Noah and the Lego Ark

Got building blocks, Legos, or craft supplies?

Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories!  Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids.  This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning.  Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!

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Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards.  In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark.  The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8.    As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.

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God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth.  Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it.  He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal,  seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.

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God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood.  He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds.   God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth.  But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God.  God gave Noah the plan.  He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals.  His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.

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Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before.   They did not care about doing right.  They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins.  They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God.  They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.

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If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections.  Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use.  Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too.   You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.

Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?,  build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too.  There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.

Your kids will really enjoy this activity.  In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.

Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:

Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible

Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer

Arts and Crafts

Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story

 

Online Bible

If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version.  You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.

You can choose from several languages and several versions to use.   They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.

Lapbook and Unit Study

will update more soon.

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Creation Museum, A Visit Back In Time

My family had a great time when we took a trip back in time and visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

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The Creation Museum experience is like walking through biblical history. It is a great experience for both kids and adults.  It covers the 6 days of creation, plus many more historical people’s lives from the bible like Noah, Paul, Jesus, etc. and the history comes to life in a hands on way at the museum.  There are life size exhibits and a planetarium too.  Visiting the museum was one of the best decisions we have made for teaching our family about who God is and his amazing creation called earth and the animals and people.  Seeing the bible come to life right before your eyes is an amazing experience and it strengthened our faith.

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To plan our trip, we watched for a discounted ticket opportunity and went when they ran a special for children ages 12 and under to get in free with the paid admission ticket of an adult.  It was a great savings.   So we loaded up the family and took a road trip to Kentucky.  The museum is about an hour and a half drive South from where we used to live in Richmond, IN (and only 7 hours north of where we used to live in NC).  The drive through Indiana’s mini-mountains in South-eastern Indiana is absolutely beautiful! It was even more beautiful as we sang praise songs and listened to Nest Family Audio Bible stories all the way there and was a great way to travel as it keeps the kids attention and they learn so much.

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Besides the beautiful scenery, there are some fun places to stop and visit along the way including two reservoir lakes and several historical towns.  There is the Whitewater Reservoir, and also a much larger reservoir called Brookville Lake. The towns of Brookville and Liberty Indiana remind me so much of the historical town of Hendersonville, NC and are set up beautifully for tourists.  There are lots of little shops to see and great history to explore in these small towns with beautiful historic courthouses too.  We also crossed the huge Ohio river, that borders three states and with breath taking views.  The river is huge and divides southern Indiana from southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.  You can clearly see God’s handiwork in creation when you look at the changing landscape and the river. It is all designed beautifully.

The kids were so excited to get there.  You know how it goes: “Are we there yet?  When will be there?  I got to go to the bathroom!  I wish we were there!  Do you know how to get there?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?”  Ha! Ha!  You just got to love traveling with kids!

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At the museum, there is a large 70,000 square foot building with a huge bronze dinosaur outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscape, ponds, wooden bridges,  wrought iron and stone fences, and a tall fort with a zip line that crosses the entire museum grounds.  It is a very family friendly place.  The zip line costs extra and we did not buy a ticket for it on this day.  But someday we hope to be able to take the zip-line and explore the museum gardens from the tree tops as it looks like a lot of fun.

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The first thing we did was snap a picture with the dinosaur outside.  It had just rained and suddenly the sun was shinning really bright and we couldn’t hardly see at all.  It is funny how sometimes light can get so bright that your eyes cannot focus your eyes.  But once we got inside the museum, the lighting was perfect and there was so much to see.

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Archaeology is just one of their specialties at the museum, and they have lots of artifacts from biblical times. They have lots of fossils and a life size example of just about every kind of dinosaur.

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They have a replica of earth from the beginning, separating layers of the heavens, creating the stars, day and night, the Garden of Eden, the creation of Adam, and animals, and Eve.

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There is so much detail put into this museum that I bet you could go a hundred times and see something new each time that you didn’t notice before.  Actually they expect that you will need more time to see it all, and when you buy a ticket it is good for admission for two days in a row. Many visitors stay overnight nearby and come back the following day to explore some more.

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The museum is a combination of exhibits about science, history, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, Hebrew culture, our Christian roots, and so much more all rolled into one experience.

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Each room of exploration leads you into the next phase of creation and history designed by an amazing God who loves us and his handiwork is so obvious. Nothing is by chance! Everything was authored by our creator.

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This is such a fun way to walk through history!

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If you remember the story of creation, there is a tree that Adam was instructed to never eat from called the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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There is a deceptive serpent hiding in the garden who convinces Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

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Eve tells Adam and he also believes the serpent’s lies and eats of the fruit, even though God had specifically told them not to eat of the fruit of this tree.

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Evil becomes the ruler of the earth through Adam and Eve’s sin against God.

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They disobeyed God, and once they realized what they had done, they tried to hide their sin from God.  But God called them out on what they had done, and he forced them to leave the Garden of Eden.  From that point forward mankind must make a blood sacrifice to ask God for forgiveness of sin in their life.

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From this point forward, life becomes a struggle to survive. Later in the museum we return to the issue of man’s separation from God, and that he sent his son Jesus to reconcile us back to God through his own sacrifice. From that point forward, man no longer needs to offer a blood sacrifice for his sin because God sent his son Jesus who paid the price for us all who will believe in him and ask for forgiveness.

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As the world becomes populated, people and fallen angels do evil and wicked things.  God tells one righteous man, a prophet named Noah, his plan to flood the earth and wipe out wickedness.  He instructs Noah to build a large boat called an ark and preach to the thousands of people who will listen to board this boat to survive.  But everyone mocks Noah and won’t listen to him.  God instructs Noah to bring his family (including his wife, three sons and their three wives) and also 2 of every unclean animal, and 7 of every clean animal,  plus supplies, and to board the boat.

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Noah obeyed God and does all that he was instructed to do.

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After the ark is completed, Noah and his family board the boat with the animals and God shuts the door.  It rains for 40 days and 40 nights and floods the whole earth.  It takes almost a year for the water to recede.  Eventually the boat comes to rest on Mount Ararat.   Later one of the birds Noah sends out brings back a branch with a leaf and Noah knows that is safe to release the animals and his family from the ark.

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The museum has a lifesize interactive display of Noah and the ark.  You can hear the men talking and see them working as they build the ark.   The museum also owns a bible based theme park about an hour down the road from the museum.  They are building several life size recreations from the bible for the theme park.  One of those is called The Ark Encounter and it includes a life size ark, another museum and restaurant inside the ark, and a zoo.  We went to see it while it was under construction, and we plan to make trip soon now that it is open to the public.

Check out this short video we made of the awesome dinosaurs we saw!  The kids really enjoyed this entire trip and the highlight for them was seeing the dinosaurs.

And if you get hungry during your visit, the museum offers a jungle cafe to eat in and there are many picnic spots outside around the gardens and ponds.

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I encourage every family I meet to put this wonderful adventure on their to do list.  It is definitely worth the trip!

Be blessed!

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Casting Stones

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

Said by the wisest man who ever lived.

He is the living word of God, and his name is JESUS.

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(photo source: Morning Star Ministries)

Over the years, I have heard many Christians say mean things about other Christians.  It is sometimes heart breaking to hear their judgmental reasons for choosing leaders, churches, politicians, based on who they think is a better Christian.  But the Savior himself said we are not to judge others, instead we are to forgive them.

I read an article about a young Christian man who made a serious mistake when he was young. At the time he made the mistake, he came forward and repented of his mistake and sought forgiveness and help from his church and family.  However his life and the lives of those he hurt was deeply scared by his actions.  Though several years had passed, and because his family is famous, he experienced more than his share of haters from the Christian community who had no understanding of the situation when they found out about his past.  The pressure on his life is intense due to their fame.  Even though he is surrounded by his family and many loving people of the Christian faith, his life will never be the same, and the public is ruthless, mocking, and unforgiving.  The crazyist thing about the whole “scandal” is the ungodly response of the Christians is worse than how the un-churched public treat him.  They do not act like Jesus Christ.  He had a problem, he confessed and was forgiven, yet the Christians accuse him of his past sin and of practicing fake Christianity.

Was Peter a fake Christian because he denied Christ 3 times?

Peter fell down in his faith and committed a terrible sin.  He denied the one and only son of God who had shown himself to him, his closest disciple.  If Peter, who was with Christ 24 hours a day for three years and saw everything he did from the beginning to the end, could sin and deny him, isn’t anyone capable of doing the same?  Jesus said to his followers: “If you deny me to others, I will deny you before my Father”.  Was Peter denied entry into heaven?  No.  Because when he repented of his sin, he was forgiven.  Peter was a true Christian, even though he made the same mistake three times, and Jesus Christ chose to build his Church upon the work Peter would do in sharing the gospel,

Let me ask you Christian…are you without sin?  Are there sins you have committed over and over?   Are you a closet sinner and hide the truth?   What is going on in your home?  Is there divorce, stealing, fighting, adultery, lust, pornography, lies, drug abuse, gluttony, hatred, cursing?  If Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the rest of America, and only 1 out of 20 Christian kids remain in their Christian faith after they grow up, then I believe this indicates a basic fact that there is a whole lot of ungodly sin going on in the lives of Christians today.

How many Christian families in church don’t even establish any boundaries at all for their teens?  From the article: “By 17 years old, 48% of teenagers have had sex. One out of every three teenage girls gets pregnant before the age of 20.  And it doesn’t count as consent just because you’re both under 18.  Another 26.5% of 15-19 year old girls are giving birth to kids – and those are just the ones that aren’t having abortions.”   Many of these kids live in Christian homes. Don’t tell me you don’t know. There are kids in your church right now that are sexually active and some are getting pregnant.   Let us take it a step further. How many teachers, leaders, and even pastors were sexually active before marriage? How many are guilty of other sins we overlook because they are in a position of authority, yet we don’t give each other grace for a similar offense?

Are you without sin?  Jesus said “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”.  No one is without sin, and no one should cast a stone at others.

Let us be careful how we judge.  Christians need to be mindful, because the same measure of grace and forgiveness we extend others, will be extended to us. God is not mocked.  Christians need to be mindful and careful of judging (stoning) others.  Jesus told us to say “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” when we pray to Father God.  He also told us to forgive 70 x 7 even when a person does the same thing wrong over and over.  He said we are to turn the other cheek and forgive them.  He also told us to pull the log out of our own eye before we remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  He wanted us to practice forgiveness in our daily lives and not let the sun go down before we had forgiven and let go of resentment and anger.

It is interesting that several spiritual heroes who sinned are listed in Hebrews 11. These people certainly wouldn’t get to speak at Christian conferences today, and they probably wouldn’t fit in at any of the local churches.  They would be seen a backsliders.  In fact, most of them would probably be straight up kicked out of church.

Abraham lied and sold out his wife twice.  He also committed adultery with his employee and got her pregnant.

Sarah scoffed in unbelief when God said she would have a son.

Jacob was a schemer and deceiver who completely ripped off his brother of his inheritance.

Moses was a murderer and was easily frustrated.  His unbelief kept him out of the Promised Land, though he helped free the Hebrew people from Egypt and did many mighty miracles for the Lord.  He still got angry and doubted God at times.

Rahab was a prostitute who slept around.  Yet she became the grandmother of King David.

Gideon was power hungry, and he built many idols of worship and led the kingdom of Israel astray after God helped him succeed in battles and free the Hebrew people from the Philistines.

Samson was a sex-addict and couldn’t control his anger against the Philistines and caused innocent people to die as well as his own imprisonment.

David was an adulterer and a murderer,

Eli completely failed to parent his sons and they became evil in the sight of the Lord and abused people.

And yet the author of Hebrews tells us to consider all of these people and imitate their faith.  To follow after God just as they did. To walk the same path they did.  Why?

Not one person is any better than the other.

We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.   Not one person is any better than this young man or Eli, or Sarah, even Peter, Jesus favorite disciple. They were just people.  They sinned.  Yet they asked for forgiveness from God, and God in his grace and mercy, used their lives in a mighty way to be a blessing, to strengthen our faith, and further the message of God’s Kingdom.

Be blessed!

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Before Anything Else

We took a ride late one afternoon and treated our kids to some fun playtime at the park.

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While driving home from the park, two of the kids had a squabble on the back seat.  As we were trying to talk them through it and get them to settle down, I noticed there was a man walking along the side of the highway.  As we approached him, I felt a nudge in my heart to pay attention to him.  But the squabble in the back continued and I felt distracted.

Mathew 6:23

“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.”

I caught just a quick glimpse of him as we passed him. I wasn’t sure, but I thought his side profile looked elderly, and he was carrying two packs, maybe duffel bags or back packs, in his hands.  He looked tired and as if he could barely carry them, and as if his strength was giving out.  He was walking very slowly.  He was in the middle of a rural area of farms and at least 15 miles from town.   He was headed in the same direction as us, but it would take him a long time to get there and it was starting to get dark.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.”

I don’t know how far up ahead we had drove before we slowed down and turned around and headed back to pick him up. By the time we made it back to him, another vehicle was stopping to give him a ride.

My heart sank.

I felt that the squabbling in the van had been a distraction from what was really important.  I was distracted from hearing what the Lord wanted us to do.  We had missed God’s divine appointment to help this elderly man get to his destination.

I knew without a doubt that God had a timing for this man to be picked up. It was as if he had been issued a “bus or taxi pass” for such and such a time at such and such a location.  He had caused us to be at the exact time and location to pick him up.  But I wasn’t listening close enough to hear that God wanted me to stop and get him and fulfill the “get a free ride pass” the Lord had issued him.  I was the taxi the Lord had sent him, and I missed the call.

Even though I realized the message moments later, I missed the divine appointment.   However, this man did not miss the appointment. God sent another laborer in my place.

Hebrews 13:21

“I pray that God will make you ready to obey him and that you will always be eager to do right. May Jesus help you do what pleases God. To Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever! Amen.”

May we always listen to the nudges God puts on our heart before we listen to anything else, and may we always be ready to do His good will.

May you be blessed!

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Powdered Produce Has Made A Difference

Have you ever heard of powdered produce?

real love is real food

Powdered produce is basically fruits, berries, ancient grains, and veggies that have been juiced and dried and ground to a powder. Powdered produce has made a difference in my life.  Since we started adding them into our diet, our immune system has gotten stronger and I have saved money.

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Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and they spoil quickly after harvest.  Many are as much as 85% to 95% water.   Water activates enzymes that help digest the fruits and veggies and also cause the food to spoil quickly soon after harvest.  If you remove the water, you preserve the nutrients and deactivate the enzymes.  The enzymes are reactivated again once the dried produce is re-hydrated.   It is a lot cheaper to buy produce that has been dried vs fresh, because once the water is removed, it takes up very little space, and has a long shelf life maintaining all its phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

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Having the raw nutrient dense produce in powdered form makes it easy to add them to your regular diet and boost your needed fruits and veggies that we all try so hard to get in every day. I am saving money because I don’t have to throw anything away,  it doesn’t spoil.

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With the addition of powdered produce to our diet, I can add a lot of additional fruits and veggies for pennies a day.  For example, by taking two berry + two veggie + two fruit capsules, I am eating the equivalent of over 30+ plants.   If I bought all those foods fresh at the store, it might cost me over $100 for the week to buy them fresh, and I might have some that spoils.

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By adding all these amazing healthy powdered foods to my diet, I can save a huge amount of money over buying all of them fresh.  For example if I just want fruits and veggies powders it will cost me about $10 a week, or I can also add in the berry powders too for another $6 a week. That is over 30 fruits, veggies, and berries a day for about $2.30 a day or about $16 a week.   That is a huge savings!   I buy only the fresh fruits and veggies we need now in season, and then add in these wonderful powders and I am money ahead.

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This is all natural food.  Each plant’s produce is fresh picked at the peak of ripeness.  Here are some videos to tell you more about the farms that grow these amazing foods and how this process is done.

It is harvested from organic and all natural farms, then right after harvest is juiced and dried at a low temperature to preserve all the nutrients and packaged for convenience.

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Powdered produce has made a difference in my life!  My family and I have been using the powdered produce from Juice Plus+ for a whole year now.

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The convenience and savings of eating this way is amazing.  It is really easy to take the capsules or the chewables, and some days I substitute an entire meal with the powdered shake mix for smoothies too.

Sunrise Shake

The complete food shake mix is so easy to use.  I make all kinds of delicious shakes and smoothies for my family.  It is made with pure whole foods without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.   It comes in two flavors: French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate.

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I always feel like I am eating a delicious desert like a DQ blizzard or a Wendy’s frosty when I eat them because they taste like ice cream.  But with the Complete shake powder, I am avoiding all of the artificial ingredients those restaurants put into their products.   And it is so easy to make. Just use 1 scoop (or a 1/2 scoop if you want less) of powder to one cup of any liquid of your choice and blend.  It comes out creamy and smooth.

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You can get fancy if you wish and add in more fruits and veggies or ice cubes or even coffee and top with whip cream for all kinds of tasty treats for about $1.85 per serving.  That is a complete meal with all the macro nutrients and micro nutrients of 20+ plant foods that feed your body for less than a cup of coffee.  You just can’t buy good food at these kinds of prices anywhere and you will be able to do it yourself and it will taste better and nourish your body at the same time.

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The biggest change we have seen in our life so far, in addition to savings in our food budget, is our health and wellness budget.  We have been healthy for an entire year, without even 1 day of sickness since we started.  No sickness for 8 people living together in our home.  That is amazing!   This produce is boosting our immune system.

Benefits of Juice Plus

Also my husband used to get a gout flare up every few months before adding this to our diet. We are so grateful that he has not had even one episode of gout (a form of arthritis) in a whole year.  Without a doubt it has reduced the inflammation in his body that was causing it, and he has been pain free.

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Also Kids can be enrolled in the Children’s Health Study and get chewables or capsules for free when their parent or grandparent places an order.

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The study sends out a quick survey once every four months with a few questions to inquire what improvements you have seen from using the products.

After many years of learning about nutrition, and previously owning a healthy foods store too, I wish I had known then what I know now about this wonderful product.  You can’t get it in local stores.  It is only sold person to person and online.  That way the costs are kept as low as possible.   I believe in it so much that I opened my own business to sell it so all of my friends and family can have access to these wonderful food products.  It is a not a vitamin or supplement.  This is simple pure food.

This is real whole food and has a food label, because it is FOOD!  

Juice Plus is concentrated pure food nutrition from the purest fruits, vegetables, berries and ancient grains grown on family farms.  It is gmo free, and gluten free too.

real medicine

There are a lot of great doctors who are getting behind these true food products because they know their patients are getting healthier and recovering faster and seeing lasting changes and improved bio markers and labs.  If you want to get your doctor to join you on this journey, a great way is to have your blood drawn and then four or five months later after using these great foods daily, have your blood drawn again.  Most doctors see huge improvements in their patient’s lab work.   Here are some videos where doctors share what they have seen using Juice Plus powdered produce in their medical practice and at home.

Powdered produce is a great cost saving way to add more nutrition with real whole foods into your family’s diet and save money at the grocery store and the doctor’s office too.  The powdered produce comes in capsules, chewables (free for kids),  shake & smoothie powders, and food bars.

Juice Plus Products

Real and delicious wholefood food grown on family farms.   Juiced, powdered, and packaged by Juice Plus+

I offer these food products in my online store to share it with friends and family and anyone who would like to add this to their daily routine to improve their health with powdered produce. I am glad to host healthy living workshops and talk one on one to share more information with you about using these wonderful foods too.  Let me know if you would like more information.

Be blessed!

 

 

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor and I do not give medical advice. I am sharing about my experience using this whole food product and how it has impacted me and my family.  Please consult your medical practitioner before making changes in your lifestyle to create a plan that is right for your particular situation.  

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Cold Winter and Blankets

It has been a very cold winter here in Indiana so far with several nights of single digit and zero degree temperatures.

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We have had some nights with wind chills as low as  -19 degrees.  That is just too cold!

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I have been usually starting most days with a hot bowl of oatmeal and a mocha (hot drink for me, though the kids still ask for smoothies too, brrrr)  to help us get warmed up in the mornings.  It is really hard for me to drink something cold when I am cold.  So my stove has been working overtime to keep warm beverages and food ready throughout the day!

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A precious lady we met at church a couple of years ago stopped by this winter with some beautiful homemade blankets for our family.  This is one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever shared with our family.  She grew up in a farm house out in the countryside and she remembers how chilly it can get in the winter.

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It must have taken her many long hours of her time to make a special blanket for each child.

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I am so touched by her kindness and generosity to my family.

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She also made one for my husband and I to share.

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All these lovely colors were patiently put together by loving hands and given to us.  We are keeping warm, even in this cold winter, with these beautiful homemade blankets and I am grateful.

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GrapeVine Studies Reivew

Have you wanted to remember your bible study?  Do you easily forget what you have read? When I think about history, and how people remembered stories to tell the next generation, they often used a variety of stick figure pictures to convey their message.  Stick figures are universal and easy to make and understand for most people of all ages.  The artifacts we have left show that people either drew them with charcoal or painted them onto rocks or cave walls, drew or carved shells or beads, and some people carved them into walking sticks, bone or wooden boxes, and totem poles.  However the story was shared, simple stick figure drawings have been a form of communication and remembering stories since the beginning of time.

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We were recently sent a product called Birth of Jesus: Multi Level Bible Curriculum from GrapeVine Studies to learn how to stick figure our way through the bible and understand and remember what we have learned.

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Stick figuring through the bible is a revolutionary yet ancient idea for helping your kids understand and remember their bible verses.  You can bring the story to life and make the stories easy to share with pictures like ancient people’s did.  I have seen this phenomenon going around for the past few years, some folks use doodles and paints, and some bible studies use stick figures.  I came across a homeschool mom’s website a few years ago who had been stick figuring through the bible with her kids and I was fascinated with the idea and put it on my “someday” to do list to learn more.   Well my “someday” finally arrived a few months ago when we were sent GrapeVine Studies curriculum to review in our homeschool.

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Birth Of Jesus: Multi Level

GrapeVine Studies

For Elementary Age Students

e-book PDF Download (other formats available)

Price varies depending on format you choose, see website for purchase details.

This is a whole new way to do Bible Study with your family!

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What We Received:

Birth of Jesus: Multi-Level Student e-Book:

  • Ages 7+
  • lessons pages,
  • timelines,
  • map,
  • memory verses,
  • and reviews.
  • 48 pages.

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Traceable for Multi-Level e-Book:

  • Ages 3-6
  • lessons pages,
  • timelines,
  • map,
  • memory verses,
  • reviews
  • 48 pages.

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Birth of Jesus Teacher’s e-Book:

  • lesson notes,
  • stick figure drawings,
  • lesson goals & key points,
  • memory verses,
  • review questions & answers.
  • 64 pages

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How We Used GrapeVine Studies

The first thing I did when I received my e-books was print them out.  I hole punched them and placed them into a 3 ring binder, but many of my friends also take them to the local office store and have them spiral bound for ease of use.  You can also purchase GrapeVine Studies books already printed and bound and ready to use, they come in several format options to fit your needs.

Next you need to get your supplies ready and put them in a basket, milk crate or an easily accessible container for bible study time.

Supplies:

Supplies Needed To Complete GrapeVine Studies Include:

  • Lesson pages for each student
  • Teachers Book pages for lesson instructions
  • Bible
  • Bible Dictionary
  • Atlas of the Bible Lands
  • Dry erase board and/or a chalk board (for mom)
  • Dry erase markers and/or chalk (for mom)
  • Colored pencils

I gave each child their own binder, and we worked on the GrapeVine Studies with our bible study for 10 minutes to 20 minutes four days a week.   For my younger children I give them the traceable pages, and the older children I give the blank pages for them to draw out the story. This study is meant to last 5 weeks by doing 4 lessons each week or a total of 128 lessons.  Each product from GrapeVine Studies is different so be sure to check the length of other products if you are looking for a longer or shorter time frame.

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Schedule 10 to 20 Minutes Each Day

  • Monday: Timeline Review Page
  • Tuesday: Lesson page 1
  • Wednesday: Lesson page 2
  • Thursday: Student Drawing Page

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Extra Day 5 (Friday).  We added our own ideas to further the learning for Fridays.  We did a variety of things like have the kids retell the story, make a lego creation to retell the story, act out the story, etc.  Check out our Further the Learning Ideas posted below if you would like to do this study in 5 days a week instead of 4. This product is very flexible and you can adapt it to your needs.

Further the Learning:

These are our “extra” ideas for making the GrapeVine Studies into a 5 day curriculum.  We love Unit Studies, and I felt this curriculum was easy to expand into a fun bible unit study for my kids to enjoy.  This is a great curriculum to accompany what you are already doing or to stand on its own.  You can include it for circle time with younger children, individual study for older children, or family bible study too.  We made it into the bible portion of our unit study learning about the Birth Of Jesus.   This is such a flexible curriculum and easy to adapt to any situation.

Field Trip:

  • Take a field trip to a local museum and look at artifacts that contain stick figures.  Have the children compare these with their stick figures of bible stories.
  • Take a virtual field trip online and learn about stick figures on ancient artifacts and on cave walls.

Screenshot (281)Ancient “Jonah” stick figure. (Image source)

Recent discoveries of ancient Jewish artifacts reveals a rich history of stick figures and even their written language reveals stick figures.  Here is a picture of the story of Jonah discovered on a tomb in 2012.    You can find many examples like this to look at with your children in museums and online.

Study Language:

Ancient Greek and Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, as well as many other languages look like stick figures. Find examples of these languages online and have the kids guess what story they are telling, or what the different characters stand for.  See if they can identify stick figures and a story in ancient writings.  Check out wikipedia for an explanation of the history of stick figures in history.

Gift Idea:

  • Have the kids make a stick figure bible verse card for someone’s birthday, holiday, or anniversary.
  • Using cinamon sticks or tree branch sticks and hot glue, have the kids recreate a scene from their GrapeVine Studies and give this as a gift.
  • GrapeVine Studies stick figure scene painted or drawn onto rocks to give away as paperweights or give a whole story on rocks that can be displayed to retell the story.

Snack Ideas:

  • Have the kids make pretzel stick figures with pretzels, raisins, mini marshmallows, olives.
  • They could also use cheese sticks and olives with the help of a toothpick inbetween to hold them together.
  • Another fun idea would be to bake a stick figure scene from the GrapeVine studies with a bread stick dough.  Have the kids shape their stick figure scene on a cookie sheet and bake it to look just like their page.  This could be their centerpiece on the table at supper as they share the bible story with daddy or company who might come to visit, especially if using the Birth Of Jesus or the Resurection of Jesus GrapeVine Study near the holidays.

Arts and Craft Ideas:

  • Decorate a binder with stick figure animations to personalize it and hold their GrapeVine Studies bible study pages.  You can also create a lapbook, or create lapbook flaps they can keep in their binder to store maps, or mini booklets, etc that you might want to include if doing this as a unit study.
  • Go outside and find some sticks and and make puppets re-create one of the bible story’s they studied in their GrapeVine Studies.    Use the GrapeVine Studies pages as a script to re-tell the story with their stick figure puppets.
  • Use chalk and draw their GrapeVines Studies onto the side walk at a park or public area to share the gospel with others.
  • Paint rocks with the bible story using stick figure story ideas from GrapeVines Studies.  Retell the story to family and friends.   Could make a special bag or box and give this as a gift to a loved one that they could then display in their home.   This would be great to stick figure paint the nativity on rocks for Christmas too.

Lego Skit Ideas:

Legos look kind of “stick figure like” and every kid I know loves to play with Legos.  Using the pages from GrapeVine Studies as their written skit, have the kids re-tell the story using Legos. This is one of my kids favorite “extra” learning activities.

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Final Thoughts

I was really excited to review this product.  When I was younger,  I used to doodle in my bible and made notes in the margins.  It was my attempt to understand what I was reading and remember it.  Nowadays, I mostly use a spiral bound notebook to keep my bible study notes.

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Handwriting out long notes during bible study doesn’t really work for most of my children, especially my younger children, because they are not yet strong readers or writers.   Thanks to GrapeVine Studies we now know the kids can keep their bible study notes drawn in stick figure form, and they will remember what they have learned and be able to retell the story themselves.

Social Media

Be sure to check out GrapeVine Studies on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrapevineStudies
Twitter: https://twitter.com/grapevinestudy
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/grapevinestudy/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Grapevinestudies/posts
Periscope: @Grapevine Studies

Grapevine Studies Review

Be sure to check out what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using GrapeVine Studies in their homes.

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Eat Your Science Homework Review

We are having a BLAST reviewing Eat Your Science Homework by Ann McCallum Books.

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Have you ever thought of your kitchen as a science lab? Well you will now with this yummy science book full of experiments that will please your kid’s tummy, entice their taste buds, and satisfy their curiosity.

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Eat Your Science Homework

Ages 7-10 (flexible to use for all ages)

Large Full Color Illustrations,

48 High Quality Glossy Pages

Softcover Retails for $7.94

Hardcover Retails for $16.95

Science Adventures

This book covers six fun science adventures to help kids learn about the Scientific Method, Atoms and Molecules, Properties of Matter, Inherited Traits, Rocks and Minerals, and Our Solar System.  There is a free Educator’s Guide to help you teach each adventure.   For each science adventure has an introduction, a recipe, and a science experiment to complete after making the recipe.   Each science adventure includes vocabulary words, a fun recipe to make in the kitchen, an experiement using the scientific method, and fun colorful illustrations to read. Each adventure teaches science concepts in an easy to learn hands on way.

Recipes

There are six delicious recipes to make, one recipe for each science adventure.  Steps to complete for each recipe:

  • Before You Begin: Prep work to do ahead of making the recipe.  Examples might be preheating the oven to the correct baking temperature.
  • Ingredients: A list of food times and quantities to make the recipe.  Examples might be 1 egg, 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, etc.
  • Equipment: Equipment needed to complete the recipe.  Examples might be a muffin pan, mixing bowl, spatula, etc.
  • Method: Steps to put the ingredients together and then bake or use whatever method to achieve the finished results.

Educator’s Guide

Free Downloadable Teacher’s Guide available on the website.  This guide has great tips and printouts for you to further the learning.  It does not follow the book exactly, and all of the experiments are not discussed.  Instead the guide gives you a general feel for how to use the book to enhance learning.  The guide offers insight into a couple of the experiments (Atoms and Molecules: Atomic Popcorn Balls, Inherited Traits: Loop Whirl, and Arch Cookies) and has a few additional experiments ( 1+1 Doesn’t = 2; Talk About Tiny; Fingerprint Knowhow; Thumbs Up; Volcanoes and Heat; Science Sampler: Fondue) an icebreaker Bingo game; and worksheet printouts.

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30+ Vocabulary Words

There are over 30 science vocabulary words and terms in this book.  The teacher’s guide has printouts your kids can write out each vocabulary word, their own definition, the actual definition, and include a picture.  There are partially completed pages where the kids only need to fill in their own definition and picture and the word and actual definition are already completed, and there is also a blank template for kids to fill it all in themselves.  You can choose the level you need for your kids based on age and skill.

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What We Are Learning:

We are about 1/2 of the way through this funtastic book!  I hope to finish it before the holidays and buy the next book in the series.   This book is a fun way to teach 30+ science concepts and vocabulary words with six easy to make and delicious recipes.

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We are learning about the Scientific Method, Atoms and Molecules, Properties of Matter, Inherited Traits, Rocks and Minerals, and the Solar System.

Scientific Method

  • Question: How to ask a question.
  • Make A Hypothesis:  Make a hypothesis or guess about the answer.
  • Experiment
  • Procedure
  • Observe: Observe and analyze what happens.
  • Conclude: Form a conclusion about the answer to the question.

Atoms and Molecules

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We popped popcorn and made Atomic Popcorn Balls.  We learned about the periodic table and atoms and molecules.  We pop popcorn weekly at our house, but this is the first time the kids turned them into popcorn balls.  I used to make them years ago for holidays, but stopped when I became more health conscious.  But it was fun to make them for science!

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Properties of Matter

Density Dressing and Veggie Sticks.  This was really fun as we made homemade dressing for our vegetables to dip in.  We have eaten veggies and dip many times, but never learned about density,  and properties of matter.

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Invisible Ink Snack Pockets.  We are looking forward to making this experiement soon.  The kids will learn about pH and and will make our own personalized version of hot pockets (like a pocket of bread crust stuffed with pizza toppings) and will be able to write on the outside that reappears when they are finished baking.

Inherited Traits

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This was one of the kids favorite science adventures in this book. They were able to make cookies and study inheritance and fingerprints.  My kids read recipes and make cookies all the time.  We have learned math and measurements and conversions many times in the kitchen.  BUT this is the first time we have turned cookies into a science experiment.  I will post a future story about making these cookies.

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Rocks and Minerals

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This section teaches the kids about weights of different minerals and rocks.  They learn about the periodic table and about sedimentation.  They make a Sedimentary Pizza Lasagna (a lasagna made from pizza topping ingredients and lasagna noodles).    We have this science adventure planned for next week and the kids are really looking forward to it.

Our Solar System

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With this section kids learn about gravity, black holes, mass, matter.  They will bake muffins with pancake mix and sausage to demonstrate these concepts.  We are planning to make these muffins during our Thanksgiving holiday for breakfast.  We will keep you posted in an upcoming story about this.  The kids are hoping they will like the taste and I think they will because they have had a sandwich made with pancakes on the outside and a sausage patty on the inside, so I think these will have a similar flavor even though they are in a muffin shape.  We will tie in more Solar System learning the week before and I think this experiment and recipe will be a lot of fun.

Though my kids have been cooking for many years already, they have learned a lot of new things with this fun book and will look at cooking in the kitchen in a whole new way.  They see the kitchen classroom in a whole new way.   I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this science book.

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About the Creator’s

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Author: Ann McCallum is an award winning author and a highschool teacher.  She currently teaches in Maryland, USA and has also has years of teaching experience in Canada and the United Arab Emirates.  She has authored several books for learning books for children of all ages: Eat Your Science Homework, Eat Your Math Homework, Eat Your History Homework, Rabbits Rabbits Everywhere, and The Measure of a Giant.  Ann McCallum Books has some of the funniest titles for curriculum your kids are going to love.

Illustrator: Leeza Hernandez is an award winning graphic designer, author, and illustrator in both England and the USA.  Her works are featured in books, magazines, and newspapers.

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Social Media

Be sure to follow Ann McCallum Books on their Social Media links:

BLOG:   http://www.charlesbridge.com/blogs/news

e-Newsletter:   http://www.charlesbridge.com/pages/sign-up-for-our-newsletter

Ann McCallum Books Review

Check out what other Homeschool Families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using products from Ann McCallum in their home.

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