March Reading {2014}

Screenshot 2014-03-30 21.08.43

19 down 41 to go

This month was full of a few other projects some things cooking on the back burner. (Not to mention I taught 3 classes on essential oils!) But I was able to still finish 5 new books:

Read Alouds:
Revenge of the Red Knight (Imagination Station #4)
Showdown with the Shepherd (Imagination Station #5)

Book Club:
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield (March’s book club)

Daring Greatly (Loved this! I see why people say it’s one they’d read more than once!)

Continuing Education:
The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple (This puppy has taken me for.ever. I started it last May!! But I’ve been slowly savoring it. I was and still am not a math/science kind of girl, but Stewart does a great job of explaining the chemistry without making me gloss over in the least!)

2 re-reads:
Organized Simplicity (March’s Bold Book Club book)
Forgotten God (great book! highly recommend! Really. Stop reading here and go find a copy.)

I’m slowly working on me currently reading book pile.

I’m reading Crystal Paine’s book with a friend. We meet once a week to discuss a chapter at a time. She lives pretty far away so we have FaceTime meetings. Occasionally, small children join in to share their latest lego creations with their new friends across the country!

Emily Freeman’s book is our May book for the Bold Year book club so I’ve got that on hold so I can read it with everyone else then. And The Mystery of the Cross I’m reading for Lent. Fascinating book with 40 short chapters… I haven’t finished yet but I think I’ll be recommending this one for sure!

I’m also chipping away at the audible version of this month’s book club book: The Secret Keeper. April is our annual book club tea party (!!!!) and this was such a fun book with so much detail I want to listen to it again before our discussion! (Plus, now that I know what happens I think I’ll pick up on more of all the goings-on this time around.)

I’m super excited about those things I mentioned I’m cooking up. We’ll see how April shapes up in the reading department. We do have a roadtrip planned so it’s possible I can finally get around to a few audiobooks I’m been anxiously awaiting!

Check out my GoodReads page to see how I’ve rated my March reads.

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February Reading {2014}


14 down 46 to go

I surprised myself again this month reading another 7 new books, because I was also re-reading a few:
Pride and Prejudice (Motherhood & Jane Austen Book Club)
The Ministry of Motherhood (Bold Book Club)
The War of Art (March’s Book Club book)
I guess technically that means I read 10 books!

This month I wanted to work on finishing some of my “currently reading” books… and it didn’t quite happen as much as I wanted.

I finished reading:

2 books with the kids:
Peril in the Palace (Imagination Station #3)
The Children’s Book of Virtues

2 audio books:
Dad is Fat (so funny! *Jim Gaffigan reads it.) *twothumbsupemoji
The Secret Keeper (this will be our April’s book club book)

1 Classic:
The Three Musketeers (February’s book club)

1 giant cookbook:
Nourishing Traditions (Bold Year Challenge book club)

and 1 book on books (this one was fantastic!):
Lit: A Christian Guide to Reading Books (This is right in line with why I started Broadened Horizons Book Club. Highly recommend.)

I do think my reading will slow down a bit in the coming few months. We are gearing up for the homeschool convention so I’m about to start doing more research on curriculums and prepare for the upcoming First Grade, Preschool, and Tot School Year. Do you remember those grades??! I’m SO excited for the coming school year! SUCH fun ages!!!

I’m also reading some heavier books and working on some book club events coming up. So I may have a little less free reading time but homeschool research and book club planning?? Those are right up there with some of my favorite things!

Bring it on March! I’m ready. (*fistbumpemoji)

Check out my GoodReads page to see how I’ve rated my February reads.

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What I’m Into {January 2014}

umm… What I WAS into {January}

Looking back at January here’s a bit of what’s been going on around here:

My Life/Family Life:Random Things:
Wow. 2014. Seems like it can’t possibly be that year! For real. I think I really am turning “old” this year. Wasn’t it just 1999?

Me: I wrote a pretty long and details new set of goals -more life goals, not so much New Years resolutions. Then I divided them up into categories, then into steps to read those goals. (Yep, I was a little goal crazy.) January was spent working on trying those steps and experimenting what I can incorporate the bite size steps now and what needs to go on the back burner. Right now a big focus is finding margin. And then not immediately filling it.

I’m in a new phase now that Isaac is 11 months. (Much cheering was heard!) Buuuut, I am still adjusting to having THREE little people who need ever so much time and attention. (For those of you with more than three, you are my hero.) The amount of “free time” for me to do other activities beyond family, kids, and house care is tiny at this point. I’m a leader in the Bold Year Challenge heading up the book club portion of the challenge -I know. Right? Go figure. (There has been a book club intervention for me. And they were right. I was in too many book clubs. I’ve cut it back to 3….. maybe 4. But don’t tell!)

Also. I never spell challange, challenge? right the first time.

So all that to say, I’ve dropped back to not being involved in as many things as I hoped to take part in. It’s just not in this season of my life. (This also means I’m not going to the Young Living Convention. But I’m OK with that. Another time. I’m also experiment with not doing laundry. But my family keeps telling me that’s just not doing to work.)

The fam: Isaac is almost 1 and moments away from walking! I think he secretly knows how to walk but his red-hair stubbornness tells him to just go ahead and keep being carried. Lydia got a cat costume from the neighbors. She’s been a cat for days. Today she wanted whiskers. So, of course, my eyeliner pencil and I obliged. (She’s perfectly fine with my no laundry plan. Cat every day? She says OK!) Aaron continues to ever impress us with his creativity and building skills. Several times a day he drops everything and will go build something new out of Legos, or Zoobs, or Straws and Connecters. Can’t wait to see what he grows up to be! (He’s also getting too tall too fast!) David is still finding days to bike in to work. Even with this Polar Vortex!

TV & Movies:
I’ve really backed off watching much TV. But SHERLOCK. Go watch it if you don’t know what I’m talking about! BBC: You’re my favorite. We previously had been watching Downton Abby, but have been busy and haven’t started this season yet. Maybe I’ll catch it later, but from the little I’ve heard I’m not sure I want to even get into it. Sounds rough.

From The Bookshelf:
I’ve been busy previewing and skimming books for the Bold Book Club for the year. I’d like to get them all selected and matched up with each month’s theme soon so I can get down to the business of reading them. So thankful we live so close to the library.

My Audible app is queued up to The Three Musketeers for my book club for February, and when I get in the mood for something else I switch to Dad is Fat. Highly recommend them both!

Around The House:
PSA: Never put tile in a kitchen. Just don’t. I’ve sure I’ve said it before, but the moment, yes, the very moment I stepped into our now house while house-hunting I backed up a little and said “No.” The tile is not my taste and I KNOW that it would be too much of a headache to remove it. (Can you even imagine removing it?!) But here we are 2.5 years later of living with this tile… but so much closer to having saved up to fix this problem. Yep. It’s a problem. Do you even know how many times a dish or glass falls or gets dropped and SHATTERS in to BILLIONS of pieces, shooting from one end of the house to the other. I’m not kidding. Well, maybe, it’s millions not billions. Then it’s at least 40 min of clean up. And still, twice glass has gotten in someone’s foot. Let’s just say it’s been traumatic.

I’ve been scheming new plans and pinning like crazy gearing up for the next big step in our kitchen remodel. (technically I think the pantry and a few cabinet additions are next, but the resident contractor and husband is the boss of this part. Then the beloved new flooring will soon follow.)  It’s probably still months before the real work gets underway but I’ve keep myself busy drawing the changes and decorating in my head. I love figuring out new ways to make our space work for us. I’ve recently come up with a new idea! Maybe I’ll post about it later. Let’s just say after my 5 ideas for different pantry options I’ve moved onto the island… I mean continent.

In The Kitchen:
I met with some friends and had the first, of what I hope to be many, Kraut Club meetings! We gathered and made Kimchi together. I’ve made basic fermented things plenty of times but I can’t wait to glean more from these other ladies who are pro with ferments!

The Bold Challenge also has plenty of food portions. January was yogurt. David is king yogurt maker in this house, but we’ve cut way way back on dairy and it seems to suit everyone.

What Coming Up:
Much homeschool planning and research. The convention is at the end of April but a friend or two and I are re-looking in to our options and what will fit our families best.

I think we’ll have a small first birthday for a certain little boy. (Feb is also David’s and my birthday! Party month!)

Also some plans in are in the works to step up our book club! I’ve recently found some new inspiration for our monthly discussions!!

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January Reading {2014}

Screenshot 2014-02-05 20.46.40

7 down 53 to go.

I usually read quite a few books in January but not usually this many kids books!

Check out my GoodReads page to see how I’ve rated my January reads.

Raggedy Andy Stories
The Little Book of Talent
168 Hours
Voyage with the Vikings (Imagination Station #1)
The Margaret Wise Brown Treasury
Attack at the Arena (Imagination Station #2)
Freefall to Fly

I have a record-breaking (for me) current books that I’m reading right now! As well as Pride & Predjude that I’m re-reading. (Why won’t GoodReads let me add re-reads??) I actually have more books current in progress, but that just feels embarrassing to have THAT many listed. I think February’s theme might be “Finish some books, Sarah!”

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A book look at 2013

2013’s book number was 59

But still. 59 books in a year I had a new baby! I’m impressed! Granted quite a few were YA books or Kindergarten read alouds.

I counted the book if it was a chapter book. As much as the Sarah inside of me would love to count and keep recored of all the picture books we read, well, that isn’t a reality in the stage of my life.

