Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns To Listen

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen

This post has always been one of my most popular on Pinterest, and it’s too perfect for the  summer season not to share again. If you have a little one in PreK or Kindergarten, or if you’re a teacher of young children of any kind you’ll want to own this book! I will say, though, that even my 8 year old still enjoys reading the Howard Series 4 years after we added him into our home library, this lovable little bunny is just a lot of fun!

Here is my original post:

I find that as a parent I try to make sure that most of the shows that my children watch and the books that they reads (or that I read to them) are not only entertaining and wholesome, but also have some type of lesson or learning aspect about them. Fun, silly, “just because” shows definitely have their place–but I want to make sure that we use every opportunity to teach them valuable life skills in a way they don’t even realize that they’re learning!

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen couldn’t have come at a better time as Amber has been having a few problems with learning to listen. You know, REALLY listen and obey right away.

In Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen Howard is having a little problems with listening, to any and everyone including parents, friends, and teachers. Not because he’s purposefully being bad, there is just so much to be distracted by! This book is great because it shows the cause and effect of not listening, such as punishments from teachers, hurting friends or himself, and losing privileges, which are all shown in an engaging writing style. This book is great because it also shows the good things and rewards that good “really listening” bring!

We both loved the fun pictures and the discussion questions at the end of the book too.

This book is absolutely perfect for any pre-k – kindergartner or above who is having a little bit of difficulty in this area! (and don’t they all from time to time??)

Be sure to check out their website We Do Listen Foundation for free lesson plans, read alouds, and more!

If you love this book be sure to check out our reviews of the other Howard B. Wigglebottom books as well!

Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey On His Back (a book about lying)

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage





The Shadow Magic Series Review From a Tween

Shadown Magic Series by Joshua Khan

Our family has a deep and abiding love of all things Fantasy. My kids, especially, caught the bug. My one true genre love has always been Historical Fiction. Amber, however, somehow inherited her aunt’s passion for all-things-fantasy. As a result, I have been scrambling to find more fantasy to add to our family library, which is chock-full of teen appropriate historical fiction, but sorely lacking in the fantasy section.

Because of this when I opened up my email from Disney-Hyperion and saw Burning Magic which is Book 3 of the Shadow Magic Series I was intrigued, and I knew Amber would be as well. I showed her the book and asked if she’d like to read the series in exchange for giving her opinion of them. Of course, the answer was a resounding “Yes!!!!” Since Amber is a budding author/blogger, herself, we both decided it would make the most sense for her to do the book reviews. So here what the book’s target audience member thinks of them, which I follow up with a quick “Mom’s Take” on the series.

This Tween Review is brought to you by Amber! Amber is a tween who loves Fantasy and is at a 6th-7th-grade reading level.


Shadow Magic Joshua Khan

Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic is all about zombies, darkness, and the dead. Shadow Magic is NOT
scary at all! There is nothing that would scare you. It is mostly about Thorn and Lilly,
trying to solve a problem or mystery. (This is in every book.) In this book, it is both!

Lilly wants to practice magic, but girls are not allowed to practice magic. Lilly’s
mother, father, and brother have died from an accident, or was it? How did Lilly’s
family die? Will she ever learn to practice magic? Read this book to find out.

I loved this book. It is full of adventure and mystery that will make you not want to
stop reading it! I love how Thorn and Lilly solve this mystery! For people who love
adventure, I think this is the perfect book for you!!!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 4.6 Stars out of 33 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon

Dream Magic by Joshua Khan

Dream Magic

Dream magic is all about people’s dreams. Lilly and Thorn try to figure out why so
many people are disappearing. Most of the people are disappearing by the Troll Mountains,
so they suspect that the trolls are the cause of the disappearing people. Will Lilly and
Thorn figure out this mess? Will they have war with the Trolls? You will have to read
Dream Magic to figure that out!
I personally loved this book! I love how almost everything is about dreams. If you
like fantasy and dreams, I think this will be the perfect book for you! Maybe you will
get lost in your dreams in reading this book!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 4.3 Stars out of 15 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon


Burning Magic by Joshua Khan

Burning Magic

Burning Magic is all about fire. Lilly and Thorn go to see their friend, K’leef. A new
Sultanate is going to be crowned and he was K’leef’s brother, but his magic failed
him, so now there has to be a new Sultanate. Now all the brothers of Sa’if,( the one
who tried on the lava crown but his magic failed him) will go on a trail of fire to see
who will be the next Sultanate. One of K’leef’s brothers, Jambiya, wants the crown,
but he is bad, so K’leef took on the trail too. Will K’leef succeed in this trail with
Thorn and Gabriel on his side? Read the book to find out.
This might be my favorite book ever!!! I love the fire, phoenixes, and adventure in
this book!!! This book makes you not want to stop reading it! Seriously, I could not
stop reading this book at night!

((Mom note–it’s true, she may have gotten scolded for staying up WAY past lights out to finish this))

If you love fire, magic, and adventure, this is the best
book for you! Just don’t get burned up by reading Burning Magic!

Check out what other’s think (great reviews so far 5 Stars out of 4 Reviews) & buy the book on Amazon

Mom’s Take on the Shadow Magic Series

Our family comes from a conservative Christian stance, so while I thought the books looked great, I was a little leery of the “dark magic” portrayed as good when I initially glanced at them. Because of this I went ahead and read halfway through the first book before giving Amber the “all clear”. Then, once she had finished the first book I read through the series myself in its entirety.

The books are fun and perfectly suited to the age group they’re geared towards. While there are “spooky” elements and hard/sad things that happen, they’re handled in a way that is not disturbing to a tween/teen. The dark elements have a fun spin on them, and were not at all presented in a way that I felt inappropriate or offensive. The best thing I can liken the books to is the popular MMO World of Warcraft. (Which, you might know, we love as a family). Much like in the WoW world, each realm can practice magic and draws that power from a different source. In the Shadow Magic books the Shadow Magic and its corresponding Necromancers, Zombies, and etc all reminded me of the feel of the Demon Hunters, Undead, and Warlocks in World of Warcraft. It’s all taken in stride with the thought of magic from everywhere, and it’s not scary, creepy, or over the line.

I’ll also mention that these are books where it’s worth splurging for the hardback copies. The quality is amazing and they have the delicious uneven pages that go so perfectly with the story. A gorgeous addition to your home library that your children will be able to enjoy with their children someday! The typography and illustrations are amazing throughout the book series as well.

As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed the books. The characters are well developed and believable. I enjoyed watching them grow as people. It’s easy to get lost in the world and the plot twists aren’t predictable until right before they’re actually revealed in the story. I’d highly recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy and wants another great author/series to stay up way-too-late turning the pages of.

Easter Basket Ideas ~ Best Books and DVDs

This post is originally from 3/10/2013 — we still love and read these books and watch these movies all the time, though, so I wanted to share them in case you’re looking for a few awesome fillers for this year’s basket!

Ready or not Easter is *right* around the corner! This year it’s March 27–so it’s an early one! In addition to the classic candy and toys my two favorite items to include in my kids Easter Baskets are Books and Movies. Here are my favorites this year for putting your kiddos Easter Basket!

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Let There Be Light by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As you might be able to tell immediately from looking at the cover, Let There Be Light is not your typical re-hash of the story of creation. Illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Nancy Tillman the illustrations bring a level of fantasy and whimsical to Genesis 1.

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Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller Book Review

It seems only appropriate that I’m writing this review about a week late. You see–last Monday (as in April 28th) I came down with THE flu–you know, not the bad cold, or the “oh I think that this might be the flu” bugs–but the read bon fida Influenza A. I know for sure because I thought that I might have a sinus infection again–so I went into the walk in clinic where they tested me, which is how I found out it was the “real deal”. I promptly “call in sick” (which is not an easy task to do when you work from home) and spent the rest of the week in a huge bundle of misery and pain either on the couch or in my bed.

You see–when you’re a Mom life in general can be a challenge–trying to seek God in the middle of all the utter chaos? Well some times it can feel nearly impossible!

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AHA by Kyle Idleman

AHA by Kyle Idleman Book Review


AHA: The God Moment That Changes Everything by Kyle Idleman is a book that takes the (what can sometimes seem) overly familiar parable of the Prodigal Son and shows through multiple real-life examples just how modern and relevant this tale is today—for “sinners and saints” alike! The title stands for Awakening Honesty and Action – and goes through how important each step is for a change to be long lasting and true. One step while not paired with the other two is common but makes it so that real change never happens.

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Books of 2013

If you pay attention around here it’s no surprise that I’m an avid reader! However I’ve never really kept track of how many books I read, other than when I was little and needed to for those summer reading programs to earn prizes, haha! This year I thought it might be fun to so I put together a little Facebook friend group so we could all compare our reads throughout the year. It was a lot of fun seeing how many books I read this year. If you’re on Goodreads feel free to add me on there as well! Enjoy my list!

  1. But the Greatest of These Is Love by Debbie Barrow Michael
  2. Where Yesterday Lives – Karen Kingsbury
  3. When Joy Came to Stay – Karen Kingsbury
  4. On Every Side- Karen Kingsbury
  5. The Gospel Centered Woman – Wendy Alsup
  6. Next Door Savior- Max Lucado
  7. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work – Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  8. For Women Only – Shaunti Feldhahn
  9. Dinner with the Smileys –Sarah Smiley
  10. Redeeming Love – Francine Rivers
  11. FirstHand – Ryan & Josh Shook
  12. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – by Mitch Albom
  13. Whispers of the Bayou – Mindy Starns Clark
  14. Jennifer – Dee Henderson
  15. Sidetracked – Francesca Gino
  16. Before I Wake – Dee Henderson
  17. Safe Haven – Nicholas Sparks
  18. Madman – Tracy Groot
  19. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (re-read)
  20. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  21. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  22. The Meeting Place – Janette Oke & T. Davis Bunn
  23. Return to Me by Lynn Austin
  24. The Sacred Shore by Janette Oke & T. David Bunn
  25. Star of Babylon– Bethany Wallace
  26. The Birthright by Janette Oake & T. Davis Bunn
  27. A Christmas Carol– Charles Dickens


Nicole Elliott

Gift for the Photog in Your Life – Capturing Every Day Life by Jane Goodrich

Christmas Gift Guide Gift Ideas For the Person Who Already Owns Everything

Although I took a photography class in college, it was ages ago, and the class was for SLR Cameras–yep, film! Recently, however, I got a dream of mine granted that I’ve had ever since taking that class!

Gift for the Photog in Your Life – Capturing Every Day Life by Jane Goodrich


I’m now the proud owner of a Nikon D3200 Digital SLR! Hopefully you’ve been enjoying my better picture quality on here over the past few months!

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Return to Me by Lynn Austin

Brautkleid Spitze

Return to Me by Lynn Austin

I’m not sure how an avid reader like me somehow missed the memo–but until recently I was unaware that there was actually a wide variety of Biblical Fiction to choose from! I’ve always loved Biblical fiction and really enjoyed stories like Ben Hur and The Bronze Bow, and even wrote a short biblical fiction story of my own for young authors when I was in elementary school!

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