Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Melissa and Doug Puzzles

Melissa and Doug make some great products including real wooden puzzles.
Ethan's very first puzzle was this one that he got for his birthday. Although he is interested in it he can't do it by himself. He knows the crab goes in the crab space, but it is hard to get the pieces exactly lined up. Also, there is no real up or down so that really doesn't help him figure out the orientation. For these reasons I was a little disappointed, not in the puzzle but in how easily aggravated Ethan would become because he couldn't do it by himself. For Christmas he got several more Melissa & Doug puzzles including this one:
He loves it! He can do all the pieces himself. The circle doesn't have a wrong way and all the other pieces have at least 2 or 3 different ways they can go in. He loves to do it and I think it is a great starter puzzle for little girls or boys. Both of these puzzles are "jumbo knob" puzzles which are good for little hands. Here is another jumbo knob puzzle that he does a little bit better with because he can tell the feet of the cat and dog go at the bottom. They have other types of puzzles as well. "Peg" puzzles such as this one:
I like this puzzle because all of the tails fit with all of the fish. Again Ethan struggles with this one now, but I know that he will get better at it and it will help him learn his colors.

Nanny Sara and Parrain Curt bought him this great "chunky" puzzle for Christmas.
He loves this puzzle! The pieces don't have to fit exactly in the holes because they are not as deep as the pieces. Also, the holes are also a little bit bigger than the pieces. He loves "driving" these pieces all over the house.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Becoming the Woman of His Dreams

This is a great book that I just finished in my Thursday morning bible study. If you are a married woman you must read this book! It has changed Philip and I's relationship and I feel like we are closer now than we have been in our 8 years of marriage. Sharon Jaynes spoke at our churches woman's conference a couple of years ago, but this is the first book of hers that I have read.

This book outlines how we can become what our husbands dream of, but not because they dream of it; but because we need to be obedient to God. Once we are married we have entered a covenant relationship with our husbands AND God. We are to be sanctified through our relationship with our husbands.

I know not all Moms out there are wives, but if you are divorced I still think that this book could be for you. In this book Sharon tells the story of one couple who were reconciled because of the changing of a wive's heart. It makes me tear up just thinking about the possibilities. God can do anything, even restore a broken marriage.

Here is the summary from Sharon's website:

Do you want to become the woman of your husband's dreams? If your answer is "yes," then Sharon's book is for you. Becoming the Woman of His Dreams offers you an inspiring look at the God-ordained role only you have in your husband's life. If you would like a little "wow!" back in your relationship with the man you married, let seven simple secrets, biblical wisdom and tender stories inspire you.

"Sharon has captured the essence of a man's core needs and offers practical steps women can take to be the woman of his dream? If you are looking for a book that will encourage you, you've fount it - Sharon delivers help and hope on every page." Dennis Rainey, president of Family life

"Sharon has written the ideal book for wives who wish to live with happy husbands. My wife and I believe Becoming the Woman of His Dreams has the potential to radically enhance the climate in husband/wife relationships." Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages for Marriage

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Free Stuff

So I'm following a new blog, and on her blog is a link to a giveaway for free Fiestaware! Go sign up!

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Cards

This post is in honor of Stephanie!

So, I've already mentioned how much I love for their books and cards. This year when I sent out Christmas cards to everyone I put a sticker on the back (printed from the computer) that gave a little update for all of us and described what was in each picture. I know that I stole this idea from someone else, but I can't remember who it was! I just printed off a sheet of Avery 5163 labels and they fit right on the back of the cards. It is a neat way to personalize your cards without writing 75 personal letters. I know some folks do typed letters, but I thought this would be eaiser. Hopefully if you got a card from us you checked the back for more info!

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bear Creek Dry Soup Mix

With all three members of my family sick the week before Thanksgiving I needed a quick meal that would be nutritious and easy. I love these Bear Creeks dry soup mixes. We have had the Cheddar Potato before, but for a sick household I recommend this Cheddar Broccoli. I even added a half a bag of frozen broccoli florets, and served it with crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar. It was SO good and it definitely hit the spot on a cold and cloudy day.

The best thing is that you just boil water, stir in the mix (and the frozen veggies) and in <10 minutes lunch is served. The bacon and cheddar leftovers were already in the fridge from other recipes so even that was easy. It was even thick enough that my 17 month old son had his bowl of soup and he loved it. He even ate broccoli! Well, he tried it at least.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sippy Cups and Potty Training: A Call for Opinions

I have been searching for the perfect sippy cup and I have already posted about one of the cups that I did not like. I will write about the other two types of cup we use later, but until then please tell me about the cups you use. Is there any cup out there that won't leak? If so please let me know.

Also, a recurring theme at our MOPS meetings lately seems to be potty training. My friend Janet already has reviewed a chair and a video. What products have you tried? I hear mixed reviews of chairs on the floor or seats for the regular toilet. Which is better? I have also heard about an Elmo video and a book. If any mom out there has tips (when to start, how do you know when kiddos are ready, etc.) please send them to me!

I have some good posts planned for the near future, so stay tuned. I look forward to hearing from some of you out there!

Tomato Paste in a Tube!

So, I watch my friend Giada use this stuff for years, but until about a year ago I had never seen this product in the store. I still haven't seen it in Knoxville, but I've heard it is carried in certain stores. I found this product at the Albertson's by my mom's house and bought like 3 tubes because I was so excited! Anyway, this stuff is awesome! You can add just one or two tablespoons to a recipe without having to open an entire can of tomato paste. I just used it tonight to stretch my sloppy joe recipe to cover a little more ground beef than it called for.


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