These days Facebook makes us feel like we can’t live up to what everybody else has or does. Facebook seems to cause us to become jealous of others lives. I know that I have felt that I don’t make enough money or look as good as someone because of my weight gain. It’s a never-ending cycle. I am here to tell you, please don’t feel that way anymore! God has shown me and continues to show me that He loves me! He reminds me of this in Psalm 139:13&14 (NIV) For you created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. God made us in His image. That is what makes us special, not because of what we have or what we look like. Focus on the good qualities that you have. Make a list on an index card and place the card on your bathroom mirror. When you are getting ready in the bathroom, look at your lists and say them out loud to yourself. Include: I am worthy, beautiful, dependable, loving, caring, etc… God wants you to read the Bible to get encouraged. Try to not get on Facebook everyday. Instead read your Bible and see how much better you will feel about yourself. Remember that God wants you to love yourself as much as He loves you!
Go to your local library and check out the Atlanta Zoo DVD. Once you return it, you will receive 2 adult and 2 child tickets for free! If you live in another state, ask your local library if they have this deal.
2. Go swimming!
Don’t have a pool? Ask a friend if you can use theirs in exchange for cleaning their pool for them. I would LOVE for someone to clean mine!
3. See if your city has First Friday.
The kids love attending First Friday because they cater to them! They have activities like bounce houses, eating and concerts for adults!
4. Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers.
Find friends that will be willing to host get togethers at their house and take turns. Each time do a theme. Ex: (1)One day have a slip-n-slide party with lemonade drinks (with umbrellas in them) and fruit roll ups. (2)Have a movie party with popcorn and drinks. (3)You can freeze blocks of ice in a bowl. Each child will have their own block of ice. Add some salt on top of the ice block so it will begin to melt. Watch the salt produce holes in the ice. Have the children squirt different colors of food coloring in each hole. It will be pretty. These are just some examples of some fun ya’ll can have.
5. Go to a movie for cheap!
Most theaters have a movie day that is just for kids. Everyone has to see a certain movie that the theater picks. These movies are at a discounted price and usually serve snacks for cheaper too. If you want to choose your own movie then go to the matinee for a cheaper price. Some theaters also have a certain day of the week that they have discounted prices. Call your theater to get the details.
6. Most bowling allies let kids bowl 2 free games.
There are bowling allies that participate in free bowling for the summer. Our bowling alley lets kids bowl 2 free games. You have to bring your own shoes or pay for shoe rentals. Taxes may also apply. Still, this is a cheap way of entertainment.
7. Check your library for free reading programs.
Check your library for free reading programs. They usually have incentives for reading. Ask your local library what incentives they have. Here is a website in Georgia that is connected with our local libraries that includes incentives for kids. Free tickets to museums! https://georgialibraries.org/partnerships/
8. Check your library for free reading programs.
Summer Reading Program with Candlewick Press and Pizza Hut. When your child meets their goal each month, they will receive a free Personal Pan pizza. Sign up here!
9. Get a free book and Bible!
If you want your child reading Christian books, you need to do the LifeWay R.E.A.D program. Your child will read six books over the course of the summer and memorize six Scripture verses. It’s from June 1 – August 31. Turn in a completed summer reading journal at your local LifeWay store to earn a free book and a new free Bible.
Get a season pass to a water park. Bring your lunch and it will make it cheaper. You can get discounts on Coke cans or some fast food restaurants if you go for the day. We have a smaller water park in our own town. We get a seasons pass so we get other people in with the free friends coupon.
12. Join your town’s Facebook page.
Join your towns Facebook page. They will post all of the activities going on in your town. Our town is family oriented and plan a lot for kids. We have a local theater where they perform plays. Ask around to see what your town is doing.
13. Go to nearby beach or lake.
If you live near the beach or a lake, take a day trip with friends. If you carpool, you can split the gas and pack a lunch (and snacks, drinks). I purchased a large canopy so we can have some relief from the sun. Also, I purchased a big cooler on wheels. Bungy chord that canopy onto the cooler with wheels and Whola! We have a beach with a rubber mat on the sand. It’s easy peasy. Plop up that canopy and you have a haven for the day!
