Friday, February 7, 2014

Wicked Weather and Spontaneous Science

Oh how I dream of living in a tropical climate every winter we're in Michigan. *SHIVER* It is honestly positively bone chilling at the moment. I may have to make some fingerless gloves just to type soon. Our furnace is working over time all the time and I'm still chilled. Peanut keeps wanting new scarves made as she claims her old ones just aren't warm enough! Tropical breezes, warm ocean water, white sands, and pina colada's fill my daydreams.

The chilly white muted one is the picture I took of the farmer's field out my side window one morning this week. Doesn't that tropical beach look so much better than icy fog and trees with everything else blanketed in blinding white cold snow? Having spent half my winters here in Michigan you would think I'd be used to it, but when I think of our southern home and the sometimes close to 60 or 70 degree weather in February I just shiver harder.

However, I digress. I'm supposed to be telling y'all how our week went right? Right. OK.
Monday we did a lot of running around. It was the third that means that it's our monthly errand day. We managed to get everything we needed to get done finished, spend a few hours with Grandma and Papa, and get home in time to let the campers play outside some! Considering that Monday was going to be one of the "warmest" (insert sarcasm within those quotes please) days this week I was really excited about this. They managed to get a full hour sledding and digging and generally being silly in the snow. We did some crafting and finished up a few little projects we had going all before baths and then YCJ read Peanut her bedtime stories!

I can't resist showing y'all the pictures I snapped of outside that night. The one above is of the same hill the children were playing on earlier that day. You can't even see it now and I had the camera in the same exact place!! It was an icy fog that was just hanging in the air to where you could barely see anything at all! The picture to the right there is a close up of the icy fog, you can actually see the ice crystals almost!

Tuesday morning we woke up and there was still some of that fog hanging around at the far side of the farmer's field. Our nearby trees looked almost like crystal tree sculptures! I snapped a few pictures before my fingers froze, had a cup of coffee, and got busy with our school day. Peanut simply blasted through three days worth of lessons like they were nothing! As soon as she'd finish a page in a book she'd ask for the next one! She even finished one of her workbooks ahead of schedule because of this. Which prompted a camper group hug without my suggestion. Everyone was almost as excited as she was. The Cracker Jack's even had catechism class up at the church this Tuesday finally because the weather held enough for local public schools not to cancel, they were excited to go back. I snapped a picture while we waited in the church parking lot of our view of Canada from there ... Much different than in other seasons! Over the snowbanks and fog it was a bit difficult to even see Canada.

Wednesday Daddy had two doctor's appointments in the city 30 miles north of our home. We had set the alarm early because the weather man had insisted that it would dump several inches of snow over night. Nope, no sign of snow at 6 AM. Daddy and I went back to bed for half an hour or so. When we woke up there was suddenly almost two inches of snow on the ground and a thick icy fog. Yay! *Ahem* So, we quickly got everyone read and bundled up to head off on what is normally a half an hour drive. Due to the very limited visibility and extremely poor road conditions we didn't arrive for nearly two hours to the appointment. However, we did make it on time. One of the appointments was for Daddy's pulmonologist and the campers spent nearly the whole time learning about what healthy bronchial tubes look like and what sick bronchial tubes looked like in comparison. They also learned what diseases could cause them to look bad and more about what Daddy's medicine does to help him breath. They spent the second appointment looking at Highlight's magazines.

Thursday the Cracker Jack's did their lessons without any issue. YCJ was actually finished by 1 PM and ECJ finished at 2:10! It's amazing what they can accomplish when they want to. Peanut took the day off of formal lessons, she just wasn't feeling "up to" doing book work. She played quietly by herself most of the day without any issue. Maybe she just needed some alone time after our long day Wednesday.

On Friday I snuck some letter work into Peanut's morning Play Dough time. She really does like doing this and it was the perfect opportunity to finish up two things at once. The page we used wasn't just big wide open letter this time but she's been doing enough cut and pasting lately that I figures we could sacrifice this sheet to Play Dough work. I was also able to catch a shot of Trixie cat "helping" ECJ with his English assignments this morning. Lately that cat has not cooperated with my picture taking efforts. It's too cold again to be playing outside so we'll be staying in some more. As I'm typing this ECJ is on his computer work, YCJ is finishing her math test, and Peanut is watching a Tinkerbell movie on Netflix (she finished the last two days of lessons scheduled before noon today).

Preschool/Kindergarten is creeping up on just becoming kindergarten soon. Two of Peanut's new kindergarten books were added in this week on Tuesday just after she finished one of her preschool workbooks! After completing the book, getting in the center of a group hug, and being presented with the rest of the stickers from the book very officially she was ecstatic. A very short time later, while she was doing her online lessons, this is how I found her celebrating! She had stickers everywhere except for my "new" desk thank goodness! We finished up the letter Q this week and of course did a lot of work with our Play Dough to strengthen our hands. Yup, I'm still doing a few minutes of Play Dough each day with her as well and still finding that it makes a difference in how my hands work that day.

YCJ is doing very well in third grade. As I'm sure you can see in the picture it was recently discovered that she sits close enough to our stereo to listen to music while she does her lessons. This has cut down on her frustration a lot as those headphones block out the "outside" noises that distract her so easily and she's able to put what she's doing to the music she's listening to. Every math problem now sounds different if she's saying them out loud because it depends on what song is playing while she's doing it. Her reading has taken off in the last week or so, to the point where she is almost reading all of her lessons by herself now.

And sixth grade with ECJ is still driving me batty. I know he's not intentionally doing it but it seems like on the days he does his chores with no issue he drags his lessons out. And vice versa! So some days all of his chores are done and he begins class on time only to sit at the table all the way until 4 PM and not finish his work! Other days his chores take much longer than they need to, he has to redo several of them he just didn't do right, and he's finished with his lessons no later than 2 PM. I just can't make hide nor tails out of it to be honest. He's back to reading Little Women again because we want him to really read it this time and we would also like a written report on it, we'd caved earlier in the school year and allowed an oral report. As you can see sometimes Moragon would rather he stop reading and give her attention.

Moragon even attempted to hide from the cold under one of our towels it's been so chilly lately. And Thursday morning I found Squeeks hiding in the corner of the stand up shower in the second warmest room of the house. The weather outside is not fit for man nor beast!

All in all this week wasn't a "normal" week for us but it certainly wasn't a difficult week lesson wise either. I'd prepared myself heading into this week for only 3 days worth of lessons for the Cracker Jack's and five days worth of lessons for Peanut (which I know she can do in three days) who then surprised me and did 5 days worth of lessons in only two days! I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and reading. Due to the colder temperatures this past month and a half I've reread over 10 of the books I've read about a thousand times before. I always tell myself during the warmer months that I'll have tons of time to crochet when the snow flies but then forget that when it's so cold my hands hurt to bad to work long on any small repetitive project. It's a good thing that I own so many books or I'd never keep myself busy enough not to get cabin fever.

Posts you may have missed this week:   
Menu Plan Mania
First February Winter Bucket List Link Up
Mailboxes and Memories - this one contains a pretty good step by step on how to make mailboxes (like for valentines) out of construction paper and pasta boxes
Four Little Ideas for Valentines Day
What Works for Peanut

Who we're linking up with this week:   
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Homegrown Learners
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. My sixth grader is the same way with chores! I love the playdough//letter activity. I'll do that with my 4 year old! Visiting from Friendship Friday.

    1. I think it's just a 6th grade thing LOL as he didn't have so many issues with his chores in the past and they really haven't changed. If you do the playdough/letter activity be aware that they harder they press that stuff into the paper the more it sticks to the paper, we had to learn the hard way.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. So much learning. I love how you so easily show that learning is going on all of the time.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. They're still talking about bronchial tubes and those Highlights magazines. I believe I'll be subscribing to them in the very near future!

  3. I agree on the 6th grade and boys. Lots of fun. I hope you can stay warm. I am looking forward to spring and we have not had snow here.

    1. :-) Just something about 6th grade boys lol. Today we're warm enough though there is a bit of snow falling. That may be because I've been in the kitchen making homemade perogies all day, however. They're calling for some temps in the 40's in two weeks and I'm near over the moon with the idea LOL

  4. I agree with Dawn that you do well at showing how learning is always going on. I love how you used the snow as a learning opportunity.

    1. Usually they're the ones to point things out to me about our every day world. Or start asking questions about things that I then have to find the answers for. They surprise me every day with the things they know. Peanut has been known to say things like: "Birds are smarter dan humans ... dey go souf for da winter." and "Don't burn trash in the campfire ... it messes up da atmosphere." LOL

  5. I think music is an excellent way in helping kids to focus especially on math because music is so math oriented! Great work Chrystal!

  6. Renee, I hadn't even thought of that even though we were just going through the staffs and measures lol. She's so musically oriented anyway I had just thought that it might help. It did though, because suddenly all day today (with no lessons done today at all) she's been popping out multiplication like crazy. She even figured out what 6 dozen perogies meant when I asked her how many had I made! Now, (evil little grin) I can eventually get her to understand staffs and measures easier with the math she's doing I just have to find a little ditty that will make it make sense in her sweet little head! Mamma just had a revelation LOL

    Thanks Renee!

  7. I am with you. Give me a tropical beach! I'm just as tired of snow and frozen pipes as you are I suppose. Though I think you guys have it a little colder and snowier than we do. My husband just read that the great lakes are predicted to freeze all the way across soon! I remember when my kids were little they loved the Rod and Staff preschool workbooks so much that they would practically finish them in one sitting! Ah! If only such enthusiasm for learning would last! Good thing it comes back when they are older! Hope you have a warmer week this week!

    1. Oh Lord I pray that those lakes don't freeze all the way across too soon! I am not cut out for this much cold! We are supposed to warm up a bit by this Friday coming up (into the 30's wow!) and by the following Friday be all the way into the 40's! Behold a heat wave is coming! LOL Thanks for commenting Sylvia. I needed the reminder that the enthusiasm does come back as they get a bit older