July 27, 2016

If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy by Rhonda Stoppe - A Review

Just reading this title (and its subtitle) was a little reassuring to me.  I have thought those very words a number of times.  Obviously I wasn't the only one that had thought those ridiculous words. 

If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe is not quite what I was expecting, but that was a good thing!  I am not a great wife and mother, but I truly desire to BE a great wife and mother, so I have read a number of marriage books, and this one is actually different than most of them.  Although all the "Good Wife Guides" I have read are definitely Christian based, most of them still focus on the practical steps you can take to be an excellent wife.  This book truly focuses on the fact that you will only be fulfilled through a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

From the back of the book:

Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.

But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it's tempting to think, "If only my husband would change, I'd be happy."

That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as

-understanding your husband's need for your unconditional respect
-rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place
-refusing to believe the lie that you'd be happier married to someone else
-learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles
-thinking about sex from a biblical worldview
If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.
Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

Rhonda Stoppe is a good author, from the very beginning of the book she is engaging and non-judgmental.  She opens with humor, which is something I always appreciate. 

I read the book in just a few days (and not only because I needed to finish it in time for my review date!), and enjoyed it.  My only complaint about the book is that she is rather self-promoting sometimes.  Each chapter ends with an invitation to look at something on her website.  She also hints at some stories and ideas she has, but has already covered in other books, so she doesn't mention them here. 

While at first I didn't appreciate the fact that she was urging us to buy her other products while reading the book, after thinking about it a little I realized that she was avoiding a huge flaw that many prolific writers of non-fiction have: writing the same book over and over.  How many times have you picked up a new book because it was by an author you respected, only to find that half the book is the same stories or lessons you have read a handful of times before, with only a little bit of new information thrown in?  As an avid reader of non-fiction, I have noticed this a few times.  By just explaining that she wrote about that in her other book she is letting you know that she has more to say on the topic without boring people that have read her other books.

Overall I think this book is a meaningful, but still fun, read. 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2a9Izc6


I received a copy of this book free of charge to review from LitFuse.  All opinions are my own.

July 18, 2016

Teaching Preschoolers Financial Stewardship - Mother Goose Time

Learning to be responsible with money is something most people don't think to teach their children until they are older.  Of course, Mother Goose Time is ahead of the curve!  This month, in addition to A LOT of art, we are learning character traits related to financial stewardship, and the ways to use money.

We started out by reading the story of Falco the Flightless Bird.  Falco found a coin, and was intrigued.  He started to spend all his time looking for coins (kind of a gambling analogy), and didn't even realize he had lost all of his feathers in his pursuit of coins! 

This month, we are helping Falco get his feathers back by making responsible decisions.  The first thing we do each day is find a feather from our "nest" (we were supposed to have used a box to make a nest, but I just pile them up every day) that is both the color of the day, and starts with a certain letter.  Then we read the scenario on the back of the feather.  If Falco made a good choice we keep the feather, and at the end of the month I am going to put them all on the Falco picture Little Guy colored.

In addition to the character traits related to financial literacy, at the end of the day we do an activity related to one of the way that you can use money (earn, spend, save, or give).  One day I gave Little Guy four yellow circles.  He could use them to buy a "ball" to throw into a "basket".  When he ran out, he couldn't buy anymore.  This lead to disappointment, and I let him do a job to earn one more.  There is more that goes into the financial literacy program this month, but I knew I would never follow through on all of it, so we are doing the basics.  You are supposed to pay them for the jobs they do each day with play money, then they are supposed to buy their art supplies, as well as have to pay for "emergencies" that come up.  It could be a lot of fun, but I don't think I would actually remember to do it all, so I decided ahead of time to keep it simple.

Mother Goose Time thinks of everything, so I don't have to!  :)

Little Guy and I get this wonderful curriculum for FREE in exchange for sharing our experiences.  All the opinions are my own!

