Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot ~~1/25/2015


  
He shall live within God’s circle of blessing, and his children shall inherit the earth.  
Psalm 25:13

~*~


Linking up with Jennifer and a ton of other great bloggers for inspirational scriptures and beautiful snapshots (click below): 

http://www.glimpseofourlife.com/


©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!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cow Trails (It's Time to Focus)

Driving to Atlanta for a business meeting with my hubby a couple of weeks ago, I noticed pasture after pasture of cows--nothing really extraordinary for southern interstates.  But what I observed were all the cow trails in those pastures, and more specifically, how the bovine creatures on those trails were following behind one another, heads down, mindlessly trodding along. 



What causes this? What is their instinct's purpose  for this behavior? I really don't know, except for maybe safety in numbers.  I asked the cows, but they were tight-lipped . . .




I think sometimes we as humans also need to stay on a narrow path, especially when it comes to following after worldly things which can so easily distract us from our eternal goals.  And following after the familiar can be good if your Leader is Jehovah Jireh (the God who provides) and you know for sure you're on the right path.  "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it." [Matt 7:13]

But other times, God is calling us to get off that mindless trail of following after the crowd. Even if you recognize the backsides of those in front of you, God may be calling you stop smelling that um, kaka, and move on with His purpose for you!!  In order to have the confidence to that, we have to be listening and we have to be looking UP!  

Here's what God has taught me lately, and hopefully with His grace, I can actually remember to apply it on a daily basis:

1) Be Wise--stay close to Him, listen for His voice. Sometimes it's a shout, but usually it's a whisper. 

2) Not Everything That Glitters is Gold---Boy howdy, y'all. Satan absolutely loves to disguise himself as light, all shiny and glittery.  If your head is down or focused on the backside in front of you, you may not recognize the wolf inside that sheep's clothing. 

3)  Prepare Your Children and Your Loved Ones--- Here's another tough one to swallow sometimes when we're out on the "mission" field of life.  Not only do we have to be aware for our own good, but there are those around us who need us to guide them off that cow trail, because God is counting on us to be leaders.  It's not easy, but it is so rewarding and so worth the hard work. 

4) Listen, Focus, and Listen Some More----Have I said that yet? Because you really can't stay on social media or on your phone and continue rushing around all day and still expect to hear God's voice.  You seriously have to be disciplined long enough to dive into His word. Get a devotional that helps you focus, but don't just read it; take time to research and read the accompanying verses in the Bible.  Then take time to write down a few of your praises and a lot of your prayers.   Or don't. Just keep doing what you're doing. But don't expect great results unless you're willing to do the hard work! We have to be different than the world! We have to get off those muddy cow trails and pull ourselves out of the miry clay! 

Okay, that's your 2015 Pep Talk! Now, 'git along little doggies! 







©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!

The Bible Amigos: Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat {A Review}

I love being able to have the chance to review a book for the younger set! My youngest child is in the 6th grade, but my grandson is only three years old, and he loved this offering from Barbour Publishing--The Bible Amigos: Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat by author and illustrator Frank Fraser.  Mr. Fraser has worked on children's shows for PBS, Sprout, and more, and you can tell, because his illustrations are very endearing and appealing. My grandson was hooked!

Bible Amigos, preschool Bible stories

This precious book follows Walla (a koala), Donk (a donkey), and Edge (a hedgehog) on their adventures as the "Bible Amigos."  Five Loaves is one of two Bible Amigos adventures (be sure and check out Jonah and the Bear as well).  With a huge gust of wind which brings the big Bible in and signals their new fun is about to begin, the amigos hop aboard and wait to see where God needs them. 


"Bible Amigos, go, go, go!"  

Bible Amigos, preschool Bible stories


Their adventure takes them across the world to help Jorge and his father rebuild a broken bridge, in order to help the children stranded on one side.  Wondering how he can help and feeling very small and insignificant, Jorge's new friends Walla, Donk, and Edge seek the answer in God's word. 


"If you're really, honestly looking for answers, God kinda makes 'em pop out at you." 

 Isn't that the truth? That is my favorite line from the whole story!

The Bible Amigos use the parable of five loaves and two fish to teach Jorge about how even small children can contribute when a crisis arises.  As Jorge calls out to Jesus to help him understand how he can be a help with the broken bridge situation, God shows him the exact thing to do to make a difference.  

Bible Amigos, preschool Bible stories

Grab your little ones (recommended ages 3 - 7) and then grab this book to read to them! It is so precious---just the right length for short attention spans, with a very sweet and very understandable message for littles. As a bonus, the story is beautifully framed for adults to glean wisdom as well. 


"It is better to give a little something with love, than a whole lot of nothing."  

Sometimes our children need to hear this, and sometimes they need to know that even little things can be used by God to do big things.  

The details:

The Bible Amigos: Five Loaves, Two Fish, and One Big Hat is a beautifully illustrated hardback book which can be purchased for only $5.99 from the Barbour Publishing website or from Amazon for $7.99.  


Bible Amigos, preschool Bible stories


 Disclaimer: Per FCC regulations, I disclose I was asked to review this title from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion and blog post. No other compensation was received. 



©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!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Mistletoe and Miracles

 
As we love to do each cold winter night we are able, my husband and I were sitting by the outdoor fire pit a few nights ago, watching the fire fairies flicker and float into the night sky.  As I watched them lift up and near the tree branches, by the light of the fire, I noticed several wads of mistletoe attached to several of the branches. 


I randomly asked Michael about it, and he informed that it is actually an invasive species, and given enough time, will kill the tree it has overtaken. 

How crazy is that? I really had no idea. A symbol with such a positive connotation is, in actuality, a parasite. 

And isn't that similar to how that stupid, sneaky devil works? He fools us into thinking his game is all presents and bows and kisses under the mistletoe, all the while attaching himself like a parasite to our soul, lulling us into complacency. 

Just as gullible as he hopes we'll be, we are so easily confused by the wiles of the dark one, we often forget to keep our eyes on the lowly manger, on the One True Meaning of our holiday hustle and bustle, on the One True Miracle of Christmas. And sadly, we are asked to take our eyes off the only Savior who can actually remove the scales from our muddy brains and allow us to really see the truth behind that wily adversary and his darkness disguised as light. 


Mistletoe is only a symbol, of course, and more serious, damaging parasites plague us, dragging us, kicking and screaming, from our end goal. 

All is grace, thank goodness, and God loves to shower that grace upon us.  For those struggling to focus on the hills from whence your help comes, 
I pray this coming year will be the one where you are more aware of God's truth than you have EVER been in your life, and you will waste very little time coming to recognize the ones whom your adversary sends to confuse and distract.  

May God bless you all richly during the new year! 

 
"And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light." 2 Corinithians 11:14.


"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. Colossians." 1:13.
 


©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, November 16, 2014

Barbour Publishing: Diary of a Real Payne Book 3: Oh, Baby! (A Review)


My sixth grader is a huge fan of Annie Tipton and the main star of Ms. Tipton's Diary of a Real Payne books, Miss E. J. Payne.  We were so honored to be asked by Barbour Publishing to review this third installment in the Diary of a Real Payne series.  To learn more about the first two books click here or here.



In this third peek into the chaotic life of fifth grader E. J. Payne, young readers will ride along as E.J. is forced to learn even more about the importance of family, and especially of patience within a family with changes taking place.  The daughter of a preacher, E. J. also learns more about how leaning on the Lord is imperative during confusing times. 

Each chapter opens with a diary entry, written in the first person by E.J., giving the reader a sneak peek into E.J.'s emotions, both funny and quirky.  The remainder of each chapter is a wonderfully entertaining account of the adventures and misadventures E.J. and her best friend Macy get into.  Add newly adopted baby Faith to the mix, and hilarity is sure to ensue!

Chapters include Dinner Dare, Splash Guard, How to Train Your Dog (And Your Brother), The Ninjas of the Square Table, and The Boy Who Snored Wolf, just to name a few. E. J. is such an endearing character. My daughter really enjoys these books because, as she says, "E.J. is just like me, and the stories make me smile!"  

