What I'm Into (October, 2016 Edition)

What I'm Reading:


I read 5 fiction books during October but sadly, no non-fiction books. 

Best mystery: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Definitely not as good as last month's I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, but still enjoyable. 

Most thought-provoking: Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend. It's a book about World War II set in the Galapagos Islands. It's a little strange, but well-written and interesting. 

Book that made me smile:  The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan. It reminded me a bit of You've Got Mail. Every time I read it, it put a smile on my face. 

Book I won't soon forget:  Mischling by Affinity Konar. This, too, is a WWII book. It's beautiful, haunting, and at times, difficult to read. 

Quirkiest Book: Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I loved Maria's first book, Where'd you go Bernadette? Although Today Will Be Different isn't a sequel, it often reminded me of Where'd you go? It's stylistically similar, which means that it won't be for everyone. I enjoyed it, though. 

Kid's Books:

We continue to read LOTS with Hope. This month our favorites were Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug (which I blogged about here); What's Wrong Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton (This woman is a genius!);and Nap Time for Kitty (the perfect naptime book!)

Things I Love:

Msi Lego Exhibit Oct 16

The lego exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry: In addition to having some incredible lego creations, this exhibit was far more interactive than we anticipated. Hope LOVED it! She also loved the big train exhibit at MSI as well as the mirrored maze. 

Raspberries Oct. 16

Fresh raspberries: We grow raspberries in our backyard that produce in both the late spring and fall. Hope LOVES them. She'll stroll into the backyard and make a beeline for the raspberry bushes, where she'll point out any that are red. I used to enjoy baking with our raspberries. Now, I never get that chance because they never make it inside the house. 

Stephen Schwartz Oct 16

Stephen Schwartz: The composer of Godspell, Children of Eden, and Wicked did a concert at the Mac. It was WONDERFUL. He has a surprisingly good voice, is an incredible pianist, and brought with him two gifted vocalists (one of whom was a Tony winner.) He was also funny. My favorite part of the night: He told the story of composing The Wizard and I from Wicked. He played three different versions of the song and talked about it's evolution leading up to the version that actually made it into the musical. 

Apple Picking Oct. 16

Apple Picking at Jomac Orchards: We had SUCH a fun family day at the orchard! We only picked one bag of apples (and then bought a second bag) but that was just right with a 16-month old. 

Grain Bin Oct. 16

Corn! Jomac had all kinds of activities for the kids, including this grain bin filled with corn. Hope could have played in it ALL day. She loved the texture and filling (and emptying) the trucks. 

Pony Ride Oct. 16

Riding a pony! At Jomac, we put Hope on a pony for the first time. This girl is FEARLESS. Her grin atop the pony was a mile wide! 

Corn Maze Oct. 16

Solving the Corn Maze: Also at Jomac, we went through the corn maze. Hope was less impressed with this than the other orchard activities. 

Lydia And Hope At Brookfield Oct. 16

Zoo day with friends! We continue to love going to Brookfield Zoo, especially when we can connect with friends while we're there. 

Dupage Children's Museum Oct. 16

The 2nd floor of the DuPage Children's Museum: We finally migrated up to the second floor at the Children's Museum. Hope had a blast with the magnetic board and looms. 

Hamilton Oct. 16

Seeing Hamilton! We've been obsessed with this show for the better part of the last year. Although George Washington wasn't stellar, the show was. I cried like a baby throughout most of Act II. 

Fmsc October 2016

Serving with our confirmands and high school students. 

Keith And Hope With Puppets October 2016

Grandparents: We are so fortunate to have four highly involved grandparents in Hope's life. 

Anti Racism Training

Learning: I attended an anti-racism training with a few others from my congregation that far exceeded my expectations of it. 

Children's Garden October 2016

The Children's Garden at the Arborteum - especially since we've had an unseasonably warm fall. 

Bike Ride October 2016

Bike riding! We finally hooked the cart up to Doug's bike and went for a ride on the Prairie Path, which is an easy ride from our house. 

Pasties October 2016

Making pasties with Mom: They're so yummy... but so much work. Nevertheless, we had a fun day together in which we made 27 of them and even had time for a few games of Ticket to Ride. 

Trick Or Trunk October 2016

Trick or Trunk: Hope made the cutest puppy (and can now say dog). For our congregation's Trick or Trunk, we even made a little doghouse. 

Voting 2016

Early Voting: In anticipation of election day being a mad house, I early voted this year. Hope went with me. I was shocked when at 1:30 on a Monday afternoon, every station was full. 

Emily & Hope Halloween 2016

Halloween: We did just a little Trick or Treating on Halloween night, mainly to be part of the community. We also made a special stop at Emily's house. 

What I'm Into Button

Today I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I'm into. You can join the conversation here.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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