Friday, March 27, 2015

This Sunday...

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” 

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.

They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11 ESV

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to Encourage Your Kids' Interest in STEM Careers

In the past 10 years, jobs in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — grew three times faster than jobs in non-STEM fields, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And these workers make more money, too; according to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the STEM workforce earns around 26 percent more than their counterparts in non-STEM occupations.

This is good news for parents who worry about a bleak career future for their kids and want to encourage them to foster their passion for STEM subjects. Explore how each area can impact your children’s future and pique their natural curiosity for learning.


It’s true that STEM careers have typically showed a gender gap, with more men than women in the vast majority of jobs. Biology is an exception; nearly half of those graduating with biology degrees and entering the workforce are women. Graduates focusing on biology can expect to earn $57,578 on the low end of the salary scale and $125,079 on the high end, according to this Salary by Major report from StudentsReview.

Whether you have a boy or girl, foster an interest in science by making it fun and relatable. Take a trip to NASA’s sleepaway Space Camp to train like an astronaut including model rocket missions. Even preschoolers can be exposed to animal science by exploring the similarities and differences of animals from fur to feathers, with zoo overnights and hands-on learning programs for older kids.


Selling your kids on technology might be easy if they’re already obsessed with gadgets and video games. Look for digital camps in your area to learn Java and create a Minecraft inspired game, dabble in 3D animation and learn how to design a fashion line with professional tools and technology. Smaller kids might enjoy a Lego robotics camp to learn about robotics, programming and gaming.

Once you have your kids hooked on technology, research together how it can impact their future. Stay on top of technology trends, such as how breakthroughs in robotics will lower manufacturing costs. The idea is robos can help industries become more efficient and give workers take on more creative and complex jobs. To drive home the reality, ask your child to imagine what kind of robot could make his chores at home easier and what he would do with his free time.


The sky’s the limit with an engineering career. This area can spill over into just about every other STEM job. Focus on an area your child already has an interest in, such as building things or drawing. Sign up for free kids workshops at Home Depot and look online for draft drawings of toys, houses and buildings and ask you child to add to it.

And if your kids are nature lovers, plan a landscape architect project. Developmentally, children learn best by taking an engaged, hands-on approach. Put it into practice by going through the entire landscaping process from start to finish. Ask your kids to prepare site plans, make a graphic presentation either with markers and poster board or on their computer and consider how your yard draining will affect their work.


Worried your daughter won’t perform as well as the boys in math? A study published by the American Psychological Association busts the myth that boys are naturally better at math than girls. In fact, girls typically outrank boys in every school subject. If your daughter struggles with math or has bought into the stereotype that boys are better at it, crush her self-doubts immediately.

Next, encourage both sons and daughters to tackle difficult subjects with passion. If they’re already a fan of math, you’re ahead of the game. But if they need a push, take them to an amusement park and talk about physics and the mathematical properties of curves as you wait to ride a heart-stopping roller coaster. The end goal is to introduce math in fun and exhilarating ways they already appreciate.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Finding My Joy

There are days in this motherhood journey that just seem to defeat me. I go through moments where I feel like I just can't get anything right. I go through times where my joy just fades. This week has been like that for me. I've been a mess. I've messed up. I haven't been exactly what my kids need. I've struggled. I've lost my temper. I've been emotional. I've been, well, human. 

Oh my goodness... Human! Me?

Yes, even I can be human. 

Oh, I make light of it, but the truth is that I've felt like a miserable failure. I found myself wondering where my joy went. And then I saw this verse in a devotional today and I was reminded that even through the struggles, even in the hardships, we should rejoice. 

We rejoice because God reigns over it all. 

We rejoice because God is still in control. 

We rejoice because we aren't expected to be perfect. We are only expected to come to Him when we need His help. And to come to Him when we need His guidance. And to especially come to Him just to rejoice, to worship, to honor, to praise... It is in that rejoicing that I find my joy again. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Uphold Me

Are you feeling down today?

Has motherhood thrown you for yet another loop?

Are you tired?  Weary?  Worn?  Broken?  Done for?

There is encouragement in the One who can lift you up.

Sometimes I think we just need to stop and take a few minutes to reflect on what is good in life.  In the midst of the mothering chaos, in the depths of the messiness that each day brings, take a moment to remember what truly matters.  Take a moment to know that despite our shortcomings, no matter what we may fail at for the day, no matter how we've reacted or what we may have thought, despite it all our God allows us to cling to Him.  Despite it all, He is there to lift us up.  Be encouraged!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Outdoor Time: Make It Fun for the Whole Family

Whether you’re going on a day hike or a week-long backpacking trip, getting kids outside and excited about nature is important. But in this age of social media, smartphones and pop culture, how can you get your kids out of the house and on the trail? Bring along these cool things to keep kids engaged and safe.

Be Prepared

It’s important to be prepared for each type of outdoor activity, and sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. It's also wise to pack some replacement lenses, just in case. Another staple to have on hand is plenty of water, regardless of your day's agenda.

A good camping stove for overnight trips can turn mealtime into an activity all its own, as the whole family pitches in to create a special al fresco meal, and a first aid kit will come in handy for the bumps and bruises that sometimes go hand-in-hand with outdoor adventures.

Turn to Technology

Though one of the reasons to hit the mountain trails is to get away from the hustle, bustle, and noise that today's technology brings, some technology can serve as great learning tools while spending some time in nature. Smartphones might be the hub of all social media, but they also have their uses while on the trail. With apps like Star Walk you can identify constellations. Scats and Tracks helps users determine what kind of animals populate the area. Park Maps offers a map from every notable U.S. state park in the palm of your hands. Kids can use these outdoor activity apps and others to learn about the area around them, and find a new appreciation for nature.

Think Outside the Box

Surprise your family with a scavenger hunt, and send them in search of a few simple prizes as you leave a clever hints hidden around the area. If your family is more the sporty type, inspire some athletic challenges as you hike and explore as a family—you may even chose to use the landscape around you to create a fun obstacle course for your crew. To help spot your family easily, and to create a team-like feel, have brightly colored t-shirts made prior to the trip that have your last names and a silly nickname for each family member.

Wind Down at Camp

After a long day of hiking, biking, fishing, or bird watching, your family might enjoy some activities closer to camp as they wind down for the night. While the sun begins to set, light a campfire in areas where allowed, and enjoy some simple games. Horseshoes is an outdoor classic, and can inspire some friendly competition among siblings. Playing cards is another great activity, and you may be surprised at how well the kids play along.

After dinner, reward the whole gang by ending on a sweet note with s'mores. All you'll need is marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey's chocolate bars.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Home School Enrichment

I don't always put ads on my sidebar, but when I do you can be certain that it is because I believe in the company or product.  That is why I am so excited about the new ad I have on my blog.  If you look to the right you will see it under the "Worth Reading" heading.  It is for Home School Enrichment Magazine.

I have been a subscriber to Home School Enrichment for a few years now and I love it.  You can see from the picture in this post that I have this magazine at my home.  In fact, that issue is sitting right on my dining room table.

I love this magazine for many reasons, but first and foremost it is because the family that puts it together seeks to honor God in all that they do.  Articles are encouraging and helpful and always from a Biblical worldview.  This is so important to me.  I need that encouragement.  On the days when homeschooling gets tough, I need to pick up reading material that will inspire me to continue in the calling God has placed on my life.  I need to be reminded of the bigger picture and of the God who always sees me through the struggles.

Home School Enrichment Magazine also includes relevant reports on homeschooling news throughout our country and the world.  This is wonderful as I believe staying informed is vital to success in any endeavor.  Also, the magazine has great unit studies to enhance learning in every issue.  And curriculum reviews!  And so much more!  I can't say enough about it - I love this magazine!

So yes, I have placed their ads on my pages and yes I have become an affiliate.  And if you homeschool, I highly recommend you check out this magazine.  And it just so happens that I can now offer you substantial savings - isn't that great?!

Subscribe now to Home School Enrichment Magazine and save 38%!

*This post contains affiliate links.
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