embracing life and letting God

9.26.2010

New Fall Challenge - Come and Join Me!

MAKING YOUR HOME A HAVEN...

I will be joining Courtney of Women Living Well in her new Fall Challenge.  It's all about creating a home full of PEACE!  Come and join me and let's see what God has in store for us as we diligently seek after peace, harmony and calmness in our homes. 

SHALOM
sha·lom [ shaa lṓm ]   
safety, health, prosperity, well-being, and wholeness to you all,


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9.23.2010

New Attitude...New Point of View


As the Lord leads me to day-by-day change my attitude to become more Christ-like, today He led me to a story from an Unknown Author.  Shared by a lady named Mrs. Lorrie Flem of Homemaking with Teach Magazine this story was part of my devotional reading.



THE HOSPITAL WINDOW

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band, he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

My hearts desire is to be that person.  The one who shares the color and splendor of serving God, encouraging wives, moms, daughters, sisters in their journey in the Lord as they follow the Pathway of being wife-hood and motherhood and being a daughter of The One and Only.

May you be encouraged today to change your attitude to be more like Christ. That New Attitude will become a habit and therefore change your Point of View.  When we are 'sitting down on the outside, but standing up on the inside' our focus is selfishly inward.  When we choose surrender and obedience to a Merciful and Loving God we 'sit down on the outside and the inside' changing our focus upward to the One who Guides us, Protects us, Love us, and Sacrificed EVERYTHING  for us!

From My Heart to Yours,





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9.22.2010

Living Books for a New Generation


It's

Review Day!
So Today I would like to introduce you to


From homeschooling graduate Daniel Mills and his family
"The underlying philosophy of Salem Ridge Press is found in the Bible:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8)."  

Daniel, "loves the Lord and desires to serve Him and other people, especially other homeschooling families, through his business."  Seeing the need for good Historical and Classical LIVING Books Daniel set out to republish out-of-print high-quality Literature for a new generation.  From this desire God birthed a publishing company so that Daniel could do this on his own.  In 2005 Salem Ridge Press was established.  You can read more about Daniel and his family here.

In its blossoming five years Salem Ridge Press has brought many wholesome books of the 1800's and 1900's for the whole family to life again.  Among their selections are books on Faith, Character, Adventure, Sacrifice, History and Life in Service to Christ.  The books are in general for children and adults 12 years of age and older.  They also have a selection for young readers as well.  You will find: (Click on the pictures below to find out about each story and more)


Historical fiction:

Church History
his·to·ry [ hístəree ]

events occurring in the past in the Christian Church


American History
his·to·ry [ hístəree ]

events occurring in the past in America


World History
his·to·ry [ hístəree ] 
events occurring in the past in the world


Adventure:ad·ven·ture [ əd vénchər ]
exciting experience: an exciting or extraordinary event or series of events

bold undertaking: an undertaking involving uncertainty and risk



Allegory:
al·le·go·ry [ állə gàwree ]
symbolic work: a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning


Now, you will have to remember these books were originally published in the 1800 and 1900's and therefore the language reflects such times.  However, this in no way takes away from the elegance and moral compass behind the stories.  These are perfect family read-alouds because there are many opportunities to discuss the choices and adventures the characters experience.

One of the special qualities I enjoyed, that is just right for this vocabulary word girl is at the bottom of the pages are definitions of the more difficult words or uncommon words not normally spoken in our English language.  What a blessing to have that so easily accessible.

You can go to the site and find the beginning chapter of each book  to encourage you in your purchase.  Very reasonably price depending on the book and they are available in hardcover and softcover. 
One of our homeschool goals was that we would impart to our children a multitude of Living books that would provide high-quality literature with real life adventures and experiences encouraging their Christian faith, character,  and an adventurous spirit. Salem Ridge Press has fulfilled this equal desire in their books.  I would highly recommend you visit their site and see for yourself the importance of filling our children with Living Literature!  Enjoy!

You can find a complete listing of Salem Ridge Press books here


From My Heart to Yours,


Disclaimer:
I received this product free of charge for review purposes only.

Reviews are strictly my personal opinion of this product.


