Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans


Penguin Books for #WorldPenguinDay

I am not sure if your children have to read nightly for homework, but Broxton does. I love it (of course I do... I LOVE BOOKS!)  We take turns, sometimes he reads a page and then I read a page, other times I read to him and of course he reads to me, or quietly to himself.  Since he LOVES penguins, we made "World Penguin Day" homework to be reading all about Penguins. I posted a picture of our family penguins and was surprised how popular penguins are as favorite animals with the kids these days.  That being said, here are the books we read!  Enjoy!
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

When Penguins Cross The Ice -   This was a fun book for us.  We learned about Emperor Penguins and how / why they cross the ice.  I loved that there were discussion questions at the end to make sure he payed attention.  It also included a glossary in case you needed help with any of the words.

We loved the beautiful illustrations in the book as well. 

Penguin Misses Mom - I thought for sure this would be for Savannah, since it was a board book. Nope, he did not care that it was for the younger age range, it was about penguins and had a cute little penguin in the story, so it was sent to his bookshelf!  He has shared it with her, but it is still "his" book.  In this book, Penguin is with the babysitter and REALLY misses mom.. but no worries, mom comes back home and all is right in the world again!  

Savannah and Broxton both love this book.  Sweet (and sad) little penguin makes you eager to turn the page to see what is going to happen.  

Space Penguins - Cosmic Crash - I hate that we have not read this one yet.  This is one that will take more than a night of reading.  We are already in the middle of another book, so this one will be read next.  

This is a chapter book that also has pictures.  Perfect to break up the reading for a bit and let them enjoy the illustrations in the book as well.  

Do you have any fans of penguins in your house? 


Peter Cottontail and The VeggieTales are great any time of year!

I recently received a wide variety of Easter themed Veggie Tales DVD's (plus the classic, Peter Cottontail) for Savannah and Broxton. We didn't get them in time to go in any Easter gifts that we gave them, but let's take a minute to think. Is Easter the only time we need to think and be thankful for all that happened?  Where would we be today???  That being said, it might not be Easter weekend, but it is always a great time to remember that He has Risen!

FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Here Comes Peter Cottontail - The Original Easter Classic
Easter's on its way! It's time to choose the next chief Easter Bunny, and Peter Cottontail really wants the job. Everyone in April Valley agrees he's the best bunny for it, but someone else wants the top spot too. When Evil Irontail's terrible plans threaten to ruin the holiday for children everywhere, it's up to Peter to restore the true magic of Easter.  

It's Easter time in Crisper County and cable news reporter Marlee Meade (Petunia Rhubarb) is hunting for a way to help others. On a tip that the old town theater will be shut down, Marlee cooks up a plan to save the stage and make a difference through the power of musical theater! With a cast of costume-clad townies, massive props and a 20-foot robot rabbit -- "Up With Bunnies" is hatched! There's only one thing missing -- the star of the show!
When news spreads that singing sensation Cassie Cassava (Melinda Doolittle) is arriving to perform in her hometown church's Easter service, Marlee gets worried. Concerned about the competition, she schemes to steal the starlet for her own pageant! But when things go haywire, will it be curtains for Marlee's dreams -- or will she discover the true meaning of Easter and what helping others is really all about?
He's trying to make Easter bigger than ever by filling London with plastic eggs! But just how hard can his mechanical chickens work before they're... well, fried? In just one unforgettable day and night, Cavis and Millward (Bob and Larry) and a music box angel named Hope must convince Nezzer that Easter is about more than candy and eggs.  Inspired by Dickens' Christmas classic, this very special VeggieTales film explains why millions of Christians around the world celebrate Easter past present and future.  

They even have the Easter stories on 2 in 1 DVD collections! 
You can get Twas the Night Before Easter & God Made You Special, as well as Easter Carol & Abe and the Amazing Promise! Maybe you want to give a DVD to each child in your family and then buy the 2 in 1 DVD's to keep for your personal collection when they come visit?  (Calling on you, grandparents!) 

The king needs a new queen, and a small town girl named Esther has been chosen! When Esther wakes up with the weight of the world on her shoulders and the fate of her people in her hands, can she find the courage to do what's right? Filled with the drama, humor, and great music, the story of Queen Esther teaches kids that you never need to be afraid to do what's right!

Noah and his family along with a zoo full of animals take an adventure aboard an orange slice ark. After 40 days and nights of rain, everyone's faith has been tested, and they're ready to jump ship. Will they chart a new course, or will they remember to trust God's promises? Grab your umbrellas and find out in this VeggieTales re-telling of the beloved Bible story! Featuring Wayne Brady as Noah's son, Shem!!
Remember, VeggieTales has a great selection of titles for any time of year! Broxton had them as a baby and now we get to share them with Savannah as well! 


Stash for next year? Peter Cottontail and Veggie Tales for Easter

I hate that we did not get this in time for any Easter gifts, but it is still great to add to our collection. Although Easter has passed, we will still be watching these.  I did want to share with you all.  Maybe you want to buy them now, as Easter isn't the only time we should be thankful.  Maybe you want to buy them and put them up until next year?  Whatever you decide, I think they are great DVD's to add to any collection!
FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Celebrate Easter and say hello to Spring with everyone’s favorite Chief Easter Bunny! Here Comes Peter Cottontail hops to DVD just in time to add a little something special to your Easter baskets. Bob, Larry and their Veggie Tale pals are back with holiday adventures based on beloved Bible stories that teach kids about honesty, kindness, and forgiveness, and illustrate why people around the world still celebrate Easter. Each story is filled with laughs, music, fun and surprises.
Available Now on DVD
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Veggie Tales: ‘Twas the Night Before Easter
Veggie Tales: An Easter Carol
Veggie Tales: Easter Double Feature: An Easter Carol/Abe and the Amazing Promise
Veggie Tales: Easter Double Feature: Twas the Night Before Easter/God Made You Special
Veggie Tales: Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen
Veggie Tales: Noah’s Ark
Available Now on Digital HD
Veggie Tales: ‘Twas the Night Before Easter
Veggie Tales: Abe and the Amazing Promise
Veggie Tales: An Easter Carol
Veggie Tales: Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen
Veggie Tales: Noah’s Ark


Ways to Boost Kids' Self Esteem

Self Esteem in children is really important to me!  I used to be a greeter at Broxton's school in the morning and I would make sure to try and start their day off with a huge smile and let them know they were awesome.  You don't know how many high fives and smiles I have received walking through those doors.  This is a guest post, but one that I think is important.

Ways To Boost Kids’ Self-Esteem
For the first two quarters of the school year, Olivia’s grades were perfect, all A’s on the report card of the second grader. Olivia was involved in the school holiday play, she was in the inventor’s club, she got along with everyone and always looked forward to going to school.
Something changed once school started again after winter break. Olivia began to withdraw from her friends, she was making up illnesses to stay home and when she was at school, her grades were slipping.
After some prying, Olivia’s parents found the root of her problem: A new teacher had taken over her classroom after her original teacher took maternity leave. With the new instructor came a stricter environment, one that didn’t allow for students to voice their opinions or explore creative options in the classroom. One that didn’t show mutual honor and respect but strict discipline and negative reinforcement without freedom of expression. 
“Children need consistent guidance to build positive self-esteem. Knowing a few key strategies will help build solid foundations for children,” says Sharon Thayer, children’s advocate and author of the children’s book “If You Tell Me, I Can Fly” .
 “Verbally shooting a kid down can have a negative influence on his or her life, the same way showing respect and affirming a child’s positive behavior can have a negative effect.”
Once parents know it doesn’t take much effort and just takes consistent interaction and feedback over the course of time, one of the top gifts they can give is a positive sense of self. Building self-esteem is an on-going process that is not hard but has to be consistent.
Here are some ways to achieve that:
• Encourage kids to try something new. Art, music, sports, dance, summer camp, science clubs – a little time away from the electronics. Try to direct them toward some things where you know their success will come easily, but also let them choose options that will be challenging. It’s difficult to predict how new adventures will turnout, some will fizzle unexpectedly and what may appear to be a dead-end could be the beginning of a passion with no end.
• Acknowledge and compliment your children. When you notice moments of creativity, talent and genius, celebrate those milestones, accomplishments and improvements, but also acknowledge failures and attempts that don’t go well. Help them learn from their failures and see they are simply stepping stones on the path to success. The freedom to fail is vital to success. 
• Honor and respect children’s ideas, knowledge and opinions. Kids today have more knowledge in some areas than many of adults (i.e. electronics). That’s great, sit back and let them be your teacher, as you honor this reversal of roles. Include them in family decision-making processes and responsibilities – with power comes responsibility is a valuable lesson.
• Tell your children you believe in them and their dreams.Show your love every day; the successful, the average and the days of frustrations and failure. Regardless of their direction, accomplishments or disappointments, let your children see you are always there to help guide them through the maze to reach the goals they have chosen.
About Sharon Thayer
Sharon Thayer, a single mother of three and now a grandmother of five, has been an advocate for children throughout her life. Thayer is a graduate of Iowa State University, earning a degree in family services. She is the former director of Brass Ring Ranch in Littleton, Colo., a facility for survivors of abuse. Thayer later went on to start Kid Central, a nature-based childcare center in Conifer, Colo., for children ages 3 to 15. Thayer’s first children’s book, “The Myth of Santa’s Beard” was a national award winner and sold more than 20,000 copies. Her latest book, “If You Tell Me, I Can Fly”, has won a bevy of awards and includes versions for both boys and girls.

Mars TV Series #Giveaway #MarsDay

If you remember my earlier post, we have been enjoying the Mars TV Series.  Lucky for us, we were sent a review copy and that has been something we enjoyed watching as a family. I was excited to get it, for Broxton, but it has proved to be great for all of us. Now, one lucky reader will win a copy of their own!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below!

FTC Compliant Review Policy:  The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

If you didn't read my first post, head on over to read about preparing for life on Mars! Then, head back over here to enter the giveaway!

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