The High King Lives

My Family Rocks! Sunday: The Fair, Festivals, & Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies October 20, 2013

Hello dear ones! I hope you’re enjoying your fall. 🙂 Autumn brings some of my favorite things….fairs and festivals.


Last weekend, our local museum had a Fall festival. Michael got to wear his Bilbo (Hobbit) costume for the first time. Chris and I haven’t dressed up yet but our costumes are ready for the future festivals.  We then headed to a pumpkin nursery. The hayrides were expensive so Chris pulled Michael around in the pumpkin wagon. You can see above that we had some fun photo opportunities with hay bales, a wall of pumpkins, and a Native American themed photo booth. There’s also a giant hay bale spider. I caught a pic of Chris and Michael playing football together.

Later that week we went to the fair. We saw tigers and strange animals…like a four horned ram and a midget bull. We also saw a camel at the petting zoo.

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If you scroll up to the big picture at the beginning you’ll see me modeling my favorite Fall outfit. I got the large sweater and leggings from Target. It’s hard to see but I also have this neat owl necklace.  So cozy!

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This month has been unpredictable with our government and worries over Chris’ job and pay as a Veteran. But the Lord is good and continues to work things out. We’ve had some great times despite the chaos in the media and our nation. I pray our family will be strong no matter what comes our way and that we will always cherish the tender moments. Michael is only 7 once.

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Here’s something fun. These pumpkin gingerbread cookies were great with cider. I picked out and bought my own personalized cookie cutter kit awhile back (online). So I got out some cookie cutters that are a bit unusual. You can see the key shape. We’ve also got a kitty cat, owls, brooms, and I tried a spider web but it didn’t work.  I’ve got plenty others to try in the future. I’m looking forward to the wrench cookie cutter :). I’ve got baby stuff cookie cutters for my friend’s baby shower too.


Anywho, it was nice to make gingerbread with a Fall twist. I got the recipe here:

I messed up on the icing because I ran out of powdered sugar. Yeah, regular sugar does not work the same! I turned my frosting disaster into something good by cooking it with apples and making “apple turnovers” with a can of biscuits. They were great for breakfast :).

Fairs and festivals remind me of the fleeting years of childhood. Cotton candy and hayrides…memories that we make for a season and then they are gone forever. May we put our worries aside and cherish the simple joys. They mean the most.

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


Crafty Monday Part 2: Fall Leaves and Pumpkins! October 14, 2013

In this Post: Fall crafts for kids, a fabulous pumpkin diorama, and pumpkin truffles! Also Autumn poetry and candy corn multiplication! 

Fall pics

Hello dear ones! I’ve combined the last two weeks of homeschool. This is my second post about Fall crafts and general schooling. My first post was about our Historical studies.  I’m excited to show you my lovely pumpkin diorama below.


This is a fake carve able pumpkin.  Chris made carved an opening. I glued fabric to the walls for wallpaper and put in contact paper for a wooden floor. I bought the cuckoo clock, painting, brooms, book shelf, Bibles, lamp, cake, and tea cups at Hobby Lobby.  The tables and chairs came from my doll furniture collection. I already had the dolls.


You can see the two lil ladies are having a Bible study :).  I love making dioramas so maybe I will make more.


We started reading “The Bridge to Terabithia” last week. It lasts three weeks, so I’ll do a post on it when we’re done.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of the Harvest I read Michael a book about farm machines. It wasn’t my cup of tea but you know how boys go crazy over machines.


Then Michael made this super cute tractor foot print that I saw online. By the way, you can find many of these ideas on my Pinterest:


Chris finally got his Jeep fixed which is wonderful since we had to replace a tire on our van and soon will replace another one. Our vehicles decided to get grumpy all at once.  Here’s Michael helping his Daddy.  I love my guys.


Sometimes simple is best. Here’s Michael tracing a leaf with chalk.


Our Fall sidewalk art :)


This fall tree tutorial turned out well. Michael learned a bit about perspective.




Such a pretty picture!


We read about Autumn around North America. Then we watched a video about Eagles gathering in Alaska during the Fall.


We went to our first local and physical Lego club. We still do a separate online club. The theme was monochrome. Michael made a Hobbit house out of red Legos. Then he presented it to the group.


At the end people voted for their favorites.


Michael and I did a bit of foraging for edibles. We never actually ate any of it but we found a wild nut and dandelions.  We learned that it’s hard work foraging and that we need to be thankful we can still go to the grocery store.


I showed you a pic of Chester in the pumpkin on Sunday. I had to show you another one.


