Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Recent Reads


📖 Engine 2 (secular, cookbook)... I was excited when I saw this one at Dollar Tree because the author is the son of one of the Forks Over Knives doctors. There are enough gluten and fake meat recipes that I was glad to only have spent the dollar but I still found quite a few recipes we want to try! 

📖 Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (secular, novel in verse, middle grade)... I liked this novel in verse that tackles art, an aging grandfather with Alzheimer's or dementia, a pregnant mom, and friendship!

📖 In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury (Christian, contemporary fiction)... This was the next of the Baxter Family books and one that can be read as a stand-alone. It wasn't my favorite but I still liked it.

📖 The Manual to Manhood (YA, nonfiction)... I read this one as a potential read for my son as a teen and I disagreed with a few things (for example, aluminum-based antiperspirant has been linked to many serious problems and should NOT be used for the sake of hygiene) but was overall fine with it. Actually, I learned quite a lot!

📖 Missing Isaac (Christian, historical fiction)... I really liked this book, set in 1960s Alabama. There was some powerful stuff in here written in Luesse's typically gentle way and I very much appreciated it! I also added this one to our high school shelves.

📖 Practicing Presence (Christian-but-not-really, nonfiction)... This book was not really Christian at all but it was a beautiful read about motherhood, creativity, using your creative pursuits to be present in motherhood... Made me think and reflect a lot.

📖 Thunder from the Sea (secular, historical fiction, middle grade)... 1929 Newfoundland, and such a great story! Secular book but lots of Christianity woven in.

📖 The Very, Very Far North (secular, middle grade, TGTB book list)... We read this as a read-aloud and everyone was happy, ages 6-10. It reminded us a lot of an Arctic version of Winnie the Pooh.

📖 Why Do I Do What I Don't Want to Do? (Christian, nonfiction)... I really liked this great, short book on vices and choosing the Christian path. I do have to say that I listened to it as an audio book and due to the nature of vices, there were multiple times where things I wouldn't want my children hearing pop-up. I of course knew that would happen considering the topic of the book but wanted to warn you just in case.

📖 Wild + Free Holidays by Ainsley Arment (secular, nonfiction)... I am loving these Wild + Free books! This one is primarily full of Christmas crafts and activities but there are a few autumn and Valentine's chapters, too. I'm already planning a fun Christmas ornament craft for my kids come December! 

Monday, February 19, 2024

5 things I've been loving

A bookish sticker on my reading journal! I always admire bookworm stickers but never buy them. Now I've decided to cover my book journal with them by purchasing one when we travel and find fun book stickers in bookstores along the way!

3 drops of Chill Pill oil in my laundry routine. It smells so good! I use a scentless Biokleen detergent, vinegar, and three drops of this essential oil.

Parking lot date night! One night a week we have a date in the parking lot while our kids complete an activity they all do. So nice to have an uninterrupted conversation, alone! We love this so much more than a restaurant or movie or something. Just the two of us. Perfect! 

Starting my packing list for an upcoming adventure! I love making the list and I love having what I need but I genuinely hate packing and often have tears in my eyes while I'm rushing around trying to grab everything. It's pretty great to be able to hand the list to my oldest kids who for some reason love packing. Families are so cool. When we bring all our differences together we create a more complete picture 💙 

Sarah McLachlan's version of Blackbird. I know, I know, the girl who used to have a Beatles poster on her living room wall and always wore one of multiple Beatles t-shirts to the gym... Believe it or not, I like this version better! 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Monday, February 12, 2024

Recent picture book reads

📚 Cody and Grandpa's Christmas Tradition (secular)... Lovely, touching Christmas story where Grandpa shares one sweet camaraderie moment from his time in Vietnam.

📚 Crafty Llama (secular)... I've been on a loom knitting kick so I was more delighted by this one than most would probably be. Fun for crafters of all kinds!

📚 Different: A Great Thing to Be (Christian)... I really liked this book! I happen to know the book is based on a young lady with Down Syndrome but its writing makes it perfect for families with children who are "different" in any way 💙

📚 I Want 100 Dogs (secular)... Short, simple, and cute. Does show an illustration where multiple dogs have pooped but the point is that it would be difficult to clean up after so many dogs and no potty jokes are made.

📚 Small Bear Lost (secular)... Sweet story about a lost teddy bear, of course a hit with my youngest.

📚 The Thanksgiving Bowl (secular)... This is a cute one to read next Thanksgiving, about a special bowl that winds up traveling a little until it ends up back where it belongs.

📚 The Tale of Gilbert Alexander Pig (secular)... Overall, pretty cute. I have a kid with a pig obsession so I've read HUNDREDS of pig books over the years. This one wasn't a very favorite but it was still fun and enjoyable.

📚 Tomorrow I'll be Kind (secular)... Love the message in this book! And the hand-lettering.

📚 You are Always Loved by Madeleine Dean (secular)... Such a powerful message in such a short and simple picture book. I especially loved the author's note in the back. The power of a mother's love is so strong! 

Friday, February 9, 2024

Sick Days


Some of us are sick over here (malaise, nasty cough, runny noses, loss of appetite) and those of us who aren't are trying really hard not to get sick!

Here's what this week looked like:

A Bad Case of Stripes Wonderbook (picture book with an audio book mechanism attached)


Garlic and ginger galore- in broths, juices, soups, and teas

Homemade soups

Medieval mix essential oil in the diffuser

Reading on our own + read-aloud together

Sleep! Going to bed early, sleeping in, napping

Teas with raw honey 

Video games (on a school day and everything!)

Warm showers + lingering in the bathroom afterwards and breathing in all the steam