Encourage Your Boys With a Little Help from Raising Boys By Design

As a parent of boys, you know that they are unique, different, and special.  Raising Boys by Design, by Gregory L Jantz, PhD, and Michael Gurian, is a helpful resource that we as parents can turn to that will help us guide our boys through the unique challenges they face.   You know that your son was created for great things, but he needs your help to appreciate his unique male design and to grow into the strong loving man God created him to be.

Raising Boys by Design

Boys are unique and we can encourage them in their uniqueness with a little help from one of our favorite books.

Packed with doable strategies and eye-opening examples of what’s really going on inside a boy’s brain, Raising Boys by Design offers a practical blueprint to help you build a HERO–one who values Honor, Enterprise, Responsibility, and Originality. Among other things, you’ll learn how to help your son:

• strengthen his character, resilience, and self-discipline
• nurture genuine compassion and empathy
• process words and emotions in ways that fit his brain chemistry
• succeed in school and hone crucial life skills
• develop a healthy perspective of sexuality
• avoid the pitfalls of media and technology
• embark on a lifelong adventure of faith

Raising Boys by Design is one of our go-to resource books for raising boys, but don’t take our word for it.  Here are some reviews we’ve found to be insightful:

Raising Boys by Design is a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read. It’s marvelously inspiring, well thought out, and academically supported, but it’s also an intuitive guide to raising boys. Every parent, teacher, and grandparent could benefit from this work.”
—Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting

“Blending biblical truth with brain science, Raising Boys by Design is truly a ground-breaking resource that offers much-needed insights for guiding boys toward health and success in every area of life.”
—Tim Clinton, PhD, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors and executive director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University

“Raising boys in today’s world is no easy task. We need to understand how boys process their emotions and deal with bullying, peer pressure, technology and other important issues—all of which are covered here. This must-read resource helps equip families to raise sons who will be well adjusted and heroes for life.”
—Linda Mintle, PhD, author of Raising Healthy Kids in an Unhealthy World

“We live in a society where it’s dangerous to be a normal, rambunctious, healthy boy. High energy is labeled hyperactive, competitiveness to excel is deemed selfish, and single-mindedness in completion of a task is considered insensitive. Society’s constant attack on normal maleness instills a destructive insecurity and sense of inferiority into countless thousands of otherwise normal healthy men. Raising Boys by Designbrilliantly exposes this destructive trend while providing meaningful insights and applicable solutions. If you want to protect your sons from the corrosive effects of today’s world and empower them to become men after God’s own heart, then this book is for you.”
—Timothy R. Jennings, MD, author of The God-Shaped Brain, president-elect of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association, and chairman, board of regents, of the Southern Psychiatric Association

Raising Boys by Design is a clearly written and helpful book that integrates biblical truth and findings from brain science to enable sons to thrive as they grow up into adulthood.”
—Siang-Yang Tan, PhD, professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective

Besides, Raising Boys by Design, JM Cremp’s has several excellent books on raising boys.

Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeder, M.D.

The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

Raising Real Men:  Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young 

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Make Applesauce with Your Kids in 4 Easy Steps

1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juiceWhat do you do on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the fall when the kids are bored and stuck in the house?  That’s the question I’m faced with today, and my roadside fruit stand provided the inspiration in the form of an abundance of apples.  I’ve decided to forgo the pie and opt for a healthier option that allows the kids to be more involved.  So today is applesauce making day!

Homemade applesauce is easy so easy to make, you’ll find yourself wondering why you haven’t done it earlier!

First, gather your ingredients:

  • 8 medium apples
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Step 1. Wash and peel the apples.

Step 1 how to make applesauce with kids

Step 2.  Core and slice the apple.  Chop the apple into 1/2 inch to 1 inch chunks.

Step 2 How to Make Applesauce

Step 3. Transfer the apples to a crockpot and pour 2 tsp of lemon juice over the sliced apples. Stir the apples to coat them with the juice.

Step 3 How to Make Applesauce

Step 4. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add water. Cover and cook on low for approximately 6 hours. If the applesauce is too runny, remove the lid and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 4 How to Make Applesauce

It’s really that easy!  Check out more ideas for easy projects with kids on our website at jmcremps.com.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Applesauce.  Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

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Navajo Code Talkers – American Heroes that Turned the Tide of WWII

Navajo Code Talkers

Navajo Code Talkers on the island of Saipan in June, 1944.

During World War II, military commanders on both sides of the war used complicated machines, known as cipher machines, to send messages back and forth.  Although, the technology used to encrypt (write in code) these messages was state-of-the-art and complex, the codes were breakable by the enemy IF the enemy learned the key (the way to solve the code).  Eager to come up with a way of communicating that was even more difficult to break, military commanders turned to a trick Roman officers used in the first century BCE – they communicated in a language that the enemy didn’t know and couldn’t easily learn.

The Navajo language was so complex and difficult to master, and the people themselves were so isolated, that few outsiders ever mastered the language.  It was for these reasons that the Navajo language became the perfect method of unbreakable communication for the US Military during World War II.

Originally, the marines took on 29 Navajo recruits.  Those original recruits had to devise new words for military terms that were not part of their native language.  For example, a dive bomber was called a chicken hawk, a battleship was a whale, and a commanding officer was called a war chief.

Navajo code words for English letters.

Navajo code words for English letters. (courtesy of wikipedia.org)

Within the first two days of the battle of Iwo Jima, the Navajo transmitted over 800 messages without a single error.  The enemy was completely confused and the battle of Iwo Jima’s success can be attributed in part to the brave men of the Navajo nation who successfully transmitted important coded messages.  One american officer stated, “Were it not for the Navajo code talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.”

Eventually the Navajo Code Talkers numbered over 400, and their success attributed to the outcome of the war.  Countless movies, documentaries, and books have covered these amazing men and their stories.  The book, Mysterious Messages, A History of Codes and Ciphers by Gary Blackwood covers codes throughout history, and he includes these amazing men and their story.  You can learn more about these american heroes on the website www.navajocodetalkers.org.

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How to Blow up a Balloon With Baking Soda and Vinegar – At Home Science Experiments for Kids

It’s easy to make science fun and exciting with this simple science experiment you can do at home.  All you need are a few supplies and a willing helper or two.  This simple experiment will demonstrate the process of a chemical reaction.  Here are the supplies you will need:

Fill a balloon the fun way!

Blow up a balloon the fun way!

  • Ballon
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Empty plastic bottle with a narrow neck
  • Funnel

1.  Pour a little vinegar into a plastic bottle. Choose a plastic water bottle, or another bottle with a narrow neck. Pour 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of vinegar into the bottle, using a funnel if you have one. Use white vinegar, also called distilled vinegar, for the best result.

2.  Use a funnel or straw to put a little baking soda into a limp balloon. You can use any shape and color of balloon. Hold it loosely by the neck, with the open side of the balloon facing towards you. Fit a funnel into the neck if you have one, then pour about two tablespoons (30 mL) baking soda into the balloon, or just fill the balloon about halfway full.

3.  Stretch the neck of the balloon over the top of the bottle. Be careful not to spill the baking soda while you do this. Hold the balloon’s neck with both hands and stretch it over the top of the plastic bottle containing vinegar. Have a friend keep the bottle steady if the table or bottle is wobbly.

4.  Lift the balloon up over the bottle and watch the reaction. The baking soda should fall out of the balloon, through the neck of the bottle, and into the vinegar at the bottom. Here, the two chemicals will fizz and react, turning into other chemicals. One of these is carbon dioxide, a gas, which will rise up and inflate the balloon.  Shake the bottle gently to mix the two ingredients if there’s not much fizzing.

5.  If it doesn’t work, try again with more vinegar or baking soda. If the fizzing has stopped and the balloon still hasn’t inflated after you count to 100, empty out the bottle and try again with more vinegar and baking soda. The stuff left in the bottle has turned into other chemicals, mostly water, so it can’t be used again.  Don’t go overboard. The bottle should never be more than about 1/3 full of vinegar.


Depending on the age and interest of your young experimenters, you can use this simple at-home science experiment to introduce any of the following principles:

Understand chemical reactions. Just about everything around you is made up of molecules, or different types of substances. Often, two kinds of molecules react with each other, breaking up and forming different molecules out of the pieces.

