Monday, October 31, 2016

Blessings in Waiting

Did you know that the word wait is repeated in the Bible 88 times (ESV)?  And that does not include any variations like waiting or waited. That's a lot!

It is also a word I do not particularly like a lot.  Does anyone?

I mean really, when someone tells us yes, great!  When they tell us no, well, at least we have an answer.

But, wait?  It is so ambiguous.  It requires much more action on our part.  Or inaction even.

Either way, as my kiddos used to say when they were little, "No thank you!"

It is one thing to say "no thank you" to a parent.  It is a another thing to say "no thank you" to God!

I think the thing I have to tell myself, repeatedly it seems these days, is that "wait" from God can be a blessing.  Or, at the very least, you can find blessing in the "wait."  Guys, sometimes I really need to find a blessing!

Let me tell you a quick story.  Grab a cup of tea and some chocolate.  Lots of chocolate!

We got the adoption referral for Colby Jose when he was four months old.  We brought him home when he was 21 months old.  For those not so fast at math like me, that was a 17 month WAIT!  I always tell people, I could have almost birthed TWO kids in that time.

If you are a visual type of person, here is what that looks like.

This is the first picture we saw of him.

This is what he looked like when we were finally able to board that airplane from Guatemala to the states.

That is a BIG WAIT! Colby said, "Wow, I grew!"

It was no fun, and hard, and heart breaking at times.  But there were blessings in our time of waiting.  Many!

For example, near the last few months of our wait, things had gotten pretty rough.  We thought we had lost Colby a few times when Guatemala shut its doors to international adoption, we stopped getting updates for a few months, and then we moved, leaving behind a group of some of our biggest cheerleaders and prayer warriors.  It was a lonely, and scary time.  Somewhere during that time flowers showed up at our door from a friend with a note of encouragement.  It made my day!  The following week flowers showed up again, this time from another friend.  By the time the third week of flowers showing up, I knew something was up.  Y'all, it continued to happen until that boy of ours came home.  Some cards were signed, some contained scripture, some just a few sweet words, but every week it was like a ray of hope in the darkness and just a reassurance that we were not alone!  A friend had rallied the troops to surround us with love!

It. Was. Amazing!

And to this day I am still in awe at how God used a sweet friend to bless us beyond measure in the waiting.

I will admit I do not prefer it when God says wait.  It is against my nature to wait.  Yes, waiting is hard.

Whether you are waiting for that child you long for.

Or for the perfect job.

Or for the spouse of your dreams.

Or for that degree you want to have.

Or whatever desire God has placed on your heart.

But know this, if you look hard enough, and with an open mind and an open heart, you WILL see the blessings in waiting.

They might not all be tangible blessings, but if God has said wait- there will be blessings that await you.  Look for them.  He has a better path and a better plan, even when we cannot see it at the time.

And praise the Lord, He will often use His people to bless us during that time.

I am thankful for those people in our lives- past, present and future!


Linking up with Caroline at The Modest Mom!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Parenting- 14 Principles for Gospel Parenting- Book Review & Giveaway!

I have done some pretty hard things in my life.  But I must admit, parenting is by far the hardest. Parenting four- well, even harder.

Our littlest blessing
Each of our four kiddos are so very different.  We have a typical first born- very deep and introspective, type A, perfectionist.  Then we have our second daughter- a people pleaser, laid back, easy personality who loves almost everyone.  Then we have our two boys.  The first has been pretty easy to raise, sweet spirited and has a happy, even-keel look at life.  Our youngest is our challenge- loving and very loved, but passionate and hot tempered to a fault sometimes.

What worked for one does not work for the other.  Just when we felt like had the parenting thing mastered, God would throw us another curveball.  I mean blessing.

Each time we would regroup, read another best-selling book, and change our style to fit that particular child.

It is exhausting at times.  Ok, exhausting a lot!

But some things never change.

Like the Word of God and His desires for us and our children.  And the Gospel story.  The only magic formula or best selling book for parenting is His Word.  I am convinced of this!

So what does Mr. Paul David Tripp, Christian author and speaker, offer to parents looking for answers in his new book,  Parenting- 14 Godly Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family?

This is not a typical how-to parenting book.  It is a "why do we" parenting book.  While at times I just want someone to tell me what to do (you know- make it easy for me), this book points back to Jesus and the whys of what I need to do.  It is challenging and convicting, and it points back to our need for God in everything it says.  It points back to the Gospel time and time again. A refreshing read for sure!

Chapters include:
  • Calling
  • Grace
  • Law
  • Inability
  • Identity
  • Process
  • Lost
  • Authority
  • Foolishness
  • Character
  • False Gods
  • Control
  • Rest 
  • Mercy

Let me share a few take aways that I have been pondering since reading this book.

In the chapter on Calling, one of the questions Mr. Tripp asks is, "Do ministry decisions and commitments make it hard for you to faithfully do your work as a parent?"  Ouch!  Whether ministry or just commitments in general, I KNOW we must choose carefully where we spend our time.  We can get so busy doing good things, that we forget to do the best things.  It is a challenge I want to be very aware of!

The Inability chapter was another convicting one for me.  Listen to this- "God has given you authority for the work of change, but has not granted you the power to make that change happen." (p.61)  I love how Mr. Tripp reminds his readers that we can scare or reward our children into right behavior temporarily, but only God can truly change their hearts.  As silly as it sounds, it takes a little pressure off me.  I know that until a child's, or my, heart is changed into God's image, our behavior will never change.  We are just not able on our own.

From the reminders that our children misbehave because they are lost, foolish, and lack character, to the hope that they will change with God's grace, each page of this 209 page book is filled with Godly insight and encouragement.  I appreciate Mr. Tripp's honesty in his own failings as a parent and his honest questions to get you thinking about how you view your parenting and how you could improve.

If you are looking to make changes in your parenting and want to make the Gospel the center of your life and your child's, Parenting- 14 Godly Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family is a book you need in your hands!

Fly By Productions has graciously agreed to give one of our readers a copy of  Parenting- 14 Godly Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.  Just leave me a comment and tell me how many kiddos you have and a random winner will be chosen next Thursday!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hablo Ingles? - Middlebury Interactive Languages: A Schoolhouse Review Crew Review

Stick around this blog long enough and you will get to know me pretty quickly.  I am, after all, pretty much an open book who shares more than she should sometimes.  And there are some things I am pretty passionate about.  Big things like my family and my faith, down to little things like organization and well, let's just get it out there- the Spanish language.

So yes, when I had the opportunity to review High School Spanish 1 for grades 9th-12th from  Middlebury Interactive Languages program, I jumped in quickly.  Might as well add another Spanish program to my list of obsessions, I mean passions, right?

We have actually done Middlebury before, but at the time concentrated on the younger age program. But this time around I really needed a workable high school program.  You know, one that fulfills a high school foreign language requirement, while actually teaching your high schooler something. Oh, and throw in the need for it to allow the child to be pretty independent and not reliant on a mom who is not bi-lingual by any stretch of the imagination.  Just saying.

Middlebury does offer multiple levels of Spanish instruction, including several levels for high schoolers.  You can choose Spanish 1. Spanish 2, Spanish 3 or High School Spanish 1 Fluency or High School Spanish 2 Fluency.  By completing a full year of each level you can count it as a full foreign language credit on those high school transcripts.  (And yes, most colleges require two years of a foreign language).  Additional languages offered are French, Chinese, and German.

The program is fairly easy to use.  You just log into your child's account and go!  There is a left sidebar that shows your progression through each level so you can see what you still have to do for that session.  Each time a lesson is completed it is checked off to allow you to quickly find where you are at.  I know that when you are accessing a teacher led course things are a bit different and even have a lesson assigned to each day on a calendar, but for our use, we proceeded at our own pace. That usually equates to about four lessons a week for are high school freshman.  There are 90 lessons per semester.

