Tag Archives: Christian Faith

Christmas 2023 . . . Teen Drama At Mesa Baptist Church

This past Sunday night, December 15, 2013, the teens along with our youth pastor and his wife put on our annual Christmas play. This year, it was a drama, to show what Christmas could be like in the future, if our country continues on the path we are walking.

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This play, Christmas 2023, was originally written by Sam Gipp, and was edited for Mesa Baptist Church by Mrs. Aubrey Grantham.

It is the year 2023, and there have been many changes. We have had another world war, and all mention of the Lord Jesus Christ has been outlawed. Children are now removed from the parents when they reach school age and sent to government “boarding schools”, where they are taught humanistic, atheistic views. There are no true churches anymore, all have been turned into social clubs, and the Bible is outlawed.

The Jamison family, upon whom our drama is focused, has been decorating for the “X-mas” holiday, while waiting for one of their own, John, to come home from the government boarding school for the holiday. They come across a box of things from years past, in which they find a nativity scene, Tom’s (the father) old Bible, some CD’s with Christmas carols on it that sing of faith, not of santa. As they begin to reminisce, they talk about the church they used to go to, Mesa Baptist Church, and Pastor Carr, who has not been seen since he was taken away some years previously. At first Tom’s wife is very nervous about finding all of these things, but then, their two other children, David and Susan, begin asking questions, and their parents tell them all about how it used to be.

But then, John arrives home, and sees the Bible. He becomes very upset, and is ready to report them, when the parents convince him that they should go to bed and talk more in the morning. Susan, however, sneaks back and is reading the Bible, when her brother David finds her. The next day, they all talk much about it, including John, and their parents, who had come to salvation many years ago, are able to lead their children to the Lord as well.

During the holiday time, the Jamisons take opportunity to witness to others, including a group of carolers who come to the door. You can watch the carolers in the video below. My son “The Batman” is one of the carolers.

Later, “Santa” comes to visit, as the government has sent a Santa out to all the homes, bearing a “gift”, as you’ll see in the video below. “The Artist” portrays Santa in this drama . . .

The time comes for John to return to his school, and he asks how to be saved, and then declares he will tell everyone about Jesus, and the Bible, no matter the consequences.

I’m doing this post, not just because I’m proud of my boys for being involved in their teen group, or for being in the play, but because the story really touched my heart. I want all of you to KNOW that you need to be saved, if you have never been. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell, but as a Just God, He cannot have sin in Heaven. We MUST either pay for our sins, or we must accept the sacrifice He made to cover our sin, by sending Christ in human flesh, to pay for our sin. Please, watch this video, and consider the truth . . .

If you do not know for certain that if you died today, you would be in Heaven with the Lord, then please, please, speak to someone who can show you the way. If you wish, you can contact me, making sure I have your email.

(before I get comments about the “origins” of the term Xmas, please know that I don’t care about that. In today’s culture, it does not stand for what it may have stood for thousands of years ago. In today’s culture, it most certainly stand for removing “Christ” from the word Christmas.”)
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Filed under Christian faith, Christmas, Mesa Baptist Church, Teen Christmas Drama

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . More Christmas Stuff!

You know, I ALWAYS forget how busy it gets this time of the year, until it DOES get busy this time of the year, lol!

In between planning for Christmas day (we have invited a large family from our church for dinner on Christmas), doing regular household STUFF, trying to figure out the best way to give each of our kids at least one thing they really want, and then fill in around the edges, we have had a church homeschool party, I have had a reviews due, had an order of cards to complete, and am even now waiting for a FedEx delivery of materials to do a new order for the same person!

Tuesday evening, the kids and I FINALLY decorated the poor naked tree that had been standing in the living room for several days . . .
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In the midst of it all, I try to keep in mind the real reason for this season. We still have things going on at church. Sunday night, my younger kids, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” sang with the Sunshine Kids Choir for the special music, as you can see in the video below . . .

Wednesday night, I was on schedule as back up for toddler nursery, and one of the ladies on the schedule had sick kids, so I took her place. I like nursery on Wednesday nights, plus, I was working with a young mom with whom I very much enjoy spending time in conversation, so, win-win! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday, we had another homeschool Christmas party, this one with our Thursday park day group. We really had fun! We did potluck, I brought pizza casserole and Totally Bad For You cake (chocolate/peanut butter), for which I was a finalist in the Flint Journal (Michigan) “Merry Indulgences”bake off way back in 1995.

The cake . . .
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and the extra frosting to snack on later!
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I love potlucks here in New Mexico, we are getting to try lots of stuff we’ve never had before! Some of the things brought were sopapillas, black beans, tortilla rolls, some kind of chili that was really good, and bunches of other wonderful tasting things! We find this variety in our church potlucks as well, and are enjoying it!

As you can see, there is an abundance of food here (and I THINK I took this picture before more people arrived with even MORE food! . . .
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Doing what they do best . . .
“Mr. Loquacious”
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“The Artist”
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“The Batman” and “The Puzzler”
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Making ornaments . . .
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Here are the final products!
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Later on, we had a white elephant gift exchange, which is always a lot of fun!
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All in all, though this is a busy time, we have been having lots of fun! I hope you are finding time to have fun, yet still keeping your focus on what we are really celebrating here, the birth of our Lord, without whom there would be no salvation.

If you’d like to link up with the weekly wrap-up, just click on the graphic below for information.

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the page and enter your email, then never miss an update again! If you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure love it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Christmas, Church, education, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, Weekly Wrap-Up

Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms

I have had the blessing lately of being on the wonderful launch team for the Bible Study, “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms“, written by Katie Horner.

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I am excited about this study for a couple of reasons . . . first and foremost, as my regular readers are well aware, I am happiest when I can tell you that something I am reviewing which uses scripture uses only the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, as that is the ONLY version my family, and my church, uses. In her Bible Study, Katie Horner (who blogs at Paradise Praises)has done just that, which makes me happy, and will also please many of my friends!

Another thing I love about “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms” is that it really does work for us busy moms! I absolutely know how very hard it is to find daily time to be in God’s Word, to study and learn. With this book, you really can spend (most of the time) only about ten minutes at a time, and you will find yourself learning in-depth about the fruit of the spirit.

I love how Katie has pointed out that the Bible is not talking about “fruits”, but rather, “fruit” of the spirit. You can’t just pick and choose which ones you will put on, they are all part of the whole fruit . . . “This is not a fruit-basket life where we can pick and choose which part of Christlikeness we want to put on. No, this is more like an orange, where each virtue is a different slice of the orange. You must have all of the slices together and in their places to have a whole, complete orange.”

With a foreword written by well-known speaker Heidi St. John, this little (approximately 49 pages) ebook packs a powerful punch. You’ll spend between 2 to 5 days on each fruit, finishing up with a day devoted to “The Whole Fruit”. This allows you to focus in small bites for more than one day on each fruit of the spirit.

You will need a study notebook, or you may download (free!) Katie’s companion workbook after you get your Kindle version of the Bible Study.

About the Author:

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Katie and her husband Tap have been missionaries in Mexico since 2007. They homeschool their four children and minister through church planting, Bible training, bookstore ministry, and homeschool curriculum development.
Katie is a teacher at heart, and by trade, and loves to encourage women in their God-given roles through speaking, writing and blogging. She is the author of this and two other ebooks (at the date of this printing) as well as the Lemonhass homeschool curriculum for Spanish Speaking families.
Katie blogs about marriage, motherhood, and ministry at ParadisePraises.com and she blogs about home education (in Spanish) at EducandoEnElHogar.com.
She has guest posted on various other blogs in her niche and is also the host of Educando en el Hogar, an internet radio show that is part of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Other notes of interest: Katieโ€™s four favorite things are elephants, dark chocolate, the color purple and the Mayan hammock in her living room. Oh and sheโ€™s due with baby #5 in early Feb. 2014.

Today only, December 10, 2013, Katie’s book “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms” is available FREE on Amazon!

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Then, for the next 3 days, it will be available at the price of 99 cents . . .

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After which it will be at the regular price of $4.99.

I absolutely feel that even if you don’t get it free, or at the reduced launch price, it is worth the $4.99.

If you (or someone you know) would prefer the Spanish language version, that is also available, and for this week only it costs just 99 cents, and Katie has made available the Spanish language version of the Companion Workbook, as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Once again, I whole-heartedly recommend this book and its companion workbook to everyone!

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As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the top of this page and enter your email into the “sign me up” button, and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please, go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Bible Study for busy moms, Book Launch, Christian faith, Katier Horner, Putting On The Spirit

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . Finishing With a Christmas Party!

Well, this week was a seemingly QUICK week! It seems like the week began just YESTERDAY!

You already know that “The Batman” and “The Artist” both are in the teen choir at our church, and they sang special music this past Sunday night.

During the week, in between packing up all of the autumn dรฉcor (now that Thanksgiving is over) and beginning to get the Christmas stuff out, we worked on “household management”, i.e. getting the house under control again, and catching up on laundry, lol!

We’re taking things easy during the holidays, so no “formal” schooling is going on, but the boys did a lot of reading and viewing educational programs.

Today, though, was our church homeschool group’s Christmas party! As we arrived, we were greeted by “Mrs. Peggy”, who had organized everything for us. We began with some Christmas songs, and all of the kids happily sang along while “Mrs. Peggy” led . . .

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Then, we had a story called “The Christmas List”, which I’d never heard of, but I really loved it!

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Next, each of the children who had prepared something was invited up to perform. “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” decided to quote a Bible verse about Jesus’ birth, as you’ll see in this video . . .

“The Artist” played “Angels We Have Heard On High” in this video . . .

and “The Batman played “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” in this video . . .

I’m thinking that we better spend some time practicing before we go back into lessons after the new year, as none of us has practiced in about a year and a half, not since before moving here to New Mexico! ๐Ÿ™‚

Next on the agenda, we had visitors, Joseph and Mary, to talk to the kids about their journey to Bethlehem, and the wonderful birth of Jesus . . .

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Followed by another story, “The Tale of Three Trees”, which I HAD read before, and still love!

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“Mrs. Peggy” had arranged for the kids to decorate sugar cookies. They each got an angel and a “ninjabread man”! ๐Ÿ™‚

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As you can see below, once they were done decorating their cookies, the PIZZA arrived, so everyone had lunch!

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Finally, the kids each got to go find their gifts. Here are my four boys looking for theirs . . .

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To wrap everything up, we got all of the kids to sit in a group by the tree for a picture. Don’t they look like they had a fun morning?

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How was YOUR homeschool week? Why don’t you join us at the link up and tell us about it? To find out how, please click the graphic below . . .

As always, I would love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Our Church Teen Choir

We have an awesome bunch of teens at Mesa Baptist Church, and Bro. Roger Grantham and his wife Aubrey are so great with the kids! Here they are in a video from last night, singing the song “Glory To God In The Highest” for the special music during the evening service!

I really want to give the Granthams a shout out, because Mike and I have two boys in the teen group and the teen choir. The Granthams have just been wonderful with them, really understanding of their needs, and helping where necessary so that the boys will do well in the group. They’ve even been willing to help with making it possible (in part by having along another couple, the Kuckartz’s, to handle things like medications and keeping “The Batman” on track) for “The Batman” to be included when they go to Winter Retreat, and hopefully summer camp next year, as well.

Thank you, Mesa Baptist, we love you! ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, I’d love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy this blog, please go to our Facebook page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekly Wrap Up . . . Thanksgiving

This has been a busy, busy week! It began with finalizing my lists for Thanksgiving, as we were to be 15 for dinner! So, starting on Monday, the kids and I were working on getting ahead of the laundry and cleaning, among other things.

I was also working hard to finish assembling the base Christmas cards I’m working on for my Hairstylist, Jody Muniz! They are all completed except for adding the bling and stamping the sentiments on the inside! ๐Ÿ™‚ I needed to get them to that point so I could put away all of my paper-crafting supplies by Wednesday.

On Tuesday evening, our church, Mesa Baptist held it’s Thanksgiving Feast at 6:00 p.m., followed by our annual Thanksgiving Praise and Thanksgiving service. During the service, our teen choir sang the special music. Both “The Batman” and “The Artist” are in the teen choir, and “The Artist” had one of the duets in the song, so watch for him in this video! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday, my husband had to work a four hour shift in the morning, and then about an hour after he got home, our guests began arriving. My friend Rose (who actually happens to work with my husband), her husband Bill and their four children (Danny, Andrew, Ian and Ashley) arrived first, at around 11:00. She is a Pampered Chef consultant, and came with stuff to make a veggie tray and a relish tray, complete with Pampered Chef stuff to make and serve them with! We put those out for the football watchers, but it took a bit of time to get them to eat that along with the chips and dip, lol! She also did a lovely tossed salad, a Honey Baked Ham, dinner rolls, and brought two pies.

My friend Ann, her husband Charles and their son Charlie got here later in the afternoon. She had made delicious mashed potatoes, two kinds of green bean casserole, and brought three pies. We had spent Thanksgiving at their home last year. ๐Ÿ™‚

I did the Turkey, Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes, stuffing, cranberry celebration, gravy and brownies. I forgot to cook the corn I had bought, but there was certainly plenty of food without it!

We had such a good time, and those who are into football certainly got their fill this year on Thanksgiving!

Here are some pictures of everyone having a good time together . . .

First up, My friend Ann, with her very fun hat!
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Next, we have Charlie, dressed to root for his team . . .
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Here is my husband Mike, with Ann and her husband Charles . . .
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Here, “The Batman” is engrossed in a 3DS game!
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Next, we have my friend Rose, her husband Bill, 2 of their kids plus “The Artist” . . .
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My husband Mike, gabbing with Rose, Ann and Charles . . .
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Two of Rose and Bill’s kids, plus “The Puzzler” at the Wii.
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Well, that’s OUR weekly wrap-up, how was YOUR week? Why don’t you write about it and then go link up with the rest of us? Just click the graphic below!

As always, I’d love it if you’d join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and “Like it. I’d sure love it if you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, family, food, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, singing, Teen Choir, Thanksgiving 2013

The Force, by Alexandra & Joyce Swann . . . My Review

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I have been reading this book for several weeks now, in little snatches of time, since unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of just sitting for hours to finish a good book the way I did when I was young . . . and single . . . and not homeschooling four boys, lol!

Make no mistake, the fact that I took me a while to finish this story does NOT mean I didn’t like it. In fact, it was VERY difficult to put it down each time I had to do so!

Here is a short synopsis of the premise in “The Force”:

“About The Force:
Someone is murdering the worldโ€™s most beautiful womenโ€”over and over and over. When Jarrod and Joshua Sinclair are called in to consult with the FBI about the Hollywood Starlet murders, they immediately suspect their old nemesis Josef Helmick of creating clones of famous women for a visiting Saudi prince. Wasting no time, they hire retired detective Fred Kowalski and send him to Dubai to uncover Josefโ€™s base of operations and build a case against him for the murders. But Fred soon discovers that Helmick Enterprises is harboring a secret much darker than human trafficking. Fred must stop Helmick before he resurrects an ancient, diabolical Force in order to bring the entire human race under his control.”

This book is as gripping as any sci-fi or political thriller I have ever read, and the bonus is that it has a Christian theme running throughout the story as the Sinclair brothers and Fred Kowalski race to prove their belief of who and what is behind the crimes that are happening.

As I read this book, which is the sequel to the equally gripping book “The Fourth Kingdom” by the same authors, I was struck over and over again by the plausibility of the story. It is no secret to believers that there is, and has been throughout history, a battle between the force of Satan and the power of God.

This book is part of the “Kingdom Chronicles” series. I am so hoping there will be a third book, and even a fourth and beyond, as I really, really enjoyed reading it. Both “The Force” and it’s prequel “The Fourth Kingdom” are thought-provoking, and will make you want to study more on prophesy and history.

Joyce and Alexandra Swann are mother and daughter. Joyce homeschooled her ten children from the first grade through masterโ€™s degrees. She is a well-known author and speaker on the subject of homeschooling. For nearly a decade she was a popular columnist for “Practical Homeschooling Magazine”. She now blogs regularly on parenting, homeschooling, and Christian lifestyle issues.

Joyce and Alexandra have co-authored two other novels, The Fourth Kingdom and The Twelfth Juror, both of which were published in 2010.

Joyceโ€™s personal story of her experiences raising and educating her family is chronicled in Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother, published in February of 2011. Her novel, The Warrior, which tells the story of one womanโ€™s ten year prayer vigil for a man she has never met, was released in May of 2012. She is also the author of two childrenโ€™s books, “Tales of Pig Isle” and “The McAloons”, which began as stories that she told to entertain her grandchildren.

Alexandra is the author of “No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Masterโ€™s Degree at Age Sixteen” and “Writing for Today”. She has been self-employed for over fourteen years and was the 2011 Chairwoman of the Board of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She writes a regular blog, Paying for Protection, about the consequences of over-regulation and over-reaching government. Her novel “The Planner”, which is the prequel to “The Chosen”, was published in June of 2012.

Over at “Following In His Footsteps“, blogger Wendy has posted a Q & A with authors Alexandra & Joyce Swann.

“The Force” is now available here in paperback for $15.50, and on Kindle for $4.99.

I highly recommend the Swanns as writers of some of my newest favorite books, and I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve used the King James Bible for all of the scripture used in their novel! Run, don’t walk, and begin reading the “Kingdom Chronicles” now. You’ll not regret it, I promise you!

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As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update! And, if you do enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “Like” it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Joyce and Alexandra Swann, The Force, The Fourth Kingdom

The End Of My First Year As A Review Crew Member . . .

And it has been such a blessing to our family! We have reviewed approximately 50 products and/or curricula, much of which was new to us, and much of which we had heard of, but never really had the budget to buy it without checking it out thoroughly.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew recently voted for the Blue Ribbon Awards, given to the top choices from all of the products reviewed this year, and the results were announced this morning on the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

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Many of the crew have decided to publish our own posts telling you about our favorites from this year, and I am no exception, so here we go!

If you click on the title of any of the following, it will open my review in a separate window so you can refresh your memory as to why we liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚

As I said, we reviewed nearly 50 products this year, and it has been hard to narrow it down to what we will be using for our homeschool this year, and what will be set aside for future use. I’m going to tell you what we are now using as our homeschool curricula!

“The Batman” will be using Time4Learning at least twice a week. He is also doing Handwriting Without Tears two or three days per week.

“Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” will be continuing on with Reading Kingdom at least twice a week, along with Math Rider and Adventus, both at least twice a week.

“The Artist” will be continuing his way through Writing Fiction (In High School) by Sharon Watson on a weekly basis, and will be doing A+ TutorSoft, which we like so much that we purchased the remaining grade levels for him and for the other boys when they are ready! ๐Ÿ™‚

I will be continuing TouchMath with “The Batman”, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” until they complete the level we were reviewing, and then they will move on to A+ TutorSoft.

Everyone will be working through America The Beautiful by Notgrass. We really, really enjoyed this one, and it works for us in the area of history, geography, and social studies. We will also be using our God‘s World News subscription in our homeschool, as well as games we reviewed, such as The Presidential Game and Chess House, both of which our children thoroughly enjoy using! All four boys will continue with VocabularySpellingCity for language arts.

We (and this time I include myself in the “we”) will be completing Song School Spanish, and will then continue on with See It And Say It Flip Flop Learning Spanish, which we all enjoyed, and found easy to learn with.

I loved the Homeschool Mom’s Bible, and will continue using it forever, I think! ๐Ÿ™‚

All in all, without the blessing of being a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I think our homeschooling would not be as enjoyable as it’s becoming, not to mention the friends I have made as a result.

I am also very happy to announce that last night, I received my email inviting me to be part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew again for the year 2014. To read a bit about what membership means to me, please go here. I can hardly wait to see what products we will have waiting for us when we start back up again in January! Until then, dear readers, I’ll just be writing about what’s going on around here, along with possibly my thoughts on current events and things in the news.

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys”! Just go enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss another update! Also, if you enjoy this blog, please go to our Facebook page and “Like” it! I sure would appreciate it if you do! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under education, educational games, family, home education, homeschool products, Kids, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, TOS Post

Our November Homeschool Group Activity . . .

Our church, Mesa Baptist Church has a thriving homeschool group, and each month during the “official” school year we try to have an activity or field trip. You have already read about the trip we made to McCall’s Pumpkin Patch in October, and now I am going to tell you what our November activity was!

Since our church was having our annual Missions Conference this month, our homeschool activity centered around missions. One of our very organized ladies, who just happens to be one of my favorite bloggers (her blog is The Ministry Mama) put the whole thing together for us!

We divided up into three groups of families, with each group taking one of the missionary families that would be here for the conference, and each family was also given one of our college students who are away from us for school.

Our family, along with two others, got the Herndon Family. They are missionaries to the Zuni and Navajo Indians here in Mew Mexico.

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This is an older picture that I found online . . . the Herndons have six children now!

Each family provided a gift for Mrs. Herndon or her husband, and two of their six children. We took the two youngest children, and I got them appropriately aged baby toys. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also made a set of notecards and a notebook for Mrs. Herndon.

For our college student, one of our young men who has gone off to his first year of Bible college in Fargo, ND, we filled a box of goodies!

Here is a picture of the kids in our group, with the missionary gift already completed, and the college student gift still open in front of them . . .
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Here is part of one of the other groups . . .
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And last but not least, the third group, at least the moms, having been abandoned by their children at picture time, lol!
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After we did the boxes, my friend The Ministry Mama led the children in singing missions songs, gave them a little lesson on missions, and told them her personal testimony of having been called to the mission field, and how God changed that call when she was in college.

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After all of that, we ate lunch!
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I think it was a fun, productive morning! Our children learned more about missions and giving, and we all had a good time together as well. Bonus! ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys”! Just enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss another update. And please, if you do enjoy this blog, go to our Facebook page and “like” it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume one: Nothing That Eats . . . A T.O.S Review

Well, and isn’t that a mouthful of a title, LOL! However, the title of this book was precisely what intrigued me enough to want to read it when it was offered for review to those of us who are members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so I was very happy to be chosen as one of the reviewers!

I am going to admit to you, my readers, right here and now, that I have been totally dragging my feet when it came to writing up this review. You see, getting it written up would mean getting it posted and linked to the crew blog, and I really, really don’t want to. Why? Because, this is my very last review product from the crew for the year 2013, and while I HAVE applied to remain on the crew for the year 2014, I am truly going to miss doing this in the interim! I will be writing a post about my time on the crew very soon. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I digress . . .

Back to “At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats“, written and published by Franklin Sanders from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, which is quite a read! As I said, the title alone made me want to check it out!

This is a BIG book, coming in at 379 pages. It is not a novel, and I knew this from the description, but rather a collection of letters written by Franklin Sanders . . .

which were then published in his monthly newsletter, The Moneychanger over a period of 17 years.

In this, the first of three volumes to be published, Mr. Sanders tells us, in a series of letters about, well, his life, and that of his family. We read about their several moves closer and closer to being where they can live off the land, and how, when they get there, his wife’s consistant admonishments that they bring home “nothing that eats” end up being quite useless, as he and the children do, in fact, keep adding to the collection of farm animals and pets.

The family winds up in a place called Dogwood Mudhole, Tennessee, which, as I discovered in the book, is a real place, not just the name of their farm, which is what I had thought before reading the book. It all began with the desire of Franklin and his wife Susan’s desire to “go back to the land” when the Y2K scare was looming. I happen to be part of the generation that remembers when that non-event happened, and how my own mother was so worried about it that she filled her tub and all the sinks with water just in case all of the utilities went dead at midnight on December 31, 1999. Of course, that did not happen, but I guess I understand the concern a lot of people had, after all, we had never lived through the changing from one century to another before!

As I said before, this book is a collection of letters, written and published in Franklin Sanders newsletter The Moneychanger, so it really is more of a picture of the life of himself and his family written as it happened, rather than as a recollection or memoir would be.

I got a very interesting (and different!) picture of southern history, as Franklin Sanders is very much a history buff when it comes to the Confederacy. For myself, as the adoptive mother of biracial children, the enthusiasm for the Confederacy made me uncomfortable.

Franklin Sanders is unabashedly Christian, and makes no bones about it, however, his troubles with the IRS and jail time as a result, bothered me. As a Christian, I believe the Lord says we must obey the laws, unless the laws DEFINITELY go against God’s laws. I’m not so sure that the issue of whether or not one must collect tax when selling gold or silver should be considered to go against God’s laws. I think Mr. Sanders is right when he says that the constitution declares gold and silver to be money, and therefore you should not have to collect taxes when exchanging money (gold or silver) for money (paper), however, I think that by God’s law, he would have showed a better testimony to follow the law and then protest it afterwards.

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats” is a very good read, if you are not expecting something to read like a novel. It doesn’t. One of the things I actually enjoy about it is that because of the way it is written, as a series of letters written as they happened, this is a book that you can pick up and read whenever you have a free moment or two. I do like having books like that around, as frequently, my reading time comes in unexpected little patches of time these days! ๐Ÿ™‚

There is even a “no-risk” guarantee offered on the website:

No Risk Guarantee

If you don’t laugh, cry, gasp, hug your spouse or jump up and down, we’ll refund your money and you can keep the book to use as a door stop.”

I thought the guarantee was just hilarious, myself, having never read one quite like it!

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats” is available here. The oversized paperback costs $22.95, and is also available in pdf, Kindle and ePUB versions for $ 16.95.

To read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members thought of the book “At Home In
Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats
, please click the graphic below!
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As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the top of the page and enter your email information into the “sign me up” button. Also, please, do go to our Facebook page here and click on the “Like” button! I’d surely appreciate it, and you will never miss an update again! ๐Ÿ™‚

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