The High King Lives

Weekend Special: Creative Parenting, Man of Steel, & Virtual Oceans June 30, 2013

In this post: A weekend combo of Virtual Friday, Media Saturday, & My Family Rocks! Sunday. Come visit virtual oceans with me as a mermaid in Second Life. I’ll review the new movie Man of Steel. Also, Lisa Whelchel’s book “Creative Correction” and how it’s helping us.

Hello dear ones! I hope you are well. I know my posts have been few lately. I ask for your prayers. Many of you know that I found out I don’t have Ehlers Danlos (what my Daddy had). I have found out that something I do have, Endometriosis, can actually cause a lot of the symptoms I’m experiencing. The more it grows the worse I feel and mine can’t be lasered out because of where it is.

I don’t like or trust most main stream meds. So I’ve started taking a natural progesterone cream that’s supposed to help shrink things. I can tell it’s doing something because of my fake pregnancy symptoms. It’s worth it to shrink the endo. though. I’m just even more fatigued than usual. I’m just having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other. So please keep me in your prayers and also about the inflammation in my joints (mainly my fingers). That’s been particularly bothersome lately and I hate feeling limited & weak (a pride thing I guess).

Now moving on, below is a pic of my yard in Second Life. My avatar got a new hairdo and clothes. But we will get back to Second Life later. First, I want to share this awesome devotional I’m doing.


Some of you may remember Lisa Whelchel from “The Facts of Life”.  Anywho, she’s now a homeschool mom and housewife. She wrote this great devotional called “Creative Correction”. I’ve been writing a lot about parenting lately. Michael is in a new stage which I’ve found seems to happen at age seven. So it’s not unusual that we are having new challenges with him and because of that our parenting methods have to change with the stage. I am all about heart based parenting. I don’t want my kiddo to look good on the outside but be a mess inside. I want to help him develop character by pointing him to Christ. That’s harder than it seems because I have my own failings and often I feel I am exhibit A of how not to act. I’m often asking for Michael’s forgiveness. If Michael sees anything in my life of value I guess it’ll be that God is merciful to me and that I do have a repentant heart. I am trying.

So I’m on this journey to learn how the Heavenly Father parents and how that translates to human parenting cause obviously I’m not God and I’m not allowed to make some of the parenting choices he makes. The whole “I brought you into this world so I can take you out” thing only applies to God lol. And I’m very thankful that stoning is not permitted under the new covenant. Though the New Covenant story of Ananias and Sapphira brings chills to me.

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“Creative Correction” is a great resource for this adventure I’m on. Lisa points to God’s word and helps us see how the Heavenly Father parents. She also gives several tools parents can use ranging from scripture to activities and parables. The pictures below show an object lesson from the book.

You need several big stones (or in our case pecans), rice, and a jar.

First, Michael filled the jar with rice and tried to fit the pecans on top. He wasn’t able to fit all of the pecans.

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Then he filled the jar with pecans first and they all fit. He was able to pour most of the rice. The lesson is that when we put the big things first (like spending time with Jesus, school work, and chores), we are able to fit the little things in too (like video games and t.v. etc). But if we put all our time into the little things that don’t matter much we usually don’t have time to finish the important things. Also it’s a message to put God first and how he helps us order our day. This can also be an object lesson for money and spending.

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These object lessons and parables are so much easier than harping on issues over and over again. When Michael is being negative I just say “look for the pony, son“. That comes from the story of the optimist and his brother the pessimist. The pessimist gets toys for his birthday and sits around and complains about having to read instructions and get batteries. The optimist gets horse poo and dances around because he knows with all that poo a pony has to be around somewhere.

Lisa lists several scriptures that I haven’t thought to use before. I can vouch that scripture really works. Slowly but surely I’m seeing how the repentance corner is affecting Michael. He used to say “I can’t change” all the time. Now he’s been saying “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13 KJV). It is a slow process but focusing on the inward man takes time. It’s all about looking at the big picture…not just wanting outward obedience in the moment.    I am learning a lot about how God parents me as well. I find I have some of the same struggles that Michael does but on a deeper level.

Wondering what the repentance corner is? Read this post:

Anywho, if you get a chance I encourage you to check out Lisa’s book. It comes with video sessions as well but I didn’t buy them.

  • Media review for Man of Steel

Man Of Steel Cast 2013

(By Eva Rinaldi  Uploaded by MyCanon (Man Of Steel Cast) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons )

The fellas and I saw “Man of Steel” for Father’s Day. My first impression is “amazing! Stinkin’ awesome!” But the adrenaline rush is gone and now I can give a somewhat decent review.

Positives: Super Man has great character. He makes a hard choice in the end that has some long time fans disappointed but I feel he had no choice. I won’t spoil it for you.  Clark Kent’s adoptive parents are very loving and his Dad makes a great sacrifice for his son. There’s also this wonderful message about how to deal with bullying and being a bigger man. There is nothing sexual in the movie unless you count a guy making inappropriate remarks to a waitress (which Super Man defends the lady). Super Man isn’t perfect and has weaknesses so he is not godlike (something that I worried about).  Lois Lane and Clark Kent both make hard decisions and side with their morals over their fears and pressure from others. So when it comes down to it, Super Man puts all the other super heroes to shame when it comes to integrity and goodness. I would much rather my son emulate Super Man than Iron Man or Spider Man.

On that note, if you’re one of my readers then you know I believe media can be used as a teaching tool. I believe parents should talk to their kids about what they watch and listen to. We can shape the messages they receive subconsciously from media. So though I think Super Man is a better hero I want my son to ultimately try to be Christ-like. So we did have a talk about how Jesus is real and He is like the biggest super hero because He is God and He is perfect. Michael and I talked about the differences between Super Man and Jesus.

Negatives: The action scenes are super intense and in my opinion too intense for most kids (especially littles). My son is probably too used to action scenes (from Avengers and Lord of the Rings etc). So it didn’t bother him at all. When he was younger we used to watch the old Star Trek series as a family. Man of Steel was one big adrenaline rush and from the previews/commercials to the action scenes it was all about testosterone. LOL It’s definitely a man’s movie though obviously women can enjoy it as well. The villain is very dark and doesn’t care if he wipes out the human race. So there is violence and lots of it. Also there are probably a couple of curse words sprinkled here and there. I honestly can’t remember any of them but you can check out and read a detailed review.

In conclusion, Man of Steel is a great movie but I’d keep the littles home until they are mature enough to handle the intensity and the thematic elements (like genocide). Upper elementary and middle schoolers should be fine and I’d recommend this movie above the other action movies this Summer.

  • Mermaid exploration in the virtual ocean of Second Life

backyard So I decided to become a mermaid and show you some great underwater worlds in Second Life. It was extremely difficult to find a modest mermaid outfit. The one I’m (my avatar lol) wearing actually doesn’t have a tail. It just has pants so I used a different tail. The sand skirt and the scaly top is very modest. So the combo works for a modest mermaid. Now I can’t guarantee that these sims will always be family friendly and that everyone will dress modest. Heck…even The Little Mermaid isn’t modest. But for the most part I ran into few merpeople and the ocean bed was pretty secluded.

Here’s my hat with little baby mermaids and sea shells. I’ve got a scaly tattoo on my face. Most little girls like to pretend to be mermaids in the pool and this grown up little girl is no different ;).

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You can see the great seahorse necklace if you click on the pic below.


  • Cave Rua Water Gardens

Visit Rua (160, 202, 11)

This is a small place to swim but there’s a good bit of plant life and some interesting statues.

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Cave Rua Water Gardens

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Cave Rua 2

  • Safe Water Foundation: Mermaids of Phantasien

Visit Mermaids of Phantasien (122, 126, 3)

Now this is a great place to swim but you will probably run into more merpeople here. That can be a good thing if you’re looking to reach out to others but if you’re trying to avoid seeing immodest dress and role play that involves Greek/Roman mythology then it’s best to proceed with caution. There is a calendar with a list of events so you can choose the best time to explore.

Safe Waters Foundation

The Safe Water Foundation supports merpeople and underwater life in Second Life. I’m not sure what they are safe from though….virtual pirates? The Phantasien area has a neat underwater play area. There’s lots to explore here.

Safe Water Mermaids of Phantasien

Like ruins and shipwrecks…


Here’s a nifty castle that someone lives in. You have to message them to get a tour. It has an octopus garden by it.

Octopus Garden

The colors and the realistic sea life are just breath taking.

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Bernie’s Hideaway is a cute underwater club. You can sit at the table and talk with merfriends…or in my case, fish.

Bernie's Hideaway

You can dance in the big blue. The dances are made especially for mermaids and were very fun. You may wonder how virtual dancing can be fun…well it’s never been hard for me to put myself in a character’s place….whether I’m reading a book, watching a movie, acting in a play, playing video games, or exploring virtual worlds. You should ask my Hubby how seriously I take Nancy Drew games. I MUST solve the mystery! Role players won’t find it hard to pretend.

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I love this pic. I just want to start singing Disney’s The Little Mermaid. “Up where they walk…up where they run…” Yes Mom, I still pretend to be Ariel.

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Part of your world!!!!!!!!!!


Anywho, I’m done ;P. So I hope to have more underwater worlds to show you next time and I’ve found more educational places to visit. I only get on Second Life a couple of times a month. I hope no one’s shocked. I don’t spend all my time in the virtual world. I have school to teach and a house to clean… a bunch of crazy animals to take care of (I mean the cat and such…not Chris and Michael he he he 😛 jk honey….testing to see if you actually read my blog lol.)

So maybe I’ll get the time to do massive exploration one day. 

I hope the reviews etc have helped or entertained. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: I love getting sweet comments. It means so much to me. If you have resources that you want to share or just want to say hi and chat…please drop me a comment. 🙂


Crafty Monday: Disney Countdown~Lil’ Mermaid, Nemo, & Monster’s Inc June 24, 2013

In this Post: Crafts, fun, and food with The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Monster’s Inc.

Disney Countdown

Hello dear ones! I hope you’ve had a lovely week. Looking at my pics, last week looked like a breeze. The truth is the first part of the week was crazy because of family stuff and swimming lessons. We caught up late Wednesday night. I spent a good bit of the week on the phone with family. I am so thankful we made it through the week and have something to show for it! Moving on…

This is week 3 of our Disney Countdown. I’ll post links to the other weeks at the end. I was excited about this week because I love The Little Mermaid. It was the first movie I saw in the theater as a kid and it was with both my parents before they divorced. Throw in Nemo and you’ve got a brilliant ocean themed week.

First, I want to show you our new pet fish Yoda. Actually we have Yoda the second. The first Yoda (shown below) died after Michael tried to handle him. But the fish look so much alike I didn’t bother with another picture. Our mouse Cinderella sadly had to be let go. Her OCD wounds were too bad.

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A couple weeks ago we got our Disney planning dvd in the mail. Michael and I got very excited watching it.

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Michael started swimming lessons last week which also went very well with our ocean themed week.

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Here’s our craft we did when we watched  Finding Nemo. I found these aquatic paper plate crafts at the Dollar Tree. They look just like Nemo characters.

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Monday and Wednesday we watched The Little Mermaid & Ariel’s Beginning. Here’s Michael making hand print mermaids.

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We learned a bit about coral and Michael painted a cardboard coral reef with fish. He drew fish around the mermaids. Then we added the Nemo characters and a nifty hermit crab.

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Sand Cake ~ Instead of dirt pudding this is sand cake. It’s made with vanilla creme cookies crumbled up (sand), whip cream, and vanilla pudding. I thought the bucket and shovel added a nice touch.

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Each week I’m giving Michael a Summer writing assignment. To fit the theme I had Michael tell his favorite part of swimming lessons. I added the diving gear to his picture. It’s very short but looks cute.

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We did this great Coral Reef lapbook and watched a video on coral.

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Chris helped Michael make a telegraph from his inventions kit.

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We practiced a bit of Morse code.

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If you’d like to find more ocean themed posts start here:

There are 4 parts to last years ocean series. Each part has a link to the next at the end of the post.

Not only is Monster’s Inc by Disney now but Monster’s University just came out in theaters. So we just had to watch Monster’s Inc. and have a monster themed party before watching Monster’s University. 

I made several paper doors and put them on a blue table cloth. We have Monster’s University cups that came with kiddie combos at the theater. One has Mike on the lid and one has Sully. I found the Monster’s University notebook at the Dollar Tree.

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Michael had “Monster” oatmeal. I put a bit of blue food coloring and added blueberries.

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I cut an eyeball out of white and black felt and pinned it to a green shirt. Here’s Michael’s “Mike Wazowski shirt”.

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I put together these monster (Sully) shoes out of cardboard boxes and paper.

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Monster Cookie Dough Dip ~the recipe is on my Pinterest link at the end of this post.

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I didn’t take a picture but I also made “Monster granola bars” which looks similar to this but not as unhealthy.

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Proof we do eat healthy sometimes lol…

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Michael colored these Monster bookmarks and we made them to look like Mike and Sully.

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Here’s Sully at work. I love how these bookmarks work.

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Here’s Michael in his monster glasses, shirt, and shoes.

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Pillsbury had these Monster’s University sugar cookies.

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I cut out the table cloth and hung it in the home school room. I’m trying to have the area surrounded by Disney by the time we’re ready to go there.

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I forgot this pic when I first did this post. Here’s Michael and I at the movie theater with Mike and Sully.


Disney Countdown 1

Disney Countdown 2:

My Disney Pinterest link (remember email sub. to come to my blog to see the links)

Monster’s Inc Pinterest Link

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

PS: Tune in next week (Lord willing) for Alice in Wonderland and Beauty & the Beast.

Disney Countdown #4:


Crafty Monday: Pirate Party April 9, 2012

Hello friends and welcome to crafty Monday 🙂 As most of you know, my son had a Pirate birthday party Saturday. He actually turns 6 this Wednesday. I spent three weeks (staying up late at night) working on the props etc for this party. It was a blast but I’m thankful for rest. I wish I had gotten better pictures of the decor but I was so tuckered out that it just didn’t happen. We were up late Friday night decorating inside. Then we decorated outside Saturday. If you’d like to know our piratey playlist for the party check out my blog post:

Let the pirate pictures begin 🙂

First there were the handmade Pirate invitations. I didn’t want a bunch of skulls on everything. So I cut black rectangles and printed the piratey invite on white cardstock. I used special scrapbook scissors to cut the white squares and then I put it on top of the black. I cut out a pirate head with a red bandana and glued it to the side…then I made a treasure chest for the other side. I had to put the time on the bandana because I forgot to include it on the white paper :(.

I found red envelopes at Hobby Lobby. You can see that we have a red and black theme for most of this party. I made sure to use piratey jargon that I found on the net.

For the living room I hung blue streamers and fishy cut outs (by fishing string). I made the front of the ship out of cardboard pieces then I painted it. I used an old red shirt for the sail and a paper towel roll with black cardboard for the flag. There’s also an anchor made out of cardboard and a fake golden chain. I covered my doll case etc so it wouldn’t take away from the underwater feel.

The palm tree was made out of painted cardboard and poster paper. I had to tape it to my music stand to keep it from bending. I also put out a pineapple candle 🙂

It was all red and black in the kitchen. We completely moved our dining room table. I found the water paper at Michael’s for cheap. The kiddie pool was at Family dollar and the magnetic fish and poles were from Walmart. I also got the growing sea creatures from Walmart. I lined up three of my table stands and covered it with a red plastic table cloth. I got a majority of that kind of stuff from the dollar tree. The balloons kept popping all morning though 😦 I don’t know if it was because they were cheap or because of the heat. I ended up getting more before the party started. The cups and plates etc were cheap at the dollar tree. I also found red party bags and parrot noise makers there. I put candy, pirate/mermaid stickers, plastic compasses, foam swords, and the noise makers in the bags. I found stuff at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, the Dollar tree, and Michael’s.

Michael was dressed up and ready for the party. I got the Pirate outift many years ago but I made the eye patch out of felt and black string.

I got the idea from:

to make these photo posters. I tried to make mine a little different. I just drew the pictures on posters and painted them. I tied string between a tree and a post then I used clothes pens to hold them up. The adults had to squat for the pics but the kids could walk right up to them.

Me and the hubby were in the spirit 🙂 I made our eye patches as well.

I also got the fishing game idea from Pink & Green Mama’s blog. I could’ve made the magnetic fish and poles but it was easier to buy them.

I printed off a map from the net and then I took the pics on the map and drew them on printer paper. I put the pictures all around at the different stations. So the kids followed the map to the different stations until they got to the treasure chest. I painted a cardboard chest from Michael’s. Then I filled it with goodies (candy, toy soldiers, marbles, special erasers, stickers etc). I buried the chest in our compost pile (not very deep) and put a small shovel beside it. I put the the picture with the X marks the spot on a stick. It said “Dig for buried treasure”. I made sure the kids only took a handful each.

The kids had the most fun on Michael’s playground which became the pirate ship. We took a black shirt and painted it with a white cross then my hubby hung it up on a stick for the flag. I put my son’s stuffed pirate in the window and I put the picture of mermaids on it with the words “Sail the seven seas” (that was part of the map). I left my son’s normal toys out (chalk, badminton, softball bat etc) and the kids had fun with those as well.

I found a Pirate ship pinata at Hobby Lobby. The kids loved this game. The pinata was built well because even after the last kid beat it to the ground it STILL didn’t bust completely open. So I let the kids take turns just beating it until they could get the candy. My hubby pulled the string up and down to make this more of a challenge.

and finally the cake :). I couldn’t find a cake without a bunch of skulls so we just got a beach cake.

I made two of my son’s presents.

First, I made this felt pirate set. I got the idea from a Michael’s felt set that cost alot more than what it did to just make it. I like mine better anyways lol. Michael (my son not the store lol) wants me to make a mermaid for it and that’s on my to do list. Oh and I have to make swords.

The Michael’s felt pirate set. It was $7 I think. Mine is alot simpler but Michael loves it 🙂

I also put together a piratey and very masculine locket. Michael loves opening up my locket that has pics of him and Chris in it. So far he’s been waiting for me to die so he can inherit it ha! So now that he has his OWN locket maybe he won’t be so obsessed with mine. I found the squid locket at Michael’s and I got the black string at Walmart. I think the squid locket is cheaper at Walmart though. Then I printed index prints of my wedding and anniversary pics and taped them inside. Now Michael can carry our pictures everywhere and no one will pick on him for having a girly locket.

This is a pirate peg doll set I made awhile ago. It’s a bit worn.

I made this mermaid peg doll set for Michael’s little girl friend. They were born on the same day and she’s having a mermaid party next weekend. Her mom is my best friend and she’ll probably do a guest blog for me about her party.

Little man racked up on some serious cash at his party. He’s been wanting this castle for awhile now and he got an outdoor playset.

I forgot two funny Easter pics in my last post. The shorts is a whole ‘nuther story lol.

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