Last Minute Ideas for Father's Day

If you are like me, June snuck up on you quick this year!  That means Father's Day is right around the corner.  Need some inexpensive and easy ideas to celebrate the dads and grandads in your life?  I put together this roundup of inexpensive and easy ideas that you can put together at the last minute!

The Dating Divas have compiled some fun DIY Father's Day gifts

Free Father's Day Fun Pack

Check out tons of handmade card ideas at SassyDealz

FREE printables for Father's Day from Moritz Fine Designs

Have some fun making memories on Father's Day with these ideas from Craftionary

B-Inspired Mama has rounded  up some super easy ideas for Father's Day

Everything Etsy does all the work for you on her blog.

This is a super quick idea to give to dad from My Computer is My Canvas

Another great roundup from Craftionary

Need some simple, stay at home fun?  Try reading one of these books with Dad on Father's Day

If you still need more ideas, check out my 
Father's Day Pinterest Board

or the post I wrote last year with FREE Father's Day Printables

If your idea was featured in this post, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button and display it proudly on your blog!  You can get the html code for the button on my Buttons page


Two Years Cancer Free!

 Two years ago yesterday I had the cancer surgically removed from my body.  A few weeks after that I went through radiation treatment just to make sure it was gone.  It feels like such an accomplishment to be cancer free now for two years.  Thank you Jesus for granting me another year!

I had my 5th mammogram since the surgery last week.  With proper follow ups, I plan to stay on top of this cancer.  If it were to return, I will catch it early and fight it again. 

You can read my cancer story in this blog post. 

You can read my "one year" post here. 

Teacher Appreciation Month

Garden themed basket including Lowe's gift card.

In case you aren't a teacher or don't have school age kids, you may not know that May is Teacher Appreciation Month.  This is my 14th year teaching and I have felt the most appreciated this year out of all of the 13 previous years combined!  My 7th grade homeroom parents have gone above and beyond!  I received so many fun themed gift baskets from them this month. 

I love puns and this crate was full of them!

This was especially perfect for me since I drink Lemon Snapple everyday.  I don't drink coffee.  Snapple is my caffeine.

I also received some cute little treats in my mailbox like this one:

and this:

There were many other personal gifts too.  One of my favorites was this Blessings Journal with my name inscribed on the cover. 

 Want to bless your child's teacher but are short on funds?  Write a short note to him/her thanking them for their work with your child.  Let him/her know how they are making a difference in your child's life.

Book Review: Body & Soul

Title: Body & Soul
Subtitle: A Girl's Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life
Author: Bethany Hamilton
Genre: Youth/Inspirational/Health&Fitness

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book.  Did I mention that I LOVE this book? If you know a tween or teen girl, then you need to get them this book!

In case you have been living under a rock, Bethany Hamilton is the teenage surfer that lost her entire left arm in a shark attack in 2003.  She tells her inspirational story in the book and movie Soul Surfer.  Bethany has an amazingly positive outlook on life despite her challenges.

Bethany wrote this book as a fitness and nutrition guide.  The nice part is that the book covers both the physical and spiritual fitness of your teen.  The book is over sized, colorful and well written.  I am far from being "cool" but I think that this book is "hip" for tweens and teens.

My favorite parts of the book are Bethany's Soul Secrets.  There are blue surfboard scattered throughout the book that contain a scripture or inspirational quote from Bethany.  She is a fantastic role model for any teen.  She brings everything that she suggests in her book back to the Bible and what God tells us.

It is my hope that my teenage nieces will read this book when I give it to them this summer.  There is something in this book that every teen can relate to!

 Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from the Book Look Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Stand Strong

Title: Stand Strong
Subtitle: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff that Keeps you Down)
Author: Nick Vujicic
Genre: Self-Help/Inspirational/Youth

If you are a frequent reader of my blog and book reviews, then you know that I am a huge fan of Nick Vujicic.   I have reviewed two of his other books.  You can read the reviews here:



Nick's story is nothing short of amazing!
Nick Vujicic was born without any of his limbs- no arms and no legs!  His parents had no idea that their son was missing his limbs until the moment he was born.  After the initial shock, Nick's parents raised Nick along with his two siblings and treated him the same as his siblings.  They  did not expect less of him.   They did not treat him as a disabled person.

Nick went through a difficult time as a teenager.  I am sure you can all relate to those challenging and awkward teen years!  Nick shares in this book about the difficult times he experienced as a teenager.  He is brutally honest and even shares about how attempted to commit suicide.  He knows what it is like to be the victim of a bully's never ending taunts.  

This book is Nick's guide to building a "bully defense system."  He helps you to build your defenses from the inside out.  He shares how to overcome being bullied but also shares how to help others that are being bullied.  

I recommend this book to any parent, teacher or youth leader of teenagers.  We live in a difficult time where the internet and constant communication have made it easy for bullies to attack.   It is a great resource for any teen or tween!

You can read more about Nick and his ministry on his website:

 Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review.

Encouragement for when You are Experiencing Job Loss

Two weeks ago, my husband and I both lost our jobs. It was devastating news.  It was shocking to be living comfortably with both of us working and then 6 days later to be a household that is jobless.   It was/is unfathomable. 

We have gone through unemployment before.  My husband lost his job in December 2012.   At that time, the news was also devastating.  I was at home with our two small children and had no income.  We were so blessed when Aaron got a new job just a month later.  

Aaron losing his job while I was at home taught me that we needed to be more prepared for financial emergencies.   So when a job presented itself, I took it.  I went back to work after being home for three school years with my babies.

We very quickly got accustomed to having two 
salaries in our household.   We settled into our routine and became very complacent.   It never crossed our minds that one of us, let alone both of us would lose our jobs.

I have to admit that I am not dealing with all of this as I well as I should.  It is really scary and I find myself feeling bitter and angry.  I need to constantly remind myself that everything is going to work out.

I wrote this blog post so that I could tell my story.  I also wanted to compile all of my favorite verses and quotes so that I could refer back to it when I was feeling defeated. 

So many of my friends have been encouraging me by sharing their favorite verses.  I am so grateful for their faithfulness.  I am definitely not holding up as well as I should and their help means so much to me.   

I know that we will get through this and that God will take care of all our needs.  My prayer is that He will use this situation to further His will.

More Middle School Bulletin Boards

 I know that Minions may seem too babyish for middle school but my 6th graders loved making these.  TCS stands for Timothy Christian School.

I bought the minion template on Teachers pay Teachers.

 I always have trouble coming up with bulletin board ideas for the last weeks of school.  This bulletin board was perfect to count us down.  One of my students changes the number each morning for us.

Kingdom Rock VBS Decorations

During the summer of 2013, our church ran a VBS program. We used the Kingdom Rock program from Groups. 

If your church is using the Kingdom Rock program for this summer check out the decorations that we made for our program!

My brother in law Ben made all of the knights that hung on the walls throughout the church.

We even hung decorations from the ceiling and duct tape chain mail across the doors.

Some of our very talented church members decorated plastic so it looked like we had a stone walkway on the floor.

They repeated the stone pattern along the walls.

Hand made draw bridge

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