Monday, March 22, 2010

what's in the Bible (review and giveaway)

tate took advantage of having the place to himself (without the girls) to watch a favorite veggie tales video. now that the girls are getting older, they have less interest in veggie tales and more interest in videos geared for older kids.

thankfully phil vischer, creator of veggie tales, has taken the needs of my girls into consideration. he has a new project, released by tyndale this month, called "what's in the Bible?"  the idea is that veggie tales worked to raise kids' interest in the Bible, but didn't really teach them about what is in the Bible.  mr. vischer wanted to rectify this problem so he came up with the idea of a series of videos that would teach kids more in-depth information from the Bible.

what i learned while watching the first two videos in this series with the kids is that the videos don't just teach the stories of the Bible, they teach a combination of church history, doctrine, theology and practices for Christian living.  somehow they manage to carry this off with a cast of puppets who are engaging, entertaining, informative and captivating.  this series promises to answer questions like "who wrote the Bible?" "how do we know we can trust it" and "how do all all these stories fit together to tell one story?"

i have been reading more and more about the lack of doctrine and theology being taught in our churches.  i grew up having catechism as well as sunday school classes; now my girls don't have either.  i think the what's in the Bible? series addresses a serious need for our kids today.  i was absolutely amazed at the amount of information that was packed in (think sardines) to such a short amount of time.  even more amazing was how much the girls were able to remember about what they had been taught when the video was done.  i'm glad to have an option for the girls to learn about church history and doctrine that is fun and entertaining for them.

i did experience a few disappointments with the videos we watched.  to be honest, i thought there was too much information packed into a short space of time.  the first video didn't even seem to get to the content that was promised because there was so much background information to be gone through first.  i'm not sure that the kids need to know everything that mr. vischer included; i myself experienced information overload, and i already knew a lot of that stuff from seminary days.

while a lot of comic relief is provided by the characters, i thought that everything was so fast-paced it contributed to feeling overwhelmed by the videos.  one of the characters, a little boy riding in the car with his mom, is hilarious, but i found his attitude to his mom disappointingly disrespectful.  i surely don't want my kids to talk to me that way or have that perspective of my abilities.

finally, i was disappointed that on some divisive theological issues, a strong position was taken, one that i personally disagree with.  i thought the videos could have accomplished mr. vischer's objectives without taking such a strong stand on issues where there are good arguments to be made on both sides.  namely, the videos were a little more fundamentalist and anti-reformed theology than i would have preferred them to be.

that being said, my kids thoroughly enjoyed watching the videos together.  even tate, who is more at a veggie tales level, has asked to watch them again.

if you would like to find out more, you can check out the video below.  and if you are interested in having a test drive like i did, i have an opportunity for you to win either the first or the second video.  just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite sunday school teacher (or some other memory from sunday school) and i will randomly pick a winner from the qualifying comments on april 1 (united states residents only). 

tyndale provided me with a review copy of the first two videos in the series free of charge. the opinions expressed here are purely my own, and i am in no other way compensated for this review.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Exergen Temporal Scanner review and giveaway

after the joy of bringing baby lilianna into the world on march 2, it was time to remember all that goes along with caring for a newborn baby.  i thought it was nice of the hospital to offer us our own digital thermometer for keeping track of baby's temperature.  what i was not expecting was for them also to give us special guards to use with it to take her temperature rectally.  (i did notice that they themselves never once took her temperature rectally!).  they made it very clear that this was the most accurate way to take her temperature, and they expected me to do it regularly.

unbeknownst to them, i had a secret weapon at my disposal.  recently i received in the mail the exergen temporal scanner to review.  this is a digital thermometer that is used by rolling the scanner over the forehead of your baby or child.  in seconds, you have an accurate reading of your child's temperature before they even realize that you have done anything.  the literature i received said that this way of reading temperatures is even more accurate than a rectal reading.  that is good news for all of us, i say!

i have fought many long hard battles with my extremely strong children just to try to take their temperature under their arm.  i do not know why they hate this so much.  i cannot even imagine the pain and agony that would occur on all our parts if i insisted on taking their temperature rectally.  i have considered investing in an ear thermometer to save us all the drama.  unfortunately, when i had to take tate into the emergency room, i learned that the ear scanner does not work accurately with him.  the only accurate reading they were able to get of the fever i knew he had was when they used their temporal scanner. 

one thing to be aware of when using this scanner is that you will not get an accurate reading if you use it over and over again in a short space of time.  the girls enjoyed using the scanner so much, they wanted to do it again and again.  we started to get quite a bit of variance in their temperature readings.  because the scanner is so sensitive, it will notice any change in the skin's temperature, even the change from running the scanner over their forehead more than once.

i am glad to have the exergen temporal scanner available for those times when i want to take the kids' temperatures without waking them up at night, when they are feeling particularly ornery or when i need to be able to know their temperatures quickly (like those times when the nurse asks me and i'm unprepared) and with little fuss.  if you are interested in getting one of your own, you can use this coupon code for $5 off.

or, you can win one by leaving a comment on this post.  tell me about your greatest thermometer trial.  i will draw a winner from all the comments using on april 1st.  canadian and united states residents only, please.

this is a mama buzz review.  i received a temporal scanner for free for the purose of this review by the exergen corporation.  i have in no other way been compensated for this review.  the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Monday, March 8, 2010

amelia winners!

congratulations karin, karen a. and heather! you are the winners of an amelia dvd. i hope you enjoy it! if you get me your addresses, i will make sure your copies get in the mail to you!

i will have a couple other giveaways coming  up so come back soon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

iron man winners!

congratulations lili, robyn and heather!  you are the winners!  thank you for your comments.  send me your addresses, and i will get you your copies!

for the rest of you, if you feel like you missed out, it isn't too late to enter the giveaway for the amelia movie (see below).

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