Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review of Esther and Giveaway for $10 Appreciation Certificate #FCBlogger

Disclaimer: Family Christian provided me a free copy of the book "Esther Royal Beauty" by Angela Hunt for review purposes only.  I was not compensated, nor am I required to give a positive review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  There are NO affliliate links within this post.

Bekah's Rating: 3 Stars

I have never read a book by Angela Hunt before and was very excited to read about one of my favorite Bible characters, Esther.  Angela Hunt created a story that sort of stayed within the lines of Biblical representation to the real story, but there were some differences too, which I was already expecting.  The beginning part of the book was a little slow and it definitely took time to get to the parts that really captivated you and made you to not want to put the book down.  The beginning was a prelude to Esther becoming queen and you are learning of Vashti and how she became banished as queen.  But once you got past the prelude, then the story got very interesting and hard to put the book down.

I love how Angela Hunt really brought to life the drama involved in the book of Esther.  You can read the account in the Bible and yes, there is drama involved, but Angela Hunt did an amazing job of bringing it to life through two different accounts, the eyes of Hadassah (Esther) and the eunuch Harbonah.  These two have very different viewpoints and it made the story that much more captivating.

Hadassah's viewpoint is how she's taken out of her home to live in the palace in preparation to be chosen as queen to her obedience to God in saving her people by going to the king uninvited to present her petition.

Hardonah's viewpoint gave the details of the action within the palace, from Queen Vashti's dethronement to King Xerxe's army failure in Greece to the king's eventful procession candidates to find the new queen and his relationship with Hadassah.

One part of the book that took me by surprise was Angela Hunt's display of Queen Vashti's envy and hatred towards Hadassah.  This is obviously not Biblical, as the Bible doesn't tell us whether Queen Vashti and Hadassah ever crossed paths.  It gave the story a different twist, made it entertaining, but a little too "wicked stepmother".  I think this could have been left out of the book, in all honesty.  Sure, it adds drama and a different twist to the story of Esther, but it kind of makes Queen Vashti out to be a villain and she wasn't really a villain to begin with.

Overall, the book is an easy read once you get past the beginning prelude, I finished it in 2 days and I have two littles under my feet plus another one on the way!  It's not a Biblical account of the story at all, so it would be an entertaining read for many.  It doesn't have many teaching opportunities within it either.  I could see this book given to non-believers to intrigue them to want to know more about this Esther.  You can purchase a copy of this book from Family Christian here.

I've been given the opportunity to offer a $10 appreciation certificate for Family Christian, which can be used in stores or online to one lucky reader.  Please enter the giveaway linky below (it may take a moment to load, please be patient).  The winner will be announced on Friday, February 20, 2015.

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Happy Reading and Blessings!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review of Max Lucado's "Treasury of Bedtime Prayers" & Giveaway #FCBlogger #PrayThanks

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Family Christian for review purposes.  I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to post a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.  This post contains NO affiliate links.

I love Max Lucado books and when I received this book my kids were ALL over it! Now they want me to read it not only every night but every morning too.  So, this book has become part of our morning devotions during breakfast and our devotions in the evening times just before bed.  Check out my youngest looking through this book...

He absolutely LOVES to find all the small animal pictures in the book and either say what it is or give the sound of the animal.  It's like a BIG seek and find book to him.

My oldest is an advanced reader for only 6 years old, so when he looked through the book he started finding prayers that he could read to his little brother.  Check out this video of his reading!


I love how he emphasizes the "amen" to the end of the prayers!

This book is a definite MUST have in your home library and it would be a great gift to a child or even to an expectant mother.  These are easy prayers to read.  They uplift, encourage, and help reset the atmosphere.  Best of all, if you are having a hard time in the day with your kids, just open it up and start reading, the kids will quiet down and the peace will return to the home! I challenge you to try it!!!

You can pick up a copy of this book from Family Christian for ONLY $19.99 either ONLINE or in store.  Grab your coupon off their website for 20% off!

One lucky reader will get a chance to WIN a $10 appreciation certificate from Family Christian (use it towards the purchase of this book or anything else you want).  Enter the rafflecopter below (it may take a moment to load, please be patient).  This giveaway ends on 2/13/15.

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Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chunky Monkey is TWO!!!

Chunky Monkey is Two!

Happy Birthday to our little man!
We celebrated with a Mickey Mouse theme 
and I made all the decorations for his little party.

Here is the completed banner, want to know how to make it?
Check out the post HERE.

This shirt I picked up at Walmart on clearance for $1.50
And the fabric squares I found at Dollar Tree.
The party hat and pom poms came from Dollar Tree too.
Just picked up some bonding material from our local Joanns
and topped it off with glitter fabric paint that I already had at home.

I decided to make the rest of the hats in the package I picked
up from Dollar Tree for all the guests.

These are juice boxes that I just covered in paper using
a hot glue gun.  And found these little pearl stickers at Joanns.

I set out his Mickey Mouses to guard the presents!

And made his cake with yummy buttercream frosting and
used Organic food dyes that I picked up from Whole Foods.
Nothing too fancy, but he was super excited!!!

Hung up some streamers in the doorway and it become
a game of "boo!" Yeah, these two kept running through them
back and forth and jumping out yelling "boo!"

He made sure to pass out the party hats to all his guests at the party!

His cousins dropped by to give him a card that had a surprise inside...
he found the monster truck!

Blowing out his candles!!!

Mmmmm, cake!!!

Getting ready for the balloon drop... 1.. 2.. 3..

Yay!!! Happy Birthday Chunky Monkey!!!

Chunky Monkey - 24 months stats:
  • Letters: recognizes and knows sounds to "S" and "H"
  • Numbers: recognizes and can show on fingers number "1"
  • Shapes: recognizes and can say "circle"
  • Colors: recognizes and can say "white", "blue", "black", and "brown"
  • Body: can show you when asked where his "head", "hair", "neck", "chin", "eyes", "nose", "hands", "feet", "knees", "cheeks", "fingers" are
  • Can say: "no", "batman", "brother", "mama", "dada", "grandma", "nana", "grandpa", "wheel", "righteous", "yay", "love", "mickey", "cat", "bat", "duck", "frog", "milk", "please"
  • Knows sign language for: "please", "thank you", "milk", "more", "cookie", "thirsty"
  • Favorite Superhero: batman
  • Favorite Toy: monster trucks and trains
  • Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse and Batman
  • Can do lacing activities on his own
  • Loves to paint and color
  • Favorite Book(s): (1) Train Stories from Usborne, (2) Little Engine that Could, (3) Bible
  • Favorite Movie: The Little Engine that Could (he's borderline obsessed)
  • Throws a ball overhand and underhand
  • Can pincer grasp correctly
  • Can follow two step directions
  • Hygiene: can brush own hair, can brush own teeth, can wash own hands
This little guy is growing up too fast!

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Happy Groundhog's Day!!!

According to Phil in Pennsylvania he saw his shadow and that means 6 more weeks of winter! We did some activities today, since my oldest had a snow day, check them out...

My youngest colored spring flowers from a Groundhog Tot from 2 Teaching Mommies.
My oldest did an ABC Groundhog Worksheet from TPT that involved cutting, gluing and coloring.

Here is his completed ABC order worksheet!

And he did a labeling worksheet, also downloaded from TPT.

Then I hid groudhogs around the house and they decided they needed
Monster Trucks to drive around and find them and smash them!
Very creative and fun!

This is a their groundhog craft, they are coloring their groundhogs first.

Then they used chalk to make a "shadow" outline.

Then we made their groundhogs stand up to face their shadow.
Yep, it saw it's shadow - more winter to come!

How did you celebrate Goundhog's Day?

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tot School Show & Tell: S is for SNOW

~ Chunky Monkey is 23 months ~

It's January, no better time in Michigan than to cover "snow"
and we didn't get as much as the Northeast, but we've had some inches.

We did our posterboard daily which covered the following:
Letter: S (worked on it's sound)
Color: White (means "righteous")
Shape: Circle and a poem about a snowball
Number: 15 (means "free")
Verse: Psalm 51:7
Vocabulary Word: Snowflakes
Sound: -ow (row, tow, mow, blow, throw, snow, grow, show, bow)

And I pulled out our mailbox that I put a magnetic letter "S" in
and the "S" word cards that I printed out from the S Packet at 1+1+1=1.

I sing the following little diddy:

I've got a letter, I've got a letter
Let's look and see, Let's look and see
What letter do we have today?
What letter do we have today?
(open box)
It's the Letter S, It's the Letter S!

Then we review each of the "S" words in the box.

Then we did activities each day, here are some of the ones we did:

Skinny Minnie and Chunky Monkey both played a math game together.
Chunky Monkey rolled the die and Skinny Minnie graphed what was rolled.
This was a great game for not only math, but for team work!

I pulled out the lacing card that I got from Oriental Trading.
He surprised me because he really liked doing this!
He sat and did this activity for about 30 minutes on his own.
He kept trying to figure out how to get it into the holes.
After a couple days of practice and he had it down.
Will be adding more of these type activities in the future.

We worked on name recognition by making a snowman
out of the letters of his name.  He drew the face all by himself.
We reviewed the letters in his name each day after making this.

I printed out the floor numbers from Confessions of a Homeschooler
preschool "S is for Snowman" post, but only did numbers 1 - 5.
I gave him white pony beads for "snow balls" and had him
put that many beads on the numbered cards.
We practiced this every other day.

So it's too cold to go outside here in Michigan, with temps below zero.
So, I went outside and filled a bin with snow and brought it INSIDE.
Gave him a watercolor pallette, brush and cup of water and let him
have at it! He painted the snow and then decided he wanted
to touch it.  At first, it was too cold, then he got used to it.
Then he made me build snowmen and snowballs that he could throw.

Painting a melted a snowman!
I gave him blue construction paper and silver paint glob with a brush.
He had fun smearing it everywhere... thus a melted snowman!

And of course, we made snowman lanterns (got the idea from Pinterest).
I velcroed the little battery operated tea lights to the bottom of the jug,
only because these two are pretty rough with everything!

When I turned on the lights, Chunky Monkey thought it was a real
candle and tried to blow it out and brother followed suit!

Then they had an adventure in the dark with their lanterns.
Big Brother wasn't too keen on no lights, but Chunky Monkey
was in heaven! He was running everywhere with that light and watching
it shine on the ceiling or the wall or light his path - so much fun to watch!

That was a highlight of our Snow Tot School.
What did you do for January?

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!