#ShareATree Online and the Arbor Day Foundation Will Plant a Real Tree!

This #ShareATree post is not sponsored, but I will be receiving a gift from Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation in return for writing it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

acornTrees are so vital to our lives and are also relaxing and beautiful.  Baby Brother loves to watch the wind move through the trees around our house.  It boggles my mind when I think about how long these trees have been alive and growing tall into the sky!  Did you know that every year, Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation partner up to give a special gift to us and the environment?  When you decorate and #ShareATree, the Arbor Day Foundation plants a tree.  All you have to do is visit the #ShareATree website, click on "Decorate A Tree" OR share a "Celebratree" that has been created by an NBCUniversal celebrity like Al Roker or Meredith Vieira.  For every 25,000 trees shared, an additional $5,000 will be donated to the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Share A Tree Program will help the Arbor Day Foundation plant trees all across the United States in our national forests, state forests, and state parks.  Jack pine trees will be planted to improve the habitat of the endangered Kirtland's warbler.  This neotropical migratory songbird’s breeding habitat is almost exclusively confined to young, dense Jack pine stands in the area. Today, Kirtland’s warblers are found in only ten counties on Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and four counties in the upper peninsula. Efforts by the Arbor Day Foundation's replanting partners have increased the number of singing males from less than 200 to more than 1,900, bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.

warbler

This fabulous project is a gift for future generations!  It began December 3rd and will run through December 31st.  Check out the beautiful trees created by celebrites, like this one from Shaun Robinson:

#ShareATree

Follow @ArborDay and #ShareATree on Twitter to join in the fun!

 

THEbesttimetoplantatree

 

New Series on Netflix – “VeggieTales in the House” {giveaway, too!}

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

veggie tales in the houseveggie tales in the house 2

The Captain is really getting into Veggie Tales lately!  It's a fun, safe, and I feel good about him watching it.  Well, a NEW series – "Veggie Tales In The House" is a Netflix original, and it is delightful and fun, as well!  The veggies have a new look and all new adventures.  Veggie Tales in the House weaves morals into good old family fun.  The Captain really enjoys the privilege of watching this new series on Netflix on the iPad.

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The all new series remains true to the values-driven storytelling that has made VeggieTales such a beloved part of childhood.  The episodes are 22 minutes long and only available for Netflix members in the US, Canada, Latin America, UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Benelux, and France to watch instantly.  In each of the episodes, two separate 11 minute stories impart important life lessons designed to captivate audiences of all ages.  Every episode has brand new songs and the closing phrase that has been with VeggieTales since the beginning:  "God made you special, and He loves you very much."

And if you're worried, Netflix has great parental controls.  Set it to where kids can only watch shows tailored to them, so no bad content reaches their little eyes.  We have ours set for only G rated shows and movies to be able to be accessed, and of course "VeggieTales in the House" is just that.  Perfect for the whole family.  Visit the official website to learn more.

To go along with the brand new Netflix series, check out the Veggie Tales Holiday Hotline.  It's a fun way to get holiday recipes, silly songs, vegetable jokes, Bible verse of the day, and more!  And…it's free!

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I am excited to give one reader their own 3 month subscription to Netflix.  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends 12/15/14 and is open to US/CAN only.  Good luck!

veggietalesinthehouse

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Having Fun and Reaching Milestones with Baby Brother (VTech giveaway, too!)

This milestones post was brought to you by VTech.  All opinions are mine.  The VTech product, giveaway, and information have been provided by VTech.

Baby Brother turned ONE last week!  In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that we found out we were having a baby and in others, it seems like oh so long ago.  Many nights with little sleep will do that to you, I have found.  (No, still not sleeping through the night, but that's ok!)    He is his own little person and is doing things at his own pace.  It has been fun watching him reach the milestones.  For awhile he wasn't into mobility.  He rolled over about three times before 6 months old and I really began to worry.  But, once he learned that he could move, he took off and hasn't stopped.  Rolling over, scooting, crawling, and after he turned 11 months old, walking!  And his mimicking sounds and learning to talk is really taking off now, too.  Oh and his temper…wow.  He is definitely a toddler!  His favorite thing is probably music, creating it, listening to it, and dancing to it, too!

VTech

Baby Brother is like any toddler…into anything and everything.  I like to have toys available to him that encourage learning and thinking and VTech toys do just that.  I never really thought about what goes in to toy making, but I recently learned that VTech works closely with a panel of children's learning experts as they develop new toys that children will love and learn from!  Milestones are broken down into three categories:

  1. Language and Cognitive
  2. Social and Emotional Development
  3. Physical and Motor

It's important to remember that each child is different and each child learns, develops, and reaches milestones at their own pace!  VTech clearly describes recommended age, milestones, and educational aspects of each toy they develop.VTech TrainDr. Lise Eliot is Associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. A Chicago native, she received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and did post-doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In addition to more than 50 published peer-reviewed journal articles and magazine pieces on children’s brain and mental development, Dr. Eliot has authored two books.  Dr. Eliot has answered a few questions about children and milestones and I have included her answers below:

Q. As a parent, what are your suggestions on things I can do with my child to help them develop their social and emotional skills? What are ways I can help my child to get the most of their playtime? 
A. Social-emotional skills are the bedrock of learning, so good for you for taking an interest in cultivating them in your child.  The best way to promote emotional and interpersonal skills is through interaction–reading, singing and lots of talking with your child.  Make eye contact with him or her. Laugh together.  Direct your child's attention to interesting things in your environment.  When you read together, ask your child questions about the characters' thoughts and feelings. This can help build empathy. Another way to think about it is to use books or videos as a stepping stone for dialogue with your child.  It's the two-way, back-and-forth sharing of words and feelings that build emotional and communication skills.  Playtime has ample opportunity to do this, whether you are visiting the zoo, finger-painting, or playing with toys.  Take every opportunity to talk about the feelings and relationships among characters your child is drawing or playing with.
 
Q. As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I'm responsible for most of my toddler's learning the first couple of years. How can I ensure that I'm teaching him all he needs to know? What are the best games or play to help him learn basics things like numbers, colors, words, etc.?
A. Children learn through play, so almost any activity is a learning opportunity for your child.   Show your child how to count banana slices at lunch time, or toothbrush strokes at bedtime.  Read ABC books to him to teach letter sounds and recognition.  But don't worry too much about academic skills in younger children.  Most important at this age is for children to learn the joy of discovery.  Try to avoid drilling exercises (like flashcards) and instead focus on learning about the real world around him–animals, people, vehicles, music, art–whatever you encounter through books or the world outside that excites your child.  When kids find a passion and get absorbed in it, early literacy and number skills follow easily.
 
Q. What if it seems like your child isn't reaching a particular milestone, what can you do to facilitate the learning of it?  While every child is different, are there any Milestones (when not achieved on schedule) a parent should be concerned about?
A. It's important for parents to know what milestones to expect, because failure to reach them can be a warning sign of a developmental delay.  For social skills, we like to see babies making eye contact early on, and worry if it doesn't happen by 3 months or age, or if s/he is not sharing facial expressions or some other kind of back-and-forth communication by 9 months. For language skills, we worry when children are saying no words by 16 months, or only a few words at 2 years, and when there is any loss of communication ability at any age.  For motor skills, it is concerning if a baby cannot bring an object to his or her mouth by 7 months, sit independently by 10 months, or walk by 18 months. If your child isn’t reaching these milestones, talk to your pediatrician, who may propose additional testing and exercises you can do with your child at home to promote his or her development.
 
Q. My 2 year old (26 months to be exact) barely talks unless she wants to.  She has two older siblings who tend to speak for her.  She can string a few words together like "me up" or "love you."  How can we encourage her to talk more and what VTech products would be most beneficial for her?
A. There's a simple equation to verbal development:  "Language in = Language out"  The more words you and others address to your child, the larger her own vocabulary will eventually be.  You are right that younger children sometimes do have trouble getting a word in edgewise in a big family.  Find opportunities when your daughter can be the only one speaking.  Try to carve out some one-on-one time, when you are just focused on each other, and make sure to listen and respond to every word or babble she makes, acting as if you understand her.  Imitate her words and sounds and offer lots of praise.  Just giving your child the confidence that she is being heard will provide great reinforcement to encourage her to speak more.
Also, VTech's infant toys can promote this language development since most produce simple words or phrases that babies love to control.  Toys such as Cody The Smart Cub™ and Cora The Smart Cub™ introduce children to first words, emotions, stories, sing-alongs, and more.
 
Q. How do doctors come up with specific milestones for each age group? What are some milestones for older age groups (up to age 9)?
A. Infant developmental milestones have been cataloged by studying thousands of babies from all walks of life.  In healthy children, the various milestones emerge in a predictable sequence and time, give or take a few weeks or months.  This predictable pattern is due to the maturation sequence of the developing brain, along with the typical sequence of practice most babies engage in, given their gradually growing strength and coordination.  Some milestones you can look for as your child gets older include: able to draw a circle at age 3, asking lots of "Why" questions at age 4, knowing his or her letters at age 5, tying shoes at age 6, reading aloud fluently at age 7, and a big spurt of social independence beginning at 8-9 .

Q. What are some of the benefits of teaching children sign language at a young age to help improved their cognitive, motor and social skills? How can teaching sign language to my child help promote more than language development?  How can sign language help stimulate a child’s brain in other ways?

A. The research on sign language is not terribly strong, but enough has been done to indicate that sign language may benefit your child's overall language development. The more words addressed to babies, whether spoken or gestured, the faster their own vocabulary growth. Sign language also has the advantage that it is easier for babies to communicate using simple gestures, compared to oral articulation.  So especially in the first year of life, some babies find it easier to communicate their needs when taught simple signs, and may express less frustration than infants who were not exposed to baby signing.

Chomp n Count Dino
Baby Brother has really taken a liking to the VTech Chomp & Count Dino.  He learned how to "feed" the dinosaur and loves to play with him!  It also has counting games and D loves to help him with that, too.  It's a fun toy that has kept Baby Brother engaged and learning.  And I love it because as Baby Brother grows, he will learn how to use this toy more and learn from it, too!

What milestone has your child reached most recently?  

Follow VTech on Twitter and Facebook!

VTech is going to make one baby or toddler's Christmas super fun this year!  Enter to win all three of these awesome toys in the Rafflecopter below!

Lil' Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano, Roll & Surprise Animal Train, and Chomp & Count Dino!
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Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries

This microwave cinnamon apples and cranberries post was brought to you by Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received the product directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meets blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group, LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries

Whenever the boys need a quick snack, my go to is always fruit.  They love it and it's quick, easy, and healthy.  Sometimes they want more of a dessert, but I don't want to whip up a big batch of cookies.  Microwave cinnamon apples is usually what I make for them, and all three of them devour it!  With the holidays here and cranberries in the stores, I wanted to try out a new spin on our old favorite!  I made microwave cinnamon apples and cranberries, but this time, I used Monk Fruit in the Raw.  

Ingredients for one serving:

  • one apple (I usually use Gala or Fuji)
  • 8-10 cranberries
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 -1 tsp Monk Fruit in the Raw

Directions:

  1. Peel, core, and cut apple into cubes.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and Monk Fruit in the Raw on top of cubed apple and cranberries in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Cover with a glass plate or microwave safe lid.
  4. Microwave for 3 minutes, or until apples and cranberries are tender.
  5. Serve by itself or with ice cream or homemade coconut whipped cream!

If you haven't tried Monk Fruit in the Raw, I definitely recommend it.  I am against artifcial sweeteners, so I was glad to know that Monk Fruit in the Raw is made from a vine-ripened fruit that is native in Asia.  Monk fruit was first harvested in the 13th century by Arhats, or "Enlightened Ones," which translates to "Monks" in English.  

Monk Fruit in the Raw

Monk Fruit in the Raw is naturally vegan, kosher, and gluten free.  It does not contain any added table sugar, sugar alcohols, or molasses.  Monk Fruit in the Raw has the closest taste to sugar as any non-calori sweetener and has the least amount of aftertaste.  It can be used to replace the sugar in drinks, sauces, and dressings.  For baked goods, it is recommended that you only replace half of the recommended sugar with Monk Fruit in the Raw.

Learn more about Monk Fruit in the Raw and other In The Raw products on their website, Twitter, and Facebook, too!

Microwave Cinnamon Apples and Cranberries

 

How to Keep Your Marriage Strong (Even After Having Children)

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

How to Keep Your Marriage Strong

Marriage is hard, guys.  It really is.  No one ever told me it would be…not that I would have listened.  It takes constant work and attention to make a marriage work.  People drift apart and marriages fail.  Add children to the mix and time and attention has to be split.  It can get messy and often, it does, unfortunately.  

Hubby and I have a strong marriage, but we had to make adjustments when we became parents.  The most stressful time, in my opinion, was when the Captain was about 3 and D was 1.  We were still adjusting to Hubby's new job, living in a new town, and being a family of four.  It seemed like the Captain kept getting sick and D had chronic ear infections.  It was hard to be optimistic about anything and our relationship did suffer because we didn't prioritze correctly.  Instead of turning to each other, we just bickered a lot.  It was hard.  It felt like we were in a hole and we had no idea how to get out.  But, by the grace of God, we managed to get out, but we had to do it together.  We realized what was important to us and did everything to make things better….and it worked. 

Obviously I'm not a professional marriage counselor and we have only been married for 9 1/2 years, but here are my personal tips to keep your marriage strong….or at least what has worked for us.

1.  Respect each other.  This should be obvious, but respect is missing in a lot of relationships.  I try to remember….if I don't want my spouse doing it, then I don't need to be doing it.  If you don't want your spouse badmouthing you to his/her friends, don't do it either.  If you don't want your spouse to go to lunch with a member of the opposite sex, don't do it either (even if it is "completely innocent" to you.)  If you don't want your spouse looking at naked pictures online, you don't do it either.  This also goes for respecting their opinion, which was a huge pill for me to swallow.  No man likes to be belittled and told that his opinion doesn't matter.  Men need respect from their wives and if my husband feels strongly about something, then I make it a point to respect his opinion and work with him instead of just doing whatever it is I want to do.  This is especially true about parenting.  Even though I may spend more time with the kids, he is still their dad and needs to have an opinion, too.  Just think….what will happen if one day he stops having an opinion?  That means he doesn't care and is disengaged.

marriage

2.  Go on dates.  Oh man, is this a hard one.  I can always find a million reasons why Hubby and I don't need to go out on a date.  No one wants to baby-sit three kids, we need to save our money, Baby Brother is going to cry, blah blah blah, the list goes on and on.  But, the truth is…uninterrupted dates are so nice and we must make it a priority.  Even if we are only gone for an hour, it is nice to be able to devote all of our attention on each other without having to worry about the kids.

3.  Give your spouse what he/she needs.  Find out what it is that they need and make every effort to give it to them.  When Baby Brother is having sleepless nights, Hubby has helped me out so I can get a nap or at least some extra help with the boys (or a coffee on the really bad days!)  He always asks if I need anything if he is at the store and I always check with him, too.  But beyond that, we need to find out what our spouse needs and try as hard as we can to give it to them.  Love, respect, intimacy, companionship, a button sewed back on a shirt, a warm cup of coffee….it could be big or small, but it's important!

4.  Communicate.  It's hard with kids to get an untinterrupted word in.  Hubby and I text all day because we have to.  If we didn't, we wouldn't have a clue what was going on!  It's not a constant thing, but if I need to tell him something, I'll send him a text.  If I'm thinking about him, I'll send him a text.  Some days are long and a text from the hubby makes it easier.  And, since our kids go to bed later than the average kid, there's not a lot of time we have to sit around and chat together, but we try as much as we can.  Find a way to communicate, no matter how you go about it.

5.  Have a daily devotional.  I know there is never enough time in the day for everything you want to accomplish, but taking a 5-10 minute break to just read together, pray together, and reflect on a prompt is so helpful.  And it makes communicating easier.

Hubby and I have been enjoying the couple's devotional "Awaken Love" from "THE SONG" movie.  It was written by Kyle & Desirae Idleman and is a fantastic, short, easy to read through devo that can help you and your spouse discuss important topics and either keep the flame alive or awaken love in your marriage.  No matter what your story is, I think you will benefit from this devo.  We certainly have!

Awaken Love The Song

 

Here is a preview of "The Song" movie, which was inspired by the Song of Solomon from the Bible.  It is about marriage, adultery, reconciliation, and redemption.  I haven't seen it, but it looks like a tear jerker for sure.  (It should be noted again that you don't have to have these issues in your marriage to get a huge benefit from the couple's devo book!)

Visit "The Song" movie website for additional resources and enter to win a copy of this great couple's devotional book in the Rafflecopter below!  Giveaway ends December 10, 2014!

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Educating Kids About the Environment with the Help of The Green Kids Club

Disclaimer: I am a member of The Social Media Panel, LLC, who was given the opportunity to review this product. However, the brand or company has not influenced me in any way to provide any type of review other than my true and honest opinions. I am disclosing all information provided in this review according to the information provided in Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  Thank you to MilkSplash for sponsoring this post. #BooksforGreenKids
 
Green Kids Club
We are always trying to think of ways to help our kids understand the importance of taking care of the environment and living greener lives.  I always find that children's books are the best way to convey important messages that we want the boys to learn, because they're captivated and pay attention to books, if they're written well.  Imagine how hard it is to teach a 3 and 6 year old about habitat encroachment, poaching, and extinction without pictures and fun stories.  I was thrilled to be able to review the Green Kids Club books because they are the perfect way to teach our kids about protecting habitats, ecosystems, and animals.  And how important preserving the environment is to humans, too!
 
