Sunday, March 31, 2013

He IS Risen

Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you." - Mark16:6-7

He is Risen, Indeed!

Blessings to you and yours on this holy of days

A Gift Heard, Held, Hoped For

1}He Is Risen

2}Me, In God's hands...and I am thankful to be there

3}A Future Home

Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 Gifts Uncovered

1} Treasures in God's Word

2}Bliss Bars in the freezer

3} My Principessa's entry for the American Girl Doll Contest...she is SO EXCITED and her excitement is contagious


Friday, March 29, 2013

3 Gifts of His Promises

1} But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
Isaiah 49:14-16

2} Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

3}For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3 Gifts Entwined

1} Married Hearts

2} Mother's Heart with her children

3} My memorial locket with my Changed for the Better necklace


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3 Gifts Redeemed

For March 27
1} Me, by God's precious grace

2} Trials or hardship

3}God's Promises in my life and for my sure it's like they are already done


3 Gifts Almost Gone

For March 26

1} My Children...their little days are already gone, but I always say...Time Flies when measured by growing babies

2} This day...almost bed time...each and every day is a precious gift

3} This month...whew...where on Earth did it go...we are 1/4 of the way done with 2013...cannot even believe it.


We Choose Virtues

We Choose Virtues
Heather McMillan
Prices Vary: See Below
Ages: This can vary, but grade school ages for sure

We Choose Virtues is an AMAZING tool for parents to use to teach virtues and allow for the opportunities to practice them. I know often in my parenting, I have thought...why don't you do this or know that...well, it is because I haven't TAUGHT it...and We Choose Virtues is a wonderful way to be intentional with such foundational things our children need to have. Creator Heather McMillan has been VERY intentional with several parts of this great teaching tool.

Before I forget, I received the following items for this review

Virtue Flash Cards for Families $ 14.99 These come in KJV, NIV and a Secular Version...We chose the NIV set

Sample Parenting Cards $ 34.99

The Teacher's Manual $5 (PDF Download)

Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book $3 (PDF Download)

as well as two free items: the Family Character Assessment and Memory Verses, Bible Truths and Heroes.

Before you jump into the teaching, you can have each member of your family fill out one of the Character Assessment forms. This form will help you and your children identify strengths and weaknesses in each person's character and give a jumping off point to begin if you so choose. We did not choose to work on individual traits. For the purposes of this review, due to the ages of the children I worked with (My youngest two...6 and 11) we chose to focus first on the three rules and then move into the individual virtue cards. While my olders would benefit from these cards too, they do seem a bit childish looking and the older ones can be put off by that. Heather mentioned that she was considering creating materials for the older age group, but no date was set for its release. There is quite a bit of thought that went into making this program what it is today and Heather wants to be sure that she does not compromise on that for a teen program. Watch for it is SURE to be excellent....and I gather will include some thought provoking journaling. I cannot WAIT to see it!

Speaking of the drawings...that is ONE aspect that I think that draws you in. The materials are so visually appealing, you cannot help but enjoy the learning aspect of it. Heather has been very intentional with these characters. You may think the names of the characters a bit strange, but it has purpose. Oboe Joe, for instance is on the Obedience card and Hat Matt on the Helpful card...notice anything there? The first name of the character begins with the same letter as the Virtue, making it a little easier to remember. Want to know WHY these characters have the names they do...consider getting the coloring book that explains it all... Kids of VirtueVille Color-my-story Book. This is one tool I will be adding to what I have.

Another AMAZING aspect of this program are the catch phrases...they are SO MEMORABLE and easy to recite. The trait is stated in the affirmative...I am Attentive..and then it is described in the catchphrase: I watch and listen carefully... as well as in the antonym: I am NOT forgetful, distracted or distracting, and I don't ignore or interrupt! The back of the card gives something to work on throughout the day...Choose to go the whole day without someone needing to remind you "Listen!" or "Don't Forget!" Airplane Betty Jane knows you can do it!

Another VERY IMPORTANT part of the program are the THREE RULES...all 12 of the Virtues break down into one of these THREE RULES:

Be Kind
Be a Helper

Now...notice something...these are listed in order of priority...#1 has ONE WORD...#2 has TWO WORDS and #3...THREE we drilled these rules by holding up a finger...and it got to a point where I could hold up a number of fingers and they would say which rule it was.
AND...the 12 traits as they fit under the three rules:

I am obedient
I am attentive
I am self controlled
I am honest

Be Kind:
I am kind
I am forgiving
I am patient
I am gentle

Be a Helper
I am helpful
I am perseverant
I am diligent
I am content

Now, one thing I learned about We Choose Virtues and the priority levels...say, your child is setting the table, but you want them to pick up a toy they left out...and you tell them to do that...They come back saying that they are helping...which IS GOOD...but they need to Obey and pick up the toy, because that has a higher level of priority.

Something I love about We Choose is not something to be consumed and then is a program that can constantly be reviewed...there is ALWAYS room for improvement in all of us in regard to virtues. We plan on posting a card weekly and then change it out...reviewing it will only take a few moments at the beginning of our school day.

Well, I am not sure if you can tell or not, but I LOVE We Choose Virtues!!! They have some options to get the pieces to begin this Virtue Journey with your family...The I need to have it all kit for homeschooling would be the Homeschool is $98.99, but HOME20 will get you 20% off the Home School kit and will be valid through the end of April.

A good Middle Kit would be the Family Kit for $69.99.

In My Opinion the Bare Bones, MUST HAVES would be these
Three Rules Poster $ 6.00
Virtue Flash Cards for Families $ 14.99
Kids of virtueVille Color-my-story Book $9.99
(Some of these items are on sale right now...I could not find an end date for the sale the prices may be slightly higher if you wait.)
Also, Heather has so graciously extended another coupon code to us to pass on to you...this one does not expire, but you can only use it one plan well...VIRTUE15 is good for 15% off the entire cart...You will be prompted to enter the code on the last page of the check out process.

Oh, and I almost forgot...Heather really adds the personal touch...she is prompt on the emails, helps with any problems, even if it was my fault and adds a personal touch to even the mail...check out the envelope that my items came in...

Isn't that just so cute?

You can see what my fellow team mates thought about We Choose Virtues here

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Gift Sung, Written, Painted


2} LOVE HER BLOG, but this post is WONDERFUL...

3} My room...first, it is a gift because a new friend came and sacrificed her time to help me do it...then it is a gift because it is such a wonderful makes me feel so happy...still have a ways to go, but money doesn't grow on trees you know!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Three Gifts Spoken

1} I love you

2} I am Sorry

3} I forgive you


Saturday, March 23, 2013

3 Gifts Found in Women Today

1} The tenderest of hearts

2} The kindest souls

3} The great strength of faith


Friday, March 22, 2013

3 Gifts in His Word

1} Genesis 24- a picture of The Holy Spirit's work in our He woos us to Christ, journeys with us through our life telling us about Jesus and protecting and guiding us...LOVE IT!

2}Genesis 32:1-2, 2 Kings 6:15-17...God protects us...He loves us THAT much.

3} Genesis 32:22-31- God allows us to wrestle with Him to bring us to the point of seeing the fruitlessness of it...but doesn't leave us there...we completely surrender to Him, not by letting go, but by clinging to Him.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Gift Salty, Sweet, Just Right

1} Salty: Pringles Lime and Black Pepper Chips...a limited edition...YUM!

2} Sweet: Peanut Butter Cream Pie

3} Just Right: My Iced Coffee...made by my boy...a pleasant afternoon pick me up!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3 Gifts that Made You Laugh

1}A friend posted on Facebook this quote: I don't want to make anyone jealous, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

2} The daughter of a friend said she was allergic to coyote...never heard of that allergy before...

3}A girl in my Fruit of the Spirit Class shared a lovely tidbit when we were talking about Patience...she said, "Sometimes I have to wait for our mommies to get off the computer!"


