The Enchanted Garden
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
3d ago
So in the fall we caught Covid, and the day—the very day—that first test developed a second line, this package arrived. Now, any time a package arrives at our house and it’s nobody’s birthday and it’s not Christmas, the assumption is that the package is books. Ninety-nine percent of the time that assumption is correct, and this time was no exception. In that package—on this day when fevers were climbing and sore throats were blooming and I was trying to get us the food we needed before I, too, succumbed—was The Enchanted Garden, a sweet, self-published parable from author Erin Greneaux. We beg ..read more
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Carved in Ebony
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
1w ago
At some point, I turned into a full-fledged history nerd. It started with that project my eldest daughter and I did a few years ago, researching the history of our home, but I never really stopped. For a while when people asked me what I’d do once all the girls were in school, I joked “Spend all my time at the museum photo archives.” And while that’s not exactly how it’s turned out—I’ve only made it there once since our youngest started kindergarten—I have definitely disappeared down a rabbit hole of weird, smelly library books and city directories from 1910. I justify this in part because I’v ..read more
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Jesus Listens
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
2w ago
I suppose every family picks up its own lingo, usually after an adorable toddler misspeaks and her invented word becomes enshrined in the family vernacular. Thus, when something is crooked in our house—a sock, say, or a ponytail—we call it “fonky.” Or when something is of the ordinary, tried-and-true variety, we don’t call it “regular”—we say it’s “reggly.” And so forth. These are the words our daughters will most likely take with them into adulthood, not realizing until they call something “fonky” in public that nobody else’s family says it quite that way. But it’s funny to think that we’re l ..read more
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Emily of Deep Valley
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
3w ago
Firstly: you may have noticed the blog looking spiffier, perhaps? For some reason, the week after Christmas consistently inspires me to give this site a makeover. It always seems so fun at first, like a project I’ll start and finish between rounds of Nertz with my girls, but then I end up deep in the weeds, reformatting the titles for every single post I’ve written over the past almost-decade, and I invariably think to myself, around page 67 of 96, I’ve made a huge mistake. But when I’m done, I’m always glad I did it: with every redesign of this site, I try to make it tidier, easier for you to ..read more
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The Best Books I Read in 2022
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
1M ago
This year our family turned a curious corner, one I can describe with a single scene. We were fresh back from the library with two bags of books, which the girls promptly upended before taking one each to the couch or to that green velvet wingback rocker that is essentially a deep, furry nest. And I walked into the living room, feeling charitable, with a few minutes to spare before I had to start making dinner, and asked the two younger girls, “Do you want me to read you a book?” They didn’t even glance up from what they were reading—both chapter books, I noticed suddenly. “No,” my third grade ..read more
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The King of Christmas | Todd R. Hains
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
1M ago
Where is the King of Christmas? Where can we find him? At this point in the Christmas season, I sometimes find myself wondering: Is he in the piles of presents accumulating in closets around our house? Is he in the minivan with us, as we drive to one gathering after another? Is he in the kitchen with us as we bake, or in the bedrooms with us as we fall asleep, exhausted after a Christmas recital, a December birthday party, a family gathering? Where can we find him? And so I love Todd Hains’s new book, The King of Christmas, which follows the wise men, who follow the star, asking as they search ..read more
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Seek and Find: The First Christmas | Sarah Parker
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
1M ago
I am about to reveal one of my top-tier parenting secrets. Are you ready? I never leave home without a deck of cards and a tiny tin of thinking putty. (And at least six different kinds of lip balm, but that’s neither here nor there.) Many mid-sermon fidgets have been averted by that tin of putty, and many a restaurant tantrum has been defused by an impromptu game of War. For a full decade, we had either a baby or a toddler (occasionally both at once), so I became adept at keeping small hands busy whenever we encountered a lull. For car rides or waiting rooms, here is my other secret: seek-and ..read more
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Unwrapping the Name of Jesus for Kids | Asheritah Ciuciu
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
2M ago
The bedtime stories my dad told us were were usually about things he did before we were born. Back then he was a pirate, he said, and—briefly—a human cannonball. These careers ended abruptly and disastrously and elicited more than a few giggles from my brother and me as we listened from our beds. When I tell my own daughters stories, they often fit in one of three categories: a) hilarious things my dad did when I was little, b) stories about sweet girls who live in treehouses or cozy boats and encounter some kind of magic, and c) retellings of stories from Scripture. But Unwrapping the Names o ..read more
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Heaven and Nature Sing | Hannah Anderson
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
2M ago
Each of Hannah Anderson’s books is more beautiful than the last (and I say this as a bit of a fan girl who has read each of her books at least once). She has a gift for seeing clearly and for articulating what she sees in language both beautiful and incisive at once. Many of her books pair this clear sight with illustrations of the natural world, which I love: the illustrations make the books themselves things of beauty—works of art to be savored and lingered over. Not dry and academic, these books. But not flowery or theologically soft, either. Heaven and Nature is Hannah Anderson’s work at ..read more
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The Jesse Tree | Geraldine McCaughrean
Little Book, Big Story
by Théa
2M ago
Years ago, I wrote about our family’s Jesse Tree tradition. And then our girls grew older, and a few of our ornaments broke, and that one book felt a little tired after several straight years of readings. We decided it was time for a change, so we tried a different devotional each year; we sampled some Advent calendars and some reading cards. And we liked them all—the stickers, the paper ornaments, everything. They were fine. But a few weeks ago, my eldest daughter (now fourteen) mentioned our Jesse Tree wistfully. “I liked that,” she said. And I felt resolved: our youngest is six—we haven’t d ..read more
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