I’m sitting here at my dining room table with the washing machine humming off to the side and the boys being suspiciously quiet in their rooms, and I’m sipping coffee from one of my favorite mugs. And I thought – if you, my friends, were sitting across from me, we’d be catching up on all our separate summer adventures. And, of course, I would have the very fancy, very healthy mini donut breakfast I fed my children on a cute plate or two instead of straight from the bag. Because I know how to class up tiny donuts.
As we chatted, you and I, we would probably be all like, “Oh, I have to tell you about this new skirt I got! It’s like wearing your pajamas all day long!” or “And my favorite museum was . . . ” or “You’d love this book. I was crying in the airport when I got to chapter 17.”
So get out your favorite mug and pour yourself some coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing) and let me tell you about some things I’m loving.
First, a confession. I’m not always a fan of what’s called Christian fiction, especially period-piece Christian fiction. But I am a fan of Appalachian literature and good storytelling. And this book is good Appalachian storytelling about Christian characters. I went to high school with the author, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and this is her first published full-length novel. She sent me a pre-release copy of the book, and I read it on my weekend trip to Florida. I seriously was blinking away tears in the airport yesterday as I read chapter 17. Sarah’s way with words is this combination of beautiful poetry and simple, straightforward, practical words, just like the small-town, Appalachian characters in her story. Her story will challenge your heart about judgment and mercy, about consequences and forgiveness.
You can buy the e-version of this novel today, or you can wait until next week to buy the print version. Or if you want to read a sample of her work before you purchase this book, you can get her novella, Appalachian Serenade, free for your Kindle now.
The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
Our family recently did five days touring Washington, DC. We saw a lot of museums and memorials, but my favorite was this new Museum of the American Indian. As you can see, the outside of the museum itself is beautiful. The inside is even more so!
I just loved it. My daughter loved the little places to sit and listen to stories, and I thought that was perfect since the cultures are so based in oral history. I did not have time to look on every floor, so I am definitely hoping to go back and spend hours in this museum. And the gift shop – oh my goodness! There are a lot of fair trade items. I got a couple cute little wooden folk art pieces for my dining room mantle. They make me smile.
Jackson’s teacher created these incredible pieces of framed word art for each child in her classroom. Each shape and group of words were unique for each child — peace sign, soccer ball, LEGO man, heart, paintball gun, flower. The shape and words reflected the personality of each kid. She made a bet with Jackson about a test grade and had to call him “His Royal Highness” for the last couple months of school, so his word shape was this crown. I LOVE that each gift demonstrates how well she got to know her students and how she appreciated each child’s uniqueness. I am assuming she used a site like Tagxedo to create these. I plan to use this as a gift idea in the future.
I have this skirt from Target in gray. Because it is a little bit warm to wear yoga pants on a 90-degree day, God created this skirt. It is, for real, like wearing your pajamas in a socially acceptable way. Most comfortable skirt I’ve ever owned.
Shameless plug here — My friend, Scott, is one of the best musicians I know. And lucky for all of us, he has started up his guitar studio again. If you are in the North Dallas, TX area, you can take lessons from him in person. If you don’t live near him, you can take lessons via Skype. He has been teaching and playing guitar for more than 20 years. As a college professor, Scott really knows how to teach. And as a musician, he just really got blessed with an amazing natural talent and has been honing that gift for years. Check out his website for more information, http://www.rsrguitar.com.
So – that’s it. Those are some of the things I’m loving this summer. I’m not getting paid to tell you any of that. Well, Scott did say he’d give me a little referral fee if I send guitar students his way, but I told him I’d be happy to tell people about him for free because I think he’s so great.
Ok, your turn. What are you loving this summer? Tell us about it in the comment section.