Eat. Your. Lettuce… and Kale.

January is rolling on by and we are already well into the New Year. Workout goals, clean eating. organic options, gluten-free and less carbs are on the minds and mouths of people everywhere. We have always included vegetables in our meals. This year, we stepped it up a notch and we are having more Kale… and brussel sprouts…  everyday. I know, we are livin’ on the edge. We’re so radical.

Kale has been a part of our lives for a while. It’s not a New Years fad.  We’ve had smoothies, We’ve had a kale Christmas tree, Adam has a kale tee-shirt. But hold your horses — we’re not ready to give up sugar… yet.


We have one family rule for mealtime: Eat your vegetables  > > >  then you may have a cookie… an “organic” ‘Joe Joe’ from Trader Joes (the healthiest kind! 🙂 Our kids eat salad everyday, usually twice a day. They’re so used to it, they ask ‘where’s the salad?’ on the rare occasions we have a meal without salad.

Mealtime isn’t a torture scene of threatening and bribery. We still eat sugar, for heaven’s sake. Other than requiring our kids to eat their vegetables, they still act like buffoons at the dinner table most of the time…

/// case in point ///


And our table time is also filled with songs about burping and farting and stories about butt holes. This is still our 5 year olds favorite word. I’m not sure this will ever change.

/// in case you need another example… ///


They don’t act like fools with their food all the time. We also hear about their day at dinner time, sharing their ‘Highlights’ from the day… usually it goes something like this, “My highlight was the whole entire day — expect the parts where I got mad.”


The kids always want to help cook. Our favorite show is Master Chef Junior, and they are gleaning much inspiration watching kids their ages tear it up in the kitchen. They love to be involved with mealtime. Sometimes I love their help 🙂 Sometimes it’s more work to have their ‘help’… Our 10 year old loves baking cupcakes, so we bake in order to balance out our kale smoothies.

So we eat our lettuce … and we’ve snuck in more kale and brussel sprouts in our daily salads. It takes work, but we’ve aligned our taste buds to react with affection toward kale. Kale tastes good (I promise!). Now the kids ask where is the kale when we don’t add it in.

Healthy eating has a stigma attached to it. It is hard to eat organic, no sugar, no carbs, etc… 100% of the time. But it starts with one choice. We stopped drinking soda several years ago. Now, if I have a sip of soda, it tastes disgusting. We don’t eat fast food. But no judgement for those who do! When we go out, we pack a lunch. It began with one choice – I stopped going thru drive thru’s and the kids never ask. In fact, they prompted the decision. They asked not to go thru Wendy’s anymore… Okay – Done. We started serving salad for lunch and dinner. We started with one choice, made one change at a time, and kept adding healthier eating options.

At the beginning of a New Year, it can seem overwhelming to set goals with the pressure we put on ourselves to start fresh and make changes. But – We can start with one choice. With food, with work outs and with our time spent with God. Start with one choice. Read one Bible verse — it takes 30 seconds. Then, be all crazy and read a few more.  The more time we choose to spend with Him, the more time we will crave with Him. We can taste and see the Lord is good!  There’s no pressure. He’s pursuing us, waiting of us to respond to Him… Like lettuce and Kale and brussel sprouts are waiting for us at the farmers market, in the grocery aisle… or in the garden.

So whatever choice – make one. Eat one more vegetable. Read one Bible verse. Pray one prayer. God is waiting… kale is waiting…

What are your New Year goals for 2015? Healthier eating? Daily Bible reading? Do share 🙂

Our story rages on… In Him, Leslie


Conspiracy Theory

I am a conspiracy theorist.

This wonderful trait was passed down to me by my Dad.  Thanks Dad.

And this wonderful trait was enhanced after I read George Orwell’s book, 1984.  And later when I saw the movie Conspiracy Theory, with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts.

Sometimes my conspiracy theorizing brain just goes crazy…

with assumptions. conclusions. and more than likely made up stories.

Some might call this being paranoid…  but I call it being aware of my surroundings.

Often these theories develop when my brain has idle time after I’ve seen something that triggers a conspiracy happening.

Given enough idle mind time, I could become a professional conspiracy theorist. Scary, isn’t it?

Thankfully, I don’t have much idle time, but when I do…

These are some of the conspiracy theories, assumptions and conclusions I’ve come up with while running and living life in my hood…

When I see a white van with darkened windows and no company markings on the outside of the van, I assume there is a kidnapper in that van.

When I see someone walk up to a car, talk to the driver for a moment, hand them something and receive something in exchange, I assume it is a drug deal.

When I see the price of vegetables and fruit skyrocket at the grocery store, while McD’s dollar menu remains the same, it is because “they” want us to be unhealthy and eventually need more medical care.

When I see gas prices at an all time high, I assume the oil companies are greedy and all they care about it our money.

When I see all of the commercials for all of the different medicines available to cure one thing or another, while causing side affects that will require 5 more pills to cure the initial problem, I assume it’s because “they” are trying to over medicate us and eventually take all of our money.

When I see a kid screaming, crying and out of control, I assume the parents are push-overs.

When I see someone staring at me, I assume it is because I have toilet paper hanging out of my pants.

When we have our windows open and I smell cigarette smoke, it’s because someone is probably standing on the sidewalk trying to spy on us… 
When I think someone might be spying on us, I assume it’s because I am onto something with all of my theories.  

When I see my number of facebook friends go up and down, without me adding or deleting any “friends”, I assume it’s because… nah, never mind… that will just sound too crazy.

Now I realize most of these silly conspiracy theories are not even close to being true. Most days these silly stories don’t even cross my mind. Most days are just normal days…

Or perhaps, not so normal.

Like when I sent my 2nd grade daughter to her elementary school yesterday and they have a lock down.

Not just a “practice” lock down.  But a real lock down.

Apparently, there was a distraught gunman reported to be seen near one of the schools in town.  For precaution, they put all of the schools within the area, on lock down. The person matching the description was not found in the area, so the lock down lifted and the day went on as “normal”.

Was the person reporting another fellow conspiracy theorist?  Perhaps.

Or perhaps there was a gunman.

Sometimes, conspiracy theories can come true.  bad things happen to good people. danger is around us.  that’s not a theory.

Everyday we pray for God’s protection to surround our entire family.  We pray for our kids everyday before they go to school.  They pray at school. We pray while they’re at school.

I asked Soleil if she was afraid at school.  She said “No”.  She told her friend Myah, “You know Who is protecting us, right?” Myah said, “Yea, I know.” and Soleil said, “God.” They were praying together during the lock down. I couldn’t be more proud.

I can concoct some pretty radical theories in my brain, but regardless of there reliability, I don’t need to fear evil or danger.  I know God is my Shepherd and He is in control (John 10:1-18).

What are some of the craziest conspiracy theories your brain has concocted?


The other night, we were all sitting on our couch, having some quality cuddle fam time.  My 7 year old Soleil says, “Mommy, your tummy feels good, it feels like jello.”  Sweet, sweet child.  As much as I wanted to defend my mid-section-squishy-ness, by blaming it on the holidays… I ate too much… we just finished dinner… I’m about to start my period… bloated, ya know?  Instead, I just started cracking up!

Promptly followed by 200 crunches.

Seriously, I kept laughing about what she said all night long… and even into the next day.  But what if someone else had said that?  If P.A. would have made that comment, I would have decked him. Whoever coined the phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was… well, an idiot.  Words Hurt. They can hurt bad and deeply wound a persons’ soul.

As a Real-Life Pastors Wife, I am sometimes plagued by people’s words.  What do they think of me?  What did they say about me?  What did they say about P.A.?  What did they just say to P.A.’s face?  What did I hear from someone else that they just said about us?

She said, he said, I said, she said, they said, we said, I said, she said.

Ahh!!! Words can be ridiculous!  Because people use them and people are ridiculous!

I have been hurt by word wounds.  I’m sure I’ve hurt others with wounding words.  Sometimes, we don’t even realize our words are wounding – because we are ridiculous.  Words can be a huge distraction.  It can be difficult to heal from word wounds.

Just like jello.  My mid-section will never be the same after 3 wee Bab’s.  I can accept this.  I run an average of 3 miles a day, six days a week, 18 miles per week.  I take Sunday’s off – no condemnation – it’s my Sabbath, people!  I can run, run, run – but when it comes to the discipline of a steady regime of daily crunches, I’m over it.  I just. don’t. care. anymore.

I can walk around with my jello and be just fine. But if I am carrying a word wound – I’m. not. fine.

But there is hope. In Jesus.  I’ve tried other people, places and things to heal my wounds – only Jesus can.  James chapter 3 is a great section in the Bible about taming the tongue.  I’ve read it.  Ouch. But it’s not about perfection.  We will always have something to be healed from.  Or bring forgiveness to.

With Jesus, there is hope to heal from word wounds, watch my own words… and my jello.

Me + my jello & P. A. after the 10k Dechutes Dash – Bend, OR  Noted. By Les Babs

New Year’s Failures

On New Year’s Eve, we asked our 3 wee Bab’s, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”  After several “What’s, Why’s and Who cares???”, they gave us some answers for the taking.

Soleil: “I want to learn how to be a Teacher.”
Parents: “You are already a teacher. You teach your brother and sister lots of things.”
Soleil: “No, I want to learn how to be a real Teacher – a School Teacher.”  She is so literal.  She’s so black and white.  There’s no fooling her.

Selah: “Two”
Parents: We thought, this is an appropriate answer – she just turned two years old and we’ve been saying, “You’re two! You’re two!” repeatedly the last few weeks.
Again, another literal answer from our second daughter. TWO. She will succeed at being TWO for her 2012 New Year’s Resolution.

But what about all of those New Year’s Resolutions we hope for ourselves, which are less attainable?
The resolutions which somewhere, someone’s statistics try to prove ‘That won’t last thru January’ – the ones which will most likely fail.  These are the resolutions which require more work. more prayer. more surrender. more hope.

Is failure our fate?

Should we just give it up and quit trying all together?

Our sweet son, Salem gave us his hopeful answers.
Salem: “I want to learn how to read, so I can read the Bible” – {insert parental gushing here} – and btw, No, we did not feed him that answer.  Yes, Salem can learn to read in the year 2012.  He will eventually be reading his Bible.  Literally.

His second resolution…”And I want to learn how to exercise, so I can do the treadmill!”
You see, I am not sure this is every little 5-year-old boys dream for 2012; but Salem spent a lot of time downstairs with me, playing with trains or Lego’s, as I logged 938 miles on the treadmill in 2011.  He probably figured, mom does this treadmill thing and makes it look so cool, so I want to learn how. Amidst all of his enthusiasm, Adam & I looked at each other and smiled.  He caught our glance and said…”but I’m to small to do the treadmill”.  Still, he can try… He can still hope.
I don’t think he’s going to give up his dream of using the treadmill so easily.

Adam & I have many New Year’s resolutions for 2012 ~ travel, save money to travel more, walk more closely with God, grow in our marriage and family,  fully live in and enjoy the present moment ~ even the difficult ones.
So, why?  Why do we give up our resolutions, hopes, goals, dreams for the New Year so easily?  Why do statistics somewhere that someone made up, exist to say “that won’t last thru January”?
I think we lose hope so easily.  We don’t want to be hurt or disappointed in life, so we give up hoping and dreaming all together.
2012 New Year’s Resolutions become 2012 New Year’s Failures. And we accept it.
But we don’t have to ~ we can choose to live out our resolutions. We can still hope, be disappointed, dream again, get hurt and hope again. Don’t lose hope.
Let’s prove ’em wrong… why not?  Let’s change the New Year’s failure stats. Let’s all start by using the treadmill, and at least try and make it thru to February.

Noted. By Les Babs