A Few of My Favorite Things

Just wanted to share a few of the things I’m hyperfocused on right now!

Baked Oatmeal
Better yet, baked oatmeal in my adorable single-serving Le Creuset dish.
Click the picture above for credit to the recipe. I didn’t make it up. I’m simply a recipe follower, but I have to pass it on. It’s so simple to make.
•Preheat oven to 375.
•Mix in one medium bowl: 1 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/2 cup milk, 2 TBSP creamed wildflower honey (or whatever honey you have), some chopped nuts (if you want- I love the texture and taste of the nuts but I’m not picky about what kind. I pick a handful of nuts out of my trader joe’s trail mix and chop them up), and 1/2 a cup of berries of your choice (or I have even used dried fruit which is good too).
•Put into an adorable little dish (greased) like I do or grease a muffin tin and fill the cups (as it doesn’t rise).
•Bake for 20 min. Then broil the top for about 5 min so that it has a nice crust.

It tastes so yummy. 20 minutes can be a long time to wait for breakfast. I suggest to double the recipe so that you make all 12 of your muffin tins. Then eat some, refrigerate some, or even freeze some. Then you have breakfast for a couple days. Re-warm in the microwave and drizzle the top with more honey and chopped nuts. Or skip the broiling step if you have a toaster oven and toast them to re-heat/crust the top. I also read that some people had a hard time keeping them together when they’re made in a muffin tin. I learned it’s when the fruit is on the side. When I make them in muffin tins I don’t add the berries when mixing. I fill the tins and then push in the berries so that I know each bite has some fruit and I can make sure it doesn’t touch the sides (so it can hold it’s form). Any which way, just make sure you let them cool before trying to dig them out.

Listen people. This is amazingly good and healthy. Gotta love that.

These are 2 of my favorite blogs right now:

My Crazy Life as a Farmers Wife : I want to be this woman. This is my goal. Well, minus the wheat and potato farm. I try to stay away from either of those 2 things as much as possible…but that’s another story. 😉

Keeper of the Home : This site is a constant of mine. It has so much good natural health information. I’m pretty much convinced this gal knows everything.

Natural Cleaning/De-toxing the House
I’ve been doing a lot of reading/documentary-watching on the daily toxins we come in contact with. You all know how we’ve been trying to eat cleaner- staying away from toxic GMO’s and factory farmed animal products but what good does that do if I wash my clothes in toxins, my hair, rub it on my body, and clean my house with them?

Not very much good that’s for sure. We are a family full of tummy problems. Toxins are very hard for the body to get rid of. One of the ways it does this is by making more fat. Toxins are not water soluble, but fat soluble. Our family also doesn’t have a lot of extra fat to absorb the effects of toxins. Instead, it goes straight to destroying the balance of our gut flora and digestive system (which is more than just your colon and intestines- it’s your liver and kidneys too).

This movie is extremely helpful. What I like about this film is that it doesn’t just give you the food industry is gross speech, but gives you ideas of what you CAN do to be in control of your health. I highly recommend it to all. The first half does address obesity but the second half is very important to people of all sizes. Click the image to watch a trailer.

Buying organic or “green” laundry soaps, cleaners, beauty products can be expensive and we’re on a tight budget. Oddly enough, making your own “green” products is relatively cheap and easy. Read more about what to do from the Keeper of the Home blog I referred to earlier: Spring Clean the Toxins. She has lots of ideas but here is the recipe that I use for my All Purpose Cleaner. It works so incredibly well. Also, I started using a microfiber cloth on cleaning days (or a couple- when you’re done, wash them so they’re ready for next week). They pick up so well. On the day to day spills I still use paper towels but this helps. Instead of putting in a drop of essential oils, I just by the lavender castile soap from Whole Foods (the 365 brand). It smells so good. You’re only using a 1/2 tsp per spray bottle made so it lasts…FOR-EV-ER. My mother-in-law is working on the making of beauty products, whew. One less thing for me to obsess over. 🙂

Deck Gardening
I have a brown thumb. I have never been able to keep plants alive. That may be an issue in my aspirations to become a farmer. I also currently live in an apartment…which means I have no land of my own. So, I’ve decided to practice in containers on my deck. I’ve started out very, very small (since I don’t trust myself yet) and have been obsessing over these plants. Most mornings you can find Kadence and myself on the deck talking to the little tomatoes (which we got so excited about when they showed up). I’m going to take a few boring minutes to document what I’ve learned from this year so that next year I have a place to go to remember…
Dear Jennifer (I only refer to myself as Jennifer when I’m in trouble): This is too many plants for this container. 1-2 plants per 5 gallon container not 5 plants in a 5 gallon container. Somehow tomatoes are growing but you have lost a lot of foliage to yellowing of lower leaves- you will most likely get more tomatoes if the plants have more space and aren’t competing for nutrients from the soil. Your saving grace has been this website with it’s plant brews. The tomato plants act all happy when they get one of these concoctions…lucky you, but don’t do that again next year. Give them space.

Dear Jennifer: The herb pot is a fabulous idea. Saves you so much money- $3 for a fresh herb? Pssh. No more. Plant more basil next year. You use it a lot. The salsa deck garden idea (tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos) was a cute idea but not very practical. Cilantro loves sunny but cooler weather. You had cilantro coming out your ears during the cooler weeks of spring. But once it turned 80, the plant began to bolt. Once it bolts (as pictured) and flowers, the leaves turn bitter. Cilantro doesn’t like warm soil. Nothing you can do about it. Part of nature. However, tomatoes and jalapenos aren’t going to be ready until it’s hotter. That means the cilantro season and tomato seasons don’t coincide. Next time plant the cilantro in the fall when the tomatoes and jalapenos are done (and canned), then make salsa and can it. Or do both Spring and Fall but freeze your spring harvest. On a side note, the Lavender is lovely…haven’t done anything with it yet but I have grand intentions of trying to make my own lavender essential oil…I’ll let you know how that goes.

Dear Jennifer: This is just humorous. This little pot is not appropriate. You need another 5 gallon planter for 1-2 jalapeno plants. This is most likely why this is the lone pepper. Once he is fully grown and harvested, you are going to attempt to re-plant the plants in a bigger container. Good luck. Hope you don’t kill the plants. Don’t do that next year. You did, however, learn a very good tip when your flowers were dropping (instead of turning into peppers). Put 1 TBSP of Epsom salts into a spray bottle. Fill with warm water and shake it to dissolve. Spray the leaves and flowers. It changes the PH balance of your plant. Not sure exactly what happened there but your plant was much happier after you did this and began to actually grow this lone pepper.

Other than these mistakes it has been a fun adventure. Trust yourself and your ability to google problems, and plant a lot more next year. Like, can’t even walk on the deck more. 😉


Salmon, in the crockpot?

Do you like my bonus mom's oldie dishes? They're kinda fun. 🙂

Sounded odd to me too but if you can bake a cake in your crockpot (a really awesome molton-lava one) then cooking fish in your crockpot doesn’t seem too far off.

I got this recipe from here.

What You Need:
1/2 pound to 2 pounds of salmon
2 lemons
12 oz of fresh spinach
1/2 t black pepper
3/4 t kosher salt
2 t dill
1/4 cup white wine (water, vegetable broth, or apple juice would all work in place of white wine.)


