Thursday, July 31, 2014

Books.... so many good words!

Happily, we got some great reads that took no space in our travels and move this past spring.  I "bought" Teddy's Button for free on kindle and then followed it up with several more books that "readers who liked this one, also read..." We found some absolute gems!!  What a great rabbit trail to chase!

Here's the books we've been enjoying lately as read alouds together... 

Teddy's Button.  A super sweet book, probably especially for boys. 

A Golden Thread.  A helpful and capturing allegory to help kiddos connect obeying and blessing.  John remembered this story weeks after we read it and wanted to "keep holding onto the string that the Father gave to Eric."

A Basket of Flowers.  Needful.  Such a good showing of God's sovereignty in our lives even through suffering... and of His worth to follow Him still, even when it isn't easy.

A Peep Behind the Scenes.  (O.F. Walton.)  I recognized this author's name since a friend recommended Christie's Old Organ, by the same writer.  We've read both Walton books now, and while Christie's Organ was good, A Peep Behind the Scenes was outstanding.  This book is especially dear to me because I saw so many parallels to my own life, to my mother's life.  Oh such grace to be found by the Good Shepherd "who searches for His own until he finds them."  This one, more than all the others above, is worthy adult reading.  Prepare your soul for the weight of God's grace and glory as you read....   (which for me, means prepare for a lot of snot and tears.)  Even though this book was about a girl and her mother, it is one of Isaiah's top favorites that I've ever read to him.  (He's got a list of favorite books from mom and a list from dad b/c we read fairly different genres.)  

Black Beauty.   It was free and it took a lot of convincing but I think by about half way in, all the kids were hooked well enough to finish well.  It brought up some great conversations about caring for animals... especially since our area has been notorious for generations as a place where animals are not cared for well.  It also linked well to a tiny, fun mini-unit on horses for the end of homeschool in June.  

Most the books above were free or 99 cents on kindle.  Yummy for the budget, eh?!  And even better for the heart and soul and for relationships in our home.  I love reading together!!

Now we're into our third Patricia St. John book....  She might just be my favorite author... at least one of my top five.  I love this woman.  Love her writing- her substance and her stories.  Tanglewood Secret and Treasures in the Snow and now Star of Light....  all Five (thousand) Stars.  I don't imagine I'll find a book by her that doesn't stir my soul with beauty and excellence and love.  What a gift to unfold and enjoy these stories together with our children!

an ipod hand-me-down?.... Anyone?

Just wondering if any of you have an old, iPod sitting in a drawer, collecting dust?


We mentioned it here and can't believe the lavish kindness of dear friends....  Thanks R&J for your sweet sweet gift!  I'm so excited to get to listen and learn....

Thank you, Thank you!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

summer days...

we love you Bart and Pam....what a gift it was to spend these few days with you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

a little local

Rumor has it that the average resident around here consumes 500 KG of fruit a year...
I don't doubt it a minute.  Watermelons are selling for 1Y (about 17 pennies) per kilo right
now and they couldn't be sweeter.

A normal restaurant will always serve this rice dish and a spicier noodle option.
That's it.  Every restaurant.  Everywhere.
In the wildest stretches of local cuisine, there are about 5 - 6 total possible meals and there are occasionally a few variations in side items.  A few non traditional meals are popping up on some menus but with these two standard dishes, how could anyone ever want or need anything else!?

He wanted his pic with all the animals... dried turtles and rats and lizards and a ram skull and horns
in front of the local pharmacy.  How's that for natural medicine?

Over the weekend we visited this street market with two precious friends of ours that came from the states to visit us.  In order to get any good local food we've had to wait til dark (for Ramadan) so the kiddos were especially hungry by the time we found those plates of rice or noodles.

What an encouragement it was to share our new home land, new neighbors with you....  We are so grateful for our time with you Bart and Pam!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July... so far

Evening reading with Daddio

Argh... this blogging slump!  I don't know if I've had such a slow blogging stretch anytime in the past five years or more!?  It's been busy lately and I'm still just getting in the groove with new things in our new place, new town...  I do smile and dream of getting to share more here again in not too much more time.  I miss sharing and recording our family journey and processing things here...  Hopefully there will be more chance to post soon!
We got a sweet visit with these dear friends...  

Perfect Ten.... (in synchronized downhill hiking.)

These two are so super cute together!  Their goofy humors are so similar and they bring out the silly best in each other.  

This guy went from "I only love baseball" to "dad, could we just kick the soccer ball around instead of playing catch this time?" in just the past few weeks.  Thanks to FIFA, Germany, and inspiring local and Tennessean friends!  
And then there's this bunny....  "Cloudy" has taken over in our hearts and home this week.  Pictures next post, hopefully.  Matt and I count it as the ideal pet experience that we get to watch our friends' bunny for a week while they're gone to impress on our kiddos how very much work pets are!  We really could be pet people.  We are animal lovers.  But it's just the limited space, no yard, 4 kids to clean up after already stuff that gets in the way of us having big pets.   Still,  there is a turtle buying outing that still needs to happen somewhere in our future since we left John's two turtles in our last city.  (But you know, it still might be a while...)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reading in the Sun...

A super spectacular friend of mine managed to load just three little paragraphs with precision brilliance for this mama season, this fight for joy, this marathon of endurance and contentment, promise-clinging, glory-seeking...

I love you dear friend!  Thank you for this....