Monday, October 27, 2014

October Shelfie

I have really enjoyed this process of picking 5 books to focus on for the month.
I'm too likely to jump around from book to book if I don't focus my selection.
Next month, I'm planning to share my "November Shelfie" at the beginning of the month.
I won't be sharing my thoughts or ratings on each book.
But, if you are curious, feel free to comment below!
Here are the categories and books for this month:

1.  Family:  Crazy Mama by Hannah Keeley (Kindle)
2.  Classic:  Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
3.  Read Aloud:  Prince Caspian (and Voyage of the Dawn Treader) by C.S. Lewis (Narnia Series)
4.  Biography:  7 Men by Eric Metaxas (William Wilberforce chapter)
5.  Book Club:  Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

It has been an enjoyable month of reading!
I'm still working on Wives and Daughters.  I'll be reading that one the rest of this week.  My goal is to get to chapter 30 by Friday...there are 60 chapters in the book.  I'll probably keep this book in my stack for November.  I'm really enjoying it.  I've almost got my November Shelfie narrowed down.  I'll post it next week.

A few quotes to share:

"The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged."
"Forgiveness was evidence of a life surrendered to God."
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

"Soup and celery, I wish our leaders would think less about these old wives' tales and more about victuals and arms."
"Thimbles and Thunderstorms!"
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (words by Trumpkin the dwarf)

"When God gets a hold of you and wants to do something amazing with your life, he's going to have to squeeze all the gunk out of you.  The pride, the ego, the self-righteousness-it's all got to go.  God can't do anything with your life until it's emptied out."
"Start speaking the Word of God.  Start speaking the reality of your dreams and visions that He has given you."
"No one can be you and you can't be anyone else."
Crazy Mama by Hannah Keeley

"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
(this classic line is read every day before we begin.  a family favorite.)

What are you reading lately???
Anything awesome that I should add to my list?
Have a wonderful last week of October!

XOXO Tiffany

"Tired, yes, but that will only make him more usable in the Lord's hands."
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to School 2014

 And then my babies were in 8th, 7th, and 5th grade.
Our 7th year of homeschooling.
No regrets.
 A bitter-sweet year for me.
My Daisy is heading to the high school next year.
I'm going to miss her something fierce.
 MJ...thank you for putting up with us ladies all day, every day.
I don't know how you do it.
You're going to make an awesome husband someday.
And probably a lawyer...because you sure do love to debate.

Lucy...thank you for keeping me on my toes.
You also keep me grounded and humble.
I can't get anything by you.  You're always so alert and so darn smart.
Maybe you'll be a nurse someday, and put all that wit and charm to use.

Daisy...thank you for being a leader.
You keep us on track.  Your desire to learn is contagious.
You are sweet, sensitive, and a people pleaser.
Your networking ability and people skills will take you far.
 I hope and pray that you have all enjoyed these years together.
Some days have been better than others.
I hope those are the ones we remember.
Maybe someday we'll giggle about the less than pleasant days.
 I hope you leave our homeschool with a love of learning.
I hope you go out into the world with a clear vision of God's plan for your lives.
I hope you make this world a better place.
I hope you love well.
And when you're ready to fly, remember to fly back home...often.
Mom and Dad will be waiting for you.
We'll eat chicken tacos.
And make chocolate banana malts for dessert.

Looking forward to all of the exciting years to come!

XOXO Mom

"What you believe sets the course of your life."
We can live to please people, or we can live to please God."
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Something I'm Lovin'


 I have to share this new website and app that has made me so happy.
I follow several blogs.
It tends to be a revolving list.  Some come and go, some will be there for always.
I typically receive an email of new blog posts whenever possible.
My InBox was getting bombarded...so full!
And then...I discovered...Bloglovin.
A place to have all your favorite blogs in one, aesthetically pleasing, place.
I am currently un-subscribing from the email list of all the blogs that I follow,
and just adding them to my Bloglovin page!
It has made my mornings run more smoothly, because now
I don't feel the pressure to get through all those blog emails and clear out my inbox for the day.
For me, blog reading should not be a morning activity.
(I'll save my new morning routine for another post).
I'm now enjoying blogs during my 3pm coffee break after I drop my girls off at their sports.
MJ is usually happy to get in a Minecraft shift or head out to hang with the neighbor dudes.
A few more things...
You can scroll through on your phone, if you download the FREE app.
Or, just use the website, Bloglovin.com.
You can "heart" all your favorite posts, in case there was something, like a recipe, that you want to revisit someday.
You can mark them "read" or "unread" so that they remove or stay in your feed.
You can also easily share a post via email or social media.
This has completely simplified and organized my blog reading!
Plus, I'm less likely to read every post this way.
I just read the ones that interest me.
Now, this has probably been around for 5+ years...I am really slow to change.
But, when I do make a change, it is usually a really good thing.

I hope you organize all your favorite blogs on Bloglovin'!

XOXO Tiffany

"You can cry a river, but can you build a bridge?"
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My 40th Birthday.

 I celebrated my 40th birthday yesterday...September 30th.
It was wonderful.
Matt grabbed donuts for breakfast...mmmmm.  And flowers.
The kids and I had hot chocolate with our donuts and watched a favorite movie of mine:
 Ballet Shoes.
Remember the book by Noel Streatfeild that Meg Ryan referred to in the movie You've Got Mail???
The book and movie do not disappoint.
 After the movie, I headed upstairs to read...and then got ready for the day.
The girls and I headed out to Caribou...something we like to do on our birthdays.
 In the evening, I watched MJ's football game (they won!).
Then we headed to Yaya and Poppy's for dinner.
 Among all the sweet gifts that I received that day, this one made me giggle out loud.
Thanks Mom.  It's hanging in our bathroom.
 I blew out 40 candles.
We ate cake and chatted.
Home and bed.
A very good day.
As I think about the events that will (most likely) occur in my 40's, it makes me pause for a bit.
My kids will all become teenagers,
they will learn to drive (gulp),
they will start to date (oh my),
they will graduate from high school,
they will head off to college,
Matt and I will become empty nesters.
I'm feeling like this will be a fairly big decade of change in our house.
Though, each decade brings on it's own amount of change.
I'm not ready...but here goes nothin'!
I think I'll pull out the book, The Power of a Praying Parent.
I'm thinking that will be a necessity.

Here's to the next 10 years!

XOXO Tiffany

"Raise us up as a generation who sets things right".  Jen Hatmaker

September Shelfie 2014

I love to read.
It is my treat, or reward, morning, noon, and night.
I was getting overwhelmed with the stacks and stacks of books that I had started, or that I wanted to start.  I was feeling like I wasn't finishing anything.
I decided to pick 5 books to read (and attempt to finish) each month.
I also wrote down some categories that can be filled in.  I am hoping to rotate those categories each month so that I get a well rounded list of titles.
Here are some of the categories that I came up with (subject to change):

1.  Spiritual
2.  Family (marriage/kids)
3.  Book Club book
4.  Read-a-Loud (RAL)
5.  Classic
6.  History
7.  Homeschool
8.  Health (exercise/cooking) or Simple Living
9.  Easy Read/Children's Lit
10.  Memoir/Biography

For September, I wanted to keep it light.
School was starting up, and I was going on a little trip.
Here are my September picks:

1.  Spiritual:  A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman
2.  Marriage:  The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick
3.  Parenting:  Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle
4.  Simple Living:  The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin
5.  RAL:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

This month, I won't have a problem finishing these selections.
That won't be the case for all the months, and so I will just have the un-finished books carry over into the next month.

I also love to rate my books on a scale from 1-5.
5.  I loved this book so much.  I would read it again and I would highly recommend it!
4.  A great book!
3.  A good book.
2.  This book was just OK.
1.  I really couldn't finish, or didn't want to finish, this book.

Here are my thoughts on the books that I read this month:
A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman
I give this book a 4.
Her writing is very poetic.  I liked how she helped me look at "art" differently.
"Don't wait until tomorrow.  Pick yourself today.  You already have everything you need.  Embrace the art alive within you, and believe in the little ways God wants to release his art into the world through you."

The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick
I give this book a 5.
A fabulous book of reminders on how we should be treating our spouses.  Great scripture references sprinkled in.  It made you want to be a better spouse.  Very encouraging.
"Love makes sacrifices.  It keeps you so tuned in to what your spouse needs that you often respond without being asked."

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle
I give this book a 3.
This was a super cute, light read.  Very funny.  A nice little memoir.

The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin
I give this book a 4.
I REALLY enjoyed this book!  I thought Gretchin did a great job in her journey.  Her research was in depth and added a lot to her thought process.  I may have given it a 5 if her spiritual journey would have had more depth.  This is the one area that I found lacking.
"Flawed can be more perfect than perfection."

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
I give this book a 5.
Amazing.  I couldn't wait to pick it up every day.  Awesome characters.  Lots to chat about.
"Merely a trifle!  Merely a trifle!  And it isn't really finished."  Mr. Beaver responding to the kids compliment of his home.

I'm planning on adding a "Books" tab at the top of my blog.
I'm hoping to keep it updated with a list of all the books that I read each year.

What are you reading and loving lately?

XOXO Tiffany

"And when you are fully yourself, everyone benefits."
"God is the Artist and he has made us.  We are his poem and we will make art."
A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman