Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Socialistic Education

For far too long we have lived with a socialistic mentality when it comes to public education.  Now that my state government is trying to make budget cuts in education, many people are outraged and stormed the capitol tonight.  Among them were occupiers, teachers and other anarchists who want to bully their way into getting a free ride.  Since when is it the government's job to educate your child?  It isn't their job to do that and I think every American should pay for their own child's education instead of taking the taxpayers money.

It's not like the public educational system is any good, we have high schoolers who can't even read!  Teachers, especially those in unions, are bullying their way to get what they want - money.  Can you remember the good 'ole days when teachers had a love for the children?  Now, its for the green.  Whether you like it or not, they are taking taxes out of your paycheck and/or your families' paycheck to fund sub-par education.  Since we are forced to pay taxes for public education, then why not allow a voucher that follows the child?  The child/parent chooses the school.  THEN you will see an improvement in schools and quality education!  Capitalism gives room for excellence, and that is applicable in education.

I saw the madness at my state capitol as the police had to forcibly remove, tase and drag people away from the capitol.  People that want to take others' money so they can continue to be a leech, sucking the very life's blood out of this country.  Cuts need to happen in our state and the education department gets far too much money and they don't use it properly.  I agree with several other Republican Presidential nominees - I say its time to abolish the Department of Education.

Imagine if every American started paying for their own - food, housing, medical and education!  Taxes could be used for roads, transportation, a strong military and to help those who really need it like the elderly and disabled!  It's time we stop this entitlement mentality and realize that the government doesn't owe us anything, including public education!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Decor


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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whole Wheat Apple Pies

I got sidetracked tonight and instead of doing more freezer cooking, I wanted to bake!  Another homeschool mom had dropped by some free apples, so we decided to use them up.  I love apple pie, but its one of the most tedious for me to make with all the apple peeling!  We peeled about 12 apples, cored them and then sliced them.  My daughter was doing it, but at her rate we wouldn't have finished the pies tonight lol.  We are investing in another peeler, so she can help more next time.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Brunch

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, prayer of thanks and fun playing Bible Sketch while we ate together as a family!  I made some homemade buttermilk wheat biscuits with homemade strawberry jam, thick-sliced natural bacon, scrambled eggs and lots of organic cheddar cheese from Rumiano (the best!).  It was healthy, filling and we gave thanks and blessed God for all He has given us.


Around midnight last night, my daughter and I had fun making whole wheat gingerbread men and women!  They taste like gingersnaps and graham crackers, very good!  We may also use the recipe for making a gingerbread house for Christmas.




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Happy Thanksgiving!





Let the past go, and be thankful you were able to survive it.

Let the present be, and be thankful you were able to endure it.

And let the future come, being thankful that you walk with a God that will give you the strength you will need to get through it.

                                                       ----------------------------

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. - Melodie Beattie

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dec-Mar Freezer Cooking PREP Plan

I was supposed to start cooking today (Wed.) but I was a bit down missing my family, and this always happens around the holidays.  So......I will start my prep plan tonight through tomorrow and then cook on Friday and Saturday.

Sauces I need to make:
- 135oz spaghetti sauce
- 90oz pizza sauce

Cheeses to shred:
- Shred 2lbs mozzarella cheese
- Shred 2lbs cheddar cheese

Beans to soak and cook:
- 12 cups pintos
- 14 cups black beans

Vegetables to chop:
- mince 5 garlic cloves
- chop 6 onions

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Exercising Temperance

I've spent a lot of time realizing that I've made food an idol - I turn to it before I turn to God and that is wrong! Will there be more people in hell over gluttony than other, seemingly gross sins?  Makes you think.  I'm not saying that all obese people are sinning, I'm just realizing in myself that I sometimes turn to food for comfort instead of God and I occasionally eat to excess.  I guess that is a public confession of my faults.  I didn't get 40 pounds overweight from exercising temperance!


Php 3:19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.

The scripture is in the context of referring to the enemies of the cross.  The part where it says "whose God is their belly" really makes you think.  It could be talking about the sensual appetites of the flesh and it very well could be referring to self-indulgence (gluttony) and those that worship food and their appetites.  Then in Romans 16:18, the Bible talks about serving your own belly.  Have you ever really thought on that?

Here is Henry's commentary on the verse:

Whose God is their belly. They minded nothing but their sensual appetites. A wretched idol it is, and a scandal for any, but especially for Christians, to sacrifice the favour of God, the peace of their conscience, and their eternal happiness to it. Gluttons and drunkards make a god of their belly, and all their care is to please it and make provision for it. The same observance which good people give to God epicures give to their appetites.

In the Christian world, not much attention is given to gluttony, as most don't want to define it because they may be guilty of it, but we should:

Gluttony - excess of eating or drinking; greedy or excessive indulgence

So when I eat the whole pie, isn't that excess of eating?  Or is it also when I eat 2 slices, which is more than I need?  Why do we think that we are never gluttonous and since when can we decide what is excess and what is not?  It is, what it is.  We can't get around it, gluttony is a sin, just as adultery is.  Gluttony brings with it consequences - obesity, knee/back/joint problems from holding excess weight, organ problems from excess fat pushing against them, heart problems because it has to beat faster the larger you are, and on and on.

If we can't control our eating and always eat to excess, we need to ask forgiveness and then start exercising temperance; self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit of God living in us.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parental Rights Movie

A must watch for every parent:



Share the link: http://overruledmovie.com/

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December-March Freezer Cooking Plan

Since my daughter has a cold/cough and we had to take off of homeschool this week, I decided it was a good time to go ahead and do my freezer cooking!  Instead of taking a week off in December, I'm going to go ahead and do it throughout this week and the weekend.

I'm planning meals from the 2nd week of Dec. through till the 2nd week of March.  I need a total of 91 meals for those 3 months and here is my breakdown:

91 meals
- 26 casserole meals
- 12 spaghetti meals
- 13 pizza meals
________________
40 meals
- 4 leftover meals from last cycle
________________
36 meals


Here are the 36 meals for Mon., Wed., and Thursdays:

Southwest Mac n' Cheese x 12
Israeli Couscous Pilaf x 8
Chili & Cornbread x 6
Black Bean Burgers x 4
Creamy Pintos & Rice x 6

As you can see above, we do spaghetti and pizza every week and eat a casserole that lasts the whole weekend:

Tuesdays - Spaghetti x 12
Fridays - Pizza x 13
Every Other Weekend - Lasagna x 13
Every Other Weekend - Chicken Divan x 13

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Children & Garlic - Vegetable Cheese Soup

Garlic is good for you, especially when sick, as its a natural anti-biotic, anti-bacterial and myriad of other anti's.  When I'm sick, I simply cut up a garlic clove and swallow it with water.  However, getting a child to do this may be difficult, but there is a way to get them to swallow it without even knowing!  It's more like hiding it in there in a soup, so here is how I do it:

Ingredients
2T butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups broccoli
2 cups mixed vegetables
3tsp chicken broth
3 cups water
1tsp onion powder (optional)

Cheese Sauce
2T butter
1/4c whole wheat flour
2c milk
2c shredded cheddar cheese

Heat the butter and garlic on medium, then add the vegetables and saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  While that is sauteing, heat the butter for the sauce in a small pan on medium and when melted, whisk in the flour.  When that is combined, whisk in the milk and let sit on med-high.  Now, back to the vegetables, they should be sauteed enough, so add the broth and water and heat throughout on low.

Whisk the sauce mixture until it thickens, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.  When thickened, add cheese and stir in till melted.  Whisk some more till you get a creamy sauce.

Pour the cheese into the soup and stir.  Serve.

*If you want a thicker soup, add more flour.  If you want a soup with more liquid, add more water/broth and/or milk.  I also don't use added salt as the chicken broth has it in it.


Because you lightly cook the vegetables and garlic, they maintain more of their nutrition and the garlic its potency.  Your child will never see the chopped garlic because the cheese sauce hides it.  When they swallow the soup, they will inevitably swallow the garlic!  Voila - mission accomplished!

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Vitamin C

You have to continuously nourish your body with foods rich in vitamin C or take a supplement because it isn't a vitamin your body stores. If you are like most people and you aren't eating the foods rich in vitamin C daily, then you need a supplement.  Even if you are eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamin C, it wouldn't hurt to include it in your supplement regime.  The general daily recommendation is anywhere from 60-120mg, depending upon age.

In times of sickness, I take 1000-2000mg 2-3 times a day and for my daughter, she takes half of that dose.  We prefer the pure form of vitamin C, as I find I get better results with it than pill form, since its instantly absorbed.  We use the NutriBiotic brand that is pure, natural, pharmaceutical grade ascorbic acid.  It is non-GMO and doesn't contain any added chemicals (fillers, colorings, etc.).  One teaspoon contains 5,000mg which is too much at one time for most people, unless you are using it as a therapy for serious illness.  I have taken upwards of 10,000mg a day in the past during serious illness and didn't have side effects, other than a sore throat from the high dosage.  However, some people will experience stomach pain and diarrhea at such high doses, so consult a doctor, preferably a holistic or doctor of osteopathic medicine.

I drink the vitamin C in a tonic, which I call Bev's Tonic.  I take this whenever I feel I may be too stressed, feeling a sickness coming or a member of my family is sick and then of course, for when I'm actually sick.  I generally use 1/4tsp and my daughter uses 1/8tsp in the tonic.  Combined with lemon juice and honey, it is easy to take and the honey provides the buffer for your throat, otherwise you will have a sore throat later in the day if you just took the vitamin C in water by itself.  I've found that if I take too much ascorbic acid powder at one time, I get the burn in my throat, stomach and intestines.  However, if I only take 1/4tsp per 10oz cup at a time, with honey as the buffer, I don't get a burn or sore feeling.

We also take Ester-C as a preventive supplement when we are around those that are sick or going to a large gathering.  Ester-C is vitamin C that is easy on the stomach, for those who might find unpleasant side effects with pure ascorbic acid or need to get the vitamin c to the intestines, where the pill generally releases.

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Homekeeping Skills to Learn

Being a homekeeper isn't just not working outside of the home, its having a job at home!  We are managers of our homes and just like our husbands need to keep up with their skills and add new ones to make themselves better, we do as well.  In a perfect world, every young woman would enter a marriage with a wealth of homekeeping skills that her mother taught her.  However, today we have a society where mothers, even mothers that were homekeepers, are not teaching their daughters skills that matter.

My mother worked and didn't have or take the time to teach me homekeeping skills.  I didn't know how to cook, do laundry, clean and definitely not any of the extra skills like sewing or canning.  When I got married, I didn't even know how to boil an egg!  That was just 11 years ago and I've spent the past 11 years teaching myself.  Think of how much time of my life I could have saved, had those skills been taught to me as a daughter, because my mom knew how to sew, can, garden and many other skills.  Not only do I want to prepare my daughter fully for the homekeeping role, but I also want to help other women out there who read this blog.  I want to save you time by sharing what I've learned and am learning, in hopes to make you a better homekeeper.

There are a list of skills that I want to accomplish.  You can be an unskillful homekeeper all your life or you can develop these skills and be more efficient in your homes and be able to teach your daughters.
  1. Cooking/Baking - this isn't involving processed, boxed food, this is talking about real cooking.  The first few years of my marriage, I was a Hamburger Helper Queen.  I finally taught myself how to cook and then, in the past few years how to cook healthfully.
  2. Homemade Foods - this is really a sub-category of the above.  Once you understand how to cook and bake, you should learn how to make things homemade.  This also falls into the sixth category below of health because homemade is just better than processed junk!  Learn to make bread, condiments, homemade snacks and desserts.  Not only will you save your money while developing a skill, you will benefit you and your family's health!
  3. Cleaning - believe it or not, this is a skill!  Everyone has their level of cleanliness but how to clean is a skill you need to learn.  How to mop, vacuum, disinfect, etc.
  4. Time Management - this is probably the best skill to learn because even if you knew all of the skills, if you can't manage your time, your life will be chaotic.
  5. Meal-Planning - learn how to make a meal plan and menu.  Don't just haphazardly try to figure out dinner at 4pm!  Be prepared weeks in advance and rotate meals to suit your family's preferences.
  6. Purchasing Goods - you need to understand how to purchase goods - food, clothing, furniture, etc.  Learn the skill of shopping wisely for all the purchases for your home.  Use a list, or else, you may find yourself forgetting things or buying too much.
  7. Teaching - you may be wondering why I have teaching here, well EVERY mother is a HOMEschool teacher.  You should be teaching your kid daily the skills of life, but most importantly the Bible!  Learning how to teach to your child at each stage is crucial!  If you can't reach them, believe me, someone else will.
  8. Health - you need to know how to have proper health for yourself, your husband and your children.  Read, read, read!  Don't just depend on a medical professional for your family's health, know what to do in an emergency and illness' that don't require a visit to the clinic.
  9. Gardening - learn how to garden.  Not only will you be able to give your family the best possible nutrition from fresh produce you grew and save money, but its therapeutic and eases stress.  It's also a great science lesson to teach your children about plants.
  10. Make-Your-Own - learn how to make your own cleaners, beauty products, tinctures, laundry detergent, etc.
  11. Organizing/Decorating - decorating provides a place of pleasure and comfort and organizing saves time and sanity!
  12. Hosting - learn how to be a good host!  As Christians, we should all be hospitable but as homekeepers, we should also learn how to treat our guests.

This list is of skills I plan on learning or mastering over the next few years:
  1. Sewing
  2. Canning
  3. Crafting
  4. Alternative Therapies/Herbs 
  5. Soap-Making
  6. Quilting

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lemon Balm - Cold Sore Remedy

A year or so ago, I discovered that taking L-lysine in times of stress and whenever I felt a tingle on my lip, prevented cold sores (fever blisters).  I went from getting anywhere from 4-6 per year to only getting 1-2 per year.  However, in very stressful times combined with eating non-organic foods laced with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics - the outcome isn't so good and I get a cold sore, like I did on Thursday.

I upped my L-lysine, cut down on chocolate, nuts and other high L-arginine foods, but I also tried something new: lemon balm.  My friend gave me some freshly-dried, organic, cut lemon balm herbs and I made a strong tea (infusion) by using 4-5tsp in 10oz boiling water.  I sipped it and then also let it cover my top lip where the sore was for a minute, every few minutes.  I did a tea on Thursday and then a tea on Friday and on Day 2 of the sore it started crusting and healing and now its getting smaller and going away.

Image from Wikipedia
Never, that I can remember, have I had a cold sore start going away so soon!  Usually its 7-10 days for me, so this is amazing and I had to share!  The research on lemon balm tells the story, and it also gives you this incredibly relaxing feeling but you still feel alert in your brain.  It is commonly used for anxiety, depression, insomnia and lots more.  I'm just amazed that it is speeding up the healing of my cold sore, the relaxed feeling it gave me was an added bonus!

Here is a fact sheet on the herb, Lemon Balm that is very informative!  Page 32 discusses the many medicinal uses that have been around since ancient times: http://www.herbsociety.org/factsheets/Lemon%20Balm%20Guide.pdf

It is amazing to find out how the American colonists used it, Thomas Jefferson even grew it in his own garden!  They drank it as tea and even made jams and jellies with it, among other things.  Guess who is planning on growing it this spring? ;-)

Here is more info from Wikipedia and a quote below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_officinalis

Lemon balm contains eugenol, which kills bacteria and has been shown to calm muscles and numb tissues. It also contains tannins that contribute to its antiviral effects, as well as terpenes that add to its soothing effects.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Next Beethoven.....



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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christmas Ribbon

I've always loved looking at Christmas ribbon every year around this time but it was always so expensive that I just didn't bother or just bought the cheap kind.  Well, there was an awesome sale yesterday at Michaels and all the Christmas ribbon was 60% off and then I had a 25% off my entire purchase coupon - so guess who stocked up?



I'm not a traditional type of girl, so I like using lime green, pink and turquoise as my main decor for Christmas with red mixed in.  I was trying to find something Christmasy to go with orange but no luck.  I've seen orange and white candy cane design before but can't find it anywhere.  So, I may change my curtains in my dining room just for the holidays and then change them back to orange in January.  I'm thinking of going with turquoise curtains because the ribbon with it in them really inspired me.

There are so many plans for the ribbon, from making pull-backs with bows for my curtains, to bows wrapped around my dining chairs and then making hair-bows for my daughter!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Look What the Lord Has Done!

He healed my body!!  I had a scare this past weekend with severe pain in my lower back/abdominal region and my pelvic area.  The pelvic pain started the Tuesday before this past weekend and lasted four days and then the back/abdominal pain came late Saturday night.  By Sunday, it was really bad and I went to the walk-in clinic at our doctor's office.  The doctor thought it may be appendicitis and if the pain got worse, I had to go to the ER right away and they don't take any chances - they just open you up and take out your appendix.  She also thought maybe it could be cysts or complications with polyps in my colon I had a few years ago.

I kept asking God........why!?  why!? why!?  It seems that my whole life has been one crazy medical issue after another and I didn't understand why my youth had to spent in such a way.  I guess I started feeling sorry myself lol.  Then I thought, as I have many times, that maybe God is judging me or something from something I did in the past.  That is the devil though - he loves to make us feel like we deserve illness and disease.  I was pretty down.  So I started reminding myself of all the MANY times God has healed me and all the things He has blessed me with and I started praising God!

I wasn't going to church that Sunday night, if anything I thought I was going to go to the ER to have my appendix removed because the pain had increased and I was nauseous.  However, with about 20 minutes before we had to leave, I popped up out of bed and went to church.  I was in pain as the service begin and then the Spirit of God started moving and others started shouting and dancing.  I wanted to, I felt it but there was a nagging thought that if I did I might have the appendix rupture right there.  Well, I told God that I was in His house and I'm in His hands!!  I started dancing and praising God!  Then after we sat down, the pain was pretty bad and the thought came that I shouldn't have done that.  I kept shooting down these thoughts - satan - and trusting God.

At altar call, I prayed so hard and told God I wasn't letting go till He touched me!  I felt God touch me!!  The pain went away!!  Then on the way out, my husband came up from the altar and said to me "Bev, God healed you!"  I've never seen him so full of faith and there was no doubting in his words, he was telling me I was healed, thus saith the Lord.  He told me he felt God touch me, even though he was at the altar and I was in my pew, he felt it and he knew.  WOW!

On the way home, I started having pain again.  I asked my husband why I was having pain, he told me just to keep having faith that God touched me and I did.  Then on Tuesday, the pain got worse but I kept shooting down the doubts and praising God.  I had my ultrasound yesterday and got the results today.  Turns out, it wasn't appendicitis but it was a cyst on my ovary.  However - the best news - the cyst had somehow collapsed recently!!  I know when it collapsed - it collapsed Sunday night as I was praying and God touched me!!  He did it!!  Praise the Lord!!

So now, all is well and the doctor/nurse was excited too and said my pain should go away because the problem is gone.  The only one not excited by this news is satan - he really wanted me down, he is trying to prevent my life and goals from happening but he can't stop God!!  God is a healer and I'm sharing this with you all to encourage you in faith and to uplift the name of the Lord!!!



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Monday, November 7, 2011

December Plans

We have four weeks left of homeschool until we take our holiday break of 3 weeks. I have so many things I need to take care of, so I scheduled the weeks out:

Dec. 12-16 = Freezer Cooking Week
Dec. 19-23 = Christmas Crafts Week
Dec. 26-30 = Overhaul House Week


I will be doing my quarterly freezer cooking and I plan on cooking meals to last through March.  *Update - I went ahead and did my freezer cooking during Thanksgiving week!

The week before Christmas, we plan on doing hours and hours of fun crafting!  We did this last year and would stay up so late making crafts because we got a "craft-tastic high!"  So I schedule us a whole week of crafts but we may actually start some of them at the beginning of the month to get a head start.

The last week of December is for overhauling the house.  You may be wondering what "Overhaul House Week" is, it is basically me spending a week to do all my spring/fall cleaning lol.  Seeing how life is so busy and I've been putting spring/fall cleaning on the backburner for a while now, I wanted to spend a week to overhaul my home.  I have dust on top of the fridge and other places, behind the fridge/freezer, walls that need to be washed, carpet shampooed, windows that need cleaning and cobwebs up high in the corners of the ceiling.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Update

Sorry that I've been missing in action lately, but I am finishing up the college course I mentioned earlier and its opened up a whole new world of study for me - child development.  I feel like I could write about 100 posts on what I've learned.  I took parts of the course on child development, stages and learning styles and purchased a slew of books on the topic and am getting engrossed in the subject.  It is amazing and not only has it helped me in understanding my daughter, who is highly kinesthetic, but also understanding people in general!

I just thought some people were really messed up (including myself lol), but found that we all learn differently, seeing things differently according to the sides of our brain we are dominant in and we react to certain situations, stimuli and environments differently by genetics.  I can't wait to write these posts, so I'm trying to organize my life, studying, teaching and homekeeping well so I can have the time to write them up.

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