Thinking, Playing, Reading

THINKING about...

Chores and how much I love them.  Good for kids, good for us, good for bikes, and gardens, and closets and floors and counters...on and on.  My older kids are glad I made them do chores, so I know even with the griping I get sometime, it's worth it in the long run.  Work ethic, respect for our things, respect for our house and the work that Jeff and I do to provide them with things they are blessed to have, and gratitude for our beautiful home and life...lots of lessons in those chores.

I don't do fancy chore systems, or pay for ordinary chores.  I either write them down on a piece of paper, or tell them what to do that day.  (Special chores are big ones that require skill and/or multiple days like cleaning windows, or painting the fence.)

Two new little things the kids have enjoyed and kept busy with on "boring" days:

Jeff picked this little mini construction set up on vacation for the kids (for himself:) and it's so fun for fiddling around with. There are a few different themes-unicorn, sea turtle, and the one we have, dolphin.  Cute idea for gifts also.

Janey is really into these right now-this is my type of activity, so I might have bought these for myself too.  Once we start usually another kid joins in.


Patrick (11) and Janey (6) love this book, filled with sweet and touching stories of pets.  Good for a quick "I'm exhausted and can't think anymore" bedtime book.

I "made" Andrew, 15, read this book and he really really enjoyed it, just like I told him he would.

Patrick loves all these Mike Lupica sports books.

I am reading this now for our book club and loving it.  Excellent historical fiction-I'm learning all about Cuba through a beautiful family/love story.
The author's bio:

Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Jeff is reading this and I can't wait till he finishes.  Do you ever think about how much you didn't learn in school?  He keeps interrupting my reading time while we are laying in bed at night to tell me things, which I don't mind, but am thinking, "Why do I know so little about world history but spent so many years in school?"  Anyways, this is my "next up book".


  1. Always love your posts. From encouragement to your favorite things lately...I just love them. I recently purchased the Birks you also have..after debating for a long time! Loving them...just have to break them in.
    I agree with your thought..how can I remember so little about history..when I went to school for so many years..sigh!

  2. I always say, if the syllabus for social studies/history had been filled with interesting books, instead of the dry encyclopedia type books we studied, I would have learned so much more! I am reading The Honey Bus right now and loving it! Wondering if you read Inheritance by Dan I Shapiro - fascinating story and observations on the ethical dilemmas being uncovered through DNA kits. Love these posts -you are definitely embracing the gifts of these ordinary days!

    1. I've had similar thoughts after watching some Ken Burns documentaries. If they had included these stories in our History classes, I would have taken more interest.

  3. Oh my goodness! Sarah, I couldn't agree more with you about all that I DIDN'T learn about history in school!! My daughter just completed her first year in high school - she was in honors World History and needed some help from me. I promise you, it was like I was learning these facts for the first time!! Learning it as an adult, I found it so interesting!!! I wish teachers would make it more interesting - I found so many wonderful resources on line that made it so much more enjoyable for both my daughter and me!!

  4. I second the Birkis! My feet constantly hurt but I hate wearing shoes so I'm going to have to do something. Sarah, I meant to comment on your post about the sadness (depression?) that comes with the passage of time and our children. It was a little too raw for me then so I left it alone. Usually I become seriously depressed after Christmas, the passage of time hits me like a truck. This year it hit me earlier and it has been really hard. Thank you for your post, we all need to know we're not being ridiculous and that we're not alone. Also, you probably don't remember, my son Henry is the same age as Janey and they had the same issue with their kidneys. Henry's was more complicated but 3 years after surgery he has finally been released by his urologist๐Ÿ˜Š. I hope Janey is doing well! All the best, Angela

  5. My mother is Cuban so the Cuban revolution - basically the destruction of Cuba is something that we talked about constantly in my childhood and now. My mother fled Cuba with her brother in 1962 and my grandparents came 6 months later. She was one of the lucky ones since some of the Peter Pan children were never reunited with their parents. It's a constant reminder to never take our rights and our freedom for granted.

  6. Always love it when you do these posts!

  7. Thank you for your book recommendations. I always look forward to those.

  8. I always appreciate your posts. We have similar tastes in books and I am always so excited when the books you recommend are available at my library, without having to request them and wait for them to come in! Thank you for continuing to blog. I have been a reader for years. My children are younger than your(older three) and I so appreciate your advise and experience. Thank you and enjoy the last month of summer.

  9. I think your Thinking, playing, reading posts are my favorites! I added the National Geo book to my "gift ideas to remember when Christmas rolls around" list. And my girls love Mike Lupica books!
    I would love to hear your thoughts on chores and allowances (maybe you've touched on this before?) I have always, always, always said I would never, never, never pay my kids to do chores because they are a part of the family and just need to help out! And I was never a fan of allowances. However, now my kids are getting a little older (oldest is 13) and I'm feeling like I need to do better at teaching them how to manage money! Your thoughts on paying them a little each week for doing chores and having them do a tithe/save/spend budget??

  10. dear Sarah, you are a treasure!
    already purchased "Killing Jesus", because of this post!
    all the best for you, your family and all your readers ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I read "Killing Jesus" a while back, and the entire time, I just kept thinking that I never really put two and two together on what was happening in world history at the time of Jesus. It always seems so...isolated in my mind, almost like there was nothing else going on anywhere. (I have no idea if that even makes sense outside my head.) I also loved understanding the non-Biblical significance of what was going on in Jerusalem and Rome at the time that played into the political part of the events of Jesus' life and especially Holy Week.