Monday, March 31, 2008

Diamond Settlement Reminder

I mentioned this once before, but if you bought any diamond jewelry between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006, you are probably eligible to receive part of a class action settlement against DeBeers.

Go here Diamond Class Action for all of the relevant information. You do not have to submit a copy of your receipt if your purchase was under $10,000. I just submitted my claims online and it took less than five minutes to do. If you do have your receipt or appraisal it is much easier, since you do need to know your purchase price. Fortunately for me, we bought the rings during a much more organized part of my life, so I had a file folder neatly labeled "Rings" that had copies of receipts and appraisals. Oh, how I wish I were this organized these days.

It appears that you could get back a significant amount of money, the deadline is May 19, so get it submitted now!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Organic Earth Day

I forgot to mention Organic Earth Day . For one main reason--starting April 1 (which is Tuesday for you calendar challenged people--as a side note I had many people at church today asking if I had postponed April's book club meeting due to spring break. Um, no, tomorrow is still March people!) anyway, starting April 1 you can go to the store(s) listed in your area and pick up an organic coupon book. We all know how pricey organic items can be, so the coupons are always welcomed and not always easy to come by.

So type in your zip code on the home page and find out where you can pick up your coupons for organic items. You can also check out the great recipe page and see some of their sponsors.

Farmer's Market

Our local farmer's market is less than a week away! I am so excited, it's almost silly.

This winter has seemed to last thanks to the snow we got yesterday. It's spring now, enough with the winter weather. Rain, I can take...that's typical Washington spring. But snow is a different story.

Cowlitz Farmer's Market Here's a link to our market. I do know that we will be buying eggs and chickens there regularly this year, as well as another half of a pig and veggies from our CSA. I dont' think our CSA shares technically begin until May as I've paid for the summer season, but if she has veggies I'll just buy some from her. Like I said, it's been a long winter, and we're getting a little weary of eating from the freezer.

This year I do plan to do some canning. Up until this point, all of my preserving has been freezing--fruit, corn, jam. But after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I am excited to can tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce and tomatoes, as I use a ton of both of those things year round. Our tomato season is pretty late compared to the rest of the country, and let me tell you, the kids are more than ready for some fresh tomatoes but I keep saying, "wait, wait." After being spoiled with the garden tomatoes last year, there's no way we could eat the tasteless winter ones from the grocery store.

This is the type of bread I have been making the most often lately. Looks a lot like the pesto bread doesn't it? It's from my same old sourdough starter, and after the first rise, I roll it out, spread with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. It tastes like a cinnamon roll and it's really delicious. We can go through a whole loaf pretty quickly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bean soup

I always love it when we get a ham for the holidays, because that means we get bean soup! Because of the weather we have today (this is from last night) I set some white beans to soak last night and now they are bubbling away on the stove with the ham bone. It is so simple, yet so delicious.

Interesting new things

Here's what I've been looking at lately:

Ideal Bite Green tips sent to you daily

Green Mom Finds Fun items and tips to become more of a green mom, they also have some great giveaways to sign up for

Blissfully Domestic Divas Quite a few moms with some fabulous tips and tricks

Mom-a-licious Chef Dominica Catelli has written a wondeful book full of healthy recipes that will encourage your family to eat better. I don't have the book yet, but the site does have some recipes that look fantastic.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum Author Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog, totally funny and most of us can relate to it!

Money Saving Mom Hosts Super Savings Saturdays, and her other blog, Biblical Womanhood hosts Frugal Fridays. I get tons of great tips there!

A Year Off Adventures of a family taking a year off from shopping

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Coolest Bookshelves Ever!

I want these so badly! In my dreams maybe...

The Amazing Staircase

20 Rules and Tools

Here is a great link from Families Northwest featuring chapters from Steve Stephens' book 20 Surprisingly Simple Rules and Tools for a Great Marriage.

Families Northwest

There are some excellent tips here, Finding Time for Fun, Go to Bed at the Same Time, Date ideas, Fight Fair, among many others. It is a wonderful article to check out.

I have been struggling a lot lately. Thanks to those of you who commented or e-mailed me to tell me you were praying. I really appreciate it, more than you know!

Spring break is next week here. Hubby has taken the whole week off, which is good in some ways. We are going to do some fun things, but hopefully we will have a few days of down time, which I really need.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An excellent movie

Here is a link to my review for

Dan in Real Life

What an absolute gem of a movie. I can't believe I missed it at the theater.
I highly recommend it!

I would really appreciate prayers from anyone reading this. I'm really struggling with something right now and I am feeling pretty defeated about it.

Friday, March 14, 2008


New movie coming out by the makers of Facing the Giants. Make sure you pause the music on the right first or you'll have a difficult time hearing it.

Life Lately

Women's retreat went fairly well, but it was very high stress for me. I was supposed to have a co-director, but her life fell apart midyear and I ended up doing the great majority of it by myself. And you know how two or three complaints can just drown out 50 compliments? That is what happened to me. Besides feeling completely exhausted due to all of the work I put into the retreat, as well as that dumb time change, the couple of rudely worded complaints I got just made me cry. It's not like I get paid for doing this! I wish that people could see what type of work goes into putting on this massive event and think a bit before offering up their opinion.

Enough of that. I have a new DVD review posted:
Margot at the Wedding

Have had both kids sick this week (although not at the same time fortunately) and Grace is home from school today. I am getting a lot done around the house, so I guess it's a good things for me to have to slow down and stay home every once in awhile.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Shack

I just read an incredible book. I can't even begin to describe it. Here's the plot synopsis:
Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!
Let me just say that this book really challenged my faith and stretched it in ways that I didn't know I needed to stretch. The picture that this novel gives of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit both comforted me and made me think, grow, and pray like never before.
I highly recommend this book! I am going to have my husband read it asap so we can talk about it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Movies Watched So Far in 2008

I decided to keep a journal of the movies we have watched with ratings this year too. I am using a 1-5 scale with the movies, I don't know why not letter grades, but it works for me. This is updated as of today, I will update on occasion, probably not monthly. Yes, we watch a lot of movies.

1. Lost Season 3 5
2. The Sopranos Season 6 Part 1 5
3. The Santa Clause 3 3
4. The Bourne Ultimatum 3 1/2
5. You Kill Me 4
6. 3:10 To Yuma (new version) 3 1/2
7. The Reluctant Astronaut 4
8. 27 Dresses 3
9. The Real Dirt on Farmer John 3 1/2
10. Superbad 2 1/2
11. Cloverfield 3
12. Live Free or Die Hard 3
13. Jindabyne 2
14. Snow Buddies 2 1/2-3
15. License to Wed 3
16. Road to Redemption 3
17. Arctic Tale 3
18. Stardust 4
19. The Spiderwick Chronicles 3
20. Escape to Witch Mountain 4 Return from Witch Mountain 2
21. Across the Universe 4 1/2
22. The Last Legion 2
23. Feast of Love 2
24. King of California 3
25. Gone Baby Gone 4
26. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 3
27. Killer Diller 4
28. Blackbeard's Ghost 3 1/2
29. Michael Clayton 3 1/2
30. Waitress 3 1/2
31. Margot At the Wedding 2 1/2

Books Read So Far in 2008

I have been very lax about posting these!

1. Family Matters by Deborah Bedford C
2. Embrace Me by Lisa Samson B
3. Have You Found Her? by Janice Erlbaum B+
4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn B-
5. The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi C
6. Animal, Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver A
7. A Time to Mend by Sally John and Gary Smalley B-
8. The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs C+
9. Amber Morn by Brandilyn Collins B
10. I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson B
11Healing Promises by Amy Wallace B-
12. For Pete's Sake by Linda Windsor B-
13. Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria B
14. The Grand Scheme by Kathy Herman B

1. The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik B


15. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich C+
16. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver C+
17. Practically Perfect in Every Way by Jennifer Neisslein C
18. Plenty by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon B-
19. Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster B
20. These Is My Words by Nancy Turner B
21. Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn B-
22. She Always Wore Red by Angela Hunt B+
23. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah C+
24. Lottery by Patricia Wood B-
25. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo B
26. Dawn's Light by Terri Blackstock B
27. Summer Snow by Nicole Baart B-

2. Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg B-

Have been absent

Sorry! I have been absent lately. I am in charge of our church women's retreat, which is this coming weekend. I've been more than a little stressed out with the tasks involved, but hopefully I have a handle on it. And to top that off, we've had car problems, birthdays, anniversaries, and just everything happening at once.

I have one new review posted:
Hanna Montana: One in a Million

I hope to post my latest month (or two?)'s reads and DVD watches in the coming days.