Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wrapping Up . . . I Don't Even Know . . .

Whew! Needless to say, moving makes life busy and chaotic! . . . But we're still here. And pretty much still consumed in moving . . .

Sometime last week we got beds for everyone in the new house, and internet in the new house, so we started sleeping here. Whew! That was a huge step of progress, to not feel like we're living both places.

I don't even remember what's happened when . . . I think I'm just going to go through and post pictures and make comments under them . . .

From early in the process . . .
Little Bit photo bombing a picture I was taking of the kitchen/dining area before there was furniture there :)
Our very large tub! Rather dated, but huge. Now to find time to use it . . . There's also a massive walk-in closet that's a part of the master bathroom, I should have taken pictures before I started filling it with stuff, but such an awesome catch-all storage spot :) 

Shifting gears. . . one week at church, Little Bit's class learned about the story of the angels rescuing Peter from prison, by acting it out. This was Little Bit's turn to be Peter, in prison :) 

 I snapped this picture driving home (to the old house) from the new house one afternoon! Gotta love living near Amish country!

Ashlyn has gotten lots of experience painting furniture these last couple weeks. She sanded and painted her desk and dresser! This was early in the process.

Meanwhile, Little Bit and Mama (& Papa) were busy painting the various components of her loft bed.

On Oct 31, our church had a bonfire at the pastor's house. My friend Amy is always cold, and amazed at how Little Bit is NEVER cold. That point was rather well illustrated by the difference in their choices of outerwear (or lack thereof) at the bonfire :) 

From the moment we started coming to the new house, the girls have loved sitting in the wide windowsills in the living room and dining room, so I couldn't resist turning one of them into a cozier seat :) 

Meanwhile Little Bit confiscated some of the old baby gear we found while packing and was having fun being a "Mommy" in the other corner of the living room.

Ashlyn's room, coming along nicely!

Our bed is done! I desperately wanted a king size bed, but didn't want to buy one! So we begged some pallets from my brother (who gets them from work), and created our bed that way. So far it's working great!

Way back when we first got married, we bought a living room set that included this "chair and a half" I LOVED it, but since moving to PA, neither of our houses had a place for it, so it's been stored in my parents' garage. Now it's perfect in the sunroom and Lexie and Ashlyn have claimed it as a favorite reading spot! 

Little Bit's loft bed is done! Now we can start sleeping in the new house :)

And Mama and Papa brought a couple old recliners from their house to add to our furniture collection, so Little Bit and Daddy are checking one of them out :) 

One of our first nights here. Lexie loves having her own bed (she and Little Bit have shared since Little Bit was a toddler, of course, I think many, if not most, nights, Little Bit ends up in bed with Lexie before morning) with a reading light on it!

Lexie snuggling with a friend's dog :) 

Our first Friday night "Shabbat" meal in the new house! 

And finally, the finished sunroom! When we went to IKEA last week to get bookcases for the basement, I found that sofa on sale for a price I couldn't refuse. I'd planned to watch for a used love seat or small sofa for that space, but didn't expect to get anything right away, but this is perfect! It even folds down flat to use as a bed, if we ever have multiple guests at the same time!  The cedar chest was made by my great grandfather :) 

And the other side of the sunroom. I had originally figured the easel would either go in the basement or be folded out of the way unless a kid specifically wanted to use it, but nothing begs you to do art like a bright sunny room! So we found a space for it. Weather permitting it can easily move out onto the deck through the sliding doors (or with a bit more effort, we can carry it through the house to the front porch).  And for the moment I'm humoring Little Bit and letting her keep her huge stuffed giraffe in the sunroom. Hopefully in the not TOO distant future it will move to the basement or her room :) 

I didn't take a picture of the interior wall of the sunroom, I have low bookcases along it, that are rather jumbled random toys/puzzles & games. Long term I hope to sort through and keep a selection of toys, puzzles and games on the shelves that are good for sharing when company comes, as well as things for Little Bit to play with while we do school in there. 

And that's a brief overview of what we've been up to. As of this afternoon, thanks to the awesome help of our friend Brian, all the big furniture has moved from the old house to the new (there are still a few biggish pieces at my parents' house waiting for their next trip up here).  There's still lots to do, but I'm feeling good about the progress we've made. And sooo blessed to have family and friends willing to help us! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review: When Lighting Struck: The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley

As you've probably noticed, if you've spent any time with us, or read much on my blog, my older girls and I are obsessed with history. We love reading biographies, true stories, and historical fiction, as long as it's well written (if it's not, we'll probably notice, and complain about, the inaccuracies).

This year our focus is Early American history, but when we got the opportunity to review a brand new book about Martin Luther, we were more than happy to jump back to the reformation!

Danika Cooley is already a favorite of ours as we wrap up our third year using her Bible Road Trip curriculum for Bible (our "years" are a bit off since we school year round).

And now she's written an exciting new book, When Lightening Struck: The Story of Martin Luther. This book tells the story of Martin Luther for teens and tweens to read on their own, or families to read aloud together to children in 3rd grade and up.

I opted to read this book aloud to my two twelve year olds, so that we'd all get a chance to hear it, and give our opinion, during the review period.

All three of us enjoyed the book.  Some specific things we liked:

  • The author draws from letters and historical documents in such a way that she shares much of the story in his own words.
  • The book gives a balanced picture of Martin Luther. He wasn't perfect, he had a quick temper and could be arrogant when crossed. We appreciated that the book didn't hide or gloss over these aspects of the man.
  • There are themes to the imagery used throughout the book. As you might guess, from the title, one such theme is lightening. The book begins with Martin Luther's fateful close call with a lightning bolt during a storm on his way to school, at which time, he vowed to change course and become a monk. The book comes full circle and near the end of the book, quotes someone comparing him to a lightning bolt that struck the organized religion of the day .
  • Another imagery that I especially loved, was the image of Satan as a dragon. Throughout Martin Luther's life, he imagines he hears dragons' wings beating, and feels the hot fiery breath of the dragon in moments when he is engaged in spiritual warfare of some sort. I appreciated this imagery for myself, and think it is also an effective imagery to help young people see that we truly are in a fight, not against flesh and blood. For homeschoolers who, like us, tend to approach history chronologically, the dragon imagery will fit nicely with the middle ages/reformation time period that this book falls into. 

I honestly don't think we had any complaints about the book, and that's saying something. The book was easy to understand, and read, without being overly simplified. It was well-researched and we didn't find any discrepancies with what we learned about Martin Luther and this time period when we studied it last spring.

I am thrilled to have this book in our library and have no doubt that we will read it again next time we cycle around to this time period in history. If you're looking for a great family read aloud, I'd highly recommend When Lightening Struck: The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley.

Good to know:
Danika is having a HUGE SALE right now, check it out!!!!

Don't forget to enter the $500+ Reformation Giveaway, including When Lighting Struck!

Be sure to attend When Lighting Struck's FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY on Tuesday, November 10 at 9pm EST.

Danika is generously offering a FREE Discussion Guide AND a FREE 12-week Unit study on Martin Luther (for subscribers to her blog)!! Information on both can be found here.