Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: The Paleo Manifesto

In The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health, John Durant argues for an evolutionary – and revolutionary – approach to health. All animals, human or otherwise, thrive when they mimic key elements of life in their natural habitat. From diet to movement to sleep, this evolutionary perspective sheds light on some of our most pressing health concerns. What is causing the rise of chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and depression? Is eating red meat going to kill you? Is avoiding the sun actually the best way to avoid skin cancer?

Durant takes readers on a thrilling ride to the Paleolithic and beyond, unlocking the health secrets of our ancient ancestors. What do obese gorillas teach us about weight loss? How can Paleolithic skulls contain beautiful sets of teeth? Why is the Bible so obsessed with hygiene? What do NASA astronauts teach us about getting a good night’s sleep? And how are Silicon Valley techies hacking the human body?

Blending science and culture, anthropology and philosophy, John Durant distills the lessons from his adventures and shows how to apply them to day-to-day life, teaching people how to construct their own personal “habitat” that will enable them to thrive. The book doesn’t just address what we eat, but why we eat it; not just how to exercise, but the purpose of functional movement; not just being healthy, but leading a purposeful life.

Combining the best of ancient wisdom with cutting edge science, Durant crafts a vision of health that is both fresh and futuristic.

My Review:
I've been hearing a lot about eating a Paleo diet.  I know most of the foods you can and can't eat and I get the basics of the principle behind it.  I did not know anything more than that.  I wanted to learn more because it is an idea that intrigues me.  I was very excited to get this book.  It is not a traditional diet book.  It is a book hoping to give you knowledge about why you should or should not eat a Paleo diet.  The three parts of the book include Origins, Here and Now, and Visions.  
If you are at all intrigued by eating a Paleo diet or are just interested in some historical knowledge, I definitely recommend this book.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Once a Day Bible (Chronological Edition)

Book Description

The NIV Once-A-Day Bible: Chronological Edition organizes the New International Version Bible---the world’s most popular modern-English Bible---into 365 daily readings placed in chronological order. This softcover edition includes a daily Scripture reading followed by a short devotional thought written by the staff at the trusted ministry Walk Thru the Bible.

My Review:
I've never had a chronological Bible before so reading this one was a little bit different.  Sometimes, for me at least, the timeline of events in the Bible get confusing and overwhelming.  I'm hoping that while going through this Bible I will be able to better remember the order of more events.  I really appreciate the once a day aspect of this Bible as well.  It makes for nice, short readings that I can really delve into and I know that they divided it correctly to be finished in a year.  I think that this Bible is a great addition to any Bible collection, although I would not have it as my only Bible because of the order of books.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adventures in Odyssey Cut and Fold Activity!


Summer is officially here! Don't let your kids' boredom run rampant. Adventures in Odyssey is here to save the day. Below are some must-try ideas for summer fun! Want even more summer fun? For the month of June, you can join the Odyssey Adventure Club for only $5! More details can be found here.

Summer Activities

As a parent you are probably a big proponent of reading. Encourage your kids to dig into a book or two this summer with Adventures in Odyssey's On Your Marks Summer Reading Challenge. Bonus points if YOU create a reading challenge for yourself as you read along with your kids!

Looking for something hands-on? Create Matthew in 3-D! Invite a few of your kids' friends over for a play date, print off the activity sheet, and let them have at it for the afternoon (with the promise of cookies and lemonade once they've finished constructing Matthew).

Maybe your kids aren't into reading, but they love math. If that's the case, have them solve Eugene's Sudoku!

The laundry needs to be done; the dishes need to be put away. But your kids are begging you to take them out to the zoo. Let them take a whack at Matthew's Decoder in the morning, then make an agreement that if they figure out how to use the decoder, you'll take them on an afternoon adventure. That'll give you the morning to finish up your to-do list!

My oldest daughter is 10.  Like many other 10 year olds she is super into Minecraft and Legos.  This activity was very much like both.  She really enjoyed putting it together.  It was challenging, fun and educational all at the same time!  She is very excited to try the other activities!

I am receiving membership to the Odyssey Adventure Club for free in exchange for several honest opinions on certain aspects of the program.   

Friday, June 27, 2014

Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for $5

Are your kids in need of a safe and fun environment where they can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth? Enter the Odyssey Adventure Club (AOC)!
For a limited time, you can join HERE for only $5 (regular monthly membership costs $15 for up to six users)!

Families will be able to stream the Adventures in Odyssey library, plus listen to exclusive new monthly episodes.  Busy families will find 24/7 access to the content through the Odyssey Adventure Club mobile iPhone app.

Children can also read daily devotions, interact with hands-on activities and view video documentaries featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the production of the Adventures in Odyssey stories. Parents can feel confident their children are safe on the Odyssey Adventure Club website — Focus on the Family staff will be monitoring all comments before they’re publicly posted. (Created for children ages 8-12.)

A portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership will benefit Focus on the Family partner relief organizations, including Christian Veterinary Mission, Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International. This provides parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of giving and serving others.

Coming in July, Odyssey Adventure Club members get to listen to the brand new album, "The Ties That Bind," FIRST before it's available ANYWHERE ELSE!

Click here to join for only $5!

Want more summer activities for your kids inspired by the Odyssey Adventure Club? Check out this post.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: Know Orphans

KnowOrphans: Mobilizing the Church for Global Orphanology
The global orphan crisis is complex. The church’s response should be comprehensive, but is it? In this provocative follow-up to Orphanology, author Rick Morton provides the framework for families and churches to have a gospel-centered response to the growing global issue of orphan care.
KnowOrphans addresses three distinct areas associated with global orphanology. Delving deeper into the criticisms of the movement, the need for reform, and what families can expect, author Rick Morton helps shape realistic perceptions of the challenges and rewards adoptive parents face in transnational adoptions. Through illuminating the work internationally adoptive families can expect, KnowOrphans offers solutions for the church in remedying the ills and deficiencies surrounding the church’s role in equipping and supporting families before, during, and after the adoption process. Knowing that the church’s response and attitude should be one that goes beyond adoption, KnowOrphans also addresses the complexities of how Christians are to respond ethically, compassionately, and comprehensively to the biblical call to care for orphans.
KnowOrphans is the next step in conversation

About the Author: Rick Morton is the father of three transnational adopted children and coauthor of the popular book Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care. His dedication to the plight of orphans extends beyond his own family. The Mortons were cofounders of Promise 139, an international orphan-hosting ministry based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. An inspiring speaker for the gospel to be expressed by the church living out God's heart for the fatherless, Rick presents at adoption and orphan-care conferences and pastor's conferences. Rick and his family live in the Greater Memphis area.

Learn more about Rick at:

My Review:
I have a heart for adopting so I was so excited to read this book.  We are all told to care for orphans and quite frankly the modern church has failed miserably at encouraging this.  This book is a wonderful guide and support for anyone who is considering adoption, especially internationally.  It gives ideas for churches to better support what we are commanded to do.  I hope that this book and its ideas will spread like crazy.  The orphan problem is completely capable of being remedied.  The first step though has to be a change of minds.  I hope this book will help do that!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: The Perfect Score Project

The Perfect Score Project is an indispensable guide to acing the SAT – as well as the affecting story of a single mom’s quest to light a fire under her teenage son.

It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT.  Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided – on his behalf -- to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.

Debbie’s quest turned out to be an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she took the SAT seven times in one year and in-between “went to school” on standardized testing.  Here, she reveals why the SAT has become so important, the cottage industries it has spawned, what really works in preparing for the test and what is a waste of time.

Both a toolbox of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy, The Perfect Score Project rivets. In the book Debbie does it all: wrestles with Kaplan and Princeton Review, enrolls in Kumon, navigates, meets regularly with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and even cadges free lessons from the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company.

Along the way she answers the questions that plague every test-prep rookie, including: “When do I start?”...”Do the brand-name test prep services really deliver?”...”Which should I go with: a tutor, an SAT class, or self study?”...”Does test location really matter?” … “How do I find the right tutor?”…How do SAT scores affect merit aid?”... and “What’s the one thing I need to know?”
The Perfect Score Project’s combination of charm, authority, and unexpected poignancy makes it one of the most compulsively readable guides to SAT test prep ever – and a book that will make you think hard about what really matters.

My Review:
Wow.  This book really was intense and honestly it kind of made me anxious.  I went between feeling like this lady was super crazy to do everything she did and feeling like I needed to get a move on in the preparing department (my daughter is 10).  This book is filled with great ideas, tips and resources so you can also go crazy preparing for the SAT.  It is up to you how crazy you get!  I do not think I will ever be that intense on the test, but I still enjoyed the book.  There are great ideas for all kinds of teaching and learning.  It is enjoyable to read also. 

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Review: An Amish Miracle

Book Description

“Always in My Heart” by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this past from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends isn’t a new pregnancy. It's the fifteen-year-old boy she gave away years ago.

“Always His Providence” by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community's widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

“Always Beautiful” by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and obese. As she continues to grow, so does her despair. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her life, even though it goes against her beliefs. Standing before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. Two months pass and Becky has miraculously lost over a hundred pounds. But does Becky like the person she has become? Could it be this weight loss isn’t at all the miracle she thinks it is?

My Review:
I do enjoy my Amish stories and I really enjoy reading the works of these authors.  I loved this book because it was filled with three novellas.  I love reading novellas because they are easier to get through.  As a busy mom I don't always have the time to sit and read a long book and stopping and starting can sometimes get confusing.  With the novellas, I am able to read the stories quicker and not forget what was going on in the story.  I definitely enjoyed these stories.  They were quit different from the typical Amish story because they dealt with issues usually untouched such as adoption and obesity.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.