Thursday, May 31, 2012


I love juicing!

Earlier this week I was craving cucumber and tomato, so I made this concoction with the produce I had on hand. It was a beautiful color and had a decent taste. I could taste all of the different fruits/veggies, but none was overpowering.

One cucumber
3 carrots
one tomato
one celery stalk
3 apples

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Do I HAVE to buy organic veggies?

I found this article to be very helpful. 
It tells which fruits and veggies are the most caked in dangerous pesticides. 
There is also a list of least sprayed produce (the "clean list").

Here is ANOTHER fascinating (yet, kind of awful) site.

Hope this helps you all too!

Just make one change

I have been brutally honest about my struggles giving up sugars, caffeine, sodas, etc (all at once!). It has not been easy.

I can imagine that some of you read this blog and think that I have gone off the deep end. Maybe I have. But, I want to encourage you all - you do not have to take out every cherished food item from your diet all at once.

Start Small! Take out one unhealthy item (at a time). Maybe you could start by giving up coke. OR, if you know that you could never completely cut out coke, then cut back to one a day. Really! One summer I lost 12-14 pounds just cutting back to one soda a day.

OR, maybe your nemesis is sweets. Maybe you could cut out sweet desserts except for one weekend treat.

OR, maybe you could slowly wean yourself off of caffeine.

OR, you could force yourself to eat one or two more servings of vegetable and fruit every day! It is a great time of year for that! Getting out of the house and going to the farmer's market is a lot of fun. Or, if you have room in your yard or patio you can plant a garden or grow a few pots of tomatoes.

OR, get out and walk a few minutes every day.

It does NOT have to happen all at once. Only you know what you can handle. I just want to encourage you to make one change.

(I am speaking from experience. I would not be torturing myself with so many drastic changes at once, except that my naturopath expects these changes to heal my body. And still... I struggle! I am not obeying half of the restrictions placed on me.)

updated - y-day I started small with working on my abs and arms. I did 20 crunches and 2 push ups. Hey, it's a start!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hoeing is Hard Work

Gardening is just about the only activity that takes my mind off of my cravings for chocolate, brownies, and Dr. Pepper. I am not exaggerating. This past week I have started craving brownies and Dr. Pepper to the point of tears. Gardening is the one activity that makes me forget about the cravings - at least until I come back inside.

 Nelson enjoys hoeing!

He works very hard at it.

Last night he hoed the majority of the garden.

I love when he uses his strength, energy and stamina for hard work!

Below, Nelson hoes while I pick out grass and weeds.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Garden Growth

 You can click the photos to see them enlarged.
Poor picture quality. Rebecca has the "good camera" in the family. And, someone lost (or threw away?) her charger!

My garden remains half-finished. I still need to get my squash in the ground. And, I have to replant my cucumbers which died.

The tomatoes are thickening up. The peppers are all growing!

The row on the left side is sunflowers standing 3 feet high already.
The tall rows in the back are potatoes.

The lower photo is a row of lettuce and beets.

Don't try this one at home . . .

I was craving a green juice after my nap. 
My body just feels so sluggish and depressed today. 
Friday was a cook out. 
Saturday was a graduation party. 
And, there was a potluck at church yesterday. 
I made some poor food choices.

I am out of spinach and cucumbers. 
But, I bought a small bag of arugula at the farmers' market this past weekend. 

This was my concoction (do not try this at home, unless you actually like arugula):
- one handful arugula
- one large pear
- 2 granny smith apples
- one little lime
- one celery stalk

Without the arugula it would have been delicious. 
But, wow... I had to choke this healthy drink down. 
It had a lot of *kick* to it. 
Paul drank his too. 
But, the kiddoes were not to fond of this juice.
I do not plan to make this juice again.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Watch this Video

You want to know why I switched to eating a diet of 75% raw foods? (Besides losing a lot of weight?!)

Watch this video!

Hyperactive Son

(Edited 5-7-2013: We now know that diet DRAMATICALLY effects Nelsons' attitude. I recommend food allergy testing, but more than that, KEEP A FOOD DIARY and watch for patterns. Write all food, drinks, condiments, everything.)

I have an eight year old son who is by far the most active (hyperactive) among my brood. He is always moving. He seems to have a built in re-chargeable generator which produces more and more energy.

One time a friend told me that when her boy gets a bit too active during school that she sends him out to run a few laps around the house. Well, I tried that. It does not work. He came in more energetic than he was when he left! It would take hours of running around the house to wear out my boy! 

Another line of thought says to discipline the child more. Nope. That does not work. The Bible tells me not to exasperate my children (Eph. 6:4), and disciplining an eight year old bundle of energy might have that effect! (With Nelson it sure does!) Just learning to sit still can be discipline enough for a high energy child.

I was fairly certain that it was our diet that was causing Nelson's hyperactivity.

BUT, now we have cut out all refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and fast food, and the boy is still a walking power generator. Yes, all of this energy would be great if I could steer it somehow. But, generally he cannot sit still more than a few minutes at a time. And, yes, I would like to get him some outdoor chores to keep him occupied. But, that still does not help him sit down long enough to read a book or do his math.

So, what next? I am thinking that there might be a food allergy? Food allergies certainly do weird things to a person's body!

Or, is there some natural supplement to calm a boy down? I have read that more omega 3s can help.

I especially want to hear from moms/dads of "hyperactive" children. Please tell me what has/has not worked for you. I would prefer comments from people who have been there. It is all too easy to say that "there is no such things as ADHD" when you don't have any children at all. (I think I used to be one of those know-it-alls... oops).

(Added 5-7-2013: Nelson's allergy testing showed sensitivities to wheat, eggs, and peanuts. When we cut out wheat and other grains he is a new boy. Eggs do not seem to affect his mood, but they might correlate to his eczema.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

What's For Breakfast?

"Raw" porridge for breakfast? Yep!

Buckwheat is gluten free. It is high in fiber and protein. It has the second highest amount of protein among grains.  (3.5 ounces of whole buckwheat, almost a half cup, has four grams of protein). Be sure to use whole buckwheat!

This was my first attempt at soaking buckwheat. I soaked 1 cup over night. Here is what I wish someone would have told me in advance...
1 - When a recipe calls for 1/2 cup soaked buckwheat, I think they mean measure it after it has been soaked! Silly me, I measured it then soaked it... so my recipe was very heavy in buckwheat.
2 - When rinsing and straining buckwheat it looks similar to dividing and egg... with egg white oozing out the bottom. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed...

So, here is what I did, which is not quite what the recipe called for.
1 - I soaked 1 cup of  whole buckwheat over night and rinsed it. Then, I put it in the blender with a little water until it looked like smooth oatmeal.
2 - I added one apple and one pear, cut into small chunks.
3 - Added two fresh dates to the blender. (Remember, dates have a pit!)
4 - I added cinnamon to taste.

How does it taste? Well, as I said, I think I was supposed to measure out 1 cup of pre-soaked buckwheat. So, it was very strong on the buckwheat flavor. The texture was kind of like a smooth, gritty oatmeal. I ate one bowl without complaining. And, I will make it again measuring buckwheat the right way! The three youngest children (who have had the least amount of processed foods in their lifetime) all enjoyed it - eating mutliple bowls. Nelson forced it down, but did not like it. Rebecca (who was introduced to fast food from breast milk on...) could not eat it. I would like to try it with a frozen banana added to it to make it colder and sweeter. I think soaking is supposed to be done at room temperature (correct me if I am wrong?). That makes for tepid food if you eat it right away.

If you plan to try this at home it makes one large serving:
1/2 cup pre-soaked whole buckwheat
1 apple, cut up
1 fresh date (not a vacuum sealed date that you have since you made Grandma's fruitcake for Christmas 2009...)
cinnamon to taste

Let me know how you like it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


After five weeks of torture on the new diet I finally got my first compliment (besides Paul's encouragement)! A woman at church who had not seen me for a few weeks thought I looked great and she could tell I had lost weight.

That woman gets a raise. Whatever I was paying her before to be my friend - I'm doubling it.

For what it is worth, I cannot see a change either... but my clothes fit differently!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's For Lunch?

I am still greatly struggling to feed myself with all my new dietary restrictions (some I put in place, some were recommended by my naturopath who wants to see me lose a lot of weight). But, a few of you have asked what a "day in the life" looks like.

Well - it varies. Greatly.

We have started using organic produce that we usually buy at Natural Grocers. Rule one - buy what is on sale!!! After I hit the sale items I look around the corner at the "discount" produce. These items range from ripe to overripe and bruised. Each bag is $1. I have been known to buy $15 worth of dollar bags and nothing else. It can be an interesting way to try new foods! (The other day Paul was a bit surprised when he peeled a Cara cara thinking it was one of our typical Valencia oranges that I buy for juicing.)

Also, this week we are out of both produce and money, so I cooked bread. (I do the best with what we have. But, I have to feed my family!)

I also drink 2-3 quarts of water a day.

That said:

Breakfast - I LOVE to drink juice for breakfast. Every morning I wake up craving my apple, carrot, celery juice. This, however, is not my full meal (most days...). My naturopath wants me to eat 20 grams of protein in every meal. So, I try to choke down a hard boiled egg or a few cooked eggs. I don't really like eggs anymore. Seriously. The more raw foods I eat, the more raw foods I want! I used to eat whole grains cereal with bananas and milk... but that was before the doc took away my flour/grains. I have also been experimenting with some fruit/veggie "porridge." I am trying new recipes from raw foods cookbooks. Yoghurt is good with fruit... if you can eat dairy.

Mid-morning - Nuts. I like to snack on nuts. Sometimes I might eat a banana. It depends how much fruit I eat with breakfast. I plant to make a raw granola or muesli recipe next week to snack on as well. I have been snacking on cauliflower, because it was in a dollar bag last week!

Lunch - Salad. Lettuce is in season right now. I top it with whatever I have on hand - any combination of: sunflower seeds, avacado, guacamole, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, alfalfa sprouts, cashews, beans, corn, cheese, raw garlic/green pepper/onion "relish"or anything else that sounds good. I am actually getting burnt out on salad... so I need to broaden my horizons soon. I used to eat tri-color pasta twice a week... but, alas, no more pasta!

Afternoon Snack - Nuts. Fruits. Veggies.

Dinner  - This varies more than any other meal. We eat beans or lentils just about daily. I am going to try sprouting lentils soon and eating them raw. Lentils are high in protein... and they are yummy! If we have meat it is usually with dinner. I made chicken salad last week with some organic mayonnaise. I ate the salad using a lettuce leaf "bun." I still like beef with homemade taco seasoning. This past Saturday I bought a grass-fed, grass-finished chuck roast at the farmer's market. I added onion and salt and it was delicious! Even when we do eat meat we usually eat salad and veggies first! You could do frozen or canned veggies (cooked, or without cooking them). Applesauce is a good side dish too.

After dinner snack - Nuts. Juice (I like apple-pear). Paul makes some fanTAStic smoothies: oranges through the juicer, apples through the juicer, pour those in a blender with a frozen banana and some ice.

Added: Don't forget about green smoothies! You can eat them as a meal or as a snack!

For more ideas and INSPIRATION read raw cookbooks. I especially like Raw Foods, by Erica Palmcrantz because it has gorgeous photographs alongside the recipes! I will let you know any other books and blogs that I find especially useful.   

Monday, May 21, 2012

After 5 Weeks (on "the new diet")

Five weeks in - and let me tell you... if I was just doing this new dietary change to lose weight, I would have stopped about 4 weeks ago! Yes, I have lost a lot of weight, but this diet is HARD! But, I keep pushing on for the sake of my health... I want to be well! I am making all of these changes for myself and for the seven people who need me most! I need to be able to physically be there for my family!

Here is a copy of my original goals 5 weeks ago:
My goals for the next few months:
- Get totally off of refined sugar
- Get totally off of caffeine
- Work my way up to a diet of at least 51% fruits and veggies... yikes.
- Drink at least 100 ounces of water every day
- no soda ever, not even decaf
- no sweet tea, not even decaf
- very little meat (this is NOT a change from our current norm. We choose not to spend our limited budget on meat. We have been eating only three pounds of meat a week for the last several months - that's three pounds for the whole family, by the way.)
- less breads (because I eat a LOT of my homemade bread. Great ingredients... in smaller amounts)
- more beans (we already eat beans several days a week. I would like to see it go to at least one meal a day.)
- exercise daily. Gardening counts. Mowing counts. Soccer with the kids counts.I am not expecting marathon condition. I just want to be able to take a walk!
- I do NOT have a goal for weight loss, because ultimately that is not my primary concern. But, I know that I should not weigh 200 pounds. After Baby #5 was born in 2009, I weighed 178 for almost two years. And, after Baby #2 was born in 2003, I got down to 160 by making no dietary changes at all... just with exercise. So, in time, I would like to see a significant reduction in pounds lost. But, for now, it is not a goal

Let's see how we are doing:
- most days I consume very little to zero refined sugars. I will admit to indulging in some treats.
- I am off of caffeine. 
- my diet (and Paul's as well!) is now at LEAST 50% raw fruits and veggies... most days closer to 75%. I am learning to make meals all over again... and it is VERY HARD! I have been borrowing UN-cook books from the library. Those are books that tell you how to prepare raw veggies/fruits. Very interesting, very expensive. And, I must add, once you have tasted organic veggies - there is no turning back!
- I am certainly drinking a lot of water. Paul does too.
- No soda, no sweet tea - not even a sip!
- We have meat once a week... twice if there are leftovers. We get protein from dairy, nuts, and seeds.
- No bread. Our mixer broke and I have not made any bread. I have eaten maybe 3 slices of bread in these past 5 weeks.
- Beans - We actually eat beans about 5 times a week.
- exercise - I am feeling stronger. So, I get outside to work a little every day. I hope to be able to take a walk with my family soon!!! But, for now, 30 minutes of gardening daily is a big accomplishment!
- weight loss - get this friends, I am down 18 pounds! Paul has lost 18 pounds too! My naturopath wants to see me lose a lot more weight, which is why I am eating so much raw veggies and no flours/starches (except for my beans and occasional brown rice). Honestly, if I can go without flours/grains for two days in a row I can lose a pound a day. Really.

In addition to these, I am not experiencing any joint pain!

So, there are many positive results of this radical lifestyle changes. But, I still cry a lot. This diet has been one of the hardest endeavors of my entire life! I will NEVER tell you that it has been easy. But, as time keeps on marching by, I hope to tell you that it has been worth it! There have been results! But, it is very hard to go to a graduation party and not eat cake! It is very hard to make your own food for potluck dinners and not touch anyone else's! It is very hard to have a bad day and get through it without the aid of coffee and cookies!

Friends, you just don't know how much of an idol food is until you try to take it away! My god is my belly! (See Phil 3:19) I am ashamed that I still look to food as my comfort! I want to fully rely upon the Lord... but my appetite shows me where my loyalty truly lies. Yes, I am in earnest. And, no, people do not like to hear this. Most of my close acquaintances have written me off as loony! No one wants to hear about my new research. No one wants to talk about it anymore.

There is a spiritual analogy in this too. (something about people not wanting to be made aware of their sins by being around someone who is trying to live a life pleasing to God). But, I will let you decipher that for yourself.

Progress? Yes!
Challenging? You better believe it!
Worthwhile? Yep!
Will we continue? Absolutely! So, please keep praying for us! This has been a very hard adjustment for our family!

Have a great week friends! Enjoy eating as many vegetables as you can work into your diet!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Norovirus Strikes Again...

I was starting to think that we had escaped the dreaded norovirus with only one baby getting sick.

I was wrong.

Josh started vomiting at 4:00 a.m.

Please, God, don't let us all get it! Please, God, don't let me and Jeremiah get it. Please, God, don't let Paul get it! Someone has to be able to clean the messes. I have to be able to feed the baby. Oh, please, God... this is an awful virus. Please...  And, in all things, God, we need grace!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If you must drink soda . . .

If you just can't quit drinking high fructose corn syrup sodas, then add omega 3 to your diet.

Read the story here.

The Difficulty of Dietary Changes

(Edited for clarity 5-7-2013)

Well friends, it has been a month since I first gave up sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Since that time Paul tried to get me to practice "moderation." He wanted me to try eating normal foods with everyone else at church meals and occasional eat-outs. That did not work out so well. It felt good to eat what everyone else ate at church potluck, but it made me tired... and frankly, I felt emotionally miserable too (like I was a "failure"). So, I don't think this kind of "moderation" will work.

Then, last Monday my naturopath told me to cut out carbs, starches, and to limit dairy. So, I have been trying VERY hard to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. I can tell you, without any exaggeration!, that I have never eaten so many veggies per meal in my life! But, now I am emotionally (and financially!) miserable. You see, I have been working for months to cut back the food budget and yet make whole foods and healthy meals. We were having a lot of whole wheat pasta, homemade bread, brown rice, and white potatoes. Now, I am supposed to be giving all of those things up. That might be okay... if I could afford to by veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts, etc!

I spent $100 a few days ago on raw veggies, fruits, seeds, and nuts and it is all gone already! We flat out cannot afford to eat veggies until our garden comes in! So, now what? Starving myself does not seem to be a comfortable solution. I don't like being hungry. Yet, that is what I am doing most days... eating very, very little.
And, it is no small wonder then that I am perhaps more of an emotional basket case then I was last week when I went to the Doctor.

There is more to it than that. My whole life is chaos... It is not just about food. But, food is generally the only medium that I can actually control. Now, I cannot even control food.

If you are my friend in real life you can call to encourage me. Better yet, you can pray for me. Because right now nothing sounds quite as good as a Mt. Dew and some homemade brownies.
(And sadly, Mt Dew is a whole lot cheaper than veggies... at least in the immediate future. I have enough sense to see that in the long-run drinking soda is not affordable. Diabetes. Cancer. Chronic fatigue. These are not "cheap." So, I will stick to my "diet," but I am an emotional mess.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Josiah update

I spent all afternoon y-day with Josiah in ER. The first three hours will pretty slow. He just laid there like a dead boy. But, after two hours of IV we were bonding and reading. And, after another hour of IV he was ready to come home... me too!

He did not have a fever when I took him in. So, the doctor was pretty concerned that the vomiting could be related to his head injury Friday. We decided to do an IV in hopes that he would regain his health and strength. He did. So, we did NOT do a CT scan and at 8:15 I brought a very sleepy boy home. (In the time we were there he did develop a fever and the doctor nearly danced for joy. She was tormented over whether or not to do a CT scan.)

Poor Baby Jeremiah went without mama for 5-6 hours. He did very well!

Today Josiah has slept all day. He woke up with a fever. But, by noon he had cooled off. He slept on the couch all morning. And, he was able to eat (and keep down) a half a banana at lunch. Hopefully he is on the mend.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

You Know you have a big family when . . .

... You find yourself in the ER - not once, not twice, but THREE times in ONE week!

Tuesday  - Rebecca's toe injury. We thought it was broken. Paul left work to take her to ER. It was not broken, but she has to wear "buddy tape" and a "shoe" for a while. That same day Lydia fell and had a teeth injury (for which we went to the dentist, not ER). The x-ray seemed to show her two front teeth have fractured roots. If the teeth become abscessed we will have to extract them.

Friday - Josiah fell out of his booster chair at the lunch table (reaching for grapes). His head collided with his plate somehow (we saw the blood on the rim of the plate). Blood everywhere. Kids crying. Mommy trying to calm down five terrified children while blood is spurting all over her shirt. By God's grace I kept my cool and was able to find order in the chaos. Daddy had to come home from work and take us to ER. They treated Josiah for the "laceration" on his head and sent us home. No stitches. They used skin glue (dermabond).

Today/Saturday - Josiah is throwing up. A lot. And he is walking like a drunk person. So, I called ER and they want him to come back in. So, poor Paul has to finish his UPS Mother's Day deliveries and rush to meet us at ER. Oy.

You know you have a big family when you know the ER staff by name :0)

Updates later... when I think of it and have time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Breakfast Experimentation

I tried something new this morning for breakfast... and let me tell you, it's got some kick to it!

I juiced:
- a bunch of carrots (you can use the tops if you have them)
- one cucumber
- 2 inches of ginger root
- one lemon

My first reflex was puckering so tightly that it might have looked like lockjaw.

But, when sipped slowly, it was kind of good.

I poured it into 2 year old Josiah's cup and he drank it right down! Rebecca and I liked it. I will make it again!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Which my Mixer Takes up Smoking

Well, folks, my fancy schmancy Cuisinart mixer died. Yesterday as Rebecca was making granola it started smoking. Oy.

I checked the warrant information. Part of the reason we bought this machine was because of an excellent warranty. Three years (as opposed to Kitchen Aid's one year warranty). So, it is still covered. BUT, I read (a little too late) that simply sending back the registration card was not enough. They want to have the original sales receipt. Oops... that's been gone for 2 years. So, I will have to call and slug it out with someone over the phone. Ugh.

Someone gave me a small mixer today. It is brand new. And, that will work for some smaller mixes. I was also given a bread machine. So that will help.

I need to call the company and see if we can come to an understanding. But, I think I will be making do with my new smaller mixer and bread machine until I can save up money for a Bosch mixer.

In a way, this is a sort of blessing... I was supposed to be cutting back on baked goods and breads anyway.

It will all work out. I believe there are lessons to be learned even in these little events of life. Today I was blessed when our friend brought me a mixer and bread machine... (He drove all the way from Illinois!) So - hokey as it might sound - I thank God that my mixer broke! I have been blessed!
Updated a few minutes later!

My husband, who is hands down the most wonderful husband in the world, just got on Amazon (where we bought the mixer) and printed me the invoice/receipt! I hope that will be sufficient for the Cuisinart people!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunshine and Songbirds Bakery

Sunshine and Songbirds Bakery



Standard Ingredients: oats, flour,  honey, butter, natural peanut butter, pure vanilla, baking soda
Extra Ingredients: raisins, pecans, flax meal



Total Price =      $5

Thank you for your order!

This was Rebecca's first receipt.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More dietary changes

We went to the naturopath yesterday afternoon. He is optimistic... but I will have to make some more (severe) changes to my diet.

I already knew that he wanted me to eat more protein. So, that was not a shock. The new concern is that I need to stabilize my blood sugar. He said that I "traded one sugar for another." He thinks that a big reason that I was doing so well a few weeks back then plummeted was because I started eating so much breads and starches. So, I need to try to eat even more veggies than I already am. And, I will cut out some carbs (breads and pastas) and starches (corn and white potatoes).

Also, there is a huge possibility that my fatigue and joint pains flared up because I was de-toxing too quickly. I introduced more fruits and veggies than my body had seen in a long time. I lost 12 pounds in two weeks and my body just could not expel the toxins quick enough. So, I am going to keep trying to drink 3 qts of water a day. And, I am going to do warm water enemas to help continue to detoxify. (Once a week. Water only because I am nursing.)

In addition to these we added a few supplements. I still have the candida overgrowth from years of bad diet and years of black mold exposure. I am going to be taking mega doses of probiotics and anti-fungals (garlic!) to try to clear that up. I am also taking a few herbals for hormone balance. And, he is giving my big doses of vitamin D3 to get me caught up to where I should be.

We are hopeful that I will see some positive changes very soon!

Monday, May 7, 2012

back to the naturopath

I will be going to the Naturopath this afternoon.

I have been to this doctor before, about a year and a half ago (when I did not have blog access to talk about it). At the time I did not care for some of his treatments. But, I am going to try again. He is a very good doctor. He asks questions and actually listens to your answers.

Paul has been wanting to set up an appointment for a few months, but I declined for two reasons.
1- It is not cheap.
2- The doctor expects me to eat healthy... and I did not want to do that. I told Paul that if my dietary changes did not bring enough relief from my disability then I would agree to go back.

So - at 4 today I go back to the naturopath. Will I do any better on the treatments this time? Will I follow through with the high-protein diet that he recommends? Will it help?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ten Year old Business Woman

My daughter is becoming quite the little entrepreneur.

Rebecca made granola for a baked goods auction last weekend and it was a high dollar item. At the time, the auctioneer joked about her being a "professional cook." We all laughed.Then today at church one of the ladies offered Rebecca money for more granola. Becca said, "you don't have to pay me." But, the woman insisted. And another lady asked if Rebecca makes cinnamon-sugar-raisen bread, and offered to pay for that.

I think Rebecca has found a niche. Paul and I will have to help her set prices this week.

My ten year old brings in more income than I do!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Garden Update - Transplanting

Paul and I were able to get many of our little seedlings into the ground today!

Here is what we transplanted today:
- 8 cherry tomato plants (Sweet 100)
- 8 Jalapeno Pepper plants
- 12 Roma tomato plants
- 12 Green Pepper plants
- 4 Marglobe tomato plants
-12 Pepperoncini Pepper plants
- about 30 marigolds interwoven (These flowers keep lots of bugs away)
- one eggplant
- one basil
- climbing green beans (Kentucky Wonder)
- 4 Zucchini mounds
- 4 nasturtium around the zukes (these flowers allegedly keep squash bugs away.)
- 6 Zinnias (a flower) as a border

We still have much to put in, but we made a great start today. Paul and I worked very hard for about 3 hours. The children played. The older ones are definitely old enough to garden, but I needed them to "babysit" the little ones.

I will try to get a picture soon.

I praise the Lord that I was able to work today! My knees and ankles hurt now but at the time I was okay. I should sleep very well tonight.

I will . . .

I will get my garden in the ground before it rains again - I will!

My tender little seedlings are all ready to be put into the ground, but it has not been dry enough to get in the garden. TODAY is the day. (Don't you love how blogging gives a whole new level of accountability!?)

Pictures later.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Checking In

Not much happening here.

The potatoes are about 6-8 inches high.

The peas are coming up around their nifty teepee.

Children are growing faster than the weeds - must be all the fresh air and sunshine.

Paul might be making a temporary job change. He has asked to be considered as a vacation driver for UPS. That would be driving other people's routes while they are on vacation. Works for us because we vacation in October when everyone else is in school. Anyway, he would be working from 8:30a-8p every weekday. He would be off Saturdays (I think.) And, he would be taking a break from U-Haul. This is not set in stone yet... but likely. Oh - and he would be working with the Jefferson City "center" instead of the Columbia Center. That means a 50 minute commute every day. But, the good pay should make up for it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There is a Spiritual Lesson in all this

When I was a little girl my mother fed us well. We rarely had soda. She always made my lunches. And, there were always fruits and veggies with dinner and for snacks. But, my diet went downhill beginning in junior high. I started buying my own meals in the cafeteria. Lunch, in junior high, was cheetos, Mt. Dew, and a frozen chocolate shake. When I came home from school I was starving and ate whatever was on hand. High school was worse. Since I could not get out of bed early enough for breakfast, I began eating two meals a day at school. Breakfast was a deep fried "hash brown" and a 20 ounce Mt. Dew. Lunch was Hohos, chips, and a 20 ounce Mt. Dew. For dinner I often went to a fast food joint with a buddy... cheap burger, fries, and - you guessed it - more Mt. Dew.

By my high school years I was quite an emotional flake! No wander! I could not sleep well at night. My adrenaline would be constantly up and down (from caffeine). My mother was still making wholesome dinners, but I did not care to be home to eat them. I was literally living on junk food.

Other than moodiness, irritability, and wrecked sleep patterns I got by alright... until I started having children. Whatever little strength was still in my body was immediately and thoroughly sucked out. My teeth started decaying. Rapidly. I was always tired. I got sick easily.

By 2006, I was learning about proper nutrition all over again. A friend told me about Dr. Sears' book which introduced me to "whole foods." I started making small changes. But, I kept drinking Mt. Dew and we kept eating fast food. Many of you know the rest. I have spent the last 5 or so years taking small steps forward with our nutrition, but still experienced many health problems. And, I cannot seem to give up Mt. Dew for more than 6 months at a time.

So, where is all this going? There really is a spiritual lesson in all this.

Old Habits are HARD to break! After consuming a diet of junk for so many years it is tremendously difficult to re-train yourself to cook good foods and to like those same foods. Our taste buds are badly trained. We would all prefer the quick combos at the fast food place on the corner. I want to kick myself that I ever started down this road of quick, easy foods. I struggle with thinking about the circumstances that brought about my change in diet in my formative years. I want to blame someone. But, it all comes down to this - what will I do NOW?

Similarly - I have some nasty sin habits that are awfully hard to break. Living on junk food made a wreck of my mind and emotions and made it altogether too easy to have dramatic ups and downs. (There is more to it than food, but read on). Even though I am a believer and I am constantly taking small steps forward, there are still some sins that I hold on to. They have been with me so long that I do not know how to function without them. But, just like the junk food - I know they have got to go! I might want to blame someone for my sins. But, it all comes down to this - what will I do NOW?

Enter self-control. I radically changed my (physical) diet. And, with that I have seen small improvements in my ability to control sinful habits. Much of my anger was brought about by the adrenaline rush of caffeine. And, I have seen enough good results (weight loss, improved mood, getting up earlier, no more allergic reactions to certain foods, and more) that I keep pushing on.

I CAN and will continue to go without refined sugars and junk foods because I know that there is a beautiful end in sight. I expect to find strength, healing, freedom from food addictions, and much more. In the same way, we all keep plugging along in this life (despite our old sin habits that try to hold us back) towards heaven. The results are sometimes tangible. Our lives are changed. We find strength, health, and freedom from sin addictions. But, it does not often happen overnight. We have to keep looking forward.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14 ESV).