Monday, October 31, 2011

Honesty About Halloween

{re-post from the archives}

{Before I start, I just want to say that my honesty in this post is to inform you of the reasons why my family does not participate, or has never particiapted, in Halloween. It is not meant to raise me up as "holier than thou"! I hope some of the information in this post will be of good use to you and your family.}

Halloween is the one holiday I have never participated in. {and the one that I have never missed participating in either.}

Being raised in a strong, Christian, home, my parents felt that celebrating something that represents nothing good, only evil, was just not for our family. If we are called to be more like Christ, shouldn't we want to only represent that which is good? {Colossians 3:1-11}

Over the years when I have been asked why I didn't celebrate Halloween by my Christian and non-christian friends, my answer has always been the same, "I just don't believe in celebrating evil". Oh sure, I got laughed at and the famous rolling of the eyes. Some people thought my parents were "so strict" and "kind of crazy". Others said, "we don't dress as witches or ghosts, so how can it really be that bad?". Or, "I don't participate in any witchcraft or devilish sacrifices. I am only in it for the fun of dressing up and getting free candy." Others have said that I have been "deprived" because I was never allowed to Trick-or-Treat and now I am "depriving my kids of that same privilege".

Yes, I have heard them all and have received a lot of criticism over the years, from christians and non-christians. Do I wish my parents would have let my sister and I trick-or-treat when we were little? Honestly, no! Do my husband and I ever feel that we are being "too strict" or "going over-the-top" with our decision to not let our children trick-or-treat? No Way! Over the past 29 years of my life Halloween has come and gone and I am still the same person and am in no way harmed by the fact that my parents stood up for what they believed in and what they felt was right!

It is so very easy to give into the ways of this world. To follow the crowd. To try to make ourselves feel better by trying to find some good in doing what we know is not right.

Are we not told by Christ to not conform to the ways of this world? {Romans 12:2}

I want my life to be a life filled with Christ. I don't want anything that this world has to offer. My GOD gives me everything I will ever need!

I came across this book, HALLOWEEN Should Christians Celebrate It? by Kristina M. Rhoades, at my local Christian Bookstore. In it, the author goes through and identifies the true meaning behind all the Halloween traditions. I am going to go through and share some of those with you.

Haunted Houses

"Realizing that haunted houses are only a place to scare as many people as possible, instilling as much fear as possible, should be enough to make a church not participate." "That which represents Satan and his domain should never be handled or emulated "for fun". Such participation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerous ground."

Skeletons, Skulls, Corpses

These are symbols of death and the Bible states in Deuteronomy 18:11 that "we are not to call upon the dead because it is an abomination to God."



Jack O'Lantern

"Pumpkins themselves are not bad; it's what is done with them that makes them evil. Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and were originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. They are a representation, on Halloween, of the dead. "Jack" was once believed to be a drunkard and a prankster. He tried to "trick" the devil which only resulted in him not being able to enter Heaven or Hell. Carving of pumpkins are said to also be a way to "remember" him."

Trick-Or-Treat

"Spirits of the dead were thought to come back from their graves and wander around trying to return to their former homes. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of food such as fruit and nuts. This could be the origin of "trick-or-treating". Trick or treating might be considered as severe as blackmail to some or as simple as "just plain fun" to others, but either way, it is rooted in pagan traditions and should not be in the life of a Christian."

Witches and Wizards

"Leviticus 20:27 says, 'a medium or a wizard - whether man or woman - shall surely be stoned to death. They have caused their own doom.' Many places in the Bible state that dealing with sorcerers or witchcraft makes God angry and defiles us. Intimidation, manipulation, control, the fear of not upsetting someone because they might leave, are all common pratices that we participate in EVEN IN THE CHURCH! And these are all centered on controlling the will of another. Most people don't understand that these are all forms of witchcraft and we are all guilty of it one way or another! The apostle Paul said, 'The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.' Galations 5:19-21. If you notice, this list mentions things that are before our eyes every day or our lives. The Bible strictly forbids these sins and all forms of witchcraft and states that those who participate in it are doomes and will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Kristina goes on to discuss the consequences of such actions as participating in Halloween.

