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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Give Yourself Another Chance!

Benjamin, Samantha, and a neighborhood friend were playing war (the card game) the other day.  At some point, it was apparent (and by apparent, I mean that I could hear how upset he was from downstairs) that Benjamin had lost, but the girls were going to keep playing to see who wins.  Needless to say, Benjamin was not happy about this and at some point I had to intervene and ask him to come downstairs.  I asked him what was going on and here is how the conversation went:

Benjamin: They won’t let me play!

Me: Well, honey did you run out of cards?

Benjamin: Yes

Me: Okay, that means you lost this game, but the girls want to keep playing to see who wins.

Benjamin: BUT I WAS GOING TO GIVE MYSELF ANOTHER CHANCE!

It was the sweetest, most innocent thing.  He meant it, too.  He didn’t understand why he couldn’t just have another chance.

Can’t we all learn something from that, though?  How many times do we, as adults, NOT give ourselves another chance at things?  We fail once (or do something we perceive as failure) and then we don’t try again.

It’s different for all of us.  Maybe you need another chance to make a business successful, another chance to eat right, another chance to be the kind of mom or dad you want to be. 

Whatever it is, with the new year upon us, I beg of you to take my sweet 6 year old’s lesson and give yourself another chance!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time 4 Learning Review

You may remember I posted at the beginning of November that I was given the opportunity to review the Time 4 Learning website.  Let me tell you, I was impressed!  I really just thought it would be a fun site the kids could go to when they wanted to play on the computer.  I didn’t expect them to learn a lot.  This site was great!  I was especially impressed with the science section.  My kids learned a lot about bees and spiders (and other things)!

There are lots of things I love about this site, but my favorite part is that you are not stuck with just one grade level.  If you place your child in 2nd grade, they will be able to do activities in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade.  I think that is wonderful!  Most children have varying degrees of mastery in the subjects they study.  They may excel in math, while having trouble in language arts, while at the same time is right on target (according to their grade level standards) with science.  AND… you can change their grade level at any time if you see that he/she is not in the right level for a particular subject.

I actually placed both of my children a grade level below where they are currently.  I really just did this as a test to see if I was heading them in the right direction. (Apparently I don’t have a lot of faith in myself… maybe I should look into that) 

Well, my daughter was upset with me about that when it came to language arts because she is a very good reader (no thanks to me… that’s just the way she is).  And, it really was too easy for her.  It was nice that I could just change the grade level and give her something more challenging.

My son had a blast!  He didn’t care what level I put him at as long as he got to play on the computer!  A couple days after we started using the program, he asked me, “Mommy, can I play on that fun website today?” and once at dinner he told his daddy that we didn’t do school that day.  We did school, we just did it on the computer with Time 4 Learning.  He loves it so much he didn’t realize he was learning!

For the sake of reviewing the product, we used Time 4 Learning as our only schooling for an entire month.  It was great.  I was still able to be hands on and watch and hear what they were learning and they had fun!  I was also able to do other things while they were on the computer if I knew it was something they wouldn’t need a lot of assistance with.

You don’t have to be a homeschooling family to get a benefit from this site.  It is also perfect for children to use as a fun site to go to after school to better their skills in subjects in which they need extra help or just have fun.

Some other fun facts from the Time 4 Learning website:
  • Online Curriculum for
    PreK to 8th Grades
  • Access to 3 Grade Levels of Lessons
  • 1,000+ Student-Paced Multimedia Activities
  • Language Arts, Math, Science & Social Studies
  • Interactive, Project-Based Activities
  • Detailed Reporting for
    Easy Record-Keeping
  • Lesson Plans & Teaching Tools for Parents
  • Lessons Correlated to State Standards
All in all, I think the system is wonderful!  The only drawback for our family is that I don’t want all their learning to be on the computer.  I just don’t want them staring at a screen for that long every day.  That being said, you don’t have to use it as your sole curriculum.  You can just use it as extra learning and it is perfect for that!  You can check out their site by clicking on the picture below. 


If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.  Or if you have already used this site and want to add to the review, I welcome that as well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tell Your Time Sale!

Tell Your Time is an organizational e-book written by Amy Lynn Andrews.  It is an easy read in that it is only 28 pages!  Now, that's my kind of organizational e-book.  I have other books that are 150 pages or more that claim to help you do all kinds of time management... for example, clean your house in 10 minutes (but it takes 200 pages to read the book!).  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Amy Lynn Andrews is running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale on her e-book.  Normally Tell Your Time is only $12, which is already an astounding deal.  Well, from now until Monday, Nov. 29th at 11:59pm she is offering her book at 50% off!  All you have to do is enter the coupon code MONDAYBLACK in your shopping cart when you check out.  But remember, you have to buy it before 11:59pm on Monday, Nov. 29th to get the 50% off.

I feel I should let you all know that I don't have the e-book yet, so I can't tell you any personal testimony on how the book changed my life.  However, I have read quite a few testimonies on it and everyone seems to love it!  Based on the testimonies, I didn't want to wait until I read it in order to tell you about the sale.  I wanted to make sure you had time to take advantage of the sale before Monday night! :)


This e-book could come in very handy this busy holiday season...and could also help you get a jump start on getting organized in the New Year!  At only 28 pages, it's a quick read that potentially packs a huge punch.


What if you could change your life in less than 30 pages?

Click on the picture below to go to her page and read more about the book and see how you can own one for yourself.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 in Pictures

Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving for your enjoyment.

My eldest helping me peel apples for the apple pie. (First time I've ever let her use a 'real' knife.  She did great!)


"Mooooommmmmm!  Quit taking my picture!"

The kids are making the pie crust edge pretty!

They did pretty good, I think. :)

She had already eaten... I guess she didn't get enough.  She grabbed this off the counter and helped herself.

The finished apple pie.

My apple pie and home made ice cream.  The apple pie was a little too 'cinnamony' (no, it's not a word, but that's okay).  I still enjoyed the pie though.

After dinner we watched a movie together.  Hubby and kids on the couch...

Samantha and I were on the chair cuddling to watch the movie.  First time in a long time she let me cuddle her.  She thinks she's getting too big for it.  I was in heaven.


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Those last two pictures are what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

What are you most thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ta-Da!!!

This is my youngest child’s new favorite thing to say.

It is super cute and usually in response to getting dressed… even though someone else dressed her. :)

Today, she comes running downstairs from the play room exclaiming, “Ta-Da!”

So, of course, I had to go upstairs to see what wonderful thing she had accomplished.

This is what I saw when I came upstairs:


 
She was so proud!  Why she thought this was something I would be excited about, I will never know.

The puzzles are still there.  I guess that is what I will be doing after she goes to bed tonight.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winner: New Leaf Canvas bag

The winner of the New Leaf Canvas bag giveaway is

girl23rocks
 (aka: Sweet Shenanigans)

Congratulations!!

Thank you to all who entered.  And remember, you can still see Sasha's bags here.





Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway blog party on Jolly Mom and Go Graham Go!

Jolly Mom and Go Graham Go! are having a holiday blog party!  For the next few weeks they will be giving away lots of great gifts for the holidays.  Click on the button below to start entering!  You can enter on both blogs to increase your chances.  Have fun!  Tell me if you win something!!!  :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blog Hop Thursday!

Having fun with a blog hop!  Just a fun way to find more blogs.  Enjoy!


Have fun!  Let me know if you find some that you love!

$650 Prize Giveaway on The Deal Scoop!

I just happened upon this awesome giveaway and wanted to share it with you all.

Just click on the presents to enter!



Good luck!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time 4 Learning Review Coming Soon...

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Nicole

Issues with email subscriptions

Hi girls and boys....

I just realized today that since I changed my blog name and url that all of you that have email subscriptions may not have been receiving my posts.

First of all, I'm sorry.

Second, I think I've fixed it!

I suppose we'll know for sure if it's fixed if you get this email or not!

If you haven't been getting my posts check out my last few... I've been pretty busy, so you haven't missed much, but I do have my first giveaway up on my blog and you will want to check it out!

Anyway, sorry again if you haven't been receiving my posts.  Hopefully it's all fixed now.

Could you let me know if you still have problems?  Thanks!

Nicole

My First Giveaway - New Leaf Canvas

My first giveaway!  I’m so excited!

A friend of mine, Sasha Johns, designs these wonderful bags.





 Isn't it so cute????!!!!

I asked her how she started doing them and what gave her the idea, and her answer is so much better than anything I could have ever written; I thought I would just share it with you.

So, here it is… straight from Sasha…

“I got the idea for the bags a couple of years ago when I was looking for an inexpensive craft idea for my MOPS group. (Mother's of Preschoolers) We had a great time making them, but I kept thinking I could do so much better with them if I had the time to put into it. (ha ha...still struggling with that one)

So this summer, when I was "overdue" with my third child and my house was spotless from nesting, and I didn't feel like going anywhere in the triple digit heat, and I needed something to take my mind off of the waiting, I decided to revisit this idea and make some thank you gifts for those that were helping me with the birth. I then began to think it would be a great idea to make a little Christmas cash and had intended to do some Fall Festivals.

THEN we started making some big changes in our lives and decided to move to Alabama, so that part (the Fall Festivals) fell through, but the idea hasn't.  I named my little business, New Leaf Canvas, because my husband and I are turning over new leaves of change in Alabama.

Right now my bags are printed with a variety of leaves that I collected from local trees. I just use paint to paint the underside of the leaves and then press the painted side of the leaves into canvas bags. I try to keep them whimsical and light, and plan to also spend some time adding a few embellishments as I develop the "line" of bags.

Decorating the bags is a fun creative outlet for me. I get so busy "doing" all day, that it's fun for me to play with the leaves at night when the kids are asleep and break out the artist wannabe inside. They are very simple I realize, but I think that is some of the charm actually.”

“Artist Wannabe”… yeah right!  These bags are so creative, there is no way you can make these and NOT be an artist!

Her bags range in price from $10 to $20 depending on size and embellishment.

You can see more pictures of her bags by clicking here.  She will also try to get them on Etsy as soon as possible and I will let you know when she does.

She can customize bags for you for a short period (while the leaves are still available!).

AND, she has offered free shipping for anyone that orders before November 21st.

Sasha has generously given me the one pictured above to give away to one of my readers!

There are three ways to enter to win the bag.

  1. Follow me with Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, or subscribe to my posts via email.  Then, just leave me a comment telling me you’ve done so. (This one is required and must be done before any others will be counted.)
  2. Go to Sasha’s facebook page and come back and leave a comment telling me which bag you would like to own or any other comment about her bags.
  3. This one will give you 5 extra entries: Buy a bag from Sasha (remember you have free shipping until Nov. 21st) and come back and tell me.  (You will need to leave 5 separate comments in order to be entered 5 times)

Giveaway ends on November 19, 2010 at 10 pm.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Win a Hummer!

I like sweepstakes, giveaways, etc.  Anyone who knows my mom, knows that it's pretty much genetic!

So, I know this isn't exactly 'natural' with all the gas a hummer eats, but you can always sell it if you win!  That's what I plan on doing.  You also win a laptop and one or two other items.


Just click on the hummer below and you can enter to win!









Good luck!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why the new name????


I changed the name of my blog as most of you know.

The old name was ‘Random Thoughts From Nicole’.

I didn’t much like that.  As I am living my life and wandering around the world, I have lots of thoughts that float through my head, as I’m sure others do as well.  Being a blog reader myself, I sometimes think, “Ha!  That would be funny to write a blog about!”  So, that is why I thought ‘Random Thoughts From Nicole’ would be a perfect name.

Well, it turns out; I don’t have as many random thoughts as I thought I did.  And the random thoughts that I do have, are just that.  Random!  Not necessarily blog material. 

If you look back on the history of my blog posts, you will see where my head is… health and family.  I’ve got a post on ingredients, one breaking down one of those ingredients, one about the labels, crunchy and granola, another which is just mocking a Chef Boyardee commercial, and so on.  The only one that was really ‘random’, I guess, would be the one titled ‘A spoonful of peanut butter’, talking about a memory from my childhood.

In light of where my posts seem to be headed, and where my passions in life are, I thought it best I change my blog name and url.  It took much mulling over between myself and my panel (aka, my husband, brother, and some other trusted witty friends) to come up with a name that encompasses what my blog will be about most days.  I am passionate about health and helping other people learn the things I know and learning what others know that I don’t.  I home school my kids.  Rest assured, there will be some home school posts!  I am a chiropractor…. One that stays home to raise her kids and home school… but a chiropractor none the less and I am positive I will post here and there about it!  And, basically, just all things ‘natural’ (home birthing, not vaccinating, no drugs, etc).  (I tried “All things natural” and it was taken by someone that has only posted once… like 2 years ago!)

Anyway, lots of great ideas were thrown around… all the good ones taken by other bloggers.  Until I finally got a thought flash… tested it to see if it was already taken, and it wasn’t!  Yay!

Of course, you already know what I chose, because it is at the top of my page! ;)

I’ll tell you anyway… My new name is ‘Some Call It Natural”.

I like this one, because I frequently hear from friends/acquaintances, “Oh yeah, you’re natural” in response to something I am eating… or not eating… or not letting my kids eat.  When these people say this, it stems from so many other aspects of my life that they know, as well.  What most people don’t understand is that most of my close friends have their babies at home, don’t vaccinate, keep their sons intact, don’t have Tylenol in their house, home school, and are avid label readers.  I sometimes forget that other people don’t live that way too!

So, I guess I just feel that the way I live is normal, because so many other people around me live the same way.

However, I know that… Some Call It Natural.  :)


 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hope you like it...

Okay, kids...

I've got the new name...

Ready????

Here it is...  Some Call It Natural

Alright, that's all the news you get for now.  I will explain more on my first post with the new name!  See you soon!

Nicole

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In the Midst of a Name Change

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post.

I know some of you have been losing sleep wondering what my next post will be about! ;)

Well, the reason it has taken so long is because I am in the process of coming up with a new name for my blog.  I don’t really like Random Thoughts From Nicole.  As it turns out, I don’t have many random thoughts.  My thoughts are fairly well thought out… at least that’s how I write them anyway.  No jokes from personal friends about my well thought out thoughts, please.

So, I need a name that more encompasses what I will actually be writing about on my blog.  Which is pretty much all things natural, plus a little more… Nutrition, Chiropractic, Home Birthing, Home Schooling, Not Vaccinating, and family stuff in general. 

I have been brainstorming and enlisting the help of some friends and family and I am close to the name I like.

I may never come up with the “perfect” blog name that I will be completely satisfied with, but I think that I (and my blog name board members) have come up with a pretty darn good name.

For my followers: I’m pretty sure that when I change the name, you will still be following my blog.  I will make one last blog on Random Thoughts From Nicole just in case that’s not true so that you can keep in touch with me!
 
Within the next few days I will change it officially and you all can get some sleep.

Nicole

P.S. I am open to suggestions on new names!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chef Boyardee | "Timeout"

This is one of the latest commercials from Chef Boyardee promoting their microwavable bowls of food. Yes, it is a funny commercial, but there are so many things wrong with it. Wanna know what's wrong with it?

Yes, I thought you would.

First of all, they are trying to tell parents that somehow this food is good for their children just because they put some vegetables in it. I'm not entirely sure what they are talking about. I read the ingredients of one of the packages and there are no vegetables in it! Maybe they are classifying tomatoes as a vegetable? Besides that, what IS in it is high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, and soybean oil. None of these are healthy to eat. Not to mention the instructions are to microwave the bowl! Forget any nutrients that may have been in it, they are gone now!

Anyway, I'll step off my soap box now.

