Before I get started, I have another little favor to ask this year... Could you please offer a prayer for the newest addition to our family? We had quite the surprise at the end of October! In fact, it wasn't until our oldest son asked, "Are you sure you aren't pregnant? This isn't your usual sick... this is how sick you get when you are pregnant!" that I finally took a test... He knows me well and has seen me pregnant a few times! ;) I truly thought I was just having another one of my long cycles, I was sick because my hormones have been so off for so long, and that our soon-to-be-five-year-old "baby" was going to be the last! (We even got rid of most of the baby stuff just last summer...) But, he was right! My husband and I were so excited to see our little baby's tiny heart beating during a dating ultrasound on the morning of the elections (we never did see heartbeats with our miscarried babies) and then I got another little peek at the baby during my first appointment with my new doctor last Monday afternoon. So far everything looks perfect! I wasn't going to say anything yet, but I have such a hard time keeping secrets... I'll be going in a week from Monday for some more blood tests and another ultrasound and would really appreciate prayers. Thank you!
When I started coordinating all the weekly giveaways leading up to Advent this year, I knew it might be overly ambitious, especially considering I'm homeschooling all seven on top of my work schedule this year, but I had no idea just how challenging it was going to be to
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter this GIVEAWAY for a chance to win one of 27 PRIZES with a combined value of over $1,500.00!
Note: This post includes affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the affiliate links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a percentage. We are so grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you!
.: Fun Finds for Advent & Christmas 2016 :.
- 100% Beeswax Advent Taper Candles (Our candles from have sold out for this year. Other options include: Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles, Honey Candles, or these from Big Dipper Wax Works. I'll be using these pillar candles in pink and purple for our large wreath. If you are looking for less expensive candles, these might be a good option.)
- Lavender Pearl and Bronze St. Andrew Chaplet from Mary Devotions (A beautiful new addition to our collection of St. Andrew Chaplets.)
- Christmastime in New Orleans (CD) and the Special Edition (DVD)
- A Gospel Advent Calendar (Also available from Catholic Child! I've added this to our 2016 Advent Book Basket. The kids also have a few toy Advent Calendars again this year, one in each bedroom: LEGO City for the older boys, LEGO Friends for the girls and NHL Playmobil for the little boys.)
- Caroling at Ephesus is brand new from the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles
- Baby's First Christmas Ornament from Blessings from Heaven*
- Christmas Tree Creche Candle from The Cloister Shoppe
- DIY: Christmas Chocolate Coins (I originally shared these back in 2010, but finally moved the FREE printable document over to Dropbox for easy access. You'll also find printable documents for St. Nicholas Chocolate Coins, Jesse Tree Coins, and O Antiphon Coins!)
- Three Kings Wise Men Puzzle Scene (This will be one of our O Antiphon gifts this year! I'm hoping to share more about the rest of our O Antiphon picks, along with one last giveaway, next weekend.)
*We'll be adding one of these to our Christmas Tree this year, I just haven't decided exactly how to word the custom text... It will be something along the lines of:
Baby's First Christmas
♥ Due June 24, 2017 ♥
Since I have been so incredibly sick this fall (I keep reminding myself it's a good thing!) I decided to ask our kids to help me with this year's "Christmas Gift Ideas" post. I had them each list nine of their past favorite gifts for me to share with you all. Here are their answers:
(Note: Our children usually unwrap three gifts on Christmas morning - something they need, something they want, and one other gift which is usually faith based - along with a stack of books which I'm considering saving for Epiphany this year. The gifts listed below have been received over a number of different years/occasions.)
.: Captain's Picks - Age 16 :.
- Key Chain (Tiny Saints are his favorite. He also has this Captain America LEGO Keychain.)
- Favorite Sports Team Clothing (In his case it's the NHL Penguins and Beavers for College Golf - go Uncle Kevin! Last year the boys each got these NHL Fleece Pullovers.)
- FOOD (Beef Jerky, Trail Mix, Clif Bars, Coffee and Restaurant Gift Cards)
- ENO Hammock with Suspension System (He has the 2016 National Park Service Centennial DoubleNest Hammock in Forest Green - I'm hoping to get hammocks for our other teens this Christmas or for their next birthdays.)
