Wednesday, October 31

Low-Carb Noodle Heaven

Back so soon? Yes, I know. I decided to get in a quick entry on my newest gluten-free noodle find. :-) I first heard about these through Hungry Girl, who sends out daily emails about various food-related products and issues. I enjoy reading her stuff, and she comes up with some great swap recipes for common high-fat, high-carb recipes. She also lists Weight Watcher points, in case you're interested in that kind of thing. She is a HUGE fan of these Tofu Shirataki Noodles, and I looked into getting some from the company I just linked to. However, I wasn't sure I'd like them (tofu and yam flour?!), and to get the best price you have to order 12 or more bags at once.

One day I was shopping at our local Publix, and low and behold -- there they were! Granted, I think they cost me about $2.89 for one bag (almost $1 more than the bulk price), but since I could purchase just one and try them, I allowed them to jump into my cart (this happens a lot to me while grocery shopping -- okay, any shopping!).

After investigating the bag, I confirmed that they are indeed gluten-free. Yay! Here's some other info from the bag:

"What is Shirataki? Shirataki is composed of thin, gelatinous strings made from yam flour from the Konnyaku root and has very low caloric or digestible food values. This traditional Japanese food is enjoyed for its simple taste and unique texture."

Nutritional info: 2 servings per bag. In each serving: 20 Calories, .5g Fat, 15mg Sodium, 3g Carb (no sugar), 1g Protein. Ingredients: Water, Tofu, Yam Flour, Calcium Hydroxide

So here's the scoop on what I thought of them...Yum! Now, I must tell you that I don't have very discriminating taste buds (I think this is hereditary thing -- Sorry, Dad!). I like regular tofu, which I know some people don't. I'm not nearly as "choosy" as Josh is about how things taste (I think he's normal and I'm just abnormally un-picky). Anyway, these noodles have a little bit of a vegetable-ish flavor, more than regular noodles (which of course makes sense since they're made from yam flour). They also have an "al dente" bite to them -- slightly springy instead of your normal al dente. All those considerations aside, they are my new favorite noodle.

If you're at all curious, I encourage you to give these a try. They're not wheat noodles, but considering the carb count and, for me, the fact that they're gluten-free, these tofu noodles are perfect. Put your favorite sauce on top of these babies, and you, too, will be in low-carb noodle heaven!

Monday, October 29

So Where Have I Been?...

My faithful readers (all two of you that are still here!) have inquired as to where in the world I've been lately. "Why haven't you been blogging?" they ask. Well, I don't have any big reasons...I've just been busy, I guess! A few days after my last post, I started a long-ish project, and the following week I was offered a short, 10-day project that I just wrapped up on Friday. So now I have some catching up to do on the first project.

In between freelancing, I've been...

...shoe shopping for the kids (they both outgrew their shoes at the same time, plus it was time to get fall shoes anyway)
...switching out the kids' clothes (packing away summer, bringing out fall!)
...planning my Christmas gift list
...doing a little Christmas shopping
...trying to figure out what to tell the grandparents to buy for the kids for Christmas
...working on a new budget now that Josh has a fixed salary
...helping Josh investigate options for our refinance in January
...deciding what the kids will wear for Trick or Treat
...attending a 4th birthday party for Kaden's friend Hannah
...joining the family at Pumpkinfest, a really fun fall festival in Franklin (Kaden's first pony ride!)
...planning a Halloween potluck at our house for a few friends before Trick or Treat

And, uh, yeah...that sounds like most of it. :-) Throw in lots of laundry, dishes, and regular household and family caretaking stuff, and I just haven't had much time for blogging. I have lots of things I want to write about, but I can't seem to find time at the moment. So I'll try to come back soon, but no promises at the moment. I have a feeling the next two months are going to be busy ones.

I hope you all are enjoying fall, wherever you are! :-) Oh, and if you'd like to receive our family pictures for a monthly pictorial update, leave me a comment with your email address or email me at (the name of my blog)

Thursday, October 11


I have a few moments to blog, and I wanted to post a thankful list -- I haven't done it in a while! Here are a few notable things making the list this week...

1) I'm so thankful for Josh! I have a husband who loves me enough to listen to my needs and to do his best to love me the best way that he possibly can. It's not always easy to do the give and take that's necessary in a marriage, but it makes me feel very loved when Josh is willing to sacrifice or make little changes just to make me feel more loved. I am very blessed to be married to this man!

2) Opportunities to help my friends -- I love having time off from work so that I can be more involved in people's lives. A listening ear, sorting and loaning clothes the kids have outgrown, or wherever I see a need ... it's a blessing to be able to give to people I love!

3) Fall is in the air, and that makes me very happy. It's my favorite season, after all, and I'm loving the cool mornings, sunny afternoon, and chilly evenings. Time to pull out the fleece jackets, heavier blankets, and long-sleeve PJs. Time to have campfires, watch movies by firelight, and carve pumpkins. There's a crispness to the air this time of year that I just adore.

4) I got the kids' blankets made! They are both snuggled in their beds under their blankets as I write this, and that makes me feel warm all over. :-) As it turns out, making things with your own two hands for the ones you love the most is a very heart-warming endeavor. I'm not sure my sewing skills are quite up to par, but I can cut and tie knots with the best of 'em. (Kaden's blanket is pictured above.)

5) I'm working on a new budget now that we have a more fixed income (because of Josh's job change). I think I'll be consulting my Dave Ramsey book before I get too far into this. We haven't had much of a budget since we lived in Ohio, so I'm going into relatively uncertain territory here. ...But I'm excited!

Well, there are the top five. I hope you're all doing great wherever you are at the moment -- I'm sending love from Tennessee!

P.S. The message I mentioned a few posts back from Ed McGlasson about the blessing of the Father (and how fathers/parents follow that example w/ their children) can be heard here. I failed to link to the message at the time, and I wanted to include it here. I highly recommend checking it out.


I received the following story as an email forward several months ago, and it's been sitting in my "For Blog" folder in my inbox. Well, today's the day. As far as email forwards go, I usually get the same ones about 300 times -- however, this was something new, and I hope it encourages you as it did me. I love hearing natural/physical examples that help me understand spiritual concepts, and this is one such story:

Malachi 3:3 says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy. I look for the reflection -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you -- His perfect character more fully developed in your life.

Saturday, October 6

Busy Bees

It's been a while since I last wrote! We have been busy bees here in the Hesse house. My parents came to visit for a long weekend (Thursday afternoon to Monday afternoon), and we had a really nice time together. Here are some highlights...

1.) Yard work! Havings helpers here is so nice so we can tackle projects like cutting the hedges, chopping firewood, and planting fall flowers. Unfortunately, only 5 of my 24 pansy plants survived, but I won't point the finger (although I will tell you that it wasn't MY fault!). It seems that every attempt I make at introducing some color to the front of our house is foiled in some way. Besides the bummer of that, another failed flower attempt only darkens my reputation as having a black thumb. I do have 2 indoor plants growing -- and two herb boxes! I swear! I guess I'll have to settle for a little fall scene of already-grown pumpkins. I can't mess those up, right?!

2.) The Zoo! My mom and I went with the Souders to the Nashville Zoo. We haven't been there for about a year, and Kaden was so much more into it this summer. He's become fond of snakes and crocodiles recently, so he especially enjoyed those displays. It was a gorgeous day here in the Tennessee, and we had fun catching up with Erin and the boys.

3.) Homemade applesauce! You can see some of the finished product in the picture above, along with the beautiful posies my parents brought for me. :-) Dad was the apple peeler, and Mom and I were the stir-ers, spice-ers, and jar-ers. It is seriously tasty stuff, folks. I grew up on homemade applesauce, and I'm really happy to have it in my own home now. Plus, I learned how to can! Canning is very simple, but something about it seems uber-domestic, doesn't it?

4.) Dinner @ Daddy's restaurant! My parents really enjoy Italian food, so we took them to Josh's restaurant on Saturday night. We had a tremendous dinner, and we all enjoyed the charming, intimate atmosphere. We took our new portable DVD player for the kids, and it worked like a CHARM. That thing is worth its weight in gold, I tell ya. Both the kids loved playing with balls of pizza dough, too. It was a very fun evening!

5.) A great church service on Sunday! We had a guest speaker -- Ed McGlasson, who authored the book The Difference a Father Makes. I haven't read the book, but based on the message he taught based on the same subject, I highly recommend checking it out. Whether you are a dad or if you just have a dad, McGlasson's book is for you! My parents and I give him a teary two-thumbs up! :-)

6.) DIY Tailoring! Josh got a few new suits for work, and two of them had unfinished hems. Instead of paying for a tailor, we decided that we had enough other potential uses for a sewing machine that it warranted buying one. Neither one of us are experiences sewers, but lack of experience never slows Josh down. (That's one reason why I love him so!) With my mom's assistance, Josh tackled his pants and won! They came out great! Plus, we've already done a pillow for Kaden's room (we being Josh and Kaden). As you can tell, I have not tried my hand at sewing yet (my last experience was Home Ec in Jr. High), but I bought fabric yesterday to make a pink pillowcase for Laney. I also bought fabric to make no-sew fleece blankets for the kids (more on that when I get them both done).

7.) Family Campfire! We enjoyed our first night by the fire for this fall season. Complete with S'mores and careful restraint of Kaden to keep him a safe distance from the fire, we had a great time. Josh and I both love sitting out by the fire, chatting, and enjoying lots of marshmallow roasting. Bring on fall!

Speaking of which, the kids and I are on our way outside to enjoy some of this great fall weather. I hope you all have a beautiful evening where you are, too!