Five by the Sea

Follow up! An Interview with the Author of MOMOLOGY- Shelly Radic
June 11, 2010, 6:21 am
Filed under: Interviews | Tags: , , , , ,

I was given the opportunity to interview the author of Momology, Shelly Radic, and jumped at the chance. I am always intrigued by interviewing authors as so much goes into the thought process of putting together and writing a book, editing the book, and then finally publishing it. There is always a “story behind the story” that fascinates me. Shelly was gracious in answering my questions about how Momology came about, and what she hopes to express to Mom’s through her book about the most important job in the world- raising our children.

Here is the interview, thanks Shelly! 

Can you share a little bit about the research that went into Momology?

The research being done on parenting and families is extensive. To shape the content and better understand what moms are most concerned about, we spent several months reviewing research done by agencies and organizations such as the YMCA, Search Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as reviewing the thinking of multiple parenting experts, current university and government research as well as mom websites and blogs. About 1,800 moms of preschoolers also responded to surveys specifically for Momology. Momology is also based on what MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers, Intl.) has learned in over 35 years of working with moms.

From your research and extensive surveying, you found that there were four essential elements that result in the best parenting. Can you share what those essentials are?

After considering the research, we identified four areas that most contribute to shaping great kids which are: Core, Finesse, Circle and Grandscape. They’re quite interconnected, one supporting another to shape healthy, resilient moms and kids.

Starting within herself, there is a mom’s CORE. To be healthy and resilient, a mom needs to know and grow who she is, her personality, experiences, passions and potential.

From her CORE, a mom develops FINESSE, the ability to successfully interact with her kids, loving them, caring for them, disciplining them, and shaping who they are becoming.

Every mom needs a CIRCLE of relationships to support her and her kids. Having people we can count on, the service providers, neighbors, friends, extended family, and most importantly, if a mom is married, her husband. If she’s not married, having a parenting partner makes a huge difference.

A relationship with God, engaging in his GRANDSCAPE or plan for life gives a mom purpose and hope both now and in the future. That relationship positively impacts her CORE.

You can see how the four areas are both critical for success and interconnected with each other.

How can a mom handle the effects of culture on her children?

In the eight years between my oldest and youngest children, my experience is that this has become increasingly challenging but I still think the same three principles that can guide moms.

  • Immerse in excellence. Engage kids in the best culture has to offer. Share opportunities for them to participate in and with the best music, art, literature, science and media your community has to offer. Surround your kids with a circle of supportive, positive people of a variety of ages and ethnicities. Include kids in doing good- host an International student, pack groceries in reusable bags, grow vegetables and share some with a soup kitchen.
  • Instill discernment. Identify negative influences and discuss why they are harmful. For instance, if litter is a problem in the neighborhood, talk about how this can hurt birds and our water supply. Teach evaluative skills. Is this real or pretend? Safe or scary? Practice safe responses such as how to say no, move away, tune out or seek assistance.
  • Be aware. Keep up with new technology, media and cultural trends and the impact they have on children. This is one place a mom group can be really helpful.

What little tidbit or nugget of information can you give to my readers that you have learned from writing this book?

I need to share two!

1- As I wrote Momology, I became more convinced than ever that mothering should be done in community so invest each week in time with at least one supportive mom friend. Meet at the park or at your house to talk while the kids play. Chat on the phone. Do some errands or make a meal together.

2- I am specifically designed to match what my child needs in a mom and so are you.  I had some kid challenges while I was writing Momology and spent some time beating myself up for who I wasn’t. It’s easy to go there as a mom. While every mom screws up at times, our “who” is no mistake. Be confident in the mom God created you to be and use all that he’s given you to be the best mom possible.


Book Review: MOMOLOGY- A Mom’s Guide to Shaping Great Kids
June 10, 2010, 6:20 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

MOMOLOGY- A Mom’s Guide to Shaping Great Kids

By Shelly Radic

My Review:

The road to Motherhood is filled with tons of information on how to be the best/most effective/most loving, etc. (the list goes on and on….) Mom that we can all be. There are many books out on the market through MOPS and publishers of all sorts that give advice on how to raise our kids. It’s hard to be different, hard to carve a niche for yourself in this crowded space of too much information and too little time. Author Shelly Radic fills the space nicely, Momology is a creatively set-up little book that is a combination of facts about Motherhood and helpful hints on how we can all get through this journey with our feet on the ground.

I really enjoyed the ease of reading this book, put together in short little snippets that even busy Mom’s can find time for. As one of our MOPS speakers once said- if you have just five minutes of time you can spend that five minutes doing something to benefit your family. Spending just a little time reading this book will encourage and enlighten every Mom in many different seasons of motherhood. Shelly shares what she believes to be the four core elements of successful mothering and divides the book accordingly into four parts: core, finesse, circle, and grandscape.

One theme in the book that I particularly liked is that while God created each of our children as unique individuals; he also created each mom to be uniquely equipped to raise the children he blessed us with. I think this is a core belief of MOPS, and it really came through in this book and gave me the encouragement that I need to push on despite the sometimes bumpy road of Motherhood.

Each chapter, besides having great content, contains a field study (a different mom’s learning situation), practicum (questions, journaling topics or resources on how to incorporate truth into your mothering) and a quick review. The unusual format of using“post-it” notes, paper clips, and memo pages made the book a little more creative than most, and also adapted to her idea of getting concepts out in brief snippets.

Shelly did a great job on the content of the book, it is kind of like a report on Mom’s. Detailed statistics and website links provide much information for a busy Mom that wants to find out more. Analytical personalities will enjoy this, because the book is filled with more than enough facts and trends. Over 1800 moms participated in the research for the book, so there is a great deal of data to read! If you take it in small baby steps, it may be easier to read.

Many will like the interactive style of the book, which directs you to several websites for more information. One website is actually based on the book, and when you visit you’re able to give more feedback to the researchers and author.

If you are a new Mom participating in MOPS International, then this is the theme book of the year and you’ll probably have many MOPS activities based upon the book. So the book is a must read for MOPS members!

Available June 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The only compensation I received for reviewing this book was a complimentary copy, courtesy of Revell. 

Celebrate School with KinderCone
May 23, 2010, 9:03 am
Filed under: Family | Tags: , , , , , ,

It came in a large rectangular box, enclosed in an assortment of beautifully colored tissue paper we found a giant red cone. What could it be?



My 5 year old was brimming with excitement and anticipation as we gently took the cone out of the tissue paper. The vibrantly colored beautiful red cone with cute little illustrations all over it, she was in awe and we hadn’t even peeked inside!!

As she sat down and dove into the giant red cone it became apparent that this was one special gift! A gift of treats celebrating school- specifically made for those entering 1st grade, layer after layer of things to enthrall a 6 year old– a book (a journal really) “Me, Myself and 1st Grade” which includes an exclusive KinderJournal for keeping track of memories, a bundle of pencils, a cute little yellow cat named Karl- complete with a tiny bag over his shoulder,  a bunch of (temporary) tattoos, and finally a certificate stating that we had a very special KinderCone, one of only a limited number made. How cool! As we went through our treasures and talked about them we got more and more excited about school and all of the fun things that comes with entering 1st grade. All of this thanks to KinderCone!! 


What is KinderCone?  Simply put, it is based the Schultute German tradition dating back to the early 19th century. Oftentimes, the first day of school can be a bittersweet moment in a child’s life, but in Germany and Austria it is marked by a day of celebration and appreciation. On that day, families present their first grader with their very own Schultüte. Inside, the child finds little gifts, treats, and school supplies. From this concept, founder Vivian Lie (a native of Germany now living in Chicago with her family) formed KinderCone in 2008. Her hope is to inspire every family and their young children to enjoy learning by celebrating this special event in their lives.

Much more on KinderCone and how to order these special treats for your youngester can be found at

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of KinderCone and received KinderCone samples to facilitate my review. Mom Central also sent me gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Book Review: Plan B
May 3, 2010, 9:19 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

Plan B –  What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?  

By Pete Wilson

My Review:

How many times have we all said- this wasn’t the way it was supposed to turn out! This isn’t what I planned! We all think that we have such control over our lives, we live day to day with the authority to make decisions for ourselves and our family that we feel is best and we go with it. Some people are more controlling than others in their quest for the “perfect life”. Ultimately though at one point or another I think we all come to the realization that WE do not have the ultimate control over our lives, God does. This is a very difficult realization to discover for many people, and oftentimes it comes smacking us in the face when we are down and want to blame someone…something…anything besides ourselves. We get mad, sad, frustrated and feel let down, how can God love us and still let us live the lives that He does? With so much pain and uncertainty, so many ups and downs, how can a God that loves us let these things happen? This is what the author Pete Wilson discusses in Plan B. The book is about how even when we are questioning everyone and everything around us about things that have happened in our lives, God is always there, just many times in ways in which we don’t see.

I think during this time of our lives when so many friends and neighbors are struggling with the loss of jobs, loss of houses, loss of spouses, we are ALL affected in one way or another and question why these things are happening. I have been in the midst of discussions with friends that are so difficult, so many questions of why? and what do I do now? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but to be able to give a friend this book and have them read what Plan B is and how Pete Wilson gives a different perspective on things and hope for the future is worth the price of admission (buying the book).

It is a great read for anyone, because at this time of great uncertainty even if you aren’t going through a rough time yourself, you know someone that is. And chances are that at some point you’ll be traveling down a path in your life you weren’t anticipating, and this little book might just be the resource to support you and get you through.

Book Description:

Learn how God often does His best work in our most hopeless situations.

What do you do when a shattered dream or an unmet expectation causes you to turn to Plan B? Pastor and author Pete Wilson uses real life stories of disappointments and tragedy along with biblical stories such as David, Joseph, and Ruth to help readers face their own overwhelming situations and through them to learn God is working to help them surrender their plans to receive His. He identifies our common responses to difficulties and offers hope, helping us to

Understand what God might be up to See how surrender helps us to receive God’s plan Embrace the community of believers Reconcile a God of love with a life of tragedy and suffering Wilson points readers to the cross as not just the starting line but the centerpiece of our stories with God where we turn in our Plan B and find the undeniable relationship between crisis and true spiritual transformation

Be sure to checkout the book’s website

Book Review: You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be
April 27, 2010, 11:36 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be  

By Max Lucado

You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be is a condensed version of his book the Cure for the Common Life. Both of which are excellent reads with an amazing message. The beauty of You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be is that it is short and to the point while packing a powerful message in easy to read hardcover book. This is a perfect gift for a new grad or a person struggling through a tough time. Max Lucado continues to amaze me with his writing, it is a sermon in a book, complete with humor and personal touches that make it easy to read and apply to everyday life. I like that he doesn’t come across as perfect, he doesn’t “preach” in the sense that he tells a message, but in a loving and supportive way while bringing his own experiences to his writing. This little book is really a must-have for anyone’s bookshelf. I can see myself coming back to it on a day where I am feeling frustrated and alone, it has a backbone and as always Max is able to support his faith that God has the big plan and that we need to just be patient and listen and that the Lord will lead the way and that He ultimately wants the best for us. I am fortunate to have read this book and would recommend it to just about anyone.

Book Description:

God made only one version of you. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment.

You are heaven’s Halley’s comet; we have one chance to see you shine. You offer a gift to the world that no one else brings. So find it and bring it! And when you do, both you and God will smile.

Yes, you can be everything God wants you to be.

Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes, I was not compensated in any other way for my thoughts and the opinions expressed in this review are my own thoughts and words.

Book Review: The Twilight Gospel
April 23, 2010, 10:31 am
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Twilight Gospel- The Spiritual Roots of Stephenie Meyer’s Vampire Saga   

By Dave Roberts

The Twilight phenomenon is all around us, from the actual books to t-shirts, posters, magazines, the list goes on and on, the marketing blitz of all that is Twilight has become to people today was Harry Potter was a few years ago. I resisted reading the first Twilight book for a long time, until finally my curiosity won the best of me and I gave in. To be honest, it was pretty intriguing and easy to read, so easy that I felt like I had to read the next book, and then the next, and of course I had to finish out the series. Before I knew it I had read (to my embarrassment) the entire series of books and actually kind of liked them. They are a strange mix of romance, teenage angst and mythology. I am still not quite sure what the fascination is, but I also didn’t get it about Harry Potter.

