Monday, March 31, 2014

Poppins Book Nook ~ Where in the World ...

… is Ireland? … did St. Patrick live and work? … are the leprechauns? … do shamrocks originate? … is a pot 'o gold?

These were some of the questions we sought to answer when reading the book Papa and the Leprechaun King by Arthur Cola.

Papa, Grammy and the "Roses" are on a tour of Ireland when Papa comes across an old shepherd. He tells him of a legend and chooses him to solve a mystery because of the truthfulness he can see in his eyes. This adventure takes them through many historic villages, cities, and landmarks in Ireland and introduces him to Finbar, the Kind of the Leprechauns. The book is filled with adventure, mystery, intrigue, and lots of eloquent and informative descriptions of the landmarks in Ireland. You could use this book as a guidebook for a trip to Ireland. It gives names of restaurants, inns, highways and backroads, monuments, and much more. This book was a good mix of adventure and geography. The geography got a little dry for an 8 and 10 year old, so I wish I would have used a map for us to trace as we went along. I found it very cool, though!

Poppins Book Nook

We are reading this book as a part of Poppins Book Nook, a monthly-themed virtual book club for kids of which I am co-hosting. Lots of blogging moms are joining together to share, on the last Monday of each month, a book we have read and corresponding activities we have done that falls within the monthly theme. This month's theme was "Where in the World …" We had a lot of fun with our chosen book and learning about the geography and landmarks of Ireland and several of the Irish legends.

Irish Brown Bread

We made some authentic Irish Brown Bread to go with some potato and mushroom soup. It was quite tasty, I must say!

Catch a Leprechaun

We decided to try to catch a leprechaun. We made a trap with a rainbow ladder. The idea was that when the leprechaun got to the top of the ladder, he would cross over the leaves to get to the Lucky Charms and pennies! We knew that when he walked across the leaves that he would fall through the leaves into the hole we had cut under it! We went to bed and waited.

The next morning we opened our front window curtains and saw a note taped to it from the outside. It said …

There was a Wee One who was smart,
Who wanted gold with all his heart.
He could feel in his soul, 
That there waited a hole,
So he blew the kids' plan apart.

Nice try! Better luck next year!
But thanks for the Lucky Charms and the shiny pennies!
You can keep the dirty ones.

We noticed right off that it was a limerick! And we had been studying them and making up our own! We ran outside and saw that the leprechaun had tricked us! The glitter footprints showed that he climbed up the ladder and walked around the edge of the top of the catcher to get to the shiny pennies! He avoided the hole altogether! Brynne was mad at me and told me I should have put the pennies in front of the Lucky Charms. We'll try that next year.

Luring Leprechauns: A Simple Penny Experiment

How did we get shiny pennies? We tried a simple experiment from Jamie Woodward at Oh First Grade Friends that was free at TeachersPayTeachers. As we have been working on science notebooking this year, we used it with this experiment. We learned all about copper oxide and the effects of a weak acid, like vinegar and salt, to eliminate it. Then we rinsed half of them and did not rinse the other half. The unrinsed pennies quickly turned a greenish-blue. Those "dirty" ones were the pennies the leprechaun did not want!

Stacking Rainbows for a Treasure

Then we just had some fun! I wrapped mini Hershey candy bars with rainbow colored construction paper. If they successfully stacked them without them toppling over, they got the treasures inside. It had a bit of a learning curve, but they eventually figured it out!!

Meet all of my lovely co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

After you have looked at all of the neat books and activities shared by my co-hosts above, you can hop over to read all about Poppins Book Nook and the fun you can have while joining us! Updates and fun ideas can also be found on the Poppins Book Nook Facebook Page and Poppins Book Nook Pinterest Board.

Here is a reminder of all of the themes for 2014-2015. Next month's theme is "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". We are going to branch out a bit to talk about survival skills with a cool book that tells the true story of some naval aviators who crashed and had to survive at sea. There is a great field trip in the works, too! (No, we won't be heading out into the ocean in a life raft). Join us!!

If you have read a book within the theme "Where in the World" this month, and did some fun activities to go along with the book, please link up with us!

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky winner will win a copy of Where in the World!

