Tag Archives: Books

{Why} Motherhood Matters {a Review}

Motherhood matters; plain and simple. I’ve known September McCarthy for the better part of 5 years now, and she has always been such a source of wisdom when it has come to motherhood. When she shared the book that God had put on her heart I knew, before reading a page, that it was going to be good. And it does not disappoint.

September shares about her own struggles with not only motherhood, but her path there. Despite 10 children on this earth, there was months of pain, pregnancies ending in sorrow and heartbreak, with 6 angel-babies. September has not only walked the path of motherhood, she has fallen and struggled along.

Why Motherhood Matters

I often say that my judge of a good book is how many pages are dog-eared by the time I’m done with it. Nearly every other page of {Why} Motherhood Matters is dog-eared and marked up. This book is so full of words that are a balm to every mother’s heart, no matter what season of motherhood they’re in.

The book is written in four parts, each addressing a different why of motherhood. From our feeling alone in motherhood to being intentional in motherhood and what that looks like. Each chapter is closed with a few thoughts or questions, a parenting principle, and a prayer.

If you struggle in motherhood, struggle with your parenting, with your inadequacies and your loneliness this book is hope in paperback. It won’t solve your problems, but it will help you to feel not so undone.


{Why} Motherhood Matters is available on Amazon and all other booksellers. BUT, if you place your order before September 1st there are a bunch of awesome freebies available to you, just visit WhyMotherhoodMatters.com and submit your invoice number.

*I received this ARC in response for my honest review. The opinions are my own and in no way influenced. You can read my disclosure policy here.

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2017

What I've Been Reading August 2017

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from any purchases made through the following links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site (you can read my disclosure policy here).

I’ve been on a roll again the past few months. Our book club took a break for the summer, as did the mom group that I lead, which freed up quite a bit of time in the evenings. I had several books that I received last year for my birthday that I still hadn’t read, so I made it a point to finish some of them.

I’m actually going to pass my Reading Challenge on GoodReads this year! I figured picking 35 was crazy-sauce, but as of right now I’m at 31! I even managed to read a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction.What I've Been Reading August 2017

Favorite Fiction Book

I want to say The Nightingale, but I’m not sure if that’s because I just finished it. And yes, I read a lot of WW2 fiction. I have to say though, that The Nightingale was the one that moved me the most emotionally. The Secret Keeper was very good, but it didn’t have me crying at the end.

I had also never read anything before about France during WW2, which was eye opening, even if it was fiction. I’ve had Suite Francaise on my list for a while, and just watched it on Amazon a few weeks ago. I think that will be getting bumped to my list soon.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

Again, so hard to choose! All of the non-fiction that I read were ones that have been sitting in my pile for a while. They were all pertinent to some area of my life. I’d have to say it was a tie between Different and Life Creative. Different was so fantastic for this momma’s heart.

I loved reading about Sally Clarkson and her son, Nathan’s struggle with his being an out of the box child. While I’m not dealing with anything as extreme as they do, it was such a hope-filled book about being the mom that YOUR child needs, regardless of what other’s think your child needs.

Life Creative was another side of my momma-heart, with being creative. So often people will make disparaging comments about how moms’ should put aside themselves and their creative BECAUSE they’re a mom. Kelli and Wendy show you why it’s important that you don’t do that, but also that you invite your children INTO your creative.

The Book I Didn’t like

I’m going to say Give Your Child the World, and not because it wasn’t a good book. It was a good book, but I think I was looking for something more than a reference book with lists of suggestions. It’s a fantastic resource, but I was hoping it was going to go more into how to use the books to explore the world with your children. Granted, I think I can figure that out on my own, but still it would’ve been nice to have some suggestions.  I will say, that we’ve gotten a slew of books from the library that were suggested in this one and they were all top notch!

What have you been reading?

(I’m trying something new: I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F or NF for Fiction and Non-Fiction).

The Turquoise Table {a Review}

*The following contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here. 

This book! All the love for it! I remember when this movement started, of painting tables turquoise and inviting the world into our lives, even if just for a few minutes. I painted my own turquoise table several years ago and haven’t looked back!

From Amazon 

A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available?

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

  • Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table
  • Simple recipes to take outside and share with others
  • Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods
  • Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting
  • New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live.

Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

First off, the pictures and paper, the cover and book as a physical thing is gorgeous, exquisite! Turquoise is my favorite color, throw in beautiful photography and delicious sounding recipes and it’s a guaranteed success! Best of all is Schell’s story and heart for inviting the world into her home, through the simplicity of a picnic table.

Her writing is captivating and draws you in to community with her, as you follow along with her search for community. The pages fly by quickly, filled with stories of other Turquoise Tables and how a step in faith led to incredible blessing; not just for the one person, but for a whole community.

Kristin’s book is everything wrapped up all in one place, that will give you the tools and the motivation you need to become “Front Yard People” who seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus right in their own neighborhoods.

*I received this book for free from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

This Homeschool Mom’s Summer Reading List

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission on any purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you. You can find my disclosure policy here. All titles are clickable links.

We’ve just wrapped up year two of “officially” homeschooling: YAY! I still balk at the title of a “Homeschool Mom”. I don’t feel like a homeschool mom, for some reason I have it in my head that homeschool moms are neat-nik, bible thumpin’ women who manage to keep their house clean, their kids well mannered, and dinner on the table at 5. I am NOT that mom, and I know (deep down) that is not the majority of homeschool moms.

Our houses are loud, our children are messy, chaos is constant, and we like to think of ourselves as John Wesley’s mother with her apron over her head, quietly praying to the Lord, while we’re actually just trying to escape for 2 minutes. At least that’s my house. Some days I can deal with it better than others.

Now that the school year is done and the books are back on the shelves, it allows me a bit more freedom in my own time. There is nothing I enjoy more in my free time than reading.

Before we had children we had planned to homeschool. I wouldn’t say it was a life long dream or any kind of fancy, but we figured that was the path we’d pursue. I had read a few books before we had headed down this path, but not many, and only two since we’ve started on this journey.

Needless to say, there is quite the pile of books that I’ve collected (and many more I haven’t) over the years that I haven’t read. Looking at the pile, knowing the triplets start kindergarten, I decided that it was time to read some of them…you know, before they’ve graduated. This list is some of those that I’ve already read, as well as some books which have sat in the TBR pile far too long.

What I’ve Read

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

Read this one last year and LOVED it! Sarah Mackenzie is the mom of 6, and the creator of Read Aloud Revival (as well as momma to preschooler twins). It was a quick read filled with lots of great ideas and tips on how to create a place of rest in your home. How having that base is what will allow you to not homeschool or educate your children but create an environment of welcomed learning. If you’re feeling as though you’re drowing in homeschooling and KNOW that it just CANNOT continue as such, then this is the book for you.

Homeschooling for the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins

My family is not your average family. We have three kids the same age, and when we started homeschooling we had 5 kids five and under. There is no book that covers that dynamic. Most books assume that you have one child per age and that you can set your child up to be schooling independently, before having the next one start.

Haskins’ book has great information about not following a formulaic approach to homeschooling, and instead letting your family life determine how your homeschool functions. It’s truly the book that set me up for thinking about how we are going to homeschool next year.

The Digital Invasion by Dr. Archibald Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd

This book isn’t specific to homeschooling, but I feel like the digital is very much invading homeschooling. Many curriculums are going toward computer based learning, which is great, but it comes at a price. Hart and Frejd go into how the digital world is reshaping our brains and the way we are relating with not only the world around us, but our families as well.

The thing I truly appreciated about this book, wasn’t that technology is a plague and should be avoided, but a very real presence in our lives and homes and how best to use it without being used by it.

When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling by R.C. Sproul Jr.

I think I read this when Avie was a baby. It was the first book I had read on homeschooling, and one that I will probably be re-reading this summer (particularly since there are no notes or dog-eared pages in it). One of the things that has stuck with me from this book is the “why” of homeschooling.

Why are you homeschooling? What is your definition of success? Are you raising your children with the goal of being successful by the world’s standards or by God’s? It has continually made me rethink what our motives are when it comes to parenting.

What I Plan to Read

Obviously, these are the books I haven’t read. Other than saying that trusted people have recommended them to me, I can give you no incentive to read them for yourselves.

Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson

From Amazon: Whether you are a first-time homeschooler or a longtime veteran, this comprehensive guide will equip and empower you for your journey of faith as a family. Discover the joy of bringing relationship-based, book-centered learning into the natural daily life of your home.

Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin

From Amazon: Featuring a carefully curated reading treasury of the best children’s literature for each area of the globe, as well as practical parenting suggestions and inspiration, Give Your Child the World helps moms and dads raise insightful, compassionate kids who fall in love with the world and are prepared to change it for good.

The Book Tree by Elizabeth MccCallum and Jane Scott

Very similar to Give Your Child the World in the sense, that it is an invaluable resource for choosing good books for your family.

From Amazon: They have provided a guide to the best of children’s literature serviceable for both veteran reading families and those just beginning their great journey of the imagination. I think you’ll find that their accurate descriptions, careful recommendations, and cogent insights will prove to be as delightful as it will be invaluable in your own family.

Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read by Diane W. Frankenstein

From Amazon: This engaging guide shares advice for parents, teachers, librarians, and caregivers on how to help children find what to read, and then through conversation, how to find meaning and pleasure in their reading. With more than 100 great book recommendations for kids from Pre-K through grade six, as well as related conversation starters, Reading Together offers a winning equation to turn children into lifelong readers.

Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Raymond and Dorothy Moore have prepared this influential book to show how, by using the everyday resources and experiences of your own home environment, you can truly enjoy your child and give him or her a wholesome, first-class education that neither stifles creativity nor hampers character development.

~*~*~*~*~*~

I know this list is in no way exhaustive of all of the wonderful homeschooling books that are out there. I’m sure if I looked through just the boks that I’ve pinned and saved on Instagram I could probably add another 15 easily. BUT…

I’d love to know what are some of your favorite homeschool books?

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2017

I’m rather impressed with myself for the quantity of books that I’ve been reading! I’m at 20 books for the year, which is more than halfway toward my goal for the year. I’m not sure WHY I’ve managed to read as much as I have. I’ve been in two book clubs for the last 9 months that have kind of forced me to read at least two books, and one of those is usually an audiobook. That said, I am not someone who can read multiple books at a time…read one and listen to one, that I can do.

Favorite Fiction Book

I’m going for the cheese factor on this one. I absolutely LOVED As Old As Time, Braswell’s retelling of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Honestly, I think it’s my favorite version of Beauty and the Beast. I felt like the story was fantastically woven, that open plot lines were well concluded, and overall I really loved HOW she rewrote the story.

With all of the Beauty and the Beast hype of the past few months, I felt that this book did a better job of explaining the history of the characters. Far better than even the movie did. The movie was good, don’t get me wrong, but I think this story is much more in-line with the entire Beauty and the Beast premise, particularly regarding enchantment. If you do read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

This is a tough one! I so liked all of the non-fiction that I read. My top three would have to be Metzler, Swindell, and Baker. But even of those I’d have to see it was Counting Grains of Sand that touched me the most. I’ve “known” Natasha through social media and different groups for several years, and hearing her stories again, in her voice was profound. Throw into that my own struggles with infertility, or anyone’s struggles with prayers not answered as we’d choose and this book will rock you.

This book was so good that I bought it and had it overnighted to a friend who was going through hardships before I had even finished it. THAT is how much this book was grabbing me. Natasha has so many delicious words and good truths that we all seem to not be able to remember.

The Book I hated

My least favorite book was that of The Zookeeper’s Wife. I struggled through this one; and I struggled with the fact that I didn’t love it! I had very high hopes for it, but the writing was less than intriguing. The story of the Antonina Zabinski was one that really struck my interests; keepers of the Warsaw Zoo in Poland during World War II, who were hiding and transporting Jews.

It was a tough one. While the subject matter was very interesting and the story of this family enthralling, I felt like the author couldn’t decide how she wanted to write this, whether a novel or a textbook. There were parts that sucked you in and told you a story, and then abruptly there were parts that were so detailed about things that had no bearing on anything that I skipped over them (i.e. in depth discussion regarding random plants).

Get through it I did though, and I’m glad for it…because it really was interesting, despite the drudgery.

What have you been reading?