November 2016 Recap

November RecapNovember was a good month for reading, but not so much for blogging. I was sick, M was sick – it all added up to time on the couch resting and/or snuggling a sick baby.

So thankful it wasn’t anything serious for us (just nasty colds that lingered), and for my Kindle app on my phone which let me get through a bunch of books!

November 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 15
Books Read For The Year: 91

Things That Happened
  • Thanksgiving and a pie extravaganza.
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed David and Goliath.
  • G began basketball.
  • H participated in a taekwondo tournament. She’s the smallest one in her belt class, and sended up in a group with all boys. Watching her take on those bigger boys was fun. Love how fearless she is!
  • I made a bit of a change to H’s Kindergarten curriculum. What I was trying to do wasn’t working that well, and I was dreading it. Two weeks in to the slight revamp and things are going well. Once I give it a little more time to know if it’ll continue to work well, I’ll share what changes I made.
  • G continues to chug along with his homeschool curriculum. He’s almost done with week 29, so it’s time for me to start seriously thinking about getting the next stuff ready to go. Week 36 will be here before I know it! Although a break for Christmas will slwo things down a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚
What’s Cooking
  • Soup season is back! Hooray! Now if only my kids would eat soup instead of acting like I’m trying to poison them when I serve it.
  • I made 8 pies for Thanksgiving and the peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie, and apple were SO GOOD. The blueberry was not good; I bought a different brand of filling and it was gross. And the pumpkin was weird; the filling ended up being really runny and didn’t taste right.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in December
  • Book club –The Uncommon Reader for my in-person book club and The Hobbit in the Facebook group.
  • Christmas. I am not prepared for it.
  • A very overdue, twice-postponed coloring party! It’s happening tonight, barring catastrophe or family emergencies or similar issues.
  • Belt testing. G is going for senior red and H for senior purple.
Books I Read
  1. A Rule Against Murder
  2. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady
  3. Whispers Under Ground
  4. Garden Spells
  5. Last of the Breed
  6. The Anatomist’s Wife
  7. Sleep Smarter
  8. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
  9. Broken Homes
  10. Mortal Arts
  11. The Brutal Telling
  12. Foxglove Summer
  13. A Grave Matter
  14. The Zoo at the Edge of the World
  15. Bury Your Dead

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October 2016 Recap

October RecapOctober was a lovely month – I got a lot of reading in (even with about a week in the middle where I read very little), my mother-in-law came for a visit (yay!), and I had events with friends three times. That fact is very much related to the visit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So yes, it was a lovely month.

October 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 11
Books Read For The Year: 76

Things That Happened
  • Halloween
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Belt testing passed successfully by both kids
  • Soccer ended.
  • Popcorn sales. Lots of popcorn sales. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • We had our first field trip of the year: we rode the train from Connersville to Metamora, got to walk around the town a bit, and then ride the train back. It was fun, but I was exhausted by the end of it!
  • We used a stencil to carve pumpkins for the first time, and I am a big fan.
What’s Cooking
  • Not much. I feel like I was scrounging all month with meal ideas.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in November
  • Book club – The Book Thief for my in-person book club and David and Goliath in the Facebook group.
  • Thanksgiving. Yummm.
  • G has two Cub Scout outings – a hike in a nearby State Park, and going to the Pacers game.
  • G also has basketball starting – I thought it started in January but apparently, it’s November.
  • H (matybe?) has a taekwondo tournament. G will miss it because of basketball opening day.
Books I Read
  1. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mewed by Alan Bradley
  2. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  4. Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
  5. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  6. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  7. The Fairy-Tale Detectives:The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
  8. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  9. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  10. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
  11. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Two years ago: October 2014 Recap
Three years ago: New on My Bookcase (vol. 10)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

September 2016 Recap

September RecapI feel like I was super slow with reading in September – I got a bit bogged down by Burial Rites (it was so sad! A great book, but it took me ages to get through), and then Harry Potter #7 also took awhile.

It was still a great month though: mostly nice weather, homeschooling was going well, and I had a great event the final weekend of September that I was anticipating all month.

September 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 9
Books Read For The Year: 65

Things That Happened
  • Book club retreat!
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed Burial Rites
  • G went to his first Cub Scouts meetings
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Lots of soccer, and it’s (mostly) fun seeing them both play.
  • Getting texts from R the Saturday I was at the retreat, telling me every time the kids scored a goal. They each scored three goals (!), so clearly I need to go out of town more often. It was by far their highest-scoring games.
What’s Cooking
  • Amazing food at the book club dinner party and retreat. There are some really good cooks in my book club.
  • I made a *fantastic* Sunday dinner before heading out of town – steak, shallot sauce, pan roasted green beans, and scalloped potatoes. Unbelievably good!
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in October
  • Book club – Harry Potter #s 1 – 7 for my in-person book club and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the Facebook group.
  • My mother-in-law will be visiting. Yay!
  • Halloween – I need to get moving on costumes.
  • Belt testing, again. Going for Red for G and Purple for H. At least I assume they’ll both be ready to test mid-month.
  • The end of soccer.
Books I Read
    1. Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows
    2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
    3. Burial Rites
    4. The Cruelest Month
    5. Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures
    6. Dancing Home
    7. Women Heroes of World War II: The Pacific Theater
    8. Girl Waits with Gun
    9. Death on the Sapphire

    Previously on The Deliberate Reader

    One year ago: Book Club How-Tos: Keeping Track of the Details
    Two years ago: Book Review: Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford
    Three years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: A Jump for Life
    Four years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads {Day 7} We Die Alone

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

August 2016 Recap

August Recap

August 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 8
Books Read For The Year: 56

Things That Happened
  • M turned 2
  • We started our new homeschooling year
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed Climbing the Mango Trees
  • Both big kids started soccer.
  • Both big kids also passed belt testing and are now senior brown and senior green belts.
  • G’s first MLB game, and it turns out the Reds give certificates for your first game. I have no idea if other teams do the same, but that was fun for him.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Watching the kids play soccer. I’m not really a big soccer fan, but little kids are so cute in the uniforms and watching them swarm around the ball.
  • Watching kids belt test – it doesn’t get old, seeing how far they’ve come and recognizing how hard they’re working.
What’s Cooking
  • Birthday cupcakes for M – vanilla with chocolate frosting. I did not let her help bake them or frost them. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Planning for the book club dinner party and also daydreaming aobut a possible themed-meal for at the book club retreat.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in September
  • Book club – My Life in France for my in-person book club and Burial Rites in the Facebook group.
  • Book club dinner party
  • Book club retreat.
  • The apple store opens at a local museum. My kids LOVE this because it meals apple donuts. We make semi-regular trips there since it’s only open in September and October.
  • Lots of soccer games. ๐Ÿ™‚
Books I Read
    I’m in the middle or close to the end of several books, which is partly why August looks so skimpy. Plus starting homeschool again = less time for me to read for myself. Also, I watched a lot more TV than usual (Olympics!) and that drastically curtailed my reading time.

    1. Snow Angels
    2. Walking the Amazon
    3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    4. Still Life
    5. The Penderwicks
    6. Four Perfect Pebbles
    7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
    8. A Fatal Grace

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July 2016 Recap

July Recap

July 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 12
Books Read For The Year: 48

Things That Happened
  • G turned 7
  • The two big kids had another full month – taekwondo camp and another week of VBS.
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed The Cuckoo’s Calling
  • M started really fighting her nap. This is fairly devastating to me. Not only does she still need the rest, but I need the mental break. I’ve since found that she is more willing to nap as long as she isn’t in her crib, so she’s been playing musical naptime – in G’s bed, in H’s bed, in my bed. Whatever kid, just so long as you sleep you can choose where you sleep.
  • I took care of a bunch of annoying tasks that have been lingering on my to do list for ages. None of them were exciting, but they’re done.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Love seeing birthday excitement – and love seeing what presents end up being the biggest hit.
  • We had extra park outings in July, at least until the weather turned impossibly hot and humid to the point we couldn’t face it. There was even a hike with friends one morning on a super hot day, but enough shade to make it manageable.
What’s Cooking
  • I forgot to get a picture of it, but G had his first savory cooking lesson – we made a tomato sauce and served it over pasta. It was tasty, although he didn’t like the chunks of tomatoes in it. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • G helped me bake his birthday cake – vanilla with vanilla frosting and chocolate chips on top. It sounds so basic but it was delicious!
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in August
  • Book club – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt in my in-person book club and Climbing the Mango Trees in the Facebook group.
  • M turns 2. She will not be helping to make her own cake. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Back to school for G, and beginning Kindergarten for H.
  • G will be going to his first MLB game with daddy. I’ll be staying home with the younger two.
  • I think we’re going to go to the state fair one day. Assuming it’s not impossibly hot anyway.
  • Belt testing. Again. Assuming the kids are ready (and I’m pretty sure they will be), they’ll be going for senior green and senior brown.
Books I Read
  1. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  2. The Forks Over Knives Plan
  3. The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse by Alan Bradley
  4. 32 Yolks by Eric Ripert
  5. Man Enough by Nate Pyle
  6. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
  7. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  8. Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  10. Audrey of the Outback by Christine Harris
  11. Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver
  12. The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting by Clara Parkes

