Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What I'm Into: August

On the Nightstand:
I did pretty good this month, actually.

Immersion Bible Study: Mathew- J. Ellsworth Kalas
Finished this up and towards the end it wasn't my favorite (and usually I'm a fan of Kalas). Nothing I disagreed with, just stuff that I sort of already knew or didn't seem truly insightful.

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World Full of Impossible Standards- Jen Hatmaker
I finished this last month, but I wanted to link to my full review. I really enjoyed the book. It's hysterical but also full of Truth.

Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston
I had never read this book but when I read a bit about it on the Hollywood Housewife and saw it was this month's selection for Read Great Books, I decided to get it from the library. It's a story about truth and finding oneself and discovery and figuring out what ultimately matters. And also about gender, and race, and society. And also about nature and beauty and love. The imagery is amazing, the dialect is (HARD at first) but also amazing, and the story is amazing. It was the first fiction I've read in a good while and I fell so in love with it. I also had the best time being part of the online discussion. It was really fun!

Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints)- Will McDavid, Ethan Richardson, David Zahl
I've only read the very first little bit, but it's great so far. Review next month! 

And my old staples:
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)- Ethan Richardson, Sean Norris
Despite having a great month, reading wise, I didn't pick up these as much as I'd like. 

On Their Nightstand: 

Simon and Schuster: Children's Guide to Birds- Jinny Johnson
We finally finished this bird book. It's about a hundred pages, relatively detailed, but very age appropriate for an early elementary student. We read every single page and when she was feeling generous AP let me get away with not telling her all the scientific names. She did mention before we returned it to the library that we forgot to read the forward. She can read a lot of it by herself and she spent good stretches of time paging through it on her own. Her absolute favorite game to play is for us all to pick a bird to read about and then to pretend to be that bird (for example, she will get "nectar" from my floral curtains when she's a hummingbird, she will "steal" costume jewelry when she's a magpie, and she makes sure Graves helps care for the babies when they are penguins). It's been such an adventure and I've learned a LOT myself!

[Annie was SO excited to realize that "Early" is an American Robin.]

We've just flipped through them so far, but I'm Real excited about The Home Adventure Library volumes (and the presidents!) that I bought years ago for about 25 cents a piece.

Not exactly reading but, this little ten dollar activity book has provided Annie with HOURS of naptime fun. She finished the last one the other day and I had a new one ready for her! (And yes, she has a box of paper crafts in her closet and keeps her favorites on her windowsill). 

On the Shelf:
Restless: Because You Were Made for More- Jennie Allen
I"m doing this study with a group that a friend is leading at a church in the area and I'm really excited about it. I actually just read the intro on Monday.

Telling God's Story: A Parent's Guide to Teaching the Bible- Peter Enns
I read about this somewhere and thought it sounded amazing. There's actually curriculum for years and years, but I just wanted an overview. Planning to start it soon.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Oh my gosh. This was a beautiful film. So raw and poignant. It felt so real and true to the story and deeply personal. The movie chronicles the events surrounding the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march lead by Dr. King. It was difficult to watch in a lot of places but it was amazingly well done.

Hot Mad Ballroom
This precious documentary is about this fascinating program in New York City public schools. They teach students to ballroom dance. I loved the footage and the commentary from teachers, dancers, and students.

On the Small Screen:
We got the last season on DVD and we've only watched like two episodes but I haven't loved it as much as previous sessions. Am I alone in this? Will it get better? I'm sort of sad about it.

The West Wing
Well, it's been awhile. I watched a few episodes this month and I always forget how much I adore the characters. I don't know why I don't watch it more when I love it so much. I guess because Peyton's already watched it, it's hard for me to carve out time to watch something just by myself rather than watch something together when I do want to watch TV. 

In My Ears:
Peyton found this old school country radio station and we've been EATING IT UP. 100.9 The Legend, we love you. In case you don't know what I mean by "legends":

Around the House:

The Deep South and the Big Apple: my heart stretched thin over twelve hundred miles. Makes sense to have a little tribute to both in the heart of the home.

A little more progress...Peyton went and dug the fifty volume Harvard Classics from out of my parents' storage unit. We wanted them there in case something happened to our house. They belonged to a great grandmother in a time when higher education for women was not the norm. So very special.

And with that final touch, the most used room in our home is DONE! 

Minnie chalk painted her own old baby doll cradle for AP and painted this frame for their bathroom yellow. And Mickey printed out and put together a binder of some plans I found for a project I've been dreaming about since Brooklyn! 

We finally got curtains hung in the kids' room. We used these (shower) curtains from Anthro that they had in their nursery. The tiny embroidery around the bottom of each ruffle is actually primary colors but it looks pastel (or invisible) because it's so small. I sort of love them but I also don't really (in this space; I'll forever love them generally). I feel like they're a little much and maybe too babyish. Also: I hate the way these windows are at a right angle. I left them for a bit, but then tried something different...

Giving the Ikea curtains a try. The others just seemed to overpower the room. Annie said she loved the ruffles because they seemed more like a princess, but honestly they've prevented her bird watching (because of how Peyton hung up the rods you can't slide them back and forth and they looked dumb over to one side) and we can't have that. We'll see how these grow on us. 

I'm going to miss my little pigeon hole desk so much but I have big plans for the sunroom that won't accommodate it. And LOOK! I made myself limit my extra (there's tons in the big desk too) stationary and such to just that Tiffany box in the top of my closet (in the interest of full disclosure, some of it was gifted to our tiny writer).

Speaking of, I can't wait to string up my hymn calendar in the sunroom but...that room still needs a lot of love. This month's was one of my absolute favorites and I couldn't stand the thought of not enjoying it all month.

In the Kitchen:

Rachel Ray's fish tacos with Summer salsa were as easy (and healthy!) as they were amazing! I left the spice rub off the kids and they devoured them, too. 

Mickey's chicken salad- he sent me a whole bunch of it. So glad he figured out how much he loves the kitchen!

and WATERMELON while it's still good! 

In My Closet:
Annie said in the sweetest little voice "Momma, I like your polka dots". It's one of my favorite things when she compliments something I'm wearing but it makes me feel like she's so grown up :(

My go to Summer shoes (for three out of four of us)? Chucks and Saltwaters 

In Their Closets:
My consignment goals have changed a lot in six years. This time I've tried to spend a fraction of what I used to and as they get older I'm trying to think about what THEY care about. This monster shirt was a little more than I wanted to pay for a used t-shirt, but Graves told me "this is so awesome" and he's already named them each and told me what kind they are (l to r: cave monster, google monster, alien monster, water monster). Also, he put it on before I had a chance to wash it and I just didn't fight it- I guess I've changed in a lot of ways!

In My Mailbox:
Voluntary Simplicity has been actually amazing, but there are some things I refuse to sacrifice. Like surrounding myself with good words and sending good words onwards toward others. The Little Things Studio never disappoints!

In My Cart:

I also got Graves these (if you haven't noticed the dress code at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs consists mostly of jammies). There was a point in my life where I'd buy ahead even cute pjs if I found them. Well, I got these several years ago in a 5T for Graves. Annie found them when I was sorting stuff after we moved home and was obsessed. Of course, I told her she could wear them this Winter and Graves was disappointed he didn't have any. I grabbed these 4T ones at sale recently and he's been wearing them on repeat despite the fact that according to Peyton, with our new AC unit, "82 is the new 80". Nobody be surprised if there's a picture in matching dino jams on our Christmas card.

This wasn't my purchase so much as it was Peyton's, but I think it's so much fun so I had to share! Peyton got a trailer for his bike to go to the Y and the grocery store and close places. I guess it's sort of like a second vehicle. Annie kept saying it reminded her of a Coney Island ride! 

So excited! I've been wanting one for years but I couldn't justify the price. So when I saw the Blue Sky collaboration I snatched one up!

Around the Town (and At Home):

After I uploaded these, I realized that the vast majority of the month was spent on me learning to drive standard. BUT, I'm really getting it and I'm going places by myself somewhat on the regular now! 

Not our first ten pm junk food run, but it was our first ten pm junk food run driving standard without another adult in the car. Whoo hoo! (And I only had to recrank the car at two lights and I only drove about a mile with the parking brake up.) Also: granny glasses, First Presbyterian Day School football tee, and no makeup FTW.

Obviously, with our new, more simple, lifestyle we try to do less of this, but after doing some intensive Lakeland Drive driving by myself, I decided a "treat yo' self" moment, a la Tom and Donna, was in order. (And yes, I realize a meatball sub is an unconventional treat for a thirty year old suburban mom of two.) It's actually the fist time I've "dined in" at a fast food type place in awhile and it was sort of surreal to realize I didn't need a code off my receipt to unlock the bathroom (which is how folks in the city keep the homeless population from using their bathrooms as temporary hotel rooms). I hope I always remember things like that. I think I will; it's such a part of me. Incidentally, I'm glad I took a pause, regrouped, and had a glorious no kids in the background phone visit with a friend. Because right after this I accidentally wound up at a light on a really steep hill. I tuned on my flashers and it took me about six green lights worth of tries but no one even honked, several people smile-waved, and I DID IT!

My fun goal on my goals list this month was getting a sno cone. After a practice drive to Clinton the other daay, we decided it was the perfect day!

We did it! We got up super early (for us) and were all ready for church and out the door by 7:15. We dropped Peyton off and made it to church an hour early for Sunday school. Breakfast in the car and then some fun on the church playground (I told Peyton it's not like they're wearing Feltman anymore- my, I have changed a LOT!) and then Sunday school, church, and a longish ride home. A very low key afternoon, early suppers and bedtime routines, and back to get P by eight. I handled the morning driving like a boss and came in just under the wire with my goal to be back in Clinton by dark. I stalled on a hill at a pretty busy intersection, though. Thankfully it's right next to Walgreens because, despite the precious folks behind me who actually backed up a bit (maybe they were some sweet MC students- bless their hearts) I was crying and shaking by the time I got there and Annie wanted to know why I was scared (apparently, I said I was and didn't even know it). Graves was asleep but woke up promptly when Peyton suggested Newks. We devised a plan for avoiding that light and I'm going to practice hills a bunch this week. I'm tired and grumpy but also proud and thankful. I told Peyton our backwards life is so funny to me because all I can think is "Is it Monday yet?!?".

Curry cranberry chicken salad Mick made for me when I mentioned I was stressed out and this vodka cocktail Peyton made with Minnie's Crystal Lite iced tea (he probably thought it would help HIS stress level to get a drink in me). I am not a fan of most adult beverages, but this was so smooth and tasty. Friday night at my parents' house = perfection. 

Camp out in the den- what a way to end a day!

Peyton's new schedule has given him a lot more time at home and several people have asked what he's doing with his free time-- he ordered one of those adult coloring books, but in the meantime he's just joined the kids =)

I found these cards I used to love about eighteen years ago. We checked to make sure they're all appropriate and the kids have been enjoying drawing one apiece each morning as part of school. 

On the Blog:
I wrote this about my thoughts and emotions regarding Peyton's issues with his faith. It was hard, but so good to write.

I wrote this after saying goodbye to my sweet old Buick for the last time. Bittersweet in every way. 

I am determined to own this driving standard thing. Like I said, it was kinda a theme this month. 

On My Heart:
- I felt like this month FLEW. Faster, I think, than any other month since we've been home. Maybe that says something. Like about how I'm adjusting. I'm not sure.
- I do feel like I'm catching on to driving a standard but it's been REALLY hard. I'm a terrible driver as it is and it's sort of terrifying. So basically, I'm pretty proud of myself.
- I notice more and more of myself in Annie it seems like everyday. I wonder if this will continue on every day until she's an adult or if at some point it'll level out and I'll cease to be surprised by just how VERY much like me she is.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for our whole little family and that we will all experience God powerfully.
- I'm still praying that we find a faith community that feels right, but I'm sort of constantly re-evaluating what that looks like. And more and more I'm realizing I may just end up having different needs met at different places. Certainly, we want a "home base" to worship on Sundays, but I'm attending a mom's group at a different church one weekday morning and I'm listening to sermons online. And always, I'm listening to brothers and sisters who love me speak Truth to me. I think the church is bigger than what I envisioned and maybe that's part of what I'm supposed to learn from this search (which is often really frustrating).
- Peyton's schedule did change and it's been great but it's been tough, too (mainly on me- everyone else is doing great with it, I think). I'm praying that we'll continue to adjust and that we'll find a good groove.
On the Calendar: 

We're easing into Fall- finishing up our first "term" of school, starting soccer and blastball, and we'll hopefully start to have some cooler days soon and maybe we can camp some! 

What I'm Into

No comments: