Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Remembering

Recently our baby Goosey was seen by a neurologist because she wasn't walking yet and her head circumference is small in proportion to her body size.

Everyone is worried.

Worried that Lucie has a very serious problem with the growth of her brain, worried that her development is going to cease or who knows what. I am doing my best not to worry. I am not a cliche but I am taking this to Jesus, my healer. And when I feel tempted to worry I chose to remember...

I remember when Michael suffered the most terrible allergies I've ever seen. I remember when the allergist told him he was allergic to everything and prescribed a ton of meds that made his nose bleed. I remember how he couldn't even eat dinner outside at restaurants without coughing and sneezing. I remember how Michael prayed and asked God to heal his allergies. I remember how Michael asked God to heal him so that he could enjoy the outside world that God had created.

I remember how our God healed him! I remember how my mother in law almost crashed her car into a curb when Michael told her that he no longer had allergies because Jesus had taken that from him. My God heals!

When I start to think what all this could mean for Lucie I remember when I was experiencing terrible pain in my abdomen. Pain so bad I would fall down unable to walk. I went to see a gynecologist and I remember her telling me that she felt a growth in my uterus. I prayed, I asked everyone I knew to pray for Jesus to heal me and remove this growth.

I remember going for the pubic ultrasound and the tech telling me that there was NOTHING to see! I remember her telling me that that there wasn't even any fluid as if a cyst had broken. I was healthy! 

Just a year ago I was having weird visual problems. I was seeing a black spot in my vision. I remember the doctor telling me that it was attached to my retina and that if it pulls off I could go blind and that I needed to see a specialist before the week was out. My parents were worried, I certainly didn't want to go blind. I prayed, and I prayed. And a guy at a coffee shop who didn't know me, but did know Michael, prayed for Jesus to heal my eye. He just came up to me because he was prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. I remember feeling the Spirit of God upon me in the coffee shop and I remember coming home and telling Michael, "I'm healed!! Jesus JUST healed me!"

I remember the look on my dad's face when the eye specialist said to me, "your eye is perfectly healthy. There is nothing wrong with it at all. Its a picture of health." I remember praising Jesus in that doctors office and thanking God. 

So when I think about Lucie, I will remember. God is our loving Father, All Mighty Healer, Redeemer, Savior, Master, and King. I will remember who my God is, and I will pray and seek His face and trust in Him. Please join with us in praying for the Lord Jesus Christ to heal our daughter and cause her brain to grow as it should. And remember who our Lord is.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. -
Psalm 103:2-5


UPDATE!!

I should have updated this right away but life kept on movin'. The results of her MRI and testing proved that her brain is healthy. There is nothing wrong with this little dumpling! If there was anything wrong I am certain that Jesus, the great physician healed her. Thank you Lord for your peace and healing in our lives.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wildcrafting with Kids

My little girls just turned five years old. They are growing up! And with their new maturity they're more interested than ever in knowing what I know and helping out in big ways. The other afternoon I was working in the garden and my daughter came up to me with a bunch of weeds in her hands asking if she could pretend it was lettuce. The weed she had picked was plantain, my favorite backyard herb! I climbed out of the garden and did an impromptu lesson on how to identify it and what it was good for. They of course remembered that plantain is the herb mommy chews up and spits on them when they get bug bites! Gross, yes, but much better than getting an infected spider bite or a swelling hornets sting.

Herbs are medicine in a way that few give them credit for. Plantain has compounds in it that actually draw the poison out of the bite and reduce swelling. Don't ask me how or why, I just know that it does. Last night my husband had a massive bite on his forearm so I chewed some plantain and held it on his arm with a gauze pad. After a few minutes the itching stopped and the swelling was reduced.

Now... all that chewing and spitting is pretty gross right? So, this summer I hope to be more prepared for bug bites! I'm dehydrating the plantain right now and am going to infuse olive oil with it. Then I'll make it into a salve. All of this is really easy, you just have to make a little time for it.

