Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Giveaway: Everlasting Love Print

Well, February is almost over! Can you believe it? I think I may be in denial actually. The year is flying.

With Valentines' Day on our brains this month, February brings a lot of LOVE to the forefront of our minds and hopefully our hearts and actions.

I'm giving away an 8 x 10 print of Jeremiah 31:3 from The Daily Grace Co., which reminds us that GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE! His love is great and grand, and I am thankful for it!

I am praying this print not only blesses the person who wins this but also those of you who are trying to win. My prayer is that everyone is reminded of His great love for us, even when she doesn't feel it or see it in difficult circumstances.

To win this print, please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page telling me what you will do with this print, and don't forget to click that you have commented! Rafflecopter will help me choose a random winner, this Sunday, Feb. 25.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Moving Beyond the Fog of Life

The other day I went for a drive - the three of us - just me, myself, and I.

I needed a reprieve.

I hopped in my awesome minivan, picked up a luxurious latte, and headed towards the neighboring city, hoping to see its Christmas lights still aglow atop the downtown stores and buildings in all sorts of glorious colors!

As I headed closer to the scene, all I saw was FOG. My heart sank. FOG? That's it?! I thought for sure I had missed it -- my chance to see the lights just one more time.

For a quick moment, I remembered how my phone alerted me before I left. There was going to be dense fog all evening. I did hesitate to go out, but I really wanted some time alone, so I forged ahead.

I continued through the thick haze with a sufficient amount of discouragement, but I hesitated to give up.  As I was about to cross the bridge into downtown, the spectacular display began. The lights were still up! My heart felt alive!

It's amazing how WEIGHED DOWN my heart felt when all I saw was FOG, and then how quickly my heart SURGED WITH POSITIVITY when I could see beyond it!

And this is the story of life...

FOG hinders us and distracts us daily.
  • Struggles in relationships
  • Lack of motivation
  • Health issues
  • Trials in our homes
  • Social media comparisons
  • Disappointing and disheartening news
  • Downward spirals of thinking
and more...

It, all, causes us to FOCUS on the FOG and FEEL defeated.

BUT if we can FOCUS on what lies BEYOND the fog,
even if it is yet unknown to us, and keep
in the right direction. THEN we will experience more of the abundant life that God wishes us to have!

Are you bogged down by the FOG of life? 

Push it aside.
Keep forging ahead.
Have hope in your heart.
Trust in the Lord your God.

Hebrews 12:1-2
...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas - Where the Sacred Meets Reality

I am up this morning with a childhood anticipation. Today is the day our household celebrates. It's Christmas Eve, and our family is spoiled to share this day together, a day early. For years we traveled to both sides of the family on Christmas Day, so we chose to set this day aside just for us.

As I sit awake, with my Christmas lights aglow, I treasure the silence. I am longing for a fresh, hot cup of coffee, yet I fear to start the process of making one lest I awake the others in my home.

I am enjoying the peace of this morning, when my soul can be refreshed and my heart feels the peace and joy of just being alive, having a life with good things - even when life can be so tough at times.

I am reminded of the true meaning of Christmas,
when the SACRED meets REALITY.

"All is calm. All is bright." 

We sing those words with hope and with confidence, and it creates a very nostalgic picture of when Christ was born. It was a very sacred moment indeed!

However, we must remember, that Jesus - the Son of God - came to earth, a place full of heartache and sin and strife, a place full of less than the ideal many times. When He was born, the scene was not as pretty as we sometimes imagine. Our Savior was born in a stable, when his parents found no comfortable place to birth him and welcome him, and the arduous process of taking care of a special newborn baby took place that day.

And although the situation to welcome our Savior was a humble one, we focus on the glory of it.

Singing "O Holy Night", "What Child is This", "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and much more puts our hearts in a worshipful, thankful, sacred mode where we allow our reality to become dim and accept the awesomeness of our God and His love for us.

I have heard various people say they haven't felt very "Christmassy" or that is just doesn't feel like "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Grief, relational difficulties, financial strain, and other pressures of life swarm us and fill our daily lives with intense struggle. 

YET, there is a Savior. There is a sacred moment when Christ came to earth, to display His love for His creation and to save us from our sins and help us in our dismal reality.

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

May the love of Jesus fill your hearts and home today!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
and the government shall be upon his shoulder;
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Review of Modernity History - a World History Course from Compass Classroom

First of all, let's get this out in the open... I am not a history buff, so this is one subject in our homeschool where I can feel a bit lacking. Therefore, it is important for me to have high quality resources that I trust and value.

Enter Dave Raymond's Modernity course, a world history course that covers 1500 to the present and the maturity of Western civilization.

I was sent the DVD course to review, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed!

This course is interesting, engaging, and very informative!

Dave Raymond has a great teaching personality. He is not monotone. He speaks clearly and thoroughly, and he has a love and knowledge for the subject of history that comes through his teaching vibrantly! Even if someone is not a history lover, Dave Raymond works hard to pull in his listeners.

