Vintage Homeschool Moms

Teaching Kids True Meaning

Teaching Kids True Meaning of the HolidaysTeaching Kids True Meaning

of the Holidays

Episode 237

Teaching kids the true meaning of the holidays? Why can’t you just let kids be kids? Does everything need a deeper meaning? I believe the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Just because you delve into the real meaning of Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter – it does not diminish the beauty of the event.

People think religion means taking all the fun away – but having faith truthfully add wonder and awe. It takes something that could encourage children to be greedy and turns it into something that brings out the best in people, love, relationships, spending time, generosity, and so much more.

Holiday decorations are all over the place – Thanksgiving is still weeks away and yet Christmas decorations often dot the stores. How do you teach children the true meaning of Christmas when all around them colorful decorations are flashing for their attention?

How are you teaching your kids the true meaning of the holidays? Start with this list and add your owns.

Show Notes: Teaching kids the True Meaning of the Holidays

  1. Be involved but get the children involved
  2. Give to others – angel tree, purchase a gift for others.
  3. Volunteer
  4. Establish Family Traditions such as:
    1. Advent Wreath
    2. Birthday party for Jesus
    3. Nativity/ straw Take an empty manager and record “good deeds” with straw, until Christmas Day when you place baby Jesus in the manger filled with hay.
    4. Midnight Mass
    5. Help set up the decorations; Nativity at Christmas
    6. Read the Christmas account from the Bible
  5. How do you feel about Santa? Each family has to make your own decision. Here are some things to think about. Eventually, your children will learn “Santa” is not real. How you go about telling your child will have a lifelong impact – depending on the sensitivity of your children.
  6. On December 6th St. Nicholas Day is celebrated all over Europe, to honor the “original” Santa Claus. “St. Nick has different traditions and you can select if you want to celebrate any of these. One of my friends who is from Europe has her children place their shoes outside their bedroom door if they have been “good” during the year, “St. Nicholas” comes to leave gifts or treats inside their shoes. Or you can have your children decorate their own “shoe” boxes for St. Nicholas gifts.

Other cultures/ traditions: Teaching kids the true meaning of the holidays

New Year’s Day – Feast of the Epiphany

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights – an 8-day Jewish celebration of Maccabees and the fight of freedom. The dates correspond to the Hebrew calendar so they change every year, but it usually takes place beginning of December. You can explain the 8 candles – or 8 days are not about receiving a gift each day, but how they represent the miracles the Maccabees experienced.  Definitely read the book of Maccabees with your children – it is a wonderful example of God’s faithfulness and love.

Kwanzaa is a holiday that honors African heritage and ends with a large feast. Nickell recommends having your children research Kwanzaa’s importance to the African-American culture by finding books and stories, as well as speaking with people who celebrate the holiday. After researching and learning more about the holiday, create a Kwanzaa celebration.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Top 50 Kid Friendly Movies

Top 50 Kid Friendly MoviesTop 50 Kid-Friendly Movies Episode 236

Does the rating have to be “G” to be a kid-friendly movie? In this episode I’ll discuss the way I decide if a movie will make it to our favorite movie list!

Have you ever been upset to view a movie that is recommended by a friend only to have to fast forward sections of the movie or even worse telling the boys to cover their eyes while we frantically search for the FF button? It is the most irritating thing and YES I’ve turned off the TV and popped the movie out of the player or stopped the digital feed if we are streaming the movie. So, today I will attempt to explain what we use to test a movie to see if it makes it to our kid safe list.

When the children were younger I have to say our expectations were not often tested. It was a simpler time, but even in this simple time, know an agenda or two that did not align with our theology or family focus were often pushed.

The very nature of movies or a good story is the need for a protagonist — someone bad. If everyone is good there is not a story. Even in the story of the Nativity there was a bad guy, King Herod. Let’s face it our kids are going to be exposed to bad – so the key is getting your talking points ready and having a good discussion and use this as a learning tool.

On another note – I’m sorry but some of the recommended or good movies with a good moral or Christian theme are just horrible. They either have bad actors or the special effects are lacking or … well you know what I mean. Truly we are spoiled! I remember years ago subscribing to this movie club and they sent us movies every month, and only a few were ones my kids could get all the way through and even less of those are ones they’d watch again. We ended up donating them to the church and even there they gathered dust.

We do need to support good movies but friends, we need to pray for those who create these movies in the hopes that they get better. At least – and I’m sorry to be so critical –get people who can act! I’ve seen some college plays where the actors are better than some of those on the screen.

