Work-in-Progress Mom

Stay with me…this is a long one (well, it’s all relative, right?)…

I was feeling “stuck” and it was not a good feeling. The pressure of being pulled in all directions to do all the things can be overwhelming. Knowing endless nights that flowed into mornings was not quite great, because there’s that whole HelloMornings thing ;p , but mostly “angry” mom is not a pleasant person. I knew that I must become of student of how become “unstuck.” This was just the place this lifelong learner found herself!

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

I have learned that practice does not make perfect, but practice does make progress.

I have learned that small steps can move us in the right direction.

I have learned that sometimes there are even steps backwards…but that is okay, because…

I have learned that there is hope…for ALL OF US…because there is grace…for ALL OF US…because there is love…for ALL OF US. Thank You, Jesus!

I have learned that those in my life really, really love me to stick around for this long! :p Again, thank You, Jesus!

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

I’m not quite “there” yet, and I know I never will be…wherever “there” is anyway…but I can move where God is calling me, I can learn to love better, I can grow in the things I am passionate about.

An Invitation

If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

booksasmentors

Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

Advertisements

Gift Guide: Easy Reader Books (Fiction)

Here are some more teasers from Melody about easy reader books. Some of them may be not-so-easy, depending on your kiddo’s reading skills, but I think anything that has the Levels or Steps listed on the books are fairly good books for those are starting to read.


Henry and Mudge – These books are about a boy named Henry and his dog Mudge having adventures together. They are like best buddies. Even though some people don’t like Mudge at all, Henry still loves his dog, no matter what.

Annie and Snowball – Henry’s cousin Annie loves fancy things.She also lives next door to Henry, which makes it easy to play together and having fun. But wherever adventure is, so is Annie!

Amelia Bedelia – Amelia Bedelia, a funny girl who mixes up her words quite often, makes readers laugh with her comedy stories. She doesn’t mean to mess things up, but wherever and whatever she does, she’s Amelia Bedelia. There are also a series of Young Amelia Bedelia books.
amelia bedelia

Mercy Watson – Mercy Watson is a pig that lives as part of the Watson family. She follows the Watsons everywhere. Even though trouble follows her everywhere, the Watsons still accept that Mercy is their pet, even though it brings attention to their door.

Frog and Toad – Frog and his friend Toad love playing and making friends together, every day. They are always there for each other, no matter what. But no matter what the problem, it always turns out good in the end.

Katie Woo – Katie Woo is about her living her life.

Fancy Nancy – Fancy Nancy sure LOVES being fancy! No matter what event she goes to, or which problem she faces, she always does it in her very own way. Always.

Young Cam Jansen –  Cam Jansen and her friend Eric are known for solving mysteries everywhere they go because Cam has a fantastic memory in her head. But the real reason they solve mysteries is because of teamwork and friendship.

Lotus Lane – The Lotus Lane girls – Kiki, Coco, Lulu, and the new girl on the block they’re not so sure about – Mika, each have their very own traits to use in a very special way. They each have their own diary including their stories.

Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe – Missy loves doing things her own way – the super duper royal deluxe way. Whether it’s meeting the president or getting her own pet, she always puts it up with her fashion sense.

I was going to share some other easy reader books, but I think there may be too many to list. Step Into Reading has some great ones that will draw kids in since some of their books are from popular shows and movies like Paw Patrol, Wild Kratts, Inside Out, and Frozen. I Can Read! books are similar, but I think they do not have as many that are from shows and movies. Berenstain Bears and Paddington are ones young kids will recognize. Scholastic also has Leveled Reader books. Clifford and Magic School Bus are some fun ones that they have. DK Readers are popular as well. This the route if you have Star Wars, superheroes, Chima, or Lego Friends fans in your house. I can probably go on, but we’ll stop there for now.

Read more about easy readers here:

Coming soon will be a gift guide for non-fiction books, picture books, Christmas books, and books on our to-read list! I already shared the books I have enjoyed reading each month (although I still need to give an update for this month), so check out the complete book list HERE and some of the monthly updates HERE.

What easy reader books do your children enjoy reading? What did you enjoy when you were first starting to read?

Other Gift Guide Posts:
– Series Chapter Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
More to come!

Books I’ve Read {November Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

own your life 20151208_173911

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson – Living in survival mode and working to simply get through the day can be stressful. This is a great book to give you the pep talk you need to guide you on the path to intention and purpose. I think I have watched one too many webinars with Sally because I could “hear” her soothing voice talking to me through the words on the page. She is the mentor that many of us need to gain encouragement and motivation to get through our days of mundane tasks, but also to remember our dreams and to find rest of our soul.

Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed by Korie Robertson – Times are changing, and sometimes I am a little puzzled if it is changing for the good. I know a lot of good things are still happening, and there are still lots of good people, but I am feeling like values are not aligning with actions. I think Korie has better words than I do to share the thoughts on really teaching our children the virtues to help them be world-changers. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible to guide our children toward being strong but kind, as well as learn to be honest, compassionate, patient, joyful, loyal, and humble. CLICK HERE for a few other thoughts I had on the book.

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in December. Anyone else want to join me?

20151209_152826 978080101878720151208_135545

Money-Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference by Crystal Paine
Raising Uncommon Kids: 12 Biblical Traits You Need to Raise Selfless Kids by Sami Cone
A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Gift Guide: Chapter Books (Fiction)

After compiling this list of chapter books, I see that the girls read a lot more series books than non-series books. Even some of the books on this list are books 1 of 3, which makes them technically series chapter books. But we’ll leave them here for now. :p Melody wrote a little snippet about the books, so check them out and let her know your thoughts about them.

chapter books

Holes – This book is about Stanley Yelnats being wrongly accused of a crime he didn’t do. He is sent to Camp Green Lake, where boys are sent to dig holes five feet wide and five feet deep. Stanley knows the Warden, the camp director, is looking for something….but what?
holes

The Secret Garden (Classic Starts) – After Mary Lennox’s parents die, Mary is unwillingly sent to her Uncle Craven’s house in England where she finds it quite mysterious. She hears screams, shadows, frightened people….what’s next? What secrets will she reveal? Find out in The Secret Garden.
the secret garden

Charlotte’s Web – Wilbur is sent to Fern’s Uncle Homer’s barn, where his life is chaotic, but he loves every minute of it. He even makes a spider friend named Charlotte! They go through times of joy, love, and laughter together. Join him and Charlotte as they learn from their bonds of friendship from each other along the way.
charlottes web

Because of Winn-Dixie – India Opal Buloni moves to southern Florida, where she and her father, pastor of Open Arms Baptist church, adopt a lovable mutt named Winn-Dixie, named after the place where he was found. Join Opal and Winn-Dixie as they make new friends in their new town.
because of winn dixie

Alice in Wonderland (Classic Starts) – Alice jumps into a hole one day, and finds herself in another world, Wonderland, where animals talk and where playing cards are palace gardeners. Alice even changes from three feet tall to seven feet tall!
alice in wonderland

Black Beauty – Black Beauty is sent from master to master until he finds the best one. His life is perfect…until it is torn apart. His master has to move, and he is forced to move. Again. Finally, he finds his master he always wanted. Join Black Beauty as he has a perfect, despairing, and loving life, year after year of his life.
black beauty

One Crazy Summer – Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are sent to Oakland, California to live with their crazy mother, who abandoned them, for twenty-four days. Join Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern as they feel the joy and sorrows of being sisters. (There are two other stories about the Gaither Sisters.)
one crazy summer

The One and Only Ivan – Ivan, the gorilla, lives in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. His best friend, Stella, lives with him. Stella has had an injury from many years ago from her circus days, where they forced her to do tricks. Little does Ivan know that will change his life forever.
the one and only ivan

Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything – Ruby Lu’s life changes forever when her Chinese cousin Flying Duck immigrates from China to her very own house! At first, she thinks immigration is a little bit scary. Flying Duck and Ruby play together. Now everyone thinks she isn’t scary anymore, except for Emma. They’ve always been sort-of friends until now. Can they fix their friendship before the summer ends?
ruby lu

Begin – Growly, a bear cub, is off to be a grown-up bear cub. But first, he has to prove his worth by setting out beyond his village. He ends up looking for his grandfather’s long-lost friend who disappeared over the Precipice many years ago. Can he find the friend (C.J.) and get back in time to receive his rightful place in his village? (There are two more stories about Growly.)
growly

I’m sure we’ll be adding to this list, but two other chapter books we like to read are Harriet the Spy and Stuart Little.

Coming soon will be a gift guide for non-fiction books, early readers and picture books, Christmas books, and books on our to-read list! I already share the books I have enjoyed reading each month (although I still need to give an update for this month), so check out the complete book list HERE and some of the monthly updates HERE.

What chapter books do your children enjoy reading? What did you enjoy when you were in elementary school?

Other Gift Guide Posts:
– Series Chapter Books (Fiction)
More to come!

Gift Guide: Series Chapter Books (Fiction)

As you all know, we are bookworms around here. While there are lots of great books the girls have read here and there, these are some of the series books they keep going back to time and time again. It could be an unending list if I let it keep going, but we’ll stop at the top 10 plus a few others. After I typed it up, I realized many of them are geared toward girls. Boys can certainly read and enjoy them as well, but since I have two girlie girls, that is what I know best for now. Later on, I may ask my nephew or some boy friends what they enjoy reading.Series Chapter Books (Fiction)

The Little House – I have never read this series when I was younger, but I ordered it for Melody when she was starting Kindergarten, and she has probably read it at least a dozen times since then.

The Magic Tree House – The girls have picked up so much history (and science!) knowledge from these books. I am very impressed by the free curriculum and games they have on their website. There are also some non-fiction books that are useful for research. I’ll share about them in a different post.
magic tree house

American Girl books – I can’t keep up with which dolls are going to be archived and all of that, but we do love reading the American Girl books around here. I blogged about some of that HERE. We are slowly but surely finishing up the Kaya series and hoping to start the Grace series in the new year. We have watched all the movies that have come out, except Grace since she is a newer Girl.
american girl

The Boxcar Children – I never got into The Boxcar Children as a little girl. I was more of a Baby-Sitters Club and Baby-Sitter’s Little Sister reader. Someone recommended this series to us when Melody was about four because even though the books are quite lengthy, they only had a certain number of words used in every book. So she didn’t need a large vocabulary to read the stories. The girls also really enjoy THE MOVIE.
boxcar children

Ramona books and most other Beverly Cleary books – We had a reluctant start to this series even though I told the girls I had read these books when I was a little girl. We ended up checking out the Ramona and Beezus DVD from the library and they liked it, so we read some more of the books. 🙂 I think the girls like identifying with Ramona during the different stages of her life in each of the books. And of course, some of the Henry books are great, and what’s not to like about Ralph S. Mouse.
ramona

Nancy Clancy books – The girls read the Fancy Nancy books when they were younger, so they naturally grew into read these chapter books. We loved learning fancy French words from the books. Nancy is a third grader who solves mysteries. You can probably already tell the girls really enjoy mysteries as most of the books on this list are mysteries. :p
nancy clancy

Thea Stilton and Geronimo Stilton – These book series are originally from Italy. They are definitely different from your typical book. There are lots of fun lettering and bold photos in these books. Besides the Thea and Geronimo books, there are a few other mystical and mystery books. There are also DVDs as well, but it turns out the girls aren’t as big of fans as they are of the book.
thea stilton

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and Nancy Drew Diaries – I have been trying to get Melody to read the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew books for a long time. I actually read one of the regular books when I was in 4th or 5th grade, and oh boy, it was scary! I never read another book after that even though I keep hearing about them from friends. :p They didn’t have the Clue Crew books for younger kids back then.
 nancy drew diaries

Cam Jansen – Jennifer Jansen is a girl with a photographic memory, thus her nickname – Cam! This is an oldie but a goodie. These books first came out when I was born, but have been reissued in the last decade. There are some book study guides on their website and there is also a series for younger kids as well.
cam jansen

Judy Moody – Judy is always in a mood. She’s just a girl with a little brother. She loves to collect things like Band-Aids. It is always an adventure wherever she goes.
judy moody

A few other series chapter books that are read around here are: The Chronicles of Narnia, I Survived, Magic School Bus Chapter Books, Amelia BedeliaRainbow Magic, Princess Posey, Sophie books, Just Grace, Ivy & Bean, Benjamin Pratt & Keepers of the School, and Critter Club.

Coming soon will be a gift guide for more chapter books (not a part of a series), non-fiction books, early readers and picture books, Christmas books, and books on our to-read list! I already share the books I have enjoyed reading each month (although I still need to give an update for this month), so check out the complete book list HERE and some of the monthly updates HERE.

What series chapter books do your children enjoy reading? What did you enjoy when you were in elementary school?

Books I’ve Read {October Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

20150930_205413FINISHED

Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time by Jeremy Courtney – There is more to what’s happening around the world than what is shown in the news or on any media venue. If you want an inside look at some of the stories of the people in war-torn Iraq, Jeremy will give you a glimpse. He is living with his wife and children a place much different than what I know to call home. Along with friends who make up the Preemptive Love Coalition, he is helping to save lives through heart surgeries. This is a book that will open your eyes and heart to the world beyond the borders of what we call home.

Moms’ Night Out and Other Things I Miss: Devotions To Help You Survive by Kerri Pomarolli (I highly recommend MOMS’ NIGHT OUT the movie if you haven’t already watched it…or if movies aren’t your jam, there is also THE BOOK.) – Must read! If life is crazy and you need a laugh, this is the book. Even if you’re not a mom, you might still relate to some of these things. Short devos to get you through the day because you know someone understands exactly how you feel.

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp – (This is a copy of what I shared last month since this was a re-read, but I found it was nice to have a cushion of time to go over projects I might have missed or need more time for!) – I LOVE the breakdown of how to prepare for the holiday season. I’m not one of those people who have a huge list of must-dos each year, but there is quite a lot that happens before, during, and after Christmas, and I would love to not have all of that stuff in my head. I know I will be able to enjoy the holidays more because of Kathi’s projects, and the small things she has us do to get ready for the festive season. I read through this book this month, but I will be reading it again in October to actually put into action each of the steps. If you want in, get the book (click on the title of the book) and join me! I will be blogging all about it for 31 days!

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in November. Anyone else want to join me?

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson
Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed by Korie Robertson

own your life 20151208_173911

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {September Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

20150829_215240FINISHED

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily Freeman – I will be reading this one again in October with the in(courage) book club. You can join in too! Grab your copy by clicking the title, and get more details on the book club link. I will write up my thoughts and share some great quotes from the book through the month on our review blog.

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp – I LOVE the breakdown of how to prepare for the holiday season. I’m not one of those people who have a huge list of must-dos each year, but there is quite a lot that happens before, during, and after Christmas, and I would love to not have all of that stuff in my head. I know I will be able to enjoy the holidays more because of Kathi’s projects, and the small things she has us do to get ready for the festive season. I read through this book this month, but I will be reading it again in October to actually put into action each of the steps. If you want in, get the book (click on the title of the book) and join me! I will be blogging all about it for 31 days!

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle – I had no idea what this book was about when I decided to read it, but I have credit in my Google Play account for the occasional surveys I do, so I got this one which is on the book list for the LIVE course that I have been taking this year. I really enjoyed it and even recommended it to my eight-year-old. Daniel Coyle has another book about talent, but I think this is maybe a condensed version of that one? If you want to do some reading but don’t have a lot of extra time (or attention span) to read, this one is great because the tips are short and sweet. Practice makes perfect! 😉

Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer – If anyone has read this book, did you hear Priscilla’s voice in your head as your read it? Because I did! If you have ever watched her speak before, there is power in her messages. She can definitely preach it. Priscilla shares 10 strategies of our Enemy and how he plans to derail us from God’s plans for us, and then she goes on to share 10 strategies for our battle plan. I love the stories she tells in the book, and along with each of the strategies, there are plenty of Scripture passages to pray, and each chapter (strategy) ends with a Call to Prayer. And you better believe Priscilla is praying for each person who reads this book.

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in October. Anyone else want to join me?

Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time by Jeremy Courtney
Moms’ Night Out and Other Things I Miss: Devotions To Help You Survive by Kerri Pomarolli (I highly recommend MOMS’ NIGHT OUT the movie if you haven’t already watched it…or if movies aren’t your jam, there is also THE BOOK.)
Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily Freeman (re-reading with in(courage) book club)
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp (re-reading with launch team)
20150930_205413

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Books I’ve Read {August Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

20150805_114801-1FINISHED

Project Inspired: Tips and Tricks for Staying True to Who You Are by Nicole Weider – You can read some thoughts on our review blog. –> https://ourthotfulspot.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/project-inspired/

The Unwired Mom: Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World by Sarah Mae – You can read some thoughts on this older blog post I wrote. –> https://joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/the-unwired-mom/

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – I either really need to start reading this one as soon as I check it out from the library or I need to buy my own copy. There is always a waiting list for this one, so whenever it is due, I have to return it. Anyhow, I didn’t finish reading this, but love discovering more about what makes me tick, my strengths/weaknesses, etc. (in terms of my personality, temperament, etc.).

Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction by Candace Cameron Bure – This was a great read. I loved watching Full House growing up. Anyone else excited about Fuller House? I loved watching Dancing with the Stars. It was one of the few shows we watched streaming online since we don’t own a TV. I went into reading the book wanting to get some behind-the-scenes look at Dancing with the Stars, which I did, but also came out with so much more. If you follow Candace on social media, you know that she loves God and she loves her family. Even with her deeply-rooted faith, she went onto the show knowing she would need a team of prayer warriors and cheerleaders to help her through the journey.

20150811_221900

The girls shared a little about Peter’s Perfect Prayer Place HERE, and we are reading Prayer Works together right now. Simply Tuesday is on my upcoming to-read list, and I may try to squeeze in one of the others as well for September, but I will have to save the rest for later in the year. Psst, I am hearing great things about the movie War Room, so check it out if you get a chance!

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in September. Anyone else want to join me?

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily Freeman
Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp
The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills by Daniel Coyle

20150829_215240

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

American Girl Books: Caroline & Molly

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

This post is late in coming, but I wanted to share about the last two American Girl series we read – Caroline and Molly. The girls are really interested in reading about these historical characters. They ask to read a chapter (or two) each night and will legit get mad at me if we aren’t able to read. We usually take turns reading them as we all take turns brushing and doing each other’s hair…except for Norm since he doesn’t have much hair to brush or do. :p These books really present opportunities to discuss so many topics pertaining to history, differences between cultures and past/present, and relationships, and so I included a list of things we have discussed and can be discussed during and after reading these books.

Caroline
Caroline’s story takes place in Sackets Harbor, New York on the shores of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. Some topics of discussion we had were about the following: Lake Ontario, ships and sails, prison (when Caroline’s dad was arrested), enemies, bravery, friendships, ice skating, and embroidery. There are 6 books in the main series. We also read 2 of the 3 mysteries, and 1 of the 3 Beforever books.

Other possible topics for further discussion are:

  • War of 1812 – how and why war was declared, opposition of war by many people,
  • Geography – Sackets Harbor, Philadelphia, New York, big cities in 1800 compared to present day, the Great Lakes
  • Transportation – ship use for economic reasons as well as poor travel by land
  • Relationship between America and Upper Canada
  • Relationship between Britain and America
  • Relationship between families and soldiers (being housed in towns where battles were taking place)
  • Relationship among family members – disagreements about the war, soldiers who were sent off
  • American Revolution – how America has grown and changed as a nation since Felicity’s time
  • Navy
  • Communication – many sailors were not even aware war was declared because news traveled slowly, many military forces were not even aware war had ended with the signing of a treaty
  • Women and children – increased responsibilities when men were absent, informal education/homeschooling
  • Holidays
  • Native Americans
  • Weather
  • Star-Spangled Banner flag
  • Spies
  • Slaves

Molly
Molly’s story takes place in Jefferson, Illinois during World War II. Some topics of discussion we had were about the following: World War II, rationing, volunteer/war effort, Christmas, and patriotism. There are 6 books in the main series. We also read 2 of the 3 mysteries.

Other possible topics for further discussion are:

  • Radio shows
  • Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings
  • American serving in the armed forces overseas and in the United States, different roles
  • Companies producing war equipment and supplies vs. consumer goods
  • School culture – more strict than today
  • Rationing (changing recipes because certain items were not available), scrap drive and other ways Americans supported the war effort (victory gardens, etc.)
  • Junior Red Cross
  • Ally countries were sending their kids to America (A girl from Britain (Emily) comes to live with Molly’s family for awhile.)
  • Summer camp
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of the soldiers and other emotions felt by those returning from war

We are currently reading the Kaya series, and learning lots about the Nez Perce tribe.

Have you or your kids read any of the American Girl books? Which ones? Any favorites? What AG series should we read next?

Are you or your kids interested in other historical fiction books? Any recommendations?

Books I’ve Read {July Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

20150708_165154FINISHED

Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls (8 Great Dates) by Dannah Gresh – I have a few friends who plan one-on-one dates with each of their kiddos, and it is something I would love to incorporate into our family life. We do a ton of stuff all together, but one-on-ones have been rare since Emily started Kindergarten and is able to participate in most of the activities that Melody participates in. As the tween years approach, I think this is a great guide to help me stay connected, especially with Melody as she deals with more relational stuff with friends, neighbors, mean girls, BFFs, her sister, God, boys, and us – her parents! Each date includes an overview, an audio message from their website, a challenge (object lesson), and some girl talk time. There is also an alternative to do this as a small group, and do the girl talk time alone. And it ends in a short time of prayer.

A Girl’s Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls by Dannah Gresh – I only skimmed this one as it is actually intended for tween girls. It is another great resource for young girls to read through. Instead of having to make decisions on the fly about choosing friends, it is a guide to being intentional about who to build relationships with and how to deal with relationships that might not be great.

Classical Christian Education Made Approachable by Classical Conversations – I needed this one to get my head into the homeschool game. This is a second reading for me since we started preschool homeschooling years ago. (Although I didn’t really realize that was what I was doing…) The book discusses the different educational models, and in the appendix there are practical real-life schedule for a homeschool day. I really like how the book also compares education to building a home and what it takes for it to all come together.

The Get Yourself Organized Project by Kathi Lipp – I was a little hasty in choosing this book for my to-read list this month because all I did was read it. I did not have time to actually put anything into action, which defeats the purpose of the book. But I do always enjoy a good Kathi Lipp book, and they’re all good! Next go-around I would love to actually implement the steps to having less mess and stress in my life!! :p

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in August. Anyone else want to join me?

Project Inspired: Tips and Tricks for Staying True to Who You Are by Nicole Weider
The Unwired Mom: Choosing to Live Free in an Internet Addicted World by Sarah Mae
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction by Candace Cameron Bure
20150805_114801-1But then, I also have these waiting for me… and for you!! Be on the lookout for giveaways coming soon on our review blog!
20150811_221900

 

Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.