Thursday, June 18, 2009


Because I couldn't let Tara and Jess have all the fun! :)

1. What author do you own the most books by? Hmm. Hard to say. Maybe Janet Evanovich? Or possibly Kay Arthur. (Weird combo, I know!)

2. What book do you own the most copies of? The Bible

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Hmm. Maybe Han Solo. :) And Joe Morelli. And Michael Hosea. And...oops, I'd better stop! ;)

4. What book have you read the most times in your life? Oh, my. Does Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas count? Also The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

5. Favorite book as a ten year old? The Search for Grissi.

6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Some dumb Christian romance. I don't remember the author, or the title. But it was implausible beyond words. I didn't actually finish it, because it was just too stupid.

7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I had read a couple of other books (fantastic reads!) by her, but this is the one everyone raves about. Having read it, I know why. :) (Although The Scarlet Thread is still my favorite of hers.)

8. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I agree with Jess and Tara that people shouldn’t be forced to read books. But everyone would benefit by reading the Bible! :)

9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? I would say Crime and Punishment, but I can't seem to make it all the way through the darn thing. I've tried, and tried, and just can't do it. But I also agree with Jess that Dante's Inferno isn't any fun either. :-p Ugh.

10. What are you reading right now? I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris and Ellyn Davis and Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow.


I have made some tasty discoveries lately that I thought I might share. :) Getting dinner on the table can be a daunting task, so maybe someone will be able to use my findings.

I have some food sensitivities, and because of that there are very few packaged products I can eat. It's definitely healthier (and cheaper) to cook from scratch, but sometimes I long for the convenience of being able to open a can or a box. I have never been able to use canned broth, for example. No matter the brand, no matter whether it was organic or not, I could not eat it. I could make stock or broth myself to use in recipes, but there were no shortcuts.

Until now! Kitchen Basics makes a packaged stock (and it is stock, not broth) that I can actually eat! I was so excited to find it. The ingredients list is things like sea salt, carrots, celery, etc.--things you'd use if you were making stock yourself. There's nothing fake, nothing artificial, nothing that you wonder just what the heck it is. When you open the carton, it smells wonderful, and it's a rich, lovely color--not watery at all. I used it to make soup the other night (something else I can't buy canned), and it turned out so good! Kitchen Basics is more expensive than canned broths, but it is so worth it. I won't quit making homemade stocks and broths, but it's nice to have an easier option available now. You can read about it, buy it online, or find a store in your area that carries it here.

Another great resource is the website RecipeZaar. There are a ton of recipe search sites available on the Internet. I just happen to think that RecipeZaar is the easiest to use. :) And I have found some absolutely fantastic recipes here! My favorite so far is these amazing rolls. If you have a bread machine, you NEED to make these rolls. Or maybe you don't. They're slightly addictive. Once you make them, you won't be able to get enough. But man, are they good!

One final cooking website that I'll mention is Super Cook. This is another search site, but it's a bit more unique. If you've gotten to the end of the pay period, and you're down to just a few items left in the pantry, and you're wondering just HOW you can use them to put together a meal, then this is the site to help you! You enter what you have on hand, and it links to other recipe sites (RecipeZaar, All Recipes, Epicurius, etc.) with recipes that use the ingredients you have. I love it when I know we have no money to go buy even a few additional items, but I don't want to spend hours looking at recipes to figure out which one matches my current holdings.

P.S. Natalie has been smiling and cooing up a storm today...until I get out the camera. But I'm going to keep trying! She is adorable when she grins! (Okay, so she's adorable when she doesn't grin too!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

my little manipulater

Okay, so that's not really a fair title, probably. But I am reminded of a joke my mom uses (and she knows more about children than anyone you will EVER meet): God makes them cute so you don't kill them. ;) Why was I reminded of this, you ask? Well, it started this morning, very early.

Natalie nursed around 5 this morning, then I put her back to bed and dozed off myself. An hour and a half later, she woke up, wailing. Not just crying, mind you--we're talking top-of-the-lungs screeching. She frequently has gas pains (truth be told, she's the gassiest baby I've ever seen. And thanks to Mom's in-home child care business, I've seen quite a few!). So I gave her a dose of Mylicon. Usually this will put her back to sleep.

Not this time though. She continued to sob. I held her. I jiggled her. I walked the floor. I gave her another dose of Mylicon. She finally fell back to sleep...until I put her down. Then she started wailing again.

So I snuggled her next to me in bed, thinking that way I could snag at least a bit more sleep myself. But I didn't have a chance to doze off before she was awake again. By now, she was hungry.

So I fed her, feeling somewhat tired and cranky. Mind you, I wasn't mad at her; obviously she can't help having a tummy ache! But still, I really would have liked to have slept some more. I kind of hoped that when she finished nursing, she would drop back to sleep and maybe I could have a nap before the day started.

Well, she finished nursing, but she did NOT go back to sleep. I put her in her bed, and she looked up at me. And she smiled the most beautiful, light-up-her-whole-face smile you have ever seen. And she cooed. And she continued to smile and coo at me for the next ten minutes.

And yes, all is forgiven. Who could resist? :)