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.


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


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.


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.


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...


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



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!


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.


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

I do belong...


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!


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


Keeper of Reign

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Keeper of Reign (Reign Fantasy)
Emma Right

Synopsis from Right:

Books written in blood. Most of them lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell the people of Reign and their surrounding neighbors who blame them for this. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen year old Jules Blaze. Or could it?
Something in the air is brewing and Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his army of Scorpents will invade and destroy the Kingdom of Reign and the Elfies. Already Gehzurolle’s agents, secreted in Reign, are ready to do their master’s bidding.
But for Jules his nightmare has only just begun. Especially since he and his family have inadvertently invoked the interest of Gehzurolle. But why?

There are some types of literature that I tend to shy away from, simply because I don't tend to enjoy them.  And to be honest fantasy has always been one of them.  However, when I was asked to read this book I felt that I needed to say yes... but two chapters in and I was wondering why I considered saying yes.


Learning to Love Books

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I love to read - I know you are shocked. And one of my hopes is that my boys will also love to read as they grow up.  The possibilities that bloom from the knowledge that comes from reading are endless, this is a fact. So the question then becomes how do I get my little ones to love to read?

Well how about we look at just one little step to the process, turning the page of a book.  A skill that is necessary to reading, even if tablets and e-readers are becoming extremely popular.

Children readers - books and concepts to teach kids to love to read

For me, this means I gather a pile of books, from board books that can take a beating to flimsy magazines to allow my not-quite-two-year-old to flip some pages (another great option is old phone books- you know the ones you simply throw away as soon as they come to your door). The goal isn't to read through these materials, or even discuss what is on every page. But simply put, the goal is to have him touch and feel the pages.


A Mom After God's Own Heart

Monday, July 08, 2013

A Mom After God's Own Heart
By Elizabeth George

I am sure I don't have to say it, but it is extremely hard work being a mom - so just in case you are feeling alone in that today, fear not.  Most moms know that it is hard, but there are times when we need to be encouraged to take a breath and acknowledge the difficult.

Then there are times when just telling yourself that fact doesn't cut it.  That is when it is a good idea to have the words of other women to encourage you. And that is why I wanted to pick up Elizabeth's book, A Mom After God's Own Heart. I had been told Elizabeth is extremely encouraging and straight to the point when it comes to her books to mothers. And I'll be honest, in those moments when I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a highway taking hit after hit as I mother through difficult times, I don't want any sugarcoating - just give it to me straight!


July Feature: Rachel WoJo

Friday, July 05, 2013

Yay for July!  There is something about the month of July that I always get excited about.  The weather is usually very nice.  I'm in full summer mode and the first half of the year has past... Maybe it has something to do with all of those things together.

Well as it is a new month I want to share a favorite blog of mine, and I hope you enjoy it too!  Check it out

Thank you so much for the privilege of being featured on your beautiful blog!

At, my writing mission is to inspire you to live out extraordinary faith in Christ by providing everyday real-life solutions. I focus on prayer and Bible reading in personal relationship with Christ and recommend tools and technology to grow your faith, as well as the faith of your children.  There's nothing like sharing the journey with others.


The Power of a Praying Wife

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

I am so excited to share this review with you today.  I have been wanting to read The Power of a Praying Wife for a while, but I can't seem to find the time.  So a wonderful blogging friend has taken the time to read and review it for me!  I know she is amazing...  Rosilind from A Little R&R is sharing her thoughts on this book - please leave her some love after you're done reading...

The Power of a Praying Wife
By Stormie Omartian

Guest post

A perspective on serving

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The danger to the internet, blogs and reading the lives of others is that it is too easy to compare your own life to theirs. And lets be honest, we write in a way that makes our lives look good, even when we are admitting to the issues and sins we find ourselves stuck in. As a result we read about others, and can quickly compare ourselves, feel guilty and fall into that pit of downward spirals into stress, weariness, even depression. For those of us who are spending all our time simply keeping up a house and raising kids, reading about missionary wives in Africa or Eastern Europe leave us feeling like a failure...
Perspective matters in serving


Resources for Teaching Emergent Readers

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I am not sure I will ever be the mom who homeschools her kids, although I do agree that all moms need to take on the responsibility of overseeing the education of their kids. And let's be honest, to truly do this... well the answer is homeschooling... yes I am still trying to reconcile these points in my brain. So while I figure out how that will work for my family, I spend time reading how other mommies are teaching, training and educating their littles.  One of my favorite sources is Keri, who write at Growing in His Glory.

Keri has graciously agreed to share some of her favorite resources with us today!  I hope you enjoy her tips as much as I do. Please leave her a comment once you finish soaking in all this wisdom.

Cover Reveal

My Own Mr. Darcy - A Cover Reveal

Monday, July 01, 2013

Every once in a while a title of a book draws me even before I know anything else about it!  And although it can sometimes be a dangerous lure, it is fun.  Recently I heard about a book that is not scheduled to actually come out for a few more months, but the title grabbed me - My Own Mr. Darcy.  I guess it shows what some of my favorite classic lit books are!

Here's a sneak peak, and the cover reveal.... did I mention there is a giveaway included at the end? Enjoy!

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