Category Archives: Lulu

Odds & Ends


We left spring break behind last week and as we entered the new week, I knew it would be a busy one.  Now that we’re on the other side of it, I can say that this is the sort of week I really enjoy, though the level of busy-ness would get exhausting if it were the norm instead of the exception.

  • Monday was a normal day, with the exception that Louise’s art class has now moved to Mondays, so I had to remember that.
  • I made pizza Monday night, which is something I hadn’t done in a while.  I used my bread machine for the dough and followed this recipe.  I divided it into five parts and everyone had his or her own personal pizza.  It was good, but the dough ended up undercooked and doughy under the toppings.  Any ideas on  how to remedy that?
Steady Eddie and I had veggie pizza--sauce, spinach, purple onions, Roma tomatoes, pickled banana peppers, and lots of cheese (including feta on mine).
Steady Eddie and I had veggie pizza–sauce, spinach, purple onions, Roma tomatoes, pickled banana peppers, and lots of cheese (including feta on mine).
  • On Tuesday the girls participated in the 4H County Roundup.    It was a fun day for them.  There were about 150 or so (?) students from all over the county there.  They had lots of stations for the students to visit–water conservation, a mobile dairy (which we’ve seen before), etc.
Louise's art project
Louise’s art project
  • Lulu entered the Chef 4H contest, and Louise entered the Creative Endeavors event as a Cloverbud (which means she didn’t actually compete, but she did get recognized for participating).  The biggest and most welcome surprise of the day was when Lulu placed first in the Chef 4H competition!  She competed against four or five other students in a cooking demonstrations.  She made banana chocolate chip muffins from a recipe we adapted from King Arthur Flour.   I am really proud of Lulu.  Winning at the county level qualifies her for a regional competition this summer.
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  • I am really thankful to God for providing this 4H opportunity for my girls.  I have been wanting them to have a venue for practicing public speaking and making presentations, and this looks like it might be a good one.  I’m excited about the possibilities!
  • On Tuesday night I began feeling a bit under the weather, and by Wednesday morning I wasn’t any better.  Steady Eddie ended up taking the day off so I could rest and recuperate.  We ended up missing CBS, but we had a good, busy day anyway because. . .


  • Someone turned one on Wednesday!  It’s hard to believe, but we welcomed Benny into our family a year ago.   Steady Eddie did school with the girls that morning, and then in the early evening we headed out for a bite of supper and some time at the park.  We came home and Benny had his first official birthday cupcake, which he enjoyed immensely. :-)
  • Thursday was a regular school day, the last one of the week.  All things considered, it was a good week of lessons.  Here’s what we accomplished:
  1. We had two days of Circle Time, plus I added a new
    little activity using word roots cards from The Critical Thinking Company.  I haven’t actually figured out the best way to use these yet.  There’s a book that goes with them, but I wanted it to be more of a fun activity for us to do together than just another worksheet.  Any ideas?
  2. Lulu completed lessons 35-38 in FLL 4 and Louise did lessons 66-67 in FLL 2.  I’m to the point that I skip a lot of the guided part of the lesson for Lulu and let her do the sentence diagramming on her own, and then we go back and talk about it.  Lulu also did three 4-level analyses and we discussed them.  I’m considering Junior Analytical Grammar for Lulu next year.  Have any of you used this?  I think we’re ready to move on to something that requires a little less hand-holding.
  3. Lulu did one day of WWE 4 and I finally, finally decided that it’s time for us to be done with it, once and for all.  It seems so redundant to do the narrations in WWE 4 and then turn around and write paragraph summaries for history.  WWE definitely served its purpose for us, but now we’re ready to go forward without the hand-holding here, too.  Lulu is still plugging along in WWE 2 (she did three days this week), and we’ll continue with WWE 3 next year for her.
  4. Spelling and handwriting?  Yes, they did them.  Spelling is the thing I always run out of time for going over with them.  Arrgh!  That means homework for me before lesson time tomorrow.  ;-)
  5. Lulu did lessons 50-52 in RS E, which introduced hundredths of a square and hundredths of a dollar.  She and I also played a several rousing rounds of Quotient Race from the RS Games book.  (She loved this game!)  Steady Eddie worked with Lulu on some Beast Academy problems, but I’m not sure what they were.  Louise completed lessons 99-101 in RS C.  Lesson 99 was all about mental subtraction with trading,  which I’ve learned is quite the difficult concept to master.  (It helps so much to be on my second trip through early elementary arithmetic!)  Now Louise is embarking on a great voyage into the world of multiplication, and if experience has taught me anything, this will be met with much more delight and enthusiasm than was subtraction.  ;-)   Louise’s game of the week was Money War.
  6. Lulu wrote a history narration about Murad and the Ottoman Empire.  Louise gave me an oral narration.
  7. We had poetry tea time once this week.  I mean, I can’t let an April week pass without it since it’s National Poetry Month, can I?
  8. The DLM enjoyed several preschool activities this week.  He is pulling me, ready or not, into preschool.  I hope to write up a post about some of the things I’m (reluctantly, if truth be told) doing with him.
the alphabet train
the alphabet train


Circus sign

  • On Friday we went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus!  Steady Eddie took off work to go with us.  We got great deals on tickets ($11 apiece, y’all) and had a fabulous time.  I think I enjoyed it as much or more than the kids!

clowns and animals

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  • On Saturday I gave our new dining room table its first application of stain.   Steady Eddie worked on rearranging the girls’ bedroom again since the loft bed set-up didn’t work out as well as we thought it would.


  • I’m almost finished with Gone with the Wind.  I know.  I can’t believe it myself.  :-)

What’s new in your world?

Odds & Ends



  • This weekend begins our spring break, and not a moment too soon.  Steady Eddie has most of the week off, so I’ve reveled in a relaxed Sunday–one not consumed with getting my act together for the rest of the week in addition to church responsibilities.
What the girls picked out for the DLM, with the understanding that they were buying him a SWORD :)
What the girls picked out for the DLM, with the understanding that they were buying him a SWORD :)
  • We spent Friday and Saturday in Nashville at the Teach Them Diligently Conference, though truthfully we didn’t spend all that much time at the actual conference.  I’m finding that at this point in my career as a homeschooling mother, I don’t need as many homeschooling cheerleader sessions as I do real, practical sessions on how to teach a certain subject or how to address a certain issue.   Unfortunately, those are in short supply at most conferences.
Our convention loot
Our convention loot
  • I really wasn’t even tempted by most curricula.  I told Steady Eddie that excepting a new level of math for Lulu, I could probably tutor the girls next year with no additional purchases.  I’ve been chatting with a friend who partially by necessity follows a rather interest-led approach with her four children.  I like the way she does things.  I would love to relax a bit in what we do here at home.
  • We took Lulu, Louise, and Benny with us, while the DLM stayed home with the grandparents.
  • We spent a disproportionate amount of time at the mall, but that was actually needed, too, because we were able to buy the girls some much-needed warm-weather clothes.
  • We ate at a new favorite of mine:  Firehouse Subs.  I ate there for the first time last weekend with my sister and mom on a fun little daytrip we took, so I practically insisted we eat there on our trip to Nashville.  The chicken salad there is yummy!
  • School was done this week, but now it’s not much more than a blur to me.  We got in four solid days of lessons–this much I know.  :-)  I felt like I was limping along since we were taking off Friday anyway and next week is spring break.
  • I believe we did three days of our new Circle Time materials.  (We got to hear the Gettys sing at the conference on Friday night, which was a real treat for us all since we’re memorizing “In Christ Alone” for CT leading up to Easter.)  
  • We’re finally getting close to moving into new materials in FLL 4.  I love FLL, but I don’t think Lulu needs quite as much review as is built into it.  I’m looking forward to something new for next year.
  • Both girls worked on measurements in RS Math, only on different levels.  It’s sort of neat when it works out that way.
  • We played math games three days, I believe.  Lulu has almost mastered converted from a mixed number to an improper fraction and back again, thanks to a RS game.


  • On Monday I decided at the last minute to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a little bit of (inauthentic) Irish soda bread (inspired by this post).  It was yummy and a good way to inject a little bit of fun into a ho-hum school day.




  • On Tuesday evening we had our Mother-Daughter bookclub at the library.  My girls and I hosted it, and we had fun discussing The Saturdays and enjoying a tea party with our friends.  (Stay tuned for my thoughts on this fun story, which I hope to share soon.)



  • Tuesday night I attended our monthly homeschooling moms’ night out and enjoyed laughing and talking with friends.  It was a needed bit of fellowship!
  • Lulu made the DLM a Superman costume this week.  It was so cute!  What was very funny was that the DLM insisted that he was wearing a 5, not an S, on his shirt.  ;-)





  • Benny has caught a cold or as had a flare-up of allergies, which is quite possible since everything has started blooming all of a sudden.  Whatever the cause, it has resulted in a couple of sleepless nights (one of which was in the hotel room in Nashville).  I’m going to close this rather jumbled post and head to bed now that all my children are asleep.  I have some reading to do!

How was your week?

HMJ: September 23-27, 2013

HMJ Logo Landscape 500x337

  • In my life this week…I’m tired.  This was our sixth week of school, and I can tell it.  Once upon a time we considered a six week on, one week off schedule, and though we’ve decided against it for now, I can remember why I thought it was a good idea.  :-)  Steady Eddie has traveled more this school year than ever before, and that, coupled with the addition of Benny to our family, has left me feeling old and worn out.

    A sweet reminder of why I do what I do
  • In our homeschool this week…things went smoothly, despite the fact that I am D.O.N.E. with school for the moment.  Here’s what we accomplished:

Circle Time–We had CT four times this week!  Yippee!!  We’re also ready to move on to a new hymn and Louise is ready for a new poem after this week.  This week’s CT gem came today when the girls were doing their once weekly (or something like that) review of the CC Timeline song.  They recognized several of the Timeline events from our CBS study of the book of Daniel.  :-)

Language–Lulu did three 4 level analyses from MCT Practice Island independently.  She also completed lessons 79-81 in FLL 3, which involved a review adjectives and adverbs and lots of diagramming.  (I love diagramming.  Have I mentioned that before?)

Louise completed FLL 2 lessons 16-18.  These lessons entail practice with helping verbs and a picture narration.

Writing:  Lulu completed WWE 3 W35 D 1-4, all of which came from Rudyard Kipling’s writings.  Louise did WWE 2 W 6 D 1-4, which is one of the weeks that uses poetry for all narrations, copy work, and dictations.  She did very well with the poetry.


Math:  Lulu did lessons 103-106 in RS D.  This is more division,  and she did very well with it, despite the fact that I needed to put my head together with Steady Eddie’s a time or two to really grasp how RS presents it.  (Math ain’t what it used to be.  ;-) )  She also did MM on one day (or was it two?), and Steady Eddie was home on Fun Friday to get in on the polyomino fun in Beast Academy and a few RS card games.

Louise got her first official taste of multiplication in RS this week, and my girl who is usually unperturbed by anything new grew a little frustrated with it, but we persevered and she came out the victor on the other side.  She completed lessons 23-26 in RS C.  She ended the week with a game of Corners and Skip Counting Memory.

Spelling–Lulu completed one dictation sentence in Spelling Wisdom this week.  Actually, it wasn’t a sentence, but a poem.  I’m still conflicted about spelling, but we’re going with this for this year since I cannot figure out how to fit more into our day.  I’m trusting it’s all going to work out in the end.

Handwriting–They both did it.  :-)  Making joins between letters is proving challenging for my lefty.

History–We didn’t go forward in SotW this week since we still had several good books on Shakespeare to read.  The girls both read Diane Stanley’s Bard of Avon independently, and I read aloud William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki.  I hope I can get around to writing up a review of it–it’s wonderful.  This time period has really caught my girls’ imaginations–especially Louise’s.  She’s planning to dress up as Queen Elizabeth I for Halloween.  :-)

Science–We finished up lesson two in Apologia botany.  Actually, Steady Eddie got in on the action for this chapter, thankfully.  Man, Apologia is detailed!  I didn’t learn a lot of the stuff until high school, at least.

Reading aloud–We finished The Magic Half and started on The Peterkin Papers (available free here) and The World of Columbus and Sons.  

  • Fun Friday–I really didn’t want to “do school” today, but I soldiered on.  ;-)  Actually, I try hard to make our Fun Fridays as unlike our regular days as possible (excepting that I still like a routine), so we had a short Circle Time in which the girls simply did everything they could from memory for an evaluation of sorts.  Then, we had Poetry Tea Time.
  • PicMonkey Collage

After this refreshing little break, all three of the big kids did a bit of drawing and watercoloring while I read aloud.

PicMonkey Collage 2


  • the finished product
    the finished product
  • By this time, Steady Eddie was home, so he helped Lulu with Beast Academy while I fixed lunch.  After lunch and I got the DLM to go sleep (& I dozed off–note the exhaustion I mentioned earlier), we finished up with some math games, freewriting, and some work on the girls’ Books of Centuries.
  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…take a break when you need one.  :-)  Really.
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…this week, besides the usual–swim practice (x 3, and yes, they’re still swimming outdoors!), CBS, piano lessons, and church–we went to this year’s first Mother-Daughter Bookclub at one of our libraries.  The book was Magic Half, which we just managed to finish in the nick of time.  I hope to review this book later.
  • My favorite thing this week was…taking my girls out for supper after Bookclub on Tuesday night.  They tore down the old Wendy’s in our town a few months ago and built a new one on the same spot.  I like Wendy’s fine, but my girls LOVE it because they have one of the new “freestyle” soft drink dispensers.  They like to see how many different soft drink concoctions they can invent.  I just enjoyed having a little bit of time just to talk to them and give them my undivided attention.
  • My kiddos’ favorite thing this week was…probably the trip to Wendy’s.  :-)  That, and Lulu got her check (a whopping $6!) from winning second place at the fair last week with her apron.
a better shot of the winning entry
a better shot of the winning entry
  • Things I’m working on…the Armchair Cybils.  Well, I actually haven’t begun working on it, but I’ve begun thinking about it.  :-)  Oh, and this week is Read Aloud Thursday week, so do pop over and leave a link to your read aloud blog posts, if you have any!
  • I’m cooking…do blueberry muffins for Poetry Tea Time count?  :-)  It has been such a crazy week of travel for Steady Eddie that this week cooking just didn’t happen.  Well, Steady Eddie did grill some chicken and porkchops one night, but I haven’t cooked anything.  The kids and I ate supper with my parents and sister’s family on Thursday night.  Tonight we’re having frozen pizza.  And that’s the unvarnished truth.  :-)
  • I’m grateful for…family members who cook. . .and my husband, always.
  • I’m praying for…is it selfish to say I’m praying for myself?
  • I’m reading. . . Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  It’s very, very good, but also a slow go.  I really need to pick up the pace because on Saturday I requested lots of new books at the library, and on Thursday they called to let me know several had come in and had already been processed. . .



    • My children are reading. . . Lulu’s assigned book this week was Along Came a Dog by Meindert DeJong.  Louise’s book was Good Queen Bess by Alida Sims Malkus.  As usual, the girls are also reading lots of random history books and fiction and whatever else strikes their fancies.  The DLM has enjoyed a couple this week:  I Love Ewe:  An Ode to Animal Moms by Aaron Zenz and The Bear Who Shared by Christine Rayner.


  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…Today I’ll just share a new word the DLM invented this week:  Grand Crawly Dad Legs.  Can you guess what it is?

How was your week?

Homegrown Learners