Putting Your Kids to Work

Smart Money, Smart Kids (Part 2)


“Work creates discipline and when you have discipline in your life, you are a healthier person.” – Rachel Cruze

Saturdays begin in our home like they do in most of yours, with a little Saturday morning TV.  And what comes next is probably fairly similar to most other houses as well.  Around 10 AM every Saturday, it becomes chore time.

But that may be where the similarity ends.  Because we don’t MAKE our kids to their chores.  They CHOOSE to do their chores or they choose NOT to do their chores.  No, we’re not some sort of progressive parents who let the kids rule in our home.  We are parents who are purposefully teaching our children financial concepts that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The work /payday system that we implement in our house with our kids is adapted from what Dave Ramsey has taught for years out of his Financial Peace University and from his many books.  And on April 22, Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, are releasing their brand new book, Smart Money, Smart Kids which goes into detail about how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world.

Chapter 2 of SMSK is all about putting your kids to work.  After explaining the Ramsey way of doing commissions instead of allowances, Rachel and Dave give several stories about what this looked like for the Ramsey kids.  Then they give details on how you can implement this system in your house.  If you want more details, you’ll have to read the book!  You can pre-order it on the Smart Money, Smart Kids website.  If you do, you get all sorts of freebies like the free audiobook and the free e-book version of the book.  If you want to look before you buy, be sure to visit the site and scroll down to the bottom where you can download the first 2 chapters of the book absolutely free.

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Blood Moons Rising

Blood Moons Rising by Mark Hitchcock

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Are we living in the final days?  Is the end of the world coming in 2015?  According to some theologians, the occurrence of 4 “blood moons” in 2014-15, each occurring on a Jewish feast day, signifies that a major end time event involving America and Israel is going to take place.  Is their prophecy accurate?  What does history reveal about the previous times this has happened? Revelation scholar Mark Hitchcock examines the evidence that leads these thinkers to make their predictions and leads the reader to an educated revelation of their own.

In simple terms a “blood moon” is a total lunar eclipse, when the earth is directly between the sun and the moon.  The moon cannot directly reflect the sun’s light in that situation.  Instead the sun’s light passes through the earth’s atmosphere and only the red light is seen on the moon.  This phenomenon makes the moon look red, like blood, and is called a “blood moon.”

In 2014-15, there are 4 occurrences of a “blood moon” and all 4 occur on Jewish feast days.  The first ones in each year occur on the Jewish Passover and the second ones in each year occur during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Some modern end times scholars feel like these “blood moon” occurrences fulfill prophecy found in the Bible that talks about the “moon turning to blood” at the time of Christ’s return to earth.  Therefore, they believe that the coming “blood moons” are signs of Christ’s imminent return to earth.

Mark Hitchcock, also an end times scholar, refutes these prophecies by talking about the history of “blood moons,” the specific prophecies in the Bible that refer to the “moon turning to blood” and the danger of trying to predict a precise day or year of Jesus’ return to earth.

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The First Step in Teaching our Kids about Money

Smart Money, Smart Kids (Part 1)



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I’m pleased to announce that I have been selected to be part of the Smart Money, Smart Kids launch team.  Yay!!

I’m going to be telling you all about the book in bits and pieces over several weeks.

Do you want your children to learn how to handle money correctly?  Do you want them to avoid some of the financial mistakes that you have made?  Are you at a loss as to how to start the process?  Now there’s help.  Smart Money, Smart Kids teaches you how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world.

My husband and I have been huge Dave Ramsey fans for most of our marriage.  I’m not sure where we originally heard about him, but early on in our marriage we read The Total Money Makeover together and loved it.  A few years ago we had the opportunity to go through the Financial Peace University at our church.  Once again we loved all the material we were learning and we loved getting to share those ideas with others.  For the last 11 years, those “others” have included our children.  We, as parents, have a responsibility to teach our children good money habits.  We need to teach them how to handle $10 correctly now so they can handle $10,000 correctly when they are older.  Good money habits are not about how much money you have, but about the principles that govern that money.

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Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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Can the truth be found in chocolate?  Dinsmore’s World Famous Chocolate Factory is not only the home to great chocolate but also to a possible murderer.  When a labor investigator is killed suspiciously in the chocolate factory, fellow investigator Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to discover the truth.  Was his death truly an accident?  What had he uncovered about the factory’s youngest workers, the children?

Caroline is not the only one working undercover making chocolates.  Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore Chocolate dynasty has been tasked by his father to work under an alias, janitor Ollie Moore, in order to better learn what improvements could be made for factory workers.

Suspicious of each other yet drawn together by circumstances and attraction, Ollie and Caroline fear their relationship is doomed from the start.  Can the two mend their differences by helping three orphaned children?  Can a friendship that started under aliases and lies blossom into a romance?

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Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

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(from the BookLook site)

Two little girls, frozen in black and white. One picture worth killing for.

Federal prosecutor Lisa Waldren’s estranged father wants her to investigate a cold case from his FBI days. Lisa nearly refuses, even though a wrongly convicted man faces execution for murder. Then her father reveals a photograph: a little white girl playing alongside a little black girl at a rally in 1965 where the shooting of a civil rights leader took place. She recognizes herself in the photo.

She was there.

Lisa agrees to help, resolved to boldly seek answers she’s skirted for decades. What she discovers are layers of deception, both personal and professional, reaching as high as the head of the FBI. Possibly even the president.

And though Lisa and the other girl may have escaped the 1965 shooting physically unharmed, her little friend, now grown, bears the scars of it. All because of the color of her skin. As Lisa and her father get closer to the truth, the real killer turns the hunt around.

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Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls by Olivia Newport

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There’s a new genre of e-book emerging – the episode novel.  With this new way of reading, an author releases a book a little bit at a time.  Usually each episode is short and inexpensive to purchase.  With each new episode released once a week, if written well, the author leaves you anxious for Friday to arrive so you can read the next installment.  This type of story is reminiscent of stories such as the Sherlock Holmes tales which would be released a little at a time in a weekly newspaper.  History is repeating itself, except with a new technology twist.  Now instead of waiting for that newspaper to arrive in your box, you wait for the next installment to show up on Amazon so you can zap it right away to your Kindle to begin reading.

Author Olivia Newport, utilizes this episodic novel approach in her new book Hidden Falls.  Released in 13 installments Hidden Falls gives a whole new spin on the idea of a novel or “season,” as the 13 episodes together are called.

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It Had to be You

It Had to be You by Susan May Warren

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Eden Christensen’s life is not turning out how she imagined it would be.  Instead of a career as a world class reporter, she is mindlessly writing obituaries all day long.  Instead of owning a beautiful home, she lives in a cheap apartment full of hand-me-down furniture.  Instead of helping her younger brother and rising NHL star mature, her hovering seems to be keeping him from independence.  Where did her life go so much off track?

In the midst of bailing her brother out of yet another bad choice, Eden meets Owen’s team captain, self-absorbed Jace Jacobson.  Eden can’t stand the bad boy, womanizer man she has seen out on the ice.  But is the media persona who Jace truly is?

When Owen faces a career ending injury, Eden is forced to reevaluate her life on the sidelines.  Can she see the potential she has inside?  Thrown together with Jace to research the story of a lifetime, Eden must learn how to work with him as a team.  Will she see the real Jace inside, or is the cocky, media hungry, hockey player all there is to him?

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The Governess of Highland Hall

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

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Julia Foster has spent the last 12 years of her life in India running a clinic and school with her missionary parents.  Now her family has returned to England due to her father’s failing health and Julia must take a job as a governess to help meet the financial needs of her family.

William Ramsey is the newly appointed Lord of Highland Hall, an elegant home in the English countryside boasting many servants, 2 children, 2 nieces and a brooding widower.

Can governess Julia help Lord Ramsey get his family back in order?  Or will his brusqueness push them all away?

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Bread and Wine

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist

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This was a rather unique book.  It was part memoir, part cookbook, part commentary on the value of community.  Niequist essentially wanted to take the reader inside her life as it relates to food.  As an avid amatuer cook, Shauna relates experiences in her life with the food she ate or the food she cooked during that time.  Warm, cozy mornings spent with her husband and son bring back memories of scrambled eggs with goat cheese and large, soft breakfast cookies baked with her son.  A chapter on the true essence of Communion is accompanied by a recipe for Sullivan Street bread perfect for breaking with friends.

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The Deep Haven series by Susan May Warren

The Deep Haven series by Susan May Warren

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I’m a big fan of Susan May Warren.  I have reviewed individual books of hers in the past (Take a Chance on Me, Heiress, Baroness and Duchess).  In 2013, I read several of the books in her Deep Haven series (Take a Chance on Me is also in that series).  The series follows the people that live in the small town of Deep Haven, Minnesota.

In Shadow of Your Smile, Deep Haven deputy Eli Hueston and his wife, Noelle, have been torn apart by their daughter’s tragic death.  Ready to part ways with her husband, Noelle, heads out to a nearby city to make a decision that will change her life.  On her way, she is caught up in a robbery at a local gas station.  She slips on the ice and is knocked unconscious.  Though mostly uninjured, Noelle awakes with severe amnesia, forgetting both her husband and her three children.  Is her memory loss a blessing in disguise for her future?

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