Large Family Homeschool Life – Week 4 of 2023

Raising Arrows
Large Family Homeschool Life – Week 4 of 2023

My birthday week, a surgery, and a bunch of crazy days made this 4th week of 2023 quite interesting!

My birthday week, a surgery, and a bunch of crazy days made this 4th week of 2023 quite interesting!

Read all of the Large Family Homeschool Life!


This weekend, I went to my mom’s as an early birthday present to myself. We talked, ate at restaurants, went to church, and shopped. We had a great time, but I knew coming home and trying to restart my week would be difficult!

This morning I woke up late, so I made myself some coffee and ate a breakfast bar, and then called everyone to Morning Time.

To see all the resources we are currently using in our homeschool Morning Time, read THIS POST!

We read from All the People and Story of the World about Dwight D. Eisenhower and McCarthyism.

Aspen (age 8) did all of her independent schoolwork on her own today! I helped Mercy (age 6) with her Math and Handwriting.

To see all of the curricula we use in our homeschool, see my Large Family Homeschool Curriculum page!

For lunch, we had leftovers and Asian Bowls – my favorite lunch right now! Rice, steamed broccoli, air fried wontons, wonton strips, and orange sauce. Yum!

I felt so behind having been away for the weekend. Looking back, I should have slowed down and chosen a couple of things to do, but instead I rapid-fired my to-do list to my husband and complained about how much I had to do and how stressed I was!

So, here begins my rather stressful afternoon…

I washed my hair and then set about giving my 17 year old a haircut. He only wanted a trim on the top, but halfway through the haircut I remembered I needed to get my 18 year old’s meds ordered from the pharmacy. So, I left him to write that down (and send a quick text complaining yet again to my husband).

When I came back to the haircut, I was noticeably stressed, and he said to me, “Please don’t give me a stress haircut!”

Well….I did.

But, he needed to head to work, so there wasn’t much that could be done. He put on a ballcap and grumbled about my really bad haircut (which for some reason, I could not see just how bad it was). I was grumbly because he was grumbly, but I still had things to do, so onward and upward!

Next, was Amazon returns, PX returns (that’s the Walmart of Army installations), and a trip to the commissary for a few things.

At 4pm, while sitting in the parking lot of the PX, I took a call from a potential advertiser on the blog. Thankfully, I had brought a piece of paper to write on because we talked over a bunch of things that I would never had remembered without writing them down.

Then, I dashed to Aldi for what I thought would be a finish to my grocery list. Not so! They did not have everything I needed, but after the long day I had, I made the executive decision to finish out the shopping tomorrow.

I came home and whipped up some meatball subs and chips for dinner. I had texted the 18 year old ahead of time to have her start the meatballs and sauce so all I had to do was swoop in with the sub rolls and mozzarella slices!

Then, I forgot to pick up my son from his job, so I hurriedly ran back to post, picked him up and ran back home for Creed’s Special Night. (are you tired yet, my friends?! I sure am!)

Creed had ice cream and Brazilian limeades, and while he was playing games on my phone, I put together our church’s very first newsletter and sent it out! We are attending a Calvary Chapel church plant that meets in a community center. It has been such a blessing, so I was excited to be able to use my knowledge of newsletters to produce one for our growing congregation!

Because it was the eve of my 46th birthday, I stayed up with the older kids to ring it in (a tradition we do with anyone over 12). My 22 year old daughter called right before midnight to do the countdown and sing Happy Birthday to me. So sweet!


Happy 46th Birthday to me!

We called off school for the day, so I could just hang out without a lot of responsibilities. However, I did fix my son’s haircut! It’s shorter than he would have liked, but it looks nice and not all messed up, so he’ll be able to go to work without a cap on!

My 18 year old daughter made me Russian Pancakes – my favorite breakfast from when I was a kid.

I know, I know – you are all looking at these thinking, “Amy, those are crepes.” But trust me – to my German Mennonite family, they are Russian Pancakes and they were the only pancakes I knew growing up. I still remember going to school and for lunch, pancakes were on the menu. Imagine my shock and horror when the lunch lady plopped some thick, round mass on my tray and told me THAT was a pancake. Ugh.

Here’s the recipe if you are interested:

1 egg, 1 c. flour, pinch of salt, and enough milk to make a thin batter (start with 1 cup). Whisk together and pour a bit into a hot skillet, moving around to make a thin pancake (my dad would say they are so thin, you can read the Lord’s prayer through them!). Roll 2-3 pancakes up with butter and syrup in between and on top. DELISH!

After breakfast, the oven repairman came and my oven is fixed YET AGAIN. 3rd time’s a charm, right? I’m so thankful to have a working oven again.