When Litfuse Publicity Group offered readers a chance to review the book “The Twilight Gospel” The Spiritual Roots of the Stephenie Meyer’s Vampire Saga I jumped at the chance. After reading the books I had some questions myself about how my role as a Christian Mom might play into whether or not I would allow my children (when they are old enough) to read the books. It was an interesting premise to dive into and I looked forward to what the author had to say

About the book: The blockbuster Twilight Saga is being read by teenager and adult alike. These powerful novels are getting even more popular as the movies hit the theaters. Crisply written and with a gracious spirit, The Twilight Gospel will help teens, their parents, and their pastors discern what is good from what is unhealthy in the novels and equip them to be biblically literate readers.

My thoughts: I liked how the author wrote the book using very easy to read topics that can be easily applied to the storyline of Twilight. He is very clear about explaining the characters in the book and their storylines and how they can be compared to ideals not only in Christianity but other religions. As a Mormon writer, Stephenie Meyer has a little different perspective than that of a Christian writer, Dave Roberts also takes this into account with her writing. It was a very easy to read book that explained a lot about the characters and their special “gifts” and how those ideas many times came from different pagan and Christian beliefs as well as scientific figures. The way that the author was able to connect the problems of the characters with those of society as a whole was very interesting. I liked the book, it gave a bit of a different perspective on the whole Twilight series and its background and enlightened me on many different facets of where the storyline came from. An easy read that is a nice compliment to the series.

About the author: Dave Roberts is a professional journalist, editor and speaker. For more information please visit his website at

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher and LitFuse Publicity Group. See more reviews in this blog tour at Litfuse’s tour page.

Review: Gigi’s Big Break (DVD) Gigi, God’s Little Princess
March 16, 2010, 10:46 am
Filed under: DVD Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

Gigi’s Big Break (DVD) Gigi, God’s Little Princess

By Sheila Walsh

Review of the DVD:

Gigi is a very cute and precocious little girl that gets herself mixed up in a problem like many kids do- she tells a white lie and everything backfires. She tells a lie so her mom won’t know that she broke a vase, not just any vase, but one that was a wedding gift to her parents. Gigi knows that this vase is special to them, so she is afraid she will get in trouble for accidentally breaking it. To make matters worse, she broke the vase doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing- practicing her dancing in the living room. For all of these “I shouldn’t have done that” reasons, Gigi tells some “little white lies” to cover up what she has done.  As the lies get bigger, Gigi can’t continue covering them up, so she finally tells the truth. She ends up learning the value of telling the truth and that even if you get into trouble it is best to do what is right and say what really happened.

In the second story, The Pink Surprise, Gigi learns that her mom is going to have a baby.  She has a tough time with this change in her life, she has always been the only child and the center of her parents attention and is worried that her parents won’t love her and pay attention to her once the baby is born.  When she finally discusses her fears with her parents, they explain that the new baby won’t divide the love in her house but will multiply it instead.  Gigi ends up being proud of her new baby sister and realizing that her parents were right.  She realizes that sharing her parents’ love with a new blessing in her life will only give her more joy and happiness, not less.
This was my first Gigi DVD and we loved it! As a parent I really like that stories are not only entertaining, but also teach  kids life lessons in a fun way (and and hopefully a way in which they will remember!). This is a great way for kids to learn lessons about honesty and loving siblings. Even though the Gigi character is very much aimed towards little girls, I think boys and girls both would be entertained (she is quite a funny little girl!).

About the DVD:

Two new, fully-animated heart-warming stories and a fun sing-along song.

The White Lie: Sheila Walsh reminds little girls that it’s no fun getting in trouble. But when we do wrong and try to cover our sin, things only get worse and our hearts get heavy with guilt. But we have a God who knows our weaknesses and loves us anyway. Teaches the lesson of 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive…and cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” (ICB)

The Pink Surprise: Sheila Walsh says: “Isn’t it fun to be the first in line? When I was young, all the kids would run to get as close as possible to the front. It’s a little like being the only child in a family—you get one hundred percent of your parents’ attention, and can sometimes even feel like the world revolves around you. But it turns out that there are other blessings in life besides being first, and Gigi has been blessed with an adventure that will last a lifetime.” Teaches the lesson from Jesus’ prayer in Luke 10:21 “Father, you have hidden things from the people who are wise and smart… but shown them to those who are like little children.” (ICB)

DISCLAIMER: I received this DVD free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. My thoughts are mine and my family’s own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.