Best Book Review Ever!!

Kobin’s parents sent this review of my children’s book, Buttons. It put a smile on my face! I just had to share it with you! 🙂

“Kobin has wanted to read it every night since your book arrived. We then spend the next several minutes looking for exactly eight examples of buttons in his bedroom before I am permitted to turn out the lights.” 🙂


Wishing these two daughters of mine a magical birthday celebration in NYC!   What a blessing it is when your kids are best friends! One of the best books I ever read to foster sibling relationships was Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and  Elaine Mazlish. Their parenting tip about not taking sides and letting your kids peacefully resolve their own conflicts was pure gold!

I’d love to hear your parenting tips! How do you foster positive relationships between your kids?

Decisions, Decisions!

Decisions, decisions! Our young adult kids face so many BIG decisions. Career. Marriage. Home. What do you do when they come to you for advice?

When our son, Jared, graduated from college, and began the big job search, he had 3 different job opportunities to choose from. When he phoned to let his dad and I weigh in on his decision though, we didn’t tell him what to do. After all, he was 22 years old. He’s the one who’s going to have to live with the decision. Plus, I don’t want him to end up on Dr. Phil someday, saying how I messed up his life. 😉

It’s hard not to influence him though, especially when one of the job opportunities would bring him closer to home. Selfishly, I’d love to steer him towards that job. Of course, he knows my heart already, so I just admit to the obvious, “You know I’d love it if you were closer to home, but this is about the best opportunity for you.” Since it’s a choice between lots of great options, we tried to empower him with the tools to make a wise choice on his own.

His dad suggested the old pro vs. con list and then added, “Where do you want to be in 5 years?” My contribution was, “They all sound like great opportunities! Which one is the best stepping stone to where you want to be eventually?” Asking the right question is a powerful parenting tool! This stage of parenting is less about telling your child what to do, and more about coaching.

Frankly, it was a tough transition for me. When the decisions are big, it’s tempting to jump in there and take over, but when your child is no longer a child anymore; it’s time to stop calling the shots and hand over the reins. Of course, you can always stay stuck in the advice giving stage, but just don’t be surprised when your kids don’t call as often as they used to or when they become so dependent on you that they’re still living at home when they’re in their 30’s. 😉


The Gluten-Free Bible

Whether you’ve recently discovered that you have a gluten allergy or you’re a long time veteran of Celiac Disease, The Gluten-Free Bible has something for everyone!

If you’re just starting out, and you haven’t figured out how to cook gluten free, study Part 1 and 2 of the book for the basics on setting up a gluten free kitchen and purchasing gluten free products.  If you’re planning a vacation out of the country, turn to Part 3, which offers tons of websites and resources for dining out and planning a gluten free trip!

If you’re not sure how to navigate college, dating or the holidays with a gluten allergy, read Part 4 for tips on being gluten free in tough situations.  If you’ve been looking for a doctor, who knows something about Celiac Disease, investigate Part 5 regarding “Medical Matters”.  If you’ve been doing this gluten free thing alone and you need additional resources and support, check out the websites and support groups listed in Part 6.

Whatever you do, though, don’t do what I did and try to read the whole thing in one sitting, or your brain might explode from information overload! This is an exhaustive gluten free guide, designed to educate and inform.  Welcome to Gluten Free 101!  Grab your pen and highlighter and get ready to become a Gluten Free Bible scholar! 🙂



Safe People

Do you know someone (maybe it’s your own child) who is lousy at picking the right person to date or marry?  I don’t know what it is, but it’s like their picker is broken. Inevitably they are drawn to the reckless, troubled or the deceitfully charming. It’s almost like they need a selection committee to screen possible candidates…which actually isn’t a bad idea.

If your teen or young adult son or daughter is perpetually drawn to the wrong type of person, have them check out the book, Safe People, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It will help them identify healthy people and steer clear of the ones who aren’t.

For a list of unsafe and safe character traits, check out the handy dandy reference at the end of this post.  For certain individuals, it might be a good idea to make several copies and post it on the fridge, car dashboard, bathroom mirror, and refer to it every time they think to themselves, “That guy (or girl) seems nice.”;)


1. Think they have it all together instead of admitting their weaknesses.

2. Are defensive instead of open to feedback.

3. Are self-righteous instead of humble.

4. Only apologize instead of changing their behavior.

5. Avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.

6. Demand trust, instead of earning it.

7. Belive they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.

8. Blame others instead of taking responsibility.

9. Will lie instead of being honest.

10. Are stagnant instead of growing.

11. Avoid closeness instead of connecting.

12. Are only concerned about “I” instead of “we” (not relationship centered)

13. Resist freedom instead of encouraging it.

14. Condemn us instead of forgiving us.

15. Stay in parent/child roles instead of relating as equals.

16. Are unstable over time instead of being consistent.

17. Are a negative influence on us, rather than a positive one.

18. Gossip instead of keeping our confidences.


1. Value love – connection – have the ability to trust.

2. Value responsibility (take responsibility for themselves and value that in others) Neither overly dependent on others nor codependent – feeling responsible for others

3. Value honesty – ability to be known – transparent – who they really are.

4. Working on their own issues

5. Respond to truth

6. Have a good track record (may fail, but learn from failure and move on, are in progress of making a good track record even if this is a new beginning for them)

7. Can be observed and tested – see them in interactions with other people (test them with a small part of yourself, share a part of your heart and see what happens)

8. Bear good fruit in your life by being with them (encourage you to grow individually and in your connection with other people)

The Tech Guy Behind Buttons

This is the amazing tech guy behind my children’s book, Buttons! He also happens to be my amazing hubby, Mr. Wonderful! It’s so handy having a computer genius in the family. It’s not exaggerating to say that without him, Buttons would have NEVER happened! He found our talented illustrator, Sarah Gledhill, at, formatted the book, and worked with the printing company, IngramSpark. He actually did ALL the heavy lifting, spending his evenings and weekends to make my dream of publishing a children’s book a reality! That’s true love and that’s one of the many reasons I call him Mr. Wonderful! 🙂

Is This The One?


Is your young adult son or daughter in a serious dating relationship and considering marriage?  If they want to make sure their love will last a lifetime, have them check out Dr. Steve Arterburn’s book, Is This The One?   Actually, this book should be mandatory reading for any couple trying to figure out whether or not to take the plunge.

To increase the odds that a couple’s story ends in happily ever after and not divorce court, Steve Arterburn outlines a dating plan to equip every couple to choose wisely the first time around.  The dating plan consists of three sets of 10 dates.  The first 10 dates are designed to reveal a couple’s compatibility.  The second set of dates is premarital counseling dates with a licensed counselor to prepare for married life.  The final set of dates occurs during the first year of marriage as a continuation of pre-marital counseling, in order to provide a smooth transition and a healthy foundation for a lifetime of wedded bliss!

Pre-marital counseling…now there’s a practical and preventative wedding gift!  In fact, I think it’s such a great idea, that I’m building a counseling expense into my children’s wedding fund.  Forget the flowers and party favors!  I’m investing in something lasting!

Buttons eBook Giveaway Through Valentine’s Day

Buttons picture book

The eBook version of my children’s book, Buttons, is free on Amazon through Valentine’s Day! Just my little way of showing the love during LOVE month!  All I ask is that you leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both, if you really want to show the love.) 😉

Happy Heart Day, Friends! Thanks for all your love and support! 🙂

The Editor Behind Buttons

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” -E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

How lucky am I? This is my longtime friend, Jennifer Edwards, who is not only a true friend, but a good writer! Fortunately for me, she’s also a great editor, which was SO handy when I needed an editor for my first self-published children’s book, Buttons. If you’re looking for a professional editor for your self-published book, check out

If you’d like to see Jennifer’s handiwork firsthand, you can find my children’s picture book, Buttons, on Amazon! It’s free of typos, thanks to Jennifer! 🙂


Unconditional Love

Love isn’t always easy, especially when the person on the receiving end is a rebellious teenager or wayward young adult. Unconditional love isn’t fun, but it’s the true test of a parent’s love.  That doesn’t mean you don’t draw boundaries with your child, but it does mean sticking with them.  Your kids need to know that you love them not if… but, no matter what!

Sticking with Your Teen is an encouraging book if you’re a parent, who’s ready to throw in the towel.  What you do in those dark days of parenting will determine the kind of relationship you have with them in the future!  If you’re not sure what to do, read a helpful book on the subject, get advise from other successful parents or pay the big bucks for professional advise from a counselor or life coach!  Investing in your teen or young adult’s future…and the future of your relationship is always money well spent!

I’d love to hear your parenting tips! How do you show unconditional love to your teen or young adult kids?