Monday, June 29, 2015

What is a Funk and How Can I Avoid It?

 
Lightstock.com
Photo credit: Lightstock.com
 
Do you sometimes feel like you are just not yourself and you don't even know what is the matter? My husband and I call this, being in a funk.  According to Dictionary.com, a funk is described as
"cowering fear; state of great fright or terror," or "a dejected mood." Sometimes, these funks can last only a few mere hours, or just for a day.  Other torrential times, they can last for weeks, months or even years.  What causes these funks and how can we recognize them so that we can avoid them?
 
cowering fear; state of great fright or terror
 
Funks are not bad days.  Everyone is entitled to a bad day.  Funks are getting ourselves so deeply and darkly depressed that we ourselves don't even notice at first.  We start to blame other people for our moods.  We then to start to pick at every single aspect of our life that we are not satisfied with.  We feel justified for our attitude.  This can be extremely dangerous and not only for ourselves, but for the very people we care about.
 
a dejected mood
 
Several years ago, before I was married or had children, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a man.  I started to lose weight because I didn't feel I was thin enough.  I worked with this person, and I wanted to be the best and prettiest person in the office we all worked in.  Sounds ridiculous now, but as a young twenties something, it was very real in my mind.
 
I began to lose so much weight, that my clothes literally were falling off of me.  I had to go buy all new clothes because everything I owned did not fit anymore.  To make matters worse, this person would belittle me so much that food just didn't even taste good anymore.  Life wasn't feeling good anymore. 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
 
It got to the point to where I was out to eat with my Dad, and he voiced concern for me.  I had gone from a healthy size 12 to a size 4 in a year's time.  For my body size, I looked anorexic.  I was in a funk, and someone had to snap me out of it.
 
My brother, my Dad, and my best friend (who later becomes my husband!) collaborated and the three of them saved my life.  I moved out of state and in with my best friend.  He and his family then helped me become me again.  It would take some time, but I was eventually returned to my normal, healthy self.  I married my best friend and we were very soon pregnant with our oldest child.  I rededicated my life to Christ and was baptized after my son was born.  I was so grateful all these people who cared about me, came together to restore me and ultimately was saved by the grace of God.  Not only did these people who love me not give up on, but God did not give up on me.
 
You may ask, why I am going into all of this?  I've had someone very close to me be in a funk lately.  To respect their privacy, I am not going into details but this person received a rude awakening to the funk they were dealing with.  This person had the best of intentions in pursuing a great goal, but unfortunately put everything on the back burner.
 
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
 
The truth is, a funk can happen to any of us.  When this happens to someone we love, it is not best to attack this person.  They need nurturing love and support, and to be told everything is going to be ok and that you have their back.  They DO NOT need to be told all the ways they messed up, or what they had at stake to lose.  Upon waking up from this funk, that person knows all too well what they could have lost.
 
What You Can Do to Avoid a Funk:
  1. Pray - God hears our prayers and knows our hearts, even when there are no words. 
  2. Be in the Word - I can't tell you how off my day can be if I am not in my Bible.  Even if it is 5 minutes in the morning with a cup of coffee, I need to be held accountable for my actions and beliefs.  God always sends the right message or piece of scripture I need to hear that day.
  3. Stay away from people who go out of their way to take away joy, peace, or happiness - This person may be a fun character and awesome to be around and just joke around with, but this person is a thief.  They are there to distract you from leading a good, God filled life.  Your actions and life unfortunately don't rub off on this person, and it is usually the other way around.  Old habits and behaviors creep back in and we may hurt people we love before we even know what happens.
  4. Be joyful - The news lately has been depressing to the point where I don't watch it anymore.  Do things that make you happy: write, read, run, blog, swim, dance, yoga, watch a movie with your kids and slow down, have a date night with your husband, etc.
  5. Look at the positives: God has given us all blessings.  Look at your children's faces. Look at your spouse. Look at your best friend. Look at your mother. Look at your father. Look at your siblings. Look at your nieces, nephews or grandchildren.  Go have a nice day with them!
  6. Don't get caught up in material possessions: We come in this world naked, and we are going to leave it with nothing as well.  Don't look to see what your neighbors or friends have that you don't. Be grateful for what you do have.
  7. Get outside and get some fresh air - Sometimes all you need is to get out and get some sunshine.  Go for a walk or to the park with your kids. Do you live near a pool or the beach? Sunshine does a world of good!
  8. Slow down, and dare I say...take some things off your plate for a season - I feel like technology is supposed to make our life easier, but it seems we are busier than ever. Busier to the point where we have to have every single second of our days and weeks planned out with sports, tutoring, dance, piano, going to the gym, school, work, family events, church events, friends events, etc. Take a breather and look at your schedule.  Could you do without one thing so maybe you had family time with your kids or a date night with your spouse?
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
 
If you are going through a tough time, I encourage you to reach out to someone, even if you have hurt them.  Chances are, that person loves you so much and they want to help restore you to your natural self.
 
Are there any other ideas that you can think of to avoid being in a funk? Have you, or someone close to you been in a funk? What helped you get through this time?
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#inspirational
 
 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Social Butterfly Sunday #4

Wow, I can't believe we are going into the fourth week of Social Butterfly Sunday already!  You all are so amazing and talented, and I can't tell you how glad I am that you are here! I started a Pinterest board just for Social Butterfly Sunday and I am pinning everyone who posts here during the week, so please follow this board and lets support each other!
 
 Social Butterfly Sunday
 
This week's Featured Post is...
Chronically Content Together on Tuesdays

Congratulations to Lisa at Chronically Content for her Together on Tuesdays Blog Hop!
 
 
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after using these links. Thanks for supporting my site!
 
50% off Phonics Reading Set
 
Save 65% off Sams Club Subscription from zulily!
Save 65% Off a Sams Club Membership!: Hurry, deal expires 6/30/2015!
 
Homeschool Week Sale at Educents
Homeschool Week Sale - There are great deals to be had this sale, but offers end tomorrow, 6/29/15!
 




 
 
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#SocialButterflySunday #linky
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Exploring the 50 States Notebook Journal (Curriculum Review)

Exploring the 50 States Notebook Journal (Review)
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Knowledge Box Central in exchange for an honest review.
 
Exploring the 50 States Notebook Journal is a unit study on learning the initial facts about each of the 50 states.  There are 265 pages, and each state has 4 pages dedicated to it, including Facts, State Symbols, Investigate and On Your Own.  There are also word searches, crossword puzzles, and a map of the United States.  The unit is intended for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade so it is perfect for a homeschool setting, where you can enhance the lesson for different grade levels accordingly.  There are also instructions on how to use the journal and ideas on how to have your child learn more from this journal.
 
 
This journal is not meant to be a comprehensive study on the specific state, but just to include a brief overview of each state.  Knowledge Box Central does have many comprehensive unit studies on each of the states though if you wanted something more in depth.
 
This was a wonderful study for me and my boys (who are ages 4 and almost 6) this past Saturday afternoon.  It was rainy, and I decided to have us learn more about the state where we live.  Not being born here, there are many things I don't know so it was even a lesson for this Momma!
 
 
 
The first thing I should mention is if you do decide to do this with your child or student, is to read the instructions!  I ended up showing the boys how to research some of these things online and printing pictures from Bing Images!  This is not necessary since the first two pages of each state have color pictures and facts to fill in at the end of the book! 
 
I enjoyed that this work was done so it becomes a matter of filling in the blank, and cutting and pasting the picture into the appropriate square.  This is great practice though for motor skills, handwriting, spelling and vocabulary!  More research needs to be done for the last two pages, which are meant for older children. 
 
 
 
I originally had the Kindle out to research some fun facts, but ended up discovering the work had already been done and was in the back of the book!  I am amazed at how far technology has progressed in such a short time.  I remember being at the end of high school before being able to research on the Internet for a paper. 

I would highly recommend this notebooking journal if you notebook regularly in your homeschool studies, or if you are covering the 50 states in a classroom setting.  There was a large effort made in this journal to make it easy on the homeschool parent or teacher, but also to have the child learn.  We learned many fascinating things, including the state flower and how our honey from the store came from bees who pollinated that flower!
 

The boys brainstorming and having a snack to make a picture of what we had summed up about our state.  They drew a picture of a bird!
 
Well, one state down and 49 more to learn about!  Please click here to learn more about this amazing journal.   Thanks for stopping by to read this review today.  What state would you want to learn about first?
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#curriculum #Knowledge Box Central
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day & Social Butterfly Sunday #3

 
Photo credit: Lightstock.com
 
Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Granddads, Stepdads, Foster Dads, or the fatherly figure in your life! I hope today is a day to remember fond memories, or a day to create new ones.  May you all have a very blessed day today :)
 
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.  Thanks for supporting my site!
 
I wanted to share with you all real quick, that Karen Kingsbury is going to be launching her new book, The Friends of Jesus on July 7, 2015 and I am so excited to be a part of the launch team for that.  She wrote The Family of Jesus, which is a book on the family members closest to Jesus.  It is a story of how they may have felt or emotions that may have been going through.  Some of it is an elaboration and she does explain this, but as Christian writer she stays as Biblically accurate as possible.
 
#friendsofJesus
 
It was a fascinating study, and it really makes you examine what may have been going on or what that person went through.  There is a least one person, if not multiple people in the story you can relate to. There is a DVD set that also has Karen Kingsbury teaching and reading some of the excerpts with an artist who is exceptional.  The artwork and her reading the story, will bring tears to your eyes. 
 
 If you are able to do this study with your church or a small group, I highly recommend it.  At our old church, we did this study with about 30 women and it was wonderful, because we all interpreted things differently and were able to share how we could relate from our own life situations and experiences.
 
Ok, on to the linky party and the featured post of the week!
 
This week's Featured Post is...
rahabtoriches.com
Congratulations to Miranda at Rahab to Riches for this wonderful post!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#linky #SocialButterflySunday #friendsofJesus

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Sing-Along Bible by: Stephen Elkins (Book Review)

My Sing-Along Bible by: Stephen Elkins
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
 
It seems like many churches started Vacation Bible School (VBS) this week, so My Sing-Along Bible came just in time!  If you are a Sunday school teacher, VBS leader or committee member, or a parent that loves teaching your child about the Lord, this book is a must have!
 
The book comes with 50 Easy-Read Stories and 50 Bible songs for children.  It is colorful with fun pictures and full of scripture from both the Old and New Testament.  It also has fun poems, stories or a chance to go into more depth of the story depending on the child's age.   You can use this as a supplement for a children's Bible study or as a lesson for homeschool, or just to have fun with your child!  The songs are energizing and just make you want to get up and dance!
 
My sons (who are four and six years old) and I absolutely loved this book.  I put the CD in immediately and we started learning all of the different songs, including their favorite: "Who Built the Ark?"  I think this book would be wonderful for any child under the age of ten to enjoy, and the adults will love it's upbeat songs and favorite Bible stories as well!
 
Thank you for taking the time to read my review.  If you would like further information on this book or the author  please click here.
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#Tyndale House Publishers #bookreview #childrensbooks #Christian
 
 
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Social Butterfly Sunday #2

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.  Thanks for supporting my site!

I am so ecstatic on how many entries there were last week!  Thank you all so much for supporting this link up party and I can't wait to see what you all have for this week!

I have decided to do a "Featured Post" each week to the most viewed post and this week's

Featured Post is...
 
How Social Media Skews Our View
 
How Social Media Skews Our View - Congrats to Dr. Michelle Bengston for this awesome post!

Taking Pictures Like a Pro
 
 






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Willie Out West by: Rhonda Walker (Book Review)

Willie Out West by: Rhonda Walker (Book Review)
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
 
Willie Out West is a fun children's story about a walrus named, Willie who is bored.  His mother tells him to get some rest before dinner, and as he goes to sleep he hears a knock at his door.  He is then lead into a town to be the hero of the day.  All is well until he is confronted with the bully, Old Walter, the One-Eyed Whale.  Willie must decide if he can be the hero, or if he will get scared.  He quickly remembers a lesson learned in school, and gathers the town folk for an ambush on Old Walter! 
 
Willie helps to save the day and still manages to get home in time for dinner.  It is there that he begins to appreciate all of the activities that he had originally said he was bored of.  His family and friends even take note of the new, thankful Willie.
 
I am sure many parents can relate to this story in the summer time and having a child say they are bored.  It was a very cute story with colorful and silly illustrations that children will love.  It is a story that has you stand firm in doing what is right and how to be helpful and brave. 
 
