Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Almost that Time! Back to School & a Giveaway

Back To School Time is upon many of our friends, although we are not starting back for the most part until after Labor Day.

And it is a time of back to school shopping.

Maybe your child has a swim bag that needs stocking, or a student heading off to college who has a long list of supply needs.

I have a little something to save you a few pennies at the cash register.

We have 2 coupons for FREE Dial Body Wash to giveaway.  So, we'll have 2 winners, 1 coupon each.  See the Rafflecopter widget below.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f80ff6/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

The drawing will be on August 9.

linking up with Hip Homeschool Moms

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Fire Sword Opens Today

The Fire Sword opened today.  The stars arrived in fashion, dressed for the red carpet, via limo.  We had a wonderful time at the opening showing!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Beyond the Book Report ~ Giveaway Winner

Leslie has the winning entry for this giveaway.  Contact me by email with your mailing address Leslie!

Ragged Hope, Cynthia Ruchti

"Where do we find hope when it's clouded by the ashes of other people's choices? 

What do you do when your life is affected by someone else's choices? Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else, everything is wrong? This insightful and hope-giving guide will comfort, support, and encourage you through whatever situation you must face. 

While each story in this book offers hope and has inspiring points, it is a difficult book to read.  More than likely, each one of us has our own story of survival in the midst of other peoples choices and consequences that storm our lives.  But, pushing past the shock and the tactics of survival, we have a choice to make.  Choosing to live in the midst of the fallout from other people's choices is possible by refusing bitterness, by looking up.  Because, "the fallout of other people's destructive choices becomes more toxic, more suffocating, when our response is equally caustic.  We don't climb out of an ash heap by piling more ash." 

Each chapter of this book highlights a lifegiving response to the trauma created by the actions of others.  A few questions follow each chapter, which I found helpful as I think how I can be a better friend to others going through particular tough times.  And loud and clear is a reminder of the importance of not allowing any bitterness to take root.  More than "hope in the midst of trial" reading, I recommend this book as a tool to glean from for ministering others.

Thank you Litfuse Publicity, for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my opinion.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Being Distinct

Pantheism is a creed not so much false as hopelessly behind the times.  Once, before creation, it would have been true to say that everything was God.  But God created:  He caused things to be other than Himself that, being distinct, they might learn to love Him, and achieve union instead of mere sameness.

Made for Heaven, by C.S. Lewis

This Moment

This Moment
A moment of adventure girl triumph
Working together with my daughters
Celebrating fire starting success, in the rain.
Echo Lake, Mount Evans
linking with Amanda and Amy

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Big Year for Lily, Book 3 of the Lily Lapp Series

Lily Lapp's family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one--Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa's help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.

What a fun story this is!  When the book arrived and I took it out of the packaging I had to hide it from my kids so I could read it first.  The cover totally caught the eyes of my daughters. 

A Big Year for Lily was a quick read and soon I handed it to my 10 year old daughter.  She read it and asked me to see if our local library has Books 1 and 2 of the series.  The library does have the Lily series and Chica has been enjoying reading the books "in order".

While my children are pretty unfamiliar with Amish life, there were plenty of things in the thoughts of a 10 year old girl that created connections between my daughter and the main character.  It has been good to share this book with Chica and to also explore another culture through the story. 

Here are some thoughts from Chica.

"This was a really good book.  I understood how Lily felt very well.  I feel like I am a friend to Lily and like I know her.  I understood how Lily felt when she got into trouble.  Both of us get into trouble without trying to." 

The kind of trouble Chica finds herself in is usually a result of her curiosity and exuberance, not naughtiness, much like Lily.  She really is a good kid!

We received this book, A Big Year for Lily from Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for our opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Fire Sword

Our youngest daughter's movie debut!

Hope to see you there!

Beyond the Book Report from Analytical Grammar GIVEAWAY!

Analytical Grammar and Junior Analytical Grammar gave our daughters a firm footing in the world of English grammar.  This summer I've been researching ideas for writing/composition for the upcoming school year and received an email from AG that they have written Beyond the Book Report, a middle school language arts program the will mesh well with the 3 seasons of Analytical Grammar.

There are 3 seasons of Beyond the Book Report, and it is scheduled much like Analytical Grammar.  As a matter of fact, AG's website has a couple different schedules put together.

Season 1 of Beyond the Book Report includes three different sections:

The Basic Book Report
- Concepts introduced:
    Following a rubric
    Conflict, Point of View, Climax, Protagonist,Antagonist
    Paraphrase and summary
- Activity:
    Watch video lecture on literary terms
- Final Product (100 pt total):
    Reading Log
    Plot summary
    Paraphrase of favorite scene
    Study questions or crossword
    Literary Terms worksheet

The Pamphlet Book Report
- Concepts introduced:
    Elements of the plot, mood and tone, setting, genre
- Activity:
    Watch second video lecture on literary terms
- Final Product (100 pt total):
    Reading log
    Pamphlet about the book (60 pts)
    Study questions or crossword

The News Article Book Report
- Concepts introduced:
    Headline, byline, dateline, inverted pyramid, lead
    Objectivity, bias, objective point of view
- Activity:
    Watch video lecture on news writing
    Nursery rhyme news
    Exercise in bias detection
- Final Product (100 pt total):
    Reading log
    News article on favorite scene
    Opposite bias news article, same scene
    Study questions/crossword

This is a solid writing curriculum that fits beautifully with the Analytical Grammar system and...

We have ONE COPY of Beyond the Book Report to giveaway this month!  The package will include

  • A computer DVD with video lectures for the teacher with specific day-by-day instructions for teaching the unit

  • All necessary hand-outs and notes

  • Foolproof grading rubrics that provide the student with “recipes” for writing and specific feedback for improvement 

  • The curriculum will be sent out by Analytical Grammar at the close of this giveaway ~ please make sure you check back for a winners announcement and respond to my email if you are the winner!

    http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f80ff5/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    This Moment

    This Moment ~ A refreshing moment in the fast moving days of summer.

    To see other moments in the splash days of summer, visit Amanda.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Coffee for a Reason & GIVEAWAY

    I first heard of World's Greatest Beans and Bring Love In  from Mary over at Owlhaven.  While I didn't enter the giveaway, I did visit World's Greatest Beans on their facebook page.

    From there I learned about the work Levi & Jessie Benkert are doing on behalf of orphans in Ethiopia.  Here is a brief video explaining just what that is.

    World's Greatest Beans sells imported TOMOCA coffee with the intention to provide Ethiopian small businesses with revenue, jobs and hope.  They also partner with Bring Love In.

    To bring more attention to World's Greatest Beans and Bring Love In, I was sent ToMoCa coffee beans to try and to GIVE AWAY!  Let me tell you, this coffee is delicious.  We've enjoyed it so much more than our regular coffee.

    Here are the details
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Happy Independence Day 2013!

    Hoping you are enjoying this Independence Day with ones you love.
    Remember to give thanks to the Lord for the freedom that we are celebrating this day.

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    pursuing better

    every flood of trouble remakes the landscape of your souls – making you better or bitter.

    every trouble is like a flood and you can either rise up on it or sink down in it

    And here is where I've found that the practice of giving thanks, day after day, month after month, year after year for 4+ years, is laying down the rails.  By practicing gratitude and recording the gifts my eyes are focused on looking for God's presence in the flood, even in the fire.
    I've mentioned before that I come from a long line of bitter women.  My mother once warned me years ago to not let bitterness take root.  For several years I prayed for relief from the bitterness that soured my eyes. 
    Giving thanks has been the antidote. 
    Anytime that sour taste rises in my throat and my eyes squint, I hear the question, where is grace in this?  And the hunt begins.
    A smattering of gifts found in the time of June fire and smoke;
    Frozen yogurt & daughters to share with
     A long walk through the neighborhood, with flower blooming all around
     Smoke free days after so many fires sent the smoke all over the Colorado front range
    Books selling, successful garage sale adding to the mission fund
    Popsicles and funny girls
    Rain in the middle of the night, pattering on the sky light
    Smoke clearing for the night of the Great American Backyard Campout
    Cloud art around the moon as I lay in the top coverless tent