Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

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What to watch during Lent

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We like movie time. There’s just something about piling as many people as possible on the couch and continually shushing the children who like to talk through movies about the movies. Being that this is the season of Lent, you may want to choose some films that drive home the virtues and intentions of the season. Service, sacrifice, love, justice, penance and fish on Fridays.  So, unless you gave up movies for Lent, here are some recommendations:

What To Watch During Lent Read More

What To Watch During Lent

We like movie time. There’s just something about piling as many people as possible on the couch and continually shushing the children who like to talk through movies about the movies. Being that this is the season of Lent, you may want to choose some films that drive home the virtues and intentions of the […]

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Banish Boredom This Winter!

Blog | Raising Arrows 3 Comments

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

Banish boredom this winter!

Although we didn’t get a white Christmas, winter finally arrived in Maine. It’s beautiful and I love it. Outside looks all magical and wonderlandish. Inside there is a toasty fire, copious amounts of tea, and baked goods galore.  It’s not without its challenges, though. My big boys are learning the joys of shoveling the driveway and getting outside in the negative temps to tend to the farm animals. My husband is working on the outside of the house wearing about 101 layers of clothing. And I am trying to figure out how to entertain the Littles when it is too cold to send them outside all day.  Of course they want to watch TV and we do let them. But, we don’t want to make a crazy habit out of it. Although it may be too late for that. As evidenced by my two year old saying, “Mom, can I watch Wild Kratts all day long? Dad said yes.” Dad most assuredly did not say yes. #honestpostpartum

Of course, every day there are books to read, pages to color, legos and blocks, etc. But sometimes Mom has got to get a little creative. Winter is long and we’ve just gotten started.

So, when the cabin fever sets in here are some fun ideas: Read More

Banish boredom this winter!

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] Although we didn’t get a white Christmas, winter finally arrived in Maine. It’s beautiful and […]

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Back To School Like A Boss

Raising Arrows | Relationships No Comments

Whether your kids go to school or whether they “do school” (you know, only homeschoolers say “do school”) this time of year is sort of exciting and stressful and makes you want to order a pumpkin spice latte to drink while perusing school supplies. I love me some new school supplies. Nothing says happiness like un-cracked composition books and boxes of brand new pencils. Just breathe it in! That’s the smell of education, baby! Read More

Back To School

Whether your kids go to school or whether they “do school” (you know, only homeschoolers say “do school”) this time of year is sort of exciting and stressful and makes you want to order a pumpkin spice latte to drink while perusing school supplies. I love me some new school supplies. Nothing says happiness like […]

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Running Errands With Kids? Try The Trip Clip! (A review and a giveaway!)

Blog | Raising Arrows 11 Comments

So, you know what’s fun? Running errands with your kids in tow. It’s a blast right?! It’s right up there with matching socks, getting a root canal, or responding to a jury duty summons.  Oh come on! I know I am not the only one who sort of treasures those times when I can run to the bank, post office, and Target by myself and perhaps squeeeeeeze in a cuppa at the coffee shop. Bliss.  Pure bliss.

But, let’s face it. Most of the time running errands means a lot of buckling and unbuckling car seats, finding public restrooms, answering “Are we done yet?” and “Can I have this?” over and over and over and over again.  It’s just life. The mom life.  And it takes mad skillz.  (See our post on Grocery Shopping 101!!!)

Trip Clip

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Trip Clip

So, you know what’s fun? Running errands with your kids in tow. It’s a blast right?! It’s right up there with matching socks, getting a root canal, or responding to a jury duty summons.  Oh come on! I know I am not the only one who sort of treasures those times when I can run […]

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Humble Pie (an explanation a long time coming)

Blog | Books & Resources 5 Comments

RevivalA year ago together, Kristina and I decided to pull one of our books from sale. Some of you noticed and have asked where it went. At first we wanted to make some minor adjustments. Then we wanted to make major adjustments. And now we have decided to remove it from publication permanently.  We feel we need to explain and to offer, in a small way, reparation for having written and promoted this book.

So, for our long-time readers and friends, go get a cuppa and join us as we share our hearts and what led to this decision.

The background…

Both our families are part of a small homeschool co-op. Small, meaning just four families at its largest. We teach our children from curriculum and programs we write a lot of the times. It’s how we have poured so much faith and love and our values into our kids over the past 5 years.  Three years ago, we decided to teach church history. I had the idea to start from the Protestant Reformation and follow historical revivals to modern day, teaching a hymn or a worship song with each segment.

