Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Food Additives

It's one of those things that is nearly impossible to get away from... food additives. The hard part is that unless you have a really green thumb, an awful lot of time, and the same... you can't always eat food in it's natural form.

We began having issues with food when G3 was young. She has a mild lactose intolerance. Dairy products mess with her digestive track. Several times when she was little she would come home from seeing relatives and no more than five steps in the door throw up from eating banana pudding or ice cream or grilled cheese. We knew what it was because it was soured, and well... you just know.

To take care of the issue we switched to sweet acidophilus milk and didn't let her have dairy after lunch. It seems as long as the dairy doesn't sit on her stomach she does better. And she also seems to have built some resistance.

Then enter B3. Once he was nursing full time we started noticing that he would have sour spit ups and sometimes full vomiting. We made sure I quite drinking and eating dairy and he was fine. (Great for him, not for me) His colic was gone, his spitting up stopped, perfection. The problem there was when it was time to wean him he couldn't do milk. The sweet acidophilus was more tolerated than skim or whole milk, but it still upset the tummy. He had the same reaction to soy milk which surprised us until we learned that the make up of both are very close. We finally found Almond Milk and he loves it, plus it is good for him.

When B3 was about 2 1/2 we noticed he was getting very hyper and very fussy and got concerned. Started keeping a food diary in order to relate foods with behavior. This is when I got suspicious of Red 40. See, my niece is allergic to red 40. She gets very sick if she eats something with it. So I went a couple weeks with no red... Benji became a completely different child. His sensory issues calmed down considerably. So when he started preschool I expressed that I didn't want him to have anything with red in it. (this began my education in the education system)

Things went great for awhile, until one day he had a bad day. Seems that he couldn't control his behavior and was "bouncing" all over the room. I looked at him while me and the teacher were talking and noticed he had a koolaid mustache that was red. I asked what he had for snack and it was Hawaiian Punch and some crackers. I assured the teacher that we would talk with B3 and it would all be taken care of.

He was "bouncing" until about 11pm that night and missed school the next day due to "hangover" symptoms. I went to the doctor and got a note stating NO RED 40 or DAIRY products.

Now let me say, Red 40 has been approved by the FDA, but I think they need to do more testing. Another food additive that we noticed B3 reacts to is Azodicarbonamide. It's in most of your commercially made breads. The chemical is used to make the bread rise uniformly. Interestingly it is banned in Australia and most of Europe. Red 40 is a relative of Azodicarbonamide.

More info on Azodicarbonamide ...
Azodicarbonamide (CICADS)
Another Reason to Avoid Most Breads

More info on Red 40
The Chemistry of Red 40

I am not trying to scare people, just to inform. Be careful of what you feed your children and yourself.

Friday, July 23, 2010

2 day delivery = 3 days?

So, I forget who I was talking to but I must have bragged too much because it came back to bite me.

A friend was asking about cell phones and I had shared how I had the BlackBerry 8530 Curve 2 from Verizon. I went on to tell this friend that I never had a problem with the phone or with service from Verizon and was really happy with them.

Tuesday morning my battery charge went completely within 2 hours. All I was doing was playing on Twitter, wasn't making phone calls. I recharged it thinking maybe I forgot to charge it the night before. This time I called Jeff and was talking to him, the phone got hot. Not too hot to touch, but hotter than it should get. After we got off the phone I was texting a friend and in the middle of it, everything went black. I took the battery out and took the phone with me because I had to meet another friend to sell her some smart cards. About 20 minutes passed, I put the battery back in and it slowly came back on. But it was instantly HOT.

After I picked up the girls from Band Camp, drove into the our local Verizon store.

Smart Cards, Discount Cards to Help Band Students

One may ask what exactly is a smart card... that would be a good question.

In middle TN area, a "Smart Card" is a discount card that you buy in order to get discounts at restaurants, stores, etc.

G1 & G3's Marching Band is selling these "Smart Cards" to pay band fees and also to support the band.

While band can be expensive, we believe that the girls being involved in the art of music is a great thing. It not only gives a sense of school pride, it betters the kids for life. Did you know that the majority of kids that go to college have some past with musical instruments? Whether it was playing in the school band or taking private lessons, music was a key part in their life. Many colleges and universities will also give scholarship money to those that play in the school band even if their major isn't music related.

Anyhow, for those in middle Tennessee, if you are interested in getting a Smart Card they are $12. You can leave a comment here or email me faith (at) heaveninourhearts (dot) com with what county you need and I will get with you. We have until August 12th to get the money turned in.


And just a P.S. if you use the Smart Cards you will get your $12 back in no time. It's a win win situation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's been a fast summer. Seems like it has flown by so quickly.

Here, we have roughly eight weeks for summer break. We are on a modified schedule that is loosely considered a 9-2 schedule. We have nine week grading periods and between them is a break. Fall and Winter breaks are two weeks while spring break is a week and a half or so. It really works good for us. Plus the elementary schools have day care that runs year round if parents need it.

While I was waiting to pick up my marching band girls from the high school I realized that school starts August 2nd. The shock is that it's only about 12 days from now. There is back to school shopping to do, last minute preparations, schedule shifting, just SO MUCH! Then we have two birthdays that first week of school.

The excitement never ends huh?

This all comes down to the title of this post... motivation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Return

I have missed everybody. For the last 10 days we only had dial-up internet and well, the phone lines in our house aren't the best for that. I am happy to say that now I am back on WiFi and hopeful to get back to posting and having fun online.  :)

Our family had a roller coaster this past week and I am still recuperating.

G1 and G3 realized Wednesday that band camp started Thursday. At least I had G1's clarinet back and had reeds for both of them. Even managed to get them up on time and to the school. (That's even with a friend spending the night and going with them!)  I was also very happy that the service on the clarinet was only $45. (new pads and tune)

B3 is happy now, I wasn't sure how he would react when we got the letter that he wasn't able to go to the school he went to for preschool. I spoke with the principal and I understand and it is better to know now than in the middle of the year. I am okay with that. Just now we have to get alot of documentation together and call a M-Team meeting as soon as possible at the other school. The other school that I have past prejudice with.

B2 is glad that B3 will be going to the same school and wants to show him the ropes. I don't think he will get a chance to since he will be in 2nd grade and B3 is going into Kindergarten. I do however laugh that B1 is disappointed because that means I will drive the three of them to school instead of them riding the bus. (B3 gets over-sensitized and can't handle crowds and loud noise.)

The weekend was great though when we had friends and family come over and had a cookout. All of the kids loved it, everybody had at least one friend, and my nephews I think have permanent blushing from the teen girls flirting with them. It was cute and enjoying being with everybody.

Now just praying this week goes well as we begin the back to school madness! Gotta make sure B3 is registered for the new school and get supply lists for all 6. School here starts August 2nd. Makes it a little hard to take advantage of the tax holiday for Tennessee August 6-8.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tackle-It Tuesday - Mom's Desk

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
It's another tackle! This one I have been putting off for awhile. I'm not 100 % happy yet, but it is a huge progress.

A little back story, I started college in fall of 2009. I had plans to keep my desk area perfectly organized and have everything where it needed to be and cute and just perfect. Then life happened.

I really don't know how I could have expected any different than what happened to have happened. Let me remind you, I am a married mom of six. We have two in band, one of which also plays softball, and then just normal family stuff. Plus, B3 was still in physical therapy then. My schedule got crazy and organizing and keeping up went out the window.

So... here we go!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Zucchini Bread

So, in the interest of getting more veggies in the kids diet, we dug out an old recipe from grandma.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teasppon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/4 teasppon finely shredded lemon peel

1. Grease bottom and sides of 8x4x2 loaf pan & set aside.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
3. In separate bowl combine sugar, zucchini, oil, egg and lemon peel being sure to mix well.
4. Add dry mixture to zucchini mixture, stirring until moistened.
5. Pour batter into pan and bake 55-60 minutes in a preheated 350' oven.
6. When wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, bread is done. Cool in pan on cooling rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Murphy Cat

Our sweet 12 year old cat that wasn't suppose to survive has been on my mind a lot lately. Let me give you the back story...

About twelve years ago, my sister in law found this tiny little kitten abandoned in the parking lot where she worked. She took the kitten home, named her Calliope and nursed her to health on infant formula. A couple months went by and it turned out she wasn't a good match for my brother's family, so I took her.

Not long after we got Murphy (which we changed her name), she was sick so I took her to the vet. She had intestinal parasites and a kidney infection, along with skin irritation. So we got her medicine and nursed her to health. Everything cleared up for several months and then she had another severe kidney or bladder infection. It got to the point that the vet told us he wouldn't recommend her being on the steriods again due to side effects.

She was healthy and clear for about a year... Then she got a sore under her collar and had to be "operated on" since they were putting her under they went ahead and spayed her too. She had a hard time waking up after surgery and was very sleepy the first few days after. It seems with all the kidney/bladder infections there may have been some damage.

By her 3rd year she was healthy! Minus the occasional skin flair ups. Seems Murph is allergic to fleas. By year 5 we figured out keeping her on Revolution solved the skin issue. She's had two serious kidney/bladder infections since then but has been clear for 4 years.

Now we are seeing the effects of the steroids. Her back hips are sore. She gets very cranky when the weather turns. And her wheezing is getting worse. (Due to the shape of her face she wheezes)

However, as long as our 10 month old Neko kitty leaves her alone, you never notice a change in her.

Anyhow, just felt like sharing about my 7th child.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 4th of July

Fireworks at White Bluff's Veteran's Ball Field.

The Three Musketeers - B2, B1, B3

Monday, July 05, 2010


Our garden is off to a good start. Green Peppers, bush beans, zuchinni, white potatoes, orange tomatoes, a couple sweet potatoes... Plus garlic chives, basil, thyme and mint. We also have 3 grape vines, 2 blackberry bushes & 2 apple trees.

We have harvested about 5 zuchinni and 1 green pepper.

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Moment

I feel like I have been incredibly busy this week, but in reality I haven't. Or just not busy enough for me to acknowledge I have been busy?

I have been fighting a migraine most of the week. That and just not feeling 100%. Other than that, keeping up with the schedules.

Monday and Tuesday were sitting at home days. We stayed home, the kids played outside. They went stir crazy, but understood I really wasn't feeling well. Wednesday I gladly helped my sister in law and took one of my nephews to summer school. Jeff got tires on his car. And I took two of the girls to see their movie. After that we went to church.

I am enjoying the class me and Jeff are taking, it's iMarriage.