Thursday, January 28, 2016

5 Easy Recipes Your Kids Can Cook

How do you react when your child asks to help with dinner? Do you cringe at the thought of the extra work, mess and clean-up that is inevitable? Or, do you smile, while pulling up a chair so they can join you in your world? READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Homeschool Day at the Natural Bridge Caverns

More Details Here

Hey locals! Looking to get out of the house after this wild storm? It looks as though the weather will clear up and the roads should be drivable just in time for an exciting HEAV event coming up this Friday!

 Homeschool Day 

at the 

Natural Bridge Caverns

January 29th

 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Clear your schedule for Homeschool Day at the Natural Bridge Park on Friday, January 29th from 9am – 4pm. Admission is $8 for children 7-17, $9 for adults, and children under 7 are FREE. You don't need to pre-register. Simply show up and mention at the ticket desk in the Caverns at Natural Bridge that you are there for the HEAV homeschool day! Easy as that. Pack a lunch or pick up a
sandwich which is available in the Rockbridge Center. 

If your kids haven't explored a cavern before then give them a sneak peek with a cave unit study. 

Download Now

You can even show them an educational video about stalactites, stalagmites, flowrock and pillars! 

Afterwards, head over to Natural Bridge itself and for only a small fee enjoy it's splendor with your family! So, mark your calendars for this Friday, January 29, 2016 and make a day of it!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Keep the Family Together

It’s for the best that I don’t live near a large city. If I did, I know I would be pulled as to which activity to enroll my kids in. It seems that everything has a “homeschool day” in addition to all the other piles of opportunities available in the city. READ MORE AT OUT HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Power of Read-Alouds

Reading to your children is a bonding experience, even from a young age. There is no need to convince you to read to your little one, because it's an activity that most likely comes naturally to most parents. The question is, how long do we continue to read to our kids? Do we cease once they learn how to read? Do we send them off to their room with an easy reader or chapter book and wish them the best? READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Friday, January 8, 2016

Cider Press Fun!

Have you ever seen those reality shows where they buy items on Craigslist and turn around to resell them at a profit? 

Sounds like a pretty sweet way to make a little extra cash. 

So many people have an old relative die and are left with tools and such and have no clue what to do with them! In our society there just isn't a need for what grandpa had stored away in his garage. Garages are meant for cars, not tools, right? I guess it depends on who you talk to. 

When family members are at a loss with what to do with a houseful of random items left behind from those who have experienced the depression, they often don't even know what they are looking at. This is not entirely their fault. Technology and modern conveniences have replaced the need for self-sufficiency. If I have a craving for apple cider then I simply drive to the grocery store and pick up a gallon, or two. But, in times past, it was not so easy to come by. If you wanted cider, you made it, or traded for it.

This past fall, we came across one on Craigslistfor an amazing price. Yes, we did resell it quickly, for a decent profit but not before making some tasty cider! We had a blast. We would have kept it but after looking at it, my husband was convinced he could make his own.

We found a local farm selling second rate apples (which worked fine for cider making). We bought three bushels. When all was said and done, we had seven and a half gallons of pure, organic, fresh, homemade, apple cider! A dream come true. 

If you use a juicer, this is basically the same concept expect for the fact that you use a hand crank and it's on a much larger scale than what is required for your typical green smoothie.

You put the apples in whole, turn the crank and watch it go! Our particular model did have a motor so the grunt work wasn't as tiresome as other models. It was so easy that my kids wanted to take over. We had a stainless steel container to catch the juice while the barrel collected all the pulp. Of course we didn't want to waste anything so the pulp went directly to the chickens. They certainly didn't complain!

Have You Made Cider On A Press? 
Feel Free To Share Your Experience
 In The Comments Section Below!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

16 Ways to Remind Your Child You Care in 2016

You sacrifice your time, energy, money and whole being to care for your children. Certainly, they must know you love them! You provide them thoughtfully prepared meals, a stellar education and you are actively involved in their lives. A recipe for a strong relationship, right? Not necessarily. READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter Resources For Your Homeschool

Be sure to visit the Rainbow Resource Center to stock up on your winter homeschooling materials. Get a good book to read as a family by the fire, help your children enjoy the outdoors more this winter, and encourage young readers with season related materials.  Peruse the 50,000 discounted materials at the Rainbow Resource Center site when looking for your winter homeschool needs.




 Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Rainbow Resource Center. All opinions stated here are my own.

What Pro-Life Really Means: Evangelicals For Life

EFL Button

Even if you're not heading to Washington, D.C., January 21–22 for the March for Life event, block out some time those two days because you'll be able to attend some of the events in the comfort of your own home. Focus on the Family and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit

Thrift Schooling readers will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.

What Pro-Life Really Means

By Daniel Darling

It was a flippant comment by the spokesmen for a presidential candidate: “It doesn’t matter. They’re just Muslims.” But it made shudder.

This is how societies begin to dehumanize a people group, and every generation of Christians is responsible to face this thinking and fight it. This is what it means to be a pro-life champion.

We are pro-life because we are pro-human dignity. It is the uniquely Christian message that sees in every soul a person created in the image of God.

When Planned Parenthood and their allies say, “That’s just a fetus,” we say, “No, that’s a baby, a human life, that deserves dignity and respect.”

When corrupt profiteers look at vulnerable young girls and boys and say, “They are just a commodity to be trafficked for money,” we say, “No, they are boys and girls created in the image of God and deserving of dignity and respect.”

When eugenicists look at the elderly and say, “They are just burdens to be managed,” we say, “No, human dignity is not defined by utility, but is a unique gift given by God.”

When politicians look at immigrants and say, “They are a drain on society,” we say, “No, they are created in the image of God and worthy of kindness, welcoming, and respect.”

When ISIS brutally dehumanizes its victims—Christians, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their ideology—and they say, “They are just infidels,” we say, by our acts of justice, “No, they are people created in the image of God and worthy of life and respect.”

When the disabled are marginalized, we say, “No, each was created in the image of God and is worthy of our full love and acceptance.”

Even in our discourse, even when we look across the aisle, across the screen, across the table at someone who doesn’t share our beliefs, we say to ourselves, “This person is worthy of respect and dignity because they too were created in the image of God.”

Human dignity, the intrinsic worth of every human soul, is not just a once-every-four-years mantra for voter guides and political scorecards. We live out the image of God as a way of life, and we seek justice wherever human dignity is compromised.

This is why ERLC and Focus on the Family join hands to help raise up a new generation of evangelicals who are passionate about the sanctity of human life. This why you should come to Washington, D.C., this January to the Evangelicals for Life event or participate via the free simulcast at your church or on your computer.

You should join Evangelicals for Life, not simply to make a powerful stand in the nation’s capital. You should come, not simply to be stirred by the gifted speakers. You should come, not only to fellowship and strategize with other champions for life.

You should be a part of of Evangelicals for Life because God is calling you, in this time and in your sphere of influence, to be a voice for human dignity.

Answer for yourself what it means to have a pro-life, whole-life vision. Discover where your gifts and talents best serve the kingdom of God in this way, and send a message to the world that your Christianity compels you to look every human being in the eye and not see what everyone sees. You see in them the image of their Creator.

Daniel Darling 

is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), the co-sponsor of the Evangelicals for Life conference. 

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Dayspring Bible College and has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in the Nashville area. They attend Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, where Dan serves as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Farm Friendly Friday: Oothecas

After tirelessly tilling, sowing and tending to your garden, you wait. And wait. Then one day you venture out to pull some weeds, only to find that bugs have eaten away your crops! Take a deep breath. You will get through this! If you lean towards the organic gardening methodology, then poisonous weed killers are simply not an option for preventive measures. Instead, what you can do for future protection is search your property for an ootheca!  

An ootheca is simply a praying mantis egg sack. In the fall, the mantis will lay her sack on a tree branch or in tall grass. One case holds anywhere from 50-200 babies! The case will lay dormant in the winter and once they experience up to six weeks of warm temperatures, they hatch. The tiny mantis go through the narrow slits of the egg case and immediately invade your garden. Gardeners love these little warriors since they attack almost any insect they come in contact with. 

We've noticed the sacks in our yard over the past few years and didn't pay much attention to them. Now that my boys know what they are, their eyes are peeled while climbing trees or playing in the backyard! They even are selling ootheca sacks on eBay for a competitive price! 

 We kept this entertaining mantis in with our turtles this past summer. She even laid a sack in the tank! Shortly after, she died, which is common with the praying mantis after laying her eggs. If you find one this time of year you can take several different measures. You can leave it alone if it is in a beneficial place for you. You can gently remove the sack from it's location. Try to keep it attached to the branch, leaf or stick that you find it on so you don't accidentally rip or tear it. If you are concerned about unusual warm weather in your area this winter then simply remove the sack and keep in the refrigerator, just don't freeze! Introduce it to warm weather in the spring and within 4-6 weeks it should hatch. Just be sure to place in your garden and not your kitchen counter or you will have some unwelcome visitors for dinner!

Thank You For Visiting!
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