Big and I ACTUALLY made some progress on her room project!

1 . Wallpaper is sealed and sanded.
2. Paint color picked.
3. Primer test wall complete.
4. Remaining paint and supplies purchased.
5. Nap.

Ok, maybe #5 doesn’t count….

When we were at the paint store today the nice 20 year old young man cheerfully asked if he could help us. I replied, “Since I don’t think you’re trained to help a13 year old girl pick out paint, not yet. As soon as we have a color, is all you. ” He laughed and thanked me for understanding his limits. He also looked relieved that I didn’t expect him to help with color. Too funny.

Tonight, more painting!


Weekly Report – August 29, 2014


It’s Friday!

I wasn’t going to do it. I was going to drink the coffee swill that I purchased and make myself drink it… But it’s Friday. Cheers to you and your iced coffee today, and for all of us making it through another homeschool week!


We had a pretty awesome week. I love doing Weekly Reports because I always amazed at how much we actually got done. If you worry about not getting enough done – track it. I bet you’ll be surprised!

I think I am going to try and be a little more systematic in my approach though. I am thinking of categories and will likely need to tweak these a little. But, here goes try number one:


Academics –

The Good –
We took Monday off from all but Math and Bible, and then had full days the other 4. If the kids are focused, we’re done by 2 easily. If not… Well. I’ve got nothing to say about that! I’m liking the groove we’re in with school. Math, History, and CLE stuff, (reading and LA), is going well.CNN Student News is still a highlight of our day. (And for those who watch… what is Friday?)

I’m still fighting writing and what we’re supposed to do with that, but I think I have a lead. More on that next week.

We’re still at a lesson a day with Big in Algebra 2, but we’ll slow down as needed. A local dad friend (and Doctor of Mathematics) is also teaching his dd algebra, and about to start Saxon Algebra 2 also, and we’re thinking it would be encouraging for the girls to hang a little. I think it’s a great idea. He suggested we trade math puzzles weekly which I think the kids would love.

BJU science is a welcome change in our day. SO glad we changed back. I still need to research lab stuff before it catches up on me!

The Bad or Ugly – The writing thing… and spelling may kill me. Literally. (A little Word Crimes joke there.) Need to get on scripture memory. We were supposed to learn 3 verses, we’ll do well with 2.


Fun Stuff –

The Good – Monday we went to see Moses’ Tabernacle as a part of the Messiah’s Mansion traveling ministry. It was AWESOME. HIGHLY recommended. It’ll have it’s own post next week. Five Guys Burgers didn’t hurt the trip either… 🙂


We also did a community service clean up project on Wednesday. It was a lot of fun. The kids and I have done it every year for the last 4 or 5 years, but we invited the church kids to attend with us. It was a ton of fun, good bonding, short, and free shirts.


The kids loved it.

The Bad or Ugly – We’re headed to the pool today. It’s going to be 95 and HOT. But the pool closes Monday. That’s BAD and UGLY. It’s been a great summer!


Working Out –

The Good – 2 days of TKD for the kids. I am rocking my FitBit, though the kids are not rocking theirs. Big is terrible with it, Little kills it when he wears it. I think it’s headed back to Little. My Max day was over 12,000. I am very proud of that day! LOL!

The Bad or Ugly – I still love food, sugar, bread, and pasta too much.


Personal –

The Good – a friend to road trip with, minimal naps this week (BUSY), walking is going better, had a chance to minister to a couple friends this week – including an awesome Project Runway marathon and fondue night!, great bible study, a mentor willing to drop stuff to meet with me, an amazing husband who listens when I go all crazy PMS (which, honestly, is rare), and then pretends to forget about it. :-]

The Bad or Ugly – friends bearing grief so big I cannot fathom, little done on house projects this week (I say “little” because I am holding out hope for Saturday!), aging mentally unaware parents who I live to far from to really help much


Verse I’ve prayed a lot this week, mostly for friends shoulder deep in life:

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deut 31:8

Hope you had an amazing week, and fabulous iced coffee!


Linked at –

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers


Things to Save and Share

You know all those times you find cool articles on the web, or someone shares something on Facebook and you just want to remember it. Well, that’s what this post is for! Here are some amazing things I’ve read or found this week, and I just have to Save and Share…

An Amazingly Timely Article:

How to Help a Grieving Friend: 11 Things to Do When You’re Not Sure What to Do

This article was shared by a friend who was walked through profound grief a couple of times. She said the information was helpful, and I was SO glad I read it before spending time with a friend yesterday who is also in the depths of grief. Not from a Christian perspective, but great information.

An Amazing Homeschool Writing Resource:

I’m still fighting writing this year, though I’ll likely share about that in another post. One remarkable resource I have found and started to use is the Lively Art of Writing workbook. I did not write, edit or in ANY way contribute to the workbook. The people who did are AMAZING and I am so grateful for their work!!! I don’t ever want to lose these links!

Lively Art of Writing Workbook Pages (Student)

Lively Art of Writing Teacher Manual

An Amazing Math Reoursce:

This is the SUPER FUN math book I use for extra credit problems for my kids weekly Saxon tests. They love them. The problems are fun and interesting… I offer one problem a week for 5 points. All or nothing. It makes Friday math a little more fun.

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians

That’s it. Three things to Save and Share. Do you have any amazing resources I need to bookmark?

Linked at “Starts at Eight”

The Dreaded Timeline

Maybe I am the only mom who has dreaded the timeline. I know it’s important to see the progression of things, and I know it’s important to know the dates and order of events…

But it’s a pain.

We’ve tried.

We’ve done the wall… and the book…

We’ve tried notebooking the stuff.

It’s all been a fail. (For the record, the wall worked OK when the kids were told to do, I watched them, I helped with dates, and we had room to keep it up all the time. Yeah, so like, for a week…)

Well, it’s the beginning of a new year so I have delusions of grander again. This year’s version includes lots of writing and keeping a timeline.

Enter – Timeline Builder APP for the ipad. It’s put out by Knowledge Quest and it totally, completely rocks the house.


Why do I love it?

1. It gets done. The kids are older now so they can manage the dates and information from the Sonlight Blue Book and get them into the computer. The can do it.

2. It’s fun for them. The ipad is still cool.

3. The linking of the timeline to add pictures and stuff is so cool and the kids love it.

So we’re on Week 4 of the school year and the timeline is actually working. And I am thrilled. Now, on to writing…


Linked at “Starts at Eight”

Quick Gift

Big and I just ripped out a few “Back to School” gifts for the ladies at church. Everyone at our church homeschools, or has but graduated their flock, so it’s busy season for moms too.

The cups were $1 (and ate reusable), and coffee was the same or less. A quick stamp and some ribbon and we’re done! A super cute, and inexpensive, gift!


Weekly Report – 22 August 2014

It’s FRIDAY!!! Join me for an iced coffee and a little recap of our week….


I had a wicked case of insomnia last night, so the iced coffee is a must. I call it my Nice Juice. My super-amazing sister is a runner and super careful about her diet, and she reserves Friday for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. Here in the deep, Deep South we have no DD so I think Friday will be Starbucks day for me. A totally legit finish to my week!

So, this week has been excellent. We're finishing up Week 3 in our Sonlight Core W schedule. I still love Sonlight. Love it!!

Awesome stuff we added this year – Current Events. You can read about it here. It totally rocks. It's our favorite part of the day.

Math, LA, Reading, and writing are plugging along. We're working through Essentials in Writing level 7, which is designed for Grade 7. I'm super sad to report that I'm not loving it. We have done IEW for years, and I think we'll be heading back soon. The Essentials in Writing program is so, so much easier than IEW. We're doing a lesson a day, though the recommend each lesson taking a day or more. For me, one paragraph for a 7th grader is a joke. I like that the approach is different than IEW and it's definitely shorter, but we need more. Writing is one of my focus areas for this year, so as soon as we finish this up we're moving on.

This week we made another huge curriculum change. This time… SCIENCE. For the past two years we've done BJU science with the online videos. It's awesome. It's rigorous, thorough, and biblically based. But, this is 8th grade for Big. One year left before HIGH SCHOOL. So I wanted this year to be lighter. More fun. Suck out all the joy while we can. And, this year BJU is earth and space. Big wants to be an astonaut. She LOVES space stuff. So I made the decision to skip out on BJU and make science super hands on and fun. I bought a few TOPS units and we started using them….


During Week 2 Big came to me and asked if we could change science. “It’s fun, but I’m not learning anything.” Well… OK! I didn’t expect that! So we discussed and came up with a plan: TOPS, and NASA unit studies until December when BJU goes on sale. Then, we buy BJU and cherry pick all her favorite topics. Little doesn’t care either way – so he’d be along for the ride.

Then we came to Week 3. Big came to me again. “Mom, I can’t make it to Christmas. This is awful. Please can we have Mrs. Vick back. Please.” I’ve never had one of my kids ask for harder, more challenging curriculum before. Like, ever. Little wanted to keep the TOPS, so he added his 5 cents, “But mom, we’ve used like 5 rolls of tape.” As if that would make me think it was rigorous! LOL!!

So, I ordered BJU Wednesday and the videos started up on Thursday.

Yup. Lots of $. (And I haven’t even considered the lab kit yet….)

Yup. About 45-50 minutes a day.

Yup. TOPS kits need to be returned.

But I’ve heard, “Thank you so much Mom for getting Mrs. Vick back!” and “I love this science!” and “It’s so great to be doing BJU again!” so many times in the past 2 days that it was all TOTALLY worth it. My kids loves science again. 🙂

And proving that my kids are a little nerdy… WW2 is a fascinating topic here right now. We’re in ancient history with Sonlight, but battle plans of WW2 are the “play” topic around here. Lots of discussion of airplanes. Army men are ready for battle (which the kids have planned out and involve all their homeschool buddies). Code Name Verity and the follow up book are being read and reread. Horrible Histories are being watched and read. I figure if we don’t learn much about Egypt, at least we’re learning some history!


And the other stuff:

Bible Bee oral is done!! The kids did great. I’ll post a whole post on this later. But – I LOVE the Bible Bee!! Final written exam is tomorrow!!

Big’s room is almost ready for paint. I hope we can put a coat on today…. more likely tomorrow. Wow, only like 2 years behind on this project.

Pool today. It’s going to be 110 heat index. Kids are pushing through schoolwork this morning! It will be a pool heavy weekend.

We made wontons last night – YUM!!!!

My whole wheat croissants were a fail. Apparently fatty baked goods need more gluten.