Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Week in Review – January 31, 2009


This week was a reminder of why I don’t have a “real” job anymore.  Despite all the bad stuff, the kids had a pretty good school week.


A woman from our church’s Women’s MinistrySANY1067 came by with a prayer shawl for me on Monday morning.  It’s a hand-crocheted shawl made by one of the women in the church who prayed over it as she made it.  Every time I wear it, I feel the love of God through our wonderful church members!  I really felt rotten on Monday, so their timing was good.

SANY1061Monday was also our church’s AWANA Grand Prix.  Wild Man  made a car with flames coming off the back of it.  He was disappointed that he didn’t win, but he had a good time nonetheless.

I was sad that I didn’t get to go to the Grand Prix because my headache was so bad.  By the time Wild Man and Mr. Math Tutor got home, the headache was awful, so Mr. Math Tutor took me to the ER for meds.  We were home before 11pm, which was good.


I slept until noon because of the all the meds I got in the ER on Monday night.  The kids mostly read books and played video games that day since I hadn’t gotten around to scheduling their regular work.


I got the kids back on track with schoolwork on Wednesday.  We started reading George Washington’s World this week.  We watched a DVR show about carbon that the kids just loved.


Ga’hoole Girl started her new semester of dance on Thursday and she had a great time.  It’s fun to see her getting so good at tapping.  Wild Man has taken to doing his physical activity (walking on the treadmill while watching a movie) first thing in the morning, followed by reading a Harry Potter book for 20-30 minutes.  He was pretty stir-crazy this week and I wanted to send him outside, but it was only 10 degrees out, so I figured I’d let him be hyper inside.  It’s supposed to be warmer next week, so he’s definitely going to be running off some of his nervous energy outdoors!!


Ga’hoole Girl is getting quite good at poetry.  Here’s this week’s poem:

I am a grain of sand

A grain of sand is me

I am doomed to roam the vastness

Of the great, fiery sea

The wind picks up

A tempest grows

The whirlwind whips

Off we go

We drop on the dunes

To wait our turn

To fly on the winds

That make the sea burn

I am a grain of sand

A grain of sand is me

I am doomed to roam the vastness

Of the great, fiery sea

Her history writing was about how Benjamin Franklin was older than many of the other important figures during his time in history.  I didn’t have her write anything about science because our week didn’t really start in earnest until Wednesday.

Wild Man, though, is dictating a paragraph to me every week.  In a month or so, I’ll have him copy what he dictates.  This week was about concrete since we watched a History Channel show about concrete:

Concrete has been called “liquid rock” because it is so very strong. We have built the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, and the world’s biggest skyscraper with it. You can make it stronger or easier to work with by adding water, taking away water, adding more rock, or taking away rock. There is also a new kind of concrete that we have invented that can suck pollution out of the air and concrete that can let light through so that you can build a whole building out of concrete. The light comes through glass particles in the concrete to light up the whole building and have a bunch of pretty designs. The world is made of concrete.

After all the regular school work was done, the kids decided they wanted to look at things under the microscope.SANY1056  Mr. Math Tutor helped them set things up.  The looked at salt and sugar crystals, then Ga’hoole Girl pricked her finger and looked at blood.   I have some stains to use, but I didn’t feel well enough to helping the kids do staining, and I certainly wasn’t going to let them try it themselves.  My kitchen would never be the same again!


I felt pretty decent this morning, so the kids and I went to buy them jeans and then to the grocery store.  I know that taking them to the grocery store is a recipe for spending too much money, but I always think it will be different this time.  Alas, it is not!  They knew I was trying not to spend so much money, so they kept asking for things that were on sale.  I did save some money, but ended up buying things I didn’t plan on and then forgot to buy distilled water (for my CPAP machine)!

After our grocery trip, we watched the first half of “Return of the King” and had “40 Cloves and a Chicken” for dinner.  Mr. Math Tutor is still reading The Dark Frigate to us.  Now that we’re in to the story, the language isn’t as frustrating to listen to.  I will be glad, though, when we move on to a different book.  By bedtime, though, both kids and I were complaining of headaches.  I guess that’s what we get for shopping together!

So, how was your week?  Check out the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how other people did this week.

Friday, January 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


1. This week has been a reminder of why I don’t work outside the home anymore.  I’ve been very unproductive because of headaches.  Ugh.

2. Printer cartridges are monstrously expensive!  I have to say, though, that I love our all-in-one printer/copier/etc.

3. I can’t wait till our trip down South – two weeks from today!!  And the temperature had better not be in the single digits while we’re there!

4. A team from our church is going to Venezuela to work at a boys’ ranch this week and I’m jealous.  I had a blast several years ago when we went there.

5. I’m reading some books based on the TV series “Monk”.  They are really funny murder-mysteries.

6. My bangs are almost long enough that I’m going to quit threatening to cut them.  Ga’hoole Girl has really been pushing me to let them grow.

7. My kids played Nintendo together tonight – one with their left hand on the controller, the other with their right hand on the controller, with their arms around each other.  It does a mama’s heart good!

Check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Friday!

And The Winner Is . . ..

Milika is the winner of Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer!  Congratulations!  Send me your contact information, Milika, and I’ll get those books on the way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reflections on the Evolution Kerfuffle

I’ve always wanted to use the word “kerfuffle” in my blog. It’s such a great word. Don’t you love it? And there certainly was a kerfuffle around here on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the relevant post. The short story is that I wrote a post describing my journey from Young-Earth Creationism to Evolutionary Creationism (or Theistic Evolutionism) that was noticed by a certain Young-Earth Creationist who then blogged about it. Unfortunately, he used my blog post as a “cautionary” tale to other Christians to stay committed to his interpretation of origins. Here are some random thoughts about the whole kerfuffle (see, I used the word again!).

1. I knew that people kept an eye out for others blogging about them since an author had previously commented to thank me about mentioning his book positively. However, I had not considered the reaction by people whom I criticized in my blog. I have no regrets about the criticism because it is warranted, but I did not expect to be called out on a popular YEC website.

2. I was pleased that the commenters were respectful, but I wasn’t happy to find that the tone of a few commenters bordered on arrogant. (If you are wondering if you were one of the borderline-arrogant ones, you probably weren’t.)

3. I strongly disagree with those who would suggest that my interpreting the first part of Genesis non-literally means that I am “compromising” my faith or that I don’t take seriously the authority of Scripture.

4. I very adamantly believe that my faith is secure and that my witness is stronger for honestly wrestling with the origins question. I did not “cave in” to secular belief because of science. I went back to the Bible and prayerfully considered what God wants us to learn from Genesis. I will stand by my conclusions until presented with evidence that convinces me otherwise.

I plan to post again on this topic sometime in the next month or so. My next post will be on the interpretation of Genesis. I hope it will be interesting and get others to read new sources and consider different ideas.

I misplaced it

I seem to have misplaced my joy. Have you seen it? If you come across it, could you send it back to me?

I’m not quite sure what happened to it. I mean, I had it at Christmas and then the first part of the month. I think it got lost in the last couple of weeks.

Yeah, it’s been a rough couple of weeks, but God is still God and Jesus still loves me. Here’s some Scripture I’m using to help find my joy:

Phil 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

James 1:2-5

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

What helps you find your joy in the Lord? Are there Scriptures or disciplines or songs that bring you closer to Jesus?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA Blogging Day

Through a rather convoluted internet journey, I came across this post from Overlawyered about today being CPSIA Blogging Day, so I thought I’d participate.  I’m not usually terribly political, but this is important on so many levels.

CPSIA is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that was passed overwhelmingly in the Fall and is set to take effect February 10.  What’s the problem, you ask?  Apparently, this law will require that everyone who sells anything for children will be required to do extensive testing for safety.  This will have a chilling effect on thrift stores, resale shops, crafters of handmade goods, and others.  If I decided to sell a baby sweater that I made, I would not be able to just sell it on Etsy or Ebay until I had done expensive testing.

Check out this link for the relevant posts from Overlawyered and pray, pray, and pray some more.  We are seeing serious overreaching by the federal government that is having severe unintended consequences.  Get informed and write to your lawmakers.


Works For Me Wednesday – January 28, 2009

Before we go any farther, you need to read this post and sign up for the giveaway of Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer.  The giveaway is tomorrow and so far, your odds of winning are quite good.  OK.  Back, now?  Good.  Let’s move on.


Eating healthy and exercising regularly are difficult for many of us these days.  One of the things that the experts recommend is to keep track of what you eat and your exercise.  I have tried using a notebook or clipboard with minimal success.  But, now, I have found SparkPeople and I love it.

SparkPeople is a free website that allows you to track your eating and exercise on a daily basis.  When you start, the site will set up an eating and exercise program if you wish.  In my case, I use the site to track what I’m already doing.

The food tracking is easy and intuitive to use.  You can save the foods you eat most frequently under favorites as well as browse their list of foods or enter your own.  It is easy to copy a meal from one day to another, which is nice for me since I try to keep my food boring these days.

The exercise section allows you to track cardio and strength training separately.  They have a list of stretching and strength training exercise with accompanying photos to help you set up your own program or use one they set up for you.

Other benefits are Spark Points, a system of earning points for reading articles, tracking food and exercise, and other non-weight related activities.  There are blogs and chat rooms to allow you to interact with other users.

Try it – I think you’ll like it!  Also, check out Rocks In My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catherine’s Pecan Pie

(First of all, go to this post for the giveaway of Never Say Diet and the Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer.  Just leave a comment to get entered.  The drawing is on Thursday.  Go.  Now.  Before you finish reading this post.  That book is great and you really need it so go leave a comment before you do anything else.  OK, back now?  Good.  Here’s today’s post.)

Blissfully Domestic 1 TMTT

My husband and my father both love pecan pie.  In fact, there’s a funny story that’s part of the pecan pie lore of our family.  When my dad was in college at LSU many years ago, he would save up his money all week (he wasn’t exactly rolling in dough) so he could go have a slice of Mother Baker’s pie at a local restaurant.  It turns out that Mr. Math Tutor’s father was a waiter at that restaurant during some of the time that my dad was at LSU, so Mr. Math Tutor’s dad may have served my dad some of that wonderful pecan pie so many years ago!

One of the greatest baking compliments that I ever received was when my dad told me that my pecan pie was almost as good as Mother Baker’s.  I felt so honored!!  I made Mr. Math Tutor a pecan pie this week as a belated birthday gift, so I thought I’d share my recipe with you.  This recipe is based on the pecan recipe you can find on the Karo syrup label, but has a few changes that I have made.


  • 1/2 cup dark Karo corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light Karo corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie crust (I use frozen)


  1. 1. Stir together first five ingredients.
  2. 2. Arrange pecans in the pie crust to make a nice design (or just spread on the bottom if you’re in a hurry!)
  3. 3. Pour filling over the pecans which will now rise to the top.
  4. 4. Bake at 350 F for 50-55 min until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean or internal temp reaches 200 F.  I also find it helpful to bake it on a cookie sheet or pie pan.

Enjoy!!  Now, go Tempt My Tummy Tuesday to see what great ideas other women have posted.  Go.  Now.  Did you hear me?  Oh – you want to write down this recipe?  OK.  Go ahead.  Done, now?  Good.  Go visit that site and get even more great stuff!

Getting Things Together

Things seem like they’re in rather a shambles around here today.  My three day migraine ended last night with a trip to the Emergency Department for iv meds.  The doctor was a new one I’d never met.  He seemed pleased to meet me and said that, earlier that evening, he’d been reading through some patient records and kept coming across my name (as the physician), so he was glad to actually meet me.

We were in the ED less than two hours – there were very few other patients, so I didn’t have to wait much at all (a real blessing when your head feels like it’s splitting open and you want to throw up!).  I was in bed before midnight.  With all the meds in my system, I slept till noon.  That’s late even for me!!

I didn’t get the schoolwork organized on Sunday, so the kids did some basic stuff yesterday.  Today, we watched a TV show about carbon and they have since been learning all kinds of stuff about their video games.  I’m sure that will be crucial for their adult lives.  Sigh.

I cancelled all our plans for today.  I did get the kitchen clean and I plan to actually cook dinner (something I haven’t been doing much of lately) in a bit.  The school week is going to have to be adjusted, but I’ll probably deal with that tomorrow.  Tonight, I need to sort out the grocery and meal situation.

In any case, I’m very grateful to God for Zofran, Morphine, Toradol, and Ativan.  Not to mention my dear hubbie, who took me to the hospital last night without a complaint even though he had to sub today at the high school.  Now, I’m off to deal with the food and grocery situation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No, You’re Not Seeing Things.

Yes, I did change my template yet once again.  I think next time I might actually buy a template.  For right now, though, I’ll use the freebies.  So, why did I feel the need to take 30 precious minutes out of my Sunday evening to change the flashing lights on the screen??  Well, this is rather petty, but here goes.  Someone else whose blog I read had the same template I had.  I usually read blogs in a reader, so I didn’t find out until about a month after I changed mine that it was the same as hers.  And, frankly, I think it works better for her.  Yes, I know, I’m petty.  But, now I have a really pretty, blue template.  Hope you like it.

The “Not-So-New” Me – January 25, 2009

First of all, if you are interested in the drawing for Never Say Diet and the Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer, check out this post and leave a comment.  The drawing is Thursday, January 29, so tell your friends and neighbors!!

This was a fair week for me as far as eating and exercise.  I think I’ve already made some of the easy changes, so my goals for this week were a bit more challenging.

I did start eating more fruits and veggies, but I’m not consistently at three servings a day.  When I have a headache, it is harder for me to eat the healthy foods.  I don’t like them very much, and it takes emotionally energy (that I don’t have when my head hurts) to get the willpower to eat them.  I bought grapes and apples this week.  The kids ate all the grapes before I got to them!  I have had apples a couple of times this week.

My exercise goal was to do my weight training and to get to the gym.  I didn’t get to the gym because I felt rotten most of Tuesday through Thursday.  On Friday, I did my Day 3 exercise routine (strength training at home).  I did make an appointment to see my trainer to get the rest of my Day 2 program for this next Tuesday.  I did exercise most days this week.  On several days, I’ve started adding intervals of increased intensity while I’m walking.  It’s supposed to increase the calories burned, but it also adds to the interest of walking on the treadmill.  I spend the first couple of minutes of the interval thinking how good I’m doing and how great I feel and the last couple of minutes praying for God to save me!

Since I didn’t do as well with eating as I would have liked this week, I am going to continue with the goal of increasing my fruits and veggies.  My exercise goal is to continue with intervals and do at least two days of weight training.

I have also decided that I need to buy snack food items that are not individually wrapped to save money.  To that end, I’m going to get crackers and cookies and repack them in small zipper bags of 100-150 calories each.  I put a large basket on a shelf in the dining room for fruit, but it’s too big for just fruit, so I’ll put all the snacks in that basket.  The enforced portion control will be good for the kids as well as me.

So far, I’ve lost 7 pounds.  I’m pretty excited about that.  I’ll be more excited when I can put on my smaller jeans, but that’s still a few pounds away!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Week in Review

Our-Week-In-Review-3 This weekly post is intended as a review of our homeschooling activities, but I’m including a few other things this week.  First of all, check out this post if you are interested in the giveaway of Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Fitness Trainer books.  The giveaway is Thursday, January 29 so leave your comment now.  Second, I did this post on Thursday and it got mentioned in the Answers in Genesis blog.  There have been a few interesting comments.

On to the weekly review:

We watched a DVR show on Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday and then watched the Inauguration on Tuesday.  Later in the week, we listened to several chapters of Story of the World, including the one about Louis XIV of France and the Frederick, the first king of Prussia.

Ga’hoole Girl and Wild Man are both using ALEKS math with good results.  Wild Man has been learning his math facts slowly but surely.

Wild Man’s spelling is slowly progressing.  We had to spend a day reviewing instead of moving forward on Wednesday.  He is also working through Explode the Code.  He is reading aloud to me The Whipping Boy, which he really enjoys.

Ga’hoole Girl actually seems to be enjoying Painless Poetry – Yippee!  This week, she was supposed to write a poem set in a historical time period, so she wrote a narrative poem about the king of Prussia, satisfying her poetry and history writing assignments all at once.

For science, Ga’hoole Girl read about the effect of water on the earth and then watched a DVR show about water.  She did a nice short paper about water.

Wild Man wants to make a trebuchet for the science fair, so I’m going to buy him a kit (Mr. Math Tutor doesn’t have the time to try to help him make one from scratch) that he can use to do experiments.  To that end, we are reading again from his Physics book so he will have some basic understanding of force, work, and momentum.  Wild Man enjoyed our reading yesterday because we used his rubber band gun to illustrate elastic potential energy and kinetic energy.

Wild Man worked like crazy this week on his AWANA work.  We actually had to tell him to stop doing AWANA for a while and do other schoolwork!  Sounds almost blasphemous, huh?  Ga’hoole Girl procrastinated on her verse and had to work hard on Friday to finish.  I think she learned her lesson.

Our reader right now is The Dark Frigate.  The language used is apparently quite appropriate for the time and place, but it is hard to read and listen to.  The action is picking up, though, so I think it will be worth it.

Migraines have been rough this week, so I didn’t get much else done.  I planned several great, healthy meals for this week, but haven’t gotten around to actually making them.

So, how was your week?  Check out the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for more Weekly Wrap-up posts.


Woke up today with a migraine.  Our Week In Review may not get posted till tomorrow.  For the three of you who are waiting (with bated breath, I’m sure).  I’m off to take Imitrex and read trashy novels.

Friday, January 23, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

A new meme!  Yippee!  Jennifer at Conversion Diary (great blog, by the way) hosts 7 Quick Takes Friday every week on, you guessed it, Friday.


  1. We are reading The Dark Frigate.  I think it is going to be good, but it is hard for Mr. Math Tutor to read aloud and even hard for the listeners to follow along.  I hope it’s worth it.
  2. I’ve been enjoying the balmy 10 and 20 degree weather this week, but it’s back to below zero again tonight.  Deep sigh.
  3. Mr. Math Tutor has another client!  His website still isn’t up and running, but when it is, expect many shameless plugs on this blog!
  4. Silver (one of the cats) loves to curl up with me at night when I have a fleece blanket over me.  When she walks in the room, I call her and remind her that I have a fuzzy blanket.  That gets her every time.  She jumps up on the blanket and cuddles up until I’m ready for bed and kick her off.
  5. My kitchen desperately needs to be mopped.  We use a Swiffer WetJet for quick clean-up of spills, but the floor is seriously overdue for a good mopping.
  6. I was supposed to make a pecan pie for my hubby’s birthday last week, but we didn’t have enough eggs that night, so I did chocolate chip cookies (it was about 10 below that night, and Mr. Math Tutor would rather go without his pie than go out in that kind of cold).  I think I’ll try to do the pie tonight.
  7. Mr. Math Tutor and I went to the church’s staff and elder party last night and had a great time.  I am again reminded how fortunate we are to have such excellent folks involved in sharing the love of Jesus in this area.

Go to Conversion Diary to see other 7 Quick Takes Friday posts – and then hang around and read some of Jennifer’s other posts.

Evolution, Creation – Where’s the Truth?

Since high school, I have been on a spiritual and intellectual journey from Young-Earth Creationism to Evolutionary Creationism (AKA Theistic Evolutionism). I’m finally settling into and becoming comfortable with what I accept as true regarding origins, so I thought I’d share today how I got here. Eventually, I’d like to do more posts that are more in-depth on this topic.

I grew up in a Christian home and an Evangelical church. The existence of God and His interest in our lives was never questioned. At school, evolution was barely mentioned in my biology class (although I might have missed it during one of the many naps I took during those lectures). When I was in high school in the early 80s, the Young-Earth Creationism movement was really gaining steam. I recall some discussion in church settings about the evils of evolution, although my most vivid memory is an assembly during elementary school (in a Christian school) in which we were taught a song that said something like, “I’m no kin to a monkey”.

I started college without much idea of what I thought about evolution and creation, except that God created it all. I had a general idea that Young-Earth Creationism was “true” since that’s what was in the Bible, but I didn’t think hard about it. Since I was studying zoology, though, I had to come into contact with evolutionary theory. In science, the word “theory” denotes the overall explanation of a set of scientific facts or data. As with everything in science, a theory is always being tested, but evolutionary theory was considered as foundational and settled as gravitational theory. My professors, many of whom were Christians, talked as if evolution were settled. At the time, natural selection was still considered the prime mechanism of evolution, but some of my professors talked about the new research into genetics that included “jumping genes”, regulatory genes, and other exciting topics.

By the time I got to medical school, I was too busy to think much about origins. One thing I did notice then and that I have often noticed since then is that people who aren’t Christians often equate Christianity with uneducated because of the Young-Earth Creationism issue. In residency, I started to get interested in the topic again, partly because we were considering homeschooling. My dad, who had also found people uninterested in the Gospel because of the perceived link with Young-Earth Creationism, had come across the books of Hugh Ross, a Christian astronomer. Dad sent me several of the books and encouraged me to read them. Ross is an Old-Earth Creationist who believes that the first chapters of Genesis are not so much a portrayal of actual events 6000 years ago, but God’s revealing of the creation events to the writer of Genesis.

I really like Ross’ books, but I wanted to give Young-Earth Creationism an equal shot. I read one of Henry Morris’s books and wasn’t terribly impressed or convinced. I then took a look at Answers In Genesis and was rather appalled. Ken Ham essentially said that a person who does not believe in Young-Earth Creationism can’t be a Christian since they don’t believe the Bible. Not only was I distressed by comments like this, but I found the attitude of most of the AiG material to have an unacceptably negative attitude toward scientists. I took classes, including labs, taught by the same PhDs who were being portrayed as either duped or deceptive by the AiG writers and speakers.

By the time I started in medical practice, in 1997, I was pretty convinced of the truth of the Old-Earth Creationism perspective. But, I started thinking, “Is there anything in the Bible that refutes evolution?” Over the last several years, I have pondered that question as I have read commentaries, Bible studies, and a book on hermeneutics. I came to the conclusion that a reasonable interpretation of the Bible does not preclude accepting the fact of biological evolution. (I hope to blog in more detail about my studies at a later date.)

The idea that evolution is not anti-Biblical opened up a lot of doors for me. I had already accepted that the universe and Earth are both old. I had also been comfortable with the fact that life is old. The question that remained, though, is how did life begin and develop. The Bible is clear that God created everything in the very beginning. The development, though, is not spelled out in detail in Scripture. I have done more reading and become convinced that evolution is a much better explanation for life than any of the creation theories.

Twenty years ago, when I was in college, evolution was still discussed in terms of gradual changes over long periods of time facilitated by natural selection. Nowadays, biologists talk about evolution by natural selection as well as other genetic processes that allow for faster changes. Evolution has become more well-supported by research over time.

Some Christians are happy enough with evolution until we get to primates, at which time they become uncomfortable with the idea and claim that God must have stepped in to create humans specially from scratch. I think, though, that biological evolution explains the physical development of humans from primates very nicely, but it does not explain the part of us that is spiritual. At some point, God had to have given us the “breath of life” to make us “in His image”. Humans are obviously different than the rest of the animals in more than just our language skills. God created us to love Him and be in fellowship with Him forever. Exactly how and when He chose to differentiate us from the rest of the primates, I do not know.

Are you concerned that I’m losing my faith? That I’ve given in to a “worldly” theory that leaves out God? Don’t be. My faith in God is stronger than it was twenty years ago, and has not been diminished by my changing beliefs about the origins of the universe and life. I still believe that God loves me and that He sent Jesus to take away my sin. I believe that He speaks to me through Scripture and He answers prayer. But, I now believe that God chose to create the universe using processes that we can identify and study scientifically.

Later on, I’ll write in more detail about some of the issues related to evolution and creation with which I have wrestled. These include (but are not related to) “Does Genesis rule out the possibility of biological evolution?”, “Where does ID (Intelligent Design) fit into this discussion?”, “Does evolutionary belief lead to all kinds of social ills?”, “Why is this topic even important?”, “What should I teach my kids and how can I help them make good decisions?”. If you have questions that you’d like me to tackle, please leave them in the comments (but, understand that I’m not an expert, just someone trying to figure this stuff out on my own). In future posts, I’ll try to be more detailed and list resources that I have found helpful.

Do you ever question what you were taught about evolution or creation? Does this even show up on your “radar screen”? How do you handle this topic with your kids?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something Cool!

I got an email yesterday welcoming me as a member of the Heart of the Matter Online Team! I have contributed a couple of articles to their site and hope to contribute more. I don’t yet have the key to the executive washroom, but I’m waiting with bated breath!

Review and Giveaway – Never Say Diet

untitled Never say diet fitness trainer

Time for another book review and giveaway.  Waterbrook Press provided me a copy of these books for reviewing and another copy to give away on my blog, so you, my readers, are the lucky recipients!!

Never Say Diet, by Chantel Hobbs, is a 2007 book about weight loss and healthy eating and exercise.  Chantel started her weight loss adventure in 2000 when she weighed 350 pounds.  By 2005, she had lost 200 pounds and had run a marathon.  Talk about inspiring!!  She makes my 50 pound goal of weight loss look downright easy.

This book is written from a Christian perspective to help people learn to eat better and exercise.  She tells her story throughout the book, which is quite motivating.  The first part of the book, “Decide”, introduces her five “Brain-Change Decisions”.  These are five commitments that we need to make for permanent change.  Part two, “Act”, gives a 16 week plan to help you gradually change your lifestyle from unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle to healthy eating and exercise.  She includes recommendations on meal planning and eating as well as an exercise plan.  Part three of the book is called “Live” and is three chapters devoted to helping you stay the course and stick with the plan for a lifetime.

While the Never Say Diet book was published in 2007, the Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer is brand new.  This book is designed to work with the eating and exercise plan in Never Day Diet.  Each week’s chapter starts with a Scripture verse and quotation.  There is some motivational writing, followed by an exercise plan with space to write in your exercise for each day of the week.  The chapters end with a new eating recommendation for the week along with space for food journaling.

As a physician, I was pleased to see that Chantel’s plan is nutritionally sound and her exercise recommendations appropriate.  From a more personal perspective, I really like how honest she is in her writing.  She never says that changing how you eat and starting an exercise plan is going to be easy.  Rather, she tells you that it will be difficult at first, but the rewards will be worth it.

I appreciate how she encourages gradual changes.  I have started to adopt this technique and am making one new change per week.  I also like her recommendation to make food boring, at least for a while.  Her idea of eating three meals of 300-400 calories and 2 snacks of 200 calories work very well for me.  I now have a list of meals and snacks so I don’t have to think about what to eat in the middle of the day.

I can very heartily recommend this book to anyone wanting to start a more healthy lifestyle.  My only negative comment is that she tends to add in prayer and spiritual activities almost as an afterthought in the book.  She does a better job of integrating the spiritual and physical in the fitness planner.

I like the Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer, but I don’t find it as useful for me as the book.  First of all, I do all my tracking of food and exercise online at SparkPeople.  Second, I go to the local health club, so I’m not using Chantel’s specific exercise program.  I would recommend that you buy the fitness planner if you don’t already have a way to track eating and exercise.

Now, here’s the cool part!  If you think this Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer look like something you’d be interested in having, just leave a comment.  Next Thursday, 1/29/2009, I will be giving away a copy of the book and fitness planner.  All you have to do is leave a comment – it’s that easy!  I’ll post the winner on Thursday or Friday!  Tell your friends and neighbors!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lagniappe – January 21, 2009

  • I’m on Day 3 of this headache and I’m ready for it to be done.  This has been going on for three years, but I just can’t get used to it.
  • We watched Bye, Bye, Birdie on the DVR tonight.  I got to tell the kids about seeing it on stage in Florida with Charles Nelson Reilley and then in New Orleans with Tommy Tune.
  • The kids are choosing science fair topics.  Ga’hoole Girl wants to calculate the amount that the raw materials of Solomon’s Temple would cost in today’s dollars.  Wild Man wants to do something involving a trebuchet – are we surprised?!
  • I’ve been playing Phantom Hourglass on Ga’hoole Girl’s Nintendo DS.  The kids and Mr. Math Tutor laugh at how I talk while I’m playing.  Apparently, I’m rather amusing.  Anyway, I keep getting killed.  Ga’hoole Girl keeps playing enough that she’s always a couple steps ahead of me.
  • I’m knitting a sweater for Mr. Math Tutor that is coming along very nicely, but I found some mistakes in my cabling about halfway down.  He told me not to redo it and that he’ll show it to anyone who thinks the sweater isn’t handmade!

Story Time

The kids are now sitting on the sofa, taking turns making up parts of a story. These are moments I cherish.

Science Experiments

The kids are experimenting with acid-base chemistry in conjunction with Ga'hoole Girl's reading about leavening agents. They have out the baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and vinegar. Of course, they made a mess - but it's worth it!

Works For Me Wednesday – January 21, 2009

WFMW I love audiobooks.  They have tons of uses for all families, but can be especially helpful for homeschooling families.  I keep a CD player beside my rocking chair so I can listen to books on CD while I knit.  I put books on my mp3 player and listen while I’m cleaning house.  The kids and I listen to Story of the World on CD as part of their schoolwork.  They prefer when I read because they’re not real thrilled with the narration on this CD set, but I can’t read when I have a headache, so the CDs keep us on track.

Both of my kids have become serious audiobook lovers.  In fact,  Ga’hoole Girl raced through the rest of her schoolwork today because she has been trying to finish listening to Inkheart.  Wild Man has trouble reading books that interest him, like Eragon and Eldest, so audiobooks let him enjoy them while he hones his reading skills on less advanced books.  Our family also enjoys having audiobooks for long car trips.  On our last trip down South, we listened to both Eragon and Eldest.

But, where do we get books to listen to?  The only books on CD that I purchase are the Story of the World sets to go with our curriculum.  Other than that, we usually get CDs from the library or mp3s off the library website.  The library has lots of books on CD (and some on cassette, but we don’t have a working cassette player).  The kids get everything from Harry Potter books to The Lord of the Rings series.  I am listening to Emma right now, and enjoyed The Devil in the Junior League a few weeks ago.  Our library gives us access to OverDrive audiobooks on computer.  We can check out books online and transfer them to mp3.  They have fiction and non-fiction available.

Books on CD are available to purchase through Amazon and other retailers.  Some people, though, purchase audiobooks on mp3 through and  I haven’t ever used these retailers, so I can’t make any comments about them.

If you haven’t tried audiobooks yet, you might want to check it out.  The kids and I love being able to listen to someone else read for a change of pace.  Go to Rocks In My Dryer for more great Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Wii Fund

My kids want a Wii.  Mr. Math Tutor and I would probably enjoy having one, too.  But, they’re pricey.  I added up our “dream package” and it comes to over $700.  So, we’re saving.  Here’s our saving tin:

SANY1018 SANY1019

So far, we have just over $30.  We have a little ways to go.  The kids, though, are really excited about this little project, so they’ll be donating babysitting and birthday money to the fund.  I figure it’s good training for all of us in patience.

Healthier Cream Sauce

Blissfully Domestic 1 TMTT

I like food with flavor.  I went to school in southern Louisiana and learned to really love Cajun food as well as the traditional Southern food on which I was raised.

I’m trying to eat healthier, but I have no desire to give up yummy food.  So, I get frustrated when I read that eating healthy requires that I eat only plain food without sauces.  I love sauces and gravies.  When I was in med school in New Orleans, Mr. Math Tutor and I would go to Copeland’s and have delicious seafood and pasta with thick, rich cream sauces.

When I cook, though, I don’t make “real” cream sauces.  I’ve learned to modify a basic white sauce to substitute for the rich (and not-so-healthy) cream sauces we enjoy at restaurants.  By my calculations, 1/4 cup of my faux white sauce has about 75 calories, while the same amount of cream sauce has over 200 calories.  Here’s how I do it:


  • 2 Tbsp white flour
  • 2 Tbsp butter or oil – I use butter sometimes, but I like to use olive oil for a pasta sauce.
  • 1 cup liquid – The original recipe I use calls for 1 cup milk, but I often use part skim milk and part broth.  Other times, I may use mostly broth with just a splash of milk.


  • Whisk the flour and butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Do not brown (or you’ll get gravy).
  • Slowly add the liquid, whisking until combined.
  • Cook until the sauce thickens.


  • Divan sauce – use half broth and half milk for the liquid.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese after the sauce is thickened.  If it is too thick, whisk in a little more milk.
  • Cheese sauce – when the sauce is done, add 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Usually, I use cheddar cheese, but life can be more interesting with Gruyere or a mixture of Gruyere and smoked Provolone.  Experiment till you find what you like!
  • Cajun cream sauce – start by using olive oil.  Add some chopped onion, garlic, and green pepper and cook until they are softened.  Add the flour and whisk well.  Use half milk and half broth for the liquid.  Add cayenne and/or paprika to taste.  Add cheese, if desired.
  • Brown gravy – use vegetable oil instead of butter.  Brown the flour until it is pleasantly brown and has a nutty aroma.  You may need to use another tablespoon or so of flour than called for.  Use broth or juices from the meat as the liquid.  Make sure to start adding liquid as soon as the flour is browned so you don’t burn the flour.  (Alton Brown made a roux in the oven the other day on Good Eats.  Seems rather blasphemous to me, but check out his show if you’re interested.)

There it is – my comprehensive guide to sauces that won’t add hundreds of calories to your meals.  Of course, on special occasions, you may want to use a little half-and-half or cream as part of the liquid.  And, to keep the calories under control, watch the portion size.  1/4 cup of sauce should be enough for most meals.  You can vary this recipe endless ways so don’t be afraid to try new things.

Do you have any other great sauce ideas or additions?  Let me know in the comments!  Check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for more great recipes and I Am Blissfully Domestic for hints and helps for the domestic life.

Special thanks go to my mom for teaching me such a versatile skill as making white sauce.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I’m Ready

The kitchen is clean, the laundry done, the schoolwork scheduled.  I’m now ready for a migraine.  I’m so not normal.

Homeschool Moments – January 19, 2009

This morning, when I got out of my shower, Mr. Math Tutor was sitting on the floor cutting up Algebra Tiles for a student he’s working with, Wild Man was working on his AWANA on the sofa, and Ga’hoole Girl was reading on the other end of the sofa.  Mr. Math Tutor asked what “holy” means.  I answered “set apart”.  Mr. Math Tutor said, “That’s what I thought.  Wild Man’s AWANA book, though is using words like righteous and pure.  But, the AWANA stuff usually has good theology.”  Of course, we couldn’t let things stand like this.  I went to my computer Bible Dictionary and checked out what they said which was “set apart for righteousness” or “set apart for God’s use”.  A minute or two of discussion followed, after which the meaning of the word “holy” in Scripture is much more clear.

As I was making my lunch, I commented to Mr. Math Tutor about the calorie content of some food.  Wild Man asked what a calorie is.  Of course, in my desire to be precise, I started to tell him that it is the energy required to raise 1 ml of water to 100 degrees Celsius.  He got kind of glazed over, so I started over with how exercise burns energy and food gives us energy.  He was still pretty glazed over, so Mr. Math Tutor explained that we need to balance what we eat with what we burn off and calories are a measure to help us do that.  I think Wild Man kind of understood.

These are yet two more examples of why I’m glad we homeschool.  It isn’t always easy, but being able to teach kids what they need and want to know now in a way they understand is so precious.

Menu Plan Monday – January 19, 20090

holidaympm-1 Even with my changing my eating habits, our weekly menu planning really doesn’t change much.  I always try to have a protein, a grain or starch, and 1 or more veggies.  The only thing I really need to change is how much I eat.  I’ve already done this week’s grocery shopping (instead of my usually Tuesday shopping trip).  Here’s what I’ve got planned for this week.

  • Spinach pie probably with some pasta on the side which will make Wild Man happy since he doesn’t like spinach pie.
  • Potato Soup – I got an idea off another blog (I don’t remember which one, so if it was yours, let me know and I’ll give you credit!) for doing potato soup with frozen hash browned potatoes in the crock pot with cream of chicken soup.  I do it a little differently since I make a soup base (like a thinned down white sauce) with milk and chicken broth then put that with the potatoes in the crock pot.  I’ll add cheese this time since we thought it was a little bland last time.
  • Tortellini with parmesan cheese and salad.
  • Chicken and broccoli stir-fry
  • Spaghetti with salad.

