The High King Lives

2013 Bucket List & the Best Moments of 2012 December 31, 2012

Hello gang and I hope you have a lovely New Years Eve! I was inspired by another blog to revisit my bucket list and to make a new one. I also want to share the best moments of 2012 for our family. Enjoy the pics!

This is the link to my 2012 Bucket List post.

Here is the mini list. I didn’t cross anything off of the extreme list but I did cross a few off this list. #2 wasn’t quite fulfilled but I would not have gotten as far without NaNoWriMo.  We got to visit Biblical Antiquities twice this year. Once for a dig and second for a Nativity show. I may keep a few of these on my new list but I’ve got more to add to the 2013 list.

1. Visit Helen Ga (Go tubing?)

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2. Finish my book and publish it. Almost finished the book, at least the first draft. NaNoWriMo was a new experience.


3. Visit Cumberland Island (photograph a wild horse)

4.Visit Aspen, CO (stay in a cabin…see snow)

5. Visit New York City ( See Belvedere castle in Central park)

6. Visit Forks, WA

7. See the River Fires in Rhode Island

8. Atlanta~ Medieval times, Aquarium (sleep over in the aquarium), and the Varsity(again)

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9. Biblical Antiquities

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10. Treetop excursion (climb to the top. Sleep in a tree?)

I’m happy to have crossed off so many, considering how busy we are and our budget. Praise God!

My 2013 Bucket List/ Resolutions

These aren’t in order.

  • Visit my best friend Julie (Frodo) in Tennessee
  • Take a road trip to Kentucky and visit the Creation Science Museum. Pick up some Ale 8 One soda, only made in KY.
  • Take a road trip with my grandparents up to New York to see family, maybe visit friends in Rhode Island, and take stops on the way, like seeing Washington D.C. and the White House. Praying Mema gets better so we can do this together & of course because I just want her to feel better. Actually see the Statue of Liberty when I pass through New York! Actually see the River Fires this year.
  • Ride a plane again and see my sister in Texas. Maybe visit the Narrows?
  • Publish my first book and write the second book in my trilogy.
  • Simplify our homeschool  and enjoy God’s wonders.
  • Go to a writing retreat or do an online writing camp.
  • Visit Cumberland Island (photograph a wild horse). Yep, still want to do this one.
  • Visit more museums & historical sites for hands on homeschooling.
  • See several plays and attend a mystery dinner theater.
  • Go to Disney World. Meet TinkerBelle?

A blog friend asked what she should add to her bucket list and it’s only fair that I use my own ideas…even if they aren’t necessarily “fun”. These next few are for perspective.

  • Lose one of my senses for a day- go blind folded all day?
  • Learn to paint with my mouth.

Here’s a challenging one.

  • Enter a Color Me Rad 5K race- it may take me several hours to walk it and it may be painful but it’s for charity. Maybe if I started practicing I could do it. My hubby just said “We’ll see”. I know I’m the chick who about faints from standing several minutes in the pews at church. Still, I want to try…
  • Take an art class. Paint pictures and sketch like a pro.
  • Go on unique and crazy dates with my hubby. Become a more respectful wife.
  • Go on more Mother-Son dates.
  • Dig deeper into my Biblical studies & get better at apologetics.
  • Do more Geocaching
  • Go to a Hockey Game and to a Football game. Maybe pick a team for the heck of it?
  • Have an American Girl tea party with my BFF Hannah and her daughter Olivia and don’t care what people think. I have two American Girl dolls from my childhood and Olivia just got hers.
  • Become a professional at making Machinima and use it to share the gospel and inspirational stories.
  • Drink less soda, sleep better, and wake up earlier. Relax and stop stressing…
  • Stop trying to please man. Be myself. Love God more.
  • Go to Emory and be tested for Ehlers Danlos
  • Disney Cruise?- Meet TinkerBelle
  • learn to shoot a bow
  • Be adventurous even if it’s painful. Don’t think of the pain. Don’t think of being sick…just do things.

So we had so many great moments this year. We did things that were not on my 2012 bucket list but are definitely bucket list worthy 🙂 like…..

Michael had his first Easter Egg Hunt (we never did egg hunts when he was little, for beliefs that we no longer have)

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We planted a successful garden and actually enjoyed the food from it.

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I went all out for Michael’s pirate themed birthday party.

Michael's 6th bday 014 This is sad but we finally honored our almost adopted twins that miscarried, by setting up a memorial. I finally grieved and let them go.


Michael and I started having Mother-Son dates.

065 I started geocaching.

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I held a live starfish. We threw it  back.

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I got to pet a baby deer.

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We saw a Century plant bloom. It’s supposed to bloom only once every 50 to 100 years…something like that.

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I got to see a mischievous raccoon up close.

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We had many food fightsConstellations 017

and water fights…FourthOfJuly2012 026

I made several peg dolls  Community Helpers 2012 019

I canoed for the first time since I was a kid.Anniversary 2012 067

I painted alot

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We got to go camping with our best friends for Sukkot.

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I attended my Granny’s 80th birthday party.

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I did NaNoWriMo for the first time and came close to finishing my first draft. I put in a lot of hours and hard work. I found the best writing spots.


We adopted someone new into our family, our guinea pig Snowball!

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We actually took a Christmas photo with all our pets and it turned out nice!


I don’t have a picture of this one but I stayed in a hotel completely by myself for the first time in my life. It was my birthday present. I enjoyed dinner & cake with my family at the hotel and then they left so I could have peace & quiet after. I was surprisingly upgraded to a room with a jacuzzi. I got a lot of writing done and felt like a princess.

I watched several Korean dramas and feel like I know Korean even though I don’t…..

I experimented with cooking more than usual. I plan meals better.

I really started blogging and people actually started reading what I wrote.

We did a ton of fun projects in homeschool and learned many neat subjects. Below is pics from our bug studies in May.

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I’m not going to post pics from every month but I will list what we studied. You can check these out on the right panel of my blog under Crafty Mondays. I have subcategories.

January– we hung bird seed stars in the trees, made ice sun catchers, & Borax snow flakes.

February– We learned about Medieval times and also Black History Month. We did several Civil Rights crafts.

March– Dinosaurs, Purim, & St. Patrick’s Day. We made fossils, presented a project on ancient Persia (Iran), and had a crazy leprechaun maze with many crafts for each occasion.

April- We learned about the death and resurrection of Jesus. We had tons of crafts and egg hunts. I really liked our Resurrection Garden. Check out the great Easter crafts. We read about Pirates and geared up for Michael’s Pirate birthday party and his girl pal’s mermaid party. We learned about the Weather and did a lapbook & crafts. We also had a neat experiment.

May-  bugs bugs bugs! We did the Danielle’s Place bug Bible study with lapbooks. We painted our front door with bugs and flowers and had many tasty themed treats and fun crafts. We also briefly learned about the Holocaust while studying butterflies. Then Pentecost crafts.

June- The ocean and it’s creatures. We had some hands on learning at St. Simons and Jekyll Island. We made star fish cookies and ocean crafts. We drew on the trampoline with chalk.

July- Independence Day and outer space. I painted Michael’s face and we did a patriotic lapbook with several crafts. We had water fights and a three legged race. We had fire works. Then we studied the planets, stars, and the phases of the moon. We visited the Space center and ate Oreo moons. We made a jar of stars and a jet pack. We saw lightening bugs at night. We had fun with our Summer bucket list and played many outdoor games.

August- Self awareness, Health and safety, and Community Helpers. We spent a week figuring out Michael’s favorites. Then we learned about fire & stranger safety. We learned about dental hygiene and good manners. Michael learned how to set a table. Michael learned how to say no to drugs and why drugs are so bad. We learned about different jobs and community helpers like policemen and nurses. Michael pretended to work at Krispy Kreme.

September- The Human Body. We learned about the different body systems and made several crafts and fun experiments. We did a project on Canada for our homeschool group. We also celebrated the Feast of Trumpets. We had a week all about apples (food and crafts). We made homemade apple sauce. We put an apple tree on our school door.

October- Sukkot, & Fall crafts. Leaves, Pumpkins, bats, acorns, scarecrows, candy corn, crows, spiders, and lots of owls. We made homemade rootbeer. We read so many books and played many math games. We celebrated World Pasta Day with our group. We began our Bob Jones Devotional and started doing more Bible crafts. Our door tree lost it’s leaves.

November- Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, & Native Americans. We made candles, wrote with a quill, made a medicine pouch and arrows. Michael dressed as a Native American. We put on a Thanksgiving play. We made a thankful turkey and studied fractions with pizza. We learned division with candy. We learned place value with marshmallows and fruit loops.

December- Advent and Christmas crafts.We learned about Christ’ birth and studied his different names (characteristics) during Advent. Our door tree became an advent Christmas tree. Each day Michael read a joke and an activity that was in the pockets.  Our crafts were full of nativities, ornaments, lights, candy canes, wreathes, angels, gingerbread men, & Christmas trees. We learned about the different traditions. We had a Christmas party with our group.

Whew! That was a lot! We really had a full and blessed year. I should stop worrying about my health holding me back because seriously I did a lot not just for a sick person but even a healthy person. It is all by God’s grace. I am so thankful! Thank you Jesus for this abundant life and a lovely year. There were definitely moments of pain and hardship but that all fades away in light of the good.

I pray you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I for one am ready to chunk my Christmas tree!

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Days of Cheer December 30, 2012

Hello dear ones! I hope you had a merry Christmas and that you have a lovely new year! 🙂 We’ve enjoyed my family all week long and Chris’ family on the weekend. Now we are on our way home and to a new season. The hubby starts spring semester soon and homeschool starts up again. It may be awhile before we see family again. So we relish these moments….these days of cheer.

I have three sets of grandparents on my side. My family is split by divorce. I’ve always been close to my grandparents so we have to visit them all. Shoot, two of them practically raised me. My mom and I lived with my Granny several times and I stayed at my Mema’s (Dad’s mom) a lot.  I’ve lost three grandpas but still have three grandpas. I have two step grandpas. My Step Dad’s father and my Mema’s husband. I love them like they are blood. My husband doesn’t have grandparents at all so he has adopted mine.

Enjoy the pics from the days of cheer…

Christmas Eve

My sister Jen’s face when she saw the Darth Vader/ Belle dolls I made them. My brother in law Josh beside her. Guess who likes which ;P

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You won’t find that match anywhere else 🙂

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Chris’ present from Michael: Darth Vader and Son

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My Step Dad Kim with Christmas ribbon around his neck.

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Kim’s Dad, Mr. Hubert and his fireman ornament

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Mom & Kim holding their trophy. My sister gave Michael a human body toy with squishy insides. My parents put it back together which was a complicated process. Go team!

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My sister made this yummy turkey. She had to butcher it and do horrible things to get it that way but it tasted great. I think she should get an award from C.S.I. lol. I only have one cookie tin to bring home with us. The sweets got gone fast. We ate the same thing Christmas day…which went like this…

Christmas Day

Chris and I set up a train around Granny’s little tree.

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Michael’s face when he woke up… the kid did not want to wake up. I put Christmas music on Pandora but he still didn’t get up. I had to sing him awake!

