Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Book Club: Book Review of Flooded

Book Club: Book Review of Flooded; wavy clip art background; A Mom's Ques to Teach Logo

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Sometimes a book ends up proving to be more impactful than you thought it might be when you first read the title and description. This was the case for me when I began reading Flooded: The 5 Best Decisions to Make When Life is Hard and Doubt is Rising by Nicki Koziarz. My original reason behind selecting Flooded to read and review was because I was interested in reading more about Noah. I had no idea that the book would have so many relatable applications to my present-day life. 

In the 197-page paperback book, Nicki Koziarz presents five lessons we can learn from Noah and his interactions with God. When our hearts are heavy and there are difficult circumstances we must navigate, doubt enters our lives. Koziarz shares her own personal situations, which led to hopelessness and doubt, and presents five decisions we can make to help push doubt aside. I really appreciate Koziarz's openness in sharing both funny moments (like the escapes of their farm animals) and difficult moments (like the suicide of her brother). An author who is open and honest is most welcoming on a journey to self-improvement.

Book cover of Flooded

Content and Organization of Flooded 

Flooded is divided into five sections, with each focusing upon a different decision. 

  1. To Walk with God 
  2. To Listen to God 
  3. To Rise Above the Doubt 
  4. To Remember Who is in Charge 
  5. To Find the Familiar Faithfulness of God 
These units are then divided into three chapters each. This division makes for easy reading. Readers would probably skip around the book to read just the section they are interested in, but I think there is more value in reading Flooded from cover to cover. This is especially true as we follow the story of Noah from before the building of the Ark to the time when the land was dry and ready for Noah, his family, and the animals. 

"God's in charge of the plan; I'm in control of my obedience." Flooded by Nicki Koziarz; wavy clipart background; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

What Did I Think? 

From the appealing cover of Flooded to the heartfelt and honest stories shared by the author, I enjoyed reading this book. I personally struggle with doubt, so tools to help overcome that monster are most welcome. I appreciated that Koziarz spoke to the fact "a large portion of our world believes in God but does not consider the Bible absolute truth" (47) and shared the truth that not much has actually changed in the hearts of humans since the days of Noah. 

As someone who likes to know what is going to happen, to be in control, I enjoyed reading the reminder that we must let go and trust God. Even just the second decision, listening to God, can be difficult because "we don't know exactly where we're going" (60). It is not easy to remember that God knows what He is doing even we do not know. I find myself needing this reminder daily as I take care of my mom, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I need to put my trust in God, who is the one who is in charge. Much like the author, I find myself whispering, "Please, God, no more hard things" (107). 

I would recommend Flooded to those who are seeking help in a world of doubt. There is so much we can learn from the life of Noah, even though his story may seem small in the Bible. We know he came from a long line of faithful-to-God men, was married with three sons, a farmer, and preached. Most of us today are probably not that different from Noah. Hopefully, through reading Flooded, we can rise above doubt and find the familiar faithfulness in God. 

Book Club: Book Review of Flooded; A Mom's Quest to Teach; book cover of Flooded

Monday, March 29, 2021

Book Club: Review of The Indebted Earl

 Book Club: Review of The Indebted Earl; sailboat clip art; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing the first two books in the Serendipity & Secrets series. So, I was very excited when I was chosen to read and review The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch. This Christian Regency romance picks up the story of Lady Sophia Haverly, whose brother was the focus of the second book, The Gentleman Spy, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. We find our second main character in a military hospital in Portugal, and his life quickly becomes entwined with Sophie even though they have not met.

The three books in the Serendipity & Secrets series

In all three books, we read about strong female characters and male characters who have expected challenges thrust upon them by circumstances. Throughout all the difficulties in the books, the characters do seek the strength that God provides them – even the darkest moments. Sophie loses her fiancé, finds herself thrown out of the home she had recently grown to love, and finds herself in love with three orphaned girls who are wards of the new Earl of Rothwell. When trying to decide what to do, Sophie pours out her heart to God and feels at peace knowing everything would be up to God. 

For the majority of The Indebted Earl, Captain Charles Wyvern, the new Earl of Rothwell, finds himself struggling with decisions. He promised Sophie's fiancé, Major Richardson, that he would look after Sophie's needs. How far should he go? Dare he allow his love for her to blossom? Would that be dishonoring the man who had saved his own life? Will he be able to personally care for his new wards, three orphaned girls, or will he send them away to a boarding school? Charles desperately wants to return to sea as a captain of a new ship but with the end of the war, this is not seeming like a possibility. But there are problems that pop up as Charles is offered a new commission: 

  • He has fallen in love with Sophie
  • He wants to take care of the three girls, and they are taking a liking to him 
  • He wants to do right by his new home and land
  • He is arrested on the suspicion of smuggling

"The Lord works in mysterious ways" Which was a phrase Mother only used when she felt the Lords way lined up with hers quote. Cover of The Indebted Earl; ericavetsch.com

What Do I Think? 

I really enjoyed The Indebted Earl. To be honest, this was my favorite of the three books. I enjoyed the strength of Sophie as she stood up for her fiancé's mother, Lady Mamie Richardson, on numerous occasions. As Lady Richardson struggles with memory problems, I loved reading of the change that took place in her under Sophie's care and the love of the three orphaned girls – Penelope, Dorothea, and Elizabeth Pembroke. Her love of both her deceased fiancé and her new husband is beautiful as both loves are completely different. I find Sophie – and all the characters – to be very real. 

Can I admit at times I wanted to smack Charles? How could he not see that Sophie loved him? But we wouldn't have a wonderful book by Erica Vetsch if there wasn't tension between the main characters. I was very pleased that Charles was trying to find the best solution to take care of all his new responsibilities, even while he was trying to still pursue his own dreams. And like so many times in life – both real and in fiction – love changes the dreams that people have for themselves.

Text: Book Club: Book Review of The Indebted Earl; book cover of The Indebted Earl

I would recommend The Indebted Earl. Is it necessary to read the books in order? I think you could probably read them out of order and still really enjoy them. The books are connected by the characters in each book but the stories are separate even though they all take place during the Regency period of English history. There are some events that will be given away if you read them out of order but you will still enjoy them. 

If you enjoy Christian fiction, Christian Romance, Regency fiction, or historical fiction, then The Indebted Earl is one that I would recommend you add to your to-read list. The romance that blossoms between Sophie and Charles is endearing as it grows. And their open arms for the three orphaned girls are encouraging that even when there are awful occurrences, sometimes things work about for the best.

Enter to win March 23 - April 20; The Indebted Earl on a kindle; contest

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Crafts: V is for Vacation

 Crafts: V is for Vacation; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; background vacation clipart

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Learning the letters is such an important step for our children. Creating fun ways to reinforce their memory of the letters is one way we as parents can help them on their journey to become well-educated citizens. In this craft, our children used scrapbooking pictures to decorate the letter V to represent an imaginary vacation trip. 



1. Gather all your materials.

scissors, construction paper, glue stick, scrapbook paper

2. Either pre-cut the necessary components or have your children cut the letter and pieces you will need to include on your craft. 

3. Glue the letter onto the construction paper. 

gluing on the letter v

4. Ask your children to pick out the images they will use on their craft. 

scrapbook paper images of trains, planes, suitcases

5. Glue the vacation images onto the letter. 

gluing scrapbook travel images onto a large letter v

6. Display the craft when the glue is dry. 

Crafts V is for Vacation A Mom's Quest to Teach; V craft; suitcase clip art

You can easily tie this craft into a discussion of an upcoming vacation or looking through vacation photographs from the previous year or years. This V is for Vacation craft could also be used as part of a geography lesson where children would pick images from a specific country to place on their letter rather than just vacation-themed ones.  Personally, we love the geography lessons from Let's Go Geography which we reviewed in 2020. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Crafts: Penguin Paper Bag Puppet

Crafts: Penguin Paper Bag Puppet; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo; clip art penguin background

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

After reading Tacky the Penguin as part of our daughter's kindergarten curriculum from My Father's World, I couldn't help but want to make new paper bag puppets with our children. Our children love making paper bag puppets such as a shark or even Wonder Woman. So, they were very excited to see this new craft endeavor.

Facts About Penguins 

  • Flightless bird 
  • Penguins all live on the southern half of the earth - around Antarctica, New Zealand, along the coast of part of South American, Africa, and Australia 
  • Largest penguins are the Emperor Penguin – they can grow up to 3-1/2 feet tall and weigh more than 90 pounds
  • Smallest Penguins are the Little Blue Penguin – they can grow to about 16 inches tall and weigh less than 2-1/5 pounds
  • Penguins feathers are small and tightly packed together which aid them in swimming 
  • The colors of the penguin – black and white – help it camouflage in the water – the dark top blends in with the dark of the ocean and the white belly blends in with the sky when predators look up underneath it towards the ocean surface 

Crafts: Penguin Paper Bag Puppet; A Mom's Quest to Teach; Penguin craft photo

Crafting the Penguin Puppet 



1. Gather all your materials. 

2. Paint or color the paper bag using your preferred method. We used Kwik Stix Paint Sticks to paint the paper bags because the paint would dry quickly and allow us to move on to the next step. 

painting a paper bag pink

3. After you have cut out all the pieces for the penguin, you are ready to start attaching the different pieces of construction paper. 

4. Glue on the body or chest of the penguin.

putting glue on white body piece of paper bag puppet penguin

5. Attach the wings to the penguin. 

gluing the wings of the paper bag puppet penguin

6. Attach the feet to the penguin. 

paper bag penguin puppet with wings, belly, and feet

7. Complete the penguin's face with the eyes and beak. 

Penguin paper bag puppet completed

8. After all the pieces have dried, the penguin puppet is ready for a puppet show. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Book Club: Book Review of Talking with Teens about Sexuality

Book Club: Book Review of Talking with Teens about Sexuality

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

One of the topics that can be quite challenging for parents to discuss with their children is sexuality. Just how does one have critical conversations with their children – especially their teens – when there is so much information available online? Parents can seek the advice of professionals such as Beth Robinson, a licensed professional counselor, and Latayne C. Scott, who has written more than two dozen books. In their latest book, Talking with Teens about Sexuality: Critical Conversations about Social Media, Gender Identity, Same-Sex Attraction, Pornography, Purity, Dating, Etc., parents will find a very well-organized Biblical approach to have open and honest conversations with their teens. 

I have previously read and reviewed Robinson and Scott's book, Protecting Your Child from Predators (also published by Bethany House Publishers), prior to selecting this book to read and review. I think, with both of these books in hand, parents will be well equipped to sit down with their children and tackle what are often seen as difficult and scary conversations. If you are looking for something specific, you can look through the table of contents of Talking with Teens about Sexuality, rather than reading the book cover to cover. Personally, I started at the beginning, but I was then curious as to the point of view that Robinson and Scott had regarding several topics from later in the book. So, I skipped around a bit. 

Book Club: Book Review of Talking with Teens about Sexuality; book cover of Talking with Teens about Sexuality; A Mom's Quest to Teach

What Can You Expect? 

This 203-paperback book will help you see just why you don't understand the world in which your teen is living in regards to sexuality. Things are different than when we were young, even if we don't want to admit it. As the back of the book states: "Drs. Robinson and Scott provide scientifically reliable and biblically-based information about gender fluidity, types of intimacy, online dangers, setting boundaries, and much more." Our children have questions, and if we don't provide them with answers or help them seek answers, then they will find those answers elsewhere. Those people or places may not align with what we believe. So, we need to be ready to talk with our teens about sexuality. 

Divided into fourteen chapters with a recommended resources lists in the back, parents will find scientifically-based information, references to Scripture, and questions to help explore with their teens. There are personal stories shared from the experience of both authors, as well as questions that parents can ask themselves so they can discover just what they know and think about each topic. For example, readers will discover that teens probably don't have a firm understanding of social and relationship skills as most of their communication is done via texting or online.  

book cover of Talking with Teens about Sexuality

What Do I Think? 

