family currents: last call to summer

August began with a hot sun, though it didn’t hang on to the summer song long. We all seemed keenly aware this year that the changing days would soon give way to the start of school, and we savored the last of summertime’s fun.

Eva and William got to take tennis lessons through our township’s Rec and Ed. Thursday evenings were spent at the park riding bikes, playing in the play structures, or walking the trails while we waited for them.


Since our anniversary and my birthday were in August, we went on a couple outings without the children. We took lots of pictures and told them all about it, though : ). We are so blessed to celebrate 17 years of wedded bliss!


Samuel had a birthday. He’s 3!!! It’s truly the magical birthday age. He was very aware his special day was coming and couldn’t contain his long trains of questions, “And get presents? And blow candles? And my birthday? And get presents?”


We also went to the lake because if you live in Michigan, it is the proper way to enjoy summer. Of course, thunderstorms rolled in, and we packed up our encampment pretty quickly to enjoy a bowl of lentil stew at home.


This was the year of the frog. The children found so. many. frogs and toads! Cicadas, katydids (green leaf bug), praying mantis, and garden spiders also went into Samuel’s new bug box. And sometimes all at once. Not a good outcome for some. Nope.


This was also the summer we ran an animal rescue. Eva started the summer with a baby raccoon she named Boone.

And the three little girls found three baby bunnies!


We enjoyed pizzas on the grill most Sunday afternoons, and sometimes shared it with friends. Alexander would get pretty creative with the toppings, and Nathan grilled them to a crispy perfection. Our long picnic table makes for easy after supper clean-up, so we ate most suppers al fresco.


Nathan had bought a few large sky lanterns, and on the last weekend of August (while lovely friends were visiting), all the boys released the lanterns as a Farewell to Summer.

 with love, Damaris
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Heirloom Tomato Quiche

If you’ve been to the farmer’s market lately, the tables are overflowing with all sizes and every color of heirloom tomatoes. It’s a beautiful thing to see! Malformed, purple, lopsided, variegated, golden, pink, really every shape and shade is delicious.

We are growing a handful of heirloom varieties this summer. The good-lookin’ ones go out to the farm stand, but a fair share come into the farmhouse kitchen. Too many too eat sliced up, matter fact! We make batches of fresh salsa using jalapenos from the garden, and we also crush the tomatoes and slow simmer with garlic and basil for a simple, traditional marinara sauce. Since the abundance was exceptionally high last week, I picked the most gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and decided to make a couple quiches.

Our family loves quiches! It’s really a real food, fast food : ) Lately, I’ve been keeping a pie crust or two in the fridge for a late afternoon summer galette that can be made at a moment’s notice. When I told Eva I was going to write this post, she was very excited saying that I had invented this recipe. The truth is there are many similar ways to a quiche, all tasty and rewarding. I have made quiches for so many years, so many ways, that I’ve found how to simplify it to be a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or supper pleasure for our family.

We don’t have chickens yet, but we’ve had hens in the past, and if you can get your hands on a half-dozen real eggs, this quiche will be all the more satisfying and goldenly delightful.

Heirloom Tomato Quiche

  • 6 eggs

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon herbed salt blend (delicious with herbs de Provence salts, or just seasoned salt)

  • 1 cup of bacon, cooked and cut up/chopped/thinly sliced

  • 1 cup of sharp shredded cheese

  • 1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes (depending on their size), cored and sliced

  • more herbed salt bled of your choice for sprinkling over tomatoes

  • CRUST: use your favorite pie crust recipe, I recommend this one. Have it premade in the fridge (or store bought) for a faster way to enjoy your quiche!

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Roll your pie crust onto your pie plate. Beat the eggs until fluffy, add milk and herbed salt blend. Add the bacon and the cheese and pour the mixture into the crust-lined plate. Lay the heirloom tomato slices over the egg mixture and sprinkle a little herbed salt blend to flavor the tomatoes. Bake in the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it stand 5 minutes or more before cutting.

That’s it! Real food the fast way for any day of the week!

Let me know how you like it. I’m sure cooked sausage, ham, or meatless would be just as tasty. Can’t wait to hear how you enjoyed it!

with love. Damaris


End of Summer

August is the sweet, sweet month of summertime. Picnics and lemonade, grilled sausages and watermelon, gladiolus, peaches and blueberries had their moments of glory. Loud singing insects of summer (I see you, cicadas) continue to warm our days and crowd our nights, yet will inevitably quiet down in the next few weeks.

We praise God for a splendidly satisfying season of summer. A time of resting from structured school days and embracing daily adventures. Slow days at home, picnics at the lake, and suppers al-fresco sprinkled the weeks. Everything tasted like summertime!

For us this year, August was lambing season as well as the crown of the vegetable harvest. The abundance of colors and full flavors have been pleasures at the daily family table. God’s bountiful blessing is truly one of the sweetest delights of summer’s end.

Everyone’s cups are filled, and we’re ready for the homeschool year. Shifting into new rhythms brings a new countenance to the whole day, but we’re all happy and appreciate a fresh start. Our home still feels peaceful and inviting (my main stressor is clutter, messes, and disorder). We go to bed prepared for the next day (meals, clean-up), so while we pause to study and water our learning, the atmosphere is quiet and happy.

This year, we’re trying to focus our teaching with the children on life-giving speech and conduct – nurturing and encouraging others as obedience to and glory to God. So as we face the end of summer, I pray that we learn to be life-givers in our words and actions – because in His presence there is fullness of joy and His lovingkindness is better than life (Psalm 16:11 and 63:3).

What do you say? I think there’s time to make one more batch of mango ice cream : )

P.S. A summer joke from my kids:

Why shouldn’t you tell secrets in the garden?

Because the corn has ears,

the potatoes have eyes,

and the beanstalks.

with love, Damaris


Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

This free-formed pie is light as a summer supper al fresco requires. This delicate fruit galette is just sweet enough to nicely wrap up the meal all the while being wholesome and loaded with seasonal fruit.

Traditional galettes may have a crust on top too. We’ve served it up with a generous dusting of sugar, but a dollop of whipped cream would be extraordinary. Strawberries and rhubarb are so happy together! Sweet and tart are an ageless match. Whenever they’re paired, strawberries and rhubarb make so much juice that some will always run out.

Peaches are also absolutely delicious (not too mushy) in this galette instead of strawberries and rhubarb. Since blueberries are in season, I think blueberry-peach or blueberry-strawberry would be scrumptious. Apples in the fall are perfect for this recipe and yield less errant juices.

I’m convinced this is the fastest desert you’ll ever make!

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped

  • 1/2 cup sugar, any will do – we used coconut sugar in the galette pictured

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot

  • zest of a lemon or 1 teaspoon lemon peel

  • melted butter for brushing over the crust

  • 1 raw or coarse sugar for sprinkling

  • CRUST: use your favorite pie crust recipe, I recommend this one. Have it premade in the fridge (or store bought) for a faster way to dessert!

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper to collect any juices. In a medium bowl, add the sugar, zest, and cornstarch or arrowroot to the fruit. Mix and spoon into the center of the round crust. Leaving about 3 inches between the fruit filling and the edge of the crust. Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit. To finish the galette, brush the crust with melted butter and sprinkle with a few pinches of sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Allow it to cool before slicing. Enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraiche.

Let me know how you like it and which fruit combination you enjoyed!

with love. Damaris


The Best Uses For Zucchini and Squash

Move over, asparagus, there’s a new garden boss!

So this is complicated. We have a quarter of an acre garden, and grow every kind of summer and winter squash known to the Midwest. Nobody likes them but me. ‘What are we thinking planting all those vegetables??‘ I know. I wonder too, but it certainly has pushed me to get creative and find the most flavorful uses for my family to eat the least favorite (also the most prolific) of our garden produce.

I almost can’t believe I just admitted to their very well-hidden food aversion : )

Here they are! All the recipes that we have made, and our family ate and finished their plate. You can switch yellow squash for the zucchini in all these recipes.

Zucchini Bread and Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Curry (with petite diced zucchini instead of eggplant)

Zucchini Lasagna (we use jarred marinara and skip the mushrooms)

Zucchini Patties

Several other ways in which I have successfully incorporated zucchini and squash are:

  • Adding cooked zucchini to meatloaf (when making the raw meat mixture)

  • Adding cooked shredded zucchini to marinara sauce (for spaghetti, or lasagna, or stuffed shells, etc.)

  • Cooking shredded zucchini with the taco meat for Mexican dishes

Maybe your garden isn’t pressuring you to eat it as fast as mine is, but I thought it would be good to share the different ways my family enjoys eating zucchini and squash considering we have children’s taste buds at our table.

Do share your tips and tricks for using up zucchini! I’m all ears.

with love. Damaris


Kale, Farro, and Chickpea Salad

Farro has been my new favorite thing. There’s just something about that unique chewy texture and nutty flavor that I can’t get enough of this summer!

Farro is an ancient wheat grain that is small, light-brown colored. It’s wholeness and subtle bran tastes are flexible and adaptable to most recipes that would call for rice or other grains. Before farro is cooked, it looks similar to wheat berries, but afterward it looks similar to barley.

I always used to make this recipe with millet, which is delicious and gluten free. We also enjoyed this kale and chickpea salad the last couple summers with quinoa, but the farro is the softest, largest, almost creamiest grain. I’m sure barley would yield similar taste, but farro’s soft texture contributes a tasty surprise. I’m sure you’ve figured out that this is one of our unconventional uses for our prolific garden kale. But really, it’s so good that you’ll find it a gratifying compliment to your grilled chicken or broiled salmon dinners this week.

You may find that it has a bite from the lemon. I admit I like to taste the lemon. If perhaps you don’t, cut back on the amount of lemon to maybe 2 tablespoons. The smoky hint from the cumin rounds it all up. Other than that, this salad is pretty straight forward. I recommend “massaging” the kale first before incorporating the other salad elements. Because kale leaves are so sturdy, allowing it to sit in the fridge a couple of days helps soften the kale and allows the farro to absorb the salad juices.

An emotional side note: Two summers ago, an older friend was suffering from cancer, and her diet was very restricted to highly-nutritious, whole foods. Of all the meals we shared with her, this salad (with quinoa instead of farro) was her favorite. She liked it with the grilled boneless chicken thighs on top as a one bowl meal. Making this salad always reminds me of Judy.

Kale, Farro, and Chickpea Salad

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, leaves cut off the stem and chopped like lettuce for salad

  • 1 cup farro (I use Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro), cooked according to package directions

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 15 or 16 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Place cut up kale in a bowl. Add salt and massage the leaves with the salt until the leaves start to become tender. Add the cooked farro (cooled, warm is fine too) and chickpeas. Stir in the oil, lemon juice and cumin. Add black pepper to taste and enjoy. It really is better 2 and 3 days later. Refrigerate your leftovers.

Even if it’s not a weekly staple for you like it is at our house, I do hope you’ll give this delicious salad combination a chance.

Let me know how you like it and what you paired it with!

with love. Damaris


The Herb Garden + How to Dry

Our vegetable garden is so rewarding, but there is something special about the herb garden that is absolutely delightful. It’s location is right outside the back door, which makes picking a few leaves or cutting a couple sprigs a breeze. Culinary, edible, and medicinal, there are countless benefits to delicious herbs. Even if you don’t enjoy them as ingredients, the fantastic fragrance is revitalizing.

If you’re thinking that vegetable gardening seems too laborious or overwhelming, or perhaps that you don’t have enough space or skill, herbs are the perfect, happiest place to begin. They really are no-maintenance. Herbs are mostly perennials which is always a win/win in my book. Plant it once and enjoy it every summer after that.

They also thrive in full sun and in soils that many vegetables won’t tolerate. Because of their strong scent, pests leave them alone, and they require no fertilizing. Herbs are also pretty drought resistant, but they look and taste better when well watered.

They can be harvest as needed by either cutting some stems or plucking a few leaves. Always leave a minimum on the plant to support regrowth. I have read that cutting herbs in the morning is best when aromatic oil concentrations are highest.

Walking through the herb garden is energizing, and their aroma livens my day. Our family cooks mostly with sage, rosemary, chives, basil, and thyme, but all the herbs are delightful to cut and bring indoors in little vases to revive any room. We’ve planted a few of our herbs (yarrow, hyssop, salvia, echinacea, bee balm, lavender, and chives) with the wildflowers because their blooms hold such beauty and color!

Oregano was the first herb I ever grew. It was a transplant given to me by a friend wrapped in foil many years ago. We now enjoy dill, bee balm, echinacea, marjoram (an annual in our zone 5), tarragon, basil (an annual), peppermint, spearmint, salvia, sage, hyssop, chives, rosemary, yarrow, lavender, thyme, lemon thyme. Parsley didn’t come back this summer. Parsley is an annual, but the seeds have kept the herb coming back in previous years. Another self-seeding herb is dill. Dill is not technically a perennial, but, if allowed to seed, it should come back every year.

The girls pick small bunches of most herbs to chew on and are teaching Samuel to do the same. They all have green teeth when coming in from playing outdoors : )

Drying Herbs:

I only have experience with drying sage, rosemary, and thyme. These are very easy to preserve and retain their flavor and scent for months after being dried. Fresh parsley is a classic garnish, but it’s moistness makes it difficult to dry. We use peppermint and spearmint in fruit salads, garnish on dessert, but mostly a few leaves in the pitcher of brewed tea. I haven’t experimented with drying them yet.

Simple steps for drying herbs:

  • Place one kind of herb in a large basket or drying rack, outdoors but not in the sun. Toss a few times until crispy-dry, typically a week. Run your fingers along the stem to remove leaves. Discard the stems. Store dried leaves in a clean, dry glass jar away from heat and light. Label and date.

  • Another easy method is to bundle with a rubber band and hang upside down in a dark area with good air circulation until crispy-dry (a week or two). Hang the dried bundle to freshen a room, or remove the leaves from the stems. Store in a jar. Label and date.

  • Dried herbs should be stored out of the light and in a cool, dry place.

Using Fresh versus Dried Herbs in Cooking:

When cooking with fresh and dry herbs, there is a general rule when it comes to the ratio of fresh to dry. Because dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, you’ll need less. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need three times less dried than fresh. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, you need only 1 teaspoon of dried (since 3 teaspoons equal a tablespoon). Fresh-cut herbs can be wrapped in a paper towel, stored in resealable plastic bags, and then put into the refrigerator. Store dried herbs in a cool, dark, dry place.

Growing herbs is certainly one of the purest joys of summer. Using fresh leaves as needed throughout the summer brightens any meal. It’s not too late to grab a couple of herbs that you enjoy cooking with or better yet, get a transplant from a friend!

Which ones are your favorite fragrant herbs?

with love. Damaris


Summer Bucket List

Now that we all have summer fun on our minds, I thought I would share with you our family’s Summer Bucket List. Hopefully, some of these will be frugal summer fun ideas to do with your own family and make some cherished memories along the way.

In our home, we are still in a season of nap-times, tantrums, potty-training, finger-painting, and sing-alongs; so keeping the summer dynamic pretty simple helps our family by providing rhythm, consistency, and ease. One of my favorite things about following a rhythm is that it takes the guess work out of what our day will look like. But we do, however, make a list of special, summer-related activities that hopefully prove we are far from boring : )

We didn’t always write out a Summer Bucket List, but we’ve been doing it recently simply because most of the activities are small, and in the past, we’d assume doing some of these fun outings didn’t take planning. Like going to the a family swim night at our local neighborhood pool – the weekends filled up with something else, and the pool would close for Labor Day without us making an appearance. It wasn’t a huge deal, but everyone was disappointed mostly because it’s such a small, inexpensive outing, yet we had actually missed it!

Our Summer Bucket List:

  1. late night ice cream run

  2. go the Henry Ford Museum

  3. blueberry picking in late July

  4. go to open family swim

  5. go out for bubble tea

  6. go to the town square’s children’s music day

  7. have a farm stand

  8. make loads of ice cream

  9. swim lessons at the outdoor neighborhood pool

  10. grill hot dogs over the fire

  11. bonfire night and roast marshmallows

  12. boys and Dad go to Five Guys restaurant

  13. learn to use the sewing machine and sew a couple of projects

  14. go to the Scottish Highland Games in early August

  15. meet Dad at the Farmer’s Market and have a picnic lunch

  16. go to the splash park

  17. older kids watch a movie on Dad and Mom’s bed after littles are in bed

  18. a trip: attend the family conference + visit the Museum of the Bible + visit Washington D.C.

Our Summer Bucket List isn’t extravagant or filled with expensive things. It is, however, filled with a lot of togetherness, learning, fun, relaxation, and endless opportunities for memory-making. Watch for plenty of pictures over the summer. Please share your Summer Bucket List ideas too! I’d love to hear what you have planned!

with love. Damaris


Summer Splendor in Poetry

Photo Credit: Maria Wild

I love to share with you some beautiful poems that we find inspiring as a family, and since tomorrow is the official first day of summer, I hope you enjoy this selection.

A Boy and His Dad

Edgar Guest, 1881 – 1959

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—

There is a glorious fellowship!

Father and son and the open sky

And the white clouds lazily drifting by,

And the laughing stream as it runs along

With the clicking reel like a martial song,

And the father teaching the youngster gay

How to land a fish in the sportsman’s way.

I fancy I hear them talking there

In an open boat, and the speech is fair.

And the boy is learning the ways of men

From the finest man in his youthful ken.

Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare

With the gentle father who’s with him there.

And the greatest mind of the human race

Not for one minute could take his place.

Which is happier, man or boy?

The soul of the father is steeped in joy,

For he’s finding out, to his heart’s delight,

That his son is fit for the future fight.

He is learning the glorious depths of him,

And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;

And he shall discover, when night comes on,

How close he has grown to his little son.

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip—

Builders of life’s companionship!

Oh, I envy them, as I see them there

Under the sky in the open air,

For out of the old, old long-ago

Come the summer days that I used to know,

When I learned life’s truths from my father’s lips

As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.

Bed in Summer

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 – 1894

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people’s feet

Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

June Light

Richard Wilbur, 1921 – 2017

Your voice, with clear location of June days,

Called me outside the window.

You were there, Light yet composed, as in the just soft stare

Of uncontested summer all things raise

Plainly their seeming into seamless air.

Then your love looked as simple and entire

As that picked pear you tossed me, and your face

As legible as pear skin’s fleck and trace,

Which promise always wine, by mottled fire

More fatal fleshed than ever human grace.

And your gay gift—Oh when I saw it fall

Into my hands, through all that naïve light,

It seemed as blessed with truth and new delight

As must have been the first great gift of all.

In Summer

Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 – 1906

Oh, summer has clothed the earth

In a cloak from the loom of the sun!

And a mantle, too, of the skies’ soft blue,

And a belt where the rivers run.

And now for the kiss of the wind,

And the touch of the air’s soft hands,

With the rest from strife and the heat of life,

With the freedom of lakes and lands.

I envy the farmer’s boy

Who sings as he follows the plow;

While the shining green of the young blades lean

To the breezes that cool his brow.

He sings to the dewy morn,

No thought of another’s ear;

But the song he sings is a chant for kings

And the whole wide world to hear.

