HarperCollins Christian Publishing to Release Duck Commander Devotions for Kids February 10, 2015

HarperCollins Christian Publishing to Release Duck Commander Devotions for Kids February 10, 2015

Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard Issue First Children’s Devotional Book under the Duck Commander Brand

devotions for kids

Nashville, Tenn. (January 7, 2015) —– The mother and daughter team of Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard is releasing a new children’s book February 10, 2015, through Tommy Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Duck Commander Devotions for Kids is the first children’s devotional release under the Duck Commander brand, and the project features selected Scripture passages, anecdotal stories from the Robertson family members, prayers, and a Duck Commander In Action section. These motivational messages contain wit, humor and outdoor activities to help young believers grow stronger in their faith and are based on the core values of the Robertson family that have resonated with Americans across the country through A&E’s Duck Dynasty and the Robertsons’ Duck Commander® franchise.
“We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to share our faith with families across the country through our new Duck Commander children’s devotionals,” says Korie Robertson. “I hope this first book, Duck Commander Devotions for Kids, will be a fun tool for kids and parents to explore and develop their beliefs together.”
“Having been involved in educational ministry for many years, I’ve seen the impact that building an early faith foundation can have on our kids,” adds Chrys Howard. “Korie and I are so excited to continue to take part in that ministry by sharing faith lessons in Duck Commander Devotions for Kids.”
Duck Commander Devotions for Kids is beautifully illustrated by Holli Conger and gives vibrancy to the biblically based messages delivered by Robertson and Howard. Their down-home approach to these core truths will be very relatable to children, and the familiarity of both ladies will provide a comfort level to parents and their youngsters. As seen on A&E’s Duck Dynasty, the Robertson clan is very well-known for its dedication to family and faith and have led the program to become one of the highest-rated shows on television.
For more information about Duck Commander Devotions for Kids and upcoming Duck Commander–themed contests in conjunction with the book, please visit online at http://www.thomasnelson.com
About Korie Robertson
Korie Robertson is a New York Times best-selling author, the wife of Duck Commander® CEO Willie Robertson and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty. A mother of five, Korie balances family life and her role at Duck Commander with several ventures of her own, including her retail store Duck & Dressing, overseeing licensing for the family’s brands and philanthropic work with a children’s home in the Dominican Republic, Help One Now and adoption and foster care advocacy in Louisiana. Her writing credits include Duck Commander Devotions for Kids, The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work, Faith Commander: Living Five Values from the Parables of Jesus and The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty. Follow online @bosshogswife or http://www.duckcommander.com
About Chrys Howard
Chrys Howard, the mother of Duck Dynasty’s, Korie Robertson, claims she really did have a life before Duck Dynasty; sometimes it’s just hard to remember what it was. She holds a degree in elementary education and spent 10 years teaching children with learning differences. After teaching, she joined the family-owned business, Howard Publishing, where she served as senior editor and creative director. She has authored a number of books, including the best-selling Hugs for Daughters and Motivationals for Moms, and she co-authored the New York Times bestseller Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Cookbook, Everything’s Better with a Beard, D is for Duck Calls and The Faith Commander church curriculum. Chrys has spent more than 30 years working with Christian youth camps; speaking to women’s groups; teaching Bible classes to children, teens, and young adults; and traveling overseas for mission efforts. She is married to John Howard, has three grown children and 13 adorable grandchildren and lives next door to Korie and Willie in West Monroe, Louisiana.
About Tommy Nelson
Tommy Nelson, the children’s division of Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins company, publishes a wide variety of high quality, enjoyable products that are consistent with the teachings found in the Bible. Tommy Nelson products are designed to expand children’s imaginations and nurture their faith while pointing them to a personal relationship with God. For more information, visit http://www.tommynelson.com.

Landmark New DVD Series from Dr. James Dobson BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY

building a family legacy




New DVD Series From America’s Family Advocate

Is the Best Advice in Generations

COLORADO SPRINGS – May 12, 2014 – Since the release of his first book, Dare to Discipline, in 1970, Dr. James Dobson, America’s best-loved family expert, gently yet convincingly overhauled the way a generation raised kids. Now, in a new DVD series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY, today’s parents again have the essentials to build lasting love, raise strong children and create an enduring legacy.

“Unchanging biblical principles change who we are, and we can pass that to our children, grandchildren and beyond,” Dr. Dobson says. “BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY can help every generation be all a family can be.”

Building on highlights from his historic first film series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY adds new footage from Dobson’s lifetime of experience and learning. Eight DVDs—supported by books and study guides—bring rare intergenerational advice from Dr. Dobson; his wife, Shirley; daughter, Danae; and son, Ryan:

  • Your Legacy
  • Bringing up Boys
  • Bringing up Girls
  • Love For A Lifetime
  • The Strong-Willed Child
  • Dare To Discipline
  • Straight Talk To Men
  • Wanting To Believe with Ryan Dobson
  • Plus bonus features

Behind the BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY story is a family legacy story. More than a century ago, a chain of events dramatized in YOUR LEGACY, followed Dr. Dobson’s great-grandfather’s conviction to consistently plead with God for a strong Christian faith to be born in every member of his family for the next four generations.

In the late 1970s as his speaking and travel schedule exploded across the country, Dr. Dobson was left with too little time for his own family.  The solution: Record his lectures on seven films.  The title: Focus on the Family. The surprise: The series hit a nerve worldwide. Audience numbers—mostly in church showings (pre-DVD!)—soared past 80 million. Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child became household items.

Flash forward to a few years ago as Ryan Dobson, now a parent, finds the old films on DVD. “The first thing I did was laugh at my dad’s glasses and clothes, but I realized quickly how valuable and timeless this information was,” Ryan said. “I picked up the phone and said, ‘Dad, my friends and I need this!’”

Why not reprise? Why not take the best of Dobson speaking when he had young children . . . and add contemporary Dobson wisdom as he caps a remarkable career in Christian family counseling. In eight separate presentations, film crews captured the magic. The result is must-have on then-and-now parenting insight.

In BRINGING UP GIRLS, for example, grown-up Danae Dobson, the original “strong-willed child,” looks back with the father who raised her.

“For anyone in the midst of raising a girl, here are important steps to building a woman of strength and character,” Danae said.

Produced and directed by David Nixon, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY is available on DVD in October at leading Christian retailers and online. A simulcast, also available worldwide in churches across America, from October 1-5, introduces the series to a million people. New books, study guides and re-releases of many of Dr. Dobson’s classic titles support this milestone work in his legendary ministry.

“I’m at a place where I could have just retired,” Dr. Dobson said. “But God told me the job’s not finished.”


Author of more than 40 books, Dr. Dobson currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a ministry and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his doctorate in child development from USC. He founded and is chair emeritus of Focus on the Family.

For more information, visit:

Speaker and Bible Teacher Sue Detweiler To Release Debut Book, 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom




Book Discusses Challenges of Being A Mother, Identifies

 Nine Traits Corresponding to Fruits of the Spirit

9 traits

SOURCE: McCain & Co. PR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 30, 2014) – Morgan James Faith, an imprint of Morgan James Publishing, is set to release the debut book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst With God’s Best, from Bible teacher and speaker Sue Detweiler. The digital version will be available May 9 on Amazon and the author’s website, just in time for Mother’s Day, with the print version slated to hit bookstore shelves in October.

The book, according to Detweiler, who is the mother of six, is not a parenting how-to book, but, rather, a book intended to reach into the hearts of moms to help them overcome unresolved issues, find peace with their imperfections, learn from their mistakes, tap into God’s power to break negative patterns, and joyfully, as Detweiler says, “become the best you.”

