Wednesday, January 29, 2020

My Word for 2020


I have always wanted for God to give me a "word" for the year.  I know some people choose a word for themselves, but I was stubborn - I wanted GOD to give ME one.  

Well, he graciously dropped a word into my head, and I immediately thought "that was just me..." Can anyone relate?  How often do we hear from God, and then start to doubt?

I told God he would need to confirm it for me before I could believe that it was from him, and not from me.

I recently did a BIG thing for me, and took a solo trip for some rest and revival time.


God not only confirmed my 2020 word over and over (in various locations) but, just to make sure I didn't miss it...he put it on a BILLBOARD for me as I was driving to the airport to come home!


I love how God responds to my feeble attempts at faith...he shows up and shows off on a neon-lit, flashing BILLBOARD to make sure I don't miss it.


So I have a 2020 word, straight from God - WONDER.  What are you needing God to show up and show off for you?  Have you asked him?

Go ahead...ask him!  Then, start watching - the signs are everywhere.




Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award 2019

Can I have a moment to shameless brag on this son of mine?

Sam was awarded the Gary and Diane Heavin Servant Leadership Award at UMHB for 2019!   I couldn't be more proud of the man he has become.



It was a great joy to watch my son step up and speak to the packed auditorium with grace and confidence.  He was able to present his choice of ministries with a donation as well. 


My greatest joy, to see my children loving and serving God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength!

Keep being faithful in the small things... they all add up.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com: A TOS Crew Review

Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership 
from SchoolhouseTeachers.com

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW inexchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was Icompensated in any other way.



I'm back for another year of curriculum reviews, this will be my 11th year of sharing great products with you!

I'm super excited to tell you about - the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum wing at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.


This is an online, subscription based program that will blow your mind!  I don't usually make such a grand declaration, but it is the best description I could come up with.  Your subscription includes immediate access to THOUSANDS of resources including courses, lesson plans, learning centers,  members groups, and even a fully stocked video library.  All of this and more!

Lessons are available for all grades in these subjects:
  • Art
  • Bible
  • Computer & Technology
  • Electives
  • Foreign Language
  • Geography
  • Health & Fitness
  • History
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • PLUS section that is Just for Parents

With all of these choices -I am like a kid in a curriculum candy shop!  The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership gives you unlimited access for your entire family, a great option for multiple children.  They have made it super easy to find a course that will work for your family.  You can search by grade, or by subject.  This allows you complete freedom to customize directly for YOUR student.  Mix and match any topic and any grade level.


I'll show you a course we recently used-  Advanced Public Speaking.  Each course will include a written, downloadable component that you can print out.  This course had 18 lessons that we could work on at our own pace, another great feature of this site is the ability to customize to your student's pace.








Throughout the courses, you will frequently find video components or links to outside sources to use along with the printed lessons.  Everything you need for the course in right there at your fingertips, and ALL the planning has been done.  A busy homeschool mom's dream...

One of my FAVORITE sections on SchoolhouseTeachers.com is their amazing Video Library.  Your membership includes access to over 450+ videos in a huge variety of topics for all ages.  Our favorite Drive Thru History videos are included as well.  This section alone would make it a great deal, but there's even more.



 In addition to the valuable educational content, you get access to resources you need to keep your homeschool running well.  All of the Schoolhouse Planners are available to download, these are a must-have resource! You also have access to downloadable and printable (I love having my lessons in a binder) Lesson Plans - you can easily search by topic.  Handy Scope and Sequence, Record keeping and Schedule Building sections are available to help keep you on track.




The Focused Learning Centers are another unique feature to this online site.  These sections offer specific, targeted tips for teaching.  They offer many different sections - including help with special needs, ESL, high school and even seasonal courses to enjoy.




SchoolhouseTeachers.com has made it so easy to use their site - they have an entire section devoted to Tutorials (video) that will guide you. Getting assistance is so easy and their customer service is great! The Members forum is a great way to connect with other homeschooling parents. 

It will blow your mind... I promise!  The Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership is truly the ONLY resource you need to successfully build a customized curriculum plan and homeschool your children well.

Use the coupon code ONLY99 through 1/31/20 for a HUGE discount on the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership


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Online Homeschooling For the Whole Family {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Nutcracker 2019

Ballerina back on stage with the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker!

What an amazing performance.  Such a joy to see my girl doing what she loves. She was the cutest "party boy" I've ever seen.




And, a great girls date-night too!


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy 2020!

Happy New Year - New Decade!

2020

I've been loving the comparison pictures - here's mine!
2010 - 2020




Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas
From the Bentz Bunch


Matt is celebrating this Christmas with the Savior of the World.  They are celebrating together in Heaven where God has wiped away every tear and there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for all things have been made new. 

Isaiah’s words have been particularly comforting to us this year.  The Lord has been close to our broken hearts – our counselor, our mighty God, our father and ultimately our peace.  I pray that each of you can know HIM in this deep way this season.

I want to share some of Matt’s final words… his gift to us. 

“God is Good, all the time.”
   
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7


Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Stollen - a family tradition!

Merry Christmas Friends!


The Bentz Bunch is full of food traditions...  I have one to share with you.  We have this each year with our Christmas morning Fruit Soup and Christmas Stollen. (can you tell we're Germans?)


German Stollen

1 package of active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
4-3/4 to 5 cups sifted enriched flour
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
Soften active yeast in 1/4 cup warm water or compressed yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water.

 Melt butter in hot milk; add sugar, salt and cardamom; cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add egg and beat well. Stir in softened yeast, fruits, peels, and nuts. Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface.

Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or till smooth and satiny. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. 

Cover; let rise in warm place till double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; turn out on lightly floured surface and divide in 3 equal parts. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each part into a 12X7 inch rectangle. without stretching dough, fold long side over to within 1 inch of opposite side to make typical stollen shape; seal edges. 

Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise till almost double, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake in moderate oven (375) 20 to 25 minutes, or till golden brown.

While warm, brush with butter; sift confectioners' sugar over; or glaze as below.
 Makes 3 loaves. 

To glaze stollen use about 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, add 1/4 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon butter. (I put almond flavoring in my glaze)

It looks like a lot of work...but it's so worth it!!  Family traditions are our way of saying - "I love you" - Merry Christmas!