Tag - faith

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase I get rewarded too. I would never link something I didn’t think would be a good purchase for my readers. Thanks for supporting MommyB Knows Best and be sure to leave a comment!

Unsettled

As we draw near to closing out 2016 and I reflect on my life this year I can say without any uncertainty that this year has been the year I’ve most felt Unsettled.

unsettled

 

I know the reasons I’m unsettled, my mom {who I was very close with, talked to sometimes several times a day} suddenly passed away in February. That, I’m sure is the biggest reason I’m unsettled. When someone you have such a strong bond with and someone you’re used to being a part of your daily life is all of a sudden not there it makes a huge impact. It feels as if something is not quite right. I look at pictures and phone messages and there’s a hole. It’s just not right for her not to be here. Though I have peace that I will someday be reunited with her in the Kingdom of God, I miss her. I know there will be times when I can flip through photo albums and talk about her remembering the funny and sweet moments, I see glimpses of that now. But at this moment in time, I’m just not there yet.

One thing that has been a blessing through losing my mom is that my brother and sister and I have grown closer. Death can do funny things to family, it can tear you apart or bring you closer and we are the ones that have control over that, we choose to move forward or look behind us. My only option is to move forward, I don’t have it in me to spend time on anything other than that. Life is fleeting.

I know that life is so precious, and not guaranteed to us. I hate that I have friends and even my own husband who have lost their parents before me and will lose their parents after me; spouses, children, family members and close friends. Mourning isn’t easy and the closer you are to that person, at least for me, the more I feel broken.

So, I turn to God when I don’t have words to pray, but He knows my heart. I spend time with friends who understand because they’ve “been there” or care enough to “be there”. I enjoy my family, taking in the moments knowing full well that the days we have been given are gifts. I linger outside while walking the dog, closing my eyes and feeling the wind blow on my face, thankful that I have breath.

I never used to be afraid to die because I have hope that I will live forever in God’s Kingdom. Now, I guess it’s not fear as much as not wanting to leave people behind, I know what it feels like to be left behind. Yet instead of dwelling on what could be in the future I do try to live in the now.

I’m not quite there yet to be honest, I’m broken, unsettled, filling up holes with the One I know who can repair my heart and soul. If I didn’t have my faith I’m not sure how I would make it through. If I didn’t have my family I’m not sure how I would make it through. If I didn’t have my friends I’m not sure how I would make it through.

As milestones and firsts pass sometimes I’m not sure how I make it through, but I know that I do and will continue to and this feeling of being unsettled probably won’t completely leave me, but I think that’s okay. I try to remind myself it would be more unnatural not to miss my mom than the feelings I have now.

So day-by-day I turn to the things that help me settle. I pray that if you are feeling unsettled that you too can find your peace, in faith, family, friends, nature.

What is a University Model® School?

Disclaimer – I do not work for Naums nor have we started schooling at Naums, all information is from the Naums website or information shared from people who have been schooling and my general but limited knowledge of the University Model® school setting.

Lately I’ve had quite a few people ask me what school Miss A will be attending in the Fall and to explain more about how her school works.

Let’s rewind to school last year when Miss A was attending 5-day, traditional private school. DaddyB and I felt that, for a lot of reasons, the school Miss A was attending and a traditional 5-day school weren’t a great fit for Miss A so with the fact that we were open to moving (since we sold our home and re-rented it back ((a story for another day)), that we could really explore all schooling options.

The public school for our neighborhood at that time was not an option for several undesirable reasons, but we looked into other private schools in different areas and counties, did our research on charters and after reviewing all of our options we decided, through much prayer and thought, that the University Model® school seemed to be the best fit for Miss A and our family.

 

What is a University Model® School Answers and information on MommyBKnowsBest

 

What is a University-Model® school?

The University-Model® school (UMS) model is an option for education that is not the traditional 5-day setting. According to NAUMS (National Association of University Model Schools) “the UMS model of education takes the best attributes of home schooling and combines them with the best attributes of traditional, Christian education.” For our family we felt like it would be the best of both worlds, we would have more time to spend with Miss A (and Lil C once she starts Kindergarten), and give more hands-on learning, while focusing on a university style program.

The program at the school we chose (which keep in mind each University-Model® school has the same foundational roots, but can be very different), is strongly grounded in faith and both character and academically driven.

Our school is a private school, not a co-op for homeschoolers or a public/charter school. I believe this is similar to most University-Model® schools, but am not 100% sure if this includes all of the schools.

“The ultimate goal is that of producing wholesome, competent men and women of character who make a positive difference for Christ in the next generation.” Naums.net

 

How is University-Model® school different from traditional public, charter, magnet, or private schooling?

This school system is unique in that it is not a 5-day program. This model gives students a portion of professional full day classroom instruction and a portion of home study days with curriculum provided by the classroom teacher.

For our specific school Miss A will have 3 classroom instruction days and 2 days of home study. For our family it was amazing to think that we will have more days with Miss A than she will be in school (counting weekends Miss A will have 4 days at home and 3 days in school). Curriculum is based on several factors and highly supported with communication between teacher and parent.

Some things we loved specifically about this school and the University Model® are that they are founded on faith, character and academically driven, in our program subjects can be integrated, the school Miss A will be attending has an amazing support system for both mother and father.

Here are a few quotes from parents who have been using the University Model® with their children about what UMS is:

My short short explanation that usually is followed by a conversation is “picture university/college. You don’t go into class every day, but you have work to do every day. My kids go into class three days a week with their professional teacher and then we do work assigned by that teacher at home two days a week: projects, reports, review work, etc…” A Mom Who Tried Homeschooling for a Year and Realized it Wasn’t a Good Fit for Her Family

A combination of professional classroom time with two – 3 days at home using school developed lesson plans. Family and Christianity are also a common tie for all UMS’s.” Susan S.

 

What is a University Model® School Answer on MommyBKnowsBest

 

The biggest reason we chose a University-Model® school

While academics are important to our family we felt that we could have more time with our children and play an even larger role, while cultivating their relationship with God and enriching their character. To us, having healthy and happy children who have the tools to happy and healthy adulthood, were invaluable.

If you are interested in learning more about NAUMS and University-Model® schools please feel free to reach out to me via my contact form or head to NAUMS website Naums.net for more information.

 

Please keep in mind we have not started University-Model® school as of this post publish date and that each school within the model are very different and others may have different opinions or experiences. The above message is to both educate on the University-Model® school and give you one mom’s opinion.  I will update any information in this post as it comes available to me.

 

Not So Much – Things I Don’t Like and Their Replacements

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I have a nagging cough and went to the doctor to find out that I had a severe ear infection and was on the verge of a double ear infection, blerg. With the help of some medicine and much needed rest I am feeling better, but that also meant less time to work.

Today I’m starting a new kind of post, a lot of people ask me why I don’t write more about things I don’t like. There are actually a lot of products, and things in general that I’m not a huge fan of, but usually I don’t take the time to write them because I enjoy writing about the things I DO like more and would rather give them the spotlight on my website. But since you asked, straight up, here are a few things that I have to say, “Not So Much” to, but also what I do like {I can’t help myself}:

Not So Much MommyB

Reverie pillow – This pillow is said to be one of the more comfortable pillows and while it’s great that it’s hypoallergenic and has some neat features, the most important feature, comfort, was lacking. Both DaddyB and I found the pillow to be much too firm for us even after weeks of use. If you like a REALLY firm pillow though this will be right up your alley. What I DO like however is sleep, luckily I’ve been able to get a little more of that than I’m used to with this cold.

Paperwork – For those of you who may not know, we are moving (staying in the greater Charlotte and surrounding area), but we are excited to look for a new house, however this means lots of paperwork for loan approval and also it’s tax season so making sure we have receipts, logging into accounts, and getting all of our ducks in a row has certainly been tedious. Lucky for me DaddyB has been in charge of the paperwork and staying up late to get things taken care of. So the great side to all this paperwork is that God has an awesome new neighborhood and home in store for us and I have much appreciation for my husband through this experience.

Discovery Place’s 101 Inventions Exhibit –  While we did have fun in the hands-on section (although I would have loved more of this) of this new exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC, we felt that our girls (almost ages 4 and 7) were a little too young for the content (birth control, sperm) and there were parts of the exhibit that scared Lil’ C (darkness and music). DaddyB did enjoy the exhibit, but feels like he didn’t get as much info in the time we had as he wanted. I know a few people who took children and did NOT enjoy their experience, one mom even asked for her money back. Because this exhibit is not included in museum admission I would personally say skip this one. I do however like Discovery Place museums. When we left the 101 Inventions exhibit my girls had a BLAST, like usual, in the rest of the museum testing out science and math skills, playing tug-of-war with DaddyB, and I must say in defense of Discovery Place, we’ve been to a couple other exhibits in the past that we have loved.

Discovery Place 101 Inventions Review MommyB

Toxic things – For this I’m lumping in things and people. I’m super guilty of putting things in my body that aren’t healthy {maybe you can relate}, and lately have been studying more homeopathic styles of living and also Ph Balance with the help of some friends. Often times I know and can feel the acidity or “hot” nature of my body after I ingest something and can see that there are easy fixes, I’m excited to post some things here that may help you out too. As for toxic people, a while ago I mentioned this being my year of intentional living and making changes for the better, I can say that I’ve been more mindful in my relationships and growing the ones I see that are healthy, supportive, and uplifting for me and leaving behind some that were toxic and still present themselves to be toxic. Choosing what’s best for myself and my family to grow closer to God and become more like Christ means leaving things that can’t be changed behind.

Cancer – Unfortunately it feels like this season of life that I’m going through right now is riddled with illness. Recently, Heaven gained an angel in Super Carter, whose family is amazing and was very close in age to Lil’ C. And since I’ve learned of friends that I went to school, both high school and college with that have family members who, too, are dealing with cancer. While I know it’s not always an immediate comfort, my family and these families have chosen to turn to God to give them strength to get through each day. I am constantly encouraged by attitude and faith that these people have.

 

While I know this was a VERY interesting mix of things I am not loving right now it’s all from my heart, the good and bad.

What are some things that you’re not a fan of right now? What are you replacing that bad thing with or what good can come out of it?

 

I received a samples and admission to some of the above mentioned products and events. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in this post. All thoughts expressed are my own, yours may vary.

Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine

My friend, and fellow blogger {and Charlottean}, Kelley Crowe wrote a post today about the controversial Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Edition. Check out her thoughts here: This is Not Okay For My Daughter’s Eyes…

I completely agree with Kelley’s sentiments and understand her frustration and here’s Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine and my response to Kelley’s post.

Self Esteem in Girls MommyB

As a conservative mom of two girls who wants her children to know that their worth is not skin deep, issues like this really make me sad that our Nation is going overboard. I think often times the general population, (some parents included), start to tune things like this out because it’s more the norm than not.

Yes, I already mentioned I’m conservative, and things in stores like music videos or magazines, or even some mannequins dressed provocatively bother me. Do I wish that stores, television, and people would stop promoting the objectification of women? Sure! Do I wish they would stop promoting the objectification of men? drugs? alcohol? sex? etc, yup.

The only thing we can really do as parents is change our children; let them know our moral beliefs, let them ask questions and find answers, discuss situations, and maybe once and a while flip off the tv {or cut the cable like we did}, turn over the magazines in the store, and pray for our family and the future of our Nation.

 

What are your thoughts on the Sports Illustrated cover, or magazine in general? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the topic of self-esteem and children, even if you disagree, but please be respectful or your comments may be deleted. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today and always, no matter whether we are going through; a hard season in life or an easy one, there are always so many people and things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my faith, family, and my life. I’m also thankful for you, my readers, and the opportunities my blog gives me to help others.

May you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the B Family

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Ephesians 5:19-20

19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

MommyBKnowsBest on: Changes #vlogmom

#vlogmom

vlogmom-new-logoLately, I’ve really been thinking about life in general. Ooooh deep I know!! But seriously though, I’ve been meeting some great people, reading some awesome books, and really trying to figure out what I want to take away from this short life.

Here’s this week’s #vlogmom prompt/question and my answer:

I think sometimes we need to reflect, and see where our priorities are and if our time is being well-spent. In my life, I’ve been so blessed and want to make sure that I give to those less fortunate, raise my girls with love and enjoy as many moments as possible, be a good wife, be and have great friends, read my Bible and grow closer to God, be healthy inside and out and it starts with diet and exercise.

Some of these changes have been slowly happening and some I’m just getting started on, but I’m excited for good changes and have already had some great confirmations that this is the right direction for my life. I feel like whatever changes you have to make, whether they are similar to mine or completely opposite, we have to really make this life worth living.

I’m excited to use my blog to share whatever goodness is going on in life and will be giving you an update about my Red Cross service day soon too!

I hope if nothing else my video makes you think about what leaf or leaves you want to turn over and what changes you want to make in your life and inspire you to go for them!

Make sure you check out these other videos from #vlogmom vloggers too!!

Superbook DVD Review

I had the pleasure of working with CBN and MomSelect to bring you this post.

superbookfeature_LG

Earlier this month I let you know about the new Superbook Bible Stories Summer Series, did you get a chance to watch them on CBS or ABC?? If so, leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, no worries, Superbook is now available on DVD.

There are 14 DVDs in the Superbook DVD series:

In the Beginning
The Test!
Jacob and Esau
Joseph
Let my People Go!
The Ten Commandments
A Giant Adventure
Jonah
Roar!
The First Christmas
Miracles of Jesus
The Last Supper
He Is Risen!
The Road to Damascus
***And a bonus: Revelation The Final Battle

We received 14 DVDs and I viewed them on my own since my girls can be very timid when it comes to content in movies. I am glad that I did watch the videos prior to showing them to Miss A {age 6} and Lil C {age 3}. My girls are extremely sensitive when it comes to “bad guys” in movies, and Satan is notoriously the biggest “bad guy” of them all. This series portrays a lot of imagry of Satan, throughout the Bible stories he’s a part of. Also watching some of the evil pharohs, the whale in the Jonah episode, and even Goliath would have bothered them. I did, just to be suer show them a portion of a couple of episodes I thought might be more “mild” and with their personalities and viewing preferences (and mine too) they just weren’t ready to watch the series.

I do love the way characters Chris, Joy and Gizmo start off the show and go back in time/in the Superbook and learn from Bible stories, and think that this DVD series offers valuable lessons that children of the appropriate age can appreciate, have fun with, and also benefit from.

The series is recommend for children ages 6 and up. Personally, I would say 8 to 10 years might be a more appropriate age, but that’s just my opinion.

I’m glad that I have these DVDs for when the girls are older and love that there are options out there for my children and yours to learn about the Bible in a unique way.

To purchase a copy of what could be your family’s favorite episode or to join the Superbook DVD Club head here:  Superbook DVD Club

*DVDs include both English and Spanish audio tracks and subtitles except Episode 1.

 

DVD Collection

 

Also, head to http://www.cbn.com/superbook for more information on the series, to check out the kid’s site and to download the Superbook App.

**Since every child is different, I encourage you to head to the Official Superbook website, {available through the website listed above,} to view some of the episodes before your children watch them if there is a question of maturity or if the content is appropriate for their personality. You know your child best.

 

 

I received review products as part of a promotional program with CBN and MomSelect. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, honest words. Your opinions may vary.

Mary’s Son – A Christmas Book Review

Marys Son Book Cover

Marys Son Book Cover

Often times the holidays can become a chore, extremely busy, or sometimes we just plain lose sight of what that holiday stands for. With Christmas less than one week away, stores flooded with people looking for the deals or hottest toy on the market, the rush of sending out cards before the day is finally here, and of course making sure the decorations are hung just right. That’s what Christmas is really about right?!?

I love the book, Mary’s Son – A Tale of Christmas by Darryl Nyznyk. This is a great book to remind yourself the true meaning of Christmas, whether you live in a beautiful home and are blessed with all your needs, or if you’re struggling this season just to make ends meet.

This book was awarded a Mom’s Choice Awards and if I had my say I would totally agree. I also think it would be a good book for you to read with your teenagers or even smaller children based on their maturity level.

The way the book is written, it’s an easy one to really “get into”. And even though I know the Christmas story I enjoyed reading the character’s journey and the author’s perspective.

I suggest you grab a copy of this at your local bookstore or maybe even download it for Kindle or on your smartphone and read it when you’ve just had enough of the holidays and want to be filled with CHRISTmas.

PS!!! The author is offering the e-book for only $2.99 on Amazon for the month of December 2012!

I received a copy of this book purely for review purposes. All statements and opinions are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary, but you’re not allowed to give your opinion until you’ve read the book…as the old saying goes, “you can’t say you don’t like it if you don’t try it!!!”

Merry Christmas from MommyB

Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

How amazing is it to be able to see our children when they are born? It is such a blessing and a memory that we will never forget. A child is truly a blessing from God.

Miss A on her birth-day:

Miss A birth

Baby C on her birth-day:

Baby C birth

and the most important birth-day of all: Jesus Christ! How much more blessed are we at the birth of God’s son, our Savior?

 Have a very Merry Christmas and be blessed in this upcoming year!! Thank you for being a part of my life this year!

Love MommyB!