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Christmas FREEBIES Near You

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I thought the holiday season deserved an extra blog post this week featuring some FREE or low cost activities you can attend in your area.  Now of course the names might be slightly different but the general idea of the activity will definitely be the same.  Let’s dive into this year’s fun list wherewith you’ll be sure to find some fun things in your area to enjoy while making Christmas and New Year memories.  Keep reading because there might be a FREE Christmas Fun Checklist printable link available within this post.

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Christmas Freebies & Holiday Fun List:

  • Trail of Lights: You will be surprised how creative minds can turn local city parks, race tracks, or on large plots of land in your area into a glowing tribute to the Christmas holiday.  In our area most of the trails cost approximately $5 per car or require a donation of goods to a local charity.  There are some walk through trails but we prefer to drive through the trail while eating warm baked treats and drinking hot chocolate.
  • Look in the Library:  Local libraries are also known for hosting monthly FREE activities for “kids from 1 to 92.”  At our library there is weekly story time, knitting groups, chess tournaments, book clubs, crafts for children, teens and adults, Christmas science classes, and even homeschool meet ups all available for FREE.  This information should be available on your local library’s website or social media pages.

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  • Stores Offer More:  Did you know that some of your favorite stores might offer free classes or activities during this season?  Holiday themed story time at Barnes and Noble, Pottery Barn, and a few locally owned book stores is always a fun way to spend our time off from school during Winter Break.  We have also attended free or low cost holiday themed craft workshops at Lego, Michaels, and Home Depot.
  • Chick-fil-a Christmas Rocks:  This eatery is known for hosting activity nights throughout the year but during this season you might be cable to catch a week of FREE breakfast giveaways as well as free entrée gift card giveaways.  Most of the time your local restaurant will have a Facebook page that shares upcoming events and registration information.  Also, if you have the Chick-fil-a app, you might receive an extra goodie or two during this time.

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  • Print it Out:  If your neck of the woods is under snow, then you can still have some holiday fun with your family.  Just keep your printer nearby and stock up on ink and paper before the storm hits so you can create your own fun worksheets.  I like to print out holiday mazes, scripture studies, funny word searches, and craft templates.  Try painting with homemade pudding or whip cream for your littles or find a holiday themed science project via Pinterest for your older children.  Either way, don’t let the weather hinder your household’s Jingle Bell Rock!
  • Cheers for Volunteers: Volunteering your time is the most rewarding and memorable gift you can offer during this season.  There are so many families in need and a myriad of organizations that could use your help to collect, sort, and hand out donations.  Some families even volunteer Christmas morning and then return home to open gifts.  Whether you decide to donate your money or time, you won’t receive a bigger reward than the feeling of knowing you’ve helped make a stranger’s holiday season bright.

Now, of course there are so many more freebies or low cost activities in your area but this should be enough to get you through the remainder of 2017.

Okay, okay, OKAY! I appreciate you all so much that here is one more fun freebie download that I found on the Family Education website.  Click here to download your Christmas Fun Checklist Printable

Have a great week,

Ta’Neisha K.

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Our Homeschool Testimony

As November comes to a close, I wanted to take this Homeschool Wrap-Up and share another testimony about how we started on this remarkable journey.

Bear was approximately four years old and we’d been praying about where he was going to go to school for kindergarten.  He was attending a preschool co-op on and the other mothers seemed a bit confused when I didn’t know where our son would be attending school.  The neighborhood elementary was one of the least popular in the district and after visiting; we definitely didn’t want him to attend.  We heard a preacher on the radio mention homeschooling and decided to look into it.  After much prayer and adequate research I asked Kevin if I could attempt kindergarten with our only child.  He agreed and the Team KEMP Academy was subsequently created with a few books from Dollar Tree.  I’m still extremely grateful for books from Dollar Tree for all my students!

Throughout the years this journey has been full of ups and downs but even during those hard moments there is no place I’d rather be.  I am so grateful for the daily precious memories and that I am present for every child’s lightbulb moments.  I get so excited when Bear crushes a test and finds out his hypothesis is correct during a Science project.  I love hearing Bam Bam play with Princess, correctly point out 3-D shapes, and recite scripture from memory.  I adore each time Princess learns a new shape, color, or letter in the alphabet but still manages to cook a delicious plastic meal in her kitchen.  I also look forward to the days that daddy gets to hang out with us in-between conference calls, interviews, and meetings. 

Read more about the start of our homeschooling journey here

Here’s a few accomplishments from the month of November:

  1. We celebrated several family birthdays and attended quite a few parties. 
  2. Bear’s football team winning Second Place in their championships and enjoying a weekend team getaway.
  3. We are so proud of Bam Bam for saying a speech at our church homeschool co-op Thanksgiving Luncheon. 
  4. We enjoyed spontaneous Chuck E. Cheese trips and cashing in 1700 tickets.
  5. Our new dog is enjoying his home and has settled in perfectly. 
  6. Princess has expanded her vocabulary tremendously! She has a response to everything and we are enjoying her conversations.
  7. I have maintained my commitment to reading daily and have read 5 books this month.
  8. Our Fall Break was perfect and we were able to rest after a busy sports season.
  9. We used technology to bring the grandparents in on Bam Bam’s birthday celebration. Video chat with grandparents is so much fun!
  10. Bear recorded, completed the editing, and uploaded a video for our current homeschool giveaway. 

 

As 2017 comes to a close I hope that you made time to thank God for something each and every day.  He is so worthy and without His love, patience, mercy, grace, and gift of salvation through Jesus Christ I don’t know where I would be.  I honor God because he started this world with the notion to supply our every need and though life choices, from Eden and forevermore, affected our relationship with him, he still showed us grace by offering his perfect son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  Let’s not forget the new mercies he offers every morning because just by waking up we are given another opportunity to grow in faith.  Who wouldn’t want to acknowledge, praise, worship, adore, and share the good news about a God that is the definition of perfect love?!?!?!

Make today astonishing,

Ta’Neisha K.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from #TeamKEMP

We hope you are enjoying the holiday season and have been encouraged by this month’s theme of testimony and gratefulness. On today, I’m grateful for every person that reads, likes, shares, and comments on my blog and YouTube videos. I’ve met some great people and I truly hope you’re encouraged or find a few laughs in every post or upload. 

Make today grand, 

Ta’Neisha K. 

God’s Provision Can’t Be Beat!

Happy November!  As the season of thankfulness is upon us it is only fitting that I share a few testimonies of God’s instant provision over the years for #TeamKEMP.

I remember being so angry when I received the letter from our duplex manager, also fellow neighbor, stating that the landlord had been foreclosed on and we had to be out of the property by the end of the month.  The sneaky landlord had been collecting rent money for months without paying the bank and he also waited to inform the tenants about the foreclosure after the current month’s rent had been paid.  We searched all over for a home that was in a nice neighborhood that we could afford.  Again, there were plenty of nice neighborhoods in our area of The Lone Star State but we needed to be able to afford the home and monthly bills.  We were both working at the time and still found it hard to come up with the $725 every month but somehow, we never paid late and it always worked out.

While driving through random neighborhoods after work I came across a for rent sign in front of a small brown house.  I felt a strong urge to call the number and gather the information from the owner who ultimately wanted what everyone else did, a deposit that matched the monthly rent of $800.  That was $75 additional every month and I knew we would need all the help God could give to work this one out.  I passed this information on to my husband who decided to go by and check out the place.  While doing the walk through my husband did the unthinkable, he told Mr. Fuller the truth.  He told him about the sneaky, thieving landlord and upcoming foreclosure, he explained how we couldn’t afford the deposit but we really needed a safe place to move to with our infant son.  Mr. Fuller listened intently, offered his own negative opinion of that mean old landlord, and then said “here’s what I will do.”  He lowered the rent down to $725, told us we could pay “whatever we could” towards our deposit starting the second month, and he let us move in before the first of the month FOR FREE.  We were grateful that God caused Mr. Fuller to be so nice and caring towards a young, newlywed couple that he’d never met. 

Later, I asked my husband why he decided to share all of that information, not knowing how it would turn out.  He told me that he’d prayed and knew that God was in control, would provide, and it would be okay.  My husband was right.  His faith in God over the years has challenged me to step my belief in God, all the way up!  Together, we just know that as long as we are obedient to him, God will come through.

 

God recently came through for us approximately six months ago when our dryer started acting up.  My husband began saying we would get another one and in my prayer time I would thank God for our new dryer.  Soon thereafter the dryer completely died on us and the next week as my husband was rolling out our old Kenmore, our neighbor rolled over a new one for us.  Yes, a miracle dryer delivered right to our laundry room courtesy of The Most High God.  We were truly grateful that God supplied our needs and that we didn’t have to wait long for that blessing.

So, don’t let the dim moments of life allow you to forget the omnipotent, omnipresent, King of kings, and Lord of lords.  Never make your problem bigger than Jehovah Jireh because he knows what you need and will supply in due time.  Remain obedient while you wait and be sure to share your testimony so it will encourage others.  


Can you remember a time when God supplied your need immediately?

Trust God always, 

Ta’Neisha K.

Celebrating A Decade of Marriage #TeamKEMP

November is upon us and keeping with the season, I thought I’d spend this month posting various testimonies and sharing a few things I am grateful and thankful for.  This also coincides with the awesome news that Kevin and I are CELEBRATING OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  Throughout the years we have endured so much and through it all God has comforted us, guided us through his narrow path, and blessed us tremendously. 

Our wedding day

On November 1, 2007 I walked down the aisle, led by my father to a young, handsome, tall guy named Kevin.  We met on my first day of school, in my first college class just a few years before and thinking back I feel like I can still give specifics of every moment we spent together until we said “I do.”  I remember my father asking him if he was truly ready for marriage on the day that Kevin asked for my hand.  Kevin courageously said “yes” and began to lay out his plans as I left the dinner table so they could continue talking.  Fast forward seven months and there we were, sharing vows, beginning our covenant with each other and most importantly with God while approximately fifteen precious people supported us.  I’m grateful for our wedding day.

During our decade of marriage I’ve watched my husband mature tremendously as he led our family.  He is the best person that I know and if I could continue through life with a heart like his I know I’d be alright.  I honor him for his leadership, ability to provide, strength, unconditional love for me, covering, truth, fortitude, and his wisdom.  He has some phenomenal things to say about me too but I still think I was the lucky one because I married him.  I am grateful for phenomenal husband that I’ve grown with for my entire adult life.  I’m grateful that God created me to honor him, have his children, and help him in any way that he needs along our journey.

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I’m grateful for three beautiful children that have miraculous birth stories, proving that God can do amazing things.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to be home with my children daily and watch them grow as God leads.  I’m grateful for our homeschool and that my husband entrusts me to educate our arrows via the Team KEMP Academy.  I’m also thankful for a household that is filled with laughter, spontaneous dance battles, board games three nights a week, and overflowing with love.  Finally, I’m grateful that our marriage has endured a decade of life on earth.  To some ten years is a long time but to us it is just the beginning of a lifetime together.

 

This month, I encourage you all to assess your life and realize that no matter what you have going on; God still deserves the glory, honor, and praise. Have you thank God today?

You can hear more about how we met in this YouTube video

 

Make today grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

The Lord’s Prayer Curriculum with Kid Niche Christian Books

Today’s review features a look into the bible and prayer curriculum Weave Your Word in Me — Part 1 from Kid Niche Christian Books.  This program is designed to walk upper elementary students through The Lord’s Prayer with various activities, thought provoking questions, and correlating scripture.

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The complete Weave Your Word in Me curriculum uses My Whole Self Before YOU, which is rhythmical prayer modeled after The Lord’s Prayer, as the basis for each lesson.  Part 1 includes thirty-six lessons which focus on God as our Heavenly Father, importance of prayer, Jesus Christ, Christ’s ministry on earth, the resurrection, salvation, and Christ’s return.  The lessons come packaged perfectly and pre-punched for a three-ring binder which makes storage extremely easy.  Each lesson includes various scriptures that reiterate the focus and give the student opportunity to breakdown the verses for clearer understanding.  Throughout the workbook the verses are clearly marked for the translation used and the answer key features responses for:

  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • King James Version (KJV)
  • New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • New International Version (NIV)
  • New King James Version (NKJV)

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During our review period we used this curriculum three times a week and depending on their length, some lessons were spread over two days.  I enjoyed discussing the scriptures with Bear and listening to his responses which led to some great conversations over breakfast.  The provided comprehension questions were great for verifying his understanding of the verses, especially because we use the King James Version.  I also enjoyed how each lesson ended with a prayer outline giving your child the chance to expand their prayer language and ability to have a specific focus for each prayer.  Kid Niche Christian Books also provides additional activities for each lesson as FREEBIES on their website.  The activities within this workbook and on the website include:

  • Cartoons
  • Charts
  • Definitions
  • Drawing
  • Fill in the Blank
  • Matching
  • Sequence
  • True and False
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Art
  • Puzzles
  • Games
  • Poetry

The only concerns I had in using this curriculum was some of the artwork illustrations used throughout, though quite popular, aren’t actually in support of Christianity.  Any images we deemed inappropriate were explained to our son before we moved on.  In addition, we opted not to use the My Whole Self Before YOU prayer since Bear had already memorized the KJV of The Lord’s Prayer.  The model prayer also left out a portion about forgiving others and God’s power in Heaven and Earth which can easily be explained to the audience this curriculum is geared towards.  I think the model prayer might work better for younger students and definitely isn’t needed for this particular program.  These minor issues didn’t hinder our experience in anyway but I felt they needed to be noted for this review.

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Overall, we have enjoyed this bible and prayer curriculum from Kid Niche Christian Books and will continue using it for the remainder of our school year.  Weave Your Word in Me — Part 1 has been a great in-depth look at The Lord’s Prayer and I feel that the tweaks made for our household only enhanced our learning experience.  This curriculum would be a good match for homeschools, elementary Sunday School programs, and I even suggested it to the Christian after school program directors that I know.  The complete Weave your Word in Me program is currently available as a set or each part can be purchased individually.

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 You can read additional reviews on this curriculum from other homeschoolers via this hyperlink.

 Make today grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

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The Lizard Won

This is another long social media status update that popped up in my memories from five years ago. I definitely wanted to share this and the lesson said I learned from the experience.


One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Timothy 1:7 which reads, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  It was the first scripture that I taught Bear, our oldest, and I use it in prayer daily.  I truly believe that God has not given me the spirit of fear, I have power through him, I love everyone, and my mind is equipped to make sound judgement calls and initiate self control.  I walk boldly in faith knowing that God is always in control and I’m equipped to handle whatever comes my way. 


But occasionally, I’m reminded that I am still human. Sometimes I might find myself in a situation that causes me to feel nervous, anxious, or even scared.  Especially when I lift up the laundry basket and see a HUGE, three inch lizard sitting on my couch.  At which point I scream and quicly spray air freshener at it.  Then in order to protect myself and my son from this dinosaur, I immediately flipped all the couch cushions over. 

I figured that wasn’t enough to ensure Godzilla was gone so I mustered up my SUPER HUMAN mommy strength and flipped over the couch. I then ferociously sprayed my Lavender Vanilla air freshener defense shield to ward off the HUMONGOUS three inch lizard.  There might have been some screaming, praying aloud, and even a couple of tears as I battled the world’s largest small house gecko. I’m 100% sure those came from me. My son BEAR, who was four at the time, stood firm and said “Mama, God has not given us the spirit of fear.” I quickly replied, “that doesn’t apply to lizards,” as I cautiously scanned the living room to ensure our white, four legged visitor was gone.

So with that being said clearly I have power to lift couches.  Eventually, I used my sound mind to (self control) to calm down because I realized that I’m bigger than the terrible lizard.  I also used it as an opportunity to teach my son what not to do when you’re scared.  I also reminded him that the little lizard was afraid of me too.  Shall we say love caused me to spray my Lavender Vanilla air freshener defense system to protect my son? 

But, when it came to fear…

On this day, THE LIZARD WON.

#truestory

To hear about how to put faith over fear, watch my challenge video. 



Make this week fantastic,

Ta’Neisha K.