Sunday, February 28, 2016

Moses: an example of how God can make our lives extraordinary

Exodus. The story of Moses and the great exit of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The beginning of the law and their identity as a nation. Moses is one of the most important figures in Judaism and Christianity. He is seen as a great leader but he wasn’t always this way. He was the Hebrew infant was supposed to die but his mother had other ideas and through her actions saved his life. He was found among the reeds by Pharaoh’s daughter and become a prince of Egypt. As an adult he witnessed the brutal treatment of his people. After seeing an Egyptian guard beat a Hebrew man, Moses kills the guard (Exodus 2:11-12). Fearing for his life, Moses would flee to Midian where he would spend many years there. From Moses’ story, we can see the uniqueness of an encounter with God, we can learn from his strengths and weaknesses.

Exodus 3 tells the story of Mosses and his encounter with God through the burning bush. Moses is in the desert tending to his flock when he came to Horeb, the mountain of God when he was led to a burning bush but it not burn up (verses 1-3). As he came closer, he hears a voice calling from inside the bush. Moses answers God and God tells him that He has heard the cries of his people and He will send Moses to lead his people out of Egypt (verses 4-10). An extraordinary experience that causes Moses to ask a very valid question “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (verse 11). What could a simple shepherd do against a king? It’s a question that we were ask ourselves, wouldn’t we? When God calls us, He doesn’t send us alone, just as He doesn’t send Moses alone. Verse 13 says that God tells him that He will go with Moses. The 1998 film The Prince of Egypt created this scene very well. You see Moses’ curiosity, his fear and his doubts as he talks with God. By the end of the encounter, Moses is a changed man with tears streaming down his face.

Moses was a great man and role model in many ways to the Israelites as to us the readers. He was raised in the Pharaoh’s home, he knew he would be get an audience with the current Pharaoh to make God’s demand. He grew up as the grandson of the old Pharaoh (he dies Exodus 2:23). He also lived as a shepherd in the desert. Midian is an area on the other side of the Sinai Peninsula. He knew how to survive in the desert. He’s made the journey across the Sinai desert twice (once when he escaped Egypt and second when he returned). He was also the lawgiver. God entrusts him with the Ten Commandments and the other laws (Exodus 19-23) and well as instructions to build the Tabernacle, God’s place among His people on their journey to the promised land (Exodus 25-31).  

Moses was also a man of flaws too. First, iy is mentioned a few times that he was “slow of speech and tongue” or “speak with faltering lips” (Exodus 4:10, 6:12, 6:30). God was still able to use him to help the Israelites and lead them to the Promised Land. Aaron, Moses’ brother, became his voice when his own voice faltered. Second, he also reacted with anger at the disobedience of the Israelites. In the Exodus, Moses throws down the stone tablets which contain the Ten Commandments when he saw the Israelites worshiping the golden calf (Exodus 32:19-20). His anger would lead to disobedience and lead to Moses unable to set foot in the Promised Land, but that occurs in another book. Either way, Moses’ reactions to situations often got himself in trouble.

The lesson in Moses’ story can help us in our daily lives. We are all called to God in a unique manner. We all encounter Him differently too. My experiences with God may not be the same as yours but they will be powerful to each of us individually. God will use our strengths and even our weaknesses to fulfill His will and His promises. We may not feel we are able to fulfill the task that God has given us. However, with God, we can do anything if we believe and have faith. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend The Prince of Egypt. It is a great telling of Moses’ story and how God used him to deliver His people from slavery. While some elements of the story were changed for dramatic purposes, the essence of the story is there. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant: the places and fun she has

The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant is a series of books by Marci and Ellie Fair. A mother-daughter author team which tell the stories of Ellie the Elephant and Pudgy the Penguin. Ellie and Pudgy are the stuffed animal friends of Ellie. I received two books to review.

First, Ellie Goes Back to School is the story of Ellie and Pudgy as they get ready for the first day of school. They eat a good breakfast and their backpacks are ready to go. Ellie’s nervous because it’s a new school for her. It’s a strange new place, this school. The hallways are long and the doors are really tall. They get to their classroom and they meet their nice teacher. They learned about numbers and how to use a ruler. They learn the shapes and where they live in the world. They get to explore new places in their new school. The classroom has pets and books to read. Gym class, lunch, recess and music class fill in their day at school. They even make a new friend, Sparkle the unicorn. The first day of school comes to an end.

Second, Ellie’s Best Beach Vacation Ever is the story of Ellie and her friend Pudgy as they go on a beach vacation. The sand is white and the water is a beautiful blue and green. They dug in the sand and made sandcastles. They swam in the ocean. They even ride bikes on the boardwalk. They explore the beach town and its hidden treasures. The vacation is filled with fun, exploration and relaxation. The best vacation ever.

These books are cute and fun. The pictures of Ellie and Pudgy are really cute and the reader can experience the day with them. I enjoyed that at the end of each book, the authors encourages the readers to take pictures of their favorite stuffed animal friends at school or on vacation. They even include how to share the pictures with them on their Facebook page. I recommend these books to any classroom or family library for their fun adventures and the creativity in the pictures and their stories.
These titles as well as others in the series

Are available on Amazon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cool Kind Kid Challenge: a wonderful bullying prevention program

Bullying is a serious matter in our society today. I’ve written two blog posts about it and now I will review a new series of books which introduce how children can be kind to others and discourage bullying when they see it. Cool Kind Kid is a proactive educational curricula for schools, created by Barbara Gilmour, which includes music, characters and activities which engage the children in the lessons. I received three books with is part of the entire program. I will describe and review each book in turn.

First, Be a “Cool Kind Kid” is a handbook about the basics of the program. It is lesson plan of the social skills and social competence training. The missing link in the bullying crisis, according to the program creator. The materials are designed to be easy to follow, flexible to fit the children’s understand and require very little preparation. There are questions and interaction on the children’s part which they can engage and think of ways to solve the problem in the situation. Topics covered include the Golden Rule, patriotism, and the Magic Words.

Second, Bullying Prevention Tips is a handbook for parents to read and understand that a child’s education starts at home. The social skills a child will need in life are taught and enforce at home. The book is filled with tips on how to introduce and guide children to learn kindness, empathy, respect, tolerance and acceptance, helpfulness and many others. The book gives parents ideas about how to introduce and enforce the concepts at home and in their communities.

Third, Picture Book Series Book 1 is a book which introduces the topics of the program in pictures for children who are younger. All the topics, the Golden Rule, the Magic Words, are covered in a fun manner which will capture of the attention of the younger children.

Cool Kind Kids is a great method to introduce the concept of kindness to children in a fun and useful manner. According to the information which I received with the books, the vision of the program is to give the opportunity to every child to learn the necessary social skills needed to stop bullying either as a observer, a victim or the bully. The curriculum is available for Grades 2-4 and Camp Kits for ages 4-6 and 7-9, which are designed for camps, after school programs, community and recreation programs. I highly recommend Cool Kind Kid to all schools, day cares and families who want to introduce and encourage kindness and helpfulness in our children. If a child learns to be kind to others and stand up for himself and others, bullying can be a thing of the past.

For more information about this program,
Please visit
or on Facebook

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Top 10 Facebook pet peeves

Everyone I know has a Facebook page…well almost everyone I know. With so many people on Facebook, you come across people who become annoying posters. Facebook pet peeves. Everyone has them. There are certain activities and posts which annoys us and clogs up our newsfeeds. While researching if others had the same pet peeves and what I found shocked me. One website listed 100 pet peeves about Facebook posts! 100! The list pretty much covered any activity on Facebook. So, I complied a top 10 list of activities which I find annoying when they are done in excess. I will list them in descending order.

10. Excessive Activism: Activism is a good thing. I will usually participate during awareness months or when something catches my eye that I feel needs to be passed on. However, some posters will post ad nauseam! With the constant bombardment of activism posts, it gets to the point that I don’t care and will unfollow the post or the poster if it gets to be too much. I understand the passion behind the activism but posts all day, every day is too extreme.

9. I bet you can’t memes: The “name a (fill in the blank) that doesn’t have the letter (blank) in it. I bet you can’t.” And thousands of comments just proved the meme wrong. It’s annoying!

8. Poor Grammar: I do my best to avoid mistakes and sometimes I will miss one. However, some posts are one long run-on sentence. Or typing in text speak or slang which I can’t decipher. If I get a headache trying to read your posts, I won’t read anything else you write.

7. Asking a question when you can GOOGLE it: I used to be guilty of this and I realize that I can answer my own question with Google. Sometimes though I will search Google and then go to Facebook and ask my friends for their opinion.

6. Posting or commenting when it should have been a private message: I’ve had a few friends who will comment on my posts with “catch up news” or ask a question that is private. This is especially annoying when someone brings up information which isn’t public yet and now you have just told everyone something I wanted private. Please send me a private message so that only I will see it. You may not think it’s not private but I may. This brings me to my #5 pet peeve…

5. Comments which have nothing to do with the original post: I find this more often in the new organization’s posts. For example, if the post is about a new book I read and someone comments about his/her new car. To those who comment on my personal posts which have nothing to do with what I posted: (Insert sarcasm) Thanks….great!!!!

4. Posting a story without fact-checking it first: Google people! Check to see if the story is legit. Most of the time they are not. is a good place to start, especially the hoaxes that seem to pop up over and over. With the speed of news reporting now, if multiple news sources haven’t reported on the same thing, it may be legit. I’m not saying it couldn’t be true because I’ve come across some that later are true. However, check and double check first.

3. Tagging me in comments:  I don’t mind being tagged in posts or pictures but when someone tags in the comment section without 1) giving me a clue why you’re tagging me or 2) because it’s something I’m interested in, it gets fairly annoying. Plus, it also blows up my notifications. One day, I had over 50 notifications because I was tagged in a comment section. I was being notified every time someone commented. Instead of just tagging me in a comment, share it to my page or your own page and tag me in it. Say, “Hey, I saw this and thought of you” or something along those lines. It’s just as easy to share it to my page as it is to tag me.

2. Liking your own status: I’ve read that people do this so the status climbs back up to the top of their friends’ newsfeeds. But it just looks like you’re high-fiving yourself. It seems desperate and sad.

And my number 1 Facebook pet peeves….

1. Vaguebooking: Intentionally vague posts that purposely prompts or “baits” your Facebook friends to comment “are you okay?” or “tell us more.” I think we all have been guilty of this at one point in our Facebook history; but, I’ve learned it’s extremely annoying. If there is something you do not want to give details about, then do not put it on Facebook. I refuse to acknowledge these posts.

Facebook is a fun place to share ideas, pictures and connect with people we would normally not have access to. However, there are some posts which are annoying. I know that now I have listed these pet peeves, someone is going to comment and complain about my posts. I didn’t say that my posts don’t annoy someone else. I’m sure someone somewhere is saying “Great, she goes posting this stuff again.” I’ve just listed activities which annoy me. My point is keep in mind that what you post and who is reading your posts. You don’t have to read my posts just as I don’t have to read yours. Let’s have fun on Facebook! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lil' Lilly's 'Bow'thday Present: not as entertaining as I thought it would be

Lil’ Lilly’s ‘Bow’thday Present by Kathy Johnson and illustrated by Captain Cartoon is an adventures of Lilly from birth to her delivery by the stork and a special gift she receives. According to the press release which I received with my copy of this book, Kathy Johnson is known as a ‘master punster’ and “brings vocabulary to early grades in a most unique and entertaining way.