- T-Shirts (He has some great Catholic T-shirts including St. Benedict Medal, The Lord Be With You T-Shirt, and St. Patrick.)
- Super Hero Anything, except costumes... (T-Shirts, Slippers, Movies, LEGO, Metal Earth, etc. He'd love these Marvel Golf Balls.)
- Music CDs (Celtic Thunder, Michael Buble Christmas)
- Audiobooks or Audible Credits (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings narrated by Rob Ingles, etc)
- Strategic Board Games (Axis & Allies, Settlers of Catan, Stratego, Risk, Battleship)
.: Ranger's Picks - Age 14 :.
- Metal Earth Model Kits (Note: These are challenging to assemble.)
- Headphones (Particularly the Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. His older brother won a pair from the 2015 NPLTW Contest and he has been borrowing them for his online Latin class. He'd love a pair of his own! If you have a favorite/more affordable option I'd love to hear about them! He also loves the Bose Mini BlueTooth Speaker he won.)
- Sports Gear (Hockey Sticks, Golf Clubs, etc - Last year he received a new Hockey stick and we were able to get an amazing deal on these Golf Clubs for our oldest son. This year we are watching for another great deal on golf clubs so they each have their own set. Last season we borrowed an extra set from the high school.)
- Movies (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Avengers)
- Weapons (Swiss Army Knives, Bow, BB gun, etc... He also loves making things using these books: Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare and Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 2: Build a Secret Agent Arsenal. He recently raided his sisters sewing box for supplies to make the darts pictured above. On his wish list: Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction 3: Build Siege Weapons of the Dark Ages and Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction Targets: 100+ Tear-Out Targets, Plus 5 New Mini Weapons)
- LEGO (Architecture, Creator, and Modular sets are his faves - the Lincoln Memorial provided some of the pieces for his recent Ancient History Mini City. I need to share pictures of the Mini Vatican he has been working on building!)
- Swiss Army Backpack (His is similar to this one.)
- Clothing (American Eagle Flannel Shirts, Dress Shirts, Slim Straight Jeans, etc - Watch for sales and I always make sure to click over from Ebates first to earn cash back on purchases! I was able to get the boys AEO Extreme Flex Slim Straight Jeans for less than $20 a pair recently.)
- The Brotherband Chronicles and Ranger's Apprentice Books (He doesn't know about the brand new release of The Battle of Hackhan Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years) coming out this month... I have already pre-ordered a copy. Shhhh!)
.: Twinkle Toes' Picks - Age 13 :.
- Baking Supplies & Cookbooks (She received this Apron, Sweethearts Pot Mitt and Heart Cakelet Baking Pan for her 13th Birthday, celebrated with a When Calls the Heart party!)
- iTouch Gold (Last Christmas we went back and forth between getting her a digital camera and the iTouch and ultimately picked the iTouch. She keeps it in a Pink Survivor case.)
- Books (Some current favorites include The Paradise Project, A Single Bead, Anne of Green Gables. On her Wish List: This set of Jane Austen books and this Literary Mug. I also want to get her this Anne of Green Gables coloring book.)
- Clothing (For her... or for her dolls! She especially loves the saint outfits from The Little Habit, before these were an option the girls loved making their own.)
- Stationary & Gel Pens (similar to these, check Costco for fun and affordable sets in stands - You can see hers pictured with her gifts from her Molly Birthday)
- Journals & Colored Pencils (She has been enjoying these Seasonal Planners lately.)
- When Calls the Heart DVDs (She has the Collector's Editions of Season 1 and Season 2
... maybe she'll receive Season 3 for Christmas!)
- Klutz Tiny Stitches book and Other Sewing Supplies
- Beauty Supplies (Hair Brush, Curling Iron, Chi Straightener, Manicure Sets, Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Lip Shimmer, etc - some of these she has, a few she borrows from me.)
.: Chiquita's Picks - Age 11 :.
- Sewing Basket & Supplies (Last Christmas one of her gifts was a darling sewing basket, picked up at Michaels using a 50% off coupon, filled with sewing supplies including: embroidery thread, scissors, a small purple embroidery hoop and this book.)
- Dolls and Accessories (She loves all the Historic American Girl dolls and accessories that she has collected over the years. One favorite is Josefina's Holiday Gown, complete with her lace mantilla for Mass!)
- Puffin In Bloom Collection (and so many other books!)
- Paint-by-Number Kits (Her past sets include: Chickadees and Lilacs and Goldfinches.)
- Make Your Own Washi Tape Stickers
- Bow and Arrows (She has this Genesis kit with this case.)
- LEGO Christmas Creator Sets (The girls have this Winter Toy Shop and Santa's Workshop.)
- Chapel Veils from Robin Nest Lane
- Sketch Book & Art Supplies (Her favorite is the eeBoo Nature and Observations Notebook.
.: Snuggles' Picks - Age 9 :.
- Outdoor Hockey Set (preferably two sets)
- Leather Swords and Shields from Made by Alejandro
- LEGO City and Creator Sets (Lakeside Lodge and the Van & Caravan are a couple favorites!)
- Miniature Mass Kit and Baptism Set from Our Father's House
- White Vestment Set from Interior Castle Goods
- Safari Army Guys: Continental Army, British Army, Civil War Union #1, Civil War Union #2, Civil War Confederate #1, and Civil War Confederate #2
- The Hobbit: Illustrated Edition (still one of his favorite books)
- Playmobil (all sorts, especially soldiers and boats: Soldier Boat, Viking Longboat, Royal Ship of Egypt, and Roman Galley)
- St. Michael the Archangel Prayer Pillowcase
.: Rose's Picks - Age 6 :.
- Calico Critters (Hopper Kangaroo Family is one of her favorites.)
- Seri's Dollhouse (This was given to the older girls Christmas morning 2011 and it's still played with every week. They love using it for their Calico Critters.)
- Play Silks in a Variety of Colors
- Dolls, Clothing & Accessories (Saint Habits and Accessories from The Little Habit are favorites! She'll be receiving this St. Therese Doll for either Christmas or her birthday next month! I posted a review here.)
- Shining Light Dolls (Mother Teresa and St. Therese are two new favorites!)
- "ALL of my St. Therese St. Dolls!" (includes this Saint Therese from Trendzilly and a Saints n' Stitches pattern available here)
- Grimm's Wooden Fairy Tale Village (and the rest of our stacking blocks... I blogged more about them here.)
- Dress Up Clothes (I've found some great deals on Gymboree's clearance racks after Halloween in the past, including her Peacock dress up.)
- Enchanted Forest and Frozen Surprise Slides are two of her favorite games. See more of our family's favorites in this post.
.: Bud's Picks - Age 4 :.
- Games (Bug Bingo, Animal Tracks Memory, etc)
- Swen and "Little Swen" (These live on his bed along with all the Pillow Saints from his Godmother and a few other favorite toys.)
- Barn and Schleich Animals (Our fabulous wooden barn is ridiculously expensive now, but this might be a nice alternative. Add a Blessed Sacrament and St. Anthony Blessing Block to reenact the story of St. Anthony of Padua and the Hungry Gray Mule.)
- Wooden Mass Kit from Almond Rod Toys
- Saints on the Go! and Shining Light Dolls (St. Joseph, St. Nicholas, St. Patrick, St. Francis, St. Martin, St. Pio)
- Naturally Catholic toys and Hand Painted Wooden Saints from Catholic Folk Toys (You can see our Our Lady of Fatima set here. The 100th Anniversary of the apparitions is coming up in May! The Pope and Swiss Guard Set is another one of his favorites.)
- Wooden Trains (Thomas)
- Melissa & Doug Car Carrier and Car Loader (He also loves the Log Truck, but it doesn't look like it's available.)
- Mini Hockey Set
.: 2017 Catholic Calendars, Saints & Planners :.
- 2017 Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Liturgical Calendar (FSSP - Extraordinary Form)
- 2017 Catholic Calendar - Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (Saints Galore)
- Saints - A Year in Faith and Art (This one is a book, not a calendar, but it's one of our favorites to have out year round.)
- 2017 Saints Calendar & 16 Month Planner (TAN)
- 2017 Catholic Daily Planner™ (Michele Quigley)
- Holy Heroes Spiritual Diary (for children)
- Mary and the Saints 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN)
- The Life of Our Lord 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN)
- The Angels 2017 Wall Calendar (TAN)
.: A Sleighful of Giveaways :.
There will be one winner for each of the following 27 PRIZES from many of my generous sponsors here at Shower of Roses with a COMBINED VALUE OF OVER $1,500!Prize #1 - $50 Gift Certificate for Custom Missal & Breviary Covers, Nativity Finger Puppet Set, and Catholic Cuisine Apron sponsored by MissalCovers.com (value $110.00)
Congratulations, Karen S!
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Prize #2 - The Illuminated Rosary Complete Set (Hardcover Edition) sponsored by Peanut Butter & Grace (value $100.00)
Congratulations, Laura B!
"Thanks for the giveaway!"
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(Options include: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Aparecida, Our Lady of Kibeho, Our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of China, Our Lady of Charity, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel)
"Oh, how wonderful about your new little blessing! God's goodness knows no bounds. I will be praying for you for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Nothing like a little baby to keep our gaze on Heaven! Thanks for all the giveaway goodies. God bless you."
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Prize #4 - Nativity Set and Baby's First Christmas Ornament from Blessings from Heaven (value $79.95)
Congratulations, Carolyn L!
"All the prizes are wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win. I love following your job and your family! We too had a surprise this year.. #6 due May 17. I skipped my whole first trimester before I noticed! I was distracted and not very sick. Many prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy/delivery for you!"
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Prize #5 - Winner's choice of (2) Windeatt Comprehension Sets sponsored by TAN Books (value $75.70)
(Options include: Children of Fatima, St. Rose of Lima, St. Benedict, and The Little Flower. Each comprehension set comes with three items: the actual Windeatt novel, the student workbook, and the Teacher’s Manual.)
Congratulations, Stacy G!
"What a wonderful giveaway! Congrats on the new blessing!"
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Prize #6 - Set of two To Know the Savior Prayer Guide & Journal books, Give Him 5 Coffee Mug, Prayer Bag and Bracelet sponsored by Give Him 5 (value $63.00) SAVE 10% off all orders with coupon code: Roses
"Thank you for offering this giveaway! Prayers for you and your baby."
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Prize #7 - CLSP Pro-Life Tote Bag filled with Educational Materials sponsored by Culture of Life Studies (value $60.00)
(Options: The winner can choose an elementary pack or a high school pack and the bag will be filled with an appropriate assortment.)
Congratulations, Deborah D!
"Congratulations! Praying for you and your baby!"
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Congratulations, Kathleen C!
"We are SO happy for your blessed news! You will be in our prayers. Your giveaway is phenomenal. So many wonderful prizes. I love #8 (mass kit for kids) and #21 (Jesse Tree - on my wish list!). All wonderful choices."
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Prize #9 - Set of Four Books by Rev. Henry S. Spalding, S.J. sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $55.80)
Includes: The Cave by the Beech Fork: A Story of Kentucky, The Marks of the Bear Claws, The Race for Copper Island and The Sheriff of the Beech Fork
Congratulations, Christine B!
"Congratulations, Jessica! Please be assured of my prayers for you and your baby. I am so happy for all of you. I've been hoping and praying that you will be blessed with a second round of babies like my husband and I have been. God bless all of you!"
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Prize #10 - Heroes of Grace, Compendium Primary Edition and In Depth Edition sponsored by Sacred Heart Books and Gifts (value $53.90) FREE SHIPPING for orders over $40 now until December 10th with promo code JMJFS. They also have almost 200 items on special from 5-30% off.
Congratulations, Elizabeth S!
"Congratulations on your newest little one! You are in my prayers! I would love to win the Jesse Tree Ornaments, I've wanted those for years :) God bless you!"
