Recipe Box Swap – Giant Ginger Cookies

I made this post back when these cookies were in season, but…my mom also used to make similar cookies for boat trips in the summer. And oh. so. delicious. This recipe (linked here) is a step up or two from hers (no offense mom). They’re chewy and gingery-molassesy and just…well, just bake them!

And be sure to check out the rest of the yummy bar and cookie recipes at Randi’s Recipe Box Swap!

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Three Random Things

Veronica at Toddled Dredge tagged me for a “Three Random Things” meme a few days ago.  Late one night in bed, I remember thinking, “Aha!  If ever I get tagged for a ‘randomness of me’ meme, this is JUST the thing to put on it!”  Of course, I can’t recall what that thing was, so here are three not-as-fabulous random things about me:

1. When I was in 3rd grade, I was convinced by one of my classmates that a pervert was a fruit. This later got me in trouble when I called him a pervert in gym class.

2. This week I attempted to wash my dishes in Tang. It didn’t work.

3. I have never smoked a cigarette. Never even held one in my mouth.

Did I Tell You About My Weekend?

It included a DATE!

Two, in fact.  With my husband, of course.  My in-laws came and watched Anja on Friday night and part of Saturday so that Husband and I could get out and remember what it is like to hold hands (when one pair isn’t always pushing a stroller).  It was fantastic!

We went to America’s largest indoor water park on Friday night, where I laid waste to this thing that shoots water up (it’s supposed to resemble surfing).  All the little 10-year-olds in front of me made it look hard, but if you’ve ever been tubing (pulled behind a speedboat on an innertube across a lake), this was a cakewalk.  A cakewalk on water.

Saturday we had a nice brunch with the relatives, and then I took Husband on a date of surprises.  First surprise – a stop at the Mall of America where robots (which people built) were fighting.  We only got to see two fights before one robot exploded into flames and they had to take a break to clean up.  Sad.

Then I took him to three places for lunch.  Yes, three.  Place number one was the wrong place; they directed us to place #2, which was too expensive, so we went to P.F. Chang’s.  Husband had never been there before anyway, and he loved it.  We shared Mu Shu Pork and some kind of lamb–yummy!

Lastly, I took him to the iMax theater at the Minnesota Zoo and we saw a 3-D movie about the Okavango Delta (in the Kalahari desert).  My goodness has 3-D technology improved since I last saw one (circa 1995)!  I could almost feel the weeds brushing across my face and reach out and touch the cracks in the elephant’s tusk.  It was 45 minutes of African fantasy!  And I had coupons for everything but lunch.

Husband liked it all, so: SUCCESS!  And I had a good time, too.  We decided we need to “date” more often.

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How about you people?  What do you do for fun (cheap) dates?

Bad Poetry Monday – 15

And some announcements at the end…

A Mother’s Treasures

She lifts the lid
To discover

Chubby hands exploring her own (upon examination) now-weathered thumb

Gentle sighs from tired lips

Kissable, soft cheeks hiding a delicate, ticklish neck

Shining eyes, so adoring

Giggles and wiggles meaning “Come play with me!”

She closes the lid and locks away
These treasures in her heart

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A couple of announcements…

Randi at I Have to Say will be hosting her Recipe Box Swap this week, and this month’s theme is…COOKIES AND BARS! Be still, my beating heart. I will be posting some sort of tasty treat for you (and her other readers), and if you want to play along, head over there to get some linkage for this cool graphic:

swap blogpost

Second, I will be hosting a contest later this week. A photo-captioning contest, to be exact. So get yourself hyped up and your creative juices flowing. A not-as-fantabulous-as-PW’s-but-still-cool prize will be awarded, too.

Q & A, Part III

Happy Sabbath, everyone! Some more questions answered below…

Lulu (who should get a blog, right everyone?) asked, In the spirit of Earth Day, what are your favorite ways to be green in your everyday life?”

I actually didn’t celebrate Earth Day in any special way, but I’ve been an avid reducer/reuser/recycler since I was little.

“What are your tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy? Mr. Right and I have what we call a ‘five year plan’ for wedding, house buying, and first baby, but I say it’s never too early to start getting pointers!”

It’s never too early to start building for a healthy pregnancy. The healthier you are when you get pregnant, the healthier you’ll be when you are pregnant. As a general rule, I tried to eat at least 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies a day in addition to taking my Juice Plus+. I worked out at the gym 3 nights a week and walked or ran outside 20-30 minutes on the off days. Even in the winter, Husband and I would suit up and go out for a walk. I continued this patter when I was pregnant, and worked out (lifting weights and everything) up until the day before I went into labor. You might get detractors (“Don’t you think you’re hurting the baby?”), but as long as you keep your heart rate at a safe level and don’t exercise to the point of exhaustion, you’re probably doing your body a favor. Another helpful thing to me was joining an online forum. The one I used was called “Babyfit” and it was helpful to have other experienced and first-time mothers to answer my questions.

“What’s your typical Starbucks order?”

You know, I’m not much of a coffee drinker (water, now that’s my bag), but when I do order something, it’s usually whatever the current seasonal beverage is.

Jamie asked, “What is your favorite book?”

When I was a child, it was probably a toss-up between Matilda by Roald Dahl or The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Now? I’ve been reading nothing but non-fiction for so long…it’s hard to say. I read the Bible most regularly, so I’ll go with that.

“How did you and your husband meet?”

This is a rather odd and long story. To make it short, he was coming to the same college as me, and my aunt said, “There’s this boy from my church coming to your college. I want him to get in with ‘good people’ so you should invite him to Campus Crusade.” I did just that at the beginning of the year, and dusted off my hands, duty done. I didn’t speak to him again until Christmas break, when we were assigned to the same discussion group at CC’s Christmas Conference. Our group really hit it off and hung out a lot back at school, and we became good friends. Then during May (finals week) he asked me out.

“What do you like most/least about being a mom?”

Most: I can be having the worst day ever, and just a smile from my baby girl brightens it incredibly. She really is a delight.

Least: I don’t deal well with lack of sleep, and her schedule and mine…they don’t always run parallel tracks.

“How many pairs of shoes do you own?”

This is going to sound terrible, but keep in mind that I have shoes that date back to my high school years and probably 10 pair are $1.99 flip-flops from Wal-Mart…I have 40 pairs.

Jenni asked, “Bein’ as how you’re from Minnesota, do you have any Scandinavian blood coursing through your veins? You look blond and blue-eyed, but that could be German as well…”

You’re correct. I’m mostly Swedish, but I also have bits and pieces of these:

English
Irish
Scottish
Norwegian
French-Canadian-Indian
German
Ukrainian

How’s that for a mutt?

Thanks everyone, this was fun, and not as intimidating as I thought. Once again, if you asked a question, consider yourself “tagged” to do the same thing on your own blog, if you so choose.

No FS Today, Just more Q & A

Can I just start by saying that I’m so excited to meet you new peoples who have been stopping by? Makes my day!

Now for round 2.

Happy Mommy asked, Ok, last week you asked us to pray about daycare or babysitter for Anja, are you going to work?”

I’ve actually been working 2 10-hour days since November and doing my photography on the side. I’d love to be home, but unfortunately, the feasibility is nil, unless someone volunteers to give us an extra couple thousand bucks a month. J I enjoy my job, so it’s not as terrible as it all seems…I just hate missing out on bits of Anja’s life. An update: had an interview with a provider very near our home this morning and it went well. I’m going next week to get an in-person look at her daycare.

How long did you know your husband before you got married?”

I met him briefly at the beginning of my Jr. year of college, so I “knew” him for about 2 years 9 months.

Both Happy Mommy and Miz Booshay asked:

How many children would you like to have?”

Back in the day, I always said 3 or 4. Husband, after having the first, said he’s fine with two (apparently pregnancy and childbirth was even harder on him than on me!). Now, I don’t really have a set or planned number in mind.

“And how old are you?”

For shame! Isn’t that supposed to be some rule—never ask a woman her age? Well, since I don’t abide by all the rules, I’m 28.

Johanna asked, What’s your favorite thing to do when you have a moment to yourself?”

Umm…do mommies have that? Just kidding. Currently, when Anja is taking naps, I blog, read blogs, or read about photography. So I guess reading and writing are right up there!

Miz Booshay asked, “What would Anja’s name have been if she was a boy?”

We only had it narrowed down to two names when we went to the hospital, but our favorite was Beckett (Beck for short). Since then, my cousin named her little boy Beckett, so we’ll have to come up with a new one for next time around.

Q & A – Part One

Aw, you guys are so nice. I have so many questions I’m going to have to break this into sections…

Paula asked, What do you want to do when the active mothering is done — when you’re kid(s) are launched and on their own?”

Wellp…that’s a good question. Haven’t thought that far ahead, actually. I have a lot of things that I’m mediocre at, but I’m still figuring out what I’m good at. When I figure it out, I’ll probably do that. J

Erica asked, “Your writing is really good. Was there ever a time that you considered writing for a living?”

Thank you for the compliment. Have I mentioned that I just love you guys? It’s one of those things that I still consider myself to be mediocre at. I wrote and illustrated children’s books when I was a child, but they are nothing I would consider publishing now that I’m beyond age eleven. Dear Husband encourages me in my writing frequently. A couple of years ago he bought me the most beautiful journal (with refills), some neat pens and a writing exercise book. He’s also the one who suggested I start a blog, though he probably didn’t anticipate the amount of time I would spend reading other people’s blogs…

Anyway, it’s something I’ll probably still keep in the back of my mind, should I ever be inspired.

“I love Anja’s name. What’s the origin of her name?”

It’s actually the Swedish version of the name Anna. Here’s a post about it from when I first started blogging.

“I liked your religion question on my blog, so what is your religion and why?”

My religion is Christian. I grew up in the Covenant Church (similar to Evangelical Free in its style and doctrines). When Husband and I moved to the Twin Cities, we tried quite a few different churches, but none could rival the Biblical teaching (this answers the “why” part of the question) at Bethlehem Baptist, which is part of the Baptist General Conference. I have friends that range from Catholic to Methodist to AG to Lutheran, and I’ve learned things about Christ from all of them.

“With Ron Paul pretty much out of the game, who will earn your vote in November?”

You know, I’m not yet sure. At this point, Ron still has my vote. Many people reason that the only way to “make your vote count” is to vote for the front-runner in one of the two major parties, but I disagree. If the Republican party keeps getting the message from voters that it can become more and more liberal and we’ll keep voting for whatever candidates they put before us, there will become less and less of a divide between the two parties. John McCain is a liberal in many areas, and to cast my vote for him would go against many things I believe in. I am not only accountable to my country, I am accountable before God. By casting my vote, I say, “This is the person I would trust to run our country. This is the person I believe will stick to the constitution our forefathers wrote.” Ron Paul is the only guy who I think will do that.

There are also people who say, “Just like Reagan needed a Carter, the next Republican in office needs a Hillary or an Obama to make a royal mess of things.” I see the value in that line of thinking, but another part of me thinks that a person in such a powerful position can do a WHOLE lot of damage in four years time that would then need undoing.

That’s enough for today—I’ll answer more tomorrow, Lord-willing. Oh, and if you wrote in a question, consider yourself tagged to do the same on your blog (if you want to).

Who’s Got A Nickel?

Erica tagged me to do something that makes me nervous. I don’t even know if I should do it. I’m that fearful. Because I have a fragile ego? Probably. I like to be liked more than I put out there. I’m not easily offended, but I’ve been hurt a time or eleventy-million. Usually I assume people find me annoying or abrasive or (this one makes my husband laugh, but I think it’s true in relation to others) intimidating. I have few close friends, and they take a while to get that way.

Anyway, what I’m supposed to do is open up for questions. Yup. You got any for me that I haven’t already posted about? Then fire away. And even if you don’t have one or you don’t care, maybe you could ask one to be nice? I’m not ever going to be a P-Dub or a BooMama who will get 349 questions in response to a request like this, I realize. But I’d be happy with three. Or five.

Okay, enough groveling. This is your chance. No question is too dumb or too bold (I can always be discreet or refuse to answer—heck, it’s my blog!). But beware—if you ask a question, I’ll probably tag you to do the same thing on your blog!

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Edited to add: Hey Mom, this would be a great time for you to figure out how to comment and leave a BURNING question.  Heh heh.

Bad Poetry Monday – 14

I think.  I think it’s 14.  If I’m wrong, just make it 14 1/2.  Anyway, inspired by today (do not try to find a meter in it):

Thunder

O Thunder!
I never thought I would be
so happy to hear you

Unplug my computer
Turn off the TV
Bask in your dark, booming revelry

God at play (as some say)
Bringing freshness
Green
Fragrant
Spring!

So come on, Thunder
Don’t delay

But make sure to include some
RAIN