Thursday, March 17, 2016

Michael's Birthday

My sweet, smart, handsome firstborn turned five in January--can you believe it? Facebook keeps prompting me to view my memories for each day and showing me pictures of little baby Michael the adorable never-sleeper. His baby pictures all look like Colette and his toddler pictures all look like John Paul, and now he and Liam look so much alike sometimes. It's crazy.

Michael loves reading. That may be the understatement of the year, but I don't quite know how to put into words his passion for books. He was wildly delighted to receive some more of his beloved Magic Tree House books for his birthday. And spent all of his Christmas and birthday money to buy more. Thanks to another birthday present he has also branched out in the Hardy Boys. (Any recommendations for chapter books appropriate for a 5 year old but still pleasantly challenging for this crazy precocious reader are most appreciated!)

Michael told me he wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday again this year. I said that was fine, but did he want to consider any other options? He asked for all his options and I listed off as many fun desserts and I could think of. He kept asking for more options, and when I finally ran out of ideas he told me that the only thing that sounded good was an ice cream cake--so ice cream cake we had.

This boy. He loves reading his books. He loves writing to-do lists and recipes and stories in notebooks. He loves trains just as much as ever. He adores his baby sister (and for a 5 year old he's pretty dang patient and gentle with his brothers too).

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I don't know what it is about hoods, but the boys love them.

And Colette fits right in with the rest of the crew.

Michael has called her Colette Cynthia pretty consistently ever since we told the boys they were getting a little sister and what her name would be. Recently Liam has started calling her by her full name as well. For the first almost three months John Paul just called her "Baby," and it's only within the last month or so that he's started calling her "Kett." I didn't think anything could get more adorable than that, but about a week ago he started calling her by her full name as well--it comes out as "Kynthia" and I kind of hope he calls her that forever. It's the sweetest.

Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Wore Sunday

So Rosie's reasons for linking up with her for What I Wore Sunday were very convincing. I barely remembered (in the middle of Mass), and 3 out of 4 kids agreed to pose with me for a quick shot before we all rushed around to get brunch ready before guests arrived.

I also realized partway through the first reading that I had managed to put my sweater on inside-out. Whoops. But we were surrounded by other families with young children, so I figured if anybody else noticed then they would probably be fairly understanding. I decided not to fix it for the picture--keeping things real here, folks.

And no--John Paul did not get to wear his baseball cap to Mass. He just grabbed it as soon as we got home.

Check out the link-up for people who actually wear their clothes correctly!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Boy Talk

M: When I grow up, I'm going to have two jobs! I'm going to be an engineer and a fire fighter.
Ash: That sounds like a great idea, Michael.
L: And I'm goina be a engimeer and a train!

M: And when I grow up I'm going to live in a house close to the tracks. But far away from you.
Ash: Oh no! That would make me sad if you lived far away from me.
M: But I'll be a grown up!
Ash: But even when you're a grown up I will miss you if you are far way.
M: It's okay, because when I die I'll come to see you in heaven.

Alex: I'm going to have to call shenanigans here pretty soon.
M: Why? Is it a boy or a girl? Who is She-nan?

(looking at pictures in a book)
M: That's an ambulance!
L: That's not a ambiance!
M: It is an ambulance!
L: It is not a ambiance!
M: Oh, right. That's a tank.

M: Knock knock.
Ash: Who's there?
M: Interrupting banana.
Ash: Interrupting banan...

L: (watching me dip bread in batter) Oh no! Mama's fingers are all French toasted!

L: (wearing his new blue cape and his engineer hat) I'm a super conductor!

Alex: Liam, are you sad?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you happy?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you mad?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you...?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: We need to work on your philosophical s.... (was going to say "stuff")
L: Do they taste good?

Ash: (commenting on our pork chops and sweet potato hash dinner) I think it's practically paleo.
M: What's paleo?
Alex: Paleo means really old.
M: But we always throw away paleo food!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

2015 Reading Accomplishments and Goals for 2016

Well, I didn't come any where close to completing my list from last January. I knew it was overly ambitious when I made it, but I didn't realize I would fall so spectacularly short. I read plenty of other books that weren't on the list to begin with, but mostly I slacked on all the nonfiction I had planned to read and (quite predictably) subbed in various kinds of fiction instead.

So here's what I read in 2015.

The Shadow of His Wings--Fr. Gereon Goldmann
This may win the award for best book I read all year. Talk about life not going according to your own plans. This is an incredible autobiographical account of a young German seminarian who was drafted into the SS at the beginning of WWII. I think I teared up at least once per chapter at the beautiful story of faith and sacrifice. Even beyond the amazing events of Fr. Goldmann’s experience in the war, it was fascinating to read about the war from the point of view of a German soldier who was utterly opposed to the Nazis. And then what he does with his life after the war left me even more amazed (but no spoilers…).  I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

Jesus, the Apostles and the Early Church--Benedict XVI
Compiled from homilies, so it is very accessible and short (for BXVI... put another way, it is only the second book of his I've ever actually finished, although I've started at least half a dozen).

Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children--Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Great summaries of new/recent research in various areas including self-esteem, memory, sleep, etc. It wins so far for best child psychology/parenting self-help type book I've read.

Whole Body Barefoot--Katy Bowman
Humorous, accessible info about body mechanics and how to safely transition to minimal footwear. This book and all the amazing info on Katy's blog helped me through pregnancy with minimal back pain and fewer postpartum issues this time around than the last two!

(I accidentally went off on a serious British mystery kick last year... and it is most certainly continuing into 2016.)

Two For Sorrow--Nicola Upson
I was looking for Josephine Tey mysteries and found this. The ebook was available for checkout from our library so I read it while I was waiting for my hold on Daughter of Time to come up. It was an interesting mystery, but it seemed to be almost as much about same-sex relationships in London's 1920s/30s theatre scene as it was about a murder.

Daughter of Time--Josephine Tey
A unique take on a mystery novel--the detective is laid up in bed (broken leg? I don't remember) and passes his convalescence by attempting to investigate the alleged crimes of King Richard III. I found it very interesting and informative, but unfortunately I have forgotten all the history I gleaned from it.

Whose Body, Clouds of Witness, Gaudy Night--Dorothy Sayers
I read some of Sayers' essays in grad school, but I had no idea she wrote mysteries until Haley and Christy recommended Gaudy Night on the Fountains of Carrots podcast. I may have become slightly obsessed with reading every single Lord Peter Wimsey novel...

The Moonstone--Wilkie Collins
You know, just the usual book you decide you absolutely need to read because a character on one of your favorite TV shows mentioned in passing that one of your new favorite authors thought highly of it... or is that just me? Alex and I have been re-watching NCIS on Netflix, and in one episode McGee mentioned that Dorothy Sayers considered The Moonstone to be the finest detective story every written, and as I had recently fallen in love with her mysteries, well, obviously I had to read this one. It is conveniently old enough to be in the public domain, so thank you Project Gutenberg for providing instant gratification.

Lilith--George MacDonald
I thoroughly enjoyed Lilith. I'd never read anything from MacDonald before and definitely intend to read more. I'm not quite sure how to describe it... "Narnia for adults" certainly doesn't do it justice. If you want a book that tells you exactly what to think of it and explains everything as it goes along, stay away. I finished this one up late one night when I didn't particularly want to do any thinking for myself, and that was a mistake (I have since forgiven it).

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell--Susanna Clarke
I generally prefer my fantasy to take place somewhere else--but this book does a clever job of mixing fantasy and history; a “historical fantasy” rather than your usual historical fiction, if you will. Think Jane Austen meets Harry Potter… sort of. The story was a little slow to get moving, but it was so well-written and humorous that I didn’t mind. For the second half I could hardly put it down (much to my family’s dismay).  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and apparently there's a BBC miniseries in the works?

The Silmarillion--JRR Tolkien
It gets better every time--trust me!

The Elenium Trilogy--David Eddings
A favorite of my brother-in-law. I was excited for some new fantasy, but as I read I got this strange sense of deja vu. I finally realized I had read it before--probably five or six years ago--but it was almost as good as reading something for the first time because I didn't remember anything until it happened.

 Ascendance Trilogy--Jennifer A. Nielsen
Quick, easy, enjoyable.

Other Fiction
Little Women--Louisa May Alcott,  Caddie Woodlawn--Carol Ryrie Brink
We got these classics for our niece for her 9th birthday and that put me in the mood to reread them. I enjoyed both of them almost as much as I did in elementary school :)

The Rainmaker, The Client, The Broker, The Partner--John Grisham
I didn't read them all in a row. I enjoyed The Partner most and The Broker least.

What Alice Forgot--Liane Moriarty
I went into this one with zero expectations and I really, really liked it. I think I read this in fewer than 24 hours (and sacrificed half a night's worth of sleep in order to do so--I just had to know how it ended).

The Martian--Andy Weir
This barely beats out What Alice Forgot for my favorite fiction read of the year. Looking forward to seeing the movie... eventually...

And now that it's already February (how?!), here are my somewhat humbler reading goals for 2016. I'm taking the hint from 2015 and not trying to plan out my reading for the whole year--but these are the books I want to make sure I read. In no particular order:

Started in 2015 but not finished
Introduction to the Devout Life--St. Francis de Sales
Life of Christ--Fulton Sheen
Angels (and Demons)--Peter Kreeft

More of Dorothy Sayers' mysteries
The Midwife's Revolt--Jody Daynard
Ready Player One--Earnest Cline
Father Elijah, Elijah in Jerusalem, and The Father's Tale--Michael O'Brien
The Divine Comedy--Dante

Diastasis Recti: The Whole Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation--Katy Bowman
The Temperament God Gave Your Kids--Art & Laraine Bennett
The Second Greatest Story Every Told--Fr. Michael Gaitley
Jesus and the Last Supper--Brant Pitre
Beyond the Birds and the Bees--Gregory Popcak
The Treasure of Homestake Gold--Mildred Fielder

Well... what else should I read? I'm ready and waiting for your recommendations to derail my goals for this year :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...