Thoughts for Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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This past week our son started working as a Certified Nursing Assistant.  He seems to really be doing well and enjoying his work.  Because of the 4th of July, we did not have band or piano lessons.  We celebrated Independence Day with a quiet day at home.

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Here are some tasty dishes we had during the past week.  We had spaghetti with homemade sauce, stuffed shells, manicotti, and shrimp kebabs.  All in all it was a good week of eating.

 

Over the weekend, we got in contact with a Primitive Baptist Church in our area and decided to attend there this Sunday.  Here is a picture of the hymnal they use.  The church is having a four-day meeting this weekend, so we plan on going to the meeting Thursday night.   One of my favorite things about attending a Primitive Baptist Church is that all the singing is acapella.  So the harmony of voices tends to be amazing.  This church was no exception.  It was the first time in over 4 years that we were able to attend a Primitive Baptist Church and we look forward to returning to visit.  Only our youngest son was able to attend on Sunday, but it was still a wonderful time.

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One of the other good things about Primitive Baptist Churches is the way they welcome visitors.  Although we did not know anyone when we walked in, we walked out feeling like we were part of their family.  The other good thing is that when they serve a meal (which they did after the services), everyone is always welcome to come and the food is always amazing.

So what has been 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 have been up to, click here or on the graphic below.

Thoughts for Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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Lately I have been on a real recipe cooking kick.  I want to eat different things and add some variety to our meal plan.  So over the last 7 days, I tried two different recipes that were new to our family.  The first was Brunswick Stew, which I made using a recipe I found online and then tweaking it.  As part of this recipe, I also experimented with making a Carolina-style Vinegar based barbecue sauce.  Now normally, I would not need to do this becacuse my father-in-law makes the absolute best homemade barbecue sauce ever.  However, livng in Texas for the past two years means our supply had ran out and we have not have the means or opportunity to restock.  I have to say it turned out really well.  I used a mixture of pork and chicken along with lima beans, corn, potatoes, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, the barbecue sauce and some spices.  I have to say it turned out amazing.

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The second new recipe I tried was stuffed shells, which we had for dinner last night.  They turned out really delicious.  We served it with spagetti and meat sauce.  I just wish I could find an amazing lactose-free mozzarella cheese, so our oldest son could partake of the amazing tastes with us.  Here is a picture.

 

On the subject of our oldest son, he did his orientation on Friday and began working as a Nursing Assistant on Saturday.  He works four days on and then has off two days.  So he worked Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and will have tomorrow (Wednesday, July 4th and Thursday, July 5th).  He seems to really like it.  So we will see how things go.  With him leaving the house at around 5:15 to 5:30 in the morning and not getting home until around 3 in the afternoon, I have not gotten a picture of him in his new scrubs yet but I will.

So what is going on in your life?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to see what other members of the Home School Review Crew are up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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Thoughts for Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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Last week our oldest son completed his Certified Nursing Assistant training on Friday. Now all he needs to do is pass his state certification exam. But in the meantime, he had orientation on Friday and starts working on Saturday.

Last week our youngest son helped with Vacation Bible School. So my primary role last week was that of driver.

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

 

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?

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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Graduation Season is Upon Our Family

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So this year marks the end of schooling for our second son.  This son prefers low-key, low crowd interactions.  So we had to try to figure out what to do to mark his graduation ceremony.  I knew it needed to be rather low key to satisfy his need for small crowds.  We were blessed to review Homeschool Diploma’s Cap, Gown, Tassel, and Diploma.  If you would like to check out our review, click here. If you want to read other reviews for Homeschool Diploma from members of the Home School Review Crew, click here.

I was excited for to review the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma from Homeschool Diploma. We went with the Standard Diploma, which satisfied my son, but I probably would have gone with one of the personalized and customized options if it had been my decision solely.  Here is a picture of him in the cap and gown.

 

I have to say I found the process of ordering the diploma along with the cap and gown.  I to loved how our son was able to receive a diploma he can carry in his wallet.  Everything was spelled out and easy to follow.

When our oldest son graduated, he participated in the CHAP graduation ceremony in Pennsylvania at the Homeschool Convention in Harrisburg.   For our second son, however, we decided to do a ceremony at home.  We plan on having some friends over to actually present our son with his diploma.  We will offer prayers for his future and for him to  find success.  So be watching for a post with pictures next week with the actual ceremony.

After we had made our plans for graduation, we found out our church recognized any graduates during a church service and later that same afternoon had a potluck picnic.  So we decided to participate.  Unfortunately, our son did not get to wear his cap and gown there.  Our pastor had the three graduates for this year stand.  He then had those around them lay hands on the graduates while he offered a prayer for them.  I, being mom,  hugged my son instead of just placing hands on him.  Of course, this meant I was unable to take any picutres.  In the afternoon, we drove out to the state park where the picnic was being held.  Every family brought a main dish and either a side or dessert based on the first letter of their last name.

 

Once everyone had their fill of food, our son decided to retreat to his favorite postion – finding somewhere to lay down and read.

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Finally, the pastor, in his words, “passed out the loot”, since they had a money tree and provided the opportunity for anyone not attending to either give cards or other recognition to the graduates.  Here are some pictures.

 

All in all, I was pleased with how things turned out.  If you would like to read other graduation posts by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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A Weekend Full of Activity

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So this past weekend was full of activity.  Saturday morning, Dennis (my husband) and I woke up at 5 am to drive to San Antonio. We went to pick up an order from Bountiful Baskets and do some other shopping including visiting Sprouts, Ccostco, Trader Joes and the commissary at Fort Sam Houston.  From Bountiful Baskets, we ordered 2 regular baskets, 50 pounds of potatoes and over 70 pounds of Gala apples.  The potatoes we are going to can.  The apples we are going to can after making applesauce.  Although this is only our second time going to Bountiful Baskets, I am thrilled with what we received.

Then we went to Sprouts where we bought cabbages, lemons, limes, watermelons,  cous cous, wild rice, red lentils and more.  All in all, I am really pleased with what we found there.  We plan on making sauerkraut with the cabbages.

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From there we went to Costco, where we purchased, bottled water, sugar, a 10 pound bag of carrots chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks, rotel tomatoes.

Then we went to Trader Joes where we bought several plants including dill, thyme, mint, and cilantro along with some cookies for our children and more.

From there we went to the commissary at Fort Sam Houston where our main purchase was blocks of Kraft chedder and colby jack cheese because we save money buying it there.  Also, it is lactose-free which is terrific.

Once we were done at the commissary, we drove the two-hours back to Victoria and unloaded the van with the help of our children.  Here is what our table looked like:

Of course, this represents only a fraction of what we actually brought home.  Once we had everything unloaded and somewhat situated, we proceeded to fix the necessary items for our band concert.  Once the food was finished, we dressed and loaded everything that needed to go with us – food, instruments, music stands and of course – us.

Here are some pictures from the concert:

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And some final pictures from the concert and of the reception afterwards.  All in all it was a great evening.

Then on Sunday we had graduation festivities at the church for our second son.  Stay tuned on Wednesday to read more about that.

So what has been 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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Tasty Tuesdays – Mother’s Day Edition

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Sunday we had a Mother’s Day feast. It included ribeye steaks, Shrimp-kebobs, grilled vegetables, salad, watermelon, and pineapple along with wild rice.  Because it was Mother’s Day, my children and husband did most of the work.  Here are some pictures

 

And here are some of us actually at the table.  For what it is worth, I prefer to be the one behind the lens.

This past week saw our refrigerator stop working, so we have been working on solving that problem.  This week finds us having our end of the year band concert this coming Saturday so we are n heavy preparations for that.  Then on Sunday, our church is having a graduation picnic, and our second son will be recognized for that.  So stay tuned next week for part 2 of our Homeschool Diploma post.

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

If you want to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are up to, click here or on the graphic below.

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Monday Musings for May 7, 2018l

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So last week was an interesting week, to say the least.  During the week our air conditioner for our house twice.  The first time, the company came out and replaced a capacitor and it seemed to fix the problem on Monday.  By about 3:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon, the unit stopped working in the exact same way again.  So the company had to come back out on Wednesday to fix it again.  This time they replaced the motor in the outside unit.

Because we live in southeastern Texas, not having an air conditioner is a major issue.  It is not something we want to have any time in the near future.  Fortunately, since they came out the second time, it seems to be working fine.

This past weekend was also the weekend my husband had to take his annual physical fitness test for the army reserves.  He passed with no problems, I am glad to report.

It was also the week we received our books from Memoria Press.  We planned on starting them the day after we received the books, but life happened with the air conditioner.  When it is hot and humid, schoolwork tends to be a lower priority than staying cool.  So this week we will be diving into the course full-force.

We also received from Silverdale Press a course that our 17-year-old son and I will be doing together for another review for the Home School Review Crew.

So how are things where you are? I would love to hear from you.

if you would like to check out 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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Tasty Tuesday – May 1, 2018

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Our family loves being able to sit down and eat together.  One of our favorite style of meals is grilling food.  With the addition of our cowboy grill along with our regular grill that includes both a gas (propane) grill  as well as a charcoal grill.  Often we make shish-k-bobs.  Another thing we like grilling is fish.  Ribs take a high place as well.

Here are some pictures of food we have cooked on our grills.

One of the benefits of living in Texas is that we can basically grill year round.  So we frequently enjoy fish, meat, hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, sausages, chicken, pork, shrimp and more on our grill.  I am blessed to have a husband and sons who love to cook on the grill for me.  When we use the grill, typically everyone takes part in preparing our food.

So what are you eating now?  I would love to hear from you.

The topic on the Home School  Review Crew Link-up for today is “Homeschooling with the Brain in MInd”.  I always try to do this.  I tend to like and excel at different things from our children.  When it comes to my children, all of them are as different as can be.  None of them plan on doing the same thing in life.  They also do not share the same interest.  Nor do they enjoy the same style of materials.  So I try to take those things into account when I make curriculum choices.  Our daughter loves anything to do with art, so I try to find things that excite that part of her brain.  Our youngest son enjoys anything to do with music, so we are exploring ways to build on this for him.  So if you homeschool, how do you take your childrens’ brains into account? Or how do you take into account your brain when making curriculum choices?

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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 graphic below.

 

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