Wasup Wednesdays – 5

News:   Had strep throat over the weekend and a houseguest.  This is not the best combination, as even though the guest was really Mark’s guest, I felt bad I couldn’t be more “hostessy.”  Thankfully, I went to urgent care on Sunday, tested positive for strep, and the appropriate antibiotics were prescribed.  Tonight, I feel no soreness in my throat.  It is just a little dry.  So I think I am officially “over it!”

School:  No. 1 son visited a local Christian high school for 8th grade visitation.  He was thrilled with the place.  Now, we are praying for a miracle that we will be able to send him there next year.  Honestly, we are praying that Mark will continue to get business and that if needed, I would be able to get a real job that pays decently by the time next school year roles around.

No. 2 son kicked into gear today and finished all his school work for the week.  I have wondered how long it would take him to realize that homeschooling would be easy for him.  Now he is free to read all the other books he wants to read until Monday.  BONUS: He thinks he’s just having fun, and he doesn’t even realize he is still learning something.  🙂

Eldest Daughter is still distracted by the things of life outside school work like her DS, riding her bike with  the neighbor kids, “writing songs,” getting her ears pierced, etc.   She has to think about all these things a lot.  Then she has to ask me questions about them.  She will get her work done . . . it will just take a while.

Wee Girl, otherwise known as Sweet Petunia, is improving in reading.  I started using a simpler phonics curriculum (Phonics Pathways), and she likes it.  She also still does lessons in Explode the Code everyday, and I think the writing and practicing of the different words in each exercise is making a difference.  Finally,  I was encouraged by a veteran homeschooling mom from church who told me that her older girls (19 and 16) were not fluid readers until 3rd grade.  They both eventually became fine students/readers.

I also finally dug out some of my old homeschool books, and I found all my “Five in A Row” books.  I plan to start using some lessons from them to incorporate a little “art” and other unit study elements for the girls.

Simon seems to be feeling better.  Yay!

Books:  I finished the second Harry Potter book a few weeks back, and I thought for sure we had the paper back of book 3 laying around.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it.  So I requested book 3 from the library.  I am looking forward to reading it.

I also picked up a McCall Smith book (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) for 70 cents from Goodwill.  I had to return the ones I started to the library before I finished, so I am looking forward to reading this one at my leisure.

Finally, I am re-reading Anne of Green Gables–out loud to the girls some and ahead on my own.  It is just a decadent little pleasure for me to read Anne again.

Thankful that football season is half over.  I can’t wait to have our lives back to normal and to rid my house of the horrid lockerroom smell currently residing here.  Ew . . . Gross . . . Disgusting  No words can describe the awful odor eminating from my basement.  Febreeze and air freshner are not enough, but we’re trying to make use of these tools to get us through to the end of October.  What will I do with my evenings when there’s no football practice?

Soup for Lunch

I made this soup for lunch today.  Yummy.  It is basically a “leftovers” stew.

About 1 pound leftover pulled pork roast

1 cup leftover long green beans

1 15 oz. can beef broth

1 15 oz. can mixed vegetables

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 can cream of celery soup

1 15 oz. can of black beans

1/3 cup heavy cream

In a large pot, mix together liquid ingredients and celery soup until smooth. Add meat, mixed veggies, and diced tomatoes.  Mix together gently.  Simmer on low-medium heat for 15 -20 minutes.  Very tasty.

Wasup Wednesdays 4

It’s 11:38 pm on Wednesday night, and I haven’t posted to tell you wasup . . . .

So, here goes:

School :  Got done on schedule today.  This is big,  folks.  When will it happen again?  I don’t know.  But let’s just glory in the moment 🙂

Diet: Still keeping up the lo-carb eating.  It is going well for the most part, but I find it challenging to keep the menu interesting.  Right now I am on a ginger/garlic stir-fry kick.  It is also challenging to keep food on hand for the kids that I really don’t want to eat.  So far, Mark and I have resisted pretty well–other than a couple of times we have consciously decided to partake of something off the plan.  I think Mark is losing a good bit.  I am losing, but I am the only one who can tell.  It may take a long time for this to work for me.  I think this will motivate me to get the exercise thing going.

Kids:  As my facebook status updates and my blog posts indicate, football is our life.  It is time consuming, and I love to complain about it, but ultimately, it is really great for the boys.  They are getting more exercise than they ever have in their lives, and for Calvin especially, it is a good way to channel all his extra energy.  He is also really into it mentally.

Oh, yeah, we do have 2 girls, too.  The girls are busy with drama class that is part of their school program this year, and they are back in Awana at their old school.  This is good since it gives them a chance to keep up with some of last year’s school friends a bit.  Evangeline has started rehearsals again with Kirkwood Children’s Chorale, too.

Let’s not forget the dog:  We are about to have our second anniversary of Simon ownership.  He is a great dog, and we really love him.  He has had a few tummy issues in the last couple of months that have concerned us a bit, but the vet hasn’t had much insight.  We have been trying to walk him more regularly, and that seems to have helped with increasing his appetite and giving him more energy.  We keep watching him to see if we need to visit the vet again.

Boring Post:  This has turned into a more boring than normal post, but I guess that means life is moving along at a nice click, and there’s nothing big to share.   Perhaps I just feel pressured to hit that publish button before midnight . . . .

My Second Grid Iron Guy

Here are shots of Nevin, all ready for football last Saturday.  It was picture day, but we, being frugal folk, will not be purchasing the professional photos.  So we had to take a few of our own.  Nevin’s team won their game this week 21 – 20–it was a nail-biter!  Nevin was most excited because he got to start, and he was one of the captains for the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

Just to give you a little perspective, here’s a shot of the family lineman when he was a little younger:

They sure do grow up fast.

Early to bed,

night owl, or burning the candle at both ends?  I tend to be option #3 because I enjoy having time to myself, and “both ends” seems to be the only time to get that precious commodity.

I got to thinking about how some people are early risers, others are night owls, and some of us are both ends people when I noted the times of people’s comments on blogs or facebook. Truth be told,  I guess I am really am a night owl who wants to be an early riser, too.  So I pretend I do both.  Really, I drag myself out of be in the morning on most days after staying up too late the night before.

Right now, it is 12:45 am, and I intended to be asleep by midnight, but I am waiting for some nasty stomach symptoms to subside.  Two doses of the pink stuff have improved things, but I can’t sleep just yet.  So what else is there to do but blog about some mundane thoughts running through my mind?

So, which are you?  An early to bed early riser?  A night  owl who seems to have a daily hangover?  A “I only need 4 hours of sleep a night, and I am still Mary Sunshine who runs 4 miles every day?”

Talk amongst yourselves.

Wasup Wednesdays 3 – Or, Facebook Redux

Big news this week–Charis lost her two front teeth last night.  Here’s a shot of her and another of her with her big sister celebrating. Forgive the poor quality, please.

 And, football games started in earnest over last weekend.  Nevin’s uniform is not completely in hand yet, so photos of him in his gridiron gear will have to wait.  For now, here’s a few shots of Calvin ready for his first game.





Wasup Wednesdays? – 2

First, A Photo

We spent Labor Day weekend at a campground/rv park in the Ozarks.  It was fun for everyone.  We had a little taste of camping with a campfire where we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows.  We went to a swimming hole in a natural spring in the Ozark National Riverways Park, and we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, MO.  We checked out of the camp on Monday at lunch time and then spent the afternoon at a local swimming pool.  It was nice to have some family time away from the regular routine, and the kids enjoyed the time outdoors.  We’re hoping to make little trips like this more often.


In other news, we got back into the swing of homeschooling today.  Yesterday was a super light day as I recovered from being out of town.  All the children had reading assignments yesterday, but that was it in terms of academic pursuits. We did have a couple extra-curricular activities later in the day–Evangeline’s choir began rehearsals yesterday for the new season, and, of course, there was football practice for the boys in the evening.   The laundry is still waiting to be done from our travels, but most of the unpacking is complete.  The laundry is always here, so we can’t stress over that! 🙂


I am encouraged that today Evangeline finished reading her first reading assignment of the year, Henry Reed, Inc. by Keith Robertson.  I am hopeful that at the end of the year when she sees the list of books she has completed, she will gain more confidence in independent reading of longer books.  Today’s accomplishment is a start toward that end.


Mark is in the swing of another writing project.  We’re grateful for the work, but the schedule is somewhat tight, so he needs a lot of diligence to get through to the deadline.  He has finally finished up loose ends on what was affectionately known as the “July book,” and he is also in the middle of a shorter research project.  We’re looking for ways to add more projects to the schedule for after the ones on deck are done, but for now, we praise God for His provision.


Tasty Tuesday

 (I am sure this won’t be a regular thing, but I could resist the opportunity to alliterate.)

Jennifer’s Scrumptious Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 medium onion
3 small zuchini
1 8 oz . pckg. mushrooms
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. ground turkey or beef, browned
30 oz. spaghetti sauce

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seed, and place meat side down on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Brown 1 pound ground put aside.

Chop vegetables while meat is browning and squash is baking.  Big chunks are fine.  In a large frying pan, sautee onion, mushrooms, and zuchinni in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft  (your preferred consistency).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add other italian seasonings like garlic, oregeno, and basil as you like them.  Drain extra excess liquid from the vegetables, then add diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce and heat for a few minutes.

When the spaghetti squash is finished baking, scrape meat of the squash from the outside peeling.  It will come off in clumpy shreds.  Mix the spaghetti squash thoroughly with the vegetables and browned meat.

If you are a cheese lover, this dish is tasty topped with shredded cheddar.

This is a great low-carb alternative to pasta.  It gives you the flavors of an Italian dish without the carbohydrates.  The consistency of this dish also sort of reminds me of ratatouille.

Wasup Wednesdays?

So some of my fellow bloggers are doing “cool” regular blog posts each week, so I decided I could do that too.  Maybe I will stick with it, unlike the now defunct “Tuesday Tunes” of my blog’s ancient history.  Having “Wasup Wednesdays?” also does not limit my subject  matter.  This is good because it allows anything to be included in my post.  This is bad because it allows anything to be included in my post!

This Wednesday at Chez Horne:

School is on the agenda.  Hopefully, it will be a better day than Tuesday in terms of student motivation. The boys need to work on a demonstration presentation for their drama class tomorrow.  There is also a need to work on monologues for drama by all four.  They like drama–but it is less fun when there is actual work involved.

Football is also a part of the plan for today.  (I know, you think, isn’t it always on the agenda in some fashion or another?)  Only Calvin practices tonight, so we only need to go to one location.  It’s a relatively easy night on the football schedule.

Wednesday Update:

Last personal post (2 posts and practically a month ago), I reported my weight loss and exercise plan.  The dieting part has gone great.  I can’t report on poundage lost because, as you may or may not remember, I am not getting on the scale at this point.  But I can see a change in my face and feel a change in the waistline of my pants, so something is working.  I have stayed pretty close to the plan for most of the past 4+weeks, and I am finding it pretty doable.  I also really like keeping my bloodsugar level stable because I haven’t had one of those in hypoglycemic-like episodes since I started.  I am still struggling with the exercise bit, but I will make it work.  I am determined.


I finished a little contemporary novel called Jemima J.  I enjoyed it as brain candy.  I don’t recommend it because there are parts that weren’t very edifying.  But if you are someone who appreciates the humor of Bridget Jones’s Diary, you might enjoy this.  I bought it at the Salvation Army for 25 cents, so I can definitely say it was worth what I paid for it!

I, at long last, am nearly finished with the first Harry Potter book.  I restarted it about 3 weeks ago, and I would be finished if it weren’t for reading the above “mind candy” book and that pesky little school year having to start.  I love Harry Potter, and I have listened to almost all the books on cd over the years when the kids weren’t old enough to read the books.  I just hadn’t made time to read them myself.  Book 2 is waiting patiently on my bedstand for me to finish book 1, and that I shall do.

I also picked up something new to me at  the library–books by Alexander McCall Smith. One begins a series called the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and the other begins a series called 44 Scotland Street.  I have just dipped into both of these, so I am curious is anyone else has read them or has an opinion about them.

Now I must forge ahead into my Wednesday, or nothing will happen . . .