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REVIEW: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters


101 Unforgettable Stories about Our Nutty but Lovable Families
Nearly everyone thinks their own family is "nutty" or has at least one or two nuts. With 101 stories of wacky yet lovable relatives, funny foibles, and holiday meltdowns along with more serious stories about abuse and outbursts, this book is usually hilarious and occasionally poignant. Readers will feel comforted, amused, and encouraged by these unforgettable stories about "nutty" families just like their own. This book shows readers that we all have the same family matters and what really matters is families. It is a quirky and fun holiday book, and a great bridal shower or wedding gift!


The joys of family... can't live with 'em... can't live without 'em!

This book is full of laughs! If you haven't laughed in a while, then this book is one you need to read. It is full of encouraging, funny, heart-warming and some crazy stories.  After reading some stories you will be grateful for the family you got!

One of my favorite quotes from Family Matters can be found with story #68:

"The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money." 
                                                           -David Richerby
There are so many cute stories in this book.  What I love most about the Chicken Soup for the Soul series is that they are perfect bathroom reading!  The stories are short enough that you can read one or two in the time you are in the restroom.  So if you have a bathroom in your home you need to have a Chicken Soup for the Soul book in there!

Let me help you get one!

Shelton Interactive has generously given me three copies of Family Matters to giveaway!

On Monday Feb. 21, three (3) lucky winners will be picked at random to receive a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul ~Family Matters.

To enter, leave a comment telling me a favorite fun, funny, sweet or extremely memorable family time in your life!

Good luck and Happy Reading!!


 The Legal Stuff: This book was provided by Shelton Interactive.

REVIEW: Chicken Soup for the Soul ~ Shaping a New You


101 Encouraging Stories about Dieting and Fitness... and Finding What Works for You
No one likes to diet, but the personal stories in this book will encourage and inspire readers with its positive, practical, and purposeful tales of dieting and fitness. Readers will find hope, help, and hints on getting fit and staying healthy in these 101 stories from those who have been there, done that, and maintained it. Stories about wake-up calls and realizations, moving more and eating better, self-esteem and support, and lifestyle changes, big and small, will motivate any reader looking to start fresh or needing a boost. This is a great book for anyone embarking on a healthier lifestyle.


Every one needs a little encouragement, especially when it comes to our fitness and diet goals!

My favorite story is #56: Taking Control of my Body Image.

Especially as a women, I compare myself often to the girl next door, my best friend, the lady in front of me at the grocery store.  In this story Christine Junge tells of how she stop comparing herself to her best friend, how she looked at many pictures of herself and could find something to complain about in each of them, but how  now she has come to grips with herself and her body and realizes she has better things to think about.

I love it!

I, too, have found myself doing the exact same thing Christine did for many years, and now at age 30 (Oh My Gosh! I just announced my age to all of you!) I have come to grips with myself too.  Do I long to still lose the baby weight that I am still carrying from my first child (who is turning nine next week by the way!)? Yes!  Do I want to pull out that bag of clothes that I have hidden in the back of the storage room that is a size down from what I am currently wearing? Yes!  Do I want to fit back into my wedding dress, just to say that I fit back into my wedding dress? YES!

Do I have to look like the 19 year old model who eats nothing but carrots the day before her Vogue magazine shot and has had liposuction and lifts to look like she does? NO WAY!

(I never will look like that! And I am okay with that now!!)


 The Legal Stuff: This book was provided by Shelton Interactive.

REVIEW: Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski


5th Anniversary - Updated & Expanded Edition
With Foreword by FRANCIS CHAN

Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Live Homeless?

Mike Yankoski did more than just wonder. By his own choice, Mike's life went from upper-middle class plush to scum-of-the-earth repulsive overnight. With only a backpack, a sleeping bag and a guitar, Mike and his traveling companion, Sam, set out to experience life on the streets in six different cities—from Washington D.C. to San Diego— and they put themselves to the test.
    For more than five months the pair experienced firsthand the extreme pains of hunger, the constant uncertainty and danger of living on the streets, exhaustion, depression, and social rejection—and all of this by their own choice. They wanted to find out if their faith was real, if they could actually be the Christians they said they were apart from the comforts they’d always known…to discover first hand what it means to be homeless in America.
   Mike and Sam's story is gritty, challenging, and utterly captivating. What you encounter in these pages will radically alter how you see your world—and may even change your life.

This updated and expanded edition contains added stories, an interview with the author, a “five years after” bonus chapter, and a new foreword from Francis Chan.


MIKE YANKOSKI and his wife, Danae, are both graduate students in theology at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. Mike is a board member for World Vision, and a frequent speaker for World Vision, Compassion International, Union Gospel Mission, and colleges across North America. The Yankoskis make their home in a community house on Vancouver’s east side where they seek to live authentically among people in need.

If you are not touched or changed, even just a little, then your heart is stone cold!

After reading Under the Overpass in just one night, I had the hardest time throwing food into the garbage the next.  I was convicted as I heated a heating pad to warm my cold feet.  I look for opportunities to give a homeless person in my city food or a warm blanket.

I know that Mike's book is not just about giving the homeless food or clothes; it is about giving the homeless HOPE! Jesus! Love! Compassion!

As a teenage I was a part of the homeless ministry at my church.  I went out monthly to feed the homeless in the inner city.  I spent many Friday nights with the 'older' ladies of the church making crazy quilts and sleep bags for them.  I took my turn in the kitchen making huge pots of chili beans and peeling many potatoes for meals.  I remember shopping trips to buy hundreds of hot buns and helping load, sort and collect clothing, hygiene items to give away.

Mike's story has rekindled a love for the less fortunate in my city.

And I plan to do something about it!

 The Legal Stuff: This book was provided by Multnomah's Blogging for Books program.

REVIEW: Battle Ready Moms Raising Battle Ready Kids by Reba Bowman


Mom, you are in a war for the lives of your children.  The enemy is real and deceptive, and his weapons are varied.  If your children are going to become the men and women that you want them to be, you must take this battle seriously and prepare to fight.

Battle-Ready Moms Raising Battle-Ready Kids equips mothers with the weapons they need to fight for the spiritual survival of their children.  You'll learn:
  • Why your role as mom is critically important to the well-being of your children
  • How to encourage good choices through connection, not rules alone
  • How to build character and nuture individually
  • How to guide both girls and boys from infancy to young adulthood
Using Bible-based wisdom and experience-based advice, Reba Bowman challenges you to become the best mom you can be - because the destiny of your children depends on it.


At a very early age Reba Bowman accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. She was very blessed to be raised in a Christian home by loving parents who taught her to love the Lord with all her heart, soul, and mind.
Reba left for college with goals of becoming a college coach and professor and for fourteen years that is exactly what she did. She coached women’s volleyball and basketball at the college level and taught psychology and counseling courses. In 1996, she became the Dean of Women at a leading Christian University. For five years she poured her heart into the girls on campus and God began to move in a special way in her own heart. As she saw the struggles of college girls and the many difficult choices they had to make, God began to impress upon her heart the need for someone to go and talk to the parents. By the time they entered college, so many girls had made many poor choices and were struggling in their relationship with their parents and with the Lord. Wouldn’t it be great to talk to the parents of young children and help them “get in” with their kids? Wouldn’t it be great to help and encourage parents who are struggling with their teenager now? And best of all, wouldn’t it be great to help teenage girls all across the country find a way to open up the communication lines between them and their parents and them and the Lord?
As Reba began to pray, God began to move. In 2000, Joy Rice Martin asked Reba to come and be the Chief Operations Officer for Joyful Christian Ministries. She would not only get to speak but also have the opportunity to write. This open door gave Reba the start she needed. Soon she was traveling and speaking to women and teenage girls all across the country. God opened door after door and blessed her in ways beyond number. She conducted sessions for mothers, teenagers, and young singles, and God continued to expand her vision. Her passion grew for women of all ages who were struggling with a personal relationship with God. This became her battle cry as she spoke and wrote.
In 2002, Reba stepped out on her own in ministry. Reba is the author of Battle Ready Moms, Raising Battle Ready Kids(Xulon Press, 2010), a 2010 Christian Choice Award winner. She currently travels and speaks year round.
Reba believes God is preparing her for what lies ahead on His perfect path in her life. These are not days for the weak of heart or for those who want the easy road. Christ’s return is eminent and in these last days each opportunity to be salt and light is vital. But as Reba is often heard to say, “You cannot impact others with something that is not impacting you.”


Todays kids see more 'junk' in their young lives than many adults have seen in their whole lifetimes.  The spiritual battle for our kids and families is the hardest, longest and more rewarding battle we could ever fight.

Reba reminds us in her book, Battle Ready Mom Raising Battle Ready Kids, that as moms it is not only our jobs to fight for our kids in prayer, but to live a live worthy of them reflecting.  The biggest reminder  walked away from after reading Reba's book, was that my kids eyes are on me.  If my eyes are not on Jesus and I am not reflecting God, then I am leading my kids away from God.

Any mom who is ready for a challenge of how you can live to better prepare your kids for the spiritual battle they will soon realize is happening for their souls, then this book is a great start!


 The Legal Stuff: This book was provided by Reba Bowman.
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