Category: Family, Fun & Holidays
Download a free printable 2018 Holiday Organizer to use during the months of November and December this year!
Are you working on gratitude this season? If so, be sure to sign up for this free 25 Days of Thankfulness Challenge for Moms!
Do you start feeling stressed this time of year? Sign up for this FREE 3-day Organized Thanksgiving eCourse that features easy, actionable steps and printables to help you get organized!
It’s no secret that I absolutely love books. And I try to invest at least a little bit of time every single day reading.
But on really full days, fitting in reading time can be a challenge. Which is why I’m so grateful for audiobooks! They are the perfect solution to making reading a priority — even if you aren’t able to physically sit down and read a book.
However, if you buy audiobooks online, they are often quite expensive — typically more than you’d pay for the paperback or hardback copy. Which is why I’m a fan of finding ways to listen to audiobooks for FREE instead.
I talked specifically about the Overdrive and Hoopla apps in that post — apps that allow you to “check out” audiobooks for free from your local library. Most libraries have since switched over to the Libby app, an app that is much more user-friendly and less clunky to use. And I have become a huge fan of it.
How the Libby App Works:
- Download the Libby app and connect it to your local library card.
- Search through the app for a book or audiobook you want to check out (you can search by genre, title, author, book format, availability, and more).
- Once you find a book you want to “check out”, you either place a hold on it (if it’s not available) or choose to borrow it.
- After borrowing a book, you get to keep it in your account for 14 days. After that, it automatically is loaned back to the library for another patron to be able to check out.
One drawback: Many of the popular books have quite a long waiting list, so if you don’t finish listening within 14 days, you won’t be able to pick back up where you left off until you wait on the waiting list again. However, there are many great books that don’t have a long waiting list — or any waiting list at all!
A Few Tips:
- I try to pick audiobooks that are no more than 8-9 hours in length because that’s a manageable length for me to get through before the audiobook needs to be “returned” to the library.
- I always listen to the books on 1.25 speed — you can’t tell a difference. And it means that it speeds it up just a little bit.
- Be sure to listen to a sample ahead of time. Some of the narrators are amazing and some are just annoying to me. I can’t spend 8 hours listening to a voice that is just annoying.
- I’ve found that certain genres are best for listening to. I especially love great biographies and fiction. I’ve found that non-fiction isn’t as enjoyable or beneficial to listen to. I prefer to read those since I’m more of a visual learner. Try different genres and figure out which you prefer.
When I Find Time to Listen to Audiobooks:
- While I’m getting ready in the morning — hair, makeup, cleaning up our room & bathroom.
- When I’m working in the kitchen — washing dishes, cooking, etc.
- When I’m driving without the kids — heading out on an errand, to school drop-off, etc.
For me, this adds up to about 30-60 minutes of audiobook listening time per day! And I can easily get through one book in 10-12 days this way!
Other Places to Download Audiobooks for FREE:
Librivox — This site offers thousands of public domain audiobooks — for free. The audiobooks are read by volunteers so the quality isn’t always as professional as what you can download from the library. However, they are free for anyone to listen to on their computer, iPod or other mobile device, or to burn onto a CD. (Note: One of my readers mentioned in the comments that many of the classics have multiple versions available read by different readers, so try a few different versions to find the reader you like best!)
LoyalBooks — This is another HUGE directory of free audiobooks and ebooks. This site used to be called BooksShouldBeFree. It offers a wide variety of public domain audiobooks.
YouTube — Believe it or not, YouTube offers a number of free audiobooks. Some of these are illegally recorded, others are not. To find an audiobook on YouTube, search for the name of the book + audiobook to see if it pulls it up. There are a different YouTube channels that offer free audiobooks, too, such as Greatest Audiobooks and AudiobooksFree.
Open Culture — This site offers a listing of 700 different audiobooks you can download free. Most of the links are to iTunes downloads or MP3 downloads.
Free Classic Audiobooks — This site offers free audiobook downloads in mp3 and in m4b audiobook format for iTunes and the iPod. It’s a pretty old site, but it looks like they update it with new audiobooks fairly regularly.
Learn Out Loud — This site has a Free Audiobook section where they offer 3,000 different audiobooks for free. There are quite a few good selections to choose from. They list free audiobooks from across the web plus some you can download directly through LearnOutLoud.com.
Podcasts — One of my readers recommended the Sparkle Stories and StoryNory podcasts. They offer free audiobooks for kids.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, when you do you find time to listen to them? I’d love to know!
Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! 🙂
This week, I enjoyed getting to make some more meals in my crockpot and share them with you as part of the Eat at Home Challenge.
I wrote a post on How We Afford Snacks on a Tight Grocery Budget.
Silas pitched his first inning of a baseball game and did a great job!
His new school is really stretching him academically but in a way that motivates him, not frustrates him (well, most days!) I’ve been so proud to watch him really put his head down and work so hard on his projects and papers and homework and to see the sense of accomplishment he gets from working hard on something and completing it well.
We celebrated Jesse’s and Brian’s (our friend) birthday by going to TopGolf with friends. I’m not skilled at all when it comes to golf, but we still had a great time together!
I love watching this boy play his heart out on the ball field.
From My Heart…
They started fighting one night last week during the before dinner prayer.
One child began praying and the other child cut in upset that they weren’t getting to pray and said heatedly, “It’s MY turn to pray tonight!” And then started their own prayer.
You guys. This is life sometimes. I have visions of these heartwarming family dinners together — and then we can’t even make it through the before dinner prayer without arguing and fighting.
And of all the things to fight about… they are fighting about who gets to pray!!!
But despite the rough start to dinner, we ended up having great conversations around the table and had fun picking a new show to watch together after dinner (we’re trying out Monk — have you seen it?).
No day is perfect. Just like no family picture is perfect…
My parents hired a photographer to come take group photos and family photos when we were together in Breckenridge — which was an amazing idea.
Only thing is, we had a really full week that week and had packed at the last minute and hadn’t really had time to think through what we were going to wear for pictures to coordinate with everyone else.
So it was a bit of a mad, scramble, dash to pull off pictures! What you don’t know is that I’m hiding my shoe strap that is broken. (I forgot it had broken until I put them on minutes before pictures!) We had to run to Walmart at the last minute to find a shirt for one child who forgot to pack something for the pictures. And the girls borrowed my scarves the morning of the pictures because they didn’t like their outfits.
Despite the mishaps, there is beauty. And that is really how I’ve been trying to live my life… looking past the discouragements, the daily frustrations, the mishaps and miscommunications and mistakes… and looking for the beauty.
Because there is beauty and goodness around us, if we will be stop to take notice of it. And the more we look for it, the more we will see it in the middle of our imperfect and messy lives.
2018 Goals Update
1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.
**Progress: 58 books read so far this year
2. Read through the entire Bible.
**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!
3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.
**Progress: 36 notes written so far this year
4. Run 500 miles.
**Progress: 358 miles run so far
5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.
6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.
**Progress: We’ve finished three books so far.
7. Take the kids to South Africa.We took this trip in July. What a memorable experience!
8. Go on a family road trip.
**Progress: We’ve been researching some options for this and are planning to make this happen over Fall Break. Stay tuned!
9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.
**Progress: The workout room is DONE and the office is almost done!
10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)
11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.
12. Launch 5 new courses.
**Progress: We launched 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March, Email List Setup 101 in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass in May, and we launched Build Your List 101 in June!