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Summer Vacation

We are two days into Summer Vacation and things have been great so far. The weather has been lovely, though it could rain today. But we have been outside and it certainly feels like summer (though a bit windy to hit the beach, yet.)
We are also trying a little more structured chore chart thing this summer for some extra motivation and to give some structure to our day. The kids have things they need to every day and a job that will change each week. I wanted to do a little bit of  "brain time" each day, so Joash has a math sheet and reads independently for 15 minutes each day. Mataya didn't want to be left out, so we found a little alphabet workbook for her to do. It is so fun to see them using their brains.  It makes this book lovers heart glad to see her oldest starting to love to read. He really, really likes to read non-fiction, especially about history and animals.

Invitation by Billy Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gransky

From the minds of Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky, Invitation compiles the first four episodes of Harbingers, each following a different character.

BRENDA--the street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future
THE PROFESSOR--the atheist ex-priest ruled by logic
ANDI--the professor's brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns
TANK--the naïve, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power

Brought together for the first time in "The Call," the four soon realize pockets of darkness are emerging throughout the world. Whether it involves a mysterious house, the unexplainable death of animals around the world, or an otherworldly little girl, each puzzle they solve brings them closer to the ultimate explanation of what's happening. But will they discover the truth in time?
This book! It was so great. I really enjoyed the format of this book, how each author wrote one episode told from the point of view of a d…

May Books

Most of my April books were reviews, that were already posted on the blog, so this a recap of what else I read in April and the books I read in May. It was a good month of reading.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller - A follow up to Blue Like Jazz. Great bits of truth with interesting stories in between. Thought provoking and challenging.

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst - A good book for thinking about why you do the things you do and making sure that the "yes" you give is the best one it can be.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst - The real purpose of who we are comes from God, not others. But that still doesn't make it any easier to face rejection. But the truth is we are always loved by God.

Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst - We were all made to crave something. Sin has caused that craving to turn to food and other addictions rather than God.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple - A fun, quirky story of a dysfunctional family that really fall apart when…

Gideon 13 Months

M(om): Gideon! What are you doing?

G(ideon): Just exploring, Mom. I love to explore everything. I love to climb and see what I can get into.

M: You certainly are good at getting into everything. I never quite know where I am going to find you.  And you seem quite pleased with yourself no matter what you are doing. What else do you like to do?

G: I like to be outside a lot too. There are so many fun things to see and do and feel. It is great!
M: You do love to be outside. And I like to let you just crawl all around in your coveralls. I have to watch to make sure that you don't eat anything you shouldn't, but overall, you are just full of wonder and joy. Any walking or talking?

G: Not too much. I can get anywhere I want to by crawling and climbing, so I am doing well. And talking...well I think that you understand me pretty much all of the time, even if I don't use actual words. But I can sign "more" and "all done" and I say something that sort of sounds…

Mother's Day 2017

Love my little people who made me a mother. 
And I love the wonderful homemade Mother's Day gifts from school.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day as well!

Mataya's Birthday

We had a lovely day celebrating Mataya's birthday. Her request for her cake this year was Mimmy, Hello Kitty's sister. At first I forgot to put on the whiskers.  But I caught my mistake before it was cake time.
 Gideon really enjoyed eating cake.
I neglected to take pictures of Mataya with her gifts, but maybe I will get some another day.

Happy 4th Birthday Mataya!

Mataya 4 Year Interview

What is your favorite color? Pink What is your favorite toy? Squeaky Cow What is your favorite food? Macaroni What is your favorite tv show? Paw Patrol What is your favorite outfit? My "Family" shirt and leggins What is your favorite game? Spot It What is your favorite animal? bunny What is your favorite song? My Lighthouse What is your favorite book? Watch Me Hop Who is your best friend? Joash What is your favorite thing to do outside? Jump on the trampoline with Joash What is your favorite drink?Chocolate milk What do you like to take to bed with you at night? All of my animals What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Macaroni and cheese, pink jello and chocolate milk What do you want to be when you grow up? a calf farmer.

A Little Comparison

When my parents were here, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out who Gideon looks like. So, here is a little sibling comparison for you.
 And, just for fun, here is a picture of my dad.
What do you think?

A Little Haircut

With summer approaching, I thought it was time for Gideon's first haircut. His head always seems so warm and lots of food and other things end up in his hair, so I thought it would be a bit more manageable if it was cut.
He cleaned up nicely and of course looks older and his hair looks lighter, but I think it is a good. change.

Grandpa and Grandma Visit

My parents were out for a visit last week. Since Joash had school and the weather was a bit cool and rainy, we didn't do much. But they had a lot of fun playing with their grand kids and I got a few extra things done around the house too.


Thanks for coming for a visit Grandpa and Grandma. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Gideon's 1st Birthday

We had a great time celebrating Gideon's 1st. There was lots of present opening, present assembly and playing in boxes. Joash and Mataya were eager helpers.
 And there was cake. I did a pretty simple and basic cake for Gideon, but I am please with how it turned out.

 Gideon was very eager to get a taste.
 And while it is hard to see his expression, it is safe to say he was a big fan of birthday cake. He made sure someone shared with him anytime he saw someone with cake.

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's Missing Persons Task Force. With so much public fanfare surrounding the launch of this elite investigative team, the political stakes are high, and the team will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie's personal life are also begging for answers.

Dee Henderson has hit anot…

Still Waiting by Ann Swindell

Most of us know what it’s like to wait for God to change our circumstances. But, whether we’re waiting for physical healing, emotional breakthrough, or better relationships, waiting is something we usually try to avoid. Why? Because waiting is painful and hard. The truth is, it’s also inevitable.

In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell explores the depths of why God wants us to wait by chronicling her own compelling story of waiting for healing from an incurable condition. She offers a vibrant retelling of the biblical account of the Bleeding Woman that parallels her story—and yours, too.

This was a lovely book. I enjoyed Swindell imagining of what life must have been like for the Bleeding Woman. It was also interesting to hear he own personal story of waiting. I think this is a great book because everyone has something they are waiting for. And it is important to not turn the waiting into a bitter time, but a time to grow and dwell in the presence of God. A great book that everyone can gain som…

Gideon - 1 Year

M(om): Gideon! Happy 1st Birthday! You are one year old today! Can you believe it?

G(ideon): I like the decorations and that you woke me up with singing this morning. And thanks for my new car seat. I like having more room in the van and the box is super fun too!

M: What have you been up too this month?

G: I have been growing teeth. Lots of teeth. How many do I have now, Mom?


M: You have 4 that are all the way through, and two more are on the way.  What else it new?

G: I love to crawl around and climb in and over things. There are so many different places to explore.

M: You have certainly found yourself in some interesting places. What things do you like to eat, lately?
G: I love to eat anything. I really like carrots, roasted potatoes, any fruit and yogurt, anything really. I just like to eat. Especially when I  can feed myself. Dad has also introduced me to some sweet things like yummy squares which are so good.

M: I know you really like those things. You are such a great eater ri…

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change …

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone - A Movie Review

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is an inspirational comedy rated PG about faith and forgiveness. Gavin Stone, a washed-up former child star is forced to do community service at a local mega-church and pretends to be a Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.
I had fun watching this movie the other day. It makes a great family movie that will open the door for some great discussion about what is means to be the church. While it was a bit beyond my young kids, I wasn't afraid to have it on while they were in the room. I especially enjoyed the scenes of the performance of the Passion Play. So well done and so fitting for this Easter weekend. As a Christian we have to able to laugh at ourselves sometimes and this movie can certainly help you do that. It was also an interesting look at what some people may find difficult or challenging if it is their first time in a church. Th…

March Books

This was a big reading month for me. I was very surprised when I looked back at my GoodReads to see what I had actually read last month. Here are the highlights.
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp - Voskamp's second book does not disappoint. A great look at the Christian life and how we must be broken to be made whole and we must share that brokenness with others. When we are honest with ourselves and others, then God can do great things!

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman - A lovely look and reminder that we all need grace, even the good girl, rule follower like myself. Refreshing, relatable and real. I like this one a lot because it fit me and where I am at.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker - A serious, yet fun look at life and what it means to live with the love of God. I enjoy Hatmakers writing and honesty.

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist - In a world that demands more and more of us, it is hard to be present. This a great book about Niequist taking the time to stop, pull…

Spring?

Do we dare say it? Is spring here? We have been having a few lovely days the last few days. Yesterday Mataya and I found the first crocus blooms
 Gideon loved being outside! He got to take a walk around the yard in the stroller.
 And later, after sitting on a blanket for a bit, he took off exploring the yard. I was impressed with how crawling on the dry, prickly grass bother him.
 We are all looking forward to the warmer days of spring and summer to come.

Quick March Break Trip to Halifax

Over our March Break a few weeks ago, we needed to make a quick trip to Halifax. We had an appointment at the US Consulate to take care of getting everyone's passports, so we decided to make a little over night family vacation out of it. We stayed at hotel with a family room that a nice little alcove with bunk beds for the big kids. We drove down in the afternoon and then went swimming and had supper before we all went to bed.  Our appointment was the following morning and after it was finished we went for a quick lunch and then visited the Discovery Center in their new location. It a great place, though a bit challenging to find. I hope their signage improves for the summer. Right now the only sign faces the wrong way on a one way street.

Joash had to get on the tractor, of course.
 We enjoyed playing with the air station.

 And I think the big hit was the electric circuit experiments in the innovation lab.
Overall, it was a good, but quick trip. While we were driving down, there…