Christian Book Distributors Affiliate

REMINDER: I am an affiliate with Christian Book Distributors! Anytime someone clicks on any of my affiliate links and purchases from CBD, I get credit for their purchase! This is a great benefit for me because it will help compensate me for my time when I do book reviews for the publishers that I review for! CBD has been my go to website for the past 14 years when I want to purchase Christian books, resources, gifts, music, etc. for great prices!

I have consistently posted links to CBD whenever I do book reviews or mention books, music, movies, etc. Along with the direct links to the books and other products that I mention, I will also be placing a CBD graphic for you to click on which will send you to the CBD home page.

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Affiliate Link:

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?event=AFF&p=1181662

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Thank you for your continued support!
*****

How does my site get credit for referring a customer to Christianbook.com?

“When a customer clicks to Christianbook.com via an affiliate link, the browsing session is activated. Each time that the customer clicks on the web site the session is reactivated. The Christianbook Group will track merchandise purchases that a customer makes during the browsing session so that we can credit your account appropriately.

The browsing session will remain active for four (4) hours after the last link is clicked on the Christianbook.com website. If the customer leaves the Christianbook.com website and returns within this four (4) hour period their browsing session will be reset and the customer will still be deemed a referral of Affiliate unless they returned through the links of another Affiliate, co- branded site or other source tracked by The Christianbook Group.

All items placed into the customer’s shopping cart during an active affiliate browsing session will be credited to Affiliate if items are purchased before the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date an item was placed in the shopping cart.

However, if they leave the site for more than 4 hours, do not click on the Christianbook.com site to reactivate the clock, do not order books placed within an active browsing session within their book bag and order within the 30 day limit or leave the site and place the order from another computer, then any order placed will not be credited to your account.”

Erin Condren Teacher’s Lesson Planner

I jumped on the Erin Condren bandwagon last year after several friends raved about their planners. I browsed through several of them and spent a lot of time on the EC website before finally deciding to take the plunge!

The Erin Condren Teacher’s Lesson Planner was the first EC planner I ever bought. No, I am not a full time teacher. I am a substitute teacher but that does not involve making lesson plans. So why did I get the lesson planner? Glad you asked!

The main reason why I got it was because it is 8.5 x 11 inches which is bigger than the Erin Condren LifePlanner  (7 x 9 inches). There are many customizable options that allows you to make it your own. The base price for this planner is $55.00. Some of the customization options will add to the price.

Like the LifePlanner, the first thing you do is choose your cover design and coil color. There are so many covers to choose from and they all are removable so that you can change them out whenever you want! Several of them have color variations so you can pick your favorite color scheme. Seasonal covers are often added to the collection various times of year. All of them have the option of personalizing with name or other information. The covers that have metallic designs are an additional $5.00. There are 3 coil colors to choose from. I have always picked the platinum coil because it matches the most covers if I decide to change my cover. Several of my friends have said that their colored coils started chipping pretty quickly. The gold and rose coils are an additional $10.00.

Here is the original cover that I ordered:

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The heart cover below is a seasonal cover that was available last year around Valentine’s Day that I bought a month or so after I received my planner. Interchangeable covers cost $8.00-$13.00 when buying them separate from a planner.

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At the time, I also had a lot of responsibility in many areas of life and I wanted a planner that would help me organize all of those areas!

As you continue through the planner you have several pages that are specifically for teachers. I covered the pages that did not apply to me with various printables that I found online. Some of the teacher pages, I did not cover but modified them to meet my needs. There is a 2 page spread of Holidays and Dates to remember. A 2 page spread for keeping track of birthdays. Several pages of absentee logs (I used these for keeping notes). Several pages of graph paper. Then, you have a 2 page spread of plan your year boxes to use as you choose. I used them to keep track of my substitute teaching jobs and paychecks:

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You can choose between colorful or neutral color schemes for the planner. The colorful has colored tabs and the Neutral has black tabs. I chose the colorful scheme.

One thing that I absolutely love about the lesson planner is that you can choose your start month. This is perfect for those who buy planners mid year or for teachers who need to start their planning in July or August.

Here is my January:

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And here is my July:

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I use an assortment of Erin Condren stickers and the washi tape that I have picked up in various stores like Hobby Lobby or Target. Erin Condren has several sticker books ($15.00) and sticker pages ($3.00-$10.00) to choose from. There are customizable event stickers ($2.00-$4.00). I also love the dot stickers ($4.00). The date dot stickers add a pop of color to the neutral scheme or coordinates with the colorful scheme. I like the daily dots for color coding recurring events like dance classes.

