I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

What We're Reading in February 2017

Really well-written books become friends. They slowly change me and shape me and I'm never the same after having read them. Turning the last page of each one feels like the end of a relationship. It's a sad but necessary reader-problem. However, with every ending comes a new beginning...a chance to crack open another book.

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Last month was filled with absolute page turners. I loved Mere Motherhood so much that I read it in just a few days. I've now passed it along to a friend and will continue to do so until every homeschooling mother I know has had a chance to read it.

And Ember Falls, our family's read aloud from January? Oh my! That was a book-relationship that we will hold close for years to come. My kids and I read chapter after chapter each day. One afternoon, I ended up reading five because everyone kept begging, "Please, Mom, just one more chapter!" After reading out loud for over an hour, I lost my voice. But it was so.worth.it. Honestly, how could anyone resist rabbits with swords?!

The book ended in a huge cliffhanger leaving us anxious for the next installment from homeschooler turned author, S.D. Smith.

Many great literary relationships ended this past month. I suppose it's time to make new ones.
Here's what we're reading.

Read Aloud- everybody

Freddy the Detective- I've not read this book before, but as it came highly recommended by a few friends and since it was originally published way back in 1932, I've decided to read it out loud without vetting it first. We've only read one chapter so far, so I can't give it a glowing endorsement. But, the quirky animals and innocent humor have our interest peeked. We shall see...

Jamie- that's me!

The Total Money Makeover- The Hubs and I graduated from Financial Peace University several years ago. Other than our mortgage (which we are in the process of paying down), we have no debt. No student loans. No car payments. Nothin'. However, there is a difference between being debt-free and being proactive with money. After hearing a great workshop about investing at my local homeschool mom's group, I've decided to take a Ramsey refresher course by reading this book in order to re-evaluate our investments. 

Different- I have been impatiently awaiting the release of Sally Clarkson's newest book that she co-wrote with her out-of-the-box son, Nathan. I, too, have a "different" kiddo and am looking forward to reading Clarkson's thoughts on mothering and teaching high-energy children. She is one of my most favorite authors. Her Life-Giving Home book was one of the best books I've ever read and I can't wait to crack this latest one open. I have no doubt that her words will be like a balm to my soul. 

Sweetie Pea- 8th grade

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic- (Mom assigned book) My daughter has always been a huge fan of Narnia-esque fantasy books. But sadly, the fantasy genre is often a mixed bag of witchcraft and dark magic. I'm always excited to come upon titles that are simply fantastical...new stories with old souls...clean and void of unnecessary evil. This adventurous tale of a courageous young girl and a sleeping giant seems to be just that.

Calico Captive- (Just-for-fun Book) She's almost finished with this colonial fiction loosely based on actual diary accounts of a young New Hampshire girl. 

Super Boy- 5th grade

Farmer Boy- (Mom assigned book) My son began a new-to-us language arts program a few months ago. (More on that to come...) It's a literary-rich curriculum that combines great books and a Charlotte Mason approach to grammar and mechanics. Farmer Boy is one of a few books featured in the program. We read it as a family a few years back, but it's definitely worth a re-read. My son will read it out loud to me, discuss it, narrate his own thoughts about it, and use its contents in his daily language arts assignments. 

Blonde Warrior- 4th grade

A Place for Peter- (Mom assigned book) I'm not usually a huge fan of series books as I think the characters and plots tend to become repetitive and flat by the second and third books. But every now and again I stumble upon a rare exception to this theory. When I do, I like to read the first in the series out loud to lure my kids into the plot and then I encourage one or two of them to read the sequels on their own. A couple of years ago when we read Mountain Born as a family, I began searching for the follow-up book. I recently found it at a used book sale.

A Place for Peter is a coming of age story about Peter's quest to prove to his father that he can handle the rigors of mountain and farming life.

The Redcoats Are Coming!- (Just-for-fun book) The Imagination Station series of books combines history with the drama of the Adventures in Odyssey radio program. To be honest, the books are a bit twaddly, but my son always enjoys returning to the series for a light, yet action-packed read. And who doesn't like a little bit of twaddle now and again?!

Greased Lightning- 2nd grade

The Chocolate Touch- (Mom assigned book) John Midas, a young boy addicted to candy, finds himself in quite the predicament when he wakes up one morning to find that everything he touches instantly turns to chocolate. This is a modern-day look at the story of King Midas which attempts to answer the age-old question, "Can you have too much of a good thing?" My son was anxious to start it since it came so highly recommended by his older brother who read it out loud to me two years ago.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue- (Just-for-fun book) This is the first in a zany early-chapter book series by critically acclaimed author, Kate DiCamillo. While it is a bit below my second grader's reading level, he's enjoying the light-hearted, silly humor which will hopefully propel him to want to read the rest in the series. 

The Dude- Preschool

Bob Books Set 1- My youngest has been reading and re-reading this set for the past month. Each book in the set features short vowel words as well as a handful of three-letter high frequency words. He will continue to read through the series again and again until he can read all nine fluently. 

The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature- This book is one of my most favorite preschool resources. It introduces science gently like all science-based living literature books should. It is actually a collection of three books, The Berenstain Bears' Almanac which details the changing of seasons as well as annual celebrations from month-to-month, The Berenstain Bears' Nature Guide which introduces plants and animals from different ecosystems, and The Berestain Bears' Science Fair which samples the basics of physical science and stem learning. My boy and I have been reading a few pages together each day. 

That's what we'll be reading this month. How about you? What are you reading in February?


  1. I have a 7th grade daughter and have also faced similar challenges with books. Am so disappointed that so many books targeted for their age range, that often have the most beautiful covers(!), are filled with magic and sorcery. So thank you for posting this recommendation, we will definitely look into this!

    1. It is a struggle, to be sure. There are some great books in the fantasy genre, they are just more difficult to find.

  2. Hi, Thanks for sharing great list of books. My kids love reading and I hope they will also love these books.