The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Games/ Scrabble Tips

Growing up, my family played lots of games. We played Rummikub; card games such as Nertz, Pit and others; Word games such as Probe, Boggle, Scrabble, and other fun games such as dominoes and Uno. Our favorite were the word games. We played Boggle the most. It was an easy one to play for 1/2 hour with two or more people. My oldest brother is excellent at it to this day. My poor hubby played Boggle with us, and seemed to know how to play, so we didn't explain the rules. Well, he jumped all over the board making words, instead of connecting the letters in each word. Oops!

I still love word games: Bananagrams, Boggle, Scrabble, Scramble (on our iPad), and others. I recently was cleaning out our game drawer, and found these tips that went with our Scrabble game. I hope it helps you play better in Scrabble and other similar word games!

There's no doubt about it-- it takes a stellar vocabulary and super strategies to become a Scrabble expert. Looking for instant results? These tips from seasoned Scrabble players could help you rule the board!

Learn the 2- and 3- letter words. They are the building blocks of expert play and can boost your average score by as much as 50 points per game. (You can find the lists online here and here.)

Use an S to form two words at once. Pluralize one word while forming another word at the same time. Hint: Use your S wisely. Don't add it unless you can earn at least 8 points by doing so.

Shuffle the tiles on your rack frequently. Look for some common ways that letters go together. Some of these are BR, CH, DLE, ED, ENT, EST, FUL, GHT, ING, NK, KLE, MIS, ISM, IUM, MB, ND, NT, PR, PL, RE, STR, TH, UN, IVE, and OUS. As you form these combinations, it may surprise you how words will often appear on your rack when you least expect them.

Always look for ways to play across premium squares. Check especially for premium squares next to vowels. (and try not to set up your opponent to get a big score!)

Make your play with an eye toward your next play. You can do so simply by saving some good tiles on your rack. Your best odds of having a great next rack is to save some combination on the letters AEILNRST (hint: think "starline"), ideally saving either the same number of vowels and consonants, or just one extra consonant.

Always look for bingo's (using all 7 tiles at once). Optimism and know-how will mean more 50-point bonuses. Learn common word beginnings and endings, and know how to place them on your rack.

Learn the Q without U words. The official Scrabble Players dictionary (which is quite handy to own, and included the tow-letter word list) lists these: QAT(S), QAID(S), QOPH(S), FAQIR(S), QANAT(S), TRANQ(S), QINDAR(S), QINTAR(S), QWERTY(S), SHEQEL, QINDARKA and SHEQALIM.

"Hooks" are single letters that you can add to existing words that form other words. We've already mentioned the "S hook," but also look for words that could end with a Y, E, R or D. Example: HANDY, PLAN(E), TAME(D, R).

After you find a good play, if you have time, look for a better one. Always try to give yourself a choice of plays. By exercising your decision-making abilities, you'll likely develop keener strategy skills.

Keep in mind that anyone can beat anyone else with a certain amount of luck. Also remember that everyone draws poor combinations of tiles at times, so when you do, take pleasure in making the best play you can. Finally, don't dwell on your mistakes. Everyone makes them, so go easy on yourself and just enjoy playing!

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

1 Samuel 8:10
Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king.

Luke 6:47
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday: "I Will Be Here"

This song is a special song to me, since it is "our song"-- my hubby and I's favorite song when dating, engaged and at our wedding. My sweet, amazing hubby sang this song to me at our wedding, and he told me that I couldn't cry! I managed to hold it in until the end of the wedding, then I "leaked". From my eyes. For a minute. I love the message of this song, that we will be there for each other through the ups and downs of life. 

Our 16th anniversary is this weekend, so I am looking forward to a date with my hubby, maybe listening to our song. I hope you'll take a listen and enjoy it too.

"I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman
Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear,
I, I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear,
'Cause I, I will be here.

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen,
And I will be here,
When the laughter turns to crying
Through the winnin', losin', and tryin',
We'll be together,
'Cause, I will be here.
Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is unclear,
I, I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes are made for years
So, I, I will be here.

I will be here,
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you,
And I will be here,
To watch you grow in beauty and
Tell you all the things you are to me,
'Cause, I will be here.

I will be true to the promise
I have made
To you and to the one who gave you to me

I, I will be here
And just as sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes are made for years,
So I, I will be here,
We'll be together,
I will be here.

© Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing
Lyrics from:

You can listen to this song on YouTube here.

A favorite Bible verse about love...

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday: Baking Tip

No recipe this week, but I wanted to share a tip of something that I do to avoid extra clean-up in my kitchen...

When I have to spray a pan to grease it, I spray it over my sink. Then the overspray goes in the sink instead of making a fine grease mist on my counter-top. Just a tip for you! Hope it helps when you need to make a recipe like this one.

Leviticus 6:21
It must be prepared with oil on a griddle; bring it well-mixed and present the grain offering broken in pieces as an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

1 Kings 17:12-15

“As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”
13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday #8

I received an email this week from MOPS International, and I really appreciated it's message. I found it to be relevant to my Thankful Thursdays. I have copied and pasted it to my blog page for today. You can receive weekly emails of encouragement from MOPS International too, just sign up here.

True Confessions of a Whiner

Kids are infamous whiners, and mine are no exception. My oldest especially tends toward negativity. I’ve been concerned recently about what this could mean for his future and its impact on our family environment. Is this just his personality or a learned trait? Either way, I knew we needed to make some changes.

The changes, it turned out, had to start with me. I became hypersensitive to my own negative talk, inside and out. For every complaint or negative comment I spoke aloud, I realized there was a whole internal conversation that went along with it.

"Thankfulness is a gift
to God and my family."

When preparing for a family vacation to a beach resort, I caught myself grumbling about the weather and its potential to foil our fun. I stopped myself short, looked at my kids and said, “I’m grateful that we get to take a vacation to the beach in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to it.” Vacation. Beach. Resort. Really, what did any of us have to complain about?

Spurred by our new perspective, we started a thankfulness wall that morning. Whenever we start complaining, we tell each other to go write down something we’re thankful for so everyone can see. The list is getting pretty long.

Kvetching about the weather may seem small, but these little complaints can add up to a dark cloud of frustration, especially when multiplied across all family members. On the other hand, thankfulness is a gift to God and my family. I won’t lie; this process is painful because I have to reverse decades of negative talk. But bit by bit, we’re going to fill up that wall completely.   

Dear God, open my eyes to your goodness and all that I have in my life. Let me be a contagious source of gratitude for my whole family. Amen.


I love the idea of writing on the wall when someone is complaining, and I could definitely implement that in my home! I love that idea of being a contagious source of gratitude!

I have been enjoying Ann Voskamp's blog this week too (author of One Thousand Gifts)- you can find two great posts here and here.

Psalm 34:1
I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

Psalm 106:47
Save us, Lord our God,
and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

2 Corinthians 4:15

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Swim Lessons

(Well, almost wordless!)

Our kids have begun summer swim lessons! 
They were pretty excited on the first day even though it was pretty cloudy that day. The weather has been much better the other three days!
Mallory (2nd to the right of guard in red) was wet head to toe from minute one!

Bethany was quite nervous, and cried, clinging to the teacher for the whole first day.
 She's done much better since then!

Bethany and cousin Ashley have the same swimsuit!

Our whole crew-- our kids and my sister-in-law's kids. The kids love being in lessons with cousins!
Mallory kicking on the far wall, next to the first lifeguard in red.
My son Caleb was kinda nervous being in the deep end this year, but he has done very well! He has two cousins in his class!
Bethany (looking at me) with her class blowing bubbles.
Caleb on the low dive.
Rebekah swimming to me in the deep end... doing the breaststroke. She's doing great too!

Psalm 107:35
He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs;

Isaiah 41:18
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

John 9:7
“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breakfast/ Lunch/ Snack ideas

My sister-in-law and I were talking yesterday about challenges keeping each of our galloping hordes of children fed (we each have 4 kids). Some of the eaters are pickier than others. Usually mealtimes are not a challenge, my sister-in-law said, but snacks. It is a challenge to find snacks that are healthy (no cookies), don't take lots of work (smoothies) and don't cost lots (fancy cheese?) So I decided to post my meal ideas lists for breakfast and lunch, and some snack ideas. Maybe it will help my sister-in-law, and some other moms/ dads too!

Breakfast Ideas
French toast
Eggs & Bacon
Toast w/ PB, & / or jam
Egg burritos
Apples, bananas w/ PB
Yogurt with berries
Breakfast pizzas
milk, chocolate milk
juice, water, tea
hot chocolate
coffee (Mom & Dad)

Lunch Ideas
PB & J
Ham & Cheese Sandwich
Chicken Nuggets
Chicken Patty Sandwich (as Mom first)
Toast with peanut butter
Tortillas with PB & J, cream cheese
Snacky plate
Hot leftovers
Eggs & toast, bacon
Egg salad Sandwich
Tuna fish sandwich
Mac & cheese
Hot dogs
Bagel with toppings
Extra things to fill in:
fruit- apple, grapes, peach, banana, yogurt, string cheese
piece of ham or turkey
carrots, snap peas, celery in dip
pretzels, chips
milk, chocolate milk
juice, water, iced tea

Snack Ideas:
crackers & peanut butter
Granola bar
Fruit/ cereal bar
rice cakes
string cheese (with piece of ham?)
crackers & cheese
graham crackers
toast with jelly or honey
GORP (raisins/ peanuts mix)
Goldfish crackers
Celery, carrots, snap peas & ranch dressing
Celery with peanut butter
Banana (with peanut butter?)
Apple  (with peanut butter?)
Apricots (dried?)
Ham & cheese
Hard-boiled eggs
Cottage cheese
Chips & salsa

I hope this list is a help to you, feel free to copy, paste and print it, (mine is even laminated!) and then post it in your own pantry! You can add or delete from it too. It may just give you and your kids some great ideas for snacks, breakfast or lunch, or get you out of a rut! You may not have all of these items in your home ALL the time, but you may, and it can be a delicious discovery!

John 21:11-13

11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.

Luke 12:28-30

28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Music Monday: I'm Alive

My son Caleb really enjoys the music of former Newsboys front man Peter Furler. His solo CD is often played in our home and on the radio. One of Caleb's favorite songs is "I'm Alive." We were listening to 
this song last week and I thought that the song fits well with my Thankful Thursdays. I hope you enjoy it too!

I'm Alive by Peter Furler

When I was locked inside my head
When I was lost in a maze of doubt
You called my name and woke me up
You called my name and let me out

And when I chased one more mirage
'til I was tired and parched again
You gave me one more cup to fill
And sent me one more desert rain

I'm alive
I'm on fire
And my spirit burns with desire
You set me alive
But I am with nowhere to hold it inside

I wanted to thank you
thank you, thank you

I was sure of all I knew
I knew the world was mine to claim
I had directions printed out
And then I hit a world of shame
Out there alone and left to die
Caught out from You, my sole supply
You shed your tears for me and then
You took my hand and raised me high

I'm alive
I'm on fire
And my spirit burns with desire
You set me alive
But I am with nowhere to hold it inside

You can listen to this song on YouTube here.

Isaiah 43:6-7

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth 
everyone who is called by my name, 
    whom I created for my glory, 
    whom I formed and made. 

Acts 2:2-4a

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit...

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

A few weeks ago, I found this salad on Pinterest. I went to look for it this week for my blog, to link to the recipe, and the page has been blocked for bad content! I did print the "recipe" for my own use, so I will copy it here. It was so good, we all really enjoyed it, and it was even good the next day!

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese (recipe)
Strawberries (I got two quarts, washed and sliced them all)
Goat cheese (we bought the crumbled kind, maybe 8 oz?)
Spinach-- organic pre-wahed in a bag-- We used about 1/2 the bag, till it looked good.
Showing the containers we used...

Candied almonds-- is what the original recipe used-- we just toasted some almonds on the stove.
We made our own Poppy Seed dressing, you can find that recipe here. (Yes, I had poppy seeds on hand, I bought them a while ago!

The original writer of this recipe said that she didn't measure anything, so I added my own adjustments/ measurements to this recipe. We just tossed the ingredients together in the bowl with the dressing. YUM!!

Numbers 17:8
The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.

Jeremiah 17:8
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Proverbs 11:28
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday #7

I was reading in my devotional book for this year, Praying with the Psalms, and read one this past week that related to my thankfulness posts! Here it is:

Psalm 92:1-4 (I posted this verse a few weeks ago here.)
"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High." Psalm 92:1

Thanks to God is not a grudging act of courtesy, but an exuberant explosion of delight. It is not the polite exchange of amenities, but the song burst of joy. Every day provides new opportunities and fresh forms in which to proclaim praise.

Prayer: Dear God, I will greet morning as a rising of the light of your love upon me; I kneel at evening and receive your benediction. In between I will use every tune I know to carry a song of praise to you."

There were several reasons that I chose to share the above devotion. I like the words which are so descriptive-- grudging, exuberant explosion, polite, amenities, song burst... But I also appreciate the truth found here-- each day does give new opportunities and ways to proclaim God's praise. I also enjoyed the prayer-- the idea of using every tune I know to sing praise to God.

In my quiet times, I have been writing down 1000 gifts since May. I reached my 500th gift to be thankful for this past week.
#500 was... (I'm thankful for) time to snuggle with my two girls while reading a book before naps on my bed. I really treasure the sweet time we share there, especially since I know it is fleeting!

God has truly blessed me, and I have been delighting finding little ways to be thankful each day. What gifts has God blessed you with today? Have you thanked Him?

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power 
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours. 
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all. 
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
    you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: lambs

(Well, almost wordless!)

Our neighbors got five sheep last week. This past weekend, we saw them up close near our fence. They were so cute! 

  My kids even fed them through the fence. We enjoyed seeing them cavorting through the pasture next door. It will be fun to watch them grow more!

Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thomas Edison lapbook

This is another lap book that my daughter and I made several years ago. We read this book, "Thomas A. Edison, Young Inventor" from the Childhood of Famous Americans series. We read the book with our "Beyond Five In A Row" curriculum. I wanted a lap book tie into what we were studying, so we used a freebie that we found here. When we used it, it was not as in depth as it is now. We used some graphics from wikipedia and enchanted learning from here and here.

This is the cover of the lap book:
-Includes two quotes which my daughter traced and copied, both from Thomas A. Edison himself.
"I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun."
"There is no substitute for hard work."
The inside of the lap book folder includes:
-parts of a light bulb
-Thomas Edison info page (printed at 1/4 size)
-Vocabulary words
-Inventions and inventors pocket (on bottom)
-Paper dolls, mini flip book
-My Autobiography printable (from Homeschool Share)
-Map of Canada (from Homeschool Share)
-Map of U.S. (from Homeschool Share)
-Tom's Chemicals (from Homeschool Share)
Showing the maps open

Back cover:
-Thomas Edison information page, I think it was from here, but I'm not sure...
-Diagram of an ear and its parts

This was a pretty simple lap book, but we enjoyed it. There is more information to use on Homeschool Share now. I hope you enjoyed seeing our work! Let me know if you have any questions!

Nehemiah 1:11
Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.

Job 12:11
Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?

Psalm 17:6
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday: "Forty"

I heard this song done by U2 years ago, and it has always been my favorite U2 song. I think we may have sung it in YoungLife too. I like that the lyrics are Biblical, and I like the message. I have been reading the Psalms this year and read Psalm 40 last month, and thought of this song.
"Forty" by U2
I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He lifted me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...
How sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?
How long to sing this song?
How long...

You can see/ hear this song on YouTube performed at Red Rocks here. It was a concert closing song for the band for a long time...

This U2 song literally was taken directly from the Bible. Just read Psalm 40 and you'll see:

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
and put their trust in him. 

I hope you enjoyed this song. Are there other U2 songs that you like? I'd love to hear about them!
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