Flowing River of Blessings




Come visit my Etsy shop

Share This

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Scott's Year In Review Christmas Letter 2014

Hope this time of year finds you healthy and content.

We’d like to share a little about our year with you!


2014 has been dubbed the year we realized Hermie the Elf on Rudolph The Red-Nosed-Reindeer had a great idea when he said, “I want to be a dentist!” Dentistry or orthodontics would have been a wiser choice of careers for us. Have you seen how much dentists/orthodontists charge? This year we had two kids complete their time in braces, and topped it all with a rousing rendition of John singing “All
I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth” (More on this later), but Whew!  

Some highlights to our year included a dance performance trip to Dubuque, IA with Jale’na, a trip with the Wells side of the family to Branson, and another music performance tour to WI and the Upper Peninsula of MI. We always try to use our trips as an educational experience for the kids, discovering many amazing things. Though, we don’t always know what to expect.


While we were in the Upper Peninsula, we visited Christmas, MI thinking it would be a magical place. After all, we read about the town’s sweet history of a man with high hopes who once sold holiday items from a roadside stand. When we arrived at our hotel in Munising, we were even greeted with a lovely display complete with Christmas tree, packages and a sign that showed how many miles to Christmas. We hurried to fit in a visit between John’s scheduled performances, rushed the kids in the car with anticipation, even turned around to get a better picture of the town’s sign. And, then the magic went poof! The town is now not much more than run-down AT BEST. We were pinching ourselves to make sure we hadn’t stepped into an episode of the Red Green Show or somehow been part of a Jeff Foxworthy post. There was a slightly faint glimmer of hope with one small year-round holiday shop trying to keep the Spirit of Christmas alive where the owners actually look like Santa and Mrs. Claus in real life, though we’re not sure they realize the resemblance. Instead of embracing despair about the much-anticipated trip to Christmas town, our family began finding one thing after another that just made us laugh. It has now become the family joke, or an “It’s a Wonderful Life” style of lesson, about what Christmas town really looks like. But seriously, we can only hope that the winter’s snow brings out the town’s hidden magic.

So, we didn't stay here but thought this hotel may still have some potential. At least, it has a cute sign.

 Our stuffed Pear, Peara, showed up in this picture as a reflection on the dashboard, but it seemed as if it fit.

A little about each family member:

John – Still teaching guitar at Mozingo Music as well as performing 304 solo gigs this year, including 36 performed on tour. This year he was almost singing, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” His year involved extensive dental work after his front teeth shifted while playing the saxophone, due to an injury he sustained as a child. He now has a new pair of pearly whites.

Tere – Still homeschooling three children, reviewing products through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew on her blog, selling on eBay, writing for CBS Local and other sites, and this year added making crafts to sell on Etsy to her list of things to do. She also teamed up with a friend to be co-in-charge of the teen events for a local homeschool group, something that is soooooo out of her comfort zone, but has turned out to actually be enjoyable.

The kids, once again, started school while still on the road.

  Graham – 14 years old. He is our resident computer guru. Ever hear about kids who eat, sleep, and dream code? Well, now you have. That’s him. For his 14th birthday, he bought the parts and built his own gaming computer. He even has his own YouTube channel called Radfordhound, if you’d like to subscribe. Find him on Twitter under the same name. Graham also was thrilled when he got his braces off in October. He is also still a huge Sonic the Hedgehog fan. 

Jale’na – 12 years old. She keeps us busy with her social calendar. She has been taking gymnastics, goes to a homeschool enrichment Thursday all-day classes, and any and every extracurricular activity she can muster. After dancing since the age of 2, she hung up her dancing shoes this fall for a temporary break before hopefully focusing on more competitive dance next year. Jale’na enjoyed getting her braces off in September.

 Eliana – 8 years old. She still loves elephants. She has been taking gymnastics and has also taken a break from dance this year. She can sometimes still be found enjoying coloring and drawing elephants. Her logical whit never ceases to make us laugh, for instance, when in all seriousness she wants to make meaning out of nursery rhymes and such. The girl tries to convince us that she is really shy, but we get to see her at her most comfortable moments when she is making us laugh. This year, her big accomplishments have been tackling the swimming pool. She not only learned to go under water without incident, but went down a small water slide as well.  These were no minor feats for this child.

Some of the highlights of our travels that rack up the education hours included things like seeing part of the Old Route 66 in Illinois, seeing a double rainbow, visiting lighthouses, visiting the Osh Kosh Zoo, watching a chicken hatch, visiting a farm in Door County, jumping into the ice-cold Lake Michigan with dad, hiking a nature dunes park, and countless PE hours walking along the beach and swimming.

Thanks for reading our year in review. We truly hope your year has been blessed and that the Light of the World shines brightly in your heart this coming year!

Merry Christmas – And Happy New Year

John – Tere – Graham – Jale’na – Eliana Scott

Johnscottmusician@yahoo.com (@Johnscottmusic on Twitter) - TereJScott@gmail.com (@Jalenagraham on Twitter) – Of course, we are on Facebook as well. Connect with us! Graham as Radfordhound on YouTube, Twitter, and Google Plus

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Ollie Swaddle Product Review

I was jumping up and down excited to be asked to review a new product - The Ollie Swaddle - in exchange only for an honest review.

I remember the day I held my first newborn child in my arms. After 9 months of pregnancy, 20+ hours of non-medicated labor pains, and post-labor ordeals - There he was! All 7 pound 10 ounces of him. I was on top of the world!

My husband was exhausted and relieved to have a healthy baby and wife. But, he felt helpless. So, when the nurse came in to check the baby, he asked how the whole swaddling blanket idea worked. The nurse began to explain that it makes the baby feel snug and secure. She then proceeded to show my husband the tricks of the trade behind creating a good swaddle out of a hospital blanket. This would be my husband's big job as a new daddy! He was now the chief baby swaddler.

If only, I would have known about this new The Ollie Swaddle back then.

Unlike trying to wrestle with a hospital blanket to create a decent swaddle, The Ollie Swaddle makes it so very easy. Just place the baby on his or her back, centered on the swaddle. Fold the left side over and snuggly tuck it behind the baby. Now, fold the right side over and simply connect with the large Velcro strips. You have the option of wrapping the elastic loop around the bottom opening to tuck in the baby's feet or leaving it open for easy diaper change access. The best part is that you don't have to undo the entire swaddle just to change a diaper.

The feel of the fabric is quality, and the Velcro tabs allow for the baby to grow.

The idea behind The Ollie Swaddle happened when the developer of the product met a newborn named Oliver who was in the foster care system and on the verge of being labeled Failure to Thrive. She knew that this baby needed a way to comfort and learn to calm himself so he could sleep through the night.

The answer was to develop a swaddle that was lightweight breathable, allow for movement and easy to use.

The Ollie Swaddle is made from a moisture wicking material which reduces overheating and ideal of infants 0 to 4 months of age and made to grow with your baby.

The Ollie Swaddle retails for $48 and comes in two beautiful colors of pink or blue stripes. It comes in a beautiful cylindrical gift box with a laundry bag included.

Also, order your own bracelet for $1 that reminds you to "Keep Calm and Swaddle On."

Find The Ollie Swaddle online at their Website as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Barbour Children's Bible Review

I was given the opportunity to review The Barbour Children's Bible in exchange for my honest opinion. I was thrilled when it arrived, as it was even better than anticipated.

There are many children "Bibles" out there to choose from. Many, however, are really more of a Bible storybook and not word-for-word biblical accounts.

This Children's Bible is  NLV New Living Version using a limited vocabulary of 850 easy-to-understand words. The interpretation choice is intended to make the Bible easy to understand and more readable for a child or young reader while not in any way attempting to wash over or take away from original manuscripts of the Scriptures.

The scripture behind The Barbour Children's Bible is:

But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me. Do not stop them. The holy nation of heaven is made up of ones like these."

Matthew 19:14
The Bible is hard-bound with 931 fairly thin, but thicker than onion skin, pages. There are no pictures or illustrations throughout the book at all, but all of the scriptures are broken apart into bite-sized segments with headings that make it easy to quickly know what your child is reading about.  Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are included, with the New Testament highlighting Jesus' own words in the color red.

Retails for $19.99

This Children's Bible seems to be written at approximately a 4th Grade reading level (my guess), but a younger or older child could still very well enjoy it. If the words are still a bit challenging to read, an adult could read aloud with the child until the reading comes easier.

The Bible also has an inside Presentation Page, making it a really nice option as a baptismal, confirmation, or First Communion gift.


Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin