Friday, November 30, 2012

You Are Special

We have the board book version of You Are Special which is a more concise version of the Max Lucado book.  Almost every day I read this to my 20-month-old at naptime, and almost every day, I tear up while I'm reading it to him.

The first time I read this book while in college, it really gave me food for thought.  Self-esteem is something I've struggled with my whole life, and I still do.  I don't like how I look, I often feel very incompetent in everything I try to do, and I compare myself to others all the time and always find myself coming up short, no matter what I'm comparing.

Reading this book every day to my child has helped me reflect on this concept.  It's a constant reminder to me that I need to not let what I perceive others to think about me matter so much.  And every day that I read it, I get choked up because of this reminder.

Book Review: Strangling Your Husband is Not an Option

Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option: A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your MarriageStrangling Your Husband Is Not an Option: A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your Marriage by Merrilee Boyack

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was disappointed with this book.  I was expecting so much more, considering how stellar I thought Merrilee Boyack's "The Parenting Breakthrough" was.  The first five chapters she goes on and on about how men are different from women and we just have to live with how they are, blah, blah, blah.  It wasn't until the sixth chapter that she actually gives practical advice at  how to deal with the annoying things he does and how to approach discussing issues with him.  I still am not sure anything she said would be useful in applying to my marriage.  Much of it was the standard advice (go on a date every week, keep up your appearance, etc.) that is all good and nice but not helpful.  I was hoping to find ways to improve the communication so that we can start having those "deep conversations" again and such and got no practical advice on how to do that, other than to "talk like you used to".  Hard to do if your spouse ain't interested!  Overall a really big disappointment.  Just more of the same non-helpful tips that I've been hearing for years.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review: The Parenting Breakthrough

The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly IndependentThe Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Your Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent by Merrilee Boyack

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great book to really give your family direction and give you a solid reason and purpose in parenting.  I liked it so much I am going to buy it and get my husband to read it so we can work together to form a plan of our own that will work with our family to get our kids to be independent.

I especially liked the section on finances and teaching your children about money.  I feel my parents did pretty well in this area, but there are some suggestions and ideas that she gives that I had never thought about and even didn't know that I would like to implement to give my kids a real leg up in the matter of finances when they hit the real world.  I also want to implement some of her strategies to get my children saving their own money for missions and college and their futures.  I have always been a firm believer that it is NOT the parents' job to pay for their children's college educations and this book confirmed that for me, but gave me tools and ideas as to how to get them able and ready to fund a college education themselves, or mostly themselves, without having to take out a lot of money of loans and such. 

This book is going to be my new "parenting Bible", so to speak, because it just really resonated with me and how I already am trying to parent.

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