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Reading List Looks Back on 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Every year I read through as many books as time allows.

Many years I only read books I've never read before, but this year I wanted to reread many of my favorites. So I spent a vast amount of my reading time reading some of personal favorites. Like Anne of Green Gables. And with the Hunger Games second movie out this year, I re-read the Hunger Games series, simply to better compare the two.

Favorite quote from 2013 {Reading List}

personal

A new year: Opening the valve

Monday, December 30, 2013

A fresh beginning.  Isn't that a great feeling?

Knowing you can simply start again. Letting go of the previous day, even if it was a horrible, no-good, very bad kind of day?

What about when a new year approaches.  Do you see it as a chance to try again? To set goals and strive for them?

I love the holiday season, the rush, the excitement. And to be honest by the time New Year's comes around I'm tired.  Thinking of how to start the new year off tends to just push me over the edge.  But I do try to come up with some goals for the year.

This year, thanks to a great study I've been doing with a mom's study group (more on that in another post), I'm feeling the need to really "tap" into the power of the Holy Spirit. Honestly, I know I don't have the super-mom powers that some moms brag about on social media.

Supermom image {Reading List}

Christmas

Merry Christmas 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013




I am praying that you all are enjoying a wonderful day with family and friends.  I pray that for those of you who are hurting, will allow the promised peace of the coming Savior soothe you today, even if just for a little while.  And for those of you who are worn my the extra that come with holidays can find a moment to sit back and soak it in.  I pray that your littles are full of squeals of happiness and that you can feed on that joy and have a glimpse of the promised paradise we were all made for.


Children

Christmas books for kids

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last week I shared the top Christmas books my kids are enjoying this year. And this week I wanted to share some of the other books that my friends are enjoying with their kids this Christmas.

It always warms my heart to know that other moms and dads are sitting with their kids on a regular (hopefully daily) basis and reading to them. The studies that prove how beneficial this practice is are countless. But for me and my mommy friends, we see these as opportunities to snuggle close to our babies, even when they are much too big for such labels.

So here is a list of some favorites for our kids, in no particular order.

Ten Wonderful Christmas Books for Your Littles  {Reading List}

Christian

Women Living Well

Monday, December 23, 2013

I'm not sure how many of you reading this have been following along as I've journeyed through this world of blogging.  You see I started writing after my first son arrive, early, and of course with that brought tons of things to say. Then I just enjoyed writing what I was doing as mom, and my family seemed to be thrilled at the pictures I kept putting up.

Then I expanded.

Even before blogging, I was a freelance writer (surprise surprise!), so the jump to blogging was easy.  But the platform scared me a little.  A freelance writer can get used to hiding behind the name of some other company and just be a small side name.  Which worked great for me.  But deep down, I had a passion for reading, and of course writing.

Christian

The Christmas Candle

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I love a good Christmas story.  There are so many great options, but I search for a new on each year just to feel extra Chrismtas-y. And this year Max Lucado put out a great option - The Christmas Candle.

I was excited to check it out and Lucado often writes moving pieces.

The Christmas Candle {Reading List}

Children

A Favorite This Year

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is full of traditions, right?  And books, of course are at the center of ours.  There are so many great Christmas books out there, and I love pulling them out each year.  The memories are wound around their covers of years past. This is the magic books can have for kids if we take the time to read with them.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. {Reading List}


There are a million different versions of The Night Before Christmas story out there, I'm sure you've heard a few versions of it yourself over the years right?

personal

My toolbox to build my dream

Monday, December 16, 2013

Do you remember a time in your life when you heard that you could do anything you dreamed of?  Were you lucky enough to have an adult that encouraged you to dream, and then that person helped to picture the steps to take to attain that dream?

Non-fiction

Daily Devotionals without Technology

Friday, November 15, 2013

It is so easy to send a daily devotional to your email isn't it?  You just find a group that is writing devotionals you connect with and sign up for their email.  Then you can read it on your computer, your phone, your tablet whenever you  have the time during the day.  I mean you can have your favorite Bible version open in a side window in the process - huge time saver.

And busy moms, we need all the time savers we can get.

