Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Part Two: Eat This, Not That

I had originally planed for this post to have a lot of details and lists, but that would get LONG and BORING.  I am giving you a general idea instead.

Chips: Most main stream chips (like Cheetos, Doritos, Lays) have at least one of the following ingredients, and sometimes all of them.  Artificial food color, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Oils, MSG...  This is an easy fix.  Choose all natural chips, veggie chips, many pita chips or organic chips.  Also, give up chips all together and eat fresh veggies for your 'crunh' needs.

Condiments:  Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayo, relish, pickles, cheese, olives, dressings and other such items are usually loaded with artificial food color, hydrogenated oils or sodium.  When in doubt go organic.  By-the-way, the only place I have been able to find non-offending pickles or relish is at Whole Foods.

Cereal:  Yikes!!!  It pains me to even walk down the cereal isle.  The marketing teams attempt to hide the yuck with 100% whole grain labels, but who are they fooling?  Remember, we feed our kids this stuff, what do you want them to eat while they are developing?  Go organic, like Cascadian Farms or Kashi brands.  Otherwise, you are probably getting high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, fake sugars, and artificial food colors.

Dairy:  Items like cheese, yogurt, butter, pimento cheese are deceptive.  Most of the 'cheap' or store brand items of these are full of artificial food color.  We go with organic butter and Greek yogurt.  We also use Horizon's Organic cheese to avoid the artificial food colors.  We have yet to find a pimento cheese to go on our celery that is acceptable.

Dessert:  My kids and hubby have a real sweet tooth.  We try to avoid sweets often, but we also indulge from time to time.  Almost all desserts that are pre-made in the bakery section, packaged on shelves, sold in restaurants, or the ice cream parlor are loaded with artificial food color, fake sugar and hydrogenated oils, so it is a must avoid in our home (be sure to use organic, non-bleached, non-GMO flour).  No boxed goods here unless we buy organic.  Make Popsicles, cakes, cookies and muffins and icing from scratch.  Hagendaz is a pretty good ice cream that we can eat most flavors of.

Bread:  Yup, we even choose our bread.  We go with Peppridge Farm All Naturals, or make our bread at home.  Most other breads contain bleached flour and hydrogenated oils.  You can get good breads at Whole Foods or your local farmers market.

Drinks:  Ummm...we drink water.  Yup!  Ok, we can have fresh squeezed lemon aid and juices, but really, we dring water.  All the processed lemon aids, kool-aids, powder packets and sodas contain something (artificial food color, high fructose corn syrup, fake sugar...)

Snacks:  Just get fresh fruits and veggies, some dried snacks like banana chips, raisins and craisins.  Avoid the kids snack will make your body cry!  We also like to make homemade smoothies as a snack.  Pudding, Jell-o, fruit snacks (for the most part) are loaded with offensive ingredients.  There are some safe granola bars and fruit leathers if you look hard.

If you have specific items that you want to know about just comment me!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Hero

This morning while getting ready for church I had one of those rare moments that a parent rarely sees (or in my case hears) but truly enjoys when they do get the experience.  While I was taking a bath I realized that our baby monitor was still turned on when I heard Micah begin to call out for his Daddy.  When Daddy did not come running he began to call louder and louder.  Mackenzie realized that Micah was somewhere and ran in to where I was thinking he was in there (remember, this is where the monitor was echoing).  She asked where her baby brother was and I told her he was in his room, did she want to go help him?  She took off running and yelling, "Don't worry Micah, Mackenzie is coming to rescue you."  I could hear her open his bedroom door (which he accidentally closed and couldn't get out; hence the calling for Daddy).  She then told him, "Don't worry, I rescued you.  Come rock with me."  They both climbed into his glider and she began to gently rock him and shush him.  Then she said, "I rescued you.  I am your hero.  Now I am a REAL super hero."

What made this so sweet is that she was so calming and loving and reassuring to him, and after each thing she would say he would affirm her with an, "UhHuh."  Also, I didn't witness it, but rather just heard it all.  Nothing was done because Mommy or Daddy was watching; but rather simply out of love.  So Sweet! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Eye Spy

I said I would post pictures of the Eye Spy craft/game that I made once it was complete.  Here are Mackenzie and Micah's. 

Objective:  Find all the objects on the list.  Much more fun if you find them in order!  Hint:  The penny is the most difficult to find; it likes to bury itself in the middle.

Educational:  Matching shapes and colors.  Patience, you must find them all.  Cause and Effect; what happens when I twist, turn and shake the bottle?

Here they are!

Mackenzie's on left, Micah's on right

Both kids are a bit obsessed with the frog in the bottle.  They must know where it is at all times, and if it is awake (right side up) or asleep (upside down).  So silly.  I personalized the objects by the colors they like.

With instructions on front.

Don't forget to include laminated instructions and pictures of the objects.I included 15 objects in the bottles.  Other great suggestions would be miniature dice, cars, bugs, princess items...

What can you spy?

Do you do similar crafts?  Tell me about them in the comments section, I just might feature it on this blog!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Here are some of the things Micah does lately.

1.  Micah loves to tell people that he is 4 (just like big Sis).  Then he expects the person to act like they believe him by saying something along the lines of, "4?  How did you get so old so fast?"  To which he begins to giggle and says, "I'm 1."

2.  When Micah likes to act like he just simply can not believe what is being said or done he bends forward at the waste, whips his head around, opens his mouth wide, gets a surprised look on his face and exclaims in a loud, high, gravely voice, "Huh?!"

3.  He calls his Sissy, "Princess".

4.  He hates wearing diapers now even though he is not fully potty trained yet, so getting them on him to go out and about is tricky!

5.  He LOVES Veggie Tales and Signing Time.

6.  He sings and signs his favorite Signing Time all day long.  "Who, who, who has the frog?   Where, where, where did he go?  How, how, how did I lose him?  I don't know, I don't know."

7.  We MUST read The Very First Christmas EVERY time he sits on the potty.

8.  He has a new found love for 6 shooter guns (so great b-day gift along with boots and a hat) and runs around killing all the mosquitoes.  I'm not opposed as long as he remains the Hero and not the Villain.

9.  Want to be outside all the time, no matter how HOT it gets here.  103*  no sweat!

10.  Still loves to give lots of hugs and kisses.

11.  Tries to use Daddy's electric razor to shave his head every morning, or to call his girlfriend when he decides it is a phone.

12.  Looks really cute in big boy under ware.

13.  Enjoys play dough...a lot.

14.  Still does not sleep through the night (up 2-3 times every night, and fully awake by 5 am).  Someone pray about this one for us...we need sleep.

15.  In general, just a happy boy...uh man...uh boy - humm?


Last night was the first time Mackenzie has seen fireworks!  Her bedtime is strictly at 7:00 each night because if she stays awake any later she begins to get loopy (that goes for both our kids).  But, I also know that she is 4 years old and would love to watch fireworks, so I began to prep her a few days ago about staying up and watching them.  It worked!  Although she was yawning, she was also very excited to see the different colors in the sky.  Somehow, by the grace of God, she stayed awake and did not go crazy.  We are blessed in the fact that we do not need to leave our own front yard to see the fireworks.  Actually, we have a perfect view of the city's display, and all the neighbors come out around 9:00 to enjoy the show.  This is really great because our baby was able to sleep in his own bed while the rest of us enjoyed to display.  Needless to say, Mackenzie loved it!  Her favorite were the BIG ROUND ones...she called them "roundish" and "sparklish".  Sorry no pics, but really fun to watch fireworks for the first time through the eyes of our child!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th Of July

Greetings All!  I LOVE the 4th of July.  I always have, but I remember the first July 4th that really, really hit home for me.  I had been suffering and recovering from Guillaine-Barr Syndrome for about a year and KNEW what it felt like to be trapped, enslaved and tortured.  No, none of those things by the hands of another, but rather by the effects that this horrific syndrome had on my very own body.  Having been taken down to the deepest depths of my inner recesses and stripped of all that made me free and independent.  Paralysed, blind, in the most excruciating pain ever (child birth has nothing on Guillaine-Barr) with no end in sight.  I had to depend on everyone for everything.  That July 4th in 2001, while on my road to recovery and listening to music, watching our fireworks 'bombs bursting in air' I began to cry and relate and realize that I am truly free!  Thank you to all the men and women that have served our country and have set us free.  Thank you to all that continue to 'sit on the wall of America' to continually ensure that freedom.  To you I am ever grateful!

I can't stop and think about our American Freedom without pausing to reflect on our God Given Freedom through Christ.  Scripture says, "It is for freedom that He set us free!"  How profound.  He did not set us free to be enslaved in guilt or condemnation or sin, but so we could be truly free in and through Christ.  Free to be love.  Free to live without sin (or to be forgiven from such sin).  Free to go to heaven simply because we accept Christ through grace.  So mostly, Thank you, Jesus, for our freedom!

Here I am 11 years later and this is what we do around our house:

Organic and Whole Wheat Cake - and it is delicious!

Twirling in her American Flag Tutu

Laughing in her American Flag Tutu

So, what do you do to celebrate our independence?  What to you think about and reflect on?  What does this holiday mean to you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below (just click on the comments link)...I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Fast Food Restaurant

I am pleased to announce that I am ADDING a fast food restaurant to my OK to eat at list for my family.  Not that every single item is good, but we can order in a way that avoids the issues that we may have.


We must stay away from the chips because they contain artificial food color.  All tortillas (except whole wheat) contain bleached flour, and both the spinach and cayenne tortillas contain artificial food color.  Also, the ranch sauce contains MSG.

So, if we order a burrito on whole wheat tortilla without ranch dressing we are getting a pretty good meal.  The rest of their salsas, dressings, toppings, and marinades are mostly fresh ingredients. 

Wayne on Tomatoes

Me: Ooh, Yumm.  Heirloom tomatoes.
Wayne: Does heirloom mean ugly?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Getting Crafty

So I was invited to join in a 'learning pre-school' busy bag swap and decided to go ahead and do it.  There are only 5 families (9 kids totoal), so it is a managable size.  Also, this is a group of ladies I have never met before. 

Because of all this new excitement I think I have gone craft crazy over here at my house.  For the busy bag swap I am doing 'Eye Spy' with objects and rice in a water bottle.  I will post a picture when they are done.  I am also doing a 'Discovery Bottle' that is created for each child.  I put letter beads inside to spell their name, and used their favorite colors.  Fill with water and hot glue the lid on.  Object of the game: Find the letters in your name, Shake, Roll, Spin and Twirl...learn cause and effect.

Micah and Mackenzie's Discovery Bottles

This has unleashed some sort of CRAZY CRAFT LADY from deep inside of me.  We have also done some 3D art.

Micah's 3D Butterfly Footprints

Mackenzie's 3D Butterfly Footprints

Mackenzie & Micah 3D Elephant Hand Prints

And Sort Objects By Size into water bottles.  I did various color and texture pipe cleaners and ribbons.

Playing with Object Sorting Game

What are some things you do with your Kids to keep busy and creative?

Mackenzie On My Lips

Mackenzie:  Mommy, I can kiss you because my lips don't hurt.

Or here is one from the other day.

Mackenzie: Mommy, I'm sorry your lips hurt.  Jesus is looking at them right now.  Jesus is crying.  Oh, I better pray.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Love My Lips

Who knows what that title is from?




Veggie Tales, then you are RIGHT!

It is from Larry the Cucumber's I love my lips.  And in honor of my lips swelling up and itching YET AGAIN I have decided to put on the Silliy Songs DVD and enjoy watching I Love My Lips with my kids.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions and recommendations as to what I should do about my lips are greatly appreciated!