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Weekly Wrap-up ~ One Down, Three to Go

In our regular life this week…

Can I just say .... WOW! ... I am beat! In my last wrap-up I had just told you about Dawson getting a new car and having a brake malfunction that caused him to have a wreck. Since then he has been back to driving his Cadi and sharing my car with me. Well, Papa to the rescue. He found him a newer Ford Explorer, very nice, with less miles! They went and bought it on Thursday night. So, Dawson is back to being happy!

We had a snow storm, in May, that caused a HUGE tree limb to fall on our internet line which wiped it out for a several days. The snow was gone in a day or so, but GEEZ, really??

Brynne is playing her first year of softball, on a coach-pitch team. We have not been able to have very many practices because of all of the rain we have had, but they have had their first two games. They lost the first one, but won the second one! It's been a LOT of fun! She really loves it! She plays second base and even got her first hit, and an RBI, last game.

In our homeschool this week…

The little kids and I are just struggling through right now. We aren't feeling very motivated. So, we are getting through the basics and doing LOTS of reading. In fact there have been a couple of read-only days where we read for 15-30 minutes, take a 30 minute break, read again, and so on, for the whole day. Some of our problem is my lack of planning. Real life has been so busy and exhausting that I just have not had the time to sit down and PLAN. Without a plan, we are sunk. I do have plans to get things wrapped up for us by the 23rd of this month. Then we will take a break until June 3rd when we start our summer schedule.

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

Friday night we went to see Kyndal graduate from high school. It was such a great night! Our whole family met at a Chinese restaurant that Kyndal likes to eat at for dinner before graduation. Then we watched as our girl moved from one chapter of her life to the next. Kyndal is such a free spirit and it was so wonderful to see her graduate. I am proud of her and so excited for her next steps in life. She is finally at that place where she has always wanted to be.

Today I got to see my whole family, my husband and ALL of my kids on Mother's Day. This is my first Mother's Day with all of my kids in at least a couple of years. It was a happy one, even if I cooked all day!

A favorite thing this week was…

Having an incredible day of bonding with Kyndal on her graduation day. We did something CRAZY ... that post is coming tomorrow. Don't miss it!!

What's in the kitchen this week ...

With Rick not here during the week, dinner is something easy that we put together. I am still trying to keep it as healthy as possible, because Brynne's stomach issues are doing so much better with our current eating habits. We have eaten dinner in the car two nights on the way to softball games this past week. But, even those were healthy packed meals.

I did fix this for my lunch one day and it was SO good! It's a zucchini, baked with a tomato and kale, topped with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Yum!

AND my sweet neighbor brought me over a bag of fresh catfish filets and a another bag of wild mushrooms! She keeps our neighborhood supplied with fish and salsa all summer.

Today I grilled ribs, made party potatoes (a family favorite), fried the mushrooms my neighbor brought, had some fruit, and made a cake from scratch. I have never done that before.

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: Help! I'm Stuck in a Giant Nostril (George Brown Class Clown) by Nancy Krulik and Aaron Blecha (finished) and now is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne:  Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius by Frank Asch (finished) and now is reading Flash (Puppy Place) by Ellen Miles

Read-aloud: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. We only have one more chapter to read and then we are going to see the play on Thursday! This has been our favorite read-aloud this year. It is so good! Then we are moving on to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that I bought at a garage sale.

Things we're working on…

Forming a new little Friday morning Co-op with local homeschoolers. So far, there isn't much interest. But I am hopeful we will be able to get at least a couple of families together for some fun and fellowship. And maybe it will grow a little bit.

I’m grateful for ...

My husband and how he will drop everything for me when I need him. I so appreciated him at graduation, grabbing the camera and capturing candid moments when I was too caught up and emotional to do it. Seeing him hug the grown up girl who he started helping me raise when she was just a kindergartener really touched me deep. They have had their issues, there is no doubt. But they have come through to the other side and now will get to have such a different relationship. 

In the garden…

We have been working on our Herb Fairies unit study in the afternoons. We finished the book Stellaria and learned all about chickweed. We have the beginnings of our salve working and some base for salad dressing. Now we are moving on to violets. I can't wait to make violet jelly!

Yesterday Rick and I continued to baby step our landscaping. I planted a common lilac bush. Rick pulled up some old landscape trim and moved rock and dirt to make our gardens look a little more attractive. I am planning to get my yearly Mother's Day flowers for my pots this week from the Amish greenhouse. And then I am hoping Rick and I can get all of our bushes and such in the next few weeks.

We will get our square foot garden planted this week, and a few other seeds. In another week or so we will get our pizza and salsa garden planted. Then, once our Herb Fairy Garden seeds are in, we will plant that garden.

What's coming up this week ...

Rick and I are taking the kids back to Tulsa tomorrow to see WWE Monday Night Raw LIVE! The kids are so excited! And, to be honest, Rick and I are looking forward to it, too. He and I would NOT be WWE fans if our kids weren't into it, but they are and it's a fun thing to do as a family.

On Thursday the little kids and I are heading to Kansas City to see the play "Bud, Not Buddy". Then we are going to stop and have lunch at the super-fun restaurant Fitz's, where they deliver your food by train.

Then this weekend we are celebrating Kyndal's graduation at my parents' lakehouse.

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

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

April showers bring May ... What the ??? .......

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


  1. Congratulations again, Dawson! Enjoy your vehicle!


    We're totally unfocused here so I hear you! It's that time of year! I'm trying to get us through our remaining school work this month though.

    Great family photo! Beautiful family!

    Did she get a piercing? Tattoo?

    What a beautiful cake!

  2. I love everything about this and you do busy so well. Can't wait for tomorrow's post!

  3. Cingrats to Kyndal! My guess is she got her belly button pierced or a tattoo.

  4. MAN! Busy week!

    I love your posts. Question for you, can you recommend a good read aloud for a 6 year old? My daughter loves when we read chapter books together but I'm having a hard time finding one she enjoys lately. We tried Ramona books and she wasn't interested. I'm thinking maybe charlottes web???

  5. Such a beautiful family picture! Glad graduation went well. Onward to a new season...exciting times, promise! :)

  6. Way to go, Brynne!
    I bet Dawson is thrilled with his new car!
    Love the family photo. Beautiful!
    Congratulations to Kyndal!

  7. Thank you SO SO SO much for recommending Ms. Piggle Wiggle! I grabbed it at the library and we love it so much I'm buying them all this weekend. The chapters are a little longer so I wasn't' sure they'd sit through it, but Josie hangs on every word, asks excellent questions about it, and begs for more! This is our best read aloud yet. We've been reading it while they eat breakfast or lunch and again at bedtime and it's been great. I think you really sparked a love for reading aloud for us so THANK YOU!


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