13th Birthday Celebration

Some families celebrate birthdays in a big way and others barely acknowledge the day aside from any other.  Our family has chosen to honor and celebrate each child, on each birthday, as a confirmation of their uniqueness and identity.  Since no child is the same, no celebration is the same; however, each celebration must have the elements of honor and surprise. Recently, our youngest turned 13.  Since we’ve chosen not to use the term “teenager,” the age 13 is not so special to our family but in the mind of our youngest daughter it represented a milestone.  It was shaping up to be a pretty uneventful day since I had nothing special planned and no precious gift to give.  (A month earlier we had helped her purchase an upgrade to her violin—an early birthday present—so she would have time to get used to it before her spring recital.) Since she was already aware of her gift, we were searching for some sort of surprise that would also show her honor.

With only two weeks to spare, God inspired me to honor Abigail by inviting 13 friends—ages 5 to mid 30’s-- to celebrate with her.  (Abigail loves her family, but she is an encourager and has quite a collection of friends and pen pals!)  I chose Dad as her first friend and sent emails to the parents of 12 of Abigail’s close friends explaining my plan.  (I would’ve sent invitations, but I didn’t really consider it a party and the idea came to me kid of last minute.)  I would purchase 13 pink roses.  Each guest would arrive between 7 and 8 pm bringing one rose and a card or letter of blessing.  Cake and ice cream would be served promptly at 8 pm.  I knew that some friends had prior commitments for that evening and may not be able to participate so I asked for RSVPS’s to make sure all 12 would be present.  Amazingly, every friend but one was able to make adjustments to the schedule and participate in honoring Abigail.

On Abigail’s special day, we celebrated as we celebrate each birthday--donuts in bed.  Along with the donuts, Abigail found a small gift on her tray—a fancy green key to our home on a cool key chain.  This has become a traditional gift for 13th birthdays.  It is more symbolic than practical, but as the girls get older they sometimes have need of a key after a babysitting job.  It’s our way of saying, “You are responsible.”

In the afternoon, Abigail and I went to Starbucks for a surprise meeting with Miss Kelly, a young woman who sings on the worship team with Abigail and the one of the 13 special friends who was unable to attend our evening celebration. She presented Abigail with a pink rose tied with a ribbon and bought her a Passion Fruit Tea Lemonade.  The three of us chatted together for about 20 minutes and then Miss Kelly had to go back to work.

While Abigail and I were at Starbucks, two of my older daughters baked and frosted a cake, shined the bathroom, and delivered the roses to Abigail’s friends.  Some of the roses were delivered to the church, a central location for others to pick them up, and some to friends in the neighborhood and surrounding area.  When we arrived home, the house was completely ready for a surprise celebration.

Dad came home from work and presented Abigail with a pink rose—tied with the same ribbon.  Abigail remarked how it was the same ribbon as Miss Kelly’s, but didn’t catch on.  Dinner was Abigail’s choice, taco salad, and then she opened her presents from the family.  Just as we were finishing, the first guest arrived, followed quickly by the next friend.  By the third rose presented by the third friend, Abigail had caught on.  For the next hour, friends, siblings and parents arrived, one family at a time, until at 8 pm we all sang and she blew out the candles on the traditional Moore Family Birthday Cake.  (Recipe)

The celebration was a success.  Our sweet daughter enjoyed our special time together as a family.  She was also quite surprised and honored by her friends’ presence and their sweet words of life to her.  Daughter honored and surprised.  Mission accomplished.

 

Post a comment and tell us about a special birthday celebration in your family

Planning a Homeschool Graduation Ceremony

Last June our oldest daughter, Victoria, graduated from high school after 13 years of homeschooling.  It was quite an accomplishment for her—and for me!  When Harold and I began our homeschooling journey, high school was not part of the equation.  Planning a graduation ceremony was not on my radar screen!  After lots of prayer and research, God gave us ideas that created the perfect night of fun and honor for Victoria.

Preparing for the Day

Choosing the Ceremony Just as each family homeschools differently, each homeschool family has several options for graduation.  Since Victoria had not attended a homeschool co-op or umbrella school, she was not connected to a ceremony that was already planned.  I talked with her about the possibility of graduating with other organizations such as the local support group or the state homeschool organization.  She wasn’t interested in graduating with people she didn’t know so she chose to have an individual graduation ceremony.

 

Planning the Celebration Victoria and I talked about what she would like to have at the ceremony.  We agreed that Victoria would play a piano piece that she had dreamed of playing since she was seven.  We also talked about a guest speaker, but in the end we agreed that Harold, Victoria, and I would speak.  Victoria acquiesced to my request for a PowerPoint presentation.

 

Choosing the Venue Since our graduation ceremony included a short piano recital, we needed a location with an acoustic piano.  Our church no longer has a piano, but we were able to use another local church where Victoria had had piano recitals in the past.

Choosing Colors I purchased a black cap and gown (from homeschooldiploma.com) but allowed Victoria to choose the “class colors” for her tassel.  She chose red and white.  We kept the color theme for all the decorations and details of the celebration.

Announcements/Invitations Victoria wasn’t interested in formal announcements so we decided to make the announcement the invitation to the graduation ceremony.  I wanted to include an up-to-date picture since many would be mailed to out-of-town friends.    We came up with a compromise at studiodayspring.com.  (There are other options at shutterfly.com, snapfish.com, and peartreegreetings.com.)  She designed the black, red, and white invitations which included a picture taken by a friend.  (Note:  Most professional photographers require a release of copyright—and a fee—to use their work.)  We were so pleased.  We even found “Celebration” stamps from the post office--no extra cost, but a nice touch.

The Diploma I ordered a lovely personalized diploma and padded cover from homeschooldiploma.com.  (Same company as the cap, gown, and tassel)  They had several wording selections to choose from and we included one that included commendations for her character as well as her academics.  We personalized the name of our school, her name, the date, and a favorite scripture.  I was extremely pleased with the quality.

Preserving the Moment Knowing that everyone in our family would be quite busy, we asked one friend to take photographs and another friend to video tape.  That freed us up to greet guests and enjoy the evening.  Next time, I’m going to make a “shot list” of the pictures I want.  We forgot to take a picture of our whole family at the ceremony.  We did take one at home, but it wasn’t quite the same.

The Program Here is a sneak peek into the first graduation ceremony of the Moore family homeschool.  It was a very relaxed atmosphere with lots of laughter.  Some people said it felt like a big family sitting down together.  The ceremony lasted a little less than an hour. In case you’re like me and you envision pictures of things, you might want to know that all four girls sat in the front row.  There were two chairs on the platform for Harold and me to sit in during the ceremony.

Prelude:  Our graduate chose a recording of one of her favorite songs by her favorite Christian recording artist. Welcome:  (2 mins.) Harold greeted the guests with some warm remarks and prayer.  He introduced Victoria and she walked to the piano. Senior Recital:  (8 mins.) Victoria played one movement of a Beethoven sonata.  After she finished her piece, she walked to the rear of the sanctuary and into the lobby where I helped her put on her cap and gown. Processional:  (2 mins.) We used a recording of a short version of “Pomp and Circumstance.”  I quickly walked down the side aisle as the music started and all eyes were on Victoria’s entrance.  When Victoria arrived at the front, she greeted her sisters, her dad, and I with a kiss on the cheek and a long- stemmed red rose.  It was a precious and emotional moment, especially for the sisters. Our Homeschooling Journey:  (10 mins.)  This was an opportunity for me to talk about homeschooling in general as well as our particular experience homeschooling.  When we made the choice to homeschool kindergarten, I knew only 5 homeschool families—and the oldest child was in fourth grade.  I never intended to homeschool through high school, but I told the story of how God had changed my heart of over the years.  Most of all I wanted to encourage other families in how doable homeschooling is and how valuable it is to homeschool through high school. A Pictorial Transcript:  (5 mins.) After twelve years of schooling, I had quite a collection of photos from field trips, recitals, and other family adventures. I assembled them together for a PowerPoint presentation set to music. Charge to the Graduate:  (10 mins.) Harold used a scripture from 2 Timothy to encourage our graduate to continue in holy living. Reflections from the Valedictorian:  (10 mins.) It has been a standing joke in our family that our girls will be valedictorians and so we listed her as such on the program (half sheet of white cardstock with the order of the ceremony).  She talked about what homeschooling meant to her and thanked those who had been a part of her education—music teachers, leaders in the music ministry at church, and of course, her parents.  Though many of the guests already knew, she concluded by mentioning her short-term and long-term goals for the future. Presentation of the Diploma:  (5 mins.) I held the diploma while Harold read it aloud.  After we presented it to her, she moved her tassel from the right side of her hat to the left side.  The audience erupted in applause and cheers. Closing Prayer and Blessing:  (5 mins.) Harold prayed a sweet prayer of blessing over Victoria. Recessional:  Again, our graduate chose a meaningful song that reflected her hopes for the future.

The Reception I tried to keep everything very simple.  We kept everything in the color theme of red, black, and white.  Our only decorations were a dozen red roses and some helium balloons, but we did set a table of memorabilia with Victoria’s senior picture and a frame with a mat that her guests could sign.  It hangs in her room today.  Also on the table were samples of her school projects and a notebook portfolio of her graphic design work.  We had a separate table with a basket for cards and gifts. Our menu included a beautifully decorated cake, pretzels, nuts and our graduate’s favorite snacks: black jelly beans and lemon heads.  Our punch was a red lingonberry punch--again, one of the Victoria’s favorites.

Next Time… Unbelievably, we’re about to do this all over again!  Our second daughter will graduate in June, 2011.  We were so pleased with graduation, we’re not planning to change very much.  (However, I am planning to start the working on the PowerPoint presentation much earlier!)  We’re still planning a solo ceremony very much like the first one, but adapted to the interests and talents of our second daughter.  We’ve chosen the venue, the colors, and a tentative invitation from an online source.  We’ll use the same black cap and gown (This time we’ll remember the bobby pins and to wear the honor cord!) and we’ll order another diploma from the same site.  One thing won’t be same…this time I’ll be prepared!

Under Construction: Our New Online Store

Some of you may have noticed that our online store is temporarily under construction while we make some adjustments.  When our new store opens, you’ll find some changes.  After much prayer, Harold and I believe that God is leading us to make some adjustments to our ministry. First, we are discontinuing all products that aren’t exclusive to Daughters 4 God.  We will continue to carry our self-published titles such as Lady Day, The Gift of Purity, the audio products, and our sterling silver jewelry.  It is impossible for us to offer the other products at prices to compete with Amazon or CBD.  At this point, I’m planning to review new products for raising daughters, but we will not be offering them for sale.  Fewer products mean less time managing inventory and more time for writing and for ministry at our local church.

Second, we anticipate that our new store will have audio and pdf downloads priced less than a hard-copy product.  Some of you have asked for a “Cleaning Game” download so you don’t have to pay shipping.  We think that’s a great idea and we’re working to make that a reality.  We’re also hoping to add more audio teachings as well as some other books that are in development.

Third, we will not be traveling to homeschool conventions as we have in the past.  (We still haven’t decided about MACHE for 2011…)  It has become more difficult for us to travel together.  Harold took on a new role as Associate Pastor last October which means he can miss fewer Sundays, and the oldest two will be in college in the fall but still living at home.  Yes, we could leave Harold and our two college students behind, but that’s not what the Moore family does.  We’re a team and we minister together.

We believe that this is God’s plan for this season.  We will still look for opportunities to share our heart and our experiences, but just a little closer to home.  That’s a tough one, since we’ve made so many friends over the years.  Thank you for all of your encouragement and support.

Ruth Bell Graham once saw a sign along the road and asked that it be epitaph.  Her tombstone reads:  “End of Construction.  Thank you for your patience.”  I suppose I feel the same way, like I’m always under construction.  There’s another flaw, another weakness, another insecurity that my Creator lovingly reveals to me.  But I’m so grateful that He also shows me His complete sufficiency for every area of my lack.  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)  “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 1:6)  His construction process is not always easy or pleasant, but always necessary and beneficial.   Our construction, both personally and for D4G, continues but thank you for your patience.

The Beauty of Becoming a Woman

Dear Reader—While it may be uncomfortable for some to read an article about such a personal and sensitive issue, I can assure you that it is equally challenging for me to write about it.  Because we receive more questions about this issue than any other parenting challenge, we recognize the need to address this topic.  I hope that the following information will be helpful to you.

When I least expected it, I turned around and found my little girl had grown into a blossoming young woman.  It seemed that her body had changed overnight!  I admit I was filled with fear.  I wanted to maintain her innocence, but I knew I had to tell her something.  What should I tell her?  What if I forget something?  Was she ready for this?  Was I ready for this?

Lady Day:  The Event

After much prayer, Harold and I agreed that we should present only information about her and save the stuff about boys for a later date.  We both felt it was important to affirm her transition from girl to woman and to give her God’s perspective of what our culture often labels “the curse.”  We wanted to celebrate this transition time as we taught her about the changes in her body and the incredible way God made her.  We began to plan a “Lady Day,” a day that she and I could do things together that grown up women do—such as shopping and having lunch together.  We would have fun and strengthen our relationship while I shared important information with her.  But what information was I going to share?

Lady Day:  The Book

With God’s help and inspiration, I wrote Lady Day:  Letters to a Daughter About Becoming a Woman. I never envisioned it to be anything more than a collection of information for our four daughters, but the many requests from friends encouraged us to make it available to other Christian families.  My goal was to create a tool from a godly perspective that would help me teach our daughter about becoming a woman while building a deeper relationship with her, opening a ongoing discussion for the years ahead.  I felt it was important to have everything in writing so she could refer back to it at any time after our Lady Day.

While this relational tool was designed as a mother/daughter event, the tone of the letters and the blank signature space allows the book to be used by mothers or fathers.  It’s not designed to be given to a daughter without discussion or interaction, nor is it an exhaustive source of information on the topic. 

A compilation of “Dear Daughter” letters about various topics regarding puberty, this 32-page book begins by affirming a daughter’s femininity and continues with encouraging modesty.  There is a section on her changing body and caring for her skin.  The final section presents information about menstruation.  The book concludes with printed letters of blessing from mom and dad as well as a blank page for you to record a personalized message to your daughter.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  There is no discussion about physical differences between girls and boys or about marital relations.  (Those issues are addressed in The Gift of Purity, another product exclusive to Daughters 4 God which will be featured in the March newsletter.)

A Sample Lady Day

The Lady Day celebrations for each of our daughters have been unique, but the following description is a compilation of what worked best for our family.  Several weeks before the event, I told our daughter that I had planned a special day together—just the two of us.  On our chosen Saturday, we dressed in our casual best.  As we drove away, I gave her a copy of Lady Day and asked her to read the first letter while we drove to our first destination-- the parking lot of our church, away from any traffic. I asked her to read the next letter and fill in the opposite page. We talked and prayed about her aspirations and her future.

At the next stop (a discount store or mall), we read the sections about changes, modesty, and skin care. Then we went shopping for undergarments and a purse. You could also schedule a skin care appointment at a department store or with a beauty consultant.  I chose to discuss skin care before our day together, so we just reviewed what she already knew.  We returned to the car and filled in the section about our purchase.

For our last session, we drove to a discount retailer. In a remote section of the parking lot, I asked her to read the section about menstruation and allowed her to ask as many questions as she wanted.  We went inside the store and together we chose several different sanitary supplies for her to have available.  We returned to the car and headed to a restaurant for a late lunch.

During our leisurely lunch, I asked her to read the letters that her dad and I had written.  I presented my dear daughter with a devotional book and a charm for her charm bracelet (a.k.a. “Memory Keeper”) as remembrances of our special day together.  Sterling silver charms and Memory Keepers are available at .  It was a day neither of us will forget.

When is it time?

One of the most frequent questions I receive is, “How do I know when my daughter is ready for Lady Day?”  Physical development and questions about sexuality are good indications that your daughter may be ready for Lady Day.  My husband and I made the decision primarily based on our daughter’s physical development.  We wanted to make sure that she had all the information she needed and was prepared before her big day arrived.  In our family, age 10 or 11 was a perfect time to tell our daughters about their changing body.

While you may see some signs of physical development, you may have more time than you think.  The average age of menarche (the first menstruation) in the US is 12.54 years.  African-American girls have a lower average age than white girls; heavier girls have a lower average than lean girls.  I have learned from our pediatrician, research, and my own experiences that girls begin to menstruate about two years after the appearance of both breast buds and underarm hair.

Don’t let fear guide you.  Fear is not from God.  Trust in God; He is faithful.  He gave you your sweet daughter and He will give you everything you need to raise her, including the wisdom to choose the perfect timing for your daughter’s Lady Day. Every mom I’ve spoken with has told me that they knew in their heart when the right time had come to talk to their daughter.  I’m sure it will be the same for you, too.

Your Daughter’s Lady Day

Let your Lady Day reflect you and your daughter.  I know of a mother and daughter who had their special day and a picnic on the Skyline Drive and another who took her daughter horseback riding, and still another who took her daughter for tea.  The possibilities are endless!

