Thursday, November 14, 2019

Smart But Scattered Book Review

I got this recommendation for a book to help me figure out how to help my son become more organized.  It took me awhile to read it because there was so much information but I was happy that I did!  Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson is an amazing reference book with tests and charts to help make things better based on individual challenges.

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright, talented son or daughter struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework, putting away toys, or following instructions at school. Your “smart but scattered” child might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Drs. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare have great news: there’s a lot you can do to help.

The latest research in child development shows that many kids who have the brain and heart to succeed lack or lag behind in crucial “executive skills”--the fundamental habits of mind required for getting organized, staying focused, and controlling impulses and emotions. Learn easy-to-follow steps to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses, use activities and techniques proven to boost specific skills, and problem-solve daily routines. Small changes can add up to big improvements--this empowering book shows how.

Thought this was an amazing book that had lots of great tests and hints to get you working to help your child's weaknesses.  It also helps determine parents and children's weaknesses because sometimes we can't help if we have the same weaknesses if we haven't dealt with our own issues.  Although we are best to help if we have already overcome challenges that we can help with so the book helps parents as well.  I thought it was great to see different ways to help my son and myself communicate and not get to the place where we are both upset.  I really think that this is a great resource for all people dealing with kids even if they aren't there own because it helps to understand how other people may see things different from yourself and how to work together for the best outcome.  I enjoyed the book even though it took a long time to read.  I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with issues with their kids in school and staying organized.  It has helped us a lot so that we don't end up doing all of the work and my son never learns the coping mechanisms.  I hope that this will prepare him for later in life to live to his best.  I hope that many others check it out and see for yourself but this might be a good one to buy because it will take a lot of renewals from the library to get through it all unless you are more dedicated to reading it every day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Bitterest Pill Book Review

I saw this on the new release section and knew that I hadn't read it so I grabbed the newest in the Jesse Stone series.  Robert B. Parker's The Bitterest Pill (A Jesse Stone Novel) by Reed Farrel Coleman is the 18th book in the series.  I have enjoyed reading all the books in the series and even enjoyed the movie series so I was excited to get to read another installment.

The opioid epidemic has reached Paradise, and Police Chief Jesse Stone must rush to stop the devastation in the latest thriller in Robert B. Parker's New York Times-bestselling series.

When a popular high school cheerleader dies of a suspected heroin overdose, it becomes clear that the opioid epidemic has spread even to the idyllic town of Paradise. It will be up to police chief Jesse Stone to unravel the supply chain and unmask the criminals behind it, and the investigation has a clear epicenter: Paradise High School. Home of the town's best and brightest future leaders and its most vulnerable down-and-out teens, it's a rich and bottomless market for dealers out of Boston looking to expand into the suburbs.

But when it comes to drugs, the very people Jesse is trying to protect are often those with the most to lose. As he digs deeper into the case, he finds himself battling self-interested administrators, reluctant teachers, distrustful schoolkids, and overprotective parents . . . and at the end of the line are the true bad guys, the ones with a lucrative business they'd kill to protect.

I thought it was very different from the other books and actually I thought that made it a little better.  You could tell that this book was set in modern times where the older books were dealing with problems that could have happened in the 80's so I thought it was moving with the times.  Jesse is dealing with being sober and his new role as father.  In addition, there is a growning drug and resulting crime problem in the small town of Paradise.  Many people don't have to worry about it until it hits the high school and there are children showing up dead.  Jesse is deeply invested in getting to the bottom of the crime spree and finding all of the people responsible.  This leads to tons of other things going wrong as always happens but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.  I think that you will be impressed whether you have read the other books or not.  Although I highly recommend starting at the beginning and getting to know Jesse Stone first.  I hope that you like this book as much as I did!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Timepiece Book Review

I was reading Timepiece by Beverly Lewis when the due date came and I wasn't finished.  I went to the library to get it renewed by one more day.  I was so excited to get the chance to finish it before returning it without having late fees.  I stayed up late and finished it all to return when before the new due date.  I love the library but when I get too many books, I am the only one who suffers!!

As the only daughter, Sylvia Miller of The Tinderbox has always held a special place in her Old Order family, one Adeline Pelham jeopardizes when she shows up at the Millers' Hickory Hollow farm. It isn't that Adeline means to be a threat, but her very existence is a reminder of the painful secret that has so recently upended the Miller household. And with Sylvia and her mother still struggling to come to terms with that news, this is a challenging time to welcome an Englisher--especially this Englisher--into their midst.

Despite the Millers' unexpected hospitality, Adeline is well aware that she's treading on Sylvia's turf, and she feels guilty about doing so when Sylvia is grappling with issues of her own. Not only is Sylvia trying to rebuild her trust in her father, but she's uncertain what to make of her once-promising engagement to Titus Kauffman, who hasn't pursued her since she confronted him. Adeline wishes she could help Sylvia, but she's not sure that either she or Sylvia is ready for that level of closeness in their relationship.  Can God make something good come out of the mistakes of the past? Or does Adeline's arrival mark one too many surprises for the Millers and their Amish community?

I had enjoyed the other books in the series and was excited when the newest book came up in my reserve shelf.  I didn't know that it was part of the series but I know that I like all of Beverly Lewis books!  I thought that the Amazon description was the worst book description and I disagree with most of it but I luckily didn't read it before the book.  The daughter that the Earnest Miller didn't know he had showed up after his Bann was over confessing about the marriage that he had before becoming Amish.  Adeline is English and grew up with her mother and didn't know anything about her father until her mother passed away.  She came to met them and learned that they were very welcoming.  She stayed much longer and learned much more then she expected.  Her sister, Sylvia, is going through a lot with the new sister showing up.  Her engagement ends over this and other reasons which Adeline starts to blame her self so she leaves.  To find out what she learned through this process, you will have to pick up the book and read for yourself.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did but make sure you check out the earlier books in the series too!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Menu Plan Monday 11/11

 Chili with corn bread
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Philly Cheese Steak Pasta
Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken with mac and cheese
Chicken Fries, Chicken Wraps and Homemade Fries

Last week we had Chili with corn bread on Monday and Pasta with sausage sauce on Tuesday.  We had a special treat with Cube Steak and Rice on Wednesday after I went to the store and found a package marked down.  Thursday we have the Chicken and Potato Casserole and my son had hash browns (less spicy).  Friday we had Pork Chops with mac and cheese which we got as another deal I couldn't pass up at the grocery store.  Saturday we had Fried Rice and Egg Rolls and my son had pancakes.  Sunday was my son's favorite meal of chicken fries, chicken tenders and homemade fries.  The meals were a little moved around with the deals found in the store (we took away leftovers because I keep eating them for lunch) and Breakfast for Dinner this week except for my son's pancakes.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy some yummy meals!!  Lots more yummy meals but a really busy week this week so we will see how the plan goes after things get crazy.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Healing Jar Book Review

I was excited to get to the last book in the series,  The Healing Jar (The Prayer Jars) by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.  The first two books were hard enough to put down but this book was even harder for me.  I couldn't wait to see how it was going to end.

What if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes? Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.  Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?

Lenore Lapp is living with her grandparents to help take care of them while working as a school teacher in the small Amish school.  She is enjoying her life with her job and family being very fulfilling until she starts wanting more.  Lenore was making plans to be an old maid living with her grandparents when she meets Jesse and his baby daughter. Lenore grows close when she watches the baby during the summer when she off school.  They grow closer and Jesse proposed marriage.  While Lenore was planning the wedding, Jesse decides that it was only a marriage of convenience and breaks off the engagement.  Lenore goes back to the life she had before but she is heart broken by all of the losses in her life.  She is dealing with so many thing but you have to pick up the book to find out what she is dealing with.  I hope that you check out this book and all the books in the series.  I enjoyed them so much and they made me grateful for the family in my life.  I think that you should check out these books and enjoy them for yourself.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Forgiving Jar Book Review

I was excited to get to the second book in the series.  The Forgiving Jar (The Prayer Jars) by Wanda E. Brunstetter was the next book in my pile and I got to read it right after reading the last book.  I love reserving books ahead of time at the library so that I have them all to read.

What would happen if you found out someone has been impersonating you?

Sara Murray had never met her mother’s parents and was surprised to learn after her death that they were Amish living in Pennsylvania. When she is finally able to make the trip to meet them, she is shocked to learn someone else has been living with them and pretending to be Sara. Sara can’t understand how quickly her grandparents are willing to forgive the impostor.

Secrets and deceit seem to follow Sara, and she is so tired of it. Though soon she meets Brad Fuller who is visiting her grandparents for during Christmas. She likes him a lot, but even he seems to pull away from her, not being totally honest.

Struggling, Sara finds an old canning jar hidden in the barn that is full of encouraging prayers. Can Sara find a way to forgive the past and move on to building new relationships?

This is Book 2 in the brand-new series, The Prayer Jars, from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Book 1 -- The Hope Jar (August 2018)
Book 3 -- The Healing Jar (August 2019)

I thought that this followed through from the last book seamlessly.  It was a great continuation of  the series.  Sara finally makes the trip to Amish country to meet her grandparents.  When she gets there, she finds an empty house except a girl about her age who leaves as soon as she gets there.  It is a shock to her grandparents when they find that the person that has been living with them for months was lying about who she was.  It was a shock to everyone including the friends that Michelle made while she was living there and most of all to Sara.  Sara is struggling with her anger and resentment of missing out on the time with her grandparents and she comes across the prayer jars.  She isn't very religious but she enjoys the prayers and encouragements that she finds in their.  Sara has to leave to get back to her life but realizes that she is changed forever by meeting her grandparents and learning about their life.  You will only find out what happens if you pick up the book but I think that you will be surprised to see all the changes that happen over the short period of time.  I hope that you check it out for yourself!!  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Stay tuned for the third and final book in the series.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Hope Jar Book Review

I was excited to find a new series of books that I could read by an author that I enjoy.  The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars) by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the first book in the series about Prayer Jars. This was the first book in the new series.  Although I knew I liked other books by this author, I wasn't sure what this series was going to bring.

A Brand-New 3-Book Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?  Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

Michelle Taylor is escaping a bad life when she goes to the bus station.  The Lapps go to the bus station looking for their long lost grand daughter and find Michelle.  Michelle tells a lie and says that she is their grand daughter so that she can get away from her abusive boyfriend.  Once she goes with this nice couple, she realizes that they are Amish.  She is living a very different life then her old one but she actually starts to enjoy it.  She is greatly changed by the two prayer jars that she finds with the papers inside with prayers and inspirational ideas.  Michelle takes on the identity of Sara Murray.  Michelle even goes so far to steal the letters that come in the mail from the real Sara.  Michelle fits in with the neighbors and becomes part of the family.  The longer she is there the worse she feels about the lie that she told.  She know that she is going to have to come clean and leave but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I have.  Stay tuned for other books in the series.