Thursday, October 8, 2015

Funnies from the littlest Littles - June-September 2015

I asked Xander if he wanted to take his water bottle to summer camp.
X: No, they have cups there we can use. They're kind of like plastic or something like that. Well, really they're made out of packing peanuts.
Me: (confused for a second and then busted out laughing) They're Styrofoam?
X: Are packing peanuts made out of Styrofoam?
Me: Yes.
X: Then, yes. They're made out of packing peanuts.

AJ to me: You just know everything!
Me: I don't know everything, just some things.
AJ: You just know a little of everything, but not too much.
Me: Yup.

My little man who insisted on buying flowers for me while he was out with his dad...
X: If those flowers get rotted out, just let me know. If they get rotten you can tell me. You just ask me because you know me.
(I'm pretty sure that was his way of saying he'll buy me flowers any day) ;)

AJ to me while I was driving: Why are you looking like that?
Me: Like what?
AJ: Like you're sleepy or something.
Me: Oh, because I'm squinting? That's because the sun is in my eyes.
AJ: Oh, well stay awake!

Me: You're a sweet boy.
X: You are too.
Me: I'm a sweet boy?
X: No! You're not a boy! You're a sweet mommy though.
Me: Thanks, buddy.
X: You're sweeter than some people in this world.

Me: Thanks for helping out when I wasn't feeling well.
X: You're welcome. I wanted to help. I want you to feel good about yourself.

Gettin' back in the swing of things...

Here it is October 8, 2015. I am 2 days into my 36th year. I'm officially 35 years old. Sometimes I wonder how I got here...but I'm excited to see what this next year holds.

Overall, life is good.  That made me think of overalls...which made me think of minions...which made me think of is so silly sometimes. :)

We have some pretty significant changes going on right now in our family - the biggest one is that we are changing churches. We LOVE our church, but don't feel that we can really do community with the people there since it is a 40 minute drive. Because it is so important to me that we have community near us, I prayed and talked to David and prayed some more and this is the decision we came to. I am very much at peace about it, but also very nervous and a bit sad to leave the friends and home that we've made there. As of this Sunday we will be doing some church hopping. I'm kind of excited about that!

Perhaps you remember this post from last spring? Well, Xander did get into the Mandarin Immersion program and is killing it! I am so impressed with that little boy! He is doing so well. He loves learning and coming home and teaching us. He gets very excited about all things Chinese and has even come home from school asking for some Chinese music videos and cartoons on Youtube. He is visual and auditory which seems to allow him to grasp the language (written and oral) very well.

Extracurricular activities have been insane! I finally had to cut back on some things, but it took us doing them to learn my limits. Xander has been doing karate since the beginning of August. Then he wanted to start soccer. I didn't figure two things would be too much for him, but then along came Scouts which David really wants him to be part of and BAM! WAY TOO MUCH!! Especially with the Mandarin program at school. We backed off a little and put a hold on karate until soccer season is over (at the end of this month). Luckily, soccer is only for two months and karate is easily stopped and started. Amidst all of that, I have been trying to start up a new girls' Bible study (which hasn't quite happened yet - keep your fingers crossed for next week!), Amelia Jayne does dance once a week, and the regular old school and work schedules. has been a bit busy in the Little household!

But now that I'm getting back in the swing of things I am hoping to post more about life, more pictures of my babies, and share more of my thoughts.

I have a notepad on my desk at work that has Psalm 103:2 on it - He fills my life with good things. The past few weeks He has been gracious and shown me the many good things that He has filled me up with. My family is at the top of that list. So thankful for my people.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Books I've Read - May-August 2015

I read this article and was excited to get some new book ideas for summer reading!
I also checked out some titles that are dear to some hearts close to (my) home - here are staff picks from my very own Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. BTW, I highly recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (I'm almost finished!). :)

Better Than Before
by Gretchen Rubin

Another homerun by Gretchen Rubin. I thoroughly enjoyed her information on habits and how to change them. She gives some great practical advice and shares her own anecdotes and stories. I was fascinated by the different personality types and how they react/respond to different stimuli. This was definitely worth the read. I've already recommended it to my mom and a few other friends. :)

The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg

Gretchen Rubin mentions this book in her latest book, Better Than Before (see above). I was intrigued, so I decided to pick it up at the library. It's long. It's very academic. But it's very informative. I'll admit that I didn't get through it due to the tedious content. So, there ya go.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen Covey
First, I attended a training on this book through the county's training department. It was an optional training that I'm really glad I signed up for. Many of my co-workers had taken it and recommended it. I was so inspired by the workshop that I decided to read the book, too. It was great. There are many wonderful principles detailed in the book and so many challenges. One of my favorite things I took away from it is to make my own personal mission statement - what I want my life to mean, reflect and exude. I've spent a lot of time reading the book, looking over the workbook and tools from the workshop, and talking about each habit. I know David's pretty tired of my discourse. ;)

Making Marriage Simple
by Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt
This was the definition of cheesy. I could barely get through parts of it. However, its common themes are some I've heard before in the 7 Habits and other marriage books I've read. There were some fairly good suggestions and ideas, but it was somewhat challenging to get through! Glad it was short!

A Long Way Gone
by Ishmael Beah
Heartbreaking. I just don't have words.
Biographies and memoirs fascinate me. I am enthralled when hearing about people's lives and experiences and then I weep when they're something like this. A truly remarkable and brave man is Ishmael Beah. Below are some words I agree with but didn't say first:

Everyone in the world should read this book. Not just because it contains an amazing story, or because it's our moral, bleeding-heart duty, or because it's clearly written. We should read it to learn about the world and about what it means to be human. - Washington Post

A breathtaking and unselfpitying account of how a gentle spirit survives a childhood from which all innocence has suddenly been sucked out. It's a truly riveting memoir. - Time

Beah is a gifted writer. . . Read his memoir and you will be haunted . . . It's a high price to pay, but it's worth it. -

Deeply moving, even uplifting…Beah's story, with its clear-eyed reporting and literate particularity--whether he's dancing to rap, eating a coconut or running toward the burning village where his family is trapped--demands to be read. - People (Critic's Choice, Four stars)

An Untamed State
by Roxanne Gay
Oh My Goodness. I couldn't put this book down. It was riveting. It was almost like a don't really want to watch but you can't help yourself. It was so terrifying and suspenseful. Great writing, tough subject. I was rooting for the main character the whole time, willing her to make it and come through on the other side. I do appreciate a story where someone has gone through trials and tribulations and pulls through. This one will definitely make you cry.

The Dancing Master
by Julie Klassen
This got me excited about period pieces, so be on the lookout for more from me in the near future. The book itself was kind of cheesy, but I really liked it! It ended up having a much better storyline than I originally thought it would. That time period makes me feel wistful and romantic, which is a nice change to everyday life. I'm glad I read it and I'm looking forward to reading some more of Klassen's books.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
Pretty weird and not at all what I was expecting. I mainly read this book because this is one of the authors that is coming to CML this fall for our Verse & Vino event. I was interested  in actually knowing one of the author's works (besides Gregory Maguire) so I picked up this title. I didn't finish it. It was terrible. I don't usually give harsh reviews, but I seriously felt like I was wasting my time. I read over half of it, so you can't say I didn't give it a chance. Yikes.

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
I honestly can't remember where I heard of this book first, but when my mom reminded me of it when she mentioned that she was thinking of reading it due to recommendations from a couple of her friends, I figured I'd go ahead and pick it up.
Wow. It was fantastic! Reminded me a bit of Gone Girl by Flynn and The Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith. I started this one and couldn't put it down (by that I mean it took me a week to read it since I still have children and a life, but a week's not bad, man!). I immediately recommended it to David who is now reading it. Excellent book.

Bridget Jones's Diary
by Helen Fielding
I told y'all I would read it. And I did...
That's about all I can say about that. Bleh. Not my fave, that's for sure.

by Max Lucado

I'm starting a new Book Club through a Christian book store close to my house. This is the first novel we're reading and our first meeting is next week. It was a good book - fairly basic, but always good reminders. I'm really looking forward to the book club.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Goodbye, summertime

I'm having a hard time believing that summer is almost over.
I'm so glad for so many reasons.
School starts in less than two weeks for my little first grader.
Bookbags have been purchased.
School supplies were ordered at the end of kindergarten.
Lunch boxes have been bought.
Clothes and shoes have been hunted for and acquired.
Summer homework is almost completed.
School open house is next week.

My soul is starting to breathe again.
I can almost smell the crispness in the air.
This blog post is still one of my most popular to date. I can totally see why.

Hot apple cider.

I'm completely looking forward to this next season.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


We believe that we are in relationship, not in isolation. We are born in relationship. We are wounded in relationship. We are healed in relationship. We cannot know or become who we are except in relationship. Essentially, we are our relationships. And the most powerful relationship for self-discovery and transformation is our primary love relationship.
from Making Marriage Simple by Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt

I think it's incredibly true - I have discovered more about myself and made the biggest changes and transformations to myself thanks to my relationship with David. Not all of them have been great, but overall I am incredibly thankful for David and his influence on my life.

Relationships are important. I truly believe that God calls us to be in relationship with Him and with one another.

Today, let us not forget to pour into our relationships with one another.
Laugh. Talk. Breathe. Call. Sing. Skip. Write. Sigh. Love.

And take a page from Sandra's book - always be your husband's first and best cheerleader.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My little Jedi


Xander is totally into everything Star Wars right now.
He has a couple of Star Wars Lego kits and plays a video game on the computer that's also Lego Star Wars. He loves Angry Birds Star Wars and really anything Star Wars at this point! It's tough to find age-appropriate things for him, but I'm doing my best. Any advice anyone has on this, please let me know!
I have been able to find some awesome books for him, though we haven't read them yet. I put them on hold at the library and hope to get them in the next couple of days so that he can find enjoyment through those for the rest of the summer. A couple, like the Jedi Academy (chapter book) and DK readers (easy readers) will probably keep him occupied for hours.

Image result for star wars books for elementary

Image result for star wars books for elementary

He's watched Episodes IV, V, VI, I and part of II. He wants to watch Episode III, but it's rated PG-13. I can't remember why it's rated PG-13, so I need to preview it again first. I suspect we'll be waiting a bit before we watch that one. And he desperately wants to see episode VII that comes out at Christmas, but I just don't think that's gonna happen either. We'll see. I have to admit that I love watching my boys geek out together over Star Wars, though. It's pretty much one of the most awesome things in my life right now. :)

May the force be with I mean you. But send some of it my way, 'kay?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Interesting articles and random websites

Sarah Bessey always says things in a way that touches my heart and blesses me immensely. This article fascinated me and reflects so many of my own thoughts.

This is obviously a hot topic since the Supreme Court ruling came out a couple of weeks ago legalizing gay marriage. This article and this one express my thoughts and love so much more clearly than I can.

I am so very proud of our babysitter, Erin. She is interning at a nonprofit called Promising Pages. She's pictured at the top of this article. We love Erin!

Fantastic! Read to your kids - all ages!! I fully expect to continue reading with my kids long after they can read well for themselves. Xander likes to do most of the reading now, but I still sneak a book or two in each night. :)

This is a great list - 100 acts of Kindness. My favorite is number 96. ;) And beware - if you do number 7 then it will probably get thrown out.

I turn 35 this year, so this 35 year old woman's advice on what she wishes she'd known in high school intrigued me. I agree. I want to save this list for my kids.

Y'all know what it's like to live with a threenager. And if you don't here's an article that will give you a peek into my life.

I haven't had a chance to download this app yet, but I can't wait! People are so funny when it comes to my kids - some folks think Xander is a spitting image of David (I happen to agree mostly - I think Xander looks like his Grandma with red hair) and others see the hair and think he looks like me. Others think AJ looks just like David (but if you look at my little girl pics you'll see AJ everywhere!) - I want to see what the experts think. ;)

I found this article very interesting! I love personality tests and I love reading so this was a great combo. I'm an ENFP, so my recommended book was Bridget Jones's Diary. Though I didn't care for the movie, I thought I might at least attempt the book. We'll see how far I get...

I read this article, and this one too, both having similar themes about over-parenting. There are so many things we do as parents that we think are helping, but are actually hindering our children. Let's "be instead of brag" and stop the helicopter parenting!

I am nowhere near being a professional blogger (nor do I want to be) but I heard about this ebook recently and thought it might be interesting to take a peek into.

My life lately....
"Sometimes sometimes sometimes it’s easy to lose us and our happy in the midst of this crazy life journey with twenty plus years of motherhood tucked in the middle. Tears. You’re not alone, sweet mother, if you’ve ever felt this way.  Listen, please, please, please. You are not the only mom who has ever stood in the kitchen with kids running around and dishes piled high and loud noises and tears have filled your eyes as you wondered what happened to happy.  It’s okay. For real. I know those moments hurt and can make you feel like you just want to throw your hands in the air and that sometimes you just want a break and sometimes just a hug or to be loved and told you matter. 
So listen.
It is okay. You are a good mom. Even in all those moments."