Thursday, December 30, 2010

Found it at last!

Every time I go to the fabric store I see the magazines for quilting and a few for sewing but nothing that really spoke to me.  Well last week I went and there it was a magazine that was speaking to me saying, "Take me home."  The magazine is "Sew It All".  I love this magazine and thought I should spread the word.  It has some really great projects in it.  I have already marked like 10 that I want to make.  This is only the second volume so I hope that they keep making them.  Here are a few of the items I plan on making:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

December 24th and 25th

Well this is the end of our reading count down to Christmas.  The funny thing is that we had "Silent Night" both nights.  Last night we read "Silent Night" by Darcy May and tonight we read a scholastic book "Silent Night", which is a board book.  Both books are the first verse of the song "Silent Night". 

How fitting is it to read the beautiful words to "Silent Night" on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of my Saviour Jesus Christ.  My heart is full of gratitude and love on this Christmas Day!  I am grateful that Heavenly Father sent his beloved son to this earth for all us.  To give us peace and hope in a world of turmoil and strife. 

I hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas.  May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

December 23rd

"Here Comes Santa Claus" by Gene Autry and illustrated by Bruce Whatley is a book made from Gene Autry's famous song.  The illustrations shows a little puppy who is with riding along with Santa on his way to a little boys house. 

The kids liked this book because they kind of already know the song.  Really great illustrations!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22nd

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad" by Mercer Mayer is a cute story about a little critter who wants to help with Christmas.  Everything that he helps with just doesn't turn out like he had hoped for.  Like when he wanted to decorate cookies for mom and dad but he couldn't stop eating them.

December 21st

 "Room for a Little one" by Martin Waddell is a beautiful story about an ox making room in his stable.  First comes a dog, then a cat, then a mouse and last a tired donkey who has been carrying Mary.  Over and over the Ox says, "There's always room for a little one here."

I hope that we always have room for Jesus in our lives.  Especially at this wonderful Christmas time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 20th

You can't have Christmas without reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore.  This poem is just a classic.  I can remember memorizing it as a child for school.

This poem was first published in 1823.  So it has really come along way!  It is said that this poem is what really united people in their idea of Santa Claus and what he looked like.  This poem has also inspired so many other books which use this poem as a guide.

The book that we have is old and probably from when my husband was a child.  It is a good old Golden Book. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19th

"Christmas in the Country " by Cynthia Rylant and Diane Goode.  This book is about a girl who lives in the country with her Grandparents.  She starts by telling about their simple life and how each season brings something to there life.  Summer is for eating fresh tomatoes, fall is for canning apples, and spring is for long walks.  But winter is for Christmas.  It is a beautiful book that shows the specialness of Christmas in the snow covered countryside.

I grew up in a small country towns and I think that Christmas is a truly special time.  Now I live in a big city and a desert on top of that.  But I still find that even without the snow we wait for Christmas here much like the country Christmas in the book.  Well we don't cut our own tree but I do have fond memories of doing that as a child.

So no matter if your are in the country or city I think Christmas is a special and magical time.

December 18th

I love the song "The Little Drummer Boy" so this book by Ezra Jack Keats does a beautiful job of adding illustrations to a beautiful song.  One of the things I love most about this book/song is that the drummer boy is so humble.  He wants so badly to give a gift to the Baby Jesus.  All that he can offer is his simple song on his drum.   A simple gift that means so much.  This is just a great reminder to me to give all that I have to serve my saviour.  Even my simple talents can mean something special to someone.  What a wonderful lesson to learn form a simple drummer boy!

December 16th

This is such a cute book about bear and his friends.  Bear's friends want to spend Christmas with him so they wake him up from his winter sleep.  Then they have to stay busy getting ready for Christmas to keep bear awake.  In the end all the friends fall asleep, but bear stays up and make presents for his friends.  He is so busy he doesn't see Santa filling the stockings at the door of the cave. 

This is just a fun Christmas book that shows the spirit of friendship and giving.

December 16th

Sorry still looking for where this book was placed after we read it.  So I will update this post later.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15th

"Olivia Helps with Christmas", to tell you the truth I have been looking forward to this book being opened.  My family loves Olivia the pig.  My husband thinks our kids are a lot like her.  So when we saw this book two years ago we just had to have it.  The first time we read it we just laughed at Olivia and all she does.  This is such a fun book.