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9.17.2010

Something to Ponder

It's Friday and the weekend is almost here.  Our Good Morning Girls group 'In Christ Alone Girls' has gotten off to a wonderful start.  I am really enjoying the accountability of every morning diving into a devotion and spending time with My Lord.  God has been good.  But it hasn't been easy!

Today's blog is short and sweet. God is working on my attitude. It is not easy. It is like refining gold. Hot, painful and cleansing. All that is not in God's plan for me is being weeded out.  So to help me along, yesterday in the mail, I received my Homemaking with TEACH magazine. This issues theme:
ATTITUDE SAYS IT ALL
If you have never been blessed to receive the ministry of Lorrie Flem don't hesistate to drop by her website 'Homemaking with Teach' and be blessed beyond measure.  You can go here to receive a sample issue of her magazine that is brimming with Godly wisdom for women. 

How good is my God to not only be ridding me of my failings in attitude through trial but He ALWAYS gives me the tools to 'go through'. I will be blogging further on what He shows me each morning.  But I leave you today with a quote from Ms. Lorrie Flem from TEACH magazine.

 "Where's your attitude coming from right now? Is it coming from your load or your Lord? Your burdens or your blessings? The mess from the wrapping paper or the gift from God that was wrapped in it? Take a step back. Look past the garbage that's right in front of you and look at the goodness of God that's all around you!"
 
Praying for you ladies that you will see God as the only one who can Bring You Through!
 
In Christ Alone,
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9.15.2010

Good Morning Girls Fall Session

 
 

Today we began our Fall session over at Good Morning Girls and I just know it is going to be so good for me. 

Today is "Women in the Word Wednesday's".  So here we go....

Our little group the 'In Christ AloneGirls' group is sure to bless one another through sharing our lessons learned in devotional time.  I have already met with struggle to get my devotion done today, but thankfully the day isn't over yet.

My lovely friend, Christie, started us off with such a blessing I was able to get my self going.  Which by the way was what she ministered to me as she shared about the Israelites in the wilderness.  The Lord wanted them to keep on keeping on.  And I did.  I didn't let my day stand in the way of allowing Him to bless me with His Word.

The scripture that I read today was a favorite of mine and something I had been failing Miserably at this week.

 Finally, brothers, whatever is True, whatever is Noble, whatever is Right, whatever is Pure, whatever is Lovely, whatever is Admirable - if anythings is Excellent or Praiseworthy - think about such things. -Philippians 4:8


I realized that, with the current struggle I was experiencing that I did not have this 'positive or hopeful' thinking. I lost my focus on what God is accomplishing and focused and what was wrong. When I lost my focus on the One and Only that is when nothing seemed to go right.  But in the middle of all that I thought I had to control, God showed me in a big way, HE is still and always will be in control of every part of my life.  He never ceases to show me how much he loves me even when I have not been True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable in thought or deed. 

"For what can make me whole again, Nothing but the blood of Jesus, What can wash away my sin, Nothing but the blood of Jesus..."

When I put my trust in Christ and believe God is in control, it's like my friend Christie shared with us, all I can do is trust there is a reason for everything. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that, even when I have a child in full-on rebellion, I still have to Hope and Trust that God is control. I don't have to get angry.  I don't have to yell. When I look at my circumstances, my husband, my children, whatever is going on around me, I MUST look to Jesus and say to myself 'don't freak out' God is in control. I Must see what is Excellent, Pure, Lovely, Praiseworthy in my life that He has given me. It is said of Abraham that he called those things that were not as though they were. In Hebrews 10 he is listed as Hero of Faith. He did not consider the death in own body and there the birth of many nations came forth from his faith.  To think, respond, simply be Positive.  That is what I aspire to be all the days of my life.  I know He is taking me there step by step.  Because He is always in control.  Praise be!

Now, if you would like to enjoy some 'I am so thankful I am not the only mom' humor visit my friend Christie over at her blog mommyvsarmyof5 (click on name to link to her site). Wonderful writer and funny.  What a gift she has for sharing her life adventures as a military wife, and mother to 5 beautiful children, two of which are twin toddlers.  You will not be disappointed.  I laugh every time she posts.  She is definitely a woman who sees the half glass full and lives to tell about it. 

From My Heart to Yours,


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9.11.2010

Sunday's Sense and Sensibility




The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
makes you Free from the law of sin and death -Romans 8:2

The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby (John 14:16, The Amplified Bible). His ministry is to bear us up, to help us, to strengthen us. God knew that man was weak through his flesh. He said:



A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

God does not expect you to overcome the weakness of the flesh, even by your new, born-again spirit. He gave you His Spirit to help you and strengthen you. Ephesians 3:16 says we are "strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man."


The Holy Spirit will strengthen you with might in your inner man to overcome the weakness of living in a natural body. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11).

The Holy Spirit does not do the work by Himself. He comes to our aid. He is our Helper. When we pray in other tongues, the Spirit of God bears us up in the weakness of our flesh–the part of us that is earthy and natural–and brings us God's answer to the situation or problem. Through the operation of the Holy Spirit within us, we are no longer held in bondage to the natural world.


So what is our part? Our part is to give Him place by hearing and obeying His word, and then yield the control of our lives to Him as we walk in His ways instead of man's ways. This allows the supernatural power of God to flow in our behalf to bring to pass the will of God. When we give place to the Holy Spirit and obey Him, we are allowing God to be God in our lives. 

Excerpts from "The Help You Need"
By Gloria Copeland

From My Heart to Yours,





 
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9.10.2010

America's Math Teacher


It's Review Day!
Today we are on to Math, so

Let's go...

 From Rick Fisher, author of the Mastering Essential Math Skills  (textbooks found at Amazon.com), and a math instructor for the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California.   

Today I introduce you to his lastest creation: 


Math Essential

Since graduating from San Jose State University in 1971 with a B.A. in mathematics, Rick has devoted his time to teaching fifth and sixth grade math students. Each year approximately one-half of his students bypass the seventh grade math program and move directly to a high-powered eighth grade algebra program.

In step with the Mastering Math Skills  work book series this Online Tutoring website is full of incredible, laid-back, and easy to understand instruction.  The online worksheets and lessons compliment the lessons provided in Mr. Fisher's MMS work books but are not necessary for utilizing the wealth of information provided.  It is your own In-home Tutor.  No scheduling.  No paying for gas.  It's on your time, at your pace, 24/7.

From the Learning Center

You will find the breakdown of different math levels and videos of instruction that correspond with Basic Math, Advanced math, Pre-Algebra and Algebra, in the Learning Center.

With a pleasant demeaner, calm voice and creative ideas of how to really "see" a math problem, Mr. Fisher visually guides students, on his cyber 'chalk board', through the details of each level of math problems.  He really has a gift of helping, atleast my students, see the problem as nothing but a simple group of numbers that really do fit together in the end. 


In the Evaluation Center you can access online quizzes and grading to help your student master what he/she has been learning with Mr. Fisher.  Now, I have to say, this site is still in its infancy, having gone live only about a month prior to this review.  We found it still had some kinks that needed to be worked out.  On occassion, when we would take the tests, we would either not receive the final grading on the quiz or the grade would be incorrect.  I have been in contact with TOS Crew and I am assured Customer Service is handling the errors with grace and are diligently working to correct these glitches  as quickly as they can.

From the Resource Center

You will find...

Printable, Written Lessons including final exams.  Here Mr. Fisher covers Basic Math, Advanced Math and Pre-Algebra.
Written worksheets


Awesome online drills!  The Speed Drills are absolutely unique and fun!  I even, as an adult, had a good time tweaking my mathematical skills working through the on-line Speed Drills.  We found them to be an extraordinary approach and really enjoyed them. 
online speed drills

You will also have access to the full listing of all of the lessons available in the All Lesson List section.

You can personally inquire about this wonderful, New website for free.  You can find free video lessons here.  You can access free downloadable lessons on this same site page as well.  I don't think you will be dissappointed.  It is over all a great resource to help your student gain an even greater knowledge of how math works and how simple it can really be.  They can gain even greater success in their math skills. For the struggling math student in middle or high school or homeschool or a valuable addition to a new homeschool family that needs a little extra push in getting started with teaching math to their children.

1 year homeschool subscription $195
Great for Families!
Online access anywhere, anytime.
Access entire library of courses
Low-cost solution for accessibility from any computer
Provides a great tool for parents to help teach math
Helps keep student’s skills sharp, and motivation high



I want to thank Mr. Fisher for allowing my children and me the opportunity to enjoy his expertise.

Rick Fisher

You can check out more reviews on AMT at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew site.  Enjoy!
From My Heart to Yours,


Disclaimer:
I received this product free of charge for review purposes only. 
Reviews are strictly my personal opinion of this product.







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9.08.2010

Wednesday's Wisdom



A Gentle Spirit
woman praying Pictures, Images and Photos



This morning, as I was seeking the Lord in my quiet time, He placed before me a quote that so touched the heart of my current struggle. 

Her gentle mothering reveals to the world God's compassionate and nurturing heart. In her gentle mothering she wields a mighty force against the enemy as she trains children to love and serve God. Don't despise gentleness, dear mother. Embrace it. Seek to walk in a gentle spirit in your marriage relationship and as you ...mother your children. It is not weakness. It is your anointing of greatness.
Love from Nancy

Nancy being Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies Ministry.  Her ministry is so precious to me.  Through their ministry I have, on many occasions, been blessed and yes, convicted in the real purpose of my calling as mother and wife.

Oh, the truth that resounds from this quote.  It is something I needed the Lord to speak deep into my spirit. For I struggle daily with the sternness I feel I must have to govern the shortcomings of my children.  Instead, the Lord has been reminding me through my Thryoid dis-ease, as it swells when I am stressed, that the more gentle I am in voice and in spirit I do not cause the "swelling" of frustration and rebellion in my children's spirit. I help to create in them a peace and comfort to be the best they can be for the Lord and for their family.

Sadly, I forget, in my own struggles to keep everything flowing naturally in our lives and our home, to stop and pray.  Pray for my children, myself, my husband.  Simply pray for gentleness.  It is no mistake that He would, in answer to my prayer for gentleness, to see a card with my Given name and the meaning of that name, which is "Gentle".  This is what all mothers are called to be. 

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.-1 Peter 3:4

It is no mistake that God gave man the strength, wisdom and will to labor spirit, soul and body in his work, for his family, and as the Spiritual heads of our homes.  It is also no mistake that He gave woman the strength, wisdom and emotions to understand that strength in our man and have the gentleness to raise our children to be warriors and princesses fighting the greatest battle man has ever endured.  The enemy of our souls would delight in nothing more than to destroy our families with anger, strife, and hate.  Our gentleness of mothering is a mighty weapon of force against that enemy. 

This never negates the times I will be given to the necessity to be stern with my children when they are in the throes of rebellion.  But as I instruct them daily,  through a gentle spirit I can show them how to stay calm and controlled to handle all that may come at us.  If I do not freak out at the slightest little inconvenience, then they will not learn to do the same.

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I am so thankful that the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us the freedom to Love even in those unlovely moments.  Love truly does conquer all.  Through a Gentle Spirit the world sees the Compassion and Mercy of a Loving God and Father.

From My Heart to Yours,
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9.03.2010

Spelling City Review

Makes practicing for spelling tests fun

It's Review Day! 
Time for us to dive into a new Tool for School. 
And I have a good one today for everyone. 

Introducing.....

Spelling tests made easy

At the end of our school year, last, I was introduced to SpellingCity.com through a wonderful lady's blog over at  Oh, My Stinkin' Heck.  Love it!  "Oh my stinkin' Heck."  As a southern girl I can totally relate to this saying.  Oops, back on track.  Anyway, She was doing a special guest blog on Pioneer Woman's Homeschooling section.  Once I read her entry I had to try it.  She mentioned there was a free version to "check it out".  So, I decided to do just that and see if it fit into my children's learning styles.

I put in our lists and we started immediately.  Adding lists was easy.  Taking tests was easy.  Printing scores was ... you guessed it, easy.  There were no complaints either.  My boys really liked this new approach.  It was WONDERFUL! 

Basic Spelling City "Getting Started"...see video here.

Spelling City offers
  1. Over 42,000 spelling words and customizable sentences
  2. A REAL person who says each word and sentence
  3. Free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists
  4. Teacher training videos to show teachers and parents how to use SpellingCity.com
  5. Customizable sentences for words with multiple meanings (e.g., a scale for weighing, to scale a mountain, the scale on a map)
  6. Free printable handwriting worksheets for handwriting practice with your saved lists
  7. Free teaching resources with lists and lesson plans for teaching high frequency words, compound words, sound-alike words (their, there, they're), contractions, possessives, and more.
  8. There are also lists for learning state capitals.
  9. 12 games are included to help spur on your child's learning! Fun!
Needless to say I am hooked.  They created this wonderful site for public school children and for students schooling at home, as well as students who need a little extra practice at home as homework. 

I was in the middle of scheduling our new school year and was contemplating spending the extra money on the membership when ***AHHHHH (the angels were singing)*** the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to review the Premium Membership for Free.  Yay!!! 

Let me just tell you, I believe the $24.99 for a family of five is spectacular. I will show you what I mean.

Have fun playing spelling games



There are probably hundreds of previously prepared lists of all kinds. Homophones (sounds alike spelled differently), Compound words, Beginning spelling, Phonics and Sight Words and more, all downloadable to your list management.  You can also...
  • Create and save your own new lists
One of the wonderful ways we use this option is while generating my lists
I do separate list 'Groups' for each child. 
Eagle 1:
7th grade list each separated alphabetically
(i.e. 7th Grade Spelling List A, 7th Grade Spelling List B, etc.)
Rhino 2:
4th Grade Spelling List ('A' Words, 'B' Words, etc.)
and Sequential Spelling Lists (Day 1 List, Day 2 List, etc.)
  • Set up student accounts each with a separate password/login.  This is to protect grade changes and getting into the wrong students account
  • Maintain gradebook for each student - which are printable. I LOVE this part!  I don't have to grade and record anything.  It is all taken care of for me automatically!  Awesome!
  • Even more games to choose from.
Your student gradebook contains:
  1. Gradebook
  2. Student activity reports which include

    • Spelling list completed
    • Activity
    • Date
    • Score
    • Wrong words
    • Even a delete button if you would like the student to Try again.

  3. Writing Activities
  4. Student management
  5. Customize - for including instructions for sentence and paragraph writing.
Each day your student will log into Spelling City with a user name and password ensuring his/her scores are recorded in the gradebook.  Once they have completed their "Test Me", "Teach Me", and "Play A Game" sections they are prompted to print a certificate and/or a correct and misspelled list of words completed as well as their score/percentages.

I have used these to practice their spelling skills when we have a "Spelling Bee".  I also allow them to rewrite those words so that they can get the correct spelling deeply ingrained in their memories. 

One of the options that I absolutely LOVE is when your student pulls up his/her list they have the option to print a handwriting.  A handwriting sheet in quickly generated for printing with just the spelling words on that list.  The different forms of writing are Print, D'Nealian, Cursive and even Sign Language. 

Check out this video Handwriting "How To Use Printable Worksheets"

The printables range from Spelling List and Alphabetize Game to Missing Letter and Sentence Unscramble. 

There is also a section for sentence writing and paragraph practice writing using the words in their spelling list.  Once your student has completed the exercise he/she can print the PDF form to have as a hard copy for their hard copy records.   Find videos on these here.

When I asked my boys what their favorites were from Spelling City this is what they said:

Eagle 1 "I like the word descriptions/sentences.  I also like the games, like Letter Fall."

Rhino 2 "I like getting to type.  I like the game Hang Mouse!"

So as you can see there are a multitude of great resources in this user-friendly site.  Take some time to check it out.  You won't be disappointed.  Once our membership concludes the Brasher Family will not miss a beat to sign back on. 



Have fun practicing your spelling words

Enjoy! 
From My Heart to Yours,

Note:  All or most all text in bold are linked to website(s).


Disclaimer:
I received this product free of charge for review purposes only.
Reviews are strictly my personal opinion of this product.

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© my own sense and sensibility, AllRightsReserved.

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