The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found HERE. Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Cure for the Winter Blues

It has been such a long winter. I know that many, if not all of you, have experienced the same thing. I love winter, but I have to admit that this year's cold and dreariness has had its affect on me! It has zapped me of all energy! I love a good snow day to snuggle in the house, but come on!

Today it is 70 degrees and sunny and I headed out to my garden to do some spring cleaning. I wish that I would have taken a before picture, but I didn't. Let me set the scene .. the whole area was full of leaves … last year's tomato and pepper plants were tall, dead and gangly ... twigs and debris were everywhere.

I cleaned everything out and bagged up all the leaves. While cleaning I noticed some beautiful sprouts of green! There are chives, parsley, oregano, and basil just starting to peek out of the soil. I removed all their dead relatives so that they would have room to grow!

And then I did some cool weather planting. I have never planted anything this early before, but I just felt in the mood so I put in some spinach, lettuce, and carrot seeds. I immediately felt the dead come to life. It was physically and emotionally invigorating!

My little lilac shoot that I bought from the Amish is sprouting, as well as my moss growing in my ceramic bird bath.

My muscles feel tired and I feel fantastic! What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon! I'll leave you with a little #SelfieSunday shot. I don't do Instagram or Facebook, but here ya go anyway.

Wanna get rid of those winter blues? Go outside and get your hands in some dirt!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Second Place, Baby!

The last basketball tournament of the year did not start out so well! Thursday night our team played horrible and lost the first game against a team they have beaten before (but who has also beat them). They always play a pretty close game. But this time our girls just weren't in it. It's been a long season.

The tournament resumed this morning. We arrived believing that we were playing one game for 3rd place and we would be out of there in an hour. However, there on the wall was a double-elimination bracket. If we won our first game we would play again, against the team we had lost to on Thursday. If we won that game we would go onto the championship game.

We won both.

Brynne even got a basket! She played like a rockstar, as usual. She rebounded, made several assists, and just played really smart!

Our girls finished their season climbing up the loser's bracket and winning 2nd place.

And a team trophy.

The girls were so excited! With all of the faults of the season, it was still a good one where Brynne got a good first taste of a sport she has declared as her favorite!

Now moving onto softball ….

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Only One More!

Oh my goodness we only have one more week until we leave for Florida!!! We are SO ready for a break! `We are five days away from completing 60 straight days of schoolwork. Woo hoo!!!

The Past Week in our Regular Life

The most excitement we had this week was opening day at Dairy Queen! Of course we hit it up for lunch. Yum!!!

I finally broke down and went to the doctor for my stomach and heartburn issues. You know I am feeling really bad if I go to the doctor. I don't think I have gone to the doctor for an ailment in 10 years. My doctor placed me on a prescription strength Prilosec and we are praying for the best!

One of my good friends gave me a piece of advice about living in the moment. And I really started practicing that. There are so many rotten people out there, liars and deceivers who just do bad things. And when it affects your family it's hard not to dwell on it. But then that affects everything in your life and takes your focus off the things that are important. When you worry about how you are going to take care of your children, whether you will ever live in the same state with your husband again, it is easy for your current joy to be stolen. But when you are concentrating only on the moment where you are and really taking in all that is around you right then, then it makes things a lot more peaceful.

The Schooling Basics

Bible - We continue to listen to Brinkman Adventures each morning. It is a review product and my review will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Grammar - We finished up subject and object pronouns.

Spelling - We are learning long o words in Souring with Spelling and the silent e in Wild Tales.

Handwriting - We finished Handwriting without Tears - Cursive Success! We are done with formal handwriting lessons!

Math - In Math U See Gamma we moved onto and finished Lesson 27 working on place value up to the millions. In Mastering 5th Grade Math - Fractions, we learned equivalent fractions. The concepts are getting a little more difficult, but they are doing well and keeping up. And in our CTC Math program, the kids completed 3rd grade division and have moved onto 4th grade division.

Writing - We didn't get any writing done this week.

Science - In Science4Us we completed the Earth and Space book and have moved onto Life Science. The kids completed the Living and Non-living Things module.

The Schooling Fun Stuff

I will have to admit that we are not having much fun in school right now. Instead we are crawling through our days trying to complete what needs to be completed! We have a had a successful week, just not real exciting.

