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Weekly Wrap-up ~ A Week of Really Wrapping Some Things Up

In our regular life this week…

It has been a challenging week in many ways. On Tuesday my garbage disposal clogged up and then backed up into the kitchen sink. My dad, the plumber, is in Florida at their house doing some work. He told me I wouldn't be able to use my kitchen sink or my dishwasher until he gets back tomorrow .. on Sunday .. as in a total of five days! So, I have been doing dishes in the bathroom ... small stuff in the sink and pots in the bathtub. It's been interesting.

Then Dawson's poor Cadi has given him trouble all week, this time with the transmission. The fluid is just draining out and he hasn't been able to drive it, so he and I have been sharing a car. That's no big deal because I don't really go anywhere until the evening and I can pretty much walk anywhere I need to go. 

We started looking for a car for him on Craigslist, although that makes me very nervous. He has had his heart set on an SUV of some sort. As chance would have it, one of the girls' I play bells with at church bought a new car on Wednesday and so her 1996 Ford Explorer was for sale .. for $800!!! He test drove it, loved it, and got the car yesterday. He was a happy boy. Immediately after getting it, it started having problems, it seemed with the transmission! My friend's dad told him that it wasn't a done deal so to drive it for the weekend and if he didn't want it he could have his money back. He was driving it out of town to show one of his friends (there were four of them in the car). He put on the brakes to turn into a drive to turn around to head back to town and the brakes wouldn't work and the steering wheel locked up! He drove it into a steel fence. The airbags deployed and he and the passenger were burned by the airbags and had some minor cuts and bruises. The boys in the back seat were not hurt. The car, well, yeah. The owner agreed to take care of the car and pay Dawson back his money if we will pay for the repairs to the fence. The highway patrolman advised me to take Dawson to the hospital because one of his arms had a knot on it and might be fractured. Thankfully it was not and he only has soreness, bruises, and some burning on his arm. Oh, and lots of emotional trauma. He is really upset. I am just glad they are all okay.

I think I will just keep us all home for a couple of days. We could really use an uneventful day!

In our homeschool this week…

After such an exciting week of school last week in St. Louis, this week we had several odds and ends to wrap-up so that we can move on to our last units of this school year. Can anyone else believe it's already almost May??

Earth Day

On Monday we paused to celebrate Earth Day. It was a great day! We read the book Bag in the Wind by Ted Kooser and then spent the day discussing Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as it pertains to plastic bags. Our big project was making posters to hang at our local grocery store and Dollar General. A boo to Dollar General in that their store policy is that you cannot hang any signs that are not store-affiliated. Eli was disappointed that his sign didn't get hung. Brynne hung her's at the grocery store. (Eli's Scout leader told him that he could hang his at the Scout cabin.)

We also Reused some plastic bags to use on our square foot gardening box as the divider ropes. We made the ropes like jump ropes and will attach them to our box with nails.


We finished up our study of Vikings. We read three great books (our favorite was What a Viking by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom),  learned more about longboats (now the kids want to make one), and cooked beef barley stew and barley flatbread to take to our potluck dinner at church Wednesday night (well, only the stew .. the flatbread was pretty bland, but was a great example of the types of food the vikings ate.)

Speaking of Vikings. Have you watched the series Vikings on The History Channel? Now, I must warn you .. it is for MATURE audiences! It is true. to. history. They were not good guys. There is lots of killing, and degradation of women, and violence. However, it is good! Dawson and I are watching it. He is 16, so able to handle it. I do not let my little two watch it, or even be in the room. He and I watch it after they go to bed. It has sparked a real interest in him. He even read one of our books, comparing the accuracy of the show to historical facts. I have to say, the show is pretty dead on in it's accuracy.

Lewis and Clark

We wrapped up our study of Lewis and Clark this week when I noticed that "Lewis and Clark: The Great Journey West" was on Netflix! I didn't even have to buy it, so it's been taken out of my Amazon cart. It's a great movie and I highly recommend it. (Of course it's a whole lot more fun to watch on the IMAX at the Gateway Arch, but oh well.) We also completed our map study and journal page about our "newly discovered animal" at the zoo.

The Others

The rest of our time was spent doing our Bible lessons, Spanish, cursive handwriting, spelling, multiplication lessons and facts, and personal reading. It was a jam-packed week.

Have I mentioned how ready I am for our simplified summer schooling schedule?? Oy!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We ran out to see Leonard and Dora Mae at our favorite Amish store to pick up some barley, rye flour, quinoa, peaches, soap, and peppermint oil. I might have also snagged a Lilac bush that came from Leonard's former home state.

Eli had Scouts on Monday night and they started preparing for their camping trip that is coming up on May 24th. Mmmmmm .... can't wait for that! (insert sarcasm here .. this is the part of scouting I don't care for.)

Brynne has been having lots of softball practices now that it has stopped raining (although it's raining today). I am SO proud of how hard she is practicing and how good she is listening to her coach. She has never played before and she has really taken to it. She will be the second basegirl.

Tuesday night I had my ladies' circle at church. We are reading Becoming a Titus 2 Woman and one of the things we discussed was bondage. There are only six of us and the vulnerability and honesty of the women really touched me.

And on Sunday we will see our Kyndal stand with her graduating class at her baccalaureate ceremony at school. Only a couple more weeks until she is a graduate.

A favorite thing this week was…

Feeling the love of reading in our home during the day. The kids just breeze through their books and are really enjoying their reading time. We are loving our new read-aloud Bud, Not Buddy. We are blasting through books! Our stamina with reading has increased so much recently and I couldn't be more happy with our progress. Honestly, I could just sit and read with them all day.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

I have been trying to squeak by with what we have at home. I really need a big trip to the grocery store, but am trying to put it off until next week. I went yesterday to pick up a few odds and ends to get us by, and some dog food. I did't think the dogs were much into waiting until next week to eat. 

What we're reading ...

Mom: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace, ** Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl, Papa's Pearls by Diane Flynn Keith, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Eli: Captain Underpants (the fifth book) by Dav Pilkey

Brynne:  Snowball and Shadow (Puppy Place) by Ellen Miles

Read-aloud: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (LOVING this book!)

** I have had a couple of people comment stating that they are interested in my opinion on Created to be His Helpmeet. I love it. I think Debi Pearl is right on and that if every woman followed her views on marriage, we would all have happier marriages. I do wish I was better at these things, naturally. I am learning and growing.

Things we're working on…

Our gardens. We are making plans, discussing what we are going to plant in our square foot garden, ordering our herbs for our Herb Fairy study, making our square foot dividers by braiding plastic grocery bags into ropes, and making some herb garden markers out of tin cans.

I’m grateful for…

The fact that our summer schooling schedule is rapidly approaching. We will be doing reading, multiplication, and our Herb Fairies and gardening study. You can bet I am going to be logging hours because we plan to reward ourselves with another trip to Florida in October.

I rewarded my kids this week by…

Getting Eli a new wrestling guy and a Hershey for being such a good shopping companion, and buying Brynne a new baseball bat for working SO hard at practice. They also got to eat Dairy Queen with grandma while I was with Dawson at the hospital.

Things you might have missed at Journey to Excellence ...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

Thankful this guy wasn't in the car with Dawson when he had his wreck.

We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:


  1. Oh no! So sorry about the mishaps. Glad Dawson and his friends are okay - poor kid!!

    It looks like school went well :)

  2. Oh, gosh! Wondering if the person who sold him the vehicle knew of the issues that it had...I know things happen, but that's a lot to happen in just a couple of days! I'm so glad he and his friends are OK though!

    Excellent reuse/recycle project! And how creative to use plastic bags for "rope"! I might just have to borrow that one because I wanted to "rope off" some areas in the garden but don't have any actual rope...but I have PLENTY of plastic grocery bags.

  3. Poor Dawson. :( So thankful everyone is ok.

    Kudos on camping. I hate to admit this in print, but Bradley has asked many times to join Boy Scouts. I've made excuse after excuse for him NOT to do it because with Chris' crazy travel schedule, I'm terrified I'd be stuck camping. You are a wonderful mom!

  4. my oldest is going the bud not buddy play in a few days. she doesn't like the book so that should make for a fun fieldtrip :)

    1. Really? This is one of our favorite reads of the year! And I love the writing style.

    2. Yep the teacher said not many of them are liking it, so she is going back to another book she usually does each year that many like. She just picked this one since the play could be a fieldtrip.

    3. I just find that so crazy because we are loving the book, and Dawson said he remembered when they read it in class in the 4th grade and he loved it, too!

    4. She laughed and said they had just come off of reading The Red Pyramid and the Percy Jackson series so they were still in the mythology adventure mode :) and this is slow paced.

  5. What a week! I hope you get some rest this weekend and that next week is SO boring!

  6. So glad Dawson and his friends are okay. Hope everything works out with returning the car, etc. Looks like you guys had a good week otherwise. It is really such a small world regarding the Andy Stanley comment you made on my blog today. I have always loved him and have listened to him for years. Grace has just recently been introduced to his messages and she also is very fond of him. I am also watching The Vikings (not Grace). They were really brutal and did very bad things. Hope you guys have a great week.

  7. I'm so glad Dawson is okay! I hope this week is uneventful!


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