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How are you doing on your Christmas shopping? I am actually almost done (totally a miracle!) Just in case you are still wrapping up your shopping or need a few last minute ideas I wanted to share some favorites from DaySpring. They are even generously marking down a few items just for you! Even if you are done, make sure you scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway. You won’t want to miss it!

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This Gather Together – Hammered Metal Tray would make such a great hostess gift. It also is great for serving fancy hot cocoa! DaySpring has marked this one down just for you! Use code TOGETHER15 to get this tray for $15.08 (regularly $36).

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I loved adding this O Holy Night Framed Wall Board to my Christmas decor this year. This would be another great hostess gift or would look great in your house too! Use code NIGHT20 to get the O Holy Night Board for $20.02 (regularly $28).

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When I saw this mug and necklace I thought of so many people that I could give this to that are going through really hard things this Christmas season. The Hope is an Anchor Jumbo Mug and Hope Anchors Necklace would be great gifts to encourage a loved one or friend with the sureness of God’s promises. He anchors us through the fiercest storms. Wouldn’t it be fun to fill the mug with gift cards for someone who is in the middle of a storm right now?

I also love the Share Giving Platter, Brass Lanterns, and Hallelujah Christmas Ball Ornament.


Two more things…

1. Today is FREE SHIPPING DAY! So finish up your Christmas shopping today and get it shipped for free through Monday!

2. DaySpring is generously giving one of my readers a $100 credit. Yay!

Giveaway Details:

$100 Credit to DaySpring.com

ONE winner chosen at random

ONE entry per person

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 18 @ 10PM (CST)

To enter…

Visit DaySpring and leave a comment on this post telling me what is on your Christmas list (to give or receive!).


disclaimer: affiliate links used

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  • Tomi-Marie Court - I love your stockings and the initial letters hanging with them! Please share where you purchased! I adore your decor! xoxoReplyCancel

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  • Janelle - I want that O Holy Night framed sign for my house!! I also love the nativity hurricanes!ReplyCancel

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  • Stephanie Boswell - I love the Everlasting Light candlestick set. Would look so pretty on my mantleReplyCancel

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  • Keri - I love the O Holy Night sign!! Merry Christmas!!ReplyCancel

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  • katherine - Would love the oh holy night sign!!ReplyCancel

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  • Cassie M - I love their mugs, candle holders, and I’d love to try one of their illustrated faith sets!ReplyCancel

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  • Katie - I love the nativity hurricanes!ReplyCancel

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  • Macie - Love the “salt & light” wooden trivet! Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • Joni Roberts - I would love some illustrated faith journaling things for me and for others on my list.ReplyCancel

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  • Kendra - I love the “everlasting light” candlesticks!ReplyCancel

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  • Carrie M - We are always better together pillow. Thank you!ReplyCancel

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  • Leah S - I love that anchor mug!ReplyCancel

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  • Ginger - The hope anchors is my fav for someone special and the wooden cross about she is strong.ReplyCancel

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  • Joelle - I want to give a gift to a friend weathering a storm, didn’t know what that was until i saw the hope anchors mug – thank you โค๏ธReplyCancel

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  • Jen - Love the O Holy Night sign and cake pedestal stand. Too many cute things to list!ReplyCancel

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  • Jolie Darby - That tray is darling!!ReplyCancel

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  • Heather Sebastian - Ahhhh ๐Ÿ™‚ your home is so PRETTY. I’m wishing for a new robe and slippers and I’m gifting my kiddos a new bike and a scooter!ReplyCancel

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  • Kristy W - I would love to gift the anchor mug and necklace to a friend who is going thru a difficult time this season.ReplyCancel

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  • Megan L - I love the anchor mug!ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Stafford - Love those gorgeous lanterns. Would love to have them.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary - Thank you for the giveaway! I would love more Christmas decor that focuses on the TRUE meaning of the season, which Dayspring is so faithful to promote!! Would love the “O Holy Night” sign as a centerpiece for that!! Thanks for your encouragement!!!ReplyCancel

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  • Toni Dreist - I love wind chimes and mine have all broken here so I would love to replace them with one of the ones from Dayspring. Soooo beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - Day Spring has so many lovely things. I think I would give or would like to receive one of the wall hangings. So many inspirational quotes from the Bible.ReplyCancel

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  • Laura w. - I would love to choose and also buy for friends the “choose Joy” necklace…it is a lovely reminder that no matter what the enemy cannot steal my joy….& I would love to share this message with my friends…or whoever God would lay on my heart to share one with.ReplyCancel

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  • Jane Phillips - The Hope Mug. One of my best friend’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. She and both of her daughters use this saying as inspiration and in fact, they are all 3 having anchor tattoos when she gets a clean bill of health!ReplyCancel

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  • Kim Z. - I Love Dayspring and I love your ideas! You always have such an eye for fun and cute things to have and to give from Dayspring! Thanks for your suggestions! Love the hope mug and necklace-I would know just who to give it to! Also, I loved the Illustrated Faith correspondence cards…would be great to write a little note of encouragement or thanks on. Also loved the nativity ornaments and the Illustrated Faith adore him ornament…would make great gifts to give to Sunday School teachers.ReplyCancel

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  • Amy - There are so many awesome things on the Dayspring site. I really like the Hope is an Anchor mug…would love to give those as gifts to a few of my friends who are struggling this Christmas season.ReplyCancel

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  • Jessica - Love the Lisa Leonard Hope necklace paired with the Hope mug. After visiting the site, I like to see that they have a selection of KJV gifts available. I just put two of their KJV metal bookmarks in my shopping cart. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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  • Carley Morse - So hard to decide! I really like the “His love endures forever” wall clock. And the journals. And any the scripture wall hangings.ReplyCancel

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  • Elizabeth Kelly - I’ve wanted letter press blocks for a while, but can never justify spending on myself at Christmas. There are some awesome gifts I’d stock up on that would be great for anyone- teachers, hostess, friends, etc.ReplyCancel

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  • Erin Young - i really want to read Because of Bethlehem. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • Jerri Walker - I love any of the jewelry and the illustrated faith sets. Thank you and Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • Candice R - I love the tray.ReplyCancel

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  • Jody - Any of the Illustrated Faith products. I also thought the Sadie Robertson items were super cute…even if I’m too old to have them.ReplyCancel

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  • Tina - I LOVE the “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him” wall canvas.ReplyCancel

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  • Cara Yeh - So many wonderful treasures… the “Wow God” necklace, the Illustrate Faith collection of items, but I would probably choose the Christmas Candlesticks!ReplyCancel

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  • Kelly - There are several DaySpring items that would make wonderful gifts, jewelry, tableware, lanterns, mugs. Beautiful pieces and often including the gift of scripture.ReplyCancel

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  • Heather Shults - The Gather Together tray really is unique! I would want to give that to my mom for her big table ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love all the pennants sayings for my entryway! Thanks for the chance. I love their sitReplyCancel

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  • Barbara Payne - I would definitely get several anchor necklaces and mugs to give to friends struggling in their life right now. One in particular just lost her job and I think that would be the perfect pick me up.ReplyCancel

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  • Sara S - That “O Holy Night” sign is so sweet. Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • ranee - I love the It Is Well wall art and the O Holy Night as well!ReplyCancel

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  • Roma - I would love to give my teaching partner the Cross of Faith bracelet. I, myself, being a huge fan of all things Lisa Leonard, would love to receive the Have Hope necklace.ReplyCancel

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  • Wehaf - I like the Willow Tree Nativity – 3 Gentle Animals set. They’re so peaceful!ReplyCancel

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  • Mackenzie - The Oh Holy Night sign. โค๏ธReplyCancel

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  • Michelle Sandon - I love the “O Holy Night” sign in your post and will absolutely purchase the “His Royal Names” ornament set! Those are beautiful!ReplyCancel

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  • Amberley Weir - I love the Oh Holy Night sign!!ReplyCancel

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  • Sarah Johnson - I would love to get the”now I lay me down to sleep…” pillowcases for my kids!ReplyCancel

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  • Rachel - So much awesome stuff at dayspring! I’d really love to have one of the journaling Bibles.๐Ÿ˜ŠReplyCancel

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  • Lesley - The hospitality serving trey or one of the sterling silver necklaces…can’t decide on which one!ReplyCancel

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  • Jenny damewood - Everything would be amazing to give or receive but our family could really use a nativity set and stocking for my babyReplyCancel

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  • Amy - Love all the things. But would love to get my Mom and my Mother-in-law the lazy Susan’s for Christmas!ReplyCancel

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  • Jess - Anything by Lisa Leonard! I’d love to give and receive her jewelry๐Ÿ’—ReplyCancel

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  • Sara - Love the three peas in a pod necklace! As I have two little ones and am expecting my third in March!ReplyCancel

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  • Amy - I love the Jesus is the Gift metal tray and the Savior is Born plank wall art. And the mug/necklace is just perfect for so many people.ReplyCancel

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  • Julie A - I love the Gather Tray! And your Santa mugs look so fun on it!!๐ŸŽ„ReplyCancel

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  • Candy Foster - They carry Lisa Leonard! I love her stuff!ReplyCancel

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I bought my first DSLR camera right before my daughter Cora was born. I had no idea how to use it. I shot on automatic and didn’t bother even trying to learn anything else about my camera. It was too overwhelming. I thought fancy camera = good photos. While I am so thankful for any picture I have of my daughter, I look back and wish so much that I would have known what I do now about composition, story telling and my camera. I wish that I would have captured more of those precious everyday moments with my girl that I miss so much.

In 2011 (I think that’s when it was??) Ashley Ann told me about an online photography class she was getting ready to launch called SnapShop and asked if I would want to try it out. Ummm….yes!!! I jumped into SnapShop knowing absolutely nothing about photography. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to learn how to shoot in manual. You guys, Ashley is the best photography teacher!! Each section is so easy to understand and put into practice. Ashley teaches you all about your camera, elements of composition, how to tell a story with your photos, and how to shoot in manual. I turned my camera to the manual setting when I began this course and I never turned it back again. I am by no means a professional photographer, but I love knowing how to use my camera and capturing the “extraordinary in my ordinary” as Ashley describes it.

Cyber MondaySnapShop is now a subscription based photography site with two anchor coursesโ€“ SnapShop: DSLR & SnapShop:Phone. I have taken the phone course as well and it is just as great as her DSLR course! By subscribing to SnapShop you have access to both courses, new information is added monthly and you can work at your own pace. It is such a great deal! If you are wondering if this course is for you, the website says,

SnapShop is for the person looking to capture the beauty of their days through photography. It is also for the aspiring photographer hoping to hone skills without the constraints of sticking to class times.

So….I am telling you this because I love SnapShop. I love using my camera to tell the story of my family. And I love a good sale.

Today only, Ashley is offering 50% off the initial registration fee of $50. This is their last large discounted sale this year. Use code CYBERMONDAY to get a $25 discount on the initial registration and access to all course content. The $5 a month subscription fee will still apply until canceled. Or give this as a gift and use the code to get $25 off a $100 annual membership fee. I promise this is such a good deal for the amount of content you will have access to! Promise.

Grab a subscription for yourself or give a subscription as a gift. This would be such a fun Christmas gift! Visit the FAQ page for more information on how SnapShop works or click here to register.

*disclaimer: affiliate link used

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  • Mary Ann - I saw your post on Tuesday…a day late. But I’ll check into her product. I bought a nice camera (Canon Rebel) as a present to myself when I retired. But I am afraid of it, to be honest. So I need a class for sure. I love your photos. You capture some of the most honest and sweet photos of your boys and family.ReplyCancel

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DaySpring’s Black Friday sale is going on now. Here are a few of my favorite deals…

picmonkey-collageGive Thanks Wooden Caddy $30 $10

Illustrated Faith Starter Kit and ESV Journaling Bible $89.98 $60

Shine Your Light Pillow Cover $25 $10

Really Wooly Plush Gift Set $29.97 $15 (I had to include Flora, Cora and Nora!)

Give Thanks Letterpress Block Set $78 $25

Everlasting Light Wooden Candlestick Holders $60 $25

Illustrated Faith Gratitude Devotional Kit and 18-month Agenda Set $59.98 $40

Everlasting Light Star Tealight Holder $44 $15

Illustrated Faith Praise Book $57.99 $35

Make sure to check out the rest of the specials too! They have added even more products since I started this post. You can also take 30% off the rest of the site by using the code FRIDAY16 at checkout. Happy Christmas shopping!


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img_0280newHalloween came and went and it is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away! Every year we go trick or treating with the cousins on my side of the family. We torture the kids with a group photo before they take off running for the candy!

img_0283newIt is always worth it though. Love these cousins!

img_0287newThis year Levi told me he wanted to be a scuba diver. I was so excited he wanted to be something new (and super creative!) this year. We asked Griff if he wanted to be a scuba diver too and he thought it was great. Originally I thought all three boys would be scuba divers but then at the last minute the boys thought Jake should be a shark. We asked Jake if he wanted to be a scuba diver or a shark and he growled at us all…definitely a shark. I found this cute costume and it sealed the deal.

