Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Maiden's Warfare~ Carol Deladurantey

Press on to heights of glory now,
And keep thou steady eye.

One must not falter in this fight,
Though some may flee or fly.

Take hold the charge thou hast been given,
To battle we must go.

But not with our own maiden hands
Do we take up shield or bow.

We wage this war in words and actions,
With our every deed.

We follow Chirst our Captain,
Thro' HIM we will suceed.

Tell me now have we forgot
The charge from God above?

To keep our hearts in purity, grace
Modesty, truth, and love.

These are our weapons, our shields, our swords;
In this battle we now fight.

We strive not for an earthly king,
But for our God of truth and might!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Christian Book Review: Till We Have Faces~ C.S. Lewis



“I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”



I found this book, oddly intriguing. So much that I read it twice. And enjoyed it a second go. Lewis is an author I respect, and admire especially for his understanding of human nature and the depravity of man. Which is why I think I enjoyed Till We Have Faces. It's not your happily ever after story where all the characters live wonderful lives. It shows some of the most despicable, inner sins of the human soul.


"It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing...to find the place where all the beauty came from.” Orual~

I will say, I do not agree with Lewis in everything, and some people avoid him entirely because of the seemingly pagan things he brings into his writing. He confessed how much the stories of pagan gods intrigued him, but I believe inherently, Lewis's goal was to teach through a diverse way (by using magic and gods) the deep nature of man and God. And by using stories to mask his allegorical meanings, people were unknowingly being shown a Christian worldview.


"Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer." Amazon summary

A good introduction to Lewis's character is to read the book 'Not a Tame Lion'.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Christian Book Review: Holocaust: Number the Stars ~ Lois Lowry

My family is studying the holocaust right now and while mom wanted a good story that closely followed what it was like for Jews, she didn't want anything too graphic. Well we found this little book that does exactly that. And children are more spellbound by learning if it is written in story form. After reading chapters, if mom stops, the kids beg for more.

Number the Stars follows the life of 10 year old Anna Marie who is Polish, and whose best friend, Ellen, is Jewish. Anna Marie and  Ellen can't understand why the war is going on, and why Jews are being persecuted and ripped away from their homes and families. When Ellen's parents are forced into hiding, Anna Marie and her family take in Ellen and vow to protect her and her family's whereabouts

. But soon, the fate of Ellen and her family rest in the hands of terrified Anna Marie one dark night. Their whole future might change...for good or bad, no one is sure.

This book even keeps the adult riveted. My mother and I were as excited to pick the story up as the children. A great benefit to a Holocaust study!



Age Interest: 5 and up
Violence: Mild, soldiers slap people, an accident briefly described




Monday, January 27, 2014

Audio Theater: Under Drake's Flag ~ Based on G.A.Henty


" Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein 




I am one who has enjoyed reading books by the inspiring historian Henty, yet I wasn't fully able to share his stories with younger children because of the advanced writing of his works.

Our family just got the thrill of listening to one of G.A. Henty's most inspiring stories, through live audio!  Henty's works have been literally brought to life.
Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia."

Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia
Bill Heid, founder of Henty Alive, introduces the first audio dramatization of Under Drake's Flag: The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty.
Bill Heid took a group of employees--including his son Nick--to London and reproduced G.A. Henty's adventure book, Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main in audio theatre format. "I spared no expense in hiring some of the finest English actors... most of whom are in the Shakespearian theatre and movies over there. And, as a special treat, we were able to convince prominent British actor Brian Blessed to join our team as the narrator," says Heid. Adding, "In addition, the production crew we hired was top notch including award-winning composer John Campbell who did the original score for C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia."
Our children are living in a world that is increasingly bombarding them with visual imagery. And the effect of all this visual imagery (television, video games, online videos, et cetera) and all other kinds of image-based "education" and entertainment is that it creates a world that's highly artificial.

And this highly artificial world, quite literally... shuts down their imagination! Give the children in your life timeless stories of character, courage and commitment that will ignite a lifetime of passion for living boldly in God's world. Bill and his creative audio were recently featured on Glenn Beck's TV Show (please watch:http://bit.ly/1j5WydZ) and described by Glenn as "Old style storytelling- done really wel


Applauded and recommended by Glenn Beck:
" Under Drakes Flag is a..."rip roaring" adventure story that teaches foundational moral values and brings "true" Christian to life. There's simply nothing like it."

Hop over to the main website to learn more! Under Drake's Flag

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reading to Your Children May Be More Important than You Think

Guest post by Kelly Crawford:
“If we would only consider the subtle strengthening of ties which comes from two people reading the same book together, breathing at once its breath and each giving the other unconsciously his interpretation of it, it would be seen how, in this simple habit of reading aloud, lies a power too fine to analyze, yet stronger than iron in welding souls together. To our thinking, there is no academy on earth equal to that found in so many homes, of a mother reading to her child.” Elisha Schudder, The Riverside Magazine for Young People
Reading is good,M everyone knows that. It enriches your thought life, aids your reasoning, enhances your communication, and in general, educates the mind.
But what if that is only the beginning?
A Family Program for Reading Aloud provokes me to think that maybe reading aloud to my children is more beneficial to our relationship than even their education...

Read more  HERE

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christian Book Review: The Book Thief ~ Markus Zusak


"The sky was dripping, like a tap that a child has tried its hardest to turn off, but hasn't quite managed."


"Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are." Narrator
"I have hated the words, and I have loved them, 
and I hope I have made 
them right." Liesel Meminger 
"I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both." Narrator

These words are a sample of the morsel this deeply emotional and thought provoking read was to bite into.
On this journey, a very unsuspecting narrator...Death himself, will show you his perspective of the people and places he can never be a part of, but amidst his grueling task observes those few characters who defy their circumstances and live life.


Liesel Meminger, a 13 year old child amid WW 2 is one that caught his eye. Forced into a foster home because of the toll Hitler's war has taken on her family, Liesel must learn to make the most of her circumstances while war and death become a prominent backdrop in her life. Learning to read and finding a new and brighter world in books becomes Liesel's way of coping with the harsh hand dealt to her. But along the way new friendships are forged, one with a lemon haired boy full of passion, one with the old man wielding the accordion and an infinite sparkle of joy in his eyes, and one with a lonely Jew, who had almost lost the will to live, until Liesel renews a sense of wonder to his life through her books and imagination.

The Negative aspect:
As the title suggests, the main character develops an un-biblical habit of stealing...books. Her first two are truly stolen, the rest, well in order to not give the story away, she merely takes the books without permission but soon returns them.

The other stolen goods are food, committed by Liesel and her companions as an act of defiance against the Nazi community, but I do not consider that justifiable. The Book Thief is a book that should be enjoyed the first glance, and pondered and examined the next. But still it is a book to be read.

My words don't do the story justice and it is much deeper than this...so read the book instead!

Indecency: Mild
Violence: Minimal: minor descriptions about war injuries
Language: This was the clincher for me. There are many strong curse words, half said in German, but nonetheless, the reader understands all of them. And many are said by children. So I would encourage parents and perhaps older siblings to screen the book beforehand. I went through and marked out the words so I could pass it to my book loving sister.
Age range: 17-adult

P.S. There is now a movie based on this novel that is equally accurate and much more child friendly.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Christian Book Review: Dumbing Us Down~ John Taylor Gatto

"Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships, the one-day variety or longer- these are all powerful, cheap, and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling." 
John Gatto, a former public school teacher for over 26 years now takes an inspiring stand against public education and reveals government agenda behind education and how it is destroying the family universally.

Dumbing Us Down unveils every flaw of state education and how it is crushing the creativity, curiosity, enthusiasm, and even the identity of every child in that deadening institution. Between a child's school, homework, and TV, these kids have little time to learn about the real world they live in, their community,and the lives they might lead if others were not forcing them to choose one.

Gatto compels his readers to question the status quo of the world's method of success-anyway who made it the status quo? -and to dive deeper into how we can cultivate the minds of a child to not conform to the 'professional' superiors of the world, but to find where their gifts lie. And finally to re-engage the family in taking control of our domineering society.
"But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force open the idea of "school" to include family as the main engine of education." 

Whether you are a homeschooler, looking to be one, or feeling that public school just isn't for you, this is your book!