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Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Reviews

Hey Friends,
It has been a long time since I have done a book review. I have read many books since my last one, but I have just recently read two books that I really liked, so I thought that I would chat about them for a minute.

Mitten Strings For God-This book should be read by every mom of young children. I was chatting with some friends about how I sometimes commit to too much and overextend myself (like most women). I also sometimes struggle to decide how I want to fill my kid's time and the kinds of experiences I want to share with them. This book is such a sweet reminder to slow down and breathe in the beauty of childhood. The author talks about the many ways that she slowed down with her family and learned to say no to things that weren't best for her family. I so needed to read this book. It really helped recenter me and remind me of the great role I have as a mother. She talks about how taking tv out of the home (or minimizing) is a great gift that we can give to our children. We no longer have channels at our house, so I still have been checking out DVDs from the library. I have become so much more disciplined about how much/when my kids watch tv....and I don't mind if occasionally they watch a little more than usual, but I feel like my kids are way better off when they are engaged in imaginative play. Anyways.. that is just a tangent... that is just a small part of the book.
Seriously ladies... go to half.com and order this (I paid $4.00 for hardcover including shipping). Here is a list of titles of chapters to give you a feel for the book:
Dailiness, Morning, Peace, Quiet, Simplicity, TV, Play, Secret Places, Wants and Needs, Stories, One-on-One Time, Surrender, Breathing, Healing, Listening, Nature, Enchantment, Grace, Rhythm, Truth, Helping, Stretching, Nurturing, Sabbath, Spirit, Balance, Choices, and Wingbeats.
Read and let me know what you think!!!

I actually read the old version and not the revised version of this book, so I would be very interested to see the new additions. The authors of this book take and practice an integrative approach in how they treat patients. Most MD's have a very narrow point of view based off their training that usually includes very little background in homeopathic or herbal remedies. Most MDs are worried about treating the symptoms more than getting down to the root of problems. For example, a child who has chronic stomach pains, may possibly experiencing stress at home or school, so treating the symptoms is important, but getting down to the root of the cause of the stress is more important. An integrative Dr would be more likely to do preventative work and to start with the least invasive treatment first, but also be willing to use modern medicine as necessary. This book REALLY made me think and thinking is good, right :)? In my happy world, I wish that all Drs were more integrative. Obviously there are amazing MDs and probably some crappy integrative doctors, but it just seems like this philosophy is just has the patients well being in mind more. One other example of something from the book that I found very interesting is the overuse of antibiotics in our country. I think they said that in the Netherlands (or one of those Scandinavian countries), that ear infections in children are rarely treated with antibiotics, and that there are more natural remedies used with antibiotics used only in very severe situations. We all probably know that the more that antibiotics are used, the less they work, and the number of prescriptions written today is insane.
Anywho... I could just blab on forever, because now I want to go and do more research on natural remedies. Don't get me wrong, I am very appreciative of modern medicine when it is appropriate, but many times I think that less is more. Okay folks, that is all for now. The next book that I will be reviewing.... "The Wonder of Boys." I really need to start figuring this little wild man of mine out :).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Thoughts