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Prize #11 - Set of Three Pendant Necklaces sponsored by Art Angel Gallery (Includes: The Immaculate Heart pendant, Madonna and Child pendant, and double-sided Sts. Therese/Zelie/Louis pendant. value $52.00) SAVE 10% off any purchase with coupon code: SAVE10
"Yea! Another baby! i'd love to win the Mass kit---my boys (and girls) would love it!"
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Prize #12 - $50 Gift Certificate sponsored by Catholic Folk Toys (value $50.00)
"So happy for you! May God's peace be with you!
All of the gifts sound wonderful. I'm drawn to any of the wooden Saints or books for kids, but #6, 13 and 27 also sound great too!"
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Congratulations, Judi S!
"Congratulations, what exciting news. I would love the book " The Virgin Mary around the World" or the Catholic Folk Toys. What a wonderful gift for Christmas. Thank you."
Congratulations, Susan S!
Wow! What a great list! Thank you!
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Prize #15 - Therese's Sunday Best Outfit, "I am Therese" Book, and "She is Joan of Arc" Book sponsored by Dolls From Heaven (value $48.00, Doll not included.)
Congratulations, Audrey S!
"We will be praying for you and your new little one! Thank you again for such a wonderful giveaway!"
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Prize #16 - Mary's White Dress with Blue Cape & Lace Veil and Blue Rose Wreath sponsored by The Little Habit (value $46.00)
Congratulations, Susie M!
"Thank you for the opportunity! What a wonderful collection of Catholic gifts! I love them all! I would like the Jesse Tree set, the peg dolls, the 18"doll clothes... but the Shower of Roses mystery gift is so exciting!!!"
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Prize #17 - Precious Blood Bracelet sponsored by Gail's Designs (value $45.00) FREE SHIPPING on all orders with coupon code: Christmas16
Congratulations, Cheryl G!
"I've had my eye on the Jesse Tree Treasures set for a couple of years so I would love to win it!"
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Congratulations, Tricia M!
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Prize #20 - A Trio of Marian Pillowcases from Prayer Pillowcases (value $44.85) FREE PERSONALIZATION on Prayer Pillowcases through November 2016 with coupon code: Name4Free
Congratulations, Stephanie L!
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Prize #21 - Jesse Tree Ornaments (or apply towards custom set of your choice) sponsored by Jesse Tree Treasures (value $42.95)
Congratulations, Jenny P!
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Prize #22 - Christmas puzzles for young and old & some merry background music sponsored by Catholic Child (Includes: value $42.85) SAVE 15% through November with coupon code: CmasRoses (one time use)
Congratulations, Traci S!
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Prize #23 - Soft Peach Convertible Covering and Girl's White Veil with Ties sponsored by Robin Nest Lane (combined value - $42.70) SAVE 20% off your order with coupon code: ADORATION2016
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Prize #24 - Complete Set of Gospel Trekkers sponsored by Pauline Books & Media (value $41.70) You can find my review of these books here.
Includes: Shepherds to the Rescue, Braving the Storm, Danger at Sea, Mystery of the Missing Jars, Courageous Quest, and Discovery at Dawn.
Congratulations, Christine C!
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Prizes #25 - Set of Three Books by Msgr. Raymond O'Brien sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $40.85)
Congratulations, Samantha L!
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Prize #26 - $40 Gift Certificate sponsored by Naturally Catholic (value $40.00)
Congratulations, Rebecca S!
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Congratulations, Marie B!
"Oh Jessica, I am so, so, SO happy for you and your family! Grow, baby, GROW!!! I am praising God tonight for new life!!! You were on my heart in a particular way a couple months ago and I offered up one of my Masses for you, maybe this was the reason you came to mind that particular day. :) Thank you again for the generous giveaway and all of your wonderful sponsors, I found a few tonight I want to look into more when I do some Christmas shopping. There are so many wonderful prizes to pick from, but I love both the Shining Light Doll prize and the Art Angel pendant prize.
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Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are the links to our complete collection of Advent & Christmas Books, the links to all of our book lists, our 2016 Advent Book Basket and the list of books our children will receive this year.