Thursday, July 28

Fun with Science

The Blue Goo ExperimentRosi and I completed the most funnest* science experiment since the one I did in high school biology that involved spitting into test tubes (I think it had something to do with pH testing, but I don't recall exactly).

We made Blue Goo. Seriously, this stuff is better than play dough. You can't sculpt anything out of it, but that's okay. It's fun just watching it melt and drip and change between liquid and solid form.

Do you want to get all gooey about science, too? It's easy, just mix one part cornstarch with 3 parts water. You can add a couple of drops of food coloring if you want. Mush it all together with your hands and let the fun begin.

Have older kids that are just too cool for goo? They can still play. My teenage niece turned me on to this one: Cornstarch Monsters. Add a stereo speaker to the mix and you can make the cornstarch colloid dance.

*Yes, I know it's ungrammatical. What's your point?

Wednesday, July 27


Amusements from our house over the past couple of days.

Rosi: Can we go for a drive?
Mamie: Tell you what, if you clean up all of your toys in the living room, we can go out for a little drive and pick up some food for dinner.
Rosi: Okay.

Later, after Mamie has reached the limit of her frustration tolerance, but the room has not yet been cleaned.
Mamie: Go get your shoes on; we’re going out.
Rosi: To get food?
Mamie: Yes.
Rosi: But I didn’t clean up.
Mamie: I know.
Rosi: Are you giving me grief?
Mamie: Do you mean giving you grace?
Rosi: No, a lot of times you say, “You’re giving me grief.”

The next day, after Adam has take over supervising the clean up.
Adam: You have 5 seconds to get this in the trash before drastic measures are taken.
Rosi: Before what is taken?
Adam: Before drastic measures are taken.
Rosi: Before my plastic what is taken?

• • • •

Ian has started really showing us his displeasure. He doesn't usually cry or scream, unless he's particularly overtired or hungry, but what he does just makes me smile. This morning, for instance, he was reaching for my phone on the desk. He made the sign for phone, his way of asking me to hand it to him. I said, "No," and moved it out of his reach. He glared at me and stomped his little foot on the floor before walking away to find another toy.

Tuesday, July 26

A Baby Story

No, not the TLC series. I'm talking about the long and involved story of Ian's birth. If you missed the saga the first time around (or if you just enjoyed the drama so much you need to read it again), please direct your attention to today's post on the Elegant Mommy blog The Empowering C-Section Birth of Ian Gray: A Homebirth Transfer.

Monday, July 25

Here Comes the Sun

A few nights ago we were out driving just as the sun started to head down some scattered clouds.

As we stopped for a red light, Rosi pointed out her window and cried, all excited:

Look, over there! I see sun stripes!

Friday, July 22

To Market, To Market

I've been trying to crocheting market bags for years. A couple of years ago I found a pattern that constructs the bag as a flat mesh rectangle, then gathers the edges and adds handles. As usual, I couldn't stick to a pattern, so I created my own.

Market Bags

Materials Used
  • 5¼ oz/265 yds worsted weight cotton
       • 4 oz/200 yds for mesh and
       • 1¼ oz/65 yds for handles
  • I crochet hook (5.5 mm)
  • stitch marker

6 sc and 8 rows = 2”
Gauge is not crucial to this pattern.

Finished Size

Approx 18" from top of handles to bottom of bag, empty and unused. Bag will stretch with use (the green bag in the above photo is older and has been used much more often).

Special Stitches
  1. Single crochet two together (sc2tog) **Slip hook into next stitch, yo, and draw loop onto hook. Repeat from **, yo and draw through all 3 loops on hook. Counts as 1 sc.
  2. Foundation single crochet (fsc) Click here to view Alice's fantastic Futuregirl tutorial.
  1. Mesh is worked in rows, turning work at the end of each row. Handles are worked in a spiral around the edge of the mesh square.
  2. Double crochets (dc) in Row 1 are worked over (around) the whole foundation chain rather than into indicated stitches. This allows the finished bag to stretch more evenly.

Ch 95.
Row 1 Dc over 6th ch from hook. **Ch 2, skip 2 ch, dc over next ch. Rep from ** to end of ch. Secure last st to 1st ch with stitch marker. (30 dc)
Rows 2-30 Ch 4. **Dc in ch-2 space, ch 2. Rep from ** to end of row. (30 dc)
Bind off.


Remove stitch marker from Row 1 and pull up a loop through both the 1st ch and the bottom of the last dc in Row 1.
Round 1 Work 2 sc in corner space and each of the 28 ch-2 spaces along foundation ch. **Work 4 sc in corner, rotate work 90° and 2 sc in each space along next edge. Rep from ** to last corner space. Work 2 more sc in 1st corner space, for a total of 4 sc in that space. (240 sc)
Round 2 Sc2tog around (120 sc)
Round 3 **Sc2tog across 1st 30 sc. Sc in each of next 30 sc. Rep from ** (90 sc)
Round 4 Sc in each sc around (90 sc)
Round 5 **Fsc 30, skip 15 sc, sc in each of next 30 sc. Rep from ** (120 sc)
Rounds 6-7 Sc in ea sc. (120 sc)
Bind off and weave in ends.

Saturday, July 16

Real Food (PSA)

I started a new blog dedicated to low-carb recipes that use real food ingredients, rather than artificial substitutes.

Two months ago now, I went low carb. I started slowly, not really counting carbs, just cutting out breads and sweets and limiting my fruit consumption. After a couple of weeks, I started keeping a food journal and adding up my daily carb count. I'm not following any particular diet plan, but I do try to keep my carbs between 20 and 40 net grams per day.

As I started looking for new ideas online, I was disappointed to see how many uninspired low-carb recipes are out there. So many of them seem to rely heavily on artificial or specialty (read, pricey) ingredients. I don't like fake foods and we can't afford expensive ones. Figuring I'm surely not alone, I decided to share some of the recipes I've adapted or created. The dishes are low carb, low sugar, and most are completely grain free.

If you're interested in real food for real people, take a look and see what you might like to make.

You have reached the conclusion of this public service announcement. Thank you for your time.

Monday, July 11

That's My Girl

Rosi got a book and CD set of Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the library today. She insisted on starting it on the drive homeFootball Princess and has heard it at least twice since we've arrived. She was still listening when I went in to put Ian down for his nap.

After I'd come out of the bedroom, she asked, "Did you know that Beauty came to my house?"

"Did she?" I replied.

She nodded, adding, "And we played football!"

Friday, July 8

You Can Never Be Too Rich ...

Too Rich for a Bride
by Mona Hodgson

If you asked my husband, he'd probably tell you my favorite books are romance novels that don't spend too much time worrying about whether you can figure out the ending after the first few pages. While there is some truth to that (I do like romances), I much prefer a meaty novel with a few twists and turns to one that lays out the plot in such a straight line that coming to the inevitable conclusion is rather anticlimactic.

Before I started reading, I was afraid this novel would fall more into the latter category than the former. In my experience, Christian western historicals do tend to follow a rather simple formula. While Mona Hodgson does stay true to the genre and offers a rather predictable storyline, she has also created remarkable, relatable characters. Rather than feeling let down by the unsurprising ending, I found myself smiling, happy they'd finally arrived.

Ida Sinclair, the protagonist, is a headstrong, independent woman. She's smart, ambitious, and doesn't have any interest in following the path society set out for the traditional woman. Moving to Colorado to join her sisters, Ida finds a job with a businesswoman who teaches her to knowledgeably invest in the stocks and see significant returns. Not everyone approves of the methods her mentor uses, however, and Ida's continued employment threatens family harmony. In the end, of course, Ida learns lessons that are much more valuable than how to play the market and she chooses between the two suitors pursuing her. Everyone lives happily every after, with just enough threads left untied for a sequel featuring the fourth Sinclair sister.

Although this book itself is a sequel to Two Brides Too Many, the story of Ida's sisters Kat and Nell, it stands well on its own. I haven't yet read the first book, but the continuing plotlines seemed adequately enough explained that I didn't feel lost as the story progressed.

This is not my favorite book, and westerns aren't really my favorite genre, but it was an enjoyable read and left me intrigued about the other sisters. I may have to order a copy of the first book, and I will be on the look out for the next. For being fun, though not terribly innovative, I give it three out of five smilies.


I participate in the Blogging for Books program. WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided me with a free copy of this book for my review. Please click here to rate this review.