Sunday, November 29, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot~~11/29/2015

"I must consume the abundance of moments now. Days I am overwhelmed wanting to write the music of my life in a slower tempo, yet this is the glorious dance of now. So I shall dance in bare feet, for I am on holy ground." ~~Ann Voskamp
















Joining my friend Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life for Sunday's Blog Hop called Scripture and a Snapshot.  Do yourself a favor and click through to see some lovely, lovely shots from other bloggers across the Web! 











©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

{Review} Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow (Kregel Publications)


To say my daughter Abbey is a reluctant reader would be a major understatement.  She didn't start reading fluently until she was seven years old, which wasn’t a big deal, but finding a book series on which she could get focused and interested was tough.  Thankfully, we were blessed to discover Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Beginnings series, and the delightful Andi (short for "Andrea") Carter and the cast of characters in each story.  Abbey fell in love with reading!!  We are huge Susan K. Marlow fans in this household!   Abbey has now read every book in both the Circle C Beginnings and the subsequent Circle C Adventures series. 

When we heard Kregel Publications was publishing a new series of Susan K. Marlow books about Andrea Carter called Circle C Milestones, my child was sincerely thrilled to be chosen to review the first offering of the new series, Thick as Thieves.  You can read that review here



When Abbey realized we’d get to review the second installment Heartbreak Trail, she was once again eager to see it arrive.  She watched the mail like a hawk and quickly ran off to start reading it. We are homeschoolers, so once it arrived, I loved allowing this to count as her literature credits for the next few weeks.  

Heartbreak Trail  by Susan K. Marlow takes place in 1880s California. Andrea Carter, her mother, and Andi's older siblings help run Circle C Ranch.  In this new installment, 15-year old Andi gets permission from her mom to accompany her older brothers on a tough cattle drive.   Andi quickly learns how tough and dangerous this adventure can actually be. Having to deal with a pesky cowhand, Andi is forced to rely on God and her brothers even more.
Threaded throughout the novel is the sense of family and trust.  As a parent, I just love this theme.  

Abbey's words: I feel as if I have grown up with Andrea Carter. She is my favorite character in each book.  In Heartbreak Trail, I loved how exciting the story got once the cattle drive members crossed the river.  After I finished each chapter I couldn't wait to start the next, and I really can't wait for the next book! 


Susan K. Marlow weaves a ton of wholesome mystery, suspense, humor, and adventure into each chapter, holding the reader captive. 
Best of all, the FREE study guide for Heartbreak Trail, also written by Susan K. Marlow, has been an absolutely wonderful way to review the material, learn vocabulary, study history, learn more about horses, do math, engage in critical thinking, and more! 


We chose to do the study guide after Abbey completed reading the entire book, but it is set up in a way which will allow you to review every 3 -4 chapters if you prefer.  I printed out the 44-pp PDF, used my 3-hole punch, and placed all the sheets in a binder.   Here's a few excerpts to give you an idea:










And on my own, in conjuction with an English lesson on which we were working, I had Abbey create a new book jacket for the Heartbreak Trail: 




Parents, I wholeheartedly recommend this and any of Mrs. Marlow's books for your child.  BOTH boys and girls will enjoy it, because there is plenty of action for both. Heartbreak Trail is recommended for ages 12 and up, but younger, advanced readers can enjoy this as well, or it can work well as a family read-aloud.

Heartbreak Trail, in softcover format, retails for $9.99 + $2.50 s/h and can be autographed by Susan K. Marlow herself.  We had the entire set of the Circle C Adventures (the previous series) autographed and personalized to Abbey, and recently had some personalized for Abbey's friends as a birthday present. They were thrilled!  Click HERE for that option, or you can purchase from Kregel PublicationsCBD, or Amazon.  

Just go buy it, and do it NOW!!! 





FCC Disclaimer: Kregel Publications provided me with a free copy of Heartbreak Trail in exchange for my honest and thorough review. They did not tell me what to say or how to say it. No other compensation was given.



 ©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Just As I Am


The other day, I was outside with my 16-month old granddaughter Swayze and our neighbor’s daughter (8 years old) came skipping over to play with us.   She immediately got down on Swayze’s level  and smiled at her. She said, “You know who you look like? You! You look just like YOU!”  Swazye giggled in agreement and threw the ball to her.   






