The High King Lives

Valentine’s 2014 Inspired by The Dating Divas February 25, 2014

Hello dear ones! The title explains it all. We had a beautiful Valentine’s outing and gave me the inspiration. I will make this short and sweet :). Disclaimer: This date is for married people ;).

Chocolate, romantic movies, candles, and bubble bath equal perfection…almost. Add in some Dating Divas ideas and voila! Perfecto! Not to mention the love of your life…yes that helps too lol ;).

This date didn’t cost too much. I was able to find Valentine’s decor at the Dollar Tree. Candles and rose petals are a must. The hotel room was the most expensive but I believe after almost ten years of marriage a Valentine’s out was needed. Note: Book a room with a Jacuzzi WAY ahead of time. Our date was actually the day after Valentine’s so miraculously we were able to get a great room in a hotel off the beaten path. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the Jacuzzi.

The hotel was nice enough to give us a DVD player to borrow, hence the movies. While I got the room ready I left Chris instructions for supper (I can’t do it all can I?). I went simple: Filet Mignon ready to throw in the oven, baked potatoes that you can microwave in the wrapper, and a salad.  Plastic champagne glasses and sparkling grape juice top it off. Romance doesn’t have to break the bank ;).

Dating Divas inspired me to make this awesome candy gram:

Mine says: Babe, you’ve made my life EXTRA special! You’re the RIESEN for my smile. You always make me laugh. 🙂 Your KISSES are complete BLISS! xoxo Although we’re NERDS, we are a perfect fit, and our love is a beautiful SYMPHONY!!

I got these man approved Valentine’s here:

These were so great. The themes are from big movies: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and several action movies. I couldn’t decide which one to use so I turned them into a Valentine banner.

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

Here’s the pics:


Keep up with all my date posts:

More date ideas:


The Middle Ages Week 6: France, England, & Spain February 19, 2014

In this post: This week we learn about the Bubonic plague, the Hundred Years War, and such iconic figures as Joan of Arc, and Queen Isabella of Spain. Join us for medieval fashion, soap whittling, oozing boils, french knitting, and more!

Hello dear ones! I hope you are well. This is the last week of the Middle Ages. Next week we begin the Renaissance. So welcome to week 6! 🙂 It was a very interesting week. I stayed up late sewing these medieval clothes and I am NOT a seamstress. Yeah, my dress is not supposed to come off the shoulders. That was an accident. If you could see the stitching, you would cry. But I am amazed that we were able to wear these outfits and that they look good from afar.

We began by learning about the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) and how it changed the face of the Middle Ages. The Black Death was a horrible disease that swept the Medieval world and killed over half the population. They had no clue what had caused it. In modern times, we now know that the plague was carried by fleas on rats. Death happened on such a massive scale which caused the feudal system to fall apart. So in a way, this horrible thing helped usher in the Renaissance. We painted bubble wrap to form our own “plague“. Okay, so these oozing boils were not symptoms of the Black Death but they were the easiest to make. Surprisingly, I got into this craft more than my son. Michael thought it was gross and freaked out if I got near him. So we painted the bubble wrap with yellow and red. Most of it flaked off when it dried. I probably should’ve used acrylic. Then I used concealer to stick the boils on and make it look like skin.

In the top pictures I’m reading Story of the World Book 2 and Michael is doing his Middle Ages lapbook which he finished this week.  We did get outside in our outfits. I taught Michael the nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie”.  We took to the trampoline and had fun with the song. The thought did occur to me that people driving by might think we’re in a cult, lol! You know…all dressed up in Medieval wear  and dancing around. Ha! I LOVE homeschool! Anywho, some believe that the rhyme is talking about the Black Death. Morbidly creepy, I know! We also watched Horrible Histories Plague song. It was definitely morbid.

Michael drew a picture of a greyhound and falcon, which is near the bottom. We read about the Hundred Years war and watched several videos on Joan of Arc. Joan was a young French woman that took up the sword and led her people into battle against the English. Sadly she was captured and burned at the stake as a heretic and witch. So Michael put together a foil knight. The links with directions are after the picture.  Then we learned how to do some French knitting using a tp roll and craft sticks. It’s addictive! Now I have to figure out what to do with my long rope of yarn….a baby scarf? He he…just looking at the pics. Michael is so somber when he’s concentrating. Too cute!

The English had their own wars at home. We learned about the War of the Roses and the fight for the crown. Oh, too many Henrys! Seriously, my history class in public school was boring and I didn’t remember half of this. So I’m having fun relearning the hands on way…even though I’m teaching. Michael decorated his royal crown and pretended to have a coronation. Later we had a tart for our English food.  I made a sugar cookie heart shaped pie crust and topped it with cheesecake and a berry glaze.  We watched another episode of Monarchy

On Valentine’s we read about Princess Isabella and Prince Ferdinand of Spain and their beautiful love story. We had a somewhat Spanish supper. Okay, so we had yellow rice and the bread was actually Mexican but the fried shrimp is a Spanish recipe. Chris and Michael did some soap whittling. It’s safer than whittling wood I’m sure. Chris did a great soap whale. Michael’s car was a bit rough but he had fun. My attempt was pitiful and I ended up hacking it to pieces.

I made Michael a PB&J sandwich with a heart shape in it. We took turns reading several books for Valentine’s. I shared some of those with you in a previous post. Michael gave me a chocolate scented stuffed bear. What a perfect idea! Chris surprised me with roses that morning. And I got this neat Valentine’s tic tac toe printable which we used with conversation hearts.  It was a great week!


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

Here are the links:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

French Knitting:

Foil Knight:

English Tart:  (I tweaked this a lot. I used sugar cookies for the crust.)

Medieval Crown:

Michael’s shoes:

Michael’s cloak:

My dress: (I had a silky fabric and used Fall leaf buttons)

Soap Whittling:

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Other posts:

Middle Ages Week 5:

The Renaissance Week 1:


Hilarious Birthday Celebrations with Mom February 16, 2014

Hello dear ones! My birthday is just one week after my Mom’s. Her’s is Feb. 2nd and mine the 9th. So we usually celebrate together. This year my guys went out of town and left the house to us gals. We had some hilarious fun! I’ve got games, food, and silliness to share with you!

FoodLarge root beer floats, Ziti, salad, and a cheesecake sampler for the birthday cake.

Decor: Pink balloons everywhere (We actually have a helium tank), twinkling lights, pink streamers, and a bed sheet tent (I also used a pink plastic cloth).

Accessories & knickknacks:  Pink margarita cups (for the floats), lip straws, colorful beads, princess candles, and candles with pink flames.

Games & Activities: H20: Just Add Water movie marathon, Heads Up party game, karaoke, Nail Polish Spin the Bottle, hilarious makeovers, and the Goodwill dash.

Now I get to explain the games :). Heads Up is a great party game and we actually played it a week later for my birthday. It was fun with the guys.  For the Girly Adult Slumber Party/ Birthday Party, Mom and I first went shopping. We each had $10 for the Goodwill dash. I found this idea on a dating site and had to use it. Mom had to buy and put together an outfit for me and I for her. The point was to be as silly as possible. I found Mom a very plain Chinese dress. I jazzed it up with an almost Indian looking orange scarf and a hat with  leopard print ribbon. Mom bought me a sequin dress that looks like something I’d die in lol. She also got a black feather boa.  We joked that I looked like an 80’s tramp and her a fortune cookie. Really she looked like a 60’s musician.

We killed each other did each other’s make up and hair. It was the funniest part. Mom and I didn’t do makeovers much when I was a little girl. My Mom was a hard working single mother and I was a tomboy. So it was funny how my Mom held my forehead down while she was trying to apply my makeup. We both accused each other of torture. I will never trust that woman with mascara again! 😉 Ha!

Nail Polish spin the bottle: This is a simple twist on an old game. You take several different colors of polish. You spin the bottle and whatever it lands on you paint with. The person to get the most toes the same color, wins! Mom won but we both had a mix of colors. We also pulled out our small foot spas before hand. They’re so much cheaper than going to the nail salon. The Epsom salt feels really nice on the feet.

We put our costumes to good use for pictures and karaoke! I wish I could show you the video of Mom and I singing “I Got You Babe” but she won’t let me :(. We also watched H20 episodes and had cheese cake and giant root beer floats.

This was a simple but extremely fun and hilarious birthday. Thanks Mom for sharing it with me!


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


Best Hens Vs. the Hateful Hawk: A Valentine’s Story February 14, 2014

I had a rough day but it ended well and now I have a heart warming Valentine’s tale to share ;).

Best Hens Forever

Penny and Baby are best “hens”. They have been B.H.F. (best hens forever) since we got them  in October. Baby is known for her black tail feathers and  bad temperament.  She likes to crow at the top of her lungs when either her or Penny lays an egg. She’s also known for pecking at us if we touch Penny or get near their eggs. Penny is the gentle hen. She’s mainly brown and is the easiest to hold. Her eggs are speckled and she began to lay last.

The hens have an enjoyable life. They sleep in the coop at night and they roam freely in our fenced in yard all day. They like to play in the rain and catch worms. As of late, they’ve started hiding eggs under the shed.  Things have been different since we brought home Annabelle. The hens are torn between following us for food and running from our new pup. But Annabelle means no harm. She just likes to play chase. So life has been pretty safe for Penny and Baby. But that was about to change.

Our backyard has been a haven for many birds. Our cat stays inside and we keep our yard a little wild. It’s the perfect place for a juicy worm or euphoria inducing berries from the cherry laurels. Penny and Baby eat beside the Robins and Cardinals. It’s a utopia. But today was different. A shadow passed in the sky. The little birds began to fly away and the yard got very quiet…

I had been having a rough Valentine’s. I went to the homeschool room to get on Michael’s computer. All of a sudden I heard a loud thud which scared the mess out of me. I went to the window and opened the blinds. There was a chicken sitting on the AC unit attached to the window.  What a strange day.


A little later I heard Penny crowing at the top of her lungs. Usually Baby is the noisy one. I didn’t realize it was a warning cry. Baby is always making noise so I didn’t pay attention. Ten to fifteen minutes later my neighbor calls. Her husband saw a hawk fly into our yard and he said the chickens were being very loud. I hung up and ran out the door, just in time to see a humongous brown hawk fly out of the yard. I saw Baby hiding under the boat. She was freaking out and I couldn’t get her to come with me to the coop. I finally lured her out enough with food and I carried her to the pen. She was locked in and safe but where was Penny?

I searched every corner of the yard and I looked into the neighbors yard. I even got on my knees into the mud and looked under the shed where they lay eggs. No sign of Penny. So I went in to get Annabelle. She’s very good at finding the chickens even when they hide. Annabelle and I searched the whole yard. She was drawn to the coop with Baby in it but she wasn’t concerned with the rest of the yard.  I called my neighbors to see if they saw the hawk carrying a chicken or maybe the chicken flew over the fence. They can fly high enough to walk the fence. Alas, no one had seen Penny.

Not long after the hateful hawk left, all the birds started returning to our yard. They brought their friends as well. I was overwhelmed by the amount of birds. Dozens upon dozens covered the yard and trees. I went out to look for Penny again. I saw birds I had never seen before. It felt like a bird funeral or maybe a bird meeting. Maybe they were mourning Penny or discussing what to do about the hawk. Well, still no sign of Penny. Surely, she was too big for the hawk? But maybe he hurt her and dropped her. What a selfish overly ambitious creature the hawk was! I found a dead Robin near the fence. It’s head snapped off. What a wasteful and cruel hawk!

Funeral of the Birds


Community Meeting to Discuss the Hawk


My husband Chris drove down the road after work. He couldn’t find Penny. When he got home, my Hubby scoured the back yard for any sign of the little hen. He looked everywhere I had and under the shed too. No Penny. Then he found her…well, parts of her. When he told me, I expected to see bloody pieces. Instead we just saw a mass of feathers in a pile. We looked for a body but could find none. It was clear…the Hawk had struggled lifting her but it had succeeded in carrying the hen away. Penny was good as dead. We announced the news to Michael and him and I hugged.  Baby was now all alone on Valentine’s. She had lost her BEST Hen, her B.H.F.  Tears welled up in Michael’s eyes.

Chris went to put cedar chips in the coop. Baby would have to stay in the coop a couple days to recover and to keep the hawk away. We also vowed to only let her out when we could supervise. Then we would put the hen back in her coop each day. There would be no more free ranging all the time. Baby had lost her freedom because of the Hawk.

I stepped out the back door to say something to Chris. Michael was behind me when we both noticed a little brown tail going under the shed. Could it be? Was it Penny coming out and going back in? Or was it the Hawk trying to get to their eggs? Surely, it was Penny! Michael hooped and hollered and I took off running. It was Penny! Chris began to cluck to Penny and lure her out. We all lovingly rubbed her head. The poor hen was missing several feathers and her beak was a little bloody. I cleaned her wound with rubbing alcohol and we placed her in the coop.

What a miracle! Baby didn’t lose her B.H.F. after all! They were together again and completely safe from the evil Hawk.  We were all exhausted from the stress of the day but we were thankful for our Valentine’s surprise. This called for celebration and…take out!

“What do you want to eat?” asked Chris.

“I’m not sure. Anything I guess, except…chicken.”

The End!

Best Hens Forever

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


Happy Valentine’s Day!

In this post: Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy these videos of two of the stories I read to Michael today: The Princess & the Kiss and Brave Young Knight.

The Princess and the Kiss

Brave Young Knight (just a synopsis)

Hello dear ones! I am so thankful that with God’s help that Chris and I remained virgins until we got married. It was such a beautiful gift and how God intended it. But I admit that I wish I had saved my first kiss for our wedding day. I have friends who have done so and it seemed to stir the passion more. I wish I had not given my first kiss to a boy that wouldn’t matter in the long run. I wish I had not created soul ties by giving my emotions to boyfriends I had before Chris.

I had planned on saving my first kiss with Chris until our wedding but the sneaky scoundrel 😉 (just kidding hun) convinced me to kiss him before he left for basic training. Kissing is fun but it opens up major temptation before your married…especially prolonged kissing. Thankfully my hubby was gone most of our engagement so some of the temptation was removed. But if I could go back I’d save all my kisses for my wedding day.

Purity is a big part of my testimony and how God changed my views on dating when I was a teen. I did not grow up with a healthy model of marriage or courtship. But the Bible and other Christian books helped. I hope to pass the same teachings of purity to my son. I love the great kids books out there that make purity such a special thing. I love how “The Princess and the Kiss” makes a kiss  special  because it really is.

You don’t have to have sex with someone to create a soul tie. You can give bits of your heart through emotional connections and touches. This is coming from a chick who’s going on ten years of marriage. I still regret the boyfriends I had before Chris. I have other wives I’m friends with that feel the same about their past relationships. I’ve heard it’s even harder if you give away your virginity.

I’ve observed many relationships during youth…dating, courtship, those  having premarital sex, those abstaining, those that saved their first kiss, and those that didn’t (like me). I’ve got to say that the most passionate and purest was those that saved their kiss….second to that were those who remained abstinent until marriage.  Lastly, those who had premarital sex had it the worst, even those couples that eventually got married and were each others first partner. Even those who were Christians and life got better. They still had a shaky start and trust issues that reached into their marriages and took awhile to heal. There is forgiveness no matter what. But if you have a fresh slate why not keep it that way? Why not go for the best if you can have it?

I love my life and my marriage. It’s beautiful. I’ve got almost ten years of kissing my hubby on my resume lol. It would not have killed me to save a couple months of kissing before marriage and have kept kisses for our wedding. I have the privilege of looking back at my prayer journals and even my husband’s during our engagement. To be honest I’m a little embarrassed…cause I know that we both caused each other to lust and to lapse in our relationship with God. I’m embarrassed that my husband had to repent on my account. I was so naive that I didn’t understand what certain things did to guys.

I could go on and on about boundaries and certain rules but I don’t want to scare you into legalism. I just want to encourage you, if you’re not married, don’t try to get your toe as close to the boundary line as you can. You can easily fall to the other side…no matter how spiritual you think you are. I’ve known the purest to lose it and fall into regret.  It’s not worth the shame. It’s not worth losing the one you love. And it’s not worth starting a marriage because you “have” to. It’s not worth the distrust. True love guards and protects.

You may think you’re going to marry someone and then find out they are not the one for you. I said this once in a purity message I gave at a youth group. There was a couple there that were about to go to college and you’d think they would’ve got married. Well, not long after they broke up and everyone was shocked. I believe they took the purity message to heart and I’m glad. How heart breaking would it have been for them to give themselves to someone they would never be with again?

Oh, and one piece of advice for the single ladies: if your boyfriend hates your father and tries to keep you away from your friends, if he’s always trying to get physical, and he laughs during the True Love Waits or any purity message….dump him! He most likely only wants sex and will dump you when he realizes you’re not giving it.  😉 Just had to throw that our there lol.

Oh, I’d much rather have learned from books than bad experiences! Certain things you don’t need to learn the hard way….just like I wouldn’t want to put my head under the wheel of a Semi-truck to learn that it’s a stupid idea!

Anywho, I’m about to step off my soapbox. I’m just so passionate about this because how it affected my life and others. I knew of a homeschool couple that were so great but their parents left them alone a lot. Well, they had premarital sex and the girl got pregnant and had a miscarriage. It broke their relationship with each other and with God. They both spiraled into crazy sexual sins and into dangerous life styles. They are adults and from the last I heard they are both still not living for God.

To think….homeschooled kids…kids who went to church. But their parents did not guard the kids’ purity by putting up boundaries. Courtship or just  not letting them be completely alone would’ve protected them. It breaks my heart til this day and I can’t help but be a little upset at the carelessness of the parents.

Teenagers are still children. Parents can’t help much what happens after graduation but while kids are under the roof we can do all we can to prepare and protect them. The best way is to be an example. Single parents…all the above purity advice goes for you as well. I urge you not to let your kids see you give your heart and body to the people you date. You don’t have to be a virgin to maintain a standard of purity as an adult. God’s forgiveness covers the past and he can help you in the future.