If you have ever had your kids help you with something and it winds up no really being helpful you will really relate to this book.  Thank you Olivia for making me smile tonight!

December 14th

"The gift of the Magi"  illustrated by Robert Sauber is the book that My kids read last night.  I the past years I have lest this book out because it is a longer story.  This year I thought that I would try it out and see how it went.  I did have to shorten a few pages in the interest of keeping attention but I still think they liked the story.

It is about a sister and brother who have lost their parents and both work very hard to make a living.  The sister want to buy her brother a special chain for this special watch that belong to their father.  Even though she saved all year she only had $1.87 and not enough to get him what she wanted.  She had beautiful long hair and decided to cut the hair and sell it so she can get him the gift. 

When he brother comes home he is shocked about her hair and clearly saddened by it.  He gives her his gift which is to beautiful hair combs and she crys because her hair is gone.  She says her hair will grow and then she can wear them.  She hurries to share her gift with him only to find out that he sold his watch to buy her combs.

This is a story of two people looking beyond their own wants and being willing to sacrifice for someone else.  I think it is a great Christmas story to remind us that the gifts we give should come from the heart.

December 13th

"The Christmas Star" by Marcus Pfister is another beautiful story about the birth of Jesus.  Marcus Pfister is best know for his book "Rainbow Fish".  As in Rainbow fish he makes the star and many other elements of the story sparkly and beautiful.  HE starts with the Shepard's discussing their visit from the angle and how they want to go and visit the new King but didn't know where to go.  The suddenly the starts begin to move and merged into a new start that lead the way. 

Then the King in his Palace far in the East sees the new star and goes to welcome the new King.  On his way he meets two other Kings journeying to the newborn King.

The the animals in the forest see the new star and follow it, because the star is calling them the Bethlehem.  Finally the star rests above the stable where Jesus was born.  Everyone welcomed the baby Jesus.  The mountain lion laid down the the sheep and the fox with the hare.  The great Kings visited with the humble Shepard's like they were brothers.

I love the last line:  "Inside the stable, the Holy Child fell asleep, and the glorious Christmas Star blazed its beacon of hope over all."

To think that one start gave so much hope to some many people is just awe inspiring.  May we each find this hope of Christ and the light of this Star in our lives daily.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 12th

"I Believe In Santa Claus" by Diane Adamson is a great book for showing that many attributes of Santa are also attributes of Jesus Christ.  My parents gave us this book several years ago and I have loved it every since.  The author starts by talking about Santa and then she talks about Christ.

For example Santa comes and night, and so did baby Jesus.  I wonderful book for helping kids understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 11th

This story is about a mouse who can't wait to see Santa.  So he hides in a pot and waits.  Once Santa gets there he can't resist peeking in Santa's Bag.  Well he wides up trapped in Santa's bag and ends up on the sleigh with Santa.  He gets to see many wonders of the world.  Santa doesn't know he is there until the bag is empty.  Then Santa gives him a ride home.

I like the rhythm of this book.  It is very much the the rhythm of the poem The night before Christmas.  It also has beautiful pictures.

December 10th

This is a great book about Rudolph.  The front of the book says that this is the original story.  I like that Santa goes through the fog and dark night without Rudolph until he goes to Rudolph's house to leave presents and when he enters Rudolph's room the room if glowing from his nose.  So he asks Rudolph to help him so that he can get the presents out in time to all the boys and girls.  The of course Rudolph is a hero in his town and is no longer teased.
This book is kind of long but my kids stay interested the whole time.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9th

Tonight the book we read is "This is the Star" by Joyce Dunbar.  This book stars out with one sentence and each page adds more sentences to all the other sentences.  Kind of like "Napping House".  The pictures in this book are truly amazing.  I have to say that this is not one of my favorites, but I do like that it tells about all the parts to the Nativity story. 

December 8th

Last night we read a classic, "The Polar Express" by Chris Van Allsburg.  I love this book and really enjoyed reading it with my kids.  As most of you know it is about a boy who is still wanting to believe in Santa Clause.  While in his room a train appears outside.  He goes on this train which is the Polar Express and headed to the North Pole.  When he gets there Santa chooses him to pick the first gift of Christmas.  He chooses to take a bell from Santa's Sleigh because he loves the sound it makes.  When he gets back on the train he realizes his robe had a hole in the pocket and he has lost the bell.  Christmas morning he finds a small box under the tree from Santa with his bell in it.  It is then that he realizes that only believes can hear the bell.

I love Chris Van Allsburg's pictures in this book.  I almost feel like I am apart of the story.  When my oldest daughter was little we went on a Polar Express Train ride here in Arizona.  It was so fun.  On the train they served Hot Chocolate and Cookies.  Then they read the story on the train.  We then go to a location that had a fake North Pole.  Santa boarded the train and gave everyone a silver bell.  I have been wanting to go back now that the kids are older.  Maybe next year.

And of course I love the book much more than the movie they made several years ago.  Although my son went through a train stage and watched that movie everyday I swear for almost a year.  Glad that stage is over!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 7th

Last night we read "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado.  This book is really sweet and cute.  It is about a lamb that doesn't fit in because he is crippled.  He feels alone all the time.  When the other sheep leave to go feed in a new valley he has to stay because of his bad leg.  Later that night he awakes to a strange noise and finds Mary and Baby Jesus in the Stable with him.  The baby is cold so the lamb lays by him to keep him warm. 

Shows that each of us has a worth even if we think we are alone.  Our Saviour and Heavenly Father love us!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 6th


Last night we ready "One Snowy Night" by M. Christina Butler.  This book sis a cute book about a hedgehog who gets woke up from hibernating and gets a gift from Santa.  When the gift isn't just right for him he wraps it up and leaves it for a friend.  The gift then gets passed from one friend to the next and eventually winds up being the perfect gift for hedgehog.  This is a cute book that teaches about the act of giving.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5th

Donkey's Christmas SongTonight's book was "The Donkey's Christmas Song" by Nancy Tafuri.  This is a cute book about the Saviours Birth.  It tells about the animals each singing to the baby Jesus as a gift to him.  The Donkey is worried that his bray will be to noisy and not good enough for the baby.  But in the end he gives his song to the baby Jesus and it is perfect.

As I think about the meaning of this book I can't help but reflect on what I have to offer my Saviour.  So many times I feel like my offering isn't enough or
should be better.  I may feel inadequate or lacking but my Saviour loves me and knows my heart,  As long as I am giving it my all he makes up for my imperfections, and that is truly the best gift!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December 4th

My daughter must have a gift for finding wrapped books.  The two kids were talking about the Grinch who stole Christmas.  I told her that we have the book but it is with the wrapped books.  Tonight was her turn and she picked it.  So both her nights she has picked the books she wanted from the wrapped books.

I love "The Grinch who Stole Christmas" by Dr. Seuss.  I have memories of my mom reading this book to me on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve was always a fun night.  We usually got together with all the cousins at my Grandma's house.  We would dress up as The Nativity.  Often each family group would sing or perform something.  We would eat homemade donuts and hot chocolate.  It was all about being with family.

I love this book because it really teaches that Christmas is not about the gifts, the decorations, or the tree.  It is about Jesus' birth!  I also feel that it is about being with family.  I love at the end of the book when the Who's are singing and the Grinch is puzzled by their happiness.  He had stolen what he thought Christmas was only to find out the Christmas is not something that can be bought in the store.  Each year I try to remember that also.  By trying to keep Christmas simple so I can remember the real reasons we are celebrating.

December 3rd

For the third night of December we read "The Story of Christmas" by Patricia Pingry.  We have this book in a board book, which makes it nice for the littlest ones.  This book does a good job of telling the story of Jesus' birth in a way that is easy to understand.

December 2nd

On day two of December we read "Mooseltoe" by Margie Palatini.  This book is so funny and my daughter was really hoping she would pick this one.  In years past I have number the books so they are read in a certain order.  This year I am letting the kids just pick randomly.  The amazing thing is that she did pick the book she wanted.  This book is about a moose dad who is trying to make Christmas perfect but forgets one very important part of Christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 1st

Okay so I should have made this post last night but I was was to tired.  We opened our first Christmas book last night for the first day of December.  Let me tell you the kids were so excited.  "Silent Night" by Susan Jeffers is a book of beautiful illustrations done by Susan Jeffers about the song Silent Night.  We read the book then talked about what the song means and then I sung it to them.  They are really the only people I sing for because trust me it is not always pretty.  Stay tuned for our next book!