Monday, November 24, 2014

Family Christian Black Friday Promotion

Thanksgiving Doorbusters (Black Friday Sale)
Are you doing some Black Friday shopping this year?  I wanted to give you the scoop on the Family Christian Black Friday promotions.

Please don't forget that Family Christian is partnering with Destiny Rescue this year.  Destiny Rescue is a grassroots, internationally recognized, Christian based, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.  Family Christian hopes to raise the funds to fully fund Destiny Rescue in the Dominican Republic for a year.  All their profits from November 22-30 will go to this cause.  So know when you shop Black Friday with Family Christian you are also helping to fight human trafficking.  You can read more about the #FCchallenge here.

 The kids and I at Duck Commander.  We made a stop on our way to Myrtle Beach.

Do you watch Duck Dynasty?  We do not have cable but David and I have enjoyed watching this show on the App.  We even made a stop to see the Duck Commander on our way to Myrtle Beach last September.  Family Christian has a deal on Duck Commander books.

50% Off Select Duck Commander Books (only these titles listed)

All What's In The Bible DVDs at $5.00:

Grab your Veggies at!  DVDs, music, books, toys, games, and more!

8 Veggie DVDS at $3.97/each


Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks so much to Family Christian for providing me with an Appreciation Certificate and a sneak peak at their Black Friday promotions.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hallmark Rudolph Storybuddy and itty bittys Plush Review & Giveaway #LoveHallmark

Hallmark and Rudolph - a winning combination!

My kids love Rudolph!  They always have.  In fact, when B was born, December 2005, A watched Rudolph over and over with anyone who would sit with her while we were in the hospital with our new baby.  Aunt Jane watched it a few times with her, Bob watched it at least once with her, and Grandma watched it several times!  We received the most awesome Hallmark Rudolph filled box including the Rudolph and Friends Pics 'n' Props Kit, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Interactive Storybuddy, and Santa and Bumble Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary itty bittys plush.

Rudolph Interactive Storybuddy

Have you seen the Hallmark Interactive Storybuddies?  They remind me a bit of my Teddy Ruxpin when I was a kid.  You hear Rudolph come to life as you read key words aloud from his book, or play his read-along CD!  First make sure to take Rudolph out of demo mode, then push the button on his left ear to turn him on.

 Changing Rudolph out of demo mode

D hearing Rudolph talk for the first time!

 Happy with her new friend.

 I love this photo of the kids reading together.  Baby F had to get into the action.

The Rudolph Storybuddy comes with a fun read-along CD.  Rudolph interacts with both the CD and your own voice.  I never had a problem with Rudolph recognizing my voice or the CD (instructions say to have Rudolph within 6 feet of the audio); however, the kids have been hit or miss.  My older kids have much better luck as their pronunciation is more spot on than my younger ones.  Some of the phrases that Rudolph interacts with appear twice during the story.  I really enjoy that Rudolph has more than one response to the interactive phrases.  There are three different responses for each prompt.  For example, when you read, "He went down in history!", Rudolph might respond with "like George Washington", "Aww shucks fellas", or "Well golly it was nothing".  Our Rudolph Storybuddy is cute, fun and festive - a great addition to our Holiday cheer.

 E loves the itty bittys.  They are the perfect size for little ones!

You may have seen Hallmark's line of itty bittys already.  The itty bittys plush are so cute.  These tiny plush versions of Rudolph and his friends from the classic Christmas special are sure to bring a smile to little faces everywhere.  My kids love to pretend play with them and they are a great size for kids of all ages.

Rudolph Pics 'n' Props Kit

You can really let the reindeer games begin with Hallmark's Rudolph and Friends Pics 'n' Props Kit.  Everything is included to capture holiday memories with these adorable 15 holiday props including Rudolph with a glittery red nose.  This kit is perfect to have a holiday photo booth and it makes it so easy and cute.  Check out some of our fun below.

 Elf B

 Clarice A

 Yukon D

There are a few awesome promotions going on right now - "Buy a Buddy, Give a Buddy" and Rudolph itty bittys $1 Donations.  Each time someone buys an Interactive Story Buddy at a Hallmark Gold Crown store, Hallmark will donate and Interactive Story Buddy to Toys for Tots.

 A close up of our Bumble itty bitty.  You can see the Toys for Tots promotion on the tag.

Hallmark will also donate $1 to Toys for Tots each time one of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary itty bittys are purchased - includes Rudolph, Clarice, Santa Claus and Bumble.  Pretty awesome right?

Rudolph Prize Pack

Ready for a giveaway?  One lucky reader will win their own Rudolph Prize Pack including Rudolph Interactive Storybuddy and a set of Santa and Bumble itty bittys!  Just enter below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Hallmark for providing me with these awesome Rudolph themed items and allowing this giveaway!  I am proud to be a Hallmark Blogger.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Noah Wordless Picture Book Review & Giveaway

I have a fun book to tell you about!  It is actually a wordless picture book about the story of Noah, Noah by Mark Ludy.  This book is hardcover, 64-pages and the pictures are absolutely stunning.

C looking through Noah.

One of C's reading/language arts assignments this week was to pick one of his favorite Bible stories.  He had to write out the story on paper and retell the story orally.  We were discussing the difference between oral presentations and papers.  Guess what story he picked?  Yes, he picked Noah's ark.  After he finished writing down the story and giving me an oral summary I showed him this book.  We talked about how Mark Ludy told the entire biblical story of Noah using only pictures.  This was so fabulous!

 The Ark plans

Sometimes two pages are used to show a larger picture like the one above, Noah making the plans for the ark.  Other times, each page is a scene or several scenes like in the photo below.

I love that Ludy stayed true to the biblical narrative and his artwork is really impressive.  The illustrations have such depth and expression that the book doesn't need words.

The girls have really enjoyed finding Squeakers the mouse on every page.  They have yet to find him on every page though - still working on it :).

Read more about this book and author below.  And be sure to enter the giveaway to win your own copy!

About Noah:
A hundred years before the Great Flood, a man named Noah came home talking crazy.  God wanted him to build the biggest ship the world had ever seen.  The future of humanity depended on it.  How would his wife respond?  What would the neighbors think?  Was it even feasible?  This lavish reimagining of one of the greatest stories of all time will fascinate children and adults alike.  Nuanced and playful, yet meticulous in following the biblical narrative, Mark Ludy's world-class art digs deeper than the Sunday school tale of cuddly animals, exploring Noah's relationship with his family, the natural world, God - and a formidable engineering challenge.  So immerse yourself in this stunning wordless epic.  Whatever your age, you'll never read this story in the same way again.

 Bonus: Find Squeakers the mouse on every page!

About the author:
Mark Ludy has written or illustrated eight children's books including The Farmer, The Flower Man, The Grump, When I was a Boy I Dreamed, When I Was a Girl I Dreamed, and Jujo the Youngest Tribesman.  When he's not immersed in his sketchbooks, you'll fin him in schools promoting art and literacy.  He lives in Colorado with his wife, daughter, and two sons.  You can find out more about Mark on his website and check out the official Noah website here as well.

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own copy of Noah.  Just enter below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for this giveaway.  Choice of winners are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.  I received my own copy of Noah in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's In The Bible Why Do We Call It Christmas? Review & Giveaway

Are you familiar with the What's In The Bible series?  Our small group is going through this as part of our kids curriculum and our kids absolutely love it!  When I was given the opportunity to review Buck Denver asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas? I jumped on this opportunity.  David and I just watched Kirk Cameron's new movie Saving Christmas and this film is similar in many ways.

Phil Vischer, Veggie Tales and What's in the Bible creator, does an impressive job communicating biblical values to children.  Throughout the What's In The Bible series, Buck Denver and gang tackle tough issues and tough questions and Phil does a fabulous job of answering these questions and giving kids great analogies along the way.  Buck Denver asks... Why Do We Call It Christmas? is no exception.  Not only does it share the Christmas story but it explains several Christmas traditions as well.

Read more about this movie below and enter to win your own copy as well.

About the Movie: 60 minutes
Cutting down trees?  Hanging stockings?  Santa Claus?  What do any of these have to do with Jesus' birthday?  More than you'd think!  Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer along with intrepid newsman Buck Denver and all his friends on an amazing journey into the world's most popular holiday!  Sure, you know the Christmas story.  But do you know the story of Christmas?  Don't miss the whimsical, educational, Christmical party to end all Christmas parties as Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Contains the following topics:
- Where do we get the word Christmas?
- When was Jesus born?
- What do Christmas trees have to do with Jesus?
- Who is St. Nicholas?
- What is Hanukkah?
- Who is Emmanuel?
- Luke 2 Story

Check out the official website here and the DVD Trailer here!

Ready for a giveaway?  One reader will win their own copy of What's In The Bible Why Do We Call It Christmas?  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!  US/Canada residents only.

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Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for this giveaway.  Choice of winners are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.  I received my own copy of What's In The Bible Why Do We Call It Christmas? in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

My Little Pony Rainbow Dash POP Starter Kit Review #ChosenByKids

Remember my post on remembering Teddy Ruxpin?  The Walmart Holiday Toyland events are going on now and next month as well.  The kids and I stopped by Walmart to see what some of the new toys are for this year that were #ChosenByKids.

 My Little Pony Pop Starter Kits

As part of the event we picked up a Hasbro My Little Pony Pop Starter Kit when we were at Walmart to review.  It was a big decision to pick just one but the girls finally settled on Rainbow Dash.  With a Starter Kit you basically build your own pony - snap, pop and style!  The kits include the pony, stickers, hair, tail and possible other accessories.  Our Rainbow Dash kit included wings as well.  These kits are interchangeable so you can mix them up with parts from other kits to create truly one of a kind creations.

 About to open Rainbow Dash.

What our kit included: pony, few hair choices, one pair of wings and stickers.

 The pony easily snaps together.

One of the girls creations.

View from the other side

The girls love their new My Little Pony addition.  They really like that they were able to make her unique.  At our store these kits ranged in price from $4.97 to $9.97 so they make for a fun and affordable gift!  The smaller sets would make a great stocking stuffer.  Go here to see the list of participating stores and event dates and check out the hottest toys near you. 

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post as part of the Walmart Holiday Toyland campaign through Sverve.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Boogie Wipes and Spin Kindness Ultimate Giveaway

Right now through December 15th, 2014 you can enter to win the Ultimate Care Package for you AND two friends (or any two people you choose)!  Use the entry form below to enter as many ways as you'd like.  One winner will be randomly selected to receive the Ultimate Care Package and will select two other people to receive an Ultimate Care Package.  Three additional winners will be selected at random to receive runner-up prizes.  Good luck!


The Ultimate Care Package from Boogie Wipes and Spin Kindness includes the following:
  • A generous supply of Boogie Wipes
  • Love and Encouragement Cards for Kids
  • A Set of “Thank You, Amen” Design Amadora luxury pillowcases
  • A “Germs Away” kit including Label-itz MySpot, Toothbrush Label, Bandette and Keepster, plus Kissaboos
  • A 4-pack of Easy Luncboxes and cooler to pack healthy meals
  • A Busy Bag with lots of activities to entertain kids while sick or waiting
  • A Kidzikoo Bottle and Sippy Insulator
  • A Joe Jacket Beverage Insulator
  • A bunch of surprises to comfort you during cold season and brighten your holidays!
Super Care Packages will be awarded to three “runner-ups”.  These care packages, valued at over $75 each, include Boogie Wipes, Love and Encouragement Cards, luxury pillowcase set, a Beverage Insulator and other surprises!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jesus Calling Bible Storybook Review & $25 Family Christian Giveaway

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young Bible Storybook

Have you heard of the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook?  I am currently reading through this Bible with the kids and we are really enjoying it.  Like most Bible storybooks for children, Sarah Young includes a short devotion with each Bible story.  However, unlike most devotionals, these are written in first person, as Jesus speaking to the reader.

Hmm.  I flipped through and read a bunch of the devotions, and so far I have to say that they all line up just fine with the Bible.  In the introduction, she explains that in her personal life her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue as she grew in her time with God.  And, she emphasizes that these writings are not inspired like Scripture but they have helped her grow and become more intimate with God.  And of course, she published Jesus Calling (which I have not read at all.)

B reading to D about Moses.

One story that I particularly like in Jesus Calling Bible Storybook is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Often times children's Bibles will water down this story or simply get it wrong.  However, Sarah Young nails it.  "Our God is able to save us from that furnace, but even if He doesn't, we will serve Him anyway," the men said.  Yes!

I have not finished this book.  However, I have read through quite a bit so far with my kids.  We are not reading it in order either; when we sit down to read it I let different kids pick different stories.  We read it and then discuss it aloud.  I do have my own classroom :).

Keep reading to see more Jesus Calling books.  Oh, and I have to tell you about the upcoming sale.  These books are ALL going to be 50% off starting November 14th.  What a great opportunity to get a great price.
And are you familiar with twitter parties?  On November 14th at 1-2 pm EST there will be a #JesusCalling twitter party.  There will be PRIZES!  Five participants will win the beautiful 10th anniversary edition of Jesus Calling and a $50 Appreciation Certificate.  Five other participants will each win a $50 Appreciation Certificate for a total of 10 prizes during the party!  I hope to see you there.

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young 365 Devotions for Kids

Jesus Calling Devotional for Kids

Jesus Calling Devotional: 10th Anniversary Edition

10th Anniversary Edition

Ready for a giveaway?  Family Christian is generously providing a $25 Certificate to their store.  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!  Open to US/CAN residents.

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Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger and Affiliate.  This post contains affiliate links.  I was provided with my own copy of Jesus Calling Bible Storybook to facilitate my review and Family Christian is sponsoring this giveaway.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Saving Christmas Review & Giveaway

Okay, I know you have heard of Kirk Cameron.  I remember Growing Pains well from my childhood.  Last week I was honored to be on a teleconference call with none other than Kirk Cameron himself.  It was awesome!  He poured out his heart, shared about his family and told us more about his upcoming movie, Saving Christmas!  Being a homeschool Mom of six children is such an amazing blessing - but it is not always easy.  I have my ups and down just like everyone else.  And last week, I was having a hard day.  My kids were doing great in school that day but I had a hard time shaking off a conversation I had the night before, where a total stranger felt the need to give me their opinion about why homeschooling may not be the best idea.  Well, I was so encouraged in this phone call; it was refreshing to hear that Kirk homeschools his own six children for many of the same reasons we choose to homeschool. 

 Kirk how I remember him on TV growing up.

Another awesome thing that happened is that I was able to pre-screen Kirk's new movie, Saving Christmas which hits theaters in just two days on November 14th for two weeks only!

The premise of the movie is simple.  At a family gathering in his own home, Kirk's brother-in-law is having a hard time celebrating Christmas.  He is struggling with being a Christian and feeling that our traditional and cultural celebrations do not honor Christ or the true meaning of Christmas.  Topics discussed include:  Who is Santa Claus and what does he have to do with Christ?  Why do we decorate and display Christmas trees in our homes?  What about materialism and presents?

I, like Kirk, love Christmas!  I too love the food, baking, decorations, music, atmosphere and spirit of giving.  And as a Christian David and I have definitely talked through our family Christmas traditions and what we want to do and what we prefer to leave out.  We were interested to see things that we both already knew and to see some things in a new way.

Please read more about the movie below and enter to win Saving Christmas swag.

About the movie:
This Christmas, have your family join with Kirk Cameron's family and dive headfirst into all the joys, dancing, celebration, feasting, imagination, and traditions that glorify the true "reason for the season."  Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas is an engaging story that provided a biblical basis for our time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season.  So take in the splendor; take in the majesty; take in the story.  Take it all in...and let's put Christ back in Christmas!

You can watch the trailer here, visit the official website here and visit the official facebook page here.

Saving Christmas Swag Prize

Ready for the swag giveaway!  One reader will win some Saving Christmas swag which includes a signed Saving Christmas movie poster, the soundtrack to the film and a car air freshener that smells like Christmas trees.  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for this giveaway.  Choice of winners are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.  I was able to pre-screen Saving Christmas in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway.  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, November 11, 2014

Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates

Have you heard of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates?  Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....Ask chocolate aficionados.  They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies.  I have not tried them but I am looking forward to receiving a box.  I know the kids will be excited.  You too can receive 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates when you Buy 1 lb.  Just use promo code: usfamily2014

They do look delicious!

Keep reading to learn more about Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Time was when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch.

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide for allowing me to participate in this campaign.  I will receive a 1 lb box of Mrs. Cavanaugh's chocolates for review as part of this campaign.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dress Up Your Chick-fil-A Nuggets

Do your kids love Chick-fil-A?  More specifically, do they love their nuggets?  I know mine do.  I wanted to show you a few ways to dress up your Chick-fil-A nuggets.  The kids and I made two creations, one with the new grilled nuggets and one with the traditional nuggets.  Of course these are interchangeable between the two kinds of nuggets, whatever you prefer.

1.  Nugget Pinwheels

Kids love pinwheels!  They are bite sized and they always look fun.  I came up with this idea because I have no problem getting my kids to eat nuggets but it can be a challenge to get them to eat spinach.  Why not, combine the two and see what happens.  I used a whole wheat tortilla, Chick-fil-A sauce, spinach, Chick-fil-A grilled chicken nuggets and shredded cheese.  Of course you can vary your spread of choice, cheese and even add more veggies.

Whole wheat tortilla and Chick-fil-A sauce

After spreading the sauce on the tortilla, I added spinach and Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets.

I decided to go ahead and add a little cheese.

Roll up the tortilla and cut in slices to make your pinwheels.

Finished Pinwheels


2.  Nugget Nachos

Our family loves nachos.  The kids typically like them more plain with a little cheese.  I thought it would be fun to add their favorite Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets to the mix.  I used tortilla chips, salsa, cheese and Chick-fil-A original chicken nuggets.  Again, you can vary this up quite a bit but this should get you started.

 Tortilla Chips

 Add salsa and cheese

 Add chicken

 Melt together

 Finished chicken nachos

What do you think?  Do you have a creative way to dress up your nuggets?