-I went to see Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Jody Williams speak. She has done tons of amazing work, but her main work was on getting land mines removed from countries around the world. I am feeling all inspired to think of ways to make the world better. She talked about how in the richest country we make excuses about why we don't have time to help and volunteer, but we have to stop making excuses and start acting. She talked about how the worst kind of people are those who whine about causes or injustices but do nothing to help. I think that I've done some of that in the past, so I'd better make my actions meet my talk.
-I'm getting ready to embark with the kids and I on a crazy quick trip next week to visit family in Oregon and then California. I'm really hoping the kids are up for this adventure.
-Okay, so this is really bugging me. Sofia wears some 4t, but she can also wear 5t. 5t is the last size sold in the "baby" sections of stores. I've been starting to casually look at stores in the "big girl" section to see what my options will be. I am so bummed. My choices went from sweet innocent dresses/leggings/regular clothes to clothes that look like they should be worn by teenagers. I can't believe that starting at size 6, all of the clothes are starting to look like clothes for pre-teen girls. Seriously. Usually I buy most of her clothes at garage sales, but that gets harder to do as they get older. I know this is totally random, but sorry people, I'm not dressing my sweet little girl in Hannah Montana and sparkly mini skirts at the age of 4. Have any of you had luck finding affordable clothes for bigger girls that are still sweet?
-I have a new breakfast discovery that is changing my world :). I always wanted to cook steel cut oats, but found myself too hungry in the morning to make them. Wait no longer my friends. I've starting making them in the crockpot at night and cooking them on low all night. I just add: 1 cup steel cut oats, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup milk, cinnamon, pinch of salt, a little brown sugar, and I've either added fresh diced apples or pureed pumpkin. You wake up with your house smelling like cinnamon and it is so nice to have something healthy for breakfast that took 2 minutes of work on my part.
-I think that I am going to be obsessed with gardening. I can't go to a store without wanting to look at their starts and flowers. My friend and I did a bunch of starts in her greenhouse, so we are anxiously waiting to discover which things are growing best. The weather is going to be great this weekend, so I am excited to hang out and finish our chicken fence!! That's all folks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Through the eyes of a 4 year old

I thought that since my kids are always saying cute things, that I would start writing things down more! Here is a series of fill in the blank questions that I asked Sofia today:
A Home is.... "A place where you live."
A family is...."People that stay together."
A brother is...."Just a brother."
A mother is...."Moms take care of their children."
A friend is...... "Somebody that you could play with."
What we need to do to be happy.... "Help others."
My favorite things to do are: "Play with my friends a lot, play at the park, spend time with my family."
My favorite color is: "Pink."
My favorite food is: "Strawberries and Celery (not sure how accurate that one is)"
When I grow up, I want to be: "A gymnastics teacher/diver/swimming teacher, a baker with my cousin Kira."

Her Cousin Kira just won a big writing competition writing about her pet, so when I told Sofia about that, she wanted to dictate to me a story about her pets too:

"Chick Supreme" (I thought that was a clever title)
Our chicks are the friendliest chicks, but Roosters are really mean to girls. Our chickens are our pets. We get them fresh food and water. Our chicken coop outside is for when our chicks get big. They could have a bigger chicken coop. We fed them worms by digging them in our back yard.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring!!

Hello Everyone,
It has been a busy spring. We have added 8 new additions to our family. I first planned on getting 6 chicks, but when I saw that they ones I ordered all looked very similar, I decided that we needed a little diversity in the coop. The kids have named the chicks, and a few of their names include: Fuzzy Wuzzy, Elizabeth, Rufus, and Orangie. I have a cute video that I will post soon of the kids' first reactions to our new friends :)
I just finally uploaded pictures from my camera, so here are some here are some of the things that we have been up to:

*Here is Sofia with her little friend Tessa at their creative movement dance class. It is a really low key class that she does once a week.

Here is Chris chillin' like a villian. He is actually doing so much better now. He is still walking around with a limp, but he is on to physical therapy now.



We have been spending lots of time with cousins. All of the cousins but Jackson were here during spring break. One day all of the kids came up to hang out in Corvallis. We went swimming, roasted marshmallows in the yard, had an easter egg hunt, and all went on a walk at Jackson Frazier Wetland. It was so good seeing people!!

*A nice day in the park with friends.

*Sofia is obsessed with babies. Here she is with our little friend June. She could seriously sit and hold her for more than 15 minutes if we let her. She is such a sweet nurturing kid.
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*Here is Grandma Sharon hanging out on the play structure with the kids. That woman is so adored by my little munchkins.


*Aren't these the sweetest kids ever! I have so much fun with them every day. I would not change a thing about my life right now. I would say that for the most part, it is sweetly simple.