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Two Week Wrap Up

In my life these two weeks

We’ve had snow and ice, and we’ve had summer weather.  The crocuses are blooming, finally, but they are not crawling with bees because our bees did not survive the winter.  That does not bode well for the garden and orchard this year—no bees, no fruit.  But, since it’s snowing right now, summer fruit seems a long ways away.

My husband was away for a long overseas trip and came back last night, safe, sound, and tired. Knowing my fascination with pebbles on beaches, he brought home a handful of beach ‘sand’—a curious variety of shell fragments of all sorts of colors and shapes, and a beautiful shell in which you can hear the ocean, faintly, and a clam, bridal white and pink.

Last Saturday I was a panelist at our homeschooling conference, discussing high school at home and teaching multiple levels.  I had been nervous, but being on these panels with a group of inspiring ladies turned out to be a wonderful experience.  It was fun helping others by getting out of my comfort zone.

Although we had planned to spend 15 minutes a day spring cleaning specific parts of the house, we did not necessarily work in the areas we were going to focus on.  The house isn’t the way I’d hoped it would be by today.  That’s OK, though.  Other parts could use some extra attention as well.

In our homeschool

We are moving on.  Slowly.  I’ve had to tell Mr. 18 he’s not allowed to do any Omnibus work until he catches up in calculus, advanced physics, and advanced chemistry.  Those are the prerequisites he needs for his university choices.  But Apologia’s advanced sciences teach more than is necessary, and it’s difficult to tweak them to be grade 12 level instead of AP level.

Miss 15 is spending a few weeks relaxing.  She read countless books by Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, and C.S. Lewis as well as some fluffy novels.  She made cards and rested and exercised.  She even treated us to a second breakfast, hobbit style.

The Little Misses and I had a hard time being focused these two weeks, first because of illness, and lately because of the lovely weather.  But we did learn a fair bit.

Miss 12, who loves to read, enjoyed a lot of books and kept up with her math.  Even on the most distracting days we did math.  We want to keep up with it because she enters her first CEMC math competition next month.  She will write the Gauss competition enjoyed by tens of thousands of grade 7 students world-wide.  It’s based on thinking and logic, not curriculum, and preparing for it is wonderful training.

Of course, Miss 10, our little ‘noticer’ is much too busy observing the world to really focus on schoolwork.  She spent dozens of happy minutes watching a ladybug eat the crumb of trifle she fed it.  She rescued a black and red bug from a spider’s web just as the spider was moving in for the kill, and carefully removed all the spider silk from the bug, except from its wings.  She feeds the chickens by hand and loves her mean rooster even though he attacked her, scratching her bare legs.

Some of my favorite things were

  • The chicken who loves people.  Her name is Brutus.  When I work on the yard, she scratches and clucks nearby and pecks affectionately at my boots, back, and gloves.  I’m afraid of most chickens, but I rather like Brutus unless she gets too close to my face.  When Miss 10 threw a ball for the dogs, she chased it too.  Perhaps she thinks she’s a dog.
  • Hanging out with family and friends.
  • Blooming crocuses.
  • Good food: a hobbit breakfast, another trifle, asparagus quiche, yummy yoghurt, salads.

Questions/thoughts I have…  How does one decide between one golden service opportunity and another?  My main goal in these decisions is to avoid over-committing, because my family comes first of all. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m reading and reviewing Decisive:  How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. To the question, “What does God want me to do?” the authors respond a lot like my dad would:  You’ve been given a mind.  Use it.

Did you realize that the Holy of Holies, a 20 cubit cube in Solomon’s temple, was lined with 20 tons of gold, on the ceiling, walls, and even floor?  When I read about this temple with its enormous stones that were completely prepared at the quarries and then transported up the temple hill, I wonder if the builders used some of the same technology as the pyramids.  Of course, no one knows how the pyramids were built.  The more I learn, the more questions there seem to be!

Things I’ve been working on

  • Homeschooling.  Not diligently, but doggedly.
  • Remembering to relax, eat well, and exercise a bit.
  • Reading.  Reviewing.  Thinking.
  • Making decisions about the next few years’ focus in schoolwork, blogging, and other opportunities.
  • Spring cleaning. While it’s not going according to plan, various corners of our home are getting organized and scrubbed.  That’s what spring cleaning is all about.
  • Preparing for the homeschooling conference, speaking at it, and recovering from it.
  • Cleaning up the flowerbeds under the supervision of Brutus, our friendly chicken.

We’re watchingNavigating History:  Egypt, an enjoyable look at history from a Christian perspective.

I’m reading… Nehemiah. I also read How Then Shall We Live?, Wicked Plants, The Dance, and The Gate as well as two cookbooks, Joy the Baker Cookbook (inspiration to make the asparagus quiche—yum!) and Paleo Comfort Foods.  Yes, that’s what I did when I was sick: I read cookbooks and a book about dangerous plants.  Unfortunately, Caesar’s Gallic War and Pinterest Power went back to the library before I was finished with them.  Right now I’m enjoying Decisive and Is College Worth It? as well as Knowledge and Decision by Sowell.  I won’t be able to finish the latter before it’s due back at the library because I’m too busy and it’s too heavy to read quickly.  But every paragraph is full of ‘aha’ moments.  Great book, so far.   I also still want to finish Les Miserables, an audiodrama by Focus on the Family.

Reading Aloud… We’re reading 2 Samuel and I, Juan de Pareja, as well as Twenty-One Balloons (Miss 10 and Miss 12), In de Zoete Suikerbol (Miss 10 and Miss 12), Pioneers in het Wilde Westen (Mr. 17), and Kijk Bijbel (Miss 15).  We finished Children of the New Forest, a must read for everyone.  It’s available on Gutenberg.

When my husband is home for meals we’re reading Zechariah.

We’re memorizing… Lots of review work.

I’m grateful for …My husband’s safe return.

Quote or link to share…. This article by Janice Campbell shows how important it is to have books in the house.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up and to HomeSchool High.


  1. Diane says:

    Looks like you had a good week. To answer your question – Grace is starting her own little business. Selling greeting cards, book marks, posters, and art pieces of her original art at festivals. She has her first one coming up in May.

  2. Jenn says:

    You seem to have a lot going on at once! Rejoicing with you that your husband is home safely. We have 30 days left of school. I think these are going to be rough. Our focus is easily disturbed. Paleo comfort food sounds interesting. What kinds of foods?

  3. JoAnn says:

    Seems like a great couple of weeks for you. So glad your husband made it home safe. That would be hard to have him gone overseas. That discussion panel sounds fun, glad it went well for you.

  4. Jenn says:

    I’m glad your husband is home from overseas. That would be very hard for me to manage. I know you are happy that he’s back:)

  5. Annie Kate says:

    Hi Diane, that’s a great idea for Grace. I hope she does very well at her first festival. That’s so exciting!

    Jenn, they are yummy foods, like meats and veggies and nuts, all put together in creative ways. I find the end of the schoolyear is always rough. Hang in there!

    And, yes, ladies, it’s wonderful to have him back home. 🙂

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