And yet, how often do you really open those devotionals and read them through.  Then meditate a little on it. Allow the truth to sink in deep?

personal

When mommy guilt sneaks in during the holidays

Friday, November 08, 2013

The dreaded mommy guilt is something that I think plagues every mother at some point in time.  For some reason the holiday season is ripe with such guilty opportunities to arise!  I mean just spend five minutes on pinterest looking at what other moms are doing this Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc, and you will feel something I'm sure.  I know I do!

There are so many wonderful opportunities with a new season that is full of holidays, but the weight of mommy guilt can so easily entangle any of us.

Christmas

A Christmas Gift for Rose

Monday, October 21, 2013

Maybe it's because the colder air is finally here, or because I'm trying to figure out when I can squeeze in Christmas shopping this year, but the holidays have been looming in my mind for a couple of weeks now. So is a book lover to do?  Well find a good Christmas book to read of course!

And I want to share what I found with you all.

I was given the chance to read Tricia Goyer's new book A Christmas Gift for Rose, and it was very good. If you like to have a Christmas themed book to read each year, I would suggest this one. It was a quick read, but extremely well put together.  


Fiction

Just Ella

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just Ella Tour

I've got the privilege to share with you another fun book this season.  I'm very excited, as this was a surprise read for me.  I didn't expect it from a self-published writer, but still I enjoyed every second of the book.  At the very end of the post I've included my personal favorite excerpt from the book to give you a sneak peak.  I know there are a million books out there to fill your time with, and you must be selective.  But if you are looking for a fun read that will pull you into a new world, this should be one you add to your list!

And don't miss the giveaway at near the end - I mean who couldn't use a $25 gift card for Amazon this close to the holidays?  I know right!


Feature

Harvest and Littles

Saturday, October 12, 2013

There is something so magical about Autumn.  The trees are changing, the air smells different. Sure, as adults we know what all these changes mean, but for little kids these changes can be scary on a level. And that is why I feel this season is such a great opportunity to build memories for your children that will carry throughout their lives.

We recently discovered a fun little book, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson. It was perfect for my little guys. You see, my oldest has noticed how the leaves are changing and falling and for him it was a little unnerving.  He is gentle spirit and was worried over the tree. This book discusses just that sentiment- a favorite tree must be sick since all the leaves are falling off. However that process is important for what is in store for the tree. And Fletcher gets to learn that nature knows how to care for itself, and we get to watch the beauty unfold.
 

Children

The Riddles of Hillgate

Monday, September 30, 2013

I had the pleasure of reading a new book for young readers (maybe around 12ish?).  The Riddles of Hillgate is a fun mystery full of mystery and ghosts.  The mother/daughter team takes you through many riddles in the book that kept me interested. 

riddles
It's fairly quick paced and a super easy read.  I would recommend this fun book to any young reader (or young at heart reader) looking for some mystery and ghosts stories this Halloween season!  

Children

The Princelings of the East

Friday, September 27, 2013

I've got another kids book, only this isn't my typical kids book, this is a chapter book, that I would recommend for boys around age 10 probably.

The Princelings of the East is an interesting tale that mixes times and blurs what we know as reality as we follow the princelings into a new world entirely. You see Fred and George are full of surprises and find themselves in more adventures than they could have ever imagined.


Fiction

My Own Mr Darcy: A Review & Giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A while back I previewed a book that I was looking forward to, and now that it is out, I want to share it with all of you!  

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, is a perfect chick-lit type fiction. This book has a steady pace that allows for readers to disappear into Elizabeth's world easily.  If you are the type of reader who loves clean romantic stories, you will want to get your hands on this one. I personally enjoyed every single page of this book and flew through it in a matter of days.  


My Own Tour

Five Minute Fridays

A Short Reprieve

Friday, September 20, 2013

I can think of no better way to return to this space after a few weeks of feeling under the weather, than with a Five Minute Friday exercise.

I'd love for you to join!  Stop by Lisa-Jo's and check it out.

