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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Back-to-School

In our regular life this week…

We got back into our regular routine. I have to say that I am glad that we are back to school and our school schedule. The kids were B.O.R.E.D. all last week, so school was actually a good thing.

On Monday night the public school had their Open Houses so our Scouting leader and I set up an information table. It was during our regular den meeting time so our boys met to make their Emergency Preparedness Notebooks for their Fitness badge.

Really, other than our scout meeting and school, we didn't do much of anything the rest of the week.

In our homeschool this week…

We are back at it full time now! We started our regular school schedule on Wednesday. Typically we do schoolwork from 9:30 a.m. until about 3:30 p.m. The first day of school was a lot of fun starting with our Back-to-School breakfast and then our Exploding Lunch Bag experiment. The rest of the day consisted of a steady progression of our subjects: Bible, grammar, spelling, handwriting, writing, math, reading, and our unit study. So far we love every curriculum we are using and things are moving along smoothly!

We have found a wonderful fit in grammar with Logic of English (a product I am reviewing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew). I will be posting a review of it soon. And our Roadtrip USA unit study is awesome! We have just begun it and already I have heard, "This is the best unit study ever!" I hope every day goes as well as the last three have. A mom can hope, right?

Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...

Last year I instituted the Stick Jar. On each craft stick I have a subject. After we complete Bible in the mornings (we always start our day with Bible study), the kids do "rock-paper-scissors" to see who gets to draw the first stick to see which subject we will do next. Then they alternate drawing them. This puts a little excitement into our day waiting to see what subject we will do next, and it eliminates grumbles and bad attitudes in anticipation of a less-desired subject coming up.

But this year I added a new twist! I added a stick that says, "Gumball". We have an old gumball machine in our dining room. When that stick is drawn, I analyze whether the kids have worked hard without grumbling. For each child who has, he/she (and hopefully both) get a penny for a piece of gum. They really like this!

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

We are going very few places because my leg just can't take it. But that's okay because the weather has been beautiful and the kids have played outside while I sit and watch them through the window.

A favorite thing this week was…

Getting outside for some school time. Brynne loves "outside math". So, on Fridays I plan to take us outside for a math activity. We are using the book I Hate Mathematics! Book by Marilyn Burns (that I picked up for $1 at Powell Books in Portland, Oregon, a couple of years ago.) We did Sidewalk Crackery on Friday. The kids hypothesized about whether they would take more steps trying to step on every crack on the sidewalk or by avoiding all of the cracks on the sidewalk. They took two "regular walking" step counts as their control. The third time they walked normally and made sure they stepped on every crack. The last time they walked normally and made sure they didn't step on any cracks. Trying to step on every crack required the most steps.

While outside we also had some impromptu nature study. We found a rather large box turtle. He was having an afternoon snack of a cricket. He must have been hungry because behind him was a pile of his poop. I have never seen turtle poop before, have you? I don't know why we were fascinated by that, but we were. Yeah, we are a weird homeschooling family.

What's in the kitchen this week ...

Eli planned all of our meals this week for breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of his Fitness badge. We will be having ...

Monday ~ Breakfast: waffles, apple slices, chocolate milk; Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich, goldfish crackers, slice of cheese, banana, water; Dinner: Spaghetti with spaghetti squash sauce and meatballs, garlic bread, no bake cookies for dessert.

Tuesday ~ Breakfast: Cereal, milk, apple juice; Lunch: Turkey hot dogs, veggie crisps, cheese stick, apple sauce, water; Dinner: Turkey burgers with cheese, sweet potato fries, yogurt with grapes for dessert.

Wednesday ~ Breakfast: Strawberry smoothies; Lunch: Chicken and stars soup, whole wheat crackers, cheese, apple, water; Dinner: Turkey tacos with the fix ins, oatmeal raisin bars for dessert.

Thursday ~ Breakfast: Peanut butter toast, banana, milk; Lunch: Homemade mini pizza, fruit gogurt, water; Dinner: Easy chicken parmesan with penne pasta, garlic toast, Homemade apple pie for dessert.

Friday ~ Breakfast: Bacon and toast with butter, cheese stick, applesauce; Lunch: Tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, grapes, water; Dinner: Pigs in a blanket with cheese, leftover pie for dessert.

Saturday ~ Breakfast: Cereal with milk, apple juice; Lunch: Homemade peanut butter crackers, banana, milk; Dinner: Popcorn chicken, waffle fries, chocolate protein shakes.

Sunday ~ Breakfast: Sweet potato pancakes, turkey bacon, apple, milk; Lunch: Sub sandwiches, veggie crisps, apples, water; Dinner: Cheesy chicken with rice, broccoli, leftover desserts.

What we're reading ...

Mom:  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. 

Eli: finished Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney and now reading Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1 by Dav Pilkey.

Brynne: New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Read-aloud: one more day of Poppy and Ereth by Avi then moving onto Ragweed, the first book in the Poppy series by Avi. We are reading them out of order.

Things we're working on…

Getting back into a better sleeping schedule and doing morning get-ready chores. And I have been working on Brynne's birthday party decorations and party favors. She is having a Minecraft themed party.

I’m grateful for ...

The fact that chivalry is not dead. While I was standing at my car on Friday with my very full basket of groceries, an older gentleman came up to me and handed me a quarter (at Aldi you "rent" a basket for a quarter and when you return it you get your quarter back). He said, "I saw you limping and knew you wouldn't want to have to push your cart all the way back up to the store. Here's a quarter for your basket and I'll help you load your groceries." He proceeded to load my groceries for me and took off with my cart. That was so sweet! And he was right ... I was not wanting to push my cart back up to the store.

In the garden…

Salads sure are yummy these days ... fresh cucumbers, green peppers, jalapeños, and tomatoes.

What's coming up this week ...

This is going to be a pretty quiet week! We'll have our first full school week. Dawson will work a couple of nights. On Monday we'll have our Scout meeting and then I am hosting my ladies church group for our monthly meeting on Tuesday. And that's it. We have nothing planned for the upcoming weekend. I plan to get in as much resting as possible and, hopefully, heal up this leg.

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

Blurry pic, but our latest Black Swallowtail is a female! She emerged yesterday.

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


  1. I'll looking for your review of Logic of English! Loved reading about your week and seeing your meal plans, too! The turtle is adorable =) Enjoy getting back into the swing of things!

  2. I enjoyed reading your wrap up! We started school on Thursday, too. I enjoy having a short first week! :-)

    You left a comment on my blog telling about the "history classroom" episode which airs Monday mornings. I'm confused even though I found a little online. Is it online? Or on TV? And, if online, can you watch it at other times? Or have you blogged about it?

    Sorry... just can't quite figure out how to access it. Thanks!

  3. You are such a fun mom! And I am so sorry about your leg! I pray it heals soon. Glad you got some help at Aldi!

  4. I always give my cart away at aldi's and tell them to pay it forward. Not sure if anyone does that but would like to think my 1 little quarter gives many people that day a free cart.


  5. It's great to get back in to a routine isn't it? So many good things in this post that I don't know where to start!

    Love the menus. Love the story of the old man at the grocery store. Love the kid pics with their new signs.

    I love reading your updates. :)


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