2018 Newsletter


The 2018 Cahill family newsletter is now online! Read it here.




Preface: Last semester, we did a much enjoyed unit on Vikings.

The Saga unfolds….

Meet Frodi and Rolf – fierce viking raiders.

They have sailed far and wide in search of gold, livestock and thralls for their farms back home.

Training in the art of warfare begins at an early age and is quite rigorous – lasting right up until bedtime on some days!

When the summer raiding season is over, the men will come home to their families in time for the harvest.

Meanwhile, those in the settlement have been busy making clothing, cooking “authentic” food and creating the basic tools for life.

Thora and Idunn use Runes to write their names in clay. Runes were practiced further by sending “coded” messages to each other.

Little Noss is still learning her letters but sure enjoyed the clay!

Gade decorates the wood to be used for the tent.

A project that particularly intrigued Mom was melting zinc over a campfire….

…and pouring it into molds – casting trinkets that had a satisfying weight and feel.

Hot stone massage was a popular way to relax after a hard days work. The 95 degree heat plus humidity nicely added a sauna-like feel to the experience.

In the winter months, Skalds (Norse word for Bard) entertain in the great hall with tales of great heroes, gods and goddesses.

Sif gives her story.

Many years later, artifacts from this great society can be seen in museums, preserved for future generations to learn about their past.

Choo-Choo! Garrison turns 2!

This little boy loves trains!

He notices trains everywhere and excitedly points them out, saying “look, mom, train!” We get books from the library and he thumbs through them again and again.

He spends hours hooking up train cars, laying track and making loud “hoo-hoo!” sounds.

His cousin, Bruce, has a similar passion. For their birthday we went to a model train yard that opens to the public once a month and gives rides. The track and trains were quite impressive, with a steam powered engine, tracks, signals, switches and bridges all like a real railroad.

How many Cahills fit on a train car? All 10 apparently! (Skye is barely visible behind Ivy). Garrison rode the entire first round (about 15 minutes) in silence, just taking it all in.

Bruce and his parents.

And the Cook cousins to help us celebrate.

After a ride or two, we moved to the playground for lunch and a cute little cupcake train.

Two little engineers tank up!

After the party we went back to the trains and rode several more times! Even little Ryder enjoyed the experience, bouncing himself up and down as we rode along.

Happy Birthday to these cuties! May your enthusiasm for life never diminish!


Fall has been brief so far this year – warm, muggy weather followed by cold rainy weather – but one or two glorious days squeezed in between and we took that opportunity to hit the local farmer’s market and their superb pumpkin patch!


I took my photos quickly and all the kids nicely tolerated my attempts to pose everyone and get them smiling. They knew the quicker they could satisfy mom’s camera, the quicker they could play in the hay maze!


My beautiful girls – I love the way their age shows in their way of smiling.

My boys. For so many years it was just Lance all alone – and now look!

And of course, the bruiser group of boy cousins – don’t they look like fun for the years to come!

And the babies :-)

Such a fun fall outing!


Well, now that it’s halfway through September, I thought I’d put up a few pictures of what went on during the Summer.

Most of July was spent resting and recovering from Ryder’s birth.

I personally got a lot of reading done and quite enjoyed myself while Brian and the kids scurried around running the farm.

I won’t say it was all easy riding – the first few weeks Brian went back to work found me in tears here and there, but I kept reminding myself of what my sister had told me once “crying for girls is kind of like sweating for guys.” In other words, what I was doing was hard work, and hard work produces sweat, and I was just sweating out my eyes. It sort of helped.


We went back to our Bible reading at breakfast and memory work at lunch. I love tying in habits to predictable happenings during the day. Not every meal worked out, but we persevered and made it through several minor prophets and memorized a fun passage from Acts.


Ryder was slowly incorporated into daily life, each week making things just a little bit easier. His siblings love him and each enjoy him in different ways.

Ivy has enjoyed setting up scenes and taking his picture. Here a wild Indian rounds up some mustangs.

In a drastic change of careers, Ryder now grooms pets.

Ryder enjoys his first swim!

He likes to get your attention by vocalizing and loves to coo and talk with you.

Ryder is a super happy guy, smiling and laughing easily.

Other summer activities included:

Setting up a new trampoline after the old one broke.


Becoming well acquainted with a perpetual puddle.

Watching 3 river otters in a neighbors pond!

Picking blueberries

4th of July bounce houses!

Creating a “feast” in the barn.


Harvesting lots of watermelon….


…and even more watermelon! Probably over 60 in all!

And lots and lots of free play.

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