Monday, January 31, 2011

Two of Mine


Friday, January 28, 2011

Confession of Sin

Our church is a far cry from being a liturgical church, though compared to the church I grew up in, it is very liturgical.  If it were up to me (which it is not), I would probably prefer a little more liturgy, but I enjoy the stuff we do get in the service.

We have been keeping HC with us for the beginning part of the worship service before we send her off to her class.  Actually, truth be told, we are in the process of deciding when HC should begin sitting through the entire worship service.  Most of the children begin sitting through the entire service at 3rd or 4th grade, but it looks like we want to do something a little different (surprise).  In this discussion, and in the practice of having HC with us for the beginning part of worship we have been more cognizant of our own participation in worship, and have sought to explain to her the different elements of worship.

I was encouraged by a book that I recently stumbled upon, "With the Children on Sundays" which you can actually read online, that an important practice is to "play" church with your children.  This also helps in teaching them about the different elements of worship.  I thought this was a great idea, though we have yet to totally "play" church, I have spent some time talking to HC and Annelise about our worship's confession of sin.

Here is an example of what we might say as a congregation:
Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.  We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.  Amen.

This week I have been practicing this with the girls and trying to teach them what it means to confess our sins to God.  We have spent most of our time talking about this during our morning family worship time, and I have been giving them a time to think about something they have done wrong and to pray and ask God to forgive them.  In worship we do this silently, but I feel like we need to do this aloud for a while so that we can all get the hang of it.

Yesterday Annelise wanted to go first, though she has a little harder time understanding what we are doing.  After some coaching, she started out, "Dear God, please forgive me..." and then she paused and HC piped up, "for being foolish and not making wise choices" which then Annelise repeated.  I was trying not to laugh as I witnessed my 4 year old tell my 3 year old what she needed to confess, but it worked.  And then when it was HC's turn she said, "Dear God, please forgive me when I disobey, please save me, and wash my heart all clean.  In Jesus' name, Amen." Oh, that one day she will more fully understand these words that she prayed today.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweet Annelise

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

True is 6 Months

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was lugging my cankles and huge prego self around, but truly that was 6 months ago during the worst summer I have ever experienced in Atlanta.  And now my ankle is visible again and I am holding a 6 month old in my arms.  Insanity.

True is the sweetest baby ever.  YOu may take that to the bank.  He is full of smiles and coos and giggles.  And because he is so nice it makes the fact that he is STILL not sleeping through the night a little easier.  From a month old he has been waking up to eat and going back down, which is ever so nice, but he has failed to get the whole 12 hours in one shot.  He loves an early bedtime and likes to go down at 5.30.  I mean he is toast after that, and has no interest in staying awake.  He has made it as long as 4am, which is a great stretch (if only he was going to bed at 7 it would be fabulous), but alas 4am is still a bit early in my book.  Usually he wakes up a couple times and then gets up to start the day with his big sisters at 7.  He takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap and sometimes a late afternoon nap and then back to bed again at 5.30.  We are actually starting to push him hard on the sleep thing, so stay tuned.  We did have our first full night of sleep this past week, but it was a fluke because the poor little dude had surgery on Wednesday and was all drugged out.  It was nice for us though!

YOu read right, he did have exploratory surgery this past week.  He did fabulous and you would never have known the following day that he had 5 little incisions all over his abdomen.  Poor buddy!  But what a trooper.  All is well, thankfully, and no more surgeries are necessary, so all in all we are pleased.  The docs went in to check some things out because they had some concerns, but as I mentioned he is fine and we are fine and glad it is all behind us.  The whole situation made me very thankful that I live in a fab city with two fabulous children's hospitals.  I am blessed.

