Monthly Archives: January 2008

The Minivan Years

I just finished reading The Minivan Years: Celebrating the Hectic Joys of Motherhood by Olivia Bruner. (I love the title of this book.)

In the introduction it lists some ways to know if you’re officially in “the minivan years”. It says in part,

There is at least one car seat in your vehicle – probably filled with pacifiers, cracker crumbs, and smashed French fries or M&M’s.

Snack wrappers and Sunday school take-home papers litter the floor of your automobile.

I don’t know about you, but that describes my minivan on a good day. (Except the pacifiers. We’re a bit beyond that. Though who knows, there could be one lost in there somewhere.)

The book has some Christian based advice sprinkled throughout, but it’s refreshingly non-judgmental. In fact, she reveals some pretty personal mistakes she’s made as a mother. You know the mistakes you’ve made that you don’t want any one to know about! … And she even touched on the difficulty of deciding whether to let her kids get involved in some things which are considered controversial by many Christians, such as reading Harry Potter.

I really loved this book. It’s one of the best all around books on parenting I’ve ever read.

I would like to pass on my copy (It is a paperback advance reading copy) to one of my readers. If you would like a chance at being the one to get it, just leave a comment on this post. That’s all you have to do! I’ll pick a winner at random and announce them as an update at the bottom of this post on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008.


Using the online randomizer at, a winner has been chosen.
Congratulations to… ZOE! … Zoe will be receiving an advance paperback copy of The Minivan Years by Olivia Bruner.



Filed under books, contest, kids, opinion, religion


I’m reading a book called Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes by Mark J. Penn right now and I find it really interesting.

It’s similar to another book I read last year that I really enjoyed called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

Microtrends is about how very small trends have a big impact on world events. It takes only one percent of the American public, (three million people), to tip an election or start a social movement, among other things.

The author, Mark Penn, is the man who identified the group we call “Soccer Moms” and predicted they would be crucial in President Clinton’s 1996 reelection.

If you’re at all interested in sociology, this book is a real page turner. I’ve learned so many random facts from this book that really help you to understand our culture. For instance, have you ever noticed how women complain that there aren’t any good single men left? There’s some truth to that. There are actually more single women than single men in the United States. This is caused by ratio of female vs. male births, as well as the fact that men are more likely to die in adolescence or be incarcerated.

The author ends the chapter titled Sex-Ratio Singles, with this interesting thought,

“Historians have well documented that a society with too many unattached men leads to war. Will a society with too many unattached women lead to peace?”


Filed under books, culture, opinion