Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I'm Into: December

December was busy and fun! 

On the Nightstand:

I didn't read a lot this month, honestly.

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
I've been doing this in the mornings and I've been more consistent with it that way. I loved this one about an unconventional Christmas, knowing ours surely would be: 

Finished this up. It's been a good, enjoyable read. I love how Nish ended each chapter with a post from a different writer from A Deeper Story that related to the chapter. It gave me a lot to think about and it shows that the idea of "story" is a lot broader than we oftentimes think.

This was my favorite sentence in the whole book- "Simply put, we Christians live a great story when we are being faithful. And the kingdom is made visible in the mundane when we forgo what's attractive for what is obedient". So good. I know I will carry that with me for awhile. 

Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kalas
I've got to be honest. I'm not the most consistnt with doing individual Bible studies anyway and I started this one this Summer and then when we went back to Mississippi in October, I put it on the back burner. I'm just now picking it back up, but I'm really enjoying it.

On Their Nightstand: 

Wow. We got this at the library last month and we're still reading through this one (it's a big volume- three hundred and something pages. The selections are fantastic and there hasn't been a story yet I haven't enjoyed. Lots of old favorites, some classics that I haven't thought about since my college days in Children's Lit as an Education major, and some new ones that I already adore. Peyton and I both considered buying it to add to the children's personal library. 

This was a little above Annie's level (and a lot above Graves's), but we plowed through it and I do think some of it resonated with her. It's beautifully written and I enjoyed it so much myself. I know it will be a treasure for many Christmases to come! And they LOVED the Jesse Tree, which was a first this year!

On the Shelf:
Peyton and I are going to read a book this month (we have it narrowed down to three and have to chose) and then next month I'm reading something with my friend Mallory! 

At the Theater (or from the couch):
We watched more movies than usual (although they were mostly with the kids).
The Fault In Our Stars
Obviously, we are about the last to watch this. If you don't know, though, it's a romantic plot line where both of the main characters have a terminal illness. So...I cried. And I wasn't even that invested in it. I really didn't think I would, but I did.  Peyton wasn't a fan. I did think parts were really corny and it certainly wasn't my favorite movie, but overall I enjoyed it. 
This was the kids' first non animated/computer generated movie to see. They LOVED it! And I enjoyed rewatching an old classic that was favorite of mine as a child.

We watch this several times every December. We all love it. And the music! Peyton and I are both so obsessed with Charlie Brown Christmas music! 

We watched this with the kids and it's SOMETHING, y'all. The visual effects are stunning, the music is great, and the story is captivating. It's very fanciful and creative and unique. The basic plot line has to do with "Jack Skellington" opening a portal from "Halloween Town" (where he lives) to "Christmas Town" and trying to bring the Christmas magic back with him. 

The kids didn't actually get that into this one, but Peyton and I enjoyed what we watched of it with them. Ha! It had some more grown up humor that was funny not in a raunchy way, but in a witty way. Anyway, it was a fun retelling of the story 

On the Small Screen:
I've been watching some more of The West Wing. And Peyton and I started watching this ridiculous show, Doomsday Preppers. It's obviously about people preparing for the end of civilization or an extreme financial collapse or some kind of awful natural disaster. It's comical on one level and also sort of fascinating. I do feel sort of bad for the children when the people have kids, though.

In My Ears:

Instead of creating a playlist for this month, I mostly listened to my December 2012 playlist because it has so much Christmas music that I love on it and I don't listen to it any other time. I also just searched "folk Christmas" on Spotify because I love folksy stuff these days and that was a treat. And Peyton found this great tune by Boney M:

Because sometimes, you need a little disco vibe in your Christmas music collection.

Around the House:
We decorated for Christmas in our little space and it was so much fun and so laid back! I shared more pictures here.
I LOVE Christmas sheets so much! 

Christmas chalk that I think is a good word for any time of the year!

In the Kitchen:

We enjoyed two more soups for Winter Soup Challenge! 
 I was unsure about this soup: 1) I prefer bisques and chowders to stews and broths (in the same way I prefer cheese, butter, and half and half to vegetables 2) though my spicy tolerance has changed a lot since before my second pregnancy I still can't handle super hot things well (we substituted Andouille for the called for sausage because it was what we could find) 3) I'm about six years old and weird (read: interesting) combinations (of which sweet potatoes, spinach- which is not my favorite green veggie, and sausage apply) freak me. But it looked like something P would LOVE. So I gave it a shot. It is pretty hot and I can't eat a honking bowl like I could some more bland soups. But it's got a great, interesting taste. And it's PERFECT for a chilly night. And truthfully? It feels good to feed my people (at least the two grown ones) something that has a bag of spinach instead of half a block of Velveeta in it. (recipe via smittenkitchen.com). It got four stars. 

 Not the first time I've made it (by a long shot!), but this stuff is SO! INCREDIBLY! GOOD! I shared the recipe in the picture because it's from a Junior League if Jackson cookbook that they don't publish anymore. It got five stars

In My Closet:
Sigh. Winter is not my favorite. But I'm trying to make the most of it!
 I will say that my friend Ashley revolutionized my church wardrobe. I loved these boots last year, but it never occured to me to wear them with dresses and tunics! 

Reindeer trouser socks + really old, super comfy textured tights under my cords = how I survive the Yankee Winter 

In Their Closets:
Back in my day as a Consignment Sale Queen, a dear friend of mine bought this jon jon on the chance she'd one day have a boy. She turned right around and handed it to me and told him she wanted Graves to use it first since he was well...already here (though tiny at the time). I've had it tucked away all this time and now he's finally wearing it. And we're keeping the polar bears safe for sweet John Stuart :)


In My Mailbox:
best time of the year!

In My Cart:
We're slashing the budget big time when we move home and so I made a list of a several things I'd like to get before I put myself on a three year spending freeze. One big thing on the list was new boots. I got a pair when they were marked down after Thanksgiving and I wore them for the first time today. They weren't super pricey but more than what I'm used to spending on shoes. I really like them and I feel like they're pretty low profile and not terribly trendy and will stand the test of time! 

Around the City:
We had so much fun around the city...

enjoying the decorations...

a little train show...

people watching at Grand Central...

seeing the tree at Rockefellar Center...

and several great church services...

On My Heart:
- Christmas was so beautiful and amazing here. I got all I wanted from it, really. We didn't exhaust ourselves trying to see or do everything, but we made forever memories. I'll always be grateful for the one Christmas season we had in the city.
- We are all four sick. Nothing terrible, but awful colds/sore throats/coughs. While I KNOW there are people here who would drop everything and love us well because that is the kind of communities we're apart of, that's very different from living fifteen minutes away from both our parents. It's also very different from being ten minutes away from our beloved pediatrician.
- There are so many ways I've watched God provide for us this year, but I probably have taken our health for granted, if I'm being honest. I'm so thankful none of us have been sick enough to even require a doctor's visit!

In My Prayers:
- I'm thanking the Lord for this beautiful season. So often Decembers wear me down and stress me out. I'm hoping we can incorporate a simpler Christmas into lives back home.
- I'm praying for a joyful new year and a Winter filled with peace (in our lives, in the city, around the world).
- I'm praying that once decisions are made, they were be peace in our hearts and we will trust the Lord with them.
- I'm praying God will show us the ways he wants to use us here for the next few months and in Mississippi for as long as He has us there.
On the Calendar: 

We actually sat down and plugged in activities for basically EVERY day Peyton has off from now through the end of February. We want to make the most of our time here and I'm glad we have a plan! 

What I'm Into

1 comment:

Leelee said...

It makes me kind of sad to hear that your kids didn't get into The Muppet Christmas Carol. It is an awesome movie. Maybe next year.