What a Week!

I had a crazy week this week.

First off on Monday three of my families were going to be gone for the day because of President’s Day.  I ended up taking the day off and thought I would get lot done…I didn’t.  I did enjoy the day and I did get a few things done but lots?  Nope.  That’s okay.  I had fun and that’s important too.

The weather here had been fascinating.  Honest.  Completely fascinating.  When in February in Iowa do parents let their kids outside with short sleeves and no coat at all??  NEVER.  Well that’s what we did most of the beginning of the week.  The weather was amazing.  Which is what is going to make this snow storm/blizzard we are experiencing now so much worse.  We got teased into believing spring was around the corner.

Here’s Carver outside with no coat in February.


Just before we were going to take him in I thought I better snap a picture quick and mark the weather history.

Today…it’s more like this…We’re expecting LOTS of snow….high winds.  We are just on the edge of the blizzard area…

…but got only two inches of snow and then rain.  There was freezing rain so school was cancelled.

From summer to winter all in a day or two…that’s Iowa for you!

Neighbor Girl has been coming every day before and after school now….usually one day on the weekend too.  We’re still hanging out and having fun.  She ends up eating here often as Mom works late a couple days a week.
Here I was teaching her how to make baking powder biscuits from scratch.

More and more she’s one of us and we are totally fine with that.

She wanted tacos one night so we made homemade tortillas.

This is the first one she rolled.  Not bad at all for a first try to make a circle!  Hubby told me she was better at it than I was at first.  That’s true.   My first attempts looked more like the shape of Florida.

With the summery days at the beginning of the week we asked her about a bike…her’s needed repair.  Hubby gave it a try but the tire is an odd size and her seat is ruined.

We talked with mom and then together we opted to put some money together and help her get a new one.  The new one is fun bright fuchsia color with lime green.  She’s in love.  We can’t wait for warm weather to be back so she can get out and ride.

On a side note, if anyone know tricks on how to get kids to memorize their multiplication facts faster, please send them my way.

Connie and her son Dan came for a quick stop on Wednesday.  It was great and sad all at the same time.  They had a schedule to keep and wanted to get back before it got really late.  Connie had found the pedal fire truck on a for sale site and picked it up for Hubby..and she delivered it…WOW.


He loves all things fire truck toy related so he was really happy to see this for sure.

I was able to give Connie a couple boxes of men’s shirts that I’ve been collecting for her…what a great relief to have that to it’s new home!

It was a busy week….busy…but good.

17 thoughts on “What a Week!”

  1. I can relate about Spring teasing you. We had tons of snow everywhere and then suddenly we had unseasonably warm weather in the 50s and just about all the snow disappeared over the two weeks of warmer weather. Well, winter came back with a vengeance and we now have 10 inches of snow and colder temps again!

  2. Oh, Jo, it warms my heart to see the love and caring you have for neighbor girl. Hope her family stays nearby for a loooooonng time. What memories she will have to look back on. God Bless You!

  3. Wow! You are such awesome neighbors! I’m tempted to move closer. :-) I think that’s awesome you help a young gal cook and show her things. There are so many broken families where the kids get lost in the shuffle.

    There are lots of different software games online to help with memorization. I can’t remember what I had my boys use…if I remember later, I will send you an email. I have some things done with legos and dominos, too. Again, maybe do a search.

    You were lucky on the blizzard, between the ice and the snow…we couldn’t get out. I called a couple of families with teenage boys to see if someone could help me…before I removed a screen and sent my son thru the window. He finally got a door open far enough to squeeze out and get the snow moved out from around the doors.

  4. Ok I must admit that Fire Truck car is super cute. I love that you two tried to fix her bike and then just worked it out to get her a new one. Glad to hear that you had some nice weather before the blizzard hit, just stay home when its that bad and hunker down for a few days. Stay warm

  5. Your weather is headed toward us here in Michigan. The balmy weather was nice while it lasted! My grandson’s school uses an online program called XtraMath that he can access at home to practice addition, subtraction and multiplication. Looking forward to the fireman quilt.

  6. My husband would drill my daughter and her friend as he walked them to and from school. Maybe walk Ruby and practice them?

  7. Multiplication facts–do you know the 9’s trick with fingers? Good old flash cards work. There is also a pretty good website freerice.com it mixes up the facts and for each answer they get right rice is donated to the World Hunger Programme. Kids do not need to set up an account. Those are some things I recommend to my students.

  8. Janelle Merillat

    I LOVE to read what you’re up to every day! Thank you for inviting us in! Legos are AWESOME for teaching Multiplication!! Ex. use 3 of the blocks with the 4 pins/dots, whatever you want to call them. =12! This makes the math more tangible! Use 2 blocks with 6 pins/dots=12! Get it? My kids LOVED playing this way!

  9. What a gift you are giving “neighbor girl”. She will remember this all her life. And you are such a role model to those of us reading about it as well.

  10. One of my granddaughters was terrible at memorizing numbers (like counting 1-100) and the alphabet so when she was learning her multiplication facts/table it was difficult. This child was both competitive and motivated by prizes, her sister is 18 months younger and knew her multiplation facts very well. So I’d hAve the older one who needed help go through 3’s or 5’5 or whatever and if she did them all correctly she got to pick a prize from a bucket of dollar store type stuff if she failed her sister got a chance on the same numbers. I’d allow the older one a chance to “study” the times numbers she missed and go again.
    I am the grandma and I bent my rules as necessary so each one got a prize and she did learn or memorize the times table the prizes where duct tape books pencils and cards sun glasses balls just a bunch of stuff
    Then she needed to figure out 6×7= 42
    On her sheet as a random fact rather than in the series 6×1, 6×2,6×3 etc
    Of course I used old fashioned as I did not have computers but if there are fun ways to learn the math facts with new techno go for it
    It doesn’t matter how she learns as long as she learns and learns to enjoy learning
    Math and reading I think are very important as well as music if at all possible
    Of course you can do math as you cook and sew

  11. Lorraine Bujnowski

    What a cute fire truck! Your little neighbor girl is a gem and you are such a mentor to her. It is so good to see her be interested in all that you do. As for multiplication facts, I remember as a student having to write them out. When I’ve told teacher friends of mine how I hated writing those sets of multiplication facts they all say that the writing of the facts is helpful in the learning process. Th visualization helps if she is a visual learner. You might have her try that.

  12. I was looking for a Chrome app just yesterday to help with a couple of my students who are lacking in their multiplication facts. I found XtaMath. I played around with it last night and then again this morning. I like it because it gives immediate feedback for right and wrong answers as well as giving them the correct answer when they get it wrong. There’s also a way to track progress. If you have internet access and your neighbor girl loves computer related learning, this may be the way to go. Here’s the link: https://xtramath.org/#/home/index. I hope this helps.

  13. For multiplication facts my kids have always enjoyed a simple jumping game. I put Flashcards on the ground in a trail with a bit of space between. The object is to say the answer to the fact and then jump to the next card and say the answer to that one. They hop to one side of the cards and I time them. If they miss the answer I sometimes have them start over . The jumping gives them exercise as they hop and every time I do this with my youngest I have the older siblings join in and want to see how fast they can hop through the facts.

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