Lots to share again this month!
On the Nightstand:
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning
Love it so much. I decided to start reading it in the morning and that's been really nice. After the kids have breakfast and watch a show, they go play in their room and I do a few things and take my bath. This is a nice addition to that time.
Wonderful old Brennan on the law and how it's over emphasis makes asses of us (even the best of us!). What ARE we doing to the Gospel?
Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kallas
I started this Bible study this month and so far I really like it. We've read some of Kallas's work before and really enjoyed it, so I'm excited about this.
Real Sex- Lauren Winner
Finished. It only took me like three months. I love Lauren Winner's style of writing and I'd like to read another book by her at some point.
This book is pretty thick, substance wise. It's not a terribly difficult read, though, and it's not super long. I also think it's a little redundant. I wrote about it here and here, but I think it's so important to focus on the cross and on God's grace. But at some points I thought this book was just a little much. For example, Forde says that even the works that God does through us are sinful. He also says that sins are "truly venial (i.e. forgivable) when they are feared to be mortal". I don't feel like that kind of fear has a place in the believer's life, personally. As I got further and read more about Law/Gospel dichotomy, I found a good bit more I agreed with. Overall, not my favorite. I am excited that I finished a book in a month, though!
On Their Nightstand:
We LOVE this series of children's books on the attributes of God by (the apologist) William Lane Craig. They are so deep and tackle such big ideas, but in a fun, engaging way. We already had the first three and ordered these recently. I read "God is All-Knowing" to Annie and asked her what she learned. She told me that God knows everything that will happen and I asked her if she could give me an example. She said "Well, God knows right now if me and Bud are going to have a night party tonight. He knows if we'll have enough energy or if we'll be too tired for one." I said "Does that mean God decides if you'll have a night party?" And she said "No, me and Bud get to decide if we will or not, but God knows what we'll choose."
Also, we just got this haul from the library. We've only read a handful, but I'm super excited about these!
Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit- Henri Nouwen
I've had this on the list for months. I'd love to finish it and start another one.
We watched a couple of movies this month:
Lincoln- This was such a powerful movie, as are so many of Spielburg's. It's a small glimpse into a fascinating life- it tells the story of Lincoln's last months as the 16th president and specifically of his passion and desire for the passage of the 13 amendment. I loved everything about it- the characters, the dialogue, the lighting and music and cinematography. I read a little about it and this is an interesting article about how factual the movie was. More than anything, though, I love how things like this make me think. This and this were both good articles on the historical accuracy of the film. And this was just a great review from a civil war professor.
Do the Right Thing- Spike Lee directed this back in the early '90s and it's still on so many movie lists. One thing I find VERY interesting about the movie (and I looked online and couldn't find any research or opinions on it) is that there is no gun violence. There's no weapons at all, really. There's no gang culture, either. It's just people in an urban, impoverished setting who are, at some points very inclined to focus on love and at others to succumb to hate. It's an interesting character study and it's a nuanced perspective on the degrees of prejudice within people and the way that even within one person there can be such tension between the desire to "do the right thing" and the temptation not to.
Twelve Years a Slave- We watched this one this week. Oh my word, it was a HARD movie to watch. It tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black many living in New York state who is kidnapped and forced into slavery. The depiction of this atrocity is GRAPHIC. One reviewer said it "made Roots look like the Care Bears". I actually thought about seeing scenes from Roots when I was little (like ten-ish) and how deeply it affected me- how pained I was for weeks over it. It was the first time I had seen a depiction of a slave being beaten and it turned my world upside down. I felt similarly unsettled and while watching this I had such a visceral reaction. I really was very nearly physically ill. It's been compared to Schindler's List and The Passion of the Christ as far as content and one reviewer explained how groundbreaking it was in that "it marks the first time in history that our entertainment industry, albeit with international creative input, has managed to stare directly at slavery and maintain that gaze". It's a damn hard gaze to maintain and I probably won't sleep well for a week. But I think it benefits us to examine these things and truly it was an amazing and inspiring story.
On the Small Screen:
We didn't watch much TV at all this month!
In My Ears:
My July playlist!
Around the House:
Nothing terribly exciting or even good.
Graves peeled a bunch of (cheap) paint off the wall (it happened over multiple instances, don't even get me started). So we put up some of Annie's creations to camouflage it. This says "Welcome Miss Claire" (look we're doing great with phonics, penmanship- not so much). It depicts the things she wants to show our sweet babysitter from home who is coming to visit this week - the Q train, the pirate playground, the Children's Museum, the fountain, MonkMonk, and the library. Good thing she's staying a whole week!
In the Kitchen:I haven't cooked many (any) new meals this month. Summer salad challenge is way harder without a grill! But I've been cooking old favorites- Italian chicken and spaghetti and BBQ and we've been enjoying Summer produce.
I kind of burned out on egg salad (didn't think it was possible). This is my new favorite- turkey, with avocado, and Feta. So rich and delicious!
If you haven't tried freezing your blueberries, you're missing out. I say that to even those of you who don't live in a four hundred degree apartment in Brooklyn. Such a yummy, healthy snack!
And a couple that are not so healthy!
Stroller nap on a giant cheeseball pillow. I'd have the mom guilt but I expect to eat fully 90% of these myself. I should provably have person guilt, but I don't.
tastes like Summer!
In My Closet:
Whoops. I think I overdid it with the blue and polka dot last week. Also: took this in the family bathroom at The Met. Right after three of us had a pep rally for the fourth family member who was doing his business in!the!potty! Manhattan glamorous, folks.
One of my favorites from the kids side of Target from over the years!
This skirt is also from the kids' side of Target. I've always worn it lower, but now that the style is high, I tried that out!
Getting ready to go out of the town with Peyton, sans kids. This is actually grow up Target =)
In Their Closets:
I ADORE this romper. Annie wore it to Coney Island- perfect for the boardwalk :)
I also love his patriotic jon-jon (sidenote: "What do you call those things anyway?" "...When President Kennedy was in the White House and JFK, Jr. was tiny..." If I had a dollar for every time I've had this conversation in the last six months, I'd have...probably a lot more jon jons)
More green! Seersucker with a scallop. Doesn't get much better!
This is sort of different but Annie's doing a dance camp on Tuesdays this Summer. They told me she could wear street clothes if they were "form fitting". As I've said before, I mostly hate form fitting clothes myself so I assume the same for my toddlers/preschoolers. Soooo...she doesn't own many. I've pieced together things for the last four weeks. Sometimes she's looked a bit tacky, but honestly, I have to say, I'm really proud of myself for not buying things we don't need. Wouldn't have been the case a year ago.
Hmm, not a whole lot. I've ordered some things on sale for the kids for next Summer, so they should be in soon!
A big Amazon order! I got the William Lane Craig books. I got the Mathew devotion and On Becoming a Theologian of the Cross for myself. I also ordered this Sally Lloyd Jones devotion. Annie LOVES The Jesus Storybook Bible but this is a little too abstract. I love it, though, so I'll try again in a year or so. Good News for Little People has been PERFECT, though. We have two similar devotions by the same author and they really appeal to Annie. And Graves can get something out of them, too. The last one is a sex book. OMG. It's for ages three to five. I have no idea when, but I know it's not TOO distant with Annie, and I want to be prepared. Kind of freaking out, though.
On My Heart:- Some friends recently adopted a baby. His temperament seems very similar to Graves in his early days and they are in my thoughts so often.
- I had a good cry thinking about leaving New York the other night. That's a whole post and I'll probably write it soon.
- As always, we're praying for clarity about the future of this adventure.
- We're praying also about where to be involved in the Fall and what things we want to commit to.
- Honestly, I'm praying for wisdom and patience with Graves right now. A lot of the time, I have a harder struggle with Annie, but lately I've really had a hard time with him.
On the Calendar:
Claire's coming this week and then Minnie is coming at the end of the month.
As always, I'm linking up with Leigh. Go check out some other What I'm Into posts!