our day at the zoo

April 1, 2010

We did things a little differently than we usually do…

Hope still fed the giraffes…because that’s the main reason we go to the zoo.

And it wouldn’t be a trip to the zoo without it. Then into the barn to see the new babies.

Just barely born and 6 feet tall…sweet deal.

The lions were out on their rock…so we said hello to them too.

But then we spent some time checking out the critters we usually don’t stop to see.

Like the ducks…Hope got the biggest kick out of watching them dive…

And the turkeys

The turkeys and ducks live with the the resident moose…Tahoma…

Not sure which of the tigers was out that day, but it’s always fun to see one of them moving around.

Hope was mostly curious if there were any ducks in the water over by the tigers…?

“No, not with the tigers darling.”

And then we went back to see the ducks some more…

I’m working on taking better pictures…bear with me…working is the key word…I haven’t the slightest clue what I’m doing most of the time…moving objects contained behind fences don’t help…

🙂

78 degrees…for about 10 minutes…it got me thinking about how lovely spring is…and about all the amazing creatures God has made…it’s so fun to see my daughter get excited about critters the way I did when I was her age still do.

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Tofu can wait

March 31, 2010

You know how I love getting stuff in the mail.

Especially when I know it’s coming…I rush to the mail box when I see the mail Jeep pull up.

Sometimes I’m an early bird and the package I’m waiting for hasn’t arrived.

Today, our mail carrier didn’t disappoint.

But, first…a glimpse into my heart over the last few months…and how it’s culminated in the last few days.

A few months back I began a series titled, “When the Church Forgot Eternity”…and then I stopped…I just wasn’t ready…it was sounding bitter…

That was not what I needed to communicate.

But the message remained…always resurfacing in my quiet times…in my heart…and on my mind as I seek to raise up little people in the ways of the Lord.

Some of the questions that played over and over…

Why do we have SO much and still seek out more?

Why do we live in relative oblivion to the needs around us…both near and far…?

Why do we, as Christians, justify luxury upon luxury for ourselves…especially when it’s opposite what Jesus calls us to?

Why do we forsake the Biblical principals that are so direct yet still assume that the grace promised to those who follow Jesus will be applicable to us when one day we stand before His throne?

Why do we allow a culture of bigger, better, more, more, more drag us in…to the point that we disobey the One who paid such a high price to ransom us from the world around us?

And from the why’s…from the why’s I turn inward…

What do I do?

How do I live in light of Paul exhorting the church then, and me today, to “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

How do I then live…in light of truth revealed?

What needs to go…from my life…my heart…my habits?

How do I pass this on to our little people as we go about our day to day?

Not out of misunderstanding that we’ll attain what He’s freely promised…but IN RESPONSE.

Swirling…all these questions…before the throne of God…in the discussions between my husband and I when the little people are in bed and the house is semi-picked up.

Then yesterday I went back…back to this blog…not to check for updated posts…but to get info to pass on to someone else…not knowing then how badly I needed this message reiterated.

And I started reading…because Katie has posted a few times since the last time I was introduced to her blog several months ago…and this post in particular got me.

It’s the message that’s been spoken to my heart over the last long while… it was there too.

An exhortation from a girl who has so evidently given up all and taken up her cross to follow her Savior.

It’s not going to look like that for me.

The Word is clear that I’m to love my husband, my children…be a worker at home (Titus 2:3-5)…but it doesn’t mean I’m exempt from obedience to everything else Jesus commanded.

I’m not.

Matthew 25:32-46 is just as applicable to me in my circumstances as it is to Katie…in Africa.

And then this…back to why I was again like a garfield cat…

🙂

…waiting for the mail to come…

An album, that as I type, is reiterating the eternal perspective that MUST be set aflame daily…a woman who lives in fellowship with her Lord…with her husband…a mother and shepherd of her children’s hearts…

And the album is good.

Exhorting.

Encouraging.

Inviting me to sit at His feet in spite of the laundry sitting at mine.

The message that’s being kindled as I listen is needed.

The heart of God through Adie.

But I don’t want to put words in her mouth…I want you to hear from her for yourself.

And that’s why I’m really looking forward to sharing her words with you soon.

Plus.

Her album.

One of you will get a copy to pop in your CD player…so you can listen and be encouraged for yourself.

Now you know why the meal from the other night is on the sidelines today.

Why our thrift store finds and trip to the zoo are in the green room.

Something else came up.

A bit nearer to my heart than the latest recipe or bargain…those things will be there for me to share tomorrow.

This. It couldn’t wait.

Stay tuned…for tofu, $10 coffee tables, how we enjoyed the heat wave that swept through Colorado for 10 minutes yesterday…and Adie…the message God’s put in her heart.

I’m sure she’ll be a blessing.

73…yes please!

March 30, 2010

The weather is lovely here today so we’re making the most of it and heading to the zoo…

Just in case the forecast is right and it snows on Friday…

And I thought New Mexico was finicky!

🙂

Happy Tuesday!!!

a weekend of drawings!

March 29, 2010

I had big plans to share about our exciting and oh so successful trip to Goodwill on Friday but this came in the mail:

We ordered a subscription of it several months ago from a guy who was going door to door.

And because both little people went down for a nap early I opted to curl up with a cup of tea, this magazine, and watch the snow…sounds serene doesn’t it?

It was…for about 10 minutes…

Such is life!

🙂

Alright…I was apparently more excited about the giveaway than I realized because, among other things this weekend, I did multiple drawings-from-a-hat…but more on that in a minute…

First…who do you think won???

C’mon…just guess…it’ll be fun!!!

I opted to pull from a hat this time because I’d seen another blogger save her first giveaway name slips in a jar and I liked the idea of that…so in a jar, on my desk, is where all of your names will be…a little reminder of my very first giveaway and to keep you in my prayers as you go about your day to day!!!

Hope sure had fun getting her picture taken to announce that TRISTA COSTANTINO*, my wonderful neighbor and friend, won a copy of “The Shopper’s Guide to Healthy Living”, those cute reusable produce bags, and 2 shopping totes!!!

But I did mention drawingS…yes, well, in the spirit of drawing outta a hat, I decided to use the pick-a-number-out-of-the-hat method to determine which tomato plants would stay.

Like I said last week, all the pressure and stress (drip, drip, drip) of which seedlings to pull was really getting to me. They are all doing so well.

This way it was fair and square.

Passing blame isn’t really my cup of tea but in this case, if it turns out that the winners don’t produce…well, now I can always pass the blame off on the drawing.

!!! 🙂 !!!

Here’s how it went down.

Three cherry tomato plants per bucket. Each set of three was given a number 1-3. Then on these oh so small pieces of paper I wrote out numbers 1-6…1 & 4 were a pair, 2 & 5 were a pair, 3 & 6 were a pair.

Then I dumped them all in a hat…no one draws out of hats these days so I decided to revive the tradition.

Thank you Miss America…

For.

This.

Hat.

🙂

The yellow pear winner went to seedling #1…out came 2 & 3.

And for the baxter tomatoes #2 was safe.

Let’s give the other four seedlings a round of applause…after all, they did show up every day and give it their best shot.

And although I wasn’t the slightest bit happy about disposing of the little losers, can I just tell you that the moment I did, my hands had that tomato vine smell on them and I forgot all about feeling sorry for them and remembered why I’m pluckin’ plants…so the seedlings that won the drawing can grow, grow, grow…produce, produce, produce!!!

So to the winners, Trista Costantino*, #1 yellow pear, and #2 baxter…CONGRATULATIONS!!!

In any other situation I would have needed the winners mailing address but since you’re next door Trista we’ll drop it by!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!!! It was so fun to read your comments and have you get excited about eating and living organically with me!!!

And for those of you who didn’t win but are interested in reading Kathy’s amazing book, head over to her website and pick up a copy. She’s even throwing in FREE SHIPPING!!!

Next up for the tomatoes…bigger pots. Next up for the blog…why we ate Tofu for dinner last night and my Goodwill deals…they were good this time!!!

Happy Monday!!!

*Winner was selected via a hat drawing by my very impartial 2 year old daughter. If you commented once your name was placed in the hat once. If you posted about the giveaway and commented your name was entered twice.

memorable moment & training tips

March 25, 2010

(Giveaway details here)

A memory is formed in an instant…

But with baby brain, even the sweetest memories are bound to be forgotten without proper documentation…

Hope, Seth, and I were headed downstairs this morning.

I was carrying three of these…

Two of these…

This (Hope insisted Seth wanted to take it with us)…


My phone.

Oh, and one of these…

As in my super smiley little mister

Hope was carrying this…


When she turned to me at the top of the stairs and asked me to carry these…

Because, as she put it, “Mama, you please carry these for me…my hands kinda too full”.

…smile and sigh…

“darling girl…of course I’ll carry them for you.”

—–  *  —–

Yesterday I mentioned that we’re in the business of planting seeds around here. Little veggies yes, but more importantly God’s Word in our little peoples hearts.

The mind of a child is incredible you know. The ability to recall and memorize is at its absolute best right now.

So we’re trying to make the most of it.

Trusting that God will produce as much or as little fruit in their lives from the seeds we’re planting as He wills, but also knowing we’re called to train them up.

There are three verses that have really shaped our approach to training up our little people:

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” ~Romans 10:17

and

“So will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” ~Isaiah 55:11

and

“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” ~Psalm 119:11

Alright…that’s the foundation.

From there a couple of conclusions were drawn:

1. Part of training is helping our little people hide the Word of God in their hearts. At no other time in their life will their mind be more of a sponge than now so we’re starting now…we’re not worried about them “getting it” all right now but we certainly want to plant that little seed now so it’s there for God to grow into a producing truth throughout their life when He sees fit.

Here’s a side note…when I was very small…4, maybe 5…my mom played these Kids Praise CDs in the car for us. One of the songs was Ephesians 4:32…to this day I can remember the tune and “lyrics” of that song…couldn’t tell you much of anything I learned in high school or college but I can remember that song. And, more importantly, it being planted there has allowed the Lord to bring it to my recollection numerous times throughout my life at just.the.right.moment.

2. Faith comes by hearing. I’m not sure about this. I’ll be the first to state that it’s just one of my many theories…but I can’t help but wonder if  many a Christian parent takes for granted that their first mission field is to their children?

Bible studies are great.

Ministering in your church is great.

Participating in world wide missions are great.

But first and foremost, our children need us to shepherd and minister to them because until they profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, begin walking in surrender to His will, they are in need of hearing the Gospel again and again and again.

3. And this is where I sigh the biggest sigh…God is responsible for the fruit. Thank you Lord it’s not my responsibility to make something happen! But…that is no excuse to not participate, to plant, and to tend.

There…I will now put my soap box back in the corner and get on with it.

🙂

Here are the resources we’re using around here to provide planting opportunities…they’re all a means to an end…the end being constant planting of Scripture in little people hearts…trusting in the God of the Word to take it from there.

1. Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart Bible verse CDs and DVDs, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

-Brace yourself for a trip back to the early 90s! Contemporary Christian artist Steve Green and a slew of little people sing Bible verses as they sport their neon attire! I love both of these sets because the CDs are great for the car while the DVDs make for a great mid-morning video. The kids play and act out a skit according to the theme of the verse. Bottom line, what Hope is hearing and retaining is Scripture. Plus the skits provide conversation starters while we’re watching!

2. Playtime Devotions

– I sent this to a friend…rightfully so she thought the devos were a little cheesy…I think they’re a little cheesy…and I’m cheesy! But again…a means to an end. We do a handful of these together as a family before Alex leaves to go to work each morning. And because Hope is able to speak pretty well, Alex will say a part of the verse, let her repeat it, say the rest of the verse, let her repeat, and then give the address…which she repeats. Want to know something? She’ll ask for specific devos according to the Bible verse. Seeds are being planted.

3. Jesus Wants All of Me Prayer Edition

Oswald Chambers. Did you know he came to know the Lord under the teaching of Charles Spurgeon? Yep. Sound stuff. And this little book is the daily devos from Chambers daily devo, My Utmost for His Highest, written in the language of little people. However, cue the broken record…it’s a means to an end…Hope listens and repeats the verse and prayer that’s included with each devo.

4. My Utmost for His Highest, Jesus Wants All of Me

This one is on my list of books to check out…the only difference between this book and the one listed above is that it doesn’t include the prayer at the end…and I’ll be honest, it’s a blessing to be able to lead Hope in prayer every day with the simple format that’s given in the other book. That said, I’d still like to check this one out.

5. Songs for Saplings

– I have purchased a great many ABC Bible verse CDs and this is my favorite…for one reason: it includes the verse address in the song. I like that…helps me to remember them better that way.

6. Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers

– These books were sent to us by our good friends the Stimson’s just before the little mister arrived. They’re theologically sound and provide a great opportunity to discuss a few of the bigger topics in the Bible.

7. My ABC Bible Verses

– Nearly the last time with the broken record…each verse starts with the corresponding letter in the alphabet and includes a story to illustrate the verse. This book provides an opportunity for discussion and more importantly an opportunity to read/recite the corresponding Bible verse.

Hope is currently stuck on E…”Even a child is known by his deeds” ~Proverbs 20:11…good verse.

8. And finally, Bible verses throughout our home that we can read and repeat as we see them throughout the day.

It’s just about planting. As I was gathering the links to these resources I came across this quote:

“To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.” John Owen

Well said. A good reminder that though we’re called to participate and train, it is only by the power of God in us that will enable us to do so day in and day out.

*Any resources you’re using? I’m always looking for ways to expose our little people to the truth of God’s Word…so if you have any on your bookshelf or in your CD player that you just love, please share!

Reader question

March 25, 2010

My friend Seana sent this email yesterday. First, I am SO excited that little Preslie is growing her own tomatoes. Preslie lives with her Mama and Daddy in Texas…so nice that she and Hope are still connected even though there are too many miles between us. Second, so proud of her Mama and Daddy for investing in a little project that will likely leave Preslie more inclined to eat her veggies!!!

Here’s Seana’s email:

So you inspired me with all of your indoor planting, and when Kev and I were at Lowe’s we saw all these adorable Sesame Street indoor green houses for kiddos; Preslie picked out the Elmo cherry tomato’s and we got them planted up. 5 days later they are growing like crazy and I thought “Wait a minute…what the heck do I do with these things once they start sprouting?!” They are in tiny little pots…like the size of shot glasses…actually a little smaller even. We have 6 little pots with about 5 seeds in each and boy are they doing good! Any advice that you have would be helpful 🙂 Do I need some kind of stick for them to climb?? When do I plant them into something bigger??? And I totally understand the excitement about seeing your seeds sprout. From the morning to the evening they grow so much! It is quite amazing. This is my first attempt at growing anything edible as well..can you tell? Although I was more fly by the seat of my pants and didn’t do much research.

Perfect time to be asking these questions! I consulted my container gardening book and here’s what I found out:

1. Now is the time to move them into a larger pot. And after planting mine in rather small temporary pots my advice is to skip right to the planter you intend to keep them in. The full-grown plants will need a minimum soil dept of 12 inches and will likely grow to a height of 2-5 feet so select a pot that will accommodate this depth as well as a width of about 1 1/2 to 2 feet across.

2. If the weather is warm enough and you think you’re past your last frost, which you might be if you’re in Texas like Seana is, go ahead and move your planter out into the sunniest part of your yard or patio. Tomatoes need loads of sunlight and water to match but be careful not to drown them. Imagine a big gulp of water that would leave you feeling satisfied but not so full you think you’re tummy would burst.

If the weather is not warm enough through the night (above 55 degrees) but you’re seeing some warm temperatures throughout the day, you can place your planter on a caddy like this one that would allow you to move it back and forth until the temperature is consistently warm through the evening. Initially, you can also cut the bottom out of a milk jug to cover your plants in the evening…think of it as a green electric blanket for the little darlings!

The other option is finding a nice decorative planter that goes with your decor and growing them in the sunniest spot in your home. The caddy would still be nice with this option because you can move it to clean underneath and would allow you to move it outside should you want to later on.

3. The plants will need to be staked. Because tomatoes are a vine, if planted directly in the ground they would just creep along and take up loads of space. But for the sake of space and because yours will be grown in a planter,  give them a stake and they will grow up. You can use anything from a piece of lumber lying around to a substantial tree trimming to the fancier versions that can be purchased at a home goods store. Another place to check would be your local Craigslist…you never know what someone might be giving away from a home remodel that might do the trick. And strips of pantyhose are an inexpensive solution to tying the vine to the stake as it climbs.

4. When you begin your transplant, make sure to leave the soil as intact as possible when removing them from the containers they’re currently in. A little ruffling of the soil at the bottom and your pods can go directly into the soil. The book recommends planting your stem deep in the soil to promote good root growth.

5. As your plants go from seedling to first true leaves, which look like these, it’s now time to select the front-runner. You’ll just leave one little plant per container…and if you’re anything like me this will be the worst part…oh the anxiety!!! The rest you can either pot in small planters to give away or discard.

6. A little local home and garden store here, High Country Home & Garden, sells an all-natural, organic plant food for veggies. A similar product will likely be available at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.  By feeding your plant once a week you’ll give it an extra boost.

7. Harvest time!!! Depending on the tomato variety you purchased, your plant will reach maturity between 55-75 days…day one being the day you transplanted, not the day you started your seeds. The smaller the variety you selected, the sooner you’ll see ripe tomatoes.

Way to go Seana for embarking on the world of edible container gardening!!! It’s such a fun mommy/kiddo project that allows you to teach your little people so many lovely lessons…not to mention the fun of seeing things grow!

*If anyone else has tips for myself or Seana please let me know…my very novice gardening brain is always looking for more info! Questions about your gardening attempt, feel free to send ’em my way and I’d be happy to consult my little gardening manual. OR, if you’re gardening venture is starting up please send pics!!! I’d love to see how you’re growing your garden and memories with your own little people!!!

**Also, there’s still time to enter My Messy Life’s first giveaway. Container gardening is just one way to get all-natural, yucky pesticide free produce in your home. For a slew of other ideas, Kathy Loidolt’s “The Shopper’s Guide to Healthy Living” is a go-to resource. Click here to read my interview with Kathy and comment at the bottom of the post for an opportunity to win. Deadline is tomorrow at 10 PM MST…good luck and happy greenin’!!!

A Sprig of Parsley

March 24, 2010

It’s such a sweet book. I mentioned it a few posts back. It’s one of Hope’s favorites…and I’m so glad because the story is a great reminder to any reader, young or old.

“The rose was $5.95. The daisy was $2.50. Isabella didn’t have enough money to buy Grammy’s birthday present. Mr. Sid, the owner of Sid’s Garden Shop, saw Isabella’s sad face so he handed her the last puny plant from the sale table.

‘It’s only parsley, don’t know if it’ll grow.’

Isabella smiled and replied, ‘Thank you Mr. Sid. God can make it grow’. And she skipped home hugging her puny parsley plant.”

Reason #1 why parsley is a part of my indoor gardening experiment.

And speaking of parsley…look at this… do you see that little plant down in the right hand corner…

A closer look might be helpful.

Do you see it?!!?

Parsley…little, tiny, mini, parsley leaves!!! Right now they’re not much bigger than a pinto bean.

SO excited to see the seeds actually become what they’re intended to become.

This little parsley plant has become one of many analogies that’s come about since starting this project…they’re becoming what they were intended to become because the One making grow knows how to, well, make them grow…

A former employer once told me that we’re not called to determine results, we’re just called to participate. God is responsible for the results.

So I’m participating…by watering the plants in this case…

We’re also participating in the shaping of  our little peoples lives by teaching Hope Bible verses and speaking them into Seth’s life…trusting that as God grows them up, He will be faithful to fulfill what He has planned for them…just like He’s enabling the little parsley seeds to become parsley plants.

I enjoy watering them and waiting expectantly…but it’s certainly not my novice gardening self that’s makin’ them grow.

🙂

I love analogies and I love that life is sprinkled with them so if we’re willing to be continual students, God is always there, ready to teach us something.

Back to the plants…as you might be able to see, there are 3 cherry tomato plants per bucket that are doing well.

The instructions told me that once the seedlings go from sprouts to first true leaves then I am supposed to leave only the strongest seedling.

I’m in a bit of a pickle though.

I haven’t the slightest clue which one is the strongest.

They’re all nearly the same size.

They all look good n’ green.

However, I am sure of one thing..

Those skewers will never be swathed in vines…I suppose I was expecting mini plants…

As it turns out the plants didn’t get that memo and appear to be ready to overtake the skewer any day now.

Good for them.

I’m rather glad about it actually.

I’m considering it a good thing…as in, they may actually do what they’re supposed to do.

Though it would have been awfully darling to see the tiny skewers sporting a little tomato bling!

Well, either way I’m needing to do a bit more research about this so at the very least I can let go of my concern that I’ll throw Rudy the underdog, who would’ve been a mass cherry tomato producin’ plant, in the trash.

Back to my gardening manual…


*Also…don’t forget to get your name in the hat for the inaugural giveaway of My Messy Life by commenting over here!

The deadline is this Friday at 10 PM MST  and the winner will be announced Monday morning!

Just leave a comment after the post and you’ll be entered to win…plus if you have any green tips I’d love to hear ’em.

Q&A (and a giveaway!!!): Kathy Loidolt, author of “Shopper’s Guide to Healthy Living”

March 23, 2010

What do you know…my camera battery was deader than a doornail this afternoon when I sat down to the snap a few pictures of the giveaway items…created a minor delay…can’t do a giveaway without proper pictures of the loot!!!

But first, I am SO excited about being able to share with you a little bit of the insight that Kathy, author of “Shopper’s Guide to Healthy Living”, passed on to me. As far as I’m concerned she’s an expert in the field of greenin’ up your home and eating organically in a simple and cost effective way. I have learned SO much from her book…she did a tremendous job consolidating all the information available on this topic into one easy read that will fit perfectly in your back-pack, purse, or diaper bag.

Although I’d like to say we leisurely sat down over a cup of coffee and while she talked, I played the role of a sponge it’s just not true. She did offer to get together, but with little people and nap schedules, add on top a good dose of baby brain, we went about this the new-fashioned way…email.

Without further rambling…here are the questions I had for Kathy and the wealth of knowledge she sent back:

1. What began your interest in green, all-natural, organic living?

Ten years ago my brother-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer.  My sister called me and told me that what he was eating was killing him. At the time we were complete junk food junkies.  I filled the pantry with foods my kids craved, not foods they needed.  We ate at fast food restaurants several days a week, ate candy and cookies on a regular basis and just enjoyed the typical SAD (Standard American Diet).

We changed our diet to the foods God made, the way He made them and were so surprised by how great we felt and how much it changed our moods that I made it my job for the next ten years to research what we needed to be eating, cleaning with, and using on our bodies.

2. What were some of the initial changes you made in your home? Did you notice a difference right away?

Initially we stopped eating fast food and changed easy things like starting to buy free range eggs and olive oil instead of regular eggs and vegetable oil.  We stopped buying national brand crackers and cookies and cut soda out of our diets.  We added green vegetables and real food from the ground.
At first we noticed that we were tired for a few days and our stomachs hurt, but within a few weeks we had more energy than we had ever had in our lives and noticed that the kids (and the parents) weren’t as whiny or moody.
At one point I told my son that I noticed he and his siblings were easier to get along with now that we ate well.  My son told me I was easier to get along with as well!

3. In your book you refer to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Can you tell me a little bit about this Act and why it was abolished?

The Pure Food and Drug Act was established to ensure that only pure food was sold as food.  It made it illegal to bleach flour or put chemicals into our food.  Boy do I miss that Act!  I believe the Act was abolished so the food manufacturers could make more money.

In 1935 food manufacturers lobbied Congress and convinced them to abolish the Pure Food Act and establish the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) whose main job was to monitor drugs and make-up. It was now legal to sell chemicals as food. This policy has been in place so long that the average American thinks that if something is edible and tastes good, it must be food.  Our bodies were made to eat real food, just as God told Noah in Genesis, “All that lives and moves will be food for you.”
Chemicals never lived or moved and were not meant to be put into our bodies.  If it won’t break down on the pantry shelf, it will be hard for your body to break it down and use it.

4. There are a handful of good books regarding green living. What led you to the concept of phases that you’ve broken your book down into?

I have read hundreds of book on eating healthy and noticed two things:
1.  No matter what problem you are trying to solve, all the homeopathic and health books suggest eating the same things.
2.  The books I read took too long to read and the diets were too complicated to follow, even for someone as passionate as I am.
From personal experience and many interviews, I found that the most successful families had phased into a healthy lifestyle.  It is far too overwhelming to try to do change your life all at once and sets us up for failure.  If we want to be successful, we need to find a system that works.  As you get used to the first phase and find yourself feeling better, you will be motivated to do more and will easily move to the next phase.
Success breeds success.

5. When you began writing your book and making these changes in your family, was it overwhelming?

Because we phased into this lifestyle, we were not overwhelmed, but very motivated to do the next thing that could get us even healthier.

6. Did you see an increase in your shopping expenses?

I was surprised when I went back and checked our healthy grocery budget to our SAD grocery budget. We were only spending 10% more than we used to spend.  Buying processed and packaged foods is expensive.  Even though we spend 10% than we used to, we spend much less on doctor’s bills, have more energy, and feel better than ever.

7. What would you say to someone who is so used to buying off the shelf and not reading labels? Is it really that important that people modify their diets?

YES! YES! YES!  If you would like to live a long life filled with energy, it is critical that you take a look at what you are putting into your body.
Our health does not happen by accident.  The SAD diet will leave you tired and crabby at the end of the day.  Eating as God suggested will leave you with energy for the day and health to enjoy for life!

8. What are some of the long-term causes of not paying attention to what is being consumed? If it’s just a little here and a little there is it really THAT bad?

It seems as though it is just a little here and just a little there, and that is how our government has approved all these chemicals in our food supply, but  if you take a look at your diet and lifestyle, you will see that everything you put into your mouth and on your body has poison in it.  The “just a little here and there” has become an overload on our systems.
Our organs were made to filter our poison, but we have reached the saturation point and are starting to feel it through tiredness, diabetes, cancers, low thyroid, high blood pressure, depression, etc.

9. What is your advice to someone who says that living and eating organic is out of their budget?

I would ask them which is more of a hit to their budget: eating healthy or spending money on prescription drugs and perhaps cancer?

Before the current economic situation, the biggest reason for bankruptcy in America was a catastrophic health issue.  Investment experts will tell you that the most important thing to invest in right now is your health.  You can’t afford not to spend the money on yourself and your family!

Isn’t she so practical and helpful! Thank you again Kathy for taking the time to share just a tablespoon of your knowledge and encouragement!!!

And now that you’re chompin’ at the bit to learn more from Kathy, here are the details for the giveaway!!!

One reader will win a copy of “The Shoppers Guide to Healthy Living”, a few reusable grocery totes, plus a packet of these oh so wonderful reusable produce bags!!!

We’ve had reusable shopping totes in our cars for a few years but I just came across these…aren’t they spiffy!!!???

They make so much sense.

Do you have any clue how many plastic produce bags I have atop my dryer in a bin? Many.

That being said…the winner will be drawn on Friday March 25th and announced Monday March 28th…one comment equals one entry…post a link on your blog, mention it on twitter, send your grandma a letter and that equals another entry…just make sure to leave all this info in the comments section.

All entries must be submitted by 10 PM MST Friday night.

Oh, and one more thing…here’s all I ask…I’m so excited about these produce bags I had no clue about which got me to wondering what other responsible & practical options are out there that I might be oblivious to. So when you comment, tell me what you and yours have done to go green, are thinking about doing, etc.

It’s about being responsible…so fill me in!!!

I’m so darn excited I can hardly stand it!!!

If you’re too eager to get your hands on Kathy’s book to wait for the giveaway you can check out her website here.

a mention, a recipe, and a date recovered

March 22, 2010

Ever since bringing home my fireplace mantel it’s been the story I’ve loved telling…Pottery Barn…gave.it.to.me.

Unheard of…

So when one of my favorite bloggers, Layla at The Lettered Cottage began running a feature on mantels I thought I’d send her the story and a picture…I mean not only was it free but it had just recently been given a little bit more glam.

Imagine my giddy self when she wrote back joining in on my happy dance over the freebie that really made our dining room.

Are you picturing it?

In all it’s glorified dorkiness?

If you’re having trouble let me add a minor detail. I have no moves…zip, nadda, nothing.

You get the picture…dorky.

Now imagine my happy dance on fast forward when I headed over to The Lettered Cottage on Friday and low and behold…there was my story and mantel included in her mantel mania post…for everyone to do a happy dance with me over!!!

Elated.

Made.my.day.

She’s done that twice now.

Made my day.

This was the second time.

The first time was when she posted about this amazing table face-lift (which you can see here and here) that brought a nearly 4 year beg fest to an abrupt end.

All it took was seeing pictures of Layla’s amazing table to convince the hubby that painting my dining room table would up it’s visual anti.

So double thanks Layla!!!

Saturday was fairly routine…naps, meals, picking up messes…however Sunday brought a little bit more fun to the weekend’s end.

After church I headed to the grocery store for well, groceries. And Sunday being soup day I decided that I would attempt to recreate Hope’s favorite Annie’s soup…the Barley and Veg one.

No pictures during because I really didn’t know what I was doing…but let me tell ya…it is good.

Plus it’s infinitely cheaper than buying one can as we’ll be getting three meals out of it plus some left over to freeze. Deal.

So here’s my Barley N’ Stars recipe plus a picture of the finished product…

Ingredients:

1 cup pearled barley

1 cup star pasta (this was my addition to make it fun for Hope)

2 yellow squash

4 Roma tomatoes

1 can of peas (I know…and this may gross you out, it did me too at first…but I actually wanted the olive green color so they’d match the peas in Annie’s version)

½ onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced

20-30 baby carrots sliced into carrot coins

Garlic salt…no wonder Hope wants garlic in everything

Onion powder

1 Tblspoon dried chives

1 Tablespoon parsley

1 Tablespoon of this chicken seasoning I buy from Sunflower Market

1 box of low-sodium chicken broth

5-6 cups of water…the pasta will eventually soak so much of it up so you’ll just need to keep an eye on it and season more or less depending on how much broth you’d like

*You could also add a few chicken breasts to this…diced.

Directions:

1. Chop it all up.

2. Throw it in the seasoned and boiling broth/water; let boil on high, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

3. Turn heat down, cover and let simmer for at least another 30 minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy!!!

OH! By the way…I forgot to include one small bag of frozen green beans to the Hamburger Soup recipe. SORRY! Just throw them right in the pot and let em cook with all the other veggies!

Now on to Sunday night…for several months we had been planning on attending the David Crowder, Mercy Me…Jesus loving musical extravaganza down at the World Arena. Months.

As in we actually arranged in advance for my sister to come over and stay with the little people so we could go on a date…

Sweet, precious Seth had other thoughts…actually his tooth had other thoughts.

Any other night the little mister would be out cold right after his last feeding but last night that darn little tooth was causing him grief. Poor little guy!!!

Didn’t make it out the door until 7:30 (the show started at 6) and with a 25 minute drive ahead of us we scooted in the door as the stage was being set up for Mercy Me.

That’s when the call came…this never happens…he’s usually too preoccupied with smiling, screeching like a dinosaur, or sleeping…he was wailing.

So we loaded up and headed home. En route we determined a date at home could be just as fun…so after a quick stop at our local big box store we picked up some of this…I’m not even going to attempt to describe this to you…just go buy some and you can thank me later!

And this…because it’s Alex’s absolute favorite…

This game…$1.97

This game…$3.67

And a few Starbucks’ fraps…because with the ice cream and all we didn’t feel like we were quite maxing out our sugar intake…and apparently we really wanted to.

Once the little guy was in bed we settled into ours with our goodies, as Hope would call them, fired up old Office episodes from last season that we had missed, and played a hand of Go Fish then two rounds of Toss Up!

Go Fish is Go Fish and it’s always a good one…but we had no idea how grand this little 10 dice game Toss Up! would be. Money well spent.

So even though the evening started out a little differently that we’d hoped it ended with laughs, amazing ice cream, and quality time. That’s what a date is all about anyway isn’t it?

On another note, with all this excitement over The Lettered Cottage, soup, and games I’m apologizing that I didn’t get Kathy’s interview up today…tomorrow…I give my word…plus…dare I say it…a give away!!! I know…I wish I could enter…

deeper things: the heart of Jesus

March 22, 2010

This song is such a reminder to me of the deep love that was shown through Jesus…impartial…knowing no societal bounds…I am so thankful this Monday morning to know that this is who sits at the right hand of God.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” ~Philippians 2:5-8