PUT entire bag of pre-washed spinach in the crockpot (use organic spinach – spinach is one of the worst for having E-coli…don’t believe me, read here.  3 deaths?!)

the fish on top of the spinach and sprinkle both sides with spices and herbs.
SLICE the lemons and place them on top and around the fish.  Pour in the wine.
COOK on low for about 2 hours or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Normally with a crockpot meal you don’t really have to watch the clock.  If it goes over no biggie- it will just be more tender.  Not the case with this meal.  I cooked it longer than 2 hours (just waiting for ppl to come home) and it was a little tough.  Remember how we talked about overcooked fish gets tough and fishy?  True.  It was still good though and incredibly easy.  Next time I’ll just watch it a bit more.  The surprise with this one was the spinach.  Oh my goodness it tasted so good.  There were 4 adults eating this meal and we all wanted more spinach.  If I were to ever make it again for more than just our little family I would put another bag in.  It seems like a lot of spinach when you are stuffing it in but it cooks down a ton.

This is good and is in my lemony-goodness obsession category (Ok, I don’t actually have a lemony-goodness category, but I should).  Put this on your list to try.

Something Fishy Here…

I am such a liar.  A fish recipe blogged every week.  Pshesh.  Well, I did the recipes and took the pictures but never blogged it.

Also, I did this:
I learned how to clean a fish.  My daddy taught me how:

Now I’m going to throw my husband under the bus here.  Sorry dear, I’ll clean the tire marks off for you…but he wouldn’t go near the area during the lesson.  He got all squeamish and mumbled something about animal cruelty (yet he had no problems eating it later).  I was feeling all good about myself.  Imagining me taking care of my family after some sort of national disaster.  Dad was showing me..I was paying close attention…then one of those “dead” fish in the sink flopped.

“Dad that fish is alive.”
“Should it be?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Why doesn’t it matter?”
“It’s actually easier to clean if it’s freshly-dead.”
“How will you kill it.”
“By cleaning it of course.”
“Ready for your turn?”
“Um, let me just rest a minute.”

The thought of cleaning a fish while it was alive definitely made me feel squeamish.  I considered joining Jon’s mumbling of unjustness, but the thought of the bragging rights over my husband kept me going.  I started with a verifiably (spell check tells me I made up that word…weeeee!) dead one.  Problem was, it was difficult.  It didn’t seem as easy as watching dad.  He had to finish the job before I mutilated the meat.  “Try a not-as-dead one,” dad suggests.  And truth be told it’s so much easier.  Rigor mortis sets in pretty fast making the process more difficult.  That’s why you’ll see nets of caught fish fastened to the dock emerged in the water.  Keep them alive as long as you can until you get to the chopping block.  Well, come to find out, that voice inside you screaming, “this is inhumane!” quiets after your first couple live-cuttings.

It wasn’t my night to cook and they chose to fry them.  I am terribly anti-fried foods, but I’m not going to lie, they sure did taste good.

You know, I’ve learned a few things I think I got from my dad.
1. Work ethic.  The man is always “working.”  If he’s not at work then he’s working on the house or doing some sort of project.  He enjoys work and doesn’t shy away from it (hence the bruised nail pictured above).  Also, when he gets his mind on doing a project you can’t talk him out of it – even if he’s doing it in the pitch dark.  That sounds familiar.
2. No sleep.  The man goes to bed around 10:30, is awake from 2:30am-5, sleeps from 5-6am and then is up for the day.  And that’s on a good day.
I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  I will deny admitting that until the day I die so don’t use it against me.

Pesto Stuffed Grilled Fish

Immediately I would like to complain.  I do not like my camera anymore.  I would love to have a digital Nikon or something that easily takes nice pictures but that’s not on the books anytime soon.  So I apologize for the pics.  They will have to do for now.

This recipe I adapted from Kraft Foods.

Stuffed Grilled Medium-Firm Fish

What You Need:

2 lemons, each cut into 10 slices, ends discarded
6 medium-firm fish fillets {filling can be stretched our extra full so buy as many pieces of fish as you have mouths to feed}
1/2 cup {4 oz.} light cream cheese {doesn’t have to be light}
2 Tbsp pesto
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed, cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup  halved grape or cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

HEAT grill to medium heat.

MIX together the cream cheese, pesto, and garlic.  (It’s easier to mix if the cream cheese is room temperature.)

ARRANGE 3 lemon slices, slightly overlapping, on half of each of 4 large sheets heavy-duty foil sprayed with cooking spray. Place fish, skinned-sides up (my fish didn’t have skin), on work surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread each with 1 Tbsp (just eyeball it) pesto mixture. Roll up, starting at thin end of each fillet.  Secure with toothpicks.

PLACE 2 roll-ups (I just did one per pack), seam-sides down, on lemon slices on each foil sheet; top with asparagus and peppers. Fold each foil sheet to make packet.

GRILL 6 to 8 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork. Carefully open foil packets; top fish with lemon slices.

I served it with Organic Quinoa from Trader Joe’s.  You can also serve it with rice, but please, I beg you, use brown rice.  White rice is the same grain as brown rice, only stripped of all it’s nutrients.

The great thing about this recipe is you are cooking the meat and veggies all together.  No need for other side dishes (besides your whole grain of choice).

For this meal I used Trader Joe’s Ocean Cod.  I could see in the package that they were long pieces which I knew would make it better for rolling.  If you clicked to the original recipe you’ll see that I completely changed the filling.  That was because I wanted to use my pesto.  It was sooooo yummy.  The lemon was so great with it, but you will find I have a small obsession with lemon.

While summer grips on, use this opportunity to use your grill a few more times!  (Although, I think that baking these foil packs would work just as well.  Maybe 15 minutes at 375?

Try it and tell me what you thought or what variations you tried!

For Beginner Fish Chefs

When Jon and I got married, we were given Betty Crocker’s Cookbook as a wedding gift.  It was probably one of the most helpful wedding gifts we received.  It taught me how to cook.  It has a glossary of cooking terms that not only gives you a description of what it means but also pictures that show you exactly what it means.  For example, it tells you how to slice, julienne, cube, chop, snip, and cut up.  Before I began cooking, those terms would have all meant the same thing to me.  If a recipe said to chop, or to cube, or to cut up – it would have all looked the same under my knife.  The glossary shows you with pictures what the end result of each of these terms should look like.  This was so helpful in understanding why my recipes maybe didn’t look the same in the end!  Every category of the cookbook is full of these helpful how-to’s {people, it even shows you how your water should look when it’s boiling and how it should look when simmering!},

So this is where I started when I first began cooking fish.  There are some helpful things to know when cooking fish so that’s what this post is about.  If you’ve been cooking fish then feel free to skip this one and go to the next which will be the first of tried and true fish recipes!

1. Buying Fish:  Fresh fish should smell fresh and mild – not fishy or like ammonia.  It should be shiny and firm not slimy and browning.  Also, check out the eyes.  They should be clear and bright not cloudy.  But honestly, unless you live close to the ocean don’t buy fresh fish.  You’re better off buying it freshly frozen.  When you live in Missouri and it says “fresh” you know that can only be relative…  Also, just like everything else in the darn food industry of America, there is something fishy about the fish business.  Honestly, I haven’t done a lot of reading on the issues because I just lean on Trader Joe’s to do what’s right.  They are up to date on this issue and have made sure that all their seafood is sustainable.  I suggest you buy your fish from them.  To read more on their practices click here.  Anyways, there are different cuts of fish like in any other kind of meat.  Most of the time, they will call for filets (it’s like the boneless, skinless, chicken breast of fish cuts).  You typically want 1/3 pound per serving (unless you’ve got a hungry man and then adjust accordingly – you know if you have one of those).  The second most common type of cut is a steak (good for grilling) which you also want to allow about 1/3 pound per serving.

2. Know Your Types of Fish.  You see, when a recipe calls for chicken it doesn’t have to name a type {usually just it’s cut – like wings or boneless breasts}.  Each type of fish changes how it’s cooked {or really just how long}.  So don’t let that detour or overwhelm you.  Use this guide {you will pay attention to the textures and then the flavor is determined by your preference}.

Delicate Texture:
Mild Flavor:
Alaska Pollock, Catfish, Flounder, Orange Roughy, Skate, Sole, Walleye Pike
Moderate Flavor:
Lingcod, Pink Salmon, Whitefish, Whiting
Full Flavor:
Butterfish, Herring/Sardines, Smelt

Medium-Firm Texture:
Mild Flavor: Cod, Cusk, Grouper, Haddock, Sea Bass, Snapper, Tilapia, Tilefish
Moderate Flavor: Amberjack, Drum, Mahi Mahi, Ocean Perch, Pompano, Redfish, Rockfish, Shad, Rainbow Trout
Full Flavor: Bluefish, Carp, Mackerel, Sablefish, Salmon (Atlantic, King, Sockeye versions), Wahoo

Firm Texture:
Mild Flavor: Halibut, Monkfish
Moderate Flavor: Shark, Sturgeon
Full Flavor: Marlin, Swordfish, Tuna

Here’s how you use these guides.  As you find fish recipes, they’re going to name a fish for ya, like in – “Chipotle Haddock”.  You go to the store but you can’t find “haddock”.  No biggie.  Just replace it with any other Medium-Firm Texture fish (like in this scenario, with good ‘ole, easy-to-find, cheap Tilapia) found in this guide and continue with the recipe as is.  Now, every once in awhile I do jump categories but then I have to adjust the recipe a bit.  A delicate texture fish is going to cook much faster than a medium-firm.  So if the recipe calls for a medium-firm fish and you use a delicate, check it much earlier as you won’t cook it as long.  Also, you won’t want to put a delicate texture fish straight on the grill like you would a firm texture.  It would fall apart and get lost in the grill.  So, you would want to make sure you used foil packets or a fish grilling tool.  After you’ve been cooking fish for awhile, you’ll begin to know which fish your store of choice carries.  That guide doesn’t have all types of fish in it {especially for you freshwater fishermen}.  But again, after awhile you’ll be able to just look at the fillets and know if they’re going to work for a specific recipe.

3.  Ways to Cook Fish.  You can bake, broil, fry, grill, steam, and even slow-cook fish.  We’re going to try a bunch of different ways in posts to come.  I’m especially excited to try a crock-pot recipe.  I would have never thought of cooking fish in a crock-pot.

4.  How to Tell When it’s Done.  This is usually the biggest question and rightfully so.  I cannot say this enough so it will be in bold and all caps.  WHEN FISH IS OVERCOOKED IT SMELLS AND TASTES REALLY “FISHY.”  Honestly.  I’m convinced that people who say they hate the taste of fish have had badly cooked fish.  Here’s the paragraph from Betty Crocker on determining when fish is done.

Fish is delicate and tender; overcooking makes it dry and tough.  Fish is done when you can flake it easily with a fork.  Test this by inserting a fork at an angle into the thickest part of the fish and twisting gently.  The flesh and any juices should be opaque.

It doesn’t take long, at all, to cook fish (one of my favorite things about cooking it!).  They say about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness in the thickest part (most fish are only 1-1.5 inches thick unless it’s a steak).  But as you’re doing your twist test, look inside.  Fish uncooked is transparent {that’s fancy for clear or you can see through it}; fish cooked is opaque {that’s fancy for white or you can’t see through it}.  The exception to this is salmon which doesn’t become white when cooked it gets more pink.

Finally, I would like to say to those who say they only like the taste of salmon- salmon is one of the fullest flavor fish there is!  It doesn’t get much more fishy than that {ok- maybe sardines}.  So go ahead and try some others!

Here is a printable version of the fish texture guide – while you’re learning, take it with you to the store and in your shopping list just write down {from the recipe} the texture type you need.  When you’re at the store you can see which from this guide they have.

Other posts on fish:
The Vegetarian Meat

The Vegetarian Meat

Fish is a big one in the world of health food.  There is a quote from Ron Swanson on the subject,

I love to fish.  I don’t eat it though.  Fish is meat for vegetarians.

It’s funny cuz it’s true.  I can’t tell you how many vegetarians I’ve met that say, “I don’t eat any meat except for fish.”  But there are reasons why a lot of healthians do eat fish.

We all know that too much red meat is bad for your heart.  On the flip side, fish is very good for your heart.  More specifically, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish are good for the health of your heart.  And here’s the deal, short of taking a supplement, eating fish is really the only way you can get it.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  There you go.  That should be reason enough.


Ok.  Well how about these?

1. It’s really high in protein {could be a reason some “vegetarians” eat it}.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids help with inflammation.  So if you struggle with pain and inflammation {like in arthritis} eat more fish.

3.  Omega-3s are good for your brain.  They are good for brain development but also help with your memory {see, I need to eat more fish!}.

4. Fights cancer.  The fish are like little ninjas swimming around in your body fighting cancer.  Ok.  I’m lying.  But seriously, several studies show anti-cancer benefits of omega-3s.

There are a few things to be noted, however.  Some fish {specifically fish that eat other fish like swordfish, tilefish, and sharks} are really high in mercury.  High levels of mercury can be dangerous for fetuses {so don’t eat these if you’re pregnant} or for young children.  That doesn’t mean you should throw out fish all together {if you’re pregnant or a young child}, just know which ones are dangerously high in mercury.  Click here for a good place to go for that info.

For everyone else the American Heart Association {and your mom} suggests you eat fish two times a week.  I have to admit, I typically make it once a week.  Not because I don’t like fish but because of a lack of good recipes.  Please, please, PLEASE don’t read this and start throwing a bunch of fish in the deep fry.  That’s just not right.

So once a week I will be trying a fish recipe and letting you know how it goes.  You should try some too and then send them my way!

Come along with me-

So this is how I thought the whole blogging thing would go:

1. Jen gets a hyperfocus.

2. Jen creates draft as Jen goes along in it.

3. Jen publishes post once hyperfocus is finished.

One hyperfocus {and a bunny trail} into it and I already don’t like that format.  Too much Jen.  Besides you are brilliant, funny, and helpful.  You could help me in my hyperfocus.  I’m gleaning information from someone.  It might as well be you.  So this is your formal invitation to come along with me.

Current hyperfocuses:

Currently reading –

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

I’m going to be honest with you.  I’m 3 chapters in and it hasn’t really captured me.  I’m going to give it a few more chapters before I throw in the towel.  A friend of mine has this curse where she has to finish a book even if she hates it.  Not me.  If it doesn’t push that button then I have no problems returning it with a bookmark still in it {bookmark=random piece of scrap paper near me at the time}.  I haven’t seen the movie.  Have you read this or seen the movie?  If so give me some encouragement to keep going.  Or save me some time by telling me to scratch that idea.  Or join me and we can be a bloggy bookclub!

Listening to-

Storyboards by Sleeping at Last

This one has to annoy the poo out of Jon.  He has liked them for years {and that’s not an exaggeration}.  I didn’t really care for them before.  I thought it was “too mellow.”  Now I have kids.  “Too mellow” doesn’t exist anymore.  I crave mellow.  I have to be honest with you on this subject of music.  Everyone LOVES music.  It’s cool to LOVE music.  I don’t.  Ok don’t unsubscribe yet {mom}.  I like music and enjoy music but I LOVE quiet.  Jon is often confused when he comes home in the middle of the kids naptime and there is absolutely nothing on in the house {besides maybe the computer}.  No sounds.  No lights.  That’s the way I like it.  I also don’t get to listen to music in the car.  Kadence cried during every single car trip her entire first year {no matter how long or short the trip}.  She HATED the car.  Then on a magical trip to FL {a few months after her first birthday} we borrowed my mother-in-law’s portable DVD player.  And not one tear.  I almost cried myself.  I tore down those my-kid-won’t-watch-tv-in-the-car walls {correction I blew the walls up} and ran out and bought one for the car.  Result: Now it’s on every time we’re in the car.  I made my bed and am sleeping in it.  Sometimes, if they fall asleep, I turn the DVD player off and the radio on.  Unfortunately I spend the whole time trying to find a decent radio station {yet to find one in Stl that I fully like!}.  So anyways, I can’t really say I LOVE music because I choose not to listen to it most of the time.  I am enjoying this album, however, when I can’t sleep at night.  I just slip the earbuds in and listen to this “too mellow” album.

Hyperfocus side note:  Go ahead and buy the physical CD.  Their cover art is awesome.  They are always watercolor paintings done by Geoff Benzing.  I love them.  I want to buy one of his paintings.  But they cost monies and lots of them {rightfully so}.  Have you heard of Sleeping at Last?  What’s you’re “too mellow” music?  Do you watercolor paint?  Can you paint me a nature-y picture like these?  😉


Some of you may have recently seen me post on facebook about the best explanation/teaching on the baptism of the holy spirit I have ever heard.  It was at a new member course at our new church.  It really stirred me to read more about it and so I am.  When I ever get to publishing this post please don’t annihilate me with your brilliance in theology.  I’m just a humble little nobody learning what I can.  Besides I stink at debating.  So if you want to debate I’ll give you my brother Will’s number.  After saying that, I do want to hear your thoughts.  And if any of you know of some good books {or sermons} on the subject, send them my way.

During the Day-

Kadence and I are doing a letter a week.  We are on D.  I’m having lots of fun coming up with activities.  Correction.  I’m not really “coming up” with ideas.  I’m gleaning ideas from lots of different websites and putting them together.  I feel inclined to post them.  It’s fun as moms to share what we do.  Maybe others can glean from my gleaning.  When I post these I will do my best to link them back to the source {as long as I remember where!}.  I have no interest in stealing other people’s ideas…just modifying them. 😉  This all came about because Kadence told me one day that she wanted me to teach her to read.  It’s really scary when your child asks you to teach them something and your brain flat-lines.  Especially when your kid is 3.  What the poo {you can see this is my exclamation of choice} am I going to do when she is older?  A lot of googling, that’s what.  Anyways, I just looked at her and thought…uuuuuuuh….how do I do that?  She already knows her letters by sight so I figured the next step was to teach her the sound they make {along with a little handwriting practice}.  I also ran to the computer and requested some books on how to teach a child how to read to be put on the BM.  😀  So if you come across any good activities for letters D-Z send them my way!  How did you teach your kid to read?

Movie I want to go see-

The Help.  This is another odd Jenniferian way.  I hate going to the movie theater.  My hubby talked me into letting him buy this giant TV and bluray player.  Result: I always want to lay on my couch, eat my preferred white cheddar popcorn, drink beer, while covered in my embarrassing {but brilliant} blanket.  Besides.  We could buy the movie for what it costs for Jon and I to go see it.  Nonetheless, I want to go see this movie.  I don’t feel like waiting.  So mom, jump on your chance to get me to go to the theater with you!  I want to read the book too.  Should I do that first?  Nah, it would probably be gone by then.  Have you seen the movie or read the book?  Did you like it?  Save me money if it’s not any good.


I’m on this fish kick.  I’ve always loved fish {well at least in my adult life} but I’m on this kick of trying all kinds of new fish recipes out.  I also desperately want my dad to teach me how to clean them.  I mean I live on a lake for goodness sake.  Buying fish at the store just feels…stupid.  I want to post my fish recipe journey along with the smelly business of cleaning them and the crazy awesome health benefits of eating fish.  Now that it’s not so hot we can do more fishing too!  My goal is to make a dinner that my brother Tommy likes.

There you have it.  A little glimpse of what’s happening.  Join me?