Saturday, March 1

Howdy!

I took off the White Trash blogging hat back at Christmas, but I've recently had vendors contacting me for sponsored posts here. It's ironic because I actually started a separate professional blog in the meantime because this blog title was misunderstood by some to have a completely different meaning. Color me naive!

But if some vendors like it, then I suppose it is worth dusting off the cobwebs and using occasionally. This blog was a huge part of my growth over the last several years. I'm humble that God continues to grow me and thankful for this new leg of the journey: simplicity. But that's a topic for another day. Today, the cobwebs!

Monday, December 9

Awakening Faith - a Review

Awakening Faith is a book of devotions to last the entire year. It is drawn from the writings of our early church fathers, sharing timeless messages for our lives today.

I chose the book to give as a gift, but now I'm going to need a new copy. This beautiful book is an excellent start to each day."Awakening Faith, Daily Devotions from the Early Church" was compiled by James Stuart Bell, and it contains 366 devotional readings. 


Each day's reading is one page long and centers on a singular theme. A bible verse is shared and a relevant selection from the writings of a church father. The back of the book contains a section with more details about these heroes of the faith, as well as a scripture index. Much of the writing came from a time of persecution and controversies, a time when theology mattered. As the book's introduction points out: "the objectivity and certainy of Christian truths, particularly truths about Jesus Christ, are a unifying feature in this volume." Each entry is brief, but powerful. This book is a treasure, sharing nourishing words from 68 pillars of the faith, including Augustine, Origen, Boniface, Polycarp, and so many more.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



It has been a fabulous first week of Christmas School. Using Advent Idea Box, we have studied the Advent Wreath and Calendar, the Nutcracker, the history of Christmas Cards, and Christmas
Trees. 

On Monday, we studied the Advent Wreath and Norway. Tuesday, we studied the Advent Calendar and Germany. We've always done a paper calendar before, but we began a huge project this year. This Calendar tree spans the entire top of our coffee table and all four children have learned how to sew on buttons. Now we are learning the blanket stitch. It's a nice project to work on during our evening Advent readings. It will take us several years to create ornaments to go on the calendar, most likely, but it will make good memories along the way.

We also studied the history of the Christmas Card and the United Kingdom. We tried listening to an audio version of the first Doctor Who Christmas special while doing it, but it was too weird. This was a fun, messy day. 
 
 Next, we studied The Nutcracker and Russia. The boys and I had to travel for dentist appointments, so Chris taught the girls one of their favorite Christmas School days. It was a fabulous Daddy-day. Our original Nutcracker on the left, was created by both of the boys a few years ago. This year, each girl wanted to make her own Nutcracker. 

Christmas trees and Latvia were interesting to study. This year, we added a section on Christmas Tree Farming to the website. It's a little family daydream of ours to start a Christmas tree farm, complete with cabin and cocoa. 

The snow came on Thursday and it has been a blast! 


Friday morning, this is the dawn that I woke up to. 
It was a perfect, quiet morning to drink coffee and listen to the snow and ice in the leaves. It was loud enough to hear through the windows. The kids enjoy sleeping in during these cold, Christmas School mornings. I enjoy the time to reflect. 

Christmas is supposed to be a time to celebrate Christ's birth, but I can't help but think of His death. All of those prophecies foretelling His birth...they are surrounded by prophecies foretelling His death. We've read so many verses of fulfilled prophecy this week and I am overwhelmed at what He's done for me, a sinner.

I'd love to tell you that the kids are feeling the full meaning of Christmas and Christ's coming this year, but they are pretty much just focused on snow. 



Their thoughts are overwhelmed with the joy of burying each other (can you see where Joel is buried?) and building forts. 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, December 6

Humility by David Bobb - a book review

"Humility" combines history and character into an excellent lesson for all of us. Though the title alludes to the influence in American history, the book itself goes deeper, describing the influences on early American founders. Socrates, Homer, Machievelli, and many more are all discussed regarding both positive and negative lessons in humility and right thinking.

I chose this book for my 13 year old son. We are studying American history this year and humility is a good lesson for any teen boy to study. The writing is a bit lofty for a 13 year old, but he has worked his way through it slowly and drawn wisdom from it.

Part I focuses on the concept of humble thinking and the complications surrounding it.

Part II primarily shares character sketches, with details of the following individuals:

  • George Washington
  • James Madison
  • Abigail Adams
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Fredrick Douglass


Part III turns the focus to our modern age, the Age of Arrogance.

I found it challenging and helpful. Though only 209 pages, it is not a quick read, demanding that you stop and ponder and challenging you to apply the lessons taught.

Humility
An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue

By David Bobb 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 21

Getting Crafty with Craftsy

***The following is a sponsored post***
Sponsored posts are chosen by me, only when I find a product or vendor I think will be of interest to my readers. All content reflects my honest opinion.

I first heard of Craftsy through an ad in my facebook feed. I have quite a few crafty friends, so I was surprised I'd never heard of it before. The ad that attracted my attention was a yarn sale. I drool over good yarn, but it isn't something I've budgeted for. Every now and then I find a good sale though, and I indulge in the good stuff. Washable wool. Yum.

I ordered my insanely cheap sale yarn and it arrived just a few days later. I was holding my breath, certain that at that price it couldn't be as good as described. I was pleasantly surprised to find nice yarn. My son has requested a sweater out of it. I'm terrified to try such a big project, but that's a post for another day. Bottom line: I now watch carefully for Craftsy yarn sales.

There was quite a bit more website to explore, but I was there for yarn and didn't pay much attention. Recently though, I approached Craftsy to sign up for an affiliate sidebar link. They sent me a description of some of the features they offer. I had no idea.

Much more than a yarn source. It offers patterns, projects, and online classes. It is a marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns. It is also a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits.  The project section lets members share pictures of their latest craft successes. Lots of great ideas here! Though brand-new to me, Craftsy now has over two million members and offers something for just about everyone with categories including quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.
 Online classes are available on every imaginable craft topic. Here is a description from Craftsy:  
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.  Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee. 

Be sure to take advantage of the 23 FREE classes available. 
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