The Family

The Family

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Weekend With the Girls

Last weekend I nourished my soul and refreshed my spirit by hanging out with some of my life-long friends for a three-night, four-day trip.

We traveled to Charleston, S.C., and stayed on the second floor of a two-story rental property. We wanted to all be together in the same house, not separate rooms like in a hotel, and we enjoyed our time together more than I can put into words.

Oh, the benefits of four days of laughter, games, late-night girl talk and a few cocktails here and there.

We all agreed this should become a yearly thing, and I SO hope it will.

Girlfriends are the best. Especially ones who know every part of you and love you for and despite it all.

One of life's many paradoxes hit me while we were together: Nothing has changed; only everything has changed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

And Then She Was 5

You've likely heard the saying "The days are long, but the years are short." Never does that ring more true than on holidays and birthdays.

On Monday, Mattie turned 5.

We spent the day before at The Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Ala. so she could ride a carousel. We let her ride, and ride and ride. She said it felt like she got to ride it 100 times!

She rode every animal at least once, and each time she got off she picked a different person who had to ride the next round with her.

To say she was thrilled is an understatement.

On Saturday, my husband and dad spend the day putting together her present: a backyard playhouse.

And on her birthday a special delivery made it to the house.

More than one actually. My grandmother bought her flowers to put in her playhouse and made this delicious chocolate cake.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Reading

Any season is a good season to read. But there's something about summer that makes stacks of books seem delightful instead of daunting. Here's what we've been up to in our reading adventures this summer.

For the Kids:

I decided this summer would be the one to tackle the Little House books. I use language like tackle because I truly was afraid I would hate these books. I know these are the gold standard for so many homeschooling families, but I wasn't convinced. Then I opened the first page of "Little House in the Big Woods," and I was in love. Jack begs me to keep reading, which is another shocker, because I had also convinced myself he was going to think they were boring. We quickly made our way to "Farmer Boy," Mattie's favorite so far and are currently about a quarter of the way through "Little House on the Prairie." These are indeed some of the most delightful literature I've ever encountered. 

Another series that has made our list this summer is the Magic Tree House series. Some friends have been trying to convince me to read these for several years now. If you saw the length of my "Books to Read Aloud" list, you'd understand why it takes some convincing to get me to veer off the list.

Our current Audible listening selection is "The Boxcar Children."  I bought the recording of the first three books. There seem to be a lot more in the series, but I think I'd like to remember the Alden children just as they are in these first three.

For Me:

I began the summer reading season with this one. It is a gentle reminder of how to value our children for who they are and how a love of literature and time in nature creates well-nourished souls for the entire family.

Paris seems to be on the mind with these two selections. "Les Miserables" is no joke. All 1200 pages of it (I think my print is smaller than some fonts because one copy I picked up had 1400 pages). I'm halfway through it and then it's on to a more modern tale on the City of Light with "The Bones of Paris."