Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simple Wins; Cereal Bars Are Evil!

So we were on our way to a farmer's market on a sunny & 65 Sunday with our new friends from Ventura, Amber & Tim and their little boy Sawyer. While we were all walking down toward the market, Amber was talking about a book she was reading that discussed looking beyond the nutrition facts on food and taking a better look at the ingredients. I thought, yeah, that makes sense. But I obviously didn't think to process that idea when marketed to, right. What I mean is, cereal bars are evil. Yes. Let me explain...

I bought these cereal bars from Vons, deceitfully titled "Eating Right; uniting flavor & nutrition"; "naturally flavored fruit & grain bars". And that with a quick glance at the 2g fiber, 0g sat fat and low price put them into my dorky basket without a second thought. But after Amber's comment (and our great farmer's market experience, which I may tell you more about if I'm not too tired), Heather took another look at the cereal bars. And below, if you will allow, I will list the ingredients to solidify (much like my artery walls) our message. And remember, they are listed in order of composition (first = most):

Filling: fructose, high fructose corn syrup, fruits (apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), sugar (as if they needed MORE sugar), glycerin, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, sodium alginate, natural flavor, calcium chloride, malic acid, sodium citrate, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), red #40, blue #1.
Crust: enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), oat bran, canola and/or soybean oil, raisin paste, liquid whole eggs, molasses, glycerin, oat fiber, brown sugar, liquid invert sugar, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate), wheat bran, salt, honey, cellulose gum, sodium bicarbonate, sodium propionate (a preservative), vitamins and minerals, niacinamide, zinc oxide, reduced iron, calcium carbonate, pyridoxine, hydrochloride (vitamin b6), riboflavin (vitamin b2), vitamin a palmitate, thiamin dydrochloride (vit b1) and folic acid.

Whew, my "splagnon" hurt just thinking about all that crap needing digestion. I can't believe they use words like "naturally flavored" and "nutritious" and a picture of two happy, healthy people frolicking in an open field on the back. It reeks of deception. But I guess that's just another word for "marketing".

Farmer's Market: Among others, we talked with a guy who is part-owner of some "happy cows" beef farm: free-roaming grass-fed non-hormone-juiced cows from just up the 101. He talked about his experience of trying supermarket beef once and getting sick from it. He even gave us 2# of their ground beef FREE to try! Which we made into some great-tasting sloppy joe's.

Simple wins, I reckon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

Don't you love the movie Jon made as part of our Christmas present to the Lundy fam? That was a REALLY REALLY fun present to give...

Christmas this year was different but wonderful! We stayed in sunny CA, so we didn't see a fleck of snow (except for the fake snow that was sprinkled all over the floor and counter tops at our bank). Although we didn't go home to be a part of the traditional Christmas Eve festivities that we are used to, we were fortunate to still be able to spend time with family.

We went to Christmas Eve church service and came home and ate a great meal cooked by Stephanie's mom, then opened gifts from the grandparents (everyone got PJs! It's a tradition of theirs). The boys all had matching red plaid PJ pants and white long sleeved tops..they looked so stinkin' cute!

We woke up Christmas morning to Calvin and Christian running into our room and jumping on the bed...that's the BEST way to wake up on Christmas morning! We opened more presents and ate a delicious feast! (Ham, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and mashed potatos..mmmm)

Our favorite part was giving them their presents. Since we have been here Jon has been taking videos and pictures of the boys doing all the different things they do. He put a GREAT film together and coordinated it to awesome songs that fit perfectly! He is so gifted at being creative. We also took each boy and had separate photo shoots of them doing something they like. Christian playing the guitar, Connor skating (we would have tried surfing, but we're just not that good), Cameron playing football and Calvin running around at the beach being silly. We gave each photo an antique effect and framed them in thick, dark wood, beautiful frames. It was SO SO SO fun to watch Matt & Stephanies reactions!

Christmas afternoon, we drove up to my Aunt Nancy's house and had a California Christmas dinner..Crab legs! It was the first time I had had those and they were delicious! The next day we went into Los Gatos to shop around and eat sushi for lunch. That evening, Aunt Nancy hosted another Christmas get together with us, Jim and the Berkefeld family. We ate ANOTHER delicious meal, opened presents and played games. It was a fun night, full of laughter.

The next morning, Jon and I woke up and headed for San Fran (It's about an hour north of Aunt Nancy's). We spent the day walking around San Fran watching people paint and breakdance on the street as well as visit fishermans wharf, peir 39, Ghiradelli square, Coit tower and Lombard street (The crookedest street in the world).

Christmas 2009 was very special and now we are gearing up for NYE! We have LOTS of fun things planned to ring in the new year, so stay tuned!

Monday, December 28, 2009

"A Very Lundy Christmas"

Check out our first two months with the Lundy boys!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

week 3: Kingdom Center

We recently found a great church in Ventura that we are connecting with. Our biggest draw to this church is what they are passionate about, as evident by their "Kingdom Center" project. And here's what it's about: Around 30 local churches joined to buy a run-down, vacant motel building in the middle of the city. It's undergoing major renovation, each room becoming a transitional living home for a homeless family/individual. Ventura has a huge homeless population, many of whom simply got laid off & couldn't make their rent/mortgage payment. This transitional living will involve case management etc in order for the person(s) to get back on their feet and is intended to empower them; it's not just a free room. They have to meet a lot of requirements while going there.

Heather and I have been working on "our" room (each church paints/decorates their own room & supports that family); everyone doing work there is a volunteer or is homeless or doing community service. It's been great to be a part of something that's bigger than church denominations & economics; bigger than ourselves.

Shane Claiborn states that the great tragedy with the Christian middle/upper class is not that they don't care about the poor or give money here & there, it's that they don't know the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized. He says when you know the poor, you know the people God is most concerned with; you find where God's heart is.

Here's a link to a quick video the church put together. You can even find us near the end of it. The guy you see in the red sweater is homeless, but spends nearly every day there, working. Check it out:

Above is a picture of the tiny room one set of people will call home some time soon. That's our "accent wall". To the right & bottom is walking into room #9; "our" room.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week "2": ROADTRIP!

So Jon said we were going to blog every week and this week was my turn. I, of course, have been procrastinating ;) But really, it has been non stop! We FINALLY sat down today and wrote thank you cards for the wedding!!! We really are SO thankful and I feel bad that we haven't sent these out yet, but I trust you all understand..we have had our hands full!

After the wedding we went on our honeymoon to Ludington, in North-West MI. It was the perfect atmosphere for SIMPLY RELAXING! When we got back, Jon got right back to work and I hit the books for 6 straight weeks. No complaints thought because it all paid off when I passed both the National Boards and my California Law Exam!! Our road trip was a great way to celebrate.

As many of you saw through our facebook updates, we stayed in Colorado for a week. For the majority of our time in CO we stayed in a cozy condo in Breckenridge but we also stayed 2 nights with Jon's friends from PT school, Tony & Danielle, who live north of Denver.

The night we arrived at their place they wined and dined us with a delicious, homemade dinner. The next morning we went to church with the two of them and really enjoyed eating the church "breakfast buffet". Their church hosts a breakfast to gather their community together prior to the service, which is such a great idea! Another highlight was watching Tony lead worship...let me tell you, that boy can rock out on his guitar & SING! After church we ate lunch at their favorite Thai place then hiked through the Rockies! That was the most physical activity I had done since the Boston marathon and I was FEELIN' it!

On our second night with them we played volleyball with some of their friends...FOR TWO HOURS! Again, I was feelin' it! (Mostly on my forearms), but Jon was in heaven. He goes through withdrawal if he doesn't get his weekly volleyball/physical activity fix. Earlier that day we had gone for a more relaxing hike than the previous one and admired the wide open spaces of CO. One of the most memorable times was when we saw a group of young deer grazing, so we stopped to watch them and just stood in SILENT in awe of creation. It was SO quiet--no highways with cars buzzing by and honking, no airplanes, no background noise that fills our everyday lives, just natures silence and natures beauty.

When we got to the end of our hike, we noticed a sign that instructed us how to fight off a mountain lion. Yes, FIGHT OFF...not run from, not hide from, but fight off. I never knew! My first reaction would be to run for the hills, but this sign said (I'll paraphrase) "to stay perfectly still and if it comes close to you to throw rocks at it and hit & kick it until it gets bored of you". Serious! This was an official sign, not just a homemade sign that some prankster made. Thankfully we never had to use our newly learned skills, and hopefully you will never have to either, but just in you know.

As many of you saw, we made a fox friend in Breckenridge (Jon named him Garth). It crept up on Jon one night when he was at the car, and Jon fed him cheesy popcorn. Then about 1/2 and hour later we saw him again on our porch! As you can see with the facebook pictures, he would have walked right on in if we hadn't shut the door!

We hung around CO for 5 days and then started to get antsy to get to our new home, so we left 2 days early..great decision! We also had originally planned to travel through Las Vegas on our way to CA, but at the last minute decided to take the longer, more scenic, Northern route. Also a great decision! We drove through Lake Tahoe, which was the most beautiful place we saw on our whole trip out here. We ate a a great local brewery in Tahoe and then drove a little bit more West where we stayed with his friends Laythen and Tess, also from PT school.

We didn't really have plans with Laythen & Tess other than just us staying the night, which ended up working out perfectly because we did some things that I NEVER would have planned for myself! The two of them fed us a delicious meal and we were able to catch up, laugh & enjoy rehashing old memories from their PT school experiences. The next day we woke up with the sun and went mountain biking. Jon and Laythen took the "crazy route" and Tess helped guide me through the "I'm still learning route"..she was an awesome instructor! I learned a lot on that ride and really built up my riding confidence.

Once we finished our 11-ish mile ride we feasted on IN-N-OUT burger. WOW. The rest of the country is missing out. It's a chain over here that is unlike any other fast-food burger place I've ever eaten. The fries are not frozen, they're cut on site and are fried in non-trans fat oil, so they aren't greasy! Here, check it out:

After that, Laythen got a call from his buddy who owns a farm and owns a small plane which he uses to fly and check out all the crops. He offered to take us all up in his plane! So of course we went and once we got up into the air he let me fly!! Then on the way back home he let Jon fly!! THEEENNNN once we were on the ground again, Laythen took us for a ride on his Harley! In one day we went mountain biking, flying and motorcycling...wild.

We said our goodbyes to Laythen & Tess and headed for Aunt Nancy's. We were greeted with a warm welcome and another delicious homemade meal! Another night of story telling, memory rehashing and laughter. Jon and I were pretty beat so we hit the sack and woke up early the next morning to get to our final destination...La Conchita!

My fingers are tired of typing & my eyes are burning from looking at this computer screen...our next blog will be from Jon telling you all about our first few weeks here!

Heather & Jon

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 1: the beginning

You know how many movies today are going backwards to make a "prequel" to ring every last drop of money they can out of a prior successful film? Well, we're just going to start at the beginning.

Heather and I decided that we will blog every week (we will take turns). This may come in the form of a rant; a video or pictures; a story; or all of the following. We were motivated to do this by a story we heard in our "under the chuppah" class at Mars (for newly weds). An older couple were sharing their story and part of it had to do with the broken, or at least unsteady relationship, between her (the wife) and her mother-in-law. So she (the wife) decided to write a "monday letter". Every monday, she would send an email every monday of the week. This was their ONLY communication. In six months, she never once heard anything back from the mother-in-law. But she missed one monday after that 6 months, and on Tuesday, the mother-in-law wanted to know where the "monday letter" was. It turned out she looked forward to that monday letter every week.

I think the point we got out of that story was that we want to be connected to you. So that's what we're going to do.

And this is the beginning...

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're dying to know!

Write a comment about YOUR favorite memories from our wedding!