December Picture Books

posted in: Books | 0

I have really fallen in love with reading to my boys.  It is a sweet time on the couch or on their bed.  We read chapter books or picture books.

But, I also let them pick out many of their own books at the library.  They like to wander through the picture book section and find books that have dogs and fire trucks – at least for now.

I also like to get as many from this list.  It is super helpful.  I’ve not found we like them all, but it gives us new ideas and brings us new authors I wouldn’t have known about.

So, here are our favorites from December.  We probably read over 60 picture books.  These are our favorites because the boys picked these over and over.

Pirate Boy.  I’ve read this so much the last two months.  And it is mommy’s as heroes – so its a perfect one to read with your boys.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.  My boys laughed at the animals wearing clothes.  But, it talks about being who you are supposed to be. As believers, we don’t necessarily need to tell our boys to “be all that they can be” but we need to point them to God’s plan for their lives.

Can You Growl Like A Bear?

This was definitely the funnest book because they boys were acting out every animal in this book every time we read it!

Snowmen All Year: This is one we got from the RAR list.  And the boys definitely loved it.  Even if we didn’t see any snow this year.

Oliver Finds His Way.  A bear and a journey.  And talk of home.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

A friend of mine gave us this book, after we read it all weekend our friends were here. So fun!  Believe me!


Bringing up Kids Who Love to Read

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 8

Kids Can Love to Read

I didn’t always love to read.  I went to a Christian school and read when I had to.  I remember reading Sweet Valley High, John Grisham novels, and The Babysitter’s Club.  Also, started reading the Bible and Max Lucado books when I got to high school.  I didn’t read any of the classics growing up – I waited and have read some as an adult.

Now, I love to read, and I want to make sure my children read well as they grow up.  It is such an important discipline, it can be fun, and will prepare them well for adulthood.  I’ve teamed up with my friend Leah Finn to provide yall with some tips on how to raise kids who love to read.  Most of her children are older than mine and are reading on their own.  Believe me, even if your kids aren’t reading on their own yet, you can still instill in them a love of books and reading.

  1.  Let them pick out books they are interested in.  Even if it is silly/not high literature (as long is it is appropriate).  There is great joy in going to a library and being able to bring home a stack of books that you like.  Kids love it and it helps them be interested in the books. How this is illustrated in our family is that for our older’s 4th birthday, he went on a day-date with Daddy.  This year they went to our local library and picked out lots of dinosaur books.  He came home and was all excited about reading and looking at the dinosaur books.  One bit I would add is maybe pick out one or two for them each week in a different genre.  This might broaden their horizons to the classics, biographies, or just a different topic.
  2. Read aloud classics and quality books.  This is where they can get their “good” books in.  Use voices and expressiveness to engage their interest.  Read Aloud Revival is a great resource for finding books to read aloud. Kids are never too old to be read to. I love walking down the stairs most mornings to find my husband reading to our younger son.  This is some great bonding time for them in the early mornings.  And I love the time when I’m putting my older to bed, when I get to read aloud to him.  Right now we are almost finished with Little House in the Big Woods and I’m eager to complete the series with him.  I’ve also read some of the Narnia series with him.
  3.  Use audiobooks to squeeze in extra reading time  This can be in the vehicle while you travel, during rest time, while coloring or playing with legos, etc.  I need to get better at this, and I think it will come as they get older.  But, I do have the Narnia series on audio cd and I adored listening to them as an adult, and then read all the books (which I hadn’t done as a child).

One of the ways I’m always introducing new books to my children, is by being a part of Tommy Nelson Mommies.  This month, we were given One Small Donkey.  This book is great for preschoolers.  It is told through the voice of a small donkey about the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  It is a fun little story and teaches some truths about Jesus, creation, and worship at the manger.  It takes some liberties, but it really is just a cute story you can read with your children.  You can read it to them, then read the Bible story of the same account, talk about different aspects of truth and Christmas with your children.

If you would like to win this book for your own family library, just leave me a comment about which one of these tips above you incorporate into your parenting – or one you would like to include.  Thanks Leah for helping me with this post, and thanks Tommy Nelson for the book.

Good Night, God : a review and giveaway

posted in: Books | 3


Good night times in our home can be challenging, and rewarding too.  It is the end of the day, but there are some nights that my boys are still wired.  It seems they get done with dinner and just want to jump on the beds.

So, we love sitting on the edge of the bed and reading together.  It really is a sweet time and one I enjoy.  It also allows me to breathe from trying to get them to calm down so I can get there pjs and diapers ready for the long night.

A new book that I just received from Tommy Nelson is Good Night, God.  It is a sweet board book, perfect for little hands (many ripped pages in our home) that has wonderful delightful thoughts and prayers about God and to God.  Some of the truths that it tells your littles about God is that He protects, gives peace, covers you in love, shows kindness to you, is always with you, and many others.

While this book doesn’t cover every aspect of God’s character (which book does, except maybe a systematic theology), this is a great started for knowing the character of God.

If you would like to win one of these for your kids, please just tell me one of the characteristics of God you love teaching your children.

