Friday, July 31, 2009
I have always been an absolute book worm. I try to use the library for most of my book needs, but sometimes they don't certain books that I am looking for. I was delighted to learn that as a blogger, publishing companies are often more than happy to give away free review copies of the books they publish. All you have to do in return, is to write a review post about the book. (It just needs to be an honest review; they do not expect all reviews to be positive.) There are several blog tours available for bloggers, such as Waterbrook Multnomah, who has a blogging for books program. Every month or so, they share with you what books are going to be released, and if you are interested, you may participate in the book tour. Blogging for books has been a real blessing to me, as it has saved us money, and has made it possible for me to read a variety of books that I otherwise wouldn't have access to. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section. For more Frugal ideas, visit Life as Mom.
Posted by Christine at 11:16 AM
Thursday, July 23, 2009
One of my greatest desires for my young daughters is that they will follow the Biblical paradigm of godly womanhood, as portrayed in Proverbs 31. I know of no better resource to assist me in this goal, than the Ruby Doll Kit by Doorposts. The Ruby doll kit contains all of the necessary materials for making a Ruby doll, a husband, five children, and a baby. My oldest daughter, Lily, and I enjoy working on this project, whenever time allows. It is a terrific way for us to spend quality time together. These dolls can be treasured, old-fashioned toys, for years to come. The Ruby Kit contains The Virtuous Woman Bible Study guide, which is a truly insightful mother/daughter study. Lily and I have enjoyed coloring the beautifully illustrated pictures in A Young Lady of Valor coloring book, which is also included in this kit. The Ruby Doll pattern and instructions are very easy to follow, with beginner and advanced sewing skill instructions. The Ruby doll kit is helpful in teaching your daughters a plethora of home economics skills, from basic sewing stitches to bread making. If you are looking for a hands-on-kit that will aid your daughters in growing in godly womanhood and in domestic skills, you will treasure the Ruby Doll Kit.
Posted by Christine at 2:30 PM
Friday, July 17, 2009
When I first started homeschooling my eldest, she was four years old, and I found it difficult to keep my son occupied. He was a very active 2 1/2 year old, so I thought that the only way to keep him from destroying something, was to put a short movie on for him. Almost everyday, as soon as I popped the movie in, and set him on the couch, he ran out to the kitchen, to observe his big sister. It didn't take long for me to realize that all he wanted was a workbook of his own, and time to observe his big sister learning. I literally struggle with getting him to stop doing schoolwork, sometimes. Thankfully, I know better now about the many wonderful ways there are, to keep a toddler productive. The following are a few excellent materials/activities for engaging toddler/preschoolers hands and hearts:
Wikki Stix - Little ones can shape these into letters, numbers, map outlines or even animal figures. These are amazing tools for elementary students, as well.
Lauri Puzzles - These help tremendously in developing reading readiness skills.
Sort beans/pasta- I like buying a package of Wacky Mac, for my little ones to sort. It has so many fun colors and shapes.
Color with homemade crayons
Do A Dot
Stitching Block- I do not own, this, but it looks terrific.
Measuring Cups, a tub of rice/beans, and bowls- Children have so much fun and learn so much by simply holding objects, and transferring them to another medium.
Mural- Unroll a paper roll on the table, and let your toddlers create a mural. Give them a scene to work on.
Paint- These paint pots look like a terrific solution!
Preschool Activity Bags- A lady at my church hosted a Preschool Activity Swap. There were 10 ladies participating, and we were making a total of 20 activities. We each made ten of two activity sets. These are the best items I own for keeping my younger children intelligently busy during school time with my eldest. Activities include fishing with a magnet on the end of a rod to making things out of straws and paperclips, to sorting "b" and "d" cards.
Pop Up Tent- I set this up in the living room, and the little ones bring baskets of pretend food and play house.
Bible coloring books
Counting/Sorting Bears- I was thrilled to find these on sale at a local discount store, recently, for $1.99!
See and Spell- I don't own this, but it looks like a terrific tool for teaching basic words.
Tub of Toys- I keep a large Rubbermaid container full of toys, and often pull it out for learning time.
Puppet Show- I put a curtain tension rod in the doorway, and drape a blanket over it, for fast and fun puppet shows.
Wooden Pattern Blocks
Cookie Tray- pour cornmeal into cookie tray and let child trace letters with his fingers.
