Friday Five: End-of-Year Itch, Mom’s Day Out, and Preschool Years

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Featuring frivolity with friends

1) follow-through 2) ‘fore & aft 3) freebie 4) FAQ & 5) favorite fiction


~ follow-through ~

Weekly Wrap-Up

homeschool snapshot

Oh my goodness. The home stretch of the school year is rough. We are all ready to be done. We just need to wrap up loose ends. The house is fraying at the seams.

One more week, then testing, then we’re off! We can do it. I am looking forward to our June break, but it is already looking short. :)

However, I had a mom’s day out last Saturday with my former college roommate and still good friend, Elly. We spent the day walking and chatting and drinking and eating (and taking about 50 flights of stairs – I should have gotten a picture of that!).


~ ‘fore & aft ~

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Cleaning the stovetop is frustrating to me. I don’t like glass top ranges, but I had finally built in the habit of wiping it off right away when I had a spill and cleaning it regularly. I felt like I was pretty on top of the stovetop at last. Then we moved and I had a gas range. As far as cooking goes, it’s so much better – faster, hotter, easier to control. But when it comes to cleaning it is impossible. Because of the deep, long grates, wiping spills down right away is just not feasible.

Or is it? Can anyone tell me some super stovetop secret? What am I missing?

Oops, again I’m missing the after. There actually was a sparkling after when I finally wiped up the last of the baking soda and vinegar Pinterest-inspired “solution.”

But then the next morning a child made oatmeal for breakfast.

real life

Being able to get more steps outside while the kids do breakfast on their own?

Worth it.


~ freebie ~

It’s time for another fun, free planning chat! This time Amy Roberts from Raising Arrows will be joining me on May 16 at 1pm Pacific – and I hope you can join also!

We’ll talk large family logistics as well as attitude adjustments and planning rest into the schedule. She’s currently expecting #9, so she has a wealth of experience and information on these topics. If you’ve not met Amy before, check out her podcast interviews on Cultivating the Lovely and Homeschool Snapshots.

Click the button to register and join us (or at least get the replay):

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May 16, 2016
1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern

Register for free:

Join us!


~ FAQ ~

I received yet another question about year-round homeschooling – who knew that concept would generate so much angst? :) I love the rhythm, but it’s not a cure-all or a magical solution. It’s not right for everyone.

This question is from a mom with all 6-and-unders.

I was so excited to try your 6 weeks on, then break week plan, but that doesn’t really make sense anymore. I feel like I’ve lost a bit of direction suddenly. I thought to myself “I wonder how Mystie would plan if she was in my position?” So I thought I’d just ask you! What would you do? I feel like this is a golden opportunity to get into some good habits (for myself and the children) but I can’t nail anything down. I feel weirdly aimless, even though I know in my head this is good, fruitful work. Sitting on the steps while my kids play in the garden, or reading picture books somehow feels less important than a Maths lesson. ;-)

Oh, but it isn’t. :) Instead of thinking about school calendars and curriculums, think about habits with the term-system. I do this even for myself and call it Interval Planning. I think planning and working in short chunks helps clarify that weirdly aimless feeling, which I am familiar with and which I detest. :)

Read about interval planning here.


~ favorite fiction ~

I finished Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. It was a great story, a well-written history-disguised-as-fiction story. However, it was a tough pill for me to swallow. I love Shakespeare’s Richard III, I love the Tudor period in England, and I have read all about the Henry and Richard sagas over the years. I have even, a number of times, tried to dig into and comprehend The War of the Roses. (I’m not sure comprehension is really possible there).

Tey makes a fascinating case that Richard was falsely accused and given all the bad press after his death, but was loved and a perfect model of (legitimate) kingship during his short reign.

A number of years ago I read Allison Weir’s The Princes in the Tower. I don’t remember any details, but she examined the historical records (like the account books and all that which Tey claims her characters are researching) and the cases made by the Richard Rehabilitation crowds and came to the verdict that Richard was most likely guilty.

After reading this novel I want to revisit her non-fiction again and see if she specifically addresses any of the supposed evidence proposed in the novel.

Any Anglophiles here? What’s your take on Richard III?

6 Responses

  1. I have to say that I found Tey fairly convincing. Have you seen this site:
    http://www.richardiii.net/

    It’s not like they’re unbiased, but no one is really. ;) I love that such an old case is still fascinating us all these years later.

  2. Annie
    |

    My whole philosophy about cleaning is to find the best cleaner for the job that allows for the least amount of elbow grease. On a normal mess, a normal cleaner works just fine. I don’t like using dish soap because it is so hard to completely rinse off. I have found that Krud Kutter (purchased at Lowe’s) is great for all the baked on crud (usually caused by children cooking). It comes very concentrated, so you can dilute it a bit on a wet cloth or in a spray bottle, but it cleans up all the mess without a lot of agonizing scrubbing. My realtor recommended it to me 3 moves ago and I cannot praise it enough. And then about twice a year, I do the baking soda / vinegar treatment. But that is also a huge mess to clean up!

    • Mystie Winckler
      |

      I will have to look for that cleaner! I really should also clean my oven. :)

  3. Joni
    |

    Ok – I must pop in to tell you I’m on the Richard III is innocent side. It all came after reading Sharon Kay Penman’s The Sunne in Splendor. She is an excellent writer and reaearcher. Highly recommend! And if it doesn’t change your mind, it will definitely give you something to think about!

    • Mystie Winckler
      |

      Interesting! I will have to look into that book also. I love the time period and the English monarchy (Tudor and before, that is; I lose interest after the Stuarts).

  4. Brandy Vencel
    |

    You read Tey! She was very convincing to me, as well. One thing that I’d missed in other accounts I’d read were motivations for any other main character, you know? Turns out, there ARE some. ;)