Sunday, January 31, 2010

In my opinion...

... people that say things like "Valentine's Day is just a hallmark holiday" or "Valentines day is for losers" are at their core insecure.  Yep.  I said it.  Insecure.  Ok, or they could just not be in love.  But that sort of boils down to being insecure too, huh?

If you are truly in love--whether you are married or not--why wouldn't you want to embrace a day to show this to your significant other?  I am constantly trying to show Michael that that I love and appreciate him... and he does the same.  I'm not saying you have to spend a ton money.  No one says you have to spend $100 to show you love someone.

I think they are insecure, because they have to have a reason why they wouldn't want to express their love, right?  Here's my theory... they are either
  • A) insecure about their relationship
  • B) insecure with themselves and their gift ideas
  • C) too cheap or insecure of how much to spend 
  • D) not sure if their significant other (mostly men) will get them something OR
  • E) they are not in a relationship and are insecure with being single
Of course, this is my opinion.  But I'm kind of sick of people trying to demean a day that simply symbolizes love.  Heck, you don't even have to be in a relationship.  How about just showing your friend you care about her and buying her a coffee?  When I was in college my sister sent me flowers, candy and a balloon.  It was so unexpected and special that it is still one of my favorite Valentine's to this day!  So next time you hear someone make a stupid decloration about our day of love, smack them kindly remind them that it's about caring and not spending money. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dara Torres biography

Michael and I like to listen to a book on CD when we are traveling.  It just helps the time go faster.  Unfortunately, we have wildly different tastes when it comes to books, television shows and movies.  Think polar opposites!  I usually try to find something that meets in the middle of our two worlds, but even that is hard.  One thing I've found that we can both generally agree on is biographies.  Over Christmas we listened to Dara Torres' book.  You may remember her from the Olympics--she was the 41 year old swimmer.
This book was very interesting.  If you are into the Olympics or even remotely know her story, I think you will enjoy it.  I am not a swimmer.  I have never been a swimmer.  Her book kind of takes you behind the scenes.  It explains what she had to do to train, all the things that go on at the Olympics, and so much more.  The only thing we didn't like is that it sort of skipped around.  She'd be talking about her childhood and then suddenly we'd be back in the holding room at the Olympics... and then back to her training in college.  Either way, I think it's worth the "read".

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Wait a Minute Mr. Postman"

Do you frequent the "dollar spot" at Target?  I do.  I rarely buy anything, but I still like to look.  Last year I picked up this adorable little mailbox around Valentine's Day.  (They have them this year too in case you want to copy this idea!)

I decorated it with some paint pens and put it in our bathroom on February 1st.  Every morning from February 1st until February 14th I put a little treasure in it for Michael.  This was essentially his Valentine's Day "gift" from me... only ended up being 14 days and 14 gifts.

I put a variety of items in the mailbox. 
Some were big, some were little, some were more expensive and some were free. 

Here's a list of just a few of the things I did (no gift was ever repeated):
  • snickers bar (one of his favorites)
  • pack of  gum
  • love letter
  • hand held poker game (he was going through a poker phase at the time)
  • handmade (by me) bookmark, laminated with a ribbon tassel
  • frappuccinos--they obviously didn't fit in the mailbox.  I left a note in the mailbox telling him to look in the fridge
  • Valentine's day boxers
  • handmade Valentine's day card
           AND MORE....

This year, due to budget cuts, I'll probably only do one week.  It will still be fun.  Plus, I have other ideas for a gift for this year.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Diet Coke Chicken

Oh, I know what you are thinking... "Diet Coke Chicken?  What's that girl smoking?"  All I have to say is you need to trust me on this one.  It's a super easy, relatively "healthy", few ingredient and an absolutely yummy meal.  Honest.  Would I lead you astray?  (Your answer better be "of course not!")

Ok, so all you need is a pound of chicken, a can of Diet Coke, and some ketchup.
(Onions are optional--sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't.)
Really!!  That's it.

Start cooking your chicken in a nonstick pan.

Mix 1 12 oz can of Diet Coke with 1 cup ketchup and pour over chicken.

The recipe I read said cook about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thick.  I have made this multiple times and it has never taken me 45 minutes.  I would say it takes about 20 to 25.  I guess it depends on the temperature you use.  I usually do it on medium, but I think some people simmer it on low.  It's up to you.

Once the sauce is thick, it's done.

(If you are observant you may have noticed that my 3 pieces turned to 4.  One was too thick and I had to cut it in half.  Good eye!)

The ketchup and Diet Coke magically turn into a BBQ type of a sauce.
I usually serve this over brown rice with a side vegetable.

1 pound of chicken should make 4 servings and one serving size is 4 WW points.


I think I can still hear you giving me excuses!!

"I don't drink diet soda.  Ever."
"I don't like Diet Coke"
"My husband doesn't like Diet Coke"
"It just sound gross to me"
"I can't cook with Diet Coke.  That's absurd"

Alright, stop your excuses.  Michael likes it.  If Michael likes it, your husband will too.  Don't tell him you used Diet Coke and see what happens.  I bet you'll both be shocked! :)  Now get cooking....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Alright.  This is not new.  Everyone in blog land is making these.  Literally.  Everyone.  I didn't want to be left out, so I joined the club.

I made these for my friend Jen.


They are really easy to make too.  Go to your local hardware store and buy some white bath tiles.  Next, take some glue or mod podge and glue on your scrapbook pieces.  Here's what I found... you need to let them dry before you add mod podge to the top.  This will help you avoid the bubbles.  It only took me three times to figure this out! :)  After they dry a little bit, add a layer of mod podge to the top.  I actually added 2 to 3 layers of mod podge.  Think: sweaty drinks are going to be sitting on these.  You want to make sure there is enough of a coat.

Then, to avoid anyone's table from getting scratched, add cork or felt to the bottom of the tile.

I would suggest letting these dry over night before trying to stack them.  After they are dry, stack them up, tie them all cute and give them away.

Along with the coasters, I gave her this cute thing I found...
Cake in a mug

(You can check out the recipe here)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Counting the Chips

We are focusing a little more on the math aspect of things this next six months.  Little Man is pretty good at math.  He's a linear thinker.  Generally it  comes easy for him, so we haven't had a huge focus in the past.  While it took him over a year to get his capital letters solid (until in finally clicked), he learned to identify his numbers 0 to 10 in about a week--literally.

He can count well and identify his numbers.  He can also add (without knowing it), problem solve, and much more.  We are working on number to object coorelation and forming sets of objects.  I made up this little game to help him with counting objects and matching them to the right number.  He does pretty good, but once it got to the higher numbers he would add a number or skip a number.  We'll keep playing this for continued practice.

I made a set of cookies with "chocolate chips" ranging from 0 to 12.
Then I made a matching milk glass for each.




Monday, January 25, 2010

Stretching your dollar... (part 2)

 Car Insurance

**If you are a stay at home mom, or someone who puts less than 7500 miles on your car a year, you should be able to call your agent and get a reduced rate on your car insurance policy.

**If you have a car that's older than 10 years, you probably don't need to have complete coverage on your car.  If, by chance, you do get in an accident your car is not going to be worth a ton of money.  Your check from your insurance company isn't going to be very big.  We have a car that is over 10 years old and is only worth about $2500 to $3000.  Instead of having it fully covered, we have reduced our insurance and are saving monthly.  If we wreck the car, we are going to get a new car anyway.  That $2500 isn't going to be that great of a help.  I'd rather have my monthly expenses lower.

**Call around and check to make sure you are STILL getting the best rate.  You may have your current company for a variety of different reasons--your parents had it, so now you do.... it was the only one that would cover you at the time... it was the cheapest when you got insurance, 5 or 10 years ago.  Make sure you are always getting the best deal.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hungry Girl

If you haven't heard about Hungry Girl yet, you need to!  Hungry Girl (HG) is just a girl that was trying to eat and not gain weight.  She started a blog and it has taken off into it's own huge thing.  Her website is  You can sign up for a daily email.  She gives information on new goodies coming out in the store, healthy recipes, and nutritional information for restaurants (and so much more!).  One of the things I like, is that she gives WW points for everything.  She is not a part of WW, but she likes it so much that she got permission to share the points.  Since becoming popular, she has teamed up with many good products.  You may have even seen her post on your Yahoo homepage.

I have two of her cookbooks


I've only made things from the first cookbook, but we have liked everything we've tried so far.
I'll highlight some of our favorite recipes in the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Were you faithfuls worried I wasn't going to post today?  It's only a couple of hours late.  What some people may not know is, I usually write my blog the night or weekend ahead of time, so that I can set them to automatically post in the mornings.  I've been sort of at a lull these past few days when it comes to blogging.  Don't get me wrong, I have a notebook with a list of about 30 ideas for future blogs... just none have seemed right lately.  Anyway, so my apologies for keeping you waiting (and for a dreadfully boring post--but that's life sometimes, right?).

I'm getting ready to run errands with Michael.  It may seem kind of boring to you, but I'm quite exited!  Michael works a lot of weekends and we usually only have one weekend day to spend together (if we are lucky).  We are both usually worn out from the past week that we just hang around the house doing nothing.  He is off both today and tomorrow, so we actually have a real weekend to spend together.  It's a treat to have a weekend to be able to do what most husbands and wives do--the mundane stuff of life.  We're going to get an oil change, get our ink cartridge for our printer refilled and buy energy efficient light bulbs.  You're jealous, aren't you? :)

So... that's it.  I don't have much for you today... except a quick reminder to enjoy the every day things in life.  Appreciate that morning coffee with your spouse, sibling, roommate or friend.  Be happy that you get to go grocery shopping with your best friend (spouse).  Enjoy the little things in life--like running errands with the one you love.  Happy Saturday friends!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

List o'fun--Integrity Gymnastics

One of the main reasons I started this blog was because so many people were encouraging me to do so.  This was mostly due to my ideas and information having to do with children.  I was always telling my friends about places to go, craft projects Little Man and I did, or using my "teacher knowledge" as a reference.

I have what I call my "list o' fun".  When I became a nanny I knew I wasn't going to remember all of the fun children related places I was learning about.  So what did I do?  Made a list, of course! :)  My list is now a notebook page filled front and back and even a little in the margin.  I'm going to try to be better about featuring them on here.  Like I said in a past post, some of these are Columbus specific.  If you don't live in the central Ohio area, you may be able to use the idea and look for something similar in your area.

This week we went to Integrity Gymnastics for an open gym session.

Integrity Gymnastics is home of Olympic Silver Medalists, Blaine Wilson.
It's located at 8185 Business Way, Plain City, OH

They offer all sorts of classes, but we already attend a gymnastics class somewhere closer.  We have gone a few times for their preschool open gym.  This is available on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 and Fridays 9 to 10.  It costs $6 unless you are enrolled in a class, and then it's $3.  If you are interested in more information, you can check out their website at

Little Man's favorite thing is the foam pit.
I think he'd spend all day in there if I let him.
There are actually two pits.
This is a gym for real gymnasts, so one pit is for the vault and one pit is for the high bars.

A little back flip anyone?
Word of wisdom to all the moms out there (and nannies)--if you jump in, you may never get out.
Trust me... I know. :)
**I have an incredibly cute picture of Little Man and I in there on one of our trips, but if I blurred out his face the picture isn't all that cute anymore** :(

It's really weird to walk on all the mats.  You expect the ground you are walking on to be hard, but it's not.
There are also random trampolines in the ground too.

When I finally pulled Little Man away from the foam pit...he wanted to hang on the rings.
There were two sets, but he HAD to use the high ones!


So if you have a free Tuesday or Friday morning and the weather isn't all that great outside--head over to Integrity gym for some fun.  You'll enjoy it too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pattern fun

Yesterday I told you about our "goals".  About a year ago I had set "learning patterns" as one of our goals.  Little Man wasn't really getting it.  If I showed him a yellow/green/yellow/green pattern, he inevitably would want to add a new color... like I left them out.  I tried to explain that if there was no red in my pattern, then red wasn't to be added.  He just did not get it.  He is a very smart boy, but his brain just was not ready to compute patterns (age 2 1/2 to 3).  Like I said, that's ok.  I tried (and tried again).  He got exposure nonetheless, but I didn't press it.  We ended that six months without accomplishing that goal.  We stepped away from patterns for the next set of goals (the last six months), but have added it to our newest list.

Guess what?  He gets it!  He pretty much got it the first time I showed it to him.  He just needed to walk away, have a few light bulb moments, and now the goal is practically accomplished in the first week.

First, we started out using pattern blocks


Then, to make it a little more fun, we broke out the candy.
(I did this last time around too, and it still didn't work.)

He was doing so good I even broke out an AAB pattern...and he rocked it!

Then, to keep things relevant, I broke out the Star Wars toys!
We even did an ABC pattern... 
C'mon, who doesn't want to come up with a "Storm trooper, Droid, Gun" pattern?? :)

 Relevance is everything! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Setting Goals

One of the reasons I was hired to be Little Man's nanny was that I was a teacher.  He was 2 and a half when I started, and his parents thought it was time his learning got kicked into high gear.  (Not the over the top kind where the parents prep their child for Harvard at 3, but the kind where they go from hardly anything to having all sorts of things introduced to them.)  I was just the person for the job.

I spent the first month just getting to know Little Man and his routines and schedule.  K and G never asked me for a list of what I was going to be doing, but trusted that I was teaching him age appropriate things.  Being the teacher and the list person that I am, I decided we needed some goals.  This wasn't just because I wanted to add a list to my collection, but I felt it would benefit all involved.  With K and G knowing what I was doing, they were working on the same things.  It also helped remind me what I was suppose to be doing.  I have an amazing memory, but even I referred to my list every now and then just to make sure I was on track.  I recommend everyone do this--whether you are a stay at home mom, nanny, working parent, or childcare provider.  Your child will benefit immensely.

Now don't go thinking I was a freak about it.  I wasn't.  There is a big difference between being a nanny and being a teacher, and I wanted to make sure the balance was still there.  I don't schedule our days out down to the minute, although we have a pretty good flow each day.  We don't sit down and "learn" or work on something every day, but we do most.  Some days may be spent watching TV, going to our activity and playing.  Then the next day may be spent doing five things off of our list of goals and no TV.  It's very flexible.  Our goals are set for six months.  I try to make sure that when that six months is up, we've accomplished what I set out to accomplish.  Now this too is flexible.  Your child has to be ready to learn.  There is no point in forcing a 2 year old to learn his letters if he isn't ready.  For what?  Just to say he learned them when he was 2??  It doesn't mean he is going to read faster.  You will do more damage trying to force something, then to just let it all flow naturally.  (That doesn't mean just wait until your child goes to school and make the teacher do the work!!!!)

Every six months I send K and G a "goals" email.  It always lists the goals from the previous six months and explains where we are at with each goal.  Then I list things I have observed (good or bad), or name other things we may have been working on that weren't on the official goals list.  Then I let them know what the next goals list will be.  (The email is literally a book!!)  This was never asked of me, so obviously they are more than appreciative.  I think it has helped all of us, but Little Man especially.

Here are some examples of what we do... it's not all about the educational side of things either.  (These are sort of in order, and range from age 2 1/2 to present--almost 4).  This is by no means and exhaustive list.  I've skipped some things, but you get the point.

  • Learn ABC song and recognize capital letters
  • count to 10 and recognize numbers
  • Read every day
  • Introduce rhymes
  • sort objects (first by color, then by shape and size)
  • Strengthen fine motor skills by doing arts and crafts
  • Strengthen gross motor skills by jumping, hopping, balancing, throwing, and climbing on jungle gyms
  • Name and recognize basic shapes
  • Share, take turns, and understand space relation (i.e. personal space)
  • Use manners-please, thank you, ask for something instead of tell me to get it
  • Recognize patterns
  • Lace objects (fine motor)
  • Complete basic puzzles
  • "write" (didn't know how to at the time, but good pre-writing practice)
  • Use "I" instead of "my"
  • Do imaginative play such as dress up, play with puppets
  • Be potty trained
  • Play board games (or other types of games), follow the rules, and be a good sport
  • Follow multiple step directions
  • Write name
  • Know own first and last name
  • Know parents first and last name
  • Color in the lines
  • Cut on the line
  • Identify name in print and spell name correctly
  • Know home phone number
  • Know to call 911 for emergencies and know what an "emergency" is
  • Know birthday
  • Learn lowercase letters
  • Match capital with lowercase letters
  • Know letter sounds
  • Learn beginning sounds and match words with same beginning sounds
  • Understand Concepts of print (including left to right, picture vs. print, and predicting)
  • Know the difference between a non-letter and letter, and a letter and a word
  • Dress and undress self
  • Conquer zippers, buttons and snaps
  • Have a basic understanding of the calendar including days of the week, night/day, morning/night, and yesterday/today/tomorrow
  • Form sets of objects
  • Understand number to object coorelation
  • Journal (for prewriting and thought process purposes--doesn't really know how to write yet)
  • Do age appropriate workbooks that include things such as alike vs. different, writing letters and numbers, opposites, matching, and more!
Of course we work on other things like putting our shoes away, putting dirty clothes in the laundry, picking up our toys, being a good friend, listening the first time, and so much more.  Little Man has also learned the difference between a good choice and a bad choice.  He knows that "good choices make good results" and "bad choices make bad results".  (Only he says 'desults'!:)

If you don't have a list of goals for your child (no matter the age), I suggest you come up with one.  Take a peek at it every month or so and make sure you are on track!  Your child can only benefit from this!! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Weight Watchers low down

So I really don't want this to become a Weight Watchers blog, but I figured since I was giving points for things like my recipes and some of my "good finds" I better explain.  I became a member of WW online over a year ago.  I did it for a couple of months, lost 17 pounds, and then gave up around the holidays.  I've spent this last year eating pretty good.  But here's the thing, you can eat TOO MUCH healthy food.  As stupid as that sounds, I think it took me a long time to realize that.  Even if I am eating good for me foods, I could still be taking in too many calories.  I like WW because you can eat whatever you want.  You just have to stay in your allotted points for the day.  I am not signing up for WW again, but I am going to "sort of " follow the program.  It just helps me know that I am eating the right portions.

I wanted to explain the points to you, so when I say a meal is 5 or 7 points, you know exactly what that means.  It breaks down like this...

1. Gender:
Female- score 2
Male- score 8
A nursing mom- score 12

2. How old are you?
17-26- score 4
27-37- score 3
38-47- score 2
48-58- score 1
over 58- score 0

3. What do you weigh?
Enter the first two digits of your weight in pounds.
(for example, if you weight 199, you will add 19 to your score)

4. How tall are you?
Under 5’1- score 0
5’1-5’10- score 1
Over 5’10- score 2

5. How do you spend most of your day?
Sitting down? score 0
Occasionally sitting? score 2
Walking most of the time? score 4
Doing physically hard work most of the time? score 6

Now add them all together and that’s your daily total.  Obviously, when you drop weight, your points drop.  So if you are at 199 like the example, your points added to the total were 19.  When you drop down to 189 your points will drop a point because your 19 just went to 18.  Make sense?

On top of those points, you get 35 extra points to use a week.  You can divide them out and eat 5 extra points a day, use all 35 in one sitting, have a day where you don't count, or use them how you wish. 

You are suppose to use all your daily allotted points.  By not eating all your points, you will sabotage your weight loss.  I've heard different things about the 35 points--some people use all of them, some people don't see success unless they only use some of them, and some don't use them at all.  REMEMBER--whatever you are eating now and training your body to do is what you will have to do in maintenance. 

Points are found using the calories, fat grams and fiber grams in a serving of an item.  Generally speaking, 50 points is one point.  The higher the fat grams, the higher the points.  The higher the fiber, the lower the points.  The fiber caps out at 4 grams.  I use this on line calculator to help me calculate my points for new items.

You are suppose to get in your 8 glasses of water, 5 fruits and veggies, 2 servings of dairy, and exercise.

So now you know.  Any questions?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stretching your dollar... (part 1)

Ok, so who can't use some more money?  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that we are trying to get out of debt.  We are aggressively and diligently working at being debt free by the end of the year.  In order for us to do this, every dollar needs to be accounted for.  Obviously the more money we can save on things, the more money we have to apply to those pesky student loans.

I am going to feature a mini series on here of creative ways to save a dollar here or there.  Some of these may be obvious, but some may be new to you.

The first thing you have to do is come up with a budget.  Duh! right?  Yeah.  I know.  Everyone knows to have a budget.  The key is to follow it!  Here's what we are doing to be able stick to our budget.

We have decided to not be so over the top on things.  We've tried this before, and it just makes you want to give up.  Sort of like when you go on a diet.  If you do a diet where you aren't allowed any wiggle room, you tend to give in to your temptations quicker.  We have all of our regular bills listed.  On top of our musts (utilities, mortgage, gas, food), we've decided to keep our cable TV and our phone extras.  We have also kept our $10 netflix subscription.  Along with that, we pay $12.50 a month for identity theft protection.  If we cut down or eliminated all of these, we could probably have a couple hundred more a month, but we'd probably go crazy! :)

We have our entire month budgeted out.  Every extra dollar goes to paying off our debt faster.  At the beginning of the month we each get $100 cash.  That cash is our only spending money.  Our bank account is budgeted down to almost the last dollar.  Even if we are tempted to use the debit card, we can't!

This $200 *might* actually be more than we were spending on extras before the tight ship budget began.  However, it makes me save money because I hoard my cash.  When I know that's all I have, I'm less tempted to spend $50 on a coat that I don't really need.  But it also gives me the freedom to spend my money on art and craft supplies and not feel guilty.  My $100 a month is for whatever I want to spend it on.  This includes eating out, coffee with friends, clothes, shoes, decorations for the house, books, and art and craft supplies.  By having the money in cash, it really makes you evaluate if the item is a need or a want.  Wants aren't bad... you just have to know that the cash will run out at some point.  Try putting yourself on a cash budget and see how much more money is left in your account at the end of the month.  I bet you'll be surprised!

Coming soon...

*Tips on car insurance savings
*Tips on grocery savings
*Meal planning tips
*Making your store and cards work for you
*and MORE! :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh how I love thee... (5)

...let me count the ways.

I love Michael because he helps around the house.
Ok, I'll be honest... he probably does more than me on most days.

He does the dishes.

He takes out the trash.

He does the laundry.

He wipes out the bathroom sink every single day.

He cleans the toilets.

He takes care of the paper work.

He cleans the stainless steel and stove top.
(which is a serious PAIN IN THE BUTT!)  

 I mean really, who wouldn't love a husband like that.  He definitely is NOT the stereotypical "man".  You know... the one that leaves his dirty socks all over the house.  I can't complain about or relate to any of those things most women talk about.  When I say he does the dishes, I don't mean he does them when I beg him to--I mean he does them 90% of the time ON HIS OWN.  He does the laundry 95% of the time too.  What a man!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mitten Mix Up

Little Man has learned his uppercase letters, 24 of his lowercase letters, and 20 letter sounds.  We are right around the corner from having our letters and sounds mastered, but in the mean time we are working on making sure he can match up the upper with the lower.

In order to make the practicing a little fun, I made a game up for Little Man.
I cut out mittens from construction paper and made a match for all 26 letters.

  I threw all the mittens in a bowl and told Little Man that the boys and girls had mixed up their mittens.
(He then asked me why they did such a thing!:)

I told him he had to find the matches so the boys and girls could go outside to play.  I split the deck into half so we only did 13 matches each turn.  He did a pretty good job. 



 We'll have this concept mastered in no time!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Purse Pleasure

Guess what I got in the mail THIS week?  Exactly. 
The purse I ordered from etsy has finally arrived.  I adore it.

It has lots of different textures, patterns, and fabric.
Here are some close ups


and here's the inside

Now only if something was coming from etsy next week...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dee Henderson book series

You might know that one of my favorite authors is Karen Kingsbury.  I had a friend turn me on to her Redemption series about five or six years ago.  Since then I've read practically every book Karen Kingsbury has written.  All that to say... I've found a rival author.  That's right.  I've found another Christian fiction author that I like just as much (if not more) as the author of the favorite Baxter family.  (Of the few people I know who read my blog--I know you read Kingsbury, so that's why I am writing as if you know what I'm talking about.  If you don't know what I'm talking about--go to the library and get Redemption.)

Anyway, that author is Dee Henderson.  Michael and I like to listen to books on CD for our long drives.  It's hard to find a book that both of us would enjoy. We have *very* different tastes.  I found a book that sounded like it might work.  It was called The Guardian.  We listened to it on the way to and from Indiana for one of our trips.  We really liked it, so I decided to get another Dee Henderson book.  I found out it was actually part of a series.  I went back and started from the beginning.

It starts with a prequel called Danger in the Shadows

It is only slightly related to the series, but gives a good background.
Also, the writing is a little different that the actual series.

The series has mystery, family ties, romance, and an emphasis on moral values.
You MUST check it out.

The first book in the series is The Negotiator

Then it's

The Guardian

The Truth Seeker

The Protector

The Healer


The Rescuer

Even though I am a huge books on CD kind of girl, I recommend you read these.  The books on CD are not the unabridged versions, so parts are taken out.  I'm not sure what parts those are, I just just know it's not the complete thing.  They are the kind of books you don't want to put down, so it should take you too long to read them.  If you've never read a Christian fiction before, I suggest you start here.  It's probably not as cheesy as you think! :)