Mommy and Daddy are Special (book review) **giveaway too**

I was so fortunate to be sent these two beautiful board books by Glenys Nellist from Zonderkids… and with Mother’s Day coming up and then Father’s Day not too far behind, I thought it’d be a perfect time to show off these beauties! (also, there’s mention of a **giveaway** towards the end of this post!)

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My 4 year old *loves* these board books. They caught her attention right away because she can identify with the babies in these pictures – being held is her favorite thing in the whole world.

I started by incorporating them into our bedtime reading and yet they’ve become books that travel from upstairs to downstairs, in the car, to Grandma’s house… my little girl has started asking if everything has a Mommy and Daddy. “What about that bird? What about that one? Oooo, does this worm have a Mommy and Daddy?” And once when we were getting groceries, “DOES THAT GUY HAVE A MOMMY?” It was adorable.

The illustrations in these are just so colorful, lovely, and engaging, the rhyming content is fun to read aloud, and at the end, my girl gets really excited and says, “I have a Mommy too!!!” and hugs me a lot. And when Daddy shows up, it’s the same. I really appreciate books for kids that celebrate love, and these two are stellar. God really *did* make Mommies and Daddies special, including those in the animal kingdom!

 

If there are little ones in your house, or if someone you know is expecting or is a parent for the first time, these would make great gifts! You can get copies wherever books are sold, like at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book, to name a few!

BUT! Before you run out and get some, enter in the author’s giveaway on her blog and you could win a pair! Contest is here and goes til Monday, April 16th!

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Love Letters… (book review)

Ones of the most beautiful and meaningful thing someone can do for me is write their feelings down on paper. Something I can go back to over and over again. Something tangible that I can hold in my hand whenever I need a reminder. The Bible is so excellent for this reason (and so much more) and so is Easter Love Letters from God.

Tiny hands found a pen and lost some self control… that’s ok.

This book is beautiful, with a story for every day of Holy Week, and a love letter written to your child(ren) for each day too.

There are times I find it easy to teach facts and truths about Jesus but find it a little harder to show the personal connections. Having these kinds of love letters is such a blessing so my kids can know Jesus knows them and knows exactly how they feel, always. I put both my girls’ names in it, and the personalization could go even further by getting each kid a copy.

Holy Week is upon us, but it’s not too late to get your family a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Would make a great Easter gift next to the jelly beans and chocolate too!

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Broken to Beautiful (review)

One of my favorite things to stop and think about Jesus, is how He really does transform the broken in us into absolute beauty.

So I was super overjoyed when I was given an ebook by Lydia Diaz and teaching kit to try out with my kids that spotlights this very thing!

The ebook is absolutely beautiful, and my 8 year old, Naomi, read it with interest and with ease. She and Noelle (4 years old) both enjoyed the pictures a lot. We also talked about mosaics when we got to the end, and we plan on making some of our own for Easter with tissue paper. (In fact, I plan on bringing out/reading this story again every Easter).

Noelle is a little young for a lot of what was provided but she did like finding all the capital Gs and Js to underline/circle when looking for God and Jesus, and she did enjoy drawing people and things she loves. It was very cute!

Naomi, however, was really into it. She enoyed the drawing response activities and thinking about love and how we love all people differently (for example, the difference between the love of Mommy and Daddy, and between her and her friends). She was pretty intrigued to learn and write Greek words, and we talked about the difference of letters from our alphabet, how they sound and look.

We also talked a lot about the people in Jesus’s past – Rahab, David, Cain, Joseph, etc. She remembered those people and really grasped just how cool God is to design history so that anyone can freely come to Jesus, because He has all kinds of people in his lineage.

This packet of activities would be great for any classes/groups/families with kids in kindergarten through about 3rd grade. It’s a beautiful set and would be fun to revisit often. Diaz created a lovely way for our kids to learn about the unconditional love of Jesus!

You can learn more HERE!

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Gutsy Girls

I love to tell my kids about the gutsy girls of this world, but it’s sweeter when they can connect with them on their own too. One of my favorite things is when science and faith come together and even more awesome is when my nature-driven girls can read about those who wonder and question and dream about God’s creation. Not only is the subject matter great in this book, but the way it’s told and the illustrations all work together to create a priceless treasure. Both my 8 yr old and 4 yr old love this book, and we have had great conversations about different women – some who are great history and some currently making great history. This and the other Gutsy Girls books would make GREAT gifts for any girls you know! I plan on getting all the rest as Christmas gifts for my girls this year!

You can snag your own copy here!

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Christmas traditions

We have lots of traditions in our house because, well, Christmas is the greatest time of the year – the whole family thinks so! One of my favorite traditions is adding at least one Christmas book to our library every year.

Two new additions to our library came a little early this year! First is a beautiful hardback, ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas by Glenys Nellist. Set to the same rhythm as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, this is an extremely beautiful telling of the birth of Christ. The illustrations lush and the story engaging, it kept my 8 and 4 year old’s attention throughout. This would make an excellent Christmas Eve tradition (and it will certainly become one in our house)! Absolutely beautiful. You can find it available here! There is also a kindle edition.

The other book is geared more towards toddlers: Snuggle Time Christmas Stories, also by Glenys Nellist. This is a REALLY cute book. My 4 year old was quickly drawn to it – lots of foil and glitter, lots of cute faces, lots of color and different scenes. It was fun to go through the different poems with her and she not only enjoyed listening but also holding the padded board book and asking questions about the pictures. Such a great addition to our Christmas library! You can get your copy here!

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Easy Tissue Paper Wreath

IMG_20170512_110551_900I made this super cute and super easy wreath for my mom for Mother’s Day!

What took the longest was cutting out circles from tissue paper. But my 3 yr old had fun throwing around all my scraps. If my calculations are correct, I cut out about 200. Be smart and cut out stacked tissue paper, like 2-6 sheets at a time. I traced an empty tape roll about 3 inches in diameter, but you can do any size.

You will need:

1 foam wreath  (dollar store $1)

Tissue paper of any color (dollar store $1)

Straight pins – I got a box of 175 and used almost all of them. (walmart $2.75)

I just put a straight pin into the middle of each circle and placed them close together. Then I started filling in the spaces. The more you do, the better it is. You can even crinkle them or cut them into a different shape if you wanna mix it up a bit. I even did 2 different papers at a time to fill in the spaces. It was pretty quick to assemble – about 20 minutes!

I imagine making more with a more thought-out color scheme… all pastels for a baby’s room, red/orange/yellow/brown for fall, Christmas colors, and definitely red/white/blue for the Fourth of July! 

And when you’re done, you can do other silly stuff…

(hmmm… not so thrilled…)

When you make yours, be sure to show me!

Have fun!

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But Where’s the Love? (a book review)

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Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You WantLove Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want by Maria Goff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I thought this was just going to be a collection of nice anecdotes to make us feel warm and fuzzy. It is so much more than that. The examples and stories are lovely, but they’re also real, personal, vulnerable, and challenging. Goff writes in such a comfortable way, so very full of love. She writes as a good friend would to encourage and edify our lives by sharing the details of her own. I am surprised at how much I have read new ways to be challenged without feeling lectured to. So much love lives with her, indeed, and there is much freedom in her stories from her life – freedom to accept love from Christ as we are, freedom to trust and let go – knowing Christ is completely dependable. And then freedom to pour out love on others – because love lives here with me too, no matter how messy my life gets!

I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher. This is an honest review.

You can get your own copy!

 

Check it out from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Lives-Here-Finding-Telling/dp/1433648911/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488812849&sr=8-1&keywords=love+lives+here

Or from Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/love-lives-here-maria-goff/1124075579?ean=9781433648915

Or from Lifeway here: http://m.lifeway.com/Product/love-lives-here-P005790538?carid=mwiley

Or from CBD here: https://www.christianbook.com/lives-finding-need-world-telling-want/maria-goff/9781433648915/pd/648910?event=ESRCG

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