Collage Friday - Math, Appliances, and Other Goodies



It's been an odd week. We're not QUITE done with our schoolwork (more on that later), and we have been jam packed with special activities.

Last weekend we went to see a local high school production of Hairspray. It was excellent! Our friend, Olivia, who we go to church with, has babysat the kids, and was also one of my piano students, had a part in the show. Anna and I had a fun night, and we're still singing Good Morning Baltimore a week later!

Mother's Day was a great day - church, a nice lunch out, and then Anna's piano recital. Music is her anchor, and I am such a proud mom when she plays.

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Wrapping Up Math

We are a Saxon Math family. Anna is completing Saxon 7/6 and Grant is completing Saxon 3.

We are done with formal schoolwork, except for math. Saxon is rough, folks. Rough, in a good way, though.

I hear A LOT of debate about math programs. 

Here's my two cents on math:

  • We tried some more relaxed approaches to math and it just didn't work. There is no "negotiating" in Saxon. There are no pictures in the books. It is just MATH. Yes, it's hard and some days we spend a lot of time on it, but I feel that my kids are confident mathematicians.
  • Saxon is great if you want a very thorough, rigorous program. It is full of drill and repetition and is a spiral approach. 
  • Saxon is great if you have kids that are GOOD AT MATH. Neither of my children have trouble with math, so this is a good fit for us. 
  • We will be purchasing the DIVE CDs to go with Saxon 8/7 next year. The end of 7/6 has been quite difficult for Anna (and I'm not a math teacher!) and I have heard so many great things about these instructional CDs.
  • All that being said - you have to do what works for YOUR CHILD. Saxon may not work for everyone. It just works well in our house.

 Using The "New" Kitchen

Last week we received new kitchen appliances.  Hooray!

We have lived in this house almost 8 years. The home itself is almost 17 years old. When our refrigerator was showing signs of distress, we decided to go ahead and get a new refrigerator and stove, along with a built in microwave (my old one was just on the counter).   


Anna made wonderful brownies for middle school youth night at our church. I taught her my secret of using a really good brownie mix (I love Ghiradelli!) and then making homemade frosting for them. 

I let her do every step of them by herself. It's good practice following specific directions and she loves baking.

One evening I was just wiped out. My sweet husband took care of dinner and Anna set the table so nicely.

One of our favorite meals is Parmesan Tilapia and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. I am so thankful my husband enjoys cooking and he's good at it, too. 

Don't you love my CLEAN oven? I made cinnamon rolls one morning for breakfast. That's a meal that always puts everyone in a good mood.


I'm very proud of my husband. When he turned 40 a couple of years ago he had a physical and the results weren't terrible, but they weren't great. His cholesterol was high (which was concerning because his father had a heart attack when he was young) and his weight was too high. 

In the past few years he has made a RADICAL lifestyle change. He works out faithfully each morning at 5 a.m. and he has lost the weight AND reduced his cholesterol WITHOUT MEDICATION.

He keeps me healthy and has a way of encouraging me on this journey, too. His discipline and faithfulness inspire me and set a wonderful example for our children. 

When I was away in Florida in the winter he purchased a juicer. He experimented with lots of recipes and surprised me when I got home. I must say, I like some of his concoctions.


What We're Reading




This week we finished Amos Fortune, Free Man. What a beautiful book. I think it will go down in history as one of my favorite read alouds. I cried at the end, and I spotted glassy eyes on my children, too.

We then began The Fellowship of the Ring, which was a huge excitement for Grant. We read The Hobbit a few months ago and he did a literature fair project on the book. He loves all things Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

If you have a sports lover, I highly recommend any book by Dan Gutman. This week Grant read Baseball's Biggest Bloopers.  Sitting at dinner a few nights ago Grant proclaimed, 

"Did you know that umpires wear black underwear so if they split their pants it won't matter? "

Ummm.... ok. See why I recommend these books?

We also got some summer reading books at a local thrift store. I'm making a reading list for the kids this summer. 

Finally, we are reorganizing bookshelves and materials to purge and make way for new Classical Conversations things. I cannot tell you how EXCITED I am for this new chapter in our homeschool!

Other News


We received a shipment from Homeschool in The Woods this week.

Their materials are just so beautiful. I am very excited they are one of this blog's sponsors. I will be sharing a lot with you about their beautiful composer resources, as well as their materials for history study. We will be using their Medieval materials next year to supplement Classical Conversations.

I think this is a marriage made in heaven!

Have you entered the LEGO Education giveaway?  It is open until next Tuesday.

I also posted a new SQUILT lesson - this makes a total of TEN free music listening lessons here on the blog. My SQUILT eBook (Baroque Composers) will be coming out in just a few weeks!  

Also, in that SQUILT lesson I showed you some notebooking pages my kids were using. We are huge fans of Notebooking Pages. There is a huge birthday sale going on now - you should take advantage of the savings on the yearly memberships. We use our pages almost daily. I never have to search for notebooking pages - it's all in one place.


I hope you link up your weekly photo collage post!  Please remember to include photo collages.  Also, link back to this post or include the Collage Friday button (in my sidebar) in your post. Once you have signed the linky, please visit others on the list to gain ideas and offer encouragement.  I love the Collage Friday community!  (I reserve the right to delete any links that don't comply with the guidelines.)