2014 book covers

My 2014 favorites break down…

Kindergarten favorites (Aaron’s favorites)
The Frog and Toad Treasury by Arnold Lobel
One Wintery Night by Ruth Graham Bell
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I read this to him, his dad has now almost finished the series with him!
Elmer and the Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Book #2 in the series, book #1 we read and loved in 2012.
The Dragons of Blueland by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Book #3 in the series.
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Non-fiction favorites:
Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh. I liked this more than Quiet by Susan Cain and I highly recommend that one!**
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. With all the books on books I’ve read I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to pick this one up. (see Resources for Inspiration for more of my favorites in this category)
It Starts with Food by Melissa Hartwig. My secret weapon for loosing weight. Seriously. this works and is good for you at the same time. Currently doing another Whole30 this month.**
Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. Enjoying Well Fed 2, right now!
Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. But this is on everyone’s favorites list I think**

Fiction favorites
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Listened to this on Audible. Excellent audiobook.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. This was for our tea party. Part of my 2014 goals include writing more letters.**
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Quick fun story. So glad there are more in this series. (This is on the line, and possibly a YA book.)

Young Adult favorites I’m don’t usually read in this category, but for my year with a newborn it hit the spot. 
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead**
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum. Not like I remember the movie, it was better than the movie. But I’m not sure I completely remember the movie.
Teddy’s Button by Amy Le Feuvre. A Lamplighter book. I had a goal to read I think 6 Lamplighters this year, I read 3. But this one was excellent!!**

The book break down for the year…

59 total books
19 favorites (books I rated with 5 stars*)
11 book club books (plus I re-read/skimmed Stepping Heavenward which isn’t counted in my total)
33 fiction
25 non-fiction
14 kindergarten read alouds
7 YA books
19 audiobooks
14 read on my kindle (or kindle phone app)

*I can’t really say I’m a “new reader” anymore. It’s been over 5 years that I’ve claimed reading as a favorite hobby. Lately, I’ve been working to find friends who’s tastes are so similar to mine so I’m unlikely to pick up a book that I don’t already know I will like. (My GoodReads friends have been good to me!) This year I must have hit a sweet spot. 19 sounds like a ton of favorites to me!

**These books I would recommend to anyone. Anyone.

Linking up with Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy

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2013 at a glance

It was a long and short year. You know how it is sometimes.

We rung in 2013 with both of our parents! Always a treat for the kids when all 4 grandparents are over at the same time! (We love it too!) It was also a month full of baby preparations and quality time with Aaron and Lydia.

I read quite a few books in February as I waited for baby #3 to arrive. David started a new job 7 days before Baby #3 = Isaac Matthew, joined us. (Arriving 6 days early (yay!!) at the end of the month, just after my birthday and David’s.)

family photos fall 20131

March, April, and May happened in the blink of an eye as we stayed around home and enjoyed our family of 5. Isaac spent and loved many, many (many!) hours in the sling.

June and July were spent at swimming lessons, camping, the library, a family reunion, and at home enjoying a new backyard swing set! (Also, we did the Whole30 food plan and loved it! Even the kids! SO yum!)

In August David started bicycling most days downtown to work, we made a few trips to the State Fair, Aaron started Kindergarten, I started teaching essential oil classes, and David and I celebrated 10 years!

family photos fall 2013

September began with a long weekend at Lake Erie with David’s family and in the middle we went camping (again! We love camping!) Aaron turned SIX and turned Lydia FOUR this month!

In October my book club and I celebrated 5 years and rented a house for a retreat weekend. Mid-month we made another trip to Ohio to meet a brand new nephew and cousin!

November and December? Might have been the fastest month’s of the year but we purposefully did not over crowd our calendar. No camping, no weekends traveling. Soaked up lots of family time.

We are thankful for SO much from 2013!

2014? Still sort of sounds like a space age time of the future! I officially feel grown up now. I guess it took longer than I thought. But my 30’s are shaping up to be my favorite decade yet!

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What’s on YOUR bookshelf? (link-up)


I’m joining Anne and some others tonight to share a glimpse of some of our book shelves.


I have a problem loaning out books… yes, I think books are meant to be read and shared with others but now I’m missing some of my very favorites and I have no idea who I loaned them too. (Yeah, I know there is a simple solution to this to write it down first but usually I’m so giddy to be sharing a book the idea to write it down flies right out my head.) My Name is Asher Lev… where are you?


I used to want to keep all copies of all the book club books we’ve read… then I realized I was a bit of a crazy-head. And now the books are often on audible, my kindle or from the library.

I’m not sure I’ll make it to my 3rd reading goal this year. The first was to read 20something, then I bumped it up to 60 (!!!) and now it’s down to 50. Baby #3 has me all sort of mixed up on knowing how much time I have to read.


Here’s a peak at my littlest man’s book shelf (all ready to be primed… but I haven’t picked a color yet)

His books have been well loved on by the two big kids… now to keep him from “loving” on them too much. (#booksarenotfood #wellnotLiteralfood)

Maybe another time I’ll share some of our picture book collection. I’m skipping it for this link-up because they are scattered around the house! But all the better for reading them, right?!

Thanks for stopping in to take a peak. I keep my GoodReads shelves fairly up to date if you want to see more books I’m into and reading these days.

For now I’ll leave you with a stack of a few of my “currently-reading” books photo (9)

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