Monday, October 28, 2013

The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition #TheElfOnTheShelfBirthday

Look who paid a visit at our nest yesterday in a fantabulous birthday suit, wishing ME a Happy 39th Birthday, she wanted to start my 40th year off with a wonderful surprise!!! Malia Peppermint Pattie!

I am pretty sure all of my readers know that the Crow's love "All things Elf on the Shelf"- that's the name of my Pinterest board. We even have an annual Elf on a Shelf link up at Christmas time, where we ask you to share a collage or individual pictures of what your scout elf/elves have been doing around your home during the Christmas season. Stay tuned, we begin year three November 29 with a post each Friday and end on December 26th.

Miss K always wants to know what Malia Peppermint Pattie and Charley are doing, she always wants them to visit. How fun is it going to be now that Malia will visit on our birthdays? I was so excited when I was contacted by the North Pole and asked to review The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition which released on October 22.

Birthdays are the number two (after Christmas, of course!) most requested time for The Elf on the Shelf® to visit, so Santa has given special permission to the scout elves to visit their families to celebrate their birthdays! The creators of the bestselling holiday tradition are so excited to announce the long awaited sequel to The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition. 

The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday tradition tells the little-known story of the North Pole tradition and includes special instructions for families to invite their scout elf for a birthday visit. The book is so beautiful, we read it the night before my birthday and were really surprised by our scout elf my birthday morning. 

$1 from every copy sold of The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition will be donated to the non-profit organization charity: water. “Clean water is fundamental to family wellness,” says Pitts, “and women and children bear the greatest cost of this global crisis. We’re proud to be able to be part of this powerful initiative.” For more information, please visit:

It was sad to say goodbye to Malia as always, but Thanksgiving night is only 37 days away!!!

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*Special thanks to EspressOh! for making the Happy Birthday Donuts in Christmas colors and having fun with us. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Sparkle Box - A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas: Giveaway #TheSparkleBox

I admit, my family does get caught up in parts of the commercialism of Christmas, but I always make sure that that commercialism always contains the real meaning of Christmas. Before my children open a single gift they deliver Christmas Eve gifts to our neighbors, we also participate in our church's annual toy event-tcTOYS. I try to teach them that it is always better to give than to receive and that I want others to see Jesus through them. What acts of kindness and generosity do you and your family participate in during the Christmas Season?

The Crow Kids delivering Christmas Eve 2012 gifts

I am so excited about my latest book giveaway. Not only is it a beautiful book, but it is going to be one of those books that will be perfect to read and begin a tradition with your family on Thanksgiving night. I am going to be honest, this book made me tear up. I cried during the entire book. If you are wanting to teach your children God's love and compassion this is a must have book. A definite tradition to begin this year. 

About the Book:
The Sparkle Box - A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas 
Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's mom explains that the things that they've been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives. 

I know for my family this year, we will be adding this tradition and I can't wait to see how much more the meaning shines through our lives and actions. One of my readers is going to be blessed with their very own copy of The Sparkle Box book.  All you have to do is tell me this in a Disqus comment. Bonus entries are available on the Rafflecopter form.

What acts of kindness and generosity do you and your family participate in during the Christmas Season?

Written by Jill Hardie
Illustrated by Christine Kornacki
Available now!
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages, with a fold-out sparkle box included!
ages 4 to 8

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today's Post: Foodie Friday, Crockpot Chicken & Noodles

Today I am sharing a Foodie Friday at Oklahoma Women Bloggers. It's Fall Ya'll. Time for some comfort food. 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Annual Sit & Cheese Pics Are Here...

I have made it very clear how I detest school pictures- read this post. My kids are pretty. They take great pictures, IF they are not sit and cheese pics. I buy the cheapest packet of school pics each year to fill the bus.

And now the moment you all have been waiting for...

... the 2013-2014 Annual Sit & Cheese School Pictures. Oh no, I will not be doing retakes.Yes, the quality is a little off because these are scanned, but honestly not by much. Memories. Besides I just got some great photos myself at the Pumpkin Patch.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith: Review & Giveaway

God made us. God loves us. He is coming to rescue us.

This is the Epic line of what our church is teaching to our entire children's ministry right now. I couldn't help but just constantly repeat this as I read and reviewed this book by Angie Smith, wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah). Angie is also best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

Audrey Bunny is such a sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She'll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

I just love how Angie takes the analogy of a basket of stuffed toys and compares them to our own lives. We are all wonderfully made. He chose us. And we are all special. All children need to hear this. We have a cradle of those toys and believe me, all are precious in my six year old daughter's eyes, just as each child is precious in His sight.

I am so excited to be able to offer one of my readers one of their very own copies of this book to read to a special child/children in their lives. All you have to do is tell me WHO you will read to in a MANDATORY Disqus comment, then come back and put your entries on the easy Rafflecopter form. 

Written by: Angie Smith
Publisher: B&H Publishing
Hardcover with jacket: 32 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Ages 4 to 8

*note from ShaRhonda: after writing this post, God led me to further read Angie's blog. I ran across a post. Audrey was actually the name of Angie and Todd's 4th child. God directed them to an actual bunny just like in the above book. Read more at her blog and this post.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Today's Post: Frugal Friday

Today I am posting at Oklahoma Women Bloggers. I am sharing a little secret that I do at my nest. I make my own foamy hand soap. Seriously. I found the idea on Pinterest. It's frugal. It's fast. It's safe.

  • Rinse and Clean your leftover pumper bottles. I peeled off my labels, then sprayed them with WD-40 to get the sticky off. Works like magic.Then be sure to use some dish soap to off. I just love WD-40.
  • Fill bottle with about one inch of soap.
  • Slowly fill the rest of the bottle with cold water. Don’t completely fill. The pump has to go in and you don’t want it to overflow.
  • Place pump back on bottle. Do not shake, but rather tilt from side to side to mix soap and water.
You must go read the story behind this. It's a good one. Everything I do is for a reason and usually involves one of the 4 Crow's! 

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Lime Chicken & Fiesta Rice

I promised this recipe on Wednesday. Sorry. It's been a crazy week. Miss K has been very sick. I found these Mexican Fiesta with lime juice diced tomatoes at Aldi last weekend and I since I love lime on my chicken, I just kind of threw this together. The family loved it. Enjoy!

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