Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I found a new blog!

I am so excited to find Stone Soup for Five - have you heard of this blog?  It is awesome!  I am so excited to read her posts - especially her posts about parenting in the hard moments.

Are you doing anything special for the Solar Eclipse tomorrow?  My kids don't know it yet, but my husband is staying home after lunch and is going to be able to watch with us!  They will be SO excited.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our reading list by month

I used to be methodical about tracking our read-alouds on the side of my blog.  But....not so much anymore.  So I decided to make a poster board and separate our books by month as a goal for us this year.  Here is what I came up with:
(BTW, years ago I printed out a great list someone had come up with separating read-alouds by month, for the life of me I cannot remember who it was, but that awesome idea inspired our goals this year)

James Herriot
Anna's Story First Farm in the Valley
The Cottage of Bantry Bay
Mary Pope Osborne Tall Tales
Alice in Wonderland
Jungle Book
Francis Scot Key
George Fredrick Handel (and study of the Messiah)
Samuel Francis Smith

King Arthur
Harriet the Spy
Stone Soup
EB White (Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan)
How to make apple pie and see the world
A.A. Milne
Your Body and How it Works Pat Ward
Christopher Columbus

Leif the Lucky
We didn't mean to go to sea (Swallows & Amazons)
Minn of the Mississippi
The tree book for kids and their grown-ups
Carry on Mr. Bowditch
Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

Children in Noisy Village
Hanukkah Stories
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Tum Tum and Nutmeg
Courage of Sarah Noble
Mr. Revere and I
A Lion to Guard Us

Little House series
Understood Betsy
Jan Brett books
Gentle Ben

The Wind in the Willows
Allen Say books
100 Grains of Rice
Granny Han
Sign of the Beaver
Sarah Plain and Tall books
Fruit of the Spirit Ron Hembree

Mountain Born
Marguerite Henry books
Sing Down the Moon
Island of the Blue Dolphin
Phillip Keller books
Tomie dePaola

Cabin Faced West
Does God Know How to Tie Shoes
All of a Kind Family
Caddie Woodlawn
Magical Melons

Botany Coloring Book
George Washington Carver
Strawberry Girl
Secret Garden
Phoebe the Spy
Turn Homeward Hannalee
Ever Hopeful Hannalee

Louisa May Alcott
Chanticleer and the Fox
Swallows and Amazons books
Rain Makes Applesauce
Jean Fritz books

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

North and South

Have you read the book North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell?  I have seen the BBC movie about a hundred times probably and LOOOOOOOVE it.  However, until recently I realized that I had never actually read the book.  I have it on Kindle (it's free) and added audible narration through audible earlier in the year.  It has always been on my 'to be read' list, but I never got around to it.  But the other night, when I was having trouble sleeping, I decided I would give it a try.  I started out on the Kindle, but as I felt my eyes get tired after a few chapters, I switched over to audible.

Oh. My.

I love the book even more than the movie.

The movie is very much one of my favorite love stories, almost even with Pride and Prejudice.  The book though, the book is on a whole other level.  It is still very much a love story, but it is also a story about suffering and beauty in the hard moments.  It is a story about friendships and striving and forgiving and letting go.  Ahhhhh, I love this story so much.  Next, I will have to try Wives and Daughters.  :)

The less sugar challenge is going ok, I am going for a lifestyle change that will be long term, not a short term quick fix.  I figured out early on that if I was going to do this I would have to be all in.  I can't do it if I am only shooting for thirty days. But you know what?  It isn't as awful as I thought it would be.  Now I am sure if I was going for the no sugar at all, detox type challenge, that I would be singing (or crying) a different tune.  But the less sugar is doable and I feel better when I stick to it!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Less Sugar Challenge

Yesterday I had the "brilliant" idea to make sopapillas.  We drug ours through either powdered sugar or sugar and cinnamon - but skipped the honey.  My kids and I began a list of baking ideas yesterday (for the holiday season and as back to school/welcome to fall gifts)  and so the more cookie and bread recipes we looked at the - the hungrier I got.  What was I thinking?!?  So needless to say, yesterday I did not do well on my challenge.  *sigh*

SO, today is a new day.  I will try again.

PS in case you bake a lot and need some ideas:

we found this awesome website yesterday

& this was the Sopapilla recipe we used

oh, & another two favorites are Coffee, Tea, Books, and Recipes and Living On a Dime.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Last week was awful.

Like really awful.

This week is ok so far, although we are still dealing with the mess that last week created.


But guess what?  Yesterday I broke down and had some m&m's...they tasted awful.  M&M's never taste awful to me.  I also had a caffeine free Pepsi with my meal.  So the challenge did not go that well yesterday, but this morning I stepped on the scale and to my utterly surprised delight I saw that I have lost THREE pounds.  YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning I was in Acts 2 and I was caught by this portion -

Those who received His Word -
1) they were baptized
2) they continually devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching &
     a) to fellowship
     b) to the breaking of bread &
     c) to prayer

Here in a bit I want to use the Blue Letter Bible site to look into what exactly is meant by the breaking of bread - is this communion or meal amongst believers?  Isn't is fascinating to read about what the earliest believers did?

Saturday, August 5, 2017



This feels like the worst week ever.

I know it's not.

I know from experience it could be a lot worse.

 But still...

It feels like the worst week ever.

Weeks like this make me grumpy.

They make me want to whine and complain and ask why?!?!

They make me want to stuff my face in a bucket of chocolate and not come up for air until I have eaten myself into oblivion, or at the very least reached the bottom of the bucket.

They make me want to delete every post I have ever written about doing the hard things, sucking it up when it's hard, and (until I pause and rethink my selfish thinking) it makes me want to question trusting God when it's hard.


Then I do pause, and I do see His grace everywhere.

Seriously, every inch of every problem we have had this week has had His grace etched onto it.  And then it makes perfect sense to trust Him.  Because even though I would not have chosen any of the problems we have had, I am SO incredibly thankful that He is building my faith - that He is teaching me who He is.  The best lessons (as much as I hate to admit this) are truly learned through the hard moments.

Words are easy to type, common to speak, but they prove their worth when you walk them out.  God is so good - He is so, so good.  Not because everything is perfect or easy or turns out OK, but because He is good.  His will is perfect and His plan is trustworthy.

Even when it hurts.