November Reading List

You guys! I have 5 books to review this month…and four of them are just meh. I wasn’t feeling it. Now that I’m sitting down to write this review, I wonder if I was just grumpy for the whole month, or if I just didn’t hit the jackpot in books this month? Not sure.

As always, this is my honest review. We could have completely different tastes and styles, so what I say is just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own, especially when reading books. I also know and understand that every author puts a lot of work into their books. I hate writing negative reviews because I know someone worked hard to write the book and I hope that they never read my review. LOL. So this is just one person’s opinion, and it can be taken or left behind. Completely up to you.

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October Reading List

I kicked off my reading for this month with a book that I absolutely LOVED, then read three more that were enjoyable but not my favorite.

As the year winds down, I’m starting to think more and more about what is on my reading list and what I really want to spend my time reading next year. I want to be more intentional about the books that I fill my head with, and I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of reading challenge or even a book club. We shall see.



More Than Happy

The first book I read this month was More Than Happy and it will 100% be in my top five books. I randomly grabbed this book off the shelf in the library but it was perfect for me. It was written by a pastors wife who was tasked with writing some novels based in an Amish setting. During her research, she began to notice that the Amish children were different in so many ways from how she had raised her own children. She decided to compile many hours of interviews and conversations with her Amish friends about why their children seem more content, more intelligent and are harder workers. This book was parenting GOLD. I think that lately I have finally stumbled upon what I am in life. I am not a minimalist, it seems rather cold and uninviting to me. But I think that I am a simplest. I love life simple. I could not recommend this book more!!!

I’ve Got Your Number

The next book I picked up with this fluffy novel. It was predictable from the beginning and could be pretty boring throughout. The writing was a bit choppy for me and seemed more juvenile and well, fluffy. However, I did still enjoy it and it gave my mind something to do. The novel was very clean and I always love it when fiction authors can keep it clean while still writing a good story. If you are looking for a read that you don’t have to do much brain work, this would be it.

The Magnolia Story  

It was finally my turn in line at the library for the Magnolia story…like, one year later. Lol. I read this book from front to back in two days and I really enjoyed it. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love Chip and Jo as people, and it was so fun to have a glimpse into their humble beginnings. There were so many little tidbits of knowledge and information throughout the book that I actually pulled out my journal and pen and started writing some of them down! The only thing that I was a bit disappointed about was how little they mentioned their faith. They mentioned God a lot and how he provided several miracles for them, but I didn’t get the impression that their faith was the core of the family. Maybe I just completely misinterpreted it, and it’s very possible an editor took out bits and pieces so that it came across that way. I did love this book and recommend that you pick it up and read it! It’s amazing how one of America’s most beloved couples had such humble beginnings and such crazy adventures!

A Wrinkle In Time

I have actually never read A Wrinkle in Time! Strange, I know. So I have been putting some of the classics on my reading list so I can actually say I’ve read them. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it! What is wrong with me? I don’t know…but it was soooo boring to me. I think I have a really hard time with science fiction because my brain always thinks inside the box. I have a hard time picturing science fiction creatures because I have to work so hard to think outside the box. For those of you who haven’t read it, it is a about three children who are working to fight evil. They space travel and meet many types of creatures along the way as they rescue their father and return to earth. I’m glad I read it, but it sure won’t be getting any top 10 ratings from me.

Have you ever read any of these books? What did you think?

What are you reading now?

Top Ten: My Favorite Books that I Read in 2016


This year, I read 62 books. Yes, SIXTY-TWO.

I honestly don’t know how I did that. Some of them were easy reads, but I guess I must be more of a speed reader than I thought? Or maybe I need to have a few more kids because obviously I have too much time on my hands. No, but seriously…62 books is a lot!

I wanted to compile my top ten from the year, but you can head to each of the blog posts and read my monthly reviews!


My TOP TEN are……

10. Anchored

9. Falling Free

8. Firefly Lane

7. The Meaning of Marriage

6. The Husband’s Secret

5. The Language of Flowers

4. Hope

3. Baby Catcher

2. Faith to Foster


  1. The Nesting Place

I would highly recommend that you get your hands on each of these books if you have not already! Obviously, some of them have very specific audiences, but I think that anyone would enjoy them!

I will continue to do my book reviews in 2017, so stay tuned for January! I have a long list of books that I would like to read, but I’m always open for suggestions! Please send them my way!



And in case you were wondering, here is a list of all of the books I read:



The Lipstick Gospel

From This Day Forward

Make It Happen


The Fireman’s Wife

What Led Me To You

Grief Light

The Husband’s Secret

Breaking Busy

For the Love

To the End of June

I’ll Stand By You

Anne’s House of Dreams

And Then There Were None

The Bridesmaid’s Manual

However Long the Night

However Tall the Mountain

Big Little Lies

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

No Biking in the House without a Helmet

One Hundred Names

The Fault in Our Stars

Anne of Ingleside

Orphan Train

The Beach Club

Blue Shoes and Happiness

Lessons in Heartbreak

Living Well, Spending Less

The Language of Flowers

A Girl Like You

Yes, Please

Forgotten God

Year of Yes

Funny Little Pregnant Things

Firefly Lane

Two Sisters

Cutting for Stone

Faith to Foster

Me Before You

The Nesting Place

For the Right Reasons

The Things We Keep

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Baby Catcher

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

A Midwife’s Story

My Notorious Life


Heaven is Here

The Book Thief

The Happiness Project

The Royal We


The Pilot’s Wife

The Meaning of Marriage





Do You Want Free Books?

After Tera was born, we had a number of people come over to our house to bring us hot meals. It was delightful, and so, so wonderful.

One of those people was my friend, Jess (hi, Jess! I know you are reading!!). She brought a meal and this brochure (actually, the one she brought is long gone, but I picked up a new one to show you all). She explained to me that if you sign your child up, you can get a free book every month. Pretty cool, huh?

Sounds to good to be true?

Well, it’s NOT!!!

It’s called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and it is a wonderful program that YOU can sign up for through the Greene County Library.

Honestly, I didn’t know Dolly Parton liked to read books, or cared about my child getting free books. I mean…doesn’t she sing big, have big hair, and um…yeah, ok…back to the Imagination Library! Apparently, Dolly Parton really wants all children to have access to free books! Which we do….in libraries. But through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, you can build a library for your child!

If you have a child between the ages of 0-5, you can sign them up- for free. Honestly. Every month, they will get a book in the mail. Here are some of the ones that Tera has gotten:


The website says that the books are based on how old they are…but I’m not so sure I agree with that. Either way, though, Tera is getting free books!

I will say that they are very picky about where you live. For us, we can only get the books through the Greene County Library if we live in Greene County. We moved a mile down the road and got an angry notice from DP’s Imagination Library about moving. So make sure that you update your address! After we updated it, we resumed getting books with no problem.

So how do you sign up? Greene county folks…just go to a local library and grab this brochure:


There is a little form inside that you can fill out and mail in!


I’m sure you can also find it on the website.

But, there is good news if you don’t live in Greene County! You can also sign up! Go to and see if this program is available through your county in your state. Pretty cool, huh?


Weekly Wrap-Up

I intend to do my weekly wrap-ups on Sundays, but yesterday just didn’t work out for me.

I woke up LATE after a late, frustrating night on Saturday. As I was hopping in the shower (while my dear husband made me breakfast…he really is the best!) I realized that I had told people at church I would make a sign-up for events that I am in charge of planning. Of course, I completely forgot to do it, and it really needed to be done before the service. So I rushed through my shower and quickly threw something together on word. I hooked it up to printer, thinking ‘phew, I’m glad I remembered and that I could still get it done before church!’ Nope. Printer refused to work, for whatever reason. Oh, well…plan B…the printer at church. I ate my breakfast and did my makeup in the car on the way. We arrived approximately 3 minutes before the service started and no one was really available to help us use the church printer. By this time I was basically in tears, my hair still wet, my breakfast had to be eaten in the car, no tea for me, and both Theo and I were beyond frustrated. The kind of frustrated where it’s really hard to communicate.

(Side Note: Does anyone else every feel like Satan attacks the worst on Sundays? I just can’t even describe how difficult Sundays often are for us…how many tears we shed, and how many big life lessons we learn driving to and from church. Anyone else? So many times we have been tempted to skip church because we have an issue that we need to work out. Funny that issue didn’t come up on Saturday morning, or Friday night, huh?).

So we gave up on printing the form and went to the service. And I took off my coat. And the sweet girl behind me (thankfully my friend…!!!) whispered, “your sweater is on backwards”. I pretty much lost it. It was just the last straw. I’m so thankful for a church body that is so focused and intentional, because even though it was difficult to get back on track with ridding my heart of anger and frustration and bitterness, I was able to do so and enjoy the rest of the service and the lunch afterwards. However, when I got home, I crawled under the covers and really didn’t emerge until dinner time, where I threw together a bowl of rice and crawled back under the covers. Real life, folks….that is real life.

And all that to say…I didn’t write a weekly wrap-up post yesterday. Haha.

This past week was a good one. A very busy week, but a fulfilling week as well. I worked about 10 extra hours, so that kept me busy, and Theo had a counseling class on Friday and Saturday, which meant that he had to work all his hours earlier in the week.

The weather was GLORIOUS this past week, and I actually went out for 4 runs. It was wonderful.

Moose loved the warm weather, and he also loves being a devil and playing with Theo. As long as it’s not me he’s directing those devil eyes towards, I don’t care!

Next month our fast is from media. So no facebook, instragram, Pinterest, netflix, hulu or blog browsing. I will still update this blog and read several blogs of people that I know, but otherwise that’s it. In preparation, I’m stocking up on books that I can read. Got any suggestions?

I baked something in the oven, and to warm the house a little bit, we open the oven door when I’m finished using it. It was cooled down just enough for him to sit on it, but it was still warm. He absolutely loved it, and even took a long nap there. Unfortunately, the next time I opened the oven door, he tried to jump on it. Whoooops! And, yes, our oven is in the wall. I don’t know why. But it is.

On Tuesday night, we had a young couple from our church come over. It’s one of those situations that just blows my mind. Our conversation upon meeting them went something like this:Them: “So, where are you from?” Me: “Well, I’m a missionary kid.” Him: “No way! Me too!”, etc, etc. Then, the next conversation goes something like this. Me: “Yes, we are expecting our first child in August.” Her: “No way! What’s your due date?” Me: “August 6th” Her: “Im due August 2!”


And such a fun dinner.

On Thursday, Theo surprised with an awesome date night at a fancy restaurant in Cincinnati. You can read about the whole adventure here.

On Saturday, the sun was shining and it was WARM! I wanted to be lazy all day, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a run in the sun! When I got back, I drank a nice, cold coke and enjoyed the sunshine with the chickens and Moose. (Also: worst picture ever. But oh well, you get the point)

On Saturday afternoon I went to a good friend’s bridal shower. I rocked my first maternity shirt. And I’m holding onto those jeans for as long as I can, because they are the last ones that actually button!

Saturday night, we grilled out. I’ve been waiting and waiting for it to be warm enough to do so, and we didn’t want to pass up the upper-40s that we were blessed with. Moose was also ecstatic about the weather, and kept running out the door every time we opened it. He likes to pretend he’s stalking the chickens, but I’m pretty sure he’s more afraid of them then they are of him. But we put him in the cage so he wouldn’t run away.

It was a glorious week, one that will be hard to beat! But I’m looking forward to this new week and the things that are in store for us!

Happy Monday!