I've had a running list of some of my most favorite things lately and I thought I'd share them with you. The first one is this book (it is actually a series of 4 books) by Ella K. Lindvall called Read-Aloud Bible Stories. They are FANTASTIC! They have received many awards and I must say I can see why. Any mom who has spent a lot of time reading Bible stories to their kids knows the drill. I think the same person illustrates every book and the words are usually dumbed down short sentences that in an attempt to simplify a biblical truth end up making it kind of boring and uninteresting (at least after you have read them fifty times!). These books have really cool art work that is interesting and engaging (even for adults). The stories are told in a way that conveys the truth and is really understandable to a child without being insulting to their intelligence! At the end of each story there are a few questions about what you learned in the story. It really pulls it all together and helps with understanding the sometimes difficult concepts presented. Claire reads these at school and was thrilled when she saw that I had it at home. These are hard back books that will last through many children. They will be making the trip to Peru and beyond with us despite their hardback weight -they are worth it!
This handy dandy little gadget is affectionatley known as "The Lady" around here. My Dad received two as retirement (his most recent retirement, that is) gifts so he kindly passed one on to us. It has revolutionized my world. I have to tell you I am always lost. I always get confused and can't even tell what direction is where at sunset. My Dad was a pilot so he is always giving directions like "turn east" or "go north" and I look at him like he is speaking Japanese. Seriously, east and north? Now that I have the lady I always know where I am and can just punch in where I want to go and the Lady takes me right there. She is a good woman to me. She even tells me what restaurants are nearby. This is extremely hand on road trips. I just think I would like a strawberry limeade from Sonic punch an few buttons and the Lady takes me to the nearest Sonic. No more stopping at Wendy's when there is a Chic-fil-a at the next exit. She has helped me find post offices, museums and countless other locations. Thank you Lady. You are wonderful to me. My friends should be thankful for the Lady too (especially Stephanie) because without her I would still be trying to find your house.
This is a fun stationery company who does all kinds of fantastic announcements and cards. I got my Christmas cards here this year and I think they turned out wonderful! Of course they have lots of cool modern designs that still have a traditional edge to them but they made my favorites list for 2 other reasons. The first is when you are working on the page layout of your Christmas card there is a kind little reminder that an " 's " denotes possession so just adding an "s" to your last name is grammatically appropriate. Can I get an Amen? This is my biggest grammatical pet peeve (my other one is "alot" instead of "a lot") and I am so thankful for the people at Tiny Prints for taking a stand against the apostrophe! Thank you, thank you!
The second reason they made my list is well lets just pretend you are pregnant and are trying to decide on a baby name. You just need to see it and kind of try it on before you commit. Go to Tiny Prints. Pick out a lovely birth announcement and proceed to personalize it. In a few short seconds you are looking at a perfectly hypothetical birth announcement for your baby and you can see the name and feel it out. First of all how much fun! Second of all - very handy when you are trying to decide on a baby name. Very fun.
OK, I stole this from my sister-in-law. If you have a little boy this will be the cutest, most functional, best investment piece of clothing you can buy. These green corduroy longalls are just about the most perfect thing for a little boy and I'll tell you why. First you find pair like these pictured above on my little cutie (who loves to brush his hair). They are by Little English in a wonderful mossy green color that works great with lots of colors. The key is the tone on tone monogram that adds that cute personalized touch but doesn't hem you in on what shirts coordinate. You start as soon as it is "corduroy weather" maybe late September in these parts. You pair them with a short sleeve shirt in either white or navy blue you can go with this until October when you switch to an orange shirt which is perfect for a trip to the pumpkin patch. You can wear this through November (you can throw a white shirt or navy shirt in the mix too in the mean time) then in December you switch to a red shirt for instant holiday cheer. From January through then end of cord season you can go back to white and navy. I love look of the navy shirt with the green corduroy and blue saddle oxfords - precious! I hate that the only picture I have of them is with the white because it is the plainest of all the combinations but it is still cute. Use your imagination for the other colors . . .
I've mentioned Community Bible Study on my blog before but it deserves a spot on my favorites list. The only thing I don't like about CBS is the fact that I've only done it for 2 years! If you have never done a Bible study (or never studied the Bible at all for that matter) this is a wonderful place to start. I have made some precious friends and have just so enjoyed the time I have spent investing in the study and the ministry.
The time is divided each week (2 hours) between an opening that includes singing and a short talk or testimony by someone then you go to your small group where you have wonderful fellowship and discussion of the questions/lesson from that week. Then you go back to the big gathering of everyone for a lecture on that week's lesson. During the week you have a daily lesson that consists of questions on that week's scripture. They have devised a wonderful system of study so that you go through the material 4 different times and ways which is really effective. Last year we did Genesis (which was amazing) and this year we have done Job, Galatians and just started Hebrews. You can check on their website to see if a CBS meets in your area. They are a non-denomenational ministry that meets at local churches but is not affiliated with them.
The shining star of CBS is the incredible children's ministry. It is just fantastic and one of the things I will miss the most for my kids when we are overseas. They have a wonderful curriculum that is the most effective at teaching young kids the Bible that I have ever seen. One reason for this is that they start with "Baby CBS" at one year old and go from there. It is fantastic and the kids really, really learn. It is amazing. I have a song list that they use that is so wonderful! I'm going to try to get it up here one day to share because it will bless you like it has me and my family.
Well, I'm sure I have lots of other favorite things but these are just a few I hope you enjoy as much as I do!