Thursday, 29 September 2011

We Can Do It!!!!!

What an exciting month it has been!!  Thank you again to all of you who have given time, prayers, support and money to this project.  I could not have made it without you.  We have a few more days remaining to raise the necessary funds for the solar project. Let's continue the momentum and reach our financial goal!!  Forward this on to colleagues, friends and family and pray, pray, pray!!

Our solar initiative began in 2010 with the addition of basic backup systems at our India and Republic of Chad orphanages. Both orphanages are located in sunshine-abundant regions, making for the perfect conditions to go solar. After a successful test-run of the basic system at our India orphanage, we are preparing for a large expansion sufficient to power the entire orphanage campus. The expansion will cost approximately $25,000 and the estimate from the installer is good through October 1st.

In addition to providing the opportunity to go "off the grid," the system will also allow us to rent out additional power cells (charged car batteries). Members of the community will be able to rent these batteries in order to power lights, fans and small appliances in their homes, thus drastically improving their quality of life. Local businesses will also be able to rent the batteries to run appliances and mobile PA systems. Thus the new system will not only provide all of the orphanage's power needs, but will also create a steady revenue stream from the power cell rentals.
We expect the system to provide a savings of $3,600/year in the elimination of our electric bill. We're conservatively projecting revenue of $1,200/year from the solar-charged power cells rental business and will likely see that figure grow in following years. Thus we foresee the system paying for itself in about 5 years. What's more, with the savings, we should be able to bring in more orphans almost immediately. In other words, this project will have an immediate and long-lasting life-change impact!

ANY AMOUNT you can contribute, however insignificant it may seem, will be multiplied for years to come as we continue to realize the
cost-cutting benefits and reinvest funds back into our microenterprise programs.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Day 31-32

It is certainly true that you don’t know what you’re missing until its gone??  My tastebuds and cravings were dramatically skewed after the 30-day challenge.  Although I missed my usual food and snacks, I was forced to suppress those cravings and desires. Even thinking about such things would make me want them more.  So, for the first time in a month, I started thinking about food choices on the evening of Day 30.  Lindsay wanted to take me to breakfast on Day 31 which was a wonderful way to commemorate the day.  I decided to take it easy for the first meal.  I ordered scrambled eggs, toast and a decaf latte.  It was all delicious!!!   Although not the most exciting meal, it was a memorable and safe choice.  I was not hungry at all for lunch after the latte and toast, so I had an apple and granola for lunch. 
To top off Day 31, Lindsay made dinner.  This wasn’t just any dinner.  Lindsay, being a quasi-vegetarian, decided to make my favorite meal of all time.  Beef Stoganoff.  For years, the only meat that Lindsay has eat either has had two legs or gills.  So the fact that she called my mom for a recipe and actually made beef was unreal!  Despite my quickly expanding belly, I ate half of the entire casserole dish!  It was THAT good!  Needless to say, I slept extremely well that night.
On Day 32, I felt great and decided to begin testing my stomach.  Cereal for breakfast which wasn’t exactly daring.  But, I had Chicken Pad Thai from a street market for lunch which was unbelievable!!!  Still feeling fine, I decided to go for the gusto and get Sri Lankan take-away for dinner.  The flavors were so intense!  My belly handled it fairly well.  I have already gained back 3-4 pounds, which I assumed would be the case.  My body is soaking up everything I eat.  The plan is to eat fairly healthy and try to keep some of the weight off.  We are in Munich this weekend, so resisting bratwurst and pretzels will be impossible.  Maybe the health plan will start on Tuesday!
Thank you for continuing  to follow my saga.  Be sure to continue telling friends so we can meet our goal.  Only 10 days left to give!!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Day 30: The Last Supper

All I can say is that God was 100% behind me during this project.  I could sense His presence throughout the 30 day challenge, especially this week.  As I reviewed my rations for the week, I was very doubtful that I would have enough food.  As I prepared my last meal tonight, I poured all of the remaining food into the skillet, and before me was enough food for a decent dinner!  I was amazed.  I never sat down and created a plan for my food, but God obviously did.  I had exactly enough food, down to the grain of rice, to complete my 90th meal.  I was blown away!

What an amazing experience this has been.  I have learned countless lessons about myself and the world in general.  Doubtless to say, I will forever be a changed man because of this challenge and because of the overwhelming support and love from all of you.  You gave encouragement when I was down and celebrated triumphs with me.  I hope you continue to follow me and lend prayers and support as we move closer to funding the project!

Tomorrow, I begin Day 31 with excitement and determination.  I hope that I never forget the lesson of Day 31.  1.1 billion people do not have a Day 31 where they can slip back into comfort.  Some people will wake up tomorrow on Day 10,031 with no hope in sight.  As this challenge ends, let's all make an effort to remember the importance of Day 31 and what that means. I know I will. 

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: One egg w/ hashbrowns: $0.18

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen noodles w/ 1/4 can of vegetable soup and carrot chunk:$0.16

Dinner: Egg-fried rice w/ chickpeas, carrots and potatoes (sandbagged egg from Thurs.): $0.25

Dessert: 8 raisins (What a way to finish!): $0.05

Today's total: $0.64
Today's 'regular' day estimate: $13

30 days,
90 meals
27 pounds lost,
over 3,500 pageviews in
24 different countries

the Grand Total saved from this challenge is $710.00 

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Day 29: The Eve of the End

Exactly four weeks ago today, I had my first oatmeal breakfast on the challenge and then went to church.  I vividly remember sitting in the service, stomach already growling, thinking, ''What have I just done?!?''  As I looked ahead to the next 29 days, I thought the challenge was too much for too long.

Fast forward exactly 4 weeks, I am sitting in church this morning, remembering back to that day and the daunting task before me.  I can't believe how fast the past 29 days have flown by.  I know for a fact, I could not have made it without your thoughts, prayers and encouragement and God's amazing grace and mercy.

You may notice that my portions today are smaller than normal.  That's because, preparing 3 square meals today was tough.  And, tomorrow is going to be even tougher.  Knowing that it is my last day will get me through any stronger than normal pangs!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: One egg w/ potato slices: $0.18

Lunch: Rice w/ carrots, peas and chickpeas: $0.15

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ tomatoes and pinto beans: $0.16

Today's total: $0.49

We usually have lunch out after church on Sunday, so today's 'regular' day estimate is $30.

Grand total saved: $697

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Day 28: The Bigger Picture

Although I am excited and relieved that the challenge is coming to an end, I can't help but feel a little guilty about Day 31 and the resuming my normal life.  I thank God for the blessings He has given a me; Being born into a wonderful Christian home, with amazing parents, in the United States. Receiving a good education.  Marrying an amazing woman, and my best friend.  Having two healthy and intelligent young girls.  God has been so good to me. 

So, I am making a pledge that for the rest of my years, I will ''Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!" (Prov 31:9)  Maybe it's making up for lost time?  Maybe I am finally realizing that individuals CAN make a difference?  I am not saying this project will end world hunger or bring peace on Earth, but maybe it's a small piece in an enormous puzzle that we must complete.  I pray that you will find your piece.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Egg, potato and rice casserole: $0.16

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen w/ pinto beans: $0.15

Snack: Rice, chickpeas and tomatoes: $0.10

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ chickpeas, carrots and tomatoes: $0.18

Snack: Jello!  $0.08

Today's total: $0.67

Fall has begun, so we would be out and about enjoying the weather today.  Lunch and dinner would have been out, especially with a friend in town.  'Regular' day estimate: $45

Grand total saved: $667

Friday, 16 September 2011

Day 27: Final Jello Friday!

Wow!  It is so hard to believe that I am entering the final weekend of this challenge.  Day 1 seems like 3 years ago, yet Day 27 has come so quickly!  I am glad that only three days remain, because my rations were looking pretty slim today. 

I have been looking forward to Jello since last Saturday!  It is amazing how much joy one tiny packet of flavored chemicals can bring.  Being the only sweet thing I get to eat all week makes this moment worth the wait. (kind of).  Another reason I am so thankful for something sweet to eat is because our good friend Sabine has arrived for a weekend visit.  Sabine lives in Singapore, but made her way to London via France where she picked up some tasty French treats for us!  Thank you Sabine for torturing me!  kidding. I can't think of a better way to celebrate this challenge than with a Godiva breakfast feast on Tuesday morning. Again, I kid.

Remember that this project does not end with my 30-day challenge.  We have made great progress on the solar specs and should have final plans delivered soon.  I will continue updating the blog with new developments and hopefully first hand accounts of installation in India!!!  So, stayed tuned....

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: One scrambled egg w/ rice and hash browns: $0.22

Lunch: Spaghetti w/ chickpeas and chopped tomatoes: $0.20

Snack: Rice w/ pinto beans: $0.08

Dinner: Rice w/ chickpeas and kidney beans (end of kidney beans): $0.13

Snack: half portion of Jello (saving the rest to enjoy during the Baylor game tomorrow!!) 

Today's total: $0.63

With a friend in town on a Friday night, we would have definitely gone out to dinner.  Today's 'regular' day estimate: $40

Grand total saved: $622

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Day 26: Amazing News Coverage

The only way I have survived this challenge is through the support and encouragement from people all over the world.  I have received messages from Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Brazil, just to name a few.  Accoording to the map in the bottom right of this blog, almost 900 different people have read the blog from 24 different countries!!  I am completely humbled to know that so many people may have been inspired by this project.

We have been blessed to be in 4 printed newspapers and at least 15 different websites.  I have listed some of them below.  Thank you again to everyone who played a part in spreading the word about this crucial project. (India) (Taiwan) (Brazil)

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13 (last of the oatmeal...)

Lunch: Spaghetti w/ rice, kidney beans and 1/4 can vegetable soup: $0.18

Snack: 1/2 Curry-flavored Ramen w/ rice and kidney beans: $0.15

Dinner: Egg-fried rice w/ carrots, peas and half potato: $0.28

Today's Total: $0.74

It was a gorgeous day in Londontown today, so lunch on a patio somewhere would have been required.  Today's 'regular' day estimate: $23

Grand Total for the orphanage: $582 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Day 25: Fatigue sets in

I'm not sure if it staying up later to work on the project, or if 25 days of fewer calories is taking its toll, but I have been extremely tired the past few days.  My spirits remain high due to the overwhelming support and encouragement from all of you, but I am physically drained at the moment.  The end is in sight, so that is helpful to know.  Please do not be alarmed, millions live on far less.

Much progress has been made on the solar project this week.  We are moving closer and closer towards design completion.  We have come a long way with our fundraising goal, but still have a ways to go.  I can not explain how thankful I am to those of you who have given or made pledges.  I am confident that we will succeed with your help.

Today's menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen w/ rice and half potato: $0.20

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ rice, kidney beans and chopped tomatoes: $0.17

Today's total: $0.50

The family went out for dinner tonight.  I had a few spoonfuls of rice and 3 glasses of water before heading out and watching the gals enjoy a tasty dinner. So, my 'regular' day estimate is $25.

Grand total saved for the project: $559

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Day 24: Motivation for the Homestretch

I can not believe how fast this month has flown-by!  Although not the most tangibly pleasant month of my life, the intangible lessons I've learned will be with me forever.  It has also been so great to feel and see the support from such wonderful family and friends.  You have no idea how much your support means to me. 

I took some time to, once again, bring myself back to the reason I am participating in this challenge. 
With your help, I will be able to help Peace Gospel International which exists to empower native missions in Asia and Africa through micro-enterprise. Their native teams in India, Myanmar, Nepal, The Philippines, Uganda and Chad multiply your donations through microeconomic efforts involving dairy production, animal stockbreeding, AND NOW A SOLAR POWER RENTAL BUSINESS allowing them to...

 • operate 9 orphanages in 6 nations, caring for 250+ orphans
 • train 30+ widowed/destitute women in small business each month
 • educate & feed over 60 children from destitute/slum homes each month
 • provide Vacation Bible School & hot meals for 400+ children each month
 • combat frequent power outages at our project locations with solar initiatives
 • provide full time jobs for over 40 native staff members
 • multiply this work through church planting and training

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13

Lunch: Rice, kidney beans, peas: $0.15

Snack: Rice, kidney beans and half potato: $0.14

Dinner: Veggie burger on a bed of egg-fried rice w/ peas and carrots (sounds fancy, right?): $0.30

Today's total: $0.72

I ran to Whole Foods today to pick up some baby items, so I would have most likely had lunch as well.  Today's 'regular' day estimate: $23

Grand total saved: $534

Monday, 12 September 2011

Day 23: One Week Countdown Begins!

After a challenging and inspiring 3 weeks, tomorrow morning is the beginning of the homestretch...  Let's keep the momentum rolling and finish strong!  Please continue telling friends and coworkers about the challenge, project and financial goal.  We can do it! 

I took a quick review of my remaining rations tonight after dinner.  I have plenty of rice, but my other food is starting to run low.  Strategy will be key this week. 

Remaining Food for 7 days

I was determined to get creative for dinner, so I thought up a Veggie burger patty.  It turned out really well!  Mashed pinto beans, then added 1/2 chopped carrot, chopped tomatoes, rice.  Then rolled in oatmeal to keep it together.  Fried in lard and added an egg on top.  Not too shabby!  Don't get me wrong, a 1/2 pound burger with fries and a shake would have also hit the spot!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13

Lunch: 1/3 can of vegetable soup w/ pinto and kidney beans: $0.19 

Snack: Pinto beans w/ 1/2 carrot: $0.10

Dinner: Veggie burger topped with fried egg: $0.25

Today's Total: $0.67

I probably would have eaten a sandwich at home for lunch, so 'regular' day estimate: $15

Grand Total saved: $511

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Day 22: Day of Remembrance

On a day of remembrance, like today, I am reminded again about the sanctity and fragility of life.  And, while we are on this earth, how important it is for us to love our neighbors and fight for the defenseless. 
I feel this project embodies both of these ideas.  Even though the orphanage in India is thousands of miles away, we can all do our part to love our earthly neighbors and protect and lift up the forgotten and indigent. 

After attending church and watching various memorials in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and attend the Mayor's Thames Festival in London.  The festival is a huge multi-cultural celebration with parades, fireworks and food!!!  I knew the plethora of food stalls would be a huge temptation, but the girls and Lindsay really enjoyed the day out.  We had a great time and saw some fantastic entertainment.  My tummy was growling loudly after carrying Emerson on my shoulders all night and walking 3-4 miles.  So, I ended the day with a late-night snack of rice and beans.  mmmmmm.

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ pureed raisins: $0.13

Lunch: Rice, kidney and pinto beans and green peas: $0.17

Dinner: Egg-fried spaghetti w/ kidney beans and tomatoes: $0.22

Snack: Rice, kidney beans and tomatoes: $0.08 

Today's total: $0.60

We usually go out to eat after church, and I would have definitely taken part in the delicious-looking food at the festival.  Today's 'regular' day estimate: $35

Grand Total saved for the orphanage: $496

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Day 21: Participation Week is Complete!

If you are finishing off your last day of Participation Week, well done!  and THANK YOU!!  This week would have been especially long and difficult if it wasn't for your support and commitment.  I hope that you have all gained something from the experience.  Maybe your jeans are a bit looser.  Your wallet a bit fuller.  Or, you may just have a better understanding of sacrifice and empathy.  Which ever is your case, you have made a difference!

If you were unable to participate this week, please feel encouraged to commit on your own and challenge yourself this week.  You will not regret it, I promise.

Again, it has been wonderful sharing this week with Lindsay.  She did an amazing job!  I know she has learned many lessons, but is also excited to have a aromatic, delicious latte tomorrow morning! 

I am about to head into the 4th and final week.  Tonight, I have cooked the last of my pinto and kidney beans.  This should get through until next weekend, at least.

A reporter from an MBA website in India wrote an article about the project and the blog traffic has skyrocketed!  It is great having so much attention being focused on the solar initiative and orphanage.  The more people know, the faster we can get to work!  So, thank you Lajwanti!  The article can be seen here:

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13 (shocker)
(Lindsay: One scrambled egg with rice: $0.18)

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen noodles w/ chopped tomatoes and rice: $0.18
(Lindsay: Spaghetti w/ half can cream of chicken soup: $0.22

Snack: Leftover spaghetti w/ tomatoes: $0.10
(Lindsay: Toast w/ peanut butter: $0.20)

Dinner: Egg-fried rice w/ carrots, peas and potatoes: $0.28
(Lindsay: Rice, potatoes and chopped tomatoes: $0.12)

Today's total: $0.69
(Lindsay: $0.72)

We tend to eat out lunch and dinner on Saturdays if we're out-and-about.  So, today's 'regular' day estimate is $48 (Lindsay: $40)

Grand total saved: $461
(Lindsay saved a total of $171 for the week and will graciously be donating this amount towards the orphanage solar micro-enterprise project.  Thank you, Lindsay!)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Day 20: Jello Friday

Nowadays, it is the small things in life that get me excited...  I went about my day as any other on this challenge, when around 3PM I suddenly realized that it was Friday.  And, we all know what happens on Friday!!  Jello time!!!  I was honestly like a kid on Christmas morning.  This week seems especially long and monotonous, so this is exactly what I needed.  As we speak, a 1/2 portion of coagulated strawberry goodness is waiting for me.  I'm waiting until my tastebuds flatline before devouring!

This week I had the opportunity to participate in three seperate interviews for the project.  I feel so humbled and blessed that the word is spreading.  According to the fundraiser thermometer, we need to shout it from the mountaintop this week!  I can use your help to spread the word as well.  And, remind people to take their employers up on contribution matching, if they feel inclined to give.

Lindsay finishes up her Participation Week tomorrow.  It has been wonderful being able to share this experience with her.  Our daughter is thoroughly confused as to why mommy and daddy only eat rice and noodles at every meal.  My hope is that Emerson can take something from this as well, and realize how fortunate she is.

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13
(Lindsay: Toast w/ peanut butter: $0.20)

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen noodles, rice and chickpeas: $0.18
(Lindsay: 1/2 potato, rice and kidney beans: $0.15)

Snack: Rice and chopped tomatoes: $0.08

Dinner: Potato, rice, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and 1 egg: $0.33)
(Lindsay: Spaghetti w/ chopped tomatoes: $0.12)

Snack: Jello: $0.09

Today Total: $0.81
(Lindsay: $0.47)

We usually go out for dinner on the weekend, so today's 'regular' day estimate is $40 (Lindsay: $30)

Total going towards the project: $413
(Lindsay: $131)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Day 19: Dropping Pounds

Before starting this challenge, I knew that weight loss would be inevitable.  I did not expect to lose this much, this quickly.  As of this morning, I have lost 8.5 kg (18.5 lbs).  Roughly 1 pound per day.  If you are now thinking of using this as a diet, I will stop you right there.  I would definitely not recommend this 'diet' as a diet.  Much of the loss has been muscle.  Although we are now taught that carbs are the devil, I have eaten only carbs and have still lost weight.  I will, however, take with me the dieting lessons of portion control, eating slowly and water consumption. 

I can't stop thinking about the accomplishment and excitement of reaching Day 31and returning to ''normal''.  At the same time, this thought is bitter sweet.  The reason I am participating in this challenge is to raise awareness for all of the people who do not have a Day 31.  From birth to death, this is their life.  There is no relief of a Day 31 that they can look forward to. 

For those participating this week, remember those people when you wake up on Day 8 and go back to ''normal''.

Lindsay worked from home today and was able to enjoy her first hot lunch of the week! 

 Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13
(Lindsay: 2 eggs (1 sandbagged) w/ rice: $0.30)

Lunch: 1/2 can vegetable soup w/ rice and chickpeas: $0.25
(Lindsay: 1/2 can cream of chicken soup w/ rice: $0.22)

Snack: 15 raisins: $0.08

Dinner: Potatoes, Rice, Chickpeas and 1 Egg: $0.19
(Lindsay: Spaghetti w/ tomatoes & cup of cream of chicken soup w/ rice: $0.28)

Today's total: $0.65
(Lindsay: $0.80)

I probably would have bought a sandwich, chips and drink from the corner store today, so 'regular' day estimate is $19  (Lindsay: $17)

Grand total saved: $373
(Lindsay: $101)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Day 18: The Power of Lard

I have been warned of the power of lard...and, now I know why.  They should have a warning label on this stuff... ''Using this product may cause severe fire and digestion issues.''  I heated a small amount of lard to fry chickpeas. (again, monotonous meals are requiring some creativity)  Anway, I had a small firework display in the kitchen!  No one was injured and no damage was caused, but it got my attention.  After eating 3 oatmeal raisin muffins, my attention was peaked again in a completely different manner.  Long story short, I won't be using lard for anything here on out...

Other than that excitement, today was a great day.  The summer is definitely over in London.  It was windy and chilly today with Fall in the air.  This time of year always makes me a bit homesick for Texas.  Autumn always makes me crave College Football, BBQ and Recliners. 

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13
(Lindsay: Peanut Butter on toast: $0.20)

Lunch: Potato, carrot, and peas with one egg: $0.22
(Lindsay: 1/3 potato, rice and kidney beans: $0.15)

Snack: 1/2 Ramen noodles w/ pinto beans, half carrot (lard aftermath left me hungry!): $0.19

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ kidney beans, chickpeas and one egg (sandbagged): $0.17
(Lindsay: Spaghetti w/ 1/2 cream of chicken soup:$0.19)

Today's total: $0.71
(Lindsay: $0.54)

Today's cooler weather would have called for a warm meal out somewhere.  'Regular' day estimate: $20  (Lindsay: $17)

Grand total saved: $354
(Lindsay $84)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Day 17: Motivation needed?

I hope you are all doing well on ''Participation Week''.  I have heard from many of you today about your triumphs and struggles from the past 3 days.  The fact that so many of you are joining me is all I need for motivation this week.  However, if you are struggling with difficulties this week, just take a moment and realize how wonderful your life actually is!  And, with your help and support, we will all make a life-changing difference in the lives of hundreds of children.  Because of you...
this boy...

will become this boy...


I'm sure you've noticed the fundraising thermometer on the right-hand side.  Thank you so much to those who have given.  I have received numerous pledges for ''Participation Week'' savings and beyond.  Think and pray this week about how you can help.  Prayer support is just as important as financial.

I began struggling with the monotony of my food, and took a note from Kirby's challenge.  Oat Raisin muffins!  Raisin puree, water, salt and a small amount of melted lard mixed with 1 cup of oats.  Baked at 100C for an hour. 

A little dry, but pretty darn good!  Looking forward to eggs and a muffin for breakfast!

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13
(Lindsay: Egg and Rice: $0.11)

Lunch: 1/2 Ramen w/ rice and pinto beans: $0.18
(Lindsay: 1/4 baked potato, rice and kidney beans: $0.15)

Snack: 2 Oat Raisin muffins: $0.10

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ tomatoes and chickpeas: $0.17
(Lindsay: Spaghetti with 1/2 can vegetable soup: $0.18)

Today's total: $0.61
(Lindsay: $0.44)

'Regular' day estimate: $19
(Lindsay: $15)

Grand total saved: $334 
(Lindsay: $67)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Day 16: All downhill from here...right?

I started the day taking measure of my remaining rations for the next 2 weeks. I THINK I'll be okay.  Only 6 potatoes left, which isn't good.  but, I have plenty of rice.  I will have smaller portions this week to ensure that I make it to the end.  Although, regardless of remaining rations, I will not cheat or give up.  If I have to fast the remaining 3 days, then so be it.  I SHOULD be okay though.

It was great being able to share the experience with Lindsay today.  She is doing really well.  Unfortunately, she does not have a microwave at work, so her lunches are lukewarm at best.  What a trooper!

I have really enjoyed hearing all of your challenges for participation week!  Keep it up!!

Today's Menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins: $0.13
(Lindsay: One egg w/ rice: $0.16)

Lunch: 1/2 vegetable soup w/ rice: $0.16
(Lindsay: Baked potato w/ kidney beans: $0.14)

Snack: 7 Tater chips: $0.04 (the rest were severly burnt! :(

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ green peas and carrots: $0.19
(Lindsay: Spaghetti w/ kidney beans and potatoes: $0.17)

Today's total: $0.52
(Lindsay: $0.47)

I took the girls to the Transport Museum in Covent Garden today.  Emerson ate the best looking grilled cheese I have ever seen, while I sat and watched.  I would've ordered at least one plus a dessert and drink.  So, today's 'regular' estimate is $29. (Lindsay always eats out for lunch, so this week she will save an estimated $22/day.

Grand Total saved: $316
(Lindsay: $52)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Day 15: Participation Week Commences!!

Participation week has begun!  I am pumped to have so many of joining me.  I hope that it is a beneficial week in many ways.  And, even more exciting are your generous pledges!  Some have pledged to give your savings this week and one particular pledge will be matching my grand total saved!!!!  We have a long way to go on our ultimate goal, but with your help we can do it!!

Emerson has been very supportive as well.  She understands the reason behind the diet, mostly.  She was riding her scooter on the sidewalk and sat down to take a break..

Emerson: Daddy, I really like riding my scooter. 
Me: You are a lucky girl to have a nice scooter.  A lot of kids don't have nice things like this, do they?
Emerson: I know, Daddy.  That's why you can't eat any food, because you are getting all of the kids pink scooters.
Me:  Exactly. And, electricty for lights and other things.
Emerson: smiles and takes off down the sidewalk.

It is such a blessing to have Lindsay participate alongside me this week.  She has successfully completed Day 1 and is anxious and excited about continuing this week at work.  I'll record her meals this week as well and tally her individual savings.  She will donate her savings to the project as well.

Today's menu:
Breakfast: Egg w/ potatoes and pinto beans
Approx cost: $0.22
(Lindsay had on egg and rice. Cost: $0.16)

Lunch: 1/2 curry romen, rice and peas
Approx cost: $0.18
(Lindsay had 1/2 Vegetable soup w/ rice. Cost: $0.17)

Snack: 3 spoonfuls of rice and kidney beans. Cost: $0.05
(Lindsay prorated 2/3 of a jar of peanut butter into her £4.25 budget. she had 1 small scoop. Cost:$0.07)

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ tomatoes and carrots
Approx cost: $0.18
(Lindsay had a baked potato w/ kidnet beans. Cost: $0.14)

Total's total: $0.63
(Lindsay's total: $0.47)

We would have had Sunday lunch out.  Lindsay took Emerson to see Shrek the Musical this afternoon for a mom/daughter date.  That would've been a meal out as well.  'Regular' day estimate: $30. Lindsay: $30

Grand total saved: $287
Lindsay: $30

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Day 14: The Workout

It was an absolutely beautiful day in London.  Lindsay took the girls to the Childhood museum leaving me to enjoy the day and work on the business and academic piece of the solar project.  Before lunch I headed to the gym for the muscle test.  I took it fairly easy, doing a bit of cardio and then weights.  My energy level was noticeably lower.  Midway through the workout I became ravenous!  I guess I burned through any extra calories pretty quickly and I was really hunger.  It is remarkable how someone on this diet can work a laborous job all day, day after day.  The expirement was eye-opening.  I headed home and made a larger than normal portion of egg-fried rice for lunch.  After lunch, I did my first interview about the project.  I spoke with Bob from Broadcast News Source in Dallas.  Hopefully it is the first of many!

For dinner, we decided to have our first dinner out in over 2 weeks.  Emerson decided that Pizza Hut sounded good.  I prepared myself for the sights and smells of The Hut, drank tons of water and we headed out.  Although I only drooled slightly at the table, it wasn't as tempting as I thought.  2 weeks of $1/day has obviously made an impact.

After dinner, we went to the local grocer to stock up for Lindsay's Participation Week!  She has decided to live on $1/day for the week!  I did not pressure her, but am very excited to share the love!  She was allowed £4.25 for the week and I think she has an adequate list.  I'll post both of our meals this week.

Are you prepared for ''Participation Week''???  You can do it!!

Today's menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal w/ raisins
Approx Cost: $0.13

Lunch: Egg-fried rice with pinto beans
Approx Cost: $0.28

Snack: Taters Chips!!  They were awesome, but tore my stomach up!! (lard and salt)
Approx Cost: $0.03

Dinner: Spaghetti w/ tomatoes and rice...not Pizza Hut :(
Approx Cost: $0.18

Today's Total: $0.62

After a museum trip and Pizza Hut, today may have added up. 'Regular' day estimate: $28
Grand Total Saved: $257