Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spaghetti Fun

Hi! While in Tennessee, I showed Z how to slurp up spaghetti and he's still working on it. Turn up the sound and check out his progress (oh, and he gets distracted by the fun shapes the noodles make in the air):

Happy Reformation Day and Happy Birthday Dad W! We're having a Harvest Party at Mommy Group on this last day of October. My Mom arrives late Sunday night so, I'm looking forward to that!

While visiting with my Grandpa VN a couple of Saturdays ago, he mentioned the posts I've done on Ayurveda (the Indian Science of Life) and said "it sounds fishy". I realized that I zoomed into discussing some of the more abstract areas of this giant topic. So, today I thought I'd give y'all a taste of some simpler lessons I've learned from this ancient science from India. Here's some routine rules for optimal living:
  • Awaken before sunrise
  • Evacuate bowels and bladder after awakening
  • Bathe everyday to create a feeling of bodily freshness
  • Do not take breakfast after 8:00am
  • Wash hands before and after eating
  • Brush teeth after meals
  • Fifteen minutes after meals take a short walk
  • Eat in silence with awareness of food (not in front of T.V. as they believe you digest your eating experience)
  • Eat slowly
  • Each day massage gums with the finger and sesame oil
  • Fast one day a week to reduce toxins in the body
  • Sleep before 10:00pm
I know that most of these are obvious or sound simple, but they have exhaustive reasoning for each one. For instance, six of the above are in part to reduce toxins in the body. Toxins come from any food that is processed or not natural. They also believe that toxins come from stress and bad feelings. Also, you can inhale toxins through unnatural or unhealthy odors (fake candles instead of soy candles, air freshener, etc.). Toxins like to store themselves in parts of our body that are weak, aggravating injuries or illnesses. We can't avoid all toxins, but we can manage them by some of these ideas. There's several more ideas to come, didn't want to overload you at once. Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

lots and lots of pictures

...And we're back! Hey folks! We had a lovely time in Tennessee! The plane ride went well (I got a direct flight this time). The day before we went we had a family birthday party (Ben was one of five we celebrated). Here's Z and his cousin Owen at the party.

Our niece, Ally, playing shy behind a tree

Here's Z on Grandpa J's lap in Tennessee

We had fun at the zoo too! See G&GJ and Z?

Grandma J and Z at the church playground on Lookout Mountain

Z writing Daddy a letter

Grandpa made Z a wooden dog on his scroll saw that Grandma drew. Very special! I'll post a pic of it soon!

Z's first spaghetti meal

"Traditional Chair Picture" - We have a picture of me at this age in this very chair, and one of my cousin, Lauren, in it too.

Guess what? I have lots of family down yonder! This is my Uncle David (mom's brother) and his famous BBQ Ribs....Mmmmmm!

Guess what else!? My grandparents from Iowa happened to be in town while I was visiting in TN, so I got to see them too!

The whole gang in Northern Georgia (from left to right): Grandma VN, Aunt Pam, my cousin Hannah, Rachel VN and her fiance Doug, Z!, Grandpa VN, Uncle David, cousin Josh, and Uncle Delvin.

Grandma and Grandpa J, Z and I got up at 2am yesterday and drove (with lots of stops) for twelve hours. Thankfully, Z slept for most of it. He was such a good little traveler. While I was gone, Ben had planned to update some of our pipes in the basement, but when the city came out to shut off our water, they couldn't find our water shut off! They said it had been so long since it had been shut off, they had lost the plans for the house. They used some fancy equipment to find it, and did so under our driveway! So, this is what it looks like outside my house right now. It's a good thing we've been paying our water bill for the seven years we've lived here, or else they'd have had a hard time trying to shut our water off on us!
My grandparents will be here for a couple of days, then are off to Grove City College for a concert that my cousin will be playing French Horn in. We're going to Der Dutchman for dinner tomorrow! Wahoo! Ben's glad to have us back (even though we mess up the house) and insists that Z grew a bunch in one week. He may be right, I can hardly fit his size 7 shoes on him now. We're going out tonight to get him some that fit. Have a great week everybody!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Quick 'Hi'

I'm getting ready for my trip to Tennessee to see my Grandpa and Grandma J. While I'm there, my other grandparents (from Iowa) will be visiting my aunt, uncles and cousins in Northern Georgia, so I get to see most of my family while I'm down there! I'm not sure if I'll post while I'm there or not, so stay tuned!

As a side note, I've discovered another Internet phenomenon called "Face Book" and have had lots of fun this week reconnecting with British friends from junior high, high school friends, college friends, etc.! Mostly teens and college kids use it, but lots and lots of my British friends are on there who are my age, and I've found a few Americans my age that use it too. Anyways, it's been fun to see pictures of my old friends and catch up on what they're up to. Must go pack now!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ayurveda, YNAB and YouTube!