My 24 year old son called and we had a great talk. Somewhere in the discussion, he informed me that our parenting has changed over the years. In his words, we are “more lenient and less cool!” HA!

To solidify his assessment, I recorded 2 podcasts on my birthday, ran the 17 year old to work, and took Mercy in to get new glasses.

Who says I’m not cool!

After Ty got finished teaching his military science classes, he picked me up for coffee and Mexican food. While we were gone, Melia made Chocolate Chip Pie for my birthday dessert, and when we got home we ate that and I opened presents and cards!

All in all, it was a LOVELY birthday!


Now that birthday season is over, I need to get back on track with my eating habits! This morning, I made myself and Ty a plate of eggs, spinach, and crumbled bacon with hot sauce. I also made the 6 year old an egg sandwich. The other kids either had breakfast rice or sopapillas from my birthday dinner last night.

Before school, I printed off February’s Table Chore List – always a fun day for the kids! (ha!)

To learn more about how I put together this list, go to my post on Children’s Chores for the Kitchen and Dining Room.

I ended up skipping Morning Time and just having the kids do independent school.

I went with the older kids to their job so that the 17 year old could practice his driving, and I could go walking with their boss. It’s our time to walk and talk and solve the world’s problems!

When I got home, I put baked potatoes in the oven for the kids and Ty, and got ready for our church’s Women’s Group. It’s our first “real” meeting, so we discussed what we hoped to see in our Women’s Group – it was a good exercise and discussion.


This morning, I tidied up my bedroom before I headed downstairs for the day. It’s always nice when I have time to do this at the top of my day!

For Morning Time, we read in Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible, and read about the 1950’s in All the People. We also took a look at Geometric Abstraction Art, tract homes, and read in our current read-aloud – Stuart Little.

For independent schoolwork, Lia is listening to The Crucible on audio, Keian is doing Algebra, American Sign Language, Biology, and finishing up Safely Home by Randy Alcorn.

Mercy finished her Ben Franklin book, and Aspen is starting a new math book, so she was super excited about all of the easy problems!

After lunch, the big kids headed to the bee farm, and I took the younger 5 to the library. They checked out books, did a scavenger hunt to win stickers, and I picked up some holds I had waiting for me.

When I got home, a package was on the porch for me! It was Bible Road Trip!

This is what we’ll be using for Bible Time after we finish Hurlbut’s, and I am super excited! I will most likely use the Upper Grammar version of BRT for all of the children. What I like about this curriculum is how versatile it is. It is open and go, and you can get as crafty and in-depth as you like or as simple and easy as you like! Perfect for a large family!

I took a short walk, and then answered some emails and watched a bit of YouTube.

For dinner, I made Mexican Street Corn Chicken with a salad, raw veggies with homemade ranch, and some guacamole. Ty really raved about this meal!

Ty asked me to make some of his Granny’s Caramel Corn since we often have popcorn on Thursday nights, so the boys helped me make it. Then, Lia and I watched the first episode of Season 12 of Vera and started The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher – both on BritBox.


We were up early this morning to take Lia to get her wisdom teeth out. They are growing in sideways and causing her some trouble, so she decided she wanted them out. It was a 1 hour surgery, but I was expecting it to be much longer, so I brought along Lord of the Flies to read, along with a notebook, and some other work! I was surprised when they called me back to help her get ready to go home!

Lia was quite funny coming out of anesthesia, but she’s always funny!

We got her home and settled into a chair in the living room that would become her nest for the next 3 days.

I made her some vanilla pudding so she could have some when she was ready, and I figured out her meds and got them ready as well.

The other kids handled the Friday Home Blessing chores, so I decided to take the extra free time to plan out next week’s menu. When I drove with Keian to work that afternoon, I did some shopping at the Commissary for a few things Melia needed as well as some of the ingredients for next week. I don’t usually do 2 shops in a week, but I decided since I already had the menu ready, it would be good to knock some of it out. I’ll do the rest tomorrow with Ty.

Also, Keian ran the car into the embankment at the Commissary. It knocked some of the trim loose and Ty had to fix it when he got home. Keian is usually a pretty good driver, but today…not so much.

At home, I got the 2 podcasts I recorded on my birthday ready to publish. When I record, I do the initial editing in Audacity and then put it into Dropbox to share with my 24 year old son who edits the sound. He then uploads the mp3 to Libsyn (my podcast hosting service) and I put together the show notes and the post to go with it and schedule it to publish.

It’s actually a pretty streamlined process since we’ve been doing this together since 2017 when I started the Raising Arrows® Podcast!