Monday, June 30, 2008

Dora Beans

I have discovered Edamame and BK loves it. For those who might not know about Edamame, it's boiled green soybeans that come frozen either in the pod or shelled and it's a great nutritional snack. For more info, see http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56288 ).

I'm sure that BK's enthusiasm for eating them was aided by the fact that they came packed in little individual bags with a picture of Dora and Boots on the front. She calls them her Dora Beans. I let her call them whatever she wants, as long as she eats them.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):
120 calories
9 grams fiber
2.5 grams fat
1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
11 grams protein
13 grams carbohydrate
15 mg sodium
10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
10% Daily Value for iron
8% Daily Value for vitamin A
4% Daily Value for calcium

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Willy Wonka, Jr.

For those of you in the Central MS area with kids, I thought you might want to know that New Stage Theatre in Jackson will be presenting the on-stage production of Willie Wonka, Jr. Dates are July 10-13. Ticket prices are: Adults $10, Children (under 12) $6 and can be ordered online at: http://www.newstagetheatre.com/

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amazon Wishlist

Here is a peek into my Amazon.com wishlist.

This Chicago Metallic Professional Nonstick 24-Cup Mini-Muffin Pan looks like it would be perfect for making lots of mini-muffins at one time. It has great consumer ratings and should last for years and years. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004R91E/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance



This book was recommended from a trusted source as a great tool to help with that all-important job of disciplining the little ones.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1889140244/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance

I found this Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 crockpot because I was looking for a smaller one after realizing that mine is just too big for most of the things I cook, causing it to cook way too fast. I LOVE the fact that this model has three crocks of different sizes, eliminating the need for more than one crockpot. http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-33134-Cooker-6-Quart/dp/B000R8BT0A/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1214700606&sr=8-1

Now I just have to save up...or leave the items on my wishlist long enough that I don't want them anymore (that happens sometimes).

Swimming Fun

Friday, June 27, 2008

Calorie Counter

I found a website today that I think might be a good tool for keeping up with what I'm eating. http://caloriecount.about.com/

You can create a free account and one of the things you are able to do is track the calories of everything you are eating in daily food logs. There is a large database of foods that include generic and brand names. You can also track exercises on a daily activity log.

Did I mention this is all free?? These logs sort of remind me of the online tools on Weight Watcher's website, but they charge a monthly fee for access.

If anyone has any other cool websites geared toward healthy eating, please leave a comment. I'll be posting more as I find them.

A McHeart Attack Waiting To Happen

I heard about a website at my First Place meeting last night that has some good info on calories of favorite foods. If you go to www.calorieking.com and click on "Resources and Tools" then click on "Create-A-Meal," you can chose one of several popular restaurants to click and drag the foods to your tray and see how many calories await you as you partake.

The first one I looked at was McDonald's. One of my favorite breakfast-on-the-go meals is a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with a Coke. The total for that meal is a whopping 590 calories! This info will definitely put a damper on your drive-thru pleasure, but if I am going to jump on the healthy-living bandwagon, this is motivation for me.

My new resolve is to write down everything that goes into my mouth, along with the calorie count. Wish me luck. Actually, I don't believe in luck...so say a prayer for me as I begin this life-changing journey.

The Ball Isn't Entirely In My Court

For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

Oh...so it's not just up to me to "work up" the desire to do what He wants me to do? Boy, that's good news! This verse tells us that not only will He give us the desire to obey, but He also gives us the power to do what pleases Him. He really did think of everything, didn't He?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Brave Girl

Today was BK's last swimming lesson for the summer. It started out as a rocky journey...the first few days she was in tears...and so were we. But each day that she went, it got better as she became more confident.

Yesterday they put them in a blow-up raft two at a time and began rocking it until it turned over and the kids tumbled into the water to teach them boating safety. Of course, they had their life jackets on, but still...how scary is that?? I couldn't believe it when Mike told me that she was such a trooper and didn't seem afraid at all. I asked her on the way home what do you do when the boat turns over. Without hesitation she said "You sink." OMG...I laughed SO hard! I think she was trying to tell me that you go down under the water so you won't be trapped by the boat. Maybe.

