Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Our reasons for homeschooling...

These are our reasons for choosing homeschooling, specifically the unschooling method, for our children. They are not judgments of those who choose to educate their children in other ways.

"I would never homeschool. Kids need to be socialized, not sheltered. How can they be expected to make it out in the world if they don't go to public school? I feel bad for kids who are homeschooled." - Me (anytime before 2008). Wow, I had some pretty intense judgments on homeschooling up until recently. It's funny because I look back and realize that I was the most judgmental towards things that I was completed uneducated and ignorant about. And now the things I use to say and think back then are the same things that hurt or annoy the crap out of me now when I get negative feedback from others about our decision. It's important for me to try and remember that I held that viewpoint not long ago and they just haven't either been exposed to the knowledge that I have or have …

Fish oil: My antidepressant

I have dealt with depression since I was 19 years old. I was on a pharmaceutical antidepressant for a year and the side effects were horrible while on it and after I got off of it. I read an article many years ago on how taking fish oil treats depression. I have been on it ever since. I currently take 1000mg of Carlson's fish oil each day. If I miss a couple days, there is an immediate difference in my mood and energy level. I pretty much go from mostly competent to a blubbering mess who can't get off the couch. I had severe complications after Brighton's birth and I completely attribute my mental health afterwards to taking fish oil. I have never dealt with postpartum depression while taking it.

There are actual studies that show fish oil supplementation can cure bipolar disease. I also recently read an article on how taking the supplement can cure migraine headaches. The article I read in the magazine recommended up to 10,000mg a day for a few months and then dropping i…

Stats on our 1st week without TV

Is the house cleaner? No.
Did we get more sleep? No.
Did we have an abundance of free time? No.
Was our time spent on more important things? Absolutely.

Instead of spending 8-10 hours this week watching TV in the evenings, I only watched one hour with Seth of an SNL compilation on Netflix. I honestly did not miss it at all. I read 1 full book this week, (the one to the left,) and 3 magazines that I had been wanting to read for a month. I read more books to the children and spent more time interacting with them since they weren't glued to the TV. Most importantly, I read my Bible twice this week compared to the usual zero times a week and I clearly heard His voice both times.

29 gifts updates...
From the book 29 gifts by Cami Walker, "If I wash the dishes because "I'm supposed to" or make suggestions to a client because "I have to," I am in a very different mind space when taking the action. I actually end up feeling resentful. When I'm approaching e…

Pepperoni Pizza

"You're putting your consciousness on what you have to offer the world instead of what is scarce." - from the book 29 gifts. Love that.

Day 4 - I could not think of anything to give yesterday. I was grumpy and a little depressed. Seth got home and we decided to go on a walk and visit my grandma for my "gift." My great aunt was there as well and she had never met Owen. I believe it definitely brightened their day as well as mine. I was in a much better mood when we left and glad the kids got to visit their great grandma and great aunt.

Day 5 - I've decided to just journal the gifts I receive because I feel like I'm taking away something from the experience and the sincerity by broadcasting it across the internet. Today was a great day. I met an older man who has an awesome ministry that I would definitely like to be a part of in the near future. He was such an inspiration to talk to. Seth showed up at the house around 2pm and he never comes home early un…

Beans, beans, the magical fruit... :)

Ever since we did the Quantum Cleanse for a week, beans have taken a new place at my home. They have gone from an occasional side dish to a staple that is always in my refrigerator. Once a week I cook a BIG pot of beans and put them in my refrigerator. The most nutritious are the black beans and red beans.  It is so easy to make a meal on short notice if you have cooked beans. I highly advise against buying any kind of canned food including canned beans because of the dangerous levels of BPA in all canned foods. BPA is a toxic plastics chemical known to cause many health problems. See this report from the Environmental Working Group for more info. Here's what I do during the week with my beans.

Add them to nachos! Much tastier than just cheese nachos. Add them to rice or quinoa. (See link for an awesome recipe)Puree them w/ avocado for Owen. They also make great finger foods for babies.Add to soups and casserolesBean dip! Burritos - to make refried beans, I just mash and add a lit…

Day 3 of 29 Gifts

I picked up the 29 Gifts book from the library this evening and have been reading it for the past 30 minutes. It says that it is very important to journal while doing this so that you can see how giving the gifts transforms you, so I'm going to try to journal a little bit on here. In regards to the gifts,  "they can be anything from spare change to a kind word or thought. Along with giving them, the prescription involves thinking of things to be grateful for each day." The author also mentions how when she started giving the gifts, she started receiving them in return. I suppose it's the principle of "you get what you give." I feel silly documenting what I consider gifts, because if a friend is a recipient of one, I don't want this "29 gifts" to take away from the sincerity of it. So, if I've given you a gift or advice, don't think I'm patting myself on the back for it, I'm just journaling! :)

Day 1 Gave:  We donated our last t…

Toxic Tuesday: Toxic Attitude?

My kids have been so difficult these past few days. This morning, my 4 year old hit me and my almost 3 year old bit me. Both firsts for them. I don't necessarily feel overwhelmed, just lost in the world of parenting and discipline. I don't know if they're acting out because the TV is gone or because they've been stuck with me for over a week because they've been sick. I'm leaning towards the latter, because I'm pretty sure my attitude is the cause of theirs. I haven't had a break in almost two weeks and I need one! I just put the kids in bed and I'm hoping that they will all nap and I can have some time to read my Bible, eat lunch and thumb through a magazine. Hopefully enough to replenish my patience and sanity.

This weather is calming to me. Luckily we were all able to play outside for almost an hour this morning before the rain. I'm on Day 3 of 29 of giving. The kids and I dropped off some toys at our local WIC office for their waiting room.…

There's more than 1 way to get rid of a TV...

Seth and I have decided that we would much rather bless someone than make such little profit on the sale of our televisions. So, by the end of the day, we will officially be TV-less. I was reading an article in an awesome new magazine called, Natural Health, I stole from my mom the other day. The article was a summary of a book by Cami Walker, called 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. The author, who is battling multiple sclerosis, "went from being unable to walk and feeling depressed and angry to being able to hike a mile and feeling a strong sense of love" after her 29 day project. I thought that was amazing! I've always known that blessing someone with a gift makes you feel great, but who knew it could actually improve your health?! Pretty awesome. I've got this book on order at the library, but I thought it would be neat to go ahead and start my own little project of giving. We don't have the financial means to bless people with money, but …

Dairy allergy?!

We had a busy week full of blessings. The kids and Seth were all sick with a cold. Brighton and Owen had well checks at the pediatrician and both were very healthy despite having a cold. At 13 months, Owen weighed 32 pounds and was 32 inches tall. That put him in the 95th percentile for height and above 95th percentile for weight! He is a big boy! My other two were always below the 25th, so this is new for me. lol

This nasty cold has actually been a blessing, because it helped us to discover that Owen has a milk allergy or sensitivity. I have always thought that Owen just had a really sensitive gag reflex because he can't eat many solids yet, and he throws up ALL THE TIME. While he had this cold, I went and bought him organic coconut milk to help with lessening mucus production. Well, even with a cold and choking on snot, he never threw up. I couldn't believe it. He's even been napping for 3-4 hours at a time. Last night we tried giving him some yogurt and he threw up wit…

Toxic Tuesday: Bleach bath for MRSA??

Lord, have mercy. I took Brighton to his first well check in 4 years at the pediatrician this morning. I mentioned to the Dr. that a few days ago Brighton had a couple bug bites that turned nasty and filled with pus and I had never experienced that before. He told me that MRSA (an antibiotic resistant bacteria) is running rampant right now and to occasionally give him a bleach bath with 1/2 cup of clorox added to the bath water. He even said that it helps soften the skin. OH MY LORD. If you know me at all, you can understand why my reaction was just laughter to this suggestion. I said, "Dr., I think you are great, but there is no way I am giving my child a bleach bath. We don't even have it in the house, it is horrible for you!" Thankfully, he didn't take offense to my laughter, but he went on about how it can kill the MRSA bacteria, etc, so I shared with him what we use to kill potential MRSA bacteria that is much safer to use than bleach. And for the record, he did…

God doesn't want us to sell our TV's.

:) ha ha, That's one way to look at it right? So we have come to a small bump in the road in regards to our no TV plan. No one seems to want our TV's. We did donate two of them, but the big one in the living room is still there...and currently has House on the screen. I called Tivo today and told them we wanted to cancel because we were getting rid of our TV's. He told me that he had never heard that reason for cancelling before. lol He also told me that if we cancelled now, we would be breaking our contract and would be charged an immediate $50. Well, crap. No one wants our TV's or Tivo DVR and Tivo wants to charge us money for cancelling service. We have 4 months left on our contract. So, the plan is now to keep the TV for 4 months unless someone calls from Craigslist and wants to buy it. I don't have the greatest will power, which is why just saying I'm not going to watch TV anymore requires more drastic action than just turning it off. I am going to work ha…

Drastically simplifying; Saying goodbye to the TV

I read the following in a magazine this week: Clutter is anything that gets in the way of the life you want to live. It really made me look again at some things that I normally wouldn't define as "clutter." I am always wishing I had more free time. It never clicked until last night that I have a decent amount of free time, I just choose to spend it with my television after the kids go to bed. I listed all of our televisions on craigslist today. I read in my Simplicity Parenting book last night that by the time the average person reaches age 70, they will have spent the equivalent of 7-10 years watching T.V. Right then and there I decided that I didn't want to give up that much of my life and my children's life to the television. Other interesting stats in this chapter:
Multiple studies have now concluded that watching tv, even educational programming like Sesame Street, actually delays rather than promotes language development. EEG studies show diminished mental …

My Medicine Cabinet

I got a call from a friend this evening asking me what she should give her little girl who has a 103 fever. I said, "Well, I would give her homeopathic belladonna, but you probably don't have that." "What's belladonna?" she replied. Long story short, I took her a goody bag of home remedies that have worked for me in the past. I just got an email from her telling me that her daughter's fever is gone now. :) Pretty cool, huh?

Here are my favorite preventative and treatment options for the upcoming cold/flu season.
Preventative: (this list does not, and I repeat, does not, include a flu vaccine.) D3!!! I have ALWAYS gotten sick when the kids have, up until a year or so ago when I started taking 6000iu of oil based D3 each day. I had read a book (The UltraMind Solution) about how 90% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin and how deficiencies cause all sorts of problems. If any of these describe you, you are most likely Vitamin D3 deficient. You have sore…

What I do with a whole chicken

About two years ago we started buying whole chickens from a local farmer. I had no clue what to do with them. Through a little trial and error and help from Seth, I've figured out how to get the most bang for the buck out our chicken. Now, I can't imagine not buying them whole. It is such a waste of money and potential meals! I made the following today, from my 6 lb whole chicken. (See this post on where I buy my hormone and antibiotic free chickens.)

1. Cooking the chicken and making broth
I cook defrosted and frozen chicken the exact same way. Put it in a big pan, cover it with water, throw an onion, garlic and some salt and pepper in. Cover and let cook for  2-6 hours. This works well in a crock pot too. Take out the cooked chicken and after cleaning it, throw the bones and skin back in the pot with the broth. Add 1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar. (I had previously left this step out because I didn't like the way distilled white vinegar made my broth taste. ACV is …

Where I shop and what I buy there

**Disclaimer - this was written over 3 years ago. I will try and do an update soon!

This is mostly a post for my fellow Okies. I have a lot of people ask me where I buy all my food, so this will be a list of the places I shop and what I buy there monthly. When I can afford it, I shop at the farmer's market at osu-okc as much as possible, but there are many times that's not an option for us. When it is, this is what I buy there:

OSU-OKC Farmer's Mkt - open all year long. 8am-1pm until November, then they move to winter hours, 10am-1pm.
Farm fresh, cage free, pastured eggs.Plain greek yogurt to use in place of sour cream or to add honey and granola to. Butter made from grass fed cow's milkRaw honeySeasonal produceOrganic wheat berries to grind wheat flourPastured chicken, beef, lamb, pork Once a month I go to Super Target on Penn and Memorial, this is what I normally buy there: (most of their organic food is very comparable in price to the conventional. Especially the arch…

Water Kefir Newbie

(From Wikipedia) Water kefir grains, also known as tibicos, are a culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. Typical tibicos have a mix of Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria with yeasts from Saccharomyces, Candida, Kloeckera and possibly others. Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.[2]

Water kefir is a more natural and more potent source of probiotics than you can buy at the store. With kefir grains, you can make your own over and over again and potentially share with friends as your grains multiply. A few health benefits of kefir made from kefir grains:
Natural allergy remedyNatural antibiotic (I saw this in action today. My son came down with a 101 fever suddenly with a sore throat. I gave him a big cup of water kefir and within about 45 minutes his fever was down to 99 and he was asking me for lunch!) Clea…