“The book is not about how to raise the perfect child,” Detweiler says, “It’s more of a conversation with moms of all ages, to help them when they are feeling overwhelmed,” she says, adding that she hopes the book reaches out to those moms going through a difficult time, particularly for those who know they should embrace being a mother, but for whom it doesn’t come naturally.

Each chapter begins with one of the nine traits of a life-giving mom, which correspond to the nine fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5, and concludes with an intimate prayer to God asking for help and guidance. Detweiler utilizes the concept of opposites to make her point: His love replaces our anger; His joy replaces our sadness; His goodness replaces our manipulation.

The book also incorporates a study guide intended for individual or group study.

Inspiration for the book, according to Detweiler, came after she realized how challenging it was to be a mom herself, while dealing with the myriad of distractions in our ever-changing world.

In addition to raising and homeschooling her children, now ages 14 to 24, including two sons that she and her husband adopted five years ago, Detweiler has also juggled a role in pastoral ministry for much of her adult life. Detweiler has served as principal of New Song Christian Academy, where her children were enrolled, and supervised the LIFE School of Ministry, which she helped prepare pastors and leaders for ministry.

“While I had all these other responsibilities on my plate, I was still a mom,” she says, “and it wasn’t always easy. I wanted to be ‘the best mom in the world’ to my children, but sometimes I felt like the worst.”

In the book, Detweiler is unafraid to reveal the times she wasn’t at her best. She describes a  life-changing season which followed the night she and her infant daughter almost died in a house fire.

Detweiler, a new mom, was home alone with five-week-old Rachel when their house caught on fire. It is believed that an arsonist ignited the empty home next to them, setting three homes ablaze. To make matters worse, the fire department was delayed by a train and only one fire truck was on the scene to deal with all three fires. Because of the smoke, Detweiler was disoriented and was unable to get to her daughter.

“My husband arrived in time to alert the firemen to our situation and we were saved. We were happy to be alive, but you can imagine the emotions,” she says. “We didn’t have a house. We didn’t have diapers for the baby. We lived at a neighbor’s home until we could get things sorted out.”

At the same time, Rachel developed colic, spending three to four hours each night screaming. The pressure was almost too much for Detweiler, as she recounts in Chapter 1 of the book.

One day, I laid Rachel down on the blanket and slowly backed away. Her screaming drove me to the edge of feeling like I couldn’t cope. I began to feel claustrophobic and trapped. My heart raced as my mind shut down. “I’m losing it,” I thought. “If I don’t get out of the house, I don’t know what I will do.” I went to the kitchen and dialed the number of a neighbor.

“Can you take my baby?” I quietly pleaded, as soon as she answered the phone. “I have to get out of here.”

Hearing the tremor in my voice, the neighbor agreed to help me. No doubt, she saw my glazed look as I handed her my infant and drove off. What would have happened if she hadn’t been there for me? I don’t know. I was truly desperate.

Desperation is a driving force in our lives to seek change. It is during the pressure-cooker seasons in our lives when we find out our areas of weakness and vulnerability. Pressure cookers are known for being hot, dangerous, and able to blow their lid. That house fire revealed the hidden habits of my own heart that needed God’s healing touch. It’s the heat of life that shows the hidden fractures of our hearts. A Life-Giving Mom uses the pressure-cooker seasons to reevaluate. Allow your own areas of need to propel you toward getting help. As you learn new skills, you will become a better person as well as a better mom.

“Some books for parents include all of the ‘good parenting’ stories,” she says. “But I tell my ‘bad parenting’ stories–those moments when I didn’t make the right choice, when I felt overwhelmed, when I blew it. I use those examples to reach out to the mom who wants to walk with God, who wants the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be evident in the way she parents, but who is coming to grips with how often she ends up falling short.”

For more information about Detweiler and 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom, visit SueDetweiler.com.

About Morgan James Publishing:

Since its inception in 2003, Morgan James Publishing has grown from publishing six books per year to publishing an average of 150 front list titles each year. With a backlist of over 1,900 titles, Morgan James Publishing  provides independent authors with the vital information, inspiration and guidance they need to be successful.


