Friday, February 24, 2017

Warm February, Cub Scout Cake Baking, and Art Class

Me snuggling Tobias on Monday and ignoring my To Do list.
I love being a mom!
We enjoyed a 4 day weekend from last Friday through Monday. Random things were accomplished amidst playing outside in beautiful weather. Joseph had his 3rd Merit Badge Pow Wow for Boy Scouts. Makayla had a girls camp planning meeting. Daddy had school work. Grocery shopping was done. Church on Sunday. A Daddy+7 kids trip to the movies on Monday to see the new Lego movie. Piano lessons. A library trip. Just a nice long weekend of family life.

Tuesday we dived into school as usual. I think my favorite part today was hearing from different children about the books they are reading and the books on their ever-growing to read lists. My younger boys got the giggles when I read The Greedy Python to them. Daniel and Oliver made official decisions for their Blue and Gold Banquet cakes.

Wednesday we did life school, meaning the kids did their own choice of activities so long as there was some educational aspect. They were pretty creative in their explanations of what could count for school. I got to play Ticket to Ride: First Journey with several of my boys for geography - and by the end they were getting pretty good at remembering the names of the cities on the board and I had shared interesting information about them. ;)

Makayla spent the day shadowing a local veterinarian for a project. She loved it! Between watching appointments and surgeries, taking notes for a presentation, and asking questions she learned a lot. They invited her to come back any time. She saw a variety of surgeries - everything from declawing, spaying, and neutering, to the removal of an eye - and she still wants to be a vet.

Daniel and Oliver baked their creations for the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet and decorated them. The theme is Wild West so Daniel made cowboy cupcakes with cute hats and a couple teepees.

Oliver made a cake with teepees and two fires for the Native Americans of the wild west. The evening had a lot happening including Oliver getting his Bobcat rank and Daniel getting 4 achievement belt loops. We were also treated to the Order of the Arrow dance group performing tonight - then joined them in a dance. They boys had a great time and have been dressed up as cowboys and Indians ever since.

Thursday was back to our usual school plans. One fun thing we've added to our week is YouTube videos. There are so many interesting topics my kids want to learn about or I want to introduce and videos are sometimes a great way to do that. For starters Makayla will be working through the Crash Course Intro to Psychology videos (40 videos). The rest of the kids chose to start with Crash Course Kids Space Science: The Sun and Its Influence on Earth videos (14 videos).

A lot of the morning Star Wars music could be heard from the direction of our piano. Joseph, Emma, and Daniel have been trying to play the theme (a very simplified version). They've made requests for music from Disney, Star Trek, and Harry Potter as well. I love that they are enjoying piano lessons!

Makayla also got to work on the PowerPoint slides she'll use in her live presentation for the online veterinary medicine class. She did this last semester too, so she's ready to dive in and get it done for the semester.

Friday (today!) we had Art Class with friends. It's been ages since we were all healthy enough to get together and everyone was thrilled to be together again.

We finished up an art project based on the book Over and Under the Snow, which felt rather ironic because we're having a snow-less, record-breaking highs February. The kids took the painted paper they created last time and cut out trees, added animals they had made at home, and then covered the entire collage with mod podge we had stirred glitter into.

Our second art project was to create moving fish. These fun little bony fish can bend and twist and flex. Sometimes it is the simplest things that are the most interesting.

The youngest kids needed a buddy to help with some of the work on the fish but were thrilled with their final product.

Our third project today was a Dr. Seuss inspired directed drawing. Half the kids chose to draw fish similar to the ones in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

The other half chose to draw Seuss inspired cities. They were allowed to choose just drawing or to add color with chalk pastels.

Dinners this week + A Couple Comments

I don't know what dinner is like at your house. I'm just a regular mom with a larger than average family to feed. Sometimes I make easy meals or use kitchen tools that simplify the cooking process. Other times I choose slightly more labor intensive meals. This week had a mix of both.
  • Chicken and broccoli stir fry and rice - This was an easy night. I put rice in the rice cooker which took all of 3 minutes hands on time. Then I put water, stir fry sauce, and some frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot. Hands on time - 3 minutes. Broccoli was steamed on the stove top. Hands on time - 5 minutes maybe?
  • Meatloaf, potatoes, corn, and green beans - The meatloaf went in the oven, mixing it up took about 4 minutes. Potatoes went in the Instant Pot, all I did was wash and cut them in half. Hands on time 3 minutes. Corn and green beans - we opened a couple cans and heated them up on the stove. Hands on time 1 minute.
  • Chicken Enchiladas or ground beef tacos (depending on preference) - This is a more time consuming meal but will be eaten for leftover lunches for another day or two. I make the enchilada sauce from scratch in one pan while browning the ground beef in pan #2 and heating up canned chicken with some more ingredients for the enchiladas in a third pan. Hands on time: 20 minutes. When the beef is done I add black beans, spices, and tomato paste and let it simmer while wrapping the chicken enchiladas and putting them in the oven. Hands on time for this portion: 8 minutes.
  • Leftovers or Cereal - I needed to clear some space in the fridge so I offered all the leftovers from various meals as well as fruit, salad, and cereal. Now I have space for more cooking!
  • Tonight we will probably have pancakes for dinner. It's an easy meal that we always have ingredients for. I'll add sausage patties and fruit to the plates and we will be set.
I'm linking to Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. We have to clear out the fridge every week, too. Last night we had hot dogs, pasta, and/or burritos. :)

    Those fish are so cool. I want to make some, too! And I love your boys' cakes. They did a great job!

    How exciting for Makayla to get to keep learning and preparing for her future schooling and work! I think it is just awesome! And she's getting lovelier every week. :)

  2. What wonderful learning all around. I love the cupcakes and cake.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. What a great week! The boys did a wonderful job on their cake/cupcakes. Love the hats on those cupcakes!

  4. Such a wonderful week with awesome art! The type of homeschool you do is what I wish we did daily and only accomplish on rare occasions when I don't lose my mind to the worry that I'm doing something wrong


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