What I’m Into ~ November 2013 Edition

Happy December, everyone! It’s that time again – I’m linking up again with the lovely Leigh Kramer to share what we’ve been into lately. I’m going to fix myself a cup of tea, grab a snuggly blanket, and curl up to see what everyone has been up to during the month of November!

Decking the halls stairways ~

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The day after Thanksgiving the boys and I did a little Christmas decorating! When it finally grew dark, we turned on the lights and took in the sight. I snapped this photo to send to my Beloved – even he approves! I am hoping to take the boys tree shopping next week, so hopefully soon we’ll have a Christmas tree in our midst!


Marching orders ~

My Beloved had his 6 month CT scan and oncology appointment to make sure that everything is still fine post-surgery. We received the great news from his doctor – all clear! The cancer has not returned! We drew a huge sigh of relief! The next day he had to leave for 7 weeks of training away from home. He won’t he back until a couple of days before Christmas. It was a rough first couple of weeks, and Thanksgiving was bittersweet without him here, but we are anxiously counting down the days until he is home once more!

Family and friends ~

Sometimes a long coffee date with a friend is exactly what a girl needs! I had a much-needed Saturday morning out with a childhood friend earlier this month, and I couldn’t believe how time flew as we were catching up from the last 20 years! It was just what the doctor ordered!

I had another quick yummy coffee time with a friend before her family left for a cruise, and a delicious sushi outing with another wonderful friend! Nothing warms my heart like time with a good friend!

I went to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire with two of my favorite people – my brother and his wife. Such a good movie, and I love getting to hang out with these two lovebirds!

The boys and I spent Thanksgiving Day with my parents, my sister, and one of my other brothers. We finished lunch just in time to watch our Kansas Jayhawks “gobble up” Wake Forest in basketball! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!

November book love ~

The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant – An interesting look at a famous family in the Bible. This story is told through the eyes of Jacob’s daughter. Being historical/Biblical fiction, one needs to take it with a grain of salt, but it was a fascinating look at what life might have been like for Dinah, her brothers, and her mothers.

Jesus Feminist, by Sarah Bessey – Ok, I knew that this book would be an interesting read, but no one prepared me for the fact that I would cry so much while reading it! I cried while reading it in bed, on the exercise bike at the YMCA, and blinked away tears while waiting for Camden to get out of school. Because of the weight that comes with the word “feminist,” the title is sure to grab attention, but Jesus Feminist is beautifully written. The author, Sarah Bessey, says, “At the core, feminism simply consists of the radical notion that women are people, too.” Another part that really touched my heart is where she wrote, “You are not forgotten. Your story has not been forgotten; your heart cry has not been forgotten. Your sisters are not forgotten, and glorious times are ahead because ‘this resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, ‘What’s next, Papa?’ God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.


A Million Little Ways, by Emily P. Freeman – I wrote about this wonderful book earlier this month ~ When have you felt fully alive?Β I couldn’t recommend this book higher – LOVE! Psssst…this would also make a wonderful Christmas gift!


Takedown Twenty, by Janet Evanovich – Oh, Stephanie Plum, I can’t quit you. This is the latest in the crazy adventures of the lovable New Jersey bounty hunter. It was typical Stephanie – bad luck with cars, way-bad language, too many love interests, and her always hilarious sidekicks – Grandma Mazur and Lula! It’s a November tradition of mine to read the latest in the series, and this one didn’t disappoint!

Parenting Your Powerful Child, by Dr. Kevin Leman – Did y’all know that Dr. Leman wrote this book just for me? Well, at least it seems like he wrote it with my little family in mind! I bought it thinking that it would apply to a particular little boy o’mine that likes to engage in arguments, but a few chapters in I found that I have two powerful children! A few more pages reveled that I have three powerful sons! I love that each of my children have special, powerful qualities – and this book is changing how I deal with the power issues that arise in our house. I think that I highlighted about half of this book on my Kindle – a must read for all parents that suspect that they, too, might have a powerful child!

On deck for December ~

The 5 Love Languages Military Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman and Jocelyn Green – Joe and I are reading this book together long-distance. We are reading a chapter each day and talking about it over the phone. I am thrilled that Gary Chapman has written an edition just for military families! It has many ideas for expressing your loved one’s love language while you are apart. Quality Time and Meaningful Touch are not the easiest love languages to have in our situation, but I’m hopeful that this book will guide us in better expressing our love for each other and keeping those love tanks full while we are away from one another!

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss – This was on my list for last month, but I haven’t quite get around to finishing it just yet.

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde – I keep hearing awesome things about this book!

What’s So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancey – Recommended by my sweet friend, Crystal – Money Saving Mom, Β I am reading this a little bit each day – and I just might break my “no writing/underlining” rule with this book because there is just so much goodness that I want to remember!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman – My first Gaiman book, I also keep hearing intriguing things about this little book. I snatched up the only remaining copy at my library – the large print edition – huzzah!

Screen time ~

On top of seeing Catching Fire with my brother and sister-in-law, I also had a few long-distance movie dates with my Beloved! One night we saw a double feature – the new Thor movie, and About Time. Thor was a typical superhero movie…I really enjoy Anthony Hopkins and Tom Huddleston – such great actors – but other than that, it didn’t have enough romance for me. I mean, Thor just came back to rescue Jane after standing her up for three years, and now he’s off saving the universe again. The least he could do is spend a little quality time with her! Β Men Demigods!

About Time was such a beautiful movie! It has quite a bit of language, but the story is so sweet, so endearing – please make sure you take a box of Kleenex with you when you go see this movie!

My Main Squeeze and I also saw Ender’s Game this month. Great story, the child actors were very believable, and now I want to read the book!

As far as TV goes, I’m still trying to keep up with Scandal, and Hart of Dixie is fun to unwind with at the end of a long day. Joe and I try to watch Big Bang Theory, Parks and Rec, and Blacklist together when we can arrange long-distance couch dates. Love those!


A look back ~

Along with the posts that I linked above, November was a busy month! We had several wonderful In Her Shoes guest posts, found out what books are on my bookshelves, got an Instagram peek into my life, learned what makes me – me, and I shared about a very different kind of anniversary – looking back at the five years since my first marriage crumbled.

Thank you, again, for all of your support, encouragement, and for coming to visit me here in my little corner of the world! I can’t tell you what this has meant to me!

Coming up in December ~

I’m going to visit my Beloved! *happy Snoopy dance!!!* A couple weeks after that, he’ll finally be finished with his TDY and come home for Christmas!

This week I am hosting my very first giveaway! Eeeek! Please come back Wednesday for all of the giveaway scoop! And I promise that you won’t have to donate any major body organs or name your firstborn after me to enter the drawing!

That’s about all of the news from this neck of the woods…Thank you so much for coming to spend a little time with me today!

Hoping that you have a most lovely December and a very Merry Christmas!





*Disclosure – the Amazon links in this post are Affiliate links, which means that if you happen to purchase anything through Amazon after clicking on my link, I may receive a small kickback on the sale. You won’t pay more for clicking through the links, I promise. And I won’t recommend anything that I don’t absolutely LOVE to you!

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Written by ginger


  • Jan H says:

    Great post! I just might start reading πŸ˜‰ (especially the book about children)
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    My son wrote a song and I’m learning to play the guitar, so we created the accompaniment last night. I actually felt inspired partly by your stories. I’m trying to get back to things I really love.

    • ginger says:

      Yay!!! I am so proud of you – getting back to the things that you love to do! What a sweet memory for you and your little guy – writing a song together! The Dr. Leman book was great, and I love all of his books! Thank you so much for your kind comment – looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  • karen says:

    I absolutely adore The Red Tent. It’s my first suggestion to anyone in search of a new read. πŸ™‚ I also love Parks & Rec though we have trouble finding the time to watch it over here (we live overseas). Leslie Knope is simply the best character.

    • ginger says:

      I completely agree – Leslie Knope is one of the best characters on television, and Amy Poehler is awesomeness! I forgot that you live overseas – Ireland, isn’t it? Wasn’t The Red Tent good? πŸ™‚ I am so happy that you stopped by today, thank you so much! I’m off to check out what you’re into lately! πŸ™‚

  • Shana Norris says:

    I keep hearing great things about Scandal. We need to give it a try soon. I just put the Leman book on my Christmas wish list. I have a VERY powerful child, and I need all the help I can get parenting her πŸ™‚

    • ginger says:

      Scandal is my guilty pleasure – it sucked me in with the first episode! I’ll be curious to see what you think! πŸ™‚ You can find the first episodes on Netflix if you want to catch up! Dr. Leman’s book was awesome! Do you follow him on FB? He often posts when his books are cheaper/free for the Kindle. Love that! Thanks so much for stopping by today – I’m off to check out what you’ve been into this month! πŸ™‚

  • Mark Allman says:

    I learned a lot about grace when I ran Yancy’s book and hope I work at applying that. I saw Ender’s Game and Catching Fire both of which I enjoyed. The books are great too. The second Ender’s Game book Speaker for The Dead teaches about not judging people. My family is enjoying Blacklist. I just started watching Dr Who for the first time and some of those episodes have been pretty moving.

    Glad the CT scan was great!

    • ginger says:

      I didn’t realize that Ender was a series – I’ll have to look into those! I keep hearing people talk about Dr. Who, so I just might have to give it a try soon. πŸ™‚ Isn’t Blacklist great?! I am very much enjoying What’s So Amazing About Grace, and I’m encouraged to hear that you learned a lot while reading it, too!

  • Such great books in this post – both the ones you read, and the ones on deck to read. (I’ve got to read the Jane Eyre Affair book too – so many bloggers I read are raving about it!) Wasn’t Jesus Feminist amazing?? Truly one of my favorite reads of the year. Wow – you have a ‘no underline/highlight’ rule for your books? That would be so hard for me – my books looks like a rainbow with all my underlining! πŸ™‚ (I usually highlight and underline, b/c as a rule, I generally reference, but don’t re-read my books cover to cover). Enjoy your time with you beloved – this was a lovely post! πŸ™‚

    • ginger says:

      Hiya Sarah! Yes, I keep reading all of these great reviews of Eyre Affair, so when I spotted it at our local used bookstore last weekend, I had to snatch it up! πŸ™‚ Yep, I generally have a no highlighting/dog-earing book rule – but there are a few that are just too good NOT to! Desperate, by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson is one of those books. I bought Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott specifically so I could go back and highlight the areas that I want to remember. I highlight away on my Kindle, but I just can’t bring myself to do it to physical books. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for stopping by today – I just saw your new link-up. What a great idea! I’ll have to give it some thought and see if I have anything to contribute! πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful December!

  • Keri says:

    Hi Ginger…this is my first link up for What I’m Into and yours is the first post I’ve read! Nice to meet you. πŸ™‚ I’m also a mom of 3 boys and a former AF spouse {my husband has been out for 7 years}. My book club read The Red Tent a few years ago. While I didn’t feel that it was Biblically accurate, it def gave me an idea of what life was like for women back then. I will have to check out the book your recommended by Dr. Leman. I often shy away from parenting books because they usually just make me feel like a failure, but this one sounds promising. Thanks for sharing!

    • ginger says:

      Hiya Keri! I am so happy that you stopped by today! I have only been blogging/linking up to What I’m Into for a few months now, so welcome from a fellow newbie! πŸ™‚ How cool that you are also mom of 3 boys and a former AF wife! I’m so happy to meet a kindred spirit! You’re right about The Red Tent – but even though it’s not entirely Biblically accurate, I loved how it displayed what life may have been like back then for Dinah and other women in her family! Dr. Leman’s book is funny, thought-provoking, full of great ideas, and he has never made me feel like a failure. I love how he includes failures from his own life as a child and parent! I highly recommend it! Have you ever read Desperate, by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson? It was such an encouragement when it comes to mommyhood! Thank you for stopping by today – I’m off to check out your blog and what you’ve been into this month! πŸ™‚

  • Leigh Kramer says:

    The Christmas decorations look great! Such good news about your husband’s results. Huge sigh of relief indeed. I read The Red Tent several years ago and thought it added such an interesting layer to what I knew of that story. Glad to hear you enjoyed Jesus Feminist! I could hold back the tears when I read the Commissioning chapter.

    • ginger says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, we are so relieved over my hubby’s results – bittersweet in that it means that he’ll be deployed after the new year, but at least he’s healthy enough to do it! πŸ™‚ That’s a great way of looking at The Red Tent – layering. Perfect description of adding to what little we know about Dinah’s life. And yes – that chapter of Jesus Feminist completely undid me! I’m going to tear up just thinking about it! Thank you SO much for hosting What I’m Into – I really do look forward every month to reading all of the links. It’s such a wonderful community!

  • Melani says:

    Have you read any of Philip Yancey’s other books? I just finished his Searching for the Invisible God. I don’t think I’ve ever read one of his books I didn’t like (The Bible Jesus Read was by far the most enlightening). I reading Jesus Feminist now, and love Sarah Bessey’s voice. Glad you had good news with test results and enjoy having your Beloved home at Christmas!

    • ginger says:

      I haven’t read his other books yet, Melani, but I’ll be checking them out! Maybe I’ll start with The Bible Jesus Read – after reading your recommendation of it! πŸ™‚ Yes, isn’t Sarah’s voice beautiful?! Thank you so very much for stopping by today! I hope you have a lovely December and Christmas!

  • Hooray hooray for excellent test results!!! Your bannister looks beautiful! We don’t have bannisters like that in my house, but it reminds me of the way my parents decorate their house. Dragging those things out every year and getting them put up is no small feat! OMG Scandal… I caught up over the holiday weekend. Olivia’s mom? Craziness. Oh my… you’re a Jayhawk. Well, I guess nobody’s perfect. =) (MIZ! ZOU!)

  • Ginger, new friend! YAY for positive test results – that is such an encouragement. As per your current reads, as a former high school English teacher and generally nerdy grammatical nazi, I LOVE Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Have fun with it! Ps: I’m heading to Michael’s today to hopefully get some Christmas love for our banister as well …you inspire me!

  • I’m reading A Million Little Ways and loving it. Next up is Jesus Feminist. And I may have to check out that book about “powerful” children πŸ™‚ Enjoyed your list!

  • Jennifer says:

    Ginger, the photo of your staircase is absolutely stunning! We’ll be decorating next week once I finish up with my semester. It sounds like you had quite the productive (and active) month of November – that’s a lot of reading! I pray that the weeks of this month pass at a bearable pass before you and your husband are reunited.

  • Amy E Patton says:

    Hi Ginger, I am so far behind in my daily blog reading, it was nice to sit and catch up here. I am glad to here your endorsement of A Million Little Ways- it is sitting patiently waiting to be cracked open, and I am eager to dig into Jesus Feminist. So much good stuff to read! I loved Catching Fire too, and my daughter and I can’t get enough of Hart of Dixie on Netflix. I am interested in checking out the parenting book you mentioned. Hope you have a beautiful Christmas, Amy

    • ginger says:

      Oooh! Yes, I can’t wait to hear what you think of A Million Little Ways and Jesus Feminist! Hart of Dixie is such a cute show – love unwinding down with an episode during the week! Thank you so much for your sweet comments – I hope that you and yours have a most wonderful Christmas!

  • Thanks for sharing! A Million Little Ways sounds like just the thing I need right now, after I finish Jesus Feminist. This is the first post of yours I’ve read, and I can already tell I love your voice. Keep writing, please.

    • ginger says:

      Hi Dorathea! What a lovely name! I am so happy that you stopped by to visit my little corner of the world! I would love to hear what you think after reading A Million Little Ways! It was such an inspiration to me! Your kind comment is such a huge encouragement to me! I am still a “baby” in blogging and writing, but I LOVE it – and I love “meeting” new friends like you! I’m off to check out your blog! πŸ™‚

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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