Weekly Plan…Menu and More.

I love Lora’s idea of posting not just her weekly menu but her whole week’s plan as well.  Not only is there more accountability when it comes to the weekly report at the end of the week, but it will be fun to see how my plans match up with what I actually accomplish each week.

So here goes:


  • Grocery shopping is an absolute must….or we may starve.
  • Full day of schoolwork including working on getting the history pocket pages caught up and doing all of the notebooking for the first chapter in botany.
  • Turn in time for payroll.
  • Submit weekly invoice.
  • Print all business-related paperwork for last week.
  • Finish my library book list.
  • Catch up weekend laundry.
  • Dinner: grilled chicken, corn on the cob, salad.


  • Full day of schoolwork.
  • Storytime at the library and pick up available book from my list.
  • Finish my shopping list for February children’s ministry curriculum for church.
  • Download March’s curriculum and start editing.
  • Deep clean my bedroom and bath.
  • Make and deliver a meal to a friend who just had a BABY!
  • Dinner: enchiladas, refried beans, Spanish rice, and salad.


  • Full day of schoolwork including a LOT of reading and researching on our history fair projects.
  • Clean out school closet.
  • File paperwork.
  • Prepare next week’s meal plan and grocery list.
  • Dinner: pulled venison BBQ sandwiches (we’re giving it a try!), baked tots, veggie tray.


  • Three R’s only for schoolwork. Maybe sneak in some botany if we have time.
  • Tear down Jan theme in CM at church, decorate Feb theme, and prepare for Sunday services.
  • Dinner: vegetable beef soup and cornbread


  • A little history fair project reading but no schoolwork.
  • Grocery and CM shopping.
  • Drop off and organize CM supplies on the way home.
  • Dinner: grilled boneless pork chops, steamed veggies, and salad.


  • Hang out with Daddy.
  • LifeGroup.
  • Dinner: at LifeGroup…to be decided later in the week.


  • Church
  • Lunch out with Daddy!

Somewhere in there I’d also like to get the garage cleaned out and re-organized but we’ll see what day is the warmest before putting that on the to-do list. Also the boys absolutely need hair cuts this week so we’ll shoot for that to be done on whichever day ends up being the shortest. 

When we aren’t with Bo for the week, my goal is to always get EVERYTHING that needs to be done for the week absolutely taken care of before Saturday so we can spend the whole weekend just hanging out with him.  Since we’ve been with gone so much this month, I’m sure there are a few things I haven’t realized yet that will need attention before the end of the week.  All those *little* things tend to be neglected on weeks we’re out of town.

Well that was fun!  I can’t wait to see how well I stick to the list. One of my 2012 goals is to become more organized….I hope this will make doing that a little easier and more fun.

Weekly update: botany special.

Each week seems to be getting better and better!  We had a great week and accomplished a lot…even some FUN stuff!

Monday was spent running errands, going to my doctor’s appointment, cleaning house, doing laundry, and driving to our apartment in eastern AR.  My ultrasound went very well.  Baby boy is perfectly healthy and growing right on track. I am SO relieved.  I’ve never been so worried about a baby before. This pregnancy is just so different from the other four boys….makes me nervous.  We spent Monday evening watching the movie Courageous.  LOVE that movie!
A healthy baby boy all rolled up into a ball.
Drake is working on learning the alphabet. He has found a new love—coloring!  I could never get the older boys to color but he seems to be really enjoying it.  I love having a coloring partner!

I planned on getting up early on Tuesday morning but someone {ahem…my oldest} turned off my alarm for me. We got a late start but managed to get a full day of schoolwork in AND do our grocery shopping.  We {re}started our botany study, using Apologia’s Botany science book.  Nathan is following along with us even though he is also working in Apologia Gen Science.  The younger books are so much fun and we all learn so much from them.  We tried started Botany several times over the last year but it just never stuck.  We’re taking a little bit different approach this time and so far it’s working.  We’re making up our own fun activities along with picking the ones that look the most fun from the book.  On Tuesday we classified Legos and talked about how we would classify ourselves in our church {like the example in the book}. 

Gabriel is making HUGE strides in reading and math!  We kind of hit a road block a couple of weeks ago but we just took a little time off and worked on verbal math facts.  He hit the road running this week!

 I managed to get up early on Wednesday but the morning quickly went downhill.  The puppies made a terrible mess in their crate overnight and both big dogs waited until Nathan brought them back inside to do their business.  It was a MESS.  Nathan and I got off on the wrong foot and I ended up yelling at everyone.  I decided to go back to bed for a few minutes, called the hubs to vent, and then settled myself before going out and apologizing to the boys for my behavior.  I thought maybe a fun activity would get us back on track so we made these:

Since we talked bout taxonomy and did some verbal classification on Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to have a visual of taxonomy.  I took the idea from a pin on Pinterest that actually is for geography. The idea worked well for our little science project.  The little two just scientifically classified themselves, and mostly I did Drake’s for him.  Gabriel did a great job and even though he didn’t completely understand, he did grasp the idea of classifying—“putting things in order” and “grouping things that are alike.”  For a five year old, I think he did great and got in some good handwriting practice!  I asked the older two boys to classify themselves scientifically and socially {we make it up based on an example in the book}. 