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program

Robert Masterson & Jeff Eusebio
Price: see below

FamilyMint was created by Robert Masterson and Jeff Eusebio from a need they saw in their families. They were concerned by statistics such as: 2 out of 3 seniors graduate without knowing the basics of budgeting AND 18 to 24 year olds are the fastest growing age groups filing for bankruptcy. Concerned by those statistics, they wanted their children to understand that money is a limited resource and develop the money management skills they would need for the rest of their lives.

Knowing that financial literacy takes time, FamilyMint begins by giving children the knowledge they need to know what to do, but goes beyond that by giving opportunity for your child to practice these skills and then develop lifelong RIGHT habits. FamilyMint does this through the Money Management Certification Program, which consists of two parts, which can be used alone if you desire, but I think is much more valuable when used together. For the purposes on this review, I will be focusing on my daughter's use of this program. She is 11 and in 5th grade. My 15 year old son also went through the program and we set up an online account for my 6 year old son, because he wanted one too. My 15 year old son had gone through some financial learning before, so the impact on him is not as measurable as it is for my daughter.

We began by setting up our bank (the parent account) through Family Mint. I created accounts for my children, arranged for commissions to automatically deposit into their accounts and even was able to choose an interest rate for their money to earn. This part of the system is really alot like online banking sites that I am sure you already use for your personal bank accounts. I love that aspect of the program, because it is like something they will be using in the future, if they are not already using one now. As an aside, because you are teaching money management, it IS best if your children have some money to manage. We have not been in the habit of paying out allowances because our philosophy in our home is that we work together as a team for the common good of the family. While the stakes are low though, I do like the idea of allowing my children to manage some money so they will learn through trial and error to make wise money decisions.

After we got the Bank set up, we created accounts for each child. Since I am focusing on my Principessa, we gathered together every bit of money she currently had and made a deposit. Then I also deposited her commission. (Commission is a term I am choosing to use rather than allowance...I will not go into the reasons for that here...but call it whatever you like...Also, some decided to use a different economic system rather than money...calling them Mommy bucks, etc and trading them in for things like computer/tv time, etc. You can definitely do that if you like...but I chose to use actual money for this.) After that, we created a goal for her...she REALLY wants Saige...the American Girl Doll of the Year this we created a goal for that. You are able to customize your picture for your we uploaded a picture of Saige for her page.

We learned after the fact that you can designate the location for your can go to a general fund, or to one of your goals...some people may have MANY things they would like to save towards.

Speaking of learning, there is a tutorial you can watch...we have not done that yet, because my computer speakers KEEP DISAPPEARING...ugh... even though I LOVE the online portion of the program...we did not really use it much. My Principessa is saving for a pretty high ticket not much money went out...AND because of her age, not a lot of money was coming in either...She will be earning some money soon helping me in a new direct sales opportunity, but we have to pay back our initial expense before we can be in the black on that...

The second part of the FamilyMint Money Management Certification program is the workbook. There are 5 steps, plus a Wrap Up and it can be worked through very quickly. Remember, Financial literacy takes TIME and PRACTICE for it to become a lifelong RIGHT habit. The introduction recommends that you take at least two months to work through the program to allow for that practice to happen and for head knowledge to become practical application. We are working even a little more slowly because much of the terminology is new to my Principessa AND her goal is a high priced item. It allows us to have more review and practice writing checks, filling out deposit slips, implementing an envelope system and really understanding the vocabulary surrounding our money...things we don't really talk about much when we are creating our family budgets, grocery lists and doing our online banking.
So real quickly Chapter by Chapter:

Chapter 1: Tracking your money- Teaches how to keep track of what you have, what you have spent and what you would like to spend. Students get to practice keeping a register (paper or online), writing deposit slips, and checks (Some people DO STILL use Checks!!!).
Chapter 2: Setting goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. The Principessa had a lot of fun with this chapter because SHE REALLY WANTS THAT DOLL...
Specific- Saige
Measurable: $ 110
Achievable: Yes (we will make sure she gets there ;-)
Relevant: um...YES!!!
Time Bound: Before She is gone at the end of the year, but we are planning for late summer.

The one part we have not been very good at staying on track on, is Secret #3...doing something everyday...we will work on that... we need to find some more ways for her to add more money to her account...which speaking of...there is a blog on the FamilyMint site where you can read some fun retelling of fairy tales...but there is an article on ways children can earn money.

