Friday, March 26, 2010

Food Revolution!

Got my computer back just a few hours ago and it's wonderful to be sitting in the center of the house and using it. I'd been using Alvins for a week and while it's nice and fast, it is stuck in a room and not nearly as convenient as mine. This was a lesson to me and I am going to be certain to back up my pictures onto an external hard drive more often (especially since it's always plugged into my computer). Luckily, the only problem was a fried power supply, but it could have been much, much worse!

Tonight, because it's the first night of spring break, I allowed the boys to stay up until 10 (helped that Q had a 3 hour nap this afternoon) and then allwed them to sleep on the floor in Finn's room. However, tonight was the premier of Jamie Olivers Food Revolution on TV and I really wanted to watch it. Lately, Finn has begged to buy lunch at school and I wanted him to watch it too, and so I let the twins watch as well.

Let me just say, I'm totally opposed to Finn buying school lunch, because even thought they always offer salad, the majority of the offerings are processed...and if you read me regularly, you know I am trying to get away from processed (but I will admit, sometimes it tastes good!) Every morning, I wake and make Finn a lunch. Sometimes he gets chips and cookies, but I still feel good about what he is eating.

So Jamie (we're on a first name basis now) goes into this elementary school and tries to change eating habits of kids...and he is met with adults who are totally opposed to change and don't want to even try to help "our" children, mostly because it means more work for them! At one point, he goes into a first grade class room and asks the students to name the vegetables he is holding up. Not one of them knew what a tomato was (And my kids, age 3, are hollering out the right answers, making their mama proud!)!

Sadly, the lunch ladies were opposed to having a meal that required a knife and fork...and it was pointed out to school staff that they were in the business of teaching children, but they weren't willing to teach them to eat using utensils. Because of that, teachers and principals walked among students to assist and kids ate a healthier lunch. Interesting, more attention, better eating habits! Isn't that why our family eats dinner together!

Anyway, I applaud Jamie, the show, the producers for trying to make Americans healthier. I hope that others are inspired to start a revolution of their own. As for me, we'll be eating even less processed foods, less HFCS, less MSG, less canola oil and healthier portions! And I might even go eat with my kids at school more often!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What I read...


Just finished reading this (well, listening to) and it was incredible.
Jen made me read it, because she wanted someone to talk about the book with. It was so good, you want to share it. Here's the authors web page says about it.

Rachel Kalama, a spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end—but instead she discovers it is only just beginning. With a vibrant cast of vividly realized characters, Moloka'i is the true-to-life chronicle of a people who embraced life in the face of death. Such is the warmth, humor, and compassion of this novel that "few readers will remain unchanged by Rachel's story" (mostlyfiction.com).
Moloka’i has become a favorite selection of reading groups across the country and has appeared on the BookSense Extended Paperback Bestseller list, as well as the bestseller lists of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Time, and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

"Moloka’i is a big, generous, compassionate, beautifully rendered epic novel...an exquisitely textured tale of darkness and light, tragedy and the triumph of the human spirit, filled with original, fully realized characters who walk right off the page and into our hearts."- Jim Fergus, author of One Thousand White Women: The Journals Of May Dodd
"A dazzling historical saga."- The Washington Post
“A moving story...a vivid picture of Hawaii before it became the Touristland it is today.” - Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove
"Moloka'i is a haunting story of tragedy in a Pacific paradise. The book opens a window on a world of dazzling beauty, and ugly disease and fear, and the courage of a young woman in the Hawaii of a hundred years ago. It is a story of romance and humanity, and struggle with the pain of isolation, in a place faraway in time, yet very close in intimacy and vividness, exact detail, giving us a sense of community and true kinship across time. It is a story of victory." - Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
"Compellingly original... Brennert's compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early twentieth-century Hawaii to life. Leprosy may seem a macabre subject, but Brennert transforms the material into a touching, lovely account of a woman's journey as she rises above the limitations of a devastating illness." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A generous portrait of a brave full life—Rachel Kalama's disease draws her into healing friendships with troubled Sister Catherine, with roommate Leilani who was born in the wrong body, with her true love Kenji, and more, all in a beautiful land that's both prison and refuge. Alan Brennert has brought eighty years of little-known history to engrossingly specific life—as inspiring as it is heart-breaking." - Jonathan Strong, author of A Circle Around Her
“A poignant story” - Los Angles Times
“Moloka’i transported me to a place I never thought I'd want to go—a 19th century Hawaiian leper colony. But Alan Brennert meticulously paints this world, making it resonate with our own, in which disease is still politicized and made a moral issue. Out of the tragedy of the ostracized and the afflicted, he tells a story of triumph and transcendence.” - Karen Essex, author of Kleopatra and Pharaoh
“A story that has long needed telling... Instead of elaborating on the horrors of the disease in order to build up drama, as a less skillful writer might have done, Brennert recognizes [the patients’] dignity and respects them.” - mostlyfiction.com
"Alan Brennert draws on historical accounts of Kalaupapa and weaves in traditional Hawaiian stories and customs.... Moloka'i is the story of people who had much taken from them but also gained an unexpected new family and community in the process." - Chicago Tribune
“Moloka’i fits my definition of a good book, even a great book, because it wraps a riveting personal story around real-life events.” - BookBrowse.com
“An engrossing story...a most moving novel but based on facts.”- Connie Martinson Talks Books
"[An] absorbing novel...Brennert evokes the evolution of—and hardships on—Moloka'i in engaging prose that conveys a strong sense of place."- National Geographic Traveler
"Moving and elegiac." - Honolulu Star-Bulletin
If you've read it, please leave your thoughts on the book. And let me know when you read it what you thought. And now, I think I want to read his newest book, Honolulu!


