Tuesday, August 31, 2021

the books I read in August


I am going to start this off by saying that I read some of the best books ever this month. As of right now, four of them are ones that I would place in my top favorites for the whole year—and I read them all this month. I read NINE books this month, friends, because it was a month where I could not be on social media much. You can usually tell how the month has been judging from the number of books I read. Also, I have to say that I don't always read like this. I've been reading GREAT books lately, though and the more I read, the more websites recommend for me. They almost always get it right. 

The first book I read was The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. Here is an excerpt from Amazon, along with the link to read about. Click on the image and it'll redirect you to Amazon...just click on each picture and it will redirect you to Amazon.

"What if your roommate is your soulmate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways." 

A lot of this book is narrated by Post-It notes they leave each other all over their apartment and I love that the chapters alternate between the two main characters, Tiffy and Leon. This book grabbed my attention from the first page and I could barely put it down. I loved everything about this book. 

The second book I read was a book of the month pick and was One to Watch, by Kate Stayman-London.

"Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when she swore off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She's in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That's it. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated..."

I'm stopping there, because you just need to do yourself a favor and buy the book. Or borrow the book, like I did! This is for devoted fans of The Bachelor Franchise, which I was, for many years. It gives you a whole new insight on how that show works and it makes you wonder what all was real and what was actually staged. This is one book in my top four slot! 

Next up was What You Wish For, by Katherine Center.

I always forget how much I love Katherine Center books until I read one. This one started off a teeny bit slow, but once it picked up, IT. PICKED. UP. Because of that, it's also in my top four that I've read so far this year! Here is what the lovely people at Amazon say:

"Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn't always that way. Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn't always that way. And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new school principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The loveable Duncan she'd known is now a suit and tie wearing, rule- forcing tough guy so hell bent on protecting the school that he's willing to destroy it..."

Again, I'm stopping there, because you just need to borrow or buy this book and get to reading! 

The fourth book I read was Swear on this Life, by Renee Carlino.

I've never read this author, but I'm changing that after I finished this amazing book! I loved it and again, it grabbed me from the first paragraph. Ask Todd how quickly I can become absorbed in a book. 

"From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio."

Again—go immediately and borrow or buy this book! I loved that this was a story within a story and that it never once became confusing. This is one of my top four favorites from the year! 

Book number five of this month was 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand.

This is probably my favorite book for the whole year. I am not even kidding! I feel like I'm late to the Elin Hilderbrand game, but I haven't loved all of the books I've read by her. That being said, some other favorite books from late last year and early this year were her books in the Winter Street series. Characters from those books were in this book! I love that. Here is what is being said online:

"When Mallory Blessing's son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he's not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It's the late spring of 2020 and Jake's wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.

There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother's bachelor party. Cooper's friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere—through marriage, children, and Ursula's stratospheric political rise—until Mallory learns she's dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love."

Go and read this book! And then read the next book, my sixth book of the month that piggy backs off of this one above:

My one complaint with this book is that I didn't want it to end! I sincerely hope Elin writes another book or two from this one. I am not going to tell you what it's about, so if you've not read 28 Summers, do not look this book up. Just trust me.

Book number seven was The Nantucket Inn, by Pamela M. Kelley.

This was another new author for me, and this is the first book in a series of six. I finished this one and went ahead and bought the next one, which was on sale for a good price on Amazon. Here's what it's about:

"Widow Lisa Hodges needs to make a decision fast. 

Either she sells her house and moves off-island, or she turns it into a bed and breakfast, so she can stay near her four adult children.

Daughter Kate has a fabulous career in Boston--working as a writer for a popular fashion magazine and engaged to a dangerously handsome photographer, who none of them have met.

Her twin, Kristen, is a local artist in an on-again, off-again relationship with an older, separated businessman.

Chase runs his own construction business and is carefree, happily dating here and there but nothing serious. 

Youngest daughter, Abby, is happily married to her high school sweetheart, and they've been trying to have a baby. But it hasn't happened yet, and she wonders if it's a sign that maybe their marriage isn't as perfect as everyone thinks.

Come to Nantucket and get to know the Hodges family and friends. See why so many readers say they love this series because the characters feel like old friends."

Man, this was a good book! I love this author, too and I joined her online book club on Facebook. She talks to all of us on there almost everyday and recommends books.

Book number eight was another new author for me—How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig.

So, while this wasn't my favorite for the month, it was also really good. The story goes back and forth between present time and past centuries, which isn't usually my thing, but I finished it and I'm glad. I am also going to give him another try with a new book he recently wrote called The Midnight Library. Here is what this book was about, though: 

"“She smiled a soft, troubled smile and I felt the whole world slipping away, and I wanted to slip with it, to go wherever she was going… I had existed whole years without her, but that was all it had been. An existence. A book with no words.”

Tom Hazard has just moved back to London, his old home, to settle down and become a high school history teacher. And on his first day at school, he meets a captivating French teacher at his school who seems fascinated by him. But Tom has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history--performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

Unfortunately for Tom, the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages—and for the ages—about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch."

I love that this book is about to be turned into a movie! And like I said, I'm glad I stuck with it, rather than stop reading. I feel like this one stretched me out of my comfort zone with books this time around, and that is never a bad thing. 

The last book I read this month was Things You Save in a  Fire, by Katherine Center.

"Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's a total pro at other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie's old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren't exactly thrilled to have a "lady" on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn't seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can't think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping...and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center's Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself."

This one was really good, but I loved the first book I read by her this month a smidge more. 

So, have I convinced you to read yet? Are you on GoodReads? If not, you should be! I am always adding books to my shelves there, so get the app and find me (Jennifer Goodwin) there. I'd love to hear what you're reading! Love to all. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

weekending and all about my mom


Happy Monday, friends! We had a really good weekend around here and I thought I'd share about that and one of my favorite people on earth—otherwise known as my mom. ❤

Saturday was her actual birthday, and she, my sister Trish and I had all made plans to go out and do something fun. We didn't necessarily do that because it was Mom's birthday, we just like to do that on Saturdays. I'm so glad I have them here to go and do things like that! We love to try to come up with different places to go, rather than just our same old, same old. This week we were successful! 

First, we stopped and ate lunch at Pancho's, which is a delicious and local restaurant. We stopped to take this picture before we went in to eat.

Look how beautiful they both are! Doesn't Mom look amazing? You'd never believe her age if I were to tell you, but I'm not. ;)

We ate lunch, then we went to an architectural design store called Palladio. I thought it was one store, but it's more like three or four and we had so much fun just browsing all the aisles...until we all got too hot to enjoy it any longer and had to leave.

I loved this crown! I kind of wish I'd bought it, actually—to remind me of my status as a Daughter of the King. 

We were going to try out a new cookie place (well, new to us) called Crumbl, but the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. No cookie is good enough to make me wait in a long line on a day when it was a hundred degrees. After that, we just headed back home, but it was a fun day! I'm so glad we were able to celebrate Mom all day and I made it my goal to tell everyone that it was her birthday. ❤

I thought I'd share some things about Mom that I've never mentioned here before. 

She has impeccable taste! I love her style and how she dresses. She looked so pretty on Saturday, from her hair and jewelry to her cute shoes. I aspire to look that good when I'm her age.

She knows so much about so many things! She is easily one of the smartest people I know.

She is a lifelong friend to many. I've noticed about her that the friends she has are ones she's been friends with forever. They all say the same thing about her—how much they love her and that she is so talented.

She is SO TALENTED! She sews things—clothes, blankets and curtains, she is an extremely gifted dried floral arrangement-maker, she is an incredible decorator, she can do anything. ANYTHING!

She is really, really funny and can make me laugh harder than anyone else. 

She reminds me of my grandmother when she laughs and it tickles me pink to see her do that. I loved my grandmother's laugh!

She cooks better than anybody I know. Her recipes are all so yummy! When Todd and I started dating, he was shocked at all the foods she was able to get him to try. He loved almost everything! He ate with us every single night almost.

Mom loves people well. She nurtures, she encourages, she prays, she cheers all her girls on. None of us have ever doubted how much she loves us and she is our greatest champion.

Mom, I love you! We'll celebrate you on a night when we don't have flash flood warnings.

My hubby worked all three weekend nights, and I watched three nights worth of shows and movies while he worked. 

We had church on Sunday and it was so good to be there. I love our Pastor and always appreciate his sermons. 

I had choir practice on Sunday afternoon. This little one kept me thoroughly entertained while we rehearsed.

Look at her mimicking us! She was singing right along with us all. I cracked up a couple of times over things she said.

This was my dinner Saturday night and Sunday after church. This was DELICIOUS. There's nothing I love more than shrimp. (Sorry, Mom! She's allergic and I feel so sad for her, because she loved it more than I do!)

I did a lot of this with Oakley. I didn't hate it! It was a good weekend. How was yours? I'd love to hear from you! Come back tomorrow—I'm sharing about all the books I read in August. ❤❤

Thanks for reading! Love to all. 

I'm linking up with Johanna and Heather for this blog post. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Favorites, 8.27.21


Happy Friday, friends! I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for this blog post today. I don't know why, but it always surprises me a little that the weeks go by so fast. Life is a beautifully mundane thing for me right now and there is structure in each of my days. I'm not complaining about this, because I've been having a little bit of anxiety lately. Like I've said almost everyday this week, life is hard right now. 

On a much lighter note, here are some of my favorite things from this week. 

It's been a long time since I've mentioned my favorite pens.

You should be able to click on the image to take you to Amazon. I used to love and use the Flair felt tip marker pens, but the price on those kept going up and up. I came across these one day and thought for the price that it would be worth a shot, and I was pleasantly surprised! I love these. They're a fine tip and perfect for writing in Bible study books and such. I'm a school supply nerd and all of that kind of thing is my favorite. I am in heaven when I have some new pens and a pretty new notebook or three ring binder.

Speaking of journals...

Isn't this one cute? I love the Studio Oh! brand. You can look at that brand in person at Barnes and Noble if you don't want to trust Amazon. I will say about this that you need to pay attention to the size, even if it means getting out a tape measure. I ordered one once and it was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I made it work and used it all up, but I prefer them to be a little larger. I also love the journals I can usually find at HomeGoods. 

Mornings like this picture above are my favorite. This was on Tuesday. I had read in my Bible for the day and was planning things out for the rest of the week. I was making a grocery list, I was making a blog schedule, I was writing in my journal and I was praying. I am always so glad for easy mornings when I have nowhere pressing to be.

Tuesday night dinner was my favorite night, because we were all home to eat together. We had one extra. 

Puppy cuddles are my very favorite! Oakley is doing really well, I am glad to report. She very rarely has an accident these days, and she is getting used to being with the other dogs and getting settled in. Believe it or not, she sleeps almost all day. There are times when she is very playful with the other dogs, but for the most part, she is calm. I like that quality in a dog.

This is my favorite brand of lipstick right now! I was using an expensive brand that I loved, but I found this on Amazon and again, the price made me want to try it out for myself. I love it and just bought three more shades for the fall—fig, cocoa and Thalia (pictured above). 

Bible study days are my favorite! I have the sweetest small group this semester and our discussion the past two weeks was SO GOOD. I love a good discussion! 

Before you move on, keep reading after this post—I posted about my sons last night and gave a life update for all of them. I'd love for you to read it! Go here to check it out.

This picture above is one of my favorites of them all...they decided at the last minute to make posters for the veterans walking by us at the annual Veteran's day parade in downtown Memphis and ended up on the evening news. What a sweet memory.

How has your week been? What were some of your favorite things/moments from the week? I'm thinking I may do an Amazon lately post next week...I always LOVE seeing what people order from there. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

the one where I talk about all of my sons


(Long post alert.)

I haven't written a post about my sons in ages and I thought I'd tell you a little about all of them. They all have such big things going on in their lives that I want to take a whole post and write about them. I am so proud of them all! 

Before I start, left to right are Graham, Noah, Drew and Jonah in the picture above. Their age order is Graham (22), Drew (21), Jonah and Noah (18). I'm going in age order, because it's how I always go. 

Graham has always been our son that seemed older than his actual age. That started when he was very young and it's true today. Often times, he is a voice of reason, the one who has no problem making decisions (my biggest pet peeve is a man who won't or cannot make a decision), he is pretty organized for a guy, a planner and one who is thoughtful. He decided after he graduated to take a year off and work for our family business, which is repairing medical equipment and that one year has turned into four years! He loves his job, at least that I know of and I ask him all the time, he never dreads going to work and their customers at doctor's offices love him. He is a hard worker, he is almost always in a good mood and smiles all the time, and he is a people person. He has never met a stranger! This goes back as far as I can remember. 

I'll say just a bit more about Graham when I talk about Jonah, but I am so proud of him! He has paid his own truck note and insurance since he started working full time and is looking at buying a house. Unfortunately, it's not the time to buy a house and his price range is popular. I know he wants to be out on his own so much, but he's having to wait until something changes with the housing market, or he may have to make the decision to rent for a couple of years. 

Drew has always been drawn to kids. Dating back to his second grade year, I knew there was something special about him when his teacher awarded him the characteristic award of joy. From a young age, other kids have been drawn to Drew, as much as he was drawn to them. Even in the second grade, his teacher Ms. Morris told us kids would argue over who got to sit beside Drew everyday. When Drew was around the age of six, we were walking into church one day and some of our friends were walking in with us. They had a son around Drew's same age who had Down's Syndrome and as Drew talked to him about something, their son just ran to Drew and gave him a kiss right on the mouth. Most boys that age would have laughed or been embarrassed, but Drew didn't miss a beat and kept walking.

I say all this to say that it's been his dream for as long as I can remember to work at St. Jude Hospital here in Memphis. He starts work there on September 20 as a patient care associate, or a certified nursing assistant! I am so proud of him and thrilled for him that he gets to have his dream job. He does plan on going back and finishing his degree to become a nurse, but he is on pause with that plan until he can afford to go back and after he's been settled into St. Jude for a while. He hopes to stay there forever and I believe that they have a loan forgiveness program there, but I could be wrong. When he does go back to school, he plans on going to the Memphis satellite campus of Union University. It's an intense fifteen month program and you have to be at least 24 years old to begin. I have complete faith in the Lord that He will help Drew accomplish every bit of this. 

I didn't say anything on social media about this, but Jonah started working full time almost two weeks ago. Todd and Graham have been shorthanded in their business (I am saying "they", because as a family business, Graham has a share of the company) and when that became the case, I had an overwhelming sense that Jonah would be perfect for this line of work. First, because he is so smart and is able to fix and do anything he sets his mind to and secondly, because he is JUST like his older brother Graham and even MORE like my husband. Todd offered him the job, but Jonah was not at all interested and said he wanted to work at Amazon, or Fed-Ex, or insert any other place but the family business. 

This is where I should mention that Jonah is extremely stubborn and more than a little prideful. I love him, but it's true! I started praying that the Lord would incline Jonah's heart to change about wanting to work for the company and though it took all summer long, I am so proud and pleased to be able to say that Jonah started almost two weeks ago. And guess what? He loves it so far. I've been amazed that his attitude has been good, because he is known for having a bad attitude about a lot of things. I consider this an answer to all of my prayers! My mom was praying for him, my mom-in-love was praying for him, my dad was praying for him and my best friend was praying for him, all along with me. I'd confided in all of them about Jonah and I know they were faithful to pray. I am so proud of Jonah! Graham is training him right now at work, and remember how I said that those two are like identical twins, even though Jonah's actual twin is Noah? I'm shocked that they're still talking! Graham has been pretty patient, apparently and I know Jonah has enjoyed being with Graham everyday. 

