Thursday, April 2, 2015

What I'm Into: March

{We've already packed up the little frame and easel, so no kitchen quote this month. Instead, a cute graphic?}

On the Nightstand:

One Writer's Beginnings- Eudora Welty
Perfect close out to a fabulous book. All serious daring starts from within! 

You guys! I shared this yesterday, but this month I actually started and finished a book!

I also said this yesterday's post, but the way Eudora Welty describes her mother and her childhood ("I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of day, was there to read in, or to be read to...she sank as a hedonist into novels. She read Dickens in the spirit in which she would have eloped with him.") is exactly what I want for my small people. Also, the way she describes Mississippi makes my heart swell and long for it. So this was absolutely the perfect time to read it since we're moving back in a month! 

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
I don't think I'll ever stop reading it. I recently ordered the actual book, The Ragamuffin Gospel. It's at Minnie's house waiting for us :) 

Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kalas
This was by far my favorite thing from this month of study:

I love this sentence and I keep returning to it. How often does my despair embolden me before the throne? Rarely. Mostly it just leads to...more despair. I want my sense of desperation and fear to manifest in boldness in my cries to the Lord.

Whose Bible Is It?: A Short History of the Scriptures- Jaroslav Pelikan
Peyton and I both decided to take a break from this and tackle it this Summer after we move home. We both have a couple of books from the Brooklyn public library we want to finish and I added one other thing to the top of my pile.

A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature- Roger Sutton
I'm still loving this one. Definitely going to finish it this month since it's from the library.

The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)- Ethan Richardson, Sean Norris
Pretty much every time I pick this one up, I'm encouraged. It feels good to bookend my day with with Brennan on one end and this gem on the other.

On Their Nightstand: 
Apparently World Poetry Day was this month, but I didn't know about it. However, one cold, snowy day we stayed in and I literally read about a hundred pages of poetry to the children (Peyton was home and helping me with other things and we're trying to really maximize the time we have left with the Brooklyn library). There are very few things I feel like I excel in in this gig (I feel like there are plenty things I do well and plenty more I do adequately) but one thing I really am proud of is the priority I make reading aloud. 

We got this book, The Arrival, from the library and it's the coolest thing. There are no words and it's told from the point of view of an immigrant. One really ingenious technique is that the "new country" has a lot of fantasy elements, so it helps you empathize with the character who finds himself in a strange land. It was understandably a bit over the kids' heads, but Peyton and I were fascinated by it. 

Peyton picked this up at the library, hoping to possibly replace the dino book we've exhausted for awhile. I was getting a little tired of it and Peyton said learning about animals that currently exist might provide more "useful" knowledge. They have loved it! It's super detailed and could really make a great reference book but (because I have a compulsive child) we're reading it cover to cover. 

These are the books knocked out by three fourths of our family this month. As I said, I read One Writer's Beginnings. I read aloud Where the Sidewalk Ends in its entirety (both of the children got the biggest kick out of it) and Annie read all those little readers at the top of the stack.

my little readers (We're starting to box things up to move and I got out this too small snow suit from last year. Graves immediately wanted to wear it. He loves to dress up in weird, random things. Also, he looks like such a baby to me here!)

On the Shelf:

I got picked for the launch team and so I got an advance copy of this new book. I love books, I love Jen Hatmaker, and I love dwelling deep in Grace. So excited!

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Whew. This was not easy to watch. Basically it's the story of a man who was killed by his ex girlfriend, who subsequently gave birth to his son. The man's best friend begins a process of making a movie for the little boy about his father (the film is that movie) and his grandparents move to the ex girlfriend's city in Canada to fight for custody of the little boy (due to some really awful legal proceedings she isn't in prison the entire time she's awaiting extradition to the US where she was charged with murder). The movie takes an (even more) tragic turn towards the end.

The kids saw this for the first time this month. You know the story- Merida defies tradition and refuses to be married off and turns her mom into a bear and then saves her momma, the kingdom, and her own dignity. Both of the children really like it and Peyton of course declared it his favorite Disney movie (he really pushes back against the traditional princess thing). I thought it was funny and captivating and really well done.

God's Not Dead
We watched it because some of Peyton's friends were discussing it on Facebook so he just decided to stream it on Netflix. I didn't think the storyline was horrible, but it was pretty cliche and corny. And I did think there were a lot of stereotypes at play- the Muslim dad readjusting his daughter's veil and then beating the Hell out of her when he found out she was a Christian and the atheist professor who was just such an over the top jackass he was unbelievable. Not one of the atheists I know acts remotely like that. Plus, it did wind up seeming like maybe the whole thing was just an elaborate Newsboys ad.

On the Small Screen:

Little House on the Prairie 

We watched the episode where they think their pet raccoon, Jasper- who bit Laura- had rabies. So dramatic! It made me think of the years I spent anguishing over if we'd have to shoot our house pets and burn our stuffed animals (a la Old Yeller and Velveteen Rabbit, respectively). Sometimes it still hurts when I remember how deeply I felt things. I loved it, but Annie and Graves weren't too into it. I think it will be fun to try again when we read the books. 

This is mine and Peyton's new favorite show. It's been awhile since we've found one we've both gotten super into. I rarely find sitcoms funny, but I love stand up like on The Late Show and I love sketch comedy like SNL (though it's gone downhill in recent years, in my opinion). Anyway, I think that's why I really enjoy shows like Parks and Rec that seem less plot driven and honestly more like sketch comedy. 

In My Ears:
I've been listening to my January playlist (though admittedly not as much as I would have liked to) because it's the perfect preparation for Easter. I also found a handful of other songs I've fallen in love with this recently:

Hast Thou Heard Him, Seen Him, Known Him?- Indelible Grace
Carrie mentioned this song in an email (she knows I love Indelible Grace). She said it was her new favorite song and sure enough, it's one of mine! I joked with her that our theological conversations were probably just going to end up with us quoting Indelible Grace lyrics to each other. I wouldn't hate it. 

Far Kingdom- The Gray Havens
A friend linked to this on Facebook and my goodness, I can't describe how much I love this easy, mellow tune that brings to mind a place much better than here. I have to say, I'm thankful even hipsters have a place in the Kingdom. 

Neighbour- Catcher and the Rye
This song is so catchy. It's no secret I love a folksy tune and this fits the bill. I also love the lyrics:
"Come in close, there's a story to be told Although there isn't much to say So just hold my hand, this I pray you'll understand For it's clear this is the only way   And if you're the morning, then I'm the night If you're the catcher, then I'm the rye With you my darling, there's no need for asking why For asking why   Bird by bird, I keep count of every word Softly spoken like a flickering breeze And oh, you know the trumpet sounds Even when you're not around For it remembers you belong with me   And if you're the morning, then I'm the night If you're the catcher, then I'm the rye With you my darling, there's no need for asking why For asking why   The northern wind may whistle as we sleep And all the coloured leaves may fall Oh, but as for me, I welcome all that still may come   So here we are, parting ways in your front yard Where you told me that you'd never leave And though I hoped you'd stay, there will come another day When we'll kiss underneath the sycamore tree   And if you're the morning, then I'm the night If you're the catcher, then I'm the rye With you my darling, there's no need for asking why For asking why And if you're the morning, then I'm the night If you're the catcher, then I'm the rye With you my darling, there's no need for asking why For asking why"

Around the House:
A crap ton of boxes and a huge mess, that's what. The moving process has begun. 

In the Kitchen:
I've made a couple of soups, baked chicken a few times, and roasted vegetables. Other than that we've been subsisting on fresh produce and junk food interchangeably. Or more specifically, the kids are eating fresh fruit and veggie a ton and Peyton and I (mainly myself) have the worst diet since we moved up here. I don't know, I think I've been overwhelmed a little with things and can't really find any motivation. Because cooking is something I struggle with anyway, it seems like it's always the first thing to go during a stressful time.

