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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Words of Jesus -- Mommy Time Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Worthy Publishing. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.  The links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

 As we enter the busy holiday season, have you taken time to consider the Greatest Gift of all? We often hear this time of year that Jesus is the Greatest Gift, but what does that gift mean to you? Stu Epperson, Jr. helps explain and explore this in his new book, First Words of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Trees, Personalized & Classic Stories & More!

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. Some of the links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!


Now that Thanksgiving is over we are focusing on Christmas. I love the time of Advent. It is the time I take to enjoy the season and remember the amazing gift that Jesus truly is. The first thing we always do is put up our tree. Hazel wanted to do it on Thanksgiving this year since her grandmother was here. (My mother-in-law hardly ever comes to our house, so Hazel was really excited.) The tree went up.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting Ready for the Real Christmas

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Yesterday I was the storyteller in our church's Goldy Play classroom. I got to share with the kids the first two weeks of Advent since the kids will be upstairs in the service for the second week. (Click here to see the Godly Play story of Advent.) As I told the kids about the mystery of Christmas and the busyness of people at this time of the year I realized that my early holiday preparations that I have been sharing since the beginning of November are so my family has the time to prepare for the glorious mystery of Christmas. My shopping is mostly done and my holiday cards are just about ready to mail, so now I can slow down and enjoy and reflect on the season. I have even shared some new Advent books that are also calendars and the gifts I bought for Hazel's big Advent calendar. Today I am going to share five books that help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. The first three books are part of a series by Arnold Ytreeide. I reviewed the newest one last year: Ishtar's Odyssey. This year we get to read the other three books in the series. Jotham's Joruney, Bartholomew's Passage and Tabitha's Travels. Hazel was so excited to read one about a girl so we started with Tabitha's Travels and have been reading it each night. She LOVES this story!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas Coloring & Crafting & Creative Play -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

I have not been posting as much the past week or so between the holiday, spending time with family and fighting the horrible cold. As a result I am going to share two books with you today. One is for adults and the other is for kids (and is definitely going to be on my great gifts of the year list!!). We will start with the first book which I was planning on reviewing for Relaxing Friday, however it didn't happen. The book is Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford. Her coloring books are among the top ones. Over the summer I had the pleasure of sharing her Magical Jungle with you. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016 -- Reflections on Thanksgiving


Today I am spending time with my family. On the third Thursday of each November the United States takes a break from our busy lives to celebrate Thanksgiving. Most schools teach about the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Colony.  Many Native Americans see Thanksgiving as a day to mourn because of this. I can understand this view and see why it could be a day to mourn for the groups of people who were so brutally oppressed and had their land and in many cases lives taken away from them. However I like to think about Thanksgiving as a day where my family stops our busyness and takes time to thank God for our blessings. It is a time where we get to gather with the people we love and enjoy some quality time together. My family has the traditional turkey meal with stuffing and potatoes and vegetables and homemade cranberry sauce (Hazel and I always make it). We try hard not to have too much food so that we can actually just enjoy the meal and company. So as much as I understand what Thanksgiving means to Native Americans I think most families in America do not think about the first Thanksgiving all that much as part of the meal or at least I hope they do. I see it as a time for family and God. How do you see it?

 Our guests are greeted by our colorful turkey on our door this year. Hazel and I put this turkey together from a Paper Source kit

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! I am thankful for each of you as a reader of Crafty Moms Share!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Chapter Books for Various Ages: Beginning Readers through Adults


Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Today I am sharing five chapter books with you and each is for different level/aged readers. We will work from youngest to oldest. The first book is the fourth in a series Hazel fell in love with. It is The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. We shared/reviewed the other versions: First, Second, and Third. I began reading this series to Hazel and the newest book she read to me!! Now Hazel loves to bring these books with us when we visit my parents. If she gets bored she pulls them out and reads them to herself. They are fairly easy reads and have pictures throughout the chapters. The suggested grade levels is kindergarten to third. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Advent, Christmas and a Tea Party Crafts & More! -- a Crafty Weekend Review & LInk Party

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 including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

We are getting ready for our busy December which includes Advent (which starts next Sunday), Christmas and Hazel's birthday. Hazel decided she wants a fairy tea party this year for her birthday party. We recently received a few products from Oriental Trading to help get ready for all three things. We will go in order starting with Advent.

Photo Gifts with Tiny Prints

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Please consider making a purchase and supporting Crafty Moms Share. Since I do not accept advertising, this is my only income from this blog. Click pictures for links. I was compensated for this post.


Are you still trying to figure out the perfect gift for your kids to give your husband or perhaps a grandparent? This year Tiny Prints saved us with one of their Deal of the Day and we got this photo mug for free. We just had to pay for shipping and handling. Hazel helped me design it and is very excited to give it to Steve this Christmas. He is one of those impossible to buy for people. He usually only tells his mother what he wants from her because she will buy for him no matter what. He always tells me he doesn't want anything. Ugh!!  Photo gifts from Tiny Prints are the perfect gift for dads, moms, grandparents and more! Then I saw that the Deal of the Day was a free Tiny Prints Custom Photo Mugs that was white so I went for it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-47 a 2 week party!!

It is time for Sharing Saturday!! With Thanksgiving next week I will be spending next weekend enjoying quality time with my extended family, so this party will be two weeks long!! Be sure to come back next week and share with us again!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop (a new one starts this week).

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! This week we have two groups of features: November Features and Every Day Features.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Native American Heritage Month Series & Giveaway -- Review of Some of the Prizes


Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Have you seen the amazing prizes we have put together for Multicultural Kid Blogs' Native American Heritage Month Series & Giveaway? If not, scroll down!! I helped find some of them and have some copies of them to review for you. I am going to do it by publisher but also go in order of the prizes. We will start with the Grand Prize and Quarto Knows. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

US History & State Information -- Reviews

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Ever since Hazel tied for third in the school Geography Bee last year, she has been even more interested in learning about the world and especially the other states. I also want her to know about her own country just like we look at different countries and cultures. Luckily her class is studying the states this year, but I also found some great resources to supplement her class lessons. I also have to include a bit of history and other fun.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Native Americans of Cape Cod and Massachusetts


This summer while visiting my parents at Cape Cod, Steve, Hazel and I journeyed to the National Seashore Visitor's Center. It was the first time I took Hazel there and possibly Steve's first time as well. We watched the videos on how Cape Cod was formed and a bit of the history of Cape Cod. There is quite a bit of history. Then we went into the small exhibit room. In this room there was various exhibits about the people of the past on Cape Cod and of course included a Native American exhibit. I thought I took some pictures, but if I did they are lost. Part of the exhibit showed the structure of a wigwam and had other tools and parts of Native American life. But what struck me the most was the recordings of Native Americans and messages they have for all. One message was how it is important to know the history of the place you live. Knowing that history will enable you to understand the land and environment and preserve it as much as possible. I have been thinking about this ever since. It made me want to investigate the Native Americans of Cape Cod. After all so many things are named using Native American words like Nauset, Skaket, Namskaket, Mashpee, Cotuit, Hyannis, Sagamore and more. Even Massachusetts comes from Native Americans. In fact it is the tribe which lived in the Greater Boston area. (Source: The Wampanoags of Masspee

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Art of Paper Flowers -- a Crafty Weekends Review & Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. 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 them.

Tonight I get the pleasure of sharing with you a new book full of tutorials and patterns to create beautiful paper flowers. The book is The Art of Paper Flowers by Bobby Pearce. The flowers created in this book and with the instructions remind of the flower kits sold at Paper Source. The book allows you to design your own colors and various types of flowers.

A Look at the Life of Jesus

Disclosure: Kregel Publications sent me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

With the Christmas season approaching it seems like a wonderful time to help our kids look at the life of Jesus. Today I am sharing three books that help kids do just that. The first book is Candle Day by Day Walk with Jesus by Juliet David. This book breaks the life of Jesus into forty parts for forty days. There are 42 days left before Christmas!! 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-46

Wow, it is already November!! This fall is flying by. It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! This week we have two groups of features: Parenting & Lessons and Fall Features.

Color Your Own Origami -- A Relaxing Friday Review on World Origami Day 2016

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Did you know today is World Origami Day? I just found out this week. Various websites have information about it. The one I got this poster from is in America and celebrates if from October 24 through November 11, but most say it is November 11.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sticker Fun! -- Review of Sticker Activity Books

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

One of the things that keeps Hazel busy are sticker activity books. She gets so excited for them. Today I am going to share with you four new sticker activity books for different ages!! I am going to start with the older kids. The first is Sticker Shape Create by Thereza Rowe. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Math Quest Books

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. 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 them.

Are you looking for new ways to make math more exciting? Or do you want to supplement your kids math lessons with something different? Then these books are for you. They are a series of Math Quest books by David Glover and illustrated by Tim Hutchinson. Each book focuses on different mathematical skills and requires the reader to flip back and forth through the book depending on the answers to various questions and problems. The books are written for kids between the ages of 8-12. Hazel was a bit young and struggled with some of the problems, but loved trying them and just asked for help if she couldn't figure it out yet. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

6 New Holiday Books including Advent and Alternatives to Elf on the Shelf -- Holiday Preparations

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

I missed the sixth of November by a day, so: "On the 7th of November my stress-free holiday preparations brings me six new holiday books to read." Included in this grouping are some Advent ideas and an alternative to Elf on the Shelf (which I find really creepy). Now I should add I will be preparing more holiday books, and have tried to group them in various ways. This one is the non-religious and non-Christmas tree group. We will start with one that is more winter related rather than an actual holiday book. It is Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Jarvis. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Natural World of Needle Felting -- a Crafty Weekends Review & LInk Party

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. 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 them.

This week I picked up my needle felting tools and checked out The Natural World of Needle Felting by Fi Oberon and photographs by Brent Darby. Hazel pulled out a Klutz needle felting kit so she could needle felt with me. So we spent the day needle felting together.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Sharing Saturday 16-45

Wow, it is already November!! This fall is flying by. It is time for Sharing Saturday!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all of your cultural posts come share them at the monthly Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Thank you to everyone who shared with us last week! I always love seeing what everyone has been up to and your creative ideas!! Our features are just a sampling of them so if you haven't checked them all out, you should! This week we have two groups of features: Pumpkin Recipes and Lessons & Party Features.

The Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas -- a Relaxing Friday


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Now in case you do not want to send the photo holiday cards that I shared with you the other day and want something more homemade, today's Relaxing Friday book is for you. The book is The Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas by Rebecca Jones. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Books for the Younger Kids

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Do you have younger kids? Are you looking for some good books for them? I have a few suggestions today (like most days). Today's grouping is for the younger kids through beginning readers. The first is actually a new series by Brian Biggs: Tinyville Town. We will start with two board books from the series. The first is Tinyville Town I'm a Veterinarian.

Holiday Cards -- Holiday Preparations

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Please consider making a purchase and supporting Crafty Moms Share. Since I do not accept advertising, this is my only income from this blog. Click pictures for links.  I was compensated for this post.

 "On the second day of November, my stress free holiday preparations had me order my holiday cards." Now I am one of those people who send their cards out right after Thanksgiving. I have friends who always comment on how mine is the first they receive. How do I do this? I order them early!! In fact I already have mine. We decided to use a picture from our trip to Santa's Village this past summer. In fact I had Hazel pose for the picture knowing it would be our Christmas card photo. Then Steve got a reward from his company where we could choose a prize and one of the things we picked was the gift card to buy our cards from Shutterfly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas -- Holiday Preparations

Disclosure: I was sent these products to review free of charge from Uncommon Goods. 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 them.

"On the first day of November my holiday preparations caused me to shop for those hard to get holiday gifts." Do you know my secret to loving the holiday season? It is having my preparations done early, and I mean really early!! (I'm actually basically down for Christmas with shopping.) Now we all have people who are hard to buy gifts for. Who are yours? Mine are Steve, my husband, and my 14-year-old nephew. My solution is Uncommon Goods. They have some amazing ideas for everyone and they are things that you cannot find everywhere.