Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July Review of Goals

This month has been filled with swimming lessons, a CC Practicum, and John still working a lot.  Thankfully, his turnaround is over, so he's been home more lately.  I haven't gotten as much done this month as I would have liked, but I'm not too disappointed.

Personal Goals:
  • Read through my book list.  I read three books on my "to read" list plus several others.
  • Continue walking on the treadmill three times a week for twenty minutes.  Fail.  I haven't even thought twice about it, but I do plan to start back in August.
  • Look for a job.  I'm still stalled.
  • Go through every room in the house, one a month, to clean out unwanted and unneeded items.  I'm sick of the clutter!  I worked on the library one week and got rid of a bunch of books; then I tackled our filing cabinet.  Oh, the stuff I found in there!  But I got it (mostly) done.
  • Write one letter or note a month.  Fail.

Goals as a Mother:
  • Do something (like a playdate) with someone (and her children) once a month, whether it's having someone over for lunch, going to someone else's house, or heading out for a field trip together.  I had lunch with a new friend, but my children didn't come.  Does that count?
  • Continue having one fun day in school a month.  I didn't even think about it.
  • Continue taking my children on one field trip a month.  No field trip, either.
  • Do a service project with my children every month.  Fail.
  • Teach my children to do more around the house, like mopping and folding clothes.  What a great way to build their self-esteem.  I made an effort this month to wash only one load of clothes that needed to be folded each day.  (E.g.  John's work clothes don't need to be folded since they get hung up.)  I concentrated on working with my older three children on folding clothes with the goal that soon they will be able to fold an entire load without me. 

    Goals as a Wife:
    • Continue monthly date nights for John and me.  John was too busy this month.
    • Do something weekly to make John feel special.  (I got this goal from Tracey at Girls to Grow.)  I did a couple of things.
    Goals as a Family:
    • Continue having another family over for supper once a month.  Again, we were too busy with John's work schedule.  
    • Start having Game Night once a month.  Nope.
    • Continue our family devotional time.  Nope.
    How are you doing with your goals for the year?

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    July Reading

    She can't read yet, but isn't she cute pretending?

    July was a good month for my reading, as you can see.  I have enjoyed being off from school, having more time to get chores done, and therefore having more time to read.  I even got three books crossed off from my "to read" list*, although I actually only read two of them.  I was inspired by Tracie reading eight of hers in one month!  Here's what I read:
    • A Natural History of Dragons:  A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan.  This book crosses Jane Austen with Anne McCaffrey, Elizabethan England with dragons.  Since I enjoy Austen and I appreciate a good fantasy, I loved this book!
    • One Thousand Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp*.  I had heard (mostly) good things about this book and looked forward to reading it...but I just couldn't.  I forced myself to read the first two chapters, but when I found myself skipping paragraphs hoping to find her point, I gave up.  The flowery, poetic language was distracting from her points which were good, and I gave up for the same reason I don't read her blog.
    • From Forgiven to Forgiving:  Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way by Jay Adams*.  This book should be read by all Christians since so few understand really what forgiveness is.  It has nothing to do with apologizing or even forgetting another's sins.  Instead, forgiveness is a promise that one will not bring up the other's sin to the one forgiven, himself, God, or others.
    • My Brother, My Sister, and I by Yoko Kawashima Watkins*.  I read So Far from the Bamboo Grove a couple of years ago, and this book continues the true story of the author's family once they made it from Korea to Japan after the end of World War II.  These three parentless children (their mother had died, and they didn't know what had happened to their father) made their way in war-torn Japan with almost nothing.  This book is hard to read because of how hard their life was, but it is worthwhile.
    • Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering.  A fun mystery set in 1930's Britain, you can read my review here.
    • Angels Flight (The Trials of Kit Shannon #2) by James Scott Bell and Tracie Peterson.  I read the first one in this series and liked it well enough to read the second.  In this one, Kit takes the case of a Mexican accused of murder in 1904 Los Angeles and has to prove his innocence despite the cards, including racial prejudice, being stacked against him.
    What have you read lately?

    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Thankful Thursday

    We've had another good week this week except for John working so much.  Hopefully, that will be over very soon!  Here are a few things from this week for which I want to thank God:

    • clothes that fit (and even ones that are too small :)  )
    • swimming lessons...
    • that are almost over!
    • a babysitter who can come on a weekday.
    • lunch with a new friend...
    • without children...
    • which means adult conversation!
    • ice cream in the freezer.
    • an understanding husband.
    Praise God from Whom all blessings flow -- even the ones that are unlooked for and unasked for.

    For what are you thankful this week?

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Book Review: Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

    In this third Drew Farthering book, an old flame approaches the protagonist when she is accused of murder.  Of course, Drew's fiancĂ© does not like this turn of events but is determined to help Drew solve the mystery of who killed the stage owner/leading man...and to get it done before their wedding!

    I enjoyed this book with its setting in Britain in the early 1930's.  Drew's and Madeleine's relationship is sweet and appropriate, and the other characters are believable and interesting.  The first two books in this series were also interesting reads.  I recommend this series if you're looking for light-hearted, good, clean fun.

    I want to thank Bethany House for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Book Review: Get to Know King David by Nancy I. Sanders

    Get to Know King David by Nancy I. Sanders tells the story of David beginning with his anointing as king and continuing through God's promise to send the Messiah through his line.   Some of the stories are shortened and edited for younger readers, like David's adultery with Bathsheba, but David's love for God is clearly portrayed.  The book includes many interesting facts about ancient Israel as well as pictures of what it looks like now.  And Sanders adds some of David's own words from the Psalms as she relates each story so we can know really what David thought.

    My children enjoyed this book.  Of course, their favorite chapter was the one where David killed Goliath, but what child doesn't like that story?  My only criticism was that it was hard to read sometimes because it was geared toward younger readers -- short, choppy sentences.  But I liked the way David's story was told, and I'm sure I'll read it again to my children.  I especially appreciated how God's salvation plan through Jesus Christ is tied back to David; I think that was my favorite chapter!  :)

    I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Finished Object Friday: A Blue Knitted Baby Blanket

    I feel like lately I've just been making baby blankets for girls, so I really wanted to do something blue.  I found this pattern in this book, and it turned out to be easier and quicker than I expected.  Wasn't that nice?!

    I made this blanket small (like I usually do) so that it can be used in a bassinet or car seat because I enjoyed that size, and I hope that others do, too.  Since I don't have any plans for this blanket (none of my friends are pregnant with a boy), I will probably just donate it to our local pregnancy center.  I had fun knitting it, and that was enough.

    Have you worked on anything "crafty" lately?  Please share!

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Thankful Thursday: Swimming Lessons and More

    I wish had some pictures of my children swimming, enjoying their lessons, but I forget.  We started our second round of lessons this week, and they are doing great!  Mary is the only one not taking lessons, but she didn't need another Water Tots class.  She loves the pool and cries when I don't put her bathing suit on.  Here are a few more things for which I'm thankful this week:
    • The end is in sight for John's turnaround.  We're not sure exactly when it will be over, but it's coming.  Finally!
    • IHOP's 56th birthday celebration on Tuesday.  Short stacks were only $0.56 so the five of us (John couldn't make it) ate for $3.03 not including tip.
    • The mosquitoes didn't arrive until last week.  They're bad enough to keep us holed up in the house, but they were late this year.  Last year, they got bad at the beginning of June.
    • Air conditioning.  Need I say more?
    • New legos (that my children bought with their own money) that keep them busy for hours.
    • Of course, for God's mercy which He lavishly bestows upon me.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
    For what are you thankful this week?