Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The DIY Guide to Building a Family That Lasts by Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden Book Review

Home improvement shows have been infiltrating our TV for many years.  But how can we use that concept to strengthen our family relationships as Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden share in their new book, The DIY Guide to Building a Family that Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving your Home Life?  Gary and Shannon take a home improvement approach to building a family.  Each chapter starts with a goal and tool, a funny story, real life situations, drawing up plans- ways to make the goal work, DIY- take a look at yourself and how you can reach the goal, All-In Budget- getting the whole family involved, Sweat Equity- summary of the chapter, the Big Reveal- how it should look, and Talk it Over- questions for discussion.  This book covers 12 tools such as kindness, gratitude, love, compromise, forgiveness, communication, trust, compassion, patience, getting organized, creating fun and building connection.  There is also an epilogue with a home maintenance section and home life inspection quiz.

This book covers so many great topics that are absolutely needed in a family.  For me, I think I could only focus on one goal every few months.  My favorite part of the book was the Sweat Equity section that summarized the chapter.  I thought this was a good part to read to the family and that everyone could get on board in a short amount of time.   I also liked the main goal and the tool to get to that goal stated at the beginning of each chapter.  It gave a good focus keeps the chapter spotlighted on the topic.  I would recommend this book to any family who struggles in any of the areas listed above.  This would make a great family project book.   

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

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham Book Review

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham tells the story of a single woman working at a dead letter office whose letters from a man named Thomas pass over her desk.  Penny feels heartbroken for this man who has lost the love of his life.  She seeks to unite them by delivering the letters to his fiance herself.  But she finds out some tragic news and feels even more connected to this mysterious Thomas.  His words have truly touched her heart and she wants to give the letters back to him.  She goes on a quest to locate the young man and finds herself and her dog traveling from Washington DC  to a small town in Iowa.  Penny is unprepared to meet the endearing people of this sweet town, but becomes attracted to Thomas but does not reveal her reasons for coming to the town.  Some strange things start happening to Thomas and his new farm and Penny becomes involved. They form a friendship and become emotionally attached, but with secrets still between them.  When she finally reveals who she is, will Thomas accept her?

This book was a sweet historical romance that swept me back to a time with dead letter offices, community dances, writing long letters, boardinghouses and taking chances.  Penny was a young girl who felt things deeply and wanted romance more than anything in her life, but she felt stuck.  She had determination and spunk to to pick up and travel to a faraway place on her journey to finding true love.  This book gives a glimpse as to what a possible lost letter might give to woman searching for a place to belong.  I enjoyed this story.

Find our more about Rachel here:
Rachel's Website
Rachel's Facebook
Rachel's Instagram

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Revell Reads for review.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Homemaker's Friend Daily Planner BOGO Sale!! Ends Aug 31, 2019

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Several years ago I was floundering around with a planner that I had printed off week by week.  I wasn't able to keep up with it and eventually gave up.  Then I discovered this planner from Sue Hooley known as the Homemaker's Friend Daily Planner.  

 Here are the features I love about it: 
*It's a convenient size.  I can slip it into my purse.
*The weekly task list helps me organize my to do list.
*I can record and see my menu plan for the whole week on the two page spread.
*I plan birthdays, cleaning projects, clothes I need, makeup brands, books to read and more.
*The tear out shopping lists are handy for recording my shopping needs and using for my grocery run.
*I keep a master list of shopping needs from my favorite stores.
*I can see a month at a glance.
*It's my brain and I LOVE it!

This planner has been such a positive impact in my life to be organized, productive and happy!

Recently I moved and this planner has helped me organize my new life schedule as my kids are now in school.  We've been having a very fun and busy summer and it's great to keep my running list of things that need to be done.  There are SO many family birthdays in the summer.  I also run a Podcast Club and do many book reviews, so this planner keeps me on task.  

Take a look inside:

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Don't Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean by Marty Machowski Book Review

Don't Blame the Mud :Only Jesus Makes Us Clean by Marty Machowski is a picture book for young listeners to understand exactly how sin can move someone to make bad choices which lead to consequences.  But it also offers the forgiveness and redemption of God's love.  Young Max is on his way home and has been told to keep his clothes clean.  He opts to walk down near the creek but thinks he can skirt around the mud with no problem.  He eventually slips and becomes muddy which he tries to hide when he gets home.  His parents see through his disobedience.  He gets cleaned up on the outside, but his inside is still battling the sin and he makes excuses.  His parents gently guide him to understand God's way and lead him to repentance. 

There is a short section after the story for parents to help their children understand sin and also to understand the gospel.  At the back there are key Bible verses to remember with a promise, a prayer and a plea.

This book was illustrated with lively pictures to help kids identify with the "picture" of sin.  Sin is the ugly mud that follows young Max everywhere until he finally asks for forgiveness and he's washed clean on the inside.  This story gives a realistic look at the thoughts and actions of a child's mind and heart as they choose disobedience and reap the consequences of sin like shame, guilt, and blame.  This story also shows how parents can naturally help their child to "see" sin and to learn to come to God to wash away the "mud in our hearts." 

This is a great book for ages 6-10 as children need to learn how to confess their sin and truly understand the Gospel that is relevant and present in their lives.

Learn more about the author at

Don't Blame the Mud can be found at New Growth Press.  Visit

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