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?

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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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Review of YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then & Now – C.S. Lewis

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I love adding  Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited to review Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis, one of the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now from YWAM Publishing. We also received a Study Guide to use with our book.  Back when we first starting homeschooling many years ago, when we attended our first homeschool convention one of the first companies to capture my attention was YWAM Publshing.  Through the years, we have collected quite a few of the titles from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.  Our family loves books and this company has found a special place in our homeschool library.  So when we had the opportunity to select another book to review for this company, the only problem our daughter had one problem – deciding what title to select. Finally, she decided on CHRISTIAN HEROES: THEN & NOW C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller.

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Our 15-year-old daughter is the one who actually read the book.  I started to read the book also, but then life happened.  From my own experience, I have to say I felt like the book started off slower than other books we have read from YWAM Publishing.  Given that the book is about a “master” storyteller, I felt like it deserved a better beginning.

Our daughter had this to say about the book.  She found it interesting for facts about his life.  They include details and facts about his life that others may have overlooked.  These include things like details about his interactions with other writers and his family along with his background and his roots – meaning where he came from – intrigued her.  She found it easy to read and definitely found it to be informative.

However, she did not seem to be as excited with this book as I would have liked her to be.  She stated while she would remember some of the facts from the book, she was not sure it was one she would necessarily quote information from.

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Due to circumstances in our lives at this time, we did not get a chance to actually use the study guideas much as I would have liked. However, I love the depth and breadth of material included in the guide.  We received this as a downloadable product.  The study guide includes: an introduction, key Bible verses, Display Corner, Chapter questions, Student Explorations, Community Links, Social Studies, Related Themes to Explore, Culminating Event, along with supplemental information included in three Appendicies.

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The display corner (which would included items collected and then displayed from the country the book takes place in – so for this book it would be items from England.  This would have been something interesting for our daugther to do since my husband has actually visited England.

There are six chapter questions for each chapter where the first 3 questions are geared to younger learners and the last three questions are more difficult.  Due to circumstances in our life right now, I decided to have our daughter answer the questions for the chapters orally to me.

 

There are also student explorations which include a variety of activities to suit a variety of learning styles.  I plan on our daughter possibly creating a diorama depicting an important event from C.S. Lewis’ life.  I also plan on  having her draw a sketch of C.S. Lewis based on his own description or making a story quilt using her drawing table that connects to the computer.  We will have to see if we can fit in time for her to do both projects.  It may be something we do later when life settles down.

 

 

For this review, if she had to select a second book, she would have chosen Heroes of History – Theodore Roosevelt.  She felt like she would have enjoyed learning more about his life.

In June of 2017, we had the privilege to review another book from YWAM Publishing, we reviewed Christian Heroes Then and Now Betty Greene,  Wings to Serve.  If you would like to read our review of this title, click here or on the graphic below.

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You can connect with YWAM Publishing on social media using the following links:

If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew on this book or others, click here or on the image 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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Weekly Wrap-Up

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So two weeks ago at church, our pastor talked about the story of Jacob and Esau and the “red pottage”.  Esau had come in from the fields and was famished so he asked Jacob to share the food Jacob had prepared.  In exchange, Jacob asked for the birthright.  Our pastor referred to the “pottage” as “red stuff”.  Then it transferred into a discussion of the “red stuff” actually being red lentils.

So this past Saturday when our family went grocery shopping last Saturday, while we were in Sprouts we found the “red stuff” – as in red lentils.  So this week we fixed them for dinner.  Here are two pictures – one of us cooking the lentils and one from when they were finished cooking.

This was also the week we reviewed HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro and you can read that review here.

Also, we discussed selections for another upcoming review from Memoria Press to determine which one our 15-year-old daughter would want to do.  The choices were either Logic or a composition course on Aesop’s Fables.  After reading the descriptions of the two courses and then looking at the sample pages for the logic course, our daughter decided she preferred the course on Aesop’s Fables – so we will see whether we get selected for that product or not.

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

Review of Parenting Made Practical’s Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think Book and Video.

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My husband and I currently have a 15-year-old daughter, a 17-year-old son, a 19-year-old son and a twenty-one-year-old son who all live at home.  While I hate to admit it, I am guilty of lecturing our children.  As a parent, it is easy to get caught up in emotion and lecture our children.  The act of lecturing causes everyone to often lose their temper and results in no real change in attitude or action.  We, as parents, fail to reach our children and our children do not actually listen.  That is why I was so glad we received the opportunity to review products from Parenting Made Practical.  We reviewed the book and DVD of Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and now I want to check out the DVD Navigating the Rapids of Parenting.  Parenting Made Practical offers a lot of great information and resources for raising children who love the Lord and behave responsibly.

According to their website, Joey and Carla Link have been serving families for over twenty years.  Joey Link served on pastoral staffs for over sixteen years in youth and family ministries before becoming Director of FamilyLife Resources, a non-profit ministry where he has served since 1994.  His wife, Carla Link, has a degree in social work.  They are the parents of three adult children and also have four grandchildren.  So they have a wealth of first-hand knowledge of parenting.

Each chapter in the book Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think contains real-life experiences of either the Links or other families, tips for dealing with children of various ages, as well as Scriptural references.  I like how the chapters are broken down into pieces that are easy to read and to follow.  At the end of each chapter, there is a letter from people who have successfully navigated parenting issues.

The main premise of this book is rather than lecturing/losing tempers when you are angry, you wait until you are cooled off to reasonably deal with the issue.  Using a series of questions, parents can get to the root of the actual sin that is causing the problem(s).  The Links stress the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.  As I was reading this book, I found many situations I could relate to and loved the ideas and verses used.

 

The DVD is available as either a physical DVD or a digital download.  We received the digital download.  It runs for approximately fifty-four minutes.  The printable outline may be downloaded from the Parenting Made Practical website.  It allows the viewer to follow along with the presentation and have a tangible resource to refer back to later.  I love how the DVD gives a visual representation of a situation which may happen in real- life showing how it could go either badly or much better.

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Both the book and the DVD may be used alone, however, I truly believe they work best in tandem.  I am planning on looking at and buying more of their products such as –
    Navigating the Rapids of Parenting (Video) (for parents of kids from age 2 through college);   Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate… What Works? (Video) (for parents of kids ages 9-college) ; as well as   What Every Child Should Know Along the Way (book) (preschool to college).

You can find Parenting Made Practical on social media at:

 

I definitely recommend you check Parenting Made Practical‘s resources out for yourself.  If you would like to read more reviews of Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think or some of the other resources offered by the Links, click here or on the graphic below.

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Tasty Tuesday – Fat Tuesday

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Today is Fat Tuesday – the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Even though our family is not Catholic, we typically partake of a Fat Tuesday meal of pancakes.

The overwhelming favorite part of this meal was the bacon, which we cooked a new way today.  I placed tin foil on a cookie sheet with the sides turned up slightly around the edges.  Then I placed the bacon on the sheet and preheated the oven the 425 degrees (our oven tends to run slightly cooler than most – so we typically bump it 25 degrees.  We let it cook around 15 minutes.  However, it just did not seem to be cooking right.  So we switched the settings to the broiler and moved the cookie sheet closer to the broiler and let it cook around 10 more minutes or so.  The bacon was ready the same time the meal was.  It was so good to everyone in the family.  Many were wanting more.

So what have you been eating that has been really good at your house?  I would love to hear from you!

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Tasty Tuesday – Some Meals

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Here is one of our meals from the past week. We had salmon, purchased from Sam’s Club, a blend of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Carrots, which we steamed, seasoned with salt and pepper and butter. The salmon was cooked in the broiler for roughly ten minutes on each side.

Then tonight we had the Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Pulled Pork.  I added some more brown sugar than the recipe called for to help counteract the effects of the Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce.

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So what are you eating 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 up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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