Friday, November 16, 2018

What I've Been Reading Lately: November 2018

Every month I share a short and sweet review of each of the books I finished reading in the past month.  Find more book reviews here. And, of course, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for many more quick reviews.

The Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

I enjoy Katherine Reay's clean, not-quite-fluffy writing.  This was not a book that challenged my perceptions about the world or caused me to think deeply, but it was engaging and fun and romantic with a tiny bit of suspense. It was the perfect thing for me to read while I was incredibly busy last week (I had my first booth at an art/craft fair, and stepping outside my comfort zone like that was overwhelming and a little terrifying). I needed an easy book to escape into and this one fit the bill. Plus it's about art, so that seemed to be a good fit, too!

Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Slow moving, gentle look at the lives of slaves. And not just any slaves, but the slaves belonging to Thomas Jefferson. The book addresses really tough questions: freedom and slavery, love and responsibility, race, and the conflicts of human nature. It's going on the must read list for all of my kids, for sure.

A Million Little Ways by Emily P Freeman

I have owned this book for years, but just read it this month.  It's an uplifting and inspiring ......
I love Emily's idea that we're all artists and can serve God in everything we do, whether that's creating a painting that millions of people love, or working as a cashier at the grocery store, or raising little people.  Her book has caused me to slow down and think about my actions, whether the work I am doing in all aspect of my life is allowing God's love to shine through me......

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I haven't re-read the later books int he Harry Potter series since I first devoured them when they first came out, many years ago.  I listened to Jim Dale read the audiobook of Order of the Phoenix.  He does such a masterful reading of this modern day classic.  I loved going back into the wizarding world and hearing about all those delightful characters (and even the less delightful ones, I'm looking at you, Umbridge). Such a great book!

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

An inspiring read for those who are trying to find their life's work and then actually follow through and accomplish it.  This is a short but powerful book.  Full of insights for battling Resistance, which Pressfield defines as procrastination, addiction, drama, laziness, anything that stands in the way of us accomplishing the work we feel called to do.  (Note: there is some strong language)

You are a Bad*@@. by Jen Sincero

I have heard great things about this book from many people and have wanted to read it for a while.  But I was hesitant because of the title.  I didn't want my little people seeing me read a book with that word blasting from the cover.   However after my sister recommended it, I decided to listen to the audiobook and then my kids were never the wiser.   I mostly enjoyed the book.  I felt like it was full of practical tips that leaned quite heavily to the woo-woo side.  I don't agree with many of the principles and anecdotes Sincero relates.  (For example: deciding to buy a ridiculously expensive car and then "manifest" the money afterwards.  I understand the point she was trying to make, but the act itself was way too superficial, way too risky and unnecessary for me to appreciate it.  But I am SUPER opposed to debt of any kind....that's a topic for another day)  Overall, this book was a good kick in the pants for those wanting to level up their lives.   (Also, as you might have surmised from the title, it's rife with 4 letter words).

Small, Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I started this book on our trip to New York several weeks ago. I downloaded it on the Libby app on my phone (by the way, if you don't know about Libby, it's very important for me to tell you about it.  It's a newer, easier to use, version of the Overdrive app.  You can use your library card to download books and audiobooks FREE from you library). While I was really into the book on the trip, once we got home I set it aside and didn't continue.  This is mostly because I do not like reading on my phone.  I will in extreme circumstances (trying to pack as lightly as possible for a trip, for example) but once we get home and I have a plethora of other options at my fingertips I will always choose a physical book over digital.

I finally got the physical book from the library and picked up where I left off.  And I loved it.  Jodi Picoult has a way of taking really hard situations, problems the world is currently facing, and weaving powerful and poignant stories.  She distills the issues we're discussing in theory and makes  them more real because she centers them around people.  Small Great Things is about love and hate, race and judgement, family, friendships and forgiveness.  I highly recommend it.

What have you been reading lately?

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gratitude Copywork Free Printable

Gratitude copywork free printable. The perfect way to help your kids (and you!) memorize scripture and uplifting quotes, all focused around the them of Thanksgiving.

In my mind, November is always a time to focus on gratitude.  I love the emphasis on gratitude in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  The traditions that many of us share of expressing our thanks to friends and neighbors and family members.  I am grateful for so many things and it's easy to become complacent and forget how richly we have been blessed.  Even though most of us have faced (or are currently facing, ,or will face) trials in our lives, we still have much to be grateful for.

This copywork packet is designed to help our kids learn about gratitude and internalize the importance of expressing thanksgiving to our loving Heavenly Father.  The idea behind copywork is that we give our children a chance to see, and write and think about beautiful and uplifting words. The act of copying down passages of scripture or other beautiful quotes helps them to memorize powerful and inspiring words so they will be able to call them up out of their memory in times of need.

We add copywork to our homeschool day on a regular basis, but you certainly don't have to be a homeschooling family in order to benefit from it.

It includes scripture:

Enter into his gates with Thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  Psalms 100:4 in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.  Alma 34:38

But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the
Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking
uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and
thanksgiving...   D&C 46:7

Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.
Doctrine and Covenants 59:7

and quotes from Prophets and church leaders:

"Joy and happiness are born of gratitude." Gordon T Watts

“Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the
richness of a living God.”--Bonnie D. Parkin

(these are not all the quotes and scriptures included.)

I encourage you and your children to take a moment each day this month and write down a couple of things you're thankful for.  It could be something simple: a warm coat on your body when you went out to check the mail; a split second of added patience when your kids were bickering;  a phone call from a friend.  Or it could be more profound.  Whatever difficulties you are fighting, whatever hardships you are called upon to endure, I promise that gratitude will help lift your heart out of discouragement and turn you toward a loving God who wants nothing more than to help you.

Do you keep a gratitude journal?


If you liked this gratitude copywork, you may also enjoy my other free copywork posts.
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Friday, November 9, 2018

A Lively Hope Stitching Club: Thanks & Giving

Free Thanksgiving floral hand embroidery pattern.

I am so delighted to be back with another FREE hand embroidery pattern! This month is all about Thanksgiving around here.  It's my very favorite holiday.  And what's not to love? Friends, family, and yummy food.  Makes me giddy just thinking about it!

This month's pattern features a phrase that I love and try to incorporate into my daily life:

Let our lives be full of both thanks and giving.

I honestly feel like a lot of the problems in our world could be fixed if we were both a little more giving and a little more thankful.  I found myself reflecting on that a lot as I was stitching up this piece, and now even just seeing it hanging on the mantle inspires me to look for more ways to both express my gratitude and help those in need.

Best wishes to you for a fantastic Thanksgiving and for opportunities to serve and love each other better.

A Lively Hope Stitching Club newsletter: 

If you want to receive a free hand embroidery pattern delivered right to your inbox each month, sign up here.

To see all of the A Lively Hope Stitching Club patterns, click here.

I would LOVE to see your finished piece! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram.
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