Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a girl!

And we were pretty sure it was a boy.

After we caught our breath, we went into a flurry of name searching, since we'd been concentrating on boy names. Even the kids were writing name lists.

Ethan, Anna, and I love "Ruby", but apparently Kenny Rogers forever ruined that name for Brian (I may have to send him some hate mail - is he still alive?). It was so cute to watch the kids work on their lists - and see how they spelled the names. Rosie just said that she like Genevieve. I said, "Oh, we could call her Genny or Genna", "Vieve" she replied. No compromising with that one. :^)

But by the end of the evening an unexpected name had come out of nowhere and captured us - Laurie Jane. We have a few others from our combined name list that we both like, but this on is really burrowing in. Not 100% official yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's the keeper. What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free God's World News student editions

Some of the God's World News student magazines are only released online. And those issues are available for everyone to read. Here is the December issues link. Last year we subscribed to Early Edition and this year we get Taking Off. The kids really enjoy them and I like their new format this year of fewer, but larger issues. They often come with great posters as an added bonus.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Christmas for kids

  1. Going carolling is easy with this ready to print Christmas carol book.
  2. At Christian Preschool Printables you can print Christmas bingo pages made up of the nativity story pictures. And on the next page is a Road to Bethlehem file folder game and a nativity puzzle.
  3. No kids activity list would be complete without The Toymaker. This year I'm planning to have the kids make the Dodechahedron of Little Snow Guys after reading (or rather looking at - it's perfectly wordless) The Snowman (this version is an easy reader just right for Anna Kate) and watching it on DVD. And I think that I have a resident artist or two that will enjoy learning to draw this Santa.
  4. And Edhelper has a lot of Christmas worksheets, some are free, some are only available with a site subscription.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas for Kids

  1. Easy Christmas Star craft - we've been slowly working on these the past few days, allowing the glue to dry and doing the next step the next day. We are covering ours in glue and glitter and they're turning out very well - we're even going to flip them over and glitter the back so that we can hang them anywhere.
  2. Lots of simple paper crafts at first-school - my girls thoroughly enjoyed cutting out the snowman and pasting him and their chosen hat and scarf to a bright piece of construction paper. I have my eye on the Christmas Bell Angel and the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus Craft for this upcoming week.
  3. We're going to see The Nutcracker on Thursday, and I'd like to work on this printable stage production. At the very least, I'm planning to make these cute Nutcracker finger puppets. You could enjoy these while watching a video of the Nutcracker (this version is my favorite) or even just listening to highlights.
  4. Isn't this Reindeer Six Pack the cutest thing ever? It would make a great gift for the soft drink-loving grandparent in your kid's life.
  5. Ooo. We have plans to use our half gallon of peppermint ice cream to try to imitate Chick-Fil-A's heavenly peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes, but if that hadn't already been the plan, I'd be making this Peppermint Christmas Punch.
  6. Build a virtual snowman at Holiday spot
  7. Print Christmas-themed math worksheets at kidzone- and here is a Christmas word problem sheet - and some more colorful math sheets here
  8. Print a Christmas Bible readings chart and let your older kids read the Christmas passages for themselves.
  9. Fun set of language arts related North Pole worksheets from Kids Domain
  10. Do your kids love the Grinch?
  11. I've got so many more links to share, but must get some shut-eye. Here's a page full of lovely links for you to explore on your own. I'll try for installment 2 soon.

Tony Perkins Asks Barack Obama: When Does Life Begin?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Remember this?

Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents are serving decade long prison terms for attempting to apprehend a known drug smuggler for illegally crossing our border with more than 700lbs. of drugs!

Almost as outrageous is that the illegal alien drug smuggler, who was given free medical care, and immunityfor testifying against the agents is now suing the U.S. for $5 million--claiming his civil rights were violated!

I have just signed a petition calling for the Presidentto pardon these two Border Agents and I'm asking you tojoin with me by clicking here for the full story and the petition:

There is a push to have 450,ooo signatures on the petition by today, so please fulfill your responsibility as an American citizen and speak against this imjustice NOW.

Labor of Love

I posted this song a couple of years ago, but it's so touching that I thought it worth reposting.

This is a different kind of carol. A newly written carol that makes you rethink your preconceived ideas of what Christ's birth was like, and leaves you with a fresh glimpse of His overwhelming love for us.

It is from Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb.

Labor of Love
Listen here.

