Showing posts with label Nativity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nativity. Show all posts

Fun Christmas Books for Little Ones

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

Today I am going to share two more Christmas books. These are for the younger kids. One is a board book and the other is a picture book. The board book is about the Christmas story and in particular the wise men. The picture book is entertaining and involves many storybook favorite characters. Let's start with the board book, The Story of the Wise Men by Patricia A. Pingry and illustrated by Alice Buckingham. It is recommended for ages 1 to 4.

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.

Create and Play Christmas Products for Kids -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

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

Thanksgiving is over and now it is time to focus on our next holidays. For us that is Christmas. Today I am going to share three fun craft "books" for kids. Hazel has been having so much fun with all of these!! The first one is Press Out and Color: Christmas Ornaments by Kate McLelland. (Be sure to check out our reviews of other Press Out and Color books.)

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. 

Mini Knitted Christmas -- Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Search Press. 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 from them.

Are you getting ready for Christmas? I know we are at my house. Advent starts this weekend and I had grand plans of knitting Hazel a Nativity set to put in her Advent calendar this year. I was so excited to see the patterns in Mini Knitted Christmas by Sue Stratford.

This book has patterns for an entire Nativity set including the stable. The instructions are easy to follow and very clear. I however got myself confused and gave up on my Mary and stopped there. (This confusion was my own fault and not the book's.)

Christmas Crafts & Sewing: Elf on the Shelf, The Christmas Story, and Frozen

Well with Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would share a bunch of the things we have been up to lately. It is amazing how fast Christmas is coming. Between Hazel and I getting sick I feel like we have not gotten everything done that I hoped. Now we are hoping Hazel's fever stays away long enough for her not to be contagious (she has strep and possibly something else) so we can celebrate with extended family. With my time I have been doing some sewing and am working on a quilt to review a quilt book hopefully later this week since I'm hoping to have the quilt as part of Hazel's Christmas gift.

Sharing Saturday 14-50

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This weekend was planning on I taking off with a girlfriend for a much needed mommies weekend away, but Hazel developed a fever, so plans postponed. However the party will still go on!! Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week!! This week's features are divided into Multicultural Holidays, Christmas and Winter and Stars. I went a little crazy with the number of features so I hope you enjoy them all!!

Multicultural Holidays

1) From Multicultural Kid Blogs: Hanukkah for Kids

2) From Dad's The Way I Like It: A Toddler's Christmas in Wales

3) From Planet Smarty Pants: Christmas Around the World -- Germany

4) From A Life in Balance: Swedish Christmas Braid

Christmas Features

1) From An Idea on Tuesday: Vegetable Printing Nativity

2) From Christianity Cove: Holiday Snack Idea: Jelly Bean Christmas Trees

3) From A Life in Balance: Easy Gingerbread House for Christmas

4) From Best Toys for Toddlers: No-Sew & No-Glue Paper Roll Christmas Elves

5) From Kandy Kreations: Christmas Shepherd 2 Nativity Advent Calendar Gift Idea Day 5

Winter and Star Features

1) From The Practical Mom: DIY Christmas Decoration: Star Lantern

2) From Sunshine and Hurricanes: Frozen Inspired Christmas Crafts

3) From Life with Moore Babies: Egg Carton Snowmen

4) From In the Playroom: Kid Made Star Display Inspired by How to Catch a Star

5) From Say Not Sweet Anne: Creamy 3 Ingredient Hot Cocoa

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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This week we shared some simple nativity crafts, reviewed some books for traveling from home, shared the history of the Christmas tree and some customs and trees from around the world, and shared our persimmon exploration!

Now for This Week's Party 

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Simple Nativity Crafts

For Advent, I thought I would share each post where our Mouse and the Miracle Mouse (Holy) has been up to. (He now has an elf friend named Elfie who often is hidden with him.)
Elfie looking out dollhouse window.
Holy is on the other side of the dollhouse

We have had a busy and exciting weekend. Our Saturday started with a trip to our town's Holiday Stroll. At the school we went to they did not have Santa Claus, but had the Frozen characters.
Hazel was on top of the world and brought her autograph book for them to sign. (I think it may have made the high school students day to be asked to sign an autograph book.)
Roman Soldier visiting the Holy family

Clay Nativity Ornaments

Today we are sharing our fun and simple Christmas ornaments. Hazel is making these for all of her teachers and family members as their Christmas gift. The idea came from making a nativity set using clay and nativity cookie cutters. This was one of our crafts at our Night in Bethlehem last year, but Hazel did not try it since I was busy and Steve is not that into doing crafts. I made a sample one up for the church event this year.