Their innocent exchange made me think about how many years I wasted trying to be something I’m not, to earn the favor of others, to be accepted by certain groups, to look a certain way---when really all God ever wants me to be is ME.  Just me.  That’s it. He is absolutely in love with me just being me-- looking uniquely like me, acting uniquely like me, and loving others uniquely as He directs. I don’t have to be funnier, nicer, smarter, thinner. As long as my heart is reflecting His own, that's all I need to be.  
He is perfectly content to get down on my level as often I as I need to hear it, sweetly look into my eyes, and gently say, “Just as you are, come unto me. You look just like YOU.”   


 ~~~~

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.Psalm 139:14 

©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Open Registration

Ever notice lately, if you're surfing around on the internet and you find a website or blog you really like, you're almost always asked to register?  Do you think twice about putting your personal information there? Your physical address, your date of birth, and more?  Along with that annoying step of "confirming your email" several times over. If you think about it, it's crazy what we'll do just so we can snag a coupon code or be added to a mailing list.  Do you do that? No? Maybe it's just me.  I spend a lot of time on the Net and I rarely think about what I'm doing. I do think I have been way too trustworthy of the cyberspace in this 15" box of techy wires sitting in my lap. 


"But you have come right up into Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the gathering of countless happy angels; and to the church, composed of all those registered in heaven; and to God who is Judge of all; and to the spirits of the redeemed in heaven, already made perfect." Hebrews 12: 22 - 23 (TLB) 

I heard this verse the other day and I immediately hid it in my heart so I could go look it up again and study it. It brought me such comfort and yet was thought-provoking as well.  In this chapter of Hebrews, the author is encouraging the followers of Jesus, to stay the path, to stay strong in the face of adversity, and to realize the payoff is the beautiful gift of eternal life.  The entire chapter is so encouraging.  

If we can easily give virtual strangers, websites, and social media our sensitive information, why does it sometimes feel so difficult to give our entire lives to Jesus, the only one who can put our names in the most important database of all--The Register of Eternal Life?!!! 

Maybe it's because we tend to focus on the tangible, the logical. Maybe it's because our brains don't handle faith well, and it requires we reach deep in our souls to try to understand the magnitude of eternal life.  Maybe it's because we don't feel worthy of having our names registered in the Book of Life. 



Be encouraged, my friends! To have our names registered in heaven, we only have to simplify things---to stop making absolutely everything so painstakingly hard, and instead become like a child. Children believe something is truth just because they are told by the ones they trust (us) that what is being said is truth. 



And sweet Jesus asks us to do the same. He says that if we truly trust Him, we will believe with the faith of a child.  That's it.  We must see ourselves as the sinners we are, believe in our hearts there is only one Jesus who became our representative so God would accept us again, and do the best we can to live a life that mimics His. Then BOOM! There in the Register of Heaven, will be our names.  

Stop striving. Be still and know. Whisper a prayer, super-short or super-long, and know that you are heard. No emails, no passwords to create, no hard-to-read captchas to type to prove you're not a robot.  And most importantly, no unsubscribing from the list.  It is there permanently

You can relax, knowing you don't have to be perfect to stay on the list.  Your name, your soul, your life are all engraved on His hands and in His heart, and the gates of hell can not prevail or erase it.   Yeah, Team Jesus! 


On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16: 18




©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Learning to Walk

I haven't blogged in a while. Let me tell you in case you ever doubted---Satan is alive and well, my friends. My family has been bombarded with his stupid antics lately, and it is has drained us, physically and emotionally.   

I have been searching His word for encouragement on how to keep going, one step at a time. One minute, one hour, one day at a time. Beautiful verses have really helped me: 

Psalm 27:14  Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.

Daniel 3:28  Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for he sent his angel to deliver his trusting servants when they defied the king’s commandment and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own.  

Hebrews 11: 33 These people all trusted God and as a result won battles, overthrew kingdoms, ruled their people well, and received what God had promised them; they were kept from harm in a den of lions and in a fiery furnace. 

But God has also provided real-time "love moments" from which I am learning.  Our sweet little granddaughter (11 months) is starting to walk and it is the sweetest thing ever to watch! She teeters and totters and giggles and wobbles and we all love cheering her on. 

video


This week when Abbey (11 years) was helping her motor forward by holding Swayze's little hands while she walked, she would get faster and faster and she clearly felt so much more confident in her walking skills.  But as soon as Abbey would let go of her hands, Swayze would lock her knees, put her arms up like she was riding a roller coaster, and fall straight back into Abbey's waiting arms, completely trusting she would be caught. Abbey would lift her up, get her started back in the right direction, and then quickly move in front of Swazye with a colorful ball as bait to help her power on to her goal.  Some attempts were more successful than others, but Abbey kept patiently working with her. 





Isn't that how we operate as well? Don't we run faster and stronger and more courageously when we know without a doubt God is holding our hands and we can feel it, and we can see the signs and miracles in tangible ways?  And don't we, as faltering Christians, lose faith when we can't quite feel His touch any longer?  Ugh, yes! We throw our hands up, poke out our lips, cross our arms over our chests, and say, "Forget it, Lord, I'm not taking another step because clearly You've let me go, forcing me to walk this vast journey all by myself! Where ARE You? Waaa, Waaa, Waaaaaaa!"   People!!! Why do we do this? Why are we so muddle-headed? Why do we lose faith so quickly? Our short-term memory is oftentimes ridiculous and downright embarrassing. 



Ah, but our Lord and Savior is as patient with us as Abbey is with Swayze.  As we learn and grow and change, we can spiritually see and feel and realize deep down that our God has not left us. Not for one second.  He just knows that in order for our muscles to get stronger, we MUST be able to walk confidently out of the comfort zone and reach the hurting and the lost.  We don't have to look back over our shoulder; we know without a doubt He will be there to catch us and love us and give us courage to get up and try again, no matter how many times we fail---no matter how many times we stumble, no matter what life throws at us. Glory be to God. 


So keep on wobblin', my Friends! It's all going to be okay in the end.  (The Bible tells me so).  



©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot 3/1/2015



Joining others in giving God glory through our photography: 




©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow {A Review}


To say my daughter Abbey is a reluctant reader would be a major understatement.  She didn't start reading fluently until she was seven years old, and then it was only when I forced her to do so for school.  But many years ago, we discovered Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Beginnings series, and the delightful Andi (short for "Andrea") Carter character, and Abbey fell in love with reading. It was so exciting for this mama to see!  Abbey has now read every book in both the Circle C Beginnings and the subsequent Circle C Adventures series. 



When we heard Kregel Publications was publishing a new series of Susan K. Marlow books about Andrea Carter and her new set of adventures called Circle C Milestones, we were seriously thrilled to be chosen to review the first offering of the new series, Thick as Thieves



I am not exaggerating even one little bit when I say Abbey literally squealed with delight when the package arrived, and grabbed the book out of my hands and ran off to start reading it.  We are homeschoolers, so once it arrived, I allowed this to count as her literature for the next few weeks.  


Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow takes place in 1880s California. Andrea Carter, her mother, and Andi's older siblings help run Circle C Ranch.  In this new series, Andi is fourteen years old and is forced to meet a new schoolmate who is rough around the edges. When this new stranger Macy and her older brothers start causing trouble for the ranch, Andi reluctantly befriends Macy in order to get to the bottom of a series of thefts of cattle and horses from Circle C Ranch. What surprises both Macy and Andi, is how close they become as they learn to trust each other.  When Andi takes it upon herself to go find the missing colts of her prized mare Taffy, she must rely upon God and her brothers for rescuing. 


Susan K. Marlow weaves a ton of mystery, suspense, humor, and adventure into each chapter, holding the reader captive. Abbey and I still have read-aloud time together, and when I read selected chapters to her, they left even me wanting more.  After she finished a chapter of reading on her own, I would ask her to tell me what happened, simply because I wanted to know where the story was going.


Best of all, the FREE study guide for Thick as Thieves, also written by Susan K. Marlow, has been an absolutely wonderful way to review the material, learn vocabulary, study history, learn more about horses, do math, engage in critical thinking, and more! We chose to do the study guide after Abbey completed reading the entire book, but it is set up in a way which will allow you to review every 3 -4 chapters if you prefer.  I printed out the 42-pp PDF, used my 3-hole punch, and placed all the sheets in a binder.   Here's a few excerpts to give you an idea:











Parents, I wholeheartedly recommend this and any of Mrs. Marlow's books for your child.  BOTH boys and girls will enjoy it, because there is plenty of action for both. Thick as Thieves is recommended for ages 12 and up, but younger, advanced readers can enjoy this as well, or as I mentioned, it can work well as a read-aloud.

Thick as Thieves, in softcover format, retails for $9.99 + $2.50 s/h and can be autographed by Susan K. Marlow herself.  We had the entire set of the Circle C Adventures (the previous series) autographed and personalized to Abbey, and she  just treasures them, so this is a fun option for your young reader.  Click HERE for that option!  Or you can purchase from Kregel PublicationsCBD, or Amazon.  

Just go buy it, and do it NOW!!! 




FCC Disclaimer: Kregel Publications provided me with a free copy of Thick as Thieves in exchange for my honest and thorough review. They did not tell me what to say or how to say it. No other compensation was given.


©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

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