Christmas Countdown (25 Books)

We did this a couple a years ago and I decided to do it again this year. Basically, you pick out 25 Christmas books and you wrap them up. We are wrapping a mixture of books because we don’t have 25 Christmas books. Each night, one of your kids will choose a book to unwrap for the family to read. If the child is old enough, and they would like, they can read it out loud, instead of the parents. We are also going to switch up the times we read our book. Most of the family readings will be at night, around bed time, but other days we will read at breakfast time, around the table. Last but not least, you can make your collection of books mixture Jesus’s birth, winter time, Santa, or just the good old classics.

Below is our book list, some are new that I just purchased this year and others I pulled off our bookshelves. I actually pack away all the Christmas books each year, so it’s like they are opening a new book each day!

The Christmas Countdown Book List:
1. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Bergren
2. The King’s Christmas by Eldon Johnson
3. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
4. The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
5. Isty Bitsy Christmas: You’re Never Too Little for His Love! by Max Lucado
6. Living Lights: The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain
7. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
8. Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones
9. Who’s Hiding?: A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book by Vicki Howie, Krisztina Kallai Nagy
10. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer
11. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
12. Every Which Way to Pray by Joyce Meyer
13. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
14. The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop
15. Dance Me, Daddy by Cindy Morgan
16. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
17. Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado
18. You Are Special by Max Lucado
19. The Mitten by Jan Brett
20.  A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert and Anita Lobel
21. The Story of Ferdinand by Robert Lawson
22. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
23. The Christmas Story by Patricia Pingry
24. Christmas is Here! Flap Book
25. The Christmas Story by Nick Page

So go pop some popcorn, grab a couple of blankets, snuggle up close with the family on the couch, and start a new family Christmas tradition!

 

Advertisements

School Supplies with a Purpose

Sandie RobertsonI was running some errands yesterday and one of my stops included Wal-Mart. I was walking pass the school supplies when something caught my eye…”There’s no one else on earth like you.” ~Sadie Robertson. Sadie has teamed up with Day Spring Cards and designed a whole collection of notebooks, folders, and composition books with encouraging quotes and scriptures. I picked up a few for my girls…. I love surrounding them with positive and encouraging words. Our girls need to know they are one of kind, precious, smart, strong, and talented. They need to know God cares for them more than anything in this world.

My girls don’t attend a public school, so they don’t deal with bullying from fellow students, but they are apart of extra curricular activities where kids can and do make rude and judgemental remarks. I want their minds and heart filled with truth of who they are and God’s love for them that those remarks bounce off them. These books are just another tool towards better self-confidence.

Just a little FYI: These items weren’t on the top shelf, they were actually on the bottom, and a little hidden.

Here’s a few STATISTICS to put things in perspective:

7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with family and friends. – Real Girls, Real Pressure: National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, Dove Self-Esteem Fund

74% …of girls say they are under pressure to please everyone (Girls Inc, The Supergirl Dilemma)

98% … of girls feel there is an immense pressure from external sources to look a certain way (National Report on Self Esteem)

92% … of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest. (Dove campaign)

90% … of eating disorders are found in girls (National Association for Self Esteem)

1 in 4 girls today fall into a clinical diagnosis – depression, eating disorders, cutting, and other mental/emotional disorders. On top of these, many more report being constantly anxious, sleep deprived, and under significant pressure. (The Triple Bind, Steven Hinshaw)

By age thirteen, 53% of American girls age 13 are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to…78% by the time girls reach seventeen. (National Institute on Media and the Family)

Reading with Purpose

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
~Amy Carmichael

IMG_2782

The last sentences in the book read, “The family had promised not to mark her grave with a headstone, but they hoped she would forgive them for placing a stone birdbath over her grave. It bore a single word: Amma.” Amma stands for mother in the Hindu culture and Amy Carmichael had become an Amma to hundreds of girls and boys, something she didn’t welcome at first. Her hesitation came from an old saying in the Tamil language, “Children tie the mother’s feet.” It means that when a woman becomes a mother she is no longer free to do all the things she had done before. It is as though her feet are tied together and she cannot go far from home. Amy’s heart was to minister to the people of India and she didn’t know how she would be able to carry out that call with kids, but God did!

As you plan for your upcoming homeschool year, I highly recommend the Christian Heroes: Then & Now. They are inspiring true stories of men and women who answered God’s call. I choose one or two a year to read aloud to the kids. We have completed George Muller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans, Gladys Aylward, The Adventure of a Lifetime, and today finished Amy Carmichael, Rescuer of Precious Gems. These stories will make you laugh and cry. Your children will learn about different cultures, countries, and the hardships many faced aboard. Chapter after chapter you will read about ordinary men and women whose trust in God accomplished extraordinary exploits for His kingdom and glory.

You can purchase these at Christianbookstore.com or YWAM Publishing.

JJ’s 3rd Birthday

DSC_2326

Today you turn three! And I’m still amazed I have a little boy. My prayer was to be a mama…Boy or Girl, was never of importance to me, until I had you! You’re a rough, tough, fighting machine, that doesn’t like to share (we’re working on that), but my heart melts every time I look into your big brown eyes.

Thank you God for giving me my own little boy, I pray now that you will give me wisdom in discipling him without crushing him and encouraging him in the gifts you have blessed him with. I also pray your protection over his life, with every step he takes. Guide his decisions and may he grow to be a man after your heart. ~Amen

DSC_2314

Turtle Power in a Half-Shell!

Publix Cake

DSC_2188

*FYI: Walmart has almost everything Party City has for a TMNT party and it’s 25% to 30% cheaper!
DSC_2192

Live in the Central Florida area and are in need of a BOUNCE HOUSE, check out Leaping to Fun. I’ve used this company for seven or eight years now. They have great prices and great customer service! Schedule one today and don’t forget to mention Bethany 🙂 Bounce House

*Eight of the ten boys were sick the day of the party so, he just rocked out with the girls!DSC_2227

DSC_2334

Thanksgiving Crafts (Finally)

We have dedicated this week to crafts, food, family and fun. Here are few things we did today.

Indian Headdress Our inspiration came from Ankle Biter Art

Lego Stamp This fun activity I came from Crafty Morning

bingo Click here to get your Free Printable Thanksgiving Bingo Boards from Crazy Little Projects

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Homeschooling During the Cold

My favorite thing about homeschooling during the cold weather is all the time we have to snuggle! We are Florida girls, that can’t take anything below 70 degrees so, half of our schooling is completed with lots of blankets!

*Does your schooling change during the winter?

20141120-151915.jpg

Pray and God will Meet our needs…

20141110-141501.jpg

Just finished our second Christian Heroes: Then & Now by Janet and Geoff Benge. George Muller was not always a man of God, he was far from it actually. This past month we watched God call a man of brokenness and use him for greatness! George is a man of noble character and a true hero.

I recommend this book for good independent readers or for a read aloud with the family. Watch God answer George’s prayers day after day!

You can find the entire collection of Christian Heroes: Then and Now, here at YWAM publishing or here at Christian book store.