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Showing posts from October, 2016

A Sister's Wish and An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray - A Review(s)

Let's start with the giveaway!  You can enter to win both of these books by clicking on the picture below!


I am a big fan of Amish fiction.  The plain life intrigues me, although I can barely survive without my dishwasher, so I think it is best I remain "English".  Plus Michael would NEVER go for being plain.  When I got the opportunity to read and review not one, but TWO new books from author Shelley Shepard Gray, I jumped on it. 
I read both of these books in just a few days.  They were really good.  They are the final half of a series of four books called "The Charmed Amish Life" (they are set in the town of Charm).  I have not read the other two books, and although these books easily stand alone, they do refer back to the previous books, and if I ever catch up on my review books I will look for copies of the first two books in the series.
Both of these books are well written.  The dialogue is believable, the plot moves at a good pace, not rushed through, b…

Barn Day - Mother Goose Time

The first two paragraphs are about the chaos of my life at the moment, if you just want to read about our Mother Goose Time experience yesterday, skip two paragraphs!

In case you haven't noticed in the last three years, and specifically the last year, my life and family changes CONSTANTLY!  I have had 20+ kids in (and out!) of my home in the last 3.5 years.  Right now I have a 4 week old (Baby Girl) and a 7 month old (Joey), in addition to Little Guy who is 3.5.  Also, my dishwasher is broken.  So, nothing happens consistently, as much as I truly thrive on a consistent schedule, I just can't make it happen.  Adding to my -admittedly small- plate, is that when children first come into foster care, they seem to have a zillion appointments the first month or so.  And Michael has class a couple days a week.  And Little Guy has AWANA.  And I decided it was a good idea to join a Bible study, despite the fact that talking in a group of people that are not my close friends nearly send…

The 10 Myths of Teen Dating by Daniel and Jacquelyn Anderson - A Review

I literally JUST finished this book.  Okay, well I skipped two chapters, because its nearly midnight and I have AT LEAST 12 years until I need to read about this topic.  But, as usual, I digress.  It was really, really good! 

Although I don't intend for my children to have dating relationships, at least while living under my roof, but more of a heavily chaperoned courtship situation when they decided they are ready to marry in the next couple of years, this book was AMAZING! 

The authors live in Portland, Oregon, are both high school teachers, and a father/daughter writing team.  Apparently some teenagers talk to their teachers about personal things, which I didn't really ever even think of as a teenager, but this man has some stories of very personal things students shared with him (anonymously of course!).  Most of the book is written by Daniel, the father, with small portions in each chapter written by Jacquelyn, the daughter.  He writes about the facts, and she gives her…

Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart - A Review

From the Publisher:
In our social media age of handcrafted children’s parties, artistic Instagram photos, tutorials for renovating old furniture into new treasures and blogs filled with poetry, prose and other expression, clearly a brand-new generation of inspired women is rising up. It is a renaissance born not in Italian cathedrals or Harlem jazz clubs, but in kitchens, nurseries and living rooms around the world. However, when Christian women become mothers, they often feel expected to give up their creative pursuits to parent properly.
Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart know that struggle. While they acknowledge some seasons of mothering require setting artistic pursuits aside, they also argue these seasons don’t have to last until empty nest time. Instead, mothers with creative gifts are called to use them actively to bless their families, their communities and everyone they encounter. “Life Creative is not a book about raising children,” Speake shares. “This is a book for moms, writte…

More Math, More Literacy - Mother Goose Time

Mother Goose Time has more than just their basic curriculum.  As I have shared many times, they have a plethora of add-ons that can enrich you and your child's Mother Goose Time experience.  In the past I have talked about the Experience God add-on, which is a great way to teach your children truths about God, in a pre-school friendly way.  I didn't feel that we were using this add-on to its fullest, because frankly, my time management skills suck.  So I decided to try something new: More Math and Literacy.
More Math and Literacy is a math and literacy program designed for children 4-6 years old.  It focuses on preparing children for the academics of school.  Little Guy is a little younger than their target demographic, but there is a readiness test on the website and he passed it.  He can't do them as independently as I was hoping (even if he passed the readiness test, he is at the very, very early stages of being ready), but he enjoys them. 


Mother Goose Time is the que…

Experiencing God Through His Names by Sheryl Giesbrecht - A Review

There are some things I never think of, but should.  One of these is what all the names of God mean.  I mean I know the Amy Grant (I went to my first concert in second grade, my mom took me to see Amy Grant!) song "Emmanuel" based on Isaiah 9:6, but I never put any thought into it. 

Not so with Sheryl Giesbrecht.  She has written a devotional book that goes through 31 of the different names for God.  The book touches on some common names, such as Father, and some more obscure names that are only mentioned once or twice in the Bible.


I love the idea behind this book.  It is a fresh look at our Father in Heaven, one that many of us probably have not thoroughly investigated.  Sheryl writes in a great voice, friendly and open, with a nice mix of personal stories and Bible stories.  The daily readings are quick enough to do everyday, even if you are busy.

My only problem is that the books seems like it was rushed to publication.  There are some very obvious typos that bother me …

There's A Cow in My House - Mother Goose Time

Every month we get a new CD included with our Mother Goose Time curriculum.  Each month has a different style of music, ranging from rock to classical, but with songs for children that match VERY well with the theme of the month.  This month is country inspired, and out of the 11 CDs we've received so far, it my favorite.  The songs are fun and catchy, and we've been listening to the whole thing every day. 

There is one song - Cow In My House - that is especially fun.  As I was looking through my Teacher Guide, I realized that our Storybook of the Month is called There's a Cow in My House.  So we skipped a few days and learned about cows. 

We started out using one of our new manipulatives: COW COUNTERS!  Something that Little Guy was not very good at when we started (which was almost a year ago now!) was sorting by one feature, then sorting by another.  He has improved by leaps and bounds, and has no problem sorting by color, then by size or shape. 
We used a Rhyme Time…

Don't Drop the Chicken Egg - Mother Goose Time

This month we are Down on the Farm with Mother Goose Time.  I love the variety of sub-topics each each month.  For the first week of activities we were looking at Farm Animals, starting with chickens.  In the next couple of weeks we will explore things you find in the barn, food that comes from the farm, and farming. 
For our first day on the farm we were learning about chickens. 

We started with Chicken Eggs.  First Little Guy learned that chickens only lay one egg everyday (he thought they laid two).  After that we used tweezers to pick up "eggs" (cotton balls) and count them as we put them on a chicken nest card.  Little Guy has never used tweezers before, but he did very well. 
We also did Names in the Barn, which was a fun nametag activity for the first day of the month.  I actually messed it up and had him draw his animal on the back of the barn instead of on the front, oops.  He traced his name on the inside, and drew a cow (which he said was his favorite farm anima…

Live Smart by Dan Dumas - A Review

I have been reading a lot of books lately*, and Live Smart by Dan Dumas has to be one of my favorites.  It is written for high schoolers, so, seeing as how I am writing this on my 30th birthday**, I am not the intended audience.  However, almost everything in the book is applicable to Christians of any age. 
This book is excellent because it is to the point.  It is a fairly short book, but covers so much.  It is broken down into four parts: You + God You + Others You + Yourself You + the Gospel
Each part covers a few different things, ranging from the importance of studying the Bible and praying, to working hard.  I did not find anything in this book to be controversial in the least bit, it could easily apply to anyone that accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and seeks to follow His word, whether you are of a faith the interprets the Bible literally or more liberally.  The book has some anecdotes, but only when they really apply, the bulk of the book is doing just what the title s…

Total Family Makeover by Melissa Spoelstra - A Review and a Giveaway

Begin to build your family discipleship and become the key disciple-makers in your children's lives with Melissa Spoelstra's new book, Total Family Makeover. Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.


Plan an evening of fun, pizza, devotionals, and games with your family! Melissa is giving away a Family Fun Night Prize Pack.



One grand prize winner will receive:
A copy of Total Family MakeoverA copy of Deep Blue Family Devotional: Fall 2016 - Summer 2017A copy of CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible Bright Sky HardcoverA $50 Pizza Hut gift cardQwirkle Board Game

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 7. The winner will be announced October 10 on Melissa's blog.



I read a lot of parenting books.  Some might say …