Signing Times dvds- We like watching these together after school lessons.
Leap Frog dvds- These are terrific learning tools, especially when Mommy needs a minute or two to finish a task.
Moon Sand / Delta Sand / Make your own
Book Basket- my 2 yo has her own book crate. She always gets excited when her books are given to her to look at.
Pieceless Puzzles- Tired of picking up puzzle pieces and ultimately losing pieces? Pieceless puzzles are one big piece that fit together. These are recommended for ages four and up.
Geoboards- These are terrific for learning shapes, teaching perimeter, and learning fractions.
This is an excellent website full of craft recipes, such as homemade finger paint and slime.
What are your favorite learning activities for your little ones? Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 1:17 PM
Monday, July 13, 2009
We "braved" the local Chick Fil A. Thankfully, it wasn't any busier than it usually is. Lily and Stephen each received free kid's meals for dressing like cows. It was Anastasia's 2nd birthday, so they kindly gave her a free t-shirt and a bigger stuffed cow.
We had a lovely dinner and time of fellowship at a dear church family's house. It is such a blessing to spend time with this family of eleven; it is so encouraging to see children who have been trained and nurtured to follow Him wholeheartedly. Talk about Southern hospitality at it's finest!
I hope your weekend was delightful, too! Many blessings!
Posted by Christine at 8:55 PM
When it comes to money saving tips, I prefer practical ideas which will aid my family and I in "saving green". Nancy Sleeth's book, Go Green Save Green , is a compendium of ways to save money on household bills, to getting more on a limited food budget, to cutting transportation costs. Go Green Save Green also contains ample ideas on how to curb energy consumption. Nancy Sleeth is passionate about encouraging other Christians to be better stewards of the Earth. So many of the "green living" practices that Mrs. Sleeth writes about, are healthier for the Earth and for God's people. One chapter is devoted to having a Sabbath rest. Once a week, Mrs. Sleeth encourages families to disconnect from the clamour of technology to rest and to be in relationship with God. Mrs.Sleeth gives many tips for making the Sabbath special, such as planning a Sabbath meal and taking a Sabbath walk. Having a day, set aside, for rest and worship, is restorative for man. At the end of each topical chapter in this book, there is a list of specific ways that you can save money , this year. Go Green Save Green is an excellent alternative to the secular, eco-hysteria books. I was pleasantly surprised that saving money and being a better steward of God's Creation are feasible accomplishments.
Posted by Christine at 8:32 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009
I enjoy listening to godly preaching, when I clean the house. I find that it makes my tasks more pleasant when my mind is being engaged in such a wonderful way. Sermon audio is an absolute treasure trove of sermons. Here are a few preachers that I enjoy:
S. M. Davis Lately, I have been listening to a cd that I purchased from Vision Forum, entitled " Why Satan wants your firstborn". It is so captivating, so I was elated to find a link with several of S.M. Davis's sermons!
Kevin Swanson Kevin Swanson never fails to speak on highly provocative topics from women in the workforce to perpetual adolescence.
This is an excellent sermon by Steven Anderson. His commentary on the foundress of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, is excellent.
Posted by Christine at 9:28 AM
This past week, we celebrated my daughter's second birthday with extended family. I made my daughter's cake using the Duggar Family's Ice Cream Cake recipe. The price of making it was about half the cost of buying a similar sized, pre-made ice cream cake.
LAYERED ICE CREAM CAKE
Makes a 9”x 13” Pan
24 Ice cream sandwiches
8 oz. Cool Whip™
1 Hershey’s™ chocolate syrup bottle
1 Smuckers™ caramel syrup bottle
2 king size Butterfinger™ candy bars chopped up
1st layer -12 ice cream sandwiches
2nd – half of whipped cream
3rd - half of Butterfinger™ bars, Squeeze 1/2 of caramel &
chocolate over that.
4th - rest of ice cream sandwiches
5th – Cool Whip™
6th - rest of Butterfinger™, caramel & chocolate
You can freeze this and eat as desired! Yummy! Yummy!
This is such a delicious cake! I was nervous to make it for family and friends, without sampling it first, but it was so scrumptious! You could vary it by using different varieties of ice cream sandwiches. For example, use the cookies and cream ice cream sandwiches, and use crushed Oreo cookies, in place of the crushed Butterfinger pieces.
