再见 (for now)

For the next few weeks, please find me and other members of my family posting on our family’s travel blog.

Amanda and Mom are leaving for India on Monday the 21st, I’ll be arriving in Pennsylvania to help with the kids and last minute everything on Tuesday the 22nd, and Dad and I and the three little ones are leaving for China on Saturday the 26th.

Already posted to the family blog: our itinerary for in China travels, and a letter we received from Levi a few days ago (graciously translated for us by a family friend).

I have a week to brush up on the Mandarin that I’ve been intending to brush up on for the past seven months … we’ll see how well this goes. It took me looking in my Chinese-English dictionary to remember what characters represented “good bye” (as seen in the title of this post).

Until next time friends, witzerland.wordpress.com is where I’ll be!

from March 3, 2010

In honor of bringing another boy into our family, here is a story about my youngest brother, Cody:

Family dinners in our household feel “normal” to me, but I have some sort of idea that visitors to our dinner table could feel like they are in a different world. There are typically anywhere from four to nine people eating dinner together, and there is lots of movement, laughter, chatter, yelling from time to time, and a terribly untrained puppy running under all of our feet.

My parents’ dinners often get interrupted by Cody, who always seems to need to use the bathroom in the middle of his meals.

With that, here is a scene from one of our more recent dinners:

Cody runs into the bathroom, just down the hallway from the kitchen.

Cody: “I’m done!”

 (we continue eating)

Cody: “I’m Done!

 (again, we continue eating)

Cody: “I’M DONE!!!

Dad (sitting at the table): “What do you need, Cody?”

Cody: “Help me!”

Dad: “What do you say?”

Cody: “Please!”

Dad: “Please, what?”


Cody’s learning to use his manners, a little at a time, when he feels like it, but leave it to him to find a way around forming a sentence that’s appropriate for dinner time.


Sure this blog hasn’t been updated as often as it should be (or as often as I intended it to be), but that’s beside the point.


in which I quickly update
I started working at the very end of September. This has been good on various accounts, i.e. a source of income, a place to live, something to keep me busy, feeling fulfilled in what I’m doing, and having my employer’s consent to take time off to go to China at the end of this month.


in which I write (again) about vegan food
Recently I found a video on Ted Talks about being a weekday vegetarian. As has been previously noted, I’ve been a vegetarian for the better part of 2.5 years now. And I have no yearning to go back to eating meat. This video got me thinking, however, about my failed attempts at veganism over the past few weeks. The ideas spawned in my head from Forks Over Knives have still not gone away, and though every documentary needs to be taken with a grain of salt, I am trying to incorporate some of the ideas from FOK into my daily lifestyle (alongside my own research, of course). So for now, I am aiming to be a weekday vegan, and I allow myself non-vegan foods on Saturdays and Sundays (i.e. CHEESE!). Still no meat, simply because I really don’t want it. At all. I haven’t been 100% successful at this endeavor, but it is a step I am happy to be taking and will continue to refine it.


in which I write about exercising and fundraising
Running is still happening, as I have 26.2 miles to run on March 18. I’ve been consistently running 3 miles at a time, 3 or 4 days a week, and my weekend runs are starting to get longer. This is the training schedule I have just started, with a few revisions so that my rest days are Sundays; sticking to it means I will be prepared to run that marathon on time. Of course, the circumstances I signed up for this marathon were that I would have $750 raised for Love Without Boundaries by February 1st. If I do not accomplish this fundraising goal, I am no longer eligible to be running the marathon. I can’t do this without other people’s help, and I will keep unashamedly including that little ditty in every blog post henceforth. The link to donate is to the right of this blog post, or HERE.


in which I rant about healthy vs unhealthy food
I recently overheard a conversation between a child and a mom that flabbergasted me. The 9-year-old boy started eating a banana for an after-school snack. He was quickly reprimanded for eating the banana and told to put it in the trash can (including the portion in his mouth). The reasoning? Bananas are “the worst thing you could be eating right now”, there are 11 grams of sugar (other sources tell me 28 grams), and no type of sugar is good for you, eat some Cheez-Its instead.
Ok sure, no type of sugar is good for you. I’ll take it, but hey, I’d prefer to be eating natural sugar to chemicals. And while a guilty pleasure of mine is cheddar jack Cheez-Its, I eat them knowing full well that I am gaining no nutritional advantage with them sitting in my stomach. (This happens maybe two times a year.)

Let’s look at it this way:

The ingredients of a banana: a banana

The ingredients of a 100 calorie pack bag of Cheez-Its: Flour Enriched (Wheat FlourNiacinIron Reduced,Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1) [Vitamin B1],Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid (Vitamin aB)), Cheese Skim Milk (Milk SkimWhey ProteinCheese CulturesSaltEnzyme(s)Annatto Extract [Color(s)]), Vegetable(s) Oil (Cottonseed Oil,Palm OilSunflower Oil and/or Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenatedwith TBHQ), SaltFlavor(s) Natural,PaprikaYeastPaprika Oleoresin (Color(s)), Soy Lecithin

Chemicals or whole foods? I’ll take the whole foods please. I eat a banana every morning before I run.

If people could realize that eating healthy means eating real food, their health problems could start diminishing very quickly. A good place to start is the rule of TEN: If what you are about to eat has more than 10 ingredients, or if any of the ingredients listed has more than ten letters, leave it alone and find something better to eat.


in which there is a cute dog


This is Bella

Bella needs a home where her owners can give her lots of attention and retraining. She is a major trouble maker, mainly due to the fact that she doesn’t get enough attention during the day. I have become quite attached to this dog because as much as she is a troublemaker, she is also extremely friendly and loyal. She just needs a home that is suited for her. If you are this home, or if you know someone who could offer her this home, let me know and I can give you more details.


in which I am happy
These past few weeks have brought about great things: a job, cute baby animals to play with, sunflowers, tea from Japan, a new book to read, pictures of my brother in China holding a family picture of us, a place to live, a church to get involved with, and of course, this guy. This girl is happy.