Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food, Inc.

As an adult, I have become somewhat of a "foodie," but never quite took myself very seriously. I basically love food. I gained a fascination with food and cooking when I quit my teaching job to stay home and take care of my arthritic self! I followed The Food Network daily and quickly learned how to cook from watching the shows and listening to the chefs share little tidbits you wouldn't otherwise get simply from reading a recipe. It has become a passion in recent years. The art of cooking, entertaining, serving, and brings me great joy. The opportunity to experience fine cuisine, new flavors, divine flavors and constant desire. Sometimes I thank God for my arthritis (might sound ridiculous), because in more ways than one, it has helped steer me into the person I am today.

Yesterday I watched the documentary, Food, Inc.   I have wanted to see it for quite some time but just never quite got around to it.  I had seen interviews and tidbits and knew it was about the production of food in America and how it has changed and developed, but I guess I didn't really pay attention to the devastating extent to which it all has come.  I feel like I could go on forever and off on so many tangents; it's quite ridiculous. So I thought I would share just a bit before my brain explodes. I wish I had more time to be thorough and intellectual, but for now, this is what I will share for what it's worth.

Oh my.

Listening to the general facts, it was all information I feel like I've heard or read before, but it was all put together in a very startling way.  How have I let myself become so passive in regards to all the information out there surrounding this each morsel of food is produced and finally ends up on my plate?  How can this all be so removed from my life...our lives?  How have we (me, you, our families, our nation, our American culture) allowed money to become more important than human lives?  Think of all the other REALLY serious and devastating human issues America needs to address.  Something as simple as it is produced...has become a disgrace...all for the sake of money...all for the sake of power...all for the sake of convenience!


I have to say, having wanted to watch Food, Inc. for so long and finally watching it has simply brought out a huge amount of disgust in me.  I've seen the pictures of the cows being abused and the horrific living conditions they live in, as well as the pigs and chickens, and I've heard of and seen the disgraceful practices certain large companies partake in to stay on top of the game.  However, I don't think I've ever allowed it to sink in completely.  I allowed myself to grow numb to this situation and all that it encompasses.  It was beyond me.  It was outside of my bubble.  What could I do about it?  What should I do about it?  Watching the documentary kind of pulled it all together for me and in a way, flicked the lightbulb (that had gone off for me so many times before) so that it would once again glow.

Not only CAN I do better for myself as well as the two fellas that I take pleasure in cooking for, but I HAVE to do better.  How dare I stand by and act as if all this information means nothing.  How can there even be a choice not to do better?  Who doesn't choose to at least try and be better....just try?  Who wouldn't want to try?

Yes we live in a culture dominated by the desire for convenience, and everyone seems to think their time is more precious than the moments it takes to cook a well balanced meal.  But for now, I am choosing to try.  To take what I know and what I can continue to learn, and try to do better....for me, for my family, and for others with which I share this world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cadbury Creme Eggs

Outer layer of yummy melt away chocolate, oozey fondant goodness in the center, and a tall glass of my Nonfat Smith Brother's Farm milk.  Mmmmmmmm.  I am so glad I bought a few packs of these when they were on sale after Easter.  I have to say, quite possibly one of my favorite things around Easter time.  I'm sure it's loaded with junk, and quite frankly, I'm pretty sure Jamie Oliver wouldn't want his kids eating it, but for me, it's a little bit of wonderful.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Knucks To A Glorious Day

I love days and nights like this.

We celebrated with our church family today...10 years for High Pointe Community Church.  What a blessing to be a part of such a loving and genuine body of believers.  Our faith has grown tremendously, we've made lifelong friends, and we've grown stronger as a family.  We very much look forward to seeing what the years ahead will bring as we put our faith and trust in Jesus and walk along side our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Leaving church, there was an unfamiliar feeling in the air, in the car, on my skin...what was it?  It was sun!  Oh my was it a glorious day?!  The sun was out all day, and the warmth came right along with it.  I busted out my shorts.  I'm not joking.  For those that know me well, you know this is HUGE.  My white legs saw the light of day!  It was legitimately hot, and we loved it! 

We had burgers, we pulled out our lounge chairs for the deck, we busted out the soccer ball, rolled out the basketball hoop, we (upon Cooper's request for the lawn mower - he's a bit obsessed lately) mowed the lawn, and by golly, we even planted some flowers and rosemary.  This was truly a banner least for this time of year.  A sunny and warm day like this is a bit hard to come by around here, so we attempted to utilize every moment of daylight we could.  Seeing Cooper enjoy the yard and all the things that go along with that...exploring, playing, sports, neighbors, dirt, water...what a gift.  He makes days like this so much more fun and enjoyable for Brian and I. 

As the sun was setting,  Cooper and Brian made a few more baskets and I finished up planting some flowers.  Nothing too special.  I think they are a breed of petunias.  I went with shades of orange.  To be honest, I'm shocked there are flowers in pots at this point.  Usually, I don't make it to planting any flowers until July, when it's almost too late, and we can only enjoy them for a month or two.  I'm hoping these flowers thrive and grow strong so that we can enjoy them all through the spring and summer.  I've had the rosemary since my birthday in February, and finally getting it planted gives me hope for yummy things to come!

Putting Cooper to bed tonight was a bit later than usual because of our long, glorious day.  Sometimes late nights can go either way with Cooper.  Tonight was wonderful.  He squealed with delight as we headed for the bathtub.  Literally.  How fun is that?  Then we finished up, got into jammies, and made our way to the chair (the green gingham swivel rocking chair in his room that we have read stories on each night since Cooper's birth).  He went straight to Brian's lap (we try to both be a part of putting Cooper to bed as often as special!), and we read only one book, How Do I Love You? (or the owie book as Cooper likes to call it...there is a picture of a boy that has fallen off his skateboard and sits with a tear coming down his face and a skinned knee...and Cooper says over and over, "Ow, ow, ow, ow.").  This bed time routine time was wonderful and cuddley and quiet.  Then, Cooper pointed to his bed and said,"Ow."  In other words, time to head to bed and bring the owie book please.

After goodnight kisses and cuddles, bringing all his buddies into bed (his frog, his monkey, his giraffe, the owie book), and pulling giraffe up real close (giraffe is his angel dear animal blanket...his comfort item), Cooper lay down and asked us to cover him with the blanket.  One more kiss and, "I love you ," from me, and same from Brian. 

I had left the room and Brian was following, when Coop said, "Mom." Brian asked, "Do you want Mom?" and Cooper said, "Yeah."  I headed back in for one more snuggle.  Bending down, I rubbed his face gently (at which time he closed his eyes and smiled) and told him that I loved him.  I said softly that it was time to snuggle and cuddle and go to sleep.  He opened his eyes, looked up at me, smiled again, and lifted his fist.  He wanted knucks.  We touched knuckles and he smiled, content to bring his hand back in and wiggle and bury it under his body until it was in just right place.  He closed his eyes once again.  He looked so content.  I told him, "I love you," and headed out the door.  I heard, "Eye-ya," or "I love you," and that was that. 

I love this day.  I love my husband and my son.  I love the simple pleasures of a sunny day.

Knucks to a glorious day!  Eye-ya.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just A Moment with Cooper

Every once and a while, I love to just take a moment with Cooper and enjoy him.  He is one of the most entertaining people I know.  He never stops...always busy learning, loving, discovering, and growing. 

He has never been one to "perform" or get cute and smile on purpose when we bust out the camera and ask him to do so.  Although (on a side note) for some time now, he loves to say, "Cheeeeeeeese!" and stare at the camera until he hears the click to signal the picture has been taken.  He is actually saying it so intently that it almost ends up not even being a smile, but a look of serious determination with teeth clenched.

It seems that there is always a genuine reason for Cooper's smiles and giggles.  Whether that reason is simply something fun and silly going on around him and/or because of him or rather, him exploring and learning something new, the smiles and giggles come often.

With that said, it might just be one of the most special feelings in the world when that reason, for the moment, happens to be me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Best Birthday Card Ever

So we were rocking out to Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday to You on my 30th birthday, as this song does get played many times over and over, inspiring many a birthday dance parties.  It was a low key evening, a nice dinner and yummy cake with my two favorite fellas, and we were enjoying each other's company as a family of three.  We celebrated with family later in the week.

Brian and I decided to get a little video of Cooper, after he had been showing great interest in the card I opened from him, via Brian.  Pretty much my favorite gift...opening and reopening the card and watching him enjoy the moment.  I wouldn't say this is the most amazing video ever.  I think I even snorted when my nose was running.  Oops!  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  But in that moment, amazing doesn't even describe how it felt to be Cooper's Mom.  Pure delight.  Hope you enjoy. 

Pay close attention to Cooper's facial expression as he slowly opens the card.

Spaghetti Night A Few Weeks Back

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Day at the Farm

In my fantasy land, there is nothing like a day at the farm.  I have always had a special place in my heart for farms.  Not sure where it came from.  I have wanted to buy, renovate, and live on a farm, I have wished to own many of the animals you would find on a farm, and I've dreamed of growing and harvesting the abundant produce and fresh milk to consume daily without a trip to the store!  I have wanted to soak in the beautiful fields of hay and majestic sunrises and sunsets, I have longed to sip a cold glass of lemonade on an old, rustic looking picnic table covered with a red and white checked cloth, and I've imagined swinging on a huge rope swing in view of a large wrap around porch with quilts hanging on hooks (for those cool, starry nights) right behind the over-sized rockers.  All the images that the word farm conjures up...I've envisioned them and at some point thought it would be fantastic if they were reality for me.  Living the farm life: what a great opportunity to enjoy some of the simple, everyday beauty God shares with us here on Earth.

Today, we got to go on a little adventure.  We headed to Enumclaw to visit some friends that live on a "farm."  Although it wasn't quite the farm I have always envisioned and longed for, we had the best time and got to share some precious moments with Cooper and my parents.  Chickens, roosters, geese, ducks, rabbits, and sheep (with babies born just a couple weeks ago) all gave us a reason to giggle, run around, and have an impromptu photo shoot.  What a blessing to experience some of the joy and beauty that God provides while spending a day at the farm.

Linking up to...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Joy of Wednesday Mornings

I love Wednesday mornings.

As soon as Cooper and I hear the rumble of the garbage truck (even if we have just begun breakfast), we rush quickly upstairs to his room , open the window and blinds, place Cooper atop his bench for a perfect view of the street, and wait patiently for the garbage truck to arrive at our house. I can always feel the anticipation.

Upon pulling up to our house, our friend (the garbage man) looks for Cooper, smiles, and waves. He jaunts over to our garbage can and does his job. He sets it back on the curb and glances once again up at Cooper with another smile and wave, lingering just long enough to catch the excitement and giddy waves from my little man. Cooper shouts, "Hiiiiiiii! Hiiiiiii!" with such purpose and enthusiasm.

As the truck drives away, Cooper gets one more smile and wave from our friend, and Cooper shouts (thinking he has to be louder because the truck is pulling away), "Byeeeeeeee! Byeeeeeeeee!" He looks up at me, "All done?" "All done, " I say.

Pure joy being a part of this. Pure joy.

I am going to try to capture a picture of this soon. It is too priceless.

Edited 12-31-10 with pictures...

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