Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Label Daddy Allergy Labels Review


With seven kids I feel as though it was bound to happen but a few of my kiddos suffer from allergies.  C has extreme seasonal allergies.  He actually has been getting allergy shots for the last few years and it has made such a huge difference.  A few years ago we found out that E is highly allergic to fire ants.  And then earlier this year, E had a case of serum sickness in which we found out that she is allergic to Amoxicillin - yuck.  You would think it doesn't come up much with her being homeschooled but with her activities, our homeschool co-op and even church it is great to have a way for people to know that E has allergies, even if they are not food related.  I recently ordered E allergy labels from Label Daddy and I'm so glad I did.  Our label pack came with 27 round allergy labels measuring 2.06".  The peel and stick labels make it so easy to alert kids, teachers, friends, other parents, you name it to any allergies your child might have.  They work on bags, lunch boxes, food containers, and more!  E carries and Epi-pen so it was great to apply one of these labels to her bag, easy peasy indeed.  I also rest easier knowing that my cell phone number is right there in case someone should need it.

Here is an example label from the Label Daddy website.

Our Labels (I scratched out my phone number for obvious reasons)

You can see that the outside circle alerts everyone to the fact that there is an allergy.  You can customize the name, allergies and phone number.  E's favorite color is red so of course she loved them right away.  I also love that the peel-and-stick labels are scratch-resistant and waterproof - so you don't have to label things over and over and over again - woohoo!  These labels are durable and exactly what I was looking for.  Label Daddy sells allergy labels, clothing labels, shoe labels, school labels and even Holiday labels and tags.  


Check them out and let me know what you think.  Use code USFAMILY25 at checkout to save 25% on your entire order!

Disclosure: Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide and Label Daddy for allowing me to participate in this campaign.  I received my own Label Daddy customized labels for review.  All opinions are my own.

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review


I want to tell you about a new movie that releases in theaters on October 13th, Goodbye Christopher Robin.  If you are familiar with Winnie-the-Pooh (and who isn't?) you will recognize the name immediately.  This film will take you to post-war England and into the lives of the Milne family.  A.A. Milne, an author and war veteran of The Great War suffering from PTSD becomes inspired by his son to create the characters that we all know and adore today.

Goodbye Christopher Robin gives and interesting account of the genesis of Winnie-the-Pooh along with the rise in popularity of A.A. Milne's classic children's books featuring the beloved bear.  The script brings some insight into the lives of the author, called Blue, and his own son, named Christopher Robin but called Billy, as well as the author's wife, Daphne, and the boy's live-in nanny, Nou.  Costumes, setting, acting, and camera art are all very good.  In particular, the performance by the young Christopher Robin is outstanding.  It appears the script is within reasonable accuracy to actual history (I looked it up in Wikipedia as soon as the film ended because I was so surprised with the content.)

I wish the film had better audience engagement.  Of the four main characters: Billy, Blue, Nou and Daphne, each has serious struggles as well as opportunities over the course of the movie.  We see moments to celebrate in their relationships, and tragic relational blunders.  Unfortunately, the audience always seems to be held at arm's length from the characters, their failures and victories, and their coping and their compromises.  In rare scenes we get a glimpse of the depth of a character but mostly viewers are uninvolved observers throughout the film.  Some credit should be given to the concept of illustrating a distant family dynamic always held at arm's length by treating the audience to the same fate, but ultimately the balance tips heavily against this positive possibility.  So many deep issues are presented here with shallow acknowledgement, allowing the audience to react with simply a casual feeling of, "oh, what a shame..." rather than carrying the viewer into the depth of this experience.  Even though this film falls short in some regards, the movie is beautifully made, well polished, and tells an interesting story.  It is also refreshingly free of filth, obscenity, and foul language so common in Hollywood today.  I am glad I saw the film but it is not a film I would watch again.  I will certainly continue to read Winnie-the-Pooh to my children and I expect they will read the stories to their children as well.

Check out the official movie trailer for Goodbye Christopher Robin below and let me know what you think.



Disclosure:  I received an advanced screening of this film in exchange for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

E's 6th Birthday Tea Party

E and I at her party.

Miss E turned 6 last week and we had her birthday par"tea" yesterday - yes, it was a tea party theme!  It was so much fun.  We set up tables outside and had all the kids sit down for snacks and drinks - a true tea party.  Then we served cupcakes and ice cream.  We had crafts and color sheets but the kids had so much fun sitting down together and hanging out that I ended up sending the crafts home as party favors.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

 The Grands with Baby G, Grandpa wore his Mad Hatter hat!

And Grandma wore one of the party hats.

A and B helped me make tea party hats using plastic plates, bowls, ribbons, fake flowers and hot glue.  Honestly, A made most of them.  She did a great job.  We had pastel blue and purple hats for guests to choose from.

Here's the birthday girl in her party hat!

One of the party tables

With friends

And another table

David made cupcakes

Birthday girls plate - 6 cupcakes with a large cupcake in the center with 6 roses

 E with her cupcakes

We had a bean bag party game set up next to the tables.

 
I printed out some pictures of teapots and cups and used those as part of our decorations.

 We purchases bubble wands and added tea charms to fit the theme.

 
We also had themed lollipops, they were very cute.

 D at the party with a friend.

 The two E's, they have the same name!

 Mister F excited to see E open her presents.

 D with Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob.  Notice Aunt Jane's party hat!

 Thanks so much to all our friends and family who were able to make it to the party and celebrate with us.  E is such a joy.  She is such a sweet and sensitive soul and we love her dearly.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jeremy Camp The Answer Review & Giveaway


I have a great CD to tell you about by Jeremy Camp, The Answer which releases tomorrow on October 6th.  This CD is such a great reminder that despite the constant chaos in our own lives and around the world Jesus is always with us and He holds the answer!  This album includes 11 songs:  "The Answer", "My Defender", "Word of Life", "Storm", "My Father's Arms", "Never Stopped Loving", "Tell the Whole World", "Heaven's Shore", "Carriers", "Love So Great" and "Awake O Sleeper".  I love Jeremy's voice, his heart and his passion for the Lord.  His music is uplifting, inspirational and will lead you to Christ.  If you are a fan of Christian music I highly recommend Jeremy Camp, you will not be disappointed.

Check out the lyrics to the title song "The Answer"

So many questions, the world is reaching
So many hurting, so many lost
With all this thriving, who can we lean on?
Creations crying, out from the dark
I know the answer, to every question
The one solution, to every fear
I know my helper, where it comes from
Jesus, He is the answer
He sees our sadness, He feels our sorrow
And in our weakness, He is strong
He holds the weight of, all of our failings
Greedy is our sin but greater the cross
I know the answer, to every question
The one solution, to every fear
I know my helper, where it comes from
Jesus, He is the answer
For every heart that's breaking
For every soul that's shaking
For every sickness, there's healing in Your hands
Let every

Pretty awesome, right?

Check out "The Answer" music video below which highlights real stories.


You might also enjoy this video of the official song story for "Word of Life".


Want to buy this CD?  Just head here.  Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of Jeremy Camp's The Answer!  Just enter below and good luck.  Giveaway open to Continental U.S. residents only, read giveaway rules below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this CD for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Check out Barton Hill Farms this Fall


I'm super excited to do this with our family.  If you live in or around Austin you will want to check out the 2017 Fall Festival & Corn Maze at Barton Hill Farms this Fall.  Get lost in their 5-acre corn maze, pick your favorite pumpkin, feed the farm animals, and enjoy more than 30 exciting family activities while you listen to live Texas country & bluegrass music!

Barton Hill Farms is a scenic Texas farmstead on the banks of the Colorado River near Bastrop, just 25 minutes from Austin. Open Saturdays & Sundays from September 23rd to November 5th.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Disclosure: Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide and Barton Hill Farms for allowing me to participate in this campaign. I will receive tickets for my family to enjoy Barton Hill Farms for review.  Stay tuned for more info and pictures!  All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway


I have a fun book to share with you, The Action Storybook Bible!  My kids love this book.  I know that it is specifically marketed for families with children ages 8 and under but it can work for a broader age range.  My older kids thoroughly enjoy The Action Bible (we have used it as our small group kids curriculum for the last year or so) already and this is a great addition for my younger kids to enjoy as well.  I really like the graphics and designs, the comic book feel is extremely appealing to children and it can provide a fun take on the Bible.  The reading is true and simple which I also think appeals to younger readers.  I really enjoy the extra contents that is included like the Heroes Hall of Fame index and The Life, Faith and Action! feature that helps you see how God is moving in each story.  I would highly recommend this book and its counterparts!

 The page above is an example of the story of creation.

An example of the Life, Faith, Action! pages that wrap up the episodes

You can check out the full Action Storybook Bible blog tour here!  Read more about this book, its authors, and enter a fun giveaway below.

More about the book:




The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God's redemptive story together.
From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus's gift of eternal life for you and your family-God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God's Word reflected in your life?
This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story, packed with dozens of scenes-combining stories from God's Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family's place in God's redemptive story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:
-Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
-Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God's redemptive story!
-The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
-Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!
About the authors:



Catherine has written more than twenty-five books for children, including the bestselling "Adventure Bible Storybook." As publisher of children's resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible® collection, which has sold more than a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest.  Brazilian-born Sergio Cariello has been an accomplished artist since childhood, drawing a regular comic strip for his city's newspaper at age 11. He spent many childhood hours poring over "The Picture Bible" (Portuguese edition), never dreaming he would illustrate an updated edition ("The Action Bible") decades later. Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC comics and has illustrated Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic-Four, and dozens more comic book characters.
Find out more about Catherine and at http://www.theactionbible.com.
And don't forget about the fun giveaway!
Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook!  Explore God's redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story.  Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.

Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God's beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.


Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Litfuse for choosing me to be a part of this tour and sending me a copy of The Action Storybook Bible.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pray for Texas


Texas could sure use your prayers right now.  Hurricane Harvey has brought so much rain our way that many, many people need help.  I feel so fortunate that my family is safe but so many right now are not even in a place of safety.  Pray for those that need immediate help first, for those first responders risking their own lives to help others, and then pray for the huge clean up that awaits.  Harvey's wrath is not over.  I have lived in Texas all my life.  I have family in Galveston, Houston and in between and it is heartbreaking to see so many people in need.  Here are some article links with ways you can help!

Texas Monthly Ways to Help

Forbes Helping Out After Harvey

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back to School with Boogie Boards


As I homeschool all of my children at the moment, I have been in the thick of planning this year's school curriculum.  I have also been purchasing school supplies and manipulatives that I plan on incorporating into our school year.  This leads me to share my love of Boogie Boards with you!  Boogie Boards come in all different sizes and they work perfectly for a multitude of ages and subject levels.

  
Our Preschool Boogie Boards, Play n' Trace

Last year I had the privilege of planning the preschool program for our weekly homeschool co-op.  I created a blend of Before Five In a Row curriculum mixed with crafts and play time.  Boogie Boards were integral to our preschool class, specifically the Play n' Trace Boogie Board!  We used them to practice drawing, learn letters and names, and just for plain fun.

If you are not familiar with Boogie Boards let me fill you in on what they are.  Boogie Boards are eWriters that eliminate the need for paper, scratch pads and sticky notes.  You simply write and erase with the touch of a button.  The durable, ultra-lightweight LCD writing screen is built to feel just like writing with pen and paper.  Just think of all the paper clutter that is eliminated!  Now the Play n' Trace translucent writing surface is designed into an artist's pallet for a reason!  It's comfortable for all sizes of hands and the design allows kids to write, trace and draw anywhere, anything - over and over.  And as many of us know, when kids write, they learn.  What an addition to a school curriculum!


Tracing ears

When we studied the five senses and hearing we used our Play n' Trace Boogie Boards to trace ears.

Drawing an ear

First, we practiced tracing the ears.

Then we practiced drawing the ears on our boards without tracing.

E's ear

The kids enjoyed tracing their hands when we discussed the sense of touch as well.

The Play n' Trace Boogie Boards are great for so many things.  We used them throughout the year to trace and draw and to learn and trace our letters and numbers.

Here we are drawing carrots after reading The Carrot Seed.

Drawing Carrots

E's carrot

Practicing letters

Writing C's and drawing cats

Writing C's

They did such a great job.

Showing off his cat!

As you can see the Play n' Trace Boogie Boards are amazing tools to have within your school curriculum.  I love that they can be incorporated into a multitude of lessons and topics and a wide age range as well.  They are extremely portable and great for on the go learning as well.  Stay tuned for additional posts and uses with our Play n' Trace Boogie Boards.  And you can purchase one here!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Love You to the Moon and Back Baby Shower

Baby Shower Table

I helped host a baby shower over the weekend for a good friend on mine and it was so much fun!  Our theme was I Love You to the Moon and Back.  I found some super cute plates at Party City and that led to a fun filled afternoon with ladies I adore and celebrating a precious baby boy I cannot wait to meet.

Here you can see the plates

The cake - yes, it's chocolate!

The beautiful Mom to be and baby soon to be born...

Lovely Ladies

 I found a few great printables on-line and framed them for table decorations.  The one above can be found here.

Aren't these candy stickers the cutest?

I put them on both milk chocolate and dark chocolate kisses.

And we spread the themed kisses on all the tables.  You can find the printable above here.

 My friend made a fun star diaper cake - makes a great gift and decoration.

I picked up this book and had everyone who made it to the shower write a note for the baby in the back of the book.

 Friends

If you need a cute idea for a baby shower I hope you consider this one - it was so much fun!