Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes

I figured my week of miscellany was as perfect a time as ever to join  7 Quick Takes Friday at Jen's weekly blog carnival.  (p.s., did you know Jen lives in Austin too?  I've been reading her blog for a couple of years and had no idea she lived in Austin until just before we moved here.  Just another one of those cyber-graces, I guess.)

Here we go....
--- 1 ---
Last weekend I attended a Silent Retreat with  sixteen other women from our church.  I've got a post lurking in my mind about the experience.  Also, about 1,347 pictures to upload.  It wasn't that there was so much to see, but that it was the first time I felt like I could cavort in nature without dying of heat exhaustion.   I'll post on that soon, but thought you'd like my friend Lori's comment when I told her about the retreat:  Can you imagine getting 16 women together for a whole weekend and no one was talking?!? 

--- 2 ---
I've told you about 1 bazillion times about my sister and her world-famous money-saving blog, Cha-Ching On A Shoestring, but there's still more to tell!  This week Kaley and her husband Wes spent three days in New York City taping to tape a segment with Anderson Cooper for his new daytime talk show.  She just keeps on getting more and more amazing!  

By the way, if you like to save money, you should follow her blog.

--- 3 ---
Speaking of saving money, I'm not a very diligent couponer.  But the best piece of advice I've used from my sister is e-mealz.  My whole family loves the menus I print out each week and I love, love, love how simple it is to plan meals and to make grocery lists.  The site is very easy to use and you can select from a variety of options (e.g., which grocery store you prefer, what kind of healthy choices you're trying to include in your meals, etc.)  I'm sure Kaley is going to tell me that I should get some kind of special code or link or something so that I get credit if you use the e-mealz service. If you want you could go to her blog and sign up through the link there and she can just owe me a favor or something.

I snapped a shot of the Low-Country Stew we ate Tuesday night (just before every single piece of food was devoured).

Low-Country stew:  potatoes, corn, onion, shrimp, sausage

--- 4 ---
Someday I'll have to tell the story about how I managed to be the mother of four children but not do one minute of grocery shopping or one load of laundry for like two or three years straight.  For now, I'm loving every minute (almost) of grocery shopping and laundry I get to do!

--- 5 ---
Really, for years my kids have picked on me for being a great big "soccer mom" flunkie.  I'm just not that kind of girl -- with or without the mini-van.  But for this season, moving into a new town I'm sticking very close to home so that everyone can get settled in without too much emotional damage.  I'm kind of loving cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and pretty much surprising myself every day.  Imagine my shock at the turn of events that include me homeschooling my 8th-grade daughter starting on Monday.  Not only that I'm going to do this but I'm really excited about it.  More and more crazy grace coming our way these days...

--- 6 ---
Speaking of surprising grace and home education, I just had my very first writing credit at an online magazine!  I've been enjoying catapult* magazine's bi-weekly issues for many months now, exploring the practical topics of living thoughtfully in our culture.   In fact, several of my Wednesday words posts have come from the daily asterisk emails sent out *culture is not optional (*cino), the same makers of the magazine. 

This issue's theme was surrounding the topic of Teaching Well.   You can read my essay, "In Search of A Good Education: the importance of gratitude and true grit" by clicking here.  While you're at it check out the whole magazine and join the conversation.

--- 7 ---
That's all for now.  Gotta run to the grocery store.  (no, Mom, I'm not kidding).  Here's a happy video (via Anthology) to inspire you to enjoy this lovely fall weekend.

"Golden Tree" by Martin Brooks from Ninian Doff on Vimeo.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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