amberdover

The High King Lives

Valentine’s Weekend 2015 Plus 32 Weeks Prego Pics February 22, 2015

In this post: Our Valentine’s get away and The Vow date night, Miriam’s 1st birthday, a Valentine’s hunt, diy scratch offs, and date night bags for kids.

Valentines2015

Hello dear ones! Valentine’s weekend started off with a bang. My best friend Hannah’s little girl Miriam, turned one. She had a little party with family and a couple friends. Look at this delicious cake from Publix.

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Miriam had her first taste of cake and wasn’t sure if she liked it.

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We finished our Valentine’s countdowns. Remember the heart chain and kisses countdown found here:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/2015-valentines-decor-and-countdown/
I also gave Michael and Chris Valentine jokes every other day.

Valentine jokes
http://www.kristendukephotography.com/free-printable-valentines-day-lunch-jokes/

I used these Valentine’s printables from the Dating Divas to set up a hunt for Michael. I found goodies at the Dollar Tree and hid them around his room.

Valentine’s Hunt
http://www.thedatingdivas.com/holidays/valentines-day/valentines-search-and-find/

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I found this chalkboard coffee cup at Michael’s Craft Store, for Chris. Michael made this diy scratch off valentine for me with Chris’ help.
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DIY Valentines Scratch Offs
http://www.yellowblissroad.com/the-ultimate-valentines-day-printable-pack-plus-a-coordinating-free-printable/

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My mom and step dad kept Michael on Valentine’s. I sent this date night bag with Michael to open once we were on our date. It included the games “Don’t Eat Pete” and “Valentine’s Monster Bingo”. Links below. I was told they had lots of fun :).
Kid’s Date Night Bag
http://www.thedatingdivas.com/family-fun/kid-date-night-envelope/
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Don’t Eat Pete game
The printable is included in the date night bag link above.
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Valentine’s Monster Bingo
http://www.yellowblissroad.com/the-ultimate-valentines-day-printable-pack-plus-a-coordinating-free-printable/
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Several weeks before, Chris and I had a date night at home. We did these couple quizes and interviews from the Dating Diva’s. It reminded me of Chris’ likes and dislikes. I used the info to plan our Valentine’s date night.
Couples’ Interviews & Quiz

http://www.thedatingdivas.com/just-the-two-of-us/couples-date-night-quiz-and-interview-printable-kit/

We reserved a hotel room with a hot tub. I decorated the room with Valentine’s decor from the Dollar Tree. I put the romantic candle holder I had made, on the tub. Remember it from this post:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/personalized-romantic-candle-holder/
It went great with “The Vow” theme.
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We arrived at the Olive Garden real early for dinner. The line was crazy, and we got on the waiting list. We were told it’d be an hour and a half wait. So we decided to go to the store across the parking lot while we waited. Bad idea. The restaurant pager messed up and kicked us off the waiting list. We found this out an hour later when we went back to Olive Garden. They tried to get us back in the system but couldn’t. We were told the wait would be longer, so we decided to just order online. We were told that would only take 20 minutes. Well, the pick up wait was over an hour. We were starved at this point so we got Mcdonalds to hold us over and went back to the hotel to start our movie.

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When Chris went to pick up our food he had to wait in line for over 20 minutes. It was close to 9 pm when we finally ate supper.
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We had planned on doing these mad libs and vow printables from The Dating Divas. It didn’t happen though. We both had headaches by the time we got our food. We did however watch The Vow which is a very inspiring movie.
Love Mad Libs
http://www.thedatingdivas.com/holidays/valentines-day/madly-in-love-mad-libs/

The Vow Date Night
http://www.thedatingdivas.com/theme-scene/the-vow-date/
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We did try to do the chocolate tasting printables. We were both so sick at this point. This could’ve been a great date night but things just didn’t work out. Next year I don’t think we will make plans on the actual day of Valentine’s. Traffic was horrific and the hotel was filled with ummm…other people’s intimate sounds. I really didn’t want to hear all that. Thankfully the movie blocked the sounds out.

Chocolate Tasting

http://www.thedatingdivas.com/romantic-rendezvous/chocolate-tasting/

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Well, if I’m going to have a bad night I’d rather have it with my hubby than all by myself. At least I had good company for Valentine’s :). This was supposed to be our last big bash together before Leeland is born. Oh well…

I almost want to try this date again on another night. I really want a do over! I hope you’re inspired anyways and maybe you’ll have better luck with your date if you use these ideas. I would recommend going out the weekend before or after Valentine’s but not of!

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

Date Night ideas:

Our Date Nights:

PS: Here are some extra pics for you :).

The guys painted my bedroom door with chalk paint. It was a lovely gift.
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Here are my 32 weeks prego. pics.
32weeks

 

Valentine’s Party 2015 & Crafts February 21, 2015

In this post: Crafts, treats, and our homeschool group’s Valentine’s party. Also a character lapbook on responsibility, and conversation heart science.

Homeschool Valentines

Hello dear ones! Last week I said that chocolate is a must for Valentine’s, and I shared our chocolate study. Well, there is another candy must for Valentine’s: conversation hearts.

Link to chocolate study:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-study/

Conversation hearts were a big part of our preparations for the homeschool group’s Valentine’s party. Here’s how:

  • “Love never fails” Valentines

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I found the printables here: http://www.notconsumed.com/2014/01/27/7-free-scripture-valentine-printables/
Then we just poured conversation hearts into sandwich bags and stapled the printables to the top.

  • Mini Conversation Hearts Cupcakes

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I used a box cake mix and a mini cupcake pan to make 40 something cupcakes. I put a candy on top of each. This was simple and tasty.

  • Conversation Hearts Science

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We did a little experiment with the candies. We put candies in bleach, water, and in vinegar. The bleach completely dissolved and removed the color from the candy. The vinegar and water both turned the color of the candy.
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We did this responsibility lapbook for our character lesson. You can find it here:
http://www.currclick.com/product/25988/Biblical-Responsibility-Lapbook
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We did a quick study on St. Valentine’s and Michael colored this scripture page.
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Here are the links:
http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/prayers-to-colour-in.html

http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/history-of-st-valentines-day-unit-study-and-free-printables-prek-5th-grades/
Michael made this guitar valentine for his dad.

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Lastly, Chris and Michael put together this Minecraft Valentine’s mailbox while we were at the party.

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We had a ton of good food at the Valentine’s party.
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My friend Hannah made “Cupid punch”.
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My buddy Erin stamped the kids’ hands and faces. Olivia and Everly were covered in hearts.
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Well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: Check out the study on God’s love from a couple of weeks ago:
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/i-stand-amazed-study-snowflake-fun/

 

Personalized Romantic Candle Holder February 10, 2015

Hello dear ones! A good while back I made this candle holder out of plaster of paris. It sat in my office for a long time. I finally decided to paint it for Valentine’s to go along with my date night plans.

I rented “The Vow” for me and Chris’ Valentine’s excursion. I was inspired by the Dating Diva’s Vow date night. Lord willing, I’ll share more on that after Valentine’s. I used paint, sharpies, and stamps to make my design. The roses are just silk roses from the Dollar Tree. I added them when I was making the candle holder. I personalized this by putting our names and our wedding date. It says “I vow to love you always”.
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I found small red and white candles. This will add a romantic personal touch to our date night.

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

PS: Here are some date ideas for Valentine’s!

 

I Stand Amazed Study & Snowflake Fun February 3, 2015

In this post: I Stand Amazed lapbook with link, God’s love Valentine’s wreathe, and snowflake fun with our homeschool group.

Amazed study

Hello dear ones! Last week, Michael and I did a three day study on the hymn “I Stand Amazed”, from the Not Consumed blog. Each day we listened to the song and sang it together. The study comes with a biography of the author, question pages, and copywork. We put ours into a lapbook. Michael read verses about God’s love. This study is perfect for Valentine’s!

I Stand Amazed study:
http://www.notconsumed.com/2014/01/14/stand-amazed-hymn-study-gods-love-free-printable/#_a5y_p=1180918

We used the heart printables and verses to make a wreathe. Here’s Michael writing out his favorite “love” verses.

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Our God’s Love Valentine’s Wreathe

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We used construction paper, a paper plate, and paper doilies.

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Snowflake Fun at our Homeschool group

My buddy Hannah hosted a fabulous lesson at our group last week. The children saw pictures of all kinds of snowflakes, did a science project, ate treats, and were read to.

The Decor
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Hannah reading about Snowflake Bentley. Fun facts: Snowflake Bentley was homeschooled, and he was born on Feb. 9th. I was also born on Feb. 9th :).

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Michael putting his snowflake molecules together. The kids used marshmallows and toothpicks.

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

 

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 http://www.cupcakediariesblog.com/2012/02/valentines-day-decor.html
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Heart Tree with hugs and kisses
Pinspired by http://www.moneyhipmamas.com/2014/01/cute-and-cheap-diy-valentines-day.html

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How do I love thee countdown (for Michael from me and the hubby)
Pinspired by: http://jonesdesigncompany.com/celebrate/how-do-i-love-thee-a-fun-diy-with-free-printable/

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Kiss Me Countdown (for Chris)
Pinspired by:http://eighteen25.blogspot.com/2013/01/kiss-me-countdown.html

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Valentine’s Cross (a last minute craft ideas of my own)
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Now here are some oldies. You may remember this Valentine’s banner from the Dating Diva’s inspired date night last year.
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Date Night ideas:

Valentines
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/valentines-2014-inspired-by-the-dating-divas/

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https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/my-family-rocks-sunday-date-night-ideas-valentines-goodness/

Valentine’s Luminary:

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https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/crafty-mondayfrance-country-study-valentines-snow-day/

Valentine’s in Paris inspired by That Artist Woman:

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https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/crafty-monday-gods-love-hearts-galore-plus-mardi-gras-celebration/

Conversation Hearts Centerpiece:

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Check out the link below to see what this looked like in it’s glory days lol.
https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/my-family-rocks-sunday-valentine-decor-triple-birthday-celebration-making-old-dolls-new/

Medieval Felt playset:

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https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/crafty-monday-valentines-showcase/

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

 

Valentine’s 2014 Inspired by The Dating Divas February 25, 2014

Hello dear ones! The title explains it all. We had a beautiful Valentine’s outing and http://www.thedatingdivas.com/ gave me the inspiration. I will make this short and sweet :). Disclaimer: This date is for married people ;).

Chocolate, romantic movies, candles, and bubble bath equal perfection…almost. Add in some Dating Divas ideas and voila! Perfecto! Not to mention the love of your life…yes that helps too lol ;).

This date didn’t cost too much. I was able to find Valentine’s decor at the Dollar Tree. Candles and rose petals are a must. The hotel room was the most expensive but I believe after almost ten years of marriage a Valentine’s out was needed. Note: Book a room with a Jacuzzi WAY ahead of time. Our date was actually the day after Valentine’s so miraculously we were able to get a great room in a hotel off the beaten path. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the Jacuzzi.

The hotel was nice enough to give us a DVD player to borrow, hence the movies. While I got the room ready I left Chris instructions for supper (I can’t do it all can I?). I went simple: Filet Mignon ready to throw in the oven, baked potatoes that you can microwave in the wrapper, and a salad.  Plastic champagne glasses and sparkling grape juice top it off. Romance doesn’t have to break the bank ;).

Dating Divas inspired me to make this awesome candy gram: http://www.thedatingdivas.com/tara/the-valentine-date/

Mine says: Babe, you’ve made my life EXTRA special! You’re the RIESEN for my smile. You always make me laugh. 🙂 Your KISSES are complete BLISS! xoxo Although we’re NERDS, we are a perfect fit, and our love is a beautiful SYMPHONY!!

I got these man approved Valentine’s here: http://www.thedatingdivas.com/holidays/valentines-day/man-approved-valentines/

These were so great. The themes are from big movies: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and several action movies. I couldn’t decide which one to use so I turned them into a Valentine banner.

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

Here’s the pics:

Valentines

Keep up with all my date posts:

More date ideas:

 

Best Hens Vs. the Hateful Hawk: A Valentine’s Story February 14, 2014

I had a rough day but it ended well and now I have a heart warming Valentine’s tale to share ;).

Best Hens Forever

Penny and Baby are best “hens”. They have been B.H.F. (best hens forever) since we got them  in October. Baby is known for her black tail feathers and  bad temperament.  She likes to crow at the top of her lungs when either her or Penny lays an egg. She’s also known for pecking at us if we touch Penny or get near their eggs. Penny is the gentle hen. She’s mainly brown and is the easiest to hold. Her eggs are speckled and she began to lay last.

The hens have an enjoyable life. They sleep in the coop at night and they roam freely in our fenced in yard all day. They like to play in the rain and catch worms. As of late, they’ve started hiding eggs under the shed.  Things have been different since we brought home Annabelle. The hens are torn between following us for food and running from our new pup. But Annabelle means no harm. She just likes to play chase. So life has been pretty safe for Penny and Baby. But that was about to change.

