Monday, October 29, 2007
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!
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?"
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…
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.
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.
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.
I also received a fantastic education in everything including writing. So homeschooling has been nothing but a great help and benefit to me.
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.
Thanks so much for having me, Janna, and for being one of my biggest cheerleaders!
The Return by Austin Boyd
This week, the
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
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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
Saturday, October 27, 2007
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
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
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 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.
Are there any similarities between you and your main character, Leiann in "Who Am I?"
Tell us about an upcoming project you're working on that we should be on the lookout for?
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
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
(Zondervan October 30, 2007)
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.
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.
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 -
- What A Girl Wants by Kristin Billerbeck ****
- Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck**** Fun and enjoyable
- Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson ***** Totally loved it!
- One Shenandoah Winter by T. Davis Bunn ***** Made me cry!
- Autumn Encore by Jane Peart*** This was a good book that I read in 1 sitting!
- The Redemption by M.L. Tyndall**** Loved this one and can't wait to read the next ones!
- Sushi For One by Camy Tang**** This was such a fun book can't wait for Uni
- 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!
- Promises Broken, Promises Kept by Janet Q. Bedley**** Great book based on an actual Civil War soldier's diaries - really good!
- The Veritas Conflict by Shaunti Feldhahn***** Excellent! An updated "This Present Darkness" - absolutely LOVED it!
- The Lights of Tenth Street by Shaunti Feldhahn**** Great follow-up to The Veritas Conflict
- The Waiting by Mark A. Rempel**** Great spin on the prodigal son!
- The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers**** Very good!
- And The Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers**** This book was excellent!
- Unveiled (Tamar) by Francine Rivers****
- Unashamed (Rahab) by Francine Rivers****
- 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 :-)
- The Minor Protection Act by Jodi Cowles***** One of the best reads of the year for me!
- The Power of Love by Margaret Daley****
- Sadie's Hero by Margaret Daley****
- Light in the Storm by Margaret Daley**** I love Margaret's writings!
- Under Cover of Darkness by Elizabeth White**** So good I'm ordering her others in the Texas Gatekeeper Series
- Lambert's Code by Rachel Hauck**** Phenomenal book that every married person should read!
- Pirate's Prize by Lena Nelson Dooley****Very good - loved the setting and situations!
- Gerda's Lawman by Lena Nelson Dooley**** Beautiful story and characters
- The Parting by Beverly Lewis**** Was good - looking forward to book #2
- Canteen Dreams by Cara Putman****This was such a good book - took place 5 blocks from where I live too!
- She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
- 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!
- 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.
- Romancing Your Child's Heart by Monte Swan
- Eat & Stay Thin by Joyce Meyers *** Good info on the emotional reasons we struggle with weight.
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- Then Sings My Soul (150 of the world's greatest hymn stories) by Robert J. Morgan
- My Heart's Cry by Anne Graham Lotz
- Becoming A Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald
- Christian Unschooling by Teri J. Brown**** Great information
- What's A Girl To Do? by Janet L. Folger*** Good book for single ladies
- Soaring On Eagle's Wings by Regina Hanson**** True story of her faith through trials and getting her leg amputated - very good
- The Dream Giver for Couples by Bruce Wilkinson****
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
- 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
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
(Multnomah Fiction September 11, 2007)
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 looks like a great read -
pick up a copy - I plan to! - Janna
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: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590526244
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
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 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
Title #1 (Joy) will tell you :
- How God's Word produces joy
- Why Satan wants your joy
- How Satan steals your joy
- How to make Satan return what he has stolen (sevenfold!)
- How to laugh more and cry less
- Satan's #1 strategy for robbing you of your dreams
- The tell-tale signs that indicate your faith is wavering - and what to do about it immediately
- The secrets of recapturing your dreams
- The four universal principles of bringing dreams into reality
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
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
- I don't have a college degree
- I'm not comfortable teaching _____________(fill in the blank)
- 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 -
- Personality Plus - Florence Littauer
- The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman
- The Way They Learn - Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
- 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 -
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
- 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!
How can Sophie find peace in her new job? Will God use her gentle spirit to help heal Alec’s broken heart?
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.)
- Between my 5 children they attend 14 different dance and gymnastics style classes each week
- They are very active in children's church and will all be in the Christmas musical at church for which practices start this week
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- They will be in a Science fair in November
- We attended a Patriot's Day Celebration September 11th at the National Guard Armory in town for homeschoolers
- 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
- We go to our local children's museum once a week and follow that by a visit to the library
- That doesn't even begin to touch on what we do for school and the multitude of individual interests my children have