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5

Ten Years Later

Posted by Julie on December 31, 2016 in About Me, ACFW, COTT, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

I clearly remember the night. While most people were out for New Year’s, I was staring at the little box on my laptop screen. Clicking the “Create Blog” box in my mind felt as tense as dismantling a bomb.

Around 2006

It was my first act after promising God I was done with fear.

Afraid of what people might think.

Afraid of rejection.

Afraid, afraid, afraid.

I can’t put into words how scary creating that first blog was.

December 31, 2006.

Fast forward, and here we are. A decade later. A blog or two after.

Not afraid.

And so much more.

For years, blogging was my baby. I was content to make that my only writing outlet if that was all God had for me. But it wasn’t. I don’t blog as much as I want to, and I’ve watched blogging popularity ebb and flow as much as my own life has. But I still love it.

2011

I’ve shared parenting journeys from pre school age milestones to teen drama.

Middle school drama to college achievements.

Thirty-something wife and mom to forty-something grandma to-be in 2017.

Seasons of friendships, heartbreak, betrayal, creativity, hardship and mountain views.

Companies wanting my space. And only this year did I agree because I personally use their products and believe in them. I hope you check out iBloom and love them as much as I do.

Oh, and writing.

2016

Anthologies. Gift books. e-How. FaithWriters. ACFW. NaNoWriMo. Spectacular Falls to Entrusted. Entangled. Now, Engaged.

Wow.

I saved the best for last.

You.

I’ve heard from you in comments and on Facebook. Pulled aside at church and through text. E mails. You have been so, so kind.

Let’s keep it going.

Another ten?

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1

Book Review: Prince Noah and the School Pirates

Posted by Julie on September 2, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
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Book Review: Prince Noah and the School Pirates

It’s time for young Prince Noah to go to school. The prince, who starred in the book The Prince Who Was Just Himself, may be a little slower than other students, but he has no less joy in learning. In his kingdom, children go to school on sailing ships. There is a ship for girls and one for boys. There is a ship for children with an eye patch, a ship for children with one leg, and a ship for children who are slower learners. No one knows why there are so many different ships, but it has always been that way.

Then a terrible storm drives the ships into the hands of pirates. The boys and girls realize that they will only escape if everyone does what he or she does best. Through their adventures, they learn that diversity makes us strong and that every person has something to teach us.

This delightfully illustrated fairy tale instills appreciation for children with Down syndrome and other developmental challenges, making it a valuable aid for teaching tolerance in the home or classroom.

I confess that I struggled with this book. I really enjoyed the first book, The Prince Who Was Just Himself, but I felt PRINCE NOAH and the SCHOOL PIRATES missed the mark.

Prince Noah needs to go to school, but he is sent on a ship for schooling. Kids are separated and put on different ships. When pirates seize the ships, the children have to work together, each bringing their unique gift to the solution. I understand the premise, but I guess the dark theme of being captured by pirates bothered me. Like other reviews, I found the wording odd, and I also believe that’s the translation from the author’s native German.

The author has a son with Down’s Syndrome and I love bringing awareness to special needs. I just feel the first book in the series did a stronger job bringing that message to light.

To purchase PRINCE NOAH and the SCHOOL PIRATES, click here.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

Posted by Julie on August 19, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This week I’m sharing my posts from the recent Facebook Love Your Spouse Marriage Challenge. Beyond the pictures, I wanted to be transparent with our story. Perhaps you can relate and need encouragement. I hope this blesses you today!

Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 4

This is a rare night out with other couples. I can’t remember the date, but our then baby was young and her health wasn’t stable. We lived in a new state with no family around. We couldn’t just get a sitter and go out, and for a long season, we lost “Tom and Julie.” Most of our pictures during this time are of all of us, which I love, but few exist of the two of us. Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, helped me so much in this season. If you’re married with young children, don’t forget to date. If you have a special needs situation, understand the divorce rate is high. Make a point to keep dating. Learn what organizations and people are out there to help. You and your spouse are worth it.

***

Did you enter? Your chance to win a signed copy of ENTANGLED and ENTRUSTED if you live in either US, Canada, UK or Australia.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Entangled by Julie Arduini

Entangled

by Julie Arduini

Giveaway ends August 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

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8

Book Review: The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

Posted by Julie on June 29, 2016 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism. Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God’s Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they’ve learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials—ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.

The book starts out with transparency as Rachel shares their vacation experience. With each mishap and missed injury or worse, Rachel reminds herself to breathe. With that honesty, I’m captivated and I join her and her husband as they share their story. They have two children with special needs. They use their own stories, great visuals (I love explaining their situation is like receiving an orange for dessert when everyone else gets chocolate,) Scripture and thoughts that provoke the reader beyond the last page.

They are upfront that although their story is about their children, the book is for anyone looking for hope, and I believe that. It was easy to partner with their story and find the hope to cling to. When they admitted this is the book they needed, I agree with them. When our daughter was first diagnosed with special needs, I saw a lot of academic type books, but none that addressed the million thoughts I had racing in every direction at all times. Although I’m a few years past that time, I still found the book refreshing. I felt less alone.

I absolutely recommend THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED. In fact, I have one to give away (please remember if you comment, leave an email where I can reach you.) Please tell me why you should have this book. I’ll pick a winner July 5th.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

To purchase THE LIFE WE NEVER EXPECTED, click here.

