Mary asked for a list of my favorites. I can't tell my McSista no, so I'll answer over here:
Favorite/most helpful parenting book: sleep/naps, toddlers, babies, discipline, whatever.
I really enjoy reading parenting books. I check out a new one almost every time I go to the library. But my favorite is still Children the Challenge. It was presented at a Homemaking meeting back when Hannah was a baby, and I went out and bought it that week. I consult it regularly.
In my library wanderings I recently found the Love and Logic parenting books. They are great! Very practical and real and similar to my fav. Nathan and I have laughed along with their CD's and have made some real changes in our home. I haven't read the one geared toward toddlers yet, Mary, but I am hoping to find it this afternoon.
Best place to get toddler shoes that are affordable but sturdy.
I prefer to buy cheaper shoes, because I have found that they all wear out and get ugly, and I don't want to feel guilty about buying a few pairs. The girls always have so many shoes that they don't really wear out and have been passed down and well worn. Salt-water sandals have held up the best of any, though they are not cheap if you don't have a Fred Meyer around.
John is very picky about his shoes, so he only has 2 pairs, and he won't wear one of them. We decided to check out Payless this fall and found cute shoes for everyone there. (But I did have to wrench the pair of flashing "Cars" shoes out of John's hand so we could leave the store with him crying all the way to the car.) They are holding up just fine.
I also like using the Sears Kidvantage program for returning worn out shoes for a new pair of the same size. This has worked well for Sydney, who is very hard on her tennis shoes.
Favorite shoes you wear (besides tennis shoes).
I have a pair of brown leather sandals that I love. They have about a 2 inch wedge so I feel very tall in them. They look good with a skirt or with jeans. They are comfortable and cute and they hide my weird little toe.
Favorite book you've read lately.
I recently read Persuasion by Jane Austen for our ward book club, which I am hosting this month (I hope someone comes). Oh, the letter! It has made me think about commitment and honor during courtship and how times have changed. More about that another time. I also enjoyed reading about Afganistan in Sewing Circles of Herat. Eye opening.
Favorite dinner recipe.
Cheezy Potato Soup. We had it last night. Delish.
6 potatoes pealed and diced
1 carrot cut into coins
1 celery stalk, diced
chicken broth (or bullion)
heavy whipping cream
cheese (I use American, but cheddar is good, too)
Boil veggies in broth for about a half hour or until the potatoes start to mush. Pour in a bit of cream, and add in some cheese slices, stirring until melted. Serve with crusty sourdough bread. Yum.
Favorite movie you've seen lately.
We cancelled our movie membership a couple weeks ago, so I feel like I haven't seen anything lately. But I have been going to bed earlier, so that is good. We had a family movie night/slumber party on Friday and watched Ever After. That is a cute one.
Favorite LOST character.