Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dish: Books, the 80's, Zip-Line Barbie, and More...

Whenever I publish soul-baring posts like my last one, I have a desperate need to write lighter fare. And since I haven't dished in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd serve something up. 

What I'm reading

I finished up the novel, The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant and it was a worthwhile read. For me it was an engaging {and sobering look} at the lives of women during the time of early Biblical patriarchs {and matriarchs.} It has a raw and mystical feel to it and I don't know if I've ever read an author who is able to translate all five senses onto paper as impressively as Diamant. You don't just read this book. You feel it. 

Now overdue at the library even though I've renewed it multiple times, My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow, has been a most inspiring cookbook. I'll probably buy it. The recipes are healthy and simple-ish and {mostly} normal. 

The Man and I are excited {and nervous because we know we'll be challenged} to read Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Tim Keller with our Sunday morning "Inklings" friends. 

And because I'm always reading too many books at once, let's throw in a parenting book shall we? I've started Grace Based Parenting: Set Your Family Free by Tim Kimmel. It's so good already, exactly what my anxious mama heart needs as I come to terms with doing things so differently than I'd planned. I wish I'd read it when I first became a mama but honestly, I wouldn't have "gotten it" way back then. The way of grace is so much sweeter when you've tried bullet-point, method-based parenting and failed at it a bazillion times. 

Here's a quote that sums up what I've read so far: 

Parents armed with little more than a vibrant relationship with God consistently served as the ideal springboard for great people. So something has changed. We got scared. And I think that fear is what motivates so much of the Christian parenting advice we get. 

I couldn't agree more. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. The older kids and I are finishing up Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I have sworn to them that I will not read ahead but it is hard. Still, I've kept my promise. And on the days I'm feeling like a particularly defunct mother, we enter Hogwarts and adventure with Harry, Ron, and Hermione and all seems a bit more right with the world.

New Stuff

For Mother's Day I got new running shoes. Wanna see? 

Whether you're 8 or 38, new kicks still have a way of making you feel faster. Especially when the colors are a little retro.

Bring back the 80's. 

And you can't bring back the 80's without bangs so I went and got me some of those too. I'm pretty sure I haven't had bangs since I was 16. Thankfully my new ones are a bit more grown-up and they don't defy gravity like my way-back-when bangs did. {The higher the hair, the closer to God. Anybody else ever hear that one?} And do you know why bangs give you a more youthful look? Because they hide forehead wrinkles. Amen.  

But new running shoes weren't all I got for Mother's Day. My daughter framed this picture she'd sketched with oil pastels.

Isn't it lovely? She is a true creative soul and I just love that. Even though it means her room is messy and she loses things and her head is in the clouds. Who can be bothered with housework when there's so much creating and thinking and dreaming to be done? Whenever I get a tad frustrated, I just have to look in the mirror and accept grace for us both. The poor girl comes by it honestly.

Honey, do you like how I've rearranged all the furniture while you were at work today? I realize no one has enjoyed clean underwear for a week but I've written a new post, taken photos of the neighbor's flowers, and spray-painted our kitchen chairs. 

You laugh but seriously, this is my life. I need to pray that my daughter's husband loves to do laundry and has an appreciation for the color wheel.  

And speaking of creative juices, I summer-fied my mantle. {Who's excited for her upcoming trip to the beach?}

I'm also auditioning new paint colors for our great room. I currently have three different colors painted on random sections of my wall. Stay tuned...


My kids have been cracking me up lately and I've been completely slack about jotting it all down but I have to tell you what my 8-year-old said this week. When invited to play with his big sister and her neighborhood friends, he said, No way. I do NOT want to catch puberty. 

I don't want him to catch it either. Eight is such a delightful age and I know we'll be dealing with issues of hair and hormones and voice-change before we know it. For now, he loves playing with anyone and everyone {boy or girl as long as they're not contagious with the puberty} and he names animals according to his favorite athletes. His caterpillar at school? Denard Robinson {Quarterback. #16. University of Michigan.}

Mom, Denard sure looks plump today. 
Mom, my teacher says Denard will be spinning his chrysalis any day. 
And one day soon, Bye Denard! Your wings are beautiful! I'll miss you, Denard... 

Sigh. This is the stuff motherhood is made of. I love it. 

Long live eight! And four! As for our rising 6th grader, well, we love her too...pending adolescence at all. 

And she has her own sense of funny. Today I walked into her room and observed this. 

Fashionista Barbie attached to a wire hanger with yellow modeling clay and zip-lining on the dog's leash. 

Creepy? Amusing? Resourceful? I did what I always do when I come upon a vista like this one: I grabbed my camera. Because today's ridiculous photo opp is tomorrow's sweet nostalgia. 

So that's the scoop around here. I hope you all have a festive, fun, family-filled holiday weekend.

I love your "dish" too! What are you reading, cooking, painting? I need to know these things.


  1. I have always thought of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent as liquid poetry. I absolutely sank into the time, place and words. Try The Shadow of the Wind, another book that washes over you with the power of words and somehow, music.

    LOVE Barbie's intrepid spirit and the little man's way with words. Where did he get that, I wonder?

  2. My son just finished up the prisoner of all the others it's can't put it down good! Currently I'm reading the harbinger and grace for the good girl and a few others. I have book ADD and can never just read one at a time.

    I love your zip line Barbie, and I love the fun things kids do. I find I appreciate them more now in this new season of parenthood.

    I'm thinking of growing the bangs out, but growing up we all knew the higher the hair the closer to God and often used that as a justification for our mass consumption of aqua net.

    And thankfully we aren't too close to catching puberty around here, but I know it will be here before I know it! Lord help us all!

  3. I love your children's sense of humor <3


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