I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No, Red Tide is not another term for Alabama football!!!!

What do you know about Red Tides?  Come on...right off the top of your head!  GO!!!


*more crickets*

Ok, don't panic!  I know JUST what you need........

The Curiosity Files!
I had the extreme pleasure of receiving this e-book for review and now I (and my 6 year old son) am absolutely cured of all ignorance regarding red tides!  And YOU too can claim a copy of your very own over at The Old Schoolhouse for a mere dollar!  Yes!  You read that right!  $1! A buck!  For an entire, all inclusive, unit study!

I have to admit, in the past I've been a little skeptical when it comes to e-books, but let me tell ya- those days are gone!  This unit study was exactly what we needed to liven things up a little.  Do you ever fall into a homeschooling rut?  Ya know- where you've made a "plan" and your sticking to the "plan" so that you finish on time for the year....even though, and everyone knows it, you're a little bit bored?  Red tides were no where near my curriculum radar, and the writer intended the Curiostiy Files to be used with students 8-13 years of age, but my 6 year old ate it up!  Sure, I did a little modifying (making sure to slow down and explain bigger words like dinoflagellate)- but he hung in with me through the week and can now- without even flinching- tell you the three favorable conditions for a red tide, harmful effects on the sea life it comes in contact with, and where in the U.S. it is common for red tides to appear annually!

Everything we needed for the week was included in the $1 download- can you believe that? 

 Math topics, copywork (print & cursive), spelling and vocabulary (with fun word games), essay writing, lab experiments, even  MUSIC & BOARD GAMES were included!!!  Something particularly worth mentioning.....special needs lessons are even included! My personal favorite inclusion would have to be the lapbooking components.  I didn't have to go looking for them, just print and go!  But here is a word of prepared to use a bit of ink/paper in printing as there is no "printer-friendly" option and borders/colors on pages are printed.

There is a glossary and questions which covered the material in the "What Did You Learn" section that I used to quiz my son.  There are also "Experiment Records" for recording data which I thought was ingenious!  Did I mention the illustrations?  Delightful color pictures that certainly helped to captivate Ben and keep him interested.

Please know, also, that there is a section entitled "In the Beginning" which helps you pull all of this meaty material back to the focus of God's word.  There are many scripture references and questions for you to cover with your children. 

The Curiosity Files are available in 11 different titles...

 ranging from Cicada Killing Wasps to Platypus (which, by the way, will be our next attempt as the boy is addicted to all things platypi!). They range in price from $1-$6.95, or you may to choose to buy them in a bundle of nine for $46 ($49 on CD).  If you've never been over to the Old Schoolhouse, may I suggest a visit?  Their store is packed full of awesome e-book studies and my FAVORITE- the Schoolhouse Planner- not to mention great insight, advice, and tools for homeschoolers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring has finally sprung!

I'm sad to say that I haven't been doing much crafting lately.  I've had other irons in the fire and crafts definitely got put on the back burner.  But I started looking around my house yesterday and the thought came to me, "This is one of my most favorite times of the year, and you sure wouldn't know it by looking at this place!"

So I decided I need to come up with some pretty colors and some spring-wear.

I found this over at Happy Clippings.  I loved that it was quick, cute, and didn't require a trip to Hobby Lobby!  I had all of the supplies in my craft room.  (formerly known as the schoolroom.....formerly known as the playroom.  It all just depends on what mood we're in!)
So simple...freehand the bunny template, write 3 lines in a doc of words that make you think of spring (though we did Easter morn) with pretty fonts and colors, scissor, glue, embellish!

Now I need to go see what else I can get into.......more spring cuteness!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back in the saddle again.....

It's good to be back!

Thursday a week ago, I accepted the volunteer position of Birmingham Area Coordinator (previously held by my own Andy) for Operation Christmas Child.  I have personally been volunteering with OCC for 13 years, beginning at my church, Calvary Chapel, in Albuquerque, NM in 1997.  When we moved to Birmingham in 2000, we noticed that the project needed more help to get the word out, so we, with our church's permission, volunteered to be relay center coordinators.  Then an area team system was forned and I became the Community Relations Coordinator, telling MOPS groups, christian schools, hoards of women at the Southern Women Show, and well....pretty much anyone who would listen to me- about OCC.

WHAT?  You don't know what OCC is, you say? Well.......
OCC is a project overseen by Samaritan's Purse, an organization run by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's eldest son.  OCC delivers millions of shoeboxes around the world each year to precious children, who have likely never before received one gift- let alone a full box of them!  Along with this priceless cargo goes the gospel of Jesus Christ, delivered to over 5,500,000 (yes, million!) children last year!  Afghanistan, Trinidad, Romania, Japan, a country and they likely received a shipment!

Where do these shoeboxes come from, you ask?  Well, YOU silly!  Here, I'll break it down for you....
What should you put in them?  Ooooooooo, lots of FUN stuff!  Dolls, stuffed animals, matchbox cars, legos, hairbows, jewelry, hygeine items, art supplies........... you get the idea!  But let me tell you what you should NOT put in the box: bubbles, liquid soap/shampoo, chocolate, war toys or toys that are weapons.  You don't want to put anything in the box that may compromise the contents in transit...and sometimes they sit in shipyards in Africa for a looooooong time!  The war toys and weapons are obviously a bad idea when you see the list of the countries these boxes go to.  We want to bring the joy of Christ with these boxes, not remind some of those little ones of the atrocities happening outside of their front door.  Oh, another important thing to put in your box is a small donation to help cover shipping.  That helps the ministry to not have to absorb so much of the shipping cost and they can put those resources towards trying to get more boxes!

So are you excited about this at all?  I am PASSIONATE about this ministry.  I have children who have been made into international missionaries by the packing of a shoebox.  There is no better verse than this theme verse for the Connect Conference I just returned from yesterday:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
                                                               Romans 10:14-16

There's good news for you, you don't have to wait until Collection Week in November to start packing your shoeboxes!  Start now!  Invite your friends over and pack some together!  Every shoe box is a gospel opportunity!

I look forward to my new role with OCC.  I'm excited to serve those children who don't have a tenth of what my children have.  I'm thrilled that I can serve as a missionary right here, right now.  The conference this week was so encouraging and inspiring- hearing from Afghanistans who had to flee the country for their lives because they chose to speak of Jesus, skyping with local contacts in Trinidad who distribute shoe boxes, listening to a Romanian who had received a box as a child and produced the contents which she had saved!  It was all amazing and affirming in the call to serve alongside OCC.

So, I'm back in the saddle again...... and I have a lot of work to do!  There's still children out there who haven't heard........

Monday, April 4, 2011

A moment to boast.....

Dearest friends, don't you just love to have a moment to boast publicly about the ones you love?  Horse lessons, soccer, seems the possibilities are endless to brag on the preciousness of our lovies.  But this time....I'm seizing the opportunity to brag on a bigger lovey!

                                                 MY MOMMA!!!
                                                   Brenda Winter
My Dear Momma recently won the President's award for her performance at General Dynamics!  I am so very proud of her.  My Momma has worked hard her whole life, without much praise or recognition- so I am tickled to death that she received this honor. (And isn't she pretty?!)  She was flown from Gulfport, MS to Charlotte, NC for an awards banquet where she and those from other divisions were honored.