Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spinach Smoothie

Lately, I have been trying to make changes in my diet. For a while, I have preferred healthy things but it is so easy to grow lazy and choose convience over health, especially when you live in a small town with not a lot of options for healthy or organic food. But I have resolved to take baby steps in bettering my health. I have a good start anyway seeing how we have no sodas in our house, we use butter instead of margarine, I juice fruits and veggies, etc. But there is still so much more so I am slowly dismissing the bad stuff and adding the good stuff.

The other day I started making spinach smoothies. YUM! Let me tell you, you will be surprised what you can sneak into a smoothie to improve your health. I love fresh baby spinach but some of the things I have been putting IN my spinach smoothie makes me gag just thinking about it. However, I will camouflage those things in my smoothie, add a little honey and vanilla and fresh fruit and - TA DA! - I'd never know those "nasty things" were in there. Below is my recipe for my spinach smoothie.

  • 1 cup of packed baby spinach
  • 1 Tbs of plain Yogurt (Yogurt boosts your immunity and contributes to colon health.)
  • 1 Tbs cottage cheese (Yep. Believe it or not, cottage cheese is a cancer fighter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice (or any juice of your choice)
  • 1 Tbs Flax Seed meal (Yet another cancer fighter. The flax seed carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. It has a high amount of fiber and antioxidants.)
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 2 tsp Cod Liver Oil (I know, I know. Yuck, right? Well, mixed in with a smoothie, you won't be able to taste it AND you will reap the benefits. Cod Liver Oil promotes a healthy immune system, helps resist bacterial and viral infections, and is beneficial for eyesight and healthy skin.)
  • 1/2 cup Almond Silk
  • 2 Tbs raw Honey

Friday, August 26, 2011

Saturating Your Children With Scripture

I remember years ago while attending a Bible conference, one powerful preacher of the Gospel outlined the lives of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, two great patriarchs of Christian history. He said one phrase repeatedly when describing the upbringing of both Jonathan and Sarah, which was:

"....saturated with the Word of God."  Saturated.

Webster's Dictionary defines "saturate" as:
sat·u·rate    [v. sach-uh-reyt; adj., n. sach-er-it, -uh-reyt]

1. to cause (a substance) to unite with the greatest possible amount of another substance, through solution, chemical combination, or the like.
2. to charge to the utmost, as with magnetism.
3. to soak, impregnate, or imbue thoroughly or completely: to saturate a sponge with water; a town saturated with charm.
To unite with the greatest possible amount....to imbue thoroughly....to soak..... what a picture. Those two lives (and countless more!) were raised being saturated, not with secular culture, mind you, but with the very living, breathing, infallible Word of God. They were not filled with liberal mentalities or philosophies. They were not absorbed in the things of the world. Instead, they were soaked with Scripture. They were not raised simply just being around Christian things and hearing the Bible taught and preached. Instead, they were SOAKED and completely SATURATED with it. And if you study their legacy, you will be amazed to find that their family presents a near-perfect picture of Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Thinking upon these things, I have committed to "saturating" my children with the Word of God. A few weeks ago, I began to take Nathan's bath time to instill a Bible verse in his little heart, correlating with what we were doing. I have been reciting Psalm 51:10 to him at every bath time and also will sometimes sing Keith Green's song based upon that passage in Scripture to him as well. I have also been trying to develop a habit of reciting at least one Bible verse at various times of the day, depending on the activity. I recently made a chart, that I will gladly share with you all, that I hope will help me in my endeavour to saturate my children.

As the world grows increasingly sinful and filled with carnal and flesh-filled idols, those who are truly and literally saturated with the Word of God are becoming fewer and farther between. However, as Elisabeth Elliot said, In every generation, there are a few.... My prayer for my little boy (and gracious, for myself too!!) is that he will be soaked in the Word so much so that when this world fades further into the darkness, he will stand out like a lighthouse on a hill. When those his age choose paths of self, lust, and sin, I pray HE will have the Word of God so deeply rooted in his heart that he will be able to aptly combat Satan's fiery darts. When sound doctrine and "the old path" as Jeremiah says, is rejected and even outlawed, I pray he will be so soaked with Scripture that even if his Bible is taken away, he is still able to meditate on the Lord's precepts "all the day long." As parents, we need to take hold of our high calling and USE it wisely. Proverbs tells us that if we train up a child a certain way, he will not depart from it. If we train up our children to simply be good in school, active in sports, or sociable, then that is inevitably the way they will go. And what's more, if that's all we do, we will fail as parents. However, if we train up our children to stand firm upon Biblical doctrine, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to hide His Word in their hearts that they may not sin against our Lord, if we train them up to be warriors in the army of God, then we will succeed as parents AND we will be pointing our children to Heaven's eternity.

