February went by in a blink! Before I launch into a new month, I’m taking a moment today to look back at some of February’s personal and family highlights.
// READING LATELY //
This was a really great reading month for me. A longing for some simplicity and nostalgia led me to pick up quite a few middle grade and YA novels, including this book that was a favorite of my childhood and this fun take on Pride and Prejudice. I really enjoyed this popular and thought-provoking novel, and this book from a favorite author was one of the best novels I have read in years.
As for nonfiction, this book gave me a lot to think about, and the ideas in this book have been pivotal in helping to restore my mental health in recent weeks. I’ll be sharing full reviews of all of these books in a couple of weeks.
// LOVING LATELY //
A few weeks ago, Charleston asked me to tell him a bedtime story as I tucked him into bed. I spun an elaborate fantasy tale, ending it with a “to be continued.” Charleston was enchanted by the story, and the next day he decided to record Part One in his journal. This was the start of our favorite new tradition! Each night I add to the story, and the next day he draws a picture in his journal and we summarize the previous night’s story installment. (Since writing is still new for him, he starts the writing and I finish up.) Charleston and I look forward to the storytelling each evening, and recording it the next day has become a highlight of our homeschool. I’ve never fancied myself much of a storyteller, so I have been surprised and delighted by how much fun I’m having with our little tale.
When I shared some of my spiritual practices in this post and asked for devotional recommendations, you all really came through! Since then I have added two new devotionals to my daily reading. The first is My Utmost for His Highest: I received a copy of this classic from my high school youth group leaders at graduation, and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. I have been reading each day’s short devotion in the morning when I brush my teeth, and I reread it again when I brush my teeth at night (the content is so rich, I need those two readings) and Holy Moly, that book is totally rocking my spiritual life! I am amazed at the ways God is speaking to me through words penned more than a hundred years ago—somehow, each day’s writings are the EXACT message I am needing to hear in the moment. In addition to My Utmost and Restoration Year, I also wanted to add a short devotional for the Lenten season, and this one fit the bill. It’s a compilation of forty readings from one of my favorite devotionals, and I have loved drawing near to Jesus each morning through the encouraging words in this book.
// MONTHLY CHARLIE-ISMS //
Charleston’s rolling commentary on our lives is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. Here is just a sampling of some of his sweet silliness this month.
+ To the twins in the car one day: “I have great plans for us, guys. We are going to be the best helpers in every way!”
+ “I have something sciency to say. You know how, when you were in school, you feel like you are the special-est? That’s because really it’s just you acting you, so that’s what you know. But I can’t lie, at Sports Day, I feel like I really AM the special-est because everyone says I am, even the big kids. So I try to act like them.”
+ About two characters, a boy and a girl, in a book: “Are they just friends? Or do they sleep together—you know, like a brother and sister?”
+ Describing how his remote control car might crash. “You know what i mean by crash, right? Like, go off the way sideways, not the internet kind.”
+ When he showed concern for someone and I complimented him on his kind heart. “Yeah, you know that thing where you feel how other people feel? Empathy? I think that’s my number one trick of why God made me to be born. It’s one of my favorite things to do .”
+ “Mom, I need you to eat some chocolate so you can make chocolate milk for the babies’ milkies.”
// HAPPENINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS //
We loved getting to celebrate Luke on his thirty-seventh birthday the first weekend of February. For years, it’s been our tradition to celebrate birthdays with Luke’s extended family by going out to dinner, but this year we decided to forgo the restaurant, instead inviting everyone over to our house and bringing in food from Torchy’s. It worked out great—so much easier than trying to navigate a restaurant with kids. We followed up lunch with some time in the kids’ new bounce house and, of course, cake and ice cream.
Luke’s actual birthday was on Super Bowl Sunday and I think he had a pretty great day. We went to church, he got to spend some solo time at the shooting range, then we had MOD pizza and present-opening at home. Charleston was so excited to give Luke the special birthday crown and cards he’s been working on for MONTHS! We finished off the day with some Super Bowl viewing (a surprise hit with all three kids). We are so incredibly thankful for this awesome man and all he is and does for our family, and I’m glad we were able to make the day special for him.
If not exactly a “highlight,” our biggest “happening” of the month was the great snowy adventure that was the Texas snowpocalypse. Our days without power and water were far from easy, but it was an experience we will NEVER forget! Now that we’ve had some time to thaw out, I can say that I am so thankful that we got to experience it, and even MORE thankful that it is over!
That’s a wrap for our UNPRECEDENTED February! Now, onward and upward to lighter and brighter spring days ahead!