Morgan James Publishing has been named to Publisher’s Weekly list of fast-growing independent publishers three times. According to PW’s Lynn Andriani and Jim Milliot, “Morgan James makes an extraordinary effort to help its authors to grow their own business.”


Morgan James has also been recognized by Fast Company magazine’s Readers Choice Fast 50.


For more information, visit morganjamespublishing.com.


About Sue Detweiler:

Sue Detweiler is a mother of six, author, speaker and Bible teacher. Her Healing Rain radio feature is heard on many Christian radio stations across the country. Her internet radio program, Inspiring Women, features interviews with authors such as New York Times best-seller Dan Miller (48 Days To The Work You Love).


As a faithful steward, Detweiler has developed her God-given talent to communicate and articulate profound truths in simple and relatable ways. Her experience in marriage, motherhood and ministry exemplifies the life of a woman who has embraced her call and is fully alive to all that God has created her to be. Her debut book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom, is scheduled for release in digital form on May 9, just in time for Mother’s Day 2014, with the print version following in October.


For more information about Detweiler and 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom, visit SueDetweiler.com.

Upcoming His Kidz United CD Series Features Kids Singing Today's Top Christian Hits


‘Hallelujah,’ First Single From Unique CD Series, Offered As Easter Download by Worship Leader Magazine

his kidz

SOURCE: McCain & Co. PR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 18, 2014) – His Kidz United and INgrooves/Capitol Christian Distribution have announced the upcoming release of the His Kidz United CD series, a music brand for kids ages 5-14 which features kid-sung versions of today’s top Christian hits, including “Overcomer” by Mandisa, “Shake” by MercyMe, and “Speak Life” by TobyMac. 

On April 29, His Kidz United, Volume 1 releases to major retail outlets, including Family Christian Stores, Walmart, Lifeway, Mardel Christian Stores, iTunes and Amazon. On the same day, two digital versions will also be released–a sing-a-long version and an instrumental version of all 18 songs on the project. All products will be bundled and discounted at the His Kidz United website. 

The His Kidz United series is slated to release four new volumes per year. Each album offers 16 popular favorites plus two bonus originals.


Parents of four themselves, His Kidz United founders Jimmy and Mai Swan recognized a gap in the supply of uplifting Christian music kids can truly appreciate. A labor of love transformed the best of CCM into an album with which their own children would quickly fall in love.


“Up until now, there have been no other products like His Kidz United CDs,” says Jimmy Swan, executive producer of the project. “Why wouldn’t parents want to invest in positive Christian music for their children? And while the music is focusing on kids ages 5 to 14, we’re finding that young adults and even parents enjoy listening to the music, too!”


In celebration of Holy Week, Worship Leader magazine is offering the song “Hallelujah” from the upcoming His Kidz United CD, Volume 1, as a free download to its audience this week. To download the song, visit (emailunlock.com/hiskidzunited/hallelujah or worshipleader.com).


“‘Hallelujah’ is an elegant song that uses the voices of children to drive home some of Christianity’s foundational beliefs: God’s love for us, His provision in our lives, and the good news that we belong to the Father,” says Jeremy Armstrong, managing editor of Worship Leader. “This is a perfect song for kids, even adults, to sing today, and made even more poignant as we prepare to celebrate Easter.”


Proceeds of His Kidz United CDs benefit the Dallas Neighborhood Art & Music School–also known as NAMS School of Music–where all of the tracks are recorded and produced with NAMS students performing on the series.


Swan felt it was paramount to have a consistent group of kids performing on the series, and his friendship with the school’s director, Levi Bradford, made the collaboration a natural fit. 


“Kids listen to kids,” says Swan. “Parents are careful to teach their kids about ‘stranger danger.’ When an adult approaches a kid, they tend to get shy. But the minute another kid enters the room, there is an instant connection. As a parent, I want to impact my kids with spiritual messages and let them rejoice in the Lord. What is the best way to do this? Let them connect with their peers!”


Sales figures from recent kid-focused projects prove that adults invest in kids. The Frozen soundtrack from the animated Disney blockbuster film of the same name hit No. 1 on the charts and sold three million copies of the DVD right out of the gate, and the KIDZ BOP CD series released by Razor & Tie has sold more than 16 million units of its first 25 titles.  


With the official April 29 release of His Kidz United, Vol. 1 just weeks away, the CD can be pre-ordered through major retailers.


“Our mission with this series is to give kids an opportunity to be encouraged, inspired and drawn to the Lord through the powerful tool of music, and give them something to relate to,” Swan says. 


For more information, visit HisKidzUnited.com or like on Facebook at facebook.com/HisKidzUnited.

New Book Tackles Bullying and Other Difficult Issues for Teens

“Combining informative information with scriptural principles, Shannon Perry offers parents practical, yet timeless advice on how to raise teens and tweens
in an ever-evolving culture.” 

– Josh D. McDowell, author/speaker

New book tackles bullying and other difficult issues
for teens

SOURCE: Adams Group

Nashville, TN − In her new book, The Overlooked Generation:  Parenting Teens and Tweens in a Complicated Culture (Carpenter’s Son Publishing/STL), author, speaker, radio and TV host Shannon Perry tackles the tougher issues of raising teens and tweens.  With her background as a public school teacher and counselor, a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling and as a Certified Instructor for Crisis Counseling and Parenting Classes, Perry draws on nearly 20 years of experience working with teenagers and their parents.  The book covers topics such as dating, social media, eating disorders, drug use, as well as bullying, a subject that is especially important to Perry. Included in the book’s appendices is an interview with a mother whose daughter, Tara, committed suicide after being bullied. Perry’s personal relationship with Tara and her family made this a difficult, but necessary, addition to the book.

“I wanted to include Tara’s story in this book because bullying is becoming a serious epidemic,” says Perry, who created an anti-bullying program for one of the largest public school systems in the U.S.  “I was bullied as a child and I understand, first-hand, the impact it can have on a child’s self-esteem.  But bullying has been expanded to a whole new level with the use of social media, and parents need to know how to combat it before it gets out of hand.  They also need to know how to deal with the school systems so that bullies are dealt with swiftly and permanently.”

Endorsed by world-renowned author Josh McDowell, The Overlooked Generation stems from Perry’s teaching segments in her mother/daughter conference entitled “In Her Shoes.”  The book is heavily researched and includes up-to-date statistics as well as real-life stories from Perry’s counseling experiences, along with practical tips for parents on virtually every subject.  Perry also included a chapter on tough questions that she receives frequently from parents who attend her conferences. Perry chose the word “overlooked” after discovering there was a recurring theme with most teen problems.

“One of the things I hear most often from teens is that they feel ignored or overlooked,” says Perry.  “It is why so many of them do things like sexting or dabbling in drugs – they want to be noticed by their peers and accepted on some level. Unfortunately, they often try to get the attention they crave using negative behavior that often destroys their lives.  As parents, we need to understand our role in guiding this current generation of kids that is so impinged by cultural pressures.”

Although some of the topics are complex, Perry felt they needed addressing.  “I didn’t shy away from questions about homosexuality or pregnancy prior to marriage, because these are issues that are affecting kids even in Christian homes.  I believe the Bible is relevant on every subject that we face in life, and I pray that parents will find guidance in this book that will, ultimately, drive them to their knees in search of God’s perfect wisdom on whatever they are facing.”

To coincide with the book, Perry is releasing a new music video of a song she co-wrote with Lifeway’s Songwriter of the Year, Paul Marino.  The music video for the song, “Overlooked,” is produced and directed by Telly Award-winning director Jeffrey Kubach whose resume’ includes the hit television shows “Survivor” and “Burn Notice” along with a Best Pop Music Video nomination from Gospel Music Channel.

