Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Darkness of Twilight

I rarely post about current events.  But, I found an article that I really wanted to share with you. 

For a few years now I have watched a book series become an obsession among teen's & preteens.  Anytime I see people take on an obsessive behavior over something like a movie or book it really bothers me.  Why not take that obsession you are wasting on the media and direct towards the Bible?  Well, the Bible doesn't feed our fleshly desires the way the media does.  The Bible makes our flesh uneasy because it is instead feeding our Spirit.

When I heard about this series I naively thought that Christians would hear "vampires" & see the dangers in allowing their children to read the books.  Then I heard about the sensuality in the books & thought, "Surely parents will not let their young kids read these books."  I was wrong. In fact, the parents are not only letting their kids read them, but they are just as crazy about them as their kids are!  I see moms' Facebook status's about going to the movies to see the latest feature as if they were going to see Jesus Christ himself.
It bother's me that most who read these books seem to become obsessed with them.   They can just read them, they become emotionally involved with Bella & what will she do next. Even a reviewer for Focus on the Family found himself emotionally involved with the books as he read from a critical view point. Rarely do we come across a person who has this type of obsession for the Scriptures. 

Anyway, I have wanted to post about the Twilight series for a while, but I didn't want to read the books & had not taken the time to read any reviews yet. Then my friend Laura posted this article on Facebook this morning & once I read it I knew this would speak way more volume's concerning Twilight than I ever could.

Read Sue Bohlin of Probe Ministries article, "The Darkness of Twilight"

As Christian parents, our responsibility to our children is to teach them to view everything they encounter through Biblical eyes.  I truly believe that if you read these books from a biblical point of view the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the dangers of this series of books.  What you do with it from then on is up to you.


That is just my opinion.





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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just a Wife & Mom

Over 4 years ago I decided to step out & act on a passion I had for moms.  I decided to share my story with others.  Not just a story of my past, but my story.  The story I felt the Lord had given me to encourage others & hopefully create in them a desire to know the Lord deeper.  The story that the Lord had allowed me to experience, live through and finally come to a place where I wanted to tell others about.

I spoke to a few groups, but not many.  Scott & I began talking about how to put the ministry out there, promote it...whatever you do when you want others to know that you want to speak.  Scott & I felt that we had a plan, a good plan.  We were ready to go & were excited to see what the Lord had in store for us.  The morning after we discussed our plans in detail I got the phone call asking me to lead Mom2Mom.  Coincidence? There is no such thing.  The Lord's timing is perfect.  Of course I said yes to lead the ministry.  It was an opportunity that the Lord used in a mighty way to stretch me & grow me deeper in Him.

So now here I am 2 months post-Mom2Mom.  I think my brain has recovered from the frantic schedule I had.  I have a new routine.  Laundry.  Cleaning.  Kids.  Laundry.  No more appointments, meetings, hours of email & phone calls to sift through.  Just life as a mom & house wife and I'm wondering if that is all there is to me now.  Not that being a mom & wife doesn't keep me busy & isn't a ministry within itself.  It is!  It is a huge ministry!  But did the 2 years leading & coordinating that huge ministry for moms equip me to be a better mom or is there more to it?

I created a real website, not just a blog.  I call it my ministry website dedicated to ministering to moms.  It's still a work in progress, I'm still adding things every week to it.  But it is my official way of saying, I want to share my story with you if you want to listen. I have a short 5 min audio of one of my recent talks I did for the Mom2Mom Bible study. I plan to put downloads to print on it that will be useful to moms seeking a deeper relationship with Christ.
Click on my button below to take a look at it.  I'm not a web designer, but it will do until I can hire one.

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Scott & I are trying to work on a few things together. One is a book based on Proverbs 22.  Also, we are putting together a study we will do with our kids first before we try to get it published on the Ten Commandments.  One day, I will take one of the many outlines I have written and actually turn it into a book.  But until then, I will focus on where God has put me.  At home, with my family.  It's a good place to be and I love it.  I am also keeping my heart and mind open to whatever God wants me to do.  Maybe it will be to prepare my children to go out & preach the Word.  If that is my purpose in this life on earth, I can't think of a better purpose!

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Home, Safe & Sound

Summer is here is full force.  It is almost July & things are already busy busy.  Scott & Collin went to Memphis for a mission trip a few weeks ago(pictures coming soon I hope).  They were home about a week before Collin & Sarah left with our youth group to go to Estes Park, CO. 
This is an annual trip that the Jr. High group makes every year.  It is always a blast!
Sarah served on the Jr. High Leadership team this year and as a thank you for all their hard work, they are invited to stay in CO for an extended trip. They always go hiking & white water rafting.  Ashley went on this trip last year & had great time.
This year was no different, they all had fun.  But this year was different.  Our trust in God's protection was tested a bit.

During Sarah's rafting trip, their boat was t-boned by another boat & everyone went over board into the river.  Sarah & one other lady got caught under the boat that t-boned them.  They made it out o'k, and swam down stream a bit until another boat could pick them up.
It was a bit scary.  Sarah was pretty shook up for a while, especially when she realized the true danger they were in.  Once it was all over & they were back on shore, she realized that they were only in the water for a very short while, but it still felt like forever.

 Here is a picture of Sarah a few hours after her swim in the river.  She is smiling, but my mother's eye see's fear & anxiousness in her eyes.

 I love this picture of Sarah!  Her eyes are bright like normal & she has her camera in her hand like normal.   I think she took a picture of every animal they saw.  I didn't post those pics. I didn't think you had the time to look at ALL of them. :o)  This was taken their last day in Estes Park.

Here is the whole Jr High Leadership group.  These are Juniors & Seniors.  They worked together all year often with Jr. High kids by their side on various projects.  They organized games & activities for the kids while at camp.  They displayed a Christ like character, suitable for the younger kids to follow. Besides all of that, they have fun together & love serving the Lord together.

I'm just glad to have Sarah home. Yes, the rafting accident was scary, but it reminded us that our children are not our own, they really belong to the Lord and he does an excellent job taking care of them.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Homeschool Freebies



I love freebies! And since we are on a super, extremely tight budget, I have to find as many ways as I can to provide my kids with a good education with out spending much money or any money at all.  So, here is my ever-growing list of links to help you homeschool your kids with out spending money...except for ink  & paper.

I'm also on Pinterest & am always adding to my homeschool boards.  Check out my Pinterest boards for more links!

 click:  Pinterest Boards

If you find any links that are broken please let me know!



Administration Stuff 

Donna Young ,  Too many things to list.  forms galore & still adding more!
Homeschool Tracker; a great help with record keeping & grades.
Shepperd Software;  Free software for teachers
Worksheet Maker; free download to create worksheets off line to print out.
Free Homeschool Planner to download & print out.

One Stop Resource  


GA Peach Homeschool; tons of links.  You could be here all day!
Sprittibee's big fat list of homeschool links.
Homeschooling on a Shoe String
Educational Free-ware
Gameaquarium - This site has tons of stuff.  video's, games, printables & more.  I found the Magic School Bus shows!
Budget Homeschool - lot's of resources.
Homeschool Share; Lapbook & Literature studies
Wanna Learn; subjects of all kinds.
Adrian Bruce
Free Christian Material
The Puritans Homeschool Curriulum.  Large collection of PDF E-books for all grades.  Mostly Bible & Literature.
Super Teacher Worksheets;  Just found this one.  TONS of worksheets of all subjects & grades.  Get your printers ready!
Lesson Pathways; Free Curriculum & teaching Resources for grades K-5
Easy Peasy: Complete-All free Curriculum. K-Highschool.  Amazingly organized!!!
Freely Educate: 100% free.  tons of links.


PreK
Free Lapbook Lessons
El BuHo Boo;  great site of online games to teach preschoolers how to use the mouse & keyboard. My 3 yr old loves this site!
Coloring Through the Bible
File Folder Heaven; was created by a Special Education teacher, for teachers and parents working with, preschoolers, young elementary students and students with Autism and other disabilities. File Folder Heaven offers a wide variety of printable file folder games, and adapted books that provide children with hands-on opportunities to practice basic reading, math, science and social studies skills.
Alphabet Notebook by Homeschool Share. 
Starfall ; Highly acclaimed site to help kids with phonics
Poisson Rouge; Online games for preschoolers.  Another favorite of my 3 yr old.
Alphabet Good Games: another favorite of my Preschooler!
Count Us In; Games to help learn basic number concepts.


Elementary & UP

Educational Video's 
Flash Card Exchange; Make your own flash cards.
Bible Verse Card Maker; very cool. uses the ESV version.
SFS Kids; San Fransisco Symphony website for kids.
Classics for Kids; more classical music fun.
Worksheet Works; Hundreds of worksheets.
Beginning Spanish 

PreK,K & older Printables; this mom has written some really neat Geography Curriculum & sells as E-Books for really cheap.  But also has lot's of free printables to offer.  Fun blog to visit!
Quizlet; very cool way to create quizes & games for whatever you are studying.  A public school teacher told me about this site.

Art
Kerpoof; this site is a lot of fun.  We just discovered it. Click & drag & make awesome pictures.
Mark Kistler's Imagination Station; Not completely free.  To access all of his lessons it does require  payment.  But my kids loved his freebie lessons & learned a lot from those.  Saving up money to pay for lessons because this guy is really good!
Kinder Art

Composer Study 

Huge list of Books about Composers
Composer Study Freebies
Making Music; great site with audio teaching about composers
Listen & Learn; Official site for Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Making Music Fun;


Geography

Flag Coloring Pages
Clickable World Atlas
Maps; largest collection of maps.  Also available for purchase.
Outline Maps to save & print later.
Online Geography Games
USA Geography
Seterra; Free download or online geography activies.  AWESOME!!!!

Handwriting

Zaner-Boser Handwriting
Make Handwriting Worksheets
Writing Workbooks:  FREE handwriting workbooks on specific topics like Airplanes, Human Body, Ancient Egypt & more.

History

American History Games
A Book in Time;  Book lists, timelines, projects, & interactive games
Washington's World; This site is awesome! 
Free Civil War Unit Study
US History.org; tons of resources.
History Video's
President's Timeline Chart; Free from C-Span, 6 ft long!  Registration required, but it is free.

Science

Free Life Science program
Frank Potter's Science Gems
Free Science Labs
Kids Health.org
Science with Me; free education science website for elementary students.
TEACH Engineering; free resources for science & math
474 pg Physical Science download 
Magic School Bus Video's
Magic School Bus Games

Math
iPlay Math Games
Soft Schools; tons of worksheets, not just math.
Tutor-USA; math help
Master Math  Free math website for middle school students.  Complete with video lessons, worksheets & quizzes.
Multiplication.com: Free multiplication games
XtraMath: great place to help your kids master those basic skills.

Language Arts
Phonics Help
ABC Fast Phonics; phonics tutorial with sound & cartoons.
Foniks
Shakespeare for Kids
Scott Foresman Reading;Grammar & Reading books in PDF
English Lessons 4 Free
Glencoe Literary; lots of literature guides in alpha order.
Reading Units.  This is great.
Book of Virtues Study Project.  This is a huge download.  But check out her site, she explains everything. Very nice!
Grammar Book.com; site offers interactive teaching
Literactive; blackline masters, phoncs lessons, etc...
Graphic Organizer's of all kinds!
Hands On Essays  This is a new site.  Bonita Lillie has taken a hands on approach to writing.  She has a handbook that sells for $8.99 on Amazon as a Kindle download.  But she also made a series of video's that can be used alone.
Grammar Online games
Sink or Sail grammar games online.


Spelling

Garden of Praise; Bible based spelling lessons
Spelling City; You create the spelling lists & they create the games.

High School

Biology Binder
Chemical Elements; Interactive Periodic Table of Elements
Hippo Campus; Can't say enough good about this site!  My high schoolers use it a lot!
S.O.S. Math
Spark Notes; Literature Guides & help.
Pink Monkey; lot's of study help
Khan's Academy: ton's of math video's. We have used this a lot.
Money-Instructor; simple lessons teaching what every student should know before graduating;balancing the check book, filling out a job application, figuring sales tax, etc... There is free lessons, but most of lessons require membership which is super cheap.  It was worth it to me to pay for the extra lessons.
GA Virtual Learning. Many courses for Middle School & high School.  VERY GOOD!!!
All-In-One-Highschool: Creator Lee (mom to 6 kids) has extended her Easy Peasy site to highschool courses.  It is very helpful & I love gaining new resources from her.

Email me if you find any broken links.

Have any links to add to my list?  Leave them in as a comment below!





Saturday, June 5, 2010

SOS in Memphis, TN

For the 3rd year we are sending one of our kids on the SOS mission trip.  SOS is an inner-city ministry in Memphis, TN.  The Jr.High department in our church has participated in their ministry for many years by sending a group of kids.
Last year, Scott was asked to go with Morgan's group because they needed another driver and male adult leader. He had so much fun & couldn't wait to go again this year.  Collin is going with him this time.


Collin has heard from Sarah & Morgan how much fun it was & what a great experience.

When they arrive, they are divded up into groups.  They work in those groups all week.  Last year, our kids worked on roofs.  It was hard.  It was hot. It was wonderful (they said).  We aren't sure what they will be doing this year.
They didn't just work, they also get to have some fun.  Here is a pic of Scott & Morgan at Graceland.

Our kids love doing things for others.  Through mission trips we have seen our older kids develop a love for the Lord through serving others.  Last year Sarah went to Alaska and Ashley went to the Appalachia's in Kentucky.  Both worked hard, got dirty, but came back rejuvenated in their relationship with the Lord.  They begin months before their trips raising money.  We are always amazed at how the Lord provides the money for them to go.  This year is no exception.
In October, Sarah & Ashley have an opportunity to go to Galway, Ireland with a group from our church.  They are so excited!  And the best news is that they have already raised almost half of their money needed!  God is so cool!

If you would like to help our girls go to Ireland, you can go to our ministry site & donate via PayPal.  Visit LSM-Outreach and see what our family is doing to help share the gospel of Christ with others.

We would also appreciate prayers for the Stonebriar group heading to Memphis very early on Sunday morning.  Pray for their safety & for no injuries or illness during the time they are in Memphis.



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