Parenting with Grace and Truth: Book Review & Giveaway

I read a lot of parenting books. I really enjoy reading about different styles of parenting, and in each one I definitely take things away that I can use in my own parenting journey.  So when I was contacted to review Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn, I jumped at the chance of reading it!  I want to be able to parent in a way that is modelled after Jesus, and that is what this book is about.

As I say, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review.  Everything said here is my own opinion.  This post also contains affiliate links.

When I start reading any parenting book, I usually start by looking at the author’s bio on/in the back of the book.  I look to see what their qualifications are.  Dan Seaborn mentions on the back of this book that he has four kids with his wife.  That makes me think, ok, so he kind of knows what he’s talking about!  I read a longer bio that also said that he has worked as a youth pastor, so he really knows what he’s talking about with regards to teenagers.  I think it’s important to mention this, because there have been books I’ve read in the past that the author didn’t mention anything about whether or not they were a parent.  I know there are lots of non-parents that are very smart and everything, but as a parent, I take the advice of fellow parents more seriously.  So, I really like the fact that he mentions on his bio that he has children.

The way Parenting with Grace and Truth is set up is each chapter is about a truth about parenting.  Some examples are, The Truth About Developing Good Character in Your Children or The Truth about Effective Parenting.  I found it really interesting that Seaborn talks about these parenting issues as basic truths, and not just any truth, but truth with a foundation in Jesus.  I really liked that.  Another thing he does in each chapter is, he finishes each chapter with a number of questions to consider.  I think that makes this a good book to read with a small group.  There are questions that would make wonderful discussion questions with other parents.  And finally, he has a little blurb at the very end called “Dan’s Reality Check” where he is real about the truths he just talked about in the chapter.

Reading through this book, I found myself nodding my head in agreement about quite a few things.  I found myself hi-lighting sections of the book because I wanted to remember exactly what it said, so I could tell other people about it later.  I think that this is such a great resource for parents!  Though I am currently in the baby/toddler stage of parenting, and he talks a lot about parenting teenagers, I still got a LOT out of this book, and there was a lot I could take away and use in my life right now.

One of my favourite chapters is when Seaborn starts talking about specific parenting styles.  So he describes authoritarian style parenting, helicopter style parenting, and the very best parenting style: Jesus style parenting.  The way he describes Jesus style parenting made it seem actually attainable.  Jesus style parenting is perfect, but the way we do it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If we’re striving for Jesus style parenting, that is enough.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this book is the fact that there is scripture throughout each chapter.  Seaborn writes about parenting in a way that is based in biblical truth.  I think that is the one of it’s huge assets.  You can read exactly which verse he means when he gives his advice.

Parenting with Grace and Truth by Dan Seaborn was a really great read, and I think it will be one that I go back to again and again as my children get older.  And good news, friends!  You have a chance to win a copy of your very own as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US/Canada.  Good Luck!

xoxo,
Alysa

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10 Things I Hate About WINTER

I know, every blogger is always going on about how much they love Autumn.  Fall is the best.  Winter, especially winter after Christmas has passed, is the worst!  Here are my least favourite things about winter:

01 // EVERYTHING IS STATIC!
I have fairly long hair.  Long, thin hair.  So anything that has static reacts to my hair.  I get it caught in zippers, I get it caught in car doors.  It’s really annoying.  I’m shocking people left, right & centre.  My clothes are filled with static electricity.  EVERYTHING is.  AH. It’s so annoying

02 // All the LAYERS
In order to go anywhere, you need a coat, you need mittens, you need a hat, you need a scarf.  Your children need all these things.  Once you get places, you have to figure out where to put all these things so you can be comfortable inside.  It’s exhausting to think about. Plus, it’s all filled with static.

03 // How long it takes to go anywhere
Since we need soo many layers, it takes a billion years to get a baby and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  One Billion Years.  And, if I’m by myself, it takes TWICE that!  Plus, getting the car seats safely ready to go.  It’s a lot.  And all of it.. staticky.

04 // Ice Ice Baby
The world is ice outside.  If we had a smaller vehicle I would DEFINITELY want studded tires for it.  It’s so scary when you can’t stop your car!

05 // Everyone is grumpy
Everyone is grumpy because they take a billion years to get ready to go anywhere, and there’s static, and ice and cold. 😉

06 // It’s dark ALL THE TIME
I know it’s technically starting to get dark later now, but it still feels like it’s dark SO early!  There’s a comic where a mom is asking if it’s midnight because it feels like midnight, and it’s only 5:00.  I know that feel.

07 // Snow
My daughter hates the snow, so it makes it less enjoyable for me, too.  Plus, there’s just so much of it this year.  Do we really NEED more? (no)

08 // Fruit is more expensive
We have to buy foreign fruits so it’s more expensive to buy at the grocery store! The worst.

09 // All the effort
If the path hasn’t been shovelled, which..let’s be real.. it hasn’t, that means that it takes so much extra effort to walk across a short distance.  When I was actively using My Fitness Pal to track my exercise and calories, I always felt a little ripped off by it in the winter because my simple ~10 minute walk~ of a few blocks actually burned up WAYY more calories than normal.  I felt like it didn’t take off enough.  I don’t track it anymore, but I still feel like I’ve put forth a lot more effort when I have to walk through almost knee high snow.

10 // The COLD
I don’t know if you knew this… but I live in Winnipeg, which often gets referred to as WINTERpeg.  It gets pretty darn cold here.  It is often colder here than it is on Mars.  And that is a fact.  It’s too cold to do anything.  LUCKILY, my favourite winter activity is staying in and cozying up with a hot beverage. 😉 I mean.. this week isn’t soo bad, but last week. yikes!

So, there you go.  A very annoyed persons list of horrible things in winter.  If you want a more optimistic post, check out my post from last year: 5 Things to do to Beat the January Blues

xoxo,
Alysa

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Our Verse for 2017

For the past two years, I’ve done the ~Word of the Year~ thang, and shared it in my blog.  This years word is BOLD.  Another thing we’ve done as a family for the past two years is choose a verse to go along with that word!  Here is the verse for 2017

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not grow faint”
– Isaiah 40:31

Last year, our verse had to do with starting a new journey.  We knew we were going to be looking for a new place to call our home church, and we knew we were starting out on something new.  This year, the word we thought of when we were praying over what verse we should put in this spot was strength.  We found our new church and we have begun making friendships and connections there.  We want to strengthen our friendships and relationships with the people we’ve met in 2016 at our new church, as well as with our friends.

It’s tough making friends, especially as a mom with little ones.  I have found that this is definitely a time of life where the phrase “for a reason, a season, or a lifetime” comes up a lot.  There are friends we don’t talk to as much anymore, and there are friends who have become even closer to us in this time.  I’m so grateful for the people in my life who have stuck by me through the pregnancies and births of both my children.  It means so much to me, not only that they’re still wanting to spend time with us, but also how much they love and care for my children.  This year will be about strengthening and developing those relationships <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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Aiden at 7 Months

December just zipped by, and this baby is now 7 months old!

He’s growing so fast, too.  He’s outgrowing a lot of his 6 month stuff, and getting into the 9 month sizes and the 6-12 month stuff.

Aiden loves to eat!  He’s even started to get  jealous when he sees that Autumn gets to have something and he doesn’t have anything.  We usually give him breakfast and dinner of solid foods, but now he’s starting to ask for something to eat at lunch time, too.  He likes pretty much everything we give him.  He had a really funny reaction to broccoli, but still ate it!  The only thing we’ve given him that he wasn’t fond of was a certain spaghetti sauce, but it was a little spicy.

Aiden’s favourite toys are his Star Wars tsum tsums, and anything with wheels.  He really likes to pick things up and drop them, or get me to pick them up and then he drops them.  He’s not quite crawling, but he’s managing to maneuver himself around somehow.  I’ll put him down and when I come back in the room he’s in a different spot than where I left him.

Aiden is still waking up a couple of times a night.  He’s a really good cuddler, and he loves nuzzling into our shoulders.  He’s pretty laid back, he likes people watching, and he especially likes watching his big sister.  She is very interesting.  He doesn’t like being left alone for too long though. He’d rather be where the people are.

So excited to see what the next month is going to bring <3

xoxo,
Alysa

Autumn at 7 months

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Best of 2016

2016 was a crazy year.  In the world, especially, but in our house it was fairly busy as well.  We became a family of four, I switched from wordpress.com to a self-hosted website, and I started making bonnets in an etsy shop!  Very busy year.  Here are the top 10 most viewed blog posts from 2016!

