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Weekly Wrap-up ~ A Surprise Fantastic Week!

In our regular life this week…

Things started off shaky when Eli spent all of Sunday night vomiting. Although we were running slow on Monday, we did have a very productive day. However, we didn't participate in Cub Scouts Monday night. On Tuesday night I had my UMW women's circle. It was SO cold on Wednesday that the kids stayed home from church that night and I even skipped dinner and just ran up there for bell choir practice. Thursday night was a relaxing night at home that was much needed after a busy week. Rick is coming today and we have a busy weekend. My niece is running for Courtwarming princess, and Dawson and Taylar will be going to the dance tonight after the basketball game. Tomorrow night Kyndal is participating in the senior talent show at her school and my mom and I are going to watch her. We'll have church on Sunday morning and then eat lunch at my parents' before Rick heads back to Oklahoma.

In our homeschool this week…

I thought my plans for the week were thwarted when Eli started off the week with the stomach flu, but, what a fantastic week it turned out to be! We loved all of our spanish studies, did some high-fiving and "whoop whoops" while doing math, wrote some fantastic informative paragraphs about Snowy Owls, and even kind of enjoyed our new science curriculum! (That was a surprise to me.) Our studies are fun, exciting, and cohesive. I've seen some great educational moments.

I feel like we are in an easy groove. The kids are getting plenty of rest so they are ready to go when I am ready to start in the mornings. Our plan of Bible, two subjects, then a 10 minute break, two more subjects, reading for 15 minutes, then taking 30-45 minutes for lunch, finishing up our subjects after lunch (usually about two more subjects) and then finishing our day reading for another 15 minutes HAS BEEN PERFECT! We are done by 3:00 p.m. (most days) and then the rest of the day is for fun and play. We are having complaint-free days and things are smooth.

Look! Yes, was there, too!

Working on some paragraph editing.

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

Yesterday we had our second day of Homeschool Co-op. The kids learned about holidays in India, Japan and China. They colored maps, ate fried rice and spring rolls with chopsticks, and made Chinese dragons. It was a very fun day for them! With their love of geography, this class is perfect for them.

My Favorite Resource this week was…

Office Depot, and their excellent customer service through Amelia at Store #2133 in Owasso, Oklahoma. My poor husband was sent on a shopping expedition for some art supplies we need for a new product we are reviewing for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. For goodness sake, I sent him to Hobby Lobby. He did GREAT! But HL didn't have one of the products we needed. He went to Office Depot and they didn't have it in the store either. Amelia ordered it for him online and is having it delivered NEXT DAY to me here in Missouri with NO SHIPPING charges. She was very helpful, I will have the supplies I need by Tuesday, and Rick is done with his scavenger hunt.

My kiddos' favorite thing this week was…

Eli's was finishing his first REAL chapter book! He read Captain Underpants in just three days!

Brynne's favorite thing was receiving a reply from the Barbie division of Mattel, Inc., in response to her letter a she wrote them a couple of weeks ago.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share ...

Don't get too cocky when you feel like things are going perfectly! I don't know why things are going so great right now. I am thinking it's because I have great kids. But, I am not naive in thinking that we might not just hit a brick wall right around the corner. So, I am relishing in these good times, but preparing myself should we hit some bumps in the road.

Things I’m working on…

our next unit on China. Brynne has been wanting to study China for so long, but we were busy with Christmas and then our Polar Animals unit. I promised her we would study China before we move onto our long-term geography/social studies unit using Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling.

I’m grateful for…

responsible kids. When I got home from my women's circle on Tuesday night, at 8:45 p.m., Brynne came out of her and Eli's bedroom (where the light was off) to tell me that at 8:15 p.m. she had told Eli that they needed to get their bed stuff ready because bedtime was in 15 minutes. Then she made sure they were in bed by 8:30 p.m. Dawson was upstairs "babysitting", and he didn't even know they had done all that. Since then she has been setting her alarm on her watch in the mornings to get her and Eli up one hour before we are to start school.

And then this week Dawson applied for a job washing dishes at the nursing home where my grandma lives, and he has an interview on Monday (and we have heard that he has the job). He will be working about 15 hours a week. It's hard to find a job in this little town, so I am so proud of him for taking the initiative and am grateful that he understands the necessity of working for his privilege to drive a car.

I rewarded my kids this week by…

letting them have a candy bar while we were at Walmart. I am needing to really take care of my budget. As part of that I have made a rule (for myself) that every two weeks I can only purchase 10 items from Walmart. This is usually especially difficult when I take Eli and Brynne with me because we impulse shop. I reached our goal, with their help, and we still had an equally budgeted trip to Aldi coming up. It might seem counter-productive to buy something for them when I am talking about my Walmart budget. But, they had been so good at Co-op and so helpful to me that I rewarded them each with a Hershey chocolate bar. Sometimes you just gotta do it.

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

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

It's time to put up another line for more country flags!

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


  1. I Love It! Everything in this post is amazing. The picture of Eli reading made me smile, the excitement that Brynne felt when she opened her letter made me want to jump, Dawson being so proactive makes me want to show my oldest that yes highschoolers can be role models, and I want to make a country flag banner now!

    Thank you for sharing, very inspirational.

  2. Awesome! Sounds like you hit a nice daily groove!

    Go, Eli! Congratulations on finishing Captain Underpants! Reading another? (My youngest is still working on Flat Stanley, but we've taken a break to read a book HE picked out from the library. He's never picked out a book before...)

    Chocolate! LOL

  3. It does look like a great week!! I love those flags! And a little reward can go a long way. :)

  4. Wow. I don't even know what to comment on - such a great looking week! Congrats on being featured on Barb's site; it really was a great post that you did.

  5. Wow! What a great week, Nicole. The geography studies sound fabulous. Congrats to Eli for his advancements with reading! Woot!

    For your China unit - if you don't already know about it there is a kit you can get that comes with all sorts of great stuff including the items needed to write chinese. Bear and I used it when we did a long unit on China several years ago.

  6. Not sure how I'm just now diving into your blog but I love it!!! Thankful it's a rainy day in Georgia because I want to keep reading! Your homeschool style is a lot like I'm striving for. It took us half the year to feel like our routine is working well for us too.

    Are you on the Apologia Swimming Creatures review? Your art project looks awesome. We are finishing the hale unit this week and I'd love to add that in! What did you use?

    1. Thanks for joining up to follow me, Nicole! We are actually doing the Flying Creatures review. We had just happened to be finishing up a Polar Animals unit with another friend. I got the whale art idea from Deep Space Sparkle (they have GREAT art projects!). Here is the link:

  7. I love your schedule. I'ge been looking for a way to adjust ours to (hopefully) help us focus. This might be just the thing. Yay for a chocolate reward. Mom's should get those on a regular basis, don't you think? :0)
    Looking forward to checking out your blog again soon. Blessings to you and your family.


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