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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A New Beginning

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It is a new year with all the new possibilities and opportunities that go with that.  It is a matter of new activities to participate in for 2018.  My husband, daughter, and oldest son have begun participating in the Strings program associated with our homeschool band.  They had their first lesson on Monday.  My husband and daughter are playing the violin, while our son is playing the cello.

Then this summer the plan is for my youngest son to begin lessons for the viola while I begin to take lessons for the violin.  It was fun seeing our daughter be part of a music program.

In a Facebook group, I am part of, the person in charge asked about what instruments we had in our home.  We have 4 guitars, 2 violins, a cello, an alto saxophone, a trumpet, a baritone horn, a trombone (which is borrowed), a flute, a clarinet, a keyboard and a french horn. Our home is accumulating a large amount of musical knowledge and interest.

On the other hand, sometimes a new year, bring unwanted change or experiences. From Christmas Eve until now we have had some members of our family sick.  Most of the time more than one family member have had it at a time.  It is no fun.  I am ready for everyone to be well. Also in our case, we are facing the prospect of finding a place and moving in less than 30 days.  It was 30 days, but a couple of days have already passed.

On a lighter and more positive note, our daughter has been doing some new artwork, including two pieces requested by someone else.

Here are some samples of her recent work.

I am in prayer the new year brings better things for our family as the year progresses.

So what is going on in your wold for the new year?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read some other posts from members of the Home School Review Crew members to see what they are up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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What a Couple of Days

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This verse is very appropriate for this past week.  Our family was supposed to take part in our Christmas skit at our church.  Initially, the four children were supposed to participate.  Then, my husband and I were asked to portray Mary and Joseph.  But then, every single member of our household – from my daughter, our three sons, myself, my mother (who lives with us) and my husband became sick.  Our oldest wound up not participating in the skit.  So my husband took his role.  Our director found new people to play Mary and Joseph and I became an observer. Then to top it all off, we had adventures with our plumbing.  It was not the way I thought our Christmas weekend would go.  Here is a picture of my husband and two of our children playing Carolers, while our youngest son played a cookie.  All in all the skit went amazing.

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With everyone sick, we decided to have a quiet day at home for Christmas.  We had a good dinner.  And then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Today, I am glad to say the plumbing is fixed.  Some members of the family are on the mend.  So we will pray the new year begins better than the way 2017 is going out.

So how was your Christmas?  I would love to hear from you.

Holiday Stress and Amazing Grace

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Holidays bring a lot of different things along with the happiness and joy that should come with the time of the year. Celebrating our Savior’s birth brings along numerous events, activities, practices, performances and more.  Last week, we had play practice for our Christmas program at church, band rehearsal for our Homeschool Band concert on Thursday and then the actual band performance Saturday night.  Along with the concert itself, which my middle two children, myself, and my husband played in the band, I had to help coordinate the food for the reception afterward.  Afterall, if we wanted people to attend our concert, the moms felt the people should be fed afterward. All of this brings a certain amount of stress.

But, then something happens to remind us of the joy of the season.  As all the moms entered the church, a remarkable thing happened.  All of the moms and especially the five moms who were playing in the band showed up wearing red tops and black bottoms.  Prior to the event, none of us communicated with each other.  So it was truly divine intervention.  Then some levity also happens, such as us all agreeing on what the color combination should be for the spring concert.  Or when everyone who attended the concert said how much they enjoyed the concert.

Now this week, we had play practice this evening, dress-rehearsal Saturday morning and then the actual performance during the Christmas Eve evening service.  Y’all, we have six, count them, I said six members participating in the program.  This means four children plus the two parents, who need not only costumes but also to learn line positions and more.  Our youngest son is playing a Christmas cookie, our other three children are playing Christmas carolers while my husband and I are playing Mary and Joseph.  By the time Christmas morning gets here, I think we will all be glad to sit back and enjoy the quiet Christmas Day we have planned.

But this is the things Christmas memories are made of and I know next year we will look back fondly on them.  It does not matter if everything is perfect.  It matters that we spent time as a family, participated and remembered that Jesus Christ was born, lived and died to save us all from our sins.

So how does your family handle stress at the holidays?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read more posts from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Getting Ready for Christmas

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So as has been the tradition of our family for a number of years, the day after Thanksgiving marks our movement into Christmas decorating.  Up until about two or three years ago, my husband took care of putting the lights on our tree.  But the banner has been passed to our oldest son.  The most crucial part of putting lights on our tree is that it has to pass the “Mom” test.  If I do not approve the person stringing the lights must improve upon it.  This year our son did a decent job with the light.

Here are some pictures of the tree going up and being decorated.

Here are some more pictures of the tree.

And here is the final product of our tree for 2017.

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Stay tuned to see the decorations for the outside of our house and the rest of our indoor decorations including our Nativity scenes.

When does your family decorate for Christmas?  I would love to hear from you.