Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review: Raising Boys By Design

Raising Boys By Design
What the Bible and brain science reveal about what your son needs to thrive
by: Gregory L. Jantz, PhD
and Michael Gurian

As a stay at home, home schooling mother of boys, I need all the help I can get raising the little blessings that God has blessed me with. 

Being a woman, trying to raise Godly young men has it's own set of challenges.  I don't 'get' boys.  
Fortunately, H.H. is a great dad and parenting partner.
He does 'get' boys, obviously, and helps me out as much as he can.

I have read a few books over the years to help me understand H.H., and many of those principles apply to my boys.  
However, in my role of home schooling mom, I often feel like I have been beating my head against a brick wall so to speak in a few areas. Ladies, I am surrounded by boys 
I love my sons and desperately want to do better by them than just keeping them alive until the day they move out.  Although some days, that seems like a very worthy and high achieving accomplishment.
 Can I get an 'Amen'?
So, when the opportunity came to get a free book about the very topic that my life is immersed in, I jumped at the chance to read it.  
Thank you very much Blogging for Books and Waterbrook, Multnomah Publishing. 
I absolutely love the cover art for this book. It is definitely a scene that has been witnessed in my house.  It also captures the joy and unbridled freedom and lack of inhibitions in the heart of a boy.
The title of this book also immediately appealed to me. Knowing that good things rarely happen by chance, but develop more out of intentional actions, I am interested in any tool available that will help me build good Christian character in my sons. Although the Bible is the best source for this guidance, I also look to professionals who have studied far more than I have, to provide some additional guidance. Initially, I was actually slightly put off by the psychological and scientific information that this book is based on. I have not previously heard of either of these authors, and as a Christian I am very leery of both of these professions. However, as I read the book, I was reassured over and over that these two authors genuinely seek to build up Godly young  men based on Biblical principles, not worldly mandates. Often times the authors made sure to stress that the science behind the way boys tick, lines up with Biblical truths. They even took a firm perspective against some popular secular psychological and scientific beliefs that contradict Biblical ideals.
I really appreciate the topics that the authors highlight in the book. They covered topics such as differences between boys vs. girls, the importance and difference in maternal and paternal influence, building a HERO, character and self-discipline, emotional health, sexuality, school, technology, Christian manhood, and rites of passage. Thoughtful questions and prompts towards action accompany each chapter.
I can see that this book highlights some of the most important aspects of developing an emotionally healthy, strong, young Christian man. As a stay at home mom who has the most hours of influence raising my boys, it gives me some guidelines on how I can intentionally influence my sons toward these good goals.
Although the text is a little on the dry side, I think it stems from the authors wanting to impart as much knowledge and fact as possible into the pages.  It is not a hard read, and it is packed with information and clearly written. It is my opinion that the information within the book is valuable and worth the time spent reading it.
In this current day and age where men and boys are often belittled, dumbed down by the media, or only admired for any feminine attributes they may display, it is great to have a book that is helping parents to challenge their boys to become Godly young men.  Strong, courageous, gentle and kind.
Men who can be leaders and champions. 
I am looking forward to using some of the tools in this book to help my sons become the hero's that God designed them to be. 
I can see this book being a part of my resource shelf for a very long time.

Did you like this review? Could you do me a favor and follow this link to rate my review? Thanks! Pin It

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Upcycled Vintage Cabinet

I want to share a recent project with you that I am really excited about. Please excuse the i-pad photo's.  It's what I had with me. 

                         Here's the upcycled vintage cabinet.

I am so pleased with how it turned out. One of the things I like best about it is that it was a collaborative effort with Hunky Hubby. I conned convinced him into helping me completely renovate this cabinet.
Here is a shot of the before:

This little cabinet had a bit of a 70's vibe going on.  The cabinet door fronts and spindles screamed outdated.  I could have thrown a coat of white paint on it and that alone would have improved it's look.  However I had bigger ambitions for this piece of furniture. 

I really love the rustic and shabby chic look.  I don't know what it is.  I kind of have a thing for antiques and vintage items.  Not all vintage items, but some.  
I had a purpose for this cabinet that fueled my design. I needed a cabinet to put in a local store to display some of my kitschy crafty notions for sale. 
So I tried to share my vision with H.H. and together we transformed this dated beast into a lovely and eye catching piece of furniture. 
Here's a little break down of what happened:

Hunky hubby replaced those ugly spindles with a new original design.  We also increased the space between the cabinet and the shelf.  I gave the original cabinet a coat or three of paint and distressed it. H.H. built a base for the cabinet to sit on so it no longer hugged the floor.

H.H. found some old galvanized steel roofing material to use as a back for the whole piece.  Then we found some cast off pieces of wood from the wood shop at camp and recovered the top of that cabinet. I chose a herringbone pattern that looks really nice with the different colors and tones of wood.  

To add a little color and texture and an element of surprise I modge-podged some chevron scrapbook paper into the top shelf. If you look closely you may see the old burlap coffee sacks that were modge-podged onto the sides of the interior of the bottom cabinet. We also built the super cute bins you see on the bottom shelf. 

I needed hooks to be able to display the hooded towels that I make.  I wanted something creative and more importantly cheap.  Well, most importantly, it had to go along with the 'look' of the whole piece.  So I hopped over to the local thrift store and bought some forks. Yep, forks.  I hammered them straight and bent them up.  I love the look and the element they add.  

I have no idea if any of my crafts will sell. Building this cabinet with H.H. was so much fun, I don't really care. It gave me a great excuse to make an awesome piece of furniture and I couldn't have done it without my husbands' expertise.  I know there are a lot of women who can use power tools all by themselves, but I don't want to be one of them!  I love to have an excuse to work alongside my man. 

If you happen to be in the local area, pop into Natural Living and check out the cabinet for yourself.  You'll probably love it as much as I do.  It's one of a kind!

Pin It