Saturday, February 28, 2009

Old Navy Coupons

Today I found out about a great website that has Old Navy coupons!  It’s a fun, interactive site where you “search” for hidden coupons.  They change every week and are on first-come, first-serve basis.  The best one I found today was for 20% off my entire purchase.  Earlier this week, they had $75 off any $100 purchase coupons hidden for people to find! 

Old Navy is a great place to buy stylish, inexpensive clothes.  Their clearance racks are golden if you hit them at the right time.

Happy hunting!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring Pictures

About once every 12-18 months I get Grace’s picture taken in a portrait studio.  We had a really good experience today and got a great promotional deal at Portrait Innovations.  Grace actually didn’t want to leave when it was time to go!

Here are a few samples of her pictures.  My sweet friend Joy bought this beautiful black & white dress that she is wearing as a gift.  Notice the precious purse that matches!


She loves this dress so much that she was upset to change clothes at the studio.  Then, after we were finished, she wanted to wear the dress home!


This was my favorite picture. 


This flower picture was cute, too.


Then we changed into a casual spring outfit.  I just love this smile!


What a ham!


I had a lot of fun this morning, and I’m glad she enjoyed it, too.  Beware family and friends, pictures are headed your way soon!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good News

I have two little brothers of which I am very proud.  I have often prayed that God would allow us to live closer to each other so we could enjoy each other as adults and watch our children play together.  So far it hasn’t happened, but I can continue to dream!

Anyway, I heard great news from both of my brothers this week.  My youngest brother Jon is coming home from Iraq on March 4th!  We are so thankful that he has remained safe and protected during his months of service in a dangerous place.  I know that he can’t wait to go home to Hawaii and see his beautiful wife and two little girls! 

Then today I learned that my brother Josh and his precious wife are expecting another baby!  Their son Vincent is so excited to be a big brother.  I personally am praying for a little niece because I want to witness my big, strong brother playing with teacups and princess dresses!

I often wish that I could go back and re-live moments of my life knowing what I know now.  One thing I would do is appreciate my brothers more when we were growing up together.  I would show them that I loved them more and make more of an effort to build a relationship.  I went off to college in another state when I was seventeen, and I haven’t lived anywhere near them since. 

Now that I’m grown and (hopefully) wiser, I don’t take for granted any of the time that we do get to spend together. 

Who’s the bad guy?


I can’t for the life of me figure out who the bad guy is…Charles Widmore or Ben Linus?  Ben certainly seemed like the villain tonight, but you just never know…those LOST writers are so clever.

The most interesting moment for me was when John told Ben that Jin was alive.  I honestly think that was more shocking to Ben than when John mentioned Eloise Hawking.  I’m not sure why, though.  The only thing that changed between Ben talking John out of killing himself to Ben doing the job for him was mentioning those two people.  Hmmm…

The most shocking moment was when John’s driver got shot.  I figured it was Ben, and we didn’t have to wait long for that confirmation.  (Have you noticed that we’re getting more answers faster this season?) 

I must say that Matthew Fox gave a stellar acting performance this evening as Jack.  TV Gold.  If he ever gets nominated for an Emmy, they should show the clip of Jack reacting to John’s news that Christian was alive.

The meeting between John and Walt was curious.  I’m still not convinced that Walt wasn’t on that plane back to the island.  Maybe in the coach section?  I don’t think they would have teased us tonight without there being more in Walt’s future.

The previews for next week hinted at a Sawyer/Kate reunion.  Woo-hoo!  I just LOVE this season.  We’re getting so many answers and filling in so many holes.  This is my second-favorite season, next to the first season.  The first season is my favorite because that is where I fell in love with Sawyer the characters.

LOST is the perfect balance of adventure, fantasy, romance, mystery, drama, comedy, and good old-fashioned entertainment.  Not to mention the fact that I think my I.Q. has grown a few points by trying to keep up with all the storylines!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Don’t Have A Clue

I don’t have a “Clue” why anyone would want to re-make one of the funniest movies EVER.  I added a clip from one of my favorite scenes in the movie.  The casting was perfect (Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, and many others), and I can’t imagine anything better could come out of a new version.  In my mind, it’s kind of like re-making “Gone With The Wind” or “Mary Poppins.” 

Warning: There are some adult innuendoes…I think it is rated PG. 

Most of it is OH SO FUNNY.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feed The Birds


We love to go to the park and feed the ducks.  On this day, we met some friends and threw some stale bread that I had saved.  The ducks are so brave and not scared of anybody!

Although this day was a little chilly with a strong north wind, Spring is definitely on the way!  Today I went through Grace’s closet and organized things for the warmer weather.  After trying some old clothes on her, I found out that she can still wear all her shorts and capris from last year (yay!), but her shirts and dresses are too short. 

So, I’ll be making a trip to the craft store this weekend to buy some fabrics to sew her some spring and summer dresses.  I love this time of year!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 6

Welcome to the sixth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

Chapter Six was, to me, the “meat” of this book.  The power of God’s word is the ultimate authority to guide us how we might discipline our children.  Once again, I was challenged to the call to know and speak the Word of God so often that it is done in a comfortable and conversational manner.  The only way I can do this is by studying God’s Word myself, then translating it into a language that my 4-yr-old can understand. 

I loved Ginger’s challenge to view every discipline issue as a means to showing our children their need for a Savior.  We are like “mommy missionaries!”  Instead of getting angry and impatient, we should be thankful for the opportunity to point them to Christ.  Wow, that’s easier said than done, and definitely something I need to take to heart.

I appreciated Ginger’s slight detour into the land of excuses.  We’ve heard moms make excuses for their kid’s behavior (hungry, tired, bored, sick, etc.), and I’ve fallen into that trap myself.  The bottom line is that sin is sin.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with extending mercy or grace to our children under challenging circumstances, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring or excusing bad behavior.  Consistency is key, even when it’s tough.

