Monday, October 29, 2007

Book Winners!!!!

Okay everybody! Here are the winners of the Lena Nelson Dooley books from last Monday's interview!

1) "Gerda's Lawman" goes to - Michelle
2) "Pirate's Prize" goes to - Jolene
3) "Who Am I?" goes to - Candes

Congratulations! Please e-mail me with your mailing address and I will get those books right out to you! To everyone else - thank you for entering and there are 2 new book giveaways you can enter for now - "Canteen Dreams" and "The Return" so be sure to leave comments on those posts and I will pull those winners next Monday! Good luck!

Interview with Cara Putman - Author of "Canteen Dreams"

I'm delighted to be doing an interview today with a very special author. She has written a just released book through Heartsong Presents called "Canteen Dreams". I finished reading it a few days ago and it was a wonderful book set in WWII just as America gets pulled into the war. It takes place in my hometown of North Platte, Nebraska and that is reason enough to read it right there! Allow me to interject here that I have a unique view on Cara as an author because she also happens to be my older sister :-) I hope you will enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed hearing the answers to my questions myself!

Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

Dutch apple pie. Hands down. I can walk away from just about any other dessert, but if there’s warm Dutch apple pie I am a goner! Yum. Maybe I should go get one now :-)

You started seriously thinking about writing books a long time ago - tell us about the first book you ever started writing and see if I'm thinking of the same one... Do you think you'll ever take another stab at that project for nostalgia reasons?

Let’s see… there would be two projects you could be thinking of. The first was a Revolutionary War era novel set in Boston. I have always loved that time period and enjoyed the research on that one. Then there’s the book I started on what happened to the folks who disappeared from Roanoke Island. I’ve always loved a good mystery, and I loved to think about the what ifs of that situation. I think both books are lost to the ages, though Dad insists they’re still on one of his hard drives in North Platte. I’m not sure I want him to find them. I don’t see tackling them now, but might incorporate Roanoke into a modern book someday. Hmmm…. The wheels are spinning.

I was thinking of the Roanoke Island writing project - I always secretly hoped that you would research it and figure out what actually happened to those poor people - still bugs me... hmm...

You write a lot at the moment delving into your cornhusker roots with Canteen Dreams, Sandhill Dreams and Captive Dreams all being set in different locations in Nebraska. You made trips home to research those specific locations. Is there a setting you would like to use for a book just so you can tell Eric that you HAVE TO GO THERE for research purposes? If so, where?

Oh, that’s a great question. We went to the mountains of North Carolina in August for fun. Eric and I both kept driving around saying it would be a perfect setting for a book. And now it looks like it will be the setting for my next series.

But if I were going to choose anywhere right now, I’d love to set something in one of the urban areas in Europe. Maybe London. I’d love the excuse to go there again and that would certainly tie into my love of World War Two. While I don’t have more WWII books contracted yet, I have a few loose ideas that I fully expect to develop into books at some point. We’ll see…

You always worked hard to excel at everything you did growing up and when you set your mind to writing books I was the least surprised (and most proud) person to hear that you were getting published. Describe your feeling and reaction upon finding out that you were finally achieving a dream that started 20 years ago...

Thanks, Janna. I have to say I have been amazed and floor by the support I received from you and everyone else. It was frankly scary to voice the words, “I’m writing a book.” But when everyone believes you’ll write it and someone will buy it, it helps a lot on those hard-to-write days.
I received my first contract in September 2006 at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ national conference. Barbour Publishing has a wonderful tradition of awarding first contracts to one or two authors at the conference. When I attended my first conference in 2005, I remember being so excited when Mary Connealy (a Nebraska author) received her first contract there. It really made me wonder if that could be me someday. I never really expected it to be me the next year.

But God knows me so well. I knew I was supposed to be writing, but I was really struggling with the timing of it. You know me, I push myself hard, and I wondered if I was pushing ahead of Him. I was literally sitting at a table praying that I would be able to rejoice with whoever received their contract when I heard my editor read my book’s title…Canteen Dreams. I was sitting at a table with friends who started shrieking, and my mentor Colleen Coble started screaming from her table. I went up to collect my envelop with the letter of intent – in kind of a stunned stupor. Then Colleen grabbed me and spun me around. It was an amazing and so public way to receive that first sale.

So many people write in anonymity for years. Some never receive a contract. Yet God made sure that I received my first one in a way that I could never doubt His call on my life. I’m right where I’m supposed to be right now. And I can’t wait to chase Him in this dream.

I know even though these first books you're releasing (The Dream Trilogy) is historical fiction and Deadly Exposure is mystery/suspense, you are starting to write for and lean towards legal thrillers. Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?

For the legal suspense that I’m proposing, I pull some of my inspiration from headlines and some from my experience as a litigator. I had the wonderful opportunity to clerk for a federal judge, worked in the non-profit world in Washington, DC, and spent four years working in a firm. All of that experience feeds into my ideas. And the headlines are filled with ideas.

As to inspiration, I’ve been studying novels by authors who do something well that I want to incorporate in my books. Right now, there are five authors that I’m studying: Brandilyn Collins (her passing is fantastic – especially in her Kanner Lake series), Colleen Coble (her books are multi-layered with rich settings), Lisa Gardner (ABA suspense author who is absolutely amazing), John Grisham (ABA legal suspense author – let’s face it, he’s a master!), and Lisa Scottolini (ABA legal suspense author who does a nice job in several of her women in jeopardy suspense).

I don’t want to copy their books, but I can learn techniques from each of them which will work with my unique writing style.

You have some amazing opportunities ahead of you and God's favor is all over you right now - how do you keep balance in your life with family, God, church, writing, law, homeschooling and everything else on your plate?

This is a constant struggle with me. God is opening some amazing doors right now, and one of the things that does worry me is how to keep the balance and continue to sleep. Right now, most of my writing is done between 9 p.m. and midnight. Homeschooling fills most of my mornings, and then there’s leading Bible studies and Sunday school classes at church and all the normal activities of being a mom and wife. But I do know that God will provide the way, talent, creativity and time I need to do what He’s called me to at this time. And I’ve been known to ask Him to make the sun stand still like He did for Joshua, so I can accomplish all the tasks He sets before me.

I’m also very fortunate that most of my writing is pretty clean, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time rewriting. That allows me to keep pushing myself with each book. I want each one to be better than the last.

You were homeschooled and are now homeschooling your children - do you think you will ever incorporate that into any of your writing?

You know, I’m really not sure. Rene Gutteridge has a series (the Hazards) that incorporates a strong homeschooling thread. So far that isn’t me. But I could see it very easily playing into a future book. I just saw a headline from HSLDA this week, that I’m saving because it made me stop. Those articles usually end up in the idea pile and could easily become a plotline in a future book.

Many people perceive homeschooling as limiting your options for your future, do you think that was the case for you? Why?

Absolutely not. Homeschooling has done nothing but open doors for me. It allowed me to start college at 16. I also received a Truman scholarship that paid for law school – in fact I believe homeschooling was part of what made my application unique. Homeschooling also is what got me interested in the law because I saw the impact attorneys made in preserving the right to homeschool once we obtained it in Nebraska.

I also received a fantastic education in everything including writing. So homeschooling has been nothing but a great help and benefit to me.

What project that you are currently working on do you really want everyone to keep watch out for (or can you pick just one?)

Wow! It is hard to choose one. I love the World War Two Nebraska Dreams series. If you like romance with a touch of history, I think you will really enjoy it. I’ve always teased that I should have been a teenager during the war, and writing this series has illustrated how true that is. I love the music, the books, the dances, etc., and I’m NOT that old! Canteen Dreams is starting to show up at places like Amazon, but you can also get it from me with a personalized autograph – find out how at .

I am very excited about Deadly Exposure…it’s a fasts-paced woman in jeopardy who-dun-it. But I have an incredible opportunity in front of me that could open some amazing doors as I move into legal suspense. The first series is set in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I wish I could say more about this one, but let’s just say I am THRILLED to even pursue this opportunity. And I have another series that I’ll propose as soon as the NC idea is out there that will also be legal suspense but set in a fictional Indiana town. This series will be full of quirks, each volume will stand-alone, yet I think readers will really feel like their coming home with each book, too.

Do you hear personally from many of your readers - would you like to? How would they contact you if they were so inclined?

I don’t have many readers yet, but would love to hear from them. A great way to reach me is through my website They can also interact with me at my blog I often give away books there, so it’s a great one to keep an eye on. Or they can email me at caraputman (at) gmail dot com.
Thanks so much for having me, Janna, and for being one of my biggest cheerleaders!

Cara has agreed to giveaway a copy of her book "Canteen Dreams" so be sure to leave a comment and I will pull a winner next Monday! Good Luck!

CFBA Presents The Return by Austin Boyd

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Return by Austin Boyd

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE RETURN (Navpress Publishing Group July 13, 2007)
by Austin Boyd

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Austin Boyd writes from his experience as a decorated Navy pilot, spacecraft engineer and an astronaut candidate finalist. Austin lives with his wife Cindy and four children in America’s “Rocket City”--Huntsville, Alabama, where he directs business development for a large NASA and defense contractor. His creative talents include inspirational fiction and poetry, finely crafted reproduction colonial furniture, archery and long distance cycling. He serves his community as an advocate for a crisis pregnancy center and as a motivational speaker in the area of lifestyle evangelism. THE RETURN is part of the Mars Hill Classified Series with The Evidence and The Proof


IS SEEING BELIEVING? Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells is set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race." While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth. Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.From the Back Cover: With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.

"Austin Boyd is one of the brightest new voices in Christian fiction. His long association with the space program lends authenticity as he reveals the turmoil in the minds and hearts of those who are willing to risk everything by making that journey. In The Return, we learn that both human emotions and God's presence reach far beyond the pull of Earth's gravity."--Richard L Mabry, author of The Tender Scar
I have a copy of this book to give away! Leave a comment and next Monday I will draw a winner from the comments posted - you can also go onto Amazon and pick up a copy now -

Saturday, October 27, 2007

How To Pick Curriculum To Fit Your Kids

As promised last week, here are some of my notes from our Homeschool Mother's Meeting where Becki Wardyn talked about tailoring your curriculum to fit your children. It was really good and I hope you'll glean some good tips from my notes as I did.
1) Pray - especially with your spouse

2) Know your kids
*Learning Styles (Check Out Cynthia U. Tobias' book "The Way They Learn")
*Personality Types (Check Out Florence Littauer's "Personality Plus")
*Spiritual Gifts (Check out Clay & Sally Clarkson's book "EducatingThe Wholehearted Child")

3) Educate yourself on what educational styles are available
Classical, unit studies, whole book, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, etc...

4) Listen to other homeschoolers - learn what works and doesn't work for them

5) Decide what subjects can be grade integrated - which subjects like History can you do with all your children together and which subjects like math need to be done individually?

6) Whatever educational style you use, incorporate lots of living books - books that teach without necessarily knowing it. (Little House on the Praire, Anne of Green Gables, Across Five Aprils, The Loner, Chronicles of Narnia, etc...) Use book lists from Veritas Press, Sonlight, "Let the Author Speak" and "Mystery of History" just to start.

