Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Books Read in 2016

Books read this last year, in 2016.  As you can see below, I only read a handful of the books I had planned to read.  We had a crazy year and reading was definitely not at the top of the priority list.  I learned a lot about what books I read quickly, what books I read slowly, and what works for me in my reading life.  

The books I crossed out are the ones I read, the ones highlighted are the ones I read but didn't finish, and the rest I didn't read.  A lot of them made it to my 2017 list, which I'm keeping up with this year, which is exciting.  

My 2017 Booklist is here and I will be sharing book reports of what I have read so far this year here soon.  

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Possession by A. S. Byatt
Growing Up by Brad Wilcox
A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards
Read Aloud
Moccasin Trail by Eloise McGraw

Autobiography of Ben Franklin by Ben Franklin
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Read Aloud
Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The 3rd Thousand Years by Cleon Skousen
Quiet:  The Power in Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Read Aloud
Sarah Bishop by Scott O'Dell

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Emma by Jane Austen
The Entitlement Trap by Richard & Linda Eyre
Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl
Read Aloud
The Princess and the Goblin by Gearge MacDonald

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Sense & Sensiblity by Jane Austen
Pioneer Girl:  the Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson
Read Aloud
The Black Star of Kingston by S. D. Smith

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Oh Pioneer by Willa Cather
Trailing Clouds of Glory by Madeline L'Engle
Read Aloud
Calico Bush by Rachel Field

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
Booked:  Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior
Read Aloud
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Go Forward With Faith:  Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley
Read Aloud
Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay
Read Aloud
Beauty and the Beast by Unknown

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Women and the Priesthood by Sheri Dew
Read Aloud
Magyk by Angie Sage

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Emily  Climbs by L. M. Montgomery
Emily's Quest by L. M. Montgomery
Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle
Read Aloud
Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose

The Potrait of a Lady by Henry James
Letters From Father Christmas by J. R. Tolkien
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Read Aloud
Papa's Angels:  A Christmas Story by Collin Wilcox Paxton

Book Series
Charles Lenox Mysteries by Charles Finch
Lady Emily Mysteries by Tasha Alexander
Maisie Dobbs by Jacpueline Winspear
Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde 

The Eliots of Damerosehay Saga by Elizabeth Goudge
Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley

Monday, May 15, 2017

100 Day Challenge Health and Wellness

Okay, so I'm late to the game with this.  This year I've been late to the game with everything and that is okay, some years are like that, but I'm embracing it all and moving forward.

So, I've been so incredibly inspired by this 100 day challenge and have wanted to participate, but knew that I had too much on my plate to really take on another activity.  Well I figured out a way to make it happen.  I'm going to use this challenge to creatively work on something I'm already spending a lot of my time and energy on.  So I will be spending the next 100 days focusing on health and wellness.

I've been trying to follow a pretty strict exercise and eating plan the last couple months and doing alright with it, but having way to many "cheats" and "free days," which I think has been okay for where I've been at these last few months, but something I have to overcome if I want to see accelerated change.  I feel stronger and healthier since I've started but I've only been doing enough to maintain, but to see real improvement I have to put forth a lot of effort.  So I'm making this the goal for the next 100 days.

The plan is to focus on eating well and exercising each day for the next 100 days.  I'm not planning to share my eating or exercise plan here on the blog, it is mainly just eating healthy meals, limiting treats and unhealthy foods, and lots of exercise.  In addition I'll be working on sleeping, drinking lots of water, and having less stress in my life.  I'll also be focusing on using essential oils and other supplements to help with weight loss and increased energy and wellness support.

So that is the plan.  I'll be documenting this using Instagram and also in an art journal of sorts.  My plan is to take a photo a day of something associated with this goal and to write a bit about the process.  Each week I want to set a new goal, something extra to focus on for the week.   My 100 days starts today.  I'm starting late but I'm just planning to end late.  We also have some travel plans this summer, and instead of stopping the 100 day challenge, or trying to super strict on out vacation, I will be adjusting it to our travels.  I've already made a plan for that, so I won't be tempted to go to easy on myself when we are on the road.

I'll post my weekly goal later tomorrow with my finished journaling page for my first day so you can see the progress.  Then I hope to post a couple times a day on Instagram and do a blog update once a week.  Hoping the creative side of this project will inspire me to work through the tough days when I don't want to exercise or when I want to have an extra treat.  The next 100 days will pass regardless and focusing on health and wellness is definitely something I'm passionate about right now.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts on Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day I celebrate almost 14 years of being a mama. I can't begin to describe the gratitude that I feel to be the mother to these four kiddos that call me mama and to my sweet baby girl London Ann that I was blessed to meet and say goodbye to earlier this year. I feel so incredibly privileged to be her mother. 

I've always had a great desire to be a mother and feel amazingly blessed for all of these kiddos that I get to raise in this life, but I also feel a space where I wish for more children. I know that may sound crazy to some people, 4 is a lot of kids, but the funny thing is, I feel that there is room for more in our family. 

As I look back on having each of my children, it's interesting to see the struggles that we have faced from bedrest to spacing farther apart then we would have liked and so many other factors. I'm at this place now where we're coming to the end, if not the end, of our childbearing years, and it's hard not to feel this desire for more children. It's funny, because I truly believe that London's life was what it was supposed to be, and for whatever reason that was the plan for her life, but the loss of her is still very real. Is this space I feel the loss of her or is it a desire for more children, I'm still trying to sort that all out. I've heard it shared that this desire for more children in some women never leaves. 

I do feel like I need to focus on my blessings, having grace with my own situation, whatever they may be. I know there are people who have tried for years to have children and have never had the opportunity, and then there are also people that have welcomed more babies than they thought they could handle, and every situation in between. I know my situation falls somewhere in the middle of all this. 

I also know that God honors our desire to be mothers. That through Christ he will fix the losses and the longings. So I will hug my babies tonight and feel grateful for all my incredible blessings. I'll trust as I move forward through life that with Heavenly Father's help I will make the right decisions for myself and my family, knowing that this life is not the end, and that in the end all will be made right.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Springtime Musings



Just sharing a lot of photos today of the last few months.    So many thoughts and feelings I've wrestled with lately, but I know that I am so blessed and that my family is thriving.  I've been keeping busy with my husband and kiddos, house projects, cub scouts, and essential oils classes and workshops.  

We have been slowly, ever so slowly, moving towards our home remodel.  Plans are still being drawn up with the architect and after we finish those, we will move onto meeting with contractors.   Kids are keeping busy as we come to the end of another school year.  Our plans for summer are solidifying.   A cousin's bunny needed a new home, so we have welcomed Bandit to our homestead.  We lost our sweet cat Edmund a couple weeks ago.  We found him in the garage lying on a shelf and we think he ate a mouse that had been poisoned.  It was so sad to find him gone, just a little over a year and a half old.  He was such a great mouse catcher, such a sweet kitty, so affectionate and patient with the kids. We have found comfort thinking of him with our sweet London, that now she is taking care of him for us.  

The sun has only peaked out of the clouds this spring, so much rain and so many cloudy days.  Our few sunny days have been savored by my all.  I usually don't mind the rain, growing up here in Oregon you just get use to it, but lately I've been craving the sunshine.  I'm hoping we will see a lot more of it in the next few months.  

I would love to continue to go through the house for the next few weeks before summer, getting rid of and organizing our belongings.  I know everything will be turned upside down when we start the remodel, so I'm moving forward hoping that the more I can get through, the more prepared we will be. I'm hoping to take the summer off of projects and just spend time with my family, we have such fun adventures in store for us this summer!  I'll share all about that here soon. but for now we will enjoy the last of spring, plant our garden, keep up with the daily schedule of work and play, joy and heartache, the mundane and the spectacular.  Life is busy, life moves forward, life is good.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Essential Oil Workshops and Classes

Have I talked about my love for essential oils?  I have fallen for them over the last couple months.  I have used them in a few ways throughout the years, but now I'm using them all the time from my personal beauty regime to DIY cleaners to helping me sleep.  My collection is growing.

I'm loving them so much, I have wanted to share what I'm doing with others.  I'm offering a few classes and workshops that I wanted to share with you.

Upcoming Free Oil Classes
I will be sharing how I use oils in my daily routines, how I clean toxic free with these oils, I will share how I use them with kids and in my beauty care, and so much more!  Also, I'm giving a free roller bottle of a sleepy essential oil blend to all that attend. There is no charge for these classes. Classes to be held in my home in Sherwood Oregon.

I will also demonstrate how to make DIY products using your essential oils to support you and your family.  See the below flyer for more details.  Message me if you would like to attend and I will email you with location information.

Upcoming Workshops ($45)
Do you have essential oils but your not using them, or not using them enough, or not sure how to use them?  Offering two workshops in the next few weeks.  In these workshops I'll share how I use my essential oils in a variety of ways throughout my day, from skin care, to cleaning, to diffusing, to aiding in wellness.  We will also make 6 diy essential oil products that you will take home and actually use in your home.   Workshops to be held in my home in Sherwood Oregon. 

See the below flyer for more details.  Message me if you would like to attend and I will email you with location information.

As an incentive to any that are interested.  If you refer a friend and they sign up for the $45 workshop, I will gift you a free bottle of lemon vitality essential oil as a thank you for sharing. This oil is great in water for digestion, to diffuse for energy, on your wrist as a perfume, great with peppermint and lavender for allergies, and can be added to so many fun blends, sprays, and cleaning products. If you bring a friend to either of the classes I will gift you a mini roller bottle of a happy essential oil blend. 

Also, I'm offering a free 3 page printout of my favorite essential oil recipes for a variety of DIY products from beauty, to cleaning, to supporting wellness.  To receive your free copy, please share my classes and workshops in at least two of the following ways. Message me when you have completed a couple of these things with your address and I will mail you your free printout.
  • email 5 friends 
  • post on facebook
  • post on instagram
  • post on your blog
  • post on twitter
  • chat with a couple of friends 

I also started a new instagram account where I share all about essential oils and you can follow me there.  My goals is to inpire you to use your oils more in a beautiful way.

I have also been purchasing all my oils through Young Living and am super impressed with them and all of their products.  I am so excited, not only with their oils, but with all their different products.  They have everything from lotions, to supplements, to incredible essential oil blends, to water bottles and bags.  All of their products are filled with the highest quality of oils.  Their variety of oils is crazy, they have so many to choose from.  They own many of their own farms and partner with all their other farms around the world, so they can regulate them and make sure they know that you are getting the very best products.  Everything we have used I have been so impressed with.  One of our favorites is their drink Ningxia Red.  Its a super drink, we drink 2 ounces a day, and we love it for supporting health and giving us energy.  

If you are interested in their products or want to purchase anything, you can link to them through my link.  If you wanted to sign up to buy a kit and become a wholesale member, you can do that here, and I will offer you a special gift for joining.  I'm also a member of this amazing facebook group that you would become a part of as well offering videos, classes, and all sorts of support to get to know your Young Living products and use your starter kit. Odering is simple and their rewards program is also super easy and straight forward and their freebies each month are incredible.

Wow, lots of information here to share!  If you have any questions about the workshops or classes or any of the freebies you can message me or let me know in the comments below.  As you can tell, I'm becoming quite passionate about oils and want to share them with everyone.  It so exciting to see so many people fall in love with these products and use them to support their wellness.