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Weekly Wrap-up ~ My Quiver is Full

In our regular life this week…

I am enjoying the last week of "normalcy" as the next few weeks will be cra-cra around here. I am happy to report that my quiver is now full as Kyndal has officially moved all of her stuff back into our home. Although she has been here for several days a week since May 1st, she is now here full time getting ready to start cosmetology school in a few weeks. No more bunking with Eli and Brynne in their room. On Tuesday night Kyndal and Brynne slept their first night together in their own room downstairs. It felt so good to go to bed with all the kids under one roof, settled in their own beds.

On Thursday afternoon I took the Kyndal and Dawson to the dermatologist for a long-overdue mole check. Unfortunately for them, they inherited moles from both their dad and me. The good news is they are all healthy moles so nothing to worry about! Taylar went with us so that we could go shopping for her a homecoming dress, and Collin met us so that he could spend some time with Kyndal. We found an adorable dress, on clearance, and Taylar will look so pretty in it. Then we stopped and had dinner together. The little kids stayed with grandma and papa, so it was nice to spend some time with the older kids for a few hours.

Last night Brynne had her first volleyball game. There are only 6 girls on their team so they have to play the whole game. They won both sets! I was so proud of them, as they are truly beginners. Brynne even scored her team a legitimate point! (most points are based on the serve ... either it hits the net or the receiving team fails to return it) She actually returned it for a point!

In our homeschool this week…

We had a nice steady week getting to all of our scheduled subjects.

Bible - We have moved on to studying about Samuel. Our discussions have centered around how we always have a choice whether to obey God or not. If we don't, He will discipline us (like he did Eli the priest). If we do, He will bless us (like he did Samuel's mother, Hannah). In our life, we have the same choices. As kids, they can either disobey their parents and be disciplined or obey and be blessed.

Grammar - This week is a review week in The Logic of English. They played a fun game of "Phonogram Slap" where they used their phonogram cards and said their letter sounds and then slapped the pile when the "slap" card was played ... just like Slap Jack. They had a great time playing!

Spelling - Our words all used the long vowel a using a, ay, ai, and eigh.

Reading - We are reading George Washington: True Patriot by Janet and Geoff Benge. It is an e-book we are reviewing and we LOVE it! I was so reluctant for us to read a long biography chapter book, but so far it's been a highlight of our day. My full review will be coming up in a few weeks.

Math - We finished Week 4 of our Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy book. We also did another page of MEP over the coarse of two days. While they are waiting for me to make copies of worksheets, I have them do skip counting in their heads.

Handwriting - The kids are writing full sentences in cursive now and practicing their capital letters. Brynne has found herself accidentally writing in cursive in her regular assignments. Isn't that just like a girl?

Writing - We have been learning about acrostic poems this week. We have worked on them some, but found another outlet for writing that I talk about later in the post.

Geography - This week we studied New Jersey and New York. My Study America Saturday post will contain all the details. We did watch Episode 6 of Liberty's Kids to reinforce learning about "The Shot Heard Around the World", as we are also studying the Revolutionary War in our Road Trip USA studies. Well, the kids were hooked and now want to watch the whole 40 episode series! So, each afternoon we are hoping to watch an episode, even though we'll be ending our "official" study of the Revolutionary War very soon. The episodes can be watched on Youtube.

Science - As part of our Road Trip USA study on New Jersey, we spent some time learning about Albert Einstein. We read the book Albert Einstein by Lola M. Schaefer and watched a couple of biographies about him. We also conducted several optic experiments using Einstein's theories regarding light. We did Make Money Appear Before Your Eyes, Release the Rainbow, and Black is Black, or Is It?

Nature - Our butterfly habitat now contains seven black swallowtail caterpillars! They were all over my parsley in my garden and would have annihilated the entire crop had I not scooped them out. Now I can't hardly keep them fed! They eat a small handful of parsley every few hours. I hope they get into their cocoons soon or I'm going to be out of parsley!

Computer - We have signed up for an AWESOME Minecraft class! The kids are SO excited about it, and I am excited to see them put their gaming to educational use. The creators of this are simply brilliant, in my opinion.

Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...

Let your kids start a diary to get them excited about writing. Eli, I have mentioned before, does not like to write. He has the hardest time coming up with his topics. He has been reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and watching the movies. So, he said he wanted a diary.

I made him and Brynne each one with blank paper and a construction paper cover. They wanted to know if they could write in them for writing one day. That led into every day this week. But what I noticed is that Eli would sit down and happily write away for a long period of time. He was really engaged. So, I decided to back off our writing program until he gets bored with doing that. At least he's writing, right?, and enjoying it!!

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

Eli is selling popcorn for Cub Scouts. He and I have gone door-to-door a few different times this week, and he has sold some at church. He has already sold $8 over the goal that was set for him by his den leader and needs to sell $317 more to reach his personal goal. His REAL goal, however, is to beat the usual high seller ... his good friend, N. However, N. sold $1,100 worth of popcorn last year. I don't know if I have the stamina to help Eli sell that much. I think we might work towards a happy second place instead!

But I have been so proud of Eli. He goes right up to the door and says, "My name is Eli and I am selling popcorn for Cub Scouts. Would you like to buy some?" He is so mature and helps people hold the brochure. He always thanks them, whether they buy or not, and tells them to have a nice day. One lady had already bought some from someone else (N., as it would turn out), but she complimented Eli on what good manners he had.

A favorite thing this week was…

getting back to Wednesday night handbell choir practice at church. I was a little rusty, but it sure felt good to play again and be around my bell ringing friends! And, we are short a couple of ringers this year so Kyndal played with us this week! That was fun!

What's in the kitchen this week ...

More cookies! We made oatmeal raisin cookies for New Jersey. We were supposed to make oatmeal craisin cookies, but our little town doesn't carry crazy items like craisins, so we used raisins instead. I found a GREAT recipes and they turned out awesome! I'd show you a picture, but we ate them too quickly!

What we're reading ...

Mom:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. 

Eli: Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey.

Brynne: Finished New Home for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher and has now gone back to her Puppy Place roots and read all of Princess by Ellen Miles this week.

She was so proud of her reading accomplishments with the Lily Lapp books. She has read the first two in the series which consisted of 75 chapters and about 550 pages.

We have really seen the improvement in her reading since May. Before summer, she would only be able to get through about 1 chapter of the Puppy Place books each day, so it would take her 10 days to read one of them. She read Princess (10 chapters) in two days this week.

** And we hit a milestone. Yesterday I was actually in a quandary. They wanted to KEEP READING instead of moving on to their regular school work. What do you do??

Read-aloud: George Washington: True Patriot by Janet and Geoff Benge. 

Things we're working on…

Getting packed up and ready for three days of "lake school" with my friend Jodi and her kids. We have some great stuff planned, and I cannot wait to spend the evenings sitting on the deck talking face-to-face with Jodi!

I’m grateful for ...

Collin and his family for taking such good care of Kyndal while she stayed with them off and on this summer. I know that Collin was sad to move all of her stuff here to our house, although his parents might be happy to have a little less chaos in theirs. She has had some topsy-turvy months, really the past year, and they have been wonderful to help her have some stability when it was necessary for her to stay there so she could finish high school and to work. I think we have made a pretty good team to get her ready for the next chapter of her life.

In the garden…

there isn't much to report. There are some new cucumbers, so I am happy about that! But, otherwise, things are drying up. I'm about ready to call it a season and hope that I get some spinach and lettuce soon.

What's coming up this week ...

Eli, Brynne and I are leaving on Sunday afternoon to go to my parents' lakehouse to meet my friend Jodi and her three children. We have some lake-inspired lessons planned, and plans to visit a local cave. Otherwise they will be playing and swimming and reading and relaxing. The weather is going to be perfect, so it is going to be a great few days!

We'll come back Wednesday night for church and handbell practice. Kyndal and Collin are taking Eli and Brynne to the circus on Thursday night. Then Friday night Brynne has another volleyball game. On Saturday I am taking the Scouts to a Mozarkite mineral show and dig. Sunday we'll have church, and then will start getting ready for our trip to Florida!

It's going to be an action-packed week!

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

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


  1. You have such a wonderful relationship with your older kids, spending time with them, even inviting their special friends to join in family activities. Oh, how they grow up though!

    I probably shouldn't have looked at the Minecraft classes....LOL

  2. Wow, the Minecraft Class sounds neat. I am saving that website for next year when we study the Ancients. Nolan loves playing Minecraft.

    I am happy for you that all your babies are under one roof!

  3. Hope you are enjoying the lake house! Your Eli and my Zachary could be twins with the not liking to write and Whimpy kid books p, minecraft and captain underpants. All same here!


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