Training our children to submit to us as parents prepares them to submit to God as a Christian.  I’ve never thought of it quite this way, but it makes sense.  The quote from the book (pg. 75) said,

“When they accept Jesus and surrender to His Lordship, they find it easier to heed His commands because they are already in the habit of obeying.”

Of course, it is the Holy Spirit that convicts their little hearts and God that ultimately opens their hearts, but think of the spiritual benefits that our children will have by beginning a Christian life with solid biblical teaching from childhood!  What a gift that is to our children, and my prayer is that God will use it to gently lead our daughter into His flock.

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment on the topics raised…I look forward to reading them!  Stay tuned for a post next Monday on chapter seven.

Monday Milestones


I had a pretty good week overall.  I exercised five days and tried to push myself a little more on each workout.  I’ve always had difficulty falling asleep, but since I started exercising regularly, I find myself falling asleep quickly and deeply.  I haven’t taken a sleeping pill or melatonin in over a month.  (I used to take one every night!)

I lost four pounds this week, bringing my total to fourteen pounds in four weeks. 

Overall, I haven’t really been that hungry because I’m eating a great volume of low-fat, low-calorie food.  If I find myself hungry before my next scheduled eating time, I fix myself an extra shake.  On the HMR program, you can eat extra bars/shakes/entrees whenever you feel hungry, so you’re less likely to get ravenous and cheat on something full of fat and calories.

Todd is still enjoying his dinners at night.  Since I’m eating HMR entrees and fresh veggies, I cook Todd and Grace a piece of meat to go with the vegetables I am eating.  This week, I’m including a recipe for pork chops that Todd really enjoyed the other day.

Oven Fried Pork Chops

  • 4 trimmed pork chops
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Beat the egg, soy sauce, water, and garlic powder together in a pie plate. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on waxed paper. Dip the pork chops into the egg mixture, then breadcrumbs; coating evenly on each side. Arrange in single layer on greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Turn and bake for another 20 minutes until the chops are tender and no longer pink.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CVS Advisor

 CVS2 I love to shop and save money at CVS.  There are countless websites and blogs that are devoted entirely to the activity of finding the best deals at CVS by using coupons and Extra Care Bucks.  I found out today that anyone can sign up to be a CVS Advisor

When you become an advisor, you are occasionally invited to participate in surveys and opinion polls.  When you do so, you will receive anywhere from $2-$15 dollars in Extra Care Bucks each time you participate.  You will also receive a $5-$15 ECB sign-up bonus when you register!

I just signed up myself, so I’m hoping this will be beneficial!

Preschooler Quote of the Day

Every Sunday afternoon on the way home from church, we question Grace about what she learned.

Joanna:  “Grace, what did you learn about in Sunday School today?”

Grace:   (her stock answer) “Jesus.”

Joanna:  “Really?  What did Jesus do?”

Grace:   “Um….um….”

(I look at her Sunday School handout to see that she actually learned about the Apostle Paul today.)

Joanna:  “Did you learn about Paul?”

Grace:  (exasperated) “I don’t remember…I was playing around!”

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Computer Virus Scare

Tonight I was typing an e-mail to a friend when all of a sudden my computer started going crazy.  All these warnings came up saying “Trojan Virus.”  It said all my files were corrupted and I needed to press this button to make them all go away.

It scared me, so I called Todd to come downstairs and tell me if I should push the button to disable the virus.  I was promptly told NO DO NOT PUSH THE BUTTON.  He ran a virus scan only to discover that my Norton Security subscription had ended (I had been…ahem…ignoring THOSE warnings for several weeks now). 

Anyway, I went to renew my Norton subscription to find that it would cost $59.  Todd mentioned something about getting free anti-virus protection through our AT&T internet service.  So, I called customer service, and sure enough, we get McAfee Anti-Virus included in our account.  (I’m so glad I didn’t buy Norton again!)

It took about 30 minutes to un-install Norton and go to the website the customer service rep gave me to download McAfee.  After running a new virus scan, I discovered that, yes, my computer did catch a trojan virus, but thankfully it was easily removed.

And I’m so glad I didn’t press THAT VIRUS BUTTON which could have potentially ruined my computer!

Daddy Time

Today was a fun day for Grace.  She got to spend all day with her daddy!  Todd has been working a lot more lately, so they didn’t get much quality time together this week. 

We mainly just hung around the house all day, but Todd did take her on a couple of errands this afternoon while I did some housecleaning.  Of course Grace likes just being with him, but she also loves that Daddy just can’t seem to resist giving her all kinds of treats and sweets. 

They came back from a trip to Walgreens with a Cadbury Creme Egg.  She had never had one before and it took all of about 10 seconds for her to gobble the whole thing up.  She was delighted that it looked like a real egg, and was actually a little hesitant to eat it at first because we are always telling her she can’t have eggs (she’s allergic). 

Anyway, she went to bed a happy girl.  Today was one of those days that I thank God that Todd isn’t a band director anymore.  We love that we get him on the weekends now!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shopping Trip

Today I found out that a very dear friend of mine is going to be a grandma for the first time!  She was so excited to share the news with me and was looking forward to buying a few things to send in a care package to her daughter, who is a few weeks along.

When I heard she was going to look at baby stuff, of course I asked if Grace and I could tag along!  Cause who doesn’t like to “ooh” and “aah” over teeny-tiny baby fashions? 

As we were looking at all the cute newborn clothing, I found myself reminiscing about Grace’s first year.  I can’t believe now that she was small enough to fit into preemie clothes!  All those nights of careful baths in the kitchen sink and fluffy towels with hoods, followed by Johnson’s baby lotion and clean footed pajamas…it seems so long ago, but it also seems like only yesterday.

I have thoroughly enjoyed each new phase of motherhood and the joys and challenges that it brings.  But just for today, I found myself wishing that Grace was that tiny little thing that I nursed and held in my arms all the time.  What a sweet joy she has been.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back On The Island


Tonight was another great episode!  This season has been pretty good about giving some answers instead of creating nothing but endless questions. 

We started with a curious scene of Jack in the jungle, rescuing Hurley and Kate.  (Isn’t that what he does best?)  I was flabbergasted with how this came about, so I was glad that the whole episode tracked the two days leading up to that point.

We go back to the spooky church with Mrs. Hawking, who explains that she can help them get back to the island.  She takes them to a secret Dharma room in the bowels of the church where we see a really cool pendulum.  Mrs. Hawking gives them a quick education on the history of the island and shows how Dharma scientists used mathematical formulas to predict a very small window of opportunity to get back to the island.  Desmond decides he wants nothing to do with this and goes back to Penny and his son.  (Good move, Desmond!)

Mrs. Hawking also tells Jack that he must give something of his dad’s to put in Locke’s coffin.  I’m not quite sure where this is going, but we did find out in the preview for next week that John comes back to life (surprise, surprise!).  Jack conveniently gets a pair of his dad’s shoes from his granddad and puts them on Locke’s body in the coffin. 

Ben, in a mysterious phone call, with even more mysterious injuries, asks Jack to pick up Locke’s body.  Jack brings the body to the airport and gets it on the plane to Guam (or, rather, the island).  I have a feeling we’ll see the guy again who gave Jack condolences in the airport.  The group of Losties who make it on the plane are:  Jack, Kate, Ben, Sayid, Hurley, and Sun.  Oh, and let’s not forget FRANK, the pilot!  I’m so glad he’s back…he was really cool. 

Let me interrupt this recap to ask the question that is foremost in my mind:

If Jack KNEW he was going back to the island, why oh why did he wear a SUIT AND TIE on the airplane??? 

Anyway, the plane starts experiencing turbulence and the next thing we know, Jack is in the jungle.  So, here are some questions I have after this episode:

  1. Why was Sayid escorted on the plane as if he was under arrest?
  2. How did Hurley get out of jail and find out about the flight?
  3. What did Kate do with Aaron?
  4. How did Ben get bloodied up?  (Did he fulfill an “old promise” by trying to kill Penny?)
  5. What happened between the turbulence and Jack waking up in the jungle?
  6. What “time” are Jack, Kate, and Hurley when Jin drives up in the Dharma van?
  7. Where are Sun, Ben, Sayid, and all the other people on the plane?

My favorite line of the evening was when Jack and Ben were on the plane.  A very nervous Jack sees Ben calmly reading a book.  Jack asks, “How can you read?”  Ben replies, “My mother taught me.” 

Next week’s episode looks incredible!  We will find out about Locke’s interaction with the Oceanic Six in L.A. and how he came to kill himself.   I can’t wait!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Works For Me: Bulk Spices

works for me wednesday

I am fortunate to have a beautiful Whole Foods Market close by that has a fabulous bulk spice section.  Every spice or seasoning blend I could imagine is available in big jars from which I scoop the amount I need.  It’s always ultra-fresh and CHEAP!!

Seriously, I can scoop a nice-sized bag (more than comes in a McCormick bottle) of freshly dried oregano for 32 cents.  The bag of dried bay leaves I picked was 9 cents.  That’s cheaper than the Dollar Store and much better quality.  I re-stocked five or six spices on my last visit and only spent a couple of dollars. 

That totally works for me.

For more Works-For-Me tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer

Island Cake

LOST cake

This is for all of you fellow fans of LOST and Ace of Cakes!  To celebrate LOST’s 100th episode, Duff and the gang from Ace of Cakes made this incredible masterpiece.  You can go to Jorge’s (i.e. Hurley’s) blog and see some great pictures here.  Jorge will make an appearance on Ace of Cakes on May 9th.  You better believe I’ll be watching!

duff and jorge

Don’t you just love these guys?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Redbox Deal

Have you ever rented a movie from Redbox?  We did for the first time last week.  It only cost $1 (if you remember to return it by 9:00 p.m. the next day).  We have one conveniently located a couple of blocks from our home in the Walgreens parking lot.

Well, today I also learned that Redbox offers one free movie every Monday!  You can go to Deal Seeking Mom to get the coupon code…she posts the new code every Monday.  This week’s promo code is:


You must insert a credit/debit card to get the movie, but it will not be charged $1 unless you forget to return the movie Tuesday night.  Also, make sure to select “Rent With Promo Code” on the opening touch screen in the lower left corner.  And, you can get another free movie for every different credit/debit card you use!

You can also reserve movies online before you pick them up!  Just go here to reserve your movie.  (You cannot reserve movies and use the free promo code, however…it only works if you pay the $1). 

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 5

Welcome to the fifth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!  This was the first chapter in Part II of our book.  If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

I don’t know about you, but taming the tongue is a work in progress for me.  It seems like the older I get, the more I must exercise my “mouth filter.”  Part of this comes from my background as a band director, where I had to act a certain way to maintain control of large groups of teenagers at once!  Another area I fight is my natural tendency towards sarcasm…not good when disciplining children.  I’ve had to go back and apologize to Grace for things I said or an angry tone of voice I used when she disobeyed.

Ginger reminds us that reproof is not just calling attention to our child’s sin, but teaching our children how they violated God’s law and how to change.  My favorite quote from this chapter is on pg. 58:

Chastising for the wrong without teaching them the right can exasperate them, provoke them to fear and anger, and fail to result in inward change.”

Unfortunately in today’s world, society frowns upon spanking because so many people (even Christians!) do it the wrong way.  When the rod is administered in an angry and emotional way without biblical reproof, the results can be disastrous.  In severe cases, children can develop fearful and self-loathing attitudes.  Others become very angry and aggressive themselves, therefore repeating the cycle to the next generation.  Ginger has a lot more to say about biblical use of the rod in later chapters…

Back to reproof…I liked how Ginger compared the passage from Proverbs 29:15 (“The rod and reproof give wisdom…”) to the passage from Ephesians 6:4 (“…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”).  This shows that God’s overall plan for raising children has not changed between the OT/NT.  God’s plan is for us to administer consequences AND instruct them verbally.  If we don’t, our children will become more disobedient (Proverbs) and/or suffer emotionally (Ephesians). 

The next section talks about teaching “in the moment” and allowing our children to practice the correct way to act.  For example, a person can’t learn to play the piano by listening to verbal lectures on hand position and music theory.  A commitment of time actually practicing the piano is necessary to build skills.  In the same way, we must be committed as parents to take the time to practice and build Godly skills in our children.  It’s the only way they will learn to think and act in a wise way on their own. 

The correct use of verbal reproof is an area that I need to continually be working.  I am always praying for self-control and patience when dealing with disobedience.  If God can forgive me and love me when I continually sin against him, then I want to show the same love and compassion for my child. 

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment below on the topics raised…I look forward to reading them!  Stay tuned for a post next Monday on chapter six.

Monday Milestones


This week I did pretty well, especially considering it was Valentine’s Day week.  There were candies and treats all over the house, but I managed to stay on track.  I’ll admit that I took a quick detour and enjoyed one small treat, but I made sure to work off the extra calories by increasing my workout that day.

My energy levels were up this week, and I found myself exercising every day, burning a few more calories in every successive workout.  Todd set up our little TV in the study where I keep our treadmill, so I enjoyed watching my favorite shows to make the time go by faster.  Grace does a good job of entertaining herself with toys and books while I’m exercising, and she even joins with me on some of my stretches and floor work.  (Anyone ever tried doing push-ups with a preschooler on your back??)

All in all, I lost four pounds this week.  This brings my total to 10 pounds in three weeks. 

Some of you have e-mailed me to ask what eating plan I am on, so I’ll share that I am using the HMR program.  It is basically a very low-fat, low-calorie eating plan.  Although I stay between 1200-1500 calories per day and less than 20g of fat, I get to eat a great volume of food.  Between the shakes, entrees, and fresh fruits/veggies, I eat every 2-3 hours and stay full. 

Every day I stir-fry veggies to go with my meals.  I’m posting a recipe for this simple, healthy side dish.  In the past, I would have made this with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  I have found that the combination of cooking spray and chicken broth results in a dish that is just as tasty.  (Not to mention you will save 239 calories and 27g of fat!).  You can play with it and make it a million different ways by experimenting with the seasonings/sauces:

Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • 2 c. any mix of veggies (onion, carrots, red peppers, squash, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, asparagus, etc.)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth or water
  • Seasonings/sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, tomato sauce, spice blends, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, etc.)
  • Cooking spray

Preheat pan or wok over medium-high heat.  Chop veggies.  Spray pan with cooking spray.  Add veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir lightly and let caramelize for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and stir.  Thirty seconds later, add broth or water and quickly put on lid.  Let the veggies steam for 3-4 minutes.  Remove lid and add special seasonings or sauces.  Let cook for a minute or two and serve.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dinner Disaster

Tonight I burned dinner. 

Earlier today, I went online and found a great recipe for roasted chicken that you start on the stove and finish in the oven.  To go along with the chicken, I cut up some potatoes, carrots, and broccoli to roast at the same time as the chicken.

I made my game plan.  According to the recipes, the chicken needed 40 minutes, the potatoes/carrots 25 minutes, and the broccoli 15 minutes, all roasted at 450 degrees.  In order to have dinner ready at 6:00, I put the chicken in at 5:20, then the potatoes at 5:35, then the broccoli at 5:45.  I was so proud of myself for keeping on schedule, and the table was set and ready for dinner.  So, I sat on the couch with a magazine for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Then the fire alarms went off.  All six of them.  The sound was deafening, and Grace was terrified.  I was a little confused because I saw no smoke, but I threw open the back door, turned on all the ceiling fans, opened two windows, and started fanning the alarms with a book.  I didn’t even think about turning off the oven!

After several minutes of running frantically from fire alarm to fire alarm and fanning like a madwoman, I couldn’t figure out why the smell of smoke was getting worse instead of better.  At this point, Grace was hysterical, covering her ears and crying.  IT WAS SO LOUD.

Then I realized that I didn’t turn off the oven when the alarms first went off.  I ran downstairs to discover smoke pouring out of the oven.  I took the food out and saw that the chicken was blackened, the potatoes/carrots were so burned that they were unrecognizable, and the broccoli wasn’t even green.

After turning off the oven, it still took about 20 minutes for the alarms to stop.  I ended up taking Grace outside to play in the backyard until it was quiet again. 

Upon further investigation, the chicken was actually still juicy inside although the outside was burned.  The veggies were goners, however.  So, for dinner tonight, Todd and Grace had a chicken breast and I had an HMR entree.  And, we laughed a little when I told Todd the story over dinner.

Words of Wisdom

If you are a Christian woman who has ever struggled with weight-loss issues, PLEASE click over and read this post

I can’t tell you how much this post spoke to my soul this morning.  If you are like me, perhaps you have allowed your struggle to reach the perfect (or acceptable) BMI affect your spiritual growth.  After all, our body is a temple, right?  If we do not demonstrate self-control and allow our bodies to be overweight, this is a spiritual issue, right?  Well, in some cases, maybe.  But in a lot of cases, I don’t think so. 

If excess weight is a result of idolizing food, turning to food as a comfort instead of turning to our Savior in times of stress, perhaps this could be considered a spiritual issue.  It’s definitely something to consider if you find yourself gorging on unhealthy foods, then feeling burdened with guilt and depression.  I would encourage these women to cast their burdens upon the Lord and trust Him to provide comfort rather than turning to food to provide a temporary comfort.

However, I believe that there are many women out there who experience difficulty losing/maintaining weight from causes other than spiritual issues.  These might include side effects from medication, thyroid problems, PCOS, genetic predisposition, inactivity due to injury, and various other medical conditions.  I honestly believe that Satan can use these issues to affect our growth and relationship with the Lord.  Feelings of false guilt, anger, and self-doubt can have destructive effects on our ability to worship and walk with God. 

On a personal level, I have struggled with both issues at one time or another.  I decided to make a change in my eating habits a few weeks ago in order to lose weight and get healthier.  After reading this post today, I am encouraged to not let the number on the scale be a spiritual discouragement. 

If you are a woman who has tried over and over again to lose weight…you know every diet forwards and backwards…you become overly emotionally involved in your weight…you are spiritually discouraged in your lack of “self-control”…take heart!  First, take a good, long look at what you want your “ideal” weight to be.  Is it realistic?  Are you trying to judge yourself by what America considers beautiful?  Second, cast your burdens on the Lord and do not let Satan grab hold of your discouragement.  Instead of meditating and always thinking of your weight, meditate and think on things of Christ.  Don’t allow the number on the scale to be a gauge of your spiritual contentment in the Lord.

I am so blessed to have a husband who thinks I am beautiful no matter what.  He has been so encouraging to me over the last few weeks with my new eating/exercise plan.  And, he makes me feel attractive during the times that I am most discouraged.  I realize that many women don’t have this kind of support.  Perhaps your husband or family even expresses disgust at your size.  I would encourage you to run to the open arms of our Savior and find peace and acceptance with Him.  Pray for the discernment to do what is healthiest for your body while not allowing your bathroom scale to take such a stronghold on your heart. 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”   Philippians 4:8

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cupcake Fun

Today we had a little Valentine’s Day party with the two sweet kids that I babysit.  Grace and I baked some chocolate cupcakes this morning, then after I picked up the kids from school we made the icing together.  Here’s a picture of the girls adding pink food coloring to the icing.


We made white, pink, and red icing.  I added the colors to individual piping bags and let the kids start decorating.  Katie worked the icing while Caleb put on the sprinkles.


This is what Grace did most of the time:


In case you can’t tell, she was squeezing the icing directly IN HER MOUTH.  That’s my girl.

I wish that I had taken a picture of my kitchen after we were done.  I think more sprinkles ended up on the floor than on the cupcakes!  But, it was well worth it.  The kids had a blast!  Here’s one of their masterpieces:


The Monster is Back!

LOST I don’t know about you, but I have missed the monster!  To me, the monster is one of the top five mysteries of the island.  We learned a little bit more tonight like where it lives, and that it is meant to “protect” a station.  I thought it just killed people, but it can apparently also possess people and cause them to kill others.  So now we know how Danielle’s crew was killed…we’re still anxiously waiting to see how Ben gets a hold of her daughter, Alex.

Not surprisingly, Ben talked his way out of being killed by Sun.  I was actually shocked that Kate and Sayid took off.  Well, I understand Kate…she had Aaron with her, and that’s her priority now.  Sayid, however, always seems up for an adventure.  PLEASE send him back to the island with the others!

How sad that Charlotte died tonight.  I thought that maybe there would be some sort of twist where she and Dr. Daniel were related in some way (i.e. siblings), but apparently Dr. Daniel traveled back in time and warned her not to come back to the island.  So it seems he broke his own rule to NOT try to change the past.

And how shocking was it to see Jack’s (and Claire’s) father in the Orchid station?  So I guess he’s Jacob.  (Was I supposed to know that already?).  It seems that Locke is the only one that can save his friends.  And he’s willing to do it with the knowledge that he will die.  So the big mystery now is how will Locke die?  And why does Ben cart his body around Los Angeles?  That, to me, foreshadows some sort of Locke comeback.

The previews for next week look pretty good.  It seems that Kate and Hurley join back with the island-hunting crew.  And hopefully we’ll learn more history from Eloise.  Until then, here are a few questions I’m pondering:

  1. Who will be the next death-by-nosebleed victim?
  2. Where is Walt?
  3. If Sun is “supposed” to return to the island, does that mean her baby needs to return as well?
  4. What does everyone eat while traipsing through the jungle?
  5. Is Christian Shepherd REALLY Jacob?
  6. I’m still dying to know what Sawyer whispered to Kate in the helicopter before he jumped.

If anyone has any answers or predictions (or corrections) for me, please comment and let me know!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Natural Remedy

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about Grace’s eczema.  In desperation, after lots of doctor’s appointments and prescription medications, I went on the internet and researched some natural treatments.

I bought Vitamin E oil and coconut oil, and I have been faithfully applying them to her skin at least once per day.  We’re still working on a couple of small spots behind her knees, but what amazing improvement!  Her skin is smooth and supple, not like sandpaper any more.  Much better than with any of those prescription creams.  And a WHOLE lot cheaper. 

I’m not sure why doctors are hesitant to discuss possible natural remedies with patients.  As much as I love Grace’s pediatrician, she never once suggested alternative treatments, even after repeated failures with each new prescription.  I made a decision a few weeks ago to suspend the oral allergy medication as well as the topical creams.  I’ve seen no adverse effects, and she’s only gotten better. 

It makes me want to do more research about natural remedies!

For more Works-For-Me tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Preschooler Quote of the Day

I’ll give you a little background info first.  Lately I’ve been working with Grace on not interrupting.  She’s gotten better, especially about waiting patiently until I get off the phone.

This morning she was pretending to talk on her play-phone to Mimi.   While she was talking, I was changing the sheets on her bed.  After a long conversation, she “hung up” the phone and said to me,

Mommy, thank you for being quiet and patient while I was on the phone.  You’re a sweet mommy.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 4

Welcome to the fourth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!  This was the last chapter in Part I of our book.  If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

For me, this was one of the most eye-opening chapters of the book.  All too often I find myself correcting and/or punishing Grace’s sinful behavior, having her ask forgiveness, and moving on.  This leaves out a vital step…training in righteousness.  I should always model for her what a biblical response should have been and make her practice that response.

My favorite quote from this chapter is on pg. 48:

“As a rule, anytime you correct your child for wrong behavior, have him walk through the right behavior.  This is how we train our children to walk in the righteousness of Christ.”

This takes a lot of time.  However, Lord willing, we will hopefully see lasting improvement over time as our kids learn to think like Christ.

I loved the section about being a “tattletale.”  In a wise and practical application of Matthew 18, Ginger suggests ways to handle conflict between children.  Grace is an only child, so I don’t deal with this problem as much as other parents might.  However, I’ll admit that Grace is quick to run to me when problems arise with other children on play dates, when I babysit, etc.  Biblical conflict resolution is such an important skill to teach our kids…they will use it their whole lives.  This is something I’m focusing on right now with our daughter.  Instead of having the victim mentality, we want her to be confident enough to try to resolve the problem on her own first.  God’s plan is so wise.

The role-playing section was a good example of HOW we train our children in righteousness.  Let’s face it…kids tune out their parents’ voices, and words are often forgotten.  They are much more likely to remember what to do if they practice it frequently.  With Grace, I have even role-played different conflict scenarios when we are playing with dolls or stuffed animals.  I think she internalizes it more when she’s not in an emotional state!

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment below on the topics raised.  Perhaps consider one or more of the following questions:

Why is it important to show our kids how they should have responded instead of sinning?  How do you handle conflict resolution between siblings and/or peers?  Do you use role-playing and does it seem to help?

I look forward to reading your comments!  This week we begin Part II of Ginger’s book, which will help us focus on what biblical reproof looks like.  Stay tuned for a post next Monday on chapter five.

Monday Milestones


Instead of posting my normal Menu Plan Monday, I’m going to do things differently for a while.  Because of my new eating plan, meals are looking a lot different around here lately.  Nobody’s complaining, though.  Todd is thrilled to get more slabs of meat and less casseroles.  Grace never complains and usually eats whatever I give her.  And I’m enjoying my pre-packaged entrees and shakes.

When I wake up in the morning, I fix Grace a bowl of cereal with fruit and I drink a Double Chocolate Mocha shake.  Todd gets up super-early and cooks himself some bacon.  (Because everyone knows that bacon + Mountain Dew = the breakfast of champions!).

Around 10:00 I eat a piece of fruit or a diet bar.  At noon, I fix Grace’s lunch…it’s different every day.  Her favorites are deli meat, peanut butter, carrot sticks, and fruit.  I fix myself a program entree and eat a piece of fruit.  When Grace gets up from her nap, we eat a small snack.  I fix a Vanilla Malt shake and Grace gets some crackers and juice. 

Around 5:00, I start cooking dinner.  For Grace and Todd, I prepare a cut of meat (beef, chicken, pork chop, etc.).  I also prepare two different fresh vegetables and stick some rolls in the oven.  When we eat supper together, Todd and Grace eat the meat/veggies/rolls, and I eat another program entree along with the veggies.

After Grace goes to bed, I fix myself a fruit smoothie.  My favorite lately is a mango, papaya, and strawberry mixture.  One thing I love about this eating plan is that I eat several small meals throughout the day, so I don’t go long periods of time being hungry.  And, I’m still able to get creative with my shakes/smoothies and veggie preparation. 

This week I also exercised four days.  So, for my milestone this Monday, I lost 2.5 pounds….bringing my total to 6 pounds in two weeks.  I’m satisfied with that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

View From The Top

choir I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy singing in my church choir.  In our church, the choir sits in a loft above and behind the pastor.  From our perch, we can see the whole congregation – both below on the floor and above in the balcony.  While I sometimes find myself playing “Where’s Waldo?” with various friends in the congregation, I can usually keep my attention focused on the pastor.

Today was a different story. 

Up in the balcony was a man that we couldn’t help but notice.  During the time of worship with songs, he was throwing his arms about and making extreme movements with his body.  It was quite mesmerizing to watch, and I found myself losing my place in the music a few times as I kept my eye up to see what he would do next. 

Once the music was over and the preaching began, he got up and walked out.  A deacon casually stood up and followed him outside.  In a few minutes, the deacon came back in and my mind went back to the sermon (which was actually quite good today).  Then, right as our pastor was wrapping up his sermon, the man strolled back into the sanctuary and took his same seat in the balcony.  This time, however, he was carrying a jacket and hiding something inside.

I started to get a little nervous, wondering what he was hiding.  He slithered one arm out of his jacket while holding firmly to an object hidden on the other side.  Then he switched hands and slid out of the other arm.  Then he took the jacket and wrapped it around his object.  The ladies seated around me in the choir loft started whispering and expressing concern. 

Finally, my friend who was sitting behind me decided to slip out and find her husband, who is one of the associate pastors.  Soon, the man picked the object up, still wrapped in his jacket…and…took a drink.  That’s right.  He took a drink.  It was obviously liquor of some sort.  I let out a sigh of relief, thankful that it wasn’t a gun, my mind thinking of all the terrible things that could have happened.  About that time, our security officer made an appearance at the balcony exit and another staff member stood guard at the opposite end. 

After the final prayer, the man exited by the security officer, and I’m not privy to what happened next.  I did hear rumors, however, that he was drinking Jack Daniel’s out of a Sprite bottle.  Apparently, instead of being moved by the Spirit, he was moved by “spirits.” (i.e. whiskey)

Who ever said church was boring?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Heart Target

target This morning Grace and Todd had a daddy/daughter morning while I ran a couple of errands.  (Translation:  Todd entertained and gave LOTS of candy to Grace). 

Anyway, I treated myself to a tall Pike’s Peak blend with 2 pumps of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup from Starbucks.  Then I got my blood drawn for some routine lab work.  After that I went to grab a few groceries at my local Super Target. 

I have always loved Target, and I loved it even more today.  The store is always ultra-neat and clean.  I just don’t go there as often because Wal-Mart is cheaper on most items, and I’m always trying to find the best deals. 

But, I had already splurged on Starbucks, so I decided to go whole-hog and buy a few necessities at Target.  Since my grocery lists these days consist mostly of fresh fruits, veggies, and meats, I headed to the produce department. 

