Archive for the ‘book review’ Category

  • Book Review and Giveaway- the Money $aving Mom’s Budget

    Date: 2011.12.18 | Category: book review, giveaway!, saving money | Response: 68


    One of my favorite blogs is  Crystal offers tons of money saving tips, from shopping deals, to ways to earn extra income, to ways to budget and spend less.  I have saved so much money by using her site this past year!  Needless to say, when I heard she was coming out with a book I was excited.  And when I found out I could get a copy of her book for free by writing a review for it on my blog I was even more excited!


    The Money $aving Mom’s Budget is full of practical advice and helpful hints to help anyone start saving money.  Her plan is simple and easy to understand.  She provides detailed instructions on how to implement a budget, how to save money when shopping, how to simplify your life and how to switch to a cash only lifestyle.  She makes it easy to start small and adds new steps only when you’re ready to move on to the next level- which means you won’t burn out after only a few months from being so overwhelmed.  She also provides worksheets and appendices to get you started.

    I found that this book is a nice complement to her blog.  It takes a step back and starts with the basics to help you maximize the information she provides daily on  I highly recommend it for anyone who is ready to take control of their finances.

    And guess what?  I have one copy of her book to give away to one of you!  Winning is easy.  Just comment on this post and let me know that you’d like to win.  This giveaway will be open until noon on December 23.

    Happy reading!

    Legal disclaimerese- I was given this book to review by Crystal Paine at no cost to me.  The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!

  • All Day Long With Jesus- recordable storybook giveaway!

    Date: 2011.10.17 | Category: book review, giveaway! | Response: 4

    I was contacted by DaySpring to host another product review and giveaway- and of course I said YES!

    I received the recordable storybook All Day Long with Jesus in the mail and it languished on my counter for a few days because I hadn’t gotten around to recording it yet.  Then JT noticed it and asked if he could read it.  I went ahead and let him have it (even though I hadn’t recorded it yet) and he loved it!  Even with the random lady’s prerecorded voice reading the story he probably carried it around and listened to it 20 times over 3 days.  Now that I finally got around to recording it myself he loves it even more!  Every time he hears his name on the dedication page he breaks out into giggles.  He keeps showing it to Kate and cuddling up in the big chair to read it.  It’s so cute.

    The story All Day Long with Jesus is a sweet and simple reminder that Jesus is with us as we go about our every day.  The illustrations are cute and engaging.  This one is a keeper and a great way to reinforce the message that Jesus loves us and lives within us.

    Recording the pages is simple and if you aren’t happy with how it came out the first (or 3rd!) try you can easily record it again.  The lock switch is hidden in the battery compartment, so there’s no chance of the kids accidently erasing the recording either.  My only complaint is there is a record button that the kids can push (that doesn’t actually work since the lock switch is in the battery compartment) that does interrupt the story.  I don’t know why the manufacturer doesn’t put all of the buttons where they aren’t accessible, it seems to be a simple fix.

    This book is a huge hit in our house, and I bet your kids (grandkids? nephews? neighbors?) would love one too!  Well, you’re in luck, because DaySpring is giving away one recordable storybook (retail price is $29.95, but you just pay shipping) to one of my readers!  This would make a great birthday or Christmas gift, or if you’re like me and leave it on the counter for too long, a great “just because I love you” gift!  You have your choice from 4 different recordable storybooks, Bedtime Prayers and Promises, I Love You Head to Toe, God’s Christmas Promise, or All Day Long with Jesus.

    I’d love for you to share one of these books with someone in your life!  To win just leave me a comment with which book you would choose and who you would give it to. Winner will be drawn on Friday, Oct 21.

    Legal disclaimerese- I was given this product to review by (in)courage by Dayspring at no cost to me.  The opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own!

  • Off Limits

    Date: 2011.06.23 | Category: book review, parenting | Response: 0

    I finished reading a book yesterday that literally made me sick to my stomach.  I could hardly stand to turn each page, and yet I pressed on through the end.  Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse was so difficult to read, yet contained such important information that it was worth the effort.  Written by Sandy K. Wurtele and Feather Berkower, two child sexual abuse prevention professionals, this book explains how abuse occurs, and debunks many of the myths surrounding molestation.  In this generation, when as many as 1 in 8 children are sexually abused, it is worth knowing steps that I can take to protect my children and to recognize signs of abuse in other children.

    Written in a straightforward manner, with lots of references, personal stories, resources, and ideas to safeguard your family, this book was both informative and practical.  A lot of attention was paid to teaching parents how to raise their children to be body safe and how to encourage open communication about our bodies and sex.  Much of this book covered children and the relationships they have with trusted authority figures, since these are the relationships with the most risks and opportunities for abuse to occur.  Parents are given boundaries to set for the relationships your child has and are given techniques to discourage would be abusers.  Parents are also given specific rules to teach their children about body safety and the importance of having a no secret policy in place in your family.

    I found this book to be well written and very informative and practical.  I checked my copy out from the library, but went ahead and made photo copies (as encouraged by the authors!) of several pages near the back with rules and guidelines that I can institute in our home.  I highly recommend this book for all parents and for teachers and others who work with children.

  • Don’t Make Me Count To Three!

    Date: 2011.06.13 | Category: book review, parenting | Response: 2

    I’ve been struggling lately with knowing HOW to implement the type of parenting that I want to practice.  I’m a huge fan of Love and Logic, and we use a lot of those principles in our home, but I feel like that’s not quite enough.  How do I teach my kids about faith in God?  I do I obtain first time obedience with a respectful attitude from them?  What’s normal toddler behavior, what’s disobedience, and what’s normal toddler disobedience?  How do I intentionally train my children spiritually at THIS stage- ages 15 months and 33 months?  How can I maintain a spirit of peace and unity and joy in our family when I am “getting after” my kids all day long?  How do I prepare their tender hearts now so that they will have a lifelong relationship with our Savior?

    Knowing what I’ve been thinking about, my sister in law lent me a book by Ginger Plowman called Don’t Make me Count to Three. I actually think this book should have a different name, as it was not at all what I was expecting based on the title.  Ginger’s premise is that many parents try to change the behavior and hope that the heart will follow; but she proposes that if we work on the attitudes of the heart, the behavior will follow.  I love her strategy of biblical correction- when little Timmy misbehaves she shows him how his actions are contrary to God’s Word and what he can do to make amends.  She reveals how when our children are misbehaving they are actually sinning and it is our job to show them their sin and to model repentance and God’s way to them.  She encourages parents to use God’s words to reveal the sin of the heart and to teach our children what God has to say about those who sin and the consequences they will face, both in the short term and in the long term.  She teaches that we must not only tell our children what not to do, but more importantly we must show them what they ought to do and help them practice it before they misbehave and after they misbehave.  It’s not just about setting expectations, but also about helping them play it out.  She strongly supports spanking as a punishment, but she tells us we can’t stop there- we must then them help them make things right.

    I just finished this book last week, and to tell the truth it weighed heavy on my heart for several days.  I love this approach, but it clearly reveals how much I am lacking in my knowledge of scripture and how much of my attitude and actions are contrary to God.  Ginger includes 2 pages of common misbehaviors and the scriptures and disciplines she recommends to go along with them, but I can see that’s only a very small beginning.  The more I know God’s Word and the easier it falls off my tongue the more I will be able to apply her approach.

    I have begun implementing some of her suggested wording when I’m correcting JT- telling him that he is not loving his sister with his actions or that he is not respecting me and that God wants him to honor his mother, etc.  It’s hard.  I feel inadequately prepared for this task.  I don’t have enough scripture at the forefront of my mind for these phrases to just fall out naturally.  John 3:16 just isn’t going to cut it here.

    I happen to own Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel- I haven’t read this book in it’s entirety, but I know she includes many Scriptures regarding sin issues. It also appears that Ginger has another book called Wise Words for Moms which contains a more comprehensive list of behavior problems and the Scriptures that address them.  Perhaps that should be my next read- I can see that I have a long way to go in this area!

    So that’s what I’m thinking about parenting lately.  Have you read any good parenting books that you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to know about them!

  • Cane River

    Date: 2011.05.10 | Category: book review | Response: 0

    While laying flat on my back on an ice pack for most of yesterday I got to finish an excellent book (sorry kids!).  Cane River by Lalita Tademy is a fictionalized account of the real life slave ancestors of the author.  The book is divided into three sections- one for her great grandmother, her great great grandmother and her great great great grandmother.  The author did a thorough job of researching the history of her family and then wrote this novel to help flesh out the story- attributing motives and personalities to family lore and historic documents.  Although parts of the story are sad and terrible things happen, the overall theme of hope and family and perseverance triumph.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story.  I frequently felt the burning need to know whether events really occurred the way they were portrayed in the novel.  I always love a historical fiction that captures me with the story and teaches me about a time or place at the same time.  This book did that and more.  I highly recommend it!  (And no, this was not one of my blogging for books books.  I do have one sitting on my counter waiting for me to get past the 10th page.  It may never happen!)

  • Blind Hope

    Date: 2011.03.02 | Category: book review | Response: 1

    Hmmmm… I’m losing faith in this blogging for books business.  Number two- also a dud.

    I recently read Blind Hope, An unwanted dog and the woman she rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher.  The true story of a woman who adopted a dog and how she learned lessons about God and His love for her seemed promising.  And if you are willing to put up with amateurish writing, false sounding conversation, awkward transitions from first, to second, to third person, and cheesy predictability you will find some good truths.  But I don’t recommend it.

    There was one quote from the book that resonated with me- enough so that I actually posted it on facebook.  “The grass isn’t greener on the other side- it’s greener where you water it. It’s greener where contentment flows.”  I really like this twist on how many of us feel- that if only we can get there– wherever there is, we will find joy.  This reminder that we create our own joy, by pouring ourselves into what we have now was a good one.

    Now that I’ve given you the highlight of the book you don’t have to read it.

    I feel like I’m in high school and am being forced to write book reports on lame books for a grade.  Maybe this program isn’t for me.


    My only compensation for this book review was the free book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by the publisher.

  • the Charlatan’s Boy

    Date: 2011.02.05 | Category: book review | Response: 3

    I’ve sold out.

    Ok, that may be over stating it.

    I recently discovered that Waterbrook/Multnomah has a program called blogging for books.  I sign up and select a book, they mail it to me for FREE!, I review it on my blog and then I can do it again!  I love to read so I thought this program would be right up my alley.  Hooray!

    My first book review is on The Charlatan’s Boy, by Jonathan Rogers.  It’s a story about a young boy named Grady who is raised by a traveling huckster.  The boy is unsure of who he is or his relationship to the charlatan- he spends most of the book searching for answers about where he came from and who he will become.  Together the charlatan and Grady travel from town to town making their living by pretending that Grady is a “Feechie” or wild man from the swamp.  People pay to see and hear about the Feechies- and Grady has been playing the part for so long he believes he truly is one.

    The charlatan is just that.  He’s a liar and a fraud, he’s volatile and undependable.  He’s the closest thing to a father Grady has ever known, but that’s not saying much.  Despite his lack of moral upbringing, Grady has a surprising sense of guilt over the hoaxes that they play on the gullible.  Throughout the course of the book I kept expecting someone (anyone!) to teach Grady about Truth or to bring a level or morality to Grady’s life.  This just never happened.  Although at the end of the story Grady does find his true family and acceptance of who he is there is never any resolution to his questions about right and wrong or any glimpse of God or Truth.

    In the end, I thought this book was entertaining.  It was really a collection of tall tales and hoodwinks.  I was greatly disappointed that the author missed the opportunity to point the characters and the readers to God and His ultimate Truth.


    My only compensation for this book review was the free book from the publisher.  My opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by the publisher.

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