Friday, October 28, 2016

What's In A Name?

I get to review all sorts of books, curricula, and other homeschool-related things as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew. Every now and then though, I get the opportunity to receive something very unique.  

CrossTimber offers many unique and personalized gifts. The great thing is that their products appeal to much more than just homeschoolers as they specialize in name-meaning items, and everybody has a name.  I was able to choose my own Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse.

Name meanings have always interested me. When we were planning for the births of our 5 children, my husband and I discussed names. And more names. And more names. We joked around a lot. I mean, there are many funny names that can be made with Leaf. Dewey Leaf. Rose Leaf. Violet Leaf. Forest Leaf. Rusty Leaf. Scarlet Leaf. Mary Jane Leaf. You get the idea. All joking aside, we looked at many names for our little ones. A name stays with you for life. We wanted to choose names that went well with our last name, ones we liked, and ones that were meaningful.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, 
and loving favour rather than silver and gold. ~ Proverbs 22:1

CrossTimber is a family business, so I was able to contact John, the owner, with all questions that I had. First of all, since I was choosing a framed plaque, I needed to decide which name to use on it. I asked him if it would be too much trouble to ask for the meanings of many names and listed out the first names of the 7 of us and then our last name, as well. I also gave any information I thought might help (i.e. my husband's name is his mother's last name, our last name is Scandinavian even though it looks like it's English). John personally replied to me in less than an hour and answered all my questions. He said, "Your list isn't troublesome at all." After only 46 minutes, I had a chart listing all 8 names, their meaning, origin, and accompany Bible verses.

I decided to use our last name for the plaque and then purchase bookmarks for the 3 older kids. Next came the difficult part: choosing the designs. Oh, my, the choices. There are multiple themes from which to choose and then many background options under each category.

  • Fath & Encouragement
  • Castles & Lighthouses
  • Scenic Landscapes
  • Sunsets & Sunrises
  • Flowers
  • Musical Instruments
  • Celtic, Irish, and Gaelic
  • Animals (many animal categories)
  • . . . and many more.     
Then, of course, there's the option to choose the frame. One thing that I absolutely love about this site is that they have it set up so you can see each option with each frame choice. That makes is so easy to decide if you like it! So many times online, you find 2 components that you like separately, but can't see how they'll look together until after you receive the product. I appreciate the ability to see them together before I place my order.

Once you have everything chosen, you can add things to it also, like a matching bookmark, greeting card, message on back, and more. You also have the option to change things. For instance, because John sent me the name meanings and verses before I purchased, I was able to see that not every verse he had chosen was from the Bible version we use. I sent him another email and received another quick reply. Not a problem, he assured me. I just simply had to make a note of which version and/or alternate verse I wanted after the name.

I thought deciding on the plaque was difficult, but it was nothing compared to choosing bookmarks for the kiddos. There are so many beautiful choices that it was hard to narrow it down. That's a good thing! Again, many options for backgrounds and again, possible add-ons, as well. I, personally, chose to keep to corners of the bookmark plain and more durable, instead of adding a fancy cut edge, since it was for the kids. I did, however, add a ribbon to the top. Honestly, that's the only thing I am a little unhappy with. The ribbon itself is silky and doesn't hold together very well. I do not see it staying on the bookmarks very long, especially with kids that I know will fiddle with it. A quick dot a glue should do the trick though.

I'm saving these for presents for Christmas, so, Shh! Don't tell, ha. My kids do a lot of reading as it is a big part of our schooling. They're often using a piece of scrap paper or wrapper or nothing to keep their place in the book. I think they will be very excited to receive a bookmark with their names. I'm hoping, too, that they will take to heart what their names mean. My oldest has always been bothered that his name means "deceiver." I'm excited to show him that Jacob can mean much more (scroll down for the beautiful explanation).      

The plaque (and bookmarks) came sandwiched between corrugated cardboard sheets and in a padded envelope, so it stayed safe through shipping. It is even more beautiful in person than the picture does justice. We are hanging it in a newly renovated bathroom because it matches perfectly.

I am incredibly pleased. The products, the company, the owner--I would gladly do business with them again. Along with these products, they also sell coffee mugs, music boxes, and multi-name plaques. I think it would be really neat to start a collection of these names of God plaques to display across the house. Everything is high-quality and beautiful.

Now through December 4th, CrossTimber is sponsoring a free name gift giveaway. This would be a perfect time to become acquainted with the company. You can also contact them to receive the meaning for your own name--no matter how unique--absolutely free.

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If you'd like to see other signs, options, name meanings, or products, please read the reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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1 comment:

  1. Our logo looks great on this site! Thanks for your great review, Erika. Loved the word plays you and your husband thought of for your kids names. Thanks so much for sharing our work with your readership! I hope to be looking up their names as soon as they read your article!