Any Percy Jackson fans out there?

You want to go to the real Camp Halfblood.  You know you do.  Percy will be there.  So will Luke.  They’ll be racing chariots, dueling with swords, and fighting monsters.  How can you miss that?

It’s a 2-week summer camp in North Texas in July, and there is exactly one spot left.  Are you brave enough to be the last camper?

Email the staff at for full details.


Summer reading….thoughts to ponder

Summer frees many kids not only from the tyranny of alarm clocks and school bells, but from assigned reading, too.  That means any kids who are reading are probably (gasp) choosing their own material.  I love that.  Usually.  We parents start with complete control over what we read aloud to our toddler and taper off to complete independence at some point.  It’s all that sliding down the spectrum in between that gets messy.  At what age are they ready for certain books?  Is there a benefit to reading “too mature” books at a young age?  Or is there a price?

Author Rick Riordan blogged some thoughts he had on the subject

His post links to another post on the same subject of age appropriateness.  Thoughts worth pondering.

Our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars…

My daughter bounced into the living room tonight and chirped, “Mom!  Topher is my friend!  I have Topher on my laptop!”  She sang and danced and generally acted like you’d expect a young teenage girl to act if she’d just added a rock star to her Skype friends list and had a date to teleconference with him the next day. 

What?  You don’t know who Topher is?  Well, he works with a book store called Book People in Austin, TX, and his claim to “fame” is that he created a literary summer camp based on the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.  He’s on a first name basis with Rick.  He brings the world of Percy and Annabeth and Grover to life.  In our world, that makes him a rock star.  

Tomorrow, Jordi and her friends begin a Greek herioc quest by teleconferencing with Camp Halfblood campers in other states.  Our new odyssey begins.  Let’s rock.

P.S.  Thanks to Intel for phrasing that fabulous slogan. 🙂

Books, fish, whatever

My treasure for the day, which will wander through my head instead of lyrics from Beauty and the Beast:

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.
B.F. Skinner

That makes me smile.  If I require the reading of great books during my children’s tender years, at best, they’ll graduate with the knowledge of a few great books.  If I can set on fire a love of reading…then I’ve opened for them the library of the world.  It’s the educational equivalent of, “give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for his life.” 

Logically thinking, this fallacy may be a false dilemma.  Is it not possible to achieve both?  What I walk away from this quote with is that I need to choose which goal is most important, most meaningful, most lovely.  Which will I pursue most enthusiastically, trusting that the other will follow naturally?

I don’t care if my children are reading “great books” or books they think are great.  If they keep reading, they’ll find great books.  They’re learning to fish.

Runs in the family

Today, Jordi joined her big brother in the Hardware Club.  Or is it the Frech Fanclub?  That orthodontist has enough of our money, he can afford to throw in a few t-shirts.

Aren’t they cute smiles?  So far, the ortho is right.  Girls handle this better than boys.  Way less moaning and whining.

Jordi's braces 001

I didn’t notice baby brother poking his head out in the background until I downloaded the pic.  He doesn’t have braces (yet), but he just can’t stand to be left out.

2 spots open in Camp Halfblood

Got the urge to race a Greek chariot?  Craving a nibble on stuffed grape leaves while challenging your mythology trivia knowledge?  Ever wonder what the inside of the Trojan horse looks like?  Are you a fan of Percy Jackson and the Olympians?  

Announcing the return of the greatest Greek mythology camp since Theseus killed the minotaur!

2009 Camp Halfblood is bigger and better – after all, last summer’s camp is ancient history.  Camp Halfblood, based on the bestselling series by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, will draw our demigod kids into a 2-week adventure of epic proportions.  (Note – this camp is run by homeschoolers, and most kids signed up at this point are homeschooled.  But, hey! it’s summer and we’re all on the same schedule, so public and private school students are welcome)

Activities include fencing lessons, archery, swimming, chariot races, rock climbing, javelin throwing, heroic quests, trivia challenges, capture the flag, and all manner of training appropriate for heroes who must save the world from the Titans.  This year’s camp will also include introductions to Greek culture through language, food, music and hands-on, no, full body-on projects (is that even a word?). 

New this year – an overnight adventure of unspeakable danger.  Hey, the monsters tend to come out more after dark.  Don’t worry too much, we’re lining up some brave teen counselors to help protect your young demigods, so chances of actual death are low.

The day camp will run two weeks from July 6 through July 17.  Campers will sleep over Friday, July 10.  Kids ages 9 through 14 are welcome.  The camp will be located at Harrell Park in Wichita Falls, TX, behind Lucy Park.  The fee is $200 and includes 2 weeks of daycamp, one overnight stay with breakfast, a Camp Halfblood t-shirt, and supplies to make a sword, shield and javelin of your own.  Campers will need to bring their own packed lunches and water bottles, and each family will be asked to provide snacks one afternoon. 

Campers will be expected to have read the Percy Jackson series (nothing at camp will make sense otherwise) and be familiar with the story of the Trojan War (you can never tell when history will repeat itself).  If you agree not to summon a Chimera across our borders, we promise not to let your kids know they’re learning history and literature during the summer.

A limited number of spaces are available – and by limited, I mean EXACTLY 2.  Please make your reservations quickly.  Questions?  Want more details?  Wish to sign up?  Need to report a hydra loose in your neighborhood?  Contact us at

A creative solution?

We could call this thinking outside the box…a creative solution…looking at an old problem in a new way…I’m trying to think of some positive spin, because otherwise, using tongs to dip ice cream is just random.  I’m not convinced there’s value in being random for random’s sake.

Of course, he might be doing it for laughs, which makes him a performer.  When you’re homeschooled, can you still be voted Class Clown?

Cameron being goofy

Cameron being goofy (2)