Books I’ve Read {September Update}

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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)
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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.

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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.

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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

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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 {July Update}

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

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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!
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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 {June Update}

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Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider – I ended up not reading this book because I received the launch team copy of Longing for Paris, and didn’t have time to read both. (You can read more about this book HERE, and about us meeting Tsh HERE.)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – Hmm…where do I start with this one? I have lots to say about it, but that would turn into a long review, and I know you are in the middle of summer fun. I love Marie’s perspective on clutter. She pretty much says get rid of it all!! The more I have decluttered, the more happy I have become, for sure, but I can honestly say I will never be a minimalist. There are items in my life I would love to pass on to my future generations, photos or items that hold great memories which I will forget if I tossed them, etc. I really like the process she describes to go about decluttering so you can be tidy, but I am not a huge fan of all the talk about (spiritual) energy and saying “thanks!” to my possessions when I get rid of them. I think she does more or less trash (maybe recycle) all items leaving a home, which I don’t like because someone else really can use them, or you can sell them. I also don’t believe that she has kids…when you bring kids into the picture, it’s a whole different story when it comes to the rate of accumulating things. :p

Be You, Bravely: An Experiment in Courage by MOPS – So good! This book is a devotional for MOPS members this past year, so it is not a book you can purchase. I really enjoyed all the stories shared by the authors, and the questions at the end of each article were super thought-provoking. It gave me a new perspective on stepping out of my comfort zone and being brave(r) to do the things God has called me to do. I think there is a new book for the upcoming MOPS year, and I hope someone will let me borrow it when they are done reading it since I am not a member anymore.

Longing for Paris by Sarah Mae – I’ll be posting about this more later, but it is awesome. That’s all for now. 😉 It is only $8.37 on Amazon right now, probably for a limited time, so get on it! Anyone who pre-orders the book can fill out this form HERE and get an invite to a webinar with Sarah and Sally Clarkson. See the video about the book HERE.

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

Talking with Your Daughter About Best Friends and Mean Girls (8 Great Dates) by Dannah Gresh
– A Girl’s Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls by Dannah Gresh
– Classical Christian Education Made Approachable by Classical Conversations
– The Get Yourself Organized Project by Kathi Lipp

20150708_165154Have 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 {May Update}

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Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson – It was a busy month, so I didn’t get through the entire book. This is my third time reading this, and I pick up a few more great nuggets each time. I actually have two copies of this book, and the one I’m reading is the marked up one with underlining, notes, and highlighting, which is fun to go through, remembering the last season I read through it and things that were happening at that time. Here’s one I posted to my HelloMornings group:

“And above all, I need to remember that “good” motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers…and never will. Because I’m His.”

Sometimes all we need are reminders like these…that someone knows exactly how we feel, and that it is okay in the rough seasons because God still loves us. Review

Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge – From the moment you read about Flash the Donkey’s arrival appearance in the Ridge family’s driveway, you will start to fall in love with his charming ways. I love Flash..both the book and the donkey. If you don’t think you could learn a thing or two from a donkey, think again! Flash may teach you something about life. Read more about the wisdom that Flash has to bestow upon us in the following links: Flash | My Day with (Flat) Flash.

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

Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Be You, Bravely: An Experiment in Courage by MOPS
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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 {April Update}

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.IMG_1191

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I have been feeling a little scattered-brain after coming back from our trip, so I was glad to jump into reading some books that helped me to get on track with what my priorities. “Focus” has been on my mind.

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine – This was a re-read. I had gone through this book when HelloMornings did a little book club. Part of the book discusses being disciplined in working through one small project a day and one Mega project from beginning to completion through the 21 days. If you know me, this is challenging for me because I like to do many things, read many books,…you get the picture, all at once. A hard lesson I have learned is that for some things, I really do need to focus. This book is perfect. There is one chapter for each day for 21 days. The chapters are short and there is a practical application each day to guide you to complete your task.

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins – What do you want to be when you grow up? I think a lot of grown-ups are asking that question of themselves. In The Art of Work, Jeff shares his personal experience of really taking a look at what he was meant to do. He also shares some powerful stories of others who have re-evaluated what they were meant to do, and figured out how to live their lives beyond the mediocre. Now…to figure out what I want to be when I grow up… 😜

Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews – This was another re-read for me, but this time I actually worked out the different steps that Amy shares about and going through the printables to come up with a practical schedule that helps me to reach my goals and build important relationships. The roles, goals, and activities, and charting the activities on the grid were simple, but getting all of that into a real-life schedule that worked was really hard. I realized that none of the groups/activities we are involved in happen at the same time each day. MOPS is on Tuesday mornings, Awana is on Wednesday evenings, AOK is on Thursday afternoons, etc. It was kind of hard to plot it on the schedule. I think I might have to tweak it some more, but I do see that I have more cushion than I thought I had, I just have to make sure I use my time more wisely. (aff link)

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

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge

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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 {January Update}

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

I am going to try to remember to give updates on what I am reading, so I can keep to my book list for the year. If I miss an updates, please give me a reminder. 🙂

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I’m so glad I started the year with these books! They’re all sooo good, and just what I needed to help me get a clearer vision (and clearer home!) for 2015.

IMG_0578Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp – I honest to goodness thought that I would read the book and just share with everyone that it was released (because I’m a serial declutter-er already), but y’all, there is some good stuff in this book. I met Kathi when she came to speak at our MOPS meetings in the past 2 years, and I love that she is honest, authentic, and funny. She speaks truth. I have read a few books on this same topic, but none seem to address it from the point of view that Kathi does. It has helped me to take a good look at the ‘why’ behind the clutter, and given me peace when passing an item on. If it is not something I need, want, or love, it has got to go.

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae – Cleaning is the next natural step after decluttering, right? This is a re-read for me, but a first read of the revised edition. Another awesome book with Scripture to help me make my house a home. Sarah helps us to see our home from the Mary and Martha perspectives. “Before the cleaning and the day and all its troubles get a hold of you, I’m encouraging you to get a hold of Him.” And this is exactly what she does in 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way. I’m still working through the challenges.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine – This is another re-read for me. The first time through last year, I just read it through quickly, but this time, I took each day to complete the little assignments Crystal has in each chapter, and really making it practical and applicable to my real life. I love goal setting, but I’m pretty bad at being intentional to take action on those goals.

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

IMG_0580Mindset for Moms by Jamie Martin
Happy Habits for Every Couple by Roger and Kathi Lipp
EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey – bits and pieces
Plus another book…probably a fiction…

Have you read any good books this month?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.

For the Holidays: More Than Candy

DSC_0695bWe’ll be featuring some of our favorite things if you need Christmas gifts/activities ideas.
(Disclaimer: Affiliate links are in this post. We personally own and love the things we recommend. We are in this season where we are trying to live more simply, so we know that if you are in the same boat, it is sometimes hard justifying buying anything else! Norm and I have many wonderful memories from our childhood, and with our family now, that don’t involve “things” and “stuff,” because we just enjoy being together. But gifts seem to just happen during the holiday season (and birthdays too), so we want to share some things that we like having in our lives. Any purchases made using the links will give us a percentage to use toward gifts for our sponsored children Solissa and Lucnise. Thank you!)

MoreThanCandyCover-1More Than Candy – If you have been around these parts long enough, you have heard the name Sarah Mae. I was a part of her Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe launch team, and have shared the great Discipline and Discipleship eCourse (Click here to view more details) that she done with Sally Clarkson (super mentor mom!). Well, it is not surprise that Sarah has a great resource for us for the holidays. Her ebook More Than Candy has some fabulous ideas on how we can make Christmas count this year. Each day gives us an action that we can take to bless those around us and our families during this busy and sometimes commercial holiday season.

Use the code HAPPYCOUNTING (before 12/25/13) to get the PDF for just 99 cents!!

What are some of your favorite things? Any recommendations for great Christmas gifts?

Affiliate links for other things we enjoy and would recommend.