Of course you’ll want to stay within the family budget, but you may also want to consider a few other things.  Knowing that I had three more daughters to follow, I planned activities and special gifts for the oldest daughter that I could easily repeat for the other three.  (For example, each received a book but not the same book.  Each went out to eat, but at a different restaurant.)  As parents, we love to give good gifts to our children and bless them.  When we have time together it’s easy to want to do everything you’ve ever wanted to do—tea, manicures, shopping, etc.  I tried to hold back and plan some special activities she would enjoy, but to keep others for a future time together.  Remember, the most important thing is not what you do but that you affirm your daughter and build a strong foundation for a lasting relationship as you celebrate her transition to womanhood.

If you’ve used Lady Day with your daughter, I’d love to hear your story.  It will be an inspiration to moms who are planning a special day for their daughters.

Some excerpts taken from Lady Day, by Joy Moore, Copyright 2006

Statistics quoted from American Association of Pediatrics.

A Birthday Blessing

My dear husband celebrated a milestone birthday in December.   I’m not saying which one, but it begins with a number between 4 and 6 and ends with a 0. <grin>  When we celebrated Harold’s last birthday that ended in a 0, we had a quiet celebration as a family.  This time I wanted friends and family to join me to honor Harold and celebrate the impact he has had in the lives of many people. Harold arrived at church that night, expecting to attend a Christmas party for a ministry team that he oversees.  Instead he found more than 80 people yelling, “Surprise!”  My husband, who usually figures out everything, was literally speechless.  (In 20 years of marriage, I’ve never seen Harold speechless!)

It was everything I had hoped for—and more.  Harold greeted his guests— his parents, his brother and family from out of town, the pastors and staff of our church where Harold serves, and a myriad of friends who came to honor a man who had impacted their life.  Instead of gifts, I asked that each guest bring only the gift of words of encouragement and blessing.

After some munchies, the crowd quieted to watch a Powerpoint presentation with pictures of Harold’s first fifty years (baby pictures and all!).  I had asked a few men to speak—one of his spiritual sons, his brother, and his dad.  Each told of their love for my dear husband and what his life means to them.

Lastly, I had asked our lead pastor to close out with a prayer of blessing.  He asked that Harold’s parents and the girls and I join Harold, who was standing in the front, and said that instead of praying a blessing, he felt that God would have Harold’s parents bless him.  There were few dry eyes after Harold’s mother and father prayed sweet and passionate prayers to bless their oldest son.  I believe it was a precious moment in the heavenlies, where God used the human voices of loved ones to say to His son, “You are my precious son and I’m so pleased.”

Birthdays should be the celebration of a life, an individual who was uniquely designed by God and chosen to be part of His plan.  You don’t have to throw a party or spend a lot of money to honor someone.  For my 40th birthday, my mom orchestrated a long-distance birthday celebration.  I received more than 40 birthday cards of blessing from friends and family.  My friend Esther, who inspired me to write blessings for pregnant moms and their unborn babies, writes birthday blessings each year for the children of her friends.  She wrote a blessing for Harold for his birthday.  Another family has a “Birthday Tape” for each child.  Each year they add to the tape and record a birthday prayer for the child.  Of course with new technologies, you could do a Birthday CD or DVD.  Ask God to give you creative ideas that will bless your family.

This year, as you celebrate birthdays with family and friends, be sure to include the element of blessing.  Look for opportunities to bless your husband, your children, and your friends.  Let God use your hand to write words of life or your voice to speak His words of love.  Make it a birthday to remember.

Proverbs 31 Birthday Party for Girls

The girls often talk about their birthday parties as “unit studies.”  I can’t help it.  I’m a teacher.  I’ve been teaching children something for the last 25 years.  Why should birthday parties be any different?  It’s a great opportunity to teach children--they’re a captive audience!  For Abigail’s tenth birthday, God gave me the idea to have a Proverbs 31 Birthday Party.  The party took about three hours for eleven girls who were ages 9-11.  Cutting out the sewing project will shorten the time by about 45 mins. to 1 hour. Invitations: You can use any lovely note card with a lovely cover design and a blank inside.  Buy twice as many and use them for thank you notes.  If you have some computer skills, you can import a photo or design your own invitations.  Invitation-sized envelopes fit a half sheet of paper folded in half.  On the inside, include the title “Proverbs 31 Birthday” as well as who it’s for, date, time, location, address and RSVP.

Preparations: Preparations for each activity are listed below.  I set up “stations” in the locations listed, including all the supplies and instructions I needed.  I also set the table in the dining room where we’d be eating.  Careful, advanced preparations will make for smooth transitions during the party.

Decorations: I chose hot pink paper plates and napkins that coordinated with the invitation.  The activities for the party kept us in different rooms, but we decorated the dining room with pink and white streamers and pink balloons.  Some fresh flowers would be a nice touch.

Activities: I wanted to teach the girls what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 woman.  We began by reading Proverbs 31: 10-31.  (You can read it to them, or have everyone read together.  You can print out a copy of the scripture from www.biblegateway.com.)  Then, we went back to the beginning and read through it again, stopping after we read the verses that applied to our activity.

Cooking (in the kitchen): v.14-15 Recipe for apple crisp here. Before the party:  You may want to cut the apples and store them in some lemon water in the fridge.  I let the girls use an apple peeler with a handle and an apple slicer so we needed no knives. During the party:  Of course you’ll want the girls to start by washing their hands.  I had the girls take turns measuring, preparing and adding ingredients as well as assembling the apple crisp.  We baked it while we did the next activity.

Gardening (outside):  v. 16 Small pots, plastic or clay a cell-pack of plants or seeds small bag of potting soil Before the party:  I set up the table in the back yard so the dirt would stay out there.  I labeled the bottom of the pots before the girls planted their plants so each one got the right container. During the party:  Then, each girl put a little potting soil in the bottom of the pot, put the flower in, and finished with a little potting soil around the sides of the plant. NOTE:  If you choose not to do the sewing activity, you could use the time to decorate clay pots with paint or permanent markers.  Permanent markets can still rub off some plastics.  Old T-shirts can be worn to protect the girls’ clothing.

Sewing (at the kitchen table):  v. 21 red felt red thread satin ribbon Before the party:  To save time, I set up the sewing machine with the red thread.  I used a lightweight red felt so there were no raw edges to fray and cut a rectangular piece (4 inches x 9 inches) for each girl. During the party:  There are many patterns out there, but this is the simplest pattern I could find.  I recommend labeling the pouches somehow so they don’t get mixed up.

Wise Speech (in the family room):  v. 25-26 Before the party:  Write down a few phrases or Bible verses to use in the game. During the party:  Here we played the telephone game.  (Whisper a message down a line of people and of course it gets changed.)  I divided the girls into two groups and gave each group the same message.  We talked about gossip and how it can hurt those around us and how life and death is in the power of the tongue.  (Proverbs 18:21)

A Treasure (at the kitchen table):  v. 10 Assorted red glass beads (I found mine at a discount superstore) Elastic (also from the discount superstore) Before the party:  I first knotted the end of the elastic string.  (You can’t use a regular knot, but the instructions are on the packaging of the string are simple.)  I divided the beads and put the beads and the elastic into small baggies. During the party:  I gave each girl a baggie and let her bead her own pattern.  When they were finished, we had to tie the ends together with the same instructions as the original knot.  I had each girl put on her bracelet so we wouldn’t get confused.  We talked about how valuable a real ruby is and how much more valuable a godly woman is.

Snack Time (at the dining room table):Apple Crisp (made during the party)

Cake Ice Cream Carrots, cut apples, or whatever your family prefers Pink lemonade, juice boxes, or whatever your family prefers

Party Favors: Of course each girl takes the potted flower, the pouch they sewed, and the bracelet they made.  We included an apple crisp recipe card in the “thank you” notes.

Best of all: It was a great party and the girls seemed to really enjoy themselves.  Most importantly, the girls heard God’s Word and what the Bible says about a virtuous woman.  I believe that the party planted seeds in the hearts of the girls that will reap a great harvest in the years ahead.

The New Daughters 4 God!

Welcome to our new home!  We’ve been building and redecorating for more than a year, but it’s great to be moved in.  We’re glad you’re here and we hope you enjoy your visit.

What’s new?
More than 12 months ago we began to rework the website.  A friend had done our previous site, but our oldest daughter, Victoria, designed a new site and most everything was ready to go last spring.  However, we ran into some challenges.  We realized the site needed to be created using a different program, so Victoria had to start from scratch and learn how to use a new computer program.  I completely underestimated the amount of work it would be since this was all new to us.  I am so thrilled that we are finally “live” (on the internet) and so very proud of Victoria and her hard work.

Thanks to Victoria, our site looks very different.  We now have an articles link which incorporates articles and my personal blog, which Victoria will help me technically moderate.  (I will post as often as I can, but no promises.)  Our store will soon carry a new banner with the new look, as well.   And that’s not all that's new…

New Book
Not only do we have a new website, but on April 16 we will release a new book entitled, “The Gift of Purity:  Letters to a Daughter About Guarding Her Heart.”  God gave me this idea while I was planning for Anna’s “Purity Weekend.”  I had used Passport2Purity, with adaptations, with our oldest two daughters and both weekends were quite memorable.  I had often told people that it was my favorite product we had.  As I revisited it, I realized that our family had changed and that I needed to make more adaptations.  Many of the examples were very unfamiliar to our daughters who have been homeschooled since Kindergarten.  I knew I needed to make changes, but I was a little worried that the weekend might not be as effective.

Instead of adapting the product, God led me to create a new one, The Gift of Purity.  Some of the same topics are discussed, but within the context of courtship and marriage.   Anna’s “Purity Weekend” was filled with beautiful moments that she and I will always treasure.  It is my prayer that The Gift of Purity will be a blessing to your family and strengthen your relationship with your daughter.

New Focus
While I was perusing new products to add, I became overwhelmed with the number of products available.  It occurred to me that we needed to set up guidelines for choosing which products we will sell.  It was a simple solution.  I didn’t start this business to sell anything; I merely wanted to collect my favorite resources and be able to put them in the hands of parents who desired to mentor and disciple their daughters.  I realized that the only thing I want in the shoppe or on the tables at the shows are things that I love.  We decided that Daughters 4 God will only carry books that we have read and books that we have used or would use with our own family.  We realize that each family has different standards, but we hope to provide a consistency in our product line that you can trust.  

New Products
During the fall and winter months when there are no homeschool conventions, our family has been reviewing new products.  Based on your comments and suggestions, we’ve added quite a few new titles.  We have also discontinued others because they don’t seem to meet your needs, are now out of print, or because they don’t match our new focus.  Visit the web shoppe to see what’s new!   

New Collection
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the request for a “sons version” of Daughters 4 God.   I never thought we’d carry products specifically for raising boys, but after much prayer, we are adding a limited inventory of books for raising godly sons.  Of course we haven’t used these books with our daughters, however I would use them if I had sons.  We pray that you and your sons will be blessed by the new resources.     

 Nothing New Under the Sun…
Some things haven’t changed.  We continue to be committed to supporting parents as they raise godly children.  We will continue to value excellence in our products and services. We will continue to respond to your questions by phone or email.   We will continue to place God and our family above our ministry, knowing that our testimony is useless if we aren’t doing what we encourage you to do.  Finally, we will continue to value your support and encouragement.  Our goal is not to make a million but to make a difference. 

May God bless you as you raise generations for His glory,
Harold and Joy Moore

It's up and coming!

Hello, friends! This is Victoria, Joy's eldest daughter.  I wanted to let you know about some exciting changes going on for Daughters 4 God.

We're looking forward to attending the homeschool shows across the nation this year.  We're even traveling to some new locations in the next few months! Mom and Dad (Joy and Harold) have been speaking recently, and are looking forward to more speaking opportunities in the future. There's a few new exclusive Daughters 4 God products on the horizon, as well as many other new products joining our online store and homeschool booth. Lastly (for now, anyway! <grin>) we're re-doing the entire Daughters 4 God website, including this blog!  (I know you are all jumping for joy!  I know it's long overdue!)  This blog will soon become "article central" with frequent updates from Joy and the rest of the Daughters 4 God gang.  You'll be able to read past articles and even interact with others as you post your questions and/or comments regarding the many article subjects.

We are so excited about all these changes, and are especially thankful to all of you for supporting us with your encouragement and prayers.

This blog will have some "work done" to it in the next few days, and I appreciate your patience as we re-write, re-design, and re-organize all things Daughters 4 God!

I hope to see many of you this Spring/Summer as we travel to the homeschool shows!

Blessings to you and your family, Victoria

*UPDATE 03.17.09*

Hello again, friends!  I just wanted to keep you updated on our new website.  It is very close to being live, and we are very excited!  Also, the store is down at the moment - but we're working on it and it should be up and running again soon.

Thanks for your patience!

Blessings, Victoria

*UPDATE 03.20.09*

I have happy news for all of you! =)  Our store is up and running again, which means that our new website should be up within 24 hours or so.  We're getting excited!  Blessings! - Victoria