Archive | January 2013

Page-Turning Monday: Snow Books

Hello, again, dear readers! Jess here. It’s Monday, so you know what that means…time for another edition of “Page-Turning Mondays!” Ok, yes, I admit….I haven’t done a “Page-Turning” post since November. I’m so sorry!! So, to make up for that, we’ll be having TWO wonderful book reviews today!! Read on!

Last Friday, we had a nice snow day in our lovely neck of the woods. Not much accumulation, but it was so very nice to be inside a cozy warm house by the fire and watch the flakes fall. And, of course, the boys were beside themselves with excitement over the potential fun to be had in the snow. And as the snow came down, out came our snow/winter books. They’ve actually been out for a while now, and the boys have lots of fun reading and looking through them. So, as you may have surmised, our theme for this month’s “Page-Turning” post is SNOW!! We do have some favorites, and I’ll tell you about one of those now.

Our first book is The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats.

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This book has been around for many years, and is a classic. Some very dear friends of ours gave this book to Aidan for his 2nd birthday, and we’ve been reading it ever since. Really, we read it year ‘round. Now, Little Brother loves it, so we’re reading it even MORE (it’s a great story, and I love the illustrations, so no complaints from this mama!). The plot follows a little boy named Peter as he ventures out into his neighborhood on a snowy day. From making tracks in the snow to pretending to be a mountain climber, the sweet simplicity and innocence of this story makes it an instant hit with kids (of all ages!). We read this Friday night before bed, and on Saturday morning, when we went out to play in the snow, the boys had a lot of fun pretending to be Peter. They made tracks in the snow, found sticks that were “just right for smacking a snow covered tree”, and made snow angels. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed hearing them say, “I’m doing/making _______, just like Peter did in The Snowy Day!” I hope this story becomes one of your family’s favorite, too!

Our second book is Snowmen at Night, by Caralyn Buehner.

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I first heard of this book back in my B.C. (Before Children) days of teaching preschool. I loved the pictures, and the sweet rhyming story of what snowmen really do at night when we are asleep. The story begins with a little boy noticing some big changes in his snowman, and then his imagination takes flight as he wonders…”what do snowmen do at night?”. I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to read this to my own children someday”, and now, happily, that time has come. And I’m so glad that they do love it as much as I do! It’s always so special to be able to share beloved books with your own children and watch their expressions as they listen with wonder as you read aloud to them. I know it’s a special time in our home! I recently borrowed this book from our public library, and I hope to get it one day to add to our home library. We do own a companion book to Snowmen at Night, called Snowmen at Christmas. It’s basically very similar to Snowmen at Night, but with a Christmas twist. The boys and I really loved reading that one during the holidays. There are so many snowman crafts out there if you search the web or, my personal favorite, Pinterest. I’m sure you can find a fun craft to do to accompany this story, if you wish.

I hope y’all have enjoyed these reviews. Snuggle up with your kiddos and a cup of hot chocolate, and get busy reading! And, please share YOUR favorite snow/winter books with us! I know I’m always looking for a new adventure to take or a new world to explore! Happy reading, friends!

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Praying for your children

Hey, y’all! Jess here with my first post of 2013…better late than never, right? I know I’ve been a bit negligent with my blogging, but with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Ladies Bible class starting back up, and our preschool at home resuming, my blogging has taken a bit of a  backseat. But I think things have settled down some (for now, at least!), and I’m excited to share a new post with y’all today. So let’s get right to it!

As a mama, I think about my children often…nearly all day, in fact. After all, I am a stay-at-home mom who homeschools…my boys are pretty much with me at all times, except for when they are sleeping or are playing together in the toy room upstairs (which is what they are doing as I write this…and playing rather cooperatively, might I add!). Us mamas know that our children are such a precious and special part of our world-they ARE our world! And, as a Christian mama, I try my hardest to be in constant prayer for my boys. I pray for them when they’re happy, when they’re sick, when they’re sad, when they’re hurt, when they’re trying my patience, when they’re trying each other’s patience, for continued good health, for lifelong growth in the Lord, for their obedience to the gospel of Christ as they become young men, for their future spouse and children, for opportunities for them to excel and grow, that they may learn from life’s disappointments, and the list could (and does!) go on and on. My boys have been given, entrusted to me by God Himself. He made them perfect, no mistakes. He knows them better than I ever will. So, as the old hymn says, “Where could I go, but to the Lord?”

I have recently seen blog posts (http://lillightomine.com/a-praying-mom—part-1.php) and pins on Pinterest regarding the idea of praying particular scriptures for your children. What a great concept! The premise is that you choose a specific passage of scripture that relates to a certain trait(s) or characteristic that you would like to see your child grow in or that may relate to a season of life your child is experiencing during the current year, and pray that scripture for them whenever you pray for them. As this is January, a new year is upon us, and this is a perfect time to begin this particular prayer for your children.

I have two boys, who are two distinctly different individuals, so I, of course, chose two distinctly different verses for them that I felt related to their age and stage in their little lives. I must also note that on all the blogs and pins I’ve seen, the child’s hand is traced onto paper and the particular verse/prayer is written on the child’s paper hand. I decided to take my own creative path and trace my boys’ foot rather than their hand. I couldn’t help but think of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 as I began the undertaking of this prayer project. The phrase “as they walk by the way” in verse 7 struck a chord with me, and that’s when I decided to trace their feet. As a Christian parent, I want my child to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus…so using their small feet seemed to fit perfectly for me.

Now, on to the verses and prayer. For my oldest, the first verse that came to my mind was 1 Timothy 4:12. I have long loved that verse, and it really meant a lot to me as a preteen, teen and young 20-something. I know my oldest is only 4, and Paul wrote this to Timothy, who was a young man, much older than 4, but the thoughts conveyed in that verse could be applied to a small boy of 4, or a boy of any age for that matter. This is a verse that could go with him for years and years. Here is a picture of the prayer for my oldest on his footprint. He chose red paper, his favorite color! 🙂 He really had a fun time helping me make this craft. He giggled as I traced his foot and was my happy helper!

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For my youngest, who is 2, I chose the verse Colossians 3:20-21 to pray for him. Any parent who has raised a 2-year-old (and lived to tell the tale!) knows that 2-year-olds can be fiercely independent and strong-willed. Depending on the activity and situation, these traits can be viewed as either good or challenging. And that obedience is a work in progress! My youngest is going through a “testing” spell right now. He’s seeing just how far his boundaries can actually go. So these verses jumped out at me as something to pray for him to grow in. And verse 21 just goes hand-in-hand with verse 20…I want God to help my husband and me do the best we can in raising our toddler boy. Here’s a picture of his “lellow” footprint.

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 So, take this concept and make it your own. Spend some time in God’s word, finding verses that could apply best to your child. I guarantee you will grow stronger in your study of God’s word, and your prayer life will increase as well. You may find other verses that you can pray for other family members or friends. This is something I would like to continue year after year, to see how God has answered those prayers and to remember specific stages in life. I plan on keeping each footprint in my Bible, to pray over during my daily Bible and prayer time for the year, and then keep it in their baby book. As they grow, hopefully these footprints will be meaningful reminders of just how deeply they are loved by their mama…so loved, that their very name and needs were taken before the throne of the Most High God, Creator of the universe.

Come back and share your verses and prayers! I love to find new verses to meditate on, and I love to see what creative things y’all come up with! May God bless each one of you as you pray for your children…I’ll be praying for YOU!!