Posted in Canning, cooking, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Planning

Weekly Wrap-Up for the week ending on August 12, 2018

 

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So this week was the week our youngest son attended our church’s service camp.  The youth arrived at the church Tuesday morning complete with clothes, sleeping bags, pillows, Bibles, and whatever else they may need for the week.  They spent their days doing things at, for and with the Youth Group.  They ate all their meals at the church and then had various evening activities including going to play laser tag one night and swimming another night.  At the end of the activities, the girls went to the home of one of the adult leader’s family, while the boys were divided among two different homes.  Our son really enjoyed himself.

This was also a week where very little book work was done, but I have been working on planning our new school year.  Our 15-year-old daughter will be entering 10th grade.  Here is what I have planned for her to do:

  • CTC Math
  • Picta Dicta
  • Grammar Planet
  • American Literature
  • TruthQuest History
  • Biology/Nature Study
  • Violin
  • Art
  • Bible Study with me
  • Latin

Our 17-year-old son will be doing:

  • CTC Math
  • Bible Study
  • Picta Dicta
  • Grammar Planet
  • Literature
  • Exploring World History by Notgrass
  • Chemistry/Marine Biology
  • Latin or Japanese
  • Bible Lessons
  • Photography

Our son is taking responsibility for his own schedule and is inputting them into Homeschool Planet himself.  I am in the process of entering my daughter’s lessons myself.  However, it seems like interruptions sometimes happen and distractions are bad.  But I am fairly happy with our choices.

Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from one of the ladies at our church.  She wanted to know if I could come to help her prepare some pears for canning.  I found out another lady from the church was coming as well.  So I spent about an hour or so of my time helping peel, core, wash the pears along with a few other tasks.  Then as our reward, I was given pears to bring home for our family to “put up” or can.  Originally I wanted to can pear slices.  However, our oldest son decided we needed to make pear preserves like his paternal grandmother did/does.  So he called for instructions and this afternoon, my three sons and I worked to peel, cut and core the pears.  My oldest and youngest son both work independently.  However, my second son decided we should have some kind of assembly line going.  So he peeled the pears, and then I cut them into slices and cored them.  All in all, it went very well considering we had almost 30 pounds of pears to do. I really enjoyed working with my sons.

For dinner, we decided to have a whole roasted chicken along with stuffing.  After the work we did today, a fairly easy dinner like that was appreciated.

Upcoming Reviews & Crew Activities:

  • God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco
  • Branch Out World
  • Back to School Crew Blog Hop
  • GrammarPlanet

 

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are writing about this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Canning, family, Uncategorized

Monday Musings for June 4, 2018

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So for the last two weeks, our youngest son has suffered from the lack of musical classes.  But today, his suffering ended.  The summer band program began today.  Our 17-year-old son and I had the fun of attending our first piano class.  Now I should say, I took piano lessons when I was like 6 or 7 years old and it was only for a few weeks or months at the most (I remember taking the lessons, but not how long).  It was one of the few regrets I have in my life that my parents let me quit.

For most of my life, I have wanted to pursue the art of piano playing.  Our youngest son wanted to learn the harp first, but finding a harp teacher is quite a challenge.  So off and on he has tried teaching himself to play the piano.  We also have found people to teach piano right as we were about to change duty stations.  So when we saw the opportunity to take lessons this summer together, we had to try it.

So today we had our first lesson.  I love that we are able to take classes together.  Our band instructor made the lessons fun and enjoyable.  While the class we are taking is for adults, the book we are using is for children.  But I found it fun to use – especially since it was just my son and I in the class.  So stay tuned the next six weeks to hear how the lessons are going.

 

Here is a video of my son playing.

 

I am looking forward to Wednesday when our son starts beginner band for the clarinet.  Plus our second son, our youngest son and myself will begin band camp.  Then later that afternoon my husband and my husband will play for Advanced Strings.

On a different note, our oldest son started a new adventure today. He began pursuing the goal of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.  Through a friend, we found out about the opportunity and Friday we found out he had been accepted.  Today he had his first day of classes.  He has three weeks of classes and upon successful completion of that, he can take the Texas state exam to be come a certified nursing assistant. He seems to be really excited about this opportunity. He was really excited to try on the scrubs they issued him today for the “on the floor” portion of the training. It is going to be interesting to hear all the things he is learning and wants to share with the family. In the meantime, school is continuing for our youngest ones for the summer. We will see how things go for them all.

Also, tonight we canned our first batch of sauerkraut for the year.  There is just nothing like the taste of sauerkraut.  I am so excited about what we have been able to can so far this year.

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So how are things going where you are?

Posted in ARMY RESERVES, Canning, family, Fresh Produce, Home School Review Crew Posts, Music

Thoughts for Tuesday, May 29, 2018

 

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So last week was our first week with limited activities.  The Homeschool Band and Strings programs are out for two weeks before the summer program begins.  However,  that does not mean we do not have anything to do.  Right now, we are dealing with a Home Improvement Store’s Extended Warranty department to try and get our refrigerator fixed that is still under warranty.  However, we are not having too much success.  So far the repairmen (independent contractors) have been out twice and my refrigerator still does not work.  When they came last week, they told me it needed a new compressor, which the home improvement store would not pay for – instead the store should have contacted me about replacing the refrigerator with a new one (what the warranty stipulates).  However, when I called the home improvement store’s warranty deparment on Thursday, I was told the repairmen should be coming back out to replace the compressor.  But neither the repairmen or the warranty department decided it was worth their time to inform me of this development.  So, we are in week 3 of this situation with no end in sight.  I have turned this over to my husband to handle.

Last week also saw us beginning the process of putting up the apples and potatoes we bought from Bountiful Baskets.  My oldest son is the chief apple processor, while my husmband and I did the potatoes.  We also started the process for making our homemade sauerkraut.  The best part was having friends over keep us company while we worked.

Here are some pictures.

During the long weekend, we also put up seven pints of beets.  Here are some pictures of that and the potato process.  Because we were already working with the potatoes, I decided it was the perfect time to make a pot of homemade potato soup.  Between dinner Friday night and lunch on Saturday, the soup was devoured.

Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States where we remember those servicemembers who paid the ultimate price in service for our country.  So we decided it was a perfect day for a cookout.  We fixed Bratwursts, pita bread (for wrapping the bratwursts in), macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and homemade baked beans.  All in all the meal turned out fantastic.

Finally to cap of the day, our youngest son, my husband and I went to see our local community band perform.  The Crossroads Community Band performed at our city’s Warrior Weekend event which included a field of flags.  We enjoyed listening to the music and especially the finale of “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillips Sousa.  There is nothing like hearing the piccolo solo for that song.  We also enjoyed hearing the band perform a New Orleans style funeral march.  Another highlight of the evening  was hearing the tributes to the military branches.  Since my husband served in the United States Air Force (way before our time together) and has served in the United States Army Reserves as a reservist from 1997 to 2004 and then as active duty in the Army Reserves since 2005, my husband stood for both songs.

Following the band performance, the local Boy Scouts troops held a flag burning ceremony.  Because my husband was and is in the military, they asked him to carry one of the flags .  So here are some pictures.

So if you are in the Unitted States, how did you spend your Memorial Day weekend?  I pray your weekend was blessed.  If you are not in the United States, I would also love to hear how you spent your wekend.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about this week,  click here or on the graphci below.

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Posted in Canning, cooking, family, Fresh Produce, In the Kitchen

The Week of 4th of July

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For those of us here in the United States, this week brought the 4th of July – Independence Day.  And one of our family’s favorite things to do at this time of the year used to be putting up corn each year.  When we lived in North Carolina, it was a family and friends event.  We typically put up around 5 bushels for just our family.  So this week, it was rather bittersweet to see my sister-in-law post pictures on Facebook of them putting up corn.

However, since we moved to Texas in March 2016, putting up food has become a wishful occupation.  We so want to put up food because we really enjoy it, but we have neither space or places to find produce to buy in bulk.

When we lived in the central part of Pennsylvania from summer of 2012 until March of 2016, we were blessed to have Amish farms to buy produce from in bulk.  The quality was amazing and the prices were extremely affordable.

Here are some pictures of us putting up corn in Pennsylvania.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing the rows of jars on the shelves or bags full of produce in our freezer ready for us to eat in the future.

Here are some pictures of our shelves in Pennsylvania with items we were getting ready to put up or had already put up.

I think one of my favorite things to put up know is homemade sauerkraut.  The flavors are just so amazing.

So what does summer bring for your family?

Posted in Canning, family, Fresh Produce, Gardening

A New Discovery

  So it is summertime here, which means it is time to put up fresh produce for the upcoming year.  When Dennis and I were first married, we lived where we could have our own garden.  Dennis has an amazing green thumb.  He is able to grow anything he set his mind to, so we had all kinds of fresh vegetables.  This included green beans, corn, garden peas, peppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, crowder peas and more.

Then he went full time in the Army Reserves, so we moved into military housing and couldn’t have a garden.  From there we moved into two other homes that we could not have a garden really.  Then we moved to a home where we could have had a garden, but didn’t really have the time for it.  Plus the growing season was a lot shorter.  Then we moved again and we no longer could have a garden.  Now we live in a different home in the same area and having our own garden is not an option again.  But we are tremendously blessed to live in an area where we can buy fresh produce from local Amish farms.

So this year we have made an investment in a pressure cooker so we can put up corn, green beans and other things that have a low acidity.  So today for the first time, we used the new toy to put up green beans.  There is such a sense of satisfaction that comes from hearing the jar lids “pop”.  So we put up 7 quarts of green beans this morning.  We still have corn to put up.  We bought about 4 bushels of corn.

I love being able to simply go to my shelves or freezer and pick out fresh vegetables or fruit that we have put up ourselves.  Plus when buying from the Amish farmers, we save money at the same time that we support their families.