Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Funnies from the littlest Littles - November-December 2015

AJ: Do dragons have to have wings??
Me: I don't really know. You know dragons aren't real, right?
AJ: Yeah, they don't live here anymore.
Me: Well, they're not like dinosaurs. They never lived here. They're made-up or fictional.
AJ: Yeah, God took them away to live on Mars or something.

AJ: Mommy, you have a lot of boo boos.
Me: I do?
AJ: Yeah, or maybe you have a lot of nipples.
Me: Nipples?!
AJ: Yes, here and here and here.
Me: Oh! Those are freckles! Not nipples.

AJ: Do you have any straight candy canes?
Me: I don't have any candy canes.
AJ: But do you have straight ones?
Me: No, I don't have any, not even the ones with the crook on the end.
AJ: What's a crook on the end?
Me: You know when it looks like a J?
AJ: BUT DO YOU HAVE ANY CANDY CANES?
Me: Sweetie, the only thing I have are peppermints in the bowl downstairs.
AJ: But do you have any candy canes that are red and white?
Me: No.

AJ (about an "I spy" book): I guess this book isn't very fun because I can't find these things.

Xander was always extremely articulate, from the day he was born. He definitely says some funny things, but he's very precise with his words. Amelia Jayne almost has her own language at times. She says words and it doesn't matter if we correct her or not, she still uses her own words. She struggles with the hard "th" sound and it often comes out sounding like an "s" or "f" or the soft "th" sound that can sound like "d."  For instance: I want to go to da store wif you. Or, movie fe-ater. Or, twelve, firteen, fourteen...
She also mixes her words up a lot (see the freckle/nipple discussion above if you need an example). Plus, the girl asks a gazillion questions and pretty much talks constantly, especially if her brother isn't around to take up much-desired talking time.

Here's an example of a conversation I had with Amelia Jayne recently -
AJ: Da friends at my table can play aside me uhcause we can share uhcause we are all at a table. We play wif lots of different fings, like play dough and trucks and dese blocks dat stick togedder.
Me: Like legos?
AJ: No, dey have black fings dat make dem stick togedder.
Me: Oh! Magnets?
AJ: Yes! Dey're magnets uhcause dey stick togedder.

I know it won't last forever, but until then, I'll soak up each and every little mispronunciation she has. She's so precious!


And a Bonus funny from last week:

I was sick last Thursday when Mimi was supposed to come watch the kids, so she ended up not coming since I was home. I met Xander at the bus stop and he immediately started crying, upset that Mimi wasn't there. He was definitely distraught, but I couldn't help but laugh when he said,
"This is the worst thing. That's ever happened. On a Tuesday!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Books I've Read - September-December 2015

The Small Backs of Children
by Lydia Yuknavitch

Oh, weird. This was too weird. It was beyond artsy and way over my head. I almost didn't finish it. I kind of wish I hadn't. I didn't leave this story feeling better and it was hardly thought-provoking or uplifting. So bizarre. I just...wow. Definitely the strangest book I've ever read.








Weird
by Craig Groeschel


Well, this book was weird, too, but in a completely different way and I pretty much expected that with the title. :) This was a totally different type of weird. This was one I could relate to. I love being weird and I love following Jesus who was weird, too. I loved this book - definitely would recommend it. As with many Christian books, there were some hokey parts and a couple of chapters that felt really "church-y," but overall a book with great information and thought-provoking pages.





The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
This was a recommendation from Munro Richardson. This was a genuine, yet simple story. It has stayed with me. I listened to this on audiobook read by Jeremy Irons (you know, Scar from The Lion King) which was probably the way to go. Mr. Irons has a fantastic voice and it fit so perfectly with this story. I recommend this book, not because it's brilliant or new, but because it is us. It is relatable and simple and sweet.





Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
I expected a little more from this book. Perhaps my expectations were set too high when I started, but I felt that it took me awhile to really get into this book. If I hadn't been listening to it on audio I may have put it down before finishing. It was intriguing in some ways as you reflect on your own relationships with people and how we affect each other. I will say that it made me think. Overall, just okay.




The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Technically a children's novel, but it intrigued me, so I checked it out. I'm so glad I read it! Such an interesting story, unique and unusual. I really enjoyed the story itself and it was told in a masterful, Neil Gaiman kind of way. One of the reasons I love children's books is because of the simplicity the story holds, but the complexity that it can bring up. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by Neil Gaiman. He didn't disappoint in The Ocean at the End of the Lane and he certainly did not disappoint here. Read it!




The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
by Marie Kondo
At first, I listened, intrigued and ready to clean my life up, literally. I wanted to be tidier, more organized and just downright cleaner. But when Marie started talking about feeling each objects' power and strength I just had to put the book down. I can't personify each object to make them that integral to my life. So, although she says anyone who's ever hired her hasn't gone back on their commitment, I just can't do it. They say creatives are messier...sooooo, is that it?? Ha!





The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
I really enjoyed this book! It is sci-fi (cue the aliens), teenager-y at times (it is a YA novel), but totally kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. I already checked out the next book in the series, The Infinite Sea. Hopefully it won't disappoint. I originally picked this book up because they're making it into a movie. Glad I did! And look for the movie to come out later this month!







In the Unlikely Event
by Judy Blume
Okay, so, I don't know about you, but I grew up with Judy Blume. I LOVED her writing. I snatched up everything I could find written by her - Freckle Juice, Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, Double Fudge, Blubber, It's Not the End of the World, Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret., Then Again Maybe I Won't, Just as Long as We're Together, Forever. My all-time favorite book in middle school was Just as Long as We're Together which I must have read four or five times. (I still have that old beat up copy on my bookshelf.)
Her works got me through elementary and middle school. I have to admit that I never read any of the adult books - Summer Sisters, Wifey, etc. (Except for Forever, but what young girl can resist the steamy teenager-y love of a young couples' first love? I have a whole other story about that book - ha!) Anyway, I've heard good things about her adult novels, and though I'd never read any of them, was highly excited and curious about this new book - In the Unlikely Event. People from work had spoken about how great it is and how intriguing the storyline was. Anyway, there'd been a lot of hype in my world over this book.
Then I began to read it. I had high hopes and kept thinking surely it would get better. It wasn't until I was talking to my supervisor about it that I almost felt like I had permission to stop reading it. I put it down about 3/4 of the way through, y'all. I just couldn't do it. It was soooo boring. I was soooo disappointed. I had forgotten my own rule - if a book hasn't grabbed my attention by page 50 or so, stop reading and move on. I just kept thinking it would pick up, but Meryle told me it never does so I gave myself permission to let it go. Sigh. Perhaps I should just go back and read Just as Long as We're Together.

The Infinite Sea

by Rick Yancey
















For the Love
by Jen Hatmaker
I cannot say enough about how much I love this book. I love Jen Hatmaker and her honesty and how relatable and real she is. If you are a woman in your 30s and 40s I think you will be able to relate to her. And laugh. A lot. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, but we must live with those people. Jen shares her heart about people, how to show them grace, how to be real and how to live out the gospel. I will definitely be reading this one again!






Soul Keeping
by John Ortberg
This might have been a bit ambitious after reading For the Love. John is a bit heady and waaaay less funny. But it was a good book with valuable information about taking care of our souls.







At Home
by Bill Bryson
While this was intriguing and interesting, it was incredibly boring at times. The history is fascinating, but as history often is, it is also tedious, detailed and hard to get through.

Monday, January 11, 2016

My phrase for 2016

I know you're sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if I'm ever going to share my word/phrase of 2016 with you. Yup. Here it is:

Be brave.

Be Brave!! I've been pondering this for weeks now. It has come up many times over the course of the past few weeks and I know it's the thing I really want to focus on this year.

So, why brave?

I have been called to be brave. As 2015 came to a close, through many conversations and much prayer it became evident that what is needed most of me is to be vulnerable. But being vulnerable is hard. And to be vulnerable, you must be brave. I stumbled across this poem and that sums it up for me!





Amelia Jayne and I finally watched the new Cinderella movie together just last week. And guess what  theme goes throughout the movie? This:
"Have courage and be kind."

Yes!! That sums it up awesomely, as well.

As I was looking up a conference that's coming to Charlotte this spring, a banner showed up in the corner of my computer screen that shared some other conferences being held here this spring. And guess what one of them is called? She's brave. Guess who's signing up for it? That's right, this girl! I'm so excited! I just love when things fall in line. God is so amazing!!

And some scripture to go along with my phrase for this year...

Isaiah 41:13 says
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Psalm 27:1-3
The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Psalm 56:3-4
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise - in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.

And along with this idea and call to be brave is the ever-present call to love. Yes, be brave and love. Sometimes it takes bravery to love, doesn't it? And this year that's exactly what I want to do.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A church home

I am just wrecked right now. Being without a church home and attempting to find the one that will fit our lives, our family, point us closer to Jesus, while allowing us to feel loved and valued while showing love and value? This is not an easy task!
We've been looking for a new church home for almost 3 months now. It has been an interesting journey. I see the value of the journey and I'm thankful for this time. I don't always like it, but I do see the importance in it.
I wish this was a blog post sharing the new church we've found, but it's not.
We L-O-V-E-D our old church.
The downside? Community. That church is not in our community.
A 40 minute trip to church? Fine. Another 40 minutes home? No problem.
Not seeing our "people" all week? Not running into church family members at the grocery store? Having to drive at least 30 minutes to get to small group to hang with these folks? Not on the agenda.
I just can't do it. I want to be in community with the people I am literally in community with.
So pray for us? We're still searching. We've certainly found a couple of churches that we like, but none have just bowled us over with the feeling of home. As David and I left church this past Sunday we started talking about how we may have to commit and just really get involved somewhere to see if it's the place for us.
Start small - do we like the sermons, the worship, the location, the children's service?
And then invest. Join a small group, start serving in some area of the church. We didn't have the fortune of being invited to church by friends so we really know no one. And since relationships are the essence of home, if we know no one it can never feel like home.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas pics

Xander and his buddy Zachary at their Christmas party at school.
They made gingerbread houses. This is Xander's masterpiece before he ate it!
Christmas beauty

Note to Santa 
Santa's response

I loved our tree this year! We finally got a taller one that looks better in our living room.
Twins :)
Ready to go downstairs



Amelia Jayne playing in the "stable" at Grandma's house
Amelia Jayne started getting sick on Christmas Eve and by Christmas night she had a fever and didn't feel so hot.

While we were celebrating at Mimi's she put herself down for a nap. She doesn't even take naps anymore! She was still recovering from being sick + all the excitement and fun of Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

That pretty little bird...

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
by Emily Dickinson





I share this poem with you today because it has stayed with me over the past few months. I am hopeful, I am filled with faith, I believe in the good that God has done and will continue to do for this world.

There are some things going on in my heart lately. Things I can't exactly talk about right now, but things that are new and beautiful and scary and unknown.
And hope, that pretty little bird, is paramount. It's what keeps me going.




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

I am really resting in this idea of being grateful through it all.


God said it best:



There have been so many little nudgings toward this lately - from the Holy Spirit, for sure. Here are just a few of the things that have encouraged me and spurred me on lately.

As you know, I've been participating in the Thanksgiving 30 day scripture writing plan. It has been a huge blessing and given me so much to think about.

I'm looking into some devotionals by Naptime Diaries. I got their advent devotional last year and LOVED it. My friend, Rachael Kincaid, shared some of her writing for it. I'm excited to see what they have in store this year. For some reason I didn't think to look at any of their other devotionals last year, but have gotten inspired to check it out recently.

Rachael had a pretty stinking awesome post lately about gratitude also, reminding me to ask who I'm thanking. #getaftergrateful

And then, of course, there's always Ann Voskamp. I still refer back to her amazing book.

I've seen this quote a lot lately:





So, go with joy and thanksgiving into this beautiful holiday, remembering to love through it all.