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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The Princess Parables: A Royal Christmas to Remember {Christmas Book Review}

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With the arrival of the most spectacular winter in years and Christmas only a night away, Princesses Joy, Grace, Faith, Charity, and Hope find themselves in the midst of a scene right out of a holiday fairytale in this newest adventure in the Princess Parables series A Royal Christmas to Remember. But then the threat of bandits in the village lead the king away from the castle on Christmas Eve! Suddenly, the bandits come crashing into the castle. Praying to God for courage and safety, the princesses are soon rescued by five brave knights and then do some rescuing themselves. The next day, the princesses go to the village to see how they can be of help to the people, discovering that the true meaning of Christmas is honoring and giving glory for the greatest gift of all.

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A Night Of Great Joy By Mary Engelbreit {Christmas Book Review}

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Mary Engelbreit’s book A Night of Great Joy is a depiction of the story of the night that Jesus came into our world. The story is illustrated beautifully in the form of a play with children acting out the parts of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, Shepherds, Animals, Angles and so forth.  I really appreciate the different Christmas pageant re-telling to the birth of Christ.  All the characters and important bits to remember from this story are covered. 

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All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas {Review}

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All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas is a great book to use during the Advent season whether alone or with the family! It features  glossy gold stars that shine on the cover that welcomes one in. The devotional content in this book focuses fully on the birth of Christ starting with God’s promise for a Saviour and ending with Paul’s message of pressing on into the future. This devotional runs not just through the Christmas season but from December 1st to December 31st.

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Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo #ZooLightsPDX

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Traditions spent with family and friends goes hand in hand especially during the month of December. One of my favorite annual adventures is to visit the ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo together. It’s truly something not to miss out on in seeing such a magical transformation year after year. Not limited to just families, ZooLights is an experience for everyone to enjoy!

The Zoo Train is running this year! My kids age 6 and 3 had been talking and asking about riding it non-stop since they knew we’d be visiting again. They were not disappointed in the least bit even though it was a shorter ride. The Zoo is still having construction to extend to Elephant exhibit so the option to ride to the typical destination of Washington Park was not available. But the train was enjoyed and loved, none the less! The huffing, puffing, the sounds of the horn, the various light decor, and my children’s excited conversation is a memory I won’t soon forget. I happened to get most of the ride on video too!

Throughout the Zoo there are so many lights to see! The colors were all bright and super vibrant! Some of our favorites were the Alice and Wonderland themes, the lights that moved from shapes like a worm into a butterfly, the merry go round, the tunnels of lights, the animal shapes, the trees, and many more. There’s really too many to talk about! It’s clearly something that must be seen for yourself.

A few of the animal exhibits were still open to be seen such as the Elephants, Penguins, Mountain Goats, Tigers/Leopards, Bats, & Fragile Forest. It was a welcome delight for the kids to be able to visit the zoo at night and still be able to see a few of their favorite animals. There were staff members around that were happy to answer any questions too.

There are food vendors open during this time so if you plan on visiting and grabbing something to eat, you can! I heard there’s Hot Cocoa you won’t want to miss out on. I would totally recommend something warm because it can get pretty chilly at night. Be sure to bundle up tight!

Overall, I would highly recommend Zoo Lights to anyone looking for something fun to enjoy with family and friends during this time of the year.

** This year there’s a scavenger hunt that if you find all six lighted Butterflies throughout the zoo, you can enter to win a 4′ plush Penguin!**

-If you are member you can also use your member benefits and get 10% off any Zoo Merchandise.-

Interested in going?  ZooLights runs from November 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

-Need to Know Details-

Admission

Members: Free
Adults (12–64): $10
Seniors (65 and up): $9
Children (3–11): $7
2 and under: Free
Group Discounts available.

Schedule

Sunday – Thursday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Grounds remain open an hour after gates close.
ZooLights is closed December 10, 24 and 25.

Know before you go

Find out about what’s new, special offers, parking and how to make the most of your ZooLights experience.Read the FAQs.

Dinner, treats and drinks

From gourmet sandwiches to Elephant Ears and hot cocoa, there’s something delicious for everyone at ZooLights. Learn more about dining and treat options.

DISCLAIMER: Through the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets for my family to go.  Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family’s own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for this promotion.

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Celebrating God’s Greatest Gift: Christmas Reads for Children from Zonderkidz!

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It’s December and during this time of the month, I like pulling out all of our favorite Christmas & Holiday titles to read with my family. This year I’m excited to have three new additions added to our collection from Zonderkidz. Why not check them out and see if you might want to share these with your family too!

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The Legend of St. Nicholas
The true story behind the legend of Santa Claus
Ages 4-8

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

Our Thoughts…

This is a wonderful book that explains and illustrates the Legend of Santa Claus well! My daughter recognized the art by Richard Cowdrey from recently having read The Legend of the Candy Cane and having enjoyed that tale, was eager to read this one too!

We meet a young boy and his father out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. The young boy was not entirely eager to get shopping done for his siblings. He was busy pondering the idea of getting himself  something with whatever money he had left over. He however comes across a mall Santa telling other kids the legend of St. Nicholas and rethinks his choice.

The story kept my whole family captivated from start to finish. The message that it’s better to give than receive is very present and also that of the greatest gift we could ever receive, Christ Jesus.

The Bible verse James 1:17 is included at the ending of the book which reads, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.

I would certainly recommend this title and plan on pulling it out to re-read every Christmas season!


firstchristmasThe First Christmas Ever
Retelling of the Christmas Story
Ages 6-10

A simple retelling of the Christmas story, from the angel’s visit to Mary to the shepherds’ joyful praise of the new born Baby, this small format paperback, The First Christmas Ever is sure to be popular with young readers. Using the vibrant and popular artwork of Dennis Jones, families can share this timeless story of God’s love each holiday season.

Our Thoughts…

This retelling of the very first Christmas is done well. The illustrations are very kid-appealing! The colors aren’t dull but not overly vibrant either. I found the imagery to be rich and satisfying! There are full pages of illustrations, 4 panels on one page, and other variations.  All done quite well and kept the story moving along.

I appreciate the accurateness of the story. For example, it’s accurate as in the sense that the wise men didn’t show up to visit Jesus as soon as he was born. Often we see the shepherds along with the Wise men all at the stable together.  It was nice to see this done right!

This book is great for reading to children or having a child read it on their own. My six year old daughter read this book with ease all by herself. I will be pulling this one out to read during Christmas this month as well as for years to come for my children!


xmasstoryThe Christmas Story for Children
by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee and Karen Davis Hill
Ages 5 and up

Follow the events of Jesus’ birth as you read this lovely picture book written by Max Lucado with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill and illustrated by Fausto. The Christmas Story for Children tells readers about the birth of a special baby whose story is filled with love for us all. Young readers as well as their parents will appreciate the beautiful words and artwork that convey the message that we are loved and cherished.

Our Thoughts…

This book doesn’t just follow the event of the birth of Jesus but goes well beyond that. I frankly was quite surprised but over all delighted. The story begins with introducing us to the people of God, the Jews whom had been awaiting a Savior. It ends shortly after Jesus gets baptized and begins his ministry.

The illustrations are very attractive and the story written quite elegantly. The book paraphrases Biblical text . I feel the three people involved in creating this book did an excellent job.

The age recommendation for this story is ages five and up. I would possibly recommend it for children a little older than that. There’s quite a bit of text, and I question attention spans. Though you could break up reading this book into parts over several days.

I like that we see Christ’s birth, baptism, and beginning of His ministry. This displays who Christ was and is to us. It gives children more than the journey of Mary & Jospeh and baby Jesus being born. I feel this makes it an excellent  choice for reading during the Advent season.


Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of Zonderkidz Christmas books  for this posting. I was not financially compensated for this post.

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NCircle Entertainment Holiday DVDs for Kids! #Win ( Giveaway)

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We are weeks away from the month of December and during this time I start pulling out our favorite seasonal DVD’s from our home movie library to watch together. My daughter age 6 and son who is almost 4 are a few years apart in age but I’m pleased that most of the offerings by NCircle entertainment are enjoyed by both of them!

In the evening, we’ve been dawning our pajamas, sweet snacks, and snuggling up together on the couch  with the selection of movies I’m sharing in this post below! Each are very different but spread the joy and cheer of the Holiday season in their own great ways!


The Snowman

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One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Based on Raymond Briggs’ book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy.

This DVD and story is one of my favorites. It’s sweet, magical, an serene! There’s not much speaking in the movie but there doesn’t need to be because the animation and story truly speaks for itself.

The flick is great and well loved by my family. The bonus features which include The Story of the Snowman & Alternate Introduction from David Bowie. Runtime is 50 minutes.



A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show!NcircleYoGabba

Join DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee as they dance, sing and decorate the tree to prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus! Filmed live at New York City’s The Beacon Theatre, celebrate the season with the colorful cast of characters singing their hits, including “It’s Wintertime,” “Every Snowflake’s Different, Just Like You” and a holiday version of everyone’s favorite “Party in my Tummy!” The DVD includes special appearances by superstar Leslie Hall and the one and only Santa Claus!

Runtime is 60 minutes and totally great fun to be had to get the whole family dancing and singing . Though, I wouldn’t recommend watching this one before bed!

 


 

Octonauts: The Very Vegimal ChristmasNcircleOctonautsXmas

On this exciting seasonal themed DVD, viewers will join the Octonauts as they celebrate the holidays ! The Vegimals’ plans for a Christmas feast aboard the Octopod are interrupted when the Octonauts become entangled in a gigantic blob of sea snot! The holiday excitement continues when the Octonauts travel to Professor Inkling’s childhood home, an undersea mountain, but soon discover that a rockslide has endangered the local creatures, including Inkling’s nephew, Squirt! Can the Octonauts rescue the creatures and save Christmas in time?

My son and daughter ages almost and 6 1/2 years old totally adore the Octonuats! My kids really like all the exploring, rescuing, and seeing their favorite characters doing their part in protecting all sorts of animals found in the sea! This holiday offering was well welcome especially by my little boy. It was exciting to learn about Ocras in the Artic and so much more! As a mom and home educator, I’m liking the educational value of this DVD quite a bit! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend not just this DVD but the entire series!

This DVD is 70 minutes long, you can easily sit and watch all the episodes or break it up and watch one at a time. There are a total of four episodes, bonus features teaching kids more about the marine life, and two fun karaoke music videos!


 

Caillou’s Holiday MovieNcircleCalliou
When winter comes to Caillou’s house, this curious 4-year-old tackles all kinds of big boy activities like helping Daddy shovel snow, making holiday presents for his family and even discovering how other little boys and girls around the world celebrate the season! Filled with magical moments seen through a small child’s eyes, this delightful story will enchant your entire family.

Children will learn with Caillou about different Holiday seasons around the world,  advent calendars, and things we often do leading up to the big day! I really liked this DVD offering and it showed time spent with family & giving to others. It’s endearing, educational, and fun to watch. My son especially enjoyed it. I would recommend to see it after Thanksgiving as the movie shows everything Calliou and his family does two weeks before Christmas time.  Runtime: 1 hour 13 minutes & there are many great bonus features such as holiday songs and an interview!

Get Connected:  Visit NCircle at http://www.ncircleentertainment.com/

Follow NCircle on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Want it? These NCircle DVDs can be purchased their website and  other retailers such as Amazon.com.


Win!

One lucky reader will win all 4 of the DVD’s mentioned here which make up a $40 value.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to US and Canada only, age 18 or older. All contest entries must be submitted through Rafflecopter to be considered. I will notify the winner of the giveaway by email, after verification of entries. At which point winner has 24 hours to respond with their full shipping information, or a new winner will be drawn. Terms of Use.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own or my immediate family members, based on our personal experience with the product.

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