Saturday, November 30, 2013

A couple of my favorite things

If you've been a reader of my blog for a while you know of my love for Brother Francis. I happened upon some videos on YouTube one day a couple years ago, found my way to their website, and ordered our first Brother Francis DVD. I couldn't help but share here, on my blog, how awesome the DVD was and how it was teaching my kids all their prayers. So post I did, and somehow the Brother Francis people found that post and have since been sending me the rest of their Brother Francis episodes to review.

So we were thrilled when the newest DVD from Brother Francis arrived in the mail - The King is Born.

You can find it here.

Clara and Luke knew that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, but beyond that their knowledge was lacking. Last year our Christmas was a little, let's just say, unorthodox. We spent it in a hotel room, many, many hours away from home, with a new baby (the similarities to the Christmas Story were not lost on us at the time!). Although we had an Advent calendar before we left for our big trip, I'll be honest, that was really more about crafts than Scripture.

So this year I knew I wanted to focus on teaching them what the holiday is really about. And who better for a busy mom to turn to for help than Brother Francis?

Like with all the episodes, a lot of information is packed in here. Watching it, I can't help but imagine the writers trying to figure out how they are possibly going to get ALL that very important info into 25 minutes. But, somehow, they do. And they keep it interesting for kids. And, like with all the episodes, I think different ages can take away different levels of learning from this video. My kids were happy watching it (catchy songs, interesting animation), but I think older kids would be too (the story was detailed and not overly simple).

But, as I'm always surprised to find, I think toddlers even get more out of videos like this than we realize. I remember after watching the Let's Pray episode, Clara started telling me (at age two) about mysteries. So to me, Brother Francis is a win-win for this reason. They watch a lot of stuff that is right at their age level; why not show them something that keeps their interest, yet also exposes them to information I may otherwise not think to share with them? While we have prayed the Rosary together, I probably would have stopped short of explaining what mysteries are because I would have figured it was over their heads (not to mention I would have no clue what to say. Explaining things to small children is not my strong-suit).

So we'll be watching this video throughout Advent. And I keep thinking of how this DVD would make THE BEST St. Nicholas Day gift for my kids - if they didn't already have it. 


While I'm on the topic of gifts.....

I'm always on the hunt for saint dolls. So much so that I actually made Clara one last year because I just couldn't find any that weren't ridiculously expensive. Little did I know, my friend Mandy is a super talented artist and has an awesome Etsy shop...with JUST what I was looking for!

Seriously, how cute is that?

I ordered a doll for Ryan's Goddaughter a couple months back and it was completely adorable. So, I bought another one for my Goddaughter for Christmas.

I love her stuff so much I wanted to blog about her, because I know there must be other moms out there like me who are looking for saint dolls that don't cost a fortune.

She makes dolls, plushies and finger puppets and while she isn't taking any more custom orders for Christmas, there's still a lot to choose from on her site (although there are just two dolls left.. I'm glad I grabbed one before they were gone!).

And once is Christmas is over I'm sure she'll be accepting custom orders once again, and her dolls make great feast day or birthday gifts too. So go check her stuff out :)


  1. My kids love brother Francis too (thanks to your recommendation) and I already ordered the king is born for Isaiah for St Nicholas. Pretty excited! I did get the cd too!

  2. Thanks for the introduction to Brother Francis! Just what I've been searching for....