We are a blended family with 5 wonderful adult children, 1 amazing Golden Retriever, 1 Goldfish, 5 grand dogs and 2 grand cats. Getting everyone together for the holidays or anytime during the year is an impossible feat! We have a daughter in Colorado, a son in New York, a son in North Carolina and a son and daughter still nearby in Iowa. We pray for them daily, talk with them most everyday and love them beyond what words can express. Cell phones, FaceTime and texting make them feel not so far away and bonded in family ties. They tend to call while they are driving home and catch us up on their day, giving us the highs and lows of what’s going on in their lives. When the call comes in, we drop everything and answer and just enjoy the moment together in conversation. We love to hear their voices and share in their day. The two younger ones are my bonus kids that I love dearly. I feel very blessed to have them in my life and to witness what a wonderful father my husband is. He loves to laugh with them, tell jokes, give advice (wanted or not) and just spend quality time with them. We dream of having the whole big crew together with their significant others, dogs and cats for the holidays…we know this is a big dream and the reality of it happening slim to none. We prayerfully put this dream in Gods hands and if that is to be it will be. Until then we feel blessed to be together anytime we can. Last year we almost pulled it off with Christgiving, where we combined Thanksgiving and Christmas together. We were blessed to have everyone and their pooches, minus our son in New York, at our home. However, with Facetime we got him and his girlfriend with us! The day was wonderful! We celebrated Christmas with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the background, played games with fun prizes, ate the traditional Thanksgiving meal with all of my parents’ and grandparents’ recipes and opened presents. The holiday cheer and spirit was amazing! My advice to blended families: be flexible, patient and kind when blending a family especially during the holidays when so many pressures and demands for time are high. We truly are blended, blessed and bonded… we pray the bond continues to strengthen in God’s perfect timing and in His perfect way. Wishing our readers a joyous Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas… or Christgiving!!
Last minute gift ideas
Sometimes better late is sometimes just that, better. I have never really been one to go out and get the Xmas presents months ahead of time. It sounds like a great idea. But still, to find the time and actually know what the kids want at that point is simply impossible. It seems that Christmas lists are ever changing and have a mind of their own. I cannot tell you how many times over the years that I have actually purchased a gift only to find out that it is not on the Christmas list anymore. You think there may some things you can get early that should be a sure thing, but even with shoes, clothes, and games the kids can have a change of heart, and in many cases grow out of them before they get a chance to unwrap them!
More often than not, my procrastination has turned out to be the smart move. I am able to get shoes and clothes that they like and fit right now. Sure, sometimes it is too late to find the more popular gifts like the “Tickle Me Elmo” or this year’s “Pie Face” game, but other things do come along and sometimes are even better because it is a surprise. You do find something that they really like and it is not on the list.
Do you still have a gift or two find?
There is still plenty of time out there for those of us who may have a gift or two to find. So here is a short list of ideas for the kid in all of us: A favorite movie on DVD or online, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, a daily journal or notebook, nice socks, action figures, a handy flashlight, a nice picture with a frame, a board game, or a water bottle. A favorite for parents and children alike could be new book or in this case an ebook like Mommy Loves Baby or Silly Zoo Is All I Can Say…both now available as an ebook and an Ibook. These are two books that both the child and the parent will enjoy to together.
The tool that promotes feelings of love and security in your child for a lifetime
If someone told you that they had a tool that could promote your child’s healthy growth and enhance their feelings of security and love for a lifetime, you would purchase it in a second, wouldn’t you? Well luckily, this tool is readily available and free of charge. The tool is…dah, dah, dah, dah…reading to your child.
Intellectual development is enhanced by reading but the bonding that occurs between parent and child is where the real action is.
The experts have told us that reading to infants can “jumpstart brain development and can even make them more receptive to learning.” “Brain jump starting” is a a great reason to read to your child. Another reason, and one that is close to our hearts is the incredible bonding that occurs between parent and child during a reading session. This incredible bonding is what motivated us to start our publishing company and write Mommy Loves Baby and Silly Zoo Is All I Can Say, the two books we have published so far. We saw how reading promoted the health and well- being of own children.
The power of a reading session with your child or children
The power of a reading session with your child is truly remarkable. Think about it. The conditions are perfect. It is just you and your child (or children.) They have your undivided attention and you have theirs. Everyone feels safe and secure, like a blanket. You start to read in a soothing voice. Your child points out a picture or asks a question. You answer with no judgement. You are communicating with one another. It is all good.
If the book that you select to read is a family-oriented book, all the better! You are providing a safe environment to read the book and on top of that, the book itself is about something family- oriented. In the Mommy Loves Baby book, for example, every picture depicts an animal with his parent, mommy or daddy. Again and again the book repeats…”Mommy Loves Baby” and “Daddy Loves Baby.” Picture it. The child has Mommy or Daddy in their arms and they are being reinforced with the words “Mommy Loves Baby” and “Daddy Loves Baby.” Talk about soothing and secure!
Have you experienced the phenomena of a book reinforcing the bonding between parent and child? Tell us about it and please share the title of the book!
Barb and Troy will be appearing…live…at the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library in Iowa Falls, Iowa. Come join them on Thursday, July 30th at 10:30 am. Monte the Monkey (stuffed animal) will be joining them because like all good little girls and boys he loves story time!
Mommy Loves Baby and Silly Zoo Is All I Can Say are the books the authors will be reading and sharing with the children. After the children hear the stories they will go home with activities and coloring sheets related with zoo animals.
If you are in the Iowa Falls area please join us and bring a few friends! For more information, call the Robert W. Barlow Library at 641.648.2872.
By popular request, prints of Mommy Loves Baby illustrations available
The publishing business has been a enjoyable experience for all of us here at Curtis Christine Press. It is important to us that our customers and fans are happy. We are willing to try new things and take action on your suggestions. For example, we have had several requests for prints of the Mommy Loves Baby illustrations which were created by artist, Andrea Dickkut. You have asked and we have responded. We have obtained several prints on a trial basis to find out if they are worthy of a place on your child’s wall.
The free prints offer
While supplies last you will receive a free 8 x 8 print of your favorite Mommy Loves Baby animal page with each book purchased through Curtis Christine Press! We want your feedback on the book and the prints. Share your thoughts on any other products that you may be interested in, too! Comment here or reach out to us on our contact page.
Our next book Silly Zoo Is All I Can Say will be available in late May 2015. It has been crazy-fun putting it all together, but you will hear more about that soon.
It has been an exciting time here at Curtis Christine Press!!
Thank you for being part of this journey with us!