Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Open Book: February '19

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon was handed to me by a friend who was surprised that I had never read the series and I'm so glad she did. Mitford is a village in the western mountains of North Carolina and Father Tim is our tour guide as he cares for his parishioners, interacts with towns people and deals with challenges such as a larger than life dog and an outgoing new neighbor.  Karon's writing is lovely without being cheesy and while the pacing is a bit slow it is never dull. I very much enjoyed matters of faith discussed, but believe they are done respectfully enough that even a non-believer would enjoy this book.

Who does He Say You Are? by Colleen Mitchell looks at Scripture and what 12 women's interaction with Jesus can teach us about who we are and what virtues God may be calling us to grow and strengthen.  The stories were familiar, yet Mitchell highlighted aspects I had not previously noticed.
Not all chapters spoke to me, but likely that speaks to the diversity among all of us and our individual temperament.  The study questions at the end of each chapter makes this a good bible study option.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.

Friday, February 1, 2019

What is saving my life currently; Winter '19

Happy February! After a week of single digit weather I'm happily linking-up with the 
Modern Mrs Darcy and sharing some of what is keeping the winter blues at bay for me.

  • Reading always and forever amen! Reading blogs and feeling connected, reading deep books and feeling informed and strengthen, reading light books and finding a quiet corner amidst the chaos to feed my spirit. 

  • Coloring with my girls or journaling in my gratitude journal. 
  • Seeking out a good series to binge watch a couple episodes with Dr Daddy in the evenings once the kiddos are tucked.  Currently Madam Secretary!
  • Lighting a candle or two in the evening.
  • Weekly visit to a local coffee shop and making a cup of tea as we start homework.
What is saving your life this winter?

Friday, January 25, 2019

7 Quick Takes #274: A Decade in the Making

  1. Writing this very grateful for my warm house as we have been having crazy cold weather recently, while also acknowledging some of you have my area beat all-hollow so hoping wherever you are reading this ~ you are warm too!
  2. After watching most of both National Championships games last week including overtime I'm a bit grateful for a football-free weekend. I am of course thrilled that the Patriots are Super Bowl bound and will of course be watching; but happy for a bit of downtime before the Championship.
  3. The other excitement of last Sunday was the Great Wolf Moon turn Blood Moon turn Lunar Eclipse. Adding to the excitement was given the holiday on Monday we could let Lisbeth stay up for the eclipse. In reality it was so cold that starting at 11:30 we would go outside watch for a couple of minutes, come inside & color for a few minutes, repeat till about midnight. Still an amazing sight and a fun one to share with family.
  4. Catholic School Week begins on Sunday and the kids are excited for all the fun activities planned by the school including various contests and a fun dinner-out at a local restaurant, and I'm looking forward to helping again with the Book Fair.
  5. It is also Pine Box Derby time and Liam (a Wolf Cub) is hard at work with Dr Daddy in the design and creation of his car.  He made one last year but this is his first year entering a car in the derby which is adding to the excitement and fun.
  6. This week marks 10 years since I started this blog which is a little beyond belief for me; but as the 9 month old I spent my days with then is talking about what she wants to do to celebrate her 11th birthday I am well aware that time has indeed been passing!!
  7. The support, encouragement and fellowship I have received from you readers and fellow bloggers over these past 10 years (and 997 posts) has been amazing and I thank you all very much for coming along on this blogging journey with me.

Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Quick Lit: January '19

Linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy and sharing what I've been reading.  I enjoy reading seasonally whenever possible and so these are my  'winter' reads.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is a beautifully written book about a couple's early years homesteading in Alaska; which attempts to merge realistic fiction with the fairy tale genre to a lovely, if haunting result.  The characters are well developed and the descriptions of Alaska wonderful.  The ambiguous ending definitely added to the mystery for me.

The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick is the second in her Eleanor of the Aquitaine trilogy.  While it is never fun to watch a marriage fall about; Chadwick does a good job taking us into the events of Queen Eleanor and King Henry's lives (Beckett!!) and makes very plausible explanations of how it all went so very wrong between them.  The character development and conversation are wonderful.  Will be hunting down the final book to add to my TBR list.

Snowdrift by Georgette Heyer is a wonderful collection of short stories many of which originally published in magazines. These Regency stories were light and lovely but for me too short to allow Heyer to get in all the wonderful comedy of manners which make her writing such fun.  Potentially great fun for Heyer devotees but if she is a new author for you please start with one of her novels; The Grand Sophy or A Civil Contract perhaps.

Friday, January 11, 2019

7 Quick Takes #273: Caitlin at 6

  1. Happy New Year! Earlier this week Caitlin marked her personal new year and turned 6. We celebrated as a family with a strawberry cheesecake and presents. This weekend she will celebrate with friends at Build.a.Bear (she said for her birthday she either wanted to go on a Disney cruise or go to B.A.B. ~ we went with the Bear).
  2. Caitlin at 6 is reluctantly letting go of toddler things like her tricycle and trying out a bicycle.  She has also asked that we start to take the Winnie-the-Pooh elements out of her room to be replaced by a unicorn sleep tent and pink flower fan.  However Skye and her light-up seahorse are still essential at bedtime.
  3. Favorite shows include Fancy Nancy, Vampirina, Marsha & the Bear, and when watching with Liam, Loud House. Max and Ruby, Elena of Avalor, and Sophia the First still make the cut. 
  4. She is enjoying school; doing well in all her subjects. Building her reading skills with sight words and learning phonetics.  When being read to the Princess in Black, and Ladybug Girl continue to be favorites.
  5. Favorite foods include lasagna, Shepherd's Pie, and pizza. Mostly she like cookies and milk. 
  6. She is really enjoying her gymnastics class (except for the balance beam) and looking forward to swimming again next summer.  Favorites toys include Calico Critters and Kinetic Sand.

Please head to Kelly's for more 7QT's.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Quick Book Post as the Year Closes

     In 2018 I challenged myself to read 30 books and in the end read 42.  For this coming year I think I'm going to go with 35 as a goal as I have a couple long reads planned.  In addition to again taking the Modern Mrs Darcy reading challenge I'm also going to join the Catholic Lit challenge hosted by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas.  Allowing for some overlap I should hopefully be able to strike a good balance between reading for fun and stretching my reading muscles.

    Some favorites from the past year were The War that saved My Life and its sequel, Sprig Muslin, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  I also revisited a couple of favorites and found them as wonderful as I remembered.

What were some of your favorite reads of the year?

Summary for 2018

Books Read: 42
Fiction: 29  // Non-Fiction: 13
Kindle Books: 13  // Paper Books: 29  // Rereads: 8

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Recap in 12 photos

Linking up again with Bobbi of Revolution of Love and recapping 2018 photo-style.

When looking at pictures a monthly recap just didn't seem to fit; rather lets say this year; 

We celebrate big birthdays ~ Lisbeth's 10th

Started to lose baby teeth!

Joined a pool!

Went to Mount Vernon

and the Richmond Zoo.

We went to the beach; even when it was cold and grey.

And the seawall when the sun finally did shine!

We started Kindergarten joining our 5th and 2nd grade sibs.

We went apple picking!

We raked leaves into giant piles to jump in!

We trimmed the tree, hung the stocking and made ready.

We learned, laughed, got older and a bit wiser.