Category: Kids

Book Review: “My Little Words Devotional” by Michelle Prater Burke and Illustrated by Holli Conger

My Little Words Devotional is a board book for toddlers that covers nineteen words that help children to learn more about God. Since it is written for toddlers, it simply identifies a word and explains its’ meaning a child-friendly way. The two-page spread concludes with a short prayer. My favorite part of this book is the colorful illustrations that mirror the theme of each word. I also love that one of the words is Jesus. Its’ inclusion provides for a very simple presentation of the Gospel. The book is very sturdy and will hold up to the sometimes rough handling by a toddler. Also, the book has a section for parents on the back pages with bonus material that includes suggestions for things to ask your child or things to do together that reinforce the words from the book. I really like this children’s book. I can’t wait to share it with my nephews.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

A Thanksgiving Tradition

As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought I’d like to share a fun Thanksgiving tradition with you. This tradition started several years ago when I decided to make pancakes for Thanksgiving breakfast. I thought it would be fun to make pancakes decorated to look like turkeys for us to eat as we watched the parade on tv. Little did I know that the kids would love it so much that they asked if we were going to do it again the next year. (We’ve now incorporated the tradition to include Christmas and the Fourth of July too.)

Thanksgiving Pancakes:
2 cups Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
a variety of fruit of your choice
scrambled eggs or bacon (optional)
small candies or chocolate morsels for decoration

1. Mix the Bisquick, milk, and eggs with a whisk until combined.
2. Grease a griddle or skillet with butter using medium-high heat.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup of combined mixture on the griddle or skillet for each pancake.
4. Cook until the edges of the pancake appear dry and flip to finish cooking.
5. Decorate the pancakes by using the fruit, eggs, and bacon as the turkey’s feathers and feet. The candies can be used as details for the face.

Obviously, the pancakes aren’t professional-grade in terms of my decorating or culinary skills, but this is something that the kids love and will be part of their childhood memories. In fact, I think that makes me love the pancake creations even more. It helps me to remember that not everything we do as mothers has to be “Pinterest-perfect”. It’s more important to just do things with our kids and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Book Review: “Look & Find Bible Storybook” by Charlotte Thoroe and B.A. Jones; Illustrated by Gill Guile

The Look & Find Bible Storybook contains eight stories from the Old and New Testament. These stories span creation, Noah and the ark, the parting of the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Jonah, Jesus’ birth, the feeding of the five thousand, and Jesus’ ascension to Heaven. Each story contains a summary of the storyline, a Bible reference, and a fold out look and find. The look and find portion can be completed by finding selected, featured pictures or by a more detailed, worded checklist. The book is durable, colorful, and wonderfully illustrated. My favorite feature is that the pages are dry erase marker safe so that the look and find portion can be completed more than once. The reusable look and find feature reinforces the story, especially for smaller children with shorter attention spans. However, it still appeals to older children as well because it makes learning fun. My only complaint is that there are many paraphrased quotes from the Bible. I would have preferred that they quoted the actual verse from the Bible or just paraphrased what was said without actually using quotation marks. I understand the casual tone of the paraphrased quotes is intended to make it more child-friendly, but I didn’t care for it. Otherwise, this is a quality product that is sure to loved by kids.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: Growing Up Social” by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pelican


As a parent raising children in a world that is quickly becoming obsessed with screens, I was highly interested in reading Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane. I have come to respect the opinions and viewpoints of Mr. Chapman and Mrs. Pellicane though listening to various podcasts and blog posts and was interested to read their ideas on this matter. I especially was interested to see the tie-in with Mr. Chapman’s Five Love Languages concept from other books I’ve read by him.

The first half of the book discusses what are called A+ Skills. These are skills that I’m sure all parents would want their child to be proficient at. These skills include the ability to show affection, appreciate others, deal with anger, learn to apologize, and pay attention. The second half of the book explores how screen time affects children. Most chapters include passages with practical application tips in easy to read formats. It is also based on Biblical principles.

The overarching point of this book is to encourage parents to limit screen time in order to strengthen relationships. I think this was best said in chapter three: “It’s ironic that an electronic device that connects us to people around the world can also work simultaneously to separate us from the people at hand.” While screens are entertaining and sometimes educational for children, parents have to ensure that they are properly monitored and limited. Therefore, I would highly recommend this book to any parent.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman and Paige Haley Drygas

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I originally read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman as a young bride years ago. I found it to be one of the most practical relationship books I’d read and have referenced it along the way. So, I was super excited to see that a teen version of the book was available. It is a quick and easy read. In fact, I read almost all of it aloud to my family as we rode in the car. Although my children haven’t reached the teen years yet (I thought they might relate to this book more than the children’s version), I found this to be applicable to them as well. It is written with a teen’s perspective in mind. It contains some fun illustrations and has several sections that are set apart in a blue background that further discuss important ideas in that chapter. The book concludes with The Five Love Languages Profile that assists the reader in determining their love language. I think that it’s great to introduce these relationship concepts at such an important time in a child’s life. I’ve already seen changes in my own children from reading this book with them. It’s a great read.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “The Drawing Lesson” by Mark Crilley


The premise of this book is intriguing: a graphic novel that teaches the reader how to draw. The book is easy to read and has great basic drawing lessons woven into a storyline of a boy who seeks knowledge from an impromptu drawing mentor that he has met at the park. The feedback from his reluctant mentor, Becky, is actually drawing lessons for the reader. The storyline is interesting and draws the readers attention from the fact that they are actually learning while enjoying the story. The illustrations are presented in sepia-like tones and showcase Mr. Crilley’s skill in shading and illustration.

I think this would be a wonderful addition to the library of tweens who have even an inkling of interest in drawing. Adults could learn something too just like I did. Each chapter ends with a challenge to the reader to get them drawing. I love that the challenges can be accomplished with just regular pencils and paper. This is truly an unique book.

I received this book for free from’s Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Giveaway: “Parent Hacks” by Asha Dornfest


It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway here. So, I’d like to offer a copy of Asha Dornfest’s Parent Hacks to my readers. It’s a great book, especially for new parents, that I reviewed several weeks ago. You can read my entire review at Parent Hacks Review. To enter, simply comment on this post. You can earn a bonus entries by either subscribing to this blog (current subscribers are automatically entered) or sharing on FB or Twitter (be sure to let me know that you shared it or tag me). I will hold the random drawing on Wednesday, May 25 at 8PM. I’ll contact the winner via email. You will then have 24 hours to respond, or I will draw another name.

Book Review: “Can You Relate? How to Handle Parents, Friends, Boys and More” by Vicki Courtney


I absolutely love this book! I originally got it to read for later since my daughter wasn’t in the targeted age group of 9-12, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the book was already relevant for her. In fact, I plan to use the book as a tween-friendly tool to discuss the various topics that the book covers. It is divided into the four sections entitled Friends, Family, The World Around Me, and God. The sections are cleverly divided by differing color schemes to make finding the section you’re looking for easy. The book covers tons of great subjects such as mean girls, being a great sister, using your words wisely, being boy crazy, respect for parents, prayer, and so much more. It is also chockfull of colorful, pretty illustrations that appeal to tween girls. The inclusion of lots of fun quizzes, to do lists, and QR codes that link to accompanying videos are sure to appeal to tweens and provides a higher coolness factor that will entice them to dig deeper into these subjects. I am planning to take my daughter through this book and may even invite some of her friends and their moms to do so as well. After all, when I was reading it at ballet practice, another mom took the time to ask me about the book because the beautiful colors and fun fonts had caught her eye. I recommend it to the tweens in your life.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way – 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul” by Sarah Mae


I was drawn to this book because I’ve been looking a lot at the lives of Mary and Martha from the Bible. It also interested me to because I’m always looking for tips and tricks to make housekeeping easier and more organized. I really enjoyed how information in the book was grouped. For each of the 31 days, a different topic is covered. The author covers everything from learning your cleaning style to toy organization. Each day has a short story, a Bible study (named the Mary Challenge), and a hands-on activity to help with cleaning around the house (named the Martha Challenge). I love that all the information in the book is divided into small, doable sections so that you’re not overwhelmed with it all. I also love that the book is based on Biblical principles. The book is full of great ideas and helps to break up house cleaning into manageable pieces. For instance, one of my favorite parts of the book was in Day 10 – Slow and Steady. The author encouraged me by reminding that cleaning and household organization doesn’t have to be done all together at one time and that progress is better than perfection. On page 86, she says, “One step at a time, one day at a time, slow and steady, you’ll make it.” The book is filled with reminders of grace and was encouraging to me. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a quick Bible study along with ideas to tame the chaos that often surrounds homes of mothers of small children.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Parent Hacks” by Asha Dornfest

This book is the collection of over 135 hacks (tips, tricks, and shortcuts) for parents. It is such a fun book! There are tons of cute illustrations and highlighted text that make this book very easy to read. Some of the hacks are ones that I used when my kids were young, and others are simply brilliant ones that I wish I had known about then. One of my favorites from the book discussed the many uses of a roll of painter’s tape. Another great idea was to use an open dishwasher for young kids to practice their dexterity as they pour liquids into a cup. The author summed it up perfectly on the back of the book when she said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” My life as a young mother would have been so much easier if I had. This book would be the perfect gift for new parents!

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.