Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Cost of Conviction

Well today I can tell you exactly what the cost of conviction is. It is $5.99 for a package of free range organic roasted chicken breast lunch meat!!! My kids are not PB&J sandwich kids. They eat turkey/chicken sandwiches almost every day. That was one of the things that I had never thought of when deciding that I would only by organic, free range meat. But as I kept telling myself at the grocery store while wrestling with the cost of organic lunch meat...."Either I believe that this is right or I don't." And I do believe that this is the right thing to do. It still hurts a little though.
It did inspire another conversation with Brooklyn about doing the "right" thing even though it's hard.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life Changing Film!

The documentary Food Inc, by filmaker Robert Kenner takes a hard look at the food we are eating, where it is coming from and the politics behind the food industry. Let me tell you people, this film is shocking and at least for me LIFE CHANGING! There are so many reasons why you NEED to watch this film. Ignorance is not bliss. There were some very shocking things about bacteria such as ecoli and salmonella in the meat products you are eating and the SHOCKING origins of ecoli. They also tried to uncover the corruption in the beurocratic and political arenas that are supposed to be protecting us such as the FDA, and the USDA. However for me, these were not the things that have changed my views on the meats and animal products I will be buying.
Now, I am not a crazy 'animal rights' type person. I believe that God gave us animals as food, but in saying that I also believe that God gave us dominion over the animals and therefore we are responsible for how these animals are being treated. In watching this film I saw chickens who were so fat (pumped up with homones, to make them bigger, faster, because we all love those big, white meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts) that they can not support the weight of their own legs, and either don't move or have broken legs. The chickens never even see the light of day. Cattle that are sick, because they are being fed corn instead of grass. Cows that never see a pasture and stand ankle deep in their manure, until they are loaded into a truck to be slaughtered. I just don't think that we are being responsible stewards of what God has given us to take care of.
Last Saturday night we had a mouse in our gargage and I set a trap to get it. On Sunday morning, the kids were anxious to see if we had caught the mouse. Now I did not really want the kids to see the dead mouse, but they were insistent and I decided to let them have a peak anyway, and then we would talk about it. Sure enough we went out to the garage, and in our trap was a little, dead mouse. It brought up some really great conversation between Brooklyn and I about how God gave us authority over the animals, but that also means that we are responsible to take care of them. She wanted to know why I killed the mouse and I told her because the little mouse already knew how to get into our garage and the last mouse found it's way into the house, and that they will chew holes in the wall and poop on stuff. This satisfied her curiosity. But while watching this documentary about where our food is coming from I was reminded of my conversation with Brooklyn and what it means for us to have authority over the animals.
I felt horrible for the way our food industry is handling the animals, and feel like it is irresponsible and immoral to support these practices. I have always known that organic meats are a better choice for the health of my family, and when on sale I would buy them. Most of the time, however I would make a choice in favor of my budget and but the cheaper meats, but I can't do that anymore.

I feel morally compelled to vote with my dollar, and back-up what I believe about our responsibilty to the creatures God placed us over, and only buy organic, free range, grown the way God intended meats. It's going to be a hard road sometimes, Organic meat is Expensive, but that's the beauty of our wonderful capitalistic society. We have a choice to vote with our dollar, and the larger demand that there is for chicken and beef raised the way God intended, the industry will follow suit and things can change. But as long as people keep demanding, giant hormone filled, grown in 48 days by genetic engineering instead of 5 months, boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 a lb, there will never be any change in the industry. Even if only to model to my children that we are responsible for the choices we make, and that choosing to do the right thing IS important.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We had a busy weekend with lots of firsts! Saturday Brooklyn was invited to a roller skating birthday @ Skate City. Her first time one skates. It was a little rough at first, but once we got her wheels tightened a little, she had a blast.

Yep, that's her wrestling with the boys. They were knocking each other down on purpose. I kept trying to convince her to skate with the girls. But she would much rather play "crash" with the boys
The boys had their first all boys "brother" bath and Brooklyn took her first shower all by herself. (sniff, sniff)

Joel is experimenting with standing up in the tub. Last night we actually had quite the battle where he would stand up, I'd say no, no Joely and make him sit down. He'd get mad and throw himself back, I'd hold his head up while he threw a fit so he didn't drown. When he was done with his tantrum, I'd sit him back up. At which point he would pull himself back up on the side of the tub and we'd repeat the whole process. We did that about 6 or 7 times and then I just got him out of the tub.

Sunday morning was the first big snowfall that the kids got to go out and play this year. I agreed to suit up as well and go help build a snowman.

Brooklyn putting the final touches on our "snow lady"


As soon as we came in, and got all un-suited. They climbed onto the couch to stare out the window at their creation. It was adorable!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

'Wicked' adventures!

I have been dying to see Wicked for YEARS! I actually was trying to plan a whole girls trip to L.A. last fall with the sole purpose of seeing it. Instead I had a baby. Naturally, when I heard Wicked was coming to Denver I was overjoyed, especially when Mike called and said he was going to take me to see it. Well, without verbally crucifying my husband on line, I'll just say....the tickets did not get bought and the show was sold out. Thus began the adventure.
I have been trying to find some on Craigslist, ebay, other ticket vendors etc for a couple of weeks, All to no avail. This weekend is closing weekend, so I decided to take matters to the next level. Every night they do a lottery drawing @ 6 pm for tickets to the show, so Elaina and I decided to head to Denver last night to try the lottery. We left @ 4pm which should have got us to the box office for 5:30. Once we got into Denver, the traffic was UNREAL! I think according to the GPS we only had 15 miles to destination, but there we were, on I 25 barely moving. Meanwhile I was developing an ulcer as I watched the time for the lottery drawing come and go. But we pressed on, thinking surely there will be scalpers? When we got to the theatre, we walked around for a few minutes looking for someone who pehaps was trying to profit from our misfortune. Since it was still 1 1/2 hours from the show starting, we decided to grab a quick bite and coffee from a cafe right out front of the theatre where we could scout for shady people with tickets to sell. For those of you who really know Elaina and I, you can imagine how much fun we had doing this. Every person with a back pack or trenchcoat, or ball cap was clearly a scalper (to us) and we tried to track there activity. At about 7 we headed back out to the cold to find us some tickets. There was another couple holding a little sign, looking for tickets so we stole their idea, made a better sign and tried to look more desperate and pathetic.

The first single ticket came within 15 min. A group of ladies from Salt Lake City, a girls trip planned months in advance, one of the ladies couldn't come. We didn't buy the ticket outright, but we exchanged numbers in case we found another single. Another 10 min or so, a family sees our sign, and says they have a single seat. Their son broke up with his girlfriend. A quick call to the ladies from Salt Lake and we were in!!!! My heart was leaping with joy!!!

I actually got choked up during one of the first songs, not beacuse it was an emotional song but I couldn't believe I was finally there, watching WICKED! It was an awesome show. Not even too built up in my mind. Better than I imagined. The music was awesome!

We finally arrived home between 12 and 12:30. Upon my arrival home I found a hallway full of dirty diapers. Someone had dumped out the diaper pail and there were nasty diapers every where. I couldn't even have got into the door of Joels room. ( Mike had to get up to let me in, and as we was sleepily climbing back into bed, said that Judah had probably done it. Mike had found him awake and wondering around at approx 11pm.) Mike climbed back into bed and I cleaned up all the diapers. After taking them out to the trash, I popped into the kids bathroom to wash my hands so that I wouldn't have to turn the light on in our bathroom and there it was.... An entire bottle of Childrens Motrin sitting on the counter, lid off, empty. Now I knew that this was an almost brand new bottle, so immediately I ran to Mike and woke him up with a "WHERE"S THE MOTRIN?" He sleepily looked at me and said "What are you talking about?" I shoved the empty bottle in his face and said "IT'S EMPTY!" Mike jumped out of bed and we ran downstairs to our respective computers and tried to find out about Motrin overdose. After a quick call to Poison Control, they sent me to the ER with some scary words. I believe what she said was "What E.R. will you go to? I'm going to call them and give them all the info and tell them you're on your way. They'll be waiting for you. We need to check his kidneys for Renal function." Those are not the words a mommy wants to hear, let me tell you!

When we got to the E.R. it was not as big of a deal as the woman from poison control thought. They monitored him for a bit, gave him an orange popsicle and sent us home. The very cute doctor told me he might have a tummy ache today, and to keep an eye on him.
Not exactly how I wanted to end my night at the theatre, but so glad I took him in, and very thankful that he was alright!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I would like to live someone else's life today. Not trade mine away, just live a different one for today (or maybe a few). It hasn't been the worst day ever. I just woke up feeling like I wanted to get ready for work, and go to a job. Put in my eight hours. Meet some friends for dinner. No responsibilities, no one to take care of, no laundry and kids and husband waiting at home. (see, even when a mommy escapes for a bit there is always stuff waiting for her at home- baths to give, dinner to come up with, markers all over the sheets on the guest bed....)
If you were a fly on a wall in my house this morning you would probably say to me that I sound a lot like the fit Brooklyn threw. Sometimes I let her pick her own clothes and sometimes it's mommy's day to pick. Today I picked out one of her new dresses.( I just bought it a few weeks ago, she has only worn it a couple times) Pink with butterflies, very cute, but she didn't want to wear it. She wanted "new dresses!" I told her that she was having an ungrateful heart. That lots of little girls have no pretty dresses to wear at all, that she needed to put on the dress and change her attitude immediately (she was hiding under her bed, crying).
I am not blind to the irony here. There are millions of people that would give anythng for my life. Loving husband, 3 beautiful, healthy, precious children, house, car, stability. I AM thankful for my life. I would never trade working out of the home for being with my kids. I have a GREAT life. Nonetheless, I still feel the same, today. No need to panic- I'm not in the depths of despair. But I don't think it is necessary to feel fulfilled and sastified in my life every day, at every moment. What I think is more important is making the right choices. To choose to be loving and engaged, regardless of how I feel. To thank God for my family and His calling on my life. and maybe tommorow I won't feel the same.
Not the prettiest and most inspiring post, but it's honest!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Boys, Little Boys

Before I actually had children, I always thought I wanted a house full of boys. Now in my imagination these boys were big, football playing, teenage boys who loved their mamma and came to me to talk about girls, friends, and life. Somehow, I never thought about 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 year old boys who love nothing more than mischief, breaking things, antagonizing, shouting and hitting things and jumping off furniture. My biggest boy is not even 3 yet, but I'm a smart enough gal to know that it's going to get worse before it gets any better. Judah is adorable. Adorable enough that he could hit you in the face and then smile at you, and you can't help to laugh. (I make an extra effort to make sure he knows that he can't just chram his way through life-because most people will let him get away with almost anything...Elaina) And Sweet-oh man is he sweet. His hugs turn me to mush! But he is also a wild animal! The boy never stops moving unless he is sleeping. He won't even sit still to watch a movie-he'll watch for about 8 min-that's the magic number. Then he is rolling around, poking his sister, throwing things at the tv or asking me 300 of the 6000 questions he asks me every day. He is also very generous. He ALWAYS wants to share. When we were potty training he would get 3 little M&M's for pottying, and every time he would want to give one to Brooklyn. Even when she was at school and I would say to him "sweet heart, Brooklyn's at school. Why don't you just eat it?" He would have me set it up on the counter for her.

Today he filled the toilet up with toilet paper and consequently flooded the bathroom (not the first time he's done this) After his spanking, (he knows that he is not allowed to touch the t.p. bacause, again, he was a repeat offender) I asked him if his bum was sore and he said yes. I said "Judah, do you think that your sore bum will help you remember to not play with the toilet paper?" Judah (very matter of factly)-"No." So I said "Well then I might need to give you another spanking so you will remembr. He replied, wailing "It remembers me! It remembers me!"

I know that the days of 'little boy crazy' won't last forever and I pray and strive every day to build that relationship so that one day when I do have big, football playing teenage boys, that they will want to come to me and talk about girls, and school and cars.

And for those of you who remember Brooklyn as a 2 year old......I am exceedingly grateful that Judah's adventures are not of a fecal nature ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


While out trick or treating with my kids this Halloween, I was extra aware of the "horror" type, costumes and decorations. And I have been pondering some questions to my myself for the last couple days. What do I say to my kids about Halloween and Magic and sorcery. (you'll see where I'm going with this second part in a second.)
For the sake of background, I was raised in a home tha did not Celebrate Halloween. Not only did we just not celebrate it, but we went to a christian school that showed us videos about Satanic cults and told us that babies were killed and sacrificed on Halloween. My mom wouldn't even let us look out the windows at the other kids that were trick or treating. We also were not allowed to watch any movies that contained magic. (No little mermaid, sleeping beauty, Care Bears) Now I want to clarify that I am not making any judgments on anyone elses decisions for their own family I am simply trying to show the different sides.
I take my own kids trick or treating, I think it's fun, they think it's fun. They're adorable in their little costumes. But Brooklyn asked me why we didn't decorate for Halloween and I didn't really have a good answer for her other than that, I just didn't want to. (My friend Heidi has since given me a really great answer that Brooklyn and I talked about: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving-those are all things that we are celebrating about God and they are special because they teach us about God, but halloween is just fun to dress us and get candy and it's not really special)
But I also don't want to be ignorant. For a lot of people Halloween is about celebrating darkness and fear. I am just trying to figure out for myself where the balance is. I don't want to shelter my kids, I don't think that their relationship with God or their holiness is going to be affected either way by participating or not in Halloween. But I don't want to glorify fear and darkness either. My kids are smart, they are going to have lots of questions.
The second but, pairing aspect with this is the 'magic' I have no problem whatsoever with Brooklyn watching Disney and Barbie movies ( lot's of magic and spells) but when she is playing with her Barbies and I hear talking about 'the evil queen is trying to put a spell on the princess' I know that we need to talk about the difference between magic and miracles, and spells and withcraft. The main point of this post is to put the questions out there. What do you say to your kids? Where do you draw the line? How do you deal with the 'darkness of Halloween? I really do want to hear thoughts and opinions. Let me know! Let's just all remember to be respectful of other peoples choices and opinions in our posts. This is not a black and white issue. I'm pretty sure that the Bible doesn't say "Thou shall not Trick or Treat" so let's not try and be every one elses personal holy spirit :)