Friday, September 15, 2017

What I've Been Reading Lately: September 2017

As I write this, rain is drumming on the windows.  Autumn is my favorite season and it is finally here.  Soccer season has begun and I am so ready for cooler weather, canning some pears, sweaters and "Birthday Season" (all four of our kids have birthdays that fall within a ten week period).
I'm happy to share what I've been reading lately with you today, it was a good month due to a long road trip and plenty of time for audiobooks while I drove.

The Sound Of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

This book was completely fascinating from beginning to end.  It was difficult to read in places, due to some horrible experiences Ruth had to face. At one point while reading near the end, I found that I had dropped the book in my lap and was sitting there open-mouthed with shock at a particularly heartbreaking moment.  Her courage and strength was inspiring.

Ruth grew up in a polygamist sect in Mexico. Because I am a Mormon, I was hesitant to pick this book up, worried about how the LDS church would be portrayed.  It was interesting to me to see the differences and similarities between their beliefs and ours.

Ruth's story has stayed with me.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

I loved this sweet middle-grade novel about the bond between a boy and his fox.  It alternates between the viewpoints of the boy and the fox, which made it hard for me to put down.  I feel like this could be described as a mash-up between Rascal and The Incredible Journey.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Whoa. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was certainly not Zombie Apocalypse. However, I still really enjoyed this book, even though it's far from my comfort zone. (Logically I know zombies aren't real, but that has little to do with the fact that one might be standing behind me and I'll see it in the mirror when I finish washing my face at night.)  This is a more character-driven story than I would have expected.  

Warning: Very strong language and a few gory bits; because: zombies.

Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman

Fun, quick read. I really like Neil Gaiman's books for older audiences so I thought I'd give this children's book a try. It was just fine.  Nothing earth-shattering, but a cute, silly story that only took 30 minutes or so to read.  Perfect for my 8 year old boy.  I loved the illustrations.

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

Harrowing is the best word I could think of to describe this book. It was terrifying and inspiring and fascinating all at once. I cannot imagine going through what Amanda had to go through during her months of captivity. I cannot imagine the pain she endured physically emotionally and mentally. She is an example of courage and hope and I am so glad I read this book. She handles horrifying things with grace. The writing is not too "gritty", though at times it was very difficult to read about her experiences.

Read Alouds

My Grandma passed away unexpectedly last month.  I took my four kiddos on a 2200+ mile road trip to Iowa for her funeral.  While we traveled we re-read some favorite read alouds:

Hello, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House on the Prairie

We had the chance to visit the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota as part of this trip.  Here's what I wrote about the experience on Instagram: A dream come true for me today. My kids and I spent the afternoon at the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota. It was absolutely fantastic. Extremely hands-on and perfect for the kids. The homestead includes replicas of all the different houses the Ingalls family lived in throughout the Little House series. We had the place basically to ourselves. We spent time washing clothes by hand, riding in a covered wagon, riding horses and in a darling little buggy. We played with a foot-pump organ and sewing machine. The kids made rope and corn cob dolls and we saw a little schoolhouse like Laura would have attended and later taught in. ❤

What have you been reading lately?

Head to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more Quick Book reviews.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Living Christ Memorization and Copywork Packet (FREE!)

This project has been in the back of my mind for months.  I am so delighted to share it with you today.  One of the options for a 10 hour project for the LDS Personal Progress Program (a program to help LDS girls ages 12-18 set and achieve goals in all aspects of their lives) is to memorize The Living Christ. 

The Living Christ is a beautiful statement from the leaders of the LDS church about Christ's life and teachings.  My daughter asked how I would suggest she go about memorizing such a long document and I immediately knew that I wanted to design a copywork packet for her.

Copywork is a tool used in many homeschooling families. It's a way to practice handwriting and memorize scripture, poetry and/or quotes by incorporating beautiful words into your daily lessons. We use it as part of our Homeschool Morning Time.

Of course, you don't have to be a homeschooling family to use copywork.  This is a perfect activity for a quiet Sunday afternoon.  You could also use it with your children each morning or evening as part of your family scripture study.  As your children copy these passages, they will not only improve their penmanship and understanding of grammar and punctuation, but they'll also be filled with inspiring words.

The 83 page packet also includes additional pages to help with memorizing The Living Christ.  I hope it's useful for your family! I'd love to see how you are using it.  Please tag me on Instagram @alivelyhope as you share photos of your work.

You can download it for free by clicking ADD TO CART below.

Add to Cart
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Families

This little (okay, not so little, it's 215 pages) book has been such a labor of love.  And I'm incredibly delighted to share it with you today.

This study guide is designed to help your family understand and apply the stories in the Book of Mormon in your everyday life.  You will dive deeply into the scriptures and strengthen your relationships and testimonies together. It focuses on 42 faith-building stories from the Book of Mormon. Rather than read chapter by chapter, this study guide takes you through specific sections of scripture to help you internalize the stories and the lessons they teach.

My intent with this book is for kids to work on it with their parents.  I want it to spark discussion and deeper understanding of the Book of Mormon.  Older kids could probably do it on their own, but younger kids will need help.

What you'll love about this study guide:

  • It's open and go.  You just need your copy of the Book of Mormon and a pencil (though of course you could use colored pencils or crayons or even gel pens).  
  • It includes many different activities to help hold your interest. 
  • Contains in-depth questions specific to the stories you are studying.
  • Lots of opportunities to draw, doodle or write.  Your child(ren) can do what works best for his/her learning style.
  • 8.5 x 11" to give you plenty of room to record what you're learning.

The study guide features the following stories:

Joseph Smith's First Vision
Joseph Receives the Plates
Lehi's Vision
Lehi and His Family Leave Jerusalem
Nephi Obtains the Brass Plates
The Tree of Life
The Liahona
Nephi's Bow Breaks
Nephi Builds a Ship
Lehi's Family Crosses the Sea
Jacob and Sherem
King Benjamin
Abinadi and King Noah
Alma at the Waters of Mormon
King Limhi
Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah
Alma and Amulek's Mission
Alma and Amulek in Prison
Ammon and King Lamoni
Faith is Like a Seed
Alma Teaches His Sons
Captain Moroni
The Title of Liberty
2000 Stripling Warriors
Nephi and Lehi in Prison
Samuel the Lamanite
Signs of Jesus Christ's Birth
Jesus Appears to the Nephites
Jesus Teaches the Nephites
Jesus Heals the Sick
The Sacrament
Jesus Teaches the Nephites to Pray
Destruction of the Jaredites
The Book of Mormon Promise

Buy the PDF version here Add to Cart

Or a beautifully printed and bound version here.

I'd love to see what you do with this study guide! Email me or tag me on Instagram  so I can see what your family has been up to.
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