Simple Joy Saturday #16

Simple Joy Saturday #16

Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week.  These posts may grow or evolve as time passes.  Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!


December 16 – 22

1. Christmas parties and board games.

People usually don’t expect this when they first meet me, but I am fiercely competitive.  I love playing (and winning) board games.


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Finding Whose We Are: Judged

Finding Whose We Are: Judged

My middle name is Joye.  It’s pronounced “Joy,”  like “Joy to the World” or “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart”  or “joy unspeakable that won’t go away.”  There’s just an E on the end because I am unique.


I guess everyone wants to be happy, buy I’ve always had a particular desire to live up to my middle name.   I want to overflow with joy.  I want everyone around me to know that the joy of the Lord is my strength.  But I often fall short of this goal.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Educational Games for Middle Schoolers

Top Ten Tuesday: Educational Games for Middle Schoolers

As an education major, some of our required assignments are nothing more than gathering materials to use in our classrooms.  In the present age, a list of web-based games is considered a necessary material.  Here are ten of my favorite games that I have found this year.


  • Analogies – Students must determine which word correctly completes the analogies.  Words will only appear twice, so they need to think quickly!


  • Guess the HomonymSum Some students have a hard thyme time trying too two to determine the write right  homophone or distinguish between homonyms.  This game can help.



  • Food Chain Game – As students learn about all the components of a biome’s food web, this game can help them review and practice putting producers, consumers, and decomposers in order.


  • Photosynthesis Respiration Game – This game leads students step-by-step through the process of human cell respiration and plant cell photosynthesis.  Students must truly understand both concepts to successfully play the game.


Social Studies:


  • America on the Move – Perhaps the greatest evidence of our world’s advances is in the realm of transportation.  America on the Move provides three different games that help children learn about the history of transportation.



  • Fruit Shoot Fractions – This game, reminiscent of Fruit Ninja, requires students to “shoot” the answer to a fraction addition problem.  Because there are many levels, students of many different grades can play the game.

fruit shoot fraction game

  • Pre-Algebra Addition Shootout – Children who love soccer will enjoy choosing their goalkeeper, jersey color, an skill level before solving a variety of simple algebraic equations.

shootout equation game


  • Arthur’s Lunch-o-Matic – This tray needs some Vitamin A!  Students must choose the food that fits the cafeteria worker’s description.  The game will help children learn the benefits of eating a variety of foods.


  • Blast Off! – Children’s bodies are just like rocket ships–they need fuel!  In this game, students fill their plate with a wide variety of foods to get enough fuel for an active day.

blast off game





If there’s anything I love, it’s a good competition.  My pulse quickens, my mind is alert, my voice rises, and my fingers are restless.  I become simultaneously defensive and offensive.  I must win.

Growing up, almost any game could make me antsy–even something as innocent as Go Fish.  Backyard sword fights with the neighbors resulted in broken sabers.  More than once, a friend accused me of having “anger issues” after some before-school game.  Too me, everything was a competition.  I gloried in coming out on top.


Let’s face it.  Winning is fun.  The problem is that no earthly victory is ever going to do me any good.  A few months ago, I boxed my collection of trophies from volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, and piano with the realization that those metal figurines are nothing.  The artifacts that I hoped would define me in high school are now just dust-collectors.  Maybe they did define me for a time, but most of my current friends forget that I ever played piano or cheered.

Slowly, I am learning that I am not my accomplishments.

In I Corinthians 1:31, Paul wrote, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  Without Christ’s death and resulting salvation, I would have no reason to be proud of anything (I Corinthians 6:20).  Trophies and awards will gather dust and grow old.  However, Christ is eternal.  I do not know what He has planned for me, but I do know that His plan will ultimately glorify Himself.

I still want to succeed.  It is my goal that must change.  Rather than earthly success and accolades, my aim must become the ultimate glory of God the Father.

…so that in all things Jesus can have first place.

– Colossians 1:18

Peanut Butter Bombs

Peanut Butter Bombs





PBJ is flying high–

Watch us cruise right on by.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!

Peanut Butter Jelly!  Peanut Butter Jelly!


Choosing a team name was always one of the hardest parts of a Tuesday at camp.  The name had to be catchy, creative, and compatible.  If your team didn’t start with a strong name, you might as well accept defeat for the entire week.


I was part of both failing and successful teams during my years at teen camp.  My first year, The Gunslingers lost game after game and challenge after challenge.  One of my final years, Hypnotic Black Hooks won the week.  However, the most successful team I was ever a part of was the 2010 coalition known as PB&J: Power, Brains, and Jesus. 


What made us successful?  First of all, we bribed the judges with PB&J sandwiches.  We also had a memorable cheer, appealing flag, and positive motto (PB&J is all you ever need to win!).  To top it all off, we dominated every team challenge and were undefeated the entire week.

I believe that our success all began when we chose a great name.  PB&J is all you ever need, after all.


PB Bombs


  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tbs. peanut butter
  • 1 cup oatmeal


  • Combine banana and peanut butter in a medium bowl
  • Slowly fold in oatmeal.  I added 1/2 cup and completely combined them.  Then I mixed in another 1/4 cup and mixed.  Lastly, I folded in the remaining 1/4 cup.
  • Form into balls (approximately 12) and place in a sealable container.  Freeze for at least one hour.
  • Eat and enjoy!


Victory Day

Victory Day


As a cheerleader, I shouted the spellings of many words: hustle, win, aggressive, score, fight, and (of course) V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!  Victory is the ultimate goal of every competitor.  To be victorious is to be successful, dominant, and superior.  If you are not victorious, you have been defeated.  You are presumed inferior, weak, and overpowered. What makes a victory truly great is when it seems unattainable.  When you think you have been defeated, a comeback is always glorious.

At the cross, Christ seemingly lost the battle with death.  He proclaimed, “It is finished,” and released His life (Matt. 27:50).  After centuries of enmity, Satan believed that He had gained complete control of the world; the supposed Messiah was dead.  However, this became the greatest come-back story in history.  On Sunday, Christ rose again.  He overpowered death.  Satan no longer had the upper hand.  Through death, Christ “destroyed him that had the power of death” (Heb. 2:14).

Because of Adam’s sin, we will all die; we cannot be victorious over the grave (Rom. 5:12).  However, those in Christ have the promise of being “made alive” (I Cor. 15: 22).  Those who have trusted in the Gospel – that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again – will receive victory over death (I Cor. 15:57).  Because of Christ’s victorious resurrection, we can be victorious as well.

Do you have certain victory over death?

Top Ten Tuesday: Game Night

Top Ten Tuesday: Game Night


If you have ever played a game with me, you don’t need to read the next few sentences; you know how competitive I am. You know that I get testy and impatient. You know that my usually soft voice slowly rises. You know that I always play to dominate, not just win, the game.

During my month-long Christmas break, I have played many board games and card games with family, friends, and daycare students. Below are my favorite games from the past few weeks.

Ten Most Enjoyable Games I Have Played This Month

1. The Logo Game
2. Othello
3. Balderdash
4. Backgammon
5. Such and Such
6. Baloney
7. Apples to Apples
8. Mastermind
9. Bananagrams
10. Telestrations

Other games I played during Christmas break:

  • Checkers
  • Uno
  • Cribbage
  • Monopoly
  • Boggle
  • Yahtzee