Menu Plan Monday and the return of the Sloppy Joe

On Friday some friends came over and we listened to Dean Martin and his ilk (thanks Pandora) and talked about our day and ate spaghetti and meatballs, warm bread, fancy salad and a variety of fudge on the back porch — by candlelight because we discovered belatedly that the lightbulbs outside had all gone out. The kids ran around until it got so dark that we couldn’t see them, and then they ran around for awhile longer before we sent them inside. Our first Friday Night Meatball dinner was lovely. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

The rest of the weekend featured a couple of soccer games, more beautiful weather, some planning for today’s co-op class and a couple of trips to Target. Not so shabby.

We’ll be having meatball subs for lunch a few times this week; Rockford’s not too upset about that. Here’s what we’ll be having for dinner:

Monday: Poppyseed chicken casserole
We were supposed to have this last Thursday, but I think we ended up going out instead.

Tuesday: Sloppy Joes
I believe we’re expecting some Sloppy Joe weather this week.

Wednesday: Festival of Leftovers
Will there still be meatballs?!?! Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion. (I probably/possibly will not actually update you on the meatballs again next week.)

Thursday: Pizza
Well, we’ll be ordering pizza for Pete and Poppy and the in-laws. Rockford and I will probably be eating at Subway before our 19th Wilco concert.

Friday: Out

I’m linking this up with’s weekly Menu Plan Monday thing.

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This week in homeschooling: Mad dashes and rainy days.

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by Ingrid Dijkers

Ingrid Dijkers collage

Holy Monday, Batfriends. It started out innocently enough, with the kids starting their newest memory work — “Hope” by Emily Dickinson for Poppy and “Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost for Pete — and Poppy working on the last section of her “Borrowers” study, and then we were off to co-op.

“Star Wars”/Astronomy class was all “Star Wars” this week. I printed a set of DIY “Story Cubes” for each kid, using images from “Star Wars” coloring books on a cube template. I gave each kid a different cube from the set to color, and then we assembled them and spent the rest of the time taking turns with the story-telling. It was great once everyone’s cube was finished, but I’m still trying to figure out how to balance the kids who finish very quickly (and then go kind of wild) with the ones who are more deliberate in their work. Maybe that’s a skill you learn when you get a teaching degree. Professional teachers, your input would be welcome.

But even the co-op craziness wasn’t the whoa part of the day. That came when Rockford texted from the doctors office at 3:15 to say he was still in the waiting room. He’d been waiting for his scheduled appointment for an hour and a half, and he had to be at the airport no later than 4:15. And his suitcase was at home. So the kids and I piled back into the car and hauled his suitcase across town, and Rockford made it to his plane in the nick of time.

By that time it was only 45 minutes until Pete’s soccer practice, so we went straight to the park and spent the time hitting the tennis ball and playing on the playground until practice started, and then it was the longest practice ever practiced and we were all very very hungry afterward so we stopped at Sonic and they were s l o w and then we got home and still had grammar left to do but Pete was so tired and crabby he had to go to bed early and so on Tuesday we did an extra page of grammar.

The End. Of Monday. Which was a very long day indeed.

Oh, and we also started reading “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.” I was one of my favorites when I was wee. I’ve been waiting to read it with them, because it’s kind of intense. Hopefully they’ll be OK with it.


It rained all day on Tuesday. It rained so much that it flooded the soccer fields, so Poppy’s soccer practice was canceled. It rained and rained and rained, and I blame our very late start on Tuesday on the gray grayness.

We didn’t start school until 10:30 Tuesday morning. The kids did their chores and tae kwon do, and we read “Mrs. Frisby,” worked on handwriting and started “Sentence Island.” Pete finished his math and spelling, but Poppy ended up not getting everything done because one of her soccer-carpool friends came over to play for most of the afternoon.


We worked on the kids’ memorization and history and a few other language-arts things before the kids’ art class. After art, Pete was very, very grumpy. He’s still a few days ahead of Poppy in attendance (because of a science-y summer camp), so I let him take the afternoon off.


We actually started on time yesterday! And we made great progress all morning. The kids did their handwriting while I read two chapters of “Mrs. Frisby” to them, and then we practiced their memory work and analyzed one sentence in “Practice Island.” After a short break — during which Pete played with his castle and knights and Poppy started making a friendship bracelet — Pete and I worked on spelling while Poppy knocked out her vocabulary, wrote a review of “The Borrowers” and did her reading comprehension.

After lunch and a piano lesson, the kids each did a math lesson and Poppy worked on “Writing Strands.” Today’s lesson asked her to improve a sentence she’d previously written by adding detail to it. “Writing Strands” is supposed to be largely student-directed, but I really wanted her to work on a sentence from the review she’d written earlier. And thus

The main character is Arrietty.


The main character is a curious 10-year-old girl named Arrietty.

That’s a considerable improvement.

The kids were finished with their schoolwork by 1pm, so they had a nice break before tae kwon do and Poppy’s soccer practice.


Tonight we’re having several people over for dinner, so as of 1:30pm schoolwork has taken a backseat as I clean the house and go to Sam’s Club and take the cat to the vet. (The vet is unrelated to dinner.)

How’s your week been?

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