I searched Pinterest for a DIY scuba diver costume and there were a lot of cute ideas. This one and this one were the most helpful. I spray painted two liter soda bottles for the air tanks and made a little backpack thing by sewing together elastic. I got tubing and a little metal plumbing piece from Home Depot. The mouth pieces were from our breathing machine…they were perfect! I cut the flippers out of a piece of foam and attached elastic to go over their shoes. The flippers looked so cute but they said they made it too hard to walk and took them off after about 2 minutes. The masks were from Amazon. I ordered the two pack and one was pink which didn’t go over very well with my boys. Ha! We ended up using a permanent marker and colored the pink part so it was purple instead…just a warning if you have boys!

img_0288new img_0289new img_0293newI wish I would have taken some close ups of each of them in their costume but there was so much pressure to get to the candy that I forgot! A few swimming pictures and we were off. These costumes were so fun and those scuba divers were too cute. And that little shark…cute, but super scary!

You can see the boys’ past costumes here, here, here, and here. Football players, a football, superheros, and cows. I love boys. And oh my goodness…I can’t handle how much those cute little boys have grown!

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  • Kelly - My son was a shark this year too! love it! so cute!! KellyReplyCancel

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  • Jody - My niece wanted us to be Piggie and Elephant this year. So she was a cute Piggie and I was Gerald. We went in January to the p&e musical and they are her favorite books.ReplyCancel

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  • Mary Ann - How adorable. We are so lame, we usually just buy a costume. Braxton my grandson was Bumblebee Transformer. It was a cute costume and he word it to bed, so I guess it was a hit. I was so sad though…he got sick in the early morning hours of Halloween Day so he missed school, his class party, and the parade. But he had fun later in the day. I love your costumes. Jake being the shark was so cute.ReplyCancel

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img_9744newAbout a month ago DaySpring asked if they could send me some products from their new Illustrated Faith line. Have you seen all the beautiful Bible journaling popping up everywhere? I mean, there is some serious talent out there. And what an awesome idea to incorporate art with God’s beautiful Word.

img_9773newI love the idea of Illustrated Faith but I have never done any Bible journaling like this and I knew I would have a hard time with it. I am a perfectionist to the max and drawing in my Bible kind of stresses me out. Also, time. Right now with three little ones I just don’t feel like I can squeeze one more thing in.

But then I had the idea that maybe I could use the same concept with my boys. We have been memorizing Scripture together and I thought they might like illustrating some of the verses they have been learning. DaySpring was super kind and went with my idea. I picked out products that I thought would work well with kids, specifically boys since flowers and pink hearts don’t go over well around here. Ha ha ha. When I opened the box and told the boys that they could use anything they wanted, they were so excited.

img_9774newDaySpring also sent me the new Illustrated Faith Through Christ Devotional Kit. I was so surprised when I opened the kit and saw that my friend, Megan, was the collaborator on this kit! It is so fun and colorful! She did such a great job writing the devotional and picking out all the fun elements that go along with this kit. It is a good one! The emoji face stamps were a favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

img_9926newFor each “journal entry” I had my boys choose a verse they had memorized.

img_9922newGriffin and I worked together to come up with an idea of how to illustrate his verse. I did the writing and helped him with his drawings.

img_9924newThen he added stickers and stamps and colored everything in.

img_9901newLevi copied the verses and did all the writing himself. I helped him brainstorm ideas of how he could illustrate his verses but he did all the drawings too!

img_9889newI thought he did such a good job! He was really proud.

img_9904newWe tried using the Illustrated Faith journals DaySpring sent us but they were too small for my boys. They didn’t have enough room on a page to fit all their drawings and writing. We picked up some art journals from Hobby Lobby to use instead. I think the Illustrated Faith journals would work fine for older kids, but I would suggest something a little bigger if you are trying this with younger kids.

img_9879newI thought having my boys illustrate their faith sounded like a good idea but I honestly wasn’t sure how into it they would be. They loved it! We have been using their journals off and on for about a week now and they often ask if they can do another page.

Here is what we came up with…

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img_9963newThis was the perfect way for us to spend time reviewing verses we had memorized as well as talk about what they mean. And it was really fun too!

To get you (or your kids!) started on your Bible journaling journey, DaySpring is offering a special coupon code for my readers. Use coupon code JESS5 to take $5 off any $30 purchase (offer good September 13th-20th). If you are wondering what products we used, I linked them all below. And don’t forget that there is free US shipping with any $50 order!

img_9984newIllustrated Faith products we used:

IF Through Christ Devotional Kit | IF Black Eyed Pea Ink Pad | IF Date-it Stamp | IF Precision Pens | IF Clear Acrylic Block | Rainy Day Tiny Text Stickers | IF Animals 31-Piece Die Cut Prompts | IF Notebook Journal (we ended up using a bigger art journal) | IF Alphabet Stickers (various colors) | IF Number Stickers (various colors) | Crayola 12 Twistables Colored Pencils

disclaimer: affiliate links used

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  • emily - this is such a great idea! i loved their little drawings and i’m sure brainstorming ideas was such a sweet time for you all! ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you, Emily!

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  • Mary Ann - What a clever and fun idea. Levi did an amazing job. Griffin reminds me of my grandson (Braxton, age 6) with his tongue out when he’s concentrating on something very important. When they look back at those books years from now, they will remember how much their mama helped them and how much those bible verses meant to them at their young ages. Thanks for sharing. I always look forward to your posts.ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Your grandson sounds so fun, Mary Ann! I bet he would have a great time with my boys!

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    • Jess - Your grandson sounds so fun, Mary Ann! I bet he would have a great time with my boys!ReplyCancel

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  • Leah - That’s great! I’m curious how you do memory verses? One a day? One a week? Do they have to completely learn it by memory? Or just a few words?ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Hi Leah! We have done it different ways but right now we are using the Fighter Verse App. It is so great! I am working through the Foundation Verses with my boys right now. We have a chart with all the verses for them to keep track of and for incentives every time they fill up a row (6 verses). I use the App to keep track for myself and for reviewing with them. Levi can memorize word for word. Griffin is almost there but usually needs a few more prompts. It is really amazing how much they take in! We try to do one a week but often they can do more. I just move on when I feel like they have it down pretty good and we continue reviewing too! Hope that helps. Email me if you have more questions!

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    • Jess - Hi Leah! We have done it different ways but right now we are using the Fighter Verse App. It is so great! I am working through the Foundation Verses with my boys right now. We have a chart with all the verses for them to keep track of and for incentives every time they fill up a row (6 verses). I use the App to keep track for myself and for reviewing with them. Levi can memorize word for word. Griffin is almost there but usually needs a few more prompts. It is really amazing how much they take in! We try to do one a week but often they can do more. I just move on when I feel like they have it down pretty good and we continue reviewing too! Hope that helps. Email me if you have more questions!ReplyCancel

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  • Kelly - Jess! This is an amazing idea! I think my kids might really get into this! Thank you so much for sharing! We have JUST recently really gotten going with Scripture memory after me really wanting to for a while. This will be great! KellyReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    So glad this might help, Kelly! I have loved memorizing Scripture with my boys. They are such little sponges and blow me away with how much they remember!

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    • Jess - So glad this might help, Kelly! I have loved memorizing Scripture with my boys. They are such little sponges and blow me away with how much they remember!ReplyCancel

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  • Melissa Joy - I love this! I have been doing this with my kids through the summer, just using colored pencils and twenty-cent notebooks. I love this post though, and just went over to get a package of die-cuts, and a couple of those neat date-stamps (one for me, but some to share too!). My kids do their copywork and artwork while I read Bible stories to them and quiz them on their catechism. It really works wonderfully to have their hands busy, and their eyes focused while their ears are listening and hearts are engaged by faith. God bless your home, Jess!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Such a great idea, Melissa! I agree that it is so helpful to have their hands busy. So helpful. Hope you guys love your new IF products!

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    • Jess - Such a great idea, Melissa! I agree that it is so helpful to have their hands busy. So helpful. Hope you guys love your new IF products!ReplyCancel

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  • Linda - Such a fantastic idea, and your photos are beautiful! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. ๐Ÿ™‚ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Hi, Linda! Thank you!

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  • Madison - LOVE this! Your boys did a great job!ReplyCancel

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    Jess Reply:

    Thank you, Madison!

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