Summer Time – Reading Time!

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Summer is a time to read!!!

Summer is in full swing and I am loving it!! Although I can not believe we are already at the end of June! One thing that we love about summer in the Hanson Household is we have lots of time to catch up on our reading. Nate and I have a love for books, and that love has definitely carried on to the next generation. Today I thought I would share some of our fun reading resources that we go to during the summer months.

Book Series We Recommend:

Here are three different series for three different age groups that our family is currently enjoying and they are gender neutral so both your boys and girls will enjoy them!

The Adventures of Adam Raccoon Series by Glen Keane (for ages 4-7)

We were delighted to hear that the Adam Raccoon series was back in print! These stories are parables of God’s unfailing love and forgiveness, and they show our kids what to do when they make mistakes. I love how King Aren’s gentle strength paints a picture of our Heavenly Father and how the stories and illustrations make you feel like you are Adam Raccoon. They contain great nuggets of wisdom, such as: “It’s easy to get off track.  But when you do, get back on course and finish the race.” But the true beauty of these books is the way they connect with our children’s hearts and point them to their Heavenly Father! You can purchase these books at or on amazon.

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Books For Parents and Their Kids

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As you know, we love books.  Today we have a list of books for parents.  Some are for the parents and some are for the kids.  We hope that they can be a blessing to you.  And there are so many more great books out there – please leave give us more ideas by putting your recommendations in the comments.

For the Parents

Books are a way to pass wisdom from one person to another. In our quest to be the most effective parents we can be, we have found a lot of books to help us.  We never blindly follow the advice from a book, but we can glean bits of wisdom from most books we read.

For the Kids

In “Honey For A Child’s Heart,” the author says that parents are responsible for giving their children both milk and honey.  Milk represents the nurturing and the necessities.  Honey “symbolizes the sweetness of life, that special quality that makes life sing with enjoyment for all it holds…Good books are rich in honey…”  These are some books that have brought both milk and honey into our own children’s lives so far.

Free Printable: |  PDF_Picture   Books For Parents and Their Kids   |

Books Matter

Humans tell stories.  We always have, and we always will.  This is a vital part of the human experience.  Good books tell stories that encourage, that inspire, and that reinforce the worldview that you are teaching to your children.  By reading, reading to your kids, and picking good books for them, you can set them up for a life made better by books.

We want your suggestions!  What are your ‘go-to’ books for parenting?  For your kids?  

Teaching Your Kids and Making It Stick

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Parents are teachers.  (We’ve said that before…)

A teacher’s job is to explain and persuade and get students to change their behavior as a result.

That’s what the Heath Brothers’ book “Made To Stick” is all about.

Making Life’s Lessons Stick

Every day is filled with lessons that range from divine to down to earth.  We want more than anything for these lessons to ‘stick.’  We want our kids to remember what we teach them, and we want them to change their actions accordingly.  What if you found out that there were some small changes you can make to your message that will make it more likely to stick?  That’s what the last book in my “Tour de Heath Brothers” is all about.   Continue reading

Parenting and Deciding

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I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost


Decisions.  Sometimes they really do make all the difference.  Other times, either path would work.  And other times, you should just turn around because neither path is good.  But how do you know?  How do you decide?

As a parent, you face dozens of decisions about how I should raise each child.  And no child will achieve successful adulthood without learning to make wise decisions.  Because of this, I want to learn how to make better decisions.  No, I need to make better decisions.  Is such a thing possible, or are some people just born as better decision makers and others worse and there is nothing you can do to change it?  Continue reading

April Storytime – Easter Week

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Today we are giving away the April Storytime. This month we talk about the most special time of year for Christians! It’s the time when we remember that Jesus willingly died for us to save us from our sins, and then rose from the dead and beat death at its own game! This gives us hope! This gives us peace! This is what makes us who we are. It is a great time to go over again what your children have been learning at church.

You can find the story and the verses in your Bible, you can get books that tell the story from the library, and you can also go online to to easily look up the verses.

Main Theme Verse:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Extra Questions and Memory Verses

Pick one to discuss and/or memorize as a family each week of the month!

Does everyone sin?
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

How can we get right with God?
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31

Does the Lord Jesus ever change?
No. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

How did Jesus say we could come to the Father?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6

“The angels said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” Luke 24:5-6

Download the whole Storytime here:  | PDF_Picture   Easter Week  |

Why would you do a Storytime?  Stories are a great way for us to remember concepts and principles.  By discussing these timeless stories with your children you can help them learn, and your family will grow closer as you experience the stories together.  This is also a great way to do an outreach to kids in your neighborhood, church, or circle of friends.  Kids enjoy listening to the stories, and in the process you are planting seeds of truth in their lives.  We hope that you are able to use this Storytime to bless your own kids and the kids in your neighborhood.

You May Also Like:

September Storytime: You Have What It Takes!

October Storytime: Work Hard!

November Storytime: Thanksgiving

December Storytime: A Savior Is Born! 

January Storytime:  How God Sees You

My Friend John

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I have a friend that I want to introduce to you today.  This friend has taught me a lot, and I hope that I can pass just a little of his knowledge along to you in this post.  As we go through life we pass through many different seasons and several different stages.  Mentors and friends who can give us new perspectives will help us grow and adapt to meet the needs of each new phase. I first met this friend in college, and his words helped me transition to independence and adulthood.  Now he is helping me transition to the next phase of my life where I am finding myself today.

Here are some of the reasons why I admire my friend:  Continue reading

Lincoln: The Learning Martyr

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One reason that I greatly admire Lincoln is that he grew as a man and as a leader throughout his life.  Always learning.  Always growing.  He allowed his mind to be expanded and to move towards the truth.  He was incredibly strong, and succeeded at any physical challenge.  However, feats of strength were not his purpose in life.  He was called to much greater things, and that calling required him to grow and learn.


He was academically disadvantaged, but he did not let this slow him down.  He had an internal drive, an unquenchable thirst, an irrepressible urge, a focused determination to learn.  He read everything he could get his hands on and taught himself what he needed to know so that he could do what he wanted to do. Continue reading

January Storytime: How God sees you

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Today we are giving away the fifth Storytime.  This storytime tackles a very important topic – in some ways, the most important topic of all:  How God sees you.

Storytime is an opportunity for you to have fun teaching about a certain topic by reading Bible stories, fables and books. Most of the stories follow a similar theme, with a few books thrown in just for fun.  Most of the books can be checked out from your public library or can be put on a Christmas gift list to get and enjoy for years. If you are not able to find these specific books, feel free to substitute with ones you like. You can find the Bible story and the verses in your Bible and you can also go online to to look up the passage.  The Fables can be found online (one place is or in many different books at the library.

Why would you do a Storytime?  Stories are a great way for us to remember concepts and principles.  By discussing these timeless stories with your children you can help them learn, and your family will grow closer as you experience the stories together.  This is also a great way to do an outreach to kids in your neighborhood, church, or circle of friends.  Kids enjoy listening to the stories, and in the process you are planting seeds of truth in their lives.  We hope that you are able to use this Storytime to bless your own kids and the kids in your neighborhood.

Download the whole Storytime here:  | PDF_Picture   How God Sees You  |

January Storytime: How God Sees You. Continue reading

Foundation of Marriage – Sacred Marriage

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Last week I mentioned that a few books have helped us create the foundation for marriage.  Today we are going to highlight one of those books:  Sacred Marriage.  We were introduced to this book after several years of marriage, and it has become the foundational principle to all else that we think and write about marriage.

Selfless Service

I suppose that is a redundant phrase:  Selfless Service.  But I think it is important to use both words, because too often even our service to others is rooted in selfishness.  The thought, down deep, is “I will do this for her because of what it will get for me.” We may not even be cynical or calculating – sometimes it is just a simple reality.  “If I don’t do the dishes, she will be grumpy.  And that is slightly worse than doing the dishes, so I will do them.”  The point I am trying to make is that Gary Thomas turns marriage inside out with this question:

“What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”  Continue reading

The Foundation of Marriage


With the right foundation, you can construct a building that will touch the sky! 

I grew up in Illinois, so when I think of tall buildings I think of the Sears Tower.  This 110 story building is 1,450 feet tall, and is estimated to weigh 222,500 tons.  Truly impressive! But without the right foundation, it would be about as sturdy as a single column Lego tower on your living room carpet.  How do you build a foundation for something as magnificent as this?  They dug a hole 100 foot deep and attached anchors directly into the bedrock!  According to some sources, it took as much as 2,000,000 cubic yards of concrete to do the job.  Now that is a strong foundation!

What Kind of Marriage Are You Building?

Building a marriage also takes a lot of effort.  If you want your marriage to stand tall through all kinds of winds and storms, and if you want your marriage to be an inspiration and a blessing, then you will need to invest in a strong foundation.

A wise man once told me that the secret to every relationship is to go above and beyond.  (I’m serious – he was literally a “wiseman!” He was holding myrrh, and he was in our Christmas production, so pay attention!)  To successfully make a strong marriage foundation you have to go above and beyond.  It is not easy, but it is very simple:  Continue reading