Discipleship & Discipline

I have been blessed by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s book Desperate. It has truly taught me how to “breathe” through motherhood. I am not a perfect mom, but I am working to become a better mom for my kiddos. They are precious, but they are kids! They can drive me crazy sometimes. (I think some of it is payback for all those temper tantrums I threw when I was little.)

sarah-269x300Sarah is the real deal. She is transparent. She shares her story as a mom of young children. She’s so funny too…and her Mufasa hair! But really, she shares some of her failures and answer questions of what has worked for her in growing her “wild child.” Sally…all moms need a Sally in their lives. She shares her wisdom as a been-there done-that mom. I love her heart for moms with little ones.

CS_ParentingAd_FINAL_WildOnenewSarah and Sally have come up with a Discipleship & Discipline eCourse. It is practical parenting help for the desperate mom. Or maybe you aren’t so desperate, but you still need some direction for motherhood.

All information on the course can be found here: Discipleship Course (This is an affiliate link for the ecourse. I get a percentage of the sale, but all options in this post are my own.

Overview

  • Day One: Laying a Foundation of Love (Sally Clarkson)
  • Day Two: Loving the Wild One (Sarah Mae)
  • Day Three: Heartfelt Discipline + Your Parenting ???s Answered (Sally Clarkson)
  • Day Four: Dealing with Our Junk So We Can Parent with Clarity (Sarah Mae)

Topics

  • How to Instill Excellence in Your Child
  • How to Deal with Over-Emotional Children
  • How to Build a Winning Relationship With Your Child
  • How to Motivate Your Children to Listen to Your Instruction and Obey Your Training
  • How to Deal With Your Lies So You Can Parent in Freedom Instead of Fear
  • How to Get Through the Desperate Days

What you will get from the eCourse:

  • Four days of teaching & conversation with Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae
  • Four daily emails with inspiration and an outline
  • My 24 Family Ways PDF Packet
  • The UnWired Mom eBook
  • Core Lies eBook
  • On-demand access (watch anytime!)

The entire e-Course is only $17.99.

See more at THIS LINK. What others are SAYING.

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe {DVD}

Remember when I told you about Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson’s new book, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe? If you don’t, here’s a REFRESHER. When you’re done reading that, come back to this post for an announcement.

Ok….are you back? Great!

Movement - desperatemoms.comSo…there’s a movement going on. It’s the No More Desperate Mom movement. Are you a desperate mom? Do you know a desperate mom? Well, it’s time we all work together to end it, don’t you agree? No more desperate moms! If you are a mom who has been there, a mom who has already gone through this season of sleepless nights and piles of dirty diapers, and wonder when or if your kid will ever stop throwing themselves on the floor screaming at the store because THEY. NEED. THAT. TOY!, could you encourage a young(er) mom today? This week? Let them know that it’s going to be okay. Let them know that they will one day have more than 2 straight hours of sleep. Let them know they are not alone. Just be there.

The DVD for the book Desperate is coming out MONDAY! In the DVD, there are videos of Sarah Mae and Sally talking about each of the chapters. There is also a bonus section of Q&A with the lovely authors.

51EldcChZwL._SY300_Here are some fun stuff for you mamas out there during launch week for the DVD:

**TOMORROW ONLY, the Desperate eBook will be on sale for ONLY $3.99 on AMAZON.

**Monday-Friday of this week, anyone who buys 5 paperbacks (for group study, church, gift to mommy friends, etc.) can get the DVD FOR FREE. If you buy 5 or more books, you can just email a scan or pic of your receipt to desperatebook@thomasnelson.com

**Monday’s giveaway: Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson will be giving away a $100 gift certificate to a maid service, a Yankee candle (winner’s choice), a “breathe” custom necklace, 5 books, and a DVD. Hello? What desperate mom wouldn’t want to have maid service? (Psst, the breathe necklace is beautiful and has been a great reminder for me to…breathe.)

**Tuesday’s giveaway: Sarah Mae will be giving away a set of the BEAUTIFUL Grace & Gratitude dining collection from Blessings Unlimited.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 2.17.58 PMThere might be a few more giveaways in store…I’ll keep you updated. To watch a trailer and get other free resources, check out the http://desperatemom.com.