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?

Typical Year versus This Year

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It is hard to believe we are in our tenth year of homeschooling.  When we began this journey, I never dreamed what our lives would look like.  I found it to be one of the biggest blessings in my life.  My children are much closer than they would have been otherwise.  If this was a typical year, we would either have recently attended or would be preparing to attend a homeschool convention.  Conventions provide the opportunity to find curriculum, get refreshed, and develop a renewed excitement in homeschooling.  However, this is simply not a typical year.  Starting in October of 2015, we were told to prepare for a permanent change of duty station (or PCS if you are familiar with military terms).  We received no official orders but were told this was a definite move.  It took well into January before we received the official orders.  We scheduled our move without having a location to deliver our belongings to when we arrived in Texas.

We did not expect to have the difficulties in finding a house to rent, but God had other ideas.  Everything about this move has been different from our other moves.  This one provided a test of our patience and expectations.  So we officially arrived in Texas on March 10, 2016.  But we did not officially have a home to rent.  On Friday, we went to see two different homes and wound up renting one of them.  We were unable to take possession until the 19th of March due to plumbing issues.  This meant it was March 22 before our belongings were delivered.  As a result, we have spent the past two months trying to settle in and find everything.

This time last year, we had just attended the CHAP convention in Pennsylvania where I had the privilege of celebrating our first son’s high school graduation.  Standing beside my husband and hearing the words he spoke to and about our son at the graduation ceremony was enough to bring me to tears.  It meant one chapter of his life was ending while a new chapter was beginning.  However, it also meant I had to prepare mentally and emotionally to go through this rollercoaster three more times.  I can not begin to imagine what it will be like when our youngest (who is our only daughter) is the one graduating.  For the past year, our oldest has lived at home with us and is preparing to start college courses through a correspondence seminary school.  He plans on becoming a Youth Minister in the future.  Being at home meant we did not have to worry about traveling to get him from college once the school year ended.  Instead, he moved with us and has been blessed to find an opportunity to begin working with the pastor of the local church we found.  He is going to be getting hands-on experience which will be such a blessing.

So instead of preparing to finish the year and making preparations to do evaluations and turn in portfolios and paperwork, we are instead preparing to finish out our current school year.  At the same time, I am trying to prepare for the new school year.  But that is the beauty of homeschooling, we can change and adapt to situations that life hands us.

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

Adjusting to Texas

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So it has been a while since I posted here.  In March, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas because of my husband’s job.  We have spent the rest of the time attempting to settle into our new home.  Moving is quite an adventure and when you are not the one to pack everything, it makes it more of a challenge, especially when different people were on the crew each day.  But we are working towards getting everything unpacked and finding what we need.  Since we are settling in, homeschooling has been put on hold.  However, my children are about to get back to the daily routine of homeschooling, chores, church and other activities.

Normally this time of the year, we are gearing up to attend homeschooling conventions.  I love the experience of examining books and curriculum.  However, our move made that a challenge with the dates of conventions in our new location.  But I have found two in Texas that we can attend in June and July – so stay tuned for me to share what wonderful things we discover.

So what is going on where you are?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

“B” is for Babies, Boys, Bibles and Books and Blogging

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So today is Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April along with the Blogging A to Z challenge.  The letter of the day is “B”, which for me is for babies, Bibles and books.  We have four children who are 18, 16, 14 and 12 respectively right now.  While I miss them being babies to a certain extent, I enjoy seeing the people they are becoming.  Three of our children are boys and they truly are a handful.  Our youngest is our only girl and she is quite the princess.  My boys keep life interesting and one never knows what might be discussed when we sit down to meals or what they will attempt to do.

Bibles play a critical role in our family.  My husband became an ordained minister the same year we were married.  So we have worked to bring up our children in the word of God.  As we search for homeschooling materials, Biblical companies are the main one we use.  It is important to us to have a Biblical worldview and for our children to back up what they believe with Scripture references.  So we have quite the collection of Bibles, concordances, Biblical commentaries and dictionaries around our home.

The other thing our home is full of is books.  I grew up believing that books were my best friend.  I was never bored or lacked things to do because I always had books to read.  I have tried to instill the same love of reading in my children.  They have not all grabbed hold of the idea as I would wish, but we are still working on it.  It is fun when we prepare for a move to see all the books loaded into boxes.  We have Biblical books, Language Arts and Literature books, books on writing, books for Math, books for Science, books for History and books for the Arts.  On top of those books, we have books on homeschooling,  books to read for pleasure and various other books.  Each member of the family has at least one bookcase in their room.  Plus we have other bookcases scattered around the house.  Books make homeschooling much easier.  Even if I never bought any more curriculum for our children, I could homeschool from the books we have.  With seven people living in our home the books really add up.

“B” is also for blogging and Bible Journaling.   I started blogging as a way of keeping our extended family aware of what was going on in our lives along with providing a record for our children.  Writing makes things more real somehow and easier to remember.  Utilizing photographs helps keep those memories as well.

Bible Journaling has become a new pastime for me.  I especially love getting on Pinterest and Facebook to see what others are creating. Here is a sample of one of works.

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So what does the letter “B” represent or bring to mind for you and your family?  I welcome comments!

Another Round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well the first quarter of 2015 has flown by quickly.  We have spent the time working on school, beginning to hold church services at our home and making a relatively quick trip to North Carolina to see my husband’s side of the family.

With the start of the second quarter of 2015 beginning, I am pleased to be participating in the next round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  My plan for this blog for 2015 is to increase traffic to the blog and begin offering some freebies as well.  I am also going to learn how to use Photoshop and work more with PicMonkey to create my own graphics.

In April, the next Proverbs 31 Ministries Bible Study for Lysa Terkeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith” will begin.  Once again I will be serving as one of the Facebook Small Group leaders.

I am also participating in a Bible Study for Kay Arthur’s book “How to Study Your Bible” in order to learn more about the Inductive Bible Study method.  I am also going through the book, “Writing in the Margins”.  One of my goals for 2015 is to grow in Bible Journaling activities.  My one word for 2015 is “Create” and that is my focus for the year.

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In the realm of homeschooling, we are preparing for our oldest son’s graduation.  With that we will enter a new realm of parenting.  We are planning on him walking across the stage at the CHAP convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the weekend of Mother’s Day.  Our next graduation will possibly take place as early as the next school year.

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So what is going on where you are

The First Day of NaBloPoMo for December

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This is the first day of the December NaBloPoMo challenge and I am still on a roll.  I blogged for every day of October and November and now I am trying to see if I can do the same thing for December.  The theme for December’s NaBloPoMo challenge is “Joy” and everyone needs joy in their life.

Our prompt for the day is to discuss when we are down what we do to bring ourselves up.  My favorite things to do when I am down is to spend time with my children – all 4 of them to be precise, three boys and one girl – they have a way of making me laugh and find joy in the world.

Another thing I like to do is spend time with my Bible.  I love to pick a word such as joy and find various Bible references for that word.  So for example, when I used my Bible Gateway app to search for the word Joy, I found quite a few references.

Here are a few of the ones I really like:

Psalm 32:11 – “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Psalm 35:9 – “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.”

Psalm 66:1 – “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.”

Psalm 95:2 – “O come, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

Luke 1:14 – “And thous shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

John 15;11 – “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Romans 5:11 – “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Galatians 5:22-23:  – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.”

Philippians 1:4 – “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.                                             ”

James 1:2-8:  “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

and finally:

Psalm 30:5 – “For his anger endureth but for a moment’ in his favour is life, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”