5 Books by Friends of the 5 Kids Blog

Happy Monday, friends! I don’t know how your day started, but I woke up to the sun shining and the birds singing and the soothing sounds of my dog harfing on my bedroom carpet.

Ahhhh… bliss!

AND — a bonus I didn’t realize right away — the dog also had the runs. Wheeeee!

I love Mondays. 

love Mondays. 

Actually, I kind of do.

You know, not at first or anything. 

Not before lots of grumbling and griping. 

Not before I’ve laid in bed and hit snooze and begged my children to feed themselves because I don’t want to.

Not before Everyone Is Annoying.

But eventually — eventually — I love Mondays.

Mondays are like All the Other Days around here, after all.

Someone ralphs. Someone poops. Sometimes literally. Sometimes figuratively. Not always in the appropriate location or at a convenient time.

And then we clean it up.

Sometimes we’re crabby with each other. Sometimes we can’t find anything to wear. Sometimes our brothers and sisters and moms and dads and kids are awful and oh my gosh JUST STOP.

But eventually — eventually — I remember that life is a mess and muddy and mucky, yes, but there is magic here, too.

Big magic.

Insidious magic.

Permeating magic called Love.

And I can see it, too, if I can just remember to Keep Watch.

Keep Vigil for the Magic and for Love and for the Dawn which comes, always, after the Dark.

Keep Watch in the Mess, and Have a Cup of Coffee, because Magic is on the way. Even — eventually — on Mondays.





P.S. None of that was my point.

I sat down with A Point, gosh darn it!

And then I got sidetracked which is TOTALLY NORMAL in these parts, but still SO ANNOYING. Like the keyboard gets away from me and then BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, off I go.

So the Point was this: Friends of this blog sometimes write books! And I want to celebrate their work by telling you abou tit. (<– That was supposed to read “about it,” but I always type “abou tit,” and it makes me giggle, so I decided to leave it in in case you’re pathetic and immature like me and need a giggle, too.) I want to celebrate their work by telling you ABOUT IT. 

So the following are 5 books written by our friends here at the 5 Kids Blog. Plus a bonus book at the bottom, a small part of which I wrote. Please peruse these titles and send a little encouragement their way, friends! I’m so proud of our community!

hand5 Books by Friends of the 5 Kids Blog


1. The Secret Life of Book Club

Secret Life of Book Club, The - Heather WoodhavenGenre: Ficton
Author: Heather Woodhaven
Where You Can Buy ItAmazonBarnes and Noble 
Facebook PageHeather Woodhaven
Website: Writing Heather
BlogCreative Family Moments
BlurbBook Club Just Got Real. Jeanine Phelps is tired of reading about other women who grab life and have epiphanies. She challenges her book club to live like the heroines in the books they love. At first, seizing the day is pure fun until it generates an upset in each of their lives: Jeanine’s husband is so inspired by her new vitality it triggers a bizarre mid-life crisis involving tacos. Paula, the model PTA soccer mom, starts fighting with her man about the family printing business until she’s drawn back to her secret passion. Kate, a single mom and teacher, can’t figure out if the rekindled friendship with the new museum creator is worth the romantic risk. Anne, a mother of four babies, works to hold the book club together while trying to figure out her own identity. When everyone heatherprofilewants to quit the challenge, the media’s spotlight makes it impossible. Can they rely on each other while keeping their priorities? And more importantly, is their sanity worth the chance to each become a heroine in her own life? 
Heather’s Favorite Review: “Moms. Books. Messy relationships. Lots of fun adventure. Count me in. Even better, the story did not disappoint. In fact, it made me laugh, cry, and then laugh some more.” -Kristine McCord, Author of Outrunning Josephine Finch and The Santa Society
2. Hard Core Poor: A Book on Serious Thrift
KellySangree1GenreFinance, Money Saving
Author: Kelly Sangree
Where You Can Buy ItAmazon
Facebook PageBooks, Bikes and Budgeting 
BlogBooks, Bikes and Budgeting
BlurbThis isn’t your average money saving book that tells you to fire your maid, buy regular gas, and cut back on Starbucks to save money. KellySangree2This is a book that finds ways to wring money out of super tight budgets. This is a book for people who don’t just want to save money, they NEED to save money.
Kelly’s Favorite Reviews: This blog post on Penniless Parenting and this Amazon review, “
Kelly, thanks for the great book! I liked how this book presented both tried and true advice as well as new frugal tips which I had never considered. I also appreciated the nonjudgmental tone of the book. It was as if I was listening to a wise friend”


3. Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would be Bon-Bons

HardyBoysGenre: Essays, Columns
Author: Nathalie Hardy
Where You Can Buy ItAmazon, Book Launch
Facebook PageNathalie’s Notes 
BlurbI’ve been keeping it real since before that was even a thing. In my journals, anyway. For more than half of my life I was excruciatingly shy and a host of other unfortunate adjectives. But now everything is all better. Except not. But I’ve learned that inner peace thing people talk about is only possible when you give in to fully embracing NathalieHardy2your life exactly as it is instead of lamenting the one you thought you would, or should, have. This book is a collection of my notes while I attempt to do exactly that while raising my own pair of Hardy Boys.
Nathalie’s Favorite Review
“I love Nathalie Hardy’s honest style and thoughtful portraits of family life. Hardy’s quick, relatable essays are full of comfort, warmth, and humor. Raising the Hardy Boys is full of hope and everyday wisdom for anyone who’s ever been part of a family.” Lela Davidson, author of Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on my Yoga Mat?, Managing Editor of ParentingSquad.com and Associate Editor of Peekaboo magazine


4. What Color is Monday, How Autism Changed One Family for the Better

Genre: Autism MemoirCover
Author: Carrie Cariello
Where You Can Buy ItAmazon, Barnes and Noble 
Facebook Page: Carrie Cariello
Blog: Carrie Cariello
Blurb: “One day Jack asked me, ‘What color do you see for Monday?’ ‘What?’ I said distractedly. ‘Do you see days as colors?” Raising five children would be challenge enough for most parents, but when one of them has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, life becomes a bit more chaotic, a lot more emotional, and full of fascinating glimpses into a unique child’s different way of thinking. In this moving memoir, Carrie Cariello invites us to take a peek into exactly what it takes to get through each day juggling the needs of her whole family. Through hilarious mishaps, honest insights, and heartfelt letters addressed to her children, she shows us the beauty and wonder of raising a child who views the world through a different lens, and how ultimately autism changed her family for the better.
Carrie’s Favorite Review: This is quite distinct from most autism memoirs. While others can certainly be positive, and usually end up that way, Cariello does what a growing number of adults with autism are advocating for – embraces the condition as what sets her son apart and allows him to see the world in ways which typical brains cannot. By extension this allows his family and those around him to at least experience these different perspectives tangentially, a compatibility that Cariello celebrates without sentimentality. Her style is open and fluid, and while she certainly doesn’t shy from the many profound frustrations of living with a child with autism, her approach to these challenges is inspiring. Whether she intended it or not, too, the book is incidentally a great outlay – and celebration in itself – of the sprawling, mess-filled love that comes with raising large families, which is a joy to read about as well.


5. Someone I’m With Has Autism

SIWHA Final CoverGenre: Autism Essay Collection
Author: Carrie Cariello
Where You Can Buy It: Amazon, Barnes and Noble 
Facebook PageCarrie Cariello
BlogCarrie Cariello
Blurb: “Joe and I haven’t really considered a strategy for explaining to Jack that he has autism; we figured it will be apparent when he’s ready to know. But I have a feeling that the time is coming soon, because slowly but surely Jack is learning that he’s not quite like all the others.” The Cariello children-first introduced to us in the heartwarming memoir What Color is Monday?-are growing up. And while their parents struggle with the same things all parents struggle with, Carrie and Joe have an added challenge: When and how do they tell their kids, including Jack, that Jack has autism? In this brilliant sequel culled from her many essays and articles, Carrie Cariello shares with us how she and her husband show Jack that he is not alone, that there are others who know, understand, and love him for exactly who he is.
Updated Press CropCarrie’s Favorite Review: This new collection is even better than her first book, What Color is Monday? Her writing has grown tighter and more powerful, and I found myself laughing more often and crying even harder. It’s a very, very touching story about how Jack and the other kids are growing up, and how they are all learning about Jack’s autism. I’d never really thought about that before, but it must be one of the toughest things any parent of an autistic child has to face. (Tougher, even, than “the sex talk,” which she explains in one chapter!). Cariello shows us how it’s done, never once pretending it isn’t hard while still managing to make it all uplifting and–most importantly–real. I hope she keeps writing more of these.


And a Bonus:

I wrote an essay for this adoption anthology, edited by my friend, Melanie Springer Mock. It’s about grit and grace and the ways my theology — my understanding of God and Love — changed through the desolation and consolation of our second adoption

The Spirit of Adoption: Writers on Religion, Adoption, Faith and More

TheSpiritofAdoptionGenre: Essays on Adoption and Faith
Editors: Melanie Springer Mock, Martha Kalnin Diede, Jeremiah Webster
: Melanie Springer Mock, Beth Woolsey, Jere Witherspoon and more
Where You Can Buy It: Wipf and Stock PublishersAmazonBarnes and Noble 
BlurbThe Spirit of Adoption explores many of the complexities inherent in adoption and its relationship to spirituality, challenging us to move beyond the common mythologies about adoption to consider the more difficult questions adoption raises about the nature of God, family, culture, loss, and joy. Rather than hearing from experts in adoption, this collection uses the narratives of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees themselves, bearing witness to the ways adoption shapes its participants’ spiritual lives. By allowing others to narrate their spiritual journeys through adoption, we hope to proclaim that adoption can be a wonderful, powerful, hopeful experience, and one that is difficult, painful, despairing–and that these paradoxes of adoption might be held together in God’s handMelanieSpringerMock.
Beth’s Favorite Review: “…As my mother first explained it to me, [adoption] seemed simple. Sometimes mommies can’t take care of their babies, and sometimes other mommies and daddies want a new baby, so they adopt. And they all lived happily ever after. As I grew up, I knew that the subject was much more complex. … This collection of essays is a must-read for anyone considering adoption or any adoptee ready to undertake the journey of integrating past and present. Though all of the essays include a spiritual lens (hence the title), beth-equals-boss-099the range of theological and philosophical traditions should help all spiritually-attuned readers, even “bad Christians “who claim Anne Lamott as a patron saint, find their place in the text. The writers are sometimes parents of adopted children, adult adoptees,and birth parents. To understand the subject, one has to listen to all of the above.The only conclusion after doing so is that God is both loving and paradoxical, never magically removing pain completely, but always holding parents and children tenderly whether or not they can comprehend the grace of their existence.” Shirley H. Showalter


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