Friday, February 10, 2017

Birdwatching, Broken Bones, and Books

Saturday was busy early on but slowed down after dinner. Jason had a driver's meeting at work, Joseph had a Merit Badge Powow for Boy Scouts, there was grocery shopping. We had a visit from grandma, cooking, cleaning, game playing, and then swimming for the couple of kids practicing. Home in time to cook dinner and then breathe a bit.

Makayla spent several hours drawing. She's picked zentangle drawing back up. Daniel, Oliver, Caleb, and Mason used magnet tiles. Mason stopped me at one point to demonstrate the grave he made for when he wants to pretend he's dead. It was all decorated with magnet tiles. (What can I say, he is a boy?!) We also watched and sang along with Fiddler on the Roof this evening.

Sunday found half the family sick and staying home from church while half of us went. Winter is so hard in a large family! Once one person gets sick we can pass it around for weeks. Sigh. It was a lovely day at church and our afternoon and evening were quietly spent as a family. Emma was inspired by her sister to do some zentangle drawing too, but has yet to let me take any pictures of her art.

Monday we were back to the dentist for 2 cleanings, 1 cavity restoration, and 1 child getting 6 baby teeth pulled. Daddy decided he would handle the dentist visits today as Mommy is sick. I was in charge of the homeschooling, which involved a lot of new math lessons, reading lessons, biology, notebooking, brainstorming for writing, and reading books. The zentangle drawing continued. Piano lessons for 4 children happened, with a few younger siblings sneaking in a turn at the piano as well.

Tuesday was a very rainy day. I have to admit I love that our winter has been super mild! I'll take rain over snow and ice any day. We had a relaxed school morning, which is my favorite. I feel like between doctors and dentist appointments the last two months have been much too busy for my liking. And we still have several dental cleanings to go at the end of this month. And orthodontist appointments coming up. And then it will be nearly time for the eye checkups again...Sigh.

Makayla had one final activity she needed to do for Biology - birdwatching at home and at another location. Today she and I went to a local arboretum to complete that task. We spent the majority of our time at the feeding station windows in the nature center, where we saw many different birds over the course of an hour. It was fun to watch their habits and identify each species. On our way out of the arboretum we chose two areas to walk (the rain had let up for a bit) to see if we could find more birds. Around the Japanese gardens we saw a few birds, heard birds, and saw a wasp nest hanging in a tree. In the swamp we saw and heard no birds - but it is beside a busy road so we weren't too surprised. Here is the list of birds she identified today:
  1. American Goldfinch
  2. House Finch
  3. House Sparrow
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Northern Cardinal
  6. Hairy Woodpecker
  7. Eastern Phoebe
  8. White-Crowned Sparrow
  9. Tufted Titmouse
  10. Carolina Chickadee
  11. Red-Headed Woodpecker
  12. Carolina Wren
  13. Downy Woodpecker
  14. White-Breasted Nuthatch
  15. Dark-Eyed Junco
  16. Red Tailed Hawk
Oh, one more note about birdwatching. As we were getting in the car to leave Makayla commented that now all she wanted to see was a Red Tailed Hawk, Vulture, or Owl. We pulled out of the parking lot and not 100 feet down the road sitting on a bird house in a field was a Red Tailed Hawk. I had one happy daughter.

To celebrate finishing Biology we made doughnuts for the first time. Fun Fact - most of my children have never tasted a doughnut. With egg allergies in the house we simply never bring in food with eggs. That means no doughnuts. Ours turned out pretty great and we even had some left over from our two dozen for the next morning.

Wednesday was a quiet morning at home. Kids ate breakfast and did their chores first as usual. Then it was school work, piano practice, and playing. Listening to Peter and the Starcatchers for book club happened during snack time. Joseph worked on preparing for a lesson he is teaching part of this Sunday at church. Emma worked on a talk she will give in Primary - with a few tears because she doesn't like public speaking. I think she'll be ok by Sunday. She's going to practice every day before then. We also played storytelling games Wednesday and I posted about the games we played.

Joseph went roller skating for the first time Wednesday evening. He had a great time until close to the end when he took a bad fall. And broke his arm. Of course. Thursday morning we went to the doctor to confirm the break with an x-ray and get it casted. He'll be in a cast for a month and then a splint for a couple weeks after that.

Other than that, Thursday was spent doing school work, playing more Story Time Dice, and birdwatching at our feeder. We worked on some Cub Scouts activities as well.

Books this Week

  • The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson - Finished. Book three in the fairy tale series. This is the retelling of Snow White. The creepy stepmother in this one made for an overall creepy feel to the book, but it was enjoyable.
  • The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson - Finished. The fourth book in the fairy tale series and probably my favorite so far. It is a retelling of Cinderella that doesn't follow quite the plot I expected it to follow. I really loved this one!
  • The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson - Finished. The fifth book in the fairy tale series. I found the female main character in this one frustrating at first. She is the sheltered daughter of a duke, talks a mile a minute, if she thinks it she says it, doesn't take things seriously, etc. Over the course of the book she DID grow and mature.
  • The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson - Finished. Book six in the fairy tale series, this one overlaps the time period of The Princess Spy but focuses on different characters. It also goes beyond the time period of the fifth book's ending. I liked how she put Rapunzel's story together in an unexpected way.
As I type it is mid-morning on Friday. Most of my children have worked steadily on school since breakfast and are nearly finished for the day. We plan to listen to more of Peter and the Starcatchers and stay inside where it is warm. I need to work on preparing my Primary lesson for church, so I'm going to push publish on this post and get that done. Have a lovely week!

Linking to Weekly Wrap Up, Homeschool Highlights, and Homeschool Blog and Tell.


  1. Love the drawings! And the birdwatching fun. So sorry about the broken arm though - hope it heals quickly. Thanks for sharing your week on Homeschool Highlights!

  2. Those drawings are amazing! Sorry about the broken arm; my son did that the first time he went ice skating. Here's to a speedy recovery!

  3. Awesome drawings! I liked looking at the bird list, too! We've been keeping track birds as a family. We are seeing a few of the same birds!

  4. The drawings are fabulous!

    We've got a kid in a cast, too. Wishing your boy successful healing!

    I'm sorry you've been sick, again. We have been, too. I totally feel for you!!!

    And thanks for the book recommendations. I'm off to our library site to put them on hold :)

    I wish you a restful weekend. (And may Emma's talk at church be joyful!)

  5. Wish we could come birding with you. Sounds like a great trip, especially the Red-tailed Hawk. Hope Joseph's arm heals smoothly.

  6. a great week. I'm going to be teaching a class on zentangles for co-op so it was neat to see the work. Have to ask.. Magnet tiles??

    good bird study and yeah about the hawk!

    1. Annette - I did a quick post about the magnet tiles with pictures today - enjoy!

  7. Wow Tristan, you had a very busy week! The donuts look amazing! Are you going to share your recipe ;-)

    1. I will do that, but basically you cook biscuits in oil, dip in melted butter, and roll in toppings like powdered sugar.

  8. Those drawings are stunning! Sorry about the sickness and broken bone. That completely sucks to have the winter cruds. I hope that the talk at church went well. Have a great week and here's to everyone healing! You're all in my prayers.


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