Yes, we need to support sites that have good Christian content but we also need to expect more from those who create the films. Even movies I liked, like “God’s Not Dead” – I haven’t seen “God’s Not Dead II” while it had a good acting, really the pastor’s role needed to be entirely rewritten. How could he not see after the second attempt to leave town that God had a greater plan for him? We the viewers knew it even the first time… they made the pastor sort of sappy and films seem to do this…while it is a bad priest or a bad pastor it makes the moviegoer think, okay well I’m not watching this one again. Also, the scene where the girl is slapped – yes, it happens but we don’t want to see this in order to be entertained.

Movies are an escape. We want to be entertained, we want to be engaged and we want to walk away with a good feeling – or at least I do. A night of crying out my eyes does not appeal to me! So, when I look at movies those are the points I’m looking for…

So, I have my list of what I am looking for in a movie as well as what my kids are old enough to view. It really depends on your children often we get lazy and allow the youngest to sit and watch movies with the older children – and yes, sometimes it just can’t be avoided which is why kids have nightmares!

How do you select kid-friendly movies for your family?

  1. Rated PG or less – no R
  2. Look for comedies
  3. Adventures or Action
  4. Animals are okay but not my favorite
  5. Kids and sports
  6. Based on classic novels
  7. Good morals and outcome
  8. Great talking points
  9. Life lessons
  10. Feel good

What are your kids ready for?

  1. How grounded are your children?
  2. Do you have kids who are easily swayed?
  3. How sensitive is your child?
    1. Different children have different levels of sensitivity. What one considers scary – a chase scene the other will think of as silly.

What you can do to prepare:

  1. Have you watched the movie first? When in doubt, check it out.
  2. Know where the off button and FF button are on the controller just in case.
  3. Look for movies that are older versions as much as possible.

On the podcast show notes, I’ve included a list of movies we’ve enjoyed through the years as a family – I tried very hard to add movies that are not controversial – although you never know! Some of the recommended movies we own, others we’ve rented and some we’ve watched so many times we had to replace them.

Are they all perfect? No – are there parts I would change – of course. However, if you like to watch movies this list will take you into the teen years without a problem. I didn’t mention movies such as Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, ET or even the Lord of the Rings (which I loved but my kids hated – too scary!) I think it all boils down to preference and taste.

So the following list is on the show notes and they are in alphabetical order, not all movies are appropriate for little kids – for example, I would not show anyone younger than sixth grade God is Not Dead – but then I wouldn’t show anyone younger than 6th grade Star Wars either. So, again personal preference!

Top 50 Kid-Friendly Movies In Alphabetical Order:

  1. 101 Dalmatians
  2. American Girl Movies
  3. Annie
  4. Back to the Future
  5. Bambi
  6. Chronicles of Narnia -All
  7. Cinderella – old Disney animated
  8. Cinderella – musical – Rogers and Hammerstein
  9. Finding Nemo
  10. Free Willy
  11. God’s Not Dead (Haven’t seen God’s Not Dead 2)
  12. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates
  13. Heaven is For Real
  14. Heidi
  15. Home Alone
  16. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
  17. It’s a Wonderful Life
  18. Karate Kids
  19. Letters to God
  20. Lion King
  21. Little Princess
  22. Little Women
  23. Miracle on 34th Street
  24. My Fair Lady
  25. Nativity, The
  26. Nest Movies – Old Testament
  27. Nest Movies – New Testament
  28. Night at the Museum
  29. Oliver
  30. Pinocchio
  31. Princess Bride
  32. Railway Children
  33. Secondhand Lions
  34. Secretariat
  35. Snow White
  36. Sound of Music
  37. Star Wars – viewer discretion
  38. Swiss Family Robinson
  39. The Adventures of Robin Hood
  40. The Black Stallion
  41. The Incredible Journey
  42. The Karate Kids
  43. The Lego Movie
  44. The Parent Trap
  45. The Red Balloon
  46. The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry
  47. The Storykeepers
  48. The Three Trees
  49. Up
  50. Veggie Tales

Notable Movies:

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. The Ultimate Gift
  3. Miracles from Heaven
  4. The Goonies
  5. The Sandlot




Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.


Thanksgiving Kids Crafts

thanksgiving kids craftsThanksgiving Kids Crafts

Episode 235

Thanksgiving kids crafts are so much fun! I love crafts – especial holiday crafts like Thanksgiving crafts for kids. In this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms, I’ll share some great Thanksgiving crafts that are easy to make. So much fun and so decorative.

Stack up on different colors of foam – it is easy to cut and available at craft stores or online.
Glue is a must, with paint brushes to apply

Ideas for Thanksgiving crafts for kids:

  1. Crafts for fun:
    1. Turkey bag puppets – cut out construction paper shapes – turkey.
    2. Door hangers – cut a hole for the know, put on a turkey head, and feathers (of course). Use thick paper or craft foam.
    3. Turkey table decorations – layer the front (a turkey head), then scallop shapes – then the feathers. Use craft foam.
    4. Turkey shapes out of a pie plate.
    5. I am thankful – use two paper plates, divide one with a marker in six or eight pie shapes (like a pizza). Have the children label each triangle and draw a picture about something they are thankful for…Take the “top” plate and cut only one triangle out. Then, layer each plate on top of each other.
  2. Crafts for decorations
    1. Collect pine cones for a natural arrangement. Glue pinecones to popsicle sticks, and fit into a flower arrangement.
    2. Collect fall leaves – glue onto clear glass jars (or containers). Use glue or a permanent adhesive like Modge Podge – dries clear and hard. Use as gift containers or place flowers or for table decorations.
    3. Use smaller glass containers, glue on leaves, use these on tables with battery powered lights, or flower arrangements.
    4. Give Thanks – or Happy Thanksgiving – use one sheet of paper (use thick paper or watercolor paper). Color background and hand letter or stencil letters to each sheet of paper, then thread with rope – hang on the walls, on the mantle or in bedrooms.
    5. Name tags, with pilgrims
    6. Thyme – make into a wreath and tie with twine, then decorate with ribbon. Place it on each place setting.
    7. Thankful wreath – create a wreath with construction paper shapes of leaves. Have the children label each with a “thankful word.”
    8. Use leaves (construction paper or craft foam) and label each with a thankful word. Glue in the shape of a wreath.
    9. Glass containers with cut out (tissue paper) leaves. Use glue to affix. Place a battery powered candle in each container.
    10. Cut out a pumpkin, fill with floral foam, and use as a vase for flowers.
    11. Use the words Happy Thanksgiving – use one sheet of paper for each letter. Use glue and glitter, or fancy letters.
    12. Pine cones – paint the edges with paint and use for table decorations.
    13. Cut out shapes – turkeys, pilgrims, etc. and string together as a garland.
  3. Crafts for gifts
    1. Fall leave containers
    2. Bracelet – with orange, brown, yellow – “fall” colors – give to guests or have this as a craft for kids.
    3. Trail mix – have the kids fill festive containers they’ve decorated. Use stickers on dollar store plastic containers.
    4. Party favors – decorate an envelope with foam cutouts (turkey, fall leave etc.) and slip in a candy bar or other treats.
    5. Glass container (above) with leaves
    6. Candy corn, or candy with a clear baggie – tie with a ribbon and have the children write a poem, use a scripture verse, etc.
    7. Use a circle sheet of tissue paper, place candy in the middle, and gather in the shape of a pumpkin. Use green tape to make a stem.
    8. Paper cups with a scripture verse on the front or a “thankful” word – fill with candy. Use a popsicle stick to glue a “Thanksgiving character” and place in the cup with candy. (Fill a small planter or vase as well.)
    9. Oranges. Use a knife (or a special utensil) to carve our designs, dot with cloves. Give as gifts. (Does not work well in Florida, it will mold – but great in cold climates.
    10. Turkey coaster. Take a circle of cork and glue to a turkey shape. A great gift.
    11. Use craft foam and cut out a rectangle for a photo. Decorate with Thanksgiving designs, etc. Give as a gift.
  4. Crafts that encourage character
    1. Thankful jar – daily add a card about what you are thankful for that day.
    2. Read a card to the family (randomly draw it out) at dinner
    3. Write one word (or more) and slip under a plate. Each person does this for the members of the family. If you have a larger family, maybe assign numbers (select randomly) or assign.
    4. Placemats – A Thankful scene or things the children are thankful for…you can cover it with clear contact paper to make it last longer.
    5. Thankful tree – use construction paper for the tree trunk. Use this as an ongoing project during the month. Each leaf holds one thing the children are thankful for.  [Listen to this podcast encouraging children to be thankful here.]
    6. Use a tree branch and place it into a vase or a planter. Decorate the branches with cut out leaves with “thankful” words on each leaf.

Websites to check out:

Thanksgiving Desserts for Kids

Turkey Napkin Folding

Extra thankful gift tags with printable

Pumpkin bread with free printable

Gratitude Pumpkin Craft

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Healthy Holiday Snacks

healthy holiday snacksHealthy Holiday Snacks

Episode 234

Healthy holiday snacks don’t necessarily taste well. And since when does healthy and snacks go together? In this podcast, I’ll share some great suggestions from some of my friends as well! Please share your favorite ideas and recipes with all of us.


Show Notes: Healthy Holiday Snacks

When considering healthy holiday snacks we don’t have to throw out the flavor! Instead look at some of your favorite recipes and make a healthier version.

Look for substitutions such as purred low-fat cottage cheese, or strained Greek yogurt (strain in cheesecloth overnight) instead of using cream cheese. You can substitute low-fat Greek yogurt for sour cream and even the kids won’t notice the difference. So making homemade dips with Greek yogurt is not only yummy, it is better for you.

Let’s face it — snacks even if healthy can pack on the calories so if you are looking for a “skinny” version,  I have some great websites to check out below. Just plan on talking so much you forget to eat or don’t eat much like I do at parties and get-togethers. You’d think I never get out! Seriously, eating healthy will give you an added boost. No sugar crash after indulging in too many sweets.

I spent hours online looking for some good alternative recipes and then decided to do what many of us do when we are stuck – we ask our friends! I asked my friends on Facebook and here are some of their suggestions. Thanks! And a shoutout to my Facebook/ and real life friends that I’ve met for your help! You guys are amazing!

Leah recommended this yummy and healthy dish: Roasted veggies

Vicki Tillman – one of our podcasters on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network (she podcasts here) recommends substituting sugar in this recipe with honey. Great idea Vicki!

Peanut butter balls–Use natural peanut butter, honey, and oats.  mix well and roll into a balls. This is a simple but better than junk food for active kids’ snacks.

Tricia (You rock! These are amazing suggestions–and long time online friend.)

We love things like

  1. artichoke hummus with veggie sticks
  2. hard boiled eggs, grapes, and cheese
  3. white bean dip with gluten-free crackers
  4. cilantro pesto with veggies
  5. rolled oats mixed with peanut butter, a bit of maple syrup and dark chocolate chips rolled into balls and refrigerate until firm
  6. organic popcorn with coconut oil and sea salt
  7. yogurt parfaits (berries & granola)
  8. Veggie Pinwheels
  9. Roasted Chickpeas with seasoning of choice like cinnamon sugar or a savory one like paprika/chili pepper
  10. Homemade salsa & organic corn chips
  11. 5 layer greek dip with pita chips or gluten-free crackers. 🙂

Heather Laurie another podcaster on this network – she podcasts here: Here recommendation was using tzatziki sauce and cucumber chips instead of wheat chips.

Virginia – Homemade salsa is yummy and red. We made apple butter in the crockpot that was delicious. No butter just spices and apples. (Apple butter is one of my favorites on homemade biscuits anytime. Can’t wait to try this one.) [Virgina has evaluated my children each year – at the end of the year to check their progress as homeschoolers! Sadly those days are ending, but thanks so much to Virginia for her help and encouragement. A valued friend!]

Karen — a good friend from my early years of homeschooling when she lived in Florida – wow, some great ideas:

  1. Celery sticks with a festive mixture of cream cheese, chopped nuts, some cherry juice for coloring. You can also chop up some maraschino cherries and mix those in with the cream cheese and nuts. Almond butter on celery.
  2. Make your own pita chips, by buying pita or naan bread, cut into triangles or squares, brush with olive oil then sprinkle with Italian seasonings ( of course!) and freshly grated Parmesan. Or leave without the cheese. Bake in oven to crisp. I make these and they keep well in a sealed tight container. Yummy with soup or for dips.
  3. Homemade hummus and vegetables. So easy to make and you can add various spices or whatever to make it your own.
  4. Baked sliced sweet potatoes, brush with olive oil, shake on cinnamon and sea salt.
  5. Turkey, chicken, tuna, and veggie roll-ups in lettuce.
  6. Yummy macaroons- coconut, egg whites, salt, and sweetener.
  7. Deviled eggs… put a bit of chopped red pepper in for festive color, or use some cayenne pepper if you like it a bit spicy. And substitute plain yogurt and mayo to cut down on some of the fat.
  8. Olives, dill pickles, nuts, for quick picking-food.
  9. Meatballs are a nice option. I bake mine, and you can use some healthy crackers, pats or breading for binding. Apples and almost butter for dipping.

Healthy Snack Websites: 

Great recipes to try –


Loaded Nachos

Zucchini Sticks 

Appetizers – Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini Carpaccio

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spicy Garlic Edamame

Pumpkin pie dip

Avacado and Crab Dip

Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Halloween Alternatives

Halloween Alternatives

Episode 232

What to do? How about some Halloween alternatives to enjoy with your family? Do you love creating lasting memories with your kids? You are going to love these ideas in today’s podcast. Today we are focused on the upcoming holidays and without a doubt, Halloween causes controversy on both ends – the people who love it and the people who hate it. If you are looking for some fun alternatives, then you won’t want to miss today’s episode.

Parents worry about avoiding Halloween because their children will miss out on the candy! Believe me since never celebrating Halloween in all the years I homeschooled and before that, our kids have no shortage of candy.

Fast forward and we find ourselves with a houseful of kids and we are ready to focus on some meaningful activities with our kids.
1. Wholesome activities that won’t break the bank
2. Avoided stores and restaurants
3. Wanted to create memories with our children
We didn’t need to look far –

I live in an area that is not fall-friendly – living in SW FL we have some wonderful beaches and great parks, but nothing that gives you that fall leaf feeling! So one of the things I do each year in my own home is decorated for fall. I have purchased silk flowers and through the years my collection is enough to decorate the entire home. Everywhere I look, even as I am creating this podcast there are signs of fall!

Another thing is we focus on the themes of fall – yes, pumpkin spices and pumpkin bread. I just made pumpkin bread using fresh pumpkin and it was delicious! Secondly, I include the children in everything. It is great incentive to complete their school work when they know that they can help plan activities as well as decorate or bake. Even when they get older.

I’m going to take a quick commercial break and ….

Halloween alternatives come in all shapes and sizes to the extravagant to the smaller and I’ll begin with my list:

1. Fall festival at a church or park
2. Small party at your home
3. Larger party at your home
4. Hayrides, pumpkin treats and snacks, and dressing up
5. All Saints Day parties where the children dress up costumes depicting saints such as Joan of Arc, or Saint Michael the Ark Angel
6. Carnival games
7. Roasting s’mores, campfires and more!
8. Stories around the fire, story starters…
There is always plenty of goodie bags with candy. IF you are hosting a party with a group every family brings a bag of candy and believe me there is way more than you need, always!

You can even give back to the community. Donate bags of candy. Or donate the money you would use to buy all the candy to a worthy cause. Visit a nursing home or babysit for a friend so they can have an evening out – whatever you decide, include your children in the planning, especially if they are older. My children has some very definite ideas about hosting a party. In fact, after a few years of hosting parties at our home, the kids asked for a private party with just us! It was probably one of the most fun times we had.
You want your memories to focus on the happy times because as we all know the older we get, life doesn’t seem to get any easier!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and are ready to create some wonderful times with your own families.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Teaching Kids Forgiveness

teaching kids forgivenessTeaching Kids Forgiveness

Episode 231 


In teaching kids forgiveness you are giving your children the tools or fundamentals of forgiveness but arguably one of the best gifts you can ever give them.

Please help us out – Please help share this episode with your friends! And, please give this show a star rating on iTunes (search for Vintage Homeschool Mom) or any podcast app on your smartphone. Thanks so much for helping share this show with your friends!

Here are the podcasts I did on the topic of forgiveness on our sister network, The Ultimate Christian Podcast Network, Forgiveness Podcast #10 and Asking Forgiveness  Podcast #11

Thanks to our Sponsor!

I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sony Pictures –Sony Animation along with Affirms Films brings the Christmas story to life through the eyes of the animals in The Star Movie.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Show Notes: Teaching Kids Forgiveness:

Do you teach your children to say, “I’m sorry – or will you forgive me” when they have hurt someone? I know if you are a mom or dad you most certainly have and I’m sure more than once! In life, people hurt you and even in the Bible Jesus tells us to forgive each day, 77 times!

But how do you explain this to your children? Today I’m going to explain how as well as give you some practical applications. Teaching kids forgiveness is not only possible it is amazingly practical and will make your life so much easier. Can you imagine? Kids that truly forgive?

Forgiveness, when it happens in the way that God designed, it is truly beautiful. You can teach your children that God forgave us our sins and so, gave us the perfect example of forgiving. You can also teach your children the Lord’s prayer, when we recite, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Here we are praying to the Lord to forgive us in the same way that we forgive others who have hurt us.

But, did you know there is a difference between forgiveness as a feeling and as a decision?

Teaching your children about forgiveness is really a two-fold situation. It is teaching your child to look for at forgiveness as a give and take. It is not one-sided. So, what do I mean by this? First, there is the person who has been hurt. We always say arguments take two people, at least right? There is a he-said, she-said. But either way, someone is hurt either physically or psychologically. Second, there is a consequence to our actions. We must be held accountable to what we do. If a child hurts someone physically or using words, the consequences tend to be different. Usually parents, and I know I did, give a harsher punishment to a child that hurts another. It is thought that using words is not as bad, however, words sometimes have the lasting effect.

But there is good news when teaching kids forgiveness! You are teaching your children that they don’t have to hold grudges forever, they can be set free and so can their siblings, friends or even you the parents.


In sharing with your children about forgiveness I have developed three points I discuss with my children…

  1. Forgiveness is making a decision to forgive even if we don’t feel like it. Forgiveness is not a feeling in that “I feel like forgiving you.” No, forgiveness is an act of will.
  2. We forgive out of obedience to God – when He says we must forgive 70 x 7 per day. Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”

  1. Un-forgiveness is holding an anger or a grudge against a person and it hurts us more than them. If you have teens explain to this to them – you can’t hold anyone else accountable except yourself. People who don’t forgive are often bitter and harsh. Forgiving releases, the person to the Lord, to deal with them. It is not our job to punish others for what they have done to you.

You can’t punish a person who doesn’t care. Often if someone has hurt you it is because of a lack of relationship. You don’t –or you try not to hurt those you love. Often siblings fight and most of this comes from selfishness on the part of one or both. It isn’t necessarily malicious. However, the hurts that stay with us are often unfair and malicious. They are caused by those who really don’t care about us, or if they do they care in a superficial way.

Deciding to forgive releases you to go on with your life. You are not depressed or upset any longer – or if you are, continue to hand that person over to the Lord.

So how do you forgive?

The first step to reconciliation with another person is making the decision to forgive. The next step is asking for forgiveness.

Do your kids say, “I’m sorry.” First, it puts all the control into the person saying it. Secondly, often you will know by their tone of voice you know that they really are not that sorry? It is normally a formality. We make our kids say they are sorry for hurting another because they should! But, if it is insincere we are wasting their time and ours. It also teaches your child to be flippant about saying they are sorry without realizing the consequences.

That is why I taught my children to say, “Will you forgive me?” In that way the request is not in the hands of the offending child, but in the hands of the person who is hurt. That person must agree to forgive and release the other from the sin, and recognize they, while hurt – have made a decision to forgive. In this case both children can work toward healing of their relationship. Both are on the forgiving end. The one asking for forgivenes and the one giving it. Isn’t that beautiful! It shows God’s healing love.

Teach your children to ask the Lord to help them if they are still bitter from the hurt. Ask your children to pray for the “offending” person every day. Why? Because of Luke 6: 35-36 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

That takes prayer and eventually if you can teach your child to do this, they will grow up to be wonderful adults! Praying for your enemies works! The evil one does not want us to have peace in our lives. The evil one wants us upset and frustrated. When we are upset and frustrated can we move on with our lives – serve and do good for the Lord? No. We are held in bondage in one place.

Scriptures on forgiveness:

Colossians: 3:13

Matthew: 6:14-15

What are your favorite forgiveness scriptures? Make a list of these and pray them when you have difficulty forgiving.

Show Time With Kids

showtimeShow Time! Movie time with kids…

Episode 229

Movies are so much fun, they are a form of adventure, escape and experience we might otherwise not have in life – in this podcast we’ll discuss encourage creativity in your children and making movie time special.


Kids love to put on shows, puppet show or even made up plays. I know my two oldest put on more puppet shows than any other kids I know! They loved it. They had a captive audience, mom, and dad – as well as extended family.

Many kids love to watch movies, and the nice thing about watching them at home is you preview the movies before your kids see them, or at least fast-forward scenes you may not want them to view. I’ll share some fun ways to make movie night special with your family.

We will discuss both in this podcast.

I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sony Pictures –Sony Animation along with Affirms Films brings the Christmas story to life through the eyes of the animals in The Star Movie.

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Today it is difficult to watch movies or approve of movies that we as parents feel are acceptable to US and our children. Years ago my husband decided when we had young teens – around 13-15 that if a movie was not acceptable for them, we wouldn’t watch it – he felt it was garbage in and garbage out, let’s face it, some of the images and graphics in graphics whether online or in motion pictures makes a permanent impression in our minds.

In looking at lists of favorite movies I have to say on one list of the top 20 or top 50 I had to go to about #12 on one list and #8 on another before I found one I agreed upon.

Movies reflect a taste of what we like, whether it is romance, adventure, or action. So, how do we cultivate creativity with our children and make movie night fun?

I don’t get the toy and game magazines any longer, I guess the demographics in my family have caught up to the junk-mail people and they realize I no longer have little ones to buy for (well I do – grandkids – but you know what I mean!)

I saw so many great things to buy, especially if it was a catalog that had “throwback” toys – wooden puzzles, etc. However, the one thing that always caught my eye, and my pocketbook was anything that sparked creative play. I could do an entire podcast on creative play, it comes from my background in pre-school education. Young children learn so much through play, but so do older children.

Encouraging creativity in your children through play acting can also teach them practical skills in reading, writing and even math (timing).

I purchased several things for my children that they kept for many, many years. One of them was a tri-fold, stand-up puppet theatre set. It had a marker board on the outside where they could put the time of the show and the name, beforehand, they’d sell “tickets,” write the screenplay and act it out. In later years, they used it more for a set – they would create backgrounds of whatever play they were staging. It was super fun, and in big families, you always have a built-in audience.

Never letting anything pass without some type of documentation – I’m such a homeschool mom, I’d videotape these occurrences and document it for school! After all, writing a screenplay with parts should count, right? It was a great experience for the children.

What if your children are not creative? How do you spark creativity in your kids?

  1. Encouragement
  2. Take your children to plays. There are lower budget dinner theatres with pricing for kids or look for a matinee time.
  3. Give them story starters… for example, “One day, as I walked out in the yard I was surprised to see…” They can be as easy or complex as age appropriate.
  4. Have dress up clothes handy.
  5. Have the children attend a “speech” class – toastmasters when they are older.
  6. Give them time! Time to think!
  7. Count it for school. Acting and theatre can be part of your school curriculum. The children can use this as part of their creative writing, research skills, composition, acting, art for backgrounds, costume making, etc.
  8. Sign up for a local theatre try out.

When my kids were young teens we purchased a conversion van with a TV – and VCR my kids were delighted. Not only were the chairs super comfy they came with stereo headphones. We took many day trips and longer vacations in that van and my kids loved it! The one thing I insisted upon were good wholesome kids movies.

Now, I’ll share some of my favorites with you, however, you may not consider any of these on your most watched list: We loved  the Swiss Family Robinson, Snowball Express, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Sound of Music, and many more.

Look for the podcast of my TOP recommended movies – coming soon.

You can stream on websites such as Pureflix – here.

Use caution while looking at these site recommendations. Many good ones, but others we won’t watch.

Movies various sites (many I did not agree with)

Movies to watch with kids – use caution

More Recommended Movies – Use Caution

50 Kids Movies – Use Caution

Sensory friendly films for autistic kids






Spiritual Retreat Alone

spiritual retreat for momsSpiritual Retreat Alone with Meredith Curtis and Felice Gerwitz


As a young mom, Meredith yearned for a spiritual retreat alone, just her and God. When another mother offered to trade off days of babysitting so they could each spend the time running errands, Meredith decided to use that time to devise a retreat with the Lord. Learn how this turned into a precious time of spiritual growth and helped her mentor her family and friends. Meredith discusses the how-to’s in this episode of Vintage Homeschool Moms

The Star Promotion here –

Show Notes: Spiritual Retreat Alone

  1. How does this work? Especially with babies?
  2. Traded time with a friend to babysit
  3. Using your time wisely – what does this look like?
  4. Spent time (instead of grocery shopping without the kids) to have quiet time with the Lord
  5. Three hours two times a month
    1. Sat at a secluded spot and read the Bible
    2. Worship and walked around and prayed
    3. Sang to the Lord – so refreshing
  6. Poured heart out to the Lord – in need
  7. Once the little ones grew up… and were no longer nursing…
    1. Drove somewhere to pray alone
    2. Wanted to get away with the Lord
    3. Spent a night alone in a hotel
      1. One time took a keyboard to worship and write music
      2. Brought books to read
  • Did some writing
  1. Spend time in Bible reading
  1. Making time to refresh your soul
    1. Family retreats
    2. Festival of booths (was camping!)
    3. Even when you are home and praying there are interruptions
    4. Nature, walk around water – sooths my soul
    5. Especially important for young moms
      1. Cleaning is temporary
      2. Time with the Lord is filling, and still with you.
  • Something precious of time with the Lord
    • You can’t find that by getting your house clean.

Teaching Kids To Give

teaching kids to giveTeaching Kids to Give – Episode 228

Giving –

We want kids that are giving and loving. We want kids that are helpful. We want well-rounded kids, and we want to give our kids everything but we don’t want to spoil them – how is there a balance? We don’t want our children to have a sense of entitlement. How do we combat this? One way is by teaching our children to give.

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit to learn more.

Giving doesn’t always come naturally. For some it does, but for others, it must be taught. Knowing your child’s love languages is helpful but normally a child’s love language is not developed until later. Here is a podcast I did on love languages: (HERE)

With all of the disasters that have happened recently, it is a springboard to talking to children about giving to others less fortunate. Giving makes us feel good – it is a fact, and what a beautiful thing!

Teach the firstfruits principle by having kids donate their shiniest coins or the money at the top of the allowance pile. Discuss the widows’ mite – she gave all she had – she gave the best, not from her extras – great example.

  1. If we expect our kids to give we must be examples. Often we are exhausted with all that happens in our daily lives, but explaining that being a mom and dad is by definition, self-giving.
  2. Every day examples are the best. How can you best give? Making the bed for a sibling – for parents, etc. Start small. The goal is for giving to be second nature.
  3. Giving as a lifestyle – we want our children to be good stewards but also to be


Goal? Giving is not just at Christmas Time:

Some great resources –


Ways to give – make your own list with your children.

  1. Giving clothes
  2. Gently used toys
  3. Helping neighbors
  4. Birthday gifts for others
  5. If you give your child an allowance, teach them the three/four part saving system – one for saving, one for spending and one for donating (4th is one for investing) – encourage your child to think about what they’d like to do with the money. “Poor box” at church, local food bank, etc.
  6. Christmas | Bringing stuff to families
  7. Helping elderly
  8. Give as a family by sponsoring a child, supporting missionaries
  9. Responding to a news story. Even if kids aren’t giving money, they can write letters or make something for the individual(s) in need. (Be sure to share any pictures, letters or thank you notes you receive with your children.)
  10. Let kids cook with you when you’re preparing a meal for a sick friend or cookies for an elderly neighbor.

Scriptures on Giving:

  •  (I Corinthians 16:2) – On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made
  • (Luke 21:1-4) –As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
  • (II Corinthians 9:6-7) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
  • (Matthew 6:19-21) Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • (Luke 6:38) “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

God also made some bold promises concerning rewards for His good and faithful servants if they would first trust Him to care for them (Malachi 3:10, Deuteronomy 15:10).



Happy 4th Birthday

happy 4th birthdayHappy 4th Birthday to the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Usually, a birthday is celebrated with cake and cookies, or something sweet, right? Well, our “happy” 4th birthday is no different, however, the “sweetness” comes from a special giveaway – a cash prize. To sign up for your chances visit the giveaway here.

Happy 4th birthday to US and YOU get a present!

Please enjoy this podcast as I recall the beginning idea of a podcast network and take you through each of the current podcasts – with new shows weekly, bi-monthly or once a month. In this episode, I explain what you will hear when you tune in.

Do you have a special topic you’d like to hear? We are an email away. Each of podcasters works hard to bring you fresh shows with topics you will enjoy.

I’m excited to be celebrating our 4th birthday with you with thousands of shows available for you to listen to – or search on the front page of this website for a topic you’d like to find. More than likely our podcasters have already created the show, just for you!

If you have any questions – please contact me at felice (at) – I am happy to help.

If you are coming to the party a bit late, don’t worry. You will never miss the fun. At the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network, we have bonus and giveaways weekly for our special email subscribers. In order to get on the list, visit this page to subscribe.

And if you enjoy social media we are on, TwitterPinterest, Instagram, and Google+

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