amberdover

The High King Lives

A Tale of Two Birthdays: Legos & Frozen April 18, 2014

Hello dear ones! My son Michael was born on the same day as his best gal pal Olivia. So each year they alternate birthday weekends. The weekend before, Michael had a small Lego party with his buddies. The weekend after, Olivia had a Frozen birthday party.  More after the pic…

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In the past, I’ve done separate posts but since Michael had a small party this year, I decided to combine. I’ll put links at the end for past birthdays: Pirates & Mermaids, Star Wars & a tea party. Michael had his party at Burger King this year. I baked a green Lego cake. I couldn’t find anything for the Lego movie so I had to improvise on party favors. I put binoculars and a bug catching kit together. Then I tied it with ribbon and taped a Lego on it. Michael hung out with his two best buddies, Hannah’s kids Olivia and Liam. It was raining but the kids acted royally with their BK crowns and they played with Legos at the table. Chris’ parents and my Mom and Step Dad joined the celebration. Chris’ parents stayed with my Mom and Michael slept over. So he got to enjoy both of his grandparents. We all went to church together and then we had his party. After everyone left, Chris, Michael, and I went to see the Lego Movie again. We will be singing “Everything is Awesome” for the rest of our lives! We ended the evening with Chris helping Michael build his new Legos.

Hannah usually guest posts but I think the pics are self explainatory for this one. The Frozen party was beautiful. Olivia was darling in her Elsa tutu skirt. The kids had fun building marshmallow snowmen and hitting a castle pinata. Hannah also had a hard time finding Frozen supplies. I think they were sold out. Our problem was nothing was made for the Lego movie yet. I guess because it’s not Disney. Anywho, there was one more boy at the party this year, so Michael and the guys did their own thing. I think the girls spied on them. There may have been a war at some point but I only heard it :D. My Buddy Erin and I broke out a dance number to a Frozen tune but only the kids saw. I think all of us are ready to “let go” of the song “Let It Go”, another catchy tune. I included a pic of Chris helping James, Hannah’s hubby, blow up balloons. He’s holding Miriam, Hannah’s brand new baby girl.

I leave you with pics with grandparents, also Michael riding without training wheels. Links are at the end.

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

GrandparentsApril2014

Michael’s Piratey 6th Birthday: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/crafty-monday-pirate-party/

Olivia’s Mermaid 6th Birthday: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/crafty-monday-hannahs-mermaid-birthday-party/

Michael’s Star Wars 7th Birthday: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/my-family-rocks-sunday-star-wars-birthday-party/

Olivia’s Doll & Me Tea Party 7th Birthday: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/my-family-rocks-sunday-hannahs-doll-me-tea-birthday-party/

 

Middle Ages Week 4: Robin Hood & the Crusades February 8, 2014

In this post: The Canterbury Tales & a craft, poetry by Geoffrey Chaucer, Robin Hood, the Crusades, stained glass windows, blawmanger (Medieval chicken & rice), dragon feet, & a study of Snowflakes with actual snow! Also Greensleeves, the song that brought King Richard home! 

Well, I am finally caught up! This coming Monday I will be back on schedule and I can’t wait to share our study of Medieval Russia and how it awesomely coincides with the Sochi Olympics. But for now let’s go to a very dark time…the time of the Crusades.

First off, most history books and videos are very biased during this time in history. Catholics (Christians maybe..maybe not. The commoners didn’t have much knowledge of scripture back then) are seen as villains who got crazy and bloody. While the Muslims are usually portrayed as completely peaceful. I like Story of the World because it shows the good and bad of both parties involved. We see that Muslims had taken over the Holy Land and the Pope had a misguided quest to redeem it.  It seems that at first pilgrims were treated fine in the Holy Land but then Christians and Jews were being banned from it and persecuted.  The Pope guaranteed a spot in Heaven for those who fought. I don’t say that these were all Christians because how can you be a Christian if you don’t even know Christ’ teachings. The people could not read the scriptures for themselves and they went by whatever the often corrupt leaders said at the time. Had they known the scriptures then they would know that Heaven doesn’t come by fighting a war. Also they’d know that Jesus said to love our enemies. The very fact they believed salvation came through the Pope’s blessing and a crusade, proves they were not Christian. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, by believing  in him and confessing with our mouths.  This is what Christ teaches.

The Crusades were just sad. Both sides back n forth doing horrible things to each other. The only light in all this is that the crusaders gained knowledge of  Muslim technology. The Muslims were very advanced compared to the rest of Europe. Also it’s good that Christianity still exists. The war was not good but had Islam continued to take over then Christianity probably wouldn’t exist today. All but one of the crusades were unsuccessful. The reconquest of Spain however was successful. Jerusalem was built by the Jews and later taken over by Catholics, then Muslims. The Jews were scattered during the diaspora, after Rome destroyed the temple. It is a sad time in history. Jews have always been persecuted. Unfortunately, so called Christian leaders tried to convert people by force. This is completely unbiblical. We’ve learned though that many leaders adopted Christianity so they could have control of the people. Their religion was unsincere and the proof is in their unchanged hearts.  Jesus never mean’t for Christianity to be used as a tool. Alas, the middle ages were really dark and corruption rampant in every religion and culture.

If you’re interested in a unique take on the crusades watch BBC’s Robin Hood.  I love how Robin of Locksley (Robin Hood) is portrayed as a lord that went to war in the crusades.  There’s a great episode in season three where a monk has started writing the scripture in the common language, though it is forbidden by the church. It’s a great series for the middle ages. You also get to see Muslim technology because one of Robin’s “men” (actually a woman) is a Muslim.

During this time, King Richard (from the stories of Robin Hood) went off to fight in the Crusades. He left his people to be governed by corrupt rulers. You know the story of the sheriff of Nottingham and  Richard’s younger brother, Prince John. Well, Robin Hood is most likely a legend but Prince John was real. And people were really being drained of their money and left with nothing.  No wonder people dreamed of a hero that stole from the rich and gave to the poor.  The people were so upset that they forced Prince John to sign the Magna Carta. This made things a little bit fairer.  The Prince could no longer do whatever he pleased with the people’s money.

Meanwhile, King Richard went missing. The stories say that he was found by his friend Blondel  who went around singing “Greensleeves” and waited for an Englishman to sing the next verse. He supposedly stood beneath a tower and sang a line. Then he heard King Richard sing it back. The people (against Prince John’s wishes) begged the Duke of Austria, who had captured Richard, to let him go.

Michael watched Disney’s Robin Hood and I made him a quiver for his arrows. We made tissue paper stained glass windows with contact paper.  We also made dragon feet out of cardboard and had medieval chicken and rice, blawmanger. It’s made with almond milk. I played Greensleeves on the piano.

We watched and read a story about the Children’s crusade (which some believe to be fictional or maybe the basis for the pied piper story).  The movie we saw was another time traveling movie; Crusade: A March through Time.

Speaking of the Holy land…people would take pilgrimages. An important poet named Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote down stories from pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales. Most of the stories are crude and perverse but the Nun’s story of the rooster and the fox is perfect for kids.  We made puppets and Michael acted out the story as I read it. Thankfully my old story books I told you about, have several stories/poems by Geoffrey Chaucer. We also read his poem “A Perfect Knight” and we read his short biography. Geoffrey Chaucer is said to be the Father of English literature.

More after the pic…

Robin Hood & Crusades

Lastly, we had three snow days and we took advantage of them. They coincided with our snowflake study.  Michael was so sad when the snow started to melt. I told him to scoop up some snow and put it in the freezer. Now he will have snow all year round :). I wanted to get a microscope to look at the snowflakes but we couldn’t find one. I did however, get a telescope and Michael found Jupiter.

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

Search for Blawmanger on this site: http://www.godecookery.com/how2cook/how2cook.htm

Canterbury Tales Puppets: http://www.layers-of-learning.com/canterbury-tales-for-kids/

Dragon Feet: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dinosaur-feet-craft/

Robin Hood’s No Sew Quiver: http://www.creativecapitalb.com/2013/10/simple-upcycled-no-sew-kids-quiver.html

Snowflake study: http://www.currclick.com/product/88816/Snowflakes—Two-Day-Study-Series

Middle Ages Lapbook: http://www.currclick.com/product/1065/Middle-Ages-Lapbook

Middle Ages Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/doverette/sow-middle-ages-renaissance/

Netflix links for Story of the World: http://terishepard.com/2013/08/06/story-of-the-world-netflix-resources/

Middle Ages Week 3: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/middle-ages-week-3-the-vikings-the-feudal-system-castles/

Middle Ages Week 5: https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/middle-ages-week-5-medieval-russia-marco-polo-plus-2014-winter-olympics/

 

Crafty Monday: Snowflakes, the Teddy Bear Jazz Ball, & the Homeschool Room Mural January 14, 2013

Hello friends! I hope you are well :). We took a break last week from our Time Machine studies. We did however finally have our Teddy Bear Jazz Ball (for the 1920’s) Friday. We also learned about snowflakes at our homeschool group where my bestie Hannah hosted. I painted a mural in the homeschool closet turned nook. Meanwhile, our family rested and healed from sickness. I am doing so much better…hardly any nose issues. Michael hasn’t coughed and the cat’s foot is great.  The kitty is just miserable being inside. We have to get him fixed. He’s driving me crazy with his whining. Chester is part Siamese and VERY vocal.

Here is a video with proof. This is just a taste of what he does morning and night. Email Subscribers: you’ll have go to my actual blog site to see most links.

Chester, my vocal kitty

So last year I did a post on converting Michael’s (recalled) crib into a school desk, magazine rack, and shelf.

Said post here:  https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/crafty-monday-new-use-for-that-recalled-crib-pom-pom-sundaes-homemade-welcome-rugs/

That worked for awhile but Michael outgrew the desk and it became a place for clutter. We still have the magazine rack but the desk and shelf (which was falling down) were thrown out.  So I had to rethink the closet corner. I wanted it to become a nook where Michael could put his headphones on, sit on his beanbag, and do school. Thus came the mural of faith and comfort.

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I noticed that there was a crack in the wall that made a cross. So I drew an outline with crayon and painted the wall with kid paint. I used a permanent marker to write the verses. After that, I bought rolling plastic drawers, threw out old craft stuff, workbooks, and papers, and then set everything up leaving the center open. Now I like to stay in that area!

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Enjoy the pics 🙂

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This week was laid back with just our regular workbooks and Michael played math apps. My buddy Hannah hosted our group and taught the kids about snowflakes. She read a cute story about how we are all different, like snowflakes.

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She also told us about Snowflake Bentley, a man (with my birthday Feb 9th) who was the first person to take magnified pictures of snowflakes.

We then looked at pictures of snowflakes up close.

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Hannah showed the kids how to make a snowflake mobile.

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We finished ours at home.

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Then we ate these lovely snowflake cookies Hannah made.

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I decided to make Borax snowflakes and sugar crystal candy.

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The borax snowflake came out good. The sugar crystals haven’t formed yet. I think it takes longer….unless I did it wrong.

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Michael was so excited to get his first mp3 player. I put several Christian kid songs on it.

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Friday we finally had our Teddy Bear Jazz Ball that goes with our Time Machine Study of the 1920’s. We dressed up a bit…sort of. I made a few invitations. My symmetry is off lol. Michael said they looked like mice. Michael got the big one and the rest went to teddy bears and dolls.

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Michael helped me set up the china. We had cookies and lemonade while the dolls and Teddy Bears had chicken, steak, and a mix of things. We had extra food so more “people” were invited.

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Apparently Sheep eat chicken. Tiger is hungrily staring at the other guests. Uh Oh…

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The mood was set with 20’s music (mainly jazz). We conversed with our guests then had dancing.

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Samantha got to stay in the 21st century a bit longer. After the Ball she went back in the time machine and to the early 1900’s.

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Barbie had to use a stepping stool to dance with the army doll.

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Michael and I attempted to learn the Charleston. I got the hang of the first part but Michael was frustrated. So we danced freestyle most of the time.

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Charleston tutorial here:

By the way, all the videos that I talked about in last Monday’s post can be found on my Pinterest here:

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

Time Machine: 1900-1925 Part 1:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/a-late-crafty-monday-the-time-machine1900-1925/

Time Machine 1925-1950:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/crafty-monday-time-machine-studies1925-1950-italy-country-study/

 

Crafty Monday: Star Bird Feeders, Frozen Sun Catchers, Winter Rocks, & Borax Snowflakes January 23, 2012

 

Hello!  Hello! Welcome friends! Today is Crafty Monday. So pull up a chair and get out your paints….and be sure to wear some clothes that can get messy 🙂 Today I’ve got four winter crafts for you. These are great for the kiddos and you can enjoy them as well.

#1 Star Bird Feeders

These are fairly simple to make. All it requires is:

  • 3/4 cup birdseed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small envelope of knox gelatine
  • twine or string (we used fishing line & yarn)
  • cookie cutters, molds or mason jar lids (for circles)
  • wax paper

1. mix the gelatin with the water and boil til the gelatin is dissolved.

2. Let the mixture cool for a sec. Then mix in the bird seed (add more if there’s still alot of liquid)

3. Lay your cookie cutters on the wax paper

4. Loop your string through the cookie cutter leaving some on both sides.  (Remember don’t tie the string yet)

5. spoon the bird seed mixture into the cookie cutters

6. let it harden overnight. Remove from the cookie cutters. Tie the string and hang these in the trees 🙂

Taa daaa! PS: you can also make shamrock and heart shapes for other seasons. We got a head start on ours…

#2 Frozen Sun Catchers

We made these in the freezer because our weather is WAY too bipolar in Alabama.  The above picture was in taken in front of a candle because it was cloudy outside (tornado watches today).  We are keeping our frozen ice sculpture in the freezer until the weather is cold enough so we can hang it outside.

1. Find decorations from creation (leaves, berries, pine cones etc)

2. Fill a bowl with water (we put plastic wrap in ours so it’d be easy to remove once frozen)

3. place your natural decorations in the water

4. place some string or yarn  in the top of the soon-to-be sculpture (if not you’ll have to do what we had to do: heat the end of a screw driver and push it through the ice to make a hole)

5. freeze over night

6. remove the ice sculpture and hang it up for a nice sun catcher

#3 Winter Rocks

The picture explains it all. Simply paint a rock white. It’s best to use a gold metallic pen to draw the snowflake but I didn’t have one. I used blue paint with glitter. I know it looks like something my son did…..one day I’ll buy a metallic pen lol. I used a big rock but this looks really good with a bunch of small rocks. You can put them in front of a fire so they’ll reflect the glow.

Here’s some stones someone else did. Mines pitiful in comparison  😦

 

#4 Borax Snowflakes

These are super fun and you can use the same concept to make rock candy (just don’t use the Borax! lol). This idea can also be used for Valentines & St Patrick’s Day (just change the shape & add food coloring)

  • Wide mouthed jar
  • 3 white pipe cleaners
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Boiling water
  • Spoon
  • Borax (called 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster – the product called Boraxo will NOT work)
  • Optional: blue food coloring (red if you make heart shapes & green for shamrocks)


1. Make a snowflake frame from 3 white pipe cleaners and string. Twist the 3 pipe cleaners together in the center to make a 6-sided, spiky figure.

Make sure this figure fits inside the wide-mouthed jar.

2. Tie the string around the pipe cleaners to look like a snowflake shape. Trim the excess string.

3. Tie a few inches of string to one of the pipe cleaners. Tie the other end of the string to a pencil, so that the snowflake will hang from the pencil and dangle inside the jar.

Take the snowflake out of the jar.

4. Pour boiling water into the jar.

Add the 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster to the hot water in the jar.

Keep adding the Borax until you have a supersaturated solution (you will see undissolved Borax at the bottom of the jar). You’ll have to add about 3 tablespoonfuls of the 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster to each cup of hot water in the jar.

Optional: Add a few drops of blue food coloring for a bluish snowflake.

5. Hang the snowflake in the jar and wait at least overnight.

In the morning, your snowflake will be covered with beautiful crystals.

As the supersaturated solution cools, the borax comes out of solution (less of the borax can dissolve in cool water) and forms crystals on the pipe cleaners and string.

You can do the same type of project using supersaturated sugar-water and a string, making edible rock candy (but the crystals take longer to form).

Yaaaaa! I finished this before midnight 🙂 Have an inspirational week, folks. God bless and remember

The High King Lives!

~Amber Dover