I have to disagree with that statement. This book was hard for me to read as well for my 4 year old daughter to listen to. The word puns were not fun or entertaining. The constant quotations and breaking up of the words was hard to read. The story is too confusing and it reads like it’s supposed to be a comic book but isn’t set up like one. I understand and commend Ms. Johnson for the lesson she is trying to teach to her readers. The book is supposed to teach the “theme of good vs evil, while building character and instilling values” and that love is the key to being happy and defeating evil. I didn’t see that. Maybe because I had a hard time reading it to myself as well as to my daughter. For me, this book failed to be fun, entertaining and while the presentation is unique, it was hard to read. I cannot recommend this book. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

When I grow up I want to be...A Good Person: a great book for children

The Wigu Publishing Company has released another great book for young readers. When I grow up I want to be…a Good Person is another great addition to this amazing series.

The story begins as Brendan and Blake are dragging their heels about going to a funeral with their parents. They grip and moan like kids do but their parents are insistent. They need to go and remember the kind and generous man, Mr. Becket. As the service begins, various people come up and tell stories about the kindness and generosity that Mr. Becket showed to his friends, his neighbors and his community. As the boys attend the reception after the services, they continued to hear stories about Mr. Becket and they realize that “being a good person is not just one single think but is the total of everything you do.” Brendan and Blake both decide that they want to be a good person too.

I’ve reviewed this series before and have enjoyed every title. This title is a topic that many children don’t hear about and don’t have examples of what it means to be a good person. This book will help open doors to conversation for both families and classrooms about what it means to be a good person. I highly recommend this book for every classroom and family library.

When I grow up I want to be…a Good Person
And the other titles in this series
Are available on
Amazon, Barnes and Nobles

And many other online book retailers. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A little history and why I don't want gifts on Valentine's Day

Today is St Valentine’s Day. A day for lovers. A day of roses and chocolates. The advertisements are over the place. Its big business for florists, chocolate companies and more many more retailers who are urging men, in particular, to go out and find the perfect gift. But who is St. Valentine. The story of the patron saint is shrouded in mystery. The Catholic Church actually recognizes three saints called Valentine although only one is honored on February 14th. Even the origins of our Valentine’s Day traditions are mysterious. And why I don’t want any gifts on Valentine’s Day.  

Valentine is emphasized as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. There are two legends that I could find which tell the story of St. Valentine. One legend says that Valentine was a priest in 3rd century Rome when Emperor Claudius II (268-270) decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. It is said that he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied the emperor and continued to perform marriages in secret. When Claudius discovered this, he had Valentine put to death. However, there is no evidence that Claudius ever made such a decree and it is unlikely that he would. First, marriage was seen as beneficial to society. Second, military service was voluntary and the poor often joined the army for the steady income Lastly, Claudius was also known as Claudius Gothicus spent his very short reign fighting the Goths. He would have been far too busy with war to pursue the alleged policy. Another legend states that Valentine was imprisoned and executed for attempting to free Christians from torture in Roman prisons. He sent the “first valentine” after he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before his death, he signed his letter, “From your Valentine.”

There have been claims that the observance of St. Valentine’s Day has its origin in a Roman pagan festival. Lupercalia was celebrated on February 13-15th. It is a fertility festival decided to Faunus, the god of agriculture and Rome’s founders, Romulus and Remus. According to legend, all the women in a village would place their name in an urn and the city’s bachelors would chose a name and the two would be paired together for one year. The matches often ended in marriage. The festival would be outlawed with the rise of Christianity by Pope Gelasius who declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day. This date is said to be the date which Valentine was buried. There are also claims that the link to romantic love and St Valentine’s Day was made by Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400) in his poem, Parlement of Foules (1382). He wrote this poem in celebration of the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. He wrote, “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” There have been much debate about the truth of this. Regardless of the origins of Valentine’s Day traditions, it translates to big business. Valentine’s Day generates approximately $ 13 billion profits.

Now comes the not for fun part of my blog. I can almost hear retailers scream and other women call me crazy. I don’t ask or expect gifts on Valentine’s Day and here’s why. First, to relieve my husband of the obligation. I don’t like my husband to give me fancy and expensive gifts just because a calendar says so. I know my husband loves me. I don’t need a card to tell me so. Plus, I enjoy the bouquet of roses better when they are given “just because” rather than as an expectation. Second, the pressure! I googled “why I don’t want gifts for Valentine’s Day” and I got results which didn’t match my search at all. I got what women really want on Valentine’s Day and what not to give for Valentine’s Day. One site suggested that household appliances is a horrible gift. Now, my husband knows me. He know that I love to cook and bake, so why would buying me a something that I could use in that capacity a horrible gift?.Also, I don’t want jewelry. I wear very little jewelry. My wedding ring is my only constant piece which I wear on a daily basis. I have plenty of other rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. I don’t need more. Third, why the focus and the pressure on men? Why aren’t women advertised to about gifts? Men enjoy romance too.

Day of love and romance has become another reason for a sale. Another reason to pressure men to buy expensive flowers, jewelry and chocolates. Our love for our partners should be celebrated and honored every day. Husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, give gifts from your heart. Don’t break the bank to get the expensive gift because you think you have to. Think about the person who you are buying the gift for and think what he/she would like and/or want. I may be unconventional when I say I don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day. I truly don’t. I’m a simple women with simple wishes. I may be in the minority on this but I feel that gifts given in obligation spoils the gift. However, you celebrate today, do so with love and affection. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1 The Sword of Summer is a great new book

Rick Riordan is back with a new hero and adventures with mythological proportions. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard places a hero within the realm of Norse mythology. Book 1 The Sword of Summer, which came out last fall, is an introduction to the myths and legends you may not be aware of.

Magnus Chase is sixteen years old and has been homeless since the sudden death of his mother two years before. He gets by with the help of two fellow homeless men, Hearth and Blitz. On the day of his sixteenth birthday, he is made aware that someone is searching for him. He finds his uncle, Randolph, who takes him to the Charles River in Boston and asks him to search for a special sword which has been lost there many centuries before. Magnus soon finds himself in a heated battle with unusual circumstances. He finds himself in Valhalla and a member of an elite squad called the einherjar. It is discovered that his father is a very important god and it soon becomes apparent that he is not supposed to be there. Magnus is sent on a quest to find the sword of summer and stop the evil giant, Surt from bringing about Ragnarok also known as Doomsday. His wild adventure takes from to the various worlds of Norse mythology and the Norse gods and goddesses themselves. Will Magnus be able to find the sword? Will he be able to stop Surt? And will he find his father?

If you are familiar with Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, then you will be familiar with the basics of this story. However, in this series, Riordan does something slightly different to keep it fresh and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series. I eagerly awaited the release of this book. While it was a little different to read, mostly because I am less familiar with the Norse mythology than I am with the Greek and Roman myths, I still enjoyed this story. I loved the humor and the comradery among Magnus and his friends. Of course, we see familiar Norse gods and we see some not so familiar. I love the mystery and suspense as Magnus must decide who he will trust and who he will ignore. The second book of this series will be released this fall and I can’t wait to read the continued adventures of Magnus and the Gods of Asgard. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Heroes: why do they appeal to us?

What comes to mind when you hear the word hero? Do you think of a sport hero like Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth? Do you think of a mythical hero like Hercules or Robin Hood? Or do you think of a comic book superhero like Superman or Captain America? Or an ordinary person who beats extraordinary odds? Whoever you think of, a hero is an important person to you. The word “hero” is from the Greek and it represents a mortal who accomplishes a feat beyond the normal scope of human abilities that leads him or her to worship among the gods. Most heroes have certain characteristics which gives them the hero image and rise above a mere mortal. Heroes appeal to us in some way. They speak to us in ways we may not understand. Heroes are very personal to us.

Today, heroes are people we admire and want to emulate. A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievement or noble qualities. Heroes can have five common characteristics. First, courage or bravery is the number one quality referred to when speaking of a hero. The triumph over fear and daunting odds in order to achieve a goal. It’s the firefighter who will rush in a burning building to save a complete stranger. In war, it is a person who sacrifices his own safety and possibly his life for others. There are many famous and not-so-famous examples of war heroes. So many stories which we will never know all their names and their incredible acts. Second, selflessness of heroes is another common trait. Putting others’ needs and concerns before his or her own. Heroes will often never think of the risk to themselves when others are in need. Third, humility and modesty, often wishing to hide from the spotlight is another trait of heroes. This trait is common among war heroes who don’t like speaking about the events which made them a hero. Lastly, caring and kindness for others which seems to be obvious otherwise the other traits wouldn’t be possible without concern for others.

What is the appeal of heroes? Is it because we want someone to look up to? Someone to strive to be like? In Greek mythology, heroes were godlike and would seem impossible to emulate. There are many reasons why heroes have an appeal, I’ve chosen my top 3 reasons. First, heroes often reveal our missing qualities. They display what behaviors are needed in order to succeed, better society and defeat the bad guys. They often behave in way we wished we would. Second, heroes save us when we’re in trouble. This can be seen in the powerful appeal of comic book superheroes. It is seen in real life with admiration for society’s protectors and rescuers: law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and military personnel. These men and women put their lives on the line in order to keep us safe and to get us out of harm’s way. Third, heroes bring hope in a dark world. Their stories are uplifting and inspiring that not everyone in this world is out to do harm and go above and beyond in order to provide safety, security and justice. These stories don’t always have to be about life and death situations. We’ve all heard the story of the Gainesville, Florida cop who responded to a noisy kids call by playing basketball with them. He was a hero that day.

When I think of heroes, I don’t think of a single person. I think of people who I admired for their extraordinary accomplishments despite their circumstances and their flaws. A hero is someone who isn’t afraid to fail and try again. I often think when people label someone as a hero, they fail to acknowledge someone’s shortcomings. They put them a high pedestal that when he or she does fail, it crushes the image of their hero. It can be seen most often with celebrities and sports stars. For example, recently with Cam Newton’s poor behavior after the Super Bowl. It was a disappointing loss and I understand his gloomy mood. But because he was so built up and elevated that people were shocked by his behavior. Even his “apology” a couple days later seem to me less than sincere. However, he has the opportunity to learn from this experience. To pick himself up and say “I’m going to try again. I’m not going to let one disappointment get the better of me.” To me, a hero is someone who pushes through despite fear, despite doubts and despite criticisms from others. A hero is someone who gives and sacrifices without thanks or recognition. Heroes are larger than life yet humble and gracious.

Heroes are very important to us. They demonstrate how ordinary people can be extraordinary. Heroes can be any one you look up to either real or imaginary from literature or film. They demonstrate what is right in the world and what the world needs more of. In a recent book I read, a character said “A hero’s bravery has to be unplanned. A genuine response to a crisis. It has to come from heart without any thought of reward” (Riordan). Along those lines, Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” The real and everyday heroes are the ones who I admire the most. Those who put their lives on the line to keep others safe. Those who sacrifice their own needs and wants so that others can have theirs. The heroes that you may never know their name or what they have done for you but heroic all the same. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Soul mates: do they exist?

Soul mates. Everyone knows not everyone believes. Some search for their entire lives for “the One.” Others seem to find theirs and live happily ever after. By definition, a soul mate is a person who is ideally suited to another. This is usually through a deep or natural affinity. Naturally, people think of soul mates as romantic partners with the implication of an exclusive lifelong bond. The idea of soul mates has been around since the ancient world. What are the signs of a soul mate? Of course there are criticisms and active push to undo the belief in soul mates.

The idea of soul mates comes from Ancient Greece. In his dialogue The Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes present a story about soul mates. In the story, humans were originally had hour arms, four legs and a single head made of two faces. Humans had great strength and threatened to conquer the gods. Zeus decides to split the humans in half as punishment for humanity’s pride. The split leads to misery in humans and they long for the other half of their soul. According to this story, when the two find each other, there is an unspoken understanding of another, feeling, unity and no greater joy. Another story of soul mates comes from Theosophy, where God created androgynous souls (equally male and female). The souls were split into separate genders, having incurred karma. Over a number of reincarnations, each half seeks the other. When all the karmic debt is purged, the two will be fused back together.

Soul mates are often thought of as marriage partners. In the Jewish view called Bashert (Yiddish word for “destiny”). To be someone’s basherte (female) or basherter (male) is to be someone’s divinely preordained spouse or soul mate. When I met my husband, it was not love at first sight. We were co-workers until one day he decided to risk asking me out. After two years of dating, we were married. While researching this topic, I realize now that he is my soul mate for five reasons. First, I am comfortable with him. I am not or ever have been afraid of being vulnerable with him. I can easily share my fears, desires, fantasies or secrets without shame or fear of ridicule. Second, there is a strong attraction both physically as well as emotionally. Third, words are often not necessary between us. We have a very strong non-verbal communication. We can relay so many messages without very little effort. Fourth, we can laugh easily with each other. Lastly and most importantly, I can’t see myself without someone else. I try to imagine my life without him and I get very sad. He is my soul mate.

Of course, there is great criticisms for believing in soul mates. One main criticism is that a believing that a soul mate exists specially for a person is an unrealistic expectation. To the point, that many universities are now teaching classes on the subject. Some experts say that the concept of soul mates seems to lead to dissatisfaction with their relationships (The Case against Soul Mates July 30, 2014). This article included a test to show where someone stood on soul mates. I took the test and I scored high on both sets. I am a hopeless romantic as well as believe that relationships can work through just about anything. A contradiction! I believe in soul mates but I know that relationships can work through hard work. There is evidence that couples can become each other’s soul mates as a result of a deep and lasting relationship. According to psychologist Shauna Springer, “two individuals who have become perfect for and irreplaceable to each other have become soul mates” (Soulmates do Exist July 28, 2012).

I know I’ve written very simply about a topic which can be very complicated. Believe in soul mates or not, relationships are hard work. I believe that through hard work and dedication, couples can become soul mates. “Couples who, at their core, very good friends are also more likely to be more in love, be more committed to each other, and even have better sex than couples who values their friendship less” (Melissa Dahl July 30, 2014). My husband and I are very good friends as well as marriage partners. We enjoy each other’s company and enjoy doing things together. To me, my husband and I are soul mates.

The Case against Soul Mates Melissa Dahl New York Magazine July 30, 2014 (

Soulmates do Exist-just not in the way we usually think Shauna Springer Psychology Today July 28, 2012  (

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Being a Captain is Hard Work: a lesson in listening to others

Another adventure of Captain No Beard is here. Being a Captain is Hard Work is a lesson in listening and to learn from the expertise of those around you. The day started out good on the Flying Dragon. Captain No Beard tells the crew to set sail. But Mongo warns that the seas look rough. Captain No Beard ignores his advice and sails on. With each direction, Captain No Beard is offered other options and suggestions. He ignores their suggestions and gets angry when everyone starts questioning his orders. Soon the ship is in very rough seas and it becomes very dangerous for the crew. Soon Zach is in danger! Will Captain No Beard be able to rescue him before its too late? Will the captain realize that even a good captain needs help sometimes?

I love the Captain No Beard series and this book is a great addition. The key lesson in the story is that no one knows everything and friends are a good source to get the information we do not know. I also loved that at the end of the story a glossary of the different types of clouds and what they indicate in the weather. Being a Captain is Hard Work is a great addition to any library for the great lessons and fun adventures.

Being a Captain is Hard Work
and the other Captain No Beard titles
are available on Amazon
in paperback and in the Kindle.