Friday, December 31, 2010

Chubby Runner-Vol. 1

So I am training (that term is used VERY liberally) to run in a 13 mile mini-marathon this Spring.  I going to chronicle my progress through the blog. 

Now, I am not a runner.  My brother, God love his little runnin’ heart, inspired me to give this a go.  He assures me on a regular basis that I can do this.  

I imagine that when I run this race I will look something like this….

image Fit.  Healthy.  Not Exhausted. 

We shall see.

So yesterday the weather in Kentucky was quite warm for this time of year and I went for a 2 mile walk.  Feeling quite motivated, I decided to jog about 1/2 mile. 

As you may remember from this post, I walk on a busy street, and people can see me easily.  So, in the middle of my jog, which was taxing (because my physique is, how shall I say, less than athletic?) a car pulls over in front of me. 

This kind lady stops, rolls down her window, and asks….
”Ma’am, are you ok?”

Apparently when I jog I look something like this….

image Oh well………..

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year Giveaway!!!

To kick off the 2011 right I am hosting a giveaway! 

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What’s In the Bible? with Buck Denver was created by Phil Vischer who most of you mommies probably know from Veggie Tales.   In this new series Vischer, along with a cast of funny puppets, go through each book of the Bible detailing what’s in it, and more importantly WHY we believe it. 

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My hubby and I both were very impressed that Vischer and his team don’t shy away from difficult topics like original sin, salvation, and redemption.  I think it still might be a bit over E’s comprehension level (she is almost 3), but she loves watching it, and it lays a foundation for future teaching and explanation.

E was given What’s in the Bible? Let My People Go!  from a friend of ours.  Again, I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the SOUND theology presented in this DVD.  This is the 2nd DVD in the series, but it covers Genesis and Exodus.  I love it so much I think someone else should have it, too!

There are 3 ways to Enter!

  • Follow “The Belly of the Whale” (if you already follow, feel free to enter!) 
  • Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page!
  • Tweet about this giveaway!

Be sure and fill out the form below for each entry! 
This giveaway will run from 12/30/10 to 1/15/11.  (The email addresses that I collect for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner, and will never be given to anyone.)

Please Note:  This review is not solicited or paid for, and I didn’t get a free DVD to be so complimentary!  It is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Month In Sleep Pants

So…December. 

Meh. 

Back in November I found these sleep pants at Old Navy.

image Fleecy.  Now some of you may not be impressed.  You may think, “Um, Amber I’m pretty sure everyone has a pair of sleep pants.”  You would be wrong.  I am 5’11, and EVERY pair of loungey type pants I’ve bought make me look like I am preparing for a flood. 

These beauties came in (I bought black) and I thought I had died and gone to pants Heaven.  They are soft, comfy, and LONG ENOUGH.  They are the ideal fat pants…they cling nowhere.  So for pretty much the entire month of December I have been in them, or the other 3 pair I bought when I found out how FABULOUS they are.  (Yes, I bought ANOTHER black)

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I tried putting on jeans one day, but they felt so….restrictive. They sucked things in, and flattered my figure.

I just wanted to be comfy. 

Here is the thing though.  I don’t feel comfy.  After my month in sweatpants I feel like poo.  Everyday I wake up, and the pants,…… I think they make me lazy.  I don’t want to clean.  I don’t want to cook.  I don’t want to mommy. 

I want to lay in the pants.

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So, today, I put on blue jeans, and I thought “This is going to take some getting used to….”  It will take a while to get these bad boys in shape again, but after a couple of days they will be my second skin. 

I think the pants thing is a little like backsliding in our faith.  When we are saved we are told we become a new creation.  Salvation means that we move away from some things that were once more “comfy” to some things that are more “restrictive”.  Our brains, and our bodies, try to tell us that the “comfy” things make us feel better.  Its a lie. 

Sure our faith, and the convictions we have may be more restrictive, but truth be told, they are also more flattering.  Our convictions highlight the good things we want people to see in us, and after we wear them for a while, they becomes second nature.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Call to Be Radical

The cover of David Platt’s book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream really says it all. It is a jarring orange with a small white house turned upside down. Like the cover suggests this book promises two things.

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1) It will get your attention
2) It will leave you feeling like everything is now upside down

The foundation of Platt’s book is rather straightforward. American Christians know little, as a whole, of suffering. As a result, many, not all, have come to view the Christian faith as little more than a fire insurance policy. This often means that some miss the powerful work God can do with a heart fully surrendered and dependent upon Him. Platt seems agitated that we have sold our joy for the Lord, His work, and His people so that we can live our best life now.

