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Friday, January 31, 2014

Having "the Talk" With My Son and FREE Resource

Is it time for the talk?

Last month, my husband and I decided it was time to sit down together with our son and have "the talk" with him. The fact that his thirteen year-old body is going through some changes, and that he had some other questions were factors that sealed our decision. We have waited longer than most parents would to have "the talk", but it wasn't that we intentionally waited. Honestly, it kind of snuck up on us. A couple of years ago, I had actually looked for some Christian-based resources on the subject in the book fair of our state's homeschool conference. Then everything happened with Caleb (Facing Reality Head-on), and bam!'s December and we're face-to-face with him in our living room having "the talk"!

Since then, I have had it in the back of my mind to begin my search again for Christian-based resources for teaching our son about this God-given gift to a married man and woman. My search has led me to the following Christian-based resources that I'd like to share with you today.

This resource is free for subscribers to Intoxicated on Life until February 3, 2014!

Christian-Based Resource List To Guide Your Talk

  1. The Bible is always my first choice when I'm searching for answers or guidance. I want to teach my son the same. The Bible has plenty to say about this subject.
  2. This article is part of a series from Focus on the Family which speaks to the importance of having "the talk" with your child. 
  3. Focus on the Family has an amazing, 4 page Resource List with books, CDs, DVDs, and other website listings.
  4. Christian Book Distributors has many items to choose from.
  5. Intoxicated on Life has a wonderful new resource that was just released yesterday titled "The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality". We are blessed with the opportunity to use this product in our homeschool. I'll be doing another post sharing my thoughts, so stay tuned. I've used Christ in the Commandments to teach the 10 Commandments to our son, so I know how great the resources are at Intoxicated on Life.
There are plenty of Christian-based resources available as you can see to help you prepare and guide you through a very important discussion that all parents need to have with their children. It's not supposed to be a one-time talk either. Open communication in this area is a key factor in giving your children a solid, Biblical foundation that will last through their adult lives. It's important that they hear the truth from you and not the world.

I hope this resource list will be of help to you with your own children! Don't forget to head over to Intoxicated on Life to get your FREE resource just for subscribing {free only until February 3, 2014}!

Walking in His Grace, 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swimming in the Sea of Homeschool Curriculum

Every homeschool mom has felt the initial fear of swimming in the sea of homeschool curriculum. I remember the first book fair I walked into at my state's homeschooling conference here in North Carolina. Talk about feeling overwhelmed! A fellow homeschooling friend had warned me, but I still remember, even today, that sinking feeling I had as I entered through those double doors of the book fair.

I didn't go in prepared and boy did I sink fast in the sea that surrounded me! I won't even say how much I spent that first year I began homeschooling {blush}, but I learned from my experience, and today I want to share my 5 tips to help you swim like a pro in the sea of homeschool curriculum.

5 Tips to Help You Swim Like a Pro

Tip #1: Decide Your Homeschool Approach

This will be a huge factor when it's time to do your research on the various curriculum that is available. There are five different approaches: Charlotte Mason method, classical, eclectic, unit studies and unschooling. I'm working on another post to cover these different approaches to homeschooling, so be sure to check back here at Grace-Filled-Moments for that post.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Once you've determined your homeschool approach, you'll want to begin researching curriculum that fits into the method you chose. Two great resources to use to tread the seas of homeschool curriculum are North Carolinians for Home Education (this link is for my state...check your state's homeschool website) and Cathy Duffy Homeschooling Curriculum Reviews.

Tip #3: Make a List

Before you buy anything, make a list of what you are interested in from your research efforts. Be sure to include prices, strengths and possible weaknesses of what you're interested in, and whether or not you can get the curriculum used. Use this list to narrow down your final choices once you have made your curriculum budget.

Tip #4: Have a Curriculum Budget

Setting a curriculum budget will help you from overspending...if you stick to it. For curriculum junkies, like me, I have to maintain a high level of self-control when when it comes to shopping for curriculum. Otherwise, I will blow my budget totally out of the water. Once you have set your homeschool budget, take your list and begin making your final choices.

Tip #5: Buy Used Whenever Possible

I learned very quickly in my homeschooling journey that buying used is nothing to be ashamed of. It has helped me to be able to stretch my homeschool curriculum budget and get what I want on my list. There are several used homeschool vendors at my state's book fair that I always go to first at our homeschool conference. You can join "used curriculum" Facebook groups where you can buy used items on your list. Go a step further and sell your used curriculum there too so you'll have money to put into your budget. Another great source for buying and selling used curriculum is VegSource.

I hope these tips will help give you the confidence you need when it comes to swimming in the sea of homeschool curriculum! Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? If so, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Walking in His Grace, 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Do You Know the Season of Your Marriage?

Today I'm talking about Seasons of Marriage over at my dear friend's blog, Katie Hornor at Paradise Praises. I met Katie via the blogging world last year when I had the opportunity to be on the review team and blog about her wonderful devotional, Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms. Katie and her family are awaiting the arrival of the latest addition to their family, so it is my pleasure to help out by writing three guest posts for her during the next three months.

Seasons of Marriage is the first of my three posts that I will be doing for Katie at Paradise Praises. Please join me there now to find out what season your marriage is in and to get the 7 tips to strengthen your marriage. Be sure to spend some time looking around Katie's wonderful blog after you've finished reading my guest post.

I hope you find strength and encouragement for your marriage! Blessings!

Walking in His Grace, 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Trigger Memory Times Tales Review

I am so excited to bring this review to you! I was given a free copy of Trigger Memory Times Tales in exchange for my honest review.

Honestly, I have been so amazed by the results that I keep pinching myself (so to speak) to see if I’m dreaming. Let me assure you 100%...


Trigger Memory Times Tales

No, I am not dreaming; and yes, your child really can learn his upper level multiplication and division facts with Trigger Memory Times Tales. My son memorized all of the multiplication facts in Part One of the DVD in just 4 days. He has struggled with math for a very long time, so 4 days is just incredible to me! If your child doesn’t struggle in math, I’m sure he/she will learn them much faster. I intentionally moved slowly with this process because of my son’s past struggles with math. I am so glad I did. You know your child's abilities and can be the judge of how fast or slow to move through the DVD.

What’s Included and the Cost

At first glance, I was skeptical because there didn’t seem to be enough material. That skepticism quickly faded as I saw the quality and quantity contained in the two DVD's.

Disk 1 contains the computer printables for Part One and Part Two and the answer key. Tests, cube games, crossword puzzles and flashcard printables can be printed as needed from this disk. Disk 2 contains Part One and Part Two of the upper level multiplication and division facts your child will be learning. The individual steps included for Part One and Part Two are Learn the Stories, Story Quiz, Practice Flashcards, Multiplication Flashcards and Division Flashcards.

Everything you need is included in the DVD's! The cost is $24.95 - a great deal considering there is nothing else needed.

How We Used Times Tales

Every day for the first week, my son and I would watch Part One of the DVD for the multiplication facts. The first video introduces you and your child to the characters in the stories. The second video is the stories for the first set of upper level multiplication facts. The third video quizzes your child with the story characters on flash cards. Finally, the last video of Part One quizzes your child with multiplication flash cards.

After the first week of viewing Part One of the DVD, I printed off the test sheet for the multiplication facts my son learned. He knew them all and made a 100 on the test! We both were so happy!

Next we moved on in Part One to the division math facts that went along with the multiplication facts my son had already learned. I saw the "light bulb moment" on his face when he realized the connection between the multiplication facts and the division facts. He learned the division math facts quickly once he realized that connection. It was a very happy moment for this homeschool moma!! His confidence level was off the charts too!

What I Love About Trigger Memory Times Tales

I love everything about Trigger Memory Times Tales! I appreciate the gentle approach to a subject that has caused my son a lot of frustration over the years. I love how the learning is broken down into manageable portions for the child, and that I can control how fast or slow we go through each step of the process based on his ability. The number characters (Mrs. Week, Mrs. Snowman, the sixth grade class, the butterfly, etc.) are truly memorable and the stories used to teach the math facts are completely genius in my honest opinion. I love that Trigger Memory Times Tales has given my son the confidence in learning his math facts that he was lacking before using this system! That is priceless.

My Recommendation

I would highly recommend Times Tales Trigger Memory to any parent who wants to painlessly teach their child the upper level multiplication and division math facts. It has truly been a pleasure every day to pop in the DVD and watch my son learn. He has been able to retain all of the math facts learned by using Trigger Memory Times Tales. Don’t hesitate to get this for your homeschool – you will be so glad you did, and so will your child!

Happy Learning,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Grace-Filled-Moments!

I can’t let January 2014 pass by without celebrating my one-year blogging anniversary. It was one year ago this month that Grace-Filled-Moments was birthed from my heart during a time of uncertainty, pain, and sadness. I used writing on this blog to walk through that period of time with God as He poured into my heart and mind – assuring me that nothing had taken Him by surprise and that He would help get me and my family through the trial we were facing.

And He did. 

He still continues today…and every day for that matter as we continue to walk in this life He has designed for us.

Today I stand amazed at what God has done with Grace-Filled-Moments. He has opened doors that I never even dreamed were possible for little ‘ole me. He has given me friends in the “blogging world” that support, encourage, guide and dream with me. He has used me to touch and encourage lives of people I will probably never meet – YOU, my faithful readers. Thank you so much for your support and your comments that you leave for me on my blog posts. It’s so nice to hear from you and to know that we have made a connection by something I have shared. 

I’m excited about this next year of blogging and what God has in store for us (yes, you are included in this journey!). Please pray for me to stay in God’s will for Grace-Filled-Moments, and that this little corner of the blogging world would be a blessing to anyone who comes here.

So Happy Anniversary and thank you, to all of my faithful readers and friends!

Walking in His Grace,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Being Intentional and Persistent in My Prayer Life

Do you ever feel like you pray for the same things over and over…day in and day out? I used to think there was something wrong with that, but now I know better. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing”. I don’t think that means that we have to pray every single moment of the day; although, I do believe in praying throughout the day. I think this verse means we can intentionally bring a specific prayer request to God consistently every day. I like what the Pulpit Commentary says concerning this verse: “This prayer is to be "without ceasing," implying constancy and perseverance.”

I love the parable Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1-8 about the persistent widow who did not give up going to the judge until she received her answer. Jesus told this parable to encourage us not to give up in our prayer life. We can apply this same persistence in our daily prayers!

I’ve realized the importance of this kind of persistence in my prayer life since living with and walking through the struggles that having a son on the autism spectrum has brought into our life. It’s a truth that I’m teaching my son as well. There is nothing wrong with seeking the face of God for a specific prayer request To come before God with a humble heart seeking His victory over struggles we are facing shows a strong faith in our mighty God. I believe that pleases Him.

I’ve also learned the importance of praying God’s Word back to Him. The Word of God has power that we cannot get any other way. We can use its power to tear down strongholds Satan attempts to place in our lives. We are told in Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner
of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

My Prayer Life
Source: 123 Royalty Free

I’ve made it a daily habit to pray two specific verses over my son every.single.night. I’ve seen the difference it has made in his life as I’ve witnessed his victory over struggles that have sought to paralyze him in certain areas of his life. I praise God for the victory! Greater is He that is in my son than he that is in this world (see 1 John 4:4)!

In order to pray God’s Word back to Him, I must be in it every day, I must believe what it says, and I must memorize scripture. I’m teaching this to my son as well. Looking back, I’ve learned so much from my son actually; and my walk with the Lord has deepened because of all that we have faced these past two years now. God can truly work all things together for good (see Romans 8:28).

So you’ll know what I mean about praying God’s Word back to Him, I’d like to share part of my prayer that I pray out loud over my son EVERY night:

"Lord, I pray that Caleb would not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, I pray that Caleb would make his requests known to You. And I pray that Your peace that surpasses all understanding would guard Caleb’s heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Lord, You have not given him a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Help Caleb to walk in this truth every day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!"

The verses I use in my prayer are from Philippians 4:6-7 and 2 Timothy 1:7. I have seen first-hand the power of God’s Word working in Caleb’s life and for that I am very grateful. It is why I will continue to be intentional and persistent in my prayer life!

How about you? Has there been a time in your life when you’ve seen the power of God’s Word at work in your life or the life of your loved one? I’d love to hear about it, so please share in the comments.

Walking in His Grace,

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bedtime Routines: Reading the Psalms at Bedtime

A bedtime routine is something I have worked on over the years to develop in both of my children's lives. As a new mom with my daughter (who is now 21 years old and married), we basically had bedtime prayers together. After my divorce from her Dad, we were on our own for about three years, during which time I developed her bedtime routine of nightly prayers. I had rededicated my life to the Lord, and I knew I wanted to bring her up in the Lord. When Sarah was about 5 years old, I married again to my wonderful husband, Phil. He and I would tuck Sarah in bed together and she would say her prayers. Then he or I would pray over her. Those are precious memories!

God blessed me and Phil with a son in 2000. Over the years we have developed a bedtime routine with him too. Caleb's bedtime routine has changed from bedtime prayers only to include reading the Psalms at bedtime as well. In an effort to ease some of his anxieties that he has suffered from, I began reading two Psalms with him every night before we pray. Reading the Psalms at bedtime is a nightly bedtime routine for us. It's a special time where Caleb and I get into the Word of God together to quiet our hearts and minds before he goes to bed. There is power in God's Word and a calming that can come from reading the Psalms. I know that whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, the Psalms are the first place I turn to in the Word of God. When Caleb started to have anxiety issues a couple of years ago, I immediately felt in my heart that I needed to begin reading the Psalms to him as part of his bedtime routine. Each night I pick out two Psalms to read (when I'm not reading his two favorites that are listed for you below). After I'm finished reading, Caleb prays for himself and then I pray over him.

I'd like to share with you today a couple of our favorite Psalms. These two Psalms are Caleb's favorite that he usually wants me to read to him every night:

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, 
nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in 
his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, 
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: 
but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Bedtime Routines

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; 
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: 
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; 
and his truth endureth to all generations.

How about you? Do you have a bedtime routine with your children? Does it include reading the Psalms together? I'd love to hear from you, so please feel free to share in the comments!

Walking in His Grace,