Friday, December 13, 2013

8 Confessions of a Blogging, Homeschooling Mom - A Look Behind the Curtain

It's confession time. Time to peel back the curtain and show the not-so-picture perfect side of the life of this blogging/homeschooling mama. Because for some reason there are a lot of women out there who are convinced that women who blog automatically somehow have it more together than they do. This is simply not true. And here's proof.

Confession #1: I am a terrible housekeeper.  I am pretty good at doing the dishes every day, and I vacuum regularly. And I try to clean the main bathroom on a regular basis. My kids keep their stuff picked up thanks to these cleaning charts. But my house is still a mess most of the time. Why? One word. Clutter. A lot of it. I have piles (and boxes) of "stuff" everywhere. When people come over, I "clean" up clutter by throwing it all into a box, lost forever. The irony? Most of my cabinets and closets are organized to the letter. When it comes to cleaning, I am all or none. And when it comes to all these piles, sometimes I don't even know where to start. I hope that someday I am able to conquer my clutter problem because, frankly, sometimes it's embarrassing. And I really would like to know where certain things are that currently can't be found. And it is a lot easier to relax in a clean room. And maybe I could invite people over more often. So I hope that someday I can say I finally have a clean house. That day, however, is not today, and, as of right now, clutter is still a major problem for me.

(So thankful for my patient and understanding husband, who very rarely complains about this problem of mine!)

Confession #2: I sleep in later than I should.  I am very blessed in that my kids are very self-sufficient in the mornings. They can get their own cereal and/or yogurt and entertain themselves until I get up. I am very lucky, I know. The flip side of this? Getting up early is difficult. Because it's just a little too easy to turn off the alarm, roll over, and sleep for just a little bit longer. Or a lot longer. But I don't get nearly as much done and am not nearly as effective when I choose to stay in bed instead of get up on time.

Confession #3: I stay up later than I should.  When I don't go to bed at a decent time, I sabotage myself to repeat #2. Or if I do get up early the next morning, I am cranky because I am sleep-deprived. My crankiness does not set a good example for my children. Or make for a joyful, productive homeschooling day. (I was tempted to schedule this post to automatically publish in the morning sometime so you wouldn't know how late I am staying up tonight. While it doesn't look like I will be finishing this post tonight after all, for the sake of transparency I will tell you it is currently almost 2 am. Case in point...)

Confession #4: I spend too much time online. This includes e-mail and social media such as facebook and pinterest. Again, I am all or none, so periodically I can go through periods where I rarely check social media at all. But, when I get the "itch" again, I spend way more time online than I should. There is definitely an addictive component to the internet in general and especially social media that can be hard to resist. And sometimes I don't do a very good job of resisting.

Confession #5: I am a chronic procrastinator. It is December 12, and we still haven't put up our tree. This is partly related to Confession #1. The area where the Christmas stuff is is cluttered, and getting to the tree and the ornaments/decorations will require some work. Really, if I'm being truthful, procrastination is probably the cause of my clutter problem! I was once told by a friend in high school: "Most people wait until the last minute. You wait until the last second!" Not good. And it does not produce good or satisfying results. 

Notice the partially painted wall in the photo below (aside from all the "stuff" covering the kitchen table)? It has been like that for a good 2 years. 

Confession #6: I don't spend enough time in the Word. I have been following a one-year Bible plan for over three and a half years now. And I am not even halfway done. At best, I spend time in the Word occasionally. I am better at reading my Jesus Calling devotional. Which is great. But it's not the Word of God. I need God's Word to renew my mind and feed my spirit. And, yet, so many times, I just don't read it like I should. Because I don't feel like it. Because I just don't make it a priority. This one hurts worse than the others. But there it is. The truth. 

Confession #7: A lot of times, I don't spend enough time in prayer. Just like #6, I don't consistently and intentionally spend time in prayer on a regular basis. Sometimes I do, but I am more consistent in allowing my love and my fire to grow cold than I am at soaking Him in. And sometimes, when I tell someone I will pray for them, I don't. Not on purpose. I just somehow forget to. Or I just say a quick prayer and then move on to the next thing on my agenda... or the next status on facebook. This is not how spiritual battles are won. I know this. And yet, so many times, I just don't do it. I understand Paul when he said, "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing" (Romans 7: 19 - NIV). I understand what he is saying in this verse, because he's describing me

So there you have it. 8 confessions of a real-life, blogging, homeschooling, pile-making, sleeping-in mama. Now the truth is out: this blogger ain't perfect. There was a part of me that really wanted to clean up those areas of my house just a little before taking those photos. Make it look a little neater. A little more put together. But I didn't. This is it, in the raw. There's no going back after this, and I wouldn't want to. I'd rather be real than perfect. Because only He can make us perfect. On my own, I am anything but. 

And you know what? It's ok. Because His mercies are new every morning. Will I ever paint my kitchen wall? Maybe. Will I ever get my clutter under control? Perhaps. But perhaps not. If nothing else about my confession list changes, I pray for consistency in my walk with Him. Because I can't live this life without Him. Because I can't lead my children to Him if I'm not being led myself. Because I can't do ministry with a painted wall. Am I going to work on my weaknesses? Of course. But in His strength. Because anything else is doomed to fail. Any goals I set for myself apart from Him, will carry a weight that will eventually crush me. Am I perfect? Not even close. And, yet, He loves me. He is for me. He died for me. In all my imperfections. In all my weaknesses. And having a love like that is worth giving Him all. Because He gave all for me. 

So if you find yourself thinking that other moms have it more together than you, don't. Remember that you have something that those other moms might not have: hope. While you are looking at them wondering what they have that you don't, they are looking at you wondering the same thing

For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
--2 Corinthians 12:10

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
--2 Corinthians 12:9a

Do you have any confessions you'd like to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Remember, you are not alone in your weaknesses and struggles.

As a follow-up, I will be posting soon about "Living in the Measure of Your Own Grace." I pray that it blesses you.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Free Printable Kids Cleaning/Chore Charts {That You Can Edit!}

Remember my Free, Printable Morning and Bedtime Routine Charts {That You Can Edit}?

Well, now I have free, printable cleaning/chore charts, too! Because, again, no two households are alike, these are also editable.

These cleaning charts help keep the toys/clothes/etc. picked up around the house.

For each room, my kids understand the charts to mean that they are to clean their stuff out of those rooms. so, when it says, "Clean living room," they know that it means they are to pick up everything of theirs in that room, not that they are to clean/dust/vacuum the room itself. 

I use the morning charts before homeschooling, and these cleaning charts afterwards. My kids know that before they can do something fun, their cleaning chart must be done first. This helps provide motivation for them to clean quickly! These charts work great at our house. 

Each chart is available in 5 colors: pink, blue, purple, green, and a generic gray. The colors are editable also.
Just like the morning/bedtime charts, you will need to download these cleaning charts to your computer and then open in Microsoft Word or comparable program if you want to edit them. 

If you have any trouble downloading, editing, or just have general comments, please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, enjoy!

{Note: These charts are for personal use only. You may link to this post, but please do not link to the charts directly or upload them to your own site/blog. Thanks!}

You can download the cleaning/chore charts here.

{If you have an older version of Microsoft Word or otherwise have trouble downloading the above version, try the Word 97-2003 compatible version here.}

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Excellent, Money-Saving Deals at Target: Stouffer's Frozen Meals/Lasagna, Degree Men's Deodorant, Axe Body Spray

Excellent deals right now at Target! But some of these expire TODAY, so you will have to hurry!

{Full disclosure, while I (unfortunately for me!) am not an affiliate for Target or Cartwheel, this post DOES contain other affiliate links.}

Deal #1: Stouffer's frozen meals. Go to Target.com to print off a coupon for $1 off a 57 oz Stouffer's family-size frozen meal. (There is a coupon search box on the top right. Search "Stouffer's" and it should come up easily. Once you print it, try to print it again if you need multiple and it will let you print it up to its limit. I think the limit might be 2, but I can't remember for sure.) 

I don't think there are any manufacturer's coupon for this size of Stouffer's right now, but if you happen to have one, you can "stack" it on top of the store coupon for even more savings.

ON TOP of the coupon(s), GET A WHOPPING 30% OFF all Stouffer's frozen meals at Target with the Cartwheel app. (You can read more about Cartwheel and how it works here.)  

Use Your Target Red Debit Card for an EXTRA 5% off. What a deal!

THIS STOUFFER'S DEAL EXPIRES TOMORROW (10/27), so hurry and grab it!


Deal #2: Degree Deodorant and Axe Body Spray. Target is having a great deal on these right now. Buy any combination of 3 select Degree Deodorants, Axe Deodorants, or Axe Body Sprays, and receive a $5 Target Gift Card! 