We did study about Nebraska this week. We completed our notebooking page and watched the Nebraska episode on "The States". We read a couple of books and then watched a short documentary about Malcolm X, who was born in Nebraska. We had a good discussion about civil rights.

And the kids had another Lewis and Clark class at the library.

The Kitchen

We are down to the last slim pickens of our groceries. I realized that payday is not until MONDAY, so we are scrounging to use what we have without getting more groceries (with the exception of some  staples, like bread). So, we had cheeseburger macaroni, hot dogs and french fries, ate potluck at church where I took homemade cookies, ate chicken sandwiches real quick on Thursday before we had to leave for Brynne's basketball game, and are having pizza with a Little Ceasar's pizza kit I bought from a fundraiser at Dawson's school. Saturday and Sunday?? Who knows!

The Days Ahead

The last basketball tournament of this year is this weekend. The girls played last night and were horrible! They lost. They play their final game tomorrow morning. Nothing is planned next week except for school, packing, and getting ready for our trip!

The Books We are Reading

Mom: And the Mountains Echoed (finished .. finally) by Khaled Hosseini.

Brynne: A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Eli: Big Nate: Flips Out (finished) and Big Nate: On a Roll by Lincoln Peirce.

Read Aloud:  Papa and the Leprechaun King by Arthur Cola.

The People and the Places

We headed to Kyndal's school to get haircuts today. She gave me a trim with some new side-swept bangs. Adorable!

Then other than basketball and church, and a quick trip to DQ, we didn't go anywhere or see anybody this week. Home is where I want to be anyway. I love my home and the people in it.

The Savings Jar(s)

$2.55 went into the change jar.

The Bible in a Year

I finished Deuteronomy this week and am now up to Joshua 15. I am 1/5th of the way through my Bible in a Year schedule. Two verses jumped out at me when I read last night:

God told them, "Don't give them a second thought. I've put them under your thumb - not one of them will stand up to you." ~ Joshua 10:8.

It was God's idea that they all would stubbornly fight the Israelites so he could put them under the holy curse without mercy. ~ Joshua 11:20.

Never doubt that God isn't in control of every situation, both good and bad, and that He will not be made a fool.

This is something I am really praying about and trusting God for right now. But peace takes a pursuit by me. Circumstances steal peace. God and His will provide it. He has a plan, no matter if I understand it or not. Trusting in His plan will provide that peace that surpasses all understanding.

The Favorite Things

Looking forward to a whole lot of this!

Linking up

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Not quite Spring Break, but it is Spring!

This week was Spring Break for our public schools which means Dawson was out of school. However, Eli and Brynne and I still charged ahead as we plan to take our Spring break in a couple of weeks. We were a little sluggish because we are ready for OUR break!!!

The Past Week in our Regular Life

We have had an extended family situation come up this week that has rocked us. There is a lot of sadness and worry and even some anger. It is not a good situation but decisions have to be made and we all have to move forward. We would certainly appreciate any prayers you could give. I do not feel comfortable sharing the specifics, as they are not mine to share, but Jesus knows our needs and I would appreciate your prayers asking Him to intercede to the Throne on our behalf.

The Schooling Basics

Bible - We have been starting our mornings listening to an online radio show called Brinkman Adventures. It is a review product and my review will be coming up in a couple of weeks.

Grammar - We learned about subject and object pronouns.

Spelling - We took the week off from spelling, other than Wild Tales.

Handwriting - We completed four lessons in Handwriting without Tears - Cursive Success.

Math - In Math U See Gamma we moved onto Lesson 26 continuing with multiple digit multiplication. In Mastering 5th Grade Math - Fractions, we found prime factors using a factoring tree. And in our CTC Math program, the kids have learned how to divide with remainders.

Writing - We finished our limericks and then worked on our community helper stories.

Science - In Science4Us we completed the Weather module.

The Schooling Fun Stuff

We are reading a book right now that is telling us all about Ireland, St. Patrick, the legends of the shamrock, leprechauns, and pots 'o gold. I will be posting about all of that on the last Monday of this month as part of Poppins Book Nook. The theme this month is "Where in the World". On St. Patrick's Day we did try to catch a leprechaun, but weren't clever enough. He figured out our scheme. Although we didn't catch him, he left us some footprints to prove that he was here.

Did you know that a Black Swallowtail can pupate anywhere from 2 to 14 weeks? Yeah, me neither. I was going to clean out our butterfly keeper because my parsley is starting to come up and the caterpillars will start munching on it soon. And there it was …. a new butterfly! I was shocked! So I did research and found that they can be in a cocoon for three or four months. It doesn't appear to be able to fly, which is a bummer. But it's only purpose is to mate, so hopefully that will still happen.

The Kitchen

BBQ pork ribs and baked potatoes, homemade healthy thin-crust pizza, fried chicken strips and mashed potatoes with corn.

The Days Ahead

Brynne is having her second sleepover tonight. The first time she had this girl spend the night Brynne vomited in bed with her. We are hoping for more success this time around!

Dawson's best friends from Oklahoma are coming with Rick this weekend. The triplets will be together again!

We are basketball tournament FREE this weekend, so other than bowling on Saturday morning and church on Sunday, we have nothing planned. Rick and I are going to start working on cleaning out the extra room in the basement for Brynne. She wants her own hangout space.

We put Kyndal on a train this morning to go on a fun school trip with her friends from Cosmo. She has been so excited for this trip, and I am so excited for her! She will have such a great time, I know.

The Books We are Reading

Mom: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Winterdance by Gary Paulsen.

Brynne: A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Eli: Big Nate: Flips Out by Lincoln Peirce.

Read Aloud:  Papa and the Leprechaun King by Arthur Cola.

The People and the Places

My grandma's 91st birthday was on Monday. I celebrated with her at the nursing home by bringing her a homemade dinner.

We have been frequenting the park and went with my mom, sister, and niece to the school playground on Thursday afternoon.

The Savings Jar(s)

$1.45 went into the change jar.

The Bible in a Year

I have read through Deuteronomy 27 as of today.

The Favorite Things

Brynne made her first basket at her game on Tuesday night. It was so amazing!!! She dribbled right into the lane and swished a perfect shot! Then later on she got an offensive rebound and put it up for two points. You have to understand that Brynne is typically the shortest one on the court so for her to get a rebound and put up a successful shot is outstanding! Our whole family was there (except her daddy .. and he was seriously bummed), so it was really special for her.

I am so proud of how responsible my older two kids are becoming. Kyndal has taken ownership of eating healthier and losing some pounds she has put on this year. She has done so great with exercising and diligence with her eating. And then Dawson has been given back his '78 Cadillac from his Papa. (He gave it up when it started to have mechanical problems and bought a Ford Explorer. Papa knew how important the car was to him so gave it back to him as a gift.) This is going to require him to come up with more insurance money, constant repairs for it, etc. He is taking it head on and so excited and ready for it! It makes me happy to see my kids growing up into responsible young adults.

I love it that our house is the one where all of Dawson's friends hang out. There is always a combination of teenaged boys running in and out the back door and up and down the stairs to Dawson's room. It's loud and chaotic and I sometimes hear conversations I could live without. But, it makes me feel great that his friends feel comfortable enough in our house to come and go as they please. They don't even knock anymore. Dawson has even given some of them their own place to hang their keys. They're good boys.

They aren't playing poker .. they are playing Risk!

Brynne told me this week that she wants to be like a "big girl" and have a show that she and I watch together, just the two of us. I have shows I watch only with Dawson and some that I watch only with Kyndal. It was so important to her that I do it with her, too. So we picked out Once Upon a Time to start watching on Netflix. She was so excited. We watched the first two episodes last night.

Linking up

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!!

Photo Credit - Vale Designs

We are finishing up some work and heading to the park! It's 70 degrees and sunny. What a perfect first day of Spring!!!

To celebrate, I am giving away three coupons to three separate winners for a FREE bottle of Purex Crystals! They will make even your clothing smell like spring! 

All it takes is a quick comment below. Say whatever, I don't care. The giveaway will end tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. central time. I am in such a hurry to get to the park that I am drawing the winner the old fashioned way. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Thank you all for entering my giveaway for the coupons of free Dial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap. I had 101 total entries! That is awesome!

The winners are Natalie Yeoman, Gloria Nimtz McKellar, and June Lisle. Congratulations! I have e-mailed each of you for your mailing addresses.

I will be having another giveaway coming up this weekend … this time for a new Purex product that I had never used.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

91 and Going Strong

This is my grandma Alice. She turned 91 years old yesterday. She lives in a nursing home in the town where we live, so I can drop in and see her whenever I want. A couple of weeks ago I asked her what her favorite meal was and she told me fried chicken.

When I was a little girl, we had family dinners at my grandma's often. One of our favorite meals was fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy. She used her china, her gravy boat, the whole 9 yards. She would serve us all at the table and would stand at the counter next to the stove to eat her meal. I have such fond memories of those dinners.

So yesterday evening I made her a homemade meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, and corn bread, and we had shamrock mini-cupcakes for dessert. She was so happy! I sat next to her and we just enjoyed our dinner together. She went on and on about how good it was and wanted to keep the leftovers for another meal.

We have always celebrated St. Patrick's Day big at our house because of my grandma's birthday. The kids made her a sign and banner for her door. I bought her a new zip up jacket and two shirts. She was so excited that she had gotten new clothes from everybody and my mom and come out and polished her fingernails for her.

And, she had the honor of leading the St. Patrick's Day parade through the halls of her home. They decorated her wheel chair, dressed her in a St. Patty's t-shirt with a tall green top hat and green elf booties. She got to go around and hand out candy to all the residents. (Oh how I wish I would have been there to get pictures of that!) When I got there yesterday evening the residents were all decked out in their green clothes and were wearing little green party hats at dinner. Everyone was in a festive mood. It was so cute.

I was so glad to be able to give back to my grandma something that she had given us for so many years. I think she had an amazing birthday. Here's to many more!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Let it Snow … again? But yesterday it was 75 degrees and sunny!

This is a picture of my boys taken yesterday at the park.

And this is what it looks like today.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Exercise and Fresh Air, and Ted

When we have had a couple of weeks of fun unit studies, it always seems we just need a week to buckle down and do some book work to get caught up. That has been what this week has been like … doing all of our regular work with some extra reading. No bells and whistles. Just good, steady work. Oh, and some extra outside time. The weather has been amazing!

Meet Ted. We have lots of stray cats that like to frequent our cat Clifford's food bowl. But they usually run off with a "psssstt"! But not this black cat. He has taken up residence on our back porch and no matter how many times we try to run him off or keep him from Clifford's food, he sticks around. Clifford even seems to like him. This morning I went out to feed Clifford and he shared his food with him. Side-by-side they stood. So, Eli named him Ted. And it looks like Clifford now has a best bud.

Then we had another pet incident when the wind blew open the gate to our backyard and all four of our dogs got out. I went out to let them in and the gate was shut again, but the dogs were gone. The kids freaked. I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode. It was like they vanished. Thankfully they were down the street and around the corner … all four together.

The Past Week in our Regular Life

Well, the worst case scenario has happened. I have given up coffee and tea. After I bragged about how good the Pepcid Complete was working, it began to fail me and my heartburn and stomach burning came back with a vengeance. As I really, really, really want to make as many dietary changes as possible before I resort to some kind of prescription medication, I turned to the internet for some research. Obviously my issue is acid reflux, and coffee and tea has tons of acid. I just had to give it up. (That with some other things … primarily any tomato-based products … boooo!!!)

But I really NEED a hot beverage in the mornings. Research taught me that chamomile tea is the way to go. My problem is that I don't like sweet, flavored drinks, so I was reluctant. But, chamomile is fine and (although it is NOT my morning coffee) it has been a pleasant start to my day. I am now working on identifying the other food triggers.

The Schooling Basics

Bible - We went back for more discussion about the division of the kingdom of Israel and the ensuing captivities of Israel and Judah due to their evil ways.

Grammar - We have been learning about pronouns and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person (have you ever actually read a story in 2nd person? I have to admit, I didn't even know it existed. I guess if you were writing a love story to someone that would be 2nd person.)

Spelling - We added the "sneaky y" to chunking, copy work and dictation in Spelling U See and memorized "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". And in Soaring with Spelling we also learned some short vowel words.

Handwriting - We are two weeks away from completing Handwriting without Tears - Cursive Success. Five lessons were completed this week.

Math - In Math U See Gamma we went back to do some more problems from Lesson 25 and continued with multiple digit multiplication, this time multiplying three digit numbers by two digit numbers. In Mastering 5th Grade Math - Fractions, we found the Greatest Common Factor of three numbers. These take quite a bit of time to do. And we have now started a third math curriculum, another review product, where we are starting to learn about division. The kids really like this program! I can honestly say that we have math covered right now!

Writing - We worked on organizing stories and started problem/solution stories on community helpers with character and setting descriptions. Eli is writing about an ice cream man whose uniform shrunk in the dryer. Brynne is writing about a teacher who forgot how to do math. We also wrote some limericks.

Science - In Science4Us we completed the Earth Features module.

The Schooling Fun Stuff

Dallas Seavey - and he broke the record!

The Iditarod winner has crossed the finish line, as well as all but about a dozen more. The race will not be completed for another day or two when the final racers come through. There were some major twists and turns in the last stretch and the leader actually scratched (quit) with just 25 miles left to go! The conditions of the trail were insane this year. First it was so barren that they were pulling sleds on dry ground. Then at the end the wind was 65 mph with ice. Mushers were disoriented and getting lost on the trail. It was a crazy week following the Iditarod and one of the funnest things we have done in our homeschool. You MUST do this with your kids next year! Start by going to the Iditarod website and downloading the media kit (it will give you lot of information about the race, even its history). Then watch "Toughest Race on Earth" by the Discovery Channel. Major fun unit!! We are sad it's over!

On Thursday we attended our second Lewis and Clark class at our public library sponsored by the University of Missouri Extension Center. The kids wrote the supply list in their journals, listened to a story, and made canoe paddles with paper bags and paint stirring sticks.

Eli has really been into drawing video game worlds and creating characters. He puts a lot of time into his creations. Good stuff!

The Kitchen

Broccoli cheese noodle soup, spaghetti and texas toast, chicken stir fry, chicken crescents with mashed potatoes, and cereal one night! Kyndal is wanting to eat lower calorie meals, so that has my new "easy weeknight meals" thrown out the window. This next week we are planning pork tacos, bbq pulled pork sandwiches and fruit, and homemade healthy thin-crust pizzas.

The Days Ahead

More basketball.  Brynne is in another tournament this weekend.

Next week I have my women's small group on Tuesday night, handbell choir practice and church potluck on Wednesday night. Brynne will likely have a basketball practice or two. Dawson will be working. Kyndal will be going to school. Eli will be doing all he can do to stay home and play with his toys. We only have 3 more weeks of school until our Spring Break vacation and then only 2 more weeks of school when we get back before we are done for the year!!! We are all ready for an extended break. We are working hard toward that goal.

The Books We are Reading

Mom: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, Winterdance by Gary Paulsen.

Brynne: A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Eli: Diary of a Real Payne by Annie Tipton.

Read Aloud:  Papa and the Leprechaun King by Arthur Cola.

The People and the Places

On Monday afternoon we met some other homeschooling families at the park for some playtime. We have needed some outside play for so long! It was windy but so amazing to be outside! We have also been walking and riding our bikes every day.

We also went to a community center for some swim time on Friday afternoon.

The Savings Jar(s)

I saved $4.08 in change this week. And, I successfully saved another $75 out of our gas budget to go toward our trip to Florida, so $205 total. I should have $290 saved by the time we leave. Go me!

The Bible in a Year

I have completed the first four books of the Old Testament and am now in Deuteronomy. I have to say I am glad to be out of Leviticus and Numbers. Reading all of the rituals and family lines was difficult to read.

The Favorite Things

A date night last Friday night with Rick. We went out to dinner and to Walmart. It was nice to spend some time alone!

The girls started getting up with me to go on my walk! Kyndal takes Chloe on a leash, Brynne rides her bike, and I take Crusoe. We go on a 2-mile route and it feels great! I have enjoyed spending that time with my girls. I hope to instill in them the importance of physical fitness.

Linking up