Friday, January 30, 2015

Headlines Hit Home

I will be the first to admit that the main newspaper I pick up is my local paper. There are often great stories about upcoming events and things that have taken place in our community. Of course, one of the most entertaining sections of the paper is the Sheriff's Report. I also catch "news" headlines in a variety of place: Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, CNN, newsletters and such. I am always surprised how there can be so many different stories about the same situation, event or trend. What makes one person see something in a completely different way than another. I have decided that it come down to a few basic principles:
* marketing
* personal experiences
* personal beliefs
* motives
* effort into unfolding the truth

While doing some reading over the past week the light bulb came on.... I, and I will dangerously venture to assume, and many others don't distinguish between correlation and causation. Ok, I know deep stuff, but it is true! If we look at illness or even food/ eating trends there are 1000's of headlines that scream at us to believe things like "Sugar is Killing us!" "Gluten is Making us Fat" and "Hormones in Food Advance Puberty". All of these headlines trick our brains into jumping on a bandwagon without taking time to ask.... is sugar really causing death (causation) or do some people who consume heightened amounts of sugar and some people die from health issues (correlation) or does gluten in wheat products truly cause obesity (causation) or do many people eat excess amounts of highly processed foods, which are often products containing wheat, and are some people carrying excess/ unhealthy weight (correlation). And to be quite honest, there are and have always been hormones in everything we consume- yes, even the lettuce we grow in our own gardens! I am pretty much an open book. So, I will admit that a few years ago I was shocked to find that all food and plants carried hormones and that I consumed them every day for over 30 years! I was a critic of hormone use simply because I didn't know any better.

Headlines drive me crazy... but there are some fabulous writers and marketers out there! They do their job well. As a mom, farmer, wife of a farmer and a life long learner I am always seeking out new information. I want to make sure that I am making the right choices for my family and for ensuring quality process and product on our farm. All decisions are generally well thought out, some just come a little easier than others. Somethings are complicated and others are not.

I too fall victim to the big bold letters and catchy three to six line phrases that often send our brains spinning and into defense mode. My only resolution to the talented media and marketing experts is to simply ASK QUESTIONS. Have questions about food or things we do in farming and ranching? Ask those who work in those areas each day. If we don't have the knowledge in the area you ask about we will help you connect with people who do!
As for me, I am an open book. I hope to share why I do what I do on my farm and with my family. So the invitation is open.... GATHER YOUR QUESTIONS AND ASK AWAY!

Friday, January 23, 2015

If You Give a Mom a Garbage Bag

About a week ago I finally realized why I felt like I started a lot of things, but never got any of them finished. I seriously felt like I had been suffering from adult onset ADD, but it wasn't. It was simpler than that..... Simply, I AM A MOM! I have a million things running through my mind all at once and I just hope that my brain can keep up and put all those thoughts into the right folder in my brain so most things when they do get done are done fairly accurately!

And so on this day, when I had this revelation, my story began,,,,

If You Give A Mom A Garbage Bag

If you give a mom a garbage bag expecting her to place it in the can,
she will find a piece of dirty clothes laying on the floor in the way.

The dirty clothes will lead her down the hall towards the clothes hamper when
she will hear a child yell her name.

Spinning to decipher which child and where they are calling from and yelling, " Yes, what?!"
she steps on a pile of legos and stops to pick them up.

As she is picking them up she notices that there are dust bunnies and left over lunch on the floor
and puts down the garbage bag, laundry, and lego and heads to get the broom.

On the way to the broom closet a child calls her name again
and she dashes to the stairs to once again say , Yes, what?"!

Which is met with, " Did you remember that I have a birthday party to go to today?",
she sighs puts her hands on her head and contemplates what Christmas gift could be re-gifted.

But as she mentally runs down the gift list, the telephone rings.
She stops to answer the phone and agrees to bring rolls to church.

Because she agreed to bring rolls,
she stops to make sure she has flour in the pantry.

As she reaches for the door knob on the cupboard
she notices that it is all caked in "stuff".

As a result of it being covered in weeks worth of gunk,
she grabs a paper towel, wets it and walks back to wash the handle.

When she is done washing the handle she opens the garbage can to toss in the towel,
suddenly she realizes that she never put the garbage bag in the can.

Which leads mom back to the pile of the garbage bag, dirty clothes and legos,
when she decides that it is time for a cup of coffee and a status update on Facebook!

For all you moms out there, remember that for the millions of things that go half done that your effort may be worth more than the success of completion!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Family Food Shinanigans

As a mom to five kids, I try to make a variety of meals. I balance convenience, cost, time, and nutrition. I try to make many of my own meals, but I too enjoy tossing in a pizza or heating up a hot dog and a box of macaroni and cheese. My biggest challenge isn't making meals, it is making meals that my kids will eat. I have three noodle lovers, 1 who will eat them once in a while, one that is nauseated if he sits by a noodle eater. I have 3 potato lovers, one that will taste them if forced, and another that would rather starve. So, when it comes to rice... all my kids will eat it, but my husband thinks that it is a waste of energy lifting the spoon to his mouth. Veggies only take starches to a whole other level..... In short we eat a lot of corn, broccoli and salad.

Well, I am here to tell you also that I may have one of the pickiest eaters around. My oldest has sensory processing issues amongst a few other challenges. Some of his struggles come in the form of food. We have struggled to find things that he will tolerate and times and situations where we can bend his boundaries over the last 10 years. Sometimes he struggles taste, other times it is a textures and after that we deal with food touching issues. Over the years we have made quite a bit of progress. I can wipe sauces off of meat and he will eat it. I can combine a few different food together and he will eat most of my concoctions. About six months ago he even asked me to make peas....and he ate the whole micro-steam bag!!
So you can just about imagine that I was stopped in my tracks when my little 13 year old chef ( We call him Boy'R Dee.) was re-heating via the grill 2 kinds of meat ( his favorite food to eat) and a wide variety of veggies. He had carrots, broccoli, cauliflower heating up. Then once he was done eating, he asked if he could make more! Yes, my jaw dropped to the floor! When he asked if I could buy more mixed fresh veggies for him, I almost cried!

I share this today because in most families I meet, there is usually someone who is labeled as "the picky eater". I am here to tell you that there is hope. I always ask my kids to try what I make for dinner. They can lick, bite, chew, suck on the item, but they need to try what I provide for them before I will allow them to pass on eating it.

Don't ever give up. Food should never be a fight, but an opportunity!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Gets an "F"

Yes, 2015 already gets an "F" from me. At a time in the year in which so many people are taking time to make resolutions to do things or not do things, I sat back and reflected on what is valuable in my life. The last part of 2014 was challenging and I had to put quite a few things on the back burner and identify what mattered most. Now that 2015 has hit, I had to decide if any of those "back-burner" things could be moved forward or if I had enough on my plate.

As I sat and thought and tried to categorize the things that I valued each day, my list became rather short. 2015 will be full of " F's",but certainly not failure. In fact, it will be filled with things that will allow my family and I to persevere and succeed. In 2015 I resolve to focus on:
and of course FRIDAYS!

None of these things come easy. All take dedication and effort. I am certain that balancing them will be challenging and force me to be less selfish. But, in the end everything will be better, stronger and more settled. It is my plan to share stories from all my "F's" throughout the year on Friday's! Why Friday? well, because it is a day of celebration. For many it is payday, end of the regular work week, the beginning of more family time, time to see friends and family, leads to planned day of worship, and for us allows our family to work together on the farm. And perhaps for no other reason than, it is my favorite day of the week!

So, until next week when I share about FOOD, think about what letter grade you plan to give 2015!

"Rooted in love and grounded by faith." Eph 3:17