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Friday, September 30, 2011

Dreary Michigan Day - Fun Things To Do

photo credit -

What do you do on days when it's dreary and raining outside?  Being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom...these days can seem to last forever if we don't figure out something fun to do.  Here's some ideas we like.  If you have any, please post them below.

Take the kids to an indoor play area.  Whether it be a free area like the mall, or an indoor play area like Jungle Java; sometimes just getting out can make a huge difference.

Get out the board games!  We have so many board games but don't play them as often as I'd like.  It would be fun to have a board day extravaganza!  Bring on the popcorn!

Have a story hour.  If you have an older child who can read, how much more fun for them to read to their younger siblings!  Lyshie has been known to hold both her brothers in her lap while reading to them.  It's so precious!

Build a fort!  Did you ever make those forts with chairs and blankets?  Why not do that again!  It's still fun as an adult, even if you can't fit under one like you used to.  lol!

Make Sock Puppets and have a puppet show!

Get out a very large cardboard box and let the kids imaginations soar!

Have a scavenger hunt.  One where the kids have to work together is even better.

Plan a themed party.  Dinner and a movie would be fun.  Picture watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs while eating spaghetti and meatballs.    Or, you could have an international party where you make international foods, listen to the same themed music, etc..

Plan a picnic indoors!  Let the kids help you make the picnic food and set up the blanket in the living room.

Snuggle together under covers in a big bed and watch a family movie.

Sit in front of the fireplace drinking a hot beverage and talking about everyone's favorites.

Whatever you do, make special moments with your children.  What a fun time for all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Adrenal Fatigue/Thyroid Walk Part 3

I feel like so much has happened since my last post and yet not.  Let's see....

I had another test a month and a half or so later (maybe two) to see if my tsh, free t4 and free t3 levels had changed and they had not.  Although I will say overall I've been feeling much better.  That is until my doctor said, "Let's do a RAIU" which is a Radioactive Iodine Uptake test.  The reason this test is used is to see exactly what is going on.  He knows I have a nodule on my thyroid and wonders about Toxic Goiter.  Up to this point I had been doing all he asked and to be honest, it was all simple blood tests and such.  Oh and the saliva test which put me down for awhile but still...I wasn't taking toxins into my body.   I was struggling with this RAIU because you take a little pill that is actually radioactive iodine.  The next day, they do a scan and that will show them what's going on.

The cons:
I have enough health issues, I don't need to add toxins into the mix.

The pros:
This will show my doctor and myself what is going on.

After much prayer and against what I normally would choose, I would say I am at peace with having this test done.  Like a dear Christian and natural friend told me, I like this doctor and he is the first guy I've trusted in many, many years.  He's been so good at giving me certain tests (the right ones) to try to get to the bottom of this.  He told me he'd do all he could and he sure is.  So, with that, i'm taking the test and keeping it all in prayer.  Afterwards I also plan to take Super Algae by Nature's Sunshine to combat the toxins from the RAI.

My herbalist said I have a hypothalamus issue which would totally explain the thyroid issues.  After I get the scan info, I'll talk with my doctor and herbalist and find the best way to finish combatting this all.

Prayers would be appreciated.  I thought I was close to being done with this.  Only time will tell whether or not that is the case.  I will say I have seen the following improvements over the past few months.
~More energy overall and more stamina
~Regulated body temperatures!!!  I was 97.9 since jr. high.  When I was at my worst my temp was 97.2.  Now guess what?  My temp is almost consistently at 98.5.  To me this is nothing short of a miracle!  To me my body is slowly coming around!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Granola Recipe

I came up with a new granola recipe I like even more.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  I tasted it before it put it in the oven and was afraid it would never get to the oven . lol!  Enjoy!

Granola Recipe:
4 cups oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil or a combination of coconut and olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all dry ingredients and stir well.
2. Add in all wet ingredients and stir well.
3. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.  
4. Take out of the oven, stir and put back in for 10 more minutes or till golden.

I haven't tried these variations but they should work pretty well. 
To make pb granola stir in 1/2 cup pb and cut oil down to 1/8 cup.  Add no spices.

For Cherry almond use no spices and mix in almond extract with sweetener.  Add 2-3 cups dried cherries after toasted.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bean Soup and Gluten Free, Sugar Free Cornbread

Ham and Bean Soup
2 - 48 ounce jars of canned beans
3 slices bacon, chopped in small pieces
2 ham steaks, chopped and bones kept
2 celery stalks chopped fine
3 carrots chopped fine
1 large onion chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1.  Empty beans into a large pot.  
2. Place diced bacon and veggies in a skillet and saute till onions are just starting to get translucent.
3. Dump the veggies in the pot of beans and add in chili powder.  Also add in chopped ham steaks and bones.
4. Add water in - the amount is dependent on how much broth you want in your soup.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.  Serve or transfer to a crockpot and keep on low/warm till ready to serve.  Salt and pepper as needed.

This will serve at least 10 people - maybe more.

Gluten Free Cornbread
1 cup rice flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 scant cup agave or maple syrup
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 can corn, drained

1. Beat eggs and butter together with a whisk.
2. Add in melted butter and sweetener and whisk well.
3. Add in rest of ingredients except the corn.  Stir just till combined.
4. Add in the corn and stir till combined.
5. Pour into a parchment lined 8 inch baking pan that has been greased.
6. In a preheated 375 degree oven, bake until knife inserted comes out clean - approx. 25-30 minutes.

Serves 12 people

Monday, September 12, 2011

Be Honest...

Be Honest

Have Integrity

Work Hard

Have Patience

Be Dependable

Always Tell The Truth

Laugh Out Loud

Keep Your Promises

Be Happy

Love One Another

Use Kind Words

Listen To Your Parents

Always Be Grateful

Keep Your Promises

Help Others

Do Your Best

Try New Things

I saw this on a sign at an event my mom and I attended.  My daughter pointed out that it says 'Keep Your Promises' twice.  Maybe cause that's doubly important?  

Friday, September 2, 2011

32nd Birthday and Bucket List

Today is my 32nd birthday.  I'm blown away by the wonderful family and friends God has given me.  I'm so thankful for you all!  While lying in bed getting ready to get up this morning, I thought of making a bucket list.  I'm sure I'll update this as I think of more things but here goes!

1. Visit Rome and surrounding areas.
2. Study under a master herbalist.
3. Drive around aimlessly for a week taking pictures of all I see.
4. Getting a professional massage.
5. Work in a soup kitchen.
6. Paint a masterpiece with my feet.
7. See the Statue of Liberty up close.
8. Inspire someone to love the Lord and be their best for Him.
9. Owning a house out in the country.
10. Write and publish a book.
11. Experience a romantic sunset.
12. Plant a tree in a location other than my home.
13. Learn Thai Chi Chuan.
14. Go on a wildflower/wild plant identification hike.
15. Help someone recover from their health issues.