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Meditations on Doré’s Biblical Artwork Masterpieces (e-book) Meditations on Doré’s Biblical Artwork Masterpieces (e-book): Mom, here is a pair of books to fuel your own devotions. Buy the book of 219 pictures. . . more >>

Ethel Barrett CD #3 of Stories for Children: Blister, and Other Stories of Trust and Obedience Ethel Barrett CD #3 of Stories for Children: Blister, and Other Stories of Trust and Obedience: Memorable stories to train young children to trust and obey. Treat your family to an unusual listening. . . more >>

Ethel Barrett CD #2 of Stories for Children: Stop in your tracks! Bible stories Ethel Barrett CD #2 of Stories for Children: Stop in your tracks! Bible stories: Memorably told stories to build the faith of young children. Enjoy listening to the telling of these. . . more >>





Children love structure and routine

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

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Ask yourself, “Is a blind man free-er to run around on a desert island (surrounded by sharks), WITH a fence around the edge, or WITHOUT a fence?”

The “fence” of structure and routine provides the security to be “freely me”...for a child. The ideal is to provide academic structure, i.e. progressive, incremental increase in brain capability during your mornings, and then provide expanding opportunities, house maintenance work, physical body conditioning (power walking, weight training) , music, and home based businesses in the afternoon.

Mom, if your lifestyle/circumstances presently defy enough structure and routine, try to get some “sameness” and predictability in the evening routines. Your children will thrive upon it. Children, just want to know WHAT we’re going to be doing, and WHERE we’ll be doing it, ahead of time. This makes life seem familiar and conquerable. And it makes our children feel secure, and confident about their place in it. Delivers them from dizziness in their wee stomachs / psyches!

Putting on empathy glasses

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

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Try seeing all conflict from the other person’s point of view. In fact, begin to look at your normal everyday life through each family member’s eyes ALL DAY long. Look at your day from your children’s viewpoint, and from your husband’s. ‘Tis eye-opening…jaw-dropping.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Dehydration: Number 1 culprit in ALL DISEASE

Friday, 02. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

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Our cells are dying, choking, gasping for more water. Nearly EVERYONE in the U.S. is dehydrated. Seriously so. Imagine a desperately thirsty man crawling on his belly across the desert, only to find that when he reaches the oasis’ edge, he pulls his comb out of his back pocket, wets it, and proceeds to comb his hair! Americans are taking showers galore to fastidiously wash the outsides of their bodies; meanwhile, their insides look like the insides of trash cans that have never been cleaned. In fact, many people’s insides are so full of struggling, clumpy, sticky cells that look like dirty dishes eaten upon over and over and never washed in between, that they are unknowingly creating a bacteria/fungus heaven.

The ONLY way to make SURE that we are reversing this problem is to fill a large jar, one for each member of the family, first thing in the morning, with half their body weight in ounces of water. (For example, a person who weighs 100 pounds should drink 50 ounces of water each day.) Label each jar with each family member’s name and see to it that they only drink out of this jar all day. (Keep your regular kitchen glasses and cups in the cupboard for a month or two). You’ll simply be amazed at how much water still lingers IN THE JAR at the end of the day. Staggering revelation. Drink this quantity of water for three days in a row and the difference in how you feel will reveal, even to YOU, that you’ve been dehydrated your entire life. For starters: at least get in two full glasses of water BEFORE breakfast to wash out the night’s toxins. Caution: if you drink water in excess amounts beyond this, (for some, even this amount could be a problem), it can mess up your salt and electrolyte levels…not a good thing.

Note: this is not medical advice, and cannot be construed as such. This is merely sharing my personal experience (and my family’s) in terms of the benefits of drinking an adequate volume of water.

Filed Under: Nutrition tips

How to nurture your soul as a mom

Thursday, 01. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Try spending ten minutes (5 for reading, 5 for prayer) with the Lord every morning AND EVENING. Many of the great saints had lifetime habits of these routines. The soul requires nurture to advance, just as the body does. Keep a spiral notebook at hand, and jot down just one thought to hang your soul on for the day, and then do it again for the night. Our daily life should consist of overarching praiseworthy activities, anchored at both ends with devotions. Elisabeth’s Elliot’s mother fed breakfast to their large family, and then habitually, routinely, sat down to the Bible right after breakfast. Suzanna Wesley had these habits, too, even throwing her apron over her head to pray, quietly. Your children will observe your habits—and may make them their own.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

When should I say yes and when should I say no in child training?

Thursday, 01. May 2008 by Renee Ellison

Child training requires a delicate balance. Remember, the long-term results of parenting—the parenting report card—aren’t fully tabulated until you’re in your 80’s and 90’s. The proof of the pudding is whether your children want to maintain relationship with you or not, once they too are adults. In raising them, then, we must seek to avoid two extremes: filling our children’s days with too many “Yes’s” (on the one hand) or, conversely, too many “No’s.” Each is a ditch to avoid!

The positive side of saying No is that it teaches self-denial, the single most important ingredient in emotional maturity. But too many of them, only based on our own conveniences to not be irritated, when the activity has no sin in it…makes the child feel like he is in a cage. Endless no’s, naughty-naughties, you should-haves, control of minutiae, expectations of someone else to satisfy our own objectives and progress, using them as our personal servants, drive the heart of a child far from us.

The positive side of saying Yes is that (in wholesome cases), it brings the glory of the kingdom life to the child, now. For example, “All the promises of God in Christ are “YES!” An adult child, even into his own older years, will WANT to be around his best lifetime cheerleaders = his parents. But “yes’s” as a constant bill of fare, where no self-denial is learned, weaken the child. Wisely fill your days together with BOTH.

For further reading on this topic, read No Monkey Business and Training Children Further.

Large picture flashcards make great “first books” for baby

Wednesday, 30. April 2008 by Renee Ellison

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A wonderful field trip can be taken with your baby right in “mommy’s lap” by showing him/her your home-made flashcards! Go to an office supply place like Office Depot or Staples and buy one ream of white cardstock 8 1/2 by 11”. This will provide the stiff backing for 500 flashcards! Then cut out pictures from old magazines and old thrift store books. Make sure to cut each picture at least one inch shorter than the edges of the cardstock. Scotch tape COMPLETELY around ALL the edges, so that no edge can ever get caught and ripped while pulling flashcards in and out of your file and shuffling and flashing them in front of baby (to their utter delight). TALK about each picture with baby, point out things. Use a soothing, happy voice. This picture/talk exposure creates new highways in the brain! It increases language development alone by quantum leaps.

If you don’t have time to make the cards yourself. Divide the cards between grandmothers or friends’ older children and have them return them to you with large wonderful PICTURES on them, that they find themselves. File them under headings like these: geography, animals, plants, people, places, transportation, etc. Read Preschool Pizzazz for other ideas for triggering the brain of a young child.

Remarkable aspects of Firstfruits

Tuesday, 29. April 2008 by Renee Ellison

The other day was the waving of the firstfruits barley harvest celebration. It always falls INSIDE the eight days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (Note: the Hebrew word that we read as Feast isn’t referring to food and drink, but to divine appointments with His people on Earth.)

What is so fantastic about this feast day, first, is the timing. Some Biblical scholars think that ON this day of Firstfuits, three historic events are layered. It was the exact date that Noah’s ark was finally delivered out of the flood (came to rest), the Israelites finally were delivered (came up on the far side of the Red Sea), and the actual date when the Messiah ascended briefly to the Father (then He returned to earth for 40 days of proof and ministry of His resurrection; John 20:17). All three events, that are tied to that day (Noah’s Ark resting on Ararat, the People coming up out of the Red Sea, and the Ascension) involve going Up! AMAZING!

When we take our first history (His-story) class in the Millennium, I daresay the room will be filled with gasps of joy when we find out the uncanny PRECISION of all that the Creator did during this earth-walk. [Gretchen, a friend of mine wrote me that other events, in addition to these three, that occurred on the day of First Fruits include: Hebrews entered Egypt 430 years before Moshe/Moses delivered them (Exodus 12:40-41); Israel entered the Promised Land and ate the fruits thereof (Joshua 5:10-12); the walls of Jericho fell (Joshua 5:13); Hezekiah cleansed the Temple 800 years (the number 8 is significant representing “new beginnings) after entering the Promised Land (2 Chronicles 29:1-28); and Queen Esther saved the Hebrews from elimination (Esther 3:12; 5:1). She added, “The odds of all these events happening on the same day fo the Hebrew year are one in 783,864,876,960,000,000 - YES, 783 quadrillion! Do you think the Heavenly Father’s appointed times just might be important?!?”]

