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Weekly Wrap Up: Nature Walks, the SAT, and Projects

In my life this week… It was a different week, with lots of crokinole, lots of food, and a long, fruitless shopping spree.  We had been told about a really wonderful thrift shop, so I dropped off the girls to find some clothing while I hurried to the bank to discuss RESP’s.  Well, the thrift shop turned out to have a terrible selection the day we visited, and the poor dears were tired and discouraged.  And now they tell me they have no clothing for Sunday.

Mr. 17’s foot is healed, but now he has to strengthen it and get used to walking without the splint.  He put in hours of exercise pulling his little babysitting charges on a sled, and his limp is already disappearing.

We have started daily nature walks and have seen such wonderful things.  Logs covered with corn kernels and tiny footprints.  Enormous flocks of geese.  Big snow clumps weighing down cedar branches.  Today the dogs surprised almost 20 wild turkeys in the woods.  With an enormous racket of flapping wings and funny peeps they flew up to the tops of the trees despite their huge size.  After sitting a few minutes, neck outstretched, they would peep again and sail off to another tree.  Now, if Laura Ingalls’s Pa had been with me, he would have brought one of them home for supper.

In our homeschool this week … Mr. 17 prepared for the SAT which he wrote this morning.  Miss 15 did some writing for NaNo, some studying for her Apologia Biology final exam, and a bit of other work, but she’s still quite tired.  This is the first November in years that she hasn’t been immersed in NaNoWriMo; pneumonia will do that to you.  The Little Misses worked hard and moved ahead in their schoolwork.  Of course, we still have many of the books from Reading Week piled up in front of our book shelves, so we all did a lot of reading as well.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… Preparing for the SAT is an educational experience in itself.  We bought a book from Barron’s and it’s wonderful.  Miss 15 decided to write a test from the book this morning, just for fun.  She’s half-way through it now and doing well.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… Church, catechism, judo (Little Misses only), library, stores, doctor, bank, friends.

Some of my favorite things this week were

  • Watching Mr. 17 take ownership of his SAT experience.
  • All those nature walks.
  • Vegetables.
  • Going to bed early and sleeping in.
  • The extra time I had because Mr. 17 and Miss 15 were not doing normal schoolwork.

Questions/thoughts I have… We’ve been discussing ‘thank you’.  Is it possible to be truly grateful without showing it, grateful to people around us as well as to God?  I think that not expressing gratitude shows a self-centered attitude, but not everyone was convinced.

Things I’ve been working on… I’ve decided to go through 21 Days to a Disciplined Life again in December, and maybe in January as well.  It’s so handy to break big projects down into manageable steps, which is one of the recommendations of this book, and it’s good to be working on one new habit every month as well.  This month the habit I work on will be to go for a daily nature walk with the children, and the projects will be to finish fall cleaning, to catch up on Mr. 17’s transcript, and to work on the gluten-free blog project a bit every day.  I want to work on these goals without either stress or exhaustion, although this morning, cleaning two of our living room windows and valence curtains, I did overdo it a bit.

  • Fall cleaning.  A bit of sorting, dejunking, scrubbing, window-washing, dusting, and tidying.  I also made a list of the things I want finished in the next 21 days.
  • Going through gluten-free books, blogging books, and writing books as part of the background work for the gluten-free blog project.  This is fun and relaxing and I’m learning so much about really intense ways of blogging, writing, or recipe creation…but I’m not about to get intense.  I’ve seen too many bloggers grow, work, and expand, and then crash and quit, temporarily or permanently, because of the workload and stress.
  • Reviewing some neat books and curriculum.
  • Remembering to walk, eat well, and relax adequately.

We’re watching Wartime Farm from the BBC. I love it!

I’m reading… Joshua. I finished The Genius of Ancient Man, Tell Your Time, and Writing Cookbooks, and am currently reading Writing for the Soul by Jenkins, Joy at the End of the Tether by Wilson, and ProBlogger by Rowse and Garrett.  I don’t get around to reviewing everything I read, so feel free to visit my GoodReads shelf to find out more about these books.

With the kids, we’re still reading Numbers. We started Hitty, Her First Hundred Years and are loving it.  If you haven’t read it, do.  It’s the autobiography of a spunky doll, and so far she has certainly had an adventurous life!  The book is so well-written that I feel as though I am the doll…and I’m sure glad that she didn’t burn up in the fire on the whaling ship after all.

When my husband is home for meals, we’re still reading Ezekiel.

I’m grateful for … Sleep.  Snow.  Peace.  Wartime Farm.

Quote or link to share… A public school teacher and administrator lists 15 Key Facts About Homeschool Kids in College, a worthwhile and comforting read (although her SAT averages seem to be based on the old SAT, not the current one).


This post is linked to The Homeschool Mother’s Journal , Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up , and HomeSchool High.


  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a good week, well except for the thrift store. Glad your son’s foot is healing.

    Oh, and I had to tell you I’m trying to use my pedometer again, without buying a new one. So far I haven’t hit the button to reset the numbers. 🙂 I put it on in the afternoon, didn’t think about it in the morning, and I’ve walked 3800 steps. Not too bad for part of the day. Thanks for your encouragement with it. 🙂

  2. Erin says:

    “Watching Mr. 17 take ownership of his SAT experience.”
    I know what you mean! and it is so exciting seeing our teens do this!!

    ” Is it possible to be truly grateful without showing it, grateful to people around us as well as to God? I think that not expressing gratitude shows a self-centered attitude, but not everyone was convinced.”

    perhaps it doesn’t start off as self-centered but I agree with you because it would become self-centered easily enough, not having to put yourself out.

  3. Annie Kate says:

    Great, JoAnn!

    Erin, thanks for clarifying what I was puzzling about. Being grateful does take some effort, but it’s important to do.

  4. Laraba says:

    AnnieKate, where are you watching Wartime Farm? I am not much of a TV person but I am crazy about this series since I read about it last week. BUT, I can’t find episode 6 on youtube, and I can’t find a normal version of episode 2. I’d like to watch those 2 and am wondering how you are watching it.

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