Monday, February 5, 2018

January Reads


I ended up reading 5 personal books in January and they were all pretty good.  I'm really thankful after last months reading!  Looks like I'm on track to hit my goal of 52 books this year.  We also finished up two children's books.  Although it wasn't intentional, I am glad to see a little more variety in the books that I read this month.  Last month almost everything I read was fiction.  

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: This book contained two parallel stories set during World War II.  A bright, young orphan boy named Werner lives in Nazi Germany when he becomes spellbound by a nightly science program broadcast from France.  Mari-Laure is a clever girl who lives in Paris, France with her locksmith father who works in an art museum.  When she goes blind her father builds her a detailed miniature model of their neighborhood.  Germans invade and Marie-Laure and her father must flee to the town of Saint-Malo to live with her great uncle.  For the most part I enjoyed this book.  The one thing that really drove me bonkers was the fact that the story goes back and forth in time.  I found it a little difficult to keep the story straight since I often read in the stolen snippets of time.  This was our book club pick for January and it was really fun to discuss this book.

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp:
This book was packed full of truth and encouragement.  It was Gospel centered and incredibly convicting.  I have already started to apply the truths found in this book and I can already notice a difference in my own heart.  I would say this a must read for every parent especially if your children are past the toddler stage.

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley: After a busy Christmas season I was ready to dive into a book that talked about simplifying things.  I loved Ley's practical strategies and tips for prioritizing what really matters in life.  This book is divided into ten key areas: your home, style, meals, schedule, finances, hospitality, technology, self care, motherhood, and faith.  I found this book  helpful as I worked through my goals for the 2018.  This book is also stunning.  I loved the beautiful photographs included throughout the book and plan on purchasing a copy as a gift.

Red-Hot Monogamy by Bill and Pam Farrel:  This book was really good and a great reminder to prioritize my own marriage.  It also included well over 100 romantic ideas which were actually really good.  I would definitely recommend this book if you are married.

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay: In this book Mary Davies finds her productive, organized life turned upside down when she heads to England with her estranged, best friend from childhood.  Things in England prove to be eventful when her friend Isabel looses her memory.  Isabel is convinced that she lives in Regency England.  This book was delightful and the second book that I have read by Ms. Reay.  Her other book Dear Mr. Knightly is wonderful.

Read Aloud to Children:

God's Word by Sally Michael:  The children and I really enjoyed reading this book together.  It is packed full of Scripture and I absolutely love the illustrations that the author includes.  This book generated a lot of really good discussion and prayer this month.  It is the third book that we have read in the Making Him Known series.  We plan to read God's Design next.

Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski: This was our Advent devotional that we wrapped up early in January.  The devotions were Gospel centered and also included song selections which we sang together.  There were also some family activity ideas that we didn't always get to and that's okay.  I really appreciated the fact that there were just three devotionals each week.  I didn't get overwhelmed or feel like I fell behind.  The book also included a longer story that was four chapters long about a group of orphan children.  Overall a delightful book that we plan to read next Christmas.  

Only one book was from my "unread" shelf.  I'm actually a little scared to count how many books are on that shelf!  This year I would like to read 12 books that I already currently own.  

Currently Reading:

The Quest by Beth Moore

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

Gospel Centered Mom by Brooke McGlothlin

An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty 


What books did you read in January?  Do you find it easier to read during the winter months?

Monday, January 22, 2018

December Reads


While I usually make it a point to read books of different genres that didn't really happen this month. It was almost straight fiction.  Should I blame it on the road trips or poor planning?  Most of these are light fiction reads that I read as we traveled this month.  

December Reads 

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen:  This is the second book in the Tales from Ivy Hill series.  Since I read the first book, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill last month, I had high expectations for this book.  The first book in the series was quite the page turner and I definitely stayed up past bedtime to finish it!  The story line continues in this second book where the reader learns more about Miss Rachel Ashford.  She opens a circulating library to help alleviate her difficult financial circumstances after her father's passing.  Along the way Miss Ashford discovers a number of mysteries as she deals with her own complicated friendships.  The second book moved a little too slow for my taste.  I read the majority of this book on a long road trip but I was a little disheartened when I realized that the book really wasn't keeping my interest.  This book clocks in at over 400 pages which is just ridiculous.  I do feel as though I am fairly committed to the series at this point and I might just want to know what happens to the rest of the characters.  I probably would pick up the next book in the series if I happen to see it at my local library but I won't be going out of my way to purchase it.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Bethany House.  All opinions are my own.

Loving my Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall: I'm sure that everyone would agree that they dream of enjoying the Christmas season more instead of being swept up into the craziness.  I purchased this book with that thought in mind since it had received rave reviews.   Surprisingly, nothing in the book was really earth shattering.  Most of the tips were things that my family and I already practice in our home.  For example Kuykendall encourages the reader to set realistic expectations, not to be afraid of saying no, and to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.  The best piece of advice or takeaway from this book included the advice about the 12 Days of Christmas.  The author encourages the reader to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas from Christmas Day (December 25) to Epiphany (January 6).  I'm happy to share that this was actually something that my parents passed onto me and it is a tradition that we have embraced in my own family.  I cannot tell you how much this helps increase our joy and enjoyment of the Christmas season.

Amelia and the Captain by Lori Copeland: If you haven't already noticed, I really enjoy reading an entire genre of books I like to call Hallmark movie books.  They are always lighthearted, clean fiction books that are just pure fun.  I always try to have a "Hallmark movie book" with me on a long road trip because I am often interrupted and appreciate not having to follow a complicated story plot while I am helping care (and entertain) children in the car.  In this book swindler Amelia finds herself clinging for life when she runs into Union Captain Morgan Cane.  The story progresses and involves a shady villain who attempts to kidnap and steal Amelia.  All that to say this book was just okay and I don't plan on reading any other books in this series.

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller: I was pleasantly surprised to find this book on the new books shelf at the library.  I've been a "Little House" fan since the time my sweet mama opened up Little House in the Big Woods and read it to me while I was tucked in at night.  The book drew me in from the very beginning as Miller retells the story through the eyes of Ma.  Unfortunately there was a scene in the book where the author shares a little too much about the intimate married life of the Ingalls.  I just think that was totally unnecessary and really kind of soured the rest of the book.

 
Well I guess it was rather a disappointing month for reading after all.  Overall every single book I read in December was a let down.  Nevertheless I"m really excited about some of the books I'm reading right now!  

Currently Reading:

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

Red Hot Monogamy by Bill Farrel

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay

The Complete Brambly Edge by Jill Barklem

I'm also excited for more time this month to curl up by the fire with a good book so please share!  What books are you reading right now?  Have you read any of these books?





Tuesday, December 26, 2017

September Reads


I forgot to hit publish a few months ago but I wanted to go ahead and share this post anyway.  I so enjoy getting a glimpse into the reading life of my friends.  


After reading only one disappointing book in August I was determined to make up for lost time in September!  I was much more observant of how I was using small pockets of time and found that I was able to read quite a nice pile of books!  It was very humbling to discover I could read this many books in the amount of time I usually spent scrolling social media.  I made sure to take a book with me on any errand even I didn't possibly think I would have any time to read.  In September we also flew to Texas so I read two of these books on the plane.  

Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn't Give You What You Want by Ann Swindell: I loved hearing the author share her compelling story of waiting for healing.  It was both fascinating and incredibly encouraging to see her cling to the cross despite her suffering.  In the book Swindell retells the story of the woman with the issue of blood with keen insights into what life must have been like for her.  This book was honest and Gospel centered.  I look forward to reading more books by Swindell in the future.

Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful by Katie Davis Majors: Having read the author's first book Kisses from Katie years ago, I was eager to read her second.  What a beautiful story of what God has done in and through the author's life in Uganda.  Majors moved to Uganda over a decade ago where she founded Amazima Ministries.  Today she continues to serve the people there while also being a wife and mother to over a dozen children.  I appreciated Majors' honesty about the real struggles that she faces on a day to day basis and how the Lord has met her each time.  This book was challenging and inspired me to fully invest in the lives of those around me.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review.

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider:  In a world that's always encouraging us to do more, I appreciated Oxenreider's advice to slow down.  I loved hearing her share about her journeys and her struggles.  I could also really appreciate her love of travel and adventurous spirit.  I've always enjoyed traveling but I think the older I get the more important it becomes.  Most of our traveling centers around visiting family & friends but our family also hopes to add some unique travel destinations in the future.  I so enjoyed the author's book and would definitely recommend it.

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner:  This memoir was absolutely captivating.  What a touching story of the courage of Wariner's escape from the fundamentalist Mormon cult where she grew up.  Amazingly, Ruth Wariner was also able to rescue and raise her three younger sisters.  The author is a fabulous writer and it was really hard to put this book down.  I finished it the next day as soon as I could steal away some time.  

Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything by Gloria Furman:  I am so very thankful for each Gloria Furman's books.  This one was no different.  Throughout the book Furman leads the reader deeper into the biblical text of the book of Ephesians.  She shares the mains themes of the book and that the blessings believers have received in Christ empower us to walk in a new way.  I spent an entire semester studying Ephesians in depth with the ladies of my college church and every time I think of the book of Ephesians I get excited.  This book is nice to read alongside the book of Ephesians.

A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling Manual How-To Manual by Catherine Levison: While I'm definitely a fan of Charlotte Mason education in general I just couldn't get into this book.  The chapters were very short and more of a concise summary.  I really appreciate a little more meat to a book.


Read Aloud to Children:

Sir Gawain and the Green Night by Michael Morpugo (adaptor): My kids really enjoyed this book especially Eli.  What seven year old boy wouldn't enjoy a delightful tale about a knight!  I do think the book would be better suited for children who are slightly older.

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett:  I read this delightful tale aloud last week to the children.  One was down sick so this was the perfect fantasy tale to lift their spirits.  This is the first in a series and we plan to read the next one soon.

Life of Fred: Apples by Stanley Schmidt: This book weaves together elementary math principles into a story.  Eli & Eva both found it delightful.  I thought it was okay and a fun math supplement.  I love reading so I am always up for adding in some fun living books!


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Currently Reading:

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp

Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season by Alexandra Kuykendall

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What books are you reading this month?  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

June Reads

Ah June!  A month filled with a few lazy afternoons and a long road trip.  The perfect combination for reading through a delightful pile of books.  (Not all books are in the photo.)  I am trying to read a broad variety of books but something about summer continues to steer me straight to the fiction section.  Does anyone else have this problem only in the summer months?  Nevertheless here is a look at what I read last month. 

When People Are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch: This was a fantastic, thoughtful book which I worked through the past few months.  Over and over again this book helped me to see areas where I need to think more biblically.  The end of each chapter also includes 3-4 questions and applications.  While I really enjoyed working through this book, I think it would be even more fantastic to read through with a close friend or small group.  

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett: I loved reading this "vintage national parks novel" set in 1927.  It tells the tale of Margaret Lane, an avid naturalist who lands a job working at Mt. Rainer National Park.  This book was perfect to take along on our last road trip.  I love being outside and try to squeeze in as much hiking as our schedule allows.  The book was fast paced and very engrossing.  Please note that I did receive this book in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books.  

The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee:  I picked up this book after listening to the author on The Busy Mom podcast.  The author was fabulous on the podcast and I knew at once I had to get my hands on her book.  Summer tends to make me really happy and it also makes me very reflective.  I did feel a bit silly picking up a book on happiness when it isn't really something I'm struggling with in my life.  In the book the author addresses the five different happiness styles: experiencer, doer, thinker, giver, and relater.  I did take the time to take the online test but I came back as a close mixture of three rather than just one clear type. This book was good but I had mixed feelings about it.  I can't really put a finger on it but perhaps it is just the topic? 

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White: I randomly picked up this book at the library and wow was it good!  If you are a fan of the popular Downton Abbey you are sure to love this thrilling book about Lady Rowena Kinniard, a Highland heiress.  Lady Rowena questions whether she can marry someone who is mixed up in some questionable business.  This book was delightful.  It's actually the second book in the "Ladies of the Manor" series so you may prefer to read the first book in the series before this one.  I didn't and had no trouble following the plot. 

The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live by Kathy H. Lee & Lesli M. Richards:  I really enjoyed this thoughtful book brimming with ideas!  It was jam packed with wonderful activities to help your child learn while going about their day.  I found this book to be so invaluable that I even took notes on it!  I made numerous lists of activities to enjoy with Evangeline this summer and into the fall months.  The only thing that drove me crazy in this book were the unprofessional, poor quality photographs.  If you can get past the photos this book is filled to the brim with fantastic ideas!  

What books are you reading this summer?  Do you tend to read more or less in the summer?
 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

April & May Reads


April and May were simply full of fantastic adventures traveling to visit both family and friends!  Here are some of the books that I read the past few months.  

The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson: Sally & Sarah Clarkson are two ladies that I would simply love to have over for tea.  As I read through this lovely book it just felt like having sweet friends over curled up in my living room while we discussed all things pertaining to the home.  This book is simply delightful and provided so much encouragement.  It's definitely one of my favorites that I have read this year!

Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God by Courtney Reissig: I was so excited about reading this book that I not only purchased the book, I pre-ordered it!  It sure did not disappoint.  I loved this thoughtful book on the importance of work in the home.  Reissig encouraged me to think deeply about the importance of home work in light of eternity.  I found myself looking at my typical week and thinking through how I myself can be more intentional.  At first glance it may look like a typical stay at home mom book but it is anything but that.  What's unique and interesting is the fact that I think all women (regardless of their working situation) would benefit from reading this book.  I look forward to reading her other book The Accidental Feminist sometime soon.

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer: This was my light, relaxing fiction read for the month of April.  (Unless the month involves an extended car ride I try to limit my fiction reads to one per month.  There is so much else out there that I want to read to help myself grow as a person.)  This book chronicles the tale of suffragette Emma Chandler who operates a women's colony that offers a fresh start for women in need.  An assailant tries to drive out the women who refuse and stand their ground.  Emma's old friend Malachi Shaw comes to town to lend a hand which only complicates the situation.  I enjoyed reading this book but I didn't find myself incredibly tempted to stay up late at night to finish it.

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis: As I've mentioned before on this blog, I have read nearly every book Beverly Lewis has ever written.  When I saw this Amish looking beach read at my local library I snatched it up to take along on my beach trip to Florida!  This story involves Sallie Riehl, an Amish girl who longed to see the world.  When the opportunity comes to nanny for a family in Cape May, Sallie jumps at the chance.  She sees a whole new world while enjoying the beach and wonders where she fits into God's creation.  This book was very typical of Lewis' novels but also quite enjoyable.

For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaefer Macaulay: I re-read this book on our last flight to Dallas and found it so refreshing.  As Macaulay writes, "education is an adventure...It's about people, children, life, reality!"  The author talked a lot about the importance of one's home life in regards to education.  I absolutely love the practicality of the book and how the ideas can be used in any home setting around the world.  I wrote down a number of things that I hope to implement in our own home life this summer.

Read Aloud to Children:

Errand Boy by Edith Witmer: This book tells the tale of six year old Larry and his family who move to Honduras to tell the people there how much God loves them.  My children both enjoyed hearing the adventures of what life is like living in a new country as a missionary.  It was a wonderful way to not only spend time talking about life as a missionary but also to spend time together praying as a family for mission work in Central America.  Our family is blessed to have very dear friends who serve as missionaries in Mexico.  This really helped my children to see what life as a missionary is really like.

Applesauce Weather by Helen Frost: We enjoyed this sweet poetry book that I read aloud last month.  This heartwarming book chronicles the heart and strength of a family.  It was a neat book but I"m not sure both of my children really followed who was speaking.  The poems go back and forth between Lucy, Peter, Faith, and Uncle Arthur.  Honestly I'm really no expert when it comes to poetry.  At the conclusion of this book I felt kind of neutral about it.  That's not exactly the feeling that I"m going for when I finish a book no matter what genre it is.  I want a book to move me!  I'm going to have to seek out some good poetry to read aloud over the summer.

Teddy's Button by Amy Feuvre: This was an audio book that I purchased from Lamplighter Publishing for our nearly ten hour road trip to Arkansas to visit family.  It was fabulous and inspired fantastic conversations in the car.  I'm already saving up so we can purchase more audio books from Lamplighter in the future.  


Currently Reading:
When People are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch-(I've really been enjoying this book but it is definitely one that I need to read slowly.)

The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee 

What books did you read the past few months?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

March Reads


Happy Spring!  It feels good to be jumping back into a somewhat more regular reading routine at home.  Here's a look at the books I read in March.  

Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed by Betsy Childs Howard; Everyone is waiting for something.  This book was such a good reminder of that simple fact.  It never dawned on me as a young woman that I would find myself waiting on things for the rest of my life. In this book Howard writes about 5 different types of waiting: Waiting on a Bridegroom, Waiting for a Child, Waiting for Healing, Waiting for a Home, and Waiting for a Prodigal. I'm positive that all of the chapters (including those that didn't specifically apply to me) will help me to understand the waiting that my friends endure.  Right now I can think of at least one friend that is waiting on each of those five different things.  Howard gave much hope throughout this book and truly made my heart long for the day when Jesus returns.  Seasons of Waiting is probably my favorite book that I read in March.  I believe this was the author's first book but I sure hope she writes another!


Woman Code by Alissa Vitti: I actually picked this book up from our library last year and read the first chapter or so.  I was a little intimidated so I didn't end up finishing this book.  Fast forward a year and I was ready to try again.  I actually purchased the book this time so I could mark it up and keep it on hand for reference.  This time around I have really enjoyed it!  The whole premise behind the book is really syncing different aspects of your life around your monthly cycle.  I think cycle syncing is a really great idea.  I"m sure we would all agree that there are certain weeks of the month that just don't work for tackling big projects.  I've never given it this much thought or went so far as to schedule my month around it.  I'm 2/3 of the way through the book and look forward to implementing many of the author's suggestions and ideas.  I'll have to let you know in a few months what I think about the implementation.

Quick Tips For Busy Families by Jay Payleitner: This book was packed with over 100 different strategies or tips for raising great kids.  Most of the strategies are only about a page long so this is an excellent book to pick up if you simply hate long chapters.  Overall I thought most of the ideas were pretty good but they weren't really earth shattering.  Many of the strategies were things my own parents did for me as a child or things that we already incorporate into the Emerson family.  I did enjoy discussing some of the ideas with my husband to see what his thoughts were on the each suggestion.  Please note I did receive a review copy of this book from Bethany House.  All opinions are my own.

Homeschooling for the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins: Usually I don't pay that much attention to book covers but this one drove me crazy!  It looks so outdated.  It seriously looks like it is from the early '90s but it has a 2010 publication date.  That aside I thought the author had a lot of great ideas throughout the book.  Such a reminder to teach to my children's strengths and weaknesses.  Most of all I was reminded to make homeschooling work for my family.  The tag line of this book is "How your one of a kind family can make homeschooling and real life work" which really does a good job of summing up the book.  We are a young family (our oldest is only 7) and I can already see how our family tweaks different things to make homeschooling work best for our family.  I'd recommend this to any homeschooling family.

Read Aloud to Kids:
God's Promises by Sally Michael: We love, loved reading this book aloud in February and March as part of our Devotional Time.  It goes through a list of the different promises of God.  I think it is so important to teach young children specifically what God is like and the great promises that He has made for believers.  The chapters are the perfect length for our family.  At the end of each chapter there are related activities that you can do together, discussion questions, and a Memory Verse.  The chapters are poignant and use wonderful, age appropriate illustrations.  I'm looking forward to reading two more books from this series aloud to the children this summer.  We have also read God's Names by the same author.


Currently Reading:

The Life Giving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson

When People Are Big and God Is Small by Ed Welch 

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

Reading Aloud to Children:

The Bible in the Wall by H.J.D. 

Jessica's Journey by Hesbra Stretton and John Rhys-Davies

What books did your read last month?  Do you have any recommendations to share?  

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Week's Goals & Recap



Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all had such a fantastic week last week.  I made it safely home with both kids from our road trip to Arkansas!  Hooray.  I'll have lots more to share about it later in the week.  It was such a good trip.  Don't you just love that sweet photo above that I snapped the minute we returned home?  

When I first sat down last night to think about my goals I had all sorts of lofty ambitions.  Then the Holy Spirit worked on my heart.  This isn't the week to deep clean my basement.  Of all the weeks of the year this is the week to celebrate and remember.  Christ has Risen from the grave!  This week I hope to take extra time to walk slowly through the days leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection both with my children and on my own.  I hope you take some time out to do the same.  

Goals from Two Weeks Ago:
Marriage, Mothering, & Family:
1.  Go on a real (out of the house) date with Brandon.  He won't be traveling with us this trip so I want to make sure that we spend some good time together before I head out.  I'll be gone a total of 6 days.  I'm super thankful we were able to squeeze in a date night before I headed out of town.  Our date didn't turn out quite as I had planned but we ended up having a blast.  Let's just say Groupons and Putt Putt golf sometimes don't mix.  
2.  Road Trip to Arkansas!  This will be my first time traveling this far alone with two children so I will also be spending a lot of time prepping for this trip.  I've made the trip to Arkansas about three times a year for the past 8 years but I'm still a teensy bit anxious about making the long drive alone.    It was awesome!  
3.  Finish reading God's Promises by Sally Michael.  (Have I mentioned how much I simply adore this series?  It's so good.)  We will be starting another book from this series after Easter.  

Homemaking:
4.  Spend at least an hour working on organizing the basement.  I realized that I really have a long way to go.  There are still quite a few boxes which aren't unpacked.  
5.  Sew a birthday gift which also includes a trip to the fabric store.  (I gave away the large majority of my fabric stash before we moved.)  I ended up making a hard shell sunglasses case.  It was a little tricky but I"m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I would like to make one for myself sometime before the end of summer.  
6.  Leave for our trip with a clean house.  This is an area that I usually struggle with but I simply DO NOT want to come home to a messy home.  It's super awesome coming home to a clean house.  Kudos to my super awesome husband who picked up after himself and washed all the dishes before I came home!  
7.  Vacuum out the inside of our van and wash the outside.  It's amazing just how much fun a seven year old boy can have at the car wash! 

Personal:
8.  Continue working through Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God.  (I also need to do a little catch up work this week.)  I worked  on it but I had a hard time staying caught up while on my trip.  I'm hoping to really grow in the area of making devotions a priority while away from home.  

Ministry & Friendships:
9.  Catch up with a friend on the telephone.
10.  Spend time visiting with my friend Laura who lives in Nashville.  We'll be spending two nights at her house on our way to Arkansas.  It was fantastic.  My friend Laura and her husband are just the best hosts!  I felt right at home and my kids had so much fun!  

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This Week's Goals

Marriage, Mothering, & Family:
1)  Celebrate the Risen Savior with my immediate and extended family!
2)  Carve out extra time to spend discussing the glorious wonders of the Gospel with the children each day.  We are using the "Resurrection Eggs" this week alongside reading selected passages from the Gospels.
3)  Take both children to the dentist.
4)  Attend gymnastics and soccer practice.  Eli had an absolute BLAST at his first soccer game last week!

Homemaking:
5)  Intentionally involve my children more in cooking.

Personal:
6)  Finish reading one book this week.
7)  Spend extra time in prayer and catching up on my Bible Study.
8)  Workout three times.  I walked a ton on our trip but I'm ready to get back to a regular workout routine.

Ministry & Friendships:
9)  Attend a dinner party at a friend's house.
10)  Continue to intentionally invite others to our Easter Eggstravaganza outreach at our church.  We will of course also be attending and I just can't wait!

What plans do you have for this week?  Happy Easter!