Saturday, October 3, 2015

What I'm Into: September

On the Nightstand:
A pretty good reading month, relatively.

Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints)- Will McDavid, Ethan Richardson, David Zahl
Finished this treasure. Such a good concise pocketbook of truth. A few favorite passages:
The Gospel as an open hand...

...and as objective comfort

And finally this. Some days more than others, I'm fall in my face thankful that I have a handful of friends who don't correct secular movies, who come off as a little insane, and who often look to others because they are "constantly fumbling for truth, beauty, and goodness, which she (or he) knows herself to possess in *very* limited quantity".

Restless: Because You Were Made for More- Jennie Allen
We've done the first several chapters and it's been sort of a different format than most Bible studies I've done. You read a couple of big passages of Scripture (plus verses interspersed throughout) each week, there are stories and anecdotes, and then a good chunk of your study time is spent really probing into your life- you past, you dreams, you pain, ect. It's been unique and interesting.

Telling God's Story: A Parent's Guide to Teaching the Bible- Peter Enns
I've read about a third of it and I'm really enjoying it. I'm sure I'll have more to share next month. 

As always:
Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
The Mockingbird Devotional: Good News for Today (and Every Day)- Ethan Richardson, Sean Norris

On Their Nightstand: 

Children's Guide to Endangered Animals by Roger Few -it's not the bird book, but she loves the part where it tells what the threats to each species are. 

And this big haul of animal books from the library. My favorite, I think, has been Wild Tracks: A Guide to Nature's Footprints by Jim Arnosky. It's a pretty detailed book about animal tracks and the kids and I both enjoyed reading it over several nights. One unique thing about the book is that it has fold out pages and the tracks are shown in their actual size. 

On the Shelf:
Tender Hooks- Beth Ann Fennelly
I grabbed this off the shelf to start. It's a short book and it's poetry. I've been meaning to read it for years. I thought now would be a good time for several reasons. I'm focusing on Ordinary Wonder this month and this book stuck out to me as something related to that.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
We didn't watch a single movie this month- or I didn't.

On the Small Screen:
We finished the final season and Peyton and I were both SO unimpressed. It sort of made me sad because it really did become one of my favorite shows. It just ended up feeling stale. I Googled a bit because I was curious if others felt the same way and found this article. I think it's over analyzing a bit, but most of it rang true. Overall, it just lost its edge.

Law and Order: SVU
Always a fave. We watched a handful of episodes this month and one really fun thing is than we spotted an actor friend from our old church in NYC in one of them. How cool is that?

In My Ears:
Not a whole lot, actually. I meant to make a playlist this month, but it didn't happen. I have been listening to (and loving) the Sorta Awesome Podcast.

Around the House:
We finally finished AP's side of their room. I think it reflects her well, too- little whimsical prints with quotes that make me feel extra introspective and inspired, lots of storage space for dress up clothes and stuffed animals, magnetic strips for her art, and a non overt animal motif.

And the master bedroom transformation is almost done! Peyton still needs to fix a dresser that busted in the move, we need to hang a curtain I made for the play kitchen (which Annie has transformed into another home for toy animals/dinosaurs, just like her nightstand), and we have one more thing to hang in their bathroom. I'm really happy with it and they do so well with their shared space.

Quote quilt in the laundry room finished and hung. About two and a half years of monthly quotes. I love the idea of a commonplace book for quotes, but I think I like the idea of a commonplace wall even better.

Each season, their stashes get smaller and smaller. I changed over their closet for Fall and I did both of their sides and all their shoes. It only took about an hour and they were in there playing/bugging me. I remember the days when it took ALOT longer (Peyton, sweetly, asked last night if I didn't want to wait for a day he was home and could keep them out of the way). Sometimes I do miss those days, but it's less and less often and the reality is that this is MORE than enough.

In the Kitchen:

I shared this in a recent post and on IG but, the key to a good bowl of tuna salad is about 3/4 of a whole kosher dill pickle. The key to a good kosher dill is that it needs to be one of the Claussen ones from the refrigerated section. I've been obsessed with these pickles since I discovered them which was probably circa 1996. I recently started making myself turkey sandwiches with good bread, cheese, Duke's mayo, and these pickles sliced really thin after Peyton made an excellent one for me. Well, then I remembered having tuna salad at a friend's house and how she had dill pickles in it. I usually don't like pickles in my tuna salad (actually, I usually just like tuna, mayo, and a little salt) but I think that's because people typically use sweet pickles and I HATE sweet pickles about as much as I love dill pickles. Well, I tried dicing up the Claussens and y'all-- whole new level of tuna.

In My Closet:

Now that these children basically have two stay at home parents during the week, I had an interview today for something very part time. Peyton had to help me dig through my closet to find ONE thing "professional" enough. This was as close as we got. Right after we got married, I was interviewing for teaching jobs and I wore a bright coral dress and he's never let me forget it. (The dress was tailored, conservative, and classic...but it was the color of a flamingo.) Also, Peyton finally hung my mirror. Behind the door because I'm out of space and Voluntary Simplicity means prioritizing what can be seen (and not on the door because then there's not enough space to actually see yourself).

Teaching something besides first grade and wearing something besides gym shorts. Also, clear retainer in my nose because: professional.

In Their Closets:
These were Bud's first little pair of gingham shorts. He wore them a bit towards the end of the Summer he was two (rolled once at the waist)- he had one other pair and otherwise wore jon jons. He wore them again last Summer when his closet was about half and half. And they were a staple again this Summer, in a closet mostly full of separates. Shockingly, they don't look crazy short and we may get another Summer in them. But we may not. So, when I found them during the changeover, I insisted he wear them one last time. The weirdest things make me sentimental. (Also: I love that they look cute with Saltwaters, Crocs, "mountain climbing shoes" (knock of Keens), Converse, New Balances, and now these three sizes too big light up Star Wars shoes we discovered in the attic).

In My Mailbox:

$.01 used books for the the win! Annie has been devouring Sea Creatures and Graves is loving Insects and Spiders. We hid Birds for a surprise present for later. Annie acted really silly when we told her they didn't have to be returned to the library and were theirs to keep. I love how grateful they are for little things.

In My Cart:

I found this fabric for the curtain for the play kitchen. I was so excited and my tiny crazy bird lady could not be happier. 

Around the Town (and At Home):
Peyton and I have been making a habit of going to Fondren First Thursday each month and it's been a lot of fun. Annie told me "y'all go on too many dates". Girlfriend, this ain't Brookyn, you have grandparents who adore you, and to be honest, I know very few six year olds who get as many hours a day with both their parents as you do. Plus, we are able to love you (and each other!) better when we get a few hours away from you once in awhile.

I've mentioned this quite a few times, but Peyton threw an amazing surprise birthday for me (four months late)

We went camping at my parents' one night and it was so beautiful and so much fun- perfect time of year for it!

We had a meeting with the attendance officer and now Annie is first grade official! 

Graves had his first blastball practice (he maybe mostly wandered aimlessly and laid in the grass and ate a little bit of it)...

...and this one started soccer and is possibly a little too focused.

And our whole family had fun campaigning with our buddy Haydn, who is running for Chancery Court Judge, in Laurelwood last week. We even brought Green Snap (the mantis) along in the wagon.

On the Blog:
Sabbath Grace- I view a lot of things differently after our time in Brooklyn and one of those is Sundays. BUT, I still struggle.
Coach- A recent conversation with my dad got me thinking about how he parented and how I want to parent.
Ordinary Graces: Summer is For- A lot of tiny things really meant the world to me this Summer so I wrote about them.

On My Heart:
- For some reason, I get super stressed out this time of year. I think I remember a friend noticing last year and saying "um, this happens every year". I'm not sure why it is exactly. We don't do anything super big for the holidays and not that much in our daily lives change. Maybe it's just a sense of unease as my spirit prepares for Winter (which is decidedly not my favorite season, but should be much more manageable this year than the last two that were spent in the Northeast).
- I'm really excited about writing for 31 days again this month, but also (per usual) a little stressed about the commitment. Really more so than usual, though, because I'm not caught up on my blog like I wanted to be. Fortunately, I think I chose something very manageable.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for a couple of friends and family members who are making decisions for their families right now.
- I get closer and closer to a decision regarding church, but I'm trying to remain prayerful over it because I'm not one hundred percent there.
- I'm praying that we continue to flourish here as a family. Peyton and I both have really hard moments of missing New York from time to time and I'm not sure that will ever go away. There is so much I miss, but I know this is where we're supposed to bloom right now.
On the Calendar: 

We're planning some camping, I'm hoping to make a huge dent in cleaning out the attic, and we're going to enjoy a bit more chilly weather! 

What I'm Into

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