7) Don't forget the heart of your children -
Pray for them and with them, show them how to handle problems with prayer. Get on their level and pray with them.

8) Set out goals for your family and your children individually

9) Let your children know your heart and where you are coming from. That's the most precious thing they can learn.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Update on my reading list!

My list is coming right along... I finished two more books today. "Gerda's Lawman" by Lena Nelson Dooley and "As I Have Loved You" by Nikki Arana. You know, after organizing and reading through my list, I have a new appreciation for some of the books on my list. The shorter, Christian fiction books like the Heartsong Presents and Love Inspired lines have gained a whole new respect in my eyes now that I am critiquing them more than I used to. There are some amazing story lines and plot lines in books like "Pirate's Prize" and "Gerda's Lawman". Incredible characters and conflicts in "Lambert's Code" and "Power of Love". Heartwrenching inner turmoil and struggles in "Canteen Dreams" and yet in all of these carefully crafted stories there are nuggets of gold from the hearts of the authors that want to share something, some bit of wisdom they have from God. Don't look on these books and what they have to share with us lightly. I am a better person for the rush of Heartsong Presents and Love Inspired books I have read lately.

I would like to highlight one book I just finished reading. "As I Have Loved You" by Nikki Arana. I wasn't sure what to think as I started this one, but if this tells you anything, I started it this afternoon and just finished it (that's after watching "Evan Almighty" with my family tonight!). It is not a mystery/suspense or the kind that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. It was such a character study of who we think we are versus who we really are and our perceptions of other people. I bawled like an absolute baby through the last 5 or 6 chapters and then I didn't want it to be over, even though the ending was as perfectly satisfying as it could've been. I can not recommend this book highly enough - it is not every day that you read a book that makes you want to change your ways and be a better person, but this book did. Do yourself and those people around you a favor and go read this book!

Monday, October 22, 2007

An Interview with Lena Nelson Dooley!

If you've had a chance to look over my Callapidder Days reading list, you may have noticed that 2 of the books in my Christian fiction section are be Lena Nelson Dooley. I have finished the first of the two books and she has agreed to do an interview. So sit back and enjoying learning about this delightful lady!

Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are!

"What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?"

I love chocolate in most any form. Just Friday night, my husband went to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate him getting another position at the company where he works and the arrival of my first copies of my latest book. We compromised on the dessert, so we had their cheesecake with their own chocolate sauce on it. The sauce was heavenly. I could order just a bowl of that and eat it.

"Pirate's Prize" is one of your books on my reading list and I finished it a couple of days ago, it was a wonderful read and I really enjoyed it! It had a fantastic blend of a unique time, an original setting and a really great cast - where do you come up with the ideas for your new stories - what sparks your new ideas?

First, thank you for reading my books. It blesses me when someone enjoys my books. God created me with a very vivid imagination. I always made up stories in my head. When I went to a meeting or church, if the speaker didn't catch my attention in the first five minutes, I was creating stories in my head the whole time. As I grew more mature, God had to teach me how to plug all my attention into a meeting, no matter how uninteresting the speaker might be. About Pirate's Prize, I've always loved pirates. Some friends and I had an idea for a novella collection set in what is now Louisiana. I was going to write the first story. That collection didn't sell, but that idea became Pirate's Prize. I believe most of the ideas come from the Lord.

What was your 1st major writing project (whether it was the first essay you wrote when you were 9, the first book you had published, or something in between)?

Actually, writing has always been a part of my life. My first thing published was a short story in my college literary magazine. It was about a girl preparing for a date with the young man she was falling in love with. When they went out, he broke up with her. He was a ministerial student and they were freshmen. He knew he had a lot of school ahead of him, and he was in danger of falling in love with her. He couldn't afford to do that at this time in his life. It was full of young love and angst.

Do you have a personal favorite author (besides yourself of course) someone that maybe not everyone has heard of but that you think should?
I love so many authors. A few of the lesser known that I think your readers should check out are: Beth Goddard, Lisa Harris, Pamela Griffin, Susan Page Davis. A few that will burst on the scene very soon are: Ronie Kendig, Patricia Carroll, Jane Thornton, Lisa Buffaloe, Mindy Obenhaus, Lynne Gentry.

Do you hear personally from many of your readers - would you like to? How would they contact you if they were so inclined?

I love to hear from readers. With Heartsong books and the novella collection from Barbour, there's a page in the back that the reader can send to the publishing company. This lets the company know that readers like my work. You can also send letters to the address in the back of the book. Of course, you can always write directly to me at: PO Box 54614, Hurst, TX 76054.

New or old, what book have you written that you consider your personal favorite?

When people ask me this, I usually say, the newest one. I haven't written a book that I didn't like. I wrote a four book series that was repackaged in one volume. Minnesota Brothers is a very good series. I like each of the books for their uniqueness. The first two are prairie romances, the third is a different kind of mystery, and the last has a western flavor.
I love Pirate's Prize. It went to #1 on the Christian bestseller list in England. It's also out on audio, which is available on and christianbook.Com. Or your local bookstore can get it in if they want to.
I also wrote a Heartsong novel set mostly on cruises. Never Say Never is about a second chance for love. The cruise part is very authentic. My husband and I have been on a couple of cruises. We went on one right after I signed the contract for that book. On that cruise, I was able to talk to the captain and learn a lot about the ship and a captain's role. The hero in Never Say Never is the captain of a cruise ship. Actually, the cover was created using one of the pictures I took on our trip. Instead of the hero and heroine, my husband was standing beside the railing. The designers utilized it.
I also love the novella collections: Windswept Weddings, Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner, Carolina Carpenter Brides, and the latest Montana Mistletoe. I'll have another novella collection come out next September.

Your new book "Who Am I?" set in Massachusetts and sounds very interesting with its mystery/suspense elements. What connections do you have with Massachusetts, why did you pick that as your setting?

Heartsong wanted three-book series set in states. Our editor said it would be a good way to help an aspiring author get published if two who were already published would work with an unpublished author and create a series. My friend Lisa Harris and I did that with Laurie Alice Eakes. We wrote a historical series set in Iowa. A Daughter's Quest was the first in the series. Lisa's book Tara's Gold came out in July, and Laurie's book Better than Gold will be out after the first of the year.
Now Who Am I? is the first book in the Massachusetts contemporary series. Mine will be in the Heartsong Presents book club in November. Lisa's book A Matter of Trust will be in the December club mailout, and Beth's book Seasons of Love will be in January. Of course, if you're not a member of the book club, you can order them from:

Are there any similarities between you and your main character, Leiann in "Who Am I?"

I have used many of my characteristics in various people in my novels. The only thing about Leiann that is like me is that her home in Texas is in my neighborhood.

Tell us about an upcoming project you're working on that we should be on the lookout for?

My agent is marketing a women's fiction book to several major publishing houses. It's called Beyond RedemptionI set mainly in Texas, but some of it takes place in France. This one is contemporary. I'm working right now on another proposal for her to market. This one is historical, set in Colorado. And of course, I'll start writing the novella in November. It's a historical set in 1913. The collection will be titled Snowbound Colorado Christmas.
Thank you for having me, Janna. I've enjoyed this. Your readers can find me at: , and on shoutlife.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today Lena, and I appreciate you being my first famous author interview!

Leave a comment with contact info and next Monday (29th) I will do a drawing for a new copy of "Who Am I?" by Lena Nelson Dooley. I will also give away my new copy of "Pirate's Prize" and if I finish "Gerda's Lawman" before Monday we'll round it out with 3 book giveaways! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monthly Homeschool Mom's Meeting!

If you are a homeschooler... do you have a monthly mom's meeting to stay connected to each other with? We do and we have ours the 3rd Thursday of every month so it was this afternoon. I can honestly say that it was our best meeting in probably 2 years! I came away from it today feeling so refreshed, so fulfilled and so ready to tackle this next month of teaching. We had a wonderful topic and for the first time in forever we got a really active discussion going among the moms after the speaker was done. It was great to get everyone's insights on their day-to-day issues and problems (good and bad). Our topic was on "Tailoring your curriculum to your children's needs" and our speaker was Becki Wardyn. She had some fabulous points and ideas and I will be posting my notes in the next few days - so look for that. But in the meantime I just wanted to encourage those of you that sometimes decide that its too much trouble to take one afternoon a month off and go to a meeting... not only do you need to refresh and renew your own mind, there may be a mom there that is struggling with something and your experience may be the very thing she needs to hear about in order to refresh her. It's part of being a group, encouraging and sharing with each other. So don't miss your next mom's meeting!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CFBA presents "Crimson Eve" by Brandilyn Collins

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Zondervan October 30, 2007)
Brandilyn Collins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale. Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith. Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real. “Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.” “Then you’d best rethink your friends.” Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why? Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...Brandilyn Collins fans and reviewers are saying Crimson Eve is her best book yet:

“Collins tops herself by creating a suspenseful nonstop thrill ride … Truly the best Christian Fiction suspense title so far this year.”– Library Journal, starred review

“Crimson Eve is Collins at her very best. It left me feeling as if I’d climbed Mount Everest without oxygen … I didn’t think Brandilyn could outdo herself after reading Coral Moon. She did.”–

“I’ve never edited a more tightly crafted, deftly woven, compellingly written book.” –a Crimson Eve editor, with 20 years experience

“This is your best book! I could not stop reading!” – one of many readers with similar responses

Read about Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, books one and two in the Kanner Lake series.

Do you know someone who’s never read a Brandilyn Collins novel? Surely no such person exists. However, should you scrounge up such a friend—someone who enjoys suspense—here’s a special offer from Brandilyn. Be among the first 50 people between now and October 21, 2007 to e-mail her assistant at with the person’s name, e-mail address and street address. (Due to exorbitant overseas mailing costs, United States residents only, please).
A signed copy of Crimson Eve will be sent to your friend—free—along with an e-mail from Brandilyn announcing the book is on its way, courtesy of you. (Don’t worry. Brandilyn won’t spam these email addresses. She just wants your friend to know who to thank.) No worries that this story is third in the Kanner Lake series. Each book stands alone. Brandilyn is convinced your friend will so love Crimson Eve, he/she will surely reciprocate with expensive chocolate.
The book link is:

My List for the Callapidder Days Reading Challenge!

It's fall and time for another reading challenge from Callapidder Days. So far there are over 250 (I'm #320!) people participating in the challenge. Click on the link to go to a list. There are some great reads on there.

Reading Challenge! I love the word challenge and I have seen different bloggers with their Callapidder Days Fall Into Reading 2007 challenge lists... so I figured it was time to post mine. I'll divide it into different categories so its easier to follow. I'm starting a little late, so I'll keep it updated and we'll see how many I have left at the end of December =)

Christian Fiction -

  1. What A Girl Wants by Kristin Billerbeck ****
  2. Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck**** Fun and enjoyable
  3. Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson ***** Totally loved it!
  4. One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn ***** Made me cry!
  5. Autumn Encore by Jane Peart*** This was a good book that I read in 1 sitting!
  6. The Redemption by M.L. Tyndall**** Loved this one and can't wait to read the next ones!
  7. Sushi For One by Camy Tang**** This was such a fun book can't wait for Uni
  8. As I Have Loved You by Nikki Arana***** It is not very often that you read a book that makes you want to turn over a new leaf and be a better person to those around you. I highly recommend this book!
  9. Promises Broken, Promises Kept by Janet Q. Bedley**** Great book based on an actual Civil War soldier's diaries - really good!
  10. The Veritas Conflict by Shaunti Feldhahn***** Excellent! An updated "This Present Darkness" - absolutely LOVED it!
  11. The Lights of Tenth Street by Shaunti Feldhahn**** Great follow-up to The Veritas Conflict
  12. The Waiting by Mark A. Rempel**** Great spin on the prodigal son!
  13. The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers**** Very good!
  14. And The Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers**** This book was excellent!
  15. Unveiled (Tamar) by Francine Rivers****
  16. Unashamed (Rahab) by Francine Rivers****
  17. Dawn of Liberty (4th in the Secret of the Rose Series) by Michael Phillips*** Great end to the series but I think books 2 & 3 were my favorites :-)
  18. The Minor Protection Act by Jodi Cowles***** One of the best reads of the year for me!
  19. The Power of Love by Margaret Daley****
  20. Sadie's Hero by Margaret Daley****
  21. Light in the Storm by Margaret Daley**** I love Margaret's writings!
  22. Under Cover of Darkness by Elizabeth White**** So good I'm ordering her others in the Texas Gatekeeper Series
  23. Lambert's Code by Rachel Hauck**** Phenomenal book that every married person should read!
  24. Pirate's Prize by Lena Nelson Dooley****Very good - loved the setting and situations!
  25. Gerda's Lawman by Lena Nelson Dooley**** Beautiful story and characters
  26. The Parting by Beverly Lewis**** Was good - looking forward to book #2
  27. Canteen Dreams by Cara Putman****This was such a good book - took place 5 blocks from where I live too!
  1. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
  2. The Amber Photograph by Penelope J. Stokes - I stand corrected - this should be listed under Christian Fiction - oops!****Really touching story I ordered more of her books after reading this one!
  3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold*** This was a really unique book - written from the viewpoint of a 14 year girl that had just been murdered and finds herself in heaven and her watching what happens on earth in the following years. Good, but it had lots of non-Christian elements that I could have done without.

Christian Non-Fiction
  1. Romancing Your Child's Heart by Monte Swan
  2. Eat & Stay Thin by Joyce Meyers *** Good info on the emotional reasons we struggle with weight.
  3. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
  4. Then Sings My Soul (150 of the world's greatest hymn stories) by Robert J. Morgan
  5. My Heart's Cry by Anne Graham Lotz
  6. Becoming A Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald
  7. Christian Unschooling by Teri J. Brown**** Great information
  8. What's A Girl To Do? by Janet L. Folger*** Good book for single ladies
  9. Soaring On Eagle's Wings by Regina Hanson**** True story of her faith through trials and getting her leg amputated - very good
  10. The Dream Giver for Couples by Bruce Wilkinson****
That puts my list at 40, but the list will grow weekly as the mail comes. Some of the books will be reviewed, some won't but I thought I'd use a star system to rate them after I read them. So I'll do a 5 star rating with 5 being the best. We'll just see how far I get =)

Monday, October 15, 2007

A New Life Welcomed To The World!

My youngest brother and his wife had their 1st baby yesterday. It sounds so simple, but its never simple when its your 1st baby. It is a whole world of unknowns when its your 1st baby. To top off the unknowns of a 1st baby, they also had a home birth. Well, not quite, it wasn't at their house, it was at my mom's house. In the same bedroom I've had my last 3 babies. My 1st 2 children were born in an Omaha hospital, but I was tired of the IV's, the needles, the pressure to use drugs (all 5 of my births were totally natural) and people I didn't know hovering, poking and prodding ALL the time! So the last 3 were born at my mom's house, in my old bedroom. Kind of cool and very wonderful. I've never been so relaxed and in control. Of course my pattern of labor and delivery is that once I start having contractions, I usually have a baby within an hour and a half - so I know that I am very blessed. Back to my brother and sister-in-law... I thought it was very courageous to have their 1st baby at home. It's one thing when you have been though it before and you know what's gonna happen and how everything is kind of gonna go and then to have a home birth, but all the unknowns - wow! I really have a new level of respect for both of them. Michelle was an absolute pro, she handled the contractions incredibly well and though it was much longer than any of my births, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 1:02 in the afternoon. I think what makes this birth so special to me is being a part of it in a way unique to this birth alone. Sure, I've been in on 5 other births, but they were mine so I was in a different state of mine (VERY different :-) I look forward to knowing Lailani Rae as she grows because I feel a bond with her that is special. Welcome to our world Lailani Rae!

Friday, October 12, 2007

"Why Do You Homeschool?"

Have you ever had anyone ask you, "Why do you homeschool?" And they want your answer in 10 words or less! How do you explain to someone in one sentence that -
  • God has put a call on my life to teach my children
  • My children NEED me and not a stranger being the major influence in their life
  • I see my children as individuals not as part of a classroom
  • I want to be friends with my children when they are grown, not strangers
  • I would be disobeying God's call on my life if I did not homeschool

And how do you explain all that without making them feel guilty? Like you think they should be homeschooling too. I always say that homeschooling is not perfect for everybody - but it's perfect for us!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Multnomah Fiction September 11, 2007)
Creston Mapes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries. Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children. He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.

"Nobody" by Creston Mapes

"Nobody" by Creston Mapes looks like a great read -

pick up a copy - I plan to! - Janna

Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!

They said, “He’s a nobody.” They were dead wrong.

When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop. His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands? With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself. Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?

“Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle

“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying

“Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure

The book link is:

Poor, poor homeschool moms :-(

One question/comment that is (sadly more common than not) is:

  • As phrased by Ann - Don't you ever want a break from your kids???!!! I'd go nuts being with them all day. (how sad)
  • As phrased by Carla - "When do you have time for yourself?" ---never quite understood that question
Isn't it sad that as a mother I choose to want to have my children with my daily because I love, cherish and adore them (yes, they can frustrate me at times - after all I'm their mother, not Mother Teresa :-) I want to have them with me to nurture them, and I certainly don't want them spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with some person I don't know as the authority in their lives. But yes, I am human and I get the urge to have a few moments to myself or some adult conversation with someone above the age of 11.

So as a homeschooling mom I do what most regular woman do... I run errands by myself for moments of peace, I lock myself in a room and chat on the phone with a friend for moments of clarity, I log online and browse the net - blogging and e-mailing for moments of escape. And then I walk back in the door and my kids scream, "Mommy's home!" And they run to tackle me with hugs and kisses - ah, absence does make the heart grow fonder, but not too much absence!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I've A Secret Favorite Author!

I decided even though he's not a Christian fiction author, he's one of my favorite non-fiction Christian authors and I really wanted to share some of his books with all of you.

  • Who - Jerry Savelle
  • Why - Simple, honest, truthful and Bible based books
  • Title #1 - If Satan Can't Steal Your Joy... He Can't Keep Your Goods
  • Title #2 - If Satan Can't Steal Your Dreams... He Can't Control Your Destiny
These are shorter books (125-155 pages) but they are life changing.

Title #1 (Joy) will tell you :
  1. How God's Word produces joy
  2. Why Satan wants your joy
  3. How Satan steals your joy
  4. How to make Satan return what he has stolen (sevenfold!)
  5. How to laugh more and cry less
Title #2 (Dreams) will tell you :
  1. Satan's #1 strategy for robbing you of your dreams
  2. The tell-tale signs that indicate your faith is wavering - and what to do about it immediately
  3. The secrets of recapturing your dreams
  4. The four universal principles of bringing dreams into reality
Some of us have perfect lives, but I personally can use the information in these books often :-)
In the Joy book Jerry tells an incredible testimony about his baby girl and her fingers, and follows it up later with what happens by faith. It is amazing - check them out sometime, you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Homeschooling in St. Louis

A friend that my husband and I went to college with (that's where we met) e-mailed me this article out of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Her family ended up on the front page of the paper because of their involvement with an article on homeschooling. It was a really good, positive article and thought that I'd share it here - enjoy!

Bellefontaine Neighbors — Weekdays in the Perry household start like those in any other. The kids brush their teeth, dress, grab a quick breakfast. Then, they make their way to school — at the dining room table. Anna, 7, tries to focus on her workbook. Bekah, 5, squirms in her chair and plays with 2-year-old Danielle, who needs a nap and starts wailing. Books are stacked on every surface. Little posters with insects and alphabets dot the walls, stand-ins for typical dining room decor. "Welcome," says their mother Kim Perry, smiling amid the disorder, "to our classroom."

The Perrys are part of a growing home-school movement. In 1999, according to federal statistics, there were 850,000 home-schooled children in theUnited States. In 2003, that number rose to 1.1 million. Some estimates put the figure today as high as 2.4 million. "It's certainly on the rise, there's no doubt about it," said Brad Haines, executive director for the Missouri-based Families for Home Education. "Exactly how fast is up to speculation." Before their four children were born, Kim and her husband, David, decided they were going to home-school them. They had the most common reasons for doing so: They wanted an alternative to the sometimes violent culture of American public schools, and they wanted to educate their children with a Bible-centered focus. "People always ask me, 'Why do you want to stay home with your kids?'" Perry said. "I tell them, they're my kids. I want to have a positive impact on them. I want to raise them according to my values not someone else's." Neither Missouri nor Illinois tracks students who are educated at home; the two states have some of the loosest regulations on home-schooling in the country. A parent doesn't have to tell authorities they're deciding to home-school their children, and home-schoolers want to keep it that way. Efforts in both states to tighten the rules have been extinguished as quickly as they flared.In both states, home-schooling support groups have flourished and multiplied. Membership in support groups suggests the number of home-schooled children in the St. Louis area is 6,000 or higher. "I get calls from people all the time, from people who want to pull their kids out of public schools," said Perry, who is on the board of an 80-member home-school group. "We've been growing by a third every year."


In both Illinois and Missouri, parents who home-school their children, in effect, set up a private school, usually with the mother as teacher and father as principal. Neither needs any particular academic qualifications. There are lesson plans they can follow, and bookstores cater to home-school families. For many families, though, the most important resource has become the Internet, which has linked even isolated households and helped support groups organize field trips, athletic events or classes. "It's certainly made it a whole lot easier," said Wayne Walker, minister of The Affton Church of Christ, who home-schools his two children. "You can find like-minded people, more information." Walker sends a 20-plus-page weekly e-mail with a list of available classes and activities to a host of home-schoolers every week. Like many home-schooled children, his participate in many activities. "It's really provided an opportunity for our children to meet friends," Walker said. Home-schoolers say they feel more connected to a community. "We've chosen to be at home, but if we wanted to, there are so many classes, we could be gone all day, every day," Perry said.


Education authorities say they worry that, because home-schooled students aren't required to take statewide achievement tests in many states, including Missouri and Illinois, students may not meet expectations. Science class in a home-school household, for example, might veer from teaching evolutionary theory. A science course might instead have a name like "God's Design for Heaven & Earth," as it does in the Perry household. Home-schoolers say the diplomas they confer on their children are evidence of a solid education. So are the transcripts they submit to colleges. Increasingly colleges say they agree. "They were so used to dealing with traditional transcripts and grades," said Ian Slatter, of the Home School Legal Defense Association. "Now the overwhelming majority of colleges have home-school admissions policies or a home-school admissions officer. "The University of Missouri and the University of Illinois have learned how to evaluate home-schoolers, though they receive relatively few applications for admission. "We're trying to do more to reach out to them," said Barbara Rupp, director of admissions at the University of Missouri. "I see a big difference in the level of sophistication of transcripts. But, yeah. Mom and Dad are assigning grades." Regina Morin, director of admissions at Columbia College, says the school is seeing more home-schoolers apply each year. "They tend to be better than their public school counterparts," she said. "They score above average on tests, they're more independent, they're often a grade ahead." "Traditionally colleges can be afraid of them," Morin added. "They don't know how to assess them." The home-school community concedes that not all kids emerge college-ready and that some parents aren't up to the task. "This is not an escape," Haines said. "It's a choice you make and stick with." 618-624-2438

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"The Trophy Wives Club" By Kristin Billerbeck

The newest book release from Kristin Billerbeck is "The Trophy Wives Club". I am currently in the process of reading one of Kristin's other books, "What A Girl Wants" (an Ashley Stockingdale novel). Kristin has a fun, very entertaining style and I look forward to reading this one - so get one hot off the press and check this one out at Amazon:

Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps "was" is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty years old – back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.When Jay first turned his eye to Haley, she was putty in his slender, graceful hands. No one ever treated her like she was important, and on the arm of Jay Cutler, she became someone people listened to and admired. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, her Prince Charming seems to belong to the Henry the XIII line of royalty. When Haley loses Jay, she not only loses her husband, she loses her identity.With her first independent decision, Haley leaves LA and moves home to Northern California. Feeling freedom just within her grasp, Haley learns that her settlement payments must go through one of Jay's financial advisors, Hamilton Lowe. Haley believes he's nothing more than a spy. And the feelings of distrust are mutual. Yet somehow, Hamilton finds himself handing over the monthly checks in person, and Haley can't deny that there's a kind of tenderness and protectiveness in Hamilton that she's never experienced in a man before.But before Haley can even consider another relationship, she must learn to accept her inherent worth, and what it is to be loved for who she is, not what's on the outside.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Not Smart Enough To Homeschool My Kids?

This set of questions come from Michelle. Common thoughts from those that have maybe thought about homeschooling but don't feel adequate to do the job "right".
  1. I don't have a college degree
  2. I'm not comfortable teaching _____________(fill in the blank)
  3. I'm afraid I will forget to teach something and leave a gap in their education

Let's look at this logically for just a moment -

1. I don't have a college degree

How many people do you know that are using the degree that they graduated with. Not very many. Most people will have 7 different job changes in their lives, most of those will not be in their field of degree. Having a college degree does not make you better at knowing your children. It doesn't make you understand them any better, love them any more, learn their personalities, love languages, learning styles and challenges any more. No one knows their child like you do and that makes you the best teacher for them. (Notice that I did not say the "perfect teacher", I said the "best teacher" - there is a difference!) You also don't have to have a college degree to read books that can help you understand your children even better. I'm a big fan of books such as -

  1. Personality Plus - Florence Littauer
  2. The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman
  3. The Way They Learn - Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
  4. The Birth Order Book - Kevin Leman

Books such as these just give you insight into way your kids may do the things they do and act the way they do. When you understand stuff like that, you can understand them better and how to help them understand things (like school) better.

I'm going to approach #2 and #3 at the same time because I consider them to be along the same thread.

2. I'm not comfortable teaching ________(fill in the blank)

3. I'm afraid I will forget to teach something and leave a gap in their education.

Do you realize what a wealth of knowledge is available in curriculum and supplements nowadays? It is almost mindboggling and overwhelming to most homeschoolers out there (we'll talk about that at a later date). But if there is a subject you are not comfortable with there is most surely a dvd curriculum, supplemental books, hands on materials or misc items available on the subject. And don't forget one of the most valuable resources around - someone you know that is quite adept on the matter. I hear about multitudes of instances where a mom has a friend or relative that is an expert on the subject in question tutor their child on the that. And most people love to help if they are only asked. My mom tells about the flip side of all this. When we started homeschooling it was when it first became legal in Nebraska and the only place you could get curriculum was from a Christian school if they would take pity on you and order it when they ordered theirs. You could not buy directly from the publishers. Boy have times changed, there is now every resource imaginable coming to your door in full color, print catalogs for you to flip through to your heart's content!

And as far as leaving gaps in their education... have you ever met a child coming out of public school that did not have gaps in their education? Unlikely. I view homeschooling as a way to pick and choose my children's gaps :-) I choose to focus on a few things in particular -

  1. Bible
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Math

And I figure if they can get a really good handle on those - then they can fill in any gaps they discover later. Oh did I mention that when working on reading they accomplish that by reading history, science and other special interests. And when writing it is usually letters, reports, stories they create themselves and very rarely a workbook. And math, well it may not be my favorite subject but I will take them as high in math as they wish to go (calculus anyone?) but will be quite satisfied if they can balance a checkbook, shop at the grocery store on a budget, calculate the percentage on a credit card (yuck) and count back change (do you realize most public school graduates can not do this? I should know, I've trained a lot of them to do that very thing because they couldn't!) Above all, if they have a solid foundation in who they are in Christ and how much He loves them - they will remain firmly grounded and have a great future ahead of them.

So I may choose to leave certain gaps on purpose -

  • Sex ed as taught by a teacher with bananas
  • Humanism
  • Evolution
  • School of hard knocks classes on the playground (bullying, name calling, teasing, groping, etc)

And will leave certain gaps up to my children's discretion -

  • Calculus - only if they have a desire to take math to a much higher level
  • Russian, French, German or Latin - if that is intriguing to them
  • Underwater Basket Weaving 101 - if that lights their fire, then I'll find a way to make it happen :-)
  • Insert elective of your choice here _____________________ - if they have an interest then it's important to me too :-)

Don't put so much pressure on yourself, it's only your child's future at stake (just kidding!). Just because you are a homeschool parent does not mean you have to be perfect for everyone, it just means you're already perfect for your kids!

"Sophie's Heart" by Lori Wick

Lori Wick is a prolific writer who's accomplishments in the writing world are extrodinary. While I believe you can pick up any book she has written and enjoy it I am going back to the beginning and am going to talk about "Sophie's Heart", her writing debut.

Here's the blip -

After the tragic death of his wife, Alec Riley struggles to put his life back together. He and his three children are lost in their grief...until Sophie walks unexpectedly into their lives. Having left her native Czechoslovakia, Sophie has discovered the land which seemed so bright with promise is far from her dream. A highly educated woman, Sophie now finds herself keeping house for Alec and his family
How can Sophie find peace in her new job? Will God use her gentle spirit to help heal Alec’s broken heart?

This was a moving, endearing story about a person stepping out in faith and overcoming amazing obstacles through faith in God to triumph in the end. I was captivated and enthralled with the characters and situations and read with a sense of urgency to find out what would happen. It is definitely Christian fiction, but I never felt preached at, if anything the conversations about God and Christianity were handled so beautifully that several points were made that were like revelation knowledge to me. I highly recommend reading 2 conversations in particular for a fresh look at a couple of Christian topics. A conversation between Sophie and Brad in the 2nd half of chapter 24 is well written about legalism. And in the beginning of chapter 51 there is a conversation between Sophie and Alec about sin. I actually used that in a talk I gave at church last week because it so beautifully illustrated some wonderful truths about sin and Christ's work on the cross.

Sophie's Heart is a beautifully crafted story of love, family and redemption. If you have never read or haven't read it in a long time, I encourage you to discover this treasure!

Common Questions Asked of Homeschoolers

(Thank you to Jason Holm for pointing me to this incredibly appropriate and wonderful comic and you need to check out his site at!)

I will be posting questions that are asked of homeschoolers and giving my views and answers. Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments section and I will address those in upcoming posts as well.

The first question comes from Jenny - "What About Socialization?"

The irony in this question is that when your children go to public school they're not asked, "What About Socialization?"
And who should be more concerned about their children, those of us who -

  • Teach them at home
  • Have some measure of control over who they are spending time with and what they are doing
  • Can encourage them in extracurricular activities and positive ventures like children's church and awanas
  • Can spend our days building up our children and giving them opportunities to be around people of all ages.

Or should we be more concerned about those children in public schools where your children will -

  • Interact with every child in that school whether you consider them a positive influence or not
  • They will be exposed to more sex, drugs, alcohol and rock 'n roll than most Christian parents can wrap their minds around and that is just walking down the hallway between classes.
  • They will deal with the rejection that comes with cliques around every corner
  • Don't forget how important it is what clothes they are wearing. If we are having a lazy day, my kids can wear their pajamas and not get mocked and belittled.
  • They will be taught humanism, evolution, that God is not real and its okay to have sex as long as its safe. (I prefer to teach my kids to love God first and then to love your neighbor as yourself, that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th, that God is real, ever present and concerned about all details of their lives and that God already has their spouse picked out for them so to have sex before marriage would be dishonoring their future husband or wife and how sad that would be.)
That is the kind of socialization that matters most to me. Oh, but for all the naysayers that are concerned about the welfare of my precious children let me assure you -

  1. Between my 5 children they attend 14 different dance and gymnastics style classes each week
  2. They are very active in children's church and will all be in the Christmas musical at church for which practices start this week
  3. They have the honor and privilege of having one set of their grandparents (my in-laws) live with us and their other set of grandparents live 2 miles away. Both grandmas interact and supplement their homeschooling as well and my children behave beautifully with the older generation because of those strong connections
  4. They have friends over to play frequently throughout the week and its not uncommon to have 1 or more friends over to spend the night once a week
  5. None of my children are really into sports at this point, but if they were they could be doing AYSO soccer and city football, baseball, basketball and volleyball - there are even some local homeschoolers playing football one of the middle schools in town this year.
  6. They will be in a Science fair in November
  7. We attended a Patriot's Day Celebration September 11th at the National Guard Armory in town for homeschoolers
  8. Tomorrow my 2 oldest will be going to the Community Playhouse with me to see a live stage version of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" a musical
  9. We go to our local children's museum once a week and follow that by a visit to the library
  10. That doesn't even begin to touch on what we do for school and the multitude of individual interests my children have
But I just wanted to say, "Thank you for showing such an interest in my children."