Friday, July 29, 2011

Three Thinking Mothers Post

Lesson Planning: To Plan or Not To Plan...

The truth is......I don’t really plan.
I tried.  Honestly, I did.  The teacher in me had to make charts and lists and record daily in my homeschooling journal.  I planned the week out with what lessons would be done each day, how many chapters we would read, when Lilah would edit and revise and publish her piece of writing, what art lesson I would teach, who we would play with and when.  
In order to stick to this schedule I had to school at home.  When Grace was in school and Lilah was home those first six months by herself, we pretty much did school at home.  Our day was spent with half hour lessons covering all the topic areas.   I felt the pressure that since Grace was in school doing math for 45 minutes a day, so should we.  Since she was taking spelling tests every Friday, we should too.  Lilah still called her breaks “recess” and out of habit raised her hand when she needed me.  
As the first month progressed into months three and four I began to realize something.  My checklists had lots of lines in them.  My planner book had arrows pointing from one day to the next.  What I had planned was getting done, but not in the order I envisioned.  When lesson 18 in our Grammar book was unfinished, I felt anxiety, even though Lilah created an amazing piece of writing instead....for now my schedule was off.  A line was drawn through Lesson 18 and an arrow moved it from Monday to Tuesday.  
This was not how I wanted to homeschool.   (Please keep reading over at Three Thinking Mothers!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Advice to Newbie Homeschooler

Someone I know and like a lot just started homeschooling.  They are at the point I was at last year, no...more like in January of 2011 when I just began with Lilah, when every decision seemed monumental, when every subject felt like it must be planned and documented down to the number of hours spent doing it,  and when the worry was intense.  Those are the hard days.  They are the days of worrying about:
  • What would she be doing if she were in school and does that matter to me?
  • What does my spouse thing about what we are doing and how can I help him/her to understand this new journey we have undertaken when he/she is not home to see the magic that occurs randomly and spontaneously each and every day?
  • Will I do a good job?
  • Will she learn and grow and thrive?
  • Did I make a mistake?

My heart aches for this Mom because I want to be able to whip out a crystal ball and show her what her future holds.  Her child is bright, inquisitive, driven, endearing and curious.  She already has interests she wants to explore.  Her summer has been spent making friends who are homeschooled too so that when her school friends go back to their place of learning, she will not be alone trying to make her way (by she, I mean both Mom and child).  They have a plan of what they want to study and how, but the intensity of the emotions they are feeling hides the fact that all they need to do it there for them.
My recommendations for a family new to homeschooling are:

Write down a chart of what subjects you want to teach and what resources you plan on using, including library support and field trips. Brainstorm everything you can think of that deals with this subject.  For example:

Story of the World + Activity Book.  We will keep a Book of Centuries as our living timeline.  We will plan on finishing one chapter a week.  Supplemental reading will be provided by library materials in our weekly trip to library.  Netflix/youtube will provide video supplementation.  Possible trips include: Peabody Museum in New Haven and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Will incorporate mapwork, art projects, cooking and journaling.
We will choose books across a variety of genres.  We will listen to audio books.  We will watch movie versions of the books we read (if available) and compare and contrast.  We will blog about book recommendations.  We will possibly join a book club. Activities include journaling, blogging, weekly trips to library, book sales.  If interested we can lapbook.  At times we will read the same book and discuss.  We will take advantage of author visits at local book stores.  Will read all Nutmeg nominees or Newbery Honor Books (which I usually like more than the award winning books).
Write down what you do on a weekly basis in each subject area.  Even when I am not “teaching” a subject, I am amazed at how many things we accomplish on a weekly basis in that area of study.  If I did not write these down I would most certainly forget.
Share your writing with your spouse.  Do whatever you can to make he/she feel like a part of your day.  Have your child email daily with what plans they have for the day.  When something comes up in family life that relates to something they have learned, ask your child to share his/her knowledge.  They will be proud to share what they know.  
Talk to your friends often.  We tend to feel like what we are doing is the norm, when most people do not see it that way.  In order to have someone truly understand what your are feeling and experiencing, it helps if they have walked in your shoes. 
Realize that there is no perfect way to homeschool. Unlike school where everyone is taught the same way at the same time, no two homeschoolers approach learning in exactly the same way.  Two families may both use Story of the World.  One may read a chapter a week, the other may take six months on just the Greeks alone.  That is fine.  There is no right or wrong.  Like I have said before learning has no expiration date.
I think this family is going to experience a transformational year.  When the angst they are experiencing passes (or diminishes) they are going to flourish in the freedom that this type of learning allows.  I have a feeling that a year from now, when they are approaching year 2, like me, that this was the most amazing experience they could have ever chosen for their child, themselves, and their family.
What advice/suggestions would you give to a brand-new homeschooling family?

This post is linked up at Hip Homeschool Hop Button 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's Starting Again

It is starting up again in blogland.  The back to school talk.  The setting up of “classrooms” and the purchasing of curriculum.  I am pretty amazed at the difference between me on July 26, of 2011 and me on July 26, 2010.  
Last year I was setting up a classroom a.k.a. “the learning lounge” only to discover our real learning never took place there.  It just could not be confined to a room.  This year there is no rush to clean and prepare a space.   Perhaps I would like to clean and dust off a few more bookshelves and add a few new titles to them but that is about it in terms of preparation.  Of course, I do have to figure out how to hang a large wall map on my plaster walls.  After trying command strips only to rip the paint off my brand-new painted walls, I was a bit perturbed 
(and another “p” word...) and put the map away where it sits, alone in a corner, since I am mad at it.
Last year I felt the need to have everything purchased and an official start date to our lessons.  I bought a math program and history and science and art and reading....only to discover my child was not ready for any of this and needed a significant amount of time to adjust to just being home.  I ditched the math, and the science and the art and the reading and let learning come naturally.  This year the learning is a natural extension of last year’s work.  The only thing I am possibly changing is math and I think we may return to the program I purchased last year!  As much as I love the format and content of Aleks, I do not feel it has been teaching for mastery as much as I would like.
Last year we were searching for a groove.  This year we are already in a groove.  There is no searching required.  Our lessons will be built around their their busy days.  We will keep the dog walking job on Mondays and hopefully switch piano lessons to this day.  Tuesdays both girls are planning on attending an all day nature studies class.  Wednesdays Grace will attend a meteorology class at a University renowned for their Meteorology Program.   Thursdays we will alternate horseback riding with Girl Scouts.  Fridays will be the days we travel to visit family, friends, and local interests or just stay home!
Last year I was hoping that everything would go well, that I would have happy children, who enjoyed learning at home and living this type of life.  Now I rarely think of this.  As I reflect on  what our definition of learning looks like, there are no worries.  I am confident that they will achieve their dreams, should those dreams be to attend a university to pursue a dream of meteorology or becoming a textile designer, chef, master gardener, author, mother, or wife, or a combination of many of these!.  Their possibilities are endless.  I still have worries but they are of a different variety.  I worry that I am balancing their need to have time to explore their learning with time to play and time to take classes outside our home.  I worry when the seem to have lots of steam for a subject or an interest and then suddenly put it aside.  What do you mean you don’t want to sew?  You are so good at it?  Or, Why haven’t you read that amazing superly fantastic bible of all things weather I bought you??  But these worries pass.  They fade away when I see them bubbling over with excitement for a new interest, a new book, a new project.  
As we head into year 2 of our life learning experience, I have great expectations.  
  • I expect to learn new things while having fun learning.
  • I expect to see new sights, go to new places, explore new areas.
  • I expect to meet new people.
  • I expect to read and listen to great books.
  • I expect to develop talents and explore interests both old and new.
  • I expect to make many messes.
  • I expect to grow with my children.
  • I expect to love much and laugh often.
As we head into year 2, I am grateful that I do not have many of the same stresses and worries and anxieties that I had last year.  I am excited to kick off our official start to our new books and content areas but I know that learning has no official start date, just like it has no expiration date.  We have a month left to this summer and we are learning all the time.

Summer Learning 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Field Guide Failed Me

Despite having studied Botany for the past six months and owning several tree field guides,  I have a tree-identification dilemma!

For the longest time we thought this was a Catalpa Tree.  However, when I searched through the field guide to confirm this, I changed my mind.

This tree is late flowering.

It has huge leaves.  In the fall I collect them and use them as placemats.

Notice how large they are next to the maple.
It drops ginormous seed pods.

We only have two in the neighborhood as far as I have noticed.  They are on my corner with the maple tree sandwiched in between.

the bark
Any ideas???

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Very Own Lovelies!

Remember back in June when I was lucky enough to care for MamaK's carnivorous lovelies?  I cared for these plants as if they were my pets.  I watered them, rotated them for maximum sun exposure and even strategically placed them next to the dog kennel so they would not go hungry!

Have I told you lately how blessed I am to have MamaK as my friend?  I am one lucky lady.  As a just-because, she gave me my own planter of carnivorous lovely babies!  Her plants multiplied and she shared her bounty with me.

Sundew and Butterwort

But not only that.  MamaK went one step beyond amazing and brought a container full of lovely babies for Grace's friend who has been very into carnivorous plants.  He visited when we were plant sitting and I gave him a tutorial of what we had to do to keep them alive.  Apparently he has been trying to grow some from seeds, which I can imagine is a very hard thing to do.  Now he has his own lovelies to care for and watch grow, and digest....

This is the kind of friend I have in MamaK.  I know so many of you know her and her blog and are totally jealous that I hang with her on a regular basis.  Every time I am with her, I walk away a better person.

Thank you MamaK, for my very own lovelies and for your many gifts.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rhode Island

To escape the 90+ degree day that was on tap for Monday, my sister and I packed up our cars and headed north to the beautiful state of Rhode Island.  We had no destination in mind.  We decided to get off the highway at exit 2 and use our GPS to find us a beach!  Our GPS did get us to a beachy-area but we needed a bit more live person help!  After a quick trip to the Tourist Information Stand we had a plan... a small town beach with minimal admission fee!
The wind was kicking up some serious waves.  For those of us along the Long Island Sound, waves are a rare occurrence.  But here in the open Atlantic Ocean, some waves were breaking over the kids’ heads.  The wind was nature’s air conditioner, keeping the temps in the low 80s. kind of day.

I discovered that Lilah is quite the daredevil.  I thought she would mind getting tossed around like a rag-doll.  Every time the wave knocked her over I kept waiting to see her emerge upset.  She loved the sand-in-your-pants-oops-I-just-lost-my-pants kind of water fun.  Grace on the other hand, prefers low tide when she can search tide pools and skim board till her heart’s content.  
I was just grateful my girls are old enough to take care of themselves so this Mama could stay on the beach and not have to brave the chilly-sand-in-your-pants waves!  Those baby pains from yesterday’s post?  They were not around this day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Fix

We have been a busy family the past few days.  A good kind of busy though.  Family busy.  Saturday we drove up to my Aunt’s house in Massachusetts where I nuzzled my cousins' babies while seriously wanting one of my own.  I think that moment has passed but it comes and goes frequently lately.   We are not going to have another baby but it sure was nice to smell that baby-fragrance that comes with infancy and disappears somewhere around 1 year old.  

My Dad got some snuggle time...

Grace got some snuggle time...

so did Lilah.

My Mom got some squirt time!

Babies.  I just can’t get enough of them lately.  Lucky for me another cousin’s party is in planning stages for later this summer.  Gatta get me another baby-fix!

Friday, July 15, 2011

By sheer serendipity...

I love the word serendipity.  I never have enough occasions to use it in conversation.   It was by sheer serendipity that one day many months ago while  I was browsing randomly through blogs on blogger I came across Theresa at Our Life In Words.  I began following along as she wrote about her girls progress in school.  Her girls were the same age as mine and both attended public school in New Jersey.  Then one day there came a post about the possibility of homeschooling her daughters.  I was newly homeschooling Lilah and posted my first comment.  I believe this was her post.  (I don't know why this is showing up at 0 comment....)
I added her blog to my favorites list and we became fast bloggy friends.  We talked about the hugeness of the decision to homeschool.  We talked about how scary the process of withdrawing your children can be.  We talked about the positive reactions we received from friends and family.  We talked about the negative reactions we received from friends and family.  We traded personal emails.  We talked more.  We became facebook friends and talked even more!  Now we are simply friends.
Friendship has been redefined with the age of the internet.  It still awes me that through a connection that I cannot see, I can be linked with people all over the world who share the same hopes and dreams for their family as I do for mine.  We may not share the same religion, political beliefs or hobbies, but we are passionate about giving our children a sound education that fits their needs, while reforming our families in order to be holistically healthy.  
It was a blessing that day, that serendipitous day, when a click of a laptop mouse sparked a friendship.  I look forward to more days like yesterday, when we were able to meet in person as opposed to on the computer.  Our children were able to play, laugh, talk and discover while swimming, playing with dolls or legos and sharing a meal.  The time to say goodbye came much too quickly but comfort was had in the knowledge that many memories were made and the opportunity for many more lie only a car ride away.

What serendipitous connections have you made to other bloggers or friends in your life?  
Have you been blessed to meet in person?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Al Roker + My Winnie = One Crazy Early Morning

Grace has decided that we simply must go to NYC and stand outside the NBC studios with a big sign while Al Roker is broadcasting the weather on the Today Show.  
She came up with this idea while reading a books she is adoring, Ten: Winnie Years Series, recommended to her by Theresa at Our  Life in Words.  She has found so many connections to this character starting with the name (Winnie is her nickname as she was named after my Grandmother Winifred).  Like my Winnie, this Winnie has an affinity for all things weather and got to meet Al Roker.  So if the book Winnie can, my Winnie thinks she can too!
Only this is no easy task.  We are a 90 minute train ride from Manhattan and the today show begins at 7AM.  In order to get a prime spot to show off a gorgeously decorated sign that will be certain to capture Mr. Roker’s attention, we need to be there early.  How early I am not certain, but I would think at least a half hour early, which brings us to 6:30.  Add in walking time to Rockefeller Center (first we need a bathroom break) and that means getting into Grand Central at 6AM.  90 minute train ride means leaving station at 4:30AM.  What is the earliest train?  There is a 4:30 that gets in at 5:50.  AM!  That is crazy early.
Then there is the matter of Lilah, my sleeping Queen.  There is no bribe big enough, and no cash payoff large enough to get her out of bed and onto a train that early.  Getting her on a train at noon is hard enough.  She is not a city-girl, and there is nothing wrong with that!  So I need a day when Greg can be home, which would most likely be a Friday.
But wait....Friday = Friday Concert Series.  There is no way I am taking Grace on a Friday in the summer.  We will have to wait for summer to end.  But wait....if we wait until September, not only will it be cooler, the children will be in school.  Not many parents let their kids skip in the first weeks, right?  We will just have to battle the tourists for a space up front.  
So September it might be.  Anyone crazy enough to join us on this adventure??  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Impact Man

Have you watched No Impact Man?  The beauty of streaming on Netflix is that I can start a video and finish it six months later!  The time in between my start and finish gave me a new insight into how I felt about this video in the beginning and conversely, how I felt about it when it ended.
I can see where people may feel critical about this project being purely for self promotion.  The premise of the documentary is that a family made up of an author, a writer for Business Week and their toddler pledge to make no environmental impact over the course of one year while living in Manhattan.  I had to wonder if his effort to document this project were to boost the sales of his one-day book about said project.  Even if that is the case, there is much to be gleaned from viewing.
I could very much relate to the wife as she began this journey.  Like her, I used to work in Manhattan and spent my lunch hours scouring the blocks around my office in search of the perfect pair of shoes.  My boss would love to see me return laden down with carrier bags ready to reveal my latest and greatest best find.  But really how many pairs of shoes does one woman need.  Honestly.  There were times that she was angry at her husband for the impact that a no-impact life had on her.  She did not want to give up her refrigerator, practice vermiculture, read by candlelight and wash clothes in the tub.  By the end of the movie, she was learning to cook and zipping alongside taxi cabs in NYC on a bicycle with her daughter in the backseat! Her evolution as a woman, a mother and an wife was remarkable to me. 
Back when I was in my twenties working in Manhattan I would have never in my wildest dreams believe that I would be practicing vermiculture, loving and caring for a backyard garden, eating organically, and seeking to live a simpler life.  Nope.  Never.  Not me.  
This movie is the extreme of what we can all incorporate into our lives.  Even now, there is no way I would want to commit to living my life with zero impact.  I am not there yet on the continuum of wasteful to waste not.  There are some things that I can incorporate into my life that are waste reducing, like shopping weekly, when we have an appointment close to Whole Foods, and trying to use as much in our refrigerator before we replenish.  Keeping my Prius, even when I hate it.  Trying the best we can not to waste resources like water and electricity.  Composting. Purchasing items with little or no packaging.  Giving up plastic bags.  Giving up plastic everything.  Recycling.  
I love the family discussion at the end of the movie about what they will keep, like bike riding, shopping at farmer’s markets and going tv free and what Michelle would like back in her life like electricity and what she wishes to discontinue, such as the worm composting.  Really? How can you not love worm composting??
This is a great movie.  I wish there were not so many F-bombs dropped casually throughout the film.  Otherwise I would let my girls watch it.  They would understand the point that we are all connected.  Like No Impact Man said, for one person to do this means nothing.  But for one person to do this and inspire someone else, who then changes his or her life, well, that makes a difference.  
It it time to make a difference. 

How has your family reduced its impact?
Have you made any small changes that were easy to implement?
What is the biggest change you have made?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pottery Session II

My girls finished another session of pottery.  This was Lilah’s second session, and Grace’s first.  I love looking at their creations.  Lilah has taken a pottery class at an art school which at the time I thought was good.  She made a coil pot, a candle holder and a few pinch pots.  Looking back I realize that it was very teacher directed.  Each week the children made the same thing, modeled after what the teacher was making.
This class is “taught” by a homeschooling mom who is blessed to have a full studio and kiln in her home.  Every week the children create.  There are no plans, no group instruction, no grades, or pressures.  She simply guides them in whatever it is that they want to do.  Unlike the art school, she does not believe that 10 year-olds are too young for a pottery wheel.  Heck, our six year old friend is learning the wheel.  Lilah is even able to center on the wheel, but I am not sure exactly what that means!  
Part of their learning process is trial and error.  Grace learned that a piece she made with many small pieces broke in the kiln.  A tail on her dragon fell off because it was not quite balanced.  Rather than be concerned about a grade, she now knows what not to do next time with no repercussions to worry about.  She is loving the freedom that this art form allows.
I hope that both girls continue this class in the fall.  I am going to have to keep clearing off shelves to display their work!

the print on one of Lilah's plates

Grace's goblet

Lilah's creations

a flower from Grace

Got fly?

Lilah's nest

one of Grace's bowls

Lilah's bowls

Lilah's hand and foot

I can't wait to hang these tiles!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

When A Meal is a Gift

If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony.
Fernand Point
You can be taught just about anything.  Whether or not you learn it is something else entirely.  Most often the things we learn best and hold onto hardest are those  that touch our souls in some way.  
Right now cooking is something that my girls are passionate about.  I can give them my recipe books, tell them how to use the can opener, instruct them on how to properly crush a clove of garlic but if they do not have the opportunity to do it for themselves then they have not truly learned anything at all.
To help give my girls real life cooking experiences, we invited Greg’s brother for lunch.  I told Grace and Lilah I we would plan the menu and purchase whatever was necessary to make the meal.  The girls decided on meatballs with tomato sauce, chicken cutlets and salad.  During our weekly trip to Whole Foods, we purchased the tomatoes, since my supply of frozen sauce is gone until tomatoes are in season.  We also grabbed some organic pasta both gluten free and regular.  Most of the other ingredients I either had a home or were in our garden.
My goal is to be their coach.  While Grace does not enjoy eating meatballs, we talked about how this is a good meal to know how to make because it is easy, fast, and a great meal for entertaining.  They mixed the meat with egg and breadcrumbs.  The browned it in olive oil and garlic.  They mixed in the tomatoes and let it simmer for hours.  They set the table and picked the head of romaine lettuce from our backyard.  They chopped the vegetables for the salad.  Since Grace has discovered she likes grilling, we made a last minute change from cutlets to grilled chicken.  She marinated it with balsamic salad dressing before placing it on the hot grill.
The only things I did to help prepare this meal were: defrost the meat, butterfly the chicken breasts, and assist breaking the pasta in half.  I did provide information again about not cross contaminating your kitchen by reusing dirty cutting boards, or by carelessly letting meat get on your counter tops.  
The result was a home filled with a delicious aroma of slow cooked food.  We sat down mid-day to a meal that would keep us satisfied for hours.  We had good conversation with their Uncle.  Best of all, the girls learned that it is a gift to prepare a meal for someone.  I think we will have to do this often.
ground beef + turkey + egg + bread crumbs + pinch of salt and pepper browned in olive oil and garlic

add a can or two of organic tomato or fresh sauce if you have it and simmer

for at least an hour.

Cut some lettuce, chop some veggies 

 and serve in pretty bowls.

Bon App├ętit!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Swallowtail!

Thursday, the first of my three lovelies emerged from his chrysalis state.  I was hoping to catch a good photo of him without the netting but this insect was ready to stretch his wings and fly.  

My girls hatched caterpillars in preschool.  The butterflies were kept in captivity for a few days until the last day of school where parents were invited and the children joined hands in a circle, sang a song and set them free.  This experience was different.  While we found these caterpillars munching away happily on their dill plant, I feel like they found us.  From the look on the face of the nursery owner, I am not certain what their fate would have been if discovered by someone other than us.  The randomness of our discovery plus the generosity of our friends in loaning us the habitat, to the research involved in identifying the caterpillars, to the search for the freshest dill plants to keep them munching away, it was all an adventure.

I hope my other two lovelies wait until the weekend to present themselves.  I would love to have Greg see.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Itchy Fingers

Do you ever feel like there is just not to much to say?  Your fingers itch to type but there is no great wave of passion flowing through them?  That is how I have been lately.  Not in a funk.  Not in the midst of writer’s block.  I think I just needed a break to enjoy my life through the lens of my eye, rather than the lens of my camera.  
I did not take one single picture this past weekend.  There was much that I could have captured like my horrible horrible haircut that I got on Saturday.  Or my wonderful family dinner at my house Sunday.  Or spending the day at our friends on the 4th.  Swimming, playing, gardening.  All good stuff.  
Blogging serves an interesting purpose in our family.  It helps me to connect and reflect on the amazing, interesting, fun, educational, spiritual things we do.  There are weeks when I look back and think to myself, “what did we do this week?” and I have to think hard to recall the small moments of lego building, baking, tree house building, camp out planning, and Bendaroo creating.  When I write down our comings and goings I know that this week in addition to these fun, creative adventures, we also read two chapters of Botany, diagrammed the parts of a twig, measured how much that twig grew in a year, hatched a butterfly, learned a new recipe, read a great book, had a fantastic piano lesson, did our dog walking job, practiced meditation, and discovered a math workbook to help learn multiplication.  And it is only Thursday!  There is much still to do before our week is done.
I am taking a break from my writing about food and nutrition.  I have to let what I have learned sink in.  I have to implement the changes in my family in my own way.  I have spent the last month with some heavy reading that weighs heavily on my soul.  I am still reading a heavy book, this one about food colorings and the link they have to both behavioral and physical health (or un-health).  But after that I am going to focus on my knitting for awhile.  I am going to read a trashy fun book.  I am going to rest my spirit and focus on the positives rather than the negatives.  This quest to change the world can wear a girl out!
Be on the lookout for another giveaway.  I have a bunch of never-used curriculum items I purchased last year that I would love to see used and enjoyed!  As a teaser, I have Horizon math, a weather book from Prufrock Press, and learning cursive through copywork..........interested?  Good!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

For The Sake of Our Children

Today it began.  Just like years ago when I began this blog to share my crusade to clean up my girl’s school, I am now part of a much bigger up my family’s food.  
While rummaging through a cabinet I came across Orville Redenbacher popcorn.  My family has used this brand forever.  We just purchased a bag of organic popping corn at Whole Foods last week and Greg bought another at our local natural food store, Nature’s Way, but the girls said they prefer the Orville brand made by Con Agra Foods.  I called the 800# on the back of the jar to inquire.  I was told that while the company does not specifically state that the product is modified, they do use modified ingredients in their products and could not guarantee a product does not contain modifications unless it is labeled organic.  Apparently they did have an organic line of popping corn but discontinued it.  
I explained that this is one of my family’s favorite brands but unfortunately we will have to discontinue our use of it.  I urged the company to once again offer organic products.  She noted my issue with their product and told me that every time a consumer calls and even inquires about if a product is modified it gets sent on to upper management.  Will you join me in calling your favorite companies asking them to at least label their products so consumers can make educated choices and to offer organic/non-GMO products for those who do not care for the alternative?
For dinner tonight I thought I would grill up some burgers, kielbasa, make a fresh salad with the greens from my garden and open a can of Nibblets for the girls.  Nibblets.....corn....GMO....ugh.  Once again I reached for the phone and dialed the number on the back.  This conversation was a bit different.  General Mills is the parent company of the Green Giant brand.  The woman I spoke with read me the corporate statement on GMO products which was very similar to the one read to me by the Orville Representative of Con Agra Foods.  Only this statement pertained to grains.  When I asked about canned products, she was stumped.  She asked a supervisor.  Again, no clear response.  She took my name, address and phone number and told me she would get back to me soon with clarification.  
When I was asked if there was a problem with the product, I replied that I grew up on this brand.  My family loves this brand.  But I can no longer purchase it if it is modified corn.  I am hoping that companies will label their food so that I can make educated choices but until then I will call each company and ask directly.
On the bright family loves sunflower seeds.  Con Agra makes the David Seed brand, all of which, are NON-GMO!  
My hope is that with my friend’s help, we will begin to campaign for our families heath.  I plan to not only call the companies but follow up with letters to the President.  Will you join me?  There is strength in numbers.  It is time to band together, for the sake of our children.

Don't You Just Stay Home All Day?

It’s funny because last night at youth group some of the kids friends were discussing homeschooling and really truly felt that we stay home...