Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Snake Oil, Prayer and Feingold

A Modern Fairy Tale...with a happy ending.

Once upon a time there was a woman who had a degree in early childhood development. She had years of experience teaching children, potty training children, birthing children and raising children. She and her amazingly patient husband were blessed with a 4th little boy. This little boy always seemed "different" from her other children and her friend's children. She was puzzled. She tried everything in her power to figure out what made this child tick, explode or find joy. He had numerous quirks about him that were affecting her whole family. He cried at every bath, grocery shopping trip, in cold weather, in loud noises, and was generally miserable throughout the day. He was angry, he bit people, he pulled hair, cried randomly, potty trained late, avoided eye contact and had many repetitive behaviors that worried his mother. Mealtimes were mini-nightmares, food was everywhere but in this child's mouth. She wondered, would he ever grow out of his highchair? His mother prayed, read books, sought out experts, asked friends, and endured months of what, why and how to deal with this?

Her best coping method was agoraphobia. It was much easier to never leave the house. That got old very quickly. Her husband was a skilled shopper, at least they had food. Going to church was a major effort. They always sat in the back row, in case they needed a quick exit. Getting babysitters became a rare event. Dates with her husband were reserved for really special times, like anniversaries.

After reading numerous books and eliminating autism, she finally found a name for this: Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder. The names have changed, but the symptoms are similar. This little boy's nervous system reacted differently to external stimuli. Cold, heat, pressure, noises, and transitions caused him to loose control of himself. Things sent him into fight or flight, which put him in danger daily. His worried mother learned to navigate the triggers that brought upon the 'melt downs'. She and her husband prayed. They were desperate. They were seeking out what was best for this child. Did he need expensive therapists? Did he need a special classroom? Did he need medication? Could we cast this out in prayer? One thing his mother did know, is she didn't want to fall for any false cure or 'snake oil'.

When the neurologist suggested further testing for the alphabet soup diagnosis that he suspected, she balked. The thought of her little 3 year-old in the hands of psychologists and therapists for a total of 9 hours, just didn't put her at ease. When her pediatrician recommended counseling, she lost faith in him. She couldn't grasp how any 3 year-old could be counseled not to have outbursts. She knew if she could talk a three year old into not behaving a certain way, she'd be on Oprah. She would be famous and sell millions of her books about how to make your three year-old obey every time. 

She argued with insurance companies, and eventually realized: Just like when she took her older children's education in her own hands, she was on her own with this, too. After learning about the benefits of occupational therapy, she faithfully did activities from the books, The Out of Sync Child and The Out Of Sync Child Has Fun. She religiously gave him omega oils. She was rigid about sleep times and getting outside for fresh air. She enrolled him in a private preschool as not to isolate him from others. She never denied that there was something going on, yet she held him to a standard of behavior. She didn't use his 'issues' to excuse his numerous mischief exploits.

She bit her tongue when well meaning loved ones said, "He's just a boy." She knew boys, this was more than a boy issue. Admitting that your child has something wrong was scary and liberating for her. Naming the elephant in the room was the first step in getting it out. This elephant began controlling her life. Every decision, plan and move made was done in light of  "will this work around the elephant?" Her faith and determination were not enough. Something had to change.

With all of the efforts she was making, she still felt, she was going backwards. Why were some days great, while others made her want to curl up in a ball and cry? She started to have a vision for the future and it wasn't hopeful. At times, she found comfort in the word of God. 2 Timothy 1:7 was her promise. She had a little hope, but still some rough days.

She came across a homeschooling forum with a post discussing a diet called Feingold. Some posts strongly talked against it. Some couldn't say enough about it. She went to the website and began reading the first fifty pages of their book for free. Because she was too cheap to order the book, she found it at her local library.

It took some humbling for her to even check the book out; "Why Can't My Child Behave? by Jane Hersey. She was a Christian mom who believed in training her children in godly character. She was a failure in the first few years, no parenting tactics worked with this little one.  Nevertheless, she devoured this book about allergist Benjamin Feingold and his discovery of an allergy diet that helped children with other problems besides food issues.

