I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy….

In her book In This House We Will Giggle, Courtney DeFeo sits readers down in her living room and talks straight to them about the need–and joy–of educating children in God’s ways. Written in the same fun writing style in which she must run her home, the book is filled with suggested activities, questions, and Scripture passages to help impress Biblical virtues onto young hearts.

Each chapter of DeFeo’s book centers on one virtue for each month of the year (Joy for January, Love for February, etc.). In the chapter text itself, DeFeo explains the Biblical virtue, providing examples of it in practice and giving advice on how to make it a daily reality in one’s home. Alongside the text, she includes “60 Ways to Bring out the Giggles”–fun practices that will light up a home.

This is a book that I want to keep on my bookshelf and revisit when I have children of my own. In the meantime, however, I will content myself with sharing the joy found in these pages with my nieces and nephews and recommending the book to parents I know.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review on Blogging for Books.


Beautiful, Bountiful Herbs

When I was still in grade school, my mother introduced me to the joys of gardening herbs. Her little circle plot surrounded by walking tiles was a burst of sunshine in our yard. Butterflies and bees incessantly fluttered and buzzed around the Russian sage, oregano, parsley, lavender, butterfly bush, and–my mom’s favorite–cilantro.

It was because of this childhood introduction to herbs that I decided to pick up some sort of encyclopedia of herbs. Surprisingly, a found just such a book on the Blogging for Books website. When it arrived in the mail, it even smelled of herbs.

For anyone looking for a comprehensive guide to American herbs, “The New American Herbalist” will prove a delight. Sidebars noting the herbal category, origin, type, height, other names and varieties, growth recommendations, growing seasons, and safety measures provide practically any information you would like to know about each herb, while the main text of each page provides more of the cultural background, traditional uses, and recipes for the herb. The stunning photographs found in this book’s pages are enough to make even a non-herb-enthusiast pore over its pages.  Front matter to the book includes methods for drying herbs, a description of herbal properties, and much more, and back matters includes a plethora of resources for further research and study.

I highly recommend this book. It is a visual delight and has quickly won a place in my affections. And I think it will become one of my mother’s new favorite books, too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.