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Waffles + musings :)

Best waffle batter -- made into waffles!

I love waffles! Have I said that recently? Well, I do. Especially with whipped cream and fresh fruit. When I make waffles, it's hard to resist taking pictures, even though I have lots of waffle pictures already. :) I have come to really enjoy viewing a beautiful plate of food through my camera lens!

Waffles are even good for teaching multiplication. Now that's the kind of math I don't mind! ;)

Waffles, served with fruit

I've been feeling really worn down, between a needy (teething?) baby and 3 other active children spending too much time indoors due to rainy weather. :P I think I lost my train of thought when it comes to blogging and I'm left wondering "Okay, where was I?!" I know I have posts started, recipes to share, and emails to answer. Some day soon I would like to have 2 free hands to type for more than 5 minutes at a time. ;) I have trouble writing when distracted and interrupted constantly!

I'm having to remind myself that it's really truly okay if the only "things" I accomplish in a day are feeding my family and keeping up with the dishes or laundry! I'm also trying to remember to include my helpers, who really can do a lot to lighten my load. (Yehoshua is 6, Eliyahu will be 5 in a few months, and Ruth is 2 1/2!)

Speaking of the kids... One day last week, Joshua and I had given the 3 oldest children a snack and told them to sit on the kitchen floor to eat it (I think the table was a mess at the time). Moshe was crawling in the living room while Joshua and I talked.

A few minutes later, we heard "Mom, Dad, help! Help!" from the kitchen. When we came around the corner, this is what we saw! Three children holding their plates above their heads as little Moshe crawled towards them, ready to attack. ;) It was SO CUTE!! :)

So, anyway. I have a messy, MESSY kitchen to attend to while Ruth naps and the boys play with Moshe. I'll be back tonight with a kitchen tip! :)

Eliyahu discovers cotton balls (and has no idea what they are!)

This week, Eliyahu found some cotton balls on my kitchen counter and having never seen cotton balls before, first thought they were marshmallows! :) I started taking a video when I realized what he was saying because it was so cute! :)

Living room photos

Part of the living room

On the weekend, I branch out from cooking-related posts and write about my family, answer reader questions, or just blog about what's on my mind! If you have a question or topic you'd like me to tackle, send it my way! :)

Tereza asked if our living room still looked the same as the photos I shared when we first moved here, nearly 2 years ago now. I think the only part that hasn't changed is the bookshelves! :) Here are a couple updated photos. Unfortunately I take horrible pictures of anything that's not food, so bear with me! ;)

The top photo shows half of our living room: Moshe's bed (the pack-n-play) and the couch. The couch was something we got shortly before Moshe was born. Our futon was breaking (duct tape had been in use as a solution but wasn't working well!) and I really, really wanted something comfortable to sit on after having a baby! At the time, we only had a broken futon, an air mattress for our bed (which has a slow leak at the time) and folding chairs (at the kitchen table) and none of those options sounded very post-partum-friendly to me!! ;) I love having a real couch and it gets regular use. :)

The rest of the living room

This is the other side of the living room. The tall stack of totes was one of the things we moved out of the 2nd bedroom so that Joshua and I could actually have a bedroom instead of sleeping in the living room. :)

I also took a short video of the living room... it was getting dark so the quality isn't the greatest but I decided I'd go ahead and post it because I probably won't ever have time to redo the video! :) Watching this makes me realize how loud the traffic is here!! Yikes!! :)

(The video tour...)

Apartment life: Making time to get outside

On the weekend, I branch out from cooking-related posts and write about my family, answer reader questions, or just blog about what's on my mind! If you have a question or topic you'd like me to tackle, send it my way! :)

Tereza writes,

I'd love to read on how you make time to enjoy the parks, trails etc. Have you found any good tricks to balancing your work with the need for the children to be outside? Do you let the housework slide? Do you clean up first then go? Do you follow a schedule and schedule outside time in? What do you do to ensure that your children get plenty of fresh air?

This is one of the hardest things about having 4 young children and NO yard!

#1. I am really not great about making sure we get outside enough. Last summer we had lots of sunny weather and we did get out pretty often, but this year? The weather has waffled between cold and rainy, with a few downright HOT days and then a few really great days of sunshine.

I say that as an excuse -- because you would think that with weather like that, I would jump at the first sunny day and take the kids outside, right? Nope. There have been many days this summer when Joshua came home and asked "Did you and the kids get outside today?" and I had to say "No..." :(

I tend to get behind in things ("things" like housework or blogging or going outside) and then get a little down about it, and then neglect the very things that would actually help me feel better and get more done! It's a horrible cycle that lands me in a pit of not eating right, not sleeping enough, not getting exercise, and just generally NOT being productive!

Getting outside regularly (as in nearly daily if not DAILY) helps me (and the kids) a lot physically and mentally, so I know it needs to be a priority and I continue to work on making it a priority. Yes, even over housework, blogging, or just about anything else!

Ruth, eating peanuts
Ruth, shelling peanuts for a snack. We were having a horrible morning so I put shoes and socks on everyone, grabbed a bag of peanuts and some water, stuck Moshe in the Ergo, and walked to the park. We sat, played, and ate for several hours before I felt ready to go back home!

My methods:

1. Get outside first. Worry about other stuff later. It'll still be there.

2. Better yet, skip some of that other stuff. Joshua and I made a very bare-bones schedule/routine of sorts for me, and decided on a handful of non-negotiable things. Those are: Bible time, outside, school, showers, and (simple) meals. Everything else can -- and often does -- wait.

3. For housework: Minimize what I NEED to do, and then enlist children to help get it done.

Laundry: Joshua suggested I do laundry once a week and that has worked well and saved time rather than doing lots of miscellaneous loads. I do a big load of: towels/bibs/dish rags, socks/underwear, kids, Joshua's, and mine. Bedding is just whenever. (Not often enough but OH WELL!) Kids help a LOT with laundry!

Dishes: This has to be done daily.

Cooking: Make easier meals. Have Joshua grill a lot. Serve fresh fruits and veggies as sides.

Cleaning: I love a clean house and I hate the mess and dirt! But, it just can't take top priority, even with kids to help. Yehoshua (6) does the vacuuming -- but I don't make him vacuum daily, even though the floor probably needs it. Maybe when I have older kids, they will be faster or more efficient at cleaning and more will get done.

So here's my trick for cleaning: Have company over every week or two. Make a nice meal for them and everyone works hard to clean the house. We get to enjoy a nicer meal than usual and the bathroom finally gets that much-needed cleaning. :P And the work is more fun because we're all working for the exciting evening/day of fellowship and friends!

So, these are my meager efforts... remember, I usually do some things, but never all things. And I have to be content with that! :)

Does anyone else have tips for getting outside? I can't believe summer is almost over! :(

Smiley Moshe!

Related:

Exercise tips from my life (when we had 2 kids)

Indoor exercise ideas

Getting it all "done"

More photos from this week:

These three LOVE to swim!

Sleepy Moshe

What Moshe does (hopefully!) while the others swim: Sleep! :) I love him.

Moshe, scooting

Little Mister Moshe. Super cute and a Super-Scooter these days! :)

Ruth heads straight to the blackberries!

Yehoshua eats peanuts

Eating peanuts at the park and discussing multiplication. :)

Tips for Frugal West Coast Living

Walk essentials
Walk essentials: Water bottle, picnic lunch, and diaper bag

On the weekend, I branch out from cooking-related posts and write about my family, answer reader questions, or just blog about what's on my mind! If you have a question or topic you'd like me to tackle, send it my way! :)

Rebecca writes: 

I'm a fan of your blog and have been following it for some time now. My family is soon moving from Kansas to Tacoma, WA and we couldn't be more excited. I have heard a lot though that the area has a much higher cost of living than Kansas. I was wondering if you would have any west coast tips for this Kansas girl.

This site has great charts and statistics for various areas! I especially love looking at weather charts. :)

We've found that housing prices are the biggest difference from living in Ohio. We moved from renting a 2-bedroom house with a garage and yard in Ohio to renting a 2-bedroom apartment north of Seattle and our rent almost doubled!

We've read (and found) that utilities are slightly cheaper here. We live in a 3rd-floor apartment and combined with the milder climate here, our heating costs are a lot less than they were in Ohio. The same goes for cooling -- since we use a fan instead of air conditioning like in Ohio! :)

Our picnic at the park
Our picnic at the park

Food is slightly more expensive here overall BUT there are still great sales and quite a lot of stores to choose from! I like to get my groceries at Costco to keep things as simple and affordable as possible (having 4 young children, only 1 vehicle, and the weekend traffic being NOT fun!), but there are so many stores and farmer's markets and the options are virtually limitless!

I love that the weather here is conducive to getting out a lot more (no freezing cold winters or blazing hot summers), and there are beautiful parks and places to go for FREE! We've only scratched the surface when it comes to parks and trails and beaches!

Kids playing at a park

Gas prices are higher here, but traffic is more of a hindrance to travel than gas prices. ;) Traffic is one of the downsides to this area. Aside from freeway congestion (and most north-south travel requires the use of I-5 or I-405), the stop lights are just plain LONG if you're trying to get anywhere during rush hour. So while everything is so close, it's not like driving the "2 miles to the store" we did in Ohio. We measure distance in minutes. "Two miles" seems a lot further when it's called "15 minutes"... or even more! :)

Car insurance is a lot higher here than it was in Ohio. I think our insurance nearly doubled when we moved! We still just have 1 vehicle, and we don't travel/drive a ton (to work, church, and the grocery store once a week!).

Overall, we really love living in the PNW! Aside from housing prices, I think everything else (utilities, gas, insurance, food) pretty much evens out and we get to enjoy the beautiful cool summers, mountain and Sound views, and woodsy trails! :)

Does anyone else have West coast tips to share??

I appreciated this guest post at Money Saving Mom about frugal living in high cost-of-living areas. And I know Jessica lives in the San Diego area, and blogs about frugal living there. :)

Walk essentials

Freezer space, kitchen gadgets, and favorite ways to relax

Moshe, scooting
Moshe (6 months), happily scoots and plays on the floor...

Time for another "weekend post" of off-topic or personal notes! Ruth Anne asked me these fun questions! :)

1) Do you have an extra outdoor freezer? How do you store everything in your fridge/freezer?

No, we don't have a separate freezer (just the one on top of the fridge).

I use a FoodSaver to seal pre-cooked meats or sealing freezer meals, which saves quite a bit of space. We have to buy things like frozen fruit or veggies (which we get from Costco) fairly regularly, and if I really need space (like when we got 50 pounds of fish for about $70!) then we eat from the freezer and just make the space.

With grocery stores nearby it's very workable, even for our size family. (We can practically empty the freezer in 2 weeks if we try!)

Recipe box
My recipe box (an engagement gift from Sheri), 9 years old and getting full! :)

2) Do you always make a 9x13 pan of food for your family? Do you eat it all at one time, have leftovers or freeze what's left?

I usually make a 9x13-inch dish but for most meals, it is enough for 2 meals for our family. I freeze my freezer meals in a 9x9 square dish though, so I thaw one meal's worth at a time. I haven't really liked freezing most leftovers, so we just re-warm and eat leftovers within a few days or so. :)

3) What is your most used kitchen gadget? Your favorite gadget?

My most-used kitchen gadget would have to be the Berkey Water Filter! We love it and of course since we drink water every day, it gets constant use. :) We've had our Berkey for over 2 years and I'm SO thankful for it!!

I think my favorite gadget is my InegnuiTEA teapot, which makes it super quick and easy to brew loose-leaf tea or herbs. I use it daily in the winter or when pregnant. I actually won this gadget in a recipe contest about 4 years ago and use it way more than I ever expected I would! :) (Read More...)

Park picnics and interview round-up

On our walk to a park

One of the things I love about our neighborhood is the abundance of parks and woodsy trails! There's few things more exciting to the children than getting to explore a new park with trails where "We don't know where it goes!". :)

I usually try to make our walks long enough to be worth all the trouble of getting 4 kids ready to go. Thankfully we have a variety of playtime options within walking distance of our apartment! :)

Sandwich at the park
My sandwich: Turkey, mayo, lettuce, cheese, and tomato

Taking lunch along means we get to play longer, no hungry tummies on the way back home, and the crumbs are on the grass instead of the dining room carpet! Win, win, win!! :)

Clipping the water bottle

With the Ergo baby carrier, my favorite water bottles are even handier to take along on a hike. I am really, really enjoying the Ergo! Along with being very comfy and quick to put on, it has a zipper pocket and D-rings for my water bottles, features my mei tai doesn't have. The mei tai folds up smaller, is also easy to use, and is very comfortable (JUST as comfy as the Ergo in my opinion, until the child is a couple years old).

All in all, I find that I prefer a carrier (Ergo or mei tai) for our walks rather than a stroller -- maybe partly since using our stroller means carrying it up and down the stairs from the apartment. The summer here also isn't too hot, so wearing Moshe keeps him toasty warm on chilly days. :)

Baby Moshe...

Sweet Moshe is 6 months old now! He gets so much love and attention from all of us, I'm convinced he's pampered more than any of the other kids ever were! :) I love this orange striped shirt on the little guy, and I really love the 3 BumGenius diapers that were so generously passed down to us and which are so, SO handy to take along on hikes and picnics! :)

Watching the big trucks outside

Our street was being worked on by some big trucks, and I snapped this picture as the children were all standing on the deck, trying to see what was happening down there. :)

Remember the "5 Questions" game? I thought I'd try to do a round-up of everyone who answered questions from me. I thought I was a question expert but phew! I was pretty tired after brainstorming 5 questions for each person! :)

My posts answering your questions (so far):

Books, music, clothes, menu planning, etc.

My dream house, life stuff, etc.

Schedules, books, favorite foods, etc. 

Weddings, babies, cooking inspiration, hobbies. etc.

FAQ

People who played along (5 questions from me, answered on their blogs!):

Lindsey

Christy

Tanya

Carrie

Martha

Holly

Susan

Kimberly

Sarina

Ruth Anne

Louise

Rena

Katrina

Jessica

Beulah

Sarah

Those links all go directly to their interviews! :) Thanks for playing along, ladies. :)

From Our Life: Schedules, books, favorite foods, traveling, and more

Eliyahu with his drawing
Eliyahu (4) asked me in a sweet-but-serious voice, "Mommy, does the top picture look like Daddy?" I assured him that I could see the resemblance! :)

Five questions from Nina:

I noticed you have four little ones as well. Is there a daily routine you follow to help you stay focused on what you need to do (time with husband, kids, daily chores, blog)?

Yes, I do have a daily routine (or loose schedule) and mostly follow it. It details school time, some chores, Bible time, etc. for during the day.

Joshua and I love spending time together and when the kids go to bed we spend the rest of the evening together almost without exception. (That's one of the things I LOVE about Joshua working a day shift instead of nights!)

For my blog/website, we've tried a variety of different things to give me the time to write and share recipes. Currently, Joshua has been giving me a block of time on Sundays while he takes the 3 oldest kids grocery shopping or takes care of them. I also spend an hour or so early in the mornings (this is on my schedule also).

I'm more of a morning person and if I'm feeling motivated, I can get a lot accomplished. I find I really benefit from a to-do list and a written schedule (however loose it may be) to structure my day. :) I plan to post more details about my schedule in the future! :)

What is your favorite last-minute meal?

I like homemade pizza or taco salad for last-minute meals! I usually have the ingredients for those and we love them... and they're fairly quick to make. I make the pizza dough in my bread machine, and usually have taco meat in the freezer already cooked.

I also serve frozen (cooked) veggies as a side dish with most meals. I just cook and add some salt and call it done!

And unless we're having company, I don't make dessert a priority. If I'm running short on time (as I regularly am!) making dessert is the first thing to go. :)

Do you home school? If so, are all of the kids involved or do you give the smaller ones something to do while the older kids do school work?

Yes, we are homeschooling! Yehoshua (6) is in first grade and Eliyahu (4) is doing preschool work. I usually work with them both at the kitchen table in the mornings before Ruth gets up. She sleeps an hour or two longer than the boys do, but if she does wake up while we're still doing school work I give her a banana to eat or she plays on the floor. Moshe is usually in my arms while we do school work. :)

What would you and your husband do on your ideal date?

Eat a good meal and then play tennis in the beautiful outdoor sunshine!

What books are on your must-read list for this year?

Oh, I should be more intentional in my book reading. I did get Preparing to be a Help Meet a couple months ago and am reading that when I get the time.

My only other reading plans this year are to keep reading the Bible regularly, keep working with Yehoshua on his reading skills, and read aloud to the children daily. :)

Moshe in the Ergo!
Moshe (6 months) enjoying the Ergo given to us this week! What a blessing!!

Five questions from Sarina:

1) My husband really enjoys most of the food I make from your site (I often tell him - "It's a Tammy recipe") so, he wanted me to ask: What is your husband's favorite recipe?

Thank you for the compliment! :)

Let's see... I think Joshua's #1 favorite of all the foods that I make would be my homemade pizza! He loves it especially when I use extra butter when greasing the pan, and then let the crust rise a little before baking, giving it a fluffy crust with a crispy buttery bottom and sides... yum!

Here are Joshua's favorites in several other categories: (Joshua,  correct me on any of these if I'm wrong!)

Cheesecake -- Orange Vanilla Dream Cheesecake

Dessert -- Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Meat -- Grilled burgers on buns (not bread!!)

Veggie -- Plain cooked green beans (Asparagus and Onions are probably #2 for him)

Casserole -- Farmhouse Chicken (with extra chicken tossed in!)

2) In some pictures you have a head covering on; do you veil regularly? why?

Yes, I do wear a head covering. My practice is based on 1 Corinthians 11. I started wearing a head covering about 12 years ago, even though no one else in my (Baptist) church at that time agreed with me! :)

3) Do you enjoy traveling? Where?

I somewhat enjoy traveling, and might enjoy it even more if cost were never a concern. :) I like traveling to visit people rather than just to see sights. I would much rather go visit a friend than a tourist attraction! I guess I'm a homebody, even away from home. :) And since we have always lived far away from part or all of our extended family during our married life, any traveling beyond a couple hundred miles has been to visit family. :)

4) How often do you get to visit with your parents?

Currently, not nearly often enough! :( When we lived in Ohio and were a 15-minute drive away, we saw my parents/siblings at least once a week. Now, I think we'll have to be satisfied with once a year, if finances permit.

The children and I visited Ohio for 2 weeks last fall, my parents came out for a week this summer (during my brother's wedding here in WA), and I'm hoping the kids and I can go back to Ohio for a visit next year. :) I'm thankful that beyond the price of plane tickets, visiting my parents isn't expensive since they provide transportation, food, and let us stay at their house! :)

Moshe in wool wrap
I love wool diaper covers! This current favorite was a gift for Moshe. :)

5) Here's the big one: What are your best potty-training tips for boys??

Oh, I don't think I have any aside from the usual -- let them go bottomless, train in the summer, and let them go outside! (Is that bad?!) I need to potty train Ruth this summer. She turned 2 in January and is just way too big for diapers! :P

And... I think that finishes all of the interview questions from this meme! :) You are, of course, welcome to ask questions for future posts any time you feel like it. ;)

I'll continue trying to do a family-related post each weekend -- especially since so many of you have said you enjoy these posts and don't mind if I stray from the topic of cooking a little now and then. ;)

 

4 fun summer uses for our apartment balcony

Apartment balcony

I was thinking of all the ways we make use of our apartment balcony, and decided to take photos of a few things we do out there! I get frustrated at times (mostly due to the carpet under our dining room table and the many small children who dine here ;D), but there are some really great things about our apartment... like the beautiful sunny balcony surrounded by trees! I love it! :)

(Okay, those beautiful trees also shed... I'm constantly picking pine needles out of our carpet! Gotta love the PNW!)

Balcony Use #1: Clothesline

Apartment clothesline

Has anyone missed seeing pictures of my clothesline this year? Well, my apartment clothesline is back in full force... whenever the sun decides to come out. Hanging laundry in the sun is amazingly therapeutic for me and seeing the clothes drying in the sun makes me HAPPY! My balcony clothesline also shades our (non-air-conditioned) apartment from the summer sun and not using the dryer lowers the electric bill. But really? The real reason I put laundry out is because I LIKE TO.

Although... I will confess to feeling a little embarrased when our neighbors see me out there hanging stuff up! I'm probably just a little crazy when it comes to laundry outside.

Balcony Use #2: Kids + Play-Dough

Balcony play dough

My friend Melissa made some non-toxic scented play dough and gave us several jars. But remember the carpet under our dining room table? Well, I just spread out a big cardboard box (larger than the one pictured is best) and let the kids use play dough on the balcony. Any crumbs either dry up in the sun (haha, I wish!) and get swept away, or else get washed away in the rain (more likely this year!).

Balcony Use #3: Grill. Lots.

Our Weber Q

I know I talk about our Weber Q Grill waaaay to much. But how can I help it when Joshua grills yummy food for us multiple times each week, especially in the summer?! Grilling is another great thing on a hot day to help our non-air-conditioned house stay comfortable.

Now, here is where things do get a little tricky. Grilling while drying laundry can result in smoky laundry, and I'm not crazy enough to want my laundry smelling like it was dried in the fresh outside air right above our grill. And since I hang out lots of laundry and Joshua grills lots, it's sometimes a scrambling act to not combine the two. But I manage, because I'll do just about anything to be able to eat Joshua's grilled food AND hang out my laundry!! :)

Balcony Use #4: Water Gun Fights!

Squirt Gun Fight!

And my final creative use for our balcony is to let the boys go out there (and close the glass doors!) and have a squirt gun fight! :) This activity can be done rain or shine, hot or cold (according to the boys), and making them fill their own guns at the kitchen sink keeps them occupied even longer!

Maybe those of you who live in an apartment too will have even more ideas to share with me. I'd love to hear! :)

This also fits perfectly with Jessica's Frugal Fridays tip this week: Stay home more! :)

From our life: Weddings, babies, cooking inspiration, hobbies and more


Peanut butter sandwiches for lunch at a nearby park. Picnics are fun + fewer crumbs on my dining room carpet! :)

I still have a few more interview questions to answer from this post! Thank you so everyone who has played along with me in asking/answering questions! :)

Here are my five questions from Sarah Robbins:

1. I remember a few years ago, you mentioned being careful not to have too many baby things. We are expecting our first and I was wondering what you would consider "baby essentials"?

I have a blog post dedicated to what I consider to be baby essentials, including money-saving and space-saving tips and photos of how our kids' room looks. :)

My baby essentials would be clothing, diapers (I love cloth), a car seat, some kind of carrier (I have a mei tai that a friend made; we're looking into getting an Ergo soon, using Amazon gift cards from SwagBucks), blankets (depending on the climate), and tear-free baby wash (I got Burt's Bees baby wash as a gift and it's so nice! But usually I just use Huggies baby wash, combining a sale or rebate with a coupon).

It's handy to have a safe place for the baby to sleep -- like a crib -- especially with other children in the home (or pets). I also have a jogging stroller and find it very useful, especially when the baby is bigger than I can comfortably carry in my mei tai but not yet big enough to keep up on walks (a window of time from about 10-12 months until 2 or 3 years of age).

I used to be against borrowing things, but have changed my mind when it comes to some baby stuff. A swing, bassinette, baby bath tub, exersaucer, bouncy seat, or play pen are all things I would consider borrowing as needed since in my experience they have been useful for such a short window of time (or not used at all with some of my babies!) and require more storage space, which we don't have at our current home. :)

2. What's your favorite thing to do with you spare time- not that you probably have very much of it!

A few of my favorite things to do are playing piano and violin, stamping cards, organizing stuff, reading, walking outdoors, drinking tea, thrift store shopping, spending time just talking with my husband, and yes -- cooking! ;) I spend a lot of my spare time blogging though.

Some of my hobbies I get to enjoy almost daily -- like walking, drinking tea, spending time with Joshua, and blogging. Others -- like making cards or going thrift shopping -- happen only a few times each year. :)

Rich and Candy
My brother Rich and his new bride Candy last weekend!

3. How did you and your husband meet and get married?

Here is a blog post about our wedding (with some pictures). Joshua and I met through a mutual out-of-state friend and corresponded through the mail with numerous in-depth letters (he is an excellent writer and we're both great at asking questions!). Our letters turned to phone calls and eventually Joshua visited me and my family in Ohio (he lived in Missouri at that time). We had two in-person visits and then our wedding! It was so wonderful to be married and be finished with the whole long-distance courtship thing! :)

4. Have you ever had any funny cooking disasters that you and your husband joke about now?

Oh, my, I think I have had so many disasters that none of them stand out too much. :) I do still tease Joshua about the time he added salt to our mixed fruit instead of sugar, and we still laugh about the horrendous chocolate cake we made for guests one time! :)

5. How and where do you find ideas for new recipes? Does your family like lots of variety or having the same things over and over?

Joshua loves variety, although of course he does like having our favorite foods regularly. He's always trying to tweak things to make them even better, and is quite often the inspiration behind my branching out to try new recipes. He is pretty much always happy when I try new things, and gets scared only when he finds out it was a recipe I had created myself. ;)

I find ideas for new recipes from blogs, restaurant advertisements (like my Papa Murphy's pizzas!), friends' cooking (at their homes or at potlucks), and magazines/cook books (usually gifts, since I don't subscribe to any cooking magazines). :)


Craziness from the boys! Moshe loves it! :)

A couple of anonymous questions:

I dont have a blog but I was wondering what a regular day is like for you?

I am planning to write a more current "day in our life" post soon -- hopefully in a week or two. :) For now, here is a post about our day from last December, and here is another post with random stuff about us. :)

I understand you're religious so it's understandable that you'd be interested in religious reading, but do you ever read any "fun" books? Fiction, or even a silly romance novel once in a while? And what about pop or rock music, are you interested in that sort of thing at all? I think you said you don't have a TV- neither do we. But do you ever go to a movie, or watch a movie or TV show over the internet or at someone else's house? I guess I'm asking if your religion allows any of these things.

My "religion" doesn't disallow things like reading for fun or watching a movie. :)

I loved reading fiction as a child and teenager, and still read children's fiction to my kids. I just don't make time for adult fiction these days. :)

I'm not into most pop or rock music, but I do like some country music -- IF the words are uplifting and in line with Biblical morals/ethics. :)

Joshua and I love watching movies together, although we find we prefer more of a documentary-type movie, since those bring up lots of good conversation and thoughts -- and we love things that get us talking/thinking together! We're not against a mindless just-for-fun movie; we just have limited time and need to be selective. :)


Yehoshua is so gentle and sweet to Moshe!

And, the last questions for today are from Carrie! :)

1. How did you and Joshua meet? (I was thinking I read sometime that you had a mostly long-distance relationship . . . ours was, too.)

This one is answered above! :) (And I'd love to read your story too, Carrie!)

2. What is one of your favorite non-fiction books?

It's so hard for me to just mention one! But I do like The Proper care and Feeding of Husbands. Just don't take that as an all-out endorsement of Dr. Laura though! :) You can read Getchen's review of the book here.

3. How about a favorite fiction book?

The Little House on the Prairie books (classified at our library as "historical fiction")... but I consider them to be more "real" than not. :) For pure fiction, I loved books by Bodie Thoene as a teenager! The Zion Covenant series (my interest in music and WWII history) and the Shiloh Legacy series were my favorites!

4. What is your top weight-loss tip?

I need to keep track (on paper) of everything I eat each day. Count calories and keep myself accountable to someone (by showing them the paper if necessary). Get outside for a walk or other exercise because it really helps me feel better! We have lots of hills here so a brisk walk can be excellent exercise.

Counting calories is my top "weight loss" tip. Getting outside for a walk is my top "getting into shape" tip! :)

5. If you could travel to anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

I would go visit family (or take them with me to Alaska in the summer). :)

Ruth
Ruth (2) with a favorite doggie friend, Misty