Monday, July 30, 2007

Green Monday...

"Most grass species are best kept at least 2 1/2 inches tall. The length creates more surface area to absorb sunlight, which creates thicker turf and deeper roots, which means you won't need to water as often. Save money by letting grass clippings remain on your lawn; it adds nitrogen to the soil and discourages weed seeds from germinating. You'll need less fertilizer and herbicide. Leaving clippings on lawns means less in landfills; in 2005 Americans disposed of more than 12 million tons of yard waste." (Better Homes and Gardens magazine)

.......my husband will be happy to hear this......


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some California fun

~We have been having fun with our families and friends during our visit to Ca. The kids have been spending a ton of time with cousins, (I don't have the pictures uploaded yet, but will post later) and we were able to spend some days with some of our good friends. We headed to San Fransisco, and spent the day at the beach. Blue went straight into the (cold) ocean, chased seagulls, and dug deep holes to burry his friend. Aiden perferred to play in the "big sandbox" with trucks, and pails. Cooper chilled on the blanket with his new baby friend, and Brody and I caught up with our friends, ate some picnic food, and got a little sunburnt. Here are some pictures of our kids, enjoying a day at the beach.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Cabbage= a Super food

~Cabbage has been said in the past to have healing properties and be a stress buster, while today it is also claimed to have cancer prevention (cancers of the lung, colon, breast and uterus) added to it's list. If cabbage is eaten raw, it can have a mild protection against radiation as well.

Ways to eat Cabbage:

~Added to soups, (one of my favorites)
~Chinese chicken salad... (also one of my favorites)
~cooked lightly with butter and a little nutmeg
~or cooked lightly with oil and lemon juice.

~Eat with Broccoli and Cauliflower for added cancer prevention!

*my boys won't eat cabbage, they don't like it, unless it's sneaked in a soup. They can even pick shreds of it out of salads. Any creative ideas to make cabbage more appealing to kids? What is your favorite way to eat cabbage?


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summer Pasta with Tomatoes Basil and Cheese

~ This is perfect with fresh basil and summer tomatoes... so yummy!

2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup alfredo sauce
12 ounces spaghetti
1 cup parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and black pepper, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, and alfredo.
Cook the pasta In a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but firm to the bite.
Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss tomato mixture with the pasta to coat. Add cheese, and toss until it begins to melt.
(*can use more alfredo or less, based on taste.)


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday Quote

~"Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun."

— George Scialabba

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Get some house plants...

..... to help clean the air of your home. "Indoor plants can dramatically improve air quality. All plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, but some actually remove chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. The most effective air cleaners are Chinese evergreen, Peace lily, arrowhead vine, English ivy, and cornplant...Aim for roughly 15 plants for every 1500 square feet in your house."

~(That seems like a lot of indoor plants doesn't it? Right now, I have two indoor plants, and they are basil and bamboo, I don't think they are doing much good for the air quality of my home. I think I'll have to get more, thankfully I am falling in love with plants anyways. In my opinion, English ivy is most decorative and pretty, but if you want an exotic look the chinese evergreen are cool looking.)

(update on vacation.... we made it out here to CA, and it's cool and slightly rainy. We've been here for less than 24 hours and seen a whole bunch of people, the boys are having a blast!)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Going on Vacation...

~We are going on vacation for 2 weeks, so I will be away from my computer most of the time. I have a few posts saved to go along with my schedule, so if I get a chance to quickly post them I will! In the mean time, you'll notice that on the right, I have posted a "schedule" to my blogging. Each of those topics listed are links that will take you to a page with the posts I have done related to those topics. (you can also finish out reading the 40 day fast pages, by clicking on the links in my sidebar.) I have also grouped my links to other blogs into categories, so you can check out all of those!
For now I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures that my husband has taken.

Gerber Cereal Recall!

(I have some of this cereal for my baby, glad I saw this, and am passing it along to you!)

Gerber baby food recalled

MONDAY, July 16 (BabyCenter News) — Baby food maker Gerber is recalling all packages of its organic rice and organic oatmeal cereals. The cereal may contain lumps that don't dissolve in water or milk, posing a potential choking hazard to young children. The company has received choking complaints, but no reports of injury.

Gerber organic rice and organic oatmeal cereals are sold in 8-ounce boxes. The UPC code for the rice cereal is 15000 12504, and the code for the oatmeal is 15000 12502. These numbers can be found on the bottom right side of the box.

If you have one of these products, call the Gerber Parents Resources Center at (800) 443-7237 or (231) 928-3000 to return it and get a full refund.

You can see a photo of the oatmeal cereal on the FDA's website.

-- Jenny Des Jarlais, BabyCenter News

Conversion and Growth

~"Only Jesus could turn such a self proclaimed enemy of the gospel into one of the greatest lovers of the gospel who ever lived. If He could change Saul and mark eternity with his life, God can change us.
Let's continue to offer Him a teachable heart..."

Paul used the words "grace," and "joy," more than any other in the bible. He also went through some of the most difficult and dire circumstances. That is a strange paradox. It seems even against human nature. I don't think we are naturally joyful when dealing with difficulties, nor do I think we are naturally gracious when dealing with people. It's beautiful to see, what Christ can do in a life who is completely transformed. He went from being Saul the persecutor of Christians, to Paul the Christian missionary, who offered people hope and eternity.

"Having searched the life of Saul, how can we ever doubt that Christ can save? Is any too wicked? Any too murderous? Grace never draws a line with a willing soul. His arm is never too short to save."

(Quotes are from Beth Moore, "To Live is Christ" bible study)


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Prayers for your kids

~First of all, let me say that this section of my blog regarding parenting- intimidates me-, even though it's possibly the topic I care most about. I feel so inadequately equipped at being a mom, and it's the thing I want to be best at. If I fail at everything else, but my kids know that I love them and God loves them, I will feel I succeeded. I don't feel like I have a bunch of tips and advice to give, because I am usually the one asking for help and advice. My constant prayer is that "through my weaknesses, he'll be strongest," in my parenting and now in this section of the blog as well. As always, you are completely welcome to comment, and share things that you know and have learned. I respect your opinion, and advice is heeded. This section will reflect things I have read, learned from other parents, or be questions to you.

I'll start out by using this quote that I heard in a mother's bible study:

"You are on assignment from God to pray for your children. You may be the only person on the face of the earth who is! And if you aren't, then probobally no one else is!" ~ Elizabeth George

I picked up this book in a pocket size version, and it is full of paragraph long prayers for parents to pray for their kids. It's a helpful guide, and easy to take along somewhere.

~What kinds of things do you pray for your kids?

Labels: ,

July 21st blogger

is ...Amy' talking about the topic of children and women forced into the sex trade.

"This is the form modern slavery takes. Torture. Abuse. The breaking of a human life. The shattering of a spirit.

The US Department of State is fighting human trafficking. But it's going to take much more than that. It's going to take each of us working together to rescue and restore the victims. It's going to take each of us working together to prevent more women and children from being harmed in this way. The governments of this world can make the laws, but we must be the ones to live with compassion and integrity and bring healing."

Friday, July 20, 2007

To buy organic or not to buy organic?

.... that is the question rolling around in a lot of people's minds.... Is it a fad? Is it that much better for you? etc etc....?

Here are some things I found:

Going organic means~
~ Avoiding artificial additives that find their way into foods.
~ Avoiding agrochemical residues on foods.
~ Organic grown crops are higher in nutrient content. (higher content of vitamin A and C) due to the way the organic farmer nourishes the soil, before and after crops are planted and harvested.
~ Non organic produce has a much higher water content, and therefore contains less of the essential vitamins and minerals.
~ Organic foods have rich tastes and textures
~ You can decide to choose organic food for taste, safety, or for the environment, and choose even just a couple of things to buy organically, and it will be better for your health, and especially the health of your growing children.

Best things to start buying organic are:
~root vegetables, like carrots,
~salad greens, lettuce
~organic formula milk.

~What do you think about organic food, what have you found about it? What do you buy organic?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 20th blogger...

... is my husband Brody who is talking about Compassion International.

"There are few better moments in a parent’s life than when they see their son smile, or hear their daughter laugh. It’s infectious. Try it. The next time you are around a baby, and it gives you that squinted-eye, no-tooth grin try not to smile back. The next time you hear a little girl on the playground laughing and screaming as she goes down the slide, try not to smile with her. That moment is the moment when everything around us shrinks. When the world slows for only a second. When war, hunger, death, sadness, and pain, are all reduced to something we barely notice.

Reduced to something that’s about half an inch…"

"Everything but your momma"

If you are looking for Vegan baking mixes through mail order, or a cool little bakery with a bike through window in Portland Oregon, go check out Black Sheep Bakery and pick up some

"Everything but your momma cookies"

Describing this cookie is best done with a list:

Soft and sweet cookie dough
Hearty rolled oats
Luscious shredded coconut
Crunchy slivered almonds
Plump and chewy raisins
Warm cinnamon
Smooth chocolate chips

What do you give the cookie that has it all? Well, a little light oil, pure maple syrup, applesauce and a 350 degree oven.

~This looks yummy... I'm not vegan, but it still looks good, and I'd go there if I lived in the area, just to bike through!

40 day fast

for July 18th was Lorijo speaking about Bridge of Hope ministry.

and Today's blogger is euphrony speaking about Blood Water Mission and Northwest Assistance ministries.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July 17, 40 day blogger

is... Shawn wIth a W. With some great ideas for serving locally.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More on Green Cleaning

I am reading this book about green cleaning. I highly recommend it. It gives many reasons as to why you should use green cleaners, and what chemicals are in many cleaners, and the risks they pose. It offers many tips, and choices for cleaning, recipes for cleaners, along with storage and disposal tips.

Because I am reading this book, I will be posting tid-bits from it on my "Monday's= Green topics" day. Pick it up, and read along with me, and we can discuss here!

~Today's tid-bit is on the topic of chemicals...."More than 85.000 synthetic chemicals are in use today, and another 500 are added to the mix each year....The human body can handle small amounts of poisons, but it begins to malfunction when burdened with toxic overload. Many chemicals are stored in body fat, while others migrate to vital organs, to the sheaths surrounding the nerves, or to muscles, the brain or spinal cord. Surely it's not coincidental that the increased use of manufactured chemicals coincides with a number of alarming health trends. For instance, breast cancer rates are 30 times higher in the U.S. than in less industrialized parts of Africa, while the incidence of asthma among preschool- age children has risen at least 160 percent since 1980."

~What do you like/ dislike about the idea of green cleaning?


July 16 blogger~

.... is Andrew Osenga speaking about the Dalit, in India.

"We were just surrounded by incredible oppression. It’s not just poverty. Poverty is when no one has anything. Oppression is when one of the richest countries in the world has over half of its people living in poverty.

And that’s where Dalit Freedom Network steps in."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Knowing the bible is easier than living the bible

~At the church I am attending, we are doing a new series called, "Authentic Christianity," and today's sermon was especially good, I felt.
The pastor was talking about how, to the Pharisees, every big and little thing was something to argue about, dividing fellowship and that they felt they knew the answers to all those things. He used this quote by Augustine, "In essentials, unity; in non essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." He explained how the "essentials, " of our Christian faith, that we can all have unity on is the love of Christ and salvation, that everything under that to argue about divides us. He explained how important it is to continue to be teachable, and continually examine the state of your heart, using biblical knowledge to set yourself free, which will help others, instead of using biblical knowledge to condemn others.
He said, "If you want to see what a Pharisee looks like, look in the mirror, because there's a little Pharisee in all of us."

"I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." ~John 17:23


July 15 Blogger~

~is Tim Harms....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 14th, 40 day fast blogger,

Is... Lucas Parry talking about his personal experiences in lands without food and water, and the organization Kiva.

Saturday=Parenting topics...

Kat is in search of good parenting websites and resources, and so am I. I have found a good website, with good articles and resources called, Compassionate Kids, but nows your chance to point us to some other good books, websites etc.!

*Good teething tip: Buy one of these net feeder things, and put some frozen cut up banana, mango, or even ice in it, and let your baby gnaw away. Also, if they suck on a pacifier, put it in the fridge for awhile. they will appriciate that.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th, Food recipe~

Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Feta

~This is cheap, yummy, quick, and the spinach provides good amounts of iron~

*4 servings
*15 minute prep time
*5 minutes cook time

~1/4 cup plus 3 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
~1 lb. shrimp, peeled and devined
~1 shallot finely chopped
~2 TBSP. red wine vinegar
~1 TBSP. spicy mustard
~1 TBSP. honey
~salt and pepper
~ 8 oz. spinach
~1/2 cup feta cheese

1. In a medium skillet, heat 3 TBSP. olive oil over med.-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir fry until opaque. 2-3 minutes
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard and honey; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until thick. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked shrimp to the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange the spinach on a platter or individual plates. Place the warm shrimp on top and drizzle with any reamining dressing. Scatter the feta on top.

Recipe by:
Rachael Ray


My learning list...

Okay, so I have decided to finally set up some kind of "schedule" to my blogging, just to help me organize my thoughts, and to actually keep up with posting, because some days are easier than others to post. Also, I am reading a few different books, on a few different topics and want to organize those thoughts.... (I talked about my desire to keep learning in a previous post, and had you guys share what you wanted to learn along with me) Here's what I've come up with:

~Sunday: Spiritual growth topics
~Monday: "Green" things- environmental topics
~Friday: Health issues, healthy eating, or healthy recipes
~Saturday: Parenting topics

That's all I've got so far.... I'll see how I do sticking to a schedule! I had to leave room for randomness. Maybe I'll add more in later, let me know if you can think of more things.

Helpful advice

~My son is going through the stage where he is trying to figure out what is real and what is not. He's constantly asking, "Is spiderman a real person? Is superman real?"
He doesn't like to be in the position of asking, he'd rather tell you what he thinks, and he jumps at any opportunity to give advice.

Today, he informed me that the blue tape on my chin, that I was pretending to shave off, was not a real beard, so I could just take it off. "Thanks, good to know." I said, and he nodded and kept eating.


Today's blogger is ....

~Michelle. A very good post.

" This is NOT our home. We do not belong here. We are missionaries, just like people who are doing work in China or Africa or Russia or anywhere else. We need to live like that. We can live like that. Our neighborhood is our mission field, our city is too. There are broken people next door, down the street, commuting to and from work. They are rich and poor, old and young, beautiful and unapproachable."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My newest Infatuation

...is gardening. Or I should say my attempt at gardening. I love the act of digging, planting, and watching things grow. I love using the fresh basil for pesto, the aloe for firework burns, and hopefully one day the cherry tomatoes for salads. I love looking at flowers, and see them attracting butterflies. My problem is, that I am not good at it. I try, but here are my results....

These look good right? My husband waters them, because I forget. He said to me this weekend, "Sure, just love the front yard plants, but neglect the back porch plants."

So you'd think that because I apparently "love" the front yard plants more, that they'd look just as good or even better, but here is an example of what they look like:

~Thankfully I've got a husband who'll pick up where I slack off, and a friend who'll send me encouraging books like this:

Which if you are interested, this is also a good website...

Day 19, 20, and 21!

~ I have been behind, but here are the links to days 19, 20, and 21 of the 40 day fast!

Day 19 is Transition Pete who lists some great books to read, things to watch etc. (and has a very cool looking blog!)

Day 20 is Marianne speaking about the Blood Water mission.

Day 21 is Mark Jaffrey talking about the people of Sudan, and a church he works for in Cairo.

By the way.... somehow the way my links look have changed... the names are links and a line appears instead of them being a different color word.

Monday, July 09, 2007

"Playing the hand you're dealt"

" Life consists not in holding good cards
but in playing those you hold well."
-Josh Billings

~My grandpa loved to play cards, and he taught me many games and card tricks.
He didn't say long lengthy stories of inspiration, but he had his sayings.
One of them being, "Play the hand you are dealt," when I'd complain about life.
I always thought, "But I want different cards."

I saw this quote, and it reminded me of him, and I understood a little better what he had meant.

Day 18 of 40 day fast....

Today's blogger is Scott talking about the colonias in Texas.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day 17~ Todd

Todd is talking about Darfur, and what we can do to help.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Getting organized...

I get this weekly e mail from a organizing web site, and the reason I signed up for it was because the title was, "Don't have time to organize? Subscribe to this newsletter to get quick and easy organizing tips!" So I did. I get the e mails every week, and I have yet to read through an entire e mail, due to their massive length (they give about 20 steps to declutter your whatever), and now those e mails are all jumbled in my e mail folder, saved to be read and organized later.

My favorite stage

~He's 7 months old. He can sit up, he smiles, he can roll, he's trying to wave, he hugs, he can't say "no" yet, he likes to eat any squished veggie or fruit, he's ticklish, he melts my heart.


Day16 Wiliam Guice

Today's blogger is William Guice talking about an organization called Kiva.

Friday, July 06, 2007

blood and sand

"Weakness can take the form of strength
Like insecurity takes the form of pride
The setting sun can take the form
Of a full moon on the rise
Sand can carry out to sea
Evidence of transgressions like sandal tracks
But never has there been a wave
That could carry away the past
A tongue can take the form of a knife
Like manipulation masquerades as care
A pointed phrase can bleed the heart dry
Faster than truth becomes a dare
Sand can coat the wound
And dry the blood of severed things
But never has there been a grain
That could sugarcoat the sting"



Today's blogger is ~

Valerie blogging about global warming today, and sharing her experiences during the hurricane Katrina.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

New links...

It's taken me forever to update my link list, and I have more to add, but here are a few new ones to start with...

~Kevin D. is a friend of ours from high school. He's incredibly talented artistically, and his blog shows his creativeness. Hopefully he'll publish some of his beautiful ambient music soon, because it's good.

~Amy (Kevin D's girl) has a blog of unique pictures. It's short and sweet, simple and enjoyable.

~Brian is a neighbor, friend, and going through the process of adoption. Read along their journey.

this is random...

Fancypants is starting a series of posts about learning more about Catholicism, which should be very interesting.

(This is the random part.) I realized that my view of the Catholic religion, is very mysterious (and un- educated), and I feel it's due to my only experiences with Catholic churches, and catholic people. Here they are:

~As a kid, at the catholic church down town, there was a vision of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. My mom took me out of school, and we stood in line all day to see this eery blue outline of a woman on the wall.

~My mom made my friend and I go to a Catholic "manners" school one summer.

~While in Spain for 9 months, I attended Mass, which was in Latin and Spanish. Upon the first visit I passed out in the pew, and woke up upside down with three people standing over me speaking spanish rapidly.

~Also, while in Spain I visited a convent in Segovia. The young nuns took me on a tour, and showed me a tree with three separate trunks, which were all growing intertwined. They said this symbolized the trinity to them. I bought some marzipan from them.

~My friends sister moved to Portugal to become a nun.

~I worked at a dry cleaners and cleaned the local priests robes.

~I saw the "Da vinci code."

~In London, I visited the Westminster Cathedral and experienced a beautiful moment that is stained in my memory. I had gone in there to get out of the cold of the evening, and was walking down the corridors alone. A choir was practicing in a back room, and the sound echoed down the halls. Candles were lit along the way, and I walked through, hearing each of my footsteps, and tracing my hand upon the walls. It truly felt like a sanctuary......sigh......good times....

....See I told you it was random and un educated. I look forward to learning along with Fancypants

Day 14~ Susanne

~Susanne is today's blogger, who is talking about an organization called Bulgaria child.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Here is a fun, easy, and cheap craft to do to your kids, (or yours) bike today.

~We are going to play today, have a "bar b que" (as we would say) or "grill out" (as others would say), and shoot off some fireworks. Aiden has already informed me, that he "can't like fireworks," so I hope he doesn't get too scared.

~What are you doing today to celebrate the 4th of July?

Day 13~ Steven

Today Steven Russel is the blogger for the 40 day fast.

"help those who are not as lucky to live in this fantastic country as we celebrate our freedom on this fourth of july.
but go to your inner city. find a community center. volunteer to read stories to kids at the local children's hospital. go to a food bank. a mission. give your time."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Whoever has been reading the 40 day fast....

There is now a page here that is for all of us to go and talk about things we've learned, thought about etc. during these 40 days. It's a great idea, and I encourage everyone who's reading these pages, to go and participate!


"The constant pursuit of perfection drives us inward, leading us to focus on ourselves (and everything we wish we could change) rather than on God or others. And as much as we may think our efforts at fixing what's "wrong" about us are going to improve our relationships, the truth is that the more we focus on ourselves, the less other people are going to enjoy being around us." ~Constance Rhodes


Day 12~ Jeremy Thiessen

~Today the blogger is Jeremy starting the day with a song and it's lyrics, to blog about a cause later this afternoon.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Day 11~Ryan G.

~Today, Ryan G. talks about the importance of water, and a organization called, "Living Water."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Day 10~ Truevyne...

Truevyne shares a story about visiting an orphanage in China. and
Pink Haired Girl talking about her trip to Africa with an organization called "Oceans of Mercy.

My birthday day...

~Today was my birthday, and it was a very good day. The day started by my wonderful husband and boys bringing me breakfast in bed. We then went to church and learned about the awesomeness, and greatness of God while a very loud thunderstorm was happening outside, to prove the point I suppose.

We had our car windows down, so our cup holders were full of water when we left, and there sat my cell phone floating in one. We laughed at how clean our car is now, and hope that by drying my phone out a little it won't keep shutting off.

We finished the day at one of my favorite restaurants, Macaroni grill. They have the best lasagna, (but mostly I like to draw on the table.) I was sung happy birthday in Italian, and told happy birthday over and over by my two year old, along with creating a special high five- rock solid, kiss with my 4 year old. It was a wonderful day.