Below is the chart I have made for teaching Nathan basic Scripture for his basic activities. I am resolving to recite these to him every day, instilling those Words into his little heart at an early age. If you would like a copy e-mailed to you, let me know and I will send you the pdf file.

Praying for you, parents, as you saturate your children....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Godly Woman

Wonderful, Biblical poem...

The Bible speaks to everyone who follows in the Way,
But some parts are specific in the things they have to say.
The fathers are encouraged, and those alone in life,
And there are admonitions for the mother and the wife.

I always linger over these; they speak to my estate.
They offer me direction in the small things and the great.
To be a godly woman is the goal I want to reach,
And so I need to study what the Scriptures have to teach.

A woman who is called to be a mother and a wife,
Who takes the cross and purposes to live a godly life,
Is ever growing in the faith she’s chosen to profess,
And there are certain qualities she covets to possess.

The godly woman stays at home, her duties keep her there.
She rises while it yet is night and gives herself to prayer.
Her days are full of service and her heart is full of love;
Her mind is full of gratitude and praise for God above.

Though not employed outside the home, she has no mind to shirk,
She eats not bread of idleness, but fruit of honest work.
Her brother and her sister, her parents and her neighbor,
Her husband and her children share the blessing of her labor.

The love her husband feels for her is easy to reflect,
And she not only loves him, but she gives him her respect.
In her his heart may safely trust; she does him only good;
When he confides his inner thoughts, he finds them understood.

She’s mindful, too, of Eden, where the woman was deceived.
She knows it’s not her place to teach him, as others have believed,
Nor to usurp authority, but listen with subjection,
In meekness and humility, accepting his direction.

When all the church assembles in a solemn, formal way,
The godly woman listens to what the Preacher has to say;
And if she hears a statement made that makes her sit up straighter,
The question forming in her mind she asks her husband later.

Still, there is a congregation where her voice is often heard,
And her children are attentive as she teaches them the Word,
When she sits within her house, and when she walks along the way;
When she lays them down at night and when she rises with the day.

The godly woman is discreet, not seeking other’s praise;
She’s modest in appearance, and she’s modest in her ways.
She isn’t prone to gossip, but her neighbors know she cares,
And any help her hands can give is certain to be theirs.

The godly woman isn’t gay; she’s left that all behind.
She’s pleasant and she’s cheerful, but she has a sober mind.
Her bowed head, her simple dress, her modest mien are one;
Her singular adornment is the good that she has done.

When years of faithful laboring have bent her body low,
She’ll teach the younger women in the way that they should go.
And verily, I say to you, she’ll have a rich reward.

Oh, make of me that woman, Lord! And guide me in that way.
Behold, thou art the potter, and I the softened clay.
Encourage me where I am right; rebuke me where I’m wrong.
I read these Scriptures often and I ponder on them long.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nathan is Rolling Over!

It must be milestone week....

* Sunday night Nathan had baby food for the first time.

* Monday he rolled over for the first time. Wow...

* Today, he had his four month check up and weighs a grand total of 12.15 lbs (just shy of 13 lbs!) and he's a whoppin' 25 inches long!

People told me that he would grow up quick. I believed them, but I didn't know Nathan would grow THIS quick! Anyway, below are the videos of my little man rollin' over!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Taste of Baby Food!

Last night Nathan had his first taste of baby food. He loved it. I'm happy and sad and proud all rolled into one.

Monday Meanderings - 08/22/2011

Bible Study... Titus 2

Memory Verse... 1 Corinthians 1:9
"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Try to communicate my feelings better
♥ Laugh!
♥ Seek to serve
♥ Keep all snacks and goodies out of sight

Train Them Up...
* Write in Baby book
* Do "Bible Story Time" more often
Personal Goals...
* Work on scrapbook
* Journal
* Study early before Nathan wakes up
* Exercise hard this week!

New Habit of the Month...
* Speak gently
MUST Do...
* Clean bathroom
* Go to post office
* Finish laundry
* Dentist appointment today (ugh!)
* Place Arbonne orders* Nathan's doctor's appointment Wednesday
Zone... bathrooms

M - Sandwiches?
T - Deer steak, potatoes, green beans, biscuits, cookie dough brownies
W - Soup? Chili?
Th - Cheesy chicken bake?
F - Pizza casserole?
Su - TBD
* The family coming Tuesday for dinner!
* Scrapbooking!
3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Naps
2. Pictures
3. Family

Friday, August 19, 2011

It Ain't Just Me... :)

Is it just me or do I have THE CUTEST and most adorable, precious, and fun baby in the world??!!

Nah... it ain't just me! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Him is No Darkness

May I share something that the Lord has changed in my life?

Last year, one evening, Grant and I were wanting to watch a movie. We had our typical conversation:

What do you want to watch?

I don't know, what do YOU want to watch?

Finally, we settled on a "scary movie." Now, to begin, I will say that we have some strict rules in our home. There are no R-rated movies in our house. And we are watchful of the PG-13 movies as well. This movie was a PG-13 "thriller" and we were in the mood to be "thrilled," I suppose. So we settled down on the couch, turned the lights off, and started the movie.

I have never watched a horror movie in my life. The movie "Jaws" makes me jump clear out of my skin and is what I call, a scary "jumping" movie. So I assumed that this "thriller" would be much like that. There was no language to worry about. It had no Voodoo or anything evil that it glorified. It was harmless....or so I thought. However, by the movie's end that night, I was shaking with fear. The movie wasn't about anything spiritual. The whole scenario was unrealistic and, if you truly think about it, maybe a bit lame. It wasn't classified as a horror movie. Just a thriller. Just a little fear....right?

Oh no.

Once the movie was over, I jumped up and turned on all the lights in our house. Being late at night, Grant and I headed to bed, but I found myself unable to immediately hop into bed and fall asleep. I had the lights bright and tried to clear my mind. That night I dreamed about the movie. Anytime Grant or I discussed the movie, I would usually have have trouble sleeping or end up having some sort of nightmare. I didn't understand it. I didn't watch horror movies, I never tampered with anything spiritual or "evil." I wasn't a fraidy cat, scared of my own shadow. I could pretty much handle my own.... So, what was wrong??


Suffice it to say, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had justified that movie because it wasn't a "real" scary movie. I justified it because it was PG-13 for "thematic elements and disturbing images." I justified a lot....but I ended up being so terrified that when Grant would mention anything associated with the movie, I couldn't handle it. There had to be something more that I wasn't seeing.

So I did some serious soul searching and I allowed God to shine a light on a seemingly small area of my life.


Up until then, I would never have entertained the possibility that there could be an area of darkness in my life. But I realized then that there was! I had pursued a movie that was saturated in darkness and that played on my nerves, driving me to fear. I had found nothing wrong with it because it was "tame" and "harmless" yet overlooked and forgotten the fact that the standards of God are FAR different from the standards of this world. Hollywood said that it was "innocent." I know now that the Lord put it in a totally opposite category. There was nothing innocent or harmless about it. That is always one of the first things we forget - that God thinks very differently than the way we think. His standards are higher. His definitions, different. His love, greater. His judgement, more sure. His truth, absolute. And I have no doubt that if we had prayerfully consulted Him that night in our movie-dicision, we would have never lowered the bar.
Our society glorifies the darkness. Have you noticed how incredibly dark and sinister the horror movies are getting? The previews are enough to make you scream! Have you seen how much money movies that glorify evil are making? Have you counted how many TV shows are about witches, vampires, wizards, and ghosts? Even the Disney channel and the Cartoon network is filled with them! Wonder why that is? Simple. Our world is growing increasingly sinful and as a result, it is becoming increasingly filled with darkness. John 3:19-21 puts it perfectly....

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

We are naturally drawn to darkness because we are sinful creatures. As long as sin is in this world, we will wrestle against our flesh and against the darkness of sin. It makes sense....

However, as the redeemed of God, we are no longer children of the darkness, but of the light! As Paul said in Ephesians 5:8, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Since we are no longer in darkness, we should endeavor to walk in the glorious light of Christ, leaving the works of darkness behind. It all goes back to separation. From the very beginning, God separated light from darkness.

Genesis 1:4 - "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Why should we think that there shouldn't be a separation between the people of God and the things of this world when God divided the night from the light at the beginning of creation? Clearly, it is an important division! And spiritually speaking, since we have the God of light living in our hearts, there should be no smidgen of darkness in us at all! No sin, for He is holy. No darkness, for He is light. No night, for He is day. No dirt, for He is clean and righteous. It is easy to forget, yes. It is easy to slip back into a justification mode, yes. It is very easy to grow lazy and slack. But over and over again in Scripture, God reminds us (because we definitely need reminding!) that we should follow in His footsteps; walking in the light, showcasing light in our lives, spreading light, shining the light, running to the light!....etc. etc. etc.

I definitely learned my lesson last year on that night. Since then, I haven't watched any "scary/thriller/spooky/jumping" movie. I was greatly convicted that evening and resolved to never again play with something that can cause me to be afraid or that is filled with or glorifies darkness.

Why? Many reasons; the main reason being that I serve a Holy God who has no darkness in Him whatsoever. And if I am to be His hands, His feet, His mouthpiece - His vessel - I need to be as much like Him as I can be. And that means ridding myself of darkness as well.

Luke 11:35
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

John 12:46
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Romans 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

1 Thessalonians 5:5
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

I challenge you to let the light of God shine upon your life and your heart and, like David said to God, "see if there be any wicked place in me." I have to do this every day or I will stumble back into the darkness. Let us resolve to step out of the darkness and walk as children of Light.
1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I found this recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything and decided to try it out today. These things are RICH, but they are pretty good if you are hungry for peanut butter and chocolate. :)


1 pkg. plain yellow cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 c. of the mixture to crumble on top.

1 (12 oz) pkg. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter
Melt on low heat in a small pot. Remove from heat and add:
2 tsp. vanilla

Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 of reserved cake mixture on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Monday Meanderings - 08/15/2011

Bible Study... Titus 2

Memory Verse... Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Seek to serve
♥ Keep all snacks and goodies out of sight
♥ Pray for him more

Train Them Up...
* Write in Baby book
* Get back to "Bible Story Time"
Personal Goals...
* Work on scrapbook
* Work on photo albums
* Journal
* Study early before Nathan wakes up

New Habit of the Month...
* Speak gently
MUST Do...
* Schedule check up for Nathan
* Clean out closets
* Wash laundry
* Clean out dressers
* Clean out pantry and fridge
Zone... bathrooms

M - Chicken fettuchini alfredo
T - Steak, green beans, sweet potato fries?
W - Soup? Chili?
Th - Breakfast for dinner
Su - TBD
* Arbonne party Saturday!
* Relaxing tonight!
* Scrapbooking!
3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Cooler weather
2. Pictures
3. Friends

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Four Months Old

I realized the other day that I do not have a newborn anymore. I'm boxing up his newborn clothes as he moves into his "big boy clothes" (that's what I call 3 month clothes!). It's sad but exciting. My little baby is getting to be a big baby. :)

  • Nathan is a great sleeper. He sleeps 10-12 hours each night and takes two two-hour naps and one one-hour nap per day. Yay!
  • We have up-ed his rice cereal intake which is working out good. Sometime this month I plan to break out the infant feeders and try those out with him.
  • He still hasn't rolled over. The little dude is just lazy. It'll happen soon, though. I feel it. :)
  • He is giggling a lot more lately, which is A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

Playing with Daddy

Chillin' on the floor

Stylin' with Daddy's sunglasses

"I'm gonna get it....I can GET it...I WILL get it..."

Luvin' them fingers

Hanging out with Poppie

My boy and his beautiful baby blues...

With Momma. :)

Watching "The Torchlighters" (he was focused in!)

With Daddy!

My precious little family!

FOUR months old!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Great Things He Hath Done!

Has the Lord ever worked a miracle in your life?

Has He ever healed you?

Has He ever given you the strength to endure another trial?

Has our God ever delivered you from temptation?

Has Jesus ever spoke peace to your storm?

Has the Holy Spirit ever comforted your weary heart?

Has He ever led you safely through the darkness into His marvelous light?

Have His arms ever held you?

Has He ever answered a prayer?

Has He ever fought your battle for you?

Has His grace ever been sufficient as He said it would be?

Has He ever worked all things together for good in your life?

Has He ever been faithful to you in anything?

....He has with me.

Salvation would have been enough...but He went a little further and gave me blessings, gave me hope, gave me strength, gave me refuge, gave me a future. He has answered every prayer, has led me through every valley, and has been faithful to me in all things....just like He promised!

Psalm 9:10
"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:
for THOU, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."

Isaiah 25:1
"O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee,
I will praise thy name; for THOU hast done WONDERFUL things;
thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."

Hebrews 10:23
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(FOR HE IS FAITHFUL that promised)"

In the words of Fanny Crosby's priceless hymn, To God Be the Glory (my favorite hymn of all-time), "And give Him the glory, great things He hath done!"

Give Me Love Like This!

Many crowd the Saviour’s Kingdom,
Few receive His Cross,
Many seek His consolation,
Few will suffer loss,
For the dear sake of the Master,
Counting all but dross.

Many sit at Jesus’ table,

Few will fast with Him
When the sorrow-cup of anguish
Trembles to the brim-
Few watch with Him in the garden
Who have sung the hymn.

Many will confess His wisdom,

Few embrace His shame,
Many, should He smile upon them,
Will His praise proclaim;
Then, if for awhile He leave them,
They desert His Name.

But the souls who love Him truly

Whether for woe or bliss,
These will count their truest heart’s blood
Not their own but His:
Saviour, Thou who thus hast loved me,
Give me love like this.

—Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Oh.....my....goodness. If you love chocolate and cookie dough, then this is for you! I stumbled upon this recipe from Recipe Girl a few weeks ago and finally tried it tonight. WOW. Talk about "yum" to the highest degree!!! I introduce to you - the chocolate chip cooke dough brownie!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Yield: 32 brownies
Prep Time: 30 min + cooling time
Cook Time: 25 min

These brownies are a major treat for cookie dough lovers...

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chips + 1 teaspoon shortening for drizzle, optional

1. Prepare the brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray. In a medium glass bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in short bursts of 30 seconds; stir after each burst and remove from microwave when melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in melted chocolate. Blend in flour and mix just until combined (don't over-mix). Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes. Watch closely and remove from oven when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix in milk and vanilla. Mix in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Spread cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is quite firm. It's okay to speed up the process and place it in the freezer too. The firmer the dough, the easier it will be to cut into neat squares. Use a sharp knife to cut the brownies. You may need to wipe the knife off with a paper towel in between cuts since the fudgy brownies and cookie dough will tend to stick to the knife a bit. These brownies are best to serve placed inside cupcake papers and served with a fork.

4. If you'd like to add chocolate drizzle on top, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening in the microwave; stir until smooth. Scoop the melted chocolate into a zip baggie and snip off the corner. Squeeze the bag to drizzle the chocolate on top of each brownie. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top, if desired.

OH yeah!! :) :)

Movie Recommendations -- 08/09/2011

I love reading the stories of the heroes of our faith. Amy Carmichael. Richard & Sabina Wurmbrand. Mary Slesser. David Livingstone. I enjoy being inspired and stirred by their faith and what they did for the Lord. This movie is based on the true story of Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian; the five missionaries martyred in Ecuador in 1956. Having a burning passion to take the Gospel to the Huaorani people (an Indian tribe known for spearing any stranger on site), these five men decide to make contact and bring them the news of Jesus. When I watched this movie for the first time, I literally bawled my eyes out. It is a convicting story about passion, ministry, true love, strength and ultimate forgiveness. I highly recommend this movie, along with the documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor.

Every home needs to have this movie on their shelf. I watched "Fireproof" before I married and was powerfully impacted. Now that I am married, I love it all the more! For those who have not yet seen this movie, it follows firefighter, Caleb, and his wife, Katherine, as they plummet downhill towards a divorce. To please his godly father, Caleb accepts a "dare" and embarks on a journey to save his marriage. What follows is an amazing story of salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and the power that comes when God is given control. I also recommend the book, "The Love Dare," which is a fantastic tool in strengthening (or saving) your marriage.

Nathan and I watched this little video yesterday afternoon. "The Legend of the Three Trees." Years ago I was given the book but have never watched the video until yesterday. It is a beautifully sweet little story about three trees with three different dreams of what they want to be. One tree longs to be a beautiful chest that will hold treasures. Another tree dreams of being a great ship fit for a king, sailing the oceans. The third tree wants to remain rooted and strong, growing to be the tallest tree in the forest and reminding others of God's glory when they look up at his majestic stature. Each tree has a dream, but each each tree must learn to trust God and HIS dreams for you instead. It is a very cute and precious animated story. I love it.

I am sure many have seen the new movie, "Soul Surfer" by now. If not, it is definitely a great inspirational movie. I had never heard of Bethany Hamilton, but will be looking her up now that I have seen this movie, based upon her story of overcoming a terrible shark attack and rising to be a national champion in surfing. Grant and I were both inspired by this movie and enjoyed it very much. (Note - For you parents who are seeking to protect your sons and instruct your daughters in holiness, be advised that there is a bit of immodesty in this movie due to some of the swimwear.)

This series is excellent! I discovered the Torchlighter series a couple of years ago through the Voice of the Martyr's ministry. They are animated videos that highlight the lives of great heroes of the faith (Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael, Eric Liddell, Gladys Aylward, Vibia Perpetua, Richard Wurmbrand, and William Tyndale to name a few). To my knowledge, they release a new video once a year. This is an absolute must-have for your children and for your family as a whole! Each video is about 30-45 minutes and comes with various bonus features, including a 45-60 minute documentary on the life of each "hero." This series is fantastic and will help our children learn who their role models and heroes should be; not the people of Hollywood, but those who have given their lives for the sake of Christ.

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