Weeks 16, 17 – Done

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We had a more relaxed week last week, without co-op and with a hike. No complaints here about staying home and “only” homeschooling.

Middle Prong Trail Bench

Middle Prong Trail Bench

These days, I find myself in the kitchen a lot. Not only do my children eat more, but they want healthier, from scratch meals. I really enjoy cooking for them. As a result, I have been buying more cookbooks and even reading some cookbooks from the Libby app. It’s fun. Continue reading »

Week 15 – Done

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Week 15 is the week of Thanksgiving, so I am not sure it was a full school week as far as book learning. But doesn’t all that cooking count as a cooking lab?

We had the last day of the semester at co-op. Another day of the week I took our daughter to Knoxville for her harp lesson in person. We also shopped for Thanksgiving menu items.

Traditional Thanksgiving menu

My plate for Thanksgiving – I love this traditional menu

Then, it was all steam ahead with cooking. We had two large meals, one on Thursday and another one on Friday, with different people. It was lovely.

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones around. Thanksgiving is certainly my favorite holiday.

Book 36 of 50 – Women of the Smokies

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Courtney Lix wrote an extraordinary book (affiliate link) about 19 women who have lived in the Smokies, from the 1800s and on. Some of them are still alive. One used to be my neighbor before she moved out of state to be closer to her grandchildren.

Women of the Smokies

Women of the Smokies cover

These ladies accomplished many impressive feats, like Dolly Parton and Pat Summitt. Others, like Hattie Ogle, helped their family build an empire of real estate and shops. Ogle said everything she knew she learned from Irene Mize, whom I met just before she passed away. It’s a small world. Continue reading »

Week 14 – Done

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It is hard to believe, but this semester is coming to a close soon. Thanksgiving is this week. Last week, thinking about it, it felt like a big surprise. “Are you ready for Thanksgiving?” came the question from a friend at co-op. Absolutely not.

Mountain view

One of the vistas on the trail

The most excitement last week came to us on the hike. My son went back on the trail to help a friend connect with his mom, and the both of them took an extra hour on the trail. The group had finished the hike. We were all waiting at the trailhead next to the parking lot, not knowing what we should do. Continue reading »

Weeks 12 and 13 – Done

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Sorry about not posting last week. I forgot my laptop home on the day we went to co-op. When I sit there, I have more time to update the blog than at home, apparently. I just could not get a few minutes for my blog last week. We are all busy, right?

Teenager opens gifts

Our son opening gifts on his Sweet 16 birthday

We have homeschooled and gone hiking. Somewhere in there, our son turned 16. Such a special time to be a parent – when you child turns sweet 16. I could brag on my son for many, many minutes, so let me not even get started. Continue reading »

Week 11 – Done

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We still cannot homeschool full time due to the recent death in the family and its aftermath. There are many tasks we have to do and this is the time to do it. Nothing can wait.

Food Ministry Donation

Our daughter next to our truck, full of donations for the Food Ministry Second Hand Store

One day at a time, we wake up, discuss the situation, and decide which subjects we can tackle and which subjects we can leave for Christmas break. We already see ourselves doing some school through the end of December and the beginning of January. Continue reading »

Book 35 of 50 – An American Beauty

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Shana Abe specializes in historical fiction. An American Beauty (affiliate link) by Abe focuses on the life of Arabella Huntington, once the wealthiest woman in the US.

Arabella Huntington, An American Beauty

Arabella Huntington, An American Beauty

This is my second book by Abe, after having read The Second Mrs. Astor. I like historical fiction and Abe does a lot of research for her books. Continue reading »

Weeks 9 and 10 – Done

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Somewhere along September and October, I lost track of time. My blog lagged behind but, you know, we still homeschooled. The biggest change for us as far as school was that we switched math curricula for 8th grade. My daughter was finishing up Math Mammoth 7B this semester when I realized we were just going in circles.

Black bear on patio

One of the black bears who venture onto our patio

She needed more pre-algebra concepts but Math Mammoth 7B was starting her on Statistics and Probability. Those are great topics, but not what my daughter needed. We bought Saxon Math 8/7 and liked it a lot. It gives her step-by-step more pre-algebra practice and we can advance quite fast. Continue reading »

Book 34 of 50 – A Walk in the Woods

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The funniest book I have ever read, A Walk in the Woods (Amazon Affiliate link) by Bill Bryson  details a long hike along the Appalachian Trail. Bryson felt inspired to hike the AT out of the blue, in his mid-forties. Midlife crisis? Probably.

A Walk in the Woods

I laughed with tears while reading the first half of the book.

His wife tried to talk him out of it. Somehow, he managed to persuade her to let him do this crazy thing. The only person who accepted to come along with him was an overweight, out-of-shape former high school friend. The two went through several adventures together, including a bear sniffing at their tent. Continue reading »

Book 33 of 50 – Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent

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Apparently, Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent (Amazon Affiliate link) was a classic title from a few decades ago. I just now got acquainted with it. Hummel is a Christian author and his book represents a “Christian time management guide.”

Tyranny of the Urgent

You will learn how to manage your time and view it as a gift from God

I learned a few things. For instance, in Greek, there are (at least) two ways to express time: chronos and kairos. Chronos means time as we understand it in the West. That is the root we use for “chronology.” Kairos means time also, but in the sense of timeliness – the proper use of time, saying and doing the right thing at the right time. Kairos is an art, obviously. Continue reading »