Monday, November 28, 2011

Making December Birthdays Special: Decorating

Decorating for birthdays at Christmas can be a challenge. While some folks choose to decorate with Christmas sprinkled in, I have always tried to keep the birthdays and Christmas separate. When I had my first  "Christmas baby" I chose to decorate after his birthday. That wasn't too difficult since there were still several weeks to enjoy the Christmas decorations. However, when his brother came along with a due date just days before Christmas, I knew I was going to have to change the way we decorated. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making December Birthdays Special: An Apology

I have no excuse except that life got the better of me. I had every intention of this series being posted on the our Mondays in November. I actually have three half-prepared posts in my head and only one partially drafted. Unfortunately, they won't be available this week. This week I am cooking and baking and hanging with my fam.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. I hope you are spending  your holiday with those you love.

I'll be back with Making December Birthdays Special next week.

'Grace Effect' Giveaway Winner

And the winner is .....
1 Hey Dawn! I'd love to see this book. :) saralynmcd@....
November 16, 2011 4:38 PM

The book is on its way, Saralyn. Congrats! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Review: FFH One Silent Night

We love Christmas music in our house. So when I was given the opportunity to review a Christmas CD, I jumped at it. (Look at that album cover. So precious!! Totally got me in the Christmas mood. And I so wanna make one of those kissing balls too now!!)

FFH released their latest album, One Silent Night on October 18, 2011. A group who originally formed in 1991, FFH is a group I have listened to since my college days. They produced six independent albums before being picked up by Essential Records. After much success in the Christian music scene, they took a break from touring in 2006. It was during this break that the members of FFH experienced lifechange. That lifechange pours out through their music and their passion for telling the world about Jesus is even stronger than it was before. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

TOS Review: Time Timer

The Time Timer is exactly what the name implies. It's a timer what shows the time counting down with a visual cue of how much time has elapsed and how much is left.

Music Man still struggles with the concept of time - it is too abstract for him. We have had various therapists recommend using a timer for different activities throughout his life when he struggled with getting ready or eating too slow etc. I have use numerous timers in the past but they never really worked for him. He just didn't get it. And now he does. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TOS Review: Math Mammoth

I became familiar with Math Mammoth last year when it was recommended to me by a friend. At first glance I was impressed by the ease of the website and the cost of the curriculum. We ordered a couple of ebooks that we thought would be most helpful to round out our first grade year (Money and Clock.) Once I started really looking into them, I was thrilled that I had found such a great thing at such a bargain price!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Review: The Grace Effect

It has been a long time since I have read a book I did not want to put down. The Grace Effect took the honor as the only book I have done that with this year. Reading like a novel, but so much more, author Larry Taunton chronicles his journey of the adoption of his daughter, Sasha, from Ukraine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TOS Review: Bower Books The Person I Marry

The Person I Marry is a must-have for anyone with children. Perfectly suited for any age, it is never too young to think about the type of person you should marry one day. My boys have already begun hearing about "love" and "girlfriends" and ask all kinds of questions about marriage. This book has helped me steer them on the appropriate path in thinking about marriage (even at the tender ages of eleven and seven!)

Throughout the book, characteristics of the qualities on that page are beautifully reinforced in the background. Each double-page spread deals with a certain aspect of marriage and gently confirms what a person should look for in a husband or wife.

Written and illustrated by husband-wife team Gary and Jan Bower, this book strengthens God's design for biblical marriage. I think it also allows to open the conversation towards only dating (or in our house, courting) one who displays these characteristics.

I've read many children's books by authors who aim to rhyme  just because they think a children's book "should" rhyme. But then the rhythm and flow doesn't work out and it seems forced. The Person I Marry has perfected rhyme and rhythm. I can only assume the other books follow the same rhythm and rhyme! The story comes alive within the words on each page.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
The Bright Futures Series

Other Products 
The Bright Futures Series
     There's a Party in Heaven!
     The Jingle in my Pocket
     What do Heroes Wear?

Mommy Love (board book)

Daddy Love (board book)

I'm a Michigan Kid!
An Artistic Tour of the Great Lakes State

Over Land & Sea, A Story of International Adoption
(written by Steven Layne and illustrated by Jan Bower)

Check It Out
Visit Bower Books to take a look at the beautiful oil paintings of Jan Bower. Her paintings are amazingly lifelike and capture such detail!

Final Word
I want every one of these books in our home library. They are absolutely beautiful. The messages are timeless.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a digital copy of The Person I Marry free of charge from Bower Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Making December Birthdays Special

happy birthday by cafemama

happy birthday, a photo by cafemama on Flickr.

Both of my boys have birthdays in December. They are the first and second weeks of December followed by Christmas the third week. When I learned that I was due on Thanksgiving with my oldest, I began researching how to deal with a birthday at the holidays. I wasn't too worried since he was due at Thanksgiving and he would certainly be here before Christmas was in full of swing. My due date came and went and he was born two long weeks later, a full week into December. Four years later, his brother was born in mid-December, coming a week before his December 20th due date.

I laughingly tell people we party all the month of December. And we really do. But the holiday season in full swing, I feel it is especially important to make my boys feel special even though everyone around them is focused on Christmas.

The Big No-Nos For Christmas Birthdays
  • Do NOT combine presents (birthday/Christmas) since the child's birthday is during the holiday season.
  • Do NOT wrap the birthday present in Christmas paper.
  • Do NOT go to a Christmas function on the night of the child's birthday.
  • Do NOT have a Christmas-themed cake, decorations or card.

Over the next three weeks, I will share how we do birthdays in our house. We are on a very frugal budget so I aim for big impact with little cost.

Next week we will talk about how to decorate for a birthday in the midst of the holidays.
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