Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Finishing the Road Trip series: Long Trip with Toddlers April 9, 2009

Filed under: Books,Travel — Andie @ 2:29 pm


I promised a friend that I would write up my road trip post before she embarks on one. So, here it is, my Ultimate List of LONG Road Trip Suggestions. We traveled 3,685 miles in our Honda Accord with our 3 1/2 year old and 21 month old…. without a DVD player. We could have accessed one. However, Andrew felt that if they had it, they would just whine whenever it wasn’t on. This is probably true. If you are brave enough to go without, it actually weans your children off TV quite effectively to be in the car for days without it. So, here are my lists. The first one is the “non-negotiable, do whatever you need to do to have these items” list. The second one is full of helpful suggestions that you may be able to replace with something else. 

List One: Non-Negotiables

-AAA membership (for those drive-in-a-blizzard-and-run-off-the-road-into-a- snow-bank times… when you have to be towed. If you have good car insurance, you may be able to just use that to be reimbursed for the tow truck. However, check beforehand to understand your coverage. I’m speaking from experience here, people.)

Earplugs-  It just takes the edge off of the screaming children. Trust me.. get them BEFORE you need them. They will be much more comfortable than the Starbucks napkins we balled up and stuffed in our ears.  Sadly, even Flying J doesn’t carry earplugs!

Small cooler- Stuff it on the floor behind the driver’s seat so the passenger can access snacks (string cheese, apples, drinks to put in spill-proof cups…)

Books on tape/CD/ipod– We enjoyed several of the Narnia Series books. Listening to them was delightful- a highlight of the road trip. Make sure you choose things that you will enjoy along with your children. Mrs. Pigglewiggle is a funny one Ruth and I  are loving lately, too. You can also buy audio books on itunes, in case you didn’t know.

-Tylenol & Ibuprofen Adult and Children varieties.

-Window Shades for Back seat (come in two-pack in baby aisles at Target)

List Two: Recommended, but not Essential (can be substituted with other stuff)

-Cheap cookie sheet to function as tray- This will minimize the losing of toys and books and markers.  You can put fun magnets on it. It worked well with the 3 1/2 year old. It didn’t work so well with the 21 month old. He just used it as a weapon…. or instrument. Occasionally he was entertained for long periods by driving a matchbox car on it.

Cheap new toys and a plastic bin to keep them in.  Pipe cleaners to make shapes, letters, chains, etc. $1 Matchbox cars. Library books (bonus if they match the book on tape… but be careful, it’s easy to lose them!).  No mess clear Crayola markers that color on special paper to make a color (this is a splurge). Sticker  book with LOTS of pages and stickers  (even more worth-it than the markers and found in Book and/or Toy section). Mini Suction-cup covered balls (found with party favors, a BIG hit.)


-Costco size snacks to keep in trunk- We used two big shallow storage containers in the trunk. In one we kept bulk diapers and wipes. In the other, we kept snacks from Costco. We had crackers, Asian pears, apples, string cheese (which didn’t spoil b/c it was cold outside), fruit snacks, Lunchables, drinks and copious amounts of plastic baggies. This made it nice because we had some fresher options when fast food and gas station snacks sounded gross. (Note: SuperTarget has a lower fat 10g Lunchable available now, as opposed to 18g)

-Plastic Placemat Map & Dry Erase Marker This is something I wished I could have given Ruth while I looked at the big Road Atlas (also essential). I couldn’t find one at Target.

To save money, ask around and borrow what you can, but only if people are okay if it doesn’t come home….


Free download of Not For Sale February 19, 2009

Filed under: Books — Andie @ 2:00 pm

Not for Sale was one of Gretchen’s picks from Wednesday’s post. I just heard from Molly’s blog that there is a free download of this book during the month of February. You can download it here  from the Christian Audio website. You have to sign up for an account and use the code FEB2009 at checkout. It will be completely free. 

The description of the book on Christian Audio is as follows:

Award-winning journalist David Batstone reveals the story of a new generation of 21st century abolitionists and their heroic campaign to put an end to human bondage. In his accessible and inspiring book, Batstone carefully weaves the narratives of activists and those in bondage in a way that not only raises awareness of the modern-day slave trade, but also serves as a call to action.

Audio books are a really good way to incorporate “reading” into your life if you are not finding time for it otherwise. I plan to start listening to this book while I ride my stationary bike. And, Christian Audio has a new book for free every month!


Favorite Toddler Bible Books

Filed under: Books — Kate @ 10:14 am

Read Aloud Bible Stories
by Ella K Lindvall

This Bible story series has become our favorite right now!!!  It is perfect for toddlers with BIG pictures and only one or two sentences on each page.  The stories are fun and simple, but accurate.  Both of my kids (at ages 2 & 3.5) really enjoy reading them.


More books February 18, 2009

Filed under: Books — Andie @ 8:08 am

Gretchen is flying home with her 4 girls today (pray for her!) and so I am posting a few books I have heard her mention are worth your time.

For the ladies: Not for Sale- David Batstone


For the girlies: Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connorfancy-nancy


Library Corner. February 17, 2009

Filed under: Books — Leah @ 6:00 am

My (slightly younger) children’s book suggestion:

cookie-bookMargaret Wang’s Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar.  Our kids have loved this book- practically since birth.  Could it be because if the holes in the pages?   the family pets that are constantly being accused?  or the simple fact that in the end: Daddy is the culprit….just as in their own home.  Our copy is WELL loved and we look forward to sharing it with Miles soon.

…and since children have interrupted my previous reading habit (sad, I know), here is a bonus children’s suggestion…

My (slightly older)  children’s book suggestion:

ralphBeverly Cleary’s The Mouse and The Motorcycle.  Our kids have enjoyed hearing the adventures Ralph and his motorcycle before bed many nights of the week.  I think it’s a good workout for Mom and Dad’s lungs too.  Here’s a little snippet from Ralph himself:

Boy!” said Ralph to himself, his whiskers quivering with excitement. “Boy, oh boy!” Feeling that this was an important moment in his life, he took hold of the handgrips. They felt good and solid beneath his paws. Yes, this motorcycle was a good machine all right.


Book Week February 16, 2009

Filed under: Books — Andie @ 2:59 pm


This week we’ll be sharing some books we have liked and think you might like, too. Just last night, I finished Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It was a fascinating, page-turning account of Mortenson’s work in Pakistan building schools for girls in remote villages.




I do love Frances books, and this one is very funny. All parents who have sometimes (or always!) picky eaters will enjoy the method employed by Frances’s parents in this witty book.