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Families Again
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Today I'm Thankful for Our Ministry
Topic: Blog Carnivals!

Most of you know that Sarah and I direct a ministry called Good News Mission. To tell you how we ended up living and running a ministry right across the street from the projects would be too long of a story to tell in one post. Maybe a series of posts someday, but not this one. However, I am truly grateful to God for the ministry He has given us and, more importantly, the people that he has us ministring too.

So many times, they minister to us far more than we to them. Take Miss Glenda, the 60 something year old Grandmother who faithfully comes up to the mission every Sunday. She's outlived two husbands but still has a fantastic attitude and loves the Lord. And boy does she work and help others! You can find her at 4am (yes that is 4am in the morning) outside sweeping the sidewalks in the projects. During the day you'll find her visiting the sick, elderly or lonely or helping the maintenance men clean apartments. Don't bother trying to visit after 6pm though. Her blinds will be down and she'll be in bed.

Or take Lauri. She has three daughters - one mentally and physically handicapped. I call her "Martha" because she is constantly up and about working. Even during the Mission, she doesn't sit down. She'll be listening to the lesson while cleaning up the food serving table or doing some other chore. I'll often have to say "Martha sit down!". She may be rough around the edges but we love her.

Or take Diane who is constantly thinking and praying for others. You'll often find her in tears over someone's illness. Or Theresa...or JoAnn...or Ann... they each have their special qualities and we love them all.

And that's just the ladies. We have some wonderful kids that attend the mission as well. Kids who you would never think were listening if it weren't for the special insights that they often give.

I could go on and on about the folks that minister to us just as much as we minister to them, but there wouldn't be any room. We are so thankful for them and for the ministry God has given us.

Thank you Lord for this special ministry that you have given us. Thank you for the dear people that are so special to us. Please bless them tonight even as I right this. Help them to know how much they mean to us and how much we love them. Amen

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:10 PM CST
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Friday, 18 November 2011
Homemade Pizza Night!
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Family

It's homemade pizza night


in the Tinkel household!

The Pizza Dough - Made in the Bread Machine

The Ingredients

The Preparation

The Masterpiece

The Mess

The Unhappy Father Who Has to Clean Up

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:09 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 18 November 2011 10:37 PM CST
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Thursday, 17 November 2011
TruthTats:The Christmas Story - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Product
Topic: Book Reviews

For the past couple of years, as a father, I've really been trying to guide my family to focus on the Lord during the holiday season. During Thanksgiving, we have been concentrating on the true reason for Thanksgiving and not the commercialized reason. During the Christmas holidays, we have been finding a way to celebrate advent together. When the opportunity came up to review TruthTats:The Christmas Story, I was anxious to try it out. What a unique way to celebrate advent. I can't wait until this Christmas season to really try it with my kids. Read all about it below.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card is developed by:

and the Advent idea:

TruthTats: The Christmas Story

B&H Publishing Group

***Special thanks to Susan Otis of Creative Resources, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Truth Tats: The Christmas Story
Celebrating the Season of Advent with Truth Tats

Designed just for the season, Christmas Truth Tats present a new way of telling the story of Christ’s birth. Truth Tats are temporarily on your skin, permanently on your heart.

This is a five week program leading up to Christmas day, each packet of Truth Tats includes a family devotional booklet that kicks off each memory scripture of the week. The twenty accompanying Scripture tattoos are a visual way to continually applying and memorize God’s word. Each week opens with a set of four identical Scripture tattoo designs so that each family member can have his or her own tattoo! Week two, there is a new Scripture for memorization and four new tattoo designs, again identical designs so each person is memorizing the same Scripture.

For over 1,000 years Christians worldwide have been celebrating Advent, a time of spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming toward”. So it is entirely appropriate that the four weeks prior to Christmas we will be preparing our hearts for His Advent.

Truth Tats are a unique way to celebrate the season as well as to “show and tell” God’s word to others. This is ideal for the classroom, family devotion time, and in personal Scripture memorization

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Language: English

AND NOW...WEEK ONE OF ADVENT (Click on pictures to enlarge):

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:34 PM CST
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Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Buy a Wreath and Help a Poor Struggling...Oh, You Got Me...Help John Allen!
Mood:  happy
Topic: General

John Allen is at it again. He's selling Christmas wreaths from Wreaths of Maine! This is his fourth year selling and he loves doing it. These beautiful wreaths are made from Balsam Fir trees. But, they don't just sell wreaths, they sell swags, sprays...even roping for around your porch posts. They are great for decorating businesses, homes, or to give away as gifts.

The first year John Allen sold he donated his profits to help buy homeschool supplies for our family homeschool. Another year he (with a little help from us) bought himself a laptop computer. This year has been really special, he's been talking about all of the gifts he can buy for the family for Christmas. He's even mentioned the gifts he can buy for our pastor's twin boys.

Wreaths of Maine is a company that primarily works with homeschool kids as a way to help them earn money. I found them when I was looking for something for John Allen to sell and make a little money on his own. I remember selling all kinds of things when I was younger - from Christmas cards to green mints. I learned so much from being a salesman. I really think it has helped John Allen build confidence in speaking to others as well.

We would love it if you would consider buying a wreath. Although we would like to be able to come to your house to tell you about them personally, we can't be everywhere at once, so this year Wreaths of Maine has made a way for you to purchase a wreath online and John Allen still get the credit. Just go to the Wreaths of Maine website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above and look over their great wreaths. When you get to checkout, there will be a place where you can click on John Allen's name and seller number (4086). Thanks ahead of time from a proud father!

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:15 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2011 12:33 AM CST
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011
College Prep Genius - The No Brainer Way to SAT Success!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


I remember my college testing days from high school. The nerves. The "not understanding what I was really doing". The unpreparedness. Ugh. I get queasy just thinking about it! I was never a good test taker. I really wish there would have been something back then that would have helped me prepare for taking tests like the ACT and SAT. Even, now, I think about my own kids and how difficult it will be for them. I was thrilled when I found out that I was going to get to review College Prep Genius - The No Brainer Way To SAT Success.

College Prep Genius is a group of things that you can use to help you be prepared for the SAT. We received the College Prep Genius (Second Edition) Textbook, the College Prep Genius (Second Edition) Workbook and the College Prep Genius (Second Edition) DVD. They could be used separately, but we have been using them together, and, really, that's the best way to use them. John Allen isn't a real fan, but, what can you expect. Studying to get a good score on the SAT or PSAT is serious business. I really don't think John Allen fully comprehends what the SAT is all about yet.. College Prep Genius offers some great ways to prepare. Let me go through each item one by one to explain what it's all about.

The core item is the Textbook. This 325 page book is divided into six parts.

  • Part One: Introduction to the SAT
  • Part Two: The Critical Reading Section
  • Part Three: The Math Section
  • Part Four: The Writing Section
  • Part Five: Scholarship Search
  • Part Six: Journal for Test Success

As you can see just by the section titles, this book is full of good information. What makes this different than other SAT prep materials, though? One of the things is College Prep Genius' use of Acronyms. They have taken almost every scenario that you could think of and mad an acronym out of it. For example, one of the acronyms for the Reading Section is S.O.N. College Prep Genius suggests that you should:

Avoid answer using S.O.N.

  • S - Strong
  • O - Opinionated
  • N - Negative

They then discuss why you shouldn't choose those types of answers.

That is really another plus about this textbook. They have a lot of examples for each acronym's rule. They basically tell you step by step how you can score well on the test by using these acronyms to remember key things that will help you.

The next item is the DVD. The DVD is really DVD's. There are four of them that have four lessons on each. These lessons are really the core of this curriculum. I mentioned the Textbook above first, because it could be used alone, but it is really better to use it with the DVD. I made John Allen begin by just reading the Textbook, but I quickly recognized my mistake and have begun using the DVD's first.

Each lesson on the DVD is about 45 min. long. Along with the DVD are homework assignments. One of the assignments is always to read a section of the Textbook. That was my mistake. John Allen was reading the Textbook without the benefit of the DVD but, even though the teacher on the video says to read the textbook first, in my opinion, it is much better to watch the DVD first. I also suggest (and so does the teacher) to follow along in your textbook while the teacher is lecturing. It is always better to hear and see rather than just to hear or just to see. The DVD goes right along with you textbook.

The teacher on the video has a pleasant voice and seems very nice, but she gets right to the point. There is no messing around. Be ready for a packed full of information lesson whenever you watch the video. Have everything ready, such as your homework assignment printed out (you download them from the College Prep Genius website), all of your books, and several pencils.

Finally, the last item is the Workbook. It has reviews of the different acronyms,  a lot of sample problems for you to work out, and a few fun things. The Workbook really can't be used as a stand alone item.


As you can see, College Prep Genius is full of good stuff. I am so blessed that we were chosen for this review because it will be a great tool for John Allen to work through. I am sure it will raise his SAT score. The pricing for College Prep Genius is very reasonable. The price for the whole set of Textbook, Workbook and DVD's is $99. The three items can be purchased separately as well - Textbook $49.95, Workbook $19.95 and DVD's $59.95. You can find these and other great items from College Prep Genius by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. To find out what some of the other TOS Homeschool Crew members thought of this item and another great College Prep Genius item called "Vocab Cafe" click here. Happy Home Educating.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free set of College Prep Genius material - Textbook, Workbook, and DVD - in order to try out and give an honest review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:02 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2011 12:27 AM CST
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