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 October 2019

Ordained days.
God has promised them for us in Psalm 139:16.
I've born witness to the truth of this verse many times in my life. The ordination of the Lord seems to be most obvious in the big moments--when He holds us and keeps us so securely by His right hand, when we experience unbelievable miracles that can only be explained by faith. But then there are other times--smaller moments--when we notice how He, in His kindness to us, has orchestrated small bits of wonder for our pleasure. They almost feel like a wink from Him in our direction--a little knowing glance between the two of us.

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Homeschooling has offered so many of those small ordinations--times when He has woven our curriculum and plans in such a way to prepare us for something else He has in store. Yesterday was one of those times.

As I mentioned last month, the kids and I started reading Black Lightning, a book about a family of fishers (cousins of the weasel family) and their escape from a French trapper. We began learning all about the lives of animals in the woods and the trapping and trading of those animals. That same week, my eldest son started reading The Broken Blade about a team of voyageurs traveling along the Great Lakes in the 19th century.

Little did we know that only three weeks later we'd be invited by some friends to attend a Voyageur Rendezvous where the 18th-19th-century fur trade is put on display. We were able to make much more sense out of the field trip having just read all about it.

To some, it might seem like a happenchance coincidence, but to me, it felt like an ordination--an intricately woven life that sometimes includes a wink from a God who loves to show His kindness in both big and small ways.

We've finished up Black Lightning and have cracked open something new. There's no way of knowing how God will use the books we're planning to read this month to help ordain our days, but I can't wait to find out. 

Here's what we'll be reading. 

Read aloud- everybody

Listening for Lions- I've heard rave reviews about this post-WWI story, but I've also been told that the ending feels rather truncated--that it's rushed and kinda forced. We're only one chapter in and already really liking it.

This is the coming-of-age story of Rachel Sheridan, daughter to medical missionaries sent to South Africa by the church of England. When her parents die unexpectedly from the world-wide influenza epidemic, she is forced to leave her beloved South Africa, the only home she has ever known, and move to England. But this is not just any move, it's a twisted plot of deception. 

Jamie- that's me!

Mother Culture- This latest book from Karen Andreola who is considered by many to be the matriarch of the Charlotte Mason movement of the United States hit shelves around the same time my book, Homeschool Bravely, launched into the world. I saw it popping up everywhere but didn't have the time to crack it open. (It's quite thick.) Until now.

I'm about two-thirds of the way through with it and have mixed feelings. On the one hand, like most books about nurturing a peaceful and Godly home, it conjures up a sense of maternal commitment to do this job of mothering well. But on the other hand, it's not very well organized and feels more like a collection of other people's quotes than a book written by one person.

When reading mother-culture type books, I always seem to measure them against The Life-Giving Home, my personal favorite. This one has fallen quite a bit short. (I was given a copy of Andreola's first book, The Charlotte Mason Companion, a few weeks ago and am actually looking forward to reading it, despite my lack-luster thoughts of this follow-up.)

The End of the Spear- This autobiography of Steve Saint, son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, is my October pick for the Storied Mom Reading Challenge. Last year, the kids and I read a YWAM biography about Nate and was really compelled by the story. In addition, a few years ago, my husband watched the movie based on The End of the Spear and said it was fantastic! These two very glowing endorsements of the overall story of Saint's life made this book an easy YES for me.

Sweetie Pea- 11th grade

Screwtape Letters- My daughter started this Lewis classic last month, but since it is kind of heady and takes some digesting, she's been going through it rather slowly, reading small bits at a time. In between bites, she's been reading a lot of other things for her online college courses. 

Super Boy- 8th grade

The Broken Blade- My oldest son continues to divide his time between this book that he started last month and a military memoir that has also captured his attention. Other than the fact that one of the characters uses God's name in vain in the very first chapter, The Broken Blade is a very good book with an adventurous plot about a 13-year-old French boy named Pierre La Page.

When his father is injured and can no longer join his fellow voyageurs to make the trek to Grand Portage, Pierre steps in to take his place. He has no idea what's in store for him as the youngest member of the brigade.

Blonde Warrior- 7th grade

The Fellowship of the Ring- My son read The Hobbit this past spring and loved it. At first, I was a little hesitant to let him start reading its slightly more graphic and scary sequel. But, I'm glad I finally conceded to his respectful requests. The book has actually provided him with lots of inspiration for a piece of fan fiction he's writing.

Greased Lightning- 5th grade

A Bear Called Paddington- We read this book as a family several years ago. Since then, most of my kids have seen the movie version. This particular son, however, was far too young to remember the delightful Brittish humor of Paddington and the entire Brown family as recounted on the page. I figured it was time to remedy that. I doubt he'll ever look at marmalade the same way again!

The Dude- 2nd grade

Red Fox and His Canoe- This is just one of many easy-but-not-boring readers my son will be reading this month. Because he's the last of five, he gets to choose from a gigantic stack of leveled titles left over from his older siblings. (I have a bit of a book hoarding problem and early readers are a particularly exaggerated struggle.) It usually takes him 2-3 days to finish one before moving on to another, so he'll go through his TBR list rather quickly. 

That's what we'll be reading in October?
How about you.


  1. Adding Listening for Lions to my TBR list!

    I just finished Rosaria Butterfield's Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, and have started Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter. For our family read aloud, we just finished Trumpet of the Swan and will start True Grit.

    1. How did you like Butterfield's book? I loved her Gospel Comes with a House Key, but have not seen/read any of her other books.

  2. I really enjoyed it. Her testimony is powerful and I found it helpful for understanding those in the LGBT community and how to reach them with the gospel.

    1. Yes. I loved that about her House Key book. I'll have to check out her other books! Thanks.