Showing posts from April, 2016

Book Review: Awakening

Awakening by Janet V. Forster

Kate has always wanted to search for her birth parents, and now that she’s 18 it’s time to take the plunge. Her mom probably won’t like it, but every adoptee needs to find their roots if they can. However, Kate gets a lot more than she bargained for when she locates her birth father, Nick. His family history brings her into a world that she had no idea even existed, and one where she plays a huge role, like it or not.

Full disclosure - I work for an adoption agency. I generally cringe when I read adoption stories because of all the misconceptions and myths. I am unashamedly pro adoption because I feel like it is an often underutilized alternative for tough situations that can work for everyone if you put the effort into it. Although not perfect, I was honestly okay with the adoption story in this one, although I’m wondering how it will play out with the supernatural element. I think that the portrayal of a desire to know your roots is accurate, but the ac…

Mid-Mo Summer Reading Resources

My sister, the librarian, was on the ball enough to send me Barnes & Noble's summer reading program in April (when I am running on fumes to get through the rest of the school year much less plan for summer enhancement) and I realized that now that I have moved back to Mid-Mo I wasn't as aware of everything that is offered in terms of summer reading programs. Last year my daughter got 3 different books from summer reading, and I am personally thrilled to report that MU pediatrics offers books instead of candy as rewards for regular ped visits. Since I was compiling a list for myself and this is a blog about books, I thought I'd list it here for your convenience. Hope it helps!

Daniel Boone Regional Library Summer Reading ProgramBarnes & Noble Summer Reading ProgramChuch E Cheese Reading Rewards  Available Online:
Summer Reading Skills through Saint Louis University (I have a one time use coupon code for $30 off - comment if you want it!)Scholastic Summer Reading Cha…

My Ebook is in UHB 2016!

Most of you know I love my babies, and I love my ebook bundles. So honestly, I usually buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, because I want all the info I can get on creating a peaceful home. And reading is peaceful, so it all dovetails together nicely for me.

But this year I'm actually rather un-peacefully pumped about this bundle .... because I am a contributing author! Details of this year's Ultimate Homemaking Bundle are below, and of course if you have any questions let me know. But please share this with any friends you know who may be interested in adoption and homemaking, and since one generally follows the other, that would be all of them. So just share :)

Sidenote - this is A LOT of product, over $1,000 for a little money, $29.97. Do not be overwhelmed by the sheer volume; it's a library so pick and choose, and save some for later. Use some of those organizing resources :)

BUDGETING Family Budget Challengeby Shannon Brown at Growing Slower ($37)Frugal Fresh Startby …

Book Review: Help Baby Sleep

When I first became a mom, nearly (gulp) 10 years ago, one of the sagest pieces of advice my mom gave me was, "If the baby wants to sleep, then LET HIM SLEEP!!!!" This was quickly followed by, "and if you can sleep while he sleeps then DO IT." That worked out well because this particular position was his favorite, and sometimes only sleep position.

Also popular was:
Which of course is the only way you are NOT supposed to let your baby sleep. Except that the first time I gave in and let him sleep on his tummy - complete with me hovering outside his nursery after having removed every thing in his crib that could restrict his airway, he slept for 2 hours. TWO WHOLE HOURS. Guess how he slept on his back?
Yup, exactly like that. Every time. I maybe got 45 min of solid sleep time for the first couple of months. Brutal honesty, that's how I play it.

I had read all the books, reviewed all the parenting style recommendations, and could rattle off CIO, attachment pare…

My sticky #momfail today

My mom fail today? Cleaning up OJ my daughter spilled IN her backpack. Seriously. Despite the "only water goes in the school water bottle" conversation, my very strong willed daughter figured that since today was a special read-a-thon day it warranted OJ, while not even bothering to check to see if this was all right with me. So this morning as we were supposed to be leaving for school I was dumping orange juice, complete with floating Skittles (NO idea where the Skittles came from) into the sink and telling her that she was just not going to have her homework folder, because she didn't bother to obey mommy.

Guess I should go ahead and watch today's video... Are you having a #momfail day today? Join me in my attempt to remind myself that it happens to all of us.

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Book Review: The Quest for Hope: Invisible Battles

The Quest for Hope by A.S. King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aliatta has been raised a princess, but has never quite been able to pinpoint why she has such terrible dreams. She is always fighting terrible monsters she can’t defeat herself, but is defended by beautiful, shining creatures. Unbeknownst to her, Aliatta has been selected by the High King for an impossible quest, and her dreams are just the beginning.

The Quest for Hope is book one in a new young adult Christian Fiction series, Invisible Battles. The story begins with obvious Biblical imagery of the Garden of Eden, but the book itself definitely has it’s own story that alludes to the allegorical nature of Narnia and Middle Earth without copying it completely. Full disclosure, waaay back in the day when blogging was not the industry it is now, I had a Xanga blog (true story) called “Chri-Fi Commentary” where I reviewed Christian Fiction - the good, the terrible and the plain uncalled for. I’m happy to say that while this does …

Are You Having a #momfail Day?

I know that there are a lot of mommies like me who need some encouragement. This series was put together by the people who do the Ultimate Bundles, of which I am so fond, in anticipation of their upcoming Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016.

I don't usually get too sappy on this blog, but I'm a mom of three kids, one of whom is special needs. I assure you my mommy guilt is frequent and profound, and even a defensively sarcastic mom like me needs to hear this once in a while. If you need some encouragement, whether you plan to buy this bundle or not, please check out this video series.

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Book Review: Ruby Child

The Book of Siavon: Volume 1: The Ruby Child by Jessica Eppley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aryth was once ruled by benevolent Garric, but his daughters have caused nothing but despair since he cast them out. Only one person, the ruby eyed child of prophecy can defeat them to restore an era of peace. Keavy has been trained to defeat Garric’s daughter, Crocetta, by her adopted father Vorian. When you are born with crimson eyes, it’s hard to mistake your destiny. But her destiny has come too soon, and she only has an elderly catman, skittish faun and a teenage blacksmith to aid her.

Ruby Child is an engaging story from the beginning, although somewhat clumsily written at times. However, I was intrigued by the fantasy realm in which it was set and the characters that emerged. Keavy is both engaging and impulsive, but represents much of what it’s like to be a teenager with a burden. I’m interested to see how the next few books in the series evolve, as I presume they will deal with each sister…

Book Review: Flying Geese and the Hope Dogs

I had a border collie named Chance. He was the first dog my husband and I got after we got married, and when he died - 3 well-guarded kids and squirrel-free yard later - we mourned his loss. Like Weiskircher’s dogs, and his wife, Chance died of cancer. We only suspected his illness after it was far too late to attempt any treatment; it was in his spleen. There are still times I tear up thinking about how much I love that dog still. He was a dog who instinctively protected, patrolled, and processed everything that needed to happen in the order it needed to happen.

Reading Flying Geese and the Hope Dogs, most chapters reminded me of Chance. While I don’t associate his loss with the loss of a beloved spouse, I was constantly enchanted with the portraits of Genie intertwined with his dogs, and on some level was able to engage with the story through its twists in turns, in part because I too have been surrounded by dogs for most of my life. I’m grateful to be able to see life throu…

Book Review: Rebirth

Rebirth by Travis Starnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

John Taylor has just suffered through 3 years as a POW, and came home crushed to find the girl of his dreams now out of his reach. Wandering aimlessly, he comes upon a firefight, and his military instincts just kick in. Can he save the girl and survive the Russian mob?

The first in a series starring washed up war hero John Taylor, Rebirth is an origin story fit for the character. It is written in a blunt, no nonsense style, and feels like a vet is talking you through his options as Taylor carefully but decisively considers his options. He has a honed sense of justice and take no prisoners attitude. This is a quick, easy read for those of us who appreciate character driven plot without too much frilly stuff on the side to distract. I have a feeling though, I will enjoy more of the series and discovering Taylor’s ability to outrun his demons.

View all my reviews
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all…

Book Review: Eden's Apple

by Pamela Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Due to the sins of her father, Rose, her mother, her daughter Lucy, and eventually Lucy’s children will never have a normal life. Because those sins were covered up, the secrets threaten to tear apart her very soul. Can she outrun her secrets, and can her daughter put her life back together when it all seems to be falling apart.

Eden’s Apple is a tale of childhood trauma and redemption, although no redemption without heartbreak. I thought the internal monologue of Rose was devastatingly accurate, although honestly Lucy’s character escaped me a bit at times. I had a harder time accepting her changes than the other characters, who started out with some redeeming qualities, whereas she was pretty self absorbed from minute one. I enjoyed the pace of the book and the lilting tone, and really enjoyed the exploration of emotions and inner monologue. I think that if you have ever suffered childhood trauma particularly this book will resonate and hopef…