I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.  There are some words used like dumb and ugly, that I didn't think were necessary.  I actually read over these words with different words because those are not nice words to describe anyone, and not words I let my boys use.  Other than that, the story had very good morals about it and a fun story that kids could relate to.
 
Thanks for stopping by to read this review.  If you would like to see other reviews of this book, or learn more about the author, please click here.
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#BookLookBloggers #bookreviews #childrensbooks
 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Social Butterfly Sunday #1

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.  Thanks for your support to my site!
 
Father's Day Freebie from Educents
 
Free Summer Math Packet
 
 
Magic School Bus Science Club
 
 
 
Curriculum for $15 or Less
 
 
 
 
 
By linking up, you are agreeing for Raising Samuels Homeschool to be able to use your link or picture from the link.  This would be for social media sharing or for a "Feature" on the following week's Social Butterfly Sunday!


Blessings,
 
Kelly

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Enter to Win a Gazelle Certified pre-owned iPhone or iPad!


Gazelle
Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  Thanks for supporting my site!

Be honest. Have you ever used a phone with a cracked screen? If so, you've engaged in unprotected text, a very risky activity. But all is not lost. As a part of their Stop the Spread of #unprotectedtext campaign, Gazelle is giving you the opportunity to bare your soul on their Facebook page!

In 50 words or less, share your story about how you broke your phone and why you continued to use it. Be sure to use hashtag #unprotectedtext and @Gazelle in your social post.

When you post, you'll be automatically entered to win a Gazelle Certified pre-owned iPhone or iPad.

One Winner announced each week between May 20 and July 15, 2015!

Now is your opportunity to help stop this epidemic from spreading!



Blessings,
 
Kelly

Monday, June 1, 2015

25 Learning Books for Preschool to Kindergarten

Hey all, I wanted to share some of the amazing books we have used in our homeschool over the last 2 years to help the boys learn.  These books have become classics in our family and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  All of these books would also make some fun summer time reading :)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after using these links.  Thanks for supporting my site!

Learning the Alphabet:
Alligators All Around by: Maurice Sendak
Alligators All Around by: Maurice Sendak (part of The Nutshell Library by: Maurice Sendak, a 4 mini book set with 3 of the titles in this list: One Was Johnny by: Maurice Sendak, Alligators All Around by: Maurice Sendak, and Chicken Soup with Rice by: Maurice Sendak.): Maurice Sendak is a favorite in our house and you can't go wrong with this book!  Funny pictures and words to go along with each letter of the alphabet!
 
Big Thoughts for Little People App Review
Big Thoughts for Little People by: Kenneth N. Taylor - This book offers fun interactive activities to help your child learn the alphabet, and also comes with scripture and Biblical values to share.  There is also now an app to go with this amazing book!  Tap on the picture to be taken to my review on the app, and a place to download letters A, B and C in iTunes.
 
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by: Joseph Slate
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by: Joseph Slate: Follow along all the animal children of Miss Bindergarten's class as they all prepare for the first day of Kindergarten!  It is a cute rhyming book and in the back is a yearbook photo of the class with the beginning letter of the type of animal and also the animal's name in the story.
 
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by: Bill Martin Jr.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by: Bill Martin Jr.: Chase the letters up the coconut tree with this classic book and see what adventure they get into.  Plus, think about how much fun it is to say Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with your kids :)
 
The Mixed-Up Alphabet by: Steve Metzger
The Mixed-Up Alphabet by: Steve Metzger: Have you ever had your child or a student ask why the alphabet is in the order that it is in?  This book is a fun way to see all the letters get mixed up and put back together in the right order again.
 
Curious George's ABCs by: H.A. Rey
Curious George's ABCs by: H.A. Rey: My boys love Curious George!  This book is full of animals and things with letter shapes, and the names of what the item or animal is.

Learning about Colors:
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by: James Dean
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by: James Dean: The Pete the Cat series are a hoot and this one is wonderful to see how hard it is for Pete to keep his nice shoes clean!
 
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by: Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by: Bill Martin Jr.: This book gives you the words of Bill Martin Jr. and the illustrations of Eric Carle, which is a dynamic combination!  It uses repetition of words and the beautiful pictures to help children truly see what color the animals are and what they are learning about. 
 
Color Train, Color Train by: Martin Kelly
Color Train, Color Train by: Martin Kelly: This is a "Pull-the-Ribbon" book and there are various colored ribbons throughout the book so your child can see and touch the color.  It also shows colors of other items on each page.
 
Miss Bindergarte and the Best Friends
Miss Bindergarten and the Best Friends by: Joseph Slate: Meet up Miss Bindergaten and her class again as best friends learn colors through items that they have in common.
 
I am a Rainbow by: Dolly Parton
I am a Rainbow by: Dolly Parton: This book has bright and vivid pictures of all the colors of the rainbow and is visually appealing to read.
 
How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors? by: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors? by: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague: This has been a favorite since the boys were babies.  All the How Do Dinosaurs books are amazing, and this one goes over the dinosaurs having fun with colors.

Learning how to Count:

One Was Johnny by: Maurice Sendak
One Was Johnny by: Maurice Sendak (part of The Nutshell Library by: Maurice Sendak, a 4 mini book set with 3 of the titles in this list: One Was Johnny by: Maurice Sendak, Alligators All Around by: Maurice Sendak, and Chicken Soup with Rice by: Maurice Sendak.): This book allows you and your child to enjoy all the funny moments with little Johnny as the items in his house start at 1 and go to 10, and then count backwards from 10 to 1 as all the items go away.
 
Roar! A Nosiy Counting Book by: Pamela Duncan Edwards
Roar! A Noisy Counting Book by: Pamela Duncan Edwards: I am just realizing now how many books that have an animal theme to them but again this is one that won't disappoint!  Roar along and get loud with learning to count!
 
Over in the Meadow by: Ezra Jack Keats
Over in the Meadow by: Ezra Jack Keats - I started reading this book to my oldest when he was about two years old, and it is still a favorite for both of my boys.  There are beautiful illustrationss of Mama animals with their young, and how many there are.
 
The Great Cake by: Sherry Gerstein
The Great Cake by: Sherry Gerstein: My stepsister gave us this book and my youngest loves it!  The animal friends are throwing their friend a surprise birthday party and they each put an ingredient into the cake for the party, and it shows the number and also the number of dots represented by that number on the page.
 
1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by: Eric Carle
1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by: Eric Carle: Eric Carle is another favorite author of ours.  This book is great for young learners because it is only pictures and there are no words.  There are just exquisite illustrations of animals, and the children count along with you of how many animals are on each page.
 
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague: Come along with the dinosaurs and see how they love on all their objects while counting to ten!
 
 
Learning the Calendar:
Chicken Soup with Rice by: Maurice Sendak
Chicken Soup with Rice by: Maurice Sendak (part of The Nutshell Library by: Maurice Sendak, a 4 mini book set with 3 of the titles in this list: One Was Johnny by: Maurice Sendak, Alligators All Around by: Maurice Sendak, and Chicken Soup with Rice by: Maurice Sendak.): This is another book with little Johnny in it and you get to read what happens in each month and season, and how chicken soup with rice always makes it in!
 
Dinosaur Pet by: Neil Sedaka
Dinosaur Pet by: Neil Sedeka: This book comes with an audio CD of the song and you can read the book to your child, and then listen to the upbeat song and dance!  It goes over the months of the year as it tells the story of how much this dinosaur pet is loved.
 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by: Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by: Eric Carle: Discover the fun of seeing how much this caterpillar eats during the days of the week, and what he ends up becoming at the end of the story!
 

Learning about Time:

The Grouchy Ladybug by: Eric Carle
The Grouchy Ladybug by: Eric Carle: I love how this book has little clocks on the side of the page that show you what time it is as you follow this grouchy little ladybug!
 
Midnight Fright by: Kathryn Heling
Midnight Fright by: Kathryn Heling: This is an awesome book for Halloween as well but each page the clock gets closer and closer to midnight and you get to change the face of the clock on the cover of the book!
 
 
What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile?
What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile? by: Judy Sierra: Follow Mr. Crocodile and his silly monkey friends as they count down each hour, and see the adventures they get into before bedtime.
 
Me Counting Time: From Seconds to Centuries by: Joan Sweeney
Me Counting Time:From Seconds to Centuries by: Joan Sweeney This is such a fun book that makes it easy for kids to start to understand time fragments such as seconds, minutes, hours and how it can relate to days, weeks, years and beyond.
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#SummerReads #summerreading2015 #homeschool #Kindergarten #preschool #learning