What I Learned This Week – Colton Dixon Giveaway

Y’all know that I have been an American Idol fan for the better part of forever here on the blog. So, when I was contact by Media Collective to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing Colton Dixon’s newest album, Anchor, I was all, Where do I sign up?

You may remember Colton Dixon from the eleventh season of American Idol where he finished 7th, or you may know Colton Dixon from KLOVE or the Dove Awards or from any of his many appearances on shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show or The Jay Leno Show. Or, if you live here in Charleston WV, like I do, you may have had the opportunity to see him live on Sunday night in concert with Matthew West.

In Anchor, Dixon co-wrote songs with several big-name songwriters and artists such as Matthew West, TobyMac, Ben Glover and Matt Bronleewe. The winner of “Best Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year” at 2013 Dove Awards said that Anchor was more of a series of personal collections, finding stability and trying to balance the ups and downs.

About Colton Dixon

Colton Dixon quickly became a household name in 2012 when he made it to the top seven on Season 11 of Fox’s hit show American Idol, and his career has been on the fast track ever since. Dixon’s 2013 debut, A Messenger, set the record for biggest first-week sales by a new solo Christian act, becoming the No. 1 selling album by a new Christian genre overall. Colton Dixon has also been named the latest Steinway artist, following I the footsteps of legendary artists such as Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall and Billy Joel. Dixon’s sophomore effort ANCHOR, released last fall and includes the most played  Hot AC and National Christian Audience charts. In 2013, Dixon won a Dove Award for Best Rock/Contemporary Album Of The Year, along with two additional nominations. For the second year in a row, Dixon is nominated for Male Artist Of The Year for the KLOVE Fan Awards, to be held at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House May 31.

While I enjoyed Dixon’s freshman album, The Messenger, I enjoyed Anchor more, mostly because it was more diverse. His vocal and songwriting is on full display. From worship-py Through All Of It (Dixon’s back at the piano, YAY!!!!) to big venue loud and for-the-crowd Our Time Is Now (one of my favorites and co-written with tobyMac!) and Fool’s Gold, Dixon proves he is a versatile artist.

And speaking of Fool’s Gold, I  just love the message in this song. It’s a great daily reminder when we get busy with life and things that seem important.

Throughout the album, Dixon makes one thing clear: His anchor is Jesuss

I learned this week, that I love Dixon’s new album, Anchor.

And lucky for you, I also learned that I have a copy to give away to one of my readers.  SQUEAL!

That’s right, I have an actual CD to send to one of you. (It’s been so long since I have purchased a CD that I forgot how frustrating it was to OPEN one.

To win, simply leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite Christian song.

It’s easy peasy.

A winner will be chosen by Random.org on Friday, May 8 at 11:59 PM EST.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of Anchor to review and a copy to give away. All opinions expressed are my own.

Colton’s album can be purchase here on iTunes or here on Amazon.

Here’s what I learned this week.

That’s what I learned this week

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?

GO

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

1

Timestamp: 2015-07-09 03:11:48 UTC

Congrats to Jennifer at Making Our Life Matter



VeggieTales Noah’s Ark [Review & Giveaway]

If you have ever had small children in your life, chances are you have heard of VeggieTales. Even though my boys are a little past the Veggie Tales demographic, I was eager for the opportunity to share VeggieTales’ newest tale because VeggieTales is wholesome Bible based entertainment for children, and in my opinion, there isn’t nearly enough of that on the market. And anyway, who doesn’t love Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber?

I received an advance copy of VeggieTales Noah’s Ark, and as you might have guessed, it is the story of Noah’s Ark.

ABOUT VEGGIETALES NOAH’S ARK  

In NOAH’S ARK, Shem and Sadie return home from their honeymoon to find that Noah (played by Pa Grape) has begun, at God’s direction, to work on a massive ark (that looks like an orange!) which his wife Naamah (played by Madame Blueberry) and sons Ham (played by Larry) and Japheth (played by Bob) are helping construct before the start of 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

But Shem doesn’t understand Noah’s unshakable faith in God, particularly when animals start arriving two-by-two – while the rain is nowhere to be seen. When the great storm does come, Shem begins to understand Noah’s determination to preserve humanity’s future … and more importantly, the importance of trusting in God.

In NOAH’S ARK, Brady, the multi-Emmy award-winning host of one of TV’s most famous game shows, Let’s Make a Deal, and star of Whose Line Is It Anyway, brings to life Noah’s son Shem, who first questions, then learns to embrace, his father’s direction from God. Christian singer, actress and radio host Jaci Velasquez co-stars as Shem’s wife, Sadie.

“Saying ‘yes’ to VeggieTales was a no-brainer – my daughter’s a fan and I love the music and messages,” says Brady, who performs seven original songs in NOAH’S ARK. “The best part is, Bob and Larry are down to earth and they never let the ‘I’m a global Veggie superstar’ thing go to their heads.”

NOAH’S ARK also features a brand-new “Silly Songs With Larry” segment, in which Larry dons a safari outfit as he goes on a quest for a gigantic, golden egg. (This was a favorite part of mine!)

Less than three weeks after the DVD and digital download release of NOAH’S ARK, the VeggieTales excitement continues when five all-new episodes of VeggieTales In The House, the hit animated series, debut exclusively on Netflix – bringing the total of VeggieTales In the House episodes to 15 as the series continues its first season.

MY THOUGHTS

First, I loved this particular version of Noah’s Ark, because it focused on Shem’s perspective. I haven’t ever stopped to think about it from any other perspective than Noah’s. After first doubting and questioning, ultimately Shem learns to embrace his father’s direction from God. The movie serves as a wonderful reminder, that God’s plan is ALWAYS better than our plan.

I have always loved Wayne Brady. McDaddy and I loved him on Whose Line? back in the day. He is a hoot on Let’s Make A Deal, and I was most impressed with him when McDaddy and I had the opportunity to see him live in person. He is so talented and I think Wayne Brady was a great choice for Shem.

My niece, whom I watched the movie with, stated, “There is a lot of music in this movie.” I have to agree with her, I even caught myself tapping my toe! (And, I love that the cast sang karaoke on the Ark!)

I giggled when the female hamster lost her mate and there was a movie reference from The Titanic – and was relieved when male hamster made his way back to her at the end.

The VeggieTales never disappoint. I loved Noah’s Ark and thought this was a great episode.

THE GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive their won copy of VeggieTales Noah’s Ark (which will be available on DVD March 3, 2015). This giveaway is open to US Residents only. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite vegetable is. Simple, right? The winner will be chosen by Random.Org on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (the same day as the release). The winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim the prize.

In the interest of full disclosure: I was provided two copies of VeggieTales Noah’s Ark by Grace Hill Media to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and in no way influenced my opinion of the movie.

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Edited to announce winner….

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

1

Timestamp: 2015-03-06 02:57:42 UTC

Congratulations to commenter #1 – Missy who commented on February 28 @ 1:43 am.

Saying Yes In My Mess

Today is a BIG day. My friend, Kristen over at We Are THAT Family is launching her new book, Rhinestone Jesus – Saying YES to God when sparkly, safe faith is no longer enough.

“In high school, Kristen wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow: much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true reflection of who she was.

Real life and motherhood catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined. There came a day when she stood in the slums of Africa, poised on the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken. And she knew she didn’t stand a chance – unless she was ready to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing.

Rhinestone Jesus is the spiritual adventure story of one woman who went from living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say YES to a deeper, more authentic way.”

Through stories about life as a high school student, her (sometimes difficult) marriage, the hum-drum mundane days of motherhood, and a blogger, Kristen takes us on her journey. As a Compassion International Blogger, Kristen was invited to travel to Kenya where her heart and life was forever changed. After returning home feeling empty and broken, Kristen woke up from the American Dream, and said YES to an unbelievable God-sized dream called Mercy House.

I love that Kristen keeps it real in Rhinestone Jesus. She is quick to admit that her family is far from perfect – even talking about days filled with puke, poop, drama, and bad attitudes (which makes her seem like my BFF) but even through the crazy – in the middle of her messy life as wife and mother, she slowly discovers that God doesn’t require us to get our act together before revealing His God-sized dream, rather He is just waiting for us to say YES IN OUR MESS, wherever we are. Right now.

As a result of her YES – through obedience and love – her family continually strives to glorify the Lord in all that they do. At the end of each chapter, Welch offers reflections and personal challenges for readers – ideas for nurturing our families, serving as a family, and being centered on Christ in all things. She encourages Christians to seek the Lord, and say YES to whatever He is calling them to do, no matter how big, small or messy it may seem.

Rhinestone Jesus has left me wondering what I should be doing. I’m not sure what my YES looks like, and chances are your YES will look different from my YES. But this I know: One small yes can lead to BIG things. God isn’t waiting on us to get our marriage in order, our kids to be perfect, or to keep a neater house. He is simply waiting for us to say YES to Him, right in the middle of the mound of laundry, the toothpaste covered bathroom sink and the LEGO covered floor.

YES.

In the middle of our mess.

It’s that easy.

——

And speaking of easy… You can win a copy of Rhinestone Jesus by simply leaving a comment on this post. Two winners will be chosen by Random Dot Org on Monday, May 5th at 9:00 PM EST.

About the Author” Kristen Welch writes the parenting blog, We are THAT Family (you know the ones). She is an (in)courage writer, a Compassion International blogger, and a regular featured contributor to LifeWay’s HomeLife and ParentLife magazines. In 2010, Kristen founded Mercy House, a nonprofit maternity home in Kenya, Africa, which rescues young pregnant girls from extreme poverty. Mercy House is almost entirely funded by readers of her blog. Read Kristen’s blot at We Are THAT Family dot com.

In the interest of full disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers provided two copies of Rhinestone Jesus for me to give away to my readers. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

—–

And the winners are:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

8

Timestamp: 2014-05-06 04:49:35 UTC

The first winner is Commenter #8 –  Jennifer S. who commented on May 1, 2014 @ 9:55 am.

 

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

10

Timestamp: 2014-05-06 04:51:48 UTC

The second winner is Commenter #10 – Traci who commented on May 2, 2014 @ 5:15 pm.

Congratulations, ladies. I’ll be in contact via e-mail.

 

The Smartest Kid

Ask any parent about their child, and they would probably tell you that theirs is smartest, cutest kids on the planet. We all love sharing things about our kids – from pictures to funny things they do.

In my case though, I have the TWO smartest, cutest kids on the planet. (But that’s another post for another day.)

My wise eight-year-old told me a few weeks back that VY Canis majoris is the biggest star in the universe, and it is brighter than the sun. (And just to prove to you that he is wise, his mother had to Google the whole VY Canis majoris thing, because she had never heard of it!)

My wise ten-year-old shares his wisdom with me daily. Often times I have to wonder where I was when I should have learned the fact that he is sharing with me. I was probably too busy talking sharing wise words with others in school.

The Campbell’s Soup Company “discovered” the Wisest Kid in the Whole World. He is an eight-year-old boy (my Alex is also eight!) who has the collective wisdom of kids everywhere and is the ultimate authority on what makes kids happy. (Legos and video games make my kids happy!) He knows all the secrets to kid contentment, and Campbell’s is inviting parents all over the world to share your kid’s wisest words. The idea behind the new campaign is to remind us that kids actually have a great deal of wise things to share about a lot of different things. (And in my case, those wise things are often facts about number two. Yes, boys are a JOY.) Recently, I prepared brussel sprouts for dinner. They were not impressed. Nor were they happy.

Through their recipe destination www.campbellskitchen.com, Campbell’s gives you a fresh way to delight your family (new, kid-friendly recipes like Mini Chicken Pot Pies, and fun ways for your kids to eat tomato soup or chicken noodle soup). They are quick, easy and best of all, your kids will love them.

And, even if you’re not in the mood to try a new recipe *ahem* Campbell’s soup is a great meal all by itself. (Of course if you know us, you know we also include a grilled cheese sandwich with our soup around here.) My favorite Campbell’s soup has always been vegetable. And my wise kids enjoy it too!

How is a kid in your life like the world’s wisest kid?

Minted Giveaway

*THIS IS A SPONSORED POST*

One of the perks of having a blog (besides getting corporate attention for complaints) is that occasionally I receive offers to review some great products. I especially appreciate offers to review any kind of product I can personalize – like the ones featured on www.minted.com. The only problem is, it takes me a sweet forever to make choices, because I get all excited whenever I am faced with fonts, and fancy paper and deciding between formal, fancy and funny. I spent a good hour (no kidding!) looking at wedding invitations at Minted, which is crazy because, well, I’m already happily married. But it sure is fun to look.

Minted is a community of thousands of independent designers & an online boutique that sells their designs. There is something for everyone – including holiday cards, art prints, thank-you cards, wedding invitations, party decor & MUCH, MUCH, more.

Here are some of my favorite wedding invitations.

If its birthday invitations you’re looking for, they have them. HUNDREDS of them! If it’s graduation cards or thank-you cards you’re looking for, they have those, too! You can see even more of their fun designs on Pinterest, or one of their inspiration boards.

I am pleased to announce that the kind folks at Minted.com are offering one lucky reader $50 towards any product on their website www.minted.com. To enter, simply leave a comment sharing what you would purchase if you win this giveaway. Do you need wedding invitations? Grad announcements? Or do you want to save it for the holidays?

For additional entries, like Minted or From Inmates to Playdates on Facebook, then come back to the comments and let me know. Random dot org will choose a winner on June 1, 2013.

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In the interest of full disclosure: I was given a $75.00 credit to use on the Minted site. As always, the opinions expressed within this post are my own.

—-

EDITED TO INCLUDE WINNER

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

16

Timestamp: 2013-06-04 03:06:50 UTC

Congratulations to Commenter #16 – Hannah.

The Little House That Stood (A Giveaway)

One of the perks of having a blog (besides getting corporate attention for complaints) is that occasionally I receive offers to review some great products.

Today, I am reviewing the new VeggieTales DVD The Little House That Stood.

In this newly released DVD, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber join forces to help children learn about making good choices, and I appreciate that this is a life lesson that will benefit children (and adults!) of all ages. The Little House That Stood is a parable (an Earthly story with a Heavenly meaning) of the wise and foolish builders.

The first part of the movie is a “remake” of the children’s classic – The Three Little Pigs.

When The Three Pigs roll into Cabbageville (I love it!) looking to build some new houses, they meet one builder with a plan and two without a clue!  Larry builds with hay, Mr. Lunt builds with bricks, but only Bob builds his houses on a firm foundation – following the wise plans from the “Master Builder’s Handbook!” Will the Little Piggies make the right choices when it comes to building their houses – and their lives – on solid ground? Find out in this parable that shows kids that when they follow God’s blueprints, they can stand strong when the storms come.
I love that the main theme of this segment reminds us that it’s always better to make a good choice rather than a fast, easy one.
Have you ever wondered what happened before Humpty cracked? The bonus story The Good Egg of Gooseville reveals what happened before Humpty cracked?
In this cute bonus story, “Humpty (Bob the Tomato) is the mayor of Gooseville, a quiet little town filled with a bunch of lively characters!  From Jack & Jill’s missing crayons, to the Three Bears’ lawn problems, all the way to Little Bo Peep’s lost sheep, Mayor Humpty is literally driven up the wall with this pickled pack of problems! Now far away from the gripes and complaints of his neighbors, Humpty declares “with all these neighbors in need, I’m better helping just me!” Will all the town’s heroines and all the town’s men help bring Humpty to his senses again?
The Little House That Stood puts a new spin on some classic fairy tales we’ve all heard from a very early age. This 49-minute DVD is great for children of all ages as our favorite Veggie Tales characters make us laugh while reinforcing moral values. But are you ready for the best part?
The best part is that I have a copy of The Little House That Stood to give away!
To win: Simply leave a comment telling me your favorite vegetable.
Random.org will choose a winner on Monday, March 11th. I will notify the winner by e-mail, so make sure to type it in carefully.
Easy enough?
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In the interest of full disclosure: Grace Hill Media provided a copy of The Little House That Stood to facilitate this review. As always, the opinions expressed within are my own. Additionally, Grace Hill Media is also providing a copy to one lucky reader.
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Updated:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

4

Timestamp: 2013-03-12 01:02:47 UTC

The lucky winner is Angie who commented on March 8, 2013 at 7:45 AM. Congrats, Angie!!!

Math Blaster – A Review

Recently, I received an e-mail asking if my boys (and I) would possibly want to check out the new features on the Math Blaster site. They were eager to get started because they really enjoyed the site the last time they were provided with a membership.

Math Blaster is a fun arcade-style video game that incorporates math into its space-themed site. The site “Provides “Blasters” with a fun way to learn essential math skills. In a nut-shell, Math Blaster is a futuristic online adventure site that is filled with wacky aliens, gadgets, and lots of math.”

According to the Math Blaster Site:

Once your kids are logged in and on board the spaceship to Math Blaster, they are able to design their own Blaster Cadet, a personalized avatar that will run, jump and blast through the Math Blaster spaceship. Using the Molecular Modulator, kids have their choice of different hair styles, faces, eyes, and even species for their Blaster Cadet! As kids progress through the game and tackle the math training activities, they will earn merits and achievements. When they earn merits, kids will climb the ranks in the Intergalactic Space Patrol (ISP), and their Blaster uniform will be upgraded for all of Math Blaster to see!

I have always been impressed that the site is suitable for both of my boys, in spite of their three-year age difference. I think this is largely due to the fact that the site has a nice variety of math subjects with different levels of difficulty. Both were able to quickly navigate the site and they really enjoyed creating their own avatars, or in this case Blaster Cadets to play with. Stevie, my ten-year-old (whose blaster cadet is named Jason StoneLaser) enjoys playing hide and seek with his Mutt – Cyber Xenon. His favorite thing about the site is “The robot who gives interesting information about different topics (how much the earth weighs, each fingerprint it different, Venus is the only planet that rotates clock-wise, etc.) when you click on him.” Alex’s (age seven) blaster cadet is named Sean SilverFireball and his MUTT is named Speedy Crater. Alex’s favorite part of the site is “The red alert door that requires you to shoot asteroids and soccer balls and cheese.”

*Knowledge Adventure’s Math Blaster is proof that video games can be educational and fun! As a parent, I love that. The site has this to say about Knowledge Adventure:

Knowledge Adventure is the creator of award-winning educational products like JumpStart and Math Blaster and is trusted by over 20 million parents. You can find our virtual worlds online at www.MathBlaster.com and www.JumpStart.com. In the Math Blaster galaxy, kids can explore a futuristic world, voyage to strange new planets and discover wacky alien races, all while practicing their math skills. At JumpStart.com, kids can explore magical worlds, discover and unlock games, videos, and story books that teach everything from math to reading.

Since they last visited Math Blaster, the boys were excited about some of the new features on the Math Blaster site.

  • In HyperBlast, players can hop on a hypercycle and blast through aliens while solving math problems.
  • The Monster Mutt Pod allows you to decorate, feed and play with your Mutt in its own room.
  • The Nebula Knockout allows your pet to train and then battle other Mutts.

Another cool feature of the Math Blaster site, is the Math Blaster Blog which is a great resource for parents (and kids, too!) because it is chock-full of math and science information, including family fun, current events, learning tips and science facts. I also “liked” Math Blaster on Facebook so I can keep up with new site features, games and stories.

 

Math Blaster is a hit around here. My boys and I appreciate the opportunity to play around on the site.

In the interest of full disclosure: I was given a three-month membership to Math Blaster in exchange for this honest review. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

For A Special Boy Or Ghoul In Your Life – Hotel Transylvania Giveaway

I plan to take the boys to see Hotel Transylvania this weekend. I have heard from several people that this animated comedy is really funny, and really, how could it not be with a cast that includes Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Andy Samberg, and Fran Drescher.

Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters–Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more–to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem–but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

Hotel Transylvania (Even monsters need a vacation) is now playing in theaters. From Inmates To Playdates, Inc., in partnership with Grace Hill Media is giving you a chance to win a special prize pack for a special child in your life. Prize pack includes a book cover, activity guide, erasers and a tee-shirt.

To enter (if you dare!), simply leave a comment on this post telling me the name of a special boy or ghoul that would love this prize pack.

Contest will close on Monday, October 8th at 10 PM EST. A winner will be chosen by Random dot org. I’ll notify the winner by e-mail and announce it here on the blog.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I was not compensated in any way for this post. As always the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Congrats to Commentor #2 – Tim who commented on Oct. 4th at 11:59 PM.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

2

Timestamp: 2012-10-09 04:13:11 UTC

Eye Have A Great Deal For You

If my memory (and the search box over there on the right) serves me right, I have talked about mascara twice on this blog.

The first time I mentioned mascara, I had actually purchased a different mascara from what I normally use and stated – FOR THE RECORD – that I would stick with my favorite, big orange tube of lash-blast mascara, also known as CoverGirl LashBlast from now on. Did you know that if you apply LashBlast slowly and wiggle it side-to-side on each lash, your eye-lashes will POP!

But I digress.

The second time I mentioned my favorite mascara here on the blog, I was actually giving a tube (along with my other favorite things) away.

That should tell you that I really, REALLY like it. For that reason, I jumped on-board when BlogHer and P&G (you know, the same P&G that sponsors the whole Olympic P&G thank you mom campaign – I get teary eyed every single time!) sent an e-mail asking if I’d like to partner with them in a new venture. Proctor and Gamble (the makers of LashBlast and lots of other great products!) are giving mom-bloggers like me an opportunity to pass along an awesome deal to my readers while in turn earning a commission on anything purchased through the link featured below.

Some popular P&G products include: Olay, Febreze, Crest, Tide, Pampers, Head and Shoulders, Cover Girl, Oral-B, Swiffer, Gillette, Duracell, and Downy, but believe me there are LOTS more!

As an added bonus, P&G is offering 10% off ALL items now through August 31, 2012, with free shipping for any purchase over $25. This is a great time to take advantage of this special offer because as a proud sponsor of the Olympics, P&G is offering several Olympic-themed bundles (complete with free products) and deals right now.

If you’d like to partner with me (you help me make a SKY payment, I help make your eye-lashes POP!) simply click on the box and shop! Feel free to share this deal with your friends and family, just make sure you direct them back to this post. Oh, and if you visit the P&G estore, I’d love to hear what you think about it.


CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara

Your Boy

This parenthood thing is a trip.

Would y’all agree?

As the mother of two boys, it is non-stop action at our house 24/7. There is always some sort of competition, and almost always it’s one that involves somebody running through the house.

It’s exasperating.

But I know there will come a day when I’ll give anything to have them running through the house just one more time.

When I recently received an e-mail from my friends at the media collective asking if I’d like to review Vicki Courtney’s book, Your Boy – Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World, I was like, where do I sign up? Lord knows I need all the help I can get. I say it all the time… I am the most over-protective mother I know. Still, my boys are the ones who swallow pennies, inject themselves with an EpiPen (right under my nose, mind you!), and pass out in the middle of the street after a bike wreck.

Like I said. I need help.

In her book Your Boy, Vicky Courtney uses Biblical illustrations (Daniel, David, and Gideon just to name a few) to develop guidelines for raising boys to becoming Godly men. She shares many experiences of her own motherhood journey with sons, Ryan and Hayden, as well as experiences from her years of ministering to youth and young adults.

Your Boy is an easy read, filled with humorous tales that reminded me that I am not alone in this thing. With chapters covering instant messaging, chat-rooms, hormones, pornography and marriage, (you know, the heavy stuff!)  Courtney leaves no stone unturned. As the mother of a nine-year old and six-year old, I would like to think it will be a few years before I have to worry too much about these, but with current trends and society’s standards (and talks with other moms!), I realize it’s never too early to start praying about these things. I appreciated Courtney’s candor and honesty about her years in the battlefield (as I like to call it!) as she explains what mothers can do to raise godly sons despite the negative worldly influences.

And Lord help us, there are so many.

Some of the things I took away from Your Boy.

  • Little League Mom: “You’ve seen her in action. Maybe you’ve even been her. She’s every coach’s nightmare, especially if, heaven forbid, the coach fails to notice her son’s athletic abilities. She’s the mom who fights her son’s battles, many of which she starts herself… Whether it is academic, athletic, or recreational, we want our boys to be treated fairly. We will not serve our sons’ best interest in the end by taking up their every battle.”
  • A Nice Guy’s Dating Rules: “While dads play a big role in modeling noble behavior to their sons, moms should never minimize the critical role they play. Don’t wait until your sons is about to enter into his first dating relationship and then give him a crash course in acceptable dating behavior.”
  • “As mothers, we have been given a task to grow the next generation of godly men, and I believe it is one of the highest callings in a mother’s life. We have been given a brief eighteen years to make a godly impact on our sons…. Let us remember that our sons, while they will always be “our boys,” belong first and foremost to Him.

If you are the mother of a son, especially one in the tween or teen years, then you know that you are in a war for his mind, body, and soul. I strongly recommend this book to help you along your way.

Vicki Courtney is a trusted speaker and best-selling author. Known and respected as a “mom in the trenches,” Vicki has shared her youth culture wisdom , CNN, FOX News, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband have three children and live in Austin, Texas. Her books, Your Boy and Your Girl can be purchased at Vicki Courtney [dot] com.

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In the interest of full disclosure: I was provided a copy of Your Boy and Your Girl to facilitate this review. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.