Friday, November 5, 2010

We Love Books!

There is nothing like enjoying a good book on a cold and dreary day. Starting a fire in the fire place, grabbing a craft and hunkering down to listen to Mama read. I suppose we enjoy reading aloud any time of the year, but since it is cold, the time together seems to keep us especially cozy. And we wanted to share a few of our recent favorites with you!

Black Beauty is a very sweet tale for the entire family. I would have no trouble handing this book to a nine year old to read on their own, the quality is so pure and stellar, but If you haven't read this one aloud you won't want to miss it! It took Anna Sewell seven years to write this character building volume and it really shows. It feels like you are truly enjoying her life's work as you read this . And I love this new binding as well which matches Heidi and a handful of others we love in this set. What a blessing to find these wonderful works unabridged and handsomely hard bound. Might make a nice gift.

Age recommendation: All
Editing: None

The Kingdom Series
by Chuck Black was a fun and adventurous tale! Certainly exciting for boys and girls. The books are a wonderfully written Biblical allegory set in the days of knights and fair maidens. They cover Genesis to Revelation and yet will keep you guessing as you go along. So many times we had no idea what would happen next! In our expereince, the first chapter or two took a bit to catch on, but once we passed them we couldn't stop reading and we zipped through all six in a row! These books do not include magic, mysticysm or wizardry.

There are a couple scenes that a parent might want to skip near the beginning of the first novel if reading aloud with little ones and the volumes include a lot of clashing of swords and struggle as good and evil collide, but all the kids will love them and want to hear them again! They do have these on audio and as long as your expectations are set that they will not be as polished as some of the other audio drama available (such as Lamplighter's audio), then you should enjoy it. Warning: Do not read unless you won't mind sword play around your home! It's a little contagious!

Age recommendation: All (with some editing)
Editing: Some

Carry on, Mr. Bowditch was also a great book-- a must read. I might recommend for a bit older audience just so it keeps their attention.

From Vision Forum: Every young person needs to read this true story of “Nat” Bowditch, the famous Massachusetts mathematician and seaman known as the founder of modern maritime navigation. Born in 1773, Bowditch persevered through terrible disappointment, breaking through obstacles in life by learning to “sail by an ash breeze”, and ultimately changed the world for seamen through his dedication to precision. His mastery of advanced math led to new methods of calculation that were compiled in his book, The American Practical Navigator, which is still used today and carried by every commissioned U.S. Navy vessel!

Age recommendation: 9 and up
Editing: None

Heroes of History books: Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman
We decided to read both of these books near the same time since both these ladies were contemporaries during the time of the Civil Was. Some editing was required, but not much. It was interesting to do our own research (how I love to read speeches and letters that come from the hands of historical figures) and found a greater faith and trust in Christ professed than came across in the
Benge's book. I would have enjoyed a bit more of that in the book. Both women sought to help wherever they were needed. Both women trusted the Lord in times of turmoil. Both women sought to help others and were recognized for it, though that was not their motive. From Clara we gleaned wisdom in how she dealt with difficult people-- it wasdefinitely by The Book and with wisdom. And from Harriet we were encouraged at how God could use and help someone who was physically weak, but strong in Him.

From the Amazon website: Clara Barton risked everything to save countless lives on the
front lines of battle. Once a painfully timid child, Clara was as bold as a lion when it came to helping others, whether wayward schoolboys, natural-disaster victims, or dying soldiers.

And Harriet Tubman: Even huge rewards for her capture - dead or alive - did not stop Harriet from risking her life again and again in the fight for liberty as the nation spiraled into the Civil War. Whether running from slave hunters, advising generals, or improving condition in war hospitals, remarkable Harriet Tubman would not be satisfied until every person could experience true freedom."

Age recommendation: All (with some editing)
Editing: Some

Blessings to you!

Photos: More photos from our sweet time with the Harder family. Aren't they cute? A fort made of blankets by little girls. Many paper air planes were made and tested this weekend. Lots of health food (ahem), smiles and laughs. Wonderful time of singing together and discussing what the Lord is teaching us. And sweet neighbors that joined us from next door-- including my younger sister Liz (pictured in grey and purple). Thank you for the joy and encouragement friends!


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post Rebecca!

    I have 3 questions for you. :) If you can find the time to answer them, I would so appreciate it!

    Firstly, what is the piano music playing on your blog? I absolutely love it and would love to add it to our collection!

    Secondly, how do you get little Hayley to keep quiet during read aloud times? I find reading aloud so difficult at the moment because Will (Hayley's age) is such a chatterbox. :/ Even if he is doing his own thing, he is chatting or singing to the point where the older children can't hear me! He doesn't seem to 'get' volume control yet. ;) He doesn't nap anymore so nap time isn't an option.

    And thirdly..... I see photos of your family sharing precious time with other like-minded families and I wonder how you find each other. :) I feel so alone at times on our family journey and long for community. We aren't even part of a church family at the moment as we haven't found a new church we feel comfortable in since leaving our last one. We do have friends and are involved in our little town, but I just feel my children are missing out on something important by not having close relationships and opportunities with other children regularly. We don't have family nearby either. It makes me sad.

    Well, there are my questions. :)

    Bless you and your beautiful family! You continue to encourage and inspire. xxx

  2. Okay, cancel that first question! I just realised the music is playing from another blog I had open at the same time. ;) My mistake!

  3. Where'd you get all those cute kids? Oh, wait...

    Thanks for the book recommendations.


  4. Great book recommendations, and pictures! I love the picture of Liz. The kids have been enjoying looking at pictures of themselves on your blog (instead of Mommy's). They are still talking about our visit, we had so much fun! Your family is wonderful and such a blessing! Thank you!

  5. First, I have to tell you how much I appreciate your blog and your devotion to raising godly children. Second, thank you for the book recommendations. Third, a do you find biblically accurate history books? especially without spending a ton of money? We have a bunch of books that were given to us but they do not seem to line up with what we read in the Scriptures. As a newer Christian that was public schooled, I just don't know which books are true history and which are a rewriting of history. It is my desire to learn and teach the true history of the world to our children.

    Saminda~ Which state do you live in? I would greatly recommend a Christian homeschool coop and be intentional about seeking out other like-minded families. I had the same issue and cried out to God for months because I felt so lonely. He led me to a Christian Coop where I have made about 5 good friends. But it wasn't and isn't easy because the homeschooling life is a full life with not a whole lot of extra time for friendship. So, again, be INTENTIONAL about talking with others, inviting them over, calling to ask about their curriculum, etc. I don't remember where this quote is from but it has stuck with me "if you want a friend, you have to be a friend." Cry out to Jesus, Saminda, He will give you strength and peace as you lean on Him.

  6. Saminda!

    Hello sweet friend!

    Ok, question #1-- figured out. Yes, I keep it quiet over here. I don't want to compete with all the other music or wake up a sleeping baby in the night. : )

    Question #2-- Well, I am afraid I have little experience with boys Hailey's age. ; ) Hailey is often napping while we read aloud but if she is awake I try to get her involved in whatever crafts are handy (coloring etc.).

    If we are reading aloud in the school room she is sometimes occupied with special toys or a special game for that purpose.

    And other times we just have to be patient and wait for a better moment.

    Funny, it is often Lydia (almost 6) that is tempted to talk, but I will often have her wait until the end of the chapter to ask her very important questions. : )

    Question #3-- Do I relate to what you are saying and my heart goes out to you!

    I would like to encourage you with a thought. Sometimes we think our children are missing out on something critical but God-- who knows the end from the beginning-- has something different planned for them. I would imagine that the parents of John the Baptist, Daniel and Joseph had wanted something different for their children. And yet, think of the impact they made. This season may be for a purpose.

    We have not always had like minded friends around us either, but those times of walking alone sure help you appreciate those like minded friends when they come along. : )

    I think like minded friends can be cultivated at times-- as you share books and ideas with those around you. And other times like minded friends can be found as you involve yourself in activities where those like minded people are. Things like homeschool conventions, homeschool camps and so on.

    I will be praying for you as you seek out a church home. That is so important-- don't give up sister!

    Blessings to you!

  7. Thank you Jennifer, for your encouragement. :) I have some special friends myself, but not necessarily like-minded ones. And as for the children... well, friends are few and far between. I am grateful they at least have each other. And I actually live in Australia. :) We do have many homeschooling families in our town, but mostly non-Christian. We still do things together, but it's not quite the same.

    Rebecca, I love what you said about this being a season. :) I definitely believe in life having seasons.... and this has been a very family-oriented one for us. It has been beautiful in many ways. Next year will be quite different - for financial reasons we are selling our lovely home on land, and will be moving back into town. And we have decided to put the children into the Christian school where Stuart teaches, next year. This is due to all the health problems I'm having at the moment. This year has been very challenging. :)Certainly there will be more opportunities for the children to connect with other kids next year..... but this will have it's challenges also. I'll be praying incessantly for God's protection over their precious little minds. And I hope to have the energy and stamina to take up homeschooling again sooner rather than later.

    But God is so good, and I know He has ALL of us in His hands! Thanks Rebecca for your ideas and encouragement. I'm not giving up on finding a church home. I feel certain God is leading us where He wants us. I'm being patient. :)

    Bless you and your beautiful family! I love hearing from you!
    Saminda xxx

  8. Saminda~ I had the pleasure of visiting Australia about 13 years ago. Beautiful part of God's creation:) And I completely understand about how hard and lonely it can be to be a Christian homeschooler (my husband and I are the only born-again Christians in our extended families - by God's grace - and every single one of them are huge supporters of the government schools) and about the church situation (we have recently left a good sized church that had many godly people but the denomination and many of the people were supporting and bringing in unbiblical teaching. We now attend a VERY small church and our three children are the only children. ~They sure do get a lot of loving though:) Just no connections with other children which like you said would "have it's challenges also.") All that to say, Stay in the Word, Keep Praying, Focus on the Truth that You are Precious in God's Sight, Stay Connected with Your Husband and Keep Reaching Out to Like-Minded Women Online. God is faithful!! Praying for you!

  9. I totally love your photos, you really know how to put that camera to work.

  10. Thanks Gabe for your sweet comment. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!