Thursday, December 31, 2009
If you need me, this is where you will find me. :)
A few birthday goodies to savor...
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear (really for N1 for school next week as we go to Russia)
The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn & Wintertime
The Story of the World (Volume 1 ... what I will most likely be using next Fall)
Miss Read, Storm in the Village
All of a Kind Family
Betsy Was a Junior & Betsy and Joe
Heavens to Betsy & Betsy in Spite of Herself
Abigail and John : Portrait of a Marriage
Geography from A to Z
The Pioneer Woman Cooks (Yum!!!!)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Touching Wonder -
About the book:
Little children understand how amazing the Nativity story is. But, sometimes, as we become men and women, we put away the childlike with the childish. The result? We lose something vital—the wonder of it all. When author John Blase went looking for the lost wonder of Christmas, he went back to the place he’d last seen it—the stories from Luke 1-2. What he found fills the pages of his new book, Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas (David C Cook, September 2009), with flesh and bone and dust and night and a baby’s cry; the intimate union of human and divine—the Incarnation.
By boldly imagining the first two chapters of the gospel of Luke, writer, editor, and former pastor John Blase has created an instant classic for Christmastime. In a tale that reads like a novel parallel parked by the record of Scripture, Blase beckons those who could use a little wonder in their lives to step onto the stage of history and witness the long awaited coming of the Messiah. With Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible translation as his backdrop, Blase adds his own voice and commentary to the historic events, exploring the renowned drama from an array of viewpoints.
In Touching Wonder, readers will meet a cast of unruly unlikelies—a frightened teenaged girl, a worried carpenter, a collection of senior citizens, a disillusioned young shepherd, even an angel or two—moving toward the realization that the little one just born is the One. This imaginative retelling of the grand miracle will leave readers wide-eyed, slack-jawed, and heart-full. The Lord is come!
In this lovely and distinctive book to be read…and re-read…and pondered in the heart, young and old will recapture the wonder of the Christmas story by seeing through the eyes of those who lived it. The book’s graceful design and Amanda Jolman’s beautiful line drawings combine to make this a thoughtful Christmas gift as well as a wonder that families will treasure for years to come.
by John Blase
David C Cook/September 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
- bagels with onion & chive cream cheese
- The Sing-Off on NBC ... thoroughly enjoying this acappella competition!
- realizing that (minus one gift card I need to pick up and anything extra I want to do) I am DONE with Christmas prep!
- evenings with my guy
- days with my girls
- thankful that N1 had strep this week and not next
- antibiotics and insurance
- new babies
- Christmas movies
- the funny (FUNNY) things my girls have said recently
- N1's very loose tooth
- moments of thankfulness in spite of struggles
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Originally uploaded by stephaniedshepherd
Getting my crafty on! I realized - kind of at the last minute - that it might be nice if I had a Christmas goodie for the Girl Scout girls and our meeting is tomorrow! A few clear ornaments, blue (Daisy colored) tissue paper and a letter for their initial and they don't look half bad.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lori Copeland has been writing for twenty-five years and has over three million copies of her books in print. She began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that she began writing for the Christian book market.
To date, she has more than 95 books published, including Now and Always, Simple Gifts, Unwrapping Christmas, and Monday Morning Faith, which was a finalist for the 2007 Christy Awards. Lori was inducted into the Springfield Writers Hall of Fame in 2000.
Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. They have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. Lori and Lance are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Christmas trees, twinkling lights, skating in the park, and holiday displays are the hallmark elements for celebrating Jesus birth for the sentimental residents of Nativity, Missouri. Will fiscal responsibility replace Christmas their traditions when times are tough? Though their priorities and methods clash, Roni Elliot and Jake Brisco want the same thing, for the town to prosper. As the two get to know each other better, each begins to gain a new perspective on what the real wealth of Nativity and the season might be.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Christmas Lamp, go HERE
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Originally uploaded by stephaniedshepherd
We don't have many adult Christmas parties that Travis and I go to. His work doesn't have one and neither does mine. :) That said, the Boyd Christmas party has been an annual event for us for many years and it's always so much fun. Tonight I got to catch up with Gina and Erin and snuggle brand new baby Jake. And eat some pretty fabulous snacks as well. Another great tradition.
Please excuse the weird colors in the picture. I scanned my page tonight to see what would happen and probably won't do that again. :)
- it makes me happy that one of the junior high boys from church called me last night to ask if he could borrow my copy of Sound of Music for a school project.
- that our bunny will come to me when I call her
- peppermint creamer
- online shopping
- Triscuits with cracked pepper and olive oil
- good young adult books and hitting the jackpot on cool kid books at the library yesterday
- Christmas cards - sending and receiving
- Sharpie pens
- reading our Advent verses every morning as we start school and listening to the girls tell me the story
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- clipboards :)
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I was recently provided these three books for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and they were generous enough to provide me with an extra copy of each to give away! Take a look at the books below and leave a comment if you are interested in winning a copy. (I'll be giving them away as a group so if you win, you win all three). Please make sure that I have an email address for you if you enter to win. I'll close comments and draw a winner on Wednesday, December 9.
Treasured: Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks and sock drawers and top shelves. These are the places we store our treasures–the keepsakes that tell the story of whom and what we’ve loved, how we’ve lived, and what matters most to us. God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked securely into the pages of his book: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of his heart and tells the story of a Father whose most precious possession is…us.
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his attentive love.
God Gave Us Love: As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable. In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because… “Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.” This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”
God Gave Us Christmas: As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all. This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.
My thoughts on these books: Treasured is a very interesting book. It takes things (objects) that we see throughout Scripture (for example, an olive branch) and uses that to explain why God treasures it and what we are to learn from it. A little different perspective on some of the symbols of our faith that we see throughout the Scriptures.
The two books by Lisa Bergren, God Gave Us Love and God Gave Us Christmas are in the same vein as her God Gave Us You and God Gave Us Two books. (My girls ADORE her God Gave Us You book.) I'll admit that I didn't find these two books quite as enchanting as her others that we have already read, they are very sweet. My girls love the sweet polar bear cub and the way the Mama Bear (and the Grandpa Bear) explain things is well-done.
Remember to leave a comment if you are interested in winning a copy of all three of these books. :)
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Originally uploaded by stephaniedshepherd
This year, I'm trying to fit in some more crafty moments with the girls, especially for Noelle. The girl LOVES anything that has to do with art. This morning I took a deep breath and brought out *gasp* glitter glue and we spent time making simple snowflake ornaments. (Simple as in a kit from Walmart). In my book, that was $5 and an hour and a half that was well spent with my oldest girl. And the glitter ... well, it wasn't so bad after all.
The journaling is on a card that will be behind the page.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Originally uploaded by stephaniedshepherd
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
In 1890, Julia Cavanaugh travels west from New York City to unite orphans in her care with new families.
Imagine her horror when she discovers that she's to be "delivered," too--as bride to an uncouth miner! But with no return fare, Julia's options are bleak.
What does God have planned for her on the lonesome prairies of Montana?
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Tricia Goyer is the author of several books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW's Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Montana. To find out more visit her website: http://www.triciagoyer.com/
Ocieanna Fleiss is a published writer and has edited six of Tricia Goyer's historical novels. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area. Connect with Ocieanna on Facebook!
This book was provided for review by the Litfuse Publicity Group.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Nativity Story by acclaimed author Geraldine McCaughrean brings new life to the familiar stories with breathtakingly evocative prose. This sumptuous take on the classic Nativity story, with enduring prose and opulent, stylish illustrations, is a wonderful family keepsake and a delight to read alone or aloud in homes, schools, and churches. This is one that I think is perfect for my budding six-year-old reader!
The Christmas Story (Candle Read and Play) is a neat book that combines both reading and playing. This innovative new series from Candle draws children into the Christmas story through captivating storytelling and interactive fun. Read the Christmas story or make up a story of your own with the eight character pieces within the storage box. I love the idea of including small cardboard pieces so that my three-year old can act out the story as I read it or on her own. My one qwibble with this book is that the book is attached to the box that holds the pieces and it makes for awkward holding. It would be nice if the storage box could be removed from the book without tearing the back of the book, but it is still neat and my girls have loved playing with these.
The Christmas Trio are three simple retellings of the Christmas story, each with a different perspective. The Innkeeper tells the story of Mary and Joseph and how they stayed in the Innkeeper's stable. The Shepherds tells the story of how the angels appeared and how the shepherds traveled to find Baby Jesus in the Bethlehem stable. The Wise Men tells the story of how the wise men followed the star to find the new king. These are great board books, just right for my busy two-year olds hands.
Thank you to Kregel Publications for the review copies of these books. You can also read my review of Jotham's Journey and Bartholomew's Passage, also provided by Kregel.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thanks for understanding. :)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
And, if you didn't win and would still like a copy of the book ... you can buy it here.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Things that are making me happy (also a thankful list). :)
~ simplifying (again) in many areas ... maybe even a bit of pruning as opposed to simplifying. Email subscriptions, blogs, books on our shelves. Glad to see clutter we don't need going somewhere else.
~ encouragement from a BFF.
~ good reports from the Dr. at N1's 6 year well check up this week. BBoo also had a recheck of her soft spot (she still has one at 2 1/2). What was a concern at 2 has shrunk considerably, so we are thankful that she doesn't have to go through any testing since it's resolving itself!
~ McDonald's chicken selects with honey mustard.
~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I've read it before, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the reread.
~ starting a new read-aloud with N1 - The Borrowers!
~ pizza and movie night tonight (UP!) after a day with T home all day with us. (We've still schooled, but we love having him around).
Happy Friday. :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This week, Hope is the Word and I are both blogging about our recent chapter book read-aloud that we have finished with our girls. Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall is the story of two mice, Tumtum & Nutmeg Nutmouse, who live at Nutmouse Hall. Their humans, Mr. Mildew and his two children Lucy and Arthur, lead a sort-of pitiful life until the Nutmouses step up and take charge helping the children and keeping up around them home. The Nutmouses are simple folk - they enjoy a good meal, catching up on local mouse new, but certainly do not want to be involved in adventures!
In the first story, Tumtum and Nutmeg, the mice take on evil Aunt Ivy, the children's visiting Aunt. She abhors mice and is on a mission to rid the Mildews' home of these unwelcome pests. Book two is The Great Escape and in this story, the Nutmouses attempt to help their friend General Marchmouse out of a sticky predicament. (General Marchmouse is a quite a character himself). Book three again brings in General Marchmouse, a sunken boat and some pirate rats in The Pirates' Treasure.
My girls loved these stories. There was always the request for one more chapter and, while this is big book, we flew through it in record time. (I feel sure we will reread and revisit these characters soon, we loved them so much). The girls also loved the simple pen and ink sketches that were liberally throughout the stories. For my young chapter book readers, there were just the right amount of pictures to give them something to look at every few pages and keep them hooked into the story.
For Amy's thoughts on Tumtum and Nutmeg, visit Hope is the Word for Read-Aloud Thursday this week, too!