Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Week the Coffee Fairy Came

As you might assume from the title there was something that happened with coffee. However, before we get to that let's begin with our week in review.

More and more snow!
The remains of our snowman
Obviously there were many public school closings all over the country this week. Snow and freezing weather made it impossible for many buses to run and hazardous for children to stand at bus stops to begin with even if they were running. So, many of our friends and families children didn't have school for most of this week. Here, we did our lessons almost all week long. We did have a "snow/cold" day on Wednesday, but only really due to the fact that Noni surprised us by deciding to come out to the house!
Starting the week off right: coffee and Play Dough

Monday we were super busy! All of our regular lessons for Monday (Language Arts, Arithmetic, History/Social Studies, Science, and Health) plus we added art and some of our items off of our Winter Bucket List. Daddy even organized my laundry area for me and then made the campers a pair of giant binoculars so that they could attempt to observe the deer in the fields while the deer were far off. Some of the campers started the week in better moods than others. Peanut found it interesting to be able to combine two of her favorite things, computer related learning and adding change to the "vacation fund". I know it looks really really dark outside while Peanut is looking through the binoculars, but it was just around dusk and they'd spotted a few deer far out by the tree line. That evening we made our "evil" twins and grew some crystals that made for wonderful sensory work. (You can read more about the "evil" twins and the crystals here. ) We also began our journey through green deserts for the week...

Tuesday found us having a pretty much "normal" school day here. If there's ever such a thing as normal. We did all of our normal lessons, yes every subject we'd done for Monday all over again just different lessons. There was a moment that was somewhat different, Peanut had her princess dolls exercising on her desk after her own lessons were finished... I'm not sure where she came up with the idea (nope, I don't do that exercise move lol) but it sure was cute! And I did manage to capture a few cute picture of cuddles during lesson breaks and while Daddy was singing a song (along with a video on YouTube) to Peanut.

Wednesday we had our "snow" day. Noni came out shortly before noon and everyone was able to visit for several hours before she had to leave. I could have knocked a few more items off of our bucket list this day but decided I'd rather just have the children have fun and relax. Peanut decided that I meant that her Sophia the First and friends dolls got to climb "Mount Fridge". If you look closely at the bottom there's even one peeking out from the bottom cover of the fridge. Wednesday night my coffee pot died after giving us a year of faithful and constant service. When I say constant I do mean it as from the time I wake up until moments before I fall asleep (the cup often stays on my bedside table at night) I drink coffee for the most part. I do drink juice, milk, tea, and some water but 95% of the time I'm drinking coffee. Daddy drinks coffee almost as much as I do. It was a sad (and because we don't get paid until Monday almost panicky) moment...

Thursday we were back to our regular lessons. Though the Cracker Jacks were attempting to do both Wednesdays and Thursdays lessons because they wanted to get the full week's worth of lessons finished and Peanut had done both days worth of work on Tuesday. I pouted and attempted to make do with instant Starbucks coffee (given to us a few months ago) but it was bitter and too strong and just not the same... One of our wonderful neighbors was such a blessing and gave us his spare coffee pot that afternoon. I think I drank a pot before an hour had past! Daddy had also been given a free desk the day before (when he'd run to a friend's house) that when we were originally told about it we'd thought would be the final student's desk we needed. Imagine his surprise when he picked it up, and my happiness when he brought it in for me this day! It's an antique so it's not really for children's use, but I'm more than happy to make use of it and get rid of the desk I'd used most of last year that was falling apart (it had been one of those you assemble type desks that had been given to us third hand).
Enjoying a different green desert.
Friday finally rolled around to see the Cracker Jack's finishing with their weekly lessons and for the most part getting them all done. ECJ does have a few things that he must complete this weekend but that were not assigned as "homework" because they were simply part of the weekly lessons and we hadn't had a full school week even though we'd had a full school weeks worth of lessons planned. I'm sure he'll finish the majority of them by Sunday afternoon. He did spend a good portion of the day helping YCJ with her English lessons because I felt like crud most of the day and like I was being pulled in about 50 different directions between just the girls needing my help.
Peanut's KY State Flag...

Working on her morning binder.
PreK/Kindergarten is still moving along at an excellent pace! Peanut has nearly completed three of her Pre-K books and will be starting two of her K books on Tuesday of next week (Monday being the 3rd and we always take the 3rd off of school as we do all of our running that day for the most part). She'll actually finish with one of the Pre-K books she's almost finished with now on Tuesday of next week! There are a few letter left to be taught in her Pre-K books but we'll be adding the K books to reinforce those letters that are left. She's very excited about the prospect of working in new books and getting other books finished.

Working on a story problem I'd read to her ...
Notice the tongue sticking out to help her concentrate.
Third grade is finally really beginning to pick up speed. When YCJ set her mind to it she was able to break that idea that she "couldn't" read and she's gaining proficiency each and every day! There are still days where it's very hard for her to read every part of her lessons, so either Daddy, ECJ, or I will help her by reading the lesson and having her read and answer the questions on her own. It's a process and it's working! She still uses her little green slips of paper for all of her reading and if she can't find one she's already been using she'll ask for a new one. They're getting used less when it comes to her math and helping her keep her place as she's learned to keep a finger from her left hand on the problem she's working on.

Working on Module 5 of
Apalogia General Science.
Sixth grade has been really enlightening this past week. On a whim Daddy and I decided to attempt to challenge ECJ, thinking that perhaps the work simply wasn't challenging enough and so it wasn't holding his attention. So, I printed off several worksheets for math and English for both ninth and tenth grade. Informing ECJ Monday morning that he not only had his regular lessons that he needed to do this week, but also had several worksheets I wanted him to work on. He took the idea in stride and didn't notice until we told him on Thursday that he wasn't doing sixth grade worksheets. He's pulled 7 A's and one B on those worksheets this week! He found some of them harder than others and needed a bit of instruction but was able to do the work without issue after that. The tenth grade math worksheets are what stumped him a bit, though he was able to do the work. The English worksheets were from the writings of Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare! So, one of his upcoming reading assignments will be Shakespeare's Mid Summer's Night's Dream which two of his worksheets focused on. This also means that his Language Arts and Arithmetic lessons will become accelerated and we'll work through both subjects materials quickly until he reaches the point where he's no longer able to do it in his sleep. As soon as he reaches a point where these become challenging we'll slow the pace back down.
Our snow piles from the plowing...

Our hours outside this week amounted to 1.25 hours for myself and the girls, and 3 hours for ECJ who spent much of that time shoveling snow. I'm adding the 1.25 hours to our total for our hours for the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge . Making our grand total year to date: 154.75 hours. Not such a grand total but at least we're getting outside a bit again finally! Though, why I chose Monday for our walk I'll never know as it was in the single digits and the wind chill took it well below zero!!! As you can tell YCJ is forcing smiles and Peanut just wants to get home and warm back up!! As soon as we weren't frozen once we did get home I popped the girls in a warm bath and took a hot shower myself. I felt as if I were frozen from the inside out!!!

OK, before I wrap this up I do owe an answer to the "burning" questions of: "What in the world is green goop?" and "What book did we base the green deserts from?"

Well, the book was Green Eggs and Ham. I just couldn't bring myself to make, eat, or force the kids to eat green eggs or ham. But, I still wanted to make the experience a fun one. So I made a lot of different green deserts and introduced a few new flavors (at least to some of us) while doing it! The new flavors included pistachio, lime, and cheesecake!

"Green Goop" was the best name that the campers came up with for our fist desert, and trust me you don't want to know what the other ones were. As you can probably see from the picture the base of the "green goop" is plain old, regular, no frills instant vanilla pudding!! Then Daddy experimented with a few of our food dyes (we don't eat many but when we do might as well go full force) until he reached a green that he liked. This was made without the campers knowledge and so it was a real surprise for them to see such a dark green color and find it tasted like vanilla! And for those of you who are wondering, yes, ECJ did have a few days after this desert where he was easily distracted. However, the effects were minimal compared to the past. That being said, perhaps if you do not partake of dyes normally this would be better served on a Friday evening instead of a week night.

Random pictures and goofiness:
"Finally" being allowed to eat their giant pixie sticks from Halloween! Thus finishes off the Halloween candy.
It also probably added to ECJ's being distracted during lessons both Tuesday and while his Noni was here
on Wednesday.

Moragon supervising all of us to make sure our lessons were done correctly.
She loves this part of her day!

Daddy got goofy Monday morning and drew a silly face on ECJ with dry erase marker!
It came off pretty easily with some soap and water, much to ECJ's relief!
Posts you may have missed this week:
Mysterious Green Goop Menu Plan
Winter Bucket List Link Up
We Have Evil Twins!
15 Ways to Keep Busy in the Cold
Religious Education Plans
Our Homework Policy

Who we're linking up with this week:
Homegrown Learners
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Faithful Mom of 9
Great Peace Academy

Find us on Facebook here or subscribe to the blog for tips on homeschooling, book reviews, how to get your children helping out in the kitchen, and to see many pictures of the cute kiddos, plus much more!


  1. Chrystal your weeks are always so full. Even taking Wednesday you still manage to do so much. The green goop looks, um well. fun... I love Peanut's flag. She is good at coloring.

    1. We did way too much after I looked back at the week. That green goop was fun but I actually couldn't eat more than a bite after the children kept talking about the different things it looked like LOL. I'm really proud of Peanut and her flag so thank you, she was doing it in stages while looking at a picture online to color in the one I printed off for her. :-)

  2. It looks like you have had snow. January went by without a bit of snow here. No coffee maker that would be a crisis here. I agree the instant Starbucks just doesn't cut it. I took that to China a few years ago and didn't like it.

    1. There's even more snow this morning! The leftover bits of the snowman family only remained because it was so darned cold here we did those near the beginning of the month! Oh that instant Starbucks is nasty in my opinion, I'm so happy our friend had a spare machine to give us. Life is much better with my coffee. :-)

  3. Looks like you guys had a fun week especially with Noni coming over! We had a dusting of new snow but nothing significant, thank the Lord. I've had enough snow for a lifetime! Your dog is incredible! Is he a Bull Mastiff? He's huge! Hope you have a great week. Thanks for linking up at FF!

    1. Sylvia, it was pretty fun! I'm pretty done with winter but the kids like playing in the cold stuff *shiver*. Thanks for the compliment on our dog. Her name is Moragon and she's a 2 year old English Mastiff that's my husband's service animal. But, when she's not working with Daddy she's supervising Mommy to make sure that I'm teaching the kids right lol. Oh and she loves Noni LOL