Kingdom: Children

Phylym: school type (homeschool, public school, private school)

Class: grade

Order: age

Family: male or female

Genus: last name

Species: first name

So they filled in each category based on their personal info.  That was fun!  Then I asked them to pick any plant and classify it {after all, we ARE studying Botany!}.  Nathan picked the red rose and Kaleb picked the Venus fly trap.  It was just the activity to get us back on track and complete a full day of schoolwork!  When I said “ok, time to do the rest of our schoolwork,” Kaleb asked “that was work?  I didn’t know.  It was too much fun to be work.”  J  Just what we needed for sure!

Kaleb is moving along in math.  We’re working on carrying over in addition and borrowing in subtraction.  We both still LOVE Math Mammoth.  Grammar and phonics are also going well.  After finishing Ordinary Parents Guide, I’m trying to find something else for him. Until then, he is just reading on his own and outloud to me at least once a day.

We had another great day of school on Thursday.  Nothing super special about the day other than we accomplished everything we had planned.  

Nathan is finally getting back into an independent groove.  Most days he completes his work with very little prodding from me.  Maybe he’s starting to realize the free time he would have if he just buckles down and gets the work done.  He is doing very well in pre-algebra.  I think he actually likes it! 
We drove home Friday morning….and had quite the experience.  This was the last trip home with the puppies as the three we aren’t keeping have homes.  This was the first time since they were born that they cried about 3/4 of the trip home.  They also had four *accidents* each in the crate which was also a first.  We lost my debit cards somewhere in a 100 mile stretch of interstate during one of the several stops we had to make. The trip home also involved vomit and car trouble. Ha!  It was insanity at it’s best in my car for sure! The trip took an extra hour and almost a half due to all the troubles.  Thankfully we made it home in one piece with just enough time to leave again for the last co-op planning meeting and some birthday party planning.  Nathan and I stayed up late baking and making the coconut cream pie cake pops for his birthday party on Saturday.  It was a fun and relaxing way to end the day!  Nathan did a fabulous job with the cake pops!
Nathan ended his birthweek with a great birthday party with many friends and family.  He had a blast!

Since we’ll be home this coming week, it’s time to get more serious about our history fair projects and finish all the notebooking/vocab work from our week of botany. The Apologia book Who is Our God? hasn’t arrived yet so I’m hoping to get that this week.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to add our geography study back in now and do some fun history crafts. 
I hope everyone else has a fun and successful week of school!

Weekly Report: the week that flew by

We didn’t accomplish near as much as I had planned but at least we made some progress.  I spent a LOT of work time at the computer….many little things that I had been putting off during our two weeks in eastern AR.  Plus the usual weekly business reports/emails/printing/filing etc.

Monday was kind of a crazy day.  Bo and I went into town for the BIG ultrasound for all the measurements and such.  I’ve been looking forward to it for many reasons, mainly because I’m not growing as much as I did with the older four boys.  Of course Bo says everything is fine and I AM growing, but I just need a little more reassurance. 🙂  When we got there, we found out that our appointment was rescheduled for the following Monday. Disappointing…especially since I didn’t get a call or email letting me know but we had a few errands to run, and Bo and I enjoyed having a little together time. So now THIS COMING Monday is the big day. 🙂  The rest of my morning was spent getting some paperwork done, but we did get a little bit of schoolwork completed. 

Math time! Yes my boys need hair cuts and yes I was busy folding laundry as they worked. ha!

We started a new chore system so the boys and I spent some time going over that and then I spent a LOT of time helping them adjust to the first day.  It’s a change we’ve needed for quite some time and so far it’s been fairly successful.  We’re still working on making it a habit of course.

Tuesday and Wednesday kind of blurred together.  I know we did well both days but man…..did they fly!  I could have used a couple extra hours each day. 

Feeding frenzy! Puppies were introduced to dog food this week.  They 100% approve. 🙂  We are just a week away from them being old enough for new homes. Kind of sad and happy at the same time.  We would keep all of them if we could but I look forward to life returning to *normal*.

Part of my problem this week was that I stayed a day behind in my mind.  Yesterday afternoon, after spending a lot of time on the computer getting some paperwork done, I reminded myself that I had a meeting in town…on Thursday…the next evening.  I was a little more than shocked when the phone’s calendar alarm went off and I saw that the meeting actually was about to start…….in 15 minutes…..because it was in face already Thursday, not Wednesday like I believed.  I live 25 minutes away from the meeting place and I wasn’t even dressed for it. I threw on some decent clothes and ran out of the door.  I had to call my mom to come over and fix dinner for the boys since I hadn’t even gotten that far. 