  1. Baby Cereal Muffins
    I didn’t even write this one in 2016, but it’s been the top post for two years in a row.  I loved making Autumn these muffins and I will be making them for Aiden soon, too.
  2. And then there were four – My Birth Story
    I love this post so much.  Aiden’s birth story was not 100% what I wanted it to be (I would have liked it to happen sooner haha) but it was amazing.
  3. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that can Radically Change Your Family Review & Giveaway
    I was surprised to see this one.  Maybe it’s just my own feelings on the book projecting though.
  4. Baby Baby! Book Review & Giveaway
    This book is SO cute!  I still really enjoy reading it to my babies.
  5. DIY Thank You Gift for your Midwife
    This was a really fun DIY!  I got the idea for it from my baby group for Aiden, and was so excited to give the gift to my midwife.  I still think it’s funny that like two weeks or so after I gave it to her, she called me and asked where I got it!  I’m glad it was well-receivied.
  6. To My Daughter on her 2nd Birthday
    love this one too!
  7. How To Go Church Shopping
    This was a big part of our year last year and I am so glad with where we ended up.  Our church has been amazingly welcoming and warm and it truly does feel like home.  I love it there!
  8. Bump Update: 40 Weeks
    When my due date was supposed to be haha
  9. DIY Little Tikes Kitchen Renovation
    This was another fun DIY I did this year!  It took a very good chunk of the year because I started it before Aiden was born and finished it a few months after he was born.  Oh well 😉
  10. Secrets for Surviving Two under Two
    This was a great roundup with some stellar tips for dealing with two babies under two.  I was glad to be able to read the tips and share them.

Looking forward to seeing what will make this list next year!  Happy 2017! <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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Bold

I’ve been writing this post in my head for a few days now. At the beginning of every year, I have been picking a word for what I want the year to be about and I’ve decided that the word for 2017 is BOLD. 
 

I love all the definitions of this word. I want to be impactful, vivid, bright, strong, daring, brave, take risks & show confidence. I want to stand up for myself and others when things bug me. I want to make 2017 BOLD.

Now, to figure out how 😉 

What’s your word for 2017?

Happy New Year! 

Xoxo, Alysa 

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4th Blogiversary

Wow. Four years ago today, I sat down at my computer after Boxing Day dinner with my family, and wrote my first blog post (/let’s be real… shared my first picture on my blog haha)

I can’t believe that it’s been four years since then. A LOT has changed.  Four years ago, we were in our first year of marriage.  We were living in our sweet Osborne Village apartment (which I still think fondly on).  I was not working, but I was in school full-time.  Andrew was working at the co-op.

Now, we’re in our house, we have 2 babies, Andrew’s an electrician apprentice, and I’m a full-time mom!  SO much has changed.

In terms of how my blog looked/what I blogged about.. four years ago, I was doing daily outfit posts, I had a regular point-and-click camera, and I was hosted by wordpress.com.

Now, I’m self-hosted, I sometimes do outfit posts, and I write about so many other things.  And, on a good week I post 3 times.  haha

It’s been a fun four years, and I’m so excited to see where I’ll be able to take this blog in my fifth year of blogging!

I’d also just like to thank you, dear reader, for hanging out with me in this space.  Thanks for reading/listening to my thoughts and the things that are important to me.  <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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Christmas Eve Tradition: Christmas Books!

This year, the advent calendar we gave our kids was a new Christmas book under the tree every morning.  We read the book a few times a day, and then put it away so there would be a new book the next day.  It’s been a lot of fun, but I’m especially looking forward to reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas eve.

Sometimes, though, we found that some of the Christmas books were a little too long for the time-frame we had in which to read them.  If one of the children was not interested in reading a story before bed, we would pick a shorter book so we would definitely have time to read it before the tears started.  That’s where this handy infographic comes in!  I’ve teamed up with Personal Creations, who made this awesome visual.  Just select which Christmas book you want to read, and it tells you exactly how long it will take in minutes to read.  So if you’ve got younger kids, like I do, who might not be able to sit through an entire lengthy book, you can pick a shorter one from the list!

Kids Christmas books

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

xoxo,
Alysa

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Aiden at 6 Months

Aiden is 6 months old, aka 1/2 of a year old!  I made Autumn a 1/2 year birthday crown when she was 6 months old, so I did the same for Aiden, too!

Aiden is such a sweetheart.  He loves cuddling, he loves being held, and he loves hugging his sister (/being squashed by her).  His little personality is certainly starting to shine through.  He has a LOT to say, and he likes to say it LOUD.  He loves to try to eat my hair, and he loves giving kisses.  He is really bouncy and energetic.  He’s also really observant. He likes to be able to see what is going on all the time.  It’s hard for him to sleep if there is something else going on.

We have started baby-led weaning with him, and he is really into eating.  His current favourites are sweet potatoes, chicken, and grandpa’s meatloaf.  If we’re eating anything, he wants to be eating it, too.

He loves playing with his sister.  His favourite toys are anything that rattles or squeaks! He loves his Sophie Giraffe.

We’re especially excited to be able to celebrate Christmas with him this year.

xoxo,
Alysa

Autumn at 6 months old <3

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