Our backyard has been a haven for many birds. Our cat stays inside and we keep our yard a little wild. It’s the perfect place for a juicy worm or euphoria inducing berries from the cherry laurels. Penny and Baby eat beside the Robins and Cardinals. It’s a utopia. But today was different. A shadow passed in the sky. The little birds began to fly away and the yard got very quiet…

I had been having a rough Valentine’s. I went to the homeschool room to get on Michael’s computer. All of a sudden I heard a loud thud which scared the mess out of me. I went to the window and opened the blinds. There was a chicken sitting on the AC unit attached to the window.  What a strange day.

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A little later I heard Penny crowing at the top of her lungs. Usually Baby is the noisy one. I didn’t realize it was a warning cry. Baby is always making noise so I didn’t pay attention. Ten to fifteen minutes later my neighbor calls. Her husband saw a hawk fly into our yard and he said the chickens were being very loud. I hung up and ran out the door, just in time to see a humongous brown hawk fly out of the yard. I saw Baby hiding under the boat. She was freaking out and I couldn’t get her to come with me to the coop. I finally lured her out enough with food and I carried her to the pen. She was locked in and safe but where was Penny?

I searched every corner of the yard and I looked into the neighbors yard. I even got on my knees into the mud and looked under the shed where they lay eggs. No sign of Penny. So I went in to get Annabelle. She’s very good at finding the chickens even when they hide. Annabelle and I searched the whole yard. She was drawn to the coop with Baby in it but she wasn’t concerned with the rest of the yard.  I called my neighbors to see if they saw the hawk carrying a chicken or maybe the chicken flew over the fence. They can fly high enough to walk the fence. Alas, no one had seen Penny.

Not long after the hateful hawk left, all the birds started returning to our yard. They brought their friends as well. I was overwhelmed by the amount of birds. Dozens upon dozens covered the yard and trees. I went out to look for Penny again. I saw birds I had never seen before. It felt like a bird funeral or maybe a bird meeting. Maybe they were mourning Penny or discussing what to do about the hawk. Well, still no sign of Penny. Surely, she was too big for the hawk? But maybe he hurt her and dropped her. What a selfish overly ambitious creature the hawk was! I found a dead Robin near the fence. It’s head snapped off. What a wasteful and cruel hawk!

Funeral of the Birds

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Community Meeting to Discuss the Hawk

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My husband Chris drove down the road after work. He couldn’t find Penny. When he got home, my Hubby scoured the back yard for any sign of the little hen. He looked everywhere I had and under the shed too. No Penny. Then he found her…well, parts of her. When he told me, I expected to see bloody pieces. Instead we just saw a mass of feathers in a pile. We looked for a body but could find none. It was clear…the Hawk had struggled lifting her but it had succeeded in carrying the hen away. Penny was good as dead. We announced the news to Michael and him and I hugged.  Baby was now all alone on Valentine’s. She had lost her BEST Hen, her B.H.F.  Tears welled up in Michael’s eyes.

Chris went to put cedar chips in the coop. Baby would have to stay in the coop a couple days to recover and to keep the hawk away. We also vowed to only let her out when we could supervise. Then we would put the hen back in her coop each day. There would be no more free ranging all the time. Baby had lost her freedom because of the Hawk.

I stepped out the back door to say something to Chris. Michael was behind me when we both noticed a little brown tail going under the shed. Could it be? Was it Penny coming out and going back in? Or was it the Hawk trying to get to their eggs? Surely, it was Penny! Michael hooped and hollered and I took off running. It was Penny! Chris began to cluck to Penny and lure her out. We all lovingly rubbed her head. The poor hen was missing several feathers and her beak was a little bloody. I cleaned her wound with rubbing alcohol and we placed her in the coop.

What a miracle! Baby didn’t lose her B.H.F. after all! They were together again and completely safe from the evil Hawk.  We were all exhausted from the stress of the day but we were thankful for our Valentine’s surprise. This called for celebration and…take out!

“What do you want to eat?” asked Chris.

“I’m not sure. Anything I guess, except…chicken.”

The End!

Best Hens Forever

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

 

Crafty Monday:France Country Study, Valentine’s, & Snow Day February 19, 2013

In this post: Our homeschool group has a Valentine’s party/country study of France, I made a Valentine Heart Luminary, a legal site where you can read kid’s books for free, several crafts & science experiments, and a pretend snow day! Also a recipe for madeleines!

Hello dear ones!

In homeschool last week we continued our love memory verses. We also began a study of Queen Esther in our Bob Jones devotional. I guess we got a head start on Purim. Here is a link to last week’s post with the heart memory verses:

https://amberdover.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/crafty-monday-gods-love-hearts-galore-plus-mardi-gras-celebration/

This week we continued the heart theme in our crafts. We made this heart magnet with scrapbook paper, conversation hearts, and magnets. You can find this on my Valentine’s Pinterest. I’ll put the link at the end.

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We played a conversation’s hearts game that was simply for the fun of eating them. My friend Rachel had a neat math game over at her blog (using the conversation hearts). Link here: http://homeschoolingmom2mags.blogspot.com/2013/02/valentine-math.html

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Valentine’s Luminary

Very simple: a mason jar, tissue paper, ribbon, and modge podge.

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Michael and I read several books for free at http://www.wegivebooks.org/books

We are members now (also free). We read several snow books for Friday, our “Snow day”. I really enjoyed this book called “See a Heart. Share a Heart”. Michael has been finding “hearts” everywhere since then.

http://www.wegivebooks.org/books/see-a-heart-share-a-heart/reader

Our homeschool schedule has changed a bit since February. Back in January I think I told you I wanted to simplify. Well, I’m not sure I’ve simplified but I have organized. Instead of majoring in every subject and doing crafts every single day I made each day different. Every day there is devotionals, spelling, math, and reading but we specialize in certain areas each day. Here is our game plan (Lord willing):

Monday- Crafts and cooking

Tuesday- typing and science projects

Wednesday- Math & Music

Thursday- homeschool group time and/or geography and social studies/ history

Friday- Language arts, nature, and/or health

So for instance it’s Wednesday. We would do something special for math…like a game or even a math craft. Thankfully we can be flexible because cooking has happened on every day but Monday lol. It’ll probably happen this Saturday since we’re making hamentaschen (Haman ears)  for Purim.

So for cooking last week, I taught Michael how to make mac n’ cheese. Every kid needs to know how to do that, right!

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He made us a lovely candlelit supper. He lit a match for the first time. He was super excited!

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He set the table and we had a lovely simple dinner. Good job, buddy!

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For science we did a few things. First we did an experiment with carnations. I remember doing this in school. You just put food coloring in the water. If you want the flower to have two colors in it then you have to split the stem and put it into both jars.

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It took way longer than expected for this to work. The blue was nice but I noticed when the red finally got color that it was orange! Later, I found out that the hubby had added more red but first accidentally used yellow….hence, the rusty orange color. I was going for pink…oh well.

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We finally tried out our Discovery Kids tornado machine. Then Michael watched a show about tornado chasers.

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For music we used conversation hearts to put the notes on the staff paper (meaning the candies were the notes). Honestly, we had not looked at the piano book since December (*shame*).  So rather than jump right into playing, we just looked at the music and figured out the notes. Maybe he will play the song this week.  Little fingers get rusty when they haven’t played in awhile. Please check out my music section on Pinterest. I found a ton of great resources for teaching the basic elements of music.

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Our homeschool group is awesome :). Our country study of France happened to come on Valentine’s Day. Okay, it was planned. Still, they went perfect together. We learned about the city of love while learning the origins of Valentine’s.

Everyone brought french food. I made lemon madeleines drizzled with chocolate and powdered sugar.

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/12/humpy-madeleine/

I was happy how they turned out because the first time I made them I burnt the edges :(. Anywho, I ditched the glaze and just put the lemon juice in the cookies. Then as I said, I drizzled them with chocolate and powdered sugar. Voila!

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Mmmmmm, you know you want to make some! The kiddos really liked them. I made the batter the night before and baked them that morning because they get soggy if you don’t eat them right away.

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We taped “God’s Conversation Hearts” onto the candy boxes and gave them to each family.

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The table full of books about France.

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All the yummy food 🙂 We even had goat cheese, which I tried for the first time. See the mini Eiffel Tower?

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Hannah talked to the kids about France and read them a story about a french kitty.

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Here’s Rachel sporting her stylish french hat while eating a madeleine 🙂

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I brought a book about St. Valentine to teach the kids the meaning behind the holiday. After eating and sitting thru stories they needed to stretch before they were ready to listen.

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So we stretched….

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and got out all the wiggles…..yep, it reminded me of my time at an Early Learning Center.

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And that’s also where I learned about listening ears…I never got it out of my system. I came up with the special “listening eyes” though….sounds silly but it just means to look at the person who you’re listening too.

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I had the kids answer questions along and along and even make the soldiers’ footsteps by pounding the floor. We had to stop half way and get the wiggles out some more. That seemed to help and I think they heard most of the story! ;P

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Michael and his buddy Liam

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Then the kiddos decorated Valentine’s mailboxes. Hannah’s son, Liam, had a very kewl monster box.

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We were simple this time. I thought our tissue box looked nice enough so Michael just stuck foam heart stickers on it.

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Eric made an alien box.

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Maggie, Rachel’s daughter, made a sweet robot box.

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Olivia, Hannah’s daughter,  made a mermaid themed box.

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Then passports were stamped. We keep forgetting ours so I just had a paper stamped.

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Michael with his good buddy Olivia.

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Michael and Maggie

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The kids then went around and delivered their valentine’s. I’m so glad we have a group because I did love the parties in public school. It’s nice we can homeschool but come together for fun events.

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So we never made an ash cross on our arm or forehead. We just didn’t get to it. I tried to put together the Lent centerpiece I told you about. It’s not as pretty but it kinda reminds me of the desert. We got our Lenten tree devotional book at the end of the week and our Lent Calendar. It’s very weird having all these holidays at once but somehow it’ll work…

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Friday for our Nature study we had a snow day! 🙂 We have yet to see any real snow but maybe…

Anywho, we started out with a  sugar cube igloo craft. I would be lying if I said it was easy. I didn’t follow the directions to a tee so…

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We outlined a shape on paper then glued sugar cubes around it. We kept adding layers but it wanted to fall. So I had to put cardboard in the middle to keep everything up. I ended up finishing it because we were both so frustrated.

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The next “craft” was simple….sigh. Michael made snow sculptures using marshmallows.

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We then had hot chocolate with marshmallows. Like I said before, we read a few snow books on wegivebooks.org

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My sister got us this wonderful fake snow for Christmas. Look at it before we add water….a small pile.

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We added water and it GREW! It’s also cold and doesn’t melt! I think we should buy a ton and fill the back yard! LOL

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Well, it’s not safe to eat etc…so it’s probably best we keep it in a container. Add a few toy penguins and we have a snow box! Voila!

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Gumby ended up holding the igloo up. I threw it away later because I figured the sugar would attract bugs. Oh well…

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

Ps: Tune in next week for Purim crafts. If you want ideas for this Purim season check out my Purim section on Pinterest. By the way, here are my Pinterest links for these projects. Remember email subscribers to come to my blog to see the links.

Purim

Valentine’s

Music

Science

 

My Family Rocks! Sunday: Date Night Ideas & Valentine’s Goodness February 18, 2013

In this Post: Several date night ideas and a link to the best site for date tips (these are for the married), a simple but sweet Valentine’s, and easy recipes for a romantic Filet Mignon meal.

Hello dear ones and I pray you’ve had a wonderful weekend. The hubby hasn’t been feeling well so keep him in your prayers. My family and I have been trying to get back to our old routine of date nights, between me & the hubby and also each parent having one with our lil man, Michael. So we decided that every other week would be a Mommy & Daddy date night and that we would alternate planning it. We have an old popcorn bucket that I put date ideas in. Some of them I came up with but most came from the absolutely best dating site for married people:

The Dating Divas

http://www.thedatingdivas.com/date-night/at-home/

I especially like the list found at the link above. They have tons of movie themed date ideas. For my first special date night I planned to do my own movie theme & to incorporate some of their other ideas like the date in the bag (Love on the Run). I filled a gift bag with the goodies we needed for the night: food & games :).

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I chose the movie “The Lake House” because it’s sweet and rated PG. You are welcome to use my sweet & simple idea. Here’s a synopsis: two people from two different times fall in love via letters sent thru a special mailbox. The girl, in the future, is able to help the guy with the future & the guy, in the past, is able to change her past. There’s a sneaky twist near the end. Will they ever meet in the present?