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You sly parents! When did you put up a train?

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We kept “The Nativity” on in the background as a reminder.

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We opened stockings. Here’s Michael trying out his doctor kit on Chris.

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We finished our Advent book and reread the Christmas story. Chris & Michael below.

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Then it was present time again :). Michael and I having a “snowball fight” with wrapping paper.

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I took a trip to the cemetery before Christmas lunch. I put some flowers on Dad’s grave. I wish I had taken my camera. It was like a beautiful garden…..all the Christmas flowers on the graves and the fog. Some even had lit Christmas trees on them. It was sad in a lovely way. I know my Dad can’t hear me but I always ask Jesus to give him messages. I guess one day I’ll find out if it works that way. I don’t know why people are scared of grave yards. It’s the living that are scary.

Anywho, we had a big lunch and finished the evening with a couple hands of rummy. I was a bit rusty :(. I’ll have to teach Michael how to play.

My brother in law Josh helping Michael build Legos.

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Josh had to work part of the holiday 😦

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Granny Frye (my Mom’s mother) and Michael cheezin’ it. She’s my sunshine.

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Josh & Jenn

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Mom & Kim

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The ladies

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Me & Jenn

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Me & my sister Jenn being goofy

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Granny with the guys

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The next morning I headed to my other grandparents (Dad’s father and step mom). I’ve put pictures on here before. Back in the summer we visited and their century tree  had bloomed. They also had an unwanted “pet” raccoon. Well, the century tree was bent over and mostly dead.  Michael was fascinated by the Mexican swords. This set of grandparents used to travel a lot when they were younger.  We again, had turkey…

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We stayed with them most of the day and then headed to my last set of grandparents: Mema (Dad’s mother) & Grandpa David (Step grandpa). We stayed with them for two nights. I stayed with Mema a lot when I was a kid. While we were there my awesome husband fixed several things for them. I’m so proud to have such a helpful husband.

Mema, Michael, & Grandpa David~ Grandpa David is one of my greatest supporters with my book. He was best buds with my Dad for years before he married Mema. We like to have church when we get together 🙂

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My Uncle helped my grandparents set up the Christmas tree before we came. They also had a train set and Michael spent a lot of time with it.

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We were soooo thankful to have something besides turkey. Mema cooked chicken and dumplings for us. It was the second time she’s cooked since her stroke. The stroke was the deadly kind. It’s a miracle she’s still alive. Praise God!

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My Mema treats her doggies like children. She was devastated when her Maltese Miley died. Now she has one named Molly.

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This creepy cat is Willow or Will Will (aka Willie). We got him when I was a kid and he’s still going. We say he got creepy because I’d make him watch Unsolved Mysteries with me. The super fat cat spent most of his time sleeping. Don’t stare into his eyes! He may bite you through the screen. He’s not sweet like our Chester.

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Molly, Mema, & Ginger. Ginger, on the right, is the poodle we got when I was 13. My step Papa, J.A., who was like a second dad to me had just died and Ginger was given to us as a puppy. The poor dog is blind and has a glass eye. This pooch used to go everywhere in Mema’s purse.

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We had a lovely visit and I got good video footage of Mema talking about her childhood. Michael starts a study of the 20th century Tuesday and I figured Mema was a great person to talk to. She actually won a dance contest and met Elvis. I’ll probably put the video up when we get to that. We’re breaking our study into quarters. I’m so excited about it :).

The night we headed to Chris’ parents we stopped and visited my Aunt Lynn (my Dad’s sister & my middle namesake) & her hubby, Uncle Kenny. Awhile ago I showed you pics from his garden. He’s a great redneck farmer and he kept us laughing. He had an interesting impression of  Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

My aunt is like the queen of Victorian country decor. She showed me a book Dad had given her before he died. It was an old copy of Tom Sawyer and he wrote a sweet inscription on the inside cover. We relaxed and watched several episodes of Duck Dynasty. My own red neck husband fits right in with most of my family. You’d never think my Mema came from New York.

Aunt Lynn wouldn’t let me take a picture of them so I got a photo of a bird sleeping in their carport. The poor thing looked cold. Aunt Lynn works at the Vets and knows a lot about animals.

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We got to Chris’ parents late Friday night. I was surprised that they weren’t watching Duck Dynasty also. Michael opened the rest of his presents from them. Then I gave them the picture from Thanksgiving, of their special tree. Mom Dover put it on their mantle. Dad Dover is feeling a lot better, praise God! You can see Shadow on the couch. The cat is decrepit but a sweety.

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We had to get up early for our nephew’s wedding at the same place Chris and I married. I will show you the pics next week though. I think I’ve got plenty of photos for today. There was no school all week so I have nothing to show for Crafty Monday. I spent most of the time socializing and relaxing. I did do a couple of sketches out of this drawing book my sister gave me. I also got an art bag & an artists’ manikin. I’ve got to figure out how to use it properly.

It’ll be nice to get home and see our pets. I bet Snowball is freaking out. Michael’s been sick on and off all week. So we may be taking a trip to the doctor. I can’t believe how fast Christmas passed and how long it will be before we see everyone again, Lord willing.

It’s almost 2013 and the world did not end. Yaaa! 😛 So I think I’ll go ahead and compile my 2013 bucket list. Every day Jesus gives me is a blessing and every day my family lives longer is a blessing too. I have lost many loved ones but I praise God for those still with us. May we never forget these days of cheer!

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Crafty Monday: Happy Birthday, Jesus! Party & Crafty Christmas Gifts December 24, 2012

NOTE: TO MY SISTER JENN, DON’T read this until after Christmas please 😉

Hello dear ones, well this may be my last post for this week. It’s almost Christmas Eve! Hard to believe. We had very little work this past week. Mainly we hung out as a family. It’s been SO nice to have Chris home with us.

Chris & Michael put together this foam gingerbread house. It came from Michael’s craft store.


I attempted to make this apple Christmas tree (apple slices, cheese star, peanut butter, & fruit loops). So it was a fail aesthetically but Michael did gobble it up so yaaa!


I read several home school books this week and I’m starting to see that hand writing is not easy for boys or at this age. I want to keep the creative juices flowing though. So Michael typed a story instead and then did some easy Christmas themed spelling work. Of course he wrote about Star Wars….of course.


Michael made a nice necklace for his girl buddy Olivia and he painted her a jewelry box. He painted a bird house for my Granny.


Our homeschool group had a “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” party. Rachel made the lovely veggie tree. I’ve featured her blog on here before.


My buddy Hannah, the leader of the group, read a couple of Christmas stories. She talked about how we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born but how we choose to celebrate it now.


Rachel brought cross cookies to decorate.


There was birthday cake too!


Michael got to give Olivia her presents.


Olivia admiring her jewels :).


Aren’t they cute together! I’ve mentioned before that they were born on the same day. Who knows what the future holds but I do believe this pair will be good friends always.


Chris blowing up balloons for the kiddos.


Liam (Olivia’s brother) & Michael having fun with their balloons ;P.


Now, onto what I’ve been doing all night and day this weekend. It literally took me eight hours to make 12 ornaments. Enjoy…

Belle (Beauty & the Beast) & Darth Vader (Star Wars). This unlikely pair of dolls come together for my sister and her hubby’s gift. Their initial is on the front.


Fireman– for my step grandpa- his Dad was a fireman when all he had was a pick up truck to use.


Snow People again- The two are for my Mom and Stepdad. L is their initial. The snow woman with the cardinal is for my Granny.


Several Nativity ornaments for other family members. I decided not to paint these and I like the look better than my painted Nativity.


The dolls all lined up for pictures :).


TinkerBelle, Terrance (the dust fairy), and angels. The angels are presents. The fairies are for me. I had to do something while paint dried. TinkerBelle movies and the My Little Pony show inspired me lol. Yes, I watched those all night while painting. Chris got me the new TinkerBelle movie for Christmas 🙂 yaaaa! I’m a kid at heart…always.


It also took me eight hours the next day (which was yesterday) to make a gazillion sweets for family and neighbors. Praise the Lord Chris helped or I would still be making them. He did a lot of chocolate dipping. Bless you Honey!


So we have sugar cookies, ginger bread cookies, Oreo cake balls, red velvet cake balls, chocolate covered peanuts, chocolate covered almonds, & chocolate covered peanut butter crackers.


So it’s 5 am and I haven’t slept. I only have one more thing to cook tomorrow (I mean today)  for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. I come from a split home so I have a lot of people to visit. And our nephew is getting married this coming weekend. I’m going to sleep cause in an hour or two I’m heading to see family. Little man had a nightmare so he’s got to get back to sleep too. I sure hope everyone eats all this & that I don’t fall asleep in the turkey ;).

Merry Christmas & God bless! Remember the High King lives~Amber Dover


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Nativity Facts & the End of Advent

Hello friends 🙂 This is a late Sunday lol but here I am. This month is coming to an end. We’ve finished up Advent except opening presents etc. Enjoy the pics! Sorry, to be so short……lack of sleep here …zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

I forgot to show you how our salt dough ornaments turned out this year. You can tell who did what.


Here is the special tree I talked about in this post:

I had it’s pic framed for my in-laws Christmas present.


Snow Men Rice Krispy Treats- we tried…


Chris teaching Snowball how to roll lol. It’s more frustrating than teaching someone to walk. Go Guinea Pig go!


We used that Sponge Bob ice cream set we got at the White Elephant party. I gotta say…it makes me smile.


Advent party: Michael helping me make Grinch punch


We danced to carols at our advent party & played pin the star on the tree, wrapping paper limbo, & Christmas cookie matching game. Here’s Michael warming his hands by the “fire” ;). Not many pics because we were all in our PJs. We read the Christmas story & I’ll mention some facts in a bit. We also watched “The Nativity” with my parents earlier in the week.


We went to the Antiquity center again. This time it was 30 something degrees & dark. Our guide gave us the tour and showed us how homes would’ve looked in Bethlehem. We learned that the word for “inn” in the Greek just mean’t guest chamber. They would not have had big inns. We saw on the tour how small the houses were. There were no wooden stables & house. Wood was scarce. Most things were built with stone.


There were some nice sheep. We brought home some of their presents on our shoes…


This is what a manger would’ve looked like. The sticks on the stone fence kept predators from jumping out with a sheep.


The sheep trying to eat the tree?


Michael was super excited to meet a shepherd. You’d think he’d met a movie star. He was SO shy. It was cute :). We stood by the fire & talked to him. It was freezing.


We had a little break and enjoyed hot chocolate. We brought hot tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches from home. Yumm!


There was a picture presentation with a few actors. We sat in a Roman Amphitheater replica. We froze. Here are the shepherds with the sheep. Fact: The shepherds were at Christ’ birth.


The Wise men. Fact: they were NOT at Christ’ birth and we don’t know how many Wisemen came. We assume three because there were three gifts.  The Magi came after Jesus was circumcised and presented in the temple.  We don’t know how old Jesus was when the Magi came but most likely several months old up to two years old (because of Herod’s decree). But the Magi find Jesus in a house in Bethlehem. Then Joseph is warned to flee to Egypt because Herod issues his decree to kill all baby boys 2 and under. Most likely the gifts of the Magi helped Jesus’ family financially make the journey.


Fact: we don’t know if Mary rode a donkey. She probably did because A. horses were expensive and B. she was pregnant…walking would’ve been hard. I guess the Nativity set up was made to make the story easier to tell children. It’s sad though that two people are left out. In between the Shepherds visit and the Magi, the family goes to the temple where they meet Simeon and Anna. Simeon was waiting to see Messiah before he died. Anna was a widow who lived in the temple & waited for Messiah too.


Matthew and Luke are the only gospels to describe Christ’ birth. Matthew speaks of the Magi and Luke speaks of the Shepherds.

Another Christmas tradition of ours is to read or watch The Christmas Box.

You might be able to see it on this youtube link below:

My Dad was given “The Christmas Box” book when it came out. He read it to me every night for several nights. He also made “Christmas” boxes for my Aunt and Grandma (Mema). I have Mema’s box now and I made it into a memorial for Dad. I have his pictures etc inside it. Last year, I read the book to my family each night. It made me cry at the end. The story is about a busy father and how an elderly woman & a miraculous Christmas box help teach him to treasure his daughter.

Well God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


Nativity Machinima with the Music of Randy Granger December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas! I hope you are all well :). I know it’s not Media Saturday but I couldn’t wait to share this with you guys.

Here is the video I promised you, my first Machinima and it’s of the Nativity :). Remember email subscribers to go to my page to be able to see the video & links. This video was made with The Sims 3.

I got the music from Sound Cloud under the Creative Commons section. Randy Granger plays Native American Flutes. I wanted to use his song below but there wasn’t a download. You can still listen to it here though.

God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover


Inspirational Wednesday: Prince of Peace December 19, 2012

Note: remember if you subscribe by email you will have to go to my actual blog page to see the youtube videos. For some reason they don’t show up in email. Please check them out, they’re worth it ;).

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Luke 2:12-14

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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Hello friends,

I have some wonderful links at the bottom so please check them out. What do you think of when you think of PEACE?

According to Wikipedia  this is “peace”: Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict and the freedom from fear of violence. ~Wikipedia

Until Christ returns, the world’s definition of peace can not happen. It is impossible while sin rules in human hearts. Jesus is called The Prince of Peace. John 14:27 (KJV)  makes it clear that Jesus’ peace is not the world’s peace.

23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Matthew 10:34 also shows that Jesus did not come to bring an end to violence, at least not the first time He came. Jesus makes it very clear that his first advent would bring a sword and when you read Luke 12: 51-53 that the sword is division. Matthew 24 tells us that Christ’ followers will be hated by the world and many persecuted for their faith. Jesus did not end earthly violence the first time. No, He himself was hated by the world and crucified in violence. Yet, He rose from the dead 3 days later and we know that at Christ’ second advent He will bring an end to all evil. He will bring the peace the world seeks.

Matthew 10:34 KJV

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Matthew 24:7-9 KJV

7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

If you read these verses out of context then it will seem that the angel’s message contradicts what Jesus says of Himself. So please don’t. We must realize that when Jesus speaks of PEACE, He is talking about something greater than we can humanly attain. I pray none of us will be like the people of Jesus’ day who did not see that He was & is God because they were looking for an earthly king that would bring worldly peace. They wanted a king that would free them from Roman oppression.

Dearest, it would seem so satisfying to live with the world’s peace…to never have wars etc etc. But I believe there is an important reason that Jesus did not bring worldly peace the first advent. I believe if He had then we would’ve all missed out on knowing the greater PEACE. Even in prosperity, the sinful soul will not find inner PEACE. It is only by knowing the Prince of Peace that our soul can find true rest. Jesus’ PEACE is the kind of PEACE that causes believers to sing while in prison. And it is the kind of PEACE that walks through fire.

The Hebrew word for PEACE is SHALOM. It has several meanings but at it’s heart, SHALOM means “whole, secure, complete, unbroken, not lacking, not deficient.”  It is also a parallel to other synonyms for “salvation”: Tsedakah (righteousness) & Yeshua (Help). Yeshua is also the Hebrew name for Jesus.

Jesus came to make us whole inside, to secure us in His love, and for us to be abundant in spirit. We are complete in Him. Jesus not only gives PEACE. Jesus is the very embodiment of PEACE. You see, Christ came the first time to be the PEACE between humanity and Father God. We were separated from our Creator because of sin. Jesus is the PEACE that reunites us to Father God. I love how SHALOM also means “not deficient”. I’m anemic so I understand deficiency. I know that the body can be destroyed by one deficiency….whether that be Iron, Vitamin D, or Collagen. Without Christ, our spirits are sick…deficient. We CAN NOT be WHOLE without God.

The worlds’ concept of peace is emotionally felt, internally generated, and has no influence from God. The Biblical PEACE always connects to God. Biblical PEACE is and comes from Jesus. Faith in Christ is the only way to receive TRUE PEACE. It is the PEACE that keeps us whole & secure in the midst of chaos. The world can unravel but we will  stand strong in Jesus.

I can personally testify to the power of God’s peace. True PEACE, Jesus Christ himself has gotten me through many circumstances that I thought would break me. One of them being my Dad’s death and funeral. Yet, God gave me the strength to speak in Dad’s honor and to comfort others during my grief. I was sad but I was not utterly broken. Jesus’ PEACE pushed me to move on when depression tried to take me, during my husband’s deployments. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, picked me up off of my face and set me on His path. He gave me a reason to smile although I was hurting.  And PEACE showed up to take my friend Sheri, home to be with God forever. That TRUE PEACE left a smile on her face as she departed. I have read about and personally seen people who have endured the worst of the worst because of God’s PEACE dwelling inside of them.

Temporal worldly peace/happiness is cotton candy fluff compared to the solid PEACE of  Jesus. Which peace will you pursue? Will you crumble when your world falls apart or will you stand strong, held in the arms & PEACE of Christ? You decide. I pray you choose well, dear one. I really do.

The angels and now as we read, the prophet Isaiah, spoke truth that Jesus would bring PEACE. It is no contradiction to what Jesus said about not bringing peace because Biblical context shows us that He was speaking of peace from violence & circumstances. Isaiah and the angels spoke of Spiritual PEACE that helps us survive violence and circumstances. One definition means not having storms in life, the other means getting through the storm.

Isaiah 9:6 KJV

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas & God bless! Please check out the great vids below. Remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

GodGirl wrote a good post on tragedy and how Jesus’ light shines in the darkness. Please check it out:

David Crowder- O, Come, O Come Emmanuel

Our Pastor preaching about God’s peace

The Nativity Story


Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Home Sweet Home by Ann Littlefield, My Mom December 18, 2012

Hello friends, I have something very special to share with you today. My lovely mother wrote a short story when she was younger. It’s a true story with just a few embellishments. The story involves my dearly departed Dad (Jim) and mom, when I was a baby. I hope you enjoy. Do NOT copy this. You can however share the link. Thanks!

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Link to Mom’s website:


Home Sweet Home

by Ann Littlefield (formerly known as Ann Way)

   Sitting deep in the country woods, the house was much different from the city. The long driveway beckoned us to come and stay awhile. Jim and I walked up the brick steps and into the large screened-in porch. An old swing held with small chains was swaying back and forth from the warm breeze that day. Through the windows we could see the large rooms and long hall. In the living room was a wood-burning heater. The front bedroom had a fireplace that appeared to have been used many times. We were a young couple then, looking for a place to raise our family.

 “This house is over one hundred years old,” said Mr. Bailey, the executor of the estate. “The Robersons raised fourteen head of children here. We will be selling one day but not for some time though.”

  Jim took one last glance at the old house and announced, “This is the place.”

  The house rented for fifty dollars a month. We could not wait to move in. We packed everything we owned in our old blue pick-up truck. We added a rocking chair on the porch and set up the baby’s crib in the living room. I washed the linoleum floors down with pure pine oil. In the kitchen, our small wood table and chairs fit comfortably in the corner near a window. The sinks were large and the stove was wide. Cooks in the earlier days must have filled the kitchen with scents that only came with long hard work. Even so, I placed my microwave on a small table that was probably used for a cutting board, or rolling our biscuits.

 Exhausted, we fell into bed that night. The wood was crackling in the fireplace and casting shadows on the wall. As I pulled the heavy quilt that Grandmother made over my granny-gown, all I could think was, “This is the life.”

 One cold morning, I gathered small limbs for the fire in the wood-burning heater. I came across some bigger wood and put them all inside. The fire rose up so hot that the tin pipe to the heater turned cherry red. Jim came in and asked me what kind of wood I put in the heater.

“What kind?” I replied.

“You must have put all the lighter I had stacked up in there,” he responded.

 I had never considered myself a city girl; but from the funny smile on his face, I knew I had much to learn. Two years passed, and we were feeling more and more settled into our home. One day when I was hanging the clothes out on the line Mr. Bailey drove up. Jim was chopping wood and went to talk to him. He found out they were going to sell the house. It would be auctioned off in two months.

  That night, sitting out on the porch, I heard a panther in the distance howling and the sound of a whippoorwill calling. The panther howling made me feel sad. I knew one day we would have to move; now the reality of it was here.

 The morning of the auction came. We peered out our bedroom window at the people that were gathering in our front yard. The noise almost drowned out the sound of the squirrels fighting over an acorn on the roof.

  We had always felt a peace here as if someone was watching over us, protecting us. In our sadness we realized that though we felt like part of the Robersons, it was not true. It was time to move, to grow, and to put down our own roots.

 The house was sold, but we went back and saw it being torn down. The owners left the outline of the old house and used the exact floor plan to rebuild the new house. The original front and back steps were kept to welcome family and friends.

 As I gazed into my fireplace, tears came to my eyes. With grey hair and withered hands, I recalled the many houses I had lived in. But none had ever made me feel quite at home, like the old house. It was like remembering my first true love. I will always cherish the memory of my home sweet home.



Email notice December 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amberdover @ 3:35 am
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Well, not only do Youtube videos not show up in email but Pinterest links don’t either. So if I say I’m sharing a link and it’s not there you will need to go to my actual blog to see it. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I have no idea why this is happening. Maybe it’s just gmail? Thanks for understanding!

God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover


Crafty Monday: The Wisemen, Paper Angels, & Christmas Lights

Hello friends! I hope you’re having a beautiful day :). I’ve started praying for you. I know I should’ve already been praying for my readers but today is a new day and a good time to start. I pray that you have the Peace of Christ in your hearts and that you know what’s most important in life. I pray for your contentment and joy. Most of all I pray that you know or come to know Jesus Christ, the best friend you can ever have and the hope of the world.

I encourage you to read my Sunday post (yesterday) if you haven’t already. I know God is calling me to simplify. I have some great links on that post with ideas on how to do just that. I truly want Christ to be the center, the beginning, the end, the every part of our school time and our life. I want God to be in control because He knows best and He is a GOOD God. I so wish you could study Beth Moore’s Deuteronomy Bible study with me. I want to share that with you in the near future. I will say this, “God brings us out, to bring us in.” (From Beth Moore). He takes us out of bondage not only to set us free but to also take us in a new direction, to a spiritual promised land where our lives bear abundant spiritual fruit.


On to crafts…

Ideas from here:

Michael read the story of Christ’ birth in his Bible along with his Bob Jones devotional (for 2nd grade). He looked at the New and the Old testament. We read about the wise men. I want to go over the story in all gospels and figure out what’s fact. I’ve read it all before but still I have the Nativity sets ingrained in my mind. It’s hard to separate the two. I’m pretty sure the wise men came after he was circumcised when he was a couple months old? I’m not certain though so don’t take my word for it. And did Mary really ride a donkey? I’ll have to look. I at least know that there wasn’t really a drummer boy and Timmy the Precious Moments angel did NOT bring baby Jesus a blanket ;).

Here is Michael’s wise men handprint. Chris thought it looked like a turkey…


We also read a great book about all the noises that would’ve happened at Christ’ birth. It was not really such a silent night. Still we should take the time to quietly reflect on it’s wonder.


We read this neat book about King Wenceslas. I honestly had no idea who he was and why we sing about him. It turns out that King Wenceslas was real and he was a kind king that helped one of his people. The King and his Paige braved a winter storm to bring food etc to a humble peasant. I played the song for Michael. I thought about teaching it to him but three Christmas songs on piano is plenty.


Paper Angel Chain


Speaking of Christmas Carols. Michael has mastered Jingle Bells and Silent Night. Lately, we’ve focused on Joy to the World. Michael says it’s his favorite.

Michael spent a good bit of time signing Christmas cards for the Nursing Home. So some of our craft plans just didn’t happen. Michael delivered 59 cards to staff and residents. One lady held the card and kept saying “so pretty” over and over. The residents light up when they see Michael. He gets hugged to death! We also delivered cookies to the staff. If you can’t think of a way to volunteer then please just go to a nursing home and hug someone. They are the most precious people and we have so much to learn from our elders.

God is so good and the fact that we volunteer at a nursing him is ALL his doing. I couldn’t set foot in a nursing home for years after my Dad died. Because of his illness he had to have round the clock care and so he had to go into a n. home. He was in his early forties :(.  We didn’t have the money for a 24 hour nurse. Our family spent plenty of time at the home and I fought to make sure he was treated right. Dad died in a hospice house and days before we were fighting the way the nursing home had treated him. I have a lot of bad memories and even nightmares of that place. So it was GOD who got me to set foot in a different nursing home. I’m so thankful he did. It’s been healing and we love the people there.

Moving on…I printed out a reminder of what the candy cane represents. We watched the story about the candy cane and Michael wanted to make a candy cane heart.


Thumb Print Christmas Lights & a reminder that Jesus is the Light of the world


Oh, and Michael was curious about the definition of “Noel”. I honestly wasn’t 100% sure either so we looked it up. It’s french/ old English and means “Christmas”. It’s root word actually means “the birth”.

I was proud of Michael for finishing another Mailbox Club course. The Bible lessons are great and helped bring three generations of our family to Jesus; my Dad, me, & my son. I’m thankful that Nana (my mom) takes the time to do these with Michael. It’s very special. Here is his certificate.


Chris is off of school and work for the next two weeks. So we’re going to enjoy him. We have some light school work this week but I may call some of it off anywho. We hope to see another live Nativity and we’re excited about a family outing to watch “The Hobbit”. We are all Lord of the Rings fans. Michael does a great Smeagel/Gollum  impression ;P.

God bless, merry Christmas, & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Cherish the Moments

 Note: I’m going to post some of our moments in between writing. We’re still doing advent so these pics are apart of that. Please check out the awesome blog links at the end.

Michael and I ready for our 2nd mother-son date. We ate at a nice restaurant and then saw The Nutcracker ballet. Michael’s Nutcracker tie is too cute! At first, little man was against seeing a ballet but once we got there he said “This is nice”. Now he wants to take me on more dates and I’m trying to teach him how to treat a lady when he takes her on a date. I’m thinking of his future wife….those dates. I’m more for courtship rather than casual dating.


Hello dear ones, I pray you are all well. We had a tragedy over here in the states. Several children my son’s age were killed in a shooting at an elementary school. It breaks my heart and makes me want to hug my son tighter. Please pray for the families.

This holiday season I’ve really over done it and I have mom friends who are burnt out as well. In this fast paced society, we are pushed to go, go, go. We want to achieve more….be on every committee….help every worthy cause and still have a house like June Cleaver.

As homeschool moms we are expected to have kids that excel academically, show good character, & become active members in the community. Many of us try to keep healthy homemade meals on the table, budget wisely, and make sure our husbands are loved and respected. We make sure the family makes it to church and that the kiddos are involved in social activities. Somehow the house is supposed to stay clean and we are to have time in God’s word each day…..also keep up our appearance…keep the romance burning in our marriage etc. Some of us are taking care of elderly or sick parents too. The pressure is really on because the world already thinks we are weird for homeschooling. What if our child doesn’t socialize well? What will all those people who frown at our choices/callings think if we fail? It’s a downward cycle of pleasing man instead of God. If God is for us then who can be against us?

Chris and Michael dressed up silly for caroling in the park for RA’s (boys church group).


I personally have felt the pressure and often find myself comparing my teaching to that of public school. It’s strange because when God called me to this journey I didn’t want to be like public school. Most people homeschool because they disagree with public school methods. Yet, I’m trying to keep up with everyone else? I was really bad about this in the beginning.

My friend Sheri, who died of cancer (I did a post on her), was one of the most laid back moms I know & I loved the way she really enjoyed her children. Her kids learned the basics and are smart kids. They took a field trip to Cambodia :). Yeah, she knew that people should live while they are alive. How many of us walk around like zombies? We do what’s expected of us and never take the time to actually live. We keep waiting for things to get better, rather than enjoying the simple blessings already around us.

Chris and Michael making mini cookie cutter pizzas



I’m pretty sure that the parents of the children who died don’t care now if their kid was on the honor roll or how good they could kick a soccer ball. I bet they are thinking of all the special moments they spent holding their child, reading to their child, watching their child explore the world in wonder.

I want to cherish my son’s childhood. Yeah, I’m glad he can read but that only matters to a point. Truth be told, people fail “subjects” all the time and it doesn’t matter one lick. I barely passed Highschool math and honestly I haven’t used much of anything I learned in school except the basics (reading & arithmetic). I want Michael to love Jesus & to have character above all else.  He may be a loner or he may be a social butterfly. I went to public school & I’m a loner. God has more of a hand in who Michael is and becomes than I do. I want Michael to be who HE’S supposed to be….not who some other kid is supposed to be. This is easier said than done. It’s time I put action to my words.

Mmmmm yummy, fun, but WAY too sugary ice cream cone Christmas tree. A cone, green icing, and m&ms!




I love to read Hodgepodge’s blog and to see how she teaches with simple nature studies.

I love the Montessori ideas at Let the Children Play :

Michael and I have some wonderful moments. I think we can have more though if we took off some of the load. December has been just as physically draining as November was mentally draining (NaNoWriMo). Sometimes less is more. Quality not quantity. I’m pretty sure our homeschool methods will change in January atleast some. I don’t know how it’s going to happen but I’m praying  for God’s guidance. After all, this homeschool thing was His idea. Why am I trying to be in control?

Singing Christmas songs while baking cookies & making salt dough ornaments. Yes, a spoon is the best microphone!



Michael was up til midnight helping me and I was up til 5 am finishing. We got tired of Christmas songs and watched several Christmas movies while waiting for things to bake, cool..etc etc. Our selections include: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Precious Moments, The Story Lady, & Seasons of the Heart. The last two are feature family films and soooo good!


These cookies were made for the nursing home and for Chris’s office. Our naughty cat, Chester, decided he wanted some gingerbread and sugar cookies. I was so surprised that he went as far as ripping open the ziplock and eating three cookies! Dang cat! Thankfully I had just enough to make another bag.


I am reading this book to help me learn how to simplify. Also I’m enjoying this homeschool mom’s great blog (Karen De Beus). She uses the Bible as her main teaching tool. For instance, a study of Noah’s ark spurred them on to study fossils and history. They learned naturally by childhood curiosity. I’m sure they will retain their learning better than most. You ought to check her out

I encourage you to get her book. It’s only 99 cents on Kindle! I may be looked at funny for doing things out of the box and you may too. But the smiles on our kids’ faces and most importantly the beauty of God’s guidance in our children’s lives will outshine criticism. If God’s leading then it’s all good :).

Chris helped us paint salt dough ornaments. This was his first time doing it and he did really well :). We painted a day or two after baking these.


Please be in prayer for us as we explore uncharted waters. I’m nervous about going against the grain but I know God has laid this on my heart. Things have been really stressful lately and I know that’s because I’ve been doing things my way instead of God’s. I don’t like messing up my planner and I worry what people think. Plus it’s so hard to throw out curriculum when it’s just not working. I’ve learned with math lately that work books are so much easier than hands on. Still, Michael learns better with hands on. So I really have to put in the time to make it exciting. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. God help me!

We helped my Mom and Step Dad move yesterday. This really has been a BUSY week! Pic below of Chris “napping”  in the moving truck.


Everyone taking a well deserved break at the new house. My parents moved from a one bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house in the country. I am SO happy for them and can’t wait to move in with them…..I mean visit often ;P lol. I’m talking girl time at mom’s! Yaaaa!


Everyone schools differently and children are so different. One method may not work for one child yet does for another. That’s why we must follow God’s leading. He knows our children better than they know themselves. I am learning that parenting isn’t as simple as following a guide book. Children learn differently and surprisingly they have to be disciplined differently, if we are concerned with character not just obedience. Helping a child into their calling is not easy and one size doesn’t fit all.

Our Sunday School had a dirty Santa a.k.a white elephant party Friday. It’s where everyone brings a gift and people can steal the presents from each other. It was fun and there were many goofy moments! We brought a Spongebob ice cream set & Star Wars mugs. I feel guilty for stealing my own gift. We now have the ice cream set :P.


Our host had a HUGE Christmas tree!


Please enjoy the holidays and this beautiful advent season. Jesus Christ came to us simply… a baby. He was born in a humble place but his birth brought peace to the world and his life, death, & resurrection brought salvation to all. We only have to accept his free gift of love and mercy. So amidst the holiday rush, stop…take a deep breath and remember the simple beauty of that holy night.

       Last year, we went to this thing called Journey to the Manger. It was a live Nativity with a maze to the “city” of Bethlehem. We were led to a quiet manger and then to a cross. The gospel was presented afterwards. While we walked the path through a corn field, Michael said with awe “It’s like magic!”. There was no Santa, no gifts under the tree, & no twinkling lights everywhere…….just a simple manger & a reminder that everything we need is found in one person….the God-man, Jesus Christ.

I got picked at a bit for having a cartoon character on my shirt but I like the Grinch and I was being festive :).


God bless, Merry Christmas, & remember that the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: we used this recipe for cookies: