I love hearing the stories behind the names people choose for their children, their businesses, their pets, or even their blogs! Name meanings and histories are fascinating, so I loved being able to review some products from a company that is passionate about sharing positive and encouraging name meanings through beautiful name meaning gifts. CrossTimber invited Homeschool Review Crew members to order personalized gifts from their website and then share our experiences with our readers.

CrossTimber is a family business that has grown from photography and printing to personalized name gifts. And it really started as a home education project! In fact, owner and John Dehnart keeps his homeschooling family involved in the business, as you can see in some of the pictures. Their beautiful Name Meaning Gifts include plaques, mugs, music boxes, and bookmarks. John loves researching name histories and meanings, and is happy to look up a name for you and help you choose a gift that will encourage and inspire.

The Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse is a cornerstone product, and the one that many of the Review Crew members chose.  You can see an example of it in the top center of this view of a selection of CrossTimber gifts.

Crew members received a "gift certificate" for the value of that beautiful personalized framed plaque for the purpose of the review, and encouraged to choose from any of the products and apply that credit. With six in our family, plus a new daughter-in-law, and a new granddaughter on the way, I knew that I would be choosing more than one name meaning gift! In order to make my choice, I took advantage of the generous offer to look up name meanings and asked John about my own name and several other family member names. Then I had to narrow down my choices - but I'm already pretty sure I'll be back for more gifts, as I just couldn't look after everyone this time!

I had a pretty good idea what our names meant, since I've got my own personal interest in name meanings, but since CrossTimber specializes in the research and looking for the most encouraging and positive aspects of the meanings, I wanted to know what John could come up with for me. So here are the name stories of the gifts I've chosen.

Kennady - As much as I enjoy learning the meaning of names, I didn't find out what this name meant before giving it to my daughter. The truth is, we named her for her dad's favorite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. (Her name is Kennady Anne, which sounds very much like the French pronunciation of the team name. So it honors the team, and our Canadian roots. True story!) But Kennady happened to be with me when I started browsing the CrossTimber website, and this name was mentioned in the Layers of Meaning article on the Name Meaning Research page:

The first and perhaps easiest step to finding a name meaning is to look at the language-based equivalent of a name. By itself, a strictly linguistic equivalent of a name is often dull and lacks purpose or encouragement. Kennedy would mean ugly head, . . .
Oh dear. She saw that. Now, we both laughed, because we know that I didn't choose her name because I thought she had an ugly head, but still. So I knew for sure that I would be asking John about the layers of meaning for her name. When I did, he quickly got back to me with the Old Irish name's meanings - Leader Through Obedience, and Beauty Of Character. I picked out a mug with a guitar graphic on it to honor her talent and love for music; and I asked for a personalized Scripture that referenced music as well. Colossians 3:16 was a reminder of how we should conduct ourselves as worship leaders, and mentions "singing with grace in our hearts", so I liked that because her middle name means "grace".

Kym - That's me! I decided it was time that I had something personalized with my name spelled correctly on it! My given name is actually Kimberley, which is a less common spelling, and I've been spelling my shortened name with a Y since I was a teen; and that means that so-called "personalized" name mugs or keytags or whatever found in stores never offer my name (or Kennady's for that matter) the way I spell it. John told me the name was Anglo-Saxon and meant Royalty and One with a Gracious Spirit. Well, my only claim to royalty is that I'm the coffee queen around here, and a gracious spirit doesn't come naturally to me; but then again, as a Christian I'm a daughter of the King and he puts his gracious spirit in me, so I wanted that reminder. I chose a mug for myself with a castle graphic. Very royal.

Thorpe - This is our family name, and has English roots. It means Small Village; but John gave an additional layer of meaning that I really liked - Home of Refuge and Protection. Once again, I chose a mug, and on this one I wanted a picture of a lighthouse. Our family has enjoyed visiting lighthouses whenever we can while on vacations, and I couldn't think of a better symbol of Refuge and Protection.

Harrison - We chose our oldest son's name, which simply means "son of Harry or Henry", because my husband's family has traditionally named the first son after his father, but I didn't really like the name Henry. I'm also not a fan of the nickname Harry, so we never shortened Harrison's name to that. He recently celebrated a birthday, so I chose a personalized mug as a birthday gift for him. He is the one that got our family started on visiting the lighthouses, so we chose a lighthouse graphic for his mug too. The meaning of his name is Son of the Strong Man or One Who is Courageous; and I especially liked the Scripture John suggested to go with this name which starts out "Be strong and of good courage . . ." and is a great reminder to be courageous in doing the right thing and that God will never leave you.

Jade - And finally, I chose a smaller size name print (5x7) to give to our pastor during Pastor Appreciation Month. He's sometimes mentioned that he used to get teased because his name is more often used for girls, so I thought it would be encouraging to give him a small reminder of what the name actually means - Priceless Treasure and Valuable to God. A name that reflects his worth to God and to his church family as well!

Because I ordered multiple items, CrossTimber gave a discount, and also included a matching bookmark for each of the products I ordered!

The ordering process was very easy - it's step-by-step on the website, with all the options explained (as you order, and in more detail on the FAQ page), and if you have any questions, CrossTimber will gladly help you by email or phone call. I asked if I could have a specific Scripture on Kennady's mug rather than the one that went with her name, and John explained how to put that on my order form, and I opted for an email proof so I could see how it would look before they started filling that order. I was amazed at how quickly they did it too - the proof was emailed to me the same day, even though it was a special request and I knew they were swamped with Review Crew orders to work on in a very short space of time!

Okay, I just poured myself another cup of coffee so I can also tell you about a fantastic Name Gift giveaway CrossTimber is sponsoring right now. Our readers are invited to enter the giveaway for a Grand Prize of a free Name Gift or nine second prizes of $10 gift certificates. Enter by December 4th using the Rafflecopter link below or go to the Christmas Giftaway page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My bottom line: I love the mugs we received, and we so enjoy using them. CrossTimber offers so many designs to choose from for the plaques and the mugs that it was hard to narrow down my options and choose just one design from so many that would have been perfect. There are also personalized music boxes, which would also make beautiful gifts. I plan to return to CrossTimber for more gifts in the future - these are great gifts that are not just for Christmas or birthdays, but would be perfect for wedding gifts, baby gifts, adoption gifts, and many other occasions.

Would you like to know more about these personalized gifts with meaning? Here's what you need to know:

Visit the website: http://www.meaning.name/

Pricing: Find all the info on pricing of the various products and the discounts available on the website. There are too many options for me to list here!

Don't forget the Christmas Giftaway!

You can connect with CrossTimber on Facebook.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews.

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I have done my best to provide accurate pricing and links at the time this post originally appeared. Please be aware that these may change.

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