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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Relationships Workbook by Dr. Les & Leslie Parrott

The Relationships Workbook by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott was published in 1998 and then again in 2002.  It's a great resource for looking at the needs of friendships and marriages.  I'm currently looking at it again because of having a teenage daughter.  There are chapters for further study that include "Falling in Love Without Losing Your Mind" and "The Bonds That Bind/Drawing the Line."
also include several other references to boks of interest on these topics.

For review, I plan to read again the following passages:

Genesis 29:18 tells the story of Jacob falling in love with Rachel.

Judges 16 shows the serious consequences of Samson losing his mind as he falls for Delilah.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 talks about the powerful experience of being in love.

For teens, the time considering their emotional bonding in their relationships in conjuction with the physical bonding is essential.  Think of the "side hug" as a close bond with someone, being careful to make a commitment to another person before allowing oneself to express physical care.  Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott site the following progression:

1.  Eye to body
2.  Eye to eye
3.  Voice to voice
4.  Hand to hand
5.  Hand to shoulder
6.  Hand to waist
7.  Face to face

Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are co-directors of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University, a groundbreaking program dedicated to teaching the basics of a good relationship. Les Parrott is a professor of clinical psychology, and Leslie is a marriage and family therapist, both at SPU. The Parrotts are authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, The Marriage Mentor Manual, Mentoring Engaged and Newlywed Couples (video Groupware kit), Questions Couples Ask, Like a Kiss on the Lips, Getting Ready for the Wedding, and Relationships. They are frequent guest speakers and have written for a variety of magazines. Their relationship work has been featured in USA Today and the New York Times as well as on CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah.    


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kate Coomb's "Water Sings Blue" was a book I found because I was looking for non-fiction for a fourth grade reader.  Although I sought it out for the poetry, I ended up being the most impressed with the illustrator.  Meilo So, by her own biography was "Madie in Hong Kong.  Packaedg in England," and "Domiciled in the Shetland Islands," and to end her description states, "Delicate: contains one life." 

Inside "Water Sings Blue" the colors were vibrant and the whimsy over the combination of the sea turle and the verse was adorable.

There's a wide green map
on sea turtle's back.
Currents?  She knows
their flows, never slows,
needn't stop for directions
wherever she goes,
flapping her elegant
paddle-shaped toes. 

Meilo So's website intrigued me further with her designs for food packaging as well as another children's title "Alex the Parrot" by Stephanie Spinner. Looks like I have another book to discover.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Missing Pieces Review

Product DetailsThis was a note I sent to Jennifer Rothschild about a bible study of hers that we completed...Thank you Jennifer for all your work (and your team's) on Missing Pieces. It was very helpful to me as well as two additional couples in our small group. I especially was blessed by how you flipped the question of "Why pain?" to "Why grace?" I think that is a valid point and I loved the song you wrote to go with that message. Our last meeting we heard that others were blessed by ...your gifts of teaching and preparation in the study. Initially to convey some of the struggle of being blind, we had the two couples did through a bag blindfolded and try to identify with the objects. My husband and I decided to put our clothes away together in our closet blindfolded. I found that it was more difficult to navigate to the bedroom than to put the laundry away, so when you pointed out that blindness and menopause do not make a good combination...I could easily see how that was true, and I'm only in my thirties.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Disappointment with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Worldviews clash, and it's not a surprise anymore. With the increase in special interest groups lobbying in education reform, I feel a responsibility to examine literature presented to my children.  There's always an underlying message to any story, and if we're not watchful to look for these messages, we may start to infer mistruths that can misdirect thoughts and actions. 
I'm writing this summary for the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company as well as for Gary Soto the author, to review my opinion over what they've published and expect teachers to use. It's disappointing to me, and I hope you will see what I regard as forward and disrespectful in your textbook for 7th graders.  Fortunately, most of the images you see when you search Google for 7th graders are sports teams and girls with their friends.  This is how it should be -- not like how your exemplifying in one of the first inclusions included in the McDougal Littell Literature textbook. 
From a Christian's standpoint, if you look at 1 Timothy 5:2 it asks that people look at young women as sisters. From this standpoint, a female friend (especially a 7th grader) should be someone fun to be around and talk to, but should not be looked at as future marriage material.  We need to encourage our kids to be kids -- not to be looking for love before their time.  Although the emotions surrounding new love and relationships are good, if we elevate those we do not present the full reality that the purpose of the fire of new love is to have that to hang onto and reignite those feelings in the thickets of marriage, we are doing them a huge injustice.  I want my children to know that as much as it's great to meet someone and love them, to sustain that relationship takes much perseverance and grace.  Perhaps our publishers should try to find a story that hits this point home. Just like it's much easier to make a Dora Explorer video where there's stealing from Swiper and bad behavior than a Barney video that's showing polite actions and conversations, the ease in which external features and actions like good looks and lust get into textbooks needs to be examined. 
Read the highlights from Gary Soto's story...these are my three top complaints about the ways the 7th grade readers are guided.
1.  Boys are encouraged to take note of physical attributes to the point of lust.
2.  The adult teacher in the story affirms the boys forward actions and supports presenting mistruths to impress people. He is a connection point to discuss dating relationships.
3.  Just in case you missed these inferences, the literary analysis hones in on the adult-like behaviors.  Our children should not be reading things that increase curiosity about dating relationships, as they still have high school and college to get through (and it's much easier without changing diapers, midnight feedings and making sure they're sleeping early or late so you can study). Ultimately, everyone makes their own choices and there are college students who are great parents and happy to be so, but really what does this push our children towards?  Please think about it...  I know I do!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4th Annual Poetry Party

Lots of new friends at this party, Heather wrote one last year on Neon Colors!
The kids enjoyed the sharing time

My poem was inspired by Chad!

Sharing a tender moment
Slow down, say hello
Stop, and go
Time seals the deal
Chemistry's course
Is deep, a warming light
Lovebirds' delight

Monday, February 24, 2014

A bigger pearl?

We started a new record of what we're thankful for as a family.  The notebook says "Wow" on the cover and it's sitting in the center of our dining room table.
It was a catalyst for our devotional time yesterday.

Chad read through a commentary that likened our struggles and their harvest to that of an irritant in a pearl -- the bigger the irritant, the more we will grow from it, and as the pearl grows larger from bigger rocks and intruders, so does our experience of God and His opportunity to shape us.

As we talked about the sifting in our lives to move us to the west side, we were grateful.  We filled a whole notebook page and at the end of it, I really wanted to add being thankful for meeting Sandy, which led me to my former and current job, as well as praying weekly with Amy, Sharon and Laura, which has blessed our children and family immensly.

80's Party

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Christmas 2013

Enjoyed dancing with Chad at the Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls.  It was a 20's theme & Kara helped me with my hair!
....time to mourn and a time to dance Ecc. 3:4

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cash for Christmas Shopping

If you're Christmas shopping online, here's a great option to earn cash back.  (well, a check!) is a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!) Ebates works with 1,600 stores including Sephora, JCPenney, Kohl's, Home Depot,, Groupon, and Walmart, so you are sure to find your favorites. 

In addition to cash back, Ebates has thousands of great coupons, free shipping, and special offers from its stores, so you always get a great deal.

Membership at Ebates is free and there are no forms to fill in or points to redeem. You get paid cash back for shopping by check or Paypal. As an added bonus, we'll each get a $5 bonus from Ebates when you make your first purchase!

If you follow my link, I'll get a referral bonus!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finally Baking

Wow - so after 4 months on GAPS I've finally baked something!  The puree on the left is red lentils (you soak them in slightly salty water for 30 minutes, then boil 20 or so minutes, then puree)

To this puree I added 1 t. honey, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. sea salt, 1/4 c. goji berries, 1/4 c. pecans & 1/4 c. walnuts

Then whipped up 3 egg whites with 1/4 t. sea salt until firm, added my puree until combined.  The finished treat is below!  

Plants are power-packed with nutrition and detoxifying capabilities, but contain certain hazards by design. These "hazards" are protective mechanisms to keep animals from eating them, and so are toxic to animals. Therefore humans can have difficulty with them as well. Among the most important of these anti-nutrients is phytic acid. Phytic acid works against our ability to absorb nutrients. Instead of having this occur, try soaking your nuts instead.
Place 4 c. raw nuts or seeds in a large bowl. Cover with room-temperature filtered water. Add 1 tbsp. sea salt and stir. Cover with a plate or towel and set on the counter for at least 7 hours. (Cashews should not be left for more than 6 hours)
The nuts or seeds can be dehydrated for use in recipes such as granola or other snack foods. Transform your oven into a dehydrator by setting it to its lowest temperature and opening the oven door partway. Place a fan in front of the oven to provide air circulation and lower the temperature. Enzymes are preserved when food is cooked at less than 116 degrees.

Gluten/grain free banana bars
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Instructions  Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Pour cashews  into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times to ensure all cashews are pureed. Add almond flour, coconut flour, gelatin, salt, baking soda, eggs, butter, honey and cider vinegar to the cashew mixture. Process until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the outer edges of the bread and then invert bread onto a cooling rack and remove from loaf pan. Serve.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chad Turns 40

Cut & paste the link to his Youtube video.
Golf tees in watermelon!

Our friend Carolyn checks out the goods ;)

Kids could make sculptures with foam, golf tees and rubber bands.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sioux Falls Piano Tuner

This is not our piano tuner, but John Long is fascinating to watch.  It takes a little over an hour for our piano to be tuned.  If you're in Sioux Falls and need a piano tuner, John Long has done several church pianos and has various locations he's done.  He also has a great family!

Cost - around 85.00
Phone 605.582.2874 or 605.929.2855

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer 2013 Project

This summer the kids are going to study a different country every week.  I appreciated "Multicultural Games" by Lorraine Babarash to incorporate some games as well.  Below are a few ideas from a research standpoint for them to get started, although I'm limiting the research to "books" only.  Aren't I mean?
Compare and contrast your country to the US:
Where are areas of the US population similar?
What monuments or landforms could you visit?
What foods might be served at a meal?
Use the Greek alphabet to write a message to a friend.
Write a story with a landmark as part of the setting.
What is the unit of money?
What are the free time activities?
Triangle Game - From Russia, Draw a triangle and divide it into three sections.  Make the top one #3, middle 2, bottom 1.  Children get three colored stones and stand back 10 ft. and throw in their three.  They add the points.  When someone gets to 50, the game is over.  If stones are knocked out, they don't count.  Take turns going first, second, third.
Colombia - 2 people are it.  One of them leaves the room.  The rest of the kids figure out what colored ribbon they keep.  When they get it done, they say, "Angel, what colors do you wish?"  They respond, "I wish many colored ribbons."  They guess and go until they "miss."  They count the number they got right.  The other Angel comes in and does the same thing.  The Angel with the most stays, the lower number picks someone new to come in until all children have been the angel.
Nigeria - Pair individuals up and have them join at the shoulders.  The front person puts a cloth scrap or handkerchief in their pants or pocket.  At go, teams try to grab each others cloths.  If you get yours pulled, your team is out.  People should change front to back and get new partners.  You can do two colors for teams.
England - Round hopscotch.  Draw a shell like swirl and put "rest" in the middle of it.  One person hops on one foot to get to the center resting point.  If they do so, they pick a division and put their initials on it.  Then the next person goes.  If you step in a claimed box, you're out.  Go until there's a winner.
Russia - Use two ropes and duct tape them in the middle.  Tie knots at the ends.  They will form an X.  Divide people into 4 teams and have a cone about 2-3 yards from the bases of the rope ends.  Teams try to tug to grab the cone first.
Batik with oil crayons-  Indonesia       Toothpick dolls – Brazil           Paper Sea horse – Greece           
Gift Rolls – Russia                             Cheez It Tic Tac Toe Board – Italy   Art Easel – France      

Foil Form – Spain (stars, fans)            Dancing Form – Zimbabwe

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Observing National Day of Prayer in Sioux Falls

The upcoming 62nd annual National Day of Prayer, May 2, 2013, will have profound significance for our country.  We have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.  To echo the words of Mary Washington, mother of our nation’s first president, we believe it is time to “Remember that God is our only sure trust.”
The theme for 2013 is Pray for America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme,  Matthew 12:21 reads “In His name the nations will put their hope.
Below is a list of Prayer Requests and Verses for our National Day of Prayer.
Praise our Father, our Foundation
Praise - draws us to the God who is enthroned. He is The Creator of the heavens and earth; The Sovereign King - Nothing is too difficult for Him.
"When the foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm." Psalm 20:7
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" Pro 18:10
We cannot stand firm in our own strength and power. But through the word of God and prayer we can. I know of no greater work, no greater joy, no greater investment in the lives of my children than to stand united in prayer, partnering with God in crying out for the children. For Him to rain down His righteousness, salvation and protection.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:10-13
We gather together united with the same passion - that our children love God and follow His ways. Desperate that God will protect them in the environments they face.
Against Persecution for Prayer: A year ago, a three-judge panel ruled the prayer observation (Nat'l Day of Prayer) caused no harm to the Freedom From Religion Foundation and that the Madison, Wisc.-based organization had no legal standing to sue.
Every year, children are orphaned or left with scarcely enough provision to survive when their fathers and mothers are imprisoned. Other children live in communities where they are forced to live as second and third class citizens because their families are Christian.
We are a nation divided, fragile and in dyer need of true hope.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12
Pray for one another: The Lord is ______'s strength and shield. (Equip) ______ (to) trust You with all her heart. You help her and her heart is filled with joy. She burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:7).
Summer Request:

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8