{I`d rather be reading…}

This last weekend my friend loaned 2 books to me.

I am back into reading– and just loving it to bits. When I was in grade and middle school, all I did was read.

No, I actually mean that`s all I did.

I remember going to the Millersburg library back when it was that historic, 2 story building right there on Main Street, and looking high and low (literally) on the children`s floor for a book I had not read.

When there weren`t any new ones that interested me, I started reading old beloveds all over again. There are a few novels I know I read close to 10 times each. I was a bit of an introvert.

I probably haven`t read for pleasure for a couple years now. I started again a few weeks ago…

I forgot how much I loved it.

Now I am borderline obsessed with getting lost and wandering around in a world I previously knew nothing about…. I wade in cautiously. I know that when I start in a day, everything else I need to do will sit idle for the rest of the day. I can`t really afford that at this time.

Coffee helps me get more done.

The cookie was just for affect. No, I really mean that. I had to scrounge around in my cupboard for something baked to add essence to my photo.

All I could find was a Little Debbie in a wrapper, meant for G`s school lunch. It`s not that I`m a Cookie Saint, it`s just that I`m too lazy to bake…

Laila ate it after the picture was taken. Should I be worried the 1.5 year old intakes more food that the 3 year old? Although to be fair, more of it was on her face, than in her mouth when it was all over.Β  (The brutal slaying of the Oatmeal Debbie.)

Speaking of Little Debbie Oatmeals– the other day I was at Dollar General (Class-sssy!) and the cashier informed me when I was checking out that their Debbies are at Rock Bottom price of $1 a box and would I want some?

I love the cashiers at my humble Dollar General. When my daughters drop and bust open a jug of Mr. Clean in Isle 2 (are there more than 5 isles there?) the cashier that has a haircut that looks like bangs all the way around her head, says things like,

“Oh, honey we will get it! Don`t you worry one bit. Lorrie, you get that? The mop`s in the back. Sure, sweetheart we`ll get that. You`re little girls are just precious, they`ll drive you crazy won`t they? Alrighty, you see our sale on the Debbie`s? Rock bottom prices. Lorrie and I bought a bunch already…”

I leave feeling fuzzy. They bless me. I want to be like that.

Oh, but anyways, speaking of the oatmeal Debbie cookie- where was I?

Oh, yes, they bring back really pleasant childhood memories for me. I think my mom must have liked them, because we had them around fairly much. When we were children, my sisters and I, would take the oatmeal ones and bang them open, still in the wrapper, they made a huge “POP!” and then we peeled the paper off and ate them, flat, in little savory bites.


We swore they tasted better that way. Of course we never swore anything,Β  that was just more current me-speak.

The bottom book I am 3/4 of the way through. The language is a bit brutally colorful, but I am loving it because being a fellow waiter(ress), although in a hugely different genre…

(him: Upscale Italian. me: Amish)

… I could relate so much to his stories, insight and utter indignation. I guess humans anywhere tend to have the same human-like stains, er, strains.

The top book, I haven`t touched. I saw inside the front cover, this book was a gift from the iconic, globe trotting, nomads, Darren and Jenn B.

{Check out their blog, then you`ll know what I mean.}

I feel I am going to feel VERY COOL whenever I read this book… I love feeling cooler than me.

OK, I`m back…

I have to tell you, when I “try” to throw up a blog post, it usually happens in about 10 different little sit-down segments.

In the time since I have started this post I have,

-Explained that we only have turd colored play-dough, and there is no red. The blue and yellow got mixed together.And the rest dried up.

-Danced in an 80s rock kind of way with Laila on my hip, to a song called Bye, Bye Poopy. It`s a potty training movie and the song is actually quite jazzy. Elle has long been potty trained, but she picks it out at the library when it`s there. I think she likes the accomplished feeling she feels when watching it.

Like, been there. Done that, little girl from the 80s that has struggled with going potty the last 10 times we watched you sing your way through this DVD.

-Had a candid talk with Elle about why only mommies and daddies can kiss for long periods of time on the lips. She seems to have some really romantic notions about it. I have such a desire for her to continue to dream about it in a positive way… but to firmly realize it`s not appropriate for her to practice it at this time.

Sometimes G and I stand and kiss in the living room, just to watch her face light up with utter rapture. It`s really fun.

-Caught them sneaking raw hotdogs. Begged them to let me warm them. No. Realized they likely aren`t healthier either way. Chose not to make it a “mountain”.

-Rocked Laila.

– Pretended to be G, driving a bus to Hannah`s house. Made all kinds of car motions and noises. Elle was “the mom– me”, so she got to ride shotgun for a change.

-Rocked Laila.

-Made a tunnel with blankets and chairs that Laila knocked over constantly. Can we just say Frustrated Elle?

Anyways, you get the idea.

As my post title implies, I will not be reading today. See the picture in the photo above? See the blatant red arrow?

I plan to dismantle the little black and white bistro scene once and for all, and try something I haven`t tried before…

See below.

(image: West Elm)


I haven`t loved a look this much since… well, who knows?

I am going to try and get inspiration, who am I kidding (like Cindy Forry says) no, COPY this idea, above, and replace my bistro scene TODAY.

I am actually shaking with nervousness and excitement over trying this. I know a lot of you already are doing the silhouette thing (Thelma, Clarita), but I haven`t yet. I know it can be done, but JITTERS!

It could just be the coffee too. I`m a new “drinker”.

I wanted to say– I saw today, the picture above, is only $19 and free shipping right now at West Elm. I was impressed. I mean, it`s probably a small picture, but I thought that was reasonable. I can`t buy it, but maybe you can? πŸ™‚

More West Elm LOVE.


Thought you might like to see my living room before and afters…

Living room BEFORE:

This was a picture I snapped when “the realtor” (Curt) took us through the first time.

Another angle and before shot, that I snuck snapped. I felt kinda rude taking a picture of another person`s then-home, but I love having them now to look back on…

So worth the rudeness!…kidding.

It brings back such a wave of memories of how in love I was withΒ  this house from the very beginning. It has threatened to break my heart many times since, so I love looking back and rekindling a little of the “flame” I once had for it. πŸ™‚

Maybe this house and I should just get a room, eh?

After. There is much I would like to change already in this room. I feel it`s a bit cluttered and there isn`t much “plan” in place. Trying to just love it the way it is, and practice good solid CONTENTMENT.

I do like it though. It`s a good comfy cozy room to lounge in.

The windows need replacing– but they do make a fun view of town and the stately historic courthouse.


Ok, love to ya! I have got to git!

Feel free to send any book recommends my way. I only read recommends. No time for dud books.

I like anything– just none of that Karen Kingsbury stuff.

Trust me, if you like her, I still love you!


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  1. Thelma says:

    i was crushed when i saw that your oatmeal cookie was just a prop. I had cozy visions of you sitting there sipping starbucks, reading and eating an oatmeal cookie. Granted it didn’t really seem like you, for some reason, but i thought it sounded tasty all the same:-)
    Great cozy reading pictures. Love them.
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the silouhette Idea. I did the pillow of Abbi. I don’t think it looks much like her, but I get a happy happy happy feeling whenever I look at it because it looks so modern and fun too. Show us what you do. please.

  2. Shilah says:

    Jenny, as always, love your stuff. Your living room is lov-el-ly and the starbucks goes right along with the cozy feel. You inspire me. Try a Jamie Langston Turner book. They’re christian and actually quite good if you’re comparing to Karen K. She, I no likey…

  3. Jenny says:

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    i will check it out. thanks!!

  4. Jo says:

    Oh, I read waiter rant. It took me a while to get over it. Like it says, You will never look at your waiter the same. Anyhow my Mom used to waitress and I thought she’d like it, until I read it. yeah… not for everyone. jo

  5. Rachel says:

    So glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t like Karen K. If you read one, then you’ve read them all. I also used to do nothing but read, but now I try not to read too many books for the sake of our marriage. Cause if I start I won’t stop til I’m done with the very last page… regardless of the time of day (or should I say time of night, haha)
    Some books that I like occasionally are Phillip Gulley’s Harmony series. Also like political books, but of course not everyones into that!

  6. Jennifer says:

    Oohhh…books are some of my favorite things. Some of my “go-to” authors are:

    -Janice Holt Giles (historical fiction)
    -Anne Perry (Victorian mysteries–some are too gory for my taste)
    -D. E. Stevenson (light, fluffy, romance novels–good post-partum reads for baby brain)
    -Miss Read (see above, minus the romance)
    -G. K. Chesterton, the Father Brown mysteries
    -C. S. Lewis’ science fiction trilogy

  7. Jennifer says:

    OH, and you need to read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Also Pride and Prejudice as well as any of Jane Austen’s books.

  8. Laurie says:

    I love the book pictures, I’d love to steal them for our school library. Promise I won’t, though. Books I read when I was a kid our like good old friends to me now and a new unread book in the house can make all self-discipline fly to the wind.
    I’m no expert in literature but I’ll share some favorites.
    Some of my pre-teen, and teen favs…(still are)
    -Chronicles of Narnia
    -The Hobbit and later on Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    -Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry series
    -George McDonald books (novels but lots of wisdom in them, too)
    -Brock and Bodie Thoene books ( I try to convince my history-major husband that historical novels are a great way to remember history )

    Current authors and books…
    -Philip Yancy
    -Henri Nouwen
    -Brennan Manning’s Abba’s Child
    -Mennonite in A Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen (one of those I’m a little hesitant to recommend, if you can get past a little crudeness she has a kind of disarming way of poking fun at herself and some of our eccentricities as Mennonites. There are some differences in her background as Russian Men. and my Amish ancestry but enough similarities to make me laugh)
    -Harry Kraus, Jr. writes John Grisham style Christian books with the plot set in medicine instead of law.
    Btw, I wish we could still kiss and have our kids think its cool. My 5 and 7 yr. olds now think its gross and were so concerned when my husband started teaching school that we were going to kiss in front of his students. Loved the post and look forward to seeing other people’s favorites.

  9. lisa says:

    i have a renewed love for reading as well. but, it is so addicting it is shameful. if i find any stellar reads, i will pass them along.
    sorry, that person lounging in a questionable pose (right above the four brown people) in the pic. totally leaped out at me and i could never get past her. not hanging on my wall.

    • Jenny says:

      ok, i saw that too. but the longer i looked, the more i think it`s just a plain old woman sitting. isn`t is funny how something iconic makes you think something dirty ever after? lisa, lisa. πŸ˜‰

  10. Jan says:

    I just started listening to Francine Rivers – Lineage of Grace audio books. Loved Tamar! Rahab was good too. I have a habit, I guess you’d say, of skimming through the well known stories w/o thinking of them as people who breathed and thought like us-today. I love to just sit and listen – have someone read me a story. I did pick up “Her Mothers Hope” and didn’t put it down till 2am. I hadn’t read any of her books for moons, so these were fun. Others I’ve read this summer were “Daughters of Eve, Daughers of God” (was gentle encouragment) some Eugenia Price’s books – the librarian didn’t know how I could live in the south and not have read these. “Savannah” was my first and took a while to draw me in, but I read the following two books. Now I need to go back to Savannah and sit in her squares -very romantic if you need a getaway with all the kissing that Elle seems to be entertained with πŸ™‚ my lil guys yell ewe! gwoss top dat! Listened to “Black” – kept me awake at night while driving home from PA. And am currently listening with Emma to Christy – “The Bridge to Cutter Gap”. And to end this, I like to look over this long list http://www.moodyradio.org/uploadedFiles/Broadcasting/Programs/Library/reading_list_middayconnection.pdf
    Have fun reading I’ll be back to hopefully get some more books to add to my “read next” file ~ Jan

    • Jenny says:

      that`s so funny– we went to savannah on our honeymoon. i didn`t really appreciate the beauty and quaintness of it back then– we went there because g was in college and it was all we could afford at the time. i so want to go back. you made me want to read the savannah book now too…

  11. Julie says:

    Hmm…I LOVE reading (if I ever get time-which would be why I’m still awake at 1AM). I’m not sure what type of books you like but I love Jodi Picolut books. (I may have misspelled her last name-I’m too lazy to google right now). She’s not a christian writer, but her books make you think…I love that!

    And no…I’m not a Karen Kingsbury fan either….

  12. Betty says:

    thanks much for the laugh & a half i neeed this stressful school morn. the DG ladies & the kissing too funny :):) i’m done w/karen k too. have fun reading!

  13. Kendra says:

    I hate reading….always have. I wish I loved it. Isn’t that weird??? I go into a book store and think it looks like so much fun and the books look so good, but I just can’t bring myself to reading. My mom was/is a book addict so I had/have boxes full of books at my fingertips….what is wrong with me? Anyway, love the coziness of your photos!

  14. Andrea Esh says:

    Before you watch Eat Pray Love the movie, read the book. It’s a good read. Like some other books, it’s not for everybody.

  15. Maria says:

    Books! One of my favorite topics. I am like you, Jenny…once an avid reader who put down the books all through being a teenager and into the early 20s. Since being in College, I’ve discovered my love for reading reawakening. One favorite is Khalid Hoseni (most famous for The Kite Runner).
    Got to run to Jane Austen class!!!

  16. Shannon says:

    I have read Waiter Rant twice – once a couple years ago and then just a couple months ago when I was “taking it easy” after having Lucian. I loved it – felt like I could identify slightly and I love books that have food in them. The last book I read (also in the “taking it easy” stage) was Eat Pray Love. While that book was not a gripping “i can’t put it down book” I really liked it. It really taught me some things about spirituality that I wouldn’t have expected from a secular book. I’m hoping to go see the movie soon. Both of those books are secular, so you have to bear that in mind when reading. I used to read 6 + books a week when I was a teenager and plenty even after I had a kid or two ,but in the last 5 years book reading has dried up. When I get started I can’t stop, so I try not to start. Someday it’ll be ok to go to the library again. And after my kids are grown I can just sit at home and read till my brain whirls. So now if I get 3 or 4 read in a year that’s fine.

  17. Shannon says:

    I just saw Maria’s comment and remembered The Kite Runner another great book I read a couple years ago.

  18. Amy says:

    Okay, nobody mentioned Jan Karon’s books. And I never comment here but I DO like her books on a really slow day….So had to tell you. Thanks for the fun site and the picture inspirations….I need a crafty BaileyandMe2 in my house for a few months. The person who mentioned Miss Read and D. E. Stevenson would like Jan Karon’s books as well….

  19. Aaaaahhhhh, you sound like me. At least you post more often than I do. I’ve been so caught up with books and projects that I haven’t taken the time for blogging. Glad you do though! πŸ™‚ I’ve been reading about 3 different books – Stomping Out the Darkness by Neil Anderson, The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy, and Cry the Beloved County by Alan Paton. The latter because I often just read either inspirationals or novels, and although the latter is a novel, it’s a mind-stretching novel about South Africa. Sometimes I feel like my mommy brain needs to be expanded beyond comfort zone levels, you know?

    LOVE the coffee/book pictures. You did a super job on them. And LOVE the living room before and afters. Looks like a sanctuary!

    And your post made me laugh again, as usual. I enjoy your humor so very much and can often relate so much to what you write!

    And now little Olivia is bringing me book of her own to read, so I must be gone…

    Happy day to you!

  20. Cindy says:

    I am happily reading along, loving it like I do here with you,
    and then…



    reading my own name on someone’s blog does that to me.
    still smiling. still blushing.

    and hey! I know those creative queens, Thelma and Clarita! wow. I am just feeling all connected. Thelma in a I’ve- traveled- hours- and- hours- and- spent- a- weekend- with- kinda- way aaaaaand am SEEING HER TONIGHT! Clarita, in a I- was- supposed- to- meet- and- will- someday- kinda- way.

    I looooove to read. I always said that in life you can’t have too many flowers or too many books! But. Last night I filled a bag for the Goodwill…of books. My books. The Farmer is still shaking his head in disbelief.

    Fav authors at the moment…hmmm.
    Jack Deere.
    I am not a fan of christian fiction. except Frank Perretti. and not always in the mood for that, you know, kind of fear.
    I need to check out your rec.

    HaPpY FriDaY!

  21. Laurie says:

    Maria’s “Kite Runner” reminded me of another one, “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. I have in my hands a printout of Maria’s young adult book summaries, 20+ books that would make you want to read. I’ll not share it for her, just saying if you ever want a good book, pull some inspiration out of her.

  22. Rachel says:

    oh, i love your posed coffee cup and cookie.
    makes me want to come over there.
    right now.
    and bring my book, blanket and stay a while!
    but, since i can’t, and i need to pack to go away for the weekend…
    just a quick comment.
    i read.
    huge variety of books.
    being in a monthly bookclub with a group of ladies from ALL walks of life gives me that opportuntiy.
    some of the books i read, the preacher, he can’t really endorse, so his wife, she can’t really recommend. πŸ˜‰
    but, authors i love are:
    John Grisham (read every single one of his, and some more than once)
    Nicolas Sparks (good, light, tear-jerkers, altho’ after awhile, they’re rather ‘same-ish’.)
    Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth”
    Jodi Piccoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” (very controversial subject, NOTHING like the movie made based on the book)
    and, i could give a few more like
    Mike Mason
    John Piper
    Dennis Rainey
    seriously, i read such a variety.
    memoirs are a favorite…someday, i shall write one.
    and, i’m usually reading more than one title at a time.
    LOVE to read; it keeps my vocabulary from sounding too simple, and it stimulates my mind when i’m around little people all the time.

  23. Di says:

    I need coffee, a book, and even part of that cookie. The blanket and pillow come along? Great. Now all I need is some snow so I actually get a moment to read! Called snowed in. I need that. Soon.

    Instead I get to head your way by 6am for a wedding. Yes, that was 6am. yawn.

    Cozy before and after pictures. I truly admire your ability to M.A.K.E. time to decorate. I have stacks of “stuff” awaiting their spot. They are sadly aging with time. See, I need snow. Though I am not ready for it.

    You are a great mother. πŸ™‚

  24. Ohhhhh, reading is for REAL my favorite thing to do! I love old books…Gene Stratton Porter, Harold Bell Wright, and Mrs Southworth are my favorites. I won’t even let myself start a Francine River book lest my whole world crash around me unawares…

    You really do need to tell me how to make the little flowers since I was totally out of luck in your drawing ;)….I so needed some for my family pictures!

  25. Shelly N says:

    You make me laugh out loud nearly every time . . . and this post was no exception. I’m just not quite as honest as you are about picture props and stuff, and even if I were, I don’t usually think people would be interested to know ’cause I wouldn’t write it in a funny way. I love it! πŸ™‚

    Someone already mentioned F.River’s book, “Her Mother’s Hope”, but just have to say it is GOOD. Hadn’t read a really good novel for a while, but this one pulled me right in and kept me entertained on our recent trip to KS. Leaves you hanging at the end, but the next book is coming out this fall sometime.

    Thanks for the laughs and inspiration! Someday, I hope, we will meet!

  26. linda hershey says:

    i so want to see you dancing 8o’s style to the potty song! you really are the funnest mom.
    no wonder i thought your eyes looked a bit knowing when i mentioned Izzy’s fascination with kissing during that looooong intro thing at the FFE.
    i used to read. anything. by the time mom thought it “appropriate” to read all the Zion’s Chronicles and other Bodie Thayne(sp?) books i had already read them all. twice.
    i love books. esp. autobiographies. i know. it sounds dry. but after i’ve read about them i spend the next week checking out their lives online.
    right now i am reading about Conrad Grebel before he became part of the reformation. quite colorful for the 1500’s!!
    i love The Loop by whoever it is that writes all those books that begin with The. i will say you pry won’t like it. preservation of wolves vs. ranchers.
    the only reason i mentioned The Loop is b/c i have such a bad memory. CANNOT ever remember titles or authors. so yeah, that’s the only title i remember!!

  27. Marylou says:

    I love reading as well but am of the camp that doesn’t care for K.K. Looks like there are more of us than I thought. πŸ™‚ If you enjoy fiction, I highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s books. I haven’t read all of his books but the ones I have read were very good. His book Safely Home I consider high on the “must read for Christians” chart.

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