Good Resource for the Homeschooling Mom

posted in: Books | 2

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught in the grocery store or in Target singing the alphabet song with my boys.  They sing it loud and proud – then immediately transition into Jesus Loves Me. Its like its the second verse of the ABC song.

Teaching young kids the basics that they need to know, like the alphabet and their numbers, takes a while for some kids.  So, why not make learning fun!

This new book by Tommy Nelson was released in time for Spring and is filled with cute, storyboard pages that depict spring in all its glory.  And you can teach your children their numbers on every page.  My boys have both enjoyed it.

If you would like to win your own copy, just tell me something that you enjoyed teaching your kids.

Why You Should Read To Your Kids

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 6

Reading to your Kids

One of my favorite times of the day is when I get the chance to read to my boys.  I usually read to them by themselves – so I get that one on one interaction with them and can read stories that might appeal to them more than the other.

Like I know my younger one loves the Sandra Boynton books.  We’ve been reading those every night and each night he just giggles away.  He also has been loving a book about his hands and what he can do with them to help.  Most of all – I think he loves to just being close to the person reading to him, because he is a snuggle-monster.

Our older boy loves animal books, especially his daddy’s book from when he was young.  He can flip through and always point out new fascinating things about the animals he sees.  Even if he has seen them 50 times before.

I may not have stayed with my education major in college, but I can still think of a few good reasons you should read to your children:

  1.  Build a love for reading.  If you start reading to kids when they are younger, most likely they will be readers when they are older.  Then they will hopefully read to their children and grandchildren.
  2. Increase their vocabulary.  My children seem to learn new words every day.  I know they definitely pick up some of these words because their are seeing them in the books we are reading, and hearing them when they are read aloud.
  3. Reading to your son or daughter builds intimacy.  Any time you can spend one on one time with your children, or even with them altogether, you are telling them that you care about them. You are telling them that no matter what else you could be doing right now (and that is usually a lot), that you would rather spend it with them.  And do you ever regret spending time with your children in a meaningful way?
  4. Reading is a great way for you to teach your children about the gospel.  There are so many great books.  And a good way to teach your children about biblical concepts (that may be difficult for their little minds to grasp) is by using parables (I mean, Jesus did it, right).  Liz Higgs has a new book out for early school age kids, or late preschool that is really neat.  It teaches biblical concepts in parables that are centered around kids.  And it goes through the seasons which is a neat idea to even teach kids about that.

Tommy Nelson is giving away one of these new books and it would make a lovely Christmas present for your child!  Or a gift to a child you know. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me your favorite book to read with your children.

A Precious Moments Giveaway

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 2

Precious Moments Giveaway

If you have a little girl – then this post is for you. I am a boy mom, but I got this from Tommy Nelson because I thought it would be good to be able to recommend to all the girl-moms out there.  Yes, Precious Moments can be for either gender, but I think it best fits little girls.

This Bible, with its padded board book style, is beautifully illustrated in pastels that is traditional of Precious Moments.  I actually love the retelling of Bible passages that are perfect for little ears – think older preschool to early grade school.  As a parent, it would be great just to sit down and read them the story – but even better to read the Bible passage out of the Bible (especially as kids gets older and have more of an attention span and understanding) and then read the passage in the book.  It covers a wide variety of stories.

If you want this Bible for your own little girl (or boy), just leave a comment telling me one special thing that you love about your child.

One Reason I Love Fall

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 3

Fall Play and Books

Because there is more time to read books!

I love books and I love fall, so there you go.

Almost every night I have the privilege of putting my boys to bed. My favorite time with them is right before bed time when I take the time to read stories with each one of them in their rooms.  I start with my younger and we read three books.  Then I move on to my older son and we read two books.  I love holding them, reading with them, laughing with them, and praying over them.  Such a sweet bonding time.

So, what a great thing to combine both my love of books and love of Fall with a new book by Tommy Nelson that I was sent to read with my children and to pass on to you.  This great board book continues a series of season books that show furry “lions” (my sons overall word for most animals) having fun as families doing Fall activities.

You will love it.

How do you win this book – you ask?  Tell me your favorite fall activity to do with your children?  Ours: going to a pumpkin patch!

Noel Piper on Children in Worship

posted in: Quotes, Uncategorized | 2

This post received feedback.  I took all into consideration, however, still did not change my mind.  Reading Noel Piper this morning, I was again strengthened as to the teaching of the Word on this subject.

“This brings up the need to train young children to sit through church services.  I started easing mine into the habit when they were about three.  That meant sitting on the end of an out-of-the-way-pew so we could slip out if we needed to.  We knew that the best way for a child to learn how to worship is to see Mom and Dad worshiping.  we wanted our children to be part of the whole congregation as soon as they and we could manage it.  Yes, it’s different for different children.  And yes, Mom’s and Dad’s worship is pretty distracted for a while.  But that’s what parents do: we live a less-than-ideal (by some standards) life for a few years so we can bring our children up to be adults with us.”

Noel Piper, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, pg 45