Thursday, September 27, 2007

Out of the Mouths...

The boys and I went on a nature walk this morning so they could complete part of their AWANA book requirements. As we were walking along the trail, headed east into the sun, we decided we would stop at the bridge and watch for turtles for a while before heading back. Caleb said, "If we close one eye, we'll get there faster."

13 Time-Wasters

Today's Thursday Thirteen: 13 computer games I find myself playing when I have other things I should be doing. Or sometimes when I'm just winding down for the night.

1. Arithmetiles - This is the latest game of choice. The highest I've gotten is level 27, and that was only once. Most other times I lose around level 22 or 23.

2. Crazy Cube - I really enjoyed playing this game at first; then I got stuck on level 16. Somehow I passed it and finished the game (30 levels), but I haven't been able to get past level 16 again. It's frustrating, but I'm determined to figure it out one of these days.

3. Sudoku - I'm hooked. I'll admit I haven't played this in a while, but I'll probably get back to it again soon. Caleb likes to watch me play and help me with it sometimes. He's even got his own "Sudoku for Kids" puzzle book. (He also likes to help me work logic puzzles.)

4. Letter Rip - It's like Arithmetiles, only you make words.

5. Diner Dash - I haven't played this one in a while, but it was fun.

6. Speed Marbles - This game is so addictive! Even the boys like to play it from time to time.

7. Billiards Classic - This is a great game to wind down with in the evenings. It's frustrating to play against the computer, so I mostly play against myself.

8. Mini Golf Classic - Mini golf is fun whether you're playing it on a course or on the computer!

9. Mah-Jongg - This was probably one of the first computer games I got hooked on. I think it was one of Caleb's, too.

10. Bookworm - Another fun word game.

11. Alchemy - I also have this game on my hard drive so I don't have to play it online. It's addictive, too.

12. Hidden Expedition: Mt. Everest - This is like the "I Spy" games, only harder. There are also a few other hidden picture games like this. I only play the free online part of the game. There's not much to those, but they have a few different puzzles to go through each time.

13. Inspector Parker - I finally found a fun, online logic puzzle game. I can play this for hours. I shouldn't, but I just get caught up in it sometimes...

There are other games I like to play from time to time, too, but these are my favorites. I may go for weeks or months without playing certain ones, then go back. Others I may play some every day.

What do you like to play?

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Waiting Game

Well, I went to the dentist this afternoon to get my permanent crown. The only problem was it was made too big, too tall to fit my bite. The dentist ground and ground on the crown, fitting it again and again, only to have to take it out and grind some more. Finally he said they would have to have it remade. He said that often happens when the crown is for one all the way in the back of the mouth. If it's between two other teeth, they can measure the crown to fit, but when it's the last tooth, there can be all sorts of problems with fitting it.

Thankfully my first impression was good and I didn't have to do that gross part again! Now I've got another temporary crown and another 3 weeks before we see if the second crown fits any better.

Good Buy!

I was lacking one small but important ingredient from tonight's supper (Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Jalapeno Pineapple) - the jalapeno. I only use fresh ones when I cook. I have a jar of pickled jalapenos in the refrigerator, but they're too hot to enjoy the flavor. I only use them for my homemade salsa.

Since I had to get out anyway to take the babysitter home (after $5 worth of keeping the boys for my dental appointment), we stopped by Wal-Mart to get my one little thing. Caleb read the price - 33 cents per pound. He wanted to weigh our one little pepper, so he put it on the scales. It barely registered. I laughed as we walked to the register to check out, wondering if I'd have enough change or if I'd have to break my $10. (Once I break a $10, it seems to vanish!)

I handed the pepper to the cashier and told her I was a big spender today. She rang me up and we both laughed. I owed one cent. Yes, one measly penny for my all-so-important jalapeno! Thankfully I had some change - even a penny - in my wallet. That's the cheapest - and quickest - I've ever gotten out of Wal-Mart! And it'll probably never happen again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

13 Soups

So here's my Thursday Thirteen:

Fall will officially be here Sunday, but weather-wise, I'm sure it's still quite a ways off. Still, I can't help but eagerly anticipate cooler temperatures and the wonderful foods that come along with them.

I've just started planning our menus for a month at a time instead of weekly. Last week, I finished out September's meals and I'm almost finished planning out October's. Even though it probably won't be cold enough in early October, I've started making plans for our weekly soup night. This year it'll be on Wednesday nights. That way I won't have to cook or have much clean-up on Thursdays when Survivor, CSI, and ER are on!

Next month's "soups" include
1. Billy's Prize-Winning Chili
2. Chicken & Dumplings
3. Vegetable Soup
4. Baked Potato Soup
5. Taco Soup

I'll have to work in some other old favorites along with several new ones in the coming months:
6. Tortilla Soup (new)
7. Creamy Mushroom Soup (new)
8. Black Bean and Corn Soup
9. Stuffed Bell Pepper Stoup (new)
10. Red Beans & Rice
11. Chicken Toscana Soup (new)
12. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (new)
13. Broccoli & Cheese Soup (new)

I might even add a 14th soup this fall/winter: French Onion Soup (new).

The only problem with making so many different soups, especially in the southern part of the US, is by the time you've made each one, the weather's too hot to go around again!

Note: I can't believe I forgot to add Chicken & Sausage Gumbo to my list! I should be ashamed!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Fourteen

Wow! It's been a while!

There's not a Friday Fourteen that I know of, but I missed yesterday's Thursday Thirteen and I have had so much going on lately that I can fill you in on 14 things.

1. I went ten days ago to have some dental work done. Thankfully I didn't have to have a root canal! Ten more days until I get my permanent crown.

2. The boys' schooling is going nicely. We've all gotten into a good routine and are usually finished with everything by 12:30 p.m. Jacob is doing well with his reading, too. I made him some flash cards for practice, and I add to them each time he learns a new sound. He's proud of his progress.

3. My friend Kim and I have decided to start meeting each Wednesday morning to work out. This Wednesday was our first day. We walked about 3/4 mile or so on the outdoor track, then went inside to use some of the weight equipment. We finished up with some crunches, then sat and relaxed for a few minutes in the sitting area of the dressing room. I'm very sore today, especially my right arm. At times I can hardly bend it. I think I'll take some pain reliever before going to bed tonight so I can sleep. Last night I had a hard time finding a good position for my arm and woke up several times.

4. Billy and I watched One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest last weekend. It wasn't great, but it held my attention enough to watch to the end. It was great seeing Christopher Lloyd and Danny DeVito when they were young. DeVito reminded me so much of someone else, but I haven't been able to put my finger on it. I want to read the book now because I didn't understand part of what happened in the movie. One more book to add to my ever-growing list.

5. This weekend I'm hoping to watch The Lake House. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves are in some of my favorite movies. Anyone seen it?

6. Caleb is learning about ancient Greece right now, so we've been reading some Greek myths. He loved the story of Echo and Narcissus. Today we read about King Minos, Theseus, and the Minotaur. He really liked that one, too. He thought the story of Daedalus and Icarus was okay. Next week we'll read about Arachne, Hercules, and Odysseus. I'm really enjoying this part. I remember reading and falling in love with Greek myths when I was in 8th grade.

7. I've been working hard with my SWIM Secretary duties the last few weeks. With the new semester starting up, I've been busy inputting all the new wives' names into our database. Then we decided to clean up our email account. I didn't realize there was a limit on the number of sent emails each day and ended up blocking the account. We decided to get another account elsewhere, so then I was busy researching free email services and determining which one would serve us best. Then I had to get it set up and export our address book - nearly 1,000 email addresses. Now I have to count up the hours I spent doing all that so I can include it in my September monthly report.

8. In other SWIM news, we had our Fall Opening last Saturday. There were about 95 wives present, with about half of them new to the seminary. The program was good and several wives signed up for various programs.

9. Caleb decided he doesn't want to be in the science fair after all. I think he got aggravated because I went from Home Depot to Lowe's to a nursery without finding what I was looking for. I had decided to go back to Lowe's to get what we needed, but he said he didn't want to do it. He just wanted to get the few groceries we needed from Wal-Mart and go home. There's always next year...

10. Tonight is the last night of new Monk and Psych episodes until January. Too bad! But at least Survivor starts back up next week. The week after that is CSI, CSI: New York, and ER.

11. The 51st Annual Greek Food Festival is in two weeks! I can't wait to go back so I can eat some more souvlaki. I might even try some spanikopita (spinach and feta cheese fried in phyllo). They'll also have baklava sundaes there. That sounds good. Really sweet, but good. Oh, and Constantine Maroulis will be there, too. He's supposed to demonstrate a recipe Friday night and play two short concerts on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. They need to book Yanni.

12. I've got a full month of bookings for October - 4 cooking shows. I'd like to get one more show. I've got another lady who's very interested in the stoneware that's on special next month, but I haven't been able to get in touch with her. Maybe I'll be able to reach her tomorrow...

13. Pampered Chef has some really good-looking recipes out this fall/winter. I can't wait to start trying some. One I'm wanting to make next week is the Mediterranean Hummus Pizza. I'll get Billy to pick up some of the good hummus from Fadi's. I'm also wanting to make some Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies. (I think that's what they're called.) I tried some Truffle Brownie Cups the other night at our PC Cluster meeting. They were sooo good, and they look really easy to make.

14. Sundays are now chock-full of activities. After church and lunch, we'll all be home for a couple hours before heading back for the afternoon. I'm attending a Bible study series called "The Truth Project" (by Focus on the Family) for the next 11 weeks. The boys have started AWANA, too. It begins right after the Bible study session is over. I'll be helping some in Cubbies this year. (They've added a new group for 2- and young 3-year-olds called Puggles.) Billy will be using the 4 hours we're gone each Sunday afternoon to work on his online class and other school work.

Now that things are slowing down again (or so it seems), I hope to get back to blogging regularly.