Friday, January 31, 2014

Superbowl and Sex Trafficking

Stop Trafficking in the U.S.
“American children are forced into slavery every day. Many of them are homeless. Will you help protect them? #notagame”
Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues of the overall sex industry, including residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution. Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot, who famously called the Superbowl game “the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States”  is calling for an increased attention to human sex trafficking, mainly that of children, in an attempt to bring awareness and action into towns across America.
There are disputes about whether sex trafficking spikes in advance of events such as the Super Bowl, and some prominent anti-trafficking organizations say it would be difficult to document such a trend. Nevertheless, a coordinated effort is often launched to boost the training of hotel and transportation workers as well as law enforcement officers – and to reach out with messages to potential customers and victims of the sex trade.
The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking has taken a number of steps leading up to this year’s Super Bowl. It trained more than 200 volunteers to engage hotel managers in anti-trafficking efforts, for instance. Some of them took along bars of soap bearing the National Human Trafficking hot line number (888-373-7888) – part of a project called S.O.A.P.: Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.

What can you do to help put an end to sex trafficking?
2.Know who the Traffickers are
3. Report any suspected trafficking: 

Call the Hotline

The easiest and fastest way to reach us is to call our hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).  Hotline Call Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to take reports from anywhere in the country related to potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to occur. All reports are confidential. Interpreters are available.

Submit a Tip Online

The information you submit will be reviewed by the NHTRC and forwarded to specialized law enforcement and/or services providers where appropriate. For immediate assistance or to speak directly with an NHTRC Call Specialist, please contact us through the 24-hour hotline.

Together we can put and end to this horrendous activity.

Favorite Moments Friday

This week has had it's challenges, but my absolute favorite thing we did was the finish of our study on China by going to the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park.Here are just a few of the fabulous photos I took.


Just hashtag #FMFshare if you’re posting on social media and we’ll always be able to find each other.

To link up just copy and paste the code in the box to your blog post.
Kirsten Joy Awake



 Title: Tuna Breath
Genre: Memoir
Author: Doug Pedersen
Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 162
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452575797
ISBN-13: 978-1452575797
Written from the unique experiences of Doug Pedersen, this self-improvement book-disguised as a memoir-is at once funny, poignant, and generous, while offering genuine advice. Providing intimate insights into being a “super fat kid,” and insecure teenager, and an over-aggressive, angry, and ironically arrogant Marine who was full of self-pity, Doug shares the negative emotional drivers and responses that drove him through a “binge eating life” before finding physical health, emotional balance, and spiritual wholeness. Tuna Breath invites us to intimately observe a troubling life journey in which the lessons to be learned are truly visceral and inspirational.

Purchase your copy:



feat_doug Doug Pedersen is the founder of PLAYGROUND: GLOBAL (PGG), a research and education company. His own history with childhood obesity and study of human nature fuels his writing, speech topics, and teachings. Doug teaches “The Art of the Personal Turnaround” and frequently uses innovative techniques taken from the practice of Strategic Intervention and Human Needs Psychology to help people improve, heal and live their lives with outstanding quality. Currently, Doug is helping people see that the health of their emotional state is the real invisible battleground in their lives through his latest book “TUNA BREATH: A 275-Pound Teenager’s Coming Of Age Story.” Doug resides with his wife and two year-old son in the Washington, DC area.
See more at

Recognizing Your Child’s Character


She highlighted that you need to compliment your child’s character.  Tell them specifically what you love about them:  

I love you because you’re honest.
I love that you’re so friendly.
One thing that makes you special is that you’re kind.
You know, you’re just like Dad.

Janet said that your children will live up to who you say they are.  Maybe you’ve said that your son is a “handful”?  Or your daughter is a “spoiled princess”?   Or maybe one child a “jock” and the other one a “brain”?  Do you really want them to grow up to be a handful or worse?

Focus on their specific character traits to encourage them for life.  Your children will live up to who you say they are.

If you need some encouragement in the “what makes your child special” department – check out these books below.  Dr. Kevin Leman wrote the Birth Order book and it’s excellent!  He has great insight into what makes each of your children special…. from the structured first born to the party-time baby!

found here
found here
found here

How do you specifically encourage your child?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Perfect Score

The Perfect Score Project - Debbie Stier
Price: $25.00
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780307956675
Release: 2.25.2014
Family & Relationships - Parenting

The Perfect Score Project is an indispensable guide to acing the SAT – as well as the affecting story of a single mom’s quest to light a fire under her teenage son.

It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT.  Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided – on his behalf -- to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.

Debbie’s quest turned out to be an exercise in both hilarity and heartbreak as she took the SAT seven times in one year and in-between “went to school” on standardized testing.  Here, she reveals why the SAT has become so important, the cottage industries it has spawned, what really works in preparing for the test and what is a waste of time.

Both a toolbox of fresh tips and an amusing snapshot of parental love and wisdom colliding with teenage apathy, The Perfect Score Project rivets. In the book Debbie does it all: wrestles with Kaplan and Princeton Review, enrolls in Kumon, navigates, meets regularly with a premier grammar coach, takes a battery of intelligence tests, and even cadges free lessons from the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) test prep company.

Along the way she answers the questions that plague every test-prep rookie, including: “When do I start?”...”Do the brand-name test prep services really deliver?”...”Which should I go with: a tutor, an SAT class, or self study?”...”Does test location really matter?” … “How do I find the right tutor?”…How do SAT scores affect merit aid?”... and “What’s the one thing I need to know?”

The Perfect Score Project’s combination of charm, authority, and unexpected poignancy makes it one of the most compulsively readable guides to SAT test prep ever – and a book that will make you think hard about what really matters.

 My Impressions: 

With my daughter about to start High School and wanting to prepare for the ACT and SAT’s I knew this was going to be the perfect book to read. There is so much material out there for kids to sort through when preparing to take these tests I have wished  on several occasions  if I only I knew someone that could simply the process and let me know what does and does not work in the real world of taking these tests-now I have that person. I was blown away that Debbie took so many tests (7) just to help her own child succeed.  This book is packed full of useful advise that I never even would have thought of.  There are tips of taking every style of SAT they can through at you including how to study and take the math sections, English, writing prompt and even tips on what days to take your test! I loved that she shared her failures and not just her successes. That she shared her thought process,fears and insecurities made this book very relatable. This book reads like a how to guide that is informative,helpful and inspiring. Full of wisdom, and laughter that both student and parent can enjoy.
Amazon Review
SAT Advise from Debbie
Goodreads Review


Debbie Stier is the author of the forthcoming book, The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT. A veteran of the book publishing industry, she was responsible for publicizing dozens of iconic books ranging from The Notebook to Marley and Me. Frequently covered by the media, including MediaBistro, New York Observor and New York Magazine, Debbie regularly speaks on topic pertaining to social media and technology as well as, most recently, standardized testing. She lives with her son and daughter in New York City, but you can find her writing daily advice about education and SAT test prep at

What I Love About Drake Jan 2014

Favorite Quote:  "I wanna keep it in my own privacy." This was in response to your dad asking you why you hit him. It took everything inside of my not to laugh and keep a straight face.

Scripture Verse: Ephesians 6: 1-4
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
What has impressed me most about you this month: Your persistence to keep at things till you get them done. The rewards are slow coming, but they are there.Your temper, believe it or not, has gotten ALOT better over the course of last year. Your reading has improved dramatically. You are actually listening and not throwing huge temper tantrums anymore, basically you are growing up! You are becoming more polite and well mannered on most occasions,you talk back less, you are more patient and attempt things more often on your own before asking for help or becoming frustrated.I have seen a big leap from last month to this month even.

Favorite Photo: (you in the train)
Where I hope to see you grow:  In obedience. You are a strong willed child and it takes a serious act of congress to get you to listen and obey sometimes. Someday you are eager to do anything that is requested of you with no attitude, other days I feel like I have to whoop you to get you to listen without sticking your tongue out at me or lippin off under your breathe when you think I cannot hear or see you. We have had many discussions about this, you have received a few whooping over this and tasted the soap bar a few times as well for the things that have come out of your mouth. Plus, you are now learning the art of lying which is irritating me to no end.
Favorite thing we are doing this month:
1.Road Trip- This month we took a weekend road trip to Nacogdoches. We went to the zoo and you got to chase peacocks around,collect feathers and ride a real mini train around the whole zoo. It was pretty awesome. You liked the bats, the 2 toe sloth, and the dragon they had. We also went by the college, Stephen F. Austin and went to Davey Crockett National Forest. All in all it was a pretty good weekend road trip. 

2.  Reading- Lately one of my favorite things to do with you has been to cuddle up at night and let you read to me! Yeppers you are finally getting the hang of reading and enjoy reading to every night. You normally have 5-7 books you pull out of your bag that are about 20 pages long that you read to me. I have never seen you look more proud than  I have this last month with your new talent. This has been a bumpy year with school and you are struggling,but you are making progress and every time you learn to read a new book you get this wonderful light in your eyes and I can see pride radiating off of you. 

3.  Bible Study- I have started doing a bible study with you this month and I enjoy seeing through your eyes in what we are studying and how you feel it affects our world and your family. We have only been at it for a couple of weeks,three nights a week,but you seem to enjoy it and ask me about when we do it next so all signs are positive.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I Love About Delaney Jan 2014

Favorite Quote: Everything with you right now is SWAG this and that and Don't judge me.Those are your two favorite sayings right now and its like they are on repeat!! Your little brother mimics everything you say so now there are 2 of you running around the house repeating the same things!I think your plan is to drive me crazy and it might be working.