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0

Saturday Confession: The Side Trip

It was probably eight years ago, maybe longer. The kids were with grandma and my husband and I were on a fact-finding mission. We looked into adopting a senior dog and wanted to visit her before making a decision. It wasn’t local so we plugged the address into a GPS and went on our way.

Once the task was done we realized we didn’t have to go the same way back. We had fun with back roads and country highways, landing at a small town restaurant for dinner. It wasn’t fancy but it was good eating.

We realized had we went the normal route, we would have missed that nice side trip. There was the great dinner and interesting scenery.

That’s the memory God dropped in my lap this week as I went for a routine appointment for our child. Although with puberty on the horizon I’ve been trying to plug those coordinates in my emotional GPS, I was still thrown when I received an update I wasn’t expecting.

The doctor ordered an x ray and now that result is in. It appears as if what the doctor feared was happening is a reality. And once I follow up with her and receive her guidance, we will most likely receive treatment.

I’m pretty rock solid in my faith.

For everyone who comes to me in prayer or God prompts me to pray for.

But when it’s  within our walls, boy that’s tough.

I didn’t plan this trip.

This is a detour I wasn’t expecting and I know for sure our child didn’t  ask for it, either.

June2014Ah, but the side trip.

That night where we had a wonderful night we never would have enjoyed had we stayed the course.

Yeah.

That side trip.

That’s where I’m at. God’s not a liar. He’s promised that girl is an overcomer and He’s confirmed it over and over. This side trip surprised me, but not Him.

With this new route we hope to avoid complications and actually have progress and praises.

I think it’s a road worth taking.

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Book Review: The Mighty League Volume 1, The Terrible Taunting

Posted by Julie on November 8, 2013 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

This is a new opportunity for me and I’m so excited to share this with you. It’s not quite a book review, it’s an app review of the interactive storybook The Mighty League, Volume I, The Terrible Taunting.

This is a sibling project written by sister Molly Murphy and narrated by the real JMan, Jonathan, who has Asperger’s. Together the two give readers the chance to customize and be a superhero or heroine clicking on different interactive objects, learning about Aspies through Mr. Redge and the Super Secret Notebook.

I absolutely loved this storybook. It’s visually beautiful and no matter the age, readers can find fun things to click on. For the child who can read, the secret notebook is a treasure trove of information for all to understand and raise awareness about what it’s like to be an Aspie’s kid. I think this would work for all levels of the autism spectrum to help classmates understand their friends who are on the spectrum.

I also loved the song. It was catchy and not annoying. It was completely appropriate considering the subject matter.

But since this was an interactive storybook on special needs, I brought in my daughter to see what she thought. She isn’t on the spectrum but has minor special needs. More than that, because of her history she’s spent a lot of time with friends who are on the spectrum and/or has Aspie’s.

First we looked at other storybooks that are interactive so she’d understand how they’d work. Once she mastered the concept, she opened up  The Mighty League, Volume 1, The Terrible Taunting.

Here’s her summary.

  • She liked the music.
  • She thought the hedgehog was funny, and she enjoyed the different animations and sounds she found by clicking.
  • The notebook was a little difficult for her. She has comprehension issues so we read it together, and then I explained what it said at her level. It was then a lightbulb clicked and she could see some of her friends in what I was explaining. She thought some of her classmates should hear what was in the book to help them understand why some of the other kids in her class act the way they do.
  • Finally she said this was her favorite in the interactive books I showed her because it had a lot to do and fun music.

So if my glowing review doesn’t convince you, hopefully a child’s review will. I think this is a fantastic storybook app. I found every way to socially connect with Geek Club Books. I can’t wait to see what else they create.

DESCRIPTION: The adorkable JMan and his plucky hedgehog sidekick, Mr. Redge are the unstoppable, secret superhero team who save a classmate from the poking pranks of Dr. Evil Touch! Join this quirky duo on their quest to stop a bully, make the school playground a peaceful place, and more importantly, make a new friend who likes crime fighting, capes and karate, too. Discover JMan’s hidden notebook on each page about what it’s like to be an Aspie.

ABOUT THIS APP: This INTERACTIVE storybook app is based on the real JMan, Jonathan Murphy, and his REAL LIFE adventures growing up with ASPERGER’S SYNDROME. Written by his sister, Molly Murphy, and narrated by Jonathan, the story is told by someone who sees his world from a very unique perspective. It promotes SELF-ACCEPTANCE, AWARENESS, and an UNDERSTANDING for others who are different.

AGES 5 – 11

SPECIAL FEATURES

– You can change the superhero, JMan, into super-heroine, Jaycee.

– Touch Mr. Redge on every page and a SECRET NOTEBOOK pops up with age-appropriate information on Aspergers Syndrome, being different, and bullying.

– Over 70 INTERACTIVE SOUNDS AND ANIMATIONS —including capes waving, speech bubbles, character movements, and more.

– Original “I’m Unique, I’m a GeekTHEME SONG by award-winning children’s performing artist, AndyZ.

Easy to use navigation, customization, and page turning effects.

– Narration with word highlighting, self-read, or record your own narration options.

PROJECT BASED LEARNING CURRICULUM aligned with Common Core State Standards available for FREE DOWNLOAD

 

FIND OUT WHAT USERS ARE SAYING:

 Smart Apps for Kids: http://bit.ly/1hibPr7

The iMums: http://bit.ly/1fJjhA0

To purchase the Terrible Taunting, please click here.

I received a free download of the app from Geek Club Books in exchange for an honest review.



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