This is a freebie for all the parents and educators in the room! It is meant to assist growing and developing readers as they come across new words they don’t know. By doubling as a bookmark, they can keep it tucked into their current read and write down words as they come across them.

This process will help them learn new words, their definitions and spelling. Then they can use the bookmarks to look up and learn their new vocabulary words, either with the help of a dictionary or the help of an adult.

With four bookmarks on a page (you can choose to print them double-sided with instructions or just one-sided with lines for writing), you can use one per book and then keep them as a collection.

Access this free download when you subscribe to my emails: Just pop your email address into the form below, and I’ll automatically send you an email with instructions. (If you’re already a subscriber, search your inbox for the message: “Thanks for subscribing! GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOADS NOW!” for your access details.)

Written in attention-keeping rhyme with fun, vibrant illustrations, His Grace is Enough by Melissa Kruger teaches kids about God’s grace when we make mistakes or mess up. 

My favorite thing that I found unique to this book is that it addresses our faulty ways of dealing with these things: hiding, turning toward legalism or efforts to earn our way back from mistakes: No, it says, you cannot clean up or be perfect enough to make up for any sin—no matter how hard you try. But that’s the beauty of grace! The key, it teaches, is to confess our sins to God because His grace is ALWAYS big enough to make up for any and every wrong we can and will ever do. And it’s that same grace that changes us at a heart level from the inside out.

Many thanks to The Good Book Company for providing a free copy for review!

Find His Grace is Enough by Melissa Kruger on Amazonnow.

All too often, the way we talk about heaven—even as adults!—is not accurate to how the Bible describes it. Which is why I loved Joni Eareckson Tada’s new book that just came out this spring: The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party Storybook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In it, Tada presents heaven the way the Bible actually talks about it: It is the new Jerusalem that Jesus will bring with him to earth when he returns someday. There, we will get new hearts and new bodies.But my favorite part of the way Tada’s book talks about heaven is that it presents it as a “super fantastic forever party” that we are invited to join Jesus at where we (along with all of creation) will praise and worship him forever. Along with this, Tada talks about the element of accepting this invitation of his in a way children can understand as well as an invitation we can ourselves issue by praying Revelation’s cry of “Come!”

This book is a beautiful way to discuss heaven and eternity with children and even a good reminder for us as adults about the beauty, joy and gracious invitation that heaven is for us all!

Many thanks to The Good Book Co. for providing a review copy of this for me. You can find The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party Storybook by Joni Eareckson Tada on The Good Book Co. website and on Amazon.

Aside from writing, gardening and being outside in nature are my greatest hobbies. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that when I needed to brainstorm a craft for kids, I turned to this hobby for inspiration! And I’m pleased that this easy and earth-friendly article was published in the May 2022 issue!

This is one of my FAVORITE ways to start seeds and uses the milk jug as a kind of greenhouse to germinate and protect the seeds. Check out the instructions in this issue (on page 15) and then try it out for yourself.

I’m so pleased to share that three of my pieces have been featured in the latest issue of Focus on the Family magazine! Just in time for Easter, they have featured a simple way that I bring the Easter story in the Bible to life for my children, a phrase I use to help my kids when they’re feeling “bored”, and one way we as parents can help our kids process feelings of grief.

You can find these stories on pages 6, 8 and 10 of the April/May 2022 issue of Focus on the Family magazine!

As someone who grew up with Where’s Waldo, I was so pleased to find Welcome to BibleWorld by Mike Nappa and Emiliano Migliardo for the next generation of kids!

(Click here to find Welcome to BibleWorld on Amazon!)

It is a search-and-find that imagines what it would look like if the Bible was turned into an amusement park. To that end, each spread features rides and attractions inspired by different sections of the Bible, such as “Prophets’ Wilderness” and “Mail Island.”

My kids (aged 5-9) really enjoyed finding each item, which also included it’s corresponding verse, such as “a fancy turban” connects with Leviticus 8:9 or “a talking donkey” with Numbers 22:28.

