29 April 2011

Special Series: How It All Began

The How

I delved a little into how I got to this point in the last post.  Mainly, I found the courage to let us run out of basic household supplies, creating a necessity to figure out simpler and less toxic alternatives.  And although some of those strategies have evolved over the years (i.e. I haven't been fully satisfied with window cleaners until I started using microfiber cloths), the basic strategy has been the same.

Even still, it took some digging to find the alternatives, and to convince myself I could do it.  Below is a list of basic supplies and tools, along with some of my favorite resources.  They're grouped by category, in case you are more of a cook and want to start there, or are ready for a switch in your beauty routine.  Some of these things I've mentioned in previous posts, but hopefully this will be a nice one stop resource for you to find your passion and how to get there.

For Cleaning
Basic tools:  
spray bottles (don't assume you need new ones...that window cleaner bottle might work just fine)
funnel (for stuff like laundry detergent)
microfiber cloths
old toothbrushes (soak in bleach or equivalent, wrap duct tape around the handle to mark it as a house cleaner rather than a tooth cleaner)
old plastic jars, containers, laundry detergent bottles, etc.

Basic supplies:
Baking soda
essential oils
for laundry detergent:  borax, washing soda, Fels Naptha soap (borax is also a good multi-purpose cleaner; you should be able to find these products at your grocery, but they are also available online)

Favorite resources:  
baking soda and vinegar books by Vicki Lansky

For Cooking
Basic tools:  
multipurpose cookware such as a dutch oven, cast iron skillet, etc.
immersion blender (regular blender works fine but adds another step and more to clean)
jars for freezing sauces

Basic supplies:
A well stocked pantry is essential for a diet of whole, natural food.  Having things on hand reduces the temptation to stop at a drive through or order pizza 3 or more times a week.
See here for a list of basic pantry items
As for our pantry, we keep supplies for bread baking and sauce making (canned tomatoes, sauce, etc.), as well as nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for snacks.  We eat a lot of rice (many will tell you to stay away from white rice, but our time in Japan influenced our cooking dramatically), quinoa, and beans.  We always have cheese, milk, and eggs on hand as well.  We buy fresh fruits and veggies from an open air market, buying as locally and seasonally as possible.

Favorite resources:
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day  -my absolute favorite book in the kitchen.  Once I realized I could bake bread, I was inspired to make other things from scratch as well.
Kitchen Stewardship -I use regular recipe search sites, like www.food.com and allrecipe.com, but my #1 is hands down the Kitchen Stewardship blog.  It is full of great recipes, plus lots of educational articles, lists, and more.  If you are really, truly ready to take the plunge, check out their handy chart for information, in categories, on what to eat and what to avoid.  We don't follow it exactly (for instance, I still use canned tomatoes, corn, and black beans), but I've learned a lot from this simple tool.

For Personal Care

This is still new for me, but I can recommend this website as a place to start.  You can search for your favorite products to see how safe they are, or you can browse a category to find something safe.  The rating is based on the individual ingredients in the products reviewed.  I've used it for sunscreen, shampoo, soap, and makeup.

So far, we have swapped out all our soap for castile (I like Dr Bronner's), I wash my face with oil and use jojoba oil as moisturizer.  I make my own deodorant with baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil.  

Well, I hope that's a good start for you on your own journey.  If you have any tips I haven't listed, feel free to share.  I'm still learning too, so I'm always looking for good ideas.

28 April 2011


My husband pointed something out about my last blog post.  I am laughing so hard about it there are tears in my eyes as I make a slight correction.

Yes, I let myself run out of deodorant.




(please see this post for the details)

Ok.  Just had to point that out.

Thank you for your understanding.

27 April 2011

Special Series: How It All Began

The What

So I think I've established that I was ready for some change.  But where to start in the sea of confusion that is healthy food, nontoxic cleaning products, and a simpler life? 

Process of elimination.

I have never considered myself a cook.  Even now I don't think of myself that way, although we eat nearly all of our meals at home and from scratch.  So the food thing had to wait.

A simpler life was my goal, but it was too broad for a place to start.

But, cleaners...cleaning was and still is a bit of an obsession interest for me.  I like efficiency, organization, and cleanliness.  I figured I could swap out a couple cleaners for the seemingly all purpose baking soda and vinegar stuff easily enough.  

I got two books (see here and here) on all the uses for those two items...


created about 3 uses for them.  

Yup.  I cleaned my sinks with baking soda, my countertops with vinegar, and my bathtub with a combination of the two.

I still used furniture cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner, etc, etc, etc.

But, I was on the right path, headed in the right direction.  I liked the results I was getting and eventually became inspired to expand my horizons.  

So I got crazy and let myself run out of window cleaner.  I just stopped buying it.  And guess what?  The earth continued to rotate on its axis even though I no longer had window cleaner in my house.  And, even better, my windows still got clean.

Since I met with success on these first attempts, I was willing to try new things.  Blogs helped a lot with that, since they are constantly changing.  My next natural step was to try to make laundry soap.  Turns out, it's super easy and super frugal.  Score.

But the cooking thing was still looming over my head.  My repertoire of edible meals was so small that I didn't believe I could realistically make - well - anything.  I mean, seriously, we ate rice and beans, pasta, and baked chicken.  But then I read a book that totally changed how I looked at food.  And I realized that I would never be able to eat meat in the same way again.  And if that were the case, then I would either need to figure out how to make more things or starve.  Since I also had a family to feed, starving was out of the question.  So, back to the research.  This time, recipe websites, but not for whole meals.  Just for the basics, like marinara sauce, pancake syrup, etc.

And guess what?  It wasn't hard at all to make marinara sauce and pancake syrup.  Hooray!  You know what I did next?  You guessed it - I started letting myself run out of stuff again.  Syrup, sauce, soup.  I started making big batches when I had the time.  The blender and the freezer became trusted friends.  I've gradually increased the number of things I make from scratch; my two big ones currently are bread and granola.

And that's kind of been my amazing revolutionary strategy.  The most recent things I let myself run out of were paper towels and deodorant.  Still going strong using old t-shirt rags, and people continue to willingly come visit me, so I must still smell pretty.

Surprisingly enough, the beauty products have been the last thing to change.  To be honest, I never considered an alternative to them until recently.  

And just to be clear, we still have a fair share of processed food and convenience items in the house.  This is an ongoing process, and some favorites are hard to give up.  But that is another post for another day...

Up next - the how.

25 April 2011

Special Series: How It All Began

The Why

Warning:  This post is going to ramble.  Just saying.

My husband's college roommate came to visit, and he mentioned his wife reads my blog.  Thanks, Lynn!  Anyway, he also mentioned about some of the changes that they are trying to make in their family, and my husband told him about a couple of the resources I use.  When we were talking about it later, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to post how we got to this point in our lives.  I don't know, Lynn, if you are interested in any of this, but regardless, this post is dedicated to you.  After all, Nate's blog inspired me to start blogging about our family, and now here we are, 2 blogs and several years later.

I've never been too fond of convenience foods, mainly packaged meals.  The sole reason for this is that I'm a little bit of a picky eater.  It's gotten a lot better, but suffice it to say I have texture issues.  Mushy noodles, veggies, and casseroles are not my thing.  But I never considered I had an alternative.  So I just kept trying new stuff hoping I would like it.  And then out of curiosity I started reading labels, wondering how much sugar I was feeding my kids.  I thought I was doing pretty good, since they didn't drink juice or eat "candy" cereal.  But holy cow almost everything I bought, from sauces to crackers had added sugar or corn syrup.  Still, I thought my only alternative was to read labels more carefully.  A sign of the times, I guess.  I mean, these convenience foods were designed to make my life easier…why would I want to complicate things by making my own stuff?  

Well, the label reading got more and more discouraging.  At the same time, I was getting frustrated that I had to shut myself into the bathroom to clean it, or wait until the toddlers were asleep, because I didn't want them breathing all the chemicals.  So instead I got to breath them in concentrated doses because of poor ventilation, got dizzy, and had to do the cleaning in spurts.  That was just no fun at all.  

I finally started to turn on my brain and realized there must be an easier way.  I think I'd been so conditioned to listen to all the media telling me I must have this cleaner for this job, this food for this meal, and take my kids to this restaurant for this kid's meal.  Advertisements are effective.

We live in America, the land of the free.  But I just felt more and more like I didn't have true choice, that I was only choosing between different brands of the same items.  I felt like I was blindly following the masses, like a lemming to the sea.  I decided I was smart enough to learn more.  That my family deserved better.  That even if I ended up buying the same foods or using the same products, I needed to make an informed choice rather than an ignorant one.  

On my road to information, I naturally concluded that I should be shopping at places like Whole Foods.  Great idea - they have a ton of awesome food.  I love all of the alternative things you can find there that aren't in a conventional grocery store.  And I love the healthy prepared foods also.  But…I soon discovered that money stewardship was going to suffer if I continued that habit.  Places like that are great for special items, but it just wasn't feasible as a primary shopping destination.  Same goes for "natural" cleaning products.  Some I do like, but again, continued use was going to break the bank.  By this time, a small seed was germinating in my mind, but I couldn't yet put my finger on what it was…

So I started reading.  First books, like The Omnivore's Dilemma and Cradle To Cradle.  The seed was growing.  And then I started reading blogs.  At first I literally followed links from Google searches.  And I followed links from those links.  And gradually that seed in my mind grew and I saw the world and my place in it in a whole new way.  I realized that people never used to have all these specialized chemical cleaners, or all this packaged food, and they turned out ok.  

And here's the thing:  I grew up thinking that environmental issues are for hippy tree huggers.  And I'm not exactly that.  But I am a lover of Jesus.  And a lover of the earth God created.  And if that's the case, then being a steward of ALL that has been entrusted to me (money, my family, our world) is just a natural thing to do.  But I didn't just wake up one day and throw out all my toilet cleaners and boxes of mac and cheese.  In fact, I still have some emergency boxes in the pantry, because you never know.  The point is, I had to start small.  Really stinking small.  

How small?  With what?  Well, you'll just have to wait for my next post, because I have rambled on and on and on enough for one day.

21 April 2011

Just One Thing

Leave to Come Back

I'm back from my little vacation.

And this little vacation was everything it promised and more.  I'm refreshed, happy, content, and ready to Be Here for my family.

I spent a week with my best of best friends.  I left my children in the care of my husband, who loves me enough to use vacation days to give me this gift.

We did next to nothing.  Unless we wanted to.

Sometimes we wanted to take walks.  Sometimes we wanted to get good exercise.  Nothing like running along the Mediterranean Sea with a warm breeze in your face.  Sometimes we wanted to chat.  Sometimes we wanted to stop chatting and read.  Sometimes we just wanted to sit and watch the world go by.  

We did all of that and more.  

I used to get so frustrated as a new mother.  I wanted to be home with my son all the time.  I wanted to play with him all day long.  You know, be perfect.  But I wasn't.  I got angry easily.  I was tired.  I used to sit down to play with him, get bored, check the clock, and realize only 10 minutes had gone by.  Eventually, for the health of both of us, I got a job.  A very part time job.  It started just when my husband was able to watch my son, but gradually expanded to a few hours a week with a babysitter, once he was a little older.  

I had to get over enormous amounts of guilt.  Until I discovered I was a much better mother with this little bit of time away.  I've continued that in some form with all of my children, once they got old enough to handle me being gone.  And it's still working.  I'm more patient, loving, and empathetic.  But most of all, I enjoy my kids more.  I don't take them for granted.  I look forward to school breaks, or the fact that they have one half day per week.  Still not perfect, but a huge improvement over how things were.

This isn't the answer for everyone.  But it is for me.  

I am realizing that needing time to take care of myself (yes, even for an occasional holiday) isn't selfish or ungodly.  It gives me the tools I need to Parent My Children.  It gives me greater capacity to love and nurture.  

And so, now, I am happy for the 2 week break the boys have starting tomorrow.  I'm ready to spend time together, getting dirty and making memories.  

Bring It On.

14 April 2011

Heart Health

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be out of touch for about a week.

I am going on a long awaited trip with my best best friend.  Husbands managed to get vacation days at the same time to hold down the fort at home.

We're going away to talk, laugh, and relax.  To strengthen our souls and our hearts.

Ok, enough talking.  I have to go pack.  See you on the other side!

13 April 2011


The Experiment

Well, I've mentioned this before, but this time I actually did it.  In fact, I did it a few weeks ago, but I wanted to be sure I liked it before I touted it as the Next Great Thing.

It wasn't hard.  It was super easy.

It works better than anything I've ever tried.

I keep it in an old olive container.

I'm so confident about it that I've even worked up the courage to mention it to a few people I know.

And not one of them made a joke that they could smell it.  Or me.


I made my own deodorant.

And while it's not summer yet, I've gone through a couple days where I was overdressed for the weather and got kind of sweaty, or when I was a little nervous.

I am so very happy with the results, the little effort involved, and the cost that I don't see myself going back to store bought deodorant any time soon.

Try it with this recipe.  It works for me, maybe it will work for you too.

11 April 2011



My 7 year old has a big plan.  He's going to own an organic farm with he grows up.  

Many small children like farms, but outgrow them.  Not him.  His plan just becomes more and more elaborate as he gets older.

We recently took a trip to Luxembourg.  We stayed on a farm.  He took informational pictures of the equipment.

His farm will have cows so he can have fresh milk, chickens for fresh eggs, and lots of plants.  He will use bugs instead of chemicals as pest control.  He will use some machinery, but he will also use animals for labor when he can.

He will grow wheat that he will grind into flour.

He will also make his own bread dough and pasta so that he can have a pizza parlor and Italian restaurant.

We are invited to live on his farm.  But not in his house.

Think we still have a huge influence on his life?

10 April 2011


In Defense of Food
What I Should Have Said

Recently I was having a conversation about an acquaintance regarding things we should and should not eat.  This person was surprised to learn we still eat wheat products.  He himself is an advocate of healthy eating, trying to avoid hydrogenated oils, reading research regarding soy products, etc.  He said that while they still eat gluten products, he feels like they shouldn't and desires to move to gluten free eating in the future.  While I share his sentiment for establishing good eating habits, I was speechless when he asked if we still eat wheat.  The answer, of course, is yes, we do, and I said as much.  But I had a hard time articulating myself under the pressure.

Later that evening, as I was thinking about that conversation, I found my answer.  I was frustrated that it took me so long to think of such a simple answer, and that I didn't have the chance to communicate our philosophy on eating.  

Fortunately for me, I have an outlet to communicate myself.  This person does not read my blog, but if he did, this is what I would say to him (if I had thought of it at the time).

We don't avoid foods.  We just try to eat real food.  Wheat is not bad.  Ingredients you can't pronounce are bad.  Transporting food across the world is bad.  Knowing what is in your food (making it yourself) is good.  Even if it has wheat, gluten, or *gasp* sugar.

We make a point to use ingredients in their most natural forms.  This includes, but is not limited to, fresh, seasonal vegetables, unbleached flour, unrefined sugar, alternative forms of sweetener such as pure maple syrup and honey, fresh organic cheeses, etc.  

In practice, this means we end up making a lot of our food from scratch.  We still like to eat snack type foods, but our goal is to have control over what's in those foods.  So, my google list includes recipes for crackers, granola, granola bars, etc.

So, yes, we eat wheat.  Yes, we eat sugar.  And we savor every bite.

09 April 2011

Even More Confessions

#1:  I forgot AGAIN to do Forget It Friday.  I'm taking it too literally...

#2:  I forgot to bathe my kids this week.  Well, I remembered on Thursday, but before that who knows.  I used to bathe the kids every night as a bedtime routine, but now that they don't get home from school until 4pm, it's a mad rush to have some much needed downtime, do homework, eat dinner, read, etc.  Who needs a bath?

#3:  It was the kind of week where the cleaning schedule went out the window, I went to bed at least an hour too late every night, and frankly I'm just glad we all survived.

BUT, it was also the kind of week where it was sunny and pretty warm almost every day, flowers were blooming, and we just couldn't stay inside doing boring "jobs."  Instead, we planted flowers, lettuce, and spinach, cleaned up the mound of dirt by the hole the boys are digging (it was piled on top of some bushes, which the bushes didn't like), and hung our laundry outside.  We rode our bikes to do errands, and I ate spinach and asparagus, and the first greenhouse tomatoes of the season every night for dinner.

After I put the kids in bed I took my computer and my book outside and sat until my toes nearly froze off and I couldn't see the screen of my Kindle.

With a week like that, who has time for chores?  I love spring.

07 April 2011

Just One Thing


"That night the Lord said to Gideon, 'Get up!  Attack the camp, for I am handing it over to you.  But if you are afraid to attack, go down tot the camp with Purah your servant and listen to what they are saying.  Then you will be brave and attack the camp.'"  Judges 7:9-10

[Jesus said] "  Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me.  Yet not my will but yours be done."
Luke 22:42

While doing my small group study this week, I was reading about how prayer provides us with confidence in decision making.  

But what I was struck with more was how God made allowances for fear.  Gideon was being asked to attack a huge army with only a few hundred men.  And Jesus, well, even if you aren't a Christian, you know what the Bible says about Him.  His prayer above shows us He didn't want to die.  

There are other examples of men being asked to do things they didn't want to do.  God knew what He was asking of these men.  He allowed for their emotions, their fear.  It seems as if He expected it, and He addressed it.

