Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

My 4 Top Summer Children’s Book Recommendations!

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It’s mid-June, and that summer feeling is already upon us. Whether your kids are out of school or just days away from vacation time, chances are you’re looking for books to keep them busy during these long summer months! These are my top recommendations for a fun, easy, and memorable summer read.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, by Mark Teague.

I love a book about a kid with a wild imagination, and this book more than fits the bill. The story is about a schoolboy who tells his classmates all about his summer vacation—including the time he joined a group of cowboys and stopped a cattle stampede. No boring summer at grandma’s house for him! It’s a cute book with great illustrations, and will get your kids excited for a summer of adventures.

Swimming Lessons, by Betsy Jay.

This story follows a girl named Jane who is afraid to learn how to swim. Her mother tries to get her in the pool any way she can…but Jane doesn’t budge until she hears a taunt from a classmate. A cute story about a girl finding her bravery and facing her fears make this a summer must-read!

A Pocketful of Cricket, by Rebecca Caudill.

As summer comes to a close, a six-year-old boy finds a cricket, sticks him in his pocket, and becomes his friend. On the first day of school, he won’t set the cricket free—but is it really the summer he’s holding on to? This children’s book is beautifully written, and sure to become a classic in your family.

Heat Wave, by Eileen Spinelli.

This books throws it back to the days before air conditioning, making it a fun, reminiscent read for those of us from an older generation! It follows a cast of quirky characters trying to find solace in a heat wave, until everybody comes together by the river and dreams of cooler times. Charming and delightful, this is a perfect comfort to turn to when the temperatures go up!

What are you looking forward to this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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4 Reasons You Need to Start Using Goodreads

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If you haven’t yet heard of Goodreads…where have you been?! All kidding aside, Goodreads is a social media platform for readers. Users have the opportunity to rate, review, and find great book recommendations—and that’s only the very basics of what Goodreads has to offer.

I’ve been a user of Goodreads for a few years now (if you haven’t seen my author profile, check it out here). I can honestly say it is one of the greatest inventions for authors and readers alike to connect the books we love to the people who love them too! Here are some reasons I love using Goodreads, and why I think you’ll love it too. (more…)

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Stop Comparison in Its Tracks: Parenting in the Digital Age

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I’ve written a few times about the ways in which social media has an effect—both positive and negative—on children today, and how we as parents can best help them navigate through it. But the one thing I think we can’t separate from social media is the rise of the problem of comparison in our youth.

Every time they open Instagram, they have the opportunity to see someone who is living a life “cooler” than their own. Your child can come home thrilled about an A on his math test, and then feel crushed moments later when he sees on Facebook that someone else got an A+. With their self-worth tied up in how many likes their newest post gets instead of being the best version of themselves, it can be hard to figure out what to say and how to get children to see that comparing their lives to someone else is a sure path to misery and low self-esteem. (more…)

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What Parents Have to Learn from Children’s Books

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It’s the common belief that children’s books are meant for…well…children. And while they often are filled with valuable lessons for children to learn, such as accepting one another’s differences and using your manners, there are some books filled with lessons for parents as well. (more…)

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Why You Should Attend the Single Parenting Summit

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It’s no secret that I raised my son John as a single parent. What you might not know, however, was how difficult that journey was. Raising children is a huge responsibility that can keep you up at night, wondering if you’re doing everything right—and when you are in the position of raising children without a partner, those anxieties only become harder to manage.

Enter the Single Parenting Summit, put on this year by EverGreen Ministries in Hudsonville, MI. It is the first event aimed at helping single mothers and fathers navigate the challenge of raising children on their own, as well as offers programs for community leaders (like pastors) learn how to support the single parents in their circle. (more…)

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5 Things Only Book Enthusiasts Will Love

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I’m not a book nerd—I’m a book enthusiast. Or at least that’s what I tell my friends. The people in my life can always count on that enthusiasm when they’re looking to buy me a gift, and it never fails! If you’re a fellow book enthusiast, or you’re close to one, here are some fun and clever things you’ll obsess over! (more…)

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Why We Should Encourage The “BookTube” Generation

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If you’re up on the latest trends like I pretend to be, you’ll know that YouTube is a social platform that has quickly turned your average kids into celebrities. Thousands of people make videos on anything from their day-to-day lives (called vlogs), advice videos, cooking how-to’s, and more. What caught my attention, however, is a growing number of individuals who call themselves “booktubers,” meaning they make videos on YouTube about books. (more…)

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What’s On My Bookshelf?

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Over the last year, I’ve recommended dozens of children’s books for you and your children to enjoy. But I realized I haven’t shared too many of the books I read on my own! If you want to stay updated regularly, be sure to check out my Goodreads page. But for today’s post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. (more…)

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4 Things To Do When Your Kids Are Bored On Spring Break

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It’s that itchy-eyed, sunny day time of year again! Chances are, your kids will soon have an entire week away from school and are counting on having some fun in its place. But how do you keep them excited and having a fun-filled time for seven days straight—especially when your family doesn’t have vacation plans? Read on for my top tips and activities! (more…)

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Book Recommendation Time!: Parenting Edition

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This past Valentine’s Day, a book titled, The Toddler Brain: Nurture the Skills Today That Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow, hit bookstore shelves and took over the parenting world. According to its description on Amazon, the book “helps parents recognize the connection that exists between their own parenting behaviors and their child’s ability to acquire valuable twenty-first-century skills.” I don’t know about you, but in that one sentence this book comes across as the answer to the root of every parenting question I hear—how do I raise my child to be a success? (more…)

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What is Ol'Sands Up To?

Sands talks about the origin of the Night Buddies Adventures Series.