Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Natural woman

For better or worse, I am a natural woman.  I don't really do make-up, or hair spray, or most of the other standard womanly rituals.  I know very little about modern fashion trends and what I do know I learned from my 8-year old. Unlike me, she has a real knack for fashion! So I am a very basic and natural woman.  As such, I can be ready to go just about anywhere in a matter of a few minutes.  Now sure I might forget a few things (like a coat in November), but I am also resourceful so I will manage without whatever I forget and mostly without complaining!  This little story is dedicated to Mother Nature.  She has taught me much in life and for this I am eternally thankful...

Spring really has sprung and I for one have a serious case of SPRING FEVER!  Well, I along with our kids, Stan (the dog), Gus (the cat), Velvet (the rabbit) and our lovely flock of chickens; we all seem to have some serious spring fever happening! Forget about the Flu, it is spring fever you have to avoid!   We are completely out of control!  Bed times are shot. The house is a wreck. The van is a disaster area.  And we just can't seem to get enough of what mother nature has to dish up!  The fresh, warm air and the sunshine beckon us away from our responsibilities and call us out to play in the mud, woodlands and dirt.  Even when it rains like today, we are called out to play!  So our homework is not up to par, our chores are behind schedule and it's all because our attention is directed elsewhere. OUTSIDE! Today nature offers some advice tidbits of advice to you and I.

I am working on a real story about this; but basically it boils down to this:

I do not like technology. I do not like it Sam I am! I do not like it in a house, nor with a mouse, not in a box, not with a fox. Not on a train, not in the rain.  I do not like technology....I do not like it Sam I am...Can you tell my 5-year old is on a Green Eggs and Ham kick these days!?

Yes my opinion is EXTREME and I do see some value to technology, but it has gotten out of control.  Especially with our kids. I don't think that kids need so much of it; kids need to get outside. Kids need to get outside and play and get dirty and make messes and explore and get lost (well lost in the fun and adventurous way, not in the scary truly can't find your way home way).  Kids need to learn to interact with nature and with other kids in a healthy way not while "connected" on computers...

Our Mud Community.  My kids and I built this while dad was working.  There was a Mud Island and a Plant Peninsula and imaginations were running wild right along with all the kids.  It was glorious; despite the amount of laundry that was produced, it was really, truly, glorious! And I hung the clothes on our clothesline so the impact on nature was minimized!!

Patience is a Virtue!

So I love this picture and quote, but I oftentimes find myself in a hurry and busy and whenever I am in a hurry and busy I naturally become a less nice person, honestly a kind of ugly person and my stress level rises and it isn't pretty in the least...I must work on this.  I am a work in progress in the realm of patience while Mother Nature has is all figured out.  

PS This was supposed to post last week when it was actually spring like outdoors, but I was too busy and now it is posting during our return to winter like temperatures and rain. SIGH.

Happy Spring Ya'll!

Vern Out

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Chester Lives

So Chester  (for those of you who are new to my blog Chester is our Chest freezer and I have been working tirelessly to empty him for about a year and a half now) survived his first real bout with indigestion and abdominal cramping; You know, the one brought on by all the Little Ceasars Pizza kits we fed him about a week ago.  It was kind of a big deal because for so long we have been committed to emptying Chester and using up the random items he holds.  For so long he has been lean and hungry.  Every time he decided to dig deeper and look inside himself he felt like this guy...

Well Chester survived that horrible pizza incident only to endure another unexpected and hefty deposit.  At least this time it was in the form of 11 healthy freezer meals!  Eleven!  It was a beautiful thing. A very beautiful thing. My kids may never be forced to eat leftover frozen pizza for dinner again!  This deposit was made possible by viewers like you!  (Just kidding I have been watching PBS the past few mornings and that is just such a catchy phrase they coined.)  It was made possible thanks to Wildtree Products, a new in home direct sales company committed to helping busy moms create family friendly healthy meals for your freezer. Oh and it was also brought to you  thanks to the work ethic of yours truly and a good friend of mine.

Now I do agree with this blog post I found from some other slightly crazy, off track, mom so read it if you want more details about the in home party aspect offtrack mom.  She makes some valid points. I certainly would not want to drag a cooler full of meat around my neighborhood!

Thankfully, I was able to do the workshop with a friend in the comfort (and disorder) of my own home because she is a fairly new Wildtree Consultant and wanted some practice!  So long story short (for a change), we made the meals in roughly two hours with minimal pain and suffering.  Now Chester is stuffed full of a variety of delicious freezer meals and some residual Little Ceasar's Pizza kits.  These kits are like the unexpected family members who visit unannounced and overstay their welcome (think Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation)!

But the freezer meals are amazing and nothing like cousin Eddy.  They can stay as long as possible!  Check it out!

 These are the actual Wildtree products.
The line-up for the Everyday Meals Menu!
Meals awaiting deposit. 

 This is what the girls did while we prepared freezer meals.
Easter Dress Archery is up and coming!

We have absolutely no idea where the boys went, or what they were doing during this time period, so we have no photos of them nor other proof that they were even on site.  However, I should note that they are still alive and well and based on some of the messes I have found the past couple days I think it is safe to say they were "messing" around.

Any questions!?

PS We ate one of the two pork tenderloins that night and it was very good.  Moist, flavorful and tender so I am optimistic that this is going to work out to the benefit of all those involved.  I have not taste tested any other meals so stay tuned for an update next week!

PPS No appliances (or children) were harmed during the making of the freezer meals!

Vern Out

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy Good (and Funny) Friday!

I like to laugh.  As my Mother Resume showed you a few days ago (see post entitle The Mother Resume for details) I definitely have a sense of humor about life; I don't take things too seriously.  Here are a few funny things I have bumped into lately.  I hope they make you giggle like a 4-year old on a sugar high after consuming too much cotton candy at the carnival.  Not that I am condoning the consumption of cotton candy, that stuff is poison...I just want you to get a good laugh out of this post like I did!

 I can almost see the sweat shop calories working on my pants right now!

Funny Hahahaha  funny; FuNnY; FUNNY!


Shifting Gears A Bit


My Own Little Soap Box!
Time to get serious... No more funny stuff people.  I am trying really hard to raise my kids to realize that the numbers on a scale do not matter; It is what's inside a person that counts.  At the same time, I do want them to take care of their bodies by exercising and eating healthy so they lead long and happy lives. But it is not supposed to be so they are skinny or sexy.  I actually find it repulsive that my 8-year old has used the word sexy. How and where did she learn about that word at such a young age?  And what does that say about our culture?!  It's disturbing.  And while I say I try not to take life too seriously, I am seriously concerned about this.  

Kids nowadays are receiving messages about body image ALL THE TIME.  It's everywhere.  School. Television. Radio. Internet. Church.  There really is no safe place (at least in America) from the basic message that looks matter and being skinny or sexy is important.   Our children are bombarded by these messages telling them that skinny is healthy and that sexy is what they want to be.  It is a real challenge for us parents trying to teach healthy living. And in this ongoing battle, society is doing us no favors. NONE.

So eating healthy meals is the norm at our house.  I mostly only feed fruits and veggies for after school snacks and I model healthy eating and being active on a regular basis. (I say mostly only because once in awhile we splurge) and I think that is okay!  Moderation is key.  On occasion, we make no-bake cookies at four in the afternoon and eat a couple... before dinner.  But it is a special treat, not an every day gig. So in my mind, we're mostly healthy!  (Besides I would argue that no-bake cookies have oatmeal and peanut butter in them so they are basically a health food).
Hazel makes the point much better than I can! 
Healthy food is YUMMY!

Further evidence of this commitment to healthy eating because I am after all atop my soap box:  
My favorite meal replacement option (especially for breakfast) is Ecotrek Bars  they are so much more than your average granola bar and they are locally made by an amazing woman who works tirelessly to help transform people's lives.  These bars are not only delicious, non dairy and vegan, but they also pack 10 grams of protein and 6 servings of fruits and vegetables into each little old bar!  How is that even possible!? It is like an inexplicable magic trick! Or like the cream inside a Twinkie only a lot healthier!  I do not know how they get all that good stuff in the ecotrek bars while keeping out all the bad stuff like high fructose corn syrup and enriched flour, but I am sure glad they figured it out?  Oh and the best part, they taste absolutely delicious!
My kids are curious about the scale and they think it is fun.  I like to encourage this curiosity and I would love for our kids to get through life without ever experiencing the pain of watching the scale and feeling the low self esteem that often accompanies the numbers found on it.  That is my wish for them.  That they will live a lifetime without ever experiencing tears over a scale.  Oh and I hope they will eat their vegetables when I am not there to enforce the vegetable rule!  That would be AWESOME!  I do know that when they play house, I often overhear one of them say,  "I have to get a babysitter so I can go for a run" and that my friends is amazing and always warms my heart no matter how many times they say it.

Vern Out