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  • a summer booklist: what’s up on the stack

    On Friday, June 11 th, 2010
    Some say summer smells of fresh mown grass, bouquets of pink peonies, campfire pits on still July nights… but I’ve always thought summer was heavy with the scent of adventure on pages and stacks of old books and canvas hammocks swaying to the rhythm of time-worn words. Up On the Stack and Smelling of Summer:  Raising Kids for True Greatness: Redefine Success for You and Your Child  The Farmer and I listened to Dr. Kimmel speak a few years ago at a Focus on the Family event and what he said changed the course of our parenting. As our children head into the teen years — what does success look like? How do we raise them for His glory? The Farmer and I plan to read this one aloud together each night, a few paragraphs just before turning out the light… Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky’s classic novel paralleling the story of salvation. I’ve long said I was going to read the great Russian authors and I’m very much looking forward to this read –  this is the summer to finish my first Dostoevsky. Isn’t summer the time to explore and try new, always-longed for things?   Knowledge of the Holy – Tozer is first on the stack and I’m carrying this one around too in my bag — my while-waiting-out-and-about-book — and I’m underlining and thinking and seeing God. And then when slipping to bed, I seem to keep seeking this one out again, to revisit pages and truth. Five star and highly recommended.
  • weekends are for visiting

    On Saturday, June 05 th, 2010
    In the quiet and the early, I hear the knock to come slip away and sit a long spell with Lover, and catch up with real Wisdom listen to the steady, sure voice of Truth, feel the tender smile of Father, hear the timbre of His voice, the beat of His one, passionate, never-failing heart, the Word reviving wanderers needing rest. Weekends are for Visiting and He’s knocking gently at the door, Come away with Me. May your wanderings this weekend, kind friends, lead away to Him who loves and longs to visit, a getaway with the only One who really gets you. All’s grace, Mom’s Bible lies open on my nightstand, on the kitchen counter, out on the front porch rocking chair, a companion gently guiding, leading certain, God’s Word that never returns void, always filling the emptiness of me. Insightful notes, beautiful format, reflecting on mamas in the Bible. Highly recommended. The accompanying God’s Wisdom for a Mother’s Heart: A Bible Study for Moms thoughtfully opens my ears to really hear, to linger long and let Him bind up wounds, show the Way through. Time with Him is what time is for. Come away with me, my fair one!  ~Song of Solomon 2:13 Photos: My Mom’s Bible out on the front porch Share your thoughts? If you would like Holy Experience posts quietly tucked into your reader or emailed to your inbox for free…
  • How to Simply Homeschool: The Four Simple Cornerstones

    On Tuesday, May 18 th, 2010
    Dear fellow-mama… So. You’re thinking about homeschooling? Or you’re a weary veteran? And you wanted to know what I know? If these last ten years have taught me anything at all? About what to do, when to do it, and how to do it— simply?  Oh, friend… I’m still learning. And that is the exquisite beauty of it! I join the unfurling minds, a life-long learner, and together we grow. Ultimately, for us, I think I’ve just embraced that a quality education simply focuses on commitment — of both the learner and the teacher. A commitment by both parties to constant learning, contagious creativity, curiosity, and consistency. These are the four cornerstones, for us, of simple homeschooling.  For us that means simply living: 1. In a Continuum of constant learning…. Live your life. Invite children to join in! Education is a continuum of everyday life. Read together.Pray together.Sing together.Work, bake, garden, chore, clean, sew, fix, build together.Don’t fabricate artificial demarcation lines between schooling and living. Live a one-piece life. Live authentically and holistically.Simply live in a continuum of constant learning. 2. Contagiously Explore! Be awed by His World! Restore Wonder! Be a creative, thinking, exuberant person who spills with the joy of learning. I once read and it deeply struck me:  “What kinds of articles are most likely to be emailed by users of the New York Times website? Researchers did a six-month study of the most-emailed list and discovered that, more than utility or surprisingness or feel-good factors (which were all
  • weekends are for good reads

    On Saturday, March 27 th, 2010
    When he offered to read her book to her, and her girl-pink littleness curled up next to all his big brother, near-man bigness, the most beautiful mama thing inside me broke and I saw all the years as gold. <a href=””> Widgets</a> (Click on Any of the Book Covers for more information, reviews, etc.)   SUBSCRIBERS: click here to view good reads on parenting Today the knees knock as I speak at our local homeschooling conference about fighting for joy in homeschooling and as parents. I don’t often link to parenting resources because all books are fallible and I clear a wide berth of any impression of being a parenting expert because I am sore broken and oh, do we fail everyday in this house and we are deep in process and we are only cupped by grace… but God has used these particular book titles to grow us and stretch us and refine us in this journey towards happiness and joy in Him — Maybe there’s something here to gird you and encourage you too in this happy, hard, hallowed work? May all your wanderings this weekend, have you grab a hand in your home and pilgrimage deeper into His presence. For In Him is fullness of Joy… All’s grace, Photos: Share your thoughts? If you would like Holy Experience posts quietly tucked into your reader or emailed to your inbox for free…
  • the best read ever

    On Wednesday, March 24 th, 2010
    You’d have thought I was reading The Dangerous Book for Boys or the like, the way he kept grinning at me as I read, looking over his shoulder and arching that eyebrow all mischevious at his brother all smirking. I think this as I read, that maybe this really is the original dangerous book for boys? The book boys have been reading for the last millennia or two, the one that grabs a body by the shoulders and shakes the drowsy straight stock awake, binds the bloodied up and romances the lonely, that woos the rejected and cuts straight through to where the soul joins the bone. A bona fide Dangerous book. It’s the same every day. Everyday Malakai pleads for that book when we sit down for our daily read alouds. “Read the Bible first —- please?!” He Bible begs. I didn’t do anything to make this happen. I almost think I don’t know how it happened at all. But I do. I opened up the Living Word and let it wield its glint sharp edge. I opened up straight Scripture, a one year Bible, and let it breathe fire flame. I opened up the Bible for the Boy and he could feel the Danger. This Word is no safe lion. “You were reading about Joseph. And the brothers. Remember?” I look for my bookmark and he looks over my shoulder and I can feel the boy hunger for more. We, the Word-God’s poiemas, are our realest real, when eating
  • weekends are for curling up with books

    On Saturday, February 06 th, 2010
    I n a quiet week of recuperation, I curled up with words and they curled around me and I wrapped up in rest. What’s been on the nightstand: Dancing with My Father: How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy The prose has a steady rhythm, yes, like a gentle beat, and these words do make you dance. Sally Clarkson’s,  Dancing with Father, is the read of a friend, a mentor, sharing her journey to joy, and I found myself returning and lingering over passages, shimmering personal narrative woven throughout the work. Sally, homeschooling mother to four, writes transparently and openly of trials and dry times … and with such a compelling, gentle wisdom. This is truly a thoughtful book, a practical primer to joy, every chapter including probing journaling questions, Scripture references for further study, and a heartfelt prayer. I didn’t find this to be a paint-by-number, formulaic book, but an honest, considered invitation to live a life of authentic, Biblical joy. If you’re discouraged or burned out or simply seeking to deepen your relationship with Father — this is a very worthwhile read and one you’ll return to.  I agree — this is Sally Clarkson’s best! To grow in this joy, I have to move where He leads. When dancers attempt to turn in different directions, there is no beauty, no synchronizing of movement. But when they learn to read each other’s movements and move as one body, there is beauty, a grace, and a skill of step that
  • Rest a Moment with these Online Christmas Classic Stories

