Friday, January 22, 2021

A Brief Journey through the Quotes of Shakespeare's Macbeth

A Brief Journey through the Quotes of Shakespeare's Macbeth; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo; background clipart of witches cauldron and potions

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

During our oldest son's sophomore year of homeschooled high school, he read William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. We had the chance to review Shakespeare's Tragedies from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. This resource examines four tragedies of Shakespeare and several sonnets: 

We read Julius Caesar using this paperback book as our resource for questions and lessons. Originally, I had planned on asking our son to read Hamlet during his junior year, but we spent the year reading works by Tolkien using a wonderful course at I do hope to read Hamlet with him this year, but he has already read Macbeth as part of his British Literature course. 

A good place to start prior to reading Shakespeare is with the famous quotes from the plays and references in other works of entertainment. From the witches trying to bring about confusion to order finally being restored at the end of the play when English customs are introduced with the crowning of Malcolm, there are many famous quotes and memorable lines from Shakespeare's Macbeth.   

A Brief Journey through the Quotes of Shakespeare's Macbeth; A Mom's Quest to Teach; clipart of deer

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Hover through the fog and filthy air." 
All the witches from Act I Scene I 

"This supernatural soliciting, 
Cannot be ill, cannot be good" 
Macbeth from Act I Scene III

"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly." 
Macbeth from Act I Scene VII

"False face must hide what the false heart doth know."  Macbeth from Act I Scene VII; A Mom's Quest to Teach; background clipart deer

"What's done is done." 
Lady Macbeth from Act III Scene II 

"Double, double, toil and trouble;  Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."  Witches from Act IV Scene I ; A Mom's Quest to Teach; background clip art of witches cauldron

"Out, damned spot! Out, I say!" 
Lady Macbeth from Act V Scene I 

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing." 
Macbeth from Act V Scene V 

Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wordless Wednesday: Civil War Sites

Wordless Wednesday: Civil War Sites; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; photograph of lane at Antietam

This week I would like to share photographs from visits to the Antietam and Manassas Civil War National Military Parks. These visits would have taken place in the early to late 1990s. I am hopeful I will get to visit these sites again to see how they have changed. 

cemetery at Antietam

Lane at Antietam

The Bloody Cornfield at Antietam

Stonewall Jackson statue at Manassas

Wordless Wednesday: A Mom's Quest to Teach; Stonewall Jackson statue at Manassas

Friday, January 15, 2021

Book Club: Book Review of A Cowboy for Keeps

Book Club: Book Review of A Cowboy for Keeps; background clip art of trees and mushrooms, logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

The ability to read and review A Cowboy for Keeps came at the perfect time for me. Jody Hedlund's newest book arrived just after Christmas, and I couldn't wait to get started. It is a work of historical fiction set in Colorado and opens with bandits holding up a stagecoach. The action continues as we meet the rest of the cast of characters and learn more about how they all relate to each other.

A Cowboy for Keeps, book one in the Colorado Cowboys series by Jody Hedlund, features Greta Nilsson, her sister Astrid, Wyatt McQuaid, Judd, Landry Steele, and others. In the opening chapters, we see a stagecoach robbery and learn that Greta is a mail-order bride whose fiancé has died before her arrival. The mayor of the town, Steele, proposes a marriage between Greta and Wyatt to protect Greta, grow the town, and help provide an investment for Wyatt. Like in many books, parts of this arrangement between Wyatt and Steele are kept secret, which will cause problems later on for the main characters.

The story begins in August 1862 and continues through the summer and fall. We see the changing of the seasons, the preparation of the land and animals for the upcoming winter, and how the characters grow to like, trust, and rely upon each other. The cabin, which was perfect for just Wyatt and Judd, has improvement needs so that it can more adequately support Greta and Wyatt as a married couple, Astrid, and potentially Wyatt's family. Readers can track great changes in physical ways, as well as in the relationships between the characters and with God, too.

Book Club: Book Review of A Cowboy for Keeps; A Mom's Quest to Teach; book cover of A Cowboy for Keeps

What Do I Think? 

I found A Cowboy for Keeps to be a very easy and enjoyable book. It was the perfect book to read while sitting in waiting rooms because I could read a couple of chapters and set it back in my bag till I got home. So while some chapters did end with cliffhangers, I found it easy to stop for a period and then return to reading A Cowboy for Keeps when I had free time.

While there were some parts of the story that I thought might be unnecessary (I understand conflict is necessary, at times, to move a story forward, but after a while, I wish for books with less conflict), I found the story to be very uplifting. Greta is doing whatever is in her power to try to bring Astrid, her younger sister, back to good health. This included her accepting a marriage proposal from not one, but two strangers. I love her strength even though I don't agree with all of her choices and decisions during the story.

Two parts in particular really spoke to me while reading Hedlund's book. I was waiting for one of my mom's medical appointments to be over when I was reading Judd and Wyatt's conversation about trials and problems and then Judd's conversation with Greta. Judd repeated a lesson from his mother and the Good Book: "She always said, we ain't supposed to be surprised when we come against fiery trials. If the Lord suffered, then we gotta expect the suffering too" (229). Wyatt related this to a memory of the Reverend preaching about the three men who had been thrown in the fiery furnace. "The onlookers had seen not three men in the fire, but four. God hadn't taken them out of the fiery trial. He'd walked with them through it" (229).  While Judd was speaking with Greta, he reminded her that God wants her to cast her burdens and problems upon Him. God was not disturbed or bothered when Greta prayed. He was waiting for her.

These two instances in A Cowboy for Keeps gave me just what I needed to comfort and encourage my mom after she returned from her medial appointment to the waiting room. I am very familiar with the Scriptures that the characters referenced, it was so helpful to see it presented in this way by Hedlund at that very moment.

I would recommend A Cowboy for Keeps to those who enjoy historical fiction, Christian fiction and romance, stories set in the west or gold mining towns, and those looking for encouragement and inspiration. Jody Hedlund brought characters to life who I would love to learn more about in future books.

If you are looking for more books to read, here are a few reviews of books I have enjoyed: 

Book Club: Book Review of The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

Book Club: Book Review of At Love's Command

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Wordless Wednesday: Washington D.C. in the Past

Wordless Wednesday: Washington D.C. in the Past; photograph of Lincoln Memorial; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

Sharing a few photographs from trips to Washington D.C. in the late 1990s. In a previous Wordless Wednesday, I shared photographs featuring Lincoln in D.C. 

Washington Memorial in Washington D.C.

Challenger Memorial in Arlington Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

Wordless Wednesday; photograph of Washington Memorial

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Book Club: Winter's Coming

Book Club: Winter's Coming; snow covered evergreen clipart

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

As the seasons change, reading children's books is a wonderful way to introduce new ideas or reinforce previous learning with your children. While painting pictures inspired by Winter's Coming: A Story of Seasonal Change, we read the book written by Jan Thornhill and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon. This is a wonderful book full of unique illustrations that tells the story of a young snowshoe hare worrying about Winter. 

One of my favorite things about Winter's Coming is the fact that throughout the book you see the snowshoe hare, Lily, changing as winter approaches. Her fur is slowly turning from brown – which helped her hide in the first six months of her life – to white which will help her hide in coming winter. 

Lily - the snowshoe hare - talking to the bear in Winter's Coming children's book

Animals to Learn More About 

The book introduces many animals into the story which can you read more about, either in the back of Winter's Coming or below. As Lily, the snowshoe hare, speaks with the different animals, she learns a bit about each animal and how they are preparing for the arrival of winter – but Lily has no idea what Winter actually is. It is not until Lily speaks with the Black Bear that she learns Winter is a season like Summer. Winter won't fly like the birds or have sticky toe pads like the tree frog – it is a season! 

Here are a few of the animals you can study about with your children: 

  • Snowshoe Hare 
    • Weighs about two to four pounds 
    • During the winter, their fur turns white, which helps them camouflage with the snow 
    • During the spring and summer seasons, their fur is a brown color, which helps them camouflage with the forest floor 
    • The tips of their ears are black all year round 
  • Grackle and Red-Winged Blackbird 
    • Large black birds with long tails and long legs 
    • Males and females look very similar but males have an iridescent hue to their body and head 
  • Red Squirrel
    • They can be found throughout the United States and prefer living in coniferous forests  
  • Black Capped Chickadee
    • Non-migratory birds and are found year round from New England to the West Coast of the United States 
  • Mosquito 
    • In warm and tropical areas, they are active year-round
    • In cold and temperate areas, they may hibernate 
  • Gray Tree Frog 
    • They are 1.25 to 2.25 inches long (depending on if they are male or female)
    • They live in much of the Eastern United States 
  • Woolly Bear Caterpillar 
    • They have brownish hair in the middle, while black on the front and end segments 
  • Snapping Turtle (Alligator Snapping Turtle)
    • The largest of freshwater turtles 
    • They are almost exclusively aquatic and can stay under water for as long as 50 minutes without needing air  
  • Black Bear
    • The fur of black bears can range from pure white to brown to very black 
    • Adult males are larger (weighing as much as 600 pounds) than females (who average around 200 pounds)
Book Club: Winter's Coming trimmed with green; background clipart of fox, deer, bear and other forest animals; children's painting of a squirrel

How Animals Prepare for Winter's Coming 

The book also introduces the many ways in which animals prepare for the coming the new season – winter. Again, there is a handy short guide in the back of the book which discusses migration, hibernation, and other ideas. Winter's Coming's main character finds herself struggling to understand why the animals are doing different things. Through trial and error, Lily learns that she can prepare for winter like the other animals. She can bury herself under leaves like the Woolly Bear Caterpillar or hide in the mud like the snapping turtle. She has her own way of preparing for the winter. 

Lily does not need to hibernate in the same way that the Black Bear in the story will during the Winter. So, while the Black Bear will spend time in dens hidden in caves, underground burrows, or other locations where they can be protected from the elements, Lily can be active above ground as her fur changes color. 

Create a Winter-Themed Painting 



1. Gather all your materials. 

paint, paintbrushes, paper

2. Draw your picture. I sketched several pictures based upon the story for our children. 

half-painting picture of a squirrel

3. Paint the picture. 

half-finished painting of a tree during the winter with snow
A tree trunk in the winter

4. When the initial paint is mostly dry, add the snow falling to the picture. 

painting of a brown snowshoe hare