Saturday, August 30, 2014

Best Christian Books for Preteen Girls

I'm compiling a list of the best books--devos, non fiction and fiction--for 8-12's. Some of the books are exclusively for girls and others are for both boys and girls.

What books would you add to this list?



Best Christian Books for Preteen Girls

Devotions
Devotions for the God Girl, Hayley Di Marco
Each one-page devo contains a scripture verse of the day along with a brief reflection that unpacks spiritual truths about becoming a woman of God. And in each entry Hayley challenges girls to choose God's way in every area of their life--with their thoughts, actions, and daily choices about everything from friends and fashion to faith.

God's Girl series, Karen Whiting
Each book sparkles with faith and fun as the girls learn about Bible women and create a cool craft to go with each one. Each book is packed with tips on how to personalize their crafts as well as space for journaling their deepest thoughts. Both inner and outer beauty will be celebrated by the girls as they learn to be faithful Christians who enjoy God and life.

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, Sarah Young
Devotions written as if Jesus is speaking directly to a child's heart. Based on her original Jesus Calling, this version has been adapted in a language and fashion that kids and tweens can relate to their everyday lives. 

The One Year Be-Tween You and God: Devotions for Girls, Sandra Byrd
http://www.amazon.com/The-One-Year-Be-Tween-You/dp/1414362455/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409355590&sr=1-1
The book emphasizes that tween girls can have a relationship with God and that they can share their intimate thoughts, fears, insecurities, joys, etc. It lets girls know: it's between you and God. 

The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids, Katrina Cassel
This One Year book features 365 trivia questions that lead into meaningful devotions about the questions. Each devotion also includes a For You section, which gives a simple application to kid’s lives. And the answer to the opening question wraps up the devotion and gives readers biblical references to read. This book will keep curious kids on their toes and give them a reason to open their devotional and Bible daily.

The One Year Devos for Animal Lovers, Dandi Daley Mackall
Each devotion begins with a fun or interesting fact about an animal; this fact then introduces a concept of life and godliness that is reinforced by a scripture verse. The devotion concludes with an activity to do that day that relates to the devotion; there is also a sidebar with more fun/interesting facts.

The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible, Katrina Cassel
This devotional features women of the Bible and how their stories apply to tween girls today.  In 365 days, girls will know more about the women in the Bible who faced the same troubles and issues girls today face, and they will be more committed to following the godly examples and avoiding the ungodly ones. At the end of each day’s reading, girls are encouraged to “Think It Through,” a section that asks them questions related to the devotion and prompts them to apply the lesson to their lives. After each week of devotions a full page is devoted to activities utilizing information from the prior week’s devotions (puzzles, quizzes, etc.).

The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions, Jesse Florea
Each of the 365 devotions begins with an introductory story, then daddy-daughter time provides discussion questions, activities, or other practical applications of the daily lesson.

The One Year Mother-Daughter Devo, Dannah Gresh
The devotion will strengthen mother-daughter relationships as well as their relationships with God. Topics for the devotions are centered around issues that the best-selling author (Dannah Gresh) is known for addressing through her books and mother-daughter conferences. 

Promises for God's Princesses, Katrina Cassel
This devotional book is full of Scriptures about God’s love, protection, and promises. The book’s 100 devotions tie in the Scriptures to help young girls apply them to their lives. This diary-style book will attract the growing girl while still making her feel like a princess, a special child of God.

Non Fiction

Between: A Girl's Guide to Life, Vicki Courtney
Through colorful articles, quizzes, games, and lists, girls age eight to twelve are encouraged to grow spiritually and socially in every major area of life.

Body Talk, Nancy Rue
Body Talk gives you the information you need on all the really weird body stuff—and shows you how all this weird stuff is actually part of God’s plan for the beautiful, confident, grown-up you!

The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best, Katrina Cassel
God wants girls to do their best and be their best. Encourage preteen girls with this fun how-to manual for living out God's plan for their lives. Through stores about real and fictional girls, Scripture, journaling, quizzes, crafts and other activities, girls can explore what it means to be their best according to God's special plan for them. 

The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible, Katrina Cassel
Take girls on a wonderful walk through the Bible! Preteens will marvel at God's Word as they make their way from Genesis to Revelation and discover the beauty of God's message for them. Puzzles, crafts, quizzes and fiction add to the creativity of this special guide.

The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book, Katrina Cassel
The quizzes in The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book are jam packed with all kinds of advice to help you discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Learn how you can make more friends, how to get closer to your family, and how to let God do totally amazing works through you! 

Everyone Tells Me to be Myself But I Don't Know Who I Am, Nancy Rue
http://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Myself-Revised-Edition-Faithgirlz/dp/0310733235/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409362427&sr=1-3
If you think it’s easy to say “just be yourself” but it’s not so easy to do it, then this book is so for you! It will help you figure out who you really are deep down inside. You’ll learn to be that person no matter who you’re with through surveys, helpful tips, and places to write down your thoughts. You’ll learn to be the young women God created you to be!

A Girl After God's Own Heart, Elizabeth George
Upbeat and positive, Elizabeth provides biblical truths and suggestions so tweens can thrive. She reaches out to girls where they're at and addresses daily issues that concern them. 

A Girl's Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls, Dannah Gresh
A Girl's Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls springs from the life and example of Jesus, a tween girl's true BFF. It helps her explore questions such as: Who should I choose for friends? How can I keep my friends? How can my parents help me? What do I do about jealousy and hurts in my friendships? How can I be Jesus' friend, and how do I introduce others to him?

A Girl's Guide to Making Really Good Choices, Elizabeth George
Discussing such topics as attitude, friendships, crushes, parents, school, and avoiding bad situations, Elizabeth helps girls see that the very best choice of all is a choice to live within God’s will. Perfect for individuals, small groups, and mentoring.

Heaven for Kids, Randy Alcorn
The book features ten chapters of questions, and answers based on scripture and written in a style relevant to today's kids. The book also has a summary of the Gospel for those who want to be sure they are going to Heaven someday. Randy encourages kids to live “in Light of Heaven.”

The Middle School Survival Manual, Katrina Cassel
With the manual, middle schoolers will learn to: Give grades a boost, Make testing as easy as 1, 2, 3, Face life in a new school, Set goals, Deal with old and new friends, Live their faith at school, Plan their own activities, and lots more!

My Mini Dream Room, Karen Whiting
This book is about having fun by making little things. Why? Because the littlest action matters to God. In My Mini Dream Room dive right into these mini crafts and devotions to make furniture, curtains, baskets of flowers, pillows, teddy bears and other total amazing decorations. Let your creativity shine by making your very own dream room.

You! A Christian Girl's Guide to Growing Up, Nancy Rue
In this book you’ll discover all the really weird body stuff you’re going through is actually part of God’s plan for the beautiful, confident, grown-up you! In addition to health and beauty tips, you’ll find answers to some awkward, changing-body questions, ways to create a unique style all your own, and most importantly, you’ll discover the true beauty that is revealed as you grow closer to God in this fun, inspirational and interactive book.
Fiction

The Backyard Horses Series, Dandi Daley Mackall
Book One: Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.

Boarding School Mysteries, Kristi Holl
Book One: Twelve-year-old Jeri McKane knew that attending boarding school hundreds of miles from home would be hard, but she never imagined anything like this. The school bus carrying Jeri’s roommate Rosa mysteriously disappears. A natural sleuth, Jeri knows there are leads to be followed and follows her instincts to discover new dimensions of faith and courage. 

The Carmen Browne Series, Stephanie Perry Moore
Book One: Carmen Browne is a ten-year-old African-American girl beginning fifth grade. With her family moving to a new city, Carmen is anguished to give up her friends and comfortable home. As her family adapts to a new location, Carmen learns that finding new friends and fitting in is not easy. Part of her doesn't even want to try. Family issues become complicated when Carmen's brother learns he is adopted. Dealing with unpopularity, fitting in, and cultural differences are Carmen's issues in the first book of the Carmen Browne series.

The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years, enchanting them with a magical realm where worlds come and go at the toss of a ring, where boys and girls become kings and queens, where there are more talking creatures than people.

Dragons in Our Midst, Bryan Davis
Book One: A boy learns of his dragon past; a girl has known of hers for years. They combine their faith, courage, and love to overcome evil, a slayer who seeks to bring an end to dragon heritage, forever.

Girls Only Series, Beverly Lewis
Books 1-4: Jenna, Livvy, Heather, and Manda strive for their best in their respective sports: gymnastics, figure skating, ice-dancing, and downhill skiing. Their ultimate goal: the Olympics. As each girl struggles with life's challenges and rejoices with each triumph, the encouragement of the other Girls Only club members and their faith in God give the girls the moral support needed to push their limits and learn important lessons.

Grandma's Attic Series, Arleta Richardson
A young girl’s discovery of her grandmother’s keepsakes inspires heartwarming tales of her grandmother’s childhood and the lessons learned on a nineteenth-century farm.

The Lily Series, Nancy Rue
This best-selling, biblically based fiction series for girls—with a fresh new look and updated content—addresses social issues and coming-of-age topics, all with the spunk and humor of Lily Robbins as she fumbles her way through unfamiliar territory.

London Confidential Series, Sandra Byrd
London Confidential is a new series where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide, and where an all-American girl learns to love life and live out her faith.

Mandie Series, Lois Gladys Leppard
First five books set: Readers will discover anew the charms of the impulsive Mandie Shaw as she faces the ups and downs of first losing her father and then finding her long-lost family in Mandie and the Secret Tunnel. Many more mysteries follow for Mandie and her friends in Mandie and the Cherokee Legend, Mandie and the Ghost Bandits, Mandie and the Forbidden Attic, and Mandie and the Trunk's Secret.

Secret Sister Series, Sandra Byrd
Book One: After a lonely time in the fifth grade, Tess Thomas dreads the beginning of the next school year. Then the exclusive Coronado Club invites her to join. She thinks she'll do anything to belong--until she finds out just what "anything" means. How far is too far to keep a friend? When does belonging cost more than you should pay?

Sophie Series, Nancy Rue


Book One: When future film director Sophie LaCroix visits Williamsburg, Virginia, her imagination sends her straight into the eighteenth century. An unlikely heroine, Sophie’s forced to use her new-found war tactics to foil a heinous plot and save a friend from impending humiliation by the popular girls. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Slow Week

This has been a pretty slow week as we are still settling into the school routine. Bus schedules keep changing as the school district tries to get things running more smoothly and not have children picked up at 5:45!

Right now the only after school activities are tumbling and gymnastics for Kaleb and gymnastics for Kayla, but after Labor Day Jasmine will start County Christian Youth Choir on Mondays. She isn't sure if she'll like it or not, so we're just going to give it a try. She'll also have church choir Sunday afternoons, hip hop class on Wednesday afternoons (followed by youth group if she isn't loaded down with homework) and marching band Thursday after school. We need to get drum lessons scheduled back in, but I want to see how she does with these other activities first. She was going to take jazz to because it was back to back with hip hop, but they changed days and it no longer works out.


Sasha went to our vet for the first time. She needed her last baby shot. She is 6.6 pounds. We were told she was a dachshund mix, but the vets say he doesn't see that in her. He said a chihuahua or rat terrier mix.

Travis rode along to keep her company. He's an old pro at the vet. He weighs 12.9 pounds. He used to seem really small to me, but now compared to Sasha, he seems big!

I was hoping Sasha would get bigger, and if she was part Dachshund, she probably would. But being a chihuahua mix, she probably won't get much bigger. It makes me nervous having a dog that small. I'm afraid she's going to get squashed.
First taco day for Sasha.

We started addressing wedding invitations this week. 
I addressed, and Jessica put the invitations and response cards in the envelopes.

My new book came. If your girls are reading through Just for Me: My Family with us, I will send them a copy. Be sure to send me a photo of your daughter with her copy of My Family and a mailing address. I'm getting the bag ready to go out also.

I am putting together a list of the best Christian books for preteen girls-devotion books, non fiction and fiction. If there are some books you've found helpful or fun, leave me a message on this post.

We want to take the jet ski and kayaks out on Labor Day, but we are forecast for rain. How about you?

Who has the most teacher calls or notes home so far? :) Thankfully, we have a much better start this year than in some previous years.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our Week

I really wasn't ready for summer vacation to be over. I do not like getting up at 5. And we have one bus that comes at 5:47 a.m.! That is just crazy. It transfers at another school at 6:20 before going on to the girls' school, so Rick has been dropping them at the 6:20 drop. Their afternoon bus hasn't been getting to the transfer point until 4:00 and that is crazy too!

Kaleb is at a different school, and his morning bus picks up two blocks away at 6:24 and drops off at 2:00, so I have more time with him than the girls.

Here is the difference between cats and dogs. All the dogs meet the kids at the gate, jumping up and down with excitement.

The cats couldn't care less.

Sasha, puppy in top picture, is much smaller than the cat in the above picture, but due to their coloring, I have mistaken the puppy for the cat more than once. The puppy also has silky soft fur like a cat!

Travis has finally decided to play with her. I always thought Travis was so small, but now he looks big in comparison.

Adam is playing soccer on a local church team.  He starts college tomorrow and continues with his Marine Reserve training one weekend a month.


 
I rarely see him without his friend Ishmael, who also starts college tomorrow, and his girlfriend Daja, who is a high school senior.


 Tyler sent pictures of the Job Corps group at a local amusement park.
He is doing well there and has made a lot of friends. Job Corps has been a positive experience for him, although it's not for everyone.
 
So, like it or not, we are into a new school year. Kaleb is continuing with Tumbling and gymnastics, and Kayla with gymnastics. Jasmine will start hip hop and jazz classes after Labor Day and also after school marching band practice one day a week. She may try out for the county Christian choir. We will have to see how it all goes. I don't want her overwhelmed with activities. The girls have way more homework at their school than Kaleb does at his.

Is everyone else into a new school year now?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jessica's Birthday, Shelter Dogs, Last Day of Freedom, First Day of School

Jessica's birthday was August 14. Hunter, his mom, niece and another relative (I think) came over.


A friend gave me this birthday plate many years ago.

Hunter and his mom with Jessica



We went to a shelter 45 minutes away and took three dogs kayaking. One of them as the little black chihuahua mix we took last time. The other two (one was his mom) were adopted. We took his sister and a little dachshund mix this time.


Three shelter dogs plus Travis and Caspian.

Travis came from this shelter, so they are always glad to see him again. He's an old pro at kayaking now.

Marley, his sister and some other puppies are being transferred to another county where they have mostly pit bulls, and people want puppies.


This is Sasha. We wanted to meet her as a possible playmate for Travis. She was recently spayed so couldn't swim.




Official adoption picture. Sasha will be shared by the three youngest.

Home. She's six months old and six pounds. She a dachshund mix--maybe rat terrier or chihuahua.


She is a bit hyper, so I'm glad she's so small. She has silky soft fur like a cat!

Yesterday was our last day of freedom, so we went back over to the state park 45 minutes away. It rained on the way, then cleared. 






 I forgot to pack any silverware, so we shared Jessica's dive knife!

I bought her a short wet suit as one of her birthday presents. It wasn't cold enough to need it, but she wanted to try it out. 



Then we went to Chill's for frozen yogurt.


First day of school--Eighth grade and fourth grade. Adam and Jessica start next week.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Water Fun, Skating and Candy Tic Tac Toe

School starts next Tuesday, and we are trying to get in as much fun as we can before then!
First time at this beach this summer. It's a ways over and it's a state park so costs $8. But it's a beautiful area, and I was able to use my snorkel gear and see some amazing fish. Jessica didn't have her underwater camera. I want to go back, but it would have to be Monday and it's 60% chance of rain.

I grilled while the others took the stuff to get a spot on the beach.


My kids are good beach bums.





On the jetties

We made it to cheap skate a few nights this summer. Kayla went twice, Kaleb once, Jasmine four times and me three times and Jessica twice. We had to work around other activities.



Kaleb spent a lot of time on the floor! 


Jessica came straight from work for the last hour.

We're still working on Just for Me: My Family activities. You can follow that HERE
Candy tic tac toe was a favorite. And if you don't eat sugar, you can use fruit or vegetables! Just use dry spaghetti for the board.

 
Tune in next for Jessica's birthday!