Director Jewels

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Way He Learns + $10 Family Christian Certificate Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free activity kit to review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans go astray. You know that we started preschool back in September. We were so excited about it. We had a great couple of weeks. And just didn't happen for a day or two. Then a few more days. Then a week. You get the idea. Official, structured preschool is something we're going to strive for again this fall. He's still only four. We've got plenty of time. And the honest truth is, he learns so much just by being a kid and playing, running, shouting, jumping, and asking questions that I'm not worried about his knowledge level.

As a kid, I was a voracious reader. I was never without a book. I would sit for literally an entire day just reading and be perfectly content. It's pretty clear that that is not my son's learning style.

He needs to be active. He needs to be on the go. He's going to need motivation to sit down and do math problems.

I was really happy with the Growing in Grace Sing and Play Activity Kit that Family Christian sent us to check out, because it fits right in with our style of learning in this season of Lincoln's life. The kit comes in a handy little carrying case and contains a CD of fun songs to sing (we listen in the car often), and an activity book, crayons, and sticker sheets.

Lincoln's favorite part was the stickers - he was so excited to find the page of animal prints and match the correct sticker to each set of footprints. He did it all by himself, too! I was pretty proud.

I love all of the music on this collection. It offers a wide range of tunes - from The William Tell Overture to God Made My Feet to No More Pie, the music genres represented are plentiful. The kids are both fairly obsessed with doing the Hokey Pokey.

Make sure you follow Family Christian on FacebookTwitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest for all of their latest updates and new product releases!


One Director Jewels reader will win a $10 Gift Certificate from Family Christian! This giveaway will end on April 3 at 11:59pm CST. This giveaway is open to US readers only. Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or prize will be forfeited.

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below (you may need Javascript enabled to see the form and it may take a moment to load)! Once you complete the first entry, the other options will open up so that you can complete them as well. All of the "extra entries" are optional - you can do just one, or as many as you want! Winners will be contacted by email. Good   luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a sample activity kit to review. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Giveaway Policy and my Disclosure Policy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Embracing My Beautiful Mess

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweepTheMess #CollectiveBias

"Mommy! We made mud soup! Come see our mud soup!"

He's way more excited about this than I am, but I stand up from my lawn chair on the deck and take his hand as he drags me down the stairs and to the pile of dirt, sticks, and wet grass that he and his sister have assembled.

There is mud everywhere. Literally. Covering their faces, up their noses, and between the surface of each and every fingernail. They beam at me, so thrilled to be outside in the fresh air - away from the confines of our house and all its toys, which lost their appeal back in mid-January when the lack of sunshine threatened to drive all of us mad.

"Do you want a taste, Mama? Mud soup is deeeeeee-licious!"

The bright sun is good for my heart, too. On a bleak day in January, I might have sighed with impatience at the sight of food scattered on the floor or the pieces of twenty puzzles dumped in one heap or snow trampled all over the carpet. But today? It's okay. This sort of mess isn't so bad. It's a beautiful mess, and it's our mess...and I kind of secretly love it.

Since the arrival of warmer weather, I've learned a couple of things. First, that my kids are going to literally live outside until it snows again. Second, that there is going to be a lot of dirt and grime covering just about every surface of my home. I've actually lost track of how many times I've swept the kitchen floor with my O-Cedar Angler Broom this week. And I pulled out the vacuum of my own free will last night. My whole family may or may not have looked at me like I was some sort of lunatic. Like, who is this woman and where did this strange noisy machine appear from?

My helpers are eager today. They spend every waking moment asking "can I help?" or "what can I do, mommy?" This isn't going to last forever. In a few years, I'm going to have teenagers on my hands - and at that point, they (probably) won't be responsible for tracking mud into the house thirteen times in one day. They'll remember to take their shoes off at the door (most of the time), they'll brush dust off their jeans, and they'll hopefully have a decent grasp at what it means to throw away their own trash. They'll be semi-responsible young people, on their way to adulthood. But at the same time, they'll be a little more interested in their friends than their mom who may or may not be wearing the same shirt as yesterday. They'll ask me what I will do for them - not what they can do for me.

I don't want to reach those years - not so far away - and look back at today with a longing that I had smiled instead of scowled, chased instead of chided, or tickled instead of turning on the television.

I know it's inevitable to some degree. Kids grow up - regardless of how hard we mamas hang onto every little scrap of childhood that we can. But maybe...just maybe, if I let them help me now - every time - there's a greater likelihood that in ten years, they'll still want to spend time with me. And while making mud soup may be a little beyond their comfort level, I'll be down for a muddy water fight. I call dibs on the hose.

How are you celebrating the beautiful mess in your life?

O-Cedar "A Beautiful Mess" Giveaway

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.  


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Lincoln - fussing about lack of snacks. Or the grass. Or the air.
You know, all the important stuff.

Addie - because Lincoln wearing it last week just wasn't cute enough?
Just kidding. They're both adorable.

Linking up at Practising Simplicity.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tiny Bear's Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones {Children's Book Review}

Disclosure: I received a sample copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

We love reading, and were so excited to receive Tiny Bear's Bible to review. This little book is a story Bible designed for kids who are 6 and under, which means it's just perfect for 4-year-old Lincoln and 2-year-old Addie.

This Bible story collection, written by bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones, has been really popular with my kids. They love the fuzzy bear on the cover and I love that each page contains a reminder that God is watching out for us and cares about even the smallest worries in our lives.

The book features stories of Creation, Noah, David, Daniel, Zacchaeus, and more. There are also pages retelling the truths of Jesus' birth, Jesus calming the storm, and the Lord's Prayer. Each page contains only a paragraph or two, which is perfect for the attention span of my toddler and preschool readers.

The illustrations by Igor Oleynikov are warm and comforting, and my kids love to point out the little bear on each page! The book is very durable and has survived being tossed around our house on more than one occasion.

Teaching kids about the love of Jesus is not something that can happen with the reading of one book or the telling of one tale, so I'm grateful to have books like this in our collection to help us keep the Bible in our everyday consciousness. It can be hard to find consistency in teaching when you're keeping up with little ones and I'll be the first to admit that I fail at this often. I love having this book to help me show my kids how much God loves them - even when they are afraid, alone, or fearful!

We're big fans of Tiny Bear's Bible and I think it will be a well-loved title in our family library. What's the favorite storybook in your house right now?

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for my review sample of this book. I received no compensation for posting a review and all views expressed are my own.


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Lincoln - snack time for Captain America. The muscle suit kills me.

Addie - why does she look like she's six years old here?

Linking up at Practising Simplicity.
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