Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Top 13 Posts in 2013

Time to reminisce about 2013. 
For my family, it's been a year of growth, challenge, and hope for recovery. After over 2 years, my husband was finally able to find work!

As far as my blog goes, I've slowed down in posting because of additional responsibilities at church. Hopefully, you've enjoyed the lite version! 

Here are my Top 13 posts for 2013.

13.  Unbelievable! I'm nominated for Funniest Homeschool Blog again!
Nope, I didn't win. Should find out in a month or two if I made the top 10.

12.  Friday Funny--Public School, Ritalin, Television, Oh, my!

Great practice for little hands.

10. S*x in the Sanctuary
It's only a matter of time in a family-integrated church!

9.  The Well-Planned Day Planner----GIVEAWAY
It was really cool when a friend from church ended up winning!

8.  For Women Only--review and GIVEAWAY!!!
Yup, another giveaway in the top ten.

7.  Math Game--Multiplying by 10, 100, and 1000

It was so cool to actually have Laurette Willis comment on my post!

Woody Allen got one thing right when he said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

Get the printable while I still have it available!

The prices are still good from this post!

1.  Swagbucks--join the party
The birthday celebration is over, but you can still earn free things!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Funny: Leviticus, the read through the Bible in one year widow maker

It’s almost January 1st, which means New Year’s resolutions!
Statistically speaking, 82% of Christians will try to read the Bible in one year. (I made that stat up because blogs.)
A lot of them will think it will be easy. That is dumb. Why? Leviticus.
Genesis kind of woos you with stories. Ohhh, Adam and Eve! Joseph and his wicked awesome coat! All the stories! Dem feels!
Then you head to Exodus and you’re feeling good. I’ve got this. This is like a crazy desert soap opera. There’s a priest who just stabbed two people having sex with a spear. This isn’t a boring Bible, this is an action movie! Stallone was probably in the original, he’s pretty old.
- See more at: http://stuffchristianslike.net/2013/12/10/leviticus-read-bible-one-year-widow-maker/#sthash.Rr4QITrw.dpuf

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Goodies Made this Weekend

It was a Winter Storm Warning weekend here in the Kansas City area, so it was perfect for focusing on the warm kitchen making Christmas goodies.We are not done, but at least done with all the candy-type things like Peppermint Pretzel Melts, Peanut Butter Balls, and White Chocolate Christmas Crunch.

First, we made Peppermint Pretzel Melts. It's my favorite for it's ease in making and clean-up. We also had some chocolate kisses, so we made some of those to mix things up a bit!

We also made peanut butter balls per my husband's request. I haven't shared the recipe before, so here it is. 
1 lb. peanut butter (softened) 
1 stick butter
1-2 lbs. powder sugar
Chocolate almond bark
We brought in a neighbor to help!
Mix peanut butter and butter thoroughly. Slowly add powder sugar and mix well until the mixture is very stiff. Melt almond bark according to the directions. Make balls and cover in bark placing on wax paper to until dry.
The lasts thing we made was White Christmas Crunch Squares. It's so yummy but the most mom-intensive since it involves a boiling sugar and a 350 degree oven. Mija enjoys breaking up the candy canes!

We still need to make our "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake. This year we're going to add a new treat which we also still need to make...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs--review

Don't most of us easily get hung up on all the holiday hoopla if we don't watch out? That's why I look out for things that can help me focus on "the Reason for the Season".

This year I read  The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs. I've always enjoy reading her works. Some of my favorites have been Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them and her Lowlands of Scotland Series, Vols 1-4.

425416: The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and AnnaJust like all of Liz Curtis Higgs' writing, The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna is easy to read and yet informative and thought provoking. Don't forget encouraging. Her focus on the women of the Nativity really helped encourage the reader to review in detail the miraculous steps God took to bring His Son into the world.

Higgs' also encourages women through this book. She shows how God used these women in mighty ways. He's not the misogynist that some try to make Him out to be. Just within the birth of his son he used a married woman, a single girl, and a widow. She does not leave out the men God used like Zachariah and Joseph, but her purpose is to teach ladies about how God used woman in the incarnation, and in my opinion, she succeeds.

I enjoyed how she used different translations throughout the book to clarify the Bible text and meaning. She also uses quotes from other women who apparently have done this study with her. In fact, there is a study guide in the back of the book which would be great to do with a group of ladies or even individually. I also looked at the bibliography and found the resources she used very reliable.

Feel free to read the first chapter for yourself!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
This post also contains affiliate links for the books I recommended. If you purchase through my links, I will make a little cash. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Empty Arms at Christmas

I have written about this previously on my blog, but this version I updated for the Home Educating Family Blog.

Empty Arms at Christmas

Infertility during the Holiday

I have written previously about the burden the infertile bear during Mother’s Day. That holiday is a fairly obvious challenge for those who cannot be a mother. What is often unrealized by the masses is that there are other celebrations and days that may also strike hurt, fear, and shame into the heart of those dealing with infertility.
Most know that Christmas can be a bittersweet if not downright sad time for some people, especially those dealing with loss. Most losses are more obvious;:a job, a home, a spouse through divorce. Of course, there are also those dealing with a loss because of death. In fact, I know of a young husband and father who recently killed himself. That is definitely going to be a hard loss for his wife and children to deal with this whole holiday season.
Another loss is to miscarriage. To lose (although, thankfully, not forever) a child during a time that is celebrating a birth can be amazingly painful. I am sure most could empathize with individuals going through that.

The Pain of Infertility

Many, however, overlook the loss of another group of people because it is not as obvious: the infertile. Most don’t think about how Christmas could be painful to someone going through infertility. Miscarriage is the loss of a baby. Infertility is the loss of the hope of a baby. Loss is loss and grief is grief, but the loss of a hope is too intangible for some to consider or recall, especially when busy with celebrating the holiday.
- See more at: http://hedua.com/blog/christmas-infertility/#sthash.7cxARrG9.dpuf

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Funny--Naughty Dogs

You can tell that some of these doggies are really sorry!!
I picked some of my favorites. Go to the site to see the rest!! There are 35 all together.

dogs-who-are-shamelessly-proud-of-what-they-just-did (12)


dogs-who-are-shamelessly-proud-of-what-they-just-did (2)


dogs-who-are-shamelessly-proud-of-what-they-just-did (6)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

God's Virture

I'm actually reading this book currently and will be doing a review on it soon!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Putting St. Nicholas Back into Christmas

 A friend shared this article which I felt was worth sharing also!
Great history and insight into the real man.

Santa Claus has become the patron saint of a secularized Christmas. Many Christians are trying to balance the mystique of Santa with the true meaning of Christmas centered in Christ. So me families are doing without Santa altogether, but even that can prove complicated. (As one of our own children told the grandparents, "My parents don't believe in Santa Claus, but I do!")
Read the rest of the articleHERE.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sound of Music LIVE

Did you watch?

What did you think?

Personally, I thought it was all pretty good. The only thing I was truly underwhelmed about was Carrie Underwood's acting.

The DVD of the performance will be available on Dec. 17 and I can save you some money.

$3.00 off The Sound of Music Live! on dvd


Friday Funny--Classical Opera family-style

It's bring your daughter to work day!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Homeschooling for Hanukkah...continues

Homeschooling for HanukkahLast Monday, I wrote an article for Hedua about Hanukkah. If you don't know what Hanukkah is about, that article is the place to start.

But I didn't merely write about it. We been doing it!

First, we've been working on a free lapbook from Homeschool Share. Find it HERE. It includes history and traditions. We've really enjoyed it. We are not done yet since we chose to complete it over the whole eight days!

We have a mini menorah and have been lighting it each night.We made potato latkes using leftover Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. We used this recipe. I know it is technically not a latke but it was close. (Hint: be patient and use less oil than I did.)

We made our quick and easy donuts.

We still need to make and play with a dreidel, but there is time!

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