one of our kids is named after a Lord of the Rings character. Both the books and films of The Hobbit and Lord of the Read More →

Genetically my family’s not Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish —nor even Finnish or Icelandic— but today we were honorary Scandinavians. Uffdah! We enjoy learning about and celebrating other cultures, and immersive experiences —such as Junction City’s Scandinavian Festival— broaden our world while placating our wanderlust. Save for Frozen’s Elsa & Anna, IKEA’s swedish meatballs, and our dear friends with Read More →

Back in the 50’s, the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Oregon’s North Santiam River to create a reservoir. The dam still stands tall and proud today, providing Salem’s drinking water supply and generating electricity while protecting the Willamette Valley from seasonal flooding– though arguably the best part of the deal is the recreation it’s created Read More →

Hello Muddah, hello Faddah… We’re dropping the ball as bookworms this week because Firstborn’s away at summer camp. Sob! It’s a big deal for all of us– her first time overnight. I’m confident she’s having a blast, enjoying her independence and quality time with a bestie, but it’s still hard for a mama to have a chick so Read More →

Six years and six thousand miles ago our son was born. At that same time, in Oregon, Husband had just accepted a new job and was poised to relocate our small family of four to Montana. Taking a break from packing, we hosted an impromptu playdate with Firstborn’s sweet pal from school– a cleft-affected girl who Read More →

This is not inaccurate. Still, the library’s best when you want to “try before you buy.” As homeschoolers, we’re frequent flyers of our local library year-round, but it remains on our regular summer rotation for more than merely literary pursuits– an ideal hangout, with piles of free resources, fun summer programs, performances, classes, friends we bump Read More →