currently reading

currently reading

if you know me in real life, the title of this post will give you a chuckle.  if you know me, your guess would be a variety of magazines.  i used to be a reader as a kid.  i loved reading!  give me a babysitter’s club book and i’ll read it in a day.  but over the years i have lost my love for reading, which has in turn caused me to be out of practice which has made me a slower reader.  dang you, inconsistency!  you strike again!

but when i do read, i find i tend to read for specific purposes.  either i’m reading something i find interesting, like books on design, or i read more often to educate myself on something.  over the last several years, the little bit of reading i’ve done has been either bible-based, homeschool related, or about parenting.  and it you look at my current pile on my bedside table, you’d see that pretty much holds true.

we’re in an interesting phase with our kids right now.  out of the life-saving phase, but into more complex life stages.  and i’ll be honest, most days i haven’t got a clue what i’m doing!  i find myself throwing my hands up more often than i want to and i think digging into books can be really helpful.  now please know this pile of mine is mostly pretty new.  we had a rough few weeks where i was freaking out and ordering everything off amazon that i thought could help!  thank goodness for free shipping.

currently reading

so here’s my list:

growing up duggar – i’ve only seen the show a few times, but its certainly intriguing.  my sister-in-law recommended reading this to my girls.  it sounds like a sweet book with an interesting perspective from the older duggar daughters.

365 ideas for recruiting, retaining, motivating and rewarding your volunteers – as the supervisor for our school’s thrift store, volunteers are a necessity for keeping our costs down, but they always seem to be hard to get.  we’re hoping this book fills us with all sorts of great options for our non-profit.  i’ve also read a couple sales-based books for the store recently, too.

how to talk so kids will listen & how to listen so kids will talk – this one was definitely ordered in one of those “parenting emergency” situations.  somedays i feel like no one listens to me, and it freaks me out!

raising a trail blazer: rite-of-passage trail markers for your set-apart teens – a few moms of pre-teens and i are just starting into this book as our girls near the teen years.  we just heard the author and her husband speak at our church a few weeks ago and they were full of great insight, having raised 3 girls themselves.

6 ways to keep the little in your girl – i haven’t even cracked this one open, but it came highly recommended.

siblings without rivalry – same author as how to talk to kids, also ordered in haste, hoping it will help with some of the junky stuff here.

grace based parenting – i am probably most excited about this book than any of the others!

created for work – we really believe in the power of working hard and glorifying God through that, and we want to instill this in our kids.  i think this book is more specifically geared towards boys, which will be helpful since its our boy who has the strongest aversion to work!

the read-aloud handbook – i finished this book several months ago, but it has great references in it.

one thousand gifts – i am so bad about finishing books!  i have been slowly creeping through this wonderful book for a couple years (yikes!), so there it sits.

praying the scriptures for your children – another unfinished book, but so good!

the reason for God – not started yet, i think it migrated from sean’s table.

my bible

the meaning of marriage – we just finished this book with 3 other couples and i can’t recommend it highly enough!  it spurred on great conversations.

not pictured, being that lent started yesterday, i am starting on my naptime diaries lent devotional.

do you have any great recommendations for me?

family olympics

several years ago sean & i came up with the idea of family olympics for his side of the family.  we alternate holidays with them so we always do it the day after thanksgiving or the day after christmas, depending on which holiday we’re all together.  really, it was our secret ploy to get his whole family to commit an entire day together, without the pull of other family or friends.  for the most part, our plan has worked… heeheehee ;)

each year the olympics change, but a few things stay the same.  we always start by dividing into 2 teams, trying to find an equal balance, and splitting up couples.  then we choose super wacky names.  this year we let the youngest team members choose the names and they came up with “team popsicles vs team starburstses”.  and team rivalry is big!

family olympics

we always start the same.  we gather in the park across the street from his parents house and begin by singing the national anthem.  its pretty loud & obnoxious!

then uncle vito leads us in extremely unconventional stretching (think finger stretches and breathing exercises).


we all contribute ideas for games.  bring back favorites and introducing new games is so much fun!

here’s the round up of this year’s games:


basketball free throws




swing long jump


balance beam/”log roll”


soccer penalty kicks


most lacrosse passes in 2 minutes


flying a quad copter & landing it closest to the mark


gift card shoot-out (not necessarily part of the olympics, but something the adult children do in lieu of a gift exchange)


name that tune


fast track shoot out


vaseline on the nose, picking up pompoms


tictac shake – can only shake side to side, first to empty both cartons wins.  you MUST see this video!

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tossing cheetos onto shaving cream covered shower cap – most cheetos wins!

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musical chairs


narrowed down to sean & i – i won!

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mini golf

we had a few other games i didn’t get pictures of – oops!

this is an ALL-DAY function for our family and its so fun!  we usually start late morning at the park, head back to the house for lunch, then do more games until dinner time.  we usually end with pizzas and once we even headed to the bowling alley after!

do you have any fun family rituals you do?  share!