Usborne Book Friday (aka Black Friday) deals–all weekend!

28 Nov

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It’s a great weekend to snag some great deals on Usborne books! The Book Friday (aka Black Friday) sale began this morning at 12:01 EST and will continue through the weekend. New titles will be released on Cyber Monday at 12:01 EST.

Here are a few of books from the Book Friday sale that I couldn’t WAIT to share with you:

Winter Activity Pack

Winter Activity Pack– I got this for my sons last weekend, and it kept them handily occupied during our Thanksgiving road trip. They were so entertained with the books from the Winter Activity Pack that they never asked to play my husband’s iPhone (win-win for me!). Usborne Books-1 and Electronics-0 and…one happy momma! These are mini versions of the books, which are all $8.99-$9.99 a piece, so $12.49 is a steal!

My Christmas Tree

 

My Christmas Tree–Isn’t this the sweetest?!?!? This board book ties together to become a Christmas tree! Your kiddos can enjoy having a Christmas tree of their own within their room. :) It comes with stickers allowing them to decorate it to suit their fancy. :)

Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver’s Travels, Pinocchio and Magical Animals (Books AND an Audio Cd!)–These 3 different book sets would make a fabulous gift and are only $4.99! These abridged classics come with a book and audio cd of the book! They are half price! Did I mention they are $4.99?!?! (Can you tell that I’m ecstatic about these books?!?!?) My boys love audio books, and I quickly snagged all 3 of these for them for Christmas. They love to have a book in hand and follow along with the accompanying audio cd. Reading along with a CD is a fantastic way to strengthen reading abilities and to build confidence in their ability to read. Stock up on these for birthday parties or to donate to your local or school library!

FREE SHIPPING—Yes, you read that right! The best news EVER is that when you spend $100 on your order this weekend, your shipping is free! So, go out and shop ’til you drop! :) Check back on Monday, too, when the Cyber Monday book selections roll over into different books! YAHOO!

Friday Favorites: Christmas Cards=Prayer Cards

28 Nov

FRIDAY Favorites

I am excited to have a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Kimberly Thornbury, with a Guest Post today. I had the splendid pleasure of working with Kimberly while we were both at Union University. It was then that she introduced me, a newlywed at the time, to her family’s House of Prayer. At the time, I longed for the day that I could start this tradition with children of my own. If you are wondering what to do with the charming Christmas cards forthcoming in your mailbox once December 26 arrives, enjoy Kimberly’s tradition and incorporate it into your home during 2015.

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When my two daughters were very young, I wanted to teach them about the importance of prayer, and also help them understand more about family and friends they had not yet met. In 2004, shortly after Christmas, I took an old green Pampers wipes plastic bin, covered it with construction paper, and filled it with Christmas cards our family had received that holiday season. I stapled a 3 x 5 index card to each of the Christmas cards, and wrote down specific prayer requests related to that particular family or individual.

During meal times, our two daughters were very interested in the new ritual of pulling out a colored photo. We would pass around the photo and pray specifically for the person or family on the card. Often times, we would write updates on the back of the card. Although we didn’t pray for these people daily, we would pray for them regularly and most certainly consistently. Our prayers became less monotonous, more creative and more intentional.

Sometimes if we didn’t have a card on someone, the girls would take time to find a picture of someone in a magazine (for example the president of the United States) and create a card. Tragic situations, would often result in the girls writing words like “Haiti” on 3 x 5 card.

That little Pampers box looked like a tiny house, and it was also a symbol for the Thornbury family being characterized as a “house of prayer.” Over the years we have moved to a small cardboard “Amazon” box, but I am sure more “pinterest” moms would make something super cute out of wood.

House of Prayer.Blog

I have worked with college students for over 20 years. As I mentor college students throughout their tenure at the University, often times I will pray over the students I am mentoring through my house of prayer card system. You can imagine their delight, when I copy the back of the card a few weeks before their wedding day, reminding them of God’s answered promises to them. Biology tests were passed, boyfriends who were not God’s best for them faded away, they reached their goal of graduation, and will soon be married to their beloved.

Also, when someone is going through a particularly hard time (like a friend whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia), we will find their card in the stack, update it, and pray for them right there on the spot.

When we have guests come over, the house of prayer is a way for us to explain the Gospel to others, and our belief in intercessory prayer.

I’m a fallen mom, and so thankful for God’s grace in my life. I am far from perfect, but this God-given idea has really worked for our little family, and been a tool to draw us closer to Him.

Dr. Kimberly Thornbury is the Vice President for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning at The King’s College in New York City. She can be reached at kthornbury@tkc.edu or on Twitter @kthornbury

Book Friday: How A Book Entertained My Son for THREE Hours

26 Nov

William with Robot book.two William with Robot Sticker Book Son #2–This is how he spent 3, non-stop hours yesterday afternoon–reading and assembling the Usborne Build Your Own Robots sticker book! Did he ask to play the iPad or watch TV? No. Happy mommy? Yes! Usborne-1 and Electronics-0 This is our son, who enjoys being read to but rarely picks up a book on his own accord for pleasure. I am grateful for how Usborne books are cultivating within my boys a love for and of books, even my sons who who would rather be digging in the dirt all day. :) 1488155_898903470122234_3239623188675499238_n If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to snag a great deal on Usborne titles for your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews, Book Friday (aka Black Friday) is the perfect opportunity! Starting at 12:01AM EST on Friday, November 28, Book Friday begins, and many, many Usborne titles will be discounted up to 60% off and FREE SHIPPING on orders of $100 or more! You better believe I’m setting an alarm to wake up and shop because our family LOVES Usborne books!

Are you ready to shop? Use this special link to take you to the Book Friday sale. I’m excited for your family to have Usborne books in their hands, hearts and minds! New to Usborne and need some book recommendations? Watch some of the videos from my YouTube channel Suzanne Shares Usborne Books to ‘meet’ a few of my favorite Usborne titles. Order now and your books will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas! :)10671398_10204244332500286_1000311271282078700_n

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy this 11-Minute Film About Squanto

26 Nov

Squanto Film

This is an 11-minute historical piece for Thanksgiving on Squanto, based on the Eric Metaxas book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving (this is our family’s favorite Thanksgiving book, hands down!)

One of the Dads from our Classical Conversations community helped make this video and cameos in the film. :) It was filmed about 15 minutes from our home at Historic Mansker’s Station, which you should TOTALLY visit if you’re ever in my neck of the woods and another local community near us.

Who alone could orchestrate such circumstances in Squanto’s life? Only God Himself could have beautifully pieced together these exact events in the life of Squanto so that he could, at the time God appointed, return to his home and help save the lives of the Pilgrims. Only God Himself could have turned the dark events of Squanto’s life into a beautiful story of redemption.

Please enjoy with your children, especially if they’ve read the book! Happy Thanksgiving!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Squanto & The Miracle of Thanksgiving

12 Nov

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s a repost from the archives. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving is our favorite Thanksgiving book because of how it has led our family to celebrate the greatness of God. Read more here.

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Also, this previous post features other Thanksgiving reads that our family has enjoyed. Of particular note is Thank You, Sarah, which was a new one that we read last year. It is a delightful read about the woman who petitioned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. :)

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

 

Friday Favorites: Handprint “Thankful Tree”

24 Oct

FRIDAY Favorites

When I observe my calendar inching ever so close to November, I know that one of our family’s favorite traditions is right around the corner! Each November our family erects a tree in our kitchen. It’s not just any tree; it’s a tree filled with handprints from all 5 family members. During the month of November, we daily each add a handprint to our tree, and on each handprint is written something for which we are thankful.

Handprint Thanksgiving Tree

This short moment during breakfast or dinner seems microscopic when compared to the remaining 23 hours and 50 minutes in the day’s remainder. However, by intentionally pausing, even for only a few minutes, to reflect on God’s gracious, abundant, never ending blessings in our lives is refreshing, humbling, beautiful. I pray, too, that is memorable for my children. I pray that they will clearly see that “every good and perfect gift IS from above…” (James 1:17), that Mommy and Daddy, aka “the grown ups”, also, need the discipline of regularly, consistently coming before God to thank Him for all that He does for us.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, find creative ways the entire month of November to cultivate thankfulness within your family. Hearing your children and family members articulate reasons of thankfulness is truly something for which you will be thankful this year and the years to come.

For details on how to create your own Handprint Thankful Tree, read this previous post.

 

 

Tin Whistles Need Sleeping Bags (Oh, Yes They Do!)

23 Sep

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Another re-post from the archives! I know that many of you are embarking on your Tin Whistle journey. :) Here’s a funny letter I wrote to a seasoned Tutor that remains nameless to me. However, her wisdom saved me multiple migraines and additional gray hairs. :) Read more here, and you, too, will want to thank this nameless Tutor after you make sleeping bags for your Tin Whistles. :)

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Verb Conjugation Packet–free download

18 Sep

Verb Conjugation Packet 2

 

My Pronoun Packet was quite the success in my Abecedarians class last year. I decided to make something similar for the Verb Conjugations for use on my DIY Tri-fold Board that we will use during the next several weeks for English Grammar.

 

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I used the same grid from last year’s pronouns and repurposed it  for my verbs! :) I like having the visual for my Abecedarians, even though many aren’t yet readers. They can still recognize the “spot” that the word goes in after we review several times, clear them off, and ask them to reposition them in the correct “spot.” I also like the connection for the parents in class to see how the verb is conjugated and which principal part it represents. I also included a blank page in the document so that an older student can write the conjugations of a particular verb and match it with its verb principal part. I have uploaded the file to CC Connected. username: suzannemosley Or, you can download it here: Verb Conjugations Packet

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood
This is a post in conjunction with Half a Hundred Acre Wood’s Cycle 3 Link Up. Visit there for more Cycle 3 resources.

Egg Carton Multiplication & Skip Counting Game (FREE printable!)

15 Sep

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I thought I’d resurrect this post from the archives. This is a Multiplication/Skip Counting Egg Carton game that I came up with two years ago during our first year of CC. Read the original post for detailed instructions about creating your own game at home! I made my skip counting numbers out of construction paper. After reading my post last year, the marvelous Brandy Ferrell created a FREE PRINTABLE to share with everyone for the skip-count-cards. If you don’t feel like cutting up teeny tiny construction pieces of paper, download this free printable, “Control + P” and you’re done!

Tutors, I have used this in class to do a massive “skip counting” review during our Review Game time at the end of our CC day. I had 3 stations and a parent at each station. Each station went through 2 or 3 different skip counting numbers, and then, we rotated to the different stations.

Here are a few pictures of this inexpensive, stick in the sand game. If you are not a Classical Conversations family, read the original post and know that you can use this same game at home with your kiddos to practice and review multiplication facts. Also, here’s a FABULOUS Usborne Lift The Flap Time Tables book that is another great way to review multiplication facts! (You know how I love Usborne!)

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Tour the Nina, Pinta, and (not the) Santa Maria!

13 Sep

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The Nina

For all of my CC friends, you are singing, “The Nina, the Pinta, The Santa Maria” in your head right now, aren’t you?!?! Several years ago, I had a friend tell me that she was driving all day to see the Nina in Chattanooga. I was confused. Did she not realize that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and his ship had probably disintegrated into thin air after 500+ years? After further conversation, I learned from my friend Heidi that the Columbus Foundation  tours the waterways of the U.S. in life-size, fully-functioning replicas of the Nina and Pinta.

We were fortunate to see it last October while they were docked in Knoxville. We thoroughly enjoyed traipsing around both ships and listening to the tour provided by the knowledgeable crew. I have a greater understanding and increased respect for Columbus and crew who set out blindly on these ships back in 1492. I realized that I’m pretty wimpy! I don’t think that I would have signed up for this adventure. Ha! :)

Are you interested in visiting the Nina and Pinta (sniff, sniff! If only there was a replica of the Santa Maria!)? You’re in luck! Here is the 2014 Port Tour Schedule. Hopefully, it will be in your neck of the woods this year! If not, maybe 2015 will be the year for you!

Here are some pictures from our tour!

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 The crew slept on the deck. Again, I’m a wimp! I don’t think I would have signed up on this adventure with Captain Columbus. :) What about you??

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I love maps! This was a map similar to what the crew would have used.

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Listening to our tour guide! These men and women were great fun! I asked them a million questions about what it was like to live and work on the boats. Many of them signed up to be a part of the crew for the sheer adventure.

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Boats are for climbing (duh!)

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Fighting off the “bad guys” trying to sink the Nina!

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I loved this picture because it gives you an idea of the magnitude of the ship’s size.

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How often do you see a ship like this sailing down the river?!?! I’m sure barges and tug boats do a “double take.”

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 A fun, memorable field trip!

Want to know more about what it would have been like on the Nina, Pinta or Santa Maria? Read Pedro’s Journal with your kiddos! We are reading it now and thoroughly enjoying it!

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