What I’m Into: December 2015

Oh, what a wonderful Christmas we had.

It was a very ordinary Christmas, but that’s exactly what made it so wonderful. We were all together, all four of us under the same roof.

(Last year we were at the Ronald McDonald House, and Ben and I took turns going up to Felix’s hospital room where he lay in his crib, hooked up to oxygen, IV, and a heart monitor. Lydia hadn’t laid eyes on him in three weeks. This year? Well, just look.)

christmas(All my favourites under the Christmas tree.)

Here are a few things I enjoyed throughout the month.


Teaching Godly Play: How to Mentor the Spiritual Development of Children (Jerome Berryman): I think I love Godly Play. Unfortunately, this is the wrong book to learn about it. Turns out, this is a guide on how to run a Godly Play Sunday School program. I’m interested in how to incorporate Godly Play into home life, and I’m not sure what resource is right for that. (I probably need this book.)

The philosophy captivates me: the assumption behind Godly Play is that all children have experiences of God; our job is to help give them the religious language to explore them. They use the Montessori method to help children acquire that language. Sounds like everything I want in spiritual education.

Children’s Books: Christmas

christmas books(Wow, I take lousy photos)

We’re slowly building up a library of Christmas books to enjoy throughout Advent. So far, I’ve collected all of them from thrift stores. Here were the highlights:

Room For a Little One: A Christmas Tale (Martin Waddell) – This one gets an A+ for the illustrations. The gorgeous images have a luminescent quality. The Christmas story is told through the perspective of the animals in the stable.

How Many Miles to Bethlehem? (Kevin Crossley-Holland) – The highlight in this book is the richly poetic text. Each page offers the perspective of a different party — Mary, the donkey, the shepherds, even Herod. The images evoke Renaissance artwork. The whole thing has a mysterious, sophisticated feel to it. I wouldn’t recommend it for children younger than 4 or 5, as it’s very text-heavy.

Moon and Star: a Christmas Story (Robin Muller) – A completely secular but delightfully magical Christmas story about a devoted toy-shop dog. It has the feel of a modern fairy-tale or ballet. Very detailed, attractive illustrations. Lydia was obsessed with this book. It’s great for kids who love animal stories.

Children’s Books: Read-Aloud Chapter Books

Toys Go Out: perfect read-aloud chapter book for a preschooler

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic (Emily Jenkins) – This book was perfect. Lydia (aged 4) loved it so much I could use it as a motivator for her to get ready for bed (“We can find out what happens next to the toys!”). It’s lively, imaginative, and funny. The characters are memorable (you will love Lumphy, StingRay and Plastic), the plot is exciting, and the writing is excellent. I can’t wait to read the others in the series with her.


I finished seasons 4, 5 and 6 of Gilmore Girls, and I’m about to start the poorly-regarded seventh season. This show is addictive and entertaining. Also: frustrating. Why is Rory so stupid with guys? Why are Lorelai and Luke so stupid with each other?

Also: JESSSSSSSSS! COME BACK!!!! Come back and MARRY ME!!!!! (RORY, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!!) (<– I am talking about season 6 Jess, not season 3 Jess, who was kind of a butthead.)

We’re also still getting a kick of out Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.


Movies are still a no-go in this household, since the time between 7:30 and 10:00pm with Lydia are chaos, and Felix still wakes up for two-hour parties every night so we want to get to bed as early as possible.


And that’s what I’ve been into!

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*As always, Linking up with Leigh Kramer.

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  1. Team Jess all the way. And I am so with you on the movie front. Solidarity, sister. Glad you guys had a lovely holiday together! <3
    AlissaBC recently posted..Simple Pleasures of DecemberMy Profile

  2. I watched through Gilmore Girls for the first time a year or two ago and loved it for the banter, but found the relationship dreams tiring. You’re right, Rory is the absolute worst with guys. I still haven’t forgiven her for the end of season 4.
    Christina recently posted..What I’m Into December 2015My Profile

  3. I teach Godly Play at the Episcopal church I attend. I really enjoy it. I have had the book on my shelf over a year, but never read it (I did attend a training, though.) I’ll be interested to know how you incorporate this method of spiritual education at home. The thing I like the most is that it allows the biblical stories to be dynamic and mean different things to you over a lifetime; it is understood that things like parables might not “open to you” each time you hear them, but that you can keep coming back to them over the years vs. trying to ascertain or instruct the ONE meaning of a story/parable. I think that if religious education looked like this more often, a lot less adults would walk away from faith that has been presented one-dimensionally.

    Also, I like Brooklyn 99 too.

  4. It does my heart good to hear how well things are for you and your family. What a gift from God, hopeful health, and you all together at last, in your own home!

    We liked Toys Meet Snow, the names of the characters crack me up. Is this Toys book the one that folks say references axe-murder-in-the-basement? If so, did you just skip over that part? My oldest can read now, so maybe I could just read it aloud, and not hand it to him if the text still made good sense without it?

    Have you tried Malcolm in the Middle? Or Samantha Who? (There are only two seasons, but still.) How about Dharma and Greg? Oh man, that first episode just pulled us right in! My favorite two lines from that whole series are in the first episode.

    Precisely: what you said about Rory, Lorelei, and Luke. You might as well sign up for group therapy now before you watch that last season.

    I feel for you with the bedtime happenings. But you’re all together! It’ll get worked out.

    • Thanks, Coriander! Yes, I guess there was an axe-murderer-in-the-basement reference, but Lydia has no idea what that is, so it didn’t stick out. An older child might have a different response. (StingRay is just listing all the scary things that could be in the basement, and that’s one of them. No further mention is made.)

      I haven’t seen any of those shows, perhaps I’ll give one a try after I’m through with Gilmore Girls!

  5. Look at those faces!! So happy for you all!
    Would love to hear more about the Godly Play ideas. I’m trying to figure out how best to nurture Kaya’s own faith as she gets bigger. I love the idea of having a set of books to bring out for Advent (and I guess this would work for other seasons too). We had just one on the nativity this year, a simple lift the flaps story, but Kaya was always thrilled to “find” baby Jesus. Also the cats in the stable. She loves cats. :)
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