Getting Ready for Christmas

My Christmas Facebook Profile Picture

So as has been the tradition of our family for a number of years, the day after Thanksgiving marks our movement into Christmas decorating.  Up until about two or three years ago, my husband took care of putting the lights on our tree.  But the banner has been passed to our oldest son.  The most crucial part of putting lights on our tree is that it has to pass the “Mom” test.  If I do not approve the person stringing the lights must improve upon it.  This year our son did a decent job with the light.

Here are some pictures of the tree going up and being decorated.

Here are some more pictures of the tree.

And here is the final product of our tree for 2017.

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Stay tuned to see the decorations for the outside of our house and the rest of our indoor decorations including our Nativity scenes.

When does your family decorate for Christmas?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

Review of Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD

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Even though our youngest is only fifteen-years-old and our oldest son is twenty-one years old, we have various ones in our family who have difficulty remembering things.  My husband is active duty in the Army Reserves and constantly has things he needs to remember.  Our four children also have times where they have difficulty remembering things.  On top of that, I have a desire for our family to memorize Scripture.  So I was excited for our family to have the chance to review this product. Over the review period, we found that our family could improve their attention with Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.

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Forbrain is a headset designed for anyone over the age of four years old to use.  However, the headset is not adjustable so I am not sure how well it will work for younger children.  It is important to understand this headset does not go into the ears.  Instead, it rests on the bone in front of the ears.

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This product is designed for those with speech and language difficulties, those who need brain stimulation, those with auditory processing disorder, those will reading difficulties, as well as those with ADD or ADHD and more.  It is a bone conduction headphone as well as an extremely sensitive microphone.  It also has a dynamic filter designed to create a perceptive content.

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One of my favorite things about this headset is the case it comes with to protect the headset as well to keep the charger and paperwork together neatly.  At http://www.forbrain.com, you can find exercises to assist in using the product correctly.  All that is required is to read aloud.  Proper posture is also required.  This means resting the head naturally, sitting up straight, feet placed flat on the ground, while breathing calmly.  My husband did not find this difficult to do at all.

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Because his goal was improving memory, he concentrated on using the headset to memorize Scripture.  He picked out some of his favorite Scripture passages to use and then used the headset for fifteen minutes a day.  The case made it easy for him to take the headset with him even when he went to work.  Unfortunately, I did not remember to take any pictures of him wearing the headset while using it.

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The training suggestion is either a session of six or ten weeks.  Younger children should use it for approximately ten minutes a day for pronunciation and speech difficulties.  For children five years old to fifteen years old should use it for fifteen minutes a day.  They can use it to improve concentration and attention. Also, it can be used for reading or memory problems or even pronunciation or speech difficulties.  For those who are teenagers to adults, Forbrain can be used for speech or oral problems, those needing confidence or energy.  and more.  It is great for preparing for oral presentations, homework, and preparing for exams. For seniors, it should be used for thirty minutes a day to help with energy, memory or speech issues.

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All in all, my husband was very pleased with his results from using Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.  I look forward to using it for our Family Bible Study and memorization efforts as well as using it for practicing speeches and more.  If you would like to read more reviews of this product, click here or on the graphic below

 

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Flat Stanley Came to Visit

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When we lived in Pennsylvania, we were part of the Lock Haven Salvation Army Corps.  One of my favorite activities our family assisted with was the after-school program.  So when I received a request from someone at the corps asking for families who lived out of state to host Flat Stanley.  I immediately said yes.

So last week Flat Stanley came to visit.  He helped us cook dinner.  Here are some photos.

He also attended Youth Group at our church with our youngest two.  He decided to hang out with the pastor.

He also decided to go exploring in a violin belonging to one of the young ladies in the Youth Group.

Then on Thursday, he was supposed to go to Homeschool Band with my husband, middle two children and myself.  However, he felt like it would be better to stay home and relax on my husband and my bed.

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He also took a trip to work with my husband.  However, I am waiting to get all of those pictures.  So stay tuned for additional updates on the adventures of Flat Stanley.

Review of Let the Little Children Come’s Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack

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As a Christian family, I feel it is important for our family to share the message of Jesus Christ and of salvation.  So I am always on the lookout for tools to assist with that.  Even though my youngest just turned 15 years old, and our oldest is 21 years old, finding the right words to use can be challenging.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic company that offers products to assist with this dilemma.   Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.

According to their “About Us” page on their website, Let The Little Children Come, “aims to provide effective child evangelism tools and resources”.  Their products are designed with children in mind.  Being realistic a typical Bible tract designed with adults in mind will not capture the mind and attention of a child.  However, the items contained in this pack are brightly colorful, engaging and captivating.

In the sampler pack our family received for this review, the first thing that caught my eye was the way all of the tools came packaged in a zippered plastic bag.  This ensured that nothing would be lost or misplaced.  A variety of tools and tracts were included.  There are animated tracts, using a striped plastic sheet over the images and slowly sliding it over the pictures in the tract so the images appear to move.  Next, there are “Pop-up tracts” which follow the same principle of pop-up books I remember buying when our children were younger.  I know these books always kept my children’s interest when they were younger.  Finally, there are FlipAbouts which using according to the enclosed information sheet, “use a fascinating folding mechanism.

