Thursday, March 29, 2012

GrapeVine Studies - The Resurrection

GrapeVine Studies have become my favorite bible study curriculum resource.
Recently our family had the opportunity to use The Resurrection bible study from GrapeVine Studies. And once again, we were not disappointed.

Before I get into this particular study, I would like to talk to you a little bit about the premise of GrapeVine Studies, and their bible studies. You can read about the first time I used GrapeVine Studies in my first review for them.

One of my favorite aspects of the GrapeVine Studies is that it makes studying the bible interactive. My family is a hands on kind of family, so this is a big deal for us. But even if your family does not need to be hands on, what I have come to learn is that everyone learns better, when we use different modalities to help concrete what we are learning.

GrapeVine Studies first takes a look at the big picture, giving your student a road map of where they will be going in the study before them. Then the big picture is broken up into the little details of the stories.You and your student will be able to spend time discussing, stick figuring, and for your older students they will be looking up terms in a bible dictionary or concordance. This is one of the aspects that I really love about these studies. You have the ability to teach all of your children, no matter their age at the same time. It is a wonderful study for the entire family. My high school students can do this study with added research and assignments, along with my  middle school student. And I must tell you.. they all still enjoy to draw!

 This study covers the events from the last supper to the ascension of Jesus Christ.  The lessons include The Last Supper, The Six Trials of Jesus Christ, The Cruxifiction, Jesus' Death and Burial, The Resurrection and The Ascension. It is a wonderful resource for your family to use with Resurrection Sunday coming up. This wonderful resource would be such a helpful resource to help your family have a deeper understanding of the sacrifice our Savior made for us.

In addition to a wonderful homeschool curriculum, these studies would be a wonderful resource for a family devotion materials.

These bible studies are very affordable (prices start at $8.95), and high quality. The Resurrection bible study is available in Beginner, which is for ages 5-7 and Multi-Level 7 and up.  I also would like to reiterate, that while the Multi-Level is for ages 7 and up, you really can use these studies for all ages. If you have a large family, this is a wonderful option for you, and allows you to teach all of your children at the same time. Also, if you have teenagers, that seem to not connect during bible studies, these bible studies will really help them to bring them into the study in a way that I have seen no other study have the ability to.

You can visit GrapeVine Studies for FREE Sample Lessons!

A Perfect Pet for Peyton

The wonderfully imaginative children's hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four - color illustrations (with hidden details) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love.  Based on Gary's highly successful book The 5 Love Languages, The Perfect Pet for Peyton tells a playful an entertaining story of 5 children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language.  Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle as they spend precious time together reading this book over and over again. 

The Creative Learners Take:

We love it!  My children are a little old for this book, however, my 12 year old and I did sit down with this book together, and read this story together. We enjoyed this sweet story. 

We follow a set of twins on their birthday, as they head off to their birthday party at the Perfect Pet Pal Emporium with their friends, where each of them, will not only have a fabulous time at the party, additionally, they will each go home with their perfect pet pal! 

As they spend their time at the emporium, the children interact with each other, and with the animals. Towards the end of the party, Mr. Chapman, explained to the children how each of us have a love language that we prefer. As Mr. Chapman worked with each of the children, he showed us, and the children what their preferred love language is, and match them with the perfect pet pal. 

Peyton, was unsure if there was a perfect pet pal for him, in the end, he was so pleased to find that there was! 

In addition, the book is beautifully illustrated! Throughout the book the children are encouraged to find hidden pictures, which really adds a fun and interactive element to the book. At the very back of the book, there is a Love Language Quiz that will help you child discover what their own Love Language! 

You can learn more about A Perfect Pet for Peyton at their website and more about all the Love Languages products by visiting here

You can even follow Gary Chapman on Facebook and Twitter. 

A Perfect Pet for Peyton is available at several booksellers, visit the  5 Love Languages website for a list of retailers. 

Now here is some really exciting news

I have one (1) copy of A Perfect Pet for Peyton to giveaway! Enter today! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

CWAHM - My First Post

My first post on (Christian Working at Home Mom) posted today!
I will be posting every other Friday, with alternating topics.

This weeks topic is on having a Christ centered home and homeschool. Each post will share practical tips on how you can keep Christ the center of your home and your life.

On the alternating weeks I will be looking at Special Needs Home Education. I have educated several children with varying degrees of learning issues. My hope is that this column will share practical tools, as well as, some inspiration for the journey.

Won't you stop by and check out my first post?

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homeschool Mosaics #Homeschool Encouragement

I am very excited to announce a brand new website designed with homeschoolers in mind!

Not just one type of homeschooler, but homeschoolers from ALL walks of life, using all methods of teaching and teaching all types of learners!

Homeschool Mosaics, which officially launches on April 2nd, will have many feature writers from all walks of homeschool life.

