The High King Lives

Meet Annabelle Antoinette Dover! December 28, 2013

We have an addition to our family, a baby girl….french bulldog, Annabelle Antoinette. Miraculously we were able to get the puppy I fell in love with at Petland during our random act of kindness. I visited three times and the third time she was marked down a lot. I didn’t think we’d get her until January, if she was still around then. Well, I visited today…err yesterday now, and she was looking lonely. Her brother had been adopted out. Coincidentally his new owner named him King Louis. They just look royal. I was in shock with how much they reduced the price on her. Praise the Lord! She is a sport and will be properly spoiled. I already got her first outfit. I finally have a little girl I can dress :).  Here’s her pic:

AnnabelleAntoinette2013 006

We’ve had a blast with her little quirks. She runs sideways and she likes to bark at her reflection. She snores too which is normal for her breed. We’ll also have to watch her temperature since frenchies can overheat or get too cold. Annabelle’s not quite a purse dog because she’s a chubby 16 lbs.  But maybe I have someone to watch Korean dramas with me 😉 lol.


So now our ark has 7 animals which is the number of completion :). This was not something we planned or expected but the whole family fell in love. What can I say? So far we have these reactions: Tessa (older dog) is annoyed, Chester (kitty) is mad and sticks to spying on the pup, and the other pets (chickens, guinea pig, and fish) haven’t had much interaction with Annabelle. It’ll be interesting to see what she thinks of them. Frenchies are great guard dogs and they also like to catch mice. Hopefully she won’t think the g.pig is a big mouse! Michael has been super hyper and excited about his new “sister”. I had to remind him to let her rest.

Chris and I are taking turns potty training her (err…well you know what I mean). She’s on a schedule like a baby. She came with a training dvd and a pedigree (we’ve never had that before).  It feels like we’ve adopted a child! So I’ve got a lot coming up with throwing my best bud’s baby shower and figuring out the rest of the school year. Somehow I’m gonna fit training a puppy into it. Life is full of surprises!

I wonder what the neighbors will think. They already figured out we have chickens and surprisingly said that they like to watch them. Now what will they think when they see me in the front yard talking baby talk and trying to coerce the pooch to take a “poopy”. Yeah,  I’ve turned into my grandma (she has several dogs and they are her children…not animals). Tessa has never been a prissy dog. Chris made sure that I didn’t make her girly. Tessa likes to ride in the Jeep with Chris and play in the yard.  Plus she is getting to her last years. I don’t like teacup dogs though…ones that I might step on. Annabelle is just the right size. I pray we’ll have a long happy life together :).

Well, enough pooch talk. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Here’s my Frenchie pinterest. Hugh Jackman has a french bulldog. His dog wears lil boots and sweaters!


Advent Week 3 December 24, 2013

In this post: Week 3 of Advent. Random acts of kindness with the Grinch, a sweet Nutcracker party, Carol of the Bells learnin’, and Christmas tree fun with Charlie Brown. Etc…

Hello dear ones! So the beat goes on and I’m almost done with the Advent posts. So here’s the list with links at the end :).

  • Random acts of kindness and a Grinch party~ These random acts of kindness were fun but we felt like criminals because of the secrecy lol. We put up grocery carts left in the parking lots, taped a bag of quarters with a note to the vending machine, and left dollar bills with notes in the toy section of the Dollar Tree. When we got home we strung popcorn and cranberries for the animals.  When Chris got off work we watched The Grinch, Michael drew The Grinch, and colored pages from the Dr. Seuss site. We had Grinch punch and played a Grinch game. We each wore a Grinch mask that I drew and the family tried to pin a heart on the Grinch.
  • The Nutcracker Party~ I had a blast making snowflake ballerinas. I decorated the t.v. area with pretend sweets. You’ll have to click on the pic to see everything. I made fake cupcakes with pom poms, glue, and glitter. I also made pretend suckers to go with ones I had bought at the craft store. I put our big nutcracker in the center along with Nutcracker books etc. I put the “mouse king” in a cage. I made the gumdrop tree with tooth pics and gumdrops. We watched The Nutcracker on Netflix and colored puppets/marionettes for our own play. Michael painted a wooden Nutcracker. Near the bottom you’ll find a picture of The Nutcracker lapbook. We learned about where Nutcrackers come from and the carving process. Then we got in the kitchen and made sweets. Later that night we put on a play for Chris.
  • Camp out in the living room and play Christmas games~  We did this the night of the nutcracker party. We had a blanket tent. We played Christmas charades and carol humdinger.
  • Carol of the Bells crafts , videos, and sweets~ We were supposed to go caroling at nursing homes but we didn’t feel well. We did however do a lapbook on Carol of the Bells. Michael made a bell out of a pipe cleaner and beads. We had Reese’s chocolate bells. We watched several versions of Carol of the Bells on youtube. We really liked the Muppet version.

More after…


  • Christmas Party @ homeschool group & gingerbread house making~ Our group got together for a party. We all had off of school this week so Chris came with us. Most people bought gingerbread house kits. We did too so it wasn’t hard to put together. I made red velvet cake balls for the group.  Our group always makes good food. I felt really bad that day but we made it for the party and I’m glad.
  • Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, make Christmas tree crafts, and eat tree snacks~ We learned about evergreen and deciduous trees with a quick lapbook. We watched the movie and ate Christmas tree sugar cookies. Michael finger painted a Christmas tree.
  • Have a winter picnic, feed the ducks, & play with pet store animals~ It was muddy so we went to a restaurant to eat. Then we went to the pet store and played with two adorable puppies. I accidentally fell in love with a french bulldog. I shouldn’t have but I named her Annabelle Antoinette. She’s a pure breed and we can’t afford her now. I never wanted a bulldog but this was my first time playing with a Frenchie. I even made a Pinterest section for frenchies. Sigh…I hope she finds a good home.


  • Christmas treats at a cafe~ We never did this but one night we ate at a diner and had an eggnog milkshake.

PS: The third Advent candle stands for joy.


Advent Week 1 with our printable advent list:

Advent Week 2:

Advent Week 4:

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


Advent Week 2

In this Post: Week 2 of Advent. More random acts of kindness, food, and fun :). 

Hello dear ones! I’m finally catching up. Week 2 was slow. I thought I was going to be in pain and ill that week so I didn’t plan much. It was actually the next week that I felt bad…the week with all the plans. Life goes that way, huh?  So here is the Advent list for week 2 :).

  • Christmas Musical & Prophecy Game~ Sunday we ate at my Mom and Step Dad’s. We lit the 2nd Advent candle that represents repentance. The pic at the top of Mom and Michael in front of the Christmas tree is from the musical at church.  Pics at the bottom show their cat Diamond hiding in my bag, us reading as a family, and my Mom’s snowman collection. I got the prophecy game idea from Thriving Family magazine. You put different words like birth and crucifixion on Popsicle sticks. Then you read prophetic verses and try to figure out what the prophecy is referring to. I.e. Isaiah 9:6 refers to “birth”.
  • Candy cane gifts and crafts plus giving at the nursing home~ We taped mini candy canes to a poem that relates the candy cane to Jesus. We watched “The Legend of the Candy Cane” and we made a candy can ornament and Chris helped with a Lego candy cane. We went to the nursing home to play Bingo. We handed out the candy canes to the nurses/workers. Michael signed a bunch of Christmas cards and gave them to the residents we play Bingo with.  I’ll include my Pinterest link with the candy cane ideas at the end.
  • Stocking craft & Gingerbread Waffles~I don’t remember when we did this but sometime during the week me and Chris tag teamed to make Gingerbread waffles. We ate on them all week. I’ll include the link at the end. My Mom came over one day and we read “The First Christmas Stocking”. Then Michael made a wants vs. needs stocking.
  • Watch Snowglobe & make one, plus Mr. Popper’s Penguins crafts/movie~ Snowglobe is one of my favorite girly Christmas movies. The guys compromised and watched it with me. We also watched Mr. Popper’s penguins because Michael had read the book. We put a penguin in our snow globe.
  • See lights at Moonlake and live nativity~ Every year a park near us lights everything up and has a carnival. Last year they had reindeer. This year they were supposed to have Nativity animals. Well, they did have a camel but the Nativity actors were teens goofing off with each other. Mary and Joseph kept wandering around…maybe they were looking for the Inn? You know what they say about best laid plans… Well, it was overly crowded and freezing. We had some hot chocolate but it wasn’t enough to keep us there. We saw a few lights and the camel and left in a hurry. Next year I think we’ll do a drive through lights experience. We did see some lights in town after we left.

