Valentine’s Day Coupon Print Out

valentines coupon image


Some of my sweetest memories are of Valentine’s Day with my family. For many of us it is a day filled with roses and chocolate, and there is nothing wrong with that. I love getting roses and being spoiled as much as the next lady does. But the memories that stick out the most are being given paper roses, being served a bowl of cereal in bed by my little one, my oldest cooking dinner for the family, spending the whole day doing whatever my boys wanted, making something special that I knew my boys wanted. These memories all have one thing in common; it was never about what we bought but about what we gave of ourselves.  With that in mind I wanted to share with you my favorite Valentine’s Gift, a coupon.

Valentines Coupon – download 3 blank coupons (in PDF format) on one sheet.

Coupon Ideas: They aren’t just great for the children to give. Why not give them to the children or your spouse?

  • doing someone else’s chores
  • make a meal
  • do a long awaited project
  • watching a movie or sports game
  • take on a date (parent-child or spouses)
  • foot massage
  • anything you want to do day
  • wash the car
  • stay up late pass
  • video game night (parents & children)
  • nature walks
  • Bible study time together

Any thing that would cause you to spend time together or remove a burden would be a great idea to use on the coupon. Be thoughtful and try to find something you are able to do that the person would really appreciate.

Above all, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remember that One who gave His all for us (John 3:16, Romans 8:32).

Enjoy your V-day and be blessed loving on each other!




The Theory of Multiple Intelligences

“reason, intelligence, logic, knowledge are not synonymous…,” Howard Gardner

One of the main advantages of home schooling is your ability to tailor your child’s lessons towards his/her specific needs. There seems to be an endless amount of information pertaining to how a child learns.

From Piaget to Glasser to Vygotsky, there is much debate as to how many learning styles there actually are. While preparing my article, I found that since my college days, Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences has grown. He has added three more potential learning styles/intelligences, only one of which we will cover here in any detail.

Gardner’s “Theory of Multiple Intelligences” is a fairly well-known and usually respected theory. I tend to use this method since it seems to incorporate both new & traditional theories of education and still remain fairly comprehensive. You will find that your child has a little of each style to varying degrees. You will also see how these styles rely upon each other in developing a well-rounded education.

What is “Intelligence”?
Gardner’s definition is “the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting”.

Each person has his/her own unique style. According to Gardner, these intelligences do not work alone. Instead, they build upon each other in a unique way for each person. What this means is that a person with very strong musical & linguistic intelligence skills may very well be a poet or songwriter. On the other hand, a person with a weak bodily-kinesthetic intelligence won’t likely be a ballerina no matter how strong her musical intelligence is. It is also important to note that these intelligences are not a grading system. You don’t have to be strong in a particular intelligence to be smart. On the contrary, the whole point of this theory is that there is more than one way to measure, obtain and enhance intelligence.

“…a human intellectual competence must entail a set of skills for problem solving….enabling the individual to resolve genuine problems or difficulties that he or she encounters and, when appropriate, to create an effective product…and must also entail the potential for finding or creating problems…thereby laying the groundwork for the acquisition of new knowledge… the ideal of what is valued will differ markedly across human cultures.”
-Gardner, “Frames of Mind”.

The following is a simple description to help you determine which learning styles your children has strengths and weaknesses in. From here you can research each theory more thoroughly by looking for Gardner’s books in your local library or on the Internet. I think it is important to reiterate that each of us possess all these intelligences to various degrees. It is also a good idea to nurture the “weaker” intelligences so that you can educate and stimulate the whole child in order to facilitate a well-rounded individual.

1. Kinesthetic Intelligence (also called bodily-kinesthetic) :
He is always busy doing something. He fidgets when staying in one place. He has to touch everything and he then takes it apart and puts it back together. These are our dancers, sports players and athletes.
This child will best learn by hands on experimentation.

2. Interpersonal Intelligence :
She has charisma and people flock to her. She is the social butterfly. This child learns best when she works in a group. She may also be the class peacemaker.

She remembers events and relates them to people and vice versa.

3. Intrapersonal Intelligence :
This is the child who is very self-aware. He is very introspective and really thinks about himself. This child very likely has a high self-confidence. He has a tendency to be sensitive to his environment. He is very independent and private. He is likely to make decisions that go against the mainstream because he knows what is best for him.
He learns best when he teaches himself.

4. Linguistic Intelligence :

This is a child who is a good at spelling and has excellent reading comprehension skills. She may be excellent in debate and have a way with words. She may have spoken early on and has maintained an above average language/vocabulary.

She learns best when she reads & writes her information.

5. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence :
This child is good at seeing patterns. He is usually very good with numbers and excels in science as well. He will most likely do well in school, as this is the type of intelligence schools were designed for. He is always asking questions (which may not go over well in all school settings). He loves strategy games such as chess.

He does well with “book based studies”.

6. Musical Intelligence :
She has a knack at remembering the words to her favorite songs. She can hold a tune better than most famous rock stars. She may need music on in the background when she studies. She usually sings or hums to herself. She probably plays an instrument, can sing and can imitate other’s voices. Many, but not all of the components of this intelligence require the ability to hear. (An understanding of rhythm can be observed even in the deaf).

She learns well when the information is set to music.

7. Spatial Intelligence :
He has a photographic memory. He may be a daydreamer. He not only likes the pictures in books, but may learn more from the picture then from the text. He loves movies. This child uses mental imagery to solve problems.

He learns best when he has something concrete to look at. He may benefit greatly from educational videos or from stories that allow him to use his imagination. Gardner also makes note that even those who are blind develop this intelligence.

The following 3 are the latest additions to Gardner’s theory. He also believes that there could be other intelligences but it may be difficult to discern if he is not aware that he possess them.*

8. Natural Intelligence :
She is aware of her environment and can spot changes instantly. She can tell you the classification of a dinosaur with just a glance. She probably likes to collect natural items such as rock and plant samples and organizes them by a classification system. She may love astronomy. She probably loves all animals and would have a zoo in her room if you would only allow it.
She learns best when she can apply the information in a natural setting.

9. & 10. Spiritual Intelligence and Existential Intelligence :
To the best of my knowledge, Gardner is still debating whether these two intelligences are valid based upon his own criteria.








For more information:

Gardner, H. “Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century”
Gardner, H. “Are there additional intelligences? The case for naturalist, spiritual, and existential intelligences” In J. Kane (Ed.), Education, information, and transformation.
Gardner, H. “Reflections on multiple intelligences”
Gardner, H. “Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice”
Gardner, H. “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”

* “Intelligence Reframed : Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century” by Howard Gardner


In the Bible ‘justice’ usually translates to ‘righteousness’ or becoming righteous. In our culture I see different terms using justice with very different meanings. Sometimes I think people confuse “good things” with justice while others confuse ‘judgement’ with it. According to the Bible, the act of bringing some -one/thing to justice is bringing some -one/thing to righteousness. It is making some -one/thing right with God, which can include elements of judgement and good acts.

It is like looking at this cut on your arm that goes down to the bone and is infected not knowing it is going to cause you sickness or death. Then someone intervenes and  you come to the realization of what it is causing and that there is a Holy God just wanting to heal you. You realize you don’t deserve that healing but you receive it. You begin to move from a state of condemnation to a state of healing and forgiveness.


Finally you look at the scar that is now healed on your arm and it becomes a beautiful reminder of what your Savior has done for you. This process is Spiritually violent. Just as Christ’s price for us was paid violently, so it is in (spiritual) violence that we receive it. Can you image the violence each time a soul is ripped from the gates of hell?! How can you not have compassion on the person who is being faced with this? How can we not want Biblical justice? This does not negate the penalty of sin. Sin causes eternal death. But God is a God of Hope, Mercy & Grace, (among other things), and wants reconciliation. We pray for those who are in harm’s way because when they are (and they will be) confronted with the holiness of the living God they have a choice to make….accept Him or reject Him. That is God’s judgment…..Sin without repentance causes death but with forgiveness brings life.

This is the type of social justice we should be a part of. It is not the ministry of good deeds or of passing unrighteous judgement but the ministry of reconciliation we have been called to.



Perfect Homeschools?


Would you like to know what drives me crazy? One of those sites about Christian homeschooling that shows you how perfect it is. I see site after site that shows it’s readers an unrealistic glimpse into the life of a homeschool family.

Let me set the stage:

You have a photo of the children sitting perfectly – (dressed, teeth brushed, reading &/or writing with no sign of fighting or problems) – around the kitchen table. You see the homemade jam in the background. All of mom’s friends have no problems and neither does she. They have apparently all reached a place in their spiritual growth where there is nothing left for God to work out in them.

What they don’t show you is that the photo was staged. The children were most likely told they could play on their Wii if they sat still long enough to take the photo. The phone has been ringing off the hook; mom’s hair is still in rollers; the cat just made the pile of laundry fresh out of the dryer into his litter box and dad will be home any minute because it took 9 hours to get to the point they could take the photo.

I didn’t even get started with the struggles of teaching the children!

I know that this is an exaggeration – well, sort of – and it is very possible to have a productive and very successful homeschool. Really! The point of all this is that too many people only show you the good and never show you the bad.

I have had my share of good and bad days and I am sure there will be more ahead. That is life. If it isn’t a friend or neighbor in need it is the curriculum or behavior/discipline issues or maybe a headache. God never said that we would have it easy. That is why the butterfly’s chrysalis is such an important symbol of our ministry.

In our process of transformation we go through stages that lead us closer and closer to the likeness of Christ. But that chrysalis time is a messy time. It is also a necessary time if we are to transform.

Don’t give up on homeschooling just because right now it feels overwhelming. Take time out with God, let Him refresh you and guide you in homeschooling. Always remember: A bad day homeschooling for God, is always better then a good day when you are not. A perfect day is one where you don’t give up on God!


Shabu Shabu – Japanese One Pot Meal


I love my fondue pot. I look for excuses to take it out. So when I found a recipe for Shabu Shabu, I had to try it.

Shabu Shabu is a Japanese One Pot Dish in which a broth made from a variety of ingredients you can choose from is brought to the table where you cook your food as you eat it. For families with younger children you can also pre-cook all of the food if you desire to. The best part is that this dish is so healthy!

While there are specialty hot pots with a low profile specifically for these types of dishes, as long as you have a fondue pot that handles high temperatures, you will be able to safely make this dish.






kelpTo start you will need to decide what type of broth you would like to make. I used Kombu, which is kelp seaweed and makes this broth a Kombu Dashi. Some other options are to make a mushroom based or fish based broth.

1 – 4 inch piece of kombu is all you need. Soak in water for at least 30 minutes. Then bring it to a gentle boil and let simmer for an hour or longer either in your fondue pot or stove top. The longer you keep it, the stronger the flavor. At this point I kind of freaked out because I did not like the flavor at all! But I stuck with it and boy was I pleasantly surprised. The kelp adds what many call Umami. It adds a rich undertone of flavor. Now remove the kelp and add mushrooms and sliced vegetables to the broth. Pick what you like but start with hardy items like carrots and diakon radishes. I was able to get my hands on some burdock root and rainbow carrots which were a fun treat. Once cooked, add more delicate veggies like green onion, bok choy, spinach, and so on. I also decided to add a tablespoon of Organic Fermented Red Miso Paste. Because it is soy, it is really important to only use organic fermented soy for health reasons.


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