Monthly Archives: January 2013

Children’s Book Review and Awesome Giveaway!

The illustrator of this amazing children’s book, Alex Clark,  has offered to give away a copy of the book and draw a picture of the child of the winner of the contest!  See details below:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

by: Jennifer Clark

A Book Review of Your Time Will Come

I think that one of the hardest things in world is to watch your child struggle. Who doesn’t want to see their child succeed? What is difficult to remember is that sometimes the struggle is what makes the victory worthwhile. The new children’s book, Your Time Will Come by Dave Hammer and Alex M. Clark, beautifully illustrates that lesson in a way that children will understand and parents will appreciate.

From the time that Chad was a baby, he wanted to play baseball. But the road to realizing his dream was not easy. He struck out in Little League, failed to make the baseball travel team, and found himself sitting on the bench a lot. His father, however, always encouraged him to keep trying, to never give up.

Your Time Will Come teaches children that perseverance, not luck or raw talent is the real key to success. Each time that the young boy felt disappointed or discouraged, his father reminded him that although he was not successful this time, eventually, his time would come.

An Interview of the illustrator:

I asked Alex Clark a few questions about his book and how it came to be written (you might notice our last names are the same; Alex is my very talented brother-in-law).

What was the inspiration for this book?
I’m married (13 years!) and I have two sons, Chasen (9) and Kyan (6). My wife and I are both artists and actually met in Art School in Indiana at Ball State University. She is a photographer with her own studio in Columbus, OH. The boys are fantastic, but both are handfuls as my oldest was diagnosed with Autism a few years ago and my youngest is very energetic and has a speech disorder called Speech Apraxia.

I was asked in late 2009 to illustrate a children’s book for CASANA, an organization for Childhood Apraxia of Speech, for their summer 2010 national conference. One of the main characters in the book was Captain Hammer, who was modeled after a board member and speech pathologist out of Pittsburgh named David Hammer. I had the joy of meeting Dave and getting to know him over those few days and he approached me on the last day about a story he came up with years ago about a father, his son, and baseball. It reminded me of my father and how he used to come with my mom to every basketball game, every track meet, and every baseball game. Having two sons myself, Dave’s story made me think about how I am with my boys and how I’ll always support them in whatever they choose to do.

What message do you want kids to take away from the story? 
Never give up on any challenge if you have a passion for it. Hard work and dedication will always win out in the end, especially if you have the love and support of your family and friends.

To learn more about Alex visit is website and his Facebook page.

*This book is available on amazon.com.

Giveaway Details:

As stated above, the illustrator of this amazing children’s book, Alex Clark,  has offered to give away a copy of the book and draw a picture of the child of the winner of the contest!

  • To enter: You must be a fan of our Mosaic of Moms Facebook page
  • To Increase Your Odds:  For each of your friends that “likes” us and tells us you sent them, your name will be entered again and of course, your friend will be entered to win as well.
  • One Additional Way to Increase Your Odds: Share with your Facebook friends that you read Mosaic of Moms and why they should too. Be sure to tag us and let us know that you shared by sending us a message on Facebook or commenting below.

A Few Quick Rules:

  • All entries must be submitted by Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:59 CST.
  • The winner will be selected via random.org and and be notified by e-mail. If we do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • Must be in the continental U.S. to win.

A Promise I Can Keep

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1st Peter 4:8

By: Jennifer Clark

Since I went back to teaching, it feels like our family has been on a roller coaster ride. As with any roller coaster, there have been highs and lows. I reach a peak, thinking I have it all together, and then take a frightening plunge when I feel like my life is careening out of control. Ultimately I think school has been great for my son; he is learning so much every day and loves playing with his new friends. But the adjustment has not been entirely smooth. There were times I questioned my decision to return to work Apparently, in the beginning of his time at his new preschool, he was the instigator of some sort of toddler rebellion. Think Braveheart, except with pull ups and sippy cups. Eventually he began to work his way into a routine, but it was stressful. On the plus side, my son is a leader. Cup half full, I suppose.

There is an additional pressure to being an adoptive mother. I know that all parents want to do right by their child. But my son’s birth-mother is always in the back of my mind. I remember the last time we saw her so vividly. I promised her that I would take good care of him. And I meant it with all of my heart.  But being a brand new mom, I had no idea what was ahead of me.

And what was ahead of me? Mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. When I would make a mistake, I felt not only like I was letting my son down, but that I was letting down his birth mom, too. After all, this was a woman who trusted me to be her son’s mother. I had promised that I would take good care of him. I felt like I had an extra responsibility to do the right thing, to not make mistakes.  I had to be a good parent not just for my son, but for her as well.

Finally, I began to realize that no matter how hard I tried, there would be times that I would mess up. It was inevitable. We are all only human, with flawed and sinful natures.  God sent his son for a purpose. If we were capable of perfection, we would not need salvation. Our greatest sin, perhaps, is thinking we can live this life on our own.

Yes, I made mistakes in these first few years of my son’s life. What I have learned to accept is that I will make many, many more before he is grown and on his own. No, I will never be the perfect mom. But the one thing I can do, and always have done, is love my son with all my heart. What my son needs from me is love, not perfection. And my heart overflows with my love for him. I tell him all the time, every day, how much I adore him.  He will grow up knowing his mom will sometimes mess up, but he will also know, always, that he is loved. That is a promise I can keep.

The scriptures tell us we will all make mistakes. But the bible has this to say as well:

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1st Peter 4:8

Who Doesn’t Love Free Books?

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

By: Kerri Young

I love to read and I want my children to love reading. We started homeschooling our oldest last Fall in preparation for our upcoming move to the Middle East, so I am always looking for inexpensive and easy ways to get more books in front of her without having to take a trip to the local library several times a week.

My mom stumbled upon this great website where you can not only get free children’s books, but also donate books to world literacy programs while doing so! As far as I’m concerned, that’s a win-win. It’s called We Give Books and is found at www.wegivebooks.org You do have to register and give your email address to gain access to the entire library, but I promise you won’t get bombarded with spam.

Here’s a blurb from the website that explains how it works:

Have you heard about the latest We Give Books cause? This winter, We Give Books is supporting world literacy and encouraging readers to get into the spirit of giving. Every time you read a children’s book online at wegivebooks.org, you can donate a book on behalf of your friends and family, for free!

At We Give Books, each time a reader enjoys free children’s books online, they donate a hardcover or paperback book to a child in need through their great campaign partners. From now through the end of January 2013, you can help support world literacy initiatives around the globe with partners Room to Read, Books for Asia, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and more! These amazing nonprofit organizations work to build libraries, fund schools, provide education to low-income children, and share books with those in need.

We Give Books is a fantastic resource for parents, teachers, and anyone who loves to read children’s books. They have a free online library of over 150 outstanding children’s books available at www.wegivebooks.org, including some of our favorites, like the Llama Llama and Skippyjon Jones books, and DK science books. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world!

So, head over to www.wegivebooks.org to find out more about this wonderful initiative, and start reading and giving!

What’s Your Narnia?

By: Kerri Young 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

“I want to go to Narnia.” “I want to go to Narnia.” This phrase can be heard around our house at least 10-15 times a day from my strong-willed middle child whenever he gets frustrated or doesn’t get his way. (He’s actually saying the place where we are moving in May, but I can’t put that on this blog…so “Narnia” will suffice.) =)

When we ask him why he wants to go to Narnia, he responds, “Because it’s pretty there and there aren’t any mad guys.”

The funny thing about it is that he’s never been to Narnia before. He has only seen pictures and we certainly have never told him there are no “mad guys” in Narnia. But, for some reason, in his head “Narnia” is a better place than where we are now.

When he breaks into one of his whining fits for Narnia, we try to gently explain to him that we aren’t ready to go to Narnia and that Narnia is not what he thinks it is. Because when we go to Narnia we won’t get to come back here for a LONG time. Because it takes a LONG time to get to Narnia and he had a difficult time travelling 12 hours in the car to Granny’s house for Christmas. Because there are “mad guys” (or, in his four year old psyche, people who don’t like you or who are mean just because) in Narnia who, just like here, don’t believe in the same things or live in the same way we do and will most certainly act…well, “mad”, at us sometimes. Because when we leave for Narnia we are leaving most of our “stuff” — his toys, books, bicycle, etc.—behind. Because we aren’t financially ready to go Narnia. And the list could go on as to why going to Narnia today is not possible, or really even desirable.

Last night my husband and I were talking about the day and specifically how little man had a lengthy crying fit over his yearning to be in Narnia. My husband was wondering what is causing our sweet boy to feel this way, and it occurred to me that his irrational desire to go to Narnia today is no different than my desire to fast forward through today to get to what lies around the bend tomorrow.

I know what my desire is…and it’s actually a lot like my son’s. I want to get to Narnia, too. But for all the same reasons we tell our son that we aren’t ready to go to Narnia and that Narnia isn’t the fairy tale land he thinks it is, God is telling me it’s not time yet.

Because we won’t be coming back for a long time. Because the trip there is going to be LONG. Because there are people there who will not like me for following Christ and letting my light shine is going to probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Because we do have to leave most of our stuff behind, and all that stuff still needs to be dealt with here. Because we do have some work to do financially so we can not only get to Narnia, but stay there long-term. And, mostly, just because God hasn’t given us the green light yet and there are still things that need to be accomplished here…today.

Sigh. How often do we yearn for and crave something that’s coming or even something that might not be coming but we think we want or need? What’s your Narnia, friend? What are you whining in your heart about to God that you wish you could have today?

**********************************************************************************************

I typed up this post two and a half weeks ago. You must understand that I am a highly trained, first class procrastinator who works best under pressure. I NEVER blog that far in advance (ask Jennifer) because I typically have about five different topics milling around in my head that I pray over until the very last minute. =) But, the Lord had been telling me that entire week this is what I needed to blog about, so I sat down and wrote it while it was fresh. Imagine my surprise when I read Gretchen’s post on perfect timing last week. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a must read.

Friends, I can’t help but think the Lord is trying to teach all of us an important lesson on this very thing since it was on Gretchen’s heart last week, too. It’s not a coincidence that we both felt led to write about waiting on God’s timing a week apart.

So, I, too, want to encourage and challenge you to trust in what the Lord has for you today…because you can’t get to tomorrow without it. Will you join me in praying that we can all rejoice in the Lord today and rest in the promise that He holds our tomorrows in His hands?

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Crazy Cookies

 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24

I happened accross a recipe similar to this on pinterest last spring.  We decided to give it a whirl on Father’s Day last year, and it was a big hit!  It was so rich that Daddy couldn’t handle much, but the kids thought it was awesome.  While we were making them my older DD said “Mom, these cookies are CRAZY!”  We have been calling them that ever since. 🙂

Here is what you need:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Fudge Brownie Mix

                                     Assorted chocolate candy and cookies.  (We used snickers, milky way, caramels, and kisses.  The last time we made it we used reeses minis, double stuffed oreos, rolos and kisses.)

Step 1

 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  While you are working on the brownie mix, have your kids unwrap all the candy….and don’t let them eat it all! 🙂

Step 2

  Have the kids press the cookie dough onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Tip: Sit the dough out for a little bit before hand so it’s easier to work with.

Step 3

Have your kids put all the candies on top of the cookie dough

Step 4

Poor the brownie batter on top

Make sure it’s spread over all the candy

Step 5

Bake for around 45 minutes-until the brownie batter is cooked through.

Step 6

YUM!  Can you tell we’re not edge people? 🙂  I think this would be awesome with some homemade icecream…