Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What I'm Into: October

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

Restless: Because You Were Made for More- Jennie Allen
I'm not sure. I've loved the group that I've done this with and it's been really unique and interesting in how it sort of helps you try to figure out your passion and your calling and all that. I actually used to really, really struggle with that kind of thing and I think if I had done this study a couple of years ago and "come up short" without any real clear direction it would have really gotten me down. These days, I'm just sort of more at peace with the mystery of it all and I just trust that God will get done what He needs to get done through me without me obsessing over it too much. I feel like I'm being too critical and there were some great take aways, but overall I think right now I probably just need to be reading Scripture rather than trying to life plan because right now I kind of do have it pinned down- my main calling is my family, I substitute teach some and volunteer some, I'm part of a church, and I'm a friend and a sister and a daughter and a wife and a mother and that's about enough. There's a lot more to each of those things, but those are the places where I am right now and I'm so, so over wondering if I was really "called" to them or not.

Telling God's Story: A Parent's Guide to Teaching the Bible- Peter Enns
I don't even think I picked this one back up this month and I meant to finish it. I just got distracted by other stuff (below).

Tender Hooks- Beth Ann Fennelly
I did start it and got maybe a third of the way through. It's very raw and some would find it vulgar even. I've enjoyed it and it's been different. Full report next month!

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms How We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead- Brene Brown
My friend Mallory and I LOVE Brene and she finally decided to actually read this and I had it on my shelf and had been meaning to as well, so I picked it up. I've read the first couple of chapters and it's really good!

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: 

We ordered several of these type books. They were used library books and we literally paid $.01 plus shipping for them - and they're in pretty great condition. Over the last year and a half or so, I've read so many of this type of informational book to AP, cover to cover, omitting nothing. I've learned a lot myself and I'd never say it's been entirely unenjoyable. But like so much of motherhood, and teaching, and life, it's been tedious work. Which is all the more reason why I'm SO proud of Annie for reading this book- eighty pages- cover to cover. Although, I don't think it was tedious at all for her. I think it was pure joy. She would decide each day the number of pages (or a specific section) she wanted to finish that day, and then she'd do it. Every day for weeks. She intentionally slowed down to savor it toward the end. Her love of knowledge inspires me! 

We also got Annie this hefty six hundred page treasure. She was really excited, but so far it hasn't gotten as much use as the sea creature and bird books (which are more age-appropriate, are slightly more engaging, and are much easier for her to tote around). 

One of my great pleasures of late is watching Annie rediscover the books she loved as a toddler and a preschooler and seeing her read them to to herself (and her brother) countless times.

Annie reads to Graves all the time in bed now and of his favorite bedtime stories, this little Maurice Sendak collection ranks high. 

We had been using a devotion I LOVED as part of "morning school", but it's honestly always been way over Graves's head and lately it got to be a bit much for AP. Obviously, I think she's very bright but she's also very concrete. It was abstract but also very focused on detail and it got confusing for her. I heard about this one year curriculum for first graders and, after reading some of the book that explains the whole program, I took the plunge. We're just on the first week but they both seem a lot more engaged. Annie said she loved this part of school today. We read about the parable of the lost coin the first week. We searched for numbered/lettered coins in sand to help us figure out the answer to this important question. And we listed to a little RfR (per Annie's suggestion). It's been really low pressure-- I get the whole week to talk about how much that coin meant to the woman and how that's just a small picture of how much they mean to God. That's all. That's all I want them to learn and I want it to be their favorite part of the day. "Say you had ten silver coins and one silver coin got lost. Your treasure, your wealth; in the cracks, in the filth...light the lamp, sweep the floors; then call up all your friends, Rejoice with me, I've for my silver coin again! // If God had a child who wandered far astray...He'd say, go get the lost one, he's who I came to see, he thought he was an orphan, but he's coming home to me...the angels are rejoicing, the sinner is my friend, Rejoice with me, my child is coming home again!" - Rain for Roots

On the Shelf:

I'm just going to try to finish up those three books that I'm still working on from October.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
The Power of One
Oh gosh, I loved this movie. It's set in South Africa during WWII and tells the story of a PK, a little English boy raised during Apartheid. He suffers a great deal of his childhood and is the victim of some really intense bullying and circumstantial hardship. He learns to box and play piano and he's also a very intelligent man and he uses all these talents and gifts to fight again Apartheid.

On the Small Screen:
I actually watched more television this month than I have in....years? Probably because I've felt so bad and have spend more time on the couch/in the bed than I have in...years.

Anytime I'm watching a lot of TV, this is probably going to be on the list.

FBI Files
We've been watching this on Netflix. Awhile back, Peyton and I both decided we missed Unsolved Mysteries (and even had a Netflix disc sent) but this seemed like a similar streaming option. It's not like my favorite show ever, but it scratches an itch.

The West Wing
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I go through little phases where I watch a couple of episodes now that, swear to myself I'll pick it back up because OMG AMAZING WRITING ACTING EVERYTHING ALL THE FEELS. But then I get distracted. Honestly, I just choose to spend most of my "screen time" on the computer and I don't watch a lot of TV. But. I started watching again and it's so amazing. I really am betting this time that I'll finish the season I'm on before Christmas and the series before the baby comes this Summer. Also, I'm nerding out in a major way and reading old commentary and comments here

In My Ears:
Dire Straights and Billy Joel, mostly. 
Two of Peyton's cds that I've been listening to the most are Sultans of Swing and a Best Of compilation of Billy Joel's.

Top two from Sultans:

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey- I mentioned it in a post recently, but a friend got me started listening to this podcast and it's so much fun! 

Around the House:

I finished the play kitchen curtains and we got them hung up!

And we finished up the kids' bathroom- love it bright and cheery!

Put out some browns and oranges on the side table for Fall! 

I love the little jack-o-lanterns on the mantle. I'm not as taken with the witch as I was six years ago when I bought her, but the kids adore her, so....

Halloween is important, but so is All Saints Day =)

Of course, the best decorations are outside where God does his seasonal handiwork. 

Something bright in all! 

In the Kitchen:

grilled cheese and tomato soup- possibly best comfort food there is

I've loved having the roasted peanuts around for a snack, too.

These are near the top of the "Things I Can Eat" list that I've started since I got pregnant.

Peyton made these amazing blueberry muffins for my Bible study and we had to wake AP up to ask her if we could borrow some of her "special honey" from her special bee adventure this Summer. 

He's not near as much of a creature of routine and ritual as his sister and I, but almost every afternoon these days Graves asks for "pecans, peanuts, raisins, and craisins for his snack. 

In My Closet:
The sole selfie from the month and I'm in a t-shirt. Pretty fitting, honestly. But I did get a fresh new cute that will hopefully grow out into a bob for Fall/Winter instead of a mullet which is what my previous haircut grew into. 

In Their Closets:

This is fitting, too. Last year/this year. [I had packed these pjs of Graves's up because he had lots of bigger ones from my nephew and I thought they'd be too small. But he remembered them from last year when I changed over their dresser for Fall and begged me to go dig them out.]

And this was for a Halloween thing at the library. The monkey costume we've had for four years that we could for like $5 on clerance at Old Navy and MY old Indian costume that's literally twenty five years old. 

In My Mailbox:
Nothing much of interest, really.

In My Cart:

I told myself I was going to try not to buy anything "extra" this month. But my makeup bag that I used for years tore up (and for some reason I can't remember it at all and I'm trying so hard and it was a month ago and stuff like this makes me nuts and my brain fog is real). Anyway, I was determined not to buy a new one and used this other old one that came with a diaper bag. The zipper popped and then I got out another one that I keep medicine in and rearranged things and put medicines and band-aids in something else. I didn't really like the fit and then last week something spilled in it. So I finally got this new one that I'm OBSESSED with.

We had these old Babies R Us gift cards (probably from when Graves was born) and so we took the kids to Toys R Us and picked out some fun games they can both play. All three for about $30 (the value on the gift cards almost exactly)! So that was a win. 

I also spent WAY too much time on this. We are so overdue for some new kitchen chair cushions. I found these on clearance for like $9 and $12 (most of what I've looked at has been about $30-$40). I knew they'd be big, but I wanted to try. I quickly eliminated the striped one; it literally hangs about three inches over. But I spent all afternoon one day last week trying to convince myself I could handle the one inch overhang on the floral one- that it'd be pushed up or someone would be sitting on it. I LOVE the pattern and it's such a steal. But I was conflicted because I'm really trying to buy only what I love and know I will enjoy and not what's "good enough". At the same time, I don't want to be a slave to perfect, especially when I can't justify spending $150 on ones I don't even like as much. So I spent more hours with Minnie who shot them down and a few more analyzing with my decorating savy BFF who I should probably start paying a commission. I slept on it and I decided they were going back. Now I'm wanting to keep them again. Uggggh.

Around the Town (and At Home):

We finished up campaigning for our friend Haydn in our neighborhood (see the almost mullet pre-haircut).

I talk a lot on here about Annie's reading because it's been amazing to watch one of my great joys become one of her great joys. But I don't want anyone to think it's all sunshine. And honestly, in two years when I'm doing this again with Graves, I want to look at Timehop and remind myself it wasn't. So... math has been horrible lately. So many tears. Such stubbornness. I love the program we use and how it's very hands on, uses few worksheets, and has a focus on understanding rather than rote; but it's time intensive and doesn't come as easily for her as some other things. So we're indulging in the Perks of Homeschooling and doing things like doing math in our cheetah jams in the peddle car. Which is hopelessly inefficient when dealing with the abacus, but more efficient than the alternative.

 Annie had several soccer games!

I was gone to a meeting one morning and the sweet papa/science teacher took our small students on one of many nature hikes, complete with binoculars and colored pencils for sketching.

We visited Tishomingo State Park and had such a wonderful time! 

Halloween- Wicked Witch rides again! 

On the Blog:
31 Days of Ordinary Wonder- pretty much that was the month in a nutshell on the blog and all the posts are right there!
I know It's a Long Ways Off, But...Well, and this fun little announcement

On My Heart:
- The next couple of weeks are really, really busy and it's hard for me to not get overwhelmed. I'm just taking deep breaths, taking it a day at a time, and reminding myself that a lot of things I consider "essential" really aren't.
- I've had some really hard, dark days lately and I think a lot of that has been because it's been rainy, we've been sick, and we haven't gotten to see our friends and family the way we normally do. I didn't realize how much those things sustain me.
- This baby is taking ALOT from me. I'm so, so grateful for this new life but it's been really hard and more often than not, I just feel exhausted and sick. Feeling that way makes my emotions even more intense and unpredictable. I'm hoping that not only will we get through this busy season shorty, but that by the end of November I will have turned a corner and will be in an easier phase with this pregnancy.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying honestly that I will turn a corner with this sickness and also that the kids (and Peyton and I) will finally be rid of this stomach bug that we've been passing back and forth on and off for WEEKS.
- I'm praying a lot for patience. These are not my best mothering days.
- I'm praying more and more for our little family. For Peyton's faith, and for wisdom and peace about a lot of things- the size of our family, if we're going to stay in Mississippi long term, and those sorts of things.
- I'm praying for my parents because they are going through a lot of transitions right now with my grandmother and my dad's business. Transitions are so, so hard for me so I empathize with all that's going on right now.
On the Calendar: 

Gosh, this month looks rough. We just have a lot going on. Peyton's working extra, I'm subbing a few times, Mistletoe is THIS WEEK, and there's a few other things. 

What I'm Into

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

I think you are wise to realize where you are right now is enough. Sometimes we overanalyze what we should be doing and planning, when instead God might just want us doing the simple thing right in front of us. (Says me, the ultra-planner. ha) But I’m trying to learn from my mistakes. :)

Brent Brown and Brennan Manning—two of my favorite authors.

I haven’t heard of The Power of One, but it sounds like a movie I would enjoy too.

Love your haircut. I’ve been working towards a bob for a year now; finally getting close.

Praying for your sicknesses to go away. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from Leigh’s.