Bible Rocks and Minerals + $200 Giveaway

November 13th, 2022

Bible-Rocks-and-Minerals

I’ve recently noticed many places in Scripture that mention rocks and minerals. Years ago we purchased The Geology of Israel and Rocks and Minerals of the Bible from Northwest Treasures, which is a set of rocks and minerals that is specific to the Scriptures and to Israel, along with a binder with information about the rocks contained in the set. My kids gathered around to look at each rock and mineral to better understand, in a tangible way, the rocks referred to in Scripture.

Today I’m going to show you my two favorite rocks and minerals passages in Scripture: the precious stones in the Levitical priest’s garments and the precious stones referred to in the New Jerusalem that descends from heaven in the book of Revelation.

Precious Stones of Levitical Priest

I’ve always been fascinated by the precious stones in the high priest’s breastplate, which is described in Exodus 28:17-20. These stones were to be put into the beautiful woven garment that was for Aaron, the high priest. Each one of these rocks represents a different tribe of Israel, starting with Ruben (the oldest), all the way down to Benjamin (the youngest.)

We are going to look at some of these rocks and minerals today:

You can also do a craft for the breastplate of the high priest with shiny bronze paper and plastic gems to represent each color of the precious stones listed in Scripture. I give instructions on how to do this craft here:

breastplate-high-priest-craft

Precious Stones from Revelation

My other favorite Scripture passage for the study of rocks and minerals is the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven in Revelation 21:10-21.

The New Jerusalem is in the shape of a square, with three gates on each of the four sides. Each gate is an enormous pearl, and under each gate is a foundation stone. Each foundation stone is decorated with every kind of precious stone. These stones are mentioned: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. Let me show you:

The length and width of the New Jerusalem is 1,500 miles across, so you have 500 miles for each foundation stone! Those are enormous foundation stones, one huge rock under each gate, holding up the walls of the New Jerusalem. The foundation stones are adorned with beautiful designs (maybe mosaics!) with only precious stones that glitter and sparkle in the light. God will be the Light of the city. You can see the precious stones adorning each foundation stone because the ground is transparent gold like glass! So the streets are clear, but they are shimmering because they are made from gold rather than sand, which is what window glass is made of. WOW.

We made a model of the New Jerusalem:

If you enjoy hands-on Bible activities, you will love Using Simple Costumes and Props to Teach the Bible, as well as the Bible section of the Unit Study Treasure Vault, which contains hands-on activities for every book of the Bible!

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$200 Christmas Giveaway!

Christmas-Giveaway

Once again, I have teamed up with some generous bloggers for the 9th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway to bless FIVE families this year. In the past we have had two winners for this giveaway, but this year we wanted to give to even more families – we are giving away $200 gift cards to 5 families! Each winner will get a $200 gift card to wherever they choose – a restaurant, clothing store, grocery store, online retailer – any place that offers gift cards!

There are lots of entry options in the Rafflecopter form below – the more you enter, the better your chance of winning! I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $200 worth it? I think it is! Plus, all of these amazing bloggers donated their own money towards the prizes, so this giveaway wouldn’t be possible without them. I hope you’ll take the time to check out each one. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.

The giveaway will run from Monday, November 14th through Wednesday, November 23rd (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Please be sure to read the Rafflecopter terms and conditions upon entering.

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Declutter Your Fall/Winter Wardrobe

August 24th, 2022

declutter-boho-capsule-wardrobe

Today I’m going to show you how to declutter your wardrobe to make more space for what you truly wear and love. Getting rid of everything that you don’t wear and don’t like will eliminate so many clothing choices, so that you have fewer clothing choices in the morning, but all of them are your favorites.

I will also give you a glimpse into my clothing style, which is mostly Boho. I discovered that my favorite way to dress is Bohemian style, which includes flowy feminine tops and dresses that may remind you of the 1960’s. When I was in my early 20’s, I loved this style and had forgotten about it when I became a mother and focused all my attention on raising my family. It was not until my kids reached their teen years that I realized that I didn’t like the way I looked in many of my clothes. By going through this process that I’m showing you today, I came to find out that I feel most myself when I wear Boho style.

boho-wardrobe

If you have a different style, go ahead and look up online what clothing styles are out there, and see which ones suit your personality the best. My daughter loves vintage style. She likes, for example, dresses from the 1920’s, along with a variety of hats. She wears these to church, to square dancing, and to any other function where a dress would be appropriate. But then she also wears classic style clothing whenever she is hanging out with friends.

So if you open your closet doors and remove all of your clothing, throw all the hanging clothes onto your bed, and go through each one. I tried on each one, realizing that some were scratchy or didn’t fit any more. I got rid of anything that wasn’t beautiful and comfortable. That left me with about 33 pieces in total, which is what fashion designers call a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is the essential pieces that you wear all the time, but for me, they are the only pieces I have, aside from a couple of Christmas sweaters I found later in a cupboard. Whenever I get a new piece of clothing, I get rid of one that has stains or isn’t as nice as the new piece. This way I always have a reasonable amount of clothing.