14. See what your local colleges have to offer.
Check out your local colleges. Ours have programs for kids. We have a Raptor Center that houses animals they can’t live on their own because they are hurt. The college also performs plays and has a museum. They plan different activities during the year where families can come.
15. Free park pass for 4th graders.
I am signing my daughter up for this one. She is in the 4th grade. I will let your know about our adventures. You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks for an entire year. It is calledEvery Kid in a Park.
These are just some ideas to get you started. I hope you enjoy!
Go swimming – swim at night while watching a movie on a big television outside
Go to the beach if you live pretty close by and pack lunches and umbrella.
Find a college that has a museum – They are cheaper and kid friendly
Locate a county/city water park – We have a small water park at our park so we get discounts because we live in that county.
Invite friends over and cookout – get a slip-n-slide for the kids
Go to the river to swim
Find out from your local theater what day they give discounts for movies. We have $5 Tuesdays and the concessions are half price!
Local bowling centers have discount programs
Get a group of kids together and stations of different crafts – Each parent can be in charge of one station. Make sure one station is making something to eat and drink!!!!
Do you ever wonder, why is this happening to me? We all do at some time or another. Your marriage could be in shambles, your finances could be in better shape, your health could be suffering, etc. Why should I thank God for going through these things you ask?
1 Thess. 5:13 say this: 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.16 Rejoice always,17 pray continually,18 give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
God is not evil. He does not condone what Satan does. Our Lord wants you to be thankful that He is there for you. He doesn’t want us to dwell on what has happened to us or retaliate against others who have hurt us. Sometimes we bring own problems on ourselves (using a charge card and not paying off bills). We should accept where we are in life and choose to move forward while focusing on God. Be thankful even when you don’t feel it. The feelings and understanding will come later. Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before they get better. That is when you will depend on God and not yourself. During these times, it is sooo hard to rejoice, pray and give thanks. Paul did it despite being thrown in jail. What did he have to be thankful for?
Acts 16:25(NIV)25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
I would have a hard time in those conditions being thankful, wouldn’t you? Paul gave thanks in awful circumstances so I think we should also. The more we practice the easier it gets. There is a correlation between being thankful and it benefiting your brain and body. I stumbled on this website and it is a good read. We all need to practice be thankful in everything!
We all know that our days here are numbered. Paul explains to us in these verses how to look for the end of times. Which verses might relate to you in choices that you have made?
2 Timothy 3 New International Version (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.2 People will be lovers of themselves (Selfies), lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,7 always learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth.8 Just as Jannes and Jambres (magicians) opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
2 Timothy 4 (NIV)
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
The time is closer than we think. We as people are self-centered. Our financial debt is a great example of our lack of self-control. We want everything now and boast about it on Facebook! Pleasure makes us feel proud and we do everything we can to make more money. Our kids are disobedient and ungrateful for what they have. Evil has worked its way into our lives and we haven’t even realized it. Parents have become so desensitized to television and movies that we don’t even cringe when cuss words are spoken along with sexual insinuations. We need to stand out as Christians and keep preaching the gospel! We as Christians have been fading into the background as if we are no different from any one else. Paul tells us to preach the word, correct, rebuke and encourage with GREAT PATIENCE and careful instruction. We need to do this gently not aggressively. Hear me my friend, God is coming and we all need to be ready!
Have you ever had a secret that tore you up on the inside? Twenty-seven years ago I was driving down a long dark road. So many thoughts were rushing through my mind. I was saddened by my silent secret that I was keeping. I drove until my tears blurred my vision and I finally pulled over and sobbed. You see I was only 17 with a 9 month old baby boy and pregnant. What was I going to do? My parents and family didn’t know about this pregnancy and I had no one to talk to about this.
The next morning I went to work. I was working downtown Atlanta, barely making ends meet, and living with my parents. Once I arrived at work, I sat down at my desk consumed with all of my problems. As I proceeded to do my job, I felt something running down my leg. I was bleeding! Well, my boss ran me to the emergency room. He now knew that I was pregnant and so did my co-workers! At least I had someone to talk to about this now. The nurses rushed me to the back and did an ultra sound to see if the baby was okay. I remember very vividly the look on her face as she was doing the ultra sound. It scared me to death! She quietly informed me that I was having twins. Twins! How could this be? I hadn’t taken fertility pills. I sat back and cried. Once I pulled myself together I asked her why I was bleeding. She sadly turned to me and said that I was losing one if not both of my children! My head was spinning trying to grasp all of the information that was just told to me. The nurse showed me the ultra sound. It appeared to have a spider web look to it. She explained that it looked cancerous. Now I really was losing my mind. It was a lot for a 17-year-old to consume all in one sitting. I was actually kind of excited about having twins and now finding out that they might be taken from me. Why God? These are my babies, mine I tell you! I want to get to know them, hold them and love on them. I became angry knowing that the doctors might have to do a DNC.
Later the doctor came in and read my charts and ultra sound. He gently sat down to tell me what was going to happen. The doctor told me to go to my OB/GYN to discuss having a DNC because I was losing the babies and I could have cancer in my uterus. He left the room as I sat silently alone to deal with the information that was just handed to me. I knew I was pregnant and had a chance to process that information. Finding out I was pregnant with twins and losing them was a different story. Would I ever get over this?
I called my parents and told them what had just happened. They weren’t exactly excited since I was a 17-year-old with a baby and pregnant with twins. By the way my dad is a minister! A few days later I went to my OB/GYN and they agreed that it was in my best interest to have a DNC. My parents were there for me despite of their disappointment. A week later I had a DNC. They had removed everything that they thought was cancerous. I went home and became numb to everything. Weeks went by and I ached for my babies. I didn’t even know the gender of these precious babies.
A few years went by as I had placed my sadness in the back of my thought process. Different things would come up that would remind me of them. I thought, how am I going to get through this. A friend of mine had gone through a similar event and went to a support group. She shared something amazing with me. My friend told me to pick out a gender for each child and name them. She said they are waiting for me in heaven. I broke down with tears of joy. Something that I had never thought about was that I would see them AGAIN IN HEAVEN! Praise God for this! They are healthy and happy. When I heard this I quickly chose names for them. Their names are Brittany and Brianna and they are my girls. My girls! When I get to heaven I will run to them and scoop them up to let them know how much I love them and have missed them. I still get sad sometimes because my other children didn’t get to know them. I just look up to heaven and praise God for those humans that He gave me for such a short time. You know God lost His son too and He was sad. Jesus is our Savior and the only way to get to heaven is through Him. If you haven’t accepted Him as your Lord and Savior the time is now. Find a church near you and ask to speak to their minister/pastor. I have such a deep passion for you to know my God, who is all loving, knowing and forgiving! Become reunited with your loved ones, especially if you have lost a child whether through a miscarriage or death. God is with you always!
Fourteen years ago I had to take fertility to become pregnant with my beautiful daughter. Yes there was only one child this time. Go figure that. Then we fostered and adopted our daughter. I have a step-son, son, daughter and adopted daughter now. We are complete! I had wanted another child after my 14-year-old, but had a bad pregnancy. Fostering and adopting can be a great thing if you can’t have kids. God can heal your heart if you let Him.
Have you ever wondered what you should do if you want to talk to the dead? Has there even been in incident in your life that haunted you?
I once knew a 9-year-old girl named April who was riding on the boat with her father on the river. Her dad told her to get out of the boat while he turned it around to load it on the trailer. April was very angry with her dad because she wanted to ride with him to dock it. She became frustrated with her dad and told her dad that she hoped he would flip the boat. Her dad proceeded to turn the boat around and the boat did just that, it flipped. April’s dad could not swim and his life jacket was only around one leg so he slipped out and drowned! April was horrified that her last words to him weren’t daddy I love you.
She has been haunted by that memory ever since.
One day April decided to go to his grave and do a séance so she could tell him she was sorry and that she loves him very much. It was her and 3 other women that participated. They had candles and kept chanting his name and nothing happened. One of the women remembered that he hated his middle name so they started chanting that name. April’s daughter felt something touch her shoulder and April felt something around her back that slid around her side. She felt like it was his arm around her. It scared one of the ladies so she left. It broke the circle so the séance stopped. They gave up and went home.
I asked her not to do it again because it scared me. I did some research in the Bible about this and this is what I came up with. The Bible Says:
“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists,
for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:31 (NIV)
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV)
Those who are asleep in death can’t be woke up until Jesus comes back. This shows that the spirits that are here on earth, are not our dead loved ones spirits (They are Satan’s demons). Here is another verse about this:
“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.
Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 (NIV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead,
where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)
If the dead doesn’t know anything nor have knowledge of what is going on, then this shows that they don’t know who is left here on this earth. All of the presence that people encounter are Satan’s angels (demons). I wouldn’t play around with trying to contact the deceased because you never know what you will encounter. NOTHING EVER is good when it comes from the devil! If you are struggling with the loss of your love one, know that you can turn to God for comfort. He understands and has been through it too! Pray to Him to help alleviate your pain. God will help feel that void and will always be with you. I welcome you to comment if you need someone to talk to. I am dealing with the loss of loved ones too!
Have you heard the story about the woman who was trying on a new dress? She kept saying to herself, “I really don’t have the money for this dress but it really looks good on me!” After a few times of saying that she yelled “Satan get behind me!” That didn’t really work either because she heard a small voice from the other dressing room saying, “It looks just as good from this side!”
We all have struggles. Satan has been tempting me to spend money on things that I do not need. We as women want to have nice clothes, a nice car, colored hair (if you are turning gray), money to spend for fun and the list goes on!!! All of these things are not bad, but we shouldn’t let them consume us. Recently I have joined the Dave Ramsey class called Financial Peace University. I am trying to get out of debt so I can give more. Lately, I have been convicted to give God more and it’s hard for you and your husband to agree on what to spend in each category. Pray to God that you and your spouse will agree and compromise. If you want help in this area, this course is a great one to take. If everyone could just be content with what they had, our world wouldn’t be in this financial mess.
Years ago a young girl had her life planned out. She was to marry the love of her life and have no kinks in her plans. This young girl probably was preparing wedding plans and thinking about that white picket fence. She had so many hopes and dreams such as, how many kids they would have and what her job would be when she became older. Her life was all planned out until one particular day. God had other plans for her. Without much of a warning she was visited by an angel named Gabriel. Her life was about to be changed forever. You have probably figured out that I am talking about Mary and Joseph.
I am sure she said, “But I had my life planned out differently.”She probably thought that God had the wrong person and she wasn’t worthy. How many times do we feel this way? We have our life planned out and we don’t want anything changing our plans. We think that God has chosen the wrong person to do His job. Or I am not worthy or good enough to share His word on His behalf. Guess what! God changes our plans to fulfill His plans. What’s funny is that God’s plans ALWAYS works for our good! He knows what is best for us even when we can’t see it. I wanted to open a child-care center once. I wanted it sooo badly and didn’t understand why it just didn’t work out. God had shut all of the doors knowing what was best for me. An assist director opening came open at child-care center and I took the job. I realized that I didn’t have what it took to run a big center like that. I soon went back to my in-home daycare and was content. God knew my strengths and weaknesses and owning a daycare was definitely not my strength. He protected me! Isn’t it awesome how God works! Are you listening for God’s voice? Are you going in your direction or His? You might want something to go the way you have planned it. Ask God if that is His will for you. You never know, He might have different plans. Obey Him and see where He takes you. I never imagined that I would be blogging right now. I have often felt like Moses where I didn’t feel capable of leading people to Christ. God has changed my thoughts and has told me, “This is your platform, be obedient and I will tell you what to say”.
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I worked in an elementary school and ran a class where students learned while they moved. I had them crossing their mid-line and moving so they could better. Every few weeks I will give you examples on how to teach your kids how to learn while making it fun!
Math– Place index cards with a math problem on it (ex:4+6 without the answer) on the wall (I would use an outside wall). Get a ball and bounce it on the index card while you say the correct answer. Continue to do this until you have finished all of the problems.
Spelling– Write each spelling word on a different index card. Put them in a pile. Get on a trampoline (mini or big) and jump out and say each letter of the spelling word. After you say each letter, say the spelling word at the end. Ex: The word is “There”. Jump and say each letter. “T”, “H”, “E”, “R”, “E”….There. Repeat this twice, then move to the next word.