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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Joosh’s Juice Bar Children’s Book {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.


When Joosh’s Juice Bar runs out of strawberries, the youngsters are asked to go on a “strawberry run”. Mo and Coco, along with rainforest friends Randy (a mischievous monkey) and Kwamee (a wise green lizard), travel through the Tropland Rainforest and stumble upon a unique glowing berry in Don Ribbit’s forbidden Swampland. Mo and Randy pick the berries, eat them and bring them back to Joosh’s Juice Bar. What seemed like a great idea at first turns sour as Joosh and his wife Holly return home to the juice bar and find the boys making a new juice with the berries! To their surprise, Randy and Mo, along with the animals that also drank their new blue juice, are glowing blue from head to toe! The Joosh Man takes Coco and the boys to seek aid from Doctor Boo Boo (a toucan bird).Will they find a way to wash the blue glow away? Will they get back home safely before the impending rain storm? Entertaining characters with wonderful adventures. Each page filled with colorful art and a story that highlights important eating habits for children of all ages. The Blue Banana Berry Adventure is the first book in the series and written entirely in rhyme, for you and your kids to enjoy a hundred times!

(This post contains a few Amazon links which support Dandy when you purchase through them, yet they don’t cost you anything extra. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

I thought the idea behind Joosh’s Juice Bar was a great; a story about a family living in the jungle, hanging out their animal friends, supporting each other, and eating healthy. It’s even got a recipe for an easy fruit smoothie built right into the story. (How’s that for a nice way to motivate your little ones to crave something good for them?)

The illustrations are fun, colorful and vibrant. The bright colors made me think Dora the Explorer meets Lisa Frank, and there are more than 65 illustrations in this book. Each page has less than 50 words making the book fairly long, but easy to read. The book is also written with a series of rhymes that roll off your tongue and make the story is fun and silly to read, however a few of the rhymes felt forced to me.

A downside for us is that Dmitri, at about 18 months, is just a little bit too young to play nicely with this paperback book, though he loved looking at the bright colors as I read it too him, I think he’ll like it more after he’s grown up just a smidgen.

I would suggest this book for kids age three and up, especially for those who have a difficult time eating their fruits and veggies. This book teaches the importance of eating the good stuff in a fun and engaging way. Not to mention the other good parts about listening to your parents, and doing what’s right.

It was colorful, silly, engaging, a good message with an entertaining story, and the cadence of the rhymes made it extra fun to read.

Official Website / Facebook / Twitter

One Lucky Winner will receive their own copy of Joosh’s Juice Bar, Enter using the Giveaway Tool’s Widget below.

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of July 12th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Raising Boys by Design by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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rbbdI was hooked with the very title of this book.  I do have boys, and I do wonder every day if I am raising them the best way I should in order to make them the most awesome people possible.  From the first paragraph, I found this book fascinating.  It is full of research, interesting studies, facts that we now know about the male and female brain, and helpful conclusions and advice on how to keep these male minds fully engaged and thriving.  I’m not a science buff, or particularly interested in physiology, but I was engrossed and fascinated by the way the authors dived into the science behind the ways that the male and female brains think and react.  Even having started this book several months ago, I still recall the important ‘take-aways’ regarding the need for a strong male influence in the home, even if it is not their biological father.

I agree with the authors’ main point, that there is a growing disconnect in our society where we have put so much emphasis and attention on the advancement of women that the boys and men have drastically fallen behind.  Males hold the lowest grades, the highest drop-out rates, the lesser amount of graduates, the largest percentage of jails and institutions, etc. and they need to be put back into focus if they are to lead their families and lead society like we need them to.

Evaluation questions at the end of each section helped me to mentally chart my own areas of improvement, and summed everything up what I had read into a encouraging call to action.

This book, written by two fathers, is full of countless examples, from their personal lives and the lives of those they have mentored or treated, as well as helpful ideas, backed with studies and facts to prove points.  I found it written very well and easy to understand, particularly while the two author’s words were seamlessly combined to not be confusing or at all contradictory.

I thought their religious interjections, mainly consisting of people and stories from the bible, where heroes we know faced similar trials or temptations and felt similar feelings, were beautifully placed and written.  Though not of my faith, I still agreed with these authors and the strong religious truths to their words.

This book is lovingly written to educate and encourage anyone who really believes, or wants to believe, in their wonderful boy(s), and I will recommend this to any mother-of-boys looking for further insight into the way their little minds work.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

99 Stories from the Bible by Juliet David {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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9999 Stories from the Bible

by Juliet David
Illustrated by Elina Ellis

Try reading scriptures with your squirmy toddlers at night and see if they last for more than two verses.  Since we’ve started reading scripture stories from this cute composition of ninety nine stories from the Bible, my kids have been more and more willing to sit and learn the stories I know and love!

I really commend the author for writing these stories in a way that is easy for little children to understand, but they are not too watered down.  There have been children’s bibles in the past where I have not completely agreed with the interpretation of the author, but this edition jives with me and my beliefs.

What really makes this book wonderful are the friendly illustrations!  The artist’s style is pleasant, soft, and colorful in what looks like watercolors and crayon.  Every character has a sort of large-nose and wide-eyed look, which sounds odd, but looks so friendly!

With almost every story, there is one page of dialogue and narration along with one page of illustration in a double page spread.  That allows for 99 stories in 196 pages.  The hard back cover has really held up well, and the high-quality pages and printing are very well-done.

I’m glad we got this book back in November so that we could enjoy it nightly for the past three months!

You can purchase this book from Kregel Publications HERE for $11.99.

*I received this book from Kregel Publications in order the write this review, but all opinions are strictly my own.


Pirates on the Farm by Denette Fretz {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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_240_360_Book_1026_coverPirates on the Farm by Denette Fretz

I seem to never be able to call which childrens books my kids will like.  I can pick a whole basket full from the library, and the one that they want read over and over again is not the one I would have picked.  However.  I did call this one right!

Pirates and farms are two highly intriguing subjects to toddler boys!  A darling girl is the narrator who tells the story of a group of pirates who move in next door and turn their community upside down.

The illustrations are lovely!  I am drawn to fine watercolor illustrations in vibrant colors and these are just what I love.  There is a lot to look at on every page, which keeps little ones enthralled.

The story is quite humorous, easy to follow, and just delightful!  It spreads a message about accepting those who are different than you.  While the pirates did things that were publicly inappropriate, the narrator’s family was won over (some sooner than others) and remained understanding and helpful, and that made all the difference when the Sheriff arrived with a court order for the pirates to pay for damages.

The book ends with a wonderful message and a “feel good” resolution.  I think this is a great book to read to my boys, and I hope they will pick up on the charitable message!  The funnest part of the book are the “Seadog Definitions” in the back, where pirate language is explained in a pirate accent.  Arrr!

I’d love to see what other books this author and illustrator have done together.

Read more about the author, Denette Fretz, HERE.

You can publish the book from Zondervan for $12.99 HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.





Peace on Earth by Mary Engelbreit {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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_240_360_Book_987_coverChristmas and Mary Engelbreit.  Two of my favorite things!!  I’m thrilled to tell you about her new Christmas book, called Peace on Earth, A Christmas Collection.  This is a collection of carols, stories, and poems that ring in the holiday and celebrate it in all its wonder.

This is the perfect book for putting you in the Christmas spirit!  There are familiar carols and familiar scriptures, along with some new poems and stories that I’d not read before, but loved just as much.  Same with Mary’s artwork.  She has some classic illustrations that I’m so glad were included, along with some that I’ve not seen.

There are 40 pages of delightful artwork in this hardcover, jacketed book.  The colors are bright and vivid and there is so much to look at on every page.  What an artist she is!  On any given page, there are so many things to fall in love with.  The attention to detail, from the border trim to eyelashes is intentional and beautiful.

As an artist, Mary Engelbreit has been a favorite of mine for years and years.  She has such a way of brightening spirits with her cheerful colors, prints, words, and drawings, and this book is one of her best.  The cherry on top is the glittery snowballs on the front cover dust jacket!

I think this book would make the most wonderful hostess gift.  This book wrapped up with a plate of cookies on top would be so thoughtful, for mother and child, and something that could become a yearly tradition.  I split this up among two nights and enjoyed every minute.  I can’t wait to read it to my boys.  I’ve decided that yes, this will be a tradition in our household!

You can purchase this book for $17.99 from Zondervan HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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_225_350_Book_842_coverI was super excited about this book based on its title, as this is something I really want to work on becoming.  I had high expectations, and though it was a nice book with some nice thoughts, I didn’t really change my life.
I was interested and attentive for the first portion of this book, but slowly lost my fire to finish as it continued.  Perhaps we didn’t jive because everything kept tying back to the biblical character of Nehemiah, which was a nice religious analogy to make, but he was brought up incessantly.  It felt like every other page, the author was referencing his story and making assumptions about his thoughts and motives, making them sound like fact.  Perhaps I am just not as familiar with or interested in Nehemiah, and if I had more of a connection with him, I would have appreciated all the speculation.
I didn’t exactly like seeing all the promoting of the author’s business, iMOM, throughout the book, though an occasional reference as to where to find more info was helpful.
The book has really just made me feel more overwhelmed than encouraged about the stresses, strains, and worries that are supposedly inevitably coming my way as my children grow older.  This has been affecting me moreso than any other literature to this point in my life.  It is sure making me appreciate how little and simple my children are right now, uncomplicated and obedient, and I am only more dreading their growing older into rebellious and difficult children, though I don’t think that was the intent of the book.  I’ve been feeling more aware and appreciative after finishing, but not exactly empowered with knowledge, as I hoped would be the case.
It was finally about 3/4 through the book that it starting becoming engrossing to me, and I wasn’t reading out of obligation any more.  At this point were a number of sections about specific things to watch out for, specific things to do, and specific ways to mother.  Its as if the majority of the book was full of inspirational fluff, like gather figurative bricks with imaginary mortar to build metaphoric walls.  I couldn’t really get in to it.  When the book changed direction into offering how-to’s and what-to-do’s, I couldn’t put it down.
If you are someone who enjoys analogies and need a new perspective, and most of all, are prepared to read over a hundred pages about what Nehemiah did and didn’t do, you will love this book!
You can purchase and find more information on this book HERE.
*I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com (http://BookSneeze®.com) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Candle Classic Bible {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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9781859858677The Candle Classic Bible
The art of teaching children is all about intentionally simplifying this complex world into building blocks that they can understand and build upon other things they know.  The complexities of the bible are no exception, and in order to teach a toddler the stories and principles it contains, it has to be simplified!
I have really loved the Candle Books I’ve gotten to review from Kregel Publications.  They have all been child-friendly, mostly true to what I believe (or close enough that I can leave out a statement of interpretation that I don’t feel is accurate), displayed in a visually friendly and attractive way, and something I’m happy to hold on to as a means to educate my children and teach them about this beautiful world and its wonderful Heavenly Father.
The Candle Classic Bible goes right alongside my other favorites as a fantastic teaching tool.  This is the most extensive simplified book in our collection, and it is certainly meant to be stretched out among several weeks or even months of reading.  It contains 256 marbled pages with a clean table of contents grouped into subject headings.  Each chapter is condensed into roughly a partial column or two of text and interspersed with pictures on almost every page.
I have really enjoyed reading this Bible alongside my kids!  I too forget the stories after not having read them in awhile, and getting a refresher in a simplified format with pictures was just delightful.  I even used it as a reference when I wanted to look up the basics of a bible story and get the names and places down quickly.
The text isn’t so watered down that everything sounds the same, nor is it too wordy or fluffy for a youngen to understand.  I would recommend this for anyone in grade school as a great beginner’s bible.  It is an appealing book to pull out every night, what with the chapters condensed into just the right amount of text.  The hardbound cover and beautiful illustrations make it a beautiful addition to the family room bookcase.  We’re happy to add this to our family’s scripture study literature!
You can find more information about this book as well as purchase your own copy HERE.
I received a free copy of this book from Kregel Publications to write this review.

Is College Worth It? {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I have always, always loved reading, but there are few books that stay in my mind as much as this one did.  I actually received it in and finished it literally in one sitting about a month ago, but I’ve given some time for me to sort through the thoughts in my head before attempting to write a clear, concise review.  There were a number of nights that I would be awake in bed, thinking of this book and my response to it, and my husband (who read it over the course of the next week after I begged him to so I could bounce my ideas off of someone!) and I have had quite a few discussions about some of the topics in this book over the past few weeks.

Is College Worth It? was written by former United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and Liberal Arts graduate David Wilezol, and each author provides an educated perspective with strong points and valid arguments.  “[They] assess the problems of American higher education at various levels, from runaway costs to inferior academics to poor graduation rates to political indoctrination, and propose serious reforms and alternative methods for improving higher education so that it better serves our students.”


One of the first points that caught my attention was the financial aid situation that seems to be spiraling out of control.  I was shocked to learn that the student loan “bubble” is just waiting to burst, quite like the housing market did several years ago.  The difference between the two, according to Is College Worth It?, is that the amount of money that has been borrowed through student loans is more than double the amount that was sitting in the housing market.  I remember being surprised when I was attending college to see how much money was available from financial aid each term, and I was even more surprised when I would overhear classmates talk about taking classes during the summer or adding “fluff” classes to get to full-time status so they could qualify and use every penny available to them through these loans.  I know many who have easily tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and are struggling to make those payments, even if they are lucky enough to have a full-time job.

On top of that, some didn’t graduate and are in an even more precarious situation since they don’t have a degree to make them eligible for higher-paying jobs.  Bennett and Wilezol discuss how many students are expected to go to college or how parents assume that just having their kids go straight to a four-year university will lead to a degree and career.  This, though, is not always the case — many students are not ready for college or don’t have the desire or the drive necessary to succeed in this new environment.  These students might have better success in a community college or in a technical school that would allow them different opportunities with smaller class sizes, a variety of formats for learning (online, hybrid, more/less class meetings each week, etc.), and more practical degree plans that would be suited to their interests.  I’ve taught English, Reading, and Early Childhood Education for the past six years at both community colleges and universities, and I agree wholeheartedly with Bennett and Wilezol that students who are underprepared for or are uninterested in college should reconsider how they are using their time and money at that stage in their lives.

The other part of this book that stuck in my head was how the option of joining the military to pay for college was hardly given the time or “room” in the book that I certainly believe it deserves.  Only one or two paragraphs are written about West Point or the Naval Academy — both of which are highly rated academically, require no monetary cost for tuition from the student, and result in becoming a commissioned officer in the armed forces.  I can’t recall any mention in this book of the ROTC programs available at most universities throughout the nation that also provide tuition, a stipend, and a career.  There’s a passing mention of the GI Bill available to those who enlist, and there is no mention of 100% tuition assistance available while enlisted servicemembers are on active duty.

  In fact, one of the fictional “case study” examples in the last chapter of this book gives a scenario where a young man graduated from high school, had been working as a roofer for about a year, still lived with his parents, and used his free time to smoke pot and play video games with his friends from high school.  The authors’ suggestion for this scenario?  Join the military.

SAY WHAT???!!   

The authors explained that this fictional example character was used to hard work outdoors with long hours and manual labor, which would prepare him for the military.  They then briefly mentioned that the GI Bill would be available if he decided he wanted to go to college later.  And they jokingly said something about him needing to stop smoking pot.

I was absolutely shocked.

Let me give you a better scenario.

A young man just barely graduates from high school and doesn’t have the grades or really even the drive to go to college.  However, he spent two years as a cross-age tutor in an elementary school with a fabulous teacher who inspired him to become a teacher himself.  He’s a good kid — doesn’t drink, smoke, or use illegal drugs; is active and plays varsity sports; and even attends church regularly — but he knows that college is not really an option for him at that point.  When the Marine Corps recruiter calls him and offers an opportunity to serve his country, work at a full-time job, and later attend college, he enlists and prepares to go to boot camp.  His boot camp report date?  September 24, 2001 – not even two weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

He becomes a Marine and serves his country for four years.  During that time, he enrolls in the university on the base and is able to take 45 credits of college coursework at no cost to him, thanks to the Tuition Assistance program, and he maintains a 3.6 GPA.  He decides not to re-enlist, but to attend college full-time to fulfill his goal of becoming a teacher.  His GPA and the 45 college credits allows him to enter a four-year university as a transfer student, making the application process much less stressful since his high school grades are not even considered.  He uses the GI Bill for two years, which provides him a stipend each month to pay for tuition, books, housing, groceries, whatever.  He also works at the nearby school district as a Physical Education Assistant, a job for which he was qualified because of volunteer hours during high school combined with his experiences in the Marine Corps.

Right before finishing his degree, this young man is recalled into active duty service.  After lots of late-night thinking and prayer, he feels that he should instead re-enlist with the Marine Corps, and he is able to complete his degree just months after returning to active duty.  This degree allows him the opportunity to now become an officer in the Marine Corps and continue to make the military a successful career.  He’s set back a little when he learns that he can’t choose the job he holds in the Marine Corps as an officer; he’s not sure that he wants to give up his option to select a job, but his degree is still highly regarded when he goes before the board for promotions, which come quickly.  He later learns that he can be an Air Traffic Controller in the Marine Corps as an enlisted servicemember, and he jumps on that opportunity.  He currently has his TRACON rating, meaning that he can work any position in a radar facility and can continue serving as a military member or can instead work for the FAA — again, all at no cost to him, thanks to the training provided by the Marine Corps.

Have you figured out yet that this young man is my husband?  🙂

Here’s my bottom line:

In the conversation about students preparing for college, attending college, and paying for college, I don’t believe that the opportunities provided by military service should be so fleetingly brushed aside, as I felt they were in this book.  I don’t think that enlisting in the military should be portrayed as a last-ditch effort to make something of one’s self, and it certainly should not be touted as an option to those who use (and could be addicted to) illegal drugs — a dishonorable discharge from military service would certainly eliminate future job opportunities.

And, in the conversation about students not needing to attend college and rack up huge amounts of student loans in order to be successfully employed in fulfilling careers, the military also provides specialized training in some fields that translate directly into successful civilian careers.  Some require specific skill sets, and not all jobs in the military are working outside or doing manual labor.  I know of a number of former military members who gained on-the-job training and experience in meteorology, air traffic controlling, and firefighting while serving their country and are now gainfully employed in civilian careers, some with lucrative salaries.

I also believe that there are amazing opportunities for those who choose to go to college first and then join the military using any number of programs that will pay for education/training in exchange for a number of years of active duty service.  We have friends who are trained F-15 and C-130 pilots, and others who are nurses, PAs, and doctors — all who had their college education paid for while being provided a stipend, resulting in little to no student loans and a full-time job with benefits.

If you’re looking for a book that will provide an interesting perspective on college education and its role in shaping America financially, economically, and intellectually, I would highly recommend this book.  I’ve obviously focused on the military in my review, but my own choice to live at home after high school to work and take classes at the local university to save money rather than go off to an Ivy League school (or any school) felt validated when I read this book.  My experiences as a college instructor also are aligned with those of the authors’ in terms of allowing students to go to college when and if that desire arises.  As a mom who wants only the best for her boys, I definitely came to a screeching halt and had a bit of an anxiety attack when I considered that attending a four-year university (or any college at all!) may not be the best choice for my young men when they get to that point — I have a Master’s degree and my husband has a Bachelor’s degree plus 15 credits of graduate coursework, so we just assume that our kids will all go to college to earn at least their Bachelor’s degrees — but I can see how college may not be the option that is most suitable for all students.  Is College Worth It?, though, provides an objective view of how college can be both beneficial and detrimental depending on a number of factors.

**I was provided this book to review by Booksneeze, but all opinions are strictly my own.

You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded) {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My now four-year-old was the most stubborn, difficult toddler I think I could have conjured up in my head.  I can remember so many nights crying and praying to ask why I was sent such a strong-willed little boy to raise.  I struggled to feel like the work I was doing as a parent was effective in any way, and I especially struggled some days to find the joy in parenting.  Although he was probably more trying than other two/three-year-olds his age, I look back and can see now that my misconceptions about him as a toddler made such a difference in my experience.  I had an extremely hard time allowing myself to pick my battles, as I was convinced that allowing him to “get away” with something at the time would inevitably lead to him being a high school dropout selling drugs at 15!

As he’s now grown and developed into just the best kid I could have asked for (not in terms of being the easiest and or the most well-behaved, but certainly the best for our family), I realize that so many of the changes that I made in my interactions with him improved my perspective of motherhood and our relationship overall.  My husband and I have come to accept these specific traits that used to drive us crazy and have tried to figure out the best way to work with them, rather than trying to change my son as we had attempted in the past.


“Many parents suspect their strong-willed child is deliberately trying to drive them crazy. Difficult to discipline and seemingly impossible to motivate, these children present unique, exhausting, and often-frustrating challenges to the those who love them.  But strong will is not a negative trait. These same children have firm convictions, high spirits, a sense of adventure—all the makings of a great adult.”

One of the sections from this book that caught my eye was related to this excerpt from the back cover of You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded).  I was interested to think of all the qualities and traits that I hope my children develop as they grow into teenagers and adults, and they were the same traits that can also make me want to pull out my hair during toddlerhood and preschool years — I want my boys to stand strong for what they know is right, to be independent, and to make their own decisions.  The author of this book explains how parents can better understand how the minds of strong-willed children really work, how to discover positive ways to motivate your strong-willed child, how to share control without compromising parental authority, and how to apply key tactics to survive a meltdown.

I was very impressed by this book, mostly because the author describes many of her own challenges with her son, who was a strong-willed child himself.  Her background in law enforcement, teaching, and being a mother to twin boys (one strong-willed and one not) provides the perfect balance of experiences that she presents objectively to display best practices that empower those who are strong-willed without making them feel defensive or on guard.  She explains events where those with strong will are triggered by certain wording or behaviors that could be easily changed to create an atmosphere of working together to benefit all (hence, But I Can Be Persuaded).

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, camp counselor who works with strong-willed children or are feeling discouraged in your interactions with them, I would highly recommend this book to you!

**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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coverThe topic of how to maintain cleanliness in a house with many children is SO important to me!!  I plan to have a lot of kids, and I plan to read a lot of helpful material before I get there!  I read the title of this book (Cleaning House, A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement) and instantaneously HAD to get my hands on it.  This book turned out to be every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be, and I have nothing but the most positive things to say about it.
The book is written by the extremely accomplished Kay Wills Wyma, a mother of five children, who put together an experiment of sorts, where each month their family would focus on one topic of improvement.  They started with a month of clutter control–keeping beds made and bedrooms clean, then progressed to cooking meals, bathrooms, laundry, home repairs, and even hospitality and manners.  Here is the full 12-month list:
I immediately formed a bond with the author (and her cute kids!) as someone who became very real and very relatable.  I trusted her insight and believed her every word, convinced that following in her footsteps will reap the same results!  The 272 pages flew.
It was so completely empowering!  With every new chapter and every new project, I was inwardly saying, “Yes yes yes!  I want to do this too!”  While I don’t have children quite old enough to assign chores and send on errands, I can start now by instilling important cleanliness values and expectations, and I feel geared up and ready for it.
 I’ve been telling all my family and friends all about this book, and when its my turn to choose the book for my book club, I’m definitely choosing this one!  The ideas, insight, humor, real-mom experience, and spelled out blueprint of a plan to follow have made this my best reference for the next upcoming years of parenting.  I will be holding on to this tight!
I have only the highest praise for this book, so imagine my delight in discovering Kay’s BLOG!  (http://www.themoatblog.com/).  Even yesterday’s post was a gem!

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