The Mouse and the Miracle -- Christmas Product Review

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 so excited to share this amazing product with you today. It is a Christmas product and I usually do not like to do much Christmas this early, but this product is wonderful and I want you to have a chance to get it in case they run out! Everyone who we have shared it with wants to get one and I have already ordered another set for a Christmas gift. Yes, this product is that great. I am sure you have heard of Elf on the Shelf. Well, I find the Elf on the Shelf a little creepy and refuse to have one in my house. I love seeing what people do with their elf however and think it would be fun to be able to be creative. And now Oriental Trading has come out with a wonderful religious replacement for the Elf on the Shelf!! They call it The Mouse and the Miracle, but I like to say we have a Mouse in the House.  (What can I say, I like to rhyme.) Without further ado, meet Holy!!

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Yes, I still have Christmas on my brain--way too early! This month's author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Karma Wilson. Now Karma Wilson has some amazing books. I think the most famous ones are the Bear series. Lately Hazel has been scared of books with bears, so I stayed away from them. We however fell in love with Mortimer. We read the two Mortimer books and since Christmas is coming sooner than when I'll plant a garden again, we went with Mortimer's Christmas Manger. We however also loved the Little Pip series too!

Happy Family Times #37--Zoo Lights and a Living Nativity

Have you done something fun with your family this week? Kelly at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I would love to hear about it. We are gathering different activities to inspire us all to have more fun together times with our families. Please share yours below!

This week I am going to share two family activities. Both are seasonal. The first thing we did was to go to our local zoo for their Zoo Lights exhibit. They literally have the zoo decorated with many Christmas lights. For parts of it it is like walking through the woods with Christmas lights on all the trees (and getting to see the occasional animal in a lit cage). We went to the Zoo Lights a couple of years ago when Hazel was almost two but the night was extremely cold. This year we picked a night that was unusually warm.  Much more fun to walk around in less layers.
Daddy and Hazel strolling along the path
We got to see the bald eagle, the arctic fox, an owl and reindeer as well as a river otter.
The reindeer comes to say hello
After strolling through the animals we went over towards the gift shop and found this photo prop.
Sorry, Steve is not great with the camera.

Then we headed to Santa's Castle for Hazel's third picture with Santa this year. And saw the many displays outside of it which included lights, dolls, a train and much more.

Then it was time for the rides. Hazel wanted to go on the carousel. The last time we had come to Zoo Lights was the first time she went on a carousel ever.
And of course a trip to the zoo is not complete without a ride on the train.
Then we stopped at the snack bar for some hot apple cider and popcorn and headed home for dinner.

Our other big activity this week was on Saturday we went to a living nativity. We invited Steve's mother to join us. We traveled just over half an hour to a church that hosts a Journey to Bethlehem for three nights. They literally have you pretend you are journeying from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. You get to see Roman soldiers, the wisemen, shepherds with live sheep and goats, the inn keeper, angels, and of course the holy family. It was an amazing experience. Hazel is hoping to go back every year.

When you first get there you are taken into the sanctuary for a preview of the event and getting the important information before hand of the prophets and the history of Mary, etc. Plus you get to see the ruins of King Herrod's castle and all sorts of things. Then when it is your groups turn you are taken into another room which is set up as Joseph's Carpentry Shop and you are met with your leaders for the journey and are given your papers (and identity for the journey). Hazel's journey identity was Hazael! What a coincidence! The first stop was map maker who showed the journey on a map and explained why you do not take the direct route (it is not safe). Then you were stopped by beggars and stopped at a rabbi's encampment. Then the Roman soldiers stop you and ask to see papers and ask all sorts of questions of a few. Hazel was scared of the soldiers and was clinging to me, so they left us alone.

Then we met the wisemen who showed us their gifts and explained what each was. Then we saw the shepherds and sheep. There the angel came to give the good news and then more angels sang. Then we went to the inn to find a room and of course there was none and we were taken to the stable where we found Joseph and Mary and Jesus (a two-month-old baby well wrapped). After the shepherds left the children were allowed to move closer to the family and there was not much room for my shy little girl so the narrator lifted her onto a hay stack and held her there while he spoke to us. This is the one picture I took. You can see Hazel on the hay stack looking at the holy family.
Then we went back inside the church where they served cookies, coffee, hot cocoa and had a story corner for children and information on the church, etc. everywhere. We all agreed it was an amazing experience and we definitely want to go back again next year. If you get a chance to go to a living nativity I highly recommend it.

Now it is your turn to share how your family has spent some quality time lately.

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Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

Focus on the Nativity

This year one of my goals is to really focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I feel our society is so much turned away from the religious side of Christmas and more into the commercialism and the receiving. I do not want to bring Hazel up this way. I want her to understand why we celebrate Christmas and why it is a special day. So I have been on the look-out for ways to do this.