Monday, December 28, 2015

Homeschool Help: Scripture Memory System



SCRIPTURE MEMORY SYSTEM

We consider ourselves an eclectic homeschooling family. The variety of homeschooling methods might overwhelm some, causing them to cling to one particular method and stick with it. This works great for many families, but personally, I thrive on exploring and implementing different teaching styles! That said, we are not a Charlotte Mason family, by definition, although we do appreciate some of her methods. One method in particular, is the Scripture Memory System

Bible teaching and memorization looks different from one home to another. Some families beginning their day with a family devotion. Others gather around the dinner table listening to Dad read from the Word of God after a delicious meal. In our home, we read a chapter from the Bible in our homeschool each morning. We are currently in the last book of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy. My hope is to have each of my children hear/read the entire Bible several times before they graduate High School. This way, they will know what the Bible says and won't be easily swayed by false teachings. 

Reading through the Bible is an important element in our homeschool. It is also important that the head of our home, my husband, is able to teach, instruct and impart the Word of God to our children. This is why we integrate the Scripture Memory System into our daily routine. This method is simple, only takes a few minutes a day, and is surprisingly effective!



 1 Index Card Holder
41 Tab Dividers
1 Pack of Index Cards




First you will prepare the cards by turning the dividers over and labeling the back of the tabs:




Daily
Odd
Even
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1-31


Place the dividers in the box, in that order, beginning with DAILY.

Next, write a verse you want to memorize on an index card and place it behind the DAILY divider.

Everyday, when you go over your daily verse, have one parent read the reference. The rest of the family will then repeat it. Breaking the verse up into small chunks, read and have your family repeat the verse. Continue with the DAILY verse until it is memorized by each member of the family. This may take days or it may take weeks. 

Once the verse is mastered, place behind the ODD divider and place a new verse to begin memorizing in the DAILY. Once this verse is mastered, place behind the EVEN divider. Keep adding verses behind the dividers as you gain mastery. Eventually you will have a verse behind each one.

Once you have more than just the daily verse, you will repeat your verses in the following manner:

On odd days of the month you will go over the daily verse, odd verse, the verse of the day of the week it is and the verse for that particular day of the month.

Example: On Monday, December 28th you will go over the following:

DAILY
EVEN
MONDAY
28

I hope that makes sense! 

If not, here is the video from Simply Charlotte Mason that our family used to get started:





This system is an excellent way to build confidence in the hearts of each member of your family. You have the chance to rehearse what your family already knows and you will always be learning more. We have been implementing this in our home for about 9 months now. Each child has a favorite verse and they are now able to easily hide them in their little hearts!




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Monday, December 14, 2015

Odyssey Adventure Club- A Great Gift!



OAC-Gift-That-Lasts-All-Year-Facebook-Cover



Tired of the Christmas shopping, the baking and sugar overload, the Christmas festivities that keep you away from your family during the season? Take time special time to spend with your loved ones and invest in your community—with Focus on the Family's help!


You can download a fun gift to give to your friends, family, and community! Each Christmas stocking stuffer card directs you to a special place to hear an Adventures in Odyssey Christmas episode. Plus, you’ll be able to read a special excerpt from Imagination Station #12, “Danger on a Silent Night.” Sign up here to download the free cards.


Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!




Christmas_2015_Cards_Banner 



If you're still looking for one last gift to give your kids this year, give the gift of the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.

  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.

  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.

  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.

  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.


To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit www.oaclub.org, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Evangelicals For Life Event {January 21-22 2016}

EFL Button

Clear your schedules January 21-22, 2016, because Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others-to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.
For more information, visit http://evangelicals.life/.

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.


Russell Moore will be speaking at Evangelicals for Life. He is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a theologian, ethicist, frequent cultural commentator, and author of several books. In the guest post below, he speaks to the importance of hosting the conference in the midst of the cultural battle for human dignity.

Why We're Hosting the Evangelicals For Life Conference

By Russell Moore

As many Christians sat at their computer and watched a casual dinner conversation over the price of dismembered children, a lot of us probably thought: "But what can I do about this?" This is a question I hear often from pro-life evangelicals. Many Christians are utterly convinced in their heart of the personhood and dignity of the unborn, yet don't know how to faithfully effectively advocate for life.

It's important to understand that the cultural battle for human dignity doesn't begin on Capitol Hill or on CNN. It begins in your family, in your local church, and in your neighborhood. In fact, many of the people we know most vulnerable to the abortionist's rhetoric are not actually pro-choice, they're just scared, scared to scandalize a church with their secret. The false gospel of the abortion clinic, which says, "We can make all your trouble go away for you," is overwhelmingly seductive.

What these people need more than a lesson in embryonic development is to have the Gospel preached to their conscience. This means much more than simply offering "The Romans Road" or prompting a sinner's prayer; it means speaking directly with the message of Jesus' complete sovereignty of the universe, his righteous indignation on the murder of the unborn, and most importantly, his complete absorption of God's wrath on the cross, and his invitation to mercy and fellowship and the imputed righteousness of the Son of God.

The Gospel disarms the appeal of the abortion clinic because it offers truth with love, judgment with mercy, and righteousness with grace. The consciences around us don't believe what they're telling themselves. They're scared and confused. Shine a light on their conscience, and then present the Gospel of reconciliation.
Moreover, the pro-life movement has set an example worthy of our imitation when it comes to practical, holistic mercy ministry. For over 40 years since Roe v. Wade, those committed to defending unborn life have done much more than preach and teach; they have welcomed the scared, the vulnerable, and the wounded and loved them. 

This has looked like the establishment of crisis pregnancy centers all around cities. It has looked like adoption advocacy and building a culture of adoption in local churches. It's true that our pro-life witness has a long way to go, but we do not, thankfully, conform to the caricature that says we believe life "begins at conception and ends at birth."
FOTF-EFL 

Questions like these are why I am excited to be a part of the Evangelicals For Life Conference in January. This conference exists to help evangelicals articulate a truly Christian doctrine on the dignity of all human life. Being pro-life, after all, means much more than being against abortion on demand; it means believing in the dignity of the elderly and infirm, and advocating for compassion and inclusion of the poor, the orphan, and the widow. 


No doctrine of human dignity that fails to speak to these cases is fully "pro-life." Sometimes Christians are encouraged to leave issues like this behind. Sometimes the fight for human dignity is portrayed as "culture war" baggage. For those of us that watched an executive from Planned Parenthood talk about the most valuable anatomy of dead children, we know this to be false. The stakes for human life and human dignity could not be higher, and the plight of those ignored by the world does not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.

We have a Gospel word to speak to the abortionist and the unborn, to the orphan and those not considering adoption. Will you join me in Washington, on January 21-22, as we seek to speak this word?

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Russell Moore's website.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Baby and a Manger



Humility. That is the word that comes to mind when I think of the true meaning of Christmas. God, ."..emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant... made in the likeness of men, (Philippians 2:7). The God of the universe. The One who spoke when there was nothing, and created everything, (Genesis 3-26). The One who controls the clouds and makes the lightening flash, (Job 37:15). The One who holds the keys to death and hell, (Revelation 1:18). He chose to come down, as a man, the man Jesus (John 8:58). He didn't come in a royal robe. He wasn't nurtured by the richest king of the times. He came by his servant Mary, (Luke 1:38) through humble beginnings. 


Baby Jesus is Born

Think of your beginnings. Where you came from. We all come to Christ empty handed and broken. Even if we have all the riches of the world we are still spiritually dead, since we were born into sin. 

We need to be born again (John 3:7). We need to become like a child again. We need to learn how to think, act, and treat other people; the Bible way. 

When this happens, we change. We aren't the same person we used to be. Thought processes are different. Priorities have changed. Routines are no longer routine but we now follow a new rule book. 

A baby, from birth, is dependent on his mother's milk. He then grows and matures. Jesus Himself grew in wisdom and stature, (Luke 2:52). He came as a babe and grew and matured, all while staying pure, sinless and unspotted from the world.   

This Christmas, let us remember the humility of the manger, the stable and the one who came into this world to carry our burden of sin. Let us not forget that through Him, we might be saved and that His humble life here on earth was our example. 


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my ow

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Teaching Character in Peace


Many parents wait until the heat of the moment to teach their children character traits. Classic example; their child hits another kid on the playground. Embarrassed and.... Continuing Reading at Our Homeschool Forum

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bluffer's Guide To Cycling


You may THINK you know everything about cycling, (especially if you've got Dutch blood running through your veins), but I am confident that The Bluffer's Guide To Cycling by Rob Ainsley will still help fill in the gaps of your cycling knowledge! This witty little book will leave you wondering how you ever called yourself a cyclist before acquiring this guide. Know a bike enthusiast? Planning on attending the Tour De France in July 2016? Then this book is a must-have. Buy as a stocking filler, or just to keep on your bedside stand. Order your copy before The Bluffer's 50% Off Sale ends on Monday!

BLACK FRIDAY 50% OFF SALE
ORDER AT BLUFFERS.COM
Deals Run Through Monday 11/30/15
 
The Bluffer's Guides are a part of Thrift Schooling's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Bluffers for providing Thrift Schooling the book mentioned in this post. 
All opinions stated here are my own.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Homeschooling




Congratulations! Either you've just had a baby or recently found out that you're expecting. How exciting! A new bundle of..... Continue Reading At Our Homeschool Forum.

Bluffer's Guide To Hiking


If you are planning on hiking in Europe anytime soon, or at least want to pretend that you are, then The Bluffer's Guide To Hiking by Simon Whaley would be right up your alley! As with any Bluffer's Guide, you can instantly acquire knowledge about your favorite topic by reading this compact yet jam packed guide.

Learn the correct terminology when speaking about geocaching. Apparently there is more to this hobby than meets the eye so you better know the rules and etiquette that goes along with it before you pull out your GPS and start digging!

Find out which gear would best suit your needs from footwear to backpacks.

Learn how to effectively communicate with other hikers you may pass by. 

Find out the tricks of the trade in a fun and witty fashion. 

This book is the perfect stocking stuffer, coffee table book, bedside read, bathroom companion, you name it! 

This exhilarating and hilarious read is one that hikers from all kind of backgrounds would enjoy. Whether you are a day hiker, weekend hiker or this is what you spend the bulk of your holiday doing, you will certainly not be able to put this book down once you begin!


BLACK FRIDAY 50% OFF SALE
ORDER AT BLUFFERS.COM

The Bluffer's Guides are a part of Thrift Schooling's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide



Disclaimer: Thanks to Bluffers.com for providing me with the above title in exchange for this review. 
All opinions stated here are my own.




Monday, November 23, 2015

The Bluffer's Guide To Cats



Just in case you are stuck sitting next to Aunt Nelda, the crazy cat lady, at your holiday dinner table- be sure to brush up on all your cat facts ahead of time. From body language to cat folklore, The Bluffer's Guide To Cats by Vicki Halls can help you learn facts about cats that you've always wanted to know, and things you never knew you needed to know! 

Maybe you're flying home for the holidays and want to impress your seatmate. For four hours straight. This book can totally help you out. If you aren't in need of a cat crash course (because you know everything about cats already or are allergic to even the thought of them,) then pick a few up for stocking stuffers! Get some as gifts for your cat crazed boss, friend, uncle, or neighbor. Even the the lady who feeds the cats behind the dumpsters would get a kick out of this. I guarantee there will be at least one fact in the book that she doesn't know! 

The humorous approach to this book will certainly leave you laughing out loud. Of course, mixed in with the humor you will find piles of cat facts that any cat lover can easily absorb.

BLACK FRIDAY 50% OFF SALE
ORDER AT BLUFFERS.COM

The Bluffer's Guides are a part of Thrift Schooling's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide



Disclaimer: Thanks to Bluffers.com for providing me with the above title in exchange for this review. 
All opinions stated here are my own.

Read And Share 5 Minute Bible Stories {Book Review}


This book is huge! I was not expecting it to be so big but was pleasantly surprised when I received a large package on my doorstep. The Read And Share 5 Minute Bible Stories book by Thomas Nelson Publishers is a hardcover book with a padded cover that is easy to wipe down just in case there is an accidental spill that occurs. Stories are taken from the beloved Read and Share stories for older readers and readjusted with bright and colorful pictures for little ones. 

Meant to be read as a devotion by parents to children, your child will learn about Bible figures such as Noah, Joseph, David, Paul, and Jesus in a way that is easy to understand. When our children were little, under the age of five, we loved to read Bible devotions such as these to our kids. We now read the actual Bible in the mornings and memorize scripture at night as a family but there was a time where they simply weren't ready for that. This would have been a perfect addition to our devotional time! This book includes stories that are short and sweet which is great since little ones usually have a short attention span. 

This book encourages scripture memorization, even at a young age! There are quick and easy activities throughout the book suggested as well so the parent and child and interact with the story and make the message memorable.

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Book Look Bloggers Program for providing this book for the purpose of this review. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep {Book Review}



God Gave Us Sleep, by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a part of a sweet series featuring Little Cub, an adorable polar bear! Included in this series is: God Gave Us You, God Gave Us Two, God Gave Us Heaven, God Gave Us Christmas, and more!

“Little Cub!” Mama called. “Time for bed.”

Little Cub is having so much fun building an igloo with her friends that she doesn’t want to stop for bedtime! Who needs sleep when there’s fun to be had? Mama patiently answers her child’s questions as she puts her to bed, explaining the importance of daily rhythms of work, play, and rest. As they talk through the fears that come with nighttime—and work through Little Cub’s endless stalling tactics—our favorite bear learns to realize that God gave us sleep as a vital gift.


“God gave us rest so we have energy for our day, and patience to enjoy it. And so we have quiet time to listen to him.”

This charming addition to the best-selling God Gave Us series, with its Arctic characters and relevant message, will help all little ones prepare for a peaceful night’s rest. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=239366#sthash.CsyMBWIM.dpuf
We already own God Gave Us Christmas and pull it out each Christmas season to enjoy together as a family. This new book in the series, God Gave Us Sleep, is an excellent story written to help children who struggle with their daily bedtime routine. Normally, I'm not a fan of books where children ask their parents for a drink or a story right before bed and the parents give in. It tends to give my kids bad ideas that they wouldn't have thought of already. But, we are pretty strict when it comes to bedtime and don't allow any funny business so even if they did give it a try, it wouldn't last long in our house!

Other issues though that were addressed, that I appreciated, were waking up cranky and nightmares. Scripture was included to help Little Cub not be afraid that he was going to have nightmares and Mama Bear encouraged him that the Lord wants him to have sweet dreams. Nightmares aren't usually an issue with my kids but they can be on occasion, so this book could be helpful in that area. Now, one issue that IS a problem in our house with one child in particular, is waking up cranky! It happens, obviously, when he hasn't had a good night's sleep. This book addresses that as well which I know could help my child because they will now (hopefully) realize that they are not the only one who struggles with waking up cranky due to a lack of sleep.

This is an adorable book with beautiful images and has characters that my children are already familiar with. It is written in a fun and engaging way that is sure to become a part of your daily routine if bedtime is a struggle in your home!

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Blogging For Books Program 
for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review.

NKJV Study Bible For Kids

The New King James Version Study Bible For Kids by Thomas Nelson Publishing, is a sturdy, hardback, solid, Bible.

Geared towards children 8 to 12, this Bible is in full-color. In addition to the complete Old and New Testament, it includes marginal notes including biblical facts and themes that are applicable to a child's daily life.

The full color interior includes these features: 

Behind the Scenes: Book Introductions for each Book of the Bible 
Spotlight: Gods story from Genesis to Revelation 
Epic Ideas: Topics that relate to a kid's world  
Action!: Helpful, interesting, and day-to-day life topics 
Starring Roles: Personality profiles of leading Bible characters 
In Focus: Highlighted words with easy to understand definitions Location: Maps and Charts Topical Index, Dictionary/Concordance

The reason I chose this particular Bible was for my second grade son to use. His primary use is to bring it to church and follow along when the pastor is quoting scriptures. I look forward to the day that he can sit and read the Bible, on his own. Right now he can read children's story Bibles that are geared towards his age and he does a great job. I still wanted him to have a full sized, real Bible that he can follow along in, I really believe he will be reading it on his own soon enough! 

Unfortunately, the full sized Bible I gave him last year for Christmas fell apart in less than nine months! He was pretty disappointed. We used it daily in our homeschool and he weekly brought it to church, but honestly I expected it to last much longer than that! So a new Bible was in order. This particular Bible, as mentioned before, is geared towards kids. It replaced his old one and he loves the colors and themes. He was pretty disappointed though that it didn't have Jesus' words in red like the adult Bibles that we have. 

He enjoys thumbing through it and likes to try reading what he can! The theme of this Bible likens the word of God to a movie which I can see being captivating for younger children but in my opinion it seems slightly disrespectful to the Lord and his word. 

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Book Look Blogging Program for providing me with a copy of this Bible for the purpose of this review. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

AMP Kit for the Creative Child





Blow your kids away this Christmas with a kit to create their own speaker amplifier. This amazing gift is one that your child can create themselves and then use to listen to their own music!

EEME kits are an awesome idea if you are shopping for a child in the 7-12 age range. Project Amp is geared specifically towards kids 10 and older but there are plenty of other kits available if your child is a bit younger.

If you want to get your child something that they can enjoy creating and enjoy using then Project Amp is the perfect gift. 

PROJECT AMP
 $189.95 
 FREE SHIPPING 

This project teaches how amplifiers work, how sound waves work, direct current versus alternating current, capacitors as sound filters and more. The final project is 12.5" x 6.5" x 6.5" and has two 4" speaker drivers. These speakers are no wimpy creation but meant to be loud! When you order Project Amp, you will receive the kit in the mail and have access to the lessons online that will guide you through the project. This project should take about 4-6 hours to complete. Forget about the toy that your child gets bored with in five minutes, this is so much more meaningful. It teaches, engages and creates a sense of accomplishment in your child's life. Now your child will have something to do over Christmas break!

My kids have tried two EEME kits so far and we are about to get started on our third. We went through the first two projects together as a family. We watched the online lessons and learned, together, how to create the projects. Now, my one son (under the age of ten) asks to do the projects during his free time! These kits are great for children who like to create and don't mind a challenge.

Project Amp is a part of Thrift Schooling's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Fun Stocking Stuffer Idea: reCAP Mason Jar Lids






Mason Jars. If you have one, you have dozens. Whether you can produce, meat or jellies, they are a neccesity to have on hand. But, once the goodness that you spent hours canning has been consumed, you are left with shelves upon shelves, or boxes upon boxes full of unused jars. 

At this point, you can choose to leave them in your basement for the next over-abundance of harvested goods or, you can get creative! reCAP can help! They provide a variety of different lids that can fit perfectly on your wide mouth or regular sized mason jars.

In our home, we have both the flip lid and the pour top. You can read my review here. My daughter used the flip lid cap for a few weeks when she had it filled with her favorite candy. It helped prevent the candy from spilling everywhere and provided easy access to her special treats!

The pour top lid is great for sauces, dips and drinks. 

Usually when I can something, I try to fit what I need for a single serving in one jar. But that is not always the case. If I have a salsa, for example, I am not going to use it all in one sitting. Having a plastic lid that doesn't get old and rusty like the metal ones is useful and easier to get on and off! I also like the variety of colors which can help you organize, visually what you have in your cupboard. And, for the fun of it, they even have a glow in the dark lid!


These lids make perfect stocking stuffers. The packaging is attractive which makes it seem like the perfect gift.

This would also be a perfect gift for a grab-bag type Christmas party. Everyone would be fighting over this gift, for sure!


Pick yours up now for as low as $7 at MasonJars.com.


reCAP is a part of Thrift Schooling's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide



















Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cute Adjustable Mouse Ring {Authfashion Review}



Have you checked out my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide? If not, be sure to take a peek if you still have people left on your shopping list this year! If you are looking for a cute stocking stuffer for a girl who likes to show off her creative side, then you'll love this adorable mouse ring! I love the fact that it's adjustable so you don't have to worry about ordering the right size. For under $10 you can put a smile on someone's face with this fun and unique ring! This ring is a retro silver tone burnish with stylish black swarovski crystals for the eyes.

When you order your ring from Authfashion, you'll receive a FREE gift box, (color chosen at random).




Since it is adjustable, the ring fits great with no problems. The size of this particular ring can adjust to fit most adult women's finger sizes. 
 


The creativity of this ring is what sold me and the cuteness factor helps too!

If you want to snag one for yourself, it's being sold at a great price, only $8.90. You can order it here!


Disclaimer: I received the above product in exchange for the promotion of this item. All opinions stated here are my own.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Adorable Christmas Baby Bib {Crafts by Daisy Jane Review}


If you want to avoid the Black Friday craziness and purchase your Christmas Gifts online this year, then I would suggest buying handmade! What better way to do this than to buy from Etsy! 

Throughout the week, I am going to feature different products from my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide and today I would like to share a stylish, handmade accessory/necessity for baby.

 Crafts By Daisy Jane

Have a new little one celebrating Christmas with you this year? Be sure to stock up on these sweet little bibs that your bundle of joy can proudly wear and use! Above, my little guy is trying out a fun Christmas Tree Cloth Bib.  

