Home  //   About  //   Life  //   Homeschool  //   Recipes  //   Places to Play in PA  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Peach, Nectarine, Blueberry, and Kefir Smoothie

Talk about a smoothie that is so good for you! I mean tons of fruit, kefir and then sweetened with agave nectar-- your body will thank you!!
I added two medium sized nectarines and three plump peaches. I just cut away from the pit and dropped all of the chunks into the food processor. Then I added in roughly 3/4 a cup of blueberries. I used fresh, but you could use frozen, I would just do 1/2 a cup then. Then I added about 2 tbs of agave nectar.
Then I poured in a cup of Kefir. Kefir is much thicker than milk-- you can see in the picture how it looks like I added glue almost. But it is so good for you! Seriously, your digestive system and belly will thank you for drinking this. Than I blended and served. Yum!! Now that, my friend, is a breakfast of champions!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Naturally Curing a Cold

Last week I woke up with a tickle in my throat. It was just little and I assumed I had maybe talked to much or strained my voice. However, by the next day, the tickle had grown into a full blown sore throat. Frankly, just between you and I, I don't have a whole lot of time to be down with a cold. I also didnt feel like dragging myself and four kids to the doctors for a prescription and diagnosis. So, I had some kids cold tea on hand and I made a big mug of it and added some nice raw honey. I sipped on it for about a half an hour and my throat felt so much better! A few hours later when the tickle returned, I made more tea and by the next day I felt great. The only bummer is, I had already shared my germs and that coupled with quite the rainy day meant that my poor little babies all got mommy's sore throat as well.
I headed back to the store and loaded up on more tea, some honey, and some natural rub sort of like Vick's vapor rub (but much better). I got Just For Kids Organic Throat Coat Tea for my littles and a Seasonal Sampler for my hubby and I. The sampler included Echinacea Plus which helps build the immune system up. I thought that might be nice for him as he was the last to succumb to the sore throat. I didnt get raw honey but just regular organic honey. I knew I'd be making several cups over the next few days and it's just faster and easier to add in. Please, Please, please do NOT add sugar to your tea! Sugar creates a breeding grown for germs and colds to grow, so you could do more harm than good. I also got some nursing tea by Yogi and have yet to try it as we have been drinking all the other varieties, but I'm excited for that one as well!
The first thing we did was go upstairs and rub the natural vapor rub all over their cute little feet. Then some on their chests and lastly we put some snuggly socks on.
Then we went downstairs carefully walking on our tippy toes and all piled on the couch where they sipped their tea which by this time was cool enough for their little mouths. While they sipped, I read a chapter or two from our latest read aloud, Autumn with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell. By this time they were feeling better and we followed up with more rub and tea over the next 24-36 hours and now they just have a bit of a cough. I consider the cough to be good as it loosens up the phlegm and will soon remove it from their bodies. I also gave them lots of fruit-- especially blueberries which are full of antioxidants and all sorts of good vitamins. So you see, you can naturally treat your colds. You dont need a ton of antibiotics and cold meds to do so. Stock up on some tea, honey, and rub before hand and you'll be well prepared!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

4 months old Already!

How can little man be four months old already.... on the other hand, I think we have reached the point where it seems like life without him is but a distant memory. He tackled his first trip to the beach and dutch wonderland this month and did splendidly at both places. And just so you don't forget how cute our other three are, here's my three older cutie pies at the beach: But back to Mr. D, he is growing so much! He is a little over 15 lbs. and slightly longer than 25 inches. While we were at the doctors today waiting for him to be seen, I was blowing raspberries on his neck and he did his first belly laugh. Which made his older three year old brother laugh. Which made all of us laugh. I'm sure the staff on the other side of the door wondered what was going on behind that closed door! He really loves to suck his hands... and our arms. Which is weird to me but hysterical to his big siblings. I think that they're excited that he does more than eat, sleep, and well, you know. He smiles so much and really watches us. He seems to be settling into a more normal nap pattern (hallelujah) and is a phenomenal sleeper at night. Sadly, both he and I are going through our hair loss stage, so he may look a little bald in these pictures. But what a cutie pie! He is starting to grab toys, still loves to be held by mommy (although enjoying daddy more), and just a delight! Happy 4 months little man! We love you! And on a side note, Ive been taking lots of pictures and getting many more blog posts ready (in my Mind) just cant seem to find a moment to sit down and type or organize my thoughts on the computer... oh well, we are blessed with life :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Almost 2 Weeks TV Free

Its one thing to say you are thinking about getting rid of your tv and another thing altogether to actually make the steps to get rid of it. We spent a lot of time praying about and talking about it as a family. Today while on a hike we asked the kids if they liked this family time better than tv time and they all piped up hiking time.... Until my 7 year old said, although I kind of like tv time too, but I don't miss it. And I think that sues it up for all of us. We all like hiking or whatever it is we have been doing more of together over tv. We don't miss tv. We honestly don't miss it at all. At night we have been spending lots more family time together whether reading books, bike rides, walks, puzzles, etc. nothing new, just more time to do it and to do it together. My husband and I have been reading more, talking more together, and if we really get the hankering to watch something, we might watch a five minute clip of something on YouTube. But it's more of a once a week thing now too. So, we have gone without for two weeks and about a week into our trial, my husband made the decision to call and have cable turned off. Now that it's gone, Netflix and Hulu are next. I really feel like in hindsight I can say that a lot of times we just watched things because there was a sense of well, I paid for it, so I'd better get my money's worth out of it. Which is kind of silly. I think in the weeks to come we might box up a few movies to keep and sell everything else from the tv to the play station to the entertainment center. My husband shared that we don't have cable anymore with a co-worker whose kids are in daycare all day and he said, "that's crazy! My kids love to watch it in the morning before they leave and then they watch it at night when they're tired." I don't know why he thinks we're crazy... He's the one who loses pretty much all skittle time he has with his kids to the tv. I also recently stumbled onto this verse in my reading and it prompted me to do a follow up post on our tv-less life: Psalm 101:2-5 I will conduct the affairs of my house     with a blameless heart. 3 I will not look with approval     on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do;     I will have no part in it. 4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;     I will have nothing to do with what is evil. 5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,     I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,     I will not tolerate. Obviously we can say that there isn't much on tv today that isn't vile or just plain unneccessary. I mean honestly, I would say at least 90% of what people watch is fluff and maybe bad fluff at that. So now our challenge is verse 5 and avoiding getting a proud heart. Just because we feel God working on our lives in this way doesn't mean we should get all high and mighty about it. If anything it's by Gods grace that he chose to place it on hearts to reclaim valuable family time and couple time back. That's all it is. We sought Him out on this when we felt led to look into it and pray about it and He was gracious to guide and lead us. We aren't saints for doing this... Still sinners saved by grace being challenged to be more like Christ. And with that be said my husband just mentioned that it's time for us to read a book that we've been enjoying together in the evenings on Godly parenting, so night all!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On Turning the Big 3-0 and Maybe one Day 9-0

My 7 year old is counting down till his birthday. 3 days till he turns 8 which is completely idiotic! I mean really, who told him he could grow up?!And my sister is counting down to her due date-- september 1st. I'm pretty excited to-- can't wait to meet the little guy or gal and share motherhood with my sister. And today I got an email from my mom letting me know my great aunt Rose is having a 90th birthday soon. In september..... which reminds me, I'm turning the big 3-0 that month too. Somewhere in all the other hoopla going on, I kind of sorta forgot. I mean my son turning 8-- HUGE! My sister having a baby-- Gigantic! Me turning 30, well, I'm gonna confess, I'm pretty excited about it. Although, it does seem surreal as my mom seriously just turned 30 herself like yesterday. My dad actually loves to bring this story up any time my husband mentions trying to surprise me (which as this story proves, I can sniff out a surprise a mile away)-- long ago 7 year old me was playing in the kitchen and my mom found a packet of dip mix. She asked me if my dad was throwing her a 30th surprise party and I said yes. Even though I had no clue. And so from that day on I became the infamous whistle blower in our home. But anyway, I am pretty excited to turn 30 and here is my top 30 sorry, that would be insane, top 10 reasons Im excited to turn 30: 1. When an old wrinkly old really old lady says a snarky comment about how I look like Im 17 with 4 kids I can say with supreme dignity, "I'm actually in my 30's" 2. I can say with a regal air, "people in their 20's do some of the most ridiculous things.. they're like, so immature!" 3. On the other hand, most if not all my friends have already crossed this thresh hold, so I can say man you're so old... like 33 old... 4. At 30 I have pretty much crossed off everything I wanted to do on my bucket list that I made at the naive age of 20. So I get to make a whole new one, and, confession, I love lists. 5. As I near 30, I have 4 pretty awesome if not the most awesomest bunch of 4 kiddos to celebrate this milestone with. And by with I mean one special dinner out with them and one really special dinner out with just the hubs because I am a mom turning 30 with 4 kids ;) 6. I get to keep my husband company-- he was getting kind of lonely being in his 30's all by his lonesome self for almost 4 years. Poor thing.... 7. The best is yet to come which must be pretty exciting since I can honeslty say the first 29 years have been pretty awesome 8. I have to admit, finding 10 things is tougher then I thought............. so lets just skip to 10 as I think its one of the coolest and most exciting things and no matter how old I turn, just saying this makes me feel so abundantly over the moon blessed..... 10. I have lived 30 years. That is 30 years more than my doctors predicted when I was a sick baby. 30 years filled with having God's hand upon my life. 30 years of knowing some pretty cool parents. And I get to celebrate 30 years with a husband and 4 kids who love me and who I love more than anything else. So, as i think about my aunt turning 90 right after I turn 30, I feel young. And I also am wondering what 90 feels like. Will I live to 90? Do I want to live to 90? Deep thoughts, but for now, I think I'll just stick to tackling 30.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodbye tv...maybe....

My husband and I have both been discussing and praying about completely removing our television, play station, and movies from the home. I think we had better share why and what are concerns as well as our hopes are. 1. We don't think people doing this will make us better than other people. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned... We will still sin and fall short without a tv. The tv on its own is just a big piece of equipment. However, we feel like by making this such a focal point of our lives,and home that we are allowing something else to draw our attention away from Christ and serving Him by serving our family. 2. It will most likely be hardest for my husband and I. Confession: we are boob tubes! At night we put the kids to bed and then crash in front of the tv. And you know what, these are the years when we are young and have a lot that needs communicated. We would,be better off spending the time discussing our own relationship and the ones we have with our children then watching fictitious characters and pretty much zoning out a bit. We do. We totally zone out. It's a bad habit on our parts. 3. As of right now our kids only know how to turn the tv on and do the volume but they can't change channels or start a movie without us setting it up. That won't always be the case. We don't want them to grow into boob tubes either. We also don't want them flipping through channels and seeing something inappropriate. Even some family channels like abc family have the most awful commercials for other shows while a family program for younger children is currently on. Our children are entrusted in our care and we are commanded to guard their hearts. We a responsible till they leave our home to train them how to make wise choices, but also to no desensitize them by allowing them to watch certain things. I would actually prefer my kids to be sheltered so that when they do see something that is displeasing to the Lord, they know right away and their hearts are saddened and repulsed. So many kids now a days watch things and overtime that won't satisfy their need for entertainment or they will have become so used to it it will no longer bother them when it should. I feel like my husband and I are even getting to the justification point and I don't feel good about it. 4. Our main goal isn't to deprive our family, but to make it better. Our kids are getting older and will start staying up late. I don't want to raise more boob tubers, but would rather play some monopoly late at night, work on a puzzle, go for a bike ride... Put back time and guidance into their lives. I don't want them to soak up what some person o the screen is saying more than what we say. We love them more than that cartoon character or person depicting someone else and we want to invest so much more into their lives. We want to use every opportunity to train them in. The ways of the Lord. That person on the screen could care less about our kids. Bottom line. 5. Video games. I can't say that I'm a big fan of them to start with and my husbands games are rock and and madden. However, someone gave our son sky landers and we got him Disney universe. Both have some violence in them. It creates a need for more thrills. Bigger guns. More explosions, etc. no thanks... If its not educational or devotional what's the point? I believe something can be fun and not just for entertainments sake but should serve a greater purpose. We will still have our iPads and touches so the kids do have games on there that they play but they are all teaching a skill. 6.we might still occasionally go out for a family movie or watch a football game at grandmas, but it will be a family activity or,a special treat the way it was long ago. Now entertainment is so accessible and at our very fingertips. Little planning or thought needs to go into what you watch. It's so easy to just turn it on and relax and well, kind of zone out. 7. This isn't our main goal, but families without television and video games tend to be more creative and intellectual. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/03/kids.tv.school/index.html?hpt=Sbin. Tv viewing that starts at a younger age can affect children's vocabulary and not only that, it teaches them bad habits. 8. It also helps us not get the gimmies. We won't watch tv and therefore we aren't watching commercials. Our kids already rarely see commercials and because of that they aren't swayed by them and the latest fad toys at Christmas or birthdays. It helps mom and dad too..l when I was in the hospital on bed rest during the day I counted how many commercials were about food. Almost every single day time commercial while I was there was about a snack, place to eat, grocery store... No mpwonder America struggles with obesity! It's being shoved in our faces that we want more food! 8. Mathematically speaking its estimated that children watch three hours,of tv a day. That's 21 hours a week. That's almost an entire day. If they are at church for even three hours a week, that means that what they are viewing and hearing the most is the television. Okay, this is a bit longer, but our main reason is to nourish and develop stronger relationships without something else competing to take time away from us. Most people claim they have no time to read whether leisurely or the Bible, but they have time for tv. People make time for what's important and we don't want to make any more time for something that isn't important in the grand scheme of things. Sitting next to our kids viewing something means we are concentarting on the show not one another. I'd rather we focus more on the people right here in our home and work on training their hearts and leading them in a stronger relationship with God.