Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Husband Project and Giveaway!

I have completed reading The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man--on Purpose and with a Plan by Kathi Lipp.  It is a fantastic book!  It challenges wives to take time each day to show love toward their husband such as wearing something nice for him, cooking his favorite meal, or watching a movie he enjoys.  Going through this project has reminded me how to show my husband love and that it's important to take time for him.
I have had the privilege of helping Kathi with her blog for an online book club.  Right now she is giving away 5 copies of her book and DVD.  If you have not read this book or participated in the book club, here is your chance to win a free copy!  To win: visit her blog, do the last project (watch a guy movie with your husband) and leave a comment about which movie or kind of movie you will watch.  To enter the drawing, go to the book club website here. You can also purchase the book from Amazon or from the club's website.

May your marriage be blessed through The Husband Project!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics

HarperCollins Treasury of Picture Book Classics: A Child's First CollectionSometimes classic books are the best, especially regarding children's books. Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics: A Child's First Collection, is a wonderful collection of children's stories.  There are 12 books that come in this collection: 

1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown;
2. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina;
3. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson;
4. Crictor by Tomi Ungerer;
5. A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban;
6. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus;
7. William's Doll by Charlotte Zolotow;
8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff;
9. George Shrinks by William Joyce;
10. Baby Says by John Steptoe;
11. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle; and
12. Pete's a Pizza by William Steig.

I own the individual copy of three of these books and am happy to have them also in this collection.  My 2 year old loves the stories in this book and I think he will continue to like them as he gets a little older.  

Another nice thing about this book is after each story there is a page with background information about the author and story.  Included is also some tips on how to enjoy the story more including questions you can ask your child.

I really like this book and if you are limited on space in your home or on a tight budget but looking to own some good classic children's books, then consider buying this one.

The only downside is this book is heavy so it may be a little too heavy for a young child to hold on their own.  However, these stories are meant to be read-aloud so most likely the adult would be holding most of the weight of the book.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Disciple Like Jesus for Parents

Disciple Like Jesus for ParentsDisciple Like Jesus for Parents by Alan Melton and Paul Dean, is a fantastic book.  If you are a Christian and want to raise your children to love the Lord, this book has some wonderful advice to help you disciple (teach and train) your children like Jesus.  I recommend it to all Christian parents.

As a relatively new mom, I learned so much from this book.  The advice comes from the Bible and scripture is quoted throughout the book.  The authors point to how Jesus taught his disciples and give you a biblical blueprint to follow in raising your children.  

I learned practical ways to apply the advice, such as how important it is that I'm with my children more than I am away from them.  Jesus was always with his disciples. Mark 3:14 (NIV): He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.  Jesus did not send his disciples away to the temples, for example, to train them.  He taught them, Jesus was with them, and they learned from him. Once they were ready, he sent them out on their own. God gave children parents to love them and teach them. We are to build a community with our children and this book gives lots of examples on how to do that.

If you are serious about your faith and want to pass along your love for the Lord onto to your children, read this book. It will probably encourage you in your own walk of faith as well.

Friday, May 27, 2011

So You're Thinking about Homeschooling

So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Second Edition: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It (Focus on the Family)My child is almost 2 and I know some of you may be thinking, why are you reading a book about homeschooling?  Well, I think education is very important.  Considering that I would like to have more than one child, private school may be out of the question.  Not that I have a problem with public schools, I have some wonderful friends who are awesome teachers, but there are some not so great school districts.  I am also a huge planner, I like to plan way ahead and research so I can feel confident about the decisions I make when they come up.  I have also met some wonderful people while living in Germany who homeschool.  Since I didn't know much about it I thought I would see if the library had any books on the topic and I picked up this one.

So You're Thinking about Homeschooling, by Lisa Whelchel, is a fantastic educational book about homeschooling. Whelchel's writing style is light and cheerful.  She takes you through the door of fifteen families and lets "them" explain to you how they homeschool and why.  You read about the mother of several children, the homeschooling dad, the grandparents who homeschool, a mom who takes her child with her to work and homeschools, and many other situations.  You also learn about the different homeschooling methods: The Charlotte Mason Method; The Classical Approach; Computer-Based Curriculum; The Principle Approach; using Traditional Textbooks; using Unit Studies; Unschooling; Video Schooling; and more.

Lisa Whelchel bluntly states that she is not trying to convince you to homeschool.  Nor does she believe that homeschooling is for everyone.  However, she is pro-homeschooling and I believe the purpose of her book is to teach you more about homeschooling to see if it something that would work for you and your family. 

