Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book Review: Banner in the Sky

Rudi Matt, a 16-year-old dishwasher, wishes to climb mountains like his father who died trying to conquer the greatest and most terrible mountain in Switzerland, The Citadel. But his mother and his uncle will not let him. Now Rudi along with Captain John Winter, whom he saved from almost certain death, must try to climb past the “fortress” where his father met his end. Then they must climb on and on beyond the shoulder and then to the top of the immense and powerful mountain.

I really liked Banner in the Sky because of the way the author described each character’s feelings. For instance, he showed how Rudi was longing to climb the mountain that his father couldn’t. One of my favorite things about this book was the fact that there was never too little action. I also liked how the author build up to the climax very well but didn’t overdo it. One example is when Rudi gets stuck on the mountain overnight in the freezing cold. He was terrified of the ghost stories he’d heard and the author turned this into a very frightening and suspenseful venture. I would recommend Banner in the Sky to anyone who likes a good adventure.

--by Anakin

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Muffins (gluten/casein free)

During the past WEEK of illness, I've made several batches of these muffins for the sickies. They've been very appreciative! I found the original recipe in Dr. Sears' Parenting Newsletter, but I can't locate the recipe on-line and I've changed it a LOT. So blame my experimentation if you hate it! ;)

Pumpkin Muffins*

(*gluten & casein free...assumes you will buy ingredients that contain no gluten or milk products)

Makes: 24 regular or 48 mini muffins (they freeze well for snacks/breakfast)

Mix together dry ingredients:

3 c. brown rice flour
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 t. sea salt (or regular)
4 t. baking soda
1/4 c. brown sugar

Mix together wet ingredients:

4 beaten eggs
3/4 c. thawed orange juice concentrate
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. 100% maple syrup
2 T. agave nectar or honey
4 t. vanilla
2 c. cooked, mashed butternut squash or pumpkin

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Add 1-2 cups of chocolate chips (gf/cf) or raisins.

Put batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 350. About 15 minutes for mini muffins, about 20 minutes for regular...but watch them so they don't overbake.

P.S. I would never, ever guess these were gluten free muffins. They taste like the real thing! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lysol, take me away...!!!!!!!!!!

3 kids.

3 fevers.

Any questions?????????????

Monday, February 2, 2009

Waiting is hard...

I think I've managed to keep my impatience in check. So far.

When we signed the L*O*I (letter of intent) for our child from China, we were told that we could travel as early as November.

And here we are.

We have now been waiting over 100 days for L*O*A (letter of acceptance) and are hearing that the new paperwork means that we could be two months (optimistically) or more (much more!) from travel, even after we get the L*O*A.

Not a thing I can do about any of it. Except pray. But this is getting to feel like a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG "pregnancy."

Oh...and we've gotten no new photos, no foster family reports, no medical updates, NOTHING. Everything we have is now more than a year old.

I wonder if we'll even recognize the child.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Book: There is No Me Without You

I highly, highly recommend There is No Me Without You, a true story of one woman's attempt to make a difference in the lives of Ethiopian orphans, most of whom have been orphaned due to the AIDS crisis.

Imagine a world in which there are no adults left...
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