Homeschool Saint Patrick’s Day

I have to admit Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t one we do much with.  I’ve tried to bring it in, but it’s just never caught on with the kids much, aside from the books.  They loved our picture books.

Saint Patrick's Day homeschool

Nevertheless, one of my goals for this coming year is to organize all of our holiday learning into one spot.

 

Saint Patrick’s Day crafts

I’m hoping to make a few Saint Patrick’s Day crafts this year, because I have to admit there’s some fun ones, but so far I’ve got TWO, yes two.

Saint Patrick peg doll

Saint Patrick’s Day learning ideas

irish beef stew and beer bread

 

Saint Patrick’s Day books

I love Saint Patrick’s Day books because they’re usually full of magic and fairies.

That’s What Leprechauns Do- This one amuses me, and it’s the first we bought way back when the boys were little bitty.  It’s a set of 3 leprechauns off on a jaunt and the older leprechaun keeps trying to keep the other two in line because “that’s what leprechauns do.”

St. Patrick and the Three Brave Mice- I like this one as a folk tale about Saint Patrick and it worked very well with the craft we did with our study of Ireland a few years ago.

The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day- I find amusing the vast number of takes off “The Night Before Christmas,” and this falls into that category.

St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons- Because you can never go wrong with a Gail Gibbons nonfiction book.  I love her books.

Ellie and the Good-Luck Pig (The Critter Club)- Princess swears by these books and has read as many of them as I will buy.  I’ve not read them personally, but she is finagling for as many as she can get.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola- I love Tomie dePaola, he just does such a great job with his books.

Calendar Mysteries #3: March Mischief- Superman loves all of the Calendar Mysteries and I think has all of them, if not he has almost all of them.  They’re ridiculously easy for him to read now, but they’re comfort reading to him.

 

For more Saint Patrick’s Day ideas check out my pinterest board
Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board Saint Patrick’s Day for kids on Pinterest.

Jesus heals the man at the pool Sunday School lesson

In our last Sunday School lesson Jesus Jesus met with Zacchaeus and told him “Get out of that tree.”  Today Jesus has a different message for a man at a pool.

Jesus heals the man at the pool lesson

Jesus heals the man at the pool lesson

Like you see in that picture up there his first question is if he wants to be healed.  Which seems like an odd question, who wouldn’t want to be healed.  But Jesus never asks something without a reason.  There are many people who are sick who don’t want to be healed.  They enjoy the attention from their disease or they’ve become used to being sick and wouldn’t know how to live if they were better.  So it forced the man to look at himself, did he really want to be healed?

Looking at myself, do I always want to be healed?  I know what it takes to get in better shape, but I enjoy my lazy hobbies that all require sitting.  Exercise means sweating and being uncomfortable.  There’s many other examples in my life, so are you willing to be healed?

At the bottom I’ve linked to a great analysis of this story which taught me a lot, and I’m trying very hard not to just restate his points  So, I’ll give you one last thing to think about.

Jesus heals the man at the pool lesson

Jesus’ warning to the man.  Jesus sees the man later and says (Ticia paraphrase), “Look at you all better, now sin no more, or something worse might happen.”  There are a lot of theories why Jesus said this (if you’re curious I’d be glad to answer in the comments, but it’s a long answer and off topic), but it all comes down to something Paul said in Romans

Romans 6:1 and Jesus and the man at the pool

I think this is what Jesus is getting at, sanctification, he’s been justified (“you’re all better“) now he needs to work on sanctification.  That is a lifelong process.

 

Jesus heals the man at the pool activities

Not too surprisingly my kids had fun with this activity, even Princess who is usually not a fan of race games, it probably helped she won most times.

Jesus heals the man at the pool race

It’s fairly simple, but I included a video so you can see the game in action.  Basically you’re sick and want to get to the pool you believe will heal you, and are trying to pull yourself over.

As you’ve probably guess I can be long-winded, and I have a tendency to impart random info as it interests me like at the end of the video.

After the craft we spent some time making a mat our poor sick man might have rested on and then decorated after Jesus healed him.

