Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Joy Dare

Well, This is the last post for Joy Dare for this year...I am not sure what I will do with it for next year, but I am thankful to have taken time to be grateful.  While some of the prompts were hard, it really stretched me to see the smallest little glimpse of all the gifts that pass by me unnoticed.  I still haven't read the book yet...maybe that will be my plan for next year...we'll see!  If you have never heard of the Joy Dare, you can read about it here and here...It may be an activity that changes your life!

1. 3 Gifts White
1} SNOW...really HOPING for some!
2} Homemade Marshmallows on Hot cocoa after playing in the snow!
3} Russian Tea Cakes...with Hot Cocoa...after the snow!

2. 3 Gifts Bright
1} Noses shining bright red in the COLD air
2} Headlights bright on the drive to a Christmas tea
3} Spirits bright as we celebrate the gift of friendship

3. 3 Gifts Shining
1} Christmas Lights shining through the front window welcoming us home
2} Christmas Lights strung throughout the house
3} My Young Living Diffuser

4. A Gift Circling, Crowning, Crafted
1} My Josiah Quilt...a paper pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern...making progress
2}Getting a crown soon...not until next year, but SO THANKFUL that my broken tooth can be SAVED rather than just pulled!!!
3} Projects with the Children

5. 3 Gifts Silver
1} Earrings...a gift from my husband...and I wear them all the time.  They go with EVERYTHING
2} My Origami Owl Living Locket with LOTS of bling
3} Blank CDs we used to make an ornament which reminds us of Mary's song of praise for being chosen to be the mother of our Savior...just try to wrap your mind around that...

6. 3 Gifts Sweet
1} Christmas Cookies
2} Eggnog
3} Peppermint marshmallows

7. 3 Gifts From Your Savior
1} Marriage
2} 22 years
3} Vows

8. A Gift Hung, Held, Heard
1} A picture my sister made for me...it looks like tile, but it is really a calendar page...I LOVE IT!
2} The youngest...the last of those who will let me hold them
3} I love you Momma

9. 3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful
1}The death of a believer...so hard, especially at this time, but death has no victory over His people
2} Believing God's promise for one who looks so far from Him
3} The death and resurrection of our Lord which purchased at GREAT Price my redemption

10. 3 Gifts Unframed Art
1} The Children's Artwork wall
2} Our Anniversary gift from Grace and David
3} Scrapbooks

11. 3 Gifts Ice Cold
1} My Sunroom...keeps our tree fresh until...oh, about April!
2} Diet Coke
3} My Feet!  Makes me really appreciate socks and blankets!

12. 3 Gifts Berry Red
1} A LARGE mug for a friend
2} A New shirt for Christmas
3} Cranberry Bliss Bars

13. 3 Gifts Striped
1} Wrapping paper on sale before Christmas!
2} Costumes at the Nutcracker this morning
3} Candy Canes

14. 3 Gifts Stamped
1} Cards made by the Principessa
2} Things going out in the mail
3} Cards from friends with Christmas greetings and well wishes

15. A Gift Gold, Scented, Bent Low
1} Gold: Decorations on the tree at church
2} Scented: Food for our Fellowship meal
3} Bent Low: Saints in prayer

16. 3 Gifts Bethlehem Unlikely
1} God puts on flesh and comes to be with us
2} God chooses and uses the unqualified to do His work
3} Faith is the Victory

17. 3 Gifts Frosted
1} Cookies
2} The world outside
3} Gingerbread Loaves

18. 3 Gifts Miraculous
1} God's Word hidden in hearts comes back just at the right time
2} Those who wait upon Him are given the strength they need
3} Grace...I will never understand it, but stand in awe and great joy in it

19. 3 Gifts Manger Small
1} My Cradle to Cross Wreath
2} Gingerbread loaves to share with sisters in Christ
3} New Glasses...I can see!