Scripture Verse:
“The most important is ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:28-31, ESV; see Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18)

What has impressed me most about you this month:  This has been a hard month for you. You have had boyfriend issues galore, friends wiggin out on you, loss of friends for unexplained reasons, and to top it off you are still struggling to discover who you are as in individual and if you belong to God or not,or if you even believe anymore. I have tried very hard to keep communications open with you and not to judge or tell you how you need to feel or do,but I am really trying to let you come to your own conclusions and be there for guidance. Through it all though you have kept a mostly positive attitude, seeking ways to make things better instead of worse, and you have not shut down on me. At least not totally. You are still trying to express yourself in healthy ways without getting overly depressed and without resorting to old ways of dealing with your emotions. You are maturing and learning to verbally express your wants and needs at least to a small extent. You have along way to go still, but you trying and small progress is better than none.

Favorite Photo: (us at dairy queen)

Where I hope to see you grow:  In your self worth. I do not think that you value who you are in Christ and how incredibly special you are. You are struggling greatly with your body image, faith, your relationship with Christ and with what His word says is sinful and not acceptable. You have lost your identity and I firmly believe it has alot to do with the company you are keeping. You are allowing unbelieving,  immoral people(not bad people) to corrupt you and worse you are blind to the influence that they are having in your thought process, your relationships with family, friends and most importantly Christ.You feel you were born a certain way and that God created you that way,with no choice in the matter,so why would it be a sin to act upon those feelings that you feel He gave you.  I try to bring you back to scripture, let you know feelings are fleeting, but Gods word is consistent and unchangeable, regardless of our feelings. Sadly, the confusion you are dealing with has led to depression, self harm and a broken relationship with your Creator. You are lost and the harder I try to pull you back the more you fight against it, and the farther away you fall. I am torn between knowing what the gospel says and my love for you.  I can only give it to God, be prayerful for you, and hope that He answers my prayers quickly and turns your heart around back towards Him and His truth. It is incredibly hard to deal with emotions and feelings that seem to go against everything God says, but I implore to God on your behalf that He lefts you see His truth in the situation and gives you a peace that surpasses all understanding that allows you to stand firm in Him and not in this world. I want nothing more that to see my baby girl back in love with her creator and father, following Him and His plan for your life.

Favorite thing we are doing this month:

1. Boys-You have your head in the clouds over all these boys that you like and that like you. I feel like I am running a marathon trying to keep up with you. You are still dating Chris, but you never see him and instead want to go and see other boys. Confuses me and has lead to ALOT of talks on dating, boys, respect, proper relationships and so many other topics.

2.Things Like this: Delaney McDonald
1. Full name: Delaney Lotus McDonald (Blegh)
2. Current crush: Alex oops sorrynotsorry
3. Addiction: Wanting to help people through problems. (Oh.)
4. Relationship status: I don't even know at this point. (Ugh)
5. Whose cute that lms: Alex (Again. lmao)
6. Girls I trust: Jessica, Celeste, Kitty, Jazmine, and Cheyenne
7. Boys I trust: Alex, Justin, Kyle, Jake, and Jack!!!!
8. Favorite color: Black (Black ish meh happeh colour)
9. Confession: I have social anxiety (Sigh...)
10. Who I miss: Chris (You should stop ignoring meh fgt!!)
11. Someone who is always there for me: Alex (Hehehe)
12. Last text: Alex (Am I putting your name in here too much???)
13. Who makes me laugh that lms: Jessica (Mah bb girl ♥)
14. Who makes me smile: Aiden (lmao :3)
15. What song I’m listening to: Papa Roach - Forever
16. Someone I love: I love meh best friend Mason cause he's fab.
17. What I want to be when I'm older: Artist, actress, or writer (2Fab4Chu)
18. My favorite song: BOTDF - wonderland
19. Last thing I ate: Bacon
20. What were you doing at 12 am last night: Thinking as usual. . . . .

3. Nacogdoches Trip: This is my birthday gift to you. A trip to see one of your best friends-Alex. Sadly, he cancelled on you claiming to be sick,although I am not buying it.Either way we had a good time. You got to almost pet a peacock, but your brother would not stop chasing them so instead you just got agitated with him. You did get to ride a train which I think you enjoyed-hard to tell sometimes.We went to the Davey Crockett National Forest and were disappointed by how much of it was closed off due to previous floods and fires.We ate out ALOT which you really enjoyed especially since it involved ice cream-your favorite non food item. You said you enjoyed the trip and it was fun to get out for the weekend so I am glad for that at least.. Next road trip will be better.

4.Your Birthday- Of course this had to make the list you are after all 14 only once in your life ;) We went and celebrated at Olive Garden  and then back to our house for some home made apple pie! I  got you tickets to the Vans Warped Tour in June with your brother Matthew and tons of band shirts courtesy of Matthew.You also got tons of candy and some money. Plus best off all, did I mention I cooked you an apple pie? Just checking.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter

Sheepwalkers Daughter

~About the Book~
Author: Sydney Avey
Publisher:  HopeSprings Books
Pages: 220 pp.

Chick Lit
A Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter’s father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora send money every month to the Basque Relief Agency? Why is her own daughter so secretive about her soon-to-be published book? And what does an Anglican priest know that he isn’t telling? All this head-spinning breaks a long, dry period in Dee’s life. She might just as well lose her job and see where the counsel of her new spiritual advisor and the attentions of an enigmatic ex-coworker lead her.

~My Impressions~

Sydney Avey’s debut novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, was a wonderful find. I adored this story of a post WWII family trying to uncover family secrets in an attempt to find their own identity each without letting the other know. This book takes you on a journey with a family that has been drawn apart over the years when a mother and father decide to go separate ways searching for the great American Dream during the California gold rush. Untimely their decisions have set into motions generations of unsettled souls, lost looking to fill the hole of isolation left inside of them by family secrets. Right when you think you have the story figured out and you know the outcome, the author takes you for a spin and lands you someplace unexpected.

Great character development that comes out gradually though the story to keep you hooked into the lives of Dolores and Leora.Sydney does a delightful job weaving together themes of hope, resurrection of dreams, rekindled love and forgiveness. This is an easy book to recommend.

~Fabulous Links~
Author Website: Syndey Avey
Order The Sheep Walker’s Daughter

Comment on the linked blog post for a chance to win an audiobook of “The Sheep Walker’s Daughter”:

~About the Author~

Sydney Avey lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non-profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
Sydney blogs at on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life. Her novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, will be released from Hope Springs Books,  Chalfont House in December 2013.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hope Springs Books in exchange for my honest review through Book Crash.

Friday, January 24, 2014


ByLisi Harrison (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Pretenders #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Poppy on October 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher  Amazon • Goodreads

 It takes place at a high school in New Jersey. Summer is over. Sophomore year begins tomorrow. Outfits are being planned. Lunch buddies are being secured. Texts are flying. All seems normal when…ping! Everyone in the sophomore class gets an email.

SUBJECT: The Phoenix Five: License To Spill.

Attached is a mega document.

A letter from a mysterious student starts the book. It explains that at the end of each year the school yearbook- The Phoenix- names the five most outstanding freshman. She (or he) always suspected that last years’ five (3 girls, 2 boys) were phonies. She (or he) always thought they tried too hard to be popular. But she (or he) never had the proof. Until now. She (or he) stole the secret diaries they were asked to keep by their English teacher. She (or he) has compiled them into a book.

This is that book.

~My Impressions~
When I first read the synopsis on this book I knew I had to have it. What’s not to love about a book that exposes all the secrets of high school teens that are just trying to fit in and best yet-no one knows who told all their secrets!

The story is told in journal style by five very different teenagers with different styles who are writing about the nitty gritty of their lives: struggles, temptations, worries, fears, joys-everything. What I liked about this book were the different characters-the jock, the princess, the skater, homeschoolers etc. It kept the book interesting, especially as you read their thoughts and feelings and then see how they are perceived by the masses based on their outward front and how they all interact with one another. We loved all the unexpected twists and turns the book took. I was a little afraid this book would be predictable and boring, but it is neither. This book is full of humor, intrigue and high school drama.

OK now for what I did not like. A couple of the characters were a little hard to get to know and to place inside the story. They seemed a little over the top for my taste. Also, the very weird and abrupt ending bothered me greatly. It’s like she passed her deadline and had to end the book right then and there. It left me going "Hu? What is that it?" Other than that one hiccup though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book as did my 14 year old daughter. We cannot wait for the follow-up!

Follow Lisa on Twitter:
~About the Author~ 
 Lisi Harrison is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling series "The Clique". Lisi was born in Canada, and lived in NYC for a while at MTV. She now lives in Laguna Beach, CA.
Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...

I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, reality TV is scripted, body parts get upgraded like software, and even professional athletes are cheating. The things we believe in aren't real.

We are pretenders.
- See more at:
Three girls, two guys, five secret journals.

The five most popular students at Noble High have secrets to hide; secrets they wrote down in their journals. Now one of their own exposes the private entries...

I am leaking these because I'm tired and I know you are too. The success bar is too high and pretending has become the only way to reach it. Instagrams are filtered, Facebook profiles are embellished, photos are shopped, reality TV is scripted, body parts get upgraded like software, and even professional athletes are cheating. The things we believe in aren't real.

We are pretenders.
- See more at: