Sunday, December 14, 2014

You can’t be joyful until you rejoice

Listening to Pastor speak about Joy today really struck home for me. I keep asking God why nothing changes in my situation. Why after 4 years we are still homeless and jobless. We are faithful and doing what I thought we were supposed to be doing to live our lives for Christ.Yet as I heard Pastor Dusty say those words, “You can’t have joy without rejoicing.” I knew in my heart I had not been joyful. I had brought my family down to earthly things. Complaining about our situation to my husband who felt helpless to change it with out a good income instead of rejoicing that we have shelter and are all together. Getting angry when I am mistreated or annoyed by another instead of rejoicing that they trust me enough to let their guard down.

Rejoicing is the outward expression, the confession, of joy in your life and without that confession there can simply not be joy. Everything else is just simply temporal happiness that depends on your current mood. I know this is something I have to change. I pray the Lord does his good work in my heart to that end. Because unless I begin to rejoice always what have I gained, certainly not the joy of my Saviour. But what I have lost goes much further than myself, I have set up all who know me to fail at finding joy in Him as well. What better way to point someone to the cross than to reveal the joy it affords me in even the lowest of times. I should know these things, a long struggle with depression shows me that Jesus is the center of it all and yet I still turn inward and fix my eyes within instead of fixing my eyes on Him. How amazing is our LORD that even while I refuse to see he is my saving grace and never gives up on me. For that I rejoice today!

If you are interested in hearing some of Pastor Dusty’s or Pastor Dave’s sermons visit Ferguson Church of the Nazarene to hear recorded archived messages. They are always timely.

Mandy

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Future engineer

If you have a child who adores hands on work maybe First Lego League / First Tech Challenge is a good fit for them. FLL uses Lego Mindstorms to build a robot and program it to do a series of tasks in a timed completion. FTC the teams build a larger metal robot that is both remote operated and programmed to complete a set of obstacle challenges. Our local team, sponsored by Everything Engineered, was a homeschool team and they competed against other local schools doing pretty well for themselves for first years. My son is 12 here and he has had most wonderful experience working with his coaches and teammates this season. You can be sure we will be at it again in a few short months planning for next years competitions. Check it out at www.usfirst.org




Mandy

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Tis the season for…

Mishaps and mayhem! I love my children dearly. But what possesses them to do things they have never seen myself or my hubby do? You know things like write on a computer screen.  I would say if we used a stylus I could understand it but we don’t so…why? In the past 2 weeks I have had my 2 1/2 year old son make some beautiful art in both permanent marker and ball point ink. Google to the rescue!

After some searching and debate on which method would be safest for our plasma HP All-In-One machine I took the plunge, hoping I would not make the situation worse. First up the permanent marker. Apparently writing over the marks with dry erase marker erases them. Yep worked like a charm with minimal effort. I just wiped down the screen after each small section I worked on.

A little tougher customer was the ball point pen. There was some discrepancies in what I found on whether using various solvents would ruin the antiglare finish so I opted for a drier method first go-round. A plain ol’ rubber eraser, actually the eraser on the end of my papermate mechanical pencil. It took a little more effort but it did the trick. I am happy to say my screen is now baby art free and hopefully baby will decide he likes paper better very soon. Because he is lightening quick you know.

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Our Favorite Christmas Tradition

A few years ago while introducing our children to Dickens my husband and myself came across a full audio recording of A Christmas Carol read by Sir Patrick Stewart. The children were immediately smitten and an annual tradition was begun. Every year since then we initiate our holiday season with this wonderful gem of sin and redemption. If you have never listened to it before with your family I linked it here for you to enjoy.

 

Mandy

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Christmas is coming

Lately I have been spending a little more time on a fabulous hobby of mine, making soap. Actually it began over a year ago as making whipped body butter for my family.

During the dry winter months my little ones’ eczema gets so bad and my hands start aging before my very eyes. I had wanted to try to make my own lotion for a while and after looking around at some Kindle books on Amazon found a recipe I liked. I did not really think too much about it but we all loved how it felt and smelled, so this year as our homeschool craft fair came around my children wanted to make some more to sell. I supervised and helped them label the various tubs (we made 4 kinds) and they actually sold pretty well.

I kind of thought it would be really wonderful if one day I could bring in some money to help hubby not be so stressed since he is out of work. So naturally I asked God to take that silly thought out of my head because hubby had a perfect job opportunity. We were going through the formalities  because we all knew how perfect it was. Uh huh, you guessed it, poof that job fizzled out. Instead God put it in my heart to try making soap, so I thought well at least it will save us money and gave it a go. I ended up loving it and mentioned it to a few friends and had planned on making some nice Christmas gifts for family since we are not getting any money in. Well those few friends all wanted some and they loved them so much they wanted more so I have been pretty busy crafting soap for Christmas.

I gotta say I am in awe of how God works and while this is something so small and not ever on my radar I know he has a plan for all of us and it is always perfect! So how is God moving you this Christmas?

Mandy

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Cuddly backpack buddies

 

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Patch Buddies are an adorable combination of a Plush Toy and a custom Backpack that has a built-in carrying case. There are ten playful animals and four unique characters in the Bubele's Patch Buddy collection and each has a unique personality that will provide endless hours of entertainment and comfort, at home or on the go. Safety is important to us and to your children. So we manufacture and produce our products with the highest quality materials, dedication to safety and especially designed to protect your little ones. To see our loveable and playful collection visit our website at http://patchbuddies.com/ or our facebook page.

Here you can save 40% on any buddies purchase. Just click the link for the coupon,40% off use code: BUDDY224.

My 2 youngest have birthdays and these are perfect, and so stinkin cute!

Mandy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kelly Kits for Christmas

Being a homeschool mom planning is a major marker of a successful day. My children love being creative but sometimes what I plan is not enough or I don’t want to get out the messy art stuff (even though it is my favorite) because we are in tight quarters right now. The best solution I have found is to use Kelly Kits. You have 2 options to choose from: The Monthly Delivered Art Subscription is a prepackaged kit in one of the five art disciplines with enough materials to complete one art lesson. Gift Packs are prepackaged kits that contain enough supplies for 2 children to complete 5 activities.

I think we will be so happy using this as our art curriculum for the rest of this year because it is all planned and I do not have to go searching for supplies which means we will be doing more fun stuff!

From the site
    “Kelly Kits encourage art play using a wide variety of creative tools & materials beyond what coloring books can offer and are the perfect holiday gift for your creative kiddo!  For 72 hours only Kelly Kits is having a site wide sale where all products are 10% off!  Get your favorite little artist a years worth of art kits or a special gift pack with 5 activities that explore the five discipline of art:  Drawing, Painting, Print Making, Collage & Sculpting!”

Right now Kelly Kits is having a couple of great promotions. Check them out HERE

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You can follow Kelly Kits on FB HERE

Have creative Holiday everybody!

Mandy

Monday, June 18, 2012

My First Guest Post

Over at So you Call Yourself a Homeschooler Carlie is hosting a summer series on homeschool methods and approaches and I am so excited to be a guest poster. I am writing about how Charlotte Mason has influenced our schooling and how we are using her methods in our home. I hope you take the time to visit and read all the posts by clicking the button below.

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Simple Woman’s Daybook 06/15/2012

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The Simple Woman's Daybook
FOR TODAY
Outside my window...Warm, still and clear...
I am thinking...I should have woken up earlier…
I am thankful for...my children and being able to teach them…
From the kitchen...lunch being prepared…
I am wearing...jeans and a gray tank…
I am creating...digital scrapbook layouts…

I am going…to the library later today… 
I am reading…Engaging The Prodigal… 
I am hoping...my oldest son enjoyed his stay at camp this past week…
I am hearing…my middle son reading By the Great Horn Spoon

Around the house...my daughter’s toys are strewn about…

One of my favorite things...waking up early and feeling awake instead of wanting to crawl right back under the blankets…

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Packing up books from this year and beginning to plan for our new curriculum… 
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Summer School

Mandy

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A New Endeavor

Ever since I was introduced to scrapbooking I have been in love. I even became a Stampin Up consultant and enjoyed it immensely. Storage was a problem and so I began looking at digital scrapbooking but never really felt drawn to it. Now that I have a good digital camera I began looking more seriously.

After seeing a few freebie sets put out by others and asking about what is the easiest and most cost effective product, I decided on Photoshop Elements 10, which I received this past Mother’s Day from my awesome family. I am still learning but have realized designing Digiscrap sets really isn’t all that difficult for me. So, here is my first attempt:

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So, what do you think? Four papers with a slight shimmer and great texture. I am thinking after much practice that I may even make sets to sell. I would love comments on improvements, tutorials, pricing suggestions, and how to get started. If enough of you like these papers I’ll post them on here for free.

Mandy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heritage History~TOS Review

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As a homeschool family we own a lot of books both in physical and e-book format. I try to purchase physical books whenever possible but with hubby out of work for a year and a move to a much smaller space that has been cut back this year. Not to mention I am beginning to run out of book shelves. I was so grateful to be chosen to review Heritage History’s Classical Curriculum-Young Reader’s Library.
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From the Website:
“The Heritage Classical Curriculum is the easiest, least expensive, and most enjoyable way to learn traditional history. Our "living books" reading program uses narrative histories that were popular with young people of earlier generations and features books of interest to students of all ages.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Write Shop ~ TOS Review

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I love to write and so does my husband. I write poetry, short stories, pretty much whatever comes to mind while my dearest writes things of a more technical nature. This has not been the case with our 2 oldest sons.
While the 16 y/o will at least put pencil to paper and write something when required, the 9 y/o will balk and whine. Not a happy school day when that happens let me tell you. To his credit he has dysgraphia which makes writing painful and difficult for him. To combat this we began with minimal writing for him, focusing on penmanship and how to get the letters to flow. Slowly we have increased his workload to include more writing.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judah Bible Curriculum ~ TOS Review

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One of the places we really struggle in our day to day school life and outside of school as well, is remembering to work on and implement Godly character. I think this is probably the most important thing we as homeschoolers should be working on but for some reason it is always the first thing to let slip when things get crazy. We recently decided to cut back and simplify to really focus on this.
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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Homeschool Library Builder ~ TOS Review

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I am so happy to have been introduced to a wonderful homeschool resource recently. Homeschool Library Builder is a company that helps homeschoolers build their libraries at a very affordable price. Run by two homeschool families, HSLB has an amazing free membership that enables you to earn free books with their book rewards program, newsletters with lesson plans and monthly specials, sell your products in their marketplace, and help support Compassion International.
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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ring Around The ABC’s…

My daughter turned 3 about a month ago and she is forever asking to do school. However, her idea of school is more organic than mine. She is completely happy to jump around while counting or doing the alphabet but me being me I try to teach her. What? She is having none of that, thank you very much!
In order to try and get her engaged in learning the alphabet in order, which I admit in the grand scheme of things doesn’t really matter, I decided to make it a game. She LOVES games! I took the first 6 letters and wrote them on 6 pieces of construction paper (5 3/4’ X 9”) of assorted colors. I placed 6 chairs in a back to back fashion (think musical chairs) and put one letter on each chair seat. I played music and when it stopped she had to climb on the nearest chair and tell me what letter she landed on. Apparently all letters were the letter “A” today but she got the idea.IMG_0553

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