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!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great New Study Bible for Kids!

I just got through looking through the NIV KidsVisual Study Bible. I think it's great! The target audience: girls and boys ages 8-12. It's  NIV, with the complete text included. It has a hardback cover with glossy images on the front

Stand out features:

  • Over 700 relevant illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps are integrated throughout the book
  • Book introductions that include important facts about the book, including author, characters, audience, purpose, location, and key stories
  • Study notes related to the scripture on most pages
  • It has the typical table of contents, plus an alphabetical table of contents, so people can easily find a book of the Bible.
  • It has an infographics index which directs readers to the major diagrams, graphs, and tables scattered throughout the book. Ex: The lifeline of Abraham, statistics about fear/trust verses in Psalms, and the resume of Zerubbabel.
This is an awesome resource for children!  I would highly recommend this Bible for children who want to learn more about the Bible and their faith!  My 12-year old was very impressed with the layout and information.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

4 Steps to Creating Your Own Family Code

We got published by a parenting group called Homer, so I thought you would enjoy seeing the article!
ann  ::)

4 Steps to Creating Your Own Family Code

4 Steps to Creating Your Own Family Code by Ann Saylor & Susan Ragsdale
Have you ever written a family code that defines your family’s way of being together and making choices? Think about the benefits of writing down your family values. It will help you make decisions on the way you spend your time. It will help you choose family friends. It will help you navigate choices related to books, movies, hobbies, sports, and vacations. It will help you respond to sticky situations. Not to mention the bonding with your family as you spend time together creating the code!
When you create a family code, you identify the values that are important to you as a family, and you begin the process of talking about how those values look in practice. Involving your kids in the conversation helps both children and adults think about how all of you can be both individuals AND a family of character. You can create a family code in four easy steps
Step 1: Set the timer for ten minutes. Select a family scribe to record your ideas.
Step 2: Ask each family member to name one important family value or principle. Have the family scribe record it. If you need a few ideas to start, you might consider patience, helping others, and honesty. Continue taking turns until you have 8-10 values listed.
Step 3: Review the list, making sure everyone understands the words and what they mean. If you have similar words, such as kindness and compassion, you might choose to narrow down your list. You are finished when you have a good set of values that your entire family can agree to live by and be proud of.  
Step 4: Post your family code in a place where everyone will see it often.
Extending the Experience:  Work together to display your family code in a creative way. For example, you might write the code inside a shield and decorate it with your family members’ favorite colors or meaningful pictures. Or, you might write the words in fancy lettering to display on a chalkboard or in a picture frame. Or perhaps your family could make a painting using all the words. The possibilities are endless!

© 2017 by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor.  For permission to reprint, contact at Write Creations Group, LLC.
Ann Saylor is the passionate mother of four children ages 2-15. Susan Ragsdale is known as “Aunt Susan” by 15 nieces and nephews. Both are well acquainted with the joys, tears, and fears of nurturing children and teens. Together, they have created over 891 activities in 8 published works to help people craft fun, engaging experiences where children and teens learn and thrive. See more of their work online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn for Ann | LinkedIn for Susan | Books  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Take Hold of Technology by Being Intentional!

One of their sales phrases is "Reclaiming real life in a world of devices", and they help readers to do just that. The book shares relatable stories, practical tips, tech-related statistics, and vulnerable insights into the author's own family.  I  found myself nodding with their insights continually, especially as we have one teen and two preteens in the house. I wondered how extreme their philosophy would be because our culture has truly gone haywire with devices! But the ideas weren't extreme. The suggestion will still take courage and discipline to implement, and I'm sure it will require a check in our family choices on a regular basis, but the suggestions aren't crazy difficult. 

I would honestly recommend this book to anyone who wants to consider the impact technology will have in his life. Technology will surely consume an individual and a family if tech owners don't use technology with purpose and caution.

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