“The Talk” by Jonathan McKee {A review}

thetalkHave you had REAL conversations with your child about sex? Notice, the word conversations is plural, have you had multiple conversations with your child(ren) about sex? Do they know you’re a safe person for them to come to with their questions? Do you know how to answer their questions?

Have you had “the talk” with your child(ren), wiped your palms together and declared, “Whew! I’m so glad that’s done!”? Or maybe you’re waiting until your child is older, desiring to hang on to their innocence a little longer.

Guess what? The world isn’t waiting. No, the world is shoving it down their little throats almost from the hospital nursery. Everywhere, every day they are bombarded with images, phrases, words, conversations that are about sex. The television shows they watch, the music they listen to, the kids in the halls at school, the magazine covers at the checkout lane at Target and the grocery store all shout SEX to our child.

What are we doing to provide the truth? Are we openly discussing sex with them?

Jonathan McKee, author of More than Just The Talk, gives you the tools to have those conversations. Jonathan has spent twenty years in youth  ministry and is an expert on youth culture.

In More Than Just The Talk, my eyes were opened. I knew some of what goes on, but not all, and not near enough. I’ve been open with my girls about dressing modestly. Since they were young I’ve pointed out pretty dresses, dresses that were pretty but not modest. We’ve openly talked about the importance of being modest. We’ve set rules for the media devices they have.

But we could always do more.

If you’re like we are,  seeing the need but not feeling equipped to meet the need, or knowing how to even bring it up, please, buy this book, read it and start having those conversations.

Yes, I said conversations. Not lectures. Dialogue with your child. Ask them what they think. Share your thoughts. Show them why you think/believe/behave that way. Set an example for them.

I enjoyed reading this book. The advice is practical, timely and helpful. It is full of personal stories and topics that encompass the gamut of questions our children will (or could) have. The one part of the book I did not like was the 20 page chapter on Your Daughter compared to the 10 page chapter on Your Son. I believe we should be just a diligent in talking to our sons and giving them tools to deal with this aspect of their life as we are our girls.  Yes, girls need to know how men think, however guys need to know how to deal with the females who choose to dress and/or act immodestly.

Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more than a dozen books, including Sex Matters, Get Your Teenager Talking and The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in your Pocket. He has twenty years of youth-ministry experience and speaks to parent and leaders worldwide. He also writes about parenting and youth culture while providing free resources at TheSourch4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in Norther California

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans {A Review}

paleochefWithin the past few years I’ve started eating better. Within the past few months I’ve started eating cleaner and a little more Paleo. I’ve discovered a love for veggies, a better outlook on life, more joy, more energy.

I’ve had to, of course, change the way I cook. I’ve begun to devour Paleo cookbooks (pun intended). The latest one is The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans.

Pete Evans has 25 years of experience as a professional chef.  He has a desire to share his culinary passions with the world.  He’s an avid student of diet and nutrition, to that end he dived deep into the world of Paleo. He researched it extensively, lived the Paleo lifestyle and we get to reap the benefits of his study and tests.

He has written a cookbook, The Paleo Chef, that tells of his research, and gives us 10 things he things we ought to know. Things like:

  • The cave is optional
  • What to eat and drink.
  • What not to eat and drink

The recipes look amazing. The full color pictures make you want to take a bite out of the book. I haven’t been able to yet try and of the recipes, but you can be assured they will find their way to my menu and my dinner table.

Do you like Jerk Chicken? He has a paleo recipe for you. What about Aioli? The recipe is in there.

I’m making myself very hungry flipping through this book. That is a good thing! If you’re one of those who follow a Paleo diet, or are thinking about it, get this book. Read and make some of the recipes, your tastebuds and family will thank you for it.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Life is good…

for growing things.

DSC_0029 I love the weather we’ve been having lately. Highs in the upper 60s-low 70s. The days are sunny.

I feel myself waking up slowly. Much like the tulips and irises I love so much. Their bulbs lie dormant all Fall and winter, coming to life again in the Spring.


Plants that are kept inside are placed outside in a sunny spot.  I think they are as happy as I am to be outside in the sunshine.

I think this time of year awakens in all of us the realization that we first birthed in a garden.  Our fingers itch to get out and dig in the dirt.

It’s too early by a few weeks for me to dig in dirt and plant anything. So I contented myself yesterday with transplanting some plants I’d gotten over Christmas.


They looked much better when I first brought them home. But it was obvious to everyone that they had outgrown their pot and needed a new home. Their leaves had fallen off, some were curling. Some of them looked like they had been through the war and had barely escaped with their very lives.



Most of them have been rescued and really should all be named Lazarus, as I’ve brought them back from the dead. The girls have named all of them, and alas none of them have yet to be named Lazarus.

I’m anxious to get my garden planted, more than anxious for the flowers to bud and bloom.  I’m actually looking forward to learning how to prune the roses I planted last May. Talk about looking sad, those are the saddest looking sticks with golden brown leaves.

I’m finding myself always awakening more and more to God’ pruning. I read Kathi Lipp’s book, Clutter Free, a few months ago. I’ve dreamed of a simpler life, a minimalist lifestyle. I’ve gone through piles and stashes, I’ve cleared out belongings. I’ve gotten rid of things that in previous purges I’d held on to like a drunken man holds on to his last beer. DSC_0015

One thing that has been hitting home more and more as Spring comes closer and closer is that more than I need a clutter-free material life, I need a clutter-free heart. I need to get rid of old hurts, hang-ups, and opinions.

I need desperately to allow the soil of my heart to be prepared. I’m totally forlorn if God doesn’t meet me here and prune away the dead parts of my life.


I need new growth. I need to grow and change to be the woman, not that I want to be, but that God created me to be. I need to change my heart of stone into a heart of flesh. I need to prepare the soil of my soul to meet with the God who created the world. Who created me.





Slow Down Day

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love a good slow down day. A day to slow down, relax, take things easy and as they come. A day when there is no real occasion to arise to. Especially after a busy week or weeks.

Today is just such a day. I’ve felt like I’ve been moving a million fifty miles an hour for days on end.

The 14-year old had a friend over last night and they woke at the crack of …who knows when. They’re teens and stay up late giggling. They stumbled to the kitchen in search of, of all things food.

Pancakes to be exact. Unhealthy pancakes to a little more exact.


I’m not sure how many times they’ve made pancakes, it was fun watching them  prepare everything.

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And I thought to myself, “This, this is the stuff memories are made from.” Not just theirs, but mine as well. I will long remember the day two girls stood in my kitchen and puzzled out the pancake recipe, the chatter, the giggles. It is all forever locked in my memory.


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This truly is a sweet spot of life.

Wrong Side Out

I’m having one of those I-Can’t-Take-Myself-Anywhere days.  I’m filling in our church office while we hunt for a secretary. I’ve done this for the past 5 years or and I enjoy it.  When the girls were younger they would go with me and hang out in one of the rooms, doing school and playing Barbies. It was a sweet time.

This morning I was working away feverishly or not quite feverishly, but I was ticking things off my to-do list. Haha…I don’t make to-do lists, but if I did make them I’d have been marking them off.  I traipse down the hall to the pastor’s office to chat about the bulletin, he’s not in. I traipse back to my office and work some more.

About ten minutes later I traipse back down the hall to discover he’s still not in. I troop back to my office and I’m, you guessed it, working when he walks in. I follow him to his office, we went over things for Sunday morning, he had a few other things he needed me to work on and I had some questions for him.

I traipse (I like that word) back to the office, back to his office, back to my office. I then traipse to the restroom. Where I discover on the way out that…

My dress is on wrong side out.