Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Good Reads

God has been blessing us with a wonderful summer!   We were given a little extra money and the kids pitched in some birthday money, and together we had enough to buy a small above ground pool.  It has been so fun!  I was a little torn at first but now I am convinced it was a good purchase, as they use it everyday and for HOURS at a time!  Unfortunately, Clay has been super busy with school and work...he has four days of school and two of work and usually has homework in the evenings, so the weeks feel long.  I think if he didn't have clinicals on Saturday it would not feel quite so long.  Last week was particularly long and hard, but I managed not to shed any tears until Thursday night!  :)  Just a year ago I know I would not have had the stamina or emotional strength to handle this, just more evidence that my Adrenal Burnout is healing.  I have to remember this on the hard days.  Thankfully, this week has not been as difficult...and, Clay does not have clinicals Friday or Saturday because of the holiday!! We are all so excied! And I am making a big effort to have absolutely no expectations, because when I do they get thrown to the wayside leaving all parties involved (myself) disappoined.  I would like two things to get accomplished on Saturday, the lawn mowed (since it has been three weeks!!!!) and the hay changed out in the chickens coop.  But...those are not major and really I just want us to be together as a family.

There are a few personal goals I am working on.  One, I am trying to go to church more often.  My days are so full right now, with Clay being in school and having homework in the evenings, he is here but he isn't (do you know what I mean?) and with running a home with small children and homeschooling, AND just trying to keep everyone's morale up I am very tired by Sunday!  I am having a hard time finding balance, I go full steam all week but then do not make it on Sundays.  I know that it is just a season and I also know that you have to rest to rebuild your adrenals.  So instead of having my expectations too high and getting upset with myself, which will only increase my stress level I am going to be patient with myself.   I did make it last week and I was thrilled!  I would like to set a goal to make it every other week, but we will see.

Another goal I am working on is to read more.  I feel like I am actually achieving this one.  I have read several books lately, which I will mention in a bit.

Goal #3, I have done away with facebook.  I really do enjoy "visiting" with people I do not usually see but I feel more drained from it than encouraged.  I have to do what is right for me.  There was a time in my life when I was not on it.  It is not a need!! I am saying this more to myself, because honestly, I know it will be difficult for me.

Goal #4, I would like to improve on my hospitality.  I had a sweet friend and her kids over at the beginning of last week and it was so fun!  I was exhausted afterward but it was worth it.

Now for our goodreads...

I read this book last month, or maybe in May, I cannot remember. Oh! I loved it so much.  I really benefit from books about suffering and overcoming, it helps me to put my own life into perspective.  She endured so much and still loved and served God with her life.  I highly recommend this book. 

There are so many good words I could use to describe this book: charming, lovely, inspiring, colorful, musical, and southern.  A good story blesses your soul and this one did just that for me.  By the end I wanted to raise bees, drink a glass of sweet tea, and venerate our icon of the Mother of God. 

Honestly, this one was hard for me to connect with in the beginning.  I almost gave up on it, but decided to press on because of who recommended it to me.  It is all letters which I did not like.  Isn't that weird of me?  It is.  But, it was splendid!  I really love anything to do with WWII.  Really? How did everyone make it through that?  Rations would have been enough to do me in probably.  No sugar? Butter?  This story is actually post WWII but you learn a lot of what they endured throughout the letters.  People are people, and when we love and support each other we can make it.  The characters in this book are so lovely and likeable.  Isn't it amazing how we can love fictional characters? 

Presently I am reading Hannah Coulter by: Wendell Berry.  This is my first Wendell Berry novel.  And would you believe it has taken me DAYS to just get to page 82?? I told Clay, "It is so short, I thought I was just going to breeze right through it."  He laughed.  Well, I'm not giving up.  I am going to finish.  I do enjoy it, it is hard not too.  I loved it in the beginning, and then a character I really liked got killed off.  Maybe that is when it went down hill for me?  

The kids have been busy too.  Clay finished the Narnia series with them and now they are on The Hobbit.  They read this aloud before bed, but during the day I read to them at breakfast and lunch and really just whenever.  We are reading The Watcher by: Joan Hiatt Harlow.  We really love it!  Here are a couple books I read aloud to them last month...

Okay, we loved this book!  For one thing it is set in the FLA keys and has a dog and a mule in it.  This is the same author as The Watcher and Thunder (from a previous post).  This story is about the Hurricane that hit the Keys during Labor Day weekend of 1935.  It was devastating!  I'm not sure how I was born and raised in FLA and did not know about this.  This novel was so exciting that if I paused even for a second to eat my own lunch the kids would shriek, "Keep reading!!"  It was music to my ears. :)  Reading aloud to them is one of my most favorite things.  
I did not like this book at first, and actually the kids didn't either but I wanted to press on because we loved Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn Dixie.  And like always, I was glad we didn't give up on it.  The lesson Edward Tulane was learning was love.  He had to suffer quite a bit and be humbled before he learned to love.  There was one part of the story that was so sad I almost started crying.  I passed the book to Eleanor and asked her to continue because I was going to cry if I read any more.  The kids loved this book and I am so glad we finished it! 

Happy Reading!

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