September 2022 Books

A lot was accomplished this month so I have a good number to share with you.

First up is Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. I have read this a few times and enjoy it each time. The positivity that just exudes from Anne is somewhat contagious and I can’t help but be in a good mood anytime I read it. If you are unfamiliar, Anne is an orphan who goes to live with Matthew and Marilla (a brother and sister) on Prince Edward Island. She has such an outlook on life that she brightens everyones’ day, finds more trouble than everyone else combined, and brings hope to the community. It is a heartwarming story that everyone should read.

As a companion read to Anne for an online book club that I found, I read Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay. It is about Sam, another orphan who has grown up in the foster care system. After she became an adult, she lived in a home that helped her greatly and she has been given a scholarship. To keep the scholarship, she must write to the anonymous donor, keeping him updated on her life and schooling. She finds the anonymity helpful and opens up to him greatly in the letters. I really enjoyed learning about Sam, her difficulties, her insecurities, and seeing her grow so much through her time. Her relationships grow and change as she does. It was an enjoyable read.

I did a review of a sweet little book for children called Mama, Sing My Song by Amanda Seibert. You can read that here.

I am finishing up a review on Britfield & The Return of The Prince by Chad Stewart. I will post that, hopefully, in a few days. Here is the overview of it: One year later, the Committee has struck back with a vengeance, crippling the Resistance now scattered throughout Europe. When Devonbury Academy in Switzerland is attacked, Tom and Sarah’s only hope is to make it to a safe house in northern Italy by relying on their own experience and training. Overpowered and outnumbered, Tom and Sarah are ruthlessly hunted throughout Italy by the Black Nobility. Henry and Oliver discover a devastating truth, Detective Gowerstone is confronted by a dark secret from his past, and Inspector Fontaine is pushed to her limits. Will Tom and Sarah find the Britfields? Relationships will be challenged, and new friendships forged, culminating in an unparalleled finale of sacrifice, romance, revenge, and loss.

I am rereading The Creativity Crusade by Dr. Richard Shade and Patti Garrett Shade. I have found it quite interesting and refreshing. A couple of ideas that I have found helpful: by expecting a single right answer, we have taught the children that everything else is wrong and thus a failure; creative thinging and critical thinking are not the same thing and require quite different brain power; there are opposing characteristics for the way creative thinkers should be taught and the way a typical educational setting teach. There is so much packed into this book. Every educator should read it, which means every adult should read this or something very similar to it, because everyone teaches someone.

I enjoyed a nonfiction book titled More Ketchup Than Salsa by Joe Cawley. I found this account of two couples who moved to an island in order to buy and run a bar for tourists to be a unique travel read. So many people dream of moving to some exotic place and working to support themselves in a simple, relaxed lifestyle. Well, Joe is here to tell you that doesn’t really exist; at least, not in the way we might expect. Joe and his brother and their two ladies purchase a bar that is highly popular with tourists. They get about 24 hours of training after they arrive on the ins and outs of the business and then they are off. From power grid ups and downs, the mafia showing up on the bar stools, difficult yet helpful patrons, crazy cockroach infections, and many more incredible moments, we get to follow the adventures of owning a bar on Tenerife. Whether we believe the adventures or not, it is a fun way to read about how life could be (and not that it is likely much, much different than we could ever imagine).

I finished up a quick little bible study for review on Ezra and Nehemiah. It was a 10 week study and I’ll be sharing it soon.

Do you have any book titles to share with me? I’d love to have some more on to-be-read list.
Lori, At Home.

Mama, Sing My Song ~ a JustRead Tours review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

One of the most beautiful things I think humans make are picture books that show the magnitude of God’s love. Mama, Sing My Song, written by Amanda Seibert and illustrated by Sally Garland, published by Tommy Nelson, is just one of those books. As I read through it for the first time, I just imagined what joy my girls would have gotten from this reminder of God’s love when they were little. And it dawned on me that they will still enjoy hearing the words of this book, reminding them that they are special, they are unique and that God made each of them. (I was right. When my oldest saw the book, she just oohed and aahed over how neat it was and asked me if I was keeping it.)

Mama, Sing My Song is a sweet rhyming book that begins with the child asking his mama to sing his song. Then Mama takes over the sings his song. The song tells the child that he is “one of a kind, perfectly made, and uniquely designed.” The rhymes continue on each page of the book, with a change in script from print to cursive showing the adjectives God desires for every person to know and understand. Joy, love, special, very wonderful, enough, beautiful, dearly loved – these are just a few of the adjectives that help the child see that he is unlike anyone else and that he is important to God.

A beautiful moment occurs in the song when Mama says “But…” She takes the time to tell the child that there is someone who has known and loved him much longer than she and that God has been “singing over you all along.” The next few pages are God speaking to the child, telling him that He has loved him, that he is a special child. The child questions that but Mama reminds him of the truth. “As much as I love you, my dear, it’s a fact: God loves you a million times more than that! From the top of your head to your wiggly toes, whatever you do and wherever you go, as deep as the sea, as high as the stars, forever and ever, just as you are.”

The words throughout are touching but when the pictures are added, it becomes something even more special. The illustrations are sweet, perfectly complementing the text. The sweet images of Mama rabbit with her baby bunny begin and end the book. In between, we see pictures of mamas and babies from the animal kingdom illustrating the text well.

Included at the front and the back of the book are places to personalize the book. This book will make a lovely baby gift for a family expecting their own little one who needs to hear often how unique and special they are, how much God loves them, and that they are never alone. This wonderful book is one I am pleased to recommend.

Giveaway: Visit JustRead Tours on Instagram to enter a giveaway to win a copy of this book. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on September 27, 2022.)

Book Details:

⇒ Book Name Mama Sing My Song

⇒ Author Amanda Seibert

⇒ Publisher Tommy Nelson

Purchase Link – can be purchased on Amazon

Release Date: August 24, 2022

⇒ Genre: Children’s / Christian

Amanda Seibert, founder of Mama Sing My Song, the popular company that creates personalized songs for parents to gift to their children, knows that the words we speak over our little ones can shape them for years to come. Mama, Sing My Song is a beautiful children’s book about God’s big love, giving families affirming words to shower on their kids, revealing the bright joy, deep care, and unending love they have in their hearts.

Lori, At Home.

August 2022 Books

Somehow, I have really let the month slip away from me. I totally forgot to share the books I read during the month of August. So, here they are:

Finding Rhythm: An International Dance Journey – Aliénor Salmon

An innocent question started it all – If you could do anything you want, what would you do? And thus began the journey. Aliénor did quit her job and traveled to Latin America, via New York, to learn all the different styles of dance that interested her. She lived among the people, learned to make her way through the language and the culture, and found her way to some of the most amazing dance teachers she could find. She traveled through something like 13 countries and learned 18 different cultural dances. It was inspiring to read about her travels, her troubles, and her facing the world to change her life.

This was a very good read! I enjoyed following along on the journey from country to country, dance style to dance style, all the while learning about history through the dance and food and culture that she experienced. This was a very educational read while being such fun. I have recommended it to a number of people already.

Last of the Breed – Louis L’Amour

Never thought I would read a Louis L’Amour but I really enjoyed this one. The story follows a native American who escapes from a secret Russian prison during WWII. He has to make his way to safety and freedom through the Siberian winter with nothing but the clothes on his back. His native ways and memories of how his ancestors lived help him, as does the teaching from his elders during his youth. It was a very pleasant book that I never expected to like.

A Harvest of Secrets – Roland Merullo

Another take on the hard life presented by WWII when a soldier has to walk back home through the whole of Italy and those left behind are presented with trying to understand who is supporting which side. Is it really easier to be wealthy in a time like this?

I found this one a generally enjoyable read but it was slow in a couple of places. I found the depiction of different people interesting and the take on life in different social circles a thing to consider. It isn’t one I would say you have to read but it was an enjoyable one to complete.

The Crinkle Crankle Wall: Our First Year in Andalusia – Sabina Ostrowska 

If you enjoy reading about people who move to another country to live and then have to learn to maneuver all of the different parts of life there, you will definitely enjoy this one. A young couple who had been living in the middle East decide to give up the metropolitan lifestyle they are living and move to the extreme rural part of Andalusia, Spain.

We get to follow along on their adventure as they house hunt for something they can afford to renovate, enjoying the difficulties and humorous situations they find themselves in from the comfort of our couch. From a dry well and having to haul water, learning to employ contractors who will actually work and to learn to work with the contractors they have, figuring out how to salvage the work done when the torrential rains come with no roof in place, to hosting the first guests long before the place is ready. All sorts of adventures await the reader as they enjoy reading about the first year of this couple in the foreign land.

So, that’s it for this month. I have several that will be included on September’s list and I am kind of excited. I joined an online book club that is hosted by some authors and I am looking forward to the first discussion at the end of the month. Should be sort of enjoyable. What have you read recently?

Lori, At Home.

July 2022 Books

Book reading has definitely continued this month, though a large part of it has been evaluating books for my rising 11th grader.

I gave up on Don Quixote because it got super repetitive. I was sort of enjoying it but not enough to continue to devote the time it required. I quite about page 200 of over 800.

I am still working through My Life In Him and Revitalize: Breathing Life & Encouragement Into Your Homeschool. I enjoy both of them a lot and am getting a lot of help and encouragement from them. I am also writing through the book of Luke, though I am quite behind at the moment.

So, the books I worked through in evaluation are books on dance kinesiology. In case you didn’t know, Kinesiology studies the mechanics of human movement and how they impact our health and wellbeing. All of the books I read several chapters of and skimmed quite deeply through the rest. I did read much more of the books I have chosen for her to use for her science class.

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology by Karen Clippinger was one I looked at but ultimately chose to not use. It is more like a college level textbook, perhaps even entry level medical school. It is quite detailed, long, and highly technical. A solid text but a bit more than I was looking for in a high school science class. Perhaps it could be a follow up.
Kinesiology for Dummies is in that line of yellow books that includes a lot of good information. And this one was not different. It just did not include the dance movement focus that I was looking for. It also did not focus as much on anatomy as I was hoping for. So, after skimming, it was not chosen for science class.
Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Green Haas is the first text I chose for the dance anatomy and kinesiology class. It presents anatomy to the reader in a focused, clear manner that helps understand how the body works and how that relates to dance. It includes not just the anatomy of the body but how that works and how different parts can be strong or weak, along with exercises to help focus that movement in ways that are beneficial to the dancer. It is a dance focused science book that deals directly with the health, safety, strength, and injury prevention for the dancer. Chapters include The Dancer In Motion, Brain Health, Injury Prevention, Spine, Ribs and Breath, Core, Shoulders and Arms, Pelvis and Hips, Legs, Ankles and Feet, and Whole-Body Training for Dancers. There is an exercise finder at the back, as each chapter talks about different exercises that will help strengthen or work on injury. I really like the clear and easy writing of this book and how understandable it is. It is quite in depth with the way the body works without being overwhelming, as so many dance related science texts are.
Safe Dance Practice: An applied dance science perspective by Edel Quin, Sonia Rafferty, and Charlotte Tomlinson will be the 2nd part of the dance anatomy and kinesiology class. I read about half of it fully and skimmed the rest to make sure it was what we were looking for. It includes a lot of information about how to approach the teaching and learning of dance techniques in a safe and practical way. It covers different anatomy, focusing on the relation to dance, and how to view the principles of anatomy in a way to keep dancers healthy and safe. A big part of the study is on injury prevention and needs of each dancer, evaluation of dance practices and studio policies, and how to assess dancers. Chapters includes: The Dance Environment, Alignment, Warming up and Cooling Down, Training Principles and Supplementary Fitness, Rest and Recovery, Sequencing and Progression, Nutrition and Hydration, Psychological Well-Being, Injury Awareness and Management, Adaptations for Specific Populations, and Evaluating and Appreciating Safe Dance Practice. The appendices include forms and questionnaires to help along the way.

The other book that I spent a good deal of time in evaluation of is titled History of Dance and is by Gayle Kassing. This will be a world history book this year. This is a dance history through the ages. The book covers the development of dance from primitive to 20th century. Each dance is covered in relation to how it developed and with consideration of what was happening in the world as the dance developed. Culture and world history are woven into the fabric of the story telling in this history book. It is enjoyable to read and includes plenty of history for this to help one understand the world better.

