Here's a random collection of inspiring things I wanted to share...

Reading {books}:

Orange Jumpsuit by Tara Leigh Cobble.  I highly encourage you to read Tara-Leigh's three wonderful memoirs.

Loving Our Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk.  God wants our hearts first, then our obedience.  It is out of a love relationship that a desire to obey follows.  The premise of this book is building a heart connection with our kids, first and foremost.  Love it.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Reading this for the second time through and discussing it with a friend.  Will write more about this soon...

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic.  Great, dry humor, and a quick read.

Reading {online}:

The 5 Best Toys of All Time.  YES.  My daughter has more fun playing with paper and plastic recycling than anything in her toy bin!

Blessed Are The Entitled?  Interesting post on how Christians seem to feel entitled at Christmastime, which isn't a very Christ-like quality.

Santa, Strategically.  A pretty balanced view of how to keep the real meaning of Christmas the focus without totally giving up the fun tradition of Santa Claus.


Why, Christmas movies, of course!  See my list of Christmas movie essentials.


Homemade coconut milk ice cream.  A new staple in our house!  Mix together in a blender: 1 can coconut milk (not the lite version), 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 egg yolks, dash of cinnamon, dash of sea salt.  Add some cacao nibs or chocolate chips if you'd like.  Process through an ice cream maker, and voila!  Dairy-free, sugar-free amazing ice cream in about 20 minutes.  Your gut will thank you.  We often double the batch and then store the extra in the freezer in a tupperware.

Roasted winter veggies.  It's practically an every-night essential these last few months with so much squash in season.  Here's how: Cut up some butternut squash, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and perhaps some Brussels sprouts.  Or even get crazy and add some beets.  Keep them in large bite-sized chunks.  Put in a bowl and toss with melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30-45 minutes at 425 degrees until tender and caramelized.  As far as a cold-weather side dish goes, it doesn't get much better than this!


How To Be An Unschooling Family.  This post is from one of my very favorite blogs, Walk Slowly, Live Wildly.  When I read this post about unschooling in their adorable cottage in Colorado, my heart quickened within me.  THIS is what I want to do with our family.

Back to the Land, Reluctantly.  This article is a unique, entertaining perspective on the whole "urban homesteading" phenomenon, because this woman did not do it to be trendy, she did it out of necessity.  "It quickly became obvious that anyone with a rectangle of sunny ground outside can grow stuff; you just need to think about what grows up and what grows sideways so that you can get it all in there properly."

Mothers In Crisis: Ethiopia.  So many organizations are doing incredible work with orphans around the world.  But how about helping mothers before they get to the point of having to put their children up for adoption?  Mothers In Crisis' goal is keeping families together...love it.

Afghanistan: Touch Down In Flight.  An absolutely stunning video of imagery of the people of Afghanistan.


The incredible fall we've had in Dallas.  I haven't seen one this stunning since I moved here in 2004.  Every day there is a new golden tree to admire...


My friend Jeremy Cowart used to be my source for all things cool in the music world when I lived in Nashville.  But since I no longer live near my dear Cowarts, let's just say my music selection leaves much to be desired.  Until someone gives me some good suggestions, I'm still listening to Gavin DeGraw like it was the year 2005.  Help?