You ever hit a month where it feels like you just can’t get a break? That was June for us. We came home from our California vacation to a refrigerator that was no longer working and needed to be replaced. (The fridge was our fourth and final kitchen appliance to die: we’ve only been in our house four years and the microwave, oven/stove, dishwasher, and now fridge—all new when we bought the house—have all called it quits. So long, Frigidaire, you are no longer welcome in our home.) The following week, when outdoor temps were well into the 100s, our air conditioning died. Days later, our pantry became infested with moths and we had to throw out nearly all of our snacks, pantry staples, and dried goods. Fortunately none of these problems were dire or irreparable, but they set a frustrating tone for the month. Of course, June had its positives too. Here’s a look at some of them.


June’s reading was eclectic but enjoyable. I had good luck with short stories, including this sardonic stand-alone and this collection that was quite well done. I enjoyed this light romantic comedy, chuckled along with this epistolary middle grade book, and nodded my way through this insightful cultural commentary. After nearly two years of regular reading, the kids and I finished this story Bible that (at nearly 600 pages) is so much more than a typical story Bible, with its inclusion of nearly all of the Biblical stories (not just the familiar ones) and nice balance of story-telling and commentary. As for most memorable reads of this month, I adored this magical fantasy with a historic bent, and this modern classic is a book I’ll be thinking and talking about for years to come.


Get out your earbuds and schedule some listening time, because I have SO MANY awesome podcasts to recommend to you from this month (including many responding to issues related to Pride Month).

Verity with Phylicia Masonheimer—113 | Should Christians Boycott Secular Companies?

Natasha Crain Podcast—26 | Public, Private, or Homeschool? Thinking Through Your Child’s Education

Sorta Awesome Podcast—446 | Three Ways to Save on Groceries in Thirty Minutes

A Drink with a Friend—Fiction is More Real Than Non-Fiction

The Alisa Childers Podcast—#203 | How to Protect Children and Teens from Transgender Activism, with Dr. Jeff Myers

ReFOCUS with Jim Dailey—Strong Families and Faith: A Response to Woke Culture and Politics

Focus on the Family—Helping Kids See God’s Glory in Nature

Pints with Aquinas—Freedom After a Homosexual Lifestyle w/ Kim Zember

Foundation Worldview Podcast—Improving Kids’ Social Skills

The Upshot: A Podcast for Dads Who Try—Creating Memorable Experiences with your Kids (KENDRA NOTE: Luke produces this podcast that is put out by pastor friends of ours from church!)


I think I may be the only adult who happens to LOVE alphabet picture books. Hear me out: these are not the dull ABC manuals you may remember from your Kindergarten days. The alphabet books we’ve been getting from the library are creative, with gorgeous illustrations, clever premises, and frequently a story that weaves through the letters. These books have been great for helping the twins learn their alphabet, but mostly I’m just enjoying reading the books to them. Some favorites have been LMNO Peas, The Alphabet’s Alphabet, Alphabet Mystery, and Z is for Moose.

A bright side to the sad story of our deceased fridge is that we had to buy a new one, and I love it! After tons of research, Luke ordered us a Samsung. It has the same footprint as our last fridge but feels a lot roomier inside thanks to a better shelf layout and deeper door storage. We especially love the handle-free doors that look super sleek, and the ice/water dispenser that is big enough to fit a large cup or water bottle without requiring any bottle contortion. And best of all, it WORKS to keep our good cold. Hooray!

We opted out of swim lessons this summer and are saving money by tackling it ourselves. Because of that, we’re making good use of our community pool this summer, for the first summer since the twins were born. I’m not the biggest pool fan so I have to push myself to make these trips happen, but the kids’ enthusiasm makes up for my own lack. Three non-swimmers in a pool (Charleston’s getting there, but still needs support) is a two-parent job, and Luke and I tag team the “lesson” portion of pool time while trying to make it fun.



+ “Today is the best day ever! But . . . I’ve had a lot of those lately, so I don’t know which is the real best day.”

+ “Okay mom, tell me the truth: do you think I will make a good president? Is that what God made me to be?”

+ “You know how we’re getting to the age of starting to have big kid conversations? So I want to know, how old do I need to be to start going on dates? And how old do you have to be to get married?”


+ As we were discussing types of produce and I mentioned peaches: ““That’s silly, peaches isn’t a fruit, it’s a person!” (Referencing Princes Peach from Mario.)

+ “When you and daddy were married, me and Kali and Charlie were not born yet? We were still in God’s cave?”

+ One night, Sully was begging to have his balloons in his bed and I told him they needed to go into the laundry room to sleep. Two mornings later he found them in the living room and ran to tell me: “You forgot to put the balloons in the laundry room where they sleep!”

+ “God and Jesus live in our heart. Because God was lonely in our heart so He made Jesus to be with Him there.”

+ “Wow, I didn’t know God made strawberry milk.”


+ “Oh no! That man is crossing the street all by his self, that’s not good. We can’t cross the street by ourself because then we will die on the cross just like Jesus.”

+ When I found her looking at the back cover of a Little Golden Book listing other titles, “Oh hi, Mom, I’m just reading the credits of this book.”

+ “When I grow up I can do anything I want, and I can go on your phone and buy all of the shoes I like.”


Father’s Day was simple but meaningful. We attended church, Luke opened his cards and gifts (including the nicely wrapped rock he received from Charleston), and we spent the afternoon eating barbecue and playing in my sister-in-law’s backyard. We were also able to squeeze in a call with my dad. One day never seems adequate to celebrate all the awesome dads in my life (my own, my father-in-law, Luke), but we spread love where we could and I think they all felt our love and appreciation.

Last week Charleston attended a week-long VBS at my in-laws’ church, and he had a blast! Their VBS is unlike any I’ve seen: the kids were at the church from 8 until 5 for five days in a row, and they got their fill of games, crafts, outdoor play, worship, Bible teaching, and so much fun. The church even provided lunch and snacks! It was an incredible week and I’m so thankful he was able to participate again this year. He can’t wait until next year’s Camp HCF, but he may need a whole year to recuperate.



Faithful 06.23 “I am doing my best to reclaim this symbol as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and His invitation to partner with Him and His work of restoration. I can’t alter the modern-day significance of the rainbow symbol, but I CAN amend what it means for me.”

Boundaries (June Verse—Psalm 16:5-7) “Many people are turned off by the idea of a religion that tells them how to act, claiming that any form of moral limitation infringes on their liberties or rights. This is a gross misunderstanding of the purpose of God’s laws!


June 2023 Quick Lit

Bookish Considerations: Film vs Books “I will fully admit that I care much more for books than any form of screen entertainment, original or adaptation. I’m not above enjoying a good show or movie, but if given the chance I will always read a book over watching anything on a screen.


Dad Hall of Fame “I am not aware of as many historical men whom I recognize as exceptional dads; I am certain they exist, but most of my male role models are individuals I respect outside of their fathering. In contrast, I can think of numerous fictional fathers deserving of acclaim. I have my theories on why this is: it could be that we expect so little of real-life fathers that it’s easy for them to be elevated in fiction. Also possible is that so many in our society are lacking in personal father-figures that we need more of them in our books and on our screens.”

28 Aphorisms to Ponder “The term aphorism comes from a Greek word meaning “definition” and refers to a brief observation about life. Aphorisms are direct and often overused, but what they lack in originality or flowery language they make up with straightforward messaging and identifiable directives.”


“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.” ~ Max Ehrmann

“The heart of a father is a masterpiece of nature.” ~ Abbé Prévost

I hope that your summer is moving along swimmingly and has had fewer mishaps than ours. What has been a highlight for you so far?

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