Weekly Wrap-up: Little Victories

Middle Boy swimming by himself!

Middle Boy swimming by himself!

We finished up swimming lessons this week…didn’t we just start?! All of the kids made progress but Middle Boy really improved the most. He went from hugging the edge of the pool to swimming in the deep end over the past three weeks. The three of them also got individualized attention and instruction from Coach…a nice little perk since most kids their age were tucked away in government or private school. I feel  so much better about letting them swim at Mrs. Cuddle-me’s home this summer. If you are in the area I highly recommend the folks at Thunderbolt Aquatics.

squash stump

squash stump

Over the weekend we planted our little garden of tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and cucumber. I’ve also got some bean seeds to plant with the kids. We didn’t do most of our botany experiments over the winter so we will get started one those soon with the beans. My husband thought it would be fun to plant the squash in a hollowed out tree stump. I think they look cute in the stump and pretty soon they will be surrounded by a yellow-orange sea of marigolds. I am looking forward to fresh squash and tomatoes this summer.

Sparkles at Kingsway

Sparkles at Kingsway

We also took the crew skating on Saturday. They had an absolute blast at the skating rink last weekend!! We were the only family at the skating rink and had the place to ourselves. Even though we were the only family present the folks at the rink still played the skating games with the kids and gave them prizes for winning!!! I thought that was really nice…they really didn’t have to do that for us. I think the kids enjoyed their own unexpected private skate session.

the snake I had to go see last week

the snake I had to go see last week

We are still working through our first Light Unit in math. The kids all like their new math curriculum. They have been plowing through two or three lessons a day for now. We’ll have to keep at this pace through the summer in order to reach grade level math by Christmas break. We finished the second volume of The Story of the World this week. They do so well with the oral narrations now that I am going to have them do written narrations next school year.  Only the middle two will continue on with The Story of the World studies. Oldest is moving on into the Logic stage next year and will begin studying Ancient history. A middle schooler!!! We are also nearly finished with Primary Early American History…only three weeks of work left in the guide. I have enjoyed (maybe more so) that study as much as the kids.

blackberries

blackberries

I am in the middle of planning for next school year now. I usually like setting goals and planning lessons but this year it feels like a wrestling match. Oldest will be putting more time into his studies and several of his subjects are now separate from the middle two. I’m a little sad that our group time will not be the same…we won’t all be working together as much. I am working…trying to anyway…more individualized time with each of my children this year. I feel the Lord is calling me to give each child their own time with me. I just wish He’d write it into my planner book for me ’cause I’ve yet to figure out how to make it so.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers 

Hematite Lake and Beatersville

We’ve had quite the weekend. I feel like we need another day or two to recover. We spent today at home. My husband smoked a couple of chickens which we made into wraps for dinner. Anything he makes in the smoker is delicious! The kids played in the little wading pools and I puttered in our yard a bit. The potatoes got another layer of straw and dirt. Soon I will let them flower and we’ll see if the yield will really be 100 pounds…We also noticed the two baby house finches were no longer in their nest. We enjoyed watching mama and daddy bird work on the nest and raise their two babies. The kids enjoyed watching the parents feed the chicks and we were sad to see the nest empty this morning. Maybe they will lay some more eggs?

Yesterday we went to Louisville for Beatersville…not your average car show. Some of the classic cars were really nice and others were…let’s just say artistic. The people were as interesting and as diverse as the cars. Greasers, retro fifties girls, bikers, dudes with mohawks, tattooed ladies, fella’s with amazing beards and girls who needed more clothing. We had a blast. My husband is a car guy…he knows the year a car was made by looking at it and all sorts of other things I do not understand. I really do not know the difference between make or model…let alone year and who designed it. Not a clue. I can tell you if it is a car or truck and the color…however, over the years, I have learned to identify a Mustang. Who knows what else I’ll be able to identify in another ten years?

On Saturday we enjoyed a walk around Hematite Lake. The walk was great except for the mosquitos…they are bad this year. Littlest couldn’t walk all the way around the lake so we took turns carrying him on our shoulders. He amused himself looking for letters on the path. He found sticks in the shape of y, z ,v, l and r…and we brought the stick home. He gave me the death-glare when I made him leave the sticks outside. He is alphabet obsessed right now…we’re beginning to wonder when symptoms of OCD show up…

I also got in two new products to review: one is from Apologia and the other from Classical Historian…can’t wait to tell you about those!

 

Repurposed Garbage Can

my tiny salsa garden and garbage can

my tiny salsa garden and garbage can

I’ve been wanting to grow a bigger garden each year. Sadly, our yard is pathetically low in sunny spots. I have this dream of lining up one of the driveways with big pots and growing all of our vegetables that way. It would be quite a sight I’m sure…I’ve been reading about growing potatoes in containers or barrels lately. I read one article that claimed you could grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a barrel of sawdust!!! Wow! I do not have a barrel on hand but I do have a busted up garbage can. Why do I have a busted garbage can? I’ll tell ya! In our town the local boys in the jail do the garbage rounds. After dumping the garbage in the truck they like to throw our garbage can back into the yard. It must be some kind of contest or something…I’m not sure. Don’t move to this town…that is just one of the messed up things going on around here.

Taters!!!

Taters!!!

The nice thing about a busted up garbage can is that my husband did not have to drill any drain holes in the can. (I am not permitted to use power tools, sharp knives or irons.) In fact he had to patch it up with some duct tape to keep from losing the straw and soil. I put a layer of straw on the bottom of the can then my potatoes and then some soil over the top. Once the potatoes sprout out and grow a bit I will add more soil and straw up to the leaf tips. I’ll repeat with the straw and soil one more time before allowing the plants to grow and flower. Then I should have lots of potatoes and enough growing season left to repeat one more time…hopefully. That is how I am going to repurpose my jail-bird busted garbage can…