Weekend homeschool links

motionmailapp.comWeekend homeschool links:

Featured Sponsors:

So excited about Simple Homeschool’s newest sponsor: VocabQuest! Your child will learn 1200 advanced vocabulary words through this game-based software as they rejuvenate the Lands of Vocab.

Several learning activities and sophisticated progress tracking help them prepare for battle and defeat the enemies with their new word power!

You HAVE tried at least one downloadable science mini-course from Be Naturally Curious by now, haven’t you?! If not, why wait?

Each course teaches concepts through stories, crafts, games, movement-based activities, and experiments–plus they are a super-inexpensive option for elementary science, woot!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what you need most!

Colleens homeschool day in the life with a 7-, 10-, 12-, and 17- year-old

Written by Colleen Kessler of Raising Lifelong Learners

Scritch… scratch… scratch…

I pull the comforter up over my head, hitting snooze on my phone alarm while simultaneously knocking the puppy’s scratching paws off my chest.

And roll back over.

The puppy is relentless, though, and I hear giggles coming from downstairs, so I reluctantly drag myself out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt, slide into my slippers, and head toward the waiting coffee pot.

After 22 years of marriage, my husband still makes me coffee every morning and loves me despite my night-owl and morning-loathing ways.

On the way down the stairs I hear the 7yo chatting happily away in the kitchen to his sister who is walking away from him.

She meets me at the foot of the staircase, already donning her winter boots and coat, and holding the leash. She’s on morning puppy duty — and loves it — so she’ll take Bellatrix LePug out for a potty and romp in the snow while I caffeinate.

I’m not a morning person, and though I’ve tried and tried throughout the years to “fix” myself, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not wired to be cognizant before 9:00am.

My kids WILL survive. (Non-morning mamas — yours will, too!)

9:00 a.m.

Logan (that sweet 10yo) is back in from taking the pup out, and Bella wants to play, so they head for the tennis ball pile in the family room while I pad my way into the family room to light a fire in the fireplace.

Isaac is playing with the playdough and loose parts I strewed out the night before. We are loving our slow, lazy mornings this January as we’re coming off an incredibly hard season.

Because of that season, we haven’t actually started any kind of regular school routine this year.

On our annual “not back to school day” in September where we go for donuts, then play board games at the park on the school district’s first day back, I went to bed feeling a little “off,” but excited to start our school year the next day.

I had set everything out — their “must-dos,” books, and all the games we’d planned to play. (My kids usually have a list of “must-dos” each day that consist of math, reading, and writing activities. They’re kind of the minimum things I need them to do so that I can feel like we’ve been moderately successful, even if we go off on multiple rabbit trails that day.)

Then I ended up in the hospital with severe abdominal pain and diverticulitis.

Over the next several months I struggled with my health, the death of my father-in-law (and the kids’ favorite grandparent), a move, and several other things that were minor in comparison, but seemed bigger at the time.

Guess what, mama? Even when times are tough and you need to pause everything for a bit, it’s okay! Things will be fine.

9:45 a.m.

The coffee is kicking in and the younger two are starting on math — we’re easing back in with math workbooks, a bit of handwriting, and some cozy fireside reading this week, and will add in history and an anatomy unit study next week.

I head up to take a quick shower before waking the bigger two. Some of my greatest friends tell me that staying in their pajamas all day is their favorite thing about homeschooling and, while I’m happy that they can make that choice, I know myself.

If I stayed in my pjs all day long, I’d nap. I need the water and steamy shower to clear the cobwebs in my brain, and so I take one every morning.

10:15 a.m.

Refreshed, showered, dressed, and put together, I wake up Molly (12) and Trevor (17).

Molly follows me downstairs to make herself tea, while Trevor grumbles and flops over. I’ll head back in a bit to wake him again. and again…

The little two have already eaten as they tend to feed themselves while I drink my coffee — yogurt with granola, muffins from the freezer, fruit, quesadillas, or whatever leftovers we have in the house. I check their work and Molly chops up veggies for us.

I send Logan and Isaac off to play on their kindles after having them clean up the stuff I’d strewn out for them, and help Molly make breakfast for the two of us.

I strew things out each night so that when I sleep later than the kids, they have something other than technology to entertain them.

11:30 a.m.

Molly is working on a play for a local playwright contest, so she’s click-clacking away at the keys of her laptop, and I head back upstairs to wake the teen (again).

This time he gets up, mumbles something, and heads downstairs to fill up his coffee cup. I don’t really mind the incoherancy — he’s kind of like his mama.

Trevor barely says a word to anyone before heading back upstairs to jump in the shower and get to work.

He’s actually been done with regular high school “requirements” since last year. If he was ready or had a desire to go to college right now, his transcript would hold, but he didn’t want to graduate early when we talked it over with him last year.

Instead, he launched a freelance podcast and video editing business and is thriving. He takes an online live trig/pre-calc class because he loves the teacher and I want him to keep learning if he’s still “homeschooling” and he attends one class a week at our co-op so he can see his friends.

Today he has client work — four podcasts, video editing for an online course creator, and video creation for a homeschool curriculum company. We’ll only see him at mealtimes.

I go to my office to get some of my own work in while everyone’s occupied.

2:00 p.m.

We all gather at the table for a late lunch, an audiobook, and a game (or three).

Trevor plays one round of SET, and then heads back up to work. The other three kids and I play Dixit, SET, and Organ Attack (afflinks) while listening to “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” our current audio book.

3:30 p.m.

I have a podcast to record, so the kids are all banished to their separate spaces — Logan takes the puppy to snuggle with while she reads and plays with her Calico Critters.

Isaac plays LEGO while telling Alexa to play all the Perry Gripp songs. Molly goes into her room to connect with her two bffs to play online games with them while chatting on Facetime. Trevor is still editing.

5:00 p.m.

Podcast is wrapped up, Isaac, Logan, and Bella are outside romping in the snow, and Molly and I are making dinner together.

She’s between shows right now, which gives us white space in our calendar that we normally don’t have when she’s rehearsing 5-6 nights a week, so we’ve subscribed to HelloFresh.

Tonight we’re making Creamy Chive Salmon with Roasted Potato Wedges and Lemony Zucchini. YUM.

6:30 p.m.

Dad’s home, dinner’s ready, and everyone is starving. Molly serves and everyone tells Dad about their day — simultaneously. It’s always loud here.

For the rest of the evening we’ll do a little of this and a little of that. A few more games, some reading, cuddles on the couch, tennis ball fetch with the  pup, and conversation.

We really are in a period of healing, regrouping, and finding a new normal.

My husband will work the younger two through baths while I sit with Molly for awhile so she can tell me everything that’s going on in her pre-teen mind and in the lives of her friends.

She’ll take a shower, then settle in her mess of a room and read and write some more. And my husband will head to bed once the younger three are all settled.

Trevor will work until about midnight, and so will I — we both think best late at night — and then he and I will chat for about an hour. He’ll tell me all about his client work, ask me to help him troubleshoot something, or tell me what he wants to buy (he’s always thinking of new tech he “needs”).

He’ll go to bed, and I’ll sit for a bit.

It’s silent for the first time all day, after all.

I’m grateful for this slow time as I know it’s fleeting.

Molly has a benefit coming up where she’s performing in a “Jim Henson Tribute” cabaret to raise money for a local theater company, she’ll be performing as Pooh Bear in Winnie the Pooh the Musical in March, and has an audition coming up next week for a play where there’s only one child role — and plenty of competition.

Convention season is coming up, so I’ll be traveling to speak around the country (will I see you?), and Trevor will be traveling with me to many of those. Logan will be starting private art lessons and Isaac is begging to play baseball.

Things will get as chaotic as they were in my last “day in the life” post very, very soon, and my days will change again. The best thing about homeschooling is the flexiblility, I like to remind myself.

How has your routine changed year to year (or month to month)?

My, how the days have changed:

What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!

We Went on Hiatus…

We had these incredible plans… a vacation jam packed with fun, family, and making memories. In fact, in the beginning of June, this was true. Our vacation started out as expected. We stopped in San Antonio, New Orleans, Pensacola, and stayed for awhile soaking up Florida sun and Salty Air! (I’ll make a fun post about this later) Then, we headed north to more family in Ohio, hoping to enjoy some unique adventures up there. And then a family member fell crucially ill and our plans changed. 

I can only praise God for giving us some time there with them, because without that vacation, we may not have been able to have that. After two weeks, and a few fun activities, we had to come home. It was a long and harrowing two full day trip home. Hello, July… we began to settle back into our lives here, cleaning the house, unpacking, snuggling our precious animals, before we got the call that our family back in Ohio needed us again.

So now we are floating around our home, trying to settle, but not really because we might have to move closer to family. It’s a hard feeling to have, and of course the emotions that come with a very ill family member. I mean it’s cancer…it’s not something that is going away until God call’s them home. 
We are sending a few of us back to Ohio quickly for support, while Mama, that’s me, gets to stay home and hold down the fort. 

It’s not an easy thing to do, to plan for a move, or a funeral, and a homeschool year for 3 kids all at one time. However, I have to keep the wheel turning. 

Stay tuned for our next blog posts on our trips and new school year curriculum! 

Mayflower and Pilgrim Unit Study

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Could you imagine giving up the life you had known for something entirely different? An adventure that turns into a grueling and desperate attempt to live free?  I imagine our pilgrims coming to America had big plans and many of them packed what they could ready to board a ship and never look back. 

The exhilaration and the sacrifice this journey was for our first settlers grabs ahold of us every year.  We grew up doing pilgrim and Indian crafts, partaking in mini feasts, and writing down 20 things we are thankful for…and chances are- you probably have a handprint turkey laying around somewhere. (I’m right aren’t I??…It’s ok, keep it, it’s a memento!)

This isn’t your Mom’s unit study.  We are going deep into history to get a real feel of what life was like. 

This month, our kids have been learning MORE about the nations first peoples, and our first colonists.  Our indigenous people had so much more to offer than feather bands and teepees.  We studied some books and flash cards about their way of life in different regions. How they communicated and traveled and felt when the white man came. The eccentric beauty of their crafts gave way to our own imaginations too.  It’s important to value the true history of Native Americans because of the heritage that they can still share with us today. The simplistic beauty of community, respect, and tradition cannot be compared to anything today. 

Our Native American study just evolved into Mayflower & Pilgrims since they go hand in hand! We wanted more hands on learning as we figure out what life was like being a pilgrim. How they made the things they needed and sourced out materials.  How they sacrificed their known lifestyles for the possibility of freedom and understanding the hardships they met along that path. 

The Main Focus

The primary focus for us to learn and create while taking away some deeper meanings. We usually don’t have a lot of time to spend on this unit, and in a way, it allows us to pick this apart for years to come!  One of the structured pieces of this study is the Explorers Box from Lakeshore. The activity guide has some parts that can help us learn about the Mayflower.  It is then on the individual books to teach us what life was like, and then we try out some crafts and cooking.  Some unit studies contain items for each subject and that can be really great for younger kids. I like to make ours open and free, so we choose something to do each morning before our regular classwork begins.  You can always find & use a study guide for this topic as well. 


I love the idea of exposing the kids to old craft.  Our ancestors were innovative and efficient at making items for basic needs. For this unit study, I wanted us to try Spinning, and where else to get a super cool, authentic spinning kit from than Plimoth Plantation itself!  I also scored a fun Tin Punching kit from Plimoth as well.  
Our other handcrafts include: 
Candle Dipping (this is a group activity as we only want to make this mess one time! The link has a kit for candle making).
Wool Felting (maybe not an authentic craft from the time, but it does show creativity with wool). 
Weaving– we started this with our Native American unit study and kept it out for our Pilgrims.  
Corn Husk Dolls- This one is for the girls! We found simple instructions online and purchased a bag of corn husks from the grocery store!

