Friday’s Top Five

Dear Kristen,

Your walk looks delightful!  And I hope you are having an excellent visit with your guests this week.  Here, we are preparing for celebrating Easter – “The best day of the year!” – and it is good for my heart.

Today, I thought I would share some delightful titles for kids’ books since I was asked about that recently.  The Munchkin likes to read, or look at pictures would be the more accurate statement.  She has some she likes “reading” again and again – and these are also ones she likes me to actually read to her.  Last night we had a moment when I said…”I think that’s enough.  We’ve already read it four times!”  This list is in semi-constant fluctuation.

Here are the Munchkin’s Top 5 at the moment.


  1. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton – Munchkin likes attempting to name the animals.
  2. Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann – She loves the “Goodnight” page, particularly if read with different voices.
  3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault – She counts the letters and calls each coconut “ball.”
  4. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This is her absolute favorite that’s been slightly destroyed.  (See here for more on that.)  Beautiful pictures and she knows its about “Je-Jo” (Jesus) which is awesome!
  5. Grandpa Green by Lane Smith – She has also loved this one to pieces – literally.  She’s been known to clap when I take it off her dresser where it stays for safe-keeping now.

But I am quite excited about her library’s newest edition….



Thanks Aunt Kristen and Uncle Charles!  Its beautiful!


A Quick Craft

Dear Kristen,

We are big fans of “Wait Wait” – so I’m very glad you included it on the list. It’s a fun surprise when we turn on NPR in the car and it happens to be on; it’s usually when we’re returning from a trip because it’s on at a weird time here.  But it’s always good for a laugh!

I wanted to show you what I whipped up the other day.  But first, a little back story.  I’ve

been talking to a few friends over the past couple of weeks about sewing, and a few of them wanted me to teach them something.  So, we’ve been making lanyards for their keys.


I’ve concluded this is a younger girl’s preferred keychain, whereas I prefer something a little smaller.  Can’t you just imagine slinging this around on your wrist on a college campus?  But if the Munchkin got a hold of this….

Remember the matching keychains we got from Mom a while ago? This one:


Well, you can tell mine needs replacing.  It’s gross!  My friend Katie makes them to sell in her shop, and I really like them.  But I had a piece of fabric I also really liked, so I decided to make my own on Friday.


  • 12 in. piece of cotton webbing (mine is 1 in. wide)
  • Piece of fabric cut 2 × 12 in.
  • Piece of fusible interfacing ¾ × 12 in.
  • Key fob clasp


  1. Iron the interfacing in the middle of the backside of my piece of fabric.IMG_8920
  2. Fold the two long sides towards each other to meet in the middle and iron.IMG_8921
  3. Pin to the piece of webbing so it’s centered.IMG_8924
  4. IMG_8926Sew a 1/8 in. seam along one side and repeat on the other. (Be sure to use coordinating thread for both sides – I used a blue for the top stitching and white in the bobbin.)
  5. Fold in half and place key fob clasp over the two unfinished edges in order to close the loop.
  6. Squeeze with needle nose pliers. (Note: I covered mine with masking tape so the ridges on the pliers wouldn’t mess up the key fob.)IMG_8929
  7. Attach to keys!


Done and done!  It was surprisingly easy.  Let me know if you need a replacement, too!  

Podcast Round Up

Dear Erin,

I’m not going to tell you how much I laughed at your post, because I kind of feel bad about it. I’m guessing every parent has wished at some point that their children came with thought bubbles.

I had hoped to do a photo post today, but the weather has been uncooperative this week. Two days were leaden and gray, one rained in fits and starts. Today was lovely, but I had other things that took precedence. So I’m going to build on previous work and offer a round-up of podcast reviews (but only from among the ones I subscribe to).

For the history buff who is also an anglophile – “The British History Podcast“: Ex-lawyer Jamie Jeffers moves with agonizing thoroughness through the history of the British Isles. Must love details to enjoy this one. Either that or just let all the names and dates wash over you like a wave in the Atlantic on a hot summer day. Periodically, he fixates on things like giant deer and how cool the name “Magnus” is. Right now he’s on the Anglo-Saxons, and I’m loving every minute.

For the geek who is also a feminist – “Doctor Who: Verity!“: A panel of from three to six very intelligent women discuss matters of interest only to Doctor Who fans, and some of interest only to rather fanatic Doctor Who fans. Plus you get to hear accents from Scotland, Canada, and Tasmania. Fantastic!

For the person who realizes that “Christian Humanist” is not an oxymoron – “The Christian Humanist Podcast“: Three young, funny, well-read, opinionated Christian college professors discuss matters of interest to Christians and Humanists. Oh, who am I kidding? They discuss matters of interest to Christians and Literature scholars, but for a high-level general audience. So, even though they recently did a trilogy of episodes about some British Romantic poems, there was only minimal use of the terms “schema,” “culture of oppression,” or “trochaic tetrameter.”

For the NPR newshound looking to develop a better sense of humor – “NPR Programs: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me“: If you have heard this program on your local NPR station, this one needs no introduction. If you haven’t, you’re seriously missing out. It is darn funny.

I could list quite a few more, and perhaps I will, sometime. For now, though, this is a good range to start with. I suppose they might sound a little … highbrow? But I’ve found each one to be a lot of fun as well as educational. And who doesn’t like to learn something new whenever possible?


Dear Kristen,

Those gloves look awesome, so I’m positive they will be a hit with the recipient!  And I know EXACTLY what you mean about things not going quite as planned.  That seems to be the theme of the day at our home.

There are dishes to be done, Bible studies to prepare, projects to complete, but none of that is happening. Why? Living with a toddler is unpredictable, hilarious, and a little exasperating at times.  Case in point, today.

The morning went off without any problems.  We had a good breakfast, some fun
IMG_8918playtime, and even went to get an Easter dress for her as a family.  Isn’t it very poofy?

Lunch got a little squirrely since peanut butter was involved.  She was looking a little rough at the end.  Then came nap time. (da-da-da-duuuuuuum)

Usually nap time is anywhere from an hour and forty-five to three hours.  Today? An hour.  So I was just settling in for a little productivity when Munchkin wakes up and begins jibber-jabbering (an accurate term since she doesn’t have a huge vocabulary but a LOT to say). When I went up to get her, she decided she wasn’t done hanging out in her bed.  This isn’t uncommon, so I handed her some books to read.  This included her favorite book about “Je-jo” (Jesus), The Jesus Storybook Bible.  Left her there for a little while to shoot for twenty productive minutes.  Matt yells down that she’s destroying the Bible.  This is what I found:

IMG_8903 IMG_8904

Brought her downstairs where I pop in Toy Story so she can rest a little, and I can, too. (Don’t worry Mom, this is not a normal occurrence.  I was just desperate.) She was not into it, which meant a lot of spontaneous hugging of Mommy and yelling of “Turtle!” throughout the first little bit of the movie.  No rest was had.

Then she saw my camera and wanted to shoot some pictures, which I denied her.  This was her reaction:


And literally a minute later?


So I made a mountain of the pillows and she climbed for a little while.


What is she doing now?  She took an empty gallon of milk out of the garbage and is attempting to bury it under the Christmas napkins in the linen drawer.  What?  Yes. That is happening right now.  She can’t figure out why the drawer won’t shut.  I keep hearing in the background, “Wow” and “Woah.”

Don’t you wish toddlers came with thought bubbles?