The Desperate Diva Diaries: Christian Fiction for the Preteen Crowd

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There were the Dork Diaries. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And now Angie Spady offers a Christian alternative with a female protagonist: Catie Conrad, star of The Desperate Diva Diaries series.

When Catie asks her journalist father for a sketchbook, she should have known he’d come back with the wrong item. Instead he gives her a diary. Well, maybe she’ll use it.

Thus starts Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters, the first book in the Desperate Diva series, which targets preteen girls ages 8-12. Catie is a typical sixth-grader: her life is full of drama, she loves fashion … and her dad wants to take her to an Indian reservation during her Spring break.

With all 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon, Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters is a book your daughters will devour. As one reviewer said, “Sometimes I’ll hear parents say, ‘I don’t care what they’re reading, I’m just glad they’re reading something!’ But not all reading material for tweens and middle schoolers is created equal.” Angie Spady gives us a clean, fun book, full of illustrations by Channing Everidge.

The second book in the series, How to Become the Most (un)Popular Girl in Middle School, will be released in May 2015.

How Surviving a Snow Day Is Like Getting through a Spiritual Drought by Jessie Weaver

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First of all, you have to know that I am not talking one snow day. I’m talking two weeks where my elementary-school-aged child has gone to school a grand total of 8.5 hours. She is distraught. I am stir-crazy. My preschooler went once for 2.5 hours. In two weeks! I pay for him to go to school!

I’m reminding myself that this is the consequence of living in a very large county with mountains. And in the midst of my stir-craziness and feeling like I cannot possibly find one more thing in our apartment for my three children to do, I find myself thinking how getting through a fortnight of snow days is an awful lot like finding your way through a spiritual drought.

At first, it’s not so bad. Maybe fun, maybe you do things you don’t normally do. Eat ice cream for breakfast and hot chocolate with lunch; loll in bed for a few extra hours. Forget that these things bring repercussions. After a little while, though, you start to feel desperate. Where can I hide? Why can’t I seem to buckle down and read the Word without distractions? Why does every hour seem so long? Why why WHY is my head swimming with questions God won’t answer?

And then, you approach the end. I am sincerely hoping and praying for a normal, 5-day school week this coming week. (It is March, after all. And the South. Thus it should be SPRING.) And with the knowledge that my kids will be going back to their normal school routines, I want to hold them a little tighter. I enjoy their presence a little more. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I see things through that glowing pinprick instead of under a magnifying glass.

When a spiritual drought is ending – when we start to feel God’s presence again, get comfortable in the Word and in prayer – there is a sense of sincere relief. There is growth. There is knowing you learned something during the snowstorm of your soul. You dig out the driveways of your heart and get ready to emerge, better for the journey.

I hope if you’re going through a spiritual drought right now, you’ll remember that there is light and hope. It is coming.

And if you’re going through a season of snow days … my prayers and thoughts are with you.

“Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5

 

photo source: Shawn Carpenter. Used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. 

Weekend Links

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Big Thoughts for Little People – the New App and a Giveaway

Tyndale House Publishers is excited to announce its first children’s app. Released to the iTunes store in January, 2015, the Big Thoughts for Little People app is the perfect companion to the bestselling alphabet book with the same name, written by Dr. Ken Taylor (over 560,000 sold).

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In the app, each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by five unique interactive games designed to teach children letter recognition and beginning word identification skills. Activities include matching games, coloring activities, puzzles, picture comparison, and much more!

The Big Thoughts for Little People app will encourage kids to remember that God has created each of them and the world they live in. This app is a worthwhile investment in any child’s spiritual and educational growth.

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Courtesy of Tyndale House, we have 5 copies of the book Big Thoughts for Little People to give away. It’s a beautifully illustrated, hardcover book that would be wonderful for your kids or to give awy. Enter using Rafflecopter below!

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Weekend Links

As always, if you’ve written something good this week that you’d like to share, leave us a link in the comments.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with ParentLife

This blog has been around for quite some time, and we have a great backlog of Valentine’s Day posts. If you’re new around here, I wanted to share some of these wonderful older posts.

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source: Sarah Parrott via Flickr

10 Last-Minute Ideas for Valentine’s Day (2014)

Are you stuck at home in this snow? Our roads are actually not bad in Chattanooga, but it’s still a little gross outside and schools are canceled. Two of my kids and I were supposed to go to Atlanta to visit friends for Valentine’s Day, and I am bummed our plans have to be changed! But such is life …

5 Valentines with Scripture (2014)

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. Despite my indifference toward the Hallmark holiday, my kids ADORE it. (Balance Time Day, according to my daughter at 2 years old.) I like to use their infatuation as a tool to reinforce the gigantic love of God – and help them pass it on to their little friends …

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at Church by Christi McGuire (2013)

Want to help the families in your church celebrate Valentine’s Day next week? Here are a few ideas …

Ways to Show Love to Your Kids Every Day (2013)

With Valentine’s Day behind us, sometimes we can forget about showing love to our kids on a daily basis in tangible ways. Here are some easy ways to do that! …

The Importance of Modeling (2012)

Need a weekly nudge in your efforts to be the kind of dad your kids need? Here’s what worked for one dad. …

A Healthy Heart (2009)

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What better time than Valentine’s Day to think about heart health? Do you need to make any lifestyle changes? …

 

Weekend Links

What’s happening in your neck of the woods this weekend?

Weekend Links

Read or write anything great this week? Leave us a link in the comments!

Teaching Children about Diversity

With today being Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I wanted to highlight some activities for children that teach about diversity. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight”! Teach your children the blind love of Christ before someone else shows them otherwise.

 

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1. Fingerprint Dove / Busy Happy Mom

2. Talking about Diversity with Children Using Playdough / Bonbon Break

3. 10 Children’s Books That Teach Diversity / She Knows

4. Where in the World Is Your Food From? / Kid World Citizen

5. How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Children / Imagination Soup

6. It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts / School Counselor Blog

Resolution Baby Steps by Jessie Weaver

Resolution Baby Steps

source: Emily Price

I went to see my chiropractor today. He asked me how I was feeling, I guess wanting to gauge how things have been and where to start.

“I actually feel great, ” I told him. “No lower back pain at all.”

For me to be able to say that is enormous. Over the last 4 years, I have struggled through immense pain; numerous episodes of my back being thrown out, spasming, and being unable to get out of bed; and who knows how many chiro, doctor, physical therapy, and spine specialist appointments. During my last pregnancy, my disc herniated, leaving me with sciatica that didn’t dissipate after the baby was born. (So a newborn and constant pain in the calf – woohoo!)

As I talked to my doctor, I realized the baby steps I’ve made toward healthier living and taking care of my back and myself. I started with physical therapy exercises. In September, I joined the YMCA and have been going faithfully to work on the elliptical or take water aerobics or Zumba classes. And then last week, I decided it was time to tackle diet. I made a fairly drastic change in my diet, but have taken so many baby steps toward healthier eating in the last few years that I know what to do and how to eat for health. I just haven’t always done it.

It’s not how most resolutions work, is it? We like to jump in, erase the drawing board, get results as fast as we can get a Big Mac at McDonald’s (which of course we would never do anymore … until January 20 or so rolls around, and we are hungry and tired of salads).

Whatever your resolution this year, may I suggest you take the whole year to establish it? Break it down into 12 baby steps to implement over the year. It may not be as fun or drastic. But I am guessing it will be a whole lot more feasible for you. And yes, parents, this may involve taking time for yourself. I know it’s hard! But we want our kids to see us as people … not just as their mom or dad, who gives them whatever they want and caters to their every demand.

Read a chapter of the Bible … exercise for 10 minutes … drink one glass of water. Just do something! And gradually, change will come.