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

June 2016 Recap

June RecapJuly is here which means that before I know it it’ll be August and back to (home)school time. Crazy! I need to get moving and make sure I finish all the projects I was wanting to tackle on summer break.

Unfortunately for my productivity, the baby toddler doesn’t care that it’s summer, so it’s still a challenge getting those things anything done any time she’s awake.

June 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 7
Books Read For The Year: 36. Except Goodreads says I’m at 38 books so I’ve miscounted somewhere. Also, that is a dreadfully low total for me, but then I remember that it’s excluding all of the books I’m reading to and with my kids, and I’ve spent a lot of my reading time doing that.

Things That Happened
  • H turned 5
  • Baseball finished, and overall it was a very fun season. The last game was fairly frustrating, but it was really the first time we’ve run into issues with an opposing coach whose philosophy of play seems to not fit the age range and stated aim of this league.
  • The two big kids had a full month – taekwondo camp and two different weeks of VBS.
  • This might have happened at the end of May, but I forgot to mention it then. And maybe it was the first part of June? I’m blanking out on when it was exactly. Anyway, we did some rearranging upstairs and switched the kids around. G and H had been sharing a room with bunkbeds. They … do not share well. Now H is in her own room, and G is sharing with M. Yes, that’s right, the middle child has her own room, while the oldest one is sharing with his baby sister. It’s a better setup keeping in mind the personalities involved. At some point G will get his own room, but he’s still young enough he can share with a sister for a bit longer ๐Ÿ™‚
  • In the Facebook book club we discussed Big Little Lies
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Seeing H’s face when she saw her birthday cupcakes – just what she’d asked for. I know at some point she’s likely to be unimpressed with her mom’s homemade and home-decorated cupcakes but she was thrilled.
  • Watching H at belt testing. She did so well!
  • Seeing G at belt testing too – he was testing for brown belt and at that level they add in board breaks to the testing. They don’t “count” yet as far as passing; it’s just to get them used to doing it under testing conditions. I hadn’t known it was coming, and he didn’t either, but he did great at it – broke both boards with no trouble, and didn’t let the audience faze him.
What’s Cooking
  • I’m continuing with the cooking lessons for the kids, and in addition to the book I’ve been using, I found a video course aimed at teaching kids. I’ll keep you posted once we’ve used it for long enough to form a solid opinion.
  • I used the grill twice to cook dinner. I NEVER use the grill, but I finally tried it. We’re having trouble with our grill so while the first night was very successful, the second time was less so. I think it’s time for a new grill for us – this one is over 10 years old and it’s on its last legs.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in July
  • Book club – Better Than Before in my in-person book club and The Cuckoo’s Calling in the Facebook group.
  • G turns 7.
  • The kids will have another week of taekwondo camp (and it’s water week, which is always a fave), plus one final VBS program. This will be at a new-to-us place.
Books I Read
  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (re-read in May but I forgot to include it then)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (re-read in May but I forgot to include it then)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (re-read)
  4. The Forks Over Knives Plan by Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman
  5. Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6) by Jacqueline Winspear
  6. Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  7. VB6 by Mark Bittman

May 2016 Recap

May RecapApparently my blogging slump included forgetting to write a recap post about April. So this’ll include highlights from both April & May. I’m not entirely sure why I was struggling so much to get anything posted but {fingers crossed} I’m out of it.

The disadvantage of not updating monthly is that I know I’ve forgotten some of the books I reread. Goodreads is helpful for tracking new books, but it doesn’t easily let me track rereads. So, I’ve forgotten a few that I know I reread.

April & May 2016 in Stats

Books Read These Month: 10
Books Read For The Year: 29

Things That Happened
  • Baseball started for G, and it’s been really fun seeing how the boys have improved from last year.
  • My mother-in-law came for a brief visit, and it was so nice having her out for a bit. The kids were thrilled to see her.
  • We went to Florida on vacation and it was *wonderful*.
  • G finished his first grade year, and I did just a tiny bit of speeding up in order to finish with the Ancient Egypt portion of his curriculum before the break. I didn’t really want to stop for two months, and then come back to it in August for only a couple of weeks.
  • In the Facebook book club we had an excellent discussion on Station Eleven in April (thanks to a wonderful guest facilitator), and then in May I led the discussion on Empire of the Summer Moon.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Baseball – love watching G play.
  • We finally – finally – got updated wills. We still need to get some additional life insurance on both of us to be really set if the worst should happen, but at last now the kids won’t be in limbo.
  • The beach. I’m not even really a beach person but I loved it.
What’s Cooking
  • I’ve been using one of those meal delivery services semi-regularly, and it is saving my sanity. Love it so much. I’d use it every week if I could manage it.
  • My kids have been asking to learn to cook, so I found a book (of course I did) and we’re starting to work through it. And when I say I found a book, I mean I checked out a half dozen and settled on the one I thought was best for what I wanted to accomplish. ๐Ÿ™‚
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in June
  • Book club – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in my in-person book club and Big Little Lies in the Facebook group.
  • Baseball ends, and at the moment it’s possible G’s team will make the playoffs. I think they’re right on the bubble as the top four teams make it.
  • Belt testing (again). This time if G passes he’ll be moving up to the advanced classes – that seems crazy to me!
  • The kids birthday season is here. H turns 5 later this month, G turns 7 in July, and M turns 2 in August.
  • VBS time! Yes, I have the kids signed up for more than one. One at their old Awana church, and one at their new Awana church.
Books I Read
  1. Station Eleven
  2. The Mystery of the Blue Train
  3. The Complete Persepolis
  4. Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
  5. Looking for Alibrandi
  6. As Chimney Seekers Come to Dust
  7. Big Little Lies
  8. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  9. The Circus Fire
  10. An Uncertain Choice

March 2016 Recap

March RecapMarch brought a lot more reading than February did for me (seriously though, at only 3 books for me finished in February, it wasn’t hard for March to have more.) I’m maybe out of my reading slump? Except trying to get through my book club’s April pick is slowing me down. As I said in the Facebook group, I have issues with post-apocalyptic novels, and this one is reminding me why I thought I’d need a push to get the novel read.

March 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 9
Books Read For The Year: 19

Things That Happened
  • M is getting so much more verbal lately – she says so many words, and it’s adorable. Most of them are pretty understandable too, even to people other than her mother. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I was sick for about 10 days, and then R was sick. The big kids were healthy, and even though the baby had a cold so all in all it was that much more exhausting for me when I was not feeling well and they were all energetic and ready to DO THINGS.
  • G is trucking along in his new homeschool curriculum, and I’m loving really getting into history with him. What we had been doing was just a light introduction into things, and now it’s going beyond the introduction. I will admit that I am not very interested in Ancient Egypt, so we’ll see how much my personal interest remains once we really get into that topic. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • We chatted about The Chosen, and there was a guest facilitator, which was so helpful for me as swamped as I felt most of the month. Next month for Station ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel there’s another guest facilitator as well – hooray! Even better, I like the different style it’s brought to the discussions.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Little kids + Easter egg hunts = adorable.
  • Stretching this category to include “heard” – baby M saying her name finally! She can’t get it exactly right, but it’s super cute.
  • We wrapped up Financial Peace University, and it is *so* motivating. I highly recommend it! I’ve got my mile-long to do list of things to take care of thanks to the class, but I think getting them done will help with my peace of mind.
What’s Cooking
  • I made an April Fool’s Day pizza for the kids. It’s was supposed to look like a savory pizza, but it’s actually a dessert pizza. I say “supposed to” because the picture of it did, but my attempt at it did not really. The marshmallow fluff that looked like fresh mozzarella cheese in the picture kind of melted and oozed everywhere in my version. G loved it though and had no complaints about the messy appearance. H refused to try it thanks to the strawberry sauce.
  • We were supposed to host Easter, but R called one of his aunts and asked if we could not (see above entry about us being sick.) We were healthy to go to it, but trying to reclaim the house after almost 3 weeks of one or the other of us being ill? That wasn’t happening in time. Such a relief to not have to worry about it, and instead of being responsible for coordinating the meal and providing the main course, I only had to bring a side dish and dessert. Carrot casserole and lemon bars = easy.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in April
  • Book club – A Town Like Alice in my in-person book club and Station Eleven in the Facebook group.
  • My mother-in-law will be visiting for a week, and I am so hoping to get caught up on life, and maybe even get ahead on some things. Fingers crossed, because realistically a week isn’t enough time for everything I’d like to do. Time to start prioritizing, and the number one, must-get-these-done thing? Taxes.
  • Baseball starts for G, and the kids may have belt testing mid-month.
  • We will be doing all sorts of adulting things in April. By which I mean we’ll be finalizing updated wills and guardianship paperwork and all of that. I’m also hoping to get increased life insurance on both of us. Three kids you know. And yes, the third child is turning two this August, but we’re only just now getting to it. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is related to working through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace seminar.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
  2. * The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  3. * Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
  4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  5. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between by Jason Boog
  6. Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary WriterFind the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende by Heather Lende
  7. * A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
  8. Out of Darkness: My Story of Finding True Light and Liberation by Stormie Omartian
  9. River Secrets by Shannon Hale

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

February 2016 Recap

February RecapFebruary was very similar to January in many ways – mostly mild temperatures, and me not reading a lot of my books (as opposed to kids’ books). I’m definitely in a slump, but am hoping to break out of it soon.

February 2016 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 3
Books Read For The Year: 10

Things That Happened
  • G finished Core A & moved onto Core B for school. So far so good with it, even though I don’t like the book it uses for the first few weeks. He also finished All About Spelling Level 2 and we’ll be getting started with Level 3 soon – I’m taking a little break from it to get us used to the changes Core B brings.
  • Both kids belt tested, and both passed, so they’re in the same intermediate class now. H has sparring gear on order too, so that’s going to be fun watching her begin to spar. If it’s like G’s gear, she’ll be about ready to test for her next belt by the time it arrives though.
  • FPU continues to be really worthwhile – I’m *so* glad we are going through the class, and would highly, highly recommend it.
  • We chatted about The Black Count, until life got away from me and I let the discussion fizzle out. It’s often harder to discuss nonfiction though, and I definitely found that to be the case with this one. Still worth reading, and so worth reading in conjunction with The Count of Monte Cristo!
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • H’s smile her first day in the intermediate class when she got to play “big kid” dodge ball. She was beaming, and it cracks me up because I detested dodge ball when I was a kid. G and H both think it’s the best thing ever.
  • We’ve had a handful of really mild days, and watching the kids run around outside is great. I’m looking forward to the weather continuing to get warmer so they can do it more and more – it makes for happier days around here and easier bedtimes when they’ve worn themselves out.
What’s Cooking
  • Beef bourgingnon this weekend, as part of an online cooking club. I’ve made a mock beef burgundy in the crock pot many times, but am trying Ina Garten’s recipe, and it sounds fantastic.
  • I “made” cinnamon rolls for leap day, and the kids just about lost their minds from excitement. By made of course I mean I used those canned rolls from the refrigerator section of the grocery store. I wanted to do *something* fairly special for leap year, and aimed low enough for it to actually happen.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in March
  • Book club meetings about two compelling books – Rebecca in my in-person book club and The Chosen in the Facebook group.
  • My sister-in-law will be visiting for a few days, and then hopefully my mother-and father-in-law will be visiting as well. I’m hoping anyway!
  • I am hoping to get taxes finished and filed (maybe when the inlaws visit and keep the kids occupied?) otherwise I’ll be finding a babysitter so I can focus and get them done.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. * The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park
  2. * Seesaw Girl by Linda Sue Park
  3. * Year of the Black Pony by Walt Morey

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Book Review: Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
Two years ago: Book Review: The Restless Sleep by Stacy Horn
Three years ago: Magical Words, or, Picking a Book by its Title

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

January 2016 Recap

January 2016 RecapYay for fresh starts! I do love the promise a new year holds, and love how motivating it is for me to look ahead at what I want to accomplish in the future.

So far 2016 has been pretty mild – and I am not complaining! I find it so tiring getting kids into snow clothes and long stretches when we’re cooped up inside because of extreme temperatures wears us all out. We’ve had days this month when the big kids were able to play outside for extended periods and that is wonderful for us all. ๐Ÿ™‚

What January didn’t involve was me finishing a lot of books. I don’t know why exactly – I felt fairly frazzled much of the month with life stuff, and like I’m continually behind in EVERYTHING.

What I did read was generally really good though, so yay for that.

December 2015 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 7
Books Read For The Year: 7

Things That Happened
  • Homeschooling – G is flying through the last weeks of Core A, and I’ve pulled out Core B and have been getting it organized. Which (thankfully) doesn’t have to involve much, but I like doing more than I need to with it and really getting a good sense of what we’ll be reading, and when. Plus prepping an extensive list of possibly additional books to read, because of course I am. I’ll keep you posted on those books, and I’ll probably be posting soon about what our plans are for 2nd grade, because of course I’m working on that. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I’ve also started thinking about H’s Kindergarten year, which we’ll start in August. She said she wants to learn to read, and I semi-started her in All About Reading 1, but she’s not really ready. So we do a tiny bit when she asks, but other than that I’m trying to hold off on her until after summer. I’m making my list of what I need to get for her before we start (not much – the beauty of what G did is almost all of it is reusable!)
  • I think we found a church. I’ve been hesitant to say that, but the kids have official name tags, and people know me and notice when we’ve missed a week due to illness. It’s not at all the sort of church where I initially expected to land, and I only tried it one week on a complete whim, but I do think it’s where we’re supposed to be. So, yeah. That’s a big thing.
  • We chatted about The Count of Monte Cristo – and I loved hearing what people had to say about it.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • G playing basketball – it’s so cute. He’s actually pretty good on defense, but while at home or during practice he’s not bad at shooting the ball and making baskets, he has yet to make one in a game. I’m hoping he gets at least one before his season ends at the end of the month.
  • I went to a painting event at a friend’s house. I do not think I have *ever* used a canvas before, and my painting experience was limited to copy paper and watercolors. It was so much fun! I want to do it again, because I think with some practice I could actually make my painting come out like I want it too, which I was not completely able to do this time.
  • We started going to Financial Peace University. I had never thought that’d be something we’d do, because I thought it was for people dealing with mountains of credit card debt. That’s never been an issue for us (thankfully), so why would we go there? Well, we’re going through it because we’re not doing as well as I’d like at communicating about money and our goals and all of that sort of stuff. Also, I was hoping for a bit of a kick-in-the-pants at getting back to careful budgeting/record keeping like I did previously (and was so helpful).
What’s Cooking
  • Brussels Sprouts. We’ve been having them a couple of times a week and they are so so so good.
  • Cauliflower. I’ve made it as a side dish a couple of times and loved it. In the past I’ve always just roasted it (which is fabulous) but the last two times I treated it like a potato and boiled it, then drained & mashed it. Delicious! I keep thinking it’d make great leftovers but there has never been any leftover to try. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I’ve also been perfecting pan-seared steaks. I grew up with my mom always broiling steak (with the very occasionally steak on the grill) but never cooked in a skillet. They are so good that way – I love the sear I can get on them.
What Iโ€™m Anticipating in February
  • Book club meetings about two excellent books – The Boys in the Boat in my in-person book club (and I really need to hurry up and reread that book – because I’m facilitating the discussion!) and The Black Count in the Facebook group.
  • G’s basketball season will end – yes, it’s a quick one. He’s had a lot of fun with it, but I won’t miss the extra driving and schedule-coordinating it’s involved.
  • H (should be) testing for her orange belt. As I write this post, she’s got 3 black stripes on her belt, and she has to earn 4 to be allowed to test for the next belt. I’m pretty sure she’ll be able to earn that 4th stripe before testing on the 13th. I’ve got my fingers crossed that she does, and that she passes testing, because I do *not* like the schedule of classes she’s in as a yellow belt. Orange belt she’ll move up to the intermediate classes which are much more convenient for us. Plus, she’ll be in the same class as G for two belt levels, until he moves up to the advanced classes! That will be so wonderful.
  • Not to be left out, but I assume G will also be testing for his next belt – blue this time. That doesn’t mean anything as far as changing class times though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • A coloring party! I’m finalizing the date (it’s been extra challenging because of basketball and other events) but a friend will be hosting a coloring party with me. I’m super excited about the excuse to get out of the house and meet with friends. Plus, look at these fun coloring books:
  • choose your coloring book

Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed. And yes, every one has an asterisk. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a good month.

  1. * The Dead in their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
  2. * The Lake House by Kate Morton
  3. * Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
  4. * A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  5. * When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
  6. * The Story of Exploration by Anna Claybourne
  7. * The Black Count by Tom Reiss

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Recent Readaloud: Dinosaur Trouble by Dick King-Smith
Two years ago: Book Review: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr
Three years ago: Book Review: My Life from Scratch by Gesine Bullock-Prado

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