Posts tagged ‘reading’

31 Days of Finishing – Day 11: Do the FUN thing When It’s Super Hectic


Day 11: My to-do for this hectic day was reading one of the books on my list. There were a few twists and turns in the plot.

Do you have days (and even weeks) where life is especially hectic and tiring?

  •  a sick child requires extra care,
  • you have to do overtime at work,
  • household appliances are broken and have to be dealt with,
  • there is a mix-up on insurance that necessitates multiple phone calls to straighten out,
  • your own health has taken an unpleasant turn and needs attention.

Me, too. This past week was draining and today was l…o…n…g… (but a fun day too). I co-hosted a Fancy Nancy Tea party for the girls (3-10 years old) from our church. It was a LOT of work and I came home pooped. I took care of my recovering daughter (from a concussion), and then attended a bridal shower.

After a long week and day, the last thing I wanted to do was another to-do! So I did something fun from my secondary list: I started a new book, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. I am reading classics until the end of the year. So far I’ve read The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck.

Moral of the story? I’ve heard it stressed how important it is to have fun to-do’s (take a walk, get a manicure, call a friend, write a poem) on our lists as well as the more serious ones (car maintenance, clean the fridge. pay bills). I rarely give myself permission to do the fun ones. Until today! I am hoping this break will help me to get back on track and soon.

During this month of October I am joining LOTS of bloggers hosted by The Nester who will be writing every day about a topic. My topic is about finishing. I will spend 31 minutes each day on a to-do item (from the secondary list).

I will write about it and share any productivity tips I find helpful to FINISHING things.

Go here for the Landing Page with all the posts (which go live as they are written). The list is towards the bottom of the page. Go to the highlighted link for Day 12: Done is Better Than Perfect.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you have fun to-do’s on your list? How often do you do them?
  • What is a classic book you would recommend that I read?
  • How did you do with your 31 minutes of finishing?
  • What was the last thing you crossed off your secondary to-do list?

Related Posts . . . 

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2 Ways I Fed My Creative Side

 In February I fed my creative side. I read out loud (with my daughter) & crafted.

mabookOur read aloud book for February was The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: A Novel.

  • Since neither my daughter or I speak French, it was difficult to pronounce (and thus keep straight) the many, many French names of people and places.
  • I was also disappointed with the story line. Even though it was a work of fiction, it was touted as an historical work. So, I expected that the author, Carolly Erickson, would use her previous research (she wrote a biography of Marie Antoinette) for this book too. Instead Erickson left out historical people and episodes and made up others. Why do authors/screenwriters do that? The real life story is exciting enough!

We read 224 of the 341 pages of the book. Many days would pass between readings. This was not our norm.

One day while driving home from the grocery store, I asked dd, “Shall we give up on Marie?”

“Yes. Yes, I think we should.” So we did.

Go here for 10 Tips to make reading out loud more enjoyable for adults.

web_ready_01_tins1Crafting has been a blast this month. I made 2 types of tea favours for my table at the annual missionary tea. First, I took a small candle in a pretty, round tin, glued ribbon around the lid and glued a flower on top.

Second, I made flower pens. Until I gave them to my table guests I arranged them in a vase and used it as a centerpiece. 12_meringue           

I made 2 dozen pies, berry and lemon meringue; they were made from Sculpey clay.  What we don’t sell at our bake sale, we’ll sell through etsy, an online shop. (The Women’s Ministry team and I made 5 kinds of pies for our tea magnets. See here for pix of other years’ magnets.)

Even though I am a busy woman, I see that I NEED to exercise my creativity on a regular basis. This keeps me sane and happy. Plus, it is so much fun. Life is too short to not have fun. I notice that all my crafting projects have been for others. So this is a win-win for everyone.  🙂

My January creativity is recorded here.

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10 Read Out Loud Tips for More Enjoyment

1145735_reading_books_at_homeMy recently graduated-from-college daughter moved back home for a while. We have been reading out loud to each other, something we used to do when she and her brother were children. The books we are currently reading out loud are more complicated than the children’s books we read out loud then.

I’ve rediscovered that reading out loud is not the same thing as reading to myself. Just because I’m a fluent silent reader, doesn’t mean I am a fluid out loud reader. Reading out loud takes different skills than silent reading. Here are 10 tips to make reading out loud for adults more enjoyable.

 1. Chapter length.  Reading out loud takes longer than silent reading. No matter what book I read, I must finish a chapter at one sitting. When deciding which book to read,  preview the chapter lengths to see if they are doable in one sitting.

2. Consistency. Read every day or two so that you don’t lose the momentum or gist of the story. If you do miss several days in a row, talk about what has happened so far.

3. Contract. Make a contract to not read ahead. My husband and I decided to read the Chronicles of Narnia together. After about a week he got so caught up in the story that he read ahead and finished the book when I wasn’t home. Even though he said he’d reread (out loud) the story from where we left off, the fun of doing this together was ruined for me.

4. Dialogue. Lots of dialogue is hard to portray unless you have a dramatic flair. If being dramatic, it’s helpful that the reader remember which voice goes to which character.

5. Enunciate. Take the time to speak clearly. Don’t read the words in a rushed, garbled, or low-toned voice.

6. Expression. Even if you don’t have a dramatic bent, read the story with expression. Monotone reading brings out the bleary-eyed look and shuts down interest and comprehension.

7. Foreign phrases, names and places. If the book has lots of names of people, places and/or phrases in a language that you are not fluent in, skip it as a read aloud. If it is a book that is a must read, then consider having only one reader.  That way the pronunciations will always be the same and not be so confusing.

8. Mix it up. Do this to keep interest high. There are 3 ways to do this. 1. Take turns reading aloud. 2. Take turns picking which book to read. I love it when it’s my turn to pick. I think about my choice for days. 3. Vary the genre. Mix up the fiction with the non-fiction books. Go from silly to serious. Sometimes read a child’s book and other times read one that’s genius level.

9. Politeness. Don’t laugh at or correct the pronunciation of the reader. This is not a school assignment but something to be enjoyed together.

10. Stop. Sometimes the book you pick is not a good read aloud book. It’s OK to stop. There are plenty of suitable read aloud books available.

Below are links for read aloud tips for children. Adults would benefit too.

Your Turn  . . .  Do you read out loud? What are your best read out loud tips?

Related Posts

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Week 6 Summary for 51 Things To-do List

check listI’ve done 3 new things from my 51 Things To-do-List:

  1. I learned to do one new thing on my blog. You might have noticed: PICTURES! My sista showed me stockxpert – the leading free stock photo site. It is quick to sign up for a free account. Nice choices. Easy to use. And if I can use it, anyone can.
  2. I read my second just for fun book: The Secret of the Old Clock – the first of the Nancy Drew mystery series. I read all these books as a child. My niece, Es, is reading these now and lent me her copy. It was a fun read – good junk food is the category I’d place it in. I’ll give a recap later.
  3. moneyBecause of extra money coming in, I’ve been able to tithe extra. I put the money towards the Building fund and the Missions fund. Of course it was tempting to keep it all for my needs. But I’ve been trying to practice what Pastor Mike has been teaching us in his last series on “God’s Remedy for Financial Worries.”

Hmmm. Maybe the extra money was a quiz from God to see what it is I’ve been learning. Keep reading for what I’ve been learning from Pastor Mike.

  • Keep your priorities straight. Desire what God desires. God’s will be done in heaven and earth.
  • Continue to be generous. Don’t let fear affect my heart. Don’t let fear stop me from helping those around me.
  • Make God’s kingdom & righteousness my first ambition.
  • Take one day at a time. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get hurdlesworked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes,” Matthew 6:34. The Message

Go here for information on how to contact the church office and get your OWN copy of this sermon series.

What quizzes have been coming your way? How are your goals coming along? What new things have you learned? Do share here in the comments or at your blog.

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

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