The Midnight Visitors – A Children’s Book Review

The Midnight Visitors

The Midnight Visitors, written by Juliet David and illustrated by Jo Parry, is an adorable story of Christ’s birth is told from the perspective of Miriam the cow… She had no idea when the day began that the hay manger in her cowshed would hold the baby Jesus. One by one, Miriam permits the other animals to sleep snug and safe in her cowshed as long as they promise to be peaceful with one another. Her “guests” just keep coming… From Mary and Joseph to the birth of Christ to the visit from the three wise men, this is a beautiful story that our animal loving children will love, and it’s a perfect way to tell this story in a new way. Plus, the illustrations in this book really put it at 5+ stars for me… They are clear and rich but have a soft quality to them.

This book is a must have! I know our son will enjoy hearing the story and looking at the pictures at Christmas and all year round.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Feeling overwhelmed?

Believe, Obey and Endure

 

I’ve taken a lot of heart in this saying the last couple of days. The thing is… Not all days are going to be perfect. The curve balls being thrown at you can be difficult to deal with. Maybe it’s a life change, a job change, or simply a difficult toddler that’s wrecking your plan.

Right now, I’m struggling because I feel like my mind is being pulled in all directions… As far as making healthy food choices, I either feel like I want to eat #allthethings or nothing… That includes both good and bad choices. I know the feeling is temporary so I’m pushing through and remembering to take it one “bite” at a time. Whether that’s literally what’s going in my mouth or the “eat the elephant” philosophy of getting everything on my list done. Right now, that “to do” list feels like a trash heap that stuff keeps getting thrown on top of. I will overcome #feelingoverwhelmed. You can, too! <3


Mama Needs a Do-Over – A Review…

Mama Needs a Do-Over

 

I’ve spent the last two days reading the book Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around by Lisa Pennington and have a few thoughts I’d like to share…

This book isn’t necessarily what I thought of when I decided to read and review a “parenting” book. I would better classify this title as a refreshing look at parenting as part of a soul-seeking challenge of life. The author has nine children of various ages, and she birthed the last at 42. In my opinion, that makes her qualified to talk about parenting, even if you don’t agree with her style (more on that later).

The book is broken down in sections. The process they encourage helps you to tap into what makes you unique and helps you identify how those things can benefit you when working through difficult parenting seasons. I would argue that accepting the challenge and doing the work prepares you for the struggles of life in general and not just those that arise with parenting. Regardless, the author helps you to formulate your plan so you can be prepared to face encounters and approach them in a new way. She offers several suggestions, broken down by rough age categories, to “reset” the day and turn the ship around.

I found her advice practical for those of us that are dealing with the fit du jour or mountains of laundry. It’s even more helpful if you are a stay at home spouse (male or female) and sometimes resent the opportunity your partner has to leave the house. Lisa herself is a self-professed control freak and kitchen failure, but it’s easy to see that she maintains her sense of humor through her own struggles. Plus, she’s doing it all while homeschooling her children! It’s refreshing to get perspective and realize that these moments don’t last forever, and YOU ultimately control the situation by your reaction to it. You can realize that the situation provides stress as a means and opportunity for personal growth.

The author obviously holds deeply religious views. Her thoughts on “do-overs” have her beliefs sprinkled all over them. I did not find these offensive, but I’m also a believer in Christ. Someone who doesn’t have the same faith may not find her book as easily accessible as I did.

I did a little search on the author after finishing the book as she referenced her blog at The Pennington Point (Blog). My research yielded several things of note. First, the author hasn’t blogged since the spring of 2015. You can find links to deleted blog posts with a search, including one about spanking babies. I PERSONALLY don’t approach the mechanics of parenting in the same way she does and would never paddle a baby. Our soon to be 22 month old has never been paddled. She and I are going to have to agree to disagree on a lot of things involving parenting style and how “obedient” I think my child should be.  I’m not trying to raise a robot here. Two, the author is currently dealing with a crisis.  It would seem that one of her daughters has chose to approach life without the support of her family and lacks the documentation to support her identity and make a way for herself.  If you want to know what it’s all about, you can get all kinds of details by doing a quick search. Lastly, the author (currently) has a much stronger Facebook presence.  You can find her at The Pennington Point (Facebook Like Page).

I only bring it up for this reason… Yes, I am aware that the family is facing some difficulties. Yes, I realize that everyone is entitled to their views on parenting and faith. BUT…  I wanted this post to focus solely on the content of the book and not what can be found on the blog or my view on Lisa’s parenting. If you are a Christian and a parent who struggles with sometimes seeing the good in the day, this book can benefit you regardless of your personal views on the struggles they face. I think we can all benefit from finding the joy in our everyday struggles and who doesn’t need a little spontaneous game of “zoo” in their life? 🙂

I recieved a digital copy of this title for my honest review.


Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer — A Children’s Book Review

Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer

 

Catherine DeVries’ Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer provides the perfect way to introduce children to God in everyday life.  I found the illustrations to be bright and cheerful.  I loved the way Emma welcomed the reader into her home.  She was able to illustrate how the prayer is used at mealtimes and teach the meaning behind the words in a more simplified way.  Closing the book with Emma teaching the Lord’s Prayer to her favorite stuffed teddy, Blueberry, is a good way to end and offers children the opportunity to practice the prayer again.

I would absolutely recommend this purchase. My own 21 month old would love this as a board book, and I know that he would enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to me read the story aloud.

I recieved an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Well… It’s OFFICIAL!

We’ve had so much going on lately…  I know YOU ALL know that feeling where life just doesn’t seem to slow down.  We’ve now been in our new home for one week shy of six months…  And we just mowed the grass for the first time!  It’s hard to believe, and YES…  For those that know me, there are still tons of things that need unpacked.  Our little man gets priority, and the rest we do as we can.  😉

What most people may not know was that we moved and began our transition without our home being sold.  It was a big financial burden to go from paying a set amount to paying…  4X’s AS MUCH!  Yes, we had done the math.  Yes, we knew we could afford it.  Yes…  IT WAS STRESSFUL!  I’m sure many of you haven’t paid for two mortgages and two households worth of utilities, but most people have a financial burden of some sort and can relate!  Some extras had to go for a while, and some things we just had to find a way…

I can honestly say that the personal development I did as a Beachbody coach helped to ease my mind.  It “fed” me mentally and spiritually.  It gave me the courage to stand in faith with the decision we had made and know that if we continued to do the things we had always done…  Helping where we could, and giving where we could…  Everything was going to be okay.  It would all work out because it was in His plan.

That leads us to today…  We’re very happy to announce that the home we bought as a married couple and the house we brought our beautiful baby home to and the house where we set goodbye to two beloved pets (AND YES I’M CRYING)…  Is sold!

We have never regretted our decision for a moment.  We could never get back the last six months.  Those months have allowed Joe to be home before dark and to spend so much more time with Liam instead of spending it driving back and forth to work.

A new family will be making memories in that “old house” we left.  (It’s an inside joke because the ‘old’ house is YOUNGER than the new house!) They are a nice couple with two children, and we wish them many happy years there.

We just wanted to share the good news with our friends and families, provide a testimony, and remind everyone out there…  If you have doubt, whatever it is, give your concerns to God.  Work on you.  Trust your voice.  Work your plan.  Your faith will carry you far if you just believe.

House Transformation