Monday, June 12, 2017

Thankful Things With a Bonus List From Davis

As always, there is so much to be thankful for.

We're having a heat wave! The last few weeks have been on the cooler side for this time of year which wouldn't be so bad but it's been raining a lot too so it's wet and chilly which means it's not really comfortable to be outside for long stretches of time. At least, that's how I feel.  The boys would be outside in pretty much any weather, which I'd love if they were both old enough to be outside without me, lol.

Even on days when it's pouring all day long, Davis and Tyrion manage to find ways to stay occupied without screens.

Matt is on vacation for the next 2 weeks! It's going to be great to have the opportunity to spend some time together as a family and for Matt to have some time to relax after months of working 7 days a week.

Between our local libraries and Amazon's Kindle Unlimited (affiliate link*) program, we have been able to keep up with our reading habits without spending a fortune! As a family of readers, this is huge for us, an inexpensive way to read is always a good find.

Family games are both fun and educational. Davis, Matt and I just started playing Words With Friends against each other. Matt and I had played before and Davis expressed an interest in learning Scrabble (which we have also done) so we added the app to Davis' tablet and Matt and I started playing games against him, each other and other friends and family members. It's been a bit frustrating for Davis at times but the fact that he can ask us for help when he's stuck and even just leave it be for a while if he's too frustrated is really helpful. He seems to do better with it than he would if we were all playing Scrabble as he can take a break in between moves to lessen the frustration.

Views like this are right across the street. It's so amazing to be reminded daily of the beauty in God's creation.

And Davis took both of these photos, he's getting to be quite the photographer lately.

Simple pleasures, like ice cream with the kids or cold brewed iced coffee with my hubby on a hot day.

Family movie afternoons and the opportunity to share some great movies with the boys. Today we watched Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. 

And for my last thankful, I'm thankful for Davis' Thankful List:

Library programs.


God and Jesus.



Ten Things of Thankful

*Why affiliate links? Did you know that clicking a favorite blogger's Amazon affiliate links is one of the easiest ways you can support their work, at NO extra cost to you?! It means that they will receive a tiny portion of anything you buy at Amazon within the 24 hours after clicking (yes, even of boring stuff like toilet paper! ;) ) I spend time each week creating content for this blog and I love it! Mentioning an Amazon link within a blog post lets me generate income in a way that feels authentic & keeps me from plastering the site with pop-up, non-relevant ads to support the time it takes. I only share links to products or services that I actually use and recommend. Thank you for clicking!!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Thankful Things

I'm starting to get back to writing and as I work on more posts, I'm reminded how much I have to be thankful for so I'm going to share a few of those things.

{1}. I have a very hardworking husband. For the past several months, Matt has worked 7 days a week in an effort to start saving more and paying off debts. It's been exhausting for both of us but it has helped us to get ahead and I'm happy to say that we have moved on from that challenging season as Matt worked his last weekend a few weeks ago.

{2} Beginning in about a week, I will be providing childcare for a friend's infant son when she returns to work full-time. She spent a day with the week before last to see how our boys would interact with the baby and they both love him. It's bound to be a lot of fun!

{3} Even while Matt was working so much, we were still able to find time for some great family time. Playing outside, going to church and just doing errands, it doesn't matter what we're doing as long as we're together it's more enjoyable.

{4} The last two weekends, we've been able to get out of the house and go hiking on some local trails. We all really enjoy spending time in nature so it's been wonderful to do that together.

{5} On our hike yesterday, we were able to take some really nice family pictures like this one I shared on Instagram.

{6} We started homeschooling Davis last month and though we started a bit more quickly than we had originally planned to, and we've had to adjust our expectations and adapt, it's been great and we're starting to find some routines that work for us.

{7} The public library has made it possible to homeschool Davis. Without the resources available through them, we'd be struggling a lot more with homeschooling. Between the books we're able to borrow (both physical and electronic), the amazing programs they have regularly for the kids and even just having someplace where we can go that isn't home so the kids can have a change of scenery on days when it's rainy or too hot to be outside.

{8} Very much related to the last item on this list is the semi-annual book sale that the library hosts as a fundraiser. We went to the sale on their $5 a bag day which means you pay $5 and fill the bag they give you with as many books as you can. We filled 4 bags with a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. There were a large number of workbooks, science and history books that we will be incorporating into our curriculum for this year and next year as well as copies of classic novels that I love having around for all of us to read from time to time.

{9} Having both a chest freezer and a BJ's membership makes it possible to do one big grocery haul at the beginning of the month and save money by buying in bulk. Then we just have to go once a week for things like milk, bread, produce and coffee creamer. If anyone has any tips for organizing the chest freezer, I'd greatly appreciate them. Right now it's a bit of a jumble in there.

{10} I am super thankful that I have found motivation to write again. It's something I truly enjoy and I had lost the enthusiasm for it for a while but it's back and I hope to keep it going.

Ten Things of Thankful

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace (Book Review)

"Not only does it explain what God "requires" of a Christian wife, but it explaines clearly how to obey God's commandments in order to become that wife. Get it, read it and profit from it." Amazon book description for The Excellent Wife

This book has been mentioned as one of the best books on Biblical womanhood and as a must read for any Christian woman by many bloggers, podcasters and writers whom I have really enjoyed and learned from so I have had this book on my to read list for quite some time. This book wasn't available through my local public library system but I recently found an audio version through Christian Audio and was very excited to listen to it.

Unfortunately that enthusiasm didn't last. While I agree with many of the points that Martha makes in this book, the tone comes across as condescending and harsh at times. It is a challenging book and at first I thought it was just that I was having a hard time with the content because it was convicting me of things which I need to work on or improve but it was more than that. 

The one big thing that sticks out to me as being just plain wrong (in my opinion, but also backed up by other biblical teachings) is that women are only able to glorify God through service to their husbands.  Women and men were both created in the image of God to glorify Him.  Yes, Eve was created second to be a suitable helper to Adam but the Bible says, "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Genesis 1:26 NIV (emphasis added by me) 

We were created to work together with our husbands, to be partners and co-heirs of God's kingdom with them. And, yes, we are instructed in the Bible that wives are to be submissive to our husbands as they are the head of our household and God has given them that authority but they are not the ultimate authority, God alone has that position regardless of our gender or marital status. 

Saying that women are to bring glory to God only through serving and respecting our husbands is creating a slippery slope towards making out husband an idol and giving him a place in our lives and our hearts that should only belong to God.  

There are some positive things about this book as well.  Martha uses scripture as her basis and quotes it often alongside examples from her own life. I especially loved her description in the beginning of the book of her life before becoming a Christian and her response to some of the teachings that she herself is now telling women are so important. It helps to know that I am not the only one who struggles with things like being a submissive wife.

As I stated before, there are many points on which I agree with Martha. I do believe we are called to be submissive to our husbands but that we are not called to be silent doormats for our husbands. In this book, she gives many examples of how to respectfully approach our husbands when we disagree about something, how to talk to them about their own sin and even what to do when they aren't responsive to what we say but we believe they are sinning and it is something that needs to be dealt with. 

Another thing I really liked is the image in the beginning which shows the qualities of an excellent wife. I plan to print this out and add it to my journal so I will be regularly reminded of these qualities and work on them. 

For the most part I would say this was a good book though it was difficult as well. I think some of my difficulties with it lie in the fact that I was listening to the audio version.  I typically prefer physical books where I can underline and highlight and come back to things which are hard to swallow and the audio version doesn't allow for that. This particular audio version also wasn't formatted well, it was broken down into 7 parts, each about 70 minutes in length. This made it really hard to digest as there was a lot of information packed into each of those parts. I would have preferred to have it broken down further into chapters as the book is. Having the smaller sections would have made it easier to listen to a small chunk and then ruminate on that before jumping back in. 

I know this is probably a confusing review but I am honestly conflicted on my feelings about this book. I plan to purchase a copy of this book and possibly the accompanying study guide at some point in the future and go through it more thoroughly. I think this is a book that needs to be read a few times to get the most out of it and I would highly recommend reading it with an open mind and heart and an open Bible so you can verify for yourself that she is being true to what scripture says.

This is definitely a case where one needs to use their personal discernment while reading to know what is true and what is leading the reader slightly astray.  Most of the book is Biblically sound and gives wonderful information for wives but there are things that I disagreed with and will have to research further on my own.

Kingdom Family Devotional by Tony and Jonathan Evans (Book Review)

The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic...