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What I’m Reading (and the Kids Too)

Although summer seems like it would be the optimal time for reading, it honestly seems like it is the opposite for me. I may have mentioned once or twice that I tend to get distracted easily and this year when the kids want to go to the pool, I end up working on something swim team related or chatting with a family. Which is all good, but I’d love to just curl up in a chair on the porch and read…but then the house doesn’t get clean. :)

One thing that I started using toward the end of last year was a blank journal to write down all the quotes from books that strike me as I’m reading. I have a hard time letting go of a book when there are things I’ve underlined or dog-eared, so this has been a great way to help me release more and still track the quotes I love. 

Feel free to follow along with me on the Good Reads app  as I attempt to knock a few more books off  my 2017 reading list. There are only four more books in my primary “to read” pile and another four on my “if there’s time” list, so we’ll see! It’s so much fun to see what others are reading and recommend too.

Here’s the list I want to tackle during July and hereby resolve to finish: 

The Kids are Reading…

We’ve been so busy that reading has honestly not been happening. One of the things that Kaleb and I will be doing together this month is reading the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro. There are three books in the series and they are fairly quick read-alouds that he will enjoy. 

Other than that, Laurianna has been busy working (not as much time for reading) and the other kids are enjoying time in the water whenever they can. 

What I Finished in June

The short answer is: not much. Much of what I read was teen lit (so pretty light reading). Laurianna and I read a five book series together by Kiera Cass. Some of the books in the series were better than others and we both felt the series sort of ended suddenly, but still enjoyed it overall. 

My least favorite read was Scary Close by Donald Miller. While there were some great points, overall it felt really scattered and full of name-dropping. I haven’t read any of his other stuff, but personally that turns me off. Otherwise, here’s what I finished up. 

That’s it for this month – what is on YOUR reading list??

What I’m Reading (and the Kids Too)

May seems to have flown by. As always, my idea of what I’ll have time to do vs. what I actually get done are two very different things. One of these days I’ll remember that. A few of the books in my May stack were tackled, and others were pushed to the side to read later because I was rather consumed with helping prep for our swim team season. 

BUT now that swim season has started and the pool is open I have some time to relax since the kids are old enough to be in the pool without needing me to be right there with them every moment (for those of you with younger children – it will happen one day!). 

Feel free to follow along with me on the Good Reads app  as I attempt to knock a few more books off  my 2017 reading list. There are only four more books in my primary “to read” pile and another four on my “if there’s time” list, so we’ll see! It’s so much fun to see what others are reading and recommend too.

Here’s the list I want to tackle during June and hereby resolve to finish: 

The Kids are Reading…

The kids have all finished their assigned reading and I’m giving them a wee bit of a break at the moment, but we will start a reading challenge together soon. 

Laurianna and I have been reading through a series together the last bit. It’s nothing in-depth or serious, just some light summer reading, but it’s been fun reading and talking about the books with her (and besides, teen lit is easy to read). 

What I Finished in May

The last two months are ones where I read a lot of books focused on WW2 – not intentionally, it just happened that way. Some of the books were ones I picked up because I saw them on a friend’s reading list or were recommend, so it was a whole lot of random mixed in with some I intentionally wanted to read. 

Probably my FAVORITE read of the month was The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It tells the story of the women left behind in France during the German invasion during WW2. Overall it’s real, raw at times, and incredibly moving. 

That said, there were a few that I actually had to put down, either because I just couldn’t get into the story (I made it halfway through The Book Thief  because of this) or because the content was ridiculously beyond what I personally can handle (in the bedroom department – I have a fairly low tolerance). Otherwise, here’s what I finished up. 

That’s it for this month – what is on YOUR reading list??

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) May 2017

The last few weeks, the front porch has been one of my favorite places to sit and relax. We finally purchased a new cushion for our porch swing (someone picked a hole in the old one) and now the swing is nice and cushy soft. Although there aren’t any flowers in the pots, it’s been fun watching a few birds build a nest in our hanging ferns – more definite signs that spring is here and the lovely weather is here to stay.

Although I didn’t get through quite as much of my non-fiction this past month, I did read a few other books that weren’t on my list that I’m glad not to have missed.  The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines was one of those I added because it was a Kindle deal recently and I was cracking up with some of the back story between those two. A few of the books are still in my pile to continue reading this month, and we have some more car trips coming which hopefully means some reading time (and not fielding disagreements between the backseat passengers). 

I did knock a few books off  my 2017 reading list (and again loving the Good Reads app to help me track my progress), which always is nice. Feel free to join me there and follow along! It’s so much fun to see what others are reading and recommend.

Here’s the list I want to tackle during May:

The Kids are Reading…

The girls have finished up their required reading for the year, so they are taking a bit of a breather in that area. Laurianna is working on other subjects to get caught up and McKenna needs to head to the library soon. Kaleb recently finished his first chapter book and I thought for sure he would pick an easier book to read, but he asked to read the second book in the Boxcar Children series – and I couldn’t be happier! 

What I Read in April

The best two books I read this past month by far were How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig (gave me some great talking points to use with one of our high school lit classes) and also A Fall of Marigolds  by Susan Meissner. I honestly LOVED this last one- cannot say how much, quite honestly. It wove the stories of women from two different eras (early 1900s and 2001) along with their personal losses – and it was just fabulous. 

Books I read…

That’s all for this month! I’ll share what I’ve managed to finish next month with you all. What books do you and the kids have set aside to read this month? 

What I’m Reading (and the Kids too) April 2017

Since the time change this past month, my sleeping has gone all out of whack. For some odd reason, I’ve been waking up around 3am every morning, so every now and then (if I have trouble falling back asleep), I’ll read a bit on my kindle. Between that and two different trips the last two weeks, quite a few books were knocked off my reading list. 

One of the books at the top of my list was Never Unfriended by Lisa Jo Baker. Even though it wasn’t on my 2017 reading list, it’s one of those that I definitely wanted to add the moment I saw it, and I loved it enough to order copies for a few friends who I knew could use the encouragement and words as much as I did. This mom thing is hard, homeschooling adds another layer to that, and protecting the friendships I have is very important to me – I want to BE the best friend I can and also foster healthy relationships along the way.   

March had me making great progress on my 2017 reading list (and again loving the Good Reads app to help me track my progress). Feel free to join me there! 

Here’s the list I want to tackle during April:

The Kids are Reading…

The girls have finished up their required reading for the year, so they are taking a bit of a breather in that area. Laurianna is working on other subjects to get caught up and McKenna needs to head to the library soon.

What I Read in March

Best two books I read this past month by far were Never Unfriended and Growing up Social in the non-fiction category, and Behind the Scenes and The Green Ember (read aloud with boys) in the fiction area. I had high hopes for A Man Called Ovebut honestly sometimes felt like I had to push through it. I’m absolutely loving many of the recipes too in Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking

That’s all for this month! I’ll share what I’ve managed to finish next month with you all. What books do you and the kids have set aside to read this month? 

Creating Lasting Friendships – #NeverUnfriended


This last week I’ve been reading through Never Unfriended by Lisa Jo Baker and am truly in love with it. It’s one that has been traveling around the house and errands with me so I can grab and read during spare moments.

Friendship can be a huge risk – putting yourself out there, being honest and raw at times, and truthfully, it can also be one area that causes pain (trust me, I know). But friendships can also be a source of huge encouragement, joy, and laughter. Those moments are ones we cherish and cling to during tough times and those friends are with us in our toughest times.

Beyond face-to-face friendships, it’s easy for things to feel (or appear) out of whack with the many different venues of social media at our fingertips. We feel slighted when someone doesn’t respond quickly or ‘like’ something. Feelings get hurt. Friendships become fragile. 

As a mom who stays home and is surrounded by kids all day, there are times when I know I do not do enough to grow my friendships, but I also sabotage relationships as well by all the second-guessing, comparison, and plain old craziness. 

I (heart) this quote from the book because it truly sums up my feelings: 

I want to be the kind of woman who makes other women feel welcome. Where they feel seen, valued, and safe. That means that whether or not we have close friends is entirely in our own hands. We simply have to be willing to start.  – p. 84,  Never Unfriended

My heart here is to encourage you all not only in your homeschool walk, but also as you live life everyday. Having the support and care of close friends is so important – and I truly feel this book is one of those “keep on your shelf” for a long time to come. 

 

Special Pre-Order Offers!

Lisa Jo is offering some beautiful pre-order gifts to anyone who orders the book, either through her website or through Amazon and would like to start reading now. Here’s a little peek at what is in the gift box: 

  • A beautiful, distressed clipboard with 37 art prints PLUS 12 exclusive Never Unfriended quotes from the book (ships to US addresses only)
  • Digital printable of the 12 exclusive Never Unfriended quote cards
  • The Never Unfriended Promise – Digital Download
  • First half of the book (digital download)

Don’t wait for release date. Start reading right now!

If you’ve already pre-ordered (WOOT!!!), you can claim your freebies HERE. Just scroll down and click on the “Redeem Pre-order” form to claim them and you can enter in your information! 

 

Note: I was sent an advanced copy of this book to read, but have already purchased a copy for a friend. Because I absolutely love it. And I may have wanted the freebies as well. :) 

What I’m Reading (and the Kids Too)

I know – you are probably thinking, “that looks like a real page turner!” While cookbooks aren’t typically on my reading stack, I have a few that I am reading through to see if there are tweaks and changes we can make to Laurianna’s diet (and ours) to help her out. The last few months have seen a bit of a learning curve, and the words “quick and easy” may have caught my eye. A friend let me borrow her book, and it is laid out much the way my brain thinks, so it moved right on up to the top of my pile. 

Reading glasses though. This past month I finally had to admit that my almost 44 year old eyes needed a little assistance, especially in the early morning or late night. My hubby is having a grand time with this fact (mainly because I have given him much grief over the years about his own – so I’m getting it honestly). :) 

Some of my books that were on my February pile made the shift to March, but for the most part I am making progress on my 2017 reading list (and again loving the Good Reads app to help me track my progress. Feel free to join me there! 

March will have me traveling quite a bit, so hopefully between airports and downtime I’ll have some time to knock out both fiction and non-fiction that is amassing on my Kindle and nightstand. Here’s what I’m hoping to read this month. I know the pile looks huge, but several I’ve already started and am a few chapters in (and honestly I have a little of everything depending on my mood).

The Kids are Reading…

What I Read in February

February was the month I FINALLY wrapped up a book that has been on my pile for what seems like forever. Fervent has been one I’ve picked up, read and contemplated, and then needed to process a bit more than others. It isn’t exactly light and easy reading, but that’s a good thing. Honestly, much of what I read this month, was exactly what I needed, right when I needed it – and that’s a wonderful thing. 

That’s all for this month! I’ll share what I’ve managed to finish next month with you all. What books do you and the kids have set aside to read this month?