True started eating solids around Christmas time.  Dave had been encouraging me to try feeding him, but I was not interested in starting solids until 6 months old.  Both the girls had little interest in food until 8 or 9 months, so I did not want to waste my time with it all.  But one day when I had a bit of extra time and I had just made some applesauce which he was looking at longingly.  So, I grabbed a spoon and offered him some.  He devoured a 1/2 cup of the stuff (I always knew my applesauce was good).  I was so shocked.  And he has been eating ever since.  Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pears, bananas, peas, butternut squash.  He has not put his nose up to anything.  I am so impressed.


Little True is not close to being on the move, which is fine by me.  He has not started rolling over or sitting up.  But, poor guy I don't often put him on the ground because I am afraid Annelise will body slam him (seriously, the other day I thought she cracked one of my ribs).  So he gets a kick out of his exersaucer and one day hopefully he will figure out rolling.

Overall he is a joy to have around.  We are looking forward to this next month with him.  His next big event will be his baptism, which is always a joyous event.  ANd I hope to post some more pictures of my sweet little man soon.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cinnamon Bread

Dave and I have been baking bread recently and before Thanksgiving I gave this one a try.  Divine!  You must make it immediately.  It is super wonderful straight out of the oven, but also makes amazing french toast.  Thanks Pioneer Woman!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sibling Sweetness

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Fabulous Neighborhood

In all likelihood I have mentioned that we live in absolutely fabulous neighborhood, but I would like to mention it again, because I continue to be thankful that God brought us to here.  I actually became familiar with this neighborhood when I was single.  I lived in another neighborhood just a couple miles away, and my roomies and I would walk through here on our loop.  I remember liking a lot of the houses, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think of living here...I mean living in Atlanta was never in my future plans.

When Dave and I began to make plans to leave Germany we tried to move somewhere other than Atlanta, and actually thought we would be moving to Michigan until 3 weeks before we left Germany.  And then once we arrived back and we started looking at houses we did not look much in this particular area to begin with, because we thought we were too cool to live here...we wanted be a bit more urban and diverse.  I had actually passed by this house a number of times and did not want to look at it because, let's be honest, it isn't the prettiest house on the block.  There were two things that finally sold us.  I called two of the families that lived in the neighborhood and asked them about it.  Upon hearing their descriptions I was almost completely sold.  And then we walked into the house, and almost on the spot made an offer.

So, here are a few things that I love about my neighborhood.  It is diverse...go figure.  Our across the street neighbors are from Uzbekistan, a couple houses down are folks from Ethiopia, and a couple houses up are from India.  And it is not just ethnically diverse, it is also diverse in ages.  We have folks who have are in their 80s with grandkids and great-grandkids, folks whose kids are in high school, folks who have elementary age kids, and our newest neighbors are 23 year old newlyweds!

Once a month the ladies get together for dinner and Bunco (really it is just an excuse to hang out).  I have loved having a regular time when I know I will get to see these ladies and have a chance to hear more about what is going on in their lives.  And some neat friendships have sprung up and continue to develop.  I love hearing what the older ladies have to say about being a Mama.  I love hearing about what life was like in the 60's and 70's.  I love hearing different perspectives on schooling, God, children and life in general.

I love walking around our neighborhood.  It is hard to walk around our neighborhood without stopping to visit with folks.  There are always folks outside in their yards playing with their kids, or dogs, or doing yard work.  It usually takes us a long time to get around the block because we are always stopping to visit with someone.  I love that!  I love that my girls know which neighbors have nice dogs and that my neighbors are so sweet to my children.  And I love that there are children my kids ages.  And we keep praying for more families to move in here...so come on!

So, here are two fun things that happened this week that made me love our neighborhood even more.  The snow was fabulous!  I loved it so much, and on Monday morning we all gathered on the hill and cheered for each other as we took turns sledding down the hill.  There were moms and dads and all the kids.  And then some of our older neighbors gathered on their porches to watch the fun and remember when their children were small and sledding down the same hill.  They made us hot chocolate and gave us a close place to warm up our feet before we ran back outside for more sledding.  Such fun!

On Friday of last week we decided to talk a walk, carefully, around our neighborhood.  Dave brought his pitchfork-like shovel along so that he could help dig people out of their driveways if we came upon anyone who needed help.  The snow had turned to ice at that point, and you might be able to imagine how difficult it is to get 4 inches of ice off your driveway.  We stopped and helped an older couple, Bill and Vivian, that we did not know very well (Dave had actually met Bill at our Christmas Party, but we had never met Vivian) dig out their cars.  They had tried to get out of their garage unsuccessfully, but Dave managed to give them a path to get out.  We stopped and helped another couple, Steve and Vicki, who were working hard, Steve has back problems, so they were thankful for the extra help (and the ability to get their car out and go to the store).  And finally Dave helped one last family and we headed home.  Neither one of us thought much the afternoon, just being neighborly and helping folks who needed it.  And it was fun to be outside and walk around and see folks.

Sunday afternoon Dave was out working on the van (that's a story for a different day), hood up, two tires off, and Steve drove by.  He saw us, stopped the car, got out and came to make sure we were all ok.  What had happened to the van, he wondered, and did we need any help fixing it/did we need him to drive us to get a new tire, etc.  It was such a kind gesture, and I feel thankful that we have formed a relationship with him, and that he would come to check on us.  A couple hours later as we were fixing dinner, the doorbell rang, and we found Vivian at the door.  She had baked us a cake, Boston Cream, to thank us for helping her.  Dave helped her to her car and retrieved the cake.  Of course the girls were elated.

I love our neighborhood, and am so thankful to be a part of it.  I love that we look out for one another and check on one another, and can serve one another in tangible ways.  And I'll gladly trade Dave's sweat for a cake any day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

True Attacks the Star

I recently put sweet True into the newly washed and bleached exersaucer.  At first he wasn't too sure about the whole situation and then he decided he wanted to get the star...SO cute.

video

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What is for Dinner?

We had this a couple nights ago and it was super yumm-o.  I was trying to use up things we had around the house and what do you know, we had all the ingredients (except the fresh mint).  My favorite go-to site for recipes is epicurious.com.  Love them!  It's the real stuff, from scratch kind of good, yummy cooking.  They have a couple sections that I enjoy checking out, and this one I found in the seasonal cooking from farm to table.  It was pretty easy and can be made ahead...even better!  Happy Cooking!  Quinoa with Moroccan WInter Squash Stew

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ah, Naptime

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Lord's My Shepherd

We have recently been reading this book "Sammy and His Shepherd" by Susan Hunt, singing this song by Stuart Townend, and memorizing Psalm 23 with the girls.

The Lord's my shepherd I'll not want
He makes me lie in pastures green
He leads me by the still, still waters
His goodness restores my soul

He guides my ways in righteousness
And he anoints my head with oil
And my cup it overflows with joy
I feast on his pure delight

And though I walk the darkest path
I will not fear the evil one
For you are with me and your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know

And I will trust in you alone
I will trust in you alone
For your endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowed In!

Yesterday was day three of being snowed in!  Dave was all ready to go in to work today, but was awaiting word from his boss this morning.  The news arrived at 6.30 that his boss could not make it out of his own neighborhood!  Welcome to GA where it takes more than 3 days to get rid of 4 inches of snow.  To be fair, all the snow has turned to ice now, so I feel somewhat sorry for the DOT.  And so Dave left the house at 11 to make it into work for a noon opening, but as soon as he left our neighborhood he was called again with news that his office was going to remain closed again.  It shall be interesting to see what today holds, but at this rate we might have the whole week off!

Yesterday we kept the kiddos inside because it was too icy and slippery to go outside, but Tuesday we hit the hill with all the neighborhood kids again.  This time our wonderful neighbors broke out their 44+ year old "flexible flyers".  Now those are some serious sleds!  That is what I was riding when I ran into the tree (when I was 4).  We enjoyed a long morning on the hill (since it was not sleeting, like it was on Monday when we were trying to sled).





True did not get in on the sledding action, but enjoyed being outside with everyone.  And one of our wonderful neighbors even made us all hot chocolate with marshmallows!  I did not partake in the hot cocoa action, but the girls LOVED it!  Thanks Ed and Cammie and Dianne!  We live in the best neighborhood EVER!
video

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good News about Injustice

Two years ago I was in a Bible study with a very unique group of ladies.  We studied Romans, hello!  And we used Tim Keller's notes, hello (link here to the study).  I was the youngest of the group, being a new mom of two, there were a couple other moms with elementary age children, and a couple moms with teenage children, but most of the women were young grandmas (around my mom's age).  It was an awesome group, and I enjoyed being around ladies with more experience and perspective, what a blessing!


After the study ended we decided to start a book club over the summer to read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book, "Cost of Discipleship" which was quite a treat...and over time we have read different titles, some fiction, some non-fiction, some classics, some theological.  Women have come and gone, but overall it is generally a lot of the same women.  We meet every other month or so and pick our next book by democratic vote, which seems to work for this group.  


Unfortunately the last few times we have met I have been unable to attend for one reason or another...ahem...new baby.  But recently I was able to make the gathering and even slightly enjoyed the book.  I say that mostly tongue and cheek, it was a wonderful book and, in my humble opinion, a must read for all believers.   Of course when I started it I told Dave that I hated the book, this is mostly because it deals with hard issues that need to be wrestled with.  And so now I am making Dave read it, so we can discuss it.


Gary Haugen is the director of International Justice Mission which is a "human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems."  Prior to working for IJM he worked for the justice department and helped lead the UN investigations into the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.  He knows a thing or two about this subject.


The book, "Good News about Injustice" is very easy to read, full of scripture, and not full of guilt.  In another life I worked for World Relief with refugees and it was very eye opening to hear stories of people from all over the world, who had to flee their own country because of their religion, or their ethnicity.  DUring my time at WR I spent a lot of time thinking about this issue of justice and how God cares about, but Haugen does a great job of bringing it back to my memory.


One of the things he mentions is that the church seems to do a great job of feeding and clothing the poor, but we have done a bad job of seeking justice for them.  We have not taken down the ones that oppress.  And that is an important task too...one which we are called to do as well.  Now, I need to start praying about how I am to seek justice for the oppressed.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sledding

The snow did in fact make it to Georgia and the whole city of Atlanta has shut down.  I know, you Northerners think this is silly, a lot of drama for 4 or so inches of snow.  The only thing I have to say is if you lived down here, you would seriously WANT people to stay off the roads (they are insane).  So we (Dave included) enjoyed sledding with the kids in our neighborhood, and hot chocolate and games, and chili and the only thing that would have made everything even more festive would have been a fire in our fireplace...alas our fireplace is unsafe, so until we decide to fix it there will be no fires here.

video


We shall see what tomorrow brings, it has been sleeting and icing all day and "they" say that is going to continue all night.  We might get another ice day tomorrow. =)

I did make two runs on the inner tube with HC.  I screamed the whole way, which I think everyone found mildly amusing.  I am trying to remember the last time I was on a sled and it must have been in college, wow.  My most vivid memory of sledding was when I lived in New Jersey, it must have been our last winter there, so I am guessing I was 4, it is somewhat bizarre to think that a long time ago I was the same age as my oldest child.  We were out sledding with our neighbors, and we were using one of those old wooden sleds.  To steer it you had to use your feet, I guess.  Anyway, somehow I ended up going down the hill alone (not sure whose idea this was...probably Dad's).  I do not remember if I was sitting up, or laying on my stomach, but whatever way I was I was not strong enough to steer the sled.  I started to veer off the hill toward a clump of trees and everyone was yelling at me to roll off the sled.  Well, I have no idea how fast I was really going, but in my four-year-old mind I was going faster than the speed of light, and there was NO way in "H" I was rolling off that sled.  So I hung on, and crashed into a tree.  And now that I think about it, I must have been going just under the speed of light, because the crash did not knock me off the sled.  I was fine, and am here to tell the story.

