Book Review: The Lord's Prayer Words of Hope and Happiness

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

Commentary by New York Times bestselling author Rick Warren 

This iconic prayer is paired with flowing illustrations by award-winning artist Richard Jesse Watson and thoughtful insights by bestselling author Rick Warren, resulting in a book that rejuvenates the familiar prayer for a younger audience. Using poetic scripture from the King James Version, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness helps familiarize children with real biblical text while also presenting contemporary illustrations and insightful words that make this beautiful prayer come alive.

The Lord's Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness ($16.79) is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen in my life.

As a family, we say The Lord's Prayer every day. Tbomb knows the words and says it along with us. Snapper tries her best. While they know the words, they did not truly understand it. I decided we would do a "The Lord's Prayer" bible study unit in school to help them truly understand what we are praying. This book was a perfect companion. We read the book every day and then focused on the lines we were studying that particular day. The kids loved the illustrations and started to really understand what we were praying. In fact, each day after prayer time, Tbomb would tell his daddy what a part of the prayer means and Snapper would show daddy in the book her favorite part. This book will be a companion to bible study for years to come and most likely end up being a heirloom, it is that beautiful!

Book Review: God Made You Nose To Toes

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

 God Made You Nose to Toes ($9.99), by Leslie Parrot, is an absolutely adorable book to teach little ones how important they are to God.

Help little ones understand that God created each part of their bodies so they can enjoy life and everything in it. In this delightful padded cover board book by well-known author and family therapist Leslie Parrott, children can follow along with Toucan––with a great big nose––as he helps them learn God loves each one of them completely.

About the Author

Dr. Leslie Parrott is a marriage and family therapist and co-director with her husband, Dr. Les Parrott, of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. She is the author of First Drop of Rain and God Made You Nose to Toes, and co-author with her husband of several bestselling books, including the Gold Medallion Award-winner Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Leslie is a columnist for Today's Christian Woman and has been featured on Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, and The View, and in USA Today and the New York Times. Leslie lives in Seattle with her husband and their two sons.

Estelle Corke - When not pinned to her drawing desk working on the latest book commission, Estelle is quite happy perusing the shelves in the children’s section of a bookstore. She is amazed and inspired by both old favorites and the latest publications. Her own style is traditional hand painted artwork, with a little fun and a lot of heart. Estelle lives in the beautiful West Country in England with her family.

I wanted this book for my Snapper. She is finally starting to talk and nothing gets her more excited than animals. I knew that reading this book with her would not only be educational (get her to say body parts, animals, what the animals say, etc), but it would help instill the love of God in her early. Luckily, my children love learning about God. The problem is that sometimes Snapper gets frustrated because she can't talk about her feelings. With the help of books, I can watch her learn, she gets excited, and she can point to different topics and ideas. This book was absolutely perfect for teaching her how much God loves us and how important each and every one of us are to him.

Fabulous Accessories For Her Doll From Sophia's

Disclaimer: I received products to review. All opinions are my own. (I was provided an outfit, Salon Doll Chair, and Complete Hair Accessory Set. All other items are from Snapper's collection)

I have blogged several times about miss Snapper's problem- she doesn't talk, even though she turned 3 in September. She is extremely intelligent but just doesn't talk. She has been in speech therapy since October. It is helping, but it is slow going and sometimes she doesn't want to talk. Another problem with Snapper is that she doesn't use her imagination. Well, I thought I had a solution. She received an 18" doll for Christmas and loves her. We started her out by getting her a few things that matched things Snapper has. Guess what?! She takes that doll everywhere, even eats with her laying on the table. She even has the doll ride her large plastic ponies (you know the popular ones with pretty hair?!) I went to her room to check on her and found snapper talking to her doll. Guess what that means? These dolls are a winner and her collection will be expanded. We had some help with that from Sophia's.

The great folks at Sophia's sent Snapper a Salon Doll chair, Complete Hair Accessory Set, and an adorable outfit.

Image result for flower shirt capris sophia's      Image result for sophia's salon chair  Image result for sophia's salon chair

My little Snapper has been having the time of her life playing with these accessories from Sophia's. She can dress her with these clothes because they are velcro and not buttons or snaps. They are also very well made, so I do not have to worry about her playing rough and ripping them like some we have do. 

The Salon chair and hair care set have provided hours of fun for her. I'm am totally impressed not only with the items that are included for play, but also the quality of the items. She hasn't broken anything yet and she tends to be a bit rough. I was shocked to find her doll grooming it's doll one day. 

Sophia's is of the same quality of what you would expect from a brand like American Girl, but with a much more affordable price. Comparing these items with the sets that come from other brands, I was very impressed with the designs, construction, and details. The accessories and clothes are made to fit all 18" dolls, but remember, each brand is a little different. 

Miss Snapper is so in love with these accessories, she wants to take the chair everywhere for her doll to sit in. I know that Sophia's will be a standing name in our house, and yours too! 

How to Accustom Your Child to Reading

In most cases, children start reading from an early age. Parents read stories, play word games and show colored books with poems. That books are very attractive and made of durable materials with the use of technologies so that the kid get the pleasure to browse. 

Interacting with books, the child begins to develop different types of memory and fine motor skills, perceives images and get used to the letters; in other words – begins to understand the outside world. That’s why any conscious parent must instill and maintain the child’s interest in reading.

However, situations, when kids don't want to read, are no exception. And here parents often make mistakes. Today, we’ll discuss the next questions:
  1. When is it necessary to acquaint children with books?
  2. When to start to teach a child to read?
  3. How to teach kids reading?

The answers to these questions will give you valuable material on the question of how to accustom your child to read. 

#1 When is it Necessary to Acquaint Children with Books

At first, you should choose books that meet the age of your kid. 
  • Until the baby turned a year, you can use all sorts of themed images, books with pictures, and stories in pictures, which tell about basic things like how to wash, to eat, to play.
  • The period between one and two years is the best to read before going to bed. Buy or download short stories and folk tales that kids listen to with great pleasure.
  • At the age of four, children begin to learn the letters and inscriptions, memorizing information and putting letters into words and pronouncing them. Since then, the child can gradually begin to read independently.

However, sometimes it happens that kids show no interest in independent reading. The main reason here is the fact that the development of reading skills takes too much energy, not to mention the fact that the baby needs to understand what he reads. Take this moment into account and support your child, varying the reading load.

#2 When to Start to Teach a Child to Read

By and large, the book should be an essential attribute for your kid from the first days when the baby starts to realize something.  At first, books can play the role of toys and then be used for direct purposes.

Books should always be freely available, enabling the child to take them when he wants. As for the "before bed reading," start it as soon as possible. The child needs not only to hear but also to see his mother/father with a book in hands (as you know, the best role model for a child is his mom and dad). Seeing that the parents have the habit of reading, the kid with the big share of probability will begin to adopt it.

But it is important to remember that the greatest interest in reading still formed not by example but via training. 

#3 How to Teach Kids Reading

  • The first and main principle is that reading shouldn’t be a burden. Try to make reading a game so that the child will never know that you teach him, give homework or test.
  • When your child can read by himself, read him some interesting books. Reach the most interesting episode, tell him that you have some business, and walk away. It may surprise you, but the child will finish reading by himself. The key point is to make sure that the passage is not too large so that the child is able to cover it.
  • Before reading, assign roles between yourself and the kid, and read in order of priority. For example, you can read for the author and characters.
  • Start an interesting conversation, for example, on the topic of the most favorite character. Start with a small note and gradually add lines to it.
  • When cooking, let your child read you the paragraphs of the recipe (by the way, you can write the recipe by yourself, pretending to cook a dish for the first time).
  • Buy lots of letter magnets and match different words or even small sentences on the fridge. By doing this regularly, you will form the baby's interest in reading new messages.
  • Teach your child to play a board game, but on the condition that he must read the rules.
  • Play "treasure seekers" – stash treasure at home, write little clues on sheets of paper and let your child read them to find the treasure.
  • If you go shopping with your child, read with him the texts on the tablets, ads, advertisements, signs, etc.

Final Recommendations

To instill and keep the desire to read, make sure you have interesting books in your home library. These include fairy tales and children's stories, books about space, dinosaurs, cars, planes, animals, encyclopedias, and educational books.

Every time your child reads, reward with small gifts and tell about his success to everyone who comes to visit you. If the child already goes to school, take a rule of an hour of reading a day during holidays and weekends.

However, don't force your child to read for a long time without a break; after all, reading is rather difficult. If the baby is tired, let him make a break or continue reading the next day. If he is not interested in the book, let him choose another. After the kid read something, ask him what the text was about and what he was able to absorb and learn.

Finally, if your child shows no interest in reading, think about what you have done or are doing wrong. Maybe, the biggest question is when have you last read a book?


Lucy Adams is a blogger and buzzessay writer. Most of all, she’s interested in literature, education, and writing. Lucy is very responsive and open-hearted so that she never postpones her answers. Share what you have in mind and get a high-quality research exclusively for your blog for free! 

The Importance of Youth and Exercise

It is critical that a child is allowed to play for at least 30 minutes a day either before school, at recess or while at home. Those who learn how to play and run around on a regular basis at a young age will carry those habits into adulthood. What are some ways that a child can get the physical activity that he or she needs?

Image result for kids playing sports

The Pool Is a Great Place to Workout

Your child doesn't have to be a gifted athlete to get the exercise that he or she needs to stay fit at a young age. Michael Phelps first started swimming at the age of 7, and he was so scared that he just floated on his back instead of actually putting his head under the water. As we all know, he went on to become one of the best swimmers in the world and the most decorated athlete at the Olympic games. Therefore, you should aim to get your child in the water no matter how well he or she can actually swim or whether you think your son or daughter is destined for greatness.

Golf Is a Surprisingly Intense Sport

Walking a full 18 holes while carrying your golf clubs can burn several hundred calories and provide all of your muscles with constant work throughout the day. What makes golf even better is that it is an appropriate activity for children and adults of all ages. Children can also relate to seeing these pro players on television since they are built like the average man. The average PGA golfer comes in at 5’11” and 170 pounds while the ave average NBA player is 6’7”, 222 bounds. While Tiger Woods didn't turn pro until the age of 20, he started playing at the age of 2. Getting your child started is as easy as buying some miniature clubs and some plastic balls that are safe for use in the yard.

Most Youth Sports All Kids to Start Playing at Age 4 or 5

Youth soccer programs are available to kids who are just going into preschool or kindergarten. Whether your child likes soccer, baseball or football, there is a program that can teach them the skills necessary to play the game effectively while also getting a chance to run around with their friends.

In fact, it may be a good idea to let your child play as many different sports as possible to find their niche. Even if your child isn't good enough to play professionally, learning how to play a sport can teach life skills as well as potentially earn your son or daughter a college scholarship.

Your child should learn what it means to have fun and socialize within their peer group as soon as possible. For some, it may mean starting to play a sport as soon as they are able to walk. Regardless of the activity that a child decides to take up, it should provide physical and mental stimulation as well as help his or her long-term mental and physical development.

Thank you Cliff Howard for this highly interesting and informative article. You can read more of Cliff's writing at: USS Sports Machine.

How America’s New Cabinet Can Lead Successful Change Initiatives

The inauguration of a new president in Washington, D.C., also means a new Cabinet with goals and ideas different from those in the previous administration.

But these new Cabinet secretaries face an old challenge: Bringing change to departments of the federal government staffed by people who have grown accustomed to thinking and acting in certain ways.

And anyone who’s ever tried to implement change initiatives knows that it takes a dogged effort to avoid failure.

 “Various reports and studies have found that 60 to 70 percent of change initiatives don’t produce the desired results,” says Paul Thornton, who conducts leadership training programs and is author of Precise Leaders Get Results.

If President Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointees want to succeed in their new jobs, Thornton says, they need to ask themselves these questions about change and come up with precise answers:

  • Why change? The Cabinet members need to pinpoint the problem or opportunity that requires the change initiative. What’s the compelling reason to change?
  • Who needs to change? Thornton says the first step is to identify the specific people who need to change. Beyond that target group is the secondary group; this includes people who can support and help the target group. For example, for a child to change his or her behavior, parents need to make changes to support the child. In business, the secondary group includes the managers of the employees in the target group and other people who influence them directly or indirectly.
  • What Specific Changes Are Required? Thornton says he’s often heard company presidents and senior leaders make statements such as, “We need a values-driven culture.” “We need to change the culture to be more customer-focused.” “To survive, we need to be more entrepreneurial.” People in the audience nod and applaud these pronouncements, but they leave the meeting not knowing what they need to do differently, he says. “If you can’t describe the specific change as it relates to someone’s behavior, then the change effort is doomed to fail,” Thornton says. “People need to know exactly what they need to stop doing and start doing.”
  • What Resources Are Needed? It takes time, effort, and money to train and motivate people to change. Without adequate resources, the change effort will flounder and fail. “Leaders must champion the change initiative and that includes allocating the required resources,” Thornton says.
  • Is everyone able and willing to change? Once leaders identify the target group, secondary groups and the specific changes required, they need to answer these additional questions: Are these people able to change? Are they motivated to change?

“Too often, leaders simply espouse vague goals like ‘world-class,’ ‘customer-focused,’ ‘adding value,’ and ‘positive culture,’” Thornton says. “These phrases may sound exciting and hopeful, but they are just empty words without further clarification. The Cabinet secretaries will need to make sure they aren’t relying on vague ideas, but can state plainly and precisely the direction they’re going.”

About Paul Thornton

Paul Thornton, the author of Precise Leaders Get Results, is an author, trainer, speaker and professor of Business Administration at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He has designed and conducted management and leadership programs for UMASS Medical School, Kuwait Oil Corporation, and United Technologies, providing leadership training for over 10,000 supervisors and managers. Thornton’s books include Leadership-Off the Wall, Be the Leader, Make the Difference, and Leadership: Best Advice I Ever Got. He has also written articles that have appeared in USA Today, Management Review and Leadership Excellence.