I must admit I was concerned when I started reviewing Talking with Teens about Sexuality because I didn't want this book to turn about to be too steeped in the culture of today. I was very happy to see direct references to the Bible and what God wants and expects of us and our teens when it comes to sexuality. I truly appreciate reading this sentence in chapter two: "I'm assuming you have and want Christian values and a Christian lifestyle, but finding a way to first make those part of your own heart-thinking can be difficult" (23). This was the start of a chapter that addresses four foundational issues for Christian parents. And the chapter closes (before conversation starter questions for our teens) with a reminder that we, as parents, have the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God behind us. "You can do this" (31). 

I would recommend Talking with Teens about Sexuality to Christian parents who wish to raise their children according to God's wishes and not the wishes of today's world. It is not an easy task when so much of what our teens see every day does not always align with God's teaching but books like this one are so helpful in parenting our children. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Book Club: Book Review of Brave by Sissy Goff

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club: Book Review of Brave  A Teen's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety; potted plant, book, leaf clipart

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Having read and reviewed Raising Worry-Free Girls and Braver, Stronger, Smarter, both by Sissy Goff, on my blog previously, I was excited to read and review Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety. Written to address the worrying nature of teenage girls, Brave is divided into three sections to help your daughter navigate their daily worries. 

As someone who suffers from anxiety and tends to worry a lot, I appreciate that authors like Sissy Goff are taking an approach to help teenage girls work through their own worries and anxieties. The first book I reviewed was geared towards parents, the second one was for elementary-aged girls, and now Brave is for teens. As with any books, I would highly recommend you read them before you hand them over to your children. 

Book Club: Book Review of Brave; A Mom's Quest to Teach Brave book cover

A Bit About Brave 

Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety is a 189-page paperback book divided into three sections: Understanding, Help, and Hope. The book is further divided into chapters which each end with a summary or "a few brave things to remember." Throughout the book, there is room to write down answers to questions the author asks of her teenage reader.

Sissy Goff writes Brave in a very conversational way as if she were sitting in an office with the reader. She presents examples from her time as a counselor at Daystar Counseling Ministries, as well as examples from her own life. From the opening chapters, which examine definitions and look inward to understand one's own worries and anxieties, to the closing chapters where Goff reminds readers to trust God, there is a lot of valuable and good information.

Some of the specific topics discussed include:

  • The differences between flight, fight, and freeze responses to worry
  • How teens can train their body to respond to worry differently
  • The ways in which worry tries to trick someone
  • How to develop tools to fight worry
  • Places in the Bible to find hope

Brave book cover

What Did I Think? 

I was excited to read this third book by Sissy Goff as I found much valuable information in the previous two I read and reviewed. I don't know if it is a change in my own parenting expectations, a difference in the time period in which this book was written, or if there are other reasons, but I found more items of concern in Brave than in the other books. I still think it is an important book, but I would not just hand it to my daughter (when she becomes a teen). 

Every Christian may have different opinions on the following topics. So I will briefly mention those things that are discussed (some very briefly) in Brave. As a parent, you can decide how to approach the inclusion and discussion of them in your own family. 
  • Enneagram and recommendation of a book and podcast 
  • Discussion of the pandemic
  • Mention of Yoga
  • Discussion of homeschooling which I don't think was intended as negative
  • Several mentions of Disney movies and other 'popular' cultural references
Brave is also written for those teenage girls who are attending public school. So if you are a homeschooling family, you will need to adapt some of the talking points to fit your family. 

"In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

While I found some personal issues with the book, I still think it would be helpful for many teenage girls and their families as they work through worry and anxiety. I love the fact that she focused upon the fact that we are promised trouble but that there is hope. Brave isn't simply one more book that tells readers to practice breathing techniques and other self-help recommendations. Sissy Goff advises girls that "God has given you a unique purpose in this world" (173). Bringing it back to the Bible is what makes her message – even with my reservations – resonate with me.