Anyway, later in the lesson, the teacher had them climb up a very high slide and slide into the water. I was flabbergasted that she agreed to try it. Mike got a video on our digital camera so you can see her shoot out of the slide like a cannonball and plunge into the water...head first. Her teacher was there to pull her up out of the water and you can tell from the look on her face that even she is surprised at how brave BK was. Oh my, what a big girl my daughter is becoming!

video

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Favorite Pics

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the last few weeks.

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Silly girl giggles.

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Daddy and BK napping after a long day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Okay, I know you will probably think I'm nuts when you read the subject line of this post. But I have been making my own detergent for about two years now and I LOVE it! It saves so much money, cleans as good as the stuff you get in the store and it totally rinses out of your clothes (unlike store-bought detergent) so I don't have to use fabric softeners.

I think I've seen all the ingredients at Kroger, but I chose to order the grated soap from http://www.soapsgonebuy.com/ because I make a big batch that lasts about a year and I don't want to grate all that soap. These instructions are from Mary Hunt (Everyday Cheapskate).

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated Fels-Naptha soap
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

Big Batch: To make a large batch, grate 6 bars of Fels-Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Super Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.

TIP: Homemade detergent will not make suds in your washer, so don’t be alarmed. Fels-Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as traditional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener; in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.

Squash Delight

A friend gave me some squash and tomatoes from her garden yesterday and I was so excited. I just love fresh vegetables. I've pondered trying to grow some in my back yard, but I have so many squirrels that I think they would eat them as fast as I could grow them.

I thought I would post the recipe I used last night to cook some of the squash. It is such a yummy side dish. Even if you are not crazy about squash, I bet you will like this recipe...it is SO good!

SQUASH DRESSING
2 c. cornbread (can use 1 pkg. Martha White muffin mix)
2 c. cooked yellow squash (fresh or 16 oz. bag steamed)
½ med. onion, chopped fine

1 can cream of mushroom soup
¾ stick margarine, softened

2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350. Crumble the cornbread. Mix all ingredients well and bake 30 minutes.


*You can also add 1 lb. cooked ground beef for a complete meal in one pan.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

What a difference He makes in our lives. What does your sign say?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Too Cute!

Check out this lady bug ribbon shirt with 2 hair bows...how cute is this? My friend Tracy is taking orders to make the shirt with matching bows for $19.99 and I have ordered a set for BK. If you are interested in ordering, her email is tatd_820@yahoo.com

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Finding Him

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity..." Jeremiah 29:11-14a (NIV)

Yes, I've Noticed

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

OAMC Recipes - What A Find!

I just found the most amazing website: http://www.freezersmarts.com/

This a wonderful resource for OAMC (Once A Month Cooking). There are tons of free recipes showing photos and step-by-step preparaton guides. Even if you aren't interested in OAMC but you want to put a few meals in the freezer to help prepare for busy summer days ahead, this is the website for you. Check it out!

Who Knew??

I was reading on an online forum recently and found a word that I didn't have a clue what they were talking about.

GEOCACHING

Huh?

So I did what any person with an inquiring mind that wants to know would do. I googled it (Google rules!).

Well...do you know what it is?

Check out Wikipedia's definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yummy Cake

Here's a cake recipe I just discovered...mmm...mmm...good!

1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease and flour a 9X13 pan (or spray with Pam).
2. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and blend on low speed of mixer for 1 minute.
3. Scrape down sides with spatula.
4. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat an additional 2 minutes.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
6. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until golden brown and tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool on a wire rack and frost as desired.


By the way, I found a great website that has 43 cake recipes using cake mix: http://www.recipezaar.com/cookbook.php?bookid=105373&ls=o&pg=2

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Listen To Your Heart



"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14a

Eleanor Quotes

I found a couple of great quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt:

"Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world."

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every
experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Two Sneaky Books

I discovered two books today that look very interesting. Missy Chase Lapine first wrote The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals, then came The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love.

In both books, Lapine shares ways to hide what she calls "super foods" into many recipes as a way to add vital nutrients into the diets of our families. The books are available on Amazon.com and they have great reviews, including one from the author's husband.

I checked the database for the Central MS Library System to see if the books were available for loan, but nothing came up on the search.

By the way, for those readers who live locally, that website is: http://www.cmrls.lib.ms.us/

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Relative

BK is attending swimming lessons this week. Today is the second day and even though she is having fun, she has cried both days. I'm not sure what the tears were for...and I'm not sure that she knows either. New place...new faces...new experience...could be many things. I learned a long time ago that I will never understand all the fears of a three-year-old drama-queen-in-training.

The pool that they are using is very shallow at one end (like ankle-deep) and is three feet deep at the other end. I'm sure that seems very deep to someone who is only about three feet tall...it's all relative, you know?

Today I started thinking about that in relation to my life. I may think that I am over my head in a situation...just treading water to survive. I can only imagine my big God looking down to see me floundering around in what amounts to the kiddie pool and smiling because he sees the whole picture. He knows the plans He has for me...plans to give me hope and a future. If I can just learn to look through eyes of faith.

After all...it's all relative.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Anyway

I'm so glad that when God looks at His children, He sees us covered in the righteousness of Jesus...and He knows what the finished product looks like.

Do you see yourself anywhere in this video?


Bless the day
This restoration is complete
Dirty dusty something must be underneath
So I scrape and I scuff
Though it's never quite enough
I'm starting to see me...finally

A gallery of paintings new and paintings old
I guess it's no surprise that I'm no Michelangelo
Every layer of mine hides a lovely design
It might take a little patience
It might take a little time

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you placed me on the wall
Anyway

You who have begun this work will someday see
A portrait of the holiness you meant for me
So I polish and shine
til it's easier to find even an outline of mine

But you called me beautiful
When you saw my shame
And you placed me on the wall
Anyway

~Nichole Nordeman - Anyway

Angel Food Menu

I just thought I would post the July Angel Food menu for anyone that is interested. With food prices going up along with everything else, this really is a big help with a family's grocery budget. You can go to the main website to find the order dates and locations close to you: http://angelfoodministries.com/

Here is the July menu:

40 oz. Marie Callender’s® Family Crock Pot Dinner (Meat Included)
1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Filet
5 lb. Breaded Chicken Chunks
1.5 lb. Meaty Beef Ribs
28 oz. Meatloaf and Gravy
1 lb. Beef Fajitas
1 lb. Fully Cooked Meatballs
1 lb. All Meat Hot Dogs
1 lb. Broccoli (frozen)
1 lb. Peas and Carrots (frozen)
28 oz. Pasta Sauce
1 lb. Pasta
32 oz. Borden 2% Reduced Fat Shelf Stable Milk
32 oz. Hawaiian Punch
12 ct. Corn Tortillas
7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
Dozen Eggs
Dessert Item


All this for just $30! If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to answer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Crockpot Recipe Blog

While poking around on the internet one day, I discovered a cool blog. The author is a lady who committed to use her crockpot every day this year to try a different recipe. She posts a new recipe every day and then critiques how it turned out. All of her recipes for the year are archived. Check it out: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

Long Time...No Read

I have been trying to log into my blog account for several weeks now, but it just would not work. Instead of persevering to find out what the problem was, I just shrugged my shoulders and went on to something else. That is uncharacteristic of me...but I think I just couldn't deal with one more frustrating thing in my life. Finally today I asked Mike to look at it and he figured it out. Woo-hoo for a techie hubby!

The summer has been eventful so far. Last week I picked up my two oldest grandsons every day to take them to VBS. Nine-year-old "A" made a profession of faith...how great is that?!

BK's two-week swimming lessons start tomorrow at the Y.

I bought tickets for the whole summer for all of us (Bubbies and their mom included) to go see the 50 cent movies every Wednesday morning.

Our church has activities on Wednesday nights, so we take all the kids early to eat and then they go do their thing. We have started taking the two-year-old too...so now I have with me: 9,7,4,3 and 2 year olds. You haven't lived until you have taken five kids out to eat! But we have a good time and I am glad that they want to spend time with their Gran D.

After many years of following the work of the Center for Pregnancy Choices, I finally made the plunge last week to become a volunteer at the local office. I am so excited to be involved in this wonderful ministry.

In between all of my running here and there, I'll try to post more often this summer (thanks for the prodding Elysa!).