Showing posts from October, 2014

A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman (book review)

As I've just repainted the boys' bedroom, I really want to do more DIY and painting in our home to make it more "us." Not 100% sure how "us" looks but beige walls aren't what I'm thinking. I was more than happy to review "A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home" by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman . They are bloggers at A Beautiful Mess and really have crafted their homes into "them." The book itself is beautiful - full of bright, colorful pictures, a few recipes, DIY tips. It's just a book that screams "fun!" However, the content was less than I was hoping for. image via Random House A few of the DIY (do it yourself, for those not up on acronyms) projects are completely do-able - the quotable wall art, hanging plants, flower faces 9 ways, update your old refrigerator. OK so most of the DIY are do-able but then there's a few that are out there (mostly in the time realm): yarn throw pillows (making your own loo

thankful challenge Day #2

You're not missing Day #1 of this gratitude challenge (hosted by my good friend, Evi); I just didn't post anything. I did get out my handy dandy gifts notebook to begin (again) logging the blessings poured upon me in a day. Day 2 Challenge:  Stop , actually stop, somehow "pull over" in your day, even if it's for 30 seconds to notice a gift.  Find a way to  give back to the giver  (whether that's a person or the big G Giver). Today I was given a reprieve. A reprieve from my boys' growing.  Squirt wanted to walk in himself today. I reminded him if he did so, he'd have to go in the (very loud) gym with all the other kids. Well, that didn't sit with him and so I got a reprieve. I got to walk my baby to class today.  Not sure when he'll stop being my baby, but for today he is.  My baby.

The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family by Dr. Kara E. Powell (book review)

Last Christmas, Big A gave me a gift that I loved: a book. Not just any book but one I'd wanted to read called " Sticky Faith " by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark. He had heard her talk at a conference and knew I'd wanted the book (thanks to my wish list on Pinterest), so that's the one he got. In "Sticky Faith," Dr. Powell told of her study through the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) about why kids are leaving the church and their faith after high school. It was a real eye-opener for me who found Christ AFTER high school to know that kids really go the other way. When I had the chance to read " The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family " by Dr. Kara E. Powell, I was really excited to get some real-life ideas and insights into how to help my children grow their faith and keep it later on. image via BookLook A lot of our faith talks with the kids are organic. Squirt and I talked a lot about Christ and the resurrection at a funeral visitat

social norms

Last night, I was thinking back to Moose's parent-teacher conference. Really great (for both kids, actually). He's participating in class - raising his hand in math, focusing. He only leaves the inclusive classroom for a few sensory breaks as needed. It's really hard to believe how far he's come in the past 4-5 years. For those of you who didn't know him as a two-year-old, the young man he's becoming is incredible. The only downside to his conference was talking about him socially. He is SUCH a friendly person. He says hi to everyone, is really nice, has a big ol' heart. BUT. He prefers to play by himself. And when he plays with other kids, it's always them playing what he wants to play. It's difficult as a mom to watch your son purposefully keep himself apart from others. Now, I don't want kids who just follow the crowd (who really does?) but I want them to have friends. And elementary school is a pivotal time to make those friends or at least

The Legend of St. Nicholas by Dandi Daley Mackall

My family first fell in love with Dandi Daley Mackall when we read "God Loves Me More Than That." A great book to really emphasize Ephesians 3:17b-19. I was excited to see that she was the author of "The Legend of St. Nicholas: A story of Christmas giving." My family has also read "The Story of the Candy Cane" which is not by Mackall but illustrated by Richard Cowdrey (who also illustrates "St. Nicholas"). image via This story of St. Nicholas portrays him as a young man who was at the store to buy his siblings Christmas gifts but was really thinking of buying himself a gift. He happened upon a Santa Claus telling a group of children the story about a boy named Nicholas. As told by this Santa Claus, Nicholas traveled the world with his rich parents and saw many children without toys or coats. When they visited the Holy Land his parents taught him about the gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men "to honor and celebrate God

Yes or No by Jeff Shinabarger (book review)

I have a problem. I can't say "no." "Hey do you want to pack more into your already packed schedule?" "Sure!" (overwhelmed breathing beginning!) "Want to add one more thing to your to-do list?" "Yes!" (insert foot into mouth or add muzzle) There is constantly too much on my plate. And then when something comes along I reaaaaaaalllly want to do, I can't because I am just too overwhelmed/busy. I hate that. When I had the opportunity to review "Yes or No" by Jeff Shinabarger, I was excited per the subtitle: "How your everyday decisions will forever shape your life." Plus it included a decision-making style assessment. image via I know the decisions we make will shape our lives and I thought a little more wisdom about this would be good. Shinabarger started the book by really challenging the readers to become decision makers and making our priority decisions go toward our calling or g


Sometimes this parenting gig is super easy. No joke. Easy. And then there are the other 364 days of the year. I'm (slightly) joking. But it's hard! To know that the whole responsibility of this child's (these children's) well-being is placed in my well-meaning, but often incapable hands. I'm not knocking myself as a mom; I think I do a pretty good job, but for the most part I'm flying by the seat of my pants, trying to figure this stuff out as I go. As I think all parents do! Then you throw in a few special needs and it's just another loop on this rollercoaster (is this one word or two? I think one but spellcheck says two). As we watched "Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer," I was just in tears over the mother's loss of this young boy. And then I realized, she was so blessed - her son knew the Lord as his Savior before he died. As a mother, I want a LOT of things for my children - dreams fulfilled, dream jobs (even if that's a race c

Captain Sun and the Army of Fear by Bryce Morgan (comic book review)

As you are well aware, dear readers, my family likes superheroes. This goes hand in hand, then, that we love comic books. That may not always be the case but here at the S Club, this is truth. We read the first installment of Captain Sun, "Rescue Me," a few years ago (can it be so long ago?). What was there not to love: comic book, superhero, Jesus. Once again, Bryce Morgan has brought us a fabulous read by releasing the second installment for this hero. "Captain Sun and the Army of Fear" takes us back to Capital City and its hero: Captain Sun. In this volume (not sure on the terminology of comic books, though), our favorite hero finds himself up against a seemingly unbeatable villain: General Phobos and his Army of Fear. He plans to release sensor-type things to make Capital City residents into this army. Can Captain Sun fight back in time? image via Amazon I don't want to give too much away but let me just say, you won't be disappointed. I do want t

Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD (book review)

I think sex trafficking is getting a lot of media attention these days - but it's not enough because it's still out there. I will always remember hearing that the Super Bowl attracts the biggest number of human traffickers during that time - and that just sickens me. That people can do that to other people - sell them in the modern-day slave trade. That's what this is: slavery. Slavery. Can you believe that?! In today's world there is slavery everywhere; I doubt one area is immune. It's not just in big, foreign cities. I think the book "Stolen" by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD, very clearly shows that it's happening in our back yards. image via Amazon Katariina was taken into trafficking scenarios several times during her teenage and young adult years. She escaped, which is almost unheard of in trafficking scenarios. I related to Katariina in this book during her teenage years. She came from a broken home (I did not) that left her with very low sel

The Wonder Within You by Carey Wickersham (book review)

I am a pro-lifer. Are you surprised? Didn't think so. I think pregnancy from conception to birth is such a beautiful (and sometimes gross) thing. Yes, gross. If you've given birth or seen someone give birth there is a beauty to it all but some gross, too. I was excited to get "The Wonder Within You" by Carey Wickersham because it's just a celebration book. It's a journal and fact book and tips and quotes from others in the motherly way all wrapped in one. image via Amazon In the back is a calendar that comes with stickers so you can remember when you first heard baby's heartbeat or got morning sickness to when baby arrives or you find out the gender. It's really cute and left open for any dates you have in mind. There are pictures from fertilization all the way through Week 41+. I love the 3D ultrasound pictures because you really get a grip on what a miraculous event gestation is. It's not just a child after it exits the mother's bod


Today I was hanging out with a couple of my girl friends when J told us about a Proverbs 31 devotional she'd read about a month after school started about pre-deciding. She said she has taken the devotional farther by creating questions based on what if situations her kids may encounter at school (or other places). They pick one at dinner and then discuss what they would do. She and her husband are helping their children pre-decide their actions. She said one of their situations was "what would you do if kids were using bad language at school?" They went through and answered and when one reaction (pre-reaction?) was not appropriate, they were there to address it. I LOVE THIS IDEA! We do a TON of pre-teaching around here but mostly for things we know are going to happen: what to do if something upsets us at school, what to do at baseball practice, what to do in the bathroom. But I love the idea of taking situations that aren't predetermined and talking about them op

Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun (book review)

I did not like this book AT THE BEGINNING. Please keep reading. At first "Thunder" by Bonnie S. Calhoun was too complicated in terminology for the time (post apocalypse/nuclear war) and felt like a rip off of "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent." This type of book is definitely popular right now - survival of the fittest, life after disaster, strong female lead. image via Amazon There was a lot of terminology to grasp without explanation: Lander, place names (present vs. the past), The Mountain, The Company, Birth Remembrance, Kingdom, etc - not to mention the scientific terms that I don't know if they were real or not due to the chronology of this book. Anyway, it was complicated (and this coming from a person who really does enjoy several plots lines in movies and books) and I wasn't sure I would grasp. I will say by the end of the book, I still do not know all of the terms in the book, but I'm sure that's because they want you to read