Friday, July 30, 2010
Well, I did not think my next giveaway opportunity would come around again so quickly but I am very happy that it did. CSN stores is offering one of my lucky readers a $40.00 gift card good to use at any of the +200 stores! You could use the gift card towards the purchase of a bedroom vanity, light fixture, kitchen gadgets, handbags, toys and many more options! Be sure to check out all they have to offer!
First entry - just leave a comment letting me know what you might get with your gift card from CSN stores.
Second and third entries - Follow my blog and leave a comment that you now are or that you already are (be sure to leave two separate comments).
Fourth and fifth entries - Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave the link to your post (be sure to leave two separate comments).
This giveaway will end Friday, August 6th at 5:00 PM EST. I'll draw the winner using a random number generator the following week and post the winner. Please be sure there is an easy way to get your contact info. If I cannot contact you then I will select another winner.
Thanks for entering!
I decided the best way to share some great summer reading picks and illustrate what theme reading is for me is by picking a couple of the topics we've been reading about here: the beach and bugs both make wonderful summer studies and fun! You will see from each set that there is a mix of stories, educational reads, non-fiction and activity books.
Ages 3 & up :
Reads about the beach and ocean-
Okay, I know this is book overload here today but this is seriously not even close to ALL the books that Usborne carries on these topics as well as other topics that would be great for summer that I didn't cover. So here goes starting in the left top hand corner.
Top Row: What's Happening at the Seaside?, by Heather Amery, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright. An educational activity book with questions to ask your little one, things to count, what's out of place and of course Cartwright's little yellow duck to spot on each page.
Seashore, a great non-fiction read to learn facts about the seashore and the inhabitants there. Written at a beginners reading level so makes a great practice reading book too.
How Deep is the Sea? by Anna Milbourne. One of Usbornes picture book series, I've hightlighted this series before and you will not be disappointed. Join Pipkin the Penguin as he discovers how deep the see is and the underwater friends you will meet along the way.
Middle Row: On the Seashore, by Anna Milbourne. This is another picture book about a young girl and her day at the seashore. Join her as she watches the sea creep up the beach and the wonderful things it leaves behind when it slips back away.
Under the Sea, by Anna Milbourne. A picture book that takes you and your little ones on a dive under the sea for a glimpse of all the underwater wonders there to behold.
On the Beach, by A. Smith and L. Howell. From the lift the flap book series, this book will help you 'uncover' fascinating seashore sights. The illustrations are that gorgeous, come on have a peek!
Bottom Row: Little Fish, by Sanne te Loo. A wonderful Children's picture book from the Netherlands about a little girl who rescues a little fish from a pelican. This is a Kane Miller book and Kane Miller books are now only available through Usborne Book Consultants such as myself.
Dot to Dot on the Seashore, by Karen Bryant-Mole. This makes a great activity accompaniment to your under the sea reads. You will not be disappointed in Usborne dot to dots, I have heard and have nothing but great compliments for this series.
First Sticker Book: Vacation, by Jessica Greenwell. Another wonderful complimentary activity book. Your little one will delight in bringing the pages of this book to life with over 150 fun stickers to add to the pages.
Top Row: Bugs, by Lucy Bowman. This non-fiction reading level 1 book is filled with all kinds of creepy-crawly things and lots of fascinating facts about them.
Creepy Crawlies, by Sarah Khan. One of the titles in the lift the flap series. This beautifully illustrated book will engage the youngest of readers with each page filled with different bugs, flaps and all sorts of interesting facts.
Butterflies, by Kate Davies. A non-fiction, first read all about the thousands of different butterflies there are from all over the world.
Middle Row: The Butterfly, by Anna Milbourne. One of the titles in the beautiful picture book series, this book takes you into the garden where hungry caterpillars are busy crunching and munching. Follow along with these amazing bugs as they transform into beautiful butterflies.
Honey: A Gift from Nature, by Yumiko Fujiwara. Kane Miller publishing brings you this delightful read from Japan. Learn all about how honey is made, how bee keepers care for their bees and collect the honey, how different flowers change the flavor and color of the honey and more.
In Front of the Ant, by Ryuichi Kuwahara. Come along as you journey at an ants eye level perspective from the Kane Miller collection.
Bottom Row: I'm a Pill Bug, by Yukihisa Tokudal. Is a wonderful picture book from Japan and Kane Miller. This story is told in the first person from the pill bug's point of view accompanied by simple lovely torn-paper collages.
Backyard Look and Say, by Jo Litchfield and Matt Durber. We do most of our bug spoting and watching out in the yard. This brightly illustrated board book takes you on a backyard adventure to spot and name all types of animals, bugs and objects from around the yard.
Box of Bugs, by Peter Scott. Well now you've read and learned about them, time for some more hands on fun with this puzzle box of bugs. It includes six bug-shaped four-piece jigsaw puzzles.
Check back soon for my ages 6 & up picks
Due to number of selections covered, I opted not to include other titles available in the various series. Series usually have several different topics and books in them. Also several listed titles are internet referenced for additional information and resouces. As always if you would like to order any of these books or have any questions regarding Usborne books and Kane Miller please contact me.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I Saw an Ant on The Railroad Track by Joshua Prince and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan is filled with 'ack' rhyming words about a black ant on a railroad track out searching for a snack. But it's not that simple as the story is filled with excitement and drama, oh yes drama! There's an oncoming train is headed for that hungry ant. Switchman Jack out enjoying his afternoon snack leaps into action to switch that train, but can he switch it in time? Oh, the cliffhanger!!! Caricature like, bright, bold, humorous illustrations accompany the rhyming text.
Makes for a great summer read as we have been busy here spying on hungry ants here in search of their next snack. Other books by Prince include I Saw an Ant in a Parking Lot.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The winner is comment #20 from a random numer generator. Comment 20 is:
Christy @ Skinned Knees
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-07-23 21:39:08
Didn't win? There's still a chance you could win your own copy of the Hands-On Bible. Tyndale Publishing is also hosting a giveaway on their website to celebrate the launch of the revised Hand-On Bible, click here to learn more.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Edge of the Divine: Where Possibility Meets God's Faithfulness by Sandi Patty shares the journey of Sandi as she undergoes the life changing process of lap band surgery in an effort to get her weight and health under control. Through this process Sandi shares how she has come to understand and see clear edges throughout her life that she has had to pass over with nothing but faith in God to hold on too. The Edge from my understanding, are thresholds in life where God is asking us to pass over or leap off of as it may seem to follow his purpose for our lives. Only problem is these edges are not always easy, logical or what we had planned for our lives. But in trusting God and letting go Sandi shares the blessings and triumphs she has had in her willingness to let God lead.
The writing style is conversational and a bit meandering which at times can make it hard to follow along but if you stick with it there are many wonderful insights and a weaving of God's scripture and Bible stories with real life applications that Sandi has experienced. I love how she often thinks of various Bible versus in times of trouble or uncertainty. While the lap band surgery is the main way for Sandi to share her testimony the book is filled with other life experiences that draw from the same theme of edges in ones life. Overall I found it to be an enjoyable, uplifting read with a good message to share. What edge are you facing today? Are you willing to pass over and trust God?
I received a free copy of this copy through Thomas Nelson Publishing’s Book Sneeze book review program. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Ages Infant & up:
Usborne's series of Stoller Books, illustrated by Stella Baggott. These are perfect take along books. They are clip-able, wipe-clean vinyl books to attach to the car seat, stroller, high chair, lay n plays and more. Bright cheerful illustrations of objects and their names can be found on each page. Other titles in this series include: Beep, beep, Brrrrm, Brrrrm, Choo Choo, Baby's Very First Stroller Book Farm, Baby's Very First Stroller Book Rainy Day, Baby's Very First Stroller Book Seaside and Tweet Tweet.
Usborne Bath Books - That’s right bath books for summer reads. Who says bath books are just for the bath try tossing these soft vinyl bath books with attached squeaky toy on a string in the kiddie pool or as we do here a giant tub filled with water and toys. I love integrating books in all sorts of play. Current titles in this series: Flip, Flap, Flop Bath Book, Glug, Glug, Glug Bath Book, Quack, Quack, Quack Bath Book and Jolly Pirate Bath Book.
Usborne Look Through Board Books- By A. Milbourne and R. Wells. Babies will love peeking through the cut outs found on each page in these brightly illustrated simple read board books. Titles included in this series: Panda in the Park, Mouse on the Moon and Bunny on the Beach.
Baby and Toddler Treasury, by Susanna Davidson. This book includes a treasury of rhymes, stories and activities to share with baby. It also has a baby scrapbook section for you to record special events in.
Stay tuned for my Preschool picks!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Do you know anyone that is a little bit bossy? You know 'Mine!', 'Gimme!' I want it NOW!'. Well they might enjoy meeting Bossy Bear. Just Like Bossy Bear by David Horvath is the follow up book to Bossy Bear. Imaginative, bold color, simple line drawings accompany this simple read about Bossy Bear and his friend turtle. (You should know by now how much I enjoy a good simple children's book read and if you're new well now you know.)
Bossy Bear is well, um, very bossy. His bff Turtle wants to be just like Bossy Bear, after all he gets whatever he wants as most bossy people or bossy blue bears do. So one day Turtle trys out being bossy. And you know what, he's actually great at being bossy too! But Bossy sees how unfun it is to have a well, um, very bossy friend. What to do? Bossy knows, he'll try setting a GOOD example of how one should act for his friend. And you know what, it works! There is also a great amount of ! to enjoy. You'll come to learn how much I love!!!!. Especially if I've ever commented on your lovely site!
A little bit more about the author is that David Horvath and his wife Sun-Min Kim are the creators of the Uglydoll toys. Any of your little ones have an Uglydoll friend, how cute are they, I mean, um, ugly? Other books by Horvath include: Bossy Bear, Ugly Guide books series, How to Draw Uglydoll: Ugly Drawings in a Few Easy Steps!, Ugly Colors, 1234 U, ABC U later, Chilly Chilly Ice-Bat and coming soon Babo's Cookie Problem.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tea Collection best known for their adorable line of children's clothes has just launched their first women's line. They’ve created an unmistakably modern, wearable collection of sweaters, layering pieces, and scarves. Like their children’s clothes, the women’s designs are inspired by different cultures around the world. These pieces would make great staples to any fall wardrobe!
Nouveau Print Scarf
From: Tea Collection
Rhapsody Merino Cardigan
From: Tea Collection
From: Tea Collection
BUT that's not all. They have also recently launched their Fall Children's Collection. This collection is inspired by the rich folk art traditions of Hungary. Be sure to check out both of these collections!
Back to School 6-piece Set
Janos 6-Piece Set
Hungarian Floral Dress
From: Tea Collection
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Come On, Rain! By Karen Hesse and illustrated by Jon J Muth.
We recently checked this book out at our local library and it could not have been more fitting for how we were feeling. This makes a great summer read. It's beautifully written and just flows which makes for a great read aloud. The text and pictures captures the look and feel of the heat of summer in the city. We've lived in the city and know this city heat.
A little girl and her Mama are at home on a hot summer day. Mamma is tending her small patch of sagging tomatoe plants. The little girl is looking for a way to cool down in the heat when she spies clouds rolling in from the distance. She quickly goes to spread the word to her friends that rain is coming! They meet outside on the city sidewalks bathing suits on and the rain does come, even the girl's Mamas can't resist the cool rain and join their daughters in the fun. Hesse's text captures this special glimpse of pure joy perfectly.
Don't you remember playing in the rain in your suits when you were little? Next rain I'm getting my two out in it provided that it's not a thunderstorm of course. The elegant text is accompanied by beautiful water color illustrations. In fact these drawings won the gold medal in excellence in illustrations from the society of illustrations. It's very clear why.
Even more fun we were able to get a copy with the story on CD, I recomend you check and see if your library also has a copy on CD or that you can pick up for your collection.
Go on enjoy the next rain!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The revised Hands-On Bible, NLT takes young readers on an adventure through the Bible with games, activities, recipes, interesting fun facts and more. These hands-on activities help engage kids in learning about the Bible and in doing so helps them understand and remember more. Each book of the Bible begins similar to a study Bible with a section about the book. Much like a study Bible it shares what the book is about, highlights what you will be reading about like key Bible stories of that book and a timeline of events including additional historical events. But the information is geared to a younger audience and reading level. The hands-on activities pop up throughout the text as you read through the Bible relating to the various passages your child is reading. It really makes a great family Bible to read through with your child.
I am impressed by the quality, quantity and creativity of the activities in this book. When reading about hospitality there is a recipe for your children to serve as they host their friends, so they can practice what it means to be hospitable or in Genesis for the creation story a suggested activity is to make your own modeling clay (recipe included) and then come up with your own 'creation' of an animal, plant or rock. I love practicable applications for learning. This is our first Bible for the kids that is not a picture Bible. I like that it’s an actual copy of the Bible just packed with lots of engaging and educational extras to keep young kids' attention and enhance their understanding of the Bible.
I received a free copy of this copy from Tyndale Publishing's review program. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I don't know why, but I am so nervous about this or maybe excitment jitters would be a better term. I'm hosting my first little giveaway! I have One Gift Certificate good for one copy of the Hands-On Bible NLT version from Tyndale publishing. It's redeemable through your local Christian bookstore or via mail from Tyndale publishing. Certificate does not cover taxes where applicable. I will be posting a review of this new edition copy shortly but wanted to get this giveaway started. I'm very excited to be able to offer my first giveaway! Did I mention this is my first giveaway??? You can enter to win through next Friday July 23rd, 5:00 PM eastern standard time.
1. Simply leave a comment
2. For second entry follow my blog and leave a comment that you are now a follower or that you are a follower.
This giveaway is open to anyone in the United States. I will either utilize random number generator or the good old draw a name from a hat method of selection. Be sure to leave a way to contact you. If your contact info is not easily attainable I will draw a new winner. Drawing will be held during the week of July 26th.
***Certificate expires October 15th 2010, so if you win be sure to get your copy before then.***
In other news Tyndale Publishing is also hosting a giveaway on their website to celebrate the launch of the revised Hand-On Bible, click here to learn more.
On the planet of Quirk there is a machine that does well everything. From brushing your teeth for you to cooking your dinner this machine does it all. The machine makes life so easy that most don't even bother to get out of bed each day but that all changes when the machine breaks down. The Quirkians call for the repair man but its going to be a lengthy repair. They are forced to do things for themselves like mow, cook and kids even have to color their own coloring books! But they learn that they actually enjoy doing things for themselves. It’s brightly illustrated with full page pictures of quirky characters that live on a quirky planet. There's flash back pictures done in browns and blue tones and vivid color for present time. It’s great for discussing with your kids why we should do things for ourselves and the joy that you can find in it.
I'm going to be rolling up my sleeves here. I'm looking forward to tackling bread making (I've so tried before but I'm going to learn) and even try my hand at home made cleaning solutions. Who knows I may even enjoy doing it and like my home made better than the store bought kind. I hope you add something new to your DIY repertoire too! And don't forget to check out The Everything Machine with your little ones and then try to make something new together!
I even have a link to a making your own gum post and a giveaway from Elizabeth @ http://twelvecraftstillchristmas.blogspot.com/2010/07/giveaway-blast-from-recent-past.html, click here for just the gum making tutorial. How fun is that, might be the perfect project to try with the kids.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
image from Photobucket-
'The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands...' Deuteronomy 28:12
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Top 5 picks for summer reading.
Okay this one is so hard to answer, there's just too many to pick from. If you've visited my blog before or had a chance to look around you will see that I often highlight children's picture books. I'm adding a new summer read here and there as I go along the way. I'd love to highlight 5 fun summer reads here but are not necessarily my 'top 5' just 5 we definitely enjoy and would make our summer reading list-
- Mama is it Summer Yet? By Nikki McClure
-It's Summer! By Linda Glaser
- Wave, By Suzy Lee
- Rita and Whatsit at the Beach, By Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod, Illustrated by Olivier Tallec
-In the Pond, By Anna Milbourne (It's an Usborne book, call me:-))
What genre of literature makes you want to pick up a book and read?
I love fiction, juvenile fiction/chapter books, Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction
What are your favorite magazines?
We currently get Parents, Architectural Record and when we bought some furniture for our house we got Architectural Digest to enjoy for a year. When our Parents subscription runs out (in 20 years) I'm hoping to switch to either Family Circle or Family Fun.
The kid’s magazines include: High Five, National Geographics for Kids and Clubhouse Jr.
If you had to be stuck on a desert island with any fictional character, who would you pick?
Phineas and Ferb, they can build just about anything you could ever need.
How do make time to escape into a good book?
I love reading in bed at night or outside once I get the kids started in an activity. I love cool breezy days and a good book! Used to love reading at Coffee shops, sigh....
What's your favorite place to get books?
The library!!! It's they only way I can support my addiction-
What's next on your "to-read" list?
I'm actually in a current read right now and would rather share that. I'm reading Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens by Barbara Pleasant.
We live in a fairly new development with horrible soil so we planted a small 4x4 garden last year with pretty good results and two raised 6x8 gardens this year with mixed results. We're trying some tricky crops, plus the HEAT plus the soil, so it has not gone as well but okay. We hope to add a third raised bed next summer and I also want to switch to all organic gardening, try even more tricky crops and do seasonal planting so I grabbed Pleasant's book and have been enjoying it so far.
I went with a 'bubbles of fun under the sea' theme for the design and created it in Photoshop.
For games I came up with 4 versions of more traditional type games, again in Photoshop. Here they are-
We have some amazingly smart, great with word games party guests that were in attendance so I wanted to make sure there was variety and enough challenge in each game.
First game was 'Blurbs for Baby' where guests were ask to write down advice or encouragement for the new Mommy to be using given ocean/nautical words. Its the one in the top left. I got the idea from plan-the-perfect-baby-shower.com, where they had a version of candy names for the terms for a Sugar and Spice or Candy Girl shower. Can also be played in teams which makes it great for mingling!
Second Game top right was a good old fashioned word scrabble but using only bath time words.
Third Game bottom left was called 'Under the Sea Reads'. The guest of honor and I are actually both obsessed with children's literature (go figure we get along so well) so I created this game where I gave a portion of a classic book or children's book title about water, the beach or the ocean and guests had to provide the missing word.
Fourth game bottom right was called "Water Babies" another good traditional party game of matching the mommy animal name with the baby animal name using only water animals in my version to tie into our theme.
Here's a few other images from the shower.
I got her the adorable Dr. Suess If I Ran the Circus Whale they had at Kohls for the Kohls cares program and set it out for decoration. The game prizes were those adorable whale buckets with potted plant. Again used for decoration. I love when items can do double duty! Well it was a lovely event, I hope you enjoyed me sharing some glimpses of it with you.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I recently threw a baby shower with some friends. I'm planning to post about the shower later this week but I thought I'd start off with one of my favorite baby shower gifts to give.
This next book is one of my most read, well worn books. Its called Praying Scriptures for your Children, by Jodie Berndt. I myself have been blessed with a praying Mom. I know how important prayer is and how much impact it can have. When I was expecting my first I learned of this book from a friend and rushed out to get it. I was nervous about being a Mom and did not fancy myself the kind of prayer warrior my Mom is. I could not have been happier with this book. Berndt helps arm you with the power of praying scripture for your children. She shares personal stories of the impact of praying scripture has had in her life. She includes numerous scripture references that you too can pray for your children. It helped me as a young Mom to get into the regular pattern of praying scripture for my children and provided insight into parenting that relys on God's answers to those prayers.
For those of you familiar with this book, I hope this is a good reminder of the importance of praying scripture for those in your lives.
Magic Beans 31 Days of Giveaways!
Friday, July 9, 2010
That's right every day in July Magic Beans is hosting a giveaway and they're giving away $10,000 of their favorite products. I mentioned this giveaway in my first Magic Beans post a few days ago but I wanted to make sure you heard about it incase you missed that post. Today's giveaway is a Baby Bjorn prize package worth over $600. These are really great giveaways. I know I love a good giveaway, so be sure to check it out for your chance to win! New prizes everyday-
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I grew up reading them and now get to enjoy sharing them with my two. We've been fortunate to have been given several copies plus get to read old copies while visiting the Grandparents. They make a GREAT gift and I for one hope they publish Little Golden Books for along time.
Now, of course I have not read all the Golden Books that there are to read, but I have read dozens of them. So my top five are:
1. The Little Red Hen, by Diane Muldrow and J.P. Miller
2. The Pokey Little Puppy, by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren
3. The Shy Little Kitten by Cathleen Schurr and Gustaf Tenggren
4. The Three Little Pigs by Golden Books (its the Disney version, I grew up listening to the songs in this book on a Disney record we had, I love to sing them to my two.)
5. The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown
What are your favorite Golden Books?
I am really looking forward to seeing what other titles we should check out!
Magic Beans 31 Days of Giveaways!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
There are sweet illustrations of a mommy squirrel and her little one as they go about their day being thankful for the many blessings the Lord has provided. This is a great read for giving thanks and being prayerful throughout the day. There are so many things each day that we can thank God for and this book focuses on just that, the small blessings of our days. Which are really the best blessings. I love this for a summer read, as it is clearly a wonderful summer day that they are sharing and a Thanksgiving Holiday read. Plus you and your kids can have fun finding a mommy and baby snail on each page. Very cute!
I'd like to also share the scripture verses used in the book:
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. Psalms 30:12
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Monday, July 5, 2010
Thank you to Underneath His Wrapping and Dropped Stitches for sharing the Cherry on Top Award with me! I too enjoy your posts and think your sites have a 'little bit extra'. The award requires to tell three things I love about myself, I love that I am God's child, I love that I am blessed with my family and I love that I'm a creative girl. Now its my turn to pass the award along. I also wanted to note for my recipients that it's not required to do a write up and include buttons for your selected blogs, a simple mention with a link will do. I just thought it would be a fun thing to do.
First up is Elizabeth, who is crafting her way to Christmas and taking us all along for the ride @ Twelve Crafts Till Christmas. Some of my favorites include her latest pillow buddy and the felt fruit project just to highlight a few. Be sure to check her blog out!
Next up, I'm happy to highlight Joni @ Six Cherries on Top. She writes about being a stay at home mom, home life, raising six kids and much more! Be sure to check out all their adventures. Plus she is an amazing photographer; I LOVE all the images she captures.
Last I would love to highlight Melanie @ Going Green with Noah. She shares their process of becoming a green family to live healthier lives and helps her readers do the same with helpful tips, tutorials, recipes, product reviews and more! I love her current series on homemade baby food. Be sure to check her blog out too.