Friday, February 27, 2009


I am NOT very photogenic. In fact, I hate pictures of myself. But I read a story that was floating around on the internet, and while true or not, it does make one think.

The daughter, grown, married and had just had her second baby, was going through her mother's pictures trying to gather pictures for a slideshow. You see, her mother had died just a few days before. As she was going through the pictures, she realized that there were very few pictures of her mother. Her mother had always tried to avoid the camera, or was always the one behind the camera. Even in the videos they watched, the noticed how few times she actually was in front of the camera.

I don't want my children to be missing pictures of me. Of course my favorite pictures of me are the ones of me with my kids. THe ones where we are giggling and wrestling or playing. But my beloved, being a photographer wanna be (who really is a COULD be if he wanted to and had the drive to) took a picture of me that I really liked. So I place it here. A picture of me (greying hair and all), for my kids to know and realize that Momma is trying. For them....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No Longer Longing For Dairy

Now I am not sure how many of you know just how bad the milk you buy in the store is for your body. It doesn't provide your body with calcium, in fact it leeches calcium from your body. Raw milk does not do that and is healthy for you. Want to know more, google it. :)

But because of allergies in our family, we cannot do dairy. Every once in a while, I will get some sort of dairy ice cream something and let the girls have a bite or two. But more than that, and physical problems show up in each of the girls. Now don't get me wrong. They still get frozen treats! I will sometimes buy them Rice Cream (ice cream made from rice milk rather than cow milk), lots of fruit slushies, we even make banana ice cream (when we get bananas on sale).

But now, NOW I find a healthy alternative to milk. One that I plan on trying out today. It is called a coconut milk tonic. Now for those of you who know, I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil. There are SO many health benefits to using coconut oil as well as taking it kinda like a supplement. (Google it or read any book by Bruce Fife, Sally Fallon or the Weston A. Price Foundation.) :D

I can't wait to try things like hot cocoa, chocolate pudding, even some ICE CREAM! :D

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Total Health

I am always learning about new things dealing with our health. Herbal healing rather than traditional medicine (although I do believe traditional medicine does have it's place, I would much rather try to avoid it if possible). It all started with my father-in-law getting cancer and being told he would not live long. That led us to learn about the important role food plays in our diet. We have gone from vegetarian, to vegan, to 100% raw, to high raw, to where we are today. LOL!

After all we have learned, we try to eat a diet that has a lot of raw foods, low gluten, low sugar (especially refined sugar), no soy, no MSG or aspartame, grass-fed beef and eggs, fish, and limit the processed/refined foods.

So I am reading a book by Dr. Mercola called Total Health. Some notes, just for personal reference (I remember the what, not always the why, to know the why, you might look into checking the book out of the library like I is a good read!! :) ):

-limit grain intake, especially gluten
-no refined white sugar
-corn is a grain that is to be limited
-think of potatoes as a grain, they react in your body the same way
-no soy
-eat lots of veggies, raw if possible. veggies rich in color are better for you, limit root veggies and eat roots raw
-limit legumes
-avoid seedless fruits, they are higher in sugar than their seed-filled counterparts
-flax seeds are good, raw not heated. flax oil is not so good
-limit other seeds
-limit most nuts, walnuts are the exception
-do not use vegetable oils
-use coconut oil or olive oil. when using olive oil, use raw, do not heat as it easily hydrogenates when heated
-berries are great, especially blueberries
-go slow on the fruits, depending on metabolic type

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ANOTHER Behemoth Freebie

WOW!! Behemoth is GENEROUS today! This one is good until Saturday.

Free $100 download for readers of MSM

DO NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS CRYSTAL GIVES YOU!!! Follow the directions from the download BELOW (for the free Jonathan Park CD). Do not add anything to your cart. Enter the redeeming code off MSM Blog. THEN, if the links do not show up in your cart, you can goto the album and it should say FREE under the album and you can add the entire album at that point. When I did it Crystal's way, it said my card would be charged. I am not sure if it would have or not, but to be safe, I discarded the purchase, and re-added once it said FREE. :)



Hurry and get it while it lasts!!

Directions on how to download!!

And while there, be sure to look around this blog. It is one of my favorites and has lots of great articles.
I just got my download for free! :)

Hospitality and Health

I love the fact the my daughters are learning about healthy eating NOW, before bad habits are formed.

I know that a lot of kids their age that are their friends think my children are deprived. They feel bad for my children. In fact one of my friends threatens to send her kids to my house to eat if they will not behave!

Of course my kids get their treats, but for the most part, their taste buds are not acclimated towards bad food. And my kids KNOW what is bad for them ("that has MSG in it, no thank you!"). My kids see how bad eating habits affect your health when you are older, and they do not want that.

EE gets migraines when she has gluten. She has now said that she does not want to eat any gluten. AA has said no soy, MSG, aspartame, gluten and little dairy (she gets horrible ear aches with dairy). MM of course wants as much sugar as she can get LOL! We are still working on her. :)

I really am proud of them for realizing so early and not having to fight addictions (yes, gluten and sugar are just as if not more-so addicting than nicotine) as well as cravings and mindsets. I am sad that some how my children equate parties with food. That has sadly become an American mindset. There has to be food (even if it is finger foods) in order for it to be a party. That chip commercial comes to mind where there are two parties. One, where everyone is able to eat the chips and the party is a GREAT hit. The other party, each person only gets like two chips. They talk about how boring the party is and they end up fighting over crumbs found on the floor.

HOW SAD! Why does hospitality have to be associated with food? Why can't a party be about fellowship and edification and if it is missing praise to God then it is a bad party? What is hospitality anyway?

1828 Webster's Dictionary defines it as such:
The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.

There is nothing in there about food (although to be fair, if you look up the definition of entertaining it has the word provisions, and that word talks about food, but not just as an entertainment but more as nourishment, as in someone in need of food).

How to have a party without food? I know that my girls LOVE to decorate and make others feel welcome. Maybe just in showing others how special they are by taking the time to make something special for them: the decorations, maybe a little note that says welcome, a small token of appreciation for them to take home with them. Maybe while at the party, they are taught something (like how to make a tawashi, or make a small purse, or even partake in a quilting bee!). That way they partake in something, and is able to take something home with them (even if it is just a new learned skill).

What are your suggestions for showing hospitality without it being about the food?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Current Web Readings

Home Made Basil Pesto Year Round
I am not a big fan of pesto, but want to be. And my kids are getting there! :)

Fat Food Dangers - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!
Good read!

Popcorn the old fashioned way
Need I say more?

Incorporating Coconut Oil into your daily life

Eating Simple
Love this post. VERY encouraging!

Yakisoba Recipe Easy Supper Dish
LOVE looking over this blog!!

My Dark Secrets
Absolutely THE BEST collection of information on the internet regarding agave nectar and it's effect on your health. Is agave nectar bad for you? Is agave nectar good for you? Read in the COMMENTS on this post and find out for yourself. Each person has to make their own decision.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Family Fun: Horse Show, A Card Game

At a recent trip to Goodwill, I found the game Horse Show. It is a card game.

What I really liked about this game was the fact that you not only had to use math, but critical thinking skills. You could only pick so many horses and had to have the right score in order to win the blue ribbon.

AA says (9yrs):
It was really fun. I really liked the math. And I especially liked the horse named Valentine and one named Princess. I had lots of fun.

EE says (7yrs):
I liked playing with my family, but it was a bit difficult for me.

I think the main reason it was difficult for EE was because we didn't quite grasp that you wanted to pick high numbers in certain areas for the judging. You had to not just pick numbers and add, but think ahead to what other areas of judging might come up and make sure that you have a horse for each area of race. She was picking pretty named horses. AA and I were picking horses with higher point values in certain areas.

All in all, I think next time we play and include the younger ones, we will use the rules for younger players. But AA and I enjoyed the game and will play it again. And even though we liked the game, I would NOT pay full retail for this. I got the game for 50 cents and it was in excellent condition. :) It was not that great that I would pay full price. So all in all, if you see the game at the thrift store, it is worth picking up. :) We will prolly play it a few more times, but it is definitely not one that we will goto again and again. I will prolly try to barter it in a few months.

HEY Wouldn't THAT be cool?!?!? A game swap! Everyone gets together and brings games that they no longer play (but is still in good shape and playable - i.e. has all the pieces and rules) and then take as many games as they bring! I am gonna see if my homeschool group would be willing to do this sometime in a few months! LOL!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photo Gifts

OK, so these would be SO GREAT for Mother's Day or Father's Day or Grandparent's Day or Christmas ... Well you get the idea. Trust me, follow the links for some GREAT ideas on how to use pictures you take for AWESOME gifts!

Photo Tile Coasters
I.D. Badge Holder Mini Album I LOVE this idea!! GREAT little brag books for grandparents!
Mini I.D. Badge Calendar
Christmas Ornament Tins
Magnet Tins
Photo Puzzle Cube I recently posted about finding great tutorials (at the bottom of this link), you can also google and find out ways to make this even better quality! :)
Photo Mobile
Photo Magnets these are NICE and SOOOO cute!
Photo Necklace oh my goodness this is SUCH a great idea and SO inexpensive! And it looks SO GOOD!
Altoids Tin Accordion Gift Album LOVE this! You can also do scrapbook pages instead of just pictures!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's The Difference?

I had to stop school right now to post this. Normally I say how many more for subtraction, but this time I said what is the difference.

AA: how many more days until we go to the VIP dinner?

Mommy: well today is the 18th and the dinner is on the 26th. What is the difference between 18 and 26? (Mommy is looking for the answer 8.)

AA: 18 is less than 26

One of the GREAT things about homeschooling is that children learn to think OUTSIDE the box! I loved her answer! Totally NOT what I was expecting or even thinking.

Mommy: Ok... I mean how many more do I need?


Mommy: GREAT! Now what is the different between 6 and 8?

AA: 6 has two threes and 8 has two fours! (she giggles)

Mommy: Now you are being a smartie! AA, what is the difference between 6 and 8? (giggles herself)

AA: two (still giggling)

VIP - Verse In Real Applicable Life

Like father like daughter, right? Daddy gets interested in photography and of course, AA has to follow. God blessed us with a virtually brand new digital camera for her birthday last year. And this year, she has finally bloomed in her taking pictures. She loves taking pictures and showing them to me. In fact, she set up her OWN photo shoot of her younger sister MM. Dressed her up as a fairy and tried to take some artistic pictures. She plans on printing them out, framing them, adding some embellishments to the mat/frame and giving it to MM for her 6th birthday. WOW!!

I truly believe God gave me a GREAT idea on HOW to make Bible verses real to her, and at the same time, allow her to tap into that creative side of hers.

Every two weeks, especially now that it is getting warmer and we can go out and take pictures, I will post a Bible verse. She will need to take a picture that shows that verse in real life.

My example is
Matthew 7:14
Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

She could take a picture of a hidden path. OR a gate. The main thing is for her to be THINKING about the verse and looking for application.

This will start in a few weeks if you want to join us. I am going to set up a VIRAL Flickr Group so we can all post our pictures there. :) I will try to create a button for others to add to their blogs. :) Are you ready for you and your children to go VIRAL? :D

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You have no idea what the hair of my legs, arms and back of my neck has been doing for the past few days. AA has a fascination with spiders. She is doing her own lapbook.

So, just a taste of some of the things we have been doing:
Spider Activities
The Largest Spider In The World be sure to watch the video. After watching the video, MM said "I want to do a lapbook on tarantulas. I am not scared of them anymore. They do things other spiders cannot do!"
And of course, a spider I never knew existed, but AA read about, the Trap Door Spider: - this was Adalia's favorite
and of course I was able to find it in slow motion!

Here are the pictures of our lapbooks

Monday, February 16, 2009

Current Web Readings

Make a dress out of a dinosaur bed sheet

Chocolate Recipes
Recipes that are actually HEALTHY for you. Nourishing Tradition style

Cholesterol and Health
Cholesterol is bad for you ... right?!?!?

Great chart comparing sugars
I am trying to find a replacement for white sugar. I want to totally cut white sugar out of my diet (starting after Valentine's Day of course! ;)

Charity Grace
What a LOVELY little blog I came across!! Be sure to check it out!! She has a carnival of simple craft that looks so fun to join!

Friday, February 13, 2009

You May Feel Like You Are Drowning...

Life can sometimes become overwhelming. The house is a mess. Your children have learned to step on and over things rather than stop and pick them up. The pile of laundry is so high your children have asked if they can go sledding on it. Your homeschooling is not what you want it to be. You are not finding the time you want to read all the books you want. And you definitely are not getting the quiet time you need.

I heard something on the radio the other day.

He was talking about the parable of Jesus walking on the water. He made this conclusion:

Whatever seems to be over our heads, is already under His feet!

LOVE that!! I hope you do too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saturday Sweethearts: Sayings to go with Gifts

There is a great list of cute sayings and the gifts to go with them that you should check out.

I know I am posting this a bit early, but I waned it out there BEFORE Valentine's Day. :)

Hidden Freebie: Alphabet Copybook

This is great and SO CUTE! And what a great way to be introduced to Australia. Especially now with all the wildfires going on over there. Please do donate to the Red Cross if you can. They are needing cash donations at the moment.

Ok, so here is the link to the Freebie Alphabet Copywork BOOK, yes it is a full book that you can print out for each of your children. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Far and Away

Oh it feels SO GOOD to be scrapping again!! It is a way to be creative and artistic as well as capture memories. This is my little MM. Everytime I see her smile, look into those sparkling eyes and see those golden curls, I am taken away! My husband took this AMAZING picture. He took some of JJ too (which are equally amazing and I hope to scrap soon). As always, click on the image to see credits. :) Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Current Web Readings

FIsh Bag In A Soap
This is SO CUTE!! What a fun gift to give the kids (although I wonder what the CPSIA would say about it.

Crochet Doll Pattern
This is SO CUTE! A quick and easy doll you can make with different dresses and a sleeping bag! Add some straps to the sleeping bag and you have a carrying purse to keep your doll in!!

Homemade Christmas
HUGE list of ideas for homemade gifts.

How To Make Shrinky Dinks with Recycled 6 plastic

OH MY HOW CUTE ARE THESE! She two good tutorials here, but my FAVORITE is the roll up kitchen playmat tutorial. TOO CUTE!!! WOWSERS!

Freezer Bag Recipes
I so hope to do MUCH more camping this year. The kids really enjoyed it year before last. I just wonder if JJ will be able to do it now with his really bad reactions to environmental allergies. :( BUT maybe he will be just fine!! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Got An Itch

I am SOOOOOOOOO in the mood to start my gardening! Ever since I saw this printable spring garden planner I have got gardening on the brain. I have pulled out ALL my gardening books and am trying to get everything ready. I know, I know, I really just need to JUMP IN AND DO IT! But I have too much of a planner in me. Who knows! Maybe the time comes and I do just jump in, even though I think I need more research. :)

Look at how CUTE (and FREE and easy to make) these biodegradable see starter pots are!!! Seeing this gives me one of those smack-yourself-upside-the-head-now-why-didn't-I-think-of-that feeling. :) I have to wonder if maybe we were to make some time of paper that had good food in it to help the plant. We could roll it into a paper towel roll. :) That way as it degraded, it would be feeding the plant as it grew.

I also have to wonder about how many chemicals are in the rolls, especially if you are wanting to grow an organic garden. Now why can't there be a housewives myth busters type show where stuff like THAT is tested? Stuff **I** want to know?!?! I mean, I like stuff being blowing up as much as the next homeschooling mom, but I want stuff that I can use too, ya know?!?! :D

So, if I were in charge of a housewives myth busters show, I would test things like:
*do chemicals leech out from a toilet paper roll into the soil (what about the final food product) during it's degration?
*can the average homemaker build her own solar panel for under $200 (and how much "electricity" does it REALLY provide)? and then share the direction with everyone for FREE
*does hanging your clothes in the sun really save energy? and just how much bacteria does it prevent/kill??

What kind of things would you want to know?

We Forgot The Children!

In our homeschooling right now, we are reading the story of George Muller. I had never heard of him before, but one day I saw a Veggie Tales video which had just a part of his story. And it intrigued me enough to find out more about him. I mean, a man who sits down at a table with children (an orphanage) with NO FOOD at the table or even cooked, prays and thanks God for His provisions, and sure enough He provides... I had to know more.

His life story is amazing. AA wants to find his journal and read it. I think that is a fabulous idea and will be looking into that soon.

So he feels led to start an orphanage and rely on God to provide EVERYTHING. People thought he was crazy. Did God care about chamber pots (when I told the girls those were potties they giggled)? Muller mentioned that there was NOTHING to small for God to care about.

So God provided chamber pots, bed sheets, forks and the building. EVERYTHING was provided by God, even the volunteers! The big day comes and no one arrives! No children show up. Muller waits all day and comes home with his head hung low in disappointment. His wife greats him with enthusiasm asking him all sorts of questions about the children, until she realizes he is sad.

So she asked him what was wrong. And he started to doubt himself. Was this just some sort of dream? Or did God truly want Him to open an orphanage? His wife lovingly reassured him that everything for the orphanage including the building, was an answer to prayer. A provision from God. Then she laughed (which of course upset her husband who commented that this was a serious matter and not laughable).

He had to agree that everything provided for the orphanage WAS indeed and answer to prayer. But if it was, then why did no children come?


God wants us to bring EVERYTHING to Him. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details, that we forget to seek God on the big things! This was a great lesson for the kids (ok...ok...for ME too!)! :D

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Craft Day

And why not?!?! When the girls suggested doing crafts in Mommy's room all day (and I am talking about heavy duty crafts like sewing aprons and making baby DOLLS, not just pony beads on wire type thing), how could I resist!

I just wish my camera was not broken so I could share so many BEAUTIFUL pictures with you!

AA decided that she was going to make me an apron. WOW. She looked at pictures of aprons, picked one that she thought I would like and then set out to make it happen. She measured me over and over again with the measuring tape her grandmother gave her (along with a whole sewing kit which was promptly brought out by all THREE girls as soon as Mommy said yes to a craft day). I must admit that she did a REALLY GOOD JOB (for a nine year old). The thought process and math that went into her making the apron...I am really proud of her!

Of course MM was the next to bring over her measuring tape and begin measuring me. She was the best! Because she is so ticklish, and giggles at EVERY THING, I kept kissing her or trying to eat her while she was measuring me. Then she made a cape for herself. I was SO IMPRESSED! She had a rectangle piece of fabric and sewed one corner of the short side to the other corder of the short side. Hey, it works. And I am impressed! :) Then she took some blue fabric and cut it up to start making something, but then dinner was ready... :)

EE of course was not to be out done. She measured me and measured me. But lost her temper when her sewing came undone. I am not sure how it came undone, but it was frustrating enough for her to stop it all together. :( But I was able to teach her how to cast on for her knitting. SO she spent the rest of the time casting on, pulling it off, and casting on again. :)

JJ was not to be out done either. He grabbed one of his sister's measuring tapes and came up to me, with it stretched tight between his two hands in open arms "sheasure you!" (translate "measure you") he said over and over again as he placed the tape against my body. It really was TOO CUTE! And he just learned that phrase today from hearing his sisters say it SO MUCH (if that gives you any idea of how many times I thought about losing weight today as here came the tape again). :D He also loved grabbing the yarn as I was corcheting and wrapping it around his finger (like the yarn was wrapped around Mommy's fingers). And of course when EE came over for me to teach her to cast on, JJ came over wanting yarn too

I spent my time making and finishing a cradle purse (ravelry link) for EE (a belated bday present). She loved it and made a baby doll for it. I am really proud of her for that!

All in all it was a GREAT day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Sweet Prayer of a Child

Every night when we pray with JJ, it goes something like this:

Mommy: Father God

JJ: Aher Od

Mommy: Thank You for this day.

JJ: Ank You Day

Mommy: Help me to obey.

JJ: bay

Mommy: Help me to love You and serve You.


Mommy: In the name ...


Mommy: Thank You for food.

JJ: ank food.

Mommy: In the name of Jesus we pray.



Tonight there was a new addition...

JJ: ank food

Mommy: In the name...

JJ: pain

Mommy: OH JoJo (my nickname for him), are you in pain?

JJ: Daddy pain.

Mommy: We pray for Daddy and his pain and ask that You would heal his back and hernia completely and quickly.

JJ: HE SUS, MA MEN! (translation, "In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen!") :D

Have I mentioned just how BLESSED I AM?!?!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Current Web Readings

Homeschooling With A Large Family
I really liked reading this. VERY simple, yet encouraging!!

Creating Contentment
This is a REALLY good post (as is most EVERYTHING on this blog!) that will help your children when "that's not fair!". :D

Candy Cane Hearts
This is SO FUN AND EASY! My soon to be nine year old daughter squealed "so THAT'S how you do it!". Fun fun FUN idea!

Frugal Nourishment
Healthy eating, homeschooling AND MOTH follower! :) I have been having fun reading current and pasts posts on this blog which is now added to the sidebar on the left (Blogs with Heart) :) (Which means it is in my RSS feed reader) :)

Free Download 2009 Spring Garden
GREAT post with link for a free help for when to plant your spring garden. ALSO, take a look around on this blog!! IT IS WONDERFUL!!!

Make Dinner Every Day And Like It
Great post about menu planning. So simple and yet, I never thought of it! :)
HTL Like Merchant Ships - I am TOTALLY loving this new blog you shared with us!

100 tips for 2009
100 tips for ways to save money in the upcoming year.