Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Friendship From Adversity

When Padraig (sounds a bit like Patrick) the dragon finds a lost turtle named Roger, a friendship begins to bloom. Roger, who had been playing pirates and gotten turned around, does not know how to get back to his house.

When Padraig offers to help, he asks Roger what his house looks like. After that fails to get Roger home, Padraig has to know how the house looks, sounds, smells, feels, and tastes. With all of these clues to go on, the little flying dragon finally succeeds in getting Roger home.

And he gets a new friend and cookies, too!

A sweet lesson on helping others even when you don't want to.

I received this book for free to review from WaterBrook Multnomah.  Do you Blog For Books?

**There is now a contest open related to this book!  See below for details.**

Here's how to enter:

1.Enter the contest here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bookcontests/ . Be sure to fill in all the information and use the contest code SAFARI.

2.Have your child(ren) make their own Roger the turtle and Padraig the dragon crafts. We have some ideas and downloadable pieces to help you below.

Click Here for Ideas [pdf]

Download the Roger Coloring Template [pdf]

Download the Padraig Coloring Template [pdf]

3.Take a picture of their unique Roger and Padraig creations on their own "adventure" (i.e. at the library reading a book! swinging on a backyard swing! on the bus! in a tree!)

4.Send the pictures to us at info@waterbrookmultnomah.com with "Safari Picture" in the subject line and a short description of what adventure the picture captures.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Annual Christmas Letter

Hunter is a first grader this year.  At AWANAs he is about to finish memorizing all the books of the Old Testament.  He played t-ball again this summer (he had really improved and grown a lot taller!).  He loves to play outside, watch Spongebob Squarepants, and play video games.  He likes school and playing a "Sparkles" spelling game.  He can read very well, and he has earned some pizzas at school by reading lots of books.  He is beginning to go hunting with Phil, and he's been wearing his Chiefs clothes, too.  He lost his first two teeth on his 6th birthday--not his idea of a happy birthday present!  He is just as sweet as ever.

Hadley and Harper are big talkers and singers.  Staying at the babysitter's house each day seems to be going better now (not as much crying when mama leaves).  Potty training is in progress with many successes lately from Had and Harp (mama and daddy are very happy about this!).  The girls enjoy listening to music (they love to dance!) and story books.  They love baby dolls, stuffed animals, and dishes.  They think Hunter is the cat's meow and follow him everywhere (much to his dismay).

The kids have had their share of bumps, bruises, and medical episodes this year.  Hunter got some cuts, scrapes, and bruises from a playground incident.  He also lost a tooth (his third) to that same fall--ouch!  Harper fell off the porch steps at the babysitter's house and cut and bruised her face.  She also had a black eye from running into a table and a bruised cheek courtesy of her cousin.  Hadley, at some point in time, put a piece of fleece up her nose.  After one unsuccessful trip to the ER and several to the doctor's office it was FINALLY removed at the hospital in Liberal, KS under general anesthesia.  Amy was actually glad to see that chunk of fabric--she KNEW something was up there!

Amy crafted her way through the first six months of 2010 (felt food, an apron, or a ribbon tag blanket, anyone?) along with finishing up her Masters of Education.  She passed her certification test and finished her graduate portfolio.  She's now back to work as a Library Media Specialist for four sites (over 700 kids from kindergarten to fourth grade!).  The job is challenging and tiring, but the extra income is nice.  She's hoping for a new(er) vehicle in the near future.

Phil is teaching and coaching.  His basketball season is underway, and he thinks both teams will do well.  He is still raising German Shorthaired Pointers (he has a new litter right now!).  He had a great container garden this summer, and the family enjoyed lots of the fruits (well, veggies) of his labor.  He helped put a metal roof on the house, and he built a beautiful little playhouse in the backyard.  He's got in a few days of hunting already, and he looks forward to many more this winter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Phil, Amy, Hunter, Hadley, and Harper

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Message of Love

Little Star wants the older, bigger stars to see him, talk to him, realize he exists. They aren't mean to him; they simply ignore him, which is much worse.

The stars begin to speak of a rumor that a king would soon be born. When the baby arrives, he is born in a stable to poor, young parents. The older stars don't believe this could be the King, so they ignore him, too.

Little Star sees that Jesus is the King and chose to come as a baby of meager means. His heart fills with joy and his light burns bright enough to shine down on the stable in Bethlehem.

This sweet story has a good message: sacrifices big and small are rewarded in Heaven.

The illustrations are nice (my young children liked them), and the story flows well. I know I will remember Little Star when I decorate my tree with a star topper this year, and that will help me to also remember the true meaning of Christmas.

A gem of a story that packs a lot of meaning and truth into a small children's book!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  Do you Blog for Books?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I've been helping my mom start a new "school" blog for her kindergarten classroom.  Check out our rough draft at Little Tiger Paws !

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sometimes I have to remind myself that things could be a whole lot worse.  Three years ago my twins were tiny premature babies in the NICU.  Now they are big three-year-old girls with a large vocabulary and energy to spare.  That's an amazing miracle if you stop to consider how they started out.  Thank you, God, for all of my blessings in life thusfar.  (is "thusfar" a word?  if not, it should be...)