Weekly Wrap-Up for June 2, 2019

Weekly Wrap-up

Today is the second day of June, and I am not sure where this year has gone to right now.  It seems to be speeding by at times while dragging at other times.  This week saw four of our family members participate in a Memorial Day event with the Crossroads Community Band we are part of, and our second son came to watch us.

The week before, our daughter came to see us perform at an indoor venue.  With us living in Texas, I can not say I blame her for her choice.

Percussion & Piano Lessons for our son

This coming week will see one activity resume – our youngest son will be participating in a beginner band class for percussion as well as private lessons for piano.  I am interested in seeing how much he learns during the 6 weeks.

Flute Lessons

At some point during the next week, I am going to see when I can begin flute lessons with one of the members of the Community Band who also teaches (and teaches flute specifically).

Other than these music lessons we have very little planned for this summer beyond decluttering and organizing our home in preparation what should be our last duty assignment.  Although, we are just preparing for the inevitable time when it will come.  However, we have no idea of when we might actually see those orders.  We will also be doing a light summer school schedule with our youngest two who are 18-years-old and 16-years-old respectively.

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

 

Blogging A to Z – “I” is for Instruments,

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Welcome to my next installment for my 2019 Challenge for Blogging A to Z.  Today’s letter is “I”, which is for instruments.  As a result of homeschooling, our children have had an incredible opportunity to learn different musical instruments.

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For example, our oldest son has learned to play the Cello and the Upright Bass.  He has learned a lot and has shown a lot of talent.  Right now, he plays with our homeschool band and strings program along with our local community band.  What makes this really special is that our whole family participates together in the homeschool band program, even Mom and Dad!

Our second son plays the Baritone horn, which comes from him playing the Euphonium with the Salvation Army Corps Band while we were in Pennsylvania.

Our youngest son plays the alto saxophone, the bass clarinet, the flute, and viola and also experiments with the trombone and french horn.  He desires to learn percussion, the oboe, and the piano so far.

 

Finally, our daughter plays the violin.  She loves playing with her brothers.  At home, she can be heard practicing with our youngest son on pieces they want to play together.

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So for our family, “I” is for Instruments.  What comes to mind when you see the letter “I”. I would love to hear from you.

Click here to read the rest of my posts in this series.

#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

 

Weekly Wrap-Up for the week ending January 13, 2019

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So this week, we resumed some semblance of normalcy around our home.  String, Band, and Tennis also resumed.  So once again, people are practicing their instruments.  Also, it meant I am having to drive people from point A to point B, since we only have two vehicles currently and our oldest son needs to drive the truck to get to and from work.

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For Thursday being the first time our youngest son went back to tennis, I felt he did really good.  This afternoon he went out with some friends to practice tennis for about an hour so we will see how that goes.

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Our family became the proud owners of two Instant Pots in the last two months, so we have been using them for cooking.  Last night, we attempted to make cubed steak in the Instant Pot.  However, we ran into technical difficulties.  We coated the meat with flour and added flour to the beef broth to make a gravy.  Unfortunately, it wanted to try to burn, so we wound up restarting twice before putting that meal on hold and fixing something else.  But, we plan on trying again, with just browning the meat and putting the beef broth in the Instant Pot and once the meat is done, we will make the gravy.  I will let you know how it turns out.  One thing we made this past week in the Instant Pot that turned out really good is Georgia style, Brunswick Stew.  I love how the pork, chicken, lima beans, and vinegar-based barbecue sauce all come together to make a really tasty dish.  Of course, the potatoes, onions, and corn and okra we put in it helped also.  Using a whole chicken we cooked into the Instant Pot and some of the leftover Pioneer Woman Dr. Pepper pulled pork made it really good.  Also, we added some extra vinegar to kick it up a little.

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During the last month, we also acquired an Air Fryer, so be watching for me to share what we are cooking in it.  If you have any favorite recipes for an air fryer, I would love for you to share them with me.  Part of what took so long for us to purchase one was trying to find one large enough for our family.

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So what is going on where you are?  I would love to hear from you.  Also, if you have an Instant Pot and have any favorite recipes, I would love to hear from you about them as well.

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.

2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop – Work It In Wednesdays (5 Days of Homeschool Encouragement

 

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This week I am participating in the 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop including 5 Days of Home School Encouragement.  You can come back each day to see what we are blogging about.  Today’s topic is Work It Out Wednesdays, where we are examining how to fit in electives, social activities and more into your daily schedule.

2018 Homeschool Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop - Work-It-Out Wednesdays

As the mom of only high school students now, one of the things that cause both myself and my children concern is how to fit everything in each year.  Prior to entering high school, I took most of the decision-making and curriculum choices on myself.  At times, we would offer the children choices to select from after narrowing things down significantly.  However, our children are now in high school and have directions, talents, and gifts, so we need to figure things out based on their individual personalities and goals.

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A few weeks ago, we went to an activity fair for our area’s homeschool group.  We went partially to represent our area’s homeschool band and strings program, which our entire family is active in right now.  But we also went to find out what activities our children may want to participate in this year.  Our son already knew he wanted to play tennis, which occurs on Thursday mornings.  The Home School Band program is on Monday and Thursday afternoons.  So those two times were already out.

Our son also wants to take piano lessons and we found out there was a possibility our homeschool 4-H group would be offering piano lessons along with archery lessons and photography.  All of these are activities our son and/or daughter are interested in now. So we went to the meeting, but when we got there, we realized the times may not work for our family since these activities occur on Thursdays as well.  So it is a matter of deciding what priorities we have.  Band and strings are two activities that are non-negotiable since all four of our children (yes even our 22-year-old and our almost twenty-year-old) participate along with my husband and myself.  So that is a one-time slot that will not be taken away.

So this meant we had to decide how important archery was to our daughter.  The 4-H activities basically collide with both tennis (at least one week out of the month) and the band classes every week.  So we are still trying to figure that one out.

The photography classes have already been eliminated and so the only one who may participate in 4-H will be our daughter.  So stay tuned to see what our final decision is.

You know your children.  You know what is important to your family.  So you need to take every activity your children may want to participate in or elective they may want to take and examine it to see if the benefits make it worth fitting in at this time.

Another way of making things work is to find someone for your child to ride with or find a similar activity or class that meets at a time that is more convenient.  As far as electives go, especially at the high school level, you may decide your child could fit some of those in during the summer or do more intense classes, like college classes, for a shorter period of time.

You and your family need to decide what is important to you and go from there.  Here are some of the members of the Home School Review Crew who are participating in the Blog Hop this week, you may want to check some of them out for yourself.


Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kelly @ Hope in the Chaos
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

 

So if you would like to read my other posts from this series, click here.

If you would like to read posts from the other members of the Home School Review Crew who are participating in the Back to School Blog Hop, 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:

And here are some more pictures:

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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Homeschool Band Performance Week

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Our family has been participating in the area Homeschool Band since the fall.  My husband plays the clarinet.  Our second son plays the baritone horn.  Our youngest son plays the alto saxophone.  I play the french horn and trombone.  Then in January some of our family members began playing in the beginning strings class.  Our daughter began playing the violin.  My husband picked his violin back up from many years ago.  Plus, our oldest son started playing the cello.  My youngest son plans on learning the viola and I want to learn the violin.

 

Today, our three sons and my husband participated along with our Homeschool Band at our local Classical Conversations group.  Initially, the plan was for our oldest son to play the cello only with the beginning and intermediate strings groups.  However, things changed and my son wound up playing with the band as well. He felt thrilled by the opportunity.  Here is a video of my husband from the performance.

Here is a video of our youngest son playing.

Here are some more pictures from the performance today.

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So what has your family been doing this week?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are doing, click here or on the image 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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