Pretend Play 

Our Jamestown settlers (safari toob) and Tri-corn hat came out for this unit! It’s so fun to dress up and pretend we are on our own ship! The tri-corn hat is part of the Discoverers Box from Lakeshore Learning, and you can find this sailor scope here (it works too)!! To make this more pilgrim-ish, we purchased the John Smith map of Virginia and it’s on real parchment paper! This could take days to study on its own.


Little Pilgrims Progress (audio)
You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Mayflower
The Jamestown Colony
The Adventurous Life of Myles Standish
The Landing of the Pilgrims 
Squanto Friend of the Pilgrims 
Beginning Weaving Projects booklet (Plimoth Plantation)
Making Hand-Dipped Candles booklet(Plimoth Plantation)


(Play these as you have time, or need to alternate between reading.)


  • Build a Log Cabin (kit from Hobby Lobby or Rainbow Resource)
  • Dioramas & Paper Models 
  • Cooking a Wampanoag Recipe & Pilgrim Recipe (Scroll down to copy & print) 

Field Trips & Exploration

If you live in the east, you have a great opportunity to visit Plimoth Plantation and tour so many great spots!  Even in Ohio, there are little pilgrim villages or old time amusements that can be a fun trip! Out here in Arizona, we have zero Pilgrim exploring but we do hope to do some road trips in the future! 

Wampanoag Recipe ~Nasaump

Nasaump is a traditional Wampanoag dish that is made from dried corn, local berries, and nuts. It is boiled in water until it thickens, and is similar to a porridge or oatmeal.
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 cup strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a combination of all three
1/2 crushed walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds or a combination of all three
1 quart water
maple syrup or sugar to taste (optional)
Combine cornmeal, berries, crushed nuts, and the optional sweetener in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.  

Pilgrim Recipe ~ Curd Fritters

Curds are a soft cheese like cottage cheese or ricotta. These fritters are a lot like thin pancakes or crepes.  

5 eggs
curds (ricotta, cottage cheese) 
wheat or corn flour
cooking oil or butter

Make a thin batter with the eggs and equal amounts of curds and flour. Season with salt. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in your frying pan. When the oil is hot, pour in the batter and tip the pan to make the batter spread very thin (that’s what “let it run as small as you can” in the recipe means). They should be like crepes. When brown on one side, use your knife to flip them over or slide them onto a plate and flip them over into the pan. Add more oil to the pan when needed. Serve with sugar sprinkled on the top if you wish.
(Recipes borrowed from plimoth.org) 
*Blog post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience.  I have the potential to make a very small commission if you purchase any of the items linked but at no extra cost to you!

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Borrow Online Books for Free in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Open Library

Here is a super resource we want to share with you: Open Library. It’s an online resource, brought to you from Internet Archive, that has copies of many current, popular books. You must sign-up for a free account. Once that’s completed, start checking out up to 5 books for 2 weeks timeframe each! If a book is currently checked out, hop on the waitlist. Many books have multiple versions, so it’s easy to find a copy.

World Cat

Linked in with Open Library is World Cat, a very useful tool that will help you see what libraries around you have copies of the book you are looking for. Punch in your zip code and find library copies close to your location.

California Out of the Box Literature Books

Looking for literature books used in California Out of the Box? Obtain copies in Open Library! They have A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead by Nancy Luenn, Stories from Where We Live: The California Coast, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Valley of the Moon, By the Great Horn Spoon!, The Earth Dragon Awakes, and Esperanza Rising.

The post Borrow Online Books for Free in the Comfort of Your Own Home appeared first on Carrier Shell Curriculum.