20. 3 Gifts Angelic Song
1} Emmanuel, God With Us

2}Mary, Did You Know

3}Joy, Joy

21. 3 Gifts Lit
1} Young Living Diffuser
2} Christmas Lights all around the house
3} Our Tree

22. A Gift Rejoicing, Wonder, Praising
1} This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
2} Children so excited about the gifts they are giving to their family members
3} Cantata at Church

23. 3 Gifts Starry
1} Stars on a cold, clear night
2} Children's eyes as the day approaches...full of excitement over the things they chose for others
3} Lights from the tree reflecting in and through the windows

24. 3 Gifts Humble
1} Being Born in a Stable
2} God in flesh walking our sod
3} Redemption through the cross

25. 3 Gifts in Luke 2
1}  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 10-11

2}And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. 13-20, (emphasis mine)

3} And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,  then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
 Light [l]of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.  And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—  and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” 25-35

26. 3 Gifts in Christ
1} Joy
2} Peace
3} Faith

27. A Gift Found, Shared, Saved
1} Found: Duct Tape in the clearance section
2} Shared: Pizza with the family
3} Saved: $16 on scotch tape

28. 3 Gifts Lingering
1} Holding a warm cup of coffee in cold hands, the soothing feel of it in the cup and the wonderful taste!
2} Sitting by the fire, bundled in blankets on a cold day
3} Snuggling with the younger ones

29. 3 Gifts of Hope
1} Jesus has it all covered
2} My eternal home
3} Seeing Jesus face to face one day

30. 3 Gifts Remembered
1}  DD sharing his hot cocoa and marshmallows with me
2} I am richly blessed!
3} 1,000 gifts thankful this year

31. 3 Gifts Anticipated
1} A life redeemed
2} A life broken and changed
3} Jesus' return

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.  Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,  “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.  Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial.  For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”
 The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.  But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also;  because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.

John 12: 1-11

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.  If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”  But one of them,Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all,  nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”  Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,  and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.
 Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.
 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves.  So they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?”  Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.

John 11:47-57

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Udderly Smooth

Have you ever walked through the aisles of the store you're in and seen a product called Udderly Smooth...with packaging that looks like cow markings? I know I sure had, but had never tried the product until now...The generous folks at Udderly Smooth  sent me a box full of products and a few samples and I have to say, this may be the product you are looking for.

So, first, from their website:
Made in the USA for over thirty years, Udderly Smooth® products contain rich moisturizing ingredients. Not your average moisturizing lotion- Udderly Smooth® can be used on Dry Skin, Cracked Skin, forDiabetes Foot Care, as a Facial Moisturizer, as a General Moisturizing Lotion and many other uses.
Pioneered by a Pharmacist, reasonably priced and made in America’s heartland. Use Udderly Smooth® daily for smooth, soft skin head to toe.

 Original Udderly Smooth® Udder Cream is a greaseless, stainless water-based moisturizer with a light fresh fragrance.
           Originally developed for use on dairy cows, Udderly Smooth® Udder Cream. is used            by many people for their dry and chapped skin.
           Use Udderly Smooth® as an everyday multipurpose moisturizing lotion. Udderly                  Smooth®. contains rich moisturizing ingredients that perform to soften dry,                          chapped skin.

Ok, so you may be thinking...this was originally created for cows and you want me to use it on MY SKIN...well, I have to tell you trying is believing...I struggle with dry skin and my feet are ABSOLUTELY the worst!  So I gave it my best shot...

Here is what we loved:

Almost instant results...overnight, my feet were better...I wish there was a memory cream though to help me remember to put it on...but on the feet with socks...in the morning, my feet were 100% better...I think if I were to get a pedicure and then put this cream on at night...you would most likely never even know my heels were hard and cracked and terrible...

Hands- A couple of my children's hands get REALLY BAD in the winter...red up to the wrists...and of course they have to keep washing hands, because, well you all know why...and so they are often BEET red in the worst of the cold dry weather...this did NOT STING going on and worked right away!!!  There hands healed quickly and then remained moisturized.

This product soaks into the skin QUICKLY...no greasy residue, no waiting to dry.  The foot and body creams are light and sort of whipped looking.  It feels GREAT going on!

I enjoyed the light fragrance!

These products are carried in A LOT of places!  It should be easy to find!

PRICE!!!! Can we say AFFORDABLE!

They have been a family owned company for over 30 years!

What could be a challenge:

While I enjoyed the scent, those with allergies, may find it too strong.  There is a fragrance free option, but I haven't looked to see how available it is in the stores that carry their products.

And, a word from my heart...So a few of you may know that I have family members that have struggled with cancer over the past few years.  Cancer patients who battle the disease and the treatments they have to go through may be able to use this product for some of the side effects the treatment may cause on your skin.  I am not offering any medical advice here, but you can read about it on the website and then ask your doctor if Udderly Smooth is the right product for you.  There is also some information about diabetes skin care there too!

What I got:
 Udderly Smooth® Foot Cream with Shea Butter $6.50

Udderly Smooth® Body Cream, 12 oz. Jars $5.75

Udderly Smooth® Udder Cream, 4 oz. Tube $2.75

Udderly Smooth® Udder Cream, 2 oz. tube $1.75

Udderly Smooth can also be used for:
* Dry and chapped skin
* As a shaving lotion
* Chamois cream for bicyclists
* Needlework and quilting

There are quite a few places to find Udderly Smooth products, but you can order online as well. And...it looks like you can find a $1 off coupon on their facebook page

Just for fun...

See what others thought about Udderly Smooth here

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”  And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.
 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.  Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,  and said,“Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”  But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”  Jesus said to her,Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”  When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”  The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them,“Unbind him, and let him go.”
 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.  But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.

John 11:28-46

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Tale of Two Kingdoms and God's Unfolding Story of Salvation

A Tale of Two Kingdoms $23
Guardian Books/Essence Publishing
God's Unfolding Story of Salvation $22
Resource Publishing, an implant of Wipf & Stock Publishers
Heather A. Kendall
Ages: High School-Adult

I received two books to review, written by Heather A. Kendall.  I thought these books were to be used together in a survey of the Bible, but it appears that they are not lined up to be used in that manner in an easy way.  It can be done, but the divisions are slightly different, so I will treat them as two separate books, rather than one resource.

I spent most of my time reading A Tale of Two Kingdoms.  This book is intended to be a survey of the Bible's main themes: The redemption of man through Jesus Christ and the feeble attempts of Satan to thwart God's plan.  I did not get all the way through this book.  Shortly into the reading, some things the author said did not sit well with me.  So I went and re-read passages several times and went to her website to see if there was any insight there.  I am not sure I can pinpoint anything specific...it just seemed like many statements on her website were in an all or nothing sort of tone, broad brushing everyone of this group as being these characteristics.  Maybe I am reading more into the words than what was there...I am not sure...Back to the book though, this statement, for example, didn't sit well with me:

" Do you inwardly chuckle when a good person sins?  Beware of the sin of Ham.  When the Lord looked into the heart of Canaan, the son of Ham, he saw one who probably approved of his father's behaviour, whereas Ham's other three sons did not"  This seemed to question the sovereignty and omnipotence of HIM who knows all...the Lord does not look to see what is going on...HE knows the beginning from the ending...since before time began.

Another passage that didn't sit well with me was this one, " Moses spent the next forty years in the wilderness with Reuel, a priest of Midian (Exod. 2:15-21).  Reuel was a descendant of Keturah, Abraham's third wife (Gen. 25:1-4). Through Reuel, Moses learned more about the one true God."  Ok...while this COULD be true, I have only read about Jethro (Exodus 18 also Reuel???) suggesting that Moses appoint overseers to meet daily with the people, so that he would not get wearied hearing every case, but he would hear the most important cases.  I was under the impression that Moses learned more about the ONE TRUE GOD FROM the ONE TRUE GOD, see Exodus 3, 4, etc...

While I believe that reading the Bible is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do (Gives us daily nourishment and communication with our GREAT GOD!)I do want to say, that I think a Bible Survey is a good thing.  I think it is good for believers to see the larger picture of God's plan, as much as we can understand or that which has been revealed to us.  I know as a brand new believer at 23ish...I KNEW NOTHING of the Bible...NOT ONE THING...and so I read many children's story Bibles so that I could get a feel for the main stories in the Bible.  I think that having a resource like this would have been helpful, but I didn't know where to look or what to ask for.  While I was hoping this book would be that resource, I feel like it falls short.


I thought the Points to Ponder at the end of each chapter was a helpful way to summarize the main ideas in the chapter. These were short sentences, easy to read, an accurate bite of what was just read.


It appears that I do not agree with some of the author's points in her book

The story line of the Bible was hard to follow...it was a bit choppy and the author's personal illustrations/testimonies were more of a distraction for me than a clear segue into the survey of the Bible.

If you would like to get a better feel for A Tale of Two Kingdoms, you can view the free download 

God's Unfolding Story of Salvation
The Christ Centered Biblical Storyline

This book is similar to the book mentioned above, but it is a bit more interactive.  Rather than being more of a narrative of the Biblical theme, it is more of a Bible Study, allowing the student to draw conclusions and read from the Word of God themselves and be instructed by the Holy Spirit Himself into the way of truth.  This book is divided into 4 main sections: Preparing for the Promised Seed; The Prophets: Waiting for the Promised Seed: Jesus, the Promised Seed; and The Church: Proclaiming the Promised Seed.  These four divisions have a total of 38 lessons to work through, which could be studied at any time, but might be good to work through for Easter or in the Summer.

I like that the student is studying the Word in the context of doing a Biblical survey.  This allows for the Holy Spirit to teach, rather than a person.

There are application and reflection questions...time to ponder the Word and then become a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.

The lessons seem pretty short and the questions in the main part of each lesson look pretty easy.  This means that on days when time is short, a study of the Word is still do-able.  Also, this study could be done by high school students and newer believers.  I remember as a newer believer that going to a Bible study was a bit intimidating...what if they call on me, what if I don't know the answers, etc.  It does not look like this would be an issue.

I am a little leery of giving my full recommendation for this book because I had some issues with the other book.  I did not get all the way through either book, so I cannot make comments for the parts I did not complete.  I will say though, God's Unfolding Story of Salvation was better in my opinion.

You can preview a download of God's Unfolding Story of Salvation here

You can read what others had to say about these books here

Sufficiency of Scripture

 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.  Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;  and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.  Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.  Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,  and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

John 11:17-27

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.  So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.  Then after this He *said to the disciples, Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”  This He said, and after that He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.  So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”

John 11:1-16

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Joy Dare

1-3 Gifts Eaten
1} Chocolate Muffin in a Mug...WONDERFULLY decadent and ON PLAN!
2} Starbucks Chicken and Greens Salad
3} Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake...I had the VERY TINIEST of bites (NOT AT ALL ON PLAN) but it was SO INCREDIBLE!

2- 3 Gifts Worn
1} Red & Khaki
2} Warm fuzzy Spa Socks
3} ANYTHING BUT Red & Khaki!

3- 3 Gifts that Start with N
1} Nutella
2} Naps
3} November...a month where the focus is on being thankful, times spent with family, comfort food, crazy work schedules, and so much more!

4-A Gift Gathered, Given, Good
1} The end of our amazing elections at co-op...as the votes were gathered, we had a new president for co-op
2} Grace from these sweet Momma friends I am privileged to spend time with EVERY Monday!
3} The Brannon's came to our Support Group Meeting...their sharing was SO GOOD!

5-3 Gifts Acorn Small
1} Origami Owl Lockets and Charms ...a small thing that has been a great blessing
2} Popcorn- My friend Cindy was eating this when she came and rescued me when my car broke down...
3} Mustard Seed Faith- God is so good..He shows us that He knows our needs and can provide for them in ways we cannot even imagine!

6-3 Gifts Government
1} Democratic Republic-we are a representative government
2} We have freedoms outlined in our founding documents and Constitution, Bill of Rights
3} Isaiah 9:6- The government rests upon HIS shoulders

7-3 Gifts from Your Window
1} Peaceful country scenery as we drive to and from band/choir practice
2} DOT signs warning of accidents and breakdowns, so we are able to find an alternate route
3} Stars- More than we can count...and God knows each one by name

8-\A Gift Sweet, Salty, Sipped
1} Fritos Scoops
2} Lou's Chocolate Chip Cookies
3} Eggnog Latte

9-3 Gifts Harvest
1} Beautiful Fall Colors showing the color that has always been there
2} Amazing Fall Smells of rich spices and warm and comforting goodness
3} Incredible Fall Foods that boost of the goodness of God in all things

10-3 Gifts Found in Bible Reading
1} Guidance
2} Sustenance
3} Encouragement

11-3 Gifts of Remembrance
1} Seeing the hand of God and remembering His faithfulness
2} Praying for the needs of others
3} Thankfulness for those who have fought for our freedoms, for which MANY have died

12-3 Gifts at Noon
1} Justice
2} Mercy
3} Love

13-3 Gifts Behind a Door
1} Children...with greetings of HELLO
2} Vacuum...therapeutic for me
3} a hot soak in the tub

14- 3 Gifts Silent
1} Early Morning work done when all are still sleeping
2} A few moments before bedtime, when I read...for as long as I can...zzzz
3} Bible Study

15-3 Gifts Golden
1} Wedding ring
2} Homemade chicken soup
3} Cough drops

16-3 Gifts Hard Eucharisteo
1} Hard things that continue to come, but I know God has His plan and He shows me His personal loving care for me so very often
2} Boys to Men...can be a hard process some days
3} Working for a company in NW Washington that does not work in the rain

17- 3 Gifts of Laughter
1} A night of sweet co-op aunties...working and laughing together...you ladies bless me richly
2} Bedtime snuggles with a little boy
3} Siblings playing together

18- A Gift Made, Shared, Passed On
1} Pickles for co-op teachers...thanking them for being such a blessing
2} Time spent with the Co-op Aunties
3} A Starbucks Gift Card

19-3 Gifts of Autumn
1} Warm Sweaters
2} Hot Soups
3} Dark Nights

20- 3 Gifts of Traditions
1} Christmas Music Playing
2} Tree Trimming
3} Our NEW Tradition...the Christmas Morning Surprise...better watch out!

21-3 Gifts of Family
1} Common History
2} Unconditional Love
3} A Sense of Being Home

22-A Gift of Grateful-
I am thankful for the daily ways God sustains and encourages me

23- 3 Gifts Only In Christ
1} Grace
2} Peace
3} Life

24- 3 Gifts Humble
1} My Bank Account...and yet our needs are met
2} A Fixed Vehicle...the IMPOSSIBLE looking situation becoming possible
3} Knowing there is a "Saul" in the process of becoming a "Paul"...but not seeing how it could possibly happen...Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mt. 19:26

25-3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful
1}Motherhood often looks ugly to us...our failings, things we didn't do, etc, but can be so beautiful when viewed from our children's eyes
2} The end of another co-op term...A break is always nice...a few weeks off from the Monday Madness, but I have grown to love these families so dearly, that the last day will be hard...but February will be here before we know it.
3} The preparation days leading up to the Holidays can be a busy stressful mess, but learning to simplify and make new traditions to keep the focus on Christ and family create a special atmosphere and amazing memories

26-3 Gifts Preparing
1} To work Black Friday
2} Gathering fun things to do in December
3} Christmas Gifts

27- A Gift Handmade, Held, Happy
1} The sweet Nativity set my children made...best Nativity set ever!
2} Bags for Guests at work
3} An AWANA FREE Week...My Girls are working so hard and doing such a great job learning verses and bringing friends to club...but a Wednesday night at home is a rare treat!

28- 3 Gifts in Community
1} Running into friends and neighbors at Target
2} Team Members on a long day...encouragement, understanding, support
3} Helping in a windstorm in the middle of the night

29- 3 Gifts Red
1} My Starbucks mugs- a newer tradition  for my hubby and I...when Starbucks has their 12 Days of Christmas special, we grab matching mugs!
2} Breathe Again Young Living Essential Oil...red label...I LOVE this oil...I can INSTANTLY feel my airways opening up.
3} The tag on my key ring from the mechanic, which reminds me to pray for his business.

30- 3 Gifts Astonishing

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.

40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41 Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Him there.

John 10:31-42

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

John 10: 22-30

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

John 10:19-21

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

John 10:11-18

Friday, November 1, 2013

See The Light Art Projects-Sunflowers

See The Light
Art Projects
Sunflowers in the Style of Van Gogh
Ages: 10 and up
Price: $14.99, with discount options

See The Light offers Art Instruction Products that draw children's hearts to the Savior. From the website,
With a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, a heart for children, and a passion for ministry, Dave and Pat Holt bring you the SEE THE LIGHTteam: 
ARTISTS with specialties that include teaching a large variety of techniques, art history, chalk artistry, performance art, gospel chalk art (with black light), crafts, creative lettering, and more; 
MUSICIANS whose talents include songwriting, musical performance, arranging, and producing. 
The SEE THE LIGHT team is dedicated to bringing scripture and biblical principles to viewers in a fresh, engaging way. . . and promising to teach some exciting art skills along the way!

With that as the background to the materials, I was EXCITED to jump right in!  We selected the Sunflowers Lesson in the Style of Vincent Van Gogh and waited for it to arrive! When we received our DVD and went off and got what we needed...which for this particular project was not very much...a sheet of pastel paper, a set of oil pastels, paper towels or napkins, an artificial sunflower and wipes.  I think we spent around $10 for everything we got (We had some pastels and got another inexpensive set and the Sunflowers were on a DEEP DISCOUNT...got two nicer ones for about $1.50).  Materials vary from project to project and are clearly noted both on the website and on the DVD cover.  Lessons in the Art Projects line include:


So, MY plan was to have my children work on the lessons, one at a time...spreading it out between 2-4 days.  Lessons are ABOUT 30 minutes long ( I say ABOUT, because there is quite a bit of pausing that happens as your child draws.).  Well, my children were SO INTO the project, they did all four lessons back to back...so we had ART DAY, which was fine with me for that day...just letting you know in case your children are tempted to do the same and it does not work in your schedule for that particular day.  This project was for children aged 10 and up, which is THE PERFECT AGE...I let my 7 year old do it as well and he was OFTEN frustrated...I think his drawing looked WONDERFUL but he was not happy with it when compared to his siblings..

Pat Knepley is the instructor for this project and I loved the way she interacts as she instructs.  She gives TIDBITS about Vincent Van Gogh's life and works.  She does not give a complete history, but little feels for the artist as you work alongside her in that artist's style of art.  It whets the appetite for more and your child may decide he or she wants to know more.  As she is instructing, Pat talks about Van Gogh's spiritual life and adds Scripture that is relevant to what is happening in the lesson.  I LOVED the very natural way that I saw this put into place...it is more than art...These products point to the Savior!

The Project we chose was broken down into 4 lessons: Planning the Composition, Detail the Petals and Leaves, Fill in the Negative Space, Shadows and Highlights.  Each lesson was VERY CLEARLY laid out.  My children were able to understand what they were supposed to do.  While I thought that the video quality  and  instruction were excellent, it would have been nice to get some views from straight on  a little more, so the student would see the artwork from the angle they were working from.  There were some views from that angle, but not as close up as I would have liked...often you are viewing the sample work from the side.  Throughout the instruction, there are tips and reminders of what to do as well as taking care of your supplies or protecting your project from smears (we were working with Oil Pastels and there were cautions for little pieces on your page and reminders to clean your hands from time to time so as NOT to add color where you didn't want it.)

Well, I do have to say, I LOVED See The Light Art Projects.  I was BLOWN away by the work my children produced in such a SHORT time and they had fun and would LOVE TO DO MORE.  As I mentioned above, you can get each project for $14.99, or the set of 9 for $99.99, but there is also a subscription option where you get one of the Art Projects lessons sent to you each month for $12.50...I LOVE that and I think I am going to sign up for that option.  See the Light Art Projects Lessons can be used for a Fine Arts High School Credit and there is a PDF on the website detailing a possible lesson plan for both a half credit and full credit option.
Here are some of our Pictures:
Rough Sketching the composition of the drawing

After Lesson One- The Princess

After Lesson 1- The 'Nager

After Lesson 1- DD
Filling in the Negative Spaces- Princess

Filling in the Negative Spaces- DD

Yippee for ART DAY!

Filling in the Negative Spaces- The 'Nager

The 'Nager's final project...The Princess gave her drawing away...so no final picture of hers...I think DD crumbled his up, but you can see most of it in the picture above.

Do you have younger children you would like to have art instruction too?   The Bible Stories DVD set may be just the thing for you.  I have not tried it, but it looks fantastic!  Here you can view a short video on About The Light and one that is a Conversation between Pat and a homeschool mom and mostly covers the Art Class series, but touches on all three product lines.  I LOVED what Pat said in this video, " You really can't separate the Master Creator, God, from learning about art and how to draw."

Not sure if See the Light is for you...well, here are some resources to look at:
Free Lessons
Video Tips

See what other reviewers had to say about See The Light Art Projects here