The High King Lives

Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) 2014 October 28, 2014

Hello dear ones! This is our 7th year celebrating Sukkot. Usually we go camping but pregnancy and other circumstances changed our plans. We did however continue our pottery tradition, learn about some neat birds, and enjoy a small town Harvest Hoedown.



I’ve got a couple of links to update you on this holiday and our family traditions.

  • Here’s info on what the holiday celebrates and Sukkot pictures going back to when Michael was itty bitty:
  • Last year’s Sukkot celebrations at Enota Campground and the Dahlonega Gold Mines. Also a short trip to Helen, Ga:
  • Our trip to the pottery store last year and a look at how it all works:         
  • A look at last year’s pottery when it was finished and also a picture of all our Sukkot pottery together (minus this year):


Autumn is a very special time for our family. I go to town with the decorating because it’s my favorite season. Sukkot (a Biblical harvest celebration) is one of my favorite holidays. We usually go camping since Sukkot means feast of booths/tents basically. We also take a trip to the pottery store and paint harvest themed pottery. This year I did a bowl with owls on it. Since I’m pregnant I added an egg for “the year of the baby”. Michael painted a small owl. We spend hours at the shop and we have to wait a week to pick up the finished product. Here’s pictures of our pottery in the works.




I was thrilled to be able to celebrate Sukkot this year. Morning sickness ruined any chance I had at celebrating Trumpets, Yom Kippur, and Talk Like a Pirate Day (I like holidays). I knew I wouldn’t be able to tent camp though. So I booked a cabin at Roosevelt State Park. Unfortunately, when we got there we couldn’t stay. A water line had burst and the management booked us a room at Callaway Inn instead. We were a bit disappointed. I had cooked a lot of food and most of it went to waste. We couldn’t play the guitar and the t.v. was a distraction we wouldn’t have had in the cabin. There was no camping about it. But we did however get into Callaway Gardens for free and we still got to see Roosevelt State Park.

Pic: The view from Roosevelt State Park on Pine Mountain.


We did make a leaf chain to decorate our “sukkah”, which was a hotel room. It didn’t have the same feel at all but Michael got to have fun collecting leaves atleast.


We had a big breakfast at the Inn restaurant. We hadn’t budgeted to eat out but it was nice to eat well. We visited Callaway Gardens which was right by the Inn. We’ve been to Callaway many times but we’ve never seen their Birds of Prey program until now. It was great to see an owl, a hawk, and a vulture in person. Okay, the vulture wasn’t that glamorous. I learned about the benefits of vultures but I did not enjoy the thing flying so close over my head. Here’s a pic of my favorite critter: the owl.



We took a walk in the vegetable garden. It’s a great place to take photos. Here are my favorites.






So it wasn’t camping and we did end up watching a lot of HGTV (we don’t have cable at home), but we did do our devotional and learn about the harvest. The day we left we caught a small town harvest hoedown in Warm Springs, Ga. We found our pumpkin for the year (another Sukkot tradition). You’ll see pictures of it in another post when the guys carved it. Warm Springs is such a charming town. The festival was small but quaint. We walked away with home cooked barbeque and some delicious funnel cake. Here are my favorite pictures.


Balloon animals!


Country music while we chomped down on boiled peanuts


Michael decorating a small pumpkin


We didn’t get to have our s’mores and hotdogs until we got home that night. We’ve got a fire pit in the backyard so it worked out.


The best laid plans don’t always work out but you can still have fun if you’re flexible. Our Sukkot celebrations are usually not by the book and this year they weren’t for sure. But it’s important to get to the heart of any holiday. The Israelites lived in tents in the desert. They faced all kinds of hardship and unexpected events. Our plans didn’t work out and we had to stay in a dwelling that wasn’t what we wanted. Our sukkah was a hotel room but it still wasn’t home. It’s a reminder as believers that the Earth is a temporary dwelling. Our true home is in Heaven. For now we are pilgrims and this world is our wilderness. It’s a crazy journey with surprises around each corner. But the Lord Jesus dwells with us and reminds us that home isn’t that far.

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

PS: Enjoy these festive pics of our cat Chester (Winchester).




My Family Rocks! Sunday: Sukkot at Enota & Dahlonega Gold Mines September 29, 2013

In this post: Our trip to Enota Mountain Campground to celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and our stay in Dahlonega, Ga to see the gold mines. 

PS: At the end of this post I have links with our past Sukkot celebrations and what Sukkot is all about. 🙂

Hello dear ones! Last weekend the family and I traveled to Enota Mountain Campground near Hiawassee, Ga for some Sukkot camping. We had originally planned to camp at Desoto Falls, a favorite spot of ours. Then we saw that it was going to rain Saturday and didn’t want to go there for just one night. Anywho, long story short, through a series of events I found Enota and we decided to stay one night in Enota and then spend the next at a hotel in Dahlonega. I had thought about Helen but since we’ve explored it before, I thought it’d be nice to check out the Dahlonega gold mines.

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So it took us most of the day to drive to Enota. We got there that afternoon with just enough time to set up and for Michael to fish before it got dark.  It was a nice drive into the mountains.

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The staff were super friendly.

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I like how the lodge has a fence made out of antlers. Enota used to be a camp for boys.  It was a bit run down compared to how it looked on their website. Times are hard in the states. This is a non profit place and money is probably short. Still we enjoyed our stay.

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We decided to camp near the stream. It was peaceful and quiet. We did get neighbors on the other side of the stream later that night. Thankfully they were quiet.

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Michael was glad to be “free” of the van lol. Here’s the other view. Follow that road and it takes you to the lodge, farm, and playground.

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Michael and I helped Chris set up the tent while he made a fire. Here’s Chris and Michael.

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We decided to roast some hot dogs before letting Michael catch a fish. I was comfy :).

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Enota has a trout pond that you can fish in as long as you keep what you catch and pay $6 a pound or per fish. You don’t even need a fishing licence to fish there. They had poles too.  Here are the ducks that live at the pond. They have these crazy mohawks! The white one pecked my toe while I was filming. I don’t know what his problem was. We fed them too!

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Chris helped Michael catch a fish. We didn’t want to pay for or clean more than one.

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Michael was thrilled :).

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There was a small “waterfall” if you can call it that, near our camp.

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Here’s Chris cleaning the fish in the stream. I’m so glad I married an outdoorsy man. I’ve never did well at cleaning fish.

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Michael throwing stones. He was disgusted when Chris showed him the fish’ insides lol.

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Chris cooking the fish on a stick while Michael draws. Later we wrapped the fish in tinfoil and seasoned it to make it cook faster.

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Michael and I had collected leaves earlier that day. That night we strung them up.

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We hung them on our tent for Sukkot decoration. We talked about why we celebrate Tabernacles (Sukkot) and how this world is not our true home. Our bodies are like tents but one day we will go home to Heaven. We are pilgrims on this earth. We talked about the Israelites living in tents in the desert until they made it to the promised land. We also talked about how Jesus put on flesh and came to tabernacle with humans. We discussed how it’s very possible and likely that Jesus was born during Sukkot and that the manger was a sukkah.

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We roasted marshmallows and…

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had smores :).

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We sang worship songs and campfire songs. I played the guitar this time. This is how dark it really was.

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This is how it looks because of the camera’s flash ;).

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That night I read Michael a Jewish Sukkot legend for fun. I got this book at the library. Its about an evil magician that makes all the adults forget holidays and at that time Sukkot. So the kids celebrate themselves and they break the spell off their parents.  Now supposedly in a certain village, the kids lead the prayers etc in honor of that time.


We woke up that morning to light rain. It was so light that we were able to pack up without getting soaked.

Since Sukkot is also about the harvest and being thankful, we went to tour the farm at 8 am. The tour guide never showed up. They were busy trying to save the pond that had started draining the day before. Another family showed up as well so we just all walked to the farm ourselves.  I was unable to milk a cow like I had wanted but we still got to see animals.

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Maybe one day we will go back and milk a cow…maybe help plant and harvest vegetables.

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Michael still wants turkey for Thanksgiving :).  He’s not super sensitive in that way.

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We got to pet the pony.

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We had plenty of time before our hotel was ready in Dahlonega. So we stopped by Helen, Ga on the way.

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We had breakfast at the Huddlehouse which I believe is the only breakfast joint there. We had to stand and wait for a table. We were wet and cold so the hot breakfast was wonderful. Yes Fall made it to North Ga on time. It was chilly. I’m glad I packed sweaters for Michael and I. We didn’t want to linger long so we just stopped by Hansel and Gretal’s for chocolate and left.

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We decided to tour the Consolidated Gold Mines in Dahlonega before going to our hotel. We bought a tour which came with gold panning. We panned for gold first and found about $8 worth of gold. Yep, real gold.

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Then Chris and I had to put on hard hats to go into the mines. Michael was too short to need one. We watched a brief video on the history of the mines.

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The stairs etc were steep and I was honestly really nervous going down there.

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Here’s our tour guide using Michael as an example. Did you know that back in the day little boys were used to pass messages in the mines? It was because they were considered expendable back then. Horrible I know! Miners also didn’t live long . It was a terrible job. They often had hearing loss because of the booms. The chemicals that were used caused black pneumonia I believe, that would slowly kill a person. The miners had to stay down in the mine while they were blowing things up. The pay wasn’t that great and if you got injured you were out of luck and no longer important. There were no labor unions.  Anywho, our guide in a witty way made it clear that we would not have wanted this job.

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The gold on top of the Georgia capitol building came from this mine.

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It was a bit chilly and very damp. Sadly, we didn’t see any bats. The guide says they are usually everywhere.

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Here’s a rock formation that took about twenty years.

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The one place where you can see the light!

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We got a souvenir magnet and a hard hat for Michael. He played miner at the hotel the rest of the day.

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We really enjoyed relaxing in a hotel room after “roughing” it the day before. I think it should be a new Sukkot tradition, camp a day…relax a day.  I brought along a couple of Scarecrow books to read. We also watched shows about kittens lol. We don’t have cable so we enjoyed that.



This Sukkot was different but very enjoyable. We’ve usually pitched our tents in our backyard or somewhere nearby. You can see other Sukkot celebrations here:

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


Crafty Monday Part 1: Ancient Egypt September 16, 2013

In this post: Pyramids, mummies, and King Tut! Crafts and a yummy treat! A trivia game with our group and a trip to the pottery store for our family Sukkot tradition. 


Hello dear ones! Today I’m splitting my post again between Fall crafts and our homeschool studies.  As you know, we’ve incorporated The Story of the World with our Draw and Write Through History book.  This past week we studied Ancient Egypt. We had so many neat books to read each day. We also watched Egyptian documentaries on Netflix.

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Michael began “Who Was King Tut?” and answered journal questions.

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  • The Nile River ~ We began our studies by learning about the geography of Egypt. We found some reeds at a pond and made a reed boat. Then Michael painted the Nile on a box and I added moon sand and moss.  We got the Egyptian solder figurines at Hobby Lobby.

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I found this Ancient civilizations game online and Michael played the demo for free. There was also a mummy game from Discovery Kids (I think) but it scared Michael. It was an educational game but I guess just seeing a mummy put scary thoughts in his head.

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Michael liked the game below though. He was able to build up Egypt, kind of like Sim City.

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  • Rice Krispy Treat Pyramids! 

I bought pre-made treats and we formed them into pyramids. It takes three treats to make one pyramid.

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Michael drew a picture of a pyramid and sphinx from his drawing book.

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It accidentally “rained” in the picture. Michael used water colors again.

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  • Mummies!

So later that week we read the book “You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy!” and Michael colored Canopic jars.

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  • Then we mummified a doll that I had found at a thrift store. I cut her hair and dressed her to look more Egyptian. You can find the links where we got our ideas on my Pinterest at the end of this post.

*Warning! Doll will be naked!

    1. We gathered all our supplies: oil, salt, spices (cinnamon), linen wrappings (medical tape), Canopic jars (tp rolls with the the pictures pasted on them), tools (paintbrush & box cutter), a sarcophagus (box), and the doll.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ancient Egypt 2013 010
    2. Michael “cut” her open to take out her organs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ancient Egypt 2013 015
    1. Then he rubbed her heart with spices and oil.  Then it was “salted” and wrapped in “linens”.                                                                            Ancient Egypt 2013 018
    2. Her mummified heart was put back “into” her body and the mourning process began. Michael is a good actor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ancient Egypt 2013 026
    1. I almost forgot. Her brain was removed through her nose and thrown away. It wasn’t that important to them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Ancient Egypt 2013 031
    1. The rest of her organs (excluding the heart) were rubbed with spices and oil and then put into Canopic jars. Each jar looked like a specific Egyptian false god.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ancient Egypt 2013 033
    1. The doll’s body was then stuffed with wrappings to make it full again. In this case we used cotton balls.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ancient Egypt 2013 036
    1. Her whole body was washed with oil and spices. Then she was wrapped. I didn’t want to completely ruin the doll so I put plastic wrap on her hair so the medical tape wouldn’t destroy it.                                                                                                                                                              Ancient Egypt 2013 037
    2. I did the main wrapping and Michael finished it for me. It was tricky business.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ancient Egypt 2013 038

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    1. We put “amulets” between the wrappings. They were supposed to bring good luck and help in the afterlife.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Ancient Egypt 2013 040
    2. Michael put her death mask on and she was put into her sarcophagus.                                                                                                                                             Ancient Egypt 2013 043
    3. Lastly, we added her valuables: clothes, furniture, and jewels.  We left her a cup of coffee because the Egyptians believed the dead would return to their body and eat and drink before going on to the next world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ancient Egypt 2013 044
  1. Michael and I built a pyramid out of cardboard bricks. We were limited so it is what it is.

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Our Egyptian princess was laid to rest in her tomb. I made it where the bricks could be lifted off the top in case there were visitors or thieves.  I was fascinated with Egypt as a kid. I would’ve loved to play archaeologist with my barbies. What do they say? Youth is wasted on the young!

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  • Making papyrus

We used a method I found online. We cut strips of paper and weaved them together. We left them in sugar water for a couple of hours.

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Then it dried over night.  A lot of the strips fell off so our papyrus is smaller. Then Michael rolled over the paper to make it flat.

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We practiced writing a Cartouche on paper first. This was Michael’s first time using these calligraphy pens. They have to be dipped in ink. They are very hard to use.

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It was too hard so we resorted to putting cuneiform on the “papyrus”. The ink blotted together unfortunately. We tried  at least and now Michael knows what his name looks like in cuneiform and hieroglyphics.

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  • Egyptian lapbook

Through out the week we put together this lapbook found online. I copied the Egyptian flag from an Around the World book we have.

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  • Pharaoh for a day!

We made a pharaoh mask. First, I traced Michael’s head onto a poster. Then I drew the mask around it and cut it out.

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Michael colored a design on the mask.

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Later I punched holes on the sides and added yarn so Michael could wear it.

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I had to punch the holes near the eyes so the sides wouldn’t fold against his head.

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Pharaoh telling Daddy what to do!

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You can find all of our inspiration here on my Pinterest:

  • Our group met this week for Trivia. It was so much fun!

The kids were divided into three teams made up of different ages. The kids came up with their own team name. Michael’s team was The Lightning Bees! They were team B at first so it worked. Plus the kids were thinking up names like Bunnies and Butterflies. One boy wanted to do lightning. So it all kind of mixed together to form the kewlest name ever! The kids and us moms put our hands together and shouted “Go Lightning Bees!”

Lightning Bees

Our host made up a “jeopardy”  board of sorts. There were 5 categories with various points. Each team picked what they wanted to do and the kids took turns being the speaker.

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“Vanna” (her name for this post) 😉 asked the kids the question and then the group had to come up with their answer as a team. The speaker would then give the answer. Our team kept choosing the harder questions so we got more points and actually won.


All of the kids got to pick prizes at the end. Here’s Michael trying to see if he could lick his elbow (which was one of the questions).

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One of the little girls had a birthday so her mom brought in yummy pink cupcakes.

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  • After our group, Michael and I went to the pottery store to continue our Sukkot tradition of painting fall themed pottery.

You can see what we made last year here:

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Michael painted a pumpkin with a black cat in it. We don’t like black cats because they are “scary” or related to witch myths. We like them because we have a black cat and I happen to think he looks stunning against my favorite color, orange.

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Here is a small plate for Sukkot that I painted. These aren’t the finished product. They still have to be glazed and baked.  You’ll get to see them next week, Lord willing :).

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The manager was nice enough to give Michael a tour of the pottery process.

Here’s where they dip the pottery into the glaze.


Here’s the kiln, which gets hotter than I thought.  Maybe one day when we have time we will take a pottery class.

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  • Lastly, I wanted to show you what books we are using this year…at least the main ones.

These are the new piano work books. There’s also the actual song book that Michael plays from but it’s not shown.

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Inside the theory and notespeller books.

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Bob Jones devotional and spelling books. There are three spelling books because we started this series late last year. So Michael is at the end of book one and he should be able to finish all of book 2 and most of book 3 by the end of this year. Then he will catch up super quick in 4th grade.

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Horizons Math book 2 of second grade (which is actually on 3rd grade level. Horizons is advanced). So we will begin book 1 of Third grade later this year. Lifepac Science for third grade and our cursive book.

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Draw and Write through History, States and capitals, and Flash Forward Language Arts for 3rd grade. We are actually only doing parts of the language arts book because I’m trying to do more hands on for that subject. I didn’t take pictures of The Story of the World books but we are also doing those as you know. And we read “Life of Fred” for math every now and then. We use resources from all over and Michael reads a lot. But I wanted to give you an idea of our basics.

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

Last Week:

Next week:


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