Again, I did laugh at this commercial for the joke that was in it, but then it just frustrated me that they are perpetuating the poor nutrition education in this country.

Have a look at the commercial for yourself.



High Fructose Corn Syrup and Why To Avoid It

In my last post, I listed the top 5 ingredients to avoid when shopping.  In my next few posts, I will give you a little insight as to WHY those five ingredients don’t come in my house.  Today, I will discuss High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

What’s the big deal?  Isn’t it just sugar?  No.  It is a highly refined derivative of corn starch.  I won’t bore you with how they remove the starch from the corn, but you can go here and read all about it. Once the starch is removed from the corn, it is then mixed with hydrochloric acid and heat to produce corn syrup.  This process converts the starch molecules into a sugar.  The length of the process determines the sweetness of the sugar.  The longer they allow the procedure (called acid hydrolysis) to continue, the sweeter the syrup will taste.  To make the corn syrup into high fructose corn syrup, it goes through something called enzyme conversion which will result in a solution that has a fructose level of 55%.

Your body metabolizes fructose differently than it does glucose.  I implore you to do some research and learn about what it does in your body.  I will give you a little preview.  The following are a few of the resulting effects that HFCS can have on your body.
  • Destructive to your liver
  • Weight gain
  • Increases triglyceride and HDL (bad cholesterol) levels, leading to heart disease

On top of all that, it is produced using genetically modified corn, which brings a whole new myriad of problems.  It has also been found to have high levels of mercury.  Again, the problems that can cause are numerous.

So, why do companies use HFCS instead of good old sugar? 
  • Longer shelf life
  • It is sweeter than sugar
  • Lower cost (due to how much sweeter it is)
  • Keeps food moist longer

Long story short, it’s just good business.  So sorry if it causes heart disease and adds to the growing obesity rate in the United States!  I’ve heard rumors that HFCS is banned in some other countries, but I couldn’t confirm that with a quick search on the net.  So, feel free to do your own research. then come back here and leave a comment telling me where to find it!

I hope that this helps clear up why you should take HFCS out of your diet TODAY.  Seriously, go through your pantries and check out all your food.  If you don’t want to waste it I understand, but you will at least know for future shopping trips what products to skip.

I know it will be hard to avoid your usual products, but it will be well worth it for your health and the health of your family.  Good luck on your next shopping trip!

Nicole

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid When Shopping

If you know me, you know that I am conscious of what goes in my kids bodies.  I have been asked by quite a few people what ingredients I avoid.  So, I thought I would make a Top 10 list of ingredients to avoid.  I thought that might be overwhelming for some people, especially if you eat like the average American, so I decided to do a Top 5 list instead.  The following is a list of ingredients that don’t enter my house.  To get you started eating a healthier diet, try avoiding one or more of these.


Here is my Top 5 list of ingredients to avoid
(In no particular order)

1.  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) also called corn syrup – This one has been getting a lot of media attention lately, which I love.  I especially love the commercials from the corn industry trying to fool a person into believing that not only is HFCS not bad for you, but it is actually good for you!  What a joke!

2. Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Oils – You aren’t going to like me for this one.  This is in lots of foods.

3. Sodium Benzoate – Commonly found in things that are ‘pickled’, such as pickles, banana peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, etc.

4. Artificial Sweeteners – This can include aspartame, phenylalanine, splenda, nutrasweet, and the list goes on.  This is becoming a long list that I can’t keep up with as companies keep on coming up with new ‘sugars’ in their labs.  When I am looking at a label, I will buy it if it says sugar, evaporated cane sugar, honey, molasses, stevia, or no sugar at all.  That way, I don’t have to keep up with all the cancer causing sugars they are making in labs!

5. Glutamate – This is the harmful component to Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – This is probably the hardest ingredient on my list to avoid (and why I listed it last).  The reason I feel it is the hardest to avoid is because it is in so many things and it’s not as simple as looking for ‘Monosodium Glutamate’ in the ingredients list.  Click here for a list of other names/ingredients that glutamate can be found in and you will see what I am talking about.

I will post about each of these individually so you can see why I avoid these like the plague!  
*Update: I have now linked all my individual posts so all you have to do is click on each ingredient above and it will go to the post.  That way you don't have to search through my archives to find them.  I'm all about making things easier for you. :) 

Even though this is just a top 5 list and not a top 10, it may still be overwhelming to some.  That’s okay.  If that’s the case, just pick one.  Start wherever is easiest.  Getting one of these ingredients out of your diet and the diet of your family members will still be beneficial for your health.

The great thing about picking just one is that you will find that by just taking one of these out of your diet you will be taking some of the others out as well, because they travel in packs.  You’ve heard the saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together”, right?  The same usually goes for bad ingredients.

I hope this helps you to get your family on the road to better health!


Note: For my readers who are already going in this direction, I’m sure that you have others to add to this list.  You may even be thinking there is an ingredient or two that is/are more important to avoid than these.  Please remember I am talking to the readers that have never altered their diet in this way and that this is just a starting point for them.  Feel free to leave a comment with your opinions on these ingredients or others that you feel are detrimental to our health.  I welcome feedback.

Nicole

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apron Giveaway!

Hi!  The Undomestic Momma is giving away a Flirty Apron to one her readers.  I think they are super cute and wanted to share it with everyone!  Here's an example of one of the womens aprons.




They have womens, mens, and childrens aprons and they are all super cute!  Check them out here.  All you have to do to enter the giveaway is comment on the undomestic momma's post with which apron you would choose if you won.  There are additional things you can do to earn extra entries too.  Alright... good luck!  I wish we could all win! :)

Nicole

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are you crunchy???

When reading something online or otherwise about all things 'crunchy' or 'granola'.  I've always been in line with most of what they were talking about, so I thought I was probably crunchy.  Today, I had the idea to look it up on the urban dictionary

The urban dictionary defines crunchy as,

"to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc. Also used to describe establishments where alternative foods and products are sold, i.e. natural food stores. Modified derivative of granola."  Of course, since it gave me that last bit about it being a derivatave of granola, I had to look up granola!

Granola is defined as,

"An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values. The choice of not removing body hair (see amazon) and drug use are not characteristics that define granola people, and people, regardless of granola status, may or may not partake in said activities. This definition is sometimes confused with hippy."

After reading both definitions, I've decided I'm neither crunchy or granola.  At least, not according to these definitions.   There are pieces of each definitions that are definitely in line with the way I think and live, but neither definition describes me completely.  Those of you that know me well, know which traits are not me.  One in particular is laughable.  Anyway... so, what am I?  I do have it figured out...  Ready?  I'm...

ME!

I always kind of thought that living a natural life, both in medical choices and nutritional choices is what being crunchy or granola was all about.  Listening to nature/innate/God.  We live a 'natural' life, but what does that mean?  It certainly does not encompass all of the above definitions of the words.  So, I've decided I live 'consciously'.  I try to think about everything I do and its impact on my body (and my family's body) and the environment.  How do I do that?  Here are a few ways:
  • My kids have never had a twinkie... and I didn't have my first one until I was about 12 and I took one bite and was done!  Never had one since.  
  • We don't drink soda/pop.  However, I have a serious addiction to sweet tea, which, I am sure is not crunchy/granola! ...And, I'm okay with that. 
  • Most of our fruits/veggies are organic and hopefully from local farmers instead of the grocery store.  
  • I had all my kids at home because.... well, that's a long post... so maybe later! :)  
  • We didn't vaccinate our kids and my parents didn't have me vaccinated, because... hmmmm, that will be saved for a later post as well! :)
  • We have lots of bins in our garage for recyclables and because of that, our trash can is rarely full.  (A true crunchy person would not need all the recycle bins because they would not use so many things that are not consumable)
  • When I was in high school, I once stopped my car (in a parking lot) because my friend who was with me threw a straw wrapper out the window.  I made her pick it up.
  • We do not buy bottled water, both for health reasons and environmental reasons.
That's all I can think of at the moment.  Not sure if any of this made sense, but I thought the definitions were interesting.  I have lots of health/environmental conscious people in my life and I can only think of one that might actually fit this definition perfectly.  Kind of funny how loosely these terms are thrown around.  I have never really like being called crunchy or granola, but never really knew why I had a distaste for those words.  After looking them up, now I know my distaste.  They just don't describe me.  I'm not sure there is a word that describes me.  I do like my own definition, though.  Conscious.  I like that one.  Yes, that is me.

What about you?  What one word could describe you and how you live?  After thinking about it and coming up with a word, do you like that word?  If not, you can do something about it to change the word!  Change the things in your life you don't like and change your word!

Have a great day!  Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Olivia and Putt Putt Golf

Do you think we have a shot at funniest home videos??  Or is it just funny cause I was there??  Check it out.  This is how Olivia plays mini golf.

video

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A spoonful of peanut butter

Tonight, I had an urge to eat something.  I wasn't necessarily hungry, I just wanted to eat.

You know the kind of craving.

Of course, it was a sweet craving.

Well, I don't have anything sweet right now, so what's the next best thing?  Peanut butter!  May not make sense and believe me, I didn't think, "Hmmm, I'd like a chocolate chip cookie.  I don't have that... I know!  I'll have peanut butter!"

No.

It was more like, I was looking through the fridge and cupboards and saw the peanut butter and it called my name.  So, I grabbed a spoon and got a spoonful of peanut butter.  It was very satisfying.

I didn't think about it until later, but I credit my maternal grandma for my love affair with peanut butter.  My mom's parents moved in with us when I was 6 or 7.  I remember coming home from school, walking in the kitchen and grandma would already have a spoonful of peanut butter on the counter waiting for me.  Now, I know it didn't take a whole lot of physical effort for her to have that waiting for me.  It did take some emotional effort, though.  Emotional effort that I hope to repeat with my own children (and hopefully am already repeating, now).  First of all, she had to be aware.  Aware of what time it was and to watch out the window for when I was walking down the street from the bus stop.  Second, she had to know me.  Sounds simple right?  But, not all parents/grandparents know their kids/grandkids.  She knew me enough to know that that peanut butter would make me smile.  And lastly, she had to love me enough to make the effort to stop whatever she was doing and get the spoonful of peanut butter and place it on the counter to wait for me to walk through the door.

I wish she was still alive today for me to express to her how that effected me.  I'm sure she would be amazed and confused at the concept of blogging about it!  Ha!  Kind of funny to think about.

Isn't it amazing how something as simple as a late night craving can lead to such wonderful memories!?  I love it!  I hope you have some little things in life that remind you of beautiful things that happened in your life!

Love to all!

Here's a picture of Samantha and my grandma.  Samantha is about a month old here.  Look at the love!  Oh, and by the way, that is no gas smile!  Pure love and adoration.  Grandma was the only one that got that smile for awhile.  They had a special bond.  She passed when Samantha was 2 yrs and 3 months old and Samantha still remembers her and talks about how she misses her.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's official... I've joined the blogging world!

This whole blogging thing is funny to me.  I mean, just the fact that I just said, 'blogging' is funny if you are over the age of, oh I don't know... 25!?  Really, how long has this blogging word been around?  Not long!  I will not even venture a guess, because I'm sure one of my friends with lots of useless knowledge will correct me.  I won't mention any names, but you know who you are...
Anyway, I don't have a lot to say tonight, except to just say that I now belong to this so-called 'blogging world' as I call it.  Very exciting, I know.  I can feel some of you all just squirming in your seats... what will Nicole say next?  Will it be life altering?  Will it be funny?  Will it be insightful?  Maybe I will learn something from one of her posts!!  Right???  Those are all things you guys were wondering...  well... I promise nothing!  I am doing this purely because I thought it might be fun. I like to write and don't do it often.  Don't get too excited... just because I like to write, doesn't mean I am any good at it! :)

See you soon!