Monday, July 28, 2008

Wall-e Part 2

There are few movies I have seen twice, or care to see twice, but on the first night of our 5 week trip, we drove through Hood River and saw a cinema. Spontaneously, we all decided to go see Wall-e (since mommy was raving and ranting about how great it is). Princess Sprout has never been to a movie theater before and Wildman has only been once – to see Cars. We have never been to the theater as a family. What a great movie to be our first one. Princess was quite intensely mesmerized by the sheer size of the “TV” screen and at times a bit overwhelmed and scared. Wildman also curled up on my lap, nervously clinging to me the entire movie.

But ah, the second time through it I noticed more things that I loved. Eva, for instance, was completely preoccupied with her programmed mission to find biological life – at the expense of anything and everything. The dichotomy between her mission and her actions was striking to me. She’d blow up anything that moved as she sought out her green biological life. I suppose it points to the fact that any of us can get so preoccupied with our mission that we can become a bit over bearing. Taking any good thing too far can be dangerous.

As well, she made me question: can we accomplish much without each other? She eventually tossed the plant, breaking her programmed mission, to connect in friendship with Wall-e. Suddenly, relationship became more important. From that point on, their friendship built the foundation to forge the revolution needed to combat. At the robots intent on keeping things the same as they always have been. It took teamwork, in the end, to get things in motion.

Simultaneously, the captain had become so enamored with what earth once was and could be again, that he made the first human break away from protocol. He rose to the challenge of “whose going to do it?” and said, “I AM!!!”. He was sick of just suriving, He wanted to LIVE!! So he got off his sad existence of apathy and took the first steps toward independent thinking and responsibility.
And in the end, what brought the human race back to earth, was when they all stood up, and worked together as a team to toss that plant to the necessary robotic locater. They talked to each other for the first time, broke free of an existence of laziness and apathy, and showed us all, that there is power to illicit change when we act together.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What not to eat

Basic of nutrition
I have a degree in Exercise and Sports Science and a master’s degree in health and yet none of what I learned regarding nutrition would I ever want to teach anyone. The food pyramid is ridiculous – probably funded by the markets promoted by it.

SH turned his health problems with psoriasis around by focusing on every single bite that went in his mouth. God has given this earth a bounty of nutrients in the vast food supply on this planet. Our princess sprout suffered with ear infections. Our Wildman Prince Charming Sprout suffered with acid reflux. I suffered with Epstein Barr, fibromyalgea, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, headaches, migraines, trembles, sleep disruption and more…all of this for all of us was reversed by diet (and a few supplements). The brownies at the potluck are simply not worth the misery that repeated “oh just this once” moments creates.

Some might get irritated by our strict adherance to our rules, but I just don’t even blink twice anymore because what we do works. We don’t deal with flus that go ravaging through our home keeping us out of commission for a month as we all fight it…we hardly ever get colds…we feel really great, most of the time, so I have never looked back.

I want to share it with whoever reads it hoping that some will be inspired to make changes that could change their lives.

What we don’t eat
1. SUGAR. Period. It’s never in our house. Sugar is viewed by your liver as pure poison. It’s been out of our home since Jan. 2005. There is nothing in it that we need and it needs to be processed and gotten rid of, causing the body to divert energy like fighting viruses to getting rid of this invader. Studies have shown that 150 mg of sugar reduce the immune system by half for 5 hours!!! It’s not that a “cold is going around” – instead it’s that your body was not strong enough at the moment it came in contact with your body to defend itself. You are constantly surrounded by strep, staph, viruses, and other pathogens and most of the time your body can defend itself, but when weakened by stress, lack of sleep, or diet it opens the window to infection. Without sugar, SH has had 2 years in his classroom without catching a single cold. And it contributed to the disappearance of his body wide psoriasis. If your body is battling inflammatory diseases like Epstein Barr, Fibromyalgea, arthritis, auto-immune diseases like lupus, cancer then your body needs all the resources it can get to successfully fight these diseases. If you are constantly depleted, how can you overcome a long-term virus like Epstein Barr (aka. Chronic fatigue syndrom)?

2. No wheat. Now this one is hard to be 100% on, although I would like to be. It bogs the digestive system down. It creates a sticky type mucous in the skin tissues that cause psoriasis outbreaks. It contributes to excess mucous – ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, long-lasting colds. It can cause symptoms that range from fibromyalgea to just a feeling of being in the fog. I feel awesome when wheat is out of my diet completely. I think I even have noticed less grumpiness in the Sprouts. I’d attribute this to more stable sugar levels in their systems as wheat products cfause a surge in blood sugar and then a quick drop.

3. No dairy. I simply am sensitive to it and it single-handedly was the nauto-imminumber one factor in causing my son’s acid reflux/stomach aches and my daughter’s ear infections. If you don’t see any problems with it then it might be OK for you. We try to use raw milk if we do get it. I will someday blog about that. Basically, homogenized and pasteuroized milk is dead and is contributing to many diseases. The benefits of milk are stripped by these processes.

4. no processed foods. We cook from scratch, making food in bulk for future convenience.

5. No hydrogenated oils at all. No corn syrup. No nitrites/nitrates (found in lunch meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to the pamphlet

All the commercial breaks from my book have left many wondering when I’d get back to the meat of this blog!
July 25 - what we do not eat
August 1 - what we do eat
August 7 - balance with all of this (it's all OK, in moderation!)
July 20 - Aug 24: We'll be out hitting the trail, backpacking, canoeing, camping, and all other non-electronics related activities we can do. Blog break! The postings are scheduled, but I am not actually in front of a computer.

Truth is, we all want it: energy, vibrancy, H-E-A-L-T-H. Some think losing weight is their goal when the truth is, that is so limited. The focus needs to be on what is going into the body – is it whole food? So many “diet” foods are still laden with hydrogenated oils (that in themselves make it more difficult to lose weight), sugar, chemicals, and chemical sweeteners like Aspartame.

The first step is realizing that what the scale says cannot determine your sense of value. So many women determine their day by the number that appears in the morning on that scale. Being able to realize that we are all in process and that accomplishing a certain number is not going to make one like themselves more begins when one looks in the mirror and says honestly, “God made me, beautifully and perfectly and that means even now, when I don’t think I look good I know this and I accept me.” Otherwise, when the weight comes off and we still wonder why we are struggling with self-acceptance we become baffled. It’s because we have not worked through the deeper issues.

Just like the Christian Faith, we are always in process. We never arrive. We often say, “when I do this or accomplish that or get rid of that bad habit or lose this much weight…then I will be content with who I am” but when we get to that plateau, we realize the mountain keeps going up, there’s still growth to happen. The trick lies in between the sense of contentment and the desire to keep learning, keep growing, keep striving.

Don't be hard on yourself. Keep at it, have fun, and stay on that horse even if you fall off some days.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This mama is hitting the high road

We all know that time flies, but in 3 days, changes in those around me happened so fast, I am spinning!

SH was gone for 2 weeks doing more engineering graduate course week (12 credits completed since JUNE! Good job SH!!)...anyway, when he came home the most distinguising thing I noticed was how distinguised he is starting to look - in the form of grey hairs beginning to riddle through his beard and temples. Not even 35 years old yet! My dad didn't start turning grey until his mid-60s!!

And then, on Sunday, Princess Sprout wanted to learn to tie her shoes. When she decides she is ready for something, she is ready!! She was 2 years old and 1 day when, as I changed her diaper, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, no more diapers. I go in the potty." Shocked, I decided to abide by her request as any little sprout that can formulate her thought that completley must know what she is saying. Sure enough, she was potty trained within a few days.

So, I showed her about 5 times how to tie her shoe...within 10 minutes she came running to tell me that she did it! Sure enough. Tied.

A step closer to independence.
Older, in an instant.

And then, that same evening, that same 5 year old sprout came running to me to announce that she lost her first tooth! NO!!! My heart screamed, glue it back on! You are too young. Your brother was 6 1/2 - not 5! I am not ready!!!!

But, she proudly proclaimed that she is growing up, no stopping her.

So for all these moments that came slamming in on me this weekend, I am so grateful for our teacher lifestyle that allows us to be together so much. We leave today for 5 weeks on the road - no phones, no computers, no appointments, no distractions, no work, no more "not now honey...I am busy"....Instead, we get to say YES more to these little sprouts that are beginning to look like little trees.

Giving up good careers in civil engineering (StudHusband) and marketing (me) was the cross-road in our lives that I will never regret. We love the copious amount of time we have as a family - for the next 5 weeks, we will live as millionaires - 'cause if I had millions, it's EXACTLY what I'd be doing. And then again in November when we get 10 more days to be together, and again in December for 2 more weeks and again in March for Spring break....this muchTime together - PRICELESS.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wall-e I love you!

Wall-e, the latest Pixar movie, is currently my favorite movie. I would love to hear any of your comments about what you think it was trying to say. David and I couldn’t stop talking about it. Such a poignant commentary on us earthlings and the state of our beautiful earth. My favorite point of the movie was when the captain was so moved by the beauty of what earth once was and could be again that he got off his lazy bum and made the first step – which in turn inspired thousands more to act. What a sad existence was depicted in the thousands of people that simply just did what everyone else was doing – the easier road was so lifeless, so devoid of beauty, so riskless and so empty and the sacrifice of a life lived this way was a destroyed earth.

With less words than any movie made since the wordless movies of the 1920s, it says more than any movie I have seen in a long time. The power of connecting with another as Wall-e and Eva did and how it inspired a revolution.

Leave your thoughts here so we can inspire each other with our thoughts from the movie.

A friend just emaild me with this blog post regarding this movie. Great review!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day in the Life from the Road

One day
Saturday, July 12

After sleeping 3 hrs, I woke up at 3:30AM to get ready for my flight.
4:00 am left for PDX
6:10 am – boarded plane
4:45 pm (1:45 Oregon time)– arrived in NC
5:45 pm – checked into hotel
6:15 pm – running my 6 mile river front run, smiling the whole way
7:30 pm – David and I head out to this amazing restaurant, Sinbad – unbeliebable Greek food, coconut icecream, perfect iced tea
9:45 pm – Watching Wall-e
midnight – hit the bed (was that really ONE DAY???) To be up the next morning at 7:30
am (4:30 oregon time) FOR SOUNDCHECK

Thursday, July 17, 2008

North Carolina these days

Hendersonville, NC

Spent the weekend in Hendersonville, NC doing a summer concert with David at 1st Baptist Church of Hendersonville. Packed the place out with more than 750 people creating an exciting show. What always amazes me is how many people come up to us that have been so deeply touched by our show or something we said. Each time I am humbled that God uses us.

Some highlights for me: a girl that has been reading my blog happened to live near enough to actually go! She came to see the “Pounding the Pavement” blog girl! This blew my brother away – we laughed that maybe I should read some blog posts during the shows since they are there for ME!! So – hi to Bekka and her mom! Thanks for coming! I didn’t end up saying much other than my usual fun bantering with my brother on stage – some shows I speak more from the heart, but just didn’t find the right moment for that this time. Sometimes just laughing is the best thing for the soul. And that’s what we all did that night. David put on an awesome show as usual, including the “seestur” act in the middle of the show.

Another super special highlight was my new super sweet, unbeliebably precious new friend, Suzanne who we met at our shows in Charlotte, NC last April. She drove 2 and ½ hours to see our show, hung out with us that night, got a hotel room that night so we could explore Ashville the next day. Drove through the beautiful rolling hills of Ashville,NC, walked through quaint downtown, got a delicious coconut/mango smoothie and then a vegan pizza. David loved it – the pizza – to his surprise. It has been a long time since I have met such a gentle and beautiful spirit. To think she has been so deeply inspired by things I have said to her just simply humbles me. That God uses me at all blows me away. Most of the time we never know how we impact others, but sometimes God allows us to know which provides the much needed encouragement to continue on Soldier!! I love you Suzanne!

Got 2 awesome runs in – through rolling hills, alongside rivers, through parks, on exclusive running/biking/walking paths that weaved through the towns. Loved it. 97% humidity and all.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Oil Boom!

Back to my time in Texas....

Ranching, of course, is happening side by side to the booming oil business. At the church we played at in Midland Texas the next day,we met the other half of Texas – those employed, in some way or another, by the oil industry. Must admit, they are beaming with smiles as they talk of the current oil boom we are in. I never thought of it as an "oil boom" but rather a "gas crisis"!!! Funny how I have been almost mad at times as I see gas souring into the$4.35/gallon range while millions of Texans are seeing their housing prices sour (while ours plummet), their money clips swell, and their prospects looking glorious.

Note to all unemployed Americans: there are TONS of jobs in Midland and Odessa TX! Every single store,restaurant, and business had Help Wanted signs on their doors. They simply cannot compete with the oil industry jobs and the workforce has shifted to that sector, leaving tons of vacancies. Restaurants have literally gone out of business for lack of employees!!!

So, word from Midland and Odessa to the rest of the country: Thank you for supporting our amazing boom!! We are having ourselves a great time! Keep driving!! (More or less, anyway!!)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nepal, the USA, and a sad goodbye

What a weekend. On Sunday, June 28th, we headed up to our favorite lake for a week of camping. We enjoyed some great times with some friends. These are the friends I mentioned in my last post. You can check out their work in Nepal and India and learn so much about the truths over their on their blog:

Our days were full of sprouts running from our campsite down to the water, swimming, canoeing, fishing, biking, and a few hikes. Cade woke us all up one morning proclaiming, "I just saw two hawks dive into the water and grab fish at the same time!!" What a way to wake up!! In the middle of our peaceful week, with our lovely trailer parked right on the beach, we took a hike with our friends to the top of Paulina Peak. My phone registered 3 voice messages, which is unusual as I rarely use the thing. I knew something was up. Sure enough, our family had lost another Godly pillar of the family in my Great-Aunt Pauline Sager-Foster, my grandma Ruth's sister. We quickly packed up and headed home on Thursday so we could attend the memorial on July 5th.

It allowed us time on Friday to have the sprouts enter the 4th of July Parade as little cutie pies decked out in Red, White, and Blue. They were part of the float for Crystal Peaks Ranch where our sprouts have been riding horses. The ranch rescues abused horses and pairs them up with hurting or disadvantaged children. 20% of the kiddos at the ranch are from healthy homes, but the ranch seeks to open it's doors to all kids as being a kid these days is just tough!

princess Sprout couldn't add enough red,white, and blue to her look!
The Sprouts pictured above with one of their favorite staff - Sarah from Texas!This is the incredible lady who started it all - Kim Meeder. She and her husband have rescued over 400 horses and have served thousands of children on their 9 acres. They simply rose to the challenge of "whose going to do it" and DID IT!! Our 1000 mile trek to Mt.Vernon, WA and back was a blessed time indeed. Incredible family my Aunt and her hubby have fostered - huge welcoming arms these 2 had at their home on Big Lake. It was never, "Nice to Meet you" but always, "Glad to Know you" were instantly swept into the fold, and counted as one of them. She leaves an amazing Godly legacy, with a huge family that all live near each other and gather together often. So Aunt Pauline, as you enter his Gates, go give your precious sister, Ruth, a great big hug. You are home! You will never be lonesome for your sister again (after all those years of living so far apart).

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July Give-a-way!!

I've been writing a bit about American values like community living and America the Beautiful. Starting next week, I will be posting more from my healthy living pamphlet. Weight loss, nutrition, healthy lifestyle ideas will all be discussed.

Leave 3 comments about what Freedom in the USA means to you (and your email) by Sunday, July 6th, and I will send you the hot of the press Star Spangled Banner mp3, just recorded in LA by Klink. Amazing how fast things get on the net! I just found this video, featuring David's latest song:

I love people from around the world and have family and friends that live all over this globe. I have learned so much from other cultures. I do, though, have to take a few seconds here and share about some of the freedoms that I love about the country that I call home.:

1. A recent conference featured multiple pastors speaking on the CURRENT horrors happening around the globe. Unspeakable torture, gang raping of women, child slave labor starting at 6 yrs of age - and these troubles are hugely magnified if you are a Christian. In some of these countries, it is punishable by death if you are a Christian. I am free to worship as I please here.

2. New friends of ours that do extensive social work in Nepal and India were sharing that her day starts out with her cup of coffee and then a trip to her roof. She scans the streets to see if it is a day she can venture out. Then she listens to see if it appears safe. Often it is not, so she returns to her kitchen and knows she and her kiddos will be inside. I love that any day of the year I can safely walk my kids outside on our sidewalks, go running, and go anywhere I chose.

3. I love all our PUBLIC LAND!! It simply does not exist in so many countries. I take for granted the thousands of acres I can just go play on. All the rivers I can go sit by. All the trails I can hike on.

4. Snuck a 4th one in - I love that as a woman, I still have as much say as a man in this country. I can not only vote, but my voice is heard at any forum I go to - town meetings, City Hall, State Government, Federal Government - women are allowed to voice their opinions equally with men.

Thank you America!!