Baby Eli's Blessing

Last weekend, we attended church with my brother’s family for the blessing of my nephew, Eli.

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The day before the ceremony, we decided to take some pictures of him in his blessing outfit.

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Here he is in his little white suit. Isn’t he a doll?

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He’s two months old and he is just as cute as a button.

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And he has those *blue* eyes like River. His are darker than I remember hers being. I guess it’s still too early to tell.

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He’s a really active and attentive baby. And he doesn’t *scream* like River did, which I’m sure his mother appreciates.

He was such a sweet little guy as his daddy took him to the front of the church and blessed him and named him.

Welcome to the family, Elijah Andrew!

In My Mailbox

It’s time for another In My Mailbox post!

This weekly feature is hosted by The Story Siren. It’s a chance for book bloggers to share the books they purchased or received for review each week.

What did you get in your Mailbox this week?

Happy Reading!

A New Look!

You may have noticed that things look a little different around these here parts.

Welcome to the brand-spanking-new The Nerd’s Wife blog!

The site is now hosted via WordPress. Before, it was a combination of five different Blogger sites with some custom coding by my super-awesome brother.

But no longer!

I used the Pro Photo 3 theme by NetRivet as a base, then customized the site on my own.

I think that this design will offer me some much-needed flexibility in posting.

You may have noticed that many of my posts had become stale, scheduled and BORING. That’s because I needed a photo for *every single post* with the old design. And it had to be a very specific KIND of photo, too.

I really liked the old design, but felt limited by it. Now, I can share my thoughts with you — no photos required!

Not that photography is going away from my site anytime soon. On the contrary, I find that I’m taking more and more photos each day. But I like the idea that I can write a post on a whim and give you my thoughts as they come to me.

Hopefully this will allow me to talk about more of the Nerdy things that go on in our lives, for which photos are not an option.

In the meantime, I hope you peruse the site and enjoy the design. Oh, and let me know if you find any broken links — I tried my best to maintain my permalinks, but it ain’t easy, yo.

Thanks for looking!

A Gaming Companion

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Lately, The Nerd has been spending the evenings playing World of Warcraft.
I don’t begrudge him this — in fact, it kind of makes my life easier because I can work or read or blog or do whatever while he is distracted.
But his late-night gaming has resulted in a strange phenomenon: The emergence of a gaming companion.
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You can see a glimpse of this wild creature in the photo above.
It emerges from its usual habitat (under the couch) to perch behind The Nerd as he embarks on his quests.
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The creature is easily spooked and often curious when it realizes it’s being watched.
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But soon, it becomes at ease once again and returns to its languid state.
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When its audience does not go away, however, the shifty eyes return and the creature decides to get a closer look.
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“Will you love me since he won’t?” it wonders.
How could you resist that face?
I guess if you were waiting on a dragon egg to hatch, it might be easier. But we all can’t be so lucky!
Thanks for looking!

Minder by Kate Kaynak

 
A while ago, author Kate Kaynak e-mailed me asking if I’d read and review her debut novel, Minder. Once I read the description, I knew this book would be right up my alley.
So, I agreed to check it out.
“Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it’s not exactly a nurturing place.
 
Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control.
 
A stray thought can burn a building to the ground.
 
And people’s nightmares don’t always stay in their own heads. But it’s still better than New Jersey. Especially once she meets the man of her dreams…”
— Description from GoodReads
Minder starts off really quickly. The action is nonstop from the get-go. I had a hard time putting it down!I really enjoyed how the abilities of the G-Positives were tied to their genes. They just weren’t superheroes by accident…there was a rhyme and reason to their powers. You could definitely see the author’s psychological background in that.

And it was neat to see those powers put to logical applications. Ganzfield is not funded by some unnamed source — Dr. Williamson uses his mind-reading ability to invest in the stock market.

I liked all of the different abilities that you get to see at Ganzfield — there is a wide range and there seemed to be even different abilities among the main types.

The relationship between Trevor and Maddie was one of my favorite parts of the story — it happened very fast, but I imagine that was just a side effect of their mental connection. I enjoyed the aspect of “soul-mating” and how they did not have to get physical to truly connect with one another.

Maddie is a great character with a strong voice. And Trevor is adorable.

One thing that bothered me was the amount of sexual violence in the novel. Early in the book, some of Maddie’s classmates attempt to gang rape her. That seemed like a very extreme act.

And then, one of the male Charms at Ganzfield uses his ability to take advantage of girls there.

I may just be sheltered here, but do guys really tend toward that kind of extreme violent behavior?

But it all works out in the end. I would not recommend this story for younger teen readers, due to the graphic nature of some content.

If you are looking for an interesting story with unique twists and super-cool abilities, look no further.

**Thanks to the author, Kate Kaynak, for the chance to read this book. She provided a signed copy for my review. It did not affect my opinion of this novel.**
 
 

Cup o’ Joe Cookies

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Tomorrow, I’m going to share with you some information about the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, which is now accepting entries. 
But today, I wanted to feature an easy cookie recipe from the 2010 Bake-Off cookbook.
These yummy cookies were quickly devoured by my family. 
Cup o’ Joe Cookies
Source: Pillsbury
Ingredients:
1 16.5 oz roll Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/3 c Hershey’s® baking cocoa
1 1/2 Tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
1/3 c Hershey’s® mini chips semi-sweet chocolate
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Set the cookie dough out on the counter for 10 minutes to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, stir together the cocoa, coffee powder and whipping cream. Crumble the cookie dough and stir into the cocoa mixture.
I used my hands to combine it. My dough didn’t turn out completely chocolate like in the original recipe. It was marbled, but I liked the way it looks.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a prepared baking sheet.
Press the bottom of a glass onto each ball to flatten it into a small disk. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of mini chocolate chips onto the top of each disk.
Bake for 9 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
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Enjoy!
This recipe yielded about 2 dozen cookies.

From the Air

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On the flight home from San Francisco, I had the whole row to seats to myself.
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So, I took advantage of the space to pull out my camera and snap some photos in the air.
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I loved seeing all the city lights from up above.
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The cities looked really cool.
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I like them converted to black and white.
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The whole time I was taking photos, I kept waiting for the flight attendant to come by and tell me that I wasn’t supposed to be using electronic devices.
I’m such a rebel.
Have you ever shot photos out of a plane window?
That was the whole premise of Julieanne Kost’s book, Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking.
It’s a really fascinating book and the photos are amazing.
Thanks for looking!


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