Chapter 3: Budgeting- This chapter covers the envelope system pretty well and shows lots of examples. I forgot to mention that sprinkled throughout the workbook are fun money facts, such as a mile of pennies is worth $844.80 and at the end of every chapter is an assignment to put to further practice, emphasizing again that a lifelong RIGHT habit comes from putting your knowledge into practice consistently for a long time.
Chapter 4- This covers interest and growing your money. We have not done this chapter yet.
After Chapter 4, there is a Learning Summary where the student has an opportunity to recall the things they have learned throughout the program. The next section is for the forms you will be using throughout the book and at the end, an answer key.

Once the Student completes the program, there is a certificate on the back of the workbook that you can fill out to recognize their achievement.


The best option, by far is the Special Introductory Bundle. This comes with Certification Program workbook PLUS FamilyMint Premium for Life!
Additional workbooks are an additional 50% off. This is a GREAT PRICE...

There is also a free online option or a Premium Online can compare all these options here and look through the FAQs as well

For those of you with Boy Scouts, You can use the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program to earn a Merit Badge (I believe it was the Personal Management one, but I could be wrong)

We really LOVE the FamilyMint Program. It is simple to use, and is developing in my children lifelong RIGHT habits of handling money. I love that it is an affordable program and that it is being recognized as an exceptional program:
The FamilyMint Method™ is so effective at teaching money management that it has been the only program named “Education Program of the Year for Children, Planning & Money Management” by the Institute for Financial Literacy.

If you are trying to be intentional in teaching your children how to manage their money, I hope you will consider FamilyMint.

3 Gifts Eaten

I have not eaten these all today...but they are on my mind today...

1} Greek Salad...I bought some Gyro Meat at my favorite Greek place and cut it up and tossed it into a can put whatever you like in it, but I put in 3 kinds of lettuce, feta, orange pepper, sliced olives, oregano, grated carrots, red onion...and tossed it with Good Seasonings dressing that I altered a little to make it more greek.

2} Beet friend Jennifer made this and it was DELICIOUS...5 beets, roasted, peeled, then chopped, chopped walnuts and feta (I can't remember HOW much right now, but you really can't get it wrong mixing it my eye...mix equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mix together...

3} Cheesecake Factory's Caesar yummy and delicious...brimming with garlic...had this last week on my mystery shopping trip...


Monday, March 18, 2013

3 Gifts Red

1} The Craisins on our HOMEMADE Cranberry Bliss type bars...bringing some to co-op as a treat!

2} a new to me red sweater...thanks Jennifer!

3} My DDs says property of MOM on it...and DD LOVES to show it to me when he wears it...almost like it is his SECRET way of telling me he loves me...


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

John 2:13-25

A Gift Turned, Folded, Hung

1} Turned: We turned the clocks forward a few days ago...while I do not enjoy that process, I really enjoy seeing the longer days...and knowing...Spring is almost here!

2} Folded: Our Clothes...thankful for the ways God provides for our needs

3) Hung: The white board in my Dining thankful for it for school...Dana resisted having it up...but I LOVE IT


Saturday, March 16, 2013

3 Hard Eucharisteos

1} The thought of 20 years of hardship/discipline from the Lord like Jacob received at Laban's hands

2} Taking up our cross to follow IS hard, but He IS the WAY...

3} The feeling of there being no words in prayer...and knowing that even if I can't pray...the Holy Spirit is interceding on my behalf. He knows when the journey is too much for us and meets us there... 1 Kings 19 This is the reason I have a boy names Elijah...


Friday, March 15, 2013

3 Gifts Given Away

1} Love

2} Compassion

3} Kindness


Thursday, March 14, 2013

3 Gifts Found in Silence

1} God's still small voice

2} peace

3} rest


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3 Gifts Round

1} My Origami Owl locket...SO VERY THANKFUL for this beautiful gift!
2} Coins...I am starting to collect 30 pieces of "silver" for each of my children for Easter.
3} Peanut Butter Cups...because it HAS BEEN ONE OF THOSE DAYS...


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Joy Dare...catching up again

Boy...time has really gotten away from me...but I KNOW counting my gifts is important and I want to develop more of a life of catching up here...

3/6: A Gift Bent, Broken, Beautiful
1} My will to God's will
2} A broken and contrite heart offered to God
3} a friend's new baby!!! He IS one of the MOST beautiful babies I have ever seen...

3/7: 3 Gifts in the Kitchen
1} My 20+ Year old Kitchenaid Mixer...a wonderful gift from my dad and that mixer has been a workhorse for me...made so many wonderful things throughout the years...gotten many children's batter/frosting many things to be thankful for in this one gift...
2} My kitchen window...I LOVE to look out this window and see happy children playing in the back yard...lets in a lot of light...

3} DOUBLE OVENS...I have NO IDEA what homes do without this gift!

3/8: 3 Gifts Loud
1} My children's laughter
2} The Martins singing Redeemed
3} praise music

3/9: 3 Gifts Carved
1} A beautifully intricate wooden duck made for us by old neighbors for a wedding gift
2} a sign at the church we have co-op at that has the Fruit of the Spirit on it...this is a gift to me because I am teaching a class on that...
3} Time carved out to spend in prayer and Bible study

3/10: 3 Gifts in Christ
1} Grace
2} Faith
3} Hope

3/11: 3 Gifts Read
1} A PRECIOUS note from a dear friend with a beautiful gift inside
2} Genesis 24...I KNOW I posted that one before, but I LOVE this passage...God has shown it to me in a new our walk with God with the Holy Spirit walking with us...guiding us to our groom...I will never look on this passage the same way again.
3} Green Eggs and boy was SO excited about this because this was the FIRST book he has ever read...he read it out loud to me on this day...and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen...not because it is such a great book...but my boy was excited AND he was reading...he will soon be able to read God's word for himself!

3/12: A gift in Wind, Water, white
1} Wind: I love the feel of a windy day
2} Water: to drink....Today I am very THANKFUL for my coffee flavored water!
3} White: My Origami Owl order that came sweet daughter wrapped in it white paper as a gift for me! many gifts to count!
I hope you are counting yours too!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sufficiency of Scripture

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

John 2:1-12

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3 Gifts Found

Oh...there are so many ways this post could go...and, as I am continually trying to find my's a wonder I have FOUND anything, but we will attempt to be thankful, worshipful and honoring rather than smart...

1} A brief moment with a dear woman at at bookstore...time that could have so easily been missed...but time well spent. This woman is taking care of her precious nine grandchildren and it is not easy, but she so dearly loves them. I think in those few moments, we encouraged each other...I KNOW I walked away with joy in my heart...and I KNOW...that we both could see...that we ARE BLESSED.

2} a VALUABLE coupon that was thankful to have found that!

3} a new recipe found/created for a treat...we are supposed to bring one to co-op for my principessa's class...and so we are experimenting today...


Monday, March 4, 2013

3 Gifts Hard to Give Thanks For

My gifts for today are things that can be remembered as something very needful later on, but that were/are very difficult as you are walking through them

1} Trials

2} Discipline of the Lord

3}A difficult circumstance


Sunday, March 3, 2013

3 Gifts Wore

1} Comfy PJs

2} My Origami Owl necklace...which is a "memorial stone" recalling the goodness of the Lord.

3} My Wedding Ring...this ring is the replacement to my original ring that was was a very sacrificial gift at the time...

Sufficiency of Scripture

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

John 1:43=51

Saturday, March 2, 2013

3 Gifts Green

1} Green smoothies...healthy and delicious

2} An origami ninja star on my desk...a sweet little reminder of a fun co-op class, Flat Stanleys and a sweet little boy who is a little less little each day

3} Little signs of new growth giving glimpses of the sweet spring that is just around the corner.

Friday, March 1, 2013

3 Gifts at 3 PM

1} Getting ready for my first Origami Owl Party...packing all my charms and lockets, business thankful for a dear friend hosting it for me.

2} Getting up from a nap...LOVE that feeling of being rested, ready to conquer the rest of the day

3} A healthy snack...