The best deal out of this: 

1. Sign up for My Points: 
Shop online, earn gift cards!

2. Once you're logged into My Points, hover over the Tab "Deals" and click on "Grocery Coupons." Print off the coupon "Save $1.00 on any 1 Degree Men Dry Protection Antiperspirant or Fresh Deodorant." Go back and print again so that you have 2. 

{Note: You get points for every coupon you print off and redeem from My Points. Points can be used to get FREE gift cards. I have gotten some really great free stuff off of this program, including but not limited to: My sewing machine, office chair, and portable canvas closet. Amazing, right?! I will be writing more about My Points in a separate post. If you would rather not join but still want to save, you can go to coupons.com directly and bypass My Points.}

3. At Target, get 2 twin packs of Degree men's deodorant. 

4. Pick a 3rd item eligible for Target's $5 gift card deal. I chose Axe body spray because my husband uses it, but you could opt for another Degree deodorant or even an Axe one.

5. At checkout, use your 2 printed off manufacturer's coupons for $2 off total. (When I did this, I actually had a $3.00 off 2 twin packs coupon, but I can't seem to find where I got it from. If you have it, by all means, use that one!)

6. If you have any applicable Target coupons, use those as well. (I happened to have a store $1 off coupon that printed the last time I was there.)

7. Use Cartwheel for an additional 5% off the Degree deodorants. (The Cartwheel deal expires on Nov. 2)

8. Use your Target Debit Card for 5% MORE off.

If you do it right, the deal should play out something like this:

(2) Degree twin packs - $3.99 each = $7.98
(1) Axe body spray - $3.99

Subtotal = $11.97 for 4 deodorants and one body spray

(2) $1 off manufacturer coupons = ($2) off
5% off Degree deodorant with Cartwheel = ($0.30) off
5% off with Target Debit Card = ($0.48) off

New subtotal = $9.19

Then they give you a $5 Target gift card back, which makes a total (without tax) of $4.19 for 4 men's deodorants and 1 body spray! 
If you happen to have the $3 manufacturer coupon I mentioned earlier, the total goes down even more, and if you have a Target coupon to stack, watch out! I was very blessed to have it all and only paid $2.38 (sans tax). Amazing!

I apologize that I do not remember when this particular Target deal expires, but I do know that there are still several days left, and that it may even possibly run into November. 

Deal # 3: Dove Shampoo/Conditioner. 

To get the best deal out of this requires a manufacturer's coupon from the Sunday paper. This coupon expires today, so if you have it, hurry and grab this amazing deal before it's over! If you don't have the coupon or it's too late, don't worry. You can still follow the rest of this and get shampoo for a good, if not great, deal.

If you have the coupon it should play out something like this:

(1) 12 oz. Dove shampoo or conditioner for $2.99

(1) $1.50 off manufacturer's coupon = ($1.50) off
5% off Dove hair products with Cartwheel = ($0.07) off
5% off with Target Debit Card = ($0.07) off

Subtotal = $1.35 (without tax)

While this is already a great deal, it gets even better! You can get an additional $1.00 back with ibotta, making your shampoo (or conditioner) only $0.35! What a steal! 

How to Save Big Money at Target with the New Cartweel App

I am going to be creating a new, second blog about saving money and frugal living. I have yet to decide on a title, however, and designing a blog takes a lot of time, so it will be a while before it's up and running.

But I have deals to share that expire very soon so this is a problem! So I am going to write the posts here for now, and then when I create my new, thrifty blog I will move them over.

{Note: Very unfortunately for me, I am not an affliliate for Target or it's Cartwheel app, so this post does NOT contain any affiliate links.)

Have you heard of Target's new savings app yet? It's called Cartwheel, and it's awesome.

How it works:

  • Once you've downloaded the app, you can add offers on specific items to your "cartwheel."
  • Careful, because you have a limited number of "spots" that you can add offers to. You start with ten, but you can earn more.
  • Offers are usually given as a percent off, such as "5% off Dove hair care."
  • Offers can be used in conjunction with sales, store coupons, and manufacturer coupons, so it's like triple stacking on top of sales. Bring on the savings!
  • Redeem your offers by going to "My Cartwheel" when you're in the checkout lane. The Target clerk then scans your "My Cartwheel" barcode. Anything in your cartwheel that you bought automatically gets taken off your total. Nice, right?!
  • If you have a Target Red Debit Card, you get 5% off ON TOP of your sales, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, AND your cartwheel offers. Major savings stacking!
  • (I never promote credit cards, but did you know that Target has a Debit Card? It gives you 5% off in the store and online at Target.com. It also gives you free online shipping. Great way to save some extra cash! Something to note, though: it can take several extra days for purchases to show up in your bank account, so make sure you keep track of your Target purchases, especially if you do most of your banking online.)

Things to note about Cartwheel:
  • You have to have a facebook account to use Cartwheel. Logging in with facebook is the only way. 
  • The My Cartwheel scan has to be AFTER all paper coupons are applied. The system won't let you do it before.
  • If you prefer, you can also print off your cartwheel and the clerk can scan the paper copy. 

Excellent deals coming in the next post!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How to Turn Your Blog Post Title into a Photo for Pinterest (Even if You Don't Have Photoshop) - Part 3

Photo Credit
Now that I've taught you how to make a blog title photo using real objects (Part 1 - see tutorial here), and how to make one from scratch without using your camera (Part 2 - see tutorial here), it's time to see the third way. Way 3 involves a combination of the first 2 ways.

For this 3rd way, you will need a digital photo. This can be a photo that you've taken that relates to the post you're writing, or a photo you (legally) acquired through the internet or otherwise. (I may write a post one day about legally acquiring photos online, but until that day you can check out my Pinterest board Blogging Helps for photo sources, tips, and other helpful blogger info.).

Step 1: Go to www.ribbet.com.

Step 2: Click "Edit Photo."

Step 3: In the upper left, click "Upload a Photo."

Step 4: Upload your photo of choice. 

Step 5: Once your photo is uploaded to Ribbet, click on the top tab that says "Aa Text." 

Step 6: Select the font of your choice, or upload your own font as I described in Part 2.

Step 7: Move your cursor into the text box on the top left and add whatever text you would like. Then click "Add." Generally, this would be your title, such as "33 Ways to Practice Spelling" or whatever your blog post is about. You can resize your text box or hit "Enter" to create multiple lines of text. Alternately, you can create multiple text boxes for each line of text.

Step 8: Save your photo and insert into your blog. Easy peasy. 

I hope you found any or all of these tutorials helpful. If you have a question or general comment, feel free to leave one. Otherwise, enjoy!

You may also like:
How to Turn Your Blog Post Title... - Part 1
How to Turn Your Blog Post Title... - Part 2

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Turn Your Blog Post Title Into a Photo for Pinterest (Even if You Don't Have Photoshop) - Part 2

I know I promised that I was "back" after working my summer job, but then we decided to go on a long vacation, so I wasn't as "back" as I thought! We had a great time, and now that vacation is over and we've started homeschooling again, I'm ready to get back into the (occasional) groove of writing.

If you missed the first post of this series, you can find Part 1 here.

I originally was only going to make this a 2 part series, but I realized that there is actually a 3rd way, so I will be writing part 3 after this one, so stay tuned for that!

In Part 1, I taught you how to make a title photo using real objects. In this post, you will learn how to make a title photo from scratch without using your camera or the expensive program known as Photoshop.

The way I do this is through free, online photo software known as ribbet. I LOVE ribbet, and even more so now that they have added so many great features. Several of the things in this tutorial, such as "starting from scratch with a blank canvas" and "True Vintage" effects were not available the last time I made a blog title photo. So, hooray for you that I get to include them in this post!

Read on for the complete tutorial on how to create a photo title using method #2:

Step 1: Go to www.ribbet.com. You can sign up for an account, but it is not required. I do have an account and log in every time I use it because it allows me to access my previous photo projects. I think signing up for an account is what gives you access to the "premium" features, but everything is still free.

Step 2: Go to "Edit a Photo."

Step 3: There should now be two layers of tabs at the top in green. The bottom green layer should have two tabs: "Home" and "Library." Make sure you are on the "Home" tab.

Step 4: On the bottom right, you have the option to "Start from Scratch with a Blank Canvas." This is what you want. Click "Blank Canvas."

Step 5: You now have the option to choose a size and color for your new canvas. I always just use the size it says, but you can change it to whatever size you want. To pick a background color, click the drop-down box where it says "Color." Choose whatever shade you want, or you can just leave it white if you prefer. (I do not recommend clicking "transparent," as it literally makes the entire canvas see-through and extremely hard to work with for this kind of project.)

Below is a basic background canvas after I added color. (Unedited excusing my watermark and inserted as an appropriate size.)

Step 6 (optional): To give your canvas dimension, click on the "Effects" tab and choose an effect to add to your canvas. This step is entirely optional. {Note: Because you are working with a blank canvas and not an actual photo, some of the effects will not do much, while others will change it way more than you want. If you decide you do not like an effect, there is an "Undo" button in the top left hand corner, or you can simply hit "Discard" if it asks you if you want to keep it.}

Below are some samples of what different effects look like when added to the above canvas.

{Note: While I didn't do this in the below examples, you can also adjust the fade level and often other elements of your effect if that's something you want to play around with.} 




One of the Texture Effects
(on the bottom row, second from the end)

Another Texture Effect
(on the bottom row, fourth from the end)

A True Vintage Effect 
(top row, last one)

Another True Vintage Effect
(middle row, second one from the left)

Step 7 (optional): Whether or not you add any effects, you may or may not want to add a frame to your photo. This is completely optional. To add a frame, go to the "Frames" tab. You can then add whatever frame you would like. Remember, undo is in the top left corner if you add a frame you decide you don't like. 

Below are a few examples of frames that have been added to the "Morocco Effect" photo above:

Museum Matte Frame
(added to Morocco Effect)

Polaroid Frame
(added to Morocco Effect)

Love Flare Frame 
(added to Morocco Effect)

Step 8: Add your title by going to the tab that says, "Aa Text." Type in your text and hit "Add." You can resize it to whatever size you want. Hit enter when appropriate if you want/need your text to go onto multiple lines. 

You can add more than one text box if you want. You can also change the text to whatever color you want. {Note: Ribbet always defaults the text color to be white. I usually change it to black to make it easier to read. You can do this by moving the color dot to anywhere across the very bottom of the spectrum.}

Ribbet has quite a few fonts to choose from, and you can pick whatever font you want for each text box. If you want more than one font for your title, just make each font its own text box and then move them around accordingly.

Don't see the font you want? Use their awesome, free feature "Load my fonts." This will upload all of your fonts for you to use on ribbet. Awesome, right?!! If you still need font inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board Free Fonts & More for hundreds of free fonts you can download and use. Then you can upload said free fonts onto ribbet to use for your photo titles. Yay for more free blogging tools!

Step 9: Save Your Photo. Go to the green tab "Save." (In the same green layer that the "Home" tab was in during step 3.) Save your photo using whatever title you want. 

Now you can upload your new photo title into your blog and pin it on Pinterest. Hooray!

There is yet another way to create a photo title, other than the other two I've already taught you. The third way is a combination of the first two. Stay tuned for another blogging/ photo tutorial!

{Full disclosure: This post does NOT contain any paid or referral links.}

You may also like: 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back from My Summer Job...

My summer job is over. Whew! It is a lot of hours, but it allows me to stay home for most of the year, which is pretty awesome. I am SO thankful for that.

Anyway, this has been the reason for my absence the past few weeks. I have a lot of housework to catch up on, but there are officially THREE rooms in the house that are clean now. Woohoo! I am also reasonably caught up on the laundry, which is nice.

The twins just had their birthday yesterday and are now 7 years old. Hard to believe in some ways. I remember when they were tiny, tiny 5 lb. babies. It does NOT seem like it's been 7 years... That being said, I have loved every stage they have been in. Each stage has its own riches. I am so thankful to be a mom.

I will be writing real posts again soon, including part 2 of How to Turn a Blog Post Title Into a Photo for Pinterest.

Thanks for sticking around during my absence, and stay tuned for upcoming posts, how-to's, and homeschool supplements and printables. :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Turn Your Blog Post Title Into a Photo for Pinterest (Even If You Don't Have Photoshop) - Part 1

You know how some blogs have boxes at the top of their posts with the title in it? Trying to figure out how to add said box to the top of your blog so you can pin that title as your pin on pinterest? 

A friend of mine asked me how I do this so she can do it on her blog, so I decided to turn it into a post in case others need this info, too. Read on a for a full tutorial! (And, while you're at it, check out my friend's homeschooling blog at TeachingBoys.net.)

First off, the "box" at the top of the post is actually not a text box at all, but a photo inserted into the blog. You can do this using Photoshop, but Photoshop is expensive, and I don't have it. Nor can I afford it, so I have played around with my blog enough to find ways to do this for free! (Everybody say, "Yay!")

There are a couple different ways that you can turn your title into a photo without using Photoshop. 

Way #1: For the less computer-savvy (or even for the pros!), one way to turn your title into a photo is to make the title using real objects and take a photo of it. Insert it into your blog post and viola! Mission accomplished!

Ideas for backdrops:

  • plain old computer paper, construction paper, cardstock, scrapbook paper, posterboard, wrapping paper....any kind of paper really
  • any surface large enough that won't distract too much from the wording: a wooden tabletop, a brick fireplace, a colorful (or not!) sheet, a countertop, piece of cardboard, even your fridge! (For the fridge idea, you can use magnetic letters or use magnets to hold up papers with the words of the title)... Pretty much any surface that is smooth(ish) and flat will work as a background.
  • If you are feeling ambitious, you can get even more creative by using backdrops that have depth. For example, the seat of a swing, the inside of a tunnel or slide, the inside of an empty tote, a Bible, a serving tray, etc.
  • You can even layer or stack your backgrounds or have props on your background with the words in front of it. Examples: a stack of books on a table with the words in front, a pretty tea towel on a serving tray with silverware and the words on the towel or a fancy napkin, something made out of Legos or something related to your post with the words in front
  • Note: Make sure the background directly behind your words or letters has enough contrast and doesn't distract too much from your title. For example, never put light words on a light background and vice versa. If your title isn't readable, this is all for naught!
  • For my title photo above, I actually used a white dry erase board.

Ideas for letters/words:
  • printed letters/words cut from magazines, food boxes, catalogs, advertisements, etc.
  • freehand cut letters from scrapbook or other paper
  • sticker letters/words
  • written in your own handwriting
  • printed off the computer
  • create one or all words using something related (or not related!) to your post;  i.e. out of shoes, Legos, pencils, uncooked spaghetti, fake flowers, neckties, play-doh, yarn, blades of grass, crayons, markers... you get the idea ;)
  • create words using abc blocks
  • use magnetic letters, puzzle letters, metal letters, wooden letters or any kind of letters or words that you happen to have around your house (or in your kids' toybox!)
  • You can also use some of your kids' toys that are not letters per se but have relevant words on them. For example, does your son have small traffic signs as part of a cars set? You can use the stop sign as "Stop" in your title of "How to Stop Nagging Your Kids to Do Their Homework." Dig around in the toy box and see what you find! 
  • For my title photo above, I used letters from a Melissa and Doug See and Spell,  
  • a Hangman game, and an Upwards game. Thrift stores typically have great word games with lots of letters. I got Hangman and Upwards from Goodwill!

Examples on pinterest of this approach:

This is part 1 of 2. Stay tuned for the second half!
(Part 2 is finished! See Part 2 here.)

In the meantime, you can see more photography tips for bloggers at this pin:

You may also like:

How to Turn Your Blog Post Title... - Part 2
How to Turn Your Blog Post Title... - Part 3

Friday, May 3, 2013

Can You Help Us Reach 1,000 Children Before Rebels and Child Traffickers Do?

I am writing this post on behalf of Fullness In Christ Ministries. This is not a paid post, and, in fact, they do not even know that I'm writing it. 

God has given the leaders of this ministry (Ras and Bev Robinson, along with Kathy Bohlin), a vision to reach 1,000 of the children living in the garbage dumps of the Philippines. 

For $30 a month, you can help them get closer to their goal by sponsoring a child. Sponsoring a child allows him or her to go to school and learn valuable skills, as well as learning about the love of God. It will also give them food for their hungry bellies.

The following is an e-mail sent out by Fullness In Christ Ministries regarding the vision God has given them for these children. Please prayerfully consider being a partner in this ministry by sponsoring a child.

What does God want to do for the children He has given us? What is his promise concerning these little ones? 

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap (the garbage dump), to make them sit with the princes, with the princes of His people."  (Psalm 113:7-8)
Read more below

Raising Children From the Dust to the Palace
With some help now, the future could be very bright for this child.
The Lord said, "I want you to care for 1000 very poor children that I am giving you. I have things I want them to do and they need to be prepared for those things."  Our response - "Yes Lord. We are willing and excited about that assignment." Our next thought was, "Where will we get the estimated $360,000 a year - $30 per month per child?" That is a lot of money" The past year has been a good one, but still that is a lot more money than we have, even if we put everything we have in it.   

We have heard God say we can believe Him to provide for those 1000 extremely poor children and youth. Otherwise, why would He ask us to do it? Can you believe it with us? Last Sunday a lady who was sponsoring 4 children added 4 more for a total of 8. A man who sponsored 15 lost his job and had to quit for a couple of months, but he soon found another job and came back for his 15 and raised his monthly amount.  Would you be willing to join these and others and take on some of the children and teens God wants to give us and who desperately need us. Together, with each one taking some of them, and with God's help, we can change their lives for eternity.

Further, we believe God will use these young people as He raises up a new generation that will be used by Him to transform the nation and affect many throughout the world. In one city, our high school students have been trained as crisis counselors for young children. How exciting to think of how God will use them in the future as well as now. We now have two high school valedictorians in college preparing to impact the world.

Imagine this photo with 1000 children from the garbage dump. That is our assignment.
You can believe that terrorists and rebels seek these young people and recruit them for their violent purposes. That is not God's plan for them. We can reach them first and teach them of God's love. We work now in 22 locations where pastors are reaching children before terrorist and child traffickers and others with evil purposes reach them.

What is God's plan for these young people?  "He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap (the garbage dump), to make them sit with the princes, with the princes of His people."  (Ps 113:7-8)

You can be part of God's plan for one or more of these children or teens. You can be part of God's plan for changing lives and ultimately a nation. Will you join us as we step out in faith to believe God for the funds required to help these kids?  Will you be part of that provision?  We need child sponsors - lots of them. We need those who give to help feed hungry children.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. To make your donation to help the children rise from the dust of poverty and become part of God's Kingdom, go to:

Thank you to all of you who currently sponsor children and who help us feed them, along with many other hungry children. We are so thankful for you! 

Ras and Bev Robinson and Kathy Bohlin

Permissions and Copyrights

"What The Lord Is Saying Today," © Fullness In Christ Ministries, Inc.,
Permission is granted (and you are also encouraged) to reprint these articles in hard copy form, as well as sending them to your own email lists and posting them on your own websites. We ask only that you include the author's name, Fullness in Christ Ministries website and email contact info.
For any other use, please contact us at: info@fullnessnetwork.net.
Fullness in Christ Ministries / PO Box 136117 / Fort Worth, TX 76136 
- Ras Robinson, President - Bev Robinson, Vice President 
- Kathryn Bohlin, Executive Vice President & Director, Philippine Missions 

Friday, April 26, 2013

About the Charlotte's Web Freebies, Printables, and Activities...

For those of you who are looking for the additional Charlotte's Web freebies/printables/activites I promised in my previous Charlotte's Web post, I promise that I will write those eventually.

For some reason, though, I feel like God is leading me in a different direction for now. I have been wanting to write some posts about phonics and make some printables for it, specifically printables to go along with Sonlight's Language Arts curriculum for kindergarten and possibly 1st grade. For whatever reason, this feels more pressing, while He is telling me to wait on the Charlotte's Web stuff.

I also feel led to write some more posts on faith and encouragement. Those will be coming soon...

I know I have made a lot of promises on here on posts I will write, and I have lots more ideas that I have never even mentioned on here. I have trouble keeping up with myself and where God is leading me, but I promise I will get to it all eventually. In His timing.

When I do finally write the Charlotte's Web posts, I will link them all together to make them easier to find. I will also link them all here for your convenience. There is a lot of free Charlotte's Web supplemental material out there. Like, a lot a lot. So when I do finally write them, they will be packed. A lot of time and research is going to go into those posts, and I promise the wait will be worth it! I could just throw up a post using just what I already have, which isn't bad, but I know there is so much more out there, and doing something just to do it and get it done is not my way...

For those of you waiting on Charlotte's Web or any of the many posts I have promised, thank you for your grace and understanding...

For those interested, here are the Charlotte's Web posts that I have written. (I will update this every time I finally write another one):

Charlotte's Web Free Printable Coloring Pages

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fast & Easy Eggs (in the Microwave!)

These are the easiest, fastest, fluffiest eggs you will ever make. Clean-up is even easy, because you can eat them in the same bowl that you prepare them in. Bonus!

Recipe: 2 eggs + 2 Tablespoons of milk + salt/pepper to taste in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix well with a fork. Microwave for 2 minutes. Voila! Breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner is served!

Step 1: 2 Eggs + 2 Tablespoons Milk + Salt & Pepper

Step 1 {Variation}: 2 Eggs + 2 Tablespoons Milk + Salt/Pepper + Garlic Powder + Mozzarella Cheese (Can also add cut bell peppers, mushrooms, ham, etc.)

Step 2: Mix Well

Step 3: Microwave for 2 minutes. {If adding cheese/veggies/ham, etc., add an additional 30 seconds or so}

It takes 1 Tablespoon of milk and 1 minute of microwaving for every egg. You can add cut-up bell peppers, ham, mushrooms, shredded cheese, etc. for a yummy, quick omelette. Just add whatever ingredients you want and mix it all up before microwaving. I have found that I need to add a bit more microwave time when I add veggies or cheese or anything besides seasoning. I like to sprinkle a bit of garlic powder in, too.

Makes a quick, yummy breakfast or meal! When my kids were younger, I would often make them these eggs for dinner if I was making something that was too spicy for them to enjoy.

My hubby and I have had many a date night where I made the kids these eggs for dinner and then tucked them in for the night. After they were in bed, we would order Curbside-to-Go from 54th Street or Applebee's and have a nice late dinner and a movie at home.

If making these for the kids as a meal, I usually serve them with a side of fresh veggies with ranch. They like dipping the eggs in the ranch, also.

This also makes a great, quick, protein-filled breakfast without the mess of making a traditional omelette. And if you are really pressed for time, you can even take these eggs with you on-the-go, straight from the microwave! {Although keep in mind that the bowl will be extremely hot at first!}

{Note: In case there is any question about this, the eggs should be cracked into the bowl. This recipe is for scrambled/omelette eggs and not hard-boiled. Microwaving an egg in its shell will cause it to explode!}

You may also like:
The Easiest Meal Ever - Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Quinoa and Brown Rice

Monday, April 8, 2013

Charlotte's Web Free Printable Coloring Pages

*Edited 4/26/13 and beyond:
I will be posting links here to all the Charlotte's Web posts that I've written besides this one to make them easier to find:
About the Charlotte's Web Freebies, Printables, and Activites...

*Edited 4/17/13: There are several coloring pages in this list that can be printed off at www.honkingdonkey.com. Apparently they did not like my preview images of their coloring pages. I have replaced the preview images with "{Image Removed. Click through link to see}." I apologize if I inadvertently broke any of this site's policies. It was never my intent to steal content--only trying to help others find Charlotte's Web related coloring pages throughout the web.*

One of our favorite books from Sonlight Core B is the classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.

This is part 1 of a series of free printables, supplements, and activities for this book. My kids LOVED having coloring sheets that coincided with the chapters we were reading, so I thought I would offer them up for you to print off as well. I tried to provide a lot of different ones to appeal to different kids/ages. Print them all or just a few. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more Charlotte's Web freebies and supplements!

Chapter-Specific Coloring Pages

Week 1: Chapters 1-5

{Image removed. Click through link to see--adorable!!}

{Image Removed. Click through link to see}

{Image Removed. Click through link to see}
{Note: This picture shows 2 pigs. To explain this, you can say that Wilbur was going so fast that it was like he was here one second and there the next, so both pigs are him at different points in time.}

Piglet Coloring Page Worksheet
{For some reason, this pig just looks sad to me. If you disagree, you can use this coloring page for any chapter you like!}

Week 2: Chapters 6-9

{Image Removed. Click through link to see}

{Image Removed. Click through link to see}

Coloring Page of a Goose and Goslings. From an antique coloring book.
{Note: This coloring page shows 8 goslings, while only 7 hatch in the story}

{If you have trouble printing, there is another one here}
{Note: This is actually a tarantula, but it shows all 7 parts of a spider leg if the kids want to see them as Charlotte names them off. Also, this isn't actually a coloring page, so printing is trickier. When you click through, you will have to highlight the picture and then choose "Print Selection" through the Print Menu (Control P)}

Week 3: Chapters 10-13

Week 4: Chapters 14-18

Name:cricket insects bug coloring pictures.jpg,April 27, 2009               

Ferris Wheel

Ferris wheel coloring page

Week 5: Chapters 19-22

Charlotte's Web Coloring Page Worksheet

{Note: The book does not actually say that Avery does a handstand, but the picture on page 152 shows him doing one amid all the excitement.}

Other Coloring Pages {Any Chapter}

coloring page spider


Online-Only Coloring Pages {Non-Printable; Can Only Be Colored Virtually}

Paint a coloring page Sleeping pig of the category The Farm
{Note: The above link has lots of pages of other online farm coloring pages also}