We are ramping up our Christmas activities in the Scott household. There has been a new Christmas activity every day this week and my kids are loving it! The only downside with starting a Christmas-activity-a-day pattern is that the kiddos have come to expect something Christmas-y everyday. It’s addictive and habit-forming. So to keep them from going through withdrawals, I’m stepping up to the challenge. This week has been full of Christmas crafts, Christmas books, a Christmas outing, and Christmas baking. I realize that this pace isn’t sustainable forever. Good thing we are at the two week countdown to Christmas. I love that these small things (mostly done at home) are making our days festive and fun. I am truly thankful for the extra time to celebrate with my family this year. Home for the holidays is okay with us.
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – November 2020 November 30, 2020
What I’m Reading:
- At Home in Mitford, A Light in the Window, These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon – My friend let me borrow the first six books in the Mitford series. The writing style and perspective is different than what I’m used to, but I think it’s interesting to read something new.
- Mr. Malcom’s List was mentioned last month and made it into the picture by mistake! Oops!
- Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra – This was a modern retelling of Little Women from the perspective of Meg and Jo. While I was intrigued to see how the author would re-envision these characters, I was disappointed with the book. It was a little too PG-13 and it lost the wholesome nature that made the original story so good.
- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner – I enjoyed this book about an unlikely group of people that sets out to save Jane Austen’s family estate. It was slow to start, but I got into by the end.
- Mama Bear Apologetics by Hilary Morgan Ferrer – This book came recommended by a friend. It gives moms the tools to talk about apologetics with their kids so that their kiddos are equipped to stand firm in their faith. I’m sure this book will be one that I reference throughout the years ahead.
- Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond – (Not picture because I’m letting my mom borrow it.) I love Ree! I pre-ordered this book so it would arrive the day it was released. This book is full of humor, love, and wild stories of life on the ranch while being a wife, mother, and television show host.
What I’m Loving:
- New books – Not only did I add a few new books to my home library this month, I also only read new-to-me books this month. It was fun to have each page I read be an unknown adventure.
- Seasonal Goodies – We’ve been baking like crazy at our house. Jeremy made an assortment of mini pies for Thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin pie. There has also been the need for chocolate (brownies and cake). On top of the homemade goodies, I’ve been enjoying the cranberry treats that are back at Starbucks! My taste buds love this time of the year.
- Christmas Movies – Thanks to Hallmark Channel, our home collection, and rejoining Netflix for a month, we now have a plethora of Christmas movies at our disposable. We’ll see how many books I end up reading in December. I have a feeling the pull for Christmas movies will be strong! It’s the only time of year that a movie a day doesn’t seem too absurd.
- Christmas Décor – I love the soft light of the Christmas tree. I love seeing our nativity set on the bookshelf and our Advent candles on the dining table. Every year I set up these letter blocks that can spell a bunch of Christmas words depending on how you flip them around. This year I chose the word peace to display above the sink. I knew that was the word for the year before we started decorated. More than ever, I want to claim peace over this home and peace on earth.
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – October 2020 October 31, 2020
What I’m Reading:
Mr. Malcom’s List by Suzanne Allain – A friend raved about this book and let me borrow it. It’s a Jane Austen inspired novel. It was a light, quick read, but enjoyable. According to the book cover and a little internet research, it’s being made into a motion picture.
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph. D – This book was mentioned in Introverted Mom by Jaime C. Martin. I can related to the highly sensitive person. I like that Aron explained how being a HSP is a neutral trait and displays itself in positive and negative ways. Being “sensitive” is often seen as a flaw, but it isn’t. I appreciated her perspective on HSPs.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – I watched the movie when it came out a long time ago, but a friend told me I had to read the book. It was certainly an thoughtful book on ethics and life with cancer.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Same situation as before. I’ve seen the movie, but my friend said I should read the book. Two books about kids with cancer in a row might have been a bit of a downer this month. But they were both written well and I found them thought-provoking and honoring to those who struggle with cancer as well as those who support them.
Love Finds You in Sun Valley, ID by Angela Ruth* – My last Love Finds You book in my home library. After processing my personality and two novels about cancer, I needed something lighter to focus on.
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Nieguist* – In an effort to re-read my home library, I plan to re-read all my books by this favorite author of mine.
*Books I’ve read before, but not in the last calendar year.
What I’m Loving:
My MOPS & MOMSnext craft – We did a watercolor craft this month with washable markers, watercolor paper, a ziplock bag, and water. It was so easy and so fun. I turned mine into a print with a quote from L.M. Montgomery from Anne of Avonlea. I put it up in my closet by my dresser and it makes me happy (and thoughtful) every time I look it. I’m not super crafty, so this project turned out way better than my expectations.
Card Boxes – I love giving cards. October is prime card month with plenty of birthday cards and thank you cards necessary. I absolutely love the stash of cards I have on hand. They are best!
New Toys – Thank you to birthday month for an influx of new toys! My kids are happy campers and you can find them creatively playing with all their new items. Keeping these boys occupied means I can actually be a productive human – until the new toy needs assistance (which happens often with LEGOs or solar robots).
Fall Family Scavenger Hunt – It’s no surprised that I love playing this game with my family. Since I’m not seeing a lot of church families right now in-person, this activity created a sense of community. We were all competing and being silly/creative together. It’s been an intense competition (for me anyway) and it’s kept us active and engaged in a project.
Seeing Friends – I am doing my best to follow all the local guidelines and keep community at the same time. This means outdoor gatherings and keeping my social circle small. This month, I got have a lunch and a cider date with my two forever friends. I also gathered with my MOPS & MOMSnext steering team (outdoors and distanced) to hang out and catch up. We’ve continued to enjoy outdoor forest school with other homeschool families. These times of connection are so important. Distance doesn’t mean isolation.
Waterfalls – It was so much fun to visit 7 waterfalls this month. We didn’t set out to make this a theme to our month. It just happened, but it was so much. We’ve been enjoying getting outside and enjoying the October sunshine as much as possible.
Hallmark Christmas Movies – I gave Hallmark movies a break for a few months. Now that Hallmark is airing their new Christmas movies, I’m back to recording every new movie. Yep. I’m that girl.
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – September 2020 September 29, 2020
What I’m Reading:
Wool & Shift by Hugh Howey – These books belong to a friend and I have a final book in the trilogy to go. It’s one of those post-apocalyptic series about people living underground in silos after a nuclear explosion made the outside world unsafe. It’s been a while since I’ve read any science fiction. I’ll be intrigued to see how the series ends.
Blueprint Homeschooling by Amy Knepper – Another friend recommendation, this books breaks down planning for your whole homeschool year.
Introverted Mom by Jamie C. Martin* – I read this book a few years ago and thought that it would apply more if I was a homeschool mom since the author is a homeschool mom. Well, now I’m homeschool mom, so I thought I would give it a re-read. It was a good reminder of how I am wired and how I need to take care of myself so I can take care of my family.
Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons – This author is new to me, but my mom bought a copy of the book and asked if I’d like to read it. Just like Introverted Mom, this book spoke to lessons I’ve already wrestled with, but also that I deeply value. It was a refreshing reminder.
The Motive by Patrick Lencioni – This book is a staff read that Jeremy came home with. I’m not a huge fan of business books, but I’m always curious about what our church staff will be processing together. This book was about servant leadership and I appreciated that it was a quick and direct read.
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy* – I’m slowly re-reading my entire home library. I’m especially looking for books that I’ve only read once and might want a chance to ponder again. This prequel obviously wasn’t written by L.M. Montgomery, it’s interesting to see how another author envisioned the beginning of Anne of Green Gables.
Love Finds You in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Love Finds You in Sisters, OR, Love Finds You in Pendleton, OR by Melody Carlson* – As you know from previous posts, I read Love Finds You books like I watch Hallmark movies. They are simple, sweet, and a good way to relax.
Love Finds You in Victory Heights, WA by Tricia Goyer & Ocieanna Fleiss* – I enjoy reading local stories. This novel takes place in Seattle during WWII.
Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment – This was a recommendation from a friend and I had to wait to get a copy from the library. While I might be a bit structured for this movement, I did find this book to be inspirational and encouraging. My boys certainly have a wild + free lifestyle right now.
Welcome Home: A Cozy Minimalist Guide to Decorating and Hosting All Year Round by Myquillyn Smith – I don’t read a ton on home décor, but if I do, Myquillyn is my favorite author. I enjoyed this seasonal approach to decorating and hosting. I will reference this book in future seasons!
*Books I’ve read before, but not for over a year.
What I’m Loving This Month:
Between the start of homeschooling and over a week stuck inside due to poor air quality, this month as been quieter. The things that I’ve been enjoying this month are my tried and true favorites.
Victoria – I watched all three seasons as they aired, so I thought I would revisit them. I love British, period dramas, so one episode of Victoria most days is a favorite way to relax!
New Books – While I did re-read books from my home library, I also read more new books than usual this month! I love borrowing from friends and the library. In the case of Welcome Home, I love adding a new book to my home library from time to time.
Journaling – I completed a journal this month and started a new one. A fresh journal is always so inspiring! My new journal was a gift and on each page is has a Bible verse with my name inserted into the sentence to make the verse personalized to me.
Baking – As I mentioned last month, I love the arrival of all the pumpkin goodies. I’ve made pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins this month. I’ve also been creating other autumn treats as well. I’ve made candy corn blondies and seasonal sugar cookies. I don’t love how my frosted pumpkins turned out, but I learned from trial and error. I’m confident for better results in the future.
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – August 2020 August 31, 2020
What I’m Reading:
- The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke* – (Love’s Unending Legacy, Love’s Unfolding Dream, Love Takes Wing, Love Finds a Home) I finished the second half of the series this month. These books are an easy read that help me relax.
- The Prairie Legacy Series by Janette Oke* – (The Tender Years, A Searching Heart, A Quiet Strength, Like Gold Refined) This series is a follow-up to The Love Comes Softly Series. When I first read theses I was disappointed, but that was years ago, so I thought I would give them another try. This often happens to me, I like something the second time I read/watch it. I’m always more judgmental on my first time through, especially if it’s something I’m greatly anticipating.
- The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall – (Not pictured: I returned it to the library and forgot to snap a picture, oops) A story about two ministers and their wives as they co-pastor a church in New York City. This book wasn’t necessarily a Christian book, so it was interesting to see how ministry and faith were portrayed.
*Books I’ve read before, just not in the last year.
What I’m Loving:
Apples – We picked up a box of apples on our way home from Yellowstone. I’ve been finding all sorts of yummy uses for them! Apple crisp, apple cinnamon pancakes, blappleberry pie! Yum!
Downton Abbey – Over July and August, I re-watched all of Downton Abbey. I wrapped up the series at the end of this month. It was bittersweet to part with the characters, but I greatly enjoyed visiting the Abbey again!
Fall Scents & Decor – The autumn decor and smells have arrived at our home! The last weekend of August is always a transition time for our household decor. I also ordered fall Scenty bars to make things extra cozy! Currently melting in my house: First Day of Fall!
Flowers – Around the middle of July, I stopped keeping fresh flowers in the house. We were travelling more, so it made no sense to have flowers that weren’t getting enjoyed. Now that we are settling into more time at home, it seemed like the perfect time to bring back the fresh flowers.
The Return of Pumpkin Goodies – Jeremy got his first PSL at Starbucks and I got my first pumpkin scone! I even shared with Graham since he loves all things pumpkin and cinnamon. The return of the pumpkin scone is a gateway to a season of pumpkin bread, pancakes, cookies, pie, doughnuts, and more! Bring on all the flavors of fall!
100 Books – I reached my 100 book goal for 2020 (with time to spare)! I can thank COVID-19 with a little extra time at home and a relaxed schedule for extra reading. I am curious to see what my total for the whole year will be since I reached my goal sooner than expected.
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – July 2020 July 31, 2020
What I’m Reading:
- Honey For A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt – A great book that inspires reading aloud with your family.
- For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay – A summery of Charlotte Mason principles for education along with Macaulay’s personal experience applying them with her family.
- Answer for Homeschooling by Israel Wayne – 25 questions about homeschooling answered with practical insight.
- Education: Does God have an opinion? by Israel Wayne – While I didn’t completely agree with Wayne, I did a appreciate his perspective and research.
- Beyond Survival by Diana Waring – This was the final book that I read about homeschooling so I was a bit done with the topic by the time I finished the book. I appreciated her emphasis on unit studies and her focus on addressing how your child learns and how you, as a parent, teach.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom* – My mom had me read this book as either a middle school or high school student. Truthfully, I wasn’t interested in reading it and mostly skimmed the pages. After reading so many books about reading with your family and having this book be recommend for older children, I decided that I wanted to read it again for myself.
- The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke* – Love Comes Softly, Love’s Enduing Promise, Love’s Long Journey, Love’s Abiding Joy – I’m half way through this series that I have read many times. These sweet, simple stories are what I needed to wind down and relax after surgery. They were also a great break from contemplating education.
*Books I have read before, but not in the last calendar year.
What I’m Loving:
- Television – It took me until July and surgery recovery to finally succumb to television as a way to relax. Here are a few of the programs I’ve enjoyed this month:
- Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Green Gables – The Sequel (I grew up knowing it as Anne of Avonlea)
- Hamilton – I will admit to watching this musical three times in the span of a week. It took me two viewings to decide I liked the musical and then I wanted to share it with Jeremy.
- Beauty and The Beast – the live action Disney version
- Cinderella – the live action Disney version
- TV Shows – Counting On, House Hunters, and Downton Abbey
- The Library – Our local library is open for pick up! After reading so many books in the last month about reading with your kids, I’ve been excited to introduce my boys to the Tales of Peter Rabbit and the original Winnie the Pooh.
- New Books from Favorite Series – Through Owen’s school we were introduced to Pete the Cat, Biscuit, and Gerald & Piggie. Between the library and Costco book sets, we’ve been able to enjoy these favorites once again. I was excited to find the book sets at Costco and add to our home library.
- Camping – I covered this adventure in my last post, but I can’t express just how wonderful it was to get away for a few days. While camping isn’t my ideal vacation, I’ve been in a need a change of pace and location. This trip was just what our family needed!
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – June 2020 June 29, 2020
What I’m Reading This Month:
- Mistress Pat by LM Montgomery* – On my Kindle, this is the second half of the Pat of Silver Bush series. It was a timely read because Pat is obsessed with her childhood home and can’t bear the thought of leaving it. I can relate to Pat loving home and fearing change.
- Todd & Christy: The College Years by Robin Jones Gunn* – Until Tomorrow, As You Wish, I Promise – I started reading these books in high school. You can see how worn they are on the top of my pile. Until Tomorrow is 20 years old! Last month was a RJG heavy reading month and June continued the theme!
- The Katie Weldon Series by Robin Jones Gunn* – Peculiar Treasures, On A Whim, Coming Attractions, Finally & Forever – Christy’s best friend, Katie, picks up the story right after Christy & Todd get married.
- Todd & Christy: The Married Years by Robin Jones Gunn* – Forever With You, Home of Our Hearts, One More Wish – These books are on my Kindle so I haven’t re-read them until now. I wish I would have spent the extra money has gotten in paperback form.
- Todd & Christy: The Baby Years by Robin Jones Gunn* – Sandy Toes, Salty Kisses, Sunset Lullaby – Again, this series is on my Kindle so it was only my second time reading these stories. Visiting Todd and Christy is like visiting childhood friends!
- Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie – I asked a close friend if she would share some of her homeschool resources with me as I contemplate school this fall. This was the first book that she told me to read because it would help me realize that no matter what I do, I won’t screw up my children by homeschooling them. There is a lot of stress that can go into homeschooling – am I doing the right thing? Are my kids on track? Did I pick the right curriculum? I enjoyed the perspective of peace and rest when it comes to homeschooling.
- The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie – My friend also recommended this book. It’s not really a homeschooling book, but it’s a compelling case for reading aloud with your kids even after they have learned to read for themselves.
What I’m Loving This Month:
- Homeschool Resources – My friend let me borrow a box full of homeschooling books. Some books are curriculum and some are about the philosophy of homeschooling. While our family is still on the fence about homeschooling this fall, I greatly enjoy learning new things. I don’t want to wait until August to formulate a plan for the fall. I’ve been reading curriculum reviews and watching YouTube videos to show me inside curriculum. I now have a fairly good idea of what curriculum I might use if I decide to homeschool.
- The Pioneer Women – Her most recent episodes are filmed from home with her kids as her camera crew. The episodes are hilarious and the recipes are fairly simple since she assumes people are shopping less and staying home more. Jeremy and I have tested out a few of her recipes recently and they were quite tasty. We made her French Toast Roll-Ups and Hashbrown Pizza. Yum!
- My People! – Birthday celebrations, Father’s Day Weekend, Play Dates, Family Fridays – I’ve been able to see a few of my core people in-person this month. This is a cause for celebration and joy! As much as I love being home in my own little world, I’m glad that my circle of in-person people has widened slightly!
- Switchfoot Concert – For the last seven years, I have tried to see Switchfoot in concert. It’s never worked out and I’ve always been sad about that. When Switchfoot decided to offer an online concert, I couldn’t pass it up. I went to many SF concerts in my high school years and I have so many good memories of this band. I was thrilled for the opportunity to make a new memory with them!
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – May 2020 May 27, 2020
What I’m Reading
- The Glenbrooke Series by Robin Jones Gunn* – It was very RJG month for me. The Glenbrooke Series takes place in a fictitious, small town in Oregon. The characters are endearing and after many years of reading these books, each page is like visiting an old friend.
- Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, HI, Cottage By the Sea & Canary Island Song by Robin Jones Gunn* – I fell in Love with RJG has a young teen through her Christy Miller books. Many of her other works cross paths with characters from this original Christy series. These books are all a part of a connected web of stories.
- Becoming Known by Robin Jones Gunn – (Not pictured because I forgot to grab it for the photo – oops) This was a new release and the first new book that I had read in a while. A new story was a breath of fresh air! Again, this story is connected to Christy, but she isn’t the main character. The Heaven Makers series is one that I will eagerly await each new release as it follows the lives of five women making space for friendship and authenticity in their lives.
- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – It’s no secret that I am Hunger Games fan. I’ve been waiting for this new release on pins and needles. The book takes place around the 10th Annual Hunger Games. It offers a new perspective on the post-war Capitol and what went into forming President Snow. Very intriguing, well-written, and kept me on the edge of my seat to the end.
- Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker – This book was authentic; full of wisdom and insight. I am drawn to Jen’s love of Jesus and people. She is cares about her audience and wants to bring them into the fullest life possible. This book was heavier than her others with slightly less humor than I was expecting. But it was real and honest and that is powerful.
- Kilmeny of the Orchid and Pat of Silver Bush* – (Not pictured because they are on my Kindle app) Yet again, L.M. Montgomery whisks me off to Prince Edward Island and I am in my happy place. Comfort reading at its finest!
*Books that I’ve read before but not in the last year so they qualify for my book list. (I’m up to 65 total, so I might actually achieve that goal of reading 100 books in 2020.)
What I’m loving
New books! – While I deeply enjoy reading my home library, it’s been such fun to have three new books from some of my favorite authors. I eagerly awaited each ones arrival in the mail. Each was a treasured gift!
New Movies! – Jeremy was a good sport this month and rented I Still Believe and Emma. to watch with me. Those were two movies that I was curious about but wouldn’t have gone to the theater to see. I enjoyed being able to watch them in my home sooner than I had expected. We also rented Little Women, but I believe that was in April. My internal calendar is a bit blurry. Seriously, though, my hubby is the best at watching things that interest me, but probably aren’t his first choice. (Jeremy’s top entertainment picks would be Star Wars or Marvel movies.)
When I was thinking about the things that I loved most in May, I realized that I didn’t have a lot of new things to share with you. May was a month filled with lots of reading, baking, and time spent with family. While it wasn’t flashy, it was definitely a good month. Through deliveries, drive-by hellos, and technology, I seen the faces and heard the voices of so many people I dearly love. I am thankful that even in a time of distance, I have still felt connected to community. Toward the end of the month, I’ve been thankful that some “normal” things have returned as options. Jeremy and his family went golfing and Jeremy took the boys fishing! It’s funny because I have the option of going “out” now, but most of my favorite things are here at home. I will happily continue to lay low with my books, baked goods, and the occasional movie. As an introverted, homebody I might be truly living my best life right now!
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – April 2020 April 27, 2020
What I’m Reading:
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – Sometimes you need to need to escape to Narnia. Now is one of those times.
- Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, OR – Sundance, WY – Last Chance, CA by Miralee Ferrell – Simple, sweet love stories for the win.
- A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery – Take me away to Prince Edward Island!
- Becoming Us by Robin Jones Gunn – The next book in this series comes out tomorrow, so I wanted to refresh myself on the plot before diving into the next installment.
What I’m Loving:
Deliveries – We’ve made a few deliveries to friends and family this month. For Easter, we delivered flowers to the grandparents. April events, like a baby shower and a birthday party, were canceled so we made deliveries to friends to drop off gifts. It’s so strange to stand in my friends’ driveways wanting to chat, but also feeling like I need to leave as quickly as possible. Who knew the tension that social distancing would bring? Despite the weirdness, seeing the faces of my friends has been a positive spot in my month. We received a delivery from Owen’s teacher last week with all of his items from school. We used this time to make an exchange. We gave his teacher her end of the year/teacher appreciation gift. I’m grateful for the chance to honor her. Saying good-bye in person brought a sense of closure to the abrupt ending of school.
Flowers – I’ve had the dream/goal/hope of keeping flowers on my counter during these continual days at home. It’s worked out well that one set of flowers starts to fade right around the time that Jeremy ventures out to the store. He has been very kind in replacing the flowers for me while he is out shopping. Flowers make me happy and they bring cheerfulness to my day. Finding beauty in small ways goes a long way with my soul! I am thankful for a hubby who keeps making my dreams come true!
Healthy Habits – I’ve been battling headaches throughout this quarantine period. While there are probably many factors that play into these headaches, I’ve been working to maintain healthy habits so I can feel my best. Here are some of the habits I’m actively working on:
- Going to bed early – These days have been surprisingly tiring for me. I’ve been trying to go to bed before 10:00pm most nights. I’ve been using my Fitbit to track my sleep scores and I can see a difference when I intentionally go to bed early.
- Moving my body everyday – Again, thanks to my Fitbit, I’m tracking my steps and making sure I exercise. Most days I take a 20-30 minute walk. One of my MOPS friends has been sharing Zumba routines that I hope to try during nap time this week!
- Spiritual & Mental Health – I’m reading my Bible daily and writing in my prayer journal often. I pause throughout the day to invite God into the moment with me, especially when I feel anxiety rising. I’m also practicing gratitude and thankfulness. When it comes to mental health, I enjoy reading or watching a show while the kids sleep. I also love video messaging with my close friends to fight feelings of isolation
- Limiting Screen Time & Blue Light Reducing Glasses – I’m doing my best to keep my screen time on my phone under two hours a day. I find myself using my computer more so I don’t end up mindlessly scrolling on my phone. I’m more direct and on-task when I hop on to my computer. When I’m on my phone, computer, or watching TV before bed, I try to use these blue light reducing glasses to help eye strain which might lead to headaches. I got these glasses super cheap on Amazon and they are quite the fashion statement. I don’t love the nerdy look, but I’m willing to try something new if leads to better health.
Curly Hair – You’ll notice in my photos over the last month, I’ve been wearing my hair naturally curly these days. Right when everything shut down, I decided to give my hair a break from heat styling. It took me a few weeks to adjust back to my natural curls, but I’m loving how quickly I can get ready in the mornings. I now let my hair air dry and then pin it away from my face. I’m enjoying the relaxed pace to my mornings these days. No early alarms, quick and easy morning routine, plenty of time at home to wear my comfy clothes. These are good days!
What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – March 2020 March 30, 2020
What I’m Reading
- It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst – This was a good read; filled with lots of powerful reminders from my own seasons where I felt things were turning out all wrong.
- Leveling the Praying Field by Donna Barrett – I had the chance to meet Donna in person. I’ve been inspired by her leadership in our fellowship (Assemblies of God). My husband was gifted a copy of her book at a prayer meeting. It was a good reminder that prayer is not an elite few, but for everyone.
- Like Ice Cream by Keith Ferrin* – This book is about sharing a love of God’s word with the next generation. It’s a quick read, but it’s packed full of information, resources, and inspiration.
- A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks* – I read this book in high school and it’s been a book find myself revisiting throughout the years. It’s a sweet love story.
- Party Girl by Rachel Hollis – I’ve read two of Rachel Hollis’ books so I decided to give her fiction a try. This book was a based off her party planning experience in LA. It was entertaining and interesting.
- Finding Alice by Melody Carlson* – This novel follows Alice has she develops schizophrenia. The book is from Alice’s perspective and gives a fascinating look at genetics, homelessness, and recovery.
- Return to the Canadian West Series by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan – This three book series is the inspiration for Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart. I’ve read a few of Janette Oke’s books series and I watch When Call the Heart, so I figured this would be a good pick.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins* – Once the world started falling apart, I figured I could use a reminder that things could be worse.
- Christy by Catherine Marshall (Not Pictured) – I read a digital copy of this book from the library. It took me a while to get into it, but eventually I found a good flow and got intrigued to see how the story would end.
* Books that I have read before, just not in the last year.
Things I’m Loving
Flowers – I kept one flower from the wedding bouquet. The bouquet was all white so when this flower started to bloom pink, I had to give it a chance to blossom! I love keeping flowers in the kitchen as a small reminder of beauty throughout the day. More than ever, I need small visuals that bring joy.
Church at Home – I’ve been loving church at home. Jeremy is able to sit with us through the whole gathering. Owen sings along to the worship songs and it makes me almost cry. We get ready with enough time to eat a sit-down breakfast together. After years of getting the boys ready by myself, grabbing a quick bite, and rushing out the door, I am thankful for a change of pace and extra time as a family.
Marco Polo – I’m relatively new to the app. It works like a walkie-talkie with video messaging. I record a message to a friend and when they have time, they reply with their own video. In a season where I am not seeing friends face-to-face, I’m thankful for a chance to see my friends through a screen and keep up-to-date with their daily lives. Seeing a face right now feels like a deeper connection than just a text message.
UP Faith & Family Free Trial – I signed for the two week free trial of UP Faith & Family. I used to watch Bringing Up Bates on UP when I had satellite years ago. I decided to get the two week free trial to watch the most recent season of the Bates.
Reasons to Celebrate – March has been full of reasons to celebrate. They build excitement so that each day isn’t just like the last. We’ve been able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of spring, Jeremy’s birthday, and tomorrow will be the second anniversary of moving into our home.
Walking – My fitbit loves me! I’ve been walking everyday and getting my steps in. When possible, I walk our long driveway. When it’s rainy, I pretend I’m in a Jane Austen novel and take a turn about the room – aka I walk laps around my living room.
Baking – I’ve been keeping our family well supplied with baked goods during our time at home. Over the last two weeks, I’ve made cinnamon rolls, scones, brownies, a cherry dump cake and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It’s a good thing I’m taking walks daily to counterbalance all the sugar!