Friday, January 29, 2010

i missed it!

such a profound day, and i forgot!

yesterday was my 2 year blogiversary…

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

THAT’S NOT FOOD!

my friend, stephanie, has inspired me with her most recent post. apparently this was a topic on oprah today, i don’t watch her show, but it’s a good topic. my comment on her post (which is great – read it. the post, not my comment.), was quickly turning into a post of it’s own, so i decided to continue my vent here. it probably won’t be as eloquent as hers, but i’m climbing up on the soapbox she just got off of.

we eat CRAP!

LOTS and LOTS of CRAP!!! as a nation, it astounds me how much non-food we consume.

i’ve wondered about this for a long time, but it used to be inspired from an environmental standpoint rather than a nutritional standpoint. i wondered about all the garbage we throw out. it bothered me that you couldn’t go to the store and buy granola bars without also buying a box and 6 wrappers, that would then be thrown away. i wondered why, every time you buy salad dressing or ketchup, you have to buy a new bottle, which would then be thrown away. i wondered why, every time you buy cereal, you also buy another box AND a plastic bag… you get the idea.

so then i started thinking about different cultures around the world – people who don’t have overflowing landfills, and haven’t needed to organize massive recycling efforts in their communities because they HAVE NO TRASH! why is it they have no trash? because they actually produce their own food. with their own hands they grow it or kill it or gather it from whatever resources they have around them. that’s the way it used to be here too, you know. people used to actually grow or raise EVERYTHING they needed to survive. yes, it was hard work.

but we don’t do that anymore. we don’t do anything resembling that anymore. going to safeway and buying a box of cereal, a frozen pizza, a gallon of hormone produced milk, and a bag of chemically sprayed ‘salad’ is not the same. why? what brought about this change? technology? maybe. i don’t know. i really don’t get it either. life may be ‘easier’ for us now in some ways, but it doesn’t seem to me that anyone is any happier OR healthier than people were 100 years ago. granted, i can’t really speak for people 100 years ago because i didn’t live then, but i can speak for people today. maybe you would argue that people ARE healthier now, because the average lifespan is longer. i argue that that is only because our technology in prolonging life and treating the diseases we bring on ourselves (because of our lifestyle) has kept up pretty well with our self-destructive choices. as far as how happy we are, think of how many people you know who are stressed out, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. are people really happy? if they were, would we be constantly be so compelled to spend more and more money we don’t have trying to acquire the latest, best, biggest, whatever? it seems like people who are happy should be generally content. not complacent. content. i don’t know that i know anyone who is TRULY content.

here’s another angle that really bugs me. people used to work. actually work. now, people look down on those whose jobs involve actual work. the ‘best’ jobs are those that involve sitting behind a desk and doing something on a computer, right? so we do this, and then our doctor tells us we’re overweight, or we have high cholesterol, or we need to improve our cardiovascular health. so we go to a gym and run on a treadmill going nowhere, or pretend to climb stairs, or lift ‘weights’. and of course, after spending all those hours doing our ‘work’ and ‘exercise’ we have no time left to prepare healthy ‘real’ food, so we eat out or pull some package of something out of the freezer and heat it up.

does this seem bizarre to anyone else?

i know this post is going all over the place and i know it’s completely hypocritical. i’m not excusing myself from any of the descriptions above.

i just kind of wonder how we got here? i wonder where it is that people got the idea that it would be good to drink several cans of soda every day? i wonder why people think they don’t have to prepare food for their families. i wonder why people think that giving their kids blue cotton candy flavored yogurt is the same as feeding them something healthy.

overturning the responsibility of what we put into our bodies to strangers is just one of many very disturbing trends i see. and these are not strangers who have any interest whatsoever in your health or well-being. these are strangers who want to make money. lots of it. and they don’t really care if they make you fat or give you cancer or diabetes, or if they destroy all of the naturally occurring nutrients and minerals in the soil in which they grow that food, or if the chickens they raise can’t support their own weight… and they make that money by blindsiding people who don’t care enough about what they put in their bodies.

::sigh::

okay, well i’m off my soapbox and on to cooking dinner. i’m feeling a little sheepish about that BOX of whole wheat cous cous that’s on the menu.

Monday, January 25, 2010

an update? what’s that?

so after reading one of mary’s latest posts, i realized that i haven’t done a ‘kid update’ in goodness knows how long. probably not since we abandoned the old ‘family site’, and since we didn’t sent out christmas cards this year, it’s been at least a year since i did a ‘comprehensive’ update.

shane (10 1/2) is… hmmm… complicated. we’ll say that. in general he’s a happy kid and likes to stay active. he still hates school and pretty much anything involved in it, but we’re muddling through. he really enjoys his science class, however and is slightly less enthusiastic about drama, but doesn’t complain too much about going. this year, instead of having a major role in the play, he’s opted for a bit part along with being one of the stage managers. he loves hauling and moving and organizing grunt work stuff like that, so it should be a good fit. his reading is definitely improving, and he recently started the first harry potter book, which he’s slowly making steady progress through. he played a fabulous season of soccer in the fall, but is still resistant to any other sports. he spends most of his ‘spare’ time with our neighbor, susie, who has extensive native plant gardens and always has some MAJOR project going on. so he’s learning a lot about plants and landscaping and stuff like that. he’s kind of in that pre-teen confusion age, and bounces back and forth a lot from kid to older kid, which is fun for us. ::sigh:: he’s also become very concerned with his clothes and hair lately, an interesting development. but he’s a good kid, generally responsible and a big help around the house (with a little prodding). ;)

layla (4 1/2)is VERY sensitive right now. she’s still crazy and energetic and excessively creative, but you better not laugh at anything she says or raise your voice to her or she’ll completely dissolve into tears. she prefers to spend her time coloring, writing or drawing (especially designing clothes), singing, twirling or coming up with elaborate ideas about what she is going to do, which are usually impossible. she’s a good big sister and really enjoys playing with micah as he’s getting old enough to be a good playmate. she’s really looking forward to being old enough to play soccer in the fall. she’s still very snuggly and frequently tells us, “i want to feel you.” she also spends a lot of time pouring over books and is super-excited to have her own library card now (which i don’t let her use very often because i have a hard time keeping track of when the books are due).

micah (2) is BUSY! he has no problem asserting himself, and we frequently hear, “NO! i don’t want to!” from him. he’s doing great in the potty training department, just need to get it to transfer from external prompting, to him remembering to go himself, but i don’t anticipate any ‘issues’ with him. he’s still my pickiest eater, but is healthy and growing, so i guess he’ll survive it. he’s still snuggly and cute and tolerates lots of kisses and hugs, but he’s definitely growing out of being a baby (for real), which makes me a little sad. but he’s a lot of fun and cracks us up all the time. he also LOVES books and will frequently disappear to his room where we will find him sitting quietly in the middle of a pile of books, ‘reading’.

that’s about it for now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

sleeping cuties

this is why human children survive when their parents are ready to sell them into slavery:

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this was last night, after micah had a VERY difficult time NOT screaming at the top of his lungs and climbing out of bed a million times, thus causing layla to have a very difficult time going to sleep and i was ready to leave the country forever lose it.

and then today, i went to check on micah during his nap and found this:

044

i love it. they’re so worth it! (and i’m totally going to come look at this around 8:30 tonight when they’re screaming their heads off and not sleeping tucked peacefully into bed.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

and early to rise…

i’ll leave it at that for now. maybe i’ll work on the ‘early to bed’ part after i master this one. ;)

i never thought it would happen, but i am about to sing the praises of getting up early. yes, me.

things change when you have 3 kids and you homeschool and you have a house you have to take care of and sanity to keep track of. one of the things i’ve discovered lately is that, although sleeping in is wonderful, life REALLY sucks when i do. i’ve also learned that it sucks significantly less if i get up early. who knew? i used to be really good about it, but somewhere along the line, i got discouraged and quit. i quit trying to make it out of bed before my kids, and somehow or other quit accomplishing the things i need to accomplish during the day. i then quit feeling good about myself, my responsibilities, my choices…

let’s compare yesterday and today, for an example.

yesterday, micah, layla and i (miraculously) woke up at 9am. wow! so much sleep! upon waking, i’m groggy and grumpy, focused only on finding the coffeepot as quickly as possible. shane, who got up an hour and a half earlier, has completed a significant portion of his school work and is clamoring for me to help him with the rest of it so he can finish and get out the door. not that i’m criticizing his initiative in DOING the work, but when i opened his books, i discovered several things that had to be done over, which made him mad. i then direct him toward his chores and breakfast, which he balks at and complains about having to do. while he does this, i stare mindlessly at the computer.  somewhere around 11, it occurs to me that layla and micah should get dressed, i manage a shower for myself, and get lunch for the kids, feeling shaky and nauseous because i’ve got nothing but coffee in me. around 1:45 shane and i finally finish his school work and he eventually leaves for his class, at which point, i take the others to costco. around 4:45pm, i’m trying to cook dinner, but the kitchen’s a mess because i’ve not unloaded the dishwasher yet, so i have to do that before i can cook. after that, kids in the bath and to bed. i’d love to just hang w/ my sweetie and finish watching the previous night’s episode of biggest loser, followed by actually going to bed together at the same time, but i haven’t done my workout yet. let me also point out that my house hasn’t been cleaned or dusted since christmas, i have a rack full of clothes to be ironed, floors that i’m starting to stick to, and MESS everywhere. why haven’t i done these things? laziness, lack of motivation, feeling like there’s not enough hours in the day? and, my bible reading habit that i was so pleased about has gone straight out the window lately.

so i decided last night, after finally completing my workout and making my way to bed at 11:30, long after dave was in bed and asleep, that i needed to get up early. so i set my alarm for 5:55am and prayed that whichever kid wandered into my bed during the night would allow me to get out of bed in the morning without waking up.

so i did it! i got up, i did my workout, read my bible and drank some coffee. while i was finishing this, shane got up and started his schoolwork, which he was able to ask me a few questions about when he needed to, micah got up and snuggled up in my lap while i finished my reading. i got them dressed, had a shower, got dressed, MADE shane do his chores, ate a bowl of oatmeal, made the beds, helped shane finish his schoolwork, and ironed 5 skirts, 1 dress, and 10 dress shirts (of varying sizes). it’s 11:37.

i don’t know what it is, but the later i sleep, the less energy i seem to have. i set myself up for a day of ZERO productivity, which, in turn, sets me up for feeling crappy about myself, and thus being grouchy and mean to everyone i live with.

so the next time i’m complaining about how much life sucks and how overwhelmed and discouraged i feel, just ask me what time i got up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

meal plan monday… um…

yeah, it’s still monday, right?

so sunday and monday are checked off already. we were out all day on sunday, visiting my aunt in poulsbo and having a late christmas w/ her. we had an enormous lunch at a fabulous restaurant called taprock, plus goodies like smiley face cookies :) so by the time we got home, we kind of scrounged, eating cereal or sandwiches for dinner.

last night, i pulled off something very uncharacteristic for me, i ‘threw something together’ and it was actually pretty yummy! at any rate, i’m out of decent ingredients w/ which to throw something together, so i have to actually go shopping today. :(

  • tuesday: tater tot casserole
  • wednesday: white chicken chili; sourdough
  • thursday: pork chops; rice; broccoli
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: leftovers (dave and i will be out – i think)
  • sunday: pancakes; bacon

Friday, January 8, 2010

revisiting the 2010 bucket list

a month or so ago, i posted the beginnings of my ‘to-do’ list for 2010. i’m totally stealing this from kate and debbie, but it’s a good idea.  i had a good start of 6 items… but i know there’s way more i want to add to it.

  1. spin my own yarn
  2. spend more time in nature.
  3. read all of jane austen’s books.
  4. can my own veggies/fruits
  5. acquire a sewing machine
  6. re-learn to play the piano
  7. exercise regularly (more days of the week than not – really!)
  8. finish reading the entire bible
  9. make an effort to spend time individually with each of my children
  10. mellow out philosophically (if you don’t know what that means, just read a few of my posts and you’ll likely find some crazed post where i’m ranting about my strong disagreement about something generally accepted by the status quo)
  11. beat myself up less (again, just read a few posts)
  12. take better care of the dog. she’s 13 now and i need to make the most of the years i have left with her. (okay, this one is making me a little teary)
  13. get my reading glasses
  14. spend more time with my mom
  15. be less boring
  16. attend as many MOMS club events as possible
  17. make most of my gifts (stole that one)
  18. create a will
  19. be more philanthropic
  20. go on 10 dates with my husband

that’s probably enough… maybe too many, but i’ve got a year to do it. wish me luck! will post on my progress.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

meal plan… whatever

didn’t do this earlier, although i did make a pseudo plan this week. i also did a pseudo shopping trip on tuesday. i pseudo-blew my budget last week and am trying to piece stuff together this week w/ minimal buying. =/ at this point, most of it is review…

  • sunday: leftover tacos
  • monday: BLTs
  • tuesday: meatloaf; oven fries; green beans
  • wednesday: chicken quesadillas; carrot sticks
  • thursday: ??? (this is where the pseudo part of the plan comes in – guess i better figure something out quick!)
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: ??? (yeah, i know it’s bad!) maybe eggs and bacon or something.

but hey, i posted it! that counts for something, right? probably not. you can’t eat blog posts!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

knitted gifts

i had a few projects i managed to get finished (sort of) in time to give as gifts this year.

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dave’s parents were the ‘lucky’ ones this year… his mom got the scrunchie hand warmers (that i finished the night before they left), and his dad was the recipient of the famous beer cozies! sadly, i don’t have good close-up pics of those. the red one is a rib pattern and the blue is cabled. he got to keep the beer too.

and then,

007at his request, i made this hat for dave’s birthday. my original attempt to knit in a USC logo was quickly abandoned after a couple of attempts proved that this was not the right yarn (or possibly, the right knitter) to be making that happen. he found this look on a USC website and asked if i could copy it.

i also made a hat for my aunt (to match the scarf i gave her last year), but i didn’t take a picture of it. oh well. it’s black, a basket weave pattern. i was bored to death making it, but it turned out nice.

that’s it so far… i’m still working on hannah’s present and i think it might actually turn out this time! ::fingers crossed::

will definitely post pics when it’s done!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

meatloaf

(no, not the singer.)

holly asked if i’d post it, so figured i’d do it here.

so as to not be accused of plagiarism, i’ll say that the skeleton of this recipe comes from the better homes and gardens ‘new cookbook – 14th edition’, but i always doctor it up a little bit.

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs (or as many as you need to stretch the meat)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (i generally use dried minced onion for convenience, but not as much)
  • 2 T snipped fresh parsley (yeah right, i just shake in a bunch of dried.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried leaf sage, basil, or oregano ( i usually use a little of both basil and oregano, as well as a good shake of garlic powder)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef, lamb, or pork (i’ve only ever used beef)

combine everything but the meat. add the meat and mix well. lightly pat mixture into a loaf pan. bake at 350* for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until internal temp reaches 160*. spoon off fat.

in a small bowl mix:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard (i use prepared yellow mustard, slightly less than the ketchup)

spread over meat, bake for 10 minutes more. let stand 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

super yummy! we’re having it tonight!

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