A page about China

We are about to row “The Story About Ping”. I collected some info about China and made a simple page about it. I thought I’d share it if anyone wants it. Just right-click and save it, you’ll get the whole thing.

Bren-bits and Andy-dotes

I just got my first love phrase from Andy. I was showing him in the mirror how I hug and kiss him and I said, “I love you.” He replied, “I tooooooooooooo” and have me a big hug. Awww. ::Jen melts into a puddle::
Brendan is now playing Wii Sports, baseball. I explained to him what a “foul ball” is and now Andy is walking around saying “foul ball, foul ball” over and over. LOL.
Bren, as he walks out of the room:
“If you need anything, call me. Oh… and if you see a bug, call Dad on the phone.” Teehee. 😉
Andy says “Think, think, think” while jabbing the side of his head like Winnie the Pooh now. 🙂
Brendan and I made Banana bread together and I let him operate the mixer. He loved it!! 🙂
Andy now taps his forehead like Winnie the Pooh and says “think, think, think” and also touches his chin and says “welllllll… hmmmm….” Haha. Hilarious! “Andy, do you want a snack?” used to be met with “Sure!” Now he replies, “Yeah, I doooo!” 🙂
Brendan figured out the step aerobics game on the Wii Fit and has learned _ch, _tch, _sh & _th words and how to count by 2s. Amazing!
Darrell: Bren, stop that or I am going to poke you with my fork!!
Bren: Then I’ll poke you with my *dirty* fork! Bwahahahaha!
We went to Foesta Texas. Bren wanted desperately to ride a roller coaster so Darrell took him on the Roadrunner Express. He *loved* it! He immediately begged to ride it again. Andy took his first ride on the spinning cups and giggled madly the whole time! 😀 Both love fireworks, of course. We were blessed with wonderfully cool weather.
When asked if he wants something, Andy now replies, “Yeah, I do, Dad/Mom!” 😀 Brendan is using his reading a lot in everyday things now. We are amazed when he pipes up with something he could only have read.

Bren: Mom, why isn’t the sun up? I think he’s tired. Maybe he is resting on the couch and not shining. Hmmm…. :D\\
28.0 lbs Andy
55.6 lbs Brendan
Bren can count by 5s!! He also lost his first tooth today on an apple slice!!!
Andy now says “I’ll be right back!” 😀
“How are you do, Mom-Mom?” – Andy
Andy- “Mama, snack!!! No, two snack!!! Peee (please)!”
Bren can do tally marks now and is learning the 3 different kinds of _ed sounds (“ed”, “d” & “t”)
Not quite 2 years old and Andy can use a mouse to move the cursor where he wants to click on a specific item on the screen! 🙂
Andy opened my closet and dug around in it and found the sack of his birthday toys. I heard joyous sounds coming from my room and went to investigate. He had all the Bob the Builder stuff all over the floor and was exclaiming, “Bob! BOB!” He was so flippin’ excited with his discovery!! We opened them all up for him tonight. We also got him a computer game and a DVD. He was so thrilled, the little stinker. He is all about Bob these days. 🙂 After we opened them we all started singing happy birthday to him and he laughed out loud then got embarassed and ran off. Haha!
Brendan’s scissor skills have improved drastically! He also totally gets that this is Andy’s birthday and has not expected presents of his own. He is *so excited* about the circus though and asks me how many “sleeps” until we go every day. LOL.
OMG! Bren can tell time!!! WOW.

Treatise on low carbing

20 days and no weight loss. Harumph. I am metabolically resistant to losing weight and so sick of macadamia nuts (see “Fat Fast” in the book). Time to mix things up again. I switched back to low calorie with whole grains, limited sugar yesterday. I sure wish the low carb thing kept working because I now remember what it is like to be HUNGRY! And to crave things. 1200 calories… sigh.
Once you get the hang of it, low carbing is just easier long-term. And for DH, it is obviously the diet intended for his body!
Speaking of low carbing… some hints if you are interested:
The best Atkin’s Advantage bars are the apple ones. Bar none (teehee). Next come the oatmeal (but 5 carbs), chocolate chip, p.b. fudge, and cranberry-almond- no order. The brownie, p.b. nougat and cinnamon bun bars SUCK! Oh, and the Endulge bars are all divine. So are Russell Stover’s candies with the exception of the Sugar Free Truffle. Blech.
Carbalicious Pizza Kit… actually pretty good despite the fact that the crust starts out as a smeared paste baked at an absurd 550 degrees. Put pepperoni or spicy sausage on it for sure- and 2 cups of shredded cheese.
Tastykake Sensibles chocolate finger cakes rock- despite no frosting.
Joseph’s lavash and pita bread both rock. And are at Wal-Mart for less than $3.
A lot of Dixie Diner’s products just don’t do it for us. The fake mashed potatoes are good added to a mock potato salad and the “Bakesquick” mix is useful and good but the cake/muffin mixes are not too good (though not dreadful) and the lemon meringue pie- well, smells and looks divine, but tastes like crap on glue on cardboard sh*t. ‘Nuff said.
Dreamfields pasta & Bella sauces both rock.
Jok N Al barbeque sauce is decent and Heinz one carb ketchup is wonderful. Don’t try ANYTHING by Walden Farms. Disgusting.
Granular Splenda has 24 carbs per cup! Buy the little packets or the “1 cup” larger packets or the liquid and it is much, much less. Splenda makes great kool-aid.
There is a Target (or is it Wal-Mart?) brand of SF cranberry drink mix (looks like Crystal light) that tastes amazingly like cranberry juice cocktail. It has aspartame though.
Watch out for carbs in sausage and hot dogs. A link can have 8 carbs!
Oh, and READ THE BOOK. Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution. You’d be surprised at how many people “do Atkin’s” yet eat all the fruit they want.
The cravings go away. They really do. Shop at www.netrition.com- it really is cheaper if you can’t find it locally than the other sites.

Solar Cooking at Park Day

What a fun day. There were 2 presenters and they has 3 different solar cookers with them. It was really neat. We tried brownies and even though our cooker got up to 175 degrees (in 90 degree weather, 9:30-12:00), we just couldn’t stay long enough for them to finish baking. DH had to go to work. I think brownies would take 5-6 hours of great sunlight and moving the cooker to be right in it every half hour or so. We did eat absolutely fantastic (and HOT!) hot dogs, soup and baked apples. YUM! I will definitely try it out again at home soon- our forecast is cloudy and rainy this week.
Sam said he has successfully baked a chicken in his s.c.- It takes 5 hours in perfect conditions. He has never tried any baked goods but he says he is going to try biscuits soon since they are individually sized and would cook faster. He was also a flint knapper and showed us how to make arrow heads and serrated knives from flint (root beer colored flaky rock) or chert (same but an almost white gray). To make a knife/ arrowhead you use a percussion hit- very hard with a hammer-like piece of bone on the very edge to flake off pieces and leave a sharp edge. To make a serrated knife you then punch tiny bits off of the edge with something like an antler tip (or a nail). It was really neat to see.
Lemme tell ya- world disaster and I want HIM at my side.

Sugar free and low carb orange or lemon chicken

I am amazed this worked, lol! I invented this out of desperation and tried it with orange Jello but I am positive it’ll be good with lemon too. It was really, really good!
Sugar free and low carb orange or lemon chinese chicken sauce
2 T cornstarch (14.5 carbs)
2 T soy sauce (2)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (about 2- check label)
1 can chicken broth
1 sm pkg orange or lemon SF jello
3/4 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (3)
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/8 t red pepper flakes (only if you like it hot and spicy)
1 t sesame oil
Mix cornstarch with soy sauce and vinegar in a small cup- stir until smooth. Set aside.
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Boil about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Add jello and stir until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add cornstarch mixture and boil 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Let sit until it cools. Pour sauce over hot fried chicken strips and serve immediately.
For low carb chicken coating I used Dixie Diner’s Breading and Batter mix- 1/2 bag to 2-3 lbs. of cut up chicken breast strips.
Edited to add: I’ve made the lemon chicken now. I added the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and 1/4 cup splenda to the sauce. It just needed to be sweeter and more lemony… but it was excellent too! FYI… difference may be because I used generic orange gelatin and Jello brand lemon.
I served both with snow pea pods. YUM!!

Happy Birthday Andy-roo!

My little baby is now a big boy of 2. Sniff. 🙂
He loved the circus and loves his Bob the Builder vehicles. Mimi and Papa threw him a nice party too. I’ll post pics soon. I can’t wait to show off the clown train cupcakes cake I made. 😉

Painted Toast

Easy and artsy breakfast- Painted Toast
Mix 1 yolk with 1/4 t water plus a few drops food coloring. Paint bread with paintbrushes then toast in toaster about 2 cycles. 1 yolk = approx 4 sides of bread worth of paint.
Would be very easy to make french toast this way too. 😀
We had red and green sugar toast this morning. It was supposed to be orange and green but I overestimated the orangeness of the yolk and added red. I should have done 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow. Both boys loved it!

30 lbs gone!!

I’ve been bobbing up and down the last few days but this morning the scale took a plunge… 30 pounds gone since May 13! That’s a week shy of 3 months.
This is a great site for Atkins/low carb recipes- Linda’s Place.