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Up With People

For the past 2 days/evenings we've had a guest from Up With People. He's here in town setting up their tour visit here in May. The boys had such a fantastic time with our guest! A great experience!

This has been Spring Break week, and you'd think we'd get a chance to relax. Alas, it's been almost as hectic as normal. The best part is how clean the house looks and feels, because we all cleaned before our guest arrived. Only one more day of Spring Break... Happy Easter!

How to go totally vegan for 21 days

"I challenged myself to stick to a vegan diet for 21 days."


I made a committment to myself, a challenge, to eat vegan for 21 days. The most important thing was to clean out the frig of all the non-vegan and tempting foods and just buy groceries that were vegan. If all I have at home is vegan food, then it's so much eaier not to be tempted and not to eat non-vegan.

This was much easier than I had anticipated and found that vegan food was healthier for me. The hardest part was dealing with social situations like potlucks or being invited to a pizza party.

The best part for me was getting a feeling of what life is like for two of my sons who are both vegan. I fel like I have a better understanding of the challenges they face.


You can sign up and find recipes at: http://www.pcrm.org/health/kickstart_archive_09.html


We are so lucky to have a vegan restaurant in Yuma. This made my life so much easier when we were in a hurry and needed to buy vegan fast food. http://natures-express.com/

Global Art Project

Today is the last day to register for the Global Art Project art exchange 2010. Our family has registered already and are all looking forward to whatever art we'll create and send to our partner. If you want to join the fun, or pass on the info, ehre's the website where you can check it out and sign up. globalartproject.org/


VNSA Book sale


We had a fantastic day in Phoenix! My oldest son and I left at 6:15 am to drive to the VNSA sale, a 3-hour drive.  It took a little over 2 hours for us to shop and buy 5 bags of books. I just love the feel of being there- surrounded by more than half a million books! Then we headed to Bookman’s for even more books. My son was sweet and bought me an autographed book from a new author there who was promoting her book. It’s for my birthday present. :) After a delicious lunch at Wildflower Bread Co., we stopped at IKEA for our last shopping before driving the 3 hours back to Yuma. I shall already write this in my calendar for next year… Feb. 12 or 13. It's my favorite annual event to attend.

stray dog


kitt & dog
Originally uploaded by laurina
Here is my youngest son with the stray dog we found on Super Bowl Sunday. We've put up notices all over the neighborhood and are waiting for the owner to come get the dog. Otherwise, we have found a kind woman who will take the dog from us tomorrow. This has been one of the hardest acts of kindness for us to do. Exept for my youngest son, the rest of the family hate having a dog in the house. I've been having an allergic reaction the whole time and feel so sick! What a cute little dog! Where is that irresponsible owner?!

Scout Expo

Yesterday was the annual scout expo, and our whole family participated with the scout troop. It was a long day, which started with the scout 5K at 9 am. Two of my sons ran in that, with one of them winning 1st place and the other coming in 4th. Meanwhile my oldest son, the scoutmaster, was helping the other scouts to put up a monkey bridge, and I was helping 2 scouts to hide geocaches. I trained 2 of the boys to teach geoscouting, including letterboxing, and then they took over and ran it the rest of the day, with a little assistance from my young cub scout. We had a very special eraser carving to show for letterboxing, which was carved by my oldest son especially for this event. Afterwards we were told that we can hide it as a letterbox somewhere near the boy scout office. The scouts were excited about that and want to plan that as an outing in a couple of weeks.

The monkey bridge turned out great and even made the front page of the local newspaper today. Here's the link: www.yumasun.com/sections/article/gallery/  That's my teenage scout son in the picture. Cheers for troop 8222! 

local sheriff

Today I've been working with my youngest son on the requirements for his Bear badge in cub scouts. For one requirement, we drove to the local sheriff's office and got a private tour. That was fun and educational! They were all very nice to my son and I. We got so much done today, that we only have 8 requirements left  to finish towards achieving his badge. He still needs to build a model rocket, build a tool box, make a family tree chart, and do 5 things with ropes. My oldest son will help him with the first two. I'll help him with the family tree chart, and my teenage son will help him with the ropes. If all goes well, he might be able to finish tomorrow.


volunteer work

Yesterday morning, my teenage son started a volunteer job with the Salvation Army. He really enjoyed the work, mostly unloading and sorting goods. But he'll learn other aspects of running the thrift store, too. He's going to do this every Wednesday and Friday morning for about 3 hours each time. Not only do I encourage my sons to volunteer because of the educational and social benefits, but he's counting hours towards his Congressional Award Gold Medal. For that, he needs a total of 400 volunteer hours. Not a small feat, so every volunteer opportunity adds up. 

My oldest son already completed his Congressional Award Gold Medal, and my second son has finished Silver and has 1 year left to finish the requirements for the Gold Medal.

Mexico again

I just got back from Mexico again, where I went with one of my sons to go to the dentist. He has now decided 3 things:
1. never go to the dentist in Mexico again
2. take extremely goo care of his teeth
3. sto pdrinking all forms of soda pop

Very good lessons from a morning in Mexico!

shooting practice

Since my youngest son just loves target practice and archery with the 4H club, he wanted to practice with his father, too. So my son managed to nag this morning until he got his father to agree to take him, 2 brothers and the neighbor boy out to the shooting range to practice with the pistols. They all had a great time, they told us when they returned home. And in the meantime, while everyone was gone except my oldest son and I, we spent the time cleaning out another closet. Where can I send everyone tomorrow so I can get even more cleaning done? I haven't even started yet on the storage room or the play room.