Things are a little quieter right now, and I’ve been able to get some projects and reading done. My productivity might also have something to do with getting up most mornings around 6:30 to make breakfast for my hubby and see him off to work. Either way, I’ve been feeling quite industrious.
One of the books I just finished reading is a children’s book that’s been around for many years, but one I’ve never read before now: The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I enjoyed reading this lighthearted children’s story about two siblings running away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I always enjoy reading children’s books when the author has the gift of writing in a way that sounds like a child’s thoughts (though in this case, a tad more refined). Two lines that really stood out to me are: “From a litter of lipstick kisses, Claudia had plucked a free ride.” and “She was convinced that she would develop a medium-serious skin disease within five minutes after she got off the bus.” I took me less than a day to read the whole book, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her works.
I’ve also recently been enjoying a BBC TV series that a friend introduced me too, Lark Rise to Candleford. It’s a series focusing on the life of a town and nearby hamlet that’s peopled with some wonderful, fun characters. I’m halfway through the second of four seasons, and I hate whenever I have to stop. It’s a nice relaxing show set in the quiet English countryside. If you enjoyed the Cranford show that I mentioned a while ago, then you’ll enjoy this one too.
I’ve also caught up on another item that I spoke about before: I’ve finally gotten to try the Haagen-Dazs Coconut Macaroon ice cream, and it is wonderful. It’s a creamy, coconut ice cream with chunks of tasty macaroons. I highly recommend you find it and have some before it disappears.
Another wonderful summer item that’s being abundantly harvested is corn. A few days ago, my husband and I got to have lunch at Panera, where I once again had some of their amazing Summer Corn Chowder. I got to try one spoonful of it a couple of years ago, but this is the first time I’ve actually gotten to have a bowl of it. It is filled with some of the sweetest corn paired with poblano peppers to make a flavorful, creamy, filling soup. Though it has more potatoes in it than I like, it was still delicious. It’s also inspired me to try to find a similar recipe that I can make at home, so don’t be surprised if you see one popping up here soon.
Of course, one thing that most people will do on a lazy day is watch a movie, and I’m no different. This week’s Christmas movie selection was While You Were Sleeping. This is a hilarious movie about a woman named Lucy (Sandra Bullock) who’s convinced herself that she’s in love with someone she’s never even met. She sees Peter everyday when he boards the transit where she works, and one day she gets to save his life after he’s been mugged and pushed onto the train tracks. When she tries to visit him in the hospital, a nurse mistakes her for his fiance. And that’s how she’s introduced to his large, boisterous family who immediately fall in love with her and she with them. She particularly starts falling for Peter’s brother, Jack (Bill Pullman), who finds her frustratingly attractive. (Confused, try watching the trailer here.) Many more complications ensue to give you a hilarious and heartwarming holiday movie. One of the best parts to the movie is the hilarious Callaghan family. They are always loud and excited, talking over each other, and changing topics every other minute. The grandmother is especially funny because she says the most off the wall things that are sometimes very astute and other times very confusing. My favorite parts would have to be when Lucy goes to feed Peter’s cat, the conversation about “leaning” (very quotable), and Jack’s marriage proposal. I tried to pick just a few funny quotes that might pique your interest. I came out with three: “I think the sofa should go right there.”, “If you fit into my pants, I will kill myself.”, and “I’m sick. You’re cheating on a vegetable.” I hope this has inspired you to watch or re-watch it soon.
There are some eating scenes, but I was inspired by the scene where Lucy shares Oreos and milk with her cat (sort of). I’ve had this wonderful pudding pop recipe for some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make them. These Cookies & Creme Pudding Pops could not be easier to make; the hard part is just waiting for them to freeze. These have a nice, not too hard consistency and they taste as delicious as the pudding they are made from. What I especially love about them is that they are so cheap to make, but they can be made in such a variety of flavors with any number of add-ins. I think these will be my go-to pops for the rest of the summer. Any flavor suggestions?
Cookies and Creme Pudding Pops (from Kraft)
1 3.9 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding
2 c. milk
1/2 c. thawed Cool Whip
1. In a small bowl, beat the pudding mix and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes.
2. Crush the Oreos; add them and the cool whip to the pudding and stir til just blended. Put the pudding into popsicle molds and freeze at least 5 hours.
I also wanted to suggest another book that I recently finished reading, The Autobiography of George Muller. George Muller spent much of his life in setting up orphanages in England without any normal means of support. For almost all of his ministry, he felt that God wanted to use him as an example of the power of prayer. Therefore, he wouldn’t make pleas for support. If he needed anything, he would just pray to the Lord for it and trust Him to provide (which He always did). Though he had no regular income, he established a Scriptural Knowledge Institution, many day and Sunday schools, and several large orphanages; all of which were funded by prayer. Though that is quite inspiring, it wasn’t what struck me most from his book. Though he felt led to live his life that way, he did not look down on others who didn’t (and, indeed, he acknowledged that it isn’t God’s plan for everyone). He knew that what was most important was a person’s motives for what they’re doing. He said that you should not be working at your job as a means to support and care for your family, for that is God’s job. You should be working at your job because that is what God has planned for you. He may place you in a job and use it to support your family, but you must be doing it for His glory. This is something that I’ve known and lived by, but I don’t remember hearing it explained so clearly before. I hope it gives you something to think about. I’ll talk to you again soon!