Archives for April 2016

Worth reading (and a giveaway!)

Between yard work and OB work and the challenging work of parenting teens fluttering on the edge of the nest, I haven’t been reading lots of books lately. But two that I’ve read are very worth mentioning.

First off is an excellent book about relationships called Attached. This book is actually geared toward adults at two different stages of life:  people seeking a marriage partner, and people who are already married but wanting to improve their relationship and learn to interact on a deeper level so that both partners can feel more satisfied in the marriage.

You’d think that dual focus might be hard to pull off, but actually the authors did a good job of thoughtfully addresses the challenges at both those points in life.  The premise of the book is that most people tend toward one of three basic attachment styles:  anxious, avoidant, or secure.  These styles affect who you are drawn to in a marriage partner, AND how you mesh with your partner in a relationship.

This book contains lots of stories and illustrations to help you identify your own type as well as the tendencies of those around you, and gives good practical help for avoiding the pitfalls of each type, and working toward a secure style of relating to your loved one.  I highly recommend this book for anyone from young adult on up to an ‘old-married’ person like myself.

Then there’s the most recent book I finished, The Boy With The Bamboo Heart.  This book tells the story of an orphan who survived great struggles during his childhood in Thailand and then went on to found a children’s charity.  There’s some language in the book, and some frank talk about the very hard things that happened to him.  But the most memorable message in the book to me was the many places where kind adults intervened, gave him a chance, and helped him overcome his very difficult beginnings so that he could go on to become a productive, successful, and very kindhearted member of society.  I couldn’t help but finish the book wanting to be just that kind of influence in the lives of kids around me.

I’m giving away a copy of this book here in a couple days.  If it sounds like something you’d be interested in reading, comment below and tell me about a book that has inspired you to reach out to others and do more in the world.  In fact, whether you’re interested in the giveaway or not, I’d love to hear any book recommendations you have along these lines.

And finally, here is a really great and encouraging article for mothers of strong-willed children:  How to be the mom your strong-willed child needs

What do you do….

…when you’ve moved into a house where the back yard has high fences and your sweet lil puppy dog has absolutely zero view on the world?

A shady corner of the yard

Well, you go to Hobby Lobby and you find a really cool piece of framed decorative metal (on sale for $30), and you cut two boards out of the gate.  Then you put your cool bit of metal over the hole you (or your amazing hubby) just made in your gate.

View from inside the yard

Voila!  A window in the wall, a perfect peep hole for toddlers and malamutes.


Peekaboo, I see you!

Peeking out

Not bad for $30 and 20 minutes of work.

Just a glimpse

Dog tested and approved.


Our back yard

I’ve been having lots of fun lately working on our back yard. It started out as a very barren rectangle of grass and concrete, and even after a bit of work the grass is still in need of some help.  But in general the yard is looking lots more interesting these days, so I thought I’d show you some photos.  As always, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

I got the yard whipped into shape just in time– on Sunday we had a bunch of family over for a late Easter celebration.  Just for fun we did even more Easter egg hunting with the little ones, and thanks to the new landscaping, we had lots more spaces to hide eggs.

Tho some of course landed right in the middle of the yard.  After all, our little hunters range in age from 1 to 4.

My very favorite photo is this one of my momma with her youngest great-grandchild Meg, enjoying a fun little swing that I splurged on.

My momma

We may not have space for a whole swing set here, but a swing like this is a perfect fit.   One of these days I may even steal a little time to sit in it myself!  Preferably with a kiddo to cuddle.

Defiant Joy

In the darkness I’ll dance,
In the shadows I’ll sing,
The joy of the Lord is my strength!