He sings of the joys of life,

Of the pleasures of work and rest,

From an o’erfull heart, without aim or art;

T is a song of the merriest.

O ye who toil in the town,

And ye who moil in the mart,

Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong

Shall renew your joy of heart.

Oh, poor were the worth of the world

If never a song were heard,—

If the sting of grief had no relief,

And never a heart were stirred.

So, long as the streams run down,

And as long as the robins trill,

Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,

And sing in the face of ill.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18)

William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

with love. Damaris


The Best Summer Reading Series For Families

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.

–Marcel Proust

As we mentioned in an earlier post, structured schooldays have ended, and we now fully embrace the new pace of summer. I confess that welcoming wide perimeters of time for each individual’s curiosities and pleasure is the sweetest gift to me as a homeschooling mother. It is satisfying physically, mentally, and emotionally for all of us in our home to rest from new lessons and long academic days. While we seek to maintain simple structures of chores, meal times, piano practice, Bible reading, family read-aloud, and bedtime, we’ve exchanged formal lessons for copywriting (from classic, favorite books that they each select) and Bible memorization. One of the ways we continue to learn is through reading which is truly the most longed for summer delight. We fill our baskets with books and also pick a long book series to listen to.

Our family loves audio books for many reasons, all of us bond with the characters, share laughs about the stories, and enjoy retelling them long after the series has been returned to the library. Sometimes the audio versions are read by the author (my favorite), or they might be dramatized. Sometimes we listened to them while the children built Legos. Sometimes we all climbed on my bed and folded laundry while enjoying the stories, but mostly we listened to the book series in the car. We took the CDs with us on road trips, to brunch, farm milk pick-up, and to the grocery store. Nonetheless, we’re never found without the next CD!

The first 7 titles that I have listed are book series that we listened to in audio form in the order in which we listened to them over the years. We listened to one series per summer. The last 3 have been recommended to me, but we have only listened to the audio book of the first in the series. We haven’t read the sequels (some may be for older children than mine are at this time).

Alexander and Eva wanted to write a short review on these book series! Here are their words:

The Magic Tree House

Jack and Annie (bother and sister) take us on countless adventures in the past. Through the 55 small books that make the series, it’s a fun way to learn history! -Eva

Ramona

The book series begins when Ramona is a very little girl and grows with her. She’s very mischievous and it’s written through her perception of life. There are 8 books in the series. -Eva

Little House in the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder in the series of 9 books tells about a little girl and her family moving from the woods of Wisconsin to Iowa to Minnesota to North Dakota. It seems to be mostly autobiographical. -Alexander

The Indian in the Cupboard

Fantastic series of 5 books! A boy named Omri gets a small medicine cabinet for his 9th birthday from his brother. He thinks it’s a boring gift until he discovers the magic. -Alexander

The Boxcar Children

Four children are left orphans. The Alden siblings are afraid that their grandfather is a mean old creep. In the story, they realize otherwise. Many books have been added to the series. -Alexander

The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis wrote the most popular children’s series (selling over 150 million copies). Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in order to escape the bombing of London during WWII move to a rambling country estate where they discover the secret land of Narnia in a wardrobe. There are 7 books in the series. -Alexander

Redwall

An intricately woven story with endearing characters. Brian Jacques’s realistic depiction of the animal’s stories is why the author has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien. 22 novels in the series (we have not read them all). -Alexander

The Penderwicks

A father and four daughters take a vacation in a gardener’s cottage in Connecticut and have daily adventures with the son of the lady who owns the manor house on which the gardener’s cottage is situated. A series of 5 books. -Alexander

A Wrinkle in Time

Overpowering the evil brain with love, Meg is able to save her family from the magic’s grasp. Interesting fantasy book! 5 books in the series. -Eva

Ann of Green Gables

Ann was a girl adopted at age 11 who finds a bosom friend. It’s full of tales of dangerous dares. 7 books in the series. -Eva

with love, Damaris