July 29, 2010

Reading Time

Look who joined our quiet reading time today?

So fun to see Sarah finally loving books (it took her longer than the boys).
One of her favorites is "Eating the Alphabet" by Louis Elhert. Caleb is loving simple chapter books and Noah anything Usborne and the "I spy" type.
Thanking God for the beautiful gift of reading!
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Give your kids a freezer box...

...and they will build a spaceship!

Well, this one was a very luxurious spaceship with beds and pillows to make their journey a bit more comfortable. And since space is so far away, teddy bears were invited to feel more at home.

Who said kids need new toys???

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July 28, 2010

Blog Walk #7

And I'm finally caught up! Yeah!!! Here's THIS week's blog walk....very impressed with so many great blogs out there. I'm inspired to improve my own blog. :)

1. Closing Time
2. One Blessed Mamma
3. El Cloud Homeschool: Busy Minds, Busy Hands, Busy Feet
4. Alive in Spirit
5. Ozark Rumblings
6. Army of 5
7. Fenced In Family
8. Debbie's Digest
9. Footprints in the Butter
10. Got Chai?"

July 27, 2010

Blog Walk #6

Another week of blog walking! This blog walk #6 and I've already joined some great new blogs!

July 23, 2010

Memory Verse Challenge-Update

Back in January, I joined the Revive Our Hearts challenge to memorize one portion of scripture every month. This has been an incredible blessing to my life!
Starting this month, we are going to memorize the entire book of Philippians! It's so neat to see how the Lord works. Last year our church did a study on this book and it was in my heart to memorize it. Back then I just couldn't even get myself to start.
But after 6 months of doing this memory verse challenge, I'm ready!
The end goal IS NOT to fill my head with lots of verses.....but to draw near to God. That's really what matters to me. Just meditating on the same passage over and over again it has been a great discipline.
Along with the challenge I receive a weekly email with encouragement and quotes from different pastors and writers who give tips on scripture memorization.
So....I'm really going to challenge you all! If you've always wanted to memorize a book of the Bible, check out the challenge details here.
And while you are there click on the link to hear the incredible testimony of Janet Pope. She came to our church once in Chicago and beautiful recited the entire book of Ephesians. She is truly inspiring!

July 20, 2010

Father's Day Pictures

I wanted to post some nice pictures of the family we took on Father's Day morning on our way from church. What a blessed day it was! The kids were well behaved and didn't even mind sitting out for a while in the heat until we mom and dad were happy with the shots. :)
The boys wrote letters to dad (I helped, of course) to share with him what they LOVE about their daddy. They both mentioned how dad teaches them the Bible and prays with them.
We are blessed! So much more than we deserve!

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July 19, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Travel The World

I'm so excited to share with you all my very first review with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew!

I was given a free copy of the e-book "Travel The World" for review purpose only. This e-book is from a series of unit studies (or modules) The Old Schoolhouse Store publishes monthly. Each unit is $7.95

You can see the entire collection as well as preview and order your copy of "Travel the World" here.

I can honestly say I LOVE this resource. "Travel the World" can be used as a stand alone geography unit study. It will serve both as an introduction for lower elementary or a review supplement for older grades.

It includes a great text that you can read aloud or older children can read by themselves. Great links, quizzes, games, map activities adaptable for different age groups, coloring pages, lapbook pages and many more printouts make this a complete unit. There's even an a detailed High School expansion section!

The unit introduces many great geography facts for every continent and learning to identify natural landmarks like rivers and mountains. You can easily spend more than one day learning about one continent alone with this resource.

I appreciate that scripture references are included throughout the study to teach children what the Bible has to say about our world and its Creator. Also the coloring pages are educational too! Not just a plain outline of each continent but they contain lots of little drawing of things you can find there. This alone was a great learning tool for Noah (my five year old). The boys also loved the online games.

The format is simple and easy to use. Additional resources pages with tons of extra links are also included. And because of the e-book format you can choose which pages to print. This could be a great help for those who use workboxes at home. You can easily have ready enough resources to fill a geography box for a few months! Just thinking about it makes me wanna go buy some plastic shoeboxes!

I think for all you get the price is right. And I highly recommend this resource.

Disclaimer: This is a complementary product I received with the only purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I will not receive financial compensation for it now or in the future.

July 18, 2010

Life Light Up

As many here know, on Sundays I have the privilege to help lead corporate worship for our local congregation. Every time I get a chance to sing a special song, I take time to meditate on the words, look for scripture references and often search a little bit of the story came to be, etc.

This morning I got a chance to sing a song by Christy Nockels (one of my vocal heroes) called "Life Light Up". It was neat to see how the Lord placed this song in the heart of our worship Pastor because not only our message today was about the life of Esther, but also we had a number of people returning home from summer mission trips.

You can listen to the music and lyrics here.

The song it's a commitment to let our lights shine for Jesus no matter where we are and to give our lives to him as a complete offering. That's what true worship is all about.

I love what Christy said herself about this song so I wanted to share it here (if you find the time to read this I think you'll be blessed):

I started writing this lyric and chorus melody in the Autumn of 2007, after a Passion regional conference in Boston. The worship was explosive that weekend, and the anticipation of the students to see God move was life changing for me. When I flew home from that weekend I looked over the city from the airplane and a melody and lyric came from my mouth, "let my life light up like the city lights..." I prayed for the students, that each of them would have the courage to be a light in a dark place, and to take the songs we had shared together into their everyday lives... Upon returning home, I learned that I was invited to go on some of the Passion World Tour stops in 2008. I have to admit that I was fearful to go. I was mostly anxious about being that far away from my kids and not being able to get to them quickly if they needed me. This would be a mission of total trust, and one of humble obedience to the One I knew was calling me. The verse and pre-chorus of this song, for me, was my "yes" to God...realizing there will be moments and seasons He calls us to go beyond our comforts and trust Him with total abandonment.

Jesus said in Matthew 5: 14, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." This is who we are as the people of God...we are a lamp set up on the lampstand...a city, set up on a hill for all to see. We are the light of the world...

What's even more amazing to me is that we've recently moved to a new city and into a new home and neighborhood. I can tell you that it has been just as much of a challenge for me personally to be a light in my own neighborhood, if not more challenging, than flying thousands of miles from home to "light up" in the darkest night. This song proclaims that He is the song we bring with us, and in us, into the darkest places of this world. It is a prayer and a proclamation that says, "my light will shine on earth and my Father will be praised!" This can look like a trip to China, or sometimes, it's just walking into "open house" with my kids at their public school down the street. Both are equally challenging for me...both require an "offering" of myself unto God, letting Him shine and show others His fame and His love through me in all that I do.

Weekly Blog Walk #4

July 16, 2010

Weekly Blog Walk #3

More blogs to check out this week.

July 15, 2010

July 14, 2010

Back from Chicago and more traveling games

Well, I guess the title of this post says it all. We are back from Chicago. What a blessed time we had there! So fun to see family and friends once again. The kids did get sick the last week and we had to cancel a lot of our planned tours around the city.

I'll post some pics next week...or as soon as I'm caught up with posts. :)

On June 30 I blogged about our family road trip and shared some games that were a hit in the car (see below).

I wanted to share a few more. Forgive me for not giving sources but I've been collecting these games for some years now and others have been passed on to our family from friends.

Enjoy these and let me know if you try any of them or made up a new version of them!


In this game, each player looks along the road, tracks or....water?

Every one takes turn pointing at numbers they see anywhere (signs, posters, billboards, houses, other cars, etc.). The numbers are added together and the first person that reaches 100 wins.

For Noah (my five year old) we played it a little different. We gave him a paper (and I had one too) and we took turns writing down numbers we saw for 3 minutes (Caleb was the time keeper).

Then we counted the numbers and whoever had the highest sum won.

Split Creatures

This game was so simple and so silly!

I gave each kid a blank paper folded in half and showed them how to draw the top part of an animal on one side. (You can also have them draw it first and then fold the paper).

I told them not to draw the legs (or bottom part).

Then they turned the paper around so no one sees what they drew and switch papers with each other.

Now they were to draw the bottom of any animal they can think of and decorate it (spots for giraffe, stripes for zebra, etc.).

Then open the papers to see their silly creatures. :)

Bigger or Smaller Challenge

The first player stars with...."oh how I wish I was a ________. (And mentions an animal name. )

The next person continues with...."but I wish I could be a __________. (This time, the player has to mention an animal that is smaller.

Continue in the same manner, but each time the animal has to be of smaller size.

Continue the game until someone can't think of an animal any more. This was so simple as well but it kept my voice busy laughing and trying hard to remember smaller or bigger animals.

You can do it again, this time try with bigger animals.

July 09, 2010

Introducing Weekly Blog Walk

I'm so looking forward to begin writing reviews for the TOS Homeschool Crew! There are over 100 reviewers for this upcoming school year and I'm excited to get to know other moms and find some great blogs to follow.

One of the things I love about the homeschooling world is that we are always looking to help each other and so, we've come up with a weekly Blog walk, in which we will highlight 10 crew blogs and get them some more traffic and exposure.

I'm a bit behind on getting started but will catch up very quickly.

So follow me every week as we visit 10 new blogs. Feel free to click on these links and even leave an encouraging comment for these hard working moms that will be taking the time to try and review products all year long. ;)

Here are the first 10: