Sunday, June 26, 2016

{book report} My Latest Reads // June

As my part of my Learn goals for 2016, I'm reading a variety of styles and genres of books in the attempt to discover new ideas and expand my horizons.  My goal is to read at least 25 this year, of which I'm keeping track on Goodreads.  Are you over there?  Let's connect!

The Travelers by Chris Pavone
I should probably preface this by saying that this while I do enjoy the occasional spy movie, reading them is not my typical go-to at all!  But in the spirit of trying new things, I requested this spy thriller on a whim and I'm glad I did.  It's hard to describe the plot without giving things away, but I found it really fast-paced and blew through it in days.  Although parts of the book were a bit confusing, it kept my attention the whole way through.  Probably not the book for those who are a stickler for 100% accuracy, but definitely enjoyable if you're in the mood for a suspenseful ride.  I think my husband would like it too. 
(I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are mine.)

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
I read this one as part of our book club's June picks and it was SO good!  The story is equal parts about Max, an elementary school student with autism and his imaginary friend, Budo.  So uniquely told.  So good.  


My Reading in Numbers

Books Read this Month: 2
Total Books Read this Year: 20
Books Read for the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Challenge: 4
A book published this year
A book you've been meaning to read
A book chosen for me by my spouse
A book you can finish in a day

Friday, June 24, 2016

{around here} Week 25/52: Week of 6.20.16

A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.

Around here, I have been:

starting again, a bit hesitantly, on this little series of mine.  My camera has been sitting unused for months and it's funny how quickly you can fall out of a habit.  Seeing my children and my home through that lens, though, is so helpful to me in terms of acknowledging everyday beauty and having gratitude. It's a habit I want to continue, both for posterity's sake and (selfishly) for my own.

drinking sparkling water (lime or orange are the current favorites) with frozen blueberries as "ice" - so good and refreshing.

watching Leverage at night with Mark.

working on my Christmas prep to-do list for Big White Farmhouse.  Summer is notoriously slow for retail, so I'm taking advantage and getting things to prepare for the Christmas rush.  This week, I got in a new order of burlap market totes, tea towel sets and cloth napkins.  Love them all!

introducing the kids to Bob Ross.  They were skeptical at first, but soon grew to love him as much as their mama.  J was especially cute in the days after: "Mama, I was inspired by Bob.  I'm going to make a happy little tree.  And it's okay if I get a little messy.  I bet Bob gets messy painting too."   

reading Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.  Also slowly making my way through The Fulfillment of All much food for thought there.  I only read 4-5 pages at a time.

watching D start to really enjoy reading.  I bought this book for him at an Usborne book party and he devoured it in one day!  He's now started in on the Flat Stanley series.  Another update on D: we received the results of his assessment and he showed signs of mild dyslexia (which is great news!) as well as more significant dysgraphia.  It's encouraging to know the problem, so we can work to find the solution.  Lots of fun writing practice is in our future this summer! 

nesting like a crazy woman already.  I have a list of home projects a mile long!  This week's highlights: we finally got a bench for our dining room and can now all fit at the table.  I also found a new welcome mat.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts on Tragedy, Kindness and Why I Blog

My heart has been heavy this week. 

I look at this blank screen and feel like there's not much to say.  I'm a bit horrified (but not very surprised) that after the sufficient six hours of "mourning", everyone's passionate opinions rise to the surface and the ugliness continues.  And here I am, unable to wrap my head around the fact that fifty mamas will never see their children again.

In the wake of such tragedy, I've been asking all the questions: How can I, a mother with a handful of children and another on the way, do anything to change the world for the better?  How do I raise these children in such a scary world?

While I wish the answer was something exciting, my heart knows that it's right here in the same ordinary life I'm living right now.  It begins with my family: teaching kindness and compassion to my children, both in word and in deed (especially in deed!).  It means praying earnestly for peace and perseverance.  It means truly listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit for opportunities to be generous and kind to the people in my community.  It means holding fast to the knowledge that good always triumphs over evil and Christ has already won this fight.  

I think in some way, that's why I continue to come back to this space.  It's my small- SMALL - way to share goodness in the world.  In a world of absolute ugliness (I'm looking at you, Facebook), I want to be just one tiny light.  I pray for the courage to continue.  


P.S. In the spirit of spreading kindness, we're hosting a quick giveaway on our Big White Farmhouse Facebook page today!  We'd love for you to add your name to the hat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

{learn goals} Some Goals for June

Things to Look Forward To
- starting a new routine for summer
- fresh berries for breakfast & ice cream cones for dessert
- feeling the first fluttering movements of this baby within me
- getting started on my Christmas prep to-do list (!!) for Big White Farmhouse
- warm sunshine on my skin

Things to Work On
- first floor paint touchups
- deep cleaning the entire house after a first trimester of neglect
- a new solution to corral all of our children's books
- making more time for consistent spiritual reading

Things to Think About
- a new book I'd like to read
- a skill I'd like to practice
- a topic I'd like to learn more about
- a secret kindness I'd like to do for someone
- a recipe I'd like to try

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