David Platt is the pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. His theology is sound, and the style of the book is expository, using scripture in context to support the authors assertion. He cites scripture, church fathers (Bonhoeffer), missionaries (Elliot), and theologians (Calvin) to support his argument, which is one reason I found the book so challenging on a personal level. It would be easy to argue with a college educated, presumably well paid, well traveled pastor of a mega-church. It is much more difficult to argue with fathers of the faith and the word of God.

Throughout the book Platt assures us that the pursuit of monetary wealth and fleeting entertainments are not worthy pursuits for someone who claims a whole hearted devotion to God. By the time you turn the last page you will be questioning what you are putting your faith in, and whether or not it is where your faith belongs.

Don’t assume that Platt is preachy in his presentation. He is far from it. Platt is the first to admit that he himself is a work in progress. The book itself is meant to be used as a call to action, and a scriptural justification for that call. Platt wants to capitalize on your discomfort and compel you to do what some might see as drastic but what Christ might very well deem as necessary. In the final chapter he lays out his call and it is far less sweeping than sell all of your belongings NOW and go to a foreign country with the willingness for martyrdom. He wants you to pray, read, and give.

Platt encourages his readers to pray for the entire world one country at a time and he wants you to commit to reading the WORD of God all the way through in the coming year. Lastly, he wants you to give sacrificially, not conveniently, to the work God has placed on your heart. In the end he leaves the conviction to the Holy Spirit and the follow through up to you. Platt seems willing to be the messenger of the unpopular, but needed, message of great opportunity and great responsibility. As benefactors of God’s grace Platt urges us not to keep our blessings for ourselves but to use them for the glory of the One who freely gave them.

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tot School-Christmas Week!

Ok, so we have been fighting off sickness for two weeks in this house.  This is a little bit of what we’ve been doing this week, but you can check out more of what we did by visiting Madonna over A Mommy Talks.

Language Arts:
We worked on parts of two units this week.  We did this Nativity Letter maze to help Mary and Joseph find their way to Bethlehem. 

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We also worked on some beginning spelling concepts with this spelling activity using words from the Christmas story. 

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We transitioned to Christmas Symbols later in the week.  We worked on beginning writing by helping Santa find his way to his sleigh. 

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We also worked on letter sounds by using this activity where we looked at the pictures on the cards and then identified the beginning letter.  You can use clothespins to “clip” on the right letter, or you can use pennies or another manipulative to mark the letter.  P1070196

Math Activities:
We used this nativity shadow match to work on shapes. 

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We also made candy cane patterns with pipe cleaners and beads.  E loved making these, and we made several to give away to the grandparents!  Cheap, easy, and fun! 

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Just for Fun:
We made a Gingerbread house this week.  We had a wonderful family night with this. 

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We also played with our nativity figures and did some role play  E loves her little nativity.  I love the fact that she still calls Mary “Mary had a little lamb”.  I think its sweet because she doesn’t know how right she is!

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Mom’s Favorite:
We visited my parents this week and I snapped this pic of E playing by the Christmas Tree.  I just like it!

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That was our week.  Remember that you can get all of the printables for FREE at 2 Teaching Mommies, including the Nativity Printables.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Amber1

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday Savings…on Monday :)

Ok, so this whole last week has been crazy in our house.  Combine the chaos of the Christmas season in a pastor’s house with continued illness!  We passed around colds last week like they were hot potatoes!  Anyway, there was a brief period of about 2 hours on Thursday when I finally got out to do some shopping for our household!  Here is what I scored!

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I was able to score the Kleenex deal I posted about, and the Snicker Nutcrackers!  When I paired that with a deal that posted later in the week I got these great Pop Art Pixie Sets for $.78 a piece, and they retail for around $9.99!  They will make the girls in our youth group quite happy!

I didn’t really see any fabulous deals that I want to score this week, but I am going to scan my Kroger ad and see what I can match-up as we are need of a couple things. 

Do you coupon?  How did you do this week? 

Would you like to coupon?  Check out these sites for some great tips, match-ups, and coupons you can print!

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FREE printable coupons at Coupons.com, Red Plum, Shortcuts & Smart Source.
FREE electronic coupons at Cellfire & Shortcuts.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Question Jars!

Okay, so I loved this idea and I just had to share it.  It would make a great homemade gift, and with the printables provided even you craft challenged individuals could make it!!

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Thanks to Money Saving Mom for posting this, and thank you to Keeping Life Creative for coming up with it!!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Savings!-$5.94 for 11 items!

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Ok, so I haven’t been couponing much as of late.  I have gotten the occasional deal, but to be honest, we have stocked on so many things that there just wasn’t much out there to coupon for!  Its not saving if you’re spending money you don’t need to spend!  Well, with the holidays upon us, I visited our local Hallmark, coupons in hand, and was able to get 1 book, an ornament, a Yankee Candle votive, a snowman cookie cutter set, and 6 cards for $5.94!  I then stopped by Target where I was able to score a FREE pair of blue jeans for Jeff! 

Here is what I am hoping to grab this week!

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Hasbro Fun on the Run Hungry Hungry Hippos Travel Game $4.99 (Regular Price)*
*Can be found in the Stocking Stuffer Section at Target
Use the $5/1 coupon from here
FREE after coupon!

Special Thanks to Totally Target!

imageBuy 6 Snickers Nutcracker Singles 3/$1
Total = $2
Use the $2/3 coupon found in the 12/5 RP
Final cost – 6 FREE Snickers Nutcracker Singles!

Revlon Top Speed Nail Color $5.99 = $5 RR
Use the $1/1 Walgreens coupon found in the Bright and Beautiful Gift Guide
Pay $4.99
Get back $5 in Register Rewards
Final cost FREE!

Special Thanks to Hip2Save!

Tot School-Christmas Trees

TotSchool2 This week in tot school we learned all about Christmas Trees.  Below are just a couple of things we worked on this week, but you can check out some more pictures with Madonna over at A Mommy Talks. 

Language Arts:
You can see what we did on days 1 and 2 over at A Mommy Talks.  On day 3 we worked on beginning letter sounds.  With this game we had some pictures of some well known toy items, like Woody from Toy Story, Elmo, and Ariel.

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I put the first letter of each item on a clothespin and laid them out for E.  She picked out a toy and told me what it was.  Then we talked about the toys name and I asked her to pick the letter out that it started with and clip it on.  (For instance: Oh, a bear!  What does B-B-Bear start with?)  While it may sound involved E took off with this.  She only needed me to help her the first time, and then she knew the drill! :) 

Math Concepts:
For math this week we made a math Christmas Tree.  On day 1 we used Christmas lights and made color patterns on our tree.  This is the first time that E got into patterns, which she normally doesn’t like.  Now that we have our colors down, she liked this!

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On day 2, we took our tree with lights on it and added shape ornaments.  I laid the shapes out and asked her to find a particular one.  She then picked it up and put it on the tree. 

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Social Studies Concepts:
We went through E’s toy box this week and gave some items to other boys and girls.  At first E really struggled with this.  We are blessed, and E really has never seen boys and girls in need, so I really had to explain that some boys and girls don’t have toys to play with.  It took a bit, but then E was willing to part with some of her older toys.  She also gave some old items new purpose in her dress up chest.

CIMG1728I think she was channeling her inner Elton John. :)   She told me that she put this on because she needed to boogie!

Mom’s Favorite:
It snowed here this week, and E, like any little one, couldn’t wait to get out and play!

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So that’s what we’ve been up to!  Be sure and check out 2 Teaching Mommies and download all these lessons and printables for FREE!!  This week we will be working on the Nativity, so stop by next Sunday and see how it all worked out!

Most importantly skip over to 1+1+1=1 and see what everyone else is up to! 

Amber1

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Glory of the Incarnation

 My hubby, Jeff,  wrote an article for our church newsletter and I really just thought it was fantastic.  I asked his permission to reprint it here.  I hope you all enjoy! 

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A recently popular book, The Shack, by William Young is often hailed as a book that makes the Godhead more relatable, helping us to break our common ideas and thoughts about God and see the Trinity in a new light. While it may have a good story, it is a work of fiction filled with bad theology. While Young wrote it as an attempt to help his children understand God better, we need to understand that changing the revealed nature of God is never a good idea. As a work of fiction, read it if it suits your fancy, but do not try to understand God better through it.

While attempting to make God easier to understand and more like us may be a noble-sounding goal, it is a mockery of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. All of us have grown up with Christ being the most relatable figure in the Godhead. However, Christmas is a time to ponder exactly how miraculous a relationship that is. For the people in the Old Testament, God appeared as a pillar of smoke or fire: completely unapproachable. God explicitly points out to Moses that no one can see the face of God and live. (Exodus 33:20) So Moses, the Patriarch of the line of Christ, the Father of
the Israelites, was only able to glance at God's back after He passed by.

Not only are we not allowed to see the face of God, but no one was allowed to form any image for God. When Israel worshipped God, they did not have a form or picture in mind of whom they were worshipping. As Jesus pointed out to the Samaritan woman, God is Spirit. This is the same problem that Job had when he was undergoing his hardships. He knew well that God was not a man that was like him on any level. (Job 9:32-35) This was why he cried out for an arbiter or mediator that could stand between God and
man. In John 1:51, Christ claims to be the fulfillment of the vision given to Jacob of a ladder stretching from heaven to earth (Genesis 28:10-17).

This is the great chasm that Christ has crossed in his incarnation.
By taking on flesh, he has bridged the gap between heaven and earth, between God and man, and has given us an intercessor. God made us in His image and then He came down to us so that we could see Him. Our sinful nature left us completely separated from God, but Christ has come that we do not have to be outcast from God. Jesus testifies that whoever has seen Him has seen the
Father (John 14:9). He has taken the unknowable, all-powerful God and shown us His Own face through Jesus Christ. He has come to us to experience everything that we experience. God the Son experienced birth, hunger, thirst, temptation, suffering, torture, life, and death.

You want someone who can empathize with you; no one can more than Christ. This is the glory of Christmas: an infinite God came down to earth and met us on our own terms so that He could fully relate to us. He took our death, he bore our sin, and it is by the stripes place upon his back that we are healed. The incarnation of Christ, the virgin birth of God, is not something that should be relegated to God making Himself partly known so that we have to come up with the rest on our own through works of fiction. Just like in salvation, God has done all the work for us. We seek Him, we believe what He has said, and one day soon we will see God face to face, all because of Christ.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where have I been????

Ok, so admittedly, its been a bit since I’ve written anything on here!  A week?  Really?  Ok, granted, last week was Thanksgiving, and we did travel (like many of you probably did, also) but I still don’t feel like that is much of an excuse!

Anyway, there haven’t been any tot school updates because in all honesty we haven’t done much.  The week before Thanksgiving we crafted a little, but mostly we were getting things done for Thanksgiving.  One craft was a Turkey E made with her friends at MOPS. 

image Last week we planned on doing something, but it didn’t happen!   We traveled to see my hubby’s family,  and Tot School just didn’t travel with us.  We did get to see family though, and that was a very good thing.  E enjoyed catching up with her cousins!

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Oh well, I’ve got a new idea I am anxious to share with you all, and I will post more about it this evening.  I think you’ll like it!  Until then!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Target Sock Deal!

image There is a coupon right now on Target.com for $10/3 Women’s Sleepwear items.  I scoured the clearance racks for some bargains, but alas, none were to be found.  Then I came across these…

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At $4 a pair I figured I would take a chance and see if I could use the coupon.  I checked with a sales clerk, and sure enough these slipper socks count as sleepwear!!!  With my coupon I scored 3 super cute pairs of slipper socks for $2!!!  Woo hoo!   Can we say stocking stuffers, anyone??  :) 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tot School-Pilgrims & Indians

TotSchool2 E is 34 Months Old

This week we learned all about the Pilgrims and the Indians!   Here is some of what we did this week.  You can see more about this unit at A Mommy Talks, with Madonna.  Also, you can download the printables and the lessons for this unit at 2 Teaching Mommies

Language Arts:
Day 1 of our unit focused on the Pilgrims.  We colored and put together a Pilgrim Letter Book.

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There really wasn’t too much to this book, but it did work on letter recognition and beginning word sounds. 

Math Activities:
In math this week we worked on counting with this number maze.  The point of the maze is to help the Mayflower get to America by following the numbers 1 to 10. 

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We also did this roll and graph.  We rolled the dice, which features items from a Thanksgiving meal and then graphed how many times we rolled each item.   E loves the roll and graphs, and really I am an accessory to this activity.  She told me she would do this “by myself”, so I just sat back and watched! 

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Social Study Concepts:
We have been trying to communicate the difference between the Pilgrims and the Indians.  For a toddler, this is a complex concept.  We used the Pilgrim and Indian sort to really talk about how the two people groups lived differently. 

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We also made a Pilgrim bonnet out of construction paper.  This is an incredibly easy craft, but E did not like having to wear the bonnet. 

As a mommy I really hope the worse of her troubles are having to wear a pilgrim bonnet when she doesn’t want to!  One day we’ll look at this pic and get a good laugh. :)

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That was our week.  Be sure and check what others are up to this week at 1+1+1=1.