Showing posts with label Advent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advent. Show all posts

Mary's Voice -- Review of an Advent Devotional


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is time to start thinking about Christmas. I always like to find a way to focus myself on the true meaning of the season. I want something to focus my thoughts on the coming of Christ and God. This year I get to share a new Advent devotional that focuses on Mary. I love learning about Mary!! If you have read Crafty Moms Share for a while you may remember some of my previous posts about Mary. I have reflected on Mary's life many times around Advent. Today I am sharing Mary's Voice: Advent Reflections to Contemplate the Coming of Christ by Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing. 

Holiday Craft Fun with Jingle Stamps


Disclosure: I was sent a set of these stamps in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now I know it is only October, but if you are going to make holiday cards, gifts, or wrapping paper, now is the time to begin! So today I am sharing a fun holiday stamp set with some different ideas for the fall, holidays, and beyond for you and/or your kids to make. The stamp set is called Jingle Stamps, and it includes 22 stamps and a duo ink pad of red and green ink.

The Giving Manger -- the Perfect Family Activity/Gift for Advent Bringing Christ into Your Holiday Season


Disclosure: I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

One of my goals this November is to share  amazing Christmas products, so you will have time to purchase them to enjoy during the season. Today I begin my reviews with The Giving Manger by Allison Hottinger and Lisa Kalberer.

Printable DIY Advent Calendars and Week 1--Hope


Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is always my favorite time of the year. I love the preparation building up to Christmas. It always seems like such a happy time to me. The lights are hung and trees get decorated. People seem a bit more bright and giving. This year even Advent is looking different. We are not physically in church yet, so there isn't the beautiful organ music of Advent songs. But even with Covid the meaning of Advent and Christmas remains. Jesus was born to save us from our sins. To celebrate Advent I created three printable "Advent Calendars". Now we have a beautiful wooden Advent calendar that I need to fill each year. I decided to use one of these in our Advent calendar and one in her lunch box (at least the days she will be in school). The first ones I have to share are the names of Jesus. I made two versions. The first is a small and plain one with the different names in different colors and fonts. 

DIY Christmas Decorations -- a Crafty Sundays Post


Sorry I was missing this past week. Hazel got sick and was out of school all week. I felt like I was fighting it and with some extra sleep and Rachel Carapella's advice, I seemed to fight it off. Now sadly Steve seems to have it. Fortunately it is not Covid-19. It seems to be a cold or a little bug. While being home with Hazel I was able to make some crafts I have been thinking about for awhile. Have you noticed gnomes seem to be everywhere this year? One of the moms of one of Hazel's friends loves them so I have been noticing them everywhere. I was going to try to make one of the fabric gnomes shared here, but haven't gotten around to it. I shared the tutorial with my friend but she wanted a non-sewing version so here is what I came up with.

An Easy DIY Magnetic Advent Calendar

Awhile ago I was checking out what new Christmas products Oriental Trading has as well as doing some research for birthday party themes. I came across this Advent calendar and it inspired today's craft. I used one of those small white boards but make sure it is magnetic. I bought one at Staples because there were not any magnetic ones in stock at the time at Five Below. The Dollar Tree didn't have any magnetic ones that I could find. This one came with a white magnet so I knew it was magnetic. I also used washi tape, permanent markers, ribbon, a small magnet, and miniature ornaments (that I bought ages ago). I

An Advent Table to Help Focus Us on Christ This Season

Every Christmas I see all the commercialism around. I mean Hallmark begins putting out ornaments in July. It is a bit crazy. I always like to create ways to keep our focus on the religious side of the holiday. After all we are celebrating the coming of Jesus, our Savior. Over the years we have gathered some great resources. One of our favorites are the four family storybooks for Advent we have reviewed (Jotham, Tabitha, Bartholomew and Ishtar). Each of these stories tell the nativity story from kids point of view. One is a shepherd and another is the son of one of the magi and so forth. The stories intertwine with each other and make the Advent stories quite an adventure. Hazel loves to reread them each year.

Fun Facts about Advent Wreaths

It is hard to believe it is time to pull out the Advent wreath. I thought I would continue our Fun Facts Series and share some fun facts about Advent wreaths today. Be sure to check out our Fun Facts about Advent

Sharing Saturday 17-47

It is time again for Sharing Saturday! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. So glad you joined us!!

On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop.

Fun Facts about Advent Calendars

It is hard to believe it is time to pull out the Advent calendar. I thought I would continue our Fun Facts Series and share some fun facts about Advent calendars today since it is the first day to open a door on yours. Be sure to check out our Fun Facts about Advent

Fun Facts about Advent

Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to get ready for Christmas!! Advent begins a bit later because of how the dates fall this year. In the western world it begins on Sunday this year. In honor of that I thought I would share a bit about Advent, its history and other fun facts!

Merry Monday! Religious Reviews & a Middle Grade Christmas Book

Disclosure: I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Merry Cyber Monday!! Have you been doing your on-line shopping? Be sure to check out my post from Friday of my favorite places to gift shop! Today I thought I would share with you a few religious products and a really sweet middle grades chapter book (which is not religious). We will start with the non-religious chapter book. It is The Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup and illustrated by Brett Helquist.

Christmas Crafts - Focus on the Nativity with Oriental Trading - a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: Oriental Trading sent me these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

So yesterday we had a Holiday Preview Party at work. We had to be festive even though it is only the beginning of November. I still have holiday nail stickers on. Yes, Santa is on my thumbs. It was fun though and it got me into the mood. Of course it also helps that Hazel has been pulling out holiday DVDs to watch for a couple of months now. Well I always like to find a way to bring the religious side into our holiday and am going to share some crafts and products that do just that. Now Oriental Trading has an amazing collection of religious Christmas products. Hazel and I looked through and choose a few fun things which mostly were crafts. I fell in love with the DIY Unfinished Wooden Nativity & Stable Set, which is no longer available. See their religious Christmas crafts for other ideas. 

Dollar Tree Christmas Crafts including Cheap Doll Finds -- a Crafty Weekends Post and Link Party

Disclosure: I am receiving a small stipend for writing this post and will receive a small percentage from any purchases made from the Dollar Tree links. All opinions are my own!

I know Halloween is coming fast and once it has come the holiday season has begun. I love to focus on Christmas since it is one of my favorite holidays. So yes, I am sharing some Christmas crafts and items. The best part is the supplies are from Dollar Tree where everything is $1!!  And like most stores, they already have Christmas items out!!

Getting Ready for the Real Christmas

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Yesterday I was the storyteller in our church's Goldy Play classroom. I got to share with the kids the first two weeks of Advent since the kids will be upstairs in the service for the second week. (Click here to see the Godly Play story of Advent.) As I told the kids about the mystery of Christmas and the busyness of people at this time of the year I realized that my early holiday preparations that I have been sharing since the beginning of November are so my family has the time to prepare for the glorious mystery of Christmas. My shopping is mostly done and my holiday cards are just about ready to mail, so now I can slow down and enjoy and reflect on the season. I have even shared some new Advent books that are also calendars and the gifts I bought for Hazel's big Advent calendar. Today I am going to share five books that help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. The first three books are part of a series by Arnold Ytreeide. I reviewed the newest one last year: Ishtar's Odyssey. This year we get to read the other three books in the series. Jotham's Joruney, Bartholomew's Passage and Tabitha's Travels. Hazel was so excited to read one about a girl so we started with Tabitha's Travels and have been reading it each night. She LOVES this story!!

Advent, Christmas and a Tea Party Crafts & More! -- a Crafty Weekend Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

We are getting ready for our busy December which includes Advent (which starts next Sunday), Christmas and Hazel's birthday. Hazel decided she wants a fairy tea party this year for her birthday party. We recently received a few products from Oriental Trading to help get ready for all three things. We will go in order starting with Advent.

Christmas Crafts & More

Although I have not been sharing them all, we have been doing some crafts for Christmas. So for my Christmas Eve post, I thought I would share some of what we have been up to and a few other things we love for Christmas!! By the way Sharing Saturday is 2 weeks long and still going on. For Christmas Day there will be some Christmas themed features and the continued link party!!

Let's begin at the beginning of the season. In November Hazel and I purchased four rabbit ornaments for the Multicultural Kid Blogs Ornament Swap. I also made three (well five) ornaments from fabric.  

Christmas Candles in Different Lands

Candle Photo By By Elmar Ersch (Own work)
 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This year for Christmas in Different Lands each post is exploring some aspect of Christmas in at least three different continents. Today we are looking at candles. How do you use candles at Christmas time? With electricity there are not as many uses as there once was but some are still used for special events. In New England often there are single candles (and for some multiple candles) in the windows of a house or church. I shared a bit about Christmas in New England last year.

Picture of New England Church during Advent
 Candles are also used in many other ways. Often there is a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at church as well as the Advent wreath candles during Advent. I shared a bit about our Advent wreath a couple of years ago. Many countries especially in Europe use Advent wreaths and/or Advent candles. Countries like Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Belgium often have Advent wreaths as well as the United States. 

The Sparkle Box -- A Must Read Christmas Book!!

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Ideals Books./Worthy Kids. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

When reading Christmas books I always like ones that have the true meaning of Christmas in the story. Many just retell the story of the first Christmas, however the book I am sharing with you today does not. It shares the real meaning of Christmas with children and gives an activity for the family to do as well to focus on Jesus during this sometimes over commercialized season. The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki is one of my favorite Christmas books ever. 

Ishtar's Odyssey and the Christmas Journey Storybook -- Advent and Christmas Book Reviews

 Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

As someone who likes to focus on one holiday before the next, I try not to share Christmas too early. However I am seeing it everywhere and this year I have some great books and DVDs to share with you. I decided to start with a great Advent book and a fun Christmas story book. I am always trying to bring our focus to the story of Jesus and not the commercialism that Christmas has become. These books are two great ones for doing this.