Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why Organic?

Posted by Mandy at 9:04 AM 6 comments Links to this post

I've had a few conversations lately with some friends that are hopping on the organic buying bandwagon and we've all been asked so many times, "Why buy organic?" It costs more for the same thing! Sometimes quite a lot more! Here's why: (found on Oprah's website)
Though known colloquially as food that is grown more healthily (and is more expensive), in order for organic food to be certified as such, it must be produced under specific, legally-regulated standards and be subject to testing in order to retain certification.
In agriculture, this means that crops were grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without food additives (like chemical preservatives). When it comes to animals, they must be reared without the routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones and fed a diet of organic foods. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand about organic food is the relationship between legal (usually government) oversight and production of food employing earth-friendly practices. In order to be "certified," organic food -- and the farm it was grown on -- must apply for certification, pass a rigorous series of tests, and pay a fee for the process. In the US, this process is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture; as a government agency, it's subject to politicization and changing rules as different administrations and individuals assert their influence. As such, all "certified" organic food is organic, but not all organic food is certified. This, in part, has led to the increasing popularity of local food over organic food.
The biggest criticism of organic food, though, is the price premium. According to the Journal of Food Science, organic products typically cost 10 to 40% more than similar, conventionally-produced products. Prices tend to be higher because organic produce is produced on a smaller scale, and may need to be milled or processed separately; some of the price premium is likely to decrease as organic produce continues to scale up. Organic foods also tend to include more of the environmental costs that conventional agriculture tends to externalize. So, you're paying more for what's not in your food (pesticides, hormones, etc.) and you're paying more of the actual cost of food production, because things like pesticides aren't being passed along to the environment where friendly fuzzy bunnies and clear-running spring water pay for them.
This is just a bit of the article I read that I liked. We don't eat all organic foods, but that's mainly b/c there's just a lack of organics in our area. If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, buy organic only for foods that you eat the entire thing. Like apples for example. Apples, by the way, are considered to have one of the highest amounts of pesticide usage when growing... so it really pays to spend the extra cash for USDA certified organic apples. WalMart carries them now! In a bag for your convenience. :) Just wanted to throw some info out there for any that were interested. I've really been on a healthy home/ healthy environment kick... I guess it just seems to make sense to be! Sorry if you guys couldn't care less about the going green/organic stuff... I'll probably be blogging about it a bit more in the future!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Questions of the Day

Posted by Mandy at 7:50 AM 3 comments Links to this post
1. Why can't the people that work at the Credit Union take my money 5 minutes before 9:00am? Must we all sit in line while our infants scream for 5 minutes straight while you sit and wait for the clock to strike 9?

2. Why do I always end up behind the old man driver that insists on going 50mph or less the ENTIRE way to my house... and I only end up behind him the day my infant is screaming?

3. Why is it so darn cold again?

4. Why does a freshly mopped kitchen always attract a spill, usually of juice or some other sticky substance that makes me re-mop what I just cleaned?

5. Why does a freshly washed set of sheets always make a diaper leak?

6. Why does my 3yr old ALWAYS have to go potty when I'm knee deep in WalMart with a cart full of stuff... and not when we first walk in? (and yes, I make him go potty before we leave the house)

7. Why did I dream that I missed a road and had to drive through a man's yard to get back to it and he was crying and sad b/c I was being so disrespectful of his property last night?

8. Why am I so addicted to chocolate? I think it must be as hard to quite eating chocolate as it is to stop smoking crack.

9. Why can I no longer spell simple words? Often I write something down, look at it and decide it must be wrong, and resort to the dictionary, that I often refer to as Clayton, for the correct spelling. I used to be so smart... really.. I was!

10. Why am I less tired and less stressed now that i have three kiddoes than I ever was when I just had one? Amazing how that happens!

11. Last but not least: Why does my 6yr old already remind me of a 13yr old girl? Scary stuff I tell ya... scary stuff...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Presidential Woes

Posted by Mandy at 9:37 AM 9 comments Links to this post
The Presidential election is on its way! Soon we'll find out who the two candidates will be... anyone else getting a bit nervous over this? The four front runners are Hillary and Obama for the democrats and John M. and Mike H. for the republicans. Who ya rootin' for? I'm still on the fence. I am usually a pretty hard core republican. Mainly due to the pro-life issue. I have a hard time voting for anyone that's nonchalant on the abortion topic. I'm not extreme, but I do want SOME restrictions. But, lately other issues have become quite important to me as well. Health care is HUGE right now. As well as education. I HATE the No Child Left Behind Act. I feel like all it did was leave every child behind. School is just too hard for most kids... and it's no fun. If learning isn't fun in Kindergarten, how do we encourage learning for life? Also, the environment is a big issue for me. I feel like most of us are just floating through life with our fingers crossed that global warming isn't really happening, when ALL evidence shows it is. It scares me how little is being done about it and how little most Americans are willing to do to help with environmental issues. (just switch your light bulbs and recycle and you'll do SO MUCH GOOD! Begging you folks here!) The war in Iraq, of course, is a hot topic as always. I can't comment much on it. I hate that we're still there and it seems like we'll always be there. Putting myself in the shoes of another family that's mom and/or dad is on its way right now to Iraq, again, for another year+ long tour is just really hard. Pull out and come home or stay the course? Somewhere in the middle? I dunno.... I'm not expert on military details. I just wish we'd see something change there and soon! So many issues. My main problem with elections is not trusting any of the candidates. They all talk a big game, but will they follow through? If I were to vote democrats I think I'd go with Hillary. *gasp* Obama just doesn't have enough experience, in my opinion. She's at least been in the White House and should be fairly familiar with the goings on there. I think she'd have the economy whipped into shape and health care would probably be changed in some way. If I were to vote Republican, I'm just on the fence. I need to research John M. more before I comment much. The one thing I don't like about Mike H. is that he really screwed over education here in AR from what I've read and heard from my friends that are teachers... so if seems like if he takes office we'd get more of the same education wise. Oh decisions decisions! I don't know if I have enough months left to pick! Anyone know when we'll know who the two candidates will be? Is there a date set for that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Going Hunting

Posted by Mandy at 11:53 AM 2 comments Links to this post
There are things in my house that I use every single day that I can NEVER find. They're never where they're supposed to be and getting them always involves a scavenger hunt of sorts. Anyone else have things like that? And, of course you need them when you're already 5 minutes late getting out of the door in the morning! Just today those things for me have been, as they always are:
1) my favorite black hairbrush. I actually have still not found it and had to settle for the NOT favorite red hairbrush instead.
2) the phone. I always have to page it to locate it.
3) the glass I was just drinking out of
4) my cell phone
5) my cell phone
6) my cell phone
7) all of the states for Carter's new favorite USA puzzle... how do you lose Alaska yet keep up with Maine?
8) the scissors... always, always, always missing

So, just TODAY these are things I have had to search for. No wonder I never can 'find' time to get online anymore!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nothing Sweeter

Posted by Mandy at 10:49 AM 4 comments Links to this post

There is NOTHING sweeter than watching a room full of preschoolers pray to our Lord. I am so privileged to get to teach the 2-4yr old class at Journey once a month. We so often can underestimate how much they really really do get God and Jesus at these tender ages. My favorite thing to do to start class is to simply say, "Raise your hand if Jesus loves you!" All of their tiny hands shoot up into the air... their faces light up! I pray for all of them that they will grow up to really, really believe that. Jesus REALLY does love them. To think of what a positive impact them knowing that, starting at such a young age, will have on their lives is just astounding. What a huge responsibility we all have to the young ones around us! Teaching God's love is something we must do daily. We must live it, show it, be it! From how we talk to others, to how we treat them, to how we even talk ABOUT others when they're not around... it all impacts our children. Unfortunately our children will "likely" become like us... not like we tell them to become. Anyone else feel pressure there? lol Well, I guess we should feel it. How often do you think back to your days as a child, growing up and trying to figure out how this big, mean world works, and the things adults did that negatively impacted you? I have really tried to go through my entire childhood and pinpoint the things that happened that made me who I am. Good and bad. What created the positives about me? What created the negatives? I think that's a good exercise for all parents to do. I've tried to be very purposeful in NOT doing the things that I know created negatives for me to my children. From simple things like not talking over them or trying to immediately calm the situation when one of them is obviously becoming frustrated to big things like not fighting with Clayton in front of them (or not fighting with him period lol) to not yelling, spanking, or saying phrases that I hated my entire life like: "You have to clean your plate", "Don't make me come over there!", or "Quite crying before I give you something to cry about!" Oh my.... we all too often do not think enough about the words we speak aloud. Thoughts alone can be quite detrimental to our own selves... but the power of our words is something not to be ignored. Especially to a child that is so mold-able. What do you want your children to think about themselves? Say THOSE things to them! What do you want them to become? Smart? Hard working? Successful in life? Speak those words over them. My stepmother was the QUEEN of positive speaking with us kids. I can still remember words she spoke to me and about me. Things like, "you have so much wisdom to be so young... never let anyone tell you otherwise!" and "You really have a gift with words, don't stop speaking truth to people." Now, maybe she said a little too much because sometimes my "gift" with words overrides my gift of censorship... but you get the idea. We all need to be totally purposeful with the parenting of our own children and the raising of the children around us! Children are such a total gift. God never has to hand down a child if he doesn't see it for his glory.... yet it really becomes so easy to take them for granted. My goal is to focus each day on how to NOT take for granted each of my children. To look each one of them over thoroughly and find their strengths and focus totally on those, making the weaknesses they have easier to deal with. Hopefully my actions as a mother will show God how thankful I am for the three miracles he handed down to me.

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