I love how the company makes detailed instructions and even video demonstrations available on their website at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com.  In our sample pack, we received a variety of tools and tracts including silicon bracelets, which my children used to love receiving when they were younger.  For each color in the bracelet, a portion of the gospel message is written on the included sheet.  Steps for being with God are written out in a way a child would be able to understand.  Finally, a prayer the child can say is written out, so all the child needs to do is pray.

The Lost Easter Egg was another tool our family really enjoyed.  This is one of the pop-up tracts.  The colorful looks, pop-up features, and concise message make it enjoyable to read and share.  On the back again the gospel message is spelled out on how to have a relationship with God along with a prayer to say.

I love how the messages in these tools are written to children. In the future, I plan to order some of these items to keep with us as we go about our daily life.  This way, when we come across a child we will be prepared to share the message of God’s love and the salvation we can have by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  If you would like to read more reviews about Let The Little Children Come and the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack, click here or on the graphic below.

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Our Youngest Son Turns Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today, our youngest son was born.  This child has kept us on our toes and brought joy to our life.  In the last month, he has begun playing the alto saxophone in our local homeschool beginner band.  He is also working to learn Japanese with the help of a local friend.  So happy birthday to our youngest son.

Book Review – More Than Just Making It

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I was really thrilled to be a part of the launch team for Erin Odom’s book – “More Than Just Making It”. This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting back down.  This is a down-to-earth, heart-warming book that examines realistically finances, public assistance and more.

I love Erin Odom’s conversational style in the book.  I felt like I was sitting with her in one of her homes while having a real conversation.  This book touched my heart as well as provided inspiration and memories of what our lives where like when our children were younger.

And while I planned on writing today about this book.  I felt like I needed to talk more about my own #kissesfromJesus as a result of being part of this launch team.  About a year and a half ago, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas thanks to the United States military.  We have no real family to speak of in the state.  So when Hurricane Harvey decided to come calling, we were in a dilemma about where to evacuate to for the storm.

Initially, we planned on hunkering down in our home.  But when the storm was upgraded to making landfall as a Category 3 “or higher”, I knew we needed to find somewhere to evacuate to for safety.  Somehow the topic of the storm came up on the book launch Facebook page.  A generous lady offered to open her home to our family in the event we needed to evacuate.  I filed the information away for future consideration.  Once we found out we were under a mandatory evacuation order, I sent a message to this amazing lady and asked if she was serious about allowing our family to evacuate to her home.  She quickly replied that we were more than welcome to come.  So that evening, I had our four children and my mother who all live with my husband and I pack in preparations to leave.

Another giant blessing was when we found out her husband was lactose-intolerant like our oldest son.  On Friday morning as Hurricane Harvey was preparing to making landfall in Texas, our family took to the highways to go to Dallas.  We were blessed with reasonable traffic and reasonably good weather for our travels.

Once in Dallas we were welcomed like honored guests.  Truly our family was blessed to meet Dominique and her husband.  She cooked amazing meals and had wonderful touches that made us feel incredibly welcomed.  We received #KissesfromJesus with this act of kindness.

So if you are looking for a new book to read, I recommend this book.  Trust me, if you read it, you will be blessed.

An Update on Our Family – Hurricane Harvey Part 1

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Two weeks ago today, we began a journey thanks to Hurricane Harvey.  We live approximately an hour and a half north of Corpus Christi and about two hours south of Houston in Texas.  We have lived here for around a year and a half.  We are no strangers to hurricanes having our home of record in eastern North Carolina.  In a Facebook group, I am part of, a discussion began about what those of in Texas were going to do.  Another lady and I both stated we did not know what we would do.  Finances or other circumstances did not give us many options.

Our week started off normally.  On the 22nd, my husband and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  We knew there was a tropical storm named Harvey who might decide to visit our community.  Wednesday was a normal day.  Thursday we decided to get some supplies in for the incoming storm.  While we were out, we found out the storm had been upgraded and would potentially come in as a category 3 or higher.  The “or higher” part is what got our attention.  We have several large trees in front and behind the home, we are living in now.  So we were paying attention.

Later Thursday evening, a friend sent me a message to say our community was under a mandatory evacuation order.  So my husband and I discussed what we wanted to do.  I am on the book launch team for Erin Odom’s book “More Than Just Making It” and someone on the launch team offered our family shelter.  So we began packing up and tried to figure out what we needed and/or could take with us in our 12-passenger van.

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Friday morning shortly after 6:30 am, we started towards Dallas.  We were surprised at how light traffic was on our route, at least until we got to Waco.  Then, we arrived in Dallas around 12:30 or so where we would be staying.  Until Monday morning, our hostess was absolutely amazing.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 where I will share what happened while we were in Dallas and what we found once we returned home.