I was so stressed out and being kind of nutso one night and Peyton made me sugar cookies from scratch. He left a surprise for the kids this morning. He's a good fella.

In My Closet:
Nothing worth sharing. This post has taken a turn for the lame. 

In Their Closets:
We did bust out some Spring clothes for church a few weeks back since it hit the 40s and was so "warm". 

In My Mailbox:
An eviction notice. Sort of scary, except not. I'm really thankful for the Lord's provision in that we're moving out at the end of the month anyway. Back when we signed the least last January, we had no idea that we were not "board approved" and thus were renting illegally in the co-op (or land lady isn't the worst, but she wasn't entirely honest with us). It apparently came to the attention of the management and they're ready for us to leave. Perfect time. Peace out at the end of April! 

In My Cart:

Summer shoes for my chickadee...

Graves had a pair of sandals just like this last Summer and they were so great (and still fit him!), so when I saw them on Zulily I ordered her a pair. Um....they are a little brighter than I was expecting and a little more glittery (I like bright, but not necessarily neon). But she LOVES them, they are really good sturdy Summer shoes, and they were cheap- so I guess I should count it as a win.

Around the City:

This is how March started and honestly, it wasn't really a rare sight last month. 

We did make a (rather frigid) trip to Prospect Park. Beautiful even in the cold! 

The kids love the Museum of Natural History and this temporary natural disaster exhibit is their favorite. Here they are watching Sandy roll into the city on a digitized table map. 

Annie and Peyton are still enjoying tutoring and helping out in the South Bronx! 

We found a new playground last week. It's in Central Park and it's themed after "the ancients" as it's right by the Egyptian wing of The Met. I think it's one of the coolest we've found yet. 

BY FAR the highlight of the month, though, was a visit from our much loved sister and brother/aunt and uncle. These people are the best! And Cousin John's brunch was icing on the cake. 

We've also just enjoyed some good family time inside- playing with happies I've had hidden away, doing science experiments, and baking cookies. 

On the Blog:
I looked back and I hardly wrote anything substantive. However what I did write...was important:
The Episcopal Church and Laying Down Some Baggage- This was a hard, hard post to write. It was really important to me to explain the place I'm in and how I got there. I really needed to own it. I cannot issue disclaimers and caveats anymore for a place to dear to my heart. 

On My Heart:
- I cannot wrap my mind around it being our last month here. We're really on countdown mode. Some days I really struggle and some days there's an overwhelming sense of peace. This really needs its own blog post.
- I've been experiencing some overwhelm about the coming weeks, and truthfully, months. We have this BIG move looming and then when we get back, we're really going to try to purge and do a couple of house projects/have them done. It's just a lot at once. Then we're looking at getting used to a whole new lifestyle, one that I know, at least initially, won't be very comfortable. And there's other changes in store, too, I think (or hope). Again, alot. but I have to keep reminding myself that, for the first time in fifteen months, I'll be back in my comfort zone. Back with my support systems in place, back with a vehicle and a normal grocery situation, back in my old house. There's a lot of comfort in remembering those things.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for those close to me who have a hard time seeing and trusting God.
- I'm still praying for direction on several things back at home.
- I'm praying more for Annie and Graves and specific struggles they have. I'm also thanking the Lord for specific things I know He's gifted them with.
On the Calendar: 

Wow, our last month here! We've got Mockingbird on the docket as well as spending the last two weeks here just enjoying the city. Our stuff is being put in the cubes on the 15th and after that Peyton will be done with work and we'll have two full weeks to make the most of it! 

What I'm Into

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

I love the quotes from Brennan Manning (he's one of my favorites) and Eudora Welty. Good luck on your move back to Mississippi. I was born there (Pontotoc) but have always lived in Alabama. Still have many relatives there.

Books everywhere. Yes! That's how I like it too. :)

Petyon's cookie creations remind me of my husband's pancake creations. Talented men--I could never do it. ha. Visiting from Leigh Kramer's link-up.