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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Sitting, Sickness, Swimming, Surge and Squash+

In our regular life this week…

This week has been a much better week, but I have certainly felt the stresses of being a mom! Having adult children gives you that constant state of worry because you know that each and every decision made and step taken has a consequence. It's scary! It seems I have had a major-ish issue with each of the kids this week, right down to the little one. Being a mom is an amazing joy to me, but it sure does add to the gray hairs!

I finally got over my yucky cold on Sunday morning. I was literally on the couch all day Saturday feeling horrid! Eli woke up with the cold on Wednesday morning and now he feels terrible. I expect we'll each have had this cold before it's over. It's been passed from person to person. We are loading up on green tea, chicken soup, apples and rest. In fact, I pretty much quarantined us to the house the last half of the week.

Last night we had quite a surprise! I was fixing dinner. Dawson and Taylar were watching a television show in the living room, and Eli and Brynne were playing Minecraft in their room. We were looking forward to a cozy night of dinner and t.v. together. And BANG! ZAP! SPARKS! SMOKE! All of our power went out and there was a flash of fire outside the kitchen window as a power line fell onto my car. We had a power surge that blew a power line apart in three places! The inside of the house smelled scorched and I was freaked! I called my dad who called the electric company maintenance guy for our town (who is a local guy ... thank goodness). He came right over and got to work. We put dinner preps away, went to Dairy Queen for dinner, and relaxed at my mom and dad's watching Chopped. The fear was that the surge had zapped everything in the house. We were worried!! But, thankfully, everything remained in working order. Thank you, Lord! That was one set of expenses I just couldn't deal with right now.

In our homeschool this week…

With the completion of our swimming lessons, an out-of-the house appointment on Tuesday morning, and sickness, we haven't gotten a whole lot accomplished. We did do our handwriting and math daily (the kids were excited that they were learning algebra and division!), and did lots of reading, but that was about it.

We also had these little distractions!

My friend, Jamie, offered to allow us to chick-sit five of her newly hatched chicks for a few days because all of our chicks died last week during hatching. The kids have LOVED having them here to observe. Eli has been very attentive to their every chirp (in fact he was terrified for the first day that they might die, too) and Brynne has just loved to cuddle with them. Even the dogs sit and watch them. I'm gonna miss them when they are gone.

Plans for the new school year ...

Of course it's time to start nailing down the schooling plans for the 2013/2014 school year. We had such a great year last year, and seemed to perfect our "schedule", that we will pretty much be sticking to doing a lot of the same. Here are the general plans:

Bible - We will start each morning stick-figuring through the Bible continuing with Grapevine Studies: Old Testament Overview (Level 3-4). We loved this last year! Great way to start the day.

Grammar - No formal grammar unless we have a review product. We will be doing lots of reading and, I believe, grammar is learned this way.

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success (4th grade)

Writing - WriteShop Primary Book B (we finished Book A and it's a great program)

Spelling - Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary by JacKris Publishing

Reading - We will read independently for 30 minutes each day and will have a daily read-aloud. This is just for fun.

Math - Starting with Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy by Glenda Brown James (6 weeks) and then finishing Math U See Gamma (multiplication), then moving onto Math U See Delta (division).

Unit Study - Our main unit study will be Roadtrip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler. We will also continue to do some delight-directed, relevant or review product related unit studies. But the core of our learning this year will be on United States Geography and state cultures. I will probably do some of my reverse planning with plays, movies, book releases, and other activities that pop up, when we can fit them in.

Co-op - We are starting a VERY small Friday morning co-op with another family or two. We will be having a one-hour art class using The Usborne Art Treasury and then a one-hour class doing activities in companion with the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling (literature, science, social studies, and more).

Extra-Curricular Activities - Brynne will be playing volleyball and then basketball. Eli will continue with Scouts and plans to join a Saturday morning bowling league.

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

It was our final three days of swimming lessons this week, and Brynne and Eli both passed Level 2 with flying colors! I am so proud of how much they learned in just 8 short lessons! They are excited to move to Level 3 next year that will have them doing lessons in the deep end. They already swim in the deep end, but the big kids do their lessons there so they are excited! (Eli was sick on the last day, so he just sat on the side.)

A favorite thing this week was…

A family movie day watching Despicable Me on dvd before Kyndal went for a job interview at the clothing store The Buckle. She got the job! This will be great for her once she starts cosmetology school because it's in the same town and she can work evening and weekend hours.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

No chicken nuggets, that's for sure! In fact, Eli said he won't ever eat chicken nuggets again. We did have some yummy turkey tacos one night and chicken fettucine (Dawson and Taylar's request) on another. And, I had a BLT for lunch with this guy from my garden ....

What we're reading ...

Mom:  Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, Couponing Made Easy by Christi the Coupon Coach. (My reading has been very intermittent.)

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne: New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. She finished Life with Lily, closed it and said, "That was a good book!" We highly recommend it for the 2nd-6th grade age range!

Read-aloud: Poppy and Ereth by Avi. 

Things we're working on…

Being truthful. We have had a few issues with it this week that has caused some discipline to be administered. (Can you say 'no iPad?' .... gads!) It's so important to me for my kids to understand that I would rather know the truth, no matter how bad it is, than to catch them hedging the truth, withholding facts, or flat-out lying. It's so much worse after that because the trust is broken.

I’m grateful for ...

Open relationships with my older kids and how well we talk about issues. It makes me happy that I am the first one they call when they are having a problem, even if it's late at night. I am not always thrilled with the conversation we are having, but we are able to talk it through and I am glad that my kids trust me enough to turn to me for my advice. Communication is key to healthy relationships. I hope to remember that as I am raising my second set of kiddos. And this is the reason why truth and trust is so important.

In the garden…

Tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeños, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes, herbs .... they are all producing! Finally!!!

What's coming up this week ...

Tomorrow Rick and I are taking all four of the kids, Kyndal's boyfriend Collin and Dawson's girlfriend Taylar, out to lunch at Pizza Hut and to the movies to see Despicable Me 2. I feel like I just need to draw my chicks close. Life has made me feel disjointed, lately, and I just need my family for a day. Everybody is really looking forward to it and it's going to be a nice family day. We need it!

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

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


  1. Oh, my! Fell on your car? What a scary experience! Do you have a farm supply store nearby? Perhaps they have some chicks...Or sometimes even Craigslist has chicks available from local people. (Sam calls our baby chicks "chicken nuggets". LOL) Looks like a great list for next year! Congrats to the kids on their swimming accomplishments! Sounds like a fun family night at Pizza Hut and movie! (BTW, I found that I did take photos so my wrap-up has photos now! LOL)

  2. Last week I wanted to cry for you, this week I am cracking up. You have the craziest things happen! no more nuggets, lol. sorry, I find that funny! =)
    For 'road trip USA' are you taking it in any particular order? I was pondering going state by state in the order that it was founded, but for my littles, alphabetical may be better? ha ha, can you tell I've been pondering this one? at the same time, I am gonna review your Story of US lessons to implement in our days too. Sheesh, I should probably have your e-mail some time because my comments are becoming more like letters. *wink*

    1. Email me ANY time! My e-mail address is SO looking forward to meeting up in Portland in October! Can't wait to hug your sweet neck!!!!

      I haven't even ordered Road Trip USA yet. Need to get that done asap. I will probably just do it in order. But, if you do it in a different order, let me know! Maybe we can do the same ones and collaborate!

  3. Wow -- Nicole. I got tired just reading your wrap-up. ;-)

    I don't know how you do it all. I'm glad that you were feeling better to tackle the week. AND, I'm really glad your power wasn't zapped in your house. That sounds frightening.

    I'm thankful your daughter got the job she wanted, too.

    Looks like everything is humming along for you curriculum-wise, too. We LOVED Paddle to the Sea!!!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Watching chicks hatch and grow is such a wonderful experience. Sorry that you clutch didn't make it. As babies the way they sleep used to really freak me out. I would look in the brooder and think one of them was dead. Now after 3-4 years of raising chickens nothing really phases us anymore. Hope you have a great weekend.

  5. What a great week ...minus the whole nearly getting zapped by the electric line! So glad there were no serious repercussions from that! Glad you're feeling better, too! I recently had a summer cold~they are just the pits.

    Your curriculum lineup for next year looks really good! I am still getting my things together. Hoping to have some time soon to do some serious planning/organizing/preparing.

  6. You have had a busy week. I am sorry your family isn't feeling well. I hope you get better soon! We take Echinacea and Grape Seed Tablets when we get a cold or anything yucky, seems to help quicker!
    Thanks for Linking UP "This Week..." @ Great Peace Academy :)


  7. Wow - scary about the power line! Glad everything worked out.

    Your line up for the new school year sounds great!


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