Monday, September 30, 2013

What I'm Into: September

On the Nightstand:
Another month, another FINISHED book. Whew. I'm on a roll. I'd love to knock out more than one a month, but this is good for me right now, in this season. 

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 

Honestly, I haven't read this very much at all this month. It's probably my favorite devotional ever, so I don't knwo why I let it slip! 

This is the one I finished. I can't say I loved it, but there were interesting stories and it had an overall good message. 

I didn't read too much in this one either this month. It's SO good, so I have to pick it back up!

I read a bit more in this and I love it.  It's really timely now because, especially with Ann Peyton, meeting her (emotional) needs in an empathetic way can be really challenging. Now that Fresh Power is out of the way, I'm going to dig in! 

Giant Steps for Little People- Kenneth N. Taylor
I've started reading this little "devotional" book to the kids at night. It was mine growing up and honestly, I thought it'd be a little hackneyed and trite. But it's been GREAT. It's got a short little lesson and then questions, usually pertaining to the illustration. It ends with prayer and a verse. Annie is really doing well with the questions (e.g.- "What is something you did today that hurt someone else?" "Splashed water in Graves's face"). The lessons in this book are from the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. It's very practical and I love it. 

On the Shelf:

Real Sex- Lauren Winner
This is still on the shelf. I'm anxious to start it this month.  

Immersion Bible Study: Psalms- J. Clinton McCann

I started this, but haven't really gotten into it yet. Peyton and I had planned to do it together and we sort of dropped the ball on that. I'm going to try to make that more of a priority this month. 

Great with Child- Beth Anne Fennelly 

Cookie bought this book for me shortly after I had Graves (she was in the room for all the beautiful pain). She said it was just beautiful and even though she isn't her mother herself, she appreciated it so much. Pretty much every time she's in town she asks if I've read it and I always tell her I haven't. So, this is the month! I think it's going to be really different from what I spend most of time- really artsy and creative and I think it'll have a more "literary" feel than most of what's on my nightstand lately. I'm itching to start it! 

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Um, I put a docu or two in my Netflix queue, but actually watching anything? Nope. 

On the Small Screen:

The West Wing

I'm back at it. So good. Every episode is great and I'm obsessed with the characters.

Saturday Night Live

I used to watch religiously on Saturdays in high school and then I got obsessed with the reruns. It seems like the show gets less and less funny as it ages (like those 80s reruns are beyond hysterical), but I decided recently to give it a shot again. We don't have cable, so it's fun to find stuff on the networks. Anyway, I get in a good chuckle here or there (although I was laughing at something only very slightly funny last weekend and Peyton came in the room and asked if I was drunk, so...maybe my humor threshold is a lot lower than it used to be). 

In My Ears:
Ugh. I am so beyond irritated. Peyton's computer is still not fixed. Part of this is us (him) being super busy and it just not being number one of the agenda. But part of it is that we've twice received a defective hard drive from the company he ordered it from. Or his computer is just so screwed up it won't read a new hard drive. Whatever. It's getting fixed in the next two weeks. As I live and breath, it is. 

That said, I ordered the kids some educational/inspirational CDs this month and we've been enjoying those. I am so, SO not a person who bops along to kids' music. It sounds awfully arrogant, but it's almost a point of pride (okay it is a point of pride) that my kids- at least my oldest- have at some point or another either identified or requested Mumford, Bruce Springsteen, and Wilco. I just don't do a lot of kid music. BUT, we've found some okay stuff.

The President's March

This gets annoying real fast, but it is helping Annie learn the presidents and I think that's a lofty goal for a four year old. It basically just lists the presidents (and the first ladies if you make it to track three) to the tune of John Phillip Sousa's Washington Post march. The kid request it like crazy for some reason.

The Way My Story Goes- Jamie Soles
I don't love every song on this CD, but it has some catchy ones. I especially like the first track, which lists a bunch of (some pretty obscure) Biblical figures and then states "these are they which speak of Me....all these stories, they show my glory....these are they which speak of Me". Anyway, it's been fun to find bearable kids' music with lots of Scriptural messages. 

Around the House:
We got a new calendar time chart. I was using a bulletin board I had created, but this is so much more compact and durable and it's really been a great tool. I put it right on the side of the cabinet in the kitchen.

I've had my aprons hanging there for a long time, but I just moved them to the other end of the cabinet.

I also finished up this whole bulletin board full of monthly quotes. I've just been keeping them and gradually adding them and now it's FULL. I love the way it looks, sort of patchwork like, but moreso, I love the good words that it contains. 

In the Kitchen:
I've cooked a few things lately that were huge hits with everyone.

 I made my friend Karissa's lasagna-esque Buster Keaton casserole and it was SO good. 

I also made Minnie's super easy chicken pot pie. 

I tried this grilled chicken with roasted grape tomatoes and eh, nothing to write home about. 

And I tried a chilled cucumber and avocado bisque. It just tasted a lot like...cucumbers. I know, I know. Duh.

 We're better off with caserole-ish stuff and canned condensed soup, I think. We're simple folk with pretty unsophisticated pallates (okay, I am; that's not entirely true for Peyton and the kids). 

In My Closet:

Polka dots are my weakness. I love this dress. It's so comfy and feels sort of retro. 

I got this at Target recently and it is SO comfortable. Like the most comfortable item of legit clothing I've owned ever. I went back and got it in two other colors.

Ahh, I feel like the epitome of Peyton's girl in this-- EnvioSweetie takes being green pretty seriously. 

In Their Closets:

This little 18 mo. shortall has been in Graves's closet for years. I think I found it on eBay when he was an infant. Anyway, it runs big and he's finally in it.

And I got sister this Jelly the Pug dress off Zulily recently and she (and I) love it. But whoa, so grown up, right?

They happened to have these "back to school" looking outfits that sort of coordinated. I didn't buy them together, but they looked so precious! 

In My Mailbox:
In addition to a couple of lightweight jackets, I got the kids a couple of toys from Zulily. I'm pretty picky about their toys. I just really like them to be simple things and/or things that encourage them to use their imaginations. I don't like a lot of gadgets. Anyway, I got Ann Peyton this precious tic-tac-toe book and I love it. 

We also received this. How adorable is the invitation  I loved the mixed patterns. And we are *so* excited about getting to be part of Katie and Andrew's big day. 

In My Cart:
I'm trying to gradually prepare us for New York City Winters and I think I'm doing okay. Last month, I got myself a legit coat and this month I tried to tackle the kids outerwear. I still need to figure out boots and order gloves and hats, but I think I've got the coats/jackets/ect. covered.

Heavy jacket and ski suit for Graves:

Heavy jacket and snow bibs for Annie:

Lighterweight (but still substatial) fleeces and windbreakers:

I got some mad deals on all of it. A friend sold me Annie's ski bibs for next to nothing and I got Graves's heavy jacket and bibs at a consignment sale for just about that. The four lightweight coats were off Zulily and were very discounted. The only thing I paid much for was AP's heavy coat. It's a 4-in-1 system coat from Land's End and I got it off eBay. I paid about half of retail, which was not pocket change, but I felt like I got a good deal because of the versatility inherent in a 4-in-1 and because the liner (that zips out) is DOWN FILLED. Obviously they probably don't really need this much, but I feel prepared and I did it pretty frugally. Overall, I'm pretty proud of my purchases.

On My Heart:
 I'm just thinking more and more about the time we have left here and the new chapter of our lives that seems to be so close now. I'm sure this will be a theme for the next few months, bu it's starting to feel so real. 

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for a good friend who is struggling with a lot right now, but who I feel like has been given a supernatural peace. I'm praying that God will continue to give her that. 
- I'm praying for my sister as she begins the journey to the altar! Woot woot! 
- I'm praying for God to give me a sense of peace during what I know is going to be an incredibly busy month! 

On the Calendar: 
So, so much! We (Peyton, AP, and I) are going to Chicago for a friend's wedding, Peyton has a retreat that he's on staff at, and then there's just lots of other day to day stuff. I'm slightly overwhelmed, but optimistic

Linking up with Leigh again as usual!

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh


Tacy said...

awesome post. i love the patchwork quotes.... so cool! .god bless~!!

Suzanne Slagell said...

I love the Kenneth Taylor books! We read them all the time as kids, and now my mom still reads them to my kids when we go over. My favorite part is finding the ladybugs on each page.

Leigh Kramer said...

I really want to watch The West Wing one of these days. I'm not sure why I never watched it consistently when it first aired. Your bulletin board really does look like a patchwork quilt!