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Five Week Wrap Up: Life, School, and Books


The past weeks have been moving in many ways.

First there was my 50th birthday when my five siblings from all over Canada flew in to celebrate.  There is no way to describe how loved that made me feel.  We had a wonderful time together and, though everyone’s life is back to normal, the weekend strengthened our relationships.

On a heart-stopping note, Miss 12 rescued our dog Sparky who fell through the ice on the river.  That means she, too, was dangerously close to the hole in the ice.  Some things just don’t bear thinking about.

We enjoyed celebrations, outings, and events, including the thought-provoking Exhibition On Screen movie, Rembrandt.  If you love art or Rembrandt, you should check this out at your local theatre, but act soon; I do not think it will be shown long.  (Caution: female nudity.)

This has been a cold, cold month with windchills up to -40, and we are thankful for warm tea and a good fireplace.

Even though I now am only able to post twice a week on my blog, it seems to be thriving.  Today it will reach the magic number of 150,000 unique visitors, as measured by SiteMeter!   (It turns out that the number really does depend on what site does the measuring and how it is done.)  And one of my recent posts currently has 87 facebook likes, a record!  It is a joy to realize that my writing is benefitting people, and I would like to thank each one of you for reading and for encouraging me.

In our homeschool

Miss 17 is still very, very busy with her schoolwork.  At one point, she developed eye trouble, but the optometrist said it was nothing serious, just overwork.  Sigh!  So now she has someone besides me tell her to rest her eyes frequently.  On a happier note, we are excited that in the next week or two she will apply to the only university she’s interested in.

We’ve had all three girls using ALEKS math recently.  Miss 17 used it to help with pre-calculus, and when she had completed that course we gave her account to Miss 12; I like how it is possible to switch to another level like that.  The time with ALEKS has been good for both of them, but probably did contribute to Miss 17’s eye trouble.  Miss 14 still uses it for her regular math.

We try to watch Dave Ramsey’s funny videos about personal finance  for teens but we seem to have so many other things going on that it is not a regular occurrence.

When life is hectic, it can be difficult to keep unmotivated students on task.  Then I try to remember the importance of being faithful in the little things, day after day after day. Sometimes it may not seem as though any learning is happening at all but, while that might be true, it most likely is not.  I remind myself that at the very minimum they are learning about being faithful in the little things, and that is no small lesson, either.

In our gluten free kitchen

So much good food!  From chocolate, whipping cream, and fruit platters to roasts, fried chicken, pork chops, and bacon, we have enjoyed eating.  Yes, vegetables too, and pasta, and all sorts of potato dishes, and cake, cookies, pancakes, and breads. Those tiny little cups of flavored yoghurt, the kind I never used to get because they-are-too-sweet-and-I-can-make-it-better-and-cheaper-myself-thank-you, have been on sale and the kids love them.

Some of my favorite things were

  • My birthday celebrations with siblings, family, and friends.
  • Spending hours around the fire with my family.
  • Good food.
  • Good books.

Questions/thoughts I have…  As I sit in our sunny living room, close to the fire, I realize that we enjoy almost all of the comforts of a tropical vacation without any of the hassles.

Fitness… One of my friends and I have become exercise accountability partners.  That is so inspiring, and has helped me begin to do my physio exercises more regularly again.  Because I am very busy with several projects and still need to sleep 9 hours a day (plus a nap), it’s an effort to fit exercise in.  It does not help that the treadmill is in the study where my husband works when possible, but now that I realize that is a problem, I can try to solve it.

Some of the things I’ve been working on

  • Homeschooling and record keeping.
  • Caring for my family.
  • Studying the history of science, specifically physics in the 19th century.
  • Reading books and writing reviews.

I’m reading (all links are to my reviews on this blog or on GoodReads)… Numbers.  Currently I’m in the middle quite a few other books:  Science and Religion, the New Genevan Psalter, Spurgeon’s Sorrows, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Fringe Hours, Fundamentals of Applied Electromagnetics, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

In the last month I’ve finished Too Many to Jail, Einstein’s Heroes, Remember the Lilies, The Practice of the Presence of God, and The Ten Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques.

I’ve also reviewed The Meaning of Marriage, The Financially Confident Woman, The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts, The One Thing (mini-review), and Faraday and the Royal Institution, and posted three book round-ups:  Carr’s Christian Biographies for Young Readers, Top Twenty Books for Families to Read Aloud, and Nine Helpful Marriage Books.

Read earlier and waiting to be reviewed—which is how I absorb what I read—are Geons, Black Holes and Quantum Foam, A Mathematician’s Lament, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, What the Most Successful People Do before Breakfast, You Shall be Free Indeed, and God’s Undertaker.

Reading aloud…We have almost finished reading 1 Corinthians at mealtimes and then plan to switch to Psalms.  We’re still enjoying Michael Faraday and the Dynamo and after that we plan to whiz through Daugherty’s book about the Magna Charta.

When my husband is home for meals, we read various epistles.

I’m grateful for ….  Health, Canada’s medical system, good food, vitamins, and health books.

Quote or link to share….  I’ve been using Rescue Time at the computer to see if I’m using my time wisely.  It’s a wonderful program, and I recommend it if you are at your computer a lot or are feeling overwhelmed with commitments.

I’m wondering if this is applicable to my history of science project:  “The scholar’s greatest weakness:  Calling procrastination research.”  Stephen King (a quote on Rescue Time)

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up , Week in Review, and Finishing Strong.


  1. Beth says:

    Happy birthday I have a few more months before 50. That is very special that your siblings came to visit. I doubt my siblings will fly to visit me but it would be fun. We were all together last summer so I guess that will need to count as our time together.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I hope you will have just as lovely a birthday as I did, Beth!

  2. JoAnn says:

    Happy birthday. I’m glad things are going well with all of you.

  3. Happy birthday to you! I’m looking forward to your reviews on A Mathematician’s Lament (I’ve read, and have my own thoughts) and also The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Have not read, and am interested).

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, Mathematician’s Lament is such a thought-provoking book! So was Tidying Up, but in a completely different way. We’ll see how much time I can carve out to write these reviews.

      And I’m looking forward to seeing what you think about A Mathematician’s Lament. Thank you for posting the article on G+ that led me to the book.

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