The only things that I would love to be different would be for it to include an answer key (on one page, we had to find “a girl praying” and couldn’t tell whether the lady was clapping or praying with her eyes open). It would also have been cool to have some of the Scriptures actually included or featured, rather than just attributed.

But it definitely got us talking and kept my kids engaged for all afternoon! They even wanted to bring it with them to a doctor’s appointment.

Many thanks to The Good Book Co. who provided a free copy to me to facilitate this review.

 

Sad Ice Cream GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

“Ah, spring!” Bear smiled as he stretched and made his way out of his den. The grass was green, the daffodils were just unfurling and…

“Wait, what is that?” Bear looked around. “A snowflake?! Winter’s back, already?!” Bear raced back to his cave.

Before long, though, his cold soup began to steam. “What?!”

Bear inched out of his den, only to discover that it was now hot and blistering outside!

“What happened to spring?!” he snorted and headed to the stream to cool off. He’d just waded in when the sun dipped behind some clouds. “Ahh, now this is spring!” he sighed.

But the sun stayed hidden, and the air grew chillier and chillier until Bear had to race home, shivering. He was almost to his den when the gray clouds gave way to a dumping, drenching  rain.

“Oh, I get it,” Bear grumbled, dripping wet. “Now, it’s spring!”

 

Thanks so much to Kaitlynn and Ciara for hosting the Spring Fling Writing Contest! This is my first time participating and I was inspired by what spring is like here in the Midwest: forever changing from cold to hot, over and over again. I hope you have enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s entries!

 

A Jesus Easter: Explore God’s Amazing Rescue Plan by Barbara Reaoch is an interactive family Bible study that walks you and your kids through the Easter story from Genesis on. Each entry includes a corresponding Bible reading, thoughtful questions to get you talking with your kids as well as an interactive space for your child to respond to the reading—such as drawing a picture or writing out a prayer. 

I loved the questions included with each day’s reading. This could definitely also be used for a wide variety of ages; my children are 5 and 9, and because of their shorter attention spans, we were never able to get through all the questions. This makes it possible for you to pick and choose the questions that work for your kids.

One thing I would have loved is if the book was bigger or spiral-bound to make writing in it easier for little hands. This is set up as a single-use book, rather than one you’d buy and use over and over again, however, if you visit the publisher’s page, you can print out additional activity pages to use for extra kids, or to use for future years!

All in all, I enjoyed the conversations this book sparked for me and my kids as we inch toward Easter and being prepared for the joy and awe of that day!

Find a copy of A Jesus Easter by Barbara Reaoch on Amazon.

Many thanks to The Good Book Co. who provided a free copy to me to facilitate this review.

Almost a year ago, I sent my first queries for Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. to Focus on the Family. It was such a thrill when, after working with the editors for a month or two, I submitted this fun quiz inspired by one of my favorite parables of Jesus and heard that they accepted it! Now, it’s finally here and out in print!

In Matthew 13, Jesus talks about the different soils and how each one affects the seeds that are planted there: One type of soil will not grow anything because it is too hard. Another soil will sprout the seed, but thorns and weeds will squelch it out or a lack of roots will prevent it from withstanding the harsh sun. Only fertile soil will allow the seed to sprout grow and flourish, eventually yielding a harvest. 

This quiz is a fun interpretation of that parable by using some real life examples to allow young readers to imagine how this parable might play out or show itself in their own lives. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, but hopefully it is thought-provoking for them as they consider the inner-workings of their own faith!

You can find this quiz featured in the March 2022 issue of Clubhouse magazine from Focus on the Family, on pages 12-13.

I am pleased to be featured in Focus on the Family’s October/November 2021 magazine issue that came out this month. You can see my short write-up on page 8:

Here’s a closer look at the piece that made publication! I’ve been receiving their magazine for years, so I’m thrilled to get to join the ranks of other writers published in their pages!