Between each month, there is a note page and a quote page.

After the monthly calendars, there are many lesson plan pages. Here is where I got creative to plan my various areas of life! Instead of class subjects, I created categories: Family & Household, Subbing & PAC (Parent Committee), Church & CBS (Bible Study), Blog & Books (Reviews), Norwex Team, and Saturday/Sunday. I started out the year using color coding with different colored pens… but that did not last long! I wish there was an option to have more lesson pages. Having more would be helpful for year round homeschoolers, teachers who have summer school, or people like me who use them year round for other purposes.

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Following the lesson plans are the checklist pages. 7 come with the base price, 14 for $5.00, 21 for 7.50, or 28 for $10.00. I used these pages for keeping track of my Norwex team and other lists I thought of throughout the year.

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Behind the checklist pages there are event sticker sheets, Keep It Together Folder, Sheet Protectors, and a Plan For It Pouch. You can choose how many sheet protectors you want. 1 comes with the base price, 2 for 1.50, or 3 for $3.00. I wish I could have more than 3 sheet protectors. Between my Norwex business, school, and church, I always had more flyers than sheet protectors! These were an awesome way of keeping important pages together in one place allowing me to refer to them quickly whenever needed!

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Overall, I really like my planner! I wish there was an option to have more lesson pages. Having more would be helpful for year round homeschoolers, teachers who have summer school, or people like me who use them year round for other purposes.  This planner definitely meets my organizational need as well as encourages my creative outlet!

I understand that the purchasing an Erin Condren planner is an investment. It is somewhat costly but I believe that the quality is worth it. There are less expensive lesson planners out there but I have not found one that is comparable to this one. I searched high and low for the perfect teacher planner when I homeschooled but I never found one that met all my needs. This one would have been awesome!

If you are interested in trying an Erin Condren planner, you can use my referral code to get $10.00 off your first purchase. By doing so, you help me earn credit towards my Erin Condren purchases. After you sign up, you will get your own referral link to share with your friends! Click the following link:

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It is also important to note that there is a long processing time for orders. When you browse the website, there are expected ship dates listed but they are subject to change. When you pay for expedited shipping, you are paying for the actual shipping time not the processing time. So do not expect to receive your order within the same week even if you pay extra for shipping. Keeping all this in mind, I place my orders a month or so in advance of when I actually need to start using them, especially when it comes to ordering anything that is personalized.

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More Erin Condren Reviews:

Erin Condren LifePlanner

Erin Condren Notebooks

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Do you have an Erin Condren planner? I would LOVE to see photos of your decorated monthly and weekly spreads!

(Be sure to edit out any personal information before posting photos).

Christian Book Distributors Affiliate

REMINDER: I am an affiliate with Christian Book Distributors! Anytime someone clicks on any of my affiliate links and purchases from CBD, I get credit for their purchase! This is a great benefit for me because it will help compensate me for my time when I do book reviews for the publishers that I review for! CBD has been my go to website for the past 13 years when I want to purchase Christian books, resources, gifts, music, etc. for great prices!

I have consistently posted links to CBD whenever I do book reviews or mention books, music, movies, etc.  Along with the direct links to the books and other products that I mention, I will also be placing a CBD graphic for you to click on which will send you to the CBD home page.

*****

Affiliate Link:

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?event=AFF&p=1181662

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Thank you for your continued support!
*****

How does my site get credit for referring a customer to Christianbook.com?

“When a customer clicks to Christianbook.com via an affiliate link, the browsing session is activated. Each time that the customer clicks on the web site the session is reactivated. The Christianbook Group will track merchandise purchases that a customer makes during the browsing session so that we can credit your account appropriately.

The browsing session will remain active for four (4) hours after the last link is clicked on the Christianbook.com website. If the customer leaves the Christianbook.com website and returns within this four (4) hour period their browsing session will be reset and the customer will still be deemed a referral of Affiliate unless they returned through the links of another Affiliate, co- branded site or other source tracked by The Christianbook Group.

All items placed into the customer’s shopping cart during an active affiliate browsing session will be credited to Affiliate if items are purchased before the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date an item was placed in the shopping cart.

However, if they leave the site for more than 4 hours, do not click on the Christianbook.com site to reactivate the clock, do not order books placed within an active browsing session within their book bag and order within the 30 day limit or leave the site and place the order from another computer, then any order placed will not be credited to your account.”

Talking To My Daughter About Marriage & Sex

Earlier today, I saw a Jimmy Kimmel clip where they went to the streets to ask kids about gay marriage. A few of the kids clearly had no clue about traditional marriage, let alone gay marriage. Others obviously had been exposed to the concept before. It made me wonder how my daughter (age 8) would respond to similar questions. We really have not officially talked about what it means to be married, sex, homosexuality, etc. so I did not think that she would be able to answer the questions. Still, I was curious enough to find out.

First, I want to explain my background so that you understand my mindset as I went into the conversation…

I used to work as a nurse and for year I worked at an OBGYN office. I have never had a problem with using proper terminology when it comes to private body parts (and I will use proper terminology here in this post). During my time at the OBGYN office, I worked with teenagers who were sexually active and some who were pregnant. The youngest pregnant girl I saw during my time there was 12 years old.

My mom started talking to me about sex when I was 10 years old. My first exposure to public school sex education was 6th grade. I started my cycle at age 14 but most of my friends started between ages 11-13. I also understand that girls are going into puberty at younger ages these days.

I have already talked to both of my girls (now 8 & 6) about inappropriate touching since they were about 3 years old. I have already explained to them how a baby is born (without explaining sex) either through the vagina or by cutting the abdomen (cesarean section) in response to my sister having a baby last year.

I am a Christian and I believe the Biblical teachings about marriage and homosexuality. For a detailed description of my political and religious beliefs, please read my response to the SCOTUS ruling:

A Conservative Perspective

I started asking her basic questions like “What is marriage?” and “Why do we get married?” I was actually surprised at how little she could answer about traditional marriage in general. I wrongly assumed that she would at least have a basic understanding of it. So, I had to do some explaining. When I asked her, “Who made marriage?” she said, “God.” I explained that God intended marriage to be a picture of Jesus and the church. That it represents how Jesus loves us. We then talked about Genesis and how God created Adam and Eve so that they could make a family.

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After we talked about traditional marriage, I asked her if she thought two men or two women could get married. She said, “No.” I asked her why and she said, “Well, they couldn’t have any babies. They would have to adopt a baby.” I told her that was true. I also told her that our country has made it legal (and   explained what legal means in a way she could understand) for two men or two women to get married. I explained that it was called “gay marriage” and explained that gay is the term used for two men and lesbian is the term used for two women. I also told her that it is both gay and lesbians are called homosexuals. She was stuck on the whole baby thing… I asked her if she knew how a baby was made (Here we go! Whether I like it or not she is growing up!)

So, without going into too much detail (I assume if you are reading this you already know how this works), I did a quick sex talk. We talked about how boys and girls are different (she already knew this but I wanted to start with that basic knowledge). I explained how God made a man and woman to fit together and how that leads to making a baby. I explained why 2 men or 2 women cannot fit together for that purpose.

I also reiterated the fact that it is not ok for other people to touch her in her private areas because they belong to us and should be saved for the man she marries someday. We talked about God’s plan is for a man and woman to only have sex after they get married. We talked about how it is a sin to have sex before marriage and that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin also.

Then, I asked her how we should treat people who think differently than we do or who live a lifestyle such as homosexuality. She was quiet so I asked her how Jesus would treat them. I could tell that she was thinking but she did not want to say the wrong answer so she stayed quiet. So I told her that Jesus would love them just like He loves us when we sin. We talked about some of the sins that her and I struggle with and reminded her that Jesus loves us and forgives us when we sin so we should do the same for others.

To finish the conversation, I told her that she should not talk about our conversation with her sister (because she is too young) or other kids (because it is their parent’s responsibility) but that she can come to me any time she wants to talk about anything related to our conversation. She asked if she could talk to daddy too. Laughing, I said, “Yes! But he will probably just tell you to come talk to me!”

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In conclusion, I think that the conversation went well. I think that she was old enough to handle the basic conversation. We have not even started talking about puberty, menstruation, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. so there are many more conversations to be had in the future. I feel that it is important for me to have these talks with her (and in the future my other daughter) before they are necessary. By the time they are necessary, she will know that she can feel comfortable talking to me about these things when questions arise.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

What ages do you start talking to your kids about sex?

Feel free to voice your opinions and engage in respectful debate in the comments. However, any comments that are disrespectful, use inappropriate language, etc. will be deleted.

Christian Book Distributors Affiliate!

ANNOUNCEMENT:

I am now an affiliate with Christian Book Distributors! Anytime someone clicks on any of my affiliate links and purchases from CBD, I get credit for their purchase! This is a great benefit for me because it will help compensate me for my time when I do book reviews for the 4 publishers that I review for! CBD has been my go to website for the past 12 years when I want to purchase Christian books, resources, gifts, music, etc. for great prices!

I have consistently posted links to CBD whenever I do book reviews or mention books, music, movies, etc. I am currently in the process of replacing all of the old links with new ones attached to my affiliate information. Along with the direct links to the books and other products that I mention, I will also be placing a CBD graphic for you to click on which will send you to the CBD home page.

*****

Affiliate Link:

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?event=AFF&p=1181662

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Thank you for your continued support!

*****

How does my site get credit for referring a customer to Christianbook.com?

“When a customer clicks to Christianbook.com via an affiliate link, the browsing session is activated. Each time that the customer clicks on the web site the session is reactivated. The Christianbook Group will track merchandise purchases that a customer makes during the browsing session so that we can credit your account appropriately.

The browsing session will remain active for four (4) hours after the last link is clicked on the Christianbook.com website. If the customer leaves the Christianbook.com website and returns within this four (4) hour period their browsing session will be reset and the customer will still be deemed a referral of Affiliate unless they returned through the links of another Affiliate, co- branded site or other source tracked by The Christianbook Group.

All items placed into the customer’s shopping cart during an active affiliate browsing session will be credited to Affiliate if items are purchased before the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date an item was placed in the shopping cart.

However, if they leave the site for more than 4 hours, do not click on the Christianbook.com site to reactivate the clock, do not order books placed within an active browsing session within their book bag and order within the 30 day limit or leave the site and place the order from another computer, then any order placed will not be credited to your account.”

As 2013 Ends…

Here is our Christmas Letter for this year!

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Dear Family and Friends,

As you all know, we moved to New Mexico in December 2012. We found a home and moved in just in time for Christmas. We closed on our house in January. In February, we became members of Central Baptist Church. It is a much larger church than what we are used too but we connected with the people in our Sunday School class and there are many programs, activities, and ministries that have allowed us to feel at home there. By summer, we all had adjusted to our new home and with autumn came busy schedules. Throughout the year, we have met amazing friends and are grateful that God has given us family away from home so quickly!

Shane has finally completed his training to become a Flight Engineer. It was a long journey but he is now enjoying his career more so than he did before. As a part of a flight crew, he travels more frequently but he has already traveled to some amazing places in the past few months!

Alysa is currently not working outside of the home but has been keeping busy with many activities. She is in the church choir and helps in the church library. She is also a women’s core-group leader with Community Bible Study and she teaches a Crafting Through the Bible class for the homeschooling co-op kids. She is still a Juice Plus+ Distributor as well.

Kendal and Audrey will be turning 7 and 5 in January. Both girls are also involved with many activities. They are in Awana clubs, Kid’s Central, Community Bible Study, and they play soccer on local teams. We started out the year homeschooling but after a lot of prayer and wise counsel, we decided to put Kendal in a public elementary school. So far she is enjoying the classroom setting but we are still in the process of getting her caught up academically. Please keep her in prayer as she adjusts to the new routine. Audrey is now able to have more one on one time with Alysa and Shane which has been a blessing.

Noriko has been a part of our family since August! She is an exchange student from Okinawa, Japan (which is where we were stationed for 4 years). She will be staying with us for the entire school year. She is attending the local high school, participates in dance classes at a local studio, and attends youth group at church. The girls absolutely love their new big sister! Shane and I have enjoyed having her here.

This year, we are planning to spend Christmas in Iowa with Shane’s family and New Year’s in Michigan with some of Alysa’s family. We are also hoping to take a trip to Delaware to see Alysa’s family sometime before the school year ends so that we can take Noriko to places like Washington DC. Please pray that we can work out the timing, finances, and Shane’s leave approval so that we can take these vacations!

As 2013 comes to a close, we have been reflecting on the changes our family has experienced throughout the past year. It has been said that “Change is always in your favor when you are walking with the Lord.“ Overall, we have had a very good year!

May “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” this Christmas season and new year! (Numbers 6:24-26)

Love, Shane, Alysa, Kendal, Audrey, & Noriko

Pumpkin Patch

One thing I wanted to make sure that we did this season was go to the pumpkin patch. This is something that Noriko has never experienced. For our family, it has become a Fall favorite. We love to go do the mazes and activities and best of all choose our pumpkins for decoration outside our front door. It reminds me of my childhood, living in rural Delaware, surrounded by corn fields and barns with hay bales.

We went to Davis Farms here in Clovis, New Mexico with some friends on a crisp and windy autumn day. They had a hay bale maze for little kids. A hay bale mountain to climb on with a tunnel going through it. A large corn maze. A hay ride to the pumpkin patch where we picked our own pumpkins. There were not many people at the farm and it was nice to do everything at our own pace. We spent a few hours there and then went to IHOP for dinner and hot chocolate to warm us up! My friend Stephanie took most of the photos (I love the one with the kids in the tunnel)! And yes, this is counting as a field trip/school day for my girls! 🙂

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Busy! Busy! Busy!!!

Busy really doesn’t even describe my life in the past two months! Which is why my blogging time has been non-existent. Noriko arrived and Fall came and all extra commitments started within the same few weeks.

August for the most part went pretty smoothly. The beginning of the month we were preparing for Noriko. When she arrived we eased her into our routine, registered her for school. She started school and quickly started to make friends. She changed a couple of her classes during the first couple of weeks and I met most of her teachers during the open house during the second week of school. (I was frustrated that one of her teachers didn’t even know she was an exchange student but that is off topic). We found out that there is a Japanese teacher at the school. She was excited when we met her and I know that she has been instrumental in helping Noriko adjusting to American High School!

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In September, I was struggling to manage our schedule to point that I could not figure out when I had time to homeschool. We were in and out of the house multiple times a day. We would come home from one thing but since we are leaving the house in an hour or two that there was no point in trying to do schooling. So my days were flying by without accomplishing my homeschooling goals.

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Even though I had two calendars and a day planner, I had to come up with a better way of keeping track of my schedule. During the course of a week, I wrote my schedule several times in several places in the hopes of finding what would work the best. Completely frustrated I went to an office store in town and spent an hour looking at calendars and day planners. I found a day planner that puts each week on a two page spread with spaces for times between 7 am and 8 pm.

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I finally was able to visualize my schedule! I started out using post-it tabs and color coded my schedule. My idea was that I could fill in my schedule for 2-3 weeks then transfer the tabs over to the following blank weeks. I realized that this would not work during the first week. With as much as I was using the planner, the tabs were bending and falling off. So, for following weeks I decided to color my planner! (Yes, I think I have OCD) I even scheduled lunch and dinner for most days! Even though most of the white space is full, I still have been able to be somewhat flexible. I generally know that all white space is free and all homeschooling space we should try to be home. But things do still come up like the lunch invite or the come over for coffee invite. Dinner time needs to be flexible and often is not when I have it blocked off but if I have it on the schedule I can still visualize the time I have (or don’t have) available when scheduling appointments and other things that come up.

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October is now here. Getting into routine has been challenging and stressful but I think we are starting to find our groove! Consistently we have the following out of the house schedule:

Sunday-Church and Awana, Monday-Soccer (K), Tuesday-Community Bible Study (Leadership) and Soccer (K & A), Wednesday- Community Bible Study and Church, Thursday-Library and Soccer (A), Friday-Homeschool co-ops (3 class periods), Saturday-2-3 Soccer games (K & A)

And between all of those times I can schedule meals, homeschooling, house cleaning, rest time, etc. Did I mention my husband is deployed? All the more reason to have a well planned schedule!

Noriko seems to be adjusting well. She is continuing to make friends and finding activities that interest her. Since she has been here, her school assignments and church involvement have lead to several good conversations about relationships, religion, history, etc. (I will share more specific conversations as I find the time to blog…I really should block out blogging time on my schedule). The girls love Noriko and she loves them. Even though we have had some miscommunications and frustrations, I have enjoyed having her here. So far this has been a good experience and I hope and pray that we continue to be smooth for our whole family.