She:

She walked in to the same coffee shop as last week, placing her bag full of books, notebooks, pens, down on the larger table, before making her way to the counter. She was acutely aware that for the next three hours she would be the girl she was years ago - before getting married, before becoming a mom - not a fake her, just the stripped down version of who she now is.

link up

A Chance to be Salt & Light

Monday, September 09, 2013

Daily I finish my day worn out - I've spent the whole day caring for my family to the best of my abilities.  I should feel satisfied by that fact, if not joyful over it.  However, there are many days when I feel a little sad because I wasn't serving anyone outside of my family. I have written on how I do feel that moms have their first "mission" field in the house, and I do still believe that.

There is just a feeling that maybe I should have done something else! Do you know what I mean?

And then a group of ladies I study with went over Matthew 5:13-16

    "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
And of course the follow up is how do we, as moms, as bloggers, act like salt?  Light?

Feature Blog

September Feature

Saturday, September 07, 2013

I know others share this thought, but where did summer fly off to? I can't believe it's Semptember already, with fall so quickly upon us, it always surprises me when the cooler weather sets in.

I might have neglected August when it came to featuring a blog, but I was just too into enjoying summer still.  But now that school has started back up it's easier to jump back into a routine, so I'm sharing a newer favorite of mine this month, I hope you can find a moment to check out Alyssa's new blog, Sunrise Avenue! If you do, make sure you say hi.


Sunrise Avenue


giveaway

An Interview with Stacey Thacker {Giveaway}

Friday, September 06, 2013

In case you missed it, I shared a book this week that I absolutely love, Being Ok With Where You Are by Stacey Thacker.  (Want to see my review? It's over here.)  I had the amazing priveldge of being there as Stacey worked through this amazing book and have been blessed to have a tiny Q&A with her this week.

You see, this book was great, but Stacey is such a delightful person, she is truly insightful and encouraging, so I wanted to share a little more about her as well. I kept it short, as I know we are all very busy.

Being Ok With Where You Are  An Interview {Reading List}

Non-fiction

Dear Wife: Letters from a Help Meet

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

There are some books I read that do not actually impact me simply because my life hasn't traveled anywhere near the writer's path.  However, that doesn't mean that reading such books are a waste of time.

Books give glimpses into other's lives and in seeing these lives that are different from mine my empathy grows.  My ability to truly listen to others and feel their pain grows. And for that reason I want to recommend a brand new ebook that my blogging sister has recently published. (Do not get me wrong, there have been days when life is hard, and I believe the lies of these emotions, but while I was reading this book I was not in that spot...)

Misty has put together a book that is full of letters she has written to wives who are struggling - struggling in many different areas, so there is something inside this one for every wife, at least at some point in her marriage.

Dear Wife...  Book Review {Reading List}

Guest post

Realizing What My Responsibility Truly Is

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Motherhood is full of responsibilities. In fact that could very well be the biggest understatement I've ever thought!  The second you realize you are in charge of someone else's life your focus changes, and all of your previous responsibilities seem tiny, right?

Suddenly you're life is full of caring for that little human being. And of course your brain jumps forward at lightning speed trying to reach the next hurdle and prepare before you actually reach it.  This little brain game is what can suddenly make motherhood overwhelming, at least for me.  You see, I would start to worry over events that hadn't happened, and likely wouldn't happy simply because if they did happen I'd be responsible!

Non-fiction

It is enough to be okay

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Every single day we compare our lives to others.  This isn't a new phenomenon, as the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" is not new!  However with social media taking up every free second for so many people, the chances to see glimpses of the other side of the fence have greatly increased.  As those glimpses increase the times when we are not pleased with our patch of grass increase.  It is a vicious cycle, one that needs tons of encouragement to walk away from.

I am in desperate need for such encouragement - what about you?

Being OK with Where You Are - Book Review {Reading List}


Every day I have to literally tell myself just because a friend of mine posted a picture of her kiddos on facebook where in the background is an immaculate house, and her kids are in the foreground looking adorable after they returned from a four mile hike, or three hour trip to the zoo that it is just one little picture, a snapshot of her life. That yes in that one picture it appears that her life is perfect, and as a result I'm feeling like mine is failure.  I have to tell myself that is not the case - she is probably clinging onto one part of her day that was perfect so that the rest of the mess of the day fades away... Do you know what I'm saying?

personal

What I Learned in August

Friday, August 30, 2013

August was a full month in my house, probably because my oldest started school, real, leave the house school. After much prayerful consideration this is where my son will be able to flourish this year. Of course I had to sit down and review


my month in order to remember what I learned this month, and I realized I crammed this last month of summer full of learning!  So here goes:


  1. Only a crazy person decides that a 2+ hour drive to a zoo is a good idea when there is an almost 2-year-old in the car! Granted there were tons of claps and shouts of joy while at the zoo.  And as a bonus lesson, it is always quicker to drive home than to drive somewhere new. 

Children

Good Night, Good Knight

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If I asked you to come up with a list of characters for a little boy's story book, what would you add to the list?  Would it take you very long before dragons and knights would be added to that list?  If you are a boy mama, I'm guessing those would be fairly high on the list (maybe depending on their age).

My boys love stories with dragons, and if you add a knight with a horse and sword, well you have a home run!

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents


So I was not surprised when both of my boys wanted to sit and read Good Night, Good Knight over and over for two weeks.  Shelley Moore Thomas did a wonderful job of creating a wonderfully good knight that has a heart to care for little dragons who need help falling asleep while on his night watch.

Christian

Homeschool Mom's Bible

Monday, August 26, 2013

One simply cannot be a Christian mom blogger and not run into the homeschooling group online. The two are so similar that they often overlap so heavily it's impossible to see where one ends and the other begins. At this stage in my life I am not truly a homeschooling mommy, however, I do go out of my way to include aspects of "learning play" on a daily basis with my young children. And because of that I love hearing from the homeschooling mommies out there.

When the opportunity to review a bible that was full of devotionals for homeschooling moms came around, I snatched it up.  I, selfishly, figured that if I could gain such encouragement from homeschooling mommas online, then I could only benefit from such a bible.

The NIV Homeschool Mom's Bible has 365 devotionals by Janet Tatman, a homeschooling mom for 25 years - one devotional for each day of the year. Each devotional has a bible verse, a personal, encouraging story that leads to a prayer to use in your own homeschooling day.

NIV Homeschool Mom's Bible - Reading List Review

personal

Slow Fade

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

For me personally, I have always found music to be extremely soothing.  Yes the instruments create wonderful melodies that can evoke every emotion under the sun, but personally, I find the words to be the make it or break it for all songs. As a result I can clearly remember many songs from my childhood.

This is one of those songs... (yes take a moment and listen...)


Children

ChimpanSneeze

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A child's giggle is so contagious. It can fill a room. It can make any day brighter, even if just for a moment. I have yet to meet a person who doesn't smile, just a little, when a child really, really starts to giggle.

For my boys, besides being tickled, they love a story that is just plain silly. I mean who doesn't really want to read something silly - how else can we explain all silly captioned pictures that fill facebook and pinterest on a daily, if not hourly basis?

And so I try to keep some just plain silly books on hand for those days when we could all use a good giggle session.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. Champansneeze - Reading List

Which is why when my mother discovered this hysterical kids book I knew I had to share it with all of you!

Christian

Discovering True Identity

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yes, I've always loved reading, but only recently have been willing to read outside of my comfort zone. Books have always given me an escape from the world I'm in, not that my world has ever been so horrible, but who doesn't like to take a vacation from their normal?

So when my friend Rosilind mentioned reading her father's book, I said alright. Granted, I might not have read it otherwise. I did find it interesting and full of information. I mean, who at some point in their lives doesn't struggle a little with identity issues?

Dr. Hackett has put together a book that shares information on who you are in Christ. And more importantly he points out how knowing who you are in Christ is essential in the process of following Christ completely.

Five Minute Fridays

Introspection

Friday, August 16, 2013

To say that it is easy to look at someone else and see what you want is an understatement. I mean it only takes about two minutes online to find someone else who is doing what I dream of doing, plus a million things I'd like to try, doing them all perfectly and still no fault in sight.


And yes I do know that what people put on the internet is a simple snapshot of their lives.

Children

Seriously, Cinderella is So Annoying

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Every little girl knows the story of Cinderella - it is the classic rags-to-riches story that still pops up on the news often.  The thing about every good story is the perspective the reader gets - right?  What if there was another side to the story? I mean in the real-life Cinderella stories there are usually more than one angle...

As a mom I am trying to teach my kids just this point - there are at least two sides to every story.  This is especially true as we work on teamwork and cooperation, which with a two-year-old often lead to arguments and upset feelings because the other person has a different view.



So what does this mom do?  I look for a book to start the conversation that we have to be willing to at least listen to the other side of the story before we allow our feelings to be hurt and become defensive.

Enter this week's children's book:

Christian

Reading Your Male

Monday, August 12, 2013

My whole life I've heard about the battle women face in this time of history.  That as women we have to stand next to each other, because no one else will. And on some levels, maybe this is true, but the older I get, the more I experience the world, the more I realize this isn't the whole true.

Reading Your MaleWomen were created to stand next to men. That statement leads me to believe that there is some mutual need for respect and support. It's not a set up of women on this side and men on the other side battling for equal everything. Granted I'm not an expert... it's just that these thoughts led me to pick up a book I never would have considered reading: Reading Your Male by Mary Farrar.

**I need to begin this review by saying, although this book doesn't deal with any topics that are inappropriate for discussion, they will most likely trigger some filters that are great for the safety of our children.  Please now that my discussion of this book is important for all women in our society, so consider turning the filter off for just this post.

Guest post

An Organized Mom is a Sane Mom... Most Days...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Being a sane mommy take organizationThere are so many moms out there that are able to just accomplish everything, at least it seems that way. When I became a mom, I was sure I was going to be one those... you know have great over the top birthday parties, home cooked meals every day that every one would love, have a house that could be photographed for magazines at a moments notice... you know what I'm talking about right?  Then reality hit.  And this mom gig is hard, and time consuming.  If I don't have a plan for my day, well it's not good!

Five Minute Fridays

A Realization

Friday, August 09, 2013

Lonely, you can look like so many people at any given time. Your characteristics are many, your disguise impeccable.

You lurk in almost every building, around ever corner.

And yet, today, I do not know you well at all.

Deuteronomy 31 16

challenge

A Challenge to be Focused, Intentional

Friday, August 09, 2013

Being un-wired in this society sounds like an oxymoron at first - right?  I mean in some form we all carry a device that will connect (mostly wirelessly) to other people.

Personally I never considered myself addicted to any kind of "wired" product.

I have never had a smart phone or such similar device. I still use a flip phone that barely supports texting!  I know amazing right?

In my house we have one laptop, that sits stationary on a table ninety-five percent of the time, and one desktop that is tucked in a corner of the living room.

And my Kindle is the original - strictly for reading books or ordering new books from Amazon - nothing else.

Children

Joseph Wants to Read

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Maybe it's because I always have to put a book in my bag before we go somewhere, or because I find moments during the day to sneak in a chapter from a book while my kids play in the same room, maybe it's because I make sure my kids get to the local library every week, but for whatever reason, my kids do seem to genuinely interested in reading.

Both of my boys know exactly where the books they are allowed to look at on their own are kept. It never fails that they will find a book to peruse at least once a day. That is on top of the books my husband and I make sure to read to them daily.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents: Joseph wants to read

Christian

Unfulfilled

Monday, August 05, 2013

There are limitless expectations put upon us every single day.

Simple expectations that aren't horrible to fulfill can seem overwhelming when just one extra expectation is added to lists.

Live like this for years at end and it won't take long to start to feel unfulfilled with your life, right?

I don't know if I would have ever said my life felt unfulfilled, I have always been able to hold on to a hope that something great would happen just around the bend for me.  And in the mean time I try to focus on what my life needs right now - with two energetic boys that tends to take most of my thoughts...


However, as I read Misty's new ebook, I started to realize that there have been many dreams and hopes that I have shelved or completely let go of as my life as rolled on. Luckily for me, I could move straight into accepting those dreams as simply that, dreams. But I know that not everyone can do that, as dashed dreams are battered by real life and all hope seems to fade.

Five Minute Fridays

Taking part in a story...

Friday, August 02, 2013

All the way through school there were many assignments that teachers gave that I dreaded - any thing that involved standing up and speaking in front of the class was torture (to stand in front of the whole school for some things was unthinkable!). There was always one assignment though that I loved - I looked forward to it. The free writing assignments. You know the ones where you got to write anything you wanted.  You could make up a story, characters, setting - the whole thing was in your control.

I realize not everyone loved that assignment.

Every good gift should leave us with a why


For some, the moment the art supplies came out was pure freedom - the ability to create thrilled some (not me... but I know those who loved them).

Why do we, as people, have such desire to create? Why?

Christian

Ready or Not

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ready or Not (Aggie's Inheritance)
Chautona Havig


I love reading fiction - the ability good fiction authors have to transport from this world into a new one is fabulous. I enjoy meeting new characters and feeling involved in their lives, even if they are made up. However, in the current age of self-published ebooks the great fiction writers seem to have disappeared, being replaced by writers who are just starting off, and publishing efforts that although full of effort are just not up to the high standards of a great fiction writer.

Please do not hear this wrong, I find some great non-ficiton pieces from first time self publishers.  However, when it comes to fiction there is a certain finesse that comes with time, or born talent, and that type of author is getting hard to find.

Children

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I admit that I don't necessarily know too many things 100% when it comes to raising my kids.  I often feel that I am not doing enough, or what I am doing is completely wrong.  I also know that I am not alone in these feelings when it comes to raising kids.


Personally I often turn to story books in an effort to do something positive as I try to learn how to be the best parent I can be.

The one thing I do know for sure about parenting my kids, is that they need to know that mommy loves them, all the time, even when mommy is disciplining or upset. So for me, I look for books that will help show my boys that mommy does and always will love them. 

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents: Wherever you are my love will find you

personal

Read-a-thon update

Monday, July 29, 2013

Alright, so I jumped in to the Read-A-Thon train this past week. Which I am grateful for. It was a hard week, and instead of wallowing in it too much, I was able to focus my mind on my books. Granted this isn't a good habit, and I do have responsibilities that keep me from doing this all the time. But it was a nice break for me. And I enjoyed some fun new books with my boys as well.

So here's how I did with the High Summer Read-a-thon over at Seasons of Reading...



I have a goal for my kids - three books each day this week, including a new book each day (that is the tough part of the challenge as my kids have favorites) Here's the list of new books I have for my kids this week:
How to Babysit a Grandpa  - my kids loved this one...
Joseph wants to read - my oldest was extremely interested in this fun story
Spot's Fun First Words - with the sliding windows, this was a hit
Mouse Paint - both kids were into this quick silly story with colors
And Red Galoshes a story about a rainy day  - this story did not live up to the recommendation for any of us
Seriously, Cinderella is so Annoying! - My oldest and I got a good giggle out of this new perspective on a classic
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You - what is not to love about a book that makes mommy cry happy, love tears?


And I have a personal goal... wrap up the tons of books I have started because I have a huge list of newbies waiting! Here's what I'm hoping to read this week:
Prayer Warrior Mom (only like 4 pages left) completed
The Hobbit (a re-read for tutoring- last 1/3)
The Hunger Games (a re-read for tutoring - last 2/3)  completed
Anything (2 chapters left)  completed
Unfulfilled  - completed
Discovering True Identity completed


I'd say this was a success... I've cleared off some of the books on my must read list, a couple on my I just want to read list and didn't add one single book to my wish list. Which means I can start reading more of the books I want to read. Of course I know that list will grow, but I'm alright with that one!

Thanks for the push to really get some reading done, Seasons of Reading.

Five Minute Fridays

Shattered Image

Friday, July 26, 2013

As children we dream of what the future hold.

As young adults we strive to reach the goals that could give that future we dreamed of.

Then somehow life starts to take over - this does not mean we stop dreaming of the future or striving to reach those goals. It is just life that bills start to come and money must be earned to support life. And somehow that reality starts to push our dreams into the shadow that follows us instead of the shadows that we chase.