Dave Raymond begins the course with the reasons WHY we should study history. I love this! After all, many students ask the question, "Why do I have to study this anyway?" Dave Raymond lays a great foundation for learning the subject of history, prepping students' hearts and minds for what they are about to embark upon.

The course itself is well-structured, covering a central, exciting topic each week: philosophers, empires, the scientific revolution, the French revolution, wars, rulers, etc. Rather than jumping from subject to subject, there is focus for several days, which provides thoroughness and makes the material easier to understand and more interesting.

Quotes from authors and others embellish Dave Raymond's teaching, and the lecture is full of intermittent historical pictures, which help the student to stay focused and also create a visual picture of the events, people, and places he is learning about. 

The course is a one year course that consists of 27 lessons, 4 projects, a student reader, a teacher's guide, weekly exams, and a year-long portfolio, making this course an excellent choice for any high school history credit!

For more information about Dave Raymonds' Modernity course, you can visit Compass Classroom -- https://www.compassclassroom.com/history/modhist.

A handful of months ago I did a review for Compass Classroom - a company that has a variety of high quality educational resources for families. If you missed that, you can check it out here

I received a free copy of the Modernity course in exchange for an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Giveaway - A Copy of "Becoming Mom Strong"

If you follow me on Facebook at all, you know that I was hoping to do a Giveaway in October and another one in November. Well, October flew by faster than I had hoped... At least I am *starting* the giveaway in October. ~smile~

So, the giveaway starts now, and I will choose a random winner on Friday via Rafflecopter -- because Fridays are awesome! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on my blog (or on Facebook), telling me why YOU would like to have a copy of this book. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am giving away a copy of Becoming Mom Strong, by Heidi St. John. I love Heidi St. John and have for years. She's just an authentic woman who loves God and family and lives, writes, and speaks about it in various avenues.

I am in the middle of reading this book, along with a couple others - eh hem - and it is ENCOURAGING!

This book is a great read for moms who want to gird up and refresh themselves and their visions for their walks with God and their love and sacrifice for their families.

The book points women to the Lord for their strength, helps them gain better resolve for their homes in a culture that feels very anti-home/family at times, and supports them in their decisions to be moms who desire to love and lead their children to Christ.

Best wishes and many blessings!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Busy September and a Giveaway: Rest and Release!

Well, September is here... and I've got one week to go! September and May are my busy months, busier and crazier than Thanksgiving and Christmas, I believe.

September is the start of everything: full time homeschool, Wed night church (where I lead and teach), homeschool co-op (where I teach), flute, piano, ballet, the culmination of three kids in soccer, and more ...

And I am sure you have your own list!

In the midst of it all, I feel a bit scattered and crazy, and I continue to tell myself:

"Stop stressing"
"Focus on the moment" and 
"Do the next thing" (Thanks, Elisabeth Elliot!)

And what a perfect time it is for me to do a
Bible study called, "Rest and Release".

I have a feeling some of you are due for this as well.

So... I am doing a giveaway. The giveaway starts ASAP and ends Monday at midnight, because Monday is my birthday, and that seems like a good way to end a birthday - to bless someone with a book that may help her rest and release a bit more in life. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can do this Bible study on your own or you can join Courtney at womenlivingwell.org on October 1st when she starts the study! Check out her site for more details. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Historical Stories of Survival: A Review

A few years ago I did a review of Justine Gamble's Girls of American History unit study curriculum -- intriguing lessons about history based on the American Girl book series.

Justine is back with another great unit study curriculum:

an engaging study of history, targeting 2nd through 5th graders, based on the I Survived series of books.

The I Survived books cover various key subjects/events throughout the ages:

  • Pompeii
  • The Titanic
  • The American Revolution
  • Pearl Harbor
  • September 11th
  • ...and other significant catastrophes

A comprehensive guide of study, Historical Stories of Survival works alongside the I Survived series to provide a well-rounded, exciting view of these time periods.

Justine's heart is to provide an education that draws students in and helps them remember what they learn. Through her curriculum she provides a multi-sensory experience for children.

The Titanic unit, for instance, has a long list of resources to pick and choose from: books, Titanic build kits, coloring books, puzzles, etc. In the unit guide itself, there are fill-in-the-blanks, word searches, and a board game you can create! Through various readings and activities children are encouraged to read, hear, see, write, and do things that enhance their learning of the subject.

Each unit is intended to take about six weeks. During the first week, you read "I Survived" book, do crafts, and create a lapbook. During the subsequent five weeks, you continue the study through subject-related books and activities, using the lenses of history, geography, science, and language.

The units include:

  • Detailed weekly schedules
  • Book list: required and suggested
  • Craft resources
  • Field Trip Ideas
  • And more!
Depending on how you choose to use the material, Historical Stories of Survival can be used as more of a core curriculum or as a supplement to what you are already teaching in your home. 

If you are looking for a well put-together, history curriculum that will educate and entice your elementary students, check out Historical Stories of Survival.