Category Archives: product review

Christmas Gift Guide

My daughter has only had three Christmases and I am already sick to death of PLASTIC toys. Why don’t grandparents think money in a college fund is a fun Christmas gift? *sigh* Well, if the thought of Toys R Us makes you cringe, here’s a gift guide I think you’ll like.

I’ve compiled CDs, DVDs and books that I’ve actually listened to/read/watched. And they are all products that I consider impress-your-kids-worthy. These are items that will help you instill God’s Word into your kids’ hearts. Songs that introduce your kids to Jesus. DVDs that promote Godly characteristics. And books that tell stories you can use as springboards for conversation.

I’ve linked to the actual item (most of the time) so you can go ahead and get that credit card out. And I tried to link directly to the author or artist’s site so you can get to know them, too!

DISCLAIMER: The quality of these products are just my opinion. If something they do/say is opposite of what you believe…well, don’t use it. And don’t come crying to me blame me.



Little Praise Party by Yancy
Yancy is one of my personal bff’s. But I’d love her stuff even if I didn’t know her. She’s passionate about children, about worship and about the Lord. This album is filled with old and new songs that will have your kids dancing and singing!
Recommended Ages:
(also, Yancy has Rock N Happy Heart and Loud & Clear for Elementary kids and lots of other CDs for the whole family, too!)

And some old skool music…

Yes, he’s a big blue singing songbook. Yes, it’s a little cheezy. But guess what? Kids’ music is kids’ music. You might want to listen to your very own playlist, but kids actually like KIDS’ music. Shocking, I know. And Psalty’s music is quality. All of his CD’s are full of scripture & solid Bible teaching. When I watch Lydia dance around and sing, “Make me a servant, humble and meek.” or “God is great. God is good. He kept His promise like He said He would.” I get excited!
Recommended Ages:
preschool to early elementary
My fave:
Kids Praise 4, Kids Praise 5

Donut Man
He was wiggles before grown-men-singing-kids-songs was cool. Lydia absolutely adores the Donut Man. Every song is either a scripture (complete with reference) or a Bible Story. We only have two of his CD’s but watch the shows on our local Christian station. Even though they were made in the 80’s Lydia loves them as much as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and JoJo’s Circus.
Recommended Ages:
preschool to early elementary
My fave:
Donut Forget Bible Songs Volume 2



The Very Fist Noel
I discovered this one last year on accident. And what a find! It’s told all in rhyme, narrated by Andy Griffith and music is by a Hawaiian choir. One of the most creative DVD’s I’ve seen for kids in awhile. Plus the story is really good (with the exception of the Wise Men actually being at the stable…). Lydia watched this EVERY DAY in December last year. This is a must for your Christmas collection!
Recommended Ages:
the whole family

Baby Faith
You know Baby Einstein, right? Well, this is the same idea only with Bible stories. The best part of these DVDs is the puppets—mainly because one of my actual friends made and performed them!! Not to mention the narrator is the voice of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson! (These DVD’s are not to be confused with Baby Praise. The same idea, but in my opinion, not as fun.)
Recommended Ages:
babies and toddlers
My fave:
God Made Me, God Made Animals, God Made Christmas

Hoop Dogz
Fun cartoon DVD from the makers of Doug and JoJo’s Circus! Each one is based on one of the Ten Commandments. Cute, funny and high quality. Great for girls and boys.
Recommended ages:
elementary kids

Angel Wars
Action-packed CGI shows that remind me of Power Rangers and YuGiOh (or whatever is popular like that now…). I’ve actually only seen the first one but it was really good and all the boys we showed it to thought it was AWESOME!
Recommended ages:
older elementary kids



Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones I cannot say enough about this book. My review is here. I really think every family should own this book. Seriously.
Recommended Ages:
the whole family

Peek-a-Bible by Tracy Harrast I can’t seem to find a link on any online bookstores to this whole series. There are several (I know, because I found a ton of them on I randomly found one at Easter last year and another one at the library when doing our “S” verse. I think they are “meaty” enough while still being fun. If your kids are into the Spot books or any of the lift-the-flap books, they will love these!
Recommended Ages:
preschool to early elementary

NIrV Bible
This is the Bible version I recommend for elementary aged kids. It’s from the NIV, which is a very trusted version. It’s on a 3rd grade reading level (the NIV is 8th, NLT is 6th and the KJV is 12th). I like it because the verses still sound similar to what you might know, but it’s just broken down in smaller sentences. (Here, compare Romans 6:23 in the NIV and the NIRV. Good, right?)
Recommended Ages:
kids reading at or below a 3rd grade reading level
My fave: Super Hero Bible

If you are buying this for a child who is actually going to be reading it himself, make sure you choose a style (there are tons in this version!) that is NOT in columns. Columns are sometimes confusing for kids to read. Regular printing from one side of the page to the other is much easier for young kids to read.

DandiLion Rhyme Books by Dandi Daley Mackall
I’ve only read two of this series but I LOVE them. The stories are full of open ended questions that point to God’s love for us. The illustrations are modern and super-creative…they are a story within the story. I would read these every night if Lydia would let me…and she usually does!
My fave:
When God Created My Toes and God Loves Me More than That
Recommended Ages: all ages



Passages by Paul McCusker
Awesome Biblical fantasy by one of my favorite authors.

Dragon Keeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul
Fantasy a la Lord of the Rings. But a little more kid friendly and overtly allegorical. I really like these!

The Christy Miller Series and The Sierra Jensen Series by Robin Jones Gunn
If your girls are already thinking about boys and dating (uhm…HSM, anyone?) this is the series for you! An absolute must!


The Stuff You Need To Love If You Want To Go To Heaven

(That’s what my husband always says…) Anyway, these are things I consider a MUST for every family. These are the products that help you talk about God while sitting at home or walking along the road. These things facilitate conversations when you lie down and when you get up. When you talk about them and have them playing in your house, it will be the same as putting them on your door frames. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
I honestly can’t put into words all the things God has spoken to me through these books. I’ve learned about apologetics, creation, baptism, forgiveness, sacrifice and heaven. Please take the time to read these together as a family. You will love the conversations that follow. Also, the Radio Theater versions by Focus on the Family are a-maz-ing. Great for car trips!
Recommended Ages:
the whole family

Adventures in Odyssey
Some of my best memories are listening to Adventures in Odyssey while driving down the road on vacation. Or listening to them before bed. Or while I was cleaning my room. Or well, just about anywhere. AIO are radio dramas about a small town full of zany characters. Each episode teaches a godly principle and is just plain exciting! Click here to read more about it.
My fave:
All of them! And guess what? You can listen online and on your favorite radio station, too!
Recommended Ages:
the whole family


I encourage you to use this list to help leverage every opportunity to show your kids the love of God. The more you talk about it, the more you read about it, the more you watch it, feel it and show it, the more real it will become to your kids. God’s love and His Word will be IMPRESSED into their hearts. I hope these products help you with that—with your highest calling!

Happy shopping and Merry CHRISTmas!

(hey, did you see The Housewife’s Holiday Gift Guide?
Don’t forget to check her out! Thanks for linking to us, Jo-Lynne!)

(and yeah, obviously, this works for me!)




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Back in the Land of the Blogging

Well, our new baby is 2 weeks old and craft-time or even normal playtime has been highly limited. So has sleeptime, eating-time and shower-time. *sigh* What we’ve mainly been doing is stuff like this:

So, I’m sorry I haven’t been around but I love all the stuff Leigh has been posting! I hope you’ve been keeping up.

In an effort for some alone time, I took Lydia to Wal-Mart today. (I know, exciting.) While we were there, I saw that Martha Stewart’s premade kids’ crafts are there now. I’d only seen them at Michael’s or other craft stores. So, I had to stop and look. Then I decided to try one out as a special treat for Lydia…and as a little product review for us! We bought the farmyard animal set–little animals made from pompoms and pre-cut felt.

It is made for ages 4 and up. But I couldn’t even get some of it to work. Lydia was only interested in it because it made animals. I ended up doing most of it by myself. I don’t think it was really worth $5 for the quality and cuteness of craft. But I guess it was worth it to have all the pieces cut out and together.

Anyway, I’ll let you be the judge. What do you think of our farmyard animals?

So, maybe if you’re in a hurry it would be a good buy. Otherwise, I’d just buy a pack of pompoms. You don’t have to be uber-creative to make cute pompom animals. Wait, maybe you do. Because I don’t think ours were Martha-worthy. Oh well.

I’ll be back this week with the letter T!

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