Gorgeous Board Book to Teach Your Kids “Bible Basics” ~ A Review and Giveaway (ends 1/26/17)

We recently received a fantastic resource for parents and their little ones; Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer to use and review from the BlogAbout Blogger Network.  This precious, meaningful little board book uses Biblical principles and truths to teach children their numbers from 1-10.  Its artwork is incredible and its narrative, both beautiful and faithful to Scripture.  Let me tell you more…and at the end of this post, you’ll have an opportunity to win a giveaway for a copy of your own!



About Bible Basics

Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer is a sturdy, beautifully bound 7 1/3″ x 7 1/3″ board book.  Authored by Danielle Hitchen and illustrated by Jessica Blanchard, it’s designed to introduce children to principles and foundations of the Christian faith as well as to their first numbers, 1 through 10.  It uses Bible verses, hymns, prayers, history, and simple teaching to bring these tenets to life in ways that even the youngest listener can understand.  Gorgeous artwork accompanies each of the ten principles and makes them vivid and memorable.  Although the size is larger than most board books, it’s still well-proportioned for little hands to hold.  And, the size gives plenty of room for the text and illustrations, printed in readable font.



This is truly a unique and unusual idea for a board book.  It was birthed out of Danielle Hitchen’s question:  how could she teach her babies to know God and to love Him?  What an incredible answer Bible Basics is to that question!  I don’t want to spoil the joy you’d find when you read this book for the first time, so I’m not going to tell you everything that’s in it.  But here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find in this beautiful book:


  • The 9 fruits of the Spirit
  • The 10 Commandments
  • The Trinity
  • The 5 books of the Pentateuch
  • and 6 more!



Ways you could use Bible Basics in your own home

So…I have a confession to make.  We do not currently have a baby or a toddler in our home!  (Our regular readers know that our boy is a 9th grader.)  However, I absolutely adored the idea of this gorgeous little board book and I loved that I could share a copy with one of you!  What I discovered, when I received Bible Basics, is that it’s not only an incredible resource and learning tool for little ones.  It also reinforces the beautiful tenets of Christianity for any believer, be he or she young and fresh, or more seasoned in the faith.

Here are some other ways that I know Bible Basics could bless you!

  • Read it aloud during family worship
  • Use it as a jumping-off point for a study of the Scriptural principles in it (for example, you could study one concept per week and look up related verses that go with each principle)
  • Allow it to inspire your homeschool art times
  • Prop it up on an easel in your home, and display different pages on different days
  • Purchase it for a shower or new baby gift
  • And of course, its primary purpose:  read it to your little ones 🙂



What our family thought

We LOVED Bible Basics!  During our family worship time one week, I read it aloud to my husband and son.  It was so encouraging.  It really made us all think about many of the different truths that make up our relationships with God through Christ Jesus.  And, it blessed us.  I really do think that I could use this to do a deeper study on each item that the author presents, by simply doing a word or topical study in the Bible and using that with my son.

We’re also a family who loves art.  So we weren’t just blessed by the biblical truths of Bible Basics.  We were also really moved to think more deeply about each of the 10 tenets, because of the way that the art helped to unfold those truths.  Plus, they were just beautiful pictures.

My guys knew that this was a book that I’d received for both review and for a giveaway.  But my husband said, “You can’t give away this book!”  (He was relieved to hear that I received a separate copy to give away to one of our readers.)

We’ll definitely continue to use Bible Basics.  And, I’m going to follow my own recommendation and display the various pages via propping the book up on a small easel, open to one pair of pages at a time.  What better way to enjoy God’s Word and art at the same time?  🙂



My recommendations for you?

Get a copy of this book.  Read it to your little ones…again and again.  Use it for a basis for a deeper study.  And revel in the beauty, grace, and abundance that God offers to us in relationship and salvation through Christ Jesus.  You can find a copy and more (including art prints and a coloring book) at Catechesis Books.

Also, keep an eye out for more books in the Baby Believer Primers series.  This is the first of more to come.



And, enter my giveaway!  The BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a copy of this wonderful book for one reader.  Just enter below in the Giveaway Tools “Enter Here” link.  Best wishes!

Enter here!


Find Catechesis Books at these social media sites:


Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclaimer:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.



A is for Art Supplies

This year, I’m participating in some new and different challenges or linkups.  My friends Annette from A Net In Time and Amanda from Hopkins Homeschool are co-hosting Blogging Through The Alphabet.  I’m excited to join in.  And here’s my first linkup post, for the letter A!



A is for Art Supplies

Specifically, for my favorite Bible journaling art supplies!

I am relatively new to Bible journaling.  I am enjoying the process, but also discovering that every single art medium (and we have a LOT of them at our house) doesn’t necessarily translate well to a thin Bible page.  The challenge is that with a super-thin page of Scripture, it doesn’t take much in the way of applied color to bleed through to the other side, making it hard to read.  I have found (at least with the journaling Bible I have), that it’s almost impossible to keep that from happening completely.  There are three media, however, that work beautifully!


blogging-thru-alpha-a-pic-1Micron Pens

I purchased my Micron Pen set for scrapbooking years ago.  Seriously, YEARS (as in before my 14-year-old son was born).  Obviously, there was quite a lot of time that went by when I didn’t use them.  But when I wanted an acid-free, fine line felt tip pen to use for artwork, I remembered these.

They do bleed through my thin Bible pages a tiny bit.  But, they’re the best felt tip pen I’ve found for Bible journaling.  The line they create is very fine and is perfect for outlining and lettering.  And they really do last a long, long time.



Kwik Stix’ new Thin Stix

In our family, we’re HUGE fans of Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint paint sticks.  We’ve used their regular Kwik Stix, the Metalix and Neon versions, and we’ve just received their newest version, the Thin Stix!  (Stay tuned for a review coming on those later this month.)

We love Kwik Stix for their vivid colors, the ease of application, the lack of odor, and how great the finished products always turn out.  I haven’t tried these out on my Bible journaling pages yet, but I am excited to see how they work.  I imagine they’ll partner very well, because with Kwik Stix you get the colorful nature and texture of paint, without the long drying time.





Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils

I love Crayola’s colored pencils.  I’m partial to their Twistables, but purchased the company’s Erasable Colored Pencils for Bible study.  The Twistables are fabulous because you never have to sharpen them.  But I love the erasable features of these.  I have the 24-color pack, which provides a beautiful rainbow for me to color with.  Plus, if I make a mistake, I can fix it!

The Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils hold a sharpened tip well (and for a long time).  The colors are very vivid, and you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure to apply color to paper.





What are your favorite Bible journaling art tools?


Blogging Through the Alphabet Linkup

I’m linking up today with A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool   to showcase the letter A.  Hop over and check out the plethora of posts, all with bloggers’ own topics about “A.”  Just click on the purple button!



Enjoy!  –Wren

Cool Reading Challenge that I’m Joining! 2017 Keyword Reading Challenge

If you’ve kept up with the finchnwren blog in any way over the last few years, you KNOW that both Finch and I are booklovers.  We love, love, love books.  Yep, you could probably call us #booknerds.

Which is why I am so happy to have discovered the 2017 Keyword Reading Challenge, hosted  by Claudia at My Soul Called Life.  Claudia has developed a fascinating list of keywords and assigned a group of them to each month of 2017.  Anyone who signs up for this challenge then selects a book title with one of those keywords in it, reads it, and posts a review of it during that month.

I love this!  I think Claudia’s keywords list is incredible, and I know it’s going to keep me on the lookout for amazing reads that I can then share with you all.  As a matter of fact, I already have my book for January 2017 (although I have two books in front of it that I need to finish first!).  In keeping with Claudia’s list, its title contains the word “way.”  (Stay tuned for more on that in a couple of weeks!)


