Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bethlehem Barn - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Book Overview:

Laugh and learn with a child in your life with this light-hearted, fun retelling of the classic Christmas Eve story.

Ancient legends tell us that for one hour on Christmas Eve, animals are given the gift of speech. If we could have heard the animals on that very first Christmas Eve, what do you think they would have said?

Donkey, Cow, Sheep, Chicken, and Bird are having a typical winter night in the barn.  That is, until Cow finds something in her food trough.  Astonishment turns into awe when Bird reveals that it's a human baby.  And not just any human baby, it's baby Jesus, the people's Savior!

All the animals are humbled--the baby Jesus, in their barn! A frenzy follows, while the animals do everything they can to make Him comfortable, warm, and safe.

With soft, beautiful artwork and a delightful animal cast, Bethlehem Barn is a light-hearted, fun retelling of that very first Christmas that will charm children and adults alike.

About the Author:

Debra Westgate-Silva has worked in public education for many years and in child advocacy and welfare. Her work has been published in Highlights children's magazine and Teaching Tolerance. She loves reading, writing, cooking (and eating!), traveling and, above all else, spending time with her family. Her favorite holiday is Christmas, and one of her most treasured traditions is baking a birthday cake each year for baby Jesus. She lives in Bristol, Rhode Island, with her husband and two sons. Please visit her website at www.debrawestgatesilva.com to send her a message. She also loves to hear from her readers!

My Review:

Most of us know the story of Jesus birth, being born in a manger.  Bethlehem Barn, a hardcover book for children, tells the story from the animals point-of-view.  At first, the animals are put off by their area being in disarray.  The chicken's eggs were gone and the cow's food was missing.  What was it that caused such a ruckus?

After several attempts of proclaiming what happened, a bird was able to get the animals attention and let them know it was Jesus in the manger and His mother was asleep nearby.  Once all the animals recognized what was going on, they took it upon themselves to make the place comfortable for Jesus and his mother.  Donkey even came to the realization that he played an important part in bringing Jesus and his parents to the barn.

This book is perfect to read during the holidays to remind us the 'Reason for the Season'.  The story is told in a way that shows what the animals might have been thinking during the birth of Jesus.  It also shows the animals being humbled and in awe, knowing they were in the presence of glory.

Win It!

One person will win a hardcover book copy of Bethlehem Barn.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Creating Christmas Craft Decor


As I mentioned a couple posts ago while doing Thanksgiving decor, I don't consider myself a crafty person.  I can barely draw a stick figure.  But, with my sister's help, I've been able to make quite a few holiday decorations that don't look so bad.

We've moved on from Thanksgiving/Autumn decor to making stuff for Christmas.  I've been a busy little elf, going over to her house and creating projects with her endless supply of supplies.

It's been a lot of fun putting my imagination and creativity to use, seeing what I can come up with.  By the time it's over with my house is going to look like Christmas overkill.

Even their cat, Puddy, likes to play along.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022


 Book Overview:

THE LITTLE BAD BOOK #2: EVEN MORE DANGEROUS! (Delacorte Press / available as of October 11) is full of spooky fun and is perfect for reluctant readers due to its interactive elements. 

The Little Bad Book has a secret, and only the bravest readers can navigate through its spooky riddles to discover the truth!  Similar to choose your own adventure style books, THE LITTLE BAD BOOK #2 puts the reader at the center of the plot and relies on them to navigate through its tricky puzzles to solve the mystery at its center. The interactive elements are a clever way to get kids to work on math, logic puzzles, reading comprehension, and artistic skills, all while still having fun!

THE LITTLE BAD BOOK #2 is a part of a collection of interactive novels in the same vein as the Case Closed series by Lauren Magaziner. There are currently two books available in the series.

My Review:

I'm in my mid 40s and have been reading since I was a child.  I've also instilled the love of books onto my children.  Books take your imagination and curiosity on a journey.  THE LITTLE BAD BOOK #2: EVEN MORE DANGEROUS! goes even further with that by asking readers to solve puzzles and riddles to find out which page they need to go to next.  The reader might get to page 3 but have to end up going to page 16 to find out what happens next.  It takes you on a back-and-forth ride.  The book itself "tells the story" and has readers wondering what's going to take place next.  There's somewhat dark sides and somewhat cutesy sides to the book.  It's a fun, interactive book for tweens and young teens.

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Creating Autumn Craft Decor

The second floral arrangement I made

 I wouldn't consider myself to be crafty by any stretch of the imagination.  I need simple, easy ideas and instructions.  My sister, however, can make a castle out of a bread box.  And she's a pretty good teacher at how to get things done.  

The first floral arrangement I made

Last Saturday and Sunday I hung out at her house to make Autumn decor with her craft pieces.  As a side note, my sister has an addictive personality and goes ALL OUT when it comes to her hobbies/purchases.  I can't tell you the amount of diamond paintings, adult coloring books, buttons, leggings, pearl jewelry that girl owns.  As a plus for me, I get to come over and craft with her without spending a dime of my own.  I can't complain about the quality time with family either.

arrangement made by my sister that she gave to me

Between all the decor she already has and the ones she's created, my sister's house looks like Autumn threw up in every nook and cranny.  I also now have a few pieces that we created in my home, adding festive touches.

Traci and I decorated this wreath and hung it on her front door

Once Thanksgiving is over, we'll be hard-working elves creating pieces for Christmas.

a kid's Thanksgiving craft I made into a magnet

We even got my great-nieces and nephew in on the fun and let them color wooden Thanksgiving pieces.

Do you decorate for Autumn?
Would you consider yourself a crafty person?

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Gigi & Nate - Blu-ray Giveaway


Love finds a helping hand when Gigi & Nate arrives on Blu-ray™ + Digital and DVD November 15 from Lionsgate. Directed by Nick Hamm (Driven, The Journey, The Hole), Gigi & Nate is an inspiring story about how hope and companionship can come in all different sizes. Gigi & Nate will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 for Blu-ray + Digital and $19.98 for DVD.


In this uplifting drama inspired by actual events, Nate (Charlie Rowe) suffers a near-fatal illness and is left a quadriplegic just weeks before departing for college. As Nate tries to adjust to his new life challenges, his mother (Oscar® winner* Marcia Gay Harden) helps him bring home an unlikely service animal, Gigi — a curious and intelligent capuchin monkey. Nate and Gigi form an unbreakable bond, but when it’s threatened by a group trying to outlaw capuchins, Nate’s family rallies behind him to help him regain what he needs most: hope.

Win It!

One person will win Gigi & Nate on Blu-ray.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jesus Listens: 365 Prayers for Kids - Book Review

 Book Overview:

Jesus Listens, the bestselling 365 daily prayer devotional from Sarah Young, is now available for children. This book invites your children (and you) into an ongoing conversation with God, growing a meaningful prayer life and closer relationship with Him.

In this inspiring 365-day book of prayers, Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, helps children talk to God every day. Kids will learn how to pray honest prayers and know that Jesus is always listening to them. This book will equip parents who want to teach their kids how to pray and talk to God reassure their children that God is always with them help their kids to read Bible verses every day.  Children will learn the daily practice of reading God's Word and talking to Him. They will know that they can talk to Jesus about anything and come to Him when they are afraid, anxious, or worried learn how to thank and praise God and take Him their requests.

My Review:

I'm probably more unceremonious than most Christians, but teaching my children about the Christian faith is still quite important to me. In some areas of life, I promote individuality and differing points-of-view with my adult children and young relation. However, I can't help but hope and help promote my view of my faith with them.

I think that devotionals are a great way to get in to the word of God.  They help us to decipher, allow us to reflect, and give us time to devote.  Most devotionals take a short time to read, yet the words leave a lasting impact.  Jesus Listens: 365 Prayers for Kids gives tweens and young teens the opportunity to take time in scripture and prayer every day.  

For each day, there is a Bible verse and a prayer to Jesus.  There's also references to verses kids can read on their own in the Bible .  A ribbon bookmark is attached to keep track of which day you're on.  It's a book that encourages, uplifts and helps your child bring worship to Jesus through prayer. 

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.