So for the last few months I have been rather silent around here beyond reviews. For the last year and a half we have been on a rollercoaster ride of trying to find a retirement assignment, finding out the military eliminated our current duty assignment and more. In December, we found out we were moving to a new duty station in Charlotte for our last duty assignment. The move came quickly and without a lot of time to prepare.
In February, we moved, spent roughly a month living in hotels while the military movers packed our home in Texas up and then us traveling to North Carolina and finally trying to find somewhere to live in our “new-to-my husband and children” town. We are in Charlotte, NC somewhere I became familiar with as a girl. From 1978 to 1987 we lived close to Charlotte, and my first actual job was at Carowinds. It thrilled me with the idea my children would get to visit the theme park I worked out. But then COVID-19 occurred, and our ideas for this past spring and summer went out the window.
Yet, today, I think back and remember where I was on this day in 2001 when the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon and a place in Pennsylvania changed forever when airplanes crashed into these areas. I think of all those who lost loved ones, of all the children who grew up without a parent or parents, and even those children who lost their lives that day.
I think of the brave men and women who answered the call of their country and willingly stepped up to defend the United States. On this day, may our country remember what happened that day and the emotions and courage that came forth from the ashes.
Ever since my oldest son was born, every year, either my husband and I or just me alone would take our children along with us when we went to vote. I felt it was important for them to learn about the process and the importance of voting. We need to let our voices be heard and counted. Most years, we went as a family. Ever since we started homeschooling, I count it as an educational field trip.
Two years ago at the midterm election, our oldest son became old enough to vote. This year our second son was going to be eighteen in time to vote in the election. Back in March, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas. Upon arriving, my husband and I were registered to vote when we changed our drivers’ licenses from one state to the other. Then a few months later, my mom and two oldest sons were registered to vote.
So yesterday afternoon, we loaded everyone up into the van and drove to the voting location, even our youngest two who could not vote. Upon arrival, I saw a line of people and expected we would have to wait. But, they were in a different line from the one we needed to be in to actually vote. Because nothing is ever simple for our family, I had hidden my second son’s voter registration card from myself. So I quickly said a prayer that he would have no problem. I stepped up to sign in first. Once I signed in, I asked about our second son. The lady informed me she would use his identification information to look him up. My daughter, our youngest who is not a crowd person, chose to walk with me. We were taken to the voting booth and the lady made sure I knew how to use the machine. I began the voting process while my daughter watched. My husband and oldest two sons were each shown a booth in turn. Finally, our youngest son decided to stay with my mother. I finished first and exited the voting area with our daughter. We waited in the hallway for everyone else.
My husband was the next to exit the room. Then our oldest son exited followed shortly by my mom and youngest son. So all that was left for us to do was wait for my second son to exit. I suggested my oldest son take the keys to our van so my mom, youngest two and himself could get settled into the van. As they headed to the exit, my husband and I waited for our other son. I could not figure out what was taking him so long. About the time I was ready to look back at the voting room, I saw him. Uninformed by the person instructing him on the proper voting procedures, he exited the same door we had entered the room. So we did not see him come out since he went and sat on a bench to wait for us.
The funnier or scarier thought is when the next election rolls around, my other two children will be old enough to vote. I pray we have instructed them in the way they should go so they will take this responsibility seriously.
So if you have children, do you take them with you to vote?
It is hard to believe we are in our tenth year of homeschooling. When we began this journey, I never dreamed what our lives would look like. I found it to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. My children are much closer than they would have been otherwise. If this was a typical year, we would either have recently attended or would be preparing to attend a homeschool convention. Conventions provide the opportunity to find curriculum, get refreshed, and develop a renewed excitement in homeschooling. However, this is simply not a typical year. Starting in October of 2015, we were told to prepare for a permanent change of duty station (or PCS if you are familiar with military terms). We received no official orders but were told this was a definite move. It took well into January before we received the official orders. We scheduled our move without having a location to deliver our belongings to when we arrived in Texas.
We did not expect to have the difficulties in finding a house to rent, but God had other ideas. Everything about this move has been different from our other moves. This one provided a test of our patience and expectations. So we officially arrived in Texas on March 10, 2016. But we did not officially have a home to rent. On Friday, we went to see two different homes and wound up renting one of them. We were unable to take possession until the 19th of March due to plumbing issues. This meant it was March 22 before our belongings were delivered. As a result, we have spent the past two months trying to settle in and find everything.
This time last year, we had just attended the CHAP convention in Pennsylvania where I had the privilege of celebrating our first son’s high school graduation. Standing beside my husband and hearing the words he spoke to and about our son at the graduation ceremony was enough to bring me to tears. It meant one chapter of his life was ending while a new chapter was beginning. However, it also meant I had to prepare mentally and emotionally to go through this rollercoaster three more times. I can not begin to imagine what it will be like when our youngest (who is our only daughter) is the one graduating. For the past year, our oldest has lived at home with us and is preparing to start college courses through a correspondence seminary school. He plans on becoming a Youth Minister in the future. Being at home meant we did not have to worry about traveling to get him from college once the school year ended. Instead, he moved with us and has been blessed to find an opportunity to begin working with the pastor of the local church we found. He is going to be getting hands-on experience which will be such a blessing.
So instead of preparing to finish the year and making preparations to do evaluations and turn in portfolios and paperwork, we are instead preparing to finish out our current school year. At the same time, I am trying to prepare for the new school year. But that is the beauty of homeschooling, we can change and adapt to situations that life hands us.
So what is going on in your world? I would love to hear from you.
So it has been a while since I posted here. In March, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas because of my husband’s job. We have spent the rest of the time attempting to settle into our new home. Moving is quite an adventure and when you are not the one to pack everything, it makes it more of a challenge, especially when different people were on the crew each day. But we are working towards getting everything unpacked and finding what we need. Since we are settling in, homeschooling has been put on hold. However, my children are about to get back to the daily routine of homeschooling, chores, church and other activities.
Normally this time of the year, we are gearing up to attend homeschooling conventions. I love the experience of examining books and curriculum. However, our move made that a challenge with the dates of conventions in our new location. But I have found two in Texas that we can attend in June and July – so stay tuned for me to share what wonderful things we discover.
So what is going on where you are? I would love to hear from you.
We are in the process of preparing for a cross-country move, so school has been suspended. We are using this time to purge, clean and otherwise prepare for our move. It is always fun getting ready for a move, okay maybe I am exaggerating slightly or even a bunch. I think it can become tedious at times. It is no fun going through all the last minute preparations and purging that is necessary to move. In our case, we are blessed to have packers and movers come in to deal with some of the tedious stuff. But then we are left with the task of cleaning and making sure the house we are leaving meets the landlord’s standards.
Some landlords spell out very specifically their requirements in the lease. One of our landlords required us to have the carpets professionally cleaned. Other landlords have been much more vague, which makes it a lot harder to satisfy them. It is no fun having to guess at what expectations the landlords might have. Nor is it fun to be out part of a deposit because we did not know what requirements the landlords had. So we try to be proactive and work towards meeting expectations.
Since the military is moving us, we are limited on the amount of weight we can move. As a result when we go to try to find a new home to rent, we are planning on loading a lot of boxes into our twelve passenger van and leave them in Texas. Of course, these boxes will primarily contain books since books weigh the most. Then when the packers come we will not have those books to worry about. In the meantime, I am trying to get rid of as many books as I can that I know we will not use again.
So what is going on in your world? I would love to hear from you.
With 2016, comes 366 days of brand new possibilities. But for our family, it not only brings the normal types of changes but the change of a cross-country move. We are going to a part of the country I have never been before – not even to visit. So it is going to be all new to me.
So with this impending change, decisions have to be made. Some of those decisions involve when we will resume school. In theory, we could be in the process of moving in less than 30 days. At the same time, we could be looking at almost 60 days. If we have only 30 days, we will probably choose to wait until after we move to resume school. If it is more like 60 days, we will choose to resume school next week.
With a new year, we need to figure out what changes we need to introduce in our homeschool. With a new area, we will have new possibilities for outside activities. I am excited to see what new adventures lie ahead.
What is going on in your life today? I would love tp hear from you.
So a new year is under way. This means we will be resuming school shortly. In just two days, the learning will start in our home. But it may quickly be interrupted by cleaning and preparing for packers and movers to come to our home. The anticipation of waiting is getting old now. I am ready to begin this new stage of our life.
Because I know where we are going, I joined an email group for the place we will moving to earlier this week. Yesterday, I received several emails regarding activities and possible friends for our children. The local homeschool group has an amazing variety of items to choose from and I think my children are really excited. From an Archery club to involvement with Habitat for Humanity to Golf lessons to dance to art to music to singing and even drama, the possibilities are endless. We also began searching online for a church and already have several possibilities to check out.
Sometimes no matter how much we as homeschoolers want things to be perfect in our homeschooling world, they are not that way. Sometimes, it is necessary to examine our children, their work, their feelings and their reactions and figure out that changes are necessary. Changes for homeschoolers sometimes are simple things – like switching the order of subjects or which room in the house to do schoolwork. Other changes can be costly and more involved – like the realization that curriculum choices are not working. Those times when curriculum changes need to take place bring pain, confusion and expense.
Yesterday was one of those days were Dennis and I needed to examine our children’s homeschool progress, curriculum and thoughts. So one by one, we called the children into our room and talked with them. First, we talked to our youngest son. We knew he wasn’t happy with some things. So he was slacking off on schoolwork. Nothing is worse than trying to have a conversation when the other party refuses to answer. But little by little (and it was quite the endeavor), we managed to find out what was going on with our son. This son tends to be easily bored and in need of social interaction to stay entertained. So we talked about what was working – Videotext Online for math, and Daily Grams for English. We also talked about what was not working – namely History. Because he needs social interaction just reading a textbook was not working. He needed engagement. The idea of doing anything one hundred percent online would not work.
So we bounced around some ideas. We determined field trips, real books, more direct teaching/interaction, and more workbook style curriculum choices would be best. We also discussed ideas concerning electives for the spring. He needed some assistance with this, so we agreed we would meet and look through the Rainbow Resource catalog for ideas. This catalog is an amazing resource. It reminds me of when I was a girl and we would get the JC Penny or Sears catalogs. There was such excitement to look through. Only the Rainbow Resource catalog is full of ideas, curriculum choices and other resources, which become a treasure chest to homeschoolers.
Tomorrow, I will pick up our saga with our daughter.
So how are things where you are? I would love to hear from you.
I love homeschooling most of the time. I refuse to exaggerate and say that every minute of every day is perfect. Nor am I willing to say that planning makes everything perfect. I have a general idea of what I want to do when. This year, I have even entered almost every single class in its entirety in Homeschool Skedtrack, an awesome online virtual homeschool planner that is best of all……FREE! I love the fact that it will automatically adjust the schedule to whatever lesson is the next one that is due.
So on the subject of adjusting – sometimes life happens and you have to go with it. We started school in July. I planned to take two weeks off in August – one to go with my husband while he went to a work seminar (we took our daughter with us for that one), plus the week after so we could go to Williamsburg with our family and celebrate 23 years of marriage. Now for some 23 years may not seem like a lot, but for me it is a milestone. You see my parents separated right before their 23rd wedding anniversary. So I feel like I have cleared a hurdle.
But those plans changed to include a third week when my husband decided to take off extra days from work. With this change came lots of work, as you can see in the picture above, we put up/canned, preserved or other wise put in mason jars and sealed a bunch of vegetables. Since this picture was taken, we have added more vegetables and some fruit. Now we are going to add Chili and Spaghetti Sauce to the mix, along with Vegetable Soup and some other kinds of soup. We added a pressure canner to our kitchen as well (Oh how I love what that can do for our family). For the very first time this year, we canned potatoes, corn, tomato sauce, sauerkraut and green beans. I love being able to just go to our shelves and grab things for our meals. And oh the fresh made sauerkraut (made by our hands) is amazing to eat.
Our children helped with these endeavors. They shucked corn. They help peel potatoes and apples and tomatoes. They fill in where they are needed. So to me, they are getting Home Economics, Cooking 101 and Life Skills all rolled into one neat package. Then my husband had to go have a pre-cancerous spot removed from his face last week – so that kind of threw a monkey wrench into life. So next week, we will be saying hello to several of our new classes. By the middle of October, everything will be in full swing – of course having three children with birthdays within less than two weeks will make that month interesting. But we homeschool year round, so I am not too concerned. Everything I want to get done will eventually get done. But all too soon our children will pass from our home in to the lives God meant for them to have. I want to be able to look back and see that we lived life rather than being so caught up in keeping to a schedule that the schedule dictated our lives instead of the reverse being true.
I would love to hear from you about what is going on in your life
So for the last several months we have been having church in our home. Being a military family living away from our home church presents some unique challenges. My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and has been preaching for over 23 years. We are used to being actively involved in whatever church we attend. So we look for churches that will permit us to do so. While we had found one to attend in our current duty station, we discovered that ultimately it was not the right fit for our family. With homeschooling and everything else going on in our lives, we made the decision to hold church services in our home.
So here are some photos of what it looked like during today’s service.
Our message for today centered on Matthew 5:13. It was interesting to hear the remarks regarding salt and its various uses in Biblical times and current days. Because of the situation, our services tend to turn more into discussions and thoughts rather than a typical sermon.
In addition to a message, we also sing songs from the Lloyd Hymnal (used by many Primitive Baptist Churches). We sang “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings”, “Alas and did my Savior Bleed” in addition to a couple of other songs.
So that is how we had church services today, How did you spend your Sunday?