For more frugal ideas, visit Fishmama.
Posted by Christine at 8:17 AM
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Posted by Christine at 11:34 AM
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
We had a blast at Chick Fil A, meeting up with my friend, Molly, and her two precious children. It just so happened to be the second anniversary of the opening of that Chick Fil A, so there was a cake and festivities.
Anastasia was one happy camper, even being allowed to eat cake prior to lunch.
This innocent looking cow is what nightmares are made of. Let me tell ya....Stevie and Annie are both terrified. They would cling to me every time the cow came by. Annie still tells me how scared she is of it. This Friday, July 10th, which happens to be Annie's 2nd birthday, is cow appreciation day at all Chick Fil A's, nationwide. Dress like a cow and receive a free combo meal. I am hoping to try to go, but I am not sure if my youngest two will be too thrilled about dressing like a cow or seeing it again.
If you need a laugh, enjoy this hilarious Chick Fil A video by Tim Hawkins:
Posted by Christine at 9:52 AM
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Colossians 3:16 exhorts us to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom". My desire as a mother is to fill mine and my children's hearts with Scripture. The book that most impacted me about the importance of soaking up the Word of God, is Ten P's in a Pod. It is a beautiful, true story of a traveling family, the Pents, who lived by faith and hearty doses of the Word of God. Even some of the youngest children could quote entire books of the Bible. Whenever it was mealtime, this family would read the Scripture, thus satiating their bodily and spiritual hunger. Prior to this, I had always thought that reading a short verse or two would be best for little children. Rather, this book showed me what God can do by letting His Word dwell richly in you.
There are many excellent Bible materials to utilize in your home, but if nothing else, never underestimate the value of simply reading through the Scriptures with your children. Nothing could be more fundamental. I haven't used any formal Bible study materials with my children, yet, but the following appear to be excellent choices.
Hold that Thought
Hold that Thought has a variety of notebooking and timeline materials. They are very inexpensive compared to competitors. They have a Bible book for kindergarteners, which looks like an excellent introduction to the Bible. They also have devotional sheets and advanced Bible history materials. If you blog about Hold that Thought, when you place an order, they will permit you to choose one free item, of equal or lesser value.
I have noticed that when I keep my children's hands occupied during Bible time or history lessons, they retain more and are better able to concentrate. Grapevine studies can be done with multiple aged children at a time. Your children draw while you read them the Bible lesson. Karla has written an excellent review of GrapeVine Studies.
Alone with God Bible Studies
In depth Bible workbooks on individual topics such as: Jonah and Ruth, Esther, Acts, and I Samuel. These come in KJV or NIV. These Bible studies can be used as a formal Bible curricula and/or as a devotional.
Keepers of the Faith Character Books
Keepers of the Faith produces character books on a variety of character traits, which are full of relevant stories, bible verses, applications, etc.. I think it would be so helpful to do an in-depth study on each character trait, one by one. Some of the topics include: charity, cheerfulness, courage, contentment, compassion, diligence, patience, truthfulness, modesty, wisdom, obedience, etc.. You can find sample pages here. I can imagine how terrific it would be to study these traits with all of my children and to (hopefully) see the practical application of each character trait, in their lives. The hardest thing, to me, is choosing which trait to learn about first. I think it would be very feasible to work through a booklet every month or so. I recommend ordering from Joyful Home Resources because each book is $7, including shipping.
Veritas Press has Bible cards to display as well as memory songs. The Bible cards would be excellent, especially for younger students who do well with visuals. They have Bible materials for each grade level, so I recommend searching their website.
Polished Cornerstones is for ages 5-adult, and it covers many character traits for young ladies. I think this would be amazing to go through, with a daughter! Plants Grown Up is the guide for young men. These hefty , 500 page guides can be used for all your daughters or sons, ages 5 through adult, and are non-consumable. I also really like their new Put On Chart. If you notice one of your children not living out the character traits, you can take him/her to the chart and explain that we are to put on compassion or kindness, etc.. The Ruby dolls look like so much fun to make with your daughters as you learn about the Proverbs 31 woman. Their Biblical Character Training materials can be found here.
If you have utilized any of these materials, I would love to hear your review of them! I would also love to hear about any Bible materials that have been a blessing in your home. May God bless you as your raise your children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord".
Posted by Christine at 9:45 AM