Stay tuned for part two, the happy ending. This is the first of a series of posts as I share our experience with the Feingold diet.

Thanks for stopping by,

I share some tips about starting the diet here.

***Disclaimers Galore***
Any similarities to people in this story are purely intentional. The identities have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent alike. If you can relate to the nice lady in the story, I encourage you to visit There are testimonies of families who have been greatly helped by this diet. I am not being paid by the Feingold Association for this story. In fact, I lifted this image below from their website while hoping they won't mind. This post is not to be construed as medical advice, I am a nursing school dropout who reads books. I am not qualified to offer any medical advice, the only thing I have in common with  physicians is messy handwriting.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are You Out of Gas?

After I left the used curriculum sale today, I noticed in the middle of an intersection a car stalled out. It's owner was on the side of the road texting. Apparently, she had run out of gas. She wasn't the first out of gas driver I have seen lately. With fill-ups costing $40 to $60, it's easy to postpone the dreaded trip to the gas station.

Empty by Kristel-rae Barton
I thought about our used curriculum sale. There were so many great resources available. It was like a gourmet meal. The tables were filled with so many expensive, excellent resources priced fairly. It was a tightwad homeschooling mom's dream. Yet, not many were partaking. Why?

I thought about my homeschooling experience. When the spring of 2011 approached, I ran out of gas. I was in need of a major tune-up, an over haul and basic maintenance. But that cancer, a job, outside commitments and life had a way of keeping me from filling up. I was like the girl on the side of the road. I waited too long to refuel.

I thought about the things I chose to do to keep my engine running. It was one of the main reasons I passed by those bargains on the tables today. I have to be picky about spending my homeschooling fuel. There isn't as much in my time budget as there used to be. I need to spend and travel wisely.

Thankfully due to these few changes, my engine will keep running.
  • I enrolled Random in Monarch from Alpha Omega. The tracking of his progress and accountability has already re-energized both of us.
  • I have planned Paperboy's school year with classes that involve less of me. 
  • For the first time ever, we will be doing school over the summer. This will free up time for unexpected non-school days and keep us ahead of schedule. It will also give paperboy more time for his electrical apprenticeship. This is a radical change because I live for beach days
  • We will be doing literature based history over the summer. Using Truthquest guides and Read for the Heart, our whole family will study American History together.
  • Plants Grown Up and For Instructions in Righteousness will be our summer devotionals. Balancing the Sword and Apologia will be shelved for the summer.
  • Growing Healthy Homes will be a family affair. The summer fruits and vegetables available makes it the perfect time to cover this in depth.
Are you schooling this summer? Have you experienced running out of gas lately? I'd love to hear how you deal with it. 

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Multitudes on Monday, I just started

For months I have seen many great bloggers sharing their gratitude on their blog. I have been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I couldn't resist starting my list. I keep it in my purse, and jot gifts down whenever I can think of them. I decided not to copy them here, but share the immediate things I am thankful for.

  1. The cardinal that continued it's fashion show today.
  2. The ability to learn new things and those who are patient to teach me.
  3. Teenagers who still give hugs, even the 'Christian side hugs'.
  4. Boys talking about math together.
  5. Seven year-old boys and their zeal to pick dandelions.
  6. The husband who picks up the loose ends.
  7. The homeschool friends I have collected over the years.
  8. A washer and dryer, laundry to fold and clothes to choose from.
  9. Cuddling and reading to my Little Guy.
  10. A skilled surgeon.
  11. The gadgets that make my life easier.
  12. Proverbs and the clarity they bring.
  13. Adult chocolate.

I have endless things to be thankful for. You are cordially invited to share your list in the comments section below or on your blog. I'm joining with other thankful blogger over here. 

With google thanks,
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Marriage Monday: Poison Control Center

Did you know this week is national Poison Prevention Week?
In honor of that I would like to share some helpful advice.

Ten things that will poison your marriage:

First, I have to add a disclaimer to this post. I have not tried all of these poisons, only nine of them. Thankfully, I didn't ingest enough to cause death nor suffer long term effects from these toxic behaviors.
  1. Hang around with women who constantly belittle their husbands.
  2. Think of the money you both earn as separate. 
  3. Let the children play you against each other, this can last long into adulthood.
  4. Stop serving each other. 
  5. Ignore your personal appearance and practice poor hygiene. 
  6. Avoid dates or time alone. 
  7. Don't care about anything they deem important.  
  8. Spend too much time with your extended family and friends.
  9. Never forget past sins.
  10. Criticize at every opportunity, publicly will increase the speed of the toxicity.
If you feel like you need a detox. Don't despair. Things can change right now.

Here is my not-so-secret home remedy...

From the King James Bible, 1John 1:19:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Living this scripture will strengthen our marriages. Today's post is linked up with Marriage Monday. In my last Marriage Monday Post I talked about ten books that have helped my marriage.
Click below for more marriage encouragement.

I know there are things I have missed. Do you have any "must avoid poisons" in your home?  Leave a comment, you may be helping out a marriage.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unsolicited Advice and Celebrating Manhood

Today's post is a submission to the Parenting area of the Christian Home Magazine, from The Legacy of Home. This new magazine is published online each Monday by Mrs. White. The articles are fantastic and since it is online magazine, there is no clutter on the coffee table.

You may notice one thing about this blog. I am no expert in anything. You won't see my homemaking skills shared, my parenting skills on display, or my fantastic recipes. I am a Jill of all trades blogger and master of nothing. I can only say that I do have a little experience raising boys. I certainly don't feel like my life could be a reference point or consider myself one who could guide others to parental nirvana. I fully agree with the mandate from the word of God. In Titus 2:4, the older women are called to teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children, so that the word of God may not be maligned. Some do this in person in the local church and some have the gift to do this online in the form of a blog.

Some parenting blogs, offer excellent advice. Now if these parents have raised their children through the unpredictable teen years and have had a little success, I may lean my ear towards them. I may listen to them and become a little jealous. I may even follow some of their advice. I may read their book and then quickly burn it. Or perhaps give it to a sister from church who really needs it.

Today I am going to go out on a limb today and offer some unsolicited advice.

Before I give it to you, let me share with you my qualifications.
I have 4 sons. They are 26, 15, 13, and 6.
That means I birthed a child in the 80's, 2 in the 90's and my last in the 2000's.
I used to read Parents magazine in the 80's. I was a rookie. I wanted advice. I needed it.
I don't read Parents Magazine anymore.
It makes me scared.
Scared? Scared of what?
I am scared of the sissification of this generation.
If I open this magazine, I will worry.
Diseases will scare me.
Bullies will scare me.
A.D.H.D. will scare me.
Toxic toys from China scare me
Hooded sweatshirts will scare me.
Playground dangers will scare me.
My laundry soap will scare me.
This magazine will put any one on guard for the million dangers your child will be exposed to.

As a homeschool mom with no television, I have been criticized for 'sheltering my children'. They are right. I do shelter my kids from spiritual dangers. With Little Guy, I am the food police who reads every label, avoiding additives and artificial flavors. I do shelter him from poor nutrition. But when it comes to the nature of boys, I am not strong enough to protect them, nor do I choose to.

My boys built their own tree house. In the past, when we had families over to visit, I over-heard a parent warn their not-so-little one.

"Don't go up there."

I felt sorry for that kid. Trees are for climbing. The forbidden tree fort loomed over their heads all day. I bet he felt a little like Eve.

This tree fort was a badge of honor. The satisfaction my boys received from collecting and carrying their own plywood 30 feet up a tree and hammering it in themselves, cannot be matched by anything. My husband, a former motorcycle rider and habitual risk taker, goes up occasionally to check for lose nails and safety hazards. He doesn't offer to help the boys, he's just the building inspector.

I did have to call the inspector out one time. Random and Raperboy created a "dumb waiter" and lifted Little Guy up in a milk crate. Little Guy was about three. I happened to look out the kitchen window. It was too late, he was already hoisted up. The Gman had to carry him down, safely. Thankfully, no one was injured, just my heart, it skipped a few beats.

Boys are naturally risk takers. Playgrounds have equipment that is very inviting. Why do we think they will climb on it the way it was designed to be used? They want to climb each and every piece of it. Please let them do this. Some day they will be men who have to climb ladders to string up lights all over their homes for their Martha Stewart-like wives. They need to take chances and risks early. They need to boost their confidence today.  If they are entering school, they will be told to sit down, shut up and color like a girl. We have to counteract this at home. We must let them take chances, climb ladders, swim over their heads, ride their bikes away from our yards and challenge themselves.

Where was my oldest son the night of September 11, 2001? He was having dinner with a Marine recruiter. He was weighing the risks. He decided against it for a while. When he eventually joined the Marine Corps and I shared the news with friends, I often heard audible groans of fear. Gee, thanks for the encouragement.

I can honestly say, I was not afraid. I had often thought about the dangers that young men face at home. Drunk drivers, foolish choices and general recklessness was already here stateside. I was confident of God's hand to move in behalf of my son. My son survived his five-year commitment to the Marine Corps with only a few hazards. He experienced his worst sunburn ever overseas and fought a terrible rash from some exotic plant on the coast of California. 

Are you blessed with a boy in your home? Do him a favor this spring, cheer him on when he takes a chance. Buy him some tools.  Let's celebrate manliness.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

A movie review: Gifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story

Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr., stars in this true story, Gifted Hands, about a renowned brain surgeon who overcame obstacles to change the course of medicine forever.
Young Ben Carson didn't have much of a chance. Growing up in a broken home amongst poverty and prejudice, his grades suffered and his temper flared. And yet, his mother (Kimberly Elise) never lost her faith in him. Insisting he follow the opportunities she never had, she helped to grow his imagination, intelligence and, most importantly, his belief in himself. That faith would be his gift, the thing that would drive him to follow his dream of becoming one of the world's leading neurosurgeons.

This was an excellent movie to watch with my boys. A few summers ago, a friend had passed around the book and we loved it. I had forgotten many of the details, but since Random and Paperboy have a better memory than I, they could predict some scenes. From what I remember, it remained true to the book. I felt it did an excellent job showing the emotions that young Ben had during key times in his life. I consider it a must see movie, a five star film, a gem because it kept me awake for the whole movie. I only closed my eyes during the surgery scenes, seeing blood does queasy things to my stomach.

This movie did something to Random that all of our lectures could never have done. He acknowledged the importance of a great education and how it must be aimed for. He applauded the mother for her strict standards and change of heart. She had became intentional with her parenting. I guess you could say her child training was not like our homeschooling adventure, an accident. It has given all of us some things to ponder. As I was tucking in Random, we prayed about this and I believe God will continue using this man's example to touch our lives.

Have you seen a movie that has had an impact on your family? Or even one that was so well made that you stayed awake through the whole thing? 

If you haven't had a chance to watch this movie, I recommended getting the book by the same title first. You won't be disappointed. 

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude Challenge: The Condensed Version, part 1

Some bloggers from the homeschool review crew are participating in the 2010 Gratitude Challenge. In this meme, they post each day about something they are grateful for. I don't want to appear ungrateful, I know I have so many things to be thankful for. I am a team player but...My A.D.D. will not allow me to stick to one task for a whole month. I figured I could share a 1/2 of month of gratitude in a single post. It is a procrastinator's fast forward version of it.

    What a great guy he is to play in the woods
    with his kids, and so handsome.
    1. I am immensely thankful for my wonderful husband. You may not hear about him much here. He suffers from a malady which I have invented. The diagnosis is B.F.A.  Blogger Fodder Avoidance. He is kind of shy, until you get to know him. He's not ready to meet others in the blogosphere, so I break the unwritten code of not talking about him on my blog only occasionally. Hi Honey!
    2. I am thankful for my little guy's sense of humor. Last night his praise for my lasagna still gets a giggle from me. "Lasagna in the highest!"
    3. I am thankful for the game "Guess Who?" This game has offered us hours of fun with my littlest. He is beating me daily in this game, I'm thankful that it has replaced Trouble as the game of choice. I was beginning to get annoyed at the popping noise the dice made.
    4. I am thankful for my neighbor. He rescued me at the grocery store as I sadly stared at my car keys that were sitting in my locked car.
    5. I am thankful that I locked my keys in my car. I had a chance to hang out in front of the grocery store and chat with an old friend. What a lost art. Sitting and talking.
    6. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach my sons at home. It has been a good week. o.k. the whole 2 days of it. The memories of my melt down terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day two weeks ago are repressed.
    7. Oh, I can't forget to mention my friends who voted for me in the HSBA post thrifty blogger award. I can't wait until the voting closes. Then I can stop begging for votes. Thank you. And if you procrastinate like me and head over today and vote, i will be even more thankful.
    8. I am grateful for God's provision. As I finally accepted summer's end, pulled down our winter things and put up our summer clothes, I know I am blessed. The black winter coat Random was hoping for materialized. We have enough clothes for about ten boys.
    9. I am thankful for our Art curriculum, Feed My Sheep. This is something I enjoy learning along with my kids.
    10. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet Saundra and Barry Stebbing. They hosted a 3 day workshop for our homeschool group. So many of us are inspired now. He takes art and breaks it down into a discipline, not a talent. I can be disciplined. The Stebbings, a neat couple stayed in our home. Their love for each other is something that really stood out to me. Saundra could lead an Excellent Wife bible study.
    11. My friend Sabie Babie, who turns 80 today is a person I am thankful to be friends with. She is been someone who blesses our whole family. She is also know to me as Bible Answer Woman, her love for the Word, people like me and the things of God is non-stop.
    12. Teenagers. I am so thankful for them. My kids and their friends have been such a blessing to my life. I can be assured that each day, they will give me something to laugh about. 
    13. My buddy Sue who has moved to Virginia is someone I am thankful for. She is one of the first friends I have led to the Lord. That was in 1986 and we still keep in touch. She made my day by calling me yesterday. She was so cute, she wanted to see if I won the thrifty blogger award. Believe me Sue, the whole world will hear about it if that happens. She is one of those people, who I have never heard utter an unkind word. She is a great example to me. She shared with me her homeschool experiences and she has been a great encouragement to my blogging.
    14. I'm so thankful for my in-laws in New Jersey. I married into a kind, loving, functional Christian family. My sister-in-law, who is unfamiliar with B.F.A, so kindly hosted the five of us for a long weekend. It was a special visit, a chance to catch up with all 3 of my very cool sister-in-laws. I especially enjoyed my brother-in-law's insight as a science and math teacher.
    15. Rod and Staff English 7 is a program I am feeling very thankful for. Perhaps those who are reading my blog will become the beneficiaries of my improved grammar. If I pay attention. I am thankful for those readers who are faithful keep reading no matter how painful it is..
    Now, I am only 1 day behind. What are you thankful for? If you don't have a blog, feel free to use mine. Leave a comment and tell me what you are particularly thankful for at this moment.

    I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    My faith in humanity has been restored

    I have to admit, I have been dwelling on the dark side. I have been thinking too much about problems, people, myself people with problems and all of the world's problems. It makes for poor sleep, bad attitudes and a short-fused Momma. The other day, I decided, the world is not as dark as I thought.

    I just returned from a great visit with my Dad and my step-mother or his wife in sunny Arizona. I can't stand the term step-mother for it's evil connotations throughout children's literature. I dislike calling her my Dad's wife, that is like a possession of his, it just doesn't sound right. I don't really want to call her by her first name, I feel it isn't respectful. So I call her Grandma because that is what she is to my boys. It's Pops and Grandma. Back to my visit to Pops and Grandma's.

    If you have read my blog for more than a week or so, you will know that I tend to owe the library money, often, like too often. They have now gotten to the point when I walk in, I think, they are rubbing their hands together. Especially when I check out a DVDs. In the world of serious budget cutbacks, they need me to forget to renew their silly DVDs. It's a dollar a day for late fees on a DVD. Just last night, they were laughing at my $2.30 fee. They know I wait until it gets over $10. Then I just write a check, and it's considered a tax deduction, or charitable giving. Back to my visit.

    One of the first things I do when I arrive in town is go to the local library. This library is top notch, even though I was informed by another home schooling mom in the area that is not the best one. Compared with my many small town libraries, this one is terrific. There are multiple copies of many books, a huge selection of  series fiction for Paperboy and even great Veggietale movies. I like to have books with me, it comforts me and gives the kids some thing to do when there is 'down time'.

    I was impressed at the check out. I scanned our books in a self-check out. It was just like the grocery store experience. I even got a printed receipt. Which little did I know would come in handy later on.

    Another fun thing happened at the check out. The librarian invited Little Guy to participate in craft and snack time. Little guy was able to make a sweet fishbowl picture with chalk, construction paper and glue. It was nice to bring home something for Grandma. Of course in my purse, I had no camera, but I did have a snack, that fits in with Little Guy's diet. It was poor, but great timing!

    Back to my library sins, my procrastination and my ability to inconvenience others. As I was packing, the hour before I was leaving for the airport, I carefully checked that each library book was in the return pile. Wait, there were three missing. Oh No! My dad looked everywhere, even checked the church. We called the restaurants we ate in. They were nowhere around. Wait! Maybe they were left the night Little Guy was an angel when we went out for pie. The night he slept with his head on the table because he was so jet lagged. I must have brought the books in there for him to read and forgot them. Diane, our fellow pie-eating friend, called. No books. I started feeling like a loser. Because, you know I am. I always lose things. But now I have shamed my father's name. I lost books checked out on his library card.

    He's a pretty gracious guy. While I am figuring how much a library edition of a discontinued  early reader desert book is going to cost me, Pops is still looking. He went to the library website, because he checks online first for anything he does, because he is a high tech Pops, and checked online for the titles. He has no books checked out. Apparently some kind soul, who I am eternally grateful to, had found the books and returned them to the library for me. He wanted to double check, so he stopped in to find out in person what happened. Yes, someone returned them. But you do have a fine from along time ago Mr. Pops. He being a good guy, felt bad, he had to pay his fines.

    Like father, like daughter.

    I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    The One Year Book Of Encouragement: A Review

    The One Year Book of Encouragement 
    by Harold Myra
    Cover: The One Year Book of Encouragement

    from the Publisher(Tyndale):
    The One Year Book of Encouragement is a collection of insights from assorted Christian authors, past and present—from Oswald Chambers and Philip Yancey to John Calvin and John Wesley. Draw encouragement every day from the wisdom of the ages with this One Year book—it’s bound to be a classic!

    From the reader(me):

    This devotional is just what it claims to be. This book contains short, timely admonitions from a variety of well-known Christian writers, authors and preachers. I began the book in the middle of it, the day after it arrived in the mail. I am kind of a technical reader, if it is dated I begin on the date I pick it up. I quickly, for review purposes read ahead of myself. Each daily devotional offers a story, a scripture, and a prayer or praise. If you have not been in the habit of using a devotional, it is a great tool, to keep yourself committed to Bible time in the morning.

    This book has quotes from a very diverse group of strong Christians. Corrie Ten Boom(my all time favorite), Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon, George MacDonald, and Joni Eareckson Tada are among the ones who offer insight. Harold Myra does a wonderful job in his treasure hunt for daily encouragement.

    It didn't add any earth shattering revelations to my morning time with God, which is fine with me. Before 8:00 a.m., I am not ready for it. It did offer a much needed new  perspective. Lately, I could use some encouragement. I plan to continue reading it until the end of the year.

    This large paperback book would make a great Christmas Gift, especially for someone who needs a challenge and a lift in their time alone with God. It is available from Tyndale Publishing, for $14.99. If the 384 pages is a little too thick for you, you can get it for your Kindle for $9.68 from

    This book was provided free to me for review purposes in exchange for my honest opinion.

    I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at