Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Charities to Support in 2011

I have been keeping my eyes open in recent months for charities our family could support, that the kids could get excited about. We don't have much extra cash to begin with, so I was looking for something that could make do with what we had. We already shop at and donate to Goodwill (@goodwillintl), that's a "no brainer" but with the kids being older I've wanted to find things that really touches their hearts.

I haven't watched a whole lot of TV since March outside of news because of "work", so I decided to find an TV show I was interested in that was absolutely non political since the election. Hannah and I enjoy watching Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, so I decided to set the good ol DVR for the Rachael Ray Show (@RachaelRayShow) that airs daily. (I must say, I am not a "talk show" type personality at all, but I LOVE this show because it involves two of my favorite things: Rachael Ray and Food :) )

As I was catching up on episodes today, there was a mention of RR's non profit organization "Yum-O" teaming up with Gerber. For every "like" Gerber receives on their Facebook page through January 15, 2011, they will donate $1 to Yum-O, up to $500,000!
About Yum-O:
Launched in 2006 by Rachael Ray, Yum-o!® is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships.

Through our three core work areas of Cook, Feed and Fund, Yum-o! educates kids and their families about food and cooking by offering an interactive website that enables young cooks to get started in the kitchen and try out family-friendly recipes; teams up with partner organizations to feed hungry children; and funds innovative cooking programs in schools and educational opportunities for kids who are interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. (read more)
I believe this is definitely an organization to watch, and I plan on getting the kids (Hannah, especially) more involved with the website, picking out recipes for them to cook and such. I am especially drawn to this organization's cause because they focus on hunger in the United States specifically. We are the richest country in the world, we need to care for our own people! (Be sure you go to Gerber's page on Facebook and "like" them, right away! This promotion ends January 15, 2011)

The second charity I've recently come across is "Soles 4 Souls" (view an interview with the founder, @Soles4Souls). Basically, this charity collects shoes and distributes them not only through the United States, but around the world. The interview linked above mentions how shoes given to people in Haiti this year, are actually being used for commerce there. I like that. You never know if the shoes you send to Goodwill are going to be good enough for resale, but with this charity, even if they cannot use your shoes, they are promised to be recycled so you at least have the comfort of knowing what will happen in the event they are not used. Recycled = not sitting in a landfill. Hey, I'm a conservative, I strongly believe in conservation! :)

If you live in the Winston Salem, North Carolina area, you can drop off your shoes to the following places:

4 Runners Only
111 H Reynolda Village
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

SAS Comfort Shoes
153 Jonestown Road
Winston Salem, NC 27104

If you do not live in Winston Salem, find out where a donation site is near you. I'm actually excited about this and believe maybe in the Spring I'll organize a shoe drive.

So what charities are you involved with? I would love to hear how others are teaching children about charities and how they're involving them in their lives!

Speaking of shoes: If you live in the Winston Salem area and have soccer shoes, shin guards and socks that your child has outgrown and is sitting around, consider giving them to the Winston Salem Optimist Club. They will give them to the children who are in the league and covered by the "in house scholarship" who cannot afford the fees to play otherwise. Leave them at Soccer Unlimited on Trenwest Drive (Stratford Road area).

Life goal: weight gain?

I believe one would be hard pressed to find something that has offended me more than this woman, and the people who support her. Her goal is to weigh 1000 pounds, and eats a 16,000 calorie a day diet. She broke the Guinness World Record in 2007 for the "world's fattest mother", giving birth at 532 pounds. She has a website where people are paying to watch her eat and walk / move about her house, and send her emails of encouragement, AND more food!!

New Jersey Woman Wants to Be World's Fattest Woman:

Her birth required THIRTY PEOPLE to accomplish her high risk cesarean birth, yet she says she doesn't believe in the health risks associated with obesity? Do the doctors in this woman's life not see that she is not mentally healthy? How was social services not involved at the time of birth three years and 118 pounds ago? How could a MOTHER set such an example to her children? How can a FAMILY support a loved one in such a self destructive habit? How can PEOPLE actually support her behavior through paying to watch her eat, and sending her food? I'm all for capitalism, but what is wrong with these people? When she dies, and she will- from reasons directly attributed to her weight, these very people will have a moral responsibility for her death.

She seems fine, now. She won't be within the next hundred pounds. By the 700 mark, her weight is going to hinder their lives in ways that are now, SO predictable it is not funny. That's what I find so offensive. She seems to be walking around the house fine now, wait until she starts having increasing pain in her back, and in her joints, until her bones will not be able to hold her up.

Wait until:
*it takes her thirty minutes to be able to make it to the bathroom.
*she sweats so badly her children start hesitating to show physical affection- or people have a hard time being in the room with her because of body odor.
*her home becomes a deep freezer to accommodate her always feeling hot.
*rashes and skin infections pop up in all those fat rolls. (Does her husband think it will be so "sexy", then?)
*round the clock fatigue kicks in.

This is just a handful of physical things associated with morbid obesity, and yes, this woman is MORBIDLY obese. Has she made arrangements for her death, yet? She might want to consider that. Can her family afford her death? What about her life? Can we say "Medical coverage"? (Should she be covered?) What kind of insurance does she have? Is it fair that taxpayers might be paying for this self destructive lifestyle this woman is living in the public eye, profiting, no less, from it?

"Well who are you to judge, Wendy?".
I have watched the decline of a morbidly obese loved one's life, and was there with them at the time of death. They weren't trying to gain weight, they just lacked the tools and support they needed to become healthy. So to see someone have such disrespect for their own selves, and their own family, and their own family returning the favor, it disgusts me. It does take a mental disorder for someone to say "Christmas should give you carte blanche to do whatever you want.' (in regards to eating a 30,000 calorie "Christmas" dinner), if you ask me.

Have you ever been affected by extreme obesity? Either yourself or through a loved one?

See: How Obesity Harms A Child's Body


Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas play: Hannah's singing debut

Hannah was SO excited to be chosen as one to sing a special in the Christmas play. As mentioned in Jackson's post, the family was snowed in at a motel, and their Christmas presents had been stolen. The conversation at this point in the play was the four children thinking about everything they were missing not being at grandma's for Christmas.

Hannah is on the left side. At a couple of points in the song she looked at us and was trying VERY hard not to smile because they were supposed to be grumpy and have an attitude. (Actually, the cutie on the right told her mom she was "saving" her attitude for the play, it worked!) All three of them done SO GOOD!
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Christmas play: Jackson's acting debut

The storyline for our Christmas play was a family who were travelling to grandma's, got snowed in at the motel they stopped at for the night. Jackson was one of the theives that broke in their van to steal the family's presents, setting the stage for the whole show :) Jackson was the one who dropped a present on the way out, fulfilling the "bumbling robber" role.
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Christmas play: twos and threes

This is the three year old class I teach every Sunday. They are so sweet, and we've worked so hard on our songs in the past few months! Especially my "partner in crime" who worked with them each week. The twos are on the right side of the stage, threes are the left.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 days of Christmas

We started a new tradition yesterday, the 12 days of Christmas. Each day the kids will receive one small gift. Granted, they won't open as *many* presents on Christmas day, but then again we wouldn't break down the same things on Christmas day that we would for the 12 days presents. (you'll see!)

Hannah was ecstatic about her present yesterday, we love the song "Christmas must be something more".

What kind of traditions do you do with your children?
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Rotisserie style crock pot chicken

I love Stephanie O'Dea, and she doesn't even know it :) She is the author of the blog "A Year of Slow Cooking", the books Make it Fast, Cook it Slow (and Part Two, GREAT gift ideas for yours truly!) and come up with this recipe for Rotisserie Chicken done in the crock pot. I went with her theory of removing the skin off the chicken for not wanting the meat to be swimming in it's own fat for hours on end. It might have worked better if I did not use a cut up chicken instead of a whole chicken. The outer meat of the pieces laying on top was dry (to be cooked in the crock pot). However, if you dipped it in the juices in the crock, it was perfectly fine. The inner meat was perfectly tender, as to be expected from bone in-chicken cooked in the crock pot.

Finale: I'll be using this seasoning blend again. While I love my crock pot chicken, I still love oven roasted chicken and believe this seasoning will work swimmingly either way. I actually have a rotisserie roaster, too that would be great, obviously :) I didn't use all of the seasoning when I done the above linked recipe, so I believe it's safe to say the below combo is good for two to three uses, depending on your personal preference in how much you apply to your meats.

2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

You know this would probably do well on turkey breast, too!

I'm going to be moving, soon. My online home, that is! When the transition is made, you'll see the new link at the top of the right sidebar. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Smooth move, mom!"

So we're on the way to school, on the highway, and the car in front of us was washing their windshield. They were sending a light spray of water onto our windshield in the process. This highlights how dirty our windshield is, so I decide to was ours.

So do you know right offhand what happens when it is freezing outside, you're going 65MPH down the interstate, and you spritz water onto your windshield?

Yeh, I didn't consider that, either. But ain't it pretty?
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