Saturday, September 27, 2014

Around Here This Week

We had a great week eating organic GMO free whole foods! I had fun trying new recipes and overall everyone liked them. I would love to put the actual recipes on my blog but I hardly ever measure anything I just throw it together. I tried to snap a picture of our dinners but honestly everyone is so hungry when dinner rolls around they are practically yelling "Give me the plate mom! Don't take a picture":)! So, here are some sorry excuses snapped on my phone of what we ate.
Cobb salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing 
Mango Maui Maui with quick cook brown rice from Trader Joe's. I loved that the brown rice cooked in 15 minutes but the traditional brown rice taste better...still it is a good option when time is a real issue:)
This is nightly on the table (kind of like a bread basket:) with Homemade Tzatziki and organic Hummus from Costco. The kids LOVE cucumber and carrots and of course the pita bread...I am still trying to get them to eat the tomatoes!

Pesto tofu pita and Pesto Pasta. This one did not go over to well with the kids but my hubby LOVED IT! Who knew such a meat eating man would love tofu?
The kids did like this tofu dish better...or maybe it was that it also had shrimp:) We are going to really encourage them to like tofu because it's a super cheap protein. A box of certified GMO free tofu is only $3.50 at Costco- a box will feed our family for three dinners!
This is my favorite Mediterranean Chicken Dish...with olives, artichoke's, sun dried tomatoes and capers... I had not added the feta when I took the picture but it really makes the dish delicious!
Jojo loves couscous and can eat a whole plate of it!
We had Caprese Sandwiches twice because they are quick easy and I do not have to turn on the oven on hot days.
Last night we had friends over for dinner and I made this yummy cake. I really think the organic flour, coco and raw sugar made it soooo good

We did have the big boys watch GMO OMG and they really liked it! The documentary made them want to make the healthy changes. The little kids have done pretty well... Shyala is so funny telling everyone we don't eat Gmos anymore, when I asked her what a GMO is she said, "Poison!" Smart girl!  When I gave her the organic natural peanut butter she scrunched her nose and said "Mommy I want the GMO kind"! That cracked me up:) 

I have been pretty surprised at the cost of Whole Foods own brand -365 Everyday. Their milk is actually cheaper than our old market and most items are the same price or less! With the exceptions being eggs and meat, both are considerably more to buy organic.

We also went to see the Documentary Fed Up with some friends at the Aerow Theater this week. The movie was followed by a Q&A with a panel of experts. I learned A LOT about sugar and processed foods. To be honest I left feeling like a bad mommy because I have given my kids so much of the processed junk that companies are calling food. But then I decide to just be thankful that now I have the opportunity to make wiser choices for them, no need for mommy guilt:)

In other news... 
Jimmy got a new guitar and his braces off, which I can't believe I did not take a picture of yet!

and Shayla started "real" Ballet 

Otherwise it has been life as usual...Lots of school and church. Oh we did start listing to Unbroken on audio book and we love it! The big boys can't wait until I get the little kids in bed so we can hear a chapter or two:)

We are gearing up for our annual marriage retreat and I CAN'T WAIT! I am soooo in love with my husband, I honestly think he's a really amazing man! To spend a few days alone with him will be pure bliss!:)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Will They Remember?

A letter to me...

Dear Mommy,

Slow down
Listen to their stories
Laugh with them
Cuddle with them
Put band aids on there boo boos
Play with them
Take them to the park
Hug them tight
Color with them
Take naps with them
Hold their hand
Say goodnight prayers with them
Rock them to sleep
Go on walks with them
Pay attention to them
Read to them
Encourage them
Sing to them
Jump on the trampoline with them
Believe in them
Have fun days when no one works, just enjoys life!

They will not remember how clean the house was, they will remember how much time you spent with them! Let the little things go and enjoy the BIG things- THEM - they won't be little forever!

They are growing up...Do you see it?  everyday the time goes and they get bigger. 

Enjoy today with them because tomorrow comes quickly.

The mommy you always wanted to be

Everyday I make decisions on how I will spend my time either in the rush of the urgent or in the calm of the Spirit. Today I was in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit that is.  

We walked the neighborhood slowly looking for treasures for an art project...I felt the pull that I should be cleaning or organizing but I ignored it and lived in the moment...the moment Joseph crouched down to examine a bug, the moment Shayla squealed with delight over a flower she found, the moment Jadon clipped the perfect leaf. 

I breathed deep and smiled, I took in the beauty of our neighborhood and the warm sun on my skin. I forgot about the chores and my never-ending to do list. I watch as they delighted in making our project, how their eyes sparkled as they created with the wonders of creation. Yes, then there was a BIG mess, but it was well worth it! 

I often given into the urgent... the messes, the laundry that HAS to be done, the floor that always needs to be swept. 

Here lately I have been learning to let go of the urgent and embrace the beauty of ordinary moments. 

Like rocking my precious baby boy that will not be a baby much longer. His heavy body cuddled warm against my chest, I rub my face on his soft sweet head. I forget about the chores and the mess and the mundane duties that await. I embrace the beauty of rocking my baby and live fully in the moment.

My first baby is about to turn seventeen and my last baby is about to turn one. I can honestly say that the time has flown by. I feel like Jimmy was just a baby, now he is way to close to being grow and gone.  Oh and my Julian... it seem like yesterday that I was laboring in prayer over his life as he grew in my belly. How can a year pass so quickly?

How I wish time would slow down I do not want these years to end I do not want my babies to grow up but atlas they will, they must. What will they remember about their childhood? A mommy that was stressed and always cleaning OR a mommy that lived in the Spirit, that loved and embraced the little moments of their lives.

God give me the grace to live in your Spirit, make know to me the path of life... to love every moment with the children you have entrusted to me.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ignorance Is NOT Bliss

Our lives have been radically changed over the last week and it all started with a link to Girl Scout cookies...

After my recent cancer scare we have been taking a real look at what we are putting into our bodies. Asking God to help us be wise and make healthy choices. I shared recently some supplements we started but we also made a commitment as a family to eat less meat, less processed food and try to eliminate the scary cancer causing junk from our diets. That lead me on a search to find out what is the scary stuff? Of coarse I already knew some like artificial sweeteners and eating charred meat, they are both proven carcinogenic.

To be honest this is a whole new way of thinking for me. I have cared about what I put in my body for one reason most of my life and that is because I wanted to be slim not necessarily healthy. For example I often eat a big plate of broccoli but douse it with I can't not believe its not butter spay, that might keep me slim but one look at the ingredients in that stuff and it is clear that it is filled with questionable chemicals.

Back to that girl scout cookie link...It was to sign a petition for the cookies to be GMO free.

That got me thinking what is a GMO? Now I have heard the term and quite honestly I kind of dismissed it as a Hippie radical thing that I need not concern myself with. However after just a few minutes of research I realized that GMOs are a BIG issues and one that is worth investigating.

 Here is the definition if you are like me and are clueless 
GMOs -“genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding (basically chemical companies are playing God)

SO my husband and myself set out on an eye opening journey to find out what is in our food?  We researched and read articles and became more and more alarmed at the cover up scheme that major food company have been feeding us.

Then we Watched This Documentary
If you do nothing else PLEASE watch this! It is eye opening and will hopefully change your life as it did ours. I am not going to give the arguments here for why GMOs are frighting there is plenty of information out there to prove it to anyone seeking truth. However I will urge you as I am urging my children, family and friends -do not buy the lie that ignorance is's not!

My sister has been beseeching me for years to change the way we eat, she has told me about food coloring additives, sodium nitrite, high fructose corn syrup, the way animals are injected growth hormones and antibiotics. To be quite honest I have just not listened. I dismissed the urges because one, I did not think we could afford to do anything about go organic and two, I believed we pray over our food and that covers it and protects us...That is true! BUT I now also believe we have the responsibly to know what we are putting into our body and not just follow our culture. Of coarse this is Biblical principal also!

SO some BIG changes are happening here on the home front. With my Hubby fully on board, even more so then me (meaning he wanted to throw out the food we already had:) We are changing the way we eat. We took a date to Whole Foods to scope it out and I have to say we were pleasantly surprised by the prices. Now I  have to admit I am not a fan of the Whole Foods culture which I think is kind of elitist. I do not like the way some people seem to look down on the less informed decisions of others.

 However we feel it is important to support Whole food because they are leading the war on GMO's essentially becoming their own FDA.  All of Whole Foods own brand 365 everyday values are GMO free! Everything in the store is not GMO free but they will require ALL of the food they carry to be labeled GMO by 2018 which is making manufactures go GMO free if they want to remain in their store, because no one in their right mind would buy a food with GMOs in it if the package was clearly labeled and they knew what it was!

In fact Labeling is the most important thing we can push for as consumers. I remember when the bill was on the ballot at the last election for food labeling, sadly I voted no to labeling because I believed the lie advertised by the seed companies that make GMOs (which by they way are really pesticide and pharmaceutical companies) that labeling would increase our food prices. I never once looked into that ballot to see what it was all about...sad I know....Ignorance is not bliss!

We have the power as consumers to make changes! GMOs are banned in over 50 countries including England and it is not because everyone is eating organic it's because they became informed and urged their government to stop the madness!

I have downloaded shopping guides to Costco and other stores to be able to quickly identify which foods have GMOs but I know these changes will require a lot of label reading. As for how much our weekly food bill will go up we will just have to see how it turns out as I have not done a full shopping trip yet. BUT is saving a few dollars really saving money if we are putting poison into our bodies that could cause all kinds of health declines which of coarse would lead to money being spent on medical bills? Ignorance is not bliss!

Now here is my BIG disclaimer DON'T WORRY! Don't worry if you invite us to your house for dinner we will not be asking if the corn is GMO free;) we will not turn up our nose at any BBQs or fellowship dinners or even stress about what we are eating on date night. We firmly believe that we are supposed to do all we can to make good choices and then leave the rest to God. That means praying over our food takes on a whole new meaning... "bless it to our bodies" now means, "God what the devil meant to kill us you protect and use to make us healthy!"

I know that many people can not go organic, I know that we live in a place were eating organic is easy and much cheaper than the rest of the country because it is so prevalent. I get it, I DO! But still even if you can not make any changes inform and educate yourself! 
Do not believe that ignorance is bliss

By the way if you think you do not eat GMO do not be deceived check out this disturbing list. GMOs are in at least 75% of processed foods that means cookies, chips, bars, cakes, frozen foods, cereals, sauces, dressings, bread, cheese, yogurt, caned food, chicken or beef that have been feed corn, almost anything that contains sugar because almost all of American sugar is grown with GMOs even many items that are seemingly "healthy" have ingredients that have been genetically modified. Shocking I know! 

Still it's better to know then to believe ignorance is bliss!

Here are some links to help you to live in the bliss of being educated!

Non GMO Project 

Say No to GMOs

Fox News Report

Is The Bible against GMOs



One last thought: the Genetically Modified seeds are patented they do not belong to man they belong to the chemical engineers that made them and make money from them, think of that as you read this scripture.

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our Pompeii Science Center Trip

Last week we had a blast at the California Science Center! We are so blessed to live in a city that has so many amazing homeschooling resources and I plan on taking advantage of quite a few of them this year! Last year Jesse studied Pompeii, he wrote a poem about the events that intrigued our whole family to learn more. I could not believe the timing when I saw that the actual artifacts would be here in our city! So the big boys and I made a date of it!
As an added bonus we got to see the Endeavor as its home is at the California Science Center. It was actually awesome and awe inspiring to see it in real life.
The boys were so excited about this picture....When the Endeavor came to LA it flew over lots of famous landmarks. My boys were at the Santa Monica Pier with their Mam to witness the grand event. That means they are in the picture of the Endeavor flying over the Pier!
They are somewhere down there with the masses:)

We had fun exploring the science Center after our IMAX movie about Volcanoes!
Of coarse the boys thought the space toilet was cool and had to have a picture;) Like father like sons!

Finally it was onto the Pompeii Exhibit!
It was really interesting to learn that most of what we know about the Roman Empire comes from the artifacts from Pompeii, so perfectly preserved by the volcano! It was really difficult to take pictures because it was very dark and they had a no flash policy
I have to admit I was missing Daddy almost the whole time we were there! All I could think was Daddy would love this, I wish he were here! 

After I Let the kids do some "fun" stuff because daddy insisted we have an AWESOME day!
Jesse riding a ridiculously high tight rope.
Then he climbed the rock wall
Jadon  flying  a first flight simulator.
Jadon and Jimmy did an Amazon Monkey simulation.

Last we had one of our favorites fast food restaurants! 
Chick-Fil-A has finally made its way to Southern California:)
At the end of the day I went to bed so thankful and Happy. I made memories with my Boys that will last a lifetime we explored and laughed together. I am so thankful for them, for my Mother-in-love that keep the little kids and my amazing Hubby that was hard at work that day to provided us with the resources to be able to go! Thank you Daddy for giving us this Awesome memory! 

 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
Psalm 103:2

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This Litte Face

This little face lights up my world everyday. 
This little face is loved and adored by all in our family.
Not a day has gone by since I met this little face that I have not marveled in love and joy.
This little face is turning one way to soon:(
I can't get enough of this little face...obviously:)
This little face has brought more joy and healing than I ever thought possible! 

There is another little face that sits on my nightstand. 

Only one picture. 

Loving and missing the face of Julian's little big brother
Jonathan. Always and forever in my heart.

I will turn their mourning into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
 Jeremiah 31:13
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