Well, I received the cutest board book recently, and because I'm such a sucker for these, I have to tell you all about it. As I read A Very Merry Christmas Prayer, my heart felt a little happy. South Africa is my home, but one thing I've had a hard time getting used to is Christmas when it's blazing hot outside. Seeing the beautiful images in this book of woodland creatures decorating a Christmas tree, making a gingerbread house (ours ALWAYS melts here in the Southern Hemisphere), and playing in the snow just all felt so very familiar.
Aside from my nostalgic moment, this book is absolutely beautiful. The prayer of gratitude echoes throughout the book and combined with the colorful images, it's a lovely addition to your Christmas stack of books. Lucky for you, I have one to give away!
I have one copy of A Very Merry Christmas Prayer to give away courtesy of Tommy Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends November 30th at 11:59 PM CST. Enter through Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a free copy of A Very Merry Christmas Prayer from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Jesus used parables to teach us important truths. Why? Because parables tell stories, and stories reach the heart deeper than rules and laws do. Stories draw you in better than anything else can.
Liz Curtis Higgs does an excellent job of writing stories about kids for kids. We've enjoyed a couple of her books over the years, The Parable of the Lily and The Pine Tree Parable. I'm so excited that Parable Treasury is now available and has combined the above two parables as well two more, all in one book!
It's a beautiful combination of stories through the seasons from lilies to sunflowers to pumpkins to pine trees! Check out the flipbook to see the colorful illustrations and the stories that will catch your kid's attention and then teach them an important lesson.
I have one copy of Parable Treasury up for giveaway courtesy of Tommy Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends November 27th at 11:59 PM CST. Enter through Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Parable Treasury from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
I love trying foods from all over the world. Recently, I asked my very great friend, Patricia, to teach me how to make passion fruit mousse, a delicious, light dessert from Brazil. SO good! Head over to Petit Elefant to pin the recipe and try it for yourself!
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Talking about the subject of adoption with children can be a difficult topic of conversation. I love that Tommy Nelson has some great children's books that emphasize, no matter how you entered a family...biologically or through adoption...you are loved and wanted.
I Prayed For You is a beautiful story of how Mama Bear emphasizes her love for Baby Bear and prays for him through every stage of life. It's a great board book for all young children. I highly recommend it! Check out the flipbook to see the cute illustrations and beautiful prayers!
I have one copy of I Prayed For You to give away courtesy of Tommy Nelson. Giveaway is for U.S. addresses only and ends at 11:59 PM on November 17th. Enter through Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a free copy of I Prayed For You from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Emma G's birthday fell right during school holiday this year. Several of her friends weren't going to be in town, so I suggested we wait to do a party until after school convened. Well, it took us a month, but last weekend we had the best horse party ever! Ever since taking horse riding lessons last year through her school, she has loved horses. She wanted one for her birthday, but that didn't happen. A dog is enough for me. When given the option of inviting several friends for a big party or a few friends for a horse ride, she chose the horse riding. She went for an experience, and I love that.
I decided to go along on the horse ride. When I commented that I hadn't ridden a horse in 25 years, our single staff that work with us at Ten Thousand Homes gently said, "We're not even 25 years old yet." Thanks, guys. You just reminded me that I'm not in my 20's anymore. I still think I am.
We rode through the forest and along a cliff edge. The views were stunning. I felt like we were filming a scene from The Man From Snowy River. It was breathtaking. I must have gotten an old, lazy horse, because I'm the only one that got a whip to nudge Baobab along. He made it through the one hour ride, and so did I.
We enjoyed a picnic and then ventured over to the sketchy zipline for a little fun. This thing would have been illegal in the states. I still can't believe we zipped on it. Even Emma G went for a gander down the line. That's parenting at its finest...letting your kid ride the unsafe zipline. It was another experience to add to the mix.
What a fun day it was celebrating our sweet 11 year old!
Did you know that November is National Adoption Awareness Month? My views on adoption have grown and changed a bit over the years as we've worked in South Africa, but the one truth that I hold onto is this. Adoption is a beautiful God ordained act that must always stem from the love of Jesus. When we have that, then it doesn't become about us but what's best for the child. Join me over at Faith Gateway as I share more about my thoughts on adoption and please join the conversation with your own thoughts!
Do you have places that, someday, you want to go to? Perhaps in the midst of life, parenting, and working, you just don't have the time to sit down and think about it. I recently took some time to actually write down my travel bucket list. I'm glad I just added pages to my passport. I have places to fill them with! Check out the seven places that I hope to visit someday soon over at Petit Elefant! Would love to hear your top places on your bucket list, too!
“Can we get a dog?” “No!”
This conversation replayed over and over like a broken record until one day I said, “Yes.” I don’t know who was more shocked at the change in answer…me, my husband, or my kids. It wasn’t a spur of the moment change. It was a simple thought process that brought me to that moment, and it went something like this.
First, let me give a little bit of history. I grew up with animals galore in my home…birds, cats, dogs, you name it. My neat freak, keep-everything-tidy-and-clean self did not cope well with this. My room was my sanctuary and the only place I could control. I cleaned it often.
When the question was raised on adding a pet to our family, my mind went back to those childhood days raising my OCD meter to a resounding high. However, each question chipped away at my pet issues until finally one day I thought, “I’d hate for my kids to go through their childhood and never have the opportunity to have a pet.”
So the answer turned from “No” to “Yes” just like that.
Then I started realizing that not only was it fun for my kids to have a furry friend but that there was actually some good things that could be learned as a result. That’s right. There are benefits to owning a pet!
1. It creates a sense of companionship. Our dog LOVES my kids. She mopes when they go to school and greets them at the door with a wagging tail when they return. The mutual love is a beautiful thing to witness.
2. It teaches kids to pick up their stuff! Every dog goes through a chewing stage. While it’s annoying, it’s also a great way for your kids to learn to pick up their things. Win, win for Mom!
3. Owning a pet teaches responsibility. The one condition I told my kids when we got our lab mix, Snowy, was that they had to be the ones to take care of her. Making sure she has food and water, bathing her, and picking up doggy doo in the backyard are all their responsibilities. They quickly discovered taking care of a dog is hard work, but the benefits of having her have outweighed the responsibility that comes with pet ownership.
4. It creates more opportunities for exercise. Our dog LOVES to run, so a quick jaunt outside is a perfect way to pass the time and exercise those legs, furry or otherwise.
5. Owning a pet inspires creative play! My kids have taught our dog lots of fun tricks, but the silliest thing that they have done is organize a birthday party for her. It was ridiculous, but it helped them think through how to plan a party, organize fun games, and decorate.
Genesis 1:24, 25 says, “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
God created animals and saw that it was good. Pets are good, but you have to know when is the right time to add them to your family. It’s ironic, because I was so reluctant to say yes to a pet, but now I can’t imagine not having Snowy in our family.
Have you ever read Henry Hodges Needs A Friend? It’s a delightful tale of a young boy who was feeling rather lonely but all that got turned around when he picked out a dog at the pet shelter. It's a beautiful story for young readers.
Do you have a pet? If so, has it made a positive impact on your family?
I'm sharing my thoughts over at Petit Elefant on three easy things to do to help raise your kids to be world travelers, including the funny story of where my son wanted to go on his big trip when he turned thirteen. The world is his oyster!