I'm so excited for him to use it for his first Christmas! The size he is wearing is a SMALL (0-5 months) but if your baby will be older this season, she also makes a MEDIUM (5-12 months) and a LARGE (12-24 months).

Simple to use with a single snap and easy to clean, this cloth bib absorbs what it needs to, in style!

 She has a variety of cute Christmas bibs. 
Red & Green Trees









Christmas Snoopy
Multi-Color Christmas Trees
Red with Gold Snowflakes
 
Green Candy Cane Print

It's so hard to shop for babies since all they do is lay around and look cute. My suggestion is, add these bibs to their stockings this year to help enhance their cuteness!
 Disclaimer: I received the above product for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Leaf Key Chain Bottle Opener {Giveaway}


If you've been following this blog for some time now, then you probably have heard me rave about my husband's blacksmithing craftsmanship. He enjoys creating beautiful, useful, artwork from what others have deemed useless.

He has agreed to give one of my readers the above leaf key chain creation this Christmas season! Simply enter the form below. If you know someone that might enjoy one of his works, please, visit his Etsy Shop and order before it's too late, (be sure to order before December 12th to ensure you will receive it before Christmas).




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 5, 2015

3 Ways to Save This Christmas



How does this time of year always sneak up on me? I walked into the local grocery store this week only to see large snowflake decor hanging from the ceiling! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was packing up the beach bag and boogie boards. If you are anything like me then you are probably looking for ways to save some money this Christmas. If you grew up with fancy, expensive Christmas traditions then it might be hard to tone it down and make it simple for your own children but in the end, it really is "the thought that counts." Children want to know that they are loved and appreciated. Gifts are a kind and fun gesture but that doesn't mean it always has to be the most expensive toy that will break in a week or the most popular toy just to keep up with their friends. In our home, we try to keep it simple. Here are three traditions we've started to keep the season both memorable and frugal.

ADVENT ACTIVITIES
Be creative. I hang up cards throughout the month of December numbered 1-24 on the mantle. Each day the kids will flip one over and find a simple and fun activity for the day. Read a Christmas book, drive around and see the lights, have a family sleepover by the fire, etc. The kids still talk about what we've done months after and how much fun they had. In addition, there are plenty of pre-made advent calendars that children can enjoy reading and doing. It makes for a wonderful and exciting family tradition!

HOMEMADE GIFTS
When my husband first mentioned that he wanted the kids to make homemade gifts for each others birthday and Christmas I kind of felt bad for my kids. I mean, really, a homemade gift certainly can't compare to the newest American Girl doll or Lego Set! Everything changed last year though when my son made his little sister a dollhouse out of wood. He designed it himself and with minimal help from dad he created a dollhouse that was supposed to be similar to the house in little house on the prairie. She loves it and still plays with it! When it comes from the heart it holds so much value! Can't think of what to have your child make? Don't start from scratch but get an inexpensive craft kit or book and go from there!

FOOD, FOOD and MORE FOOD
I already have three commitments next month where we have to bring a finger food. I'm sure more will pop up as the month progresses! Although I'm tempted to grab a bag of chips and say, "hey, I'm a busy homeschool mom, they'll understand!" I know that isn't the best approach. Instead, I try to use this season to put the books down at times and enter the kitchen with a willing and happy heart. Yes, this means inviting my children to join in on the fun. Whether it's baking batches of cookies or creating a meat tray or fancy dessert, we like to make the most of it and make something fun and make it together! 

In what unique way do you spend the holidays?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rejection Proof (Book Review)

The following is a guest post from my husband.


Jia Jiang spent 100 days trying to get rejected every day in order to overcome his fear of rejection. What an interesting concept. In his book he shares helpful lessons learned along his one hundred day experience. Thus giving insight into how rejection affects us and how to not only cope with it but use it to our benefit. Many of his stories are extremely funny and enlightening.

In his quest to get rejected he finds that asking something you expect to be a no may be a yes. But you don’t know until you ask. I definitely recommend this book for anyone in sales, business or is at all shy and afraid of getting a no. 

Rejection always seems to hurt but this book almost makes it seem enjoyable. I know that might not make sense but it will after you read Rejection Proof. 

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for this book in exchange for this review. 
All opinions stated here are my own.