Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

To live by impressions is oftentimes to live the life of a fool and even to fall into downright rebellion against the revealed Word of God. Not your impressions, but that which is in this Bible must always guide you. – Charles Spurgeon

...[our] view of God is to be defined by His revelation of Himself in the Bible, and when we conceive of Him apart from that, it will be misleading at best. – Alistair Begg

Psalm 19
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Links - April 28, 2012

1. Can you imagine owning one of these Wild Pets? Looks like Cheetahs were a popular choice, no?

2. In the midst of this "de-clutter, pack, de-clutter, pack some more" life we're living right now, I can testify to the truth of this post: 7 Common Problems Solved by Owning Less.

3. Here's a long thought provoking article: Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? (Side note: for me I think the answer is "yes".)

4. Some candid writing advice from a published author: Just Write.

5. Smockity's thoughts On Forcing Children to Share and Socialism. Love this post. Our kids have some toys in common (the playmobil toys, for example) and some that belong to them alone (each has a special baby doll, for example) but I could definitely be better about not forcing them to share. (Especially when we throw Fen or a friend into the mix.)

6. Another helpful post about de-cluttering: Tips for Parting With Your Clothes (includes a free printable).

7. This could be of interest: 10 Essential Bluegrass Artists to Know.

8. The Camera That Prints Out What it Sees. (A "descriptive" camera.) Sounds interesting until I remember that I know what that print out might look like at my house: this is a room with peanut butter finger prints on the wall, scattered baby wipes on the floor, and 57 Polly Pocket and Barbie shoes mixed with a small pile of Legos.

9. Here's a post about Taming the Art Supply Dragon but I must admit that I'm mostly just in awe of how many (and how varied) art supplies they have!

10. Here's a fun Photoshop bubbles tutorial. I'd love some pictures of Sweet Pea & Miss Lili with their bubbles.

11. Two related posts:
Amen. Not more activities. Not more (bigger, better...) vacations. Not even bigger and better crafts, games, etc. at home. More Mom.

12. If you only read one of my links this week, make it this one: You Make Me Feel So Guilty! This is one of those posts that I wish I would have written. We {Christian} women can be so good at berating ourselves with false guilt and yet ignoring the real, conviction of sin kind of guilt. Awesome post.

Pins of the week:
I'm keeping this in mind for the inevitable, "I want a Tangled" birthday party" request that one of my 4 daughters is sure to make.

Another week, another built-in bunk idea:

So, what did you stumble on this week? Do share!
This post is linked to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Three Sweet Pea Moments

Here are three things Sweet Pea has said recently to illustrate her own unique personality:

Thing 1:
At supper time: "Mom, I don't want water to drink tonight. Can I have that yellow tasty drink?"

Me: "Do you mean lemonade?"

Her: "That's it. Lemonade. It's yellow and tasty so that's what I called it."

Thing 2:
Background information - the girls got so much Easter candy from Sunday School teachers, egg hunts, and family that we had to put it all in a Rubbermaid tub like the one pictured above. We, for what are most likely obvious reasons, keep this on top of the fridge.

After lunch or supper the girls will ask, "Would you please get down the candy tub?" So they can make their selections.

Well, Sweet Pea couldn't understand why we all laughed so much when she asked for the candy the other night. This is what she said: "Would you please get down the candy bath?"

Hilarity ensued but she never did quite understand what we were laughing about.

Thing 3:
Sweet Pea loves to look at the necklace I bought as a memorial for her baby brother. (You can see a picture of the necklace in this post.)

"I know why this is the necklace you bought," she told me the other day.

"You do?"

"Yes. The feet are because his feet were so little tiny when he went to Heaven. And the heart is for we love him."

And she was absolutely right.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Words for Wednesday

If you gave people the chance to work out their morality, then they would work out the version which was easiest for them and which allowed them to do what suited them for as much of the time as possible. That, in Mma Ramotswe's view, was simple selfishness, whatever grand name one gave to it.

If you've never read this series, do try and pick one up today. There's nothing else quite like them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday - 10 Favorite Characters

The topic at The Broke and Bookish this week is: All Time Favorite Characters. If I were to start listing my favorite characters from all the books I've ever read, the list might go on for days. So I decided to limit myself to one book.

Yes, I'm aware that I am completely admitting my nerd (or geek, depending on whom you ask) credentials here but I don't mind. Anyone who loves Star Wars as much as I do long ago gave up any pretense of being cool.

So, without further ado, here are my 10 Favorite Middle Earth Characters:

1. Aragorn / Strider. Forget what you think you know about him from the movies. He is far more and far better in the books.

2. Eowyn. Such a deep, well-drawn character. (Part of me still wants to name one of my daughters after her.)

3. Faramir. I have two words for what Peter Jackson did to this character: Character Assassination. Unforgivable, if you ask me.

4. Frodo. Of course. Everyone loves Frodo.

5. Samwise. Not to give anything away, but he's the real hero, don't you know.

6. Gandalf. Grey or white, he gets a lot of the best lines.

7. Gimli. This is most likely influenced by the movie, I'll admit. Along with:

8. Legolas. The Middle-Earth Odd Couple, in the book they actually serve as far more than just comic relief.

9. Treebeard. Talking tree. Very wise. Impossible to hurry.

10. Galadriel. Fascinating and enigmatic.

Who would make your top 10 list of favorite characters?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Miscellany Monday - C'mon May!

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters
I'm not one to hurry through life but here are some reasons why it needs to be May already:

1.My birthday is in May and I love my birthday. (Only 25 shopping days left. Do plan ahead.)

2. April has turned into an expensive month. Let me count the ways:
  • putting house on the market (didn't actually cost anything, per se, but it feels like it ought to be on this list)
  • new carpet
  • new kitchen floor (including tile, grout, 1/4 round, & baseboard)
  • new dishwasher
  • new planters, plants and such for the all-important "Curb appeal" of our house
  • new key, to leave in lock box for house showings (Which, alas, have not really materialized yet)
  • items to fix the front door (we have 2) that we never use. The people at Home Depot and Loews recognize us now. This is not a good thing.
  • possibly getting new gutters, but this has not actually happened yet
  • four (yes, count 'em 1-2-3-4) new tires for our minivan
  • dentist, endodontist and orthodontist appointments for Polly
  • 2 cavities = 2 fillings. In BABY teeth in Polly's mouth, for Pete's sake. Fillings in baby teeth are now on my "This is ridiculous and are you serious?!?!" list. Yes, I have such a list.
  • 4 baby teeth to be pulled, also from Miss Polly's mouth (This is happening tomorrow afternoon. If you happen to think of Polly please pray for her.)
  • medication for yours truly, both for a cold that WILL NOT GO AWAY and for reasons related to the miscarriage which I shall not go into here
  • new to us car (Non-sarcastic side note: Thanks, Mem and Pop - we love it!) with new plates, new title, and new insurance
  • Philip informs me that we need a new weed-eater. He's in charge of lawn maintenance so I have no say over this, though I confess I tried to talk him out of it. He didn't take my "just use scissors or pull them by hand" suggestion seriously.
  • bird removal from attic and repair to attic. Yes, we actually had to pay for this. The bird removal man came today. And this is why you pay someone to do this: the part of the attic the birds had infested is not actually accessible from the inside. But he climbed a ladder and reached in that attic with his bare hand and pulled those pests out. His BARE HAND, people. I am all astonishment. (I was also, "oh my word, I think I'm going to lose my lunch" but that has now passed.) Please do not ask what he did with the birds. I'm sure they've gone to live on a very nice farm somewhere. Ahem.
While that feels like plenty, I am sure I've left off a thing or two or twenty. And that's not even accounting for the fact that gasoline and groceries now require a credit check to purchase. ("Arm and leg in lieu of payment" optional)

C'est la vie. But if I had known that this is what adulthood is really like, I think I would have enjoyed my relatively carefree younger days more. 

Keep in mind: this post is for venting and mild humor purposes only. God is good to us all the time. His mercies truly are new every morning. If I didn't know that, I couldn't joke about this stuff.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins, kindling my hear with the flame of thy love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there.
For thou alone are my King and my Lord.
- Dimitrii of Rostov, 17th century

Psalm 5
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekend Links - April 21, 2012

1. Why We Believe Infants Who Die Go to Heaven by Albert Mohler, Jr. & Daniel Akin. Spurgeon believed this. Criswell believed this. King David (yes, that King David) believed this. I believe this too.

2. {30} Ways to Make Money from Home. All of which are legal, though not all may be practical. And, before you think, oh, I'll just start a blog, let me tell you: it's not that simple.

This topic must have been on the brain for several bloggers this week because Crystal of Money Saving Mom also posted:

3. 27 Ways to Make Money.

4. The Littleness of Motherhood. One of the best paragraphs:
This should be encouraging! What we are doing day by day is actually big stuff. And not just in the “way down the road, someday, something about this might turn into something.” It is already something big.
5. This one caught my eye because Polly used to look and sound like the child actress in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street: "Matilda" child star: Film Acting is not Fun.

6. How'd you like to live in a WWII Concrete Tower? Some folks have turned these nearly indestructible structures into homes.

7. What do you think about the new USA Olympic Closing Ceremony uniforms? While I like the style in the abstract ("Downton Abbey Olympians, anyone?) I do not like them for our athletes. The "Polo"  logo is the largest thing on the uniform and that hardly screams "American" to me.

8. Eggless Chick Laid by Hen. The poor hen died. And, for those of you keeping track, we creationists do not have a problem with the chicken / egg question.

9. This caught my eye: How Jane Austen Can Save Your Love Life.
My proposal -- Jane Austen to the rescue! She's the obvious guru to go to if modern women want love lives with more dignity. Her keen insights into male and female psychology can teach women to be really competent about men, like her heroines.
This goes to my long-held contention that Austen is far more than just "Early Chick-Lit". She writes heroines and heroes with honor and high moral standards. Her characters that "follow their hearts" are not the admirable ones and often come to bad or nearly-bad ends. (See: Dashwood, Marianne; or Bertram, Maria.)

Pins of the week:
One of our big tasks this week was cleaning out the basement. We're maybe 1/3 done. We carried out can after can of latex paint. Next house I'm doing something like this:

It helps you save enough for touch-ups or for reference as to color, but gets rid of the full size paint can jungle.

Love this beautifully simple birthday cake:

This is a great idea:

Those arches really make the shelves look finished and built-in.

This post is linked to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci. Come share your links!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tigger Tales

It's been awhile since I shared a good Tigger Tale. Part of the reason is she's getting older and I like to keep confidences when I can. But this happened this week and will help some of you understand this child we call Tigger.

The scene: Wednesday night. We're driving to church on the small, busy, four-lane highway that goes from our neighborhood to the village in which our church is located.

Trouble: one of the tires is losing air. Quickly. Philip keeps driving on this destroyed tire in order to pull off from this busy road (which has no shoulder and would therefore be dangerous for tire changing). It's a bumpy, tense ride. Polly is offering suggestions. Sweet Pea is squealing in the back.

Philip eventually gets the van to a side road. I whip out my cell phone and call my parents (already at church) to see if they can come get the kids and take them on to church (which is approximately 3 minutes away but it's too far and too dangerous to walk) while Philip changes the tire.

Gram (my mom) arrives just a few minutes later. We move the baby and her carseat over to Gram's car. I tell the other girls to get in. Polly & Sweet Pea jump right in. Tigger does too but before I close the door she asks, completely befuddled, "Why are we riding with Gram?"

Now bear in mind: Philip is already wrestling with the jack, the destroyed tire and such.

"Because of the the flat tire on the van, Tigger," I told her, just a hint of exasperation in my tone.

She looked up at me, shock evident on her face. "We have a flat tire?!"

And that, my friends, explains a lot about life with Tigger.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In Which We Discuss Beethoven, Pianos and Powerful Music

This part I can play:

And this part I can't...yet. (Yes, I'm actually working on it):

This is Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", which is also known as Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia, Opus 27 No. 2 (the last section is sometimes just called his Presto Agitato)

And another favorite, just because it's one of the most beautiful things ever written:

My most favorite, and not by Beethoven:

Would it be a bit much to have this at my funeral? I don't care. I want it.

And, while we're talking funeral music, let's go ahead and have this one too:

I'd prefer live symphony orchestra, obviously, but I suppose what will happen is one of my daughters will play this from whatever replaces iPods in the future. That'll be OK too.

Does that music not make you choke up a little bit? If it doesn't, might I suggest you find out where you left your soul today?

One of the reasons I've taken to piano practice in earnest again is because sometimes all I want to do is sit down and pound out a nice, moody piece of Beethoven's finest. And, while piano playing may not be exactly like riding a bicycle, I'm happy to say my skills are returning faster than I thought they would. (An hour a day of serious practice will do that.)

Now, to buy a piano with decent key action and tone...I asked Philip yesterday at what point in our marriage I would be able to buy a piano both the size and cost of a small car. I just wanted reassurance that I would get one before my fingers are crippled with age. He assured me it would happen sooner rather than later.

We'll see. Of course, if we get a bigger house (and that's a pretty big "if" right now), we'll have to fill up that house. And what better way to fill a room than a nice five foot long baby grand piano, right?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words for Wednesday - On Reading

The memory of being read to is a solace one carries through adulthood. It can wash over a multitude of parental sins. - Kathleen Rockwell Laurence

Monday, April 16, 2012

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters
1. Remember that whole "offer on the house" thing? Well, never mind. The offer fell through. So we are back to square 1. I'm actually OK with this because we went house hunting Friday and it was one of the most depressing things ever: houses slightly out of our price range that needed A LOT of work. A house in our price range that needed SO SO MUCH MORE work. And a house in our price range that sold two hours before we were supposed to look at it. See what I mean? Depressing.

2. Something else that was getting us down: the thought of moving to an apartment until we could find a new-to-us house. The thought of moving my four girls and a bunch of our stuff into a tiny apartment was enough to make me want to...well, never mind what it made me want to do. No use dwelling on the negative.

3. Here's an Easter picture for you:
Believe it or not, that's about as good as it gets for our Easter pictures this year. Miss Lili was teething and basically felt miserable all day. Her dress was pretty but we couldn't coax a smile out of her for anything. Oh, well. What's Easter without a good "squinting into the sun" picture? I know my Mom's photo albums are full of such specimens.

4. Book I'm reading right now:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It's quite interesting.

5. Something else interesting:

A new song by Paul McCartney with ASL by Natalie Portman & Johnny Depp. Portman's signs are well done. His are...not so much. But it's still nice. And I love songs about Valentines, being the sentimental person that I am. (First date with Philip on Valentine's Day 1997 and he officially proposed on Valentine's Day 1998.)

6. And I can't forget to wish my Aunt C. a Very Happy Birthday. And speaking of aunts / nieces, my aunt could have ended up sharing her birthday with her great niece (today was The Princesses' due date) but Fen's little sister came eleven days early. Have I mentioned that I have a new niece? And have I further mentioned that she's perfectly perfect?
I suppose that's enough miscellany for one Monday. I wish you a very happy week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Songs - O Heart Bereaved and Lonely

1. O heart bereaved and lonely,
Whose brightest dreams have fled
Whose hopes like summer roses,
Are withered crushed and dead
Though link by link be broken,
And tears unseen may fall
Look up amid thy sorrow,
To Him who knows it all

2. O cling to thy Redeemer,
Thy Savior, Brother, Friend
Believe and trust His promise,
To keep you till the end
O watch and wait with patience,
And question all you will
His arms of love and mercy,
Are round about thee still

3. Look up, the clouds are breaking,
The storm will soon be o’er
And thou shall reach the haven,
Where sorrows are no more
Look up, be not discouraged;
Trust on, whate’er befall
Remember, O remember,
Thy Savior knows it all

Words by Fanny Crosby, new melody by Leigh Nash & Stu G

 I hadn't heard this before our miscarriage but I happened to pick up Leigh Nash's new album Hymns & Sacred Songs at the library soon after and this song immediately jumped out at me. Really, the whole album is great.

This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. Action taken with this link could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend Links - April 14, 2012

1. Two helpful posts about miscarriage:
2. Underage Dating: The Elephant in the Social Conservative Living Room.

3. From a letter Henry James wrote: Sorrow passes and we remain.

4. Just for fun (or, at least, I thought it was amusing): Hunger Games Name Generator.

5. 4 Business Lessons from the World's Youngest Female Billionaire. Interesting because the inventor owns her business and operates debt free. Less interesting when you think that she made her money because women are perpetually trying to shape themselves into some culturally acceptable slender, yet hourglass, figure. Bah. Really annoys me that we do this to ourselves.

6. Complaints Medieval Monks Scrawled in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts. I like this one:
As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.
7. Five Titanic Myths Spread By Films.

8. When "Better For You" isn't Better. I always appreciate Katrina's advice on keeping things in balance.

Pins of the Week:
It's probably no surprise that floor to ceiling shelves set my heart rate racing.

These hairpins are adorable:

I love shirtwaist dresses, too. Which reminds me, I need to go thrifting again. (Always)

What did you stumble on this week?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Which We Talk of Small Houses and Moving

Things like this make me think our 800 odd square feet ought to be plenty.

And then I think again.

In other words: we're still planning to move. One of the people who walked through our house last week (because, yes! there was more than one!) is supposedly going to make an offer today.

I say supposedly because it hasn't happened yet.

Bad things about this: we don't have a "new to us" house picked out yet. I might have to leave my new stove (sob!). We just paid $$$ for a new floor in the kitchen that isn't even in yet and the guy maybe would have bought our house without it. Due to the downturn in the economy the best we can hope for - despite living here for eleven years and doing lots of work - is breaking even.

Good things about this: we'll get to move to a bigger house. We're also leaving the appliances we don't like. We're - hopefully - breaking even instead of losing.

Meanwhile, Tigger is threatening to take down the sign in the yard because, "I like this house just fine", and Polly can't wait to move because, "Maybe then I won't have to go to bed when my sisters do."

And my emotions are somewhere between those two extremes.

Update: Aaannnddd...we have an offer. And we're going to take it. Looks like Chez Charming will be changing locations. So weird. I've lived here for almost 11 years out of my {almost} 31 years of life. I only lived for three years longer than that in my childhood home (14 years).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

Acts 2:22-39 ESV (emphasis added)
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Previous Easter posts here and here.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekend Links - April 7, 2012

Happy Easter Weekend, everyone! He is risen and that's a real reason to celebrate.

1. Lee Ann Garfias asked, "'Am I A Feminist?" after she posted a book review and received some serious backlash. As the mother of 4 daughters, I think I can safely say that I stand with Mrs. Garfias on this one.

2. 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don't Leave the Church. This is obviously a complicated issue but there must be at least as much merit in asking why people stay as opposed to why people leave.

3. This could be useful: How to Know if You're a Controlling Person.

4. This week is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Philip and I recently watched this show on PBS: Saving the Titanic, about the engineers who kept the power running until the ship sank. It was quite well done. (Much to be preferred over any movie that makes it more of an adolescent dating drama. Ahem.)

5. Also related: Is it Possible to Build an "Unsinkable" Ship? Fascinating stuff from Scientific American.

6. The Headmistress shares her thoughts on The Hunger Games. I think she is too generous to Doug Wilson's review, considering what a hatchet job I thought his review was {deep breath}, but that is a discussion for another time. (And no, I still haven't seen the movie.)

7. Famous Estates from British Period Drama. Great pictures but I can't believe they don't mention Chatsworth.

Pins of the Week:
This skirt was for sale on Etsy (Go Chase Rabbits) and the shop owner has been swamped with orders. Because, obviously, awesome-sauce:

Next year I hope to plan ahead and dye eggs this way:

This year we're using a kit. From Wal-Mart. I know. How amazing am I? Martha Stewart has nothing to fear from me.

Yet another bunk set up that could work for us:

I'm sad to think about leaving our house but I'm excited to see what new place for us we can find. Just give us another bathroom and a few more square feet and we won't know what to do with ourselves.

This post is linked to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci. Come share your links and see what other folks are reading, pinning, & watching this week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Books of 2012 - March

1. Lord Peter (short stories). Fiction by Dorothy Sayers. I'd already read a few of these (some are in the Hangman's Holidaycollection which I read last year) but most were new to me and I love anything about Lord Peter. Recommended if you like the novels.

2. An Empty Cradle: A Full Heart. Non-fiction by Christine O'Keeffe Lafser. Reflections and devotions for anyone who has lost a child.

3. The Guns of August. Non-fiction by Barbara Tuchman. Fantastic history of the beginning of the First World War. Thick, but quite readable with a delightful style that Tuchman mastered.

4. Thrones, Dominations. Fiction by Dorothy Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh. I am usually leery of series that continue after their creator's death. My desire to read more about Lord Peter Wimsey enabled me to give this a try despite the fact that Sayers died many years ago. Jill Paton Walsh is a fantastic writer in her own right (see the Imogen Quy series or #9 below) and does an admirable job with Sayers' creation.

5. What Was Lost: A Christian Journey Through Miscarriage. Non-fiction by Elise Erikson Barrett. Hands down the best book about miscarriage that I've read. Highly recommended for anyone who has gone through this (even if it was long ago). Can't say I agree with the theology 100%, but that is  my only disclaimer regarding this book. You can see some of my booknotes from this book in this post.

6. Colour Scheme. Fiction by Ngaio Marsh. Wonderful sense of place (in this case WW2 era New Zealand), memorable characters and a grisly death. What more could a mystery lover want?

7. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss. Non-fiction by Jerry Sittser. This is an inspiration, moving book. I plan to share a few of my notes from this book in another post. Highly recommended.

8. About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing & Hope. Non-fiction edited by Jessica Berger Gross. The strangest thing to me about this book was reading self-confessed pro-choice authors describe how much it hurt to lose their pregnancies (not all would say they lost babies). Helpful in the sense that each author's experience was a little bit different but also the same. As a Christian, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this book because of the worldview most of the authors hold.

9. Debts of Dishonor. Fiction by Jill Paton Walsh. Another book in the Imogen Quy series. Not my favorite but well written.

10. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. Non-fiction by Nicholas Carr. Fascinating, if alarming, reading. Our brains are amazing, resilient, creations that scientists and doctors still do not fully understand (and, just as an aside, I don't believe we ever will). Highly recommend this book - I've already made strongly suggested Philip read it.

11. The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour. Non-fiction by Andrei Cherny. Ever wonder when America became friends with Germany instead of their mortal enemy, following the Second World War? This book explains how that happened. Also answers the question of why more of Europe didn't end up following under Communist rule.

12. Curtain: Poirot's Last Case. Fiction by Agatha Christie. And here's where I, voracious mystery reader, confess something {whispering} I much prefer Dorothy Sayers or Ngaio Marsh to Agatha Christie. {done whispering} I know, I know, it's horrifying, but I just cannot get interested in most of Christie's books. I have never been fond of Poirot and this book didn't really change my mind. I will tell you that Philip and I have lately been thoroughly enjoying this Marple series:

They are excellent, well acted mysteries (disclaimer: we've only seen 5 so far and already there has been a depiction of an "alternative" relationship that I certainly could have done without) but I cannot say how faithful they may be to the books because I haven't read any of the Miss Marple books. Not that I haven't tried, mind you. Agatha Christie is a taste I just haven't acquired yet, I suppose.

Totals for March:
Fiction: 5 (All mysteries)
Non-fiction: 7

So, what did you read in March? Anything I should add to my April stack?

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