And secondly, we find that the Feast of Unleavened Bread becomes the supreme object lesson on righteousness...trying to get the leaven out of the house (sin out of our lives). We get the big obvious things out of our lives on the first day, no problem, we easily get rid of the packages of yeast, bread, etc., but much to our surprise we CONTINUE to find other products with leaven in them, hidden things progressively THROUGH the week, sometimes even throwing out a wee bit of leaven, crumb, on the LAST day, the eighth day. This year, we think we found leavening agent in our toothpaste on the last day! After YEARS of doing this feast day we have never found it all (gotten it all out) YET. This divine extrication, surgery, rooting out of sin, becomes a FEAST DAY, a cause of celebration, because we find that we agree with the surgery and love the results. Oh, bring on perfection of the soul!!! We do hunger and thirst for righteousness. . . HIS!!! His parties are the best!

Another neat point: the historical events that are tied to the day of FirstFruits have as a common characteristic that they were deliverances through the agency of another...passive events for us, but grand initiations from the Father. The only thing the people had to do was BE there. They didn’t have to orchestrate any of their deliverance in all three cases.

Wow, it is so fun to just try to plumb a little bit of the depths of YHWH’s great acts, practices, happenings, feasts, appointments, statutes. Whew! We’ll marvel at them for all eternity.

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

Homeschool mom, live in the NOW

Tuesday, 29. April 2008 by Renee Ellison

Live in the NOW, smile NOW on your family, look your best NOW (groom yourself neatly—wear your best colors), take all your anxieties to the Lord in prayer NOW…talk to Him all the day just as you would talk to a super best friend fervently, utterly abandoned/vulnerable, telling them everything and finding wonderful relief in the telling. And you’ll wear His sweet spirit all the day

Filed Under: Spiritual tips

If you SOAK it, you’ll STOMACH it better!

Tuesday, 29. April 2008 by Renee Ellison

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Try setting out four jars or pie pans each evening before going to bed—to soak your foods. These soaked foods dramatically increase in vitamin and mineral content, and some grains and beans increase as much as 200% in protein bioavailability. Because foods become enzymatically “alive” by this soaking process, they actually start the digestion process OUTSIDE the stomach, and then take far less digestive energy to process. Nuts, some grain or wheat (drink the soaking water in the morning because it is loaded with good nutrition), mung beans, and lentils.

Be sure to rinse all these soakers 3 times before soaking them, to eliminate mold residues. Everything can be eaten raw within 24 hours. Nuts, immediately. Large beans will take 3 - 5 days of soaking until a tail appears, but can be cooked in a crock-pot after just soaking them overnight. I find that sprouting ANYTHING that requires more than 24 hours, while maintaining an active household, falls through the cracks, grows moldy and is useless/tossed out. That is why I like lentils and mung beans…they’re tough and they “perform” quickly…rinse ‘em, plunge ‘em under water and in 24 hours you have nutrient dense food. This is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar and requires no fuel energy to prepare. More nutrition for your buck. Homeschoolers need to feed their families like CHAMPIONS !! (For more on this, read our QuickBook, No-Nonsense Nutrition for Peak Performance.)

Filed Under: Nutrition tips

Setting up a vigorous homeschool day

Tuesday, 29. April 2008 by Renee Ellison

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To motivate your children and keep them on track, getting through their subjects every day, make up a chart that is on the wall in “Grand Central Station” in your house so they can check off each accomplishment each day. Get going TODAY and require a FULL schedule of work and chores and developmental exercise (i.e. more push-ups tomorrow than today, etc…begin EASY), using whatever academic materials you already have, no matter how inferior. Do everything in 15 minute blocks…but perhaps the chores/exercise could just be 5 minutes in between each academic subject. This will keep them awake and vigorous. (For more about structuring your homeschool day, read our QuickBook, The Right Stuff.)

The important thing here is that you are developing productive life PATTERNS/HABITS. Begin with the Bible at the top of the list: 10 minutes of reading and 5 minutes of praying (Melanie even gets on her KNEES)...this begins to develop both of these disciplines for the REST of THEIR LIFE. Prepare for a real battle here…the enemy goes after beginnings. Make sure their Bibles are EASY enough…go to that used bookstore on the right hand side on the way to David, and find Bibles that are easy versions with lots of pictures, if you don’t already have any. (And have them check off the books of the Bible as they read them in the table of contents…alternating from NT to Old Test (so that they aren’t forever in the OLD or New). There is no downside to raising a holy child. Our first and last, most important parenting.