Week Ending 9-3-23: Calpurnia Tate Activities, Ducklings, Projects, Andy’s Baptism

by Marcie
family at a baptism


kids watching ducklings swim in a tub of water

Giving the ducklings their first bath/swim. All the kids were so excited to watch Alexis take care of them.

a week old duckling

One of the ducklings named Bumblebee.

4 ducklings walking on grass

The four ducklings running around. I love taking both them and the 8 chicks outside and watching them run around (which they can’t do in a box inside), scratch, peck, and climb on things.

ducklings and chicks playing on the grass
a 11 year old playing violin on the porch

Makenna practicing her violin while watching the chicks. This summer the 5 little kids got a scholarship for a 4 day music summer camp. The teacher saw promise in Makenna and gave her a violin from his own collection. For free! So now she is busy teaching herself to play. My kids are all self-taught musicians so I know Makenna will excel as well.

3 kids sleeping in sleeping bags on the living room floor

A friend gave Tilly that sleeping bag and pillow in a bag of hand-me-downs so she, Sam, and Andy played “camping” all day. They packed bags and food, got in the car, sat in there for awhile reading books while “driving” to the campsite, got out, came inside, declared this a perfect campsite, and settled in. I love watching my kids play like this and reliving memories of all my kids being this imaginative. I’m sad my youngest are 6, 7, and 9 and may not play like this for much longer.


We’ve been reading “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” and doing things she did in her book. It’s so fun! I love historical fiction. One of the things Calpurnia mentions is at the fair the girls of the town brought picnic baskets of food and the boy who bid highest on it won it, found out who it belonged to, and ate the lunch with her. So we did that! The 3 girls made picnic baskets of food, the 3 boys bid on them, then they all ate lunch with their date. We all had a great and memorable time.

Talea packed chicken nuggets (aka fried chicken, haha) in foil, lettuce, fruit cups, juice boxes, and jelly beans.

Makenna packed a chili cheese dip she made with fritos, fruit cups and glasses of milk.

Kaitlyn packed leftover pasta, Hot Pockets, carrots, and grapes.

So they weren’t exactly 1899 foods or even from scratch but 1.) we only thought to do it as we started getting lunch so we didn’t have time to make fried chicken or cornbread. And 2.) The girls were trying to find things the boys would most likely bid on so they picked processed foods we don’t normally eat or have on hand, but whatever! It was still a super fun activity.

girl auctioning off 3 picnic baskets of food

Alexis was a fantastic auctioneer!

3 boys bidding on 3 picnic baskets of food like in Calpurnia Tate

The three boys had bags of money: 5 little Twix bars each that they could use to bid on the food. So the auctioneer was saying, “Do I hear 3 twixes, 3 twixes, anyone want this delicious fried chicken lunch for 3 twixes, 3 twixes?” The boys didn’t know what was in the other baskets until Alexis removed the towel and started the bidding, so that made it extra fun.

3 girls waiting for boys to bid on their picnic lunches like in Calpurnia Tate

The 3 girls watch the auctioneer and their baskets in hopes of a high bidder and compliments on their cooking.

boy and girl share a picnic lunch

Samuel won Talea’s basket.

boy and girl share a picnic lunch

Anderson won Kaitlyn’s basket.

boy and girl share a picnic lunch

Thomas won Makenna’s basket.

boy and girl share a container of pasta
kids eating lunch on the porch

I loved watching them eat in pairs, pretend to be in 1899, and happily eat and chat.

By the way, I have a whole novel study for sale with vocabulary words, projects, activities, food to make and more for Calpurnia Tate. Buy it here!

kids playing the candy bar game around the table

After dinner we played the candy bar game. When you roll doubles you put on hat, coat, scarf, and gloves and try to cut open a Hershey bar with a knife and fork and eat a piece before the next person gets doubles.

kids drawing silly people around the table

Then we drew silly people. It’s a game where everyone draws a head on a piece of paper then folds it over and passes it on. The next person draws the torso without looking at the head. He folds it over and passes it on. Then everyone draws the legs. Then we open them up and see the silly people that were drawn.


milking a jersey cow

Kaitlyn milking while we get started fixing our driveway which washed away during a downpour where we got 6″ of rain. We had huge ruts and one portion the whole left side was washed away. We used rakes and shovels to move dirt and gravel to try to fill it in better. Didn’t do a great job but I really enjoyed it. We worked until lunch then called it quits. Alexis was fun to work with as she goofed off, danced with the rake and then did the American Gothic pose.

sunset on a golf course

While the teens had a swim activity at a country club, the little kids and I played on the golf course. They played dragons and I walked and read and worked on lesson plans. The sunset was beautiful!


4 ducklings

Ducklings already getting bigger.

two kids doing math at the table

Besides all the fun activities, nature school, and field trips we do, my favorite homeschooling moments are helping my kids with school while doing ordinary homemaking tasks. I love cutting up veggies for the freezer, grinding wheat, making butter, washing and freezing blueberries, sprouting grains, etc. This day the little boys were pilots as they did math. I loved the way they radioed to each other their math problems: silly problems, names in the stories, or ones they thought were fun. Then they’d pick up their cardboard controllers and steer the plane as they turned the page. They are so much fun to homeschool!

kids cleaning out a shed

After school we cleaned out the doll shed. Amongst all the doll stuff there were lots and lots of cardboard creations that got thrown in there when cleaning bedrooms. Cardboard refrigerators, trains, pizza ovens, and so much more.

corner of a doll shed with doll stuff

The doll shed looking better!

Friday: Anderson’s Birthday!

kids and mom wearing farm themed glasses

Sporting our farm glasses we got with a free farm party supply pack.

boy blowing out his candles on his 8th birthday

Anderson turns 8!! He’s almost as tall as Samuel who will be 10 at the end of October and everyone thinks they are twins even though they are 22 months apart and other kids are closer. Samuel has lost a lot more teeth (more than Makenna even) and Andy has only lost 3 on the bottom. Only a few of my kids have lost their top teeth by their 8th birthday.

family eating birthday cake around the table

Andy’s birthday lunch. Everyone having a great day, excited for Kylie’s arrival and Andy’s baptism.

sisters looking at chickens together

Yay! Kylie is here. First order of business is to show her the ducklings and chicks. We haven’t seen her since Christmas and miss her so much. She did winter and spring semesters at BYU then went to Brazil for summer semester. For fall she’s going to London. So she’s doing school year round but getting to travel with BYU and having a great time. Still as sweet as ever.

boy holding a collage of pictures

The picture collage I made for Andy’s baptism.

family at a baptism

Thomas baptized Andy and the whole baptism was super sweet. Kaitlyn played the piano. Alexis conducted the music. Thomas and Alexis sang a beautiful duet, “If The Savior Stood Beside Me.” Kylie and Makenna gave talks. Talea and Samuel said prayers. We had good food and special friends to celebrate Anderson joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

kids eating refreshments on the floor at a church baptism

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