What We’ve Been Doing

December 20, 2010

We have been getting ready for Christmas! A bit of baking, a “Holiday Dash” at Monticello for the little one, skiing and shoveling for our big ones…hot chocolate (think they put in enough marshmallows?) And some tree trimming and reading.

Hope all of you are enjoying some of the Joys of the Season!

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom”! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year. AND BEST OF ALL … there’s also a giveaway! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls – a tangible reminder of God’s grace to us all.
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Gift List
by Tricia Goyer

I’ve been thinking lately how hard it must be for Oprah to Christmas shop. I mean if you were on her “gift list” wouldn’t you expect something really, really good? The woman gives away cars and trips to Australia on her television show for goodness sake! It seems by the end of Christmas Day her friends and family would look at the pile of presents and think, “Is that it?” I mean if you knew there was billions of dollars she could spend on you, would you ever feel satisfied?

Sometimes I think we approach God the same way. We look around at our home, our family, our job, our free time and we still aren’t satisfied. We wish our body looked better, our clothes were more in style, our husband was more considerate and our kids were more … well, like the perfect little people we picture in our mind. Our careers don’t excel as quickly as we think they should and people don’t give us the attention we feel we deserve. We’re tired and anxious and the to-do list seems to be tacked to our hearts for all the pain it causes.

Often, we look around and don’t speak the words out loud, but think them just the same. “Is that it?” I mean, You’re the God of the universe and You have all things in Your hands and under Your control. Couldn’t you provide a little more money to help those bills disappear or make me a bit more content with the man I’ve chosen to spend my life with? And I thought Oprah had it tough.

Is there ever a time when God doesn’t hear the murmurs? Again, not with our mouths but in our heart.

I’ve been guilty of this–of not being satisfied with the gifts I’ve been given. Yes, there will always be more to want, but today–at this moment–I’m satisfied. And I look to Him with a grateful heart and whisper, “Thank you, it is enough. More than enough.”

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About Tricia: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-six books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia’s book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more information, please visit www.triciagoyer.com

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A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year’s Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}.

The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog (http://margaretmcsweeney.blogspot.com) on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit www.pearlgirls.info

iPad App, Teddy’s Day Free!

December 19, 2010

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Just passing on a quick note about a sweet looking  and currently FREE app for those of you with iPads (luckies!)

“Auryn has made its digital storybook iPad app Teddy’s Day FREE for the holidays. The iPad app is currently in the Apple store top 50, and can be downloaded here:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teddys-day/id400989528?mt=8#

“What Does My Teddy Do All Day?” is an enchanting, interactive storybook about a little girl’s curiosity about what her beloved teddy does when she’s away. Will you help her catch Teddy having fun and secret adventures? Kids will love immersing themselves in a world of wonder and imagination, where characters come to animated life and respond to playful taps and tickles. Special interactive elements, including a color drawing tablet, makes this app in a class of its own. “Teddy” is sure to win the hearts of kids and parents everywhere.”

Wits & Wagers Family

December 19, 2010

wits n wagers family

Looking for a fun party game to play with your kids? I just got the chance to try out a game called Wits & Wagers Family Edition, from North Star Games. My husband and I got the biggest kick out of this game. It is actually a trivia game, similar to the popular Wits & Wagers, but from what I gather, made a bit easier for families. You can play with individual players, or groups with kids 8 and up (although we let Emma on a teamJ

The game surprised me, in that I expected the game to be more verbal—while it IS a trivia game, each answer is given using a number! This threw me a bit, but my boys loved this. You can work in teams and even win without knowing the exact answer…because you can also score points by placing your piece (Meeples) on a teammates guess. Whoever comes closest to the correct number, without going over, wins the points.

I liked the game parts and pieces- everything is simple, not lots of stuff to piece together or lose, but well made scoreboards that you use w/dry erase markers and lots of question cards. The little wooden Meeples, are people shaped playing pieces—my kids loved those.

This is a fun addition for game lovers for the Holidays. You can find Wits & Wagers Family at  Toys R’Us and I just saw this at Target…I also saw Wits & Wagers Family on sale right now on Amazon (sign up for Amazon Mom and get in time for Christmas with free shipping!)

See what my crewmates have to say about  Wits & Wagers Family!

I received materials from North Star Games for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

Each year, as I look forward to our Christmas Traditions, I also try to incorporate new traditions. For our household, my husband and I celebrate Christmas with what we hope is a focus on Jesus’ birth. A few of the things we do include using Advent Calendar readings and candles in the evenings, preparing a Christmas Tree as a family, and even getting stockings and cookies and milk ready for Santa.

As mom, I do struggle sometimes with what traditions to include and focus on for my family and I am thrilled when an idea or activity really fits our family and helps us celebrate the Savior’s Birth.

When I read Ellen Nibali’s The Secret of St. Nicholas, I immediately felt that I had found a new tradition for us! This new book is based on a story of St. Nicholas’s life that many scholars believe to be true. I was delighted to find a story that imparts the joy of the Christmas Story of Christ’s birth, while also sharing some of the fun and tradition of St. Nicholas and his doing of good deeds “in secret.”

The watercolor illustrations are lovely and the hardback book is perfect for a special holiday gift book.

Yes, this one is a keeper!

Yes, this one is a keeper!

You can look inside the book, “The Secret of St. Nicholas” on the website. Also, read about the author, and take a Santa Claus survey…or, find lessons and study plans for The Secret of St. Nicholas. You can even order an autographed copy.

You can also purchase “The Secret of St. Nicholas” on Amazon–if you have Amazon Mom, you can get free, fast shipping!