The High King Lives

Create in Me~ Kelby Dover May 29, 2014

Dear ones, here’s my nephew’s music video. I’m thankful for the heart for God that both my older nephews have. Be blessed & remember email sub. to come to my blog to see the video. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Kelby Dover~ Create in Me



Hello dear ones! This song blesses my socks off so I hope you’ll enjoy it too. Email sub. remember to come to my blog to see the video.


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


The 1800’s Week 2: South America, Mexico, & James Audubon May 27, 2014

In this post: We continue our study of the 1800’s. Come have a fiesta! Then take a trip to the rainforest! Crafts, food, and fun! 

Hello dear ones, I pray you’ve had a nice day. For part 2 of our study of the 1800’s we were able to learn a little bit about Belize, the country I’m about to go to for mission work. It’s in Central America but it’s very close to South America & Mexico. The most exciting part of the week was turning the homeschool room into a rainforest.  Here’s how we learned:

South America

  •  We read about the South Americans’ freedom from the Spanish in Story of the World book 3.
  • We did lapbooks on South America and the rainforest.
  • We read South American Nursery rhymes in the old book set that belonged to my Dad.
  • We made a hut over the reading pool, using hawaiian grass skirts. I hung up toucan decorations. Our “fiesta” flowers became jungle flowers.
  • I used an ocean table cloth on one side and we added sea creatures and a fishing net. These also came from the Dollar Tree.
  • Our bookshelf became a jungle waterfall.  Michael colored the tree frog and the jaguar. I used tissue paper and brown wrapping paper.
  • I hung door decor of a parrot and a toucan.
  • We read The Great Kapok Tree. It’s a lovely story about the animals in the rainforest.
  • We tried tropical fruit and we had a tropical drink (coconut water with pineapple juice, gingerale, and sherbert).
  • Michael watched Rio.  Michael played online games about the rainforest.  We watched videos about the dance and music of the Garifuna people of Belize. We listened to sounds of the rainforest.
  • We read Hands of the Maya.


  • We read about Mexico’s independence from Spain in Story of the World book 3.
  • We read Mexican nursery rhymes.
  • We bought a cactus :).
  • We made big  “fiesta” flowers out of tissue paper.
  • I made a cactus pinata out of a tp roll. I filled it with tropical Mike n’ Ikes. Michael just had to pull the string.
  • Michael made a Mexican yarn painting. Links are after the picture.
  • We ate tacos and Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes.

James Audubon

  • We read Into the Woods about James Audubon. He was a French American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He’s most known for his documenting and painting of American birds
  • Michael put together a Robin lapbook.
  • Michael drew a picture of a robin, from his Draw Through History book.


  • Michael finished reading Farmer Boy.
  • He did a composer study on Claude Debussy and I attempted to play Clair De Lune.  We listened to his music.
  • We watched “Amazing Grace” & read about William Wilberforce’s help to end the slave trade.
  • Michael drew a picture of a steamboat from his drawing book.
  • We read poems by Tennyson and watched the scene from Anne of Green Gables where Anne pretends to be the Lady of Shalott.
  • We also read about the end of Napoleon, and the Zulus and Boers in Africa.
  • Because we just finished with Napoleon, Michael finally played his French Revolution game. It has Napoleon on it. He used a Lego for his game piece and look, it must’ve been guillotined!

Well, I hope you’re inspired. Links after the picture!


Belize (rainforest) on Pinterest:

Mexico on Pinterest:

 The 1800’s on Pinterest:

Music Lessons on Pinterest:

The 1800’s Week 1:

The 1800’s Week 3:

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


Why We Don’t Spank Anymore~ A Conservative Mother’s Confession May 25, 2014

In this post: #2 in my confessions posts. A personal parenting journey, resources about the “rod” verses in Proverbs, & thoughts to ponder. Please, pull up a chair :). PS: If you don’t read anything, I encourage you to atleast check out the articles that speak on this subject better than I ever could.

Wooden Spoon

 Picture by Donovan Govan. [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear ones,

I don’t like controversy. I’d rather hide from it but it seems because I’m a liberal-conservative, bapticostal, organic, all natural, homeschooling, video game playing,  Mcdonalds eating girl (need I go on?) I’m always a a bit controversial. My nickname should be cat-dog.  I don’t like to debate though. I am an analytical and super slow thinker. I’ve never been able to spit out facts in a second.  When I write a blog post of this nature it usually takes an hour or more. Writing is the best way I express myself because it gives me time to gather my thoughts. I don’t want to bring about disunity. I just want to share an issue that is important to me as a parent and how certain extremes are dangerous. I like to share my beliefs and my personal stories on my blog. It just seems natural :).  Let’s begin. Here are a few statements I want to make first then I’ll give my story.

  • I don’t believe all spanking is bad. I believe it is possible to spank without being abusive. I know, love, and respect some awesome parents that spank. My parents are among them. When we did spank it was not abusive.
  • I know that not all parents use the Bible to say that people MUST spank. People spank for other reasons. And there are parents who use more than one method with their spanking. They take into account the uniqueness of each child they have.
  • I know people who will disagree with my new view on spanking and I still love them and think highly of them.
  • I know this topic is deeply embedded in my culture and cultural traditions, especially religious ones, are not easily shaken.
  • We have not abandoned all discipline. I am a very strict parent. My son has helped with chores since he was little. He’s not allowed to do whatever he wants all the time. We have rules and if he disobeys there are consequences.
  • My kid is not a spoiled brat. Most people tell me that my son is respectful and caring. I’ve  yet to hear a bad report. He’s not perfect and no child is.  He’s never hit me or called me a bad name. He wouldn’t be the kid screaming in the grocery store. By the way, many of those kids ARE getting spanked and they’re still that way. Also that does not mean they are evil kids. Even the sweetest of kids will spazz out if they don’t have enough rest, food, or they’ve been made to sit still for hours. Children aren’t robots.


Picture by Nathan Sodré Salvatierra at pt.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons


  • I am not a lukewarm Christian. I am committed and I spend time daily with Jesus. I take the time to do indepth word studies. I’ve been to Bible college. My son and I volunteer in our community. We love Jesus and we love each other.
  • I am not lazy and unintentional with my parenting (except on the bad days and every parent has those). I have had to become more creative in my parenting since we abandoned spanking. I have to admit that I was lazy when I spanked because I thought it was the only method to use and frankly it was easy.
  • I have not adopted this belief because I’ve become worldly or been influenced by a talk show host or pyschologist (I rarely watch tv programs & don’t keep up with Oprah or Dr. Phil). I’ve put a lot of thought and research into this. It comes from conviction and Bible study.
  • I do not hate my son because I’ve decided to quit spanking. If you don’t read another word, please scroll down and check out the articles on the often misquoted verses in Proverbs. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to find the context. There’s plenty of info on the web by Pastors and such.
  • There is no one method that works all the time for all children or even all the time with one child. Children change as they grow. Their disciplinary needs change. Their brains are different as they develop. They all have different personalities. Would you tell someone to spank a kid with cerebral palsy? I think not. But some say you hate your child if you don’t spank (again see the articles on Proverbs). I would not treat a child with autism the same as a healthy child. Once I heard someone say that an autistic child just needed to be spanked. I got so mad but I know those people were very uneducated on the subject of Autism.
  • Tradition does not equal truth. Though not all tradition is bad.
  • Not every part of the Bible is literal. If it were then we’d be eating the actual body of Jesus and we’d be guaging out our eyes everytime we lusted. Not to mention that if we are supposed to follow the old covenant then why aren’t people holding knives to their throat if they are gluttonous? That’s in Proverbs 23:2, the same book spare the rod, hate the child is in. Why pick and choose what proverb you’re going to take literally and obey? Why not follow the whole law then? Theologies should be built on verses in context and both testaments. You may not agree, but I’m under the new covenant through Christ and I do not keep Levitical law.
  • The Bible is not one book. It is a collection of books, all the inspired word of God, but they are diverse. Some parts are letters, some poetry, some history, some prophetic, and so on. We don’t choose what a section of the Bible is. God shows us by the context and the gift of common sense. I know when I read a poem by Edgar Allan Poe that it is indeed a poem. I can tell by the wording used. There are certain rules to writing. They establish the type of material we are reading. That doesn’t mean that poetry can’t have truths in it but you would not interpret poetry the same way you’d interpret a history book. PS: I don’t think I’ll be grinding any fools in a mortar either (Proverbs 27:22).

Whole world - land and oceans
Picture by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear world,

We used to spank but now we don’t. We were un-abusive spankers. We never left bruises. I made sure to pray with my son and hug afterwards. We didn’t spank for mistakes but only in instances of defiance. We were raised to believe “spare the rod, hate the child”. Both my husband and I, were spanked as kids. My father was a conservative minister who became a super Dad after he gave up drug dealing. He is now dead and I miss him dearly. My Dad never abused me. He had the three swat rule and he never left a bruise.  He was a loving and Godly father. We were super close and I looked up to him. My mom, who I also love dearly, also spanked but rarely. Her parenting style wasn’t as strict.

I was more compliant with my father and I appeared to be obedient with him. My heart was full of rebellion though and even though I was spanked consistently (seriously, my last spanking was when I was a senior in Highschool!) I kept a rebellious and disrespectful heart towards him until a year or so before he died (hint: I was a wife and mom at this time). I still have issues with authority. I did have some fear with my Dad and I learned how to hide things. I opened up to my Mom more. I can see in both of my parents’ methods, good and bad. I’ve yet to meet a perfect human parent. I am thankful for the love and quality time my parents had with me. I know they did the best they could. I pray I can do as well.

For a long time I believed that my Dad’s methods were better because I was more  compliant. I also believed that spanking was THE way because I turned out okay. I never did drugs. I didn’t have premarital sex. I got voted “Most likely to go to Heaven” at school. As an adult going through physical illness, financial stress, and all the other delights of getting old, I’m  having to deal with all the ugly heart issues that were  never addressed when I was a kid. Yes, I was compliant and I appeared good. I was a Christian and a leader in my community. But there’s pride, anger management issues, codependency, depression, and a whole host of things that I didn’t realize were inside of me. I’m realizing that it’s not enough to be compliant to God’s will on the outside, my heart has to change and want to obey God out of love. Obedience should be love-driven, not a form of legalism.

Naughty boy
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a new parent, also a very young one, I only knew the way I had been raised. The same with my husband. We love our son very much and we want him to grow up to be Godly and a model citizen. We didn’t want our son to become rebellious, spoiled, and a jail bird. We wanted him to know that authority should be respected. We wanted him to learn that bad behavior has consequences. We still feel this way. But I was wrong in letting fear and tradition guide my parenting. I believed that if I did not spank my son he would grow up to be an awful person. I believed that spanking was the main way to discipline and that it was commanded by God. I took the verses in Proverbs that I had heard all my life way out of context and built a theology on them. My Dad knew the Bible well and he always told me to never build a theology on just one verse. He said that if it’s mean’t to be theology then it’ll be supported by verses in the Old and New Testament and to always take things in context. My Dad taught me this but he didn’t always apply it. Why? Because of tradition, fear, and just plain human fallibilty that we all have. I pick and chose what verses in Proverbs were to be taken literally. Admittedly, I ignored most of them. I didn’t check to see if the New Testament mentioned a literal rod and if the apostles made spanking a huge theology issue, like so many conservatives d0. I just took it on faith because that’s how my Daddy did it and his daddy and so on. Plus, I heard that kids who weren’t spanked were little snots.  Anywho, I did not want to hate and ruin my child by not spanking him. I wanted to be the most loving parent by keeping him from a future in jail. Please note, this is my story and my reasons.

I am in no way saying that all parents who nonabusively spank are doing so for these reasons. I can only speak for myself and why I did it.

Spanking “worked” at first. I hate using the word “worked” because children aren’t machines. But this is the way my thinking went. I thought if you spanked, your kids would become model citizens. It made sense and still does on some level when kids are smaller. It seems better to swat a toddler’s hand when they reach for the stove than to let them burn themselves. You can’t reason with little children. But I believe there are other discipline methods available and you can often remove the child from a situation. Kids at that age are more compliant when you discipline them. Yes, if you don’t discipline your kids then they will end up undisciplined. That’s common sense. But spanking is not the only form of discipline and it’s not often the best method.
Conrad, Giorgio (1827-1889) - n. 202a
By Giorgio Conrad (1827-1889). (scan) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Even pro-spankers like James Dobson state that at about 7 or so spanking becomes uneffective. Children are more dependent on their parents at an early age. When they begin to learn how to be independent they don’t worship every word their parents say. They’ll often test you and ask why something is done. That’s natural as we age. As an adult I don’t accept everything I’m told. I test it. Well, I had to learn to do that as a child and even more so as a teenager. Our job as parents is to teach children how to thrive in adulthood. They’ve got to think for themselves. Naturally as children get older the more they need to know about the “why’s” of things. Do they have to always have an explanation? Of course not. The police don’t have to lecture me on why I should wear a seatbelt. Now, am I more willing to wear one because I’ve been told of the dangers without it? Absolutely. Be honest for a second. Do you always obey the speed limit? Are you more law abiding when cops are around? It’s easy to be compliant when you know you’ll be punished. But if you don’t know why you’re doing something then you are more likely to be sneaky. When our kids leave the house will they follow our teachings just because we “said so”? Or will they rebel? Corporal punishment isn’t the end all.

Michael was super compliant until he hit four. My son developed a strong will. I found that the more I spanked him the more rebellious he got. I was provoking him to wrath. If I tried to break his will then our relationship suffered. By the way, the Bible never says we shouldn’t be our child’s friend. I get the concern behind this statement but it is used for absolute truth when it is only opinion.  True friends tell you the hard truth and love you with tough love. I pray that I am a true friend to my son. I CAN be a parent and a friend. I’m certainly not his enemy! People told my mom that we were too close. My Mom is my best friend. Guess who I talked to when I was suicidal? My mom! I would never be that honest with a dictator that never gave me any say. Also, God the Father, the perfect parent, is my best friend too. Jesus even calls us friends. That’s proof enough right there that someone can have authority and still be friends.

The Naughty Boy

By George Bernard O’Neill [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Anywho, the more I pushed to dominate, the more my son pushed back. How could I teach him about God’s love and ever expect him to respect my authority if he hated me? No discipline is fun. Discipline is a must if you want to be disciplined. Common sense. But we can provoke our kids to wrath. We can harden them towards authority. They can be compliant on the outside but rebellious inside. When we don’t give grace then we set our kids up for failure. When we act like we know it all and never humbly admit our mistakes, our kids suffer. They need to know it’s okay to be imperfect.

I found myself apologizing and repenting constantly. I’d like to say that I never responded in anger…that I never yelled, but the truth is that both of our strong wills met and it was explosive.  I am also very strong willed. We are both super sensitive. What some kids may take as constructive criticism, Michael will take as hatred. I did not need to break his will or his spirit. I cried when I saw that my “discipline” either puffed up rebellion or deflated his very person. I wanted respect. I wanted to do the right and loving thing. But I did not want to see fear in my son’s eyes. When I spanked without anger I found myself getting calloused….numb. I praise God that I didn’t believe in spanking until the will is broken, because a numb person could spank to death. I believed it was bad to give more than three swats to the bottom. I also believed it was wrong to leave marks.  Still, I felt uneasy the older he got.

The more I studied scripture the less I believed that the “rod” of Proverbs mean’t spanking and honestly I never took it literally anyways. It’s not like I used an actual shepard’s rod. I also didn’t believe in stoning kid etc. Even when I wasn’t a New Covenant believer and I believed that parts of the Torah should still be followed I still didn’t take certain verses literally. I’ve yet to meet a pro-spanker who takes the verse completely literally. They use a paddle or their hands.

As my traditional methods failed, I realized that I had been lied to. Spanking wasn’t the only method and it wasn’t the perfect method. I saw sweet children who had never been spanked. I realized that spanking was making my child rebel and act out. He wasn’t getting better. He was getting worse. And then I realized the most eye opening truth on parenting: children are human beings not robots. I did not really want to teach my child compliance. I didn’t want him to obey every authority & tradition without question. I wanted him to be a strong leader and to exercise his will to think. I wanted him to follow truth because he realizes it’s right…not because he was told so and if he doesn’t, boy he’s going to get punished. I didn’t want to train up a pharisee. I wanted to parent with grace just as God the Father does. I did not want a human vending machine. I wanted a human being! I want Michael to obey out of love and a Godly heart. I know that is possible because he is a Christian. The Holy Spirit is Michael’s greatest teacher.

I realized that more and more that my beautiful boy was becoming  legalistic and it was my fault. I put the law above grace.  Me and his daddyhad  to change. It wasn’t just about stopping spanking. It was a whole new way of thinking about children. 

The Scolding

By unknown, authors Ellis Town, Sophie May, and Ella Farman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Do I still struggle with legalism? Yes. Do I still struggle with anger? Yes. Am I a perfect parent now? Nope, never will be. Does my son get away with hell? No way. Grace based and heart focused parenting is actually harder than “the just spanking method”. Michael has to look inward and at why he’s done something. I have to help him realize why something is wrong and how he can change. I have to point him to scripture, not as a manipulative tool, but rather as a way to abide with Jesus so he CAN change. I admit my faults even more than before and I make it clear that Mommy has to abide with Jesus for help too. We use scripture cards in our Repentance corner but Michael knows the scripture can help even when he’s not being disciplined. He can at anytime look at verses that help with any issues he has.  I no longer teach Michael that he can be good on his own or that being good will please God. He knows that only God can help him change and that God loves him even when he makes mistakes. God’s love isn’t conditional.

Has Michael turned into the perfect kid? No, I’d be terrified that he was actually an alien if he did appear perfect. I’d poke him to make sure he was human. Have I seen over night change? No, grace based parenting deals with the heart and that takes time. Yes, I have seen progress in his actions. It’s slow but it is there. Is he still rebellious? Yes, at times. I’m still dealing with my own rebellious heart and I’m 29! Heart change takes a life time. Once we have success in one area of our life then we will always find another area that needs work. Michael will still be imperfect when he’s an adult, whether we spanked or not. Now he has the tools to go to God. He doesn’t have to fear being raw with us or God. Michael still has certain behavior  issues but I’ve seen other behavior problems decline a good bit. Michael’s strong will can be used for the good. He just needs to know how to use it. Had I broken his will then I would’ve lost his amazing personality. Some of the greatest leaders and inventors questioned authority. Corrupt authority should be questioned and good authority can handle scrutiny. God definitely let His people question him. There are tons of examples. I’d say Moses and David talked to God in ways that any person of my upbringing would see as disrespectful. They didn’t even say “Yes, Sir”! 🙂

Picture by Thecatholicguy (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • I believe the “Pearl” method of spanking IS abusive. The Pearls have a book about how to train a child. They teach that children should be spanked until their will is broken and they suggest using plumber’s supply line and similar objects to do it! They tell parents to never spank when they are angry. That seems wise except with the pearl method of spanking til you break the will, parents have become calloused. They detach from what they are actually doing, abusing their kids! Strong willed children may be beat to death and of course there would be bruising. This method is not Godly. It is a horrible twisting of scripture! What they say about kids that are spanked are better is such bull crap. Spanked kids DO act up too. Compliance does not mean good. Jesus makes it pretty clear that if you do good deeds without love then they are meaningless. Of course abused and terrified kids would be compliant to their abusers! Sadly, a family with several children did beat their adopted children to death. Evidence suggests that this family did not start out cruel. People were shocked. This family literally thought they were following the Bible and a good parenting method. There have been more issues within certain fringe movements that follow the Pearl method.

An examination of the Pearl Method:

More info on the abuse:

  • So I want to point out how scripture is twisted in pro-spanking beliefs, not because all spanking is bad, but because I pray that Christian parents won’t fall into this lie of breaking the will that leads to child abuse.
  • You should not be leaving bruises. You should not beat your child until they submit. There is nothing Biblical about this.  Here are some wonderful articles with information on the verses in Proverbs. They say it way better than I do. Please please research this. I pray that your parenting choices, whether to non-abusively spank or to not spank are based on educated decisions not twisted scripture and fear…or even just because that’s how it’s always been done. I know good people that were never spanked. I know good people that were spanked. And I know good people that were abused. That does not mean that the end justifies the means.

Holy bible book

By Leon Brooks [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

More Christians are speaking out about their decision not to spank. Even pastors are weighing in on the twisting of scripture in Proverbs.

A Pastor talks about the “spanking” verses in Proverbs: context, culture, the Hebrew language, and all.

Are the rod verses literal or figurative?

A video conversation on spanking ( a good place to converse on this issue. I think I’ve said all I’m going to, on my blog.)

Breaking a child’s will

A parent of an Autistic child weighs in

How to understand the language of the Bible

Behavior Modification vs. Changed hearts

Disclaimer: I don’t know all of these people’s beliefs on every subject and I may disagree with some. I don’t have to agree with everything a person believes to agree with them in some ways.

Well, I’ve said all I can on this issue. I’m out in the open now. It’s my story. Shoot! It’s been four hours! Wow! Anywho, I don’t spend a lot of time debating, so you won’t get that from me. Other bloggers are more open to that. I think I’ve explained myself plenty and I know enough of the other belief to say that arguing won’t change how I feel. I respect your right to an opinion though and I do like hearing from my readers.  But any questions you have can be answered in the above articles or a google search ;)….most importantly your own research into the Bible. Anywho, this is a fairly new story because it took years for me to change my view. My husband and I just officially agreed not to spank any future children, although we had stopped spanking awhile ago.I like to share official changes in beliefs on my blog that’s about me and my beliefs. It’s comforting to know that there are people who actually care about what I have to say. Thank you for giving me a voice 🙂 (you know what I mean).

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

PS: Here are some great books:

Heart Based parenting

Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character ~ We’re working through this one now. It says anger is a signal but never the solution. Very good so far.

She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Mom’s Dealing with Anger ~I love this book. It’s raw and it’s convicting. It addresses what others cover up. I suggest this book for every parent and would be parent. It can help with any relationship really.


My first Mommy confessions post:


Father-Son Camping & Chris’ 30th Birthday May 24, 2014

Hello dear ones! I hope you’re having a lovely Memorial Day weekend. May 13th my darling husband turned the big 3-0! It’s hard to believe that we’ve had so many  years together. I’m not far behind. I’ll turn 30 next year. We were also learning about South America that week, so we went to Red Lobster to have some “tropical” food. Michael tried crab for the first time. Chris showed him how to crack the legs and he also showed us how to play with our food ;). I had no idea that you could pull the tendon and make the claw move! That Friday the fellas took a Father-Son camping trip. Another dad was with his kids, so they made friends. The nice family shared their smores. I literally ate Mcdonalds and watched the rest of a t.v. series all night. I was lazy but it was nice to have time to myself. It’s very rare for me to be completely alone, and that is excluding the animals. They were still there….meowing, barking, and whistling.

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



Once Season Finale Party May 23, 2014

In this post: Mom and I celebrate as we watch ABC’s Once Upon a Time season 3 finale. Come join our Once party! We’ve got food and fun!

Hello dear ones! Once Upon a Time (on ABC) had it’s season 3 finale on Mother’s Day. So Mom and I had a girl’s night. We stuffed our faces and pampered ourselves (pedicures of course).  Here’s all the details:

The Set

  • Once backdrop~ I took a blue plastic table cloth and painted it. Then I hung it up in the living room. It’s simple but it took hours to paint.
  • Once table~ I reused the black and white table cloth from our Marie Antoinette party. We also reused the plates and the clock napkin holders. I switched the napkins though, red for Regina. I also made the clocks say 8:15 (fans know why).  An apple and a silver platter were a nice touch.
  • Once project board~  I modge podged black and white tissue paper over an old project board. Then I glued pictures of Hook, Rumbelle, & the Storybrooke clock tower.
  • Food label props~ I took fairy tale scrapbook paper and stuck it to boxes so they’d stand up. I printed the labels in a nice font and glued them to the paper.
  • Emma’s Bug~ This BMW model is actually mine from highschool. It looks a lot like Emma’s.


  • Belle’s American Burger~  Burgers and home fries were the main course. Belle has her first hamburger in the second season.
  • Emma’s Swan Cake~ More like a big brownie with powdered sugar on top. I used a swan stencil that I cut out.
  • Regina’s Apple Streudal~ Regina loves apples and so do we!


  • The Season 3 finale! It was perfect…except the ending. I was a little mad. I’m excited about next season though.
  • We didn’t have time for a marathon of previous seasons but I did catch up on them while I was crafting.
  • The Once Family tree~ If you are a Once-er, then you know the characters of Once are almost all related to each other. The Evil Queen Regina’s adopted son is the birth son of Snow White’s daughter. Oh and did I mention that Rumplestiltzkin’s father is Peter Pan?! Mom and I tried our hand at making the family tree from memory. Then we checked it with a nifty one I found online.
  • Charm Bracelets~ I made these for Mom and I. The bracelets are based on “ships”. If you are a fan of a couple then you “ship” them. Like I ship “Captain Swan” (Hook and Emma Swan).  There’s also Rumbelle (Rumplestiltzkin & Belle), Snowing (Charming & Snow White), and Outlaw Queen (Regina & Robin Hood). Mom and I both like Regina. Yes, she was evil but she has changed :). So I made us both charm bracelets. I found the charms at Michael’s Craft store; a  heart that opens. a red jewel, a picture of Outlaw Queen,  and a royal key. I made the Captain Swan bracelet for me; an anchor, a blue jewl, and a picture of Captain Swan. I found the pictures online and modge podged them on craft scrabble pieces.
  • Once necklaces~ I took glass flat stones that you use to decorate vases and I modge podged different pictures on them. I added two pretty jewels to my Captain Swan necklace. As you can see in the pictures, I made a ton of these. This way Mom and I can switch out our necklaces. I’m also a big Rumbelle fan, so I’ve got several pretty necklace stones for that. They’re not the quality I’d like but they are cheaper than all the necklaces on Etsy. And I have variety.
  • Pedicures

I hope you’re inspired! Links after the pic…



Once on Pinterest:

My Parties:

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


Prepping for Belize May 21, 2014

In this post: A testimony to God’s goodness and how His ways are higher than ours.

Hello dear ones! Sometimes our best efforts just aren’t enough. In the end, it is faith in Christ that gets us through. Even if we seem strong…even if we seem able, we are still fallible, weak, human, and in need of saving. You’d think that we’d acknowledge our weakness and accept that we need God. We need Him to save us because we can’t save ourselves. We aren’t all knowing, all powerful, or omnipresent. We’re like the dust.  At any time God could pick us up in his hand and blow us away out of existence. Yet, God humbles himself and has relationship with us. Instead of crushing us like ants, God holds us like a mother holds an infant. We are like infants that refuse to be suckled or have our diapers changed ;). Seriously, we want to do everything on our own.

I say “we” because I am also like that silly baby that fights it’s parent. I know that Jesus is my life source and I know that I must abide in Him and trust Him for all my needs. Still, I want things my way and in my own efforts. I want to “make” things happen. I shouldn’t be surprised when my best laid plans fall apart. And then when they do I whine and kick and complain. I say “God, why?” Okay, no worries…this is not a sad post. Everything is still set for the mission trip to Belize. But I am seeing how my efforts to raise money and make this happen are really falling short. I have seen God bring blessings in His way though.

My Mom and I had this yardsale. I stayed up all night baking dozens of cookies and making peg doll fairies. The next day Michael tried to sell the cookies and lemonade. I had a nice table for my dolls, which I thought were awesome *cough*.  Anywho, hardly anyone stopped by. The biggest sale we had, I went down on prices so a little girl could have a book. Sigh…we made ten dollars. Yep, ten measly dollars after sitting in the sun for 7 hours.  Meanwhile. my gofundme account has yet to see any money. I was in bad pain on a Sunday when I felt I needed to help with our church fundraiser. I couldn’t help because I was stuck in bed. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many health issues hit me at once. Finances have went back n forth between looking hopeless and hopeful. I know God wants me to trust Him and finances ARE slowly trickling in. I say slowly because I am a very impatient person. I wanted this trip paid for a month ago. I really don’t “feel” like going the faith route. Yes, it’s whiney. I admit. I’m a whiney baby.


I guess God let’s me cry a bit so I’ll realize that I have to rely on Him. Never have I felt more weak, more frail than I do now. Whether it be finances, physical illness, spiritual ineptitude, or emotional frailty; I’ve got it all. I’ll admit, I’m scared to death. I guess I thought I’d be more spiritual by now. I thought I’d be stronger in every way so I could make this trip. Instead I feel weaker. I’m terrified. It’s not been any easier, the idea of letting my son go for a week and leaving my family to go to a foreign country. You may think me silly. Afterall, Belize is an “easy” missions trip. The people speak English and I don’t have to get any vaccinations. But for someone as sheltered as me, it feels like I’m journeying to the center of the Earth.

Plus, I’m an introvert. I like curling up alone in my room and playing video games. When the world gets too noisy and crowded, I run away and hide. I doubt I’ll be hiding much in the rainforest. I’ll be surrounded by people with a different culture than me. People that I need to love on and that I will need their love.  That may seem dandy to some but it’s scary to me. Heck, I’m scared to lead VBS for 20 or so kids in a couple of weeks. Why is God using such a fearful and weak vessel like me? Maybe to prove a point? I don’t know. I keep asking him. Sometimes this faith walk feels like being in a crowd with only your underwear on. As much as this feels scary and wrong to me; I know I am right where I need to be. I know this by Faith. I know God called me because I would have never come up with this silly idea on my own (sorry, Lord). I also know that God’s word says He uses the weak things. I guess I didn’t expect to be this weak though.

My plans for prepping for Belize were to be much healthier. I had planned on having a better sleeping schedule and to drink several glasses of water a day. I had planned on being spiritually super charged. Yeah, I had a lot of plans on how I was going to be “ready” for this trip.  BUT despite my failings, GOD HAS been preparing me. He’s preparing me in a different way. To be honest, it’s kind of a frustrating way. It’s like when you’re learning to ride a bike and you have to fall several times to get the hang of it.  Here’s how God has been prepping me:

  • It seems like every sermon I hear, read, or watch applies to my situation. This happens often but even more so lately. I’ve spent a good bit of time crying.

Beth Moore~ Pressing Past Our Fears part 2 (email sub. please come to my blog to see the video)

  • Faith~ I’ve had to trust in God for the simplest of things and often humbling things. If you’ve dealt with the health issues I have, then you know that one’s own bowels can humble like nothing else. It takes faith when most of the bones in your body ache and yet you need to minister. Money will also test one’s faith. Homeschooling a strong willed & emotional child will also do the trick. And then there’s the battlefield of the mind, which is ever so brutal. Not surprisingly, my church Bible study group is studying “faith”. We’ve been on it for several weeks.
  • Opportunities to minister and encourage. God has allowed me to minister to those who are also feeling called to impossible things. He’s given me the words to say. It amazes me that God’s words can flow out of a mangled mess like me. God can do anything and He continues to prove my insecurities wrong.
  • Weakness~ This seems to be the opposite of being prepared but it’s not. Yes, in man’s reasoning, weakness is bad. God has a whole ‘nother way of doing things. You see, God likes to use weak things. It confounds the wise, the prideful, and the strong. It brings glory to God because it’s an obvious miracle when a weak thing accomplishes greatness. It’s obvious that it’s God at work, not the weak vessel He chose.  It’s almost like He has fun finding all the impossibles we throw at Him. As much as this frustrates me, I also love Him for it. I love that nothing is too hard for God and I love that He lets me be apart of His miracles. I love that God does that for His children.
  •  When I was little, my Dad would let me sit in His lap while he drove around the parking lot. I had my hands on the wheel but he was pushing the gas. I had no knowledge of how to drive but I thought I was driving. Really, my Dad was doing the driving but he let ME think I was driving. It’s a beautiful memory. I can also remember my Dad letting me stand on his shoes while he walked. I LOVED it! I felt like I was the one taking those gigantic steps. God is so much greater than my earthly father was. Father God lets us think we are driving and doing the walking when really it’s ALL Him. But we get to feel like we are taking God’s steps. For a moment we get to see God’s view. That happens when we minister. We think WE are the ones ministering but we’re not. God is driving. We’re just sitting in His lap as he lets us put our hands on the wheel. So it doesn’t matter that we are weak. Weak or strong, we rely completely on Jesus. If He gets out of the driver’s seat then we are gonna crash! At least in weakness we are aware of this Truth. 
  • Prayer~ The greater my need, the more I pray. If I had every thing I needed for Belize months ago, then I would not have spent so many days on my face crying out to God. Prayer is simply talking to God and usually laying petitions before Him along with Thanksgiving and praise. Need has a way of reminding me that I NEED to talk to my Heavenly Father.
  • The Kindness of others~ I’ve seen people who have little money, give a lot. I’ve been so blessed by the generosity of God’s people. I’ve also been encouraged by the prayers and support of others. There are people who believe God has called me yet they barely know me. I have friends who believe in my ministry and support me in prayer. The day of the “failed” yardsale, my Mom encouraged me and we had the best talk. She told me that I must have a big calling if the enemy is attacking me so much. I needed to hear that because I was very depressed that day. Had everything been super duper, then Mom wouldn’t have had the chance to minister and see through God’s eyes. I would not have been able to receive such a gift from God through my mother.  You see, this Church thing we do doesn’t work if we are self sufficient. We have to need people. They have to need us. And we all have to need God.
  • Bible Study~ I’ve been able to dig deeper in God’s word. Honestly, my flesh is a bit scared of the intensity. I almost feel like I have to take breaks and I’ll admit…I often do. I have a bad habit of running from intimacy. I’m finding that when I get to the point where I’m apathetic and my flesh wants to take over, that I have to listen to preaching to spur me on. The preaching recharges me and then I’m able to spend time worshiping and abiding in God’s word. I’m more aware of my tendancy towards complacency these days. I have to be. I should always be aware but it’s easier now because I know I’m about to enter a spiritually taxing time. I don’t mean that things are going to be bad in Belize. They’re just going to be intense.
  • God winks~ Whenever God speaks to me in the little every day moments, I call it God winks. Sometimes I’m listening to a song, a secular song even, and I hear God speak something to my heart. Here’s an example:

“Keep Looking Up”
by Landon Pigg

“Like a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
I know you’re going somewhere new
And I know it’s never gonna  feel like home to you
But this time the only way around is throughSo keep looking up, on past the birds
And keep looking up past the clouds
And when you reach up and clear away the stars
I will be there where you areLike a little locket hangs
Round your little neck so closely to your heart
So shall I be forever
And even if you run away
Put on all your dark clothes, hide in shadows
Just remember one thing …”

Here’s another God wink: the day God made it clear He wanted me to go to Belize, I saw this movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s about a daydreamer who learns how to really live. Every time I see it I want to cry. It’s also part comedy. Anywho, here is the trailor.  It’s rated PG. I highly recommend it.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (email sub. please come to my blog to see the video)

God is speaking. Are you listening? It’s funny the ways He will reach out to us.

  • Life lessons~ Sometimes the best lesson I can get on faith, is through parenting. I learned a ton about having faith in God and not listening to fear, when my son was struggling with a bee phobia. It was a trying time because he was too terrified to even go outside. I’ll have to write about that sometime. As I helped Michael work through his fear and trust God, I also learned how to trust God. Even my parental mistakes have a way of teaching Biblical truth. I have to rely on the greatest parent, to even attempt this parent thing.
  • Social opportunities~ I’ve already mentioned that I am an introvert and that this trip to Belize will put me around people all the time. Now let me mention that I have social anxiety to the max. I just do a good job of hiding it, though it may come out in stutterings and slips of the tongue. I get sick to my stomach every time I go to church. I love hearing God’s word but groups are hard for me. I even get queasy when I’m preparing to talk on the phone. I usually rehearse what I’m going to say. I even write notes to make sure I won’t slip up. Do I give in to this anxiety? Usually not but every now and then I hide from the world. God’s been expanding my borders so to speak. He made a way for me to share an Easter play I wrote with a group of children. I’ve been more involved in church Bible study than usual. People have laid hands on me in prayer. I’ve helped at church fundraisers (yard sales & dinners). Now, I’m getting ready to lead about 20 kids in VBS Bible study. I thought I’d be helping with snacks or something. I didn’t expect to be asked to lead a Bible study.
  • Now, I’ve did all kinds of ministry before. Choir, Sunday School, even a dance team…It’s not that I’ve never did it. I’ve just been in my own little corner for awhile….my own little corner where my social anxiety could grow. It’s much easier to be a hermit when you don’t go out into the world. I was getting to the point where I felt I didn’t really like people. I was afraid that my love had went completely cold. I was afraid that I was too comfortable to change. I didn’t think I’d ever get back to being the girl who’s hands were bloody & dirty with ministry. I was safe but not alive….frozen. So of course, God threw me out of my comfort zone and I do mean threw!
  • I used to love getting to the heart of people. I was anxious but still I could easily talk to the broken. I hung out with the Special Ed kids, the handicapped, and even people of different religions (point: diverse people). I grew up around drug dealers and such. I saw the people bleeding and I would bleed with them. I’d rush to hold them but then…I found just a few people to protect (at least I tried to). I poured into just them and it was good but I learned to tune out the masses. I forgot that other girl and decided I was someone else. Then I had a terrible fright. If I lost my few people, would I have any purpose? Well, God showed me that the old girl wasn’t dead. He reminded me of dreams I dreamt. He showed me that I have a big purpose, even though I feel small. It’s not because of me though. It’s because I serve a big God. Every day I have to be reminded of this truth.
  • I was ready to die in a dusty corner.I just did not care. God hasn’t allowed me to do that though. I still feel like dying in a dusty corner, especially when the world gets too big. I feel like God calls me to jump off cliffs. My faith tells me that God will either catch me or give me wings. Fear tells me I’ll fall. The butterflies in my stomach are having a field day! Please continue to pray for me. I tell you all this because I have Faith that God is going to do a mighty work through this broken vessel. I want you to know that God is doing miracles.
  • Short-term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens by Tim Dearborn~ I’m enjoying this workbook. It’s packed with scripture and things to think about before going on a mission trip. Two points from the book, that I want to share are:

1.Walk with humility. Remember you are showing up late to a meeting. God has been at work among these people long before you arrived!

2. Live with vulnerability. Don’t be afraid of weakness- it’s normal.

(From section 3 of Short-term Missions Workbook)


I pray that as I continue to bare my heart that you will be encouraged. I pray I won’t discourage you in any way but rather that you will see that God uses weak things. I pray you will find hope in your weakness and in your humanity. Thank you dear ones for continuing to read and for continuing to support me with your prayers.   As the time gets closer I am waiting and expecting God to blow me away. I have faith that He will show himself big (again). And when He does…I’m going to continue to share it with you. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


The 1800’s Week 1: Sacagawea & Claude Monet May 20, 2014

In this post:  A short dive into the 1800’s. Here’s week 1 as we study Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea and Claude Monet. 

Hello dear ones! This is a super short post but I didn’t want you to think I was skipping the first week of the 1800’s. We were so laid back this week. I’m thankful to finally be in the 1800’s though. I’m almost caught up on posts.

  • We read about Lewis and Clark and their westward journey in Story of the World Book 3. We also learned about Napoleon, the Haitian revolt, and the rise of factories.
  • Michael read “Who was Sacagawea?” and started reading “Farm Boy”.
  • Michael drew Sacagawea, a grizzly bear, and the White House from his Draw Through History book.
  • Michael read about Claude Monet and then he made a 3D lily pads in a pond picture inspired by Monet.
  • Michael played an interactive Louis and Clark game.

Links after the pic…


Pinterest link for the 1800’s:

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

More posts:

The 1700’s week 3:

The 1800’s week 2:


Book Club: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie May 19, 2014

In this Post: I hosted our home school group’s book club. Join me for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! 🙂

Hello dear ones, I hope you are well. I hosted our book club. This was a super easy event to put together. Here’s how I did it:

The Set

  • If You Give A Mouse a Cookie project board~ I got the board at the Dollar Tree. I looked at the book for inspiration and drew the mouse from it. It’s really light in the picture but you could see it good in person. I just used crayons.
  • Red cups and napkins
  • Blue plates

The Food

  • Three types of cookies~ Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, and peanut butter.
  • Milk on ice
  • Apple Juice


  • Reading “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. This is one of my favorite kid books.
  • Mouse puppets~ paper bags and construction paper. Super easy.
  • “If You Give a Mouse a…” worksheet~ The kids got to fill out their own story.
  • Cookie graph~ The kids and some moms told me their favorite cookies. Chocolate Chip won!

The worksheet and puppet links are on my Pinterest below the collage. I hope you were inspired! 🙂



Pinterest link:

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


The 1700’s Week 3: Australia, the French Revolution, & Lord Byron

In this post: Join us for Week 3 of the 1700’s as we learn about Australia and the French Revolution. We’ve got crafts, food, and fun!

Hello dear ones! So I’m almost caught up with posts. We’re already on Week 3 of the 1800’s in real time. Yes, I’ve got to get my butt out of a rut (pardon my slang). This was an interesting week. I have an embarrassing story to tell but I’ll get to that in a minute. Here’s how we learned:

  • We read about Australia in Story of the World Book 3 and Book 2. We skipped Australia when we were learning about the Middle Ages.
  • We began two short lapbooks: a lapbook on kangaroos and koalas; a lapbook on Australia.
  • We read books on koalas and kangaroos. We also read a book on Australia and Oceania.
  • We watched a video about a dream time story of how the Koala lost it’s tail.
  • We watched a video on how to make Koala noises and we tried.  We also watched several videos about the Outback & dangerous Australian animals.
  • We made aboriginal dot paintings and glued them to our paper towel roll didgeridoo.  We also watched a video of someone playing a didgeridoo.
  • Michael colored a wombat mask.
  • We played a game with animal dice. We had to act like whichever animal it landed on.
  • Michael drew animals and the barrier reef from his Draw Through History book. He also tried drawing tutorials for a koala, a kangaroo, and a kookaburra. We listened to a kookaburra sing/laugh online.
  • Michael and I ate at the Outback Steakhouse for free as a Mother-Son date night. A generous lady paid for our meal. We had fun looking at all the boomerangs and aboriginal art. We split a bloomin’ onion. There’s a picture of Michael in front of an Australian map.
  • At the restaurant, we read Australian facts and about how to speak Australian slang, as we waited for our meal. What’s funny is that we were sitting near Australians the whole time and didn’t know it until we overheard their waiter. I bet we looked the fool over there trying to sound Australian!

The French Revolution etc…

  • We read books about the French Revolution and we had a Marie Antoinette party. We dressed up for a masquerade, danced, ate, and watched the 1930’s Marie Antoinette movie. The way the people persecuted that woman is just horrible. She was a scapegoat for sure. They accused her of the most ridiculous things.

Our Marie Antoinette party:

  • We read about Princess Catherine of Russia in Story of the World Book 3. Michael made a fake faberge egg. We used a plastic easter egg and fake gems.
  • We did a composer study on Joseph Haydn.
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds meets Lord Byron shadow box art~  Remember last week I told you to remember the 3D woman from Sir Joshua Reynolds painting? Well, here’s why. I wanted to use her for our Lord Byron poem tree. We used Lord Byron’s poem “She Walks in Beauty”. I saw a poetry tree sketch on Pinterest and it inspired me. So Michael and I both did one. I modge podged Michael’s to a cardboard box and added moss. Then I glued paper butterflies on both of ours for a 3D look. I added Reynold’s lady to the shadow box. She just looks perfect for that poem. I like how the words form the branches. Pictures don’t do it justice. Michael’s picture is shiny because of the modge podge.

I hope you are inspired! Links after the picture…

The 1700's Week 3 AustraliaFrenchRevolution

Pinterest links:

The 1700’s etc…


More blog posts:

The 1700’s Week 2:

The 1800’s Week 1:

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