Friday, November 28, 2008

The Good Stuff - October / November

I missed October completely and November almost slipped through my fingers as well. But here's a quickie update on a few recent good stuffs.

Grown-up Good Stuff

Super Glove - Oven mitts do the trick most of the time, but in some cases, like cookie sheets that need to be grabbed on the very edge, or pulling the bread machine pan out by a little handle, you need the option of less bulk and better dexterity. These Super Gloves are the best addition to my kitchen this month. - I've been working on a little project and needed some new font options. Cousine Katy hooked me up with this, my new favorite free font site. Love the category choices, rather than all fonts just alphabetical. Also love the Mormon advertisement running at the top when I last checked.

Amazon Universal Wish List Button - We really use wish lists in our family, especially around this time of year. Amazon does sell a ton of stuff but it doesn't always have the exact thing you want. Enter the new Universal Wish List button. It's a button you can add to your browser so that you can add anything from any website to your Amazon wish list. Let the possibilities begin!

Amish Friendship Bread - My friend Julia gave me a starter a few weeks ago, then on Saturday I made it into chocolate cinnamon "bread" (really more like delicious delectable cake!) Then I had a couple starters left and decided to keep them through at least one more cycle after finding all these variations and other things you can make with the starter. I think next go-round I'll make cinnamon rolls and cherry pistachio bread. YUM!

List of Top 100 Mystery books of all time - According to Mystery Writers of America, who probably know their stuff. Mysteries are my favorite "fun reading" so I was excited to find this list for some new recommendations. Of course I am spending less time reading these days than ever before, but that's not for a lack of lots and lots of books that look good!

Kid Good Stuff

Kids Craft Weekly - WOW. Thanks to the ineffably omni-talented Kat for getting me hooked on this website and *FREE* monthly e-newsletter. Awesome, easy, fun and totally crafty ideas! Unfortunately most are a little too messy or difficult for 25 nursery kids each Sunday, but perfect for me and my own. Now that Hazel rarely naps, she and I sometimes do afternoon crafts, like plastic-lid print-making or contact paper stained glass, both inspired by KCW. The current issue features Christmas cards and Advent activities. Plus she has a 20-page mini book all on Christmas crafts you can download for a mere $5 - so worth it!

Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal - This is my (our) new favorite book. It's about Little Pea and his parents Mama Pea and Papa Pea. They do regular Pea things but Little Pea hates candy, and candy is what you have to eat for dinner when you're a Pea. He strikes a 5-bite deal with his parents, forces his 5 bites down and earns his favorite dessert - spinach! Simple, clean, adorable illustrations and the girls always laugh when I imitate the sounds and faces Little Pea makes when he forces his candy down. I read it to the nursery kids, too, and they thought it was hilarious. I see the same author/illustrator team has another book, Little Hoot, in which a young owl just wants to go to bed at a reasonable time like his friends, but nooooo, his parents make him stay up all night having fun. I love it.

Pop Fly by Justin Roberts - I seriously love this guy. This is our second CD by him and we listen to it all the time in the car, and of course the girls have their favorites: Pop Fly (about a kid in the outfield not paying attention to the game and panicking when a pop fly comes his way), Henrietta's Hair (about a girl who hated getting her hair combed so her mom gave up and all kinds of creepy crawlies moved in and lived in harmony), and Stay-at-Home Dad. I like the slower, more sentimental tunes like From Scratch (about Grandma's kitchen of course) and Fruit Jar (which I can't remember what it's about but I reall y like it.) Justin has got fans for life in this family, and hopefully we can catch his show here in January.

Bedbug Bible Gang - It's a Thursday afternoon in November. The girls are asking to watch a show, and I can't think of a single one I can stand to listen to right now. So I turn to the rarely-used *On-Demand cable feature to see what kind of free kids' shows there are besides Dora and Miss Spider. Perhaps something we've never seen before? Bingo! In a section called Inspiration On Demand is a show called The Bedbug Bible Gang. No idea what it is but let's give it a try. It's a cute little show with voices same as Veggie Tales, with a couple of bed bugs named Buzzer and Sparky that like to tell each other about Bible stories in rhyme, then do little comprehension activities or funny songs at a preschool level. It is an unbelievable hit around here. We only have 2 episodes on demand, and we all have them memorized by now, but I'm not annoyed yet. I mean, they're learning Bible stories! Hazel loves the story of Elijah and the widow who gave him her last meal. And the story of Zechariah being told by an angel they would have a son. In fact, the song that goes with it is impossible to shake. Sing along, please. To the tune of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt:

John will be Zechariah's son,
That angel said his name,
But Zech was full of doubt,
And so he could not shout,
Til the day that the newborn baby came:
(and repeat several times quieter, always shouting the last line.)

They have a bunch of DVD's out so I put one on the girls' wish list. We'll take any inspiration we can get around here.

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