Friday, April 23, 2010

In keeping with the healthy theme...

Oh, you don't remember a healthy theme to my blog? Well, I'm sure if you scroll back far enough you'll find something. There WAS my whole "weight loss challenge 2009" thing last year...

Anyway, in keeping with that theme, about a month ago Noah's class was working on "persuasive writing". (As an aside - this is not a subject Noah needed any help with - in fact he told me a few days ago that persuasive writing has been his favorite part of language class this year... no surprise as I've been saying since he was 18 months old that he is going to be a lawyer...) Quite a few of the kids in Noah's class wrote persuasive letters to the principal regarding the unhealthy school lunches. (Noah's letter was concerning the atrocity that is called "Only Twenty Minutes for Recess")

School lunch in our country seems to have become a national topic as of late. I was reminded of an email that went around about a year ago regarding school lunches around the world: (please note: these pictures were copied from various articles about this on the internet. I did not actually get to visit schools around the world for the purpose of this post. Unfortunately.)


South Africa



China Again..


Japan again...

And a variety of school lunches from around the USA...

Carbs, fat, carbs, fat, carbs.... very sad for our kids...

Noah and Emmy complain that at their school the pizza is too cheesy, the waffles and pancakes are too drenched in butter, etc. but they would LOVE to buy lunch on chicken nugget and smiley fries day. NO WAY! Now, I only let my kids buy lunch once/week, and I know I shouldn't even do that. But it is a compromise because they would like to buy more often like their friends do... And there is that occassional morning when I haven't prepared well enough (read: don't have any food in the house) and having that once a week cushion is helpful to me on those days.

Jamie Oliver is doing a show this season, Jamie's Food Revolution, which explores the whole idea of healthy school lunches, and eating in general. I have to admit I haven't had the opportunity to watch the show yet, but tonight is the finale on ABC, and I hope we get to watch it as a family.

You can also visit Jamie's website here about this and even sign a petition. I appreciate his passion for good (real) food and his desire for people to think about what it is they are putting into their bodies.

I hate to admit it, but Great Britian does not come to mind when I think of "good food" but between Jamie Oliver, and this report done by the BBC, maybe it's time for me to rethink my position on that... Here they tell us how Japanese elementary students study, grow and cook a different food plant every year. They integrate food awareness into their everyday school environment. Living in such a rural area, I stomp my feet and say, "Why aren't we doing this here!" If we felt more connected to our food, maybe wiser choices would be made.

I'm not standing on any soapbox here, nor would Noah consider this a persuasive argument. I just wanted to open it up for discussion since my boy brought it into our home. Here's to healthy eating habits, Cheers!

And on that note
: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Showdown IS still in the works! (It's all about balance, people...) All of the ingredients have been purchased, I've just been lacking a full day to dedicate to the baking of 6 different recipes of cookies!!! Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Will You Spend Earth Day?

Today is Earth Day. I’m not sure when this "holiday" began, and fortunately for you I’m (feeling too lazy) much too busy to research that at the moment. However, I think more and more people are trying to make EVERY day Earth Day and I’m glad for that. Whether you are in the camp of global meltdown or global freezeover or somewhere in the middle, we all live here and until we hear that trumpet call, will continue to live here - and our kids and grandkids and greatgrand kids, too. So, we really should try to take care of God’s creation. Yes?

So, how WILL you spend Earth Day/s?

Will you:

Look into recycling more?

Plant a garden?

(can you believe I’m holding about 18 heads of lettuce in my hand?)

Go for a walk?

Turn out the lights in the rooms you aren’t currently in?

Stop using plastic bags at the grocery store?

(I know, I forget to put the resuables back in my car, too. Is that really a good enough excuse?)

Buy produce from a local farm?

Stop throwing out batteries in the regular trash?
Use a stainless steel water bottle and stop buying bottled water?

I guess every little bit every one of us does has to help, right?

This week I went to Longwood Gardens. Not because of Earth Day, but because of a coupon. But as I walked around admiring the beauty of God’s creation (and Mr. duPont’s foresight) I couldn’t help think it was the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. Honoring the One who created it! So I thanked Him for

The Colors in His Creation


His Creativity


His Sense of Humor


His Beauty


His Perfection in Nature


Shame on us for taking it all so much for granted. Maybe a good way to celebrate Earth Day would be to just stop and smell the roses and spend time in prayers of Thanksgiving.
Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boot Camp

I've just returned home from my 3rd week (or 10th session) of boot camp - a 3 days/week fitness program I began upon my return from Arizona, along with my friend Anne Marie, and 9 other masochists. Today I was wishing there had been a volcanic eruption somewhere in the middle of Kansas (no offense to any of the lovely people living there. I'm really just saying this for effect and current events relevency) so that I wouldn't have had to endure the 80 push-ups, 80 step-ups, 5000 million crunches and leg squats that I had to endure today. And my trainer is not even like Jillian - more like Bob, but female. Hey, now! Be nice to Bob, please.
In addition to the the 3 hours a week of torture, I have had to record everything I'm eating and try to maintain a balance of 40% carbs, 40% protein and 30% fat in my 1370 calories I'm supposed to eat everyday. I have to say I have never kept a food log like this, nor have I ever tried to live within any kind of perameters like this. I don't like it. But I'm giving it a go anyway, because I do want to be healthy and fit. (Although, today, I ask myself "Why, really?")
I've made some interesting discoveries: 1. I don't eat ENOUGH 2. I don't get nearly as much protein as I should. 3. I hate to exercise (although I already knew that one).
In three weeks I haven't lost any weight or inches, but I am STRONGER and have more energy. I can actually do 10 REAL push ups now. No knees involved. And I can run a quarter of a mile without dying. So, Hurray for me! I think I'll go reward myself with a brisk walk around the neighborhood and an hard-boiled egg! (or not)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Weekend of My Getaway

AKA: "Celebrating My Soul Sister's 10th Anniversary of Her 30th Birthday" AKA: "Five Days of Adult Conversation Without Interruption" AKA: An Awesome Time!

We touched down in the Grand Canyon State on the Thursday before Palm Sunday.

We stayed at a swanky ALoft Hotel that first night...

Very Mod. Somewhat Masculine.

I Loved the Alarm clock. Instead of a buzzer, it had a light that lit up over and over. But it was the color and shape that really got me. Am I really going on about an Alarm Clock? There are much bigger items to cover. Sorry.

After picking up our smokin' bright blue rental car, we headed for Mesa for some lunch and shopping.

While it was about 2pm our home time, it was still morning there, so we went to Mangos Cafe and Bakery for Huavos Rancheros. Maybe it was because we were starving, but more likely because we were in Mesa, Arizona, but it tasted AMAZING.

Then we did a little shoppin' on Main Street - Domestic Bliss, Sweet Cakes (for cookies - YUM!) and The Glitter Box. Crys found a few things...

Then we hot-rodded it over to Scottsdale...

Old Town first to check out some Art Galleries... (and find a bathroom...)

And then to 5th Ave. District Shops (or something like that) for some more serious shopping...

I went all out and purchased - cupcake liners. Cute ones. What can I say. We were trying to go home with just "Carry-Ons".
I went to Z Gallerie for the first time. Boy, it's a good thing there isn't one of these near home. That would be dangerous. And the shop in the background is where we spent alot of time: Anthropologie....

After a very full day of shopping, we needed to refuel, and did so at the Green Restaurant in the same shopping plaza.

Day 2: Time to head to Tuscon. Along the way, we can across this delightful little cafe. All organic, vegan, and "raw" foods on their menu. It was so delicious we made sure to stop back on our way back to Phoenix the next day!

Have you ever experienced this tea?

I say "experienced" because from brewing to drinking is an experience. The teapot actually sits on top of the teacup and releases the tea into the cup from the bottom. It was so fun!
Our purpose for heading to Tuscon was THIS amazing woman:

Beth Moore.
The Event:

Bible Study Beth Moore style, my favorite kind. Music with Travis Cottrell...

And energized, intense, wonderful study of 1 Corinthians 15 with Beth.

Yes, studying the Bible with Beth Moore is FUN. For real. I wouldn't joke about that.

(okay, not the best selves portrait - let's just move on.)
So when we weren't being inspired by Beth Moore's teaching, we were here:

the Westin La Paloma

Doing a little of this...

On Sunday, we headed North. To Sedona. Is there anywhere else in the world you can meet a person named Journey? Just askin'.
Something about this mountain really scared me. I guess the awesomeness of it. I wonder if people who never see the ocean feel the same way when they finally go to the beach....

We did some shopping here

Tlaquepaque Village...

There was a couple getting wedding pictures taken here. A beautiful location for it!

We didn't shop here:

But Crystal did a bit of Birthday shopping here:

(That's our bright blue hot rod!!)

We also spent some time here - It was Palm Sunday, after all.

Chapel of the Holy Cross.

And then it was time to come home.
I think we are all caught up now!