Although I have been reading up a storm and enjoying sharing my love of books with my readers, I fear I have misplaced my blogging mojo in other areas recently. I am still reading blogs, however, and was prompted today to share several recent posts with you that have touched me in one way or another.
Chocolate Sunday – If you are even a bit like me in your love for chocolate, you will adore the images and descriptions in this post at Planet Nomad about a Sunday afternoon chocolate class. And to anyone looking for the perfect birthday gift for me, a ChocoVision would be amazing (although of course I’d need a larger kitchen to go with it!)
My good friend The Gang’s Momma is working overtime these days raising money for their family’s second overseas adoption and one of the extremely cool ways this is happening is through a partnership with Wild Olive’s Adoption Fundraiser Tees. You can read more about it here and check out the tees here. Be sure to use the family code WHITNEY407 when you order.
Fellow reader and blogger Melissa at The Betty and Boo Chronicles has shared a tribute to a young woman named Marina Keegan, a recent Yale graduate who was killed in a car accident last weekend. Marina had recently written an amazing essay called “The Opposite of Loneliness” that was shared at her graduation and is even more poignant now that she has passed away. You can read Melissa’s post with an excerpt from the essay here and visit the Yale Daily News for the full text.
I found a few presentations maddening. One example was Karen Solomon’s talk on Autism and Friendship that seemed to boil down to a not-so-revolutionary point that autistic people are interested in making friends. Is the mythology about our anti-social nature really so deep-rooted, even among people who have met autistics, that it was necessary for attendees to fly in from all over the world for scientific verification?
My only dilemma is figuring out which linky list to put my name on – I’m such a black-and-white thinker that it’s hard for me to pick just one category.
So, who am I and where do I fit in? First and foremost, I’m a mom. I have one son, Michael, who is 10 years old and in 3rd grade. Because my husband and I are recently separated, Michael and I have just moved into an apartment and are working on making it a home. He will be switching schools in the fall, so we are also preparing for that big transition.
Product Reviews and Giveaways? Well, I am a major bookworm and love to share books with others, so I often write reviews of books that I have been given for free. Additionally, I am part of the team at 5 Minutes for Books and love writing reviews for that site as well. I don’t really do other product reviews, however, so I guess I don’t exactly fit on that list.
Christian and Religious Blogs? I am a born-again Christian and am deeply in love with Jesus. My faith informs and colors everything I do, including how I read a book or look at a disability issue, but it’s not the primary focus of most blog posts, so maybe that’s not the best place either.
Special Needs Blogs? My son Michael has autism, and I was diagnosed last November with Asperger’s, so we definitely qualify for this category. I used to write about this topic quite a lot, but haven’t written as much on it lately. I am passionate about advocacy and would love someday to make that a bigger part of my life’s work.
Specialty Blogs? Hmm, this one is a possibility, especially if you look at how heavily weighted my recent posts have been towards books. I do write about other things, though, so I’m just not ready to commit here.
Business Blogs? No, although I make a (very) small amount of money from blogging, I do it because I love it! Daily Life and Opinion Blogs? No, not really, although I do have plenty of opinions about daily life. Dad Blogs? No, this one I know the answer to for sure!
So, where DO I fit? Since what I blog about varies with the seasons of my life, I guess it ultimately comes down to the reason I go to 5 Minutes for Mom. It’s because I’m a mom who has lots of different stuff going on in her life and likes to take a little bit of time each day to learn something new or be inspired by someone else’s story.
If that’s you, too, and you don’t mind a little bit of rambling and a whole lot of reading along the way, I’d love to have you stick around and see how we can learn from and inspire each other. Subscribe to my feed or sign up by email to get connected.
I’d also love for you to leave a comment and let me know you stopped by – I’ll be giving away a prize package with some of my favorite reads* this year to one lucky reader (US addresses only). Simply leave a comment below to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on April 23rd.
*Books may include some uncorrected proofs and possibly a bit of highlighting or a few notes in the margins.
Longtime readers may recall Michael’s performance in last year’s school talent show, where he proudly showed off the Dance, Dance Revolution moves he had learned in PE class.
Well, this year he was searching for another great idea and came home with a library book called It’s Not Magic, It’s Science! and announced that he wanted to do “magic tricks” for his act this year. He had picked out the first one he wanted to do and used that to get past the first round of auditions (that one is actually the final trick in the video). We then added two more for the second round of auditions with the principal in attendance, and he made it in the show!
So, without further ado, here’s Michael in the Paxtang Elementary 2012 Talent Show:
Have you noticed how much college textbooks cost these days? And did you know that you can actually rent them instead of buying them?
Since I graduated with my bachelor’s over 20 years ago, I haven’t paid much attention to the cost of college textbooks, so hearing from friends what their children are paying now sends a real shock through my system!
Luckily, another thing that has changed since I got out of school is the advent of textbook rentals. (If they existed at the time, I wasn’t aware of them and they certainly weren’t promoted at my school.)
Enter CampusBookRentals.com. This is a great site to check out if you or someone you know are heading off (or back) to school. They offer a ton of benefits:
They also offer scholarships and monthly giveaways, in addition to partnering with Operation Smile to provide cleft palate surgeries to children who need them.
This is definitely a service I wish had been around when I was in school!
Thank you to CampusBookRentals.com for providing a product compensation for this review.
DESCRIPTION: The Sounds of Night is a book app that helps put a child’s mind at ease when the lights go out at bedtime. This book addresses one of the primary feelings young children face; fear. The Sounds of Night reinforces the principle that God is the Creator of every creature. Since God makes all the animals that scurry and screech at night, children can lie down and sleep in peace.
FEATURES: The Sounds of Night has over 75 touch points/interactions. It has rich illustrations and 4 Bible verses on fear that kids can learn with their parents and share with their friends.
DEVELOPMENT: Jessica Kirkland is a member of Moms with Apps. She recently launched Christian Apps 4 Kids, which seeks to draw kids closer to Christ one app at a time. Her inaugural app is a result of the fear that was such a part of her life:
In every season of life, the Enemy would whisper the lie that I would “never make it” to the next. I believed it. Time and time again, I thought his words held power. As a young child, I never thought I would live to see my school years. Once I entered school, I never thought I would live to see the next day, next grade, or milestone in life. I listened to a very real enemy, even though I didn’t want to. Even though I came from a strong, Christian family, I felt powerless to stop the lies. Fear gripped me, stole from me, and taunted every careful step I took.
Jessica believes the only way to be free from fear, as an adult or child, is to replace fearful thoughts with God’s Word. Her desire for each book project is that they not only build character, but help set kids free.
The book app was developed in partnership with ROAR. Click here for the QR codes for your smartphone or other device.
About Jessica Kirkland
Jessica Kirkland lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, Robb, and five-year-old triplets. She is an author and speaker whose greatest passion in life is to see young families grow deeper in their walk with God. Jessica’s newest adventure includes launching Christian Apps 4 Kids, which seeks to draw kids closer to Christ one app at a time. A recent release is a book app that addresses fear and scary nighttime sounds called The Sounds of Night, designed for kids ages 2-8. When Jessica isn’t writing, you can find her cheering her boys on at the soccer field, or watching her little girl at the dance studio.
Book app available on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and all Android phones and tablets
Price: Apple App Store: $5.99; Android Marketplace: $2.99
The Lonely Stable is a book app that reminds children that it’s never too late to live out God’s plan for their lives. Told from the stable’s perspective, this intriguing Christmas book tells the story of Jesus’ birth. From time to time, we all wonder about our purpose in life. The Lonely Stable wondered why he was still standing, for he was weathered and old. As time passed, he began to question his purpose.
This remarkable tale is a lesson that both parents and children can hold on to when they ask questions like, “Why am I here?” or “Does God care about my life?” This book shows us that God has made each of us for a special purpose. The Lonely Stable is aimed at kids ages 2-10 years old.
About the Giveaway
$75 Best Buy Gift Card
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post by December 16th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. One commenter will be chosen at random and entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway drawing at KCWC.
Note: I received a gift copy of the app in exchange for hosting this blog tour.
Updated 12/16/11 at 5:15 pm EST: Tammy & Parker, your comment was randomly drawn and will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing by KCWC. Thank you to everyone who commented!