Flat Stanley Came to Visit

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When we lived in Pennsylvania, we were part of the Lock Haven Salvation Army Corps.  One of my favorite activities our family assisted with was the after-school program.  So when I received a request from someone at the corps asking for families who lived out of state to host Flat Stanley.  I immediately said yes.

So last week Flat Stanley came to visit.  He helped us cook dinner.  Here are some photos.

He also attended Youth Group at our church with our youngest two.  He decided to hang out with the pastor.

He also decided to go exploring in a violin belonging to one of the young ladies in the Youth Group.

Then on Thursday, he was supposed to go to Homeschool Band with my husband, middle two children and myself.  However, he felt like it would be better to stay home and relax on my husband and my bed.

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He also took a trip to work with my husband.  However, I am waiting to get all of those pictures.  So stay tuned for additional updates on the adventures of Flat Stanley.

Our Youngest Son Turns Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today, our youngest son was born.  This child has kept us on our toes and brought joy to our life.  In the last month, he has begun playing the alto saxophone in our local homeschool beginner band.  He is also working to learn Japanese with the help of a local friend.  So happy birthday to our youngest son.

Book Review – More Than Just Making It

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I was really thrilled to be a part of the launch team for Erin Odom’s book – “More Than Just Making It”. This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting back down.  This is a down-to-earth, heart-warming book that examines realistically finances, public assistance and more.

I love Erin Odom’s conversational style in the book.  I felt like I was sitting with her in one of her homes while having a real conversation.  This book touched my heart as well as provided inspiration and memories of what our lives where like when our children were younger.

And while I planned on writing today about this book.  I felt like I needed to talk more about my own #kissesfromJesus as a result of being part of this launch team.  About a year and a half ago, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas thanks to the United States military.  We have no real family to speak of in the state.  So when Hurricane Harvey decided to come calling, we were in a dilemma about where to evacuate to for the storm.

Initially, we planned on hunkering down in our home.  But when the storm was upgraded to making landfall as a Category 3 “or higher”, I knew we needed to find somewhere to evacuate to for safety.  Somehow the topic of the storm came up on the book launch Facebook page.  A generous lady offered to open her home to our family in the event we needed to evacuate.  I filed the information away for future consideration.  Once we found out we were under a mandatory evacuation order, I sent a message to this amazing lady and asked if she was serious about allowing our family to evacuate to her home.  She quickly replied that we were more than welcome to come.  So that evening, I had our four children and my mother who all live with my husband and I pack in preparations to leave.

Another giant blessing was when we found out her husband was lactose-intolerant like our oldest son.  On Friday morning as Hurricane Harvey was preparing to making landfall in Texas, our family took to the highways to go to Dallas.  We were blessed with reasonable traffic and reasonably good weather for our travels.

Once in Dallas we were welcomed like honored guests.  Truly our family was blessed to meet Dominique and her husband.  She cooked amazing meals and had wonderful touches that made us feel incredibly welcomed.  We received #KissesfromJesus with this act of kindness.

So if you are looking for a new book to read, I recommend this book.  Trust me, if you read it, you will be blessed.

An Update on Our Family – Hurricane Harvey Part 1

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Two weeks ago today, we began a journey thanks to Hurricane Harvey.  We live approximately an hour and a half north of Corpus Christi and about two hours south of Houston in Texas.  We have lived here for around a year and a half.  We are no strangers to hurricanes having our home of record in eastern North Carolina.  In a Facebook group, I am part of, a discussion began about what those of in Texas were going to do.  Another lady and I both stated we did not know what we would do.  Finances or other circumstances did not give us many options.

Our week started off normally.  On the 22nd, my husband and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  We knew there was a tropical storm named Harvey who might decide to visit our community.  Wednesday was a normal day.  Thursday we decided to get some supplies in for the incoming storm.  While we were out, we found out the storm had been upgraded and would potentially come in as a category 3 or higher.  The “or higher” part is what got our attention.  We have several large trees in front and behind the home, we are living in now.  So we were paying attention.

Later Thursday evening, a friend sent me a message to say our community was under a mandatory evacuation order.  So my husband and I discussed what we wanted to do.  I am on the book launch team for Erin Odom’s book “More Than Just Making It” and someone on the launch team offered our family shelter.  So we began packing up and tried to figure out what we needed and/or could take with us in our 12-passenger van.

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Friday morning shortly after 6:30 am, we started towards Dallas.  We were surprised at how light traffic was on our route, at least until we got to Waco.  Then, we arrived in Dallas around 12:30 or so where we would be staying.  Until Monday morning, our hostess was absolutely amazing.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 where I will share what happened while we were in Dallas and what we found once we returned home.

 

Homeschooling Year Round

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I love the summertime (well except the heat and humidity in Texas) because we get to relax our schedule.  This summer has offered a lot of opportunities.  First, my youngest two have had numerous opportunities to go swimming with the youth group at our church at the home of one of our members.

Our entire family attending a swimming party/cook-out at the same home of our members.  During that cookout, my second son took the time to work on a crossword puzzle book, which is shown in the picture above.  My oldest son spent his time socializing, while the youngest two enjoyed swimming with some of their friends.

The younger two also participated in a Service camp held at our church.  They did some things around the church including painting, cleaning and visiting members of the church and working at a local charity.  All in all, they had a great time.

Now we are about to enter August, which means we will take two weeks off (mainly because my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary) before gearing back up for the new year.

It is hard to believe my youngest three will all be doing high school work.  I have some great resources we will be using this year, and I look forward to sharing them with you in some future posts.

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

A Year Ago

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It is hard to believe that one year ago, we were preparing to move from our hotel in Texas to the home we had rented.  We lived essentially 3 weeks in a hotel between the time we moved our home in Pennsylvania to a hotel there and then spent time in various hotels on the way to Texas, until we finally arrived at the hotel in our new hometown.

The drive from Pennsylvania to Texas was not too hard until we reached the Louisiana border.  During the time we stayed in the hotels, we suspended school.  A lot of our materials and books came on the moving truck, so until we were able to unpack, there was nothing really for the children to do.  So we spent our time enjoying our family.  This year we are in the midst of some curriculum changes, so I am working to get all the new materials together.  Some things we were using just did not work out.  So changes had to be made.  One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is the ability to change when things do not work out the way we planned.  However, I also realize other times children must take responsibility for their own learning and recognize that not everything in life is fun.

So how are things going with your homeschool?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying our Christmas Break

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So I always enjoy our Christmas break and especially enjoying spending time in the living room looking at the Christmas lights.  But it always is a little sad to see the Christmas tree come down.  Ours came down this week.  It makes our living room seem rather empty.  But there is so much promise in a new year and all the possibilities that come with it.

This past weekend, we took a trip to go shopping for groceries and other items.  Where we live at now, we only have one real grocery store chain to shop at and it is not particularly lactose-friendly.  Plus, we wanted to go to the commissary at Fort Hood.  So Friday we loaded up our twelve passenger van with our family and headed toward Austin – which was our first destination.

Our first stop was at Buc-ees midway on our trip.  While we were in this amazing convenience store, we bought several types of jerky to enjoy as a snack.  Then from there, we went to our next destination which was Costco.  We have been long time members of Sam’s Club but never lived close enough to one to make it worth our while to join.  However, we had been inside one on one of my husband’s trips for the Army Reserves.  We really liked what we saw.  When we moved to Texas, we were disappointed in our local Sam’s club.  Items found easily at our previous clubs were hard or impossible to find.  They seem to change their stock more frequently than our other clubs. This has proven to be rather problematic on more than one occasion.  I never remember having difficulty in finding something as simple as apple juice.

So where we live now is basically two hours from San Antonio, three hours from Austin and approximately two hours from Houston.  So this trip we headed toward Austin because we were ultimately heading to Fort Hood.  Arriving at Costco, we first had to obtain a membership.  This was handled easily and quickly by the employee helping us.  While helping us, she provided us with a wealth of personal knowledge and information along with a bagful of literature to read.  Then another employee actually took our picture and gave us our cards.  I have to say the cards are quite eye-catching.

Then we began our journey around the store.  We were amazed at some of the items we found.  Everything was clean, neat, and organized.  I found numerous items we would have bought had we been going straight home.  However, we were not coming home until Sunday evening, so things like fresh meat and frozen items were left behind.  Instead, we made the decision we would make a trip on another day to a store around Houston, which is slightly closer to us.  Still, we wound up with quite a load in our van.  I can already tell, we will be getting our money’s worth out of our membership.

So where is your favorite place to shop?  I would love to hear from you.

#IloveCostco  #Ilovemyfamily