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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Well, Heroes, it’s time for holiday gift-giving. We’ve reviewed many wonderful products over the past year, and I thought you might like to see some of my favorites plus a few new ones. Please note that in many cases I received a free sample to do the review in the first place. All opinions (as always) are of course my own.

cover art for lullaby album

Ken Elkinson’s album titled Around the Globe in a Lullaby is a collection of lullabies from, well, around the world. If you love piano music (I do, I do!!!) and want to listen to something that is just soothing and amazing and wonderful, well, then this is for you. And! Ken is offering a 20% discount to Earnest Parenting readers who email him at kelkinson@gmail.com by December 15, 2013. Use the phrase “Earnest Parenting” to get the discount. His work was attractively priced in the first place, and this added discount is a great bonus. Order soon! There’s also a giveaway going on right now. Winner will get this CD plus 2 more titles of their choice.

baby goat in Heifer International gift boxWhen you give a gift from Heifer International’s Most Important Gift Catalog in the World, you’re giving something big— the tools for a family to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty and into self-reliance.

Gifts like this create a lasting change in someone’s life. It becomes more than a present; it’s a gift for a better tomorrow.  The good folks at Heifer International believe we can end hunger and poverty around the world!  Consider gifting different this holiday season and will encourage your friends and family to do the same.  Together, we can change the world.  To find out more about how you can help please visit www.heifer.org.


Know some expecting parents?  Check out the great products at Baby Blankets.com.  They have a very large catalog, and I was especially impressed with the organic cotton baby blankets.  We’ve got a giveaway of that going on here too, until midnight on December 6, 2013.  Enter to win one of two gift wrapped blankets using the Rafflecopter widget in the post.

toothbrushes and toothpaste from Just Right toothpaste kitThis may seem like a very strange Christmas choice, but the Just Right Toothpaste Kit from Elevate Oral Care is something a toddler (and his or her parents) could really love.  Getting bigger and doing things “all by mySELF” is so important to little ones.  Parents facing the task of teaching good oral hygiene can really benefit from this kit.  The toothpaste pump automatically doles out the safe dosage of toothpaste for young children.  Seriously, if you haven’t tried it you’ll be surprised at how little is really needed.  It’s an excellent way to keep kids safe and teach them the appropriate “serving size” for toothpaste.

illustration of felini the flea

For the readers in the family, why not give a copy of the book Felini the Flea?  This children’s story celebrates the fact that children with disabilities have talents and gifts as well.  Written by Bruno Rossi, the book sends the message that all children, especially the less fortunate, have a unique gift they must uncover. Rossi states that, “Disability is often the inspiration for ability, and should not define who we are.”

cover art of Dreamworks holiday collection dvd

Bring the family together in front of the fire and get cozy —The DreamWorks Holiday Collection provides hours of entertainment for all ages.  Available for the FIRST-TIME this limited edition collection features four holiday favorites in one DVD gift set for just $19.98. The glittering box set includes Shrek The Halls, Merry Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda Holiday and Dragons Holiday: Gift of the Night Fury as well as bonus features including games, music videos and more!  Check back soon for a giveaway of this DVD set in the next few weeks!

cover of Scott Harpole's book Sleepy Beach
My Dad’s Bedtime Stories by Scott Harpole consists of a lovely and humorous collection of bedtime stories told by the author.  Sleepy Beach is a book your child can hold and read along to the recorded story, and Scott also features a monthly reader’s club.  Give this gift and a child can hear a new bedtime story each week for a year, as well as enjoy all of the stories already in their collection.

amber colored candy bowl holding Merci chocolates

Merci Chocolates are lovely and delicious any time of year.  I should know…I’ve been blessed with them twice in 2013.  They’re available in major grocery stores, and if you take a look at their Thank You Maker app on Facebook, you can send a creative thank you note to any Facebook friend as well as get a coupon towards the chocolates.  Yummmmmmm.


Li’l Lingo Can’t Rhyme Tuba is an adorable ebook that made me smile.  Written by Jori Sams for Writeious Books, this story is available in English and Spanish as well as a bi-lingual edition.  This is just one of the many Li’l Lingo stories, and they’re just perfect for a tablet or e-reader.

baby laying in blooming bath sponge in sink

A new baby product that simply delighted me is the Blooming Bath.  This giant flower-shaped sponge is perfect for bathing baby in a sink safely.  You put the Blooming Bath in the sink, fill with water and set baby in.  The petals fold to adapt to different sized sinks, and you get to give a bath in a warm safe environment without having to crouch or stoop over an uncomfortable bath tub.  You don’t need to use one of those hard plastic baby bath tubs either!  I wish this product had been on the market when my boys were tiny.  Available in several colors, this is an item I am planning to bring to many baby showers in the future!


Mark Batterson has put together a new book called Praying Circles Around Your Children and wow. I really enjoyed reading it. Based on his New York Times bestseller The Circle Maker, this book combines the Biblical with the practical. The book gives parents concrete strategies for circling their kids in prayer.  There are 5 prayer circles in the book: circling the promises of God, making prayer lists, creating prayer mantras, forming prayer circles, and praying through the Bible.  I learned quite a bit reading this book.

math game called 20 Express

20 Express is a game that’s new to us at Earnest Parenting.  You draw a number tile out of the small pouch in turns.  Each player has a card with boxes on it in sequence. Players strategically write the numbers down as they draw them.  The object of the game is to put the numbers in order sequentially; the winner has the most and/or longest sequences.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want great gifts to give at Christmas.