Sunday, December 2, 2007

Do you hear what I hear?

One of our favorite things to do during down time is to listen to audio books. Long before my kids could even read, we were enjoying great books and story books on audio. I even think it helped them as they became readers and it definitely helped them develop a great understanding of vocabulary. Yes, my kids can read now. Yes, we read to our kids (this because of a comment once, "Well, *we* *read* to our children.") There is just something great about having a book read to you when you are busy with other things. The kids can play, do handwork, building w/Legos, art and even chores while enjoying a book. It is especially nice while riding in the car. We even have favorite and not so favorite narrators. We buy, download, rent and borrow at the library. Try it. You may love it.

Here are some books by narrators that we really love:
Island of the Blue Dolphins narrated by Christina Moore
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain narrated by John McDonough
My Side of the Mountain narrated by Jeff Woodman

Also check out LibriVox. This is a wonderful resource for books that are in the public domain.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lovely Christmas Books and Winter Tales

We have started pulling out our Christmas and Winter books. Instead of just leaving them on the book shelves, we love to have them at the ready in a basket. They are much more likely to be enjoyed that way.

Each year we enjoy reading all of the Christmas stories in the Little House on the Prairie books. It is easy just to turn to those holiday chapters and enjoy the classic tales. Especially heart warming is the Christmas in The Long Winter. This is an especially good lesson to children and adults alike in this world of crazy commercialism. Don't forget Farmer Boy.

Here are few others that we enjoy during the holidays and winter.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Owl Moon
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
A Christmas Sonata

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Under the Weather

It's time for some steaming hot green tea with rosemary and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I have closed down my other blog. I'm starting fresh here. Too much personal information on the old one and I wanted a change of direction.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Black Beans

I noticed that this week Aldi has black beans. This is not something that they usually carry though we certainly wish they would.

They appear to be gearing up for Cinco de Mayo. They also have some delicious frozen chicken tamales, diced green chilies, mexi corn, frozen mango and a frozen fiesta mix including mango, pineapple, papya and strawberries. YUM! Great for smoothies, on yogurt, or still slightly frozen.

Here are some of our favorite recipes w/black beans.

We love Chili's black beans (I don't usually add the sugar). Make sure to add a recipe of Chili's Pico to go on top (just fine without the peppers).

Black beans and yellow rice. Instead of diced chilies and onions, add in a cup of salsa. Serve w/a dollop of sour cream on top.

Super Quick Black Bean Soup. I don't add the chicken broth. I usually puree one can of the beans. You can also make it without the salsa.

Black beans w/seasonings served over brown rice.
Add any of the following: chicken, sauteed onions and peppers, chili powder, chipotle powder, pressed garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, fresh or canned diced tomatoes, chopped green chilies.

Black beans cooked in the crockpot with cilantro and lime juice.