Precious and whimsical illustrations keep the reader moving along and engaged in the story.  Here are some examples: 





 
Diary of a Real Payne: Oh, Baby! is 192 pages long, and the font is a easy-to-read and very much on grade level for older elementary and middle schoolers.  Oh, and one of the best features of the Tipton books?  No worries about your kids reading inappropriate language or scenarios.  I highly recommend this book for your favorite young reader! 
 


Title: Diary of a Real Payne Book 3: Oh, Baby
Copyright: 2014
Recommended Ages: 8 years and up (according to reading level)
Where to buy: Barbour Publishing and Amazon
Formats Available: Soft Cover and E-book
Price: $5.99 - $6.99 




Disclaimer: I received Diary of a Real Payne Book 3 in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.



©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!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Word Up! The Vocab Show (A Review)


If you've ever used any of the wonderful products from Compass Classroom (Visual Latin, Grammar for Poetry, Economics for Everybody, etc.) then you know how excited I was to be asked to review their newest product, Word Up! The Vocab Show.  

Word Up! The Vocab Show is a new vocabulary program which uses Greek and Latin roots as a means for learning a plethora of  new words! Geared for middle schoolers and high schoolers (ages 10 and up), host Dwane Thomas makes learning difficult words easy and fun, by using jokes and videos and graphics which allow the meaning of the words to "stick" in the student's mind.  

Each Greek root and Latin root is used to discuss ten different vocabulary words and their definitions for EACH root.  

Here's an example of what you'll see on the Greek root side of "water" (hydra):




And here are some screen shots from the Latin root "Aqua": 


  


Click HERE to see a great video to give you an even better idea of Dwane and his great personality and the amazing content of this program!  

Click HERE to download two sample lessons for FREE! 


After viewing the lessons on each root and their new vocabulary words, your students are directed to Quizlet, an online testing site to study, play games, practice the words, and to test what they've learned. The combination of the videos and Quizlet is so well done, I was pleasantly surprised how much of the lessons my daughter was retaining each day. 

The Flash Card section of Quizlet: Choose to flip, slide, or show both word and definition at once.  Choose to have just the word read to you, or just the definition read to you, or both.  For some of the more difficult words, this is a wonderful option!  My daughter always chooses to have both read to her. 


The Speller section of Quizlet allows the student to type the word being spoken.  There is an option for repeating the audio as often as needed.  If they spell it correctly, the definition pops up; if they spell it incorrectly, the program shows the correct spelling for the student, so more visual repetition is built in. 


The Learn section of Quizlet allows the student to see either the definition first and type the term, or to see the term first and type the definition.  Missed words are then shown again, allowing the student to practice the missed terms until correct.

Below is my daughter's screen from the root word "chronos," and you can see how she missed three terms the first round, so the program repeated the missed terms and she typed them correctly the second round.  As in other sections of Quizlet, students can choose to have the term and definition to be read to them.


In the Race section of Quizlet, students must quickly type the term which corresponds to the definition which is floating across the screen. They must type the correct spelling of the term before it disappears off the screen.  If they miss the term, a box pops up to help them spell it correctly, once again reiterating the correct spelling. They have two "lives," or chances to get it right!


In the Scatter section of Quizlet, students must drag the the correct term to the correct definition in order to make them disappear off the screen. The timer in the right hand corner allows the student to have a sense of urgency and to try to beat their own time.


And finally, the Test section of Quizlet, which is my favorite. Please note on the right hand column how you, as the teacher, can decide which types of questions to have on the test.  Click the box next to the type of question, how many questions per test, and whether the term or the definition shows up first.  Then click "create test," and allow your student to see how much they learned! As you can see, my 6th grader has been doing very well on her tests, and has not made less than an "A" on any test.  She is VERY proud of that fact!


If you child is a visual and audible learner, this is the vocabulary program for them!  Compass Classroom has done it again, creating Word Up! The Vocab Show!  With over 200 vocabulary terms in 10 lessons make this a wonderful bargain, and I highly recommend it! 

