amberdover

The High King Lives

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Curriculum & Smores Cookie Date Night Food Fight August 5, 2012

In this post: Our Curriculum choices, Smores Cookies, and a food fight for date night

Hello dear ones :). I hope you’ve had a good week. Michael started 2nd grade/ some 3rd grade this past week. This is a bit of a lengthy post so if you’re not interested in Homeschool stuff please skip down to the bottom for the Smores Cookie recipe. It’s worth the scroll 😉

I found these great wipe offs at Wal-Mart for only 88 cent each: a weather chart that has a place for temps and weekly forecast, a chore chart, and a school schedule chart

Look what Michael added to his schedule at the end  lol 🙂

Curriculum

For those considering Homeschool or just curious, here is my curriculum choices from Pre-K to Second/Third Grade.
I always knew I wanted to Homeschool. I knew several homeschool families and loved how well-rounded the children were socially & academically. I just didn’t know when I would start homeschooling. When Michael was itty bitty I realized he was a curious sort. I knew from my time working at an Early Learning Center that kids are smarter than we give them credit and many of them are capable of learning more at a young age. I saw one year olds that truly understood the meaning of “No” and I met 3 year olds who acted like Kindergarteners. Every child is different of course and that’s the beauty of homeschooling. You can meet every child’s individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses.

It didn’t take long for me to realize Michael was ready to learn. It all started when he began destroying things lol…. garlic all on the couch because he wanted to cook, crayon on forbidden walls (yes we actually did allow him to draw on one wall in his playroom. We let it be his corner), and his boredom with regular toys. Going to “My Gym wasn’t enough.  I realized he needed structure and guidance. So I began reading several books on homeschooling. The Summer after Michael turned 3 we began Pre-K.

PRE-K: I wasn’t sure where to start. Thankfully a good friend (my 7th grade teacher who homeschooled her kids) guided me to a curriculum. I was not ready to go eclectic. So we used Horizon’s Pre-K by Alpha Omega. It was great because it had all the subjects in one book with lots of planning info. I just basically had to get the materials together…the book did the rest. The main point of the book was to teach about Creation through story, crafts, and song. It also taught introductory elements of reading, math, science, history, writing, and science. I bought the whole kit which was a bit costly but worth every penny. It came with workbooks, teacher’s guide, and dvds/cds. I kept the books in good shape and sold them later. This also included 3 computer games: Rev up for reading, Rev up for writing, & Rev up for arithmetic.
Pic below

P.E. & extracurricular: My Gym & hanging with kids at the Family Theatre. I was in a couple of  plays at that time. I tried to get Michael to try clogging with me but he’d rather watch.

Kindergarten: I had hoped to find an all in one curriculum again but Horizons only had three main subjects for K: Math, Phonics, and Health. I love crafts and I missed the diversity of subjects from the Pre-K curriculum. So I found substitutes with LifePac first Grade. I found out that Horizons is advanced so Lifepac 1st grade was the same level as Horizons K.

I used LifePac History and Geography which was super simple. It had basics like understanding a family unit. I also used LifePac Bible lessons. I liked the simple pictures. Horizons math wasn’t as enjoyable but we made it through.

We did not like Horizons Phonics at all and only completed the first of four books. Then I had to find other methods of teaching Michael to read. We went a bit eclectic and combined  old school Hooked on Phonics (on cassette tapes too), the free website Starfall.com, and Bob Books (which really helped with sight words). Things really clicked when we began the Bob books. I believe Phonics gave the proper foundation. There are so many aspects to reading…..like comprehension. I don’t really care for the programs that teach babies to read.

I enjoyed the Health lessons for Horizons. They can be used for many grades. I went online to find craft ideas. Before I found the amazing Pinterest I loved (and still do) blogger.com. This is where I found amazing ideas from thatartistwoman and PinkandGreenMama. The links are on my blogroll.

P.E. & extracurricular: Worship music and dance for exercise, Flag Football for a bit, and we got involved with a Homeschool group.

1st grade/ 2nd grade: This past year has been great. We went eclectic and thrifty. I used a bit of curriculum passed down from buddies and I found books on Christianbook.com. I also got books from Barnes & Noble during the middle of the year (teachers get a discount). My best buddy Julie introduced me to Pinterest. Oh how I love my Pinterest (and my buddy). I have been even craftier this year than before he he he. I don’t have pics of all the curriculum but here’s a list.

I noticed Michael had a love for drawing. So I got the Draw Write Now series which combines simple drawings and writing lessons. We used the lessons according to seasons and the themes of each month.

