Come Join Us, Words From Mary Lenaburg

As many of you know, Elizabeth has recently been rear-ended, resulting in a car accident. Although we are very grateful that she was alone in the car and walked away from it, she has been diagnosed with a concussion and has been ordered with no screen time, no reading, and plenty of mental rest and sleep. 

You can imagine how well that’s going ;-)

So, we're going to try to fill the space here until she's well enough for screen time. The Liturgical Calendar beats on, this week Blessed Is She has opened up pre-order sales for the Blessed is She Advent Journal, By The Manger in the Morning, written by Elizabeth. There are two purchase options for the book, one is solely the journal and one is bundled with print artwork and jesse tree artwork, all designed by my dear friend Erica Tighe

Today, Mary Lenaburg is here to chat a bit about the book. I, personally, met Mary for the first time when her special needs daughter, Courtney, was fighting for her last few months on earth. I had a big pile of fabric that I intended to stitch up for other people and she was on my mind, so a stitched together an apron for Mary. While I was dropping it off quietly, she opened the door wide and welcomed me in. Mary was part of the homeschooling group that my husband, Michael, grew up in so I could have talked to her for hours, listening to stories and hearing Mary's Holy story. 

Mary, and her loving husband, Jerry. 

Mary, and her loving husband, Jerry. 

We are all grateful for you, Mary

Good Day, Dear Friends. Elizabeth has graciously asked me to stop in and say hello in this beautiful space of hers, so I can tell you all about an engaging Advent devotional coming your way from Blessed is She written by…you guessed it…Miss Elizabeth herself. 

Elizabeth has always had a knack for reaching our hearts when writing about her life, her joys, and her struggles. I’ve always respected her honesty and openness. And now she’s brought that raw gift to this new piece of work, “By the Manger in the Morning”. When I say new I mean it. This is a completely new original work different from her Restore Workshop or her previous Advent ebook. After spending the last two days reading it, I believe it’s her best written work ever. 

Using the daily prompts of “head, hands, and heart” she walks the reader through preparing their minds, hearts, and homes for the coming birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Her words guide the reader to look at all aspects of their life. By digging a little deeper each day, pulling out the dead and withered pieces and replacing them with new life, God’s inspiring words are revealed in the scriptures. 

This devotion is unlike any I’ve read, and I’ve read many a scripture study in my years of building a relationship with my Lord. Not only do Elizabeth’s words create a heart space that’s open to listening to what God wishes each reader to “hear’, she challenges and stretches us to step outside of our comfort zone. To see what else might be out there for us to learn. To fill our vessels, often so dry from pouring ourselves out for others. It brings the reader into the cave, to sit by the manger, allowing the words of love to seep into their heart preparing each one to experience Advent differently than ever before. 

Baby Jesus was born to change the status quo. Which means that no one gets out of Advent the same they started. Elizabeth’s Devotional starts us on the path and offers guideposts along the way.

Beginning with journaling the words of God, Elizabeth takes us through the season of waiting and preparing with grace and humility. Day by day, the scriptures guide, teach, and challenge everything we once thought about the season of Advent and Christmas. Then, on Christmas morning, we’re asked to bring the O’Antiphons to life through pictures and personal art. We’re asked to use the gifts we have to honor and praise the coming of His Son to save us all. It’s like a burst of love straight from Our Creator.

This devotional is available to purchase from Blessed is She. The Blessed is She ministry is for ALL ages of women in ALL seasons of life. Whether you’re single, married, have children or do not, the daily devotionals (@Blessed is She) offer grace and peace in our imperfect world. Elizabeth and I are honored to be a part of this dynamic ministry geared to reaching “women in the pew” who seek a deeper relationship with our Lord by deepening their understanding of church teaching. 

Come join us, won’t you? 

Hurricanes Revisited

Hi!  Cindy Kelly here posting for Elizabeth.  As the Kelly family is hunkering down here in Florida getting ready for Hurricane Matthew to hit, Elizabeth and I decided that it was time to dust off this old Hurricane post and fix up the links.  Let's continue to pray for all of those in harms way, in particular, the people of Haiti.

Hurricanes to think about

August 26, 2011 Elizabeth Foss

Below is a repost from several years ago. Tthere is still plenty of good stuff to think about as we seize a very real opportunity to discuss hurricanes.

Hurricane Reading

Peter Spier's Rain

Galveston's Summer of the Storm

Isaac's Storm


Magic School Bus inside a Hurricane

Rain Makes Applesauce

Come on, Rain!

Down Comes The Rain

One Morning in Maine

Websites Worth Exploring

FEMA for Kids

National Hurricane Center

Hurricanes: How they Work and What they Do

Alphabetical Order Each year, hurricane names are assigned in alphabetical order. The list of names is recycled every six years. The names of this year's hurricanes can be found at here. List the names out of sequence and let the children put the names in alphabetical order. Ask them to notice a pattern in the names once they are in order. 

Make “lightning”. Static electricity is stored in rain clouds. When a cloud is so full of static electricity that there's no room for any more, a spark might leap from the cloud. That spark is called "lightning"! (Note: This experiment works best when the weather is dry.)

1. Tear up a sheet of tissue paper into tiny little pieces.

2. Hold a comb over the confetti.  Nothing happens.

3. Use a comb to comb the children’s hair. Or rub the comb on a piece of wool or fur.

4. Then hold the comb over the tiny tissue paper pieces.

5. What happens? Why does it happen?

The Water Cycle in a Jar. Discuss the steps of the water cycle:

(1.) Energy from the sun changes water to water vapor.

(2.) Water vapor rises. It cools and condenses to form clouds.

(3.) Winds blow the clouds over land.

(4.) Clouds meet cool air, and rain or snow falls to the ground.

(5.) Most of the water returns to large lakes and oceans.

Draw the steps for nature journals.

Now, re-create the water cycle:

1. Fill a large, glass bottle or jar half full of water .

2. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and secure the plastic wrap in place with an elastic.

3. Place the jar in a sunny window.

4. Observe for a few hours. What happens? Why did it happen?

Create a cyclone in a bottle.

Graphing. Make a bar graph of the number of hurricanes by month.


19 hurricanes


25 hurricanes


77 hurricanes


107 hurricanes


53 hurricanes


5 hurricanes

(Data shows totals for US Landfalls from1851-2015.)


Hurricanes cause millions of dollars in damages each year. Create a bar or picture graph to show the costs of Atlantic hurricane damage over the decades.


$2 billion


$6 billion


$6 billion


$13 billion


$23 billion


$21 billion


$21 billion


$78 billion

Make a weather station. Go to Making a Weather Station and follow the directions to create a weather station at home.

Geography -- track a hurricane. Print off a Tracking Map and track the path of a current storm.

Download the Hurricane Kit Checklist and create one for your own home. This is a good basic disaster kit even if you don’t live in a hurricane region.

Use watercolors to paint hurricane scenes.

Curriculum Looking for a unit study on emergency preparedness? Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum

Games  Create your own hurricane and explore the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane strength.


1. What's the difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon?

2. What is the origin of the word "hurricane"?

3. Pick a hurricane whose name has been retired.  Research the storm and find out why the name was retired. Choose from the list a hurricane a US hurricane, research the hurricane, and then create a brochure or lapbook about it. Include such things as the hurricane's path, the costs according to the actual year in which the hurricane occurred, the loss of life, loss of property (particularly notable property and landmarks), rebuilding efforts.

4.  Research relief efforts.  Which organizations rush to offer relief?  How do they operate? 

Geography. Visit Earth Science for Kids and look at the geographic areas to find current tropical storms. Locate the seven areas where tropical storms occur on a world map identify countries that might be affected by storms in each of those areas. Are storms there called typhoons, cyclones, or hurricanes?

In BooksLearning Atmosphere and EnvironmentScience