Grandpa’s Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption

I don’t review books very often but this book is one that I can’t pass up the chance to tell you about.

We are on our second week of our fourth year of homeschooling and we had purchased this book, Grandpa’s Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemptionby Starr Meade, as one that I would read to Little Man.  It is a very interesting read, not only for our 8 year old, but also for myself and my husband.  Grandpa tells a fabulous story about the greatest war ever- the one between God and Satan.  There is nothing scary in this book at all.  It has a very positive message and even gives you, as the adult, a new perspective.  I love how each chapter is its own story yet they all flow so well together also.  All of the stories will be familiar to the kiddos, stories of Moses, Ruth, the Resurrection of Jesus, etc. but they are told with a new format.

Over several visits, Grandpa tells the kids chronological stories from the Bible.  Rather than being the same stories the kids have heard before, Grandpa tells them in the format of a war story.  He first spikes their interest by telling them he’s involved in a war right now and when they don’t believe him, he begins with the story of Adam and Eve and how the war began as soon as the serpent entered the Garden of Eden.  From that point on, each new story is told from the perspective of how it fits into this war that still rages today.

I really wish that you could buy the “box” of goodies to go along with it, as Grandpa discussed, but think it might would be possible to create your own box to go along with it.  I also think that without an idea of background knowledge of the bible, some of the stories might be a bit lost for kiddos so I would definitely recommend it for someone with a little of knowledge or for the older kiddos.  It is recommended for ages 8 and up.

*This post contains affiliate links.

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Life is Beautiful…

Through the window
I see you waiting
You are smiling
Cause I’m coming
Your eyes are a story
An ocean of memories
Pictures of faces and places
And all of the things
That make us feel like we have it all

All of the times
That make us realize
We have it all
We have it all

Life is beautiful
Life is beautiful

Living and dying
Laughing or crying
If we have the whole world or have nothing
I know there are long nights
But we’ll make it
With every sunrise comes a new light
And all of the things
That make us feel like we have it all

All of the times
That make us realize
We have it all
We have it all

Life is beautiful
Life is beautiful
Life is beautiful

A father’s love
A wedding dance
New Year’s dreams
A toast with friends
A soldier coming home from war
The faith the hope of so much more
A brand new life, a mother’s prayer
Shooting stars, ocean air
A lover’s kiss, and hard goodbyes
Fireworks, Christmas lights

These are things that make us feel alive
These are the times that make us realize

Life is beautiful
Life is beautiful
Life is beautiful

These are the times that make us realize

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Beautiful Quote

I saw this quote in a magazine a few years ago and loved it.  I frequently go back to it and reflect on it’s words when I’m going through a hard time so I thought I would share it with you guys.

“When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But he doesn’t put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead, he sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project – a mosaic that tells the story of redemption.” ~ Ken Gire

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You are Loved

What a beautiful reminder this is….  You are loved!!!!!


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Welcome To Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley

We have been going through some evaluations with our Little Man the last few months.  It has been painfully difficult at times, dealing with frustrations with the medical field, frustrations with people not listening to us, frustrations with not having answers, etc.  My friend, Jody, e-mailed me this poem the other day and I found a lot of encouragement from it so I thought I would post it here for any of you who may be in the same place we are in hopes that you might find a little bit of encouragement as well.

….Welcome to Holland
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip -to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.” ” Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around… and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills… and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things …about Holland.

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When you’re not good enough….

I ran across this blog post the other day and it caught my attention.  The title of the post was “when you’re not good enough {and the right things don’t work}“.  It is written by a lady who is a mom to two young boys.    It is a really great read and was just the encouragement I needed on the day I read it.  If you feel frustrated, if life doesn’t seem fair, if you feel angry and hopeless, hop over to The Better Mom and read this article so it can bless your socks off also!!

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www.ContainerStore.com Organized Teacher Discount

Did you know that you can sign up through the Container Store for an Organized Teacher discount?  They will send you coupons throughout the year (by e-mail) that you can use online, instore, or on the phone to help organize your classroom.  It is open to current educators in the U.S. only.  If you’re a teacher, go to www.ContainerStore.com/teacher to sign up and see what you can find that will help make your classroom more organized.

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Pinterest

Do any of you guys Pinterest?  I have joined recently and it has very quickly become an addiction.  Haha  There is so much inspiration over there.  Recipes, craft ideas, tips and tricks for around the house.  If you are on pinterest, have you found any new recipes that are going to become a regular around your house?  Have you crafted anything new?  Share some of your favorite finds over there with me.

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Quick Chicken Salad

What's Cookin

I ran across this recipe the other day on realmomkitchen.com and it sounded absolutely wonderful.  I made it for lunch and it was super yummy.  It will definitely become a frequent meal around here.

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Quick Chicken Salad

  • 2 ( 12.5 oz) cans of chicken (or 3 cups diced cooked chicken)
  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pecans or cashews, optional
  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, mayo, grapes, green onion, celery, apple, salt, and pepper.  Combine until well blended.
  2. Serve on rolls, bread, or croissants sprinkle with some cashews or pecans.  This can also be served on a lettuce leaf.

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Marriage Advice

Today on Show Us Your Life at Kelly’s Korner, they are talking about marriage advice.  I have only been married for 7 years so I most certainly don’t “know it all” but I have definitely learned a few things through those years so I thought I would pass on some of what I have learned.

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Marriage is hard and sometimes painful.  I read these two quotes at a time when our marriage was going through a rough patch and thought that they really put it into perspective.

“… The truth is, marriage is damn hard work. Long-term marriage isn’t for sissies. There are times you think about giving up rather than giving in. Not all arguments have happy endings … Creating a lasting marriage is a humbling experience. It’s part skill, part luck, elbow grease and blind determination. It isn’t always pretty … So, I’m here to remind those of you in marriages that get stormy or rocky, welcome to marital territory. It’s part of the deal. Get a good raincoat or 4 wheel drive vehicle for rocky terrain … Working through the tough times – or just surviving them – gives you a chance to right yourselves and reconnect around your strengths and the things you love about each other …”
~Michele Weiner Davis

“God will give you salvation, but He doesn’t GIVE anyone a good marriage. You work for it. You sacrifice. Until you determine to be a good wife, even when you are not treated so, your marriage will never grow. Marriages grow as people grow. You cannot make a better marriage by waiting for the other half to improve. Don’t wait for marriage to make you a better wife and person. It will never happen. If you become the better person, your marriage will improve.
Here is the key. You must determine that, for the glory of God, you will be the kind of wife you should be even if it never changes your husband. ”
- Debi Pearl

Guys, marriage is hard and it requires A LOT of work.  It doesn’t “just happen”.  So often, I think people get married expecting it to be a constant fairy tale like movies tend to show it.  Everyone expects to be Cinderella and find their Prince Charming and live happily ever after with no problems.  Honestly though, there is no perfect “Prince Charming” like the movies show.  Your husband is human just like you are and he makes mistakes, just like you do.  He can not and will not ever be perfect, nor will you.   There are problems….  Life happens.  Money is tight, a child is sick, in-laws say and do things that cross the line, work is stressful.  You have to determine that when it gets hard, you’re still going to be there.  You aren’t going to look for an out just because things are difficult.  It is going to be hard.  There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s, about it.  So put on your rain coat and be ready to withstand the storm.

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