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Weekly Wrap-up ~ The End is Near, But There's Another Beginning

In our regular life this week…

This has been another crazy, busy week. We have been away from home every night this week! Monday night we drove four hours to Tulsa, went to WWE Monday Night Raw, then drove home another four hours getting here at 3 a.m. On Tuesday night, after a late afternoon power nap, the kids wanted to go for a walk so we walked to Dairy Queen for dinner and stopped by Grandma and Papa's to eat it. On Wednesday night we walked to and from church for dinner and bell choir practice. On Thursday we spent the day in Kansas City (an hour and half drive each way) and then came home for Brynne's softball practice. Last night I needed to run some errands to get supplies for Kyndal's graduation family party at my parents' lake house, which is today. Then tomorrow morning Rick, Brynne and I are getting up bright and early to travel to a nearby church for our bell choir to perform. Afterward we are stopping at a winery for lunch with some of the group. Whew! I need a full week of doing NOTHING! And I need to stop driving my car! The trip to/from Kansas City on Thursday cost $39.10 in gas! Ridiculous!!

In our homeschool this week…

We did our basics all week, lots of reading, cursive handwriting, and multiplication worksheets and drills.

With ongoing frustrations with spelling, we have decided to change up our spelling routine for these last two weeks of school and by using some sample lessons I printed online from Soaring with Spelling and also playing games with that list on Spelling City.

I love a planner page with lots of check marks, especially on a Friday!

We had taken a several week break from our WriteShop writing program to do Spanish lessons for a couple of different products we have been reviewing. With only one lesson remaining in WriteShop to finish Primary A, we picked it back up this week to get it finished by the end of our school year. We are practicing story sequencing.

Our unit study this week centered around our Square Foot Garden. We spent a lot of time planning and discussing the importance of proper placement. Then we filled out a grid of where we will plant their seeds. After a little more research and revision, we made final plans. The seeds will go in on Monday.

This might be their final plan for their Square Foot Garden. We'll look at it again one more time on Monday morning before the seeds go in the ground.

With the weather so beautiful and FINALLY spring-like, although it's almost summer, the birds are just happily chirping away. And that brings us out the front door and into the yard several times a day.

Where are those Starlings? I can hear them but I can't find them!

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

We have been reading aloud the book Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.

It has been our favorite read aloud of the year. It is about a young orphan in the 1930's who believes that his father is a famous musician and he goes in search of him. On Thursday we went to Coterie Theatre in Kansas City to see the play based on the book. It was SO good! The adaptation was amazing! We really enjoyed it!

Then after the play we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Fritz's. The food is mediocre, but the train delivery of it makes it all worth it!

A favorite thing this week was…

The beautiful temperatures that had us outside every day playing, riding scooters, going for walks, playing with the dogs and planting flowers.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

It's been another week of grabbing whatever we have handy. We did walk to Dairy Queen for dinner one night, had church potluck on Wednesday, and cereal for dinner Thursday night since we ate out for lunch at Fritz's. I finally sat down yesterday and organized our schedule for the next two weeks, got menus planned, made a real-live grocery list, and went shopping. I haven't accomplished that in weeks! We'll be having some favorites: chicken and noodles, chicken cigars, fried fish, burritos, spaghetti, and popcorn chicken with waffle fries. Gotta get those veggies worked in, too!

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, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. ** I have not been able to read much because of our crazy schedule the past couple of weeks. Looking forward to summer!

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney. (I just ordered him a box set of George Brown, Class Clown.)

Brynne: Flash (Puppy Place) by Ellen Miles (She is blasting through this series and I just ordered her the next five books.)

Read-aloud: Secrets of the Scotch Broom (Herb Fairies series) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming. I picked this old hardback up for 50 cents at our church garage sale several weeks ago. We were excited to see that the Coterie Theatre (that we went to on Thursday to see "Bud, Not Buddy") will have a production of  "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" next June!! I love when that kind of thing happens!

Things we're working on…

Finishing up our last five days of this school year. We will take a week-long break and then start on our summer school schedule on June 3rd.

I’m grateful for ...

The freedom to set our own schedule when homeschooling. I know the kids won't be excited about doing school work in the mornings this summer. But, I think they will be happy when we are able to take a couple of two week vacations in the fall because of it. That way we can enjoy some extended sunny Florida weather in October or November, and then an extended Christmas break here at home!

In the garden…

I got my peppers, jalapenos, red onions, parsley, and purple basil planted this week in my pizza garden. I will finish off that garden box by planting regular basil and oregano.

What's coming up this week ...

We will be working hard to finish up what we are doing so we can begin a more relaxed summer schedule! Brynne has a softball game Monday night that her daddy gets to go to while Eli and I are leading his Scout meeting by teaching about landscaping. We will be planting flowers at the Scout cabin and making mini greenhouses. The rest of the week might be kind of quiet?? ... I hope ?? Then on Friday night the family is going camping with the Scouts for one night. Boy, I can't wait (insert sarcasm here).

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

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

Yesterday morning Brynne said, "Eli and I are almost in 4th grade!" I didn't tell her that we are really doing 3rd grade again because she is only 7 and Eli could use another year of reinforcing "3rd grade" concepts. If I don't do this, she will graduate when she is 16. We'll just call this 3/4T for 3rd/4th transitional. Or maybe our school year will be January to January so that we can spend this summer and fall doing 3rd grade work and graduate to 4th in January. Whatever.

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


  1. We loved Bud, Not Buddy --- one of our favorites, too!!! Looks like everything is going well with you -- thanks for linking!

  2. How was Kyndal's graduation party?! Your Square Foot gardening plans look great and pizza garden is coming right along! SFG does makes gardening a bit more manageable and fun! Most of our garden is in now and peas, snow peas, cukes, beans, and pumpkins are coming up! Come on carrots and potatoes! 5 days?! We have 15...if we can keep focused! LOL We might do some delight-directed work for 1 1/2 weeks though. ;)

  3. Oh, and I love the "What grade are you?" graphic. It's true! Aren't grades arbitrary? And often they hold kids back, slow them down, or push them to quickly ahead. Jake is 8th grade, but doing 9th grade-college level work. Cati is 5th and is 5th/6th. But Sam is 2nd doing 1st-2nd. It's all about meeting the kids learning needs where THEY are.

  4. So true about the grades! Whenever we are out and someone asks the kids what grade they are in they just turn and look at me with total confusion in their eyes. To fix that issue, I assigned them the grade level that they would be in if they had gone to public school. Otherwise we wouldn't "do" grade levels at all! :)

  5. Is Dark Places creepy? I have put off reading it because I thought it might be, but I enjoyed Gone Girl so much I am tempted!

    1. No, it's not creepy. It's good, but not as good as Gone Girl, at this point. Her book Sharp Objects sounds creepy.

  6. Looks like you had another good week. I remember when our oldest was young we watched WWE. That seems like eons ago. Have a great week.


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