I finished a book called Luck, Love and Lemon Pie. It gets 3.5 stars on Goodreads, and I’d say I agree with that. I really liked the author’s previous book, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, so I was excited to read this one, but I find if I had to pick one it would be a definite vote for the The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. This book is about a woman named MJ who has been married for 20 years and has two kids, one about to graduate high school. Her marriage isn’t “on the rocks” per se, but she finds that she’s missing the fire that was once there. The book is about how she goes about trying to re-kindle the fire she once had with her husband. I do wish there was more to the characters and some of their stories (like Tammie and what was going on with Tammie and Chris, MJ’s husband). Her first book was so centered around food, and I expected the same from this one with the title as such, but it ended up not really having that much play in the story. Overall, I’d recommend it for an easy read, maybe on the beach or plane or if you’re really wanting something easy and quick.
I’m currently reading Wild and Free and James and the Giant Peach.
We completed our first week of My Father’s World Kindergarten this week. We learned about the first 5 days of Creation and are going over identifying letters. It’s been a great way to ease into a more rigid schedule than we have been. Instead of setting up a schedule for our day, I’ve set up a framework to work through, with only meals happening at certain times. I got the idea of using a ladder as a picture of our day from Ann Voskamp.
The first rung is the beginning of our day and I wanted it to be some habit forming routines for us. (I need to find a way to get up BEFORE my son does because that’s going to be the easiest time to get my quiet time and workout in.) When my son gets up, he gets 30 minutes of screen time while he eats breakfast. I eat my breakfast and hopefully finish up my morning time reading. Ideally, we would both get dressed, brush our teeth, and make our beds before we take the dogs out, but so far that hasn’t happened. I also wanted to make a point to unload the dishwasher so that throughout the day, it would be easier to maintain a level of cleanliness in the kitchen instead of cooking dinner in the evening and then having a giant mess to clean up from a whole day of dishes when all I want to do is sit down. It all has happened eventually, but it’s usually been after taking the dogs out.
The second rung is to take the dogs out for their morning walk and also what I like to call my “Morning Bootycall” thanks to Tone It Up. They say it is important for your metabolism to get up and get moving, so I kill two birds with one stone and smash dog walking and bootycall together. Like I said, my son, so far has been going in his pajamas and bringing his breakfast with him to finish up. I’m fine with that- it’s not about doing the thing and checking it off, and right now, there are lots of battles so I’m choosing to let this go for now. Once we get back and finish up everything from rung one, we sit down to read our Bible passages for school that day and go over our memory verse and song we’re memorizing.
The third rung is to get outside. I have this scheduled right here because in Texas, the summer is HOT and about the only thing you can do outside later on has to involve some kind of body of water, so we’re going to take advantage of the cooler-ish temperatures in the morning and get outside for something, ANYTHING. A bike ride, park visit, etc. This is where, if I had a schedule, things would fall apart. One day, we just went for a little bike ride to a park about a quarter mile away and was only gone maybe 45 minutes. The next day, we were gone until 1 pm! It makes it much easier to handle that without the schedule hanging over my head- why would I want to throw away adventure time that’s going well (and keeping us off a screen) just to stick to a schedule? Old Sarah would have done that. New Sarah, who is learning a lot as she goes, says we’ll keep on doing what’s going well.
The fourth rung is the first one that has a general time attached to it (but we’re not being sticklers about it!) and that’s because it’s lunch time. My son gets a break to watch a screen while we each eat lunch. I would love to eventually have more read-aloud time here, but we’re keeping things simple as we start out. It’s also a time for me to sneak in getting some of my stuff done. That’s one thing I’ve already noticed about this new schedule- I get a lot less done throughout the day (like chores or random to do’s). That’s good though because I don’t want my son on a screen for a long time and so that means we’re doing more positive, good things.
The fifth rung is for math, but in our intro unit for the first two weeks, we don’t have any math except to learn numbers 1-10 and my son is pretty in control of that. I’ll have a better handle on this rung in a couple of weeks, but for now, we just kind of skip over it. I’m not convinced we won’t have to move all school work to the morning at some point, but this is what we’re going with right now. I still think, even once we start math, that it will be pretty simple for us because it looks like for a while it just involves counting days until we get to 100 school days using straws and a chart. We’ll talk about place value a little bit as this gets started as once we get 10 straws in our jar, we’ll bundle them together to make a 10. My son can already count to 100 by 1s and 10s so I’m not going to be super focused on this.
The sixth rung is our second school activity rung. This is when we’ll get our language art lessons done as well as our Bible lessons. Right now, we’re just learning about the creation story, so it means we talk about a specific day in creation (what did God make that day?) and make two projects to help us remember them. We are also reviewing identifying letters. This is where another homeschool perk comes in because my son already knows some of his letters and we can blow through that pretty quickly. Homeschooling is awesome because it lets us move on to what we need to work on without being stuck. It also reminds me to not focus so much on what we’re struggling with (writing and recalling information) and see that my son is ahead in some areas and behind in others just like every kid on the planet.
The seventh rung is to finish up our school work subjects that aren’t math or language arts. So science or extra activities our curriculum assigns will be finished up. I think there are some composer studies for music as well as art and science activities throughout. This is also where I will add in fun things for us to do that aren’t apart of our curriculum but that I think will be fun or cool to do based on the unit we’re studying. Once we hit 2:30-3:00 pm, we’ll take our dogs on their afternoon walk and also have a snack. Ideally, my son doesn’t get to look at a screen until this evening, but addictions are hard to break and the days are long with Jim working at the end of session, so we have been throwing a 30 minute break in here for that.
The eighth rung is to get out of the house. This will usually involve swimming because Texas heat, but the afternoons get too long if we’re just sitting here. We could also get errands run. Whatever it is, we just need out of the house because it’s easier to say “no” to a screen that way. The funny thing is that all of this might change when we move back to Wichita Falls. That’s why we’re not getting too stuck on this and also saying this is a great time to try some things out because there will come a natural time to break and change things when we move again.
The last rung of the day is to finish up the day well. We’ll cook and eat dinner, take baths, and my son will get one last screen time (usually he’s counting down the minutes until Dad gets home so they can play video games) and then head to bed. I’ll finish loading up the dishwasher and start it so it’s ready to go for tomorrow. I also hope to tidy up the house each night so that it doesn’t get so overwhelming during the day or on the weekends. I tend to leave my son’s toys out because he’s more likely to play with them, but keeping our bedroom and bathroom clean, the kitchen clean, and the floors free of as much as possible goes a long way for this recovering neat freak.
I’m use Plan To Eat for meal planning. I really like it because I can add in our different menus to accommodate all of our various eating styles. When I’m doing a Tone It Up challenge, I’m eating all clean. My son is still very picky in what he likes and Jim is gone for most of the week, so I can add in things where I need them and it works for us. Last week we had a couple of fails. Plan To Eat is doing a “one pot” round up of recipes you can cook in one pot or in a crock pot. I made this Tex Mex Quinoa in the crock pot and it was “meh.” I also tried a one pot spaghetti that didn’t turn out great (the noodles weren’t cooked by the time the water boiled off so things started burning).
The last big thing that happened last week was that Tone It Up announced their Bikini Series for this summer. It starts April 24th and they’ll be announcing the bundles and prices this coming week and I’m super excited. They do have a “free” option so if you’re reading this, and we’re friends and you want to be accountable to each other, let’s do it! You can sign up at toneitup.com and they’ll send you a starter pack! Join me! Let me know if you’re joining in!