EduCents is having their Back-To-School BLOW OUT Sale! They are bringing back all of their favorite and most popular curriculum bundles for just 4 days (plus they will have tons of great supplemental educational products as well)! It’s their biggest sale of the year, and with curriculum and activities at up to 90% OFF, you won’t want to miss it! The sale runs from July 30 – August 2nd! They will have curriculum for PreK-8th grade at up to 90% OFF + many other products that will help keep the kids engaged and learning all throughout the year!
I received the book Love, Skip, Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Yes by Shelene Bryan in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Shelene Bryan has a very down to earth way of writing which made it easy to read. There were times I felt like the author was asking the reader to do what she had – go to Africa, and even start a charity organization. I was also frustrated that most of her focus was outside the United States when there are so many here that could use assistance and God’s love, a fact I feel is too often ignored. Not everyone has the ability to do what she has done. Shelene does acknowledge both points later in the book. I know many people have said this book is life changing – and I guess if you said it’s value lies in the lessons of the power of a simple “yes” to God I would absolutely agree. This book may give some people ideas and others courage. Shelene says in the book that her first yes was to go to Uganda to meet the children she sponsors. I would argue that there were other yes’s before that – accepting Christ as her Savior and sponsoring those children are just two. Throughout the book, Shelene encourages / challenges us to say yes to God and jump.She also has a prayer at the end of every chapter. She used many examples in her book of how one yes can lead to many other opportunities to serve God and bless others (and even to be blessed by those you are sharing God’s love with).
So often, we look at missionaries or actors or authors or pastors as the world changers. Sometimes, we feel like “all” we can do is pray, or give a homeless person a dollar (or a gift card we from our credit card rewards), or sponsor a child, or donate a few hours of our time – the truth is that all of that builds up, even if (or especially if) it’s many people doing all those actions. There’s a reason we, as Christians, are called The Body. We have to work together to share / show God’s abundant love.
Over the years, we’ve done some jumping – although we’ve never been to Africa. We homeschool. My Man owns his own business. We bought land to build a home on. My Man and the older kids have volunteered to feed meals to the homeless. We have given money to the homeless and a local homeless shelter. I don’t tell you these things to toot our own horn but to point that even though these things do not seem as “large” as going to Africa they are actions we have prayed about and said yes to God on, and every single one has handed us opportunities to share God’s love and blessings we otherwise would not have had. Remember, there is no way to serve God that is too small if He has placed that opportunity before you.
If you haven’t read the book, go read it and let me know what you think. If you have read it, let me know what you think. Where have you jumped before? Where do you feel God leading you serve Him next?
Just popping in to give you an update and let you know I’m still here! It’s been a busy summer so far and we are still plugging away at finishing up school for the year (mostly review work to prep for next year). I have all the curriculum we need for school this coming year (except for French). Little Miss FunShine had ballet camp, Brandi volunteered as a teachers assistant for that camp. The following week Mr. Thoughtful had camp, Tall Boy and Brandi both volunteered as teen mentors. We are plugging away working on the property. We’ve been camping (we really are NOT campers! LOL), and enjoyed watching RV in a way we never have before. We have baby bunnies that will be 8 weeks old this week and need to figure out where they get to go live now….
I am working on a book review for you too and have more plans for the blog and another blog I am collaborating on starting up.
Is there anything you would like to see a post on? Share in the comments!
The people at Educents.com are gearing up for their Memorial Day sale and have provided me with a unique coupon code to share with you (KNOWLEDGE10FREE). This offer is for an additional 10% off all deals at Educents.com + FREE SHIPPING May 23 - 26, 2014! They've NEVER offered free shipping before and are very excited about this sale. The sale will be valid from May 23-26th and the coupon code is exclusive to Rooms of Knowledge blog readers. Now get on over there and check out their awesome deals!
This month I read this devotional that I wrote after much prayer at my home school groups annual tea. I’d like to share it with all of you.
In the complete Jewish version of the Bible, Romans 5:6-9 says, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people. Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners. Therefore, since we have now come to be considered righteous by means of his bloody sacrificial death, how much more will we be delivered through him from the anger of God’s judgment!”
God and Jesus proved Their love for us through a sacrifice, Christ’s death, on the cross.
We make sacrifices daily for our children. Often, we don’t see it as sacrifice but as just our life. We sacrifice showers, going to the restroom alone, a full night’s sleep, having a snack stash, personal reading time and more. We have chosen to homeschool our children, for probably as many reasons as there are women in this room (or readers of this post). We have chosen to teach them about God, love, self-control, self-sacrifice and so many other things. While these sacrifices do not compare to that of our Lord and Savior, they are still sacrifices.
Tonight, you are here for some time to refresh and renew. Some of you are nearing the end of your school year and others are looking forward to summer schooling. Tonight, I want to encourage you that in all your sacrificing there is a reward not only for you but for your families as well. Through your actions, you are teaching them about true love. You are teaching them to put others first. You are teaching them that they are loved.
In all you do for your family, I want to remind you that not spending time with God is not a sacrifice. Believe me, I know life can be crazy busy and there are times when sitting down for a time of Bible study and prayer just doesn’t seem possible. In those times, may I suggest that you look to it as a time of refreshing and renewal on a daily basis? Read and meditate on (think about, ponder) one verse throughout the day or week and talk with God all day, listening for Him to respond and watching for what He has to show you.
We cannot fully learn to love sacrificially if we are not in communication with the one who truly loves each and every one of us with a sacrificial love we may never understand.
One last thought, people talk about self-sacrifice and true love not being for selfish reasons. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.” Sacrifice and true love are not about selfish gain. I do the things I do because I want my family to be cared for and know I love them. Jesus died for us because He wanted us to know His love and to be able to go to Heaven and live with Him for eternity. Maybe, just maybe, even our selfless acts do have a bit of selfishness to them…
Being a mom is a tough, often thankless job. Fortunately, we have each other to lean on for advice and support, sharing tips and tricks to help make our important jobs a little easier.
As moms, we often feel overwhelmed and inadequate. We struggle to get dinner on the table, feed our kids healthy food or control our spending, and then consume ourselves with mom guilt. We constantly think that others are doing it better than we are. We wonder if our bodies will ever bounce back after giving birth. We get upset when we yell or nag at our kids. We unintentionally over-schedule ourselves and get distracted from the thing we love to do the most: make our families the best they can be.
That’s why I’m inspired by the more than 30 well known moms who taught me a few things at The Mom Conference. They brought all of their best tips and tricks for making life easier as a mom.
Take advantage of their advice by purchasing The Mom Conference class downloads today: https://tt145.infusionsoft.com/go/momorder/MotherHenx5/
Their advice provides actionable, step-by-step solutions to deal with the challenges we face as moms, such as:
Learn the one phrase that gets kids to listen without yelling or nagging
Take things off of your plate when you’re over-scheduled
Whip up a month’s worth of dinners just in a few hours
Get your home organized and keep it that way
Re-connect to your marriage and strength it
And, so much more!
You don’t have to go to their websites, or even change out of your PJs–their expertise has been gathered all in one place, and you can listen to it while cooking, exercising, running errands or watching your kids play.
The entire catalog of Mom Conference downloads (and nearly 20 free bonus items) can start inspiring you now for $67 (in two $33.50 installments if you like), but act today because this special price is only in effect during the conference.
The price will increase to $97 on Monday, April 14th, at midnight! Take these important steps to improve yourself and your family today:
The Mom Conference classes have inspired moms everywhere, like this one:
“There are SO MANY resources you have pulled together here, the possibilities are endless. This is why after only listening to 4 presentations, I knew I would be purchasing the package. This helped me not feel pressure to listen to all of them each day so I can now take my time and process how to use the resources to make our lives better.”
I received an email this morning about this new (FREE) online conference for moms by moms, called the Mom Summit. I immediately checked it out and even registered.
Again, this conference is FREE to register and attend online March 31-April. You will have the option to purchase the Mom Summit during and after the conference. More information about the Mom Summit from their website:
“The Mom Summit is a FREE week-long online event packed with 30 inspiring interviews and videos with some of the top bestselling authors, parenting experts, fitness gurus and DIY pros!
During this 100% FREE online summit you’ll be inspired to…
Enjoy being a mother by learning how to stop comparing, judging, or feeling guilty
Put dinner on the table with a few simple tricks when you create 30 days worth of meals in just a few hours (you’re going to LOVE this!)
Get your kids to listen without yelling, nagging, or reminding (this will change your life)
Organize any space and keep it that way (what?!)
Maintain (or re-light) the spark in your relationship
Reclaim your rockin’ bod’ after childbirth without DIEting
Take simple steps to define your time and balance being a mom with other projects/work
And much more! It’s totally cool to listen and learn while doing the dishes or hanging out in your sweats. Yep!”
Let me know if you registered and what you are most looking forward to! I think I look forward to the diet / exercise ideas and organization ideas the most.
This week has been one of praying and serving one another for our family. A tummy bug has been making its way through our family. As you can imagine this mommy is tired! I should be asleep, all the kids are. But, I keep thinking this week that I want to share something with all of you and then a simple thankful prayer made me need to share. I’m not sharing out of pride or boastfulness but out of a place in my heart that I want to share God’s sweet love with all of you.
When weeks like this come, I always think I wish I were more like Brandi. Yes, my teenage daughter. You see, she has such a servants heart! I am positive I did not cultivate that heart! I am no where near the servant she is. The night after her bout with the tummy bug her younger sister got sick and Brandi says to me, “Let me know if you need my help”. I told her thank you and sent her to get her dad and told her go to bed all the while thinking how selfless she is (& maybe a little nuts!). I know I never offered to help my mom take care of my little sister when she was puking. I know I didn’t think beyond myself and how worn out and awful I felt the day after I’d been throwing up. The next night she wakes me up because her baby sister had thrown up. While I was cleaning off the bedding, Brandi was cleaning off her sister (2 days after having been up all night sick!). Seriously! “OK, God, I’m sitting here balling at 2am because I’m so tired from being up all night most of this week caring for sick ones and here my teenage daughter is showing us how much she loves us through selflessness that can only come from you…help me to be more of a servant to my family and to be the mom and wife you created me to be!”
Fast forward a couple days (or nights?) and as she’s praying tonight she says, “Thank you God for parents that show me how to be a loving parent”. I barely heard her say it over her younger siblings playing and me telling them they were being rude, so she told me what she said as I was leaving the room.
Brandi’s not the only one who helped me this week. Zach has helped clean carpet, clean out puke pans, keep laundry moving, and cook meals too (he even washed fresh eggs and took them to our neighbor, b/c we obviously aren’t eating them right now). The little ones have made sure that puke pans were placed in everyone’s beds and helped tend to various other needs in the family. My Man, of course, has been a tremendous help with groceries, meals, cleaning up messes and getting up with me and the sick children EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. (It’s times like these I am so grateful that we are able to set our own hours / days for work and school!)
Thank you God for showing me through my family what loving service looks like. Thank you for showing me through my children that what I am doing makes a difference and that I am more of the woman you created me to be than I ever imagined. And that I am actually showing them what your love looks like in action.
How has your family shown Gods love to one another recently? What is one way you can each share God’s love with one another this week?
1 Peter 5:7-8 (NIV)
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
This is the second week of the Made to Crave Online Bible Study with Proverbs 31. This week’s Bible verse (1 Peter 5:7-8) is about casting your cares (anxiety) on Him because He cares for us. Mellisa Taylor said in the optional conference call on Monday, that word CAST is not gently handing your cares over to God but CASTING like a fisherman casting his line! I LOVE that description. So often, we as women, tend to live in our heads and hearts so thoughts easily turn to worries or cares and then to anxiety. If we do not CAST our cares on God then we are either holding on to them or we are politely handing them over to Him just in case we *need* to take them back and worry about them some more. I know, I know, really I do, it’s not that easy to CAST our cares to God. I mean, it’s seriously not like we can see our cares or we can walk up to Him and hand him that Pepsi or that bill or that child that we are so concerned about at that exact moment. Today has been a stressful day for me. I wanted that Pepsi and it was still on my grocery list from a past shopping trip, but I didn’t buy it. I truly dislike grocery shopping. And then when I got home I am immediately told, “Mom, you need to deal with Mr. Thoughtful” before I’m even at the front door. God, I am casting all my cares on you! Did my day get easier? Not really and I still haven’t gotten around to working out today. But I do know that it could be worse and I survived grocery shopping without succumbing to all the awful things I could have bought (Hostess anyone?). My legs still burn from working out yesterday and I LOVE that I am reminded of that workout so I don’t feel like a complete failure today. And, I REALLY want to read that book I mentioned above – Made to Crave. I am looking forward to sitting down with a hot cup of tea, the other half of my oatmeal raisin cookie My Man bought me a few days ago, and my Bible studies and breathe and cast all my cares on God because I know He cares about me. How do I know? Because He created me! I encourage all of you to CAST ALL YOUR CARES ON HIM BECAUSE HE CARES ABOUT YOU…
(btw, my evening is shaping up to be calmer I thought. The teens are working on their To Kill a Mockingbird critical essays that are due tomorrow, the little ones are watching Valiant (Little Miss-Hugs-A-Lot keeps saying, “I don’t like this movie. I want My Little Pony!” while stamping her foot, but shes watching it). So, I’m off to fix dinner then I will sit down and eat with my family then we will clean the kitchen and I will then go sit down with my Bible studies (Made to Crave and Intentionally Focused) and my tea and 1/2 a cookie.)
What cares have you cast on God this week? What cares do you need to cast on Him? Please share in the comments.
Linking Up with the P31OBS Made to Crave Blog Hop.
I am so excited to tell you about the Abundant Harvest Kids game. We were given this game free in return for an honest review. There are two versions of the Abundant Harvest Game, the one we are reviewing is the kid version. The Kid version of the Abundant Harvest Game is for 2-8 players ages 7 and up. The game is all about teachable moments for the parents (and educators) to teach kids the importance of making decisions that are based on principle. All of the games at Harvest Time Partners are Conversation Games, games that are intended to strengthen character by encouraging conversation.
I played this game with my kids, ages 2-14. The 2 year old got to roll the die and collect Abundant Harvest Reward cards (which are like play money, not a card). The older kids & I all played by the rules. We really enjoyed the conversation cards and discussing our answers. There are questions that I do not think belong in a game for 7 year olds, so we skipped them (like what to do if your parents tell you they are divorcing, that may be appropriate for some kids but I do not feel that is something that I need to make my kids think about). One thing that we all agreed on is that there are not enough light hearted or ice breaking question cards. Like what is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done? Or what is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Those are discussions that could also lead to character building. We don’t feel that all the questions need to feel so “heavy”, we may make a few cards of our own to include like that. Another thing that we did not like was that you are rewarded for “bad” behavior in the game. Here are 3 examples of items you earn Abundant Harvest Reward cards for (again they are not cards, they are like paper play money).
The above statements are on the game board. You roll the die, move your game piece the appropriate number of spaces, read the space you land on and accept the reward given to you by the accountant in the game. Then you take a corresponding color card (Parent, Child, or School) and answer the question how you think / feel it should be answered based on one of the principles on the principle cards provided. We (My Man, the teens, and I) all feel that instead of being rewarded you should have points taken away. After all, we don’t necessarily reward or punish for not making beds. But in life if you don’t care for your teeth, you are not going to be rewarded. And hitting a sibling is definitely not rewarded, not even slightly.
Overall, we really did like this game.
I really encourage you to check out the About Us page at Harvest Time Partners. I have really enjoyed working with David Esposito. He “is a combat veteran, business executive, husband, father, and creator of character-building resources that help individuals, families, and businesses reach their full potential in an uncertain world. David’s character and leadership skills were cultivated at West Point and through leadership assignments in the US Army Infantry. As an airborne ranger infantry officer, David led a rifle platoon of 39 men with the 101st Airborne Division through several combat operations in the Gulf War. He was recognized with a Bronze Star for combat operations in February 1991. David and his wife Tracy develop programs and resources designed to strengthen the character of individuals and build and sustain healthy relationships. This includes Character Creates Opportunity®, an initiative that was specifically designed to improve the character development of children, adolescents, and adults. Their patented, award-winning conversation game, Abundant Harvest®, is played by families, schools, counseling programs, and faith-based organizations worldwide as it opens the door to more productive dialogue and encourages decision making based on principles such as honesty, loyalty, and commitment. Reinforcing the law of the harvest, the game’s primary lesson is the age-old adage that you will always reap what you sow. They have also created a conversation card game called Face to Face™ that helps to foster effective conversations on real-world issues and to develop the critical life skill of face-to-face communication in a world that is rapidly changing how people connect.”
According to their website, Abundant Harvest is an award-winning, patented,* and fast-moving conversation game that helps families and educators open the door to more productive dialogue. It reinforces the importance of developing strong character traits and encourages good, principle-based decision making. Through this game, players quickly learn the law of the harvest—you reap what you sow.
You can see their information videos and description of all of their games at their website, Harvest Time Partners. The games range in price from $12.49 – $24.99. The Abundant Harvest Kids game we reviewed is $24.99.
Here is their Shipping and Returns Policy:
- All sales are considered final upon receipt of order.
- Orders will be shipped within 48 hours of being received. If a shipment will take more than two weeks to deliver, you will be notified via email.
- If materials are damaged during shipping, please contact us at email@example.com and we will gladly exchange the damaged product with a new product.
- If for some reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can address the concern.
- Our products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Harvest Time Partners also has a charitable organization called the Harvest Time Partners Foundation. David and his wife Tracy established and sponsor the “Harvest Time Partners Foundation, a charitable organization that supports children and young adults in the pursuit of character-building opportunities worldwide. The Foundation supports a wide range of initiatives from college scholarships to community service projects, as well as international efforts to reduce the suffering of children and young adults”.
For more reviews of Abundant Harvest Games Check out these links: