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Monday, January 23, 2012

Shipment Arrived!!

Rec'd my amazon package 2day, yay! Ordered case of Annie's ravioli & shells mac & cheese, 2-29 oz jar extra virgin coconut oil (None to soon just used last of canola yesterday), bulk yeast, zote laundry soap-14oz size(Enough for 10 loads), & industrial grade loaf pan- the ghee I ordered will be here.

Was very excited to taste the canned ravioli, organic, healthy packaged in a non-BPA can, uhmmm, yeah after I added few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese, s&p, & some brown sugar, it was palatable. Think the chef B taste I am used to was sugary and salty, not surprising, high fructose corn syrup must be super sweet, and a taste my palate is used to.

Think the shells & cheese will be the same way as well as the coconut oil, will have to get used to the slightly coconut flavor undertones. Just will have to retrain my palate. This whole healthy whole foods life is a lot of retraining ur brain, mouth feel, palate, and cooking techniques, as well as attitude towards why u r eating. Like r u eating just to fill ur belly up, or r u eating to live, choosing nutrient dense diet over empty fluff that only is based on taste and no direction.

  • Annie's Homegrown Shells & Cheese- Tasted gr8, we all really liked it needed no tweaking, WOULD ORDER AGAIN-ONLY IF PRICE IS RIGHT!
  • Annie's Homegrown Cheese Raviolis- Uhmm, not so much, had to tweak adding more salt and pepper and sprinkle cheese from a can, and brown my homemade version much better!!! Would I order again? Might if the price is right, nice to have something healthy on hand in case I "don't feel like making anything", or time is limited. MIGHT ORDER AGAIN, IF SUPER CHEAP
  • Ghee, uhmm didn't like as much as I thought, would have rather bought a bigger size of EVCO than spent the extra money on this. WILL NEVER ORDER AGAIN!
  • Loaf pan works awesome! Need to use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), it sticks with every other oil and butter I have tried. Plus it caramelizes the crust with this lovely taste, I even use it to pour on top of bread to keep it soft after I cut a slit at the top...YUMMY!! WOULD ORDER AGAIN IF NEEDED A SECOND PAN!
  • Zote Laundry Soap-Not so sure yet, Did shred w/a little more effort than the Yardley's. Can't help but think this is going to be a better laundry soap bc Zote is designed to be a clothes washing soap and not a body soap. I haven't used a batch of the laundry soap I made yet. One gallon container is separated and the other is mixed, both are from same batch I made, even when shaken it barely combines. I bought a larger bar, so I have enough for 3 more batches, I hope this was worth it. I added extra baking soda to this batch bc I add some anyways as a stain fighter and brightener as well as 1/2 C of Salsuds for its extra cleaning abilities. Jim said he noticed some white streaks on his clothes and rewashed. Unsure if he used too much? Will wash a white load tomorrow, and see if this brightens better than my last batch. WILL HAVE TO USE A FEW MORE TIMES TO SEE IF WOULD ORDER AGAIN
  • Red Star Yeast: nice to have such a large quantity on hand, if I don't start using my own sour dough starter will use this as a great resource and prolly will be on a subscribe and save program. WILL ORDER AGAIN
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, LOVE!!! - Have all ready ordered again, on subscribe and save program don't want to be without this product!! YES HAVE ORDERED AND WILL ORDER AGAIN!!
  • The 2-29 oz option I used quicker than I thought as it's February 27, 2012 and we only have 1/2 bottle left. 
  • I have used it for nearly all my cooking, will use my EVOO more, only use EVCO for times where I need higher temp cooking, baking, and skin care/personal care products. 
  • This brand {Nutivo} tastes so much better than the brand I tasted years ago, it is so good I could eat it right out of the jar. Love how it makes popcorn taste, baked oatmeal taste, all baked goods actually, takes makeup off nicely, heals & cools burns nicely (ask me how I know!)-that being said makes a great healing salve...So I will order soon and reserve uses for as I stated above.

