Friday, July 12, 2019

Jessica Reads: June

As I mentioned before, because of our recent move, my reading really took a hit. The books I did read this last month were ones that I read with my kids. Two of them were actually audiobooks we listened to during the cross country drive.

All three of the books that I will be covering today were ones that I have read before.

Oh, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I discovered this book when I was briefly homeschooling Sidda. And what a joy it turned out to be! Recently Anya pulled this off the bookshelf and asked me to read it with her. That is why it is on my list for this month.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books are perfect for young children who are beginning to read but could still use assistance while they do so. We read through this book together, laughing at all Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's cures for the childhood maladies that many of the children struggled with, (like not wanting to clean their rooms, or eat their dinner) making this a very enjoyable easy book to read. Highly recommended.

I remember the first time I picked up The Lightning Theif. We were in California, taking Sidda to the zoo for her 4th birthday and I was looking for an easy fun book to read. I saw this on a table in a bookstore, I picked it up and the rest is history.

This is one of those books that really cemented my children's love of reading. This time, reading it was listening to the audiobook while we were driving. The adventures of Percy and his friends while trying to prove that he did not steal Zeus' lighting bolt are a joy to read. In fact, Percy's story gets better and better with each book. It is a series worth jumping into. This is a family favorite.

This is the second book in the Percy Jackson series. We also listened to this one on our drive.

I'm hoping this next month, with us beginning to settle down, I will be able to read a little more.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Big Changes

I have fallen behind on my blogging.

I have fallen behind on my reading.

I have fallen behind on quite a few things recently.

Life has taken a very big change for us in the last month.


Yup, it finally happened. Michael and I packed up our house, loaded up the kids, dogs and cats in our cars, and hit the road. We drove over 2000 miles and got ourselves here.

Let me tell you,

it's different.

We've only been here for a couple weeks, so most things are still pretty foreign to us. We're starting to settle down in our new little home.

The weather is beautiful. So far, since we've arrived, there has been one good rain storm that we have been able to enjoy. It is humid, but about 20 degrees cooler than Nevada.

There is church not to far from us that we visited this past Sunday and we liked it. We're going to give it another go this Sunday and see how it feels.

Michael started back at work this week. He was able to transfer within his company, which was such a blessing for us.

And, the whole reason we moved here, is because I got into graduate school. I will be starting a Masters of English program at the University of North Carolina.

My family has been amazingly supportive of this move that we have made. I will start school in August.

The kids will start school here at the end of August.

There is so much to still learn about our new home. The new area. The new people. I am looking forward to it all.

Have you made any big changes lately?

Monday, June 3, 2019

Jessica Reads: May

It's that time again. Another month has come and gone. I did manage to get some reading in but with the busyness of life, it never seems like it is as much as I would've wanted to. I always seem to have grand book plans, went to the library and picked some out, only to have them sit in the library bag for weeks, just to be returned without ever cracking one open. Instead, I ended up reading books that we already owned. Go figure.

This is actually my third time reading through My Not So Perfect Life. And I find I like it even more with each read. I thoroughly enjoy the story each time. It is about Katie, who is from the British country side, who has always dreamed about living in London and working in marketing and branding design. But living there is a lot tougher than she imagined. Especially the cost. 

A job loss sends her back home to the country where her family is beginning a glamping business. Which is where Katie runs into the boss who recently fired her. How will Katie seek revenge for being let go?

It's is a fun read. This book is more about getting to know who people really are because surfaces can be deceiving. I find that it is more than the average Chick Lit book that typically revolves around a love story. Instead, it is a story about self identity and acceptance.

So, I don't read too much science fiction. It is really not my cup of tea. This is one of Michael's books, and he really likes it, so I decided to give it a shot. Last year I read Weir's Artemis and didn't really like it. I thought his characters were too unrealistic for what he was trying to do, but The Martian was a pleasant surprise.

Since there is a movie that was very popular I am not going to go too far into a synopsis, but I will say, that the science mixed with humor and fear, makes for a very compelling read. Following Mark and NASA through their turmoil figuring out how to rescue rescue a man from Mars before he starves to death is very interesting.

Now, did I understand the science that was mentioned?


But I found it was presented in a way that showed the characters knew what they were talking about, but without making me feel stupid while I read it. Which made it all the more enjoyable. I liked the book and the characters enough that I never rooted for Mark to die. I wanted to witness a rescue.

Storm  is a book that I started with the family over a year ago. We had, for a while, been reading the Swipe series together. Each Sunday we would read a chapter. We got through the first two books in the series this way and it was fun for all of us.

I don't know what happened with this book that we just stopped making progress. But suddenly our routine changed and we weren't reading it every week. So a book that should've taken us maybe three months, at a chapter a week, took more like, 18 months to finish.

There is not too much to explain about it. It is about a dystopian society that takes place essentially after the rapture. We really enjoyed the first two books. This one was a little more difficult to get through.

There is still one more to go. Hopefully we'll pick it up soon and get back to our normal routine. Then we'll choose a new series to read together.

Do you have any favorite stories that you share as a family?

Monday, May 13, 2019

Bible Journaling: John 10:11

This Bible Journaling makes me excited because I drew a cute little sheep! Woo-hoo!

This passage is a good reminder about who Jesus is. In John 10, he tells about how the devil is the thief, and that the thief comes to "kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10). But he goes beyond just telling us about the evil that is out there he reminds us of who he is.

Jesus tells us "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). 

Which is exactly what he did. Jesus did not just go around telling us who was our enemy and all the evils that surrounded us. He did not seek out to put us against each other. Instead he came to save. Just as the shepherd does for his flock. The shepherd protects his flock from, seeks out the lost sheep and saves them from the what is unsafe. Just as he does for us. He protects, seeks and saves.

He is the good shepherd.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Discovering Me A to Z: J

What is in a name?

Is it cheating to use my name for the J? I mean, my name does start with a J, so it fits within the parameters that I have made up for this self-discovery thing that I am doing...

But I know my name... so, what is there really to discuss about it? But I will try anyway.

Growing up, I was not a huge fan of my name. Granted, it's mainly because no matter where I went there was always at least one other Jessica there with me... sometimes even more. The name was incredibly popular throughout the 80s and the early 90s.

Though my name was popular, only teachers and people I went to school with called my Jessica. At home I was mainly referred to as Jess... unless I was in trouble, then for sure I was called Jessica, or more likely, Jessica Lea (you know when you're in trouble you get middle-named, that's how parents work).  

I was partially named after my grandfather. His name was Jesse Harrison. He spent his life being referred to as Harry, but my name comes from his. Jesse to Jessica. I never met him. He passed away several years before I was born, but through him to me, my name carries a legacy. Makes me feel more connected to him through it.

My dad's side of the family, his mother and sisters, have always called me Jessie, because of this connection to my grandfather. They are the only people in the world that do this. The only ones that would be allowed to. There is fondness in their use. Like it is a name that is special between me and them and no one else uses it. Only these aunts, and my grandmother before she passed. My own dad doesn't even call me Jessie.

So, now as an adult... I have grown to like, even love my name. I don't feel like I share it as much as I used to. I come across far less Jessicas than I used to. I love hearing my husband say my name. Because it's mine. I own this name. The only thing that comes as close is my kids saying Mommy.

So, what's in a name? A lot more than expected... and I didn't even get into definitions... (because really the random definition it holds means far less to me than the story of where my name came from). 

What does your name mean to you?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Jessica Reads: April

Another month has passed us right by and I didn't read as much as I would've liked. Actually, I read quite a bit, I just didn't read as many books as I would've liked to.

In fact, in April I only read a single book.

I picked up 11/22/63 by Stephen King because my husband had decided he wanted to read it. We got a really good deal on it from Better World Books (the best place to buy used books online in my opinion) but Michael did not start reading it right away because he is currently too busy reading The Wheel of Time series. And since I was in between books, I picked it up. It literally took me all month to read for two reasons: 

1. I have been incredibly busy all month long. I didn't blog as much as I wanted and I didn't read as much as I wanted because there was just too much going on around here.

2. This book is nearly 900 pages long.

I've read long books in a shorter amount of time, but the combination of busyness and the length is my excuse.

But, I am completely fine with only have read a single book this month because it is SO GOOD.

I was sucked in from the very first page and I kept coming back to it and looking forward to reading it when time allowed.

The basic synopsis is: A man goes back in time with the intent on stopping the assassination of JFK. And really, there is so much more to the story, but I don't want to give too much away. It is really an adventure and very enjoyable. Pick it up, read it, take your time, and love it.

Any books I should pick up for May?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Discovering Me A to Z: I

Have you every taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test?

I have taken it several times over the years. I always wonder if my final results will be different, but I am always the same.


I know it seems like a bunch on nonsense letters strung together but they all have a deeper meaning that pertains to the foundation of my personality.

If you want to take the test yourself, just Google Myers Briggs and you will find several different sites offering different varieties of the tests to give you your personality type. Today I am going to talk about my personality results and what it means to be INFJ.

I- Introverted

This shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone. I know that I write on this blog, but really, when it comes to people, the less the better. Big groups of people amp up my anxiety and really exhaust me quickly. I really function better in a one on one scenario or small groups. I re-energize best when I am left to myself. Down time is important to my self-care.

N- Intuition

The intuition side of the INFJ, just means that I see big pictures and possibilities. It's not a magic thing, it's a noticing thing. There is a part of my nature that watches others and can read them in ways that means I notice things that casual observers may overlook. 

F- Feeling

My emotions that connect me to others is what determines my decisions. I am people centered in my values.

J- Judging

The judging part of my personality means I prefer organization and structure. I have some go with the flow tendencies, but really, I need to have the bog pieces planned and organized, then plans can be adjusted without anxiety.

So, when all these pieces are all put together, what does that mean.

Well, in truth, I'm still learning, but I'll explain what I do know.

As an INFJ I have a big love for people. I love watching and listening to them and getting to know people for who they really are. But, I struggle with small talk. When conversation remains on the surface and does not dive deeper into who we are as people, I start losing words and ideas of what to talk about. I want to know more about people, not just what they weather was like on their drive.

However, as much as I want to know about people, I am extremely private. I take so long to warm up to other people, because I want to know them as much as possible before I can trust them with me. Fully giving myself over to let someone truly know me takes years of commitment and trust. This comes from a desire to know that the person I am trusting myself with is authentic. 

If you can't be real with me, I can'r trust me with you.

I have a huge desire for creativity. I love to write and create, but tend to avoid it because of fear of failure. When I feel criticized I take it personally because I put so much of myself into everything that I do. I cannot separate my writings from myself. Too me, it is personal, even if from the other person, it was not meant to be.

There is so much more to being an INFJ that I have learned and I have so much more to go. If you want to learn more you can check out my INFJ Pinterest Board. 

Also, take the test, learn a little more about your personality. It really does help in some self-understanding.