Friday, May 31, 2013

Robot Unit Study

We recently finished a Robot unit study. There were actually a few more activities I wanted to do with the kids but I couldn't seem to get my supplies together and it seemed like they were starting to be ready for a change of pace so I brought it to an end. I'm sure we will revisit this topic at some point because there are a lot of fun activities that could be incorporated. The ones we did are pretty basic activities but we still had a lot of fun with them.

Robot Books 

Robot Videos

Robot Crafts/Coloring Pages/Worksheets

Rr is for Robot (Robot Preschool Pack Part 2)

Robot Graphing (Robot Preschool Pack Part 2)
Graphing activities are always fun.

 Do-A-Dot Robot Pictures(Robot Preschool Pack Part 2)
This activity was a big favorite.

Robot Numbers (Robot Preschool Pack Part 1)

 Robot Beginning Sound Worksheet (Robot Preschool Pack Part 2)

 Number Puzzles (Robot Preschool Pack Part 2

 Robot Shape Word Tracers (Robot Preschool Pack Part 1)

I think Damien's robot (top right) had an explosion. I gave the kids the cut out pieces, glue sticks and a couple pictures to give them ideas and told them they could put their robot's together however they wanted.

Robot Memory Game

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Is the Day!

photo credit: Marcus

There's beauty in the morning routine. Sometimes I have to look for it. Eyes still longing for the sleep, remembering the warmth of the covers and the hazy dream lurking at the edges of my consciousness, I want to curl back under the covers and return to dream land.

But there is beauty here in this moment. Lighting a scented candle,  drinking a cup of the coffee brewed by my husband who was up and out before me, spending a few minutes in the Word - my anchor for the day. I open the curtains to greet the day, hear bird song. Start the tea for teenagers about to wake up. Open the chicken coop and laugh at their silly antics as the hens run out to see what treats I may have brought them this morning. Little feet hit the floor and pitter patter down the stairs, more little feet come through the door to spend the day with us.Baby smiles with a side of drool. Cereal bowls, banana peels, spilled juice, giggles and squeals. 

The day has begun and it's going to be a good one!

This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Encourage One Another

Finally. brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with You. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Therefore, encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sins deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

So many times I think what a good job someone is doing, or how much I appreciate that person's positive attitude and approach to life, or what an encouraging blog post someone has written. And far too often, I then go on with my life, enjoying the blessing I have received without encouraging the person who gave me that blessing. But over and over and over in the Bible we are told to encourage one another. God knows that even though He gives the power and strength to live a life of blessing to others, there are still times when the way is rough and He wants us to be there for each other - encouraging each other each step of the way. I can think of a number of people in my life who I could encourage today - my husband who so faithfully fulfills his role as husband and father, my kids, my kids youth leader at church, our pastors who show me Jesus both in word and in deed, writers who encourage me daily. Who in your life could use some encouragement today - a phone call, or a quick email or even a text to say "I'm thinking of you, praying for you, and just want you to know you are a blessing to me." 

Let's go encourage someone today!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend Reading - Encouragement Around the Web

 Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience shared this beautiful post  - When Negativity and Pessimism are Getting to You - This is a must read! 

Leave Your Fears Behind by Chuck Balsamo is another wonderfully encouraging post for your weekend.

If you would like to read what over 270 talented writers wrote, inspired by the word view head over to Lisa-Jo Baker's wonderfully encouraging blog and enjoy.

I pray you have a wonderful weekend and that these are an encouragement to you. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Extraordinary God, Extraordinary Life

1. I refuse to stay stuck in muck, mire and trivialities when I serve a God who teaches me to soar like the eagle. Isaiah 40:31

2. I refuse to live in fear when I serve a God of awesome power and might. Psalm 62:11

3. I refuse to live within the confines of a little old boat when I serve a God  who calls me to walk on water. Matthew 14:25-29

4. I refuse to live a mundane, dull and lack luster life when I serve the God Who created all the universe and continues to daily work miracles in the lives of His children.

5. I refuse to live a life of unhappiness when I serve the God Whose very Presence brings joy. Psalm 21:6

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I slip out the door, barefoot, coffee cup in hand. It's nearly 9PM and still warm outside. There are a lot of things I should do but I'm craving a few minutes just to sit and think.  So I've slipped away while no one was looking to one of my favorite spots - the front porch with it's comfy chairs for moments when I need to press pause. I breath deep and feel myself relax a little. I imagine God smiled when He blessed me with this front porch with it's view of the mountains I love so much. 

I'm thinking of a few somewhat random things I've read today.

This facebook status from Walking Redeemed is on my mind.

There is a reason mothers often get to the end of the day and feel like they've accomplished nothing they had planned to do. It's because they spent the entire day accomplishing what everybody else *needed* them to. So sometimes our greatest accomplishments happen when we simply put down the to-do list!

And  I keep thinking about a passage from a book I'm reading with Austin and Amanda - The Gate of Heaven by Gilbert Morris . The story is set in Bible times and in this passage Jacob and Rachel are talking about the promises God made to Jacob as well as Rachel's desire for a child.

Rachel looked up at him. "Do you doubt the Lord?"

"No" Jacob said firmly. "But I know His time is not like ours. I don't think time concerns Him at all."

"How can that be?"

"I don't know" Jacob shrugged. "I don't think there ever was any beginning, and there never will be any end. But you and I and all humans, we're caught in time - like someone caught in a river. Yesterday is gone. We're sitting in the middle of today. Tomorrow may come if we live. We can't think any other way, but I don't believe the Almighty is like that. He just always is."

And finally I find my mind lingering again on this quote.

Think the thoughts you would think if you trusted God's promises completely. ~ Tommy Newberry

And I'm not sure how or why but I find my mind beginning to quiet. It's been a day filled with little ones, and work that needs to done, food to prepare, too many temper tantrums, the mom taxi to run, tears for Oklahoma, hugs and cuddles, lots of prayers, so many questions. 

I don't have all the answers. 

But I have the One Who does and that is where I am resting.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homemade Hot Pockets

I love hot pockets and so do the kids but I do not love how much I have to pay for them in the store. So every now and then I make a batch of homemade hot pockets and put in the freezer what we don't eat right away.

They an be filled with a variety of fillings. The last ones I made I filled with a mixture of browned ground chicken, chopped onions and Queso Blanco Velveeta cheese. I've also filled them with pepperoni, sliced deli meat, browned ground beef,  and various types of cheese. 

 Here is the bread recipe I used the last time I made hot pockets and it's my favorite so far. 

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (5 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or lard or butter)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
7 - 8 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Stir in vegetable oil, salt, dried parsley, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (I mix the dough in my KitchenAid mixer and use the dough hooks when the dough begins getting stiff and also to knead it.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about an hour.

Deflate the dough and divide into 12 -14 individual balls of dough. Flatten each ball of dough and top with hot pocket fillings. 

Fold sides and ends over, pressing together to seal and place seam side down on greased baking sheet.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Scrambled Egg and Sausage Casserole

Our wonderful little feathered friends have been gifting us with 9-12 eggs daily. It's so much fun to go find these little treasures and bring them in. And I'm kept busy finding good recipes to use all these delicious eggs in. Here is one that I made recently that Doug said was really good. In fact, he said this one needs to go on the blog. So, without further ado, here it is.

1 lb ground sausage
2 dozen eggs
1/2 cup grated parmasan cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup milk
4 slices buttered bread, cubed

Brown sausage. Drain off excess grease. Add eggs, parmasan cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper to eggs. Scramble until set but not overdone. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  Mix 3/4 cup milk with can of cream of mushroom soup. Pour over top of eggs. Cube the buttered bread and place cubes on top of eggs and soup. Bake uncovered in 350 degree preheated oven until heated through and bread is browned.


Other Egg Recipes You Might Enjoy

Oven Scrambled Bacon and Eggs

Zucchini Egg Bake

Bacon Swiss Breakfast Pizza

Bacon Cheese Pie

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The Beatitudes - Sermon Notes, Nuggets and References

Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

What does it mean to mean to be "poor in spirit?"

To be poor in spirit is to realize that I am nothing on my own, I do not have the answers and I am unable to fix my own life. I need help and the only help capable of fixing my problems is Jesus. When I come to that realization and call to Jesus to save me, I become a child of God. As a child of God I am heir to the kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 5:4 - Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

I mourn when I realize how sinful I am and desire to walk away from these sins. I am comforted by Jesus as He walks with me, extends His grace to me and helps me to walk away from those things that cause sin in my life.

Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 

I am showing meekness when I understand that God does no better than I do how to run my life and I choose to follow Him. Following God always brings the rewards only He can give.

Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

When I hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God, seeking Him in prayer and through His Word, He promises to fill that hunger and to satisfy that thirst with His truth and His love.

Matthew 5:7 - Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

When I forgive others the doors Heaven open to rain down blessing on me. When I am being treated badly it may be time to do a quick check of my own life to be sure I am not doing the same to others. 

Matthew 5:8 - Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

I am pure in heart when I have Jesus in my hearts and life and continue to seek Him and His will for my life. 

Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

I am blessed when I endeavor to bring peaceful resolution to difficult situations. As God's child this is a part of my calling.

Matthew 5:10 - Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

Even though following Him is sometimes hard and my even bring persecution, God promises that it will not be for nothing. He rewards those who follow Him and it brings Him joy to see His children blessed, both here on earth and with Him in Heaven.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

This post is compilation of my notes from this sermon, the references used, and my own thoughts and interpretation for my life. 

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vacation Recap

Last week was a week of vacation for us and we really enjoyed it. We planned a mix of quiet time at home and a few day trips. It was a time of fun together, of rest and restoration. Here are some of the highlights of our week.

New (to us) Truck

Doug has been looking at trucks for several months now and this week decided to go for it. Monday he and Michael went out to the dealership and brought us home a truck. I'm not sure which one was the most excited. 

Sherando Lake

Tuesday we had planned to go to Covington to visit Doug's parents and brother but then Doug's mother was not feeling well so we changed our plans. We decided to go to Sherando Lake instead. 

The kids enjoyed walking around and exploring. We took some snacks and drinks along as well. 

Austin was on a mission to find hooks, lure, and string that others had left behind. He pulled some out of the water and cut some out of the bushes. 

This dragonfly nymph was fascinatingly ugly! 

Chicken Coop

When we got home from the lake we decided to clean out the chicken coop. Michael and CJ always love to help bring in fresh hay from the barn for the chickens. And I'm sure the chickens were happy to have a clean coop again. 

Eaver's Classic Car Museum & Weaver's Mercantile

Two things Austin really wanted to go this week were go to the Antique Mall and Visit the Classic Car Museum. I took him to the antique mall on Monday and dropped him off and had him call me when he was done looking and then I went back and got him. 

Wednesday we went to the Classic Car Musuem. He was so excited! 

According to the sign this was the last car Elvis Presley bought before he died.

Also there is Weaver's Mercantile which is set up as an old time country store.

National Aquarium in Baltimore Maryland

Our biggest adventure for the week was a visit to the Aquarium in Baltimore. That was so much fun! I wish I had gotten pictures of the kids enjoying the aquarium but it was pretty crowded and busy  and somehow I didn't get any. 

We left around 8AM and stopped partway up for breakfast. We found it without any trouble although it took us awhile to find a parking garage that we could get into with the van. We went through the aquarium and saw all the exhibits and watched the dolphin show. Then we went to an interactive 4D movie. It was a very shortened version of Happy Feet. When the penguins danced we could feel the rhythm in the seats and when one fell the seats shook. Other times fake snow was blown over us, bubbles were blown out across the seats and sometimes we could feel the wind blowing. Michael freaked out a little but the rest of us enjoyed it. 

After we had gone through the whole aquarium once we went to the gift shop and bought some souvenirs and then ate at the cafe. Amanda decided she wanted to go for round two and see the exhibits again. So Michael and I went with her. Doug, Austin and CJ decided to go tour a submarine that was docked right next to the aquarium. 

While driving up and finding the aquarium went well, coming back home was a different story. Somehow we got all turned around, couldn't find our roads and finally ended up coming home the long way. It took us about two hours longer to get home than it did to go up there. But the kids were wonderful. Michael had a bit of a breakdown not long before we got home and I ended up sitting in the back seat with him so he could lean his head on my shoulder and rest. 

Spark 2013

Every evening last week, except for Thursday evening, I attended the Spark 2013 Fasting/Prayer/Worship Event. Most evenings Doug went along too. I usually went late, after Michael and CJ were settled for the night and Austin and Amanda stayed with them. It was a beautiful time and I'm so glad I went. There was such a sense of the presence of God there and I felt myself stretch and grow. This evening is the last evening and am planning to see there. I'm sorry to see it end but I'm excited to see the fruits of this special time. 

And that's a quick review of our week of vacation. I've enjoyed it immensely but at the same time I'm looking forward to the kids coming back tomorrow and life returning to normal. I'm so blessed to have a life and work that love.

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