Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
"The King will answer and say to them,
'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
To put it in to perspective-- I cannot remember the last good book I read, just for fun. Pretty sad, huh? Yes, I read lots of great books aloud to my boys, and yes, I enjoy most of them tremendously, but open up a bestseller for my own personal gain? Well, it just doesn't happen. And yes, I know the many benefits that flow naturally from a helthy diet of literary works-- that's why I'm always tweaking the boys' lists... to make sure they read all the best stuff. But take the time for myself to tackle one-- somehow, it just doesn't happen. No, instead life happens. And one thing or another requires my attention until voila... another day passes without any me/book time.
So what's the point, you ask? Well, I'll tell ya-- embarrassed terribly by this pathetic reality, I'm determined to make a change. There are so many fantastic books on the book shelves nowadays; I simply must make time for a few of them.
So, over the past few weeks I've been collecting titles and I've been compiling a list... for me. Most of them are ones I've never read, though there are a few that I enjoyed eons ago and would love to appreciate once again. As for the assortment: there are a few education-related titles, a few christian living ones, some parenting books, some modern fiction, and a few juvenile fiction titles, as well (specifically ones I've seen on the lists of others-- ones their kiddos enjoyed... ones that I just might pass along to my boys if they pass muster.). There are a few classics on the list and quite possibly a few other titles that don't really fit in to any of the aforementioned categories. Either way, these books will keep me busy for quite some time (though hopefully I'll embrace this new challenge and fly through my list quickly. And then I'll make another list!). So, onward and upward as I resume an old habit that never should have been relegated to the bottom rung of my to-do-list~
Without further ado, here's my list (in no particular order):
Sacred Marriage-- Gary Thomas
O Pioneers!-- Willa Cather
Till We Have Faces-- C.S. Lewis
The Count of Monte Cristo-- Alexandre Dumas
Little Women-- Louisa May Alcott
The Giver-- Lois Lowry
The Thief Lord-- Cynthia Funke
Maggie Rose: Her Birthday Christmas-- Ruth Sawyer
Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading-- Lawrence Goldstone
Three Cups of Tea-- Greg Mortenson
Cheaper by the Dozen-- Frank Gilbreth
The Latin-Centered Curriculum, 2nd edition-- Andrew Campbell
My Antonia-- Willa Cather
The Little French Girl-- Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Raising a Modern-Day Knight-- Robert Lewis
He Speaks to Me-- Priscilla Shirer
The Hole in Our Gospel-- Richard Stearns
The Mysterious Benedict Society-- Trenton Lee Stewart
The Silver Chalice-- Thomas B. Costain
Anne of Green Gables-- L.M. Montgomery
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn-- Betty Smith
Ruth-- Elizabeth Gaskell
I Dared to Call Him Father-- Bilquis Sheikh
David Copperfield-- Charles Dickens
To Kill a Mockingbird-- Harper Lee
Les Miserables-- Victor Hugo
A Year in Provence-- Peter Mayle
Hind's Feet on High Places-- Hannah Hurnard
The Bronze Bow-- Elizabeth George Speare
The Scarlet Pimpernel-- Baroness Emma Orczy
A Wrinkle in Time-- Madeleine L'Engle
The Pursuit of God-- A.W. Tozer
Mere Christianity-- C.S. Lewis
So there it is~ lots-o-books to keep me busy for lots-o-time... wish me luck!
oh, p.s.-- if any of you have any favorites in any genre, please pass the titles along-- I'd actually love to add a few more to my list! thanks :)
Monday, April 20, 2009
For the past several weeks, the boys and I have been praying for a tough little guy named Stellan. He's been fighting for his life for four weeks now, first in the Minneapolis Children's Hospital, and now in Boston with a new team of specialists. He's had great days and he's had some not-s0-great ones (to say the least), yet he continues to fight... to God be the glory! If you have any interest in following his story, check out his mom's blog (she updates it very regularly), or to learn just a tiny bit about his condition, feel free to read my original post here.
So, here's the skinny... tomorrow Stellan will be undergoing a very difficult surgery (= an ablation)-- a surgery that, up to this point, his doctors have avoided because it's extremely risky in one so small (and young). Now, however, they have decided they must travel down that road after all-- it's their only (or best) option-- and his parents are in full agreement. In preparation for this procedure, the specialists started weaning him off some of his iv meds this past weekend, and thankfully, his body handled it very well.
How. in. the. world. are. they-- his parents-- surviving??? I simply cannot imagine. We are so blessed with healthy children and with so many other creature comforts. Viewing Stellan's struggles from the sidelines sure puts my monetary afflictions into perspective.
How is his mother still sane?? What about his dad, who's home with their other children half-way across the country-- how's he surviving?? How do they sleep at night? How do they make it through these terribly dark days, and how do they rise again each morning, only to press forward one more time?
God's marvelous grace...
His riches at Christ's expense. His unmerited favor, lavished on us~
"Each time He said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Amen! We serve a mighty God! And as my eldest likes to remind me, "He is mighty to save!" So please, if you feel so compelled to pray for this little guy or for his family or for his doctors or for anyone else who might be attached to his care, please do so. After reading Jennifer's blog (that's his mom), I feel certain she covets any and all prayers lifted towards heaven on behalf of her son.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Anyhoo. Vacation.... that's this week's theme at Living Lovely with Family. Heidi, over at Mt. Hope Chronicles, is really hoping to gather a few out-of-the-box vacation ideas, and hopefully a few affordable ones, too (especially ideas for those on a shoe-string budget... and who isn't these days?!). Unfortunately, I don't have much experience on either front-- the one mega vacation we took as a family required months and months of saving (and sadly, it'll be a very long while before we save enough for a repeat performance!), and our other vacations have been supplied by our wonderfully generous parents.
Over the past few days, though, mom and I have been discussing this very subject, and together we've come up with a few possible ideas:
1. Plan a stay-cation... a few days or maybe even a week full of day trips in our surrounding area. No need for hotels or even expensive restaurants-- breakfast at home and picnic lunches will do just fine. And since we live in northern Virginia, our family has excellent access to all sorts of fabulous stuff-- like the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. and the battlefields in Manassas; the fabulous aquarium in Baltimore and the gorgeous harbor district in Annapolis. A day trip into Richmond is an easy drive, and there's a wonderful children's museum there to boot. Even Williamsburg is doable, and we have wonderful friends nearby. Grin. So, lots of opportunties for fun... right in our own backyard!
2. Take advantage of family in friends who live in other places (== free lodging!). For instance, mom and dad live in the mountains and there are all sorts of unique opportunties to discover and explore in their neck of the woods. Mom is always on the look-out for more neat finds... why not recruit others to help in that process?? Like other family members, perhaps, or close friends. Surely they'd be tickled to participate and contribute to a little family fun (I think?!). Another for instance-- a few years ago my in-laws moved to South Dakota, and while my oldest two have visited their new home, the rest of us have not. I'd love to haul my entire crew out there for an extended visit, as I know there's a ton of cool stuff to see and do out west! Surely, when the time is right, they'd be willing to help create an itinerary for us as they are much more familiar with the area (and we'd have a free place to stay!).3. Chris would love-- absolutely love-- to rent an RV for a traveling tour of the U.S. (I'm not sure if this qualifies for a shoe-string-budget or not, what with gasoline expenses and all. I guess I'll find out one day if we really look in to it!). Back in college, he and his buddies rented one for spring break and drove to the Florida Keys, and ever since then, he's been itching to do it all again (with us though... not them!). While the idea has grown on me over time, I'm still a bit hesitant... would we all survive?? That's a lot of us (don't forget the dog) cooped up in a tight space, leaving no route of escape when the male members of the family start snoring (that includes the dog). Just kidding. But seriously, I'd really, really like to tour New England-- Boston and Martha's Vineyard and the coast of Maine, too. Oh, and then there's Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. So many, many wonderful places that I'd love to see (and that I'd love to see with my family)...
Well, that's about it from this end. Hopefully, other readers will step up to the plate with oodles of helpful ideas; I'll certainly be checking in frequently (to Heidi's blog) because our family could surely benefit from the creativity of others!! Especially in these tough economic times, inexpensive-- yet fun!-- would be ideal :)
In the meantime, here's a little peak at the vacation adventures we've found thus far:
A year and a half ago, Chris and I took the boys on our first big vacation... we went to the greatest place on earth, and let me just tell you, it truly is the best! We went to Disney World, and it was utterly fantastic. Incredible. Unbelievable. A must-do. Really, and worth every penny!