Trees were not the primary concern on our sledding rides.  Actually my primary concern was the drain ditches.  For some reason they are ridiculously large here in Atlanta.  I sometimes feel nervous that I slip into the great abyss, but my hips would probably prevent me from going all the way down.  However I am convinced that a small child could in fact fall down one.  My neighbor and I promptly covered the openings so that no small children would accidentally slip down one of them.  Thank goodness.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grandma Gladys Claire

I realize that I neglected to blog about our family's trip to visit my Grandmother last fall.  The whole thing happened very quickly, as in we decided about 3 weeks prior to our trip.  Things began to normalize with True and we knew at some point we wanted to take all three kiddos up to NY to visit her.  I was thinking that was a trip we would take in the spring, but why not move it up a few months?

My Grandmother actually lives in New Jersey, right on the Hudson River, with a fabulous view of the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan.  I have wonderful memories of visiting my Grandmother when I was little.  Bet you did not know that I actually lived in New Jersey for 3 years of my life...from 2 until 5. Very formative years.  While we visited Grandma and I were recounting all the Broadway shows we can remember attending together (not just when I was 2, but when I would go to visit).  I remember "Annie", "The Secret Garden", "42nd Street", "Crazy for You", "Phantom of the Opera", and I remember going to see the Nutcracker a few times.  Ah...seeing the Nutcracker in NYC is like none other.
My Grandmother has three children, Dad, my Uncle Peter, and my Aunt Kathy, and she has 7 grandchildren, but I am the only granddaughter, so we have a very special relationship.  She is a super cool lady.  When she starts laughing it is hard to get her to stop, and I love that...I guess I come by it honestly since that seems to have passed from her to Dad and then to me.  Laughing with Grandma is the best.  All that said, it is probably no surprise that my oldest is named for her.  Hadleigh Claire loves her Great Grandma Gladys Claire.

So, early in November we packed up all the kiddos, boarded a plane and took off an exciting adventure.  We had a wonderful time visiting with Grandma and my Aunt and Uncle who are dear people.  While we were close to the city we took the fam to visit Lady Liberty.  The girls loved every minute of the boat ride, and running around the park looking up at the Lady.  Dave had never been there, and I think I was about HC's age the last time I had been to the park.

After a few days we jumped into our upgraded SUV (thank goodness our rental car agent took one look at us and had mercy) and drove up to Lake Placid.  What should have been a 4 hour drive took 10 hours (so it seemed).  It started sleeting and icing after we had been on the road for an hour, and we started seeing cars in ditches.  I figure you know that the roads are bad when New Yorkers are in ditches.  Thank God we made it to our little cabin.  And thank God the folks who own the cabin decided to put a few bites of food in it because we thought there was NO way we would ever get back to the main road (since the driveway was straight up).  Of course as soon as we woke up the next morning I realized I had 1 diaper left for True...and wouldn't you know within an hour had pooped through it.  Thank God for Dave who bravely went out to fetch diapers.

After we adjusted to the VERY small one room cabin (read Ami had melt-down and had to change her expectations of her time there), we had a wonderful time of being together.  We watched movies, we enjoyed taking "baths" in the hot tub that overlooked the mountains and valleys, and we worked through our issues with each other.  If you are all staying in the same room you cannot ignore irritations, whether they be with your children or your husband.  At one point Dave said he thought we should always rent one room cabins, so that we have to be close...I almost agree. =)

And one final thing, Dave shaved his head while we were up in the cabin.  I happened to mention that he needed a haircut, and well...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Bring on the Global Warming


"They" are calling for snow in Atlanta tonight.  Yesterday "they" were calling for 4-6 inches which could potentially be record breaking.  Today "they" have changed their minds and are calling for 2-4 inches, which is still note worthy for us, and will likely shut down the city.  Whenever "they" call for it I feel skeptical about whether it will actually arrive or not.  We shall see!  Of course I went on my normal Sunday afternoon trip to the grocery not even thinking about all the crazies who are nervous about the storm and buying up all the milk and bread!  Fortunately we buy the expensive milk, which they had not sold out of yet.  But if you were looking for jet puffed mini marshmallows for your hot chocolate you are outta luck!

The pictures are from a day long ago when I actually lived in a place where it snowed regularly...like from October to May.  Ugh!  But it was beautiful and wonderful and I enjoy thinking about the snow we had...when I did not have to dig my car out from the driveway at 9 months prego!  Dave made this lovely snow house during the winter of 2005.  He worked on it for several hours one morning and lost his wedding ring somewhere in that house....ah...how he wears a $10 ring he bought at the PX.

 Happy snow day to everyone, and remember if you do not know how to drive int he snow, please stay off the roads!  I am more worried about someone else hitting me than slipping on ice...Atlanta drivers are treacherous!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

You Know You Want To

Our good buds from Germany just launched their new website Capture Photography. You know that you totally want to go and check out their pictures because you never know who you might find as you are scrolling through. And then you can hire them immediately because they are awesome and if we think they are, let's face it, they probably are...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Playing at Home

Sometimes the girls get really creative with their play. They did this for at least an hour...

video

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Family Small Groups

For the last couple of months I have been collecting my thoughts on Family Worship, and how we have decided to teach our children about God. But with three children all under foot these days (which is wonderful), it has taken me longer than usual. So, one day I will post those thoughts, but it is not today.

When I first began attending Intown, our new pastor spent a lot of time talking about the value of worshiping as a family. This seemed to play out in two ways, he pushed for children to be in the worship service at a young age (not sure what that age was since I did not have children at the time, but I think it was 2nd grade), and he pushed for having community groups that were intergenerational.

I promptly joined an intergenerational group, and I am thankful almost everyday for that group, even now 10 years later. In some ways, the group was not truly intergenerational because most of the children were young (I think the oldest was 3), so while there were lots of children around and they participated with us in singing, they did not participate with us in the study. Nonetheless, it was such an important time in my life. I truly believe that I learned how to be a wife and mama from the three main women, Dianne, Jeanie and Kris. I watched them, asked them questions, hung out with them, and spent time with their children. In fact when I went through a really hard time in my life I actually moved in with one of the families and Bif and Kris, along with their children, Alex and Zack were blessings straight from the Lord. It is an amazing thing how the Lord can use children to mend and heal broken hearts. ANd now that I am a Mama myself I still find myself drawn to these women, and call them to ask the random questions, like, how do I get my 3 year old to put her shoes on, and how do I get my one year old to drink from a sippy cup, and what is my family going to look like when HC starts school.

Now as parents Dave and I are responsible to make decisions how we will teach our own children about the Lord. And we have to decide how Intown can help us with that, and what is best and most appropriate for our family. God sets us in families for a reason, and sometimes it is hard to know what our responsibility as parents is, and what church's responsibility is. So two of our most recent, ongoing conversations has been, when is it time for us to let HC come to worship with us, and how can we connect others to our children, so our children can learn from other adults and other children.

Of course, I am a huge fan of "Modern Reformation" magazine, and there is a section in each issue that deals with teaching children the gospel. Here is a link to an article that reviews a small group study that "Children Desiring God" has published. This study is for 1st grade up to adult, so that might be something we look into for our family in a few years. This is also a link to a website that some old family friends just started. They are writing curriculum for family small groups too. Check it out, you might find it interesting...if you like this sort of thing.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Reading List 2010 and 2011

Unfortunately I did not read as much as I would have liked to read this year. I am sure there are books that I read that I am not listing, but these are at least the ones that I could remember, so they are at least worthy of a mention. I'll comment on a couple of them. Late last year I read "Little House on the Prairie" to HC. I so enjoyed it, and could not remember what happened after they had to leave their little house, that I went on to read the rest of the series. It was such a joy to read those books again. I was amazed to remember what amazing people Laura and Almanzo were. I had totally forgotten that in the middle of the "Long Winter" when the town was starving because of their lack of provisions, Almanzo volunteered to ride out 20 miles to try to find a farm that was rumored to have a huge store of wheat. HE volunteered because he was single at the time, and knew that if he was caught in a blizzard (which he almost was) and died he would not be leaving a family uncared for. Amazing. If I was not married to Dave I think I would want to be married to Almanzo.

I LOVED "The Help". That was probably my favorite read of the year. It is an amazing story of courage and friendship that takes place in the 60's in Jackson, Mississippi. I could not put the book down, and after I finished it I realized how little I know about that time in our history. Since I am now a Southern girl, I need to read more history about the South.

I am about 20 pages away from finishing Anne Rice's second book in her trilogy "Christ the Lord". Wow. It is very interesting and thought provoking. I think it is so hard to understand that Christ really was fully human and fully divine, and how in the world does that work. I am thankful that I picked up that book (special thanks to Elaine for the recommendation).

I also just finished reading "Parenting in the Pews" which brought up some interesting points about the differences between going to church and going to worship. And then the necessity of us parents to train our children how to worship. Dave and I have had some interesting discussions regarding that...more laster, I am sure. =)

My two fav books that I read with HC were "Trumpet of the Swan" and "Wind in the Willows". I loved Louis...he was awesome, and HC was totally into him. And Badger and Ratty and Mole and Toady are such great characters that it was hard to put the book down. My parents gave HC "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" for Christmas and she is chomping at the bit to get started on that one...but we have another couple weeks of "The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle" before we can move on.

My Antonia (Cather)
A Death in Vienna (Silva)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (Wilder)
By the Shores of Silver Lake (Wilder)
The Long Winter (Wilder)
Little Town on the Prairie (Wilder)
These Happy Golden Years (Wilder)
The FIrst Four Years (Wilder)
On the Way Home (Wilder)
The Hidden Art of Homemaking (Schaeffer)
The Help (Stockett)
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children (Berndt)
War of Words (Tripp)
The Unfolding Mystery (Clowney)
My Life in France (Child)
Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt (Rice)
Christ the Lord, Road to Cana (Rice)
Twenties Girl (Kinsella)
Can You Keep A Secret? (Kinsella)
Parenting in the Pew (Castleman)
Land of My Heart (Petersen)

Read with HC
The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle (Lofting)
Trumpet of the Swan (White)
Stuart Little (White)
Charlotte's Web (White)
Wind in the Willows (Grahame)
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (MacDonald)
Uncle Wiggly (Garis)
Dr. Doolittle (Lofting)
Just So Stories (Kipling)
Little House in the Big Woods (Wilder)
Mr. Popper's Penguins (Atwater)

Here is my reading list for this year, so far...I have divided it up, novels, theology and parenting. Several of the books are about education which seems appropriate since HC will be in kindergarten in the fall (insane, I know). I am ready to get started and see how far I get. Special thanks to Margaret for her book recommendations, it seems we have many similar interests. I am starting off the year reading "The Good News about Injustice" because my book club meets in a week to discuss that book (and so I better get cracking). And then I also will be reading "When Children Love to Learn" because we are currently applying to send HC to a school that requires us to read it.

2011
Theology Books (or books about God)
Counterfeit Gods (Keller)
Generous Justice (Keller)
The Good News about Injustice
What is Faith? (Machen)
According to Plan (Goldsworthy)
The Good News We Almost Forgot (DeYoung)

Parenting Books
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends (Mally)
The Hurried Child (Elkind)
For the Children's Sake (McAulay)
Home Grown Kids (Moore)
Teaching Redemptively (Donovan)
Back to the Blackboard (Adams)
When Children Love to Learn (Cooper)

Novels
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Kinsolver)
Better Off (Brende)
The Ten Green Bottles (Kaplan)
Escape from the Deep (Kershaw)
While Still We live (McInnes)
Gilead (Robinson)