I will tell you, after reading So You're Thinking About Homeschooling, I am truly thinking about homeschooling.  I have done additional research besides reading this book and there are so many positives to homeschooling.  If you are thinking about homeschooling or are interested in learning more, this would be a good book for you to read.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood

Are you tired of yelling at your kids?  If so, read this book.  Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, by Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Ph.D. is a wonderful parenting book.  This book is geared for parents of children from birth to age 6.  They have other books if your child is older and you want to try the love and logic approach.  However, if you start young, you will save yourself a lot of grief later on. 

I love how the love and logic approach works.  No more yelling, no more repeating yourself.  One of the first steps to this approach is making deposits in your child's life by giving them lots of choices.  This way they gain healthy control over their lives and learn to think for themselves.  The choices you give them do not hurt anyone else, are choices you approve of, and can be fun.  Such as, "would you like to go to the park or stay home and play."  "Would you like milk or water to drink for lunch?"

When it's time for you to make a decision, such as asking your child to clean up their room.  You give your child one chance, if they choose not to obey, then there is an age-appropriate consequence.  Such as, "feel free to pick up the toys you want to keep."   Then the toys that your child doesn't pick up, you pick up and say, "how sad, how would you like pay for your toys?"  If they need help deciding offer some suggestions.  Then they earn back their toys by helping you with chores.  Obviously, this example is for older toddler/preschooler, but you can start teaching your child how to pick up their toys early on by helping them and gradually letting them do it by themselves. Then once you are consistent with the consequences you will naturally eliminate many of the problems you are having.  What kid wants their toys taken away?  If they don't care or don't want to earn them back then get rid of them.  Also by only asking once and giving them one chance you are preparing them for the real world.  Most of life you only get one chance.  If you take your eyes off the road for a few seconds to look at your phone and a tire in the road comes flying at you, you may have lost your chance to safely get out of the way.  The police officer who pulls you over for speeding usually will not give you a warning but will write you a ticket, and so on.

To use the loving approach, first show your child empathy by stating something like "how sad" or "bummer" then state the the consequence.

If your child whines or yells at you.  Simply teach them that you do not listen to whining or yelling and will listen to them when their voice is as calm as yours.  Then ignore their behavior until they use a calm voice like yours.

You do not have to yell or raise your voice to get your child's attention.  Using a soft voice works wonders. Not losing your temper makes parenting a lot easier.  And you know what?  Your child will listen.  I have been using the methods in this book for a about a month and it is amazing how well it is working on my 22 month old.  If you want to learn more, read this book.  It is probably one of my favorite parenting books. Simple to use, loving, it builds responsibility in your child, and it works!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle: A MemoirI joined my first book club and our first book was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  This incredible memoir walks you through Walls' life as a child growing up in poverty, moving from place to place, and having dysfunctional parents.  Although she grew up wearing torn clothing, was not able to bathe often, dug through the trash for food, had an alcoholic father and an artistic free-spirited mother, she ended up thriving.  Her parents would not accept food stamps or help from anyone.  So the children, Jeannette and her three siblings were left fending for themselves.  

Walls is a wonderful and gifted writer.  She changed how I view people on food stamps.  It made me feel that food stamps should be more for the children than the parents.  It was heartbreaking to read about these children being hungry and Jeannette hiding out in the restroom during lunch and afterward digging through the trash and eating other kid's leftovers because there was no food at home.

Even though her parents seemed to neglect their children, they did have a great sense of adventure.  The beginning of the book life seemed so adventurous and it made me reflect on my own childhood as being a bit boring.  I never moved to another city until I went to college.  Her dad had big dreams but sadly was never able to fulfill them.  Even though he had a serious drinking problem, he believed in his children, took their fears seriously and when they were young would fight for them.  Her mom was unconventional and loved to live life on the edge.  It was clear she wanted to be independent and took pride in being different and taught her children that you don't have to be like everybody else.  In fact, you should not be like everybody else. 

The Glass Castle is an interesting and entertaining read.  It made me think a lot and reflect on my own life.  The only thing I did not like was the profanity.  Although her father's profanity was part of who he was, I would not recommend this book to young readers or people who are offended by profanity. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Perfect Parenting

Being a "perfect" parent and always knowing how to handle difficult situations with your child(ren) is impossible.  However, with the help of Elizabeth Pantley's Perfect Parenting: The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips, you will become better prepared.  

Perfect Parenting consists of three books divided into three parts.  The book lists common problems and situations that may occur while raising children.  The situations are alphabetized for easy reference.  Pantley takes a situation such as CHORES, how to get them done, and gives an example situation, followed by Think About It, giving you, the parent, encouragement to act, ending with several solutions to try.  If you don't like one or two solutions, try another.  Her actions are short and brief which makes her books easy to refer to when a problem arises.  There is so much great information in this book.  If you are a parent, buy it.