A Week, Briefly (#21)

Today the older girls are headed off to a soccer tournament.  This will close our soccer season for the year.  I am both sorry and relieved . . . mostly relieved.  I'm only sorry for the fact that the girls will miss the camaraderie of the team and the thrill of the game.  Dad will take them, so the littles and I will have some quality (quantity!) time together.

We're going to start our weekend by having some beloved friends over.  We're all terribly excited, but I need to get the toilets scrubbed (I don't think our friends would complain, but the toilets really need it) and I can't find the toilet cleaner!  We'll also head north for a Bountiful Baskets pick-up this weekend, and depending on how much rain falls and when, we'll try for a hike/walk at our favorite park.

It was a good week academically.

*All 4 big girls got some math done.
*I3 and I did a phonics lesson together.  We're just using index cards with letters drawn on them with marker--red for consonants, yellow for vowels (because those are the two colors I could find at the time).  He loves sounding out C-V-C words and spelling his name.
*We sat down to read Freckles, and the girls were so caught up in the drama of the story that they begged me to, "Keep reading!" for 2.5 hours.  We finished the book.
*The littles and I did some more pond activities--about floating, submergent, and emergent plants.
*We had morning devotional, family scripture study, and evening reading together.

*All 4 big girls got some math done.
*The littles and I finished our pond unit.  We read some library books about ponds and pond life, too.
*The older girls and I started A Girl of the Limberlost
*The final regular-season soccer game was cancelled because the other team forfeited.  The girls were disappointed.
*The kids spent hours outside in the sunny spring weather.  E15 is still raising her tadpoles.  We tried to feed a pair of mallard ducks that were hanging about in the swampy area on the far side of the soccer field, but they flew off before we could get the bread out.  Instead we oohed and aahed over a pair of red-winged black birds and found animal tracks in the mud.
*We had morning devotional, family scripture study, and evening reading together.

Spring flowers in our yard . . . I'm 90% sure the photo credits go to M13

Jump roping is a new skill for H5

Yes, he still uses a binky, but no, he's so not supposed to have it during the day.  That look means he knows he's been caught, but he just can't resist the satisfaction he gets from it!

Warm days = water play.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of 5 kids in our 4' diameter wading pool :)

Some sort of large bird track . . . perhaps a heron.

Red-winged blackbird--we think this is one of a nesting pair we saw fluttering around and away from a dead tree.  Perhaps it was trying to distract us from the nest?
Deer track


H5 picked a maple seed apart to find the cotyledon inside

M13 doesn't like this picture of herself, but Baby L's funny little eyebrows in this picture make me smile.

*All 4 big girls got some math done.
*We continued reading A Girl of the Limberlost, and we began working out of the Boy Scout "Nature" manual.  I read to them, and we practiced some note-taking and essay style paragraph writing techniques.
*A8 and I did some math together
*More phonics with I3.
*H5 and I practiced reading.
*We had morning devotional and family scripture study.
*Youth activities at the church were about mother's day and cooking.

Poor tired boy!

Barbies that joined our family via last week's toy drive have been fun for everyone.  E15 spent an hour one afternoon posing and photographing some of them.

*All 4 big girls got some math done.
*A Girl of the Limberlost is getting exciting!
*More reading from the BSA "Nature" handbook.  (Hands on activities to follow next week--I hope!)
*E15 and I worked on grammar from her Fix It! grammar book.
*We attended our final dance practice of the year--2 shows next week! (I'm busy finishing sewing a couple final costumes.)
*The older girls and I attended a Relief Society activity--a Zumba class taught by one of our church sisters.  Whew!  I wore Baby L and modified the moves, but it was still a terrific work out!
*The littles had a "date with Dad" at home.  He read them stories, gave them ice cream, and let them watch Frozen video clips on YouTube. :)
*We had family scripture study.

Which brings us back to today and the end of our week.

We're all feeling a sense of order and accomplishment that's been missing for a while.  It feels good.

(But meal planning is still killing me!!!!)

Friday afternoon update:  Today the littles and I had a lovely morning playing with our friends.  They left for home at lunchtime, and after we ate our lunch, we put our Pond Life lap books together.  H5 asked me to find our Oceans lap books so she could look at them both, and I did.  The kids had a grand time revisiting what they'd learned and comparing their study projects.  We read some more library books about ponds to finish up.

H5 read one of the books to us--a darling early reader by Margaret Hillert called The Yellow Boat.  It was a sweet little find.  I'm reminded that I've seen other books by her, and I'm going to reserve them at the library for H5 to enjoy.

I did some math with A8, and some reading/spelling activities with H5.  H5 also spent some time reading her Bible reader.  I3 did some preschool activities out of his favorite activity book.

Eventually I set to work folding laundry.  Baby L napped while the littles dispersed to various quiet activities on their own.  As I was finishing up, A8 appeared.  "Where've you been?" I asked in greeting.

"Writing,"  she answered.

"What are you writing?"

"That book about animals . . . remember that one?  I'm writing what it says in my journal.  I started my journal with the story of my broken arm and my baptism, but then I wrote, 'The end' and started writing everything I like from that book.  I'm getting to be a better writer and a faster writer.  I'm learning to spell better, too.  It's kind of like school.  I love it.  I can't stop doing it.  That's why my hand is always tired.  Do you want to see my book?"

"Wow!  That sound really interesting.  Yes, I would like to see your book," I replied.  Whereupon she spent the next 10 minutes giving me a tour of her journal.  It has hand drawn maps, page after page of copied information from the book she spoke of, art postcards, nature samples, magazine clippings, and brochures from museums we've been to.  It is just about the coolest journal I've ever seen.

And she's done it all on her own because in her words, "I can't help it!  I love it so much!"

That guilt I've been feeling and writing about . . . the guilt over doing a poor job homeschooling my kids?

It's not so bad right now.



  1. I love your flowers and nature shots. How in keeping with the books you have been reading. I love Gene Stratton-Porter.

    1. I hope so much for my children to love the world God made. I feel that the books are inspiring us to take action. :)

  2. I am so glad to hear that things are going so well! It's wonderful when joy resurfaces after a time of discouragement.

    I love reading your "week at a glance" entries. I get so many new ideas! For example, I just went and checked out all of the books I could find at our library that you mentioned, and I went and looked up how to make a lap book. That should be fun! And I love your daughter's photographs - especially the one of the flower with four petals.

    And while I don't know where you live, I think I might want to live there - SO beautiful!! And wildlife!! The most wildlife we have here is a stray cat or two, and maybe a few scorpions. :)

    Have a wonderful night!

    1. I grew up in the West. It took me 10 year to stop feeling claustrophobic every summer when the green takes over! Now I look forward to it, but I used to just pray for winter and bare trees so I could see around me.

      How delightful that you're finding inspiration from what often feels like my uninspiring life. :) That helps me see my life with new eyes--eyes more open to gratitude. Thank you.

  3. It looks like a fun week. Wonderful pictures. Your kiddos are talented and amazing.

  4. Reading this post made me smile today!


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