January 12, 2008

A Few Gift Reviews

I thought I'd share a few of the creative gifts that have stuck in my brain for one reason or another.

My mom got me a subscription to Cook's Country magazine. Cook's Country and Cook's Illustrated are great magazines. They are a magazine about kitchen concepts, but they do stuff and then tell you why it worked. And other things they tried and why or how that didn't work. I love that part! First of all, it makes me remember something. Plus, I just like to know things like that. I've only read one magazine so far and I love it! And anyone who knows me knows I could use some sort of love toward anything involving kitchen life. Yeah, I'm not so fond of all things kitchen.

Mattie's wonderful birth grandparents bought her one of the Melissa and Doug Animal sounds puzzles. Mattie loves animals, and this puzzle makes them all that more fun! Interestingly enough, Robert and I discovered one night that the sounds are not activated by matching the right puzzle piece, but rather by the elimination of light. The puzzle board was on our bedroom floor one night with missing pieces. When I turned the lamp off, the cat meowed! I tried it again, only to hear the cow moo! We left the light off and left it alone, and I awoke at 5:30 the next morning to some animal sound (the rooster crowing maybe?) as Robert turned off the bathroom light.

We got Jacob this cool wooden railway addition. It's called Flexa Track. It is a pack of two 16" track pieces that are compatible with any wooden railway. You can bend them any way and they keep their shape. There are several products similar to these, but this is the only one that can be shaped in a way to bank curves and stuff. The others move side to side or up and down, but not both and in between. And the best part is this isn't a Thomas and Friends product, so it's actually reasonably priced! I will say they created a little more work for me than I intended, but once I get them in the right shape for what he wants, they stay that way until Mattie comes along with a vengeance.

My sister got Mattie these finger puppets from IKEA. There are two sets in one picture, and Mattie has the one that includes the non sea life animals. She loves to take them out and play with them!

Well, of course the Canon Digital Rebel Xti has gotten many rave reviews already around here! Two things I love most about it... first: it takes pictures so fast!! The auto focus is almost instantaneous, a much needed feature with Mattie! And second: the zoom factor. This is attributed to the lens I have, but I love it! I have the Canon EFS 17-85mm zoom lens with image stabilization. (If only it would stabilize the people in the image I'm trying to shoot! That would be some marketable technology, or narcotic I suppose.)

Jacob loves mazes, so I got him these maze books. He loved them! They were pictures he enjoyed, but he had each book completed in an hour. He's definitely ready for the next level.

Another gift from Mattie's birth family, The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. It is a variation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears set in the Yukon, and the characters are an Inuit girl and three polar bears. A great book! Well, I don't know any of Jan Brett's books that aren't great, but I suppose that's beside the point.

We got Mattie this Sparkle Princess book. It's by Picture Me Press. They have a whole line of books (for boys and girls) where you put your child's picture in the back page and it personalizes the whole book! She loves reading about herself as the princess. (I found her book half price on another website.)

And on a negative note, remember the marble track I said we were getting? We hate it! it falls apart regularly. Jacob has yet to build a run that has stayed together for more then 10 minutes. It has caused much frustration around this house and several others, I hear. So, before we'd had it a week, Macy and I ordered the original MarbleWorks from Discovery Toys. It should be here before noon today!!


Jennifer said...

Love the fingerpuppets! That would be a good gift for Betsie, and with her being my 3rd girl, it is always good to have a new idea. :)

How sweet that Mattie's borth family is involved with her still. Reading that was a reminder to me to pray for Betsie's borth family today...of course we are not even sure who they are, but we pray anyway.

Valerie said...

You'll have to check out Usborne's line of maze books! ;-)