August 29, 2012

25 Things About Books

1. I love to read.

2. I think my reading obsession started with the American girl books I got for Christmas in the third grade.

3. I can remember getting a few books for a gift as a child and having them all read by the end of Christmas day, forsaking all my other gifts.

4. If a book is good, I will stay awake until I finish it. Then I may have to start the first few chapters of a new book so I have something to look forward to and don't grieve over the loss as I sleep.

5. My favorite book of all time is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card ... for now.

6. I also really love my Bible.

7. I recently sold my library of books in trying to simplify my life. I haven't looked back. A few favorites are still around.

8. I never have overdue books at the library because I go at least once a week ... or more.

9. I found the Stephanie Plum books after seeing the movie One for the Money. I read all 18 main titles and all the between-the-numbers books in less than 3 weeks. They were really good and I would even wake my husband up laughing at them in the middle of the night. I have a fictitious crush on Ranger.

10. I love young adult fiction and children's fiction. As a former teacher, it was really easy to check books out of the school library. They are easy reading and fun.

11. I love "inspirational romance." My favorite christian book author is Lori Wick, but I read Robin Jones Gunn books all through my teenage years and she has a special place in my heart.

12. I also love Historical Fiction. Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice was my best friend's favorite book and she defeated cancer by heading on to heaven, so P&P is very important to me.

13. I like Science Fiction in most forms. I can handle aliens, zombies, and crazy abilities. Did I mention Ender's Game is my favorite book?

14. I love Fantasy. I would have been an elf had they been real. Eragon is one of my favorite books and it made the cut in my book purge.

15.I love post-apocalyptic fiction. I read Hunger Games and moved onto this list of 25 books to read if you love the Hunger Games. I've read 11 off this list so far and really loved Divergent and Matched. (I had already read City of Ember when it came out years ago, and it made the cut in my book purge.)

16. I don't like non-fiction. I have read a few that I loved, but not many. Most of those were Christian books or teachering books.

17. I don't dog ear my books and I get upset when a book is returned to me with creases.

18. My brother can read a paperback without bending the spine at all. I don't like to borrow his books because no matter how hard I try, I can't return them in the same condition. He says he understands and that I am not as good at reading books as he is.

19. I love that my library can get you any book from any library in the state. I have only run across two books that were not available in any way. The library system is a great thing.

20. When I my kids go to school, I would like to get a Media Specialist degree and be a librarian.

21. My daughter's favorite book is Purplelicious or The Gruffalo.

22. My son's favorite book is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

23. My husband loves to read about Mythology. He just finished the Percy Jackson series even though I gave it to him for Christmas several years ago.

24. The last book I read was Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick.

25. The book I am reading now is The Plot Thickens by a bunch of Mystery Writers. It's all short stories and I thought it would be a good way to introduce me to some new authors.

Any new book suggestions for me?

August 28, 2012

Wishing for Tiny Living

At the beginning of this year, our family started a quest toward a tiny life. We wanted a small house or apartment, simple living, and easier life. But, as usual, life got in the way. We own two houses. One of them was occupied and yet not bringing in money. When we got the house back, we realized that the work to get it rent-able or sell-able would be more than we could do in a short time, so we moved into it and rented out the house we had been living in. After being here for a few months and working to make it home (or even livable), it's time to decide if we want this to be our home for a while or time to get it ready to sell/rent again.

current home - 2000 sq ft

dream home - 874 sq ft

My dream of wanting a tiny home is still heavy in my thoughts and dreams, but getting there is not easy. My parents live nearby and have a few acres of land. If we built a tiny house there, we could save money on land and possibly live there with them while we build. But the problem with that is what to do with the house when we are ready to move on. I do have four brothers who could all live there and or rent it from us when we are ready to move.

We are not ready for total tiny living (no desire what-so-ever to compost a toilet!!!), so we would need to live on the grid. Also, there are ways around the housing codes, but living within the law is very important to us. So, where we live, we would have to own the land in order for us to get financing or my dad would have to get the financing and just let us "rent-to-own" from him. Getting family involved in finances is what got us back into our rental, and while I trust my dad more than most people on this earth, it's just a poor business plan.

Another option would be to move to an apartment. Unfortunately, there are no good options in good school zones and that is important for the coming school year.

The house we live in now is in a good school zone and has enough room for us to live. It is not a step toward tiny, but we are still trying to live simply and better. Who knows where we will end up.

While there are a lot of things still up in the air, knowing that God loves me wherever I live is enough for now. He is my provider and I trust Him with our lives. =)

August 4, 2012

Sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction

I read a lot of blogs. I should create a blogroll and share all the awesome blogs I read, however, this blog is slow going and I am okay with that.

Today, I was going through my RSS feed and came across this post from The Year of Less. It is writing like this that reminds me what we set out to do. It reminds me that when I look at all I have and still want, I am not being a good steward of all God has blessed me with. 

Moving into our current home made me want to decorate the mess out of it to make up for all the things I don't like about it. However, decorating leads me to buying and spending. But, I want simple. I want less. How do you make a house into a beautiful home without filling it with stuff? I am trying to work through that right now. 

Thanks to Luke & Kelly for their actions and writing them down for us all to be inspired by.