We’ve been reviewing nouns, adjectives, and verbs.  Michael does well with book work but he sometimes forgets what he’s learned.  So I really wanted to get these parts of speech cemented in his brain. So we got super focused this week and very hands on.  I had this fun Fall leaf idea.

Fall Leaves Parts of Speech ~ I took a silver Sharpee and wrote words on leaves we collected. Then I drew three circles with chalk and had Michael sort the words into nouns, verbs, and adjectives.



Then I had him make up sentences with the words.


Michael really excels with computer games. He played a parts of speech game online.



Our homeschool group had a Fall picnic and many of us brought Fall treats. I made these pumpkin truffles a.k.a pumpkin cake balls.


My friend Stacie brought a Harvest snack. Each treat in the mix represented something from the Harvest. It was cute.


There was a pile of leaves so we had to take that photo opportunity.


Here’s a Fall book that Michael read the first week.


You can’t see this pic well but Michael has really been using his old drawing books. He’s got a picture of the Capitol, the Statue of Liberty, The White House, and a log cabin.


We played this great pumpkins and leaves music game. I modified the game just a bit by using candy corn. Michael had the leaf cards and I was the pumpkins. We each had a piece of candy corn for our game piece.


We started at the opposite ends of the piano. The object was to get to the middle first. We took turns choosing a card and moving our piece to the right note. The prize was more candy corn.


We both made these glue line pumpkins. You can find most of these crafts on my Pinterest.  You can barely see the glue but this is how they looked after we drew our pumpkins with glue.


Then we traced around the glue with a black marker. Then we painted with watercolors. Here’s my pumpkin.


We saw this great Fall landscape picture online and made our own.  Mine is on the left and Michael’s is on the right.


We learned about perspective, shadows, and lighting.


The second week our homeschool group was hosted by my buddy Erin. She had a pumpkin day. Yaaa for fellow pumpkin lovers!


We had pumpkin treats. I really liked these seasonal Krispy Kremes.


Erin talked to the kids about different kinds of pumpkins. She read a pumpkin parable.


Then the kids painted and colored pumpkin crafts.


A pumpkin magnet


Pumpkin sun catcher


Last year, I hosted a pumpkin day and we had a blast making paper bag pumpkins. Check it out :):

  • We had fun with Fall poetry. I read a poem about October. Then we looked over a list of Fall words (adjectives, verbs, and nouns of course).


I had Michael choose four Fall nouns. Then he chose adjectives and verbs to go with them.


We worked together to form a Fall poem. I had Michael write his poem in his journal. Then he typed it and we printed it out.


Lastly, we’ve been spending a good bit of time reviewing multiplication. I found this neat candy corn multiplication game. We also used real candy corn to form groups and to make an array.


Michael loves this pumpkin patch multiplication game:

and also Lord Voldemath (which has Harry Potter themes):

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


Crafty Monday: Pumpkins & Sukkot October 8, 2012

Hello friends and I hope you had a lovely weekend. I’m posting this from Helen. Last week, we celebrated Sukkot. Our homeschool week was a bit different. Tuesday we went to the pottery place to paint things for Sukkot (a family tradition). Thursday I hosted our homeschool group. Michael got to stay up later during the week because he slept in the living room under our camo net sukkah lol. We made a homemade scarecrow.

Fall ideas here:

I took the apples off the apple tree in our school room and now we have a fall tree with pumpkins at the bottom. We still have to make the leaves for it.

Michael made a fingerprint fall tree.

The first night of Sukkot my true love gave to me, a partridge  we made a scarecrow.

Basically we stuffed pillow stuffing into burlap and Michael’s old clothes (Chris’ socks). It’s held together by staples and it’s sewn with fishing line.  Button leaves for eyes and felt for the nose. He’s wearing my sun hat.

Chris and I put together this dryer tube pumpkin.

Chris cut the tube into three pieces

We put them together to make the pumpkin shape and I sewed them together with fishing line.

Chris sprayed the pumpkins with orange paint and I added a stem (just a stick from the yard) and a curly vine (floral wire)

This is a 3-d paper pumpkin made of construction paper and a pipe cleaner.

I made these acorn candles for our pumpkin diorama. Michael helped me find the acorn caps. I cut some wicks and used a spoon to get the hot wax from my candle warmer. They really work!

Here they are with my pumpkin diorama

I carved a large circle in the front of a styrofoam pumpkin (from Dollar Tree). I also carved a square in the back of it for a window. I took contact paper that looks like wood and cut enough for the floor. I used tooth picks for the window panes. I cut a bit of fabric for curtains. Then I took an old ribbon spool and covered it with fabric to make a tiny table. I took a small wooden bowl (from the craft store) and glued beans in it. Then I glued the bowl to the table. I made a tiny banner of paper and glued it across the front. I glued bows on each side. Inside are two peg dolls: a squirrel and an owl. The little barrels are from the craft store too.

At the homeschool group we had a pumpkin/Sukkot celebration at the park.

I asked everyone to bring fall desserts. I showed the moms my three pumpkin crafts above.

I made this pumpkin toss out of cardboard. The pumpkins are supposed to look friendly but I had a hard time cutting the cardboard.

After lunch the kids played pumpkin toss. My homemade bean bags came apart after awhile but thankfully Hannah had some bean bags in her van.

I spoke to the kids about Sukkot.

I showed the moms and kids how to make paper bag pumpkins. I did this last year too.

Our pumpkin this year……not as orange as last year. Maybe I will make bigger pumpkins later.

The idea comes from:

Last years pumpkins~

Hannah’s on the left, mine on the right

Mom making a big pumpkin

The kitty trying to help us. He was such a cute kitten!

We have cable in the hotel and I was watching “The Munsters”. Chester looks just like the Munster black cat lol but he is WAY too sweet to ever roar like a lion ;).  Btw it is freezing up here in Helen but amazing.

If you try any of these crafts or have your own pumpkin ideas please share in the comments :).

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

Owls Study:

Apples Study:

Bats, Falling Leaves, & World Pasta Day:

Candy Corn, Crows, & Homemade Rootbeer:


My Family Rocks! Sunday: Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) October 7, 2012

Hello friends and happy Sukkot!. We are nearing the end of this biblical holiday. Here’s links with more information about Sukkot:

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

KJV  Revelation 21:3

This will be our 5th year celebrating Sukkot as a family. I celebrated it once in highschool with some friends who now live in Israel. They actually built their sukkah (tent). It was made of wood with a very thin roof (thin fabric or leaves? I can’t remember). I hung out with the daughter and we looked at the stars. It was my first time camping out like that. I was so surprised when I woke up the next morning soaked with dew :).

In the beginning we would put up a large tent in the backyard. We would forget to take it down and it’d rot :(. But during Sukkot we ate most of our meals in the tent. We even hooked up a tv in it one year. Mom, Chris, Michael, and I all watched the nativity. Read the links above to understand why. Btw we still celebrate Christmas. I love both :).

Last year we camped one night and my mom came. It was fun. We read a Choose Your Own Adventure book around the fire. It was about pirates and people got to choose how the story would progress.

Shadow Puppets

Michael and I make leaf decorations to decorate the sukkah (tent).

This year we camped inside. Chris stapled camo netting to the ceiling and he strung Christmas lights over the top. With our Scarecrow and pumpkin decorations the living room felt like the outdoors lol. Michael and I watched the nativity. We stayed up to watch Star Trek episodes and Michael enjoyed hot chocolate.

The first two years we painted plates for Sukkot. The third year we made Sukkot t-shirts and the fourth year we painted a mug.

This year I painted a tea canister and Michael painted an owl. They should be finished next week for pick up.

Chris stopped by and helped me near the end.

Usually we take a trip to the farm near the end of Sukkot. We find a pumpkin to carve and I begin the process of cooking everything pumpkiny.

Last year we visited a farm with our buddies Hannah and James  and their kids Olivia and Liam.

Olivia & Michael

This place had the coolest playgrounds

Chris decided to play in the ball pit lol

This year we  ended Sukkot by camping with Hannah and her family.

Me chompin’ down on a s’more

hot chocolate and apple cider

We had a big breakfast the next morning

Hannah and James 🙂

The campground had a nice playground

My Michael

Liam, Michael, and Olivia

Roasting marshmallows again yummmm

Btw, I’m a fall nerd but I had to show you my cool orange bed sheets. I got the fall quilt last year but I got the orange sheets recently. Chris picks on me because I squeal when I look at them lol. They make me feel like I live in a ritzy hotel.

Also we got this cinnamon broom. Mom didn’t think it was very fall like. So I added some leaves and a bow to it. Voila!

I’m actually writing all of this ahead of time because today we are in Helen. Another check off my bucket list! So we also end with Octoberfest. I hope to see lots of fall leaves. I’ll show pics next Sunday, Lord willing. 🙂 It should be obvious why Sukkot is one of my favorite holidays. We have such a blast.  I hosted our homeschool group Thursday and I talked to the kids about Sukkot and how Jesus left his Heavenly home and came to tabernacle with us. I asked the kids who they wanted to meet in Heaven etc. It was great to hear their responses. More on that tomorrow.

Well, I hope you’re having a blessed holiday. It’s been nice getting comments. For my reader in Hawaii, I wish I could bring fall to you! Maybe you could do fall crafts anyways and make a fall tree in your house? That just may be something I would do. I’m a bit eccentric. If I visited you I’d bring a fake fall tree ;).

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


Crafty Monday: Preparing for Fall & Crafts of Fall Past September 24, 2012

Hello friends 🙂 I hope you are well. Michael and I had a bit of a rough week so we did not do any body crafts. We did do some crafts for trumpets at our Homeschool group. My buddy Hannah taught our group about the feasts.  Here are a few pics. Then I want to get into fall decor and some of the fall crafts we did last year. Enjoy 🙂

Hannah showing off her talit and my shofar (that a dog we had chewed. It was from Israel too 😥   )

Michael working on his shofar. You can see the flag he made too.

I LOVE fall! My house isn’t that big and it’s cluttered but just a few special touches can make it cozy. It’s amazing how much candlelight can hide a multitude of sins dirty dishes. Scented candles and splashes of fall colors give my home a warm feeling. My Mom says my house feels and smells like fall.

I had fun painting this fall plaque last year 🙂

Theses are the scents I used: Simmering Apple Cider, Fresh Baked Cookies, Gooey Marshmallow S’more, Spiced Pumpkin Pie, and Pecan Pie. Apple Cider & Fresh Baked Cookies are my favorite scents. They aren’t too strong. The S’more candle is great in the bathroom. (I purposely left the Once dvds in the pic. New episodes this Sunday. Yaaa!)

I painted this picture of Chester (Winchester) last year when he was a kitten.

Here is the inspiration for the painting.

Here is Chester now. Still sweet and you can tell he has Siamese in him. He’s so vocal. He didn’t want to pose though.

I saw this painting idea on a blog and decided to make my own version. This was also done last year.

We will be celebrating Sukkot in a week. This will be our fifth year. We’ve had a family tradition of painting fall plates for the fall feasts. One year we made a t-shirt instead and last year we painted a Sukkot mug. Chris was with us and he really wanted something with pirates. So on the outside I painted pumpkins/leaves and on the inside I painted it black and red for pirates.

The saying is “to err is human. to arr is pirate!”

Michael likes to put fall stickers all over the windows 🙂

Can you believe this owl kitchen towel was only a dollar. I love owls.

The scarecrow centerpiece is actually a fall version of the yarn cardholders I do at Christmas. My grandma taught me how to do these.

I got this lovely basket at Michael’s. The pumpkins (all but one) and the corn are real. I found the scarecrow at Goodwill. He looked like he needed a home. The basket says “autumn”.

Now for old pics. Last year when we made the mug we also painted a black kitty in honor of Chester. We were (well I was) obsessed with black cats because of our own kitty. He looked so picturesque with the fall colors!

I made this child like banner with felt and craft sticks. It’s in Michael’s homeschool room now.

Michael and I both worked on these pipe cleaner fall trees. We glued them inside styrofoam cups. I hated to throw these away. They look like Dr. Seuss trees.

When Chester was a kitten he was narcoleptic. He fell asleep while Michael was playing the piano!

I don’t remember where I got all these ideas. It was before I found Pinterest. I love this cardboard kitty.

I LOVE inchies :). I got this idea from thatartistwoman blog (on my blogroll)

Okay last Chester pic. He’s just sooo cute!

Paper Bag pumpkins- I did these for our homeschool group last year. I loved them so much that me and mom made more at home.

Wow, last year was so much easier math-wise……

Oh wait….Chester shows up again lol. I made these fall peg dolls last year. I hope to make a better version this year.

Mr. Scarecrow, Mrs. Pumpkin, Mr. Pumpkin, and Chester

The tile pumpkin was a fail but I still like it.

Fall Sensory Box

Michael painting fall leaves and he also did a still life painting.

Fall Owl in the moonlight 🙂

This is a poster I made for the Book It program with Pizza Hut. We will be doing it again this year. Michael won free pizzas for meeting his reading goals.

Last September we focused on farms. I love this barn silhouette. Michael just painted the sky and pasted the silhouette.

This was too cute and really simple. Just print a pig on pink construction paper and use brown paint to have a muddy piggy.

Fingerprint cows 🙂

Michael as a farmer with his tractor. T for tractor :).

Wow, we are finally at the end. That was a lot of pictures. I hope to start fall crafts this week and to have some fall adventures with little man. If Summer has a bucket list then Fall definitely deserves one. I’m getting so excited about what’s coming (Lord willing). I hope you have a lovely fall week. May it be crisp and full of spice 🙂

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