Learn about baking soda and vinegar. The reactants, or substances that reacted with each other in the fizzy reaction you saw, are baking soda and vinegar. Unlike many ingredients in your kitchen, both of these are simple chemicals, not complicated mixtures of many chemicals:

  • Baking soda is another word for the molecule sodium bicarbonate.
  • White vinegar is a mixture of acetic acid and water. Only the acetic acid reacts with the baking soda.

Read about the reaction. Baking soda is a type of substance called a base. Vinegar, or acetic acid, is a type of substance called an acid. Bases and acids react with each other, partially breaking apart and forming different substances. This is described as “neutralization” because the end result is neither a base nor an acid. In this case, the new substances are water, a kind of salt, and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, a gas, leaves the liquid mixture and expands throughout the bottle and the balloon, inflating it.

  • Although the definition of acid and base can get complicated, you can compare the differences between the original substances and the “neutralized” result to see there are obvious changes. For instance, vinegar has a strong smell and can be used to dissolve grime and dirt. After being mixed with baking soda, it smells much less strongly and is no more effective at cleaning than water is.

Study the chemical formula. If you’re familiar with some chemistry, or curious about how scientists describe reactions, the formula below describes the reaction between sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 and acetic acid H C2H3O2(aq)NaC2H3O2.[4] Can you figure out how each molecule splits apart and reforms?

  • NaHCO3(aq) + HC2H3O2(aq) → NaC2H3O2(aq) + H2O(l) + CO2(g)
  • The letters in parentheses show the state the chemicals are in during and after the reaction: (g)as, (l)iquid, or (aq)ueous. “Aqueous” means the chemical is dissolved in water.

JM Cremps carries a complete line of fun and exciting at-home science experiments for kids. They carry science kits and science experiments for every age.  The My First Super Science Kit is perfect for the younger scientists.  As your scientist gets older and more knowledgeable, our Chemistry Kits,  Snap Circuits Snaptricity Kits, and our Build Your Own Combustion Engine Kit are a few of our favorites.

The instructional portion of this article was provided by wikiHow, a wiki building the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Blow Up a Balloon with Baking Soda and Vinegar. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

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Inspire Your Children with Stories of Valor and Bravery

As parents, we want our children to be brave and noble and to “do the right thing”.  We guide them and prod them and hope our nagging results in their upstanding behavior.  If you are anything like me, then you probably bombard your children with anecdotes and examples of  upstanding behavior in the hopes that something will sink in.   However, the older my boys get, the less impact my stories seem to have.  Fortunately the written word is alive and well, and stories and books of bravery, heroism and valor abound.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn't a fictional story.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn’t a fictional story.

The book shelves in our house are filled with many of the same books that the folks at JM Cremp’s have recognized as inspiring.  Tales of heroism, grace under pressure, and doing the right thing are abundant; and we are blessed to be able to live in an age where they are readily available to us.  Here are some of my favorites:

A Young Patriot – The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy by Jim Murphy – In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself “as warm a patriot as the best of them.” He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy’s humor.

Geronimo, Wolf of the Warpath by Ralph Moody – Geronimo, the legendary Indian who inspired and fought for his people. But who was this man, really? Here is the riveting tale of the last Apache warrior —told by the author of the bestselling Little Britches. Born in 1829 and steeped in the skills and stoicism valued by his tribe, Geronimo was transformed into a feared and respected renegade after witnessing the brutal slaughter of his family. Ultimately he spent more than 25 years eluding the U.S. Army, which sent 5,000 soldiers to hunt him down.

Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Freedom by Rita Mullin – One of the great thinkers of all time, Thomas Jefferson helped shape America in its early years, and his ideas continue to inspire us today. His amazing contributions include not only writing the Declaration of Independence, but his actions as the United States’ third President, as well as his influence as a scientist, inventor, farming pioneer, and educator.

Frederick Douglass, Rising Up from Slavery by Francis E. Ruffin – From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America’s first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America’s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

Jim Thorpe, An Athlete for the Ages by Ellen C. Lebreqcue – Simply the best: those words perfectly describe the multitalented Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. Not only did he excel at baseball and football, but he also won gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon—the only person in Olympic history to do so. This fascinating biography discusses: Thorpe’s many family tragedies—including the childhood death of his twin brother; Why he was temporarily stripped of his gold medals (which were restored posthumously); How he helped establish the sport of major league football; His selection as Greatest Athlete of the 20th century in an Internet poll conducted by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Kids will enjoy meeting this amazing sports star whose Indian name aptly meant “Bright Path.”



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Test Your Young Farmer’s Farm Knowledge with Our Farm Facts Quiz

It’s harvest season, and for your junior farmer, that means a lot of miles on their favorite tractor.  For as long as there have been farms, there have been young boys and girls playing farmer and getting dirt on their britches.  The thrill of plowing fields, mowing hay and rounding up cattle is a strong temptation for many a would-be farmer, and a shiny red or green tractor can get make both young and old farmers alike get a little short of breath.

Whether you're a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there's always work to be done on your favorite tractor.

Whether you’re a big farm kid or a small farm kid, there’s always work to be done on your favorite tractor.

JM Cremps has a full selection of the best farm toys, tractors, and farm tools you’ll find outside of a tractor store.  If your young John Deere has a barn full of tractors already and seems to know more about farming than you do, then why not test your little farmer’s knowledge with this fun Farm Facts Quiz.  Download and print your copy of the Farm Facts Quiz here.

  1.  What percentage of all apples grown in the US are grown in the state of Washington?
    1. 40%
    2. 50%
    3. 60%
  2. How many glasses of milk does the average milk cow produce in one year?
    1. 28,000
    2. 46,000
    3. 67,000
  3. How many honeybees does it take to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 12
    2. 18
    3. 26
  4. How many flowers are collected from to produce a Tablespoon of honey?
    1. 1,000
    2. 2,000
    3. 3,000
  5. Which state produces the most cranberries?
    1. Maine
    2. Minnesota
    3. Wisconsin
  6. How much broccoli does the average American eat each year?
    1. 1 pound
    2. 4 pounds
    3. 7 pounds
  7. How many pounds of tomatoes does the average American eat each year?  (Don’t forget to include ketchup and spaghetti sauce!)
    1. 22 pounds
    2. 44 pounds
    3. 66 pounds
  8. Approximately how many farms are there in the United States?
    1. 1.6 million
    2. 1.9 million
    3. 2.2 million
  9. How much water does the average dairy cow drink in one day?
    1. 15 gallons
    2. 20 gallons
    3. 25 gallons
  10. The average hen lays how many eggs per year?
    1. 243
    2. 299
    3. 325

Get your Farm Facts Quiz Answer Sheet HERE.

*Facts provided by the American Farm Bureau, National Farm-City Council, and the Ontario Farm Council.

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Made in the USA and Proud of it!

Labor Day is upon us. It’s the last hurrah of summer for most families with barb-b-que’s, trips the lake, picnics, and plenty of food. It’s also a wonderful three-day weekend that affords many working folks a rare Monday off. If you have school-age children, that means that they have a rare Monday off of school too, and most families fit as much fun as possible into those coveted three days.

Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors are Made in the USA and make a perfect Labor Day weekend family activity.

Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors are Made in the USA and make a perfect Labor Day weekend family activity.

Although Labor Day is viewed as a fun three-day weekend, it’s also a holiday meant to celebrate the American worker. The first Labor Day was 120 years ago, and many things have changed in the American workforce since that time. Fewer and fewer of the tools we use, the clothes we wear, and the toys we play with are made in the United States any more. For decades now we’ve seen cheaper imported goods take over our store shelves. The good news is that the trend is slowly turning around. In the last 10 years more and more products are once again starting to be made right here at home by your friends and neighbors.

At JM Cremps, we are excited by the prospect of filling our catalog and website with products made right here at home. Each year we are able to bring more and more of these products to our customers, and the quality and variety of these products constantly improves. This trend towards American Made products is something we all can take pride in. Labor Day weekend is a great time to bring some discussion and awareness to this topic as you enjoy your family activities. You can even turn the discussion into a game by creating a Made-in-the-USA scavenger hunt that will keep the kids happy. Who knows, you might find something in your home that was made right there in your own community.

You can find our constantly growing supply of Made-in-the-USA toys, gear, and games on our website in our new Made In The USA category. Some of our best selling gear is made right here at home!

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