Outside of this, I did a small amount of nonfictional reading for pleasure, though these works sort of blur that line between fiction and nonfiction since they are based on true stories and experiences but seems to have some liberal exaggeration. I went back to the stories by Gerald Durrell and completely enjoyed his books Fillets of Plaice and A Zoo In My Luggage.
Fillets of Plaice is a collection of stories that didn’t fit into any of his other books. His writing is such fun to read and you feel almost a part of the antics that always go on. There is a wider time frame on this and it isn’t in chronological order but that doesn’t matter at all. It is a completely wonderful read.
A Zoo In My Luggage is the true story of Mr. Durrell’s expedition to Cameroon to collect animals to create a zoo in the British Isles. His adventures and contacts during the expedition are full of unique people, stories, and events that will capture imaginations and bring joy. Mr. Durrell tells of the hundreds of animals collected, how some of them came to be in his possession, and how the people around him participated in the process. It is a wonderful story that brings lots of information and interest to the reader. A zoo will not be viewed the same again. Definite recommend!

That is it for this month but I have several in the que for August and I am going to get started on them right after I hit publish on this. 🙂

Lori, At Home.

June 2022 Books

So, I had a bit more time this month for reading. I finished 7 titles and started another. That one will take me a while. I’ll start there so I can explain.

About 8 years ago, a group of ladies I knew decided to start Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I’d never read it nor had the desire to but this group got me a bit excited to read it. It is a daunting sized book at about 900 pages. As a group, I guess they felt the same way as the group never got past 2 weeks and a couple of chapters. I saw the book the other day and decided to tackle it again. I am about 100 pages in. It is a strange story so it is not a fast read. But I am going to push on because I am curious about how this is going to go for the next 800 pages. Is it going to continue with the main character seemingly so crazy as to fancy himself a knight-errant and facing all the thing he read in his fantasy stories? Or is something going to change drastically and take the story in a completely different path? I don’t know so I’ll keep on and see.

I read 2 books by Nik Wallenda, of the Flying Wallenda family. I started with Facing Fear. It was a touching, challenging, and wonderful book to read. Life is seldom what we expect or dream. It can be better or it can be worse. Either way, fear can prevent us from living life. Nik Wallenda delves into how he handles fear in his day to day life and in the job he does. Spiritual strength, his connection with the one true God, helps he in his daily struggles to keep focused and push forward into dreams. Reliving one of the worse high wire accidents of history in which he was the one in charge, he helps the reader see how worshiping God will render fear helpless. God is the one who pulls us through the hard times and helps us focus in the daily needs. I found this such a wonderful book that I bought additional copies for a couple of friends whose names stayed in my head during the reading of this book. My teenage daughter read through it almost as fast as I did, finding a connection with the performance aspect and finding worship in what you daily do. Highly recommend.

The other book by Nik Wallenda was Balance. Nik Wallenda takes us through his early life, his training, and his understanding of the balance of faith and life. His writing is engaging and we desire to see how he pursued life with an energy that drives forward continually. Without losing the focus of God working in his life, Wallenda shows us how he dealt with many of the challenges in his life. From his childhood and on through some of the biggest walks of his life on the high wire, we see the worship take center stage as he strives to show the world God through his performance. A beautifully written memoir.

When Shovels Break by Michael Shank is the follow up book to Muscle and A Shovel. In the first book, we read the conversion story of Michael and his wife. The second book is about living a Christian life and returning to it when you have fallen away. Michael is candid about the difficulties he faced, what pulled him away from Christ, the sins he chose and bore the consequences of, and how he returned to the one who loves him. This second book delves into the difficulties culture places on new Christians, how the flame of love can be extinguished, and how a seemingly good person can be living a double life. It is a good reminder to look beyond the surface of what you know about folks, get to know them, and offer help at every turn.

The Last Rose of Shanghi by Weina Dai Randel was a book I got from Amazon Prime First Read so it was an ebook. I found this historical fiction book a quick and enjoyable read set in WWII. It focuses on two unlikely people: a young Jewish refugee seeking work and life for him and his sister in Shanghai and a young Chinese woman who is a business owner seeking freedom from tradition and family culture. The struggles these two face are large and heavy but they keep pushing forward, seeking a way through the challenge. Music and friendship and love help them both to keep refocusing on what is best and through all the twists, turns, and cruelty of war, life can be good.

The Skylark’s Secret by Fiona Valpy was another ebook I had. Told in alternating voices between Flora, a game keeper’s daughter, and Lexi, Flora’s daughter, this is a story of difficulty in relationship, love, and life. Lexi is returning home to the Scottish highlands after her vocal career in London is no longer viable due to damage to her vocal chords and a dead relationship with a producer and following the death of her mother. However, she is taking home with her a new life in her daughter. As Lexi is struggling to learn her new place in the world and figure out what to do with her life, she is also exploring the world she grew up in and the secrets that her mother held. Through the friends of her mother’s and friends of her own, Lexi is reliving her mother’s life and learning much about community. Flora had lived through WWII and her beloved home port, Loch Ewe, became a naval base for the Home Fleet. From there, convoys were staged to supply the Russians who were struggling against the German forces. These dangerous Arctic convoys were a big part of the life of the community and Lexi learns just how important they were through piecing together her family’s history. It was an interesting look at yet another part of WWII.

Sold On A Monday by Christina McMorris was a depression era novel that I enjoyed. An accidental photo leads to a reporter’s big break. It is quickly followed by a mistake that destroy’s the perfect photo. Recreating the photo slightly different leads to unexpected consequences that follow the reporter through life. Life in the US following the stock market crash left hard times everywhere but for Ellis Reed, this photo gave him a glimpse of a difficult past while leading him into what he viewed as better times. For the newspaper secretary Lillian Palmer, she also sees her past and it invoked a lot of emotion. These two follow their stories forward, propelled by this single photo. This was a unique look at how some of the lives were lived during the Depression and those difficult days. I found it an enjoyable story and it was an easy read. It definitely took some twists and turns but left a pleasant feeling at the ending.

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K Runyan is another WWII story. Starting in the beginning stages of WWI in the remote part of Russia, we meet Katya. Her mother is struggling to keep them alive as the poverty is extreme in their area. Katya is smart and works hard to earn a place in a pilot training program, despite poor teachers who see her as nothing more than a girl who can marry and work and produce children. She and the other young ladies continue to work hard and earn their wings, again despite teachers who do not think women should fly. Earning the right to be a part of a women’s bomber group in the Russian Army, the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, she learns to love, live, and strive for peace among some of the worst conditions possible. Her regiment’s success is celebrated and the enemy gives them the nickname “Night Witches.” The story of love, life, loss, and hope is one that is lived the world over in daily life and war time, peace and struggle. Based on an actual group of women pilots and navigators, I enjoyed this story a lot.

I always enjoy hearing about other titles so please share anything you enjoyed reading in the comments.

Lori, At Home.

Coloring God’s Love For Me ~ a JustRead review

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

I have found coloring to be an enjoyable way to absorb scripture. Sitting and coloring while meditating on the words shared or creating an image related to the ideas, even just doodling while considering the purpose of the verses, allows my mind to take it in. Janae Dueck has brought us Coloring God’s Love For Me: 100 Devotions to Inspire Young Hearts.

This is a softback book that is about the size of your average paper – 8 1/2 x 11 inches. It has smooth pages with black print. The pages are thick enough to stand up to most children’s coloring with crayons but markers will likely bleed and colored pencils could tear the pages if the child colors hard.

This is a devotional book aimed at children ages 6 – 9. Each devotion includes two pages. There is a written portion which includes the title, the scripture being discussed, and a few short paragraphs bringing the passage to life in some way. There is decorative images around the devotion and the second page is typically a full page of coloring or an activity. Most of the pages are coloring pages, though there are some activities such as a puzzle to create, a complete-the-picture, instruction to draw something, or a short writing activity. There are 100 devotions in the book covering topics about God and what we can do through Him.

The devotions help children use scripture to look at the character of God. By learning about the character of God, they will find they are His children and that He holds dear plans for each of them. Learning about the truths of God and the depth of His love, children will learn more about the world and God’s people. This coloring books can help direct children to learn more about God’s promises to them.

This books could be a great addition to a vacation bag, a gift basket for Easter, a Christmas gift, or an every day encouragement. It would be wonderful to guide home Bible studies with younger children or make an addition to a Sunday school classroom. There are lots of different ways to use this book and bring encouragement and learning about God to elementary aged children.

About The Book:

⇒ Book Name Coloring God’s Love for Me: 100 Devotions to Inspire Young Hearts

⇒ Author Janae Dueck

⇒ Publisher Tommy Nelson

⇒ Purchase Link –  Purchase via Amazon

Lori, At Home.

May 2022 Books

May’s reading has been a bit more varied and definitely had some fun elements to it.

In helping Miss J with her history/geography this spring, we have been reading aloud the information from Our Fifty States from National Geographic. It has been sort of fun to read some detailed information about each of the individual states.

Mud & Guts: A Look at the Common Soldier of the American Revolution by Bill Mauldin is a short paperback book at only 74 pages. But the information packed into those pages is so interesting. We tend to feel like we know a good bit about the soldiers of the revolution. But really, what we know is what the textbooks tell us about things like Valley Forge and such. Yes, the soldiers really did have it hard and Mr. Mauldin take a good look at their lives through primary source materials. These source include letters to giving details about clothing, medical care, and food. You will learn even more about the hard lives that the soldier chose in fighting for freedom from England. It is a simple enough read but one that would really benefit any student of American history.

The Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel is a fun fiction book about the life of Meena. Meena is a photo journalist who spends her life jetting around the globe to shoot stories for all kinds of high profile media sources. This is suddenly thrown out of whack when she finds she has inherited an apartment in a group owned building in Boston from someone she doesn’t even know. In trying to maintain her life as she knew it and figure out the whole apartment thing, something happens to her and life shifts. Important things maybe are not so much anymore and unimportant things change position, too. This was a really enjoyable fiction read that I can recommend easily.

Confessions of A Proverbs 32 Woman: How I Went from Messed Up to Blessed Up Without Changing a Single Thing by Kerri Pomarolli is a funny, challenging read that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend! Kerri is a Christian comedian in Hollywood where those two things don’t really go together. But she has made it work through her focus on God and His blessings. This is a hilarious look at life through the eyes of one who knows she isn’t all there and needs the hand of God in her life. Her honest look at her life and how she has refocused her thinking is a refreshing read and one that made me consider much of what she shared. As the back of the book states “If you’re tired of not measuring up, Kerri’s been there and shares how God and His Word will see you through even your most helpless moments.”

Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton is a strange little story about an older lady who may or may not be crazy but has quite the life regardless. She can’t keep a dog because she’s “starting to slow down” but she sure does a whole lot of things that don’t fit that description of herself. She has a great sense of humor and can laugh at herself while not really making a whole lot of sense in other ways. The town is a small one and word gets around about things pretty quick. The characters in the book are quirky, fun, a bit disturbing, and all around a group that I enjoyed. The title of the book comes from a hymn, as the lady plays hymns nightly, and thinks of this one as she remembers her childhood.

I’m still working through My Life In Him and Your Finances God’s Way. I sort of lost steam on the finances one. Still a good read and lots of interesting information but just kind of got lost with some other reads in the stack. My Life In Him is a year long daily devo reading so it’ll be a while before I finish it.

The last one to add for the month is another that will take me a good bit to finish. It is also a year long read if done according to design, which is read and then take a week to work on the challenge. I am spending a couple days on some of the chapters and considering things well but I haven’t really written anything yet. I may go through this twice and do some of the challenges for real. 🙂 The book is titled Revitalize: Breathing Life & Encouragement into Your Homeschool and it is authored by Chelli Guthrie. I am really enjoying the thoughts of this as each week’s lesson and challenge is rooted in a Bible verse and Bible principles. I really like that and have found a lot of food for thought so far. As I said, I haven’t written anything down yet but have taken some time to consider things such as what frustration vs disobedience looks like, how to consider plans in light of God’s directives, and praying over your homeschool AND each of your children.

All in all, a busy reading month and I have loved it! What have you read?

Lori, At Home.

April 2022 Books

I have been enjoying reading but writing about it hasn’t been high on my priority list. Still, I thought I would share with you what I got through in April. I had some really enjoyable reads.

So, I had a couple that I was finishing up from before or still working through.
Before The Throne by Crickett Keeth and Shocking Secrets of America History by William Coates were finished up early on in the month.

Another devotional book I am reading is My Life In Him. It is a compilation of many different writers’ and includes 52 weeks of devotional readings. I really like these as they are not fluff but real challenges taken straight from God’s word. Each day begins with a Bible readings and then 3 or 4 short paragraphs of thoughts based strictly on the Bible passage. It closes with a challenge for the day. Each week is written by the same man and is set on a theme such as family, marriage, fruit of the spirit, or dealing with something such as loss, anger, etc.

My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell is a funny memoir and natural history book based off his family’s time in Corfu. Having moved there when he was about 10, he lived there several years. The memoir started out as notes on his nature observations but when he added in his family, it became a hilarious and somewhat bizarre telling of their years on the island. It is a fun and fabulous read that is packed full of character, animals, and learning. A definite recommend. I found that it was the first in a series so I hope to get my hands on the other books, as well.

Your Finances God’s Way by Scott LaPierre. I have enjoyed reading through this study of personal finance and did not find any major Biblical issues with the doctrine included. It is a good look at God’s take on personal responsibility of finance. I do still have a couple more chapters to go as I just set it aside for a bit but I do plan to finish it. Read the full review here.

One Question A Day Journal for Kids by MaryAnne Kochenderfer, PhD. is just an adorable start to creative writing for youngsters. Aimed at ages 6-9, boys and girls alike will enjoy writing about their likes, dislikes, and imaginations gone wild. Read the full review here.

The 30-Minute Gluten-Free Cookbook: 100+ Quick and Simple Recipes for Every Day by Jan Withington was a digital book I received. I found some interesting looking recipes that are do-able but many of them were just not of my type of cooking or eating. I found lots of the high-starch substitutes in the recipes which really turns me off of cookbooks. Those subs just have not flavor and are not healthy in any way. It is a fine cookbook but just not for me overall.

The Story of Jane Goodall by Susan B Katz was another digital book I received. It was an interesting read for younger readers- elementary or early middle school. There was a lot of information that I didn’t know about Jane Goodall and found it a quick, enjoyable read. For an elementary student, it is a solid read with a lot of information about her life, her work, and how to be a part of change.

That’s the list for April, though I feel like I forgot something. Oh well. Not a bad number and I enjoyed the reading. May’s list is not too far behind.

Lori, At Home.

One Question a Day Journal for Kids: 365 Days All about Me ~ a book review

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

I adore this journal! One Question a Day Journal for Kids: 365 Days All about Me by MaryAnne Kochenderfer, PhD. is just an adorable start to creative writing for youngsters. Aimed at ages 6-9, boys and girls alike will enjoy writing about their likes, dislikes, and imaginations gone wild.

Journaling, or simply writing down thoughts and ideas, is a fun and creative way for students to get into the habit of putting their own words on paper without it being graded or for someone else to read. It allows students to feel safe in being expressive and creative, even outrageous, with ideas. Freedom to be as detailed or as vague as desired that moment is a wonderful way for students to just let the words flow. Prompts, or simply “setting the stage”, opens up that door and allows the creative juices to flow.

One Question a Day Journal for Kids is a comfortably sized book for students ages 6-9, though I can truly seeing this work a tad bit younger depending on the student or a couple years older for a struggling writer. Or even at the older end of the age range for a student who just wants to create a book about their own ideas and thoughts. There are 365 prompts but they can be completed in any order desired by the writer. After all, authors like some freedom, right? Writing about what strikes the fancy on any given day will create better writing. So, allow the freedom.

The book starts with a short introduction to the journal writer, noting that it is all about the person answering the prompts. It is that person’s journal so make it work in a way that fits that person best. Great advice!

Each day is number (Day 1, Day 2, etc.) and has a space to put the date. Then there is a short question to answer that is just a sentence or two long. These range from “Imagine you are as small as an ant. What would the world look like to you?” to “What was something you did today? Try to make it sound exciting (even if it wasn’t).” “Would you rather”s and imaginative creatures, dream classes to dream animals, there are so many unique and exciting prompts for students to answer! Each prompt includes 3 lines for students to write their answer.

This journal really becomes a part of the writer as it is completed. Each day, it tells a little bit more about the special person filling it in. What a wonderful gift for later in life. Hopes and dreams! I can see this being a treasured keepsake.

Many youngsters will love this journal. You may even have a youngster who is a bit younger than the stated age and who is not yet independently writing. Don’t let that deter you! Just allow the child to narrate and you scribe their answer. What a great way to see the child’s growth. You could even do a question a week and allow the book to grow with the child. There are so many ways for this to be used! I wish my girls were not so much older. I still may try to get them to complete some of these just to see what they would do! I can see my youngest (she’ll be 8th grade next year) using this in some way to keep her creative writing going. Writing is not her favorite thing but quite a few of these prompts would get her imagination running!