The Green Kids Club books have captivating pictures and interesting storylines.  They are geared for elementary aged children, but D loves to flip through the books and look at the Green kids and all of the animals.  Green Kids booksThe Green Kids are led by Victor and Maya Green, who received the ability to talk to animals by drinking from the magic spring.  They also share that ability with other kids so they can have the same power!  Different stories focus on different areas on the world which is great for geography lessons, too!  In the back of each book, you'll find photographs of animals and important vocabulary from the book.  These really are very good educational books.  There is even a book in English and Spanish, "Minas Chilenas," which is Spanish for "Chilean Mines."
Green Kids Club books
The Green Kids are easy to love because of their fun adventures and animals that they meet!  And the Green Kids website goes above and beyond by offering online coloring pages, games, toys, DVDs, and more!  These books would be great for any classroom, homeschool family, or just any child that loves animals and loves animals and learning about the environment.  And above all, these are great books for green kids!
 
What do you think about the Green Kids Club books?  

 

 

Creating Christmas Traditions: Family Game Night with Northpole

This Christmas traditions shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #NorthpoleFun #CollectiveBias

#northpolefun I love the Christmas season as much as the next person, but I also find myself really struggling for creativity during this time of the year.  I want to create fun memories and traditions for the boys, but admittedly need a lot of help.  After the cold, winter-like temperatures last week, we all needed a way to release the energy and just have fun.  So, we had an early Christmas family game night!  The boys definitely take after thier daddy in that they love playing games and being silly, so that was my inspiration.

I picked up a few Northpole games and activities, snacks and ingredients for  cranberry soda (see recipe below) at Walmart (toward the front of our store in the Christmas toys and gifts area) and surprised the boys by loading up and heading to church where Daddy works and we have more space to run and play.  

Northpole toys at Walmart

Everyone's favorite activity was the Peppermint Ring Fling game.  One person wore a cute pointy Christmas hat while another person tossed soft rings and tried to land them on the point of the hat.  Daddy was especially good at this game, but the boys learned that it takes two to make it work.
family game nightChristmas games

We also played Rooftop Drop, where you toss three beanbags that look like gifts into a cardboard "chimney."  D was good at this game!Northpolebeanbag

I turned both games into a fun relay and put the Rooftop Drop game at one end and the Peppermint Ring Toss game at the other.  The boys had to run (aka burn energy) back and forth to get all of the rings and beanbags where they belonged.  I also incorporated a fun game with the Magic Snowball that lights up when you toss it!

When they needed a rest, we had snacks and opened up the adventure map that came with Christmas goggles.  The map came alive with the 3d goggles!  The Captain loved the adventure tasks on the side and putting the stickers where they belonged.  
IMG_0109 3d glasses Northpole
Then, I read "Once Upon a Northpole Christmas" (that came with a super awesome Find me Santa! snowflake that flashes so Santa can find you on Christmas Eve!  We will be saving that for later!)  The pictures are just beautiful and the story is a good one.  The boys really loved listening to it!

#Northpolefun

#Northpolefun

Here is a sweet commercial about the Find Me Santa! snowflake:

What truly made our new Christmas tradition of family game night was this "Snow Now!"  You add water and it turns into this fluffy white "snow" that is fun to play in and decorate with.  It obviously isn't real snow, so it took a little effort to clean it up, but the boys have been wishing for snow for so long that it was so awesome to see the look on their face when they saw it!

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The special Christmas items from Northpole made our family game night so much fun, plus it was so easy for me.  The best news is that there was a whole aisle of products to choose from, so I may head back and buy some more products for Family Game Night Part 2!

The boys favorite snack/beverage item was this cranberry soda, so I wanted to share the recipe!  It's easy to make and oh so good!

homemade cranberry soda

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups washed cranberries
  • 1 cup whole sugar
  • sparkling water or soda water 

Directions:

  1. Mix water, cranberries, and sugar in a small pot.
  2. Cook for about 6 minutes on medium-high heat, until berries pop.
  3. Mash berries with a spoon or potato masher.
  4. Turn off heat and let syrup cool for a few minutes.
  5. Pour cooled mxture through a mesh strainer.
  6. Save the cranberry pulp for homemade cranberry sauce or dessert topping.
  7. Store cranberry syrup in a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate.  Syrup keeps for a few weeks in fridge.
  8. To make cranberry soda, add 4 TBSP cranberry syrup to a glass.  Pour about 6 oz of sparklng water or soda, stir, and enjoy!

**Makes about 1 1/2 cups of syrup**

What is your are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions?

Engage Your Children With Noah – a Wordless Picture Book

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize 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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

noahIf there is one thing that never gets old, it's reading books.  We love to sit down with a good book and read it together.  The Captain is a good reader and he loves to read, too.  I never knew how refreshing it would be to open and explore a wordless picture book, though!  We were sent "Noah" by Mark Ludy to review and the pictures truly do speak for themselves.  Looking at the detail that the illustrator put into these pictures is just amazing.

Noah bookThe boys are already familiar with the story of Noah, but even if a child isn't, they will be intrigued and engaged with these beautiful pictures.  Children can use their imaginations and what they know about the story of Noah already to tell a full story with this book.  It has also inspired us to open the Bible and reread the story of Noah to see the inspiration Mark Ludy used when drawing.  (Read more about Mark Ludy.)

The following picture is my favorite in the book.  Noah is looking up at God with a look of awe, fear, and undoubtedly has many questions running through his mind.  But he trusted God.  Noah knew that God was in control and he wanted to do whatever was asked of him.  What a wonderful lesson for this kids.  Trust in Him and you will be richly blessed!

Noah

I highly recommend this beautiful hardcover picture book for you or a someone you know.  I guarantee you will find yourself getting lost in the book – all 64 pages, thinking of what it must have been like for Noah so long ago!  (Bonus:  Find Squeakers the mouse on every page!)  Purchase NOAH on Amazon for less than $15.  It would make an awesome Christmas gift!

Official NOAH page

Enter to win "Noah" in the giveaway below!

noahgiveaway

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Shop Best Buy for the New LG OLED TV

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card.  This LG OLED TV post was written by me and all opinions are mine.

0 LG Oled Best BuyIf someone on your Christmas list is requesting a new TV or if it is time to update your family TV, Best Buy has the new LG OLED TV.  This TV is only 0.21" thick at it's thinnest point, making the picture absolutely stunning.  The picture quality is amazing!  Infinite Contrast ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks.  And, LG's exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors.  

With deeper, richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it truly is unlike any technology you have ever seen.  The LG OLED TV will deliver a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.  

  • Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color deliver more natural, lifelike viewing.
  • 4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
  • Super thin design 
  • Find content faster with webOS.

LG's latest display technology must be experienced to be believed!  Learn more at LG OLED at Best Buy online and visit Best Buy to experience the greatest of the LG OLED TV.  Save $500 with Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99.

 

Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy. 

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The Perfect Stocking Stuffer: Don’t Forget the Duracell Batteries

This stocking stuffer post was brought to you by Duracell batteries and She Speaks.  All opinions are mine.

Duracell Batteries stocking stuffer

Stockings were always an important part of Christmas morning for me when I was growing up.  I loved to get fruit, candy, a new toothbrush, jewelry, and more in my bright red Christmas stocking.  Now that I am a parent, I love to give them their stockings and see their excitement as they see what goodies are in it.  

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I love to pick out things to fill stockings, and somehow I have gotten Hubby on board, too.  It's hard, sometimes, to fill those huge stockings!  I try my hardest to fill them with things we actually need, but well, what do we really need?  Well, for one thing, we always ALWAYS need batteries.  Smoke dectectors, remote controls, clocks, toys, holiday decor, travel DVD players and more require batteries so that is why Duracell batteries are THE perfect stocking stuffer.  Everyone can use batteries and it is guaranteed they'll be used.

We always prefer to buy Duracell CopperTop All-Purpose batteries because we know they will last the longest.  There is a 10 year guarantee in storage with Duralock Power Preserve Technology. Changing out cheap batteries is annoying and can actually be quite expensive in the long run.  Stick with Duracell to get the most out of your batteries.  Duracell is the #1 trusted battery brand of first responders, pharamacists and parents, so I know that it's a battery I can trust.

Add Duracell batteries to your holiday shopping list and pick some up the next time you're at Walmart.  CopperTop batteries are available in AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V.  There are different size packs.  Go big with the 16 pack:

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Follow @Duracell, @Walmart, and Duracell on Facebook for more information and offers.

#PowerTheHolidays