July 13, 2016

Art and the Preschooler - Mother Goose Time

Children love art.  This month our theme for Mother Goose Time is The Art Studio.  In addition to learning to recognize famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa, The Girl With the Pearl Earring, and Starry Night, Little Guy will get to experiment with creating his own art in a variety of ways.  Printmaking, Pointellism, and Stenciling are just a few of the different techniques we will be learning.

The set up for this month is completely different than most months.  It is designed differently because of the fact that many childcare facilities have older children during the summer months, so its a little more "day camp" and a little less preschool.  Opening this box was a surprise, because things I expected to be there were not, and there were lots of things I didn't anticipate that were included.

One of the main focuses of this month is good financial stewardship.  Everyday we have an activity to do that focuses on learning responsible ways to earn, give, spend and save.  Today we wrote down a list of jobs that Little Guy can do, then I gave him silly jobs (stand on one foot, jump up and down, etc.) and "paid" him with some little foam squares that were included in the Money Kit.  Stay tuned for more about Falco the Flightless Bird and how he helps children learn both good character and good financial stewardship.

Another focus is on geography.  We received a blow up globe, and each week we focus on another part of Europe (France, Italy, and Holland), and its flags, food, and of course, ART!

We are almost halfway through the month (and the summer) and I have JUST NOW (like today!) figured out how to fit Mother Goose Time into my daily routine with everyone being home, having fun activities 2-5 days a week, and lots of schoolwork for the girls.  When we get home from (free) lunch and playing at the park, the girls are all sent to read for a couple of hours.  Usually Little Guy goes to nap at this time, but I realized today that instead I can have him do Mother Goose Time for an hour or so, then nap an hour later.  Ta-da!  He loves Mother Goose Time, and asks for it almost everyday, and I have been feeling SOOOO guilty for telling him no so often!

Between the long weekend for Independence Day and our extra long weekend camping, we just started our July curriculum.  We probably won't manage to finish the whole month, but I know that Little Guy will appreciate both the fun activities and the one-on-one time he gets doing Mother Goose Time.  I will appreciate that he is learning while having fun, and that my blog posts will be more interesting when I am doing more of the activities.  

I am so excited to get back into the swing of things with Little Guy.  Life changes so much, and I am not very good at keeping up as things change.  If I get into a good routine, I am on top of things, until something out of the ordinary happens (school lets out, vacation, new foster child, an illness, etc., etc.) and then I am lost for a month or so while I figure out a new routine.  Just about the time I get really comfortable with the way things are going, life changes again!  Chaos often reigns in my house, but I do try!

Little Guy and I get Mother Goose Time FREE in exchange for sharing our experiences!  All opinions are our own!

July 03, 2016

The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers - A Review

I don't really know why I picked this book to review.  I was never a Joan Rivers fan.  Not that I had a problem with her, I just don't think I ever watched her or listened to her.  I did read an old book by her, which was funny, but not something that impressed me to terribly much.

In all honesty I really only knew her as "the lady that had a terrifying amount of plastic surgery performed on her face", but the blurb on the back of the book made me want to read The Book of Joan.  That and the cover, with the vintage mother/daughter picture and the shiny lettering.

I didn't love the book, and I didn't hate it.  On Amazon I am going to give it three stars.  It is a sweet book that showcases a loving mother/daughter relationship. 

It was interesting to read the juxtaposition of their incredibly non-traditional lifestyle with the semi-normal family life they had.  Melissa's parents went to all her games and horse shows.  They taught her to work hard, they expected her to clean up after herself.  She also spent holidays in Vegas, flew all over the place, and had a mother that said the craziest things!

If it were a biography I would have rated it a little higher, but it was supposed to be funny, and it just didn't make me laugh.  It also had quite a bit of swearing in it (which is probably fitting for a book about Joan Rivers from what her daughter said in this book), and some of the religious comments kind of ruined it for me. 

I don't know if I recommend it or not, what is why it is three stars.  It wasn't horrible.  It wasn't great.  It just was a book.  A book I got for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  You can purchase this book second hand for as little as a penny (plus shipping) on Amazon!