Simplify and Share with a Snowman Narrative Activity

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

I know I have to finish blogging about Carl Jung’s learning styles, but I thought I would pause with a teaching idea before the holiday break. I will finish the other within the next several weeks.

I follow Becky at http://www.cleanmama.net; she is currently blogging about her new series Simplify the Season. She has great ideas and it gave me inspiration to share one of my “simplify” moments. It has been my goal over the last few years to live smaller and simpler; so I have been reducing the “stuff” collected over our twenty-eight year marriage.

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In one of my recent teaching years I reduced the number of my snowman collection! I decided to do a “musical chairs-grab bag” gift for my students; I chose 26 of my snowmen and put them in paper bags, while the kids were at lunch I placed one bag on each desk. Upon their return, I explained that there was a snowman gift for each one of them from my collection; I also add a little story about them as snowmen are my favorite and I always look for unique ones. I let them know they were getting a part of my unique collection.

snowmen

I asked them to stand at any desk they wanted and if they chose a bag right away they needed to move away from the desks as we circled them with music. Some chose a bag immediately and others played the game. When the music stopped they could pick the bag in front of them or continue playing. Each round became smaller as they circled the room. Once all the bags were selected, they opened them together to reveal a snowman.

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At this point, I added one more element; I told them that they could do a two-minute exchange if they so chose. I turned on the music once again to give them time to view the chosen snowmen. Once the music stopped they could return to their desk or exchange. Only one exchange happened as one was ceramic and the other plush and those two students wanted opposite of what they had picked.

The snowman gift was done on the day before our Christmas break. I believe when I do this activity again, I will have them write a narrative in January about the journey of their snowman. Now to write the objectives and rubric…..!

Merry Christmas!

Blessings to you and yours,

Tammy

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5 Awesome Books on Marriage

This is the week my beautiful daughter is getting married. I thought it appropriate to share some books I have read on marriage and being married. I love these books for the truths they offer. Each book gives insight on how to love, respect, and pray for your spouse so you can have a marriage rich in the blessings of God. The greatest marriage secret?…I believe it is to fully love your spouse; if you do just that, nothing will separate you from each other. First Corinthians says it best and it is why it is written into so many marriage vows.

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. If you saw the movie Fireproof then you know what I am talking about here. This book will help you love your husband/wife more deeply as God had intended. Follow it up by getting the Love Dare Devotional too.

The Respect Dare by Nin Roesner. This book is written for women and is a forty day journey filled with stories from other women, who have been touch by the grace of God, wanting a deeper connection to Him and their husbands. She is offering biblical truths on respecting our husband as instructed by God according to their needs.

 Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel. So true and funny and EYE-OPENING; this is a book I recommend to every couple! We think differently because we are created differently, but it all works together so beautiful if we can learn to understand one another. You might enjoy their you-tube video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1-cyNkNoRk

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If The Love Dare helps us improve the way we love our spouse and …Waffles ….Spaghetti  help us understand how we think and work; Love Languages tells us HOW our spouses want to be loved. You will learn your love language in the process. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/  to find out more, take the assessment, and purchase books and other materials.

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. Can read like a devotional, but the book as a whole is a great insight for praying for your husband and she includes a prayer at the end of each chapter. She also has a bunch of other ‘Power of Praying’ books.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Do you have another to add? There are many more….write in the comments and let me know how they helped you.

Blessings to you,

Tammy

A Better Day With God – 5 Easy ways to have a better day

My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.~ Proverbs 23:19, NLT

I thought this might be appropriate for today, Good Friday. May you be blessed.

Do you ever feel like your day has slipped away and you haven’t accomplished anything? Oh, I have piddled around here and there, but nothing that I can say, “Hey! I feel good about all that I did today!” Well, those are days that I realize I didn’t start my day with God. Seems simple enough but too many times I get up, make coffee and I am off for the day. I am tired, dragging, not feeling good about the whole day kind of feeling.  We all get weary. One of the hardest but most necessary things to do is find time for your devotional. I understand; we work full-time, we have kids that keep us on our toes, husband time, meal time, cleaning up the messes, and “stuff” to do. When am I supposed to fit in a devotional time? Your life should fit into your devotional not your devotional into your life. So, I must remind myself, with that cup of coffee should come some time spent with God. Not the multi-tasking kind, which I am prone to do, but quiet reflection, listening, and really getting to know God’s great blessings.

So, how do we go about this? Some of you already know and make it part of your daily routine. Some of you are like me and have to pause half way through your day because you didn’t put the time in the morning. And some are just wondering and learning just how to do this and how to make it a habit. My goal is to make this a morning habit and I hope you will join me. Let’s start simple and build.

  1. Open with a word of prayer. Nothing lofty, just talk to God; ask Him to forgive your selfish tendencies to lose focus. Thank Him, bless His holy name, sing a song to Him, praise Him for all of your blessings. Give that a start and go from there. Oh, and if you cry, let Him comfort you in His peace.
  2. Have a local Christian radio station you can tune into while you are getting ready for work or cooking meals? Turn it on.  KLOVE can be streamed through your computer for some great, inspiration music. How easy is that?!http://www.klove.com/listen/player.aspx
  3. Find a resource to help you read your Bible. My phone has a daily verse app that I receive every morning and it will give me a daily Bible study too. There are thousands of devotions to work from. Find one that interests you. Read a book that can lead you deeper in your relationship with God. I will add some that I have read at the end of the blog.
  4. Place verses or “I will” type statements on your mirror and fridge to remind you of what you are learning that day, week or month.
  5. Find a Bible study at church to join, listen to one on a podcast, or online and use it to help you study. There are many out there and your church may even have ways for you to attend online if the hours don’t match your time-table.

I personally subscribe to Greg Laurie’s podcast New Beginning. You can find it at http://www.harvest.org/  You just need to click on the radio tab and it will lead you from there. You can also follow Cathe Laurie’s Bible Studies by clicking on the Virtue tab. She has a fabulous study on Proverbs 31 and being a Proverbs 31 woman. I am currently working through the Gospel of John. You can look through the archive section to find a study that interests you.

http://www.proverbs31.org/ is a great site for women to get inspired and recharged. They have an online radio program, blog, devotions and more.

http://www.klove.com/ is a radio station that broadcast Christian music. They are also online if you don’t have a station near you. You can also get a daily verse sent to your inbox if you sign up with your email.

Some books I recommend:

Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver. This book has a chapter bible study in the appendix, as well as, How to develop a quiet time. It is a book about allowing God to change us from our multi-tasking, be everything for everyone kind of lives to understanding how to be the wonderful woman God created you to be and to joyful in who you are.

A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus by Elizabeth George.  It is a 30 day devotional on the character qualities of Jesus and how to reflect them in your life.

Let Go by Sheila Walsh. She opens up and shares trials in her life and how she was able to give her burdens to God to help her get through some tough times.

The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindol. The book I am currently reading. If you want to know what grace truly means and how to put it into practice, this is the book for you.

There are many, many more but I don’t want to bombard you and this has been long enough.

Blessings to you.

Tammy

2 Scrabble Game Craft Projects

And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze,

Exodus 35:31-32 ESV

I have seen many pendants made from scrabble pieces and now I am seeing Christmas ornaments! So I thought I would share my Scrabble projects with you. I used the letters from two game boards to fill my board. We chose words that represent our family and things we believe in.I bought the games at a resale shop years ago to use as rainy day games in the classroom. Boggle has been more popular so I thought I would use my games in a craft project.I laid out all of the words before glueing them down so I could move the words to get in as many as possible. I just used regular clear glue, nothing special.I started with the word “family” and built from there. It started out more centered but as we found more words to add, I had to move it up and over a bit. I haven’s done anything with it other than rest it against a chair leg in the study. It looks nice where it is but Hubby suggested a shadow box frame so that we can have it on our wall of family pictures! So I am in search of the right sized frame.

This collage was done by my granddaughter! She painted all the colors on a canvas and then after it dried she went over with a top coat of sparkle paint. She wanted it to be glittery! With the leftover pieces we were able to create the words that describe her. This will be a present for Daddy and Momma at Christmas!

Enjoy and please share what you have created with Scrabble pieces!

 

 

 

 

 

22 days of gratitude starts with ….”No-spend No-vember!”

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 5:20ESV

My Sister-in-law and her friends have started this movement in their circle. I am sure there are others out there doing similar, but I wanted to share what she is doing and maybe you will want to start this with your circle of friends too.

Here are their rules:

  • Basically, you can buy groceries and any necessities, but no Starbucks no Costco no Target (sob!)…
  • Use support, it is great and it is way more fun!
  •  We are kicking off tonight with a happy hour/ planning our meals for the next 2 months!  This week we are going to see how many meals we can come up with just what is in our pantries. To make it fun each of us will also host a dinner for the other families over the next few weeks.
  • Week 2- will be returning anything that I really don’t need and using up gift cards and all those groupons!
  • Week 3- operation clean out. Donate and craigslist everything you have that you have been dragging your feet on. We are going to help each other with one of the big problem areas in our homes.
  • Why not do a swap day with the girls? Before you list or give away; bring all of your stuff together and swap before you sell. Someone in your group may have something useful that another could use. It is also a way to “shop” for clothes and such without spending money. Kids can do a game/toy swap too!
  • Week 4- Thanksgiving. Relaxing with friends and family (since dinner will be all planned!) & really feeling grateful for all that we are blessed with…the calm before the December chaos- hopefully we will have a better attitude with what the spirit of the season is all about. 

Some extra tips:

  • Get the hubby and kids involved and on board!
  • Make your list and stick to it
  • Remind yourself of the goal every day so you don’t slip
  • Post it on your fridge or family message board, including your weekly meal plan!

Happy No-vember Blessing to you!

Unglued-Webcast from Author Lysa Terkeurst

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14  NLT

I watched a webcast last night from a women’s conference and wanted to share some links with you. It was a terrific conversation from Author and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa Terkeurst, some of the women DJ’s from KLOVE. Lysa wrote Made to Crave and has a new book out called Unglued. She is open about her struggles with how she and we react to conflict. She talks about the 4 reactions we may go through when conflicts occur in our life, even the small daily things that drive us to the point of coming “unglued.”

The webcast is being re- broadcast through KLOVE so that you have a chance to catch the first in her short series of webcasts.

I read Lysa’s blog this morning and found out that the server crashed from so many signing in; thanks to KLOVE and Lysa it can be seen anytime you want to view it.

There is a free sign in to watch the first webcast here: http://www.klove.com/ministry/unglued.aspx

Lysa also has daily inspirations that you can sign up and receive called, No More Unglued Mama Mornings or take The 5 Day Unglued Challenge.

Even though my children are grown, daily conflicts occur and I am sure that there will be helpful insights that go beyond the “mama zone.”

May these ministries bless you as they have blessed me. Have a peaceful, wonderful day.

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