Teaching Your Kids and Making It Stick

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Parents are teachers.  (We’ve said that before…)

A teacher’s job is to explain and persuade and get students to change their behavior as a result.

That’s what the Heath Brothers’ book “Made To Stick” is all about.

Making Life’s Lessons Stick

Every day is filled with lessons that range from divine to down to earth.  We want more than anything for these lessons to ‘stick.’  We want our kids to remember what we teach them, and we want them to change their actions accordingly.  What if you found out that there were some small changes you can make to your message that will make it more likely to stick?  That’s what the last book in my “Tour de Heath Brothers” is all about.   Continue reading

The Bookshelf, Part 3


Here are some books I have read this summer.

Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly

Highly Recommend!  Bill does a great job of bringing the era to life.  He explains the way that Roman culture was intertwined with Jewish life, and helps to explain the circumstances leading to Jesus’ death. I felt that he did an appropriate job of presenting the story historically without demeaning the faith element.

The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis

Required reading!  I had always thought this would be a weird book…demons and such.  But it isn’t written that way at all.  CS Lewis was an amazing genius, whose satirical (aka sarcastic, tongue in cheek) writing is spot on.  (I said that cuz he’s British.)  This is probably a PG13 book, but an easy read.

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My Fall Semester

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It is back to school time. The girls are back in school. The boys and I have started to settle into our new schedule of worksheets and ‘preschool’. As I was starting to get a game plan on what I would like Luke to learn this fall, the thought dawned on me…”What should I be learning?”

We should always be learning something. God wired us that way. When we aren’t learning we get bored and boredom almost always leads to trouble.

So, as of today I have decided that that I am going to enroll in two classes this fall!  Continue reading

A Little Wonder!

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I may be late to the boat, but I have discovered this little wonder…


I love making egg muffins for my kids so that they can have a little protein in the morning. I like to make a whole bunch and freeze most of them to save for another week. I also love to make my children their birthday cakes. I love being creative and making them into shapes that represent an interest they had that year and decorate them accordingly.

Last year’s boys’ cake.
Girls cake in 2010
Girls’ cake in 2010


In times past I have had one major frustration that at times prevents me from doing exactly what I had planned. I hate trying to get them out of the muffin tin or pans!  They never come out in one piece! I will typically miss one little corner or the exact middle of the cake when I spray my pans and then I have a hole or tear that I have to fix in my decorating. With the egg muffins, my pans are a mess and so difficult to clean up. Yes, I could buy new pans that have better non-stick still on them or I could use muffin cups, but I’m not a fan of putting them in the microwave and I am too cheap. Continue reading

Parental DJ, Part 2


Last week we introduced the role of the Parental DJ in selecting music for our kids.  As a parent of small children, it is my job to control what enters their minds and hearts, to shape what kind of musical tastes they develop, and to reinforce a worldview that is in line with Scripture.  Music is a powerful tool that can be used purposefully!

Today we wanted to share some more specifics about how we’ve chosen to do this, in a few broad categories:

  1. Learning Scripture
  2. Worshiping, Praising, and Shaping Worldview
  3. Calming Bedtime
  4. Having Fun Continue reading

The Bookshelf, Part 2


Back in April I reviewed some books that I had read in 2014.  Here are 5 more for the list.

A Short History of the 20th Century by John Lukacs

I wouldn’t say it was short, and it didn’t cover the whole 20th Century, and it definitely centered on Europe and Americas.  But I thought it was an interesting look at world history from World War 1 through the end of the Cold War.  He infuses some of his own theories and philosophy into the history, which I think is interesting.
John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger

This was the next stop on my plan to read a biography about each American President.  I enjoyed it because I really love John and Abigail Adams and their son John.  The challenges that they faced and the maturity with which they faced them are inspirational to me.  Read more at The Bookshelf… Continue reading

Audubon Society Field Guides

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One of the trade-offs in life is how much time and money you spend on toys, and how much you spend on tools.  Put another way, the trade-off is how much you spend on education, and how much on entertainment.  Today we are sharing some good educational tools.

Today’s product review takes us all the way back to my childhood.  My parents did an excellent job of instilling a love of nature in my life.   One of the tools that they used was the Audubon Society Field Guide series.  These books were high quality!  We had the Field Guides for Rocks and Minerals, Trees, Mammals, and Birds. They were designed to help you identify the object or animal that you were seeing, and gave you some information about them.  This made learning fun – we would see a leaf or a bird or a rock and then search through the guide to figure out what it was.  Solving the mystery was a lot of fun.   Continue reading

The Pen and the Sword


Looking for just the right gift for that special father?  Think “tools.”

But don’t limit yourself to hammers and ladders – tools come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of jobs.   Today I am reviewing two of my favorite tools:  a pen and a pocket knife.

The Pen

I will always remember the day that I was introduced to the Zebra F 301 Fine Point Pen.  I was at a conference and forgot my pen, so I asked my colleague (Jim) if I could borrow his.  And the rest was history.

It is a thin, lightweight barrel, and has a nice fine point.  It writes well and is reliable.  I really dislike when a pen requires you to write a few words before the ink starts flowing, and this pen does not have that problem.  It is pretty durable, although the black part of the barrel is made out of plastic which is breakable.  Continue reading

Nature Centers!!!!

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Lakeside Nature Center

Nature Centers are one of my favorite types of outings. The things I love about Nature Centers are:

  1. Educational: Interesting plants and animals to learn about.
  2. Outdoors: Trails to go exploring on.
  3. Great for the Budget: The are almost always Free!

Last summer we explored many of the nature centers in the KC area. Here are my personal reviews of a few of them. Continue reading

Crayola: What Endless Possibilities!!!

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Of course we have all heard of the Crayola brand and its many wonderful items. Today I want to focus on three of our favorites.

Color Wonder Markers

These have come in handy on car trips and in places where we needed our little one to sit and be halfway quiet. The markers only work with special paper so you don’t have to worry about them writing on the walls, chairs or clothes. We used these a lot for Hannah’s basketball games to keep Jacob entertained and not running out onto the court.

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