It was seven years ago that Bob Farewell called and invited us to mosey on down to Florida come January for what he and Tina were calling “The First Annual Living Books Retreat.”   How could we say “no”?  Having someone offer Florida in January is music to the frozen ears of a Minnesotan!   Down we went on what was Mighty Whitey’s inaguaral trip.  The three day retreat was wonderful – the balmy breezes and sunshine, the wonderful ambiance of the Chalet Suzanne (, the warm fellowship of kindred spirits, and the challenging teaching of Reb and Bev Bradley made Bob and Tina certain that a second retreat ought to be planned.

A second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth retreat followed, each one with its own personality due to the participants and the speaker.  All of the speakers have been great, with life-changing messages and open hearted attitudes that have made each retreat a time to make friends with the speaker.  The participants vary year to year, though a few moms and couples come back regularly.  We have been priviledged to be a part of every retreat and it’s become our favorite way to start a new year!

This year we anticipate another great retreat.  How can it be anything other than grand with  David and Shirley Quine as speakers?  We LOVE the Quines!  They are the parents of nine wonderful children, most of whom are now adults.  They are homeschooling pioneers who have kept their sense of humor along with developing a keen sense of what homeschoolers need to focus on in these turbulent times.  David’s worldview courses provide an excellent foundation for any high schooler.  Their new course on China is their response to God’s call on their hearts for the nation of China.  Their desire is to kindle a love for these people in the hearts of American Christians.  Read more about the Quines at their website,

The price of the retreat seems kind of high to me but, since I live in our van 8-9 months a year, that’s a “duh” thing!  Actually, when the cost of the retreat is compared to other specialty retreats, it is a great value!  Where else do you get the freedom to wander on acres of beautiful parkland, or eat at an award winning gourmet restaurant, or hear nationally known speakers, or stay in a quaint bed and breakfast that is listed on the National Historic Register?  All this PLUS warm fellowship and time to relax!  I have never heard participants complain that what they got was not worth the price they paid.  What I HAVE heard is how WONDERFUL it was and how GLAD they were to be able to attend.

Gus and Shirley Solis, the new owners of Lifetime Books and Gifts, will be there with a full range of their wonderful selection of new books and homeschooling necessities.  We will be there with our superb selection of used, vintage and out-of-print books.  So shopping gets to be added to an almost perfect time of eating, relaxing, talking, sleeping, laughing, and, for those “wild at heart” men, manly activities out on the shooting range.  It’s a wonderful time!  For more infomation, check Bob and Tina’s website,  We’ll be there just waiting and wondering who God will bring THIS year!


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