Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Things First by Kurt & Brenda Warner (with Jennifer Schuchmann)

Synopsis :

Kurt Warner is the two-time NFL MVP–winning quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Brenda Warner is an ex-Marine turned stay-at-home mom who collects coats for low-income kids and rocks babies to sleep at a hospital for chronically-ill infants. Together they’re the parents of seven, going into their 12th year of marriage, and founders of a foundation that helps disadvantaged children and families. Their formula for success? They put First Things First—family, faith, and giving to others—it’s their family motto, and it drives everything they do. First Things First is an honest, insightful, and entertaining look at life inside the Warner household. Kurt and Brenda speak candidly about their marriage, the values they are working to instill in their kids, things they’ve done right, mistakes they’ve made, the importance of giving back, and the legacy they hope to leave behind. Includes a 16-page full-color photo insert.

I received a trade paperback version of this book from Tyndale for review. When I got it, I wasn’t sure when I’ll start reviewing it and I wasn’t sure how long it will take me to do it. I browsed through the pages, looked at the beautiful coloured photos. I decided to start with the Forward by Jesse (their eldest daughter) just to get a feel of the book. After the Forward, why not continue with the Prologue by the authors and after the Prologue, I challenge myself to just read chapter one to get a feel of the book as I really need to complete the other book I have with me. Before I know it, I’m halfway through the whole book! In total, I read this book in less than 2 days!

For a non-fiction, it was an engrossing read. It was like Kurt and Brenda just fling open the door of their lives and share with us their family stories. It wasn’t so much as a parenting guide book with their recommended do’s and don’ts but more like a how they actually live the lives of the being a Warner and how they are guided by the ‘rules’ they established for themselves. However, the interesting thing is that they do not always agree on these ‘rules’. For example, Brenda says Kurt is not to sign autographs when he’s with his family and she gave her reason why (which I don’t really agree with but nevermind). On the other hand, , Kurt sometimes still does it as he feels that it brought so much joy to his fans.

Each chapter has a theme and then we have Kurt’s version and then there’s Brenda’s version. Sometimes, I enjoy reading the different perspective to a situation. However, sometimes I was annoyed when there’s repetitive in both versions which made me just a bit impatient in wanting to move along. This could be due to editing.

The Warner also introduced us to the different characteristic of their kids. In total, they have 7 kids with 2 from Brenda’s earlier marriage. Each kid has different personality and brought different parenting challenges to Kurt and Brenda. The writing is light with humour thrown in here and there and is really a fun book. I really enjoyed reading this.

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