Reflections of an Art Mom Dabbling with Becoming a Sports Mama

Growing up, I would often hear my mom, an art teacher at a private school, lament — “I don’t know how people can do sports with their kids. It takes up every weekend. Your weekend is not your own.” So, during my childhood, I took copious amounts of art classes. I attended an arts junior high and high school. I entered UCLA as an art major. But—I never did sports.

Fast forward 30 years. At age 10, my oldest son said he wanted to play baseball. I looked at him in the face and asked him if he was sure. A week after, I asked him again if he really wanted to do this. His answer was still “yes!”

I spent the next few weeks researching how we could play baseball in the local parks. How could he get the skills he needed? Through the course of my research, I found out the way kids learn baseball is through leagues. There are no skills classes per se. They learn though being on a team and playing games; games that are on Saturdays. My mother’s words were resounding in my head — “My weekend would not be my own.”

So, we started out our first season. The mercy of God put us on a team of other boys that had never played before either. My son needed to take it from the top, beginning with catching. Thankfully the other boys took their skills from the top too. They were incredibly supportive to him and each other. Being a person that believes my kids should get good at something, I felt we had a lot of work to do to bring him closer to the level of other boys that had played since they were 4 or 5. We were not in the sport then. We had 5 years of missing time.

As we played in summer and fall, I would always feel nervous about the next level of play. The boys always seemed so good at batting and playing bases. Their dads were good too. In fact, often times their dads were the coaches. I began to feel ill-equipped as a mother whose son liked the the sport; I was in tumultous waters, and I was taking in water. I understood oil painting and drawing; not how to slide into base or to know where the play is. In fact, I could not even really catch a ball. If I pitched to my son, it would be hideous. This was his game, not mine.

After trying to catch up during summer and fall, I thought in my mind it would be good to move to a league during the regular season where he could receive good coaching, really good coaching. We joined a Pony league one town over from our house. The coach had coached privately for a while. His kids were good. His son was 3 years younger than my son, but he always played infield. My son really wanted to catch. The coach said he would try him out in practice catching. As the season wore on, there were no practices, only games. The sponsor of our team’s son caught for most games. My son played catcher for 1 inning of one game. Due to the fact I had so much anger and strong feelings toward the coach, I missed most of the games. I could only tolerate watching for 30 minutes before I had a strong gag reflex—a feeling like the world was spinning and I was going to puke.

Some of my improvement gamble did pay off in the team championships. My son was hitting! When I would arrive at 90 minutes during the game, parents would say, “Adrian got a hit. It was great.”

Why am I sharing this story? Because I hate coaches like this that didn’t let my son play? No. I just feel sad. It doesn’t seem fair that sports are so competitive. I know my son simply enjoys playing, but in the game format, everything gets amped up and twisted. It’s like HIS performance starts to says something about me. But—wait, it’s not my game. I would never “choose” this.

When I get stressed about HIS performance, I feel that the one thing I can do is remove my negative energy from the game. It’s his game. He’s playing it. He likes it. It’s not my game. And to remind myself this is the truth, sometimes I need to be absent. I need to let him play without me getting mad or disappointed in him. It makes me sad that I need to back off, but my anger and my feelings are often intense and overwhelming.

The complicated part of this sport is parents do come to the games. For me to be a “good parent,” I feel like I should come to at least some part of each game. I do want to support my child. Is this how I want to spend my time supporting my son, though? I am not sure. So many team’s charters, rules, and guidelines say it is not about winning. But every season, it’s about winning. We’ll see about this sports mama thing!

The post Reflections of an “Art Mom” Dabbling with Becoming a “Sports Mama” appeared first on Carrier Shell Curriculum.

FREE 2018 Budget Calendars Are Ready

It’s that time of year again! The budget calendars are complete and ready to download. Download yours today and be sure to share them with anyone you think would be interested. They are very simple to make and easy on the printer ink so I enjoy making and sharing them! Thank you so much for your feedback and support with these over the years as well. You guys are awesome!

