Saturday, November 10, 2012

5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, our family of five instantaneously became nine. After being gone for ten days my husband returned with our African children. We were finally one family under the same roof, after more than two years of heart-wrenching ups & downs and endless fundraising.

These were our first moments together:

We worked and prayed with everything in us to get to that day. We were full of hope for the future and dreamed of a better tomorrow.

The part I never anticipated living out was the loss that followed. Sometimes the Lord gives and sometimes He takes away. What I had hoped for and prayed for isn't what came to pass. What I've come to understand through it all is that I am a vessel. A vessel through which He works. A testimony for others to see His goodness. He is still faithful and He is still just.

What we have given is hope. Hope to children that were living in hopelessness. We have given opportunity when there would have only been mere survival.

Sometimes when we are walking through the deepest of valleys, it's important to lift our face towards the Son and remember that there is always goodness. Goodness in the midst of pain. Love in the midst of loss. Faith in the midst of doubt.

Today we celebrate. We celebrate the lessons we've learned, those we love and the memories that bind us all together. We celebrate and give praise for answered prayers, grace and hopeful futures.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5: 16

Friday, November 09, 2012

Grace and Truth Books~ TOS Review


Grace and Truth Books is a Christian bookstore built on the idea that “fancy packaging” is not what’s important, what matters is “what will glorify God, strengthen His people in their walk, and call all peoples to find joy in knowing His gospel and following Him.” They have books and audiobooks available on a myriad of topics for both children and adults alike.

We were given the choice of two books to review within the Boys Heritage Series. Please read below for our selections. 

The Boys Heritage Series are reprints from the 19th century for boys ages 8-14. Gerrit and His Dog is the story of a boy who experiences God’s kindness when he loses his dog and is then reunited with him. This book sells for $5.50.

A Faithful Boys Influence, by "Aunt Friendly," is a story about how a young boy initiated respect for God's servant by a good example. This book sells for $6.25.

A Faithful Boy's Influence

We just reviewed these two books but there is a total of ten books within the entire Heritage Series: Boys Books. This set of stories for boys, all reprints from the 19th century, are some of our richest, most challenging books for boys in this age range. They are also very suitable to read aloud with younger children or for family reading.

My boys began with Gerrit and His Dog. They read this book independently and really enjoyed the story line. When we began A Faithful Boys Influence, the boys weren't able to understand it on their own as well as the previous book. We then just began to read it together as all of the children listened in. If there happened to be words that the children were unsure of I was able to quickly explain and keep reading the story. I really enjoyed reading this with all of my children because the content is wholesome. I also didn't have a problem with explaining a few of the words because my children are on the younger side of the suggested age range. I also thought that hearing such vocabulary in a wholesome story like this will help to build their vocabulary.

I'm always looking for good books to provide for my children. I'm looking forward to buying the remaining books in this series as part of my boys' Christmas gifts! Thank you Grace and Truth Books for putting out such wonderful and wholesome materials!

To see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Grace and Truth Books visit the Homeschool Crew Blog to read more.

**Disclosure: My review and opinion written in this post is entirely my own. This product was provided to me for free in exchange for my review as a member of the 2012 The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Apologia~Journeys of Faithfulness


This book was such a gift! It was truly my privledge to review Journeys of Faithfulness by Sarah Clarkson.  Through a series of stories about biblical women such as Mary, Ruth, and Esther, the author challenges young women to explore and deepen their relationship with Christ.  The 232 pages of the paperback include devotionals and journaling spots.

Each story gives a historical fiction account of one of these women, using the details we know from the Biblical story and adding the author’s insight into what the characters could have felt and how they may have been affected by the events.  The book may be used as a devotional guide for adolescent women and their mothers, it is recommended for ages 12 and up.

My 12 year old daughter already enjoyed the stories of Ruth and Esther so she was delighted to have a look at this book. She was even more delighted when I told her we could go through it together. We really enjoyed reading about these amazing women, but my favorite part was ultimately our conversations afterward. I thank Sarah Clarkson for writing such an amazing tool that my daughter and I could use together to strengthen our own relationships in Christ as well as our mother/daughter relationship. :)


 Journeys of Faithfulness by Sarah Clarkson may be purchased directly from Apologia’s website.  The paperback version is $13.00.If you'd like to see a sample of this sweet, endearing book check here. The Table of Contents lets you in on the contents of the entire book.

To see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about Journeys of Faithfulness visit the Homeschool Crew Blog to read more.

**Disclosure: My review and opinion written in this post is entirely my own. This product was provided to me for free in exchange for my review as a member of the 2012 The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew.