Showing posts from January, 2011

10 days of chlorine free bathing...

So I've been pleasantly surprised with all the benefits of bathing in chlorine free water. I wasn't even sure that we would notice a difference. I'm excited to see what else happens as my body detoxes from the chlorine. This is the first time in my whole life that I haven't bathed in chlorinated water...crazy! Who knows how this could have been contributing to my chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Differences I've noticed over the past 10 days:

Seth's eczema is insanely better. His finger no longer looks like it has been severely burned. (He started soaking his finger in raw apple cider vinegar the same day we got the filter, so that has probably helped as well.) Our skin is softer.Our skin doesn't itch anymore because of extreme dryness. Our hair is softer and less frizzy.My dandruff is gone.My hair has stopped falling out in clumps. I just thought that after having kids I was going to have to deal with shedding worse than a dog for the rest of my life. Not …

Tax refund = buying in bulk.

One of the ways we make ends meet every month is that every year when we get our tax refund we buy a lot of things in bulk that will last us the whole year. It works out well for me because it is always on hand and I don't have to budget for it every month. I've been compiling my list of things to buy as soon as that deposit hits the bank account! Thought I'd share...

Charlie's Laundry Soap - I've used this for almost 4 years now for all of our clothes and cloth diapers. I love it. I always add a couple drops of tea tree oil to the wash as well. I've always bought a 5 gallon bucket of it, but they changed it to a 4 gallon one. Still a good deal, hoping it will last me the whole year as the 5 gallon usually lasts me a little bit longer than a year. For 4 gallons of laundry powder, it is $130. That puts it at 13 cents per load.Seventh Generation Dishwasher Soap - 8 boxes for $40 from Amazon. I don't fill up the pre-wash and only fill up the main cup halfway, s…

$850/year in paper products??

We have decreased our expenses by about $70 a month by removing disposable paper products from our daily lives. If you include diapers, you can add an extra $50 onto that.

Paper Napkins - $5/monthPaper Towels - $20/month (we used to go through a huge package from Sam's every month.)Paper Plates - ?? I haven't bought these in years, so I'm not sure what the average household spends on them. Kleenex - $10/month (depending on whether or not your whole family had a cold)Wipes - $15/month (with 3 kids under 5, a big box of wipes also went quickly)Toilet paper - $20/month Disposable diapers - $50/month  Here's what we replaced everything with: Paper Napkins - use cloth rags instead. You can buy a big pack of these at Walmart for really cheap. We go through close to 40 rags a week. I've been trying to only wash clothes once a week, so this amount is definitely enough. Paper Towels - use cloth rags or kitchen towels instead. They work better and they're reusable! Paper p…

We know God has a plan...

I have one devotional that I read every morning, but I have many copies of it. Today I picked up the one that I've had since 2000 and was not expecting what I found this morning. I had journaled an entry from 2005, the first year of our marriage. Whew, I had not read it since I wrote it...

"Our first baby died today. We know God has a plan. We will always love you and will never forget you." - Mommy and Daddy

That miscarriage was one of the most difficult things I've ever been through. As I read that entry while sitting on the couch this morning, I looked at my 3 beautiful babies who are so uniquely wonderful and thought, "Wow, what a plan He had. Thank you Lord for your blessings."

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

As healthy as hot chocolate can get...

1 cup raw milk
1 tbsp cacao powder
1-2 tsp organic coconut oil 
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Warm the milk up, try and stay around 110 degrees if using raw milk. Above that will kill a lot of the good stuff in it! Add the rest of the ingredients and blend for about a minute. I love using my stick blender for this, but you can also use a regular blender. Makes it very frothy and ensures that the cacao powder and coconut oil get blended in really well. You could even add some fresh brewed coffee to it in the morning. Cacao gives you lots of energy, so this may not be the best bedtime drink. :) I hope you try it! I linked all the ingredients above to where you can find them.

Crunchy Birth Plan

I have quite a few friends who are pregnant and thought I would share my birth plan that I wrote when I was pregnant with Owen in case it could help others write one of their own. I will try and link as many aspects of it to the research as I can at a later date. (Google for immediate info on an issue.) This really is a nuts and bolts birth plan since I was delivering at OU and so many of my preferences are already standard procedure, such as waiting until the cord is done pulsating before clamping and skin to skin contact after birth.

Birth plan for Elizabeth, Seth and Baby Owen
Seth and I thank you for sharing this experience with us. These are the preferences for our birth. We may have others that come up as labor advances. These are simply our preferences. The health of our baby is of the utmost importance and will be considered as the main criteria to determine if our preferences need to change. I will be using hypnosis techniques for relaxation during labor and birth. Your suppor…

Chlorine free for $20!

My husband has developed horrible eczema on one of his hands and I have been on a mission to figure out a way to fix it. I was having an issue with it on my hands until I discovered that hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap were triggering it for me. When it comes to ALL health problems, you have to find the cause instead of treating the symptoms or it will likely turn into a chronic disease for you. Today, I read that chlorinated water can cause eczema. We don't drink chlorinated water, but our body absorbs much more chlorine just by showering once a day than we could take in by mouth in one day. I understand that chlorinating tap water is probably a necessity to keep dangerous bacteria at bay, but how do you protect your family from the adverse effects of drinking and bathing in chlorinated water?

Just a few health issues associated with drinking and bathing in chlorinated water:

eczemaasthmabladder cancerheart diseasebirth defectsmiscarriage For drinking water, most everyone …

Financial Freedom Friday :)

Posting what's on my heart today. It's not really crunchy or earth mama-ish. We've decided to go radical to become debt free. Our beloved minivan is now listed on Craigslist. I keep reminding myself that automatic doors are not worth an extra $300 a month. After we sell this, the only debt we will owe is student loan debt and I've been trying to justify in my mind why we shouldn't have to pay this back and why it sucks and blah, blah. I'm done trying to justify it. Yes, some of it was used for school, but some of it wasn't. We owe this money and rightfully deserve to  pay it back. We are believing that God will provide the means to pay this off much sooner than 20 years of monthly payments. I just finished reading The Blessed Life
and it truly has changed the way Seth and I view finances and generosity. I summarized the most impacting part of the book for me...

First principle of living the blessed life - 
1. Get out of debt.
"We purchased that 73 station…

Wordless Wednesday


Non-toxic Nightstand

One of our goals for 2011 is to replace all of our pressed wood furniture with real, solid wood furniture. Pressed wood (think Sauder type furniture) off gases chemicals constantly, like formaldehyde. Breathing in these chemicals are not good and when you have a house full of pressed wood (we do), I believe it could be causing health problems. According to the Minnesota Dept. of health,

"Formaldehyde is found in many products such as particle board, plywood, paneling, pressed-wood products and urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Some synthetic fabrics, especially permanent press, shampoos and cosmetics may also contain small amounts.The effects of long-term exposure are not well known. Long-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen,” while the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as “carcinogenic…

Saturday Arts & Crafts

Earlier in the week, I came across a youtube video of how to make an inflatable origami bunny. I watched it and it looked simple enough, so I sent Seth and the kids off to Hobby Lobby for origami paper. They came back with a packet of paper and instructions to build all sorts of animals for about $5. I am still trying to embrace craftiness, so I went ahead and delegated the origami animal making to Seth. I figured they would turn out much better that way anyway. :) Here's a picture of Brighton with 2 inflatable bunnies and an elephant he made with Daddy. They're currently living happily together in a teepee made out of a paper sack.

Here is the 5 minute youtube video if you want to make some bunnies with your kiddos...

"Oil is the original non-stick coating." - Ellen Sandbeck

In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency began studying the health risks and effects of using Teflon, or non-stick cookware. Studies indicated flu-like symptoms can occur when cooking with Teflon-related products. "It feels like the flu," said Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, an activist organization, "headaches, chills, backache, temperature between 100 and 104 degrees." The "Teflon flu" could be causing millions of Americans to get sick each year and may be responsible for several birth defects in newborns, according to a report by ABC's "20/20" news program.-EWG.orgFumes from Teflon have also been known to kill caged birds. Officials from Dupont (the makers of Teflon) said, "You get some fumes, yes, and you get a flu-like symptom, which is reversible. The flu is temporary and lasts, at most, for a couple of days. A warning about the flu, while not on the pans themselves, is on the DuP…

Wordless Wednesday


Water Kefir revamped

I know, I know, another post on water kefir. This stuff is so good for you, I want all of my friends and family to be drinking this! It has completely gotten rid of Maggie's chronic UTI's, cured my kids of tummy bugs and fevers within hours and it has completely regulated my hormones after drinking 32oz/day for a month. Probiotics rock!

I was looking at my original post, Water Kefir Newbie, and I've made so many changes that I think make it so much easier that I wanted to just do a completely new post. I have a few friends who I've sold/given water kefir grains to and they're telling me that they don't look like mine and aren't multiplying. So, I'm doing a step-by-step post of how I do mine so that it can be replicated, hopefully. Here's what I use to make mine:

Water Kefir Grains - You can buy a tbsp of these dehydrated from for $16 + shipping. It takes awhile to activate these grains. If you're in Oklahoma, please com…

The Blessed Life

I feel so incredibly blessed to attend the church I do. Seth and I met at Life Church when we were serving together in the nursery over 8 years ago. I remember being at the point in my life when I was so anxious to meet "the one" and constantly ending up at dead ends. After an evening service, I went up to the LifeKids desk and told them I wanted to serve. They asked me where and I said, "Wherever you need me." I distinctly remember hoping that God had a plan and that maybe I would meet my husband while serving. When I walked into the 2 year old room for the first time, I was excited to see a couple of people my own age, one of them was Seth. Flutters of hope were quickly distinguished when I found out the girl in the room serving with us was his girlfriend. We served every Saturday night together for over a year. Long story short, they broke up. (I promise I had nothing to do with it.) We dated for a week, knew this was "it," got engaged a couple months …