Friday, April 15, 2016

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

In 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, child psychologist, Todd Cartmell, walks you through basic tools for healthy, effective parenting. Todd gives eight essential and practical tools to help you:
  • Maintain a healthy relationship with your child
  • Develop a nurturing home culture
  • Correct behavior in lasting ways
Divided into five short chapters that include a summary tip and application questions, the book is designed to give you simple clear-cut applications to build a healthy, loving relationship with your child, guiding them toward maturity. Using these applications, you can plant Godly wisdom in the hearts of your children, and help them thrive in all relationships with others.

My review: Overall, it's a good book with practical advice and doable solutions. I admit it started a little slow for me, and sounded like it would be more along the lines of helicopter parenting, but after the first couple of chapters, common sense and good advice became much more apparent, so hang in there if you have doubts. (Keeping in mind that I am a great-grandmother and probably have a different mindset than many of today's parents)

My favorite part is one that I have tried to stress to many children with whom I have had any influence. THINK before you ACT! Dr. Cartmell refers to this as
S - Stop
T - Think of possible solutions
E - Evaluate the solution
P - Pick a solution
S - See if it worked

Naturally, this is going to work better with children past preschool age, but start training kids to do more than REACT as soon as possible. Dr. Cartmell does give wise advice in training children to redirect their behavior---and parents also. We all make mistakes.

While it is obvious that Christian principles and values are an inherent part of his methods of raising children, I think that even non-believers can agree with the solutions he recommends. However, a downside of the book is also a lack of useful tips for single parents, especially when other adults who are involved in parenting have a completely different outlook. But, that in itself is reason for a separate book. No matter what your situation is, I do recommend the book.

I was given a copy of this book at no cost to myself by Flyby Promotions for the purpose of writing this review. They are also offering a discount on the book through May 15, 2016. See details below:

DISCOUNT CODE!! You have access to a 50% Discount Code which is GREATKIDS16  This code is only good from April 15th to May 15th

Official Website-

Free access to the HEARTS AT HOME "ESSENTIAL WORKSHOP COLLECTION FOR PARENTS" with every purchase: (so readers not only get 50% off with the coupon code at, but also get access to a slew of freebies).

Saved By Grace DVD

Saved By Grace, starring Joey Lawrence as Rick, is the story of a former police officer who is still coping with the aftermath of the day his life was irrevocably changed. Released due to medical issues, Sam Jenkins (Michael Joiner) has Rick's wife held hostage to make Rick suffer for the part he played in Sam's imprisonment. During the ensuing struggle, his wife is killed, and Rick sustains an injury that disables him. Leaving his young son with the child's grandmother, Rick sinks deeper into despondency.

The story begins 5 years later when Rick is contemplating a dramatic course of action to ease his pain. But when a chance encounter with a persistent woman named Grace (Catalina Rodriguez) interrupts his plans, he is slowly drawn to open up and share his own feelings as she shares her life story with him. As the day progresses, Rick begins to re-evaluate his life and realize that he is the one who abandoned his family and faith.

Wonderful storytelling and great acting are the reason I always enjoy any film Johnny Remo makes, and this one is no exception. Of course I am more familiar with Joey Lawrence as a child star, but the promise shown then is certainly displayed in his portrayal of Rick. Both he and Catalina give believable performances as people who have faced tragedy, albeit they are at different places with how they handled it. The way they relate to one another and provide support the other needs is gradually, but naturally played out without seeming forced.

Muse Watson and Michael Joiner have smaller roles in the film, but both have powerful performances that definitely stand out. Both have made choices and gone through bad experiences, but demonstrate that attitude determines what you do with your past. Overall, the movie is a story of hope despite despair and that healing is possible when you turn to God. I really enjoyed this one.

Most recently the Spotlight Movie at the Oxford (MS) Film Festival, Skipstone Pictures latest release, Saved By Grace, also stars Muse Watson, Candice Barley and Christopher Michael. Johnny Remo directed, produced, and co-wrote the screenplay. Lance Bachelder and KennethLemm also co-wrote this story which shares that God has a purpose and plan for all things that happened.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wildflower DVD

Creatively gifted, college student Chloe Moray (portrayed by Nathalia Ramos, known for BRATZ, Arrested DevelopmentHouse of Anubis) finds solace from a difficult childhood in her extraordinary art. But when an alarming dream begins to recur nightly, Chloe starts to believe that it might be a suppressed memory and that she may have witnessed a terrible crime as a little girl. Her search for peace takes her on a journey that forces Chloe to confront her past traumas and leads her to cross paths with Josh (Cody Longo, known for NOT TODAY, Hollywood Heights, Nashville), a young man dealing with his own painful loss. Together they find in each other someone they can trust as they seek to unlock a cold-case mystery from years before. But with the authorities blocking the way, Chloe's new-found hope is challenged in this powerful story of faith, triumph and healing.

My Review: Wildflower is a well made suspense film that is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and due to some scenes too intense for younger viewers. The tension increases throughout the film as Chloe has nightmares that are occurring with increased frequency. Unable to trust anyone, and with everyone involved believing that she is delusional and in need of mental health help, Josh chooses to become her friend. Dealing with his own demons of grief and shattered faith that haunt him, his compassion and support of Chloe eases his own journey toward healing and restoration. Trauma, grief, lack of trust, abuse, rejection, and fear are all explored in this film, some in a more subtle message, but leads to a message of hope and healing. The film is good for a conversation-opener for family or small group discussion. I really liked it and give it 4.25 stars. A relative who who was visiting me says it is one of the best films she has ever seen. She watched it several times, and I gave her my copy when she left...but good news below for another reader and movie fan!

I received a copy of this DVD from Icon Media Group at no cost to myself in exchange for a fair and honest review. They are also offering a DVD to one of my readers. Please comment to enter (or contact me to add you) no later than April 20, 2016.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Under the Sea Bible, NIrV

The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIrV is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Themes of underwater fun and sparkling fish grace the interior of this wonderful children’s Bible. The outside is covered in foil and sparkle. The interior has color inserts featuring whimsical underwater scenes with themes of God’s care and love for each of us and all of creation. (publisher)

This Bible has some pros and cons to it. Of course, having the Word of God in an easy to understand version is the very best feature, and the book has a strong, durable cover that will hold up to daily use. But, the cover is more likely to appeal to the younger end of the age it is intended for (6-8 year olds) who aren't quite up to the reading level. By the time a child can handle the reading, the cover seems a bit garish. I remember the Bible I received when I was 6. I loved it, but it was 2 or 3 years before I truly appreciated the words and was able to comprehend. It is basically a regular Bible and that in itself is wonderful, but I feel like the cover and inserts are more for marketing than an attempt to put things at a child's level. I am also disappointed that there are no maps. That was my favorite part of my first Bible when I first got it. But, the fact that it lies flat instead of pages flipping when you are reading it is a major plus. Overall, there is more to like about the Under the Sea Bible, so I would like to give it 3.5 stars. Without the cover, 4.25.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment to be entered into a random drawing to win a copy. All entries must be in by Sunday, April 10, 2016. Thank you to FlyBy Promotions for my review copy and for the giveaway copy. These were given at no cost to myself.

Buy now at Barnes & Noble, Walmart or Family Christian Stores.  

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