God knows me, and He knows my fear.  He desires my obedience, despite the fear.  He offers to keep it for me, but He doesn't ask me to cover it up.  The decisions I make sometimes require me to step boldly into the unknown, trusting in Power beyond my own.  But despite these requirements, my bold steps are usually timid tiptoes.  

It's ok.  Godly men who walked before me had these same emotions, and godly men after me will as well.  My Father knows.  But He is bigger than my fears, my worries.  He can take it, and replace it with bravery.  

But even if the fear clings to me, still I must make my choice (good or bad), and still He will be near.

04 April 2011


Favorite Things

Books I've recently read or am reading:

1.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
    Some people were turned off by the sometimes soapbox approach to her family's writing, but it didn't bother me.  I found it very educational and motivating to eat fresh seasonal produce.

2.  The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
     One of the first books I read concerning the food we eat.  Life changer for us.

3.  Food Rules by Michael Pollan
     Quick read and good follow up to the book above, especially if you are ready to make changes.

4.  Cradle To Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
     Not just about recycling, which is really a one time process.  A call for intelligent design that lends itself to continuous rebirth of the products we use.

5.  Swindled:  The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee by Bee Wilson
     My husband just downloaded this book for me.  I am not too far into it, but it's an interesting look at our culture of expectations regarding food, and how those in the industry met those expectations, to their profit and the general public's peril.

6.  Girls will be Girls:  Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by Joann Deak and Teresa Barker
     I heard Dr. Deak give a presentation regarding the most recent research into the neurological development of girls vs boys.  With a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in occupational therapy, I am very interested in neurology.  But this book is well written with the average parent in mind.  It gives intelligent evidence supporting her claims, but it is written in very understandable and usable language.

I do read fiction also, but these books are what have influenced me as of late.  Maybe next time I'll share the books I read purely for their entertainment value.

03 April 2011

100 Things

Post #100

I can't believe I'm at post #100.  I thought this day would never come...a move to Europe, 3 kids, a new job, a husband who travels for his job.

But we made it!  So, instead of my usual Sunday rant, here are 100 things you may or may not know about me.  Just skip on by and come visit again tomorrow if you would rather, but if you're interested, read on:

1.  I don't like my food to touch on my plate.
2.  I love love college football.
3.  Someday I want to move to Olympia WA.
4.  Someday after that I want to sell our house and spend all my time traveling the world.
5.  I want to see everywhere at least once.
6.  It started when I went to Europe after I graduated high school.
7.  It continued when I convinced my husband to move to Hawaii with no jobs, no place to live, etc.
8.  Even now I hesitate to revisit somewhere since there are so many places I haven't yet seen.
9.  Ohio State is my favorite college football team.
10.  I've been accused of being pretty random in my conversations.
11. One of the many reasons I love my best best friend is that she can follow my randomness.
12. I am a better mother when I work just a little outside the home.
13. I gave up eating meat after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma.
14. I reluctantly started eating meat again when I had an iron deficiency with my third pregnancy, even with taking supplements and stuffing myself with veggies like spinach.
15. I now eat meat occasionally, but I don't cook it at home.
16. I am getting "crunchier" as I get older.
17. I'm not much of a movie watcher.
18.  I love U2.
19.  I think Bono is cool, but I like the Edge better.
20.  I got my first tattoo on a dare.
21.  My favorite job was as an O.T. in a neonatal intensive care unit.
22.  I would still be working there if my husband hadn't gotten transferred.
23.  And if it hadn't been in Corpus Christi, TX.
24.  I'm more of an island girl than a south Texas girl.
25.  I don't like to wear shoes.
26.  Or socks.
27.  I spent the entire ferry ride across the English channel getting sick.
28.  Now I insist we take the Chunnel whenever we go to England.
29.  I hate going to parties where I don't know anyone.
30.  I'm not good at starting conversations with strangers, which is probably why #29 is true.
31.  I love mint chocolate chip ice cream.
32.  I also love to run.
33.  I ran my first half marathon with my husband for our 13th anniversary (13 for 13, baby).
34.  I used to get migraines 2-3x/week.
35.  Now it's just 2-3x/month.
36.  I got married when I was still in college.
37.  We lived on a dairy farm.
38.  We were so poor we used to fly our kite in the cow pasture for entertainment.
39.  In the summer I had to study with a fly swatter in my hand.
40.  When I finally graduated we sold everything we owned and bought 2 one way plane tickets to Hawaii (I wasn't joking about #7).
41.  The only things we took with us were 12 boxes we mailed and a jeep.
42.  We sold that jeep when I was pregnant with our first child.
43.  I still miss that jeep.
44.  I refuse to drive a minivan.
45.  My first job was setting up home treatment programs for kids with autism.
46.  I had no idea what I was doing.
47.  I let my kids jump on the couch and play with running water in the sink.  Not the autistic kids, my own kids, now.  
48.  I am the parent on the playground letting my under 2 year old climb up the ladder and go down the slide by herself.
49.  I think parents overprotect their children, generally speaking.
50.  I am not prone to hysteria.
51.  I wonder about the day when my oldest son will start being embarrassed by his silly parents.
52.  I am sad that so far none of my kids are left handed like me.
53.  But I'm still holding out hope for The Girl.
54.  I'm letting my boys dig A Hole in the backyard.
55.  It's so deep that yesterday boy #2 had to help The Girl climb out of it.
56.  I try to not drive the car at least one day per week.
57.  I chop up spinach really small, call it spices, and add it to everything.
58.  I just admitted that to my 7 year old 2 days ago.
59.  I was surprised that he was ok with it.
60.  I am not sentimental.
61.  We try to make decisions based on if we will regret NOT trying something.
62.  Which has directly resulted in us living here in the Netherlands, as well as every other place we've lived.
63.  I've moved to 11 different houses since I've been married.
64.  I hiked Mount Fuji with my husband 4 months after having our third child.
65.  I weigh less now than when I got married.
66.  But it's all distributed differently, and I don't like that.
67.  But some days I don't care.
68.  I hope to run my first marathon this fall.
69.  I need a little bit of chocolate every day.
70.  But just a little - less than I used to.
71.  I gained 50 pounds with every child.
72.  I would like to be on the Amazing Race.
73.  We sometimes eat popcorn for dinner on Friday nights.
74.  I used to want Lasix but now I think I would miss wearing glasses.
75.  I would, however, love a tummy tuck.
76.  I didn't think I would like having a girl.
77.  But I do.
78.  But I think she is already girlier than I ever was or will be.
79.  I'm learning to be ok with that.
80.  I'm still surprised and thankful at how awesome my boys are with their little sister.
81.  But I see a day coming when she will annoy them more often than she will endear herself to them.
82.  I was challenged by my husband to start a blog, back in early 2007, journaling our adventures in Japan.
83.  Now I think I'm addicted.
84.  I sometimes take pictures based on their "bloggability."
85.  I once got stranded in Anchorage, Alaska after taking a spontaneous flight there with my 2 boys.
86.  And no husband.
87.  So we made the most of sunshine around the clock and went to the playground at midnight.
88.  I turned it into a last minute trip to visit friends in Seattle by buying plane tickets 4 hours before the flight.
89.  That's when I fell in love with Olympia.
90.  I've been able to find work every place we've moved.
91.  Even when the employer knows I'll only be there for 6 months.
92.  I look back on my life and see God's hand in every part of it.
91.  I don't like my boys to wear sleeveless t-shirts.
92.  I love to geocache.
93.  I feel like a total geek for saying that, especially since we started that hobby for the kids.
94.  I love the smell of outside in my kids' hair.
95.  I love to sing in the car.
96.  I play the drums.
97.  We moved to the Netherlands from Japan.
98.  I still miss Japan every day.
99.  I love the word funicular.
100. I love that I am done thinking of things to say about myself.

01 April 2011



I fed my daughter a lot of Odwalla bars this week.  Too many, probably.

Some were to keep her awake in the car.  Some were to keep her quiet in the store.  And some were to replace a meal.

I tend to avoid convenience food, true.  I try to make things from scratch, true.  But I have not yet given up every convenience as a matter of principle.

The point is, we make choices and pick our battles.  We prioritize and hope we've made the right decision.  

But in the end, we do what we have to do.  I keep a stash of protein bars, macaroni and cheese, and ramen in the pantry for weeks just like this one.  Weeks when I don't get around to making the homemade granola, crackers, and pasta.  Or even make it to the market, for that matter.

I just try to make informed decisions rather than ignorant ones.  I read ingredient labels and choose the best option, even with the convenience foods.  

Since I take responsibility for my life and for the life of my family, the things I bring into this house, the things I feed to all of us, are things that I take responsibility for as well.  

So, on weeks like this one, I can look back at all the "good" weeks and realize that it somehow all evens out.  Or something like that.