Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Book Review: Fruit Full: 100 Family Experiences for Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit by Christie Thomas


One of my favorite things about this book is the simple, yet engaging way the Fruit of the Spirit is presented to children. I would recommend it for ages 5-12, but could use it for a whole family devotion with multiple ages. Christie Thomas sets forth exactly what the Fruit of the Spirit is and how to have it in our lives. Hint, it's not by working hard at it! She gives 100 devotions to help children learn to abide in Christ and eventually understand that abiding in Christ is the secret to having the Fruit of the Spirit. Each devotion starts with a Bible verse, a relevant story, ways to incorporate into daily life, discussion questions and a prayer. There are 10 devotions for each "fruit": Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. There is list at the beginning of each section with ideas for hands on growth activities: Memorize, Write, Draw, Pray, Research, Imagine, Play, Sing, Ask, and Speak. This is a great guide for kids about Christian living with the Fruit of the Spirit in daily life.

I highly recommend this book for you to use during family devotions or any other time that you have to share Jesus with your kids.  It's very unique and it explains the fruit of the Spirit in kid language with plenty of activities to draw them in and make them think.  I plan to use this with my own children who are 10 and 13.  And I find that I'm learning more about abiding in Christ too.  

Be sure to check out Christie Thomas' website: Little Shoots Deep Roots

And don't miss out on these FREE freebies to go with the book Fruit Full: FREEBIES

Friday, August 30, 2019

Teach Your Kids to Cook this Fall...use Kids Cook Real Food Ecourse

I have always loved to be in the kitchen.  In fact, I want to be the only one in the kitchen, but then how will my kids learn?  I started letting them "help" me in meal prep, but that would sometimes end in frustration for me as I wanted to do things MY way.  Then I discovered Katie Kimball's Kids Cook Real Food Ecourse.  At first I thought, oh, I can teach all that stuff to my kids.  But when I took the free knife skills class I realized that I needed to be taught HOW to teach my kids.

Katie has a very fun and easy way to teach young and older children kitchen skills.  She breaks it down in 3 levels and has 8 lessons for each level.  They can all be taught at the same time if you have different skill levels.  She has a complete digital ecourse that is set up with so many great features such as videos, downloadable ebooks and lessons plans.

Check out the Kids Cook Real Food Ecourse. 

Today my daughter and I learned about measuring.  We learned how to look for hills and holes as well as how to flatten out the ingredients.  She made taco seasoning and a mix for apple muffins.  All these ingredients came from our real food kitchen pantry!  I know that growing up I used boxed mixes for everything, but my daughter is learning you can just as easily make things from scratch and she probably doesn't even realize that's what we are doing!!

Just look at what Katie Kimball has taught her kids to make using real food in easy ways.  I love watching her in action and seeing how confident her kids are in the kitchen.  That is what I desire for my kids too and we are well on our way.

Grab your FREE 10 Healthy Snacks Kids Can Make today! 

***The Kids Cook Real Food Ecourse is closing it's cart on September 4th and will not be open again until November.  So register today to get started!***

(I am an affiliate for this company. Thank for your support.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Boy Mom by Monica Swanson Book Review and Giveaway (ends Aug 11)

Boy Mom by Monica Swanson is a book geared for moms of boys so that moms can give their sons what they most need. Monica gently guides moms to look at the big picture and then breaks it down into areas that give suggestions in ways to teach our sons. Each chapter is sprinkled with stories of her own life, books that have impacted her and excellent ideas. There are also discussion questions at the end of each chapter. She dives into areas for character, technology, spiritual growth, influences, work ethic, relationships and much more. And there also is a link to a printable that is outlined in the book for various topics such as how to share the gospel, identity in Christ, boy approved food and dinner conversation starters, just to name a few. 

I have to be honest, as I was reading this book I began to feel overwhelmed with what area to focus on for my son. They all seem so vital! But as I read, I realized that I will just take it one step at a time and keep this book by my side so I can refer to it often. I am thankful for Monica's ministry and how she has used her knowledge and life experience to help other boy moms in their quest to raise their sons in the way of the Lord.

Visit Monica Swanson at
She also has a podcast too!!

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for review.  All opinions are my own.*

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

A New Homeschool Year- The Plan

Well, we are almost to the beginning of the school year again and unlike in years past I am not really prepared.  I was a teacher for 12 years and I spent most of my time preparing for the school year the last week before it started and with homeschool it seems like I was always planning.  But our life took a turn this year and we actually had a very tough year from October 2017 to the present.  Many different things affected our family including death of 2 loved ones, a fire and a possible big change.  These kids have been resilient, but I feel like we fell off the wagon so many times and I never really got back up.  Needless to say, we just abruptly ended the school year and I took a lot of time off this summer working on projects around the house and praying!

I really did love Heart of Dakota which is what we used last year.  But it seemed like too much for my kids.  I thought when I initially started homeschooling I planned everything out from K-12.  Well, almost.  But each year it has been different and I don't know why.  This year is even more different.  We thought we might try a different school route with the kids, but it didn't happen right at the time we thought.  I ended up not even really thinking of what I wanted to use for homeschool.  But we didn't finish some things like math and there were many things I wanted to do, but never got around to them.

So this year it will be very simple.

Here is The Plan:

My son is 9-
*Language Arts 3 from Easy Peasy (free)
*Reading- I will choose 4-5 chapter books for reading and discussion.  See Read Aloud Revival PDF.  We will also be doing vocabulary with these books.
*Math- Finish Math Mammoth 3, Xtra Math (free) (Drill) and Math Playground (free) (play games a few times a week for 30 min)
*Introduction to the Bible from Heart of Dakota- under self study
*Read through John
*Cursive- finish our book from Intoxicated on Life
*Science- Thunderbolt Kids (free)
*History- Portraits of Integrity from Character Concepts
*Typing- Dance Mat Typing (free)
*Keys for Kids- daily devotion as a family
*Memorizing- I chose a few things for him to memorize this year: the Preamble to the Constitution, States and Capitals, Prepositions and the Gettysburg Address.

My daughter is 7:
*Reading/Language Arts-  I just discovered Reading Eggs works really well for her and it includes spelling, vocabulary and comprehension.  It's a subscription service, but you can have a free 4 week trial (they do not collect your credit card unless you order).
*Writing-  We are finishing a handwriting book and will work on handwriting by writing spelling words or copying sentences.  We will use Activity Mom's Drawing Through the Alphabet (free) to create a picture and write about it. 
*Math- Finish Math Mammoth Grade 1, Xtra Math, and Math Playground (so many fun game possibilities).
*Science- books at library, Netflix videos
*History- Portraits of Integrity from Character Concepts
*Keys for Kids- daily family devotional (free)
*Piano- Pianimals (I bought this set awhile back but she really wants to learn so we are going to try to make it work this year.)
*Typing- Dance Mat Typing (free)  She tried it this summer and did really well and it will help with Reading Eggs as she needs to type a lot.

We will be doing a variety of these everyday.  We also have Awana on Tuesday nights, library days, biking, park days (meeting up with other homeschoolers) and cooking. We will also have daily chores and other skills that include getting a basic routine. 

I will be writing out their assignments in a notebook inspired by Sarah at Read Aloud Revival.   I have actually been using this method, but I also used another book as well.  We'll just keep it simple with this and see how it works.  I also have a binder for each child for things I've copied off that they need. 

I will also be reading through the Christian Heroes series from YWAM  (I have about 40 of them) during lunch time and various other books that strike my fancy. 

Here's to a new school year and whatever may come!!  

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Lifegiving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson Book Review

The Lifegiving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson is a much anticipated addition to round out the trio of books by Sally and her daughter Sarah in The Lifegiving Home and The Lifegiving Table.  The Lifegiving Parent is the long awaited book that Clay had been working on since before their ministry for parents began.  There is one main thread through this book and it is that lifegiving parenting starts with the parents sharing the life of Christ in their home and to their children.  The bulk of the book are the eight Heartbeats for Parental Lifegiving.  Clay begins each chapter with a mixture of family stories and Bible truths.  He then breaks down the heartbeat into practical ways to live out in the family.  Sally rounds out the chapter with one of her lifegiving "momoirs."  And the Lifegiving ParenTips reviews the lessons shared in the chapter with an action step.  

This book was full of excellent parenting principles that I hope to live in my home so I can be a life giving parent.  They said that they only scratched the surface in sharing the eight "heartbeats" but I feel they encompass a lot of what God wants parents to develop in their hearts and homes.  One of my favorite chapters was Strengthening Your Child's Faith.  I know that walking my faith journey is helping my children learn about their faith journey.  That is the key to strengthening their faith which is broken down by Clay into belief, trust, assurance, allegiance and life.  But one of my favorite quotes that I want to share with my children is "You are God's...You are loved...You are good."  Being a life giving parent is lot of work, but with God I know He will lead and guide me.  I underlined about half of this book, but this quote defines what I think life giving parenting is for me:  "It's all about helping them find and follow the life of God."  

Be sure to check out the podcast series when Sally interviews several moms and some dads about their life giving ideas.  Also, Clay and Sally do unpack all of the eight heartbeats of parenting in special podcasts they do together.  Links are shared below.  

Find The Lifegiving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson at any major book retailer.  

*FTC: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers.*

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Parents Rising by Arlene Pellicane Book Review AND Giveaway!

Parents Rising is Arlene Pellicane's newest release.  This book breaks down eight strategies for raising kids who love God, respect authority and value what's right.  Arlene's honest and sometimes amusing family stories give a glimpse of how to apply these strategies to everyday life.  Each chapter begins with a Bible verse and a short story.  From there Arlene uses her research to share some startling statistics for the breakdown of the strategies in modern day culture.  She weaves other author quotes and solid suggestions for implementing these ideas into the family.  At the end of each chapter there is a question, a prayer and an action point.  And interwoven in her writing she continually encourages parents to rise up.  She also gives tips for single moms and blended families. There are also discussion questions at the end of the book for group meetings.  Some of the topics covered are entertainment, boundaries, the role of the parent, daily Bible time and prayer, the priority of marriage, spending time with kids and getting them ready for life beyond the family home.  

Arlene's latest book is another one to read and devour.  She directly addresses the needs of today's family with love, encouragement and plenty of Biblical wisdom.  Arlene is candid and witty with a generous dose of common sense and a purposeful edict for parents to subscribe to God's values for raising kids today.  The best part is the Parents Rising Manifesto at the end of the book which challenges parents to read it weekly and includes all the strategies from the book to keep in mind through daily life.  I plan to read through each chapter again and evaluate where I need to rise up and read the manifesto in my morning devotions.  I love this book and I hope you will too.  

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own.*


A copy of Parents Rising to one of my readers.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes CD Review

Laurie Berkner has just released "The Dance Remixes" of 14 of her most beloved songs for kids.  Laurie realized that many of her fans had now grown into teens and she wanted to update her songs to reflect the new sounds of her award winning favorites.  She remixes her songs into Electronic Dance Music (EDM).  Kids will enjoy the upbeat sounds including Latin-flavored and some old time fiddle music.  Laurie shines in this new album because of her timeless appeal. 
My kids and I first heard Laurie Berkner on CD at a library story time singing "We Are the Dinosaurs."  It has been so fun to see her develop her songs into great dance music.  She is funny, talented and has her own style.  We recommend this new CD for your dance parties.
*I was given a complimentary CD for this review.  All opinions are my own.*
"The queen of children's music."
-- People Magazine

"The Adele of the preschool crowd."
-- The New York Times

NEW YORK -- Take 14 of The Laurie Berkner Band's most beloved songs for kids, give them a modern-day twist, and remix them into electronic dance songs that all ages will adore.  That's the recipe for legendary children's musician Laurie Berkner's new album, Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes, set for release on September 22.

Says Laurie Berkner, "I first thought of making an Electronic Dance Music album of my songs when I realized I was getting a lot of YouTube and Twitter followers who were teenagers. They had grown up on my music and were writing comments like 'You were my whole childhood!' or 'I've always loved your songs and still do.  I'm so glad I found you on here!'  So, I started to think about ways that I could connect more with those kids.

"I had also noticed how popular EDM was with toddlers and preschoolers, as well as their parents. EDM is so infectious, it almost dares you to TRY not dancing to it!  Suddenly the idea of making EDM remixes of my classic songs emerged as the perfect way to combine new music for young kids and their parents with a nostalgic gift to teens who were still fans."

Engineered by three-time GRAMMY winner, Dave Darlington, Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes presents an exciting new take on songs that have become early childhood cornerstones for an entire generation, now remixed as great dancing tunes for toddlers, tweens, teens, and beyond.  Older kids will fondly recognize the catchy songs they grew up with, like "Victor Vito," "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)," and "My Family," while preschoolers new to Laurie's music will have great fun boogieing to all the infectious beats.

The album features a variety of EDM styles in remixes, from the foot-stomping fun of "We Are The Dinosaurs" to the Latin-flavored "I'm Gonna Catch You," which showcases not only Laurie's delightful vocals but also some timely barking from Winston, Laurie's cocker spaniel. Certified kid favorite "The Cat Came Back" even gets an irrepresssible EDM makeover, topping the chart for artful creativity with the various layers of the song melting into each other and "meows" aplenty.

Super popular Laurie Berkner classic songs, like "BOOTS," "Rocketship Run," "Drive My Car," and "Shake Your Body Down" are also included, bringing instant nostalgia to older listeners and introducing the inimitable Berkner sweetness and radiant good humor to babies and toddlers of a new generation. This is Laurie Berkner music like it's never been heard before!

A former preschool music teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music twenty years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the "kindie" music genre and was crowned "the undisputed queen of kindie rock" by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, "Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups."

Visit for more about The Laurie Berkher Band, including press photos and tour dates.  Media assets and press photos are also available on the website of Laurie's distributor, Razor & Tie, at

Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes will be available for download at all digital retailers, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more. Physical CDs will be available at all Laurie Berkner concerts and at