April 27, 2009


Outside my window… I think the kids are trying to dig a hole to China


I am thankful for…Facebook.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you’ve looked through the archives, you might remember me telling the story about a boy whom I once dated and treated very badly (you can read about that Here.)  I’ve tried numerous times to find him during the last seven years, and finally found him on facebook!  I was finally able to apologize (with my husband’s blessing) and I was SO thankful for that.  I’ve also recently been reconnected with a very good friend of mine from High School.  I’ve really missed her, and I’m thankful that Facebook has given us a way to find each other again.

From the learning rooms… The convention led me to some of the most amazing resources!  I’m sure many of you have heard of them before, but there may be others who haven’t so I wanted to share what I’d found…


First, I found a couple who sell nature videos that are just wonderful!  They film and produce these videos themselves (I actually got to meet them!) and my kids love the movie I brought home for them.  Think National Geographic for kids without the teachings on evolution.  Yoiu can check them out at www.sjbproductions.com.

I also found a publishing company that sells the types of books I’ve been trying to find for years!  The company is devoted to selling books for children that are not just void of negative material, but full of positive characters, lessons in morality, and based on principles found in the Bible.   The company is called Lamplighter Publishing and the first time I went to their vendors booth, I picked up a book that brought tears to my eyes, that I’d like to share with you.  It’s called Hedge of Thorns and is based on a true story.  Here is an excerpt:


“What is so wrong about straying a little to pick some apples?” I groaned.  My rebellious thoughts controlled me.  I didn’t want to pray.  I no longer thought of the simple things of the garden and how much I loved my little Belle.  Sadness filled me, and I cried until I fell asleep that night.

I woke the next morning more determined than ever…  We started off to school as usual, but as we approached the place where the apple tree stood, I stopped at a small opening in the jagged brush.  Belle didn’t know that I had created it a few days earlier.

“Belle, look here,” I lured.  “Surely you could fit into this opening”…

Fear filled her eyes, but I ignored it.  Her love for me tainted her good sense, and soon she gave in… As I helped her inside, the prickly jabs made her cry out.  Still, I coaxed and coaxed…

Then suddenly, my desire so took hold of me that I pushed my little Belle deep into the thorny mass.  Her screams of pain shook me out of my selfish trance.  I grabbed her feet and pulled her from the thorny branches.  Streams of blood ran down her face.  Thorns stuck in her skin.  My screams drowned out hers as I ran to the cottage with my little sister in my arms…


Father woke me early the next morning.  He spoke softly as I followed him toward the path where my transgression had occurred.

“John, please listen carefully,” he urged.  “God knows your every thought, and He places hedges about you to keep you in His way.  Sometimes you will feel reigned in by your mother and me, and another day poverty or illness may hold you back.  This time it has truly been a hedge.  Remember that our hearts are deceitful.  We must always ask the Lord to show us His way”…

We climbed up a nearby bank, and my father lifted me high above his shoulder.  “What do you see that your hedge has kept you from,” he asked…

I won’t ruin the ending, but it gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.

You can check out all of their wonderful books at www.lamplighterpublishing.com Their books are not cheap, but they have some book clubs you can join to get the books at a discount ( http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com/bookclubs.asp).  We’re definitely considering it!

I also found one other publishing company that I really loved.  It’s called The Vision Forum (I know, I know… most people have heard of these companies, but I never had until the convention!)  They sell books for parents and for children and I was so impressed by the young men tending the booth during the convention.  They were kind and soft-spoken and everything I pray my boys will grow up to be.  They have some amazing resources for children and parents alike, and if you’ve never looked at their site, you should really check it out (http://www.visionforum.com/)

I am reading… I just finished Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald (a Vision Forum book), and am now reading So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin.  These sisters are in their twenties (or close to it) and are truly amazing young women.  They also have a blog www.visionarydaughters.com that is filled with inspiring articles for young girls (I’ve gotten a lot out of it, too!)

Some things I am praying for…continuing prayers of encouragement for my brother, fertility for two of my friends, strength, peace, and financial blessings for a family in Italy, and asking God to make Himself real to an online friend.  I am also praying for the health of a friends unborn child, as well as financial provision for her and the baby… among other things.  :)

Around the house… The number of water bottles it takes to hydrate four children:


A few plans for the rest of the week… I may be going on a practice photo shoot this week – looking forward to that!

Here is picture thought I am sharing…


This is my friend’s daughter, taken at the park.  She’s fearless!

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9 Responses to April 27, 2009

  1. Jennifer R. says:

    I’m so glad you discovered Lamplighter books! They are like GOLD in our house. We love to read them. A great one for boys is “Teddy’s Button” (although it’s also one of my favorites as well) and one that is fabulous for everyone is “Giant Killer,” in case you’re looking for your next good read. :)

  2. Jerri says:

    What an awesome picture of the fearless girl! You did a great job capturing her “essence”.

    I look forward to any photos you might share from your practice photo shoot.

  3. Michal says:

    You have a very nice blog, which I hope to return. I love Lamplighter books. I think this year at convention, that’s all I’ll buy. I’m trying to talk myself into buying into their bookclub. I LOVED Hedge of Thorns. Ohhhhh, so powerful.

    God bless you this week.

  4. Karinann says:

    Awesome pictures as always. I’m glad you found some closure with your friend. And good for you for having the humility to do so.
    I know Facebook can be a good thing but it still scares me a little.’God bless!

  5. I LOVE Vision Forum and the Botkin books as well! Have you watched “Return of the Daughters” yet by them? It is WONDERFUL!

  6. Mrs. Parunak says:

    We like Vision Forum, too, and I’ve heard of Lamplighter books, but I haven’t gotten to read any yet.

    That’s a great shot of your friend’s daughter’s leap.

  7. Erika says:

    Oh my gosh, those books! This is the first I’ve heard of Lamplighter books, and I’m already smitten! Looking at the website, I’m trying to figure out how to justify their cost along with all our curriculum for next year! Wow!

    Maybe I’ll just start by ordering one. ;)

    I’m brand new to Facebook myself, I really didn’t want to do it. But what do you know, in just a few short weeks a few friendships have been re-kindled, and we’ll see where that may lead.

    • Rina says:

      I’m soooo with you, Erika, I want ALL their books! Have you looked at their book club? I know one of them is pretty expensive, but I think there are others that aren’t too bad. I’m not terribly fond of everything on facebook, but I have liked reconnecting with people and reestablishing some long lost friendships.