Weekly Wrap-Up: The Relaxing Week at Home Edition

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So, it’s been another week of normalcy.  I could get used to this.  It’s probably not very exciting to read about, but living it is pretty nice.Wednesday, we went to Costco for the very first time ever.  The whole experience reminded me of the Veggie Tales Madame Blueberry episode where she goes to “Stuff Mart” for the first time.  I searched and searched YouTube to find the part I was looking for, to no avail.  If you’ve never seen it, suffice it to say that eyes were glossed over and shining at the sight of all the stuff and Josh said he felt like he’d never been to a store before.

School-wise, we’ve been plugging along.  Again, the most fun we had this week was probably with science.  We’re getting into the classification system now, so we read one of the best kid books I’ve ever read on classification, Benny’s Animals by Millicent Selsam.  The last couple of pages do get into “millions of years old” and such.  I don’t mind using that as a teachable moment, but I always like to mention it for those who wish to avoid evolution altogether.

Benny’s Animals does a great job of explaining taxonomy in a simple-to-understand way.  After reading it, we did a classification experiment from our science book that was a lot of fun – pairing the male and female creatures of a variety of species from the planet “Blobonia.”  Yeah, we’re loving Science Odyssey.

We’ve also been reading about the history of Russia, focusing on Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.  Catherine’s story was very interesting.  Last night at dinner, Brian asked the kids what they’d been learning.  It’s been awhile since he’d done that and I’m always curious how they’re going to answer.

It took a little coaxing, but Josh started telling Brian all about what I’d read about Catherine the Great that day.  He couldn’t remember the names (not unusual for him even with “real life” people that he sees every day), but he really got the gist of the story.  Always a pat on the back for a homeschooling mama.

Thursday night, while I was at Walmart, I picked up a copy of a Jodi Picoult book that I’ve been wanting to read for awhile, House RulesI have a weird relationship with Jodi Picoult books.  It’s not exactly a love-hate thing, but something along those lines.

With the exception of Change of Heart, which I just couldn’t get into, her books are complete and total page turners for me.  I hate that she uses profanity so liberally, but the research that goes into her books is incredible and I find that, for the most part, I can’t put them down.  However, more than once I’ve been just like, “No!  Really?” about the ending.

So, now, I always go into reading one of her books with the knowledge that I’m going to get totally into the characters and learn something about the subject matter that I may not have known before, but also that I may not be impressed with the ending, which is kind of weird for this “happily ever after” preferring reader.  The last couple of Picoult books that I’ve read have had a decent ending, so I’m starting to get a little less gun-shy.

Anyway, so I bought House Rules and it was at the end of the conveyor after all of my groceries. The cashier picked it up last and scanned it, then, she started reading the back of it while I put my bags in the cart and scanned my card.  She glanced up long enough to click a button on her register, then, went back to reading while I signed the little box-thing.  When she finished, she put the book in the last back before turning to me and commenting that the book sounded good.  It was just funny to me.  I could totally see me doing the same thing.

So, it’s basically just been a quiet week at home for us.  Last Saturday, Brian made a campfire in the front yard (yes, we do that fairly often) and we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.  I love making those great family memories.

I’ve been trying to do soup in the crockpot and homemade bread at least once a week since the weather is getting cooler (well, this week it’s been pretty warm, but anyway…).  I don’t have big soup fans here, but even Brian admitted that my all-time favorite soup, loaded potato, was really good.  I made a broccoli cheese soup last week that was not especially good.  Do you have a good broccoli cheese soup recipe?  If so, I’d love for you to share it with me.  I want to try again.

So, I guess that’s it for me this week.  How was your week? Be sure to post about it and sign up with MckLinky. If this is your first time to join us, be sure to read the Weekly Wrap-Up guidelines. You can also follow the guidelines link to grab the banner code.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.


  1. Kris, I will be interested to know what you think about "House Rules". I read it not too long ago and thought it was pretty good. I won't say more than that, because I'd like to hear what you thought of it when you've finished. Enjoyed the weekly wrap-up as usual!

  2. Sounds like another great week…I like normal. We had a little outing yesterday to spice things up.

    Thanks for hosting the wrap-up.

  3. We had a getting better around here sort of week. Your loaded potato soup sounds delicious! Congrats on all your nominations 🙂

  4. I love that Madam Blueberry Veggie Tale! I don't think I would make it out of one of those big stores (Costco or Sams) without going broke. I'm too much of an impulse buyer. What a nice, relaxing week. And nice cozy food too with the warm soups (I have 2 fav cheddar broc. soups-Panera Bread and Einsteins Bagels). Thanks for hosting 🙂

  5. It's so funny that you mentioned Jodi Picoult- she has become my new favorite author. I picked up three of her books at the used book store last weekend and read them ALL this week. No wonder I feel as though we didn't get much done this week!

  6. It sounds like you had a great week! We also love doing campfires in the front yard as well as soup and homemade bread this time of year 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  7. Kris,
    Thanks for hosting.
    We love potato soup. I checked out your recipe it sounds good. I never thought of bacon bits. We'll have to try that. Have a good weekend.

  8. My Introduction to. Cathrine the Great was a movie on her. I think it was the early 90's. The movie was great and I started reading about her after. The movie may be a little to adult for some families though.

  9. I love Costco!! I go there for the organic foods and the mega bag of chocolate chips. 🙂 With an occasional panera soup purchase. 🙂

  10. I like those weeks at home! And I can relate to the overwhelingness (is that a word?) of Costco. We go to Sams, and I feel the same way!

  11. LOL Madame Blueberry! Normalcy is a great thing isn't it? I love that your kids are really enjoying what they're learning and want to talk about it. My kids haven't been gripped by anything uber exciting lately. But we're working on it 🙂 I love soup and homemade bread, Mmm hmm! Potato soup, chili, beef and barley, taco soup, chicken and dumplings…mmmm. Now I want soup.

  12. We enjoy Madame Blueberry at our home.
    Love the story about the cashier reading the back of the book.
    I've never heard of Jodi Picoult, gotta check her books out.

  13. That is one of my favorite Veggie Tales stories. Haley used to sing that song "I'm so blue hoo hoo blue hoo hoo, blue hoo hoo hoooo, I'm so blue I don't know what to do" all the time when we upset her. My mom and I would practically be on the floor we were laughing so hard. She's quite a character. Sounds like a great week. I'm gonna have to buy the REAL Science life one. We have the earth and space and I'd really like the life science one too.

    Oh, and I'm so glad we're not the only one's who have a camp fire in their yard. Mine is in back though. LOL Is that a southern thing?


  14. I feel the same about Jodi Picoult's books, too. I've only really loved one of them, but I even fell flat at the ending. I've started at least two that I put aside. Perhaps "ambivalent" is a good word to describe my relationship with her books. 🙂

  15. @ Ellen — Ambivalent. That might be a good word. I just finished House Rules and I really enjoyed it. I thought I had it figured out about midway through, then, I thought maybe I didn't have it figured out and the ending was going to be another one of those frustrating ones. Turns out, though, that I was right about my first guess and I actually was okay with the way it ended. So, that's two out of five or so that I've been okay with the ending. They're all page-turners for me, though. Just enough mystery to keep me guessing.

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