Soup, soap, sticks, and sundry somethings

posted in: actual | 10


~ 1 ~

One interesting thing that I have found after a number of years of homeschooling on 6-week terms is how much pressure it takes off the early weeks. Schooling in July feels like bonus time. We get a groove with our basics and iron out the kinks. Then new stuff starts as we enter our second term and we get another opportunity to step back, evaluate, and change up what didn’t work out the way I envisioned.

So, over the weekend I totally changed up my own teacher checklist because it was just not flowing for me. This one seems to work much better. I have a section for the me-led lessons of the day at the top, then a section for stuff I need to make sure each kid does, grouped by kid rather than by subject. Then at the bottom are the independent weekly items that I need to check in with by Friday to make sure they’re happening. It’s a trick getting it all on one page, but I managed.

I’ve also decided that a purple flair pen is my favorite for filling in check marks, and I like filling in circles standardized-test style rather than making checks. It looks neat and clean as I go along making the empty bubbles purple.

Whatever it takes. Go with the little happies.

Related post: 5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Use Checklists

Weekly Wrap-Up
[alpine-phototile-for-instagram id=761 user=”mystiewinckler” src=”user_recent” imgl=”instagram” dl=”1″ dltext=”Follow our homeschool days on Instagram!” style=”cascade” col=”3″ size=”M” num=”9″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ curve=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]


~ 2 ~

pretty * happy * funny * real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

round button chicken

I took a meal to a family this week. Doesn’t it look all nice and packaged up ready to go? Brandy pesters me off and on about writing up tips for taking people meals, but my decision not to do so was confirmed this week.

  • I spilled the soup (hot broth through the not-actually sealed foil) on myself while getting it into the car. I changed, so I was later than I said I’d be.
  • When I made the turn into the neighborhood, I saw broth spilling out of the corner of the box like a little water fountain.
  • I have an inside source for foil pans. One lady at church buys frozen meals and hates to throw things away, so she gives me her foil pans. I use them for taking meals to people, because if you need a meal, you don’t need to be washing and keeping track of other people’s dishes.

Thankfully, the bread was on top of the foil disaster, so it did not get wet. It was all still fine when I got there – I just left the box in my car. I thought I was taking chicken soup, but it was more of a chicken veggie medley casserole by the time they got it.

All the better for topping with sour cream.


~ 3 ~

I bought some Third Day Naturals Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil soap for my son to use for face washing. He’s been using it for a week now, which is better than the oil-cleansing-method stuff that just sat on the bathroom counter untouched.

I use the oil-cleansing method. I first read about it on The Art of Simple and decided to try it out because I’ve never found a face cleanser I liked. I’m not sure why exactly, but I do like this method. It’s good, but it’s no miracle – I still get blemishes. I like the face-steaming step. It’s simple, not messy or drippy, and it’s the perfect end-of-day relaxing practice.

I was going to link the oils to Amazon, but all of them are way more expensive. I just get mine from the pharmacy section at WalMart and I use the same olive oil I cook with. Not organic, nothing special, but it works.

Anyway, my 12-year-old son did not agree and had opted for returning to doing nothing. I didn’t think this was a good option. He countered with asking if I could do anything about the smell of the tea tree oil. So then I thought to ask Sarah, from Third Day Naturals, who is a reader here, what she’d recommend and she confirmed that the peppermint-tea-tree-oil soap would be great for face washing.

He has an easier time using bar soap and the peppermint completely overpowers the tea tree oil. And it seems to be working well, too.

Like so many things in life, of course, what’s going to work best is what you’ll do. Finding out what you’ll do can take some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort.


~ 4 ~

We had a Women of Grace meeting last night, and I dropped the ball on arranging refreshments. Being chair pretty much means “send in announcements,” “lead meetings,” and “fill in anywhere you don’t get volunteers.” So, I brought treats to the meeting:

  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • melon
  • Ghiradelli squares
  • Dove chocolate-covered cherries

Pretty easy and delicious.

I thought I’d share a few “women’s ministry coordinating” tips I’ve learned in the last 5 or so years I’ve been chair.

We’ll call it Simplified Women’s Ministry:

  • Announcements for annual events can be written once, then each year just change the dates.
  • Send in all the bulletin announcements for an event in a batch at once.
  • Same for handouts, invitations, and sign-ups: Just make one, then change the dates each year.
  • Use Google forms for an online annual sign-up option – the submissions automatically get put into a spreadsheet, which makes it easy to share volunteers with the right coordinators.
  • Google forms can be copied, too – so each year I copy the document, change the dates, and we’re set to go again.
  • Conduct “board meetings” by email and that only when there’s actually business.

We have a great body full of helpers, which makes being in charge (that is, finding & coordinating volunteers and delegating jobs) much easier and less stressful.


~ 5 ~

Allison Burr of Truth Beauty Goodness launched The Straight Stick podcast this week. The theme quote for the podcast is from Tozer:

The best way to prove that a stick is crooked is to set a straight one beside it. No words need to be spoken.

Isn’t that an awesome quote? It’s great. And, it also makes me giggle as a podcast theme quote.

I’m looking forward to these short episodes to spur us on to faithful family life!

Today is also the launch day of Melody, Mystery, and Mayhem, the Burr’s newest podcast for the whole family.

I hear Allison is stopping at three podcasts, but she appears unstoppable. :)


~ 6 ~

I’ve been wrapping up the production of Work the Plan – launching Tuesday!

As a fun extra to the webinar I did last week on Paper v. Digital Planning, I made a quiz that will tell you if you’re a paper person, a digital planner, or if a combo would work best: Paper v. Digital Quiz.


~ 7 ~

Ilse has taken a shining to Mr. Putter, of which I heartily approve. It’s right at her level, not challenging, but not easy, and she enjoys reading them (aloud) over and over again. She’s our current car audio book, and I think it’s time to swap her library material, before the whole car just joins in the story because we all have it memorized.

But Mr. Putter is great. I love Cynthia Rylant, and every time I have a budding reader, I am so grateful for her!

10 Responses

  1. Allison
    |

    Hah! Unstoppable isn’t exactly the way we would describe things around here. :) More like: my plate is full, with no open spots coming open in the near future!

  2. dawn
    |

    Food is always good for blogging :) Everything looks beautiful and yummy. Your quiz, unsurprisingly, told me I am a hybrid person when it comes to planning … digital and written :)

    I wish I could enlarge your schedule forms.

    • Heather
      |

      Yes!!! Can you share your teacher checklist? I’d like to be able to see it better? :) I’m a hybrid too- paper & digital make a lovely combo! ❤️

      • Mystie Winckler
        |

        I’ll post all my lists in a post next Monday. :)

  3. Eva
    |

    We love Mr. Putter and Tabby! I think it is time to collect them for grandkids….

  4. Rhoda
    |

    Just took the paper/digital quiz. Ended up digital–really?? I like to think of myself as preferring the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder, although give me a light bulb in my covered wagon! I do have to say that several of the answers I answered differently than I wanted because the options were extremes–nothing middle of the road which would have been more realistic for me. Anyways, it was fun to take and very surprising in the end. Maybe there is hope for me to learn how to actually use the smart phone I just switched over to. (Miss my dumb phone!)

    • Mystie Winckler
      |

      The quiz plugin that I found would only let me write right/wrong answers, so I couldn’t distribute points in different values. Hence, I had to write to the more extremes. :)

  5. Amber Brown
    |

    We also love Mr. Putter!

    I would love to see your new personal checklist for school! Could you post a photo?

    Thanks for sharing your week!

    Amber B.

    • Mystie Winckler
      |

      I will definitely be posting about that – everyone seems to be asking! I’ll put it on the schedule for next Monday. :)

  6. Elly_L
    |

    What a great thing to have a supply of foil dishes! My mom’s secret for carrying soup to people is to keep pickle jars and lids – they are good sized, especially the large one’s, they come with lids, and you have no desire to get them back! But,I have found to my dismay that if they happen to capsize in the car, they do leak.