Friday, April 13, 2012

A Busy Week: April 7 - 13

In My Life This Week
Phew! ((deep breath)) It's been QUITE a week at Our Side of the Mountain! And I'm exhausted and ready for a weekend of reading and relaxing. Wonder if it'll happen? LOL

So, what did you do last weekend? Easter celebrations?

I spent Friday and Saturday purging and organizing 2000+ books. Picture them all piled onto a playroom floor with Legos, puzzle pieces and old Pokemon cards mixed in. Can't picture it? Here's some photos for you! LOL

Did you cringe? Yep! I avoided the playroom, shading my eyes as I walked by. Really. But with a little nudge and lots of help from Blue Spruce and the Saplings, I finally had the energy to tackle the Disaster Area. The books AND the playroom are looking SO good now! I can ACTUALLY find the books I'm looking for! No running to the library for a book I know we have but can't find! (And with gasoline just over $4.00/gallon here, we'll be doing less "roading" for everything!)

Since organizing that many books wasn't enough over the weekend, we went to the Community Easter Egg Hunt, bringing 2 extra kids with us. Sugar Maple joined the Girl Scouts IN ANOTHER STATE for a day at an indoor waterpark. (She rode with one of the leaders though. Phew!) We had Easter dinner with some good friends "down the road", bringing back her son for an overnight on Saturday, and on Sunday the Easter bunny came and left sweets, and we had 7 kids running in and out ALL day. And then Monday arrived!

Homeschool Happenings
School-wise we trudged along, sometimes happily, sometimes grumpily. We're ready for summer break! And sometimes we do just that, but I struggle with giving us the time we need to rest and meeting all those ambitious goals I've made for the year and ending in early May (as usual). It really isn't THAT important to finish ALL those lessons, is it?

White Pine's Eclipse Diagrams
We are wrapping some things up for the year. Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir finished up Science - a Human Body unit study - last Friday. Their focus is on Language Arts and Math now. And White Pine completed ALMOST THE WHOLE PRENTICE HALL EARTH SCIENCE text book! 800+ pages!

With only 14 - 24 days left this year - White Pine has 14, Sugar Maple 24 and Balsam Fir 21 - we're in the home-stretch! Do you suppose I could talk Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir into completing some WEEKEND school to catch up with White Pine?

Have I already shared how excited I am of Balsam Fir's reading? Probably, huh? LOL He works so hard to read and sometimes it's QUITE frustrating for him, but he sticks with it stubbornly. This week he's been reading more of the "I Can Read it All by Myself" Dr. Suess books. (Oh, and my book reorganize resulted in relocating 36 of these gems! Great, fun resource for beginning readers!)

Sugar Maple had her Spring Band Concert on Wednesday. Although some days it's been a struggle to get her to practice, we're proud of her musical accomplishments! (Especially me! I have NO musical abilities whatsoever! LOL)

The Saplings discovered "Survivorman" on Netlfix. Have you seen this show? It's about a man who spends 7 days in different environments, alone, with minimum supplies, living off the land. Balsam Fir, especially, enjoys seeing how he builds shelters from trees, catches fish and frogs, and makes fires with sticks.

And we started the garden! Whoop! We turned over the raised 12x6 bed, stuck in dead tree branches  and planted our first cool weather crop: peas. Tree branches? Instead of purchasing and using wire cages or garden netting, we use branches as trellises for our plants. This gives the plants a NATURAL place to vine AND it doesn't cost us a penny! Green gardening! At the end of the season they can be pulled out and thrown into the woods to decompose.


Cook'n in the Kitchen
We made this Taco Salad recipe from Taste of Home. It REALLY was crowd-pleasing!  But we made some changes to the recipe...No mayo for one. Would you believe that my Saplings don't care for mayo? We skipped the black olives too and used mild chunky salsa for the tomatoes and taco sauce. The Saplings gave it 2 thumps up! Do you think it would work for a quick CAMPING meal?

And the Saplings made a Chocolate Eclair Ice Box Cake from Mr. Food. It was super simple to make! They even used HOMEMADE whipped topping from heavy cream, a little sugar and vanilla. Try this one out with your lil' chefs!

How to celebrate the end of another crazy year of homeschooling? A picnic at the state park? A trip to Acadia National Park for exploring? A special dinner? Hmm...What to do?

A Photo to Share
Balsam Fir and a Cuddly Cheeper Watching TV

Links to Share
Did you see my very first TOS reviews this past week? I'm super excited to be a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew! Check out my reviews here and here. What do you think?

Blog Hop'n With
Weird Unsocialized HomeschoolersFavorite Resource This WeekFun Stuff FridaysThe Homeschool Mother's JournalNo Time For Flash CardsPinterest Monday From Musings From A Stay At Home MomHip Homeschool Hop Buttonlearning laboratory at mama smiles
abc buttonMagical Mouse SchoolhouseChestnut Grove Academy3Boys&aDog DEALS!


  1. I love the eclipse diagram. White Pine is quite artistic. I also love the picture of the pile of books in the playroom. :-) It reminds me of my house.

  2. Wow! That's a lot of books! :-) Good for you for going through them all. Your kids work always impresses me. Way to go for them getting through entire science books, etc. I have kind of given up on the idea of getting through entire textbooks this year. (maybe we'll do some "mild" work during the summer, lol) I hope you have a good weekend and get some rest!

  3. We will have to check out Survivorman! Kudos to you for taking care of all of those books :) A couple of weeks ago you left a comment on my blog about using binders to organize your children's work. I couldn't find a post on it here, do you have one? I'm interested in seeing how you do it. Thanks for the tip! Have a great weekend.

  4. I've never thought about ending the year with a trip. We are going to try homeschooling year round, but incorporating an end of the semester trip is a great idea.

  5. Congrats to you on the organizing and the gardening...yay!
    The food looks yummy :)
    That Survivorman series looks interesting.
    Thanks for linking up with Favorite Resources!

  6. Seriously, the chicken comes in to watch TV? My kids would love your house! Big huge pat on the back for tackling those books! I need to do the same. I am also going to check out Survivorman- I think my boys would love it.

  7. My mom used to make that eclair cake all of the time. Yum!!

    And I bow down to you and your 2000+ books. I don't think I have that many after 7 years of using Sonlight. LOL As soon as my house is built I'm going to try and catch up. lol

  8. I love the eclipse sketches. Your food pics look so yummy! It looks so warm where you are. Great week!

  9. Sounds like another good week. Great pics too! Doesn't it feel great to organize something? We are thinking about a small end of the year trip to our state Capitol since this is the year for Missouri history.

  10. You are always making some yuumy sweet treats, your posts make me crave sugar! I so understand about the playroom with books, legos, games etc.... sigh! So glad you made headway an organized house make life so much easier.

  11. oh yay, i like the tree branches in the garden! hubs and my brothers like the survivor man! i won't lie it is pretty interesting! what about an end of year party with cake- in a state park- on a picnic!? lol enjoy!

  12. Wow! That's some serious organizing:) Way to go! Your food looks delicious too.

    We've been gardening too. It's one of my favorite things to do:)

  13. Wow..Kuddos for organizing your books. What a job.

    YAY for being almost done. That is awesome. Love that Taco Salad too.

    We will have to check out Survivor Man. Sounds like Keilee's kind of show.

  14. P.S. Thanks so much for linking up! :-))

  15. Oh yum, your tacos and ice box cake both look super tasty! And I agree on leaving the mayo out ;-)

    Thanks for sharing on Happy lil ❤'s are baking

  16. Man, that's a lot of books but at least you got them organized. love the recipes you provided.

  17. yummy! thanks for linking with KIK - I love your homeschool week too - hope you're getting some rest this weekend on your side of the mountain. :)

  18. Yeah for getting organized, and that food looks yum! Thanks for sharing at BTT!


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