Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mom U: Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster

Here is another  episode of Mom University: Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster
It's just about a minute!
And there are quizzes at the end of each chapter to gauge just how you are doing as a mom.
You can find Tracey at MomLife Today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In a Heartbeat by Laura Doherty (CD Music Review)

My Review:
Sweet, folksy, bouncy and fun.  This little album has 13 entertaining songs for young ones that even older ones will enjoy too.  Laura's down to earth voice and catchy tunes will have you dancing around the room and learning about fish, drums, heartbeats, butterflies and more.  She plays with passion and liveliness that inspires young ones to experience new sounds and images.  You will hear many different instruments that tell unique stories.  This album is sure to be played often for families to enjoy together.

From the Press Release:
Known for her warm, engaging style, Laura Doherty has a remarkable ear for a catchy melody, a passion for creating sweet, folk-inspired songs, and a one-of-a-kind ability to connect with children that earned her the moniker "Chicago's pop sweetheart for kids" from AAA Living MagazineTime Out NY Kids declared Laura's 2009 Parents' Choice Gold and Nappa Gold Award-winning Kids in the City to be one of that year's "Top 10 Kids' Albums."  Time Out Chicago gave 4 stars to her 2011 Parents' Choice Silver Award-winning Shining Like a Star and rated Laura as one of Chicago's Top 4 Children's Artists (with Justin Roberts, Ella Jenkins, and Ralph Covert).

In a Heartbeat is a collection of cozy, heartfelt children's songs to warm your little one's heart!  It is full of acoustic instruments: guitar, banjo, upright bass, mandolin and ukulele.  Laura also plays an electric guitar.  She even brings along Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche for "Drum Kit."
*I was given a complimentary copy of this CD from Waldmania for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Lunch Fun and Ideas!

Lunch is probably the most unplanned meal of the day!  I usually end up slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and open up a jar of homemade applesauce and call it good.  But as much as I plan for breakfast (LOVE making breakfast food) and dinner (something that makes me anxious), I want lunch to be the no brainer.  But I know that lunch can be another great meal if I make the effort.

I literally go numb thinking about what to have for lunch!  I want it to be healthy, yummy and fun.  I want diversity and uniqueness.  It's not that I want to be exotic, but I want to be as creative as I am with breakfast and dinner.  But coming up with lunch ideas leaves me a blank slate.  SO, I went to one of my favorite food blogs and found a LUNCH LIST!  Yes!!

You can download your healthy lunch list from Heavenly Homemakers.

 Welcome to Karen & Kids!
Another idea that I found after I got my smartphone was a podcast for kids.  We listen to Karen & Kids every day at lunch.  Karen and a bunch of kids sing and tell Bible stories and make them relevant for  real life.  My kids love the songs and I often hear them singing these songs through the day.  That gives us something positive to talk about and also it gives me a break from talking!

The other day we got a surprise from Karen & Kids!  We sent them a letter and they sent us back 8 CD's, stickers and bookmarks.  My kids were so excited and I was as well.

After lunch I've started a training time.  I'm reading a book by the Duggar girls and they shared that their family plays The Obedience Game.  Basically, you give each child a special little task and they have to say "Yes, mom, I'd be happy to!"  Off they go and then they report back.  Big high fives for everyone!  I'm hoping as I do this, my kids will respond well in REAL situations.

Also, we are enjoying reading The Boxcar Children for a calming story time as we prepare for quiet time.  We are on book 7.  While I read both kids are writing or drawing in their journals.

That sums up our lunch hour.  I've learned to try to make each moment count.

Blessings, Shonda

Monday, February 10, 2014

Home Improvement (The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids) by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (FREE on Kindle Feb 14-17)


Home Improvement: The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller is another great snapshot of eight parenting tools you can put to use right away.  The unique thing about this book is that you can read it to your kids!  The beginning of every chapter is a story about a family who is experiencing a situation and needs some guidance.  They hear suggestions from a teacher, a neighbor, a pastor, a family member and dinner guests.  All offer practical advice in how to handle these dilemmas.  The second part of each chapter delves deeper into these tools.  Some of the tools outlined are encouraging without yelling, making discipline time constructive, helping children make lasting changes and more.  The situations are real, the tools are helpful and easily adapted.  And best of all, your journey as a parent is enriched with knowledge and ways to guide your children to have a better quality of life using God's principles.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The stories of this family seem like what I confront in my own home.  I really like that I could relate to the characters and that my five year old son can too as I read the story to him.  The tools were extremely helpful and were broken down into steps.  I felt very inspired to work on these things in my own home.  If you are looking for some ways to build good relationships with your kids as well as train them, check out this book.  You will enjoy seeing some "home improvement!"

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book from National Center for Biblical Parenting for this review.  All opinions are my own.*
Remember, the book is FREE for Kindle at Amazon February 14-17.  Be sure to download it then.
Also, if you want a print copy, you can pick one up at the National Center for Biblical Parenting.