Trying to shop economically is a challenge for me.  I don’t clip coupons because I rarely find coupons for things that I’ll use, and the stores don’t do “double coupon days” to make it worth the trouble for such a few coupons.  I shop at Sam’s Club every few months for bulk items.  This usually pays for the cost of the card with the first trip of the year, and really saves money otherwise.  I use the grocery store here in our small town for emergency needs since it’s a small store without much selection.  In the larger town close by (6 miles), there are a Pick’N’Save, Piggly Wiggly, and Aldi’s.  I don’t like Aldi’s because I’m something of a brand “snob” – I just rarely like off-brand foods.  The Piggly Wiggly isn’t too bad, but they don’t carry some of my favorite things.  I like Pick’N’Save, but it is pricey.  The ideal place for shopping is Woodman’s in Appleton.  I don’t shop there, though, unless we’re already in town, which is usually Tuesday.  This week, Ga’hoole Girl’s piano lesson is at 7pm, so I don’t want to leave her at the Academy while I shop in case I don’t get finished shopping in time.

So, it was Pick’N’Save today.  And, far more expensive than I would like.  Part of the problem is that I bought some 100 calorie snacks from Nabisco and some 100 calorie pudding packs.  I don’t want to rely on this kind of food, and I want to get away from processed foods, but I’m using these 100 calorie foods right now as a way to not obsess over food.  Veggies are expensive in winter up here.  Asparagus is $4 per pound right now – we have about one month when asparagus is dirt cheap.  This is quite a change from my growing up in South Florida with it’s three growing seasons!  I also bought a duck because it was on sale.  I’ve never had duck, but Alton Brown says that we should eat more duck just because it’s yummy.  I’ll try a duck recipe next week, I think.

My goal is to get to more homemade food, including snack food, so I can purchase the ingredients in bulk.  I need to start doing as much cooking as I can on the days when I feel well so that we have the food on hand when I don’t feel well.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Check out I’m An Organizing Junkie to see what others are doing for meals this week!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The “Not So New Me” – January 18, 2009

This week, I have come to some more “awarenesses” (as my counselor would say).  I’m slowly starting to exercise more and become more active on my better days.  I’m not nearly as hungry and am obsessing on food less than I was a month ago.

My food goal this week was to come up with some meals and snacks so I don’t have to think much about food preparation.

300 calorie – breakfast or lunch

  • 1 cup barley/TVP – I put 1 cup dry TVP and 2 cups barley in the crock pot with five cups of broth (chicken is best).  I cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.  After it’s cooled, I put it in the fridge and serve 1 cup at a time.
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich – 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp jelly, 2 slices and bread.
  • 1 cup Cheerios with 1 cup milk and 1 tsp. sugar, orange juice
  • 1/2 package of Lipton Pasta Sides, prepared.  (I usually do this just when one of the kids is already making it.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Rondele Garlic and Herb Cheese with 15 Triscuit Thin Crisps
  • 3/4 cup Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, prepared.

200 calorie (approximate) – snacks

  • Nabisco 100 calorie snacks with 1 cup milk.
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips with 1 cup milk.
  • 1 Tbsp Rondele cheese with 7 Triscuit Thin Crisps
  • 2 graham crackers with 1 cup milk
  • 1 ice cream sandwich (preferable Skinny Cow, but Kemps are cheaper)
  • 2 ounces string cheese with 7 Triscuit Thin Crisps
  • 1 medium apple with 1 ounce string cheese
  • 1 cup grapes with 1 ounce string cheese

Of course, fresh veggies can always be added to any of these, although I have to be careful about the amount of dressing I use.

The nice thing about this list is that I don’t have to think about the food.  I make sure I keep the basics around the house.  When I need a snack, I just pick something off the list and get it.  None of it requires much preparation.

My exercise has gone pretty well this week.  I’m up from averaging a 25 minute walk at 2.0 mph to 30 or more minutes at 2.4 to 2.5 mph.  I only went to the health club once this week, so I seriously need to remedy that this week.  It’s clear from my food diaries that I need to increase my metabolism in order to actually lose weight.

So, what are my goals for next week?  My food goal is to increase my fruit and vegetable servings to three each day.  Yes, I know it should be more (I took lots of nutrition classes), but I’ve got to start where we are.  I usually have two veggies at dinner, and maybe some orange juice in the morning.  I think I will start with either orange juice or an apple each day along with veggies at dinner.  I’m not a big veggie fan, so this is going to take some time.

My exercise goal is to continue regular walking, go to the health club twice this week, meet with my trainer this week (still need to get my Day 3 exercises), and go cross country skiing once this week (the weather is going to be gorgeous and about 20 degrees – perfect for skiing).  It looks like a lot, but the only new things are increasing my health club time and cross country skiing.

BTW, my total weight loss is four pounds.  It seems like such a drop in the bucket, but I’ve got 207 SparkPoints for the month of January.  I don’t know if that’s really good or not, but I’ll keep track over the next few months and see how I do.

Can you say insomnia?

It’s 1:04am.  I just finished organizing Google Reader.  I think I’ll try sleep – again.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our Week in Review – January 17, 2009

Our-Week-In-Review-3 It’s been a week of ups and downs around here.  The school part of the week actually went pretty well, despite everything else.  We skipped school on Thursday to celebrate Mr. Math Tutor’s birthday, so I gave Ga’hoole Girl until 5pm today to have her assignments turned in.  She’s finished all but one of them.  The kids have had pretty good attitudes all week, although Wild Man was a little distracted on Wednesday so we only finished half his spelling lesson.

History – We read about Japan and their growing isolation, the rise of the Manchu in China, and the Moghul empire in India.  We watched a DVR show about Pearl Harbor which prompted Wild Man to check out our world map to look at the relationship between Hawaii and Japan.

Science – Ga’hoole Girl read about lakes in her Earth Science book this week.  We watched a show about acid, so that was the topic of Ga’hoole Girl’s science paper this week.

Language Arts - Ga’hoole Girl – She wrote a poem in second person this week.  She also did some exercises in her Painless Poetry book.  She finished reading The Iron Peacock and wrote a nice little paper about iron works.  There were some capitalization errors in the paper that she will fix next week.  We continue to work through Spelling Power.  As a family, we finished reading A Murder for Her Majesty which is an excellent book.  The kids worked really hard to finish all their schoolwork on Wednesday so they could watch “Much Ado About Nothing” – for fun.  That is one of their favorite movies!

Language Arts – Wild Man – Spelling was a lot of work this week, but he did three lessons when all was said and done.  Because of his dyslexia, spelling and reading just don’t come easily for him.  He’s learning to write in cursive which some people say helps dyslexics not flip letters while writing.  I had him dictate a paper to me this week.  He chose to write about TV and why he likes it.  I’m going to have him dictate to me for a few months, then have him start copying what I’ve typed, and eventually (after spelling is a little easier for him) have him write out his own papers.

Spanish – Ga’hoole Girl is still in Power-Glide.  I ordered Wild Man’s next Power-Glide semester, but haven’t gotten back a confirmation email.  Sigh.  Ga’hoole Girl also checked out two Harry Potter books in Spanish and has been having fun trying to read some of it!

Bible – We’re reading in Exodus as a family.  Ga’hoole Girl learned to do verse and book studies as well as reading another chapter in “But Don’t All Religions Lead to God?”.  Wild Man finished Discovery 2 last week in his AWANA book and is now about halfway through Discovery 3 – Yippee!  Next week is the AWANA Derby, where Wild Man will race the car that he’s working on.

The weather this week has been bitter cold, so the only day that we went anywhere was Tuesday for piano lessons.  Otherwise, we stayed home and warm!  When I got up this morning, it was actually above zero outside!

Mr. Math Tutor has been playing Nintendo a bunch for the kids, especially on his birthday Thursday.  He completely finished Paper Mario last night!!  They were all thrilled.  Now, they can play around in the Paper Mario world, but they’ve defeated the Boss.

I haven’t played much with Ga’hoole Girl’s Nintendo this week because I’ve been on an organizing fit on the days that I felt well (and because she needs a new screen protector).  I cleaned out our medicine cabinets – yes, we had two.  Now, all our meds are in one cabinet and are organized.  I have a whole big bag of old meds to take to the pharmacy to be disposed of.  I’ve been trying to move things around in the kitchen so our pantry (actually, a tall cabinet) isn’t so full.  I can’t really organize it until I just decrease how much is in there.  My next task is to clean up the schoolroom so we can get to the bookshelf again!

So, how was your week?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for more Weekly Wrap-Ups!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heart of the Matter Online – January 16, 2009

HOTMSidebar Today’s Heart of the Matter topic is Video Meme: Thoughts on Inauguration Day & President.  I’m going to break a little rule here, though, and not do a video.  Making video with our current set-up is possible, but definitely not easy.  The main computer doesn’t have a webcam, so we have to film with the video camera, transfer to the computer, edit, then save.  Far too much work in my world.

I do, though have some thoughts on Inauguration Day and homeschooling.  A good bit of our day on Tuesday is going to involve watching the Inauguration ceremony and reading online about the history of the Presidential Inauguration.  We are also going to spend some time praying for our new president.

During the election, we watched the speeches during the conventions.  We also saw lots of commercials and even part of the debates.  We started working through an election unit study, but it ended up being overwhelming to me.  That being said, the kids did learn a good bit about how elections work from our myriad discussions over those several months.  On election night, we planned to stay up until the winner was announced.  Well, since the results were apparent pretty early, we got to bed on time!

I did not vote for Obama, nor did my hubby.  In fact, we vehemently opposed his election because of his policies.  But, now, the fact is that he is our president and we need to pray for him and support him in whatever ways we can.  To that end, I’m trying to be very positive about the Inauguration and Mr. Obama himself.  We’ll talk about the trivial things, like his family’s trying to choose a new dog, as well as the more serious things, like what he’ll do about the war in Iraq.

I’ve become very concerned about how many Evangelicals have demonized politicians with whom they disagree.  I have read, in more than one place on the internet, all kinds of terrible and downright evil things about the incoming administration.  I want my kids to start to learn that we can disagree with someone and still be respectful.  We may think that they are leading to world to Hell in a handbasket, but if they are in authority over us, we are to be submissive (as long as submission to their authority does not contradict God’s express commands). 

This can be tough.  We spent the entire election season working to keep the Democrats out of the White House, and our kids heard our conversations and our concerns.  Now we need to stand firm on our convictions, but pray for our leaders (even if we don’t like what they stand for).  I don’t know Mr. and Mrs. Obama or Mr. and Mrs. Biden personally.  I have no reason to dislike them.  But, I don’t agree with them.  And I want my kids to learn how to respectfully disagree with others.

Check out Heart of the Matter Online to see what others said about the Inauguration and the new president!


Thursday, January 15, 2009


Today is Mr. Math Tutor’s 42nd birthday!! It’s a day of celebration in our house!! In fact, it’s such a great day that we’re cancelling school.

Some fun facts about Mr. Math Tutor:

  • While he has lived most of his life in the southeastern US, he did spend two years as a child in Fairbanks, Alaska where his dad worked as an engineer on the pipeline.
  • He has lovely eyelashes. When we were first married, I used to tell him that I wanted our daughter(s) to have eyelashes just like his.
  • Instead of a birthday cake this year, I am making him a pecan pie. He loves pecan pie!!
  • In the early years of our marriage, Mr. Math Tutor was always warm and I was always cold. In the last couple of years, I’m the one who’s always warm, and Mr. Math Tutor is more likely to be chilly.
  • Mr. Math Tutor will eat anything that the kids or I cook.
  • When I was working, if I got called in the middle of the night in winter to go in to the hospital, he would start my car for me so it would be nice and warm.
  • He likes to play video games. One of our family activities is for him to play a game while the kids and I watch and give recommendations, etc. Right now, he’s working on Paper Mario and the Thousand-Year Door.

Today is probably going to be filled with video games, reading, and other fun stuff. It’s entirely too cold to go outside (-20F the last time I checked). We were going to take him last night to Outback for dinner, but we’ve put that off till next week since we don’t want to freeze! I’m working on making him a cardigan sweater for his birthday. I’m about a third of the way through the back, so it will be a late present!!