Words of the Year 2018 – Simplify & Joy

So for the last several years, I have picked a word or words of the year.  This year I picked two words thanks to the help of a tool from Dayspring.  The first word I selected is “Simplify”. I want to simplify our home, our routines, and our belongings.

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The second word I have selected is “joy”.  I want to find joy in our family, my everyday tasks, and in my spiritual walk.

I plan on sharing more about my words during the year.  Have you selected a word of the year?  If you have, I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read words that other members of the Home School Review Crew have selected, click here or on the graphic below.

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Tasty Tuesdays – Oriental Food

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Today I am starting something new on the blog – Tasty Tuesdays, where I will share some of our favorite foods along with some recipes occasionally.  For this first installment, I am going to share some of our favorite oriental food.

Over the weekend, our daughter stated she wanted to have teriyaki chicken on a stick.  So being the dutiful mother I am, I immediately went online to find a recipe for Chicken Teriyaki.  I found a recipe and we bought a family pack of chicken tenders to use.  Of course, when we got home I discovered we did not have any teriyaki sauce.  So again, I went online to see if I could find a recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce.  I had all the ingredients so I whisked up a batch and started marinating the chicken. Then yesterday, we started the rest of the preparations. Here is the chicken on the skewers we were going to cook them on in the broiler.

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One of the other things my husband and I were really wanting to eat was egg rolls.  So a month or so ago, when we were in the commissary, we bought egg roll wrappers.  We used bacon, shredded some cabbage and thinly sliced carrots to put in them.  We took some flour and water to make a paste to seal them.  I wrapped them and my husband did an amazing job of flying them.  They turned out delicious.

We also took cabbage that was finely chopped and diced some onion and stir-fried it as well with some soy sauce.  We also took onions that were thinly sliced and sliced some zucchini and stir-fried it to make what our favorite Japanese Steak House in Jacksonville, North Carolina calls Japanese french fries.  Both of these dishes also turned out amazing.

Finally, we made stir-fried rice with rice, onions, carrots, garden peas, and scrambled eggs along with soy sauce.  We used three cups of rice, one bag of garden peas and approximately 3 carrots.  This also turned out amazing.

We used teriyaki sauce that we bought at Aldi after we made the homemade sauce.  The only thing I wish we could have had was chinese mustard and duck sauce for the egg rolls. Otherwise, the meal was fantastic.

So what are some of your favorite things to eat?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read other posts from members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Presidents of the United States Video-Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises

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I am always on the hunt for great homeschool resources. I  am especially excited when those products come from online friends, so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review the Presidents of the United States Video-Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises by Katie Hornor.  I received a copy of this product for my fair and unbiased review. So all opinions expressed in this review are my own.  One of the incredible things about this product is that it can be adapted for any age – from kindergarten through high school.  As an adult, I found the videos enjoyable and educational to watch.

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This video-based product is meant to be completed over the course of one 9-week period, meaning one quarter.  The product contains a suggested nine-week schedule.  Each day the students will learn about a different president while completing activities and reading assignments.

The product contains the Presidential Biography Studies in chronological order, a listing of the Presidential videos, a listing of videos regarding the First Ladies, audiobook ideas, as well as other resources that include a field trip or virtual field trip ideas, art resources, vocabulary lists and more.  Book suggestions include picture books, early readers, and chapter books.

Our three students we are still homeschooling are all in high school, and I love the flexibility of this course.  It lends itself to flexibility and fitting the needs of a homeschool family.  The primary video for each president is only 90 seconds long.  So when your family’s time is short, your family can watch that 90-second video, complete a notebooking page for the president along with adding your Presidential figure to the timeline and be done.  On days where time is available, notebooking pages, additional reading assignments, field trips or even virtual field trips, as well as art activities, can be complete.

I have to say I loved the song for learning the names of the presidents.  I believe this would come in handy for learning the order of the presidents.  Although I have only looked over the materials myself and watched the videos, I know this resource is going to be a great asset to our family.  Whether you use it along with an existing history program or use it as a stand-alone unit study, I am sure your family will enjoy this course.  So visit the Paradise Praises Online Shop and check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.  I would love to hear from you.

