Many Hats Mommy

live the Power of One


Big Daddy’s Tales from the Lighter Side

I picked up the tan book. Dr. J walked over. “Are there funny things in that book?”

“Yes,” I answered, surprised that he knew that.

“Is that Griffin’s book?” he further questioned.

“Yes, it’s Griffin’s book.” Someone had been paying attention.

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A Home Run of a Book

Have you ever tried to read a book in a foreign language? Maybe while you were taking beginning French or Spanish, you dared to look at a “real” book in the language you were studying. Could you read it?

As a blogger in the Book Sneeze program, I chose to review a book about Albert Pujols. For those like me who are not baseball officianados, Pujols is a famous current-day baseball player. I knew that much. The rest was a foreign language! I am not a baseball girl. If I simply must watch baseball, I prefer it to be in person. At least it’s a bit more interesting that way.

Then why did I choose to review Pujols: More Than the Game?

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Autism Parent? You’ll Want This Book!

Today I am very happy to bring you a book I think all autism parents can relate to. Whether you think vaccines are a cause or you don’t. Whether you have a high-functioning child or a low-functioning child. Whether you have money to pay for therapy and extracurricular activities for your child, or you are barely making ends meet. Whether you have one child or ten children. You will be able to relate to Sonya Shafer’s book.

This Anguishing Blessed Journey came to me in an unassuming envelope. It’s size is such that it can fit in a purse or backpack. It’s not heavy. It doesn’t even have page numbers.

But it has a lot of emotion. Continue reading

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>Unlocked, Book Review

> you ever wondered if a novelist read your mind? Maybe she had a hidden camera in your home somewhere? Was he writing this book just for you? Tuesday night shortly before midnight I finished Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury. I don’t know how she did it, but she “got it”. She understood autism.

Unlocked shares the story of Holden Harris, a high school senior with autism. As usual, Karen masterfully creates a story that pulls you in. You are angry at the young men who bully the students on campus. As you read, you almost gawk at one mother’s superficiality and wonder how she lives with herself. Continuing through the story, you watch transformations of character, smiling in smiling in some places and grabbing for a tissue here and there.

Actually, I did not grab a tissue frequently. I normally do with Karen’s books. However, this time I had to steel myself emotionally to be able to read the novel. It is about a subject that I live every day~autism. When I made a first attempt at reading Unlocked, I practically fell apart just from the prologue! I was not ready to read the book and remain in control emotionally. I had to wait.

And I did. I waited about three months. I was finally at a place where I felt I could read the book without thinking of Dr. J (my son) the whole time, worrying about his future. I confess I approached it clinically, like a grad school assignment. I was not going to let my heart get too involved.

I managed quite well. I marvel at the way Karen chose Beauty & the Beast for a parallel plot. I stand in awe of the way she expresed the thoughts and feelings of parents of autistic children–their isolation, frustration, desperation, etc. I mentally applauded her for the nuances she included in Holden’s character (the way he looked out the window, the window with six squares of glass…). I was thankful for the facts she interspersed about autism, to give those untouched by autism a glimpse into my world. But I still hadn’t used a single Kleenex.

Then I got to page 308. I don’t want to quote from the story, because it’s close to the end of the book. But let’s just say when you get there, and you see what Holden says, you will know. You will know that even though my son is high-functioning and actually quite verbal, I look forward to the day when he can say something like that.

And so, Karen gets me bawling like a baby again. Her novels do that to me. If you would like a peek into the world of autism, or you parent a child on the spectrum and want to know someone “gets it,” I highly recommend Unlocked. Thank you, Karen, for treating my world with respect and kindness, and letting others understand just a bit.

You can watch Karen’s first-ever talk show that she produced when she released Unlocked! Click here!

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>Wednesday’s Woman–Kim Stagliano, Author

>Remember my friend Cheryl? Well, she told me I needed to get this week’s lady to be a WW. Today’s lady is a busy mom and autism advocate. She has recently published a book about her experiences with autism. I love the way she starts her post! Now here is Kim Stagliano in her own words…

I was thinking about the nursery rhyme about days of the week. “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” Aw, heck I wasn’t even born on a Wednesday. I’m an upbeat person – woe is not my thing. And really, what an awful statement about the day of your birth. I was a Thursday child. And Thursday’s child has “far to go.” JACKPOT.

In my book, All I Can Handle I’m No Mother Teresa, I’m really clear that I have so far to go I feel like Dorothy looking at the yellow brick road twisting miles ahead of me into the horizon. The tagline is “You won’t need a Prozac to read it.” It’s a funny look at a life turned upside down. My husband and I have three gorgeous girls with autism. (I know, it seems impossible, yet we’ve learned that the impossible is pretty much our lot in life.) Children become the focus of the family. Special needs kids do so in a unique way. They can take over a marriage, a life, a career. And mine have – but in a really good way.

Mia (16) Gianna (14) and Bella (10) are bright, hard working kids – and their Dad and I are always proud of them, Well – almost always! There are moments of rollerocaster terror and Joan Crawford wild eyed “ARE YOU KIDDING ME” incidents that remind me that the title of my book is dead on accurate. No Mother Teresa here, I assure you.

Despite the challenges my girls face and the fact that I would peel back their autism like the skin on an orange if I could (they are severely affected in terms of speech, life skills and safety) our life as a family is richly populated with new friends I’d never have met if it weren’t for what could have been a life of “woe” rather than “far to go.” I’ve heard from so many people who’ve read the book who said, “Thank you. I feel like I was sitting down and talking to you and you helped me get through a dark moment. I feel like we’re friends,”

And we are.

The autism community is full of Tuesday, Friday and Saturday Moms. full of grace, loving and giving and working hard for their living. I’m proud to have gotten to reach so many of them and hope that if you have a child on the spectrum, or a friend or family member facing the challenges, that my book will help you or them meet a new friend too. Please visit my website at and you can reach me at kimstagliano AT gmail DOT com.


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>What’s He Really Thinking Book Review

> I love to read and I love free things, I joined a program by Thomas Nelson Publishers called Book Sneeze. In exchange for a review on my site and a retailer site, Book Sneeze will send me a free book! I’m game.

Lately I have been thinking I need to put more effort into my marriage. I’m not sure if anyone else has been feeling that way, but I’m guessing someone in cyberspace has! That’s why I chose What’s He Really Thinking by Paula Rinehart as my first Book Sneeze review.

Before I get into more about the book, I have to say that Paula is a great writer! She creates fantastic metaphors to help the reader understand exactly what she means. I would love to read a novel by her–it’s rare to see such a descriptive non-fiction author!

The basis for Paula’s book is that man is different on purpose. God made him that way, and gave him a big job. Therefore, if we ladies choose to appreciate that and learn a bit more about the men in our lives (dads, brothers, friends, spouses, etc.) our lives will be richer for it. Rinehart divides her book into two sections: Understanding the Man You Love and Loving the Man You Understand. She also has two appendices–Praying for the Man in Your Life and Understand This Man. The second appendix is a great list of questions to ponder about your man, or ask him over a cup of coffee and learn a lot about him. Might even make an interesting brother/sister or daddy/daughter date! Finally, she closes with a study guide that gives the reader a chance to interact with the material and benefit more. You could even do the study guide with a group of girlfriends.

So, let’s get to what you want to know. Did I learn anything? Yes. I have quite a few pages turned down, and I’m looking forward to working through the Understand This Man section with my husband over time. In addition to Rinehart’s afformentioned metaphors, she uses a lot of actual examples from her counseling. I’m sure many other readers would be like me and find themselves in at least one of the examples!

Do I recommend this book? Yes. I think it’s worth a read. You never know…you just might have an “aha! moment” that will change your male relationships forever!


True Treasures: A Gabby Moms Book Review

Today I get to share with you my first review as a Gabby Mom, a product-review blogger for TEACH magazine, now changed to Eternal Encouragement. Eternal Encouragement sent me a copy of True Treasures: 10 Years of TEACH Magazine. It arrived wrapped in a cute tulle bow. I was so impressed. However, I have to warn you.

Ten Warnings about

True Treasures: 10 Years of TEACH Magazine
True Treasures is written with real women in mind. I laughed when the writers referred to “super mom” and “the perfect mom”. We all know deep down in our hearts she doesn’t exist, but we all feel the pressure to be like her! You will smile when you read about women reaching out to other people and sharing how they did it. You may even laugh at yourself when you read what these other women have done that has not worked so well, knowing you’ve done the same.
True Treasures is magazine-sized with a deceptively plain dark blue and gold cover with a female silhouette. The cover has an almost-Victorian feel to it. You almost expect the contents to be fluffy and cutesy. However, inside you will find over 100 pages of meaty content that has been written in the twenty-first century.
If you are a people-pleasing rule-follower, or you can’t make decisions, it’s ok. You can still read from front to back to ease your mind. However, when you consider that True Treasures contains sections on Christian living, marriage, homemaking, parenting, and home schooling, you see the dilemma. One day you may want to read how an author structures her day of teaching school. Another day you may decide you need some tips on making your home run more smoothly. Still another day you may be looking for a way to improve your marriage. Aha! You skipped around in this content-rich book!
I have a confession. When I pick up a book where women are giving me advice or recommendations, I sometimes feel like they are better than I am. True Treasures is quite the opposite. The authors are very transparent. They share their own struggles, and this adds a sense of credibility to their writing. For example, one lady tells about her own battle with depression, while another admits planning is not her forte.
The only thing I don’t like about True Treasures is that most of it is in small font. Allow me to explain why. Lorrie Flem asked Donna Venning to help her narrow ten years of TEACH magazine, fifty issues, down to one book. To pack so many articles into one book, they had to use a small font. They also wanted women to be able to sit down and read one or two pages at a time and get something useful immediately, which also requires the smaller font.
Depending on the day, you may need to wear steel-toed boots when you read True Treasures. Your proverbial toes may get stepped on. Remember, the authors are trying to help us become our best. They will challenge you to improve your weak areas, like a good friend who knows when you need a little prodding.
One of the things I like most about True Treasures is that it starts and ends with chapters about biblical living. Lorie Flem recognizes that before we can have a hospitable home, a fantastic marriage, and a happy family, we must first focus on our spiritual lives. Having our priorities in the right order makes our lives better.
10 Years of TEACH is not what I call a “fluff book.” It is a book for your heart and mind. These women are going to stretch you and prompt you to consider what is important for you and your family, not what others think is important for you.
With the aforementioned transparency comes encouragement that yes, you can do it! You can have a welcoming home. You can be a loving mom. You can build a strong marriage. You can do all of these, and not be frazzled! It’s as if the authors are saying, “You can do it, and we’re here to help you and cheer you on!”
When you pick up True Treasures, you can flip through it and find suggestions you can use immediately. Frustrated with parenting? Read how another mom successfully deals with whining. Need an idea so you can cut down on clutter in your home NOW? Discover one way a mom of 14 does it! In addition to suggestions you can use right away, there is a super easy breakfast recipe tucked in True Treasure’s pages, a list of Bible verses to pray for your children, and a compilation of freebie websites!
So, now you’ve been warned. I think True Treasures would be a fantastic book for a bunch of girlfriends or Bible study group to work through together. There isn’t a study guide, but there is plenty to discuss!
I invite you to stop over at to see what other ladies thought of True Treasures: 10 Years of TEACH Magazine. The Head Mama’s son was in the hospital with a ruptured appendix last week, so you can pray for her as she helps him and finishes working on the Gabby Moms site.As a Gabby Mom, I have earned a benefit for you, my readers! Use the code GabbyMom to receive $4 off your purchase when you order your own copy of True Treasures: 10 Years of TEACH Magazine! (One discount per customer, please. Expires May 31, 2011.) Enjoy!

I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine. All opinions expressed are solely my own.