Download your Free 2018 Budget Calendars and be ready to tackle a new year!

Below is a newer version that I created for my loyal subscribers only. This version is also free but you do have to be a subscriber to download these. By subscribing you will receive our updates and be the first to know when the new calendars are ready along with any other free printables available through out the year.

The only difference in these and the originals are that I added in a space for budgeted and actual amounts with a check off area. I also added in an interest section to the debt snowball category. Subscribe here to download these for FREE too! 

Happy budgeting in 2018!

The 2020 budget calendars are complete and ready to download. Download yours today and be sure to share them with anyone you think would be interested. 

Download your Free 2020 Budget Calendars and be ready to tackle a new year!

Below is a newer version that I created for my loyal subscribers only. This version is also free but you do have to be a subscriber to download these. By subscribing you will receive our updates and be the first to know when the new calendars are ready along with any other free printables available through out the year.

The only difference in these and the originals are that I added in a space for budgeted and actual amounts with a check off area. I also added in an interest section to the debt snowball category. Subscribe here to download these for FREE too! 

Happy budgeting in 2020!

January Homeschool and Illness

Mason reading to Rebekah.

Saturday everyone felt well so we headed to COSI to explore a visiting exhibit. Unseen Oceans was fun, with interesting information about creatures of the deep, submersibles, underwater research, and more. We visited a few other exhibits before heading home. The rest of the day was spent on an organizing project and family time.

Saturday night I noticed coughing while some of the kids were sleeping. By Sunday morning Tobias had a fever, just like Joseph last week, and he and Rebekah were coughing, along with Makayla. I stayed home from church with those three. We read books, watched some cartoons, and did laundry I had not gotten to on Saturday.

Snuggling sickies on Sunday.

Monday we had three dental cleanings and three eye checkups. We will do that for 3 Mondays this month to get through the family. I got to go see the new Little Women movie with my sister and Makayla. It was good! I think the way they jumped forward and back in time was a bit confusing, but once I realized what they were doing, I enjoyed myself. The movie was beautiful and it made me want to reread Little Women soon.

By Monday evening Samuel had a fever and was sick. Basically, every day this week a child or two took their turn to get a high fever and then end up with the congestion and cough that follows. It hit my younger 4 especially hard and the fever lasted days for each. It wasn’t the flu (tested to be sure), but to be honest, we haven’t had the flu in years, which I’m grateful for.

Tuesday we started second semester of our homeschool. Between math, language arts, and history it was a solid day. In history the family group (everyone but Joseph) studied Henry Hudson, the Dutch colonies in America, their issues with governers, and the British takeover of what became New York – without the firing of a single shot. Mason had some dental work in the afternoon. By evening he was the child with a fever.

Wednesday morning we worked through our school plans. Two cousins came over to visit while Makayla had a scope and biopsy of her airways and stomach under anesthesia. We’ll wait for results of the biopsies, but everything they saw looks ok, just GERD (acid reflux), nothing unexpected like an esophageal hernia or an ulcer. On this day the illness really peaked, with the 4 youngest kids all really sick and miserable. The 1, 4, and 6 year old each fell asleep right after dinner laying all over the couch.

My night was relatively sleepless. Rebekah did not sleep well, coughing and waking 15 times before my 5am alarm clock rang Thursday morning. My husband’s work schedule has him up between 2am and 3am each morning to head to work, so night needs are mine to handle on his work days. At 5:40am I drove Joseph to seminary and the day pretty much just kept moving from there. We did school, despite illness, because it was something quiet to do. Rebekah just wanted held all morning, fell asleep on the couch before lunch, woke up for a bit, and then went down for her usual nap in the afternoon. We survived a cranky, coughing, sick house all evening. I got a 45 minute nap after dinner, once my husband was home. He has started his next college class, so he spent the time working on his class while the kids played quietly.

That night Rebekah slept well until 3am, and then was awake and unhappy until 4:30am. I was glad to get back in bed when she finally drifted back to sleep. At 6:15am Friday morning kids started waking up (No alarm clocks) and Makayla got ready for her ride to the airport (thank you grandpa!).
She left at 8am, with only a few tears by siblings, who will miss her bunches. Forty minutes later I ran Mason to the dentist to finish up some dental work. We had no school planned for today. The kids all lounged on the couch, the floor, in their beds and read, played, or relaxed together. One of the perks of this homeschooling life is that we can truly allow our bodies time to rest and heal. We aren’t tied to an artificial schedule or pressured that we may end up ‘behind’.

Rebekah is still snuggly. She also looks around sadly and says, “I want Pay-wah.” That’s what she calls Makayla.

It’s Friday afternoon. Kids are laughing behind me and preparing for a round of Dutch Blitz. I’ve been invited to play, so I’m going to hit publish on this post and join them.

UPDATE: It is Friday night. By bedtime the rest of the kids and Mommy joined the ranks of those with fevers. This should be an interesting weekend.

Pneumonia Sure, why not

Saturday was full of rest. Few people were well enough to do much of anything. I did a grocery pick up order. We sorted our card games into storage boxes made to hold crayons. And we rested some more. Dinner was chicken noodle soup made in the instant pot for the few people up to eating.

Sunday Daddy took the only not sick kids to church (Joseph and Emma). A few of the middle kids at home pulled out Harry Potter Clue and played a leisurely game on the bedroom floor. The younger kids used kinetic sand at the table. I video chatted in for a Primary presidency meeting after church. By mid-afternoon the kids were all descending back into feeling yucky again. No more playing, just laying around resting. Tobias fell asleep on the floor. Samuel looked at me at dinner time and said, “I’m going to go take a nap in my bed.”

Monday was another round of appointments. Three more eye checkups (no changes) and three more dental cleanings (one person with a cavity). In between, I spent an hour on the phone making more appointments: 1 for February, 3 for March, 1 for May. What was left of the day was our usual routine of dinner, family scripture study, and play. We are reading through the Book of Mormon as a family and studying it this year, and it has been a lot of fun so far. The kids are noticing things and relating it back to our study of the New Testament last year.

Tuesday I decided that Samuel really wasn’t improving any more, so a check up was set for the afternoon. He has bronchitis now, and may have pneumonia. He started some meds and in 48 hours we will see if he is improving or if we need a chest x-ray and more aggressive treatment. Beyond that, I woke up unable to speak even as loud as a whisper. The kids loved it. We had to work together to get homeschool accomplished, with older kids taking a role in teaching during history because of the need to read aloud. Emma got some blood work for unrelated issues.

Wednesday Samuel was stable, but no improvements. I was still voiceless. Everyone survived.

Thursday things imploded a bit. Samuel was worse, so we put a call in for a chest xray. Yes, Samuel has pneumonia. They are continuing the current antibiotic and added a second. Daniel had dental work done. Emma’s bloodwork came back with some bad answers and more bloodwork is scheduled for a few weeks from now with things like diabetes on the table as possible answers. I was still sick and not able to talk much.

Friday’s high point was video chatting with Makayla. Friday low point was a 104 fever for Samuel, as well as fevers for Tobias, Caleb (going downhill now, had avoided being very sick up to now but also has a headache), and Joseph. Yep, the one who got this cold 2.5 weeks ago now has a fever and headache. I am not even going to guess what tomorrow will be like. The pediatrician said that if Samuel has a fever in the morning or isn’t showing noticeable improvement then he needs to come in for Saturday hours. From there we may see a medication change or a hospital stay. I just don’t know yet.

Needless to say, I’m tired. I napped for a little bit today while the teens were on duty and everyone was watching a movie.

On a positive note before I go check temperatures and pass out medications again:

Emma had a piece of her art chosen to be part of an upcoming gallery. She signed a loan agreement today and drops off her art tomorrow. The gallery opens February 28th. She is beyond thrilled.