My Soul Called Life

Here’s a list of the keywords for each month of 2017:

JAN- Court, Fall, Of, Way, Deep, Thousand

FEB- And, Rose, Promise, Every, Deception, Blazing

MAR- Shall, Go, By, Silence, Her, Saga

APR- From, Trigger, Tale, His, CrownMist

MAY- Four, Wind, All, Fury, Days, Shade

JUN- Without, Know, Good, Watch, One, Have

JUL- Before, Final, All, Freedom, Life, Dream

AUG- Sun, Infinite, Big, My, Wherever, Most

SEP- Sand, From, Between, Ever, Reasons, Clash

OCT- Darker, You, Ashes, Out, House, Sea

NOV- Place, War, Heart, Why, Give, Meet

DEC- Forget, Twilight, Only, Crystal, On, Will

Here’s how you can participate, too!

Just head over to My Soul Called Life by clicking on the pink link, and you can join it as well!  You don’t have to have a blog to be able to review your books, either.  You can post a review on Goodreads or Booklikes.  There will even be a drawing for a prize, for everyone who posts reviews, at the end of the year!

So looking forward to this challenge!

If you’re a book lover, I encourage you to join in and read along with us this year.  I think it’s going to be amazing.  And just think of all the other cool books you will discover with everyone else’s reads!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Goodies to Keep You Warm & Colorful in the New Year Giveaway! Ends 1/16

Finch and I have some fun goodies for one reader to enjoy!



This week, we’re giving away a trio of winter beauty (and warmth!) to one of our readers.

One person will win:

  • A Buxom Full-On Lip Creme from Bare Escentuals, in Kir Royale
  • A Sephora Eye Shadow in Aspen Summit No. 23
  • A navy acrylic knitted infinity scarf


How you can win

Simply enter via the pink link below, which will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.

Enter here!

Best wishes!

Enjoy–Finch and Wren

“31 Verses To Write On Your Heart” by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ A Review

I’ve been working through a lovely book in my Bible devotional time over the last few weeks: Liz Curtis Higgs’ 31 Verses To Write On Your Heart.  What a rich and beautiful way to engage with the Word!


Many of you are probably familiar with Liz Curtis Higgs.  She’s written many fascinating books, both fiction and nonfiction.  She’s also a faithful Bible student, and it’s from her deep study of God’s Word that 31 Verses To Write On Your Heart comes.

Over one thousand women weighed in on this list, sharing with Liz Curtis Higgs their favorite and most important verses in the Bible.  From these favorites, the author has selected 31 and written a little about the verses (in a format that’s ideal to read during devotional times) and even included a prayer at the end of each chapter for the reader to pray.  She has also included tips for memorization of the verses, and left a space where the reader can write the verse down in her most-preferred translation.




This book contains both the very familiar and less-known verses that will engage the heart of a woman.  Some of these you’ll know well, and others, perhaps not at all.  But each one can deeply impact the gal who reads and memorizes them.  Here’s a sampling of the 31 Liz Curtis Higgs focuses on:

  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Proverbs 15:1
  • Philippians 4:8
  • and more!




How I used this book

I am between Bible studies at the moment, but still wanted something meaningful to add to my Bible reading times each morning.  I was thrilled to find 31 Verses To Write On Your Heart.  I admit, it has been awhile (since a previous year, when my son and I memorized verses together) since I’ve worked on Scripture memorization.  And I have found the verses so rich, and so appreciated the author’s words on each verse.  Even though the chapters themselves on each verse aren’t that long, I lingered over them, reading them over a series of days.  Next, I visited biblegateway.com or biblehub.com, where I could enter a verse address and be able to look at many translations at one time.  Then, I picked the one that was most impactful to me, and wrote it in my book.  (Booklovers, breathe a sigh of relief…you’re actually SUPPOSED to do that!)

31-verses-pic-4How I’d describe 31 Verses To Write On Your Heart

Meaningful.  Encouraging.  Beautiful.  A way to really slow down and engage with the Word.  Something that really benefited me as not only a wife and a mother, but as a daughter of the living God.  A way to spend time with Scripture that will strengthen, encourage, and bless women.

I happily recommend this book to any woman who desires to interact with Scripture deeply and beautifully.  Liz Curtis Higgs brings Scripture to life in a manner that will help women to pause and breathe in God’s goodness and care for them.  It’s sweet and wonderful, and will bless the reader!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclaimer:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.




