my end of summer reading list

I’m not going to lie. A lot of this is going to seem pretty boring to most folks. I am on a non-fiction christian book kick. I will do my best to add a brief description of subject matter. I will also be adding books I have read and completed thus far over the summer.

Three Decades of Fertility: Ten Ordinary Women Surrender to the Creator and Embrace Life (Kindle) read

Ten women share their stories of childbearing and being mothers over the course of three decades, from their 20’s – 40’s. I gained a lot of wisdom from this book. These ladies reminded me of my mom and I felt as though I were being taught by true Titus 2 women.

Diapers, Dishes, and Dominion: How Christian Housewives can change the World by Leah D. Smith (Paperback) read

Leah covers a variety of topics from gender rolls, to child-rearing, to government, to eschatology. I found myself either nodding in agreement or being wowed by insights I had never considered before, yet made perfect sense. This was just the right book for just the right time in my life – a mom with young children, preparing them to enter their practical and spiritual educations. This book was a gift to me, and I wish I could gift it to every woman I know. A true treasure for those who are wondering what in the world they are doing as a mother.

Born-Again Dirt: Farming to the Glory of God by Noah Sanders (Paperback) currently reading

Great read so far. Another gift from a friend. The author makes a case for what the Bible has to say about farming. Put into practice, farming according to the Word will look different to different people in different regions, but the principles are the same – take dominion of the earth, and animals, take care of others, and have a godly business ethic.

Paradise Restored by David Chilton (Hardcover) currently reading

I have only gotten a couple of pages in so I haven’t formed a whole lot of opinions. I am reading this because I have lately become curious about the Postmillennial Eschatology. This book supposedly gives solid scriptural evidence for an eschatology of hope. So far the idea makes sense to me, that if Jesus finished His work of defeating sin and death on the Cross, that sin and death no longer have power over the Christian, and not just the Christian, the earth as well. “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Postmillennialism was the dominant eschatological view of the Church up until WWI. However, contrary to an eschatology of hope, there now reigns in Christianity an eschatology of fear. That is: Antichrist is coming, Satan is winning, this world is going to hell in a hand basket until Christ’s return, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Looking forward to this read a lot.

Family UNplanning by Craig Houghton (Kindle)

Point of interest for me. Sometimes it’s nice to just have a little encouragement when you feel like  the minority.

Fully Alive: A Biblical Vision of Gender that Frees Men and Women to Live Beyond Stereotypes by Larry Crabb (Kindle)

This is also a point of interest for me and as I’m going to blog on gender roles (at some point) thought this book came across my eyes fortuitously. I would probably not read or purchase this book normally, but Kindle was offering it for free yesterday so I figured why not. Don’t know if I will agree with it or not, but maybe there is something to be gleaned. 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (Kindle)

I asked my facebook community to offer some book recommendations on parenting and this book came recommended by a few women who’s parenting I respect, and also I was warned that his books did more harm that good to one father’s parenting. I think I’m a good judge of things I should and should not believe in, so I expect there will be things I will take away as helpful and other things I will disregard. That’s just how I roll.

Thats it for now. I have a few more on my Kindle that I want to read, but we’ll see how I do with these. I will update either in September or when I’m done – whichever comes first.

I love books! book review #1

Review: Diapers, Dishes & Dominion: How Christian Housewives Can Change the World by Leah D. Smith

When I started raising my girls, I had a specific purpose in mind: Raise them to be godly. Raise them to be a blessing to others. But this parenting thing is a whole lot harder than you can possibly be prepared for!

I asked a couple of friends who’s parenting I respected based on how their children behaved, and a dear friend let me borrow a few books from her. A little while later she gifted this book to me, and one on farming for my husband (I really need to find that one…). I’m embarrassed to say, that though I did start to read it with good intention, it got moved to the back-burner. However, recently I decided to pick it up again and read it all the way through.

I cannot thank my friend (and God) enough for this book! It was completely different from what I expected it to be, and it has blown. my. mind.

Yes, this is a how-to book on how to raise your kids, and how to be a good mom.

Yes, you will get a bunch of advice from the author’s personal experience.

No, it will not be a written-out step-by-step plan, because all families are different, all people are different with different personalities and gifts, and so you do have to use some common sense for your own family.

However, this book is so much more.

This book is not for the weak of mind or the weak of heart. If you are the type of person who is set in your ways and hates change – DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! But if you have a teachable spirit, and are open to scripture transforming your mind and also willing to do your own homework, this book may be the blessing you need in your life this very moment.

I am now more at peace with the direction of my personal life, the direction of our family, and the direction of the universal church than I have ever been in my life. I am more excited and determined to move forward. I am feeling bolder in my faith as a Christian. I am excited about the future of the lives of my family, and the condition of our world.

I challenge every woman who calls herself a Christian, whether you have a family today, or are hoping for one in the future, to read this book.

I challenge every Christian woman who has ever been afraid to have a family based on your fear of the future to read this book.

I challenge any woman who is not afraid to take on a challenge to read this book.

I challenge every Christian man who is not afraid of his wife, buy her this book.

self-sustainability for everyone #7

I bet you all thought I was done with my self-sustainability posts.

False.

I still plan to do them sporadically.

natural home and body cleaners / /

This post goes out to Melissa of Inspired. She has been posting a lot about switching her family from store bought chemical and synthetic cleaning and body products to more green and natural homemade products. What a perfect name for her blog because I find myself constantly inspired by her posts. Go on over and leave her a comment if you like what you read.

I have a confession: I backslid on my baking soda/acv hair washing last weekend. My sister was having her bridal shower and I felt like my hair was so “icky.” I thought, I’ll just shampoo my hair this once and cross my fingers that it doesn’t mess up all of my progress (since I’m still going through my greasy transition period).

What a let down! My hair did look clean but it was completely flat and I still felt icky. So I went back to the baking soda/acv and my hair feels clean again.

Last summer Joe switched from toothpaste to a baking soda tooth scrub. We got the recipe from the book Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World. I just recently made the switch myself. Let me tell you that this scrub is better than toothpaste. Every time I brush, I feel almost as if I’ve been to a cleaning at the dentist. That’s how smooth and clean my teeth feel. This book also has other natural tricks for cleaning and flossing teeth. Incredible.

Homemade Tooth Powder / /

found on p. 14

You’ll Need:

  • baby food jar (or lidded jar similar in size)
  • baking soda (approx. ¼ cup)
  • peppermint (or anise) essential oil

Fill jar with baking soda and add essential oils for flavor. Shake well.

The book recommend you let your nose be your guide for the amount of drops needed. But it also says 10 drops. Do as you like.

I love this book because it is close to being the bible of self-sustained tricks. It has everything from the baking soda/acv wash and the tooth powder, to home grown medicines, DIY olive oil lamps, beekeeping, slaughtering chickens, and making mead.

But there are all sorts of resources you can find without buying books. Check out your library or Pinterest. It’s amazing how much info there is out there, and this stuff is so simple and so cheap to do. Well…maybe not the chicken slaughtering 😉

self-sustainability for everyone #6

plant / /

There is not much else more satisfying than using something you made with your own hands, or eating something you grew yourself. How comforting it is to not run out to the grocery store every time you need something, but rather going out and snipping some herbs or plucking fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for your lunch is less time consuming and less costly (toward both produce and gas).

Whether you live on a farm, have lots of land, have a landlord, aren’t allowed to plant in your yard, or don’t have any yard to plant in, you can plant a garden. Ideally, yes, having that acreage for a complete garden that will feed you year round would be nice. However, I know that some of us don’t have that luxury. Those that don’t still have sun that shines and rain that falls, though (even if it’s only through your window).

Over the next couple of months you’re going to want to start planting seeds. Joe just planted onions, which, once sprouted, and after becoming small plants will be transplanted into our garden plot. But just because you don’t have a space outside to plant anything doesn’t mean you cant get some large pots, set them by a south window for some sun, and grow something inside of them. Maybe your landlord will let you have an area outside to plant in and you could make a raised bed or 2 or 3 or 4… Take full advantage of the resources you have around you.

Ideally I want to plant an herb garden outside, full of perennial herbs so that all I have to do in years to come is weed, and fertilize as needed. Practically speaking, I don’t know if that will happen this year. I plan on planting herbs anyway; inside. As long as they do well, I will have lovely fresh herbs all spring, summer, and early fall. Whatever’s left I can dry and put in jars for using this winter!

(happykoby?)

If you have never planted a garden before and feel so overwhelmed by your own unpreparedness, don’t worry. You don’t have to have a year round garden on your first try. You don’t have to be perfect at it at all. Just sit down and decide what kinds of things you eat regularly, and maybe a few things you’d like to try. Plant those things. Raised beds are great for beginner gardeners.

Also, no matter what stage of the game you’re in, it never hurts to become more educated. Your library probably has some great resources on gardening vegetables. I personally recommend learning about companion planting and crop rotations. These things will help you keep healthy soil, cutting back on plant disease, and keeping those garden pests away in a “green” way.

A note about seeds: Not all seeds are created equal. Just because it says “organic” on the package doesn’t mean your seeds have not been genetically modified. If you aren’t planning on saving seeds at the end of the year, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Just grow what you can. However, if you’re feeling ambitious and  you want to save seeds from the lovely plants you are growing, I would recommend you buy seeds that are “heirloom” or better yet “open pollinated”

recommended reads / /

There is most likely an exhaustive list of resources you can tap into, but these are from the shelves of our home and local public library.

Anything by John Jeavons, John Seymour, and Eliot Coleman

For How-To Gardening

The Backyard Homestead 

Carrots Love Tomatoes

Roses Love Garlic

Four Season Harvest

The New Organic Grower

The New Self-Sufficient Gardener

Seed to Seed

For Inspiration

The Fat of the Land

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life

Hay Fever

The Good Life

For DIY

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World

Make your place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills

Buying Seeds

Bountiful Gardens

Nichols Garden Nursury

Happy Planting!

from the shelves of my library

Currently reading:

The Housewife’s Handbook: How to Run the Modern Home by Rachel Simhon

This isn’t so  much something you’ll want to read from cover to cover, but rather to use as a reference guide.

*How to eradicate mold from your bathroom
*How to clean that oven you’ve let collect grease drippings for the past 10 years or more
*How often to clean your windows or curtains
*How to dust properly (an important one for me)
*Green household cleaner recipes
Etc.

As I get ready to move into my first home-of-my-own with a husband with allergies (to I haven’t yet figured out what) and a newborn baby, these are important things for me to stay on top of. It applies very well to my situation as well, as I intend on becoming a full time housewife and stay-at-home-mom starting July 1st.

Recently watched:

True Grit by The Cohen Brothers

Okay, this one isn’t from my personal library, but was rented from Redbox.

This is a Cohen Brothers (The Man Who Wasn’t There, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Burn Notice) remake of the movie True Grit, originally out in 1969, starring John Wayne. Never saw that version, so I have no comment as to how they stack up against one another.

I wasn’t a personal fan, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t a good movie. It was pretty decent and well acted. I’m just not one for enjoying westerns. I did enjoy that for the most part (other than when Jeff Bridges character, Rooster, slurred his speech when drunk) there was no use of contractions. One would think that would be irritating, but actually I thought it made everything sound more old fashioned and authentic to the time period.

Listening to:

The Valley by Eisley

The same hauntingly beautiful vocals as ever, and lyrics so heartbreakingly sad. As much as I want to play this over and over, it is so depressing to me right now.