All posts by Jessica

The Year of Living Happy {a Review}

I seem to get on a roll with reviewing books, then petering off for a while. The great thing about kids’ books is they’re a really fast review!

As Christian we kind of get caught up, sometimes, in this idea that if we’re happy and w enjoying our lives, we must be living a life that it selfish. That somehow we are allowing ourselves to pursue our own pleasures rather than God. God wants us to have a life of joy and happiness, in Him. Alli Worthington‘s new book talks about just that.

In her new book, The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World, Alli talks about we were made to be happy, that God desires us to be happy and that in being happy we are living for Him.

“My hope for The Year of Living Happy is to bring the truth of Scripture and best of modern research together as a guide to real happiness.” ~ Alli Worthington

This book was so good and so manageable! It’s written in short 1-2 page chapters (100 of them), each of them followed with a short to-do or thoughts to mull over. There is Scripture for us to read and let pour into our hearts and mind.

Alli even digs into the times in our lives when it’s down right HARD to be happy. Maybe life is throwing some rapid fire punches, or everything is really great, but you’re struggling with being happy…there’s a whole chapter for this very real battle.

Whether you’re struggling with being happy or not, this little book has some great information and tips to help you live your happiest life!

**I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers program….the opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas {a Review}

Just got this one in the mail today from BookLookBloggers.com (You can read my disclosure policy here).

If you follow me on IG, you got to see Peter’s box opening in my stories; he was pretty excited to be getting to open a package with something for HIM in it! Can’t say as I blame the kid.

We’ve had the Jesus Calling kids devotional, which we’ve all really liked, but I’m an extra sucker for a Christmas book, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The illustrations are fun and colorful, without being garish. The font is easy to read, while the text is simple enough for any child to be engaged in it. Each page has not only a part of the story, but bible verses for that part of the story.

All around this is a great Christmas book addition, which takes kids from way back in the Christmas story to how it applies to them today. I did get the picture book version, that said, I think I’d prefer the board book, as it really is geared toward the under 5 kiddos.

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2018

Well….I had hoped to accomplish more, but I managed  books….and several of them were ones that were a bit outside of my usual reading genres. With Summer I always have lofty goals of what I’m actually going to finish, but life happens.

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

I’ve actually read a lot of really good fiction books. I’ve been making a point of reading through some of the books I’ve collected from random places, and most of them were really good. My favorite though…that’s tough. I think Beneath a Scarlet Sky was my favorite. I’m a huge fan of WW2 historical fiction, particularly when it’s based on true events.

The thing I loved about Beneath a Scarlet Sky was the youth of the main character, the way he struggled with his idealism, his own personal expectations, and what the war was throwing at him and how he dealt with it; a very human character. It also helped knowing that they’re working on a movie with Tom Holland playing the main character.

The other part of Beneath a Scarlet Sky that I liked, but was more personal for me, is that my grandfather was in Italy for part of the war. There aren’t many books written about what the war was like in Italy or for the Italian people, so I enjoy finding out more about that.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider…hands down. I’ve loved all of Tsh’s books, but this one was very much on my heart. One of my biggest laments in life is that we don’t travel enough, and when we do, I get terribly homesick for my creature comforts. So much of what Tsh had to say in this book hit me hard. From her struggle with wanting to have a place to call home, but wanting to be out and experiencing new things…finding the balance between the two.

The other part of this that I loved was the it chronicled her family…that’s right…mom, dad, and 3 young kids traveling and experiencing the world. I would love to travel with my kids and have them experience other cultures and norms, but for us it’s just not in the cards. I can hope though that some day it will happen.

THE BOOK I DIDN’T LIKE

If you follow me on IG, you already know…Bridget Jones’ Diary…I HATED IT! I read through the first chapter and quit. I couldn’t handle how shallow the character was, the obsession with the eating, the drinking, the smoking. The movie is great, the book….I threw it in the garbage. I wasn’t even going to pass this one on to the little library boxes are Salvation Army…it’s just gone (the binding was also split on it, so I told myself it was ok to throw it out).

What have you been reading?

Keep up with what I’ve been reading on GoodReads or Instagram 

(I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F for Fiction, NF for Non-Fiction, and A if it was an audiobook).

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Do Things Scared

There are some massive changes going on in our family this summer. While we’re all excited for them, I have to admit, I’m honestly terrified too. Us moms, we ultimately just want our kids to be happy, well adjusted people, who aren’t turds. I think that’s something we can all agree on. Of course the pathways there are numerous and everyone seems to have an opinion on “what is best”.

As of July 1st, I will be hanging up my hat as a homeschool mom. It’s kind of a struggle, I feel like I’m somehow losing my credentials as a mom. That by not homeschooling I’m giving up and taking a shortcut. 

I shared a few weeks ago about the possibility of our oldest four going to school in the fall. The decisions have been made and teacher assignments are in the mail. Avelyn will be going into second grade and Henry, James, and Ellie will be going to kindergarten.

Academically I think those are the right choices for them, my concern remains for the social aspect. My kids are going to be a full year to two years older than the kids in their grades. Ultimately, that’s not a big deal, because who cares how old you are when you graduate high school.

It’s more my concern that they will stick out. I’m also hoping that their maturity and age will set them apart from their classmates in a good way, that they will have the strength to do and say what is right, and not cave to the negatives of peer pressure.

So yea, I’m nervous. I’m scared. But I’m also hopeful and excited. I think it’s the right time.

People have also assumed that we’ve thrown in towel on homeschooling, we haven’t. It’s just not what is working for us right now. Maybe in a few years we will come back to homeschool, maybe we won’t. We have always said we will take it a year a time. I can’t predict or know what’s going to happen.

The other big change this summer is that the kids are going to overnight camp! It’s just for two nights, but still, that’s a HUGE deal in our house. Our church diocese has a camp they run all summer long. The kids were excited to try their beginner camp, so we will see how it goes.

I’m hoping and praying that it goes well; particularly since I have one child that does not do well with not being home, not that any of them are fantastic at being away. I’m just hoping I’m not making any midnight drives to pick kids up from 3 hours away.

So, yea…big changes for us. Good changes, but still scary. It’s a good thing my motto for the past year has been do it scared.