As you click through slides you will work through a myriad of different activities.  One one slide you may hear a Spanish conversation and then be asked to fill in the blanks, while on another you may hear sentences and then repeat what you have heard,  recording yourself.   Some slides are fill in the blanks with vocabulary, while others have you answer questions in Spanish.  There are even sections that teach geography and culture of Spanish speaking areas.  If you make a mistake on any of the activities, you will have the opportunity to go back and try again.  Tests are scattered throughout the lessons for you to be able to record your child's progress.

What do we think?
Elementary and middle school foreign language programs are easy to find.  High School levels, not so much. So I am thrilled to have access to a program that is available to all ages and levels of learning.

I also love that the activities cover the spectrum of learning styles.  My auditory learner just does better when he can hear things being said out loud.  By using reading, speaking, listening, and writing, your child WILL pick up something, no matter their learning style!

I do love that the program forces you to repeat things out loud and record your own voice.  My son, however, does not.  He feels silly.  I keep reminding him that if he was in school he would have to participate out loud in a class so it could be worse.

One part of the course we have struggled with is the writing portion.  We struggled with this at the lower level as well.  For a child who struggles with spelling in English, spelling correctly in Spanish is a challenge. There is no credit for getting close. If you misspell something, including accents and other Spanish marks used in writing, it will be counted wrong.  This can often be frustrating when you have to use special keys to place those accent marks in the correct places.  It is something we are just trying to push through.

On a whole, Middlebury Interactive Languages is a good fit for our family.  I love that it allows us some flexibility while maintaining a high standard level that allows us to count it as a high school level foreign language credit.  That's what we need!

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, October 24, 2016

When A+B Does Not Equal C

Is it just me or do we all have this expectation that if we are doing the "right" combination of things, the "right" things will happen?

You know, like-

If we read to our kids from birth on, they will be great readers who love great books.
If we homeschool our kids or send them to a great private school, they will get into the college of their dreams.
If our kids go to the best college out there they will be successful.
If we adhere to a courtship model, our kids will marry the perfect person and have a perfect marriage.

Not in a "we deserve" type of thinking but just an "if this, then this" expectation.  "I did all these things to the best of my ability and so this should be the next logical thing to happen."  Or, "I was so precise and deliberate about this thing, that this thing will happen, of course."

A+B= C

Guess what I am coming to realize?  And bear with me, because I am a slow learner.

Sometimes A+B does NOT equal C!  Or even close to it.

It has been a hard lesson for me.  And a hurtful one.  And an eye opening one.  But by the grace of God, also a faith building one.

Here is what I am learning.  God's C and our human C are not always the same.  Probably not even usually the same.  You see, we think, "I did this and this and now this is going to happen."  It's logical, it makes sense.

But God sees things differently.  His perspective is different.

I believe that sometimes His plans are just different.  Sometimes He is protecting us from something that He knows is not His best for us.  Sometimes it just about His timing.

Regardless, often our expectations and His plans don't line up.  And we get our panties in a ruffle.  We are hurt, or confused, or downright angry.

We have been hurt, and confused, and downright angry around here.  We were going down a path we thought was God's path and it got derailed.  It has been hard, and heart wrenching, and messy, and painful because it was not our C.

But I know it is God's C.   And therefore we are trusting that is for our good.

But good does not always equate to easy.

So how do we handle the days when our expectations are rattled and our A=B does NOT equal C?

TRUST GOD- Psalm 31:14 says "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'"

TRUST HIS PLAN- Jeremiah 29:11 says- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lordplans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

TRUST HIS LOVE- The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:3- I have loved  you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

REST- Matthew 11:28-29 reminds us- Come to meall who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

REACH OUT TO OTHERS- Romans 12:15 says "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." As much as we love to rejoice with others, there is a time for weeping, and allowing others to weep with you is healing.

ALLOW TIME TO HEAL- It says in Proverbs 3:7-8 "Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON GOD- Micah 7:7 "But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me."

ALLOW HIM TO DIRECT YOUR PATH- The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

By recognizing our need for Him, and by crying out to Him in our times of hurt and trouble, we are able to face each hard day, hour, or even minute, with hope.

Today we are thankful for friends who love us, and for a God who sustains us!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Grief is Great

I just saw someone post this line- Grief is great- a few days ago. Seems it is a line out of The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis.  It struck a chord with me. Actually it has been pounding in my head since I saw it.

Have you noticed the blog has been quieter than normal lately?  There was a time when I posted EVERY single Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I did not miss a day, because I knew there were a few of you out there waiting for me to say something.  Anything.  (Or, maybe that was just my hope.)

But lately, it has been just hard to write.  To put words on paper usually comes fairly easily for me. But not now.  Why?

Because Grief is Great.

No need to share the details for now, but suffice to say our family has been passing through some pretty dark waters.  Dark enough that it simply takes my breath away to think about at times.

My heart hurts for me.  My hearts hurts for our family.  My heart hurts for the people I love and the friends that love us.

Grief is great.

And it is a minutely reminder of how much I need Christ.

When the tears come, which seem to be all. of. the. time. these days, and I can barely catch my breath, I have no other place to turn but to God.

I saw this on facebook recently-

Those are things I have tried to rally myself with for weeks.  In the middle of the pain, I have told myself to stop worrying.  To just breathe.  To not quit.

But the biggest thing I have had to tell myself that is NOT on that picture is to TRUST God.

When life gets hard, He is with us.
When tears come, He understands.
When we doubt, He reassures us.
When we are hurt, He brings comfort.
When we are taken by surprise, He is NOT!
When we feel like things are spinning out of control, He has a plan.

And when Grief if great- He loves us through it.

All this to say-
You are not alone in your trials and suffering.  Perfect people and a perfect world do not exist.
But a perfect God does.

And I am leaning into Him to get us through.  Are you?

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves 
those who are crushed in spirit.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Familyman- Homeschool Review Crew Audio Drama Review

There is finally a chill in the air and yes, my heart has started yearning for Christmas.  Yes, I know it is only October and I promise I will not put up one Christmas decoration until December, but let's just say I am counting the weeks.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

It doesn't help that my family has been listening to The Familyman's Christmas Treasury- Audio Collection containing 6 CDs from The Familyman.  What a fun review!  In addition to the 6 stories that are included in the Christmas Treasury, The Familyman, whose real name is Todd Wilson, also blessed us with two additional stories to listen to.

Each individual story in the treasury is available in Digital Downloads, which is how we have been listening.  I just saved them to our laptop, and we pull them up to listen to when we have some extra time, when we need some quiet time, or as my youngest drifts off to sleep.  Additional stories, including ones with an Easter theme are also available.

The stories are a perfect way to wind down at the end of a busy day and can put you in the Christmas mood! Written by Todd, they all carry a beautiful theme of the real meaning of Christmas, focusing on Christ and what He has done for us.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
The 6 CD set includes-
Cootie McKay's Nativity
Captain Chaos and the Manger Blaster
Gladys Remembers Christmas
Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest
The Stranger and
The Bishop's Dream
We also downloaded It's Called Christmas and The Secret of Snow Village.

What do we think?
Fun, fun!  Quite honestly, audio productions are a little hard for me to follow.  I don't know if it is just that I cannot shut off my mommy brain or what, but I tend to zone out pretty quickly.  This collection was not as big of a struggle for me.  The voices are clear and strong and therefore easy to listen to and follow, and the stories are lively and engaging.  
Both of my boys, ages 9 and 14, are auditory learners, so audio dramas are the perfect fit for them.  As a matter of fact, they can easily listen to them and multitask as well, no problem. Me, not so much.  My 9 year old has been especially enthralled with these stories, his favorite being Cootie McKay's Nativity.  When I asked him why it was his favorite he replied- "It was fun! It made me laugh when I was listening to it!"  In his words, "Cootie McKay's Nativity begins when a older lady from town crashes into the town's Nativity.  Almost all the pieces are broken and they need to have a town meeting to decide how to fix it.  Someone suggests that Cootie should be hired to fix the Nativity, but most of the townspeople think he will ruin it.  Each night he meets with the family and begins to learn what the true meaning of Christmas is about.  His best discovery is that Jesus is alive!"  
The Stranger did have some suspenseful times in it and he did say it was a little scary, but it did not keep him from listening to it again!  I would recommend that if you have younger children, you may want to listen once by yourself to determine if your child is able to handle the suspense.  Every child has a different level of tolerance!  The Stranger tells of a town that is visited by someone they do not know on Christmas Eve.  All reject him except Sam' family, who has a lesson to teach them all.
Captain Choas was another favorite of Colby's.  This story tells of a boy named Jason who is determined to make the Nativity a more exciting story as he reinacts it.  He truly believes his story can be better than the Bible.  His sister tells on him and he is sent to his room.  Once there, he is "visited" by Captain Chaos, who shows him that by changing the story the world is quite a different place, void of God and love!
Even though it was the shortest of all the audios, I have to admit that Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest was my favorite.  This sweet story tells of a dad recounting to his son, how and why he aquired the bright red plaid Christmas vest he wears every Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Harold Grubbs in the story is a mean spririted old man who eventually comes to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior and the town who gets to witness that transformation. 
This collection would make a great addition to your family's Christmas traditions, as well as a fun gift for a special family in your life.  Each audio is about 13- 30 minutes in length.
Merry Christmas in October!

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Speekee Accelerate Review- He's back!

Yes, Speekee is back!  Well, he has not really been gone, but now he is back with a new program called Speekee Accelerate.  If you follow our homeschool journey, you know that we love learning Spanish.  Colby was born in Guatemala, after all, and we really desire for him to be bi-lingual. You may also remember that we reviewed Speekee several years ago and Colby LOVED it.  As a matter of fact, he eventually found Speekee Play online and still plays on that site often.

Now that he is older, his needs have changed.  Thankfully there is a new program for ages 8 and up,  using Speekee Accelerate!

Here's how it works-

Each week we receive an email with the weeks' videos and lessons attached.

You can also access all 40 weeks from your Speekee Accelerate homepage, if you desire to repeat days.  I have a child who would work ahead and do several weeks in one day, so we really prefer the weekly email.  I have him access the videos through the email which slows him down a bit. In his free time after school he is always welcome to go back to the homepage and re-watch any videos he likes.  He finds the kids in the videos pretty entertaining so he re-watches a lot of videos!

I also like the email because it tells you what will be shown on each video and often will give extension activities to do.  Think of it as a mini lesson plan.  If you are a record kind of person, you could print out each week's lesson and date them to have a record of what your child has done.

Four days a week Colby clicks on that day's link and watches the video clip.  If there is a worksheet attached, we simply download it and print it out for him to work on after wards.  Some days there are also sound clips attached for your child to hear specific words or sounds that are being worked on.  He listens to each word being pronounced and then repeats the word for practice.

The worksheets do require a decent level of reading and writing, but Colby has been able to do them at age 9.  If more writing is involved, I will allow him to dictate to me instead.

We love that each week is themed and the videos are short in length, anywhere from just a few minutes to about 15 minutes long. So far, Colby has learned basic conversation, numbers, family members, directions, names, colors, and feelings. One thing to keep in mind is that this program is geared for a slightly older child, so the puppet Speekee does not make an appearance,  Instead, all the videos are live action with children of various ages interacting with the world around them and occasional graphics.  If you have a younger child who would enjoy the puppet, check out Speekee TV.

Also unique to the program is a feature you can choose that will put the English or Spanish subtitles on the screeen, or both, for you to read.  We use this feature the first time Colby watches the video clips, and then any addtional times they are watched we turn it off so we do not become dependant on them, but instead learn to lsiten to the native speakers for meaning.

If you desire the same format as Speekee Accelerate, but for younger students, Speekee FastTrack is geared for ages 4-7, and also has a 40 week curriculum that is emailed to you.

I highly recommend Speekee Accelerate!  Because of the combination of videos, worksheets, and audio clips, it is a great fit for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners, making it a winner in my book! 


Monday, October 3, 2016

Avoid Contamination

Crazy title I know, but stick with me here.

On one of our recent trips (we have had many so they have all blurred together at this point) I saw a sign in a public restroom that said "Avoid contamination"...and then something about washing hands.  I wish now I had risked weird looks and taken a picture of it because for some reason that saying has just been stuck in my mind.

Maybe because I have not seen a hand washing sign with such strong words, or maybe because, well I do not know.  But every since, I have been mulling that phrase around in my mind.  And I starting wondering- just how do we avoid contamination?  Other than the obvious washing of hands.

Here's what I have been processing-

Our lives can be easily contaminated.  Let's face it, we do not live in a perfect world with perfect people.  Except for totally isolating ourselves (a very tempting option for me sometimes) our lives are eventually going to be exposed to things, situations, and yes, even people that can contaminate it.  Sad, but true.

So what are those things we must avoid and how?

Negative Talk- Gossip.  Glass half full mentality.  Whatever it looks like, it is bad.  It hurts not only you but the people around you.  Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight."  We attended a church where the pastor recited that passage every Sunday before he preached.  It was seared into my brain and I have found it to be a good scripture to recite to myself on many occasions.  When we are tempted to say things we should not, share things we should not, or even think things we should not, we need to stop and reverse direction.  Literally walk away if you have to, but do not be a part of those types of situations.

Negative Words-  You know what I mean here.  Words like always, never, you don't, you can't, you won't.  If you are a fan of the Love and Respect book, you already know that those words are not good in a marriage.  They are not good in any relationship.  They tear people down, disrupt communication, and build walls.  When we use negative words, especially to words of affirmation people like me, we wound hearts sometimes beyond repair.  We need to purpose to use kind and affirming words to each other, not only the people we are closest to but to anyone we made contact with.  Can you imagine what a nicer world this would be if everyone spoke kindly to each other?!

Negative People-  There are just some people who can suck the life out of us if we allow them to.  It is my firm belief that we try to minister to those people, but at some point if things do not change you need to free yourself from those types of relationships.  Always focusing on the negative will drain you, as will the people who encourage you to do so.  They can suck you dry and eventually you can become the very thing you are avoiding.  "Do not be deceived. Bad company ruins good morals."  1 Cor. 15:33

Negative Thoughts- This one may be the hardest for me.  I am too often my own worst enemy.  I let fear, worry, and life overwhelm me at times.  Then, all you need to do is add the outside voices of others and THEIR fear, worry, and yuck to my brain and I can easily succumb to contamination.  The Bible says we must "...take every thought captive..." ( 2 Cor. 10:5)  Do you see that?  Every thought!  That means the fear. And the worry.  And the yuck stuff too.  We need to take those thoughts captive and speak truth to ourselves.

Negative Media- It is no secret that we are pretty strict around here about what movies we watch.  With the addition of VidAngel to our life we are venturing out with more movies these days since we can censor them to fit our convictions.  Regardless of your convictions though, the Bible tells us in Phil 4:8, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  Seriously, friends, there is some not lovely and pure stuff out there.  The less we fill our hearts and minds with that kind of stuff the better.  As my husband tells our kiddos, trash in, trash out!

Contamination comes in many forms.  It is a daily, sometimes hourly, battle to separate ourselves from it.  But separate we must.  You will be blessed by your efforts, I assure you!

Avoiding contamination right there with you, my friend!