Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.
Roar Like a Lion by Levi Lusko with Tama Fortner is a 90 day devotional book for kids.
With eye-catching art, fascinating stories and facts, Bible verses and prayers, and simple action steps, this 90-day devotional will help your kids approach both fun moments and tough times with their hearts set on God’s faithfulness.
Facing fears about school and friendships
Dealing with peer pressure and bullying
Handling new challenges, disappointments, and grief
Having courage to try something new
Understanding how we each fit into God’s great story
I love the fun pictures and the little extra info in the bubble at the end of each devotion . I also love how each devotion is short and perfect for reading to kids.
Each devotion starts with a verse and ends with a little prayer. And, 90 days of devotions is perfect for encouraging a daily devotion habit in my kiddos. They’re enjoying these devotions and absolutely LOVE the lion on the cover!
I know it’s a different back to school than we’re all used to. So, this year I’ve been focusing on how I can make it fun for the kids and inspire their interests! I’ve got a few essentials on my list, but mostly, it’s important for them to engage and find something that they’re excited about or interested in doing every day.
First up, let’s talk about these cute masks from SwaddleDesigns. Typically, SwaddleDesigns makes swaddlers, blankets, and bedding for babies. These things are super cute and look so soft, but my littlest isn’t a baby any more. I was super excited to try out their masks! They sent 3 masks. 1 Adult and 2 Child masks.
The matching rose masks are both cotton masks. They are 100% cotton, 180 thread count, 3 layer cloth masks. There’s a pocket for a filter, the ear elastic is nice and soft, and even though this mask is 3 layers it’s still quite lightweight. My favorite part is the chin gusset. It’s a little tab shaped to go around your chin, this keeps the mask from riding up into my eyes and it keeps the bottom part of the mask from being super tight under my chin (like the straight rectangle masks seem to do). This is pretty much the only cotton mask that I’m comfortable in.
The child cotton mask is designed for kids 2 to preteen. It fits my 12 yr old daughter really well. So, if you’re concerned about sizing, it does actually fit a preteen. Depending on the actual cut, sometimes she needs the adult size and sometimes she needs the kid sizes, with these swaddle design masks, the kid size is perfect.
The polkadot mask is a 2 layer cotton mask of premium flannel. Because flannel is a little thicker the 2 layers work great. There’s no pocket in this one. The ear elastic is the same as the cotton masks so super soft and comfortable. Flannel is just a little bit warmer than the 180 count cotton so it’s super cute and fits great, and I can see her using it a lot more in about a month when the weather gets a little cooler. Right now, it’s just really hot on her face. They do have some super cute designs available in the flannel.
Between the 2, the 3 layer cotton is my favorite, but they’re both soft and comfortable, and cute.
Since I started with practical items, I’ll save the fun stuff for later. With all this everyone at home I’ve been teaching the girls how to do their laundry. And some new detergent doesn’t hurt! I do prefer the Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator Liquid to the powder. Mainly because with a HE washing machine, the liquid is just easier to use. My kids are a bit sensitive to detergents but they don’t have any trouble with Biz. Plus, with it’s odor eliminator it really helps reduce that odd smell that front load washers can tend to get.
I’m loving the OxiClean on the Go sticks. I keep one in my purse and they’re super handy with the reduced access to restrooms and such these days. Instead of having to wash something out of the kids clothes, I can just use my stain stick to go and take care of it.
And, I don’t know about you, but I very much dislike going to the drycleaner. So, unless it’s stained and I really have to have a professional, these Dryel at Home Dry Cleaner are awesome! It makes keeping up with my dry clean only clothing so much easier!
My last practical item here. This InnoGear Diffuser. With 4 timer settings and a color changing LED, my girls have been using it as a nightlight/room refresher at night. They also sent a set of 6 OnePure essential oils to go with the diffuser. I appreciate that these oils aren’t’ super strong. The girls are enjoying their nightlight and picking their evening scent.
I will say, Peppermint is my favorite scent for their room. It just smells so refreshing and almost clean. And my girls need all the help they can get with a clean room!
This diffuser is super easy to use, shuts off automatically if the water runs out, and with 3 diffusing settings you can pretty easily control how strong or mild your scent is just by turning it up or down. Plus, I’ve always loved the color changing night lights! I find the right scents super soothing, and this collection of scents is awesome!
My kids were so excited about this “A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids“. I have the brownest thumb ever but my daughter wants to grow everything and I don’t know where to begin. This book has easy to follow instructions and suggestions for where to find the items to build your selected terrarium.
There are lots of awesome looking terrarium ideas to pick from, and lots of helpful hints including things like how to pick the right container, the best plants, and how to care for your terrarium. There’s a section on the different types of growing mixes and care instructions for individual plants.
This is a terrific project for homeschooling or just encouraging your kids to explore some different plants.
We’ve been using this “Kitchen Explorers” cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen for the baking segment of our homeschool this year. With all this extra time at home, and my kids already love cooking, we’ve been branching out and trying new recipes. The recipes in this book are tasty and easy enough for the kids to make.
I love how we can get some science, math, and tasty treats all at the same time! If you get this book, you definitely need to make the cake in a cup. It’s amazing!
My kids were super excited when their CrunchCup arrived! With no group snacks at events this year, we’re getting plenty of use out of these cups! You put the milk in the outside, the cereal in the inside, and then when you tip the cup they both come out at the same time, so you can have your cereal and milk (or snack and beverage) at the same time without needing a spoon!
The first thing I was worried about was leaking, but there’s a little seal between the color and the clear plastics that seals well. So far, we haven’t had any leaking. It did take everyone a few tries to get the hang of how far to tip the cup. None of us had any experience trying to drink a beverage and a snack at the same time so it does take a little practice to get milk and cereal without getting too much at once. Once they got the hang of it though, they now want cereal on the go all the time!
With the different color lids we always know who’s cup is who’s. Check out their youtub video for a demonstration!
And last but not least. Hasty Baker card game. We love baking so much, we’re even playing a card game about it! Actually, this game is pretty simple to play and it has some bonus/powerup cards that keep the game interesting and different every time we play. I can see why it won the 2020 Tillywig Best Family Fun Award. It’s simple enough for my 7yr old to play and fun enough that I even enjoy playing with the kids. A fun game that the entire family can enjoy.
Starting this Friday, March 20, the Boca Raton Museum of Art is launching a new series of free Online Community Art Initiatives for all ages at this link. Featuring the new Keep Kids Smart with ART series to help parents and their children who are home from school.
The Museum has always provided the community the added benefit of an Art School campus with an innovative art faculty, since its very beginnings in 1950. These art educators are using their expertise to develop online resources using the power of art. Also for seniors who are keeping social distance and who might feel isolated.
This series will provide art-oriented ways for people to creatively utilize their new free-time at home. Online art lessons, tips for parents to use art-making and creativity with their kids at home, and activities for all ages.
The resources on this landing page will evolve as time passes, as the art teachers receive feedback and reactions from families about their needs. It will also branch out to the Museum’s social media channels for ongoing activities — #BocaMuseumatHome.
New Exhibit: The Ultimate Collection of “Selfies” by America’s Leading Artists: from 1901 through 2015.
The term self-conscious takes on a whole new meaning in today’s social media era.
At a time when millions of selfies are posted every day and identity is proving to be more fluid, this exhibition from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Galleryshines a new light on self-portraiture and representation.
The show was created to commemorate the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary, celebrating the artists who make the NPG Collection so extraordinary.
Eye to I brings together the work of major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The powerful works are from every decade, starting in 1901 and continuing through 2015.
The Museum is launching a new series of free Online Community Initiatives for all ages, including Keep Kids Smart with ART that will aim to help parents and their children who are home from school.
These free Online Community Initiatives will also reach out to seniors who are keeping social distance and who might feel isolated.
Starting on Friday, March 20 the Museum’s website will provide regularly updated links to new ongoing activities here, including live interactive streaming and tips for parents.
The Museum has always provided the community the added benefit of an Art School campus with an innovative art faculty, since its very beginnings in 1950. These art educators are using their expertise to develop online resources using the power of art.
Quote from the Museum Director:“Art, culture, and creativity have always made a difference in powerful ways, especially during challenging times,” said Irvin Lippman, the executive director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art. “While the Museum is temporarily closed, we will continue to give back to the community. Being inspired and creative have not been canceled. These artists in our new exhibition, “Eye to I: Self Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery,” made a lasting mirror effect of themselves, cutting across time and creating a very personal art that engages us – the viewer.” adds Lippman.
According to the National School Boards Association, kids who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
Studies show that art helps kids earn higher report card grades because skills developed through art lead to better learning in other areas.
Tips for parents and students on using art in your home:
Provide a special “creative zone” at home.
Make sure that your “creative zone” is mess-friendly and able to stand up well to spills and art-related fun.
Focus on the fun process, not on the outcome.
Create a special area to showcase your child’s artwork.
Watch and encourage your children as they work on their art.
Ask them questions to engage them while they create.
Check out Boca Raton Museum of Art’s online art today!
With 4 kids, the probability is really high that more than one of them is in a classroom, group, or event with another child who has a peanut allergy. Because we love peanut butter, and my kids really don’t want to give up their favorite peanut butter foods, I’ve tried a LOT of other nut butters and seed butters. Most of these butters have been quickly rejected by my kids. They just don’t taste like what they’re used to. And while I personally love cashew butter, it’s still a nut. And I can have it some places and not others.
So…I was excited and not excited to try a new brand of seed butters. One thing that made me optimistic about Beyond the Equator was that they’re a 5 seed butter. Because, let me tell you, I cannot stand the taste of sunflower seed butter! And I’ve tried at least 10 of them. So, I promise you, it’s not the fault of the person making the butter, it’s the sunflower.
Beyond the Equator sent me their 3 5 Seed Butter Butters. (Say that 5 times fast!). These butters have Chai, Flax, Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Hemp seeds. No nuts. And they come in 3 varieties, Crunchy, Creamy, and Unsweetened.
If you’re eating the butters straight out of the jar, they all have the texture of a natural peanut butter. The unsweetened, I can definitely taste the sunflower seeds in, so I don’t really like it plain. But on a sandwich or in a recipe, it’s perfect.
The Creamy really is the closest to my kid’s favorite peanut butter that I’ve found in a nut butter. And best of all, my kids don’t mind eating it!
The crunchy isn’t quite as sweet as the creamy but still sweeter than the unsweetened. This jar is mine, because my kids don’t like crunchy. Which is fine by me. It tastes great and makes a terrific PB&J – all for me.
One snack my kids are constantly sad they can’t take to events is Muddy Buddies. Because, if you have anyone allergic to nuts, these are basically terrible. So, we took the unsweetened Beyond the Equator 5 Seed Butter and gave it a try.
My kids devoured these just like they do our usual recipe, and we even shared them with guests and no one knew they were made with “special butter” until we told them! My kids are definitely planning to make these again AND take them to share with friends!
8 Cups chex cereal – I prefer the rice chex because they have very little flavor
1 cup chocolate chips – I like milk chocolate
1/2 cup Beyond the Equator 5 Seed Butter – I like the unsweetened
1/4 cup Butter – melted
2 Cups powdered sugar
Put chocolate, butter, and 5 seed butter in a bowl. Microwave at 15 second increments, stirring between, until everything is melted and mixed together.
Pour 8 cups chex in a bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over chex and stir until all chex are covered in chocolate
Pour 2 cups of powdered sugar over chocolate covered chex and stir until everything is white.
Dump mixture onto a cookie sheet to cool
Try not to eat it all yourself!
Nut Butter Protein Balls
1 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup Beyond the Equator 5 Seed Butter – if this isn’t enough add a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture is the right consistency
3 Tbst honey or molasses
1/4 cup m&ms
Pulse oats in a food processor until coarsely ground
Mix oats, seed butter, and honey until well mixed and you can form balls with them. If they aren’t sticky enough, add a little more seed butter. Especially if you’re using the crunchy seed butter, you’ll probably need a little more.
I like to think of myself as a pretty confident mom. I’m the oldest of 8 kids so when my first came along I already had a lot of baby experience. For me, becoming a mom wasn’t nearly as difficult as it was for many of my peers. Even adding my second child wasn’t really a problem. It’s the third child that got me. As my husband says, we went from man to man coverage to zone defense. A 5yr old starting kindergarten (we homeschool), a toddler who was just potty trained, and an infant made for a really interesting couple of years.
I wanted to have my 4th another 2.5 years after my 3rd but it just didn’t happen. Now, my 4th has arrived 4 years later and I’ll be honest, he’s not nearly as difficult as my 3rd. So, what’s different?
I have help – My other kids are older. They’re 9, 6, and 4. All of them old enough to help and old enough to not injure the baby. I can send people for diapers, have them load the dishwasher, get me a glass of water, play with the baby, etc. I didn’t have this many assistants with the first 3.
Nap schedule? What’s that? – With the older kids having activities and such, our weekly schedule is the same, but our daily schedule is different. So there’s a lot of napping on the go. Luckily, my little guy likes the car. I remember with the others we were actually home most of the day and we had this nice nap schedule. That’s just not happening this time around. Baby sleeps well pretty much wherever so he’s getting his naps. Just not in his bed.
Baby can sleep through anything…except silence – The first week I tried to tell my older kids to be quiet. Then I gave up. The baby sleeps right through it. But, send everyone away with Daddy for a few hours and the baby doesn’t know what to do with himself.
Baby is well entertained – And I don’t have to do all the entertaining. Yay! Older siblings are great for playing with baby and as the baby gets older, there’s more they’ll be able to do.
I follow the advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps” – with the first one you can sleep whenever so I didn’t worry about this. This time around. I have a baby who goes to bed at midnight, who also likes to play between 2 and 4 am and then kid’s schedules which require me to be up before 8. So, guess what, if I have the chance to take a nap while the baby’s sleeping, I take it. And I don’t feel one bit bad about taking a nap instead of cleaning my house. Because I’ve figured out, if I’m too tired, nothing goes well in my house.
I do actually get to shower alone – My kids are older, old enough to survive without me for 20 minutes. Plus, think of all the snacks you can consume while Mommy’s in the shower. Who wants to pass that up by asking for permission first? I can shower when the baby’s sleeping or playing and the kids will leave me along unless the baby’s crying. I remember with my first it being so hard to shower when she was awake because she didn’t want to be “alone” in her bouncer by the shower door. With 3 entertainers for the baby, this isn’t a problem.
I don’t need a baby monitor – I have a baby monitor. But with 3 live baby monitors running around, I don’t actually need it. I’m alerted if the baby sneezes in his sleep.
Zone Defense – and last but not least, I’m already on zone defense so what’s one more? It’s not like I was keeping up with everything anyways.
What’s been different for you as you’ve added multiple kids?
For starters, I love evian ® Natural Mineral Water Facial Sprays! They’re so refreshing and perfect for having on hand in the summertime. Pure, natural skincare from the French Alps, evian® Facial Spray is very beneficial for any skin type at any age. The spray delivers a very find mist of pure evian® natural spring water that is sealed at the source in Evian-les- bains, France.
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The 1.7 Fl.Oz size is also perfect for sticking in my purse for any emergency!
Whether is’s for it’s advertised purpose as a facial spray or for an emergency hand washing for the kids while we’re out and about. evian ® Natural Mineral Water Facial Sprays are awesome.
We even had a little mishap with the stuffed puppy and my daughter had to clean him off.
As a fun promo for moms – or anyone else with kids – evian ® Natural Mineral Water Facial Sprays is giving away a Diaper Bag filled with a 10 oz., 5 oz. and trio of travel sized evian ® Natural Mineral Water Facial Sprays!
Head to this link or enter below for your chance to win some of this refreshing spray and a new diaper bag.
First things first. We went in for our gender ultrasound, and we’re having another boy. We’ll be at 2 girls and 2 boys when he arrives. A perfect set, in my opinion.
I’m at 25 weeks so honestly just starting to get ready for the baby. There’s no rush since I’m not even quite into my 3rd trimester yet. However, there are some things that are quite fun about having a 4th.
He already has a nickname – The kids have decided to call him “Turtle” because they say he looks like a turtle in his ultrasound pictures. So, it’s Turtle this, Turtle that, and can I give Turtle a kiss and hug goodnight? Super sweet.
The kids are ready to play – I’m afraid they’re going to be a bit disappointed at first. My 3yr old (son) has so sweetly requested to be allowed to punch his baby brother – right after giving “Turtle” a hug. I told him that wasn’t going to work out at the moment and that he’ll be able to play with his brother soon. My 8yr old is more realistic and can’t wait to hold the baby.
They’re already discussing the baby with friends – My 3yr old has informed me that one of his preschool friends has a baby sister who is out already and that he’ll be glad when his baby brother is out too. It’s like some sort of competition in the preschool class… My 8yr old did a presentation at school about her upcoming baby brother. I did warn the teacher ahead of time so she was prepared to interrupt if the presentation started to go beyond what she was comfortable with in a class of 3rd graders. Luckily, my daughter was mostly interested in how much fun she’s going to have with a new baby and other topics weren’t discussed.
I don’t get to pick the room decorations – My 3yr old is so excited to have someone to share his room with. He caught me browsing Amazon for baby sheets and crib supplies and we now have an entire “Cars” themed room picked out for both of them.
Nothing is assembled – Speaking of decorations. I’m 25 weeks and the crib is still in the garage and I haven’t purchased any decorations, diapers, etc. I do have clothing but it’s still in a bin in the garage. I have a bassinet so the crib doesn’t have to be assembled before the baby arrives. And I do have a pile of t-shirts out for him. Since he’s due in August, that’s about all I’ll need anyways. I just need to pick out my carset and I’m set.
Our book topic for this month’s book craft was “How Do Dinosaurs…” I’d never read this series before but it sounded like fun.
I went a little overboard and check out maybe a dozen from the library – and there’s still more! The kids didn’t mind because these books are super cute, and fun to read. They all have a fun rhyme and my 3yr old loves dinosaurs so he was very excited to have all sorts of dinosaur books to read.
With the cold snap last week, baking cookies together was a great project. We made chocolate cookies with multi-colored dinosaur eggs (mini m&m’s). So much fun, and so tasty!
Along we way we got to talk about how dinosaurs help in the kitchen – they don’t throw the m&m’s btw. And how dinosaurs are very polite when they eat their cookies.
How do Dinosaurs Eat Cookies is a super cute board book with “scratch & sniff” cookies throughout. Lots of fun to read together over and over.
Dinosaur Egg Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 package mini m&ms – or other chocolate chips of your choice
Heat oven to 350
With an electric mixer, blend together butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, until well blended.
Stir in mini m&ms
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool about 5 minutes then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Our Book for our monthly Book Craft Challenge was “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. I’d never read this book so I checked it out from the library – along with the half of the library that my kids selected – and read it with the kids.
I was trying to come up with a giraffe craft to do and my kids didn’t want to do anything with constructions paper. Finally, my 8yr old suggested that we draw a giraffe. So I drew, and she drew. Her giraffe dances way better than mine! And then my 6 yr old and 3 yr old colored all my giraffe pictures.
This book is super cute and so much fun. The rhyme is great and it’s pretty short so you can read it multiple times without getting tired. My kids loved drawing and coloring Gerald!
Use a pencil, write lightly, so you can erase as needed.
Step 1. Draw an outline for the body, neck, and head. Write lightly, because a lot of these lines will be erased later.
Step 2. Add some legs. Gerald (the Giraffe) had long, gangly legs so no need to be perfect.
Step 3. Add some details. Tail, mane, horns, ear, fill out the eye and mouth a bit.
Step 4. Erase your extra lines. Aren’t you glad you drew lightly? Color in the tail, hooves and any other dark areas.
Step 5. Draw your spots, color in your giraffe.
Or, draw your spots and let your kids color in the giraffe. Be creative, My 8 yr old made her giraffe dancing.
I have 3 children and while they each are super excited that we’re having another baby – they’ve been asking for one for basically forever – their responses have all been different. I can’t wait to see what they all think once the baby is here!
First. Here’s what they all have in common. They want a boy. We’re going to have to find out gender just in case this baby is a girl so they can get over the disappointment before the baby arrives. Though, they seem to have varying reasons for wanting the baby to be a boy.
My oldest is 8 and is super excited to have a baby to “take care of”. She was almost 5 when our youngest was born so I’m pretty sure she doesn’t exactly know what this means. However, she’s old enough to be quite a bit of help and I think she’ll actually enjoy the baby, since she loves babies.
She wants me to have a boy so things will be even. We’ll have 2 girls and 2 boys and everyone will have someone to play with. Honestly, she’s just excited about a baby and she’ll be happy either way. Thanks to her, basically every checkout clerk in the city now knows that I’m pregnant!
My middle child is super sweet but is a bit more shy around babies. I think she’ll do just fine with a baby sibling. She’s excited, and likes to give the baby (my stomach) kisses. Just wait until the baby can kick hard enough for her to feel it. She’ll most likely be glued to my side from that moment on.
She wants a boy because she wants to remain my “baby girl”. Which is my nickname for her. I assured her that she can keep the nickname regardless of the baby’s gender, but I don’t think she’s convinced. She tries to pretend that she just wants her brother to have someone to play with, but she really just wants to be the youngest girl. It’s tough being the middle child, so I understand her wanting to hold on to the baby girl spot.
He’s 3 and knows basically nothing about babies. He has grand plans of the baby playing with his toys and hanging out in his room to play every night. Being the only boy, he has his own room and isn’t happy about it. He hears his sisters chattering and playing at bedtime and he wants a bedtime buddy.
I’ve assured him that the baby can be in his room – actually, in a 3 bedroom house, the baby kinda has to share a room with him – and he’s super excited. He wants a brother so he has someone to play cars and super heroes with. He has no idea what sharing a room with a baby will be like. I’m not certain he’ll be happy at first but once the baby starts getting more playful he’ll be so happy to have a playmate. The trick will be keeping him from handing small objects to the baby.
I want to know. What did your kids think when you announced an upcoming baby?