Thursday, September 25, 2014

Banned Books week

In the library world, it's banned books week.
What is that, you say? It's basically celebrating our freedom to read whatever we want!

Out of the top 10 banned books of 2013 I've read over half. Honestly, I think I'd enjoy reading a couple more of them, although I have to say that I cannot bring myself to read 50 Shades of Gray. If you want my opinion on that one, message me privately.

*Captain Underpants - Silly and stupid, but so appealing to kids. Especially boys. And this is a good way to get your reluctant reader to read. Sometimes the fact that a kid is reading is more important than what they're reading. We can work on content later, right?
*13 Reasons Why - This book fascinated me. The interactions of people, the way we can positively and negatively effect people,
*And Tango Makes Three - I worked in the children's department of one of our libraries when this book came out and a parent complained about it. We DID NOT pull it from the shelf.
*The Kite Runner - y'all remember how I feel about this book?
*Looking for Alaska - oh how I love John Green. This was a great book.
*Scary Stories 3 - I loved all of these books when I was a kid. See below.

I've been pretty surprised in the past that there are so many banned books...and that I've read a ton of them! Here are a few that I love or have loved in the past...

I LOVED The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney when I was in junior high. I know I read it at least 4 times.

Another junior high fave? Forever by Judy Blume. I got that one taken away by my stepmom, but I managed to sneak it back and take it home. Where I proceeded to learn about Ralph and all kinds of mysterious things twelve year olds don't know anything about...

I get that the witchcraft thing in Harry Potter might be offensive to some, but to ban it? I live in a different world than those people, man. I love me some Harry Potter.

I can remember being so scared of Scary Stories to tell in the dark by Alvin Schwartz, but I kept going back to it over and over. I even got my own copy at some point in my middle school years.

To Kill A Mockingbird will always be a favorite of mine.

Gone With the Wind
A Wrinkle in Time
Flowers for Algernon
Bridge to Terabithia
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Of Mice and Men
A Separate Peace

So many of these I remember, loved and helped form me into who I am today!
Thank goodness we have the freedom to read what we want!
Happy Banned Books Week, everyone!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

For your Wednesday

10 year anniversary - mine and David's is coming up in only 2 short months! This article is true, true, true. If I could write as eloquently, I would have said the same things. ;)
Speaking of marriage, I found this article with several suggestions of blogs for married couples to read. I haven't read many of them, but plan to peruse them over the next few months.

This is a great resource for at-home dates. I do and have done every single thing she listed. At-homes have been some of my favorite dates and we can certainly do them more often that not-at-home dates.
Rachael's blog is pretty awesome, y'all. Check it out, if you haven't yet. (Did I mention that her husband is our worship leader?) (AND did I mention that they have 6 kids together…4 of them under 5?? Their house…I can't even imagine.)

Do you know Donald Miller? He wrote Blue Like Jazz which is definitely on my list of favorite books. Anyway, he has a blog that I find fascinating.

This is a great site to look over if you're planning to take meals to a friend in need - whether it be a new baby, a rough day, or an illness that's making it difficult for them to prepare their own meal, any of these would be nice to receive!

And speaking of gifts - check out a couple of great sites here and here and here for homemade goodies - nice for friends, teachers, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, or whomever!
(Do people still say whomever? It felt appropriate…)

Oh my goodness gracious. I wish I was a better hostess. If I could pull it off, I would totally do this!! I just love pretty things…and cutesy, girly things, too!! If AJ had a spring birthday, this would be fantastic. I may just do it when she gets a bit older - have a tea party for her girlfriends (with Mimi's expert hostessing skills to help me out, of course) not for a birthday, but just for fun.
That reminds me of when I was in high school. My friends and I used to have themed birthday parties. I'm sure there were tons, but the ones I remember were: my 16th birthday was an '80's party, complete with blue eyeshadow, crazy big hairstyles, and Michael Jackson; Isabel's 17th birthday was a tea party complete with fancy China, tea cakes, and us with dresses, hats and gloves; Mati's 20th birthday was a coffee house - fancy coffee choices, us in berets wearing all black, and poems & quotes hung up all around the room. If I can find pics of these things, I will post them on here. What fun we had!!

This is a great blog to peruse if you're looking for healthier options of meals for your family.

I am not that crafty, but if you are or if you want to be, be sure to go to this website. There are so many options on craftiness, I don't even know where to begin!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Soccer and a life lesson

Xander started soccer last week. I got information about games this week, so I sent an email to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...ya know - everyone we know who might possibly want to come see my kid play soccer.

This is part of the email I sent out:
"He is LOVING practice!!! We just need to work on kicking the ball in the right direction, not stealing from teammates and not cowering when the ball comes his way.
Can't wait for the game. :)"

I was basically being snarky, because I can just imagine what this first game is going to be like. However, my mom immediately replied saying, "What a great life lesson, right? We could all learn from this - kick the ball in the right direction, don't steal the ball from the kids on your own team, and don't shy away when the ball comes at you."

I pondered this for days after she said it. My mom. She's so insightful and awesome. :)

And she's right.

How often do I go in the completely wrong direction? I get so caught up in "playing" that I don't always think to look where I'm going. Looking to the future and having a goal (pun possibly intended) will help me plan the here and now more accurately and intentionally.

Or what about when I want to be recognized or have my turn with "the ball?" Why not just take over and take control of something that isn't even meant for me? Just bully my way in to get it done. Sometimes it's so much easier to do it myself than to work with teammates, but we all have teammates we must learn to work with, whether it be family, co-workers, church family or neighbors. We have to be considerate of them. And who knows? They may just be better suited for that job than we are at the moment.

And finally, let's be brave. The ball is gonna come at you sometimes. Don't shy away - stand up and give it a header if you have to. :)

Man, who knew I could learn so much from soccer. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

For your Thursday

I LOVE fall! Here are some great ideas for things to do this fall. I know we'll be doing lots of them at our house!

If you've ever listened to Andy Stanley before, you'll appreciate this video. I seriously laughed out loud. :)

Mecklenburg County is doing a challenge with their employees right now called "Live Healthy." My department has decided to take part in this - and they've named me the Captain! Ha! The goals are to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, eat your veggies and fruits, keep stress low, drink 64 oz of water and do at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. I'm doing okay on most of them - just need to up my sleep and get more consistent exercise. They send out great articles and tips weekly. Here's the one from this week - a great resource for how to store your produce.

I'm back to drinking lemon water every morning again. There are so many benefits...and I can totally feel them!

This blog is so inspiring. I haven't delved as deeply as I plan to, but what I've read so far is great.

Oh my goodness. My aunt Karen told me about this amazing blog, Brain Pickings. My words will fail me if I even try to explain this site to you. Just go check it out. There is so much information there that I think my brain might explode!

As someone who reads to kids for my job, I heartily agree with this article. I can totally see the differences in the kids I read to + my own kids when I made these changes. It's much harder to point out the text to a large group of kids, but if you're one-on-one or in a small group, or the text is very large with few words to the page, this is the way to go.

I made this for my mom and sister for Mother's Day (which I am well aware was over 4 months ago, but I never shared the idea - and I think it's worth it!). It turned out so cute! My sister had been wanting a succulent garden and this just seemed right up her alley. I decided my mom would probably love one, too. Here's another option if you liked the other.

I still love those silly quizzes...and this one is no exception. Plus, I liked the outcome - that's so me! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Circles, not rows

Ridge church has a saying, "We do life better in circles, not rows." What they mean by that is that, sure you can come to service on a Sunday morning and sit in a row and learn about Jesus, but if you really want to live life with people and see Jesus lived out through other people's lives then it's better to be in a connection group.
David and I went to Grouplink Sunday night which is where you meet people who will potentially be in your group. We had a very promising experience. I'm excited to start up next week.
I've made some really great friends through small group. I am so excited that some of my closest friends are in this small group, too.
I have so many prayers going into this group. I pray for God to grow authentic relationships where He is glorified and we gain better and more significant understanding of who He is. I pray that my kids will see that their dad and I make getting together with other couples a priority - and that we do it together as a couple. I pray that our lives, as well as others in the group, are changed for the better. I hope we can all share our burdens, our excitement, our struggles and our joys with one another.
This is gonna be a great year!

Bonus: Erin, the kids' favorite babysitter (who lives just down the road!), will be watching the kids each week while we attend group. I'm so thankful for her!! God has provided so many wonderful things through this girl!

Monday, September 15, 2014


I have really come to love Mondays.
They're almost my favorite day now (besides Saturdays when Daddy's home and we can be together as a family).
Amelia Jayne and I spend Mondays together. I signed her up for dance lessons (a simple Mommy & Me dance, nothing too stressful) that meet on Mondays, so we went to the Y this morning. After dance my dear friend, Crystal, brought her kids to child watch and I left AJ there with them while Crystal and I walked and talked. We got about 2.5 miles in while we were talking - two things I really enjoy: visiting with friends and getting something done (in this case exercise). And it was SO beautiful outside that we used the outdoor track. Fall is almost here, my friends. :)
AJ and I watched Sophia the First while we ate lunch. I had leftovers from my date with David last night, she had string cheese and an apple. I'm thinking I should go on her diet! Ha!
She's so funny because she never lets me get away with reading a book or looking at my phone when we have alone time together. She'll look at me and say, "You wanna watch with me?" Which is her sweet way of telling me to put aside my distractions and really spend time with her. I can never pass up that requested time.
She's down for a nap right now - which she basically did on her own. That kid amazes me. She wanted to lay in her bed while I read her a story and then she got under her covers, told me it was time for me to go, and now she's fast asleep (and has been for almost 2 hours).
I'm relishing these couple of hours to myself while I wait on Xander's bus to get here. Time to myself (when I'm not working) is scarce these days.
And I've learned that time to myself helps me to enjoy those special people in my life so much more. I'm rejuvenated and energized by a little alone time. Who is this person? I used to think I could NEVER have too many people around. Ha! Now I know better. :)
And now it's time to go get my oldest baby from the bus…
Happy Monday, y'all!


My friend, Tasha, had a brilliant idea. She takes 5 minutes here and there and just writes. No looking over, editing, mulling over, changing, adding pics or links. I'm going to start doing that on occasion, I think. Seems like such an easy thing. And who doesn't have 5 minutes here or there? Sometimes they're hard to come by, but usually I can find 5 minutes. So be looking for these types of posts to pop up here or there...