Jesus heals the man at the pool craft making

I grabbed a scrap of fabric from my stash and our fabric markers (affiliate link, I like these because they don’t dry out very quickly, AND they have nice colors) and we set to decorating.  Superman finished quickly because I forgot to iron the fabric to Freezer Paper (it stabilizes the fabric and makes it easier to color), and he took about 90 pictures.  Most of which I deleted, but he did take most of the pictures in this collage, and the pictures of me sharing my craft.  Though I like Princess’ take on the craft best.

Jesus heals the man at the pool craft examplesSo I chose hers to spotlight because really it turned out rather good, if rather busy…..

Jesus heals the man at the pool craftAll in all a fun lesson.  Next week we finally learn about Lazarus and his sisters.

Jesus heals the man at the pool craft

 

Jesus heals the man at the pool resources

5 Crowns card game, Review and game play

I don’t know how we first found 5 Crowns card game, or when exactly, but this is one of our go to games when we have friends over.

5 Crowns a fun card game to play with your family

{all Amazon links in this post are affiliate links}

5 Crowns card game Quick Overview

Here’s a quick 10 second explanation of Five Crowns card game: It’s Gin Rummy with 5 suits and a changing wild card.

Clear as mud right?

This is part of why we like to play this and introduce it to friends.  It’s a game you can easily talk around, as Jeff would call it a “beer and pretzels game.”

Side note, someday I want to get this Five Crowns Playing Card Game in Wooden Protective Box, because our plain cardboard box is falling apart from play.

 

5 Crowns card game the longer explanation

5 Crowns great for learning to deal cards

This game has 12 rounds with you gaining one card each round.  The first round you have 3 cards and by the last round you have 13 cards.

Each round you are trying to organize your cards into sets of at least 3:

  • Runs- sets that are part of one suit that go in order (3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of hearts)
  • Matches- sets of one number that could be multiple suits (3 “9’s”, heart, clubs, stars)
  • Sets can have one OR more wild card in them.  Wild cards are the current wild for that round and Jokers.  Jokers are always wild.

5 Crowns card game fives are wild this turn

This is the third round, and you have 5 cards.  5’s are wild this time.  If you’re ever not sure what card is wild, count the number of cards you have and that number is wild.

Five Crowns is a low level card replacement game.

card replacement

I figured I better start defining some of the gaming terms I use on posts like these.  So, here’s my first definition.

Card replacement- picking up and discarding cards rapidly to cycle through cards rapidly to gain the most effect.

In this case every turn you are discarding and picking up cards.  That’s the whole point.  You need to change your hand to get the arrangement you want.  I say this is a low level version of that because in more extreme versions your goal is to run through your entire hand in that one round.

5 crowns card game review

The most difficult hand is the “5’s,” because you have to get 5 items in your set (sets require a minimum of 3).  In this case I ended up with 5 “9’s” with two wild cards.

5 Crowns card game review how to score

5 Crowns is a great game to get your kids started on counting cards.  You want to teach your kids to be aware of what has been played and what patterns are developing.  Who is picking up what, what types of cards are they discarding.

I’m sure you’re thinking, that’s nice, but why do I WANT to do that?  Later on in life you want your kids to notice details.  What was someone wearing, how are they interacting with other people.  Teaching them to notice details in smaller things like card games will help them to get better details later in life.

Besides, it’s “good clean fun.”  And a fun excuse to play some games.

Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board games on Pinterest.

Teaching your homeschool kid how to take a test

Every homeschool Mom is afraid of their child having gaps. What if my child doesn’t know X? One thing I hadn’t realized until recently is test taking is a skill. You have to teach your child how to take a test. I knew that from teaching. I mean half of 3rd grade in Texas is learning how to take the standardized test.
The same thing applies to my homeschooled child. I have to teach them how to take a test.

teach your child how to take a test

{Disclosure: I received a free copy of Paradigm Accelerated curriculum and was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own}

Set your child up to pass before they take the test

A couple of things that will guarantee your child will pass the test.

