Friday, June 19, 2009

Adjustments

You know, life really is all about the experiences. As I sit here and digest our new reality I can't help but get anxious in a good way and maybe a little in a not so good way. As many people have brought up, Japan is a lot farther away than Oklahoma. However, Oklahoma has become our home too. When we got here I will admit, I was less than enthused. However, I have made forever friends here. Just like I have back in PA. Just like I have from Finland. One of the top three reasons for joining the Air Force was so that we could travel with our big family. So that we could give a big family the experiences of God's creation, all over God's creation. I am so thrilled to be able to be a resident of Japan. While I know that it will be far, we will be there for about 2 or 3 years and then we will likely be back here at Tinker. There is a possibility that we could go to Alaska after Kadena, but the likelihood is not very high. So while my family will need to leave half of our house in storage, and get use to living in much smaller quarters (smaller than 7 people in our current house YIKES!) I love the opportunity to experience life that is so different. I guess too that God knew all along what I was suppose to do regarding my work/school/stay at home mom dilemma. Now, which craft do I take to Kadena? Well definitely my computer, and then my sewing machine, hands down! I am so thrilled! I just hope my mom can store my scrapbooking stuff for me so it doesn't get damaged in storage....hmmmm.

So as soon as the birthday parties are over this weekend and next weekend, I will begin having a yard sale every week until we leave LOL!!! 2.000 pounds is nothing for a family of seven, basically beds, clothes, a few kitchen necessities and well that is it...oh and maybe a vaccuum lol...If you have been to Kadena and have any PCS ideas/suggestions/input, please let me know!

Today we got orders!

Before I say where too, I have to say how excited we are. This is our dream base and we are thrilled. I truly believe that this is God's plan for us. However, our ability to actually accept the orders and go depends on one man. He is the man in charge of the EFMP program here at Tinker. He will give the final say. Originally he said that he never sends anyone here because they don't have any hospital services at the Navy hospital where we will be stationed. However, in looking at their website they do have a neurology center on base, they have an ER on base, and they specifically say that they take care of kids with seizures ON BASE!!! Not to mention the medicine that has finally helped Avagrace was developed in JAPAN!!! YUP Kadena HERE WE COME!!!

Our orders are for Spring, please keep us in your prayers, that the orders can go through and we can live in Japan!!!! Thanks ahead of time, this is our number one dream base, we only get three choices for his job, so we will be back to Oklahoma again but for now we would love to go to Japan!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A birthday Spencer style?!?!?!

Avagrace is now five years old! Her birthday was yesterday and it was such a very spencer-ish day. The best part came in the morning when I told Avagrace that it was her birthday and that I was so happy to give her a special day. I told her she was now a big five year old and would get to learn how to read this year, if she really wanted to and didn't give up even if it was hard. She was excited but a few minutes later she came to me and said, but I am a little bit four still. I am not five until my birthday. So I smiled and reassured her that it was her birthday. She countered with "but my friends aren't here, I am not five till my friends get here." Oh, no silly, today is your birthday but we are having your party on Saturday because it isn't a work day. Today is a weekday and so people work. "But aren't birthday's holidays, why is daddy at work." I laughed and explained that it was somebodies birthday every day of the year so we take holidays for other things and we all celebrate our birthdays our own way. Like how Aidan has a Mario party coming up, while Violet just had a Pet Shop party, and that her party was going to be a mermaid party. Birthdays are special days, but not holidays. "But I am not five until I blow out the candles..." No sweetie, I said, you are five, and just as inquisitive as your daddy. And with that she skipped away....LOL!

So for Avagrace's birthday we had chocolate almond milk for breakfast, with zucchini bread (homemade by me and a favorite we share!). We had chicken nuggets with spinach salad for lunch, and for dinner Daddy got her Chinese, her fav! We then sang happy birthday, let her call all of her family, and opened a few choice presents. We gave her two of ours (we have a three gift rule for each holiday, although sometimes it is one depending on cost) and then her presents from Aunt Steffie, Nona and Grampy, Grammy, and Nanny and Poppy. She had a wonderful day!

Bren and I both worked yesterday and my poor husband has been exhibiting weird symptoms. He thought maybe it was a whole slew of things, primary concern: Heat exhaustion. With temps reaching over 100 here regularly and sometimes as high as 115 it is a common condition. However, after hydrating and resting it didn't seem to go away. As I got all snuggled into my bed, ready to type up an awesome blog entitled "five years ago today" Bren jumped outta bed in a half sleep just freaking out...So into the ER we went. Finally after many tests and several hours the diagnosis was anxiety.

Aside from Bren's ailments I have come down with strept throat again. This is the fourth time since January when I got my tonsils out!!!

Thanks to our dear friends the "W" family we were able to go to the DR. kid free and rest up from our night of no sleep. So we are now all home under one roof and enjoying the new birthday toys. Check out my blog tomorrow for a picture of Avacake with her prized present, the newest addition to our family "Mari." I will also tell you what that is short for :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A great trip leads to my soap box...

Shopping for "health food" is so expensive!

I went to the local health food store today, and when I say local I mean 20 minutes away, but at lest we have one!!! I needed to get gluten free flours, mixes, pretzels (6 dollars for a bag that would have cost 2.50 for regular ones!!!) and some probiotics that are dairy and gluten free. I ended up spending 98 dollars and I was floored! I was also very discouraged.

Aidan and I went together because he was helping me pick out some things for Avagrace's birthday that were going to be special. Like for breakfast tomorrow we will have chocolate almond milk (Aidan picked this out tonight) and my zucchini bread. It was really nice to have time with just Aidan and I was really blessed to hear his opinion of the store. After going down the first aisle Aidan climbed into the chart which he rarely does. He is usually running, twirling, flapping, or jumping up and down aisles in the grocery stores making some annoying loud noise. But tonight he climbed into the basket and laid back taking it all in. He said "I like it hear, it is so quiet and it is playing the music from home" Instead of pop or rock and roll like most stores, or ads playing over radio and TV now like that big Blue Wal-art something or another store, classical hymns were playing in the background. "It is also soft....like not bright lights and the signs are nice colors like we see outside...it isn't full of big pictures like all over the other stores. It is just so plain, but full of the foods that look like what we should eat, not the foods that all look like candy." AMEN! Out of the mouths of babes, I tell you! I was so blessed to hear this because it was so true. I must admit that when I first started going there, it was a little too earthy for me. I was afraid that only hippies who didn't believe in deodorant or shaving would be allowed in. HA! But he had such a point. The store smelled of herbs, mostly lavender. And the whole place was cool and relaxing. When I go to the other stores I will get so stressed. While shopping here I am not free from stress as I am scrutinizing each and every brand and ingredient, but at least I am not being bombarded with more ads at every sound, sight, or conversation. Not to mention, color therapists were not hired to choose the colors most likely to encourage me to spend more money! I enjoyed hearing the description from my sensory child and was thankful that places like this do exist! For me and my darling son!

We are determined to bring our Gracie through this epilepsy and do whatever it takes to prevent her from having seizures and having to live her life on mind-altering drugs. We are also doing whatever it takes to help Violet with her refluxing kidneys, Aido with his Sensory Integration Dysfunction/Aspergers mess, and me with my whacked auto-immune whatever...(ahem) We have enlisted the advice of some of the most knowledgeable people in the fields of immunology, neurology, and nutrition, as well as advice from a DAN! doctor, other parents who have "been here done that" and research and expertise from my sister and myself. It all boils down to this, you are what you eat and eating is for health and vitality, so what you are eating better be right! Yes there are genetics and reasons for illness/disease. God made us perfect, sin messed us up. However, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and whatever we put into our temple definitely matters. Everything we eat is either a good choice or a bad choice. Americans will say "oh this is ok, or this is better than this, or this is only a little bit bad" But no sin is worse than the other. Sin is sin. There is not gray area in sin. The same goes with food. It is either life giving, or life taking. I personally do not want to give my child something to fuel their body that is life taking! Even if it costs 2 to 3 times as much! I will make it a point to learn how to cook like a master, the foods that we love in a healthy way. I will also make it a point to continue to fight for government change!

It is a sad country that mass produces more food than can be consumed. To the point that food is wasted daily by passing it's eat by or sell by dates in the stores, molding in the store-houses, or being thrown out by the restaurants at close of business. This process has also become a mentality in the home by shopping for and buying more food than one family can consume and storing it as well. The most expensive food is the food that we throw away.

Regardless of your location the lifestyle of going to market first thing in the morning to buy your food for the day is not the American way. You may be able to do this if you are in a sustainable area but even then you are not likely to be able to do it everyday for every need/ingredient. Farmers are not typically able to make a proper living by producing foods just for the local families. Moreover, if farmers choose to farm organically it is even harder for them to survive. Add allergen precautions into the mix and the challenges rise tremendously, especially for grain farmers and mills. All this adds up to time, and of course MONEY.

But what is the healthiest way to eat? Well this is a cause for great controversy but the proof is in research, science, chemistry, biology, nutritional analysis, and personal testimonies. Wheat free, Dairy Free, Meat Free, Minimally processed, ORGANIC food. But many of you will say, "if this is the best way to eat why doesn't the food guide pyramid or my doctor tell me to eat that way?" Good question.

I will start by referring you to the beginning of the post. COST, the FDA is a government run program. The government is responsible for and dependent upon a strong economy. Our economy is an industrial/computer economy that peaks on efficiency, mass production and supply and demand. The doctors are governed by the FDA on what prescriptions and advice they can give. Drug company's are also part of big government. The FDA is not going to approve something that is in direct contrast to "the way things are done." 70% of America's grain harvest goes to cattle so that we can eat the cattle and drink milk. If all of America suddenly stopped eating meat because the FDA admitted how horrible it was for your digestive system which by the way is your immune system command center, and your heart, they would have to totally rework an entire industry. Then what would they do with all those cows? Besides, if all the Americans stopped eating meat and their guts cleared out and their immune systems were stronger, and nobody suffered from high cholesterol (which is only found in animal products and fried foods) what would the billion dollar drug company's do?

So at the cost of the government my family and I will have to pay so much more money to live healthy. I just wish that the health food companies would start packaging their items in bulk/family sizes too for big families like mine that want to eat the right way!


Some books I recommend on this topic.

GREEN FOR LIFE!!! This is the best one.

Louder Than Words, Ok this ties for the best one!

Skinny B**** but I have to say, the fowel language in this book is horrible and really bothered me. But their research is sound, true, and it is put together so nicely in plain simple terms. If this is an issue for you, have someone mark out the bad words with a sharpie or do it yourself if you can. This is what I did, so that I can share the book with others appropriately!

The Fungus Link

Healing Autism

There are more, but these are my top five!

I would love to know what my readers think about this topic, especially if you have any great recipes. Please leave a post!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Grand Ole'... Room Cleaning?

To write what one knows, that is a theme in my thinking as well as a lesson I have had repeated to me many times over. As far as I can remember the first time I heard this it was a lesson for one of my favorite characters, from one of my favorite movies of all time! Josephine March was talking to her future husband and love of her life about her writings. They were stories of pirates, adventure, and hero's. She was proud. She wanted them to be published so desperately but for her it was very difficult. She was a woman, in a man's world. She would even sign her articles as Jo March to give herself a better chance. Her love (although at the time she didn't know it was her love) encouraged her to write what she knows. She left offended, all she wanted to hear was that he loved her work. But later, when tragedy struck, his words resonated within her very being! That night she penned her first novel.

Tonight I spent time cleaning my very messy room. It was sort of fun thinking that I was "cleaning my room." It reminded me of my childhood. I would go into my space, shut the door, and make it new again. From top to bottom I would clean and rearrange. Working to make my space, not only clean and better organized and more creative, more beautiful, more efficient, more whatever my mood, musings, or need would have at that time. I loved these times and tonight I relived it again.

Tonight while cleaning I watched Marley and Me. I also watched the Family that Prey's. So by that you can see how much time I spent in my room. I rearranged the bed in preparation for our new (finally a king sized) bed that we will be getting shortly!! I vacuumed under the bed, I put my clothes away that have been laying on my recliner, I dusted, sorted through, weeded out, etc. It was so much fun and the two movies that kept my company couldn't have been better. Marley and Me was another great lesson in the "write what you know" topic. It was wonderful! It surely was a tear-jerker as they prolonged the moment to it's longest possible length of time, but overall it inspired me. I loved the line when "John" said "mend it-don't end it." I think that that line should be on bumper stickers, fighting for marriages everywhere! I also absolutely love the line when "Jenny" said " made a choice, and sometimes I feel like I have given up so much and it is sad, but if I am sad about this, than I am a bad person." I love this.

The second theme is where the Family that Preys fits so nicely. The theme in that movie was in the mothers words. She said that she had given her life to her kids. That is what we all do. We stop being us and start living for others. The moment that we become mom's we stop living as the person we know that we are. We instead begin the journey of tutor, doctor, nurse, pastor, and all other serving positions in our child's life. Except we seamlessly switch between one "career" to the next in 24 hours time and then start all over again. We never really stop, we just keep shape-shifting until we are so exhausted we beg for a break. We then go out on the town, and talk about them, do something for them but alone, or think about them until we go back to them and start all over again.

One day we will have longer times away and more time missing them than being overwhelmed by their presence. While everyone tells us this truth it is so hard for me to fathom at this moment in time. Right now I am at the moment of screaming, fussing, chaotic life that makes me want to run away every 24 to 72 hours just for a few minutes of silence or time to myself. Does this make me a bad mom?

Hardly, in fact I think it makes me human. Imperfect yes, but bad...not a chance. God gave me to these children and these children to me for a reason. I intend to make the best of it and live each moment with them to the fullest. It is these silent times away that I can remind myself of this truth so that I may try once again to get it right. So that I can try again to not loose my patience when four little persons are tugging at my legs causing me to loose my balance and drop the stack of 20 or so pages that were in order five minutes ago. It strengthens me to remember the moments of "who mommy, why mommy, what is that mommy?" are actually really good opportunity's to train and teach my children even though more times than not I immediately say "just use your eyes to learn please, right now mommy is..."

I only wish I was a better writer and a better mom. I wish that I could think more about what I live each day so that I could write what is in my heart, so that it may reach others and truly make a difference. Perhaps, this wish is burning in my heart for a reason...