Blogging A to Z – “F” is for Faith, Friends, and Fun

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Today is day 6 of the Blogging A to Z challenge – so the letter of the day is “F”.  “F’ is for Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun.  Faith plays a major role in our family’s lives.  Before our children were even born, they were prayed for, and after they were born, we dedicated them to God.  We have been blessed through the years to have faithful family members and friends who have walked along beside us.  Even with moving around thanks to the Army Reserves we have been able to stay in touch with our family and friends thanks to email, the Internet and Facebook.

Facebook and the Internet have also provided an amazing community of like-minded believers for me no matter where we move.  We have made incredible friends through our years in the military.  Even though miles may separate us, the memories and friendships are some that will last a lifetime.

Our family loves to have fun.  We enjoy going to places like Busch Gardens in Williamsburg as well as spending time with family and friends.

So what does the letter “F” bring to mind for you?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read all my posts in this series, click here.

#write28days – Day 19 Extracurricular Activities

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Today is day 19 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources. Today I want to talk about Extracurricular Activities.  As a homeschooling parent, I wanted our children to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.  Through the years, those activities have changed and evolved over time.

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For example, when we began our homeschooling journey we participated in Cub Scouts, Church, a Homeschool Group and our children even had the opportunity to participate in a homeschool gymnastics class.  We specifically tried to pick things that all or most of the children could do together.

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Later when we moved to western Pennsylvania, our children were part of the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit, Cub and Boy Scouts, Church functions and then our oldest son, youngest son and daughter attended a Christian dance studio.  The picture above is some of the photographs taken at the dance studio.

When we moved to central Pennsylvania, our children participated in Church activities, activities at the Salvation Army Corps we attended, Young Marines, and the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit.  Here are some photographs from events.

 

Finally, when we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas, our activities changed.  We still had a church (although not as much) and finally last year we added our local Homeschool Band program and my husband, oldest son and our daughter also did the Homeschool Strings program.  This year we are still involved in the Homeschool Band and Strings program, and my oldest and youngest sons, my husband and myself have joined our local Community Band.  Oh, our youngest son also began participating in the Homeschool Tennis Class this year.

 

The one thing we have learned through the years is to be careful about how much you allow into the schedule.  At one point we were gone six nights out of the week and it was too much for us.  We have decided not to do co-ops or similar activities because we prefer controlling the materials and subjects our children learn.  While we want them to have the opportunity to be around and to interact with others, too much can be overwhelming and make it difficult to actually get homeschooling done.

So does your family participate in any Extracurricular Activities, why or why not?  I would love to hear from you.

#write28days

 

#write28days – Remember our children are only young once

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Today is day 10 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints, and Resources.  Today I want to speak on a topic that is all too obvious in our home.  The fact is our children are only young once.  We only get to have them for a certain number of years before they grow up, move out and create lives of their own.  When we first began homeschooling our oldest was ten and our youngest was not quite four yet.  Now our oldest will turn twenty-three in June and our youngest is sixteen.

I have to wonder where the time has gone and how it has flown by.  I have some regrets about how we spent our time.  But in other ways, I have no regrets.  I regret in some ways that we took the path of active duty military.  Because this means our youngest two do not have as many tangible memories of my husband’s parent, their aunts, and uncles as well as their cousins.  But in other ways, I have no regrets we took this path because some of their experiences could never have been duplicated anywhere else.  For example, I think our children truly enjoyed our many visits to Busch Gardens where we stayed in the cabins at Fort Eustis.

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There is the time we drove from Pennsylvania to their grandparents’ home in eastern North Carolina along with three of their friends from central Pennsylvania.  The three girls saw the ocean for the very first time.

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Of course, now we are in Texas and my four children are all either playing a band instrument or a string instrument along with their father and myself.