Draw Write Now Series- link has pics

http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/2012/07/draw-write-now-books.html

Seeds Family Worship– Musical memory verses…also found free print outs with the words for writing practice.

The ABC’s of Handling Money God’s Way: cute, simple, and short

Music in Me books 1 & first part of book 2: We began Piano lessons. It was a challenge at first and we had to take things super slow. Now with a rewards system and computer games & worksheets piano is a joy.

People Together (Social Studies etc): We got this from a friend and didn’t know what level it was for awhile. I found out it was a 2nd grade book. It was super simple and worked anyways. We did this once a week for part of the year. Short book.

ABC teach & Enchanted Learning websites: for math worksheets, basic spelling words, science, and themed work sheets.

Pinterest: crafts and science ideas mainly…other subjects as well. Michael got a microscope and a “chemistry” set for Christmas. We tinkered with those for several months. It was so gross looking at Nana’s blood on the microscope…yuck.

Explorer’s Bible Studies: this wasn’t the best kid’s devotional I’ve seen but it took us through the old and new testament (the main stories). Michael reads the devotion then answers questions. He also has a primary Bible that he reads a little of each morning.

Drums, Trumpets, Parades, and Carousels reading books: I used these as a kid in first grade. My mom in law gave them to me. Michael read the stories in these quickly.

Spectrum Math grade 2: I looked through this book and realized Michael’s Horizon math for Kindergarten was really on a 1st grade level. Michael was ready for second grade math. He got this half way so we will finish it up in October.

Scholastic Math grade 1: I got this short book to keep Michael brushed up on the basics he had already learned. Finished it.

Other Refreshers: Flash Kids Time & Money, 10 days to Addition Mastery, & 10 days to Subtraction Mastery (wrap ups). Finished these as well.

Spectrum Reading grade 1: We got this midway and have already finished it.

Letters and Sounds 1st grade (Abekka): This was given to us. It was a great refresher for the most part.

Spectrum Grade 1 Language Arts: started Midway will finish in October.

Read and Understand Science 1st-2nd grade: still working on this one. It’s simple and so far no evolution stuff.

P.E. & extracurricular: Karate, church choir,  & our homeschool group. I don’t know what I’d do without my homeschool buddies. We have had some wonderful field trips, crafts, and experiments. Michael has done many things that I never got to do until I was in middle school. We got to know our best friends Hannah and her family (also met Michael’s future wife! ha!).

We try to split up seat-work with snacks, reading, field trips, and playtime. We have on occasion had school at a variety of places…the park, the trampoline, the library….McDonald’s lol. Sometimes we play learning games (on the computer and Hands On). We’ve done a few plays with Nana & Chris. Sometimes we experiment with cooking but not too often. Friday is usually movie day. We are flexible. The most rewarding experience has been playing Bingo with the Seniors at the Nursing Home. Their faces light up when they see Michael & he’s learning to be a great hugger. Character is way more important than academics.

The craziest places we’ve worked on school: the car dealership & the doctor’s office. A nurse helped Michael with his math lol. We’ve also done work in the car and while visiting family members.

2nd-3rd grade: I’m so excited about the themes I’ve picked for this year. I know at least three of them aside from the usual seasonal/ holiday themes. I’ve spent many hours lesson planning. I’ll give you a few ideas: Health & Safety (Community helpers, fire/stranger safety, Just say no to drugs) for August, The Human Body for September, & Time Machine for January. January is going to be so awesome, Lord willing! 🙂

We are still eclectic this year and loving it.

Bob Jones Devotion: Bible Truths: A Servant’s Heart second grade. I have taken Bible courses with Bob Jones and know them to be a good conservative school. I am so excited about this devotion. Not only does it have colorful illustrations with the Bible stories, it also has lessons on famous preachers/theologians, and has lessons on Christian chapter books (2 and they are bought separately). I am using the units at different times depending on seasons/holidays. For example: the unit on Forgiveness for Passover, the Christmas unit for Christmas time, and the Generosity unit for Thanksgiving. Michael will have already read through his primary Bible. It will be time to get him his own big Bible. I have one in mind.

History, Geography, Social Studies: Our Christian Heritage Grade 2

I’m excited about this one too. It teaches children about the Bible and History etc. I love the Christian World View in the book and will probably use this series every year. These lessons will be twice a week.

Language Arts, Writing, & Reading: Michael begged me to teach him cursive so we will attempt that this year.  We have Spectrum Reading and Flash Kids Writing for 2nd grade. Also Grade 2 Flash Forward Language Arts. The Dry Erase Cursive Letters came from Wal-Mart. Some of these are long and some short so they will overlap over the year.

Spelling: I get the spelling words from abcteach.com. I didn’t print all the worksheets but I do have some. Mainly he copies the words off the board for the week. Then he write them two times the next day. The day after that he fills in the blanks and puts the right words with the right sentences. Thursday we study a lot and Friday he has his test.

Math: Spectrum Math grade 3 & Scholastic Math 2nd grade. The latter book is a refresher. Also Jumpstart/ Math blaster are great sites for online math games. I’ll probably use Pinterest for hands on math games.

http://pinterest.com/doverette/math/

Other:  Read & Understand Science grades 2-3 (we will probably switch to a creation science book next year)

You Can Draw book with tabs for different sections

Of course, more Pinterest inspirations for crafts. The more I pin the more I fall in love. I’m a bit OCD…

Reading: Occasionally I’ll buy Michael a book to read but for the most part we go to the Library. Our favorite chapter books are The Magic Tree House series & Nate the Great. We like leveled readers too. We read Biscuit books in the early days but now Michael reads level 3 and  4. We also have this great book series from the 60’s on History, bugs, birds etc…They were my Dad’s when he was a kid. Michael will read a couple chapters a day from those when needed.

Music:  Piano three times a week but he practices on his own daily. We are still using Music in Me (book 2). Also Michael practices a scale & intervals for 5 minutes. He has the Theory book that goes with Music in Me. We do that once a week along with computer games. I did a post about how we do lessons:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/crafty-monday-sea-horses-piano-lessons/

Craft Staples: I built my craft supply up over the years. This is a list of what I regularly keep in supply.

  • crayons, markers, pens (including dry erase), pencils(colored too), and chalk
  • paper of all kinds (Construction paper, freezer paper for painting, posters, & tissue paper)
  • glue (sticks, white glue, hot glue sticks with hot glue gun, and Modge Podge etc)
  • tape
  • Paint (water colors, washable, face paint, glow in the dark paint, and acrylic)
  • feathers, pom poms, stickers, yarn, string, glitter, and wiggly eyes
  • pipe cleaners of many colors, craft sticks, tooth pics, & ribbon
  • felt of many colors, foam of many colors, paper clips, & brads
  • Necessities: stapler, hole puncher, & scissors
  • Cardboard (cereal boxes etc), toilet paper rolls, and bottle caps
  • magnet strips, sequins, stamps, ink pads, & folders (for lapbooks)

I think that’s it. You may not agree with this list but I have used these things in so many crafts. I haven’t had to refill my supply much over the past  3 years.

http://www.aophomeschooling.com/blog/homeschool-view/best-school-supply-list-for-homeschool-parents/

NOW FOR THE SMORES! WOOHOO!

Date Night Food Fight

The Hubby planned our date night a couple weeks ago. Well, he planned the main ideas of it: Food Fight and a movie. I filled in the details: Smores cookies & home movies. We didn’t have a sitter so little man hung with us. It became family night which worked out good. Chris wasn’t feeling well so Michael and I ended up doing most of the food fighting.

The Stage is Set….

Let the flour fly!

Chris did help with the cooking even though he felt bad.

Here’s the recipe for these awesome Smores cookies. You’ve got to try these!

Oh, and Michael thought making a super sized cookie was just awesome lol! 🙂

http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/07/smores-cookies.html

Then we watched home movies while we waited for then ate our cookies.

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

PS: If you get a chance to try these amazing cookies give me some comment love. I want to know how it turns out 🙂

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: The Beauty of Sex within Marriage, Family Night, & a secret family recipe ;) March 25, 2012

Hello, dear ones. Well, I’ve finally caught up on post. I still feel weak as a kitten but hopefully I’ll get a protein shake soon & restore my iron etc. Today’s post is not for young children. This is my soap box so hang on tight. This blog is purely informational so please no debates in the comment area. I’m not here to argue. Take my words or leave them…up to you ;). But hang on because at the end of this post I’m revealing a secret family recipe.

I’m enjoying a new blog: To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Gregoire

tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/03/marital-success-is-a-matter-of-attitude/

She wrote “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex” which I haven’t read. But her blog shows a healthy view of Sex, the way God mean’t for it to be.

Most of you, like me, have been subconsciously taught by the media & society that sex is this naughty and nasty thing. Alot of women believe that sex is just for perverted men who only think with their sexual organ. We’ve heard that men need sex and women need romance and that sex is just a means to getting love. It’s sad how many people believe this. Many are on the streets selling their bodies to survive or because they were abused (kidnapped etc) and made to feel that sex was the only reason they were created….that they are worthless. Many give themselves because they want love….only to feel emptier afterwards.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

I had a friend in Highschool who slept around. After she became a Christian I remember her telling me how hollow she felt….like she was just an object. It’s not just women though. I had a friend who was sexually abused by his father. It forever scarred him and distorted the way he sees men. He is now in the homosexual community and he has never learned how to embrace true masculinity. What he was taught as a child was sick and twisted. Children are bombarded with images of celebrities and models who have been airbrushed into make believe perfection. How can we compete? And those of us who are no longer virgins know the truth now. Sex is not like the movies. Romance is not like the movies.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Women cannot compete with porn stars. By the way, if you read testimonies of ex-porn stars they share how fake porn is. How nasty it is and how many die of disease. It’s all done with cameras people. Real people DON’T have sex like that. If they tried they probably would end up in the hospital.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

(Pic of Taylor Swift without makeup. Go girl for being willing to be real!)

Men can not compete with fairy tale romance. I love fairy tales. I don’t believe it can ever be compared to porn because it doesn’t mess up the brain in a physical way like porn does (read the reblog I did about porn awhile ago: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/552/ ). BUT real men are NOT like fairy tale princes. The ONLY perfect Prince that will come riding on a white horse is Jesus Christ and He is God. Other men are only human and their brains do not work like women’s brains. Truly women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles. Despite what the feminist may say, we ARE different. It is scientifically proven that our brains are wired in different ways.

(Pic at fall festival. Chris is William Wallace and I’m a random Vulcan or Romulan..Star Trek stuff)

So if all of this is fake then what’s real? Are we just in for a life of misery and failed expectations? Should we just put up with whatever we get? NO! Our marriages may not be perfect but they can be beautiful. If we just let God write our love stories & change our perspective we can actually enjoy this life. Marriage takes work. Anything worthwhile will require sacrifice.

God created sex to be beautiful and to be between a woman and man. Within the bonds of marriage sex transcends the physical…it becomes spiritual as well….forever meshing two souls into one. It can become healing. Maybe you’ve only ever been damaged by sex. Darlin’, that’s because you experienced the counterfeit of true sex. You got the cheap copy. I pray one day you will find a Godly spouse and learn how it’s supposed to be. Godly sex may even bring about a miracle: a beautiful child in the likeness of your soul mate. I have only experienced that once but man it took my breath away. That miracle is almost six years old now.

You see, sex was never mean’t to happen with multiple people or with images in a magazine. Sex was made for one woman and one man to enjoy their love. It was mean’t to unify a couple. The world has messed it up and now many people (esp religious people) believe sex is dirty and evil. Ummmm God made sexual organs for a reason. He gave women a certain spot that has no other purpose but to bring pleasure. Seriously, this spot does not help in procreation. It’s only purpose is for pleasure. There’s actually a whole book in the Bible that talks about sex: The Song of Solomon. Sex has become the elephant in the room in church. The world is giving out all the wrong information about sex but the church is too scared to address the issue. Thankfully more people are speaking out in the church. There are some great resources out there.

When I was a kid I encountered a form of sexual abuse. Few people know the details & most of my family would be surprised this ever happened to me. The experience screwed up my way of thinking about sexuality. I’m not about to give details on a blog. I’m saying this to say that I understand what the dark side can do to our perspectives. I still have issues that I have to give to God every day because of that experience.

When I turned 17 I decided that I was going to pray for my future husband and I began writing letters to him before I knew his name. I gave these letters to my husband on our wedding night. I pledged to keep myself pure and to wait for God to send me a Godly man. It was through that waiting that God sent me Chris and our story is beautiful, written by God’s hand. Chris and I were both virgins on our wedding night and it was amazing.  I will never regret waiting. I just wish I had saved my first kiss for Chris as well.

You may think I’m crazy but I am a big advocate for not casually dating. I am all about courtship & preparing for marriage. Teens, if you’re not  in it for marriage then don’t date. Enjoy your childhood. Save yourself for that forever someone. I dated alot before I made the commitment to be happily single (til God brought my husband). I regret dating because even though I remained pure, I still gave so much of my heart to people I will never see again. I wish I would’ve saved ALL of my heart for Chris alone. I wish I had enjoyed being single and being a kid! I mistakenly thought I needed a guy to complete me. I was seeking love in the wrong places. Yes, God blessed the broken road but learn from me….skip the broken road…go straight for the prize ;).

My parents divorced when I was little and my mom dated alot. I saw how those relationships broke her heart time and time again. Only God knows the best person for you because only God knows the future and a person’s heart. I challenge all you single folks to read “I kissed dating Goodbye”, “When God writes your Love story”, and “Say Hello to Courtship” (by the same guy who wrote I kissed dating goodbye).

You can dismiss me if you want but I’m telling you I’ve LIVED these lessons and I’ve watched others crash and burn. I’m 27 now but I remember those days very well. Kids thought I was weird “dating” God and all (meaning I was committed to focusing on God and not dating guys). But where are they now? How many hardships have they encountered because they chose the world’s way? (A ton) I didn’t fit in with the other kids. I didn’t go with the “flow” and Praise God cause the flow led to misery. Please don’t follow people off a cliff.

Anywho, those last couple of years in Highschool I decided that I needed to become a woman worth marrying if I expected to marry a Godly guy. I read tons of books on marriage and relationships. I reached out to younger girls and I was mentored by older women (some in their 40’s, one was in her 90’s). I volunteered in the community. I wanted to be my name sake, “Amber” (Jewel of Purity). Yes I was scarred from my past but God could transform me. I made mistakes and God forgave me. God picked me up & I kept going. When God brought Chris I prayed hard…..we even postponed our wedding to make sure it was God’s will.

I had never expected to marry a soldier. I thought I would go to Bible college or meet a missionary. God made it clear he wanted me to stay put & wait for my man. I prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed if Chris was truly the right one. I did not want to get involved unless I was sure. I even asked for signs. God made it clear through signs and the peace in my heart that Chris was the one. We prayed together. We set boundaries so we’d remain pure. Sometimes we broke boundaries & had to regroup, ask for forgiveness, and do our best to stay away from crossing the purity line. It was hard & thankfully Chris was gone alot for the army. God truly protected us.

Even if you’re not a Virgin, God can still give you something beautiful. He can heal your scars and transform you into a jewel of purity. You can wear white with your head held high. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve read of ex porn stars that gave their life to Christ and God filled their heart with innocence.

(Click on the pic to see it larger. Please don’t copy or steal my drawings. Thanks!)

I’ve dealt with abuse and I know how you just want to feel innocent again. The world wants to steal people’s innocence. There’s a reason I read kid’s book and watch kid’s tv shows…..the adult stuff is too full of lust. I WANT innocence. I want to see things from the eyes of a child. And I do. Sometimes I struggle but when I stay in God’s word He gives me new perspective. He restores my innocence over and over.  Sex can be beautiful. Educate yourself about how it’s really supposed to be.

Okay I’ve taken up alot of your time. I want to issue a challenge to all the families out there or even couples: plan a family night once a week and avoid tv, the cell, and video games. Go for a walk or play board games. There are SO many things you can do that don’t involve electronics. So far our family nights have been eating at the table (sometimes with candlelight), Chris reading devotions, praying together, and then playing board games/cards/dominoes.

My hubby isn’t a big game person so we’re going to start mixing things up…maybe go to the park. This coming Monday the plan is to break out the guitar and sing together as a family. I’m hoping it works out. We’re a very musical family. When my health improves I’d like to go geocaching. It just sounds neat ;). ANywho, please leave me some comments and let me know how your family nights go. I’m open for ideas too :).

Ok, lastly here is the big reveal! This is the recipe to my Dad’s famous blue-ribbon pancakes! I just added it to our church cook book but for the most part it’s been kept in our family. These are SO yummy! My Dad was an excellent cook. He learned from the best. My great grandpa was a famous chef up in New York. He owned his own restaurant and cooked for a President and for astronauts.  He taught my Dad everything he knew. I unfortunately didn’t learn as much. My Dad wanted me to learn all the measurements first and I rebelled. But I’m still a decent cook. Anywho, enjoy!

(Pic of my Daddy several months before he died)

Dad’s Blue Ribbon Pancakes
by Jim Way
1962-2009
Ingredients:
2 Cups SR flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey

Directions:
Preheat griddle to 350 degrees
In large bowl, combine all ingredients
stir until mixed well
Beat for 30 seconds with wire whip
Use 3/4 cup batter for each allowing plenty of space for them
flip pancakes when bubbles cover the top and brown
Note: for extra-light, tender, and fluffy pancakes turn before bubbles break and turn 1 time only.
Serve with your favorite toppings.
If thinning of batter is necessary, use water

Well, God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Men you are mean’t to be heroes…warriors…princes. Women you are princesses….warrior princesses even….you are mean’t to be strong vessels of light. Don’t let the world tell you, you are anything less. Yes we are different. We were never mean’t to be exactly the same. But we all have purpose. We all have worth….just because we are. God loves his creation. He loves you…just as you are. Don’t become plastic….be yourself 🙂