Hi, I'm Dawn Klinge, welcome!  I write here because doing so helps me to take notice of the sweet things in life.




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Tour of Washington's state capital. 

 Trent and I decided to visit our state capital in Olympia this week because he is currently studying Washington state history.  We couldn't have picked a better day to go, though I didn't intentionally plan it this way.  It was the day of the governor's state of the state address.  We could have watched the speech from the gallery if we had wanted to, but we opted out of that because we didn't think we'd have enough time.  But we did watch the opening formalities.  It was very similar to watching a State of the Union address, with the senators walking across the capital building from their chamber to the house chamber, the supreme court and cabinet being introduced, the flags, national anthem, etc.  It was a great opportunity to explain the different branches of government to my son and point out significant people as they walked by.  He will remember what he saw and experienced much better now than if we had simply read about it in a book.  This was a day that I really loved homeschooling.  Something else that I loved about this experience was that since it was just Trent and I, and we were not part of a large group, he had a lot of personal attention.  We had our own tour guide, and every office that we walked into, we met people who wanted to give Trent souvenirs. 

The capital building was built in the 1920's, and is far more beautiful than I what I was able to capture with my phone's camera, but here are the pictures I took....









The picture above, of my daughter, has nothing to do with today's post.  I just like it, that's all.  

Today's post is a series of questions, because I was tagged by the lovely Vanessa, from Her Heart Proclaims.  I'm supposed to tag more people, but I'll just say, consider yourself tagged if you'd like to play along.

What did you eat for breakfast today? scrambled eggs with avocado slices
How many times have you moved in your life?  Too many!  Hmm...I'm guessing, but maybe 13.  That's towns, not houses.  I haven't lived in 13 different towns.  I'm counting each time I moved from one town to another-  I've lived in Wenatchee, WA several different times.  Don't even ask me how many houses I've lived in, because I don't even know! 
How do you spend your weekends, typically?  Right now, I go to my son's basketball games and drive my daughter to ballet classes, rehearsals, and auditions.  I go to Mars Hill church on Sundays.  I sleep in if I can.  My husband and I usually try and go somewhere together, just the two of us, for a date.  Sometimes it's a nice dinner.  Other times, it's just coffee at Starbucks.  We usually have a big, leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning.
How would you like to spend your weekend?  I like the way I spend my weekends- as is.  But it would be fun to be able to fit in some travel if I could.
What's your favorite book?  The Bible.
What's your favorite hair product?  coconut oil
What's your earliest childhood memory? I was two, standing at the top of a slide, a noisy motorcycle drove by, I got scared, ran down the slide to go into the house, and I fell and broke my arm.
What's the most terrifying/adventurous thing you've done?  Moving to the Seattle area from Wenatchee was actually pretty terrifying.  We wanted to move to Seattle, but to make the move, my husband gave up a good, secure job in exchange for a six month contract position.  We didn't tell any of our family or friends about that, because we didn't want to hear about how crazy we were.  My poor husband had a lot of pressure on him to find a permanent job quickly.  He did, and we're very happy here, but there was definitely some time of uncertainty.
 What is the last dream you remember?  I never remember my dreams.
What is your favorite board game?  Settlers of Catan

Favorite Books 2013- non fiction


This will be my third and final book list for now.  I'm sharing my favorite non-fiction books from 2013 today.  Looking back, I can see that I was blessed with reading time over the past year.  It's something I enjoy, and I don't take it for granted.  There have been years where I read all the time, but rarely anything of my own choice (college) and years where I was simply too busy with little ones.  Now I'm in a phase of life where I'm usually driving the kids around- and while I wait for them, I get to read.  Perhaps you'll find a title or two from this list that intrigues you.  As always, I love hearing your suggestions too.

Non Fiction:

 A Million Little Ways, Emily P. Freeman- looklng at the artistic potential in all areas of life- words, gestures, relationships, attitudes, this is a book about what God made you to be.  I thought this was an encouraging book, full of helpful advice. 

Love and War, Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of, John and Stacey Eldredge- an honest, helpful book about marriage with a Christ centered focus. 

*The Power of a Praying Woman- Stormie Omartian- This book helped me learn more specifically how to pray.  I borrowed a copy from the library, but it's more of a reference book, so I'd really like to have my own copy of this one.

Intimate Issues- Linda Dillow-  I almost didn't put this one on the list, not because it's not good...it's very good, but because it's so personal.  But here it is.  You're welcome.  This book answers all those questions you might be too embarrassed to ask.

Here for You, Creating a Mother Daughter Bond that Lasts a Lifetime- Susie Shellenberger- practical advice concerning parenting in the teen years. 

 A Call to Resurgence, Will Christianity Have a Future or a Funeral?- Mark Driscoll- this is a book that looks at the current state of Christian culture, as a wake up call to Christians, and offers suggestions of how then to live in response to that. I thought it was a thought provoking, important book. 

Amusing Ourselves to Death:  Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business- Neil Postman- this book was written in 1985, about what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of  entertainment.  This book is was written before the internet, but seems even more relevant today.  After reading this, I view all my media consumption through a different lens.

Writing to Change the World- Mary Pipher- how to influence people with our words.  I thought this was a very useful book.

How to Raise Selfless Kids in a Self Centered World- Dave Stone- topics include: Becoming Others Focused, Service, Generosity, Forgiveness.  An important subject matter and an interesting book.

Crazy Love:  Overwhelmed by a Relentless God- Francis Chan- a great book how much God loves you, and about living a life for God

*At Home:  A Short History of Private Life- Bill Bryson- this is one of the most intersting history books that I have ever read. Using rooms in the house as a starting point, Mr. Bryson tells the history of many of the most common things that we take for granted.

On Writing Well- William Zinsser- a concise, helpful guide on how to write in all types of various genres. 

*Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis- I love anything by C.S. Lewis, and this is one of his best books...about what it means to be a Christian

Apollo's Angels:  A History of Ballet- Jennifer Homans- I loved the history part of this book, which is 99% of it, and found it fascinating.  But the editorial at the end made me angry.  Maybe one of these days, I'll write about why I think her hypothesis, that ballet is dead, is wrong.

Give them Grace Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus- Elyse Fitzpatrick- gospel centered parenting, one of the best parenting books I've ever read.

Shimmering Images:  A Handy Little Guide to writing memoir- Lisa Dale Norton- another great reference that I'd like to own.  I keep checking this book out from the library and re-reading it.

Who Do You Think You Are- Mark Drisoll- finding your identity in Christ- excellent

The Circle Maker- Mark Batterson- praying circles around your biggest dreams and deepest fears- a very helpful, practical book on prayer that encourages big dreams.


*Though they're all good, I put a * by the three books that I found most helpful and/or interesting.

I will save the read-alouds, that I did with my son, for the end of the school year.  For our favorite 3rd grade read-alouds, you can go here.

Favorite Fiction Books 2013

Favorite Biography/Memoir Books 2013




Favorite Books 2013: memoir and biography

Continuing on with my lists of favorite books from 2013......


Heaven is for Real, Todd Burpo- a little boy, age 4, goes to heaven during surgery.  I was skeptical of this story at first, wondering if the parents were just looking for some attention, but I was won over, and ultimately, fascinated by this story.

*Paris in Love, Eloisa James- a writer and her family live in Paris for a year.  I would love to do this myself, and so enjoyed living vicariously through this story.  With two kids (one a teen), a great sense of humor, and a love of cooking/food, I found this author easily relatable and fun to read.

Escape from Camp 14, Blaine Harden- a man who grew up in a prison camp in North Korea and escaped. This was a hard book to read, but I'm glad I did, as it's about ongoing human rights abuses that people need to be aware of.  Heartbreaking. 

Flight to Heaven, Captain Dale Black- Yes, I read two books about people visiting heaven this year.  This one was actually my favorite, as it is a first hand account, and I loved reading about how the experience changed the life of Cpt. Dale Black.

The Astronaut Wives Club, Lily Koppel- This is about the wives of the first American astronauts and what they experienced during a very exciting time in history.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

Undaunted Courage, Steven E. Ambrose- the story of the Merriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the opening of the American West- interesting and well told.  I now want to visit Yellowstone National Park and several other places Lewis and Clark passed through.

White Jacket Required, Jenna Weber- a coming of age story about blogger Jenna Weber and her time at  Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  I really enjoyed this, as I've followed her blog for years.

*Wild, Cheryl Strayed- this is a great story about one woman's journey up the Pacific Crest Trail, alone.  Strayed is a wonderful writer, and even though I'm not a hiker, I enjoyed every page of this book.

Onward, Howard Shultz-the founder of Starbucks tells how he restored the company that was losing focus and made a great comeback.  I don't know why I found this book so interesting, as I'm not in business, but I did- maybe because the way Schultz talks about leadership can be carried over into other areas of life, beyond business.  That, and I also just drink a whole lot of Starbucks coffee.

*House, Michael Ruhlman- a husband and wife renovating an old house, but it's about more than that.  It's about the importance of home and history.  I loved this story.

* It's hard to choose, but I put a * by my top 3 favorites.

Favorite fiction books of 2013 are listed here.


Favorite Fiction Books of 2013

2013 was a year where I set a goal of reading more fiction.  What an enjoyable task that was to work on!  Hopefully, I'll be able to read even more in 2014.  I'm always looking for recommendations, so please, continue to share your favorites with me.  I'll share some more booklists over the next few days, for other categories.  Below, are some good fiction books that I read in 2013.  I put stars by my top 3 favorites.

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green- my daughter told me about this one, and she was right, it was very good, but it was a tear jerker.  Cancer, teenagers, relationships, the big life and death questions, but told with humor and a deep understanding.

Me Before You, JoJo Moyes- This is a also a book that deals with serious questions about life and death.  I liked the way this story was told, and thought it was well written, but it also made me mad.  I will qualify this recommendation with the statement that I don't agree with what the author seems to be saying.

*Where'd You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple- I loved this one.  It's a little quirky, a whole lot of fun, and it's set in Seattle.

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey- This is a book that set my imagination to flight.  It's a story that's haunting and beautiful.  It's set in the frontier wilderness of Alaska. 

Sisterhood Everlasting. Ann Brashares- this was a quick, fun book about friendship, centered around a mystery.

Call Me Zelda, EriKa Robuck- based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and real life events, as told by a fictitious psychiatric nurse.

The Darlings, Christina Alger- a wealthy New York Family, a financial scandal, a guilty pleasure book

The Stars Shine Bright, Sibella Giorello- this is part of the Raleigh Harmon series that follows a FBI special agent.  I love these books, and this one was my favorite.  It's set in Seattle and it has a lot of interesting science stuff and mystery, a fun read.

A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway- set in WW1 Europe, a love story, there's a reason this book is a classic.  I could read this one again and again.

*The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin- a different kind of love story, set in the Wenatchee Valley during the pioneer days.  This is a beautiful but tough story.  I cried a lot.

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain- this is a fictional account based on the real life relationship of Hemingway and his first wife.  I thought it was fascinating and sad.

*What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty- I loved this story!  Amnesia seems like it's overplayed in storytelling, but this story was told with a fresh approach that sucked me right in.

The Peach Keeper, Sarah Addison Allen- A mystery, set in the South, this was an enjoyable book.