This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 89

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It’s been a big week around here! This little precious girl turned one yesterday on the Feast of St. Joan of Arc. And so, of course, I’m all teary-eyed about her becoming a toddler and not being my squishy little newborn.



(Image by Sarah Gray Photography)

What a little pumpkin! I read over her birth story this morning and cried happy tears. I’m so grateful to be her mom.

The other big to do of the week was our 8th wedding anniversary! So exciting! We got all dolled up and went out for sushi.


I got to sit next to this handsome guy:


Looking forward to many more years of adventuring together.


On the Homestead:

Daniel gets really excited about the summer harvest from our garden.


But I have to admit the smell of fermenting sauerkraut is not my favorite and I won’t be, ahem, devastated if Daniel decides not to make it again.

Summer always feels like a fresh start to me. I am not a list-maker, organizer, or scheduler by nature, but even this ENFP wants to plan for next year. I want to compile lists of books and write down routines and go homeschooling nuts with curriculum research. But, I’m so glad this book crossed my path before I jumped into all that.

Launch Week Sale through June 1

Sarah Mackenzie’s Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace is a gem. Sarah is a Catholic homeschooling mama of six and the voice behind Amongst Lovely Things. Her book is such a gift as we begin this homeschooling journey with our kids. For the past couple of years, we’ve been doing some informal preschooling for our oldest, Benjamin, but I find myself getting overwhelmed anytime I do research on homeschooling as he grows.

Reading her book made me feel like she had me over for afternoon tea and that I left her peaceful but vibrant home with a refreshed perspective on homeschooling and mothering in general. Listen to this:

Once we allow ourselves to embrace the idea that curriculum is not something we buy, then we can really embrace the true goal of education: to order a child’s affections and teach him to love that which is lovely. The point, then, is to put true, good, and beautiful ideas in front of our children and then to let them feast on them. To sit alongside them and model how one might go about dipping into the feast. We share a giant meal of ideas- contemplating, beholding, loving. We allow ourselves to be transformed by what we come in contact with.

– Sarah Mackenzie

Yes! Sarah sums up our homeschooling philosophy and articulates everything I’ve subconsciously felt but couldn’t say. The word I think of when I read her book is “clarity.” She brings clarity to our job as mothers and educators and I finished the book feeling inspired and relaxed rather than overwhelmed.

Before I start diagramming routines or curriculum shopping for next year, I’m going to sit down and read Sarah’s book again. Teaching from Rest isn’t written only for Catholic homeschoolers, it would apply to any homeschooling mother. But Sarah’s book resonates so well with our Catholic faith and really gets the big picture of why we homeschool. If you’re homeschooling, or considering homeschooling, I highly recommend it. It’s so refreshing, encouraging, and inspiring. And if you snatch it up today or tomorrow, you can get it for the introductory price of $5.99. It will go up to $7.99 on Monday, June 2nd. (Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links, so if you purchase through them, it will benefit my family. Thanks so much for your support! I only share about books and products that I use and love.)

The Quotable Benjamin:


I picked you a flower, mama.” It was a peace offering after a rough morning. Look at that little face. So much sweetness mixed with fiery intensity. His brain never stops whirling. This kid is full of life.

Me: “Time to do some playing outside, Benjamin.”
Benjamin: “But I need to be inside talking to you, because I’m an EXTROVERT!”

The Quotable Lucy:


Her latest love is dress up. Dress up like a mama, dress up like a baby, dress up like a dinosaur princess or a doctor puppy kitty. This gal has some great ideas.


The Lost Art of Dress: Verily Mag (Who’s with me on bringing back hats?! Let’s do this, ladies. And gentleman. Hats for everyone!)

Summer Shakespeare Chat: Much Ado About Nothing: Clan Donaldson (I completely agree with Cari on this one. I wanted like Joss’s version, but Nathan Fillion’s was the only redeeming performance of the film, in my opinion.)

College, Marriage, Babies…But Not in That Order: Catholic Sistas

Remembering Maya Angelou: Feminists for Life

Are You in a Jane Austen Novel?: the Toast


And thank you so much for your prayers for my friend’s baby who was in the hospital. He’s home and doing much better. They ruled out cancer and think that the weeks of fevers originated from an infection in his spleen that has improved.


Be sure to check out The Little Oratory by Leila Lawler (Sophia Institute Press) and Something Other than God by Jennifer Fulwiler (Ignatius Press). I loved Jen’s book and I’m 2/3 of the way through The Little Oratory and can’t wait to share a review next week with you all. It’s inspiring me to make some major changes to our home life. I’m so grateful for wonderful sponsors who help keep the lights on around here at Carrots!

Hope each and every one of you has a downright delightful weekend of warm weather! I’ve gotta get the house ready for Gwen’s little birthday party!

Lots of love,


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    • Haley says

      Sorry, Mandi! I rephrased it and I hope it helps. It’s not written EXCLUSIVELY for Catholics. It’s written by a Catholic and will really resonate with Catholics, but homeschoolers in other faith traditions will find it an amazing resource that applies to them, too. Does that clarify things? Thanks for pointing out that it was confusing!

  1. says

    I didn’t realize how close in age our now-toddlers are! My Eleanor Hildegard turned one on the 25th, and I had some similar feelings about missing the squishy newborn stage. But what a joy it is to watch these little souls develop and grow!
    Happy birthday to Gwen and happy anniversary to you and Daniel!

    • Haley says

      Such a joy! And age 1-2.5 is SO FUN! I miss my squishy newborn but I’m loving the interaction with this sweet little toddler 🙂

  2. says

    I’m making sauerkraut, too! But it’s in jars, so it doesn’t really stink. And it soothes my picky daughter’s stomach, so it’d totally worth it even if it did. Oh! And my kombucha soda turned out delicious!

    I’m really glad you reviewed Sarah’s new book. I’ve been neglecting her blog, so the first I heard of it was from Kendra at the park yesterday. It sounds like EXACTLY what I need to hear.

    That Benjamin quote cracked me up. I bet that kid is fun to have around.

    • Haley says

      I want to learn how to make kombucha! I love it. I’m seriously going to read Sarah’s book a second time before making any homeschool-y plans for next year. It is like a breath of fresh air!

  3. says

    That picture of newborn Gwen is too precious for words! And I am excited to see your review of Little Oratory; I have it on order from Amazon and I can’t wait.

    • Haley says

      Isn’t that a sweet one! Big brother is so precious with her. And yes! You will love The Little Oratory!

  4. says

    One thing I have learned, never put yourself in a box. I might just go back to homeschooling with some of my other kids. Thank you for the link to her site. God bless! 🙂

  5. says

    Lulu has that same little striped dress, but she can’t sit up yet!

    And you look so so lovely in these pictures. I think you should change all your profile pictures to the one with the flower in your hair. The lipstick, the whimsy, a peek of the tattoo. It’s too perfect.

    • Haley says

      I love that little dress! G got watermelon all over it, and I’m not sure it’s going to live to see another day :/

      And you are sweet! Thank you! If I changed my photo, do you think anyone would recognize me?

  6. Reelmomof4 says

    Congrats on a fun, celebratory weekend! Another book you may find interesting and refreshing concerning homeschooling is A Charlotte Mason Companion, by Karen Andreola. Charlotte Mason was a pioneer in the gentle art of learning. I LOVE that book! I read it when our kids were younger and I “got” some of it, but hindsight is always 20/20. I’m rereading it now to glean some ideas for our youngest who is going to be in the 7th grade! I find it very encouraging and it helps me to not feel like I have failed at homeschooling – like I never do enough. Blessings! Tammy

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