Sexual purity does not mean perfection. There are so many other areas in marriage and no one will ever be perfect. A good start helps though. It really does. Marriage is complicated enough with out a lot of baggage.

Lastly, I want to say to you dear one: God made you special and your body is a gift that should be taken care of and protected. Your heart is the same. You are worth the best. Just like the princess in the story.  You’re in my prayers and I know God is writing a beautiful love story for you..whether it’s for marriage of just for being God’s child that He loves.

I read the book  “Because You Love Me” by Max Lucado with Michael. I recommend it for adults too. If you ever wonder why God has certain rules then please check it out:

And here is the story of Saint Valentine and half of the origin of this loverly holiday!

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


Middle Ages Week 5: Medieval Russia & Marco Polo Plus 2014 Winter Olympics February 11, 2014

In this Post: Traveling with Marco Polo, Medieval Russia: food and craft, and Winter Olympics lapbook.

Hello dear ones! I’m finally caught up :). Last week we studied Russia which went well with the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.  We also learned about Marco Polo. This was an easy and fun week.

We continued reading Story of the World Book 2. We learned about the Mongol empire and the Khan family. Michael colored a map and color coded it by religion. He saw a video showing the gradual take over of land. Michael read “Who Was Marco Polo?”. Seriously, the Who Was series is wonderful. We made a salt dough map of the Mongol Empire and Marco Polo’s travels.  Then Michael did a spice smelling test since merchants carried spices on the Silk Road.  I also used that blindfold for a game of Marco Polo beanbags.  It’s like the pool game except in water and you’re trying to get the bean bag to a person you can’t see. We watched the Marco Polo movie on Netflix. It’s by Hallmark but I did have to skip a few parts. It was interesting how it showed Marco’s unique friendship with Kublai Khan.

We read about the Russ, the viking/slav ancestors of the Russians.  We ate Russian Hedghogs (chicken and rice rolled in a ball and fried) and Moscow Ballet Tea Cakes. The tea cakes were more like a sweet nutty biscuit. They weren’t sweet enough to be a cake to me. I liked them with milk though. We made Russian onion domes that we got from another blog (links at bottom). We looked at onion domes online. They have to be the prettiest architecture I’ve seen. We saw the cathedral that Ivan the Terrible built. We didn’t do a craft but we did read about the Ottoman Empire and how the Muslims took control of Constantinople, which is why it’s now Istanbul. Interestingly, an eclipse may have helped with the battle. Medieval people believed it was a sign from God. The “Christians” believing it was their demise and the Muslims believing it to be a sign of victory. I just received the dvd on Russian Tsars from Netflix, so we haven’t watched it yet.

Lastly, we’ve been doing this neat Winter Olympics lapbook. You still have time to make one. The Olympics end the 23rd. They’re on NBC in the U.S. We’ve learned about the different sports in the Olympics and we’ve learned about Sochi, Russia.

We did not have an Olympic party since we did so much for the family Olympics this past Summer. Here’s the link:


Oh, I included a pic from my Mother-Son date night at the bowling alley. I didn’t play because it hurts my wrist but I like to eat nachos and watch Michael bowl :).

Here are all the links. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Join us next week, Lord willing, for the Black Death and Joan of Arc among other things.

Salt Dough Inspiration (but we found a random map online to copy):

Russian teacakes:

Russian Hedgehogs:

Russian Domes:

2014 Winter Olympics Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Other Medieval posts: 

Middle Ages Week 4:

Middle Ages Week 6:


A Tea Party Baby Shower for Hannah February 8, 2014

In this Post: I threw my best friend Hannah, a tea party baby shower. I combined elegance with Hannah’s favorite storybook characters.. Toad & Frog, and Winnie the Pooh.

Dear ones, the first weekend in January I threw a baby shower for my best friend, Hannah. She loves tea parties and wanted something elegant. So I used mismatched tea cups, fake pearls, tea pots, and pink and white fake flowers. I found a lovely white clock at a thrift shop. The candle holder in front of the fireplace is also a thrift shop find. I wove a strand of fake white flowers through it and lit tea candles to set the mood.  I scattered pink petals on one table and pink baby confetti on the more casual gift table.

I also have a creation of my own on the gift table. I modge podged pages from Hannah’s favorite story book characters on the letters BABY. You can see Toad and Frog and Winnie the Pooh. I gave the Winnie the Pooh tea book and the Toad & Frog book to Hannah as a gift. After I modge podged I glued the letters together and added ribbon and fake pearls.

