Friday, April 19, 2013

A Weekend Plan: Dreamy/Practical

Time for another Dreamy/Practical list: a list filled with items that need to be done and with items that it would be really, really nice to do.  I try to make sure I get to check off at least one from each category over the course of the weekend.  Here is a sampling from this week's list:
Spend some time with this week's library stack.  Rob and I are going to Chicago for a couple of days soon.  The weather looks like it's going to be downright wintry, and we have most of our time planned out, but we are open to suggestions for places to grab breakfast or lunch.  Any must-see places you can think of in the Windy City?

Enjoy my cuppa.  Now that I've cracked the case as to why my new coffee maker was making bad-tasting coffee, I fully intend to linger with a cup or two this weekend!  The culprit was the reuseable metal filter.  Back to paper!


As always, menu plan and grocery shop.  And then to finish this project I started during the week:

The semi-annual Sorting of the Hand-Me-Downs.  I cannot fully express how much I hate doing this.  Twice a year, every last item of clothing is re-sorted and re-folded.  In the past I have kept the bins in the kids' closets, and I'm pretty sure that's why the clothes keep getting tossed about.  This time, the bins are going in the basement. 

I hope that you will be able to do some dreamy and some practical things this weekend.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Doing What I Do: My Stack of Books

I love to read.  I usually read more than one book at a time--say I have a nonfiction that I can read in small bites in the morning in between making breakfast and packing lunches, and I'll have a novel that I open when I have longer stretches of time.  Books are comforting to me.  I like to bring books with me while I wait during kids' activities, on long car rides, and when we go on vacations. 
Here is my latest stack.  The two books on the top were loaned to me by my pastor.  I frequently run into him at the local library, and we often talk about what we're reading.  I wish he would host a book club.

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist is one that I'm trying to save for those mornings when I have time to read with my coffee.  I am torn between reading it as fast as I can or savoring it slowly.  I thought that her first book, Cold Tangerines, was really special, and I'm trying to hold off on pressing the "buy" button on Amazon for her latest book until I whittle down this stack.

A Dangerous Inheritance is a silly title.  The cover of this book makes me cringe as though I've been caught with a Harlequin romance in my hand.  But the author is Alison Weir, and I've read her nonfiction The Six Wives of Henry VIII, as well as some of her fiction (The Lady in the Tower), and I really enjoy her work.  This is historical fiction.  It's set in England during two eras--just before the Tudor era, and just after the rule of Henry VIII (so, mid-Tudor era).  I love to indulge my Anglophilia.  I can guarantee you that this will be the first book finished out of this stack.

Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended the two books at the bottom.  I checked out Please Understand Me II because I'm always on the lookout for books that will help me understand the personalities of those around me (as well as my own).  I skimmed through it last night, and I can see that this is going to be a book that I will jump around in instead of going cover to cover. 

The Well-Trained Mind is a homeschooling resource.  I have checked out several books on homeschooling in the past to look for ideas to supplement what the kids are doing in school.  This book can give me some good resources for summer and the rest of the year.  I'm pretty sure that this book will give me more subjects to read about!

So that's my stack.  I usually keep a list of books to check out in a notebook.  Here it is:
I have carried this brown moleskine back and forth to the library for a few years.

Every month I pick up the latest BookPage publication from the library.  I get quite a list of books from the BookPage.  Then I go to the computer and put a hold on three or four at a time.
This year, my reading goal is to write a short blurb about the book.  I also give it a rating out of ten.  Here is my January page:
Would you believe that the nonfiction book about London was the highest-scoring book for January?

I'm not surprised, either.

So that's what I do with my reading.  Any suggestions for my next stack of books?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I can't believe this is my 501st post!  I really can't believe that I didn't notice the 500 post milestone.  When I started this blog in 2007, the kids were just-turned-7, 5, and almost 3.  

They are now about-to-turn-13, 11, and 9-and-a-half. 

Our office (where I type at the computer) is still the same color--the bookshelf is full to overflowing, and we're on to a new chair, and we're probably on our third or fourth floor mat underneath the chair.

There's a different dog now.  There are definitely more things hanging on the walls all throughout the house.  

When I began here, I didn't have a clear vision for what I wanted this space to be.  This blog was my version of sending out a message into space to see if anyone was listening.  I still don't have a clear vision for this space, and that lack of vision may explain why I'm not here as often as I'd like.

Can I tell you a secret?

This space here?  It's my Fight Club.

The first rule of my blog is that I don't discuss my blog.  It's my only rule.

For no other reason than I feel silly admitting to real, live people that I do this.

I think it's time to throw out that rule.

Because arbitrary and capricious rules are a bummer.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Break

This year, we were lucky enough to go away for spring break.  We, along with half of North America, went to Orlando for some fun.
 And a good time was had by all.  There were huge crowds, but the general mood was happy.
 As you know, Disney "vacations" are not sleep-in, lazy-day affairs.  It's 12 hours on your feet each day in hot pursuit of fun.  We may need a vacation after the vacation.  Everyone returned to a hectic schedule.
Tomorrow I'm looking forward to sleeping in, getting caught up on errands, and looking at all the pictures.