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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Summer School!

In our regular life this week…

Ahh .. this has been a much calmer week, with the exception of the air conditioning guy who told me that because our drip pan in our ancient central unit is cracked (it leaks some water but otherwise works GREAT) that we should get a new central unit, a new furnace and updated duct work. Hmmm .... I think I'll pass and maybe just have a new drip pan made. Thanks, though.

Kyndal has been home this week. It's so interesting having your adult child back home with you. It will be fun to see her experience life as an adult on a day-to-day basis when she moves back in with us full-time in September.

Eli's Scout Pack had it's graduation ceremony and cookout on Friday night. Before the meeting our den gathered together so that we could do our landscaping elective. The boys made greenhouses out of half-gallon milk/juice cartons, straws, and ziplock bags and planted some cool viney moss that we took from my mom's house (this stuff spreads like crazy and needs NO maintenance and is a really pretty green with yellow flowers). Eli graduated to Webelos I and received three arrow points and a new patch. He really loves scouts and I really love that he loves it.

Yesterday my mom, Collin's mom and good friend Pam, and I went to Kansas City to go to some neighborhood garage sales. The weather was beautiful and we had such a fun day!!! I got some great things: Coach sneakers for $3 (I have always wanted a pair!), a large mirror for my bedroom for $5, Under Armor cleats for Brynne for $3, GameCube games and another remote that the kids can use in their Wii for $1 each, a barely (if ever used) Pampered Chef bar pan for $5 (I used mine at least three times a week before it dropped onto our concrete kitchen floor a couple of years ago and broke ... I was so sad!), a few clothing items dirt cheap, some other odds and ends, and this great light fixture for $5!

In our homeschool this week…

Summer School ROCKS! This was probably the best week of homeschooling we have ever had! The kids had spectacular attitudes and really worked hard at everything they did. We are really enjoying our unit study on Life Cycles!

We have been doing schoolwork from 10:00 a.m. to about 12:30 or 12:45 p.m. each day, doing math, cursive handwriting, Bible/Culture (very brief), our unit study, two read alouds, and personal reading.

Some of the hard-working attitudes of the kids might be in that they are being paid 50 cents each per day for a good day of schoolwork. This has them making $2.00 per week (because we don't do school on Fridays). They can either save their money, purchase something, or use it for snacks at the pool. So far they have each decided to save it. I am happy because we earned two days off to use in our regular school year. Yippee!!

On Monday, Brynne did say, "Man, it feels good to be doing schoolwork again." With only a week off of school last week, I could tell that the kids were already getting bored. They like doing some schoolwork in the morning and then having the afternoon to do whatever they want. Eli said, "I love this school!" I wish we could do it like this all the time.

BIG NEWS: Kyndal went for her cosmetology admission interview on Wednesday and she has been accepted and will start school on October 1st! She is very excited, and I am excited for her. I know she will LOVE it!

Dawson is working on some assessments his school is requiring him to take to give him his credits for 9th grade when he was homeschooled. (Do NOT get my started on this!) I have been very proud of him and his good attitude when it comes to doing this. He works on some practice activities for one hour a day and then will take his assessment after two weeks. He has three of these to do this summer. He shouldn't have to do these, but bureaucracy, you know. And he shows up here at 1:00 every day, no matter what he is doing or where he has been, and does it without fail.

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

We purchased our pool membership this week and had two great days swimming! The sun finally peeked out for a couple of days. It was only in the mid-70's, and the pool water was FREEZING, but you couldn't convince Brynne of that. Eli, on the other hand, was convinced! His swimming periods were brief.

Brynne also had a softball game on Monday night. She hit a double and a single and scored two runs. Her team won 3-2. Go Brynne!!

A favorite thing this week was…

Dissecting owl pellets. It was absolutely fascinating! Our owl had eaten a vole and a rodent. It was astonishing to me to see the skulls and the little balls and ball sockets of the hips and legs. They are so tiny! Way cool!!

What's in the kitchen this week ...

With Kyndal home I have cooked more this week. We enjoyed some yummy manicotti and popcorn chicken. Since I am reading Trim Healthy Mama, I am motivated to watch what I am eating again so I put my popcorn chicken on a salad with greens, onions, fresh mini portabello mushrooms, cheddar cheese, avocado slices, and Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing. So yummy! On Monday night I also made homemade pizzas. My pizza was made with onions, mini portabello mushrooms and kale. Again, YUM!

What we're reading ...

Mom: Mercy by Jodi Piccoult, Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace, Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl, Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett.

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne: Patches (Puppy Place) by Ellen Miles.

Read-aloud: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming, Life with Lily by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Poppy by Avi.

Things we're working on…

VBS! I am in charge of the opening ceremony, the Bible lesson room, and closing ceremony. I have also come up with the ideas for snack and will probably have to get those made and ready. And, I am getting everything together for the preschool room for their Bible lessons. We are doing a farm theme on one Saturday (5 1/2 hours) and are ending the day with a cookout. It's going to be a lot of fun, I think, but it's a lot of work!

I’m grateful for ...

Sunshine, the smell of fresh honeysuckle, a cool breeze while sitting on the front porch swing, newly grown grass.

In the garden…

Lots of things are popping up in the Square Foot Garden. I did have to put some netting over it because it looks like something is lopping the tops off some of the kids' plants.

I planted three tomato plants, some cherry tomatoes, basket of fire peppers, and garlic chives in my salsa garden.

I think my hydrangea shoot from my grandma's hydrangea is going to live!! I am so excited and honored to carry on her amazing hydrangeas at my home.

What's coming up this week ...

Starting tomorrow Eli and I will spend all day every day at Cub Scouts day camp. Brynne will be hanging out with Dawson (and grandma when he is working or busy), except on Friday when she gets to come for Family Day. Rick is taking off on Friday to spend the day with us and then Brynne has a softball game that night. It will be the only game of hers that Rick gets to see. And, it's his birthday! When asked what he wants for his birthday he said, "All I want is to watch Brynne play softball." I think we'll try to throw in something else special for him, though.

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

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

"If you forgive people enough, you belong to them, and they to you, whether either person likes it or not -- squatter's rights of the heart." ~ James Hilton, Time and Time Again

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


  1. Such a COOL green house Eli made with Cub Scouts! We love scouts! My oldest is in Boy Scouts and was chosen as a patrol leader this year. Cati is almost a Cadette (although her interest is sadly waning because the focus was more on ONE DIRECTION this year rather than projects). And Sam is Bear now (I think).

    What GREAT finds! I never have any luck when I go out, although I have found some clothing at the local Salvation Army recently. I outfitted us with 3 new shorts EACH (12 pair), WOOL socks (about 12 pairs) and a skirt and lamp for Cati for $41.

    Kyndal and Dawson sound like GOOD kids...and awesome role models for the younger ones when it comes to "just doing it".

  2. Wow! Sounds like you had a packed-full week. And a blessed life. I enjoyed the peek you shared into your days and your family. Hope the upcoming week goes just as wonderfully.
    (stopping by via The Homeschool Mother's Journal)

  3. Sounds like you guys had an awesome week!


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