One Word 2016

Last year here at West Word Blog, we focused our minds on one word - the Word.  I had wanted to teach myself to always turn to the Word in anything.

About mid year I started suffering from panic attacks.  My doctor and I discussed options and she said I could medicate, but she wanted me to attempt to go without if I was okay.  I could have hugged her.  Medication isn't always the answer and I am so thankful I have a doctor that is not an eager beaver with meds. 

I turned to God's Word, with the help of Elyse M. Fitzpatrick's books, and I can honestly say that I can cope.  The attacks are far fewer and when they do come they are short lived. 

This year I want to further renew myself.  Any broken relationships, ill feelings, lingering anger, forgiveness.  I pray it is all washed clean and renewed with a right spirit.

Blessings to all in the new year!  <3

Road Trip with Kids: Audio Books Part 2

As Christmas approaches and family's dash through the snow to Grandma's house, I plan to make spirits bright with more audio books.

We've now used audio books as our long car ride survival plan for over a year and the kids beg to hear one to pass the time.  (they are not allowed electronics).  Usually I do this via my phone app, Overdrive and hook up to our car via Bluetooth, but some are not available through our library so we own them.

Our current favorites we have listened to:

The Nutcracker by Maestro Classics.  This gem will provide you with an hour of entertainment by professional storyteller, Jim Weiss. 

This audio production by Listening Library will provide you will 10 (yes ten) hours and 45 mins of entertainment with a full cast featuring Redwall author, Brian Jacques.  This adventure story is a true gem, and even had my husband asking for more. 
The Saturdays is the first story in the Melendy Quartet.  It is a story of four children, the Melendy's and their adventures.  This was a favorite with my eldest (who's 8), he asked to hear all the books from this series.  This book is 4 hrs of listening.

I grew up with Disney's Jungle Book so listening to the 5 hr long audio version of the actual book was entertaining just for the great differences in the stories.

Paddle to the Sea (58 mins) was a good listen.  It's a little wooden canoe, carved by a boy, that journey's from Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a great book to listen to for a "living book" geography and history lesson.  (although, this Michigan gal was disappointed the reader pronounced Mackinac wrong, lol.)

What are your favorites stories to listen to as a family?


Our Christmas Book Favorites

The kids look forward to each year when we bring our Christmas books out of storage.  They each have their favorites they scoop up right away as the exclaim, "Oh!  I thought I'd never see this again!"  So dramatic, but yet shows how much they cherish their holiday books.
Here are the West kids' favorite pics for Christmas:

Dinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea

This cute little board book series stars a ferocious little dino who is always battling something.  The library.  Bedtime.  Mommy.  And now he takes on Santa.  This is fun for all ages.

Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene

Santa gets a little too ambitious with his sweets in this hilarious little book and ends up stuck in the chimney.  The story and illustrations reminded me of a mix between Jan Brett's illustrating style (picture within a picture) and the fairy tale "The Gigantic Turnip" - with the role of "turnip" played by Santa.  :)

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers

The Nutcracker needs no introduction.  This is a new favorite for us to read over and over.  The illustrations are just lovely in Susan Jeffers book and we like the book retold by AnnMarie Anderson.

The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup

This story is sure to be a favorite with so many boys and girls.  A young boy and his mother are making gingerbread cookies to leave for Santa but Captain Cookie is just to dear for young Jim to leave on the plate so he takes him to bed.  Captain Cookie comes to life as soon as Jim falls asleep and sets out to save his crew from the awful cannibal named Santa Claus.

Room for a Little One:  A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell

The illustrations in this book are just so whimsical and lovely.  The lines on each page are short and so sweet, making this a nice read for the youngest little listeners.

The Mouse Before Christmas by Michael Garland

This twist on "The Night Before Christmas" is my eldest's current favorite.  Mouse is gathering cookies on his plate when Santa arrives.  He wants to peek inside Santa's sack and ends up falling in and going on a sleigh ride with the jolly old elf.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry

This sweet book was my childhood favorite, wrapped up in memories of sitting on Grandma's lap as we scratched and sniffed our way through a Christmas of the past. 

What are your favorite Christmas books?

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