Hi! I tried once before and I think my video was too big to upload (it never ever finished), so here I go again. I videoed in several different sizes to experiment with what looks best. Yesterday, we were playing outside with the hose, and Z decided he wanted to sit on my lap (after he got all wet, of course). So, this is nothing horribly exciting, but I thought Grandpas and Grandmas out there would appreciate seeing Z on video. The scrapes happened last Thursday at Grandma and Grandpa H's house (he tipped the car over that he was playing in and fell on his face, just like last weekend when he fell on his face and busted his lip). The dirt all over him, well, that's just normal!

On a totally different note: INAB! That stands for 'I needed a budget', but then I got YNAB ("You need a budget") and now I'm all better! I ordered it online, received it electronically, dowloaded it to my hard drive, and even figured out how to export my bank statements to it all within a matter of minutes. Which, I'm quite proud to share that the lady in charge of our on-line banking at my little bank told me a week ago that we did not have the capability to export our statements (she even assured me that she's been telling people this for a while), and I figured out how to do it (hit the "export" button), and called her and taught her how to do it! OK, enough bragging, so here I am two days later and I'm still reading the "how to" manual that came electronically with the program! Not everything can happen lightening fast. It looks really good, and I have made a start by labeling the transactions I exported from my bank statement. So, here's the four rules of YNAB, which can be found on their website, so it's nothing top secret:
1. Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck (they get you to start living a month ahead)
2. Give Every Dollar a Job (budget down to the penny)
3. Prepare for Rain (save, save, save)
4. Roll with the Punches (this you have to have the software to do, but it helps you adjust your entire budget when you overspend in a budget category.)

I'm really excited to implement the new ideas, I'll keep y'all updated on how we like the software.

Finally, I promised more info on Ayurveda for those who are interested. If you took the quiz then you should know your primary constitution. For more information on each, click on your constitution: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. There are a few people in the world that are tridoshic, which means they are equally all three. They usually change which one is dominant with the seasons, as the seasons have the same constitutions. Here are the three doshas and their respective seasons and times of the day:


Predominant season and time of day


air and space


2-6 am

2-6 pm


fire and water

Late Spring and Summer




water and earth

Winter and Early Spring



I'm gonna quote from my book, "Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing" by Dr. Vasant Lad instead of trying to explain myself as he says it so much more succinctly. By the way, "self-healing" does not mean replacing God with yourself, but rather allowing His amazing creation (your body) to do what it was created to do, heal itself when given the right conditions. After my last post I remembered that there are, in fact, some chapters in the book and in other Ayurvedic books that I recall thinking were a little "new agey", but instead of throwing the bucket out with the water, I filter what I read (as I hope we all do). Taken at face value these concepts are intriguing and helpful to leading a healthy lifestyle. When viewed through a post-Judeo Christian lense, it leaves you breathless at what an amazing Creator we have. I hope you can capture a small piece of of my awe through what I share. Check this out:

Vata, pitta and kapha each have their own attributes, and substances having similar attributes will tend to aggravate the related bodily humor by the law of like-increases-like. For instance, the summer season has attributes similar to those of pitta - hot, dry light motile and penetrating. Naturally, in the summer, pitta in the body will be aggravated. Vata is light, subtle, dry, mobile, rough and cold. So, in the fall season, which also exhibits these attributes, vata will tend to be aggravated in the human constitution. Lastly, kapha is liquid, heavy, cold, sticky and cloudy; so in winter when these characteristics predominate in the external environment, internal kapha.

So, if you are pitta, then when it's summer, you're getting an overdose of your element. We'll get into more on how to keep yourself well balanced later, but isn't it cool just to think of the similarities so far (between people and seasons?). But wait! There's more.

Like time, the bodily humors are constantly in motion. There is a definite relationship between the movement of the tridosha (three doshas) and the movement or passage of time. The increase or decrease of these three humors in the body is related to the cycles of time. Morning, from sunrise till ten o'clock, is a time of kapha. Because of the predominance of kapha humor at this time, one feels energetic and fresh and also a little heavy. At mid-morning, kapha slowly merges into pitta. From ten in the morning till two in the afternoon is the time when pitta is secreted and hunger increases. One feels hungry, light and hot. The afternoon from two o'clock until the sun sets is the time of vata when one feels active, light and supple. Early in the evening from about six o'clock until ten is again kapha time, a period of cool air, inertia and little energy. Then from ten at night till two in the morning are the peak hours of pitta when food is digested. Early in the morning before sunrise is again vata time. Because vata creates movement, people awaken and excrete wastes.

Pitta people are the ones who get grumpy when they're hungry, just feed them and they're fine. I loved this last excerpt about time, because I know if I go to bed too late my mind is racing (it's pitta/clarifying time). If we can get ourselves to bed before ten, we can catch the natural sleepy Kapha time. Also, if I can wake up before Kapha time (6am!), I actually have tons of energy probably because it's Vata time! Sleep in too late and it's sleepy Kapha time. He says it's fresh, but I say it's heavy and sleepy. Whatever. I also feel there's a midafternoon Kapha time that he's not accounting for when half the world is having a ciesta, and the other half wishes they were too. Please write me your questions, I'm happy to try and answer. More soon! There's so much to all this!