Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don’t Forget To Enter

Just wanted to send you a little reminder that several of my giveaways end tomorrow . . . but you won’t find out the winner until NEXT week.  (Scroll down to see the list.)

(Here’s a pretty picture to ease the shock.)

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You see, I will be without internet until Wednesday due to moving to the new house.


moon and beyond 024 (I just have to share some pictures of what is growing in our garden before this house is no longer ours in a few hours. I know, I am being dramatic.  But I’ve never sold a house.  Never sold something of my own where so many memories were created and time invested and a baby was born.)

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So if you do hear from me . . . it is because I snuck out to Starbucks or I pre-posted. 

work boxes 011(I really hope my sugar pumpkin turns orange in the next few days.  I so wanted to make a pumpkin pie or some moist muffins.)

Goodbye swing set.

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Thanks for all the adventure, pirate escapades, picnics, and cruises.   I hope a cousin of yours joins our new backyard someday soon.

Goodbye rain garden.  You outperformed our expectations this year!  (This is what it used to look like.)

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And for the list of giveaways that end tomorrow at midnight:

See ya next week at the new house! 

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Eco Store USA: A Review

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that since we eat mostly whole foods and organic that I would also choose to purchase (or make) natural cleaning products. 

It is easier to make household cleaning products.  The one area of our life that I have yet to tackle is making our own soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. 

You know . . . I’m not so sure that I will EVER endeavor to turn bar soap recipes into a reality in our house.  I would rather buy something than spend the time over molds and mixing a bunch of stuff.  I just enjoy fermenting too much. 

Maybe suds could get me excited.  Maybe when I retire.

I don’t think I need to enjoy something else.


So, when given the opportunity to review two Eco Store USA products that are “natural,” I figured it was a win/win situation.  It helped the budget out and we got some new natural products.

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Who is Eco Store?

Our eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products are as effective as the leading supermarket brands, and our body and baby care ranges are gentle on your skin and are simply beautiful to use. All of our products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce our carbon footprint.

I sampled the Orange and Patchouli Body Wash ($8.50) and

image the Rose and Cardamon Body Wash ($8.50).


Both fragrances smell pleasant and aren’t overly strong, which this prego appreciates.  Additionally, I can understand what the basic ingredients are derived from in bottles.  Now, I can’t pronounce all of them due to their scientific names. 

Two issues did arrive with my Eco Store shipment.  However, I am not really complaining because I did receive these products for FREE. 

  1. The shipment kept being delayed.  HOWEVER, due to the delay (which I am assuming is because they were setting up their new store in Michigan), they sent two bars of soap as an apology.  I appreciate the gesture. 
  2. BUT the bars of soap were expired.  Hmmm.  Now, I doubt that the expiration date is going to dissuade me from using the soap.  How can bar soap go bad?  Maybe it just doesn’t smell as strong? 

In a nutshell, the price is good over at Eco Store USA and so are the ingredients.  Check it out sometime!

This review is being written as part of my involvement with MamaBzz.  I received this product for free and do not have to return it.  Yahoo!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Laminator Workout

I rarely dabble in something.  It’s all or nothing.

Fermenting for example.  Or like preparing the boys’ workboxes for the upcoming school year. 

Or laminating. 

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I’ve laminated parts of Sir Honey’s Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I’m up to letter “I” now. 

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The computer and I spent a lot of time over at Carisa’s website, 1+1=1, downloading pages to cut and laminate for our Circle Time.

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And Jolanthe, over at Homeschool Creations, has kept me the most busy with her nifty workbox cards.  She even felt sorry enough for me that she created a few new cards after I annoyingly hinted that I didn’t have quite enough.  You can thank me for the “potty” card.  I won’t brag about my other suggestions.  But seriously, her workbox cards ROCK.  (Mr. Smackdown especially loves the Toy Story workbox number cards that he will be using.)

A compilation of all these great workbox finds can be found in Maureen’s article over at Squidoo, or Spell Outloud

For more Wordless Wednesday posts that are actually wordless, head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Palm Oil: A Giveaway

I made a yummy dish several weeks ago . . .

igloo 011. . . .  mainly because I wanted to try out my new Tropical Traditions Red Palm Oil.

What is Red Palm Oil?  Well, I wasn’t real sure at first – but one thing that I did know was that a lot of people I knew used it. 

Important facts:  palm oil is not from the coconut tree . . . it is from the tropical palm tree (elaeis guineensis) found and made originally in Africa.  It can be used for basically ANY cooking endeavor in your kitchen.  It is, in fact, the most “heavily consumed” oil in the world, following soybean oil.  Red palm oil is stable at high temperatures and has a plethora of tocols (Vitamin E) which make it a powerful antioxidant.  Its color comes from the high concentration of carotenoids, which give it the orange-red color.  (FYI, carotenes are what our body needs to convert Vitamin A into something viable for our body to use.)

I was impressed with this oil . . . but I will need an adventurous spirit in using it.  The color is intense, but I love how it is filled with powerful nutrients for our bodies. 

Here is the recipe you can try out with your red palm oil.


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons red palm oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils (I only had green on hand.)
  • 4 eggs
  1. Bring brown rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the palm oil over medium heat. Stir in the curry powder and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Pour in the remaining 3 cups of water, bouillon cube, and lentils. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Make four shallow indentations in the cooked lentils with the back of a spoon, and crack a whole egg into each indentation.
  4. Recover, and continue cooking until the eggs have cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes for medium-well.
  5. Serve over the brown rice.

Want to win some Tropical Traditions Red Palm Oil?

Please, please, please . . .do not put more than one entry per comment. I will be using to pick the winners. So if you would like for your comments to count, leave individual comments ON THE BLOG (click on that link), NOT FACEBOOK.

Make sure you are logged in to Disqus or please leave your email address in your comment.

All options are worth 1 entry, unless otherwise stated. My real-life friends can enter this giveaway.

  1. (Mandatory) Click on the link and subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter.
  2. Become one of my fans through Google Connect if you aren't already! (It’s over there on your right . . . see all of the little people?)
  3. Tell me where Tropical Traditions Red Palm Oil is from. 
  4. Buy something from Tropical Traditions. When they ask you how you heard about Tropical Traditions, list my sponsor id (5498794). I won't make any money off of this . . . but I will get a coupon for other Tropical Traditions products.) 
  5. Tweet or blog about the giveaway and then come back and leave me the link.

Remember, only #1 is mandatory. The rest of the entries are optional, but you MUST comment separately for each one.

The Fine Print: I will email you when you have won. You must respond within 48 hours.

Contest ends 08/05/10 at Midnight

Author's Note: I was given this product to review from Tropical Traditions, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine unless otherwise noted.


I’m Not the One Craving Pickles

There is someone in our household who pretty much has to have a continual supply of pickles.

And that person is NOT me.  Even though I am pregnant.  (I’m craving cherries, but that is for another post.)

Mr. Smackdown adores pickles.

The pickles that we buy are fairly natural.  However, there is one little ingredient that I don’t like.  And they aren’t fermented.  They are in a vinegar solution. 

When we went to the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday my goal was to find my favorite sauerkraut and some pickling cucumbers, since I won’t see a harvest of them from my garden this year.  (We are moving this weekend.)

I only scored on the cucumbers. 

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Smackdown washed them.

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And measured the filtered water, while I prepared the whey.

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Then we combined all of the ingredients.

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Voila . . . pickles.

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I have no idea if they taste good or not.  We have to wait three days.

Guess what?  You can try this at home, too!

Good For Your Belly Pickles

  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers
  • 1 tbls mustard seeds
  • 2 tbls fresh dill, snipped (We used dried dill.  We were attempting to use an herb from our garden until I realized it was fennel.) 
  • 1 tbls sea salt
  • 4 tbls whey (or use an extra tbls of sea salt if you don’t have any whey)
  • 1 cup of filtered water

Place 4-5 washed cucumbers in a wide mouthed mason jar.  Combine remaining ingredients and bathe your cucumbers in the mixture.  Add more water if your cucumbers are not fully submerged.  You don’t want them treading water.  The liquid should be 1 inch or more below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and allow the jars to decorate your counter for 3 days.  Should you choose to make sliced pickles, only leave the jar out for 2 days.  Transfer to your refrigerator. 

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Monday, July 26, 2010

B90x Check-In

There is something satisfying about feeling how many pages you have read in your left hand as you finish the last word being held in your right hand of your daily reading.

Random thoughts from this past week:

  • I felt a little sorry for Joshua.  Everyone kept reminding him to be strong and courageous.  Either everyone else was a bit nervous or he was showing some signs of apprehension about entering the Promised Land.
  • I love that we have stones in our house just like it talks about in Joshua 4:6, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’” tell them . . . Though packed, our stones are a testimony to the number of years that the Hottie and I have been married and faithfully serving the Lord together. 
  • Didn’t realize that the manna stopped the day AFTER the Israelites entered the Promised Land and ate some of its food.
  • I wonder if Rahab changed her ways?
  • It is bad news when you don’t inquire of the Lord!  (Joshua 8:14)
  • In all honesty, it is disturbing all of the killing, blood, and sacrifices.  I know that the people had to have a way of being reminded of making atonement for sin . . . but yikes.  Thank you, Lord, for sending Jesus.  I know that He went through the worst of the worst for us . . . but I am grateful for His sacrifice.  I just have to wonder what when through the priests’ heads. 
  • Not much has changed . . . Joshua 22: 5 stands true today, “To love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
  • Poor family of Gideon.
  • Why is it important for us to know that Jair’s 30 sons road 30 donkeys?  (Judges 10:3-5)
  • It seems like a lot of mighty men for the Lord were loose cannons . . . like Samson, for example. 
  • There are some cultural customs that we can’t understand, but in that culture it makes complete sense.  I don’t have to agree with it.  For example, in many cultures you defend your guest completely – no matter what.  To not defend a guest is to be dishonorable.  (Judges 19: 19)
  • Naomi must have been a pretty special MIL for Ruth to want to stay with her.  Even if Ruth had no family left . . . still that says a lot.
  • I love this phrase: “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of His words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19)
  • I am glad that we don’t have to be scared of God.  I can talk with Him anytime. 
  • Even back then, God cared more about obedience than sacrifice.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Harvest Before the Move

At first I was offended when my father-in-law said to me, “I sure hope you don’t see your harvest this year.”

Excuse me?

But then I realized that he meant that he hoped we had sold our house and moved before I could see the fruit of my labor in the garden.

Well, he will only get part of his wish.

We have had a little bit of a harvest.  You saw my garlic.  But we also ate some tomatoes on our sandwiches last night and there is a nice cucumber waiting to be dipped into homemade hummus.

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And I can’t forget to mention the onions . . . since they seem to be hanging to dry everywhere in our house.

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Thanks, God.

Oh, and guess what?  Our new house already has a raised bed just waiting for some good compost!  Yahoo!

How is your harvest coming along?  I’d love to hear . . . especially if you square foot garden! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sourdough Bread Update

The reminder I set up on Outlook chimed at me this week. 


I thought to myself . . . has it already been 10 days

After ignoring the pestering pop-up naggings of my computer, I obeyed the reminder and fed my starter. 

I also made some bread. 

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I couldn’t disappoint Melanie and some of you left some great suggestions and encouragement.

However, there was one little problem that really wasn’t so much of a problem.  I had already packed my bread loaf pans in anticipation of next week’s move. 

The result was 2 round loaves. 

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My second attempt at making sourdough bread turned out better than the first.  The dough rose higher . . . maybe it helped that I did incorporate a little elbow action.  I also had to add about a cup of water because the sponge dough originally couldn't accommodate the 3 1/2 cups of wheat flour, which was the minimum suggested by Sue Gregg.  Perhaps this explains why our bread wasn’t so crumbly and dry during round two.  Lastly, I used butter instead of coconut oil 

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I’ll have you know that my recipe for homemade “No-tella” tastes delicious on this fermented creation.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gift Certificate Giveaway from CSN

I have been busy preparing for our upcoming school year.  We haven’t totally taken a summer break because

  1. the boys and I do best with some some structure
  2. we love to learn
  3. with Sweet Pea coming in October, I know that the first month after she is born might prove difficult in sticking to a routine. 

I probably have too much learning planned for our school year . . . meaning a lot of different books, but what would you expect from the woman who used to be a teacher, blogs about books, and heavily uses Paperback Swap? 

I am mainly preparing for Sir Honey’s school year.  I am using the curriculum from Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  So . . . that means that I am doing a lot of printing, cutting, laminating, organizing, and application of Velcro dots!  (I’ll share more another day!)

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The Letter of the Week has a daily circle time, which I have never done at home with the boys, though it was part of my routine when I taught kindergarten.  I am pretty excited to have a morning circle time, as it really is a sweet part of the school day.  It will provide some structure to get our day started and teach foundational concepts that will long follow my children into adulthood – such as what day is it?  What comes after Tuesday?  What year is it?  What is the weather like and how should I dress, etc.

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Though I got distracted by looking at bathroom vanities a few days ago due to our new house having a nice one . . . I used my $25 gift certificate from CSN Stores to purchase a calendar and weather pocket chart to aide us in our morning Circle time. 

CARSON-DELLOSA PUBLISHING Calendarweather pocket chart wday-season-holiday-weather cards, 26w x 7 14h - CDPCD158003 - Mozilla Firefox 7222010 21356 PM

I promised you a giveaway from CSN and without further ado let me offer it to you!  Enter to win a $25 gift certificate from CSN Stores (there are over 200). 

How to Enter (and yes my friends and family can enter . . . I use to pick the winner . . . and you aren't friends with Mr. Random.  No one is. So enter to win ON MY BLOG NOT through a FACEBOOK COMMENT.)

Balancing Cactus
Mandatory:  Tell me what what you would buy with your $25 gift certificate from one of the CSN Stores.

Optional Entries (meaning write a new and separate comment for each)

  1. Become a fan of my blog (look over on the right sidebar).
  2. If you subscribe to Granola Mom 4 God, give yourself an extra entry.
  3. If you tweet about the giveaway, give yourself an extra entry – make sure to include @GranolaMom4God
  4. If you are like me and don’t wear makeup, give yourself an extra entry.

Giveaway Ends:  July 30, 2010.


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Doghter is Home

I called the Hottie this morning to tell him that our daughter was ready to be picked up.

I confused him slightly.  I might have even set off a surge of adrenaline through his veins.  “Isn’t it a little early to be going into labor?”

No, your dog!  Who else would I be talking about?

Ummm . . . how about my daughter that is growing in your belly?

Right . . . gotta get used to that!   

Many of you who follow me on Twitter know that our dog had surgery yesterday.  

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It turns out our faithful, vacuum-like dog who was also our training specimen to prepare us for parenthood, had a mast cell tumor growing on her thigh.  The options were to leave it alone, only to have it multiply in size quite rapidly, or remove the tumor while it remained somewhat local. 

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Wanting to be good stewards of God’s creation and appreciating the unique qualities that Mussoorie brings to our family life, we felt that it was only right to give it a shot and go ahead with the surgery.

Poor thing.  She is home now, after a lonely night’s stay at the doggy hospital.  I have never seen her so anxious to get somewhere when I picked her up – that somewhere was anywhere but the hospital. 

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Now, she is snoring soundly -- resting on her blue head pillow that is gentler than the plastic Elizabethan collar she was dressed in when I picked her up.

I know.  She’s a dog.  But she is our dog.

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Somehow I am supposed to keep her calm.  Right.  She lives with three boys. She’s a lion hunter.  She is ALWAYS searching for food.

I think we will change her name from Rhodesian Ridgeback to Rhodesian Ridgeleg.

Poor thing.

Snikiddy Snacks: A Review and Giveaway

The granola boys like it when snack time is quick. 

Because often snack time isn’t quick. 

Granola Mom has to “whip” something up.  Even if it just means cutting up strawberries . . . and adding coconut flakes to it.  The Hottie often reminds me that my idea of “whipping” something up is slightly warped.  What I consider fast is not what the majority of Americans would consider fast.

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When all I had to do was open the Snikiddy Snack bag that I was sent to review, the boys were delighted.  Though yummy, we needed about 10 more bags to feel full!

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Yes, Snikiddy Snacks are a processed food.  On the positive side, they are a processed food that I could actually understand what ALL the ingredients were.  I don’t necessarily like all of the ingredients, but an occasional snarfing of them isn’t significant in the grand scheme of things.  (We typically avoid corn and soy due to the majority of both  products being genetically modified, which is a whole different blog post.) 

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We sampled cheddar cheese (and LOVED this salty treat).  The other snack possibilities are varied . . .

You can order them directly from Snikiddy Snacks for $1.79 with a coupon (which is available on their website) and (drum roll please) free shipping!

You can find Snikiddy on Facebook  (and enter to win their cool sweepstakes) and  follow their founder on Twitter.

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As a thank you for reading this post . . . the first person to leave a comment will receive a YUMMY free sample of Snikkidy Snacks, just like I did! 

Game on!

(NOTE:  I was given this fun product for free to review as part of my connection with MamaBzz.  I do not have to return anything nor was I paid for this post.  I would consider taking a free year’s supply of this snack . . . because I liked them.)

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Wordless Wednesday: I won’t be needing garlic

My recent garden harvest has resulted in garlic for the rest of 2010. 

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For more Wordless Wednesday posts head on over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Beautiful SCOBY

I have never been so proud of something coming out of my kitchen as what I discovered last night.

You might laugh at me.  You might think I am slightly odd.

But God chose to use my latest kombucha fermentation for His glory.  She is a beauty.

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This particular SCOBY is thick, off-white, perfectly round, no defects or holes.  Something that would be sell-able. 

I’ve never produced one this nice. 

The last baby to come out of my fermenting was dark and lumpy. Let me show you the difference.

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And for a change of pace, I added some cherry juice to the kombucha per Mr. Smackdown’s request and with some help from Beverly of  Hidden Pond Farm

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So, now I have three SCOBYs.  Anybody need one?

To make kombucha, visit this post that contains instructions.

Monday, July 19, 2010

B90x Check-In

image I’m here.  I’m still reading. 

And I am glad that I have some accountability because I think that I would have fallen off of the wagon, had I not known that a blog post was due from me today.

Not that I am being paid or will be punished for not blogging about B90x . . . but I agreed to it over at Mom’s Toolbox

A promise is a promise.

One of my friends asked us to pray for her since we were going to be plowing through Numbers and Leviticus.  Being high and mighty, my prideful heart said (internally), “What’s the big deal?  All of God’s word is glorious.”

Guess who felt like they were in quick sand desperately trying to stay afloat and on schedule as I stumbled through Leviticus and tried not to skip words?

You got that right.  Me.

Please forgive me, Renee.  I should have been the one to ask for prayer.

I still have to finish Day 14 and 15 tonight . . . but I will do it. 

A promise is a promise.  And I know that God called me to this challenge for such a time as this.  A time of preparation.  A time to find our baby’s name!

So, no list of questions for you this week . . . the kiddos are down from their rest time.  And a promise is a promise.

Head on over to Mom’s Toolbox to check-in!

Goodbye Dryer

Tonight we are saying goodbye to the very first appliance that we bought as a married couple.

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Somebody else wants our piece of junk.  We just want it hauled away.  I’m sure the boys will love every minute of the departure moment after dinner. 

Like anything with the Hottie, the replacement of our dryer was every bit of a(n) saga adventure (mainly because of my laziness) and a learning experience. 

Yet another reason why I love this man. 

He taught me to use Craig’s List.  So far we have bought and sold multiple things on this great list of everyone’s junk treasures.  Including the dryer that we will only be using for two weeks.

For the past, oh, two months we have been listening and falling asleep to the sound of screeching eels coming from the general direction of our laundry room.  The cause of this horrendous sound that has also been guilty of putting holes in our clothes was a loose bearing and some other issues.  In short, the cost to repair this seven year old dryer was approximately $150. 

Hmmm . . . no.

Enter Craig’s List.

We found a toddler aged dryer for $40 . . . that actually contained a small green gift that had seen many drying cycles in its day. 

So let me amend that . . . we found a dryer for $20.  It works and most importantly, it is quiet.

The boys still can’t figure out how the dryer managed to climb up our stairs while they were sleeping.  The old dryer is mysteriously resting in our garage waiting for its new home. 

I know how it happened.  It was due to yet another adventure with my Hottie.  I am married to a brawny man. 

I am sure that Princess Buttercup appreciates that – the noise being gone, that is. 

And the newly married couple moving into our house.  I wonder if it will be a magic moment for them when they do their first load of clothes in their brand new house?  If only they knew the story attached to their dryer. 

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Where Do I Get My Ideas?

Twice in the past two days this question has been posed to me.  The above question is typically paired with,

“When do you have time to blog?” or  “How do you find the time to blog?”

For starters, you have to know that my part of my major in college was English/Literature.  Quite simply, I love how words go together.  I love to read.  I love to learn.  Words come naturally to me.

You also need to know that I am not a huge talker. 

But I am a female. 

Don’t women need to speak something like 7,000 words per day, or three times that of her male counterpart? 

I don’t.  I like silence.  I don’t feel the need to talk.  

Many of my words are written.  That’s why I never call anyone.  I write it out.  Blogging is my adult social interaction with the world, as impersonal as it may be.  I save what is left of my vocal chords (from reading children’s books all day) for when the Hottie comes home . . . or I am alone in the car and I call people from my red phone (had to get that in, Tina)  when it isn’t convenient for them. 

So . . . since I don’t talk as much as the average female, all of my ideas get bottled up inside my brain and have to escape somehow. 

My blog.

Additionally, I have an overactive imagination. That really is an understatement.  Just ask the Hottie.  It doesn’t take much for an event, food, picture, word, smell or idea to take root and grow into a blog post at the dinner table.

In fact, it isn’t uncommon for the Hottie to say, “You’re thinking of a blog post right now aren’t you?”  I must have a look that reveals the inner workings of my brain.

I write my blog posts using Windows Live Writer.  It is free.  But I also don’t have to be online to write.  Even though our computer is almost always part of the Matrix, I don’t have to be. 

I blog much the same way I read books.  I will have about 6 blog posts being written at one time.  If I have an idea, I’ll just type in the title or a couple of sentences, save it, and write the post when I feel like it.  Or when God prompts me.

I blog for God.  So He really gives me an endless supply of ideas, especially when I ask Him.

I blog about what I am concerned about, enjoy, and desire to share with others.  For this reason, you will find yourself reading a lot about the Hottie, my kids, our homeschooling, books I am reading, food/recipes, and photography here at Granola Mom 4 God. 

Blogging can be made simple by participating in memes.  (Such an annoying word.)  These are the easiest posts to write.  For example, Wordless Wednesday, Tot School, Preschool Corner, If You Give A Mom a Book, etc. are all examples of memes that I have participated in. 

And because I don’t have multiple blogs for the various aspects of our life . . . it appears that I do have a lot of ideas – I am putting so many topics into one blog instead of having just a homeschooling blog, or a review blog, or a family blog, or a food blog, or a Jesus-Freak blog.  You get everything all on one blog.  That could be a detriment to establishing a large readership. 

Some of you may pick and choose what you read.

That’s OK. 

And where do I find the time?  The Hottie always tells me that you have time for the things that you want to do.  Ouch.

But it is true. 

I blog whenever the Hottie and the kids aren’t around.  My priority always remains God, the Hottie, and the kids.  I have to have my jobs taken care of or in progress before I can blog.  Blogging can easily become an idol.  After all, is MY PLACE.  My corner in the world where I am me and I can go blah. 

At one point, my blog was an idol.  It was all I talked about.  I spent evenings writing when I could be reading, snuggling with the Hottie, or fermenting.  Instead, I would stare at the screen and irritate the Hottie with my sullenness.  I would blog in front of the kids.  They are too precious for me to devote a lot of time to a silver screen instead of their ever-changing faces. 

But I have since changed my ways.  Am I perfect?  No.  But because I try and show my family that they are the priority, when I make exceptions to my personal silent rule . . . they give me grace.

I know you still want me to answer the question.  So when do I blog?  (Usually around 6:30 AM or 2 PM.)

It also helps, that I have learned to say no to a few things in the blogging community.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Shades of Morning: A Review


Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky is definitely a great summer vacation read.  It was one of those books that I stayed up entirely too late reading. 

Main character, Marnie Wittier, left her former life behind to start over in a new location.  However, her past followed her many years later.  Surprise!  She discovers that she has full custody of her sister’s son, who unfortunately died.  We embark on this journey with Marnie as she discovers how to care for a child she never knew about and who offers some challenges.   With the child comes the attorney handling all of her sister’s affairs, Marnie’s former boyfriend, who she never stopped caring about.

And with that . . . I’m not going to tell you anymore because there is a twist at the end!  I will warn you though, the twist isn’t entirely realistic, but it does wrap the story up with heartwarming feelings.

Note:  I received the book for free.  I do not have to return it nor was I paid for this post. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Once Upon a Book: Waiting for Wings

If you need something else to do in your spare time . . . head on over to Totally Tots and read my post about this colorful book:


Waiting for Wings

By Lois Ehlert

It is Sir Honey’s last time to be featured in the Once Upon A Book (OUAB) hosted over at Totally Tots!   Mr. Smiley will be the star for my monthly OUAB post, which is specifically geared towards children up to the age of 48 months! 

Head on over and say, “Goodbye!”

Guest Post: Baby Turnips with their Greens

Head on over to Little Indiana to read my guest post! Jess has a great blog dedicated to anything and everything Indiana. If you would like some more Indiana facts, remember this blog post? Additionally, I have included the Little Indiana website in my "electronic friends blog list," so you can keep up with her travels around our state.


Guest Post: Baby Turnips with their Greens

Purely Products: A Review and Giveaway

You can’t always wash your hands when you want to. 

Or your kids' hands.

And even though I typically use a shopping cart cover for Mr. Smiley when we are out and about . . . he often manages to find out what is underneath that colorful cover.

On the ride home those curious hands end up in his mouth along with some newfound, unwanted friends.  I cringe as he sits behind me . . . out of my reach.  I pray that he doesn’t pick up some weird germ that translates into three weeks worth of sick children. 

Seriously, I’m not a germ freak.  We lived in India.  We ate a lot of dirt.  I know that we need bacteria.  I grow HEALTHY bacteria.  My issue lies in the fact that when one child gets sick . . . everyone gets sick.  That is a lot of work for a mom (and dad and a grandma).

There is only one hand sanitizer that I use (I even sell it), but it is expensive.  And even though it doesn’t contain  unnatural science-experiment ingredients, I still don’t like the idea that my child might end up eating it. 

So, when given the opportunity to use and review the Pocket Purifier from Purely Products, I said, “Self, this is a kid friendly product that matches up with your blog.  Let’s try it out.”

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What is the Pocket Purifier?  According to the Purely Products website,

the Pocket Purifier sanitizes surfaces and objects with the same UV-C light that sterilizes surgical instruments. Ultraviolet light and nanotechnology eliminate 99.9% of germs that cause colds and flu, plus e-coli, salmonella, mold, fungus and MRSA (staph). At home, at work, in public, for all high-touch surfaces, Pocket Purifier is the most environmentally responsible way to kill germs without chemicals

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The Hottie was skeptical.  But I figured if I bought a vacuum cleaner with a UV light . . . then why wouldn't I use a hand purifier with the same UV-C light, too? 

I thought it would be the ideal size to carry it in my purse diaper bag.  Wouldn't leak . . . however, this idea proved faulty.  The plastic piece that is supposed to keep the batteries in place would not stay attached to said germ zapper.  Mental note: use tape if you want the appliance to work.

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I was slightly dismayed because when I first turned the product on . . . it didn’t seem very bright or blue like my vacuum cleaner’s light.  But it does come with a warning to NOT look at the light.  (I did, though. I had to take a picture.)  I suppose the brightness doesn’t have to reflect the effectiveness, right?

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It came out much brighter in the picture than in real life . . . or maybe that is just some photo editing.  (By the way, you can also purchase the Pocket Purifier in pink!)

Other convenient features -- a wrist strap, a kick stand. and a flash light.

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So what are my thoughts?  Ohhhhh . . . I just don’t know.  I have to take Purely Product’s word that it does what it says it does.  But I would LOVE to do a real science experiment with this product and see if the bad guys’ DNA is rendered inactivate. I am sure this would be no cheap endeavor, though.

If you are addicted to hand sanitizer this little product might be what you need . . . you trust what the hand sanitizer bottle says, so why not trust Purely Products, too?  The Pocket Purifier is priced at $29.95.  How much do you spend on hand goo?

Want to try it out for yourself?

Win one.  Right here.

How to Enter (and yes my friends and family can enter . . . I use to pick the winner . . . and you aren't friends with Mr. Random.  No one is. So enter to win ON MY BLOG NOT through a FACEBOOK COMMENT.)

When you leave a comment, make sure you are signed into DISQUE or you LEAVE your email address.  I have had so many people NEVER email me back . . . and lost their prize. 

Mandatory:  Tell me, are you a germ freak?

Optional Entries (meaning write a new and separate comment for each)

  1. Become a fan of my blog (look over on the right sidebar) and tell me that you are or already were. 
  2. Subscribe to the Granola Mom 4 God Feedburner – meaning you will get me in your in-box! 
  3. Follow Purely Products on Twitter.
  4. Become a fan of Purely Products on Facebook and let me know.
  5. Tell me what SunMate is, because you will win this product in addition to the Pocket Purifier. 
  6. Enter to win the EcoKids Play Dough giveaway or at least tweet about it as part of your entry for the Pocket Purifier giveaway. 
  7. Buy something from Purely Products and get 25% off by using this link. (5 entries)  This discount will be available until August 5, 2010.  A percentage of the profit from your purchase will be given to

Giveaway Ends:  July 30, 2010 Midnight.

US and Canada residents only!

I was given the Pocket Purifier and Sunmate to review for free as part of my involvement with MamaBzz.  I do not have to return the product.  Yea!