A birthday celebration, a college goodbye, and new school supplies in this week’s large family homeschool life!
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A bad thunderstorm came through overnight. Thankfully, we still have power, but we did end up with a large limb on top of our van. No damage, but it’s going to take some cleanup.
My throat is sore, so I forwent Morning Time, and had the kids only do independent school while I put together a grocery list. Then I went grocery shopping at ALDI. I had a lot of what I needed for this week’s menu, so the trip was fairly inexpensive.
When I got back home, the kids helped me unload the groceries while I started a batch of cinnamon rolls for Ty’s birthday meal. My 22 year old is going to roll them out and bake them while I take the puppy to the vet for his 4 week check-up.
I grabbed a peach and some cheese for a quick lunch and took the 12 year old and the 8 year old with me to the vet. They both love animals, so they love to go to the vet with me.
Amazingly, after only 4 weeks, Winston’s splint was able to come off today! His bone is healing nicely and has enough bone growth to be without a splint, but he is supposed to take it easy for the next week or so (that should be fun!). He does have a cast sore that needs antibiotics. They put him in a cone to keep him from messing with the sore, but that lasted a whole 2 minutes! His leg is weak and he’s still holding it up a bit, but I’m so thankful he was able to have the splint off!
Silly Winston jumped up in our grandson’s bouncy seat when he got home – so much for “taking it easy!”
I dropped Winston off at home and then took the 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18 year olds to Walmart for school shopping! Even though we homeschool year round, every year, I take them shopping when all the fun stuff is in the store. We give them a small budget, and they get to buy whatever they want. I always supply the essentials, so this gives them some “fun money” to spend on school supplies I wouldn’t normally buy.
Mercy knew exactly what she wanted – a dry erase board for her newly created “Cooking Club.”
NOTE: One of our family discussions lately has been about the disappearance of clubs from the American landscape and how it might correlate to our loneliness as a society. When I was a kid, my parents were in all sorts of clubs – from Saddle Club to Music Club, and even a Supper Club! As kids, we made clubs all the time too.
I’ve been wanting to read Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam. It was referenced several times in Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections. It talks about the demise of these clubs and how it has changed our communities and friendships.
You may think your children aren’t listening, but they are, and in Mercy’s little 6 year old brain, the answer to all of this was to form a club!
This week, we will be celebrating Ty’s birthday all week – especially since he has to work all weekend and won’t be home much on his actual birthday. For dinner tonight we had his Granny’s pizza which has a biscuit mix crust and a ketchup-based sauce. It’s really different, but it definitely grows on you!
We also had the cinnamon rolls Meg and I made this afternoon. We made cream cheese frosting – Ty’s favorite – to ice them!
It’s Garin’s Special Night, so we hung out and he ate a few donuts and an orange julius his sister made for him. While he played games, I finished up my review of the Kidstible Sleep Training Lamp, sent off our church’s newsletter, and then published Podcast #150 – Tips for Teaching Your Child to Read.
I took Winston for a short walk this morning for physical therapy on his leg. He still pulls it up when he wants to go fast, so we are working on that.
When I got back home, I seared the stew meat and cut up the veggies for our Oven Stew – which is another of Ty’s birthday meal requests – and then popped it in the refrigerator until I’ll pop it in the oven at 2pm to cook.
NOTE: Prepping meals ahead like this has been my saving grace in the kitchen! If I have a spare moment in the morning or early afternoon, I prep as much as I can so that I have very little actual work to do at dinnertime when I am more likely to be worn out from the day’s activities.
The kids ate the Special Night donuts and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then we started school.
We also read a really neat book about the man who classified clouds – The Man Who Named the Clouds.
Then, I read in Little House in the Big Woods before sending the kids off to their independent school work.
Micah has been playing Minecraft music on the piano lately. He found a song he really likes – “Sweden” – from a YouTuber – Peter PlutaX – who shows you how to play lots of different songs using a method called Flowkey. It’s a really lovely song!
I also set up the boys’ Unity Game Programming class from CompuScholar. They have so many good classes, but the boys really wanted to do this one. I will probably have them take the Web Design class as well.
We had an Amazon delivery come that contained a new collar for Winston. He doesn’t have a collar yet, and I want to make sure if he were to get out, there is a number people can call. Ty prefers to not have the dog’s name on the collar so people can’t call them by name and keep them because they “know the dog’s name.” I haven’t gotten the ID tag yet, but a collar is a good start.
I am planning on getting him a different collar for each season – yeah, I’m becoming THAT lady! Here’s his summer collar…
Here’s the collar I’m getting for Autumn…
Upon the recommendation of a longtime reader (shoutout to Diana!) I got a book by Maria von Trapp all about liturgical living – Around the Year with the von Trapp Family.
