Monday, March 9, 2015

Easter Baskets on a Low-Key Budget

Currently 35 weeks along in this pregnancy and I have been busy getting everything ready through like Mother's Day, maybe I'll do Father's Day too, so I don't have to plan later.  So here are my Easter Baskets for my boys!!!

I've got everything spring related in these baskets - after a long winter with lots of snow and just recently maybe a sign of spring, we shall see - these baskets are soooo cute!!!  Frogs in their lily pads in the pond!

Thank you to Family Christian #FCBlogger for having some AWESOME stuff in their store, I was able to get some good deals, especially with taking advantage of the 40% OFF coupon over President's Day!!!

So, I picked up those plush frogs that sing "He's Got the World in His Hands" in a very gospel rock version, which my kids LOVED when we went to the store a couple months ago, if you didn't see the picture I posted, here it is again:

These are like $29.99 in the stores, but I used 40% off coupons on President's Day to get them for like $18!!! Currently, there is a 30% off coupon I've seen floating around.  So, I picked up two, one for each of my boys.

This is my older son's basket with the following items from Family Christian: Plush Singing Frog "In His Hands", Veggie Tales Ricochet plush toy (his favorite League of Incredible Vegetables character), Butterfly Sucker with Caterpillar Gummy.  The plastic eggs came from Oriental Trading through a co-op and stuffed them with his favorite candies: skittles, starbursts, and krackel.

My younger son's basket with the following items from Family Christian: Plush Singing Frog "In His Hands", Veggie Tales Thingamabob plush with key chain clip, Butterfly Sucker with Caterpillar Gummy.  The plastic eggs came from Oriental Trading through a co-op and stuffed them with his favorite chocolates: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and caramel filled.

Each basket cost me around $20 and I already had the blue tissue paper, shredded grass, candies and green buckets on hand.  All I need to do now is label their names on their buckets and they will be all set!

What are you doing for your Easter baskets?

My next post will cover our "Egging Neighbors" activity and how we reach our neighbors for Jesus! 

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Product Review: Activity Kit for Toddlers #FCBlogger

Disclaimer: Family Christian provided me a free copy of Growing in Grace: Hymns and Bible Songs Activity Kit 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 affiliate links attached to this post.

My kids were so excited when this came in.  I told them it was music for us to use in our homeschool and had some activities in it and they were pumped... UNTIL... we opened it!

My oldest's response was, "awww, that's it?!" and youngest was excited about the crayons and the stickers, but not too impressed with the book to color.

So, I said, let's listen to the music, maybe that will be cool... they got excited, then this was the look I got when the music played from my oldest...

Yes, that is a very disappointed boy who LOVES music!

My oldest's response, "this is baby music!"

My youngest's response, "off, mama".

Can't beat the brutal honesty of kids and mine are 6 and 2 years old.

My Review of the Product:
Overall I wasn't too impressed, just like my kids.  But I stayed positive with my kids as we were listening to the CD and looking at the activity stuff.  The coloring book is tiny and this is geared more to my two year old's level and it's really hard for a two year old to color tiny pictures.  Little kids want to lay it out in front of them and have the ability to experience those fine motor skills that they are just trying to figure out by actually having enough space to color on.  So, my youngest got bored with it rather quickly, so I just pulled out some paper for him to use the crayons and stickers on.  The music on the CD is kind of "babyish" like my oldest pointed out.  It's more like a lullaby CD but with hymns, it's slow moving, each song almost sounds the same other than the words being different.  I find this to be a little ironic because again, this is geared toward that toddler level, this is a great CD to put them to sleep to for a nap time, but if you want them to engage in the CD, you need some fun stuff to get them moving to it.  It's so slow, I couldn't even come up with many hand motions to the songs.  So, instead I gave my kids streamers to praise the Lord too, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes and they were done with the CD.  I even tried taking the CD into a toddler class at church, it calmed down all those sad faces who wanted their mommies and then put them to sleep, but the others ignored the CD or like my two year old said, "off, please".  I wouldn't recommend this product to a children's ministry for their toddler department, but I would recommend the CD to the nursery! Babies would LOVE this kind of CD!  In all honesty, I was rather disappointed with this activity kit for toddlers, I definitely think it could have more potential to reach the toddler age with a little more creativity.

Here is the product link for Growing in Grace: Hymns and Bible Songs Activity Kit with Family Christian.  Maybe your kids will have a different experience than mine!  It's currently on sale for ONLY $6.97.

Oldest son's rating:  1 star

Youngest son's rating:   "Thumbs Down!"

My Overall Rating:  2 stars  

Family Christian has given me a $10 appreciation certificate that can be used online or in store to offer one lucky reader.  Enter for your chance to win in the Rafflecopter below (please be patient, may take a moment to load).

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Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Valentine Game: Cupid's Arrow

Cupid's Arrow Valentine Game

What you need:
(1) Large size cardboard box
(1) Tri-fold Foam Board (Dollar Tree)
Paints in any color you want
Arrows (We got ours from Oriental Trading HERE)
Duck Tape

First I drew a heart in the middle of the tri-fold foam board and then cut it out with a box cutter. Then I gave the board to my kids with some paint and foam paint dotters to cover it up.

We set it out to dry and then I duck taped the board to a large box to catch the arrows when tossed.

Then I let my kids test the game out, check out their video (make take a second to load):

We took our game to a Valentine's Party for homeschoolers and had a blast!!! And of course, took it into children's church too - fits great with the story of Jonathan and David! What kind of Valentine games have you made?

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

President's Day Fun

President's Day Unit Study: Abraham Lincoln

Our unit study was based around two books that I got from Scholastic, "I am Abraham Lincoln" and "Abraham Lincoln".  We learned that Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin and always wanted to go to school, but couldn't because he had to help out on the farm.  That mused my oldest so much, he decided he wanted to work on a farm too! Then we found out that Abraham Lincoln knew how to handle bullies and that writing on trees is a great chalkboard for practicing writing the alphabet.  We also had Abraham Lincoln's favorite snack: cheese, crackers and nuts.  And we discovered what money Abraham Lincoln was on.  Plus went back through Washington D.C. pictures and books to discover the monuments and places my kids visited that related to Abraham Lincoln.

We started out our study though with a coin sorting activity!
I made cloud dough (8 cups flour to 1 cup baby oil) and then hid a bunch of coins in it.

They dug through it looking for different coins.

As they found them, my oldest would match up which column it belonged into on the sorting page.

This little guy thought it was a blast to dig and got excited when he found a coin!

He made a log cabin out of popsicle sticks for a craft!

This is a great book to start with and it's entertaining!
Not too overwhelming with facts, just enough to make it fun.

This book was my oldest's reading time, then he told me about everything he learned.

Since Abraham Lincoln liked to practice writing the alphabet on trees, I had him make a chalkboard from a wooden tray.  Here he is painting it up!

What did you do for President's Day?

Have Fun and Be a Blessing!

"I am Resurrection" T-Shirt Deal at Family Christian

Hello Ladies!!! Family Christian has an AWESOME sale on these purple "I am the resurrection and the life" t-shirts for ONLY $7.97 from now until April 23, 2015.  Grab yours HERE online or head out to the store near you. #FCBlogger

The shirt I received is a large size and I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant and still have room in this shirt! I wore this shirt for a story telling time and had so many comments on it and moms wanting to know where to get it.  The purple is beautiful and since I'm in Michigan it's not quite T-shirt weather yet, it will look great with a white, black and aqua long sleeve shirt under it.  I put on a black long sleeve shirt under it and it still felt great.  And the quality is awesome, I've washed it 3 times now and had no shrinkage - BONUS!!!

I absolutely love the T-shirts from Family Christian.  I've been buying them since I was a teenager and had a job.  I would always buy my dad shirts for birthday and Father's Day, but always seemed to buy the wrong size and it would somehow become MY shirt, haha, yeah, I think I might of had a plan in that... just kidding! I still buy their T-shirts and my kids love them too - always picking out different ones they want themselves.  I highly recommend them!

Be a Blessing!

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!