You don’t have to whittle down to only 33 pieces, but if you go through these steps, you will find that you have clothing that intermatches. Your favorite colors are probaby seen multiple times in your wardrobe. If not, you can build a wardrobe that includes more of the colors that you love.

Look at what your main colors are in your wardrobe, and see what pieces you would like to buy to help you wear what you love more often. You can get clothing inexpensively at resale shops, where I’ve gotten most of my clothing over the years. You will be glad to wear what you love more often with accessories that intermatch what you already have.

Finally, when you hang up everything you love in your wardrobe, you will see that your life is simplified, and you feel better about yourself. Because your style is what makes you feel more yourself, you will feel better about how you look, which will help you to take better care of your body in general.

I hope you enjoy my runway-style video, showing you how you can intermatch your clothing, using basic colors like blue, gray, or black as a blank canvas for your brighter splashes of color. Have fun with it!

How to Grow a Hydroponic Herb Garden

July 12th, 2022

hydroponic-herb-garden

The plants in this hydroponic garden grow directly in water… with no soil. Every two weeks, the little green light on the bottom turns red to remind you to put two capfulls of plant food into the water. Other than that, you just top off the distilled water each day, and you get lucious herbs. Simple.

herbs-in-hydroponic-garden

My husband got me this one from Costco, but you can get them various places and under different brands. What they have in common is that they have pods that you place into the water. These pods contain seeds which germinate when placed in water under a grow light. The grow light on this model (Aerogarden) is adjustable. You place it lower when the seeds are germinating, and as they grow taller, you raise the light higher.

How to Set Up Your Hydroponic Garden

Here is a tutorial on how to use your hydroponic herb garden:

As you can see, you fill the container with distilled water, so as not to crust over the system with harsh chemicals from tapwater. Then put the lid on, and place the herb pods into the circles.

herb-pods-for-hydroponic-garden

Place the little “greenhouse” over each pod until they sprout. Then remove the “greenhouse,” allowing the plant to grow taller.

tomato-pods-in-water

When the herbs are so tall that they touch the light, they need to be trimmed or transplanted to another container or outside.

tomatoes-hydroponic-garden

So far we have grown herbs (including basil, parsley, and mint) and some cherry tomatoes. It’s fun to add some greenery to your home, and to have herbs available to clipping and throw into your cooking!

Are you ready for a new (home) school year?

It’s that time of year, when many homeschoolers are busy preparing for a brand new school year. Some of you may have already started your new year, and some of you may have never stopped!

Planning for a new school year and finalizing curriculum choices can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you are trying to stick to a tight homeschool budget.

I’ve gotten together with a great group of bloggers to make getting ready for your new school year just a little bit easier and hopefully a little less stressful for you. How does $200 sound in helping you buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, and educational supplies?

Three people will win a $200 gift card to Rainbow Resource Center, a homeschool catalog that contains thousands of products, including all the most popular curriculum. Our hope is that we can bless a few homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can buy the curriculum and supplies they need for their school year.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 22, 2022 at 11:59pm ET. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).

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Starting Vegetables from Seeds

May 10th, 2022

starting-vegetables-from-seeds

It’s been a while since I’ve started vegetables from seeds, so I thought I would try it again this year. We planted these back in March, so now that it’s May, we have transplanted the seedlings outside. We filmed the entire process, giving tips along the way. Make sure to check your weather forecast to make sure that it will not freeze overnight in your area before transporting the plants outside.

I show you in this video the whole process of starting vegetables from seeds:

  • We planted the seeds in seed trays, using seed starting mix instead of regular soil, because the seed starting mix keeps moist better. You can use old yogurt containers or other small containers instead of seed trays.
  • Make sure to have a grow light, which has the full spectrum of sunlight so that the seeds can get off to a good start. Otherwise you can place them in a sunny window.
  • Put cellophane over the rows of seeds, to keep the seeds moist and to cut down on the amount of times you need to water them.
  • Use a spray bottle to water, so that the seeds don’t get washed away.
  • Some seeds grow faster than others. Some take a few weeks to germinate. As you can see in the video, the green bean plant sprouted high above the others, reminding me of the Jack and the Beanstalk story!

Starting Vegetables from Seeds (video tutorial)

After a couple of months, you will want to transplant the seedlings outside. Some of the plants were getting too tall for the grow light, but the frost outdoors hadn’t passed yet, so I just transplanted the taller seedlings into larger containers and placed them in a sunny window.

transported-seedlings

I have a raised garden bed in partial shade, so I chose veggies that like the shade, such as lettuce and spinach, to plant in it. Then I set up a trellis next to my house, and I planted the climbing varieties of vegetables along the trellis. Green beans, for example, need a structure to climb up. You might want to stake those up with a wooden shishkabob skewer like I did in the house in the sunny window, using a twist tie to make sure they don’t fall over.

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to eat healthier and tastier food. I will be growing an even larger vegetable garden next year!