Monday, February 16, 2015

A Day To Love

Valentines Day was LOVLY, we seriously had a great time together! The only unfortunate part was the traffic, everyone in LA was on the road and it took forever to get from place to place. The weather was incredible, we started the day at the beach and ended it at the beach, who can ask for more?:)

 Friday night we enjoyed our annual marriage retreat an hour up the coast. We got to have dinner with some favorite people which made for lots of laughs and great conversation.
Saturday morning on the beach in eighty degree weather, now this is living! 
After the am surf session we heard some awesome preaching about how enjoyable it is to be married:)! Then we headed home to spend the evening with the kids. They loved their surprises of Sees Candy which is a real treat because we rarely have candy now. Next we took Shay Shay to a Valentines Ballet camp where she spent four hours learning a dance, playing games and making crafts with lots of little girls.
At the end of the night the girls put on a show and of course Daddy had roses for his girl!

While Shayla was dancing we took the boys to watch the sunset at the pier.
Then last minute we decided on Cold Stone for dinner. HA! I don't think sugar, Gmos, toxins or calories count on Valentines day! Oh and just in case they do we made up for it with lots of green smoothies on Sunday:)

I LOVE my husband, my family, my life and my Jesus!!!

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

Monday, February 9, 2015

Preventing Disease With Diet

Since we radically changed our eating habits last September I have gotten asked many times why, what is our goal? We were already a pretty healthy family, fit and in shape with no one being overweight. Honestly, the reason I went on this health rampage was because I got scared. Actually a cancer scare to be specific and it made me realize we are all on a path, our path is either leading to wellness or disease. Now I know that many factor's contribute to health problems like diabetes, cancer and heart disease but there is no denying that our diets and lifestyle play a HUGE role in it. That cancer scare and the fact that we witnessed my Father-in-love die of cancer really propelled my husband and myself to want make changes. I love living, I love my family and I want us all to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible...If I can make changes to make that achievable for my family and myself then I want to do so!!!

One of the first things I learned about was Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs and the impact they are having on our environment and on our health. The most recent studies indicate that GMOs play a very real role in Autism. From all of my research on Gmos I personally think the most alarming part is that we are the test dummies. Since Gmos have only been widely used for 15 years we do not know the outcome for lifelong consumption of the toxins they contain. 

What toxins you might ask? Glyphosate, the main ingredient in "Roundup" weed killer is actually in the DNA makeup of GMO food, That's right, it's like they give the seed a "Roundup" vaccination so it can withstand huge amounts of the toxin and not die as it grows.  Here is a great article on how round up is recking havoc on our environment and our bodies. By the way Glyphosates have been linked to cancer, Parkinson Disease and more. 

The  BT  pesticide is another toxin found in GMO food and Here is a great article explaining what BT is. Latest research has shown that not only do we carry these toxins in our blood but our unborn babies do as well. In fact BT toxins are know to kill human embryo cells resulting in reproductive toxicity. 

OK I will step down off my soap box about the dangers of GMOs, really it just comes down to a simple question, As my husband likes to say... "DO YOU WANT "Roundup" weed killer and other toxins that were made to kill living things in the food you are eating or not?" For our family I choose to avoid these toxins when at all possible.

So how do we avoid GMOs and dangerous pesticides? Mainly by choosing organic food and products. Now I know many will say organic produce is SO expensive and in some parts of the country that is a very sad truth. When we were in Tennessee I was shocked by the high cost and lack of fruits and vegetables in general. Like I have said before, I am blessed to live where organic food is abundant, widespread and readily available. However, I believe this is so important that we must find a way, for example, joining a farm share co-op or planting our own gardens (which is wildly popular in Tennessee and maybe explains the lack of fresh produce in the traditional market there?)  We do use the pesticide residue list, dirty dozen, clean fifteen to decided which foods must be organic.

Also organic meat is just as import because animals are fed GMO corn and of course injected with antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic meat is more expensive, yes, but we have found ways to make up for it by eating less meat. I love Salmon and I have to admit it was difficult to make the financial jump at first from farm raised to wild caught but this article helped and honestly it taste so much better! We have wild caught Alaskan Salmon once a week (just a side note: farm raised salmon is not naturally red it's grey they have to add the pink color, scary!)  I have found we can offset the cost by having a couple of low cost meals a week, like pesto pasta.

In a recent study they found that eating organic for just one week reduced the amount of pesticide in our urine by 90%. 

That brings me to this important point...In order to prevent, treat and fight disease we have to lower our toxic burden. 

So, what is our toxic burden? 
It is the physical burden put on our bodies by pollutants such as chlorine, fluoride, food coloring, preservatives, MSG, trans fats, pesticides, insecticides, hydrogenated oils, synthetic vitamins, mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde from vaccines and other sources, Pharmaceutical drugs, mercury amalgam filling, root canals, the toxins in our environment from cooking with Teflon, and putting our food in plastic containers that have BPAs in them, EMF from our cell phones and computers, the deodorant, personal care items we use and other beauty products that contain numerous toxins, then we scrub our floors and toilet seats with toxic chemicals before we walk and sit on them.

All that poison building up in our bodies is our toxic burden. Toxic burden is what makes it difficult for our bodies to fight off diseases like cancer and remain healthy. The more we can do to low our toxic burden the more chance our body has at rebuilding and repairing itself through a healthy immune system. 

So my goal is to reduce toxins whenever I can for my family and support their natural defense system with a diet high in nutrients and enzymes. That also means a pretty extensive regiment of whole food supplements for my husband and myself to make up for all the toxic years:) Of coarse eliminating all toxins is impossible and even if we did we could still acquire disease from other factors, but by lowering our burden we are giving ourselves the best possible chance for optimal health.

By the way, if you see us at a potluck and we are enjoying the obvious GMO laden casserole and pre packaged cake that someone we love brought, we can just smile and look the other way knowing that "we know", BUT we will always chose relationships over food. Still we want to do all we can to educate and bring change without hurting the feelings of the people we love.

Remember one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer! We are all on a path to acquiring disease or preventing it, so educate yourself and make little changes that could save your life. God does protects us but his laws of the universe are still true... if you jump off a ledge you will fall and if you put toxins in your body it will suffer. Lower your toxic burden and give your immune system a fighting chance!

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
Psalm 103:2-4

This post is filled with resource links and here are a few more to help you educate yourself.


The Healthy Home Economist 

Green Med Info

The Detoxinista 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Homeschooling Help

I have not written about our homeschooling in a while and so much has changed! I wrote this post over the summer because I was completely discouraged. I seriously considered quitting because I was so burnt out and worried. I even called my Sister-in-law in a state of panic saying I could NOT do it anymore. She gave the perfect encouragement and perspective, that at least temporally quieted the quitting voice in my head.

 As school approached I was filled with anxiety that I could not do it. To be honest I felt like a complete failure. Mostly because I have spent four years trying to teach Jadon to read and He could not read a single sentence without a MAJOR struggle. I was consumed with fear that I was ruining him and probably my other kids also. Anxiety is never a balanced perspective. I was focusing on one thing and not even considering the big picture or the fact that my 10th grader passed the California High School exit exam with flying colors (most students do not pass until their Senior year).  

When I started this year I felt hopeless BUT I had prayed and felt that God wanted me to continue to homeschool. One thing I was terrified of was Shayla having the same struggles that Jadon has in reading. I just keep thinking I can not do it again. I was also at a stand still with Jadon and felt hopeless. I prayed and prayed and asked God to please bring breakthrough for Jadon.

Well I am beyond happy to report that the breakthrough did come! Our Charter School had Jadon tested and he qualified for outside help. Now that is not something I would of been to happy about say in Kindergarten or first grade but after 4 years of giving it my all I knew we needed help. Jadon  now has a wonderful tutor 3 days a week and meets with a special education teacher once a week. I am beyond thrilled to report that I see vast improvement in a very short time. Some days can still be hard but I am not hopeless, I cried out to Jesus for help and I got it!!!

Oh by the way that fearfulness about Shayla was a waste of energy...She has floored me, she learned her ABC's and sounds in a month and started reading before Christmas! She loves school and I enjoy every minute of teaching her! 

Yes there are difficult days when the baby is sick and Jojo is into EVERYTHING but I am so very happy I did not give up,  that I did not quite. There are times when God calls a homeschooling mommy to go down a different path but that was not my case, mine was just plain old burnout. 

I feel happy and excited for the years ahead I have with my kids! Jimmy is a Junior he only takes four classes next year, graduation is right around the corner and you know what...I am so happy I had these years here at home with him. I am so happy that my relationship with my kids takes priority over a clean house or my free time. Little Jimmy and I go to the gym together everyday, we talk, we laugh and have a blast. He told me a couple of days ago that he really enjoys our talks:) I cherish all these memory that are made possible by homeschooling. (Oh and with the end in sight I am no longer intimidated, I know I can make it all the way to graduation!)

So here is my encouragement to any homeschooling Mommy that might read this, don't give up!!! Seek God's help, talk to a veteran homeschooling mommy, believe that God is able to come through even in the bleakest looking circumstance! Your kids are worth it! I promise one day it will feel like you blinked and one will be graduating from High School.

Now I have to say thank you...
Thank you to all the homeschooling mommy bloggers that paint a real picture but urge me to keep pressing on Wendy, Christine, Lisa, Sara,Laurie, Pattie, Becca, Miranda, Jenn,
Leanne, Allison, Jessica . Thank you to my faithful friend that loves me and labors in prayer for me. Thank you to my incredible husband that has listened to me quit dozens of times and then gently encourages me to press on. Thank you to my awesome kids that forgive me when I am tired and frustrated. Thank you to my amazing Sister-in-law that has been an example to me and such a source of encouragement. On weary days I picture her in her little house, with her MANY children teaching  just like I am and I know I am not alone. I often shoot up a quick prayer for her and I know she is doing the same for me!

Last but not least thank you Jesus for helping me and coming through with help for Jadon! Mostly thank you that you never give up on me, help me Lord to NEVER give up on something you have called me to do!

This how our homeschooling mornings start...with prayer and cuddling on the couch

Pictures are not appreciated

HERE is great web sight for moms teaching dyslexic kids.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 
Psalm 121:1-2 

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  
Galatians 6:9 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What is, What I Wish and What Will Someday Be

My Darling Jonathan,

Today is your third Birthday, three years ago on this day I held you in my arms and you changed my heart forever.

Today the pain is not as bad as it was the last two years, the Lord heard my cry for help. Psalm 22:24

Today we will remember you and celebrate you.

Today I will speak your name with pride and say I have a son in Heaven. Luke 18:15-16

Today I will remember that Jesus knows my suffering, he feels and sees my pain. John 11:35

Today I will let go of all of the negative memories surrounding your birth and remember the beautiful ones...
Seeing daddy cuddle you on his chest like he did with all his other boys, taking your picture, singing to you, the way a special nurse made me feel that your were so important, praying over you, saying one last goodbye knowing I will see you again.

Today I will tell your Brothers and Sister all about you and how important you are.

Today I will reflect on all the good you did for my heart, how you brought me closer to Jesus. 
James 1:12

Today tears will slip down my checks but my Jesus will catch every single one. 
Psalm 56:8

Today I will worship and Praise Jesus for his word is true, I mourned and he comforted me. 
Matthew 5:4

What I Wish

I wish you were here so much more than this sentence could ever convey.

I wish I was picking out a cake and decorations and that I could see your eyes light up like Jojo's did a couple of weeks ago.

