A look back at October as November Slipped In


November seems to have arrived for me quicker than usual. The holidays are just around the corner and I’m still trying to recuperate from the month long writing challenge. If you missed the posts from my #write31days writing challenge on Wisdom From the Animals, you can find all of them here.

October was filled with writing, reading, and teaching. I think, at last count, I was participating in four Bible studies. Obviously, God is working on me and knows I need constant surveillance!

On books, I’d recommend To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee which I reread and  For the Love: Fighting For Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker. I really enjoyed both of these books.

For movies, my recommendations for old releases are The Good Lie about the lost boys of the Sudan starring Reese Witherspoon and The Big Year which is a comedy about amateur bird watchers and the competition to count the most species in a year starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson. The best new release that we saw was The Martian starring Matt Damon and based on the book by Andy Weir. So excellent!

In the music category for October, I downloaded a lot of Andrew Peterson. I particularly like The Burning Edge of Dawn CD and Behold The Lamb of God CD. I’m pretty excited about Adele’s new music too.

We went to see our son at the end of the month. I was so glad to see my boy. I missed him. He is doing great and school is jam packed with study. He is pursuing his doctorate in Geographical Information Science from the University of Illinois. I have no idea what he does but I’m proud. His advisor is tops in the world in this field so I think he is getting the education he needs as well as an introduction to Chinese since his advisor and most of his doctoral candidate group is Chinese. We ate at some great restaurants in the Champaign/Urbana area and learned a lesson: Never-ever-under-any-circumstance book a hotel room just off campus on a Halloween weekend. Bad idea. 4am. Two nights in a row. Enough said.

Jack got his undergraduate degree from U of I so he was pretty excited to be on campus again. We took the Amtrak train with a sleeper car. An excellent way to travel. You do need earplugs since the train whistle blows at every intersection.

austin and jack

Delta spent almost 2 weeks with my parents in Arkansas. We affectionately refer to her time with them as doggie boot camp.

daddy and delta

That rundown concludes the days of October that fell like fall’s leaves and ushered in November so quickly I barely got a chance to notice.



“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NIV Bible

What I’m Into: January – March

jonquil 2Welcome Spring! I’ve missed you!

I’m so ready to put the winter behind me. In our small corner of the world, we’ve spent most of the past 3 months battling various pesky germs that produced flu, upper respiratory troubles, and bronchitis. We’re all finally healthy!

During those months, any renovation on the house took a backseat. The only contributions have been hanging a tree trunk in the living room to serve as a curtain rod and cleaning the carpets. We couldn’t work outside either. Even on the days that the temperature was warm enough, the yard was a mucky, muddy mess and with the type of clay that we have here, in combination with the moles that have done a number on my yard, you could seriously be stuck up to your knees for days unless you have a buddy to pull you out or you want to pull out of your boots and walk barefoot through it.

I did, however, manage a trip to Austin, Tx in February for If Gathering 2015. Had a GREAT time! In the middle of all that January – March brought, I also stage managed two local pageants with my steadfast backstage crew (thanks, family!) and now, the fun begins preparing the local winners for their respective state pageants in interview.

Best books I read during January thru March:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle — A re-read for me. I enjoyed it as much as I did when I was a kid.
  2. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon — I recommend this book if you’re a fan of Mitford. I enjoyed getting back to Mitford and the town’s endearing citizens.
  3. Light Through An Eastern Window by K.C. Pillai — A unique perspective on portions of scripture.
  4. Serena by Ron Rash — She is some kind of woman.
  5. The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler — I gleaned more from the book than I did from the workbook study.
  6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr — By far, this book is the best of the bunch. I wrote a review last week. Click here for it.

Musically, I’ve listened to a mix of songs but these pieces are some of my new favorites.

Balmorhea “Lament”; Sleeping At Last “In the Embers”; Olafur Arnalds “This Place is a Shelter”; Marc Broussard “The Wanderer”; Mezzoforte “Cruising”; Zach Sobiech “Clouds”

Current favorites in TV and film:

  • Cinderella
  • Insurgent
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Fixer Upper
  • Elementary
  • Dinner at Tiffani’s

Most Viewed Blog Posts:

For January, my post about using a personal stylist was the overwhelming winner. My most popular post for February and March was the same: If Gathering 2015.

Other Posts around the web that I loved:

What Reader Species Are You from Laura Kelly

Mind Maps: What They Are and How to Use Them from Modern Mrs. Darcy

Mundane Faithfulness Kara Tippetts — Any post really is a blessing but this one, “Letters to my readers upon my death,” is recent and displays her incredible spirit.



I’m linking up with What I’m Into at Leigh Kramer.



“…stop and consider God’s wonders.” Job 37:14 NIV Bible

Friday Finds #3


Friday finds are here again!

  • Best explanation of what it’s like to live with a chronic illness or disability, “The Spoon Theory”, click here.
  • Literary Tourism: Oxford, England from BookRiot, click the picture for more.

Radcliffe Camera Oxford England

  • I’m always amazed by the creativity of Mandi at Vintage Revivals and she has a way with words that always leaves me smiling.  Her project of turning an old leather sofa into a bench just blew me away.  Check it out here.
  • Found this great idea for DIY Mason Jar Solar Lights by Thriftdee, click here.
  • Love this piece by Lindsey Stirling, “Beyond the Veil”    

Happy Weekend!



“Shout with joy to God, all the earth!”  Psalm 66:1  NIV Bible