The Friday Five- April Life (not the giraffe, the month)

Hi everyone!  I haven’t done many posts lately on what I’m reading or our family life, so I thought I’d do a general post for my #FridayFive!


My grandma passed away a few weeks ago and although she was nearly 99 years old, it’s been a sad time. It’s weird to think that that generation, which was a huge influence in my life, is gone and there’s only my parents left.  Has anyone else felt that?

Anyhow, Sunday night my parents were over and  brought a box of letters I had saved from when I was an exchange student.  The box contained probably 20 letters that my Gran had written.  I laughed and cried for an hour!  She was a such a hoot.  These letters will continue to be precious to me.

That leads me to #2…


After my other grandmother passed away 3 years ago, I made a pact that I would journal and write more.  The written word has such a profound effect on those who are left behind.  Seriously, we found a journal entry from my grandma that said she had babysit me when I was about 10 months old and I was “such a good baby.”  That made me cry for a week! (#Iamacrier)

I’m going to journal more about life – anything from the kids to blogging to arguments between me and Mr YT. Haha. I figure that someday these will make me laugh and reflect.

AND, from a business perspective, having a written word to look back on is SO helpful.  I’ve written down so many blog topics and completely forgotten about them less than a week later!

Love this quote from a Copyblogger (yes, a blogger’s blog):

“In my experience, creative people need journals. They’re the greenhouses where we grow ideas. And the laboratories where we practice fiendish experiments.” ~Sonia Simone

I don’t have a green thumb, so my journals will serve as my greenhouses. 😉


Since the move, I’ve been slack about reading.  I read on Instagram (and I don’t remember who’s feed) that every time you wanna pick of your phone and browse social media, pick up your book instead.  I tried this this week and it was so productive!!

Here’s what I hope to get through this month:

Mindset – I’m about a third of the way through.  This is some heavy psychology stuff, so you can’t just skim it.

City of Refuge – A fictional novel about two families dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Highly recommended as something to read before visiting New Orleans (we leave at the end of this month)

The Secret of Midwives – I rarely read this much fiction, but I just can’t turn down a book on midwifery written by an Aussie. 😉

The Magnolia Story – I jumped on the bandwagon (and already finished this).  I adore this couple, but didn’t love the book. Don’t worry, I still wanna visit Waco.


The house.

So did I tell ya’ll that when we bought our house we bought one where we wanted to paint and/or change EVERY SINGLE ROOM?  Since we moved I’ve painted the 1/2 bath, the dining room, the homeschool room, and the foyer… hey, that means there is only 7 rooms to go!  ha!

Is painting the worst chore ever? How do people do this for a living?

What could be worse is actually PICKING paint colors.  I’m so indecisive.

Do you paint or do you hire someone?  I know we should just try to hire someone but I’m so cheap.  So instead I save the money and whine for DAYS.

THIS. This is “wedding white.”  Which I thought looked cream.  But it’s white.  The end. #firstworldissues


You know I can’t end a post without talking about travel.

The Yoder Toters have a busy season coming up:

New Orleans, Marietta, Fort Wayne,  and staying in a CABOOSE in Hocking Hills – which one would you most like to read about?

Are you planning your summer vacation?

I love this post from Shalee at Shalee Wanders- Eight Other Travel Bloggers to Inspire Your Wanderlust

I’ve gotten to meet a few of these ladies and they are the real deal!  Tonya from The Traveling Praters has become my blog guru & I’m so thankful!

Happy Friday!!  Have a great weekend!

My Summer Reading List (2016)

summer reading list 2016

Here’s what I’m planning to read before Labor Day arrives!

My Summer Reading List:


Mom Enough– from the writers at Desiring God, this is a compilation of 24 essays from young mothers.  I’m excited to read it.  Right now it’s only $2.99 for Kindle.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood– I’ve checked this book out a few times, but never taken the time to read it.  The reviews are glowing, and it seems like it will make me laugh.


A Praying Life– Sadly, I know my prayer life isn’t where it should or could be.  I’m hoping this book will help me to make it more of a priority.


The Kite Runner– I know I’m about 12 years late to the party on this one.  My friend urged me to read this book ions ago, but I just picked it up at Goodwill for 50 cents, so what better time to delve in, than now?


Biking Across America– Paul Stutzman lost his wife to cancer and it spurred him to quit his job and hike the Appalachian Trail.  This follow-up book covers his next adventure.

The Road to Little Dribbling– Bill Bryson is pretty funny, and I can’t wait to read more about his adopted country, the UK.

Personal Growth

The War of Art– I’ve heard so many good things about this book from podcasters and bloggers, it’s time I check it out.

The One Thing–  I read this book in late 2014 and it was excellent.  It’s worth a re-read.

Living Forward– Michael Hyatt was a guest on Dale Partridge’s podcast a few weeks back, and the two convinced me that I needed to read this book.  I’ve even requested the book-on-CD for my husband so we can talk about it together.  Michael Hyatt has made a profound impact on me- check out his blog HERE.

What are you reading this summer?  I don’t read much fiction.  Is there something you’d recommend?

Hooked on Books- What I’m reading in March

Wow- I realized I hadn’t talked about books since October!  I always like to know what other people are reading (in a non-creepy way) so here’s a list of what’s on MY list.  *Contains affiliate links*


Just finishing up

Boundaries with Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend – This book has been so helpful!  Parenting is the hardest thing ever (marriage is a close second, but I only have one husband- not three! Lol)

Chosen by God  –  It’s sad that I grew up in church, but theology is such a new concept for me.  Loving this book by R.C. Sproul

Starting this week

God’s Plan for You by J.I. Packer-  God’s plan isn’t all sunshine and roses, no matter what the prosperity teachers tell you.  I’ve definitely struggled with what is the correct way to look at God’s will for our lives.

Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman- This book was suggested by someone I trust… I think Mr. YT and I are going to read it together.  Can I just mention again that parenting is the hardest thing ever?   Jackson’s probably reading  Have a New Mom by Friday! Haha!

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling- I’ve read mixed reviews and I’m not sure this is my type of biography, but I’m always a sucker for hype 😉 (i.e. Jen Hatmaker posted she was reading it).

Also on the horizon

Yes!  We’re planning another trip.  This one isn’t until next year but trying to come up with itinerary, and more importantly, a BUDGET.  Have you every been to Texas?  Any tips?

What are you reading in March?  

What I read in:

July 2015

September 2015

October 2015