What Do We Remember in November? The Pilgrims, Of Course!

During November, the days can be gray and things can seem kind of slow and draggy. Well, I have a solution for you! Do a unit study about Thanksgiving during the whole month of November.

There are many fun things you can do in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. You don’t have to wait until the week or the few days before Thanksgiving to start studying the Pilgrims. You can start studying them right now. There is a lot to learn about these amazing ancestors of ours.

If you want to integrate a study of the Pilgrims into your homeschool day, an easy, fun way to do it is to listen to audios of the stories of the Pilgrims. A wonderful way to do this would be to listen to a chapter or a couple of chapters each day from a book about the Pilgrims like the book from Yesterday’s Classics called “Stories of the Pilgrims”.

I just happen to know where you can get such a set of audios! Jim Hodges has recorded the book “Stories of the Pilgrims” and you can get it on sale for $15 during the month of November at Jim Hodges Audio Books.

We have been listening to “The Stories of the Pilgrims” for a couple of weeks now. The stories have children as the main characters, so children can relate to them well. They start all the way back at Scrooby, England when the Separatists were being persecuted by King James for not attending worship services at the Church of England. The stories are entertaining and poignant.

We experience with them the fear and frustrations of trying to escape from England and the tyranny of King James. Many details and small incidents are included to make the story come alive.

One personal connection for us was the part where the Pilgrim children saw the wheels on the roofs of the houses so that storks could build nests on them. This was during the leg of the journey when they went to Holland seeking religious freedom. We were reminded of “The Wheel on the School” which we just read a couple of weeks ago. We loved that story!

There are nice descriptions of people and places that the Pilgrims encountered along the way. Listening to these audios is a good way to learn about geography and other cultures as well as learning about the Pilgrims who came to America in 1620.

It is an excellent way to learn about the background of the search for religious freedom, the culture and geography of England and Holland, and the hardships that the Pilgrims suffered as they relocated to a whole new continent to settle where they could live as Englishmen but worship as they pleased.

Here is a great chance to get these audios at a great price – $15, plus a bonus study guide for only $5. Get both for $20! You can even sample the first chapter for free in an audio download.

Jim Hodges is offering his audio recordings of “The Stories of the Pilgrims” at a special price of $15 during the month of November.
See details of the sale here.

Plus, I have a great giveaway to tell you about!

You won’t believe how much is included in this giveaway!

This will keep you and your kids busy for more than just the month of November (happily busy, I might add!).

If you win this giveaway, I think you will be full of THANKSGIVING!



We are now offering a 2nd place prize. The 2nd place winner will receive all of the G. A. Henty audio downloads!!!

The stories by G. A. Henty are some of the best historical fiction you will ever hear. They are stories that feature a young hero during a certain era of time told by a fantastic storyteller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jim Hodges has recorded 20 of them. This would be a delightful addition to your homeschool repertoire. You would be very blessed to win this!



The winner of this incredible homeschool giveaway will receive one of each download offered through Jim Hodges Audio Books! This is an amazing prize worth over $700 and featuring hundreds of hours of quality listening for your family.

This is what you could win:

Huge Giveaway of Jim Hodges’ audios

Use this Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway:

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Book Review: Fields of the Fatherless by Elaine Cooper


About the story:

Fields of the Fatherless is the story of the beginning of the American Revolution in Menotomy Village, Massachusetts. While fiction, it is filled with facts. And it reveals that there is much about that first day of the War that many are not aware.
While the sacrifice of the few who fell in Lexington and Concord is written about in our history books, the worst battle took place in Menotomy as the British troops withdrew to Boston. By the time the King’s Army reached Menotomy, just six miles from Boston, they were exhausted, angry, and out of control. The brutal onslaught that occurred in my hometown—for this is the town I grew up in—brought more casualties on both sides than anywhere else that fateful day. It was a story from our history that begged to be told.

About the Author:

Novelist Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run, The Promise of Deer Run and The Legacy of Deer Run. Her passions are her family, her faith in Christ and the history of the American Revolution, a frequent subject of her historical fiction. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her novels.
Her stand alone historical fiction, Fields of the Fatherless, will by released October 22, 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Elaine is a contributing writer to Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson, and I Choose You, a romance Anthology. Her freelance work has appeared in both newspapers and magazines, and she blogs regularly at http://ColonialQuills.blogspot.com, http://AuthorCulture.blogspot.com and http://novelPastimes.com.
The award-winning author is married with two grown sons and she is the very proud GiGi of triplet grandchildren. Their birth coincided with the arrival of her first shipment of her first novel in 2010. She calls it “the best delivery day ever.” Elaine is a hopeless animal lover who can’t resist rescuing homeless animals. But her sweet yet practical husband keeps her adopting habits in line.

And now for my review:

I just finished reading “Fields of the Fatherless” by Elaine Cooper. I learned more about the first day of the American Revolution than I had ever known before. I felt like I was right there. Through the eyes of 18-year-old Betsy Russell, we see the fear and anxiety that filled the hearts of townspeople near Lexington and Concord before that fateful day when the King’s soldiers came marching along the road to confiscate the guns and ammunition stored in Concord. We experience the nerve-wracking waiting and wondering as her family and friends tried to prepare for the worst and prayed to be spared the horrors of war.

Elaine is an excellent storyteller. She brings the story to life. I kept feeling like I was peeking out the window watching the road to Concord for the King’s soldiers. I felt like I was trying to figure out where to go and what to do when they came.

The characters are likable and believable. The author develops them and the story line so well that we feel for them when tragedy strikes, and we are moved by their heartache and loss. I cried through many parts. I was moved to tears before the battle even started.

The author addressed forgiveness and how to deal with our enemies as Christians. As Betsy went on with life after the terrible day that took the lives of so many and left such bitterness and rage in the hearts of many in her hometown (more died in her town that day than in Lexington and Concord), we see how God pulled her through tragedy and restored her soul to the point that she could truly love her enemy and protect his life.

The last scene is very satisfying, and the author’s note at the end tells the rest of the story and ties it all together.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes history and enjoys immersing themselves in a story so that they feel like they were really there.

How We Handle Halloween

We don’t celebrate Halloween. If you don’t know why, you can google it and see the origins and why lots of Christians choose to forego celebrating this holiday.

I don’t want to talk about why we don’t celebrate it. I want to talk about what we do instead.

We have done basically the same thing for years, but we now have a theme that we center these activities around – something we can sink our teeth into celebrating. We celebrate FREEDOM!

We know people who celebrate The Reformation on this day because it was Oct. 31st when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenburg. We considered that, but after we learned more about the Reformers, we decided there was something even more important that we wanted to celebrate than what the Reformers did.

We decided to celebrate the freedom we have in this nation – the freedom of speech and religion especially.

Because of these freedoms, we are able to homeschool.

These freedoms are being threatened and taken from us during these days, so it is even more important that we take this time to thank God for what we still have and to pray for preservation and restoration of the freedom and liberty that God provided for us with the founding of this nation.

Well, that is what we have chosen to celebrate at the end of October.

And here is how we go about celebrating it:

1. I write out questions for each set of kids that correspond with things they have learned and things I expect them to know.

2. I buy a bunch of candy.

3. I ask each kid a question. I try to get somebody to help me with this part. One year my parents were visiting us at that time of year, so I had them take a page of questions and hand out candy when the child answered a question correctly. Gary takes some of them sometimes, and sometimes the older kids help with this.

4. I usually have questions for the older kids, too. (After all, they want candy too!)

5. One year I had them wear Mario shirts because almost all of the kids had them already. They could wear a costurme if they wanted to.

6. Basically anything that will combine learning, review, fun and candy, so that we can celebrate our freedom to homeschool, our freedom to worship God, our freedom to believe what we think is true, and our freedom to say what we believe.

As I write this, I’m reminded of how great the threat is to these freedoms under the current administration and in the present climate in this country. This year on Oct. 31, I think that we will spend some time in prayer that these freedoms will remain in our nation and that revival will come and the foundations will be restored.

We can take this opportunity to celebrate what God has done in giving us a free country to live in, and we can also pray that God will protect us from those who are trying to take that freedom away from us.

The enemies of liberty are all around us. But God is greater.

Now that is something to celebrate!

If you want to see the progression of how we came to celebrate Freedom Day you can check out these posts from the last couple of years:



Judging Other People’s “Enough”

You aren’t praying enough.

You aren’t reading the Bible enough.

You aren’t speaking the Word enough.

You aren’t giving enough.

You don’t have enough faith.

You don’t go to church enough.

Because if you were, you wouldn’t be going through the trial you’re going through. All of your needs would be met, and you wouldn’t have any lack.


Except for the one verse I have read that says, “Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.” 1 Cor. 1:9

And this verse: “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” 1 John 3:17

You know, God really does allow trials to come into our lives. And He uses them to produce patience and stronger faith in us.

And then He speaks to His people around us to help us. Many times, they listen and respond. And the person in the trial gets the help they need. Sometimes, people don’t respond in love when they see a need.

Instead they judge and say in their heart: “Well, that person must not be doing enough of something right, or they wouldn’t be in that predicament.”

Then things get really bad for the person going through the trial.

And then the people around them really judge them and say, “They must have brought it on themselves.”

Lord, help us to walk in love and fulfill Galatians 6:10: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

Help us to LOVE enough.

I Have Been Thinking

I haven’t written anything here in a while because I’ve been thinking and reading too much, and my brain is about to explode!

That little pink hippo at the feet of “The Thinker”? That’s me.

I have been thinking about politics – Obamacare and Common Core especially – they are tied together in a subtle way – the attack on religious freedom and freedom in general

I have been thinking about education – Common Core and kids who are stuck in public school but desperately want out and the attack on homeschool freedom and religious freedom – the history of education that reveals how the public education system has been hijacked by socialists

I have been thinking about Bill Gates and how he is acting like “The Brain” in Pinky and the Brain and trying to take over the world.

I have been thinking about religion – Taking care of orphans and widows, if you see someone with a need and you can help but don’t help, what does that say about your love level and your religion? Why do Christians have to fight among themselves about details that don’t matter while the enemy is attacking and defeating us in the war?

I have been thinking about theology – The “quietness camp” and the “confidence camp” – they’re both right, but they’re both wrong – these terms are taken from “The Fire of Delayed Answers” by Bob Sorge

I have been praying for this little guy: Matt Yong Clement He has a tumor that covers half of his face and has almost cut off his breathing. Kim and Jane Clement adopted him from China and brought him here to California to get the tumor removed. The doctors (19 of them!) are consulting right now about how to proceed. He had a tracheotomy, and now they are having trouble getting him off the ventilator. He has been delirious because of the drugs. I have been praying for his healing, and my heart hurts for him and for his new parents.

And I have been playing chauffeur to two sons who have jobs but no cars (no licenses for that matter!).

And my camera broke, so I don’t have cute pictures that inspire me to write.

So which topic should I write about first?