Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It's 2016 and we are BACK with a few of our Favorite Things!

I woke this morning and greeted the hermit crab who has taken up residence in our bathroom because it is not warm enough in his upstairs home these winter days. There is a heater on its way to us from Amazon because my Man and I, though we are used to sharing our bathroom with all manner of children, are weary of sharing it with a hermit crab named Charles. 

Charles joined our family last summer straight from a mall kiosk and provided by Mammaw and Pappaw. He had been the quietest and lowest maintenance creature around these parts, until the temperature dropped and we had to shop for the heater and all. We have gotten used to him though, and are glad that he will be with us in this new year. There are a few other fun things that we discovered in 2015 that are helping us to hit the ground running in 2016.

The Wunderlist app. I heard about this easy-to-use app on a podcast and downloaded it post haste. I was soon recommending it to my mom and sisters. It is essentially a list making app that allows you, if you choose, to share lists with others or to just make really nice lists (with subcategories even!) for yourself. My Man and I share a running grocery list which helps to ensure that it is always up to date when one of us is headed to the store. My mom and my sisters and I used Wunderlist to plan and assign who would make what for Christmas dinner...from three different states. It was a thing of beauty...and dinner wasn't bad either! The best part about it is the lovely little "DING" of accomplishment that it makes when you check something off of your list. I understand now how Pavlov's dog must have felt! I'm also keeping various lists of books that I'm hunting down for the new year and also a list of books that I plan to read in the new year.

Speaking of books...
Toward the end of December, my Man came across The 2016 Reading Challenge on one of his favorite blogs . We took things a bit further and assigned point values to each book category according to length, difficulty, and importance and we are competing individually, on teams (kids vs. parents), and with some members of our extended family. I finished my first book this morning (The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozier...highly recommend for short chapter-a-day devotional reading) for which I earned three points and the distinction of being the first at The Wright Place to finish a book for the challenge. Our goal is to expand our reading horizons and be more widely read readers. 

The teenagers taught me about Amazon Prime Music. It's also an app and it works much like Spotify. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can stream all sorts of music to your device AND you can even download certain selections to listen to when you are not in an area with wifi. Because of this app and the Bluetooth speaker I received for Christmas, our home has lately been filled with the sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra and The Boston Pops. Lest you think us highbrow, we are listening to those two sets of gifted musicians play movie soundtracks including and especially the Star Wars themes. We are pretty sure Darth Vader is just around the corner waiting to march down our hallway and stir up all sorts of trouble. 

Finally, the girls and I have been intending to watch the series Gilmore Girls together all year and just before year's end we sat down and dialed up the first episode and before we knew what had happened, we'd polished off three episodes. We were all kinds of smitten and giggly and amazed that three episodes had just flown by like that. 

Kate said, "You mean we've watched THREE? It didn't seem like it?" To which her older, wiser sis explained, "THAT is what you call BINGE watching Kate!" We are still watching our way through season one of the seven that lay ahead of us.  Lofty goals we have over here! Note: though FULL of charm, there are portions of the show that may not be suitable for younger children. So far, we haven't encountered anything "fast-forward" worthy, but I recently felt the need to preview a few scenes of an episode before letting the little girls watch. Mostly though, we just laugh at the sparkly dialogue and talk about the characters as if they were real people in our lives as we go about our days. 

I hope this finds you and yours enjoying your first few days of 2016! 

All of us at The Wright Place ( and Charles-the-Hermit-Crab ) wish you the happiest and most fulfilling New Year!

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