Sunday, November 16, 2014

The First Christmas Ever - Book Review

I got the chance to review a Christmas children's book for Book Look Bloggers.
It was nice to have this opportunity at this time of year.

The First Christmas Ever is Illustrated by Dennis Jones. It is a retelling of the Christmas story (the birth of Christ) in a way that children can understand. The illustrations are fun and colorful. I think it does a great job of telling the story of Jesus' birth in an entertaining way as well. There's extra detail added like the KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the innkeeper's door. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jesus is born. It says, "All babies are special, but Mary's baby was extra special!" That's for sure! This book also has a couple of pages at the end that tell about what Jesus did as he grew up. It keeps it pretty simple, saying that Jesus started doing God's work and preaching about God's love, but that the birth of baby Jesus was "just the beginning of something wonderful for the world." Reading this book got me interested in checking out some of Dennis Jones' other illustrated Bible stories. This is a good book to read to your children for Christmas. If you have a young child and you want to teach them about the true meaning of Christmas, I suggest picking up this book. At the low price of $1.99, it's a great stocking stuffer!

I receive these books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

O is for Others

On Sunday, I attended my cousin's fiancee's baby shower. It was full of family and friends and fun shower games. My aunt always puts on great baby showers. One of the games we played was the A through Z of baby necessities. You were supposed to list something you need for a baby that started with each letter of the alphabet. When we finished, we passed our papers to someone else and if they saw anything that they thought was questionable on the paper, they brought it up to the whole group. We then raised our hands if we thought it should not be counted.

For the letter O, I put "others". Others. As in other people. I was voted down. I was told it should not be counted because, according to my aunt, she didn't need anyone. She raised her baby by herself while her husband was deployed.

Let me tell you what's wrong with that. My aunt did not raise her baby by herself. She lived away from the rest of her family at the time, but I'm quite sure she called them up on the phone from time to time for advice. I'm quite sure she talked to her mother, who had raised a very large family. I'm quite sure that, even though her husband was on deployment, she was able to talk to him or write to him. She thought about him and he thought about her. She was not "on her own".

I see this theme going with single mothers. They talk about doing it "on their own". Sure, I will give you that there are some women who truly are out there without any friends or family around. But that's my point. They are really struggling to get by, aren't they? They can't do it on their own. What about the baby sitter who watches their child while they are working to put food on the table? What about the teacher who teaches their child when she gets old enough to go to school? No one can do it on their own. If they think that they can, they are sorely mistaken. We are social individuals and we need each other to thrive. So don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't need others to help your child grow and thrive. You are the most important part of your child's life, but don't discount the contribution of others. Don't ever take it for granted.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's Turkey Time! - Fall Painting Craft

It's going to be Thanksgiving soon, so what better Fall painting craft to do with my boys than the classic hand print turkeys? This was Little K's first time painting, so it was an interesting experience for him. T-Rex loves to paint now, so if I ask him if he wants to paint the answer is always "Mmm Hmm!!" I am waiting for him to point to the paints some day and ask if he can paint before I bring it up!

First, I traced their hands. It was a little difficult because toddlers and babies have squirmy hands. I think I still did a pretty good job. These are T-Rex's hands.

Then it was time to paint. In hindsight, I probably should have drawn the turkey features on T-Rex's turkey first. I should have known he'd cover the whole paper. I will have to draw the face on the other turkey after it dries.

T-Rex's final product

For Little K, I just put a little paint on the paper and let him smear it around. Next time, I think I'll tape the paper to his table because he kept trying to pick it up and eat it!

Little K's final product

I sure love painting with my boys! I love how each of the paintings are so unique to them. I just let them do their own thing and it turns out so cute every time. I loathe cookie cutter art that all looks the same!
Take some time and try this old classic with your little ones. You'll be glad you did.