29 December 2016

Upcoming Bills in the Missouri House of Representatives

Proposed bills include requiring all multi-stall bathrooms to be "gender-divided," forbidding the collection of biometric data in public schools without parental consent, and no placement of "refugees" in the state without the approval of the General Assembly.

Of course there's more!  Read 'em here.  Some of 'em are downright weird, though.  Fair warning.  Like... why forbid increased insurance payments to families after someone dies of suicide?  Sort of punishing people for the deceased's mental illness, I should imagine.  Whatevs, let them fight all that out... no plans to drop dead here, but I wonder what they were thinking when they wrote that. 

I also wonder how much of this stuff is even going to see the light of day when our representatives meet again.

25 December 2016

Christmas Cooking With My Star Wars Wafflemaker!

The Death Star is very, very tasty and if you let the batter sit for the full time recommended, very crispy as well.  It's almost impossible to overcook really.

Yep, I just followed the directions on my Jiffy box for waffles and made waffles in my new Star Wars wafflemaker.  I bought mine from ThinkGeek when it was on sale for $25.  Now the price has gone up and it's even more expensive on Amazon!  Crazy.  Well, I'd recommend this product to ya but do please wait for a sale.  They had a great sale just before Christmas.  That's the thing about stuff like this - you don't know when you order during a sale whether you'll like something or not, so it's hard to recommend to friends.

Now ya know.  Buy this thing when it goes on sale again. 

The Jesus Bible, NIV Version

Zondervan just put out a great bible!  I couldn't wait to crack it open, but it was better than I expected. 

The Jesus Bible would make a nice baptism or other occasion gift, especially for a man who is just learning about the faith.  It's grey and without any drawings, fancy lettering or other distractions.  Simple and to the point.  Hefty and hardbound with a grey cover that feels like fabric.

 It features notes from Max Lucado, Ravi Zacharias, Randy Alcorn and others and is very easy to read.  The studies are detailed but not overwhelming.  Simple timelines and notes help the reader understand the text.

I've included a photo of the bible outside the grey sleeve.  The crayons are just to help you see how big the bible really is. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



23 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Or a good Chanukah or just a generic Happy Holidays if you like.  I hope you're having a great end of the year.  Here, we're almost ready for Christmas (although we're still not done with work on the house if you can believe that!) and we even have a menu planned.  Hey, it's only one item (tacos) but it's a menu, right?  We're skipping the traditional ham and turkey for something everyone eats.

Are you looking for a new party game to play with friends?  Yeah, I'll just leave you with this one. 


17 December 2016

Progress!

We're maybe 9/10 done, but the weather has turned very cold with snow and ice expected today.  It could get as low as -4 (-20 Celsius) and highs this week will be mostly in the 20s.  It might be a couple of weeks before finishing touches happen.

14 December 2016

Prayers and Answered Prayers


I know my bitty eight-year-old girl is going to love Prayers and Answered Prayers.  It's super-sparkly and glossy and smells nice.  It's actually two smaller post-card sized books inside one book cover as you see in the photographs.  Each little page contains something to think about.  For example, one has a drawing of a dressmaker's form and the girls are reminded to be grateful and asked to draw the outfit they most like to wear.  These are little, fun assignments with a godly purpose.

Inside of book cover.  The white cardstock on the left comes out, revealing...

Two sparkly-covered books!
One book (as you might imagine) is titled, "Prayers" and the other, "Answered Prayers."

I'd recommend this book for any little girl from about 7 to 13.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

13 December 2016

Do You NEED a Hatchimal This Christmas?

I honest to gracious am not understanding this trend.  This is worse than the Tickle Me Elmo that was popular awhile back.  People pay well over $100 for a plastic egg with some sort of upcycled Furby inside - and they fight in stores for the privilege to do so! 

My children don't even know what this thing is and it's just as well.  No way I would spend that kind of money on some cheap plastic toy that will be ignored in a month. 

Are you unsure of what this Hatchimal thing is all about?  I was... so I found this video.  It confirmed all my biases.  Yep, it's just a plastic egg with a toy inside.  Someone is making a lot of money this Christmas season.

11 December 2016

10 December 2016

Going to a Chess Tournament

Last weekend, we went to a chess tournament in Kansas City.  Even though it was a one-day tournament, I booked a hotel and had the little children stay there all day.  We walked from the hotel to a nearby chicken take-out and brought our food back to the hotel where we played Pokemon Monopoly for hours. 

It was nice to get away and more than that, I was very impressed by how much Woodjie especially has grown.  I am no longer afraid of Woodjie running away or anything like that, which used to happen on a regular basis.  He still needs quite a bit of direction and we had a personal care attendant at the tournament with us, but he's just made me so very proud, being able to be away from home all day and dealing with all sorts of unexpected things happening.  And eating new foods, even! Very proud. 

And that's not to say I'm not proud of Rose but somehow?  She was born knowing how to do things like 'stay with Mom' or not run away.  We didn't even have to go through crazy methods like PECS systems to teach her how to speak.  She just sort of did this thing where she listened to other people speak?  And then she spoke without special classes and reward systems. 

Every child is so different, isn't that right?

Anyway, we had a great time!  And it wasn't nearly so cold as it is this week.  I think we had a high of 36 degrees or something - and that's way warmer than it was even a couple of days ago.  Yep, the guys outside working on my siding all day must be really cold.


07 December 2016

Life at My House Right Now

It's very noisy and very messy.  Everything is off the walls.  All the dishes are out of the cabinets.  Everything is away from the windows while they are being replaced on the upper level of the house.  In short, pretty much a bunch of stuff is in a pile in the middle of each room. 

Nobody come over to visit for a while.

In this photo, you can see our new windows on the upper floor.  Eventually these windows will be "wrapped," which means they won't look so shoddy around the edges as they do now.  We'll also get some Hardie siding and then I'll do a proper post with before, during and after. 

Meanwhile it's pretty noisy and cold when they remove windows during snowstorms.  Apparently these people work year-round though!

06 December 2016

The i-Factor Book Review

"Most of the time, people remain stuck in cycles of the same problems, like a hamster on a wheel, until they finally realize that the trouble is not with their bosses, their spouses, their bank accounts, their health, or their sons and daughters.  The trouble is more personal than that; it's in their minds."

Van Moody's "I-Factor" book really unpacks this idea of mindful living through his book in a Christ-centered way.  Not hokey.  Practical.  The premise of the book seems to be that for the most part, our happiness and success are determined by us and how we view ourselves and our circumstances. 

His chapter on forgiveness is the best, though.  I can't tell you how many stupid Christianese books and articles I've seen on forgiveness.  This fellow is one of the few people who will outright tell you that forgiveness does NOT have to mean reconciliation and it certainly doesn't have to mean blowing off what happened or minimising what someone has done to you.

This book is for anyone going through a rough spot in life and is ready to consider some of the ideas Van Moody outlines for change.  It's not a simple self-help book, but it gives ideas to think about and then come up with your own way of handling a given issue.  Recommended!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.  I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme...