Archive | April 2013

Supplies List for Various Activities

This is a list I’ve created from various sources (and my brain) of supplies to have on hand for activities with my toddler. I like my pen and paper lists, but this will be an easier go-to source for me at times. Most of these are easily available and already in my home. I hope this list helps you, too. 🙂  What would you add?

In alphabetical order for easier reference:
aluminum foil
aluminum pie plates (different sizes)
balls (tennis, dryer, ping pong, soccer, etc)
bottles and caps (plastic)
boxes (cardboard, cereal, pasta)
bubble wrap
buttons (different sizes)
canning rings
cans with lids (formula, coffee, etc)
coffee filters
cookie sheets (magnetic)
cotton balls and swabs
craft sticks
dried beans and pasta
fabric (swatches and scraps)
jars with lids
juice can lids
magnet strips
paint color strips
paper (wrapping, tissue, notebook)
paper bags
paper towel rolls
plastic eggs (sale after Easter)
plastic bowls, lids, cups
sheets (fort, anyone?)
spice bottles with lids (cleaned)
spray bottle
wipes containers


Pineapple Chicken (Slow Cooker)

I’m making this tonight. It sounds yummy and different from our typical fare. I’ve added some minced garlic (1 teaspoon) and cut the recipe in half. Here is the link to the original recipe with pictures.

crockpot pineapple chicken

The gist:

The ingredients are: chicken breasts, soy sauce, chopped onion, chicken broth, & a can of pineapple. (I added some garlic.)

Directions: Put it all in the crock pot and cook on Low or High, depending on the time you have.  Serve with rice and a veggie.

My chicken is frozen, so I’m cooking on high for at least 4 hours and may change to low for the last 2 hours.  I hope it’s as yummy as it sounds. 🙂

**a few hours later . . . .

We agree that it is pretty good, but not fabulous.  I overcooked the chicken; I should have just left it on low after the first hour for the afternoon.  Pairing it with sticky rice and broccoli was a good idea.  I added some cornstarch to thicken the sauce a bit since it was very thin.

Also, you know how if you smell something cooking all day, you’re really not hungry for it at dinner time?  Well, this is one of those recipes.  Best to head out of the house for a couple of hours towards the end of cooking.

Will I make this again?  Probably.  Is it on our favorite meals list?  No.

Chicken with Spinach and Cheese Pasta

I tried a new recipe the other evening. It’s Spinach Cheese Pasta from  It sounded good and has some basic ingredients:

1 pkg. egg noodles (yum!)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/3 C olive oil

spinach (recipe has 1 1/2 frozen box, but I’m using fresh…3ish handsful)

8 oz. container cottage cheese

3 oz. pkg. Parmesan cheese.

Basically, you cook the pasta.  Prepare the garlic, EVOO, and spinach in a skillet.  Combine with drained pasta.  Toss with cottage cheese.  Top with Parmesan. It should be ready in less than 30 minutes.  Woo!

web_ingredients spinach pasta

Based on some reviews and personal preference, I used ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese, fresh spinach rather than frozen, and had some pan-sauteed chicken with it.  I think some chopped onion would be yummy, too, but we didn’t have any in the kitchen since none looked good at the store.

web_plate spinach pasta

Ta da!

The verdict:  It has promise with some tweaking.  It definitely needs to be a side dish and not a main entree, so I’m glad I made chicken with it.  The amount of garlic was good, but the flavor was still on the bland side.  Some sauteed yellow bell pepper slices and/or minced onion, and a bit of salt would probably round out the flavors for a happy palate next time.

Draw the Circle, the 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson (Book Review)

Focus on something, draw a circle around it, pray about it for 40 days (or more!), and watch as God answers your prayers.

This book is a follow-up to The Circle Maker and is set up in a short-story format. In addition to the introduction, there are 40 entries (theoretically to read one per day) that offer examples of God’s answers to prayers.

I haven’t read his first book, so the idea of “drawing a circle” and praying on that topic was foreign to me.  I read a few stories at a time, a few days apart rather than one story per day.  It was more enjoyable to me that way.  Batterson includes many personal stories regarding his church (National Community Church in Washington D.C.), as well as others’ experiences throughout the narration.  Some characters are obscure, while others are well-known. (I had no idea George Washington Carver went for a walk in the forest each morning at 4:00 for his prayer time.)

Each story begins with a quotation from the Bible and closes with a catchy statement related to the main idea. Batterson’s writing style is conversational in tone, and his prayer style is bold. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  I recommend it if you’re interested in reading stories of those whose prayers have been answered and may be looking for some inspiration.

Full disclosure for FTC purposes: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher as a part of the blogger review program through in exchange for my honest review. It does not have to be positive, and the opinions here are my own.