Friday, February 13, 2009

Working on Anxiety, Living Out my Goals, Continuing to Make Changes

I posted this yesterday, but have updated it in an attempt to make it less random :). I hope I was successful!!

My internet works now (most of the time- I’m “accidentally” picking up a wireless signal from a building here at camp, so it goes in and out!).

Since I haven’t had much internet access (just when I can get to the office at camp), I have gotten used to not being online much, and I feel like I get so much more accomplished!
I’m going to try to keep up with only using the internet every once in a while.

I’m working on ways to help my anxiety, in a natural way. Some things that I’m beginning are:
1) Giving it to Jesus first thing every morning, and again and again when I take it back.
2) Exercise- I have been walking more, but I’m going to start some other things soon.
3) Lowering my sugar intake- even natural sweeteners need to be eaten in moderation!
4) Lowering my coffee intake (and going down to ½ caff., then going to organic decaf eventually)
5) Journaling/writing when I feel really anxious.
6) Taking a bath when I need to get away from stress.
7) Continuing to switch everything to natural/organic/local/whole foods- which means eating in the dining hall less and being more selective when we do. It’s hard because it’s free, but we need to stop eating so many desserts and fattening foods! Eating refined sugars/flours affect brain chemistry, so it’s important to continue with this change.

I’m excited about the challenge of working on this naturally. I struggle at times still, but I am slowly working on it!

On 2/7, I did a re-evaluation of the things I do for myself and my family (to make sure that they aren’t producing more anxiety, and to make sure they are worth it), and these are some of my thoughts:
(this is in no way to glorify myself or the things that I do; this is a way to put it all into one place, and maybe receive some feedback from people on the things that they do)

Goals- Be more focused on Jesus, create simplicity, the health of my family, keeping my priorities straight, focusing more on others, lesson anxiety, be good stewards of the earth, be good stewards of our money, etc.

Things that I think are more difficult than they are worth (for now) are:
· Making homemade baby food. I have decided to buy some (organic), and just mush up some of what we eat for him. He has been eating finger foods, etc, but he still needs some “baby food.” It is SO much work to make it, and it takes a lot of time. It has caused some anxiety for me, so I have decided to not worry about it. He still receives what he needs, and I am much less anxious. HEB sells a brand called Sprout. It is a lot of healthy/whole foods, and it is organic. It’s not very expensive either, and Ethan loves it.
· Making homemade crackers. They are a LOT of work (rolling out, cutting, only able to make a few at a time, etc).
· Making tortillas (I buy some local ones that are really good)

Things to continue doing or start doing (again):
· Spending time with Jesus before I do anything else.
· Teaching the kids about Jesus through the day, by living my life to glorify Him, and praying for them daily.
· Do “activity time” (structured) 3-4 times a week, otherwise, just play, read, etc.
· Cloth diapering (I still LOVE cloth dipes!)
· Making things homemade- bread, granola and granola bars, pancakes, other breakfast foods, dressings, condiments, cookies (when we even have sweets!), cleaners and detergents (these work SO much better, and I feel like I’m doing things safely this way), dinner (from whole foods), personal care products, etc.
· Continue purging our home of things that we don’t need or use
· Buying mostly organic/local/whole foods
· Using our household notebook to keep all things in one place
· Using kitchen towels in place of napkins and paper towels (and using rags for cleaning).
· Continue writing notes to my students; begin writing encouraging notes to people here on camp.
· Taking grocery/menu planning week by week and not assuming that grocery needs will be the same from pay check to pay check; continue planning for shopping in the same way (but start going to Whole Foods)
· Choose 5 meals a week to plan for, realizing that planning a certain day isn’t possible with our schedule (here at camp!)
· Play outside some EVERY DAY (weather permitting)
· Only have the T.V. on for 30 minutes to an hour a day (when the kids are awake), w/ the exception of Saturday (our relax day; relax the schedule and routine; play! Enjoy the day!)
· We’re going to plant a small garden this year. Robert was finally able to borrow a tiller from someone, so he’s going to be working on that. We should be able to plant soon!! Our plan this year is to just plant the basics: tomatoes, pepper, and onions for salsa; carrots, potatoes, squash, green beans.
· Have people over more; play games with others here on camp; be a place to hang out.

Things that I want to eventually start doing:
· I want to save up for a grain mill and grind my own flour. This is so much better for you (because the nutrients oxidize out of the flour over time). A good grain mill is very expensive, so this may be a while. But, we just bought a coffee grinder recently, so I’m going to try that for now.
· Making my own yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, etc. For now, I will just buy it because I’m still getting the hang of some other things!
· I would LOVE to go to buying mostly local eventually! That is going to take time as I find the right people.
· Plant enough produce to live off of what we have only (at least during the late spring/summer). I also want to begin planting herbs eventually (not this year!). Also, we want to start composting. We didn’t do it this year, but we will next year (for now, we’re just using some compost from someone else here on camp!).

We went to Whole Foods for the first time the other day, and it’s going to be worth driving to once a month or so. Their prices on things are AMAZING, and they carry a lot of local items. They have a VERY large selection of everything. Their bulk organic/raw honey, oils, peanut butter, maple, etc, are the cheapest I have found anywhere. They also carry organic and grass fed meat, but I can get those cheaper at other places. I will be buying pasture fed beef from a local ranch. I’m excited about that!

Anyway, this is a conglomeration of all the things that have been on my mind! Sorry if it's a little random :).

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