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But possibly off the internet. Our spring/summer schedule has been ridiculously busy!  Hopefully I’ll get caught up sometime. I have several units of FIAR to post…if I ever get the time. Ack!

Well, I did shop a lot this week, but it was all for Easter dinner we hosted at our house.  Three days of non-stop cooking and I made a HUGE amount of food, but we pretty much had to throw the budget and the record-keeping out the window.  I really didn’t do any regular shopping other than picking up a bunch of markdown baking soda and some way on markdown skirt steak at Kroger.   On the plus side, we’re going to be eating leftovers and leftovers and more leftovers this week. Here’s to keeping a better track of things next week.




Looking at our shopping from last week, even I’m kind of blown away by the amount of yogurt!  So how do we use it all up?

Go-Gurt: Autumn wanted this for freezing into “yogurt pops,” so a lot of it went straight into the freezer so she can have cold treats during the summer.  The rest is in the fridge and she’s been working through it for quick breakfasts and snacks.

Greek Parfaits: Matt and I love these and are mainly eating them for breakfasts, especially the ones that happen on the way to early morning tennis lessons or soccer games.  We also served them as part of our Easter “brunch.”  These will not last much longer.

Tub Yogurt: I use yogurt a lot for baking and cooking where I would otherwise use milk or sour cream or half and half.  It’s so versatile!  You just have to take into account what flavor profile you are looking for.  Vanilla yogurt works nicely in baked goods.  Plain can take the place of sour cream.

Creamer: Oh, and all that creamer?  Heading into the freezer! Since this is a dairy creamer where the main ingredients are cream and sugar, it may be making apperances in some homemade ice cream or baked goods as well.

So far I’ve made coffee cake for Easter, muffins, whole wheat pumpkin cranberry bread, and creamed cauliflower soup with yogurt, in addition to eating it plain or with fruit.  What are some of your favorite ways to eat yogurt?


Total for the week: 45.04. Over budget, but considering that this was a major stock-up week, I’m pretty happy with it. Most of this is calculated without tax.

This week was ALL about dairy.  We love yogurt, but we’re stocked up for a while! The Mega Event at Kroger just made it so cheap (or free) that I couldn’t resist. (There will for sure be a couple more dairy trips next week too, though, to finish out the sale.)

1st shopping trip: Annoyed that I wasn’t watching the cashier closely enough.  She missed 2.00 in coupons, but I didn’t notice it until later and it just wasn’t worth it to go back.  Should have been 4.37 with tax, but with the missed coupons total comes to: 6.37

The bread and makeup were all better-than-free after coupons, so offset the cost of the other items.  Bacon .49 per package, juice .53 cents per bottle, veggies 1.00, craisins 1.12


Farmer’s Market

Nine dollar’s worth of local organic produce from the farmer’s market included a giant bundle of collards (two whole plants), radishes, a bag of beautiful spinach, and a bundle of three swiss chard plants.  We ate the outer leaves of the chard and I’m thinking about trying to re-plant the roots and baby leaves.

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3rd trip (three different stores): 18.38

All the go-gurt, dip, and gluten free bread were free after coupons. Yogurt parfaits and tubs and shave gel .49 each.  markdown whole chicken at .85 cents per pound. Everything else normal sale price.


4th Trip: 4.92

Again, free gogurt and super cheap yogurt and shave gel.  The organic oranges were a steal at .99 per bag.


5th trip: 3.43

Free go-gurt and creamer, everything else super cheap after coupons and mega-event.


6th trip (two stores): 2.94

More free go-gurt and creamer. Cheap yogurt parfaits and tubs.


I know, a school post!  I’m in shock, too. I keep meaning to photograph and post the units we have done over the past months, but I’m not sure it is ever going to get done, so I’m starting where we are.  We do Five In A Row one book per month, so this has been our book for March. It’s a really beautiful book and I would suggest getting it even if you don’t homeschool.

Unfortunately, HomeschoolShare, our favorite place to find printable resources, has recently decided not to supply lapbook printables to go with FIAR books anymore.  So this lapbook is  a lot more “handmade.” Not really a bad thing, except that it does take a lot longer, so we don’t have as many booklets in this lapbook.

Here is our (almost finished) lapbook:


Geography: The book takes place in Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay.  We learned about bays and studied a bit about Virginia.  Matt used to live there, too – so we found where he lived on a map and then used Google maps and street view to find the house.


Language Arts: We went over vocabulary (scattered through the lapbook), read the first person narrative, made a list of first person pronouns, and learned about foreshadowing.  We also talked about the style of poetic prose and how the author used a list of opposites to finish the story.  Autumn made her own list of poetic prose contrasts.

Bible/Character Study: Obedience and responsibility. Did James 4:17 copywork.

Art: Talked about watercolors and loved examining the beautiful artwork in the book.  We discussed perspective, viewpoint, and shadows.  Autumn painted a zillion watercolors including the one on the back of the book showing perspective.  We also took a trick photo using perspective.

Math: We use a completely separate math curriculum, but took this opportunity to do some multiple-digit subtraction and learn how to calculate years.




  • World War II – This is the second unit in a row that we have done on WWII.  Next unit will also include WWII.  So we are doing a more in-depth study using “The Good Fight” by Stephen Ambrose.  We read, and then Autumn narrates back for the notecards.  We may have to make a different lapbook for this material, as it is quickly growing in quantity.
  • George M. Cohan – Since our story included “Over There” we talked about the song and the important role it played in WWI and WWII.  Autumn did copywork of the chorus. We watched the Hollywood version of Cohan’s life in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” rented from Amazon.
  • Patriotism was another topic we covered and Autumn did more copywork on The Pledge of Allegiance.



  • Horizon – We talked about the concept of the horizon and then read about how people used to think the world was flat, and various myths.
  • Shadows – Autumn traced her Dad’s shadow at different hours throughout the day to see how the size and angles change over time.
  • Oil and Water – In the story, the children wade in an oily bay, thinking no one will know, but as soon as she sees them, their grandmother knows what happened.  How? We used cooking oil, colored salt water, and plastic animals to show how the oil clings to things. Then we talked about oil spills and how rescuers clean wild animals trapped in them.







Meal Plan Thursday?

I haven’t been posting meal plans in a while, and I can’t be positive I’ll keep it up, but I’m giving it a shot. Since I’m planning our meals around what produce we have, vs. making a plan and then buying the items, I’m finding it works better to plan after the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. This is a loose plan based on what’s in the house and could change.



  • oatmeal and fruit
  • gluten free pumpkin blueberry muffins and fruit x2
  • egg & veggie casserole and fruit x2
  • yogurt parfait
  • gluten free waffles from the freezer and fruit


  • salads with protein (snack-style lunches for A) x4
  • vegetable soup x2
  • out x1


  • fruit with peanut butter
  • veggies and dip
  • marinated salad
  • yogurt and berries
  • juice or smoothies


  • crustless veggie quiche, turkey bacon, fruit salad, rolls
  • whole wheat (or GF for A) pizza with swiss chard, balsamic onions, turkey bacon and a marinated vegetable salad
  • beef, bean, and vegetable burritos with all the fixings (make extra for freezer) and homemade baked jalepeno poppers
  • Korean dumpling and rice cake soup with homemade kimchi
  • vegetarian quesadillas with all the fixings
  • collard green dip with veggie dippers, tortilla chips
  • out x1

We have a camera in the house again, so I’m trying to get back on track. As mentioned before, our budget through Lent (at least) had to go up to 40.00 per week. We are going through a huge amount of produce. Thing is, we may need to keep the budget there….we’re liking the changes! Here’s the week. I didn’t keep track of my receipts very well, so this is all without taxes.  Total for the week: 37.73


Huge bundle of mustard greens and spring onions at the farmer’s market: 3.00.


Love it when these giant tubs of organic greens go on markdown! Bananas were on markdown as well, and the sorbets worked out to .12 cents each after coupon. Eggs for 1.12 a dozen.  Total: 12.83


Splurged on organic apples.  This photo: 6.37


First time in my life I have ever purchased chicken backs.  They were super cheap and are currently in my great big stock pot on the stove turning into some yummy broth. The tuna salad was way on markdown and the sodas were only in here because they helped lower the overall cost after coupons. The truvia is here for the same reason. Spent more than usual to get Autumn some GF pizza crusts and bagels, but she will really appreciate them.  Total here: 12.53

This is not part of my regular grocery shopping, but butter was way on sale this week and I’m helping with some major cookie baking soon.  I went ahead and bought it while it was on sale.  Two of the packages are for us and the rest are for that project. Total grocery: 3.00.  Total for cookies: 15.00

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Obviously, haven’t been keeping up with anything on here. A couple viruses running through our house and a non-working camera have greatly contributed to the problem. Hoping to get back on track this week.

Sooooo…changes in the works.  Definitely having to up the budget for Lent! We are not Catholic and our church doesn’t make a point of the season, but we’ve found giving things up to be a really helpful exercise.  Every year looks different and this year is no exception.  I guess really this isn’t a pantry challenge right now, since we are NOT using up what’s in the pantry, but focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. And a LOT of them.  Believe it or not, we’re just about out of produce after buying all of this over the course of the week.

Besides produce, I picked up a few items to make a dish for a party, a gallon of milk, free GF bread, and free (after store credit) chips for the party and to eat on Fat Tuesday. ;-)


First – Eight dollars worth of fresh veggies from the farmer’s market.  It was all local!  The tomatoes and peppers were grown in a hoop house – they were delicious. :-)


Next – the above two photos came in at about twenty-six dollars.  Got really good deals, but all this produce adds up!


Third – Markdown bananas, potatoes, and onions for 2.66.


FREE chips and dip.

Total: about 37.00.  I want to try to keep our budget around 40.00 per week during Lent, but I’m not sure if I can do it.  My goal is to spend at least 75% of that on fruits and veggies.


Finally broke down and bought butter this week.  We’ve only been without it for a month – lol! We also bought a LOT of produce.  Matt got a juicing machine and we’ve been playing with it.  I’ve been really surprised by how much I have liked the results, but it goes through a huge amount of veggies and fruits. I also picked up a bunch of half&half to try out my new ice cream maker. I know, I know: super healthy vs. super unhealthy.  Oh well.

Free items this week: pudding (money maker), marshmallow bits (will be going on valentines treats), guacamole/salsa, bread (need to drop at food pantry), grapefruit juice, protein bars, breakfast bowl, cream (paid with catalina)


Trip #1  Total: 3.67+tax


Trips #2 and #3 Total: 16.06+tax, after rebate


Trip #4 Total: free (paid with catalina coupon)


Trip #5 Total: 1.56+tax

Total for the week: 21.29  Taking that into account, that leaves me still about 13.00 over budget for the last five weeks.  I think we’ll probably have to increase the budget, as we’re looking at making some major changes as we head into Lent.


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