    On Tuesday, December 22 nd, 2009
    Two perfect (and free) stories to listen to or read online while the Christmas Carols play and the children string the popcorn and cranberries or the grandkids color this printable 3D nativity scene From the Christmas Library… ~Take a moment, just a moment as the house fills with song, and listen to this free audio of Peretti’s All Is Well: The Miracle of Christmas in July – Sit a moment and really remember why all is well…. The first time I heard this story I was nine months pregnant with our third, had two little boys 3 and under and our farm was teetering on the brink of financial collapse… I wept. And remembered why all is well. A family favorite we listen to every year… ~A classic short story by Leo Tolstoy to read… gather the children around. Read long and thoughtfully… and be deeply moved. “In a certain town there lived a cobbler, Martin Avdéitch by name. He had a tiny room in a basement, the one window of which looked out on to the street. Through it one could only see the feet of those who passed by, but Martin recognized the people by their boots. He had lived long in the place and had many acquaintances…. To read all of Where Love is God is…. Photos: Christmas books set out at my Mama’s Share your thoughts?… If you would like Holy Experience posts tucked into your inbox for free…
  • Best Books for Girls: 20 Books She Has Loved

    On Saturday, December 19 th, 2009
    Snow falls and under the knitted blanket, she reads words woven together. She reads differently than her older brother, not voraciously, but this steady, healthy diet, quiet meals of the good words. These days of the quiet hours, they make me happy too, her and the words and the snow.  Hope keeps her tidy stack of The Girlhood Companion on her nightstand, pours over each artistic copy when it arrives It’s her own round and ample scrawl that fills the page with the titles she has loved. I only transcribe. 20 Books She Has Loved: Best Books for Girls Caddie WoodlawnA perennial favorite read aloud that deeply moves (I never get through the school scene with the native boys without crying) and one Hope has read at least a handful of times. Caddie’s a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder — they both find a place in the heart. The Tanglewoods’ SecretOne year for her birthday, Hope scratched out her list: “A Compassion child to sponsor… and all of Patricia St. John’s books.”  We were happy to oblige.  All of Patricia St. John’s books find happy homes in a young girl’s library. Christie’s Old OrganOurs is an old copy from Oma Voskamp and Caleb who read it on loan, was so taken with it that he urged every one of his siblings to read it.  Hope thanked him. Jessica’s First Prayer Having sold over 500,000 copies in the 1860′s, this book’s Victorian language didn’t deter Hope — but rather the thoughtful
  • Best Books for a Beginning Reader

    On Thursday, December 17 th, 2009
    If you are looking for a stack of good words to light a beginner or reluctant reader on fire, these books have kindled a young lad here — perfect reading for young boys and girls taken with horses… Widgets Share your thoughts?…If you would like Holy Experience posts tucked into your inbox for free…
  • Poetry for Children: Reader Recommendations

    On Thursday, November 12 th, 2009
    … more recommendations quietly and generously slipped to the inbox…. Widgets Related: Read the first post: A Booklist of Poems for Children Share your thoughts?…Would you like Holy Experience delivered to you quietly via email?…
  • Poems We have Loved

    On Monday, October 26 th, 2009
    A kind reader slipped a note asking for a poetry title or two for children, so we pulled some favorite anthologies off our shelves…. Widgets And please, if you have a favorite anthology of poems that you have lingered long over and have loved, do share! Share your thoughts?…Would you like Holy Experience posts quietly delivered to your inbox?…
  • Slow Down: for Words and Dreams

    On Friday, October 16 th, 2009
    When I light the candles for the afternoon gathering of books and blankets and baskets of read alouds, they come too with creativity, their yarn and needles, weavings and colors, paints and journals … and the hours find other time, the lungs a new air. I read the stacks, Caddie and Little Threads, and dreams takes to the the page, inspiration to the yarn, and for a long, long while, while I turn the pages and the tales, I can’t feel the world spinning on its axis, the orbit of the galaxies. It’s slow time. :::…. a few slow down prompts from Ann Kroeker’s latest book: Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions… … could you pick just one today? ~Find a slow setting and gather with a book: Curl up in front of the fireplace, pile unto the bed, spread an old quilt out on the grass ~ Read poetry aloud at breakfast, short stores at lunch, or novels after dinner ~ Find a classic and gather together ~ Create: while listening to read alouds, or online audios, create with the paints, the yarns, the pencils …. ~ Make a space for words and dreams For more slow down prompts, consider reading Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions… Photos: reading, creativity, scenes from hereShare your thoughts?…Would you like to sign up for more quiet thoughts via email?…
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