If this January is a predictor of what lies ahead in the coming year, we are in for one wild ride! My internal world and family life have seen the highest of highs and the most devastating of lows in the past four weeks—which seems to be a theme for just about everyone and everything these days. Of course there is a time and space for mourning and grief, but today I’ll celebrate the good that January brought me.
// READING LATELY //
This month’s reading included a unique blend of nostalgia (with this YA novel from the 1950s and this darling childhood favorite that I just finished with Charleston) and very of-the-moment reads (including this book addressing the pandemic, this one exploring feminism, and this discussing a critical issue in today’s Church). Sprinkled in were a couple of thrillers (both engaging but partly spoiled by heavy-handed themes), a few literary novels (this will stick with me for years to come), a helpful book for homeschoolers, and a life-changing book on the topic forgiveness. I’ll be sharing reviews of all TWELVE of January’s books next Monday.
// WATCHING LATELY //
Godmothered — This feel-good Disney movie is the story of a fairy godmother-in-training who ventures into the real world to prove her worth and save the profession of fairy-godmothering. Think Elf meets Enchanted. Godmothered is far from stellar filmmaking, but I found it to be absolutely delightful. The movie plays with popular fantasy tropes in some very creative ways without casting shade on those other stories, and It was refreshing to watch a family-friendly movie with positive messages and no hidden agenda (minus a few [very] subtle boundary-pushing moments). It’s funny without being cheesy, and the characters are all completely endearing. Though it’s technically a Christmas movie, we didn’t realize it was a holiday film until we were already a few scenes in, and we still enjoyed it post-Christmas. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a feel-good movie your whole family will like.
My Rating: 4 Stars.
// LOVING LATELY //
Luke spent the first weekend of January tackling several home projects that had been lingering on “our” Honey-Do list, and I have been so appreciative of the updates! He added shelving to our playroom closet, giving us a designated spot for our homeschool curriculum supplies; he hung a new chandelier in our dining room; and he organized our garage with several new containers and shelves. We also redid the gallery wall in our living room, and I am thrilled with how it turned out!
Luke got me a bed frame for Christmas and I’m obsessed with it! In over twelve years of marriage, we’ve never had a “real” bed—just a mattress on top of a box spring—and this simple frame feels like such a luxury, and goes perfectly with our hodgepodge of antique bedroom furniture.
// EATING LATELY //
I first tried Two Good yogurt in November when we were staying with my parents in California, and it is now my favorite yogurt (and I eat a LOT of yogurt!). True to its name, it almost seems too good to be true: it’s indulgently rich and creamy, with just a hint of sweetness. I like every flavor I’ve tried, with mango hibiscus and coconut being my favorites, and I think it’s best after about an hour in the freezer, turning it into a delicious frozen-yogurt dessert. It’s a little more expensive than my other favorite yogurt brand, but well worth the splurge.
// MONTHLY CHARLIE-ISMS //
I just loved doing my annual interview with Charlie for his birthday. In addition to the delightful responses he gave me then, here are some other fun things he said this month.
+ “The job I think I’m made for is to be president. I would be the best president, some people say. Do you have to play instruments to be president? Do some presidents fish?” When I explained term limits and asked what he would do when he was no longer president: “What, I only get four years? Well I think I might be too old after those four years as president to do anything else.”
+ [In a separate conversation from the one above.] “Okay, here’s my plan. I’m going to be president. And then when my four years are up, Kali can take over my job. But can a girl even be president?”
+ While drawing: “Mom, what color would you like me to make your hat?” Me: “I’d like rainbow.” Charleston: “Oh, I don’t do rainbow. I’m not a rainbow artist.”
+ “Helping is one of my favorite things to do. It’s one of the things that makes God’s children his children. Because God helps, so we should help to be part of his family! And also lots of hugs and kisses.”
+ [On a separate day from above.] Me: “You are such a great helper Charleston!” Charlie, in a serious/resigned voice: “It’s what I was made to do.”
+ “Did you know, before they had phones, people actually used paper for their grocery lists?” Me: “Yep, some people still do.” Charleston: “WHAT?!”
+ “Did they even have peepholes in doors when you were a kid?”
+ On the night before his birthday: “I just want to stay five forever because I just want to be little until I die. Not, like, short. . . just little like a little kid.”
+ While reading out of our reading textbook: “These sentences are not very polite.” Me: “Maybe because they haven’t taught you the word please yet, so they can’t include it.” Charleston: “Well they should have made that the very first word they taught us!”
+ Me: “Would you like to start doing some science as part of our school?” Charleston: “Sure, but where will we put the potions? All scientists have potions!”
// HAPPENINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS //
We didn’t have plans for New Year’s, but our library saved the day with NYE “Party in a Bag” packets to go. The packets contained everything we needed: lots of New Year’s trivia, decorations, themed crafts, items to make a time capsule, and even several “good luck” candies and tokens. Charleston spent New Year’s Eve making decorations, setting up our party space, and making plans for a family party, and once we got the twins to bed that night we had our celebration. We played board games, ate way too much candy (and dug into our gingerbread house), drank sparkling cider, reflected a bit on 2020, made wishes for the coming year (Charleston wished for it to be the best year yet), and counted down to 8:30 (getting a jump start on 2021). He was in bed by 10:00, in time for me to ring in the actual new year with my Bible and a cozy cup of tea.
We had a snow day!!! It’s snowed every winter since we moved to Texas in 2016, but we’ve never had more than a light dusting, and it has never really stuck. This snow was the real deal! On the Sunday morning after New Year’s we woke up to a slight downfall that increased throughout the afternoon: we drove to church in a light flurry, came out of service to a parking lot covered in snow, and by the time we got home our yard and street had transformed into a winter wonderland.
Charleston and Luke had fun building a snowman and having a snowball fight, while the twins and I mostly appreciated the wintery magic through glass from the warmth of our living room couch. I’m not a fan of the cold, but actually loved our snowy day and decided that snow in small doses is truly delightful! It was incredible to see our yard blanketed in white, and familiar tress transformed into towering icicles—what a day filled with WONDER!
We celebrated Charleston’s SIXTH birthday, and he had a fantastic day! We skipped the big party this year, but he did a great job planning out an entire day of fun for us and I think we enjoyed that just as much as any party. We began with a trip to the donut shop, then to HEB to pick up his cake and shop for balloons, party blowers, and party hats (he made a list ahead of time so we would be sure not to forget anything). The HEB trip included some Buddy Bucks, and Charleston was thrilled to hit the Instant Winner prize on his first spin!
That afternoon we met up with family at the park for a ride on the train and playtime at the train playground, followed by lunch at Hat Creek.
We ended the birthday with presents and cake at our house, then some games before everyone headed home. It’s never been my desire to be an over-the-top mom when it comes to birthdays, but it is important to me that my kids feel extra special and loved on their birthdays, and I’m certain we accomplished that this year.
And that’s a wrap for January. Onward and upward to February!