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So my point is to enjoy your children and let your children enjoy growing up.  Do not get so caught up in looking to the future that you lose sight of the present.  Be present with them as well.  Take time to do things together as a family so you have memories for the future.  Because before you know it you go from there:

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to here:

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And there is no way to go back and recapture those moments ever again.  Enjoy your children today.  Love your children today.  Most importantly, remember God only gave us those children for a season where they truly need us.

#write28days

 

 

Monday Musings for 1/21/2019

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So over this past weekend, my husband has spent a large portion of his time rearranging our living room and trying to get things better organized.  With three days of our week devoted to music, this means we have a lot of instruments in our home.  We need a place to keep them as well as places to practice.  Since there are 6 of us who play instruments and four of us play more than one, there are quite a few instruments in our home.  So watch for me to be sharing how the living room looks once we get everything situated the way we want them to be.

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Also we are just really getting back into our homeschool routine, which means either my children or I want to change some things up.  For our sixteen-year-old daughter, we are going to be adding French, which we found on the Schoolhouseteachers.com website.  I love the ease I am able to find what I am looking for on this site.  If you want to read a review I wrote for Schoolhouseteachers back in January of 2017, click here.  This site provides everything a homeschooling family could need or want.  Be watching in the next few weeks because I will be sharing when the Home School Review Crew goes live with the reviews of this program for this year.

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And speaking of the Home School Review Crew, I am pleased to say I will be participating on the Home School Review Crew again this year.  So be watching for upcoming reviews.

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

Monday Musings

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So last week was a very busy week around our home.  We were preparing for our Band and Strings concert.  Our youngest son was supposed to have a tennis class.  Plus, my husband and I went on a partial weekend date to San Antonio – primarily so we could pick up a produce order from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday morning before we rushed home to play in the concerts.  Here are some pictures of our Bountiful Baskets produce.

But before I write more about the concert I have to talk about our date weekend.  This weekend we went someplace we had never been before – which is Wimberley, Texas.  This place amazed and astounded us.  Having moved to Texas from the mountains of Pennsylvania, the views and scenery around Wimberly took our breath away.  Even though it rained and was cloudy, we were still able to take a short walk to see the river/stream in Wimberley.  Here are some pictures.

 

The problem with all of our family members being in the band and strings groups is that it makes it difficult to take pictures.  Also, because I am one of the moms who helps coordinate things like the food for after the performances, it is even harder to get pictures of our whole family.  This time I failed completely at getting any pictures at all.  Here is one picture another mom took of us during the beginner strings performance.

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So now the Homeschool Band and Strings program are both on break until after the first of the year, but Nathan, Dennis (my husband) and I still have two performances this coming Saturday with the Community Band.  So be watching for updates next week about how that goes.  This Thursday we have a Christmas party for the tennis group as long as the weather cooperates.  Then Dennis, Nathan and I will be heading to Austin/Round Rock to go to Ikea and more.

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

Sanctified Sunday – November 4, 2018

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Our family tries to set apart Sundays as a day for our family. However, we have days like today where my husband has be at the Army Reserve Center for what we used to call drill weekends but are now called Battle Assemblies. Plus, we are moving into the realm of our children moving on with their own lives (i.e. our oldest son now has a job), so today he is at work. So the rest of us are left behind. Plus, our 12-passenger van needs some work done to it (which will happen on Wednesday – thankfully). So I do not really want to drive the distance to the church we are currently attending. It is not a very happy van right now. So instead my husband has the van and I am driving our truck to take our son to and from work.

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So for the rest of us, this means a somewhat quiet weekend, well as quiet as it can be when our youngest son is practicing the alto saxophone. This particular child seems to thrive on instruments that are not necessarily quiet, including the alto saxophone and the bass clarinet. Right now, the only quiet instrument he practices is the electric keyboard because he can plug in headphones while practicing.

So I am using my time this morning to do my Bible study, work on blogging, listen to podcasts and work through some courses I am currently enrolled in to help with blogging.

What do you choose to do on Sundays?  I would love to hear from you.