Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Historical Fiction - Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

I've just "met" a new historical fiction author, Kate Breslin, author of Not by Sight.

Here's how the publisher describes the book:  "With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover. Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country's cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she'll set off when she hands a feather to Jack. And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them--or the faith they'll need to maintain hope."

It was a very good read.  A very creative storyline, and it gave me a good glimpse into this slice of history.  I liked getting to know the characters - and I "felt" their joys and pains as I was reading.  I especially liked the two main characters and watching their struggle to know one another well and get beyond past fears.  There are great lessons in the book about not judging a book by it's cover!  The landscape descriptions were beautifully written - I could easily picture the lovely sights.

It was a light-hearted easy read that I would recommend this book to any female reader age 14+.  I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

What Color is Your Parachute?

I read an earlier edition of this book in 1995 when I graduated from college, as I was searching for my first job.  It was an incredibly valuable tool that greatly shaped my understanding of my strengths and desires.  I’ve been recommending it to career seekers ever since.  What I didn’t realize is how much the book has evolved over the last two decades.  It’s rich with improvements, focusing on how the internet and social media has changed the whole job seeking process. 

The most practical and inspiring piece of the book, to me, is chapter 7 - the process of building your flower – that one piece of paper that highlights your mission, your preferred colleagues, your skills, your interests, your preferred living location, your preferred responsibilities, your working conditions and your salary range.  It’s 90 pages of self-discovery – and I still refer back to the flower I created 20 years ago!  Other chapter highlights include tips and tricks for building a resume, interviewing, negotiating salaries, changing careers, starting your own business, and overcoming personal obstacles in your field of work. 

I would highly recommend this book to college seniors, to people changing careers, and to people searching for a job.  Take time to reflect on who YOU want to be instead of letting the pressure to find a job define who you are.  I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  

Teaching children to know Jesus

Teaching my children to know Jesus and have a friendship with Jesus is very important to me, so I was very excited to discover Sarah Young’s new book, “Jesus Calling for Little Ones”.  Just like the original “Jesus Calling” (which I love!), it builds very personal conversations with Jesus from scriptures.  For example, she takes James 1:17, “Every good action and every perfect gift is from God.”   She adds more to the conversation:  “Every good gift in your life is from Me – your family and friends, the bright sun and tall trees, playful puppies and sleepy kittens.  Look around at all the wonderful things I have for you!”  And each conversation is surrounded by bright child-friendly illustrations.  This is a wonderful tool to teach young children to see God’s love and to teach them to converse with the God who loves them more than they could possibly imagine.  And I bet the parents reading the book will be challenged too!

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Prayers for Young Readers

My kids are avid readers, so our family does a lot selecting books to read.  If your school pushes reading like ours does, your children probably read a lot too.  But the content of young adult books is not always wise for even adult Christians to read because of the sensual and sexual story lines and images.  I hate that - because in SO many cases, a book would be just as good without the sinful content!!

I've talked many times with teenage son about being smart about reading choices, but honestly never thought to ask him to pray about it.  Duh!  So here's a prayer to teach your children and a protective prayer to pray over your them...  

Joel Beeke:  “Before I read anything, I pray that the Lord would give to me the grace to discern whether or not I should spend time reading this particular book.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Puberty - What to Expect and Resources to Help You!

For parents with preteens and teens, here are two great articles for you to read: