Beneath Montana sky 4/25

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February’s not half done

And I now have read four

It could have been worse,

so let’s do some more!

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Oh dear I’m writing poetry. Silly me. I am just so thrilled to be keeping up with my reading challenge for the year.

So the advantage of knowing an author of a book is you can talk to him or her about which of their books to read next. Since I finished the first four books of the Montana sky series, I decided to ask Deborah Holland where I should go from here. And boy am I glad I did! She provided the chronological order of her books which provided a great Segway to the oldest story in age: Beneath Montana Sky. It is only a novella, short in length but provides so much insight to the world Holland has created in Sweetwater Springs.

The story is about how John Carter met his wife Pamela. In the other books of the main series, these two characters are always present in the town folks’ lives. So it is amazing to hear how they began their life. The majority of the book actually takes place in Boston- Pamela’s original home and follows John on his quest for a wife after a tragedy befalls on the town. The descriptions of the late 19th century America are eloquent and provide a picture almost as beautiful as the Montana sky itself. It also gives hints of other characters that appear in the Montana Sky series, providing insight on their backgrounds or extended depth to their personality.

So need a short read for the short month? – I recommend picking Beneath Montana Sky up!

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A little Weathered

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Wow—I’m so proud of myself. It’s Mid-February and completed 3 books.  Maybe I will buy myself a blue ribbon. Or possibly a shiny medal. Or just enjoy the new stories in my mind.

 

So after finishing some new books I got, I decided I was going to go back and finish up books I had started already in my Kindle. The book with the most progress and that I knew I could finish was a historical romance novel: Stormy Montana Sky by Deborah Holland.  I started it as the author attends my church and came with her book 4 in the series (Glorious Montana Sky) to our church book group and I loved it! She was also instrumental in fueling my desire to write my own story down (THAT fiction book may follow later.)  However, if you need something that lifts your hearts but doesn’t have all the Fifty Shades details, then her books (and some of her colleagues’ books that amazon recommends) are for you. I would recommend starting with either the 1st in the series (Wild Montana Sky—which I have read and enjoyed) or the first in chronological order (Beneath Montana Sky—which I am currently working through and love because it’s a novella-so it’s not as long.)

Anyways, Stormy starts out right after Starry Montana Sky with the story of the school teacher Harriett in the western Montana territory trying to deal with the fact her crush in town has connected with and married another.  I would say you need to read at minimum Starry Montana Sky before starting this one as the significance of Harriet’s emotions will only be depended despite the briefly explanations in Stormy.   A new character comes into the picture- an uncle named Anthony (or Ant) Gordon in search of his long lost nephew who he is trying to rescue from his violent and alcoholic father.  The title of the book lives up to its name—there are twists and turns, major serious events along with beautiful subtle moments much like how a thunderstorm crosses the open plains.  The book also starts out a little more rough than the first two books in this series—but it does not lack in quality of the storyline or writing.

Overall, if you need something that touches your heart strings and lifts your spirits-I recommend reading Stormy Montana Sky.

 

Reading review Number Two

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2/25. I feel like i should get a gold star. At least for January. I read two books. I almost met a goal of 2 books per month already! Go me!

Anyways… even though I wanted to continue reading through some of the sensory processing books I got, something reminded me i purchased the Kindle Unlimited. So I went searching for an interesting (or at least easy) read. I came across the following and I’m so glad I decided to pick it (virtually) up.

It’s called How Dogs Love Us: a neuroscientist and his adopted dog decode the canine brain by Gregory Berns.

Click photo for amazon link

It is a beautiful book. Nothing too technical but enough to understand the significance of what the author/scientist did in the dog community as well as the scientific community. The text is not wordy…it’s a short book (yes 254 pages in the kindle version with notes.) lastly, you can tell this author is my kind of people: dog people. It was an amazing and comforting to hear a voice while reading like this one.

First Book Review of 2019

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So i am please to say I am working on doing more reading as I begin the year 2019. As I stated, I haven’t been readying as much since I had Austin and its something I’m beginning to miss.

So, to break the curiousity of my mind (and some of my son’s issues), I decided to take some recommendations from a facebook parent group i’m a part of and look into this book: The out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz.

outofsyncbook
Click on the Book Image to See amazon link

This book is about what is says on the cover: recognizing and dealing with Sensory process disorder in children. And yes — I will admit that I think Austin has some of this as I will explain in a minute.  The author is a former school teacher with a Masters in Education and “Human Development” (I’m taking from the inside cover of my copy of the book) who I can say its pretty much the most experiental expert for this topic. She also has worked with an occupational therapist for children to confirm her reseach who wrote the other recommended book for this disorder: Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR. (yep, got that book too.)

For those of you who don’t know — sensory processing disorder is where a child has issues processing sensory items in their environment so much that it inhibits their daily routine. This is not limited to the 5 senses we all know (like touch/taste/sight/hearing/smell) but also the others related to your sense of self and your relationship to gravity and space. For some, sensory processing issues can be loud noises or scratchy clothing. For my son–it means a lot of things taste funny or weird and he never wants to wear a hat. I mean will throw tantrums if you put anything on his head for a second. And I mean rarely eats toddler appropriate food. Some related issues he has is that we are now seeing a speech therapist for his delays there and seeing an occupational therapist so he can learn age appropriate functions like dressing himself, how to experience new things and yet self-sooth.

Now–there are many reasons why I personally am reading this book. But the information I am learning surrounding sensory processing and its related issues are reasons I want to recommend this book to everyone. First– it has given me a new awareness of things I do to compensate my sensory processing. I know–i’m an adult– but there were things I did as a child I now understand why and as an adult I can learn and help myself function better. Second–it has opened up my eyes and my heart to seeing children (and adults) more neurodiversally. Meaning that some times, people take in information and release out other information differently. And that’s not a bad thing.

What’s been interesting is that sensory processing is tpyically linked with Autism spectrum issues. Many times autistics have sensory processing issues and vice versa. I’m not sure if Austin has it himself (i’ve been told no but he’s still under 3 so you never know where things go at this age,) but I am interacting on social media with parents who have sensory/autstic families and adults to help/support/understand what it means to look at the world differently. That’s a huge reason in itself to read this book.

So if you need some non fiction ready for something very insightful and severely misunderstood, read this book.

 

Is it over?

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I know you’re probably all wondering…is the Christmas season over yet? You’re trying to clean up small bits of wrapping paper or pine needles while trying to pawn off the leftovers still in the fridge.

But nope. Not yet.

But…that’s okay. Maybe we need it. Or at least the need the dreams it can ensue.

I am always a fan of celebrating Christmas longer than the 25th. Not only because it allows for me to take the time to tear down the fire hazard sitting in my living room but to be true to the history of the holiday, there are really twelve days of Christmas. Well, maybe not birds in a tree or “10 drummers druming” – But between Dec. 25th and the next holiday in the church calendar, it is supposed to be the days between christmas and ephiphany. The day the kings (or wise men or whatever) came bearing kingly gifts to a baby in a manager.

3kingsimage

Personally, I know that three guys bringing gifts to a baby sounds a little of a stretch, especially being “kings.” But as a christian–it is the reminder that some dudes found Jesus important enough to leave heavily valued gifts. I also like the idea that sometimes the greater gifts come later and that digesting true greatness can also take time.

So if anyone ever asks why the lights are up past New Year’s…tell them Jesus’ stat stated lit long enough for 3 fancy smashy guys to find him and bring him stuff so you’re hoping for the same.

Books for the Year -2019

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So I don’t know how many of you out there in internet/blog land do this–but its kind of my “quirk” every year to make a book list reading goal. I never complete it. But at least I know I try to focus myself into reading–an important tastk. Let me tell you–watching my son go grab ANY book (let alone “Star Wars: I am a Droid”) and bring it to me to read during a TV shows is a huge parenting win in my book. Especially for a boy who can hardly sit still.

So to recap– this year i set a goal of 20 books. Its a little under 2 books a month. I thought “well, I’ll go to book group and work back towards reading.” HA! Have kid-having hard time keeping up on reading adult books. Realistically i have read probably 20 more bookx than expected. But the actual goal of completed adult books is 6. Reading “Night Night Groot” every night for a good 3 months doesn’t expand my mind or grow my vocabulary (it does my son’s though 🙂 )

So I’m trying to figure out how to take seriously reading. I know I can reflect my love for reading to my son. And trust me–I LOVE THAT! But its tiring. And sometimes he only wants me to read the book. Or sometime my husband. And that’s not healthy reading for an adult.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Should I go for 20 again? Set a goal of 12 (1 book a month) or even less than 6? Any special books you can remmend?

2019 Start Anew

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019.

As the New Year begins–I thought I would “muse” about the to come. I know, it probably will consider better eating, being more present with my child and family and trying to become more focused on my priorities and values.

But I do that every year. Just like everyone else, I try to better myself, to focus on things that more me up the “human later” (if you can say there is one.) I’ve decided that 2019 needs to be different. It needs to take out the expected and pull in the fun, silly, happy go lucky feeling that we all wish upon our children. Or ourselves.

So instead of focusing so hard on a diet that is near impossible without planning and thinking–I am going to work at remembering why i enjoy eating the healthier foods. Trust me–not eating bread and things that way my gut down helps me feel better. Getting a big bag of cooked veggies is tasty and flavorful. And the colors i try to eat, the more excited I get about “eating the tainbow” (as I like to call it.)

So instead of stressing about always being there for my family–I am going to enjoy the moments I do have. Play tent with my son more. Smile with him as he drags me off the couch. Walk hand in ahnd with my husband through Disneyland feeling nastalic and yet parent proud about our son gradually growing up int he imagination we once (and continued) to explore in.

And instaed of worrying what others will say when I or whether or not i’m portraying the right image–I’m just going to worry less about the image and things that don’t exist and put my mental and emotional effort into the things that do exist. To the heart-felt missions I want to stand behind. Remember the blessings from those around me (at church, home or elsewhere) and how each person I know can truly have an impact.

What’s your plans for 2019? Do you have any? Is it worth making more? Let’s try to focus on what matters this year on a deeper level. Instead of living through the fake images that surround us.