I wrote it. We taught it. Then we decided to release it. We put it in book format and set it loose. It was called Sounds of Revival.

And it tanked. Like miserably. We had poured so much work into it and it had amazing endorsements, including some very well-known and respected Christian leaders and historians.  Of all the books and curriculum we have written, none have done as poorly as this book.

Around the first anniversary of its release I wrote a piece on why everyone should celebrate the Reformation. It was light-hearted and meant in a spirit of fun. It included beer. A reader lovingly and courageously challenged the post. She said, lovingly, but without apology, that we should not be celebrating disunity. That a schism in the Body of Christ is not something to rejoice over, but rather something to be grieved. We didn’t get it. Her, very appropriate chastisement went over our heads. Perhaps she prayed for our eyes to be opened, for from that moment the Holy Spirit painted a bulls eye on us.

At every turn we were faced with an unending barrage of truth. Kristina and I would call each other or pour out our hearts to one another over coffee. What was the Lord doing? The other side of Church history found its way into our hands. The narrative we had learned since we were babies about how the “Reformation” went down, was simply not as cut-and-dried as we had been told. And soon our spirits were as grieved with the Reformation as our dear reader’s was. We realized that it was not something we could celebrate.

Jesus, in his High Priestly prayer in John 17, prays “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Jesus’ heart from the very beginning was unity. Perfect, complete unity. Not in an invisible sense (like someday in the sweet by-and-by we’ll be unified), but in a visible and tangible sense. The 40,000+ denominations since the “Reformation” is not unity. And it has broken our hearts in the past year. We get it now. And to say we are sad about it is an understatement. To say that we regret writing the book is an understatement.

This past year on what we formerly called “Reformation Day” Kristina and I got together, prayed the Rosary for the healing of the wound in the Body of Christ and then had a celebration of Sacred Music–from the Early Church to today.

Now we understand why the Lord kept the book hidden and had it sell so poorly. It was not consistent with His heart, His most Sacred Heart.

In the future we hope to write a new Church History curriculum for our children. One that is actually true to history, that is compassionate, inclusive, and has the true heart of Revival–which is all men drawn to Jesus–keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)

We are on a new path, an ancient path and all we can do is trust the Lord and His direction.  In the words of John Henry Newman:

God has created me to do him some definite service.  He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another.  I have my mission.  I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.  I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.  He has not created me for naught.  I shall do good–I shall do his work.  I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it, if I do but keep his commandments.  Therefore I will trust him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve him.  In perplexity, my perplexity may serve him.  If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve him.  He does nothing in vain.  He knows what he is about.  He may take away my friends.  He may throw me among strangers.  he may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me–still, HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS ABOUT.

Please stick around the Provision Room, we are the same quirky girls–just a little more humble and with hearts a lot softened by a confrontation with Jesus.

Sounds-Revival-cover-page

A year ago together, Kristina and I decided to pull one of our books from sale. Some of you noticed and have asked where it went. At first we wanted to make some minor adjustments. Then we wanted to make major adjustments. And now we have decided to remove it from publication permanently.  We feel […]

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Need A Hero?

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Tomorrow begins the Feast of Purim! Do you know this story? Does it thrill your heart and make you want to shout and do a happy dance? It’s a story of redemption, love over-coming, girl-power, feminine strength and beauty, courage, and so much more. And let’s face it, it’s just plain fun!

PurimThere are (at least) four very important lessons from the Feast of Purim. The first being: Remember, Lovely One, that you are a target. But, you can choose to be the hero. The choice is yours.

Read those lessons and how we celebrate here: When the World Needs A Hero!

And check out our Facebook Album for Purim photos! Have any fun Purim photos to share? Post them to our Facebook page and we’ll add them to the album and give you a big shout-out!

Purim

Purim

Tomorrow begins the Feast of Purim! Do you know this story? Does it thrill your heart and make you want to shout and do a happy dance? It’s a story of redemption, love over-coming, girl-power, feminine strength and beauty, courage, and so much more. And let’s face it, it’s just plain fun! There are (at […]

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Family Devotions You Can Do!

Prayer Closet | Raising Arrows 2 Comments

It goes like this….

You get inspired to have more meaningful family times, including family devotions.  So, you call all your kids to the living room and hand Daddy the Bible.  He starts at the beginning or picks some random spot.  The New Testament is good place to start, right?  He starts reading, the kids start squirming.  And whining.  And someone needs a drink of water.  And someone has to go potty.  And someone is just full of questions! “Dad, what’s fornication mean?”  He just reads faster.  Forget it, let’s just pray.  Who wants to go first?  For the first time since you started this, everyone falls silent.  OK, fine, you, The Mom will pray.  Well, you’re in the middle of changing a diaper.  OK, someone else can pray….the three old is game.  And so you all thank the Lord for cereal and sloths and grandma and ask the Lord for new Legos.  You call it a night.  You say you’ll try again tomorrow.  Then about two weeks goes by.