The meeting was for spring co-op teacher planning.  It was the most successful planning meeting I’ve been to since joining our homeschool group.  We have so many awesome classes planned.  Hopefully we’ll fill in a few gaps within the next week and then the co-op committee will meet again at the end of the week to pull it all together.  I LOVE co-op planning!  I love being on the committee.  I love seeing classes develop and I love seeing the finished product.  I’m technically not teaching a class this semester since I’m due in May.  I decided to just offer one or two hours of game time….something that my assistant can easily take over if I go into labor early. 

Some mid-week love. Gabriel made this card for me.  iLu = I love you.  He and Drake did a lot of independent drawing and writing this week.  SO happy to see Gabriel willing to work on writing!

Today is a slow day.  We’re taking it easy.  I ordered Apologia’s Who is God? book earlier this week and hope it will get here with today’s mail. I can’t wait to dig into that book!  I’m excited about it!  I think the boys will love it. 

Nathan’s 14th birthday is tomorrow!!!  We’ll celebrating tonight with a birthday dinner, just us and the grandparents who can make it.  His party isn’t until next Saturday.  We like to celebrate a birthweek anyway.  It’s going to be a fun week!

We’ll probably be in eastern AR again next week.  Looking forward to a couple museum stops, some serious work on history fair projects, and hopefully a more settled week.

Weekly Update: See? We’re getting back in the groove

Ahhh….three whole weeks of consistant schoolwork. 🙂  Feels good.  We still aren’t doing EVERYTHING in the planner EVERYDAY but it’s a little harder when we’re out of town.  Instead of art/craft projects, we’re exploring the little museums in the area.  I’m thinking about adding a little Arkansas history on the days we spend out of town since there is so many historical places in the area we’re staying.  It seems natural to explore more about what it right in front of us. 

This week’s biggest lesson has been in the heart than in the books.  Kaleb and Nathan saw (in the movie Remember the Titans) how painful segregation and discrimination can be.  Kaleb’s eyes were opened to something he never would have guessed even existed.  Then, of course, we have seen quite a bit more of this as we visit historical sites and museums in our southern state.  It literally brings him to tears to think about a person being treated so differently and poorly by others.an eye-opener for him to say the least.  To see pictures of it and hear stories has been   This just happen to coinside with our history lessons on the Romans and their treatment of Christians.  He decided this week to do his history fair report on the Little Rock Nine.  We’re definitely fitting in a visit to that museum.  As passionate as he has become about this issue, I can’t wait to see his end result.

We’ve also fit in math, grammar, vocab, and such with all three older boys this week.  For some reason, they are now working better and harder in our out-of-town apartment than our home. 🙂  I’m not opposed since I’d much rather be where their daddy is anyway. 

Add Legos…and suddenly everyone want to do math! 🙂

We spent a LOT of time playing with puppies.  We only have two more weeks before these guys are ready for new homes.  Thankfully one of them is going to the boys’ Nana so we’ll be able to play with him!

Nathan actually allowed a picture!! 🙂

We went to the St. Francis County Museum on Wednesday.  The museum is housed in a beautiful old home that belonged to Dr. J.O. Rush who actually had his doctor’s office inside the home during the 1920’s. 

The rooms in the 7000 square foot house were filled with the history of St. Francis County.  It was a very neat visit. 

Standing next to the old Forrest City radio station equipment.

Once again, we were reminded of the intense discrimination in our state.  We saw pictures of the *black school* and *white school* as well as a whole hallway dedicated Scott Bond, an African-American slave turned landowner, farmer, and businessman.  Although it was a rarity of that time, I was SO glad to have the boys see the story of this man!

Next time we come down we’re heading to the Lower White River Museum and the Little Rock Nine museum.

Another great week!  We’re doing better and better as this new semester moves along.  SO glad! 

I’m thinking about getting Apologia Who is God? book one.  Anyone use this?  Any thoughts?

My new tickler file.

Just typing that makes me giggle…..tickler file. 🙂

I had never heard of such a thing until I ran across Amy’s blog which I am LOVING by the way….an AWESOME blog!  As soon as I read her post about it, I knew this was exactly what I needed.  I’m already finding myself a bit overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork a new business brings in.  Between homeschooling, children’s ministry, and now a business along with the everyday demands of family life….I need all of the organizing help I can get.  I went THAT DAY and picked up the necessary supplies.

I totally agree with her suggestion to make it pretty and so I found the cutest file folders at Hobby Lobby.  AND they match an expandable file holder I received as a gift a few months ago. Bonus! 

Four packs of 12 gave me enough file folders for the 12 months, 31 days, 4 action files, and a few extra.  I also picked up the pretty wicker basket and a couple smaller matching baskets for my desk, one for my pens, pencils, etc and another for my note cards.  All 1/2 price!  I LOVE Hobby Lobby sales!

My action files are:

 File (I’m terrible about just setting down on my desk something that needs to be filed…and then losing it)
Copy (I always find things that I want/need to copy but don’t always have time at that moment…these also end up missing)
Read (magazine articles, blog posts, letters, etc that I’d love to read during my spare time but always forget about)
WW paperwork (various children’s ministry papers I would like to have in ONE place)

I’m excited about having a few extra file folders just in case I find I need another action file after getting started.  I’m following the same approach as Amy with the months and days folders.  I think this will totally help me stay organized.

I also love that my planner fits right behind the file folders.  No more piling books on top of my planner and forgetting to check it.  I will be reminded every morning when I check my file folder for the day.  I have just enough room in the front to put my to-do list notebook (another new 2012 idea and my January new habit) as well but I haven’t decided if that is the best place for it yet.

2012 is going to be my year for organization!  Between my to-do list notebook and my new tickler system, I’m already more organized than I was in 2011. I look forward to implementing a couple more organizational ideas in the  near future.  Next up is a system for our children’s ministry curriculum at church and another system for organizing school/art/craft supplies in the school closet.

Weekly Update: The First REAL One in a LONG Time.

Well. Finally. A REAL week of school. Thank you God.

We did get some schoolwork done last week but we had several appointments and events that took up a lot of our time.  We managed about two full days of schoolwork.  Considering we had a four day week with Bo being off the day after Christmas, I’m happy with what we accomplished!  I spent some time cleaning out the school closet but I still have some work to do in there.  I’ll probably have it completely organized and just the way I want it…….by the time we get the garage converted into a family/school room and then I’ll get to move everything into a new space! 🙂

This week was SO much better.  I think we are all ready to get back to a routine!

Bo was able to take Monday off due to New Years Day being on Sunday so we only had a four day week, and then one of those days we spent four hours on the road. 

Bo works out of town….on the other side of the state….3 1/2 hours away.  Since he went into business for himself last November, we decided to rent an apartment so the boys and I could hang out with him as much as possible.  Every week free of local commitments is spent with him.  We finally had a free week after all of the holiday celebrations and commitments so we followed him down on Monday evening.

Tuesday morning was spent grocery shopping for the apartment and getting a card at the local library.  We were able to check out a few books that the boys enjoyed reading this week.  The library is SUPER small but the ladies were all very nice and they have a weekly storytime/movie afternoon that we look forward to checking out.  The rest of the day was spent on schoolwork.  We decided to save our history reading for bedtime since we didn’t have any bedtime storybooks with us.  It worked out perfectly! I think this is the beginning of a new habit. We’ll get our history reading in AND make more time during the day for history crafts and activities.

We spent all of Wednesday doing schoolwork. We were able to get in a couple extra lessons since we had to miss Monday.  The little boys got bored FAST so I took them to the Dollar Tree to pick out some fun workbooks and coloring books.  They were happy for the rest of the afternoon.

We drove home on Thursday.  The plan was actually to come home Friday morning but we don’t have Internet at the apartment yet and so, by Wednesday, all of the work (online and offline) that I needed to get done at home was constantly swimming around in my head.  And to be honest, I was a little bored too with so little to do myself.  We got home about mid-afternoon and managed to squeeze in some light schoolwork. 

Today was another good day of schoolwork.  I had a meeting this afternoon so we hit the books early and accomplished a lot before I had to leave.  The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping for the following week and getting ready for the Hogs bowl game. We are looking forward to a simple weekend with Dad before he goes out of town again on Monday.

Also looking forward to an even better school week coming up.  CRAFTS, catching up some history and geography activity stuff, starting on history fair projects, routine, routine, routine, and a LOT of fun.  SO excited to have my energy back!  I’m taking advantage for as long as I can.

Happy New Year!

Best Christmas present EVER.

The hubs got me a KINDLE for Christmas!!!  I’m so excited!!!  I’ve already found several books and apps that I LOVE. (Yes I totally have Angry Birds on my kindle!) I’ve read several books already since he gave it to me.  Most of the books I have on my Kindle were FREE!!!  I just entered FREE into the search engine in the Kindle bookstore and BAM…a whole list of freebies.

Here are a few of the books I’ve read so far (these were free but have since gone up in price):

Coming Home

Fools Rush In

The Year She Fell

Also a friend recommended a cool blog that post links to free Christian books….EVERY DAY!  I checked it out for the first time today and wish I had taken a look yesterday as I missed out on a free devo I was already looking at getting. 🙂

You HAVE to let me know if you know of any other cool places to go for Kindle freebies AND what your fave books and apps are on your kindle!