Last but not least is Noah, the youngest and biggest/tallest in the family. Noah has loved everything about cars ever since he was a young boy. We used to have this car rug that my mom and Bill bought them when they were young, and we kept it in the living room, along with buckets full of Hot Wheels cars. That was their favorite thing and they played with it diligently until the day came that they outgrew toys. I tell you that because I think that attributed to Noah's love of cars. For a long time, he's been saying that he wanted to work in an auto body shop. He didn't care what he did, he just wanted to work there and get to be around cars and learn how to work on them himself.

He filled out an application a few weeks ago at Caliber Collision here in Collierville and his application was rejected. He called about it and asked why and someone told him it was an accident and to submit another application. He did that and got a call back pretty quickly that they'd received it and would be in touch. A full week went by and he got an interview. He was confident that it had gone well and the man said he would be in touch. Another full week went by and he didn't hear anything, so he planned to call them on Monday, but they reached out to him again for another interview, this time over the phone. On Wednesday, he received another call asking if he would be willing to work at another location, then today he interviewed at the one in Olive Branch and was offered the job right on the spot. He starts Monday! I am so proud of him for being persistent and never giving up. I feel like this is his dream coming true and you should see him talking about it, he is so excited. His hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30-5 and he gets all his weekends off. That would not have been the case had he worked at the one closest to our house. I'm so pleased that it turned out so well for him! This company seems to be a great company and they have lots of different locations. He would be able to move up quickly within the company and if he ever wants to move away, he would be able to transfer. I don't see Noah living here in town forever, but we'll see how it all turns out.

I cannot express how thankful I am to the Lord for helping them accomplish all of these things. Ever since they were young enough to be able to retain memory verses, they were raised to know and live out Colossians 3:17 and I am seeing the fruit of all that I have prayed for them over the years.

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

I write all of this to brag on my heavenly Father. He has been faithful to hear every word I've ever prayed and even if His plan had turned out differently for all of them, I asked Him to help us all to be okay with however it all turned out. And regardless of whether or not they'd gotten these jobs or other ones, I know that He is good and He is trustworthy. His plan for their lives is far better than anything I could have ever dreamt up on my own! All praise and glory to Him. And you know what, friends? They could be janitors at a ball field cleaning restrooms, or they could be doctors—I didn't care WHAT they did, as long as they did it to the best of their ability and for the glory of the Lord. Now to hear them talk about this, you won't hear that come from their mouths, but I know that someday they will confidently say that. They don't walk closely with Jesus right now, but they know Him, they are saved and He will deepen and strengthen their relationships with Him one of these days.

Our goal as parents was never to have kids do what everyone else did. Both Todd and myself are of the belief and mindset that college is not for everyone. If you look at statistics, a lot of college graduates don't even go on to work in the field they were educated in! That being said, had they wanted to go to school, we would have supported that as well. We wanted them to be able to figure out what they wanted to do and it became our goal to help them achieve that. Most of this fell to my husband and I have to hand it to him—he is the greatest man/husband/dad I know. He's not perfect like I like to joke, but he is an EXCELLENT man and dad to our sons. 

The agreement was that if they didn't attend college after high school graduation, that they would work a full time job. I am so happy to be able to say that all four of them are walking in this plan right now. I wasn't sure how God was going to answer my prayers for Jonah and Noah, but I never waivered in my faith. I knew without a shadow of doubt that He would care for them and provide them with jobs that He had planned for them. The Bible says that if God cares for the flowers in a field and the birds of the air, and provides for them what they need to survive, He cares even more for His creation. That is from Matthew 6:25-34. Read the whole chapter, it's so good! 

If you're a parent, do not ever lose heart. Pray for your kids everyday and rest assured that God hears your prayers for them. Pour it all out to Him—God knows everything that is in our hearts and on our minds, so why not? I am never ashamed to admit when I need help praying for my sons. I've been open with you on this blog and I am the same in real life. None of us are perfect and we all go through times when we struggle. One thing the enemy is good at is messing with us and us thinking that we're on an island and that nobody would understand or be sympathetic to what we're going through. Nothing could be further from the truth! Get your most trusted people and confide in them. Get you some prayer warrior girlfriends and get to praying! If you don't have that and would love for someone to help you pray, reach out to me. I'll be that for you! Nobody needs to be alone. 

I know you know this, but I am so proud of my sons. And also, I want all of this documented here for me to look back on. Thanks for reading my blog! I'm leaving you with some more of my favorite moments from years gone by. Love to all. 

P.s. I have a sign that hangs in my home that says "Being a mother is a holy privilege." I couldn't agree with anything more! It's been the joy and honor of my life being a stay at home wife and mom to these guys. We have had THE BEST times together and though I'm a little sad at the years that have passed us by, I am so excited for them and their futures. I know it just keeps getting better from here, with hard times thrown into the mix. I know that things could always change in the blink of an eye, but I also know that if that did happen, the Lord would be just as good then as He is right at this moment. I read today in Job a verse that said something along the lines of, "Should we only be willing to accept from the Lord what is good, and not accept what is sometimes bad?" After all, He does give and He takes away, but through it all, blessed be His holy name. 

Thankful Thursday


Happy Thursday, friends. Rebecca Jo, Leslie and I are back to host this week's Thankful Thursday post. I love reading all of your posts, so thanks for joining us each week!

I love slow mornings at home and am always so glad when I get to sit down and do things like this. I don't know why I have never done this, but on Tuesday I was inspired to pull out a new composition book and start scheduling posts for my blog. I get in ruts with this little space, so it was good to do this. I filled up the rest of August and most of September! Another blogger whose blog I read does this and shared her list this week. This is why I love reading blogs—so that I can be inspired when normal people share tips and tricks that work for them. I will never grow tired of that.

Thanks to the dreaded c-word, it's been over a year since I've heard from the boy we sponsor across the world through Compassion International. I got a letter from him this week and I've never been so glad to read about him and what he has been doing. He lives in a French speaking part of the world and thanks to four years of French that I took, I was able to read a lot of this letter without looking at the translation.

I am thankful to be a believer. I say this all the time, but I don't know how someone is able to live in this world today without Jesus in their life. Even with Him, life is hard! Without Him it would be unbearable. Do you know Him? I would love to talk to you more about Him, so if you're reading this and that interests you, will you email me? Allboys@gmail.com.

I can't remember if I've said this on here yet, but I was looking for a part time job several weeks ago to help fill my time. I applied at our local library (how perfect would that have been??), but the position was filled and it wasn't me that got the job. I had asked the Lord to let me be okay with that, if that is how He worked it out in His good and perfect plan, and I was really okay with all of this. I was still thinking of other places I could apply, and I got one application from one of my favorite stores on the square and filled it out, but I never turned it in. I didn't feel peace about working there and wondered if would be too laborious for me to be there, even part time. (It's a decorating and flower shop.) So, I've not filled out any other applications since then and I am back to just staying at home for now. I don't know how long it'll last and I really would like to work a few hours each week, but as of right now, I am thankful to be able to be at home. I'm helping my oldest son with his dog and I am staying home most days. 

I said all of that to say that I am so grateful for the promises of God. I love this verse from Proverbs 16.

I believe this with all of my heart. I am thankful for the Word of God and that it is true! 

I know it's been a heavy couple of weeks in our world—and though I don't write about it a lot on here, I do think about it all and pray all the time for what is going on around us. The Lord keeps reminding me that I can trust in Him. He is good because He is God and He is sovereign over every circumstance—even when it's beyond my understanding. We need Jesus, my friends. The world needs Jesus. I pray that His light continually shines through me and that this space can always be a bright spot amidst all the darkness of this world. I do tend to keep things lighthearted here, because we have enough heaviness right now without me adding my two cents. Know that everything is usually on my mind, though. I spend a lot of time praying about it all and for the people I know and love who don't know Jesus. The world is coming more and more to Him and even though that can be scary, it's also exciting. A favorite pastor of mine used to say this same thing about such times—the world is growing gloriously dark. 

That's why I ask you again—do you know Jesus? Don't wait!

Praying for anyone and everyone who reads this blog today. Love to all. 

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

What's Up Wednesday


Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this monthly blog post. I'll jump right in!

What we're eating this week:

On Monday night, there were only three of us here to eat, so I made grilled sandwiches for Todd and Noah, and I ate chicken salad with crackers and tomatoes. On  Tuesday night I had Drew and his roommates over for dinner and made what they requested—a pasta dish that my sisters make called Gilbertini. It's pasta, cooked breakfast sausage, Alfredo sauce and more mozzarella cheese on top. It's a crowd pleaser, so I made two big pans of it. I served salad and garlic bread as sides.

After all of us ate dinner, I had about half a pan leftover, so I know a couple of them who will be excited to hear that. They love to eat this for lunch or dinner the next day. I usually make something simple on Wednesday nights, and on Thursday night we may go out because it'll just be the two of us. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

This picture showed up on my Timehop this week and I never want to forget this day. This was when he started coming back over last year after we'd had enough of the pandemic. We were laughing our heads off when I took this, mostly because he couldn't remember the name English muffins and called them British biscuits. 🤣 This still cracks me up!

And honestly, I'm reminiscing about a really fun summer and some unexpected trip with girlfriends. I love these ladies! 

What I'm loving:

Funny memes like this one. Sometimes I think if I couldn't laugh, I'd cry a lot more.

I have a couple of friends who love to post things like this on Instagram and they all make me laugh because they're so true. And I just did this the other day. 

What we've been up to:

I lead a very simple life. I stay home most days, then there are days when I go to the grocery store, or there are Bible study days, or church days, or it's a Saturday and I go out with my mom and sister. Mostly I go grocery shopping and I get my nails done every three or four weeks. This was me last week. I occasionally go out with friends or on a date night with my husband and that's about it. Everyone in the house is working or looking for a job these days.

What I'm dreading:

I can't think of anything I'm dreading! 

What I'm working on:

I would say that right now, this little girl is one of the main things I'm working on. She is only four months old and in need of some manners. I say this all jokingly, because she's actually a really good puppy. She has lots of toys to keep her busy and she's doing really good with being house trained. Oakley is my oldest son's dog (in case you're new here) and she got off to a very rough start, but all is well now. I'm home so much during the day that she hangs out with me most days...and her best friends, also known as the other dogs and cat. (Two of the dog and the cat hate her, but Chip loves his new little playmate.)

Aside from her, I need to be working more diligently on the Bible study that I'm helping to write and that is due by the first of the year. 

What I'm excited about:

All the B-E-R months! I love, love, LOVE this time of year. September kicks off my favorite season.

What I'm watching/reading:

Todd and I started watching Manifest this week. We love it so far and watched four episodes on Monday night. I watched all of HGTV's newest show, Cheap Old Houses this week. Have you seen this show? I have followed Elizabeth and Ethan (Cheap Old Houses) on Instagram for years and the show is my new favorite. I always watch Gilmore Girls or Grey's Anatomy at night, or Hallmark movies on the weekends. I'm skipping over what I'm currently reading, because I'm sharing the books I read in August next week.

What I'm listening to:

In the last couple of weeks I've been listening to a Michael Bublé playlist on Spotify. I also listen to Steve Tyrell, Ben Rector and worship music. There are others that I can't remember. 

What I'm wearing:

The same as usual because it is still hotter than Hades right now. I wish I was wearing things that I love to wear during the cozy season. Even if fall starts in September, I don't change my wardrobe all that much until the weather gets cool. Realistically, I just cannot wear sweaters and fall things when it's sweltering.

What I'm doing this weekend:

Hopefully I'll go out with my mom and sister on Saturday. I skipped last week and missed them. Also, Saturday is Mom's birthday! 

What I'm looking forward to next month:

I already said what I'm excited for—all things fall! I love to decorate my house for this season.

What else is new:

I think I covered it all! Thank you for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

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