The High King Lives

2015 Valentine’s Decor and Countdown February 2, 2015

In this post: Pinspired Valentine decor, Valentine’s countdowns, and links to past Valentine’s crafts.

Valentine's decorPrep

Hello dear ones! The countdown has begun. Soon it will be Valentine’s. I have plenty to share with you today as our family celebrates the month of love. Some of the decor you have seen before and I’ll share links to older posts. First, I want to share my latest craft endeavors. Most of them are pinspired (inspired by Pinterest). Here we go :).

Conversation Hearts Family Banner
Pinspired by

Heart Tree with hugs and kisses
Pinspired by


How do I love thee countdown (for Michael from me and the hubby)
Pinspired by:


Kiss Me Countdown (for Chris)
Pinspired by:


Valentine’s Cross (a last minute craft ideas of my own)

Now here are some oldies. You may remember this Valentine’s banner from the Dating Diva’s inspired date night last year.

Date Night ideas:



Valentine’s Luminary:


Valentine’s in Paris inspired by That Artist Woman:


Conversation Hearts Centerpiece:

Check out the link below to see what this looked like in it’s glory days lol.

Medieval Felt playset:


I’ve got tons of free Valentine’s printables on my Pinterest:

We have more V-day crafts to come in the future so check back.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Russian teacakes:

Russian Hedgehogs:

Russian Domes:

2014 Winter Olympics Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Other Medieval posts: 

Middle Ages Week 4:

Middle Ages Week 6:


Middle Ages Week 3: The Vikings, the Feudal System, & Castles February 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

More after the pic….

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


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

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

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

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

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

Vikings Lapbook:

Middle Ages Lapbook:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Viking TP People:

Tree of Life Pendant:

Viking Drinking Horn:

Viking Mask:

Feudalism Chart for M&M’s:

Chocolate Castle Cake:

Armor of God worksheet:

Lego Castle Adventure:

More Medieval posts of mine:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 2:

Middle Ages Week 4:


Middle Ages Week 2: Japan and the Franks

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

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

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

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

Japan & the Franks

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

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

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

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

Hibernation lapbook:—Speedy-Lapbook

Japan Pinterest:

Middle Ages Pinterest:

Netflix links for Story of the World:

Charlemagne Coloring Page:

Winter Habitats Picture:

Green Tea Panna Cotta:

Medieval Japan Lapbook:

Japanese Pirates:

Pop Up Baunraku Theater:

Onigiri ideas:

Paper Sushi:

Samurai helmet:

Japanese fan:

Middle Ages Week 1:

Middle Ages Week 3:


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Harry Potter Date Night October 6, 2013

In this Post: An interactive Harry Potter date Night (actually weekend) with lots of good food. We found Diagon Alley! Also my view and words of caution on the spirituality in Harry Potter. 

Hello dear ones! I’m excited to bring you this post because I worked very hard on this date weekend. But I also want to make sure that I am not a stumbling block and that you understand my view on certain aspects of Harry Potter.  First off, I got several of my ideas from amazing blogs and meshed them together. I will be sharing the links but if you want to find them all together go here:

Okay, only part of this picture is going to show up on my page but I wanted a big picture to see in the reader and to use for Pinterest. Just click on it to see the big picture.  I’ll be showing these pics individually too.  After my view on Harry Potter I will show you how I brought this together and our schedule for the weekend. I have so much to show you! So come along  and don’t get lost ;).


  • My view on Harry Potter spirituality as briefly as possible: Harry Potter is a work of fiction and a majority of the “magic” in the movies (I’m still working on the books) is pure fantasy. BUT and it’s a big but (lol) Harry Potter does contain some real witchcraft and occultic practices. My Dad dabbled in the occult before he became a minister. After he was a minister and HP came out he forbid me to watch the movies. I’m glad too because I was very spiritually immature and I was drawn to the occult. Thankfully God kept me from things. But I was the kid who probably would’ve googled runes and spells . I had a dangerous curiosity.  As a spiritually mature adult (at least more mature than then), I can enjoy the HP movies about an orphan boy who challenges a Nazi like dictator. I can also enjoy the fun of quidditch, flying broomsticks, and private school life.  Those outfits are adorable :).

Me with the sorting hat on and sporting my Gryffindor shirt and scarf. I’m holding a book of poetry for my school book.

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  • So what’s the danger in Harry Potter? What’s real “magic”? Tea leaf reading and fortune telling of any kind opens up the demonic and is evil. Runes were made specifically for the occult and open up the demonic (which makes me sad for my beloved Lord of the Rings. I didn’t know that about runes til recently).  They were made for pagan worship and occult practices.  Talking to the dead aka familiar spirits is forbidden in scripture because “ghosts” (familiar spirits) are actually demons. The Bible is clear that there is no in between Heaven and Hell, when you die.

The Scarecrow as Harry Potter

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  • I believe the spells in Harry Potter are just Latin words but I’m not sure.  But it is possible that HP could be the gateway drug so to speak that pushes someone to look into real chants and spells. And I’ve heard of people that did take that plunge.  It is rare I hope but still I say proceed with caution…especially when it comes to spiritually immature kids.  Potions seem innocent and kind of silly. In Harry Potter they are but drugs and the occult go hand in hand. It’s dangerous to experiment with drinking strange mixtures.  This isn’t in Harry Potter but in reference to other films that glorify the occult: drinking blood is gross and evil. It opens up the soul to demons. Now, I would hope that all my readers understand that but I just had to say it.  Lastly, alchemy is occultic. The “wizard” that found the Philosopher’s stone was an actual real life alchemist and the philosopher’s stone is a real occultic legend.

Michael enjoying his chocolate frog and every flavor beans. He was there for part of the date. 

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  • So I say all this to say, proceed with caution. I let my son see a few of the first movies but it was after a long chat about the real life dangers of the occult.  You can find occultic practices peppered through most of the media. So this is an ongoing chat I’ll be having with my son. Even if I forbid any movie with the occult (Fairy tales included if you want to get technical), I would still want to talk to Michael about the reality of the occult and to beware. I think it’s dangerous to plunge into the media world without guidance and precautions. 
  • Another thing, and this goes for Super Man and any hero character in the movies (Harry Potter etc..), it’s important to know why we root for these characters. Also it’s good to remember that there is only one savior and that’s Jesus. I try to stress to Michael that he should never idolize these characters or try to model his life after them.

Okay, now to the Date!

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  • The Set~I got my inspiration for the Great Hall from this site:

I didn’t have LED candles so I tried real candles and it was beautiful. But I could only light them before we sat down because of the dripping wax. I didn’t think of that :(. Thankfully I had a plastic cloth over the couch. I hung the candles with black thread and push pins. It was a dangerous endeavor where I frequently got bonked on the head!

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The candles are supposed to appear to be floating. Mine do not but still I felt like the Great Hall was in our living room :).  Blue and red plastic cloths from the dollar store and owl candle holders from Michael’s craft store really brought this together. I sprinkled star confetti everywhere for that “magical” (the fake kind) feel. I labeled each area. I printed out the house symbols and pasted them on construction paper for the coat of arms. Then I hung them along the back. The wall is made of black paper and grey paint for stones. I got the Gryffindor tie idea from:

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Potions class and Ollivander’s Wand shop were over by the piano, along with some Nimbus 2013 brooms.

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I didn’t want to have any real wands or to pretend to do potions. So I bought these key chain wands that have a light. The potion bottles are goofy Halloween decor from the Dollar Tree.  I bought my two owls online.

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The brooms were in the Halloween section of Target. I used a Sharpee to write “Nimbus 2013” on them.

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Under the TV, I put up a brick backdrop (from the craft store)  and red plastic cloth. Then I decorated it with various Harry Potter items.

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I’ve got the Quibbler and “spectrespecs” (Luna’s glasses). I found Quibbler pages online and the goofy glasses were at the Dollar Tree.

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I bought the scarf online. It has either the Gryffindor crest or Hogwarts crest on it. I got the Harry Potter Lego games on sale. I simply put one of my owls in a decorative bird cage I already had. You can find the cages at craft stores. I sprinkled star confetti everywhere. You can see my chocolate frog boxes.

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The sorting hat is a witch’s hat that I found in Target and I used a silver Sharpee to draw his face.

Harry Potter 2013 062I’ve learned that you don’t always have to clean up to have a party.  Just throw a cloth over it and voila! LOL 🙂

You can’t forget the Ministry of Magic. Harry Potter fans, you know one of the ways that you magically get there.  Yep, that’s the toilet. I found the sign online. A bit of Harry Potter humor for ya!

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Now, how do we get to Hogwarts? Well, we take the train by platform 9 3/4 which is a magical brick wall.  So I covered our front door with the brick paper.

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I got several of my labels (including food boxes you’ll see later) at:

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A prop that came later…the Marauder’s Map. Harry Potter uses this map to see where people are in the castle. I stained my map with tea. I found the map and idea here:

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Of course, you have to have  all 8 dvds (Year 7 is split into two parts) to have a Harry Potter movie marathon. But I didn’t want us to just sit on our bottoms for two days. So I found these owl printables here:

and I wrote down a schedule that would  go with each movie. The first owl for years 1-4 and the second one for years 5-7. Owls deliver mail in the movies.

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More on our schedule later…

I made Chris a howler invitation. A howler is a letter that speaks for itself. I couldn’t find any simple instructions online so I just shaped the paper the best I could.  See the lips, teeth, and tongue?

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To be silly, I talked for it as well. I used my best Dolores Umbridge impression.

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  • Food! Oh this was my favorite part. I wanted to create a big feast for the Great Hall and I wanted to make some of the candy that’s sold at Hogwarts.

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Chocolate frogs are a must and super easy. I bought a frog mold online. Then I printed out the boxes and colored them. Remember I posted the label link above?

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I added caramel. These were a hit! They don’t hop away either :).

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Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans~ these were the easiest to make because I didn’t make them :). I bought Jelly Bellies and put them in a different box. I got the box and label at the same link as the frog boxes.

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Magic Wands~ I saw these on other blogs. You just dip big pretzel sticks in white chocolate.

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Butterbeer is a famous non-alocholic drink served at The Three Broomsticks. It’s super sweet. The guys liked it better than me.

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It only took 3 ingredients and you can find the recipe here:

I found the small broomsticks in the craft section. I frosted our glasses in the freezer.

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I made these delicious cornish hens in the slow cooker. They just screamed “feast”!

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I got the recipe here:

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I mixed up a large bowl of Alfredo pasta and I added shrimp cooked with this recipe (minus the other pasta):

Both of the recipes required white cooking wine. A bowl of green beans balanced it out. I could eat the shrimp all day. We ate on this the next week. It was a lot of food!

The next morning we had a breakfast for champions. It included grits and Apple Pie French Toast.

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The schedule for the neatest Harry Potter date ever! At least in my opinion ;).

  • Visit Diagon Alley to pick up school books. In HP, Diagon Alley is where you get all you need for wizard school. Chris and I visited downtown to see if we could find “Diagon Alley”. I was super excited to find two shops that really had an old feel to them. It was indeed magical (in the good way).  PS: Chris and I are wearing Gryffindor t-shirts that I found online.

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I already did a whole post on the antique and jewelry store.  That was quite a find all by itself. The jewelry is very unique.

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The most Harry Potter-ish find was the book store. And it was another God surprise (often God does little things to surprise me. Some call these God-winks). Low and behold! What was in this old book store? A suit or armor with a Harry Potter scarf on him! My, was I ecstatic at the find!

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The whole store had a quirky charm. Books were spilling out everywhere!

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Here’s an old creepy photo from Civil War times. It’s signed too.

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I found this great Harvard Poetry book from around the 1930’s or earlier.  Doesn’t it just look Harry Potter-ish?!

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  • Then we went to the Great Hall for a feast and the first Harry Potter movie: The Philosopher’s Stone.

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  • We also got sorted into our houses. I already showed you my sorting picture. Here’s Michael and Chris’.  The sorting hat puts people into their teams/houses.

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  • We watched the 2nd movie: The Chamber of Secrets and then wrote each other love notes (really poems from my poetry book) in invisible ink.  We didn’t have any luck with lemon juice or crayon resist methods. They were barely legible. In the end, we just read our poems to each other.  It was a brilliant idea anyways.

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I also found something interesting in my poetry book, a poem about Trelawny. What another neat find! There is a professor Trelawny in Harry Potter! Remember I had just bought this book…so completely unplanned!

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  • We watched # 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban  and then played Lego Harry Potter years 1-4 on PS3. We also posed for pictures in the Daily Prophet (HP newspaper). We did our most insane Sirius Black impressions.

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  • We were too tired to watch #4 so we saved it for the next morning. We watched #4 The Goblet of Fire and had our Breakfast  feast for Champions.  The Goblet of Fire is about the Triwizard Tournament. So it fit. I already showed you the apple pie french toast and grits.

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  • We then had a quidditch match. We used broom sticks to hit the ball into the hoop. The snitch was the prize for the winner. I taped feathers to a golden wrapper candy to make it.

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I cheated and flew up there ;). Yes, it was very hard to get that ball through the hoop. So hard that we never did.

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Our game was cut short by the evil Nagini!  Nagini is the horrible snake in Harry Potter. Ours was simply a rat snake but he died anyways. We thought he was a rattler at first. It was super freaky to see him hiss after his head was cut off. Go Chris for defeating Nagini!

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  • #5 The Order of the Phoenix ~ we trained for Dumbledore’s army by playing Lego Harry Potter years 5-7.
  • #6 The Half Blood Prince~ We read The Quibbler and I had a photo shoot as Luna Lovegood :). She’s one of my favorite characters. The kitty joined me. Chester reminds me of Professor Mcgonagall.

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Inside The Quibbler

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  • Lastly, we had a lovely dinner of left overs and watched # 7 part one and two.  Then we used a drawing tutorial to draw Dobby, the house elf. He’s my other favorite. I cried when he died :(.

Mine is on the left and Chris’ is on the right. He deviated from the tutorial. So I wanted to try again.

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Here’s my best Dobby picture.

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We actually both fell asleep during the last movie. The marathon was just too long. But we had a very fun date weekend. It was full of many surprises…some good…some creepy. I hope you had fun with us.

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

Keep up with all my date posts:

Other Date ideas:


Crafty Monday: Troy All the Way to Goliath September 30, 2013

In this post: Trojan horse cookies, a visit to a labyrinth as we study Crete, and Goliath’s big feet. Also Johnny Appleseed and more!