Green'ish & frugal living updates

Updates on the a FRUGAL changes we have made to our family:
Homemade laundry still going well, finding that adding 1C baking soda to heavily soiled clothes really helps & whites look really good still w/ no bleach. Next batch going to add zote in place of yardley,s. I think it will clean better plus can use it as a pre treater to stains in place of shout. Might need oxy clean, but going to try peroxide for bleaching and stains.

Making bread products, going great, love the bread, pitas, foccia, chibata, pizza,calazones, naan,sweet rolls, baguettes, & French crusty breads. Going to make bread in pan for sandwiches & toast, kids & Jim also want " normal" bread too, LOL!

Dish washing soap, still on the fence,not sure I totally love it yet. Using Sal-suds & HOT water, jury's still out. Need to make sure always use vinegar in formula leaves spots otherwise.

Using Sal-suds for AP cleaner, working gr8 & for floor cleaner. Haven't tried it in laundry yet. Love what I am making so far.

Toilet cleaner w/baking soda & vinegar working well, using in place of srub on sink & bath tub, and glass cleaner.

Sanitizing spray w/thieves EO & vinegar good

Hand sanitizer, too much glycerin, need a spray pump bottle-will be perfect!

Homeade spaghetti'Os turned pretty good.

Groomed Chica- myself! saved $60!

Want to make:
  • MYO bleach- have't done yet-want to w/vinegar & peroxide.
  • Myo dryer sheets.
  • MYO toothpaste-haven't made, need raw honey still.
  • Myo Cliff, Energy bars, crackers, raviolis, veggie chips.
  • Reusable facial tissues, make-up squares, wipes & dipe, I have the fabric cut & ready to go. Need to quit being lazy!
  • Found these replacement to most paper towel uses want to purchase them & more cloth napkins.
  • Make Kissi training pants! Have all the supplies ready!
  • Start having teas made & water essence each day, make my weekly staples, pancakes, ranch dressing, bread, crackers, cliff bars, graham crackers,weekly snacks, 

I feel like Jim is really stepping up & working hard I need to as well!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Teaching our child to be good at forgiving....

There is another side to apologizing parents often forget to teach our children and since we lead by example ~
as parents we need to DEMONSTRATE this final stage of apologizing to our children...

Please allow me to share with you the single disciplinary action my father executed every time we were punished that  allowed discipline to lead to relationship and not rebellion within both my older sibling and myself.

Growing up my father was a strict and loving disciplinarian, he always established the rules, the consequences for not following them, then firmly and swiftly dispelled whatever disciplinary actions were appropriate when we committed the infractions.  My first and lasting memories are of my formative years b4 I hit the teens...

After the punishment time was over, which mine was mostly sitting in a corner, aka time out for "X" amount of minutes:
  • He would ask me to come over to him (Back then he smoked a pipe, it was the 80's so the whole second hand smoke thing was not issue so I found comfort in warm scent of his cherry pipe tobacco) 
  • He would pick me up and sit me on his lap. (This was the best, bc my father's lap was the safest & most loving place I knew of
  • He would lovingly dry my tears and call me his "pumpkin"
  • Ask me to tell him what happened that caused me to be on punishment. 
  • I would then go into great depth of how unjustly I was framed by my older sibling painting a picture of angelic innocence. 
  • Then he would ask me again what caused me to sit in the corner. 

He allowed me time to sort out the behavior that caused the punishment. Also allowing me time to learn how to sincerely apologize

 I would tell him I was sorry, or if it was an action against my sister he would call her over for me to apologize to her. Then he ask me how I could behave differently so I wouldn't be in trouble next time. This part would not go on every time, however my memory of these actions are crystal clear as if it were yesterday.

The most important part for me in his disciplinary action- no matter what lead up to this part even into my teens, was he forgave me. He would verbally say it, he would take me in his arms and kiss my cheeks, dry my tears, & then lovingly say, "I forgive you. Now go play nicely please." Or if it was between my sister and I, he would direct my sister to say, "I forgive you." and we were to hug each other then go play.

That singular memory has stayed with me, it helps me when I can't forgive myself for different things I have done, I take that memory and remember my father forgiving me. I make sure no matter how small the situation is when my daughter says, "I am sorry." I follow through with "I forgive you."  I believe there is an art to forgiving if we don't practice it when we are young, we don't apply it as adults. And how many people do we know who can hold a grudge like no other? How many illnesses I wonder can be linked to bitterness, resentment, & unforgiveness? 

Forgiveness is for ourselves,  forgiveness:
  • allows peace and harmony to live within ourselves
  • is a gift we give ourselves.  
  • doesn't mean what was done to us is acceptable, 
  • DOES means we have freed ourselves from holding on to the injustice and released the negative emotions attached to that injustice.
In retrospect, learning to forgive is understanding grace, grace that a Holy God could send His only son to die in our place, though it is unearned and undeserved He extends it still. There have been times I grappled with this concept, though I have accepted the gift of salvation at an early age, I still at times struggle with accepting grace. The mere memory of my earthly father extending grace to myself as a small child over a trivial transgression made such an indelible impression that as adult I can apply this lesson to an eternal precept.

The actions of my earthly father forgiving me and teaching me to accept forgiveness hope and trust were easily given on my part. And because of those actions of my earthly father it made it easy for to me accept that my Heavenly Father was a God of His word and His grace is indeed a free gift I can accept.
We as parents have so much to teach our children and I am so thankful I was entrusted to a man like my father who showed me the art of forgiving and extending grace.  It is my hope that I can then teach the precious little gems the Lord has entrusted my husband & myself with the same legacy of Grace and Forgiveness that was instilled in my life.  

Linked to Raising Homemakers  and Growing Home 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Meals of 2012

Christmas Bozzer Bunch Brunch-Not Pictured, Danish & Keiffer Smoothies
Sunday Jan 1-
Left over Bozzer Bunch Brunch:
Healthy Spinach, Bacon, & Swiss Quiche
Sausage and Montrey Jack Strata
Cheddar Baked Hashbrowns
Spinach Pinwheels
Apple & Cheese Danish
Fruit Salad
Kieffer Smoothies

Smoked Turkey Clubs Monte Crisco Sammies
Black Bean soup--DELISH BTW!!!! Just like a meatless chili but wayyyyy BETTER!!!!
Romaine Lettuce with homemade Bacon- Ranch dressing, organic shaved carrots, sliced grape tomatoes, Cucumbers,  and toasted almonds

Chicken Picata with spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes 
Radiatori  Pasta
Romaine Lettuce with homemade Olive Oil & Balsamic vinaigrette, organic shaved carrots, \ sliced grape tomatoes, and toasted almonds

SOS w/toast points & Mashed taters
Broiled Lemon Asparagus
Romain Lettuce w/organic sliced carrots & grape tomatoes slivered almonds and homemade Tzatziki Cucumber Ranch Dressing

Chicken Broccoli Almond Stir-fry with Brown Rice Pilaf
Homemade crusty french bread

Friday Jan 6th:
Spaghetti alla bolognese
Homemade Toasted Garlic herbed French Bread 
Johnnies bakery red velvet Cake (It's my birthday!!)

Saturday Jan 7th
Crab Stuffed Flounder
Roasted Zuchini, Yellow Squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic
crock pot baked potatoes
Spinach Salad w/homemade balsamic and extra virgin vinaigrette

2012 Goals

Really getting interested in becoming frugally sustainable as possible this year. I have been gathering info for years on frugal living and studied herbal remedies and have used homemade cleaning products for at least 10 years now, cloth diapers my kids, nursed, and made my own baby food. But really just stayed on the outskirts of being more frugal and more of a urban homesteading or self-sustainable lifestyle, of course back when I started this quest I don't think the phrase urban homesteading was coined.

I grew up in a semi-rural area and our neighbors had raised practically free range chickens and one mean-A#$ rooster, had pigs they raised and fed as well as themselves, had horses, the other neighbor had raised one cow a year for meat free range and mostly grass fed. Our family had a huge sustaining garden of nearly 3 acres that supported our family of 5 girls. When asked to help weed I remember making a huge ordeal of it my making sure I had my head band on, wrist bands, water thermos (We didn't have those plastic water bottles back then it was called the garden hose) See I knew I needed to be hydrated even back in 1983!), had a snack lunch with sunblock, LOL, see I was concerned about my skin even at 10 years old! By the time I had all my prep work done it was at least 90 min later, I would have to use the bath 3 times, then after my mother would sigh in exasperation I would depart to weed perhaps a row of veggies b4 the bugs would chase me back in doors or I was too hot to continue...Ughhhhh!! I hate trying to pull weed off those dry caked beds with the corn stalks touching me and weird looking bugs buzzing my head...LOL-don't I sound like poster child for urban homesteading!!!!

I remember helping to gather eggs and being semi scared of being pecked by the chickens and terrified of the mean a$% rooster, and helping feed the cute little piglets until they weighed more than I did, then I was not so happy to help our friends feed them, they kinda freaked me out.

Yet here I am reading about ppl accomplishing urban homesteading raising their own pigs, free range chickens, grass fed cattle, garndens and find the idea comforting & nostalgic like I am coming home right where I belong!! Coming from me with my prissy actions and lazy work ethics it will interesting-I will be blogging my experiences for sure and hopefully my attitude has changed now that I know more about how the foods sustain us and have children I want to raise who will grow up seeing and knowing how to be self-sustainable. With this economy the way it is, I think we have no choice but to start doing more....

I have been studying herbal and homeopathic remedies for some time and getting ready to put my ideas into practice:

Goals for 2012
Using more Herbal Remedies and Make my own Medicine Chest remedies including:
essential oil herbal boo-boo remedy
Make my own hand sanitizer
Diaper Rash Ointment
Make my own Herbal Chest Rub
Use natural poultice and compress devise a plan or regimen (Using Onion Compresses & garlic poultices)
Make my own Toothpaste
Keep making our bread products from scratch (sandwich bread, pitas, tortillas, flat bread, Calazone, Stromboli & pizzas)
Keep up with making homemade laundry detergent
Keep making our own cleaning products and refine the ones I am ok with.
Get the cleaning products all labeled and recipes wrote down so I can have a regimine all set up and in place.
Research and choose a farmer to purchase grass fed beef
Research and choose a farmer to purchase our free range poultry, pork, & lamb
Plant a vegetable garden just for fresh eating in season this year with hopes of expanding next year to canning after I find what I can realistically upkeep and maintain.
Come up with a more green approach to food storage and lunches away from home
Buy more organic wholefoods groceries with  wholefoods meal planning in mind for all 3 meals and 2 snacks/day for ALL family members
Organize pre-schooling homeschooling lessons monthly
Set aside time to review and introduce lessons 2X's/Day
Make Kissi Training Pants & GET KISSI POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!
Be more consistent with using cloth diapers and cloth wipes!
Wean Izak off of Binky
Do OT & PT with Izak 15min/day (2 sessions day each)

Pweeeehh! This is quite a list, I really wish to accomplish this, plus I need to keep groceries at $130 or under a week, I am going to put my energy toward this...

Gearing up for a new year

As the new year starts we find ourselves in familiar circumstances, on the verge another surgery and wondering how I am going to prepare my household for my recovery. I hope we have learned enough that this one will be an easier transistion and we can handle the recovery by ourselves with limited  to no outside help is my goal.

As we look at 2011, so many life altering situations kept us on our toes, and kept our eyes upward focused on Christ expectantly upon Him and not our circumstances we can keep the peace we are promised and not be like the foolish man tossed and fro upon the waves. It is a though we have barely caught our breath when another situatuion has developed and needs our attention.

Starting December 16 we found ourselves in a hailstorm of crazy situations- not of our own making, along with multiple illnesses of our entire family. My pre-schooler came down with a sever case of Hand-Foot & Mouth Disease with blisters all over her mouth, on her tongue, lips, gums, throat, then pink eye, my toddler had pink eye so bad he could barely open his eyes & ROTO virus. I woke up Christmas morning with a searing pain in my throat and pink eye so gunky I could barely open my eyes. Somewhere in there my husband had an infection in his throat and I had a raging sinus infection. We laughingly called it the 7 plagues of Christmas, as this all happened starting Dec 16-25.

Our toddler has had 6 months of therapy from an Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Dietician, Speach Pathologist, Early childhood intervention specialist, Genetic specialist, Physiatrist, Nuerologist. We no longer have need of the pediatric ENT, since Izak had his adenoids removed and I do believe we will be seeing more of the Ophthalmologist since he keeps getting eye infections and I think he needs to have his tear duct lanced.

Genetic testing have ruled out our worst fears for our son, yet we are now looking at Cavernous Malformations as being genetic though not necessarily connected to the developmental delays, so we might be looking at another situation or perhaps seizures undiagnosed? Sometime later this month he will have another swallow study and determine if the adnoidectomy cured the sever Dysphagia and we can give our toddler liquids without using the simply thick.

This year has been a year of acclimating ourselves to numerous appointments most times withing one day, therapy at home with us or with a visiting professional-basically 7-10 specialist a month. Along with therapy plans and goals. Adding on  my pre-schooler's homeschooling and co-op pre-school schedule. Trying to rebuild a catastrophically declined clientele base in a industry I am rapidly wondering if I am too out touch for, if that season has passed me by?

I re-read the year 2011 and find myself fighting the urge to allow irritation to overtake me- when I see what we are facing daily, see it in writing and remember some family members not respecting or even recognizing the healthy boundaries we need to set to properly care for our children. It has been a life altering situation and perhaps a severing that is senseless and ridiculous,  I am honestly not understanding what was quite expected of me and my immediate family from outside family members. Yet I firmly say the ONLY children I am responsible for are the one's GOD gave to me, if we were take anyone else into this household we would put my son's future at risk, I will fiercely protect his future and if some ppl cannot understand that or even how to set a boundary, let me introduce u to one, it's what we have done, I am sorry they do not understand it. We just cannot  allow unhealthy ppl with super-inflated senses of responsibility & extreme co-dependency to taint our lives with their unrealistic expectations the biggest regret is the children will affected by all this and all they want is to play with each other. That it took all this to realize how long we have been manipulated into thinking certain things were up to us to solve and the we were being judged constantly bc we didn't get as involved as others thought we should have been will probably never cease to amaze me. But what now? Reconciliation seems beyond me, not sure I want that crazy back into my life, I am barely living my own life let alone worrying about others who are crazy and need help that is beyond what we are able to give??

But what do u do, turn ur back on ppl who r family bc they keep making wrong decisions? It is so hard to set boundaries when you see a serious need but know u cannot fulfill them and others around u don't respect or understand ur decision when they themselves have over-extending themselves. I understand the feeling that they might have like they cannot help anymore, there are times when we simply have to allow ppl to fall, when u have to make decisions for ur immediate family to protect ur own metal health and those of ur children. It is times like this when I think perhaps I should have done differently, but I remember my daughter covered in blisters and think how much worse it could be if we had others in our house along with the pink eye or ROTO Virus. Plus the week of the incident my toddler had home appointments with the OT, PT, and Early Childhood specialist,  now we did have to cancel due to the contagious illnesses, yet if we were to add 3 more ppl with out of control children the same age how much therapy would have really happened?? It is barely tolerable with Kissi vying for attention...just blows my mind that a seemingly rational person could NOT see that our house would not be an ideal place for some one to crash (and TRASH!) for a few days...In my flesh I fought texting pics of my pre-schoolers blisters with the words "You R WELCOME!"....

Well as much as I hate to admit it, I am getting bitter, I just don't believe this has happened, and I don't know how to fix it. It's not like I can apologize bc if I had done what was seemingly expected of me more ppl would have been exposed and as it is an adult sister of mine is fighting a nasty case of HF&M right now from being exposed by my daughter on Dec 24th.  I can only go with the Proverbs, "When words are many sin is not absent, yet he who holds his tongue is wise." And internally keep bitterness and resentment far from my heart, forgiving others for they do not know what they do?

I miss the ppl, I thought we were friends- close friends, and now this confirms that they were judging us the entire time, that unrealistic expectations were held over our heads. It feels empty when I think about them, not sure what is going thru their minds, what thoughts they have held captive? And how we are going to ever reconcile??

I can only leave this in God's hands and know He is bigger than this, and I can only control my actions and my I pray He helps me to keep them holy, true, lovely, praiseworthy...