It’s the middle of August, and we are back in the swing of things with our homeschooling and large family life!
Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life posts HERE >>
Yesterday we took Meg (20) back to college. Her sorority had to be there a week early to get ready for Rush Week. She wasn’t really ready to go back, so the goodbye this time was difficult.
I made coffee and then took a 2 mile walk before my breakfast of homegrown tomato slices and an over-easy egg. As usual, I ate on the deck, enjoying what little bit of cool there is to these dog days of summer.
While I was eating, our hunting dog cornered a woodchuck under the shed in the backyard. I had a terrible time getting him to come in and leave the animal alone so it could escape!
Then, I read aloud from Our Island Story about King James. In Story of the World, we read about Galileo and Sir Walter Raleigh.
We also worked on our 13 Colonies maps from Tapestry of Grace. All of the history we do stems from assignments in TOG. These maps are part of the geography component to TOG and something we thoroughly enjoy!
We did some more in our Music Appreciation lessons from Music In Our Homeschool, and then we read in The Second Mrs. Gioconda.
The kids say they are enjoying the book, and it is finally growing on me too.
As soon as I sent everyone off to start their individual school work, I helped Micah get his new Graphic Design class set up.
I mentioned in my Middle School Homeschool Curriculum post that he was going to be taking this class this semester, and he was excited to get started. It’s something all his own (although, I anticipate having other kids take the class when they are a bit older).
NOTE: I will have a full review of the course once he has worked through more of the class.
Aspen is still working on her latest Phonics book. We are reading 2-4 pages per day. That’s how everyone starts out. By the time they get where Creed (8) is, they are zooming through the books on their own, but in the early days, we plod along.
I started some Spanish Rice in the crock pot for dinner tonight. Keian cooked the meat, Melia cut up the veggies, and I assembled it all and put it on low. I doubled the recipe that came from Ty’s dad, so I hope it goes over well because there will be A LOT!
I talked to Blake (23) for a while on the phone. He’s taking a new job and wanted us to know about it before he formally accepted the offer. So proud of him!
I also texted with Megan a bit. She’s having a really hard time adjusting to sorority life. This is her first semester living in the sorority house AND having a roommate and she’s overwhelmed.
Later in the afternoon, I made a Walmart run with Aspen (6) and bought a Swiffer Mop for the bathrooms.
I also bought some Mod Podge for a project we have coming up soon in school, some painter’s tape for hanging school projects on the dining room wall, and some carrots for the coleslaw Ty’s mom is making tonight.
Dinner was Spanish Rice, Coleslaw, and some tortillas I fried up. Mercy pretty much only ate the tortillas. I have never had such a picky child! I’m sure a lot of it has to do with all the surgeries on her mouth, but I sure wish she’d have a better attitude about trying new foods.
Learn more about Mercy’s surgeries and diagnoses below:
After dinner, I sewed up yet another of Ty’s uniforms. I’m starting to wonder if these new ones are poorly made.
Several of us worked to clean out one of our storage rooms, the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and also the stuffed animals (lovingly called “stuffies” by Mercy). The boys ended up cleaning their room top to bottom because they found 2 spiders. Good thing we have pest control coming next week!
This morning, Ty and I took Melia (16) to her orthodontist consult. When I got home, I helped the kids with their independent school work. Daddy was home this morning, so we didn’t do Morning Time, but he did help Creed (8) make a rocket for a Phonics project, making it even more special!
Everyone got their own lunch and snacked on the peanut butter fudge Melia made last night.
While they were eating, I decided to rearrange the kitchen and declutter the coffee bar drawers. I cleared a counter on the right side of the sink to make a nice sized workspace and then moved the baking cabinet to the cabinets above that counter space so measuring cups and baking items are more accessible when I am working there.
For dinner, Melia and I made Scotch Eggs and Ty’s mom made baked beans. The kids were super excited about both of these!
Ty took some of the boys down to the free car vacuums with his mom’s car and they thoroughly cleaned it out. Then, the older kids used Spot Shot on the stains. It looks great!
Ty’s “recovery shoes” came from Hoka One One today. He runs in Hoka One One shoes and had heard about these recovery shoes and how comfortable they are. He is loving them!
After dinner came out of the oven, I put in an almond sheet cake. It is a family recipe from Ty’s side and I’ve been wanting to try it for quite some time. It turned out yummy!
That evening, the 3 littlest kids performed a play they made up for all of us. It was about Paw Patrol – of course! Then, the kids and daddy watched Lost in Space – or rather, REwatched. Keian (15) and I took a 2 mile walk together since he’s not really a Lost in Space fan.
Before bed, I spent a significant amount of time mulling and praying over taking steps to make our home a place of refuge for the people I am charged to care for and the people who enter our home from the outside world. Such an important thing we mothers are tasked with right now.
Got up and made coffee and iced tea and ate breakfast on the deck with Ty. The boys came out and discovered a bat on top of our umbrella!
After Ty left for work, I got ready for the day – made my bed, dressed myself and Mercy (4), and gave marching orders to the boys to clean up the backyard so Daddy can mow later.
I sat down with my Bible and the devotional I am currently going through – Jesus, Fill My Heart and Home.
I wrote these words at the beginning of my journal:
“I decided I need to focus on what is within my domain and fortify my own home and family. The chaos without need not penetrate the peace within.”
For Morning Time, we did GrapeVine and then did another Baroque lesson in Music in Our Homeschool’s Music Appreciation class. Because this class is geared toward older kids, I have to pare down the information, but my main goal is to expose the kids to the sound of Baroque music.
Next, we read in Story of the World about King James, and finished Morning Time with 2 more chapters of The Second Mrs. Gioconda. Ty’s mom is still here visiting and actually sat down with us for Morning Time. She said she even learned some things!
Listen to how we kept our Morning Time super simple for many years!
In between helping the littles with their school work, I cooked down the sandhill plums Ty and his mom picked last Friday. Then, I took Melia out for a driving lesson and to pick up more decorative jars, and pectin and sugar. I found a big bag of sugar at Walmart, so I snagged that!
Ty’s mom watched me make the jelly because she has never made sandhill plum jelly despite the fact her mom (Ty’s Granny) made it every year there were plums available!
After the jelly was finished, my mother-in-law made a cucumber salad while I made pepperoni penne. The kids LOVED the pepperoni penne! I used to make this dish all the time when the older kids were little, but this is the first time I’ve made it in probably 10 years. Definitely going into the meal rotation again!
After dinner, the boys took the trash to the curb for pick up tomorrow morning. I’ve been on a decluttering kick, so there were a lot of bags!
That evening, I found myself longing for the Christmas season, so I decided to look over the Thanksgiving and Christmas units from Gentle + Classical Press. I am DEFINITELY getting these!
NOTE: The Thanksgiving unit is being revised, so I’ll wait on that one!
While I was on the site, I got to looking at Morning Virtues as well! WOW! Definitely looking into this a bit more! Looks like a really neat program that comes out every other month and provides a well-rounded Morning Time.
Check out Gentle + Classical Press HERE >>
This morning, I made French Toast for the littles ones. They loved it!
Ty’s mom leaves this morning, but we’ll still do some school before she goes.
Morning Time was GrapeVine and then we read in Making Thirteen Colonies from The History of US series. I really like this series, despite it not being written from a Christian worldview. There are a few things here and there I must edit as I read, but the information is so good.
We also did another bit of a lesson from Music Appreciation and then, because it is our usual Art Day, we did chalk art of Starry Night from You ARE An Artist! The kids’ paintings turned out beautifully!
or Go to the You ARE An Artist’s website!
Both of my older kids are working through How Should We Then Live? from our Compass Classroom Membership. Melia (16) is going to my mom’s to work on getting more driving hours (we do this with all of the children because my mom has more time than we do for such things, especially with the new rules where no siblings can be in the vehicle), so she’s trying to get through the Compass videos before she leaves.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM
I took the big kids to the bee farm for work and then came home and did Phonics with Aspen and Desert Guide with the younger kids. Mercy has been begging for Desert Guide, but I’ve had so much to do lately, I haven’t been able to fit it in.
We made marshmallow snowmen, skip counted, and made “snow” angels with chalk on the driveway. The kids had so much fun making their angels and decorating them!
I picked up the big kids from work and talked for a while with their employer – another homeschool mom. She also gave me A LOT of produce from their garden – particularly zucchini!
I was going to make a ham and pea salad from The Amish Cook at Home for dinner, but I discovered I had no peas in the freezer, so I made ham and cheese crescent rolls. We also had some pineapple chunks and the cucumber salad Ty’s mom made yesterday.
After dinner, everyone did table chores.
Now that I’ve finished the canning of the plums, it’s on to zucchini! I’m planing to make the zucchini relish and zucchini jam from The Amish Cook at Home. If I have enough left over, I’ll make a batch of my Decadent Large Family Zucchini Bread.
I also like to make the chicken alfredo with zoodles from the Trim Health Mama Cookbook. I’ll definitely put all of this zucchini to good use!
This morning, I helped Ty pack up the 3 youngest kids and the 16 year old for an overnight trip “back home.” They are also taking one of our couches to Ty’s mom, so that had to be loaded into the back of the truck.
In the middle of all of this, I got our Friday house cleaning underway while we still had all of our helpers. I ended up wiping down all of the walls in the kitchen while I was pitching in with chores. They really needed it!
Today was our first Friday with a new set of chores and I did find some issues I’ll need to resolve with some chore adjustments.
After Ty left and the chores were complete, I started processing some of the zucchini. I used my Saladmaster food processor to shred 16 cups of zucchini for one batch of relish and one batch of jam. The Saladmaster makes short work zucchini and I can use the shredder cone to make my zoodles too.
I took Keian to work at the bee farm and turned on President Biden’s press conference on Afghanistan as background noise on my way home.
Once home, I ate lunch while the 2 boys left at home started their video game time. It is so weird (and quiet!) having so few children home!
I made zucchini jam and put it in jars and got the zucchini shreds soaking in salt water so it will be ready to process tomorrow.
When I picked up Keian from work, he was finishing up helping his boss get ready for Farmer’s Market and his boss was making candles in the shape of apples and owls and gnomes! They are so cute!
When we got home, Keian took Kip, our dog, for a walk. I cooked up some hamburger for nachos for dinner.
After dinner, the boys played a game with Creed over the phone while they talked. They all miss each other so much when they are apart!
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