Perry hosts a bi-weekly television show called “Grace in High Heels” which currently broadcasts into over 32 million homes via the NRB Network.  Shannon also hosts a talk radio show on Salem Communication’s KKHT Radio in Houston, Texas.  Shannon’s first book entitled Grace in High Heels: Real-life reflections of Humor, Hope and Healing was based on one of Shannon’s most popular women’s conferences, “If The Shoe Fits. As a recording artist, Perry has performed at Carnegie Hall, with the Houston Symphony, and sang for over 70,000 fans at a NFL football game.  Perry is a contributing writer for Believe.com as well as Crosswalk.com, one of the most visited Christian sites on the web with over 24 million page views per month.  She has contributed articles to magazines and ezines such as Charisma, Christian Voice, Christian Women of Today, among others. For more information, visit www.ShannonPerry.com.


Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Summer Road Trip

Top 10 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Summer Road Trip

Brad Mathias, author of the new parenting-themed book Road Trip to Redemption (Tyndale Momentum), has created a list of ten reasons why a road trip can improve not only your summer but your family.

SOURCE: Nashville PR

(NASHVILLE, Tennessee) — It’s no secret that families today are struggling. Daily pulled in a dozen different directions by jobs, schooling, and extracurricular activities, parents and kids often feel disconnected from each other, and the distance can produce devastating effects.

If you’re feeling this tension in your life, follow this top 10 list of reasons to take your family on a road trip this summer:

1) It’s time to unplug!
Leave the office behind. Power down your computer, and turn off that smartphone. Give this time to your spouse and kids, and allow old-fashioned conversations to occur.

2) Go somewhere you’ve never been!
We live in the greatest country in the world. Go explore, and don’t be afraid to pull off the road on a whim. It’s time for an adventure.

3) Face your fears, and try a new activity together!
New experiences can change past ones and help build trust and respect. Go horseback riding, river rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, etc.

4) Discover new cultures and savor new flavors!
Try regional foods and sample local culture. You just might find something new to enjoy.

5) Go outside!
Introduce your kids—and possibly yourself—to outdoor life. Go fishing or hiking, and camp out under the stars. The night sky might look a little different than it does in the city!

6) No schedules allowed!
This is a vacation! It’s time to leave calendars and deadlines behind. Don’t be afraid to venture off course and enjoy some freedom. Show your kids how to be spontaneous!

7) Let your kids make decisions!
This is their vacation too! Let them make some choices along the way. That horrible dining experience or weird roadside attraction just might give you an opportunity to laugh together.

8) Change your perspective!
Walk above the clouds on a mountaintop, or swim under a waterfall. Reconnect with your family while sharing incredible experiences.

9) Fall in love with your spouse all over again!
Book a separate hotel room from your kids for at least one night. Allow yourself some time to reconnect as a couple.

10) Life is short!
Your kids won’t be kids forever. Use this time to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Brad Mathias, author of the new book, Road Trip to Redemption (Tyndale Momentum, June 2013), thought everything in his family was fine, until he and his wife discovered a devastating secret. So they piled their family into the car and embarked on a wild, crazy, seven-thousand-mile, what-are-we-thinking trip across the country. As they drove, they realized how far apart they’d drifted, found unexpected blessings along the way—and journeyed together from pain and loss to recovery and redemption.

Road Trip to Redemption is available now wherever books are sold. For more information, visit tyndalemomentum.com.

Jaci Velasquez Offers Back-To-School Advice for Parents

Award-Winning Recording Artist Jaci Velasquez And Son Both Prepare For Back To School As First-Time Students

Jaci Velasquez parents

SOURCE: TKO Marketing

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (July 15, 2013) – Multi-tasking is the name of the game for Platinum-Selling Recording Artist Jaci Velasquez these days. While continuing to tour around the world, record new music, co-host her morning radio talk show, and being a devoted mother and wife, Jaci is now conquering back to school as she and her son ready themselves as first-time students for the upcoming school year. Jaci is enrolled in Liberty University’s online program while her oldest son Zealand is preparing for his kindergarten debut.

Jaci decided to answer back-to-school questions and offer some tips for moms with children headed off to school for the first time.

Why have you chosen to enroll at Liberty University and head back to school at this time in your life?

Now is the best time! From 15 to 25, I was touring like crazy! I bet if I would have tried to write an essay while on the road back then, it would have been written in the three local languages of the countries that I was visiting at that time. Now, I am more grounded and focused on the importance of education to me. You always have to be true to yourself, and for me, this is time to do it!

What kind of program is it (classroom or online)? Why did you choose this particular learning medium?

It’s an online program through Liberty. I am LOVING it right now because it is allowing me to learn without sacrificing time with my family. Pretty soon, Soren and Zealand will be the ones giving me flash card quizzes.  (You can’t do that in the classroom!)

What do you hope to accomplish?

Obtaining a degree and proving to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Which makes you more anxious, you or your son Zealand starting school? Why?

BOTH! Zealand is my first child, which means he is growing up first. His first day of school is coming up next month, and I know I’m going to cry. I wish I could be there to walk with him through every part of it and protect him from all those unsettling stories that you hear on the news, but I know he has to experience it himself to grow into the man he will become. I also know that I’ll be the first one he sees when he gets back, so it’s all good :)

I am a little anxious about my own education because it seems like I’m living my life a little backwards than the average person since I’m embarking on a college education after building a career, getting married and while raising two little boys. The important part though, is that I’m doing it!


As a working mom going back to school, do you have any suggestions for finding life balance?

Everything in life is about balance-so I am approaching it like I do everything else: Set boundaries, time frames and break times. If you have a set schedule, you’re more likely to follow through.


Do you have any tips for getting children prepared for the big day?

Tips for parents:  Make sure your camera or iPhone is CHARGED when they are walking out the door and getting on the bus for the first time! Tips for children: Have fun, be nice, and tell mom and dad EVERYTHING!


What’s the best part about a new school year?

Gearing up for a new school year is always exciting! The best part about it? Shopping! My advice to students, no matter what grade they are about to embark upon, is this: Have fun shopping! That was always the most enjoyable part for me.  New pens, pencils, binders…multi colored folders and yearly calendars….fresh kicks and a new outfit or two. THAT is what got me pumped for a new year.


About Jaci Velasquez

Jaci Velasquez has three RIAA® certified Platinum® albums, three RIAA® certified Gold® albums, 16 number one singles, 6 singles in the top 10, 7 Dove Awards, has graced more than 50 magazine covers, appeared in ads for Pepsi, Doritos, Target, and is the co-host of the syndicated morning show, “The Family Friendly Morning Show with Doug and Jaci Velasquez” on Today’s Christian Music Radio Network with more than 1.5 million listeners. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/JaciVelasquezOfficial.



New From Alex and Stephen Kendrick-'The Love Dare for Parents' July 1





SOURCE: Lovell/Fairchild Comm.

NASHVILLE – June 6, 2013 – From Stephen and Alex Kendrick—the writers/producer/director of FIREPROOF and the author’s of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book it inspired, The Love Dare—comes a life-changing tool for building strong, godly families—The Love Dare for Parents.

The Love Dare for Parents offers a 40-day journey of daily ‘dares’ that challenge parents to know what Christ-like love looks like and to share it with their children,” Stephen Kendrick said.

Available for preorder now with deliveries beginning July 1, The Love Dare for Parents also includes free access to an online parenting evaluation tool to make the book even more impactful.

“We know that family life is busy,” Alex Kendrick said. “We purposefully made The Love Dare for Parents easy and enjoyable to read with biblical principles you can apply to your parenting from Day One.”

Each of the 40 days of The Love Dare for Parents begins with an encouraging promise from scripture then draws a biblical principle from it. Parents receive daily challenges to put the principles to work in the lives of their children. And, there is room for readers to make the book their own, with space to journal reflections about the material and about personal experiences, putting it into action. The Love Dare for Parents is helpful and encouraging to parents and children of all ages—whether a new parent looking to win the heart of their young child or an older parent hoping to win a heart back.

Alex and Stephen Kendrick, founders of Kendrick Brothers Productions, are the creative team behind some of the most popular faith-based films of recent times including FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF and COURAGEOUS. And they are international best-selling authors of books inspired by their films. In FIREPROOF, a major character whose marriage is crumbling is challenged to take The Love Dare, 40 days of showing sacrificial love to his wife. The book The Love Dare was inspired by FIREPROOF and has spent 131 weeks on the New York Times Advice best-seller list and has sold nearly 6 million copies. On June 2, five years after its release, it is still earning accolades, as it received the Impact Book Award in the K-LOVE radio network’s first-ever fan-voted awards program. Alex Kendrick accepted the award at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

In the wake of The Love Dare’s positive impact on marriages, the No. 1 request the Kendricks received was for The Love Dare for Parents. With this book, they break new ground for building biblically-based families. The Love Dare for Parents helps moms and dads more fully enjoy and delight in their children and offers the perfect tool to, “Win the heart of your child.”

About B&H Publishing Group

As a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, B&H Publishing Group offers sought-after books, Bibles, church supplies and multimedia products. B&H is a major publisher of Christian living, fiction, youth, history, academic, reference and electronic products. The company’s stable of best-selling authors includes Beth Moore, Gary Chapman, Henry Blackaby, Candace Cameron Bure and Oliver North.

I Hate (Most) Talking Childrens' Toys.


One thing I’ve noticed as my 10 month old is growing is just how obnoxious his toys can be. Of course, I’m not saying the toys themselves have their own pesky attitude (That would be silly, wouldn’t it?). However, the voices recorded for the children are some of the most irritating and obnoxious sounds to have ever reached my ear canal (and I review music full-time, so you can imagine just how bad these toys can be).

The most common offender is a woman’s voice on various singing or talking plastic “books” that consist of just a couple pages and are made to be durable. They exist in this universe because, unfortunately, children love them. Granted, the discernment of little ones is very weak at such a young age, but the patronizing tone and elated sounds of these voices capture the hearts of babies everywhere (As I type this, I hear a painful rendition of “The Farmer int he Dell” playing in the background. Save me, please).

But while children love these toys, there’s something about a flighty-sounding woman blissfully exclaiming “Let’s sing a song!” or “Let’s have fun!” and breaking into a chorus of “The Cow Jumped Over The Moon” that boils my blood. Perhaps there’s a time and place for these things, but for me, the time isn’t “any time” and the place certainly isn’t ever “here.”

If you’re actually still reading my tirade, I have some positive words for you.

I was shopping in Target one day when I came across the pleasant face of a stuffed green dog (yes… I just used “green” to describe a “dog”). Made by the brand LeapFrog, this puffy plush little pooch is programmable. He comes with a box in his velcro-enclosed back that allows you to connect this little dude to your computer. There, you can program Scout to know your child’s name and repeat it for them, to use their name in a song, and to customize it to sing songs about your child’s favorite food, color and animal. What’s more, you can choose from quite a few different jingles — from upbeat party type children songs to Christmas songs and even the birthday song. I actually loaded this puppy up with four lullabies and you can program it to play up to 10 minutes straight of bedtime tunes for your little one.

Best of all? His voice. His voice is that of a real little boy… not some woman who sounds like she sniffed a mess of Sharpies before recording her songs. While I only know Scout, I did see that there’s a purple pooch for girls called Violet. In addition to the main Scout and Violet plushes, there appear to be some additional themed LeapFrog toys for these two. While I haven’t checked them out yet, you can bet I will.

So if you’re like me and can’t stand the more whimsical toys, perhaps Scout or Violet may be of service to you and your child.