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Friday, February 12, 2016

Salt Dough Maps of the Nile River Delta {Homeschool History}

I have always wanted to try our hands at creating a Salt Dough map...  We discovered that it was a LOT harder and MUCH messier than we thought it would be.  But, it was still fun!  The girls enjoyed creating a replica of the Nile River Delta with promises of flooding it at a later time!  ;)





Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Handicrafts: The Lucet

Recently I stumbled across a mamma on the Ambleside Facebook page that was discussing the "Lucet "and how much their kids really enjoyed making these adorable little braids with which to decorate their shoelaces, clothing, etc.  I hadn't heard of this fascinating little tool before so after some investigation, here is what I learned about this ancient tool called the Lucet.

(From Wikipedia)
lucet is a tool used in cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking and Medieval periods, when it was used to create cords that were used on clothing, or to hang items from the belt. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool.  

We needed one of these cool tools...!  So, a search on Amazon yielded several Lucet choices...and they were NOT cheap.  (At the time the cheapest I saw was $30! although I see some less expensive options on there now).  
What's a girl to do when she needs something made of wood?  We ask Papa of course!  Papa whipped us up 2 lovely, handmade Lucets!  

 After a little help from a YouTube video the girls were off on a Lucet making adventure.
Pretty neat and a really unique handicraft to share with friends!!  :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Just Let Go {DVD Review}

In the face of tragedy, Chris Williams made the most important decision of his life. On a cold night in 2007, a devoted father of four and a seventeen-year-old drunk driver both received life sentences. In one violent, devastating instant, each face a drastically different future. But as Chris Williams sat in a demolished vehicle, realizing that his wife, unborn baby, nine-year-old daughter, and eleven-year-old son had just been killed, he committed to do something extraordinary: he would forgive. Chris Williams' story is the cinematic tale of how someone can forgive despite the desire for revenge that surfaces within the dark corners of the human heart—showing the world that hope, love and forgiveness can overcome all when you just let go.
I was blessed with an opportunity to hear Chris Williams speak several years ago at a Time Out for Women event.  His testimony is inspiring.  I also had the pleasure of reading his book Let It Go.  Now learn more of Chris' story by viewing this new movie Just Let Go.

I procrastinated watching this movie.  I didn't want to grieve.  I didn't want to cry.  But, I did it anyway...  What a powerful message.  You may already be familiar with the story of Chris Williams.  His story, so tragic and so poignant, is true.  One evening, while driving with his family, they were hit by a drunk driver.  Two of his children, and his wife and unborn child, were killed.  Chris and 2 sons were all that remained of his boisterous family.  The drunk driver, a 17-year-old boy named Curtis, walked away with minor injuries.  Chris spent weeks going through the motions of live and began to live through, what the physical therapist referred to as "a year of firsts."  As Chris began trial proceedings for the accident, the fact that Curtis was a juvenile weighed heavy on his heart.  The prosecution was pushing to have him tried as an adult and brought to justice but that would mean 30+ years in prison.  That is a long time for a young man who, according to Chris, has "already been given a life sentence."  In a flashback he is reminded that sometimes "we do things in life that doesn't make sense..."  Forgiveness doesn't always make sense, but, Chris found a way to just let go...

This movie offers hope for all of us in the face of unspeakable tragedy.  This movie will change lives.  It was sad...of course it was...I needed multiple tissues to get through, but this movie also offered a beautiful triumph of forgiveness, justice, love and mercy.

Just Let Go offers the following Bonus Features:
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Forgiveness Challenge
  • "Rise and Fall" music video from Ryan Innes (NBC's The Voice)
  • Just Let Go—A forgiveness discussion with Delilah

You can read Chris Williams' testimony here and find the official Facebook page of the movie here.
You can purchase Just Let Go at Deseretbook.com or your favorite retailer.  It's available as both a blue ray and DVD.


Disclaimer:  I received Just Let Go free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thank you for stopping by Swinging on Small Hinges!  ;)

#JesusTodayKids Devotional {#FlyBy Giveaway}


Thanks to #FlyBy Promotions I have been given an opportunity to review a new book by Sarah Young called Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids.  My daughters immediately recognized this book as being very similar to a book that Kayley got for Christmas last year called Jesus Calling.  Kayley really enjoyed Jesus Calling so we were very excited to get our hands on this new devotional book!

About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
Jesus is the Friend who is always with you.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine.  Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him.  Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures.  It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.  



We adore devotional books but finding one that really fits us as a family has been challenging.  After much, much research about a year ago I purchased a book called Jesus Calling for my oldest, who was then 8.  It quickly became one of her favorites even going so far as to set up a small spiral notebook to jot down her thoughts as she studied.  Now we have a second book very similar to Jesus Calling and we are really enjoying it as well!  Jesus Today is a bit a little bit different than Jesus Calling...and Kayley and I think it is a mostly good differences.  In Jesus Calling the days were labeled as Jan 1st, Jan 2nd, and so forth.  Kayley really struggled with this because if she missed a day or two or three...she would want to either try to go back and read them all...which was nearly impossible...OR just throw in the towel and shelve the book.  Thankfully Jesus Today is just number 1, 2, 3....  So that if you miss a day, picking up where you left off is just not a big deal.   Another difference, is, in Jesus Calling, scripture references were provided at the of each devotion, prompting you to go to your Bible and look them up.  In this new devotional the scriptures are printed with the devotional.  I think this is both good and not-as-good.  Good because, honestly, my daughter tended to skip that part because it was a hassle to get the Bible out...but, then it doesn't encourage her to get her Bible out...  Oh, I have to throw this other small thing in there that we love about Jesus Today...it has a ribbon bookmark.  I know right?  But, it's the little things in life and my kids feel so grown up using a book that has a ribbon bookmark!  ;)

Either way Jesus Today is great and written in a comfortable and conversational tone...  Now that Maggie is bigger both girls are fussing over who gets to take it first!  You can purchase your own copy of Jesus Today on Amazon.com or your favorite retailer!  It would make a delightful gift for any young child to get into the habit of studying Gods word.

Learn more about the author, Sarah Young, and the book using the social media links below!








Even better?  Maybe you can win a copy of Jesus Today right here at Swinging On Small Hinges!  Enter using the giveaway tools below!


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Little Chef...


Maggie, as you know, is really into cooking.  She isn't 100% sure yet, but she thinks she may like to be a chef when she grows up.  We watch a lot of MasterChef Junior and Cut Throat Kitchen.  She is a big fan of Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey.  (Don't worry, she is supervised in case of bad language!)  Anyway, I spied these great kid safe knives on Amazon a while back and I took a chance and I bought them for the girls for Christmas.  They have been GREAT!  While there are a not a lot of things she can't cut, one thing it doesn't cut is skin.  She had really enjoyed helping me in the kitchen and it is nice to let her start practicing with kid-safe knives.  


Anyway, you can find these knives on Amazon!  I highly recommend them!  They don't do well cutting something big like a carrot or cucumber, but I pre-cut the veggies into strips and Maggie can finish off chopping them into smaller pieces.  She is really excited to be in the kitchen and it is fun to have a little helper.  ;)

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