An image repaired


I don't know about you, but when I am just charging ahead without much to follow I quickly get discouraged and worn out. I lose track of the goal, the dream. These are the times that lies can be heard that completely destroy and break.

giveaway

Forgive Yourself (and a Giveaway)

Friday, July 26, 2013

A daily job as a mom of two boys includes reminding one of my kids to ask for forgiveness and then for the other to accept it. Of course to hug and try to play nice again.  It is quite exhausting most days. I often wish that the lesson would just stick so that I don't have to keep repeating myself.

But the truth be told, this is a lesson that I am still learning how to practice on a regular basis. The whole idea of forgiveness is easy to comprehend, maybe even easy to teach.  And yet, the idea of letting go of all the wrongs I've committed, especially to myself, can be extremely hard.

There is no surprise to admit that I am my own worst critic, and as a result I often do not let go of the smaller things in life that shouldn't be such a big deal...

All this to say, that I am so exited to share this new e-book with all of you today.

Christian

Prayer Warrior Mom

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Prayer Warrior Mom
By Marla Alupoaicei



Reading I've got down. So when the discipline to read daily from God's word is brought up I can easily become sure of myself. Of course the reading command is closely followed by the command to pray, and pray often. And there is the blow to my ego. That praying part, yea, it's not really my thing.

You see I get distracted, really easily, while I'm praying. And that is strange because I can concentrate extremely well when I'm doing anything else!

This truth has led me to dig into as many books on praying as I can right now... maybe if I continue to read about it, I'll be inspired to actually pray more.. at least that is my hope.  And to be honest, I am praying more, of course I couldn't really have prayed any less than I was...

Children

How to Babysit a Grandpa

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I remember spending lots of evenings, afternoons, even weekends with my grandparents when I was young.  It was great fun, usually more fun than the average babysitter.  I can't really say why, or give many concrete answers... I remember going to playgrounds, making candy and cookies, playing mini-golf... but they are mostly broken bits of memories...

My kids are extremely blessed to spend lots of time with both sets of grandparents (one lives close by and the other, not so close...) I am hopeful that when they are grown up they will have fond memories of the time they spent with their grandparents.



That being said, I had to share this wonderful kids story we came across recently:

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan

Fabulous!

personal

A Read-A-Thon... I mean why not?

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's not like my life isn't busy (right... it's not hard to raise two boys...).  I totally can keep my whole house in top shape and make three meals a day and take care of the weeds that are taking over my brick patio...

And since I have so much free time I am thinking this would be a perfect week to add a Read-a-thon to my life!  (I can see you shaking your head... but I'm still going to do it!)

And why you might ask?

Well I do love to read.

And I can read to my kids as part of this one, so it's a win-win!

Christian

Anything: Guest Reviewer

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am feeling really blessed recently as so many great friends from this community have been so willing to share reviews.  If you ever want to write a review for a book to share here please just let me know (click here to contact me).

Today I have a great review on a book I love - I might have to do another "review/discussion" on this one at a later date - from a blogger who, although I've only "met" recently, I always look forward to hearing from. 

So I hope you can take a moment and see what Alyssa, from Sunrise Avenue, has to share today! Oh and please leave your thoughts in the comments, Alyssa and I can't wait to hear from you.




Hello! So glad to be visiting the Reading List, home of one of my favorite book blog hops! I want to share with you an invaluable resource in my life:


Five Minute Fridays

A reminder

Friday, July 19, 2013

Belong... this small little word is giving me much to think about today.

Like usual I checked Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday prompt early... and nothing came to mind... so when the baby cried and "to-do's" started flying my way, I walked away from the computer.

But...

Belong... it has stayed with me all day.

I do belong...

giveaway

A Summer Giveaway

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

There is nothing like opening a new book (new as in one I haven't read before, not necessarily a newly published on) for me.  The feel of pages in my fingers, the practice of turning the page as I move forward in the story, the feeling of accomplishment when I set the finished book down. So I will never stop reading printed books, but my life doesn't always allow for me to go the library and search for new books.  I certainly do not have the money to buy all the books I find interesting. So I find myself reading more and more on my Kindle. 