Our friend Rachel (whose blog I’ve mentioned several times) brought the tiered platter full of tea cakes. Her husband Al is a chef and made them. I am so thankful for her help with that and also Hannah’s family for  helping me decorate etc. We were at Hannah’s Mom’s and it was already so beautiful. I didn’t have to add much. Zoom in on the platter and you will see a baby in a teacup on top. That goes great with the invitations I sent out, which are at the bottom of the pic. I ordered them online.

I wanted to make homemade foot print cookies but my attempts failed. So I just bought pre-made sugar cookies and at the last minute I found cookie icing that hardens on spot. They turned out beautifully this way with less pressure on me.  I bought the cookie cutters online. It was trial and error but they were a hit. I got the mini chalkboard at Michaels’ craft store.  The favors were super easy: pink mints, Hershey kisses, and a heart charm that said “It’s a girl!“, all tied up in a sachet with pink ribbon.

Hannah’s Mom has a hot water tap so we used that to fill up tea cups and people chose their own tea bags. I had many different flavored teas. I bought nice pink and white napkins. The elegant  paper plates are super fancy and I got them online. They have a chic pink birds and flowers print.  Tea cups are expensive so I went with white plastic tea cups and I glued a pink bow with a pearl on each one.

The two games were super simple but fun. We played a diaper game. The person who found the poopy diaper won the gift basket (I used a sticker. The candy bar idea makes me nauseous). Then we played “Don’t Say It” a Baby shower version of Taboo.  I split the group into two teams. No prize for this game but the guests really had fun.  The paper flowers on the gift table were made by Olivia, Hannah’s daughter. 

The shower was lovely and Hannah got all she needed. Lil Miriam will be her third child but it’s been awhile since Liam was born. Hannah wasn’t expecting this little one so the shower really helped. We all are excited and waiting to meet Hannah’s baby girl, maybe this week :). The shower wasn’t that hard to put together but I was very nervous because I had never thrown one before.  Thank the Lord he helped me get it together!


Baby Shower Pinterest:

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


Middle Ages Week 4: Robin Hood & the Crusades

In this post: The Canterbury Tales & a craft, poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer, Robin Hood, the Crusades, stained glass windows, blawmanger (Medieval chicken & rice), dragon feet, & a study of Snowflakes with actual snow! Also Greensleeves, the song that brought King Richard home! 

Well, I am finally caught up! This coming Monday I will be back on schedule and I can’t wait to share our study of Medieval Russia and how it awesomely coincides with the Sochi Olympics. But for now let’s go to a very dark time…the time of the Crusades.

First off, most history books and videos are very biased during this time in history. Catholics (Christians maybe..maybe not. The commoners didn’t have much knowledge of scripture back then) are seen as villains who got crazy and bloody. While the Muslims are usually portrayed as completely peaceful. I like Story of the World because it shows the good and bad of both parties involved. We see that Muslims had taken over the Holy Land and the Pope had a misguided quest to redeem it.  It seems that at first pilgrims were treated fine in the Holy Land but then Christians and Jews were being banned from it and persecuted.  The Pope guaranteed a spot in Heaven for those who fought. I don’t say that these were all Christians because how can you be a Christian if you don’t even know Christ’ teachings. The people could not read the scriptures for themselves and they went by whatever the often corrupt leaders said at the time. Had they known the scriptures then they would know that Heaven doesn’t come by fighting a war. Also they’d know that Jesus said to love our enemies. The very fact they believed salvation came through the Pope’s blessing and a crusade, proves they were not Christian. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, by believing  in him and confessing with our mouths.  This is what Christ teaches.

The Crusades were just sad. Both sides back n forth doing horrible things to each other. The only light in all this is that the crusaders gained knowledge of  Muslim technology. The Muslims were very advanced compared to the rest of Europe. Also it’s good that Christianity still exists. The war was not good but had Islam continued to take over then Christianity probably wouldn’t exist today. All but one of the crusades were unsuccessful. The reconquest of Spain however was successful. Jerusalem was built by the Jews and later taken over by Catholics, then Muslims. The Jews were scattered during the diaspora, after Rome destroyed the temple. It is a sad time in history. Jews have always been persecuted. Unfortunately, so called Christian leaders tried to convert people by force. This is completely unbiblical. We’ve learned though that many leaders adopted Christianity so they could have control of the people. Their religion was unsincere and the proof is in their unchanged hearts.  Jesus never mean’t for Christianity to be used as a tool. Alas, the middle ages were really dark and corruption rampant in every religion and culture.

