What I’ve been reading lately:
If you enjoy realistic historical fiction, then I highly suggest The Last Bookshop in London. The story follows a young woman who reluctantly takes a job at a local bookstore, but comes to love the shop as she falls in love with reading all over again. **This book really hit home with me this past week especially because it details how Londoners took shelter in the subway tunnels to escape bombs by Germany during WW2 which is eerily similar to the Ukrainians taking shelter in the subway stations to escape the Russian bombings at this very moment. Its very surreal to be living during an event that will be documented in a textbook in the near future. First the Covid pandemic, then the Ukraine crisis…I’m scared to think of what could happen next.
If you like creepy crime novels, then you will love The Broken Girls. I feel embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of Simone St. James before, but I will definitely be picking up her back list soon. This story contains a creepy reform school, a body found in a well (!!), corrupt police, and a potential ghostly serial killer lurking around. Very well written and grabs you from the beginning.
I just started Calypso but I can tell it is a good one. This memoir follows the author’s struggle as he deals with getting older and notes the struggles his family has had along the way. It sounds sad, but he cleverly has you laughing and crying on the same page! I look forward to finishing it this week.
Things that I am loving lately:
I was blessed to attend a youth minister conference in Huntsville, Alabama and I came away with a ton of new ideas to make our youth group even more vibrant.
Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season this week and I was very happy that my Lenten devotional came in the mail on time. I love Tsh Oxenreider’s writings and even more so since she converted to Catholicism a few years ago because she has started releasing more religious books geared towards women. This one looks like a keeper because everything is laid out nice and simple and is not too overwhelming since it is in a day by day format. She also gives a short reflection before the assigned bible reading for the day, followed by ways to incorporate them into your daily life.
Things that I checked off my to do list:
-We finally got the tree that has been leaning ominously over our house cut down. We also will have enough fire wood for a few years stored after we cut up all the limbs and trunk sections into manageable pieces.
-Emma finally got her acceptance letter from Troy in the mail. We had some confusion because she was already in the system as a student due to her dual enrollment classes, but everything got sorted out finally.
-We did our taxes early this year and received our refunds last week.
-I finished all of the sewing I needed to for my children’s play.
-I cleaned out my freezers and tidied up my kitchen cabinets.
Things I am looking forward to this week:
-Start planning a Lenten retreat for my teens.
-The weather looks to be really nice, so I am hoping to get in a lot of walks outdoors.
-Seeing my children in their play. The performance is Moana Jr. and the costumes and choreography are so adorable.
Something cool I’ve learned:
That we can play volleyball indoors at youth group. I stumbled upon a chair volleyball idea in one of the ministry websites and my teens loved it. We have missed doing more active games since the time change in November prevented us from playing outdoors. Next up, we are going to try out Human Foosball.
Something frugal I did this week:
Picked up more chocolate chips for $1.25 each at the grocery store. **Kroger has offered Toll House chocolate chips as an unadvertised deal for the past month, so I’ve picked up five packs each time I’ve been. I think people are walking right by the deal because it is not in a highly trafficked area and it does not say “sale” so they aren’t noticing it as a great price.
Cleaned out my freezers and found things to use up: corn muffins, taco soup, green onions, old berries, shredded turkey meat from Thanksgiving, and more odds and ends.
Cleaned out my pantry and found many things that I wrote down on my shopping list I already had, so that saved me money.
Enjoyed a free lunch and coffee at my conference. And then the next day, one of the ladies at our church brought in some Mexican bread and we all shared that together while we chatted about upcoming events.
Funny things I saw on social media:
So very true. So very true…
The “mama means business” voice has to come out!
This has happened at my house countless times. “What happened to my ceramic turtle’s leg? Why is my potted plant missing soil? Why is my stone bird chipped? Why is my turtle magnet missing its leg?” **Yes I have a thing with turtles.