Odds and ends {meals and school}

{ sorry for all the picture-less posts of late.  our camera is broken! }

I've been terrible about making meals lately.  Lots of breakfast for dinner or quesadillas with beans.   Or grilled cheese.  Does anyone have any great meals they want to give me a link to?  Or just tell me the last three meals you've made.  It'll give me some inspiration!

Tonight we're trying this one: Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast.  Except that I took the roasts out of the freezer halfway through the day, thawed in hot water for about 20 minutes (so, not enough), and then threw it all into the crockpot on high.  I think it should be done in four hours.  It sure smells good.

Yesterday for school we only did Bible and narrations.  [Since the rest of the day was taken up in doing Adelia's hair, which everyone loved because they got to watch videos.]  Anyway.  School:  We read in Joshua about the divisions of the land for each tribe, so for narrations I handed out blank maps and re-read where each tribe settled and the kids each completed a map including a compass and a color-coded key for the twelve tribes.  (So that's geography, too, right?)  Right.

A friend of mind told me recently that her impression from reading my blog was that I was so organized and that we have these complete school days.  Or something.  Um.... no no no.  If we have anything on our schedule for the day, school is basically shelved.  We take the day off when Mark has a day off.  The other days we do a few things off of our schedule (which is pictured at the top of this post).

On school days we usually always cover Bible, narrations and chores, most of the time we try to hit Math and piano practice, and reading aloud.  And all the other stuff?  Well, we tuck other things in when our days are running smoothly.

Today we did the following:
-Bible and narrations (15-20 minutes, during breakfast)
-Storytime (picture books with the girls) (10 minutes)
-Poetry: I read our two March poems (3-5 minutes)
-Memory work (we reviewed the OT & NT books of the Bible- I quizzed them by calling out a book and they took turns calling out the next one.  We also reviewed our family ways.)  (20 minutes)
-I read Shakespeare's Macbeth- (the Charles & Mary Lamb version), while the kids drew pictures. (30 minutes, but only because I had set up the younger girls with embroidery needles and thread and burlap in hoops and I kept having to tie knots and thread needles during Shakespeare!)
-The older three did Math at the table (20 minutes)
-I then did Dictation with Ella and Isaac (the same passage, and from another Shakespeare play.  Macbeth was so depressing and the kids (well, Ella) disliked it so much that I pulled a passage from their favorite play so far (A Midsummer Night's Dream) to make up for it.  (20ish minutes, maybe 30)

And that was a really full day.  We maybe have one of those each week.  Tomorrow morning we'll go to Bible study at church.  And after that, the kids have piano lessons and so I know we won't do any school tomorrow.  Thursday and Friday we're back on.  And my guess is that NEITHER of those days will be as full as today was. 

Now they're all playing outside until lunch.


I'm wrapping up this post after eating.  [The roasts took nearly 5 hours on high, due to the partially-frozenness of them].  Our dinner (link above) was really tasty.  I served it with basmati rice, caesar salad (made by Ella), and homemade sourdough.  ALSO: lemon bars for dessert.  Which are basically the best dessert ever, in my opinion.  I told the kids they could each have one and I was going to help myself to the rest of the pan later.  That's an exaggeration, but I will likely have a couple (few?) more.  YUM.

For the rest of our school day, the kids played outside, except for practicing piano and quiet times.  I played a game of UNO with Adelia, reheated leftoevers for lunch, cleaned the kitchen, had a dentist appointment, worked on Precept (Bible study) homework, and made dinner.

Mark and the kids are cleaning the kitchen, and then Mark and I will likely correct math.  When the kids go to bed, we'll probably watch a little of The Voice while we eat lemon bars.

How was your day?

Good books for boys (aged 10)

*There are affiliate links in this post.  

The following quotes are by my Isaac (10).  I have not edited them.

The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
"It was weird because in a book it's usually one big long story about one thing, but this book was all different books about different things.  The chapter about Mowgli is the longest one, but there are other stories, too."
"It wasn't interesting at the first part because it was just Shere Khan the tiger talking to the wolves.  That whole first chapter is just him talking about wanting Mowgli when he was a baby.  But the rest of it got really interesting when he grew older."
"I liked the book much better than the movie.  The movie added a LOT, and also in the book Kaa the snake was helping the good side, and in the movie he was helping Shere Khan and just wanted to eat Mowgli, which wasn't how it was at all in the book."

The Mad Scientists' Club, Bertrand R. Brindley
"This book is a bunch of stories.  What I liked about it is that the boys had these ideas of doing things to different people or to the town and their ideas were kind of funny.  They ended with funny results.  Sometimes they were mischievous or naughty and other times they were helping someone."
"My favorite character is a boy named Henry Mulligan.  He was kind of scientific and he would be the one to figure out different functions on something or figure something out.  He kind of reminded me of myself, because I'm kind of like that in a way, so I liked him."

The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club, Bertrand R. Brindley
"This is the book that came before the Mad Scientists Club.  The main character of this book is the boy I liked, Henry Mulligan.  It also was funny, but in this one the boys were never mischievous.  They were trying to help someone."

The Tower Treasure (The Hardy Boys No. 1), Franklin W. Dixon
"I like it because when they have all the clues, the author doesn't make them just find it and solve it right away.  They have to keep searching for it, so it doesn't just end."
"It's kind of different because I wouldn't usually really read a book like that, because one of the boys' friends was going to high school, so they're older.  Usually I like to read books about people my age, but I liked it."
And he's since read two more Hardy Boys books.

What are your boys reading?

Book recommendation: The Light Between Oceans

I loved this book. It's the best novel I've read in a long time.


Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia after four years serving in the war, and takes a job as a light house keeper on an isolated island. He marries the young and vibrant Isabel and they live together on the remote island, keeping the light. They try to start a family, but Isabel loses three babies; her last, stillborn. As they are yet reeling from the grief of their stillborn child, a boat is washed upon the island rocks, carrying a man who has died, and an infant who lives.

Tom wants to report the incident immediately, but Isabel desperately wants to care for the baby. The decisions they make on the day the baby arrives, and the months and years following- impact Tom, Isabel, their marriage, and- they later discover- someone on the mainland who is praying for the safe return of those in the boat.


This was such a well-written and compelling story. So much so that I was reading through my tears in the final pages.

My first thought when I finished the last word was: "What ELSE has this author written?"- because I was ready to gobble up all of M.L. Stedman's other books.  But alas: this was her first novel.

One NOT to miss, though.