Several of their organic veggies were on sale for cheaper than their regular counterparts.  Score!  I also found a new product that I’ve never seen before:  mini sweet peppers.  It was a 1-lb. package of miniature red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.  So cute!  And it was on sale for only $1.99. 

Then I headed over to the meat department.  I happened to arrive at the exact time that the butcher was placing discounted stickers on all the meats that had to be sold by today for freshness purposes.  What a gold mine.  I got pork chops, chicken breasts, and ground beef for up to 75% off the packaged price, simply because I was buying on the date the freshness seal expired.  I even found a BEAUTIFUL London Broil cut (1.5 lbs.) for only $2.42.  I can’t eat it, but Todd will love a good steak!  Whatever I don’t cook today in advance for Todd’s suppers this week, I will stick in the freezer for later.

I did pay a few cents extra on things like frozen concentrate juice, Goldfish crackers, and canned veggies.  However, because of the great produce deals, I know I came out better than if I had gone to Wal-Mart.  And, I had a MUCH better shopping experience than normal.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The View

113387_0111c I am not a regular watcher of The View.  Actually, I’ve only seen it a few times.  However, I HAD to write a post today about an outrageous clip from a recent episode.

The Setting:  They show a video clip of Ashley Judd condemning Sarah Palin for supporting the shooting of wolves in Alaska.  The purpose of aerial shooting of wolves in the winter is to help protect the caribou population, which is put at risk by the overpopulation of wolves.  The video is somewhat disturbing, because who enjoys watching animals get killed?  Since it is tragic and not pleasant to view, the liberal ladies are just dying to know how Elisabeth Hasselbeck (the vivacious conservative) will react to this video.  How can Elisabeth possibly defend this practice of murdering wolves? 

Elisabeth, my hero, in a BRILLIANT analogy points out that it is amazing that celebrities like Ashley Judd make such a huge public outcry against practices that involve cruelty to animals, but are perfectly content to allow hundreds of thousands of babies to be murdered through the violent and inhumane act of abortion.  Of course, Elisabeth is attacked viciously by Whoopi and Joy for being off-topic and taking a ridiculous leap of logic.

What, may I ask, is so ridiculous about Elisabeth’s logic?  It’s perfectly sensible to me.  Aren’t human lives more valuable than animal lives….even to “lefties”?  With all the “freedom of choice” that the left loves to talk about, isn’t it just a bit hypocritical to lambast women who make the “choice” to disagree with them?

You can view the video clip here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Won!

headache I’m so excited to win a bloggy giveaway!  Terry over at Breathing Grace hosted a giveaway of the book Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire.  Sheila is a Christian author and frequent speaker to women’s groups and marriage conferences.  There’s been a lot of blogger buzz about this book, so I am excited to read it.  I’ll let everyone know how I liked it after I’m done! 

I also encourage you to visit Sheila’s blog To Love, Honor, and Vacuum!

Thanks again, Terry, for hosting this giveaway!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jin is Alive!


I loved that this episode of LOST was a little slower.  We got to see more character development, which is ultimately what makes this show so great. 

The Jack and Kate interaction was sweet, especially since Jack was clean-shaven and sober.  And I LOVED the scene in the jungle where Sawyer saw Kate deliver Claire’s baby.  Can someone get me a Kleenex?  I tell you, that is the most heart-wrenching love triangle in TV-land history.

Ben was his normal evil, conniving, brilliant self.  Man, I just love to hate that guy.  My favorite part was when he told Kate he sent the lawyers.  Jack was like, “Whaaa???”  It will be interesting to see how Ben convinces Sun that Jin is still alive next week.

Speaking of which, can you believe it??? I was TOTALLY shocked when Jin showed up on that raft.  I really thought he was a goner.  What a great reunion it would be for Jin/Sun! 

I did guess that we would see Rousseau when the French people showed up on the raft.  Especially when we saw her as pregnant.  I can’t wait to see how Ben manages to steal Alex away from her mom!

Even though this episode wasn’t quite as exciting, I liked the slower pace.  Who couldn’t fall in love with all these complex characters? 

One more thing…I believe that the scene we saw where the time-travelers found the strange boats on the beach was in the future.  Perhaps these are the boats that the Oceanic Six use to return to the island.  Of course, that doesn’t explain why they would follow and SHOOT at them.  Ahh…so much to think about.

Things I Love Thursday: Calorie King

I recently started a new eating plan, and it involves lots of calorie counting.  I learned about a website called Calorie King.  It is a VERY EXTENSIVE database of every imaginable food and corresponding nutritional value.  It even includes menu items from popular fast food and sit-down restaurants.

I won’t even tell you the heart attack I almost had when I looked up “Outback Cheese Fries.”  Especially when I found out the 2900 calories and 182 grams of fat doesn’t even include the ranch dressing dipping sauce.  Scary.

Anyway, it has been a VERY handy tool for me as I plan meals and write in my food journal.

For more Things I Love Thursday, visit the Diaper Diaries.

Works for Me: Cheap Fun

works for me wednesday

A few months ago, Happy Hopperz bounce house opened up just a few blocks from our home.  After hearing many rave reviews, Grace and I tried it out.  It was a blast!  Even better, they have a “Toddler Time” where children under five can play without fear of a huge 12-yr-old jumping on them. 

We go most Wednesday mornings, and it only costs about $3.00 for each three-hour playtime.  And, they regularly send Buy-One-Get-One-Free coupons in the mail, so we took our friend Caleb along for free this morning.  The best part?  They are WORN OUT for naptime.  Oh yes.  They actually have a sign posted in their play area that says, “Helping make naptimes better for moms across America…” or something to that effect. 

Anyway, Grace and Caleb had a blast playing together, and I ended up calling my girlfriend and inviting her to bring her two little ones so we would have some company. 

Good times were had by all…..

For more Works-For-Me tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


vaccine Grace had her 4-yr-old check-up today.  Those of you who have had 4-yr-olds and followed the recommended vaccination schedule might remember this particular check-up.  It. was. horrible.  When the unsmiling nurse busted in the room with four huge syringes, I knew we were in for it.  The nurse showed me how to hold Grace down on the table while she trapped Grace’s legs and administered the four shots.  Slowly.  Very, very slowly.

C’mon, lady.  Don’t they teach you to stick ‘em fast and get it over with?  I was not impressed.  I was also annoyed that she ignored my request to forgo the Band-Aids unless Grace was about to hemorrhage.  Because in Grace’s book, the only thing worse than four huge shots is…four huge Band-Aids.

When the nurse left the room, I had to deal with a hysterical Grace begging me to “Take off the Band-Aids!  Please!”  And when I did, there was absolutely no blood.  Grrr.

But, although it was a traumatic check-up, how thankful I am that she is healthy.  Her 32 pounds and 39 inches puts her in the 30th percentile range for weight/height.  I was a bit surprised when the doctor predicted that based on her pattern of growth, her full-grown height would be between 5’3” and 5’4”.  Huh?  I’m 5’9” and Todd is 6’3”.  And, she is petite and small-boned.  If anyone knows Todd and me personally, neither of us could be described in that manner.  I guess you just never know what genes are going to come popping out from one’s family history!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 3

Welcome to the third week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!  I hope everyone had the opportunity to get the book and read through Chapter 3.  If you didn’t, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s a quick read and easy to get caught up.

In this chapter, Ginger goes more in-depth about how to draw out issues of the heart.  Her first point was a good one…we need to talk WITH our children, not just TO our children.  This means listening and understanding what they are saying.  My favorite quote from this chapter was on p. 36:

“When you help your child to understand what is in his heart, you are teaching him to evaluate his own motives, which will help to equip him for his walk with Christ as he grows into an adult."

Isn’t that what it’s all about?  Equipping our kids to walk with Christ?  And while we’re helping our kids understand what is in THEIR heart, we also must deal with what is in OUR heart.  I’m going to lay it all on the line…I didn’t realize that I had an anger problem until I had a child of my own.  I find my patience waning thin and my heart welling up with anger at times.  Can’t she be quiet for just ONE MINUTE?  Do I have to help her with everything?  Why can’t she just obey me the first time?  Let’s face it…parenting is hard.  While it brings boundless joy, it also brings to the surface the ugly parts of our own hearts.  I’m constantly working through this with prayer, immersion in God’s Word, and my love for my daughter.  Do I want Grace to see an angry and quick-tempered monster?  Or do I want her to see a kind and forgiving soul?  What kind of parent would God have me to be?  How can I show the love of Christ in my actions towards my child?  Otherwise, why would she ever want to be a Christian?  It’s quite humbling.

For practical use, I love the example Ginger gives about sharing between siblings.  I used her method several times this morning when Grace and the little boy I babysit were arguing about our toys.  Since they are friends, I remembered the verse from Proverbs 17:17 that says “A friend loves at all times.”  The first time there was an issue I spent about five minutes talking with them and asking questions about how we could treat each other with love.  After that, a quick reminder “Are you treating Grace with love?” or “Grace, is that how we treat our friends?” was much more effective.  Until Grace said angrily, “Caleb, you’re not treating me with love!”  That brought up a whole new issue.  Anyway, Ginger’s method helped me this morning, and it definitely helped us focus on the heart issue of WHY we don’t steal toys. 

And that brings me to my last reflection of this chapter.  If we are going to train our children in righteousness, God’s Word must be on the tip of our tongue.  That means we need to spend time in God’s Word!  A good place to start is Proverbs.  There is so much wisdom in this book, especially for mothers!  I learned this habit from my mom, who has a Proverb to answer all questions in life.  There are 31 chapters in Proverbs.  Every day, I read the chapter that corresponds to the date.  For example, today I read Proverbs chapter 2 since it is Feb. 2nd.  Eventually, many of these bits of wisdom will commit themselves to your memory and be useful in your parenting journey.  This habit has greatly helped me, and I needs lots of help!

I hope that many of you will join in and comment on what particularly struck you in this week’s reading.  Even if you didn’t read, feel free to comment below on the topics raised.  Perhaps consider one or more of the following questions:

What are some things you do to draw out matters of the heart in your children?  Why is it important to train our children to think like Christians?  How do you find time as a busy mom to read Scripture?

I look forward to reading your comments!  Next Monday stay tuned for a post on Chapter 4!

Update on Grace


Grace is doing fine now.  Yesterday she started getting back to her normal self again.  Today, she’s eating up a storm and running around.  God is good.  Thanks again to those of you who prayed for her.  Hopefully I’ll hear back from her urologist soon.

Menu Plan Monday


I’ve completed my first week of my new eating plan, and it’s actually been fun.  Especially when I stepped on the scales this morning and saw that I had dropped 3.5 pounds this week. 

I went to the store this weekend and bought fresh meat and produce for the week.  For myself, I bought my favorite fruits and vegetables to supplement my program entree/shakes.  For Todd and Grace, I bought pork chops, chicken breasts, and ground beef.  For their meals, I will cook a portion of meat and serve it alongside my fruits/vegetables.  I also keep a stock of frozen dinner rolls/Texas toast that they enjoy eating. 

Those of you who know me know that I LOVE to cook, so I’ve been trying to get creative with my veggie side dishes.  Today I’ll share my Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup recipe that I made yesterday as a side.  I made up this recipe, and it worked pretty well.  And it’s completely GUILT-FREE.  It doesn’t make a large portion…just enough for 3-4 servings.

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1/2 purple onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups broth or stock (chicken or veggie)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 t. basil
  • Cooking spray (Pam)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray foil with cooking spray.  Cut tomatoes and onions into large chunks and put on sheet; add garlic cloves (unpeeled).  Give another light coating of cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes until veggies are tender and slightly caramelized.  Transfer veggies to soup pot (you will need to squeeze roasted garlic out of peel).  Add tomato sauce, broth, and basil.  Use immersion blender to blend to smooth consistency.  (If you don’t have this handy gadget, just puree in blender or food processor).  Enjoy!