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David's town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother's hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

Words and music by Andrew Peterson

Christ-centered Christmas Decorations

The Maxwells posted this beautiful Christmas decoration idea. I liked exploring their connecting articles as well. I don't agree with the extremes of their views, I think Christmas trees have a huge amount of Chrisitan symbolism, but I did find it profitable to take the time to think about exploring more ways to make or have decorations that directly point our children and guests to the true meaning of Christmas.

Their Christmas cross is beautiful lit up at night and I think that it would be prettier during the day wrapped with ribbon and a single bow.

While we have gone ultra-lite on Christmas decor this year, we usually have a nativity in every room. We always work on memorizing Christmas carols and the nativity story from the Bible. we have lots of Christmas books and videos about the true story of Christmas. We try to observe advent, particularly on the years we stay home (we find that we lose the climax when staying out of town Christmas week).

And we also remember by Christmas lights, saying a prayer for our Chinese brothers and sisters when we see the lights on our tree, and donating $1 to Voice of the Martyrs for every string of Christmas lights we buy.

What are some ways that you focus, in decorations or traditions, on the true meaning of Christmas?

For Mothers in need of encouragement

These two articles will touch you and spur you on.

From Ann, at Holy Experience, A Mother's Work, once again she finds the sacred in the mundane

And from someone I've never read before, Sarah, at Three Little Monkeys, Growing Parents, an article to encourage moms of one, two, or three, that see all of these super-moms of seven in the blogosphere and wonder why they can't even accomplish that's all a matter of experience - and older children :^)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Free Amazing Grace DVD

By registering as a member, you can receive a free DVD of Amazing Grace as well as a Walden Media calendar! For a limited time only, of course.

Thanks for the heads up, Crystal!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Addictive little Christmas game

Your kids will enjoy it too.

"I", said the pig?

I finally bought the children a Little Pe*ples nativity. They were tired of trying to position the stuffed figures in our play nativity that kept falling over and kept trying to play with mine.

I've been eyeing it for years, but it was a tad expensive (I'm actually peeved the the Fish*r Price website has this listed for $33 and I paid $40 at Walmart and mine doesn't have the backdrop piece.) The children, however, were thrilled.

They sat beside me eagerly assisting as I removed the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, wise men, camel, shepherd, angel, goat, donkey, cart, pig... PIG???!!!!

I shook my head in disbelief and amusement and couldn't stop snickering, A pig at a nativity scene. No cow like the one in the picture above, or listed on the box. But a pig. And it wasn't exactly a fluke because the box actually had a pig pictured, rather than the listed cow, too.

I called Fish*r Price to tell them of my kid's delight, and to suggest that they might want to consider returning to the idea of a cow at this Jewish manger scene. The lady on the phone became rather amused as well as it sunk in how very out of place a pig would be in a Jewish stable. After she asked if I would like to have the Hanukkah version...of what? a nativity???!!!

I didn't go there. I just communicated that while we loved our nativity toy and would find an animal in our collection to replace the pig, there may be some Jewish Christians that might buy this in the future and go, "what the heck???!!!" with a little less amusement. She agreed that they really ought to try to correct this.

So I guess this is what happens when you buy an American nativity toy made in China. You get a pig in the stable. At least it happened to me and not to Joseph. That really would have been the last straw.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Free milkshake

A little bird told me that if you sign up to become an Arby's Extra member they'll send a coupon to your inbox for a free medium mint chocolate swirl shake.

So what are you waiting for?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Wishes

Rosie wants Santa to bring her a cake with pink icing and a pink Barbie.

I think he can manage that. :^)

Anna Kate wants a pink wall clock that is like a small grandfather clock with a pendulum - HELP!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I'm most thankful for this year

This is baby at 12 weeks - we're at 17 weeks now and still waiting for the all-day sickness to go away, but still very thankful.

Best Cocoa Ever

At lunch today, we were out of kool-aid, I hadn't gotten the tea made, and I was hoarding the milk for my dessert and baking requirements. The kids suggested hot chocolate. And this was a perfect idea.

1 packet Swiss M*ss
Some of my hoarded milk to cool it
And a splash of chocolate mint truffle creamer that my Brian brought home the other day


Thanksgiving Kids Stuff

  1. Printable Thanksgiving memory match cards and lots of other fun activity sheets from Crayola
  2. Pilgrim hat handwriting paper from Notebook Learning
  3. Handprint Thanksgiving Wreath at Amazing Moms - we made a simple one last year with fall-colored construction paper and a paper plate. A raffia bow added a nice touch, and Gran has it up with her other Thanksgiving decor again this year.
  4. The Oklahomea Homeschool site has six Pilgrim/Thanksgiving worksheets that would make a nice little unit notebook. 1,2,3,4,5,6
  5. Colorful activity sheet, Thanksgiving Day Bingo (there's an easier picture version at Crayola's link above), Handprint Turkey - and lots more at Family Fun Thanksgiving Printables
  6. Learn to talk like a Pilgrim at Plimoth Plantation
  7. Beautiful things, including a gorgeous Mayflower from the Toymaker

What are we doing this week? Well...

  1. We're reading lots of Thanksgiving books
  2. Using the Pilgrim section of Draw-Write-Now 3 for art and handwriting, and we'll put them all in a portfolio
  3. We have an old Thanksgiving minipage on turkeys and John James Audubon. Our newspaper doesn't carry the minipage, but my mom mails them to us from her paper. They're so fun to do!
  4. We're working on our Psalm - only three days left - gulp!
  5. We'll be doing lots of fun worksheets from Learning Pages Thanksgiving collections
  6. We watched a neat DVD on Willliam Bradford and have another Thanksgiving video from the library
  7. We'll be printing Thanksgiving bingo and a matching game for Thanksgiving day
  8. We're making crafts from ABEKA's art books, like Pilgrim puppets
  9. We need to dust off "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come", but I keep forgetting :^)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie review update

I think that my initial review would make you assume that I hated the movie. As I try to explain better in my edited version, I'd actually like to see it again. It's just hard to review a 3 out of 5 stars movie when comparing it to a 6 out of 5 stars book and knowing what could have been.

Twilight review at Common Sense Media

They pretty much agree with me.

And the Associated Press review really nails what one of the main problems was:
"But much of what made the relationship between Edward and the smitten Bella Swan work in Meyer's breezy book has been stripped away on screen. The funny, lively banter -- the way in which Edward and Bella teased and toyed with one another about their respective immortality and humanity -- is pretty much completely gone, and all that's left is a slog of adolescent angst." —Christy Lemire

Twilight Movie Review

Yes, I was at the midnight showing with my angel of a husband. (He let me read all four books to him too, so he already knew the story.)

So here's my opinion:

  1. my initial review seemed a bit harsher than I intended, so I've tried to do better in this expanded version
  2. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars - the book was 6 stars
  3. don't take anyone who hasn't read the book - it would just be too weird and corny
  4. Edward seriously overacted - sometimes it felt like watching a high school play with really good cinematography
  5. Edward is way too miserable, he's, like, frozen in a permanent grimace - he's cool when he lightens up, but that's not nearly often enough - the lighter moments let you see that this actor, who doesn't fit my image of the book's Edward at all, actually could have pulled it off quite well if he would have relaxed a little and understood his character better
  6. awesome baseball scene - with my favorite song, no less
  7. the rescue scene in Port Angeles was also amazing
  8. Jasper is like a freaky mannequin, and I really liked Jasper
  9. Alice, Rosalie, Charlie, Emmett, Carlisle, Bella, and Esme are wonderful, so are Billy Black and Jacob
  10. in fact, it makes you want to root for Jacob - and I've always pulled for Edward
  11. the meadow scene is pathetic, they chopped it all up - and the sparkle effect is seriously lame
  12. otherwise, the script adaptation of the book was pretty good, not much to complain about
  13. the first biology class is so overacted it makes you laugh
  14. it is, unfortunately, not very romantic - I think because the tension of the Meadow scene wasn't resolved as quickly as it was strung out
  15. it was fun to see - I'm certainly not sorry that I went
  16. truth be told, I'd really like to see it again. I couldn't help being analytical and comparing everything to the book, but I think I would enjoy it more the second time around
  17. Brian says Blade was better - haha

The Twilight Saga

Okay, this book review is seriously overdue.

I love the Twilight books! Love them. I saw them mentioned on Dawn's blog, and ordered the first one from the library without really thinking about it. When I finally picked it up, I was intrigued with the back of the cover, so I started reading. Straight through. And was dying to read the next one. It didn't help that the first book had the second book's cliff hanger of a first chapter in it. I found the next two books at Target the next day and read them in quick succession, then waited...for about six weeks for the last book to come out. The last day that my parents were staying with us. It nearly killed me, and I got very little sleep, but I got that read pretty quickly too. They were so romantic. I had read very little fiction since my kids were born - I used to read it all of the time. I went on a serious fiction binge. Trying to find books half as gripping or romantic as Twilight with little success. So I read lots of books, in between getting all of my girlfriends hooked on Twilight and reading them over and over again.

So that's my story. My review?

These are not Christian fiction, but they are written by a Mormon mother. Abstinence is a big theme here. That said, they are rather steamy. Not in the explicit sense, but in a charged atmosphere sense. Teenage girls all over are addicted to these books, but I would not feel comfortable recommending them to teenagers. The first book, Twilight, is pretty tame, but each one gets more intense. The last one is on a different level, but still not in anyway explicit. So I recommend them to my married friends. So far, everyone has loved them to varying degrees.

I love romantic lines. Beautiful romantic words. And these books deliver. While not written with the quality of classic literature, to me, these books have the feel of a great, classic love story. To me, Bella and Edward belong in a list that includes Elizabeth and Darcy, Romeo and Juliet, Maria and Tony, Anne and Gilbert, Noah and Allie... I loved their story. I loved the characters. I want Emmet to be my big brother, and Alice to be my best friend.

And Edward is the perfect man. The one that's too good to be true. Ya gotta love him. Even if he is a vampire.

Which brings me to another point. These are not vampire books. Are most of the main characters vampires? Yes. But that is the background of the book, and these are not your usual freaky vampires (at least not the main characters, they're good vampires). These books are the love story of Bella and Edward, and the vampire thing is the obstacle to their love. It's all about love...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Song

That's what Brian says. :^) Saw it last night on the CMA's - now I'm totally addicted. My kids are gonna be really sick of hearing this soon.

I'm the worst kind of romantic. Isn't this beautiful? I think we might be watching Becoming Jane tonight. Hope it's romantic too.

Our newest favorite youtube

If you're a Star Wars fan, you must click on this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The new dirty word

Apparently Ethan has begun using the word democrat as a new word that can be used in the place of dolt or idiot.

Tonight's example : "Anna, I know what I'm doing. I'm not a democrat, I've played this game before."

Personal Experiences Meme

This one's from Jacki.
Play along - it's easy. Just highlight what you've done on this list.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (I've sung in lots of choirs, though)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (probably ot the whole thing, though)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (just tomatoes)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (I think it's attitude not quantity)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (I've been drawn by my husband, though)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (just teaching piano - the IRS considers this a business)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (I might have , but sadly, never in order. Although I've read the entire New Testament multiple times, as well as many other Old Testament books multiple times - it's those major prophets!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

I was pleased that I've actually done three of these for the first time this year!

Fall on the farm

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leave it to my kids to need a song

They needed a song to help them memorize the poem. Fortunately for me, there already was one.

Sheeeeeee's back!

My sister Hannah has reappeared on the blogging scene.

So go give her a shout out. :^)

In Flander's Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

  1. Print the poem here and the minibook version here
  2. Wear poppies in remembrance - I love to find the ones made by veterans at the VA hospitals, but if they're not available use these

Monday, November 10, 2008

My southern girl

As a northern child, I found the idea of southern children confusing their vowel sounds kind of amusing. You know the "pin", "pan", and "pen" all sounding the same, when to me they were distinctly different.

My Anna girl is a girl of the South. She loves her greeits (grits). And today she was stumped by that adorable southern accent of hers (she's really the only one in our immediate family that has one, Daddy's wore off in college speech classes long ago). She was on the "st" in "stop" page in her phonics book, and got stuck on a word. She asked, "Mom, what is s-t-i-l-l ?" I replied teasingly, " 'still', as in are you still reading that page?" "Oh!", she returned, "I thought it was 'steal' like you steal something!" After many attempts she proudly nailed an "i" in Indian sound right in the middle of "still."

I know it's going to improve her reading, but I kind of hope that she doesn't lose that drawl.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


thanks to Ann for finding this video for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Autumn rainbows

Election Day 2008 brought a gift - beautiful rainbows all over the sky. First we saw this one in the field across from our home. It was so wide at times, almost like it was double-width.

Eventually, we had a double, but it only lasted a couple of minutes.

We left about ten minutes later and drove ten minutes away to Ethan's football practice and got to see this one and all the beautiful foliage around it.

Ethan forgot his cleats and as I drove home I saw another rainbow in a different direction towards the library.
Then as I neared home the most amazing one of all - a complete and absolutely HUGE arc across the sky in front of me and it seemed to be right there near the end of my street as I turned in, but I knew that it was too dusky (and I was in too much of a hurry) to get pics of that one. It was such an amazing experience and friends all over my area were talking about the rainbows on facebook that night. :^)
It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And our response?

The same as it always should be - PRAISE. God is good all the time; He is control; and the Church, despite persecution or roadblocks, is unstoppable.

So join me in our Third Annual Thanksgiving Psalm Memory Challenge.

So far we've memorized Psalm 100, 150, and 67. This year's Psalm will be Psalm 63.

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Now, it's your turn. Choose a Psalm to say with your family at each meal (or however you memorize) and leave your name in the comment box with a link to your Psalm on your blog.

In case you actually wonder how this happened

Children of the State by WORLD magazine

hat tip to Kendra

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The election for kids

Update: Check out the links for election printables at LaPaz Home Learning

  1. If possible, take your kids with you to vote. Try to avoid voting between 7-9 AM, noon-2 PM, and 5-7 PM.
  2. Then head to Krispy Kreme for your free patriotic donut with your "I Voted" sticker - buy one for your kids too. :^)
  3. Make a Future Voter button from Kaboose's election page.
  4. Solve election word problems for math or print other election day worksheets from abc teach.
  5. Need a mind-numbing game? Try the online election word search at the weekly reader election pages. Not really for younger kids - it took me four times to beat the timer!
  6. There's lots of interesting stuff at Scholastic's election page.
  7. And, of course - Time for Kids. The page of worksheets is a real gem. My fav on that page is the electoral college map. I alos like this candidate comparison sheet for young kids. Older kids can read this article, then fill out these worksheets.
  8. Check you local PBS station for some of these new Election day episodes:

Electoral College

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are these truth or myths?

A reader recently wrote:

you are sadly misinformed, and only flaunt your ignorance by biting the bait and perpetuating this nonsense.NOBODY WANTS to get an abortion, PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION IS A MYTH, and you should probably just make decisions for your own body. period.

My response:

I personally find promoting partial birth abortion as a myth to be as ignorant as promoting the Holocaust as a myth.

If you don't want to murder someone, you typically don't do it. This does not imply that the person receives pleasure from their choice, but it is not in involuntary action. It requires want, or will. I realize that this decision is usually a painful one and women do not go skipping into and out of abortion clinics, but that does not justify their actions. If their child were seven days old instead of seven weeks gestation, no one would even try to justify it. And somehow there would be another solution. I know that some situations must surely seem impossible, but we do not have the right to end an innocent life.

Women should make decisions for their own body, but they should not have the right to dismember or otherwise slaughter the body of the child that they carry.

The unborn entity within the pregnant woman's body is not
part of her body. The conceptus is a genetically distinct entity with its own
unique and individual gender, blood type, bone-structure, and genetic code.
Although the unborn entity is attached to its mother, it is not part of her (

One of the government's actual duties is to protect life. If every life is not sacred, soon no life at all will be sacred. It is not difficult to trace this path in other societies, even recent ones like Nazi Germany or modern day Holland.

When abortion becomes acceptable, so will euthansia. And then forced abortions. And then infanticide and not treating children born with handicaps. And then involuntary euthansia, choosing when people should die so as not to burden society. All you have to do is read a little history to see this pattern. It's a slippery slope.

For specific questions about a Christian view of abortion go here.

For more information on several topics of bioethics go here.

To find an abortion recovery center near you, go here.

Most importantly, what does the Bible say about abortion?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween festival

My kids love this annual event that includes a miniature train ride, inflatables, carnival games with candy prizes, a small farm animal petting area, climbing around on hay bales, and trick or treating in the fairy tale forrest (getting treats from fairy tale characters in the woods). And I like that it's only $5 a child for all of the activities!

My Rosie

She had to have a picture with this leaf

She likes to do this.

Her first real dance lesson.

This is how she fell asleep the other night.

And this is how she fell asleep tonight.
She came into the bedroom, found an empty spot
between me and the laundry, stuck a pillow in the basket,
pulled some pillows over her legs - and fell asleep!

Job the book ~ powerful

You can listen to or read the entire poem or order the book here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Funny Forward


Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables, by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat, by using the sink.

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose oflaxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Remember: Everyone seems normal, until you get to know them.

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm in love with a pasta sauce!

I'm not much of a brand name shopper. There are a few things, some because it's the only brand that my family can eat or use for one reason or another, fewer because I just really prefer them.

As far as pasta sauce goes, I tend to buy what's on sale. There have always been some brands that I've preferred over others, but never one kind of sauce that just blew me away.

Meet Classico's Traditional Sweet Basil Pasta Sauce. This stuff is so good that I'm going to be watching for Classico sales, then stocking up.

So what's your favorite pasta sauce?

Reed diffuser?

Does anyone know of a regular store chain or type of store that carries reed diffusers that are empty? Target and Walmart has them, but I don't want their artificial fragrances. I'd like to just be able to get the diffusers so that I can fill them with my own essential oils.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Night of Reformation

Hey, all! While we enjoy celebrating Halloween from great costumes to the Great Pumpkin, I know that some of you do not.

This is a great resource for all of us - the opportunity to celebrate the Reformation. I don't own this book, but I do have a couple of their other books and they are fantastic.

We will have the pleasure of celebrating both this year. Our friends are having a Reformation party, focusing on the life of John Calvin this year. So we'll put aside our spiders and bats for a few hours and enjoy some Reformation history.

And then off we'll go to secure our year's supply of candy - because everyone knows that that's what it's all about (at least in our book)!

For some fun halloween activites, check out last year's post.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pirate Songs CD

Any pirate lovers at your house (or just kids who can't resist a great sing-along CD)? Then this is your next just-for-fun kid CD : Disney Pirates Of The Caribbean: Swashbuckling Sea Song CD. From traditional songs, to "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)" to the silly "The First Mate Is a Monkey" this CD is a keeper. The only drawback would be if you mind a minivan full of kids singing along at the top of their lungs, " yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!" Personally, we find this pretty amusing.

Columbus Day activities

  1. Journal and coloring pages from the Teacher's Corner
  2. A printable board game
  3. The coloring page we used this year (we celebrated early on Friday)
  4. Great worksheets for young kids from Time for Kids here and here
  5. A great poem and Columbus Day song from Teaching Heart
  6. Another great worksheet from Schoolexpress
  7. The Library of Congress has a nice history of Columbus day with lots of links, so does Kaboose.
  8. We made these ships from FirstSchool last year. DTLK has a fancier ship .
  9. And just for fun Today's Kitchen's "Columbus Day recipes"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Vote for Obama is a Vote for Infanticide

I don't love McCain, heck, I don't even like him - but this guy is sick, heinous. How could anyone support this practice?! This is not ancient Sparta or Nazi Germany. And this is not a good man.

If you vote for Obama, this is what you're voting for. This is the kind of change you will get.

And you will deserve it. But I pity your children and grandchildren. Especially the ones you will never know.

That's all I have to say.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thanksgiving music

I was teasing Leslie about listening to Christmas music already (she was previewing an album) and lamenting the lack of Thanksgiving music. She asked what should be on a Thanksgiving album. So,I thought, let's take a shake at it. Two albums. One classy, maybe a beautiful instrumental album, and another fun, probably at least some vocals, kid-oriented album. What to put on them?

  1. Simple Gifts
  2. Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
  3. We Gather Together
  4. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
  5. Bright Canaan? - I love early American hymns
  6. America, the Beautiful

I think some quoted Psalms or other verses of thankfulness dispersed throughout could be really cool too.


  1. Over the river and Through the Woods
  2. Turkey in the Straw
  3. Praise Him, Praise Him, All Ye Little Children
  4. Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord

What tracks would you add?

Here are some albums I just found through a search that appear to go along with my wishlist:

  1. Thanksgiving CD - Various artists, Wyndham Hill
  2. Gospel Kids Songs Of Thanksgiving CD - great song selection, but the gospel-style music would really get on my nerves
  3. The Thanksgiving CD : Quincy Choral Society - a choral CD, but the vocals are, in my opinion, sub-par
  4. Great Thanksgiving - Now this is a choral CD! Who can argue with the vocal quality of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  5. Harvest Home: The Dale Warland Singers - beautiful
  6. Home For The Harvest - a classical Thanksgiving

I'm coming up with way more Thanksgiving Cds than I expected, but I can't find a children's CD that I like.

Do you have any good Thanksgiving albums?

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Day at the Apple Farm

We shook up our annual apple picking tradition by going to a different orchard this year. The main reason for the change was the opportunity to try out a corn maze. It was hot in that open field and it's a good thing that it didn't take us long because the natives got restless quickly. They also had some really cool stuff at the p[layground, inclusing the tepee and the bouncing tubes. But all in all, I think we'll be back at our beautiful, cool mountaintop orchard next year.