The Consquences

"Some think that allowing trick-or-treating and masquerading as Bible characters, animals, or positive role models instead of demonic occult figures is okay. But actually this is a compromise. Where in the Bible does it say that we are to compromise our beliefs to be accepted? Nowhere! Some of you will say, 'I'm not doing this for any demonic reasons. I am just doing it for fun.' Well the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:9, 'do not learn to imitate the detestabe ways in the nation...' and if we read further it says in verses 10-12, 'let no one be found among you...who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.' Without turning from every evil way, and keeping God's laws, there can be no true godliness. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 'whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.' which infers to not glorify Satan in anyway. You have to admit that this celebration doesn't have one redeeming value nor does it glorify God in any way! 'judgement will come again for the righteous, and those who are upright will have a reward.' Psalm 94:15. In the "end" the righteous will receive a reward for their upright living, and those who spurned the Lord's discipline will be punished for their wickedness"

I wish I could send a copy of this book to all of my readers since it holds so much good, honest, information. I hope you find something in this post that you can take with you to share with others or that maybe has changed your views of Halloween just a little.

Why would we want to celebrate a holiday surrounded by death when God called us to celebrate life? {John 10:10}

Do you celebrate Halloween? Please leave me a comment stating why or why not.

{all quotations in this post are taken from Kristina M. Rhoades book, HALLOWEEN Should Christians Celebrate It?}


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"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." ~ Galations 19-21 NLT

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. But you must be blameless before the Lord your God." ~ Deuteronomy 18:9-13 NLT

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Homeschool Week! {10/24/11~10/28/11}

We had a great week! This week started us on our 8th week of homeschooling {wow!} and our 4th week using Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory! To say we are really enjoying it and learning a lot from it would be an understatement! I am so glad I did a little more research and took that step of faith and ordered this particular curriculum for Emma, even though it states it is geared for 5-7 year olds. She is doing really well with it and still, after 8 weeks, asks for school every morning!

This week, we finished up our lessons on Obedience and began discussing the importance of being a Peacemaker. We read about the story of Noah, Cain and Abel, and The Tower of Babel. We also discussed how the Bible is our "GPS", giving us the directions we need to lead a life focused on Christ and guiding us to our final destination: Heaven! This is the best part of the day for me. Sharing Jesus with my children!

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We made boats out of aluminum foil and discussed how things float and then sink by adding pennies to our boats. We went fishing for colors and numbers, played some number match games, enjoyed using our imaginations with our Fun with Felt boards {giveaway found here}, and contined writing out numbers 1-10! Emma struggles a bit with 3 and 6, but otherwise has really gotten the practice of writing all her numbers down.

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The letter of the week was "Ff"! Using picture flashcards from our All About Reading program set, we played "I Spy"! I taped the flashcards aroung the room and had Emma search for the cards with pictures of objects starting with the letter "F". This was a fun game; one that I am sure will be repeated over and over again throughout the coarse of the school year!

Our field trip this week was the library! We checked out six books about Thanksgiving and being Thankful! For anyone who may be interested, here are the ones we chose:

 This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story  Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner   Cranberry Thanksgiving
We Gather Together...Now Please Get Lost!  The Thanksgiving Bowl  Nate the Great Talks Turkey (Nate the Great)
                               
If anyone has any Thanksgiving themed books that they have read and enjoyed with their children, please let me know. I am wanting to have more on hand this whole month of November!

We finished off the week with a Pumpkin themed craft. I was wanting to take the kids on a walk to collect leaves for a leaf craft, however, the weather had been wet and cold here this week and it really wasn't the best time for leaf collecting. So, hopefully next week!

The thing we struggle with most in our day-to-day is playing! Sounds silly, I know, but my daughter will just not play...at least not by herself! Once we are done with "school", I usually tell my kids to go and play! This is their "free-time" to do whatever they want. My son goes and dumps out his cars and trucks and begins having fun. My daughter...she follows me around like a lost puppy! She will not play unless I am physically sitting there playing with her. And, let's be honest, I cannot always do that. So, I am asking for some advice. What do you to encourage playtime for your children? If you have a child like my daughter, what do you do to get them to play by themselves, using their imagination, or with their sibling(s)?

All in all, I am really enjoying our homeschool journey! I never thought I would, or could, enjoy it as much as I have! Just goes to show that my plans, my ways, are not my own. God is in complete control. Never in a million years did I think I would end up being a homeschool mom. But I am! And I love it!

Linking up today at:
Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-UP
Heart of Dakota Weekly Check-In
Preschool Corner

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The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. ~ 1 John 2:17

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun With Felt {giveaway}

When I was given the opportunity to review the Fun with Felt products from Betty Lukens, I was beyond thrilled to receive our package in the mail, to say the least!


My children quickly ripped into the box and began letting their imaginations soar as they placed animals, explorers, and an Ark all over their felt boards.

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We received four felt boards for review. {Days of Dinosaurs, Under the Sea, Let's Go on a Safari, and Noah's Ark} I'm not sure which ones were the favorites as they seem to love and enjoy them all!

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What I was most impressed with was the quality of the felt and the felt board itself. Soft and sturdy with vibrant colors and beautiful details. My children are going to be able to use their little imaginations with these for hours! And the felt boards are going to be able to be enjoyed for many years to come!

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Do you want to know the best part about Fun with Felt by Betty Lukens? They are offering up a chance for one of you to win 3 of their amazing Fun with Felt sets!

All you need to do is leave me a comment on this blog post stating which Fun with Felt set your children would most enjoy. Please also include a valid email address for me to contact you if you were to win! Giveaway open until Thursday, November 3rd where I will then choose one winner via random.org and announce the winner here, on my blog, Friday, November 4th!

Thank you to Betty Lukens for sending us the Fun with Felt boards for review!

Linking up at:
Hip Homeschool Moms Giveaway Day
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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ~ Proverbs 9:10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Being His Wife

Amongst the many hats a women wears, one hat that seems to get pushed to the side a lot, especially when children come along, is the one that says "Wife". Why is it so hard for us to obtain our wifely duties amongst the other things in our everyday life?

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She is clothed with strength and dignity
and she laughs without fear of the future.
~ Proverbs 31:25

Remember when you were dating and all you ever wanted to do was spend time with the one who took your breath away? Why now does everything else come before that same special someone? Why do we, as women, put the washing, cooking, cleaning, etc., before loving on and spending quality time with our husbands?

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I am just as guilty of this as the next person. My intentions start out as good and positive and more often than not, end up sour. I wake up in the morning wondering what happened to my time and attitude the day before.

How do I fix this? How do I make a lasting change to enrich my marriage and make it everything God intended it to be?

Prioritize! {easier said than done, right?}

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My husband and I had the amazing opportunity to spend four days away, by ourselves,
in a cabin in the mountains! {hence all the pictures in this post (:}
To say it was exactly what we had been needing would be an understatement! It was a refreshing, relaxing, bonding, experience and we came home changed. Our eyes were opened wide to changes that needed to take place and ways that we needed to prioritize and manage our time better. I came to the conclusion that I need to stop being so headstrong and embrace my role as the godly, submissive wife that God created me to be. What a humbling experience this can be! When we embrace the life and roles that God has called us to in the way that He intended it, what a beautiful life it becomes!

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When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
~ Proverbs 31:26

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I have mentioned many times my love for Proverbs 31. Oh, but how I fail, daily, at fulfilling my role as a Proverbs 31 wife! Imagine, however, if we all strived just a bit harder to become our version, the version that God created for us to be, of the Proverbs 31 wife! What a wonderful thing to try each and everday to work harder at. What a wonderful example for our children to see. Think of the blessings that abound, not only from our husbands, but from our children as well, if we start acting out our role as the Proverbs 31 wife!

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Now, you do not have to spend four days alone with your husbands in a cabin in the woods to come to these conclusions. {although, if the opportunity should arise...GO!} Spending time with him in general will help strengthen the bond of love that God placed there many years ago-when you first fell in love and later said "I do!". Simple things like coffee-talk once the kids are in bed. Heading to your favorite restaurant once a month. Grabbing a cup of coffee and simply talking in the coffee shop! Reading together. Have your husband read Song of Solomon to you-one chapter a night for a week straight- finishing with the last two chapters on the last night! {This was a challenge my pastor presented to the congregation a few years ago and I loved it! My husband and I still try and do this on a yearly basis!} Turn off the TV and the internet and just be together. We let so many other distractions get in the way of spending time with the ones God made for us!

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She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
~ Proverbs 31:27

None of this, however, will be obtainable if we are not putting Christ at the center! If we are not filling our souls with His Daily Bread each and everyday, our lives will reflect a hungry soul! We need to prioritize time with our Heavenly Father first and foremost and everything else will fall into place!

My prayer, not only for myself, but for all of you, is to love our husbands the way God designed and created us to do! Such an easy thing to do, really! In a society where divorce outranks long-lasting, loving, marriages, why wouldn't we want to strive to have more of the godly, Christ-centered marriage, given to us all?

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for my husband! Thank you for our marriage! I pray that each and everyday I will show as much kindness and love towards him as I possibly can. Help me to make my marriage and my love for my husband, more of a priority each and everyday! I love you, Jesus! Amen!

Linking up at:

Women Living Well
Internet Cafe Devotions


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Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. ~ Proverbs 31:30-31

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Button Worm

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Button Worm

This is a fun and easy way to help your toddler learn the skill of buttoning. It is also a fun "busy" item to throw into your purse or diaper bag to help keep your child entertained while at the doctors office or a restaurant, etc.

To make your own Button Worm you will need:

Buttons in any shape or size. One button needed for each worm.
Ribbon
Felt
Needle
Thread
Scissors

Start off by sewing your button onto one end of your ribbon.

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I then folded over the other end of the ribbon, twice, and stitched it together. This is so the felt doesn't easily slide off the other end.

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Next gather your felt and cut out 3"x3" squares in as many as you like. I had 10 different colors of felt, so I cut 10 squares.

"Button" the felt squares onto your ribbon and place the "worm" into a baggie.

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Now it is ready to be used as a tool in learning to button or as a distraction elsewhere!


Linking up with:

Hip Homeschool Hop Button



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For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. ~ Deuteronomy 30:16

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Half-way there...

readathon3_lgSo we've hit the 13 hour mark...over half-way there!

Time for another mini-challenge and a chance to WIN!

This mini-challenge consists of a list of questions that need answering.

Here we go:

1. What are you reading right now? Kindred by Octavia Butler



2. How many books have you read so far? One


3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Well...if I actually get to finish Kindred, I would love to start on The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics.


4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Since I didn't find out about this challenge until today, no!


5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh yes! Two small children, two dogs, and a hubby who is just as needy! :) I dealt with the distractions by either moving to another room, or taking a break!


6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much fun it truly is to devote a WHOLE day to reading and talking about reading!


7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No...not really! Having a lot of fun so far!


8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Plan ahead to have the hubby, or the grandparents, take the kids away from the house for a few hours so I could get a little bit of uninterrupted reading in!


9. Are you getting tired yet? No...but I am sure once the kids are in bed and the house is officially quiet, I will start to feel the effects of wanting to close my eyes and sleep!


10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Do not stress over how much you read or how fast...just READ...and have fun!

I am already looking forward to being able to participate next year. Having a blast!

Back to Kindred...

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Nine Hours In...{time for a mini-challenge break}

deweys-readathonbuttonSo, we are 9 hours in and I thought it was time to stop and take part in a mini-challenge. I love winning things {who doesn't?} and this challenge is a cute one!

Kate at Midnight Book Girl is hosting this mini-challenge titled Book Sentence. The object of this challenge is to take a look at the books on your bookshelf and make a sentence using only the titles of the book.

Here is what I came up with:

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Where do I go? Who do I talk to? Oh, baby! Speak.
P.S. I love you!

Fun, right? :)

Ok...back to reading The Friday Night Knitting Club!

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A Great Way to Spend a Lazy Day: READING


What better way to spend a lazy, cold, dreary, day at home than by reading?!

I just found out about this Read-a-Thon hosted by Dewey at Dewey's Read-a-Thon on my Twitter feed this morning and knew that I had to jump in.

It officially kicked off about 50 minutes ago, so I have some catching up to do, but here is my first hour post! :) {and answers to the meme's questions}

1)Where are you reading from today? On my comfy couch with blankets spread on my lap in cold, dreary, PA!  


2)Three random facts about me…1.) I am a new homeschooler this year. 2.) Other than reading, I love to knit and sew. 3.) I am addicted to my Keurig! :)

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Hmm...since I just found out about this party and haven't had a chance to prepare...none! :) However, I am about to finish up "Seasons of a Mother's Heart" by Sally Clarkson. Not sure what to start next...

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? No...just looking forward to spending the day reading and having fun with the other participants!

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
 
I will be doing my best to track my progress here and on Twitter under the hashtag #readathon. If you like, you can follow me there!
 
And I am off... {but first I need to grab another cup o' joe!}
 
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Honesty About Halloween

{re-post from the archives}

{Before I start, I just want to say that my honesty in this post is to inform you of the reasons why my family does not participate, or has never particiapted, in Halloween. It is not meant to raise me up as "holier than thou"! I hope some of the information in this post will be of good use to you and your family.}

Halloween is the one holiday I have never participated in. {and the one that I have never missed participating in either.}

Being raised in a strong, Christian, home, my parents felt that celebrating something that represents nothing good, only evil, was just not for our family. If we are called to be more like Christ, shouldn't we want to only represent that which is good? {Colossians 3:1-11}

Over the years when I have been asked why I didn't celebrate Halloween by my Christian and non-christian friends, my answer has always been the same, "I just don't believe in celebrating evil". Oh sure, I got laughed at and the famous rolling of the eyes. Some people thought my parents were "so strict" and "kind of crazy". Others said, "we don't dress as witches or ghosts, so how can it really be that bad?". Or, "I don't participate in any witchcraft or devilish sacrifices. I am only in it for the fun of dressing up and getting free candy." Others have said that I have been "deprived" because I was never allowed to Trick-or-Treat and now I am "depriving my kids of that same privilege".

Yes, I have heard them all and have received a lot of criticism over the years, from christians and non-christians. Do I wish my parents would have let my sister and I trick-or-treat when we were little? Honestly, no! Do my husband and I ever feel that we are being "too strict" or "going over-the-top" with our decision to not let our children trick-or-treat? No Way! Over the past 29 years of my life Halloween has come and gone and I am still the same person and am in no way harmed by the fact that my parents stood up for what they believed in and what they felt was right!

It is so very easy to give into the ways of this world. To follow the crowd. To try to make ourselves feel better by trying to find some good in doing what we know is not right.

Are we not told by Christ to not conform to the ways of this world? {Romans 12:2}

I want my life to be a life filled with Christ. I don't want anything that this world has to offer. My GOD gives me everything I will ever need!

I came across this book, HALLOWEEN Should Christians Celebrate It? by Kristina M. Rhoades, at my local Christian Bookstore. In it, the author goes through and identifies the true meaning behind all the Halloween traditions. I am going to go through and share some of those with you.

Haunted Houses

"Realizing that haunted houses are only a place to scare as many people as possible, instilling as much fear as possible, should be enough to make a church not participate." "That which represents Satan and his domain should never be handled or emulated "for fun". Such participation places you in enemy and forbidden territory and that is dangerous ground."

Skeletons, Skulls, Corpses

These are symbols of death and the Bible states in Deuteronomy 18:11 that "we are not to call upon the dead because it is an abomination to God."



Jack O'Lantern

"Pumpkins themselves are not bad; it's what is done with them that makes them evil. Pumpkins were cut with faces representing demons and were originally intended to frighten away evil spirits. They are a representation, on Halloween, of the dead. "Jack" was once believed to be a drunkard and a prankster. He tried to "trick" the devil which only resulted in him not being able to enter Heaven or Hell. Carving of pumpkins are said to also be a way to "remember" him."

Trick-Or-Treat

"Spirits of the dead were thought to come back from their graves and wander around trying to return to their former homes. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of food such as fruit and nuts. This could be the origin of "trick-or-treating". Trick or treating might be considered as severe as blackmail to some or as simple as "just plain fun" to others, but either way, it is rooted in pagan traditions and should not be in the life of a Christian."

Witches and Wizards

"Leviticus 20:27 says, 'a medium or a wizard - whether man or woman - shall surely be stoned to death. They have caused their own doom.' Many places in the Bible state that dealing with sorcerers or witchcraft makes God angry and defiles us. Intimidation, manipulation, control, the fear of not upsetting someone because they might leave, are all common pratices that we participate in EVEN IN THE CHURCH! And these are all centered on controlling the will of another. Most people don't understand that these are all forms of witchcraft and we are all guilty of it one way or another! The apostle Paul said, 'The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.' Galations 5:19-21. If you notice, this list mentions things that are before our eyes every day or our lives. The Bible strictly forbids these sins and all forms of witchcraft and states that those who participate in it are doomes and will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Kristina goes on to discuss the consequences of such actions as participating in Halloween.

The Consquences

"Some think that allowing trick-or-treating and masquerading as Bible characters, animals, or positive role models instead of demonic occult figures is okay. But actually this is a compromise. Where in the Bible does it say that we are to compromise our beliefs to be accepted? Nowhere! Some of you will say, 'I'm not doing this for any demonic reasons. I am just doing it for fun.' Well the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:9, 'do not learn to imitate the detestabe ways in the nation...' and if we read further it says in verses 10-12, 'let no one be found among you...who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.' Without turning from every evil way, and keeping God's laws, there can be no true godliness. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 'whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.' which infers to not glorify Satan in anyway. You have to admit that this celebration doesn't have one redeeming value nor does it glorify God in any way! 'judgement will come again for the righteous, and those who are upright will have a reward.' Psalm 94:15. In the "end" the righteous will receive a reward for their upright living, and those who spurned the Lord's discipline will be punished for their wickedness"

I wish I could send a copy of this book to all of my readers since it holds so much good, honest, information. I hope you find something in this post that you can take with you to share with others or that maybe has changed your views of Halloween just a little.

Why would we want to celebrate a holiday surrounded by death when God called us to celebrate life? {John 10:10}

Do you celebrate Halloween? Please leave me a comment stating why or why not.

{all quotations in this post are taken from Kristina M. Rhoades book, HALLOWEEN Should Christians Celebrate It?}


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"When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God." ~ Galations 19-21 NLT

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. But you must be blameless before the Lord your God." ~ Deuteronomy 18:9-13 NLT

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Homeschool Week! {10/24/11~10/28/11}

We had a great week! This week started us on our 8th week of homeschooling {wow!} and our 4th week using Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory! To say we are really enjoying it and learning a lot from it would be an understatement! I am so glad I did a little more research and took that step of faith and ordered this particular curriculum for Emma, even though it states it is geared for 5-7 year olds. She is doing really well with it and still, after 8 weeks, asks for school every morning!

This week, we finished up our lessons on Obedience and began discussing the importance of being a Peacemaker. We read about the story of Noah, Cain and Abel, and The Tower of Babel. We also discussed how the Bible is our "GPS", giving us the directions we need to lead a life focused on Christ and guiding us to our final destination: Heaven! This is the best part of the day for me. Sharing Jesus with my children!

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We made boats out of aluminum foil and discussed how things float and then sink by adding pennies to our boats. We went fishing for colors and numbers, played some number match games, enjoyed using our imaginations with our Fun with Felt boards {giveaway found here}, and contined writing out numbers 1-10! Emma struggles a bit with 3 and 6, but otherwise has really gotten the practice of writing all her numbers down.

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The letter of the week was "Ff"! Using picture flashcards from our All About Reading program set, we played "I Spy"! I taped the flashcards aroung the room and had Emma search for the cards with pictures of objects starting with the letter "F". This was a fun game; one that I am sure will be repeated over and over again throughout the coarse of the school year!

Our field trip this week was the library! We checked out six books about Thanksgiving and being Thankful! For anyone who may be interested, here are the ones we chose:

 This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story  Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner   Cranberry Thanksgiving
We Gather Together...Now Please Get Lost!  The Thanksgiving Bowl  Nate the Great Talks Turkey (Nate the Great)
                               
If anyone has any Thanksgiving themed books that they have read and enjoyed with their children, please let me know. I am wanting to have more on hand this whole month of November!

We finished off the week with a Pumpkin themed craft. I was wanting to take the kids on a walk to collect leaves for a leaf craft, however, the weather had been wet and cold here this week and it really wasn't the best time for leaf collecting. So, hopefully next week!

The thing we struggle with most in our day-to-day is playing! Sounds silly, I know, but my daughter will just not play...at least not by herself! Once we are done with "school", I usually tell my kids to go and play! This is their "free-time" to do whatever they want. My son goes and dumps out his cars and trucks and begins having fun. My daughter...she follows me around like a lost puppy! She will not play unless I am physically sitting there playing with her. And, let's be honest, I cannot always do that. So, I am asking for some advice. What do you to encourage playtime for your children? If you have a child like my daughter, what do you do to get them to play by themselves, using their imagination, or with their sibling(s)?

All in all, I am really enjoying our homeschool journey! I never thought I would, or could, enjoy it as much as I have! Just goes to show that my plans, my ways, are not my own. God is in complete control. Never in a million years did I think I would end up being a homeschool mom. But I am! And I love it!

Linking up today at:
Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-UP
Heart of Dakota Weekly Check-In
Preschool Corner

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The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. ~ 1 John 2:17

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fun With Felt {giveaway}

When I was given the opportunity to review the Fun with Felt products from Betty Lukens, I was beyond thrilled to receive our package in the mail, to say the least!


My children quickly ripped into the box and began letting their imaginations soar as they placed animals, explorers, and an Ark all over their felt boards.

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We received four felt boards for review. {Days of Dinosaurs, Under the Sea, Let's Go on a Safari, and Noah's Ark} I'm not sure which ones were the favorites as they seem to love and enjoy them all!

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What I was most impressed with was the quality of the felt and the felt board itself. Soft and sturdy with vibrant colors and beautiful details. My children are going to be able to use their little imaginations with these for hours! And the felt boards are going to be able to be enjoyed for many years to come!

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Do you want to know the best part about Fun with Felt by Betty Lukens? They are offering up a chance for one of you to win 3 of their amazing Fun with Felt sets!

All you need to do is leave me a comment on this blog post stating which Fun with Felt set your children would most enjoy. Please also include a valid email address for me to contact you if you were to win! Giveaway open until Thursday, November 3rd where I will then choose one winner via random.org and announce the winner here, on my blog, Friday, November 4th!

Thank you to Betty Lukens for sending us the Fun with Felt boards for review!

Linking up at:
Hip Homeschool Moms Giveaway Day
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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ~ Proverbs 9:10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Being His Wife

Amongst the many hats a women wears, one hat that seems to get pushed to the side a lot, especially when children come along, is the one that says "Wife". Why is it so hard for us to obtain our wifely duties amongst the other things in our everyday life?

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She is clothed with strength and dignity
and she laughs without fear of the future.
~ Proverbs 31:25

Remember when you were dating and all you ever wanted to do was spend time with the one who took your breath away? Why now does everything else come before that same special someone? Why do we, as women, put the washing, cooking, cleaning, etc., before loving on and spending quality time with our husbands?

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I am just as guilty of this as the next person. My intentions start out as good and positive and more often than not, end up sour. I wake up in the morning wondering what happened to my time and attitude the day before.

How do I fix this? How do I make a lasting change to enrich my marriage and make it everything God intended it to be?

Prioritize! {easier said than done, right?}

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My husband and I had the amazing opportunity to spend four days away, by ourselves,
in a cabin in the mountains! {hence all the pictures in this post (:}
To say it was exactly what we had been needing would be an understatement! It was a refreshing, relaxing, bonding, experience and we came home changed. Our eyes were opened wide to changes that needed to take place and ways that we needed to prioritize and manage our time better. I came to the conclusion that I need to stop being so headstrong and embrace my role as the godly, submissive wife that God created me to be. What a humbling experience this can be! When we embrace the life and roles that God has called us to in the way that He intended it, what a beautiful life it becomes!

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When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
~ Proverbs 31:26

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I have mentioned many times my love for Proverbs 31. Oh, but how I fail, daily, at fulfilling my role as a Proverbs 31 wife! Imagine, however, if we all strived just a bit harder to become our version, the version that God created for us to be, of the Proverbs 31 wife! What a wonderful thing to try each and everday to work harder at. What a wonderful example for our children to see. Think of the blessings that abound, not only from our husbands, but from our children as well, if we start acting out our role as the Proverbs 31 wife!

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Now, you do not have to spend four days alone with your husbands in a cabin in the woods to come to these conclusions. {although, if the opportunity should arise...GO!} Spending time with him in general will help strengthen the bond of love that God placed there many years ago-when you first fell in love and later said "I do!". Simple things like coffee-talk once the kids are in bed. Heading to your favorite restaurant once a month. Grabbing a cup of coffee and simply talking in the coffee shop! Reading together. Have your husband read Song of Solomon to you-one chapter a night for a week straight- finishing with the last two chapters on the last night! {This was a challenge my pastor presented to the congregation a few years ago and I loved it! My husband and I still try and do this on a yearly basis!} Turn off the TV and the internet and just be together. We let so many other distractions get in the way of spending time with the ones God made for us!

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She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
~ Proverbs 31:27

None of this, however, will be obtainable if we are not putting Christ at the center! If we are not filling our souls with His Daily Bread each and everyday, our lives will reflect a hungry soul! We need to prioritize time with our Heavenly Father first and foremost and everything else will fall into place!

My prayer, not only for myself, but for all of you, is to love our husbands the way God designed and created us to do! Such an easy thing to do, really! In a society where divorce outranks long-lasting, loving, marriages, why wouldn't we want to strive to have more of the godly, Christ-centered marriage, given to us all?

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for my husband! Thank you for our marriage! I pray that each and everyday I will show as much kindness and love towards him as I possibly can. Help me to make my marriage and my love for my husband, more of a priority each and everyday! I love you, Jesus! Amen!

Linking up at:

Women Living Well
Internet Cafe Devotions


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Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. ~ Proverbs 31:30-31

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Button Worm

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Button Worm

This is a fun and easy way to help your toddler learn the skill of buttoning. It is also a fun "busy" item to throw into your purse or diaper bag to help keep your child entertained while at the doctors office or a restaurant, etc.

To make your own Button Worm you will need:

Buttons in any shape or size. One button needed for each worm.
Ribbon
Felt
Needle
Thread
Scissors

Start off by sewing your button onto one end of your ribbon.

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I then folded over the other end of the ribbon, twice, and stitched it together. This is so the felt doesn't easily slide off the other end.

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Next gather your felt and cut out 3"x3" squares in as many as you like. I had 10 different colors of felt, so I cut 10 squares.

"Button" the felt squares onto your ribbon and place the "worm" into a baggie.

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Now it is ready to be used as a tool in learning to button or as a distraction elsewhere!


Linking up with:

Hip Homeschool Hop Button



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For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. ~ Deuteronomy 30:16

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Half-way there...

readathon3_lgSo we've hit the 13 hour mark...over half-way there!

Time for another mini-challenge and a chance to WIN!

This mini-challenge consists of a list of questions that need answering.

Here we go:

1. What are you reading right now? Kindred by Octavia Butler



2. How many books have you read so far? One


3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Well...if I actually get to finish Kindred, I would love to start on The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics.


4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Since I didn't find out about this challenge until today, no!


5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh yes! Two small children, two dogs, and a hubby who is just as needy! :) I dealt with the distractions by either moving to another room, or taking a break!


6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much fun it truly is to devote a WHOLE day to reading and talking about reading!


7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No...not really! Having a lot of fun so far!


8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Plan ahead to have the hubby, or the grandparents, take the kids away from the house for a few hours so I could get a little bit of uninterrupted reading in!


9. Are you getting tired yet? No...but I am sure once the kids are in bed and the house is officially quiet, I will start to feel the effects of wanting to close my eyes and sleep!


10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Do not stress over how much you read or how fast...just READ...and have fun!

I am already looking forward to being able to participate next year. Having a blast!

Back to Kindred...

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Nine Hours In...{time for a mini-challenge break}

deweys-readathonbuttonSo, we are 9 hours in and I thought it was time to stop and take part in a mini-challenge. I love winning things {who doesn't?} and this challenge is a cute one!

Kate at Midnight Book Girl is hosting this mini-challenge titled Book Sentence. The object of this challenge is to take a look at the books on your bookshelf and make a sentence using only the titles of the book.

Here is what I came up with:

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Where do I go? Who do I talk to? Oh, baby! Speak.
P.S. I love you!

Fun, right? :)

Ok...back to reading The Friday Night Knitting Club!

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A Great Way to Spend a Lazy Day: READING


What better way to spend a lazy, cold, dreary, day at home than by reading?!

I just found out about this Read-a-Thon hosted by Dewey at Dewey's Read-a-Thon on my Twitter feed this morning and knew that I had to jump in.

It officially kicked off about 50 minutes ago, so I have some catching up to do, but here is my first hour post! :) {and answers to the meme's questions}

1)Where are you reading from today? On my comfy couch with blankets spread on my lap in cold, dreary, PA!  


2)Three random facts about me…1.) I am a new homeschooler this year. 2.) Other than reading, I love to knit and sew. 3.) I am addicted to my Keurig! :)

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Hmm...since I just found out about this party and haven't had a chance to prepare...none! :) However, I am about to finish up "Seasons of a Mother's Heart" by Sally Clarkson. Not sure what to start next...

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? No...just looking forward to spending the day reading and having fun with the other participants!

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
 
I will be doing my best to track my progress here and on Twitter under the hashtag #readathon. If you like, you can follow me there!
 
And I am off... {but first I need to grab another cup o' joe!}
 
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