Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Help Your Kids with Math

9780756649791H Help Your Kids with Math – A Unique Step-by-Step Visual Guide
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Studying math is often a source of great anxiety for children and also proves troublesome for parents helping with their homework. Using uniquely accessible illustrated stress-free approach, Help Your Kids with Math looks at every aspect of math, from simple sums to simultaneous equations, and explains each facet in easily understandable language so that adults and kids can master the subject together. Tricky concepts are explored and examined step-by-step, so that even the most math-phobic individual will be able to approach and solve complex problems with confidence.

My Thoughts

I struggled with Mathematics when I was in school.   It all started when we moved from Montreal to the suburbs and I went to school in a different school board.   The kids in grade 4 had seen things in math that I would have learned at that level in the previous school board.      Oh I learned but somehow I struggled most of my life.   My kids are homeschool and we use a fabulous curriculum called MathUSee.   I am amazed every day of the week how quickly they grasp the mathematical concepts.    And I learn too!  Deep down I wish I had this kind of curriculum when I was younger.

I have the opportunity to previously review the Help Your Kids with Science from DK Canada and I knew that I should consider reviewing the Help Your Kids with Math as my oldest is entering the pre-algebra stages in Spring 2013. So here I am today, presenting you the book that might save your hair from getting grey if the math concepts are above your head.

The book is very well presented and contains fabulous colorful images to illustrate concepts and explanations.  It starts with the basics and slowly build on it to bring more complicated mathematical concepts in a visualized way. This book is divided in six sections:

  • Numbers: introducing numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, prime numbers, units of measurements, positive and negative numbers, powers and roots, standard form, decimals in action, fractions, ratio and proportion, percentages, converting fractions/decimals/percentages, mental math, rounding off, using a calculator, personal finance, business finance.
  • Geometry: angles, straight lines, symmetry, coordinates, vectors, rotations, reflections, loci, triangles, Pythagorean Theorem, circles, quadrilaterals, polygons, circumference, area, diameter, sectors, arcs, solids, volumes and more.
  • Trigonometry: what is trigonometry, working with trigonometry, finding missing sides, finding missing angles.
  • Algebra: sequences, working with expressions, expanding and factorizing expressions, quadratic expressions, formulas, solving equations, linear graphs, simultaneous equations, and more.
  • Statistics: collecting and organizing data, bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, averages, moving averages, measuring spread, histograms, scatter diagrams
  • Probability: Expectation and reality, multiple probability, dependent events, tree diagrams.

My oldest son is currently learning to multiply decimal numbers with multiple digits.  And yesterday, for the first time since we started with our math curriculum, he stumbled on the lesson and had trouble to arrive at the right answer.   So we reviewed the lesson once more and now he gets it.   This time it was easy but what about when he will get deeper in more complicated concepts.   I wanted to have a tool that could help me to present a concept differently.   And if I don’t use it for him as he is a bright child and grasp things easily, I know it will be handy for me when my other kids advance in the math lessons.   Not all my kids learn the same way and I know that I have at least one or two visual learners like me. 

Lets look at the percentage page for example.   Using a clear graphic of one hundred people, the book presents how a group will look like with male/female teachers and male/female students.   Different colors make it easy to see the size of each groups and then you have clear explanations on how to calculate with percentages.  As I flip through the pages and see some of the concepts presented I am somewhat feeling overwhelmed but then I read through the text and remember learning about it and it makes sense.

So if you are a little bit like me and feel like your kids is getting better than you in math but don’t have the time to go through the curriculum for a quick review, the book Help Your Kids with Math will become a blessing in disguise.  And if you are more challenged in math then this book will be a treasure as it gives clear explanations on the concepts your child is learning.  No matter what is your experience with math, this book can be a great reference to open and discover when your child is facing as roadblock.

Help Your Kids with Math is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Amazing Atlas

9781465400833_FC_225x225-75 Amazing Atlas
From DK Canada

About the e-book

Take a spin around the globe with the Amazing Atlas. This stunning picture atlas designed for use on the iPad offers a unique approach to geography for those five and up. Spectacular interactive features transport you to anywhere on Earth, and include a 3D spinning globe, enhanced map images that fade in and out to highlight geographical and cultural details of the region, scrollable flag and feature galleries for each continent as well as interactive quizzes to test newly acquired knowledge. Packed with fascinating facts about continents and countries, people and places, and easy to navigate with clear instructions, bold design and a simple layout, the Amazing Atlas will keep the keenest of young minds stimulated for hours.

My Thoughts

If you are an homeschooler, you probably love to be surrounded with books that will teach your kids various things.   And in this time and age, you might have a tablet that will allow you to bring books in an easier way that what was possible ten years ago.   A tablet can contain numerous ebooks and it a great tool to have when homeschooling.    I am particularly fond of the DK e-books because they touch subjects that I want my kids to explore.   Take the Amazing Atlas for example.   This e-book will take you on a journey to explore and discover geography throughout the world. 

It is divided in seven sections representing the seven continents.   You can scroll through the pages of a continent to discover marvelous photos and fascinating facts.   Special boxes also contain extra information that can be visualized at the touch of a finger.  A spinning globe will allow you to see the world in three dimension and maps will allow you to learn the countries on each continent.    The book also contain a movie of Antarctica and quizzes to test your reading skills.

See for yourself how the pages are presented in the e-book.

 image image

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One of the special features you will encounter in this e-book is the Things to See which allows you to discover the amazing animals, great sites, natural features and what is produced in that continent.  The Vital Statistics boxes will highlights the flags, the capital city, the population as well as the languages spoken in some of the countries in that continent.

This book will give your a big picture of the geography around the world.   It is a great e-book to have when you drive around or wait at a doctor’s office.    It can also be useful during quiet time in the afternoon or stimulate a child to read.   Each section has text that isn’t complicated and containing information about the continent you are exploring.   You can read it with your child or have your independent readers explore it by himself/herself and do a little research on a specific continent.

The e-book is interactive as you will be require to flip the tablet in order to see the map pages properly, watch a video on penguins in Antarctica, flip in some boxes to get more information and test your knowledge with little quizzes.    I discover that at the South Pole there is a Museum  at Port Lockroy.   And it got me wonder how many visitors do they have in a year?  Well imagine my surprise when searching the internet that the place do have numerous tourists for the observation of the penguins.   Wow!  Maybe I should add this to my list of things to do in my lifetime…

If you are looking for an interactive book on geography that will be interesting for your kids, I suggest that you look into getting the Amazing Atlas from DK Canada.  This book is perfect for kids ages 8 to 12 but can also be used with a parent for younger years.

Amazing Atlas is available for immediate download on your iPad with iBooks 2 or on your computer with iTunes.  To read this book, you must be using an iPad with iBooks 2.   The price is 6.99$.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned ebook for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Year Comes Round

897H The Year Comes Round – Haiku Through the Seasons
Written by: Sid Farrar
Published at Albert Whitman & Company

About the book

Brown bear politely
offers to surrender his
den to nosy skunk

Twelve nature-themed haiku accompanied by lush illustrations take the reader from January to December. A great way to introduce children to the traditional Japanese poetry form.

My Thoughts

I was mainly interested in this book because of the Haiku style of the writing.   I was introduced to Haiku when my oldest son was testing a new writing curriculum last year.   And we loved it.   So when I saw that this book was written in an Haiku style I thought it would be a nice addition to our personal library.

Haiku is a poem written in a very particular way.   It is made of only three lines with a certain number of syllable for each of the lines (five for the first line, seven for the second and five for the third).  The book itself goes through the months of the year and illustrate the seasons as they go by.  

The book is mostly geared for grades preschool to second grade but can be used for teaching all levels I think.   As an homeschool mom, I find it interesting when I find a book that illustrate and give example of various form of writings.  This book is simply done but is a marvelous example of what an Haiku is and how it can be adapted to many things.

For fun I wrote my own Haiku about the book

Easy way to learn

Of haiku and the seasons

For kids and parents

The Haikus found in this book is accompanied with beautiful images illustrating the time of the year presented in the poem.  At the end of the book, you will also get a page on what is an Haiku and some information about the seasons.

I would like to recommend this book to anyone wanting to introduce their kids to a fun way of writing poems.   

The Year Comes Round is available at your favourite bookstore, even at or


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween options from Hasbro Canada

October is the month where many little ones will invade the streets in your neighborhood and come at your door.   On October 31st, you will hear often the words “Trick or Treat”.   Earlier that month, you might have purchase candies and chips.   You might be looking for something special for some of the kids that will come at your door or simply looking for an alternative to candies and chips.   Hasbro Canada has numerous things to offer for you – play-doh containers which have been an options for years but now you can also get some special blind bags containing special items from Hasbro – Kre-O Transformers, Bonka Zonks, Little Per Shop, Star Wars Fighter Pods and My Little Pony.

Presenting the Halloween alternative of Hasbro Canada.


Play-Doh Halloween Package

Surprise the candy-collecting crowd when they ring your doorbell this year - instead of the same old candy, toss them a few fun-size cans of PLAY-DOH compound! Each palm-sized container holds one ounce of colorful compound that’s sure to last long after the last piece of candy is gone. They make fabulous party favors too! Bag contains 20 one-ounce cans of PLAY-DOH compound in assorted colors.

KRE-O TRANSFORMERS MICRO-CHANGERS Assortment (Blind Bags)6B5D1D5E5056900B106CD8587280521D

When KREON figures meet the TRANSFORMERS brand, the result is MICRO-CHANGERS! These amazing KREON figures have 2 modes, just like the mighty TRANSFORMERS robots – but their identities are a secret! Which one of the 6 possible MICRO-CHANGERS figures will you get? There's only one way to find out!

Each figure sold separately. Styles may vary.

0E34292D5056900B101E40DBA779EACEBonka Zonks Assortment (Blind Bags)

Explode into action with these spinning, smashing whirlwind warriors! This special bag of BONKAZONKS MARVEL spinners includes 2 figures. Spin them! Flick them! Stack them! Attack them!  Your BONKAZONKS fighters are on your team and they play your game, so build an ""army"" and take on your opponents in the spinning frenzy! It’s time to get dizzy with it!

Pack includes2 figures.

LITTLEST PET SHOP Blind Bag AssortmentB56FB8D45056900B103592163A76CB1E

Say hello to the newest addition to your LITTLEST PET SHOP collection! Which big-eyed, bobble-headed pet will you find inside? That’s all part of the fun. Bring them along on your adventures, and you’ll be best friends in no time!

Each sold separately. Styles may vary.

39C885DE5056900B1052B5B58840B98CSTAR WARS FIGHTER PODS Blind Bag

It’s time for big Star Wars action in a little package! This mystery FIGHTER PODS pack includes 2 figures and 1 pod that you can spin, launch and roll in your Star Wars adventures. One of the figures is exclusive to this pack! What kind of missions will you send your figures on in their pod? It’s all up to you!

Pack includes 2 figures and 1 pod.

My Little Pony Blind BagFBFEA6CA5056900B1098DD925344E8B9

Which beautiful MY LITTLE PONY figures are in these mystery packs? Each bag includes a mini-figure based on the MY LITTLE PONY: Friendship is Magic series like PINKIE PIE, SUGAR GRAPE, FIZZYPOP, and more! These mystery packs are perfect for a special birthday party, other special occasion, or to simply collect all 24 characters. Case pack includes 24 individual mystery figure packs which include a collector card and MY LITTLE PONY mini-figure (purchase of case pack does not guarantee all 24 unique characters).

My Thoughts

These alternative or extra goodies for special kids in your life are fabulous.   We have encountered the play-doh numerous time in the past few years so this is not really one of the newest items on the market.  The pack of Play-doh contains 20 small containers in the colors of Halloween – orange, white, yellow, green, black and purple.   However, the blind bags is something new to me and I find these to be a genious idea.   It is perfect for Halloween (and for other surprised like the stocking for Christmas!).   They can be used to cheer up a child when serious sickness happens or simply to give them a treat for good behavior for a certain period of time.

There are plenty of theme to pick from if you know what your child likes.   For girls you can choose from either the Littlest Pet Shop or the Little Pony bags.  There are more choices for boys like the Bonka Zonks Marvel, the Kre-O Transformers or the Star Wars Fighter Pods. 

At Halloween, I am not the kind of person who will give away junk.  There was one year we had ordered a bunch of CDs with stories on it for the kids in our neighborhood.  Some neighbors also give full size chocolate bars.   These options from Hasbro are different and I suspect that many kids will be delighted to have these.  

So if you are looking for options in what to give away this Halloween, look for the special Hasbro packages of Play-doh or the blind bags of Littlest Pet Shop, Little Pony, Bonka Zonks Marvel, Kre-o Transformers or Star Wars Fighter Pods.    You can’t miss them as they are at every toy store in the country.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Amazing Animals

9781465400857_225x225-75 Amazing Animals
From DK Canada

About the e-book

"There's a whole world of amazing animals to meet inside this incredible interactive atlas! Take your child on an interactive trip around the world with the help of a spectacular 3D animal scene, amazing pictures, fun quizzes and masses of fascinating facts. They'll find out more about the animals on each continent, what kind of habitats they live in and much more."

My Thoughts

How can you let your kids learn more about animals while using a tablet?  Simple.  One purchase a tablet if you don’t have one already (this would be your most expensive purchase but a fabulous one at the same time!), then look for the Amazing Animals multi-touch ebook from DK Canada.

This ebook will transport you at every corner of the world and let you discover various animals living throughout the planet.   Amazing Animals is divided in sections corresponding with the areas around the planet:  North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australasia & Oceania, Antarctica & Arctic.   This ebook will allow you to scroll through each section and find all kinds of amazing creatures living in the seven continents.    You will get habitat maps which are color-coded, movies showing you animals on the move, learn about animals who hold some records, stunning photographs, and much more.  You can also test your knowledge with a multiple choice quiz.  Don’t worry because all the answers can be found in the book – you simply have to read it.  *grin*  Throughout the book, you will be able to learn more about fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.  There is definitively information for any kind of animal that might interest your child (or yourself).  The reader will also learn about the different type of habitat where animals make their homes.

I really like the interactivity of this particular ebook.   Sometimes, you will have to flip the iPad to be able to see a map better and click on it to have different views from where certain animals lived to where to find a certain habitat like the desert region in North America.  Some other interaction would be the possibility to scroll within the animal groups, the quizz and the possibility of enlarging photos, animal fact files, as well as watching some videos.

Now if you are expecting a ton of text within this ebook you might be disappointed.   This ebook is geared for kids ages 8 to 12 who wants to learn more about animals on their own.   Some proficient readers might enjoy it as well but the text is simple and straight to the point.    You will learn about the main animals found in a specific area around the globe have the opportunity to test your knowledge as well.

It’s a great book to have when you bring your child to a doctor or dentist appointment as it can keep him/her entertained.  Your child can also read it while travelling in a vehicle and keep on learning at all times.

I find that Amazing Animals is a great ebook to own and use in your homeschool.  You can have your child practice his/her reading with it, let them explore a specific region of the globe and learn about animals there or simply visualize where in the word an animal live.

Amazing Animals – the ebook – is available for immediate download on your iPad with iBooks 2 or on your computer with iTunes.  To read this book, you must be using an iPad with iBooks 2.  The price is 6.99$.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned ebook for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (October 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***


Josh McDowell has been reaching the spiritually skeptical for more than five decades. Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has delivered more than 24,000 talks to over 10 million young people in 118 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 130 books, with over 51 million copies distributed worldwide, including Experience Your Bible, The Unshakable Truth®, Evidence for the Historical Jesus, More Than a Carpenter (over 15 million copies printed in 85 languages), and The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World magazine as one of the twentieth century's top 40 books. Josh continues to travel throughout the United States and countries around the world, helping young people and adults strengthen their faith and understanding of Scripture. Josh will tell you that his family is his ministry. He and his wife, Dottie, have been married for over 40 years and have four children and five grandchildren.

Dottie McDowell has been married to Josh for over 40 years. She has written several children’s books with her husband, and she and Josh are enjoying their four adult children and numerous grandchildren as he continues to travel worldwide in his ministry. Dottie and Josh live in Southern California.

Visit the authors' website.


Utilizing up-to-the-minute research from Josh’s “The Bare Facts” resources and their experience with four children, the McDowells give readers encouragement and solid information in the sometimes-awkward process of guiding their child into a healthy understanding of God’s gift of sex and sexuality—within a biblical context of relationship to Him.

Product Details:
List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736949925
ISBN-13: 978-0736949927


Just One Click Away

Sex. To some people it’s a dirty word, to others a beautiful one. And to still others it’s a provocative word…something they’re not comfortable talking about. Whatever your attitude, sex is a sensitive yet immensely important issue. For those who believe it’s a marvelous but powerful force that should not be misused, such as parents or leaders working with youth, the idea of sex—sexual activity—among young people is loaded with plenty of concern.

So how concerned would you be if a stranger was slipping into your child’s bedroom every day? What if this intruder was systematically teaching your child a distorted and perverted concept of sex? And what if this “sex education” your child was receiving led them down a path to immoral sex? You would no doubt be frightened and infuriated that the mind and heart of your child was being violated by this menacing intruder.

But before we go on to explain this danger, let us say this. We (Josh and Dottie), as parents who have raised four children of our own, are not here just to alarm you, although you have reason to be alarmed. We also want to equip you with a clear strategy to counter what your kids are facing. Even more at the heart of what we want to do, we hope to supply you with effective tools to raise your kids with a healthy (godly) understanding of sex.

After all, sex is great. It’s marvelous. It’s so wonderful that it can’t be put into words—because God has made it that way. You no doubt want your children to grow up understanding and embracing his design for their sexuality so they can delight in sex as he meant it to be delighted in. And if an immoral intruder were to cause your kids to misuse God’s wonderful gift, you would be angry and heartbroken.

Studies have shown that the number-one fear among Christian parents and Christian leaders is that a secular worldview and sexual immorality will somehow capture the hearts and minds of their kids. We certainly had that fear for our own children. To address that fear, many parents have helped open and develop more Christian schools. They have formed more networks to homeschool their children than ever before. Many have sent their kids off to Christian summer camps. Families have started attending megachurches with top-rated youth programs in unprecedented numbers. The hope of these parents has been to counteract the negative influences of a destructive culture in the lives of their children.

However, these positive steps may have actually caused many parents and educators to drop their guard. It’s natural to assume that kids are largely insulated from the influences of a corrupt culture if they live in a Christian home, are involved in a good church, are getting a solid Christian education, and are participating in monitored activities.

Actually, though, our kids are far more exposed to destructive cultural influences today than kids were even ten years ago. The reason for this is because right now we are in the midst of a social-media revolution that is allowing a corrupt and twisted morality to have direct access to our children at much earlier ages than ever before, even in the privacy of our own homes and in their bedrooms. This is the intruder we have been talking about.

The Social-Media Revolution

The culture influenced the previous generation through various media such as radio, TV, videos, magazines, and so on. If a parent monitored what his or her child listened to, watched, and read, there was somewhat of an assurance that a child could be insulated from the negative effects of a destructive culture. However, today’s social-media revolution has changed everything. Our culture intrudes upon your children through channels that barely existed a decade ago. For example, compare media growth (based on the general U.S. population) over the last decade.

In 2000

In 2010–2011

2.7 hours per week spent online by the average person

18 hours per week spent online by the average person

100 million daily Google searches

2 billion daily Google searches

12 billion e-mails sent daily

247 billion e-mails sent daily

12,000 active blogs

141 million active blogs

0 iTunes downloads

10 billion iTunes downloads

0 tweets on Twitter

25 billion tweets on Twitter

0 YouTube videos seen daily

4 billion YouTube videos seen daily

0 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute

60 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute

0 people on Facebook

845 million active users on Facebook

0 articles on Wikipedia

20 million articles on Wikipedia

More than 250 million new people were added to Facebook in 2010, with 30 billion pieces of content shared each month. If Facebook were a country, it would have the world’s third-largest population.

Approximately 20 million minors are on Facebook. Of those, 7.5 million are younger than 13 years old, and 5 million are younger than 10 years old. It is estimated that Facebook will soon reach 90 percent of all social-network users and 57.1 percent of all U.S. Internet users. By 2013, 62 percent of Internet users and half of the U.S. population are expected to be on Facebook.

In regard to video content, eMarketer estimates that of the 50 million U.S. children under 12, nearly 12 million—about 25 percent—“were online video viewers in 2011.” The estimate skyrockets to 70 percent by 2015. According to Harris Interactive, in 2010, the number of children under 12 years old who spent at least one hour a day online increased from 61 percent to 76 percent.

The Internet has surpassed TV as kids’ media of choice. A study by the U.S. Department of Education shows that 27 percent of all four- to six-year olds are on the Internet. Today kindergarteners are learning on iPads, not chalkboards.

The social-media revolution is connecting us in positive ways never before imagined 10 or 20 years ago. Yet all this ability to connect and have people connect to your children may cause you to feel uncomfortable. And it should. There is an alarming downside to the instant accessibility this culture has to your children.

Intrusive Immorality

As parents and Christian leaders, we want our young people to embrace a biblical sexual morality. We want them to enjoy sex as God designed them to enjoy it within the context of marriage. And just 10 or 15 years ago, we as parents, pastors, or Christian educators had a good measure of control over what type of things our young people saw or heard that shaped their view of sex. We could say, “We don’t watch those kinds of TV programs in our home; nor do we read those types of books.” There were certain controls we could put in place to insulate our children from damaging influences. When our children wanted to visit neighbors or friends, we tried to limit it to people with our same convictions.
But today we have, by and large, lost control of the controls. That is because a perverted morality is just one click away from our children. With just one keystroke on a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, your child can open up some of the worst pornography and sexually graphic content you can imagine. Just a few decades ago pornographic magazines were sold behind store counters and placed in paper bags. Most adult men didn’t even want to be seen carrying such a magazine out of a store. Today pornography is available to anyone, including your kids and teenagers.
Immoral sexual content is reaching many, if not the majority, of our children. According to research from Family Safe Media, the average age of the first Internet exposure to pornography is nine years old.12 And there are plenty of sites to be exposed to. There are over 5 million pornographic sites available today with over 68 million search requests daily. More than 2.5 billion porn e-mails are circulated every day.
A 2009 survey of 29,000 North American university students confirmed that 51 percent of males and 32 percent of females first viewed pornography before their teenage years. A journal article, “The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth,” reports that 93 percent of boys and 62 percent of girls are exposed to Internet porn before they are 18 years old. Eighty-three percent of boys and 57 percent of girls have seen group sex. Sixty-nine percent of boys and 55 percent of girls have viewed homosexual or lesbian acts. Thirty-nine percent of boys and 23 percent of girls have been exposed to sexual acts depicting bondage.

According to a study cited in the Washington Post, more than 11 million teenagers view Internet porn on a regular basis. A Focus on the Family poll revealed that 47 percent of families said that pornography is a problem in their home. These were largely Christian families responding to the poll.

Who Is Concerned About This?

In contrast to the situation several decades ago, most of our young people see little or no problem with viewing pornography. Overall, studies show that 67 percent of young men and 49 percent of young women 18 to 26 years of age consider viewing pornography as acceptable behavior.

Of course, as a concerned parent, you no doubt warn your children and teens to stay away from “sex sites.” As a responsible and proactive parent, you may even install Internet filtering and monitoring software on your computers, as you should.

Yet what happens when your children visit their friends and they turn on their cell phones? Do the parents of your children’s friends have sexually explicit material blocked from all their electronic devices? The problem is that sexually oriented and perverted material through cyberspace is everywhere, and it is difficult to avoid, even when you try to block it.

Further, more than 1.5 billion pornographic peer-to-peer downloads occur each month, and most are not detected by “family filters.” (Peer-to-peer is from one computer directly to another computer.) An entire pornographic video can be downloaded by a child, often without detection by parents.

Because of the massive amount of sexually perverted material available today, the sheer overexposure, no matter how infrequent, tends to desensitize a young person. Rather than gaining an understanding of what sex is really for, why it comes with boundaries, and how it can bring intimacy and joy in a committed marriage relationship, young people tend to think everyone is doing whatever they want sexually without consequences. This is clearly the impression given through cyberspace.

Most young people have been so desensitized to sexually explicit material that they see no problem with joking, posting, or texting about provocative sex. Do you realize that 4 out of 10 teens are posting sexually suggestive messages? And another 39 percent of teen boys and 38 percent of teen girls say they have had sexually suggestive text messages or e-mails—originally meant for someone else—shared with them.

No doubt, it seems to our kids that the entire world around them, including their peers, is into premarital sex. We, of course, know that not everyone is “doing it;” yet our kids’ perception becomes their reality. The irony is, many Christian adults tend to think none of their kids are involved sexually, while their own kids think everyone else is “doing it.” These contradictory viewpoints are widespread.

Recently, I (Josh) did a two-hour seminar on “The Bare Facts: The Truth Bbout Sex, Love, and Relationships” at the staff conference of an evangelical organization. At an afternoon session, 1800 people showed up with their kids. In the next three days, ten different staff members told me that one of their children (all under the age of 14) had confessed to them that they were addicted to pornography on the Internet. Each parent expressed amazement and had never suspected a thing.

During a recent pastor’s conference I was addressing the same topic, and five pastors approached me after a session with their stories:

• Pastor #1: “I just found out that my two sons (ages 14 and 18) are struggling with pornography on the Internet.” Then he confessed that he had been addicted to pornography himself for 11 years.

• Pastor #2: “I learned last week that my 17-year-old son just got his girlfriend pregnant and my 15-year-old daughter is also pregnant. What do I do? I’m going to have two grandchildren soon!” He shared that his son regularly viewed pornography.

• Pastor #3 (a youth pastor): “My 14-year-old daughter has been giving oral sex to the boys at her [Christian] school.”

• Pastor #4: “I just found my 8-year-old son watching pornography on my office computer.”

• Pastor #5: “My 5-year-old son has been looking at pornography since he was 4 years old.” The pastor was crushed.

These five conversations happened in the 20-minute time span it took me to get from the podium to my car.

Before I could get into the car, a desperate teenager gripped my arm and said, “Dr. McDowell, would you please pray for me? I’ve been struggling with pornography for three years and it is destroying me!”

Several years ago, I was invited to speak on sex and relationships at one of the largest and most prestigious evangelical Christian schools in North America. The administration appreciated that I came to speak on that subject, but they made the following request: “We don’t want you to mention anything about oral sex,” they said, “because we don’t have that problem here. If you mention it, our kids will simply start thinking about it and want to do it.”

I thought their request was absurd and naive, but out of respect, I honored it. The moment I finished speaking, dozens of kids crowded around me to ask questions. Nearly every question was about oral sex. “Is it sex?” “Is it wrong?” “Can you get an STD from doing it?” and so on.

I wished the school headmaster had been standing there to hear his students. As I walked outside, three guys and two girls, all sophomores, approached me and asked, “Why didn’t you talk about oral sex?”

I avoided telling them that I had been asked not to talk on the subject. Instead, I asked them, “Why? Is oral sex a problem here?” And they said, “No, not really.” I replied, “That’s good,” to which they responded, “No, it’s not a problem for kids to do, because everyone is doing it.” (This was an exaggeration.)

I asked them to explain. “Well,” they stated, “at our school when a guy wants oral sex, he walks up to a girl and says, “Would you like a taco?” That was their code word for oral sex. They went on to explain, “If she agrees, they go into some room right here at school and perform oral sex. But then the boy is obligated after school to take the girl to Taco Bell to buy her a taco.”

According to these kids, oral sex was commonplace. According to the school leadership, “We don’t have that kind of problem here.” The disconnect between what many parents and Christian leaders believe their young people are doing, and what kids are actually doing, is vast. Sure, we don’t want to think our sons and daughters are involved in sexual activity of any kind and are being brainwashed with a distorted view of sex. But the truth is, if we are not proactive to counter what our kids are exposed to, chances are they will be captured by a destructive culture.

So What Can You Do?

It seems that it would be ideal if we could reverse the social-media explosion. But we can’t, nor should we even try. In fact, in the last 12 months, some estimate more than 200 million people were confronted with the claims of Christ on the Internet. Social media themselves are not the real culprit here. They are simply the vehicle that can bring either positive or destructive influences into the lives of our kids.

Escaping to a remote island where only committed Christians live might seem like a definitive solution. Then we could raise our kids where no secular culture could influence them. But that isn’t a realistic alternative any more than reversing the media revolution we are experiencing. So what can we do?

1. We must acknowledge the reality that kids are being negatively influenced with a distorted view of sex by the culture. We can’t live in denial of what is really happening. It is like one young mother said, “It feels as if we are trying to raise our kids in the center of Las Vegas.” So the first step to a solution is seeing the problem as it truly exists.

2. We need to counter the distorted and perverted views about sex our kids are hearing and seeing with the correct and healthy understanding of sex. Let’s say you are among those parents who have one or more children over the age of seven. And let’s say you are just now getting around to talking to them about sex. By now your kids have already got their sex education from the outside culture. And in all probability their understanding of sex is distorted and quite different than what you had hoped.

In this case, you will need to reintroduce your kids to a whole new concept of what sex is and why God created it. In many respects you will need to deconstruct the distorted concepts of sex they have adopted and represent an understanding based on God’s design. If your children are much younger you may still have time to get to them before the culture does. But you must start with them at a very young age.
Teaching kids God’s idea of sex means that we as parents and Christian leaders must first clearly understand why he created us as sexual beings in the first place. We must know the real purpose of sex, what sexual purity actually means, why there are boundaries around sex, and how a loving relationship is the cornerstone in teaching God’s view of sex. With this type of foundational understanding you will have a biblical context for introducing or reintroducing your children to what sex is all about. This will give you the biblical basis to raise your family to embrace a healthy (godly) perspective of sex. And that is what we will address in part one of this book, “Sex Is God’s Design.”
3. We must actively guide, lead, and instruct our kids in God’s perspective of sex. And to do that we offer you valuable and practical tools in part two, “Tips and Ideas for Your Conversations.” These short chapters have insights, examples, answers, and ways to deal with so many issues that you either have encountered or soon will encounter. We will discover together the wonderful opportunities to introduce or reintroduce God’s wonderful gift of sex to your kids.
As parents we (Josh and Dottie) didn’t do it perfectly. Perfect parents don’t exist. But we are grateful for the wonderful opportunity we had to impart to our children God’s plan for sex. All four of our kids are married now and have children of their own. And it is thrilling to watch them successfully passing on a biblical view of sex to their own children—our grandchildren. Be encouraged—your biblical values on love and sex can be passed on to the next generation. And we hope the pages that follow will help you in your effort to do just that.

My Thoughts 
Sex.  A Three letter word that unfortunately some parents are dreading to talk with their kids.  What is appropriate at what age?   Do you want your kids to learn it at school from another person or within the comfort of your home with your guidance?   And how is sex invading the life of your child these days?  Do you know?   Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex will guide you through this journey and will provide helpful information about how to bring up the subject with your kids.

The book is divided in two parts.  The first chapter of the book will provide stats on how sex has invaded the daily lives of our children but being present just one click away from them.   The stats are just plain scary and will open your eyes on a whole new world that didn’t existed when you were a teenager.   The Internet make sex more accessible and you have to know how teens can access it nowadays.   Part one of the book concentrates on how God intended sex to be part of a beautiful plan – marriage between a man and a woman.    The authors will highlight His design, how to live with the boundaries, how to teach your kids about these boundaries and how to help your relationship with your kids.

The second part of the book is actually tips and ideas of conversations you can have with your kids.   Chapters like what is age-appropriate time to talk about sex or what about using nicknames for body parts will cover most of your fears about this subject.  Once you understand the body of sex in your married life, it’s easy to be open to talk about it with your kids.

I want to be a parent who my kids can come talk to me without worrying of how I would react about their questions on sex.   I want to be a parent who will listen to them and encourage them.   I want to be a parent whom they consider trustworthy of their personal talk.   I want them to stand on their belief and be able to wait until after marriage before having sex.   Why?  Because I know how sex before marriage can hurt you in ways you can’t even imagine.   The authors even mention it in their book while they talk about the oxytocin.   I became a Christian late in my life and I regret not waiting as now I have to deal with my decisions when I was much younger.  Knowing this, I want to protect my kids and guide them in making wise decision.   I don’t know what the future will bring for them but I pray that they will be wise when it comes about sex.   And for them to be like this, I need to pray and prepare them.  Actually we both need to do this – as parents.   

Recently as part of his fourth book in Awana, my oldest son, age 11, came to me to ask me to pray for him so he can stay pure until marriage.   I was surprised that it was in the book and that they ask the kids to do that but at the same time I thought it was appropriate.   At 11-13 years of age, kids realize that the other sex is attractive and might start thinking about dating.    So I prayed for him that morning and hope that he will continue to come to me with other things on his heart in the future.

Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex is a wonderful book to have for your parenting.  No matter what the age of your child it is never too late to read it and apply some of its wisdom in your life.    I highly recommend it to any parents out there who dream the best for their children.   

Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even at and   It is also available for the Kindle.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook

BreadMachine The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook – A Master Baker’s 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread – From Every Kind of Machine
Written by Beth Hensperger
Published at Harvard Common Press

About the book

The greatest invention since sliced bread may well be the machine that makes the loaves everyone dreams of slicing into—right in home kitchens at the touch of a button. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook finally bridges the gap between great taste and convenience, with over 300 glorious recipes for bread machines. The automatic bread machine makes it possible to enjoy fresh and signature loaves of bread without the time and expense usually involved in bread baking or purchased artisanal breads. Today’s bread machines are versatile, affordable, safe, and efficient, turning out perfect loaves time after time. Try Croissants or Banana Bread for breakfast, lunchtime sandwiches on Honey Whole Wheat Bread or Tomato Bread, a loaf of Garlic Focaccia or a Sage and Onion Bread-stuffed roast for dinner, or even Candied Chestnut Panettone and Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls for the holidays. Classic white loaves, hearty whole-wheat breads, sweet breads, swirled breads, pizza doughs, quick breads, even jams are easy to make right in the bread machine. Renowned bread baking expert Beth Hensperger’s best bread recipes yield great results—just add the ingredients, and let the machine knead, rise, and bake loaf after loaf of fragrant, delicious fresh bread.

Who is Beth Hensperger?

Beth Hensperger’s career as a prolific food writer and educator began when she was chosen as the guest cooking instructor for the March 1985 issue of Bon Appétit. She has gone on to author more than twenty cookbooks, including the best-selling “Not Your Mother’s®” series. She is also the author of The Bread Bible, winner of a James Beard Book Award, and has been nominated twice for an IACP Cookbook Award.

Hensperger writes a food column, “Baking with the Seasons,” for the San Jose Mercury News (which was nominated for a James Beard Award in newspaper journalism). She is a contributor to dozens of national and online cooking and lifestyle magazines, such as Food and Wine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Prevention, Veggie Life, Working Woman, Family Circle, and, as well as being a sought-after radio interviewee speaking on cooking, baking, and entertaining.

An East Coast transplant who now considers herself a true Californian, Hensperger lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Our Thoughts

Last fall the bread machine we had for the past 13 years died on us unexpectedly.  We were fortunate to find a very good sale and purchase a nicer one not too long after that.  But I was disappointed with the recipe booklet (or should I say flyer?) that came with our machine.   We now own a Black & Decker Bread Maker Model B6000C which can also could give me a bread up to 3 lbs!  

Like I mentioned I was disappointed with the recipes included with the machine.   So when I saw the book The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook I thought it would be a great addition to our cookbooks bookshelf that is in our kitchen.   I wasn’t disappointed.   With more than 600 pages of recipes and tips about bread making it is an excellent resource to have. 

After a chapter on orientation on getting to know your bread machine and learning about making bread, the author immediately jump into the different kind of breads you can make.  Here’s an idea of the table of contents.