You can dry the herb by laying it out on screens or you can pop it in a dehydrator on the lowest heat setting. Around 90 degrees. Drying the herb before infusing the oil will help keep the oil fresh longer by reducing water content.

Once your herbs are dry, and you'll need a lot, so teach your babies how to wildcraft and go pick some, you can put them in a mason jar, fill it at least 3/4 full and over with the oil of your choice. (You can also purchase plantain from The Bulk Herb Store)

Grab your crock pot and fold a tea towel on the bottom, place the jar of oil and herbs on the towel and fill up nearly to the rim of the jar with water.

Turn your crock pot on to low, making sure the water never boils, and let it go for about 3 days.

Check it, turn it off for a time if you think it'd getting to hot. This process will draw the healing properties out of the herbs into the oil.

Strain it all out and pour it into a double boiler or just a metal bowl on top of a pot of gently boiling water.

You will need to add beeswax to make the oil into a salve. I just eyeball it... but I think the ratio is about 1 ounce of beeswax for 1/2 cup of oil. You can always add more wax by melting it down again if it doesn't set up as hard as you'd like.

Pour into a mini mason jar, or a metal tin and apply to all bug bites and scrapes as necessary!

Not sure that I need to say this but for the record I am not a doctor, or medical professional of any kind, though I am called Witch Doctor by those who love me.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Free to Try, Free to Fail, Free to Succeed

A week ago I climbed a mountain. I really, truly, scaled a huge rock and stood hundreds of feet above the tree tops. I was actually climbing higher than a hawk was soaring. It was incredible. I was able to share the experience with my dad and brother as a Father's day/my birthday celebration. It's something we will all cherish forever. 
Standing on the summit

As I look back on that experience there is one thing that stands out to me more than anything else: there is no way that I could have done it with my strength alone. I am not strong enough, or fit enough to climb to the summit. I'm not even sure that I'm brave enough. But I prayed, I prayed before we left, I asked friends to pray, and every step I took, every time I wasn't sure about my footing I prayed. And after I found my footing I prayed again! God so sweetly helped me up that mountain. 

My dad says that how we do anything is how we do everything. I did this climb by praying every single step, and in many ways its the same way I'm living my life. A few months ago my husband left his full time job at a great company to go full time at his own business. It's been a lot like climbing a mountain. We prayed before we decided to make this move, asked everyone we knew for prayer, we asked God if this was what He wanted us to do, and then thanked Him as He perfectly brought everything together. Truthfully, going full time at our own business is just like climbing a mountain. It's scary. The same thoughts sometimes fill our minds; what if we slip, what if we misstep, what if we only make it half way and have to find our way back down? But more than any fear, we have calm assurance, trust in our savior that He is leading our steps, helping us find our footing each time and taking us to the top. And so we pray, we pray without ceasing about this, and many other things. 

The last time I climbed Nelson Rocks I wept as I crossed the rope bridge. I cried saying, "I've never done anything with my life! I will never do anything! I'm so afraid to fail and even more afraid to succeed." Something about walking suspended over the tree tops can bring some issues out! That was ten years ago. As I crossed the bridge this time I was able to do so rejoicing. God has brought me so far. He has taught me the depth of His love and the complete forgiveness that He paid for me. I am free to try, free to fail, free to succeed because I am God's and He cares for me no matter what. So, I sang as many verses as I could make up of the David Crowder's cover of "Thank You for Loving Me." I sang thank you for saving me, thank you for changing me, thank you for directing me, thank you for healing me, thank you for blessing me. I could sing thanks to Jesus forever. I am just so thankful. I am just so loved by God and its so freeing.
God's beautiful work.

I know that our Lord cares about our lives. He cares about me climbing a mountain with my family and He cares about our business. I know that He has a wonderful purpose for us that we are living out right now. I am enjoying the climb. I'm loving the beauty of His creation and plan, I'm rejoicing with each step and I'm excited to see what He has in store for us. I want to serve Him more than anything else. I want Jesus to be glorified in my life. I know I am a flawed human being, but I also know that I am redeemed, and am being transformed, and that God chooses to use broken humans for His glory! 

All photo credit goes to Michael Valentino

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No Poo Week Four and Beyond


No poo week 6
I am wrapping up the series on the baking soda and vinegar hair washing method. The end result: happiness and money saving. I have figured out that my hair only needs a vinegar rinse once a week, more than that makes it too conditioned aka greasy. I can wash every other day and smell clean too. :) I can honestly say that if you stick with it you'll be happy that you did. I hate posting all kinds of photos of myself but as you can see my hair looks nice, not greasy, heavy or dry. I wish I could have taken better photos but I only have a few seconds to snap my iPhone here and there!

If you're new and curious about this method here are the previous posts on washing with only baking soda and vinegar: Week One, Weeks Two and Three

Finger Foods for Babies Under One Year

We have decided to delay the introduction of grains for our precious Goosey until she is about 18 months. This is the official recomendation of the Weston A. Price Foundation and is based on the research that babies do not have the necessary amalyse to digest grains until that time.
Happy baby

Truly, grains are hard to digest and I want her to get all of the nutrients possible and reduce her chances of developing gut permiability issues later on in life. I hope that delaying grains can help with that. So, as we were getting closer and closer to the finger food stage I began to ask myself, "what am I going to feed her instead of puffs and organic cheerios?" Learning to pick up small pieces of food and chew them is important developmentally, and it keeps babies busy! Thankfully, there are many easy options. Before I knew better I would feed my twins canisters of organic puffs like they were going out of style just to keep them occupied while I tried to eat.

Cubed grass-fed butter

Around 9 months Goosey started picking up and sucking down little chunks of butter. Most of it made it on her face but she did get some in her belly. Grass-fed butter is NUTRIENT DENSE goodness!

First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. Abnormalities of the heart and larger blood vessels occur in babies born to vitamin A deficient mothers. Butter is America's best and most easily absorbed source of vitamin A.
Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
Butter also contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Vitamin A and vitamin E found in butter both play a strong anti-oxidant role. Butter is a very rich source of selenium, a vital anti-oxidant--containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ. (Weston A. Price Foundation)

Butter is also a source of vitamin D and K necessary for proper growth and facial development. I want my baby to get the most bang for her buck, and butter packs the nutrients she needs.

Roast Organic Chicken

This one is easy too, I just served the baby tiny chunks of soft dark meat from our roast. She gummed them up.

Under one year breast milk
still meets most nutritional needs.

Baked Organic Sweet Potato

Buy a few organic sweet potatoes or yams, bake them for an hour or so at 375. Once cool cut them in to little slices and then cubes. They are soft, easily digested and safe for her. I like to put a potato in the oven for her at breakfast and feed it to her as a snack over the next few days. In fact, as I write this she is sitting next to me picking up her little pieces of golden sweet potato, happy as a clam! I especially like feeding her sweet potato because I can keep it whole in the fridge, pull it out and cut it up and move on. This is our version of convenience food. It would work at a restaurant too, just pull out your potato and cube it!

Boiled Pastured Egg Yolks

Yet another convenience food in our home, eggs can be boiled, set aside in the fridge and retrieved at a convenient time. I like the yolks for Goosey to be soft but still hold firm... So I put the eggs in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Then I turn off the heat and let them sit for about 5 minutes, drain and save for later! When serving the baby I make tiny chunks and sprinkle a touch of Celtic sea salt. Yes, I do. Salt is a necessary nutrient and the eggs taste better with it. We buy pastured eggs from a local farm and the yolks are a vibrant yellow-orange color. A great source of nutrition for myself and my littles. We avoid introducing the whites until closer to one year.

A great additional resource on foods for growing a healthy baby can be found here.


What finger foods do you enjoy making for your babies? I so love this stage of introducing good foods to my little gourmands. Did I mention that compared to pre-packed baby junk this food is all much cheaper, organic, and REAL!?