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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Simply Summer

In our regular life this week…

Hi ... It's Grandma here. Do you notice anything in the following picture??

Yes, the windows are open because it's in the high 70's here in Missouri ... in late July!! Yes, I am talking about the weather again. (And my arthritis is flaring up, my dentures need a good soaking ... jk!) We are supposed to have unseasonably cool temperatures for at least the next week. It's amazing!! As I type this I am relaxing in my sitting room with a cup of coffee and a cool breeze blowing the drapes next to me. I couldn't be happier or more at peace.

In our homeschool this week…

We decided to up our math intake and have been doing two lessons of Math U See Gamma each day. The kids are working on simple algebra ... solving equations. And they have been amazed to see how algebra works in real life in the form of word problems. I have been amazed at how well they are now able to solve those problems without my help. We are also still plugging along with cursive handwriting. They have almost learned all of the letters of the alphabet.

In our continuing Life Cycles unit study, we observed our new Black Swallowtail that emerged from it's cocoon. It was beautiful! We gave it a day to adequately dry it's wings and then let it go outside. It flew straight up toward the top of the tallest tree and took off.

And now we have a new caterpillar in position to become a chrysalis.

We were a little worried about our first Black Swallowtail chrysalis because the second one emerged first. Then yesterday morning I got up and there he was.

We also returned the chicks to their owner last Saturday. I have actually missed their little chirps. It was fun to have them here. We learned that these particular chicks were bred as meat chickens. They grow incredibly fast and have to be butchered by the time they are about 3 months old because their backs and wings start to break. I found that to be very interesting.

The other thing we have really been concentrating on is reading. We finished up our goals for the Summer Reading Program this week. And, the kids got their awards.

We are also devouring another Poppy book by Avi, Poppy and Ereth.

The real award for me was when I told Eli, on Tuesday, that he only had two more picture books to read before his goal was finished and then he could go back to his chapter book. He said, "Thank goodness!" I reminded him that it was just a few short months ago that he freaked when he thought he was going to have to read a chapter book. Now he prefers them! Doing summer school was a very smart decision.

Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...

Now is the time to be on the lookout for used curriculum, and plan ahead! It's a good idea to have a general plan for upcoming years so you can snag cheap stuff. This year we are doing a study of United States Geography. Next year we planned to make Prairie Primer our unit study. A fellow TOS Crew member had the curriculum for sale for about half price, so I went ahead and snagged it even though we won't use it for another year. I had already bought the entire Little House series for $6 at a consignment shop a couple of years ago.

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

It was a fairly quiet week in this area. We stayed home most days just doing schoolwork in the mornings and playing in the afternoons.

Eli had Scouts on Monday night. They are studying Citizenship and they made flag neckerchief slides out of safety pins and beads.

We did hit the pool on Wednesday, however, after it was closed for several days due to a pump break. We were afraid it wasn't going to open back up this summer, so were excited to get back there!

I also made a special trip to the Amish store to get peaches so I could make the following dessert. Yum!

Peach and Berry Tart ... by the time I took the picture, the peaches were browning.

Kyndal and Collin were here for the evening on Wednesday night. We had dinner and watched some t.v. while Collin went to play basketball. Kyndal suggested we come and go to a fun pool on Thursday, so Brynne went to Collins' parents' with them to spend the night. Eli and I met them at the pool and had a great day! The kids swam and swam and swam and Kyndal and I sat and had a good talk.

I know that this next year of her living here with me while she goes to school is going to be such a good year. It's fun to be a part of her plans for her future. I am going to do my best to cherish every day she is back home with me because in a little over a year, she will be out living her life on her own. It goes by so fast!

A favorite thing this week was…

Definitely redecorating our sitting room. And for the grand total cost of $0! We put up drapes that my mom took out of her dining room, pulled our love seat and ottoman out of storage (sorry, Kyndal, you might have to find another couch when you get your own place), and then even replaced some pillows on the couch with some that my mom took off their couch at their lakehouse. It all came together so perfectly and I have spent gobs of time in there this week. Really, every spare minute.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

Knock-off Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta, fresh grilled corn on the cob from the Amish store, and Peach and Berry Tart for dinner Thursday night.

We also had a yummy italian roast and spaghetti this past weekend, salmon patties for lunch, and turkey burgers for dinner one night. It was a good food week.

What we're reading ...

Mom:  Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, 

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. (lots of picture books)

Brynne: New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. (lots of picture books)

Read-aloud: Poppy and Ereth by Avi. We love these Poppy books!

Things we're working on…

Dawson and I are catching up on the first season of Orphan Black. Yep, it's another BBC series. This one, though, is not a period drama. It is an action-packed science fiction crime solving crazy show. We are loving it! It's a bummer that the second season does not air until next Spring (what is it with BBC shows only airing in the Spring?), but we are sure enjoying Season One now!

I’m grateful for ...

My home. Seriously, I absolutely love it. We do not live in the greatest neighborhood. (Really, in this town there isn't a "greatest" neighborhood.) But my house, itself, is absolutely perfect for us. I love it so much that I don't hardly want to leave it. It is cozy, comfortable, manageable, and full of love. I am so grateful for the contentment I feel.

In the garden…

What a difference about 6 hours makes. My spaghetti squash grows at a crazy rate. I seriously think it would grow before my eyes if I stood and watched it.

At noon.

At about 6 p.m. It gee a half inch in length and an inch and a half around.

A couple of days later.

I have cucumbers still growing, two kinds of peppers, lots of tomatoes ready to ripen, and we ate our first jalapenos. My herbs are added to our dishes almost every day. My only real problem is with my zucchini. They are dying off before they get fully grown. AND I WANT ZUCCHINI! I have two more that look promising. Let's hope!

What's coming up this week ...

My brother Tim, sister-in-law Shawna, and niece Bell are coming for a week long visit from Portland, Oregon. I am so excited to see them and get my hands on that baby!! I will also be having a birthday next week. And, we are celebrating living here in Missouri for one full year. Rick is here for the weekend and, is it possible, that we have NOTHING planned? And no honey-do projects? So far we have watched the newest Sherlock Holmes movie! Maybe we can all head to the pool one day.

On Tuesday night, I am going on a girl's night out with my sister, sister-in-law and a bunch of their girlfriends to the winery where Shawna and Tim had their wedding reception. I hardly ever go out, so this is going to be such a fun night! Then Wednesday I get to have brunch with one of my best friends in the world. I am so looking forward to that!

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

This little guy was at the pool on Thursday. He stole a little girl's chip. Alvin! .......

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


  1. I know I'm loving this weather. Monday they say we are having flooding rains but we need the rain so bad. Hopefully after it floods and stops it will take the time to soak in.

    Have a great week and a wonderful birthday!


  2. I love your sitting room redo. Excellent!!

    Your weeks are always packed full of good things!

  3. We are really enjoying the weather in Missouri too, but we are farther east than you. Now only if it would rain because it has missed us for over 2 weeks now and things are pretty dry.

    Your sitting room looks lovely and peaceful. Have a good week!

  4. I love your sitting room!
    And that last picture? It made me smile...too cute!


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