Apple picking, family picnics, and friends from Alaska made for a very full and wonderful week in our homeschool!
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Our oldest son and his wife were here for the holiday weekend and left this morning. We picked apples and had our End of Summer Picnic while they were here.
During the afternoon house, we decorated for Fall! The kids enjoyed helping me put up wreaths, garland, pumpkins, and more! Oh, how we LOVE Autumn!
My 18 year old daughter helped me process 6 jars of apple pie filling from the apples we picked this weekend. I think we can get 2 more batches of apple pie filling and some applesauce or apple butter as well.
My favorite book to get canning recipes from is Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. They are tried and true recipes that taste great!
For dinner, my 16 year old son put together a Shepherd’s Pie from freezer leftovers and a box of mashed potatoes. We do this quite often with leftovers. You can see more about how we save food and use up the scraps in this video:
This morning, dense fog covered everything. It was a very humid, oppressive fog – not the happy kind that makes you want to sit and drink coffee in your fuzzy socks. This weekend, the weather is supposed to be more Fall like, but for now, we have coolish nights and days that slowly heat up to the 80’s and 90’s.
I went to Weight Watchers (WW) with a friend and then my hair appointment. I got about 4″ cut off and a gloss put on my hair. It’s a little dark, but the good thing about a gloss is that it fades into a very natural look and allows me to go 2-3 months between visits to the salon.
Because I was gone all morning, we did not do Morning Time today. The kids did their individual school work while I was gone.
When I got home, I planned our menu and a grocery list to go along with it. I’ve been feeling like I need more of a planned menu, so I wrote everything out. There’s a lot going on here, and when that happens, it helps me to have a much more set menu plan so I don’t have to use brain power to come up with meals each night.
READ >> Large Family Meal Planning
I made a quick layered salad for Bible Study tonight – romaine lettuce, frozen peas, celery, carrot shreds, a layer of mayonnaise mixed with sugar smoothed over the top, and then covered in bacon bits and shredded cheese. It’s always a hit, and a favorite Thanksgiving salad in our home!
We also discovered that the oven isn’t working AGAIN. Keian was going to make chocolate chip cookies, but ended up air frying them (yes, you can do that) because the oven wouldn’t heat up. I made an appointment with the repair company, but it will be over 2 weeks before they can get here. UGH! There goes my meal plan!
Mercy asked for cocoa and toast for breakfast this morning. This was a favorite breakfast of mine when I was little, so it always make me smile when she asks for it.
For Morning Time, we read in Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible and then in Story of the World about the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War. We also worked on a world map so everyone gets a refresher as we move into the 20th century in history. We finished with our current read-aloud – Butter in the Well.
I helped the little girls with their school work – Phonics, Math, and Handwriting. I am really feeling like it is time to do some more things with them, but I need to work on finding the time…something I feel quite short on these days!
That afternoon, I recorded a podcast on Simplifying Life and realized something as I was recording! My life feels the most overwhelming and chaotic and in need of simplifying when I am feeling the least peaceful and content and focused on abiding in the Lord. Definitely food for thought there!
We have guests coming tomorrow from Alaska, so I started stripping sheets from all of the beds in the basement. We are going to give them and their 4 kids the entire basement and move the boys upstairs for the one night they are here. By evening, we had all of the beds made again with fresh sheets. We also tidied up the entire basement and I put together a little toiletries basket in case they are in need of something while they are here.
I walked a couple of miles with Ty tonight (much needed!), and then we grabbed cheese curds for our son’s special night tonight. We postponed until tonight since I was at Bible Study last night. We also made an orange julius for him with frozen orange juice concentrate, sugar, milk, and ice in our VitaMix.
Queen Elizabeth has passed away. I sat and cried – not even sure why, except that it is the end of an era, and she was a lovely woman whom I believe to have been a believer.
No Morning Time again today because we need to do Home Blessing today since our friends coming tonight. I am actually feeling prepared for having guests tonight – something I rarely feel. Often, I feel like I am scrambling when people come over. I’m not a super spiffy homemaker, and I am definitely NOT one of those women who thinks of everything, so I am always quite aware of how I am lacking in the “thoughtful touches” department. But, I am a good at conversation, and our guests say they leave refreshed, so I need to rest in the fact that Lord gave me a unique set of skills as a Christian homemaker, and the little extras special touches are things I have to work to remember to take care of as best I can.
After the house was clean, I sat down to work on a post about Fine Arts options for homeschoolers that are easy to implement. I could barely keep my eyes open, so I set the laptop aside and took a short nap. (This turned out to be a good ideas as our guests showed up quite late and we ended up talking until 3am!)
After my nap, I ran to the store for some cheese and butter deals I had seen online. Then, I made up a huge pot of Elk Chili for dinner. We often add sour cream, corn chips, cheese, and some of the kids put ketchup and mustard on it as well. We’ll get a 2-3 meals out of this batch, so that’s nice!
While we waited for our friends to arrive, I finished my Fine Arts post and got it published and our 16 year old son made biscuits in the convection oven for our guests to munch on when they arrive.
We spent the morning with our friends on the deck drinking tons of coffee and watching the kids play happily. You know you are good friends when you can not see each other for 6 years and everyone picks up right where they left off!
Remember how I said I’m not a super thoughtful homemaker? Well, I totally forgot to make the crock pot casserole I was going to make for breakfast for them! I made up a quick pot of oatmeal and we finished off the biscuits from last night. Problem solved…not quite how I intended, but it worked!
Basically, our entire day was spent talking, laughing, and watching the kids have a wonderful time! We were sad to see them go late in the afternoon, and promised to not let it be 6 years before we see them again.
We ate leftovers for dinner and the kids took baths and watched shows before bed. Tomorrow I’ll process the rest of the apples and enjoy the incoming cooler weather! Bring on Fall!