As I was reading through it today, I ran across a reference to a book I’ve never heard of – Kristin Lavransdatter, so I decided to order it via Interlibrary loan. I only got the first book – The Wreath – because I already have so many books I am trying to read. I need another vacation to Colorado to get them all read!
When Ty got home from work, we headed out to Cabela’s – another birthday thing! He bought a few shirts and a pair of shorts there. Then, we went to Sam’s to pick up a few items, including a white queso dip our oldest son was raving about this past weekend when we visited him.
Ty, Meg, and I drove to visit the grandparents today before she heads back to college. She said she felt like a kid again being carted from grandparent to grandparent!
While she visited around, Ty and I drove to a lake near my hometown where we have a small cabin. We had brought along several loads of rock from our side yard in order to stabilize the bank along the shoreline.
We have been slowly removing the rock in our yard at home and letting grass grow up in its place to make it easier to maintain. Then, we load up the rock in large buckets and take it to the lake whenever we are heading that way.
It was 106° today! Ty mowed the grass, but it was miserable being out in that! Thankfully, the shower house was open, and he was able to clean up before we headed back to town to grab a late supper and pick up Megan.
That night, we didn’t make it back home until 2 am!
Originally, Ty, Meg, and I were going to leave today to take her back to college, but with the traveling and late night of yesterday, Ty decided we’ll just get up really early tomorrow morning. That frees today up for celebrating Ty’s birthday even more!
I took our son to see the doctor because he hurt his back and has been in a lot of pain. They took x-rays and found some mild compression that came from a prior injury. (We also found out later he has an anomaly in his lower spine that he was born with.). The doctor referred him to physical therapy. He also ordered an MRI, and we are going to get a chiropractic appointment as well.
When I got home, I started the chili for tonight’s supper.
Amy’s Super Simple Chili
4 cans chili beans
2 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2# browned ground beef or sausage or a mix
Put all ingredients in slow cooker on low (or high if you are short on time) until you are ready to eat.
Then, I gathered the children for Morning Time. We read in Hurlbut’s, The Ology, did a Folk Song from Music in Our Homeschool, did a lesson from Flip Flop Spanish, and then I read in Little House in the Big Woods.
After lunch, Meg and I started to head out to Walmart to grab some of her college supplies when I noticed a small dog taking shelter in the shade under my van! He was a well-groomed, very friendly Pekingese. Of course, the children all wanted to keep him, but I asked them how they would feel if our puppy, Winston, got out and someone found him and kept him.
I called Animal Control and asked if they had a microchip reader because he looked like a dog that would be chipped. Sure enough, he was, and they called the owners! I’m so thankful!
After that, Meg and I went on to Walmart. She grabbed her supplies, and I filled the cart with food-related birthday treats for Ty! Years ago, when he came back from a deployment right before Christmas, I gave him a box of food he hadn’t been able to get while he was there. I decided it would be fun to get a bunch of the foods he likes but rarely gets as a birthday present this year. I packed them all into a large basket and covered it so he wouldn’t see what was in it until tonight!
The 18 year old made him Scotcheroos as his birthday cake. She also made cornbread to go along with the chili.
After dinner, Ty blew out the candles on his “cake,” we ate some, and then he opened his presents and cards in the living room.
NOTE: The kids always make cards for family members’ birthdays. Most of my children are very good artists, so the cards always turn out so unique and thoughtful!
That night, I took a walk with Meg, and then helped her pack for college because she was feeling overwhelmed by what she should take and what she should leave behind.
We got up early to take Meg back to college, but quickly realized Ty would never be able to make the turnaround time he needed to get to his military event. He loaded everything in the car (no small feat!), and then sent me, Megan, and Aspen on our way.
We got to her dorm just as a rainstorm hit, but thankfully, we were able to park really close! For her senior year, she is in a newer dorm with only 2 floors. It is REALLY NICE, and her room is HUGE! Her roommate (and most of the people in the dorm) will not be moving in until much later. She had to come early for cheerleading, as did all the other athletes. We took our usual goodbye photo and Aspen and I turned and burned!
On the way home, we stopped once for food, and once for a bathroom break. I was so tired when I got home, I took a nap straightaway!
And my husband took a photo of me and the dog sleeping…
And my husband sent said photo to our family group chat…
While I slept the kids watched the end of the Super Mario Bros. movie that is now streaming on Peacock, and our son worked on a couple of painting projects in the front yard – a bike and a high chair.
For dinner, we had leftovers, and afterward, I took a walk with our 18 year old and the puppy. Winston is supposed to be taking walks every day to strengthen his leg after he got his splint off. He is using his leg more and more and I can tell it is getting stronger.
It sure has been a busy week, but a blessed one!