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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leading Little Ones to God

Leading Little Ones to God is our current bedtime devotional with our 6 and 4 year old. We had tried doing Training Hearts, Teaching Minds with them for awhile, but found that they needed something geared for a younger age. We will return to that one in a few years, especially when they are able to look up scriptures themselves to read aloud to the family.

Leading Little Ones to God seems to be just right! I am one that hates to not finish a book, but my wonderful husband wanted to try this out and I am so glad that we switched for the time being. This is similar to Training Hearts, Teaching Minds in that it introduces the basics of our Christian faith in a simple way. There are follow-up questions, a hymn, and a prayer and a suggested reading of scripture to follow each reading.

Having this tool has helped us introduce things that we have known about God for years, but forget that our little ones have never learned these truths. This is about our foundations that God is everywhere, is a spirit, what sin is and the like. It is a great way to get the big picture of God, sin, and ultimately to introduce God's plan of salvation. I am so thankful for a book like this, so my children can have a Biblical worldview instilled into them while they are young.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting for Her Isaac

I just finished reading Waiting for Her Isaac by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry with my 12 year old daughter. It was very enjoyable to read a fictional story with her on courtship to begin introducing the idea.

The beginning of the book was more about the daughter learning to trust God with her life when things were not going how she would have liked. One example was her family moving away from all of her friends and church that she so loved. In the end you see God's hand in all of it.

Towards the end of the book, you delve into the courtship relationship. Seeing how the parents interacted with the courtship process was very valuable. Courtship may seem to some as legalistic or old-fashioned, but to me the example set in the book was showing how comfortable, safe, and full of wonderful relationship a courtship can be for the whole family. Surrounding the relationship with prayer and seeking God's will is what I want for my daughters someday, as well as quality time with their courtee. Being able to discuss the important things in life and expectations the couple may have for married life was very refreshing. It was such a stark contrast from the Hollywood romance which can be so superficial and unrealistic and most often would lead one to divorce because of the lack of a solid foundation.

My daughter on her own accord has now asked to read Before You Meet Prince Charming which focuses on walking in purity and living for the Lord before He brings your mate along, if He should choose to do so. I think this a great next step to continue the encouragement of purity, which seems to naturally lead to the idea of courtship.

Here are some other titles on courtship by the Castleberry Family: Jeff McLean: His Courtship (A courtship story of a young man!), The Courtship of Sarah McLean, and Journey of the Heart (a book for those still waiting for a spouse).

Be sure to check out our category of Courtship and Marriage for more titles on this subject.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Wonderful People We Meet

We were told that one of the best things about owning a Christian business like this would be all the wonderful families that we would meet. We have been blown away by the various homeschool families we have met at the conventions this year. Hearing others share their visions for their families, their favorite books that we carry, and their encouragement to us as a family business has been priceless.

Even before we arrived home from the CHOIS convention in Idaho (which we truly enjoyed being a part of), there was an encouraging email from a lady we had met at the convention sharing how much she enjoyed visiting and encouraged us to check out Lamplighters audio dramatizations as we both love their books.

Most recently we were hosted by a wonderful homeschool family in order to attend the OCEAN convention in Portland, OR. This family did not know us, but heard we were looking for a place to stay and offered their home to our whole family and our dog! Our girls had great fun with their children and we enjoyed what little time we had together in wonderful fellowship. You have encouraged us in hospitality to strangers. Thank you for blessing us.

There are more stories like this that I could share, but I will end with sharing an email that we received just yesterday (used by permission, of course.) The amazing part is how God knows just how and when to encourage us. To see His hand in our lives is so reassuring and uplifting.

From Jenny to Books on the Path:

My 7 year old son has a favorite genre--mysteries! I thought we had exhausted all of the wholesome children's mysteries available. After searching our library today, I asked the Lord to provide decent, God-honoring mystery books for him. I was thrilled to receive your email tonight, introducing us to the Farm Family Mystery Series! God has been so faithful to answer the little prayer that I whispered to Him just today in our library.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share one more thing with you...last week at the library, my son found a book from the Clue Jr. series. We hadn't seen this series before, but he and his siblings enjoy playing the older board game--the one where children solve which pet ran off with the missing toy. I was so disappointed with this little book, because the children in these stories blame and accuse each other of the "crimes" at hand. There's no biblical love represented--believing all things, hoping all things. Just right off the bat they accuse their closest friends when something comes up missing. In these stories they need to solve which club member is lying. That's the mystery! No thank you!

I was pleased to read that the Farm Family Mystery series contains positive and loving interaction between its characters. You don't know how much this means to me. We try to be so careful about what we put in front of our little ones. I know that many people call this "sheltering" my children, but I've come to the realization that the word "shelter" is a good Bible word. Never is that word used negatively in Scripture. David cried out for it! It is used to describe our Lord. The Israelites held frequent festivals, building booths or shelters to celebrate God's protecting them in the wilderness. I love knowing that I can provide this same comfort and security to my children--heaven knows they cry out for it, too, only they aren't always willing to admit it. :) I think of our home as a little greenhouse, sheltering and protecting the little buds that sprout up around us. They're simply not ready to be out and among "the elements."

I've loved reading the books that I purchased from you at the Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference. After browsing the conference wares, yours was the only booth from which I purchased books. I brought home with me Housewives Desperate for God (I had been searching for this book for 2 years now), Pocketful of Pinecones (I had been searching for this book for several years, as well; I so enjoyed Mrs. Andreola's, A Charlotte Mason Companion), Hinds Feet on High Places for Children (I've tried for years to order this from CBD, but it's always out of stock), and one of Nancy Wilson's books--its title now eludes me.

I was also thrilled to see the Elsie Dinsmore series on your site. I have 4 year old twin daughters who will most likely enjoy the doll and book series in a few years. I've been somewhat disappointed with the turn that American Girl has taken in recent years with political correctness and promoting the secular agenda of tolerance among the American people. Why can't our little girls just have dolls and read stories about the dolls themselves? Dolls don't need to hold protest rallies. They need to have tea parties!

Thank you for your time. And have a wonderful 4th of July weekend with your 3 brown-eyed girls!


Thank you, Jenny, for taking the time to encourage us. It truly does mean a lot! Thank you to all who have taken the time to visit with us at a conference or correspond through email or quietly purchase a book or two from us or host us in your home for that matter :)

Oh, and we purchased a few of the Lamplighter audio dramas at the OCEAN conference, listened to one and a half on the way home, got home and our 6 year old begged to finish it. We had been driving all day, but we all wanted to hear how it ended, except for our 4 year old who had fallen asleep in the truck. We came in the house, brought in essentials, and had to gather around and listen to the rest of the story. So, as you have probably figured out, we love the audio dramas that were recommended by that one customer and now they will be on our website. (As soon as we can find some time to upload them.)

God bless and thanks for stopping by!