A New Beginning

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It is a new year with all the new possibilities and opportunities that go with that.  It is a matter of new activities to participate in for 2018.  My husband, daughter, and oldest son have begun participating in the Strings program associated with our homeschool band.  They had their first lesson on Monday.  My husband and daughter are playing the violin, while our son is playing the cello.

Then this summer the plan is for my youngest son to begin lessons for the viola while I begin to take lessons for the violin.  It was fun seeing our daughter be part of a music program.

In a Facebook group, I am part of, the person in charge asked about what instruments we had in our home.  We have 4 guitars, 2 violins, a cello, an alto saxophone, a trumpet, a baritone horn, a trombone (which is borrowed), a flute, a clarinet, a keyboard and a french horn. Our home is accumulating a large amount of musical knowledge and interest.

On the other hand, sometimes a new year, bring unwanted change or experiences. From Christmas Eve until now we have had some members of our family sick.  Most of the time more than one family member have had it at a time.  It is no fun.  I am ready for everyone to be well. Also in our case, we are facing the prospect of finding a place and moving in less than 30 days.  It was 30 days, but a couple of days have already passed.

On a lighter and more positive note, our daughter has been doing some new artwork, including two pieces requested by someone else.

Here are some samples of her recent work.

I am in prayer the new year brings better things for our family as the year progresses.

So what is going on in your wold for the new year?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read some other posts from members of the Home School Review Crew members to see what they are up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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A Look Back at 2017

A Look Back at 2017

A lot has happened in 2017.  First, our family became part of the Homeschool Review.  We have really enjoyed participating in the various reviews.

Our family also found a church home.  We have participated in a variety of activities.

We experienced our first evacuation from Hurricane Harvey (although our family went through numerous hurricanes while living in eastern North Carolina. And my husband and middle two children became part of the local homeschool band. With this participation, our oldest son, our youngest son, my husband and I served as adult leaders for the Christmas parade for the combined private school (2 of them combined) plus a few of our homeschool band members at our city’s Christmas parade.

I have to say, I pray that in some ways 2018 is a better year.

How was your 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018.

If you would like to read other posts by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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What a Couple of Days

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This verse is very appropriate for this past week.  Our family was supposed to take part in our Christmas skit at our church.  Initially, the four children were supposed to participate.  Then, my husband and I were asked to portray Mary and Joseph.  But then, every single member of our household – from my daughter, our three sons, myself, my mother (who lives with us) and my husband became sick.  Our oldest wound up not participating in the skit.  So my husband took his role.  Our director found new people to play Mary and Joseph and I became an observer. Then to top it all off, we had adventures with our plumbing.  It was not the way I thought our Christmas weekend would go.  Here is a picture of my husband and two of our children playing Carolers, while our youngest son played a cookie.  All in all the skit went amazing.

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With everyone sick, we decided to have a quiet day at home for Christmas.  We had a good dinner.  And then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Today, I am glad to say the plumbing is fixed.  Some members of the family are on the mend.  So we will pray the new year begins better than the way 2017 is going out.

So how was your Christmas?  I would love to hear from you.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea

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This year, I discovered a remarkable company that sells amazing art products.  So I was thrilled when they reached out to our family to review their Magic Stix Washable Markers. These markers are incredible.  As soon as I opened the package, our 15-year-old daughter began to draw with them.

Here are some pictures of her drawing along with the finished product.

 

These markers have some amazing features.  First, they are odorless, so it makes them perfect to use on the go or in small spaces.  Second, they are washable, so this means you do not have to worry about them permanently staining anything.  Next, they are non-toxic, so they are safe to use around young children.

Another amazing feature is that they are guaranteed to not dry out with the cap off for 7 days.  If you are like me, that makes these incredibly useful.  I can not tell you the number of times, I went to use a marker, only to find it was dried out.  So you really need to check these out for yourself.  Here is a picture of our test.  I will be back to update you on how things go.  We are on Day 1 currently.

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Also, these markers come in bright and bold colors.  Here is a quick drawing I did myself.

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Now I am not the best artist in the world, but I found these markers great to use.  They come in either 12 or 24 packs.  They are available on Amazon.com.  Click here for the 24-pack or click here for the 12 pack.

Check them out for yourself.  Let me know what you think.  I would love to hear from you. May you have a blessed Christmas.