Kindle SummerI take my Kindle to the gym and read during a portion of my daily workout - it's a great way to focus my brain on something other than the "burn" of working out.  I use my Kindle when I tutor in order to have my notes right there in the text (love that highlighting and note-taking function!) which greatly helps add to the conversation during a tutor session. And of course the bonus that many Kindle versions of books are less money makes my wallet happy (and my budget).

So when I was given the chance to present this giveaway to all of you here on Reading List, I had to do it.  I hope you enjoy this fun giveaway, and I'll cross my fingers that you might win!

Good luck!



Children

I Took the Moon for a Walk

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer allows for such great opportunities to get outside and explore the world.  At our house there is currently a wonderful fascination with the moon (well there has been this fascination for awhile actually).  The mysterious way that it grows and shrinks, how it is sometimes clearly visible while the sun is still shining, and sometimes we can't find it all - all wonderful topics of conversation for us right now. Have you're kids fallen into the lure of the fascinating moon yet?



And new just recently is this interest in all the noises that come with evenings.  I am sure it has to do with the summer bugs singing their songs - that is what my grandmother told me a long time ago.  But the fun is still there even now.

So when I came across this cute little book I knew I had to share it with all of you.

American Sign Language

Rewind: Baby Sign Language

Monday, July 15, 2013

There is something about summer that makes schedules and deadlines impossible to keep.  So I completely understand when I hear another blogger take a month off during the summer, or post less, or something along those lines. And today I will have to follow suit a little bit.  I have decided to share a post from last year that was a huge hit (mostly because I simply didn't have the time to write the post I wanted to for today!).

For those of you who have already read this one, please forgive my repeat.  For those of you who are a little newer to Reading List, I hope this oldie is acceptable for today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From July 2012

Baby Sign Language Basics
By Monta Z. Briant


I'll be honest, baby sign language wasn't really on my radar for a long time. Then I didn't think it was necessary when I had my first (mostly because he was a preemie, and there were a million other things on my mind). However my pediatrician recommended giving it a shot with my second. She said he would probably love it, and it would allow my older son a chance to teach him something. So I headed to the library to look for a simple book. Let me just say there are a ton, and I didn't know where to start...

After asking a librarian for a suggestion I landed on Baby Sign Language Basics. It was a great choice.

Five Minute Fridays

What I was created for...

Friday, July 12, 2013

I am a born planner.  There is nothing that thrills me more than going to the store to buy a new planner and new pen to create some kind of outline for a plan.

As a young child, I used to love writing (yes actually writing on paper) out plans for businesses I might one day start, or buildings I would design, or how I would plan out a visit from the queen (didn't matter where she was queen of, just that she was queen). As I grew up that brain power was put to full use in scheduling my days filled with school work, and homework, and social events.

But now as a mom, when most of my days are exact repeats of the day before - maybe a grilled cheese lunch in stead of a BPJ lunch- that part of my brain aches to be used.  So I dream up great ideas of how next week will be different.

Now don't get me wrong, I do have some follow through on my plans - and those plans are nice when I'm tired and can't think of what my next step should be (as a mom of two young boys, they often have twice the energy). But as you can imagine, my ability to plan never really takes into consideration the time it takes and the effort needed to execute my ideas. So some of the plan never happens.

And that is what I am learning to accept.

To Do List


I have to be alright with living today, and doing what I can, and letting the rest go.

So what if we spent two full hours in the sprinkler and that meant we didn't work on the letter of the day?

Or even more importantly, when my plans move too far into the future, and the what if's start popping up. Then in the midst of those what if's I realize I simply cannot do it all which leads to feelings of dread and overwhelming anxiety.

In those moments, I have to let go of my plans and wishes and remember it's not part of my blueprint to carry out every little thought that comes to my head in my own abilities.  I wasn't created to do that.  I was created to work hard - but working hard doesn't mean I have to do it all on my own. In fact I should try.  I should work hard at trusting that it will work out well.

That is when I start over.  I pick just a couple of days - today, tomorrow - and plan those. I stay in the present in order to enjoy it, in order to work it, in order to live it fully. As that is what I was created for - to live my life fully, in the present.






Thank you Lisa-Jo for giving this week's FMF topic of present and reminding me what I was created for. Want to join? Stop by Lisa Jo's

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