Gratituesday: Reading Time

I have always enjoyed spending time reading to our boys. But during the past two weeks, reading time has become my favorite part of the day.

Two years ago, we read Little Britches together, by Ralph Moody. It is a true story, told by Ralph about he and his family and all of his adventures growing up as a little boy on a ranch. We all enjoyed the book a lot at that time, but Malachi was still pretty little and had a hard time following the story (and being quiet so that the rest of us could follow the story!).

Now, with our boys ages 7, 10, 12, and 15 – we are reading book two in the series by Ralph Moody, called Man of the Family.

I’m not even sure where to begin with my gushing. This book is so, so good. We are all captivated by it and have a hard time putting it down each night so that we can get to bed at a decent time. And I love that it is a book that all four boys are enjoying. (For the record, I believe girls will enjoy this book too. I think that this is safe to say because I am enjoying this book very much, and I am a girl .)  ;)

Beyond the overall enjoyment of the storyline, I am loving what this reading time is providing. Since we are in the middle of our busiest season of the year, it has been so great to have this time when we are all crashed out on the couches reading together at bedtime. Then, after reading time comes prayer time. Then after prayer time comes a great discussion or just random Coppinger silliness – or maybe a little bit of both. (Because we can’t just sit and be serious for too long, you know.)  :)

I love it all. This time to relax and connect with my boys at the end of the day has been wonderful.

(Shoot, I just realized I should mention that while I highly recommend all of Ralph Moody’s books, there is some occasional bad language. I edit as I read, and either keep moving or use it as a teachable moment.)

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  1. says

    Oohh… we are reading Little Britches right now, and have the entire series waiting for us. My father-in-law is a HUGE fan of Ralph Moody, and these series of books are set in the area where he grew up in Colorado. He bought all the books, and he was hoping the kids would like them. They definitely are so far! :-)


    Laura Reply:

    Okay, that is awesome! I hope your kids like them as much as my boys! Then they can all talk about it when we come through at Christmas time.

    Oh, did I tell you we’re planning to come through at Christmas time?! :)


    Janet Reply:

    If you are interested, check out for a study guide that accompanies the Ralph Moody book, Little Britches. The author grew up just 4 miles from where the book took place and has included a DVD of historical photos of the area as well as other great stuff! It is well thought out.


  2. Jamie says

    Our family of four boys and two parents really enjoyed the Little Britches Series and our older boys have reread the books. The first four books are particularly interesting to both genders, but the fifth and beyond would probably be more interesting to older boys, as these books deal with maturing relational issues, as well. Lots of opportunities to discuss “character house” choices. We took a trip to Littleton, CO to see some of the actual places (like the yard in which Ralph dug up dandelions for a nickel a piece)…even visiting the cemetery and seeing the grave sites of some of the people mentioned in books two and three.
    Leanne Conner has put together a Little Britches companion study guide with DVD of actual places mentioned in the first book of the series.
    If interested, see


  3. says

    We too loved the Little Britches book. I read it to our boys. It was fabulous.
    My gratituesday is about laughter, something rare in my household the past 3 1/2 years.


  4. says

    I miss reading with my kids. We used to do it 1:1, each kid a different night, but now that they’re older, we’ve gotten away from it. You’re motivating me to start back up again!


  5. Daniela says

    O, it sounds so good…just did a search on my public library but no success…I’ve got to buy the books. Thank you for posting this. I enjoy following your post. You are inspiring me.


  6. Lisa says

    We loved reading the series! I have described it as a nostalgic series similar to Laura Ingalls, but with a boy’s slant and so much more intense. He truly shows the compassion of his generation for his fellow man. This is a character trait that is lacking in today’s generation.


  7. Mary says

    We read and reread the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We even took trips to visit two of her homes in South Dakota and Missouri. Everytime I think of how much work these early pioneers put into their homes, I am so grateful for all of the convieniences we are blessed with today.


  8. Jill says

    Is this where I leave a comment for the free Nutrimill?


    Katie Reply:

    I believe you need to go to the previous post! The one with the picture of the Nutramill. :)


  9. Kathleen K says

    Thank you for a wonderful book suggestion! I am reading Anne of Green Gables to our three boys (ages 8-13) right now. Why a girly-girl book? Because they are 3 boys, no girls in the house (except Mom of course) and someday they are going to marry GIRLS. We are loving it! Maybe I’ll get Little Britches next…..I’m so thankful to be a stay-at-home mom who can homeschool our precious boys.


  10. Lana says

    We read all of the ‘Little Britches’ books when our 5 where growing up. There some fond memories associated with those books! My husband started telling the kids he was ‘going to see a man about a dog’ when he needed a ready excuse! I am so thankful for all the hours we spend reading aloud while our kids were growing up because before you know it your baby is 21 and the other 4 are married!


  11. says

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I have young girls but am looking to expand our library now so we’re ready when the time comes to do read alouds.


  12. Rachel says

    I have recently been learning of the nutritional value of freshly milled grain that is organic (non-genetically modified). My family loves when I make bread, but now I am feeling like it’s junk I’ve fed them with flour that’s been on the shelf for months. Even if it’s organic, the nutritional value has drastically been reduced by the shelf life. Perhaps the old way of making bread was the best! I would love to have a grain mill, but the cost is prohibitive. It’s on my wish list though. :)


  13. Tiffany K says

    I’m going to get Little Britches from the library to read to my 8 year old so. If you have other boy book recommendations, please post them. Sometimes its hard to find quality books for little boys!


  14. Katie says

    I have such great memories of my mom reading to us through the years. We had a daily “together time” during our homeschool where we would all sit down in the living room while mom read and we crafted, built with legos, drew, etc. My mom passed away 4 years ago, but she kept a card file with all the books that we read and when we read/finished them. I can’t wait to do this with my boys!


  15. Janet Bradley says

    I stumbled on these books several years ago and read them.
    I could not wait to get the next in the series they were so good! I never wanted the book to end and to think it was true made it even more special! That he started his writing career when he was 50 was a inspiration to me. I am in my late 50’s and homeschooled my youngest who is now 20 so I also have found memories of reading time.
    I recommended these books to my BFF and she adored them also!


  16. laura says

    We have 4 girls and 4 boys and EVERYONE loves the Little Britches books. We just finished the last book in the series last week!!!! My husband reads them outloud at bedtime. He sits in the hall while all the children listen from their beds. It is great!!!! He uses voices for all the different characters. He has even recording several of the books so we can listen to them in the van or on evenings when he cannot read. (He eliminates the “cowboy language” that way as well). Just thought I would share our love of the Little Britches series.


  17. Anita Peoples says

    Love, love, love Ralph Moody. He is a gifted storyteller and has made our family of 1 boy and 4 girls(so far) very happy listeners!! I love when I re-read a book that was so loved to a younger child pretty soon we’ve got quite the congregation of kids sitting around listening to the story a second or even third time. I love those moments of connection, they are irreplaceable! For that I am so grateful.


  18. Kimberly says

    How funny! Two of my boys (9and 11) finished reading Little Britches with Me and Dad (individual reading clubs :) and two of us are finished with Man of the House now as well with the other two still working on it. We thoroughly enjoyed both books and will be ordering the next! Books that every family can benefit from!!


  19. Carol S. says

    Loved this post. We (2 girls, 2 boys and I) loved those two books from Ralph Moody, too, and so wanted to get the next in the series from the library or somewhere but haven’t yet. I could relate to so many things in your post. We do our “read aloud” books over lunch, though, currently. So fun!


  20. Ashley says

    Are these at all Christian? Or are they secular? Thanks!


    Laura Reply:

    I’d say these are secular books, but the family does have faith in God which comes out several times in the books.


    Ashley Reply:

    Oh ok thank you for letting me know. I couldn’t really tell on the
    amazon description, and comments.


  21. Kathy says

    We love this series! I read it to my older children some 10-12 years ago (which makes them and me seem old!). Then a couple of years ago my oldest daughter read them to the younger children. We did have to edit the language! The other thing I noticed more the 2nd time around (well, yes, I listened in, too) was quite a bit of “not telling the whole truth” kind of lying. Yes, it was usually for purposes of earning money to help the family, but deceit nonetheless. It provided opportunity for discussions about whether that was okay, and how it might have been handled differently.


  22. says

    Oh yes, reading to my children is one of my favorite and sweetest memories. I haven’t heard of this series before, but will add it to my list for my grandson when he is older. He’s only 3 now, but loves to read with GiGi.

    Shalom and Shanah Tovah,



  23. breck says

    My girls and I have started the “Little House” series and it is hands down our favorite part of our day!! I hope they will treasure the memories we are creating so they can create them with families of their own!!


  24. Birdie Smith says

    Our middle son read these books, when he was going through his “cowboy” stage. This girl :> really enjoyed them to.


  25. Kim says

    I have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia series with my daughters (ages 8 and 5). We just started Prince Caspian. We don’t get to read every night, but I’m hoping they will look back on this time when they are grown and remember Mom reading this series with them.


  26. Jaci says

    My Grandma read these to us when we were little. We loved them. When I got a little older I read them on my own. Before we had kids my husband and I read them together. Now, I’m reading them to our boys who are 9, 8, 6 and 3. I’m sure we’ll be going through them again in a few years. I never get tired of them!!!


  27. says

    We are actually reading aloud that very same book right now! I love it too. I also do editing of words when they come up. I do so love all the character lessons that there are in these books. This is our 2nd go around of his books with my kids – they liked them several years ago but now at the ages of 6, 8 11 and 12 they are loving them even more. Our reading time is a favorite time of the day for all of us.


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