More below…


  • See The Hobbit & pass out goodies to the librarians~ The Hobbit was awesome (except the previews). We never made it to the library. We will have to save that random act of kindness for another time. Sometimes you just got to let things go for the sake of sanity.
  • Christmas parade & candy lane~ Didn’t happen. It rained and we slept in. The parade still went on but I feel sorry for those in it. Honestly, we played video games and watched movies all day I think. We didn’t even care about seeing candy lane.
  • Watch Rudolph, make reindeer crafts, and eat snacks~  This was on Sunday but I added it to this week since week 3 was super busy. We did watch Rudolph and we ate reindeer cookies. Yeah those aren’t homemade ;). We didn’t do any crafts however. I found a Rudolph drawing tutorial but Michael thought it was too hard to tackle.

So this was a slow week but I learned that sometimes it’s more fun to be flexible and forget the schedule. We still  had school that week so the third week of Rome kept us busy too. I’ll hopefully post that after Christmas.

Here are the links I promised

Advent week 1 & our downloadable Advent list:

Advent Week 3:

Advent Week 4:

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

Merry Christmas! I hope you saw my Christmas card :).


Merry Christmas!

Filed under: American Holidays,My family rocks! Sundays — amberdover @ 4:35 pm
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Here’s our Dover “Christmas card”.  Love, Chris, Amber, & Michael. Plus Tessa, Chester, Snowball, Yoda II, Penny, & Baby (Dog, cat, guinea pig, fish, & 2 chickens).

PS: make sure your images are turned on :).



Christmas Fun in Second Life December 21, 2013

In this post: I show my favorite holiday sims in the virtual world of Second Life.

Hello dear ones! I hope you are well. I know my December posts have been scattered. We will get back to normal in January, Lord willing. Meanwhile, I am still chugging along. I’ve had time to check out some neat holiday sims. I’ll start with the top:

  • A Christmas Carol simVisit Brigadoon Bay (70, 192, 21) This place is neat because you can listen to a radio drama of A Christmas Carol while exploring places from the book. You can actually go to Scrooge’s house.  The door knocker is interactive too and the Christmas ghosts!
  • North Pole Sleigh Ride AdventureVisit Streeter (20, 5, 23) Top right pic of inside the chapel and middle pic on right of the sleigh ride. The title says it all. You hop in a sleigh and explore the Christmas village with all it’s neat scenery. I really liked the chapel.
  • Christmas Town simVisit Elizabeth Town (99, 45, 70) This was my favorite place because of the big ice castle. You ice skate through and travel back in time to different Christmas movies (It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas). There are pics second row from the bottom too. There are a couple family friendly stores and I got a pic of a Christmas table. Not all the stores are safe though so take note. Another fun thing is the interactive Christmas parade. You get a free band uniform with instruments. I’m marching with my trumpet.
  • More links below the pic…


  • London City ChristmasVisit London City (102, 113, 23) I can’t say London city is family friendly because I haven’t been there enough. I had a brief visit because of the amount of traffic and lag. The picture of the snowman and me holding hot chocolate is from there.  It is a pretty place to stroll around. Maybe I will check it out again on a quieter day.
  • Yuki No Yume (A dream of snow)Visit Sand Bar Island (117, 155, 27) The beautiful snowy pic on the bottom right. This is a Japanese winter wonderland that’s perfect for photography.
  • Winter ScenesVisit Dizza (204, 222, 22) The bottom left pic of me making a snowman. Winter Scenes is a quiet and lovely place to explore. I took more pictures but you can probably tell that I’ve been saving on space.  Anywho, there is a cozy cabin where you can read by the fire and stargaze through a telescope.

Lastly, I encourage you to check out the virtual ballet “The Nut”. It’s based on The Nutcracker and is a joy to see, granted you’ve got a good graphics card. It’s playing live on Wednesdays and Sundays. There’s more info at the link below. Also I’ll include a link to my blog coverage from last year.

Last year’s Virtual winter post:

Well, that’s it for now. I have a bunch of posts to get to you and I’m sure I will before the new year.

