Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New York City

 School ended for us on June 5. Jasmine graduated 8th grade, and we celebrated by going to New York City. We've been saving for this for over three years. It was an amazing trip. Here are some highlights.
Top of the Rock

Audio tour of the Statue of Liberty

On the pedestal

9/11 Memorial Pool

St Paul's Chapel where the fireman slept on cots near the towers

Cranes sent from Japan
American Museum of Natural History

Some of the things in the movie were really there and some weren't.

Dylan's Candy Bar which had tons of way overpriced candy!

Central Park

Yep, we did our devos there

We went to Sunday service at the church from National Treasure, Trinity, at the corner of Broadway and Wall. (We were late because I goofed and got on the downtown train instead of uptown. I knew which to take, just wasn't thinking).

We had devos in the grave yard!

Photo taken from the Staten Island Ferry

We went back to the museum

Love the mosaics in the subway
This guy is in two movies. Anyone know which two?

Nice of him to join us for our devos.

 We wanted to go to either Bronx Zoo or Central Park Zoo, but it was rainy on our last day. So we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was kind of a lot after going to the other museum twice.
We also went to the M&M store, Hershey store, Lego Store, Nintendo store, Disney Store and Toys R Us in Times Square during our time there. Times Square at night can be an, umm, interesting place.

Anyone else been to NYC?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Reading-Start Now

This is my last post about summer reading other than to share what we are reading. Probably the most important book for kids going into 6th or 7th grades is this one:
Please don't let the cover keep you from buying it! It is for boys and girls, all colors!! There is a lot of good stuff in it. Students younger than 6th grade can benefit from it too, because it covers important topics for any student. 

Here is the information from the publisher's website:
Who is this product for? 
Middle school: a fun, sometimes chaotic existence where students discover who they are, what they want, and how to survive. This survival manual with a strong Christian emphasis is a must read for every student entering middle school, along with their parents and youth group leaders. 

What does this provide for you? 
• Practical tips and ideas for success.

• Real-life stories to remind students they are not alone.

• Quizzes and questions to help students actively survive middle school.

What is it?
Entering the world of middle school is scary and exciting. But with a little help from a book called The Middle School Survival Manual, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This book is written in a straightforward, conversational style to pique students’ interests and guide them through their days as a middle schooler. 

With the manual, middle schoolers will learn to:
• Give grades a boost
• Make testing as easy as 1, 2, 3
• Face life in a new school    
• Set goals
• Deal with old and new friends
• Live their faith at school
• Plan their own activities
• And lots more!

Students learn not only how to survive but how to make each day great because God is with them. It’s also a great read for parents and youth leaders to understand what they’re students are experiencing and to help inspire conversation.  

PLEASE TRY YOUR LOCAL CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE FIRST. If they don't carry my books, you can order this through the publisher HERE  or through amazon HERE

I have three daily devotion books through Tyndale. Two of them are One-Year books, but you can jump in anywhere. So if you start reading them tomorrow, just start on June 9th's devotion and read until next June 8. The other has 100 undated devotions.

 Starring Women of the Bible will help girls ages 10-14 learn about more than seventy-five Old and New Testament women and the issues they faced. Those issues included many of the ones the readers are facing today: dealing with change, struggling with jealousy, overcoming obstacles, sibling rivalry, fear, purity and more. This book can be used individually or in a small group situation. Each day has a "Thinking it Through" feature and girls may want to keep a journal of their thoughts. You can order it through amazon HERE
 Bible Trivia, is for both boys and girls ages 8-12.Each devotion starts with a trivia question from the Bible. Readers choose an answer, and then read the devotion to learn the answer. The "For You" feature helps the reader apply the information to his or her own life. In one years' time, boys and girls will learn important truths from Genesis to Revelation. A fun way to learn more about the Bible. You can order it through amazon HERE CAUTION: I've noticed that there are some other copies of my books being listed on amazon that are through other places selling them and charging two or three times the real price.

This book is for girls 7-11 although the content will hold the interest of girls up to 13 years old. This devotion book shows girls that living as God's princess begins with knowing they're a child of the Heavenly King. One hundred devotions are each based on favorite Scripture verse and talk about a topic relevant to today's girls. Topics include claiming God's promises, finding peace, knowing God has a special plan for them, how to grow in faith, following the Shepherd, inner beauty, loving those hard to love and lots more. Each devotion contains both an interesting story or information and practical applications to daily life. You can order it through amazon HERE

But no matter what you choose to read, please read with your kids this summer. We have a goal to read 125 picture books this summer (no picture books aren't just for preschool children!!) plus the classics we are reading in circle as well as The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible and The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book. If we have time left (doubtful), we are going to read The Middle School Survival Manual.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Summer Reading with Value

Earlier I posted about books for girls ages 5-8ish. You can read it HERE.

The books below are for girls 8-12. But it can go a couple of years either way. It depends on the girl's reading level, whether or not she's doing it with an adult and so on.

 The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best is the first in the Christian Girl's Guide series.

The book gives several tips on being your best, or, how to be successful in God's eyes. The tips are:
Use your talents
Do your best 
Stand up for yourself and what's right 
Set priorities 
Walk with God 
Cherish your family 
Value your integrity 
Be compassionate 
Be content 
Guard your tongue. 

It's kind of a guide to life for preteen girls that emphasizes good attitudes using lots of stories, puzzles, quizzes and craft that allow the reader to interact and make the book personal. It can be done alone, as part of a daily devotion time, with a friend or sister or be used in a small group situation. 

If it's not available at your local Christian bookstore, you can buy it HERE or HERE
The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible goes through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation using stories, puzzles, crafts and mini Bible lessons.

We are reading this book in our evening circle time. We've done two of the crafts. One isn't until later in the book, but it was perfect for Easter so we did it then. The other was a tie dye shirt (Joseph's coat of many colors.) 

The crafts provide some good together time. And sometimes require a bit of patience!

Jasmine wearing her cross.


This is a good book to do together, and everyone can learn something new.

For some reason amazon is showing this book as unavailable, but has it. Not sure what is going on there. But here's the link to HERE

The third book of this series that I wrote is The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book. This book can be a lot of fun when done with a friend or siblings.
The book has 22 quizzes. They are:

Quiz 1: Are You for Real?

Quiz 2: How Honest are You?

Quiz 3: Are You a Good Test Taker?  

Quiz 4: How Much Do You Know About zzz’s?

Quiz 5: Are You a Mary or a Martha?

Quiz 6: How Are Your Manners?

Quiz 7: What Kind of Smart Are You?

Quiz 8: Are you a Healthy Eater?

Quiz 9: Are You a Follower or a Leader?

Quiz 10: How Much Do You Know About the Bible?

Quiz 11: What’s Your Learning Style?

Quiz 12: Are You Exercise Wise?

Quiz 13: What Does Your Room Reveal About You?

Quiz 14: How Do You Share Your Faith?

Quiz 15: Are You a Good Listener?

Quiz 16: Are You Crazy for Clothes?

Quiz 17: How Content Are You?

Quiz 18: Does Your Life Point to God?

Quiz 19: How Do You Handle Pressure?

Quiz 20: Which Activities Are Right for You?

Quiz 21: Are You a Good Sport?

Quiz 22: How Do You Serve God?

The quizzes each have a key Scripture and a God connection, so readers are not only having fun, they're learning how to apply the lessons to life.

There are also stories,  puzzles, activities, journaling questions, fun facts and crafts to go along with the quizzes.

This book can be done alone, but it's a lot more fun to do it with a friend or even in a group. It can be used:

At a slumber party
At a home school event
At a birthday party
As a small group Bible study
In a girl's church group
In a Sunday school class
In a Sunday night girl's class
By best friends
By sisters

When I got my copies, we did it as a family even though at the time I had both boys and girls from age 7-22!! Obviously it was a little easy for the older kids, but they still liked seeing how they scored.

It also makes a great gift for girls 8-12 (think birthday gift for nieces, Sunday school class or neighbor children, or as an adoption gift etc), especially if you provide the craft supplies to make the crafts. All the supplies are easy to find in Dollar Tree, Walmart, Hobby Lobby or Michaels. If you give it as a gift, you also might want to include fun colored markers for doing the quizzes and answering the follow up questions.

Here are a couple of the crafts from the books.

You can order the quiz book HERE or HERE

Consider reading through one of these books with your daughter, granddaughter or niece this summer.