  • Daily Breads:  white breads and egg breads
  • Earth’s Bounty: whole wheat, whole-grain, and specialty flour breads with a section on gluten-free breads
  • Traditional Loaves: country breads and sourdough breads
  • All Kind of Flavors: breads made with the produce of the garden, orchard, and creamery
  • Circle, Squares, and Crescents: pizzas and other flatbreads
  • Sweet Loaves:  chocolate, fruit, and other sweet breads
  • Express Lane Bread: no-yeast quick breads
  • Jams, Preserves, and Chutneys in Your Bread Machine.
  • Appendixes: crumbs, croutons, crostini, toasted appetizers, spreads, butters, cheeses and vegetables.

As you can see there is something for everyone in this cookbook.   We like bread – especially fresh and hot – and we know that this cookbook will be very useful.   I was checking the recipes and was pleasantly surprised to find recipes based on different kind of flour.   Just when I was thinking of parting with my WonderMill because I couldn’t see how I could use it more regularly, I get a cookbook containing recipes with flour I can make with it!  Perfect.  So sorry flocks but I will keep the WonderMill for a bit longer.

The recipe we picked for reviewing this cookbook is the Banana Bread found in the Express Lane Bread section of the book.  I was curious about this recipe because it required some sour cream… which we never used before to make banana bread in our bread machine.  Actually, I most specify that my son Alexandre, age 11, decided to make the bread on a Tuesday morning and it was ready to eat when snack time arrived.IMG_5586

Ingredients for 1 1/2 or 2 pounds loaf machines

1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/4 cup of sour cream (any type)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup of light brown sugar
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (which we didn’t have)

Combine the sour cream and the bananas in a small bowl and mash together with a fork.  The mixture can be used immediately or placed in the refrigerator overnight.

Place the banana mixture and the rest of the ingredients in the bread pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions.  Set the crust to dark, if your machine offers crust control for this setting, and program for the Quick Bread/Cake cycle; press start.  The batter will be thick and smooth.  When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, check the bread for doneness.  The bread is done when it shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan, the sides are dark brown, and the topis firm to a gentle pressure when touched with your finger.   A toothpick or metal skewer will come out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.

When the bread is done, immediately remove the pan from the machine.  Let the bread stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out, right side up, to cool completely on a rack.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator (or you could have a snack immediately too!).

The bread was delicious though we were a bit disappointed that it didn’t rise as much.   But seeing that my machine can cook bread of 3 lbs, I think it was pretty good considering.  The bread was ready by the time snack time arrive at 10am.    It was moist and delicious.   A dab of butter on our piece of banana slice and we could attack the second half of the morning with school work.

If you have a bread machine and you are tired of always making the same recipes, I would strongly suggest you check out the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.  You will get over 300 new recipes to try out with your bread machine.  

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook is available at your favorite bookstore, even and  It is also available on the Kindle.



Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Full Disclosure

Image Full Disclosure
Written by Dee Henderson
Published at Bethany House

About the book


Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former vice president. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is....

Who is Dee Henderson?

Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed O'MALLEY series and UNCOMMON HEROES series. She is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Learn more at

My Thoughts

I was intrigue and attracted by this book because of its FBI/cop storyline.  What I hadn’t realized was there was a love story intertwined through the chapters.   Probably a good thing because I am not a huge fan of romance novels but this book is absolutely written differently than romance novels.  It contains murders, mystery and secrets.   As the pages are flipped and you advance in the story, you get hooked with the main characters, you wonder what Ann is hiding, and how come the paths of Paul and Ann have not crossed before since they have so many people that are in their lives at the same time.

It was hard for me to put the book down but duties as a mom and teacher to my kids required me to leave the book down every once in a while.    One Friday morning, my oldest son had an appointment at the children’s hospital to check out his ankle that had been put in a 3/4 cast the previous Sunday.   Full Disclosure found its way into my bag and I was able to read quite a bit while we waited.   Turned out that he only had a bad sprain (thank goodness!).  

Having a love story happening during the development of murder investigations and a big FBI case is very different.   I really enjoyed discovering who Ann Silver is, how Paul Falcon slowly and surely acquired her trust and fell in love for her, how he took care of her and how she opened up her heart to him.    I am completely in love with the characters an hope that Dee Henderson will write a follow-up book on the story of Paul & Ann.   The book finishes leaving you wanting more and wondering how their life will change in the future.  

If you are looking into a great book to read while on the bus or at night, Full Disclosure is a title you need to consider.  

Watch this video which might picked your interest about the book.

Full Disclosure is available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even at and  It is also available on CD and for the Kindle.

Books on Tape


 Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Complete Language Pack Italian

9780756692407HComplete Language Pack Italian

About the Product

This new language course from DK is perfect for travelers!

Combining the solid grounding of a practical language teaching course with the instant accessibility of a phrasebook, each Complete Language Pack is structured around simple conversations used in everyday situations. The courses cover basic vocabulary and grammar in sixty fifteen-minute daily units. Pronunciation guides and the audio CDs make speaking easy, and "cover and test" flaps and flashcards reinforce learning and make testing yourself fun.

Teaching what you need to know fast — arranged thematically, with simple conversations based on real-life situations, Complete Language Pack Italian includes the bestselling 15-Minute Language Course, Visual Phrase Book, and three audio CDs.

With a pronunciation guide for every word and phrase, a two-way dictionary that provides ready reference on the go, and a phrase book including useful cultural tips, Complete Language Pack Italian is ideal for both business and vacation travelers.

My Thoughts

Here’s another great resource to learn a new language in your spare time. Complete Language Pack Italian will guide you – 15 minutes a day – to learn Italian for your next trip in Italy or for an outing to the Italian section of your city.

I was raised for a number of years in an Italian section in Montreal more specifically in St-Léonard.   I went to school with French, English and Italian speaking kids.   I never really picked it up though I can find similarities with my mother tongue – French.    More recently, after spending over a month at a specific campsite in Toronto, I could hear a lot of Italian and wished I could understand the conversations. 

The kit comes with numerous tools; cds, book to accompany the lessons, easy grammar booklet as well as a visual phrase book. The first two CDs contains the lessons you will find in the book. In twelve weeks, you can covered all the basics conversational phrases to help you communicate with the Italian speaking people. It only takes you five minutes a day for five days in a row to complete a lesson. In each lesson, you will get some warm ups, some say it exercises, introductory paragraphs as well as cultural or conversational tips. You will also go through a review and repeat section for each lesson.

The third CD is an audio guide to the Italian Visual Phrase Book. You can either listen to the CD alone or with the book. This will help you to improve your pronunciation and build your vocabulary in the language.

Learning another language is a great skill to develop when you want to be able to converse with other people from another country.  Not only is it beneficial when travelling but it could become an asset for your workplace as well.   I want to encourage my kids to learn other languages as they grow up.   We will start and concentrate with Spanish simply because we could have the opportunity of going on mission trips as a family.  But I think it would be good to learn other languages as well like Italian for example and maybe German.    Italian is another language based on Latin so in a way picking it up might be easy for me because of my French upbringing.    And as homeschoolers it is easy for us to incorporate learning a different language as we drive or simply by using an iPod.

I know that there is other products out there to help you learn a new language but most often the price is ridiculously high. This specific product is quite reasonable in price and the quality attached to it is impressive. You can listen and repeat with the “teachers” without worrying about not being able to go back in the lesson. Anytime you want you can listen again the lesson to practice or revise it.

I was able to upload the lessons without problem on my iPod. Then you can take the book with you wherever you go and do a lesson when you have about five minutes. I would not suggest to do it while you are driving unless you have gone through the lesson once already. I find it beneficial to do the lesson once with the book so you can see the phonetic of the words at the same time. Then you can redo the lesson multiple times during the day if you want to.

Complete Language Pack Italian is great tool to help you learn a new language. All you will need is to find a friend to practice with or go explore the Italian section of your city. Once you know the basics, you can continue practicing with books or television if you want to.

The Complete Language Pack Italian is available at your favourite bookstore, even at and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

The Amish Family Cookbook

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (October 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***


Jerry Eicher’s bestselling Amish fiction (more than 210,000 in combined sales) includes The Adams County Trilogy, the Hannah’s Heart books, and the Little Valley Series. After a traditional Amish childhood, Jerry taught for two terms in Amish and Mennonite schools in Ohio and Illinois. Since then he’s been involved in church renewal, preaching, and teaching Bible studies. Jerry lives with his wife, Tina, and their four children in Virginia.

Tina Eicher was born and married in the Amish faith, surrounded by a mother and sisters who were great Amish cooks. At fellowship meals and family gatherings, Tina’s dishes receive high praise and usually return empty. She and her husband, Jerry Eicher, author of several bestselling Amish fiction titles, are the parents of four children and live in Virginia.

Visit the author's website.


From bestselling author Jerry Eicher (more than 350,000 books sold) and his wife, Tina, comes this warm and inviting peek into an Amish kitchen, complete with recipes, Amish proverbs, and a dash of Amish humor. Readers will laugh, pray, and eat robustly with The Amish Family Cookbook at their side.

Product Details:
List Price: $ 14.99
Spiral-bound: 272 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943773
ISBN-13: 978-0736943772


 My Thoughts

I am very delighted to have an Amish recipe book in my house.  I was very interested in discovering more about the kind of recipes the Amish make regularly as well as the food they eat at home and at gatherings.  The cookbook contains recipes for appetizers and beverages, breakfast, cakes, candies, cookies and bars, desserts, grilling, main dishes, pies, quick breads, salads and gelatin salads, soups and sandwiches, vegetables and side dishes as well as yeast breads.   Is your mouth salivating already?  I bet it is…  The index is mostly organized by these sections and then list the recipes found in each of these sections.  Throughout the book, you will have tidbits of Amish wisdom, Amish  humor as well as part of books written by the authors.

There were many recipes that caught my eye but I decided to go with a dessert for the first one I made out of this book. 

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was on October 8th this year and I wanted to make a special dessert for that evening.  We had a busy week-end with some of our kids sick and my oldest hurting his ankle (trip to the ER) and ending up with a 3/4 cast on that Sunday (fortunately we learned the following Friday that it was just a bad sprain!), so in a way I wanted to cheer up my family a bit.    So I chose to make a White Chocolate Raspberry Torte.     Unfortunately, when my husband went to Wal-Mart on that Sunday afternoon to get the frozen raspberries, there were none so he grabbed a mixed berries bag instead.    He jokingly said that everyone were doing the same recipe for dessert for the next day.


3/4 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 cup while chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (or one cup of warm milk with 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice in it)

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch

1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup while chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 carton (12 oz) whipped topping


Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.   Transfer to two greased and flour 9-inch round pans.  Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Cool completely.

In a small saucepan, bring raspberries (or mixed berries) and water to a boil.   Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Press raspberries through a sieve; discard the seeds (we decided not to do this step as we don’t mind the seeds but for someone who can’t have seeds this is an important step).  Cool.   In the same pan, combine sugar and cornstarch.  Stir in raspberry puree until smooth.   Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Cool.   Spread between cake layers.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in melted chips and fold in whipped topping.   Spread over top and sides of cake.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Well, I still had some of the fruit purée and decided to pour it on top of the cake.    

 IMG_5534  IMG_5536

The cake was delicious and everyone around the table loved it. Since then I also made another recipe from the cookbook.  The Frosted Banana Bars were delicious as well.   My husband quickly said that it was becoming his favourite cookbook – and coming from a guy who don’t follow cookbook per say when cooking, it means a lot!

My only disappointment would be that there isn’t pictures of the results of the recipes in the cookbook.   I’m a visual kind of person and love to see what it would look like.  However, the recipes are easy to follow.   Another plus would be to have the nutritional information included for each recipe so that someone can determine how many calories a certain dish can be when you are watching what you eat.

If you are like me and love to discover new recipes and new flavours in your daily meals, I suggest that you look at The Amish Family Cookbook.    Not only will you learn how to cook Amish meals but you will also get some insights on the Amish life as well.

The Amish Family Cookbook is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even on and is also available on the Kindle or Kindle app.