Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2016

that's not hay in my hair {book review}

I didn't realize That's Not Hay in My Hair by Juliette Turner was a middle grade novel until I started it. When I worked at the bookstore a few years ago I read a lot of middle reader and young adult novels, but I haven't read as much in that category lately. Often the content is too mature for me to find middle reader books appropriate for the intended audience, but That's Not Hay in My Hair is perfect for girls ages 9-12.

That's Not Hay in My Hair is a funny fast-paced novel about Juliette, her mother, Emily and their big move from New York City to a 300 acre ranch in Texas. (Yes it's semi-autobiographical though it is billed as a novel). While the plot was shaky at times the characters were well thought out and fully developed. There were a lot of humorous passages about ranch life, as well as beautiful descriptive passages, and a well thought out thread about loss that runs throughout the book.

As Juliette and her mom struggle to run a really large ranch by themselves they learn to rely on the kindness of neighbors and strangers to get by. They also have a close relationship with Juliette's grandmother and grandfather. Along with helping run a ranch Juliette has to deal with typical middle school issues, which would be frustrating enough without the daily work and chaos of ranch life thrown in.

Girls who love horses, adventure, and laughter will love this book.

I think Juliette Turner will get better as she continues to grow in her life and writing, but this is a solid beginning.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, June 10, 2016

so your toddler is obsessed with construction vehicles

While Bennett has moved from construction vehicle love to army tanks and war weapons love (seriously) I remember those days well.

I was reading one of our books on construction to Ainsleigh the other night before bed. Shortly after settling her in for the night I saw an advertisement for our city's public works day. And I immediately wanted to tell all moms of toddlers to check if their city has a public works day because it's a great hands on learning experience for kids.

Back when Bennett was obsessed with construction trucks I took him to the public works day. He hated it and refused to go on any of the trucks and was generally miserable, but the rest of the kids looked like they were having a good time! Perhaps we'll attempt it again this year.

If going to a local public works day, sitting in the vehicles, and honking the horn isn't enough for your kiddo here's a list of our favorite construction books. I scoured the library for books on the subject when Bennett was 2 so I feel like an expert. (If you need recommendations for books about battle tanks I am now well versed on that subject as well - just ask!).

We play this a lot. When B received the game as a gift for his second birthday we played with a handful of cards. He can now handle playing with the full set of cards. His memory is way better than mine!

Our copies of these books are WORN out

Forklifts: Machines at Work

We checked this book out from the library so many times I hoped they would give it to us. Wouldn't it be fun if that's how the library worked! If you check out an item ten times it's yours! I guess that's not a very good business model ...

Tip Tip Dig Dig 

I'll never forget Bennett listening to this book during story time at the library. His eyes widened, he sat forward, and when the reading was over he said, "let's get that one!" He LOVED this title.

Ainsleigh enjoys the Dig Dog Digs set we have, mostly because she likes looking at the kitty on every page, but her main love right now is Sesame Street. Next week I'm going to take her to the big city all by myself to see Sesame Street Live. Just thinking about doing that by myself is giving me an anxiety attack so I'm choosing not to think about it. As for Bennett and his tank love I'm doing my best to get us access to an Army base in Washington so we can visit the tank museum there. WHY put the museum on the base?! It makes access nearly impossible! So what I have to look forward to in the next few weeks is a terrifying solo parent trip into the city with my girl and a background check from Homeland Security. The things I do for my babies! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

you are what you love: the spiritual power of habit {book review}

You Are What You Love left me standing in the kitchen reading random passages to Jonathan with exclamations of, "Isn't that so good!?" following every quoted bit.

Without the context of the whole book Jon was unwilling to jump for joy, but he agreed to read the book so I'm counting that as a win.

With You Are What You Love James K. A. Smith explores the idea of liturgies, or practices, or habits and how they are affecting us. We are creatures of habit, and we are designed in a way that makes us desire an ultimate end - or telos as Smith puts it. Everything we do contributes to those liturgies; from our work to our church life to our home life. And in many ways our liturgies are below the surface, we don't even realize we are acting a certain way because the culture has shaped us to do so!

I was feeling rather discouraged by the end of chapter two, but Smith does a nice job of exploring how one can change their habits. For example, Smith's encouragement to reform one's liturgies through church completely changed my understanding of the church and what it exists for.

Smith explores worship, parenting, education and vocations and explains how each area of one's life can point one to Christ. After reading You Are What You Love I want to evaluate, or "audit" my life and our family life so I can begin to change our habits and turn all of us into people oriented toward Christ.

Two concrete things I know I want to do now are as follows:

1. Begin pursuing ethical fashion choices for the kids and me. I've been looking into ethical fashion for a while, but I haven't made any purchases. Smith's writing on mindless consumerism made me want to take the next step and buy ethically next time we need clothes, and that's something perusing ethical fashion accounts on Instagram didn't prompt in me. 

Smith writes, "...the liturgies of consumption induce in us a learned ignorance. In particular, they don't want us to ask, 'Where does all this stuff come from?' ... The liturgy of consumption births in us a desire for a way of life that is destruction of creation itself; moreover, it births in us a desire for a way of life that we can't feasibly extend to others, creating a system of privilege and exploitation. In short, the only way for the vision of this kingdom to be a reality is if we keep it to ourselves. The mall's liturgy fosters habits and practices that are unjust, so it does everything it can to prevent us from asking such questions. Don't ask, don't tell; just consume."

2. I want to make church and studying the Bible a priority - both for me and my kids. In his chapter on the home Smith explains that "children are ritual animals who absorb the gospel in practices that speak to their imaginations." He goes on to explain how immersing children in worship and liturgical practice (next area of study for me, the church's liturgical calendar!) can help form and shape them. My focus should be less 'learn this verse' and more 'let's memorize this Story together so that it becomes part of us,' or as Smith puts it, so that they "know the gospel in their bones."

Reading You Are What You Love has left me feeling encouraged and inspired. I'm all fired up! I was worried I would feel overwhelmed or discouraged about what I need to change in my life, but instead I feel excited about changing some of my rhythms and routines so my life and our family life better reflects Christ.

As Smith writes, "We are not creating a 'pure' household into which we withdraw and retreat in order to protect ourselves from the big, bad world. That would be to shirk our mission to 'go.' Instead, we want to be intentional about the formative rhythms of the household so that it is another recalibrating space that forms us and prepares us to be launched into the world to carry out both the cultural mandate and the Great Commission, to bear God's image to and for our neighbors.

5/5 stars
If you read it please share your thoughts with me! There are so many things I want to discuss in this book!!

If you enjoy this book you might also like

Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Monday, April 21, 2014

my bookshelf

I love books. I read a lot, but I've always done a poor job keeping track of what I read. Even Goodreads requires too much effort from me. I really am that lazy.

A few days ago I was thinking about how many book photos I have to post to Instagram. I didn't want to overwhelm my feed with them so I created a second account - @angelasbookshelf - and have just started posting over there about what I'm reading. I'm adding a tiny review - a few words - to each post as well.

There will be books from every genre and age level. If it's a book and it sounds good I'll give it a try. And sometimes when it isn't good I read all the way through because I want authors to have time to redeem themselves. J thinks that's odd, but I'm a fast reader.

If you're interested, follow along! (@angelasbookshelf)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

picture books!

I don't know if I trained Bennett to love reading, or if he just loves to read. Either way, we read a lot. Bennett is very, very busy, but he will sit down and read for a long time. We read forty-five minutes or more every day and go to the library at least once a week to pick out new books (and play).  We read so much I actually get a little tired of it (imagine that!)

We own a lot of books, but I can't stop buying more. I also have this little problem where I go to thrift stores every few months and buy stacks of picture books. I have a long list of books I want to add to Bennett's library.

Here is my short list of books to buy soon. The long one is too intense to share:

I would love all of the Elephant and Piggie books, but we don't have a lot of shelf space left.

I miss working at the book store where I had access to glossy publisher catalogs full of picture books. I'm afraid I'll miss out on something now that I'm out of the loop!

What's your favorite picture book? What book is your little one in love with right now? What should I add to our collection?

Monday, February 18, 2013

bennett's favorite books {currently}

We have a lot of books, and I keep buying more, and we go to the library once a week, but these are the ones B wants to read over and over right now:

What does your little one love to read?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

goodbye for now

I just finished Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel and I am telling you, it's a must read.

One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Well written, funny, set in Seattle and heartbreaking. You'll cry for days, but it will be worth it.

I was so captivated by the book I let the no nap king play by himself for a while so I could finish it.

Sometimes what I want to do trumps what you want to do, that's just life toddler man.

He's still so content hanging out by himself I thought I would post this book recommendation really quick. If you ever need a book suggestion just holler. I used to be quite good at matching books and people.

Things are bleak, but books and babies and Christmas lights and a toddler who rocks at playing by himself shoot bits of light into the dark.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved