More Reading in 2016

 I've wanted to up my monthly reading lately since it's so much easier to be on my phone and I can tell my reading habit has been relegated to the back burner. So I went through my book shelf and made a list of all the books I have yet to read and assigned them to particular months throughout the rest of 2016.  I also added our Inspired Reading Book Club Summer Book List Challenge novels to this list & ordered them online.  I may not meet my goal of reading every single one of these books, but I will at least be reading more than I was.

For those who missed it, here's The Inspired Readers Summer Book List Challenge:
If you're thinking of joining us for our summer book list challenge, please request to join our Facebook page and order the May books.  I would so love to have you and can't wait to dig in to some of these reads.  They all sound awesome!

For my personal twist on monthly reading, I'm doing two novels each month, and one "self help" book (indicated by the *).  Some are parenting books & some are religious reads.  Some I've had my shelf for ages and I am excited to have a goal set so I can get motivated to crack them open.

I recently finished reading The Power of Now, and have half of Little Face & most of Women, Food & God left for this week.  We'll see if I can power through!  The rest of the year, I hope to finish (at least) three books a month and then I'll only have a handful of books left on my shelf to finish!

April's books


Little Face by Sophie Hannah
Women, Food & God by Geneen Roth

May's books


The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
*Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham


Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand
*Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings by Dr. Laura Markham


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
*Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott


What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross
Home Field by Hannah Gersen
*Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Dr. Meg Meeker

Random stack of books


The Rocks by Peter Nicols
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kinsolver
*Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel

Another stack


The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
Don't Let Me Go by Susan Lewis
*Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home & School by John Medina

still more to read...


Deception Point by Dan Brown
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Iron & Silk by Mark Salzman



Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Winter Storms by Elin Hildebrand
*Believing God by Beth Moore

I've had some of these for ages!

Books Still On My Shelf:

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern
The Alaska Brides Collection
My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Bent Road by Lori Roy
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Juliet Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts by Stacey Cordery
Mother by Linda Ann Rentschler
A Good American by Alex George
Three Junes by Julia Glass
Casting Off by Nicole Dickson
How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

My hope is to finish all these books by 2016, but I started with just three books a month cause that sounds reasonable.  But if I finish my "goal" books early, I will pick up one of the ones still on my shelf.  What's on your "must read" list? Any summer reads you are particularly dying to get your hands on? I can't WAIT to read Here's to Us by Elin Hilderbrand in June.  She's my "go to" beach-read author & whenever a new one of hers comes out, I get all giddy!

Happy Reading!


3 Weeks Until We're Reunited For Good

I couldn't remember if I ever shared these (very blurry) pictures from our last airport pick up (in March).  I let the boys come along this time, since it wasn't late at night, and they were SO happy!!!

In three short weeks our family will be reunited for good!
While we don't know yet what the future holds for our family, we are content in the meantime to imagine waking up next to each other.  Just being together is enough for now.


When We Were Sick...

sick kids = lots of baby wearing

He fell asleep like that!
So it seems that since Josh left, we have been nothing but sick, sick, sick.  I honestly can't tell if it just feels that way because one cold takes so long to make its rounds among us, or if we're actually sicker than usual, or if I'm just overwhelmed by taking care of all of them when they are sick and I'm on my own... but in any event, it feels like a lot of sickness & I'm pretty much over it.

Here's hoping this last bout was it for a good long time!!!


Carly at 3 Months

Today Carly is three months old.  At this point, it feels normal for her to be part of the family.  Do you know what I mean? It's natural to grab the diaper bag and car seat on my way out the door.  It's normal to stop and feed her real quick before heading into the grocery store.  
My favorite outfit!
New shoes!
Thanks, Nanny!

The boys call her Ruffle Butt or
Strawberry Butt.
They think they're so funny!

She passed out waiting for me to finish changing her!
Oh her smiles!
The sun was so bright!

"Daddy Makes Me Happy"

This little sweetheart has won us all over.  We are in a super good groove and she's such a blessing in our lives.  Her brothers love her and worry about her so sweetly.  Every morning they want to see her and make her smile, and every evening they want to hold her and snuggle her close.  Jack regularly changes her diaper and loves getting her ready for bed in her little jammies.  I am so grateful for he and Logan's help.

She is eating less often than when we first brought her home, which is a relief, but she still eats quite often during the day since she sleeps upwards of seven hours a night.  I say I'll feed her every hour during the day if it means she's going to sleep so well for me!  A baby that sleeps is a new idea for me!  I didn't sleep for like two years after I had the twins!

She is smiling all the time, and is now thisclose to giggling.  I can't wait until that happens!  I am enjoying her so very much and am so grateful God chose her for us.  Our little rainbow baby.



Separation Anxiety

Since Josh left last time, about two weeks ago, Wyatt has been GLUED to my side.  He barely wants me to go to the bathroom without him, much less doctor appointments or errands.  It's honestly been a bit suffocating.  I have been able, thankfully, to find extra reserves of patience for him, but I am more than ready for this separation anxiety to be a thing of the past.

He calls out, "Mom?" to assess my whereabouts each day more times than I can count.  (Literally, probably fifty times.) And often when I'm not nearby, by the time he finds me (usually downstairs) he has tears in his eyes.

I talked to him at length about it one day and he said that he doesn't want to be without me because I'm the only grown up.  We talked more and surmised that he means "parent".  I'm the only parent. He's got me there. I am the only parent here currently.  And it's hard on both of us.

I'm not sure why this last departure of Josh's has been so hard on Wyatt specifically, but I feel the same way.  It hasn't gotten any easier being without him.  And the home stretch for some reason feels particularly long.

With the help of loved ones who care about Wyatt, I am inching away from him and trying to give him back his independence.  And, fingers crossed, when Josh gets back he'll be back to his old, confident self.


Life Lately

Here are some snippets of life lately around here:

The other day Logan was saying "In this house I think Carly's first word will be "Seahawk".  That will make dad so proud."
He considered this for a while then said with a smirk,  "Or maybe it will be Patriot.  And dad will not be proud."  Then he was cracking up!

That same day Jack and I were discussing last names and he said he wished all his family was "Cunningham" cause that would be simpler.  We talked over who has different last names and why and he decided that boys should take the girls last name some of the time.  I thought that was very progressive of him.
We talked about my old last name being Raatz and he told me, "Because that is your past, it will be dropped!" in a creepy, mystical voice, while waving his hands around like a magician.  I don't know where they come up with this stuff!

Jack was guessing my favorite number (which is 26).  He assumed my favorite number would be my age and said, "Well, I don't know how old you are." I told him it wasn't my age and that it was a big number.  He guess 100, then 99.  I told him it was below 30.  He guessed 29, 28 and then 23.  I laughed and said it was a number that sounded beautiful.  So he proceeded to opera-sing the number twenty-three.  "Tweeenntyyyy threeeee," he sang.  I lost it. I was laughing so hard I cried.  He goes, "What? It sounds beautiful, doesn't it?"  Oh my gosh. It felt good to laugh so hard.


Wyatt got new clothes from my mom.
He stacked them up in his bedside table for the next day.
Spring weather has meant walks with mommy.
So much fun!
Wyatt loves riding his bike at the school nearby.
The boys always fight over who gets to drink the last of the milk from the jug.
This day it was Wyatt's turn.
Exciting news!  My baby cousin (who is 21 now-- how is that possible!?!) is getting married in May, so my sister and I are throwing her a bridal shower this weekend. I'm excited to see her and her sister and meet the groom.  (These are her invitations)

I absolutely love that Logan "corrected" the spelling of SHELLEY in his Daily Oral Language sentence since I spell it SHELLY. :)

This made me laugh.
It's so true.
Wyatt makes "guys" of everything.
Drawings, Legos, even Magnetix.
Life with boys:
They were killing a spider. It was intense!
Spring is here, and with it sunshine & flowers.
They both make me so happy!
I'm back at reading. Hooray!
This one: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Speaking of books:
Our book club has made a list of summer reads to take us from now through August and we would love to have you join us if you're interested! Request to join the club on Facebook and order your May books!!!

This month I read:

And I'm working on:
Women, Food & God by Geneen Roth
Little Face by Sophie Hannah
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

May is rapidly approaching. I guess I better get reading!

I walked in on this scene after brushing my teeth one night.
Wyatt reading to his little sister.
He makes me so proud!
We pushed through mommy's spring fever and are carrying on with homeschool.
I am so excited for summer break though!
We are on the three week countdown to Josh coming home.   Between my Workout Challenge and the boys' two baseball teams, I'm praying time flies between now & then!!!