Details

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Purchase price: $15, available as DVDs or Downloads.  (Click HERE to purchase)






FCC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Word Up! The Vocab Show in exchange for my honest opinion and review. No other compensation was received.

©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, November 4, 2014

StarToaster: Orphs of the Woodlands (A Review and Giveaway!)



Orphs of the Woodlands

My child is not a natural reader, so any chance I can find to get her interested in reading, I am all over it.  Enter StarToaster.com, and their innovative and interactive online program/book  Orphs of the Woodlands. We were honored to be chosen to review it for the last few weeks.


Online Learning

A Fun Approach to Learning

As the readers are introduced to the story of Orphs of the Woodlands, they are allowed to "apply" for an unknown job that promises adventure.  In this application, the students can create their own name for their character, and that name is then part of the story for the rest of the book.  Can you see how your child would immediately would be drawn in? That main character then takes off on great adventure to save the Orphs of the Woodlands. My 6th grader named her character "Squirrel Booshy" (an inside joke and pet name for the newest member of our family). 



If your child enjoys medieval fiction, action, adventure, and mystery, they will really enjoy this style of writing. Good guys, bad guys, character development, and lots of surprises keep your child engaged and moving forward in the story. This is a complete electronic book, with 15 chapters sure to please the adventure-loving kid in your family.  

Features of the Program

One of the very cool features of Orphs of the Woodlands:The Treasure of Hightower is the "hover" ability the reader has when they encounter a word that may be difficult for them. These select words are in brown and the reader can hover their mouse over that word to see the definition and part of speech.  

 
Interspersed among the hundreds of vocabulary words (great for preparation of standardized testing) are also sound bytes of different sound effects, fun activities, and even recipes for a fun distraction. 




Help Wanted, Earning Stars, and Caring for Orphans

At the end of each chapter, the reader will reach a "Help Wanted" section where all the jobs are performed. These jobs allow the reader to earn stars, which is used like currency to help care for all the orphans in their cottage.  The interactive map allows the students to purchase more and more land around the original cottage, and the more they read, the more jobs they have access to.  The more jobs they have access to, the more land, crops, food, medical supplies, etc., they can purchase for their orphans!

These jobs include games and lessons in math, grammar, thinking skills, communication skills, memory skills, vocabulary, the arts, and science tasks and are meaty enough to please moms while short enough to please fidgety kids.


 

My Recommendation
I can't emphasize enough how much content is in this program! The students are introduced to so many different concepts from over 300 lessons as they read the wonderful story of The Treasure of Hightower! As a bonus, all of the progress your child makes can be viewed by via the Parent Section of the website, with your unique password.  I encourage you to investigate this wonderfully interactive and unique approach to reading and learning, and I highly recommend this if your child loves doing lessons on the computer or tablet!

Learn More

Want to see more of how Orphs of the Woodlands works? Check out this YouTube video which is a great introduction to the program (watch it with your student): 


In the following video, you will see one of the types of lessons the students will see during their adventures, courtesy of one of the "good guys" in the story, Professor Forp: 



Purchase Information

StarToaster's Orphs of the Woodlands is recommended for grades 4th - 7th, and is available for purchase in 60-day increments for $25.99.  To purchase a 30-day extension, the additional cost is just $7.99.  

For a limited time only, however, subscriptions are 30% off, making each sub only $18.19 for the 60-day period! Just use promo code ORPHS30 between now and 12/31/14!

https://startoaster.com/Products.aspx

Enter to Win a Free Subscription! 

Even cooler, the kind folks at StarToaster.com have allowed me to offer my readers and friends a chance to win a FREE subscription to Orphs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of Hightower!  Entering to win is super easy---just follow the instructions below, a few easy clicks, and you're done! Contest ends Wednesday, 11/12/14, so don't delay! 






a Rafflecopter giveaway


FCC Disclaimer: I received a 60-day subscription to StarToaster.com in exchange for my honest review of the program. No other compensation was received.  The opinions and recommendations are my own.

©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

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