Come on now! We are not the only ones!

Family Devotions

You can find lots on instructions on how to do family devotions.  There are lots of pages and books and speakers that will tell you all the how-to’s.  The thing is, no two families are alike.  What works for one family may not work for another.  There is no one right away and a thousand great ways to have family worship.  The point is to do it.  The how of that is completely up to you!  And it may change and grow and develop as you develop as a family in your faith.

Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.  Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead,  and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

1. Rather make one big, elaborate time for family Bible study and prayer, we recommend working your faith in throughout the day, in small, doable bite-sized moments. We find that times when the family is already together work the best–such as meals, rides in the car, bedtime, etc.

2. Daddy can lead family devotions. Mommy can lead family devotions. The kids can lead family devotions. Give everyone a chance to share and don’t place the full weight of getting it done on one person’s shoulders.

3. Don’t get locked into rigid standards. Sometimes it will be short, sometimes long. Sometimes deep, sometimes lighthearted. Go with the flow.

Family Worship

IDEAS FOR YOUR DOMESTIC CHURCH

  1. Before you eat a meal together, sing a hymn or praise song. Let the kids take turns choosing.  We have several hymn books and use them regularly.
  2. Memorize a passage of Scripture together as a family.  (We’ve had some great success using Seeds of Courage music CD’s as a way to make memorizing easy and fun for the whole family!)
  3. After dinner read a portion of Scripture.  Just a bit–like a few verses from Proverbs or one Psalm.  Afterwards ask each person to say one thing that stood out to them.
  4. Use the daily Mass readings as a guide for what to read each day.  Even our non-Catholic readers can use this! Those from non-liturgical traditions may not realize that if you follow the daily readings you will have pretty much covered the whole Bible in three years. A good way to do this with young children is to break it up and do the first and second reading at breakfast, the Psalm at lunch, and the Gospel reading at dinner. (You can find them here at EWTN Daily Readings.)
  5. Memorize prayers you can pray together as a family such as The Lord’s Prayer or The Prayer Before The Crucifix.
  6. For children who are too young to read, put together a prayer picture book.  This can be a photo album. They can go through this and pray for each image.  Include family members, your church and pastor, your neighborhood, a map of the US, a map of the world, picture of an unborn baby, etc.
  7. Giving children something tangible is a great way to help them connect truths with their every day lives. For example, on the day we pray for the Persecuted Church, we tie a rope to our wrists, reading the children Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those in bounds as if bound with them.” (See the picture above!)
  8. Use your time in the car to listen to teaching CD’s, sing worship songs or pray for special prayer requests.
  9. We’ve written a book that we use every Spring. Radiant! Inside and Out! It’s a Spring Cleaning book–for heart and home. Again using practical things to connect the prophetic applications of the spiritual life! This little book is packed full of truth and beauty for your child’s heart! And your house will be cleaner when you are done too. Win-win!
  10. Before you drop your kids off at dance/martial arts/school, etc. take a moment and pray for them and bless them.
  11. Before they go to bed bless them. Numbers 6:24-26 works really well. (This book, The Blessing, is a great place to learn more about and be inspired about speaking blessings to your children! We highly recommend it!)
  12. Fast as a family.  Let the whole family pray together and decide together what they will fast, such as go without dessert for a week or instead of going to the movies, use that money for charity. The possibilities are endless.
  13. Pick a prayer target and be spiritual missionaries! We love this book about Praying through the 100 Gateway Cities of the 10/40 Window !
  14. Keep your churches missionaries and staff pictures in a book or on a bulletin board. Pick one each day and pray for them. Breakfast is a great time to do this.
  15. Observe Biblical Feasts together. We have seen this bring our family together around the Word in such a unique and beautiful way. (Lots of resources here.)
  16. Observe a day of rest. A true Sabbath. A Shabbat Meal is a lovely tradition that sets a perfect tone and encourages our rest in Him.
  17. Make a game out of Bible Trivia. You could even offer prizes! (See Kristina’s Bible Challenge here.)
  18. Let your children see you have prayer time. Of course we all like to get away by ourselves for quiet time and prayer (like early in the morning or after they go to bed at night), but make sure that there are times your kids see you reading your Bible, on your knees in prayer, journaling, weeping, etc. There is a lot that is caught, rather than taught.
  19. Need to get some wiggles out?  Take the kids out for a prayer walk.  As you walk the neighborhood pray for your neighbors and your community.
  20. Dance regularly!  Turn on your favorite worship music and dance before the Lord.  After all, David danced before the Lord and God said in regard to David, “I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)

Dance Before The Lord! (NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through affiliate links help support this blog and all this abundant home-centered living inspiration!)

Family Devotions

It goes like this…. You get inspired to have more meaningful family times, including family devotions.  So, you call all your kids to the living room and hand Daddy the Bible.  He starts at the beginning or picks some random spot.  The New Testament is good place to start, right?  He starts reading, the kids […]

9

Chores for all! (age appropriate chore assignments)

Blog | Raising Arrows 9 Comments

Chores for all

Between us there are 10 children, ranging in age from 17 months to 14 years old.  That’s a lot of laundry, a lot of dishes, a lot of sock-matching and bathroom cleaning.  If we felt it was our job as mothers to do all the housework we would never see the light of day.  And we’d have a few more wrinkles.

Thankfully, we do not feel it is our jobs as mothers to do all the housework.  Our job is to train our children to be mindful and responsible members of society–and that starts in the home! They need to learn as soon as they are able to pick-up after themselves, to lend a hand in everything from meal preparation to basic repairs.  We are all members of this family and we all love this home.  Therefore, we are ALL homemakers.  In recent years our children have been doing more and more with us and for us–from helping us to host retreats to catering Christmas parties for clients.  They do amazing things with skill, beauty and most of all WILLING HEARTS!  This didn’t start when they turned 12.  This started when they were just wee ones toddling around our homes and making messes.

To encourage you in training your children to be equal and capable participants in your home life, we offer a list of what we consider age-appropriate chores for all.  Have thoughts about this? Leave us a comment and let us know what chores your children could do when?  And which ones do they despise and which ones do they like?  And most of all, which ones are you most eager to push off on them because you hate it so much? (I submit the dreaded job of matching socks.)

2-4 years old

  • change hand towels in the bathroom and/or kitchen
  • help put away non-breakable dishes
  • help put away groceries
  • help set the table
  • put toys in toy boxes and shelves

 5-7 years old

  • Tidy toys and bookshelves
  • Put away dishes on their own
  • Set table
  • Clear table
  • Water indoor plants
  • Help with food prep (such as peel garlic, wash vegetables, tear lettuce and greens for salads, etc.)
  • Sort dirty laundry and fold and put away clean laundry
  • Take kitchen scraps to compost bins or chickens
  • Make bed (basically just pulling up the covers)

8-10 years old

  • Sweep porch, steps, walk
  • Clean bathroom
  • Wash dishes (minus difficult scrubbing for pots and pans)
  • Clean cobwebs
  • Dust
  • Vacuum area rugs
  • Prepare simple meals such as PB&J sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, etc.
  • Use stovetop with supervision
  • Help with food prep (such as chop vegetables, bake muffins and cookies, boil eggs, etc.)
  • Do own laundry (sorting, washing, drying or hanging on line, folding and put away)
  • Iron own church clothes
  • Hand raise animals
  • Collect eggs
  • Wash dog
  • Make bed (with higher expectation for neatness)
  • Change sheets

Kids Can Do Big Things

11-13 years old

  •  Help with meal planning and shopping list making
  • Prepare basic meals, including using knives, ovens and stove
  • Sweep and mop
  • Vacuum
  • Wash dishes, including scrubbing pots and pans
  • Clean ovens
  • Organize common spaces (pantry, linen cabinet, coat closet, etc.)
  • Tend to garden, including helping design and plan, harvest, etc.
  • Walk dog
  • Clean chicken pen
  • Tend to compost

14-16 years old (Our children are just entering this phase, so these are our goals for them.)

  • Handle meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Change the oil in the car
  • Change a tire (they must learn how before they get their driver’s licenses)
  • Start a little business to make some money of their own (tutor younger children, give lessons in instruments or dance, baking, babysitting, etc.)
  • Volunteer on a regular basis

Chores for all

Between us there are 10 children, ranging in age from 17 months to 14 years old.  That’s a lot of laundry, a lot of dishes, a lot of sock-matching and bathroom cleaning.  If we felt it was our job as mothers to do all the housework we would never see the light of day.  And […]

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Required Reading (A short list of books that our children will read before we release them on the world)

Blog | Raising Arrows 15 Comments

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

What you read, especially what you read when you are young, is one of the most formative and trans-formative forces in life.  We still remember certain books we read when we were trying to find our way in the world–how we felt when we read those words and how those words changed us.  We are both big readers, always in the middle of at least a half-dozen books at any given time.  And we talk about what we read and we debate with people what we read and sometimes fight with what we read. Often we fall asleep with our noses in books.  There have been times we have gotten so upset with what we’ve read that we’ve thrown a book across a room or in the trash. (It happens. It’s not pretty.)  Sometimes we love a book so much we anthropomorphize it, we dream about it, we buy a dozen copies and hand them out like Gospel tracts.

Required Reading

Although we both read very widely, there are only a few books, that are on our must-read list.  Before we send our young adults out into the world to turn it upside down (or right-side up, as it were) here is what they must have read:

BIOGRAPHICAL

This short book is written by the former president of Columbia International University about the decisions and journey he made while caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s disease.  This book is the definition of love and commitment.  All our children will read this (at least once, perhaps more) before they begin even thinking about romantic attachments.

The love story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, how they pursued God’s best and put God and one another over their own passions. Their love story was actually brief, for Jim was martyred shortly after they got married.  But their love story and passion is still inspiring young people today.  Daja’s mom would give a copy of this book to every potential suitor or “special friend” of her children when they were teenagers and young adults.  It seemed to work.

True stories of suffering for Christ. We want our children to have that kind of resolve to serve God and advance His Kingdom, no matter what!  After imprisonment and torture, the Wurmbrands went on to found Voice of the Martyrs.

FICTION

We love this because it reinforces the concepts that education is a way of life and not something that is limited to school hours or school buildings.  Also drives home the point that those who take responsibility for their own education and advancement are the most successful. When you are motivated to learn, you find a way.

Integrity, courage, perseverance.  The kind of story you want your young people reading.

This is a play based on the true story of St. Thomas More.  Challenging and heart wrenching, this book (and the movie made from it) puts the idea of conviction and integrity to the test.  How far are you willing t0 carry what you believe? Do you have convictions or just preferences?

THEOLOGICAL

What do you believe? Why do you believe it? And how can you faithfully live that out.

Right up there with Mere Christianity! This book really gets down to bare bones–what does it mean to have “right belief”?  How can faith and reason walk together? Read. Ponder. Repeat.

This is by far the best book we have ever read about communication, boundaries and maintaining connection in relationship.  We have already read it as a family and individually.  But it will be on regular rotation until our children leave our homes.  This book will give anyone a really solid foundation for successful relationships–whether romantic, business, extended family, etc.

People either love or hate this book.  Doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.  Daja has read this book more times than she can count and has probably given away more copies than that!  The section on understanding men is the best we’ve read in any marriage book anywhere.

Just as we want our daughters to understand men, we want our sons to understand women.  We want them to leave our homes equipped with the skills to lovingly lead their families, exercise self-control, and courageously stand up for others.

This little book should be read by women and men everywhere.  How much better life would be if we understood a woman’s dignity and vocation!

This is a gem. A must read for every Christian. Learn to live in God’s presence continually, even in the middle of a busy chaotic world.

Homemaking is for everyone.  This lovely book encourages you to make your life a work of art, whether you live in a hut in Africa or in a flat in New York or a farmhouse in Kansas.

SHOCKING BUT TRUE

We all know that talking about sexuality with our children can be difficult, but by no means can we ignore that when we launch our children into the world, they are going to be faced with the harsh reality of the modern day hook-up culture.  A culture where all sorts of consensual sexual activity is going on without any thought of being in relationship.  Now we hope and pray to send our children out into the world ready to stand up against this type of living having filled them with the teachings of the church and the bible, but there’s nothing like a good stiff kick-in-the-pants reality check and this is what this book provides.

So there you have it! Our short but important list of books that we think everyone should read.  Have we left out your favorite? What’s on your list required reading?

 


Required Reading

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide […]

5

Um…Nope. 10 Reasons We Don’t Celebrate Halloween and 3 Alternatives

Blog | Raising Arrows 5 Comments

10 Reasons We Don't Celebrate Halloween and three great alternatives

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

We love holidays. All sorts of holidays. We love Advent. We love Lent. We love Christmas and Easter.  We love Passover, Purim, and Sukkot. We love Julia Child’s birthday.

We hate Halloween.  Read More

10 Reasons We Don't Celebrate Halloween and three great alternatives

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 We love holidays. All sorts of holidays. We love Advent. […]