Sunday, August 31, 2014

Books I've Read - May-August 2014

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

I was very excited with much too high expectations for this book, I think. I really enjoyed parts of it, but it got a little lengthy and a lot too sci-fi for me. I can't really hold that against it since it is sci-fi. The movie was not great, in my honest opinion. The book definitely did the story more justice than the movie. I've decided to give the rest of the series a try, though. Maybe.
by Veronica Roth

I finished this book a couple of days into May. It was fast-paced and, as many second books in a trilogy, confusing. It answered some questions (especially at the end), but also left me with many new unanswered questions. But that's the beauty of a trilogy. I've got one more book to go and hopefully many of my questions will be answered then. There was a little more teenage drama and angst in this book, which annoys me, but it was interesting and intriguing enough that it was worth reading. :)

by Veronica Roth

Not exactly what I thought it would be, but fitting. I don't have too much to say about it...guess it wasn't great or horrible. You read it and let me know what you think. :)
I will say that the ending threw me for a loop. And that's all I'll say about it. No spoiler alerts here.

The Monuments Men
by Robert M. Edsel

Ummm...I didn't make it through. I debated even putting it in the "already read" column, but I read over 100 pages (which I feel is ample time to give to a book and if you're not into it, you're just not into it.). An interesting story, but written like a text book. I'm sure there are many folks out there who loved it, but I just couldn't finish. I was listening to it in my car on CD and almost fell asleep! That's when I decided I just couldn't read anymore...
I will, most likely, watch the movie. Seems like an intriguing story, and with all the great actors in it, I think it has more hope than the book did.
Deep and Wide
by Andy Stanley

What an interesting read! Because we go to a Northpoint partner church, it's incredibly insightful to read this book. I knew much of the history of Northpoint and definitely the mission behind it, but there were a lot of personal details that I was unaware of. This was eye-opening. It also reminded me why I love my church so much. The mission behind it is incredibly powerful - exactly what Jesus would want - for us as Christians to reach out and love those who don't know him, to create a gathering place for people to belong before they believe and to love like Christ loves.

The Kill Order
by James Dashner

Eh. Definitely my least favorite of the four books in the series. Granted, this is a prequel. But I was disappointed that the characters from the other books had nominal (if any) mention in this book. I feel like it could have been written better and the interesting information that we gleaned could have taken about two chapters.

The Shack
by Wm. Paul Young

What a great book. I admit that I resisted reading it for awhile (mainly because of the cover...I know, I know, don't judge a book and all that) and then saw that it made a list of "10 books that changed my faith" from a blogger I admire. I was intrigued. And she was right. It will certainly open your eyes and allow you to look at certain issues and even God himself in a whole new light. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

Half the Sky
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Wow. The hardest book I've ever read. Amazing stories about REAL amazing women. I am in awe. I am saddened. I am emboldened. I am astonished. I am aware. I am thankful that I read this book. I will never be the same again.

Blue Like Jazz
by Donald Miller

Amazing. Man, this was just another eye-opener and heart-gripper. I love reading about real people's real journeys to meeting and learning and knowing God. This was fantastic. I love how honest and open and unashamed Donald Miller is. Makes me a bolder and wiser follower of Jesus.

The Silkworm
by Robert Galbraith

The second book in this series. Cuckoo's Calling was the first. I liked this one better - I thought it moved faster, had a more interesting plot line. I recommend it. I read an article recently that Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) will be writing many more in this series. Looking forward to reading them!

Naked Spirituality
by Brian McLaren
I've been working on this book for months now. Okay, I'm pushing years. I just can't seem to finish it. I'm getting there, though.
It is so incredibly heavy. I pick it up, read some, then put it down for weeks. It's amazing and I'm thoroughly enjoying it, but it's not a quick-read and not something I can pick up while I'm sitting in a waiting room or while children are interrupting and asking questions. This is one of those that I need to carve out time and really pay attention to. Sometimes I have to read a sentence over and over to let it sink in. Despite that, it's an amazing read and I highly recommend it.

More summer fun

Oh my, the Anna and SWAT team member combo.
We got some new dress-up clothes this summer.
Complete with wig. SMH

She looks like an opera singer!!

Chuck E. Cheese!!

I love this trio of pictures of AJ and Papa!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fun moments

On Amelia Jayne's first day of school, Xander and I got a chance to hang out just the two of us. It was such a special day together -the day before he started kindergarten. We went bowling, hung out at Ikea, ate lunch together and ran errands. I was so impressed with how mature he's become - it's so eye-opening and enjoyable to spend time with each kid one-on-one. They really surprise me sometimes!

After we picked AJ up we went and got snow cones. Such a fun time!

I forgot to throw this pic in his first day post - 
This was Xander's door when he woke up for the first day of school. He was so excited!!

Friday, August 29, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, the kids, David and I went to Virginia to see my aunts. We had a fantastic time. I just cannot tell you how wonderful it was. My aunts are very special to me, and the fact that they would carve time out of their schedule to invite us over and pamper us, is a gift I do not take for granted.

The kids love them. And they equally love my kiddos.

We were there for about 24 hours, but let me tell you. Those were 24 of the best hours of my whole summer. We stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking, sharing stories, telling jokes, revealing souls - it was not short of amazing.
We played games, went on a hiking adventure, frolicked with kittens, shared yummy treats, and talked non-stop. Ah, I just can't express the refreshment I feel when in the presence of those two.