Recent Posts

Graphic Novels for girls

Graphic Novels for girls

My 9 year old daughter is crushing on these books right now. They’re a part of her summer reading life, along with novels, audiobooks, and those huge fact books. Read or watch to see if these graphic novels are a good fit for your child.
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10 Reasons to Travel with Kids

10 Reasons to Travel with Kids

Travel, especially travel with kids is hard. Travel can be inconvenient, and it’s often exhausting. Since having kids, our travels have included lots of meltdowns, backseat bickering, bathroom accidents, spills and puke. It can also feel like a lot of work. It is a lot of work. You have to think through, prepare and pack up everything you need for you and for all the little bodies you care for. It’s super hard to be squished together, to have to figure out bathroom breaks, where and what to eat, and to travel late into the night. It’s hard to deal with each other’s crankiness when schedules become out of whack. (more…)

A Wonder Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

A Wonder Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder Book Review by R.J. Palacio

A movie version of this book is coming out November 17, 2017. We are just so nerdy stinkin excited about this! (more…)

5 Packing tips for your next family road trip

5 Packing tips for your next family road trip

We went on 1,378 road trips while we lived in rural Nebraska.  Okay, I don’t know the actual amount, but we spent many hours in the car while we lived there. You see, if you live in rural Nebraska, you will go on a mini-road trip just to go to Target, do airport pickups, or to see a high school volleyball game. We also went on one wild family road trip adventure through six states and to California, and we frequently drove 8 hours to visit family.  All that travel gave us an opportunity to appreciate the beauty in every place we visit, and to draw closer together as a family. 

Over the years, we’ve added thousands of miles to our car, and clocked hundreds of hours of family togetherness. All of the preparing and packing for our many family road trips turned me into a regular packing ninja. (At least a ninja who very frequently forgets to pack her own toothbrush.👊)

Anyway, here are my hacks. These tips will SAVE YOU.  (more…)

Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was such a fun and memorable read-aloud! Watch the video for the full children’s book review. See the cute illustrations inside the book, how the short chapters make it great for bedtime reading, and decide if this book would be a good pick for your family’s next read-aloud. If you don’t want to watch, keep reading and skip the video.  (more…)

The Best Educational Audio for Kids

The Best Educational Audio for Kids

Audio improves language skills

Listening to audio is one of the best ways to help your child improve their vocabulary. Audio also allows young learners to engage in language with more complex sentence structure and vocabulary than what they are able to read on their own. In addition, audio can often introduce a listener to ideas or genres that they wouldn’t try otherwise. When I taught high school, my English classes listened to different types of audio on a regular basis for these same reasons. (more…)

How to have the Best Mother’s Day Ever

How to have the Best Mother’s Day Ever

You moms are killing it out there. You’re doing it. You are rocking the packed lunches, and the homework, and the reading to your kids and the being to school on time. I know these things, because the pick up line was very quiet when I dropped off my kids 15 minutes late this morning. You are doing amazing things, and I want you to feel amazing on Mother’s Day too. (more…)

8 Ways to Help Your Child Read More this Summer

8 Ways to Help Your Child Read More this Summer

Summer is a fantastic time to help your child read more and become a confident reader. However, it’s easy to let the days fill up with swimming, sports, or day camps, and to let reading fall by the wayside. Smart parents use summer as a time for their children to read as much as possible because they know that reading keeps their mind active while they’re not in school, and that children need lots of time to practice reading to become proficient readers. I believe that summer reading can be magical for you and your child, especially if you try a few of the ideas in this post. (more…)

Healthy Snacks for Busy Moms

Healthy Snacks for Busy Moms

No time to eat healthy? I’ve got you covered with these healthy snacks.

Do you make food for everyone else, then end up eating the bottom of the kids’ macaroni and cheese because you’re too starving not to? I’ve got you covered, because I have so been there. If I’m not careful, my hunger can take over, and a food fest can begin. For me, having lots of healthy snacks on hand keeps me from succumbing to crazy food cravings. (more…)

7 ways to use the library to turn your kids into readers

7 ways to use the library to turn your kids into readers

Last week, my sister Tammy shared some of her favorite spring books. Today, my sister Rhonda is sharing her best tips for using the library to foster a love a reading in her children. Her practical, honest tips will make you want to change the way you visit the library!

3 sisters
Rhonda is the spunky one of the 3 of us. She’s creative, energetic, smart and has great style.

Okay, without further ado, here’s Rhonda:


I take an Ikea bag to the library with my kids.  And we fill it every time.  I hobble out of the library with what feels like (and might actually be) 100 lbs. of library books hoisted over my left shoulder and toddler on my right hip. Oh, and my three older kids are also in tow, with their own smaller bags, filled with books, hoisted over their shoulders as we all march out the library door.

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