Thursday, February 15, 2007


Well, after grinding away every spare moment the last week, I have finished our family newsletter!  It was so time intensive because I finally went through all of the family pics we had taken last year.   I printed it from Publisher to pdf files and now I am trying to find out the most economical way to print it out.  The newsletter was set up to go on the front and back of an 11 x 17 page, with an insert, but our local printer won't print that large of a sheet and they suggested Office Depot.  Office Depot wants $1.77 per copy, so now we are thinking of actually splurging on an ink cartridge for our old printer after all.  Yikes!

This weekend we are taking a quick trip down to Southern Illinois to see family, so I am packing pajamas and toothbrushes (with a few extras for the little ones:-).  I am excited because the laundry is done, the house is relatively clean, and we are on top of our schooling schedule as well!  Now I can just enjoy everyone this weekend :-).  It's easy to praise the Lord when all is going well, and praise Him I do!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Organic Choices

Our area coop representative sent out this great list, and I wanted to post it because I've been looking for information like this for awhile! But the time to research it has eluded me. Right now I am making plans for our garden this spring; we will be jump starting it this year by getting some seeds started very soon. After reading this list, I'll be making some changes :-). The list came from Newsmax, but I haven't been able to locate the article - perhaps it's in their archives?

More Americans than ever are worried about carcinogens from pesticides and fertilizer in their food, and they are adding organic foods to their food carts. When the FDA and USDA ran tests on more than 100,000 samples of food, they found pesticides known to cause cancer, damage to the brain and nervous system, and birth defects. But if you don’t have a lot of money to add to your food budget, but still want to expose your family to as few chemicals as possible, where should you put your valuable food dollars?

Here’s a list of the most contaminated food products:

Meat. Beef, poultry and pork have higher residual levels of pesticides than any plant food. Chemicals accumulate in the animal’s fatty tissue and go straight to the dinner table.

Milk, Butter, and Cheese. Pesticides are concentrated in milk. In addition, growth hormones and antibiotics are also found in non-organic milk, butter and cheese.

Strawberries, Raspberries and Cherries. Strawberries receive the most pesticides of any crop grown in America. Thirty-six pesticides are applied to strawberries and 90 percent of berries tested have pesticide contamination above levels considered safe. Raspberries and cherries don’t rate much better.

Apples and Pears. The FDA detected 36 chemicals in apples. Half are neurotoxins which cause brain damage.

Tomatoes. A tomato’s thin skin allows the more than 30 pesticides used on conventionally-grown crops to seep through the entire tomato.

Potatoes. Heavily contaminated with both pesticides and fungicides, the FDA found that 79 percent of potatoes had levels of several pesticides that were deemed unsafe.

Spinach. Spinach is the vegetable most often contaminated with the most powerful pesticides used on food. The FDA found that 83 percent of spinach had dangerous levels of pesticides. Other greens are also heavily contaminated.

Coffee. The pesticides that are so dangerous they’re not allowed to be used in this country are shipped overseas where they’re used on crops and shipped back in our foods. Coffee is one of the worst.

Peaches and Nectarines. 95 percent of peaches and 97 percent of nectarines tested were contaminated from the forty-five pesticides used in conventional orchards. Don’t think you can avoid the pesticides by peeling; their thin skin allows the pesticides to soak deep into the fruit.

Grapes. Thirty-five different chemicals sprayed on grapes are showered on several times during their growth. Testing found 86 percent of grapes were contaminated with pesticides. Imported grapes have even more pesticides, with those from Chile having the most.

Celery. 94 percent of celery was found to have dangerous levels of pesticides.

Red and Green Bell Peppers. Bell peppers, doused with 39 pesticides, also have high levels of chemical residues. In addition, peppers are often coated with unhealthy wax.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


Saturdays for us have been a bit of a different routine for the last few months. We wake up when the kids do :-).  And then go to work, cleaning. This is a time to focus in on training the children to do important jobs, like cleaning bathrooms and cleaning their rooms. My 7 and 8 year olds are expected to more and to do it better now; things that we don't do as often during the week now in our effort to school the children in a more excellent way.

When they are finished with their designated jobs, we have brunch and watch a few select cartoons that we enjoy. Then the children are free for the afternoon to play, build pillow houses, play some games on the computer and whatever other activities tickle their fancy.  Right now David is playing Command & Conquer and the others are wrestling with Daddy in his office.  I am about to start work on our family newsletter.  It is long overdue, but I hope that it will be mailed out by Valentines Day.

For us, the family newsletter is a great way to flush out the memories of the year in a tangible way.  It is so great to be able to pluck out old newsletters and see where the family was during that year.  Since my scrapbooking time has had trouble getting started; this is the next best thing.  I'd better get started!