Each day that you visit Homeschool Mosaics you will find encouragement and support for your homeschool journey!

The group of women assembled is astounding, and the wealth of knowledge is amazing! I can't wait for you all to see what Homeschool Mosaics has to offer.

For now, please stop by the Homeschool Mosaics Facebook page, and like our page. Share with your friends about Homeschool Mosaics, you are not going to want to miss out on one single article!

PS... when you stop by our page and 'like' us, leave a comment! Let us know how you heard about us! If you have a blog.. go ahead and share that blog too! I will be sure to follow you all in return!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Fajita's Quick and Easy!

Recently I shared with you all that I have been trying to get back into the the swing of things after being sick..and while still recovering. Which is taking a lot longer than I would like!

So, one of my strategies has been to utilize either my slow cooker or my roaster oven (this is what I use for my turkey on Thanksgiving).  The great thing about the roaster, is it is a speed cooker ( I know grammatically that sounds awful!) It will cook things quickly, yet they come out tender and juicy like they have been in the slow cooker.

Recently we made up some 'beef fajitas' in the roaster. This recipe was actually meant to for the slow cooker, but I tweaked it for my roaster.

This is a great recipe, because it uses only 5 ingredients, not including salt and pepper, and it can be prepared in about 5- 10 minutes.. and the kids can do most of the work.. Helpful whether you are balancing a busy schedule.. or not feeling well..  This is a meal everyone will love!

4 pounds beef ( stew meat or steaks)
1 green Pepper
1 medium brown onion
1 clove garlic
2 jars favorite salsa
salt and pepper to taste

Feeds 7 hungry people ( with 4 teenagers in that mix!)

If you are using the slow cooker, you will need to sear the meat for a minute on each side, before placing in slow cooker.  However, if you are using the roaster, you can turn on the roaster and let it get hot.  Then when you add the meat it will sear in the roaster..

Slowcooker -
Add the meat
Chop onion and green pepper and add
use garlic press or smash the garlic then add..
dump salsa.. you may use a tad less than 2 jars in the slow cooker.
Cook for 6-8 hours.  (high)

Roaster Oven-
chop onion and pepper and garlic add to roaster
add meat  and sear...
add salsa.. both jars.. stir
Cook for 2 hours (high)

Serve  with tortilla's and fajita fixings of choice. We also included a salad.

One time we put the meat of tortilla chips and made some homemade guacamole! It was a great twist to a favorite!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding a New Normal

As my body continues to recover and gain energy and strength, I am now looking to find a new normal. I am yearning to find a new way to look at my schedule, and how I spend my time. Really looking at my opportunities and trying to decide what I am able to do, and what I simply cannot.

I am learning that at this point my energy is precious. And it is not a never ending supply. Prior to now, I have to admit, I said yes to many things! All good things. All things I wanted to do. However, the result of that many times, is that I have far too much on my plate, and do not have nearly the time needed to get the rest needed to keep up with the schedule I was trying to keep.

Now, I am much choosier when it comes to my schedule. I really do not like missing out, but my body enjoys getting the rest it needs. It is helping that I feel like I really know my limits now. I am a bit amazed that prior to going to the hospital, my schedule never slowed down. The children did not miss a single event, and neither did I. But I paid the price for that! Do NOT follow in those footsteps!

So now, since I am working diligently, on controlling my schedule, it is allowing more time to be at home, and dealing with all that needs to be done there (here). While I still do not have my full energy back, each day I am getting a wee bit better, and doing a wee bit more.

For now, I am doing my best to limit myself to one outside activity a day... only have failed on that a couple of times. And I will admit, that my body paid for it.

I am also learning to rethink how things are done. The kids are helping me even more with cooking.  They are pretty self sufficient for breakfast and lunch. But we have started doing lots of Crock pot meals. And I have been on the hunt for more recipes, that way the family does not tire of soups and stews.. I have found a few good resources for that.

I also have just purchased some new curriculum. Our curriculum this year, I had acquired for free, and we were making do, however, it really was not our favorite, and it was taking some work. However, I am praying these new books will help the kids become even more self sufficient.

This will help me to focus on the area of needs for the kids, rather than over spending my energy, where they really don't need my input.

I do not anticipate this being long term, as in having to deal with this over the next many years, however, I believe that it may take me a couple of months to get back to normal. So each of these little steps have begun to help me gain my strength.

I have a lot of respect for the mom's and dad's out there, who in spite of chronic illness, are faithful to their job of home educating their children!

God is faithful, through all circumstances. Galatians 6:9 says "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." 

I am thankful for the faithfulness of God!  During this time, I am wholly relying on God to guide where and what I should be doing and for Him to fully sustain me. God is good! All of the time! 

The Woodcarver DVD: Review and Giveaway

Today was a good day. This afternoon, we sat down and watched a new DVD that we just received, The Woodcarver.  This afternoon, reminded me of the Saturday Afternoon Movies that I used to watch on TV when I was growing up. The only difference, instead of an old classic, this was a Christ Honoring family movie! What a treat!

I will admit it, I love movies! The hard part about that, is that as a Christian, so much of what is available is smut. So, I must tell you that I am so very thankful that more and more movies are being made that are family oriented and Christ honoring. 

So, let me tell you about The Woodcarver. The Woodcarver, chronicles the life of the Stevenson Family. Matthew Stevenson is a trouble teenager, who chose to vandalize the local church in order to get back at his parents who are in the middle of going through a divorce.  The church was willing to work with Matthew and his family, and agreed to not press charges as long Matthew works to repair the church.

While working on the church, Matthew met the woodcarver, Ernest, (John Ratzenberger), who originally created the intricate woodwork around the church.  Ernest, decided to take Matthew under his wing.  He began to talk to Matthew and share with him, about the woodcarving trade he loved, but had put aside because he had recently lost his wife, and simply lost his desire to carve.

Matthew really took to Ernest, because Ernest was taking the time to hear Matthew, and to get to know Matthew. Something that he has been missing in his own family, while is parents were to busy arguing with each other, to really see the needs their son had.

Because of the time that Ernest took with Matthew, Ernest was able to share some of his wisdom with Matthew.  He encouraged Matthew to think of Jesus, and consider what Jesus would do in each situation, before he made his own decision on how he was going to handle it.

Ernest, also encouraged Matthew, to pray about his parents marriage.. and to not discount the power of prayer. As you watch God work through Ernest, and Matthew, and eventually through Matthew's parents, it is convicting.  Are you taking your needs to the Lord? Are you praying for His help, for His intervention? Or are you thinking your own way is better than God's.

This is a great movie for the entire family. Not only is it entertaining, but there is also a lesson to be learned! Those are the best kinds of movies!

Here is the great news!!!  I have one copy of The Woodcarver DVD to offer as a giveaway.  I hope that you will take a moment to enter the giveaway!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ministering to Hearts and Souls - Three Hearts DVD - Review and Giveaway

Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project works with top quality hospitals to provide heart surgery to children who live in countries where the medical expertise and medical equipment are not available. Currently, CHP has arranged 800 life saving operations. You can learn more about Children's Heart Project by visiting their website.

Recently, I was able to review the movie/documentary Three Hearts, that followed Cissie Graham Lynch, grand daughter of evangelist Billy Graham as she interns for Children's Heart Project. 

Her job; to oversee the arrival and surgeries of 3 children, who are suffering from fatal heart defect from Mongolia. Two teenage boys and sweet young girl. When Cissie is unable to fly to Mongolia, CHP turns to a Texas family, whose little boy had the very surgery that these children need, when he was a baby.  Now, this young boy, has raised $8000 for the Children's Heart Project, to bring these families to America. Now he and his parents are able to fly to Mongolia, meet these families, and travel back with the children and their mothers back to the United States. 

While in Mongolia, we are able to see the conditions in which these children are from, as well as meet their families, and learn a bit about them. 

Once they arrive in the US, two different families house these 3 families. The host families are their to support these families as they navigate this uncharted journey. They are plugged in to a local church, where all the families worship together, and the families from Mongolia are  introduced to the saving love of Jesus Christ. 

The surgery day arrives, the families gather at the hospital and pray for the children and the doctors. One thing is clear. As you watch this film, you see that this entire project is centered around our Lord Jesus Christ. His love being poured out both for the physical needs of these children, while also feeding their souls. 

We watch the children go into surgery, and through out the surgery we see the complications and ultimately we see the children bright faces, as they have begin to recover from surgery and begin to live a life free of the complications from their previous condition! 

Not only did these children receive the gift of healthy heart, we also were witness to each of the mothers, and the two teenage boys come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The sheer joy that carried these families through their darkest hours in the hospital, through their triumphant release from the hospital.. and ultimately their journey home to their families. 

Not only were the earthly lives of these children radically changed, the address of the eternal home has permanently been changed, and we were able to share in their journey. 

The ultimate goal of CHP is just that, it is to affect both the physical and the spiritual well being of all they reach. 
It is truly remarkable to see Jesus Christ's love displayed! 

Take a moment to view these movie trailers...

Three Hearts will touch your heart, I am sure! No matter your age.. however, if you are a homeschool family, and you have a child interested in Mission Work, or if you would like to inspire your family and show them how they could impact the world around them, by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. This movie will help you do just that! 

This would be a great movie for a church Youth Group or Homeschool Group. 

You  can purchase this awesome movie, by visiting here. 

To learn more about Samaritan's Purse Children's Heart Project, please visit their site!

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