Sounds cheesy but it was romantic. My idea was to have us each write a note to our teen selves before we became a couple and give reasons why we should choose each other. My maiden name is “Way” so you can see the envelope is addressed to Amber Way from “my future husband”. Chris begged me to choose him again and told of our life together and our wonderful little boy. He even tried to convince me to vote a certain way in the future. My letter gave Chris hints to who I was (nerd with baggy Christian t-shirts, girl who had staring contests with him etc…). I told him of how he would grow to love me and made promises of the happy future he’d have with me. The rest is personal but it was a beautiful idea and I’m glad we did it.

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Chris saw the date bag that morning with the “His” gift tag on it. Later that night I took out the snacks and set up. We played the Sudoku race idea (from Dating Divas) half way between our movie. It was a nice pause. I’m sure we could use other games for the race….like crossword puzzles and word searches.

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I set the mood with candlelight and romantic music. I made a simple meal of Chicken Alfredo and pumpernickel bread. We used flute glasses from our bridal shower. There’s more to this date but that’s personal. I don’t think our date nights will ever be the same since we found Dating Divas. Goodbye typical night!

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Valentine’s was on the way. Here’s a pic of Tessa snuggling with her stuffed puppy.

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I planned Valentine’s since it was an in between week and Chris had already taken Michael to a movie for their father-son time. We took a trip to the Dollar Tree days before and I told the guys to go find gifts. Of course the guys both got chocolate :). I wanted to be a bit different so I got Michael a game and Chris a coffee cup. I took a red Sharpie and wrote the reasons why I love and respect him on it.

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I also found a cheap pink shirt and ironed on “I (heart) my husband”. I wore this on Valentine’s.

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After our Valentine bash with the homeschool group, Michael and I headed to Chris’ office. We brought a monkey balloon, goodies, and a gift bag. On the way I stopped by Waffle House to get Chris’ favorite coffee and poured it into the special cup. Thankfully Chris wasn’t embarrassed by my shirt and his co-workers were happy to sample the goodies. I’ve ruined his poor boss’ diet 😦 oops.

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Michael took a pic of the momentous occasion. I can tell Chris is thinking “Here we go again…this woman and her blog!”

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So the house was cleaned just in time despite it’s appearances. You have no idea….. Hey, don’t judge me. They say a messy house means happy kids. Obviously that’s not always true but it works for me! lol ;P

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Candlelight covers a multitude of sins dirt. Look at that ambiance. I covered our paint splattered breakfast tables with a plastic table cloth. I found the lovely mini colored bottles at Michael’s craft store. They were on sale :). I put Carnations inside them and lit some candles. The plastic heart glasses came from the Dollar Tree. Michael joined us for part of the time. We watched “A Charlie Brown Valentine’s” then Michael was sent to his room while the hubby and I watched a romantic comedy.

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I decided to make a restaurant worthy meal. I had never made these before but it turned out yummy:

Easy Yet Romantic Filet Mignonhttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-yet-romantic-filet-mignon/

Asparagus Parmesanhttp://allrecipes.com/recipe/asparagus-parmesan/detail.aspx

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts (actually bottoms)http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Stuffed-Artichoke-Hearts/Detail.aspx

and garlic bread.

Now, you may be wondering what the pan of gook is. Please read carefully…the title was wrong. The recipe calls for artichoke bottoms. Hearts can not be stuffed! Now calm down… since the title misled me, all I had was hearts. I ended up mixing everything together to form a casserole of sorts. We put it on top of our garlic bread.

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I used Dating Divas Couple’s Menu. The idea is to charge hugs and kisses for the food and to write a bill.

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My first dealing with asparagus….sorry Junior!

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It was really dark in there but this pic was taken with flash.

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Michael is drinking cream soda I promise! lol

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Voila! Parmesan asparagus!

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Non-stuffed artichoke “dip” on top of garlic bread.

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Praise God the meal was a success!

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Do you have any date night ideas? Please leave me some comment love. I hope you are able to use these ideas and recipes. Please check out Dating Divas. Marriage doesn’t just fall together. It takes work…especially when you’ve been married awhile. Sometimes you have to plan the magic.

Check out my pinterest for more date ideas:

Remember email subscribers to come to my blog to see the links.

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

Keep up with all my Date posts: 

 

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:

http://thedickensonfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/ash-wednesday.html

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.

First…..

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: http://bibleresources.org/bible/KJV/Matthew-4

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.

Valentines…

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