I wish the house was a little louder, a little messier, a little smaller because you were here with us.

I wish that Jesse was holding you in this picture and Shayla was a perfect little girl sandwich in between my boys.

I wish people would understand how happy it makes me when they speak your name and acknowledge my love for you.

I wish every mother that has experienced an agonizing goodbye to their baby would feel the peace of Jesus that I feel. 
Psalm 147:3

I wish so very much I could see you, even for an instant and hold you close.

What will someday be

Someday I will stand face to face with the one that redeemed my soul and made it possible for me to see my you again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Someday all this pain and surfing will be wiped away and the one who knows my pain and has caught every tear, will comfort every sorrow in my heart. Revelation 21:4 

Someday I will comfort another with the comfort I have recived and so fulfill Gods plan. 

Corinthians 1:3-4

Someday my hearts desire will be fulfilled and I will wrap my arms around you and hold you tight
2 Samuel 12:23

Someday I will know the meaning of loss, and suffering and I will worship and praise God with complete understanding 1 Corinthians 13:12 

Someday all the cares and worries of this world will be washed away and eternal joy is all that will remain. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Jonathan, I would of chosen a different plan...a long happy life for you. BUT. I trust that God's plan is far better, his ways are higher than mine. One day every wrong will be made right, my heart and every heart that trusts in Jesus will be healed from the brokenness of this earth.

I miss you baby boy and I always will. I will hide you in my heart, I will remember all the good,  I will cherish every minute I held you, I will look at your picture and rejoice that I will see you again. 

From, your Loving mommy,
on your third birthday

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jojo Turned 4

My little, big boy turned four last week. He was so cute and funny on his Birthday, he has a personality like no other that is for sure:) It was Sunday so after Church I rushed home to set up a surprise for him. He LOVED walking in the house to his presents, cake and a few decoration...Four your olds are really easy to please, HA! It was a rainy day so we opted to stay in and have a Pajama movie party, we all had a lot of fun just being at home together.

The kids hiding to surprise Jojo
Jesse capturing the memories
I love this picture, he was littering jumping with joy!
Daddy's Boy
PJ party
By far Jojo's favorite gift was a rubber frog...I knew he liked frogs but I can not believe how much he love this thing. He has hardly put it down since his birthday, he even sleeps with it:)
These two look like they are having a blast:)
More Frog;)
It was a really fun day. We LOVE our Jojo sooooo much!

"Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father
Matthew 18:10

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A last few Tennessee Memories

We have been home a week but I am just getting around to my blog. Our last week in Tennessee my Mamaw started Chemotherapy, it was really hard and sad for me. She actually did pretty well with the treatment but knowing I had to leave her when she was sick was heartbreaking. I came home and felt emotionally and physically drained. Of coarse our first week back was busy with school, a birthday party, putting tons of stuff away and dentist appointments. Now I am sick and feeling pretty crummy but mostly praying no one else get it! I miss everyone in Tn so much my heart actually hurts.

Here are last few Tennessee memories

my baby turned into a boy with a sword overnight
There were lots of relaxing days for the boys
Shayla and Jojo got to have a sleepover with Anna and Gideon
The fun continued with the neighborhood boys daily.

How I love my cuddly little boys!
Cousin Greg came by for a few visits the kids loved his uniform!

The boys had a BLAST with their airsoft guns UNTIL... 


Yep Jimmy managed to take a bullet right in the front tooth:/ Unbelievable! What did mommy say when  I saw it? "There goes the $5,000 dollars smile"...He just got his braces off. What did Daddy say? "Dumb mistakes you make in childhood stick with you forever" Well we went to the dentist the day after we got home and it was a pretty easy quick fix, thank the Lord! The 5,000 dollar smile has been restored:)

I have been missing my Mamaw and Tennessee SO much. Honestly it is so very hard to say goodbye it makes my heart long for Heaven when we will all be together forever.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.Numbers 6:24-26
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