If you’re interested in a unique take on the crusades watch BBC’s Robin Hood.  I love how Robin of Locksley (Robin Hood) is portrayed as a lord that went to war in the crusades.  There’s a great episode in season three where a monk has started writing the scripture in the common language, though it is forbidden by the church. It’s a great series for the middle ages. You also get to see Muslim technology because one of Robin’s “men” (actually a woman) is a Muslim.

During this time, King Richard (from the stories of Robin Hood) went off to fight in the Crusades. He left his people to be governed by corrupt rulers. You know the story of the sheriff of Nottingham and  Richard’s younger brother, Prince John. Well, Robin Hood is most likely a legend but Prince John was real. And people were really being drained of their money and left with nothing.  No wonder people dreamed of a hero that stole from the rich and gave to the poor.  The people were so upset that they forced Prince John to sign the Magna Carta. This made things a little bit fairer.  The Prince could no longer do whatever he pleased with the people’s money.

Meanwhile, King Richard went missing. The stories say that he was found by his friend Blondel  who went around singing “Greensleeves” and waited for an Englishman to sing the next verse. He supposedly stood beneath a tower and sang a line. Then he heard King Richard sing it back. The people (against Prince John’s wishes) begged the Duke of Austria, who had captured Richard, to let him go.

Michael watched Disney’s Robin Hood and I made him a quiver for his arrows. We made tissue paper stained glass windows with contact paper.  We also made dragon feet out of cardboard and had medieval chicken and rice, blawmanger. It’s made with almond milk. I played Greensleeves on the piano.

We watched and read a story about the Children’s crusade (which some believe to be fictional or maybe the basis for the pied piper story).  The movie we saw was another time traveling movie; Crusade: A March through Time.

Speaking of the Holy land…people would take pilgrimages. An important poet named Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote down stories from pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Most of the stories are crude and perverse but the Nun’s story of the rooster and the fox is perfect for kids.  We made puppets and Michael acted out the story as I read it. Thankfully my old story books I told you about, have several stories/poems by Geoffrey Chaucer. We also read his poem “A Perfect Knight” and we read his short biography. Geoffrey Chaucer is said to be the Father of English literature.

More after the pic…

Robin Hood & Crusades

Lastly, we had three snow days and we took advantage of them. They coincided with our snowflake study.  Michael was so sad when the snow started to melt. I told him to scoop up some snow and put it in the freezer. Now he will have snow all year round :). I wanted to get a microscope to look at the snowflakes but we couldn’t find one. I did however, get a telescope and Michael found Jupiter.

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

Search for Blawmanger on this site:

Canterbury Tales Puppets:

Dragon Feet:

Robin Hood’s No Sew Quiver:

Snowflake study:—Two-Day-Study-Series

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Middle Ages Week 3:

Middle Ages Week 5:


Middle Ages Week 3: The Vikings, the Feudal System, & Castles

In this Post: Viking fun, food, and crafts. A magnificent chocolate castle cake, a homemade Hnefatafl viking game set, and more!

Dear ones, the vikings kicked our rump! What a week this was! We really did overkill. We crammed a  2 week Viking lapbook into 4 days and also did some of our Middle Ages lapbook. We won’t do so much next time.  We got this great Viking ship kit on sale at Barnes & Noble. It happens to be very complicated so we haven’t finished it yet. If we ever finish it, I’ll update this post.

We made drinking horns and had fake meade (gingerale and apple cider). I post my inspiration links at the end.  Michael wore a viking mask. We made Viking toilet paper roll people and for fun we watched How to Train Your Dragon. We continued with Story of the World of course and we watched more Monarchy. Seriously, the Vikings were mean!

I made our own Hnefatafl, viking game set. It’s similar to Chess but so much easier. You can find instructions online. I used leather and a sharpee for the board. Then I made game pieces out of clay. We had so much fun with this game. A piece is missing now. I think Annabelle ate it :(.

I was inspired by High Hill Homeschool’s tree of life pendent kit. I didn’t have a kit.  I made my pendent using gold wire and fake pearls.  I have a really old book collection passed down from my Aunt and  Dad. It’s a series of 12 books with fairy tales, legends, and history. I can find stories from all over the word in these books. I found a Norse tale that was similar to a Celtic story we had read in our new Celtic book. What a funny coincidence! Michael drew a really kewl dragon that I for some reason don’t have a picture of.

We also watched a Norse song being performed on youtube. The link is on my Pinterest.  Chris helped Michael make butter by shaking heavy cream in a bottle. It was very soft butter but tasty. Sadly, we didn’t have time for MLK Jr. crafts. Michael did however read “Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.?” I love the “Who Was?” series. Michael loves them too. MLK Jr. is one of the few heroes that I have a picture of hanging on my wall. I admired him growing up. After Michael finished the book he had a sour expression. He informed me that MLK Jr. was dead and that he was mad at the guy who killed him. I chuckled a little since obviously the Doctor has been dead for awhile. It’s just a new revelation to Michael. I’m glad he admires my hero too.

More after the pic….

We learned about the feudal system and how the English language developed. We


studied the process of becoming a knight and Michael made his own code of chivalry in the Middle Ages lapbook. I used M&M’s to show the distribution of wealth in the feudal system. Michael did a worksheet on the armor of God. I gave an object lesson on spiritual armor by using an orange. The orange with the peel (armor on) floated in the water but the peeled orange (without God’s armor) sank. It was a tasty lesson that got the point across. I peeled a little at a time and explained the process of slowly taking off our armor (willful sin, not praying, not reading God’s word because you don’t want to be convicted of the sin, and lastly losing faith).

We made a castle out of a box and tp rolls.  Michael watched a youtube video on the parts of a castle.  Monarchy showed us how stone castles came from the Normans (French Vikings) in the UK. William the Conqueror also brought the idea of knights and the Feudal System in the UK.

I threw in the Lego picture for fun. I moved Michael’s Lego table under his bed and it works better. Michael played the Lego Castle Adventure online. He was able to design his own Coat of Arms.

I hope you take a good look at it because this was my favorite: the chocolate castle cake. I made mine smaller than the inspiration and it’s not as professional. But I’m sure it tasted just as good.  I only used one box of cake mix but I used two tubs of chocolate frosting. I used half a bag of generic chocolate creme cookies for the towers. I used several mini candy bars. I used sprinkles for the grass. My guys were impressed!

Well, join me next time for Robin Hood and the Crusades! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~ Amber Dover

Vikings Lapbook:

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Viking TP People:

Tree of Life Pendant:

Viking Drinking Horn:

Viking Mask:

Feudalism Chart for M&M’s:

Chocolate Castle Cake:

Armor of God worksheet:

Lego Castle Adventure:

More Medieval posts of mine:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 2:

Middle Ages Week 4:


Middle Ages Week 2: Japan and the Franks

In this Post: Sushi, pirates, theater, and a fan with Japan. Also a lapbook and Samurai crafts! Charlemagne & the Franks with a glitter map. Lastly, Winter habitats. 

Hello dear ones! Thank you for reading and for letting me catch up on all these posts. Part of the reason that I’m this behind is because this study of the Middle Ages is packed with crafts and food. It’s just a busy study. It’s a lot of fun but boy, a lot of work too!.  So it worked out that I didn’t have a car to drive (wreck), because we really haven’t had much time to go places. It’s been intense.  I so enjoyed Japan. Let me share with you…

We found a free Medieval Japan lapbook and we also did a brief study of Japanese pirates at the time. We learned about Baunraku (Japanese theater using life size puppets) and we watched a couple shows on Youtube.  We made a neat Baunraku pop up theater.  We had fun with paper Sushi and Michael tried real Sushi for the first time (he didn’t like it).  I don’t like raw fish much or seaweed. So I made my own “Amber version of Onigiri”.  I used shrimp with cocktail sauce, rice, and cabbage. It was an interesting combination. I made Green Tea Panna Cotta, which none of us liked but you might have a taste for it.

Michael made a Japanese fan. He also drew a Samurai from his Draw and Write Through History book.  Lastly, Chris and I tag teamed to make a Samurai helmet for Michael. He already had a sword.  We learned about the Japanese Feudal system and the Samurai code of honor. More after the pic…

Japan & the Franks

We learned a bit about Islam but never got to the craft because we were catching up from our time off after the wreck.  We learned about Charlemagne and watched Monarchy. Michael colored a picture of him.  We made a glitter map of the Frankish Empire. We watched Timeline, a great time travel fantasy that takes you back to medieval France. As always, I encourage parents to preview movies to see if they meet your standards. You can see from the picture that we had a candlelit dinner with sparkling grape juice.

Lastly, we caught up on our study of animals in the winter. We did a Hibernation lapbook that I did not take a picture of. We watched some videos on hibernation and we did this great Winter habitats picture. It’s Pre-K-ish but fun.

Well, join me next time for Vikings, Feudal England, and Castles!

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

Hibernation lapbook:—Speedy-Lapbook

Japan Pinterest:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Charlemagne Coloring Page:

Winter Habitats Picture:

Green Tea Panna Cotta:

Medieval Japan Lapbook:

Japanese Pirates:

Pop Up Baunraku Theater:

Onigiri ideas:

Paper Sushi:

Samurai helmet:

Japanese fan:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 3: