Noah’s Reading – October 2008

October 31, 2008 Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse (The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking) by Cressida Cowell

Read Alouds – October 2008

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | 2 Comments  

Tales from Shakespeare by Tina Packer
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church by Brandon and Mindy Withrow
Flyte (Septimus Heap, Book 2) by Angie Sage

Josiah’s Reading – October 2008

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Franklin and the Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark

Natalie’s Reading – October 2008

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Framed (Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective #15) by “Carolyn Keene”

Jonathan’s Reading – October 2008

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano

Links for Friday

October 30, 2008 Categories: Books , Contests , Holidays , Movies | 1 Comment  

Can you believe tomorrow is Halloween? This month has flown by, and we’re heading into snowball season. No, I don’t mean literal snow. I mean the time of year where – for our family, at least – Halloween rolls into my birthday rolls into Josiah’s birthday rolls into Thanksgiving rolls into Natalie’s birthday rolls into Christmas. Whew – I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, I’m just not crazy about the hecticness leading up to it.

Tomorrow night, we will take the kids to my parents’ church for the ultimate in Harvest Parties. My Dad has built all of these amazing games, and they give out tons of candy – way more than we ever got when we used to trick-or-treat. Which the kids really, really need because they’ve been so, so nice to each other lately. (Can you sense the sarcasm in that sentence?)

What I’m really looking forward to is next Friday. See, it’s my birthday – and all three boys are staying over at Michelle and Don’s house for Nicholas’s birthday, and Natalie is spending the weekend with my folks. So Kevin and I are heading to Spokane to eat dinner and go to Barnes & Noble so I can pick out my birthday present. Can’t. wait.

This weekend will be spent dealing with kids on way too much sugar, while I try to write the four articles that are due by Monday. Sigh.

~ I feel really guilty about complaing when I read posts like this one from Carol.

~ Bookroom Reviews is holding a Book Giveaway Carnival next week – be sure and check out the details at the link if you want to participate, and then check back on Monday for the list of all the bloggers giving away books.

~ There’s a new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince trailer up at Entertainment Weekly.

~ I have a guest review of The Night Country by Stewart O’Nan over at J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

~ Great article by Rod Dreher about one of my all-time favorite authors: Wendell Berry’s time is now.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Have you ever?

October 29, 2008 Categories: Memes & Quizzes | 6 Comments  

In the spirit of ignoring politics until the election is over, I thought it would be fun to do a meme – and then I saw this one at Meg‘s.

Bold the things you’ve done and will admit to.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratchIs knitting an art?
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Have you ever? Let me know if you join in, so I can read your answers.

Two spaghetti recipes

Categories: Recipes | 4 Comments  

One of Kevin’s online gaming buddies requested that I post the two different spaghetti recipes that Kevin (apparently) raves about while chatting online. So here they are:

Spaghetti Sauce

1 lg. can tomato sauce (not sure of the ounces, but the largest, squat can)
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 sm. can sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 pound lean or extra-lean ground beef

Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain fat. While the ground beef is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan and place on burner on high. When it starts to boil, turn it down to medium-low. Add the hamburger as soon as it’s done cooking. The longer you simmer the sauce, the better it tastes – 20 to 30 minutes is good. If you’re in a hurry and can’t simmer it that long, increase the amount of garlic by a bit and it still tastes great. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles – I use the thin spaghetti.

Spaghetti Casserole

1 pound lean or extra-lean ground beef
1 large jar of Prego traditional spaghetti sauce (the family size jar)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
16 oz. thin spaghetti noodles
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large saucepan, cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions until just done – you don’t want them mushy. While the noodles are cooking, cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When almost all of the pink is gone, add the garlic and continue to cook until all of the meat is brown. Pour in the spaghetti sauce, mix thoroughly, and then turn on low. Combine the sour cream and cream cheese in medium sized mixing bowl; stir until smooth.

When noodles are done cooking, drain. Pour the noodles into 11×15 or two quart baking dish that has been misted or wiped down with olive or canola oil. Spoon about 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce/ground beef mixture over the noodles and mix until all the noodles are moistened with the sauce. Spoon the cream cheese/sour cream mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Spread the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top, and then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

For this one, I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and low fat sour cream, and you can’t tell the difference at all.

Did you see House last night?!?!

Categories: Politics , Television | 4 Comments  


Oh my gosh, House and Cuddy totally kissed! Really, really kissed. And then, biggest surprise of all, House did the gentlemanly thing and said, “Goodnight” and left, instead of taking advantage of her depressed state of mind.

I cried when the birth mother changed her mind about letting Cuddy adopt the baby.

On a completely unrelated note, I won’t be posting about politics anymore, nor will I be answering comments on any of my previous political posts. I’m more than ready for the election to be over, and I’m tired of talking about it, reading about it, and hearing about it.

Another book giveaway

October 27, 2008 Categories: Books , Contests | Comments Off  

I’m giving away four more books at Books and Movies, if you’re interested.