A menu plan to ease us into NaBloPoMo

Happy Halloween! One of our Halloween traditions includes a big pot of chili waiting for us when we get home from trick-or-treating. It also includes our friends who moved very, very far away over the summer, which means it’s possibly going to be a sad Halloween for us.

At least we still have chili.

Monday: Chili
The aforementioned chili.

Tuesday: Spanish Chicken Cutlets
Poppy picked this one out of a Cook’s Illustrated magazine a few weeks ago. I’m thrilled that she’s willing to try something new! I hope it’s a good one.

Wednesday: Out?
My dad is visiting this week, and he, Pete and I all have birthdays over the next couple of days. He’s going home before any of them happen, though, so we’ll probably go out to celebrate on Wednesday. Unless we do it another day.

Thursday: Carne Asada Tacos
This one comes from Freddie Prinze Jr.’s cookbook, which I received this week from Freddie himself. Seriously. I’ll tell you more about that next week.

Friday: Popcorn?
I’m not sure we’ll have time to eat an actual meal between soccer practice and “Dr. Strange.” So it might be dinner at the movies for us.

Tomorrow is the first of November, which means it’s the first day of National Blog Posting Month. I’m going to give it a go again this year, so you should see a lot of posts around here over the next few weeks.

Still hungry? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie for more menu plans.

This week in homeschooling: Shakespeare, spelling and civics

Every week we get to Friday and I think “We didn’t get a thing done this week!” And then I start to write this and realize that we did, in fact, get quite a bit done. Next week, however, we actually won’t get a thing done because we’ll be on Fall Break. We are all looking forward to it.

Here’s a bit of what we did this week:


We are still listening to “Little Women,” even though the kids told me they already know about “the big twist” because their cousin listens to “Little Women” constantly. I was not aware of that before I picked the book. But it’s a good book, so I stand by my decision.

Much to my chagrin, I realized today that Poppy hasn’t been reading much of anything lately. We’ll need to do something about that. Pete has been reading the “Warriors” series and a biography of Hillary Clinton that he picked out at the bookstore a few weeks ago. He really enjoys the “Who Is” biographies, if any of you are looking for something to give him for his upcoming birthday.

Language Arts

Poppy finished one level of WordlyWise 3000 this week and — once we figured out how to activate it — moved on to the next one. Pete is also continuing his WordlyWise studies. He’s also been working with a spelling tutor for the last few months. It seems to be going well, but I haven’t tested him or anything. Poppy’s work in her writing class tells me we need to start a formal spelling program with her again, too. I’m looking at Spelling Power, but I haven’t made a final decision on what we’ll use.


Rockford has been working with Poppy on her math in the evenings, and I think both the change in timing and personnel has been good for her. Pete continues to sail through his math book with just a little bit of help.


“Story of the World: Volume 4” seems to be a great leap in content and effort from Volume 3, and we were getting a little overwhelmed with it. So we’re slowing down a bit and taking two weeks for each chapter. Last week we talked about the Canadian rebellions in 1837, and this week we started learning about post-revolution France. We’ll revisit France after our fall break.


Poppy saw a performance of “Twelfth Night” this week, both kids had their usual music lessons and Pete went to chess class while I had coffee with a friend. We also had a brief Civics lesson, in the form of standing in line for an hour to vote. There wasn’t much time spent at tae kwon do this week — due to “Twelfth Night,” doctors appointments, haircuts and soreness from new braces — and Poppy only had two days of soccer practice this week rather than the customary three.

How was your week?

Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!

And a time to every carpool under Heaven

For every thing there is a season, and it is the season of Driving to Sporting Events and Other Kid Activities at our house. We spent most of the weekend dashing to and fro for Poppy’s soccer games, and today has been a whirlwind of co-op classes, orthodontist appointments and guitar lessons. And after all of the running, we still have to eat dinner.

Here’s what we’re having this week:

Monday: Pot roast
I didn’t want to make hamburgers and/or tacos for our Poppy’s Choice and Pete’s Choice nights this week, so I handed the kids a couple of issues of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and asked them to choose something new. Not surprisingly, Pete chose something meaty: Pressure-Cooker Pot Roast. I usually do pot roast in the Crock Pot, but this recipe sounds like it’ll work just fine. We’ll also be having green beans and The Best Crunchy Roast Potatoes You’ll Ever Have.

Tuesday: Fettuccine with butter and cheese
It should come as no surprise that this was Poppy’s pick. It was the simplest thing she could find.

Wednesday: Pot roast pot pie
I’d planned to make chicken pot pie this week, but then Pete requested pot roast so that plan evolved. Pot roast pot pie is the best thing about making pot roast.

Thursday: Crispy Garlic Chicken
I have not actually purchased the chicken for this one yet, so we’ll see if it actually happens.

Friday: Pizza

Still hungry? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie for more menu plans.