Monday, February 22, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch


“But everyone else has it.” “If you loved me, you’d get it for me!” When you hear these comments from your kids, it can be tough not to cave. You love your children―don’t you want them to be happy and to fit in?

Kristen Welch knows firsthand it’s not that easy. In fact, she’s found out that when you say yes too often, it’s not only hard on your peace of mind and your wallet―it actually puts your kids at long-term risk. In Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen shares the ups and downs in her own family’s journey of discovering why it’s healthiest not to give their kids everything. Teaching them the difference between “want” and “need” is the first step in the right direction. With many practical tips and anecdotes, she shares how to say the ultimate yes as a family by bringing up faith-filled kids who will love God, serve others, and grow into hardworking, fulfilled, and successful adults.

It’s never too late to raise grateful kids. Get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation and create a Jesus-centered home in which your kids don’t just say―but mean!―“thank you” for everything they have.

My Thoughts:

It's probably been a couple of years now that I've followed Kristen's blog, We are THAT Family. It seemed I kept making my way over there from posts at Facebook or Pinterest, and finally decided her words needed to be in my Feedly. She's one of the most honest, yet encouraging bloggers out there! She's real at her blog and in her book, and lets all know that she and her family aren't perfect. While some folks have went too far, with too much information in an attempt to be "honest", Kristen gets it just right. She's full of powerful words that both encourage and challenge.

It's for those reasons that I picked up this book, and encourage you to do so, too. As all good parenting books should do, it also stepped on my own toes, and encouraged me to work on myself, too. So many problem issues with my little ones could be fixed with myself changing my own problems. So often, I struggle with entitlement. I'm not so sure I would have noticed that without this book's help, though. It's no wonder my children struggle with the same thing.

This book is useful for all ages. There are lots of stories from Kristen's family. Some of these I recognized from the blog, but others I didn't. Her children are older than mine, so I felt that most of the stories were giving me a peek into the future. There are little tips throughout the book that are divided by age, so there IS advice for all ages: toddlers/preschoolers, elementary, and teenagers. These show how to put the advice into practice.

In the end, I highly recommend this book! We've made changes in our own family the past several weeks, with the encouragement of this book. My children have chores and a salary now. My house is slowly getting cleaner as they help, and they buy their own things. (It's a bit amazing that they've wanted band-aids and tissues and tape more than anything else. WHY have we been buying toys?! ;) I do hope they start saving more, but they're learning.) I'm sure I'll be referencing this book again throughout the years. It is one that will grow with you as your children grow. I was greatly encouraged and challenged by it, and I hope to slowly keep adding changes as we learn and grow.

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes

*If you make a purchase at Amazon using my link, I get a small percentage of the profit, at no extra cost to you.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Money Saving Mom: How Every Mom Can Earn More and Make a Difference by Crystal Paine


Entrepreneur, author, and popular blogger Crystal Paine shares the secrets of building income at home, using real life examples to from her own journey in becoming a money-making mom as well as the stories of other women from all walks of life. The nuts and bolts of how to make more money from home are revealed in clear steps that can be immediately and easily put into practice.

But more than just a how-to book for earning extra income, The Money-Making Mom is a challenge to dream big and create a pathway for life. Paine offers examples and insights about what "finding your purpose" can look like in family, career, and service to others. Readers will find inspiration and hope for a life that’s more than “just getting by,” one driven by vision and the freedom to bless others generously.

My Thoughts:

Though a fan of Crystal and her blog, I was hesitant to read this book just yet. At this point in my life, I feel like I have too many other ducks to get in a row before adding another one into the mix. I know life will never be perfect, but I feel maxed out at the moment trying to adjust to our new way of eating(32 pounds gone, y'all) and trying to find our semi-happy place with homeschooling.

That said, I decided to read it anyway. I have gained a great deal of encouragement from Crystal, both from her blog, Money Saving Mom, and her books. I decided it sure wasn't going to hurt anything. In the end, I'm truly glad I decided to read it! It has got my mind rolling on several options that fit ME and my family, as opposed to what's working for everyone else. I appreciate how much she's prepared me for when the time comes for me to help out more financially(Lord willing, while still getting to be a stay at homeschooling mom). She also encourages readers to read many other business books, so I can spend some of my reading time preparing.

I have tried several different things through the years to help out financially. Sadly, most of them were failures, but just as Crystal says in the book, they are bound to happen, and I've learned from those failures. Tupperware was my second attempt at selling items(before children). While I loved the products, it's not an ideal career for someone with severe social anxiety, like myself. I should have learned my lesson with the first home to home selling experience I had, but I didn't. I've been tempted by various other organizations that require selling, but I've resisted, based on my past experiences. Though I do have a blog, I don't care for it to "make it big". I start having heart palpitations when I see a new comment at Amazon. I give a huge sigh of relief when it's a nice one, and it simply makes me sad when it's mean. My skin isn't thick enough for successful blogging. When you cut out selling items and blogging, the options become much harder to think of.

Thankfully, Crystal gives tons of ideas and suggestions to get your mind rolling on the best thing you could do to make money. I made a few notes throughout, and my mind is now pondering on those notes. While this is a super quick read if you go straight through it, Crystal does encourage you regularly to stop and journal. She asks questions that really do get your mind rolling in various directions, beyond simply selling things or blogging, though those options are covered through the book

There are many stories scattered throughout, of successes and failures, both of which are an encouragement. Some of these examples are her own, but many of them come from readers and friends.

In the end, I believe most people will walk away with more ideas than when they started the book, and it's definitely beneficial if you're just getting started with making money. There's even advice about marketing and all, so I imagine it'd even be beneficial to those already in some sort of business. I can easily recommend it if you're looking for new ideas and advice on making money.

*I was provided an e-copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

Money-Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference

*If you make a purchase at Amazon using my link, I will be given a small percentage of the profit, at no extra cost to you.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Jesus Helps Me: Knowing My God Series by Callie Grant, with Illustrations by Missi Jay


Jesus Helps Me, new to the Knowing My God series, offers four levels of exploration: a quoted Bible passage, beautiful real-world photographs, supportive captions to relate the passage meaning to a child’s life, and thinking questions to personalize the experience. A parent guide gives tips for involving a baby, toddler, and child. In the Graham Blanchard book collection, Jesus Helps Me is a Learn book, which makes personal Bible study accessible to young children who, alongside adults, build a foundation for faith and a lifelong friendship with Jesus. These books grow with your child! Find out more about our Learn, Absorb & Praise™ framework for children’s books at

My Thoughts:

We've enjoyed all the Graham Blanchard books we've read so far, so we were thrilled to open up the pages of the newest addition to the collection, Jesus Helps Me. It's one of the "Learn" books. (All of the Graham Blanchard books fall into Learn, Absorb, or Praise categories.) It uses a similar layout to the other books in the Knowing My God Series, and uses nature to make points. This one stays in the bird range, making it a perfect book not only to add to the "faith" bookshelf, but also the nature, or even more specifically the bird shelf.

Within this book, John 12:44-47 is broken down using 3-4 sentences, and explained so your child can make better connections.

For example, baby swans are used to illustrate our belief in God(the first part of the verse). It explains how baby swans know to stay close to their mothers, and we know God by staying close to Him. Storks, kingfishers, arctic terns, owls, cardinals, and woodpeckers are also featured. Each bird gets a two page spread, with a real photo of the bird taking up a whole page, and then the portion of the verse being discussed, along with the mini devotional taking up the other page.

In the back of the book, there's a parent guide, which will give you suggestions on how to make the most of the book, depending on your child's age. There's also a few questions. I can't help but appreciate how the Graham Blanchard brand tries hard to better equip parents to teach their little ones while using the books.

In the end, we all loved this book, just like the others. My boys still enjoy looking through them, having them read aloud, or simply toting them around.

For more information on this book, Jesus Helps Me, and many others, visit the Graham Blanchard website, and take a peek around!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.