Tag Archive | free

Merry Christmas

baby jesus

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him

in a manger, because there was no guest

room available for them. – Luke 2:7

Then, an angel of the Lord said, “Today, in

the town of David a Savior has been born to

you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. ” – Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas!

As my gift to you, I’d like to offer my ebook easy readers for free. You will find them on Amazon.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

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Guest Blog by Marilee Woodfield/Book Review

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I was asked to review my guest blogger Marilee Woodfield’s latest book The 12-Day Nativity. Its timing is impeccable since Christmas is just around the corner.

In it, she shares some great ideas, scriptures, and songs to celebrate the twelve days leading up to Christmas together as a family. She shares adorable graphics depicting the nativity scene. Included are fun cut-outs and journal pages to use with your children. Marilee winds down her book by summarizing international nativity traditions. This year, my family’s nativity tradition will look a little different  as a result of The 12 Day Nativity.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Marilee Woodfield is an author, blogger, early childhood educator, and cake decorator. You can find her preschool music work at kids-and-music.blogspot.com her fantastical cake creations at frostedinsanity.com and her several teacher resource books as well as her latest book The 12-Day Nativity on amazon.com, and at her blog 12daynativity.com which is dedicated to “all things nativity”. She and her family live in Carrollton, Texas. You can follow her on Pinterest and/or Facebook. Please welcome Marilee!

Blessings, Rebecca

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The Family Nativity

Excerpted from the 12-Day Nativity: Christmas Activities for a Christ-Centered Home, (Cedar Fort Publishing, 2015)

As a child I remember my family having one nativity set that was displayed each year.  It was a simple white set made of plaster, and the stable was built out of scrap wood and leftover paneling from our 1970’s chic basement.  The set always sat perched on top of the piano, surrounded by twinkle lights covered with angel hair (a spun-glass product that is hair-like and white-translucent).  The figures were not heavy, and it was always a challenge to find a spot where they would stand up in between the lights and angel hair.  Over the years our family nativity grew in “character” as heads were broken off and re-glued, and delicate features became worn with use.  The shepherds and wise men were referred to as the “German shepherds” and “wise guys”.  My sister affectionately labeled the sheep as “cheats” before she could pronounce them otherwise.  I was more concerned about the naked baby Jesus, and exasperated my mother as every time she passed the nativity she would find a dirty old rag or handkerchief covering the baby Jesus.  When she finally discovered the responsible party, I explained that I thought the baby Jesus must be cold.

Somehow, the family’s nativity set ended up at the home of one of by brothers, and was saved from the Goodwill pile by my sister-in-law who knew I had begun collecting nativities.  It had come to them as a “white elephant” gift exchange between siblings a few years prior, and it had been abandoned on a basement storage shelf for a few years.  The stable is warped, and I have to re-set the nails every year.  The figures have been broken and re-glued many times, leaving one to wonder what horrific tale of carnage they would tell.  It is by no means the most beautiful nativity in our home, but it is one of my favorites.  First as a symbol of happy Christmases past, and also because it reminds me of my relationship with the Savior – broken and fixed many times over, warped, not pretty, but loved and beloved just the same.

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Do you have a family nativity for your home?  If not, find a favorite and pick a special spot to display it.  If you have small children, you may want to consider a set that will withstand sticky hands and a few bumps and bruises. There are lots of ways to celebrate the Nativity this season, The 12 Day Nativity has lots of suggestions for getting you started with your family nativity.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read The 12 Day Nativity as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from you on how you celebrate Christmas with your children. Simply share a family tradition with us by commenting below. Your name will then be placed in a random drawing.

On October 30, 2015, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than November 3, 2015. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Guest Blog by Eileen Turay

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I’d like to introduce Eileen Turay. She has a Masters of Science in Counseling with a school specialization. She’s worked with children with Autism for a few years using ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), and taught at both preschool and elementary levels. She’s married, has a three-year-old daughter, two dogs, and they live in South Florida.

She shares some great free and cheap ideas to do with children. Please welcome Eileen Turay!

Blessings, Rebecca

Our top 8 fave FREE and CHEAP things to do with Kids

Since I currently work full time, I am always looking for new fun things for Olivia and I to do on the weekends. Though going to get Bagels and Starbucks are among our top two faves, they get old quickly; so, I thought I would make a list of some of our favorite inexpensive and free things that Olivia and I like to do together.

1. Make breakfast together. Pancakes are not only pretty simple to make, they are easy for a three-year-old to help make. Liv loves nothing more than to stir up the batter. I know, it can get messy, but it is worth it. When she feels helpful, it makes us both happy. Then we sit on the couch in our jammies and yell at the dogs together for trying to eat our food.

breakfast

Eating breakfast together. parenting fun

 2. Go to a new park. HYPE IT UP! When I ask if Olivia wants to go to the park, I never know what she is going to say; but if I ask her if she wants to try a BRAND NEW AMAZING SUPER AWESOME park, she is IN! Google parks in a 30 mile radius from your house. If you see graffiti, gang signs, and broken glass you may want to try another one… but that’s the fun in the adventure right?

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Fun at the Park

3. Festivals. Greek, music, dog, school, asparagus (yep.. that’s a real one in Stockton, CA lol) Look them up and go!! You may have to argue with your child a bit about why $5 a ticket for the bounce house is not happening… but you can probably distract her with a sweet swag bag compliments of the local Bank Branch booth.

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Fun and Free Festivals

 4. FORTS. I cannot stress how amazing forts are. From ages 2-34 (my husband as proof), forts can be lots of fun. You have to be willing to just say goodbye to any chance of having decent couch cushions ever again; but honestly, if you have a three-year-old, you’ve already had the sofa funeral.

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Fort Fun. Making a Mess

5. Anything wet. If you have the space for it, a tiny pool or water table. If you live in an apartment like us, find the nearest spray ground/beach/lake/pool. This one is a given. Olivia almost always says she doesn’t want to go; then she always has a blast. Here is the trick: you need to get wet too. I don’t know why I am sharing this or why it is such a stand out memory to me: but as a child, my mom never wanted to swim with us. We swam at my grandparents’ pool all the time and she NEVER got into a bathing suit to swim with us. Dad? always down… but mom was never a fan of water/swimming. I STILL remember like yesterday when one of the other adults pushed her into the pool one time with all of us with all her clothes on. I know she was mad at first but she ended up laughing. I thought it was the MOST FUN swim day we ever had as kids. It is such a simple thing, but your kid does NOT care what you look like in a bathing suit. She just wants you to be part of the fun. So be a part of it. She will remember. I still do.

free and fun things to do water fountain

Free and Fun Things to do, Water Fountain 

6. Picnics. Eating a PBJ in your house=lame. Eating a PBJ on a blanket or picnic table anywhere else=awesome. For some reason, doing things like eating sandwiches at novel locations always seems to be a good time.

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Fun, Free Picnic.

 

7. Crafting. We live in FL so we are not short of Coconuts to paint. If you live somewhere where pinecones or large rocks inhabit, paint those. If big leaves are all you have to work with, use those. Its innate in children to pick up/collect/borderline hoard things they find in nature every day. If I had a rock for every time Olivia collected a stick…. oh yah, I do… and there are a lot. If you don’t want to buy paint, use what you have. Glue and ripped paper is a great time 🙂

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8. READ. People are amazed at Olivia’s vocabulary everywhere we go. I can honestly say that her intelligence is highly attributed to the amount of books we read together. We have read to her at night time since she was a tiny baby. She barely sat still for the longest time. At some point, however, she began to go from “fidgety toddler who barely made it through one story” to “mommy you skipped a page” (I swear I didn’t mean to… ok I did… but now she catches me so I had to stop). If you don’t always remember to read to your child, it’s ok! If you don’t have the time to do it at night, make it. I promise you, the bonding that comes from routine reading time is immeasurable. It is one of our favorite things to do.

reading to your kids

Reading to your Kids

 Spend time not money.

Visit our website at www.livandleen.com for more parenting tips and tricks, and learn from my mistakes before you make your own.

A special thanks to Rebecca for letting us into your community. It’s always better when we Liv and Leen totegher J

Eileen Turay

Liv&Leen

Here are some other ideas for fun stuff to do with your kids:  Fun Stuff

PS. Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure is now available in paperback!

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