Monday, November 10, 2008

Latest little familia update

Last week was hard for us. The election was largely a bummer (thank you for your sovereignty, Lord), but Monday was particularly difficult: The anniversary of John's mom's passing.

It was also very hard with some things going on at FamilyLife centering around the economy. Most of it came down on Thursday, his birthday. I have never seen John more ashen at work. He was really in the thick of it. We debriefed a lot on our birthday date on Friday--where we drove Mom's van because our van died on Thursday too...!

I think I have a music lover. Corinne bounces up and down to any rhythm at all (the mixer, the washer, immediately to any music), often clapping. When she's crying in the car, you usually just have to turn on the radio. I'll hear her up in her crib singing to herself! It's really sweet and really cool.

Will has a recent favorite game where he puts his nose on you and sucks in like a vacuum. He laughs and laughs. What a boy. He's REALLY DEFIANT right now, and whereas I seem to be handling that okay (four fits before church, one about whether or not he could play with the electrical outlet, the other about whether he could drink the hydrocortisone cream for his bug bite), I then am so worn out/sinful that I'm snippy about other stuff.

Baden is starting to read five-letter words, though he still gets vowels mixed up a little. He really seems to come alive with computer games on the net (math, science, and reading), so we'll probably get him a Reader Rabbit program for his stocking. I fold laundry and we both learn a lot! He's also really into mazes and the color red.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A perfect steak

Steak is one of my husband's favorite dishes.

For the last eight years, uh, probably because I personally don't like steak, every one I have attempted to make has utterly failed. Badly.

Until now. A good friend is in culinary school, and after John had "the best steak of my life--no, the best three steaks!" at her house, I got her tips to make one for John's birthday last week, and TA-DA! Earned status in the top five lifetime steaks! A significant accomplishment for me! Now it's one of Baden's favorites, too.

I thought I'd share for those of you with carnivorous husbands...

1. Heat your skillet very hot; cast iron is ideal. Open your windows, because it will smoke.

2. Sprinkle room-temperature meat with paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and meat tenderizer (careful, this has MSG for those who are allergic).

3. Brush oil (Anne uses olive oil) directly on steak.

4. Brown (sear) the meat on both sides. This will happen pretty quickly.

5. Finish the steak in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. For medium/medium-well steaks, your thermometer should read 145-150; it will continue cooking after it's removed from the oven. Don't cut into it, because you want the juices to remain inside.

Bon appetit!

Monday, November 3, 2008

For goodness' sake, save yourself some cash!

My best online shopping tip this year: In your Google browser, type the name of the company you'd like to buy from and the words discount code (e.g. "Lands End discount code", "proflowers discount code", etc.). It will often bring up sites like, on which people post the discount codes from their catalogs, coupons, etc. You can get free shipping, % off, dollars off...this has saved me $10 each on, a flower order today, a swimsuit I bought this past summer--!

Use it for any site that allows you to enter a "promotional" or "coupon" code.

Ho, ho, ho! Hope it helps. ;)