A Word for 2017 ~ Joy

I woke up this morning and knew what my word for 2017 was!


I had considered some other words; things that I wanted to work on.  But when I woke up this morning, the word JOY struck me.  And I knew!

So why “joy”?

I want to live a life of hope.  And a life of joy.  I want to create happiness and love with my family.

We’ve had a hard few years.  Years where the joy has been fleeting, where life has just been tough, where it honestly just felt like we’d lost the flow.  So I have been thinking about how I can make things different.

This morning during my Bible time, I recalled the words from Isaiah 55:12:

“For you will go out with joy,
and be led forth with peace:
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Then I looked further.  The Bible has quite a bit to say about joy; according to BibleGateway.com, 211 verses mention it or a form of the word (joyfully, joyful, etc.) in the NASB.  Some of these are conversational.  Some are promises.  Some are statements of fact, or of history.  But several key things stood out to me as I read through these verses.

  • Joy can be a result of worship
  • Fullness of joy is in God’s presence
  • God’s Word can be the joy of our hearts
  • Mount Zion and Jerusalem are a joy
  • God will crown the head of the ransomed with joy
  • God will exult over us with joy

And….as we read in Nehemiah:

  • “…The joy of the LORD is your strength.”

So what does this mean for me in 2017?

I imagine it’s going to look like many things over the course of the year.  I plan to start with God’s Word, however, and the truths in it about joy.  Over the past few years of challenging struggles, I have known what God’s Word said, about Him, about  me, life, struggles, and so on.  Yet I, in many cases, was not able to apply those truths to myself.

I think that now, however, is a time I truly wish and desire to embrace the Word.  What it says, and what it means.  And BELIEVE it.

Starting with what it says about joy.

What is your word for 2017?

I’m linking up with Renee over at Mulling Over My Morning Coffee to share my word for the year, and to check out other bloggers’ thoughts.  Click on the circular button below and you can see them as well!

Mulling Over My Morning Coffee


I’m linking up at Create With Joy’s “2017 One Word Blog Hop.”  Some neat ideas going on over there too!

I’m also linking up at the Homeschool Review Crew’s “Word for the Year 2017” linkup. Hop over and see what else bloggers are focusing on this year.


God bless you all in 2017!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Enter to win Becky Thompson’s great “Love Unending” ~ ends 1/6/17

I have another fabulous giveaway for you awesome readers today!


Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing Becky Thompson’s new book Love Unending.  (You can see my review of Love Unending here, and Becky’s other excellent book Hope Unfolding by clicking on the highlighted links.)  Its subtitle is “Rediscovering Your Marriage In The Midst of Motherhood.”  Does that sound intriguing to you?

When we fall in love, get engaged, and marry the man we have waited for all our lives…life is good!  Marriage is fun!  We love spending time together, going on well-planned dates, cooking special meals for our beloved.  It’s awesome!

Life can get full though.  Especially when the kid, or kiddos, start to arrive.  Our days become very full.  Our energy, taxed.  Our nights?  Sometimes sleepless.  And even though we absolutely adore our spouses, we may lose our focus on our marriages.  So how can we remedy that–and make our marriages and love for our spouses rich and full again?

Becky Thompson’s Love Unending is designed to help us do just that.  In just 3 weeks, she leads the reader through daily readings, questions, and ideas for moms to focus attention and love on their husbands and reawaken that first love.  The book is a beautiful, worthwhile exercise which will strengthen and bless moms and deepen their marital love.

I reviewed an uncorrected proof of Love Unending for Blogging for Books.  But the publisher was kind enough to send me the final copy, which you’ll also find on Amazon and your local bookstore shelves.  B4B told me that I could share my final copy with a reader via a giveaway, since my uncorrected proof is already everything I need.  So, here you go!  One reader will be selected on January 6, 2017.  So just enter via the Giveaway Tools link for your chance to win!



Enter here!

Just follow the pink link below to enter via the Giveaway Tools entry form, and best wishes!

Enter here!


Enjoy!  –Wren