Paradigm science text

  1. Buy a good science curriculum, like oh say…. Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum Basic Science Mysteries (I chose this one because my son is a huge fan of mysteries).  Choose one that is well laid out and ideally has important terms bolded.
  2. Complete all assignments.  This may seem like an obvious statement, but I’ve been known to skip assignments from time to time if I didn’t see the point.
  3. Take good notes.  If you’re not sure how, check out how to take notes.

 

Going back to number 2 on that list.  At first we were not completing the activities because we’ll just take the quiz right after, so why bother with that?  Well, you do things like that because kids need repetition to learn.

(Side point unrelated to teaching a kid how to take a test, these lessons were just the right length for us 2-5 pages depending on the lesson, and they led us into lots of side discussions and reminders of when we studied anatomy last year, and the kids were very interested in the mystery)

 

Give your kids tools to remember what they learned

My kids are active learners.  So we took the information from the text and made it into motions.  They remembered the parts of the brain because we came up with hand motions.  Very silly motions and simple motions, but it sure helped them remember.

(Side note, it was incredibly freeing to get Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum and know I could just set the kids free and they could complete it 100% on their own in a few years.  I’ve been looking for homeschool curriculum that is independent for high school years to encourage independent learning)

(Second side note, check out the Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum youtube channel for some great videos to support their curriculum.  They’re also sharing cool stuff on their twitter feed)

(Final side note for now, they’re revising their curriculum to include QR codes to let students access extra content from their phone, how cool is that?  Also, think of the potential for extended learning.)

All right now into the details of teaching your kids how to take a test.

Teaching your kids how to take a test

teaching your kid how to take a test matching questions

Almost every test has matching, and that can be intimidating.  Especially when the list of matching is almost 20 long.  The above sample is only 5, but another section on the Paradigm Science test had about 15 words to match.

Here’s a few important things to do for any type of questions

  1. Answer the easy questions to narrow down the field.
  2. Eliminate obvious wrong answers.
  3. Look for context clues, articles, verb agreement can help you figure out the right answer.
  4. If you are able to, read it out loud (this especially helps my daughter).

As you can see in our example up above we went through and answered the questions they knew with no trouble and that narrowed down answers enough to let the kids figure out the ones they weren’t sure of.

teaching your kid how to take a test fill in the blank questions

My daughter sees fill in the blank and freezes because she thinks she can’t do it.  But if you apply the tips for matching first it can quickly narrow down answers.

But you can follow all of these tips and still not be sure if you’ve got the right answer, so sometimes you….

GUESS!

teaching your kid how to take a test fill in the blank questions

You may not be able to tell, but that blank answer the arrow is pointing at originally said “wellness” because the kids thought that might be the answer.  Then they read the next question and realized it was wrong.

Sometimes you need to try out an answer before finding the right one.  Kids need to learn it’s okay to guess as long as you’re willing to change your answer.

How to take a test with multiple choice

This will be your most common test type, especially for standardized testing.  So I was very glad Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum included a wide variety of multiple choice questions.

Here’s what I learned back when I was learning how to take a test and that I’ve taught my kids.

  1. Read the question carefully and underline key words.
  2. Cross out obviously wrong answers.
  3. Look for clues in the question, is there an article or a verb that only agrees with one answer?
  4. Go with your gut instinct, you often know the right answer without thinking about it.
organizing paradigm accelerated curriculum

Too much text, quick break to show you how I organized my tests and quizzes by chapter for easy finding

How to take a test with true/false

True/false questions are most likely to trip you up in a test, or they trip me up.  Here’s some common tips to beat that.

  1. Look for words like “always” or “never,” absolutes are almost always false.
  2. Read carefully for words that change the meaning subtly.  Small words can change it from true to false, think how easy it would be to miss the word “not” in a long sentence.
  3. If you’re not sure skip it and finish the section then come back.
  4. At the end sometimes it works best to answer quickly because if you over think it you’ll end up giving the wrong answer.

One last thing on taking a test.

Provide lots of opportunities to practice how to take a test

how to take a test for kids

If the first time your child sees a test is when it’s do or die, they will die.  You’ve set your child up to fail.  But if you’ve been giving them lots of chances to try out tests when it’s not a big deal they won’t freak out.

Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum has lots of quizzes, one after every section (so that’s 3 quizzes before the test).  Their quizzes are made in the same style as the tests, so if your child takes the quiz every day by the time they get to the lesson test they will pass with flying colors, no worries whatsoever.

They’ll be used to the style and how it works, and it will not be scary.

 

One last thing on Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum

Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum offers these discounts:

40% off for

  • homeschool groups (minimum purchase $1000)
  • single parents

20%  off for

  • ministry families
  • military families
  • farmers and ranchers
  • first responders
  • foster parents

Call Paradigm at 325-649-0976 for a discount code to use during the checkout process if you fit into one of these categories.

(Very last side note, I’m very impressed by a company that doesn’t just say it supports single parents or military or any of those categories up above, but puts their money where their mouth is.  My kids are young for most of their curriculum, but I’m storing away their website for when they get older.  I like the idea of something they can complete on their own, that is my ULTIMATE goal in homeschooling, creating independent learners, and this curriculum encourages that, but don’t just take my word for that.)

Homemade Valentine’s Day celebration

When I looked at this month’s Poppin’s Book Nook theme my heart sank.  I’m just not a poetry girl.  But, I said I’d write a post on poetry, so I figured I’d better start thinking of an idea…..

 

I thought of poetry units in school with required learning of the different styles and having to write an example, UGH.  I thought of the handful of poems I like: a few Lewis Carroll poems, a ballad I read in high school, and some random things that sound cool to me.  Then I remembered seeing Jack Perlutsky in elementary school as some kind of special event, but I don’t remember why I was chosen for it.

 

But, I still had nothing (just like I did in this post a few minutes ago when my computer ate the whole thing, not one word left, I almost cried).

 

homemade Valentine's Day dinner

Why are we glowing? That’s a good question which I have no answer to.

Then Princess figured out we weren’t going to be home for Valentine’s Day and she really did cry.  Until promised her we’d have a special Valentine’s Day celebration meal with special cards.  Then she went into overdrive and started planning the most expensive Valentine’s Day ever with elaborate presents.  That we nixed, after all we just came back from Disney.

homemade valentine's day dinner

We got home, set the date, and the kids set about making their presents and cards.  The poems were simple, barely poems  in the boys’ cases (I love you.  Happy Valentine’s Day), but they enjoyed making them and they learned it doesn’t have to be a big production.

 

homemade valentine's day dinner

One of the highlights for me was seeing the kids think of what the recipient would want.  Princess made me these Star Trek peg dolls, this is Captain Sisko and Odo from Deep Space Nine.  Pretty cool, huh?  Superman gave me two drawings of Batman (one with a find the difference, but the picture turned out blurry and it’s too cold to get out of my warm blankets).

homemade valentine's day dinner poetry

But this is what melted my heart.  Princess’ card.  It’s simple poetry, there’s no rhyme or meter, just what she felt.

 

Now, I’m sure there’s a few bloggers who did a better job with poetry than I did.  Between my lack of enthusiasm for poetry and being out of town and then sick I’ll freely admit this isn’t super related to it, and I didn’t really have a book of poems to go with it.  But, my kids enjoyed this.

Poppins Book Nook

 
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God?s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy?s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy?s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A ?Peace? of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Check out some more Poppins Book Nook ideas on Pinterest.

Clip art by Melon Headz


Zacchaeus Sunday School lesson

I switched the order around slightly, I’d originally intended to write about the man at the pool, but I discovered the lesson wasn’t quite done, so we’ve gone straight from the Samaritan Woman at the Well in our Bible lessons to Zacchaeus and the Rich Young Ruler.

Zacchaeus craft

 

Why pair a Zacchaeus Sunday School lesson with the Rich Young Ruler?

This is going to seem somewhat counter-intuitive, they’re both pretty straight forward stories, and could easily be their own lesson, but to my mind the lessons go well together.

Zacchaeus lesson

When you get to the story of Zacchaeus it’s the story of a man who desperately knows he needs Jesus.  He has no illusions he is anything other than a sinner.

Zacchaeus

Tax collectors were viewed even worse than we view IRS agents because they won the job by telling Rome how much they could bring in tax revenue, and then anything they made above that they could keep.

So Zacchaeus knew full well how sinful he was and how much he needed salvation by Jesus, and that’s why it amazed him so much when Jesus spoke to him.

Zachaeus versus Rich young ruler lesson

By contrast the Rich Young Ruler thought he was perfect.  He went to Jesus and basically said “I’ve lived a perfect life what final detail do I need to earn heaven?”  He was confident in his family, his actions, and his money.  But Jesus knew what the Rich Young Ruler was relying on, and it wasn’t God.  So Jesus dared the boy to get rid of his security and that scared him.

These two men had very different reactions to Jesus.  One came knowing how desperately he needed Jesus, the other came proud of himself and his actions.  So the question is, which is it better to be?

 

Zacchaeus craft

Zacchaeus craft

My kids loved this craft because we got out the paints for this, which always makes them happy.  I’ve also learned the hard way to make sure they change out of their good clothes because the boys now have some nice new shirts and shorts that were ruined the first time they wore them by acrylic paint.

Oh well, they’re learning and growing right?

Zacchaeus craft

I guess since this is such a simple craft there wasn’t as much opportunity for the kids to go wildly different in their versions from the intended craft.  Though some of their Zacchaeus do look rather amusing to me……  I think Superman created a ninja Zacchaeus, but I could be wrong.

 

Zacchaeus craft

Zacchaeus Sunday School lesson resources

As you can see I didn’t have as much for the Rich Young Ruler as for Zacchaeus, there’s just not as many crafts for them.  We did this lesson back when we were getting ready to go out of town, so I didn’t get to do my brilliant lesson on holding tightly to stuff and watching it slip away versus holding it with an open hand and allowing God to use you to bless others.

How to memorize the continents

This year we’ve been a bit more pro-active about geography, and we’ve gone about that in two ways.  First, we’ve started back up our country studies, we went back to India for some fun learning, and I’m still waiting to try out one of the meals from the international cookbooks I talked about earlier.  Second, we spent some concentrated time memorizing the continents.

memorize the continents

We went about memorizing the continents in two different ways.

 

1.  Memorize the Continents game

memorize the continents

Not too surprisingly this was my boys’ favorite version.  You need an Inflatable Globe (affiliate link, I got mine from the good folks who taught Superman’s Magic Treehouse class when I saw them at Great Homeschool Conventions).

memorize the continents

Get everyone standing around in a circle, and have everyone raise their right hand.  Whatever continent they are touching with their right thumb when they catch the ball is the one they have to identify.

If they’re not touching any continent with their thumb than identify the closest continent to their thumb.

Play as long as you have time for, and your kids will learn quickly.  I promise.

Seriously, my kids asked to do this game over and over and over again.

 

2. Memorize the continents by drawing them

memorize the continents

I think I saw this idea first over at Homegrown Learners, but I could be wrong.  I know I remember doing similar for learning how to draw as a kid, tracing great pictures over and over again.

But, you get a light box, mine is the Martha Stewart Crafts Craft Station (over the top I know, but I got it for Christmas from my Mom a few years ago and it’s been a great help).

Put a blackline map on your light box, I tend to use a printout from WonderMaps since I own that, but you can probably do a search for them online.

Now let your kids trace the map and become familiar with the shapes of the continents.  My kids are mad for sharpies, and any project they’re allowed to use sharpies for instantly makes them happier.

 

Both of these activities are nice and simple, but sometimes simple works the best.

For more geography ideas check out my geography pinterest board, there’s over 100 ideas for your general geography studies (yes I have specific ones for state studies and country studies).

Follow Ticia Adventures in Mommydom’s board geography on Pinterest.

As a side note completely unrelated to memorizing the continents, thanks for all the well wishes on my last post. We are now safely home from our trip, and I’m the only one who is still somewhat sick. I’m typing this up from my sick bed because I’m well enough to be bored, but not really well enough to do much else. It kinds of stinks. It’s amazing how you can look forward to a trip so much and then also look forward to going back into a routine.

 

Our last week or so

This past week I haven’t been online much, and there’s a good reason for that.

See, we’ve been on vacation at Disney World!

And visiting old friends that moved.

I’ll be sharing some tips later, but right now I wanted to share pictures.  I made a point to take lots and lots of pictures of the entire family, not just the kids, but also the adults.  I’m sure I drove Jeff and my Mom nuts as I said, “okay pose for a picture before this ride.”

Disney Animal Kingdom

We started off our Disney week at Animal Kingdom.  We made the mistake of taking Princess on the Dinosaur ride as her very first ride there and it scared her so much she spent most of the rest of the trip scared of every ride.  But, she loved going on the “animal safari” and seeing animals close up.  At one point we saw a rhino running towards us, thankfully he stopped a few feet from us, but it was quite scary for a bit.

Batman was picked to help on the birds show, which was cool.  I got a picture with Baloo and King Louie, that was pretty cool.

Disney Epcot

Our second day was at Epcot, which I think was most everyone’s favorite “kingdom.”  We rode most of the rides, and then happily toured about half of the World Showcase.  Princess’ favorite “ride” was an investment game, you choose a savings goal and play different games to try and reach the goal.  I think we did that silly game 3 times, and Superman had us doing the Habit Heroes game as many times.  Epcot had Princess’ favorite fireworks show.

Disney Magic Kingdom

I had the most pictures I loved for Magic Kingdom.  I went to Disney World when I was 13, and it had the most unchanged rides from when I was a kid, so I have lots of pictures of the kids on the same rides I went on.

Disney Magic Kingdom

At this point Princess was mostly over her fear of rides and was starting to trust us again after the whole Dinosaur fiasco.  She thoroughly enjoyed Magic Kingdom and getting lots of special Mommy and Mimi time as the boys rode the bigger rides.  The picture of Batman up above quite clearly demonstrates why we don’t let 10 year olds drive.  He was absolutely in love with the driving ride.  Seriously, I have 10 more pictures like that of his absolute thrill with driving.

Disney Hollywood Studios

Thursday we went to Hollywood Studios and had lots of fun riding Star Tours.  Batman got sick part of the way through the day, a combination of too little sleep, too much greasy food for breakfast, and too many thrill rides, so we barely made it through that day.  Mom and I took Princess to a Frozen Sing-a-long, which she absolutely loved.  Especially when Elsa made it snow in the theater.  We stayed for the Fireworks because it was not too long after the Frozen show finished and the boys declared it to be their favorite show (it was an epic battle between good and evil).

We finished up our time at Disney World with a return to Epcot.  Batman still wasn’t feeling super good, so the girls did an epic dash through the World Showcase as the boys explored the water area, only to meet up for a very fancy meal next to an aquarium.

E family kiddos

But the highlight of the trip for my kiddos was seeing the E family again.  We drove up to South Carolina and hung out with them for a couple of days.  It’s amazingly hard to get 7 kids to all look the same way at the same time.

2 generations of friends

It was also a highlight for my Mom and I because we both got to see our friends.  You see, my friend A’s Mom is also one of my Mom’s best friends.  That’s right this is a multi-generational friendship.  I hope we can find a way to continue this for many more generations.  A marriage perhaps?  Mwa ha ha ha ha, I just need to arrange a marriage.

 

We’re driving home right now and if ya’ll can pray for us.  We seem to of caught some kind of bug, and it’s going through the family.  We just have one more day of driving and we’re home, but Jeff is is sick, Mom is sick, 2 of the kids are sick, and my throat hurts.  It’s not boding well.  I’m gonna go ahead and post this because the typing from my keyboard is hurting Jeff’s poor head.

Preparing for Easter

I’ve always wondered why it is we prepare for Christmas for a whole month, but we spend maybe a week on Easter.  The foundation of Christianity, what it’s all about, and we spend a week talking about it.

But then at some point I started learning more about the Catholic faith and they have a whole season devoted to preparing for Easter, Lent.

preparing your heart for Easter

Now, I’m not going to become a Catholic because I love my Protestant beliefs, but I think preparing for Easter is one of the things the Catholic church got right.

How we are preparing for Easter this year

I found a great resource from Kids in the Word called So Much Bigger than the Bunny (affiliate link).

getting ready for Easter

I think I stand a good chance of actually finishing this study because it’s simple. I always try to make Bible studies complicated and add in all sorts of extra things to do, and this is only a few minutes a week.

preparing for easter

I also very much appreciate her heart for discipleship.  “As parents we have a high calling from Christ.  He has entrusted us with His children for a time, to raise them to love Him and be used by Him.  They are not ours.”  This is what I’m trying to remember as I raise my kids.

 

Would you join me for this Bible study during Lent this year?  I’m very much looking forward to this, and can’t wait to see how God uses this study in our lives this year.

Buying So Much Bigger Than the Bunny

, you can get $2 off your copy of if you use the PROMO code: ADMBUNNY2OFF (easiest way is to copy and paste) through February 18, 2015.

OR you could win So Much Bigger Than the Bunny!

I have one copy to give away to one of you lucky people, and since nothing has to be mailed anyone can enter. Because of the time sensitive nature (Lent begins tomorrow, how is it already so close?). This is going to be a one day giveaway.

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Defeat the Winter Blues

I don’t like winter.  Actually I spent a long time complaining to Jeff about the cold and gray weather, it’s quite miserable to me.

 

Surviving the Winter Blues

Is there anything more depressing than a bare tree with no leaves?

Unfortunately for me we have cold gray weather for a month or so every year, and every year I get the blues.  I won’t go so far as to call it depressed, but I’m certainly not happy about it.

 

Recognize when you’re getting the blues

 

For me it’s always mid-January it starts.  Winter has well and truly set in, there is no Christmas decorations to distract me from the cold, and it’s gray.  Did I mention the gray weather?  It’s horrible.

And the kids are cooped up, everyone is snipping at each other and we are tired of being in the house together.

 

Whenever I notice a propensity to cry for the silliest of reasons or to just want to curl up and do nothing that’s when I need to do something.

 

What causes the blues in you?  How can you realize its’ happening to you?  I don’t always realize it early enough to stop a full on mopey Ticia, but sometimes I do.

 

Take steps to defeat the winter blues

 

What can cheer you up?  My list isn’t going to be the same as yours.  Here’s some of my ways to defeat winter blues:

 

my latest project, belt pouches for the kids

my latest project, belt pouches for the kids

  • work on a sewing project, it always cheers me up to create something
  • sweep my kitchen, for some reason having a clean floor is cheerful (generic cleaning does not work)
  • reading a comfort book, this is a book I’ve read dozens of times and I now my favorite parts
  • a hot bath, or a warm fire
  • a short walk, getting my blood flowing can really help
  • reading my Bible, sometimes I just need a reminder how much God loves me

 

Some things that don’t defeat the winter blues for me

 

cuddling with kiddos is always a way to cheer me up, had to add that one in

cuddling with kiddos is always a way to cheer me up, had to add that one in

Some things I think will work to defeat the winter blues, but they actually make it worse.  This may not be the case for you, but stop and think if you are making the problem worse.

 

  • mindlessly surfing the internet.  I’ve caught myself clicking between email, Facebook, and pinterest in an endless cycle that depresses me further
  • cleaning bathrooms, I don’t like to do so in the best of times, when I’m feeling down it’s even worse.  The same goes for dishes and laundry.

 

Actually it’s mainly the things that seem to never end that I find horrid to do.  Horrid.  If it seems like I’ve actually accomplished something then it cheers me up.

SanityandGoals

Hop over to see how some other ladies from iHomeschool Network keep their sanity and achieve stuff.  I’m planning on reading the one about exercising, I’m still working on that one, and household routines those two are ones I’m particularly working on right now, oh and I just found another one on getting organized.  As you can see there’s lots there I want to read, so you should too.

 

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