Tag: Parenting

Book Review: Teachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith

“There’s no way to avoid the intrusion of popular culture into our homes and families, but we don’t have to let these instances exploit and influence our children. Instead, we can use those unplanned opportunities to instill conscience, character, and faith into the hearts and minds of the children God has entrusted to our care.” (pg. 2)

In this day and age, you can’t be too careful when it comes to the things to which children are exposed. The battle to protect their innocence is a difficult one to fight. This book by Marybeth Hicks is invaluable! While I am a few years away from having to put the teachings of this book into practice, it’s definitely not too soon to start preparing for what’s ahead.

More than ever, kids are exposed to content and concepts in the media and the surrounding world that go directly against the Bible and Christian values. How can parents use these instances as opportunities to teach? This book breaks it down in clear language and talks about areas such as media, school, friends, sports, family, and the real world and how you can use these situations to build character in your child.

I especially enjoyed the chapter about media because it is an ever-growing part of everyday life. More than ever, people are connected to screens (whether through smartphones, television, etc.), and it’s increasingly difficult to avoid exposure. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote: “As Christians, we’re called to integrate our media consumption into our lives in ways that support our faith and values, and not as a perpetual temptation or an avenue of corruption.” (pg. 61) After reading this chapter, I feel better equipped to teach our daughter when the time comes.

It’s incredibly important to guard the hearts and minds of our children until they are old enough to maturely handle the content, and this book provides great advice about how to accomplish that. If you’re a parent of children under the age of 18, I highly recommend this book.

I received a copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Be the Dad She Needs You to Be

Because we are about to have a baby girl any day now, I thought this was a perfect book to pick up for my husband to read. This review is from his perspective.

Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Dr. Kevin Leman describes many specific situations where simply being present isn’t enough. You have to know your daughter(s) in ways that you never thought necessary, and this can be difficult for men because men don’t always naturally think like women. One of the greatest examples given is in regards to the drama that girls tend to gravitate toward; he emphasizes the importance of keeping your cool and listening, because sometimes that is all she needs you to do.

I loved the number of suggestions and personal examples that he gives throughout the book, and especially the stories from other people about how his teachings have worked well with raising their daughters.

I think it will help me be a better father in the sense that I can be very selfish, as we all can, and I might not naturally think of a lot of things that my daughter is going to need. This book was very blunt and clear about how to discipline, set boundaries, etc. Ultimately, this book reminded me that a daughter needs a dad who is very involved, and that can be the very thing that sets her up for success in this world.

I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Parenting the Wholehearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion

In just a week or so, we will become parents for the first time. In the past few months, I’ve been trying to glean as much wisdom as possible before embarking on this journey, and Parenting the Wholehearted Child has proven to be an excellent resource and one that I will keep on my bookshelf for years to come.

There is so much pressure on mothers today to raise the “perfect” children. I’m not on Pinterest (intentionally), but I’ve heard many of my friends complain that they just can’t meet the standards of perfection that are displayed there by seeming “super moms” who can be creative, raise perfect children, keep their house perfectly clean, etc. We’ve somehow created this need to be a perfect parent instead of focusing on instilling important values within our children. These unreasonable standards for perfection are overwhelming and unattainable.

So while shame was brewing on the inside, performance was reigning on the outside, and my worth was becoming more and more dependent on who people thought I was instead of on who God says I am in Christ (p. 23).

This book focuses on parenting with grace, unconditional love, and authenticity. The author discusses the importance of raising wholehearted children, not perfect ones:

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My copy is filled with underlines and I even took pictures of some of my favorite quotes so that they’d be readily available when I need them. It’s filled with practical wisdom! Some of the broader topics covered are: Imperfect Parents, Perfect Grace, Experiencing a Vibrant Friendship with Jesus, Growing in Christlike Character, and Leading with Love Unconditional.

If you are desiring to raise children who love God, love others, and live in grace, pick up this book. I know it will be one that I return to over and over again as I learn how to be a wholehearted parent.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

First Pregnancy: 32 Weeks and Counting…

10320414_10100203948552830_3245351653827089556_nAs of tomorrow, I will be eight months pregnant. EIGHT MONTHS. Out of ten. That means that in less than two months, we will be parents. We will have a baby girl to care for and keep alive 😉 Our lives are about to completely change whether we are ready or not!

I am so thankful that this has been an incredibly easy pregnancy. I do not take this for granted, as I know that so many women are miserable the entire time. I have had maybe a handful of days that were uncomfortable or miserable, and that has mostly been slight hip pain (and mostly at night). God has been so gracious to me throughout the past eight months!

I have learned to manage my gestational diabetes fairly well. I am on medication to try to bring down my fasting blood sugar numbers and thankfully haven’t yet experienced many side effects from the medicine. I’ve found that I can get away with far more than I had imagined and I’m learning what spikes my blood sugar and what doesn’t. Sonic’s sugar-free slushies have helped with my sweet tooth cravings 🙂

I have only gained 25 lbs thus far and hopefully won’t gain more than 5 more thanks to the gestational diabetes rules. 🙂

Our baby is currently 4lbs, 13oz from their best guess and she is a healthy weight. Depending on how much she grows, it is likely that they won’t let me go past 39 weeks (July 27). She is very active and sometimes I wonder if she’s dancing in there! She is still “breech” but has plenty of time to turn over, thankfully. This mama is hoping for a completely natural birth, so she needs to cooperate 🙂 Haha.

10256843_10100203665564940_7227908944016164964_oLast week, Brennan and I went on our “baby-moon” to San Antonio and had a wonderful time. We made sure to balance the need for rest/relaxation with exploring the area and I think we did pretty well. We spent a day in Austin, as well, and we saw the State Capitol and the Lyndon Johnson Library/Museum, both of which were worthwhile visits. The heat was a little much for me, which I know must be due to pregnancy (and the fact that PA hasn’t had any heat yet this year) because it doesn’t usually bother me very much.

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It was so wonderful to spend some much-needed time together before our baby comes. We’ve both been working as much as possible, leaving very little free time to just hang out together; to have six days together was a true blessing! I’m so thankful that we are truly best-friends and that we never get tired of each other. Brennan is an incredible blessing and has taken extra good care of me during pregnancy. So blessed ❤

 

 

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When we got home, we realized that we spent less than we had budgeted on our trip (and on car repairs), so we were able to purchase our stroller/car seat off of our baby registry! This was the most important thing left on our registry, as we need to be able to bring her home from the hospital 🙂 The rest of the items we can get as we need them, but this one had to be purchased. The only other thing we need to get in the next two months is the glider that we registered for so that I have a comfy place to feed our baby. Other than that, I think we’re ready for her to arrive!

I still can’t believe that we’re about to be the parents of a baby girl. I can’t wait to see what she looks like, to observe her little personality, and to be in awe of the miracle that God is giving us through her.

Book Review: Smart Money Smart Kids

Smart Money Smart Kids is a MUST read for any parent who wants to ensure that their children learn from an early age that money is a responsibility to be taken seriously.

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Dave Ramsey’s principles – they have changed our financial outlook forever.  So, when I saw that he and his daughter, Rachel, were writing a book about how to instill financial wisdom within children, I was immediately excited. Even though we have a few years before we’ll be teaching our not-yet-born daughter about money, it’s really important to start learning these lessons now so that we can implement them later with ease.

Dave and Rachel have broken down important concepts – such as budgeting, college, working hard, etc. – into “easy to reference later” chapters so that it’s not only something to learn from now, but a book you can reference again and again as you parent your children into adulthood.

In this culture of credit, debt, and impulsive spending, it is SO vital that we teach our children to save, give, and to WORK. Otherwise, they will fall into the same traps that we did – student loan debt, car payments, credit cards.

I long for our children to experience the freedom that we are working so hard now as adults to achieve! We are ready to break the chains of debt in our family tree and to teach our children to “live like no one else” – which will change the legacy of our family forever. This book has prepared us well for what lies ahead and has been a great reminder that we must also LIVE OUT these concepts if we want our children to embrace them.

I will blog about specific concepts later – but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share this book with you!

To pre-order the book AND receive extra material, click here! It will be released on April 22, 2014.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tomorrow’s the big day!

Boy or girl?

Tomorrow’s the day we find out what our little baby is!

Here are the results from the survey we posted on Facebook:
53.85% said girl, 46.15% said boy.

We had some fun with the silly prediction methods we found on the Internet as well. According to the “Ajax test” and the “nose width” test, it’s a boy. 

Lesa’s guess is still that it’s a girl, but she would be perfectly fine with being wrong. 😉 Brennan’s guess is still that it’s a boy. Results will be posted at some point this week!