Been a While

So in the time I didn't update my blog, a lot has happened. And I would love to post pictures, but...you knew there was a but, right? A power outage 2 days ago took out my computer. It's hopefully just a power issue and not the hard drive, so I am trying to stay calm...all the boys pictures are on there and not backed up.

Finn celebrated his 7th birthday, the day we returned from Saint Thomas. His mimi got him a remote control hummer that he LOVES. Alvin and I bought him this toy that he saw on a commercial and HAD to have...he's pleased with it, but it isn't something he can really use around his brothers.

Alvin and I had an argument (I probably started it) and I told him he needed to have more passion in his life. This got him motivated (I think) to start work on the garage. In just a few weeks, he has redone the power to the garage and he can now use the tools that have been gathering rust for 4 years. If you don't know what he is capable of building yet, you will be surprised. He is so talented and remodeling kitchens and bathrooms just doesn't show his skill. I doubt that will pay the bills, but at least he can continue to do remodels. He discovered this week that the entire back wall of the garage has to be rebuilt because it's rotten and hopefully that will be an easy task and he can add some windows to make it less dreary.

This weekend we got the garden ready and I planted peas before St. Patricks day. In utah, we were alwasys told to plant peas then, but I have been told to do it about Presidents day here...oops.

While Paxton and I were planting peas, because the power had gone out and we had nothing else to do, my cell phone rang. It's unusual that I would have my cell phone in my pocket, but I was glad I did. It was Quincy's school. The power was also out there, but while he was on the playground, he had a fall. He hit his head on the pole that holds up the monkey bars and was sporting a goose egg and because of it, they didn't want to send him home on the bus. I rushed to the school, a trip that normally takes less than 10 minutes, but it took more than 20 because of the trees that had knocked out the power. And of course, now school was out and I had to try to find a place to park in the chaos of parents picking up their kids (Come on people...let them ride the bus!). His teacher said she had never seen a bump develop so quickly and she was very worried because of it...I confessed to her on the phone when she called the next morning that he already had a bump there from a previous injury and there was just a little swelling on top. We asked Q what happened and he said he was trying to go across on the monkey bars and let go when he realized he wasn't going to make it. I would have been surprised if Paxton did that, but not Quincy.

Quincy is loving school. Well, he despises the bus, but I think he's a bit afraid of the bus driver. He says he had a good day at school every day and likes talking about his friends there.

Paxton loves speech therapy, but I felt like that wasn't enough and enrolled him in swimming. We have a lot of water around the farm and swimming is a skill I think our kids have to have. Paxton disagrees and after 2 weeks of swimming, refused to get in the pool and would not let the teacher touch him. I finally pulled him out because it wasn't worth the effort I was putting into it. However, I am going to try to get him to go swimming with me when Quincy is in school 2 days a week. BUT his speech has drastically improved and he likes to tell you that babies say things, but he can say it not like a baby anymore.

Sun has finally started making appearances in our days. HOORAY! It's beautiful out there, but COLD today. But I threw the arguing kids out there and suppose I should go check on them.