Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Review

The Girl in the Green Sweater was given to me by Jeri at church and is the true memoir of a family who survived the holocaust by living for a year in the sewers. So right away you know it's a bit of a downer...BUT it's also very inspiring and hopeful. The sheer willpower and stamina in some of these WWII books I read is unfathomable to me. I've read many, but this one will stick with me for awhile I think. They all do start to muddle together in my head after awhile, but I think this one might stand out in my memory...time will tell. Her actual sweater, that she wore for a year. in. the. sewer. is on display at the Holocaust museum in D.C. I give it a 9 and recommend it if you like WWII books, history, or memoirs.

The Girl in the Blue Coat. You read that right. I read a WWII book by a VERY similar title back to back. Not confusing at all! This was the book club pick last month and I wasn't too thrilled with it. Sometimes when reading a book I suffer from the hubris that I thought of a better twist or ending than what the author came up with. That's kind of how I felt in this book and lots of my book club friends did too since they also thought of other ways it might've ended that could be more intriguing. It also is young adult fiction and since we are 35ish, maybe we aren't the target audience. I give it a 6 though as I did want to find out what happened but I don't really recommend it.

Sex Object. This was a sort of memoir, mainly in essay form by a well known feminist author that questions how our society would be different if sexual objectification weren't the norm. A friend recommended it to me and while I struggle with the "feminist" label for many reasons...that I won't go into during a book was a good read. I liked the second half much better than the first. I could not relate to many of her stories or experiences (and was shocked by some NYC tales that she swore were common to all females living there, I checked with my NYC friends and sadly they knew exactly what she was talking about) until she got into the motherhood parts. I think parents have a great responsibility on their hands, and the conversations you aren't having with your children only perpetuate further objectification in our society today. I'd like to think it's a different in "Christian communities", but I'm not sure I can say it is, especially if you check on the "me too" statuses of your facebook friends right now. I'm not sure what to rate it...maybe a 7.5.

Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert's Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. I can't really do a full review here because I wrote one for an upcoming Christian Chronicle review so you'll have to wait for that one. Although I don't consider myself an introvert....I'm more one of those ambiverts if you like labels...I did enjoy this book. I enjoy her blog even more so, so you can check it out to see if you might like the book!

Of Mess and Moxie. This was probably my favorite Hatmaker book so far. She's getting better each book! One of the chapters seemed to be basically the exact talk she gave at OC a few months back so it's like we got a preview of the book without knowing it. I feel there's this groupie of women authors that are all friends (Niequist, Brene', Jen, and Glennon) and they all say similar things, but in their own voice and they all jump on each other's podcasts and prob speak at conferences together and group text throughout the day. Or that's just something I made up. But I appreciate their writings and while I disagree with them sometimes, I can learn another perspective and study and grow in my own beliefs or see something from a different perspective and maybe change the way I think at times too. I recommend it if you like her books and give it a 9. (Her podcast however is real hit or miss for me.)

Lilli De Jong was a Jeri recommendation and is a book that made me lactate again. (See if you're still reading down this far you're intrigued now huh?) It's about a young Quaker girl at the turn of the century who finds herself pregnant and alone. To try and survive in society back then while keeping her daughter she had to rely on things like baby farmers, wet nurses, and almost prostitution. There was so much writing about breastfeeding at times I really did feel a let down sensation which was so weird. It was beautifully written and makes me thankful for the services we have today so the stigma against women isn't AS dire as it was back then. Not that society is perfect but my goodness I'm glad there aren't asylums with hundreds of babies dying daily here anymore! Not the case in other cultures, but you do see the change when in comparison. I give it a 8.5 and recommend it to mothers.

Braving the Wilderness is the latest Brene' Brown book that I want to memorize and tattoo on my body so I don't forget her wisdom. I'm sure I'll forget it all by next week but she does some good work and some good writing about her work! Instead of tattoos I just try to write the most meaningful passages in my fav quote book and refer back to them. I recommend it to all, it will make you a better person, and give it a 10.

The pick up line at Liv's school has been made much more tolerable lately thanks to podcasts. I finished the cold case one of Up and Vanished (in which a distant family member makes as appearance). Now I'm obsessed with the true crime/comedy one called My Favorite Murder. If you like true crime then I recommend it but some episodes are even hard for me to get through. I'm learning just how screwed up our justice system is after hearing these criminals' sentences (Essentially you can torture someone but not kill them and get out after a few years, occasionally you can even get out after murder. You have to tell your neighbors if your a convicted sex offender but not if you've tortured or murdered someone sooooo kinda creepy and angering to think about). Makes my blood boil so gotta take it in small doses before I start calling my congressmen.

What are you reading or listening to?
Rules of rating seen here.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Thomas the Train Come to OKC!

Thomas left the mystical island of Sodor to pay our humble city a visit and we went out to see him with Bo. That morning I tried to explain we were going to see the BIG, REAL, Thomas! Haven just looked at me and said "That's creepy." She changed her mind when we saw him though!
She said "Can I hug him mama?"
We had fun exploring all the areas for the kids. Haven loved the train tables so much. I need to take her to the book store sometime to play with theirs.
She also loved the model train set and she and Bo fought over who was the last to push the train whistle button over and over and over again!
Haven threw a bit of a fit when they paused the cartoon to read a Thomas book. But she listened for awhile until the promise of cheetos lured her away.
Sharing a picnic with Bo right by Thomas the Train.
He went away for a bit on a trip but Haven ran to him when he came back!
We had a fun day but Haven also was tired from not sleeping well and went between pure joy and this pouty face lots. She crashed hard when we got home and slept all afternoon.
Sir Topham Hat was there too!
See ya next year Thomas!
(She's grown so much in a year!)

Friday, October 06, 2017

Fall Carnival

Last weekend Liv's school hosted their annual fall carnival. I took Liv and Calvin and basically lost them for 2 hours while they ran around seeing friends...out of uniform!....not in class!....they were so giddy about it all. I saw them a few times as I tried to keep up and got a few shots.

Snowcones with buddies!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Phone Dump {Sept 2017}

Here are some random happenings from September!
We've had TONS of grasshoppers this season and the girls like to run through the yard and watch them all fly up. I got a shot of this one enjoying my laundry on the porch. Crazy details with my camera phone!
Liv went to the State Fair with a friend for her birthday and her mom sent me this hilarious shot. 
Haven and Deacon playing shopkins on the porch. Down at the gazebo on an afternoon stroll. Documentary club got heated this month as Jenna and I disagreed on an episode of Confession Tapes. Haven looking super weird in a snot nosed morning selfie.
Some shots from Urban Farmhouse. I almost bought this sign but couldn't think of anywhere to put it. I still call my mom to find things...mainly because she reorganizes when she comes to my house. Visiting the nursing home and singing songs with church friends. Ms. Mattie turned 105 this year and we miss her at Mayfair.
Watching the sea lions at the zoo with Kelli and Baylor. Fall Mantle is my favorite. My girls love to play with dry beans. 
Fun at Bo's house. Drawing on the easel
If you ever wondered...What does Katie do for her job? Here are some shots of things I designed! The cabinetry and floors are going in at the huge house and it's fun to see drawings come to life! (and yes those are wonky shelves on purpose, it's in a playroom) Those tiny slots are in a shoe closet and are for sunglasses. Yep I got to design a shoe closet. 
More work shots, Haven "helping" daddy work in his cloffice. Movies in the backyard!
A visit to the Designers Showhouse this year. Loved the huge Monopoly game on the wall. With working magnetic pieces. And loved the huge floral wallpaper. 
Sebastian and Haven watching the first pumpkin bread of the season rising. Taking some to Bill and Alice. Haven working on the letter board. Library field trip!
Small group celebrating Liv's birthday and filling Hurricane Relief buckets for Houston. My Bible class spelling out Immanuel.
My new fav shirt. Haven cheesing on her first day of school. Trains on the couch. Calvin left his Yoki (?) watch here and I sent him a ransom photo.
Gym buddies 7 years strong! 
Goofing off at small group!
I'm confused if I've already posted some of these but here are Haven and Bo playing
They love each other so much!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Newsletter: 30 and 31 Months

Dear Haven,
These past few months have been filled with LOTS of your talking. And a lot of time the talking has to do with your feelings. You are very quick to verbalize when I get you out of your crib in the morning "I am happy now!" or if daddy takes you out of my lap to go to bed you wail "I am sad now!" or if you are working on a puzzle that you can't figure out "I am fwustwated now!" In fact if I stop during the day to glance at a TV or perhaps chat with someone else, you are often quick to interrupt and say "HEY TALK TO ME MAMA!" So yeah we talk a lot. Some funny phrases you've picked up this month are "that's creepy" or "that's weird" which is what you said when I tried to explain we were going to see the BIG REAL Thomas the Train. Luckily you didn't find him as creepy when we saw him in person.

"Can I hug him mommy?"
You are so loving and affectionate with others. You love to give the biggest hugs to our 80 year old neighbors. And at small group one night you went around and greeted every adult with a hug and a "Hewwo" which sounds British the way you say it. Then you were quick to ask the host yourself "Do you have a potty here?" Potty training has been going better. We still use pullups on occasion when we go places and accidents still happen if you are concentrated while playing, we've never tried to shame you for accidents, but you get very upset with yourself and often don't want to change out of wet clothes or throw tantrums when we try to clean you up.
You are absolutely obsessed with puzzles this month. We have quite a few and you can do them all. You really love the wooden 25 piece ones and we've done them so much they are getting torn up. You used to call them just "Puzz" as in "Do puzz wif me mama?" But now the word has evolved to "puvas." I got out some of the bigger 48 piece puzzles we have and you've started learning how to do those pretty well. Maybe you'll be helpful when we do our big annual Christmas puzzle this year....or maybe you won't be able to stay away and it will be disastrous. Time with tell!
You enjoy being the center of attention and are hamming it up lots lately. You know how to make people laugh with silly phrases or faces and are quick to use them in a crowd. You also have started standing your ground more often this month. While that is great with your older sister or a kid who takes a toy from you at the library, it is problematic when you try to do it to me or your daddy. You don't mind yelling "Pooey, no way!" at us if you don't want to do something we've asked. Or if you ask for something and we say no you reply with the Michelle Tanner "How rude!" with hands on your hips and everything. You've thrown some epic tantrums hitting us or throwing toys at things and it's been rather out of character for you, but comes with the age. The time outs and spankings have been aplenty these months. Usually when I come to get you out of timeout,we talk and play for a few minutes and let me know "I am happy now mommy"
You surprised us all by counting to 14 one evening! Your daddy and I both looked dumbfounded as neither one of us had been practicing counting with you! Maybe it's something you worked on at school or Grammy let me know she did a counting book with you some when she was here.
You started a new school this month, Northwest Dayschool, the same place your sister went for 2 years. The times worked out better for us but it was sad to leave the teachers and friends you loved so much at Mayfair. You just go two days a week and you've had a bit of anxiety about going. The first week was great and then the next was LOTS of huge crocodile tears and clinging and crying. You sweet teacher was so nice to send me pics a few minutes after drop off of you playing and smiling though so I knew you were ok, but man those drop offs were hard! Last week you sniffled a bit but went and sat by your friends without holding me with a death grip.

Pics from your teacher at school
When you come home you tell us very detailed things about your day like "Katy wost her hair bow and we all wook for it, but I find it under table!" You play lots with Harper and Haley on the playground and the way you say your teacher's name is so precious, Ms Alissa sounds a bit like "Missisisisa" she loves it when you prounce the month of Septemeber "Wepstember!"
You have a new bosom buddy in Bo lately. You both really seemed to hit it off together, maybe it's the fact that you both have older sisters or you like to play with trains, but we try to play with him once a week. You hug each other so hard when you see each other and he told you he loved you one time when you said "good bye." For a 2 and 3 year old, you initiate play very well together. The both of you will head off to the play room or outside and we won't hear much of a peep from you for a long time. It reminds me so much of Liv and Noah.
You really like to play "I spy" when we are out and about and I also use the game as a diversion when I feel you are about to lose it in public. Just got to steer your brain away with something and it usually works! You also love to play with the neighbors and are doing pretty well with listening to the rules of staying in the front yard on the grassy part. I usually watch from the porch if sister isn't out there with you. You are so excited to be one of the "big kids."
My favorite things you say is "wis woo" (with you). You let me know when I head to the gym, or put you in bed, or drop you at school, or leave the room that you want to "go wis woo" and it melts my heart. The joy on your face when I return as you run and say "MAMA, YOU ARE BACK!" is so precious. Picking you up from school is probably mine and daddy's favorite thing. I know I won't always be your favorite person but I sure am glad I am right now and I will always want to spend time "wis woo" too.

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