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

PS: If you can’t see the play in Second Life then go to Youtube and search “The Nut Ballet Pixelle”.


Advent Week 1 December 15, 2013

In this Post: Several advent ideas (activities, food, and random acts of kindness). Also links to help you start your own advent fun! 🙂 Please come hang out.

*Note: Advent is a countdown to Christmas and for Christians it is a time to remember Christ’ birth and to look forward to his second coming (advent).  The wreathe and candles have special meanings. A Jesse tree helps tell the story of Jesus’ family tree while counting down to Christmas.

Hello dear ones! I hope you’re having a lovely holiday. I hope this holiday will be less stressful than the one before and that my family will learn to give and be content. So this year we decided only one gift per family member. So I only have two to shop for…easy peasy and one is already done.  Also I tried to focus our advent activities around random acts of kindness not just fun. I couldn’t get everything we did on camera but below are some pictures of week one.  Here’s a list of what they are and links for ideas! 🙂

  1.  Get out the Jesse tree and start advent/Jesse tree devotions. We read these each night and lit the first candle which reminds us that Christ is King. Purple for royalty :).
  2. Watch Frosty the Snowman and drink hot chocolate. (no pics 😦  )Also fixed the advent wreathe. Our Advent devo. had a neat activity where the guys tried to keep a balloon between them while moving. They had to stay close to keep the balloon from falling. It related to us staying close to God since we need His help. Pic bottom right.
  3. Build a shoe box online with Si Robertson for Operation Christmas child. Also donate to World Vision in someones honor. Michael helped me pick how to donate and then WV sent cards to our family members we honored. There are so many options: donating nativity animals, helping the hungry, protecting girls from slavery. Seriously there is a world of good that can be done.        and
  4.  Make gingerbread cookies, have a gingerbread man hunt, and decorate the window with gingerbread clings. Pics on the left. We also watched the Gingerbread man.
  5.  Decorate Chris’ office tree and give out gingerbread cookies to his fellow employees.  (bottom right)
  6. Send Christmas cards to heroes (soldiers) through Red Cross. We actually did this earlier. It’s too late to send them now but maybe you can do this next year.  Pic of Michael on the left.                                                                     Our friends came over for dinner. We ate gingerbread cookies and Michael played Noel for them. Pic in the middle. The best thing was feeling my BFF’s tummy and the lil one rolling around inside.
  7. Read A Christmas Carol and see the play at the opera house. Pics on the left. We actually read the book the week before Thanksgiving. We dressed up fancy (pic to the left of title). I was able to get a picture of the carolers (actors) and the theater. It was a marvelous production.

You’ll probably have to click on the picture to see it well.


Even more Advent ideas here:

and here:

The cookie mix I use each year is here:

The gingerbread man hunt was a fun addition. You take the cookie out of the oven and leave a note as if he ran away. Each note has a clue to the next spot but lo and behold the critter has out ran you again! Then the last clue leads to the oven and he’s “magically” back in the pan. I love the look on Michael’s face. We know it’s just make believe but what fun :).

We’ve seen The Nutcracker ballet each year but we might not be able to see it this one. I’ve gotta say…I like A Christmas Carol better. The animated movie with Jim Carey freaked Michael out but only one scene bothered him in the play. The scene with the ghost of Christmases yet to come is always a bit unsettling. I wish I had a picture of that ghost to show you. They were really creative. I hope Michael and I will have special Christmas dates even when he’s an adult. 

Well, more advent activities next time. There are so many neat ideas I can’t wait to share.  I’m too impatient. Here’s our list for you to download and get a sneak peek before I post them ;).

Advent 2013

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

Advent Week 2

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 4:


Israel Country Study 2013 December 13, 2013

In this post: My buddy Hannah and I tag teamed to teach the homeschool group about Israel.

Hello dear ones! This was a fun country study with our group and very appropriate near Christmas since Jesus was a Jew. Michael and I taught the kids and a parent how to do the Nigun Atik, an Israeli folk dance. I showed the kids my dance flag with Hebrew writing on it. I also brought my authentic shofar from Israel, that our puppy had chewed :(…and my mezuzah. I let the kids hear the Israeli national anthem and then I read the words in English.

Hannah showed us Israel on the map. She brought out her menorah and her prayer shawl. We also got to hear the Hanukkah story and make pocket driedals to hold gelt. All of the moms brought Israeli food. I brought Malabi, Israeli pudding, along with toppings.

It was great leading a dance again. My bad foot is suffering for it but I had fun.  I’m so proud of Michael for helping me the way he did. We showed the kids each step in a line first. After they practiced in a line we tried it in a circle. Then we did the same with step two (I didn’t show the whole dance….way too complicated). Once we put the steps together in a circle we then practiced to a slow song and then we tried faster songs.

I found a great Israeli cd on Itunes: Shiron L’Noar: Jewish Songs for Children Ages 10-13

Children are singing and it’s just beautiful.

More ideas here:

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



Rome Week 2 December 11, 2013

In our second week of studying Rome we learned about the gladiators and the rise of Christianity in The Story of the World. Michael drew a gladiator and lion from his Draw and Write Through History book. We read about the different gladiator types in 500 Things You Should Know About History. Then Michael had to dress the gladiators appropriately in this interactive game:

Michael read You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator online:

I printed out this free lapbook here:

We made the sword and trident out of cardboard, the net is packing paper, and the helmet is made out of a milk jug, paper, glitter, a tp roll, and feathers.  Lastly, Chris and Michael had a “fight” in the arena living room. I was the emperor and I gave the thumbs down or thumbs up. I did both so Michael would remember what they mean’t. We were goofy but I did have a serious talk with Michael about how bad the arena was and Christian persecution. 


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

PS: We have one more week left of Rome.

More ideas here:

Week 1

Week 3:


Christmas Decor 2013

Filed under: American Holidays,My family rocks! Sundays — amberdover @ 1:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

Well, I promised that I’d show you the rest of my Christmas decor. Here’s most of it. Here’s a bullet list of what’s in the pictures. You can tell I got happy with the fake snow paint :).


  • Upper left~ my kitchen wall. I sprayed a fake evergreen branch with snow paint.
  • Upper right~ the kitchen window. It’s perfect for the nativity and knicknacks.
  • Bottom left~ Our huge nutcracker from Hobby Lobby.
  • Michael playing the piano
  • Our stockings and my new snow couple.
  • The top of the piano always holds the Christmas village and fake snow. The stars are symbolic of the plan of salvation.
  • Below that we have the wreathe on our door and the neat snow family portrait.
  • To the right of that we have our advent wreathe and my forgiveness box with my fav. pic of Jesus.
  • Middle right~ I caught the gingerbread man and caged him on my bedroom shelf.
  • To the right of that I hung gold and white ornaments on branches on our dresser. The colors go well with our beach theme.
  • Then we have Jesus’ stocking. We put notes etc in it.
  • Below that we have the Jesse tree with ornaments.
  • Lastly, we have the advent tp roll house. We put activities behind the numbers.

So….fake snow does wonders for the Christmas mood. We celebrated Advent last year but this is our first time doing a Jesse tree.  I hope you are having a lovely holiday season. We don’t have snow where I’m at. My prayers for you if you’re in a snowstorm. How do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have a special trinket etc that you always put out?

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


Thanksgiving 2013 December 10, 2013

Hello dear ones! We had a busy Thanksgiving back in my hometown. We had three grandparents to visit (all mine), Chris’ parents, and a couple aunts, uncles, and cousins. Before that Mom and Michael put on a puppet theater for me and we learned about the Mayflower. In Jesup we were able to see “Frozen” at the Drive In which was super fun. Also one of my grandparents had an Olmec replica from Mexico. It was neat to see what we learned about in history right in their living room.

We visited Dad’s grave but had to avoid the sprinklers. What a bad day to have the sprinklers on…It was good to see family but even better to come back home sweet home. My Mom and StepDad took care of all the pets for us and I know they were relieved to stop collecting eggs from the chickens etc. We really do live on an ark lol ;).


Here are the links to the neat Thanksgiving activities we did before our trip:

We got our puppet printables here and put them on craft sticks. I used a folder for the stage.

I got the cute play script from here:

We did this Thanksgiving timeline game here:

Michael took the interactive Thanksgiving  journey here:

Here’s a good Thanksgiving lapbook:

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