A long time ago I used to do monthly updates here.  I kind of told what things I was doing in a month- a sort of update on our homeschool life, food life, my writing and book life, and more.  I'm not sure that I'll get back to that, but what I thought I would do since books are such a big part of my life (as should they be for all of us!) is share what I'm reading. So we'll see how this goes.  Maybe I'll make it a monthly thing.

Goodreads

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

What I'm Reading

Adrenal Fatigue:  The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson  -  This book is instrumental in understanding the reality of adrenal fatigue.  How one's health can be affected by stressors and the importance of how our food, environment and things we do to cope with stress are all important facets to adrenal health and all of this and more are discussed by Dr. Wilson.  It is written by an expert but also  it a way that is easily understood by the layman without talking down to the patient.  It is a good read thus far.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  I'm about halfway through.  There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

Thirty Steps to Heaven:  The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life by Vassillios Papavassilliou  I've actually referred to this book several times in recent posts.  I can't say enough about it.  I personally feel that even non-orthodox would benefit greatly from this book as it talks about all of the virtues we must all strive towards as Christians.

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I've promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I haven't had a lot of time for this one but it remains in my morning devotion pile and will be included in my morning readings again soon!

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.

6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage by Gary Rosberg  I read another book by Rosberg recently and I really enjoyed his style of writing about very intimate personal issues in a non-threatening manner and with a Christian perspective.  I have found some very good guidance in this book.  I really think every couple should read marriage books throughout their lives- always keeping discussion of the marriage and the marriage itself front and center to their lives.  My husband and I aren't currently reading this one together but I do mark spots and read them to him for discussion along with other books we read together.

The Ancient Faith Prayer Book by Vassilious Papavassiliou -  you know I didn't even realize it was the same author as 30 Steps to Heaven until I was writing this out.  I'm enjoying using this prayer book.  I think it may move into one of my favorites.

The Ascetic Lives of Mothers, a Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd  -  I read this book awhile back and even wrote a book review.  I just felt that while I often use this as a resource, it was time to read it through again.  Books like these always offer more every time

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7. (Wow- that's the first time I've written that- he just turned 7 last week!).  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Little Town on the Prairie (Little House #7) by Laura Ingalls Wilder  -  Actually, we just finished this one last night!  My son has been loving the Little House series.  And I still have my set from when I was young! We just started with them at the beginning of this school year.  Only one or two of them was on the Ambleside list for this year - a source I used last year and the beginning of this year.  But while I find their book lists as a handy guide, I find their style too restricting.  So while they only have a few of the books listed for this year-  I let my son's enjoyment and enthusiasm to read more lead us.  These books have lent so many lovely discussions.  We have also introduced the TV series-  we don't do a lot of TV here, but this is one series I encourage and enjoy right along with him.

The World's Worst Fairy Godmother by Bruce Coville   This is just a humerous story by one of my favorite children's authors. We are starting this tonight. I don't necessarily like all of Coville's books, but some of them have been favorites.  We recently read Jennifer Murdley's Toad.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry  We just started Misty.  While fictional, I chose to read it as part of our history type literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon.

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then.

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on the way to our Schole class every Tuesday and at other times when I'm cleaning up the kitchen before we start our short lessons for the day.

 

So--  that pretty much sums up what I'm reading.

How about YOU?

 

 

8

Resolutions.....because that's what we are supposed to do, right?  haha...

Actually, I think resolutions are a good thing.  It's goal planning.  As long as the goals are REASONABLE... then writing them down to look at and remind yourself of what your goals are once in a while really will help you attain them.  And I thought if I write them all here then I just might hold myself even more accountable - cause you might wonder how I'm doing with them...

There's a lot.  Because I do a lot of things and feel I should have goals in all parts of my life...not just one or two.  Plus I think if I have a lot of goals there's more chance of me attaining at least a few of them!!  haha...

So here goes:

  1.   Stick to the Paleo Diet at least 93% of the time for at least 3 more months... I really want to give it a good shot - without causing too much stress of doing it 100% but really giving it our best and for a few more months to really watch longer term effects.
  2.  Exercise, on average, 3 times a week.  (I know if I put more here, I'll fail.... and if I feel I fail it makes it that much harder for me to start again.  3 is reasonable.)
  3. Add Evening Prayers to my Prayer Routine... we do pretty well with Morning Prayers- at least on school days and prayers at supper time. I need to do more than that.
  4. Read at least 3 books that are of Orthodox content over the course of the year - I should probably start out by finishing the ones on my Goodreads Currently Reading List!!  So maybe I should put 4 on that resolution list...finish the three and add one more...
  5. Read at LEAST 12 Newberry Medal books... this shouldn't be that hard if I set my mind to it...after all they do all fall under the genre of children's literature...it's not like I'm reading novels the size off War and Peace!!!
  6. Read the following:   2014 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (cover to cover--- well, not every single publisher/agent listing but in the past I never got around to reading the articles and this time that's what I started with!),  A Family of Readers: A book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature,  and Honey For a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. The last two are supposed to be really good sources about the world of children's literature.  I've already started both.  Gladys Hunt has another book out on Teen literature and one on women's literature.  Both look equally appealing...I'll probably give in a grab the teen book soon as I have a teen....and will be planning another book list for next year's homeschooling sometime this spring.
  7. Watch my Charlotte Mason Videos(by the end of MARCH).  I bought them last year at the CHAP convention (convention held by the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania).  Simply Charlotte Mason had a booth there and I bought the All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar and The Books & Things Seminar.  I've watched most of the first one.  It's packed full of information presented by Sonya Shafer. My husband also bought me another book on Charlotte Mason - I want to read that one too but I'll give myself longer on that one... by the end of the year!
  8. Research for a Preschool Curriculum/materials and make a decision by the end of APRIL....at least have it narrowed down in time for the CHAP convention in May. He's already doing preschool type stuff..... knows how to count to 20 without help, higher with help and recognizes all the digits 1-10.... knows the alphabet (lower case and upper case) and most sounds, recognizes at least 22 words by sight, knows colors, basic shapes, etc.... so preschool may not be what I want.... by something Charlotte Mason style with lots of books.... and fun activities.
  9. Break 3 bad habits.... sorry that's too personal...not sharing those...just that I have them and think it's important to pick a few to work on diligently.  I'll know what they are...and who knows...maybe my family will figure them out by the end of the year too 🙂
  10.  Maintain my Gratitude Journal...  I restarted one about a year and  a half ago or so after reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts... I've been better at writing in it but I'm only to #465....  I hope to get to 1000 by the end of the year if not way before that!
  11. Maintain this blog!  I've been going strong for over a couple of months now...keep following me and give me comments-- it will encourage me!! 😉
  12. Keep writing!!!  I hope to pursue some publishers soon with a couple of the manuscripts I have finished...they still need some revision first.  And I'd like to try to pop out a few more... at least picture books.  That's the goal.  I do have two middle grade manuscripts I've written that could be revised and I started a YA several years ago...I'm not sure if I want to return to that yet or not.  I think I'll stick with the PBs... that seems to be where my passion is right now.
  13. Set more time aside for ME -   whether it be for reading, writing, or working on crafts I've ignored for years-- but time to do what I want to do and not just things for other people.  I know that goes hand in hand with a lot of the above goals but I feel a separate goal to do that will help assure I work on it.
  14. Spend more quality time with my children and my husband.  I want to actually schedule the time to make sure it happens.  Too often our date nights get pushed to the side because we simply forget to schedule it and too often I decide to watch a TV show because I'm tired rather than playing a game with my older son.  And too often I don't sit down to just play with my toddler because I worry too much about other things that need done.
  15. Work on coming up with EASY and QUICK paleo meals that will help me make sure I have time to do all of the above!  My new cookbooks I got for Christmas should help me accomplish that soon!

Okay.... that's 15....  that should keep me busy!!!

So what are YOUR New Year's Resolutions?  I'd love to read them!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/11513193/?claim=zawtj89437b">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

4

I'm trying desperately to cut back on my Goodreads current books I'm reading list. I'm trying to cut back on this list so I can feel better about adding more to it!!  I now have 6.  That's better than last weeks list of 8.  I forced myself to finish two this past week. (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives by Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica as well as The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner).  Well, I didn't really have to force myself to finish the first.  I loved that book and it will probably continuously stay on my reading pile as one can just read little bits here and there and it will never get old.  It's great for devotion time. The second was a good book... it just didn't grab me and give me as much as the first.

So now I'm down to these 6:     Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, Open Door by Frederica Matthewes Green, Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christianity by Kyriacos C. Markides, The Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity by Clark Carlton, The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, and Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss.

I really try to read too many books at one time!  It's just that I never know what mood may strike me when I actually find the time to sit down and read something. I've realized that makes 3 out of 6 that are about Orthodox Christianity.   So maybe I'll make myself pick just one of those to focus on at a time.  I am really into Unglued.  I saw the title of it posted on Facebook by a friend of mine and, as usual when I see a book title, I immediately went to Amazon or Goodreads to read a synopsis.  I was very intrigued.  I'm not sure what woman wouldn't be.  I think the vast majority of us have trouble staying calm in the midst of raw emotions...some occasions more than others of course.  So that's the one at my beside right now.  And I just ordered Primal Blueprint from Amazon... not the thing I want to grab and spend hours with right now but I really want to compare the Paleo diet to the Primal and get a feel for both and how they compare to one another... so I may read a page here and there... maybe that's a book for the car for when I am actually the passenger and not checking my WordPress reader.

I've also realized that none of the above books are actually fiction or 'just to relax and enjoy a good story' books that sometimes rejuvenates my 'soul'  more than chocolate. (whoa.....  ok...maybe I crossed the line with chocolate... more than a cup of tea...there...that's better)   There is, of course,  the pile of books brought home from the library for 'my son'.  Or so I tell everyone.  (Shhhhhh.... they are really for me....  lol)  I usually help him pick out a variety of picture books and a few early readers.  We always make sure one is about a real animal (getting the science in already!) and of course, he's a boy, one must be about some sort of construction vehicle.  I think our next run will be involving several of those Margaret Wise Brown books that I have missed as I mentioned in a previous post! In addition, I'll be looking for the books written by the authors featured this month for PiBoIdMo. ( I have several ideas written down this month already!)  If there are any others you want to suggest, in case my son and I have missed them, please do!

In addition to picture books, there are several YA's I've seen mentioned recently. The one I am most excited about right now is Glimpse, the debut novel by Kendra Leighton, because it was inspired by the poem, 'The Highwayman", by Alfred Noyes but it is not due out until Autumn 2014!  🙁 boo.....      Well, there is much to read in the meantime.  I always love a good YA by Laurie Halse Anderson or Jo Knowles.  I especially want to read Wintergirls and Living with Jackie Chan.  Any other good YA's you'd recommend as really good ones to catch up with what's quality YA lit for the last couple of years?

And a friend of mine just started a book club.  I'm eager to see what book they will pick next....the current one is a vampire story and vampires just aren't my thing. Well, I would probably read Salem's Lot by Stephen King over again but that's my vampire limit! So there is lots of good reading in my future!   How about yours?