One Question a Day Journal for Kids: 365 Days All about Me by MaryAnne Kochenderfer, PhD. is definitely something I recommend looking into. This will be a wonderful journal to look back on and will show you things you don’t know about your student now. Check it out. It is for purchase on Amazon. (Not an affiliate link.) Visit the author at Mama Smiles – Joyful Parenting or on Facebook.

Lori, At Home.

Your Finances God’s Way ~ a book review

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

Your Finances God's Way JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for the Your Finances God’s Way book and workbook by Scott LaPierre, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Your Finances God's Way

Title: Your Finances God’s Way

Author: Scott LaPierre

Publisher: Harvest House

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Genre: Christian living – nonfiction

Experience the Peace that Comes with Wise Stewardship

Financial insecurity can be one of the greatest threats to your well-being—but the good news is that even if you’re on a tight income, you can eliminate many of your monetary worries when you create and abide by a biblical plan for your spending.

In Your Finance’s God’s Way, you’ll identify the negative money management habits you need to break and the positive habits that should take their place. Implementing the teaching laid out in the Bible, this book gives you advice and practical steps backed by proven principles, helping you

• get the most out of your money by paying off debt and building up savings

• make wise spending decisions that enable you to avoid anxiety, regret, and conflict

• find a healthy balance between being financially frivolous and frugal to a fault

Even when you have less to spend, you can use what God has provided to thrive. Whether you’re young or old, married or single, working or staying at home, Your Finances God’s Way will give you everything you need to be a careful steward of the resources you’ve received from the Lord.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub



Scott LaPierre

Scott LaPierre is a senior pastor, author, and popular conference speaker. He holds an MA in biblical studies from Liberty University. Scott and his wife, Katie, live in Washington State, and God has blessed them with nine children. Learn more about Pastor Scott at his website,, and connect with him on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.

CONNECT WITH SCOTT: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


(1) winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the Your Finances God’s Way book and workbook!

Your Finances God's Way JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 9, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 16, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Books US only, Amazon gift card where available. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links from JustRead Tours.

My Thoughts About The Book and Workbook:

Your Finances God’s Way: A Biblical Guide to Making the Best Use of Your Money has been an interesting read. I have found it, thus far, to be biblically based and without denominational influences. This is a huge plus when talking about money and God’s word. The style of writing is easy to understand and Scott LaPierre approaches the topics with a unique approach.

Topics included are:

  • stewardship and faithfulness,
  • God’s kindness and severity,
  • Money is the foundation of faithfulness,
  • The Dangers of loving money,
  • Learning from a rich fool,
  • How to avoid being a rich fool,
  • Give willingly,
  • Give sacrificially,
  • God’s Generosity encourages giving cheerfully,
  • Good stewardship toward the poor,
  • Spending problems versus an income problem,
  • God’s view of debt,
  • Avoiding and eliminating debt,
  • Saving the right and wrong way,
  • Retiring well,
  • The greatest riches.

So far, one of my favorite chapters has been when he is dealing with the parable of the unfaithful servant in Matthew 25. He really dissects the parable in a way I have not seen done and deal with the monetary decisions made in it. While this parable is often used to talk about the use of the talents, Mr. LaPierre looks at the fact that the steward was going to have to give an account and that he took that very seriously. Did he do it right? No, as Jesus called him dishonest but looking at how seriously the steward took the fact that he was going to have to be accountable, he prepared for the future. He knew he had a limited amount of time so he worked quickly, he knew it was coming so he worked hard, and he used the situation to create some safety for him in the coming days after he had faced judgment. I found this look really interesting. And there have been other looks at things that were different and interesting. I am really enjoying this study.

As for the workbook, well, I am not as impressed with that. It is a good supplement, especially if you are needing something to document completion (as with a high school student getting credit) or as a guide for a small group study. As an independent study, I feel that the workbook is unnecessary. A large part of it is basic knowledge questions that don’t require a depth of understanding or application. Those types of questions are there but they are not the majority. Still, the workbook has its place in certain situation but it is not required to make the study helpful.

As of this writing, I am only about halfway through the study. There could be things later in the book that I have not yet come across to be concerned about but I don’t suspect there will be based on what I have read so far. I am finding this an enjoyable study that has presented some financial ideas in a bit of a different way. I have enjoyed that.

Lori, At Home.

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