Saturday, September 3, 2011

Last Week

This has been a busy, but normal week.

School takes the majority of our day, but we are having a great school year!  Both of my older girls are taking Algebra I or II and Biology I or II, and I enjoy those subjects much more than physical science, chemistry, and geometry.  When I help them (rarely!) or review their study guides with them for a test, I can actually remember some of the material from when I was in high school or college.  

I am proud of Clay and 7th grade work.  His workload has increased, as well as the amount of schoolwork that I expect him to complete independently.  He is doing well!  He is working  alone in the Apologia General Science book, and I have been pleased with the results so far.  I am currently reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond to him (along with other books as well), and I am really enjoying that book!  I have never read it before now.  He is not as interested as me in how it will all turn out.  It does seem to be more of a girl book.

Sam and Leah are moving right along with their studies.  Sam has learned the letters B, T, F, R, and M so far.  It is very enjoyable teaching both him and Leah.  They are eager to learn, and they will sit and listen to me read to them as long as I will do it.  Of course, they sometimes wiggle, moan, and distract one another during their seatwork, and Sam has been known to slingshot his pencil across the room or fall out of his chair while doing handwriting!  So, my older children suggested that I do "The Treasure Box" with them.  Olivia, Julie, and Clay remembered us doing that when they were young, distractable and wiggly.  I bought a bunch of junk (treasures) at Dollar General, and put it all in a plastic box.  Then I printed a grid with 25 small squares.  They earn a sticker to place in the square when I observe them working nicely (not aggravating their sister, not complaining about the amount of math problems on the page, not playing the drums on the school table, etc.).  It took them about 7 school days to fill the grid for the first time--Leah filled hers first--and then they visited The Treasure Box!  Joy!  Leah chose a small notebook with a butterfly cover, and Sam selected a tape measure which he promptly hung on his shorts (it goes nicely with his knife that he carries at all times!).  They are continuing to try their best to work diligently, because they already know what they want to choose the next time they visit The Treasure Box.  

I explained to them that we would not have The Treasure Box indefinitely.  When its treasures were all chosen, the box would not be refilled.  I want to encourage them to be good workers, and I like to reward their efforts, but I will not be bribing them for always!  This is just a tool to help them (especially Sam) focus on learning to complete their work in a timely manner.  I also use lots of verbal praise and hugs!  

Pokey--He had is one week check-up yesterday.  He gained 1.5 pounds in a week!  Hooray!  He is so much better!  He received his vaccinations, and the vet x-rayed his hip.  For now, we are watching his hip, and will decide on the course of treatment as he grows.

Housework--Our school days are so filled with schoolwork and then cross country practice three days a week, that most days I cannot get any housework done.  We do keep the beds made, the dirty clothes washed, and the house tidy and in order, but I rarely have time to vacuum or clean a bathroom.  On Jimmy's days off, I try to do housework, fold clean clothes, iron, run errands, keep appointments, etc.  I can get behind very quickly!

Yesterday, while Olivia, Leah, Sam, and I were at the vet, Julie worked, worked, worked!  She washed, dried, and folded several loads of clothes!  She also ironed, cleaned the basement (workout room, schoolroom, bathroom, foyer, and stairs).  She dusted, vacuumed, and she had to tidy up down there before she even began cleaning.  What a blessing!  When we got home from the vet, we all got busy and helped Julie finish cleaning our entire house!  Hooray!  Olivia bathed Pokey and administered the monthly medication to all 4 dogs.  Then she, Clay, Leah, and Sam all helped with the remaining vacuuming, dusting, and bathroom cleaning.  I cannot express how much better I feel with a clean house!

Today I plan to shop at Walmart (monthly stock-up), Sam's, and Kroger--with Leah, Sam, and Clay in tow!  We also plan to work in the flower beds at our church building, and we are meeting  friend of Leah's and Sam's for lunch.

Running--I will complete my final miles for Week 1 of marathon training tomorrow morning.  This week's total was 26.  In the running world, the weeks begin on Monday, and run through Sunday.  Monday will start my week 2, I have 30 miles next week.

Bible--I have gotten a little bit behind in my B90 reading plan.  It's ok!  I got behind twice the last time I did this, and I was able to catch up and still finish in 89 days.  I plan to spend some time this weekend reading extra, and by Tuesday, I hope to be back on track or even ahead.

Other News--We visited my brother, our dentist, last week for our check-ups.  We are all in the no cavity club!  We shopped at Target on our way home.  I love Target!  I have heard that Tupelo may be getting a Target.  We'll see!

I hope to carve out some time next week to blog more regularly.
Have a super weekend!


  1. I enjoyed reading about your week! I am using 1/2 of Core 100 this year to cover Early American History with my 9th grade daughter and Core 3 with my 5th and 7th grade sons to cover Early American History. So, I think we're reading a lot of the same books! I moved The Witch of Blackbird Pond out of the boys' history program to Amber's program because I thought it would hold little interest for my boys. Amber and I both LOVED that book!

    It's so hard to balance everything but you always sound so upbeat in your posts! All three of my children have been on variations of breaks to semi-breaks from swimming for a few weeks. The intense practice schedule begins again on Wednesday.

    Have a great week next week!


  2. We loved Witch of Blackbird Pond. I always cry at the end of a really good book and have a hard time reading it aloud to the kids. They always laugh at me. So far, we haven't read anything this year that rivals some of the good ones in Cores 3, 4, or 6. Hopefully, they'll get better.

    I'm glad school is going well. It is such a blessing to have big kids that help out- even when not asked to. Love it! My 12 yr old son came downstairs this morning and told me he had cleaned his bathroom and bedroom. My girls have been such a help to me lately. Especially, since I've become ocd in project mode. I started the 90 day challenge again this week. I'm always amazed at how I keep noticing things I've never seen before. It seems like eventually you would just know it, but the Bible doesn't work that way.

    Have a great weekend! Oh- I made the red sauce and chicken parmesan last week and we love it. We're still eating off my last freezer foray.


  3. I am exhausted yet very motivated by your week. You accomplish so much, which makes me think about all the time I waste.

    I love the treasure box idea. I may try that with Hope. I already implemented one of your ideas, the back to school treasure hunt. I even wrote a post about it and linked over to your post.

    What a sweet thing for your daughter to do so much around the house and everyone to pitch in when they got home. It is great to have a teen who is willing to do so much and be dilegent with their school work. I suspect they are all such hard worker because they see how much their mama does.:)

  4. Ooops, that was suppose to read "diligent".