This past week we learned about the Trojan War. I used the recipe from here:

to make Trojan horse cookies.

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The ones that I made following the recipe (cutting them after they baked) fell apart. This one that I cut before baking lasted.

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You can see that there are three layers. the middle one has a space for M&M’s. Then I covered it with the third cookie.

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This one crumbled on it’s own. You can see the candy in the middle.

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We read an almost comic book like story of The Iliad.

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Michael drew and painted this Trojan horse from his drawing book.

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  • We learned that David and Goliath lived not long after the Trojan War. Here’s Michael’s Goliath feet. I also marked 9 ft on the wall to show how tall Goliath may have been.

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Michael loved this Adventure’s in Odyssey book “Showdown with the Shepherd” about David and Goliath. He devoured it in two days. I was happily surprised.


David’s harp~ We used rubber bands instead of string.

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  • While reading The Story of the World we also learned about Crete and the Minoans. We found them on the globe. We learned how Greece took over and also how eventually the “Sea people” (that became the Philistines) took over Greece. The Sea people were barbarians that killed just to kill. They also never took the time to learn to read and write.

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We read the legend about the labyrinth under Crete’s palace and the horrible Minotaur. We also watched “Labyrinth” (the 80’s movie) just because…well it has a labyrinth in it.

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A church not too far away has a smaller labyrinth made of brick. We decided to check it out.

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It was fun to run around the maze. I don’t believe however, that labyrinths should be used for prayer since they were made for pagan meditation. I didn’t always think that but after research into the matter I do.

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We aren’t finished with Greece. We’ve just dipped our toes in. We will spend a good bit of time there in the weeks to come, but first we will be stopping by Babylon.


Later that week we learned about the Assyrian ruler, King Ashurbanipal, that took over Babylon and Canaan and even Egypt! He also started the first library at Ninevah. We also learned about Phoenician ships and that Jonah may have very well sailed on one as he was running from God.


Michael drew a picture of Jonah’s whale.

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I put up this Fall border.


I’ve started reading “The Scarecrow and His Servant” to Michael at night. There are some books by Philip Pullman that I don’t like because of his anti-religious views in them. But this book is fine so far.

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I’ve been reading Fall books to Michael during snack time. I believe we will get into more Fall crafts soon too.


Little man got a Ninja mask and likes to wear it a lot now. I’m thankful he’s reading so I don’t mind costumes.

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I also don’t mind pets hanging out in the reading pool. Aren’t they cute!

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Our group did a study on Johnny Appleseed. First the kids tried different apples.

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Then they graphed how many liked what apple.

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After a story about Johnny Appleseed, the kiddos made paper plate apples. Here’s Rachel and Maggie.

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It was a fun day. I can’t wait for all the Autumny themes our group will do this year.

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You can find where I got my inspiration here:

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

Last Week:

Next Week:


An Early Crafty Monday: Disney Countdown ~Aladdin, The Lion King, & Winnie the Pooh August 3, 2013

In this post: Magic carpets with Aladdin, on safari with the Lion King, and honey with Pooh Bear. Come join us for # 9 on our Disney Countdown!

Hello dear ones, I hope you are well! This week was another slow one for the countdown. The elaborate crafts and sets are behind us. I’ve been busy getting ready for school etc… So while we didn’t get to everything on our list I can still share my ideas with you so maybe you can try them out.

Here’s #8 on the countdown

  • We begin with Aladdin.
  • Here’s a tiger mask Michael glued together for Jasmine’s pet, Rajah.  I got this mask at the Dollar Tree along with the tiger stripes bracelet.

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  • We watched all three of the Aladdin movies. These are some of Michael’s favorite Disney movies.

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  • I saw an idea for a magic carpet snack using Jello but it didn’t look very tasty. Michael hates Jello anyways. So instead I made these Magic Carpet Sugar Cookies.


  • Above: before being baked. Below: after baking. I formed the dough into a carpet shape and painted them with food coloring.  It’s not Martha Stewart but it satisfied my kiddo.

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  • Michael made this paper magic carpet.

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Blew (yes that’s how it’s spelled) tested it out. It flew just fine :).

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We had three days of Aladdin so I wanted to make food each day but only made it to day two.

  • We had “Arabian” food, pita chips and hummus.

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  • We used parrot plates for Iago.

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  • I wanted to make Monkey bread for Abu but it didn’t happen. Here’s the recipe:

  • One day we watched The Lion King.
  • I put safari cut outs on the table, also from the Dollar Tree.

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  • Animal crackers for the “zoo” theme. We had thought about going to the zoo but since we are going to Animal Kingdom I figured we’d stay home and save our money for that.

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  • Michael made an elephant mask and he wore a Zebra striped bracelet.

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  • Michael drew a scene of the Savannah with his Draw Write Now book.

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There’s a giraffe in the foreground and a lion in the background.

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  • The writing assignment was going to be about what he saw at the zoo and this picture from the link below but it didn’t happen.

  • I had also thought of this safari outfit and binoculars found here:

  • Maybe you can use the above ideas. Below is a pic of Mom (Nana) and Michael doing his Mailbox Club Lesson.

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  • I love “Winnie the Pooh”. I do regret that we didn’t get anything done this day. But I will share with you my brilliant idea that we didn’t do ;).

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  • My idea was to have a lemonade themed Pooh Bear party. Michael would have a pretend lemonade stand made from cardboard and he could sell lemonade to his stuffed Pooh bear and Tigger.

Pic of lemonade stand inspiration

  • We were going to have lemon cookies with our lemonade.

  • For lunch we were going to have nuggets with honey sauce since everyone knows Pooh Bear loves honey :).

Here are lunch signs we could’ve made:

  • Our craft was going to be a Bee rock painting. Since bees love honey too.

  • I also thought about looking back at our Bee study from last year:

Well, dear ones. That’s it for the countdown. I’m about sick of it lol. If I get a chance to, I’ll post some of what we did last Summer. It all depends on how busy I am getting ready for school and other things. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Here’s the beginning of the Disney Countdown if you want to look through them all:

Day 1 of Disney World

Here’s my Pinterest for Disney (remember email sub. to come to my blog to see the link)


Crafty Monday: Disney Countdown~ Robin Hood, Mickey Mouse, & Brave July 8, 2013

In this post: Olympics with Robin Hood & Brave. Also a sweet Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ice cream party! Crafts, food, and fun coming your way! This is #5 on our Disney countdown. 

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Hello dear ones! Welcome to week #5 on our countdown. You can read #4 here:

What a rainy week it’s been especially for an Olympic themed week.  If you read my Sunday post then you know we had Family Olympics. I’ve been tying in fun Summer themes with Disney. Olympics went well with Disney’s Brave & Robin Hood. Both feature archery and that happened to be in our competition. We also had a fabulous ice cream party.

We began the week with Robin Hood. Here’s Michael playing with the arrows Chris made. He looks the part with his green hat.

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Tuesday Chris was home part of the day. He helped Michael make these hamburger and hot dog portraits.

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Here’s Chris’ hamburger picture lol :).

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I was up the night before prepping for our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Ice cream Party.

  • The Set Up

Mickey Mouse Centerpiece~ 3 styrofoam balls painted black, a styrofoam cone, sparkly pipe cleaners, and paper.

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  • Another Mickey Mouse Centerpiece ~ styrofoam balls painted black, a red cup, and a yellow ribbon.

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  • Mickey and Minnie Silhouettes~ I painted cheap wooden frames red and then I modge-podged paper silhouettes onto them.

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  • Disney World Silhouette~ I did the same as above but I added Disney stickers and I glued a ribbon on top.

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I found a paper Mickey clubhouse on the Disney family site. It came with Disney characters. Michael helped me with it.

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  • The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ~ This was actually very simple. I bought cheap colorful plastic cloths from the Dollar Tree and I hung them from the ceiling to make the back drop. I made a paper Mickey symbol and wrote “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” on paper. I taped them both to the cloths. The hanging ice cream cone is actually a pool toy found at the Dollar Tree.

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Music ~ I found a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse station on Pandora. I use Pandora for so many of our parties.

The Eats

Ice cream of course! 😉 We didn’t get a chance to make it homemade but we had Neapolitan ice cream. Our topping selection included

  • marshmallows
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate syrup
  • whip cream
  • gummy bears
  • The guys added coke to make floats, though it was in their bowl ;P

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I love it when Chris smiles…sigh.

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Michael is dressed as Goofy.

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Crafts & Play

  • Ice cream Picture~ Michael made this with paper. Later we glued sprinkles to it.

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  • I read the book Mickey Meets the Giant. We also watched several Mickey cartoons and Mickey Mouse clubhouse. I’m supposed to be Minnie.

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  • Homemade Play-dough Ice Cream

You can find the recipe on my Disney Pinterest that I’ll put at the end.

First, we made this play-dough out of flour etc… We added food coloring for flavors and peppermint extract to one of them. We also added glitter but you can’t tell.

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Michael scooped the “ice cream” into a paper cone.

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  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse Ears

I love these and the materials were only a few dollars. We bought black head bands at the Dollar Tree (catching the trend lol) and black stiff felt at the craft store. I cut the ears out and glued them on to the head band. The pattern is on my Pinterest link.

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Minnie has a bandanna bow sewed on. Think how much we will save at Disney with our OWN Disney ears :).

  • Mickey Mouse Club certificate~ also on my Pinterest. I showed Michael what the clubhouse looked like back in the 60’s and in the 90’s….when the mouse-keteers were kids.

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  • Disney Character word search, Mickey’s fill in the blank tale, and a cutie catcher (with Disney quotes instead of fortunes).

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The next day we watched Brave. The Summer writing assignment  for this week was “Being brave means…”

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I just printed the mom (bear) from Brave onto lined paper.

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Our week ended with the Family Olympics. You can see more pictures from it here:

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We made our torch out of toilet paper rolls, a paper plate, and tissue paper.

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Each family member had a flag to represent them.

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Michael got to compete in archery like Merida and Robin.

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

Disney Pinterest Link~ remember email sub. to come to my blog to see the link.

PS: Join us next week (Lord willing) for Tarzan, The Jungle Book, & Tom and Huck.

Disney Countdown #6


Inspirational Wednesday: Ash Wednesday & Valentine’s Message February 13, 2013

Hello dear ones, I have a couple awesome videos posted but please check out the message too. I know it will encourage you in your Christian walk! Remember email subscribers to come to my actual blog site to see videos and links.

This is my first time celebrating Ash Wednesday and I’m excited to dig into God’s word about Jesus’ time in the wilderness. I found this neat decoration idea here:

I’m not sure how I feel about the whole ashes on the forehead. Since I’m not sure we may just do it on our arm. Sounds trivial I know but that’s just me. I celebrate many things including Biblical feasts. This year everything is running together. While I’m prepping for Valentine’s I’m also gearing up for Purim & Lent. Then comes St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, and Easter.  Wheww!

I love the fun of all the holiday traditions, food, and games but mainly I love learning about the Bible through these holidays. I’m not one to do things just for tradition sake. In fact, for many years I didn’t celebrate certain holidays because I thought they were pagan. Since digging deeper into the true history (not propaganda) I’ve changed my mind and have really began to enjoy the rich Biblical heritage of many holidays. I pray whether this is your first time celebrating Lent or you’re millionth time that the message of God’s word will fall fresh on you. There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as we don’t worship the tradition. Even devotion time and prayer can become rote and meaningless without the power of the Holy Spirit.  Holidays whether Biblical or secular can not save you or put you on a different level with God. Only God’s grace through Jesus Christ can do that. May we abide in Jesus today, dear ones.


Ash Wednesday:

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent (40 days leading up to Easter). Why 40 days? Well, it goes along with Jesus’ time of prayer and fasting in the wilderness when He was also tempted by Satan. In Biblical times, people would heap ashes on their heads as a sign of mourning and repentance before God. Thus, the ash cross on the forehead. Some people choose to give something up for Lent or to take on something new. I have friends who give up chocolate the whole month. It is also a time of focusing on service and giving.

I believe fasting (giving up food) and sabbaticals (giving up things or activities) should be a personal matter between you and God. Our church is having a Valentine’s banquet so I won’t be fasting. I’m anemic anyways. I do like the idea of giving up things because I’m doing this Bible study by Kelly Minter called “No Other Gods”. I’ve realized that I have many functional idols….a day away from my laptop may be as excruciating as not eating lol. Again….traditions will not make you holy before God. Jesus Christ is our righteousness…not our works.  I believe just as the Sabbath was made for man’s benefit that these traditions should benefit us.

God’s Word….

You can read the story of Jesus’ temptation here:

This is my brief summary:

Jesus fasts for 40 days and 40 nights.

Verse 2 says afterwards he was hungry. Sorry I just have to stop and say what an understatement lol. Yes, I think I would be hungry too after that long ;).

The devil tempts Jesus three times and each time Jesus uses scripture to take Satan down. The Bible says God’s word is like a sword. I could so see a Star Wars thing happening but way better. Anywho, that’s just my overactive imagination.

I’ve always been taught how to use God’s word to make Satan flee but today while reading I noticed something. I want to talk to you about how Satan tempted Jesus. He used three methods and he still uses these today.

First off, the last time Satan tempts Jesus, the Lord tells Satan to go then uses scripture. I believe it is very possible that had Jesus told Satan to go the first time then he would have. but everything the Lord did was for our benefit. He knew we needed an example. So I want to put forward that the word of God is our greatest weapon in each of these temptations.

3″And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4

  • Satan tempted Jesus during a time of weakness. Whenever we are hungry, tired, or even mentally drained we are open for attack. Lions attack their prey in times of weakness. A shark is drawn to a bleeding animal/fish. Satan  known as the roaring lion, (1 Peter 5:8) is no different. So dear ones, you must be especially on guard during times of weakness. Do not give the enemy the upper hand. Avoid even the appearance of evil.

Example: When my Hubby was deployed to Iraq I was very lonely. I knew that I missed his affection. I knew I was vulnerable. For my own sake, I decided not to hug people of the opposite sex..even pastors etc…unless they were family. I also did not allow myself to be alone with a man if possible. I’m still very careful about avoiding even the appearance of evil. But I was super careful during my time of weakness.

6″And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”   Matthew 4:6-7

  • Satan twisted scripture to tempt Jesus. We learn a lot about how to use God’s word to fight Satan but we often forget that Satan also knows God’s word. Sadly, he knows the word better than us because he’s lived through it. Satan is a master at twisting the Bible and bringing confusion. We must not only know scripture, we must also know it’s context.

Here is a great principle for protecting yourself against false teaching. Never build your theology on just one verse. If it is mean’t to be a foundational belief then it will be supported by several verses in both the old and new testaments. A lot of people (and I’ve been one of them) get into spiritual deception because they take one verse out of context. A close study of the culture, the original language, and the context (in the book/ letter and also the Bible as a whole) will often remedy any confusion.

I’ll admit that this is the hardest temptation for me. Too often I am unprepared when a person takes a verse out of context and shoots it my way. Sometimes this happens with believers and sometimes with unbelievers. Verses out of context can be used for all kinds of crazy beliefs. We must be ready and we must know our Bible. Another thing to note is that Jesus didn’t argue with Satan. He simply stated the truth in context.

9″And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”   Matthew 4:9-10

  • Satan tempted Jesus with worldly possessions. Now this is different for everyone. That’s why each believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them. In the past, the Holy Spirit chose to dwell with only certain people so the majority had to rely on a prophet to speak God’s words. Now we have the immense privilege of going before the Father ourselves because Jesus is our High Priest. We have this beautiful personal relationship with Father God. The Holy Spirit himself teaches us God’s word and he brings conviction. The Holy Spirit knows us best and He helps us with those grey areas.

Maybe you can’t drink alcohol because you have a prior addiction. Or maybe you feel it’s permissible to drink because you don’t have a prior addiction and you never get drunk. In these last days we are to rely on Jesus for every area in our lives. If we rely on man instead of God, to tell us how to live then we are worshiping idols. We are to surrender to Jesus and to follow His words alone. So please don’t let anyone (even/ especially me) try to be your Holy Spirit. Wise counsel is good but Jesus gets the final say.

We are all tempted by different lusts whether it be candy bar or clothes. You know the area you struggle in. May God’s word bring conviction and remember the Word will give you the strength to overcome.  Who is the Word? Jesus himself is the embodiment of God’s word! How awesome!

So dear ones I hope you’ve learned how to counter Satan’s attacks with God’s word.


remember to go to my blog to see vids that don’t show up in email 😉

  • Loving our spouse

Marriage Promise Video by Onetime Blind

  • loving others

Help by Onetime Blind vid

sometimes God answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect & with people we may not accept

  • God’s love for us

Little Things- Onetime Blind vid

seeing God work in the little things

Trash- Onetime Blind

Let God carry your trash. He does it because he loves you. Let it go 🙂

  • Loving God

Wash my Feet- Onetime Blind vid

ever try to one up people on your service? A humbling reminder about humility 😉

Lord Lord- Onetime Blind vid

Do you call him Lord but not treat Him as Lord?

A great sermon by Francis Chan on recognizing false teaching

Love to you all! God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Crafty Monday: Time Machine Study: 1975-2000 & My First Big Peg Doll February 5, 2013

In this Post: The 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Also, my first big Peg doll “Sophie” for my lil friend Sophie. Crafts include: Lava lamp, volcano, Super Mario craft, and picture from Hubble Telescope painting. Activities include: learning Disco dance moves, chocolate fondue, and playing Pogs.

Hello dear ones :). Last week we finished our Time Machine study of the 20th Century. I’m sure we could’ve used the “time machine” for other lessons but it was time for it to go. We threw the machine out yesterday and put something else in it’s place.

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First, I want to show you my first big peg doll. Her name is Sophie because I made her for my friend Sophie. You’ll remember her from Sunday’s post. She’s my best friend Julie’s daughter. I put a lot of love into this lil doll and I had a hard time parting with her.


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standing up

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She rode on the dash

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Waiting to meet her new owner

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Sophie with her new doll “Sophie”

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Now, on to the Time Machine studies. The last quarter century was a bit depressing but we found some fun moments amidst the history.

We began with the 70’s and it was the most pleasant decade of the week. We actually began our week with a party. The theme of course was disco.

But before the party we had Happy Meals for lunch because…you guessed it….the Happy Meal came out in the late 70’s.  We watched The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Mysteries TV show while we ate. It came out in the late 70’s. It gave Michael a great idea of how people dressed back then. The Hardy Boys had some hair alright lol. You can watch the show on Netflix.

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Come to my page to see this youtube link of The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Mysteries (warning: some mysteries may be too scary for lil ones):

70’s Disco Theme Party

I found this neat  bowl at Party City….also the disco light.

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I got a chocolate melter to make fondue. Then I got several foods to dip: a fruit tray, pretzels, biscotti, wafers, and banana chips.

Mom got talked into another party lol. She’s a super kewl Nana. You can tell she’s always coming from work.

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The decor was very simple and didn’t matter since most of the lights were off. You can see I have a colorful banner and the disco light. This was our dance area.birthday celebration Feb 2013 096

I also had a black light. It was hard to get pictures but the black light and Disco ball made things groovy.

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This was a neat picture.

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We watched this video to learn our dance moves (remember to come to my blog page to see it):

Mom and Michael “mowing the lawn”.

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Point to the exits……going all John Travolta.

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I also got into the moment.

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The Bump ~ yeah Mom relived her teen years. Ha!

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So after dancing and eating too much I recruited Mom and Michael to help me make pigs in a blanket for supper. Michael’s not possessed. He just thinks that horrible face is silly.

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And before bed we made a lava lamp as a family. Yep, homeschool is an all day event around here. Even Daddy helped. We just used part water part, part vinegar, and food coloring. Then we dropped in alka seltzer to move the blue blobs around.

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You can kind of see them moving around.birthday celebration Feb 2013 124

I got The Sims3 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s stuff pack to show off the fashion trends of the day.

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Inside the Time Machine on the 80’s side. We learned about the Challenger exploding in 86. We watched “Jem”, a cartoon that came out the year I was born, 85.  I developed a love for the show because my older sister passed on her dolls and cassette tapes with the music.  We learned about the Berlin Wall “falling”.

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Jem intro on Youtube:

Nintendo’s Super Mario came out in the 80’s so we had to incorporate it.

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80’s style was easy: sideways pony tail and bright colors. We also watched Napoleon Dynamite since it has some 80’s stuff in it.

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Michael trying to figure out the Rubiks Cube

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Chris trying to figure out the Rubiks Cube

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We had a tornado warning one day and we spent our time in and out of our make shift shelter (behind the bunk bed).

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Michael reading to Chester. Poor kitty in his Elizabethan collar.

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It’s uh Mario!

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So we watched several news videos about events of the decade. I’ll post the link at the end. Mt. St. Helen erupted so we made a mini volcano out of playdough, a pill bottle, and of course baking soda, vinegar, and red dye.

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You know you have a boy when…..

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The 90’s…

Honestly, I was depressed when I looked at world news in the 90’s. Many sad things happened. Princess Diana died, Aids was on the rise, the World trade Center was bombed and there was the Oklahoma bombing,the Gulf War (Desert Storm),  the Rodney King Riots, the Columbine shooting, Dolly was cloned, and the Y2K scare. The two good things were the Hubble Telescope coming out and Nelson Mandela being released from prison.

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A picture of me and my Dad in the 90’s. I was born in 85 so I grew up in the 90’s. Thankfully I don’t remember the bad things that happened in the world that much. I remember TV, toys, and video games. I thought it was a fun time to grow up. I do however, remember Princess Diana dying. I believe I was a Freshman in Highschool when the Columbine shooting occurred. I grew up in a small town and it was not that eventful.

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I only learned about the Rodney King riots last year. Michael and I re-read “Smoky Night”. It’s about a little boy during the Rodney King Riots, his cat befriends their Asian neighbor’s cat during a fire. It is a sweet story about how hardship can bring different people together.

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We watched several videos about 90’s events. We saw an inspiring interview of Columbine students ten years later. I’ll put the link at the end. Chris used the globe to teach Michael about the Gulf War.

I ordered some pogs off of Ebay. Most of them are from this millennium but there are a few from the 90’s.  They have a Marvel comic theme. I really liked the Iron Man slammer. I remember playing pogs when I was a kid. I don’t know what I did with mine but they were fun to collect. I wish I could’ve gotten a Furby and a Tamagotchi to show Michael. They cost too much.

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Michael sporting his 90’s look, a backwards cap.We really had fun playing pogs.

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Michael taught Chris how to play. Chris was born in 84 but surprisingly he never played pogs.

Silly husband….Trix are for kids!

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Michael watched several 90’s cartoons in between work. He had a 25 question test about the 20th century. As a bonus question I asked him what his favorite 90’s cartoon was. His choices were Bobby’s World, Rugrats, Auuug! Real Monsters, Angry Beavers, and Hey! Arnold. He chose Auug! Real monsters. The cartoons were not as kewl at age 27. I found them a little weird.

We went to the Hubble Telescope‘s website:

and we found a picture of the core of the Whirlpool Galaxy. We thought it was super kewl so Michael and I tag team painted it for Chris.

We used the pastel resist method. First it was colored black.

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Then Michael painted it blue. We watered down the blue to help it.

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The black wasn’t dark enough so I took black paint and we went over it. Voila!

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Here is my Pinterest link with all the 80’s and 90’s news videos (the link may not show up in email but come to my blog site to watch):

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

PS: This month the crafts etc should be easier. We are learning about God’s love and then Esther for Purim & Daniel. So there may be a royalty theme going on…

Time Machine Study 1950-1975:

Time Machine Study 1900-1925:

Check out our Story of the World history study (Creation through the 1800’s):

First post:

The Renaissance (start here):

The Middle Ages (start here):

Rome (start here):

Greece (start here):


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